Friday, December 19, 2014

IS ANOTHER 'LOVE BOAT' COMING BACK TO TV?

Is TV ready for another "Love Boat"? That's a possibility, according to this recent article from the website Jaunted: "According to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunners Matt Williams and David McFadzean are working on a cruise ship comedy, called Port of Miami, for NBC. The show will be set aboard a Miami-based cruise liner and will follow a white bartender with little ambition 'who works with a variety of international employees, all of them aggressively seeking the American dream and incredulous that he is content to mix drinks, chase women and settle for less.' The network is calling the potential series 'Cheers on a cruise ship.' "


We get first dibs when they start casting extras.  -- Gerry



Thursday, December 18, 2014

COULD HAVANA BE A NEW PORT OF CALL?


The news that the U.S. and Cuba are moving toward normalizing relations after half a century has many people buzzing, including the cruise industry. Quoting from the website TravelPulse, who asks "Could Cuba Be the Cruise Lines' Next Big Port of Call,": "If Cuba opens up to U.S. tourists, it would have an immediate and impressive impact on the cruise industry. For decades, cruise ships have sailed around the 780-mile-long island, which sits smack-dab between South Florida homeports and popular islands such as Jamaica and Grand Cayman. 'It needs some lipstick and love to bring things up to standard,' said Vicky Garcia, the Cuban-American COO of Cruise Planners. 'But it could be very exciting.'"

Very exciting, indeed. As they say in TV, "stay tuned."

CARNIVAL INVITES YOU TO WIN A CRUISE FOR LIFE

Vote for your favorite Carnival commercial
How would like to win a cruise every year for life? I thought so. Carnival Cruises is giving you that chance by simply voting for your favorite Carnival commercial, which will air during Super Bowl XLIX Sunday, Feb. 1, on NBC.

The commercials were created by BBDO Atlanta, who collaborated with Academy Award-winning cinematographer and Hollywood director Wally Pfister – best known for his work on Transcendence, Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy – to develop Carnival Corporation's first-ever Super Bowl commercial. The final commercial will be a 60-second spot selected from four full-scale production ads.

"The final Super Bowl TV commercial will be sourced from the company's recently launched 'World's Leading Cruise Lines Marketing Challenge'. Hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, this interactive crowd-sourcing contest lets consumers 'join the company's marketing team' and vote for their favorite creative concept with a chance to win a grand prize of a yearly cruise for life."

The field has been narrowed to four semi-finalists. The final elimination round kicking off today will narrow the field to two finalists, one of which will be the featured TV commercial airing live during Super Bowl XLIX in February. You can vote once every 24 hours - so click on over and get started! -- Gerry



'LIQUID ART' ADDS HOLIDAY CHEER

The Cocoatini (Sonesta Collection)
What would the holidays be without a festive drink to share with friends and family. If you are looking for some holiday drink recipes, Sonesta hotels and resorts is offering their "Liquid Art" cocktail collection. And if you can't make it to the hotel, they have thoughtfully provided the recipes at their blog, http://blog.sonesta.com/tag/liquid-art/.

As our readers know, our drink of choice is the martini. Here's the recipe for a "Cocoatini," courtesy of the Sonesta Coconut Grove Miami:

2 oz vodka


Pour ingredients into shaker filled with ice then pour into martini glass.  Garnish with chocolate straw.

Now that's what we call "Liquid Art." Enjoy! -- Gerry and Pam

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CARNIVAL ADDS NEW PORT -- AMBER COVE

Carnival has added a new port of call -- Amber Cove, in the Dominican Republic near Puerto Plata. In fact, Carnival Victory will be its first customer when it arrives there Oct. 6, 2015, for a day-long call.

Here are more details about Amber Cove from Carnival:

"The visit by Carnival Victory is the first of 37 calls by eight different Carnival ships that will take place between October 2015 and April 2016, accounting for more than 100,000 guests during this period.

"Amber Cove will be a featured port on select sailings of Carnival Breeze, Carnival Glory, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Victory from Miami, Carnival Conquest from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Valor from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival Fantasy from Charleston, S.C.

HIGH-END SHOPPING AT SEA ON 'QUANTUM'

With Christmas just around the corner, you know shopping is in high gear around here. It's also in high gear at sea, especially on Royal Caribbean's new ship, Quantum of the Seas. Their shopping area rivals any high-end shopping mall. You'll think you are on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.Just make sure you have plenty of room left on the old credit card. Here's a video with more:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

'QUANTUM' HOLDS NAMING CEREMONY

If Quantum of the Seas wasn't official before, it is now. The naming ceremony and traditional breaking of the champagne was performed, starring the ship's godmother and actress, Kristin Chenoweth, as well as Earth Harp musician, William Close. Take a look in this week's video from Royal Caribbean:

Friday, December 5, 2014

CARNIVAL OFFERING EXTENDED CARIBBEAN CRUISES

Credit: Carnival Cruises
If you love cruising the Caribbean as much as we do, here's good news from Carnival. They have announced a series of 10- to 14-day voyages on six different ships between October 2015 and February 2016 that feature extended calls at ports throughout the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexican Riviera and The Bahamas. Here are the details from Carnival:

"Reservations opened Dec. 5 on 11 different voyages offered on Carnival Miracle, Carnival Dream, Carnival Glory and Carnival Sunshine which depart from Long Beach, Calif., Port Canaveral, Fla., San Juan, Miami, and New Orleans and visit more than two dozen tropical destinations, including less traveled ports like Bonaire, Martinique, Dominica, Grenada and, for the first time on a Carnival ship, Tobago. 

"These new voyages are in addition to a previously announced series of nine 10- to 14-day departures to the Caribbean and Bermuda offered on Carnival Triumph from Galveston and Carnival Pride from Baltimore in 2015-16."

"The new voyages include:

CELEBRITY ADDING TWO NEW SHIPS

We are big fans of the Celebrity Cruise experience, and that cruise line had some exciting news to announce Thursday.
They have signed on to build two new ships. The two 2,900-guest, 117,000-gross-registered-ton ships, will be developed under the project name EDGE. Here's more from their press release:

"At 984 feet long, 123 feet wide and 190 feet high, Project EDGE will deliver small ship itineraries with large ship amenities, a perfect vacation experience in step with today’s premium vacationer.

"Our new class of ship will set the standard for premium world travel and deliver the next generation of modern luxury experiences that our guests know and love,” said Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer of Celebrity Cruises.

"These vessels also represent a significant leap forward in environmentally friendly ship design, benefiting from new technologies to drive significant fuel efficiency and an ongoing process to ensure the extensive use of sustainable materials.

"The company expects delivery of the first ship in Fall 2018, with the second vessel delivered in the early part of 2020."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

U.S. LOBSTERS IN JOLLY OLD ENGLAND?

Have you seen the story about American lobsters suddenly showing up in UK waters? Experts pretty much agree they aren't taking a 3,000-mile road trip. The prevailing theory is cruise passengers, feeling sorry for the stars of those "surf and turf" dinners, are asking the waiters to throw the live lobsters overboard before they arrive on dinner plates.

If true, the story points out it's a lost cause:

"If you’ve got the itch to become a lobster savior, it’s best you don’t bother," according to a rep from the fishing industry. “They won’t last much longer than if the passengers had eaten them for dinner.”

For those passengers, maybe best to ask for the vegetarian special. -- Gerry




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

JAIME'S ITALIAN -- ANOTHER FIRST FOR 'QUANTUM'

British celebrity chef Jaime Oliver debuted his first restaurant at sea -- Jaime's Italian -- aboard Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas. Learn more from Jaime himself in this video:

Friday, November 21, 2014

'QUEEN VICTORIA' TO HOST SHIRLEY JONES

Shirley Jones (Cunard)
Cunard Line has announced Academy Award-winning actress Shirley Jones, along with husband Marty Ingels, will sail aboard Queen Victoria as a Cunard Insights speaker during the February 2-17, 2015 Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles segment of the World Cruise. Activities will include a book signing of her recently released biography, Shirley Jones: A Memoir, as well as two Q&A sessions and screenings of her films.

“I am overjoyed to travel on board Queen Victoria,” Shirley Jones said. “I have never sailed with Cunard before, nor have I traveled through the Panama Canal. I look forward to this adventure and the chance to experience Cunard’s heritage, as well as a chance to meet my fans along the way.”

Cunard notes Jones will be a part of Cunard Line’s history of hosting famed entertainers, including Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant and Clark Gable.