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, June 30, 2010

Norwegian Cruise Line Partners with SVEDKA Vodka on Ice Bar

In another first, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced an exclusive partnership with SVEDKA Vodka and Inniskillin ice wine to be introduced on board Norwegian Epic, its largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship ever. As part of the partnership, this unique frozen bar will be called the SVEDKA Ice Bar and will feature specialty SVEDKA and Inniskillin ice wine drinks.

Inspired by the original ice bars and ice hotels in Scandinavia, the cruise industry’s first true ice bar is the ultimate chill. This frozen chamber is set in changing hues of blue, green and purple LED lighting that simulates the Northern Lights and creates a distinctive arctic atmosphere. The SVEDKA Ice Bar features a bar, walls, tables, stools, glasses and life-size sculptures all made from ice. Guests are given hooded coats and gloves to keep them warm, since the room’s temperature does not rise above 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

The SVEDKA Ice Bar accommodates 25 people and can be reserved from 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. nightly. The cost is $20 per person and includes two signature cocktails served in specially-created glasses made entirely of ice. There are six specialty drinks made from SVEDKA vodka and Inniskillin ice wine including: Polaris: SVEDKA Citron, Inniskillin ice wine, and lemon/lime soda; Cobalt Blue: Inniskillin ice wine, SVEDKA vodka and Blue Curacao; Nordic Apple Juice: SVEDKA vodka, Sour Apple Schnapps, Midori and a splash of fresh sour; Caribbean Dreams: SVEDKA Citron, Triple Sec and lemon juice; Sunburst Yellow: SVEDKA vodka, peach liquor and orange juice; and Northern Lights: SVEDKA Citron, Cointreau and Blue Curacao.

Imported from Sweden, SVEDKA Vodka is premium vodka that is distilled five times. Inniskillin ice wine is made from grapes that are produced in the Niagara Peninsula. Pearl ice wine, which is used in the SVEDKA Ice Bar cocktails, is an intensely concentrated sweet wine made from grapes naturally frozen on the vine. Grapes for this ice wine are harvested at a temperature of 14ºF.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Carnival Adds New 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Options from Jacksonville and Tampa

Carnival Cruise Lines will introduce new seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise itineraries from Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla., in 2011. The cruises will be offered on the Carnival Legend from Tampa and Carnival Fascination from Jacksonville both of which are currently based at those ports but have never before offered these itineraries.

From Jacksonville, the recently renovated 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination will offer a series of six week-long Exotic Eastern Caribbean cruises to Grand Turk, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, and Nassau, complementing the ship’s popular four- and five-day Bahamas/Key West departures. Departure dates include April 30, May 7, July 23 and 30, and Sept. 17 and 24, 2011.

From Tampa, the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend will add five new seven-day Exotic Eastern Caribbean cruises featuring Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Key West to its existing week-long western Caribbean cruise schedule. The new week-long Exotic Eastern Caribbean cruises will be offered May 1, June 26, July 24, Aug. 7 and Oct. 16, 2011.

Half Moon Cay is a crescent-shaped island offering magnificent beaches, a children’s water park, private cabanas and a variety of shore excursion opportunities. Grand Turk is an eight-square-mile island paradise with beautiful white-sand beaches, the Caribbean’s largest Margaritaville restaurant and centuries-old historical sites. Known for its perpetually laid back ambiance, Key West has a character all its own, with numerous bars and lounges lining historic Duval Street and myriad watersports opportunities. The Bahamian capital of Nassau offers gorgeous beaches and a host of shops, restaurants and boutiques.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Third/Fourth Person Cruise Free on Fall Foliage Cruises with MSC

Third/fourth adults and kids 17 and younger cruise free when sharing a stateroom for select fall foliage, Canada/New England cruises onboard MSC Poesia; reduced rates begin at $599 per person, double occupancy through July 31.

This latest promotion offers affordable rates for guests of all ages to recognize the beauty and charm offered at the ports along the Canada and New England coastline.

Fall foliage cruises vary from 6-10-nights and depart from New York City and Quebec City. Prices listed below are per person based upon double occupancy with third/fourth person in stateroom cruising free-of-charge. Government fees and taxes for all guests in stateroom are additional.

• 10-night “Dazzling Fall Foliage” cruise roundtrip from New York City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Quebec City, Quebec; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York, New York. September 22; rates begin at $999; was $1,399 for a $400 savings (plus $72.90 pp.);
• 7-night “Scenic Splendors of Fall” cruise from New York City and calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; and Quebec City, Quebec; October 2; rates begin at $699; was $999 for a $300 savings (plus $78.50 pp.);
• 7-night “Captivating Colors of Canada” cruise from New York City and calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Quebec City, Quebec. October 16; rates begin at $719; was $999 for a $280 savings (plus $79.25 pp.);
• 9-night “Autumn Leaves to Palm Trees,” cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; New York, New York; and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. October 23; rates begin at $849; was $1,199 for a $350 savings (plus $102.40 pp.);
• 6-night “Maple Leaves & Mansions” cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York, New York. October 23; rates begin at $599; was $899 for a savings of $300 (plus $81.40 pp.).

Visit or call us at 1-800-788-2545 for more information.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Celebrity Cruises Pairs with Food Network

Celebrity Cruises has long been recognized for offering award-winning cuisine, and in August, the brand will pair the top-rated megaship, Celebrity Solstice, with invitation-only events sponsored by Food Network and designed for culinary enthusiasts, through the first “Food Network at Sea” program.

The only cable channel dedicated to connecting viewers to the power and joy of food, Food Network established Food Network at Sea to allow consumers to not only watch the network, but to experience it firsthand, on the August 22, 2010, seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing of Celebrity Solstice.

In addition to exclusive participation in engaging culinary demonstrations led by star chefs Cat Cora of Iron Chef and Aaron Sanchez of Chefs vs. City, guests who purchase the special cruise package also will have the opportunity to savor the following:

* VIP pierside check-in
* Red carpet “welcome aboard” reception
* “Battle of the Celebrity Solstice Chefs” competition event
* “Dine-around” experience featuring samplings of favorite Food Network recipes
* Access to the Food Network VIP Lounge and screening room
* Caribbean cocktails on Celebrity Solstice’s Lawn Club
* Pre-paid gratuities and special turndown gifts

Complementing the activities offered by Food Network exclusively for guests who book the Food Network at Sea package are the industry-first attributes including its half-acre Lawn Club with real grass, a glassblowing show and studio developed with The Corning Museum of Glass, unrivaled dining venues offering trendsetting cuisine and design, and widely varied entertainment. The 2,850-guest vessel also has spacious staterooms and bathrooms, and several categories of accommodations, including Celebrity’s spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms.

For more information on this and other Celebrity Cruises, visit or call us at 1-800-788-2545.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Royal Caribbean and DreamWorks Animation Announce New Partnership

Royal Caribbean International and DreamWorks Animation have teamed up to bring the next evolution of family programming and entertainment onboard Allure of the Seas, sailing in December 2010.

Guests sailing with Royal Caribbean International and DreamWorks Animation will discover once-upon-a-time moments filled with their favorite characters from Shrek®, Madagascar™, Kung Fu Panda® and more.

Debuting exclusively on Royal Caribbean, beginning with Allure of the Seas, guests onboard will be surprised with DreamWorks-themed activities throughout their cruise vacation, featuring characters year-round from DreamWorks favorites.

• Character Meals
• Character Parades
• Photo opportunities with the characters
• 3-D Movie Theater
• First-run DreamWorks films onboard
• A one-of-a-kind AquaTheater show
• A unique ice show featuring characters from How to Train Your DragonTM
• Surprise and delight moments

After premiering onboard Allure of the Seas, many of these activities and amenities will be incorporated into Royal Caribbean's renowned entertainment programs onboard Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Carnival Spirit Commences Alaska Sailings Roundtrip From Seattle

Carnival has begun its schedule of seven-day Alaska cruises round-trip from Seattle.

In total, 17 week-long Alaska cruises will operate from the Port of Seattle through August 31, 2010, departing Tuesdays aboard the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit.

Port calls on these voyages include the popular Alaskan destinations of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as Victoria and cruising Tracy Arm Fjord.

Carnival Spirit is the ideal ship to visit Alaska. Eighty percent of its staterooms feature an ocean view or balcony – perfect for viewing the passing scenery.

Hurry and book one of these amazing sailings to the Last Frontier! Call us at 1-800-788-2545 or visit for rates and further information.

Celebrity Mercury to Become Second Ship in TUI Cruises Fleet

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Mercury will become the second ship in the fleet of TUI Cruises, a cruise brand established in 2008 through a joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and TUI AG, tailored for the German market. The new ship, to be named Mein Schiff 2, will become sister ship to Mein Schiff (the former Celebrity Galaxy), which set sail in May 2009.

Celebrity Mercury joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in November 1997, and was built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany - builder of Celebrity’s widely heralded, new Solstice Class fleet. The 77,713-ton ship carries 1,898 guests (double occupancy) and 909 crew.

Celebrity Mercury will complete its scheduled sailings through the February 14, 2011, itinerary. Guests with individual bookings and named group bookings on Celebrity Mercury on or after February 26, 2011 have the option to either cancel their booking or move to any Celebrity Mercury sailing from Baltimore from October 18, 2010, through February 14, 2011, with the exception of the December 20, 2010 itinerary.