Crystal Cruises Aims to Buy and Sail SS United States.

This historic SS United States will have a new owner and more remarkably could return to service after more than 40 years of waiting.  Crystal Cruises has taken out an option to buy the ship with the intent being to renovate the vintage ocean liner and Blue Riband holder.  Hurdles remain however as the ship will require hundreds of millions in work and years of effort to ply the seas again.

Read more: Crystal Cruises Aims to Buy and Sail SS United States.

Uniquely Celebrity Tours

Celebrity pushed forward with Uniquely Celebrity Tours in 2015.  The up-scale cruise line, part of the Royal Caribbean family, introduced the customizable and exclusive excursion program and it continues into 2016.

Read more: Uniquely Celebrity Tours

Cruise Lines Respond to Zika Virus, Extend Options to Expecting Mothers.

The Zika virus was known well before the current and spreading outbreaks pushed it into the headlines.  However with concerns growing the major cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and their affiliated brands are offering pregnant women the ability to move their bookings to itineraries outside of at-risk areas or to later dates.

Areas in which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have issued warns about include the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.  If traveling to those areas women are strongly urged to take measures to avoid mosquito bites which are the primary way in which the Zika virus is transmitted.  Cases of Zika have been reported in both Los Angeles county in California and in Minnesota.  The virus causes microcephaly in babies, most commonly associated with the deformed heads and thus greatly reduced brain size in the suffering children.  

In addition to speaking to their cruise lines, those with air travel reservations ought to be aware that United and American are also extending options for changing travel plans.  


Guests in Interior Balcony Cabins Perk-up on Oasis

If you have sailed on an Oasis-class ship (Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas) by Royal Caribbean than you already realize the interior staterooms overlooking the landmark Boardwalk and Central Park areas are an extraordinary value.  The views are as interesting as nearly any outboard facing balcony cabins to many of us.  However the price points are indeed lower as well.  Perhaps to induce more prospective passengers to see interior cabins in a new light, Royal Caribbean is introducing new benefits to those booking them.  

According to Royal Caribbean, those with staterooms overlooking Central Park will receive complimentary lunch for two at Jamie’s Italian or Giovanni’s Table (depending on the ship,) as well as casino perks a bottle of red wine.  Not to be left out, passengers sailing with a view of Boardwalk will get lunch for up to four at Johnny Rockets, a soda package for two and exclusive time using the rock climbing walls.

The Sovereign of the Seas and an Itch Scratched.

In 1998 a rash of friends of various ages began to relate stories of having gone on a cruise.  Many, indeed most, had been on one of Royal Caribbean’s larger Sovereign class.  My own tale of having been on the Sitmar Fairsea and watching the Pacific Princess began to show its age and more to the point, reminded me of wanting to cruise myself.

Read more: The Sovereign of the Seas and an Itch Scratched.

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