New innovations on Carnivals Latest Ship
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carnival vista

Carnival Cruise Lines made headlines in the cruising world recently with the announcement that their new ship will be debuting in the spring of 2016. The ship will be called the Carnival Vista and will include many new innovations that will allow this fun cruise line to stand out in the mega ship category.

Carnival is pulling out all of the stops with this ship in terms of entertainment, to the extent where there may be more things to do on the ship than in the port! The Vista  will be unique for having the first enormous IMAX theatre on a cruise ship. Other things to look out for are the extensive water park and the Red Frog Pub.

IMAX Theatre

But the main attraction on this ship is the brand new SkyRide attraction. The SkyRide consists of an 800 foot suspended track that offers magnificent views of the ocean. However, if you want a view, you will have to work for it as you will have to pedal on a suspended recumbent bicycle in order to move around. This is a great way to see some beauty and get some exercise in at the same time.

carnival vista skyride

Close by is the SkyClimb, which is a series of suspended ropes that have been specially arranged into an obstacle course. There are many other sport related items at the Activity Park and SportsSquare Clubhouse, which contain table tennis, athletic video games and mini bowling.

The waterpark on the Carnival Vista contains a multitude of slides, the most notable being the Kaleid-O-Slide, which is a thrilling water tube ride. Travel down a heart stopping 455 feet of kaleidoscope colours, creating a trippy effect; with twists and turns at every corner.

The Thrill Theater offers a different approach to seeing a movie; the special effects in the short film come to life in numerous dimensions in this unique show.

New Dining Options

Dining will be no less extravagant, with new options being the Seafood Shack, offering delicious treats such as lobster rolls, fried shrimp and crab cakes.

Fahrenheit 555 is an American style steakhouse filled with class, whereas the Bonsai Sushi restaurant contains ocean views that perfectly match the oriental atmosphere.

A more Latin American flair can be found at the Havana Bar which offers Cuban drinks and traditional snack foods. The Vista has expanded the line’s well liked Havana infusion experience and this bar transforms into an all night salsa dance club after dark.

Vista’s Latino Theme

The Latino theme extends outdoors with a new Havana Pool that will offer stunning views of the sea. Besides whirlpools, a relaxation area has been designated with artificial palm trees, thatched patio huts and comfortable lounge chairs under colorful umbrellas.

Carnival Vista’s staterooms and suites will be decorated in warm hues in the beautifully designed interior staterooms right through to the balconies and suites. The Vista is also introducing two new accommodation classes. The Havana Cabanas are themed on the tropics. These cabins offer private outdoor patios that have standard lounge chairs and a hammock as well.

Havana Cabana Staterooms

The new Family Harbor accommodations will consist of ocean view, balcony and interior staterooms that are spacious enough for a family of five. An exclusive Family Harbor Lounge has been set aside as a family hangout complete with large screen TVs and games.

The Vista is scheduled to operate 8 to13 day cruises in the western and eastern Med from May 2016 until October 21, 2016. She will then cross the Atlantic towards New York. What is planned after that no one knows as of yet!

Mock up images courtesy of Carnival Cruises

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That’s Entertainment!
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The most popular part of a cruise holiday for many passengers is the dining experience. After that, what they look forward to is the entertainment. Experienced cruisers will have noticed more changes being made when it comes to the ship’s entertainment styles.

Here is an array of what is happening now or on the horizon with the major cruise lines:

Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Lines is introducing a new feature for entertainment in 2014. They are splashing the waves with their innovative series of concerts called ‘Carnival Live’.

This idea cropped up in an attempt to restore the image of Carnival after a few problems last year. The brand is hoping to restore confidence in many ways, one of which is bringing in the concerts.

The first to open in this series is Jennifer Hudson. Before her winning stretch of both a Golden Globe and Academy Award for the film ‘Dreamgirls’, Jennifer Hudson sang on a Disney Cruise Line ship.

Jennifer Hudson in Dream Girls

Carnival Ecstasy is the ship that will debut the first concert with Ms. Hudson on the 18th of June. There’s a repeat performance the next evening onboard the Carnival Breeze in Cozumel, Mexico, one of Carnival’s most beloved port of calls.

The Carnival Live concert series line-up also includes Trace Adkins, Chicago, Leann Rimes, Daughtry, Foreigner, Olivia Newton-John, Gavin DeGraw, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, REO Speedwagon, Jewel, Kansas, Styx and .38 Special.

Cunard

Cunard has had longstanding partnerships with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the Juilliard School of Music. In the Royal Court Theatre, located on all ships, passengers can catch a bit of culture with ballet or classic theatre of Shakespearean classics as well as production shows and a good variety of cabaret.

The theatre has a unique feature that is a first and not found anywhere else at sea. It contains private box seats that can be reserved prior to a performance for a fee.

orchestra

MSC

One of the most famous bands of the 60′s, The Moody Blues are going to thrill their fans with a special themed cruise that is based on the Isle of Wight Festival from 1970.

For 5 nights commencing on the 2nd of April, cruisers onboard the MSC Divina will get to hear music from the band as well as several special guests, including Roger Daltrey of The Who, The Zombies, The Electric Light Orchestra, Starship and the Little River Band. There will also be a Question and Answer segment for those who want to know all about these famous artists.

Electric Light Orchestra

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian cruise line was always the innovator in entertainment on their long decommissioned classic flagship, the Norway. Since the introduction of the Norwegian Epic and more recently the Breakaway, Norwegian has come up with original entertainment options at sea.

Catch familiar names such as Blue Man Group as well as introducing ground breaking concepts like the Cirque Dreams and Dinner Show.

For the 5th year in a row, music legend Kid Rock will be hosting the Kid Rock’s Redneck Paradise special, commencing on the 3rd of March. This will take place on the Norwegian Pearl departing out of Miami.

The line-up, which is being selected by Kid Rock himself, will be held throughout the week. There will also be daily concerts and two special shows held by the pool deck.

Kid Rock

Royal Caribbean International

In the past, you never knew who would be on-board in the evening. However Royal Caribbean began to introduce other forms of live entertainment such as ice extravaganzas held in an onboard rink. RCCL was the first to bring West End shows on to the waterways with shows such as “Hairspray”, “Mamma Mia” and “Chicago”.

Chicago

Heavy metal fans across the world are celebrating at this moment the ‘70,000 Tons of Metal’. Over forty celebrated heavy metal bands are performing on the Majesty of the Seas. Names include Carcass, Dark Tranquility, Death Angel and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles.

It may be too late for Heavy Metal fans to experience this for 2014, but gear up as this specialised cruise holiday is bound to be on-board for 2015.

Cruise lines continue to seek the exceptional in the field of entertainment. It really does benefit the passengers who gain an even more fun and enjoyable time away from home.

What Artist or Band would you like to see on your cruise holiday? Tell us below.

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Cruise with these Famous Characters!
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Cruises have become an extremely popular holiday choice for families. The cruise lines are aware that more children are sailing these days and have made preparations for them. It is commonplace that special zones have been set-aside for the younger ones, complete with age appropriate activities.

The really good thing about these extensive children’s programs is that it allows parents time for themselves to enjoy gourmet dinners and late night shows, whilst children are safely supervised.

The best family cruise lines can offer an experience which will be highly memorable to children of all ages and is also relaxing for parents.

One of the first to promote families and characters onboard a ship was the Disney Corporation and it didn’t take long for other major cruise lines to catch on.

Having special popular culture children characters onboard cruise ships is one way to distinguish whether that particular cruise ship is ultra family friendly.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES

Carnival has been known as being a line not to be outdone. In 2014, the ‘Fun Ships’ line announced its partnership with Dr. Seuss Empire. A new program for children will be in place within the next 18 months. The Green Eggs and Ham breakfast includes a typical “Seussical’ theme filled with lopsided table settings and breakfast favourites such as actual green eggs and ham.

Cat in the Hat vs Cheshire Cat

There will be cabins themed to Dr. Seuss characters in decor, along with character parades, favourite Dr. Seuss films such as “Cat in the Hat” and “Seuss-a-palooza” story hours.

DISNEY CRUISE LINES

Originally licensing their characters to Premier Cruise Lines (no longer in business), the corporate office developed their cruise line in 1999 with one ship. This concept flourished and three more Disney ships were added to the fleet.

You never know who might show up on a Disney cruise. Mickey and Minnie may stroll through the pool area. Cinderella may pop in for dinner or Goofy may greet the family in the cruise ship terminal before boarding. There will be plenty of photo ops as many as 22 characters will be on board on a single sailing.

Goofy

Disney Cruise Lines also operate traditional cruise features, where there are no specific themes or Disney characters, such as an adult only pool area and specialty restaurants to dine without the children.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES

Norwegian Cruise Line soon teamed up with Nickelodeon television. On many of their ships you will be greeted with feature “character experiences” from Team Nick that children will adore. Nickelodeon channel’s cartoon stars like SpongeBob Squarepants and Dora will certainly be around, so bring along the autograph book. Children will fancy special onboard events including Dora’s Dance Party.

SpongeBob

They can leave their PJs on and partake in a Nickelodeon’s Pyjama Jam Character Breakfast to sing and dance the morning away at breakfast. There are theme arts and crafts workshops where children and their parents can create a masterpiece together and gain some good quality time.

The Nickelodeon television theme is on most sailings on five of the line’s ships.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINE

Children and their families can experience Madagascar, Shrek and many others at character breakfasts on designated ships. A weekly parade filled with characters offer photo opportunities throughout each sailing. RCCL also shows DreamWorks movies in 3D movies to coincide with the characters on board.

Shrek

Recently introduced, ladies of a certain age will find that the Barbie Premium Experience is tailored to their Barbie fashion sense on selected RCCL ships and sailings. Girls between the ages of 4 and 11 (with their parents) get to stay in Barbie-themed staterooms and even have fashion design workshops available as an activity.

The cruise industry has come a long way in making a family cruise holiday extra special.

At times, a particular ship may offer a “Kids Travel Free” promotion, which is a win and a financial perk for any family.

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The Towel Animal Phenomenon
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Cruise lines are well known for their fun loving and unique ways of entertaining their passengers. Between masquerade parties, poker tournaments, miniature golf and movies by the poolside; it’s enough to keep the days and nights full. And to boot, there are new destinations to visit nearly every day. When heading back to the cabin to retire for the evening, as the key unlocks the door, you are entertained one last time for the day.

One of the simplest and yet ingenious ways of late night entertainment is the creation of numerous types of animals made out of towels.  This ritual happened each and every night to surprise the passenger when they return to their cabins and all of a sudden it becomes something that is looked forward to.

The first cruise line to have these towel art creatures make their entrance in the cabin room was Carnival Cruise Lines. It was introduced more than 20 years ago as part of their “Fun Ship” experience.

Towel animal carnival cruises

The news spread and soon after, most major lines including Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean followed suit. They have added the towel animals each evening as a part of their repertoire.

The dedication that goes into making these animals is commendable as stewards go through an amazing 10 hours of training in the art of folding and over 7 million of these animals are created each and every year. This is one trend that was bound to head towards the mainstream.

It was only a matter of time that guests wanted to know how to replicate these whimsical creatures for their loved ones back home.

Both Carnival and Holland America came up with a resolution to appease their passengers and began to offer demonstrations in towel folding as part of the shipboard activities program.

The towel animals’ phenomenon became even more in demand to knowing how that it was only natural that a step-by-step book be published. Both Carnival and Holland America Line released their versions that are filled with directions for taking a plain and ordinary bath towel and turning it instantly to an animal at home.

Holland America Towel Animal

The “Carnival Towel Creations” instruction manual contains nearly every type of creature that one can imagine from their cabin stewards’ repertoire.  From domestic animals like dogs and cats to prehistoric wonders such as dinosaurs can now be created at home.

Over 40 designs in total are detailed in the book and one can make more possibilities of animals with items lying around the house, in a manner similar to how the cruise liner will occasionally use sunglasses for comedic effect.  Over 40,000 books per year have been sold. The ship’s gift shop is bound to have them in stock.  Carnival also sells “Carnival Towel Creations” on-line with part of the proceeds donated to charitable organizations.

Carnival Towel animal

The release of this book is certainly no surprise as the little creatures have been insanely popular with guests to the extent that they are being used in Carnival’s commercials and are considered to be a staple of the brand. The best part is that making the towel animal is a no fuss project and can easily be disassembled for its original use as a towel.

As the ships are always looking for new experiences for their passengers, it is nice to know that the simplest of courtesies is most appreciated by their guests. Why not throw in the towel and tack a cruise holiday to see for yourself?

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Carnival Offer Big Discounts until the end of April
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After a spate of technical errors and subsequent bad press, Carnival Cruise line has recently slashed prices dramatically on many of its cruises for the remainder of 2013.

The world’s largest cruise company has recognised the need to cut their prices in order to lure passengers back on board, after a recent catalogue of problems has seen their popularity within the cruise industry rapidly decline.

Bookings for these sale cruises must be made by the end of April, and are available on more than fifty sailings across different ships and continents. Destinations include Canada, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the always popular Mediterranean.

Some of the ships which have discounts available include Carnival Dream, Carnival Glory and Carnival Sunshine, which has recently undergone extensive refurbishment and is being hailed as ‘one of the most dramatic refurbishments in contemporary cruising’.

Almost every single part of the ship has been refurbished including the addition of brand new restaurants, redecorations in all cabins, new chic bars and many new features for children.

Carnival Dream

There are seven day cruises available from as little as £400, Baltic cruises for £700 and upwards, and four and five night Canada and New England trips available for less than £300. These are all significant discounts for passengers to benefit from, with some cruises being discounted by more than £500.

Many of the prices available are real bargains and you could end up getting the holiday of a lifetime at an excellent price, if you’re prepared to look past the problems Carnival have been recently facing. Carnival Triumph recently endured an engine room fire, which saw the liner being left adrift of the Gulf of Mexico with many disgruntled passengers and crew.

The event left the ship without power and therefore without air conditioning, functioning toilets, ovens and many of the basic comforts which passengers expect.

Carnival Triumph

Anyone who has cruised with Carnival before and enjoyed their cruising experience will probably be able to cash in on these fantastic offers without much thought, but it is potential new Carnival passengers who might take some convincing.

For anyone who has been considering embarking upon their first cruise holiday then this could be a great opportunity to do so at a greatly discounted price. The likelihood of anything going wrong whilst you are on board is a minimum, as Carnival have recently pledged to spend upwards of £200 million in order to review and improve their on board safety and security features after their recent problems.

The cruise line obviously know they are under intense scrutiny and will surely be doing everything within their power to make sure that there are no further problems.

If you have never sailed with Carnival before would these price cuts make a difference?

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