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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Carnival Spirit to Launch Mexican Riviera Cruise Program from San Diego in December

Carnival Cruise Lines will introduce a new one-of-a-kind schedule from San Diego encompassing five- and nine-day Mexican Riviera voyages aboard the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit beginning Dec. 10, 2010.

On this unique program, five-day cruises will visit the popular resort town of Cabo San Lucas for two full days, while nine-day cruises will also feature a two-day call in Cabo San Lucas in addition to visits to the stunning seaside destinations of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and La Paz, the first time this port has been featured as a regular stop on a Carnival itinerary.

“Carnival Spirit’s convenient new schedule from San Diego provides consumers with two distinctly different West Coast cruise choices – a value-packed five-day cruise and a port-intensive nine-day itinerary, both calling at world-class resort destinations along the Mexican Riviera,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

The two-day visits to Cabo San Lucas were selected based on guest feedback requesting more time to enjoy this popular destination which is highlighted by its distinctive rock formations, lush landscape and aqua-blue waters teeming with tropical fish.

Nine-day cruises depart Friday and return Sunday so guests can enjoy a longer cruise with more time in the spectacular ports of call, all within a typical weekend-to-weekend vacation period. Five-day cruises depart Sunday and return Friday, offering the ideal short cruise vacation at an attractive price.

Nine-day cruises will also call at Puerto Vallarta, a charming city where guests can relax on gorgeous white-sand beaches or stroll along the famed Malecon, a seaside walkway lined with restaurants, art galleries, and shops. Also featured is Mazatlan, known as the Pearl of the Pacific for its beautiful beaches, abundant marine life, and myriad fishing and diving opportunities. Rounding out the itinerary is La Paz, a sun worshippers’ paradise famous for its excellent sportfishing, snorkeling and scuba diving, with white-sand beaches stretching the length of its magnificent waterfront.

For more information on the Carnival Spirit itineraries, visit or call us at 1-800-788-2545.

Nickelodeon and Norwegian Cruise Line Hit the Open Sea

Norwegian Cruise Line and Nickelodeon today announced the dates and itineraries for the two 2011 "Nickelodeon All Access Cruises." These special Nickelodeon-themed cruises will give guests exclusive access to a fun-filled, seven-day itinerary of Nickelodeon-themed entertainment all day, every day on board Norwegian Jewel from New York on February 20, 2011, and on the cruise line's newest ship, Norwegian Epic, from Barcelona on July 24, 2011.

"'Nickelodeon All Access Cruises' only on Norwegian Cruise Line will provide families with the ultimate vacation experience at sea," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian's chief executive officer. "These immersive cruises offer the freedom and flexibility that Freestyle Cruising provides with the ability for families to get up close and personal with Nickelodeon."

"We are very excited to offer families unique and exclusive Nickelodeon entertainment programs on two world-class vessels, Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Epic," said Howard Smith, executive vice president, Nickelodeon Recreation. "'Nickelodeon All Access Cruises' offer the ultimate cruise experience with a thrilling line up of Nickelodeon entertainment combined with Norwegian's world-class ships and exciting itineraries."

The inaugural "Nickelodeon All Access Cruise" on board Norwegian Jewel sets sail on February 20, 2011, with a round-trip seven-day itinerary from New York sailing to Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island. Norwegian Epic's "Nickelodeon All Access Cruise" departs on July 24, 2011, from Barcelona on a seven-day Western Mediterranean cruise to Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), and Naples, Italy; and Palma, Majorca, Spain.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Royal Caribbean to Upgrade its Presence in Tampa

Royal Caribbean International will enhance its deployment season in Tampa beginning in November 2011, with the Jewel of the Seas.

Launched in 2004, the 90,000 ton Radiance Class Jewel of the Seas holds 2,500 passengers and more than 850 crew members. At 962 feet in length, the ship will offer passengers an array of dining, entertainment and recreational opportunities. RCI credits the ship as having the highest percentage of outside cabins in its fleet. Jewel of the Seas will replace Radiance of the Seas, which is scheduled for 44 sailings from Tampa for the 2010-2011 season. Vacationers will enjoy options including two, five-night and a four-night Western Caribbean itinerary from Tampa.

For more information on these or any Royal Caribbean sailings, visit or call us at 1-800-788-2545.

Celebrity Cruises Sends Ship To Spain To Rescue Stranded Vacationers

Celebrity Cruises is dispatching its newest ship, the Celebrity Eclipse, to Spain to rescue more than 2,000 British vacationers stranded by the ash-caused shutdown of flights across Europe.

The Miami-based line says it is canceling the first leg of inaugural celebrations for the 2,850-passenger vessel, scheduled to begin Thursday in Southampton, England, so the ship can take part in what is becoming a Continent-wide effort to repatriate thousands of waylaid citizens of various countries to their homes.

Celebrity says it is working with U.K. tour operators to arrange the repatriation. Some of the British vacationers the ship will pick up, on package holidays in Spain, have been stuck in the country since last Thursday.

Celebrity says the Eclipse, which arrived as scheduled in Southampton this morning, is immediately turning around to sail for Bilbao, Spain, where it will arrive early Thursday. After collecting the UK traveler, it will return to Southampton, arriving late Friday evening.

Still, the line says that for now, at least, it plans to go ahead with the naming ceremony for the Eclipse planned for Saturday in Southampton.

Cunard to Promote “All Things British”

Cunard Line has announced a new partnership with BritWeek Los Angeles (17 April – 8 May), a star-studded celebration of British film and television, music, fashion, art and design, entertainment, business innovation, food, and sports, highlighting the rich relationship between the United Kingdom and Los Angeles. Cunard’s participation includes co-sponsorship of the BritWeek Gala charity dinner honouring Virgin Founder and CEO Sir Richard Branson on 22 April at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Cunard has donated a lavish voyage package from Los Angeles to Hawaii aboard Queen Victoria, in celebration of the ship’s first Americas season starting in 2011. Beneficiaries of proceeds from the BritWeek Gala, including the Queen Victoria voyage live auction, are Virgin Unite and Save the Children.

Being an internationally recognised British cruise vacation brand and having North American headquarters located north of Los Angeles in Valencia, Calif., Cunard has long fostered a connection between England and America. North American guests who sail with Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria enjoy British traditions as part of legendary voyages, including white-gloved afternoon tea service, a traditional English pub and Royal Nights themed formal balls. Additional opportunities to experience this rich British heritage will become available with the launch of Cunard’s new Queen Elizabeth, debuting this October in Southampton, England.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Norwegian Epic To Host Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest cruise ship, the Norwegian Epic, will be the host site of this year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® display in New York harbor. The stellar fireworks display will take place on Sunday, July 4, 2010. The highlight of the event is a national, one-hour, live entertainment broadcast on NBC-TV beginning at 9 p.m. and some very special invited guests will have a front row view of the fireworks display and musical performances that will be remembered for long time.

As Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, Norwegian Epic will be an ideal venue for the fireworks show. Guests will have incredible views of the New York skyline and river from the ship’s pool and outer decks. The expansive ship – the length of more than three football fields — will provide multiple vantage points to view the largest and most spectacular fireworks display in the nation.

In addition to hosting the Macy’s Fireworks broadcast on board Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line is partnering with Macy’s to offer a Norwegian Epic Vacation Getaway Cruise for four on board the ship as part of a national sweepstakes.

Spectators from coast-to-coast will have a front row view of the fireworks by tuning into NBC’s national broadcast of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular beginning at 9:00 p.m. (check local listings). In addition to the splendor of the nation’s largest fireworks display, the spectacular entertainment broadcast will feature a star-studded line-up of performances by America’s most popular recording artists.

Viewing information, spectator tips and fireworks event sweepstakes information will be available as of June 2010 at or by calling the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Hotline at (212) 494-4495.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

New Lanai Barbecue Venue A Hit With Carnival Dream Guests

The new open-air barbeque on The Lanai aboard the Carnival Dream has been a huge hit with guests, attracting upwards of 700 diners each day. Located along the ship’s expansive outdoor promenade, the new barbeque option was introduced a few weeks ago and features a variety of delectable grilled items, from sliders and chicken to quesadillas and hot dogs, along with salads, homemade chips and salsa and traditional barbecue accompaniments.

The new al fresco venue is just one of several casual dining choices on board. The massive 3,646-passenger ship also features a 1,700-seat poolside eatery called The Gathering with an Indian tandoori, burrito bar, Mongolian wok station, a custom-made pasta venue, a New York-style deli, extensive salad and dessert bars, and Carnival’s ever-popular 24-hour pizzeria. These casual alternatives complement delicious full-service meals available in the Scarlet and Crimson main dining rooms and The Chef’s Art Steakhouse serving prime steaks and other gourmet cuisine.

Carnival Dream operates year-round seven-day Caribbean service from Port Canaveral, Fla., carrying an estimated 200,000 guests annually from that port. For more information on the Carnival Dream, call us at 1-800-788-2545 or visit

New Innovations on the Disney Dream

Adding to its impressive list of cruise industry firsts, Disney Cruise Line will combine technology-infused innovations and imagination to create a whole new level of magical experiences for families sailing on its newest ship, the Disney Dream. Throughout their cruise vacation, guests will encounter unexpected magic – such as a restaurant that transports guests under the sea, artwork that magically comes to life and youth clubs filled with immersive gaming environments and personalized character encounters.

Disney Cruise Line partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative force responsible for designing Disney theme parks and resorts world-wide, to develop new forms of family entertainment for the Disney Dream. New experiences planned for the Disney Dream include:

Animator’s Palate
For the Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line is re-imagining a fan favorite from the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder – Animator’s Palate restaurant. The dining room is transported to the ocean floor and Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” makes special appearances, swimming around the restaurant and engaging in live impromptu interactions with guests.

Interactive Play-floor
For young cruisers, Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab will feature an interactive play-floor, where children can engage in team play exercises where their movements control the action on the interactive floor. For example, one activity has children scrambling around the perimeter of the interactive play-floor with their movements controlling the pitch of a virtual tilt maze.

Living Characters
Also in Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab youth areas, Disney characters come to life and interact with children in one-of-a-kind experiences. On a 103-inch screen, Crush, the animated sea turtle from the Disney•Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo,” or the mischievous animated alien Stitch make scheduled appearances to chat, play and joke with kids in live, unrehearsed conversations.

Enchanted Art
Throughout the Disney Dream, guests will encounter Enchanted Art that immerses guests in Disney storytelling in a completely new way. Enchanted Art magically comes alive when guests pause to admire the artwork. In addition, the Enchanted Art is used as part of a one-of-a-kind detective themed adventure where guests of all ages join a ship-wide quest to find clues.