Cruise lines getting worse than airlines — now Carnival charges for 4 entrées

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Cruise ships have come a long way in the last 20 years. Once the province of seniors, honeymooners and party-types, cruise lines have increasingly become a popular mainstream vacation for all ages, including families.

One of the strongest seller points for a vacation at sea has always been the all-inclusive nature, at least regarding food. Now, the free, all-you-can-eat seems to be going overboard.

via www.consumertraveler.com


Cruise lines say ships nearly compliant with new safety rules - TravelWeekly

Major cruise lines foresee no problems complying with the requirements of the recently enacted Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act.

President Obama signed the bill into law late last month, requiring the cruise industry to be more transparent in reporting cruise ship crime and to comply with new cabin security and surveillance measures.

Major lines say their ships already are amostly or fully compliant with the law’s requirements regarding onboard video surveillance, medical personnel, railing heights and peepholes in cabin doors for passengers and crew.

via www.travelweekly.com


From the Nile to the Yangtze: Sailing the world's great rivers - CNN

Buda Castle along the Danube

The life-blood of civilizations and natural wonders, rivers are one of the best ways to explore the world's most spectacular scenery.

Carving their way through the heart of vibrant cities, ancient areas and untouched wilderness, rivers offer a unique insight into diverse lands, cultures and people.

We've picked some of the world's greatest rivers to profile -- the longest, deepest, widest or simply the most beautiful.

via edition.cnn.com


Shooting death of cruiser in Virgin Islands comes as killings there soar – USATODAY.com

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The shooting death of a cruise ship passenger this week in the U.S. Virgin Islands comes as the popular tourist destination grapples with an explosion of violence, an analysis of the territory's crime statistics shows.

Homicide statistics for the U.S. Virgin Islands updated regularly in the St. Thomas Source show there already have been 44 killings across the territory in 2010 -- a 33% increase from this time in 2009. The homicide total for the territory in 2009, in turn, was up sharply from the year before.

via travel.usatoday.com


Various Cruise News....

Cunard Queen Victoria cruise ship in Long Beach

  • Carnival Spirit will offer two 15-day Hawaii sailings round-trip from Los Angeles and San Diego in 2011 and 2012.  read more
  • On Wednesday, the Carnival Fascination lost power for several hours on the last leg of a five-day cruise. read more
  • Historic SS United States Saved From Scrap Yard. read more
  • Too big for New York? For new Norwegian mega-ship, it's going to be close. read more
  • Alaska governor signs bill cutting cruise ship head tax read more
  • Carnival to base 2 larger ships in Galveston read more

Cruise Lines Upgrade Private Island Retreats - ABC News

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Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Lines, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Lines are in various stages of improving their private island retreats -- from just starting to already finished. New additions range from private cabanas to exhilarating rides and water play areas, as well as expanded beach areas. Whether the island renovations are being made to accommodate big new ships or add unique ways to explore, the changes will give first timers and repeat cruisers a new and improved taste of island life -- and a reason to return on a future cruise.

via abcnews.go.com


New Seabourn Sojourn Yacht Boasts Luxury - ABC News

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Interviewed an ex-cruise directory from Seabourn just last month while on the Azamara Club Cruises ship Quest.  Russ Thomas Grieve had recently transfered over to the Quest to be it's new Cruise Director. We talked about his past experiences on Seabourn ships.  His praise for Seabourn mirrors most of what I have read about this upscale luxury line.  "Seabourns goal is for an attention to detail that exceeds guests expectations." Russ also says that Seabourn is working hard to transfer the high level of intimacy found on their smaller ships to their larger vessels.  I have yet to sail on any of the Seabourn ships but I think the added space and features of their larger ships like the Odyssey, and the new Sojourn, will suit many luxury cruisers tastes. (photo from Seabourn) TB

The tables on the Seabourn Sojourn were set. Silverware, from Sambonet, and wine glasses, from Schottzwiesel, were meticulously arranged, and napkins crisply folded. The empty dining room awaited the passengers for the luxury cruise liner's maiden voyage, set for June 6, from London to the Norwegian fjords.

via abcnews.go.com


World's Best Small Cruise Ships | ABC News

Cruise West the Spirit of Nantucket

If you long for the open ocean but bristle at the thought of all-night discos, thousand-seat dining rooms or congested Caribbean ports-turned-duty-free-shopping-malls, know this: Not all cruise ships are vast, floating resorts.

A diminutive but growing industry niche revolves around small vessels -- a wide-ranging group that includes yachts, rugged expedition ships and classic sailing schooners -- where passenger counts top out at 200, rather than 2,000.

via abcnews.go.com