Videos from Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas

We recently took a European cruise on Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas. Here are a few interesting videos we took:

Take a ride high above the ship on the North Star:


Watch the robots make drinks at the Bionic Bar:


What? There’s a piano player in the elevator? You never know where he might pop up.

See all our cruise videos on our Cruise News Weekly YouTube Channel.

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.

Watch Carnival Magic’s launch videos and enter to win a free cruise

Carnival Cruise Lines is inviting their Facebook fans to experience the excitement of Carnival Magic’s May 1 launch from Venice, Italy, with a series of videos that showcase the ship’s inaugural activities along with its many unique features. Then fans can participate in a Facebook quiz based on the videos for a chance to win a seven-day Carnival Magic cruise for four to the Caribbean.

A series of 11 videos will be posted every half hour between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time) on Sunday, May 1. The videos take viewers on a journey as they enjoy a front-row seat at the Carnival Magic’s naming ceremony, tour the ship’s bridge, and learn more about the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, WaterWorks aqua park, and Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant, with insight from company executives who helped create these exciting new spaces.

The videos also offer an in-depth look at the ship’s European ports of call and a recap of the day’s events, including a chat with the ship’s godmother, Lindsey Wilkerson, a former patient of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who now serves as an employee and an ambassador of the organization. Carnival Magic’s Senior Cruise Director John Heald will also answer questions submitted by Facebook fans as part of an informative “Ask John” segment.

“Only a handful of people get to witness a ship launch in person so by using Facebook we’re enabling fans from all over the world to be right there with us as we welcome Carnival Magic into the fleet,” said Jim Berra, Carnival’s chief marketing officer. “Those who are not already among our 725,000 and growing Facebook fans can visit us at facebook.com/carnival and simply hit the “like” button.”

Fans can also follow Cruise News Weekly staff as they attend the inaugural activities and first sailing. Just visit Facebook.com/CruiseNews and click the “Like” button. You can also follow even more updates from May 1-10 on their Twitter account at Twitter.com/CruiseGuide.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic will spend its inaugural season in Europe with a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1 through October 16, 2011. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will begin seven-day Caribbean cruises out of Galveston, Texas, on November 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round ship.

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:

Video: A look at what’s new on Disney’s private Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas, has received a number of enhancements this year. They’ve added more water-based family-fun and additional conveniences such as another dining location in anticipation of the larger Disney Dream launching next year.

Here’s a video outlining all the enhancements.

YouTube launches new travel channel with Norwegian Cruise Line

By Jackie Roseboom

Norwegian Cruise Line and YouTube have just launched the first-ever YouTube Vacationer. It’s a travel-specific channel within YouTube designed to provide inspiring ideas and advice from well-traveled, nationally known experts.

You can interact within the “Vacation You” section: a selection of short clips created by vacation professionals are available that run a few minutes each. You can share a personalized “Vacation You” video with your friends and family through Twitter, Facebook or e-mail.

“By working with YouTube on their first-ever travel-specific channel, we are giving visitors the opportunity to experience our brand and all the options that Freestyle Cruising offers,” said Maria Miller, Norwegian Cruise Line’s senior vice president of marketing. “From a marketing perspective, this opportunity is compelling because it provides a truly organic user experience and represents another great way for brands to work with YouTube.”

The expert’s videos are categorized into sections. You’ll find videos from from Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Travel Channel, eHow, concierge.com, Howcast, DanTraveling and the Next New Network. Each section — Caribbean/Bahamas, Europe, Exotics, U.S. and Canada — have video clips on many different topics. You can click on guided clips through interesting places like Cuba by Andrew Zimmern or Dublin by Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel. Tips on how to pack for certain locations, how to get a passport, and “How to Not Look Like a Tourist” are clips from various travel pros. There are clips of the Northern Lights and interesting sea creatures, both of which you can visit during some cruise shore excursions.

Some clips my be considered a little silly but they have great information and are still worth watching. The Norwegian Cruise Line section features clips of the different fun activities you can enjoy while onboard the ships and some behind the scenes clips.

You don’t have to have a YouTube account to view the videos, but if you are a member, you can subscribe to the channel and get updates when new videos are added. Both signing up for a YouTube account and subscribing to a channel are free.

“We are pleased to be working with Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovators in cruise travel, on our first branded travel channel,” said Mark Day, sales development at YouTube. “The YouTube Vacationer channel brings the best of our partners’ travel videos into a single destination to help users explore, plan and dream about their next vacations, and it gives users a way to see themselves in a customized vacation video with Norwegian’s ‘Vacation You’ application.”

Other cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Disney also have official videos on YouTube.
Visit the YouTube Vacationer at youtube.com/vacationer.

Contributor Jackie Roseboom also writes for “Orlando Attractions Magazine” and the Cruise Guide newspaper column.

Ship Review: NCL’s newest ship offers fun in Epic proportions

Many people pick a vacation city based on how much it has to offer. Big names like Nickelodeon and Blue Man Group that could have only been seen in places like Las Vegas and Orlando are now cruising the high seas. With all the innovations on the brand new Norwegian (NCL) Epic, it’s like you’re in a city with ever changing views.

Click Here to continue reading the NCL Epic ship review.

Video: Disney Magic to get new ‘Villains Tonight!’ stage show

disney villains show

The malevolent world of the Disney villains takes a comical spin in “Villains Tonight!,” a musical spectacular that Disney Cruise Line is premiering in spring 2010. The revue-style show will debut during the March 27 voyage aboard the Disney Magic and will debut aboard the new Disney Dream cruise ship in early 2011.

“Villains Tonight!” is the first full-scale musical production dedicated to the Disney villains. The show is a family-friendly, fun-filled musical extravaganza that places these famous evil-doers in some irreverent funny moments.

“We pride ourselves in delivering exceptional entertainment and magnificent stage spectaculars aboard our ships,” said Jim Urry, vice president of entertainment for Disney Cruise Line. “With ‘Villains Tonight!’ we are bringing the lovable and loathsome Disney villains to life in a way never seen before — as the stars of the first musical comedy devoted to the anti-heroes of our films.”

Disney Cruise Line assembled an all-star creative team headlined by the Broadway writing duo of Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen. They are joined by director Allison Narver, choreographer Karma Camp and musical director Ben Cohn.

“Villains Tonight!” begins as Hades and his faithful sidekicks, Pain and Panic (“Hercules”), welcome new souls (the audience) to the Underworld. But instead of a frightening realm, guests will discover that Hades has turned the Underworld into an upbeat and happier place. The lively fun comes to a halt when The Fates arrive and predict that Hades will lose his position as Lord of the Underworld if he doesn’t ramp up the evil factor.

Worried by the news, Hades checks his Evil-O-Meter and discovers it is running dangerously low. So he comes up with a plan: He’ll conjure up the very best of the worst — the most powerful Disney villains — to help him replenish the world of evil. What ensues is a comical journey as Hades, Pain and Panic embark on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers featuring Disney villains and their sidekicks.

“Villains Tonight!” features a “Who’s Who” of the Disney villains, including Disney’s newest crook, Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog.” The show also features classic divas and scoundrels like Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”), the Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Captain Hook (“Peter Pan”) and Scar (“The Lion King”).

During “Villains Tonight!,” the 977-seat Walt Disney Theatre becomes a hilariously wicked world through the use of elaborate sets and special effects, extravagant costumes and a fun-filled, contemporary musical score. The show’s scenery takes guests on a dazzling journey through many villainous worlds, from the deck of Captain Hook’s ship to Scar’s Elephant Graveyard to Ursula’s Undersea Lounge.

“Villains Tonight!” features irreverent versions of classic Disney villain tunes including a dance club version of “Cruella De Vil” (“101 Dalmatians”), a Copacabana-inspired take of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” (“The Little Mermaid”) and an electrifying version of “Friends on the Other Side,” from Walt Disney Pictures’ newest animated feature, “The Princess and the Frog.” In addition, Bell and Bowen developed two original songs especially for the show, “Welcome to the Underworld” and “Villains Tonight.”

The show was produced by Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, which has received acclaim for its productions around the world, including “Finding Nemo — The Musical” (Walt Disney World Resort in Florida), “Disney’s Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular” (Disneyland Resort in California), “Twice Charmed” (Disney Cruise Line) and “The Golden Mickeys” (Hong Kong Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line).

“Villains Tonight!” joins the lineup of shipboard stage musicals as the Disney Magic gets ready to embark on an unprecedented five-month season of Mediterranean and Northern European cruises. Departing from Barcelona, Spain, Mediterranean cruises go from April 24 to May 26 and Aug. 7 to Sept. 8, visiting ports in Italy, France and North Africa. Departing out of Dover, England, the Northern European cruises will sail from June 12 to July 18, visiting St. Petersburg, Oslo, Copenhagen and other enchanting ports.

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

Onboard Video: Carnival Dream ‘just makes it’ when passing under a New York bridge

Watch as the brand new Carnival Dream cruise ship just barely fits under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. The ship had just left New York City on Friday the 13th, 2009 for a two-night cruise.

Video: Carnival’s newest ship officially named ‘Dream’

Dream naming

The official naming ceremony of Carnival Cruise Lines’ new cruise ship, Carnival Dream, featured Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden in the role of ship’s godmother. Watch as she swings a baseball bat signed by New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez at a nearly six-foot tall champagne bottle to christen the ship.
The ceremony was hosted by cruise director John Heald onboard the ship on Nov. 12, 2009 while docked in New York City.

For video of the full ceremony, visit Carnival.com/Dream.