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Everything you need to know about Celebrity Cruises’ post-Covid UK sailings

Is the gym and spa open as normal?

In the large gym, which has running and cross-trainer machines at floor-to-ceiling windows along the front and two sides of the ship, wearing a mask was a personal choice – after all it’s difficult to run in one – but the gym staff all wore masks. To ensure social distancing some of the machines were out of action and everybody was encouraged to clean them after use, although staff were also constantly cleaning.

Normally passengers can nip into the gym any time they like, 24 hours a day, but a maximum of 30 were allowed in at one time and hour-long slots had to be booked for the opening hours, which were from 6am to 10pm because they had to be staffed.

The gym had been refreshed during Celebrity Silhouette’s major “Revolution” refurbishment last year and, apart from the new flooring, has six Peloton bikes for those who either have membership already or want to subscribe while onboard. There were also new yoga classes designed by US yoga guru Katie Brauer, which are among the paid-for fitness classes available.

The spa had a few Covid restrictions that will be lifted when possible, including a limit to the number of passes sold for the Perfume Garden, which has heated ceramic loungers plus steam room and sauna. Aqua class passengers get free access to this facility, for which others have to pay $ 49 a day or $ 169 for seven nights, but only 10 passengers were allowed in at one time and they had to book hour-long slots.

Also, during treatments you had to wear a mask unless you were having a facial and, of course, all staff wore masks.

Has the Revolution upgrade made any difference?

Boarding Celebrity Silhouette was like getting on a brand new ship. It was immaculate, with no tired-looking décor remaining.

Much of this is down to British interior designer Kelly Hoppen’s work in reinventing the public spaces. Hoppen also designed the new Resort Lounge for suite passengers, which serves a lovely afternoon tea and has free snacks and drinks all day for its guests.

The very sophisticated Retreat Sundeck was even nicer, with cabanas, loungers and outdoor sofas plus a free bar.

Celebrity Cruises’ new Always Included policy means there are free drinks and wifi for all guests and no daily gratuities. For premium brands, though, you can upgrade to an ELEVATE package and for unlimited streaming wifi you can upgrade to an INDULGE package.

Other new venues created by the Revolution include Craft Social, a sports bar with 40 craft beers, where you can buy tasting experiences for beer or wine.

There’s also a new Entertainment Court Bar outside the theatre, for pre-show or after-show drinks, and updates to the Lawn Club, Sunset Bar, Solarium and Fitness Centre.

The spa has a new Quartz Bed – the first at sea was on Celebrity Edge – for Hot Mineral Body Boost or Power Pulse massages. And all staterooms and suites have been redesigned with new carpet, furnishings and mattresses.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express

News: MSC Bellissima to sail Red Sea cruises this summer

MSC Cruises has confirmed MSC Bellissima will sail 21 Red Sea voyages from Jeddah, the commercial hub of Saudi Arabia, between the end of July and late October.

The Meraviglia-class vessel, which first came to service in 2019, will offer three- and four-night cruises to Safaga for Luxor, Egypt or Aqaba for Petra, Jordan before returning to her Saudi homeport. 

MSC Bellissima will be the largest cruise ship ever to sail the waters of the Red Sea.

The summer sailings will add to MSC Cruises’ previously announced winter 2021/22 Red Sea voyages from Jeddah starting in November.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “As the tourism industry of Saudi Arabia grows progressively for its own residents and international visitors, we at MSC Cruises are looking forward to make a positive and lasting contribution as more people explore and discover the rich heritage and incredible cultural attractions it has to offer.

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“With our cruises this summer from Jeddah of MSC Bellissima and a ship dedicated for the winter season in the Red Sea we are committed to serve holidaymakers with the very best cruise experiences. 

“This, we believe, will accelerate the attractiveness of holidays at sea in the region and significantly help in the growth of tourism.”

News: MSC Cruises confirms plans for new PortMiami terminal

Fincantieri Infrastructure Florida has signed with MSC Cruises to build a new terminal at PortMiami.

First unveiled in 2019, the plans reflect an investment of approximately €350 million.

The facility will be made up of a multi-level central body to serve as many as three latest generation ships at the same time, with up to 36,000 travellers transiting every day.

Designed by the award-winning global architecture firm Arquitectonica, it is due to be completed by late 2023.

The new terminal will be able to accommodate the largest ships, including MSC Cruises’ newest flagship MSC Seashore, which is currently nearing completion at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone.

Carnival is also currently developing its facilities at PortMiami.

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Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the cruise division of MSC Group, said: “For the past 35 years MSC Group has been an important partner for the United States economy through our growing role as one of the leading container shipping businesses as well as terminal operators for cargo and passengers alike.

“In this, Miami has always been a key hub and the new MSC Terminal at PortMiami consolidates our overall presence in this important maritime centre.”

In addition to state-of-the-art facilities for passenger services, the new terminal building will include office areas, a multi-level parking for at least 2,400 vehicles and a new road connection.

As per the terms of the project, the company will construct two new docks measuring 750 metres in total.

The Miami-Dade County will also build a third berth.

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri chief executive, commented: “Miami is undoubtedly the centre of world cruise tourism, as well as being the ideal hub for the entire Caribbean area, and is therefore the perfect showcase to host a work that will be representative of the best of made in Italy.”

The project also foresees the construction of the related seashore infrastructure, including water supply stations and four passenger embarkation decks.

Author: Breaking Travel News
Read more here >>> Breaking Travel News

The Bahamas celebrates debut of Crystal Cruises’ homeport in Nassau

The Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, M.P. Minister of Tourism & Aviation of The Bahamas, receives a plaque from Ms. Carmen Roig ,Sr. VP, Marketing & Sales, Crystal Cruises

L-R: Ms. Karen Seymour, Apostle Delton Fernander, Dr. Kenneth Romer, Mr. Ellison Thompson, Mr. Reginald Saunders, Mr. Travis Robinson, Mrs. Joy Jibrilu, The Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, M.P., Ms. Carmen Roig, Captain Birger Vorland, Mr. Mike Maura Jr.

This partnership signals a significant milestone for cruising in The Bahamas,”

— Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation

NASSAU, BAHAMAS, July 3, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Live musical performances and a celebration were held at Pompey Square in Nassau as Crystal Cruises welcomed guests onboard the cruise line’s flagship Crystal Serenity for the inaugural Luxury Bahamas Escapes cruise. The Bahamas now serves as the official homeport for the boutique ship, which offers 7-night voyages exclusively within The Bahamas.

Government officials and local business leaders were honored to mark the beginning of this exciting new journey that grants passengers the vacation of a lifetime island hopping through the beautiful archipelago of The Bahamas – from Nassau, and Bimini, to Cat Island, Great Exuma, San Salvador and Long Island.

Delivering the keynote remarks at the inaugural ceremony, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation, said, “This partnership signals a significant milestone for cruising in The Bahamas, as the boutique Crystal Serenity ship offers potential to bring back economic empowerment throughout our communities. No other Caribbean destination could provide the discerning cruiser with an extraordinary itinerary that visits multiple breathtaking islands, all within the same country.”

The ship set sail on its debut 7-night roundtrip all-inclusive Luxury Bahamas Escapes voyage, which features back-to-back days exploring the Family Islands and a vast selection of active, leisurely and enriching excursions for every kind of traveler.

Embarking on this adventure is a breeze, with options to fly into and board from Nassau or Bimini. Nassau arrivals have plenty of airlines to choose from including American Airlines, Delta and Jet Blue, among others. Silver Airways offers flight options to Nassau and Bimini from Ft. Lauderdale.

Those interested in an extended vacation can take advantage of the Crystal “Classic Plus” Hotel Experience offering luxury packages at Nassau’s SLS Baha Mar for pre- and post-cruise stays now through November 2021. The final voyage is scheduled to depart on November 6. Travelers are encouraged to visit Bahamas.com/travelupdates for an overview of the latest travel and entry protocols before booking.

ABOUT THE BAHAMAS

With over 700 islands and cays and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches. The Bahamas is known to have some of the clearest water in the world. It is so clear that NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared dozens of photographs of the islands while he was orbiting the Earth in 2016. He tweeted that The Bahamas was “the most beautiful place from space.” Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to why It’s Better in The Bahamas.

Anita Johnson-Patty
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
+ +1 954-236-9292
email us here

Author: Anita Johnson-Patty
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P&O Cruises welcomes back vaccinated Britons onboard its first sailing in 15 months

As the ship departed the Port of Southampton at 6pm, P&O Cruises ships Ventura, Arcadia and Aurora anchored and those of sister brand Cunard, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, celebrated the occasion by sounding their horns in unison.

Britannia will sail a series of three, four and seven-night UK coastal cruises until September 25, 2021, when there are plans for the ship to commence a selection of western Mediterranean itineraries.

The ship is then due to move on to a winter Caribbean season.

Onboard, guests can expect a wide range of amenities to enjoy including gourmet dining options, shopping, live performances and a luxurious spa.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Tui to launch exciting wine and beer-themed cruises

Guests will be able to enjoy daily onboard tastings, among other beer-related activities.

The excursions will feature city tours and of course, brewery visits.

Dancing on the Rhine is their third themed cruise which will last six nights and where passengers will spend most on the dance floor.

A professional dance couple will be onboard the cruise and guests will be able to attend dance lessons and enjoy onboard entertainment.  The ship will depart from Frankfurt on November 7 and will call at Rudesheim, Boppard, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Bonn and Koblenz, all Germany.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Celebrity Cruises launches new ‘sanctuary at sea’ spa – ‘unlike anything in the world’

Guests will be able to choose between more than 120 destination-inspired treatments.

Celebrity Cruises CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, said: “Wellness is so fundamental to our philosophy at Celebrity Cruises that we continue to build and grow a truly special onboard experience where it is woven into every aspect of the guest journey from the stateroom to the spa.

“Because we’re doing all of this at sea, which is incredibly therapeutic in itself, it becomes a wonderful wellness journey unlike anything in the world.”

Vice president of hotel operations at Celebrity Cruises, Brian Abel, said: “Now more than ever wellness is top of mind for our guests so designing Celebrity Beyond, we really thought about how we weave in wellness throughout the guest experience.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Biden Signs Bill Opening Door for Alaska Cruises to Resume

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — President Joe Biden signed into law Monday legislation that opens a door for resumed cruise ship travel to Alaska after the pandemic last year scrapped sailings.

The measure pushed by members of Alaska’s Republican congressional delegation will allow large cruise ships to sail directly from Washington state to Alaska without stopping in Canada. It is intended as a temporary workaround of a longstanding federal law that requires certain large cruise ships bound for Alaska to stop in Canada or start trips there.

Canada, amid COVID-19 concerns, has barred cruise operations through February.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Alaska has a limited opportunity for cruise travel, unlike sunny locales such as Florida. Before the pandemic, the season in Alaska would begin in late spring and extend through the summer or sometimes early fall.

She said cruise lines now have an opportunity to book trips to bring people to Alaska and “help us with our economy that has really been smacked hard by COVID.” Tourism is an important industry in the state, particularly for many southeast Alaska communities heavily reliant on cruise ship passengers.

Passage of the bill underscores the importance of not giving up, Murkowski said in comments alongside Sen. Dan Sullivan and U.S. Rep. Don Young, the other members of the state’s congressional delegation, in Washington, D.C, on Monday.

Cruise lines still must meet guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to guard against COVID-19.

Earlier Monday, Norwegian Cruise Line announced plans to resume U.S. operations beginning Aug. 7, with voyages from Seattle to Alaska ports. The company has planned sailings through mid-October.

Cruise lines such as Holland America Line also have announced sailing plans.

Many of the large ships that visit Alaska are registered in foreign countries. U.S. law prohibits such ships from sailing between two American ports without stopping at a foreign port.

Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville contributed from Washington, D.C.

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Cruise vaccine rules could end 'after summer' says Princess Cruises boss

Cruise lovers across the UK rejoiced when a series of big-name ocean liners announced they would grace the waters surrounding the British Isles on a series of domestic cruises. Among them is Princess Cruises, due to embark on its first sailing on July 31, 2021, from Southampton.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing in various levels around the world, many cruise lines like Princess Cruises have made the decision to enforce new safety precautions.

For Princess Cruises, one of these is the requirement that all passengers must have received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccination and be able to provide evidence.

“We’re asking all of our guests to be double vaccinated for the summer cruises and to have had seven days following the second dose of approved vaccine before they before they start their cruise,” explained Tony Roberts, vice president of Princess Cruises UK and Europe.

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While these rules are necessary now, however, Mr Roberts points out that the future remains unknown.

If things change, the requirement for passengers to be fully vaccinated could no longer be needed beyond the summer.

Mr Roberts explained: “The vaccination policy that we have in place at the moment is for our Princess Summer ‘Seacations’ – it’s the cruises that go in August and September.

“But we have cruises on sale far out into the future.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and update our policies as and when we see fit.”

For now though, according to Mr Roberts, Princess Cruises seem confident in the regulations which have been put in place to keep them safe.

“We wanted that policy in place for these initial returns and our guest feedback really supported that,” the cruise vice president said.

Customers comments have so far shown the measures strengthen “peace of mind”.

Mr Roberts continued: “All guests that are joining the ship will be will be fully vaccinated before they travel – I think that’s something that, from the feedback, guests said was important to them.”

For Princess Cruises, it is the guests who are at the heart of these decisions.

“That’s really why we were following that policy because overwhelmingly our guests have told us that that’s what they would like us to do,” concluded Mr Roberts.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

MSC Cruises sets sail tonight as UK's first ship to return to the ocean

Queues of excited passengers could be seen this evening as they were welcomed back onboard the MSC Virtuosa. The MSC Cruise ship is the first in the UK to restart sailing, departing on its maiden voyages out of Southampton around the British Isles.
It is the first time in 14 months the ship has welcomed back UK passengers.

Around 1,000 guests will depart on the inaugural journey, which is set to stop at the picturesque isle of Portland, as well as boasting astonishing ocean views and plenty of onboard frivolities to be had.

Ahead of its departure, members of the public gathered around the waters of Southampton to see off the 181,541 gross ton, 1,085ft-long ship sail away.

Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said, “Dedicating our brand-new ship MSC Virtuosa for UK cruises this summer bears testament to our absolute commitment to the local market and truly shines a light on its ever-growing importance to us.”

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He continued: “We are, of course, also incredibly proud that MSC Virtuosa’s first-ever sailing heralds the resumption of cruise holidays from British ports and we would like to thank the UK Government and other local authorities for their support to us and the overall cruise industry to allow domestic cruising to restart.”

Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests are welcome onboard, thanks to rigorous testing procedures at embarkation.

This is just one of the cruise lines health and safety protocol developed by a Blue Ribbon Panel of experts.

It was this health and safety expertise that helped MSC Cruises resume sailings in the Mediterranean onboard MSC Grandiosa in August 2020.

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“Our shipping prowess led the way last August with our initial restart in the Mediterranean thanks to a new health and safety protocol designed to protect our guests and crew, as well as the destinations that our ships visit, that effectively set a new standard for our industry,” said Mr Onorato.

“The sailing today from Southampton is a great step forward for both MSC Cruises and the British cruise sector.”

MSC Virtuosa is the cruise line’s newest ship and boasts an array of high-tech amenities including the MSC Starship Club – a unique cocktail bar with its own robotic bartender.

Rob, as the cyborg is known, shakes up a choice of beverage for guests at their request.

Following the maiden voyage, MSC Virtuosa will return to Southampton on May 24 ready for guests to disembark and 1,000 more holidaymakers to board.

As well as the series of three- and four-night mini cruises, MSC Virtuosa will offer seven-night cruises from June 5.

The week-long sailings include calls at Portland and Belfast in Northern Ireland, as well as offering multiple ports of embarkation including Liverpool and Greenock, close to Glasgow, Scotland, on top of Southampton.

Antonio Paradiso, managing director of MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said: “Today is a very special day as we welcome guests back on board for a much-deserved holiday and the maiden voyage of MSC Virtuosa.

“Embarking 1,000 returning as well as new guests directly in Southampton allows them to explore the best the British Isles has to offer in a safe and convenient way.

“Our new flagship offers a whole host of brand new facilities, plus everything they have come to expect from a cruise with us, we are sure this will be a summer holiday to remember.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed