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Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas to Sail from Southampton in 2015

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Explorer of the Seas will homeport in the UK and sail its first European season in summer 2015.

Explorer of the Seas

The cruise line’s latest announcement is an amendment to the original plan which would have seen sister ship Adventure of the Seas based in Southampton. The near identical ships are both 137,308-ton, 3,144-passenger Voyager-class vessels, with Explorer being launched in 2000 and Adventure the following year.

Explorer will spend a month in dry dock for an ‘extensive revitalization’ before arriving in the UK in late-April, 2015, where it will sail on three- to 16-night roundtrip itineraries through September 2015. Itineraries include three- and eight-night Northern Europe sailings, 11- to 16-night Mediterranean itineraries or 10- to 14-night Canary Islands cruises.

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In a statement announcing the new plan a Royal Caribbean spokesman said: “Explorer of the Seas will complete an extensive, month-long dry dock revitalization before starting seasonal service and boast a wide range of new innovative features to offer guests an unforgettable onboard experience.”

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These include a new FlowRider surf simulator, 3D movie theatre and a new range of onboard restaurants. There will also be refurbished staterooms and suites, plus the line’s new ‘virtual balconies’ that bring live ocean and destination views to inside cabins. The Voyager-class ships were the first to introduce Royal Caribbean’s trademark active cruising, with features such as a rock-climbing wall, real ice-skating rink and full-size basketball court.

Explorer of the Seas will be joined in Southampton by Anthem of the Seas, the second of Royal Caribbean’s three 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger next generation Quantum-class cruise ships. Anthem, launches in spring 2015, and last week it was revealed that the Quantum ships would showcase all-new MDR-less Dynamic Dining, offering passengers a flexible dining experience in a choice of 18 restaurants. The line’s 90,090-ton, 2,112- passenger Brilliance of the Seas will complete the UK trio and homeport in Harwich.


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Downtown Disney Celebrates Father’s Day with High-Speed Fun at Car Masters Weekend June 14-15

Car Masters Weekend is the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day as Downtown Disney hosts a classic car show with a modern twist June 14-15, 2014.

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Featuring all things “Cars,” the event showcases classic, muscle and exotic vehicles from across the country; a chance for guests to meet favorite “Cars″ characters such as Lightning McQueen and Mater; and special celebrity appearances.

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Completing the car-filled weekend, fans may purchase tickets for a ”Cars” & “Cars 2″ movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney 24 and enjoy face painting, themed food and beverage, live entertainment and more. (Entertainment subject to change)


Disney Parks Invites Guests to ‘Rock Your Disney Side’ With 24-Hour Kickoff to Summer on Both Coasts

Disney Parks guests are invited to show their “Disney Side” and kick off summer during a bi-coastal, all-night extravaganza — “Rock Your Disney Side: 24-Hours.” Taking place this Memorial Day Weekend, known as the traditional start of the family travel season, the event at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California features select parks for 24 hours nonstop.

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Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure in California will be filled with great Disney heroes and villains from 6 a.m., May 23 to 6 a.m., May 24, 2014, local time** marking the beginning of a summer of fun at Disney Parks.

The celebration on both coasts will feature a cavalcade of events showcasing the good-vs.-evil of classic Disney stories including character meet-and-greets throughout the parks, special entertainment, event merchandise, and food and beverage offerings. Along with the entertainment guests have grown to love every day, they’ll discover surprise additions and special events throughout the 24 hours.

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Mickey Mouse and 139 of his best pals announced the 24-hour party Feb. 28 in their own inimitable style – with a 140-character-strong “Ultimate Tweet,” sending a #DisneySide message to all their fans on social media to come out to the park on May 23.

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“Rock Your Disney Side” All Summer

Fans will be able to “rock” their Disney Side all summer long at Walt Disney World Resort. Guests will find new excitement including the completion of New Fantasyland – the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history – with the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train family roller coaster attraction. Other summer festivities include the New Fantasyland-inspired Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade and the roll out of MyMagic+, taking the Disney guest experience to the next level.


Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Serves Up a Rocking Rendezvous for Epcot Guests this Summer

Chart-topping classics will fill the air at Epcot this summer when high-energy bands rock the mic during Sounds Like Summer concert series. Performing hits from U2, Journey, Boston, and more, seven acts will take the stage in June and July at America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.

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This year’s concert line up includes:

  • June 8-14:  Hotel California ~ A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 15-21: Don’t Stop Believin’ ~ Journey Tribute Band
  • June 22-28: Good Vibrations ~ A Tribute to The Beach Boys
  • June 29-July 5: Don’t Look Back ~ Boston Tribute Band
  • July 6 to 12: Stayin’ Alive ~ A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 13 to 19: Slippery When Wet ~ The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 20 to 26: 2U ~ A Tribute to U2

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Show times are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. – except on July 4 when show times are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m.  Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission (Entertainment subject to change without notice).

Who is your favorite cover band?


Carnival Freedom To Open First-Ever Dr. Seuss Bookville Facility

Carnival Freedom will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar makeover this spring that will add the first-ever Bookville family reading venue– part of the recently launched Seuss at Sea program in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises – along with a variety of dining, bar and entertainment innovations that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative.

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The majority of these exciting new features will be incorporated during a dry dock that will take place in Freeport, The Bahamas, from April 19 to May 3, 2014.

Following the dry dock, Carnival Freedom will resume its popular six- to eight-day Caribbean schedule from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and introduce two new five-day Caribbean options, marking the first time that a Fun Ship 2.0-equipped ship will operate a short cruise itinerary from South Florida.

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“With the debut of the first-ever Dr. Seuss Bookville, along with an array of exciting dining, bar and entertainment concepts, we’re making a terrific ‘Fun Ship’ even better and creating a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories for guests of all ages,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “Incorporating these fantastic new spaces on Carnival Freedom also provides travel agents with yet another attractive ‘Fun Ship’ vacation option to market to their clients,” he added.

Debut of Bookville

As part of the new Seuss at Sea program, Carnival Freedom will be the first ship to feature Bookville, a dedicated Seuss-themed play space featuring iconic décor, colors, shapes and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. The perfect place for families to relax and unwind, guests can read beloved Dr. Seuss books or stretch their imagination through family-fun activities such as arts and crafts, toys and Dr. Seuss-inspired games.
Other Seuss at Sea activities include the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends, an interactive reading event called Seuss-a-palooza Story Time, and the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade along the ship’s promenade. Bookville and other Seuss at Sea activities are scheduled to be available by the departure of May 24.


Universal Orlando Resort Announces Dates for Halloween Horror Nights

Mark your calendars… Halloween Horror Nights will return to Universal Orlando Resort for its twenty-fourth year on September 19, with more nights than ever before and terrifying experiences based on some of the biggest names in horror and pop culture.

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September 19 through November 1, guests will explore eight blood curdling haunted houses, navigate multiple spine-chilling street experiences with terrifying “scareactors,” enjoy two outrageous live shows and experience many of Universal Studios Florida’s most exciting rides and attractions.

Event nights are as follows:

  • September 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and 28
  • October 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 and 31
  • November 1

Eggs-citing Event Returns to Disney Parks

Many Disney fans took part in last year’s egg-sperience at Disney California Adventure park and Epcot and loved it! Well we have egg-citing news, because it’s back by popular demand!

What can you egg-spect? From April 10 – 20, you’ll be able to search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters at Epcot, Disney California Adventure park and for the first time, Disneyland park!

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How it works!

Have fun exploring the parks hunting for ‘eggs’ that portray Disney characters! Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specially themed Egg-stravaganza map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $4.95, plus tax at the following parks and locations:

  • Disney California Adventure park – Elias & Co., Oswald’s, Radiator Springs Curios, Rushin’ River Outfitters, Studio Store and Treasures in Paradise.
  • Disneyland park – Disney Showcase, Fairy Tale Treasures, Gag Factory, Pieces of Eight and Pooh Corner
  • Epcot – Heritage Manor (American Adventure Pavilion), Disney Traders, International Gateway, Pin Central and Port of Entry

There are a dozen reasons for you to love the event this year! I know what new characters have been added, but it’s up to you to find them.

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Don’t crack under the pressure! Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to a redemption location: Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park; Disney Showcase in Disneyland park or Disney Traders in Epcot and participate in an ‘egg-scramble’ to pick up your surprise.

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What is the surprise, eggs-actly? Let’s just say it bears a striking resemblance to what you are already searching for!

Purchase as many maps as you’d like—while supplies last—and play again and again! No discounts apply. You should also know that separate admission is required to enter Disney Theme Parks and the experience is subject to restrictions and change without notice.


Disney Cruise Line Unveils New Itineraries for Summer 2015

Adventure awaits as Disney Cruise Line charts a magical new course for northern Europe in summer 2015.

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For the first time ever, Disney Cruise Line will be visiting the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Disney Cruise Line is also returning to the Baltic for all-new itineraries!  This included sailings from Copenhagen, Denmark to St. Petersburg, Russia.

Norwegian Fjords Itineraries

On 7- and 9-night sailings departing from Copenhagen, you will be immersed in both the splendor and charm of Norway with exciting new ports, steeped in Viking history. An 11-night sailing allows you to explore the Norwegian fjords, as well as Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

NEW 7-night Norwegian Fjords

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway

Departure Date: June 6

NEW 9-night Norwegian Fjords

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger, Molde, Olden and Bergen, Norway

Departure Date: June 20

NEW 11-night Norwegian Fjords and Iceland

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger Norway; Akureyri and Reykjavik (overnight), Iceland; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Dover, England

Departure Date: June 29

Northern Europe Itineraries

On Northern Europe cruises, the Disney Magic will sail the Baltic waters where you will explore richly diverse cultures and national capitals including Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg – known as the cultural capital of Russia. These itineraries depart from Copenhagen, Denmark and Dover – just a quick jaunt from London, England.

NEW 7-night Northern Europe

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden

Departure Dates: May 30, June 13

12-night Northern Europe

Ports: Dover, England; Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany (July 10 cruise only); Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia

Departure Dates: July 10 and 22

The Disney Magic will also return to the Mediterranean in August, treating Guests to popular European destinations on 5- and 7-night sailings departing from Barcelona, Spain. And, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season with 7-night cruises departing out of Vancouver, Canada.

The Disney Dream

The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will continue to sail during the summer to The Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida – these cruises include a stop at Disney’s private island – Castaway Cay.


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Royal Caribbean Reveals Ships for the Winter 2015-16 Season

Royal Caribbean International announced that Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas will sail the Caribbean from convenient Florida homeports for the winter 2015-16 season, which are now open for sale.

Allure of the Seas

The Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas will offer vacationers still-matched Caribbean cruises in the 2015-16 winter season. Both ships will homeport at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and alternate a seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

Freedom of the Seas

Eastern Caribbean ports of call include Nassau, The Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, while Western Caribbean ports include Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Haiti.

Oasis of the Seas

Freedom of the Seas will continue its seventh consecutive year sailing from Port Canaveral along Florida’s Space Coast, alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary calls at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and CocoCay. The Western Caribbean itinerary calls at Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Cozumel and Labadee.

Serenade of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas will sail a 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean itineraries, roundtrip from Port Everglades. The 10-night itinerary calls at Tortola, St. Kitts, Dominica, Antigua and St. Maarten, with the Dec. 4, 2015, and Feb. 26, 2016, sailings replacing Dominica with Martinique. On the 11-night itinerary, guests will call at Aruba, Antigua, Barbados, Bonaire, Grenada and St. Lucia. A 12-night holiday sailing includes all the ports from the 11-night itinerary, plus calls at St. Thomas and Labadee. And a once-only, nine-night itinerary will call at the Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Key West, Fla.


Guy Harvey Unveils Norwegian Escape’s Hull Art

Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Guy Harvey, widely recognized as the world’s finest marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, has been named to design the signature hull artwork of the line’s largest ship to date, Norwegian Escape, scheduled to debut in October 2015. At Cruise Shipping Miami, the artist revealed his custom design for Norwegian Escape’s hull, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife. Norwegian’s newest ship is Harvey’s largest canvas to date, at 1065 feet in length, with his artwork spanning from the hull to the aft featuring two undersea scenes that blend seamlessly.

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“Guy Harvey is the perfect artist to design Norwegian Escape’s hull artwork because he is
so passionate about the sea and his marine artwork is so life-like and well recognized,” said
Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We also appreciate how Guy is
focused on ocean conservation and keeping the marine environment pristine, we plan to work
with him to help support the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation as that goes hand-in-hand with our
company’s strong commitment to the environment.”

Harvey combines his unique artistic talents with his background as a marine biologist, diver, photographer and angler, to create marine wildlife art with an unmatched authenticity and
visual appeal.

“I am deeply honored to be asked by Norwegian to paint the hull of the newest
and largest ship in their fleet,” said Harvey. “The larger than life paintings of popular but
endangered marine creatures in the Caribbean will heighten public awareness about
marine life. The large scale mural demonstrates the concern and respect that Norwegian
and I have for the marine environment through which this ship will travel over the years.”

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Though recognized most recently for his floor-to-ceiling murals at the Ft. Lauderdale
Airport and at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, Harvey is best known for his dynamic
gamefish T-shirt designs. His original paintings have sold for tens of thousands of dollars and
today, reproductions of his art, often seen on magazine and catalog covers, are offered as
limited edition prints and can be found on a wide variety of clothing and gift items. Harvey
maintains his art studio in Grand Cayman, where he lives with his wife and two children.

guy-harveyThe Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation funds inspired scientific research and innovative educational programs to encourage conservation and best management practices for sustainable marine environments. The Foundations ensures that future generations can enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced marine ecosystem where fish and other wildlife flourish.

Onboard Norwegian Escape, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation-produced documentaries about endangered marine wildlife will be shown on the guest stateroom televisions so that guests can be more educated on how they can help with ocean conservation.

Also at Cruise Shipping Miami, Norwegian announced that Norwegian Escape will
homeport year-round in Miami and sail a seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary starting November 14, 2015; visiting Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. At approximately 163,000 gross tons and 4,200 passenger berths,Norwegian Escape will join the fleet in October 2015. The ship’s Eastern Caribbean itineraries will go on sale March 19, 2014. Norwegian Escape will boast all of exciting and innovative features found on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, plus a number of new spaces and interactive experiences that are yet to be announced.

Disney Unveils Shanghai Disneyland’s Treasure Cove

As part of The Walt Disney Company Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger unveiled creative details including the first-ever Pirates-themed land and a new Pirates of the Caribbean attraction designed for the Shanghai Disney Resort.

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“Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most iconic attractions in our parks, and we really couldn’t imagine Shanghai Disneyland without Pirates,” said Bob Iger, Disney chairman and CEO. “We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind experience that would appeal to our Chinese guests while remaining true to its Disney heritage.”

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For the first time ever, a Disney Park will be home to a Pirates-themed land—Treasure Cove—and an e-ticket attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Sunken Treasure. The attraction will feature a combination of new technology and innovation to bring guests along a pirate adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Davy Jones, providing our guests who visit the Shanghai Disneyland Park an experience unlike anything else in the world.

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“We are extremely proud of all the work underway to bring the Shanghai Disney Resort to life,” said Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “And we’re excited to re-imagine the iconic world and characters of Pirates for the first time as an entire land that celebrates the creativity, imagination and adventure of both the fan favorite attraction and the popular film franchise.”

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The announcement coincides with the completion of key structural work on the Pirates attraction, and marks another exciting milestone in the resort development. Progress continues with construction and Shanghai Disney Resort remains on target to open by the end of 2015.


Let Kingdom Magic Book Your Shanghai Disneyland Vacation

New Itineraries for Celebrity Cruises’ 2015 Europe Sailings

Celebrity Cruises has announced its 2015 Europe itineraries, with new ports of call and more than 65 overnight stays designed to give guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a destination.

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Captain’s Club loyalty members now have exclusive priority access for booking before the official on-sale date of Tuesday, March 18.

The cruise line’s newest ship, Celebrity Reflection, will sail her 2015 summer and fall season in Europe along with the Celebrity SilhouetteCelebrity Equinox,Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Eclipse.

2015 and 2016 will also see the introduction of the newly announced “Suite Class” experience. Beginning April 2015, the new offerings include a dedicated suites-only restaurant, VIP lounge, complimentary premium drinks and more.

New Itineraries for 2015

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Celebrity Constellation: The Millennium Class ship will sail the Mediterranean with a new selection of seven-night itineraries. Venice, Italy will be the new home for the modern luxury ship, joining Istanbul, Turkey and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy:

  • Greek Isles and Turkey seven-night sailings: Departing from Venice and calling in Dubrovnik; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu and Katakolon, Greece; and more
  • Black Sea and Greek Isles 12- to 14-night itinerary: Visiting Burgas, Bulgaria; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Athens (Piraeus), Mykonos and Santorini, Greece; Koper, Slovenia; and the Bosphorus Strait
  • A special 14-night sailing on July 19, 2015, will sail from Venice during the Redentore Festival, an exciting and atmospheric Venetian tradition that dates back to more than 400 years ago.

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Celebrity Silhouette: Northern Europe will be the new destination for Celebrity Silhouette in 2015 and guests can enjoy more overnight stays in top European ports of call:

  • Scandinavia and Russia: 12-night roundtrip from Amsterdam to Stockholm with three overnight stays in the exciting cities of Copenhagen, Denmark; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Stockholm
  • The British Isles: Roundtrip from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Fredericia, Denmark; Cork, Dublin and Waterford, Ireland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Holyhead, Wales; Dover and Liverpool, England; and Paris (Le Havre), France and more; plus overnight stays in Dublin Bay (Dun Laoghaire), Ireland; and Edinburgh, Scotland for guests to enjoy the British Open golf tournament.

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Celebrity Equinox: Popular in 2014, Celebrity’s seven-night itineraries will feature a greater variety of Mediterranean vacations to choose from in 2015. These sailings can be combined into a destination-immersive Mediterranean Grand Tour vacation experience of up to 28 nights. Celebrity Equinox will sail from Athens as a new port in 2015, plus Barcelona, Istanbul and Rome:

  • The series of seven-night itineraries include visits to Nice (Villefranche), France; Athens, Chania, Crete and Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus and Istanbul; Catania, Florence, Genoa, Rome, and Sicily, Italy; Ajaccio, Corsica; and there are new overnight stays in Ibiza, Spain and Mykonos, Greece, where guests can enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
  • Guests also have the unique opportunity to experience an overnight in Cannes, France during the star-studded Cannes Film Festival. The 10-night Mediterranean itinerary sets sail on May 11, 2015 from Barcelona to Rome

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Celebrity Eclipse: A series of 11- to 14-night sailings will explore Europe’s top sun and beach destinations, and the ship’s 13- to 15-night itineraries will visit popular destinations in Northern Europe:

  • Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, England, Celebrity Eclipse will cruise into Ponta Delgada, Azores; Lisbon and Madeira (Funchal), Portugal; Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
  • Vacationers can also enjoy 13- to 15-night Scandinavia and Russia itineraries to historic cities, including Copenhagen; Stockholm; Tallinn, Estonia; Klaipeda, Lithuania; Gdansk (Gdynia), Poland; St. Petersburg; and Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany.

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Celebrity Reflection: The ship’s third successful consecutive season in Europe offers a series of 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings from Rome to the Greek Isles and Turkey; and the 11-night itinerary features an overnight stay in Istanbul.

To celebrate the launch of Celebrity’s World Tour, each destination will open with an offer. Guests can receive up to $400 to spend onboard for every cruise or cruisetour that is four nights or longer (from the newly available itineraries) and booked by April 30, 2014, excluding Celebrity Xpedition sailings. In addition, the offer can be combined with select future promotions.

Celebrity will continue to reveal its full 2015-16 lineup as each set of itineraries opens for bookings.


Let Kingdom Magic Book Your Next Celebrity Cruise!

Princess Cruises Presents 2015 Alaska Cruise and Cruisetour Program

Seven diverse Princess Cruises ships will sail throughout Alaska’s waters in 2015, on a program offering passengers the opportunity to explore the best of the state by both land and sea.

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New this season, Ruby Princess makes her Alaska debut, joining sister ship Crown Princess to offer cruises from Seattle. The youngest Princess vessel on the West Coast, Ruby Princess will offer an additional amenity-filled option on Inside Passage itineraries.

Pacific Princess will sail on the line’s signature “Voyage of the Glaciers” itineraries for the first time, to offer an intimate cruise experience to complement the route’s dramatic scenery. The ship joins Grand Princess, Star Princess and Coral Princess on this favorite route, which includes two glacier experiences. Rounding out the program, Golden Princess (pictured above) will take over Inside Passage sailings from San Francisco.

The company’s line-up of land and sea vacation packages will not only take passengers to the Heart of Alaska, but also adds two Canadian Rockies tour options. Whether passengers opt to explore Alaska’s magnificent interior, or the majestic Rocky Mountains, they will combine their tour with a seven-day “Voyage of the Glaciers” cruise. In Alaska, Princess cruisetours include the company’s exclusive wilderness lodges, rail and motorcoach travel, plus the top two attractions in the state – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park, where visitors spend at least one night exploring the wonders of this area.

“Each year we earn industry accolades for our Alaska program, including ‘best cruise line in Alaska’ from Travel Weekly for seven consecutive years,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “Our cruise program in this destination combines some of the most spectacular scenery in the world with exciting on-shore adventures plus amenity-filled ships for an unforgettable vacation.”

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Princess’ 2015 Alaska cruise program includes:

- Voyage of the Glaciers – Princess’ favorite Gulf of Alaska route between Vancouver and Whittier (for Anchorage) features two glacier-viewing experiences on every sailing, with visits to Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. Ships also call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway cruise ports. Passengers have a variety of ship choices for this signature itinerary, with Grand Princess and Star Princess sailing Saturdays, while Coral Princess and the intimate Pacific Princess sail on Wednesdays and Mondays. In total, the ships will offer a total of 70 sailing choices between May 9 and Sept. 12, 2015.

- Inside Passage from Seattle – Ruby Princess and Crown Princess offer convenient weekend departures on two different seven-day round trip itineraries from Seattle along the scenic Inside Passage. Both visit Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., and passengers will enjoy dramatic glacier viewing in either Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm. The two ships will sail on 36 departures between May 10 and Sept. 12, 2015.

-Inside Passage from San Francisco – Golden Princess will sail from the “City by the Bay” on 10-day round trip cruises. The ship offers 14 voyages from San Francisco featuring the scenery of Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm Fjord, with calls at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria (with some sailings substituting Icy Strait Point). Departures sail between May 12 and Sept. 9, 2015.

Alaskan Cruise

Alaska Land and Sea Vacations

Princess offers passengers 24 tour options that combine with an Alaska cruise for a complete land and sea experience. All cruisetours include a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers sailing with a visit to Glacier Bay National Park. Alaska tours include up to four nights in the Denali National Park area and stays at Princess’ own wilderness lodges. Canadian Rockies tours feature the most famous mountain sights and stays at renowned Fairmont hotels.

- Denali Explorer – Princess’ most popular cuisetour option, Denali Explorer itineraries feature multiple nights at the line’s Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Most offer Princess’ exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between Whittier and the dramatic Denali National Park area, plus the opportunity to explore Fairbanks or Anchorage.

- On Your Own – An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these tours offer a flexible way to see the Heart of Alaska. Tours follow similar routes as Denali Explorer options, but do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers the opportunity to customize their own experience.

- Off the Beaten Path – For those who want to explore Denali and beyond, these tours offer options to the Kenai Peninsula with stays at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge or Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with stays at Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge.

- Connoisseur – These cruisetour options offer the services of a professional tour director and additional time for passengers to experience the Great Land. Offering the highest level of service, these tours include most meals and enhanced sightseeing options.

- Canadian Rockies – Princess offers two tour options to visit the stunning Canadian Rockies, one 12-night option and another for 14 nights. Both options take in Banff, Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway. The 12-night tour also features a visit to Kelowna, while the 14-night tour includes daylight rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer, visits to Jasper National park and the city of Vancouver, and offer additional sightseeing opportunities in Calgary. Both tours combine with a seven-day northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise on Grand or Star Princess. Tours are fully escorted on land and include most breakfasts and dinners.


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Universal Orlando Reveals Details About The New Hogwarts Express

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Universal Creating First-Ever Experience That
Will Allow Guests to Actually Ride the Iconic Train

One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer. Imagine:

  • Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾
  • Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station – its billowing steam and authentic whistle beckoning you to hop aboard
  • Sitting in one of the train’s cabins with your family and friends and actually riding the Hogwarts Express – just as your favorite characters did in the Harry Potter films
  • Looking outside your cabin window and enjoying a scenic, breathtaking journey through the British countryside as you encounter magical creatures, some of your favorite Harry Potter characters…and even Dementors…

Since the very first Harry Potter film, every fan has dreamed of taking the same classic journey Harry Potter did aboard the Hogwarts Express. And this summer – they will get to live it.

Universal Orlando revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer. The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.


Never before has this been done – creating an actual train ride experience to connect two spectacularly themed environments. The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime. Guests will enjoy two completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.

Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical adventure unfolds before them. They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic – and other special moments and surprises.

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Universal’s Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy. The Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films. Everything about the train is authentic – from the paint and the materials used to build it….all the way down to the whistle.

Park-to-park admission is required to experience the Hogwarts Express journey from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure).


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