CruiseSource Cruise News – October 12, 2012
Royal Caribbean has enhanced the menu options in their main dining room – but don’t worry – you can still get the cruise line’s classic favorites like aged hand-cut Manhattan steak, shrimp cocktail and crème brulee available each night. Then Princess is celebrating their top tour operators they work with in the Caribbean and Panama Canal. You can now try out Carnival’s new “Faster to the Fun” program on two more ships, and finally, the Celebrity Reflection officially became part of Celebrity’s fleet this week.
Read the latest cruise news each week on CruiseSource. Click to subscribe to CruiseSource!
Royal Caribbean International Debuts Extensive Dining Room Enhancements
Royal Caribbean International is once again elevating the cruise vacation experience, this time, wowing guests’ taste buds. The cruise line, known for bringing the most innovative feature and amenities to the high seas, has redefined its onboard culinary program with an extensive multi-million dollar investment to its main dining room across the fleet. The culinary enhancements continue Royal Caribbean’s tradition of culinary excellence emphasizing the freshest, highest quality ingredients available – on land or at sea.
The investment to Royal Caribbean’s complimentary dining program focuses on an increased variety of menu options in the main dining room, including dishes infused with regional flavors reflective of the destinations of the world the line’s ships sail to; improved choices for guests with dietary restrictions; and superior presentation.
“In today’s food-aware culture, the palettes of our guests have evolved and they have come to expect, not only a variety of choices, but cuisine of the highest quality made with the freshest of ingredients,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “In recent years, we have introduced many new specialty dining concepts and in this next evolution we are expanding the options in our main dining room with even more variety, allowing us to cater to our international guests while offering them the highest quality dining on land or at sea.”
The cruise line has revamped the menus in the main dining room with added variety and made sure to include classic favorites that guests have long enjoyed, such as aged hand-cut Manhattan steak, escargot bourguignonne, shrimp cocktail and crème brulee, popular selections now available every night.
Princess Cruises Announces Winners of 2011-12 Caribbean and Panama Canal Shore Excursion Awards
With the Caribbean and Panama Canal cruise season about to kick off, Princess Cruises is celebrating last season’s favorite local tour operators with special shipboard ceremonies. The winners of the line’s 13th annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards have just been announced, honoring the best shore excursion experiences and guides in ports on Caribbean and Panama Canal itineraries, based largely on passenger feedback throughout the season
The awards recognize the most popular tours and individual guides in the destinations where Princess ships call. Chosen from the extensive line-up of Caribbean and Panama Canal shore excursions offered to Princess passengers, the awards highlight the important role local tour operators play in each destination as part of a passenger’s overall cruise experience. Winners are determined largely by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys.
A number of tours have topped the list for several years, and five of them have been passenger favorites for five or more years in a row. One excursion – Americas Cup 12-Metre Yacht Regatta tour in St. Maarten – has now been voted ‘Shore Excursion of the Season’ for the 13th year in a row.
Carnival Cruise Line Expands Testing of “Faster to the Fun” Program to Two More Ships
Following a successful pilot program on the Carnival Imagination and Carnival Liberty, Carnival Cruise Lines will begin testing the new Faster to the Fun program on the Carnival Destiny starting Oct. 20 and Carnival Valor Oct. 21.
Faster to the Fun provides guests with an exciting array of highly attractive benefits including priority embarkation, early stateroom availability and express luggage delivery, among other features, available for purchase through the new Faster to the Fun program. Other components of Faster to the Fun include priority dinner seatings and tender priority going ashore, and choice of early or late debarkation. The program enables guests to get their “Fun Ship” vacation started early and also includes express access to the ships’ guest services desk for any assistance guests may need during their voyage.
Faster to the Fun was developed based on extensive guest surveys which indicated a strong interest in a fee-based package providing priority access and benefits. Faster to the Fun is currently available for purchase in conjunction with voyages on the Carnival Imagination, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Destiny and Carnival Valor via the shore excursion section of carnival.com. The cost is $49.95 per stateroom (regardless of number of occupants).
Celebrity Reflection Officially Becomes Part of Celebrity’s Fleet
Earlier this week, the sleek Celebrity Reflection officially became part of Celebrity Cruises’ modern luxury fleet. Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Michael Bayley and Richard D. Fain, Chairman & CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., joined Bernard Meyer of shipbuilder Meyer Werft in a celebratory handover ceremony onboard the ship.
Celebrity Reflection will present a two-night promotional cruise for an invitation-only audience of European press and travel partners October 10-12, ending in Amsterdam. The ship then sets sail on a series of Mediterranean sailings before crossing the Atlantic to begin the ship’s first Caribbean season. Celebrity Reflection will be named December 1 in Miami, with four Godmothers – all of them employees of the company whose lives have been touched by breast cancer – presiding over the ceremony.