Shermanstravel Blog

Cruise

Opener

Christine Dayao

There’s much to admire on Viking Cruises’ first ocean-going ship, the Viking Star: beautiful decor, all-veranda staterooms, complimentary WiFi, impeccable service, the cuisine, and a friendly staff. But since we returned from our Lisbon-to-London media preview voyage in May, we often find ourselves daydreaming about the beautifully designed sitting areas throughout the ship.

Featuring custom furniture, the seating areas are well-appointed for cozying up with a good book or just watching life pass by — and there’s plenty of seating for the ship’s 930 passengers so it never feels crowded. The furniture is simplistically stunning: Scandinavian-style, characterized by clean lines and soft color palettes — you certainly won’t find any garish neon accents on this ship. Here, a photo tour of our favorite places to lounge on the Viking Star.

Read more

Star Legend

Facebook.com/WindstarCruises

Many think that small-ship cruising is the equivalent to private yachting: exclusive, pampering, and out-of-reach. After the recent launch of two of Windstar’s power yachts, the 212-passenger Star Breeze and Star Legend, setting sail in Europe and the Caribbean, we can testify that only two-thirds of these assumptions hold true. A posh experience, yes – Star Breeze and Star Legend’s passenger count indeed makes you feel like a privileged few, and the upgrades lend the ships a refined polish. But — perhaps surprisingly — you won’t be turning out empty pockets after paying for it. Here’s what to expect on two of Windstar’s newest ships.  Read more

Silver Shadow

Silversea Cruises

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every week for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Read more

miami-skyline-reflected-istock

iStock

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every week for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Launch update for Virgin Cruises.
Months after Richard Branson announced his new cruise project in December, we’ve finally learned that Virgin Cruises will debut in 2020, with one ship homeporting in Miami. Two more will launch in 2021 and 2022, and all three ships will be mid-sized and carry 2,800 guests each. None of the ship names were revealed yet, but we know the first one will be offering weeklong Caribbean cruises from the South Florida port.

Read more

Floating Market Willemstad Curacao

Christine Wei

The Caribbean is a classic destination for an affordable, short getaway during the summer. Prices have dropped, flights are aplenty, and the islands are close enough for an extended weekend trip. But as we get into July and especially August, rains get heavier and heavier — unless you’re outside the hurricane belt, of course.

Of the ABC islands — Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao — Curacao arguably has the best mix between rugged adventure and urban offerings, so you can feel like you’ve truly escaped without the risk of getting bored.  It’s the biggest of the three islands in geographic size, and sun-seeking travelers visit for the diving, hiking, and nice touch of sophistication. The Dutch influence here is strong, so you’ll rub elbows with European visitors and find colonial architecture among the humbler residences.

With JetBlue’s new twice weekly direct flights from New York’s JFK Airport, launched just this past December, there’s never been a smarter, more convenient time to plan a trip. Here’s a neighborhood overview.

Read more

eurail austria pass

Eurail

It’s summertime, and for many that means that big family vacations are just around the corner. And if you’ve done some traveling with kids, whether yours or not, you know the extra head count can add up. Thankfully, there are tons of travel perks for families this season, from cruises to Broadway shows to theme parks. Here, some higher-ticket items that makes traveling with the kids a much easier — and even free.

Read more

amawaterways river cruise vs ocean cruise

AmaWaterways

River cruising has been the fastest growing segment of travel for several years — but is it the perfect fit for you? Before you board a river cruise to sail through Europe, Asia, or other destinations with smaller ports that are well-suited for river cruising, consider these 10 differences between small ship and mega-ship sailing.

Read more

water bottles

pixabay.com

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

A crackdown on sneaking alcohol onboard.
Starting July 9, Carnival Cruise Line will no longer permit guests to bring bottled non-alcoholic beverages onboard during embarkation. It’s an attempt to speed up embarkation, they say — having to examine all bottled beverages, thanks to guests attempting to smuggle alcohol on board, causes delays. Guests will still be able to bring up to 12 unopened cans or cartons of non-alcoholic beverages, plus, per old policy, one bottle of unopened wine per person on embarkation day.

Read more

Nobu on Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises

There are restaurants that consistently rank at the top of every nearly every critic’s list. The highest among them comes from Thomas Keller — chef and mastermind behind New York City’s Per Se, where the multi-course tasting menu starts at $310, and the San Francisco-area French Laundry, where the prix fixe is $295. Reservations at these top tables open a month in advance and, more to the point, sell out as soon the line opens.

Have a hard time getting your name into the books? Try heading for the high seas. Thomas has signed a contract with Seabourn Cruise Line to first bring his menu dishes to the line’s various restaurants before the end of 2015 — and then to introduce his namesake restaurant onboard Seabourn Quest in the spring of 2016. Booking this restaurant onboard the cruise ship could be easier than getting a table at Per Se, and meals are included in the fare. (Previous Seabourn Quest sailings have started at $2,999 for seven nights.)

Keller isn’t the first chef to lend his name to a cruise ship restaurant. Book a cabin on one of the following vessels to get a front row table to award-winning, celebrity chef restaurants.

Read more

Mantis - facebook.com_ZambeziQueen

Mantis / Facebook.com/ZambeziQueen

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Ooh-la-la! A dreamy French replica is hitting the seas.
Tall ship line Star Clippers is constructing a five-masted, square-rigged barque that will be a near-replica of the France II, a famous French sailing ship built in 1912. But the new vessel will feature modern-day amenities — like three pools, a water sports platform, four lounges, and a restaurant with open-seating dining — as well as a variety of cabins and 34 suites. The 300-passenger ship will debut in Europe in 2017, and it’ll be the fourth ship in the Star Clippers fleet.

Read more

viking star stateroom - secret desk vanity compartment - christine dayao

Christine Dayao

Viking Cruises’ first foray into ocean cruises is causing quite a stir in the cruising industry. Up until now, they’ve been among the heavy hitters of river cruising, and everyone’s been eagerly awaiting how river’s all-inclusive model, education programs, and more will be translating to the high seas. But after a recent Lisbon-to-London media preview, we think the Viking Star also deserves an identity of its own. Irrespective of its history, luxury doesn’t even begin to describe the experience of being on the nine-deck, 930-passenger “small ship.” So here’s a first, objective look at one of the most important areas of any cruising vessel: the staterooms.

Read more

Santorini, Greece - Susan B. Barnes

Susan B. Barnes

Just when we thought we couldn’t love Eurail any more, it decided to add a new ferry program to its roster. Travelers who land in Greece (perhaps by way of Italy) will now have a much easier time getting off the coast to the surrounding islands, thanks to the new Attica Pass.

Read more

Disney Magic - Flickr_Bob Owen

Flickr/Bob Owen

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Disney Cruise Line is taking its magic back to the Big Apple in the fall of 2016, after homeporting elsewhere since 2012. The 950-guest Disney Magic will sail a series of five- to eight-night voyages from New York to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean, and Canada. On three of these sailings, guests can visit Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay — and, in Florida, enjoy a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket with roundtrip transportation between the ship and the resort.
Rates not yet released.

Read more

zumba cruise - royal caribbean internatinal

zumba-cruise.com

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea. 

Grab your workout shoes. The first Zumba cruise, featuring 130 Zumba celebrity instructors from around the world, will cast off from Fort Lauderdale next January aboard Royal Caribbean International‘s 1,360-passenger Independence of the Seas. The four-night sailing will visit Falmouth, Jamaica, and Royal’s private island, Labadee. Onboard, dance and fitness sessions will reign.
From $842 per person, based on double occupancy.

Read more

Cruise Tracker: Cuba Sailings in December & More

Flickr/Bryan Ledgard

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Dreaming of Cuba like everyone else? This December through April 2016, American cruisers will be able to sail into five ports in the country aboard a three-masted, 49-guest schooner. Small ship company AdventureSmith Explorations is adding Cuba to its roster of destinations, which currently includes Alaska, Europe, and the Galapagos. The seven-night People to People Cruise begins in Havana and visits a handful of ports along the island’s western and southern shores.
From $4,799 per person based on double occupancy, covering roundtrip air from Miami, visa, and mandatory Cuban medical insurance.

Read more

Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals