Archive for February, 2011

Celebrity Offers Champagne High Tea & Premium Kosher Meals

Coming soon to Celebrity Cruises, you will be able to experience an authentic high tea and premium kosher meals.

Champagne High Tea will be offered once on every 7 night sailing and at least twice on longer cruises.  It will be held in one of the specialty restaurants with a live string quartet.  Tables will be set with Wedgewood china and Riedel Crystal.  Food and beverage selections include Forte Teas, Lavazza coffees, sandwiches and desserts, including pastries, scones, truffles and pate de fruit.

The service charge of $25 per person includes your food and a glass of champagne.  Reservations will need to be made onboard and will be offered on all ships except for the Celebrity Xpedition.  This Champagne High Tea is in addition to the tea service in the main dining room which is complementary.

In addition to the limited, complementary kosher meals currently offered on Celebrity, they will also be offering a premium kosher meal selection.  There are breakfast items, including lox and bagels, Belgian waffles, pancakes and wild mushroom omelets.  Dinner selections include citrus-glazed tilapia and chicken breast, beef brisket, barbecued chicken and herb-roasted salmon.  These premium kosher meals are available for a fee.  They are Glatt Kosher certified and made under the strict supervision of the O.U. and USDA.

If you are interested in the kosher meals, you should notify Celebrity 60 days prior to your sailing.  You will then need to select specific entrees 24 hours in advance of dining.

Norwegian Dawn Dry Dock Updates

A number of clients will be sailing on the Norwegian Dawn this fall so I wanted to give you an update of the changes we have heard about through NCL.

58 new staterooms and suites will be added to the Norwegian Dawn when the ship goes to drydock this May.  28 new suites with two categories of family suites that sleep up to six guests per room.  Of the family suites, 14 will be category SJ ranging from 408 to 452 square feet and 10 will be category SD ranging from 409 to 495 square feet.  These rooms will be near the pool and have a larger bathroom and storage space.

Four Deluxe Owner’s Suites, category SA, will be added right below the bridge.  They will be 667 to 732 square feet.  There will also be an additional 30 inside staterooms.  These will be on the higher decks near the pool.

The Spinnaker Lounge and cinema are being removed to make room for these staterooms.  These areas are to be relocated, but they haven’t indicated where.

We also have heard that Dazzle nightclub will be moved to the aft area of the ship where the Galleries shop are and the Galleries will move to the area where Dazzles currently is located.  In addition to all this, there will be the general updates we always see with the drydocks.

NCL’s Executive Vice President Andy Stuart said they are working to install a system online that will allow guests to pre-book restaurant reservations.  This is expected to be available sometime in April.

Also coming to all ships in the fleet will be Welcome Back Stations when you return to the ship in ports of call, featuring cool towels for your face (or warm ones in Alaska), complementary water and space to relax.

Finally, they are offering a Dear Hotel Director suggestion box which will be located at the front desk for passengers who have comments or complaints.  There is also a phone extension for the hotel director’s office.  Responses are promised within 24 hours.

There is still time to book under NCL’s Free Upgrades for All promotion so contact our agents today!

Winnie the Queue

Please welcome guest blogger, Rob Brookhart with his review of one of the newest interactive queues at Walt Disney World Resort!

Disney has always been known for having great attractions and wonderful theming for those rides.  Now in Florida’s Magic Kingdom , Disney has started to plus the attractions more interactive queues (lines).  One example of this is the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction. Being a kid at heart I had to try out all the new additions.   The first page of the attraction story lets you know what you will find in the line.

With the expansion of Fantasyland the Winnie the Pooh play area was removed.  The large tree from that play area was moved and integrated into the beginning of the line.  Since I am short it is easy to get inside the tree but for most adults it will be a tight fit.  The next area was roped off and is rumored to be going away.  This was set up with Tigger stripped bounce spots.  My guess is kids were falling down too much from this area or the bouncing spots were not able to handle the amount of wear they were receiving.  In both of these areas Disney has put in padded ground cover under the area to reduce potential injuries.











Next in the queue you visit Rabbit’s garden.   Notice they point the direction for the grown ups to hold the place in line while the kids can explore and play.

In the garden there are pads in the ground that when you stand on them, gophers pop out of their holes with cute little sayings.  The vegetables on crates are drums, horns and bells that kids can play with as well.










There is a garden hose that you could pull to make another gopher have a tug of war. Next built into the line are bees on a wire than people can move down the wire the length of the line.

The final interactive area before boarding the ride are four large touch screens that look like oozing honey.  As people touch the screen they can wipe away the honey revealing a character from the story underneath.  Kids and adults were both curious and playing with the screens.  The screens are built into the “pages” of the story.

The main advantage is that it now gives younger kids a chance to burn off some energy when they are standing in line and getting fidgety.  The “pages” of the story also give parents something to read and talk about with their children.  The changes seem to help parents find ways to entertain their kids in the line that can be as long as an hour during peak times.


Backstage Tours on the Disney Dream

While on the Disney Dream, we were invited to participate in a number of special tours. The Galley Tour was one of the backstage tours offered to Platinum Castaway Club members. We were also invited to the Bridge and to do a backstage tour of the Theater. Photos were not allowed backstage of the theater, but we were able to take pictures in the other two areas.

Galley Tour

Chef Chris, Tour Guide Continue reading

Disney Dream Bars and Clubs

On the Disney Dream there are many more adult bars and clubs than on the classic ships. We had a chance to experience many of these. One of our favorite locations was Currents Bar, located on deck 13 forward, this is the highest outdoor venue. We enjoyed this location to watch the fireworks, and not be part of the pirate party.

Other outside bars include Wave, on deck 12 aft (behind the exit to the AquaDuck) and Meridian on deck 12 all the way aft.

Inside on deck 11 is the Cove Cafe.

Near the Walt Disney Theater on Deck 3 there is Preludes Bar to get a beverage before going to the show. There is also a bar in Deck 4 by the entrance to Buena Vista Theater.

In the Atrium, there is the Bon Voyage bar on the port side of the ship on deck 3. Also in the Atrium is the Vista Cafe on deck 4 on the starboard side. This is a great place to access the internet with your own laptop.

The largest area with bars and clubs is The District, located on Deck 4 aft. Here are some of the bars in The District.

There is a little something for everyone on the Disney Dream. What is your favorite?

Rainforest Room on the Disney Dream

While on one of our sailings, we decided to get the Rainforest Room past. This is something we have always enjoyed on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. The experience is quite different on the Disney Dream.

The Senses Spa reception area is nicer than on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. More inviting.

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Christening and Maiden Voyage Gifts

One of the really neat things about cruising on a Christening Voyage or Maiden Voyage of a new ship is the special things that happen. We have previously talked about the Christening event and how special that was, but there were also quite a few gifts that we got as well. Here are some of the special treats we received.

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