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Cruise ship information

Carnival Cruise Lines

While I certainly book and use all cruise lines, my personal preference is Carnival Cruise Lines. Several of the Fantasy class ships (along with some of the Conquest and Dream class ships) have either already added or will add an "Adult-only Serenity" area. These areas have about 100 lounge chairs with comfortable cushions and 2 adult whirlpools. These same Fantasy class ships have added a Waterworks area that is quite enjoyable for kids. So the adults have their own space (if desired) while kids are entertained. As for the very young kids, parent do not need to be concerned. The Camp Carnival staff will take care of them for you and will provide you with a beeper/pager should any type of urgent need arise. If you wish to have a late "adult night," the ship will even provide baby-sitting services after 10 p.m. (til about 3 a.m.) for a nominal fee per hour--about $6 per child/per hour. When the advertisements for Carnival say "Fun Ships," it is for good reason. Throughout the entire fleet, it has been my experience that the staff members enjoy their jobs, are friendly, and will go the extra mile to help you have a great time. Their staterooms are as spacious (or more) than any other ships in the industry. They have some excellent itineraries and options that will suit anyone's budget.

 

Carnival, like most of the other cruise lines, continues to introduce new ships into the fleet. The Carnival Magic made her maiden voyage in May 2011. The ship has now repositioned to Galveston, TX with primarily Western Caribbean destinations.

 

The Carnival Breeze made her maiden voyage in June 2012. Sailings were in the Mediterranean for a few months before repositioning to Miami later that year. Many of the things we have all come to enjoy about some of the fleet (adult only "Serenity" area, Carnival WaterWorks, etc...) and other additions such as the Red Frog Pub, which was introduced on her sister ship the Magic, will also be included in the newest member of the ever-increasing fleet of ships.  The ship did a repositioning cruise to Galveston, TX near the end of 2016 and will reposition to her next home port of Pt Canaveral in the fall of 2018.

 

 

NEW CRUISE PORT ADDITION--

Carnival Corp. opened Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic.

The port does not have a beach but it does have a beautiful pool area along with many cabanas to rent if you wish-- hillside or poolside or over the water cabanas.  If you want to reserve one, be sure to do so in advance as these do tend to book up well in advance of the date you visit.

 

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Announced Mar. 6, 2012-- An "old" ship becomes new in 2013

Itineraries. The Carnival Sunshine, currently known as the Carnival Destiny (originally built in 1996), emerged from its dry-dock in April 2013 at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard. It sailed a series of 9- and 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona and Venice until October 2013. After an Atlantic crossing, the ship, now Miami-based, headed to its new homeport in New Orleans. This means that Carnival Conquest, which was based in the Big Easy, has a new assignment in Miami. Sunshine's Nola cruises began in November 2013.  Starting in April 2014, the Sunshine will reposition again and begin a variety of cruise sailings from Pt. Canaveral. 

Interestingly, the ship currently offers three different seven-nighters from its New Orleans homeport. Offerings are an exotic western Caribbean route to Belize City, Belize; Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, and Cozumel, Mexico; a Bahamas/Florida schedule to Key West, Fla., and Freeport and Nassau, the Bahamas; and western Caribbean departures to Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel.

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 Carnival Vista--- Maiden voyage- May 1, 2016

 

The Carnival Vista started her sailing season in the Mediterranean and after doing a Transatlantic voyage on Oct 21, 2016.  Then after one long sailing from NYC, the Vista did a reposition and is currently based in Miami to do a series of 6 and 8 nt voyages.  It will reposition again in the fall of 2018 to her new home port of Galveston TX.

 

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Royal Caribbean


 

The Allure of the Seas, which is the sister ship to the Oasis of the Seas, made her maiden voyage in December 2010. This is the largest cruise ship in the world (by only a couple of inches-- passing her sister ship, the Oasis of the Seas). It holds about 5400 passengers with a crew of about 2100. It features the industry's first Starbuck's Coffee shop on a ship, an adult only Solarium, a FlowRider, a carousel in the Boardwalk area, and it has a zipline over the open area in the middle of the ship-- about 9 decks in the air. The ship departs from Ft. Lauderdale and offers 7-day voyages to the Western and Eastern Caribbean.

As of November 2, 09, Royal Caribbean unveiled the world's second largest cruise ship. The Oasis of the Seas is five times larger than the Titanic with a passenger capacity of 5300. The ship sails from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale and started sailings on Nov. 11, 09. More information on the ship and a slideshow can be found at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091101/ap_on_re_eu/eu_world_s_largest_cruise_ship

The ship makes Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.

NOTE: There are balcony cabins that have ocean views and balcony cabins overlooking the main interior area of the ship. Technically, these interior views are still outdoors; however, you can only see the ocean from these balcony cabins if you look towards the aft of the ship.

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Disney Dream arrives to fanfare


Fireworks, water pageantry and cheering fans greeted the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line® fleet as it arrived for the first time at Port Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 4, 2011.

Hundreds of people lined the shores to welcome the Disney Dream™ to its new home. The 4,000-passenger luxury liner cruised into the newly expanded, state-of-the-art port facility at sunrise accompanied by a flotilla of watercraft.

The Disney Dream does 3-, 4- and 5-night cruises to the Bahamas and held its maiden voyage on Jan. 26, 2011.

 

**** Important Updates from Disney Destinations - as of Feb. 4, 2011 ***

 
Disney Cruise Line

We are modifying the 10- and 11-night European cruise itineraries aboard the Disney Magic® to include a call in Palermo, Italy, instead of a scheduled stop in Tunis.

The decision was made in part due to the changing political environment in Tunis and the recent Travel Alert issued by the U.S. Department of State.

As always, our first concern is for the safety and well being of Guests. We will continue to monitor our destinations and make changes if necessary.

 

 

NEW SHIP IN 2012:

Disney Cruise Line® has launched the newest ship in the fleet. On Jan. 8, Disney Fantasy floated out of the enclosed building dock at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. In about two weeks, the ship will convey down the River Ems to the North Sea for the start of sea trials. More milestones will follow, concluding with the ship’s maiden voyage on March 31, 2012.

 

 

 

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Do you need a passport?


There are many fine print issues here, but in a nutshell, if your point of departure requires a flight out of the US to non-US port, then yes, you must have a passport. If your point of departure is from a US port and the ship returns to the same US port, then it is strongly encouraged you have a passport -- at the present time (Jan, 2012), it is not a mandate. You must have at least a government issued photo ID (if you are age 16 or older) and a certified copy of your birth certificate. However, if you are on the cruise and you have to fly back home in the middle of the cruise, you will not be permitted back in the country without a passport. A passport will also help expedite your return through the customs process. More details on how to obtain a passport on the FAQ page.

 

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What about excursions while on a cruise?


Most cruise lines will allow you to book an excursion about 120 days in advance of your travel dates if you have made your initial payment (some require full payment to be made before excursions can be booked) on the cruise. It is highly recommended to go through the list of options and pre-book online as soon as possible. Many excursions sell out prior to the sailing date. If you see one of the "I can't live without doing this" excursions, please book in advance so you don't miss your once-in-a-lifetime experience. Also, it is highly recommended to go on the excursions that are recommended by the cruise line. If an excursion is running late returning to the ship and it was recommended by the cruise lines, the ship will wait for you. Otherwise, you are on your own to get to the next port. Feel free to send me an email, and I will be glad to give you some advice regarding which excursions will most likely be available on a limited basis.

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What about cruise documents?


Most all cruise lines, airlines, etc... are using e-documents now. Most are not sending paper documents any longer. You are advised to go to the cruise lines' website and complete all information needed, then you can print out your documents which include your boarding passes and, in some cases, even luggage tags.

 


I have never been on a cruise before or I have only been on one or two. What else should I know and what should I expect prior to the cruise, during each day/night of the cruise, and when we return to the home port?

 

I have compiled a rather extensive list of expectations. Whenever you book your cruise with me, I will provide this information to you. It is just one of the many services I provide to you without any added fees.