The Cruise Cafe

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

MSC Partners with Blend Craft Wines for 'Virtual Winery at Sea'

MSC Cruises is partnering with Blend Craft Wines to bring exclusive wine-themed activities to guests on four upcoming Caribbean sailings of MSC Poesia.

Blend Craft Wines will bring guests unique interactive onboard guest winemaking and other wine-themed experiences, including the following:

• Winemaker Experience: Guests create, bottle and label their own custom bottle of wine, with the option of creating up to a case of their wine to take home.
• Winemaker Dinner: Combining the Winemaker Experience with an interactive group dining event, guests make a minimum of two bottles of wine – one to take home and one to share in a blind tasting during the group dinner.
• Wine Tasting College: A specially designed series of individual 60-minute programs designed to educate guests on the world of wine.
• World Series of Wine: A re-creation of a famous 1976 European wine competition featured in the movie Bottle Shock, this event includes wine tasting and movie viewing.

Blend Craft recruits its onboard winemakers from Napa, California, where they have an average of 10+ years of wine industry experience including work as professional winemakers.

Blend Craft’s fee-based activities will be offered on the following MSC Poesia roundtrip sailings from Fort Lauderdale:

• Jan. 28, Feb. 11: 7-night Western Caribbean, calling at Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Roatan Island, Honduras; Montego Bay, Jamaica; rates begin at $499
• Feb. 4, 18: 7-night Eastern Caribbean, calling at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nassau, Bahamas; rates begin at $499 for Feb. 4 and $429 for Feb. 18.

Rates are cruise-only, per person, double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Royal Caribbean International Wins Three Awards at the World Travel Awards

Royal Caribbean International triumphed at the World Travel Awards, scooping three awards for the ‘World’s Leading Cruise Brand’, ‘World’s Leading Cruise Line’ and the ‘World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line’. The awards ceremony was held on Wednesday 11th January 2012 at the Katara Cultural Village, Doha, Qatar.

The highly respected World Travel Awards, recognized as the Oscars of the travel industry, have been running for 18 years and focus on the quality of customer experience. The awards aim to encourage world class service from the travel industry and recognize brands that consistently excel beyond expectation and deliver a superior customer experience.

“Winning not one, but three awards, is truly a testament to Royal Caribbean’s continued dedication to innovation“, said Helen Beck, Regional Director, International Representatives, EMEA, for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "With a history of creativity and innovation - delivering many at-sea industry firsts, such as ice rinks, rock-climbing walls, zip lines and Broadway shows - we are committed to providing an unforgettable and rejuvenating experience that appeals to vacationers of all ages.”

Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming. The cruise line has a 40-year history of giving guests an unrivalled experience - the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Norwegian Announces Norwegian Breakaway's Inaugural Winter/Spring

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will sail from her year-round homeport of New York City to the Bahamas & Florida and the Caribbean during her inaugural winter season. Following a summer inaugural season sailing seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda, Norwegian Breakaway will embark on a series of 25 seven-day cruises to the Bahamas & Florida beginning on Sunday, October 13, 2013. The ship will also sail two 12-day Southern Caribbean itineraries on January 5 and 19, 2014, along with two Weekend Escape cruises on January 17 and 31, 2014. These cruises go on sale to Norwegian’s top travel partners and Latitudes Rewards members (past guests) today and to the general public on Friday, January 6.

Norwegian Breakaway’s Bahamas & Florida cruises depart on Sundays and include stops in Nassau, Bahamas; Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay; and Orlando & the Beaches (Port Canaveral), Florida; along with three relaxing days at sea. These sailings run through April 27, 2014. The ship’s 12-day Southern Caribbean cruises include the following ports of call: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Basseterre, St. Kitts; along with five relaxing days at sea.