Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Like many of the other cruise lines, the cheapest option focuses just on social media. And this is probably the best deal for most, as it allows you to check in on friends, news and share information on your cruise.
More expensive options with more bandwidth are also available. The whole fleet will be outfitted by October. This is a big deal because once Carnival has the access and the pricing on all their ships, other cruise lines will follow.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Regardless of where the crew comes from, many cruise lines feel the same. Costa still feels Italian and that is the best takeaway from this review of the Costa Diadema in Porthole Magazine.
As we've noted before, Porthole doesn't pump out review after review, but they have a consistent quality and approach. Aside from the Italian-ness of the ship, reviewer Clark Norton also notes how the varied embarks and disembarks impact the ship experience.
Cruise reviews are everywhere and the approach and substance are constantly changing. We appreciate Porthole's using a consistent pool of experts, who tell you what you need to know and also mention a thing or two that others might miss.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Princess might be using YouTube better than any other cruise line right now. We've written about Princess' own unique reviews on YouTube before. The video above is a little more traditional, but that doesn't mean it is not well done.
The clip focuses on Alaska, so there are plenty of beautiful scenery shots. It also includes an emphasis on the Alaskan-inspired dining, excursions and activities. Princess is careful to hit all the highpoints, yet keep the video moving and engaging.
Friday, June 26, 2015
I wonder if this is gonna be the official captain's dress at @virgincruises #letsmakewaves https://t.co/UMZwnQoz82— rickdw (@cruisetotravel) June 25, 2015
27 secrets the cruise lines won't tell you: http://t.co/alBoUYxcRX #travel #tips pic.twitter.com/hGzmoT5cjn— SmarterTravel (@SmarterTravel) June 22, 2015
Whoever said "life is better by the pool" must have been thinking of Costa Victoria. Retweet if you agree! pic.twitter.com/ao2o4ibR4B— Costa Cruises (@CostaCruises) June 25, 2015
Mr. Bunny & the Freestyle Daily are ready to help you plan your day! #CruiseNorwegian pic.twitter.com/OjARgkI6yJ— Cruise Norwegian (@CruiseNorwegian) June 22, 2015
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015
How many customer suggestions will they use between now and their 2020 launch? No one knows, but engaging the customer like this can only lead to good things. This will create a sense of loyalty and connection before they've even named a ship. Hopefully it will also lead to some revolutionary ideas. So if you've had a great idea or feature for a cruise, Virgin wants to hear it.
In true Virgin style @richardbranson arrives to @virgincruises event in helicopter. #letsmakewaves #cruise pic.twitter.com/Q8z4SyDoux— Doug Parker (@CruiseRadio) June 23, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
Sunday, June 21, 2015
|Photo from Royal Caribbean via RoyalCaribbeanblog.com|
The Royal Caribbean Blog posted a series of photos of the Harmony of the Seas floating. The ship is the latest in the new and already popular Oasis class of ships. The first scheduled sailings are still planned for 2016.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Expanding wi-fi and wireless options is a must for all cruise lines. The move by Silversea will likely be followed by another line soon. Long-term, this will be good for all cruise lines as it will bring in new passengers and serve as a huge marketing tool.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Happiness in 4 words: Soak Up The Sun. pic.twitter.com/bjJnCKlSGA— Cruise Norwegian (@CruiseNorwegian) June 17, 2015
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Carnival released Episode 1 of their new series Behind the Scenes: Carnival Vista. Producing a video series with exclusive looks at their newest ship is a great idea. And it seems like Carnival is putting a lot of effort into the look and quality of the videos. But we do have a few nits to pick with the first episode and the direction of the series.
What we like
Peter Gonzalez is the perfect host. He's got the right look and right voice and has just the right energy. How many behind the scenes travel videos have you watched where the host is just too into it and too corny? Gonzalez doesn't come off that way.
The cinematography and editing is very good too. For a YouTube video this looks great. The graphics work well with the images and keep everything moving. The video also captures the scale of the project and the ship.
What we don't like
As cruise junkies, it pains us to write this, but what's the point of this first episode and potentially the series? Clearly Carnival put time and production money into the project. However, who is the target audience? Cruise nuts will get excited about a new ship regardless of how much they see in advance. The cruise media would (and will) gladly cover ship building and at a much lower cost to Carnival. But will this get many non-cruisers to finally take a Carnival Cruise? Are they even going to find the video online? Will the size and scope and unique building process motivate anyone new? As much as those of us in the industry might tire of the same images and selling points (fun and excitement on the seas), that message works. Images of people having a great time on a sunny cruise ship do motivate people to finally try cruising. A state of the art shipyard tour does not.
The series may take a predictable and more marketing-friendly turn. As a fan of ships and ship making, I am thankful to Carnival for making it available. If I were a Carnival stockholder or a cruise seller, I would wonder: "what's the point?"
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Every cruise fan knows about the Ship Mate app. But what many of you might not realize is that the company behind the indispensable cruise application also hosts a good cruise blog.
Look at the info-graphic above from their blog. It conveniently lists the age and last renovation of the entire, active Carnival fleet. Like all good info-graphics, it is simple, yet helpful. Age and renovations are a huge factor in enjoyment of a cruise. Seeing something like this puts each ship's age and newness in perspective. If a ship is older and hasn't be renovated recently, it is less likely to have the latest amenities.
The Ship Mate blog has many helpful suggestions, tips and graphics like this. So remember to add the blog to your list of stops when researching your next cruise.
Monday, June 15, 2015
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Popular Cruising put up another video review of Viking's new ship the Viking Star. The video also coincides with their review of the same ship in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Both reviews highlight the ship's beauty and unique touches, but also point out the ship's challenges in entertainment and activity.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
This is good news for the Bahamas. As cruise companies adjust their 2016 schedules to the new enforcement, a few of these itineraries will now probably add a short stay in the island nation near Florida.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
We're giving away 5 cruises to the Caribbean! Follow and use #GrassIsGreener for your chance. Sweepstakes link in bio. (US/CAN)A photo posted by Celebrity Cruises (Official) (@celebritycruises) on
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These documents from @Viking_Cruises came yesterday and it was all I could do to keep from opening them myself ...but I saved the pleasure for @lisa_r_owen and I sure am glad I did. We are both terribly excited about the Elegant Elbe itinerary but saving that first look at the travel documents for her elevated her excitement even further, a great trade. Repost from @lisa_r_owen via #insave
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015
- Room service charges: We are already on record against room-service charges, but understand why cruise companies do it. They want you eating elsewhere and are pricing things accordingly. The policy may not be family friendly, but it applies to all on board.
- Full-price specialty restaurant cover charges: We understand charging full-price here. These restaurants were designed to be exclusive. Why lower the price and take up multiple seats when full-paying customers could and would use those reservations? Plus most people expect an adult environment in the specialty restaurants. We are sure that your kids are great and well-behaved at dinner, but many (many, many, many) are not. They shouldn't be around to ruin other guests' experiences.
- Buffets that close before dinner: Is food access ever really an issue on any cruise? Even if things are temporarily closed, food is always available somewhere on a cruise line and will be available again shortly in the buffet. This is a non-issue.
- No diapers in the pool: We've seen several Splash Zones closed mid-day for cleaning after a little one had an accident. It happens and causes a bit of an inconvenience for your kids who don't understand the wait or why they can't go into the Splash Zone right now. Cruises can't risk shutting down and cleaning down a full pool daily because of the diaper issue.
- No teen activities for 18 year olds: Another non-issue? We haven't parented an 18-year-old yet, but remember being around that age on cruise ships. We wouldn't have been caught dead in the "teen club." In general, most 18-year-olds will figure it all out and have a good time without the organized activities of the teen club.
- No baby changing facilities in public bathrooms: Even as ships get bigger, space is still an issue, especially in the public bathrooms. Having a few changing stations conveniently placed makes sense, but it doesn't make sense to have one in every bathroom.
Monday, June 8, 2015
The anniversary celebration includes a 10 ship, 20,000 passenger toast and a new ship generation coming later this year. Congrats to AIDA and more continued success ahead.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
This video review is a little different, but we like different around here. Facts About Disney's video reviews are focused just on Disney Cruises and just specific aspects of the cruise. The clip above deals with traveling to the ship, embarking and the sail away party. Others in her series focus on food and attire.
The format is more confessional with fewer pictures of the ships, but it is still pretty thorough and helpful. And the informal, conversational style gives the review a unique feel for cruise novices.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Body slammed at sea! Why not? Theme cruises are very popular, so it makes sense that WWE fans are clamoring for the return of a wrestling cruise. Multiple wrestling promotions ran cruises in the 1990s but there hasn't been a collection of wrestlers at sea since 1999's Wrestle Vessel.
Given the wrestling's devoted fanbase, there is no reason to think a new wrestling cruise wouldn't work. We guess the WWE stopped the practice because the cruises were less lucrative than a week of arena shows they would run on the mainland. But now that WWE is public and dedicated to promoting their WWE Network, a niche marketing opportunity like a cruise might be worth the investment. It could be a reward for their most loyal customers or a source of unique content for the WWE Network. Or the WWE could position it as a chance to grow their fanbase beyond their current demographics.
Friday, June 5, 2015
From bow to stern, our award-winning cruise ships are getting complete makeovers! Read more: http://t.co/r8FtANMpN8 pic.twitter.com/o0Qdg2Ciot— Azamara Club Cruises (@AzamaraVoyages) June 3, 2015
Cruise Parking Cost By Port - http://t.co/pmEvgbej59— Doug Parker (@CruiseRadio) June 3, 2015
I think there is a website that lists where the ships are each day… https://t.co/lrigHAP5uj— Scott Sanders (@TheDCLBlog) May 28, 2015
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Initially the ship will travel to the Dominican Republic and passengers will be to teach English, help clean water or work in local food cooperatives.
Volunteer tourism is big business. Tens of thousands Americans travel globally to help those in need. Many of those opportunities are done through church groups or global non-profits. Will there be enough people who want to do it through the world's largest cruise line? After a day helping some of the Caribbean's poorest people, will they feel guilty about returning to their floating resort?
Carnival has enough marketing power to fill one small ship for a few months, so there is very little initial risk in the venture. But long-term, Carnival will have to find and develop a new customer base to support Fathom. It is a noble venture, so we hope they succeed, but we doubt that the people who want to spend their vacation helping others also want to spend time on a "fun ship."
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
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Gardeners at work in the Central Park onboard Allure Of The Seas. @royalcaribbean @royalcaribbean_ @royalcaribbean_aunz @royalcaribbean_nl @royalcaribbeanarabia @rci_fans @royalcaribbeanblog @royalcaribbeandr @royalcaribbeanf #allureoftheseas #royal #royalcaribbeaninternational #royalcaribbean #rci #rccl #centralpark #cruisefever #cruiselife #cruisetravelling #dbcruises #instacruise #instaship #instashipping #instaquay #harbor #laspezia #like #follow #tagsforlikes #cruiseship
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Bye bye Allure of the Seas! #crociere #cruises #cruiseship #cruiseships #instacruises #cruisetime #cruiselife #dbcruises #ig_captures #igs_photos #travel #traveling #tavelphoto #igerstravel #igtravel #instatravel #instaitalia #insta_international #scatto_italiano #igerslaspezia #master_shots #RoyalCaribbean #AllureoftheSeas
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🌅Oasis of the Seas + sunset = true beauty.🌅 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #OasisOfTheSeas #Sunset #RoyalWOW #CruiseShip #CruiseShips #Cruising #Florida #Bahamas #Caribbean #Paradise #Nice #Destination #Travel #Traveling #WanderLust #TBT #Vacation #Summer #Fun #Love #Cool #InstaGood #Me #InstaTravel #Cute #Follow #FollowMe #PicOfTheDay #PictureOfTheDay
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Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Wall Street investor and financial news media -- like TheStreet.com -- love to hear about advances in revenue management from the cruise industry. And it is true the cruise companies are becoming more aggressive and more disciplined in their pricing, upselling and ancillary revenue. But the point remains, even if they don't call it "last-minute" deals, there will still be plenty of discounts and unique sales and offerings for last-minute cruise shoppers. There is still too much inventory and even more coming and the companies need to maximize revenue.
Just look at these deals that Paul Gauguin are promoting. Shoppers just need to be smart and make sure they involved in all cruise companies' email lists and loyalty programs.
Monday, June 1, 2015
The one point where Motter might have missed the mark is on experiencing destination. Even with longer hours or multiple days in a port, a cruiser will be hard pressed to experience a destination like you might on a land vacation. Even if you eschew the cruise company's excursions and get your own local guide, things won't be the same. But a first time cruisers shouldn't be looking for an in-depth experience in each city. The cruise is a chance to see small samples of multiple ports all within the comforts of a state-of-the-art resort.