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CELEBRITY CRUISES ENHANCES CARIBBEAN ITINERARIES TO OFFER GUESTS EVEN MORE OVERNIGHTS MIAMI, FL – Celebrity Cruises is offering guests an unmatched experience by introducing additional overnight stays on more than 40 Caribbean sailings for January 2016 and beyond, more than any other cruise line. The popularity of Celebrity’s current overnight program has led to 43 newly enhanced itineraries, giving guests the chance to enjoy exciting evenings in destinations such as Cartagena, Colombia; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Cozumel, Mexico; Aruba; Curacao and Barbados. “Guests and travel agents love our overnight program in Europe, Asia and around the world, and their feedback has been amazing. This demand led us to revisit our current Caribbean itineraries and add even more overnights in one of the most beautiful places we sail to each year,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “With more overnights in the Caribbean than any other cruise line, we are offering our guests an incredible, unrivaled experience. They can enjoy the destination like a local before returning to our stylish, modern luxury ships.”  For more information about Celebrity’s newly enhanced Caribbean season, visit celebritycruises.com/ caribbeanovernights. About Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity Cruises’ 10 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents immersive cruise tour experiences in Alaska and Canada. Celebrity is one of six cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL). For more information, dial 1-866-202-6343, visit http://www.TheCruiseXperts.com.

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Majesty-of-the-Seas,Free-In

Royal Caribbean International won’t retire Majesty of the Seas from its fleet in 2016 after all.

Instead, the cruise line plans to upgrade its oldest ship with new entertainment and dining options and move it from Miami to Port Canaveral for three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas.

Starting in May, passengers sailing on the revamped 2,767-passenger cruise ship also will get free and unlimited access to its high-speed Internet service Voom, Royal Caribbean said.

Voom is already available to passengers sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class and Quantum-class ships at a cost of $15 daily per device, but it will be offered free for the first time to cruisers aboard Majesty of the Seas next summer.

Other new features to be added include multiple waterslides, an enhanced casino, new Izumi Japanese and Sabor Taqueria Mexican eateries and the Chef’s Table, an exclusive restaurant hosted by the ship’s executive chef and Sommelier.

Entertainment additions will include Jacuzzis, a poolside movie screen and the Dreamworks Experience, which offers activities and entertainment with Shrek, Fiona and other characters from the animation studio’s popular movies.

“We are stepping up our game,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

Consumers can now book cruises for the ship’s inaugural Port Canaveral season, which will begin May 27, 2016.

Last November, Royal Caribbean announced that it would transfer Majesty of the Seas to Spanish cruise line Pullmantur Cruises, which is owned by its parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The ship is the last of Royal Caribbean’s Sovereign-class vehicles. Two others — Sovereign of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas — were previously transferred to Pullmantur.

The 74,077-ton Majesty of the Seas sailed its maiden voyage April 26, 1992, and was built at Chantiers de L’Atlantique (now STX France) in St. Nazaire, Royal Caribbean said.

Enchantment of the Seas will replace Majesty of the Seas at PortMiami and will sail on short Caribbean itineraries, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman said Thursday.

Arlene Satchell, Sun Sentinel

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By: Jena Tesse Fox, Travel Agent Central

Results from the Greek referendum on Sunday showed voters soundly rejecting the terms of an international bailout, according to the BBC and other sources. Greece’sgoverning Syriza party encouraged its citizens to vote “No” on the bailout, saying the terms were humiliating.

The “Yes” campaign warned that rejecting the terms could see Greece ejected from the Eurozone. Some European officials had also said that a “No” would be seen as an outright rejection of talks with creditors. But Greek government officials have insisted that a “No” vote would strengthen their hand and that they could rapidly strike a deal for fresh funding in resumed negotiations. They expect Greek banks to reopen by Tuesday.

According to Al Jazeera, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande announced after the voting had ended on Sunday that they would meet in Paris on Monday evening (local time) to discuss the results and the country’s future role in the Eurozone. The New York Times is reporting that Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s “combative” finance minister, who took a strong stand in demanding that creditors write off some of his country’s debts, abruptly resigned on Monday morning. Varoufakis had played a key role in rallying votes for a resounding “no” on the referendum, and as the paper noted, Greece’s Eurozone creditors may be more willing to continue negotiations on a further aid package without him. His departure, reportedly at the urging ofPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras, could be seen as a concession to the sensibilities of other Eurozone leaders, whom Varoufakis allegedly alienated.

“I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum,” Varoufakisposted in his blog. “And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”

The Impact on Travel and Hospitality

The turmoil may be good for Greece’s travel and hospitality industries, however. As the Washington Post notes, the instability and the “massive” stimulus program by the region’s central bank have sent the Euro “plunging” against the dollar. The currency hit a 12-year low in March of $1.05. It began to grow again in the ensuing months, but began sliding again in mid-June as the crisis in Greece became headline news.

This means that the American dollar is now much stronger throughout Europethan it has been in years, meaning visitors may well be able to not only stay longer, but upgrade their hotel and travel experiences.

Several travel sites have advertised deals on European vacations. Orbitz touted Greece as “a world of destinations,” and Lufthansa named Athens its “pick of the week.” (The Post noted the irony in Germany’s flag-carrier promoting Greece’s capital, as Germany has drawn the hardest line among European nations in negotiations with Greece.)

Tourism accounted for about 16 percent of Greece’s economy in 2013 and supported 657,000 jobs, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. The Australian Financial Review noted that international tourist arrivals to Greece rose almost 21 percent in 2014 to more than 24 million. Hotels, restaurants and bars had expected similar growth this year, but with the recent news, “many” visitors have canceled their Greek trips while others arrive with wallets “stuffed” with euros.

According to the country’s ferry operators’ union, bookings for journeys around the Greek islands are down 30 to 40 per cent from the same period last year, and schedules are being pared back to conserve fuel.

The Nation’s Economy

According to the Washington Post, Greece’s banks are at risk of collapse in the coming days, and the country could be forced to leave the historic monetary union. Investors may refuse to lend Greece money at almost any cost, as banks and the government lack essential funds to operate. Over the weekend, formerU.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers wrote:

“Greek banks will run out of cash early in the week, probably on Monday. There will be an immediate need to either provide them with some sort of IOU scrip to meet demand for funds or to resolve them in some way, as Greece lacks the capacity to create Euro. What the Europeans do and the decisions the Greeks make will shape the future of Greece and the Euro area.”

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Carnival CruisCarnivalMagic2-300x178wphone Line will build upon its leadership position in Port Canaveral, Fla., expanding capacity on three- and four-day Bahamas cruises by 34 percent and deploying its newest class of ship on seven-day Caribbean voyages in 2016.

Carnival will enhance its short Bahamas cruise program from Port Canaveral with Carnival Victory replacing Carnival Sensation on this popular route in February 2016. The move not only increases capacity on the three- and four-day cruises but also provides guests with a greater variety of on-board features and amenities, including more than 500 balcony staterooms aboard Carnival Victory.

Additionally, Carnival Magic will reposition to Port Canaveral in December 2016 to offer two different seven-day Caribbean itineraries, providing consumers with exciting new week-long cruise vacation choices from Central Florida.   Carnival Magic is part of the line’s newest class of ship and offers such features as a WaterWorks aqua park, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant and SportSquare outdoor recreation area.

In turn, Carnival Sensation, which boasts WaterWorks, Serenity adults-only retreat and numerous other features, will shift to Miami in February 2016 to operate the line’s attractive and convenient year-round four- and five-day cruise schedule.

“We are significantly ‘upping our game’ in Port Canaveral with the addition of these great new ships to the important and growing Central Florida market,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “When these ships join the spectacular Carnival Sunshine, this dynamic trio of ‘Fun Ships’ will offer our guests and valued travel agent partners the widest array of attractive and convenient cruising options from the Space Coast,” she added.

Expanded Capacity on Short Cruises from the Space Coast

Carnival Victory, currently based in Miami, will reposition to Port Canaveral to launch a schedule of three- and four-day cruises beginning Feb. 25, 2016, dramatically expanding the line’s capacity on this program. On this route, three-day cruises depart Thursdays and visit Nassau, while four-day cruises depart Sundays and call at both Nassau and Freeport.

In addition to providing a newer, larger ship on short cruises from Central Florida, Carnival Victory boasts a variety of on-board features, including a 14,500-square-foot spa, four swimming pools – one with a 214-foot-long water slide – along with 18 lounges and bars whose stunning interiors are inspired by the world’s most famous bodies of water.

During their time in the Bahamas, guests can relax on gorgeous white-sand beaches, enjoy numerous shopping, dining and sightseeing opportunities and partake in a wide range of watersports, from snorkeling and scuba diving to kayaking, parasailing and deep-sea fishing.

In October 2016, Carnival Valor — currently based in Port Canaveral and scheduled to undergo an extensive dry dock in March 2016 that will add a variety of Fun Ship 2.0 innovations — will take over Carnival Victory’s three- and four-day Bahamas cruises from Central Florida on a year-round basis. Carnival Valor will be the only ship operating three- and four-day cruises to offer the line’s highly acclaimed Fun Ship 2.0 features. Carnival Victory will subsequently move to another homeport.

Exciting New Seven-Day Choices from Port Canaveral

Carnival Magic will kick off its Port Canaveral-based program with a special eight-day cruise departing Dec. 9, 2016, and featuring St. Thomas, San Juan, Amber Cove (Dominican Republic), and Grand Turk.  The ship will then launch year-round seven-day cruises from Port Canaveral Dec. 17, 2016, offering two distinctly different week-long itineraries – a western Caribbean route featuring Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) and Costa Maya; and an eastern Caribbean option calling at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk and Nassau or Amber Cove.

Carnival Magic features a wide variety of Fun Ship 2.0 innovations, including a massive WaterWorks aqua park featuring a 312-foot-long Twister water slide, the DrainPipe funnel-style water slide and a 300-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket, along with an expansive SportSquare outdoor recreation area highlighted by a suspended ropes course with breathtaking views to the sea 150 feet below, and a Caribbean-inspired watering hole called RedFrog Pub.

Carnival Magic will join Carnival Sunshine which offers seasonal five- to eight-day Caribbean voyages from Port Canaveral and is the only ship in the Carnival fleet to offer all of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 innovations, along with unique features like the Speedway Splash water attraction, Ji Ji Asian Kitchen and the Latin-infused Havana Bar.

Special 12-Day Carnival Journeys Cruise on Carnival Magic

In preparation for its Space Coast debut, Carnival Magic will offer a special 12-day Carnival Journeys cruise departing Galveston Nov. 27 and arriving in Port Canaveral on Dec. 9, 2016.  Featured ports will include Cozumel; Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama; Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colombia; Aruba, and Grand Turk.  Carnival Journeys is a unique collection of nine- to 15-day voyages featuring exotic, less visited ports in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and Hawaii and offering a number of exclusive on-board experiences and activities.

Carnival Sensation’s New Miami-Based Short Cruise Program

Carnival Sensation will reposition from Port Canaveral to Miami to offer year-round four- and five-day cruises featuring top ports in the Caribbean, Mexico, The Bahamas, and Florida beginning Feb. 25, 2016.  On Carnival Sensation’s new Miami-based schedule, four-day cruises depart Thursdays visiting Key West and Cozumel or the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, and Nassau, while five-day cruises depart Mondays and Saturdays featuring some of the top ports throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas, including Grand Turk, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Amber Cove, Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay.

Additional Information and Reservations

These new itineraries from Port Canaveral and Miami are currently open for reservations.

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The Cruiser

We’ve all been there. That dreaded cruise hangover.  But on a cruise, the  captain is your designated driver, so why not live it up?  The only thing  you have to do is have a good time! Right? – but be smart!

Hangovers suck. It may cause you to miss an excursion, late for debarkation or just feel like crap the next day. Here are some tips crowdsourced from fellow cruises and professionals on how to avoid that dreaded cruise hangover.

Before You Drink

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It’s no secret that alcohol causes dehydration. Keep your body well hydrated before you head to the bar. Slam some extra waters before slamming the drinks.

2. Carb it up. Your body will metabolize alcohol based on what kind of food you eat. Eat a lot of protein, fats and carbs before ordering your first drink. This isn’t going to stop your hangover but will give your body nutrients before the big night.

3. Go (Port) Shopping. And make sure Gatorade is on that list. Gatorade is also known for its large number of electrolytes; consuming a bottle the next day can help your body regain its balance.

While You Drink

4. Stay clear. The darker liquors have more toxins and sugars in them. Try switching it up to a clear alcohol like Vodka. According to a study at Brown University,  bourbon contains 37 times more toxic compounds than vodka.

5. One to one ratio. Try matching an 8 oz. glass of water with every drink. It’ll keep the tissue around the brain hydrated and will assist in keeping you headache free the next day. This works wonders for me.

6. Avoid Champagne. “The carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages like champagne helps absorb the alcohol,” says Boris Tabakoff, a pharmacology professor at the University of Colorado. “You get a faster rate of absorption, higher blood alcohol levels – and brain levels – if you drink champagne as opposed to something non-carbonated.”

After You Drink

7. Take a multivitamin. This tip comes from a Harvard article. Those who drink may benefit the most from by getting extra Vitamin B, since alcohol moderately depletes our body’s store of it.

8. Water. This is a reoccurring theme. Our bodies are around 65% water. Alcohol is a diuretic (makes you pee) and purges water from our body. So it’s obvious that we must replenish the fluids we lose. So put that big bottle of expensive water bedside!

9. Go for a deck walk. Even though bright light is probably the last thing you want to see, did you know that oxygen increases the rate that alcohol is broke down? Fresh air also promotes metabolism and blood flow, so it’s good all around.

Final Thoughts

The only surefire way to avoid a hangover is to not drink, especially on the last night of your cruise. There’s nothing worse than having to disembark and travel with a hangover.

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV or the radio! The contents of this post are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

photo: Flickr

The post 9 Ways to Avoid a Cruise Hangover appeared first on Cruise Radio.

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Mark Tamis

Mark Tamis, who had a high-profile role as Carnival Cruise Line rolled out several innovations over the past year and a half, has been hired by rival Royal Caribbean International.

Miami-based Royal Caribbean named Tamis senior vice president of hotel operations on Friday. He had previously been senior vice president of guest operations at Carnival, which is based in Doral.

Tamis starts the new job March 2. He will take on responsibilities for hotel operations that were held by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, who was named president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises in December. In the position, he will oversee hotel services, food, beverage, entertainment and private destinations and will report directly to Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley.

At Carnival, Tamis was front and center when the cruise line introduced new dinner concepts as well as the Carnival Live concert series, which has brought acts such as Chicago, Gavin DeGraw and Jennifer Hudson on board for shows. He also rolled out details of Carnival Vista, the line’s new ship launching next year.

Before moving to Carnival in 2010, Tamis was chief operating officer of The Setai Hotels and Resorts and worked for Ian Schrager Company and Four Seasons Hotels.

BY HANNAH SAMPSON

Miami Herald

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The biggest cruise ships in the world are getting a bigger sister next year, and Royal Caribbean has given her a name, Harmony of the Seas.

“We are orchestrating a medley of new exciting concepts with the best Royal Caribbean innovations to strike the perfect chord for adventurous vacationers. That is why we are calling our third Oasis-class ship Harmony of the Seas,” said Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley.

The Harmony of the Seas will be just slightly larger than the line’s two other Oasis-class ships, the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, which both sail out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Harmony will be 227,000 gross registered tons, which is 1,718 tons larger than the two earlier vessels. The line says the ship will hold 5,479 passengers at double occupancy in 2,747 staterooms, which is 41 more staterooms than either older ship.

Currently under construction at the STX France shipyards in Saint Nazaire, France, just where the 16-deck vessel will debut in April 2016 will be revealed in March, as will the home port of Royal Caribbean’s third Quantum-class ship under construction, the Ovation of the Seas, which is also due in April 2016.

Fort Lauderdale was originally named the home port for the line’s newest ship coming to market, the Anthem of the Seas, coming this April. That ship recently got its first taste of water at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenberg, Germany. But with the growing market in China, Royal Caribbean changed itineraries to send Quantum of the Seas, which debuted last fall, to sail 3-to 5-night cruises from a variety of Asian ports, which caused a shuffle that will send Anthem of the Seas to Cape Liberty to serve the New York market.

“South Florida specifically as being the No. 1 cruise sourcing in the market, it only behooves any cruise company to have their latest greatest ship sailing from South Florida,” said Stewart Chiron, known at the Cruise Guy.

Whether that means Miami or Port Everglades will get either of Royal Caribbean’s ships due in 2016 remains to be seen.

As far as Harmony of the Seas goes, it will be similar to the lines Oasis-class ships with features like Central Park, which has real trees and grass in the middle of the ship. What’s new on Harmony, though, will be three water slide that will hang out over Central Park 10 decks below. One of those slide will feature a bowl feature that lets riders swirl around before sliding out a hole in the middle before exiting the ride.

The line often takes concepts from its newer ships to roll out in new designs, as well as retrofit older ships when they go into drydock. That notion means there will be more robot bartenders at sea as the Bionic Bar, which debuted on Quantum of the Seas, will also be aboard the Harmony.

As far as accommodations, virtual balconies will be installed in inside staterooms offering an ocean view of sorts, while single cruisers will have studio options. Those ponying up for suites will get more exclusive areas including a private lounge, sun deck and their own restaurant called Coastal Kitchen.

The line announced some specialty restaurants aboard including Izumi Hibachi & Sushi and Sabor Modern Mexican as well as Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, a new concept that promises a culinary adventure for the senses in a whimsical setting.

“The Oasis class ships continue to astound and delight both new and experienced cruisers. They shatter preconceived notions of what cruising can be and continue to stand in a category by themselves,” said Royal Caribbean Cruises Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain. “With Harmony of the Seas, we are making the most exciting experience at sea even better.”

os-harmony-of-the-seas-waterslide-jpg-20150225This rendering shows the three multi-story waterslides planned for theRoyal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, suspended above the ship’sCentral Park 10 decks below. (Handout, Royal Caribbean International)

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