No more free upgrades - at least not with Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is now offering bid-based upgrades for passengers now. They are following Norwegian Cruise Lines as they were the first to offer guests the ability to bid on an upgrade. With this new option, you can “name your price” to move up and the cruise line still makes money. For those who do cruise often, cruise lines used to offer a free upgrade if it was available. Some have now been offering a specific amount to pay for an upgrade. This new idea gives some control to the guest in what they can afford or is worthwhile for an upgrade. This could save you hundreds of dollars on your next cruise.


Titantic II to set sail in 2022

Are you the King or Queen of the World??? Well, now you can be!!! Titanic II is scheduled to go into service in 2022. It will begin with a 14 days sailing starting in Dubai on its way to Southampton. After a stop here, it will then follow the exact same course as the original Titanic. The same high end luxury including the same cabin layout that was found on the original ship. It will then continue on doing world cruises throughout 2022.

Of course, it will also have all the modern 21st century technology to enjoy your cruise but not have the same fate. This vessel will hold 2,400 passengers and with word finally getting around, this will be a truly once in a lifetime experience.


Carnival Triumph to get new look and new name

Carnival is looking to freshen things up with a lot of new ships being launched by other cruise lines and may on the way.  Just announced in the past week, the #CarnivalTriumph will be heading to dry dock for a two month long makeover from bow to stern starting March 1, 2019.  Not only will you see new food venues, spa and other upgrades, it will also get a new name.  When it resumes service sometime in May 2019, it will be called #CarnivalSunshine.  It will stay on the East Cost, sailing out of #NorfolkVA and #NewYorkNY before heading to it's home port in Ft. Lauderdale sometime in October 2019.  There are some early bird pricing available before it goes into dry dock, if you want to check it out the renovations first hand.

Royal Caribbean Buys Silversea Cruises

In a surprising move, #RoyalCaribbeanCruiseLines bought 2/3 stake (66.7%) of #SilverseaCruises.  With this new acquisition, it now give RCCL an ultra luxury cruise brand to add it is already robust portfolio.  Starting later this month, the Silversea fleet will begin a multi year renovations and enhancements.  Now with Silversea's fleet, it brings the total number of ships to 59 across all its brands with another 15 ships on order.  now, you can choose not just the itinerary but the experience you want.

New Tech Cruise Terminals in Florida

For those who cruise, the most time consuming part is getting on and off the ship.  Many of the cruise terminals are old and outdated.  In some cases barely able to accommodate the larger mega-ships that are at sea today. 

Norwegian Cruise Line just broke ground on their new terminal at Port Miami which is scheduled to open in Fall 2019.  This new terminal will be able to handle ships up to 5000 passengers and have state of the art technology which will support faster and more efficient embarkation and disembarkation, along with expedited security and luggage check in. 

Recently, Royal Caribbean just finished with its new $247 million dollar terminal, also, at Port Miami Terminal A.   It is scheduled to open in October and is set to host its Allure and Symphony of the Seas.  Carnival Corporation also did a multi-million dollar renovation at its Ft. Lauderdale port at Terminal 2.  This particular port hosts Princess Cruise Lines only.  It boats a more streamlined design with a more interactive experience, which includes large LED TVs and a movie theather.  These changes to bring cruise travel into the 21st centruy will make a big impact as we expect more renovations and buildings to come.

Carnival Corporation New Terminal Ft. Lauderdale

Carnival Corporation New Terminal Ft. Lauderdale

New Terminal and Ship for Carnival in Los Angeles

Growing up in Los Angeles most of my childhood, there were lots of things to do.  One of those things was taking a quick trip on #Carnival out of #LongBeach (Los Angeles) for a 3 or 4 night cruise.  We've seen lots of new ships and renovations to many of the Florida ports but never for Los Angeles.  Well that has changed!  Carnival has updated and renovated it's terminal at the Port of Long Beach and now for the first time in 20 years, there will be a new ship coming to make its new home - #CarnivalPanorama.  It is scheduled to arrive in November 2019 with a tentative itinerary to the Pacific side of the Mexican Riviera.

With the news of Southwest now going offer year round nonstop flights to Los Angeles, to complete with #AmericanAirlines you may have easier access to these cruises.

ccl panorama.jpg

Cruises & Tourism comes back to San Juan

Unless you have been under a rock or in living off the grid, you know that #PuertoRico got hit not once but twice but hurricanes in the month of September.  At one point, 95% of the island was without power.  Progress is being made but many of the rural areas of the island are still struggling without power, clean water and basic supplies.

Not taking into account all the things being said in the media, Puerto Rico has done a lot to bring back one of it's main sources of income - tourism.  Today, December 20th, was the official "Grand Re-Opening" of the island to tourists after Irma & Maria.  One cruise line, #RoyalCaribbean, did start sailing again on a limited basis back in October, most of the major cruise lines that have San Juan as it's home port, began normal service back in November and saw over 7000 cruisers on the 30th alone.  There are and were great deals for those who are willing to sail from San Juan through the end of December to the first week of January. 

As of now, there are close to 100 hotels now open in the San Juan area taking reservations for those who still want to come in or stay after their cruise.  After all these people have gone through, they are standing strong together with a lot of help from celebrities and those who see them as equals and US Citizens.  Please consider sailing from San Juan on your next cruise - it isn't just for your entertainment or relaxation but to help a culture rebuild. #PuertoRicoRelief


Viking now offering more than just river cruises

Viking is well known for their amazing river cruises around the world.  We have seen them more often on television offering free air or 2 for 1 pricing.  Many of their river cruises sell out and for good reason.

Now, they have decided to take their passion of cruise to a larger scale and offer ocean liner cruises.  One of the biggest differences you will see comparing it to other major cruise lines is that there are no inside or ocean view cabin - only verandah/balcony cabins.  They believe everyone should have a great view on their cruise and still enjoy the luxury of what sailing on their river cruises.  You will find one of their sailing in this issue leaving at the end of January and includes free airfare - yes FREE AIRFARE along with transfer when arriving and departing on the days of your cruise. 

While they only have 5 ships at this time, this new venture has been well received by many cruises lovers.  Instead of these "floating cities", their ships only hold 930 guests to give more of that small ship experience.  Meals will have a focus on the destination, so you will get to have a taste of local foods while on board.  While it is not all inclusive, they do include a lot as part of your cruise cost.  There is free WiFi on board, beer/wine/soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner, as well as one complimentary shore excursion in every port.  So come enjoy what is being called "The Thinking Person's Cruise" and see what Viking as in store for you.