Carnival to Expand “Deck Chair Hog” Program Fleet-Wide

Pool chairs

Way to go Carnival!  Great program!  Yet another reason we love Carnival Cruises here at Island Time Travel.

Don’t you hate it when cruise passengers reserve deck chairs by placing towels or books on them, and then they disappear for hours at time?  Under Carnival’s new program, the ship’s crew will keep an eye on deck chairs.  If they see a chair unused, but saved with items, they will place a sticker on the chair with the current time. If the chair is still reserved and unoccupied 40 minutes later, the crew will remove the articles for safekeeping at the towel station, leaving a note for the guest.

Thanks to Travel Pulse News for this article.  Read the whole article below.

Carnival to Expand “Deck Chair Hog” Program Fleet-Wide

Related: Carnival Breeze joins the Carnival Cruise Lines fleets
Related: New Carnival Breeze to Debut Sushi Restaurant, Outdoor BBQ Venue
Related: All inclusive alcohol on cruises?

Carnival Breeze joins the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet

Carnival Breeze Pool Area

Copyright Carnival Cruise Line

Thanks to the Orlando Sentinel for a great article about the new Carnival Breeze!  Carnival Cruise Lines has taken possession of its newest ship in a ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.  The 130,000-ton, 3,600-passenger sister ship to the Carnival Magic and Carnival Dream becomes the 24th cruise ship in the line’s fleet. It will now head off on its inaugural cruise from Venice on June 3, sailing Mediterranean itineraries until this fall when it repositions to the Port of Miami.

It begins year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises out of Miami beginning Nov. 24, making it the largest Carnival ship to sail out of a South Florida port. The six-day sailings will visit Grand Turk, Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Nassau, The Bahamas. The eight-day sailings will alternate between a southern Caribbean itinerary featuring Grand Turk, La Romana (Dominican Republic), Curacao, and Aruba. An eastern Caribbean route will visit St. Thomas/St. John, Antigua, Tortola, and Nassau.

The Breeze will be similar to the Magic and Dream with the popular WaterWorks aqua park, SportSquare recreation complex with ropes courses, mini-golf and outdoor fitness area. The Lanai will be a wraparound promenade with whirlpools jutting out over the ship’s sides.

The look of the Breeze will be decidedly Caribbean in style, as in island breezes and tropical sunsets, created by Germany-based Partner Ship Design, focusing on bright colors and pastel hues.
The Breeze will be the first of the line’s ships to feature all of the Fun Ship 2.0 elements it plans to roll out fleetwide in time. The amenity program is a $500 million initiative that features new entertainment options, new venues and new celebrity partnerships such as comedian George Lopez, DJ Irie, and Food Network star Guy Fieri.

Read the Sentinel’s full article here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/vacation-starter/cruise-lines/carnival-cruise-lines/vs-carnival-cruise-line-takes-delivery-of-carnival-breeze–053112,0,6678640.story

Carnival Breeze Video Tour

Source/credit: Orlando Sentinel

Related: New Carnival Breeze to Debut Sushi Restaurant, Outdoor BBQ Venue
Related: Carnival Breeze to include elaborate ‘five dimension’ movie theater

New Carnival Breeze to Debut Sushi Restaurant, Outdoor BBQ Venue

Carnival Breeze

Copyright Carnival Cruise Line

(Shared from Travel PulseCarnival Cruise Lines’ new 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze, which will enter service June 3, will feature two new restaurants—a full-service sushi restaurant called Bonsai Sushi and an open-air barbecue venue called Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ.

Located on Promenade Deck, Bonsai Sushi will offer sushi, sashimi and rolls along with bento boxes and an interpretation of a sushi boat—a “sushi ship”—with prices ranging in price from $1 for appetizer-sized portions to $15 for a “sushi ship” for two. It will have contemporary decor featuring artwork by graffiti artist Erni Vales, koi kites flown during impromptu celebrations, and several Bonsai trees.

Carnival Breeze Bonsai Sushi Bar

Copyright Carnival Cruise Line

Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ will offer complimentary open-air dining on Promenade Deck, with a menu that includes barbecued chicken breast, kielbasa, Italian sausage and pulled pork sandwiches, along with traditional sides like baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw and mini-corn muffins.

Other eateries on Carnival Breeze include Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse with a surcharge; The Comfort Kitchen, a new venue in Lido Marketplace offering American-style comfort food; The Taste Bar, which will serve complimentary bite-size offerings; and, starting in November, Sea Dogs, a hot dog-shaped cart in the SportSquare outdoor recreation area.

The ship will also feature restaurants introduced on other ships, including Guy’s Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina and Cucina del Capitano.

Carnival has launched a sweepstakes on its Facebook fan page tied to the Mexican-themed Blue Iguana Cantina. The sweepstakes asks fans to choose their favorite burrito or taco toppings for a chance to win a Caribbean cruise for two on the new 130,000-ton Fun Ship, along with round-trip air transportation.

Carnival Breeze Red Frog Pub Lanai

Copyright Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Breeze Pool Area

Copyright Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Breeze Beach Pool

Copyright Carnival Cruise Line

Shared from Travel Pulse, by Theresa Norton Masek.  Thank you!

Related: Carnival Breeze to include elaborate ‘five dimension’ movie theater
Related: Carnival Cruise Lines New Fun Ship 2.0 Initiative

St. Kitts Destination Specialist–heading there next week!

St. Kitts DiplomaIn preparation for my Carnival Cruise on the Victory next week, I wanted to learn more about one of our scheduled ports of call, St. Kitts.  Today I studied and passed the St. Kitts Agent Destination Specialist training course.  My thanks to Travel Agent University and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.  I’m especially interested in visiting the Reggae Beach Bar or maybe “The Strip” on Frigate Bay (the Monkey Bar or the Shiggidy Shack) and Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Although our visit is via cruise ship, I learned that St. Kitts is easily accessible from the USA via several major airlines.  All flights arrive at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB), situated just 2 miles outside the historic capital city of Basseterre.  American Airlines has daily non-stop flights from Miami and on Wednesday and Sundays from New York’s JFK.  Delta flies non-stop from Atlanta on Saturdays.  US Airways flies non-stop from Charlotte on Saturdays.   Travelers can also connect on flights from San Juan on American Eagle.

Carnival Breeze to include elaborate ‘five dimension’ movie theater

Carnival Breeze 5D Theater
Copyright Carnival Cruise Lines

Link to good article from USA Today about Carnival’s newest ship, the Breeze: Carnival Breeze to include elaborate ‘five dimension’ movie theater – USATODAY.com.

Carnival Cruise Lines has also launched a Facebook contest related to this new theater.  The 5D Challenge: Trivial Pursuit Edition, a Facebook promotion designed to highlight the new Thrill 5D Theater, which is set to debut on the Carnival Breeze in June.  The contest can be found on Carnival’s Facebook page under the Carnival Breeze tab.

Contest participants answer movie-themed trivia questions from Hasbro’s Trivial Pursuit brand.  One prize will be given away daily through Jan. 13, with contestants required to correctly answer three daily trivia questions to enter into a prize drawing.  Prizes include a 50-inch, 3D Plasma HDTV, a 3D phone, HD camcorder, and a $250 movie theater gift card.  Also, Hasbro Video and Board Game Prize Packs, including an Xbox 360 gaming console, will be given away throughout the contest period.

The contest aims to draw attention to Carnival Breeze’s Thrill 5D Theater, a multi-dimensional experience designed to make passengers feel like they are actually in the movie.  The theater combines a high-definition, 3D projection system with 4D elements such as squirting water and bubbles and original special effects that will tickle guests’ legs, blow air on their necks and poke them in their seats. Seats within the theater will shift back and forth, move from side to side and vibrate, creating a fifth-dimensional element.

The theater is one of several Fun Ship 2.0 entertainment features being implemented on the Carnival Breeze.  Among the other features are Hasbro, The Game Show, a series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on the Family Game Night television series produced by Hasbro Studios and seen on The Hub, a network for children and their families, and Playlist Productions, which will combine live performances with high-tech LED staging and special effects and set the revues to music.

Sources: USA Today and Travel Pulse Travel News

Related: Carnival Cruise Lines New Fun Ship 2.0 Initiative

I’m Now a Carnival Cruise “Funologist” :)

Carnival Certificate
CONTACT: Gary Thatcher (877-439-8729)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT ACHIEVES EXPERT ‘CRUISE FUNOLOGIST’ CERTIFICATION FROM CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES

Hilliard, Ohio (January 9, 2012) – Gary Thatcher of Hilliard-based Island Time Travel has successfully completed Carnival Cruise Lines’ comprehensive new travel agent online training program, “CCL University,” earning a Bachelor’s of Fun degree as a Carnival sales specialist.

Launched earlier this year, the intensive Web-based course encompasses four distinct chapters, each focusing on different aspects of the world’s largest cruise operator and its various vacation products.
To earn this degree in Funology, Gary had to successfully master content related to such wide-ranging topics as the line’s 39-year history, new features on the fleet of “Fun Ships,”a broad selection of shipboard activities and entertainment, including the line’s popular youth programs, as well as creating group business opportunities within the local community.  “The cruise industry is constantly evolving so it is critical that travel agents keep up-to-date on the wide variety of cruise offerings available.  Carnival’s highly interactive and immersive training program was extremely effective and will enable me to help clients choose the cruise that’s right for them better than ever,” said Gary of Island Time Travel.

Carnival is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world with 23 “Fun Ships” operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.  The line recently debuted its newest ship, the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, in Europe May 1, 2011.  The new 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze is scheduled to enter service in June 2012.

For additional information, contact Gary at Island Time Travel.
CCLUniversity_logo
Related: Carnival Cruise Lines New Fun Ship 2.0 Initiative
Related: Love to cruise but hate to fly?

All inclusive alcohol on cruises?

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This post updated February 27, 2015.

An “all-inclusive” trend for alcoholic beverages is underway in the cruise industry.  Here is a summary of which cruise lines include beverages or offer all-you-can-drink alcohol packages.  This post will be a “work-in-progress”–check back often.

A-Rosa: all inclusive–cruise fare includes complimentary air, transfers, taxes, gratuities, open dining & bar, free wi-fi

Azamara: cruise fare includes house beer and wine, but no additional packages are offered.

Carnival:  offers an unlimited soda program for $4.50 per day for children 17 years of age and younger or $6.00 for adults; they also offer “Cruise the Vineyards” wine packages which allow you to drink your favorite wine at a discounted price or to explore new wines from the wide assortment of wines offered in these packages.  UPDATE: August 2012: Carnival is testing a drinks package on the Victory and the Splendor.  The “My Awesome Bar Program” package lets guests drink wine, beer, spirits, sodas, and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails during the cruise at a flat rate of $42.95 per person per day, plus a 15% gratuity.  All wines by the glass, beer and individual cocktails priced $10 and lower are available in the program. Full bottles of wine and champagne, as well as wines by the glass, beers and individual cocktails priced above $10, are available at a 25 percent discount.

Celebrity: offers a wide variety of optional beverage packages; Soda Package, Classic Non-Alcoholic Package, Premium Non-Alcoholic Package, Classic Package, Premium Package, and Wine Packages, ranging from $7 –$54 per night.  Celebrity’s soda package even includes canned soda if you prefer canned over fountain.

Compagnie du Ponant:  all-inclusive; all meals, open bar, stocked mini-bars in all staterooms and suites, and a welcome-aboard cocktail party.  Gratuities and port charges – even taxes and fees, are now included in the pricing.

Crystal: all-inclusive; cruise fare includes bottled water, soft drinks, fine wines, and premium spirits.

Great American Steamboat Company: cruise fare includes soft drinks, bottled water, beer and wine with dinner.

Oceania: cruise fare includes soft drinks, bottled water, and specialty coffees and teas; will offer “all-you-can-drink” cocktail packages beginning on January 3 (Insignia and Marina), January 6 (Regatta), and January 26 (Nautica); two options: 1) $29.95 per person, per day, includes house wine and beer with dinner and lunch, 2) $49.95 per person, per day, includes beer and premium house wine (from a selection of red and white vintages that change daily), all beverages on the bar menu (except Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac) and room service beverages (but not mini-bar selections).

MSC: MSC offers 5 optional drink packages ranging in price from $13 – $61 per day, depending on the passenger’s age and other factors, e.g., unlimited drinks anytime or drinks only included during meals.

Paul Gauguin: All shipboard meals in your choice of venues, complimentary 24-hour room service, complimentary beverages, including select wines and spirits, drinks, bottled water, and hot beverages served throughout the ship, refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer, and bottled water, all shipboard entertainment, all onboard gratuities included for room stewards and dining staff, complimentary kayaking, windsurfing, and paddleboarding

Royal Caribbean:  Update December 14, 2012 (source/credit: Gene Sloan, USA Today) RCCL is adding “all-you-can-drink” alcohol plans across its fleet.  They will offer two new drinks packages that give buyers access to nearly unlimited wine, beer, and in some cases alcohol-containing cocktails while on board ships, as well as sodas and non-alcoholic cocktails: 1) The Classic Beverage Package includes beer and house wines by the glass, as well as all non-alcoholic cocktails, fountain soda, and juices. It costs $45 per person, per day, including gratuities. 2)  The Premium Beverage Package includes beer, house wines by the glass, frozen alcoholic drinks, and all alcoholic cocktails including premium brands, as well as all non-alcoholic cocktails, fountain soda and juices. It costs $55 per person, per day, including gratuities.  The packages will be available on all Royal Caribbean sailings of seven nights or longer by early 2013. Passengers must be 21 years old or older to buy one of the packages and must make the purchase on the first day of a sailing.  A caveat: If one passenger in a cabin buys one of the packages, each additional passenger age 21 years and over in the same cabin also must buy the package — a rule presumably enacted to prevent cabin mates from sharing a package.  Thanks again to USA Today for this info.  Read their full article here.

SeaDream Yacht Club:  all-inclusive; open bar with selected premium brands, daily selection of wines to accompany lunch and dinner, mini bar in your stateroom, 24 hour room service from the “Small Bites” menu

Seabourn: all-inclusive; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner, and open bars throughout the ship, a range of dining venues that are all complimentary.  Complimentary welcome champagne and in-suite bar stocked with your preferences of soft drinks, beer, and mineral water, complete glassware, and your favorite wines or spirits.

Scenic Cruises: all-inclusive all the time, not just at meals; all shore excursions and sightseeing with expert local guides, along with gratuities onboard and on land.

Silversea: all-inclusive; fine wines and spirits are served not only with meals, but also throughout the ship.  Even champagne flows freely.  Silversea cruise fares also include a butler, onboard gratuities, in-room bar and refrigerator stocked with your preferred beverage selections, complimentary 24-hour room service and in-suite dining, complimentary shoreside events on select voyages, complimentary guided excursions ashore on Silversea Expeditions aboard the Silver Explorer, and complimentary transportation into town in most ports of call. Silversea is the only cruise line to offer butler service in every suite fleetwide.

Uniworld: all meals onboard include complimentary European wines, draft beer, and soft drinks during dinner; also included are shore excursions hosted by the best local guides in the industry, airport transfers on arrival and departure days.  Beginning with their 2014 Europe sailings, Uniworld will become more all-inclusive and will include unlimited wine, beer, and spirits (not just at lunch and dinner) as well as gratuities.

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