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 27, 2011

Carnival Magic Entertainment Lineup

Carnival Cruise Lines' latest “Fun Ship,” the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, is set to raise the bar on shipboard entertainment with some of the most spectacular shows ever seen at sea.

In addition to three spellbinding stage shows that feature detailed sets and costumes, state-of-the-art video technology and sophisticated special effects, Carnival Magic offers an array of entertainment choices at various venues throughout the ship, including everything from solo singers and comedians to live bands and engaging audience participation.

A Magical Extravaganza

The first production show, “Destination: Unknown,” is the largest show ever staged on a Carnival ship and the latest in Carnival Cruise Lines’ arsenal of hits. It stars Jason Byrne, award-winning “magician extraordinaire” and Las Vegas headliner. The mood is set before guests even enter the Showtime theatre with high-tech special effects, and as the houselights dim, full-stage silk drapes fall into view and quickly disappear into the floor or fly into the wings to reveal the full cast of singers and dancers. Then Byrne, the show’s star magician, appears out of thin air piloting a helicopter mid-stage. What follows is a mystical and magical circus full of masterful illusions made possible by the Showtime theatre’s state-of-the-art, unparalleled technology. This is a can’t-miss show stopper that’s sure to entertain the whole family.

Grooving Through the ’70s

The 1970s were more than just disco music and polyester bell-bottoms, and “The Groove Line” is a funky journey through the city streets and iconic discotheques of that era. Choreographed to the tunes that shaped a generation and featuring artists such as KC and the Sunshine Band, The Jackson Five and Sister Sledge, this show will have guests on their feet and carry them back to the heyday of the 1970s.

It’s a Game Thing

“Win! The Game Show” is a wild and crazy parody of television’s most popular game shows. The different and twisted games comprise a travelogue that guides the audience to exotic and exciting places, from a NASCAR-style race track to the Las Vegas Strip. With opportunities for audience participation and a fabulously catchy soundtrack featuring songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Shania Twain and Ricky Martin, this show is sure to be a major hit with guests.

More Entertainment Options

Carnival Magic’s two new venues help to take the line’s reputation for diverse, at-sea entertainment choices to a new level. Cucina del Capitano (“The Captain’s Kitchen”) not only boasts singing and dancing waiters and waitresses alongside a barrel of Chianti on wheels, but also has a loop of 65 hand-selected, Italian-themed songs.

Meanwhile, each evening as the sun sets, patrons of the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub can kick back to live acoustic guitar and vocals as they relax on swing-gliding chairs or amuse themselves with any number of bar games, such as foosball, a tabletop shuffleboard, darts, puzzles and more.

Ocean Plaza is the central entertainment hub of the ship. Here, sip on a latte from the coffee shop, delight in an ice cold beer or indulge in a frozen concoction. By day, this is the place to surf the web, gather with friends or enjoy fun trivia contests led by the cruise staff. By night, the fabulous indoor/outdoor space turns into a whole different world with entertainment acts taking the stage and guests dancing the night away.

Also featured on the Carnival Magic is the Punchliner Comedy Club, which highlights a wide variety of comedians offering both family-friendly and adult-only performances nightly. “Superstar Live” takes karaoke to a whole new level by offering wannabe starlets, crooners and rockers the opportunity to perform accompanied by a live band and backing singers.

Additionally, a variety of solo performers and musical ensembles can be found in different locations throughout the ship, providing musical entertainment spanning a wide range of musical genres.

More Shows in Texas

Upon arrival at Carnival Magic’s homeport of Galveston, Texas, two more shows will be added to the ship’s entertainment lineup. The first is guest favorite “Carnival Legends.”

For those who have dreamed of performing with a live band dressed as Tina Turner, Michael Jackson or Cher, this is the opportunity to make that a reality. During the “Carnival Legends” show, guests don authentic, highly detailed costumes of their favorite singer and perform one of the artist’s signature tunes, backed by a talented 10-piece orchestra and full complement of dancers. After rehearsing with the Carnival Magic’s band and production show dancers, it’s “showtime” as the would-be stars take to the stage and strut their stuff to a packed audience.

Currently showing on Carnival Triumph, “A Kiss Goodnight” is drawing capacity crowds for each adult-only late-night show and is set to do the same on board Carnival Magic. The show features the slight-of-hand and close-up magic of house magician Mark Miller and featured magician Jason Byrne alongside the table magicians who work the room prior to showtime. Cue the music and dancers grace the stage in alluring costumes, moving in and out of the shadows to create a sensual and beautiful atmosphere like no other.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic is slated to debut in Europe with a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1 – Oct. 16, 2011. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean Premieres Kung Fu Panda 2 at Sea

Royal Caribbean International is rolling out the red carpet in honor of the May 26, 2011 world premiere of the highly anticipated DreamWorks film “Kung Fu Panda 2” with 3-D movie viewings, a family-themed promotion and special onboard programming throughout the summer.

Guests sailing on Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas from June through August 2011 will have the unique opportunity to see the 3-D animated film at sea while it is still in movie theaters across the globe. The cruise line will host a series of red-carpet premieres, which will be celebrated onboard Oasis of the Seas on June 4, 2011, Freedom of the Seas and Allure of the Seas on June 5, 2011, and June 18, 2011 for Liberty of the Seas. Ample viewings of “Kung Fu Panda 2” will take place throughout each sailing onboard all four ships through the end of August 2011.

In conjunction with the at-sea premiere of “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the global cruise line will launch “Pandamonium,” an exclusive summer promotion perfect for a family cruise vacation. The package is available onboard four Royal Caribbean ships that feature the DreamWorks Experience and includes VIP seating at one of the onboard “Kung Fu Panda 2” premieres, exclusive meet and greets with DreamWorks Animation characters, two soft drink packages, two cupcakes from the Cupcake Cupboard, a complimentary family photo, and a chance for guests to build their own Pets at Sea plush animal. Kicking off today, the “Pandamonium” package can be booked through a Royal Caribbean booking agent or with a travel agent using the promotional code YNOTxxPO. Availability is limited.

As an extension of the DreamWorks Experience summer programming, the Oasis-class ships will dazzle consumers with Boardwalk family festivals celebrated three to four times per sailing through the end of August. Guests of all ages are invited to come down to the Boardwalk to get their faces painted; enjoy live performances by stilt walkers, marching bands and DJ’s; as well as watch themed circuses and balloon artists; and participate in special kids activities.

The DreamWorks Experience, first launched aboard Allure of the Seas, and now offered aboard Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, provides Royal Caribbean guests with renowned entertainment programs, including some of the studio’s most popular feature films.

Year round, “celebrity” characters including Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of “Shrek;” Alex, Mort, and the Penguins of “Madagascar;” Po of “Kung Fu Panda;” and Hiccup of “How to Train Your Dragon,” engage guests of all ages, day and night, in unique events and energetic parades, as well as through interactive character meals in the main dining room, and of course plenty of photo opportunities. Royal Caribbean’s younger guests in the complimentary award-winning Adventure Ocean children’s program can relish in an exhilarating line-up of activities, games and adventures rooted in the popular DreamWorks Animation movies.

Princess Cruises Reinstates Calls to Egypt

Princess Cruises has reinstated calls to Egyptian ports on all itineraries where they were previously removed.

In February due to political unrest, Princess modified itineraries for 18 sailings scheduled to call in Egypt through November. The cruises aboard Star Princess, Dawn Princess, Ocean Princess and Pacific Princess have now returned to their originally published itineraries. Princess’ first Egypt call is scheduled for May 15.

"The situation in Egypt has calmed considerably since wide-spread protests earlier this year, and the tourist areas aren’t currently being affected,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “So we’re pleased to tell passengers they can once again plan to experience this country’s iconic pyramids and other ancient wonders.”

The Egyptian ports of Alexandria and Port Said are part of the two-day Egypt experience included on the line’s 12-day Holy Land sailings. Sailings depart from May 7 through November 15, 2011.

Passengers currently booked on Holy Land sailings are being contacted with the revised itinerary information.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Celebrity Caribbean Winter 2012/13

Celebrity Cruises plans to send its four newest Solstice Class ships and two “Solsticized” ships to the Caribbean in the winter of 2012-13, giving vacationers multiple options for luxurious getaways in stylish spaces with gourmet cuisine, extraordinary service, and fun activities. In total, Celebrity will present 103 Caribbean sailings with 21 distinct itineraries visiting ports from three homeports, from November 2012 through April 2013.

Recognizing that people’s vacation time is precious, Celebrity has shaped a 2012-13 winter destination lineup that exemplifies the premium cruise brand’s focus on offering a multitude of ways for people to have the best vacation experience possible.Earlier this week, Celebrity announced to its Captain’s Club loyalty program members that the first full season for its fifth Solstice Class ship, the 3,030-guest Celebrity Reflection, currently under construction, will be in the Caribbean. Three other Solstice Class ships will also offer Caribbean itineraries. Celebrity Constellation, which was “Solsticized” in 2010 to include many of the features of Celebrity’s award-winning Solstice Class, and Celebrity Summit, which will be “Solsticized” in early 2012, also will present vacationers with the opportunity to enjoy luxurious getaways in the region.