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22 June 2017: Today, the ceremonial keel laying took place for Celebrity Edge in Saint-Nazaire, France setting the foundation for the ship's innovative new structure. 

An 875 ton block was lifted in the air and a lucky coin was placed in the dock before the block was lowered into position. With the solid foundation in place, the building blocks can be joined together to create the ship of the future. 

Leaders from both Celebrity Cruises and STX France were at the event to celebrate the next stage of the ships evolution.  

Celebrity Edge will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, FL., making her first sailing December 16, 2018. 

Bookings are now open so contact one of our travel specialists if you'd like to be one of the first onboard!

 

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Royal Caribbean invites the world to experience a first of its kind underwater adventure through the lens of Snapchat Spectacles. From June 21 to June 25, Royal Caribbean’s Snapchat channel will immerse viewers in a one of-a-kind underwater adventure thanks to a custom-designed scuba mask dubbed “SeaSeekers.” 

The mask was custom engineered by the cruise line for use with Snapchat Spectacles. It allows the wearer to snap while underwater and will give those above the surface a unique perspective into the intriguing underwater world of marine life. Fans can #SeekDeeper by following @RoyalCaribbean on Snapchat. 

“The SeaSeeker will enable all adventure-seekers to get a front-row seat to the thrilling adventures found underwater in a way that has never been possible before,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer Royal Caribbean International. “We’ve even taken the added step of applying for a patent for the SeaSeeker mask so that we can bring it to our guests exclusively.”

“Snapchat continues to be a favourite channel for curious travellers and is the ideal platform for this first-of-its-kind undersea exploration.”

The three dives will feature incredible underwater adventures seen through the eyes of three well-known divers. In Cozumel, Mexico marine wildlife photographer and conservationist Roberto Ochoa will give viewers a rare glimpse into the annual migration of Whale Sharks. 

Marine Biologist Gabriela Nava and co-founder of the organization Oceanus, A.C. based in Mexico, will then take viewers to see a coral reef restoration project where she and her team have been working to restore the local reefs. 

In Belize, fans can follow along as free diver Ashleigh Baird visits the Great Blue Hole, an underwater sinkhole that is believed to be the largest of its kind.

Fans can follow along on Royal Caribbean’s Snapchat channel or by searching on other social platforms by using #SeekDeeper.

 

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It seems all of the cruise lines are flexing their muscles to see who can manufacture the greatest and most imaginative cruise ship, and French expedition cruise company Ponant is certainly getting in on the diversion.

Ponant are launching the first-ever underwater lounge at sea that will unquestionably heighten the experience of the sea.

Blue Eye, a shiny, multi-tactile space where guests can see, hear and for all intents and purposes touch the passing nautical life in the ocean, will be divulged on the brand’s four new Ponant Explorers: Le Bougainville, Le Dumont-d’Urville, Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain.

On board each ship, guests will have the capacity to head underneath the water line to the Blue Eye lounge. There are two substantial glass viewing windows proposed to look like the eyes of a whale that let guests find the marvels of the dark blue sea, computerised screens that venture live pictures filmed by three submerged cameras, marine surroundsound in view of sounds in inside a three-mile range of the ship, and couches that vibrate in amicability with the ocean.

Sarina Bratton, who founded Australia’s Orion Expedition Cruises and moved on to Ponant to help internationalise the France-based business, emphasised Blue Eye was unique, inclusive and complimentary.

“It allows all guests to indulge in the subaquatic world, not just a few passengers in a submarine or a helicopter,” she said, referring to other luxury expedition yachts with these extra-fee features. But she added: “We welcome other companies’ new ships as the luxury expedition market cannot be sustained with 20 and 30 year old vessels.” Bratton said to Cruise Critics.

Expedition leader Mick Fogg said the sound experience would be a phenomenal natural symphony of whales singing, dolphins frolicking and fish chomping on coral. “With over five kilometres of noise, you’re going to want to turn that volume down, ” he said. “They don’t look like normal cruise ships, ” Bratton said. “But people now expect luxury on an expedition cruise. Luxury expedition is no longer an oxymoron. “

Source: Wheelie Good Cruises

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Earlier this month MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa took delivery of MSC Meraviglia, marking the launch of the next chapter of the cruise line’s growth.

MSC Meraviglia is the largest cruise ship entering into service in 2017, and will be the fourth largest cruise ship in the world except for the three gigantic Oasis Class ships from Royal Caribbean International.

At 171,598 GRT and with guest capacity of 5,714 (4,488 at double occupancy), MSC Meraviglia is equally the biggest ship to ever be built by a European ship owner — MSC Cruises — and the biggest to come into service in 2017.

Following her christening ceremony,  MSC Meraviglia will start her inaugural season sailing the Western Mediterranean.

The ship will have the following features:

  • At full capacity, the ship can accommodate 5,714 guests
  • The ship offers 12 distinct dining venues, serving a range of international dining options including five speciality restaurants
  • There will be will be exclusive world-class entertainment with 12 Cirque du Soleil at Sea performances each week
  • 75% of all staterooms have a balcony and family modular connected staterooms can be joined together to accommodate up to 10 guests
  • The ship will be the 5th ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet to feature a Swarovski staircase
  • The ship will feature a Mediterranean-style promenade featuring multiple bars, restaurants and shops, as well as the longest LED
  • Sky Screen at sea which will broadcast atmospheric images and entertainment 24-hours a day
  • Guests have access to 355,209 sq. ft. of public space across 15 public decks
  • The longest LED Sky Screen at sea will broadcast atmospheric images and entertainment 24 hours a day
  • There are 7 different kids clubs including a technology lab and a TV studio for the first time on a MSC Cruises ship
  • The ship will offer more than 20 hours of daily entertainment
  • More than 24 musicians will perform 40 hours of live music each day
  • The ship will have a Star Wars pod and a flight simulator
  • The ‘Himalayan Bridge’ which spans the ship will allow guests to climb 269 ft. above sea level
  • There are 20 bars and lounges on the ship
  • Guests will be able to use a NFC bracelet to unlock stateroom doors, make payments on board and book restaurants and shows
  • Guests will be able to geolocate their children using the MSC Cruises App thanks to Bluetooth Beacons and wearable technology
  • Guests will also be able to embark and disembark from the ship using their bracelet together with their Cruise Card
  • Guests will be able to experience shore excursions in advance using Virtual Reality (“VR”) technology

MSC Meraviglia will home port in Miami, Florida for the 2019-2020 winter

season.

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Seabourn, acclaimed as the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, have enriched the guests experience onboard Seabourn Odyssey with the addition of its signature restaurant, The Grill by Thomas Keller, and the new mindful living program created by Dr. Andrew Weil.

“The addition of The Grill by Thomas Keller and Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil continue a new chapter in Seabourn’s long history of offering the finest guest experiences in luxury travel,” Seabourn President Richard Meadows said.

“Through our outstanding partnerships with Chef Keller and Dr. Weil, we are excited to expand these programs on Seabourn Odyssey, with a fleet-wide rollout scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.”

Seabourn Odyssey is the third of the cruise line’s four ships to offer The Grill and the second to feature Dr. Weil’s program. The additions follow a dry dock period for Seabourn Odyssey which allowed an array of carefully and thoughtfully designed updates to the vessel.

Some of the main changes on Seabourn Odyssey include:

  • The Spa has been refreshed
  • The Fitness Centre features new equipment
  • All suites have been recarpeted
  • Seabourn’s new bespoke luxury mattresses have been added
  • Newly designed furniture has been placed in a range of suites
  • New carpet, furniture, teak flooring and refinished woodwork has been added throughout the ship.

Inspired by the classic American chophouse, The Grill by Thomas Keller is a alliance flanked by three-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller and designer Adam D. Tihany, exclusively for Seabourn.

The Grill is now featured on Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Quest, and Seabourn Odyssey, with Seabourn Sojourn scheduled for opening in late 2017. Seabourn Ovation will launch with the restaurant in May 2018. Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil is a mindful living program that offers guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that assimilates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being.

Created in conjunction with The Onboard Spa by Steiner, Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil will be led by Seabourn Odyssey’s onboard Mindful Living Coach, a certified yoga and meditation practitioner whose role is to inspire and educate guests during the voyage.

Eventually destined for every ship in the Seabourn fleet, Dr. Weil’s program is the first-ever of its kind available at sea.

 

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The final countdown is on for the debut of P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer, and the long anticipated ship’s multi-million dollar transformation is currently in progress in Singapore.

During her drydock, the vessel – formerly sailing as Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess – will undertake a colossal refurbishment which will see the addition of a variety of stimulating innovative features for Australian seafarers.

When she sails from Sydney on her maiden cruise on June 22, Pacific Explorer will wow Australian’s with two of the longest and wildest waterslides ever seen on an Australian-based ship – each stretching more than 80 metres – along with an thrilling waterpark and a barefoot lawn bowling green. Top-deck favourites P&O Edge Adventure Park (https://www.pocruises.com.au/experiences/at-sea/play/po-edge) and the Big Screen will also be mounted during the ship’s dry dock.

Pacific Explorer’s public spaces will get a total facelift, together with its multi-storey atrium, lounges, bars and restaurants, the introduction of the trendy Australian décor and quirky features which have become a trademark of the P&O fleet in recent years.

Keeping with P&O Cruises’ continuing food evolution, Pacific Explorer’s refurbishment will embrace the construction of new dining selections from fast-casual dining at Luke’s (https://www.lukemangan.com/), a new poolside grill by Australian chef and restauranteur Luke Mangan to a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria called 400 Gradi (http://www.400gradi.com.au/), by award-winning Melbourne chef Johnny Di Francesco.

Guests will also be able to dine in the ship’s Waterfront Restaurant, try a taste of la dolce vita in its Italian restaurant Angelo’s (https://www.pocruises.com.au/experiences/at-sea/dining/angelos), indulge your senses in the sultry atmosphere of the pan-Asian restaurant Dragon Lady (https://www.pocruises.com.au/experiences/atsea/dining/dragon-lady) or be spoilt for choice in The Pantry, an international marketplace of nine fresh food outlets popular across the P&O Cruises’ fleet.

The Bonded Store (http://www.wheeliegoodcruises.com.au/archie-rosedistilling-co-pacific-explorer/) the place to unwind and relax with friends will also be added, featuring a cocktail list created in partnership with Sydney-based award-winning Archie Rose Distilling Co, as well as whisky and gin-making classes.

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said Pacific Explorer was the perfect addition to P&O’s existing four-ship fleet. “Pacific Explorer is the next stage in the evolution of P&O, building on our very popular modern Australian holiday offering with some exciting new features. We can’t wait to show her off to our guests,” Mr Myrmell said.

Pacific Explorer will set sail from Singapore on June 9.

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Leading cruise line P&O Cruises has strengthened its commitment to New Zealand, adding FIVE more voyages to its sailings from Auckland next year.

The cruise line today released full details of its largest New Zealand program yet, with local holidaymakers able to choose from an unprecedented 22 roundtrip cruises in 2018.

With the extension of its latest program, P&O’s superliner Pacific Jewel will now be based in Auckland between March and August 2018, offering itineraries ranging from themed three-night Sea Break cruises, perfect for a weekend getaway, to a 15-night cruise exploring the islands of Polynesia.

The additional five itineraries now on offer in July and August include:

• a 10-night cruise to Tonga departing July 24, 2018 and visiting four ports including Vava’u and Nuku’alofa

• a nine-night cruise to the Pacific Islands, visiting Noumea, Lifou, Port Vila and Mare, departing August 6, 2018

• an eight-night cruise to Fiji departing August 15, 2018

• a three-night comedy cruise departing August 3, 2018

• a three-night food and wine cruise, departing August 23, 2018.

Also on offer is a new four-night comedy cruise sailing one-way from Auckland to Brisbane on August 26, 2018.

Accommodating 1950 guests, the 70,310-tonne Pacific Jewel features almost 200 private balcony rooms and mini-suites, an indulgent spa and a host of great onboard activities including the action-packed P&OEdge Adventure Park. Its many dining options include fine dining at Salt grill by Luke Mangan and contemporary casual eating in the Pantry, a stylish international food market featuring eight fresh food outlets and a bar.

Call 0800 110 108 to speak toone of our Cruising Specialists soon to ensure you don't miss out!

 

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the Monaco Government Tourism & Convention Authority have come together again to celebrate the one year anniversary of the christening of the Seven Seas Explorer in Monaco, which was presided over by the Seven Seas Explorer’s godmother, HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco on 13 July 2016. The anniversary celebration recognises the unique link between the most luxurious ship ever built and the most luxurious port of call in the world.

 

Held last night at Bistro Guillaume, the newly opened restaurant of one of Australia’s most popular chefs, Guillaume Brahimi, the celebratory dinner included an impressive ensemble of valued guests and friends of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the Monaco Government.

 

Steve Odell, Senior Vice President & Managing Director Asia Pacific for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said, “The collaboration between Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Monaco, a Principality renowned for its glamour, prestige and stylish lifestyle, is truly fitting for a brand that sets new benchmarks in cruising luxury. “

He added, “From opulent suites to gourmet restaurants and elegant lounges, the Seven Seas Explorer unsurprisingly lives up to her reputation as the most luxurious ship ever built. Her return to Monte Carlo’s famed Port Hercule, marks the culmination of a successful first year of spectacular voyages on both sides of the Atlantic.”  

Hadrien Bourely, Honorary Consul de Monaco (NSW, NT & QLD) said, “In recent years the Port Authority of Monaco has taken the decision to realign itself with the luxury cruise industry, as such Regent Seven Seas is a most valued partner.  In 2016, Monaco welcomed 191 ship visits, carrying almost 200,000 cruise passengers with 67 percent of the visits falling in the luxury segment.  With HSH Princess Charlene as the Godmother of the most luxurious ship ever built we are thrilled to be welcoming Seven Seas Explorer back to her place of christening. We hope that more Australians will travel to Monaco and experience the perfect combination of our Principality with the ultimate in luxury cruising”.

 

The newest member of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, Seven Seas Explorer boasts one of the highest space and staff to guest ratios in the cruise industry and includes a range of unique features, including a one-of-a-kind 360-square-metre suite, extravagantly designed lounges and showplaces, and lavish gourmet restaurants.

 

For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises or specific itineraries, please contact a professional travel agent; visit www.rssc.com; or call 1300 455 200 (Australia) or 0800 625 692 (New Zealand).

 

Photo caption: Andrew M. Cannon AM- Honorary Consul of Monaco (SA, TAS , VIC, WA), Steve Odell, Senior Vice President, Managing Director Asia Pacific Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings, Lisa Pile, Vice President Sales, Australia & New Zealand, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Guillaume Brahimi, Celebrated Sydney Chef, Alison Roberts-Brown, Regional Director, Australia & NZ, Monaco Tourism, Hadrien Bourely, Honorary Consul of Monaco (NSW, NT & QLD) and Mathew Butterworth.

                                                         

About Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world's most inclusive luxury cruise line with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 425 destinations around the globe.  The line’s newest ship, Seven Seas Explorer, entered service on 20 July, 2016 and has been recognised as The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built™. A leader in the luxury cruise segment, the line's fares include all-suite accommodation, highly personalised service, exquisite cuisine, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, gratuities, a 1 night pre-cruise hotel package and transfer from hotel to ship for guests staying in concierge level suites and higher. 

 

About Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is an independent sovereign state located between France and Italy on the Mediterranean coast.  Monaco enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year, the perfect destination from which to explore the French and Italian Rivieras. Boasting an incredible calendar of events, a wide choice of luxury accommodation and dining experiences, Monaco’s clear cut focus on providing outstanding hospitality excellent is evident. Renowned for the glitz and glamour Monaco remains serious about environmental sustainability under the watchful eye of Prince Albert II and the Prince Albert II Foundation.

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Carnival Cruise Line's newest ship, the 3934-passenger Carnival Ho-rizon, will be the first in the fleet to feature Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, a water park inspired by the worlds of the children’s author, advises Francis Travel Marketing.

Located on Deck 12, the water park will offer Dr. Seuss-themed slides, tipping buckets, a kiddies splash zone and more. The ship will also feature the Dr. Seuss Bookville family reading and play venue, and popular Seuss at Sea activities like The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends and the Seuss-a-palooza Parade and Story Time.

Carnival Horizon will make its maid-en voyage 02 Apr 2018, with a 13-day Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona.

Speak to your Mondo Travel specialist to book soon - there is no doubt this one will fill fast for fun family holidays.

Source: TABS on TRAVEL

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Have you ever wanted to have a good nosey around a cruise line BEFORE you make your booking?

Well, with Crystal Cruises, you now can!

Through The Crystal Lens is an exclusive virtual reality experience that takes you aboard their award-winning ships and into the fascinating destinations to which they visit.

Look for the 360° video icon on deck plans and destination maps to view exclusive content.

https://preview.crystalcruises.com

 

 

 

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Keen for a new travel adventure? Can you imagine yourself cruising the great rivers of Europe? Gliding past the medieval castles and lush riverbank vineyards on a luxurious river cruise ship as it winds its way through some of the most beautiful sights and delivers you to Europe’s most celebrated towns & cities.

If that sparks the wanderlust in you then now is the time to pick up the brand new 2018 Avalon Waterways’ brochure from your local travel agent and start planning a European river cruise.

Just one year ago this month, New Zealand’s very own Judy Bailey became the godmother of Avalon’s newest ship as she took part in its inaugural cruise and officially christened it; Avalon Imagery II.

The Avalon Imagery II is just one of 12 revolutionary Avalon Suite ships in their European fleet of 15 ships offering casual luxury and amazing travel experiences on the waterways of Europe.  These new ships are so innovative in their design that guests get to experience Europe from a unique and intimate perspective.

If you are a seasoned cruise traveller or if this is your very first voyage, you’ll find the Avalon Waterway’s experience something very special. If you’ve never enjoyed the delights of river cruising, you’ll be sold on the way Europe’s best arrives at your expansive Open Air Balcony.

And that’s part of the Avalon difference - losing a tiny exterior balcony off your room to incorporate the space inside your Panorama Suite and provide floor to ceiling expansive windows that open back to let the outside in. And Avalon’s Panorama Suites have been cleverly designed so the bed faces the view so you wake up to a new European vista every morning.

Avalon Suite Ships are modern and clever in their design, allowing them to feel significantly bigger than others. With two full decks of Panorama Suites offering 30% more space than staterooms on standard river cruising ships, Avalon has allowed for greater comfort along with the views.

And there is an extra incentive for picking up a brochure hot off the press and getting your 2018 booking in early, with great offers available until 6 June this year.

Last year Avalon offered an air credit deal and it was so well received the company has bought it back by popular demand. Depending on the cruise itinerary and departure dates, early bookings will be rewarded with air credits of up to $2,500 per couple on European cruises.

Also new for 2018, Avalon Active cruises will be introduced on the Rhine River. It’s an interactive and energetic option for the more adventurous traveller.

Beginning in Amsterdam, guests can choose an energetic guided running tour, bike rides along the spectacular Rhine, participate in adrenaline fuelled re-enactments of the Roman Games or even climb the steps to Marksburg Castle to experience exceptional views over the river & vistas below. 

After breath-taking excursions through aromatic orchards or vibrant city streets, guests can retreat toward the comfort of their ship. Evenings spent cruising the Rhine, dining whilst surrounded by panoramic views or spotting castles on the hillsides from the sky deck are all part of an Avalon Waterways holiday.

 

Ask your Mondo Travel cruise specialist for the latest itineraries or brochures!

0800 110 108

 

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When Celebrity Solstice, the region’s highest rated cruise ship*, departs Auckland on 24 April to migrate to warmer climates, she marks the conclusion of an historic cruise season for New Zealand and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

The cruise company brought three lines and an unprecedented seven ships to Australia and New Zealand this season, including superliner Ovation of the Seas, which broke all the records when she arrived at Kiwi shores.

Ovation of the Seas cost USD$1 billion to build, weighing in at 168,666 GRT with capacity for close to 5000 passengers and 1500 crew, making her by far the biggest and most technologically sophisticated cruise ship to ever call this region home.

With 17 visits to ports including Dunedin, Picton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland and Paihia, the inaugural local season has been declared a major success. The 358m long giant has also been confirmed to return here in December 2017 for a longer season.

Adam Armstrong, Managing Director AU & NZ, says that bringing the largest and most advanced vessel drew new crowds to the market.

“What we have learned is that there is a demand for cruises to New Zealand on a large feature-rich ship like Ovation of the Seas, which has validated our decision to invest in this market. SuperCruising has now emerged as an all new category.”

It was also a record breaking season for the cruise line in terms of overall passengers. More than 300,000 guests sailed on seven ships during the 2016/17 summer cruise season.

A quarter of those guests – around 75,000 - sailed itineraries that visited New Zealand.  This injected an estimated $40 million in passenger spend alone into New Zealand’s regional economies.

Australians made up the core demographic of cruisers to New Zealand at 60%, while the other 40% saw a number of nationalities including from the US, Europe, UK, and of course Kiwis themselves.

In addition to Ovation, Royal Caribbean Cruises also brought Radiance of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Celebrity Solstice, and Azamara Journey for a total of 133 NZ port visits. 

Boutique cruise ship Azamara Journey made her maiden voyage to NZ this season bringing its destination focussed style of cruising to our shores, showcasing our beautiful country with the brand’s signature longer stays and more authentic local experiences.

Returning fresh from an all-encompassing makeover, Azamara Journey’s revitalisation saw the addition of new venues and technologies, a beautiful redesign and rework of her suites and staterooms, a complete refresh of all public spaces and pervasive wi-fi throughout. 

The region’s favourite and highest rated cruise ship, Celebrity Solstice, celebrated a milestone sailing her fifth consecutive local season, fresh from a stunning makeover. Additions included the first Tiffany & Co store at sea for the region, beautiful cabanas on the famed real grass Lawn Club, and an outdoor movie screen to host her new film and gastronomic experience, “A Taste of Film” for guests.

Royal Caribbean is reminding travellers to book their 2017/18 season cruises early as spaces sell out fast. Simply contact your Mondo Travel specialist for information on forward itineraries!

 

www.mondotravel.co.nz

T: 0800 110 108

 

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Carnival Cruise Line has raised a glass to the success of Australia’s first bespoke cruise beer – ThirstyFrog Summer Ale, with almost 200,000 schooners enjoyed at sea since the refreshing craft ale was launched three years ago.

Created in partnership with The Lord Nelson Brewery, ThirstyFrog Summer Ale has proved one of the most popular beers on Australia-based ships Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend.

Celebrating the three-year milestone at a special event at Sydney’s The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel on the United States’ National Beer Day (April 7), Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Beverage Operations Eddie Allen said ThirstyFrog Summer Ale had paved the way for the cruise line to work with similar breweries around the world.

“As a nation of beer lovers, it’s no surprise that ThirstyFrog Summer Ale has been a huge hit on our Australia-based ships Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend.  We worked closely with The Lord Nelson Brewery to create a quality beer that Australians would appreciate and enjoy during a holiday at sea,” Mr Allen said.

“Following the success of Australia’s summer ale, we’ve rolled out similar partnerships with no less than 10 local craft breweries in homeports in the States. And because our guests have such a penchant for craft beer, we’ve even taken the process to sea with the craft brewery on Carnival Vista proving to be a huge hit. We expect similar results when Carnival Horizon debuts with her own onboard brewery.”

ThirstyFrog Summer Ale, which takes its name from the RedFrog pubs featured across Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet, is only available on tap onboard Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend. The beer is a 100 per cent natural ale, which combines Australian and American hops to create subtle malt flavours and floral citrus aromas in a thoroughly drinkable beer, which was designed to capture the spirit of a holiday at sea.

Since the beer was launched on the cruise line’s Australia-based ships in 2014, Carnival Cruise Line has become one of The Lord Nelson Brewery’s biggest outlets in Australia. 

Ask your Mondo cruise specialist about the itineraries!

 

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Richard Fain, the chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, is willing to bet $5 billion that he can take everything you know about cruising and flip it upside down. Or at least outside in.

On Monday, he and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity Cruises - one of three brands in the Royal Caribbean family - announced a new category of ship that, among other transformational design moves, brings stateroom balconies indoors. With a push of a button, the floor-to-ceiling windows of Celebrity Edge-class staterooms retract like a super-sleek garage door, leaving nothing but a simple glass railing between your living room furniture and the crystal-blue sea.

Portholes and balconies are set to become a thing of the past. At least, that's what Fain and Lutoff-Perlo are betting on.

These balconies on-demand are just one of the first-to-market design features raising the price tag of Edge-class ships to $1 billion a piece. Here's what else to expect on these tricked-out ocean liners, which are packed with enough bells and whistles to make even the most fervent anti-cruiser consider a trip on the high seas.

"Infinite" Verandas

By redefining the balcony, Celebrity is able to expand cabins right up to the edge of the ship - almost like an infinity pool. As a result, stateroom floor plans are (on average) 23 percent larger than before, with bathrooms gaining an extra 20 percent of square footage.

A Magic Carpet Ride

Imagine a mini-deck that is the length of a tennis court which hovers off the edge of the ship, moving up and down along a vertical track almost like an elevator. That's the Magic Carpet, a new public space that will serve different purposes at different times of the day - a stylish disembarkation point. a lunch spot with wraparound views, an extension to the pool area (sometimes with a DJ), a fine dining restaurant that's cantilevered over the sea. 

Floating Villas With Private Plunge Pools

Suites have traditionally made up 5 percent of Celebrity's room stock; on Edge ships, they'll represent 12 percent of the accommodations. Included are six duplex villas that shed the traditional décor you'll find on, say, luxury cruise line Cunard's two-floor suites-instead, they have private plunge pools and direct access to the one of the ship's sundecks. Eucalyptus-treated cashmere mattresses from Italy, Bulgari bath amenities, butler service, packing and unpacking support, and a bar that's set up based on your own preferences: They're just a few of the signature amenities for suite guests.

Mobile-Controlled Everything

Wearables are a thing of the past. On the Edge ships, you'll be able to do everything on your phone, from checking in to unlocking your stateroom door or controlling your room's temperature and lighting. It all happens via a proprietary Celebrity app, which also puts the concierge, ship map, and daily event schedule in each guest's pocket.

The Ultimate Adult "Playscape"

The so-called resort deck on the Celebrity Edge ships takes the adult pool concept to a whole new level. The pool itself (The Solarium) is enclosed by a tessellated, glass-like dome for all-weather access. It  leads to a rooftop garden landscaped with sculptural trees and maintained by a dedicated horticulturist so that it can be used for parties (think live music, wine, and blankets) or dinner-and-a-movie nights.

The Bottom Line

Lutoff-Perlo and Fain both talk about the Edge class as an evolution in modern luxury, capable of drawing more affluent younger travelers and converting them into cruisers.

"When you have to sign a contract for $5 billion, your hand shakes. But now that I've seen the design, my hand no longer shakes," said Fain. And Lutoff-Perlo indicated there's more to come. "Every new feature needs to be a must-see, must-have experience-that's true of all these additions, along with several more amazing things we'll be revealing later on," she teased.

Want to get a spot on the inaugural sailing? Bookings are officially open for the first ship's maiden voyage, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Dec. 16, 2018, for a week-long Caribbean circuit.

GET IN TOUCH NOW - Space is guaranteed not to last - Call us on 0800 110 108!

As reported by The Herald and Washington Post

submitted by -- Gayle

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth is to be based in Australia for a record two months to accommodate the growing demand for local cruises on the luxury cruise line's ships.

Seven cruise options offer destinations such as: New Zealand, South Australia, Tasmania, departing Sydney and Melbourne February-April 2019.

The cruises are a major highlight of the Cunard's 2019 World Voyage program due for release mid-March 2017.

 

submitted by -- Gayle

We've often heard people discussing their upcoming cruise and debating whether to try and sneek the odd bottle of alcohol onboard with them.

All we can say is: DON'T!

Much like airlines, cruise companies have cottoned onto the fact that travellers will sometimes go to great lengths to get that bottle of Jim Beam or Smirnoff into their cabin without detection. Over the years, they have uncovered a raft of attempted deceptions ... decanting drinks into mouthwash bottles, having specific containers made up, stashing vodka in makeup bottles and more!

Do you really want the shame of holding up the queue on embarkation day while you are made to hand over your illegal booze? Will you be able to show your red face again that night at dinner?

Not only do you stand a darn good chance of losing the alcohol that's just been discovered, you'll then be forced to pay for your drinks on top of losing your stash! Would have been cheaper to just pay the bar tab and be done with.

While on the subject of drinking, remember that while you can legally drink in some countries at 18 years of age, if you're on a cruise that departs from an American port, you'll be faced with a minimum drinking age of 21!

If you're celebrating a special occasion onboard, you can take your own champagne with you - ask about the corkage fees if you intend to pop the cork in the dining areas!

Lastly, drinking to excess on a cruise is NEVER a good idea ... cruise companies have been known to disembark passengers who have violated their alcohol policies ... everything in moderation!

Happy sailing!

 

submitted by -- Gayle