Princess blog features ultimate travel wish list

Will Greece and its famed Acropolis become one of the world’s 50 essential travel experiences on a new Princess Cruises’ blog? Photo by Michael Coleman

By Michael Coleman

The world’s top destinations will be unveiled weekly in an inspiring new blog launched by the travel savvy employees of Princess Cruises.

The line launched “50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List” (50essentialexperiences.com) this week. A series of posts, each authored by one of Princess’ longest-serving shipboard and shoreside employees, will be added weekly.
 
The 50 selected experts — each who have been with the company for more than 15 years and traveled thousands of sea and air miles visiting hundreds of countries, cities and sites — will share one of their inspiring personal experiences chronicling their unique perspective of must-see travel spots around the globe. 
 
“Few people have seen more of the world than Princess’ own destination experts,” said Jan Swartz, executive vice president for Princess Cruises. “And because they’ve been to so many destinations, they’re often asked to recommend those ‘don’t miss’ experiences that people should be sure to put on their travel bucket list.” Swartz emphasized that the blog is not just a list of places, but instead a list of experiences Princess hopes inspires others. 
 
The experts featured in the blog will represent an array of departments and positions within Princess, including those in shoreside positions such as itinerary planning, ship operations and marketing, along with those who sail aboard its ships such as captains, hotel managers and cruise directors. Their posts will gradually be revealed through September 2011.
 
Crystal Morgan, director of market planning for Princess, authored the first blog post. She started her cruise career as an onboard shore excursion manager sailing to worldwide destinations and, after moving shoreside, now oversees itinerary planning for the line’s fleet of ships. Morgan shares one of her most memorable travel experiences, when she traced her grandmother’s footsteps to visit the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, the most celebrated monument in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a place that held a special meaning for her grandmother who had visited the site some 70 years earlier.
 
In her post she writes, “I didn’t hear about my grandmother’s visit to this famous statue until I told her that I was being deployed to South America aboard Pacific Princess. It dawned on me that I would have the opportunity to trace her footsteps to this world-renowned landmark so many decades after her visit. Our circumstances could hardly be more different.  She was barely a teenager on her journey up the mountain, traveling with her family, including several younger siblings for whom she cared. I would have charges of my own, but not children.”
 
Blog visitors will be encouraged to share their own personal travel experiences, some of which will be showcased on the site each week.
 
All of the destinations described in the blog will be ones that passengers can travel to aboard a Princess ship, and links will help readers discover how they, too, can embark on similar adventures.
 
Arguably one of cruise travel’s greatest brand names, Princess operates a fleet of 17 modern ships known for their innovative design and array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities. The line offers global voyages from seven to 107 days in length.

On the web: princesscruises.com

Ship Review: Escaping the daily grind aboard Carnival Liberty

The 2,974-passenger Carnival Liberty features a host of onboard and shore-side events and activities for passengers to enjoy year-round in the Caribbean. Photo by Michael Coleman
The 2,974-passenger Carnival Liberty features a host of onboard and shore-side events and activities for passengers to enjoy year-round in the Caribbean. Photo by Michael Coleman

The cares of the world seem to disappear aboard Carnival Liberty.

While CNN and other news channels (beamed to the ship via satellite) remind us of a sagging economy, a nation at war, and the titillating trials and tribulations of Tiger Woods, passengers aboard this mega-ship can enjoy a week-long respite from it all, year-round, in the Caribbean.

There’s a host of resort-style amenities — 22 bars/lounges, four pools, a 214-foot-long corkscrew water slide, four dining venues, 13,300-square foot spa, a 4,200-square foot kid’s play area and high energy Vegas-style revues, nightly.

Click Here to read the full ship review

Cruise Guide: Luxury passengers eye Caribbean

caribbean cruises

By Michael Coleman

The premium and luxury cruise lines, like their mass-market counterparts, are preparing for another busy Caribbean season. Here’s what’s ahead for those who seek to be pampered under a hot Caribbean sun in 2010.

Azamara Cruises – Azamara Journey will sail a variety of Caribbean, Panama Canal and first-ever Sea of Cortez voyages beginning in November 2010. The season features 23 ports in 13 different countries. The 12-night Caribbean itineraries are roundtrip from Miami, visiting ports in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Kitts, Guadeloupe, St. Barts, St. Lucia and Dominica. Sixteen-night Panama Canal voyages sail between Miami and San Diego.

Celebrity Cruises – The 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox, the company’s newest arrival, makes her debut in the Caribbean this winter with 10- and 11-night cruises from Port Everglades. Celebrity guests also have more East Coast ports to choose from, including Baltimore, Charleston and Bayonne (for Bermuda cruises) and can take advantage of lower airfares to San Juan where Celebrity Summit visits no fewer than five ports in a week. Celebrity Solstice will sail year-round in the Caribbean starting this winter.

Holland America Line – Offering diversity and a breadth of itinerary lengths from seven to 14 days, Holland America has nine ships sailing the Caribbean on 126 cruises from January to May and October to December. The line’s newest ship, Nieuw Amsterdam, will offer seven-day western and eastern itineraries. Homeports are Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa. Some cruises include the Panama Canal and nearly all include the line’s award-winning private island of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

Oceania Cruises – Three of Oceania’s seven Caribbean itineraries for 2010/2011 will be new, including a 10-day “Mayan Mystique” voyage of the western Caribbean; a 14-day “Southern Treasures” cruise featuring overnights in Bermuda and Charleston; and a new springtime Panama Canal sailing. In addition, there will be two departures —November 27 and March 19 — for the 24-day “Amazon Adventure” and a 12-day holiday voyage. An introductory offer expiring March 31 includes free air and two-for-one pricing.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises — Ultra-luxury Regent will be offering a full season of Caribbean cruises from December to April this winter aboard the newly-refurbished Seven Seas Navigator. The ship is presently in dry dock receiving two brand new restaurants (Prime 7 and La Veranda) as well as a Canyon Ranch SpaClub. All roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, the cruises feature 2-for-1 fares, free air from 22 North American gateways and free unlimited shore excursions.

Windstar Cruises — The line will be introducing a new 7-day St. Martin roundtrip itinerary this winter on the 148-guest Wind Spirit. Each week from December through March, look for port calls to include St. Kitts, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and St. Barts. The 312-guest Wind Surf will be offering 7-day roundtrip sailings from Barbados.

Cruise Guide: Celebrity Equinox set to pamper guests

The new, 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox, complete with a host of onboard indulgences, debuts in England at the end of this month. Image courtesy Celebrity Cruises
The new, 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox, complete with a host of onboard indulgences, debuts in England at the end of this month. Image courtesy Celebrity Cruises

By Michael Coleman

cruiseguideheadersmallCelebrity Cruises’ latest vessel, the 2,850-guest Celebrity Equinox, begins service at the end of this month with an eye on pampering guests to new heights.

A sister-ship to the line’s highly-acclaimed Celebrity Solstice (we’ll review Solstice in this space in the coming weeks), Equinox will offer a host of indulgent onboard offerings including a “24-Karat Gold Facial’’ plus a group of AquaClass staterooms — 130 in all – designed to offer a soothing, spa-focused ambiance. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Celebrity Equinox set to pamper guests”

Cruise Guide: Royal Caribbean unveils getaways

Royal Caribbean has unveiled a series of short Caribbean cruise getaways in 2010 and 2011 from four Florida ports. Radiance of the Seas, pictured here, will be deployed from Tampa. Image courtesy Michael Coleman
Royal Caribbean has unveiled a series of short Caribbean cruise getaways in 2010 and 2011 from four Florida ports. Radiance of the Seas, pictured here, will be deployed from Tampa. Image courtesy Michael Coleman

By Michael Coleman

cruiseguideheadersmallRoyal Caribbean has unveiled a host of three, four and five-day Caribbean cruise getaways for 2010 and 2011.

Look for some 331 sailings, 20 itineraries and 15 ports of call all from a Florida port near you.

The cruise line will enhance and expand its deployment in Tampa with Radiance of the Seas from autumn 2010 through spring 2011, while Majesty of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas will continue their year-round Bahamas getaway sailings from their respective homeports of Miami and Port Canaveral. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Royal Caribbean unveils getaways”

Cruise Guide: Royal Caribbean touts the ‘Suite Life’

Royal Caribbean features some 2,000 suites across its 20-ship fleet. The line will be unveiling a host of new suite amenities beginning in March. The Royal Suite, pictured here, features a digital baby grand player piano, a bar and panoramic sea views through a glass panel wall that spans the length of the suite. Image courtesy Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean features some 2,000 suites across its 20-ship fleet. The line will be unveiling a host of new suite amenities beginning in March. The Royal Suite, pictured here, features a digital baby grand player piano, a bar and panoramic sea views through a glass panel wall that spans the length of the suite. Image courtesy Royal Caribbean

By Michael Coleman

cruiseguideheadersmallPassengers aboard Royal Caribbean vessels are about to receive a whole lot of lovin’.

Beginning in March, those who book into a variety of suite categories — the line has some 2,000 suites across its 20-ship fleet – will enjoy a myriad of special privileges and upgraded amenities. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Royal Caribbean touts the ‘Suite Life’”

Cruise News Weekly: About Us

Cruise News Weekly is your one-stop guide to the latest cruise news and ship reviews. You can also:

 

Cruise News Weekly is also home to Cruise Guide, a travel column featured in a host of U.S. based newspapers, magazines and their Web sites.

Michael Coleman, Editor – [email protected]
Matt Roseboom, Publisher – [email protected]

The travel bug hit Michael Coleman at an early age.

Editor Michael Coleman
Editor Michael Coleman

He was just 11-years-old when he boarded his first cruise ship from Miami – Carnival’s vaunted Mardi Gras in 1973.

Since then, he has sailed on dozens of the world’s best cruise ships either as a cruise line PR executive (Orient Lines and Crystal Cruises) or cruise travel writer.

His Cruise Guide newspaper column is read by some 300,000 people each week in a host of Florida markets and thousands more online. He has been a contributor to cruisecritic.com, cybercruises.com, Vacation Agent Magazine and a number of other in-print and online cruise travel publications. He is the editor of Cruise News Weekly which he founded with business partner, Matt Roseboom, in 2009.

His career choices have been as interesting and as varied as any cruise ship itinerary, mass market or otherwise. He is a cruise consultant for Regent Seven Seas Cruises; served as press secretary to Canada’s Minister of Tourism; worked as an executive editor with The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group; authored a top-selling book – Marco Island Culture and History and was recreation director at one of Marriott International’s premier properties: the Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort.

His wanderlust, however, remains as strong today as it did on that Miami pier some 36 years ago.

Matt Roseboom fell in love with cruising around the same time he fell in love with his wife.

Publisher Matt Roseboom
Publisher Matt Roseboom

His wife introduced him to cruising on their honeymoon in 1995 and they’ve been on more than 30 cruises since.

He has more than 15 years of publication experience, including working for The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group in a variety of roles and five years as owner and publisher of a community newspaper in Marco Island, Florida, Marco Island Sun Times. That’s where his friendship with Michael Coleman began when Coleman’s Cruise Guide column debuted in the Sun Times. After many years of planning, Cruise News Weekly was created.

After selling the newspaper to the Gannett company, he moved to Orlando because of his other love of theme parks. Now he’s also publishing Orlando Attractions Magazine.

As a professional photographer, he’s able to bring high quality images to all of his endeavors. Now Roseboom, his wife Jackie, and son Quinn are cruising and visiting theme parks for business and pleasure. But he said it’s hard most days to really call it work – Do what you love and you’ll love what you do.