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Showing posts from 2018

Carnival Horizon Leaves New York For the Final Time in 2018

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Carnival Cruises' new Carnival Horizon left New York for the last time on Monday 9/18/2018 shortly after 5 PM on a rainy afternoon. The ship completed a series of cruises between May and early September, from the Big Apple to the eastern Caribbean, Bermuda and Canada. The 2018 Carnival Cruises' New York sailing schedule was abbreviated. The Carnival usually sails 7 days New-England / Canada cruises for the months of September and October which were not scheduled for this year.

In addition, Carnival usually operates a short series of cruises from Norfolk to Florida & the Bahamas after the New York season. These cruises were also not scheduled for 2018.

The Carnival Horizon is heading to her new home-port of  Miami, Florida and will arrive in Miami, today (9/18/2018).

The Carnival Horizon is scheduled to sail from Miami to the Bahamas, and the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. Cruises will range from 2-8 days.

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Missed Item From The Past Week - Windstar Cruises Star Pride Maiden Arrival in NYC.

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Windstar Cruises Star Pride arrived in New York for her maiden arrival a full 12 hours late due to an unexpected overnight in Newport, Rhode Island. The Star Pride encounter a malfunction in her engine cooling system which caused the ship's engines to shut down temporarily. Stranded near Martha's Vinyard the engines were eventually restarted and she pulled into Newport for a Coast Guard inspection.

Clearing the inspection, she sailed from Newport at 7:00 AM on 9/8 and sailed 13 hours to New York arriving on Saturday (the same day) at 8:30 PM. After backing into passenger ship terminal, she disembarked her passengers and embarked her departing passengers well into the wee hours of the morning.

Expected to sail from New York at 8:00 AM, it wasn't until 9:00 AM that she cast off and began her New England/Canada Cruise.

The Star Pride will sail a series of New England / Canada Cruises from Boston before returning to New York in late October.

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Ships Moving To Avoid Hurricane Florence.

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As Hurricane Florence approaches the United States East Coast cruise ships are seeking the protection of ports.

Oceania Cruises' Insignia arrived in New York today (9/12/2018) at 7:00 PM - a full 12 hours ahead of her planned arrival of 7 AM tomorrow morning. Passengers will be able to spend a full night in NYC to enjoy the sights and sounds.

As I am writing this at 11:00 PM (on 9/12) - Carnival Cruise's Carnival Horizon is about 1 hour outside of New York Harbor having sailed from Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic to New York. The route from the Dominican Republic hugged the coast and sailed between the US east coast and hurricane Florence to arrive in New York  ahead of the storm.

The Carnival Horizon is preparing to leave New York on 9/13 to sail to Bermuda on a 4 day cruise. This will be her last passenger carrying voyage from New York in 2018. As of now, she is still expected to sail to Bermuda. 

In addition to the arriving ships, 2 more ships departed New York. At ab…

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 Offers 14 Day New England - Canada Cruise

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Cunard's Queen Mary 2 is conducting a special 14 day - New England / Canada cruise departing New York on September 23, 2018. This fall cruise will visit such picturesque ports like Rockland, Corner Brook, Sept Iles, Quebec, Quebec, Quebec, Saguenay, Sydney Ns, and Halifax Nova Scotia. For passengers not able to dedicate the full two weeks the cruise is available in two segments of 7 days each. Segment 1 from New York to Quebec Canada and Segment 2 - Quebec Canada back to New York.

Fares for the 14 day voyage start at $1,499 for an inside stateroom.

Sailing on the Queen Mary 2 is unlike other ships. The QM2 offers a luxury, upscale, experience. The ship has a high space per passenger ratio and offers a refined experience.

For additional details check out cunard's website: Cunard Queen Mary 2 Fall New England Canada Cruise

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German Cruise Lines Find New York a Popular Fall Cruise Port.

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As stated in previous blog posts, as the fall approaches, many cruise lines re-locate their ships to New York to Sail on New England Canada Cruises.  These fall sailing are very popular among the German Cruise lines like AIDA and Mein Schiff (TUI Cruises) which use New York / New Jersey as a turn around port.

Their cruises use New York as a embarkation and disembarkation port allowing passenger time to visit and explore the Big Apple. Usually the cruise lines add an overnight stay for their passengers in New York and the passengers can use the ship as their hotel. So for instance on a 14 day cruise, the ship arrive in New York on Day 13 allowing guests to stay onboard overnight and explore NYC. For the next cruise, the passengers will embark on day 1 but the ship will NOT leave New York until day 2.

These cruises with the extended stay in New York are growing in popularity and there is talk about having these cruises not only in the fall but the spring and summer as well.


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Port Of Call - San Juan Puerto Rico

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San Juan Puerto Rico is a popular cruise port on winter and longer summer sailings from the port of New York.

Whether it is a stroll through the Old City on your way to El Morro Castle (Fort) which rises above the entrance to the harbor or a visit to the rain forest, this cruise port has something to offer everyone. There are shops, cafes, beaches, snorkeling, water-sports and much more. Whether you are a first time visitor or a returning guest - you will definitely find an entertaining way to spend the day.


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Princess Cruises to Sail 2 Ships From New York to New England & Canada in the Fall of 2018.

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Shortly Princess Cruises' ships will be repositioning to New York in anticipation of the start of the fall New England Canada season. Princess Cruises' will position both the Royal Princess and her near identical sister the Regal Princess in the Big Apple in September and October.

Princess Cruise will offer 7, 10 and 14 days sailings - some packed with extensive array of ports of call. While some cruises will be Round trip from New York, others will be ending in Quebec.

For exact itineraries and dates visit NYCruiseInfo.com or the Princess Cruises Website.


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Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Escape To Offer After Midnight Musical in Supper Club Cabaret Show

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Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that three award-winning Broadway songstresses, Melinda Doolittle, Sharon Wilkins and Melba Moore, will be performing in the Tony Award®-winning musical, After Midnight, as well as their own Supper Club Cabaret Show, aboard Norwegian Escape beginning August 19, 2018.

The announcement, which illustrates the company’s dedication to high-caliber entertainment, comes on the heels of its successful launch of Tony Award®-winning musical Jersey Boys and its original production ¡HAVANA! as well as the debut of Syd Norman’s Pour House, an authentic and immersive experience inspired by the greatest clubs in American rock ‘n’ roll history.  The increase in star power is in response to the incredible reception of Broadway’s own, Tony Award®-nominated, Brenda Braxton, who has routinely starred in After Midnight aboard Norwegian Escape since its introduction into the fleet in 2015.

“We are thrilled to engage these celebrated Broadway stars and very happy to wel…

Flash Back: Home Lines Oceanic

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A regular fixture on the New York to Bermuda and New York to Nassau cruise circuit, Home Line's Oceanic had a following like no other ship of the day. Home Lines was known for their Italian hospitality, great food and top-notch entertainment. It was not usual for many passenger to stay aboard for back to back cruises and Home Lines capitalized on this - with a very successful onboard booking agent.

One of Home Line's most successful ships was the Oceanic. Designed specifically for cruising and fitted with a Magradome glass roof over the pool. The glass roof allowed passengers to swim regardless of the temperature outside or weather conditions. The ship offered spacious accommodations and an upscale onboard experience.

The Oceanic departed New York every Saturday at 4 PM during the peak summer season sailing 2 days down to Nassau; Spending 3 days in port and then 2 days at sea back to New York. In the winter, the Oceanic would offer longer cruises to the Caribbean. For some re…

Norwegian Cruise Line's Nowegian Breakaway Undergoes Extensive Refit.

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Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the completed refurbishments of three ships, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star, further showcasing its commitment to extraordinary quality and the guest experience. 
As part of The Norwegian Edge®, the company’s program designed to elevate the standard of excellence across its fleet, the revitalized ships now feature new designs and venues including Los Lobos Cantina, an upscale Mexican restaurant; the adults-only enclave, Spice H2O; and Syd Norman’s Pour House – an American rock ‘n’ roll bar and lounge, which makes its debut aboard Norwegian Breakaway.
“What a year this has been for us at Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Andy Stuart, the brand’s president and chief executive officer. “Not only did we introduce our latest and record-breaking ship, Norwegian Bliss, and announce the redeployment of her sister ship Norwegian Joy, but we are now unveiling our newly revitalized ships, 
Norwegian Breakaway, Sun and Star. This is a…

Beautiful Sunday In New York - Great Day to VIsit the Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island.

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As mentioned in my previous blog article, this Sunday turned in to a relatively nice day with periods of  torrential rain, other time great, bright sunshine with amazing white clouds.

As usual I looked for a vantage point to photograph the cruise ships departing / arriving and chose Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Liberty State Park offers the opportunity to take great photos of the New York Skyline in the late afternoon. Liberty State Park is one of two locations in the port, where visitors can board a ferry to the State of Liberty and/or Ellis Island. (The second embarkation point for Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island Ferries is Battery Park in Lower Manhattan).

I arrived at the park at about 4:15 PM to witness hundreds of people filing off of ferries carrying tourists from the attractions. The ferries are operated by Statue Cruises (a division of Hornblower Cruises & Events).

Seeing this made me appreciate the historical significance of these attractions and the draw of touri…

Princess Cruises Sea Princess Steams Toward New York.

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Just about the time this article is published (1:30 AM on 8/14/2018), Princess Cruises' Sea Princess will be in New York Harbor.

The ship is visiting New York as part of her World Cruise. The Sea Princess departed Halifax, Canada on August 12 bound for the Big Apple.

The remaining part of her World Cruise is a 36 Day segment sailing from New York visiting
New York | Charleston, South Carolina | Miami, Florida | Key West, United States | Limon, Costa Rica | Panama Canal Full Transit, Panama | Manta, Ecuador | Lima (Callao), Peru | Easter Island, Chile | Pitcairn Island (Scenic Cruising) | Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia | Raiatea, French Polynesia | Cross International Date Line | Auckland, New Zealand | Sydney, Australia.


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Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Escape Departure Delayed Due To Fueling.

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Sunday (yesterday) was a unique day in New York with scattered thunderstorms and frequent breaks of sunshine, bright blue skies and fluffy clouds. During the key departure hour (4 PM) the Celebrity Summit actually departed a little early leaving at 3:50 PM under bright sunshine.

I was anxiously awaiting the departure of the Norwegian Escape at 4 PM but at 5 PM I was still waiting. It appears that the re-fueling of the ship for her 7 day cruise to Bermuda was running drastically behind. Refueling usually takes 4-6 hours.  It was not until about 7:50 PM where the Norwegian Escape pulled away from the pier and headed down the Hudson River.

The departure delay is NOT expected to impact the ship's schedule since 2 days are allowed for the 1 - 1.5 day trip to Bermuda. Refueling delays are not common and I can say I was disappointed because the 4 hour delay was too long to stay to see the ship depart.

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Flash Back - One of My Favorite Ships - French Line's ss France.

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Originally built in 1962 for the French Line, the futuristic liner ss France was the longest liner of the day, measuring 1,032 feet and weighing 66,000 tons. The elegant 3 class ship had her trademark majestic winged funnels; elegant furnishing and white glove service.

A victim of many strikes by the seaman union; the increased popularity of air travel; and mounting losses due to increased fuel prices, fuel hungry engines and low passenger counts. The ss France was laid up in 1974 awaiting a buyer.

The ship was eventually purchase by Norwegian Cruise Line, who renamed her Norway and brought her to Bremerhaven, Germany for an extensive conversion to a 1 class cruise liner. Totally refitted from stem to stem the ship reemerged as the Norway with all cabin remodeled, all public rooms renovated, an extensive platform lido area was place on the stern ideal for her new role as a Caribbean Cruise ship.

The Norway sailed numerous years for Norwegian Cruise Line, occasionally visiting New Yor…

Flash Back - Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2

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In a flash back to the past, I found this photo of Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth 2 (built 1969).  Affectionately known as the QE2, the ship was a regular fixture on the Transatlantic route - sailing between New York and Southampton, England - with an occasional call at Cherbourg, France.

The QE2 underwent a number of refurbishments and extensive refits to extend its life, but this photo show the QE2 in her original glory. The QE2 is still in existence, permanently docked in Dubai as a hotel and convention center.

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Unique Panama Canal Cruise From New York In January, 2019.

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Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a 19- day repositioning cruise between New York and Los Angeles, via the Panama Canal, onboard the Norwegian Gem. The itinerary details shown below lists some of the unique ports of calls not normally visited on cruises departing from the Port of New York. The cruise is extensively focused on  the Southern Caribbean, the North Coast of South America, Central America, the Canal and the West Coast of Mexico (Destinations made popular by the TV series - "the Love Boat". The cruise depart New York on January 2, 2019 and ending in Los Angeles, California on January 20th.

The sailing will be conducted on the popular Norwegian Gem which has a strong following among Norwegian Cruise Line fans. The ship offers a rock climbing wall, water slides, extensive spa facilities, casino, pools, hot tubs and many dining establishments / freestyle dining.

Here are the itinerary details.

DayCruise PortsArriveDepart Wed New York, New York (EMBARK) --- 5…

Carnival Cruises Carnival Triumph To Undergo an Extensive Refit and Become the Carnival Sunrise Before New York Introduction.

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I was very surprised when Carnival Cruises quietly substituted the brand new Carnival Horizon with the 1999 built Carnival Triumph for the 2019 New York season. Carnival did not publish a press release or any communication - the only way I found out was by searching for 2019 cruises on their website. About 2 weeks after I saw the 2019 cruises on the internet, the following, great, press release came out announcing a $200 million refit. In April 2019, the Carnival Triumph will emerge as the Carnival Sunrise and virtually a new ship, Here is the official Carnival Press Release and the details of the refit.............

Carnival Cruise Line today revealed plans for a nearly $200 million bow-to-stern makeover for Carnival Triumph in the spring of 2019 that will include renaming the ship to reflect its significant transformation.  The ship will join Carnival’s Sunshine class and will be named Carnival Sunrise after a two-month-long refurbishment that will take place in Cadiz, Spain, st…