The New Wave Of Cruise Experiences
Thirteen experiences you didn’t know you could have on a cruise.
Today’s cruising boom is good news for everyone, from aficionados who love setting sail to those ready to give a new vacation style a go. And as cruising’s popularity grows – approximately 27 million people stepped aboard in 2018 – cruise lines have diversified. It’s all about variety these days, not just in ship size – ranging from intimate, 60-passenger yachts to next-level, 6,000-person megavessels – but in style too. You can sip coffee on your balcony as you float down a European river, go searching for wildlife on an expedition ship, or get lost in a floating city at sea. Itineraries are also more creative: Culinary academies and wellness centers on board, for example, pair well with surprising shore excursions, from hiking up mountains to attending orchestra concerts. These 13 experiences are offered by cruise lines that participate in Virtuoso Voyages – an exclusive program that offers complimentary benefits and perks to travelers who book cruises through a Virtuoso travel advisor – and they’ll make you think twice about what you can do on your next sailings.
Welcome to the new era of cruising, where almost everything goes.
1 – Explore Marine Life From Inside A $3 Million Submarine
Realize your James Bond fantasies with a trip on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Esprit, a 62-passenger yacht that touts a three-person submersible as one of its water-based activity options. (Jet Skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are also at the ready.) A pilot takes two passengers at a time on explorations up to 1,000 feet below the surface, including on a seven-day, Dubrovnik-to-Venice sailing. The Esprit is an ideal vessel for scuba divers and snorkelers, and its slim size means it can call on smaller ports, including the yacht marina in Kotor, Montenegro; Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik; and all the way north to Venice.
Departures: Multiple dates, July 7, 2019, to August 30, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $125 shipboard credit. Submersible experience, $350.
2 – Set Sail With Your Pup In Tow
Crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s eight-day, New York City to Southampton sailing is slow travel at its finest – rest, relaxation, and enrichment, from tango lessons and yoga sessions to fi lm screenings and music recitals. Share the adventure with your four-legged BFF on the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2, which has an onboard kennel for 24 pets. Like their owners, cats and dogs receive VIP treatment, including a portrait session, fleece coat, and “turndown service” of freshly baked biscuits. The pet lounge and play area welcome animals from both sides of the pond with a Liverpool lamppost and an NYC fire hydrant.
Departures: Multiple dates, June 7 to December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include private port transfers in New York City and London and an onboard specialty-dining credit.
3 – Get Your Daily Cardio In
You’ve worked too hard to let your fitness routine slide for a week. Do as much (or as little) as you like with AmaWaterways, the river-cruise line that stables bicycles for shore excursions and employs dedicated wellness hosts to lead core and circuit training classes on board. On the new, 196-passenger AmaMagna, which debuted in May and is twice as wide as most European river ships, cruisers can log a mile on the top-deck walking track, take a stretching class in the Zen Wellness Studio, hydrate at the juice bar, or get a massage. Disembark on an eight-day, Vilshofen-to-Budapest Danube River sailing to bike along the river or hike to a castle.
Departures: Multiple dates, June 2 to December 29, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a guided tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace.
4 – Discuss World Affairs With A Career Diplomat
There’s nothing like sailing with an astronaut, scholar, government official, or filmmaker to vanquish the shuffleboard-and-buffets cruising stereotype. Seabourn raises the intellectual bar with its Seabourn Conversations series, featuring notable guests who don’t just lead onboard lectures, but engage with fellow passengers over meals and excursions as well. Ashok Sajjanhar – India’s ambassador to Sweden and Latvia and president of the Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi – will educate guests on the 599-passenger Seabourn Ovation during a 19-day, Dubaito-Singapore cruise with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.
Departure: December 2, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Mumbai.
5 – Stay Out LATE Without Fear Of Missing The Boat
Azamara Club Cruises pioneered overnight port stays, letting guests revel in the local nightlife in addition to the standard daytime scene. The boutique cruise line is amping up its after-dark experiences with a new series of exclusive evening shore excursions, such as taking in an acrobatics performance in Valencia, Spain. On an 11-day, round-trip-from-Athens sailing on the 702-passenger Azamara Pursuit, travelers can attend a traditional Jewish folk music performance by a klezmer group at Jerusalem’s Ashdod Performing Arts Center. It’s part of an immersive, three-day stop in the holy city that includes visits to the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.
Departure: September 4, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion to Jerusalem.
6 – Finally Figure Out The Difference Between A Julienne And A Brunoise Cut
Make tasty use of your time at sea on Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Marina or Riviera ships by enrolling in a cooking class or three at the onboard Culinary Center. Kick things off with Slice: Mastering Chef Knife Skills to learn the basics of mise en place before trying your hand at making pasta or grilling. The 12-day, Rio de Janeiro-to-Buenos Aires voyage on the Marina offers a balanced diet of cultural excursions in Paraty, Brazil; beach time in Punta del Este, Uruguay; and food and wine tours in Montevideo and Buenos Aires.
Departure: December 7, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include prepaid gratuities.
7 – Celebrate Your Anniversary With A Polynesian Blessing Ceremony
Cast away to the South Pacific for the most memorable of occasions aboard the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin Cruises. During an eight-day, roundtrip from Papeete sailing through the Society Islands – full of archaeological sites, lagoons fit for snorkeling, and white-sand beaches – local onboard hosts know as Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins can bless couples in a traditional Polynesian ceremony by reciting a love poem, singing, and after a Champagne toast, wrapping celebrants in a traditional patchwork tifaifai quilt. They’ll also teach you how to say “I do” in Tahitian, dance island-style, and make a basket out of pandanus leaves.
Departures: Multiple dates June 8 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Moorea.
8 – Spend All Day At The Spa
Bookending stops in Sint-Maarten, Dominica Saint Lucia, Antigua, and Saint Bart’s, four of the 11 days on Regent Seven Seas Cruises 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer’s roundtrip from Miami journey are spent at sea, offering prime time to find some inner peace in the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa. This at-sea outpost mirrors the famous destination retreat, with yoga classes, seaweed wraps, hot stone massages, reflexology, and hydrotherapy features ranging from saunas to cold rooms. Between oxygen facials and pedicures, check out the ship’s impressive art collection, including several Picasso’s, or learn about the healthful secrets of Mediterranean cooking in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Departure: January 8, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint Bart’s
9 – Learn How To Steer A Sailboat
Sixteen sails bound to four masts help power the 360 foot Star Flyer clipper ship, one of three throwback vessels in the Star Clippers fleet. Nautical culture meets luxury aboard this 17- passenger vessel, which has two swimming pools on its teak decks. Friendly deckhands, who hoist the sails manually each time the ship leaves port, offer knot-tying classes, ship-maneuvering lectures, and demonstrations on navigating with a sextant – a tool to measure angular distances at sea. Test your newfound skills on a 15-day, Barbados to Panama voyage, which visits Grenada, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), and Colombia and culminates in a sailor’s dream transit through the Panama Canal.
Departure: November 23, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint George’s, Grenada.
10 – Turn Your Expedition Photos Into Professional Masterpieces
Go beyond VSCO and your smartphone’s filters: The fully equipped Photo Studio aboard Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger (200 in polar waters) Silver Cloud offers master classes in composition, editing, and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop programs. High-tech printers encourage shutterbugs to create postcards and panoramic prints, regardless of whether they were taken using an iPhone or a DSLR. Photograph the wildlife that inhabits the bottom of the earth on a ten-day, roundtrip-from-Ushuaia expedition to Antarctica. The ship’s resident photo manager will coach passengers on adjusting shutter speeds so they can capture images of seabirds in the Drake Passage, penguins on the South Shetland Islands, and otherworldly icebergs in the Antarctic Sound.
Departures: Multiple dates, December 10, 2019, to January 20, 2021. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $300 shipboard credit per person.
11 – Read Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn On The Mighty Mississippi
The sense of freedom and possibility brought to life in Twain’s iconic novel can still be found on Ol’ Man River, and you’re likely to experience both during American Queen Steamboat Company’s nine-day cruise from New Orleans to Memphis. On board the 436-passenger American Queen, an authentic paddlewheel riverboat, watch the Mississippi roll past from the ship’s decks, read a classic tome in the Mark Twain Gallery, and take in a show in the Grand Saloon. Along the way, holiday themed events and excursions reveal the history and heritage of the U.S. South. See NOLA’s ceremonial lighting of bonfires on the levee, learn how to perfect buttery biscuits in the Natchez home of award-winning chef Regina Charboneau, and more.
Departure: December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception; contact your Virtuoso travel advisor regarding an additional, soon-to-be-announced amenity.
12 – Travel Back In Time On The Nile River
From the hand-built pyramids at Giza to tranquil Nile excursions aboard a traditional felucca sailboat, travelers will revel in the ingenuity of past centuries during their time in Egypt. Seven of the 12 days on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s round-trip-from-Cairo itinerary are based on the elegant 82-passenger River Tosca. Egyptologist-guided excursions decode the colossal statues of Memnon, the mummified remains of King Tutankhamun in his Valley of the Kings tomb, and the hieroglyphics adorning temples from Luxor to Aswan. Changing pace, ride a felucca and take tea at the hotel where Agatha Christie set Death on the Nile. Go now, while tourism is growing, but before the masses return.
Departures: Multiple dates, September 28 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $200 shipboard credit per person.
13 – Get Cooking With A Celebrated Chef
The James Beard Foundation ships out its award-winning chefs and sommeliers on culinary-themed Windstar Cruises sailings, which include cooking demos, beverage pairings, and market tours. Gain firsthand knowledge by joining a talented chef and beverage expert on a ten-day, San Diego-to-Vancouver sailing aboard the 212-passenger Star Breeze, which plies the U.S. West Coast with stops in Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The chef will host a wine-paired dinner, lead a shopping trip, and provide a cooking demonstration. Work off the meals while exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
Departure: May 5, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a custom-curated shore event.
Original Article from Virtuoso Traveler July 2019 issue
Why Holland America Line?
Over the years Holland America Line has consistently been a favourite of our valued cruisers and cruise specialists. If you have not cruised before you may be asking yourself “Which cruise line is best for me”. If you are a seasoned cruiser but have yet to try Holland America you may be asking “Why should I try Holland America when I am happy with the cruise lines I have previously cruised with”. Well, hopefully this answers your question of Why Holland America Line?
THE HOLLAND AMERICA GUEST
Holland America Line guests don’t need things like waterslides, go-karts, roller coasters or climbing walls when they cruise. They are explorers, foodies and music lovers of all ages who want to pursue these passions on refreshingly uncrowded ships with one-of-a-kind culinary experiences, the very best in live music and staff that attends to every detail, every day.
DESTINATION EXPERTISE & IMMERSION
• Nearly 150 years of experience sailing the world’s oceans
• More than 500 itineraries connecting with over 470 ports of call
• Exclusive Explorations Central™ destination programming that gives guests a deeper understanding of the places you visit
UNRIVALED CULINARY EXPERIENCES
• Culinary Council® of world-renowned chefs — plus experts in wine and spirits — who design our onboard dining experiences
• A variety of dining options*, including specialty restaurants, pop-up dining and the exceptional Dining Room
• Live onboard cooking demonstrations
• Culinary shore excursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE® magazine
THE BEST IN LIVE MUSIC
• A great cruise deserves a great soundtrack with memorable performances from world-class musicians
• Live music for every taste at Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard, Rolling Stone Rock Room and more*
PERFECTLY SIZED SHIPS; RENOWNED SERVICE
• Ships designed with the philosophy that bigger isn’t better, better is better
• Sleek nautical lines, spacious public areas, wraparound decks and sophisticated style
• In every detail, every day, guests experience the best service at sea, with a gracious, friendly staff that’s never in the way but always close at hand
When you are ready to Experience the WHY of Holland America don’t forget to contact one of our cruise specialists to help you plan!
Click here for a list of current Holland America cruise offers for you to take advantage of
2020 Dates for the James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection
Award-winning small ship line Windstar Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, today reveals six new cruises being added to the James Beard Foundation (JBF) Culinary Cruise Collection for 2020.
All sailings are led by James Beard Foundation-recognized guest chefs, sommeliers and beverage experts with a passion for their destination. The six diverse cruise offerings will explore locavore cuisine on a country-immersive Croatia cruise; get a flavor for the rugged north of Alaska; discover the hidden gems of France, Spain, and Portugal’s Atlantic coast; experience exotic cuisines of Indonesia and the Philippines; delight in the hidden harbors of the Caribbean; and introduce cruisers to the trend-setting foodie scene and wine regions of the U.S. West Coast. The six newly announced cruises are scheduled to sail from January through November 2020, and range in length from 7 to 14 days.
Together, Windstar and the James Beard Foundation are taking guests on epicurean adventures that deliver the best travel and cuisine experiences worldwide, by curating genuine local culinary encounters while drawing attention to the impactful work of the Beard Foundation network which celebrates food and advocates for food sustainability.
“Our exclusive partnership with the James Beard Foundation has allowed us to enrich our culinary experiences giving our guests unparalleled access to the most cutting edge and accomplished culinarians in the industry. Every evening, on every single sailing, our cruise guests enjoy destination-inspired JBF dishes created especially for Windstar by the James Beard guest chefs who have sailed with us. We have proudly hosted nearly three dozen chefs, sommeliers and beverage experts and counting. What is unique is that each one has a special connection to the places they are sailing, whether through food or family heritage, this creates powerful and inspiring personal experiences that our guests will never forget,” said Windstar President John Delaney.
Coinciding with this announcement, and as part of the unique travel-culinary alliance, Windstar sponsors the acclaimed James Beard Foundation Awards, the pinnacle of recognition in the culinary world, happening today at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, IL.
James Beard Foundation President Clare Reichenbach commented, “We are so pleased to have Windstar’s support of our mantra ‘good food for good’, which commits the James Beard Foundation to giving culinary professionals the tools they need to make the world more sustainable, equitable, and delicious for everyone. The JBF Culinary Cruise Collection shines a light on these chefs and wine experts and highlights the important role that food plays in the culture and economies of each of the ports where Windstar sails, the world round.”
A number of Windstar alumni guest chefs are attending the JBF Awards Gala including Chef Danielle Leoni of Breadfruit in Phoenix, AZ. who led guests on a Caribbean cruise adventure in January, and is a James Beard Foundation 2018 Fellow for the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program; also attending is acclaimed Chef Hugh Acheson of Empire State South, Five & Ten, and The National in Atlanta, GA. who headlined a 2017 European JBF Culinary Cruise and is nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur.
Windstar’s Corporate Executive Chef Graeme Cockburn joins an exclusive club of chefs that have been invited to prepare a signature bite for the 1,000 plus guests attending the famed JBF Awards Gala. Chef Cockburn sails aboard each JBF cruise overseeing the culinary operations, and the dishes specially developed by the James Beard guest chefs are featured in Windstar’s restaurants each evening and enjoyed on every sailing. For the JBF Awards Gala, Chef Cockburn has developed a recipe inspired by Windstar’s forays into the alpine areas and glaciers of Alaska and will be serving up Seared Venison Loin & Alaskan Pine Spruce Salad with Nasturtium Pesto and Goat Buttermilk Dressing at the epicurean extravaganza.
Windstar also supports JBF’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. A number of the guest chefs who have sailed with Windstar are alumni of the prestigious camp, a part of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs which are committed to establishing a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership.
Windstar’s JBF Culinary Cruise Collection Offers Authentic Culinary Experiences
The bespoke portfolio of nine total upcoming sailings in the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection embarking June 2019 through November 2020, are attracting food and wine enthusiasts seeking to fully immerse themselves in the culture, tastes, and flavors of regional cuisines where the ships sail. Each cruise features a James Beard chef, working alongside Windstar’s culinary team. The guest chef acts as an onboard culinary ambassador teaching first-hand tips and techniques during cooking demonstrations, leading “Shopping with the Chef” tours to local markets, and picking out fresh local ingredients to use in featured dishes at a wine-paired gala dinner for all on board to enjoy.
Similarly, the JBF sommelier/beverage expert accompanies tours to local wineries, leads on board tastings of regional wines and spirits, and works with the chefs to create one-of-a-kind pairing menus that celebrate the quaint, small ports that Windstar is renowned for visiting. Guests on board get to know these epicurean experts on a personal level, tasting the dishes and wines they recommend and hearing firsthand what stirs their passion for food, wine, and spirits. One-on-one interactions with the guest chef and sommelier/beverage expert are a given during memorable cruise moments like Windstar’s Signature Sail Away and Signature Deck Party, or on a culinary-focused shore excursion.
The names of the 2020 guest chefs, sommeliers, and beverage experts who are being tapped as the culinary cruise ambassadors will be announced in the coming weeks. Below are the dates and itineraries for the six newly announced 2020 additions to the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection:
- January 25, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: The Spanish Main: Rise of the New World, Colón to San Juan, 7 days aboard Star Pride
- May 5, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza, San Diego to Vancouver, 10 days aboard Star Breeze
- June 8, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Alaskan Splendors, Vancouver to Seward (Anchorage), 11 days aboard Star Breeze
- September 19, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Autumn on the Atlantic Coast, London to Lisbon, 10 days aboard Star Legend
- October 16, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Quintessential Croatia, Venice to Venice, 8 days aboard Wind Surf
- November 2, 2020 – James Beard Foundation: Windstar Crew Hometowns: Philippines & Indonesia, Hong Kong to Bali, 14 days cruise aboard Star Breeze
In addition, following is the super star line-up of award-winning chefs and celebrated sommeliers who will headline the three remaining 2019 JBF Culinary Cruise Collection sailings:
June 22, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: Yachtsman’s Harbors of the Rivieras, 8 days aboard Wind Surf
- Chef & Restaurateur Jamie Leeds, JL Restaurant Group & Hank’s Oyster Bar in Washington, D.C.
- Sommelier Jeff Strine, JL Restaurant Group & Hank’s Oyster Bar, and more) in Washington, D.C.
Chef and Restaurateur Jamie Leeds — a James Beard Foundation Chef Boot Camp Alumna and owner of JL Restaurant Group — will be seeking out the freshest French oysters and bringing guests on chef-led visits to lively markets to gather produce, herbs, fish, and more to showcase in cooking demonstrations and a gala evening meal on board. Alongside her will be Jeff Strine, who works closely with Jamie at JL Restaurant Group where he developed a thoughtful and concise wine program for Hank’s Oyster Bar’s seasonal seafood-focused menu.
Both love to travel and are excited to visit lesser-known wine regions and visits to smaller ports such as quaint Sanary-sur-Mer, France. This coastal jewel offers a wine tasting tour above the vineyards in the Provençal hilltop village of Le Castellet, followed by a visit to Domaine de Souviou for tasting the house wines and olive oils grown on the expansive 70-hectares property that is planted with 100-year-old olive trees and rows of vines, cypress trees, and lavender, a treat for all of the senses.
September 24, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza 10 days aboard Star Legend
- Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Bovolo, and Black Pig Meat Co. in Sonoma County
- Beverage Expert Michael Metzger of Distinguished Vineyards and Wine Partners
Award-winning Chef Duskie Estes is the perfect culinary guide for this first-ever Windstar sailing along the West Coast of America, as she was born in San Diego, raised in San Francisco, and spent eight years in Seattle working for JBF-awarded Restaurateur Tom Douglas before moving to Sonoma County, where she is celebrated as a chef and avid farmer/advocate for “snout to tail” cooking.
Providing wine pairings and insight will be Michael Metzger from Distinguished Vineyards, who works with the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Program as their sustainable wine partner and represents a collection of iconic wineries including the highly acclaimed Argyle Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Sonoma, and Markham Vineyards in Napa Valley.
As with all Windstar sailings, this first-ever West Coast cruise boasts a myriad of shore-side adventures including specially curated culinary shore excursions from vineyard visits, to food trucks and farmers’ markets. In Seattle, guests will enjoy a behind-the-scenes docent tour of the iconic Pike Place Market; after sailing up the Columbia River, the ship has a two-day overnight stay in James Beard’s native Oregon, where guests can enjoy an “Elevated Foodie Walking Tour” of the Portland culinary scene, or a brewery/cidery tasting tour. An all-day excursion to Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley allows guests to indulge in private tastings at three wineries in the region that put Pinot Noir on the U.S. map. In Sonoma, foodies will delight in a private cave tour with wine and cheese tasting at the Gloria Ferrer Winery, followed by lunch and an afternoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegars tasting at Figone Olive Oil & Production Mill.
Also of note, this U.S. West Coast itinerary is featured as one of the newly announced 2020 culinary cruises but sailing aboard Star Breeze, following her upcoming full ship renovation as part of Windstar’s $250 Million Star Plus Initiative. The May 5, 2020 itinerary will be a reverse version of the 2019 offering with similar culinary-focused shore excursions, but departing from San Diego, CA. and sailing to Vancouver, B.C. instead. Details on chef and beverage experts in 2020 will be announced soon.
October 14, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast, 8 days aboard Wind Surf
- Chef Chris Pandel of Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and Dutch & Doc’s in Chicago
- Beverage Expert Marcello Cancelli of the Boka Group in Chicago
Chef Chris Pandel, a James Beard Foundation Chef Boot Camp Alumnus, has a love affair with Italy and Italian-American heritage, so who better to cruise with and explore the shores of Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro, discovering the charm of Venice, the magnificence of Rome, and the vast beauty of the Dalmatian Coast? While visiting the picturesque seaside resort of Rovinj, a top pick shore excursion lets guests tour the wine cellar of the Matosevic Family, Croatia’s most well-known wine producers.
Offering beautiful wine pairings on this cruise is Marcello Cancelli, a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers who is Area Wine Director for Chicago’s Boka Group, overseeing the wine programs at Swift & Sons, Momotaro, Bellemore, Girl & the Goat, and more. Cancelli will be demonstrating his passion and commitment to great wine and its rightful place alongside a meal.
For more information on Windstar’s partnership with the James Beard Foundation, find featured recipes, and view the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection visit: https://www.windstarcruises.com/why-windstar/james-beard-foundation/. To learn more about the Beard Foundation visit: https://www.jamesbeard.org/.
Windstar has garnered recent culinary awards, notably being named Best Small Cruise Ships for Dining in Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, and a 2019 Editor-in-Chief Award for Best Cruise Partnership as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation from Porthole Cruise Magazine. Windstar was also voted 2018 Best Small Ship Cruise Line by AFAR readers; scored a top spot as Best Small Ship in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and was named to the magazine’s prestigious Gold List for 2019; while Windstar’s flagship Wind Surf ranked #1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines in the 2018 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.
Recipe: Princess Cruises Fettuccine Alfredo
If you are lucky enough to have the Princess Cruises cookbook by Master Chef Alfredo Marzi you may already be making this classic pasta dish at home to relive your cruise dinners.
Who doesn’t love a bowl made of crispy Parmesan Cheese?
1 lb egg noodles
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
For Parmesan cheese baskets:
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
Fettuccine Alfredo preparation:
• Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
• Boil ¾ cup of the cream and remove from heat. Combine egg yolks with remaining ¼ cup cream to form a liaison. Add ¼ cup of the boiled cream to the liaison. Stir and then combine liaison with the rest of the cream. Add Parmesan cheese, adjust seasoning.
• If necessary, reheat pasta in boiling, salted water. Pour sauce over drained pasta.
Parmesan Cheese Basket preparation:
• Place a non-stick omelet pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan evenly with approximately ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Cook until the color changes to golden.
• Flip the cheese over and cook until golden. Remove the cheese from the pan and place over a mold form or over the bottom of a bowl to create a dome shape. Let cool.
Royal Caribbean’s Unlimited Dining Package
When you cruise with Royal Caribbean, be sure to bring your appetite for adventure — and for incredible cuisine. Because with the all-new Unlimited Dining Package, everything is on the table. You’ll be able to dine in any specialty restaurant on your sailing as many times as you like!* Enjoy lunch at Jamie’s Italian and then dinner at Chops GrilleSM.
The possibilities are endless but deliciousness is guaranteed.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
• For one low price, you can enjoy meals at onboard specialty restaurants as many times as you’d like, based on availability.
For instance, if you want to eat at the same restaurant twice in one night, go ahead!
• For specialty restaurants with a la carte pricing, the Unlimited Dining Package provides a $35 food credit per person for each visit.
• Chef’s Table and culinary activities are excluded.
• Package does not include beverages, but does provide 40% off bottles of wine under $100, and 20% off bottles over $100.
Packages are available as follows
|3 – 5 NIGHT CRUISES||3 Night Package||Unlimited Package|
|Quantum Class, Oasis Class and Amplified Ships||
|US $29 per day per person|
|All other ships||N/A||US $27 per day per person|
|6 – 9 NIGHT CRUISES||3 Night Package||Unlimited Package|
|Quantum Class and Oasis Class||US $99 per person||US $29 per day per person|
|All other ships||US $79 per person||US $24 per day per person|
|10+ NIGHT CRUISES||3 Night Package||5 Night Package||Unlimited Package|
|Quantum Class and Oasis Class||US $99 per person||US $139 per person||US $20 per day per person|
|All other ships||US $79 per person||US $119 per person||US $20 per day per person|
And, Kids Dine For Less
Kids ages 6-12 dine at specialty restaurants at discounted rates. Ages 5 and under eat Free! Plus, little cruisers get their very own menu – a round-up of kid friendly favorites from the “grownups” menu. Reserve before you sail, and prices will be adjusted for kids once you are onboard, and reflected on your final account statement.
When you book your package you will need to select a time for your dinner the first night in a specialty restaurant chosen for you. Once you embark an on board representative will contact you to help arrange the rest of your reservations. Or you can choose to do this yourself in person at the specialty restaurant.
*Prices are per person for the full sailing. All selections are subject to change. Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to verify eligibility upon arrival to the activity. Specialty Dining Packages must be booked at least two days prior to boarding and may not be available for every sail date. One reservation will be automatically created for the first night of the sailing. All other reservations must be made onboard and are subject to availability. Packages include service charge and food portion only for dinner and, when available, lunch service. For restaurants with a la carte pricing, you’ll receive a $35 food credit. Beverages not included. For Dining Packages, children ages 12 and under are excluded from offer; children ages 6-12 can be added to reservation for a $10 cover change once onboard. Not available on holiday sailings. Not valid for Chef’s Table, or Culinary Experiences/Activities. Offer provides discount off wine selections at specialty dining restaurants with the purchase of a qualifying dining package. Offer provides 40% discount off bottles of wine priced at $100 or less; 20% discount off bottles of wine priced over $100. VAT will be added to the price where applicable. Offer valid only with the purchase of 3-night, 4-night, 5-night, or Unlimited Dining Packages; other Dining Packages excluded. Terms of Royal Caribbean’s Alcohol Policy apply, including a minimum drinking age, which varies by itinerary. Offer is not transferable, not redeemable for cash, and expires on the final night of the cruise. Terms of Dining Packages apply. Features vary by ship. All itineraries are subject to change without notice. ©2019 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas. 19067456 • 4/8/2019
Can Your Family Cruise Be Foolproof?
Travelling as a family can sometimes be a challenge. Finding a trip everyone will enjoy, with enough activities to keep the younger family members busy but with adult activities as well! So can your family cruise really be foolproof? It sure can be when you follow these five steps for an unforgettable family cruise with Royal Caribbean.
Step 1: Start with a big ship.
There is a reason cruise lines keep building ever larger ships: They are exciting. Picture floating cities with distinct neighborhoods, sporting greenbelts, boardwalks, quiet cafés, late-night discos, round-the-clock casinos, water parks, and much more. With so much to do and see on board, the destinations are like an added bonus. And when it comes to cruising on an epic scale, Royal Caribbean stands out, with four of the largest cruise ships at sea and more in the works.
Step 2: Bring the whole family.
“Cruising is an ideal option for multigenerational travel,” says Deborah Director, a Boca Raton-based Virtuoso travel advisor, “and Royal Caribbean excels at meeting the varied needs of families traveling together.”
Sailing with tots and teens? No problem. Royal Caribbean offers younger guests an entertaining lineup of activities, from story time and dance parties to hands-on experiments in a science lab, painting, sculpture and crafts in an art studio, and hands-on fun in a DIY theater. While the kids are off having a blast, mom, dad, and grandparents can take a fitness class, unwind in the spa with a signature treatment, or enjoy a show. Come nighttime, let the babysitter tuck the kids in bed while the grown-ups enjoy date-night dining and thrills at the Vegas-style casino.
Step 3: Ratchet up the live entertainment.
Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line that offers Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals – think Mamma Mia!, Cats, Grease, and more. The line pushes the boundaries of what’s possible at sea with high-tech, immersive entertainment and cutting-edge productions on stage, in the air, underwater, and on ice. At Studio B, for example, world-class ice skaters spin and leap against a backdrop of stunning multimedia visuals and audio. In the Aqua Theater, divers sail off 30-foot platforms and perform aerial feats of derring-do before plunging with barely a splash into the deepest pool at sea.
Step 4: Throw in a private island.
Who hasn’t dreamed of escaping it all? Now you can, thanks to Royal Caribbean’s series of private island destinations around the world. The first in the collection is Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, where you can partake in seven superlative-demanding experiences, including the tallest and most thrilling waterslide in North America, the highest viewpoint in the Bahamas – a helium balloon up to 450 feet in the air – and the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean. The exclusive Coco Beach Club, debuting in December 2019, will offer the first and only overwater cabanas in the Bahamas.
Step 5: Make it deluxe.
If ever there were a reason to upgrade, this is it. Royal Suite Class is designed for discerning travelers, such as grandparents accustomed to high-end cruising who want an experience their grandchildren will never forget. Think: floating five-star hotel with three ever-more-luxurious tiers. Star tier guests in Royal Suite Class enjoy priority boarding and departure (allowing you to avoid the crowds); spacious, spectacularly appointed accommodations with pillow-top mattresses and posh amenities such as L’Occitane bath products; VOOM, the fastest Internet at sea; preferred seating at select venues; and more. The best perk: a personal Royal Genie, certified by the British Butler Institute but with special powers to create one-of-a-kind experiences designed around you.
A backstage tour of your favorite Broadway show? Check. Catching the first wave of the day on the FlowRider? Yup. Exclusive access to the California-chic Coastal Kitchen restaurant? Absolutely. “It’s all included,” says Rockville, Maryland-based Virtuoso travel advisor Jeremy Hall. “Each generation of your family can rest easy and relax – which is what your cruise is supposed to be all about.”
This article is sponsored by Royal Caribbean International. All images courtesy of Royal Caribbean International. Original post can be found here https://blog.virtuoso.com/sponsored-post/five-foolproof-steps-for-an-unforgettable-family-cruise/
Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Footloose Musical Onboard Joy
Cut Loose! Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Footloose as Headline of Entertainment Lineup on Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in cruising, today announced that the Tony Award®-nominated musical Footloose along with the classic aerial acrobatics show, Elements, and the wine-tasting comedy, Wine Lovers: The Musical, will be featured on Norwegian Joy, the 15th ship in its fleet which will begin sailing to Alaska this May.
Debuting for the first time at sea, Footloose, based on the wildly popular movie, follows the story of a Chicago teen with a love of dancing, who moves to small town with a ban on Rock n’ Roll. Although he finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the influential local reverend, he and his friends eventually convince local leaders to lift the ban and allow the town to heal from a tragedy that affected them all. Featuring the hit music of Grammy Award®-winning artist, Kenny Loggins, Footloose celebrates warm and open minds.
“We are very excited to showcase Footloose, a feel-good, positive show that encourages people to embrace new ideas, stand up for what they believe in and dance their hearts out,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Andy Stuart. “We’re certain it will have guests ‘kicking off their Sunday shoes’ as they enjoy their cruise vacation aboard Norwegian Joy as she makes her debut in Alaska in May 2019.”
Sharing the main stage with this revamped 80s classic will be the aerial acrobatics show, Elements. This Norwegian Cruise Line favorite revels in the four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire and features mesmerizing magic, high-flying feats and exciting music and dance.
As part of Norwegian’s specialty dining performances, Wine Lovers: The Musical, known as the world’s first wine tasting musical production, provides guests the opportunity to taste a variety of wines at a lunch club-style experience while enjoying a hilarious musical comedy about the joys of wine and love. The show will be performed at the Social Comedy and Night Club with wine served to guests 21 and older.
Norwegian Joy is set to reposition to North America in late April following an over $50 million renovation that will make her nearly identical to sister ship, Norwegian Bliss, with an extended go-kart race track and new dining and bar concepts. Her first seven-day, round-trip Alaska sailing from Seattle, Washington will be on May 4, 2019, and she will call to both Glacier Bay and Icy Strait Point during her inaugural season. Norwegian Joy continues with Panama Canal sailings in October before offering weekly sailings to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles in November.
Princess Cruises Showcases Progress Royal-Class Ships
Princess Cruises Showcases Progress of Three New Royal-Class Ships Under Construction at Fincantieri Shipyard. Ceremony Marks Cruise Industry First and Signals Strength of Brand and Global Industry
SANTA CLARITA, Calif., Feb. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Princess Cruises, the world’s largest international premium cruise line, is growing and today major milestones for three ships under construction at the same time were celebrated, at Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
The three milestones included the introduction of the Sky Princess crew member who was nominated by her peers to serve as Madrina to celebrate the recent float out of the ship which will enter service in October 2019; the keel laying ceremony for Enchanted Princess launching June 2020 and the steel-cutting ceremony for the sixth and final Royal-Class ship, yet to be named, debuting 2022. With two additional ships on order for delivery in 2023 and 2025, Princess Cruises will increase its capacity by 32 percent over the next six years, adding to its current fleet of 17 ships.
“The number of people enjoying cruise vacations has increased on average more than one million new cruisers every year over the last decade, an overall increase of more than 68 percent,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia group president. “As we continue to grow our fleet with five new ships arriving by 2025, we’re proud to not only celebrate these three major construction milestones in the same day but also to continue to innovate our product with cutting-edge technology and elevated guest experiences that will be offered on all of these ships.”
Sky Princess is the first new ship to join the fleet activated with Princess MedallionClass™ Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable technology delivering guests the enjoyment of hassle-free, personalized cruise vacations. Sky Princess will also feature MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea delivering land-like internet speeds for watching sports, movies or making video calls from a smart-phone.
In an industry-first event, three significant ship building construction milestones occurred in the same day, including:
Steel-Cutting Ceremony for the final Royal Class ship
The steel-cutting ceremony for the sixth and final Royal-class ship, was broadcast live to the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone from the builder’s yard in Naples, Italy. This ceremony marked the cutting of the first plates of steel to begin the building phase of the ship, which is scheduled to launch in 2022.
Enchanted Princess Keel Laying Ceremony
Princess Cruises and Fincantieri executives started the countdown to the launch of Enchanted Princess as the keel – the bottom-most part of the ship – was ceremoniously lowered into position in the dry dock. Following a traditional blessing, the ship’s keel – which weighs approximately 500 tons – was lifted then lowered into position by a huge crane onto the keel blocks. Representatives and invited guests participated in a traditional coin ceremony, and for this occasion, welding an OceanMedallion into the ship believed to bring good luck to the vessel and all who sail on her.
Sky Princess Madrina Celebration in Honor of the recent Sky Princess Float Out
Ms. Kerry Ann Wright, 2nd officer for Princess Cruises, nominated by her fellow crew members will serve as the Madrina recognizing her “Reach for the Sky” story and the career she is forging in the cruise industry. Sky Princess is nearing the final construction and interior outfitting phase before joining the fleet in October 2019.
Swartz added, “We couldn’t think of better day to mark these milestones than on Valentine’s Day, a day when we typically celebrate romance and our co-starring role on ‘The Love Boat.’ While we’ll always be known for love on the high seas, today also solidifies our position as the fastest growing premium cruise line in the world.”
All three 143,700-ton Royal-class ships carry 3,660 guests and 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.
Recently announced features to debut onboard Sky Princess, include:
- Largest Balconies at Sea for guests in the Sky Suites accommodations, featuring the largest continuous 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.
- Princess MedallionClass™ Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, this complimentary wearable device is the most advanced in the vacation industry. Delivering a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to enjoy what they love most about cruising.
- 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 flavors of acclaimed chef, Angelo Auriana and La Mer, a French Bistro by Chef Emmanuel Renaut whose Flocons de Sel restaurant has received three Michelin stars.
- 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.
Sky Princess is scheduled to launch in the Mediterranean in October 2019, before debuting in North America in December 2019 marked with the traditional naming ceremony before sailing a season of Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.
Carnival’s Mardi Gras Will Offer An Array Of Experiences
Six Distinctive, Themed Zones Will Deliver the Fun Carnival is Known For, All Coming on Mardi Gras in 2020
MIAMI, Jan. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Carnival Cruise Line revealed the first look at design details for the highly anticipated Mardi Gras, the line’s most innovative ship set to debut in 2020 and the first cruise ship in North America powered by LNG. Mardi Gras will offer an extensive array of popular Carnival guest favorites along with new exciting experiences highlighted by six themed zones. Throughout the ship’s 20 decks and in each of these distinctive areas, guests will find fun, memorable ways to create their own personalized vacation with dining, libation, entertainment, recreation, and relaxation options.
The accommodations on Mardi Gras will include more than 20 different stateroom categories and multiple levels of spacious and luxurious suites. Mardi Gras will also include the most expansive open decks on any Carnival ship, and a spectacular atrium that will serve as the hub of the ship as well as a stunning focal point where guests will be welcomed on board.
“When our guests Choose Fun and book a vacation on Mardi Gras, they are going to find many firsts and exciting experiences, all enhanced by the fun atmosphere our great Carnival crew deliver on every cruise,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We’ve specifically designed Mardi Gras to invite everyone to create their own personalized fun vacation experience with options to suit every age, mood or taste.”
Six Exciting and Distinctive Zones Add to the Fun
The six zones of Mardi Gras’ design will invite guests to stroll throughout the ship to enjoy new only-on-Mardi Gras features along with signature elements that have made Carnival America’s Cruise Line, all enjoyed amidst a festive, social and community-driven atmosphere with opportunities for guests to relax, recharge and reconnect with family and friends. The six areas will be themed around Grand Central, French Quarter, La Piazza, Summer Landing, Lido and The Ultimate Playground and highlights include:
~ Grand Central (Decks 6-8, mid-ship): Creating a sense of wonder the moment guests step on board, the transformative Grand Central takes the traditional atrium concept to new heights, combining a day-to-night entertainment complex with spectacular three-deck-high floor-to-ceiling windows and a bar overlooking the starboard side of the ship that will be the perfect venue for socializing and people watching amid sweeping ocean vistas. Steps away are Bonsai Sushi and Bonsai Teppanyaki which are being expanded from designs on existing ships to reflect their popularity with guests. There’s also the first-ever dedicated Punchliner Comedy Club where guests can enjoy nightly shows, and the always popular Piano Bar 88 for sing-a-longs that bring guests together in an intimate feel-good setting.
~ French Quarter (Deck 6, aft): In a nod to the New Orleans’ culture that combines lively entertainment with an unparalleled food scene, French Quarter will be lined with new bars, music and eateries that perfectly capture the festive spirit of the Big Easy. And since the spirit of New Orleans is so closely tied to the jazz scene, this neighborhood is linked via a two-deck-high promenade leading to a traditional New Orleans jazz club with live entertainment and refreshing hand-crafted libations. More details on these new dining and entertainment choices and the introduction of a new Carnival celebrity partnership will be revealed this spring.
~ La Piazza (Deck 8, mid-ship): At La Piazza, guests are transported to Italy where they celebrate the rich heritage of Carnival’s senior officers with authentic cuisine from the casual family-style Cucina del Capitano and 24/7 Pizzeria del Capitano to a new Mediterranean-themed seafood restaurant. There’s also a bar where guests can savor cappuccino by day or classic Italian cocktails at night, while roaming musicians keep everyone entertained.
~ Summer Landing (Deck 8, aft): Designed as the ultimate chill spot, Summer Landing will be home to an expanded Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse with smoked-on-board barbecue favorites created by longtime Carnival partner Guy Fieri, along with the line’s exclusive ParchedPig craft beers brewed right on board. For outdoor summer-inspired fun, there will be a pool and whirlpools, a new bar, the lunch counter for the Smokehouse Brewhouse along with ample lounging spaces and hang outs, making this the ideal spot to enjoy all the fun that a Carnival vacation experience delivers.
~ Lido (Deck 16-17, aft): Carnival is already known for its varied casual poolside restaurants and Mardi Gras’ expanded Lido will take this to a whole new level with existing Carnival favorites like Guy’s Burger Joint, the New England-inspired Seafood Shack, and BlueIguana Cantina Mexican eatery, along with some new concepts to be announced at a later date that are sure to inspire foodie fans.
~ The Ultimate Playground (Decks 18-20, aft): The aptly named Ultimate Playground will span Decks 18-20 and offer guests amazing sea vistas as they soak up the sun and the fun in this spacious family-friendly play area highlighted by the largest and most elaborate Carnival WaterWorks aqua park in the fleet, along with an expanded SportSquare. The Ultimate Playground is also where guests will find the much-anticipated BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, the first rollercoaster at sea announced in December 2018, where riders race along an 800-foot-long track achieving speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.
Mardi Gras will also incorporate all of the line’s most popular signature features from its nearly completed $2 billion fleet enhancement program that has brought a consistent level of experiences to the more than five million passengers who annually sail on Carnival, such as Alchemy Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, and the Serenity adult-only retreat, among others – many of which will offer an exciting twist, along with a variety of new innovations exclusive to this vessel.
Additional information on Mardi Gras, along with specifics on each of the six themed areas will be revealed in ways that are sure to amp up the fun factor in the coming months.
MedallionClass™ Experience To Be Added To 3 More Princess Ships
With the addition of Crown Princess and Sky Princess all Princess ships sailing the Caribbean this fall will be MedallionClass ships. Royal Princess will be the first MedallionClass ship on the West Coast sailing in Alaska and Mexico
Have you had the chance to sail on a Princess ship with the OceanMedallion™ wearable device? Or maybe you will be sailing on one of these new ships activated with the MedallionClass™ Experience?
SANTA CLARITA, Calif., Jan. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Princess Cruises announced today the expansion of its Princess MedallionClass™ experience to three additional ships – Royal Princess, Crown Princess and Sky Princess – building on the enhanced and personalized cruise vacations guests are currently enjoying on its Caribbean Princess ship sailing the Caribbean, and with Regal Princess starting February 17, 2019. The OceanMedallion™, included complimentary, is a wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering an enhanced level of personalization and innovative services resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.
With the Princess MedallionClass experience coming to Crown Princess in July and Sky Princess in October, all guests sailing with the brand in the Caribbean will be able to enjoy an enhanced vacation through simplified, personalized and engaging experiences by the end of 2019. The addition of Royal Princess will also be the first time a Princess MedallionClass ship will be sailing in Alaska.
“Guests are finding their vacations enhanced with Princess MedallionClass on Caribbean Princess as a new and memorable experience, and we’re ready to offer these experiences and personalized services to even more of our guests, including everyone who sails with us in the Caribbean in the fall and winter,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “Starting in April, we will continue the expansion to a total of five Princess MedallionClass ships expected this year, as we continue on our path to fleet-wide activation. And we look forward to bringing the experience to new groups for the first time, such as those sailing to visit exciting destinations in Alaska and Mexico.”
Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and recently honored with a CES® 2019 Innovation Award, the OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.
Princess MedallionClass vacations offer guests a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to enhance their cruise vacation, including:
- From curbside to poolside in a breeze – guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile have a personalized check-in process that starts their vacation with ease. Personalization starts pre-cruise by guests becoming OceanReady™ while at home.
- The best Wi-Fi at sea: MedallionNet™ is fast, reliable, affordable and unlimited. MedallionNet provides land-like speeds that allow guests to stay connected from anywhere on the ship including staterooms which are each equipped with a Wi-Fi access point. With MedallionNet guests easily share vacation experiences with friends and family back home, stream TV shows, movies and sports events, and even make voice and video calls.
- On demand beverage delivery: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks using OceanNowTM and have them delivered directly to them throughout the ship and even in their stateroom.
Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:
- Hands-Free Keyless Stateroom Entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as the door automatically unlocks. Personalized greetings including loyalty level recognition welcome the guest on their door portal.
- OceanCompass™: Available on guests’ smart devices and portals throughout the ships, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to enable point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest, as well as easily locate and chat with friends and family on board using ShipMates.
- JourneyView™: Available now on ship portals and coming soon to smart devices, this interactive timeline lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage. Functionality will also soon give guests the ability to bookmark and add activities that appeal most to them to their own personalized itinerary.
- MedallionPay™: An easy to use payment feature, enabling crew members to focus on meaningful guest interactions.
- OceanCasino™: On smart devices and select portals, guests can wager real money on games, including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.
- PlayOceanTM: On portals located shipwide and using smart devices, PlayOcean offers guests a new level of fun with interactive games, a digital scavenger hunt, customizable avatars, and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests’ mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen.
- OceanView™: Guests can stream more than 100 hours of award-winning Ocean Original travel shows to their smart device anywhere on the ship at no cost – content which airs nationally on weekends on ABC and NBC. OceanView is also available on stateroom TVs as well as on Roku, Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
Now is the perfect time to book a Princess MedallionClass vacation to the Caribbean or Alaska during the All Aboard Sale that is available through February 28. Click here for more information
Princess MedallionClass activates a travel industry first by utilizing an Experience Internet of ThingsTM (xIoT™) platform with a guest-centric approach to help maximize a cruise vacation in real-time based on guests’ choices and preferences. The result delivers enhanced personalization on a large scale across every aspect of a cruise vacation.
The OceanMedallion was first unveiled by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald at CES 2017 and was a key factor in Fast Company recognizing the corporation with two Innovation and Design Awards that same year.