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Carnival Cruise Lines offers special affinity group promotion through April 30

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Latest offers

As part of a new travel agent promotion, Carnival Cruise Lines is waiving its initial deposit requirement for group bookings, as well as offering an enhanced free cruise berth program, through April 30, 2014.

Through the new promotion, no initial deposit will be required for group bookings on sailings departing between November 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015.

In addition, Carnival is offering travel agents one free cruise berth for every 10 full fare guests berthed, compared to the current policy of one free cruise berth for every 15 full fare guests berthed.  As a special bonus, Carnival is offering one free cruise berth for every eight full fare guests berthed on West Coast sailings of three or four days in length.

“We’re always looking for ways to give travel agents a boost in building their lucrative group business and agents have told us that waiving the initial deposit would be an excellent way to incentivize their clients,” said Mike Julius, Carnival’s senior managing director of U.S. sales. “Our special free cruise berth program also provides agents with even greater selling opportunities, particularly on our value-packed short cruise departures from the West Coast.”

Group fares applicable to this promotion, which are available between now and April 30, 2014, begin at $229 for three- to five-day cruises and $449 for voyages of six-days or longer. Certain restrictions apply.

For a complete list of terms and conditions, travel agents may visit

Royal Caribbean extends "Kids Sail Free" offer to Grandeur of the Seas

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Latest offers

Based on popular demand, Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line known for its award-winning family programming, is extending its limited-time “Kids Sail Free” offer to its Baltimore-based ship, Grandeur of the Seas. From March 15 through March 31, 2014, vacationers in the Greater Maryland Area and beyond can enjoy complimentary cruise fare for third and fourth guests of all ages in any triple- or quad-occupancy staterooms onboard Grandeur of the Seas, as well as a 50 percent-reduced deposit. The offer is valid for all new individual U.S. and Canadian bookings and named group bookings made on sailings departing between May 2 and Dec. 9, 2014, while supplies last. For more details, please visit

Grandeur of the Seas sails year-round from the Port of Baltimore and received a $48 million bow-to-stern revitalization in May 2013, which incorporated six new specialty dining options, technological upgrades and new entertainment programming, as well as a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms. Families with toddlers can take advantage of the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, which caters to the cruise line’s youngest guests, ages six months to 36 months. Guests on Grandeur of the Seas can also enjoy a 220-square foot poolside movie screen and take in a high-flying experience whereby aerialists glide through the ship’s six-story atrium.

Throughout the year, vacationers can choose among a variety of itineraries to Bermuda, The Bahamas and the Eastern and Western Caribbean. In the summer, itineraries alternate between seven-night Bermuda sailings, featuring a two-night call at Kings Wharf, and seven-night sailings to The Bahamas, calling at Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, The Bahamas; and CocoCay – Royal Caribbean’s private Bahamian- island paradise. In the fall, Grandeur of the Seas will alternate between six-night Bermuda and eight-night Canada and New England sailings. The winter season will consist of rotating 10-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, as well as eight-night sailings to The Bahamas.

Costa Crociere brings Costa neoCollection slow cruising to Mediterranean

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Latest offers

Costa Crociere, the talian unit in the Carnival Corp & plc group, says it marks the advent of ‘slow cruising’ with the introduction of its Costa neoCollection Mediterranean cruises. "Available on board Costa’s smaller ships bound for destinations off the beaten track, the first of these cruises will be combined with the Festival of Mediterranean Cuisine, a special programme devised in collaboration with the renowned Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo (Cuneo, Italy as a tribute to the extraordinary Mediterranean gastronomic heritage," the company said in a statement.

This academic institution was set up by Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food, a global grassroots movement created to counter the rise of fast food and to work towards goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small-scale producers that safeguard local traditions and high quality products.

The Festival of Mediterranean Cuisine, which will be held from 11 April to 25 May in conjunction with the 12-day Hidden treasures of the Mediterranean cruises on Costa neoRiviera, is a unique gastronomic journey of the highest quality in pursuit of authentic taste sensations in the heart of the Mediterranean, in the very places where these culinary treats were first conceived: from Liguria (Savona) to Provence (Toulon), Catalonia (Barcelona), Sicily (Porto Empedocle), Malta (La Valletta) and Campania (Salerno).

On board Costa neoRiviera, the Festival of Mediterranean Cuisine offers guests different events linked to the appreciation of typical local food and wine; staples of the Mediterranean tradition. There are food and wine seminars and tasting of PDO (protected designation of origin) olive oil from five Italian regions, preserves made from local orchard produce, as well as wines and sweets typical of the coastal areas and islands visited. In Salerno, pasta makers from the Amalfi Coast will give a practical demonstration of the traditional method of preparing fusilli.

The homage to Mediterranean taste also involves all the à la carte restaurants and buffets on board Costa neoRiviera, with offerings including moscardini alla ligure (baby squid), traditional Provencal bouillabaisse, stoccafisso alla livornese (stockfish), coniglio all’ischitana (rabbit), crema catalana (low fat crème brûlée) and cassata al forno (cake made with ricotta). 

The menus consist of dishes and recipes selected in partnership with the Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo and are designed to foster the regional traditions of the destinations visited by using local produce and specific ingredients protected by Slow Food Presidia, such as Cetara anchovies and Conio beans.

The Festival of Mediterranean Cuisine programme gives guests the chance to indulge in food & wine tasting, dinners in typical local restaurants and exclusive neo experienceshoreside excursions for small groups of less than 25 people, specially devised in line with Costa’s new slow cruising philosophy


The Costa neoCollection combines great attention to detail on board with the discovery of cultural heritage and scenic nature ashore. On the ship everything is designed to allow each guest to experience the cruise at their own pace. With more flexible dining hours in the restaurant, lighter entertainment and original services like high tea, brunch on days at sea, dinner under the stars or the new concierge providing assistance in the choice of custom-made solutions for shore side tours and special services.

The itinerary

The 12-day Hidden treasures of the Mediterranean itinerary on Costa neoRiviera departs from Savona (and also offers the possibility of joining the cruise in Porto Empedocle, Salerno and Livorno) to discover new destinations in Italy, France, Spain and Malta.


Costa neoRiviera sails from Savona, where guests can visit Finalborgo and Noli to see a special cooking lesson devoted to farinata (chickpea pancake) and pesto alla genovese. The next stop is Toulon, where guests can visit romantic Provence, including the pearls St. Tropez and Cannes, or discover the little island of Porquerolles, an un-spoilt natural paradise with white sandy beaches and pine forests. Enthusiastic epicures will be especially interested in the renowned Soviou estate, where they can sample wine, olive oil and olives.

The following day, the destination is Barcelona. This gives art lovers the opportunity to visit the Dali Museum at Figueres, Salvador Dali’s hometown, before spending a night out on the town soaking up the Catalan city’s pulsating nightlife, thanks to a made-to-measure late night excursion. The next destination heads to Sicily in Italy with a visit to Porto Empedocle, the gateway for unforgettable tours to celebrated temples. Highlights include the Valle dei Templi, the archeological sites of Segesta and Selinunte, Erice, San Vito Lo Capo and Modica, where guests can sample the famous chocolate made by Dolceria Bonajuto.

The following port call in Malta also offers exceptional culinary experiences. The ship will dock at La Valletta until midnight, giving guests the chance to dine at the famous Ristorante Rubino. Another highlight is the stopover in Salerno, with a whole day until 2amdevoted to exploring the famed Amalfi Coast and enjoying one of the finest views on the coast on the Belvedere terrace with an aperitif at the Michelin-starred Ristorante Rossellinis.

A must-see during this port call is Amalfi, with its main local monument the Duomo – characterised by the splendidly decorated, almost gaudy façade and steep flight of stairs – dominating the piazza. Finally, Livorno is ideally placed for excursions to Pisa and Florence, offering the best of the Italian Renaissance. Here, guests can choose to end this very special gastronomic journey in style with a visit to the Argentinean winery and the opportunity to try fine wines accompanied by a delicious selection of ham, cheese and fresh crusty bread, Costa said.

Royal Caribbean seeks UK blogger for Allure of the Seas' Mediterranean season

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Latest offers

Are you looking for a whole new challenge? Do you think you can take on the longest zip line at sea, the tallest floating rock climbing wall, discover a new destination nearly every day and try out over 20 restaurants in one month? If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of the above then Royal Caribbean International’s ‘Blogger-On-Board’ opportunity could be the challenge of a lifetime for you.

Royal Caribbean International is inviting one lucky person to become a guest blogger aboard the innovative cruise ship Allure of the Seas in the Mediterranean in 2015.

The ‘Blogger-On-Board’ will be whisked away to join the ship for a whole month during summer 2015.  Charged with reporting on life aboard a ship as well as the destinations visited, the opportunity promises an awe inspiring backdrop to the experience including  a real outdoor park longer than a football pitch complete with real grass; a zip wire; 20 pools and whirlpools, and an outdoor AquaTheater and of course an ever changing postcard destination every day.

To be in with a chance to win, would be bloggers simply need to and in no more than 500 words or a 60 second video explain what their most ‘WOW’ travel experience involved. For full terms and conditions and details regarding the judging stages please

For those who might not want to take a month’s break from everyday life, Allure of the Seaswill be offering a full season of seven-night cruises, from 3 May 2015 when it arrives in Barcelona.  . Prices for a seven night cruise cruise-only will start from £799 per person. For more information please visit

Princess Cruises offers up to 40% off with Summer Super Savers

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Latest offers

Princess Cruises is offering special fares on memorable summer vacations with a special Summer Super Savers promotion offering cruise deals of up to 40% off. More than 150 summer cruises are featured in the sale, including sailings to the Caribbean, the Great Land of Alaska and Princess new Japan sailings. The March 4 to April 1, 2014 sale also features a special reduced deposit of only $100 per person.

More information about the summer cruise sale and pricing can be found at

Sample summer vacation cruise deals include:

– Alaska Voyage of the Glaciers cruise: 7 days: $579 interior (was $979); $1,070 balcony (was $1,749)
– Alaska Inside Passage cruise:  7 days: $649 interior (was $899); $1,199 balcony (was $1,399)
– Caribbean cruise:  7 days: $699 interior (was $1,049); $999 balcony (was $1,399)
– Japan:  9 days: $1,299 interior (was $1,989); $1,999 balcony (was $2,989)

Additional information about current cruise deals and promotions can be found at

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy. The Summer Super Savers sale runs from 12:01 a.m. PST on March 4 through 11:59 p.m. PST on April 1, 2014 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at