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Costa Cruises shifting capacity to Europe to meet demand in winter 2012/2013

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

In recent weeks Costa Cruises has seen significant positive booking trends in Europe, and the line is shifting capacity to Dubai/United Arab Emirates and the Mediterranean for winter 2012-13. 

The company will increase capacity in the U.A.E. by positioning a second ship in the region. From Nov. 17, 2012, Costa Classica, originally scheduled to sail in the Mediterranean, will join Costa Atlantica, offering weeklong cruises from Dubai to ports in the Emirates and Oman.

Additionally, capacity in the Mediterranean for winter 2012-13 will be increased by replacing Costa Classica (1,680 total guests) with Costa Magica (3,470 total guests). Starting Nov. 18, 2012, Costa Magica will offer 12-day cruises in the eastern Mediterranean calling at Greece, Israel and Turkey, and 11-day cruises to Portugal and Morocco in the western Mediterranean. 

Costa Magica had been scheduled to deploy with four other Costa ships in South America. Even with the deployment realignment, Costa will offer the twin flagships Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa along with Costa Serena and Costa Fortuna, representing a capacity increase of 13 percent on its popular South American itineraries.

Guests booked on Costa Magica in South America will be accommodated on a similar itinerary on one of the other four Costa ships. 

For more than 60 years Costa Cruises ships have sailed worldwide, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine, while providing holidays focused on fun and relaxation. The lines ships visit 250 destinations throughout the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Baltic, Caribbean, South America, United Arab Emirates, Far East and Indian Ocean. The line has 15 ships in service and one new ship on order from Fincantieri for delivery in October 2014.

Costa Crociere S.p.A. is a member of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest cruise operator. With revenues of 3.1 billion euros and 2.3 million total guests in 2011, Costa Crociere S.p.A. is the largest Italian travel group and comprises the brands Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Iberocruceros.

Seven Seas Navigator completes refurbishment

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 490-guest, all-suite Seven Seas Navigator emerged from dry-dock, announced Mark Conroy, the line's president. The renovation includes the complete redecoration of the ship's eight Grand Suites and Master Suites and the debut of Sette Mari at La Veranda, an intimate Italian dining experience offering both buffet and a la carte service.

"The Regent Seven Seas experience has certainly evolved over the past 20 years, and this latest renovation signals our ongoing commitment to delivering the most sought-after, all-inclusive luxury travel experience," stated Conroy. "From small touches to major upgrades such as this, the subtle luxury and unparalleled comfort of these enhancements are designed with the guest in mind."

Renovation of the ship's Grand Suites and Master Suites includes new built-in cabinetry, custom-crafted furnishings including new headboards and bedding, balcony furniture, plush carpeting, designer accessories and original art. All Navigator Suites have been refreshed with plush carpeting, wall coverings, new dining tables and outdoor furniture.

Rolling out on May 30th are a range of new perks and privileges for concierge-level and above suites that include priority shore excursion and restaurant reservations and new and enhanced amenities such as illy coffeemakers. New concierge-level amenities and perks are also available fleet wide on Regent Seven Seas Cruises' all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager. All suites aboard Seven Seas Navigator have been outfitted with new teak on the ship's balconies for added luxury and comfort.

The ship's popular breakfast and lunch buffet venue, La Veranda, has been masterfully repurposed to create Sette Mari at La Veranda offering an extensive menu of authentic antipasti and Italian specialty dishes available from the buffet and also ordered al momento (cooked to order). Al fresco dining is also available so guests can dine under the stars.

Prime 7, the ship's modern American-style steakhouse, has also been enlarged to accommodate 70 guests and features a new contemporary sculpture at its entrance. The popular Galileo Lounge has also been renewed and redecorated.

As part of the ship's fresh new look, ultra-plush carpeting has been installed throughout the public spaces and on Deck 12 guests will find updated saunas at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub(r), while the luxurious teak-covered pool area on Deck 10 will have renewed surfaces.

Seven Seas Navigator emerged from dry-dock on May 30, 2012, with a seven-night voyage from Vancouver to Seward, Alaska.

Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas completes revitalization

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News
Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas completed its $48 million revitalization today at the Navantia ship yard in Cadiz, Spain. The bow-to-stern revitalization of Grandeur of the Seas included the addition of five new dining venues, technological upgrades, a pool side LED screen, a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms as well as new entertainment offering including a spectacular aerial entertainment in its six deck Centrum. In addition, the ship received a new Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty guests, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests, a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, as well as a transformed Viking Crown Lounge that will features a stunning new design, as well as a new menu featuring bite-size delectables.

Grandeur of the Seas will spend the summer offering a variety of Mediterranean itineraries from Venice, Italy and Provence, France. Details on her upcoming itineraries can be found at

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

FCCA revises workshops for its 19th annual Cruise Conference & Trade Show

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
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The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association announces new workshops and topics for the 19th annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show taking place in Curacao, October 1-5, 2012.

Once again, the FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show will feature workshops that keep attendees ahead of the game with current and crucial information pertaining to their role in the cruise industry. In these workshops, specialized panels of FCCA Member Line cruise executives and destination partners from the private and public sectors will present to and participate with the audience to give an educational and hands-on lesson that applies to the needs of the audience of cruise industry shareholders. This year's topics for these workshops will include: The Special Needs Traveler, Training the Tour Guides, Economic Impact Studies and many more  to be announced in time to come.

A welcome addition for this year will be separate workshops spotlighting two guest speakers. A business speaker will share how to apply his successes and knowledge, and a motivational speaker will tap into his tenacity and experiences from overcoming diversity and leading all around him to give a stirring speech and head activities that will engage the audience.

Additionally, the special CEO Roundtable Discussion will return with its hosts of FCCA Member Lines' CEOs. Here, each will share their insight and knowledge of industry trends and future plans of their lines.

The FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is an annual event that brings together  key decision makers from the Member Lines of the FCCA and all those doing or wishing to do business with the cruise industry, especially partners from the private and public sectors from the private and public sectors of destination partners from  the Caribbean and Latin America. It features events that foster communication, business/relationship building and the overall mutual benefit between these entities and the cruise industry; events include one-on-one meetings, workshops, receptions and much more.

Disney Wonder offering special Pixar cruises this fall

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

A new cast of characters will stroll the decks and visit with guests aboard the Disney Wonder as Mr. Incredible, Remy, Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear and other memorable characters from Pixar Animation Studios’ award-winning films make their shipboard debut during four special Pixar-inspired seven-night California Coastal cruises Sept. 16 through Oct. 14, 2012.

During these voyages, Disney Cruise Line guests will be able to interact with and explore the world of Pixar and their beloved films while the Disney Wonder sails to popular port cities along the coast of California. Special entertainment and offerings designed for both children and adults include:

Pixar Presentations and Sneak Peeks: Artists and filmmakers from Pixar Animation Studios will provide guests with an inside look at the creative process used in the development of an animated feature or short. Guests will go behind the scenes and explore the making of Pixar’s newest release “Brave” and get a look at footage of future Pixar films.

The Art of Pixar: Storyboards, character sketches, environment paintings, maquettes and other inspiring concept art used to design Pixar films will be on display in a special art exhibition at sea. This collection of art has only been seen outside of Pixar Animation Studios when it has been displayed at leading art museums around the world. This time the art will truly be a “traveling” exhibition as the Disney Wonder sails up and down the California coast.

Pixar Film Fest: Guests will be able to enjoy the entire Pixar library of films while onboard, including a selection of delightful animated shorts. Viewing opportunities will take place in the Buena Vista Theatre, Walt Disney Theatre, at the jumbo LED screen on deck or on in-stateroom televisions. The voyages coincide with the theatrical premiere of “Finding Nemo 3D,” which guests can enjoy at either of the two theatres equipped with state-of-the-art Dolby 3D projection systems.

Pixar Character Encounters: More than a dozen Pixar characters will meet with and greet guests throughout the cruise. There will be a special Pixar-themed dance parties in the Atrium Lobby and a host of other opportunities for guests to reconnect with their favorite Pixar pals. Guests sailing on the Pixar-themed voyages will also receive a commemorative lithograph created by Pixar artist and “Brave” co-director/screenwriter, Steve Purcell.

The Disney Wonder will sail out of Los Angeles and visit San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico during the four Pixar-themed voyages. Rates for the seven-night voyages start at $799 per person for a deluxe inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.