Cruise Line Brings Heat To New York City

cruise lineNorwegian Cruise Line is bringing new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway to New York City later this year to sail year-round to Florida, the Bahamas and Bermuda. Getting ready to be New York’s home town cruise line, Norwegian has engaged in partnerships with the New York City Rockettes, pop artist Peter Max and others. Norwegian Breakaway will even have Sabrett New York hot dog carts positioned around the ship in convenient places, much like on the streets of New York City.

Now, Norwegian is back on the streets of New York offering what they call “Warming Stations” around the city.

As part of their sponsorship with NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership of the City of New York, Norwegian Cruise Line is setting up three warming station events in New York City through the end of January.

The warming stations feature a large backdrop of Norwegian Breakaway along with heat lamps, sand and palm trees to give passers-by a warm, tropical feeling. Commuters passing through can visit, have their pictures taken with the backdrop like they might while boarding a cruise ship and enjoy a hot beverage.cruise lineUpcoming dates and locations are:

January 14 – Flatiron Plaza
January 22 – 14th St. & 9th Ave.
January 28 – Times Square

And what would be a cruise-oriented event without something free given away?

The Warming Stations will feature instant-wins every hour where visitors can win tickets to either see “Rock of Ages” or eat at Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant, The National.

Featuring an oceanfront boardwalk called the Waterfront, Norwegian Breakaway will have shops, restaurants and bars combined with entertainment and gaming. A hub of activity spanning three decks is called 678 Ocean Place, featuring seven dining venues, 12 bars and lounges coupled with shops and other entertainment options.

Can’t wait for Norwegian Breakaway to arrive in May? Norwegian Cruise Lines has a micro-site set up all about the new ship and its features. Check this video for more:




[Photo Credit- Norwegian Cruise Lines]

Authentic, New York City Experience, On A Cruise Ship

New York City

Norwegian Cruise Line will launch new Norwegian Breakaway from New York City in May 2013. Busy getting New Yorkers into the idea of sailing away on their newest ship, Norwegian has everyone from the Rockettes to celebrity chef’s excited and involved in one way or another. Now Norwegian Cruise Line has good news for travelers who might not get into fancy restaurants or new-ship features.

Onboard Norwegian Breakaway will be authentic Sabrett New York hot dog carts positioned around the ship in convenient places, much like on the streets of New York City. To wash down those dogs? Brooklyn Lager Beer.

“As a New Yorker, I’ve been a fan of Sabrett’s. Since we are launching New York’s ship, it made complete sense to bring New York’s favorite hot dog to Norwegian Breakaway,” said Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line in a Travel Pulse report.

Norwegian currently has the ship’s Godmother Rockettes dancing a Christmas show at a discounted rate courtesy of the cruise line. Norwegian used native pop artist Peter Max to paint the New York skyline on the hull of the ship and tapped New York restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian to create a luxury seafood dining experience with a dining room, a raw bar, and a more casual venue called Ocean Blue on the new ship.

Now, going a bit more casual, the all-beef Sabrett hot dogs will come with a choice of condiments including onion in tomato sauce, sauerkraut, mustard and relish. The carts will be positioned on the Breakaway’s extra-wide promenade, The Waterfront, and on the pool deck and forward deck.

“With Sabrett hot dogs and Brooklyn Lager beer, our guests will truly get a real taste of the city as a part of their whole New York experience while onboard,” added Sheehan.

Fascinated by the New York City hot dog scene yourself? Learn more via this video:




[Photo Credit- Flickr user WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)]

5 Ways To Save On A Cruise Vacation, But Should You?

save on a cruise vacation

People who talk about how to save on a cruise vacation, often compare them to “floating hotels,” a way of thinking that can easily make cruise ships come out ahead financially. Just the all-inclusive nature of a cruise makes sailing popular. We get it. The issue is not which is a better value but how to save on cruises themselves. We understand it’s a good deal, but how do we maximize that value on a cruise vacation?

Buy far in advance- Cruise lines appreciate passengers who book far in advance and say so with lower prices. Passengers gain not only from that attractive pricing but also from a far better selection of cabins when booked a year or more in advance. Some fares are only offered by cruise lines right after releasing a new schedule of sailings or within a certain amount of time before sailing too.

Buy at the last minute- Travelers who are able to just drop everything and go to sea by booking 30 days or less in advance of sailing can find some great bargains too. These passengers need to be flexible not only about when they can sail but about their cabin location as well. By the same coin that makes buying in advance a good idea because of a superior selection of cabins, those who buy at the last minute need to be comfortable in less attractively located real estate.Be loyal- Cruise line packages and benefits for those who have sailed with them previously are considerable and can add up to real savings. Past guests are often the first to be offered special fares or discounts that will be available to the general public later. On board, past guest benefits are considerable, ranging from a welcome-back gift to special parties, wine tastings and other events exclusive to frequent cruisers.

Consider restricted fares but only if you’re sure- Most cruise vacations can be bought far in advance then canceled any time before final payment without penalty. Restricted fares lock in pricing, often at a rate lower than all others but require a non-refundable deposit and no other changes can be made without a hefty fee. This is not the fare for those who might change their minds later but can be the very best value for those with solid plans that are not apt to vary throughout the life of the booking. Traveling with the elderly, those with medical concerns, on a strict budget or even teens who might not think cruising is cool by the time the sailing rolls around, this is a great way to waste travel funds.

Cram as many people as possible into your cabin. It works. Some cruise lines have standard-sized cabins that will accommodate up to five people. Cruise lines base their world on double occupancy (two to a cabin). Solo travelers often pay twice as much but cabins with three, four or five pay far less as cruise lines commonly discount the third or more passengers in a cabin.

That’s good to know if on a really tight budget but begs the question: “Just because we can fit five in a cabin, should we?” In many cases the answer is a resounding “No!” I remember one time as a travel agent when a client called me from their fabulous cruise ship upon boarding then checking out their cabin. This lady was hoppin’ mad at me for allowing them to book four adults in a small, inside cabin, even though I’d warned her about the drawbacks.

Four people in one cabin means four people needing to use the shower and/or restroom at the same time to get ready for dinner. It’s trying to find a place for four people’s luggage, bodies and personal time. Add in that these were four very large people who barely fit in the third and fourth upper bunk bed-like berths and all of the sudden saving that money up front was not nearly as important.

That’s a very common flaw of cruise traveler buying habits too. Up front, there is a lot of concentration on price, much like they might spend on an airline ticket going from point A to point B. The travelers for whom this is a problem just want the rock bottom low price no matter what it means. After they get that price, some of those same people bounce back almost immediately, now concerned about their cabin location, type or even the ship and sailing date.

Those are the lucky ones. They still have time for a reality check to think about what it will be like in that obstructed view balcony cabin that saved them a few bucks. That’s time to consider if the loss of a perfect view for their cruise of a lifetime is worth it. To many, once they think about it, they realize that they would indeed not care for that and change.

Others wait and find out the hard way that their click-to-buy wonder deal was not all that much of a good value. It’s all about taking a realistic view at the price of a cruise, our personal travel budget and how those two can play nice with each other. Getting it right can make for a rich travel experience. Getting it wrong is just a waste of time and travel funds.


[Photo Credit: Chris Owen]

Cirque Dreams Travels The Country, Tours Military Bases Worldwide

cirque dreams

The first-ever Cirque Dreams World Tour performed at 17 U.S. military bases throughout ten countries in January. Now, Cirque Dreams Holidaze promises to light up the 2012 holiday season transforming stages at five military bases in Korea and across the United States into a magical holiday wonderland.

This is not your mother’s Christmas pageant either. The traditional elements are there but that’s about where tradition ends. Gingerbread men flip in mid air and toy soldiers march on thin wires. Snowmen, icemen, penguins, Christmas tree ornaments and dancing puppets all come to life to an original music score.

Honoring tradition, seasonal favorites accompany hundreds of astonishing costumes and holiday dreams in a setting of gigantic gifts, colossal candy canes and 30-foot towering soldiers creating a wonderland of spectacle.

Fans won’t have to travel far to see the international cast of multi-talented and brilliantly costumed artists come to life and perform astonishing feats of disbelief.

The Cirque Dreams Holidaze U.S. tour begins on November 13 in Abilene, Texas, then travels up the West Coast, down through the Midwest, into the South and ends in Schenectady, New York, on December 30.

Here’s a preview:




Cirque Dreams’ stable of popular shows include Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Illumination, Cirque Dreams & Dinner onboard Norwegian Epic and upcoming Norwegian Breakaway, Cirque Dreams Rocks, and Cirque Dreams Holidaze, now in its fourth consecutive touring season and success from The Kennedy Center.

[Photo Credit: Cirque Productions]

Cruise Line Can’t Build New Ships Fast Enough

cruise line


Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week a plan to build one, maybe two more new ships, their biggest yet, on the heels of their two Project Breakaway ships that are still under construction. Citing the buzz among cruise travelers and travel professionals in Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway as reason enough to build the 163,000 ton ships, the cruise line is as confident as ever.

“Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway have garnered significant attention in the marketplace with their innovative design, rich stateroom mix and world-class amenities,” said Norwegian President and CEO Kevin Sheehan in a Seatrade Insider report.

Indeed, Norwegian has had a laser focus on the deployment of their next ships. Dedicating Norwegian Breakaway to year-round service from New York City, the cruise line brought on board pop artist Peter Max to paint the ships hull with the New York skyline. About a month ago, Norwegian announced the Godmothers of Norwegian Breakaway, the New York City Rockettes. Sister ship Norwegian Getaway will sail year-round from Miami in 2014 and a close tie to Miami and South Florida is expected there as well.

Norwegian’s new Breakaway Plus ships to be delivered in 2015 and 2017 if an option for a second ship is triggered put two more giant ships in service, these weighing in at 163,000 tons, carrying about 4,200 passengers. The ships will be built at Meyer Werft’s Papenburg, Germany shipyard and financed by a German bank.

“Building on that momentum, along with Meyer Werft’s expertise and efficiency in the design and construction process, we are extending the excitement and anticipation with a new, larger edition Breakaway Plus-class ship to further distinguish the Norwegian brand,’ said Sheehan.
At a price tag of €700m (getting close to $1billion each), Breakaway Plus will host a continuation of the signature Norwegian Cruise Line Freestyle Cruising guest experience and focus on technical and sustainable environmental advances as well.



[Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Lines]