Monday, August 31, 2015

Carnival announces big plans for Bermuda

After scaling back Bermuda cruises the past few years, Carnival plans to increase trips to the island in 2016. Bermuda-bound ships will depart from five different ports (Baltimore, Charleston, New York City, Norfolk and Port Canaveral). All the ships will dock on King's Wharf.

This is big news for Carnival fans but also big new for Bermuda. With Carnival sailing from new and different ports, there will be more first-time visitors to the island. The hope is that those first time cruisers return as regular tourists. It is also good for Carnival fans in some of those cities who have been longing for different destinations.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Grand Celebration using YouTube clips to combat bad reviews

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has a challenge. Their one ship -- the Grand Celebration -- receives mediocre to poor reviews on most of the major cruise sites. How does a still new company turn perception around? With their own customer testimonials. The company continues to post glowing endorsements from real passengers on their Grand Celebration Live YouTube channel.

In the clips real customers talk about the ship, the service and the price. It is not the most slick way to market, but it does combat the complaints on other sites. Is it enough? Probably not based on the number of views the videos are getting, but every little bit counts.

Grand Celebration is offering an inexpensive price and targeting many first time cruisers. They are going to have a fair number of people who don't want to cruise again. But if the videos are to be believed, many of their passengers will sail with them again.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bahamas warnings from Cruise Law News

Cruise Law News published another warning on traveler safety issues in the Bahamas. The post cites a series of statistics and warnings from the U.K. and Canadian governments on the dangers of the island nation. While the reports mentioned Grand Bahama and Freeport, for cruise goers, the main Bahamian destination remains Nassau.

Should you avoid the Bahamas on your next cruise? No. Any port in the Caribbean has a certain level of danger and risk. Do your research and take news reports and warnings seriously, but there is still plenty to see and do on the islands. While the ship's official excursions do not guarantee safety, they do provide an extra level of comfort and local knowledge. As with all tourism, use your best judgement, know where you are and always have a plan.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cruise Needs' Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cruise Log provides tour of Regent's new all-suite ship the Seven Seas Explorer

When it sails in 2016, Regent Seven Seas' Seven Seas Explorer will set a new standard for luxury at sea. The all-suite ship will have large cabins and Regent's concierge services. Cruise Log has a photo tour of the new staterooms and examples of what passengers will experience.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Disney Cruise Blog looks at fitting in the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal has always been a popular and unique cruise itinerary. But as the demand for mega-ships grow, fewer are able to fit in the Canal. In an effort to give some perspective, Disney Cruise Blog posted the graphic above to illustrate how the current Disney Fleet fits (or doesn't fit) in the Canal.

There is good news for those who want to sail through the Panama Canal on a new, large ship. The Canal is nearing completion of an expansion that will enable more traffic and larger ships. The Bridge of the Americas still limits certain heights, but ships can adjust based on tides and what detachable towers and rods they can lower.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cruiseit's Norwegian Getaway Review

This review is a bit long and comes with some sales pitches from, but we found it thorough and worthwhile. As a still new ship, the Norwegian Getaway has all the major amenities and some of Norwegian Cruise Line's newest features. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Danny still alerting cruise itineraries

Even as it has been downgraded from a hurricane, Tropical Storm Danny is still forcing cruise companies to adjust their itineraries. In an effort to avoid the eye of the storm, Royal Caribbean moved two ships from Eastern Caribbean routes to Western. Carnival and Norwegian have also shifted ships from one region to the other.

If you have concerns about your ship and its destinations, contact your cruise company or travel agent.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tips For Travellers's video review of the Silversea Silver Explorer

Tips for Travellers provides a variety advice and video clips on their travels around the world. They also focus on cruises. In the clip above they explore a suite on the Silversea Silver Explorer. It is short, but insightful look into the luxury cruise company.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cruise Needs' Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Azamara's unique app

While cruise companies often seem step-behind in the latest marketing products, Azamara is taking a big leap forward. The luxury cruise line is rolling out a "virtual reality" app. This app will enable headsets to display 3D virtual reality experiences touring the Azamara ships. Those without headsets can still use the app to take 360 degree tours of the ships.

Given Azamara's customer demographics, adopters using the app inline with a virtual reality headset will probably be low. Yet that doesn't really matter. What matters is the investment in the future and the chance that Azamara might reach new customers and get people new to cruising onboard.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cruise Needs' Instagrams of the Week

@disneycruiseline - Double tap if you love sailing with #DisneyCruise!

A photo posted by Kreuzfahrt2.0 (@kreuzfahrt2.0) on

#Chocolate mousse, caramelized bananas and pistachio #France #VikingRiver

A photo posted by Sandi McKenna (@sandimckenna) on

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CruiseTipsTV's reviews of the Golden Princess

CruiseTipsTV recently uploaded a series of mini-reviews of different aspects of the Golden Princess. We included a few we liked below. Go to their YouTube channel for more.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Harmony of Seas to have kids waterpark

We already knew that Royal Caribbean's new Harmony of the Seas would have some of the biggest water slides at sea. Now we know it won't be all about the big thrills. Royal Caribbean announced that the Harmony will also include an aquatic park just for kids. This is great news for families and gives them one more choice for their cruise vacations.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Norwegian Escape float out

The Norwegian Escape is one step closer to welcoming passengers. Saturday the ship had its first float out as it moves to the finishing touches of construction. See the highlights above.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Popular Cruising's Viking Jarl Review

Popular Cruising changed the pace and tone of their reviews a bit, but it is all for the better. This review of the Viking Jarl is the first in the new style and provides their usual thorough insights and attention to detail.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Cruise Needs' Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 13, 2015

TravelPulse introduces you to a Cruise Director

A good Cruise Director can make or break a cruise. TravelPulse understands that and interviewed Carnival's Matt Mitcham to learn more about the job, his favorite stops and what happens behind the scenes. It is a helpful interview for cruise fans and those who have sailed on Carnival. Mitcham's energy comes off as just the right type of leader for the Carnival brand.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Two different perspectives on Royal Caribbean's Boomerango

After not having water slides on their ships, Royal Caribbean has gone all in with a series of announcements about future slides on different ships. After drydock, The Liberty of the Seas will be the first at sea to have a "Boomerango" (above). This mutli-rider slide takes passengers up a steep vertical wall before they come back down again. It seems to be the latest and greatest in water slides. Yet for all the positive press Royal Caribbean gets, there are also some words of caution.

Most of the cruise media and review sites love the idea of the Boomerango. Cruise Law News has some other thoughts. They expect many injuries on the slide and also predict Royal Caribbean will not give passengers proper warning of the potential dangers. Cruise Law News uses the track record of the FlowRider and iFly as examples of how the company handles warnings and waivers.

Will there probably be injuries on the slide? Sure, but people get hurt on cruises in all sorts of different ways. The slides become an unmanageable risk or people are too scared to ride, Royal Caribbean will make an adjustment. All these attractions are about keeping people happy (and making money). Once the slide doesn't do that, it will come down.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Carnival expands social media wi-fi access

After two rollouts of their popular social media access package, Carnival announced that soon their entire fleet will offer the package in 2016. With all Carnival ships involved and many of the other Carnival brands also offering similar packages, it is only a matter of time before all cruise companies provide inexpensive internet access to social media. When this happens look for an explosion of customer-generated cruise content all over social media.

That potential growth of cruise social media will be a win-win for the industry. Better access will make cruisers happy and more posts will serve as a great marketing tool for the cruise companies.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cruise Industry News's update on American Cruise Lines

While river cruising is well established outside the United States, it continues to grow in this country. One of the leaders in the space American Cruise Lines just launched their newest boat. Cruise Industry News updated the progress of paddlewheller America. The finishing touches are almost ready and the boat will be the third active ship for the line.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Travel Bite's tour of a Viking River Cruise stateroom

There are numerous differences between river and ocean cruises, but one area where they might feel familiar is in your cabin. As Rachelle Lucas of The Travel Bite shows in this tour of her Viking River stateroom, the layouts and amenities are very similar to most modern ocean liners. Small differences like extra appliances and perhaps a little more space favor the river cruise experience vs a traditional ocean cabin.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Cruise Needs' Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Regent's around-the-world cruise popular despite pricetag

When Regent Seven Seas announced their 128-day around the world cruise, some wondered if there were enough cruise fans who could afford the $54,000+ per person price. The answer was a resounding "yes." In less than one day Regent sold more than 70% of the cabins on the 2017 voyage. For a couple that is a $100,000 for one all suite cabin. With all the time remaining, the company won't have any trouble selling the remaining suites. Who knows maybe if people wait they might get a know maybe a cabin for $99,000!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cruise Needs' Instagrams of the Week

#carnivalcruise #miami #sunrise #instagood #picoftheday #vacation

A photo posted by Tuuunnzzz (@toonzak) on

A #SeussAtSea breakfast sure would be nice right about now. Green eggs and ham, anyone? @carnival

A photo posted by Carrie McLaren (@carrieontravel) on


A photo posted by Ching (@shinbichin) on

#mexico #Cozumel #carnaval #carnivalcruise #2015 #fun #tan #drinks #friends #funinthesun

A photo posted by stephanie (@steph.k9) on

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A tour of the Disney Wonder via Minecraft

We've posted dozens of video reviews, but this is something entirely different: a tour of the ship via Minecraft. The video above of the Disney Wonder comes from Rob's never been on a cruise, so as the makers of the ship explain the details of their build, it also provides a tour to Rob.

The details in the recreation are amazing. Aside from the intentionally blocky look that comes with Minecraft, it looks just like the Wonder. This is the type of video that any Disney Cruise fan or people who just like cruises should appreciate.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fox News talks Virgin Cruises

After their big kickoff announcement in June, Virgin Cruises has been relatively quiet. Their debut is years away and they aren't selling any cabins or cruises yet. However, there is still plenty of work underway. Fox News interviewed Virgin Cruise CEO Tom McAlpin about the new line and how they will differ from other cruise lines.

Much of what McAlpin shared was already known, but he provided two glimpses that should make Virgin stand out. The desired simplicity in an era when even booking a cruise has become complicated and the disinterest in families. Virgin will have kids facilities but they are not going to put the emphasis nor the marketing power on families like other lines have.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Another Cruise Fever list for those obsessed with cruising

Cruise Fever puts out tons of useful and fun lists related to cruising. Sunday they published "16 Things Only People Obsessed With Cruising Will Understand," which includes some of our favorites like the cruise countdown and the early morning sunrises.

The one thing Cruise Fever didn't mention that we always find ourselves obsessed with is the daily itinerary. Each line approaches the sheet(s) slightly differently, but we find them invaluable. We also find them fun! As soon as we get our hands on one, we look at the whole day ahead and get excited about all the things in store.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Inside the Magic takes a plunge on the AquaDunk

We've written extensively about the water slide arms race on cruise ships, but we've never really showed what it is like to ride one. Thankfully Inside the Magic has it covered. Above is their video on Disney's AquaDunk, including point of view shots. It looks thrilling and seems like a great addition to the Disney Magic.