Special Needs Group (SNG) is adding all accessible ships in the fleets of three Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family members (Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises) to its Web portal/accessibility content resource. This includes accessibility information for Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, scheduled to begin sailing from Cape Liberty, N.J. in November 2014.
The one-stop portal is available to both travel professionals and consumers. It consist of an extensive list of ships’ accessibility features available in the cruise industry. It provides helpful information including:
Number of accessible staterooms
Accessible stateroom features
Food & Beverage venues accessibility
Recreational facilities accessibility
SNG will launch Royal Caribbean International on the portal on Monday, July 15; Celebrity Cruises on Monday, July 22 and Azamara Club Cruises on Monday, July 29. On Monday, Aug. 5, SNG will launch Holland America Line® on the portal. It will continue to add one cruise line per month through the end of 2013, and until all ships with accessible features utilized by the North American market have been included.
All ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line® fleet were launched on the portal in April 2013.
SNG President and CEO Andrew Garnett said, “By continuing to add ships/cruise lines to our accessibility content resource, we’re reinforcing our corporate responsibility to help educate travel professionals, as well as the traveling public, that individuals with special needs have the ability to travel now more than ever before. The content that we create and provide is mainly informational as opposed to commercially-driven, allowing individuals with special needs to choose the most appropriate ship/cruise for them.”
Earlier in 2013, SNG also introduced three collateral assets – Ship Accessibility Checklist™, Mobility Scooter/Power Chair Etiquette™, and Scooter/Power Chair Do’s and Don’ts™ – to better assist professional travel agents to serve Americans with disabilities and special needs. Special Needs Group is the only mobility and oxygen equipment supplier that is approved to deliver to all major cruise lines.
For more information about the SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate program, SNG Travel Agent Affiliate Program and the SNG Resource Center, please call 1-800-513-4515 or visit www.specialneedsgroup.com/agents.
Celebrity Cruises has joined forces with Microsoft’s Xbox to integrate the leading destination of video game entertainment into guests’ modern luxury vacations. Slated to introduce one of the industry’s largest Xbox experiences at sea, Celebrity’s alliance boasts entertaining Xbox-themed spaces across its fleet, offering families interactive Xbox Games experiences for all ages.
Guests can anticipate enhancements to existing venues and onboard programming as soon as this summer, with the inclusion of Xbox-featured activities and gaming areas in the youth program’s Fun Factory and X-Club facilities. For youth who have been registered to participate by their parents, the Celebrity Xbox experience will offer exciting age-appropriate games and themed nights ranging from sports and dance to adventure and racing on Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360.
Adults also have the opportunity to connect and enjoy the Xbox experience through free play and at scheduled themed events, including Zumba® parties and sports tournaments, available on traveling Kinect for Xbox 360 consoles in different venues throughout the ships.
“As a premium vacation brand, Celebrity is dedicated to providing guests with what they want while on vacation, whether relaxation, entertainment or staying connected – it’s readily available,” said Greg Purdy, Celebrity Cruises’ SVP of Operations. “Joining existing offerings like the Celebrity iLounge, a hip approach to the standard Internet lounge and the first Authorized Apple® Specialist at sea, the Celebrity Xbox experience expands our technology offering with even more engaging ways for the whole family to enjoy a modern luxury vacation.”
To celebrate the launch, one lucky family of four will win a seven-night cruise onboard the Celebrity ship of their choice, with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, and an Xbox 360 prize pack as the grand prize of the Celebrity & Xbox Experience Sweepstakes. For a chance to win, guests enter online through June 18, 2013 at www.celebritycruises.com/xboxsweeps. Participants also can win four Xbox 360 prize packs, each including an Xbox 360 with Kinect and a month of Xbox Live Gold membership.
“The Celebrity Xbox voyage is unlike any journey Xbox has embarked on,” said Grover Holtzclaw, US Xbox Director. “With Xbox’s first exclusive experience at sea, two great brands have come together to develop the ultimate family vacation: the best gaming entertainment combined with the modern luxury Celebrity provides its guests.”
The newly “Solsticized” Celebrity Constellation is the first of Celebrity’s ten ships to introduce the complete onboard Xbox experience when it re-entered service on May 5, 2013, after completing its scheduled drydock – just in time for families planning their summer vacations. The remaining Celebrity ships will offer Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360 this summer, and will unfold the full Xbox experience by the end of 2013.
Broadway loving cruisers will might be eager to visit one of the nation’s hottest new entertainment spots should pack their bags for a modern luxury cruise to Bermuda. That’s because Celebrity Cruises today announced an exclusive partnership with Manhattan’s noted “54 Below,” which will bring guests on Celebrity’s newly “Solsticized” Celebrity Summit the industry’s most comprehensive, direct-from-Broadway entertainment experience while sailing to the pink-sand paradise of Bermuda.
54 Below – ensconced in a cool, cozy cellar space beneath the legendary, disco-era “Studio 54” – has been dubbed “a throwback to the heyday of authentic New York nightlife,” and “the hot new stage attracting Broadway’s brightest stars.” Now, those stars will light up the stage of Celebrity Summit during its Bermuda vacation season from Cape Liberty (Bayonne), NJ, from this Sunday, May 5, through October 2013.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with 54 Below, offering our guests a unique theatrical experience featuring world-class Broadway talent in cabaret style performances,” said Celebrity’s Director of Entertainment Eric Bohus. “This is another outstanding addition to the Celebrity entertainment lineup and perfectly complements our other new offerings announced this year, including late-night Las Vegas style entertainment with Sin City Comedy and engaging music activities through our partnership with Billboard.”
Among the top-notch talent slated to appear on Celebrity Summit through 54 Below are Faith Prince, Tony Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical for Guys & Dolls; Tony Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical in A Chorus Line, Donna McKechnie; Anthony Rapp, best known for originating the role of “Mark Cohen” in Rent; Jarrod Spector, who starred as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys; Alice Ripley, who won a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for Next to Normal, and also has appeared in Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard; star of the hit TV show Glee (“Wes”) Telly Leung, whose Broadway credits include Rent and Godspell; the original “Annie,” Andrea McArdle, who went on to also star in Les Miserables, Starlight Express and Beauty & The Beast; three-time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas, recognized for her roles in Oklahoma and On Your Toes; Elizabeth Stanley of Company, Cry Baby, Million Dollar Quartet;Shoshana Bean, whose credits include Hairspray and Wicked; Darius DeHaas of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Rent and Carousel; Tom Wopat of TV’s The Dukes of Hazzard, City of Angels, 42nd St., Guys & Dolls, Chicago and Sondheim on Sondheim; Brent Barrett, whose credits include West Side Story and Chicago; Ann Hampton Callaway, Tony-nominated for her role in Swing; Liz Callaway, nominated for a Tony for her role in Baby, and who also performed in Cats and Miss Saigon; Gregg Edelman, a four-time Tony nominee, including nods for Best Actor in a Musical for City of Angels; three-time Tony Award nominee for her roles in Passion, Ragtime and Kiss Me, Kate, Marin Mazzie; Karen Mason, who has appeared in Mamma Mia and Hairspray and is best known for her portrayal of “Norma Desmond” in Sunset Boulevard; and Emily Skinner, whose credits include The Full Monty and Billy Elliot. Additional acts yet to be announced will also appear on Celebrity Summit this season through Celebrity’s unique partnership with 54 Below.
The Nerdel Company is devoted to making children and adults all over the world more aware of healthy choices, such as eating better and physical fitness. Developed by a team including doctors, nutritionists, chefs, fitness professionals, educators and entertainment experts, the company aims to address the issues of childrens obesity, hunger, fitness and health in an educational and entertaining way.
Celebrity has introduced its Nerdel program on the brand-new Celebrity Silhouette, which debuted in Europe this summer, and plans to launch the program on most of its other ships by Oct. 15. The educational and playful Nerdal company offers an interactive program featuring activities themed around healthy choices and starring a puppet named Nerdel, known for his endearing, lovable personality.
“We are truly honored to be working with Celebrity Cruises,” Dr. Marc Kesselman, chairman and CEO of The Nerdel Company, said. “It’s a wonderful match to join forces with a vacation company that leads the industry in engaging onboard experiences, to bring the highest quality of children’s programming and edutainment to Celebrity’s upscale brand.”
Live puppet performances, puppet workshops, children’s puppet performances and lessons on the art of puppeteering will be at the core of Celebrity’s onboard Nerdel activities for “Shipmates” (ages three to five) and “Cadets” (ages six to eight) spending time in Celebrity’s Fun Factory. Children also will have the opportunity to explore The World of Nerdel, which includes a custom-designed Celebrity Cruises activity book with crossword puzzles, word searches, matching games, coloring and more. The World of Nerdel also offers Celebrity’s young guests the opportunity to explore their musical side through custom-designed and standard sing-along songs. Activities onboard will also include a video by the “Chef Mangel” (pronounced Mahn-gell) puppet, followed by a fun and healthy pizza-making class.
“We know our guests’ vacation time is precious, which is why we focus on delivering a luxurious, relaxing and fun experience onboard,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, senior vice president of hotel operations. “By teaming with Nerdel and The Nerdel Company to offer unique and engaging games and activities, we are hoping to play a part in instilling wellness-focused values in children by empowering them with the knowledge that they need to make better nutritional choices and take charge of their physical fitness, from an early age.”
The World of Nerdel also has a land-based component that children can continue to enjoy after their vacation. With an iPad application, an interactive website (nerdel.com) and animated presentations, Nerdel can continue to play a positive part in Celebrity’s youngest guests’ continued learning about how to make healthy choices. Parents will no doubt be happy about this new addition.
For more information about cruises on Celebrity featuring Nerdel, or to book a your next Celebrtiy Cruise visit celebritycruises.com or contact your travel agent.
HAMBURG, GERMANY, Friday, July 22, 2011 — Among the host of soul-stirring indulgences afforded passengers aboard the new Celebrity Silhouette, few compare to the luxurious cabana setting unveiled aboard the vessel here this week.
The ship, like her sisters Solstice, Equinox and Eclipse, oozes sophistication and warmth, no easy task when building a 2,886-passenger vessel.
And, while she boasts a series of nuances not found on her sisters – a Lawn Club Grill; The Porch, a casual outdoor dining locale; The Hideaway, a relaxation area with seating reminiscent of a childhood tree house; and even an Art Studio where passengers can participate in hands-on courses — it’s the eight, private, Wi-Fi-equipped cabanas dubbed “The Alcoves” situated on real grass high above the sea, no less, which is generating a buzz.
Designed to allow for relaxation and seclusion within a hip ambience, just steps from the lively vibe of the Lawn Club and Lawn Club Grill, the chic cabanas comfortably accommodate two to four guests each.
Alcove guests enjoy views of the lawn and sea; ambient mood lighting for cozy, romantic evenings; complimentary amenities including a fresh fruit plate, hand-held fans, chilled towels, four bottles of water, and all-day use of an iPad loaded with a variety of music, movies, games and magazines.
Additionally, fresh, themed picnic baskets with selections from Silhouette’s three specialty restaurants, as well as a la carte beverages, are available for an additional charge, and just a phone call away via the ship’s dedicated Alcove attendant. Wine and cheese evenings under the stars can also be arranged.
The Alcoves can even be booked online via Celebrity’s website either for full-day — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – or entire voyage rentals. Rates are $99 per Alcove per day on days in port, and $149 per day on days at sea. Special values are available for guests who book one of The Alcoves for several days or for an entire cruise.
Adjacent to The Alcoves, guests will find eight inviting hammocks and two whimsical, oversized Adirondack chairs, each offering complimentary, additional opportunities to relax amidst the atmosphere of the lawn and sea.
In addition to her innovative new venues and experiences, Silhouette also offers many of the attributes found on each of her sisters:
– The hip “Celebrity iLounge” that made Celebrity Cruises the industry’s first Authorized Apple Reseller
– Uniquely unordinary “Qsine,” the first seagoing restaurant to feature a menu and wine list on an iPad, plus an engaging food-as-theater dining experience
– Ten unrivaled restaurants – in addition to the Lawn Club Grill and The Porch
– Modern, stylish interiors
– Trendy nightclubs and lounges, including CellarMasters, complete with the industry’s first installation of the innovative Enomatic wine serving system
– A broad wine selection served by one of the world’s largest staffs of certified sommeliers
– One of the world’s largest permanent collections of original contemporary art, and the industry’s first self-guided art tours to be presented on an iPad
– Top-tier entertainment, including custom aerial production shows and live music
Silhouette, which will spend the summer here in Europe, begins Caribbean voyages from New York/New Jersey in the fall.
The paint is barely dry aboard the vessel yet company officials are already gearing up for the launch of yet another sister-ship, Celebrity Reflection, set to debut in fall 2012.
HAMBURG, GERMANY: Thursday, July 21, 2011 — It may very well be Celebrity Cruises’ finest hour.
Today, here in this industrial port city, the chic 2,886-passenger Celebrity Silhouette debuted, slightly overshadowing her impressive sisters — Solstice, Equinox and Eclipse – each launched in successive years since 2008.
The new ship sparkles with the best features from her sisters plus trendy changes to Celebrity’s iconic Lawn Club, a Deck 15 refuge complete with real grass under your toes where one can celebrate the flavorful joys of outdoor grilling or unwind in a cabana-style haven.
Passengers at the interactive Lawn Club Grill can select and grill their own meats side-by-side with Celebrity’s chefs — a cruise line first at sea – or have them cooked to order. New, too, are eight, private, Wi-Fi-equipped cabanas dubbed “The Alcoves” for the ultimate in at-sea relaxation plus, steps away, look for the “The Porch,” a breezy, casual dining spot offering sandwiches, coffees and captivating views during breakfast and lunch hours.
Inside Silhouette you might want to take a culinary adventure in Qsine, one of the ship’s specialty restaurants, where you order food and wine from an iPad menu; enjoy an intimate, quiet space – “The Hideaway” – reminiscent of a childhood tree house; or taste some 50 beers from around the world in “Michael’s Club.”
There’s even a new “Art Studio” onboard where passengers can bring out their inner artist by participating in hands on courses in beading, sculpting, painting and more led by professional artists.
Tonight, Michelle Morgan, president and CEO of Signature Travel Network, will officially christen Silhouette as the ship’s Godmother.
Following today’s unveiling, Silhouette will set sail from Hamburg, Saturday, on a seven-night cruise to Civitavecchia (Rome), where the ship will then feature roundtrip 12-night Mediterranean/Holy Land sailings until November when she will offer Caribbean cruises from the New York/New Jersey market.
The shiny new Celebrity Silhouette will welcome passengers for the first time later this month in Germany but that’s the easy part for one of the world’s premium cruise lines.
Silhouette departed the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany for open seas this week but not before completing a 26-mile navigation of the River Ems where she had less than five feet of room to maneuver at certain points.
Adding to the drama as the multi-million-dollar vessel inched its way along the river: Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis guided the ship in reverse.
Preparations for the journey — termed a ‘Conveyance’— included the removal of power lines and railway tracks that normally pass over the river to allow the ship to traverse through. The journey was also precisely timed to take place at high tide to ensure ample depth beneath the hull and when weather conditions were calm enough to avert the possibility of wind causing the ship to run aground.
The route along the River Ems included various locks and other tight squeezes, even traveling on an aqueduct over an autobahn. The vessel cruised at less than four miles per hour.
After finishing work is completed in Emshaven, the Netherlands, the 2,886-passenger Silhouette will sail to Hamburg where it will be named during formal ceremonies on July 21.
The vessel is the fourth of five stylish Solstice-Class ships from Celebrity — Solstice, Equinox, Eclipse preceded her – and she boasts a number of exclusive new features, including the Lawn Club Grill, the industry’s first outdoor, interactive grill; The Hideaway, a high-tech location reminiscent of a childhood tree house for guests to relax inside; The Alcoves, luxurious, private cabanas overlooking the ship’s lawn on the top deck amidst spectacular views of the sea; and the Art Studio, a space where experienced and aspiring artists can participate in hands-on instruction from experts in drawing, beading, sculpting and painting.
The ship will also feature top-tier designer boutiques, exclusive restaurants and the hip Celebrity iLounge, offering guests classes on the use of iPads and iPhones, among other products, which also are available for sale onboard.
When the christening ceremonies are completed, Silhouette will sail from Hamburg to Rome where she will offer 12-night roundtrip cruises to the Holy Land through the summer. Look for 12-night Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Cape Liberty, NJ, beginning in November.
One of the world’s top premium cruise lines, Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. The line also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America.
One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines in the world, Celebrity’s fleet consists of nine ships, with one additional Solstice-Class ship (Celebrity Reflection) scheduled to sail in the fall of 2012.
Celebrity Cruises’ 2,034-passenger Summit will begin 2012 with a bold new look having incorporated some of the most popular attributes found on the line’s newer ships.
Since 2008 the Celebrity fleet has expanded to 10 vessels with the addition of the much-heralded Solstice, Eclipse and Equinox. Now, fleet-mates like the 2001-built Summit will receive Solstice, Eclipse and Equinox-inspired makeovers.
Among the highlights: the coveted AquaClass, Celebrity’s soothing, spa-inspired veranda-category accommodations paired with the chic, Mediterranean-themed specialty restaurant “Blu’’; plus the addition of Qsine specialty restaurant and the hip Celebrity iLounge.
Celebrity has just completed a similar makeover on Constellation and will do so on Infinity later this year.
“We recognize that consumers’ vacation time is precious, which inspires us to do everything we can to make their vacation with Celebrity Cruises something that is truly different and better than anything they’ve experienced before.”â€¨Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
â€¨A Celebrity exclusive, Qsine, the novel restaurant introduced on Eclipse last year, and set to debut on Infinity, will be added to Summit. It’s the first restaurant at sea to present a menu and wine list on an iPad. Qsine features a selection of savory tapas and mezze served individually in custom-made frames, a trio of chilled soups delivered shot-style, and spring rolls served in springs. All are described in detail on the iPad-housed menu and wine list, which offers a full scan of wine labels, an interactive cocktail menu, and the ability for guests to enter tasting notes and e-mail their favorite wine selections.
Look for Summit to feature the Celebrity iLounge, the cruise industry’s first authorized Apple reseller, where guests can participate in Celebrity’s “iLearn” enrichment series; a new creperie, Bistro on Five; new verandas added to the ship’s spacious, luxurious Celebrity Suites.
The ship will receive new furniture, flat-screen TVs, upholstery, bedding and carpeting; look also for new oceanview and inside staterooms and an expanded collection of original, contemporary art.
Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. The line also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America.
Two new innovative ships, Silhouette in July 2011, and Reflection in fall 2012, will round out the fleet.
The Celebrity Eclipse had a bumpy start when its inaugural was interrupted by the ashes from a volcano last April. She even rescued some stranded British travelers during the time she was supposed to be making her grand debut. The ship has been sailing in Europe since then, but its now arrived on Florida’s shore.
The Cruise Lines International Association is holding a special World’s Largest Cruise Night this Oct. 13. Travel agents across North America will be hosting a special events in partnership with several cruise lines. Some amazing deals are being offered. As the event gets closer, more deals will be offered. Here are the ones already showing up:
Carnival is enticing vacationers with cruise upgrades on virtually all “Fun Ship” departures through December 2011. To sweeten the deal, Carnival will offer up to a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for all Carnival Magic Europe voyages booked on Oct. 13. The Carnival Magic Europe offer includes best available upgrades and a $100 onboard credit per stateroom for seven-day Europe sailings and a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for nine- and 12-day sailings.
Celebrity is hosting a three-day sale beginning Oct. 13 for sailings departing April through December 2011 for select seven- to 14-night sailings. Look for onboard credits of $50 per stateroom for oceanview accommodations; $100 per stateroom for veranda accommodations; and $150 per stateroom for AquaClass (only on Solstice-class ships), suites, and Concierge Class.
Costa is offering a $50 onboard credit per stateroom on any sailing. The offer is valid only on Oct. 13.
Crystal Cruises is offering a $100 per person additional savings incentive on most 2010-2011 departures for new bookings made from Oct. 1 to 31.
Cunard is offering an onboard credit (per stateroom) of up to $300 for Queens & Princess Grill accommodation; up to $200 for Balcony staterooms; and up to $100 for Oceanview/Inside staterooms, depending on length of voyage. Bookings made during the Cruise Sale will receive a waiver of the deposit on the second guest.
Holland America Line is offering shipboard credits that can be combined with group amenities or cruise night offers. Plus deposits are only $100 per person for cruises of seven to 36 days.
For booking between Oct. 13 to 27, MSC will offer exclusive shipboard credits, such as $25 per passenger for inside cabin/oceanview bookings; $50 per passenger for standard balcony/superior balcony accommodations; and $100 per passenger for suites bookings.
Oceania Cruises is celebrating its maiden season in Alaska with two-for-one cruise fares, plus free round-trip air and bonus savings up to $1,000 per stateroom.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a $100 per person ($200 per suite) shipboard credit booking incentive. This offer is valid for any new reservation on a 2010 or 2011 departure of seven nights or longer booked between Oct. 1 and Nov. 15.
Silversea Cruises is offering a $100 per guest ($200 per suite) savings on any 2010, 2011 or 2012 cruise booked during the month of October.
Windstar is offering a $100 per person shipboard credit on any Wind Spirit, Wind Star or Wind Surf sailing in the Caribbean or Costa Rica between Jan. 2 and April 2, 2011. The offer is valid for new bookings made between Oct. 13 and Nov. 15, and the credits may be combined with all nationwide offers including two-for-one offers.
On the Web: visit cruising.org for more information or check with a CLIA-member travel agent.