Poseidon Expeditions is adding to its on-land camping slots and sea kayaking options.
For guests aboard the M/V Sea Spirit who wish to camp on land on Antarctic excursions, they will be supplied with mummy-shaped sleeping bags rated for temperatures to -18ºC (0ºF), a freshly laundered cotton sleeping bag liner and a full-length insulated foam sleeping pad. Guests have the option of a bivvy sack so they sleep under the stars singly or a deluxe two-person waterproof, freestanding dome tent instead.
“Last year we had only 30 overnight slots per voyage available,” said Steve Wellmeier, managing director of Poseidon’s North American sales and reservation office. “These allotments quickly sold out so this season we decided to offer 40 spaces.”
Guests on either Arctic or Antarctic tours will be allowed to join the Sea Kayaking Club (in groups of eight or 16, respectively), which includes an accompanying safety boat and qualified sea kayak guides. A comprehensive orientation and safety drill, polar-quality paddling suits, life jackets, and other gear come with the expedition.
Carnival Cruise Line and Build-A-Bear Workshop have a new partnership that will bring Build-A-Bear Workshops to Carnival’s fleet.
The first Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea is being rolled out aboard Carnival Dream and is expected to be fleetwide aboard all 25 Carnival ships by summer 2017.
The Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea provides children of all ages an opportunity to make their own cuddly bear that can be customized with a variety of outfits and accessories, from tutus and high-top sneakers to vacation wear like bathing suits and sunglasses.
Each bear comes complete with its own “birth certificate” with the bear’s name and date he or she was created, as well as a logoed drawstring bag. Additionally, the bears have their own “voice” via a recordable sound chip with children recording their own special message.
Children can also create monkeys, leopards, turtles and other furry friends, as well as a St. Jude Bear with proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of Carnival’s primary charitable partners.
Participants can make their custom-designed bears at pop-up Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea workstations located within the Camp Ocean facilities or join the ships’ cruise directors with Build-A-Bear At Sea parties held each cruise and offering music, bear-themed snacks and photo opportunities. The pop-up workstations are set up at designated times throughout the cruise and include everything to make a bear with racks filled with various outfits and accessories as well as a stuffer that allows participants to add soft stuffing.
Prices for the bears start at $20 with outfits and accessories starting at $5.
The Safari Voyager. Photo by AdventureSmith Explorations.
AdventureSmith Explorations is expanding its portfolio. The cruise line recently added the newly renovated Safari Voyager to its collection of small ships. To celebrate the launch, guests are invited to enjoy an exclusive discount on select new 2016 and 2017 itineraries from Costa Rica and Panama. Cruises booked before August 30 will receive $350 off and the opportunity to save an additional $250 more.
The Safari Voyager, after undergoing a $4 million restoration this fall, is a 62-passenger, 174-foot yacht. The ship is equipped with kayaks, stand up paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, snorkel gear, wet suits and more.
New itineraries for the Safari Voyager include “Unchartered Isthmus,” an eight-day voyage exploring the shorelines of Costa Rica and Panama via the Pacific Coastline and the 48-mile-long Panama Canal. Guests will have the opportunity to spot wildlife like sloths, monkeys and macaws while visiting Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park, prior to snorkeling at Panama’s Granito de Oro.
“Pure Panama,” another new itinerary for the Safari Voyager, taking passengers on a nine-day exploration of Panama. Guests can travel by motorized canoe to meet the local Embrá peoples, hike in the Darién Jungle, kayak along the Charges River, explore the historic UNESCO site Fort San Lorenzo and snorkel and stand up paddle board among the Las Perlas and Guna Yala islands.
The itineraries are combinable with land packages for travelers to enjoy additional savings; like the “Tropical Volcano and Cloud Forest” cruise extension, a six-day trip to Arenal National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Prior to any discounts, the “Unchartered Isthmus” adventure starts at $2,995 per person/double, with discounts available on the Dec. 17, 2016, Jan. 7, 14, 21, Feb. 4, March 4, 18, and April 1, 15, 22, 2017 sail dates.
The “Pure Panama” trips starts at $3,795 per person/double prior to any discounts, with discounts available on all departures from April through September 2017, booked before August 30.
Chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri, whose Guy’s Burger Joints on Carnival Cruise Line ships have earned a reputation as the best burgers at sea, has expanded his seagoing culinary offerings with a new authentic smokehouse and barbecue venue aboard Carnival Magic.
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is a casual open-air eatery located on Carnival Magic’s Lanai on Promenade Deck featuring a wide variety of BBQ favorites smoked right on board over hickory and cherry wood using Guy’s signature recipes, rubs and spices. A member of the American Royal National Barbecue Hall of Fame, Fieri is cooking up real-deal smokehouse favorites like bone-in, dry-rubbed, slow-smoked and pulled Championship Pork Butt, dry-rubbed and grilled Blue Ribbon Chicken, smoked Andouille sausage and Sliced Smoked Round of Beef cooked “low and slow” and thinly sliced. A rarity on cruise ships, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse features a traditional wood smoker which was installed on board as part of a recent dry dock.
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse also features Fieri’s own unique take on traditional side dishes with deliciously creative offerings like Mac Daddy Mac n Cheese, Old Skool Potato Salad, Scratch-Made Slaw, Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey, and Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon and Burnt Ends. All items at Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse will be available free of charge.
Diners can spice up their dishes with Fieri’s signature BBQ sauces, including Award-Winning Brown Sugar (sweet and sticky), Kansas City (smoky and sweet), and Sriracha BBQ (spicy and tangy) and Carolina #6 (tangy with sweet heat). A hot sauce bar, as well as a wide range of ice-cold beers and sodas, will be available, as well.
Commented Fieri, “Everyone knows that it takes the finest meats cooked ‘low and slow’ to create truly righteous mouth-watering barbecue. My new ‘Pig & Anchor’ eatery on Carnival Magic is gonna be off the hook! Be sure to grab lots of napkins — it’s gonna get messy!”
“Guy has been a wonderful partner and we can’t wait for our guests to enjoy all the incredible offerings at his Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse which we’re sure will be a huge hit with Carnival Magic guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Open sea days from noon to 2:30 p.m., Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is part of Carnival Magic’s extensive multi-million-dollar renovation that spanned three weeks and added a variety of exciting new dining and bar concepts, including, of course, a Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue serving hand-crafted burgers and fries with recipes created by the Food Network star. Including Carnival Magic, Guy’s Burger Joints are available on 11 Carnival ships and serve more than 1,000 burgers per ship per day. Guy’s Burger Joint will also be featured aboard the new Carnival Vista when it debuts in May.
Other newly added spaces on Carnival Magic include two poolside bars – the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar – along with the BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic Mexican tacos and burritos, Pizzeria del Capitano offering hand-tossed artisanal pies, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, and a “candy and more store” called Cherry on Top.
Carnival Magic will continue its seven-day schedule from Galveston through April 10, 2016 then reposition to Port Canaveral to launch year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises April 23, 2016. Prior to launching its new seven-day schedule from Port Canaveral, Carnival Magic will operate a special three-day cruise to Nassau April 20-23, 2016.
Carnival Magic will offer two distinctly different week-long itineraries from the Space Coast – a western Caribbean route featuring Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) and Costa Maya; and an eastern Caribbean option calling at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk and Nassau or Amber Cove.
Freeport Bahamas Adventures Ltd. – which each year provides thousands of Carnival Cruise Line guests with memorable and exciting landside experiences in Freeport, The Bahamas – has been named the cruise line’s “Tour Operator of the Year.”
Freeport Bahamas Adventures Ltd. was selected from hundreds of tour operators that work in tandem with Carnival to offer guests unforgettable offerings ashore throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
Dozens of tour operators in select ports were also recognized with Carnival’s Leading Tour Operator Award. Additionally, eight shore excursion operators were recognized for excellence with Carnival’s first-ever Most Innovative Tour Awards. This elite group was acknowledged for consistently developing and conceptualizing excursions that showcase the unique attributes of their particular destination.
All of these awards are based on nominations by shoreside tour operations personnel in the company’s Miami headquarters and shore excursion managers on board Carnival’s ships, as well as guest ratings and feedback. Tour operators are evaluated on innovation, creativity, quality, professionalism, communication and overall guest reviews.
“Providing a wide variety of exciting shore excursions is an important part of the Carnival vacation experience and it is an honor to recognize our partners at Freeport Bahamas Adventures Ltd. for their role in helping our guests create a lifetime of wonderful memories,” said Erika Tache, director of product development for Carnival Cruise Line. “We would also like to recognize the recipients of our inaugural Most Innovative Tour Award for their commitment to creating fun and unique excursions that allow our guests to fully immerse themselves in the beautiful destinations we visit,” she added.
Freeport Bahamas Adventures Ltd. offers a wide range of on-shore experiences, including many tours exclusively available to Carnival guests. Two of the operators’ most highly rated tours include My Bahamian House: A Select Retreat! where guests have access to a private waterside home with their own personal chef, bartender and wait staff while enjoying kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling, as well as VIP Luxury Sail, an all-inclusive day-long excursion aboard a 50-foot Beneteau yacht sailing beautiful turquoise waters as participants enjoy freshly prepared local cuisine on board.
The Caribbean’s Leading Tour Operator recipients include:
Antigua: Tropical Adventures
Aruba: De Palm Corporation N.V.
Barbados: Island Safari Barbados Ltd.
Curcacao: Atlantis Adventures N.V.
La Romana: Iberoservice
San Juan: Tour Co-op
St. Kitts: Blue Water Safaris Limited
St. Lucia: Foster & Ince
St. Maarten (2): Xaro N.V. and Dolphin Discovery Anguilla
St. Thomas (2): Cruise Ship Excursions and BOSS Underwater
Nassau: Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas
Grand Turk (2): Chukka Caribbean Adventures and Oasis Divers
Belize: Calypso Train Tours Limited
Montego Bay (2): Calico Sailing and Undersea Tours, and Chukka Caribbean Adventures Limited
Ocho Rios: Elite Shore Excursions Foundation
Cozumel (5): Peninsula de la Pasion, Tripping Cool, Lisandra, Caribbean Sun Fun Ltd., and Controla Dolphin Sa de CV
Progreso: Via Yucatan SA de CV
Mahogany Bay (2): Total Gusto and Anthony’s Key Resort
Puerto Vallarta: Vallarta Adventures
Cabo San Lucas: Cabo Excursions
Grand Cayman (2): Nautilus Cayman Ltd. and Websters Tours Ltd.
Ensenada (2): Mexico Travel Scape Explora Caribe
Amber Cove (2): Iberoservice Wildplay Adventures
Most Innovative Tour recipients include:
St. Maarten: Surf & Turf: ATV Buggy’s Speed Boat Adventure (operated by Koasis NV)
With Carnival’s one-of-a-kind Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee, guests who find the same tour offered by another operator at a lower price than their booked excursion either before or during their cruise can receive 110 percent of the difference in the form of a shipboard credit, providing peace of mind knowing they are getting the best price available.
Representatives from the islands of Barbados and Tobago were recently on board Carnival Sunshine for receptions to celebrate the ship’s inaugural calls at these two tropical destinations. Barbados and Tobago were among the featured ports on Carnival Sunshine’s 13-day Carnival Journeys cruise which returned to Port Canaveral, Fla., on March 5.
Carnival Journeys is a collection of nine- to 15-day seagoing adventures featuring exceptional ports and unique on-board experiences showcasing local cuisine, entertainment and cultural opportunities. The cruises also include enrichment seminars focusing on photography, cooking, arts and crafts, social media and celestial navigation, along with a 1980s-themed “Throwback Sea Day” and Q&A sessions with shipboard personnel.
Carnival Sunshine will continue its schedule of Caribbean voyages from Port Canaveral then operate a seasonal program of voyages from New York, Norfolk, Va., and Charleston, S.C. June through November.
Carnival Cruise Line has announced its fall 2016 Carnival LIVE lineup featuring country music star Sam Hunt and comedians Chris Tucker and Jim Gaffigan.
Bringing the best in live music and comedy to the seas, Carnival LIVE is a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience that provides guests an opportunity to enjoy captivating performances by major artists at a tremendous value. Performances are held in the ships’ main theaters – ranging in guest capacity from 900 to 1,300 – meaning there’s never a bad seat in the house.
Carnival LIVE performances are held while vessels are docked in Cozumel, Nassau and, for the first time, Grand Cayman and Montego Bay.
Known for his innovative and boundary-breaking artistry, Sam Hunt will have audiences singing along and dancing in the aisles as he performs two shows while Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Splendor are docked in Cozumel on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20, respectively. Hunt – who was recently nominated for a Grammy Award and has been honored with an American Music Award, a CMT Award and an Academy of Country Music Award – is the first country artist to chart all singles from his debut album in the Billboard Hot 100.
Grammy award-winner Jim Gaffigan brings his unique brand of humor with performances in Nassau aboard Carnival Valor Sept. 6 and Carnival Fantasy Sept. 7. Gaffigan is a New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. He recently wrapped the first season of his critically acclaimed television show, The Jim Gaffigan Show, which, like his brand of humor, revolves around one man’s struggle to balance fatherhood, stand-up comedy and an insatiable appetite.
Famous for his starring role in the Rush Hour movie series, Tucker will keep guests laughing with his hilarious outlook on life with two shows – one aboard Carnival Freedom in Grand Cayman Oct. 25 and another on Carnival Dream in Montego Bay Oct. 26. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue his dream, Tucker was a staple on the Def Comedy Jam series before breaking into movies and continuing his popular stand-up comedy career. Most recently, he starred in a self-titled comedy show, Chris Tucker – Live, on Netflix.
These performances complement an array of shows by a variety of musical artists taking place aboard eight Carnival ships over the coming months.
Carnival LIVE tickets for Sam Hunt, Chris Tucker and Jim Gaffigan range from $30 to $75 for general admission, significantly less than land-based venues. VIP tickets are available for $100 to $250 and offer seating in the first five rows, a photo opportunity with the artist and a commemorative concert pass.
A full listing of the 2016 Carnival LIVE concert series is available by visiting www.carnival.com/CarnivalLIVE, contacting any travel agent or calling 1-800-CARNIVAL.
Yesterday, a traditional maritime plaque exchange ceremony was held aboard the Carnival Victory to commemorate the ship’s start-up of three- and four-day Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla.
Carnival Victory joins Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Valor to provide the widest variety of cruise options from the Space Coast. Together these three vessels will carry 600,000 passengers annually from Port Canaveral – the most of any cruise operator. Carnival Cruise Line was the first cruise operator to recognize the potential of Port Canaveral as a year-round cruise homeport and recently celebrated its 26th year of sailing from the the port.
Pictured here at the ceremony are Carnival Victory Captain Isidoro Renda and Port Canaveral Port Director and CEO Captain John Murray who was attending his first ship function since starting his new position on February 15.
Comedian Kathy Griffin brought her unique brand of pull-no-punches comedy to the Carnival Breeze with an energetic hour-long set during which she pulled the veil back on current events, including the ongoing political race, as well as pop culture news and her personal run-ins with celebrities and other “questionable figures.”
Griffin’s show was the first-ever comedy performance of Carnival LIVE, a one-of-a-kind on-board entertainment experience that provides guests an opportunity to enjoy performances by major artists at a great value.
In addition to a spirited show that took place in the Carnival Breeze’s main show lounge, fans had the opportunity to have their photo taken with the comedian and received seating in the first five rows and a commemorative lanyard.
Griffin’s performance complements an array of shows by a variety of musical artists taking place aboard eight Carnival ships over the coming months.