The Cruise Cafe

Welcome to Cruise Cafe. The great new place to find out the latest in the cruise business. Whether it be the latest specials, great new itineraries or information on cruise ships or cruise lines. Feel free to add comments on your experiences too. You can always find out more at or by calling us at 1-800-788-2545. For the latest specials, follow us on Twitter at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Disney Cruise Line Introduces a Virtual Porthole for Inside Staterooms. . .

With the Disney Dream setting sail on Jan. 26, 2011, preparations are underway to expand the one-of-a-kind family experience, utilizing technology to enhance the world-class entertainment and legendary guest services onboard. From stem to stern, the Disney Dream will offer a cruise experience that caters to the preferences of the whole family.

Disney Cruise Line introduces another stateroom innovation with all inside staterooms on the new Disney Dream featuring a Virtual Porthole that provides guests with a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Virtual Porthole.

As guests observe the impressive outside views, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters such as Peach the starfish from the Disney-Pixar hit film "Finding Nemo," or Mickey Mouse may pop by the Virtual Porthole.

The Disney Dream is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage Jan. 26, 2011, and will sail alternating three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. During summer months, the ship will alternate four- and five-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay. Guests can book their Disney Dream cruise beginning Nov. 9, 2009.

For more information on the Disney Dream, call us at 1-800-788-2545 or visit us at

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Going for a Swim in the Atlantic Nearly a Thousand Miles from Shore

"Guests had been telling me they would like to take a swim in the Atlantic and at dawn on Thursday, Oct. 15, I knew that this was the day. The seas were as still as a pond.", said the Captain of the SeaDream II.

The vessel, owned by SeaDream Yacht Club, is equipped with a small retractable marina deck that is often extended when the ship is in the sheltered bays of the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. It wasn't necessarily designed for the open ocean. But on this trans-Atlantic cruise, the seas of the Atlantic were so unusually calm that the captain concluded it was safe to offer passengers a rare open-ocean dip.

The vessel was 958 nautical from the Azores and 1,541 nautical miles from its destination, San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the time.

SeaDream Yacht Club is an innovative, yachting company that operates the twin, ultra-luxury mega yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II. When they were originally introduced they soon became the prototypes of the casual and intimate yachting experience. SeaDream Yacht Club has built upon this legacy and today the two sleek and rakish SeaDream yachts are highly acclaimed by discerning travelers seeking a unique seagoing experience and by travel industry observers everywhere.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Princess New Family Cruisetours in Alaska

Princess Cruises is once again leading the way in Alaska cruisetours with its new Family Cruisetours to alaska. Alaska is famous for wildlife and nature at its best, and Princess Cruises thinks the whole family should get to enjoy it. With its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and plethora of active adventure opportunities, Alaska offers the perfect family vacation. The tours will offer many exciting shore excursions to bring the family together and create a lifetime of fabulouys memories.

The 12-night cruisetour offers the best of Alaska by land and sea and includes a variety of special features not usually included in a cruisetour package. Families will have the opportunity to travel on a jetboat, pan for gold, take an interactive tour of Denali National Park, and experience what Alaska is like in the winter when it’s many degrees below zero.

The cruisetour (number: FUN) is offered at a 25 percent discount for all berths, so all members of the family are included in the special pricing.

“This is really the ultimate family vacation,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “Alaska is a wonderful travel destination with kids, so we wanted to make it easy and affordable to plan the perfect Alaska experience for everyone in the family.”

The Family Fun cruisetour includes a seven-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise plus a five-night land tour featuring one night at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and two nights at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. At sea, families can also take advantage of Princess’ many onboard programs especially for children, including a special Junior Ranger program in Glacier Bay National Park.

For more information on what is included special in these cruisetours, visit us at or call us at 1-800-788-2545.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Carnival Cruise Lines Implements New Safety Briefing

Carnival Cruise Lines will implement a new Safety Briefing, formerly referred to as the “Boat Drill”. The new Safety Briefing will be rolled out throughout the fleet by the end of 2009.

According to SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea), Chapter III, Regulations 19.2.2. and 19.2.3, whenever new passengers embark, a passenger Safety Briefing shall be given immediately before sailing or immediately after sailing. Passengers shall be instructed in the use of the lifejackets and the action to take in an emergency.

Therefore, when the signal for the Safety Briefing blares out, guests will no longer be required to go to their stateroom to collect their lifejackets. They will proceed directly to their assigned muster station from their location at that time.

The letter of the muster station to which the guest is assigned (according to stateroom number) is printed on the left bottom corner of the Guest’s Sail & Sign card. The guest will need to have the Sail & Sign card in hand during the Safety Briefing.

During the Safety Briefing, the Evacuation Personnel will be visible to all guests and demonstrate how to wear a lifejacket.

This new procedure will improve the guest’s experience and prevent unnecessary accidents due to hanging strings from the lifejackets as well as heat exhaustion at the muster stations during summer-type weather.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Costa Atlantica Receives Perfect Score for Vessel Sanitation

The Costa Atlantica, a member of the Costa Cruises fleet, scored a perfect 100 in a recent inspection conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The inspection was held on September 26 during a stopover in New York, one of the port calls of the Costa Atlantica during the latter part of her transatlantic cruise, which departed on September 16 from Savona and ended on October 3 in Quebec City (Canada).

The CDC inspections are part of the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which was introduced in the early 1970s and involves all ships that stop in a US port. They are unannounced events and are carried out by officials from the USPHS (United States Public Health Service) twice a year. The score, on a scale from 1 to 100, is assigned on the basis of a checklist with some 48 areas of assessment encompassing hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), water, shipboard personnel and the ship as a whole. A complete list of vessel sanitation scores can be found here.

This is the 6th time that the Costa Cruises fleet has received maximum marks from the CDC inspectors. The first vessel to obtain the perfect 100 was actually the Costa Atlantica herself in 2001, and she repeated this success in 2005; meanwhile the sister ship of the Costa Atlantica, Costa Mediterranea, obtained the top score in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

From October 3 the Costa Atlantica will be deployed on a series of three cruises along the Atlantic coast of Canada and the USA, an exclusive innovation offered by the Italian Company, to see the stunning natural spectacle of the fall foliage tinged with gorgeous autumnal shades. During the winter 2009/2010 season the Costa Atlantica will be engaged in 7-day Caribbean cruises with departures from Fort Lauderdale.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cruise To Trace Titanic's Route On Centennial Of Ship's Sinking

A memorial cruise is scheduled to set sail 100 years after the sinking of the Titanic, following the same trans-Atlantic route as the ill-fated ship, according to organizers.

The Titanic Memorial Cruise is to set sail in April 2012, departing from Southampton, England, on April 8, just as the Titanic did.

On April 15, the ship -- the Balmoral -- will arrive at the spot in the North Atlantic where the Titanic sank after it collided with an iceberg.

Passengers on the 2012 cruise will take part in a memorial service at the site, according to organizer Miles Morgan Travel.

Artifacts from the Titanic and a piece of the ship's hull have been recovered, but most of the wreckage remains where the luxury cruise liner sank.

The 12-night memorial cruise will then take passengers to Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada, so they can visit cemeteries where some of the Titanic victims are buried. The trip will end in New York, where the Titanic was headed. Prices for the trip start at $3,900.

St. Maarten Is Ready For The Oasis of the Seas

St. Maarten has built a new pier and upland support area that is ready for the Oasis of the Seas, according to Mark Mingo, CEO of the St. Maarten Port Authority. “Passenger distribution has also been carefully planned,” he said, “via water taxis and land-based transportation.” The $50 million project is intended to accommodate the bigger ships of Royal Caribbean International as well as Carnival Corporation. The upland development will cover an area from about 16,000 to 18,000 square meters when it is fully developed. A new trolley transportation system for the piers has also been installed.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Queen Victoria Visits Boston on Maiden Call

As part of a 24-day Canada/New England “Autumn Colours” cruise from Southampton, Cunard’s newest queen came to the Port of Boston on her maiden call September 28. Queen Victoria received a welcome “fit for a queen” when the Massachusetts Port Authority’s Fire-Rescue fireboat, Howard W. Fitzpatrick welcomed her in the harbor with a spectacular water display. The Queen Victoria spent the day at Cruiseport Boston’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal along with two other visiting cruise ships, Caribbean Princess and Saga Ruby.