Tag Archives: Holland America

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

Carnival Reports Higher Profits

Last month, I wrote about Royal Caribbean’s drop in profits compared to last year.  Last week, it was archrival Carnival Corp.’s time to report earnings. In contrast to Royal Caribbean’s report, Carnival’s profits actually rose from the same period last year. Earnings per share rose by 10%. A closer look at the numbers, though, reveals that the increase is likely due to a reduction in costs, as revenue actually fell.  This is due to the dramatic price reductions we’ve seen due to the economy. As Carnival’s CEO Micky Arison put it: “We’ve had very strong volume against very lousy rates.”

Of course, the drop in rates is very good news for travelers, if not for the cruise lines. Take for example the prices on Carnival Freedom’s upcoming cruises:

Carnival Freedom Offers

When you think of Carnival, though, keep in mind the company not only owns the “Fun Ships”. They own such varied brands as the venerable Cunard, the classic Holland America, Princess Cruise Lines, and the Yachts of Seabourn, among other brands. This range attracts a very diversified customer base, and it allows their customers to “mature” from one line to another. A first time passenger on Carnival may want to try Princess for a different atmosphere, or may move to Holland America or Cunard as they get older and more affluent.

In short, if you want a cruise, it’s likely one of Carnival’s brands will have what you’re looking for. They offer different experiences and are targeted to different audiences. If you’re thinking about a cruise, please let us help you find the right one 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

Holland America – Responsible Corporate Citizen

The Miami Herald has reported that starting last Friday, Holland America has started a new program in Fort Lauderdale called Ship to Shelter. It was started in Seattle in April of 2008, and is designed to take advantage of items that would otherwise be discarded. Instead, every time a Holland America ship docks in Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale’s port), partly used toiletries and other items will be taken to shelters in Broward County, where they can be used by the more than 600 people that use their facilities every day.  Periodic donations of linens, cookware, dishes, silverware, and even mattresses, will also be made and given away to families in need.

I think this is a great initiative to put perfectly usable products to good use, instead of discarding them. Holland America is providing a great example of how a company can work to benefit the community. Let’s hope other cruise lines, and perhaps some hotels, follow their example.

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