Catch up on Cruising: Latest cruise news in bite size

Queen of Mississippi cruises the old-fashioned way
Experience the old-fashioned taste of cruising on the Mississippi in an authentic paddle wheeler with American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi.

Last week, the authentic 150-passenger paddle wheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, set off on its first sold-out eight-day roundtrip to New Orleans, bringing back memories of the good old days of slow, lazy cruising on the famous waterway.
It’s the first authentic paddle steamer to be built in almost 20 years but although she looks every part the dignified river queen of yesterday, she sports all the mod cons, including roomy staterooms with private balconies, free internet, room service and satellite TV.

Charles Robertson, CEO of American Cruise Lines told Cruise Weekly it represents the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Mississippi river-boating.

“21st Century amenities are offered aboard an authentic paddle wheeler that is historic in appearance,” he added.

Destinations in 2012/13, extending to the Ohio River, include New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, St Louis, Cincinnati and Minneapolis.

 

Sea-view showering with Celebrity Cruises
If you’re not daunted by the possibility of being seen naked in the shower by several hundred people on a cruise ship, then read on.

Celebrity Cruises is about to launch its new ship, Celebrity Reflection, which boasts an all-glass shower designed to extend over the edge of the ship so you can see the fantastic sea views.
The shower will be in the Reflection Suite, Celebrity’s first two-bedroom suite, with round-the-clock-butler service, on the 14th deck of the boat.

But, you’ll be relieved, or perhaps disappointed, to hear that Celebrity’s Lisa Lutoff-Perlo told Cruise Weekly the company has made a big investment in ensuring guests can enjoy the shower without being seen.

“They can enjoy breath-taking sea views while discreetly showering, courtesy of the Shower’s special reflective glass, but, if they seek even further privacy, the shower also features smart glass; at the flick of a switch guests can activate an electromagnetic technology which instantly transforms the glass from transparent to translucent,” she adds.

 

Crystal Symphony’s ‘extreme makeover’
Crystal Cruises’ five-year US$65 million-makeover of Celebrity Symphony is complete.

Every stateroom and public space onboard the ship has been redesigned, the paddle tennis court resurfaced, the tenders spruced up, and general maintenance of all the ships’ vital operating equipment updated.

The public space redesign includes the Avenue Saloon, Palm Court Lounge, Galaxy Showroom, Hollywood Theatre, Bridge Lounge, Fantasia and Waves’ ‘junior cruisers’ area and the Tender Landing/passenger boarding area.

Crystal’s President, Gregg Michael, told Cruise Weekly that they wanted to create something “both highly contemporary and yet extremely accessible”.

“The ultimate result is all our guests’ favourite gathering places now feeling even more welcoming, while also offering the stylish sophistication and comfortable elegance luxury travellers look for in a holiday setting, and expect from Crystal,” he added.

 

Costa tries to reduce its carbon footprint
Costa Cruises is picking up an environmental brownie point for trying to recycling all its waste on its ship Costa Pacifica.

The Sustainable Cruise Project is the world’s first-ever shipboard experimental project involving the use of innovative ways of recycling several types of waste: packaging, bio-degradeable waste and paper.

The project is co-funded by the European Commission and will see Pacifica coordinate with European port waste disposal waste facilities to try and increase the amount of recycling.

All their organic food matter will be pulped and turned into compost.

One of the aims of the project is to set up a new voluntary certification scheme for shipboard waste treatment  – and how it affects its carbon footprint.

This might possibly lead to the introduction of specific EU environmental legislation for shipping.

 

Berlitz goes digital with new cruise guide app
If you’re trying to find the best cruise holiday, you can’t go wrong with the 2013 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2013.

Berlitz is releasing its independent and ad-free 28th edition of the guide as an app in September this year and a paperback book in October.

The app, downloadable from iTunes for iPhone and iPad, together with the book, contains 284 reviews and star-ratings of almost every ocean-going ship in the world.

As well as rating cruise ships generally, there’s now greater focus in chapters on safety, cuisine, cabin choice, expedition ships and nature cruises, world voyages, smaller operators, where to cruise and ‘what the brochures don’t tell you’.

For the list lovers among you, there’s also checklists and tables covering subjects such as 10 Smart Ways to Save Money, Extra-cost items, Who owns who, and very importantly for families, An Essential Checklist for Parents Cruising with Children.

The app, usefully, allows users to search and filter ships according to desired criteria, such as size, cabin type or family-friendliness.

 

Visit Alaska Unleashed
Innersea Discoveries has three Alaska Unleashed departures next year during the northern hemisphere summer.

They’re promising the itineraries will have longer and more exhilarating hiking and kayaking adventures in daily small-group excursions.

The three week-long voyages between Juneau and Ketchikan will depart 08 Jun, 13 Jul and 10 Aug 2013, with the
itinerary set to explore Misty Fjords National Monument, Revillagigedo Island, Behm Canal, Thomas Bay, Baird Glacier, Frederick Sound, Stephen’s Passage, Windham Bay, Fords Terror Wilderness and Tracy Arm.

 

Faster to the Fun with Carnival Cruises
Guests booked on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Liberty will be allowed priority boarding from 20th August.

This means that, for a small fee, you can board the ship early, with luggage delivered to your cabin before you arrive.

The Faster to the Fun programme will only be available to a small number of people and can be booked pre-cruise with Cruise Factor.

As an extra bonus, these passengers can also use priority lines to leave and return to the ship when in port.

 

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