Category: Cruises

Wellness at Island Spa Catalina

Recently I cruised on a one hour Catalina Express boat ride from Long Beach to Catalina Island. The captain slowed down when a pod of dolphins were feeding, so we could all admire this magnificent mammals. Once I arrived in Avalon, I walked along to pedestrian-only front street to enjoy a day at the spa with a 60 minute Sea of Life facial, complimentary treatment enhancement, $30 credit at Encanto Cafe, 25% retail discount at the Spa Shoppe and complimentary access to all spa amenities. Walking into the spa, I was introduced to Spa Director Zach Thomas formerly of...

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Cruise from the Emerald Isle to the Land of Fire and Ice in Ultimate Comfort

I am easily enamored with all things Irish and my affinity with the country and its people is apparent as soon as I step on the soil of this magical, mystical isle. I adopt O’Stone as my new last name, attempt to speak with a lilting brogue, drink Guinness for breakfast and can belt out the words to “Molly Malone” with the best of them, albeit off-key. Sadly, my strong Germanic genes and Yank accent are dead giveaways, making my transformation to an Irish lass highly improbable. But, hey, you got to give me credit for trying! Although I’ve...

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Crystal Symphony Completes Her Most Dramatic Redesign Ever

One of the most awarded luxury ships in the world has a sophisticated new look, offering travelers freshly imagined choices during their global vacations. Crystal Symphony has emerged from dry dock, returning to the seas with newly designed spaces, features and amenities that luxury travelers crave. The ship’s new Open Seating dining concept ushers in new restaurants on board, while more of the spacious, butler-serviced Penthouse accommodations were added. Throughout the ship, state-of-the-art technological upgrades were installed, enhancing guests’ connectivity and access to entertainment and news on demand. The month-long dry dock redesign marks the most expansive makeover in Crystal Symphony’s esteemed history,...

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Luxury Sailing Wind Surf Cruise

Flying into St. Maarten, we noticed a few multi-million-dollar yachts in the harbor and sleek jets at the airport. Hailing a taxi, we drove through the town of Philipsburg to the cruise terminal to board one of the most beautiful Windstar sailing yachts. The Wind Surf looked small next to four enormous vessels: a Royal Caribbean ship, Crystal Cruise ship, P & O and a Holland America ship. We reserved two cabins to visit and explore six different Caribbean ports. A smaller boat means fewer lines and shorter wait times. On this particular cruise there were only 281 passengers. The...

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Aboard the One-of-a-Kind Crystal Esprit

The one-of-a-kind Crystal Esprit yacht was launched as part of the line’s brand expansion into every aspect of luxury travel, which included private jets (Crystal Luxury Air), river cruises, new ocean ships/products and more. The yacht, which debuted in December 2015 was formerly a private vessel built in 1991 and owned by Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the Malaysian billionaire who acquired the cruise line earlier in the year. After an extensive renovation and retrofit, the Crystal Esprit emerged as a 31-cabin ship that could carry a maximum of 62 passengers, with a 90+ crew—a service ratio that truly...

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Nine Wine-centric Voyages offered by SeaDream in 2018

Continuing its commitment to and enhancing the superbly established level of award-winning culinary experiences, SeaDream Yacht Club announces nine Wine Voyages for the 2018 season. Showcasing the most picturesque yachting ports of the Mediterranean, and Caribbean for 2018, on five-to-ten day sailings, each itinerary pairs the ultimate wine experience with the regions’ most scenic backdrops. Whether a seasoned wine connoisseur or new to learning about and liking wine, these voyages are a perfect occasion for developing a passion and knowledge of wine and cuisine. Guests onboard these vino-centric sailings will explore the flavors and history from some of the...

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Ocean and River Cruises: What’s Trending With Consumers

CruiseCompete has released its CruiseTrends™ report for the month of March 2017. This report is sponsored by © EyeforTravel Ltd. It reads: We have mined our wealth of data to provide information on the most popular cruise trends among consumers, including the top ships, lines and travel dates for premium, luxury and river cruising. The CruiseTrends™ report for March 2017 is detailed below. To see more topics and data, please visit CruiseCompete’ s pressroom or click here to see the entire March 2017 report. Most Popular Cruise Lines (Based on the total number of quote requests for each cruise line in the given month) 1. Premium/Contemporary: Carnival Cruise Lines...

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Cruising Portugal’s River of Gold

River cruising, luxury sailing on ships smaller than ocean liners, has gained tremendous popularity, especially with the Boomer generation. The desire for adventure and learning is enhanced by what is called “experiential travel” or connecting participants with the history and culture of a destination. The journey includes excursions and interactive workshops in cities and towns strung along the waterway. I recently took a Viking River Cruise in Portugal that not only met, but also exceeded those goals. Arrival in Lisbon Portugal rests in Southwestern Europe bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The entire country is only about half the...

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Enchantment Aboard the Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise

Whether you’re a tourist seeking adventure in the Big Apple or are a long-standing resident of New York City celebrating a special occasion—or just looking for a fabulous night out, the Spirit of New York dinner cruise along the New York Harbor offers a truly memorable experience afloat. The frivolity starts the moment you arrive at Chelsea Pier and step on board the vessel—a three-deck, climate-controlled party yacht that can accommodate up to 600 guests year-round. Although spring and summer cruises are always popular, the specialty holiday season cruises like the “Holiday Lights Dinner Cruise” that I recently experienced...

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Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas Entertains You

When you think of going on a cruise, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Perceptions and clichés run rampant, poking fun at everyone from the sedentary set to the party crowd. But times have changed, and these days cruisers need to pack more than just their appetites and bathing suits. If they’re sailing aboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, they’d better have socks and running shoes. Anthem of the Seas just officially dropped anchor in the Big Apple. She debuted in April 2015, but just arrived stateside and is ready to make a splash in her...

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Viking Star and Her Sisters: A Superstar Fleet in the Making

Not content with dominating the world’s rivers with his ships, Viking founder Torstein Hagen has firmly established his brand on the planet’s oceans with the Viking Star and the five siblings due to arrive by the end of 2020. (The Viking Sea will be christened in May 2016, the Viking Sea in 2017.) In her debut season (Spring 2015), the Star lived up to her name as she was awarded the cruise industry’s highest accolades. She was named Best New Ocean Ship and received a 5-star rating by the editors of Cruise Critic; received the highest rating in the...

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The Quarantine of Delos

“And I live here…fishing with my son, around the small Delos and the Great Delos.” ~Captain Panagiotis D. Faroupos As soon as Panagiotis D. Faroupos, the captain, and his splendid ship, The Quarantine of Delos, come into my view, I know that the gods have smiled upon me. What I do not know is that I am about to embark on an adventure that few people ever dreamed of and that it will be one of the most enchanting experiences of my many odysseys in Greece.  The Quarantine of Delos. What a beauty. What a seductress. Only two of...

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