Cruise News: Dining Upgrades and Exotic Cruise Itineraries
Fresh off her extensive 2-week drydock, she’s back and ready to deliver innovative food and drink upgrades to cruisers. Her newest features include:
RedFrog Rum Bar: Poolside, free-of-charge and Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks at your fingertips. And if you’re not in a frozen drink mood, order Carnival’s signature beer, ThirstyFrog Red.
BlueIguana Tequila Bar: For those who prefer tequila over rum, visit this Mexican-themed outdoor bar for a taste of tequila-based frozen drinks and beers.
BlueIguana Cantina: This Mexican eatery is complimentary and features freshly made tacos, burritos and an elaborate salsa and toppings bar.
Guy’s Burger Joint: Developed in partnership with Food Network guru Guy Fieri, these handcrafted burgers and fries are a delicious addition to Valor’s poolside dining options.
FedFrog Pub: All Caribbean, all the time. This pub features the best rums and beers available in the islands to enhance the Caribbean cruising experience.
Cherry on Top: For those who want to satisfy their sweet tooth and pick up a few fun gifts for family and friends, this venue includes a variety of candies, custom apparel, and more.
SkyBox Sports Bar: Stay up-to-date with the latest in sporting events here! The bar even contains a 24/7 sports ticker where you can check out scores for your game of interest.
Alchemy Bar: Our favorite addition, and for a good reason. This vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy” adds a unique flair to Valor’s bar options. Mixologists “prescribe” your ideal concoction, crafting custom cocktails using a variety of elixirs and ingredients. Plus, there are slight pyrotechnics involved (see below).
Carnival Valor is sailing on a series of 3 to 5 day cruises throughout this month, visiting popular Caribbean ports such as Grand Turk, Amber Cove and Nassau. She’ll also be departing on a one-time, 6-day cruise on Sunday visiting all three ports mentioned above.
Let’s jump to another Carnival ship’s new tasty food scene, because, well, why not.
Vista made her grand debut at sea on May 1st and is serving up a delicious variety of international dining options. From Asian cuisine to New England-style seafood and Cuban inspired bites, here are a few of the many food finds on board:
Havana Bar: Serves small Cuban-style samplers, as well as traditional pan con bistec and ropa vieja--to be washed down with a frosty glass of mojito for good measure.
Ji Ji Asian Kitchen: Asian-inspired dishes with an eclectic and exotic variety.
Seafood Shack: This one’s a Vista exclusive. This venue takes its inspiration from New England’s traditional food scene--this means tons of clam chowder, lobster rolls, fried clam strips, crab cake sliders…
On October 21, Vista will be embarking on a 13-day transatlantic crossing, arriving in New York on November 3. Then, she’ll operate two 11-day voyages out of New York and head to Miami for year-round Caribbean cruises. It’s not too late to book your chance experience this impressive food lineup first-hand.
Ever dream of sailing to the beautiful Galapagos Islands or enjoying a wine cruise on the Columbia River? While these ships are built for a smaller number of guests, their newest itinerary is anything but small. Here are a few of the stand-out voyages in their lineup:
- Beginning April of next year, the 62-guest Safari Voyager will sail to Panama for the first time on 22, 8-night cruises. Stops include Panama City, Guna Yala, Panama Canal, Pearl Islands Archipelago, Darien Jungle and Chagres River.
- The 48-guest La Pinta will depart Quito, Ecuador on 8-night voyages to Galapagos Islands from April to October 2017. This cruise stops at the Charles Darwin Research Center and Punta Vicente Roca on Isla Isabela.
- Wine lovers can book a weeklong river cruise to either the Columbia and Snake River on the 88-guest S.S. Legacy. These cruises stop at a number of wineries in Washington and Oregon and guests are treated to onboard wine tastings and presentations, as well as a chance to explore Red Mountain and the Columbia and Willamette valleys.
For additional 2017 itineraries, visit the Un-Cruise Adventures website.
Harmony of the Seas is set to deliver many first-at-sea experiences, but before she embarks on her inaugural sailing out of Barcelona in June, Royal Caribbean conducted a traditional delivery ceremony in Saint Nazaire. They also honored the crew who made this billion-dollar ship come to life. Some of her stand-out features will include:
- The Broadway debut of Grease in the Royal Theater
- 11,252 works of art displayed througohut the ship and Central Park (which also include 10,587 plants, 52 trees and 48 vine plants. In other words, a full-blown forest at sea.)
- The fastest internet at sea, VOOM, for those who want to stay connected while on vacation
- The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea that plunges you down 10 stories
- 23 swimming pools, two FlowRider surf simulators and waterslides, including the Perfect Storm and SplshAway Bay (pictured below)
The 5,479 guest ship is set to arrive in her homeport of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale this November for 7-night western Caribbean voyages. But before that, she'll homeport in Barcelona for 7-night sailings in the western Mediterranean.
Guests who sailed on Fathom's inaugural trip to Cuba were suspected to have contracted norovirus.
MV Adonia has been all over the news in recent weeks, most notably for being the first U.S cruise ship to sail to Cuba. However, this time, everyone's talking about what happened on board after leaving the Caribbean island.
14 passengers reported feeling ill on their last day at sea and the word "norovirus" began to float around as a possible cause. One media outlet received word from Carnival Corp. confirming that, while there indeed were a few sick passengers on board, these passengers fully recovered and no new cases of illness arose. Norovirus is most commonly found on cruise ships, and while the ship's doctor did not specifically test for this illness on board, the crew took special precautions to ensure that whatever was going around did not spread to other passengers.
RANDOM, BUT COOL
Norwegian Cruise Line wins “Heroes of the Month” after saving a stranded cruiser.
No one appreciates the feeling of being left behind while on vacation (just ask this woman who nearly missed her Disney cruise and lost it at the airport, or the woman whose Royal Caribbean cruise left Nassau without her). But sometimes, amidst the cries and complaints (because yes, we’re far more likely to hear about what goes wrong in the world), a beacon of hope rises from the ashes in the form of people who go above and beyond their call of duty to help someone in need.
In the case of cruiser Frances Guarino, she found out that some of the best heroes wear Norwegian Cruise Line uniforms.
Passport blunders put a damper on her cruise plans
Guarino was just about to sail on a 9-day, 79th birthday celebration cruise aboard Norwegian Gem last month when she realized that she’d mistakenly brought her expired passport instead of her newly renewed one. Devastated at facing the idea of staying behind, she came face-to-face with the two people who would save the day, her 9-day vacation and, essentially, her 79th birthday.
Enter the “Godsends” (named by Guaraino, but also known as Paul and Tony)
After attempting, and failing, to find someone who could retrieve Guarino’s renewed passport for her, NCL staff members Paul and Tony drove Guarino to her Staten Island home to retrieve it. They arrived back at the pier with only 10 minutes to spare, but she was able to board her cruise and sail off with her friends and her shiny new passport.
Good for you, Paul and Tony.