Cruise News 2011

Get the latest in cruising news from spikes in the Tipping Guidelines to disruptions in travel to new super cruise lines hitting the water.

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Disney Cruise Line to Debut 3 New Ports in 2012

Disney Cruise Line has announced that starting in 2012 they will open new ports in New York, NY, Seattle, WA, and Galveston, TX. Disney already operates out of Port Canaveral, FL, and Los Angeles, CA. In 2011, Disney Cruise Line launched Disney Dream, and 4 new ships are scheduled to debut in 2012, including Disney Fantasy, the sister ship to Disney Dream. With their expanding fleet, Disney had no choice but to make their ships more accessible by opening more ports. Along with the new ships and new ports come new itineraries to Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada, all starting in 2012.

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Cruise Lines Add New Perks

Gadling.com is reporting that several cruise lines have announced new entertainment options coming soon to the high seas.

Pole-dancing, strip clubs, outlet malls, fried-food buffets, and that’s only half of what you can expect on cruises from Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruises.
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Cruise Liner to Broadcast Royal Wedding on April 29

Norwegian Cruise Line will broadcast the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29. To add to the royal festivities, NCL will also provide a Royal-themed dinner on all of its 11 cruise liners, for an additional fee.
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This Is Not Your Mother¿s Cruise

Royal Caribbean has announced an “All You Can Drink” beverage package starting at $29 a day. But hold your horses, Spring Breakers. Right now this package will only be offered on 3 of Royal Caribbean cruise liners – Independence of the Seas (servicing the United Kingdom), Legend of the Seas (servicing Asia) and Grandeur of the Seas (servicing Panama and the Mediterranean).
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Cruise Fares Are on the Rise

Three months in, and 2011 is turning out to be a banner year for cruise lines. So much so that many of them are raising their fares. Norwegian Cruise Line has extended its “Free Upgrades for All” until March 31, but in exchange, all fares will increase starting April 1.
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Will Mexican Ports of Call Get Their Groove Back?

On Saturday, February 5, a Royal Caribbean crew member was found dead in Cozumel, Mexico. The actual cause of death appears to be drowning, but authorities say the crew member, a musician, appeared to have been hit over the head, leading authorities to suspect foul play. The crew member was visiting the Cozumel area.

Mexican authorities have worked with the port authorities in their West and East Coast destinations, to try to ensure that their ports are safe. But with the violence in Mazatlan on Mexico’s Pacific Coast and now with the incident in Cozumel, cruise lines are on high alert.


Foul play suspected in death of Royal Caribbean musician
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Cruise crew member dead in Cozumel
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Update: Unrest in Egypt

As the protests in Egypt continue, travelers in the Northern African region are packing up and heading out. Flights are being rescheduled and cruisers are drifting along the Nile River, wondering where their next port of call will be. According to CruiseCritic.com, several cruise lines are adjusting their schedules and canceling future trips to Egypt, until the unrest has settled. Norwegian Cruise Line’s the Norwegian Jade, will adjust its itinerary in order to avoid a stop in Alexandria and will replace the missed port with 2 nights in Istanbul. Disney Cruise Line pulled its itinerary for Tunisia for the 2011 spring and summer season. And many other cruise lines are making similar changes to accommodate their passengers.


Cruise lines cancel calls in Egypt as unrest grows
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Nile cruises grind to a halt as Egypt plunges deeper into crisis
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Update: More Northern Africa cruises canceled
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Royal Caribbean Hosts Largest Gay and Lesbian Cruise Ever

On Sunday, February 6, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will host the largest gay and lesbian cruise ever. Atlantis Events, Inc. specializes in all-gay and lesbian cruises. Already, 5,400 people have signed up for the 7-night Western Caribbean cruise that will leave from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In 2012, the cruise will set sail on January 29. Royal Caribbean will start the sale of that cruise on February 23, 2011.


World's largest gay cruise to set sail on Sunday
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Antarctic Cruiser Strikes Large Rock

On Monday, January 31, 2011, the adventure cruise liner M/V Polar Star struck an uncharted rock while anchoring near Detaille Island off of Antarctica. Eighty passengers, including 32 Americans, were traveling from Ushuaia, Argentina, to the Drake Passage (between Ushuaia and Antarctica), then back to Ushuaia. No injuries were reported. The ship suffered minor damage and within hours was able to travel at a safe cruising speed, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.

Here we go again
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My Cruise Was Canceled. Now What?

What do you do if your cruise is canceled? If you booked through Travelocity, Expedia or a travel agent, then you’re familiar with travel insurance and cancellation policies. Did you know that cancellation policies vary and depend on individual circumstances? For instance, standard travel insurance policies usually don't cover trip cancellation for civil or political unrest.

Charter cruises: Everything you need to know
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Policies vary on canceling, rebooking Egypt trip
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Troubles in Mexico

Escalated violence in Mexico has cruise lines on high alert, with many carriers cancelling service to Mexico’s West Coast. Royal Caribbean has already removed the option to choose West Coast departures with ports of call to Mexico. Norwegian Cruise Lines’ West Coast liner, Norwegian Star, will discontinue its service to Mexico starting in May 2011. Carnival Corp has made the decision to move one of its West Coast liners to Australia in 2012.

West Coast Cruises to Skip Mexico
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Cruise lines cancel Mazatlan visits after passenger muggings
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Mexican violence forces cruise lines to drop port of Mazatlan
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Disney's New Dream

As the only cruise line to feature fireworks at sea, Disney's Dream made its maiden voyage from Port Canaveral, FL, on January 26, 2011. It’s currently the largest Disney ship within the line.

 

See the Disney Dream in our Super Cruise Ships slideshow
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Disney Dream arrives in Port Canaveral
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Onboard Illnesses

According to Cruise Law News, the US Coast Guard spends millions each year rescuing sick passengers from cruise ships. When cruising, follow the same rules for keeping your body healthy as you would at home. Wash your hands often, and don’t touch door handles if you can help it. Remember, you're on a cruise ship, and there aren’t many places for those germs to go, aside from jumping overboard.

Outbreaks of illness on cruise ships drop to lowest level since 2001
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