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Pacific Pearl to operate extended season from Auckland 2013

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

In response to the growing demand from New Zealanders for Pacific Island cruising, P&O Cruises Australia says it has extended its 2013 cruise season, adding three new cruises from Auckland on the Pacific Pearl to its schedule.

The new additions include the popular ten-night Island Fiesta cruise and 9-night Island Gems cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu and lastly a four-night Short Break cruise from Auckland to Sydney.

Both island cruises visit Vila, Lifou, and Noumea, with the Island Fiesta cruise also stopping at Mystery Island and Isle of Pines, and Island Gems will also call at Mare. The 2013 season will now run until June 24, making it the biggest and longest cruise season ever for New Zealanders, with a total of nine sailings on the Pacific Pearl.

Jenny Lourey, Senior Vice President of Carnival Australia, which represents P&O Cruises, said the Pacific Island and Short Break cruises for next season had already been immensely popular, with more New Zealanders than ever choosing cruising as their preferred holiday option. “We’re pleased to be offering New Zealanders more chances to escape the winter weather on the Pacific Pearl in 2013.”

The Pacific Pearl is the most recent addition to P&O’s fleet of superliners, launched in Auckland in December 2010. The ship was built in 1989 as Star Princess of Princess Cruises. Both companies are part of Carnival Corp & plc group. Guests onboard the 63,786 tonne, 1800 passenger ship will enjoy action-packed shore tours at each Pacific Island stop, fine dining on board at Australian Chef Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill restaurant*, entertaining shows and an array of relaxing spas, swimming pools and fitness centres.

P&O Cruises Australia to refit Pacific Dawn

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

P&O Cruises Australia has announced a major refurbishment of Pacific Dawn, with the superliner soon to boast interconnecting family cabins as well as some of the cruise line’s favourite features, including a giant entertainment screen on deck.

The ship, which was built as Crown Princess for Princess Cruises in 1990, joined P&O Cruises Australia in 2007 as the first of three former Princess vessels. Both companies are part of Carnival Corp & plc group. During the ship’s April 2012 revamp, a range of standard cabins will be converted to become interconnecting rooms – ideal for families – while the ship’s 50 suites and mini-suites will be upgraded with new furnishings and carpets along with artwork by Sydney photographer Tony Rae.

The Queensland-based Pacific Dawn will also emerge from its scheduled dry dock with a state-of-the-art LED Big Screen, a feature that has proved a big hit on sister ships Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl. Meanwhile, the ship’s Bengal Bar will be transformed into the Orient Pub, similar to the popular Pacific Pearl venue, featuring sporting memorabilia, Chesterfield lounges and a wide range of draft beers and ciders.

Other refurbishments during the dry dock include: A major revamp of several venues, including the Show Lounge, which will receive new carpet, upholstery and wall coverings and a new LED screen wall A refurbishment of the buffet with a new colour scheme and furniture and the introduction of screens to create a more intimate setting for the popular Pan-Asian restaurant La Luna The transformation of the Baccus Bar into the Mix Cocktail Bar, already established on Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel.

Announcing the changes, Sture Myrmell, Vice President of Hotel Operations at Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said Pacific Dawn would soon boast many of the features which had become hits on other P&O Cruises’ ships.  Myrmell said the revamp would enhance the cruise experience and predicted the Big Screen would be a winner for passengers. “The Big Screen offers endless hours of entertainment and from next year, Pacific Dawn’s passengers will join in the fun as they watch karaoke performances from the comfort of a deck chair or catch the latest release movies as they while away an afternoon at sea,” Mr Myrmell said.

The scheduled upkeep comes two years after Pacific Dawn underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment, which included the addition of Salt Grill by Luke Mangan and a new child-free Oasis retreat.

Oriana re-enters service after refit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

P&O Cruises welcomed Oriana back into Southampton today after a month-long dry dock refurbishment which transformed the ship so it is exclusively for adults. The refit saw the addition of 27 new cabins and the introduction of an Ocean Grill restaurant by Marco Pierre White, now proving very popular on Adonia, the company said in a statement.

The multi-million pound overhaul to the ship named by HM The Queen in 1995, also includes the addition of Sorrento, the new Italian restaurant concept also launched on Adonia, but this time with an outdoor dining area; a newly designed aft deck with bar; refreshed decoration in the public areas and Oasis Spa, which also now features thermal loungers and a dedicated aerobics floor; and a new look to the Al Fresco Mediterranean cafe.

Oriana departs today on a 17 night Western Mediterranean Christmas and New Year cruise, before departing on a 97 night world cruise on January 5, 2012.

P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, said: “It is wonderful to welcome Oriana back into the fleet today with a fresh new look including new cabins, new dining options and all exclusively for adults.  Oriana is the most established ship in our fleet, having been named by HM The Queen in 1995. Since then she has carried hundreds of thousands of British cruisers all over the world and I know that everyone will be excited to see her after her latest make-over.”


Signature and Reflection Suites to be introduced on Celebrity Reflection

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Celebrity Cruises has announced plans to introduce its first “Signature Suites,” and the  new “Reflection Suite” onboard Celebrity Reflectionlaunching October 2012. 


Following the successful launch of Celebrity Silhouette in July with its new features including The Lawn Club and The Alcoves, Celebrity is working with New York interior design firm BG Studio to add a new class of accommodation for Celebrity Reflection, the company said in a statemen. Located via a private entrance on deck 14 and accessed via key card, both the Signature Suites and the Reflection Suite will have use of a deck area which is exclusive to the suite guests. The entire deck can also be reserved for a private event, accommodating up to 26 guests.

Celebrity Reflection’s five Signature Suites start from £12,813.00 per person and each offer:

A 441-square-foot suite with a 118-square foot veranda

Floor-to-ceiling windows and veranda doors, all designed to maximise the stunning views of the sea.

In-room iPad

The 24/7 butler service that is a hallmark of every suite across the fleet.

Can each accommodate up to four guests


The Reflection Suite starts from £5,311.00 per person and will be the brand’s first two-bedroom suite and will feature:

A 1,636-square-foot suite with a 194-square-foot wraparound veranda, offering Panoramic views

A sea-view bathroom extending out over the edge of the ship

A veranda tub with a rain shower

Celebrity’s  24/7 butler service

In-room iPad

Can accommodate up to six guests

Another first for Celebrity Reflection is the addition of the first AquaClass Suites. Each of the new 34 suites will offer 300 square feet of interior space and 79-square-foot verandas, paired with all the features from the AquaClass accommodations. This includes exclusive access to speciality restaurant, “Blu,” for healthy cuisine and unlimited access to the serene Persian Garden .

The 34 new AquaClass Suites start from £3,722.00 per person and will bring Celebrity Reflection’s stateroom/suite total to 1,515 along with an additional eight luxurious new Sky Suites, 19 additional ConciergeClass staterooms and 11 additional inside staterooms.

“Everything we introduced on Celebrity Silhouette illustrated our devotion to offering new and differentiated experiences for our guests, and the feedback we’re receiving is rewarding validation that our guests love it – from The Lawn Club Grill, to The Porch, to The Alcoves, to The Hideaway, not to mention they continually tell us how much they love the first three Solstice Class ships,” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “On Celebrity Reflection, we’ve taken the opportunity to further elevate our onboard offerings, with entirely new ‘Signature Suites’ and our first ‘Reflection Suite,’ in addition to our first-ever AquaClass Suites, collectively creating the most vivid examples yet of the modern luxury that defines Celebrity.”









Guests booked in Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection Suite, Signature Suites and Penthouse Suite, can enjoy a premium Reverie®mattress that allows guests, with the assistance of their butler, to customise the softness of their bed. Reverie's exclusive technology enables the suite’s iPad to act as a remote control for the Reverie Sleep System, allowing guests to easily operate massage features and adjust the elevation of the mattress.   In addition, Reverie also offers and integrated remote control technology, which also enables guests to control the in-room technology from the iPad. 


Celebrity Reflection will also offer:

  • 245 more loungers on its expanded pool deck to suit the increased overall guest capacity
  • 45 additional seats in the Celebrity Theatre
  • 118 additional seats in the Oceanview Café
  • 24 additional seats each in Blu and in Tuscan Grille
  • Four additional seats in Qsine
  • 40 additional seats in the main dining room


Celebrity Reflection, fifth in class of Solstice class ships will enter service on 12 October 2012 sailing a nine-night European cruise from Amsterdam to Barcelona.


MSC Cruises adds Cork and Dublin to turnaround ports

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News
MSC Cruises says that for the first time it will be adding Cork and Dublin to four new itineraries next August and September as turnaround ports for Irish passengers.

With no fly cruising becoming increasingly popular, Irish passengers will now be able to enjoy a cruise on board the luxurious MSC Lirica without the hassle and additional expense of having to fly to their embarkation port. Customers can embark and disembark in Cork.  They will also be able to visit Dublin for excursions, while ship visits will be available for local residents and visitors alike.

Commented Lorenzo Diamantini, MSC Cruises Director of Sales for Ireland and Northern Ireland, “ The company is featuring the two ports due to the incredible growth it has experienced in the Irish market over the last three years. By positioning one of our ships in Cork , we can give many more local passengers the opportunity to experience the superb itineraries on offer.” The new itineraries that will sail to Northern Europe are as follows: (please note passengers can embark/disembark in Cork only, with day excursions and ship visits on offer in Dublin):

7-15 August 2012: Hamburg, Helgoland, South Queensferry, Invergordon, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Oban, Dublin, Cork

15-26 August 2012: Cork, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Helgoland, South Queensferry, Invergordon, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Oban, Dublin, Cork

26 August – 5 September 2012: Cork, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Helgoland, South Queensferry, Invergordon, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Oban, Dublin, Cork

5 September – 8 September 2012: Cork, Amsterdam, Hamburg