Tag Archives: Carnival Cruises

Cruises Offer More Dining Options

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Celebrity Cruises just announced the introduction of Celebrity Select Dining. This new option allows passengers to dine in the ship’s main restaurant, but not have a preassigned dining time, as is the traditional dinner schedule. Instead, guests can select to dine at any time between 6:00 and 9:30 pm., and even make reservations online up to 4 days before the cruise.

The program is being rolled out sequentially to all Celebrity ships (except for Celebrity Xpedition), starting with the Equinox on the September 26th sailing. It will be completed by February. Reservations will be on a first come, first served basis, and for passengers who elect to participate, gratuities will be automatically charged to the on board account.

It used to be that cruise lines offered 2 set times to dine in the main restaurants. You chose between early and late dining, and were stuck with that choice for the duration of the cruise. If you wanted to have dinner at a different time, you had to go to one of the alternate restaurants. In the last few years, however, starting with Norwegian Cruise Lines, the option to have dinner in the main restaurant (or one of them, at least), has been introduced by several lines. The following is a summary of the offerings:

  • Norwegian Cruise Lines: They were the pioneers of the flexible options with their Freestyle Dining. You’ve surely seen the commercials; do whatever you want, whenever you want. Norwegian has done away with the set dining times altogether, and bases dining service on offering different menus in different restaurants. Their newer ships, like the Jewel and the Gem, have even been designed with the Freestyle philosophy in mind. NCL ships offer smaller restaurants, with up to 13 different restaurants on board.
  • Carnival: The Fun Ships don’t currently offer a flexible option. It’s either early, late, or one of the other restaurants.
  • Royal Caribbean: Their “My Time” dining allows passengers to have dinner at any time in the main restaurants. It’s very similar to Celebrity’s Select Dining, which is likely based on My Time. In addition, Royal Caribbean offers “Family My Time” dining. This program is targeted to families with younger children. Appetizers are served immediately, and the children’s dinner is finished in 40 minutes.  They are then taken to evening activities with Adventure Ocean counselors, while the adults continue the meal at a more leisurely pace.
  • Princess Cruises: Their anytime dining allows passengers to dine at the main restaurant between 5:30 and 10:00 pm. Some ships have dedicated Anytime Dining restaurants, separate from the traditional dining restaurants, but providing the same menu and service.
  • Holland America: Provides an open schedule in its main dining room, as part of their As You Wish Dining program.
  • Cunard: Guests can dine any time between 7 and 9 pm, but some restaurants offer either early or late dining only.

Any way you look at it, dining is one of the prime attractions of a cruise, and a very important part of the cruising experience for most passengers. If you’ve been on a cruise, you understand why. If you have not, I invite you to experience it. Just contact us and we’ll plan the perfect cruise for you.

Regards,

Enrique Brener
KC Travel
N. Miami Beach, FL
www.kctravel.jurni.net
info@kctravel.jurni.net
305-792-0618
FL Seller of Travel Reg. TI-35171

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Go Behind the Fun with Carnival

Carnival Cruise Lines has just introduced a “behind the scenes” tour that takes guests to areas that are usually off limits.  The tour, called “Behind the Fun”, is currently available on the Carnival Valor and Carnival Conquest only, and will be extended to all ships with sailings of 7 days or longer by September.

Carnival Valor

Carnival Valor

Ship tours themselves are nothing new. Most cruise lines offer tours of the theatre backstage area and the main galley. Carnival’s tour will also include crew areas, such as their gym, galley, dining room, and training center, as well as the ships’ laundry rooms and galley. The biggest draw, however, are bound to be the engine room and the bridge.

The tour is also unique in that it will let guests interact directly with several officers, including the captain, chief engineer, chef de cuisine, and other department heads. Since groups are limited to 16 guests per tour, they afford a great opportunity to interact with them in a more intimate setting. Guests also receive souvenirs from the tour, including a picture with the captain on the bridge.

The three and a half hour tour costs $95 per person and can be booked through the ship’s excursion desk.

There are currently great prices for cruises into the Fall and Winter, so there’s no better time to go on a cruise and experience this tour. Prices are as low as $489 per person + taxes. Feel free to contact us for details and to book your next vacation.

Regards,

Enrique Brener
KC Travel
N. Miami Beach, FL
www.kctravel.jurni.net
info@kctravel.jurni.net
305-792-0618
FL Seller of Travel Reg. TI-35171

Deployment News

This past couple of weeks, there have been several newsworthy press releases from several cruise lines, announcing very interesting developments on their 2010-1011 ship deployments:

  • Royal Caribbean will base it’s Freedom Class Independence of the Seas year-round in the U.K. in 2010. Cruise lines have typically limited their European season to the months between April and November. Independence joins Brilliance of the Seas as the only Royal Caribbean ships based in Europe all year. Independence’s Winter season will visit the Italian Rivera, the Sorrento and Naples areas,  and the Balearic islands. Sailings for the 2010 Winter season go on sale this June.
  • Also from Royal Caribbean, year-round Caribbean sailings on 5 ships from 4 ports. Serenade of the Seas expands season sailings from San Juan to the whole year. Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, Independence’s older sisters, will continue to alternate Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral (close to Orlando) and Miami respectively. Finally, the new Oasis of the Seas, and its sister, Allure of the Seas, will sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. These two will be the biggest cruise lines in the world and will offer an incredible host of amenities.
  • Princess Cruises has revamped and simplified its Alaska itineraries. Princess is recognized as one of the best cruise lines for Alaska. They will now offer 4 different itineraries aboard 7 ships. They will include more sailings through Glacier Bay National Park, and will include sailings on the smaller Royal Princess, whose size allows to visit some smaller ports.
  • Carnival Cruise Lines is basing it’s newly refurnished Carnival Fantasy in Mobile for 7 night Western Caribbean sailings. The new cruises visit Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The seven-day voyages complement the line’s four- and five-day schedule from Mobile on the Holiday. Carnival Fantasy underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation last year that included the addition of the Carnival WaterWorks aqua park, new Serenity adults-only retreat and redesigned tropical-themed main pool area.
  • Celebrity Cruises is basing its newly refurbished Century, one of their most popular ships, in the Caribbean year-round. Century will alternate 5 and 4 day sailings, which give new cruises an ideal way to experience what cruising, and especially Celebrity cruising, is all about.
  • Azamara Cruises is deploying the Azamara Journey next Winter season with cruises from Miami and San Diego, as well as 2 full Panama Canal transits between these 2 ports. From Miami, Journey will visit ports such as St. John, St. Croix, Saint Martin, St. Kitts, Guadeloupe, St. Barts, Virgin Gorda, St. Lucia andDominica. The San Diego cruises will focus on ports in the Sea of Cortez, such as Mazatlán, Topolobampo, Loreto, Guaymas and La Paz. Panama Canal sailings will add Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua; and Huatulco, Acapulco, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to the itinerary

These new offerings give options to every type of traveler, from the relax of a Caribbean cruise to the exploring opportunities on a European voyage. And this year, prices can’t be better. If you’d like to explore the opportunities available, please contact me and we’ll work together on planning the perfect cruise.

Regards,

Enrique Brener
KC Travel
N. Miami Beach, FL
www.kctravel.jurni.net
info@kctravel.jurni.net
305-792-0618
FL Seller of Travel Reg. TI-35171