Royal Caribbean announces it’s Holiday Season cruises

Royal Caribbean International announced new Caribbean cruises for Explorer of the Seas from November 2014 through early January 2015. After eight consecutive years dedicated to the New York metropolitan area with year-round sailings from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., Explorer of the Seas will redeploy to Port Canaveral, Fla., to offer a range of four- to nine-night Bahamas, and Western and Southern Caribbean vacations. Throughout the short season, Explorer of the Seas will join Freedom of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas at Port Canaveral to offer the most ships and itinerary options to The Bahamas and the Caribbean from Central Florida’s Space Coast. Guests aboard each ship will enjoy a Caribbean-holiday vacation that only Royal Caribbean can deliver, with the cruise line’s award-winning family programming, industry-leading entertainment and world-renowned friendly and engaging GOLD Anchor Service. Explorer of the Seas’ 2014 holiday season cruises from Port Canaveral are now open for sale.

Explorer of the Seas will sail four Western Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Port Canaveral through Jan. 4, 2015. On these five-night itineraries, guests call at Cozumel, Mexico, and Nassau, The Bahamas, or CocoCay and Cozumel. Vacationers also can choose two Southern Caribbean sailings on a nine-night itinerary that call at each of the ABC Islands and Labadee.

Additionally, a five-night Bahamas cruise, departing Dec. 13, 2014, will call at Nassau, Grand Bahamas Island and CocoCay. Guests on a special four-night sailing, departing Dec. 23, will call at Labadee on Christmas Day. The following eight-night Caribbean itinerary will herald in the New Year in St. Maarten, as well as call at San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and Labadee. Vacationers also can choose an extended 14-night Southern Caribbean itinerary, departing Nov. 1, 2014, which repositions Explorer of the Seas from Cape Liberty to Port Canaveral via the Southern Caribbean.

From Port Canaveral, vacationers also have Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas from which to choose. Freedom of the Seas, with its iconic FlowRider surf simulator, will continue to alternate seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries and Enchantment of the Seas will offer three- and four-night Bahamas getaways.

For More information contact your travel agent or go to RoyalCaribbean.com

Disney Cruise Line announces it’s holiday festivities

Disney Cruise  Lines
Beginning in early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship, through the new year, with traditional “Turkey Day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries,” New Year’s Eve galas and Disney characters dressed for the occasion.

Special holiday events include a nightly tree lighting in the atrium lobby, visits from Santa Claus and his elves, traditional holiday feasts, family holiday crafts, holiday storytellers and more. When the ships stop during the holidays at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.

Guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. On Christmas Eve, guests can leave milk and cookies for Santa when he visits the ship at midnight. Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and Hanukkah services will be held each day, Nov. 28-Dec. 5. To celebrate the new year, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown with balloon drops.

If you are interested, you will want to book as soon as possible. They do book up fast for their holiday cruises.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Royal Caribbean announces its next leap forward with Quantum of the Seas

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Royal Caribbean International boast 40 years of innovative and creative design expierience, today they unveiled first details of the next generation of cruise vacations – Quantum cruising.

The much anticipated details were unveiled by stage, television and film star, Kristin Chenoweth – Godmother of Quantum of the Seas – at an exclusive event for media and special guests in New York City this morning.

“This new generation of ships gave us an opportunity to make another leap in vessel design. Innovation has always been part of our DNA and we have taken advantage of all that creativity to design Quantum cruising,” stated Richard D. Fain, chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. “The unique features on Quantum will boggle our guests’ minds, but the real strength of the design is how our people have integrated all these diverse components to create a comfortable and exciting experience.”

Unprecedented “Firsts At Sea”

Having led the industry by introducing incredible signature offerings such as the Rock Climbing Wall, ice-skating rink, FlowRider surf simulator, Central Park and AquaTheater, Royal Caribbean will advance the onboard experience even further by delivering a groundbreaking lineup of “firsts at sea” on Quantum-class ships. New features exclusive to Royal Caribbean include:low_1365713986_RCI-RipCordPass2-5K

• RipCord by iFly, the first skydiving experience at sea which allows everyone from first-time flyers to seasoned skydivers to enjoy the sheer thrill and exhilaration of skydiving in a safe, controlled, and simulated environment.

low_1365714000_RCI-NorthStar-Exterior-5K-No-Antenna• North Star, an engineering marvel, takes guests to new heights – literally – with a jewel-shaped, glass capsule, transporting them on a spectacular journey more than 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views.“We are excited to be introducing major advancements in ship design and offerings on Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas,” said Adam Goldstein, president & CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The innovative spirit of our brand is alive and well, and with Quantum class, we will deliver more unexpected activities in the most extraordinary spaces. Our guests should prepare to be wowed.”

Royal Caribbean marries new innovations with significant architectural design elements to introduce spectacular spaces. On Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas guests will find endless possibilities with three new signature venues.

• A revolutionary concept, Two70° is a multi-level great room that is sure to become one of the most iconic venues onboard Quantum class. The space is aptly named for its magnificent 270-degree panoramic sea views through vast, floor-to-ceiling glass walls spanning almost three decks at the stern of the ship. Two70° seamlessly fuses entertainment and technology to create a transformative journey from day to night. The perfect setting to connect with the sea during the day, Two70° provides a modern and comfortable living room space for guests to sit back and relax. As the sun sets and the lights go down, the dazzling space gradually reveals its evening persona, delighting guests with spectacular, mysterious and unexpected entertainment at night. Unparalleled technology means every show at Two70° is multidimensional and immerses the audience through a combination of live performers, including aerialists, as well as breathtaking video and digital scenery.

low_1365713929_RCI-SeaPlex-BumperCars-5K• The largest indoor active space at sea, SeaPlex is a distinctive and flexible sporting and entertainment venue with thrilling new features that will inspire guests of all ages to let loose and connect with their playful sides. Delivering more first at sea experiences, guests can experience a circus school with flying trapeze, or play basketball on a full-size regulation basketball court. By night, the first-ever bumper car and roller skating offerings deliver fun and excitement. Or, guests can dance to music orchestrated from a floating DJ booth which hovers above the activity below.

• A performance hall and the hottest live music venue on Quantum class, Music Hall is the place for guests to enjoy intimate and exclusive access to live performances, DJs, theme night parties, billiards and more. Rebellious and edgy, Music Hall’s two-story design is inspired by the spirit of rock and roll.

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Royal Caribbean debuts the most spacious and luxurious accommodations ever, introducing rooms that on average are nine percent larger than those of Oasis class ships.  Boasting Royal Caribbean’s new smart design concept, each stateroom features contemporary designs with easy-to-use customizable layouts and  larger storage solutions.

Now every room on Quantum of the Seas has a view, with the exciting introduction of VirtualBalcony staterooms. This design concept brings virtual balconies to interior staterooms offering expansive real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations.

For multi-generational families, Family-Connected staterooms deliver more flexibility, using three different stateroom categories which connect to form a special layout that provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms for all. These accommodations allow families and groups of friends traveling together to enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to together and alone time.

With Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean introduces the largest variety of state room categories, including new Studio staterooms, some with balconies for single travelers, three Junior Suite categories and larger Loft Suites.

The adults-only Solarium, along with an outdoor pool, a new indoor pool with operable roof and a H2O Zone kids’ aqua park, will be featured on the top deck. Signature Royal Caribbean venues and experiences popular with families such as the Rock Climbing Wall; FlowRider surf simulator; the award-winning Adventure Ocean children’s program; the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery; and the DreamWorks entertainment and events featuring the characters from animated movies: Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar; will all be back on Quantum class.

Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas also will make a quantum leap forward in its culinary offerings providing the most flexible dining options and more specialty restaurants than ever before. Additional details about dining, entertainment and other unexpected features and amenities on Quantum of the Seas will be unveiled in the coming months.

Quantum class will debut in fall 2014 with Quantum of the Seas, followed by her sister-ship Anthem of the Seas in spring 2015. Quantum ships span 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms.

Quantum of the Seas will sail out of the New York Harbor from her homeport of Cape Liberty on 7- to 12-night itineraries during the winter 2014/15 season. Bookings will be available to Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members starting May 27, 2013 before opening to the general public on June 4. More information on Quantum of the Seas is available at RoyalCaribbean.com/Quantum.

Royal Caribbean contest offers a chance to sail with Madagascar

In conjunction with the arrival of DreamWorks Animation’s 3D feature film Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted in theatres this week, Royal Caribbean International is offering a chance to sail with Alex, Gloria, King Julien and the Penguins on select ships featuring the DreamWorks Experience offered exclusively on Royal Caribbean.

Consumers can visit Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean through June 20 to enter the “Madagascar at Sea” sweepstakes for a chance to win one of two grand prizes of either a seven-night cruise for four to Europe or the Caribbean, while one daily winner will earn a $25 gift card for correctly answering trivia about the cruise line and the “Madagascar” franchise.

To celebrate the release of “Madagascar 3” Royal Caribbean ships featuring the DreamWorks Experience, Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, will host special screenings of the movie in 3D throughout the summer, plus offer exclusive content – including movie trailers and behind the scenes videos – as well as the chance to win prizes, such as movie posters, DVDs, character photos and more during daily trivia and other onboard activities.

The DreamWorks Experience – which offers cruisers exclusive character breakfasts, meet and greets, photo opportunities, parades, live and filmed entertainment and more – first debuted onboard Allure of the Seas in 2010 and was subsequently introduced on Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas in 2011, highlighted by the star-studded at-sea premiere of Puss in Boots onboard Allure of the Seas. The partnership also will expand to Voyager of the Seas later this year.

Guests interested in sailing with the gang from “Madagascar” can join Liberty of the Seas this summer as she sails Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona, Spain or Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas offering 7-night Caribbean itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale and Port Canaveral, FL. For more information on itineraries please visit royalcaribbean.com.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit RoyalCaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

Nerdel puppets to educate and entertain kids on Celebrity Cruises

The new Celebrity Silhouette is the first of Celebrity's ships to team with The Nerdel Company to offer education and entertainment to the kids in their Shipmates program.

By Jackie Roseboom

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.

Disney’s Fantasy to live up to its name

Animator's Palate on the Disney Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room with a new show. The dinner show allows families to create and participate in a whole new way. Guests‚ drawings are magically animated to skip, skate and dance side-by-side with Disney characters. Image courtesy Disney Cruise Line

By Michael Coleman

Disney Fantasy, the new Disney Cruise Line ship set to debut next spring, will bring to life many of the innovative features guests have been enjoying aboard the recently launched Disney Dream including AquaDuck – the world’s first shipboard water coaster.

New design elements and guest experiences, however, will give the Fantasy an identity all its own.

Fantasy is the second of two newly-designed Disney Cruise Line ships that take the family cruise experience to new heights. Sister ship to the Dream, which entered service in January 2011, the 4,000-passenger Fantasy will sail week-long Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral with its maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012.

Animation Magic
Animator’s Palate on the Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room with a new show called “Animation Magic.” The dinner show celebrates the magic of Disney animation and allows families to create and participate in a whole new way.

Nighttime Fun
On the Fantasy, adult guests step into a world that’s all their own at Europa — a nighttime entertainment district exclusively for guests 18 and older that features sophisticated bars and trendy lounges inspired by the very best in European travel.

Aladdin Debuts at Sea
A new ship means new main stage entertainment at the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre. New to Disney Cruise Line, “Disney’s Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular” takes the stage on Fantasy. During this Broadway-style production, guests laugh along with the wise-cracking Genie and the cast from the classic animated Disney film, “Aladdin.”

Fairy Tales Alive
At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the Fantasy, aspiring young princesses and pirates receive the full fairy tale treatment with pixie-dusted and piratical makeovers at this very special salon.

On the web: www.disneycruise.com

Disney Dream launches with fanfare and flair

Fireworks light the sky over the Disney Dream Jan. 19 as the newest Disney Cruise Line ship is christened in a gala ceremony held at Port Canaveral. Walt Disney Company president and CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts chairman Tom Staggs joined a host of Disney characters to officially christen the 130,000-ton ship. Photo by Disney/David Roark

By Matt Roseboom

Those of you familiar with Disney theme parks wouldn’t expect their cruise line to launch their third ship with just a boring speech and a small bottle of champagne. The grandest of expectations were met recently during the christening of the Disney Dream with characters, celebrities, singers, dancers, fireworks and a 16-foot-tall champagne bottle.

A helicopter hoisted a huge bottle full of “dreams” across the bow of the ship during a christening ceremony on Jan. 19 at Port Canaveral, officially welcoming the new 4,000-passenger Disney Dream.

Academy and Grammy award winner Jennifer Hudson performed at the ceremony, along with Disney characters and dancers. Hudson is the Godmother of the Disney Dream – a fitting choice, as she got her start as a singer aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship in 2003.

Some 3,000 people were gathered for the christening ceremony including celebrities, media and members of the public. The ceremony concluded with the bottle smash and fireworks shot from the portside ship.

Besides being a bigger version of Disney’s other two ships – Wonder and Magic – the Dream features a number of innovations including art that comes alive, a full-blown shipboard fireworks show, interactive video floors and gigantic video game screens.

Other new features include:

– Video “portholes” that provide inside staterooms with an ocean view. The screens allow guests to see a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Magical Porthole. As guests observe the views, they may glimpse animated characters such as Peach the starfish from “Finding Nemo,” the flying balloon house from “UP” or even Mickey Mouse going by the “window”.

– Aquaduck is a cruise first: a shipboard water coaster featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids. Spanning four decks in height, AquaDuck utilizes high-powered water jets that push riders upward and forward — and at one jaw-dropping point – takes guests 12 feet over the side of the ship in a translucent “swing out” loop allowing them to look down on the ocean 150 feet below.

– An updated restaurant from Disney’s other two ships, Animator’s Palate seemingly becomes immersed in an undersea environment. Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” makes a special appearance, swimming around the restaurant and engaging in live impromptu interactions with diners.

– Remy, Disney Cruise Line’s first premier dining option, made its debut on the Dream. The French-inspired, gourmet restaurant offers a sophisticated new dining concept exclusively for adults.

– In addition to the many expected children’s areas and activities, adults can escape into The District, a nighttime entertainment area with five unique venues. There’s also Senses Spa & Salon, which offers 17 private treatment rooms, spa villas and Rainforest, a special section offering steam, heat and hydrotherapy.

In 2011, the Disney Dream will sail three, four and five night itineraries to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. The Dream will be followed by a new sister ship, Disney Fantasy, in 2012.

Disney Dream coverage on Orlando Attractions Magazine – The Show:

Show Time aboard Disney Dream

Entertainment options aboard the new, 14-deck, 4,000-passenger Disney Dream will feature everything from a mermaid soaring over the stage in a stunning aerial ballet to pirates rappelling from atop the ship’s funnel during a swashbuckling adventure. The ship’s maiden voyage, from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, is scheduled for January 26, 2011. Image courtesy Disney

By Michael Coleman

Who else would you expect to raise the entertainment bar for a family at sea?

When the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream debuts in January, 2011 the iconic company will also roll out what officials dub “the most elaborate original musicals presented at sea’’ plus over-the-top deck parties and, bursting above it all, the largest fireworks spectacular aboard a cruise ship.

Every night will be show time in the Walt Disney Theatre, an elegant, 1,340-seat entertainment palace that is at once classic and ultra-modern. Spanning three decks with orchestra and balcony seating, the theater is resplendent with art deco styling recalling luxurious show places of a bygone time. At the same time, it is equipped with theatrical technology that makes it one of the most advanced venues on land or sea, allowing producers to bring original productions and Disney stories to life.

Three onboard production shows are planned.

Headlining the musical repertoire is “Disney’s Believe,” an original stage spectacular premiering aboard the ship. Combining a heartfelt story with a captivating musical score, the lavish production tells the story of a workaholic father who, through the power of Disney magic, reconnects with his daughter and learns a valuable lesson about what is important in life. More than 20 of Disney’s most beloved characters take the stage including Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and Belle from “Beauty and The Beast.”

“The Golden Mickeys,” an award-style show celebrating the musical heritage of Disney animated films, is a Disney Cruise Line guest favorite. On the Disney Dream, the show gets an extra sprinkle of glitz and glamour with new production numbers including an aerial ballet featuring Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and a romantic duet performed by Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, lead characters of Disney’s newest animated feature, “Tangled.”

The malevolent world of the Disney villains takes a comical spin in “Villains Tonight!,” the first full-scale musical production dedicated to the Disney villains. The show is a fun-filled musical comedy starring Hades (“Hercules”), who embarks on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers to bring evil back into the Underworld. “Villains Tonight!” features a “Who’s Who” of Disney “baddies,” including Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”), the Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Captain Hook (“Peter Pan”) and Scar (“The Lion King”).

Meanwhile, the vessel transforms into a pirate ship with two new events brimming with buccaneer fun and a new fireworks spectacular.

Look for “Mickey’s Pirate in the Caribbean’’ a family-friendly interactive show featuring famous Disney characters. Then, a special appearance by Captain Jack Sparrow, from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, kicks off “Club Pirate’’, a high-tech, open-air dance party on the upper decks of the ship

The only cruise line in the world offering fireworks at sea, look also for “Buccaneer Blast’’, a pyrotechnic spectacular choreographed to a dramatic score featuring songs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Peter Pan and the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Disney theme parks.

On the web: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com

Special deals offered for ‘World’s Largest Cruise Night’

Most cruise lines are offering some sort of special deal for the World's Largest Cruise Night on Oct. 13. Some offers are only good for deals booked that day and some last a bit longer. Pick your ship, see what sort of deal you can get and plan your next getaway. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Jackie Roseboom

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.

Shrek, Madagascar and other characters sailing soon on Royal Caribbean

A young cruiser meets characters from the animated movie “Madagascar”. DreamWorks Animation characters will begin meeting with guests on the Allure of the Seas later this year. Photo courtesy Royal Caribbean

By Jackie Roseboom

DreamWorks Animation and Royal Caribbean are joining forces to bring fairy tales to life at sea.

Many of the fun characters from DreamWorks Animation movies will be newest entertainment on Royal Caribbean ships. Young (and young-at-heart) cruisers will be able to meet favorites such as the characters from “Shrek” – Fiona, Shrek and Puss in Boots; Alex, Marty and the Penguins from “Madagascar”; Po from “Kung Fu Panda”; and Hiccup from “How to train your Dragon”. The Allure of the Seas will be the first to have theses fun new characters onboard when it launches later this year.

“Royal Caribbean and DreamWorks Animation share many of the same philosophies when it comes to high-quality family entertainment, so there is quite a lot of synergy going into this strategic alliance,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We are constantly striving to offer dynamic and engaging programming onboard our ships and couldn’t think of a better brand to help take it to the next level.”

Guest of all ages will be able to enjoy new unique experiences with these lovable characters during their cruise vacation. Special events and parades will entertain guests throughout the cruise. During the interactive character dining in the main dining room, guests can have a great meal with visits from the DreamWorks friends. Photo opportunities will be available all around the ship.

The Adventure Ocean children’s program is preparing a whole new line up. Children will love the new games and fun actives that will include their favorite animated characters. Dance parties, story times and more will all be included in the price of the cruise.

New and old DreamWorks Animation movies will also be available at sea. The installation of new 3D screens in the ship’s theaters will bring the movie watching experience up a notch. Guests will also have the option of enjoying the movies in their stateroom.

“Royal Caribbean is a world-class leader in the cruise ship industry who excels at continually finding innovative ways to raise the bar in providing family entertainment at sea,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks Animation. “We look forward to working with them to incorporate Animation characters and storytelling throughout the entire cruise experience.”

The alliance of these two companies makes for another exciting first at sea as a cast of characters to take the stage in the AquaTheater. This amazing venue has a one of a kind aquatic based show full of acrobatics and high-diving stunts. The Madagascar Aqua Show, “Let you entertain me,” will be a treat for the whole family. Also, in addition to the already famous ice skating shows of Royal Caribbean, they’ll be adding a “How to Train Your Dragon” spectacular ice show. While these special shows won’t cost extra, cruisers might want to reserve their tickets early, for they’re sure to very popular.

Allure of the Seas will be sailing out of Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern and Western Caribbean throughout 2011. Sailing dates on the world’s largest ship start in December. After launching on Allure, the Animation-themed activities will be incorporated on Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

On the Web: royalcaribbean.com