Shermanstravel Blog

Cruise

drinks on the balcony - norwegian cruise line

facebook.com/NorwegianCruiseLine

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.

In a first for ocean-going cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line is expanding its all-inclusive concept to cover free beer, wine, and cocktails (up to $11 in value) for adults, plus free soda and juices for youngster ages 3 to 20. It’s a practice typically found only on luxury lines and on river ships, and it’s being rolled out next January on just one ship, the 2,000-passenger Norwegian Sky (at least for now). But how much of a bargain is it, exactly? It would depend on your typical bar tab. Here’s a comparison: The cruise fare for a three-night Bahamas cruise from Miami in January aboard Norwegian Sky starts at $339 per person — while a Carnival cruise for three nights to the Western Caribbean the same month, aboard the 2,000-passenger Carnival Ecstasy, begins at $179 per person sans free drinks.

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free room service on celebrity cruises

Celebrity Cruises

For a lot of travelers, few things are as indulgent as ordering room service. Getting our favorite foods catered to us as we lounge about practically shouts “I’m on vacation!” and it’s a luxury that we’re used to paying small markups for. But did you know that on cruises, room service is largely free for all meals? A gratuity for the crew member who delivers the meal is suggested (though optional), of course, otherwise you only may have to pay additional when ordering during late-night hours.

That said, two major cruise lines have recently changed their room service policies. Here’s the scoop:

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Sydney, Australia harbor

Flickr/Kay Adams

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.

Remember our mention last week of Anthem of the Seas, sister ship to Quantum of the Seas? Yet another is joining the Royal Caribbean International megaship clan. The 4,180-guest passenger Ovation of the Seas will head to Australia in winter 2016 — becoming the biggest ship ever to homeport in the Land Down Under. Itinerary and fare details haven’t been released, but we’re tickled by the fact that the North Star aerial observatory will reach higher than the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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All Aboard! 5 Dinner Cruises We Love

Facebook.com/TheWaterTable

Sure, they may be a little cheesy, but what’s wrong with combining a delicious dinner with exploring new sights? This is especially true when you consider the recent renaissance in culinary quality, service, and atmosphere in recent years. Here are just five favorites we love hopping onto for delicious eats and smooth sailing.

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Deal Alert: 4 Perks Worth Up to $1,550 on Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises

Is 2015 the year that you’ll take a cruise? If you’re still on the fence about getting on the high seas, we’ll let Celebrity Cruises’ Pick Your Perk offer do the persuading. Until May 10, the cruise line is giving guests a choice of one of four perks when they book cruises of four nights or more, for sailings June through December. To be eligible for the special, you must book an ocean view or higher stateroom. (It excludes Celebrity Xpedition, transatlantic, transpacific, and repositioning cruises.)

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Adventures by Disney Gets into the River Cruise Business

Adventures by Disney

Disney is setting sail once again — but not on the seas via its own beloved cruise line. Adventures by Disney, the company’s family touring arm, is partnering with river cruise company AmaWaterways for four sailings on the Danube River in 2016.

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adults-only solarium deck pool on royal carribean international's anthem of the season

Royal Caribbean International

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.

There’s another new mega-ship on the high seas. Royal Caribbean International‘s 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas, sister ship to the acclaimed Quantum of the Seas, is now cruising to its summer homeport of Southampton, England. In November, it’ll reposition to New Jersey’s Cape Liberty Cruise Port and sail winter cruises to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England. The ship boasts many of the high-tech delights that were introduced on the Quantum, like the 300-foot North Star observatory, RipCord skydiving simulator, and adults-only Solarium deck.
A 14-night August itinerary in Italy and the Mediterranean starts from $2,699 per person.

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cruise periscope

pixabay.com

At some point or another, a cruise is usually in order for most travelers. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or great views, non-stop entertainment or lots of culture, there’s something out there to fit the bill.

But, speaking of the bill, these escapes aren’t always cheap. After all, you’re getting food, entertainment, lodging, and activities all in one — and you’ll probably want to splurge on a few extras like shore excursions and alcohol. To help soften some of the spending, here are eight different ways to find better cruise prices.

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Alaska is French yacht company Ponant's newest cruise destination

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.

Looking for a bit of Europe in the States this summer? The Marseille-based luxury expedition line Ponant is making its first foray into Alaska with two yachts, carrying just 264 guests each. The seven- and 14-night cruises will be bilingual, but American guests will have many chances to make new friends from across the pond as they sail either between Juneau and Vancouver (L’Austral) or from Nome to Vancouver (Le Boréal). Expect perks like open bar, butler service for suite guests, and close-up experiences with polar bears, caribou, puffins, and other wildlife.
Seven nights aboard L’Austral in July starts from $3,990 per person.

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Viking Fontane longship Elbe River

Viking River 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 Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

When Viking River Cruises christened a dozen new river ships on Tuesday, it brought its river cruise fleet to a whopping 60 ships — maintaining the cruise line’s reign as the largest river cruise line in the world. The 12 new vessels will be sailing along the Rhine, Danube, and Elbe Rivers this year, including a 14-night Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest. Haven’t sailed with Viking yet? No fear. Six more ships are planned for next year, meaning no want of options for cruising.
July rates for the Grand European Tour start from $4,362 per person, based on double occupancy.

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8 Disney Cruise Line Freebies to Snap Up

Christine Dayao

We’d be lying if we said we didn’t keep an eye out for freebies on a Disney vacation. They just make the whole trip a lot more, well, magical. We already gathered some tips for what you can nab gratis, like pins, birthday cards, and more. But when we recently sailed aboard Disney Cruise Line, we discovered even more opportunities for more free goodies on the ships. Here’s what you can find and where:

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new cruises ship MSC Seaside

MSC Seaside

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.

MSC Cruises‘ newest and biggest ship doesn’t set sail from Miami until 2017, but we’re already getting excited. The 4,140-guest MSC Seaside is being designed as an “ultra-modern” ship with plenty of outdoor bells and whistles, including a two-deck interactive waterslide, a high-speed Aqua Tubes water ride, and a ropes course. On this new class of ships, you can also expect panoramic oceanview elevators, a waterfront “promenade,” and more.

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Deal Alert: 3 Perks Worth Up to $1,350 Value on Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises

For savvy seafarers in search of savings, spring is shaping up to be an opportune time to book your next cruise. From now until March 31, Celebrity CruisesSpring into Savings promotion lets travelers choose one of three perks, from beverages to onboard credit.

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viking star infinity pool - viking ocean cruises

Viking 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.

Check out this insane infinity cruise pool! It belongs to the 930-guest Viking Star, the much-anticipated ocean-going ship from river cruise giant Viking Cruises. Come April 11, we’ll finally be able to see how Viking’s beloved culture-focused approach on the river translates to the blue-water seas. After the inaugural from Istanbul and christening in Bergen, the ship will set sail for Scandinavia and the Baltic; the Western and Eastern Mediterranean; and the British Isles. (Psst — There’s currently a 2-for-1 cruise promotion with airfare discount, bookable through March 31.)

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godafoss, akureyri, iceland

Flickr/Stig Nygaard

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.

Can you believe this? Oceania Cruises will offer a whopping 90 new itineraries in 2016 to catch the attention of even the most seasoned cruisers. The ships will call at 20 new ports, two of which especially caught my attention: Piombino in Italy and Akureyri in Iceland. Piombino is a little-visited destination on the Italian Riviera, and calling here means the opportunity to explore its 13th century castle and the stunning Tuscany countryside. Iceland is the latest must-see destination, and near Akureyri passengers can view the famous Goðafoss (pictured). And we’re not the only ones who are excited — the new journeys, along voyages for the new Sirena ship next spring, led to Oceania’s single biggest booking day in history.

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