Category: Travel

First Call Functions Held for Carnival Sunshine’s Inaugural Calls in Barbados and Tobago

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

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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.

Country Music Star Sam Hunt, Comedians Chris Tucker and Jim Gaffigan Featured in Carnival LIVE’s 2016 Lineup

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

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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.

First Call Function Commemorates Carnival Victory’s Arrival in Port Canaveral

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

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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.

Kathy Griffin Keeps ’Em Laughing Aboard Carnival Breeze

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

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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.

Carnival Cruise Line Sponsors Fun & Fit As a Family Event At South Beach Wine & Food Festival For Fifth Consecutive Year

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

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For the fifth consecutive year, Carnival Cruise Line kept kids entertained at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Fit & Fun as a Family event which is designed to promote healthy lifestyles to families.

Held at Miami’s Jungle Island, the two-day event included lots of fun activities for both the young and young at heart, everything from arts and crafts where kids could color their own Carnival-themed aprons to face painting and limbo and hula hoop contests. There was even an oversized Jenga game for all to enjoy. Carnival also provided attendees with free frozen yogurt which was the perfect treat on a warm South Florida day.

Carnival Cruise Line Mixologist Miroslav Kljajic Named ‘Bartender of the Year’ at the 2016 Bacardi Cruise Competition

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

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Miroslav Kljajic – a mixologist at the Alchemy Bar aboard the Carnival Glory — has been named “Bartender of the Year” at the 2016 Bacardi Legacy Cruise Competition, which attracted over 4,000 entries from top bartenders from major cruise and ferry lines worldwide. This marks the third time in the past five years that a Carnival mixologist has earned the coveted award.

Kljajic earned top honors for his custom-created libation, “Elixir Fizz,” a refreshing mix of Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, Tawny port, vanilla/thyme syrup, Prosecco and Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters liqueur. In addition to a $4,000 cash award and an etched trophy, Kljajic earned a spot in the finals of the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition in San Francisco.

Kljajic joined Carnival Cruise Line in 2012 after working at a number of well-established restaurants and bars throughout Europe.

Since joining Carnival, Kljajic has worked almost exclusively at the line’s cocktail pharmacy themed Alchemy Bars, where bartenders “prescribe” custom cocktails featuring unique ingredients with creative monikers like Forty is the New Twenty and The Restorative Basil Drop.

Alchemy Bars are on 11 ships and will be among the many bar and dining concepts that will be featured on the new Carnival Vista which is set to debut in Europe May 1.

Carnival Cruise Line Partners With Tom Joyner Foundation For 2016 Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Taking Place Aboard Carnival Breeze In April

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

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For the fourth consecutive year, Carnival Cruise Line is partnering with the Tom Joyner Foundation to present the 2016 Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage.

The Ultimate Party with a Purpose®, the voyage will take place aboard Carnival Breeze with a customized eight-day Caribbean voyage departing April 23, 2016, and visiting the beautiful tropical destinations of St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Grand Turk.

The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage presented by Ford is hosted by renowned radio personality and philanthropist Tom Joyner and serves as a fundraiser with proceeds benefiting the Historical Black Colleges and Universities of which Carnival is a proud sponsor.

“This is one of those special experiences that will stay with you forever,” said Tom Joyner. “We sell out every year and our partner, Carnival, takes the event to the next level with a premiere ship and outstanding service.”

The star-studded line-up of artists performing during the cruise includes Diana Ross, Patti LaBelle, New Edition, Johnny Gill, and more than 60 entertainers. The ship is programmed from sunup to sundown with exclusive concerts, fitness classes, and inspiration and empowerment seminars. Each night is a colorful party with theme nights including All Black Everything, Denim & Diamonds, #FlashbackFriday, Mardi Gras, Pajama Night, Represent Night, White Night, and a formal Sneaker Ball. There will also be “Day Parties,” including a special event to honor military veterans.

“We’re pleased and honored for Carnival Cruise Line to serve as the Official Cruise Line of the Fantastic Voyage, supporting the efforts of the Tom Joyner Foundation,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company with a portfolio of 10 of the world’s leading cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Line. “This year’s cruise promises to deliver an unforgettable experience featuring top entertainers, great destinations and exciting on-board activities while supporting students at our historically black colleges and universities,” he added.

Commented Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, “We’re delighted once again to serve as a proud partner of the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage which provides participants with a lifetime of wonderful memories both on board and ashore, all while raising money for a very worthwhile cause.”

For additional information on the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage, please visit fantasticvoyage.blackamericaweb.com.

Groundbreaking SkyRide Aerial Attraction Highlighted in Latest Behind the Scenes: Carnival Vista Video Series

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

The latest in the Behind the Scenes: Carnival Vista video series goes to new heights – literally – focusing on a groundbreaking aerial attraction called SkyRide, which will make its seagoing debut when the massive 133,500-ton ship enters service in May.

Host Peter Gonzalez takes viewers on a virtual tour of the first-of-a-kind shipboard activity in which adventure seekers pedal hanging recumbent-like cycles at speeds of up to 25 miles an hour across an elevated 800-foot-long track, all while enjoying panoramic views of the sea. There will be no charge for SkyRide.

Gonzalez also ventures to Waconia, Minnesota, where he interviews SkyRide inventor Scott Olson who also created the first Rollerblades. Olson developed SkyRide as a fun activity for landside amusement parks and worked with Carnival engineers to bring the attraction to the sea. Gonzalez also interviews Matteo de Stauber of the Fincantieri shipyard, where Carnival Vista is being constructed, who discusses the unique challenges of constructing SkyRide in a shipboard environment.

SkyRide will be among the many exciting open-air amenities featured aboard Carnival Vista which will also offer the 455-foot-long Kaleid-o-Slide, the line’s longest water slide to date, as well as the SportSquare recreation area with a suspended ropes course, basketball court, mini-golf course and more.

Carnival Vista is set to debut May 1 with a 13-day cruise from Trieste, Italy, part of a schedule of Mediterranean voyages through October. The ship then repositions to New York for a pair of voyages then shifts to Miami for year-round Caribbean sailings beginning in November.

Carnival Paradise Hosts Group from Tampa YMCA

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

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As part of Carnival Cruise Line’s ongoing support of its homeport communities, the Carnival Paradise hosted a group of underprivileged youth from the YMCA during a turnaround day at the Port of Tampa.

During their time on board, the children enjoyed in a behind-the-scenes look at the ship’s operations hosted by the ship’s leadership team, as well as lunch and a question and answer session with Carnival Paradise personnel.

Carnival Paradise operates year-round four- and five-day cruises from the Port of Tampa, hosting approximately 170,000 guests on an annual basis.

Carnival Enhances CHEERS! All-Inclusive Beverage Program

By M and M Travel and Tours in Travel

Carnival Cruise Line has enhanced its CHEERS! all-inclusive beverage program to include a greater variety of non-alcoholic beverages, as well as a wider selection of high quality brand-name spirits and wines by the glass. The enhanced program will be available for purchase March 1, 2016.

CHEERS! is an all-inclusive beverage program that allows guests to enjoy a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages by paying a flat daily rate. Guests must be 21 or older to purchase CHEERS! and everyone in the same cabin must purchase the program.

The following beverages are now available within the enhanced CHEERS! program:

  • All spirits, including cocktails, cognacs, whiskies, and other spirits, as well as beer and glasses of wine, costing less than $50 per serving (previously only drinks costing less than $10 per serving were included in the program).
  • Sodas, including specialty sodas offered at the Havana Bar on Carnival Sunshine and new Carnival Vista debuting in May
  • Zero-proof frozen cocktails
  • RockStar energy drinks
  • Specialty coffees and teas served in the main dining rooms, specialty restaurants and coffee bars
  • 500ml bottles of water served in bars and lounges
  • Vitamin Water
  • Powerade
  • Coconut Water
  • Honest Tea
  • Large format (1 liter and 1.5-liter) bottles of water in the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants
  • 25 percent discount off the menu price for any spirit, cocktail or wine by the glass costing more than $50 per serving
  • 25 percent discount off the menu price for wine and champagne by the bottle and larger format water bottles purchased outside the main dining rooms or specialty restaurants
  • 25 percent discount off the menu price for all beverage classes and seminars

The cost for guests who purchase the CHEERS! program via Carnival’s web site prior to their cruise is $49.95 per person per day plus gratuities; the cost for the program purchased once on board is $54.95 per person per day plus gratuities.