Cruise News: Cruise for a Cause, Dance for a Prize
This week in Cruise News: Holland America Line Commemorates World Cancer Day, Masterchef Junior Winners Head to Sea, and join 'Dancing with the Stars: At Sea' if you've got the moves.
Holland America has just announced that its guests and employees have raised more than $4.7 million for cancer support through their On Deck for a Cause program. Launched in 2006, the program invites guests of all ages to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk around the ship's decks. On Deck for a Cause currently benefits six international cancer organizations in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. So far, the cruise line has planned more than 500 fundraising walks across its fleet.
You go, Holland America.
It's been a busy few years for this cruise line, and they're showing no signs of slowing down. Among its plans for expansion are an increase in its ports of call, including calls in England, France, Ireland and Scotland. For the first time ever, they'll also be expanding to the world of river cruising and are planning to offer 8 destinations in Germany, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. Yes, Disney Cruise Line is known for its family-friendly activities, but they've worked (and are still working) to ensure that there's something for everyone on board--adult exclusive dining, pools and spas in between Star Wars shows and Frozen-themed photo-ops. But there’s still no sign of a casino coming to the fleet anytime soon.
Together with the SS United States Conservatory, Crystal Cruises announced its plans to restore "America's Flagship" and bring the ship into compliance and back into service. The ship is about 60 years behind on maritime rules, so it'll be no easy feat. However, the luxury cruise line is committed to restoring the classic symbol of patriotism and incorporating a modern day touch to its design and overall functionality.
And she's making quite the statement comeback.
After sailing with Pullmantur, a Spanish cruise line owned by Royal Caribbean, the 1,602-passenger ship is set to homeport in Miami beginning in March and will offer 4-and-5 night sailings to Nassau, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman and Key West. Guests can also expect quick pier-to-ship boarding, longer time in ports and even overnight stays in Cozumel on select 5-night sailings. Royal Caribbean's oldest and smallest ship is also getting a complete bow-to-stern overhaul. Guests can expect a number of additions to the ship, including refurbished staterooms, dining at Chops Grille, the choice between traditional and My Time dining, a rock-climbing wall and an adults-only Solarium for some peaceful sunbathing.
Princess Cruises has just appointed Dino Sagani and Craig Street as captain and relief captain (respectively) for its next new ship, which is set to sail in spring of 2017. The captains are no strangers to the world-class cruise line; both have served its ships for over 20 years. Captain Sagani (pictured above) is currently serving as relief captain on board Royal Princess and Regal Princess.
Majestic Princess is being designed specifically for the Chinese Market, so we think a visit to China is in order, don't you think?
You may not be captain of this ship, but you'll still have a say in where it's going.
This coming May, guests on board Europa 2 will get to set the course of their cruise. The only fixed ports are the ports of departure (Istanbul) and arrival (Athens), but the rest is fair game. Guests will be able to vote between 20 ports in the eastern Mediterranean, plus receive highlights of each potential destination prior to casting their vote.
If you missed last Friday's Masterchef Junior finale, now you'll have a chance to see the champs in person aboard Holland America Line's ms Nieuw Amsterdam. This new Masterchef cruise will sail on Nov. 6-13 in the Caribbean and will showcase live cooking demonstrations and interactive challenges. Demonstrations will be led by none other than the pint-sized chefs themselves--a combination of past season winners along with the show's newest champion, Addison (age 10) and semi-finalist, Zac (age 13).
The team at Onboard (age...nevermind) may not possess Masterchef Junior-level cooking talent, but that doesn't mean we can't learn how to cook on a cruise ship, right?
From masters of the kitchen to masters of the dance floor, this ship seems to be all over the pop-culture scene:
The winner competed against 14 other dancers on board ms Nieuw Amsterdam, taking home the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Each of the 15 contestants represented a ship in the cruise line's fleet, where they excelled in that ship's respective dance competition. Competitions on eligible ships are open to all guests 21 and over, and each participating ship offers dance classes prior to contestant selection.
Now THIS is a competition we know we can win--but we'll let you be the judge of that.