Cruise News: Country Music and Comedy Meets Carnival

Mar 10, 2016 | By Zulay Regalado

This week's Cruise News unveils the 2016 Carnival LIVE lineup, new Norwegian itineraries, more virtual cruising opportunities and a cruiser who's lived on a ship for 8 years (really).



The talented lineup features country music artist Sam Hunt, who is performing two shows while Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Splendor are docked in Nassau in October. Comedian Chris Tucker is scheduled for shows aboard Carnival Freedom in Grand Cayman on October 25 and Carnival Dream in Montego Bay the following day. Grammy-award winning comedian Jim Gaffigan will also bring the humor aboard Carnival Valor in Nassau on September 6 and Carnival Fantasy the following day. Tickets to Carnival LIVE shows range from $30-75 for general admission and $100-$250 for VIP, which includes photo-ops with the artist and a commemorative concert pass. The full listing of this year's Carnival LIVE series is now available, so get your tickets soon!

If you're into art and you're into luxurious cruising, EUROPA 2 is where you need the to be next year.

This ship is now featuring an art2sea theme, where guests can enjoy lectures and discussions from knowledgeable art experts as well as on-shore visits to galleries, museums and exhibitions. While this year's art2sea-themed cruise, which sails from Montreal to New York, is fully-booked, next year's cruise will sail on a 13-day journey from Hamburg to Lisbon in February, with stops in Greenwich, London, St. Peter port, Guernsey, St. Malo (France), Bilbao and Vilagarcia (both in Spain) and Leixoes (Portugal).

Given that this year's cruise sold out so quickly, landing a spot on this sailing sounds like an art in itself--book ASAP.

In other EUROPA 2 news:


Feels like just yesterday that we were marveling at the newest virtual cruising experience. Now, we've learned that ITB (the world's leading travel trade show) is launching digital technology that allows cruisers to virtually tour Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' luxurious EUROPA 2--plus every ship on their fleet--via LCD screens and cyber goggles. The EUROPA 2 HypeBox (pictured above) is one of two new features which offers travel agents and their clients with the opportunity to "test" their cruise out before booking.The future, folks. It's here.

The 500-passenger EUROPA 2 is currently sailing to Mumbai from Singapore and then heading to Dubai, Athens and Istanbul next month.

This is a party you won't want to miss--and it's just what you'd expect from a cruise with Mr. Worldwide himself. Enjoy performances from Pitbull and special guests (yet to be announced), take part in a Q&A session and photo-op with the artist, and stage-hop around the ship to catch live music from DJ's and other entertainment. Norwegian Pearl sails on this epic journey from March 10-13, 2017 and heads to Great Stirrup Cay for a private beach party. This trip books quickly so reserve your spot soon. 

In the meantime, feel free to practice those cruise dance moves in preparation for the danceathon this vacation will surely be.

And what a busy list of itineraries it is. The cruise line will be offering a variety of Caribbean and Bahamas cruises from New York, Miami and Port Canaveral (Orlando), 10-day cruises to the Canary Islands from Barcelona and an exclusive, 7-day intra-island Hawaii sailings from Honolulu. A few of our favorite itineraries include:

  • A 10-or-11 day Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the recently-enhanced Norwegian Gem, which sails from New York from October 21, 2017 - April 17, 2018
  • A 7-day cruise to the Western Caribbean aboard Norwegian Escape, the cruise line's newest and largest ship, which sails from Miami every Saturday year-round.
  • A 7-day, intra-Hawaii sailing aboard recently refurbished Pride of America, which departs from Honolulu every Saturday through April 2018. This itinerary offers more than 100 hours of in-port sight-seeing time.

All new itineraries will be available to book on March 23.

The Private Journeys excursion program pairs cruisers with a Destination Insider who helps create your perfect (and private) shore excursion based on preferences such as budget, travel style and experience. The program is available for all of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships and sailings. Private Journey bookings require a $100 deposit (although the cruise line is waiving the deposit for all Journeys booked before end of this month).

The port's dock has been in development for years, and is set to open in May--just in time for Alaska cruising season. Ships usually tender passengers when visiting this port, so the addition of a 400-ft dock means that guests can now just walk off the ship and start exploring the port.There will also be an Adventure Center located in front of the dock where you can book shore excursions--and trust us, there's plenty of Alaskan adventures to be had while cruising, so we totally recommend booking one.


Fresh off International Women's Day, Regent Seven Seas announces the promotion of Serena Melani to captain of Seven Seas Mariner. The first female Captain of the cruise line's fleet is one of just a handful of women to reach Captain rank in the history of the cruising industry. Congratulations, Captain Melani!


Just ask 87 year-old Floridian woman Lee Wachtsetter, who has been sailing on Crystal Serenity for the last 8 years. She's been on the 12-year old vessel longer than most of its 655 crew members, sails to exotic destinations on the regular and feels that she could never readjust to the real world after living on a 5-star cruise ship for nearly a decade.

Mrs. Wachtstetter, you are our cruising hero.

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