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Carnival Cruise Line Confirms Return to 4 Hurricane Hit Caribbean Ports

Carnival Cruise Ships in Port
Photo By: Russell Otway (For Cruise Hive Only)

Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed cruise ships will be returning to 4 Caribbean cruise ports hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed cruise ships will soon be returning to Hurricane hit Caribbean destinations including Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. The cruise line has been impacted heavily by ship itinerary cancellations and adjustments due to the devastating damage caused by Hurricanes Irmas and Maria in September.

Carnival President Christine Duffy posted a note which detailed the cruise line will return to Grand Turk in less than two weeks, calls to resume to Puerto Rico from November 30 and ships will start calling in St. Thomas and St. Maarten at the beginning of January 2018.

Carnival President Christine Duffy posted:

We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that our Caribbean destinations are open for business… and they’re looking forward to welcoming folks back to their beautiful islands! We have finalized our schedule of future calls to the few remaining ports that had not yet been added back to our itineraries following the recent hurricanes.

We will be resuming visits to Grand Turk in less than two weeks, calls in San Juan on November 30 and visits to St. Thomas and St. Maarten at the beginning of January. I hope you are as excited as we are at this great news!

The Caribbean continues to be the cruise industry’s most popular cruising region and we here at Carnival, along with our destination partners, greatly value your business and look forward to providing you with a truly memorable and exceptional vacation experience.

I would also like to take this opportunity to assure you that, while the Caribbean region recovers from the hurricanes, Carnival is continuing to provide support to our friends and partners impacted by the storms. Over the past many weeks, we have provided deliveries of supplies to different Caribbean islands. We have also been fundraising and, in total, the Carnival Corporation family has committed $12.5 million to hurricane relief. And just recently we chartered the Carnival Fascination to FEMA to house relief workers in St. Croix.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard soon!

Sincerely,
Christine Duffy

The two category 5 Hurricanes devasted not just Eastern Caribbean destinations but also parts of Florida. These regions are extremely important to the cruise industry with not just Carnival but other major cruise lines affected too.

As services start to open back up and port damage is repaired Carnival Cruise Line can now start to confirm regular itineraries featuring original ports of calls. The cruise destinations are working hard to make sure the passenger experience ashore is the best it can be and services are up and running.

Also Read: Carnival Cruise Line Returns to San Juan, Puerto Rico

Carnival Cruise Line is also actively helping in recovery efforts with ships delivering urgent aid to Hurricane hit destinations and Carnival Fascination being used by FEMA to house Hurricane relief workers in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Miami-based cruise line is also donating Millions to those in need affected by the Hurricanes.

Carnival Horizon Departs for Sea Trials

Carnival Horizon Departs for Sea Trials
Photo By: Zabatinox srl

Carnival Horizon which is the second Vista-class cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Line has departed for sea trials.

The next Carnival cruise ship has departed the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy this morning, October 20th for sea trials. The ship will spend some time at sea testing the propulsion and maneuverability systems to make sure she is ready for regular service in Spring 2018.

The Sea trials are major construction milestone and pretty much marks the very final stages of construction which include the interior fitting out phase and final touches. Our friends at I Like Cruise Ships and Carnival Cruise Line Ambassador have posted online Carnival Horizon departing the dock.

The photos are coming think and fast today. I hope you like seeing them as much as we do. The Carnival Horizon sailing off on her sea trials is a big moment in a ships history. #carnivalfamily #CarnivalHorizon

Posted by I Like Cruise Ships on Friday, October 20, 2017

The popular Carnival Italia page even posted a video of Carnival Horizon departing under a depressing sky, don’t worry the ship will soon be in sunny blue skies once in service next year.

Posted by Carnival Cruise Line Italia on Friday, October 20, 2017

It has been a busy day for the upcoming Carnival cruise ship, just earlier we posted a new Virtual Tour from the cruise line which shows the entire ship in a 3D rendering. And recently Carnival has been unveiling new features which will be onboard including the new Guy Fieri Smokehouse Brewhouse and the first Teppanyaki venue in the fleet.

Carnival Horizon will be identical to sister ship Carnival Vista but with some new additions. The ship’s maiden voyage will depart Barcelona, Spain on April 2, 2018. After a season based in New York, Carnival Horizon will sail Caribbean cruises year-round from Miami, Florida.

Everything You Need to Know About Marella Cruises

Marella Cruises Ship
Image By: Marella Cruises

Mutterings of Marella Cruises have been in the pipeline for a while now, and the TUI Group is finally ready to share exactly what’s in store for the brand. Currently sailing to 120 destinations, Thomson Cruises is changing to Marella Cruises and will be undergoing major expansions in the process. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest shift in the cruising world.

The name ‘Marella’ has a deeper meaning

The new name is no accident – ‘Marella’ actually means ‘shining sea’ in Celtic. It’s a nod to Marella’s spirit of exploration and discovery, and is particularly apt for a fleet of ships spending the majority of their time out at sea.

It’s part of a wider Thomson rebrand

The Marella change isn’t the only one happening over at Thomson headquarters – it’s actually part of a larger rebrand which will see travel giant Thomson re-brand to TUI towards the end of October.

The choice to not follow suit and change Thomson Cruises to TUI Cruises comes as TUI Cruises is already an established cruise brand within the European market, currently operating with its Mein Schiff fleet.

Cruisers can experience the same great service

Cruisers will still have access to the same exceptional service and modern ships, alongside the opportunity to purchase cruises across a number of online carriers offering exclusive deals, including the likes of CruiseDeals.co.uk. Cruise enthusiasts will also still have the option to expand their holiday on either end with TUI’s Cruise & Stay programme.

Thomson/TUI Cruise Ships
Photo By: Thomson Cruises

The line will be broadening their routes

In addition to the new name, Marella Cruises is also widening its routes. New itineraries look set to include a number of destinations within Asia and the Middle East, with winter 2018 routes officially being launched October 26th. In total, there will be 22 new itineraries available and 20 new ports of call. For the first time in TUI’s history, two ships will also be based in the Caribbean for the winter 2018 season.

New itineraries offered by Marella Cruises include Colours of the Far East, which departs from Bangkok, and the Enchanting Far East, which leaves from Langkawi in Malaysia. Along the way, ships will port at destinations such as Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

They’re set to offer new adult-only itineraries

Another new feature coming with the Marella rebrand is the line’s addition of new adult-only itineraries. Marella Discovery will feature 14 of these new itineraries, stopping at 18 new ports and adding yet another facet to its already well-rounded cruise line.

Ship names are changing, too

Last but not least, the Marella Cruises fleet will see their own name change. There are currently five ships in operation – Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2, Marella Dream, Marella Celebration and Spirit, which won’t change names because she’s leaving the fleet next summer.

Marella Explorer, which is presently operating as Mein Schiff 1, will start sailing in summer 2018, while Mein Schiff will join the Marella ranks in 2019. Thomson Majesty will keep her name until 26th November.

Marella Cruises looks set to make serious waves in the industry over the coming months – and for very good reason. With a push to move further into the luxury market, the once-named Thomson Cruises fleet promises a more memorable cruising experience than ever before.

New Virtual Tour of Carnival Horizon Cruise Ship Released

Carnival Horizon Virtual Tour
Rendering By: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line has released a new virtual tour video of Carnival Horizon which is arriving in Spring 2018.

The build-up for the next new Carnival cruise ship has increased thanks a to a virtual tour video just released. The cruise line showcases just about everything important and exciting to look forward to onboard the Carnival Horizon. Everything is in a shiny 3D rendering just like the video made for sister ship Carnival Vista in 2016.

Watch Carnival Horizon Virtual Tour

The fun host takes us around the vessel inside and out highlighting many features onboard. The ship is introducing a new Guy Fieri Smokehouse Brewhouse and the fleet’s first ever Teppanyaki dining venue. For the kids, the ship will have the first Dr. Seuss Water Park at sea. Carnival Horizon also features popular favorite already seen on Carnival Vista including an IMAX Theater, SkyRide, and a Havana inspired bar area and staterooms.

The upcoming Carnival ship is currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The ship has already been floated out onto water and now in the final stages with all the interior spaces taking shape. A collection of construction photos have already been released by Carnival.

Carnival Horizon Cruise Deals
Rendering By: Carnival Cruise Line

Also Check: Carnival Horizon Top 10 Cruise Deals and Price Drops

The ships maiden voyage will depart Barcelona, Spain on April 2, 2018, on an inaugural 13-day voyage. the ship will spend the Summer season out of New York and will then begin its year-round service from Port Miami. 6-day and 8-day Caribbean cruises will be offered all from Florida starting in September 2018.

Carnival Horizon will be 133,500 gross tons and will carry 3,974 guests at double occupancy.

Princess Cruises Offers Free Gratuities and Deposits for Only $1

Majestic Princess at Sea
Photo By: Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has launched a new promotion which offers free gratuities and deposits for only $1.

Princess Cruises has just started an epic sail which offers free gratuities and deposits for only $1. The sale started on October 20th and will end on October 31st at 11:59 PM. Cruisers should really take advantage of these savings on select sailings to the Caribbean and Panama Canal.

This month is “Plan a Cruise Month” for the cruise industry so cruise lines are launching some really good deals at the moment. The free gratuities and $1 deposits are a treat and probably won’t be offered again anytime soon.

An Example of the Cruise Fares Being Offered

  • Eastern Caribbean Getaway cruise – 5 days: $349 interior, $399 balcony
  • Western Caribbean cruise – 7 days: $629 interior, $649 balcony
  • Panama Canal with Costa Rica & Caribbean cruise – 10 days: $599 interior, $799 balcony
  • Southern Caribbean Medley cruise – 10 days: $599 interior, $799 balcony
  • Eastern Caribbean cruise – 7 days: $399 interior, $549 balcony
  • Panama Canal Ocean to Ocean cruise – 15 days: $1,399 interior, $2,499 balcony

Princess Cruises is also offering Animal Planet™ Exclusive and Recommended shore excursion options in partnership with Discovery. The exclusive excursion will give guests the chance to experiences things like the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica or a swim with sea turtles in Barbados.

Also Check: Top 10 Princess Cruise Deals and Price Drops

The sale from Princess Cruises is only available for residents in the United StatesCanadaPuerto Rico and Mexico. We do suggest to always check the terms and conditions before booking a cruise.

Top 7 Things To Leave At Home When You Cruise

Top 7 Things To Leave At Home When You Cruise
Photo By: Russell Otway (For cruise hive Only)

Some travellers can find the packing process somewhat stressful. Rummaging through your closets and wardrobes to find that extra charger or that favourite pair of sunglasses you got in Spain. This isn’t even considering what you may actually do without, and leave at home. For cruising-newbies, you may be surprised at how much is actually provided to you by the cruise line. Thus, here are my top seven items to leave at home when you cruise.

Oh hold on a moment, I haven’t introduced myself. My name is Lewis Nunn and I’m a Luxury Cruise & Travel Blogger at The Luxury Traveller, Cruise Journalist, Cruise TV Presenter, Cruise Public Speaker and overall cruise maniac. If you’ve ever attended the Telegraph Cruise Show, you will likely have heard one of my talks.

1. Shampoo and Hairdryer

The majority of cruise ships supply guests with multiple toiletry items in your cabins. This includes shampoo, body wash and sometimes even deodorant in some cases. The general rule goes that the more expensive the cruise, the posher the smellies. In duality, a hairdryer will also be provided to ensure you look as glamorous as possible at your evening dinners.

2. Iron

Speaking of evening dinners, if you’re like me, you’ll want to keep your shirts dresses as crease-free as possible. Nonetheless, if you bring an iron or any other heating electrical appliance in your suitcase; it will be confiscated. This will then be returned to you at the end of your voyage. Don’t fear-there is another option. Onboard most cruise ships, you will find a laundrette in case you really need to smooth things out.

Cruise Ship Suitcase

3. Alcohol

As tempting as it may be to smuggle a small bottle of scotch into your cabin, there is no way you’ll be able to. Some cruise lines such as P&O Cruises do allow you to bring a bottle of wine onboard per person. However, if you purchase any alcohol at a port of call, this will be kept for the duration of your cruise and not returned until disembarkation. Additionally, it is also wise to consider airport customs if you are taking a fly-cruise. The last possible way you want to end your cruise is getting into trouble with customs.

4. Beach Towel

Catastrophe strikes when you’re soaking up the sun on an exotic beach, you glide out of the sea and you have a revelation. You forgot a towel. This feeling can be all too familiar for many travellers. This need never be a concern on a cruise, as on all cruise ships towels are provided for both excursions and pool use to keep you cosy. How much packing space can that save you?

Also Read: Things You Can’t Take on a Cruise

5. Knives

Although really this one shouldn’t require any elaboration, I shall do so anyway. Despite the simplicity of knowing not to bring a knife onboard a cruise ship, every year many still have

Top 7 Things To Leave At Home When You Cruise
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to be confiscated. Yet what passengers don’t realise is this can be from nail scissors to Swiss Army knives. I must admit, this one rather baffles me. What could you possibly need a knife for? Note to self, the barman will open your wine bottle for you! I shan’t even go into explaining guns.

6. Food

Let this be no joke, if you can’t find enough food to eat on offer on a cruise ship, you have serious eye-sight issues. With many cruise ships having twenty-four-hour available buffets, you can eat at absolutely any time of the day or night. Upon reflection, I actually remember heading to the buffet at 4:00 am on my first cruise holiday on the MSC Splendida. Additionally, bringing cuisine from your own country spoils the whole experience of taking a cruise. This is because a cruise is designed to allow you to try elements (such as cuisine) from as many different cultures as possible.

7. The Dog

My heart weeps on this element, as I have my very own black Labrador. He’s called Bertie! Always on my travels, I am left with a sense of guilt leaving my beloved at home. Although, I do put him in a 5* luxury dog hotel, so he doesn’t really care. Unfortunately, cruise ships do not allow animals onboard. Nonetheless, service dogs such as guide dogs are allowed on most cruise lines. Despite me stating that cruise ships do not allow animals onboard, there is one cruise ship that does. And I mean one! The Queen Mary 2 actually transports dogs onboard in their own private kennels. Thus, your pets can enjoy being pampered at sea as well.

If you enjoyed this article, you can read more of my blog posts at The Luxury Traveller.

Until next time, Bon Voyage!

Lewis

Cruise Line Introducing Underwater Drones

MS Roald Amundsen Rendering
Image By: Hurtigruten

We’ve heard of underwater lounges and now another cruise line will have underwater drones!

Expedition cruise line Hurtigruten is well known for offering cruises to remote destinations like Antarctica and the Northwest Passage. The cruise line is going one step further by introducing underwater drones on MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen.

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam, said:

“Hurtigruten is building the world’s greenest and most advanced expedition ships. With the introduction of underwater drones, we are adding a new dimension for our guests.”

The two cruise ships the drones will be featured on are the world’s first powered by hybrid battery technology and will be entering service for Hurtigruten in 2018 and 2019.

Hurtigruten Underwater Drone
Image By: Hurtigruten

Skjeldam also added:

“Ninety percent of the ocean remains unexplored, and with underwater drones on our ships we can take our guests to areas less explored than the surface of Mars. This provides the opportunity for adventurous guests to become real explorers.”

The Blueye Pioneer drones are in partnership with Blueye Robotics and they will be able to be used in the extreme weather conditions that the cruise line usually sails in. They will have a compact size, weighing at 15 pounds and features four robust thrusters, and stability. Blueye Pioneer’s high-definition, wide-angle video camera uses special technologies that work in low light conditions and can stream true-color images to screens on the Hurtigruten ships or to the digital diving masks worn by guests aboard smaller Explorer Boats.

Hurtigruten Underwater Drone
Image By: Hurtigruten

The two new class cruise ships are environmentally friendly and bring new technologies to the industry. They are being constructed at the Kleven Yards in Norway and will be able to carry 600 passengers. Onboard the polar vessels will be pools, bars, dining venues, jacuzzis and special observation decks so guest can get up close with nature.

2 Norwegian Cruise Line Ships Complete New Scrubber Installations

Norwegian Jade
Photo By: Norwegian Cruise Lines

Two Norwegian Cruise Line ships have been retrofitted with a new Exhaust Gas Cleaning system to reduce the impact on the environment.

NCL has announced Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Jade have completed retrofitting a new Exhaust Gas Cleaning system to be more environmentally friendly. The new scrubber technology is part of a program to make Norwegian Cruise Line ships reduce their air emissions. The installations usually take place during the cruise and the ships don;t need to undergo a dry dock. In most cases, the work can be done in port.

Five scrubbers were installed on each ship and the new technology will reduce the equivalent of approximately 3,000 tons of Sulfur Oxide, SOx, gas in the coming years. Instead of seeing darker steam released into the sky the scrubbers work at scrubbing away the bad elements.

Norwegian now has eight ships outfitted with Gas Scrubbers technology, with Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Sun joining Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy and Pride of America and the line’s newest ship sailing in June 2018, Norwegian Bliss.

The World’s Largest Cruise Ship is Arriving Three Weeks Early

Symphony of the Seas Construction
Photo By: Royal Caribbean

Symphony of the Seas which will soon become the world’s largest cruise ship is arriving three weeks earlier than expected.

The fourth Oasis-class cruise ship is way ahead of schedule and the ship will now arrive three weeks early. Several people on social media have noticed new earlier sailings of the cruise ship. The first newly opened sailing is scheduled to depart Barcelona, Spain on March 31 and be a 5-night western Caribbean cruise. Symphony of the Seas first maiden voyage was originally scheduled to depart the Spanish port on April 21.

It seems construction methods used this time around and the experience from sister ship Harmony of the Seas which entered service in 2016 has helped in a sooner completion. The only problem is with the earlier arrival there is expected to be final touches being made during the new cruises. Some workers from the STX shipyard will likely remain onboard for a few sailings to make sure all is in order and Symphony of the Seas is fully ready for regular service.

At the moment Symphony of the Seas is at a wet dock in the STX France shipyard and in the final fitting out construction stage. We’ve been posting plenty of photos from the shipyard so readers can see how Symphony is coming along.

Also Read: Symphony of the Seas Cruise Deals and Bookings

Symphony of the Seas will be 230,000 gross tons and slightly larger than all the other Oasis-class ships. The ship will spend a season in the Meditteranean and then sail Caribbean cruises out of the new Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in Miami, Florida.

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