Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pink Floyd Themed Cruise to the Bahamas

Great Gig in the Sea is the first Pink Floyd themed concert cruise to the Bahamas. This set of Bahamas cruises will allow Pink Floyd fans to combine sun and sea with an amazing concert experience.

This one-of a kind voyage will feature the music of Think Floyd USA: The American Pink Floyd Show, and will celebrate material from Pink Floyd’s earliest days through the present. So take a cheap Bahamas cruise that includes Think Floyd USA and be taken on a musical and visual flight through the Pink Floyd galaxy performing all of Pink Floyd’s classic hits from legendary albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and the all time classic, The Wall.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Extraordinary Shore Excursions for Adventuresome Cruisers

Extraordinary Shore Excursions for Adventuresome CruisersTravel specialists Cruise Brothers pick their favorites.

Today's cruise lines, in addition to taking the vacation experience to new heights at sea, are now offering truly remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime, land-based shore excursions, guaranteed to intrigue even the most discerning travelers and adventurers.

“If you want an extraordinary experience and money is no object, look for a cruise to Italy on a cruise line that offers plenty of over-the-top shore adventures,” said Kerri Fitzgerald, Marketing Director of Cruise Brothers, a top cruise pricing Web site that allows consumers to obtain the best deals on cruise vacations. "Cruise guests should be prepared to spend the day -- sometimes even a few nights -- away from the ship, for these shore excursions take travelers well beyond any typical bus tour. There's something for everyone -- from children to seniors."

Travel specialists at Cruise Brothers have identified some of their favorite, out-of-this-world Italian adventures available today:

12 Night Mediterranean Cruise on Princess Cruises: Departing from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Ports of Call: Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy | Portofino, Italy | Monte Carlo, Monaco | Ajaccio, Corsica, France | Sorrento, Italy | Messina, Sicily, Italy | Valetta, Malta | Kotor, Yugoslavia | Sorrento, Italy | Ravenna, Italy | Venice, Italy

12 Night Mediterranean on Princess Cruises: Departing from Venice, Italy
Ports of Call: Venice, Italy | Venice, Italy | Piraeus (Athens), Greece | Rhodes, Greece | Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

This popular cruise from Venice visits Rome, Venice, and goes into Greece. So, you've got Italy covered from the Grand Canal to Mt. Etna, as well as the treasures of Florence and Pisa. But, there's so much more.

11 Night Mediterranean on Azamara Journey: Departing from Venice, Italy
Ports of Call: Venice, Italy | Venice, Italy | Koper, Slovenia | Dubrovnik, Croatia | Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy | Marseille, France | Barcelona, Spain

Azamara cruise guests looking for a unique vantage point of the Italian countryside will thoroughly enjoy this eleven night Italian cruise.

"While traditional cruises are still popular, these private cruise deals take cruisers to far, out-of-the-way locales in the countries they visit -- and places typically not accessible to the general public," Fitzgerald said. "Most of these unique cruises are offered by luxury cruise lines that attract the world's most affluent travelers. Space is limited, so advance reservations are required -- along with hefty advance payments."

If you are interested in taking an adventurous cruise, but do not want to spend an outrageous price, check out Cruise Brothers, and for even more cruise deals, their partner Cabin Closeouts. Right now, Cabin Closeouts is featuring their exclusive Princess Cruise sale - going on right now. Take advantage of early booking savings for Europe & Alaska too!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cruising Deals, Trends and Insider's advice

Cruising DealsKerri Fitzgerald, Marketing Director of Cruise Brothers says she is seeing some "absolutely amazing discounts" on cruises — like seven days on a new ship for $399-$499.

What are the hot trends in cruising? How will fuel costs affect the prices you pay? And what sort of stateroom do the experts book?

Kerri Fitzgerald, Marketing Director of Cruise Brothers, a leading cruise broker, offered her perspective:

Q: First up, the consumer issues: What will cruise pricing look like for this winter and into 2009?

A: What we are going to see ... in fact, what we are already seeing in the last month ... are absolutely amazing discounts. Most people buy cheap cruises a fair amount of time in advance. Then the downturn happened and people stopped buying or became more careful. So on our site, we have seen a lot more cruise deals and a greater variety of deals.

It's a fantastic value vacation. And that's not hyperbole. We're seeing $399 and $499 for seven-day cruises on new ships. That's crazy ... crazy good for the consumer.

Mexico cruises, especially those in the Mexican Riviera are going to be really hot this year. And South America.

Q: Will there be a fuel surcharge on top of those prices?

A: Yes, but in most cases it's fairly reasonable, usually $10 to $15 a day, and we are able to offer Mexico cruise specials that offer much more reasonable rates. It's different for every cruise line, so the challenge is to read the fine print. I don't see that going down just because gas prices are going down. I think we are stuck with that for a while.

Q: Say someone has done the basic West Coast cruises to Mexico and to Alaska. What's a good next cruise for them to try?

A: I think South America is a phenomenal destination that combines a bit of Alaska with a bit of Norwegian fjords with a bit of Europe. It's the most amazingly diverse cruise. One day you feel like you are in Paris, the next day you feel like you are in the fjords ... And I feel like the cruise lines are overexposed. So I think the pricing will be good in the shoulder season ... November and late February/March. Otherwise, I would suggest the Panama Canal, which is sort of a blend of history and Mexico/the Caribbean, so you get some beach time as well.

Q: What's on the horizon?

A: I keep saying Asia is going to be the next popular region for cruise travelers interested in more exotic destinations, and I'm curious to see if the Beijing Olympics will, via its coverage of China destinations, result in a boom. Cruising Asia really is a great way to sample the region for the first time to get a feel for the varied countries and cultures.

Q: What's the latest on homeporting?

A: Travelers do not want the expense of flying. So I think you're going to see more use of the regional ports. San Francisco is getting a little more traffic, and Los Angeles and San Diego are for sure. Cruisers will have more close-to-home options than ever before.

Q: You no doubt have to cruise alone sometimes for reviews. What are good cruise lines for the solo cruiser?

A: Two of the best are Crystal on the higher end, which offers specials where you pay 125 percent (instead of 200 percent, or double), and Fred Olsen, which is just now marketing to the United States. The Queen Mary 2 will be offering some good incentives to solo travelers.

And other lines do have sales.

Fred Olsen has this ingenious effort ... they actually have single cabins. They are sometimes the same size as a double, but with one bed. The idea is to make people who are traveling solo not have to look at this big empty bed.

Q: And what if the solo or senior traveler wants a little peace and quiet?

A: Then it's important to avoid kids ... because they will take over the ship. You want to avoid peak holiday times. That would be summer, spring break time between mid-February and April, and obviously the Thanksgiving and December holidays.

You can also pick longer voyages on ships that don't market to kids. Most families don't go longer than seven days. So pick a 21-day cruise. Or find a ship that doesn't have state-of-the-art kid facilities.

Q: How are theme cruises doing?

A: Theme cruises are enjoying a huge renaissance ... whether it's quilting or Three Dog Night you are interested in ... because it creates an instant community. That's a lovely way to find a community onboard.

Q: What kind of ships or cruises do you prefer?

A: I like smaller ships, meaning under 1,000 passengers. You have a decent spa and enough amenities and restaurants, but it's also cozy enough. I do not like ships with the fixed dining.

I love Oceania. I think it's my favorite line. The ships are roughly 700 passengers, and they go to really interesting destinations. I think they do the best job in the industry in terms of value.

Q: What's the best stateroom to book?

A: I think the best cabin has to be any cabin with a balcony. That's like a whole other room. There is nothing like sitting out having coffee in the morning, watching the sunset in the evening, opening the door and having the air coming through. That's something an on-land resort can't touch.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Huge Savings Available on MSC Cruises

Huge Cruise SavingsMSC Introduces Two New Luxury Cruise Ships

MSC Cruises' Newest Ships to Sail to the Caribbean and Mexico in 2009.

Book MSC Cruises Now and Save!

North American cruise passengers are able to experience the Caribbean and Mexico aboard two of MSC Cruises' newest and largest ships when the MSC Poesia and MSC Magnifica arrive in Fort Lauderdale for their inaugural 2009-10 seasons.

In addition to sailing on the two newest of the line's "Musica" class ships, passengers can select from a variety of Mexico cruises and MSC cruises roundtrip itineraries that include 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings and four different 10-night itineraries with stops in Mexico. MSC cruise Itineraries feature many of the most popular ports of call as well as several exciting not-so-often visited ports, such as Playa del Carmen, Curacao and Aruba, on select itineraries.

Cheap Caribbean cruises rates begin near $500 per person, double occupancy for some 7-night MSC cruises and below $800 per person, double occupancy for 10-night MSC cruise itineraries. As always, Government fees and taxes are additional, as is a fuel surcharge.

As with all MSC Cruises' sailings, kids ages 17 and under sail free when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults.

Discover The New MSC Cruise Ships Featuring Many Shipboard Amenities: 
Both the MSC Magnifica and MSC Poesia feature 1,275 staterooms, of which 80% are outside staterooms and 65% have a balcony. There will be 236,000 square feet of public spaces, 2 pools and 4 hot tubs, plus a 13,000-square-foot spa. On each MSC cruise ship, guests can select from four restaurants, including a Sushi Bar alternative dining restaurant.

In addition, the MSC Magnifica cruise ship features a Magrodome that allows guests to enjoy the pool area no matter what the elements.

MSC Cruises will offer many specials in the winter of 2008.

Leave the harsh North American winter behind and experience the warmth and beauty of the Mediterranean amidst the elegance and European and Italian ambiance of MSC Cruises’ two newest ships.

Guests can enjoy comfortable Mediterranean climates under less-crowded conditions – and with the lower airfares that come with the off-peak season – this winter on MSC Fantasia and MSC Poesia while discovering the hidden corners of Italy, Spain and Portugal or exploring the ancient mysteries of Egypt, Greece and Turkey.

MSC Fantasia, which debuts in December 2008, is the largest ship in the line’s fleet. In addition to five dining venues (including a Tex-Mex alternative dining option), the expansive AUREA SPA featuring Balinese treatments and a large Aqua Park (with 150 illuminated fountains), it introduces the MSC Yacht Club, the line’s new exclusive VIP area. MSC Yacht Club is a paradise within a paradise. It will consist of 99 spacious suites (up to 700 square feet), plus a bar, solarium, 2 Jacuzzis, a pool with sky dome, as well as offer guests their own butler service.

MSC Poesia is truly an Italian poem of the seas, with sophisticated color schemes, attention to detail and service. The ship features 12 bars, the refined AUREA SPA and the Kaito Sushi Bar, with its Japanese food and ambiance, including a Zen garden and art pieces.

After her December christening in Naples, MSC Fantasia will sail two 8-night roundtrip holiday itineraries from Genoa: the Dec. 20, 2008 Christmas sailing calls at Rhodes, Alexandria, Messina and Naples, while the Dec. 28, 2008 New Year’s itinerary visits Barcelona, Lisbon, Malaga and Civitavecchia. The ship will then sail 11-night Western Mediterranean and Canary Islands roundtrip itineraries from Genoa that call in Barcelona, Funchal, Tenerife, Arrecife, Malaga and Civitavecchia, from Jan. 5-Feb. 18, 2009. Departures from Barcelona are also available on all sailings except Dec. 20, 2009.

MSC Poesia, which debuted in spring 2008, will spend the winter sailing alternating 11-night itineraries roundtrip from Genoa. The Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt itineraries call at Katakolon, Piraeus, Rhodes, Alexandria, Limassol, Marmaris, Heraklion and Naples or at Ajaccio, Messina, Rhodes, Alexandria, Valletta, La Goulette and Naples. The Western Mediterranean and Canary Islands itinerary calls at Barcelona, Casablanca, Tenerife, Funchal, Malaga and Civitavecchia.

MSC Cruises’ winter cruises promote relaxation and personal harmony on board elegant and modern ships. Discover the beauty of the Mediterranean’s unique coastline from a balcony stateroom.

Guests can reap significant savings on the line’s Europe itineraries by taking advantage of the “Best Fare, Best Room” promotion, which provides the best stateroom available within their desired category (interior, oceanview, balcony) at the time of booking. “Best Fare, Best Room” rates begin at $1,049 per person, double occupancy; rates are cruise only, USD, government fees and taxes and fuel surcharge additional.

Families can also take advantage of the special “Kids Sail Free” offer on all Europe sailings when youngsters ages 17 and under share a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults

For more information about MSC Cruises and its winter Mediterranean itineraries, visit a local travel professional or