ALL POSTS IN [Cruises]

Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

Currently Frozen over for the summer, Disney Cruise Line has a question for you: Do you want to build a snowman or let it go? Now, on select seasonal sailings on the Disney Magic in Norway and Disney Wonder in Alaska, you can.

The pirates of the Caribbean are on holiday, and in their place, characters from the hit animated film Frozen are taking over with an all-new deck party, day of fun and more. Onboard are none other than Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, iceman Kristoff and snowman Olaf, and I was just on the Disney Wonder to experience all the fun firsthand in Alaska.
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Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

Want to relive a bygone era of classic trans-Atlantic ocean-liner travel? With Cunard Line — which is impressively celebrating its 175th anniversary this year — and its fleet of elegant vessels, you can do that and more.

The only true liner in operation today, the magnificent Queen Mary 2, cuts through the towering swells and choppy waves of the northern Atlantic Ocean nearly like butter. Art-deco interiors romantically enchant while modern amenities pamper and entertain passengers. Live classical music permeates throughout as a parade of formalwear enters the stately dining room, and the chandelier-clad ballroom beckons well-dressed couples to the dance floor.

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Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

To connect or not to connect? While on a cruise vacation, that is the question.

There was a time when staying connected at sea was nearly impossible, and disconnecting was preferred for the sake of relaxation. But in this day and age, it seems almost blasphemous to give up our smartphones and laptops while traveling. The issues are a lack of onboard apps and slow-as-molasses internet speeds — that is, until now.
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Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

Are you yearning to travel to the Mediterranean but aren’t fond of long-haul flights? Here’s a solution: a Caribbean cruise. Yes, it’s unorthodox, but it’s also convenient for North American travelers, and MSC Cruises’ uniquely European MSC Divina might just be the oasis you’re looking for.

The leisure division of the industrial Mediterranean Shipping Co., MSC Cruises once catered predominantly to foreigners, but in the Caribbean, the line has tailored its sailings to embrace US citizens as well. In fact, one of the delights of MSC is the diverse mix of passengers on board and the international idioms heard throughout. Rest assured, however, that English remains the primary language spoken on the MSC Divina.
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Anthem of the Seas (Photo Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Are you ready for a new year of cruise travel filled with new ships? Check out which ones are set for launch in 2015.

Anthem of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International
Already plowing the high seas as of 2014, the new, high-tech Quantum of the Seas set the stage for its sister ship, the Anthem of the Seas, to follow in April 2015. Special creature comforts include modular staterooms interconnected with varied layouts for large parties and virtual balconies to provide interior staterooms with a digital view of outside the ship.
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Chef’testants Tiffani Faison, Nina Compton, Brooke Williamson and Paul Qui (from left to right) – Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

Are you passionate about traveling the world and testing your cooking chops? Then Celebrity Cruises has you covered with the premium cruise line’s Top Chef at Sea program. The popular Bravo TV show – Top Chef – has now embarked internationally on Celebrity’s fleet, already known for its celebrated cuisine, with a series of exciting culinary features, and on select signature sailings, some of the celebrity chefs also come aboard.
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Photo Courtesy of ShermansTravel

Book by August 31.

Whether you’re ready to embark on your first cruise, or you’re an old pro at sailing the high season, you can’t go wrong with a weeklong Caribbean cruise. It’s not too long or too short. It offers plenty of variety, both on land and aboard the ship. And, it’s just the right amount of time to get away.

The great news about this particular 7-night Caribbean cruise? It costs $299 per person and it’s on a brand new ship. You’ll sail aboard MSC Cruises’  Divina, which had its maiden voyage in 2012, and offers distinctly European style, just like her namesake, actress Sophia Loren.

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Photography by Retrofile / Getty Images

For years, cruising has been a popular vacation trend enjoyed by families, couples, and the young and old alike. And as summer comes to an end, there’s no better time to hop on board a cruise ship, visit a few ports and relax, while soaking up the last bit of summer sun — with a drink in hand, of course.

In this week’s throwback Thursday, men and women in vintage swimsuits lounge in and around the pool on board a cruise ship in the 1950s.

Find your own inspiration to sail the open seas, and take a look at Travel’s Best Cruises 2014. Whether you’re looking to cruise the Mediterranean, Caribbean or someplace else, there’s no easier way to see the world than from the deck of a cruise ship.

And don’t forget to check back every week this month for our Vintage Summer Throwback Thursdays!

 

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The Norwegian Getaway (Photo Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Planning a cruise this year? Here’s a quick look at 4 new cruise ships scheduled to set sail in 2014.

Costa Cruises’ Costa Diadema
Costa Cruises caters primarily to Italian travelers, but from time to time, its ships sail into American markets and share similar layouts with the ships of its sister companies, Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line. The Costa Diadema, launching in October 2014, may likely influence the ships coming in 2015, too.

Dining Options
With 7 restaurants and 15 bars, the Costa Diadema offers a wide array of cuisines and beverages for its guests. Some venues include the Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant, Piazza Pizza Pizzeria, Birreria La Fiamma pub, Bar Bollicine Prosecco bar, Vinoteca Huit-Huit wine bar and Gelateria Amarillo ice cream parlor.

Entertainment Options
A 2-deck gaming area satisfies video and laser game aficionados, while a Grand Prix simulator virtually fulfills the need for speed.  For music lovers, the new Country Rock Club is dedicated to playing American classic rock music. And rounding out the onboard attractions are a 4D cinema, 3-deck theater and the Portobello Market Piazza, an impressive 11,840-square-foot retail complex.

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Waikiki Beach (Photo: Reuters)

Congrats, you survived the holidays. Now it’s time for a real vacation, and here’s the good news: The first few weeks after the New Year are a great time to snag some killer travel deals, says travel deals expert Johnny Jet.

“Not only is it cheaper, but all the resorts are going to be empty — you won’t have to fight for a beach or restaurant chair,” says Johnny Jet. (The other good window for travel deals is the week after Thanksgiving, he adds). “Everyone is offering huge discounts,” says Jet, whose site offers up-to-the-minute listings of post-New Year’s travel deals.
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