Private Label Craft Beers

Carnival To Offer Own Private Label Craft Beers

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 404 0

Capitalizing on the success of its shipboard breweries, Carnival Cruise Line has partnered with Lakeland, Fla.-based Brew Hub to become the first cruise line to can and keg its own private label beers crafted by its in-house brewery team aboard Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista.

The agreement – the first of its kind between a craft beer manufacturer and a major cruise line – was announced Sunday, March 17, at an event aboard Carnival Magic at PortMiami.

“With the success of our breweries on Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon the obvious next step was to let all of our guests fleetwide enjoy our refreshing craft beers and that’s where our partnership with Brew Hub began,” said Edward Allen, Carnival’s vice president of beverage operations. “To be the first cruise line to ever scale up its beverage operations by canning and kegging their own beer is unprecedented. My hope is that our guests will take a four-pack home with them to share with family and friends as a refreshing and memorable reminder of their cruise.”

The three beers, which are based on recipes developed in-house by Carnival’s brewery team, are now available in 16-ounce cans and on tap across its 26 ships and at all private destinations. The beers include:

ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat – an unfiltered wheat beer with flavors of orange and spices.

ParchedPig West Coast IPA – the embodiment of a traditional West Coast India Pale Ale, this hoppy, intense beer is loaded with bitterness with a bright flavor profile and distinctive aroma of citrus and pine.

ParchedPig Toasted Amber Ale – highlighted by its rich amber color and notes of toasted caramel and biscuit, this beer is well balanced, smooth and highly drinkable.


“Carnival’s team of brewers have created three amazing craft beers, and we could not be more excited to be working together,” said Tim Schoen, CEO and Founder of Brew Hub. “Now passengers on all 26 Carnival ships will be able to enjoy these fresh, high-quality craft beers on every voyage and take some home after their trip.”

Since introducing the first North American brewery at sea in 2016, Carnival has served nearly 300,000 pints of its private label craft beers to its guests. Much like breweries on land, Carnival’s brewery team has also taken advantage of seasonal products and created unique brews like a Miami Guava Wheat and Pumpkin Spice Ale. A brewery will also be featured aboard Carnival Panorama when it debuts in California in December 2019.


Hidden Spots for Me Time On The World’s Largest Cruise Ship

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Some people think bigger is better, and others would disagree. The feeling that a big ship just has too much to do and too many people is definitely something we are questioned about all the time, even by seasoned cruisers.

Royal Caribbean has put together this blog “Five Hidden Spots for Me time on Symphony of the Seas” to help you find moments for yourself.
Whether you’re vacationing with your family, a group of friends or a partner, traveling with others doesn’t mean you can’t sneak away for some alone time. True, Royal Caribbean ships are filled with tons of experiences for everyone to enjoy together—from the tallest slide at sea to the first time zero gravity is simulated on stage—and the beauty is that you also have opportunities to chill on your own, too. Here, we’re highlighting some of our favorite ways to catch some down time on board Symphony of the Seas, where you can feel as though you have the whole ship to yourself:

The Solarium
For some of the best views at sea, make your way to the adults-only Solarium, our indoor-outdoor lounge and pool area at the front of most Royal Caribbean ships. With chairs for lounging, a jacuzzi and, on Symphony of the Seas, a beautiful sculpture that sets the area aglow at night, this retreat on deck 15 is one of the most peaceful places on board.



Vitality Spa
Offering deep-tissue massages, acupuncture, facials and more, there’s a reason we refer to Vitality Spa, located on deck six, as a sanctuary at sea. After your treatment, you can refuel with healthy wraps, fresh fruit and made-to-order smoothies at Vitality Café. To really wind down, consider treating yourself to an unlimited day pass for the thermal spa, which boasts a steam room, sauna, rainforest showers and hot stone chairs.

Pro tip: You can reserve spa services at a special rate on days your ship is in port visiting a destination. And speaking of days in port, Vitality Spa’s adjacent fitness center is virtually empty when the ship is docked and early mornings. If exercising while on vacation is your thing, this is another great place to score some alone time!


Central Park
Situated in the middle of deck eight, Central Park is a standout spot on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships: Our signature, al fresco neighborhood has a lush garden with more than 20,000 live plants, winding pathways and even live music at times, not to mention, the space is home to some of the most popular restaurants on board—including Jamie’s Italian and Chops Grille. The area is most quiet just after lunch and dinner: Grab a bench and chill out with a book or your tablet and a glass of wine from Vintages, among the blooming birds-of-paradise (there are several seating areas tucked away, too).



The Jogging Track
The jogging track in the middle of the ship might slip your mind if you’re not actively looking for a place to power walk or run, but even for the fitness-averse, it’s such a pleasant place. Symphony‘s track is covered, and runs the perimeter of the ship, making it a less frequented area. With deck chairs placed next to the track, you can comfortably take in the stellar view from the wake undisturbed day or night.




Your Stateroom or Suite Balcony
If you’re seeking your own private stretch of ocean and epic views of ports, or want to take in the energy of Central Park, the Boardwalk or the open-air AquaTheater, everyone can appreciate the personal outdoor space that comes with the more than 1,800 balcony stateroom or suites on board Symphony. Treat yourself to room service as you watch the sunset or even take a nap—it’s your very own oasis.




Be the “King of the World”
Finally, if you’ve always longed for a “King of the World” moment, Symphony of the Seas (and Harmony of the Seas) can provide that, too. This somewhat-secret observation deck is near the Solarium (so high up), extends over the edge of the ship and is complete with a glass floor that’ll make you feel like you’re flying over the ocean.

New Princess Ships To Offer Largest Balconies At Sea

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New Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess to Introduce All New Sky Suites Offering Guests Expansive Vistas on Largest Balconies



SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 28, 2019) – Princess Cruises, a pioneer in building cruise ships specifically designed to include an array of the most sought-after shipboard features – the private balcony – continues to innovate by introducing the cruise industry’s largest balconies at sea, available when sailing in the Sky Suites onboard the new Sky Princess, launching in October 2019.

Two Sky Suites accommodations available now for booking onboard Sky Princess, as well as the cruise line’s next new ship, Enchanted Princess, are centrally located on the top decks – the apex of the ship and feature the largest private balconies ever offered by any cruise line. Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite), the furnished balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer 270-degree panorama views and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more room for gathering — making them ideal for families.

“We’ve lead the way on many innovations in the cruise industry, evolving to meet the needs of today’s vacationer and of all of our new stateroom innovations, we’ve never seen such immediate demand as we are for these Sky Suites,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Our global fleet offers one of the highest percentages of balcony staterooms in the industry, across all cabin categories and now we’re eager for the arrival of the industry’s largest balconies at sea, inviting guests to relax privately or host their very own en-suite celebrations in style.”

Sky Suites feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a dining area with a sky-light to the stars. Before Sky Suite guests board their cruise ship, they can take advantage of a pre-cruise, shoreside concierge. Once onboard, guests will also enjoy Sanctuary services on their balcony, a private suite experience manager, complimentary access to the Lotus Spa’s Enclave, enhanced ultimate balcony dining and even a deluxe telescope for Discovery Stargazing at Sea. More exclusive Sky Suites services will be announced in the coming months.

Sky Princess debuts in the Mediterranean in October 2019 and Enchanted Princess sets sail in Europe in 2020. Both cruise ships, carrying 3,660 guests, will include the best of the stunning features found on – Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess – as well as new offerings that represent an evolution of the current ships’ designs.


Additional Sky Princess features include:

~ Princess MedallionClass™ making your vacation experience better because it’s easier resulting in an effortless, enjoyable and memorable experiences on the first vessel built from the ground up to deliver a new level of personalized service. Enabled by the OceanMedallion, this complimentary wearable device will elevate the guest experience by allowing guests more time to enjoy doing what they love on a cruise vacation.

~ Award-winning entertainment offerings, including new jazz lounge Take Five, the popular Vista Lounge, an enhanced Princess Theatre, and new exclusive entertainment options.

~ World-class dining with more than 25 restaurants and bars onboard. From the World Fresh Marketplace to guest favorites like the Crown Grill Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, offering the Northern Italian flavours of acclaimed chef, Angelo Auriana.

~ Contemporary-Designed Sanctuary with eight private cabanas – offering an adults-only area for rest and relaxation.

~ The Enclave at Lotus Spa. Sky Princess will include Princess’s largest thermal suite at sea – featuring a stunning hydrotherapy pool, heated stone beds, Turkish bath and dry, steam, and aromatherapy chambers.


Five New America's Test Kitchen Show in 2019

Holland America Expands America’s Test Kitchen Demonstrations

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Holland America Line Turns Up the Heat with Five New America’s Test Kitchen Cooking Shows for 2019. The demonstrations offer foolproof recipes and expert tips from the popular TV show

SEATTLE, Jan. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — From foodie newbies to seasoned cooks, Holland America Line is encouraging guests to embrace their love of cooking alongside the experts at America’s Test Kitchen with five new shows starting in January 2019. The new 45-minute presentations — covering everything from tacos and takeout to dinner for two and sweet treats — join the 14 current shows and feature a mix of video, instruction and live recipe demonstrations.

All Holland America Line ships (except Maasdam) feature America’s Test Kitchen venues that replicate the set where the prominent “America’s Test Kitchen” television shows are recorded for broadcast on public television stations nationwide. The onboard cooking shows on every cruise are hosted by Holland America Line chefs trained by America’s Test Kitchen culinary experts and, like the TV shows, combine thoroughly tested recipes with practical tips on everything from how to select fresh fruits and vegetables to how to use kitchen knives safely and efficiently.

“Holland America Line guests are knowledge seekers, foodies and learners, and our America’s Test Kitchen shows really resonate with them — which is why they’re wildly popular and draw standing-room-only crowds,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “We’re excited to expand on the already exceptional menu of shows offered by America’s Test Kitchen to include some fun topics that easily transition to the home kitchen.”

New America’s Test Kitchen shows aboard Holland America Line ships:

  • Sweet and Fruity Desserts: The naturally sweet, tart flavors of apples and raspberries take center stage in two knockout desserts: apple crisp and cheese blintzes with raspberry sauce.
  • Dinner Classics for Two: Learn our secrets for perfect chicken marsala, rice pilaf and warm chocolate fudge cakes to make an elegant meal for two.
  • Mediterranean Medley: This easy weeknight meal is an assortment of dishes from countries along the Mediterranean, including restaurant-style hummus and tender lamb meatballs with couscous and yogurt sauce.
  • Serious Tacos: Elevate your tacos with two new recipes: shredded chicken tacos braised in a deeply flavored sauce of chilies, tomatoes and spices; and easy (and crispy) shrimp tacos.
  • Make Your Own Takeout: Forget about ordering takeout favorites like pad thai and scallion pancakes. Learn how to make your own authentic versions at home with test kitchen tips.

The five new cooking shows join a collection of 14 demonstrations, including Meatless Monday Meals, Everything Salmon, Flavors of the Mediterranean, New Italian Favorites, We Love Chocolate, Getting to Know Chiles, Salad for Dinner, Asian Dumplings, Tapas Party, Steakhouse Dinner, Blue Ribbon Breakfasts, Beyond Pasta, Lunch for a Rainy Day and Southern Snacking.

In addition to the shows, Holland America Line guests have 24-hour access to episodes of “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Country” television programs in their staterooms.

Princess Cruises Bridge Cam

Bridge Cams your view to the sea

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Okay, I’ll admit it … I really do love cruising! Honestly, the thought of getting on a ship gets me extremely excited. I’ve mainly sailed with Princess Cruises and one of my favourite things to do is follow the ship I am going to be on via the cruise ship Bridge Cam. Each day I check out where my ship is positioned and know that will be me in a few short days.

And yes, sometimes I even search out an itinerary that I’d like to take and follow that ship so that I have an idea of what I may see if I decide to take that voyage.

Does this make me a cruise geek? Probably!

Check out a Princess Cruises Bridge Cam … you may find your self getting addicted

Sugar Beach Sweet Shop

The Sweetest place on board!

Posted By : Carolyn Kremer/ 0 0

I just returned from a quick trip on the Symphony of the Seas, as a travel advisor I was invited on board to experience Royal Caribbean’s newest ship!

The ship is amazing but my favourite spot was the Sweets shop called Sugar Beach ~ walking inside brought out the kid in me. Stocked to the top with all sorts of candy, the cutest stuffed toys and of course, yummy ice creams and sorbet. Your sweet tooth will thank you for visiting … your dentist may not!

RCI Deluxe Beverage Package

Onboard Cruise Costs Are Going Up

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You will be experiencing an increase in your service charges and fees on cruise ships.

Over the past few weeks some cruise lines have been quietly increasing their onboard service charges, fees and/or packages. We are gathering all of the details, and will update here as more information is released – we are sure others will follow suit. For now, these are the increases we know about.

Holland America has increased their hotel service charges to US $14.50 per person, per day for Inside, Outside and Verandah staterooms. Suite passengers will now be charged US $16 per person per day.


As of December 1, 2018 Carnival will be increasing the automatic onboard gratuities. The majority of cruisers will pay US $13.99 per person, per day, where as suite passengers will pay US $15.99 per person, per day.


October brought forth an increase of their Ultimate Beverage Package to US $99 per person, per day plus the 20% gratuitiy and beverage service charge. The Ultimate package includes a wide selection of soft drinks, beers, spirits cocktails, wines by the glass (to a maximum of US $15 per drink).


Royal Caribbean will be increasing the price of their Beverage packages as of January 1, 2019.

Deluxe Beverage Package will increase to between US $63-70 per day for 2019 sailings. This package includes almost unlimited options with cocktails beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, premium coffee tea and bottled water.

Premium Refreshment Package will increase to US $29 per person per day for 2019 sailings. This package includes their entire selection of premium coffees and teas, bottled water, fresh-squeezed juices, non-alcoholic cocktails and fountain soda.

Classic Soda Package will increase to US $12.99 per person per day for 2019 sailing. This package provides unlimited fountain soda refills all day.


With these onboard increases, promotions that include Gratuities or Onboard Drink Packages are of great VALUE to you, the cruiser!

Do You Love Cruising? Join

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Join us at, an online community where you can share your love for cruising with others.

Our community is full of like-minded travellers sharing their input on any topic at all under the umbrella of cruising, and ask your fellow members to share their insights and experiences – the more honest the better! But most of all we look forward to hearing your stories. A cruise, it seems, is comprised of a million moments and we’d love to hear your memorable ones.


What you will find at

Stories from Fellow Cruisers
Did you discover a quaint café in Venice with to die for pastries? Or maybe you took a flightseeing tour over Alaska that left you in awe of the majesty of the land. Was it a crew member who showed some exceptional kindness? Or did you take your cruise to celebrate a special occasion. If so, the community at would love to hear about it.

Share in-depth details about your cruise to help fellow cruisers decide on their next trip. Where did you cruise? Was embarkation a breeze or did you have to wait? What type of stateroom did you have? Did you enjoy the food and service? Were there big production shows or jazz quartets each evening? We want to know all about your onboard experience!

Cruise News
Keep up to date on the latest news regarding your favourite cruise lines with our Captain’s Log. Who has a new ship coming out? When are the new itineraries being released so you can plan ahead. Read about the newest enhancements to older ships.

Message board
Visit our forum and ask our Cruise Specialists and our cruise community your question and you’ll receive a myriad of answers! Which lines best suit my personality? What to wear? What’s the tipping situation? How to choose a cabin? Which are the best shore excursions?

Our Team
Our team of cruise specialists are well versed in everything cruise. When is the best time to travel, which ship and cruise line fit your needs, who offers you the best value. As members of Virtuoso our team has insider connections and industry expertise – along with the guidance and know-how you require to make educated travel choices. Virtuoso is the most prestigious and established travel network in the world. So when you travel, you can do so with confidence – secure in the knowledge that you’ll get more, simply by booking through us. is the perfect spot to share your love for cruising, learn from other cruisers or discover your next voyage, join us today!


Don’t forget to like our Facebook Page and get social with us! 

Cruising is my thing

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I have decided that I have finally been converted from a land holiday lover to a cruise lover. I am a huge fan of seeing multiple countries without having to unpack. I also always know that good food is always waiting for me and I don’t have to work at trying to find out where to eat on my own.  Meeting new people and being able to be as busy or as relaxed as I want.  It really is a vacation for everyone!