Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Virgin Cruises lands funding, sailing forward

Personally, we can't wait to see what Sir Richard Branson does with the Virgin Cruises brand he's building. Today's reports tell us he's got his funding ducks in a row, and so can move forward with two new-built ships. “We are looking at a very different kind of cruise company. We’re trying to create the kind of cruise ship that would be attractive to the kind of people who would never consider a cruise at the moment,” Sir Richard told The National, an Abu Dhabi-based news source.

Our feeling is that since Sir Richard has more fun with his billions than any other billionaire, he's ideally suited to birth a cruise brand more likely to attract cruise virgins.

A Virgin spokesperson reported a likely initial focus in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, with an operating date as early as 2019.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Oil spill makes a mess of Galveston and Houston cruises

Sunday's collision between the barge M/V Summer Wind and the tug Miss Susan, and subsequent 168,000-gallon oil spill, have since brought arrivals and departures at the ports of Galveston and Houston to a halt. Carnival Magic and Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas were delayed trying to return from their trips, but then received special permission to proceed and dock. However, no ships will be permitted to leave until the Coast Guard gives the all-clear signal that it's possible to transit without re-fouling the ships' hulls. The expectation is that the cruise ships will receive priority over other ships to resume sailing first within the next few days.

At this moment, one can see on the port of Houston's webcam the Caribbean Princess languishing at her pier awaiting permission to depart. Meantime over in Galveston, you can see Carnival Triumph tied up at pier 23. Navigator of the Seas and Carnival Magic are also there.

See also: Coast Guard Updates, Port of Galveston Updates, Galveston Cruises, Houston Cruises

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Airfares Got You Down?

With airfares reaching altitudes somewhere in the stratosphere cruise lines are reducing their overseas inventories and moving their fleets closer to home.

Everyone from Carnival to Regent Seven Seas has announced their intentions to adjust their offerings away from Europe and the Med.

As a result a number of interesting domestic departures are coming online in the near future. It may be time to discover North America again!

New England, the Maritimes and the Pacific caast are all waiting for you. Also don't overlook the many 'small ship' cruises that are available on virtually every navigable river in the U.S. and Canada.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Smoking, or not

Crystal Cruises has announced that it is falling in line with other lines and severely limiting the use of tobacco products onboard its ships.

In light of these icreasing restrictions we suggest that those amongst you be sure to look into the smoking policy as it is applied to the specific ship that you intend to book.

Many of the better lines offer Cigar lounges and other designated smoking areas.

Smoking in your cabin can lead to a 'cleaning fee' and/or removal from the vessel.


Thursday, April 04, 2013

Fashion Faux Pas, Eco Tourism and Jimmy Buffett

We suspect that somewhere in the Target organization there is a functionary that is about to update his/her resume.

Seems that a dress was offered in regular sizes as "Dark Heather Gray" while the same dress in plus sizes was offered as "Manatee Gray". A bad joke to be sure that has the PR team at Target scrambling to apologize in a hurry.

When visiting warmer climates (Florida) we recommend that you do take time to do an Eco Tour and see the Manatees, Alligators, Sea Turtles, Panthers, Key Deer and other native fauna.


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

These People are Real and they Reproduce!

Just when you think that you have heard it all..........

We are reminded of the story about the U.S. Congressman who complained to his travel agent that his room at Disney World in Orlando, Florida did not have an ocean view. The agent explained that Disney is an inland resort (it is about 50 miles from the coast). The congressman replied that he was aware of that but that Florida, "is a very narrow state". While this is probably one of those 'urban legend' things we do field some incredibly well, let's say, interesting inquiries.

Complaints are taken seriously by all of us here at and the cruise lines that we represent. However, there are limits.

Be sure that you do a little research on the cruise line, their policies, the itinerary and the weather prior to booking. Many complaints are the result of poor planning and unrealistic expectations.

Have a question? Feel free to call us. We are here to help!


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Not Ready for the Open Ocean? Consider Coastal/River Cruises

Perhaps you do not like to fly for hours or are just a bit wary of the open ocean. If so, consider the many small ship cruises along the U.S. coast or on our fabulous rivers and inland waterways.

There is much to see and do on both! Many are within driving distance and provide an opportunity to try shipboard life without leaving the continent.