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

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Holland America Introduces Intimate Approach to Shipboard Entertainment

With the recent launch of the 2,106-guest ms Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America Line is showcasing its new approach to shipboard entertainment, opting to bring more intimacy to evening shows.

Exemplifying this new direction is the singing group Cantaré, a quartet of male performers with a pop music repertoire covering several eras.

“With this new approach we’ve focused on getting top-notch performers, and you’ll see more faces from Broadway, ‘American Idol’ and other well-known performance outlets gracing our stage,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “We’re looking to share meaningful entertainment experiences with our guests through the quality of the music and performances, as well as deliver increasingly innovative and enriching options.”

Several production shows will debut aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, including “N.Y.C.,” a musical tour of the Big Apple; “Ladies Night,” a fun and fabulous all-female revue; “Live from the Avalon Ballroom,” an extravaganza of ballroom dance and music; “Garage Band,” a `60s and `70s musical set in an automobile service center, and “It Takes Two,” a revue of famous duets and duos.

Following the shows’ run aboard Nieuw Amsterdam they will expand across the fleet by the end of 2010.

Throughout the cruising year, Holland America Line’s more than 200 entertainers perform more than 90 shows on the 15 ships in the fleet. In addition to the resident performers, guests also can enjoy a variety of entertainment including comedians, musicians and magicians.

On several ships, performances take place in the new Showroom at Sea, a modern-day take on the classic nightclub that features state-of-the-art technology and a different show and themed atmosphere nightly. The Showroom at Sea is aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, as well as ms Veendam, ms Rotterdam, ms Statendam and ms Ryndam as part of the $525 million Signature of Excellence enhancement program.

The Showroom at Sea features a completely redesigned main stage that introduces a new seating layout and an enlarged dance floor. A new sound system, enhanced lighting and high-tech video projections transport guests into diverse environments as scenery and décor leap off the stage and into the audience.

For more information, contact us at 1-800-788-2545 or visit

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Celebrity Offers Onboard Credit on Select Caribbean Sailings

Celebrity Cruises is offering a wide range of Caribbean sailings this winter, and a new booking promotion aims to sweeten the deal. Now through Aug. 14, 2010, guests who book select Caribbean cruises in certain staterooms can receive up to a $200 onboard credit per stateroom.

The promotion applies to Caribbean cruises of seven nights or longer sailing between October 2010 and April 2011 – including all three of Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships. Guests who book veranda staterooms, Concierge Class staterooms, AquaClass staterooms (available only on Solstice-class ships) and suites now through Aug. 14, 2010, can receive an onboard credit in the amount of $100 per veranda stateroom, $150 per Concierge Class stateroom, $150 per AquaClass stateroom (available only on Solstice-class ships) and $200 per suite.

Carnival Debuts Superstar Live Karaoke

With the band warmed up, amps cranked, spotlight set and the adoring crowd ready to explode, Carnival guests will take the stage, grab the mic and live out their music-star daydreams on the open seas. Introducing Superstar Live Karaoke, Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest entertainment feature puts guests into the act, fronting a live band and performing their favorite songs to a packed house.

Superstar Live Karaoke combines two popular forms of entertainment – live music by talented musicians and karaoke by Carnival’s singing sailors – and cranks it up. It is fun for all when aspiring singers or fun-seekers have their moment in the spotlight while a few hundred of their friends, family and fellow guests cheer them on and sing along.

Following a high-energy introduction, the would-be music legend hits the stage to belt out a favorite tune accompanied by talented musicians playing the electric guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, as well as versatile backup singers to provide sweet harmonies.

Those interested in living their dream as a super star -- for one night, at least -- simply sign up with the on-site host in the designated Superstar Live Karaoke lounge on board. Participation is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Holland America Rolls Out Early Advantage Savings on 2011 Cruises

Holland America Line is offering exceptional Early Advantage savings of up to 50 percent off on a wide selection of 2011 cruises and CruiseTours when booked by September 15, 2010. The premium cruise line is also reducing deposits by half for all Caribbean cruises in fall of 2010, meaning as little as $175 per person guarantees a cruise vacation booking. Many of these sailings are featuring Early Advantage savings of up to 50% off.

“Holland America Line’s Early Advantage promotion encourages cruisers to plan ahead by offering substantial rewards for those who book early,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Guests benefit from significant savings and have more stateroom and departure choices.”

On select sailings, free and reduced cruise fares are available for third or fourth guests who share the same stateroom and no additional deposits are required. Reduced add-on airfares also are offered from select domestic gateway cities in conjunction with designated cruises. Taxes and fees are additional.

With savings of up to 50 percent off per person, the Early Advantage promotion encompasses an extensive selection of fall 2010 Caribbean and 2011 cruises sailing to more than 350 ports of call in destinations around the world: Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama Canal and South America/Antarctica.