Follow us on the Carnival Magic during her inaugural cruise, May 1-10

Cruise News Weekly staff will be boarding the newest ship at sea next week and you can follow along on our social media sites.

We’ll be boarding the brand new Carnival Magic in Venice, Italy on Sunday, May 1 for a 9-night European cruise. Port stops include Messina, Civitavecchia/Rome, Livorno, Dubrovnik, Naples and Monaco. The cruise ends in Barcelona.

We’ll be posting live photos, information and videos (Internet connection willing) right from the ship throughout the cruise. Look for a full review in the coming weeks.

Here’s where you can find our updates.
Twitter: Twitter.com/cruiseguide
Facebook: Facebook.com/cruisenews

In addition to our coverage of the Magic, you can watch Carnival’s official videos of the christening and around the ship on their Facebook page. You can can also participate in a Facebook quiz based on their videos for a chance to win a seven-day Carnival Magic cruise for four to the Caribbean.

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:

Oceania Cruises taps Mary Hart as godmother for Marina

The 1,250-passenger Oceania Marina will debut in February, 2011. Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart will serve as godmother.
Image courtesy Oceania Cruises

By Michael Coleman

Entertainment Tonight (ET) host Mary Hart has been named godmother for the unveiling of Oceania Cruises’ new 1,200-passenger vessel, the Marina.

Hart will name the ship in Miami at a lavish christening ceremony February 5, 2011 culminating with a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of champagne, custom-made by Armand de Brignac, commemoratively crashing against the hull.
 
A beloved television personality, this year marks Hart’s final season as host of ET – the number one syndicated entertainment newsmagazine show in the world. Hart joined the popular show as a correspondent in June 1982, and within weeks was named co-anchor.
 
In her personal life, Hart has been involved with philanthropic causes devoted to children. A member of the board of trustees for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, she currently serves as Leadership Chair of the New Hospital Campaign. Hart is also an ambassador for Childhelp USA, which combats child abuse. For many years she served on the board of directors for the National Childhood Cancer Foundation and continues her affiliation with the Children’s Miracle Network, for which she was telethon co-host for 15 years.

Hart is the recipient of the Samaritan Award from the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation for her work on behalf of several children’s charities. In 2001, she was honored with the first-ever Children’s Miracle Achievement Award for her “long-standing commitment to children and contributing in many ways to bettering the lives of children everywhere.”
 
“Mary Hart personifies elegance and style, just like our magnificent Marina,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings, the line’s parent company. “We especially salute her philanthropic work devoted to children’s causes and we are proud to welcome her to the Oceania Cruises family.”

“It’s very exciting, and a bit humbling,” said Hart in a statement. “I’m truly honored to serve as the Godmother for Marina — she will be a very special ship. And, I look forward to smashing a great bottle of champagne as we let the celebration begin!”
 
After christening festivities in Miami, Marina sets sail Feb. 8 on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco or San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina then operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, round-trip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season.
 
At 66,000 tons and carrying 1,250 guests, Marina features an array of stylish bars and lounges and 10 dining venues — six of which are open-seating, gourmet restaurants — including Jacques, the first restaurant at sea for Chef Jacques Pépin.

Other highlights include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Bon Appétit Culinary Center, Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home, and a grand stairway custom-crafted by renowned French glass master, Lalique.

Oceania presently operates a three-ship fleet. Each carrying 700-passengers, Regatta, Nautica and Insignia offer global itineraries.

On the web: oceaniacruises.com

Silversea christens Silver Spirit at Port Everglades

Cruise travel’s latest luxury vessel, the 540-guest, all-suite Silver Spirit, was christened today at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. She offers 270 suites that range in size from 312 to 1,668 square feet, boasts six restaurants and the brand’s largest spa at 8,300 square feet. Photo courtesy Silversea Cruises

By Michael Coleman

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL., Jan. 21, 2010 — Silver Spirit, Silversea Cruises’ elegant new vessel, was formally christened here today before 450 guests and dignitaries at Port Everglades.

The ship’s godmother, Silvia Lefebvre, sister of Silversea chairman Manfredi Lefebvre, presided over the festivities. 



“Today is a proud day for Silversea as we celebrate the christening of our new ship and what is the culmination of much effort and planning,” said Amerigo Perasso, Silversea’s president and chief executive officer.

“From her sophisticated Art Deco interior design and extra-spacious suites to a host of new amenities and services, Silver Spirit embodies the innovative spirit of our company and is a dramatic step forward for our award-winning concept of ultra-luxury cruising.” 



Silversea’s chief operating officer, Kenneth W. Watson, acknowledged the recent earthquake tragedy in Haiti, and announced that the company had made a charitable donation to the American Red Cross on behalf of guests departing on tonight’s Grand Inaugural Voyage.

Silversea officials and local dignitaries participated in today’s launch of Silver Spirit. The 36,000 ton, 12-Deck vessel is Silversea’s largest ship to date. Photo by Michael Coleman.
Godmother Lefebvre christened the ship with a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne. A replica of the champagne bottle will be auctioned off as a memento during Silver Spirit’s Grand Inaugural Voyage to benefit the Maruzza Lefebvre d’Ovidio Foundation, a non-profit organization spearheaded by Ms. Lefebvre. A major part of its energy and resources is dedicated to the diffusion of palliative care for children, babies and adolescents affected by incurable disease.

At 36,000 tons, and accommodating 540 guests, Silver Spirit features the largest suites in the Silversea fleet, 95 percent of which feature a private veranda. The onboard decor lends a sophisticated 1930s Art Deco ambiance to the public spaces, highlights of which include an indoor/outdoor spa measuring more than 8,300 square feet, a resort-style pool and a choice of six dining venues including Seishin, showcasing Asian-fusion cuisine, and the innovative Stars Supper Club, offering trendsetting menus and all-night entertainment. 


Tonight, the ship departs on her 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage exploring over 20 countries and 45 ports throughout the Americas. Silver Spirit will then spend the summer in the Mediterranean before repositioning to the Caribbean for fall and winter cruises. 



One of cruise travel’s leading luxury operators, the line offers many large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and now Silver Spirit. With the inclusion of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, launched in 2008, the company’s itineraries encompass all seven continents.

Tomorrow: We’ll take a closer look at this new, luxurious vessel.

Silver Spirit is the first newly-constructed cruise ship for Silversea Cruises since 2001, bringing the Silversea fleet to a total of six vessels. The 5,414 square-foot pool deck features three Jacuzzis and a grill. Photo by Michael Coleman.

Michael Feinstein to help launch Silver Spirit’s 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage

Guests sailing aboard Silver Spirit’s 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage this month are set to enjoy an exclusive evening of entertainment when multiple Grammy Award-nominee Michael Feinstein takes to the stage. The performance will follow a gala bon voyage dinner to be held aboard Silver Spirit in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, Jan. 20, the day before the ship embarks on an expansive journey exploring over 20 countries and 45 ports throughout the Americas – for the very first time.

“Every detail of Silver Spirit’s Grand Inaugural Voyage has been designed with a highly discerning and experienced traveler in mind, and we want the onboard entertainment experience to be of equally exceptional caliber,” said Christian Sauleau, Silversea’s executive vice president of vessel operations. “We’re delighted to have such an extraordinary performer as Michael Feinstein on hand to help us celebrate the launch of our new flagship and what is sure to be the voyage of a lifetime for our guests.”

An outstanding vocalist and pianist, Michael Feinstein is renowned for finding “lost,” older songs and breathing new life into them. His repertoire includes songs by such great songwriters as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, and Duke Ellington.

The newest addition to Silversea’s ultra-luxury, six-ship fleet, Silver Spirit debuted in Europe in December and will host several days of inaugural activities in Fort Lauderdale when the 540-guest, all-suite ship arrives on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Among the highlights is the Christening Ceremony scheduled to take place on Thursday, Jan. 21.