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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Carnival Kicks Off the Year-Round Fun in Charleston

Carnival Cruise Lines officially launched its new, year-round cruise schedule from the historic city of Charleston. Carnival Fantasy will operate five-, six- and seven-day voyages to The Bahamas and Key West, Fla. from the Passenger Terminal in historic downtown Charleston. In 2011, Carnival will also offer a series of Bermuda cruises from Charleston on the Carnival Fantasy.

The 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy features a host of on-board amenities and facilities including a 12,000-square-foot health spa, extensive children’s facilities for kids in three age groups, a variety of formal and casual dining options and 12 lounges and bars.

Also featured is Carnival WaterWorks, an expansive, all-ages aqua park featuring a 300-foot-long water slide, 82-foot-long dual racing slides and a splash zone. Carnival Fantasy also offers Serenity, an exclusive adults-only retreat, and a resort-style main pool area.

For more information on Charleston departures, visit or call us at 1-800-788-2545.

Norwegian Epic To Debut New Entertainment Ticketing System

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that its largest, most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, Norwegian Epic, will feature a pre-cruise online reservation system for select on-board entertainment. Norwegian Epic is changing the face of cruise line entertainment with unprecedented and world-class on-board entertainment including Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams™ & Dinner, The Second City® Comedy Troupe, Legends in Concert, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos Show and Nickelodeon™ at Sea.

To book tickets for many of these stellar performances, Norwegian Epic guests can pre-book reservations prior to their cruise. Booked guests can go to the Norwegian website,, log in to the “My NCL” section and visit a special entertainment page where they can select and reserve their desired performance. Pre-booking will be available for performances of Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams & Dinner, Legends in Concert, The Second City Comedy Troupe, Nickelodeon™ Slime Time Live!, Breakfast with Nickelodeon™ and the Murder Mystery “Presumed Murdered.” Guests may make a reservation for each show once per sailing.

Online bookings open 45 days prior to sailing date. Reservations for entertainment events with no cover charge are valid until 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. At that time, all unclaimed reservations with be released to guests on a first come first serve basis. Cancellations of reservations for entertainment events which have a cover charge must be made no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled start time to receive a full refund. If cancellation occurs with less than 24 hours notice, the full price of the ticket will be charged. Once on board, guests may still make reservations for available shows through the ship's iTV system or by contacting the Box Office.

Royal Caribbean to Open “Historic Falmouth Jamaica” Port in 2011

For the past 3 years, Royal Caribbean has been leading an initiative in collaboration with the Port Authority of Jamaica to create a brand new cruise port of call: "Historic Falmouth Jamaica". The port is located on the North coast of Jamaica midway between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. It is currently under construction and is designed to accommodate two large ships simultaneously. It meets the operating requirements of the Oasis of the Seas and will become a marquee destination of the Oasis' Western itinerary beginning in March 2011. The new port will start to accept cruise ships in January 2011 (January 7 with Navigator of the Seas) and Oasis and Allure will start to make biweekly calls in March 2011.

Falmouth was founded in 1769 and maintains much of its historical patrimony. It was the original port of Jamaica and the site where many slaves were brought to the New World. For a time it was also the world's leading export port for sugar and rum. Time passed, shipping activity moved to Port Royale in Kingston and Falmouth harbor gradually silted in. Historic Falmouth Port will begin the revitalization of this town, now located in the booming touristic zone of the North Coast of Jamaica between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. The buildings and attractions of Historic Falmouth Port are being designed in classic Georgian style. As the phases of the port are implemented the new state-of-the-art port will blend into the old town. It is anticipated that the remaining designated historic buildings in the community will gradually be restored.

Guests arriving into Falmouth will feel like they are in the old world of the Caribbean and find themselves availed of numerous shopping and authentic dining opportunities. Historic Falmouth will blend well into the local town and will seamlessly allow the guests to experience one of the true treasures of Jamaica.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Carnival Breeze Selected as Name for Newest Carnival Ship

The Carnival Breeze has been selected as the name for Carnival Cruise Lines brand-new ship which will join the fleet in spring 2012.

The 3,690-passenger cruise ship will be constructed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, the current builder of the Carnival Magic (debuting in Europe May 1, 2011!)

As the third ship in the Dream-class, guests can expect all the amenities on the Carnival Breeze that they've come to love on the Carnival Dream. Features include expansive, modern facilities for children and teens, a 23,750-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa, and The Lanai, an outdoor promenade featuring cantilevered whirlpools that extend over the ship's sides.

Other features will include the popular WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot-long corkscrew water slide, and a stunning indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza. Of course, Carnival will offer a wide range of staterooms to match your tastes and budgets, including deluxe ocean views with two-bathrooms and some family-friendly accommodations that feature five berths.

Carnival Breeze will be the 24th vessel in Carnival Cruise Lines' fleet, which operates three- to 15-day voyages to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Europe.

If you have any questions about the new Carnival Breeze, contact us at 1-800-788-2545 or visit

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Allure of the Seas to have Chicago as Headline Show

This December, Royal Caribbean International will once again make waves on the cruise vacation scene with the debut of the world’s next largest and most innovative cruise ship, Allure of the Seas. As did sister-ship Oasis of the Seas, the arrival of Allure of the Seas will bring an unprecedented array of brand new features and onboard amenities, including one of Broadway’s longest-running and most recognizable theatric productions, Chicago: The Musical, which will headline in the ship’s main theater. Reprising the lauded at-sea debut of Hairspray aboard Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas’ Amber Theater will join an illustrious list of venues, such as the Ambassador Theater in New York City and the Cambridge Theatre in London’s West End, that have raised the curtain on the award-winning musical. A new webisode about Chicago: The Musical aboard Allure of the Seas is now playing at

Chicago fans will find that Allure of the Seas’ version of the popular production includes the same infamous cast of characters and one show-stopping-song after another, weaving together a universal tale of fame, fortune and ‘all that jazz.’ Slightly condensed to fit an approximate run time of 90 minutes, the musical will be brought to life on Allure of the Seas’ Broadway-style proscenium stage in the ship’s state-of-the-art, 1,380-seat Amber Theater.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Celebrity Launches Four New Drink Packages

Celebrity Cruises is now offering the ultimate in value and convenience. Whether cooling off with unlimited soda refills by the pool, or sipping a new varietal from their wine selection, Celebrity's Beverage Packages offer a host of options.

Select from individual packages that include refills of your choice of water and fountain sodas for one set price, or choose from our offering of wine packages.

Beverage packages must be pre-reserved a minimum of four days before your sail date.

The packages are as follows:

- The Classic Non-Alcoholic Package ($14.95) includes sodas, bottled and fresh-squeezed juices and water and premium coffees.

- The Premium Non-Alcoholic Package ($18.40) comprises everything in the Classic Non-Alcoholic Package plus specialty coffee, name-brand bottled water, energy drinks, flavored water, smoothies and frozen non-alcoholic drinks.

- The Classic Package ($44.85) has everything in the Classic Non-Alcoholic Package plus beers that cost up to $5 each, and spirits, cocktails and wines by the glass that go for up to $8 each.

- The Premium Package ($56.35) includes all beverages in the Premium Non-Alcoholic Package plus all beers, all spirits, cocktails and wines with a value of up to $12 per glass.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Carnival Ships Not Affected by Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Carnival Cruise Lines said yesterday its ships sailing in the vicinity of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are operating normally and with no interruption to their cruise itineraries.

Carnival said that the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph arrived in New Orleans Saturday morning and departed again that afternoon, and that the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy arrived this morning as scheduled in Mobile, Ala.

So far, Carnival said its ships have been able to maneuver around the spill.

Last week, the Port of New Orleans advised all ships to reroute their approaches to New Orleans as the oil spill began spreading closer to the Louisiana coastline.

Port spokesman Chris Bonura said that currently there is no presence of oil in the routes leading up to Southwest Pass, the channel that all cruise and cargo ships take to enter the Mississippi River from the Gulf, and into New Orleans.

Royal Caribbean to Expand ValidFill Soda Dispensers

Royal Caribbean sells a lot of Unlimited Fountain Soda Packages either in advance of the cruise or during the cruise. Until now, if you wanted to get your free refills you needed to find one of the bar staff, which on the pool deck often entailed waiting at the pool bar including for children. That is beginning to change.

Freedom of the Seas will soon have two soda dispensers on the pool deck that detect a chip implanted in the bottom of the Coca Cola soda mug and provide the refill automatically based on the presence of the chip. Majesty of the Seas has had one of these units as a test and they are very pleased with the results. Royal Caribbean's goal is to extend this fleetwide.