All Aboard: Cruise News for Week of Sept. 28

DCL and Carnival reroute ships; Holland America likes its drinks blended, not stirred; and Fathom introduces its Cuban cruises. Here is this week’s cruise news.


Travel Pulse reports NCL and brewmaster and musician Kyle Hollingsworth will host The Lebrewski Cruise with daily craft beer tastings, food and beer pairings, and meet and greets with bands and brewers. The four-day cruise is set to depart on March 1, 2016 from Miami on Norwegian Pearl and sail to the Bahamas. Bands include O.A.R., Blackfoot (with Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd), The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and more, plus Jeff Brown from Boulder Beer Company, Justin Clark from Cigar City Brewing, and Jeremy Moynier of Stone Brewing Company.

Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of the Sea will host “COSFEST SEA: The Rising Tide,” Asia’s first cosplay festival at sea. The three-night weekend cruise will sail from January 8-11 from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and will feature top cosplayers for the championship plus exciting activities like a cosplay parade, cosplay café, costume dressing session, and photo opportunities.

NBC News reports that Disney Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Lines rerouted two ships a piece in anticipation of Hurrican Joaquin.

Travel Weekly reports that Viking River Cruises will return to Ukraine with an 11-day itinerary from Kiev to Odessa, and the company will also launch a third ship on the Douro River in Portugal for 2016, sailing the 10-day “Portugal’s River of Gold” itinerary.

Holland America Line will present the art of winemaking aboard ms Koningsdam when the ship debuts in April 2016 with BLEND. In collaboration with Chateau Ste. Michelle, the legendary Washington State winery, BLEND hold wine blending sessions where guest can create their own blend from five barrels of single-vineyard wine. Guests will also sample the five unique wines before blending their own bottle and creating a personalized label. Then, they can either take the wine to their stateroom or ship it one of the ship’s restaurants to enjoy at their leisure.

Travel Weekly reports that Holland America will raise the service personnel gratuity from $11.50 to $12.50, starting Dec. 1. Suite guests will see a raise from $12 to $13.50, but guests can change the amount at the end of each cruise or cruise segment at guest services.

Abercrombie & Kent will be offering polar expeditions to Antarctica upon the new, all-balcony “Le Lyrial” while its sister ship “Le Boreal” will sail the route of the Vikings. Itineraries include The Artic: Wilderness Forged by Fire and Ice, which showcases volcanic islands and fjords, plus the midnight sun; Iceland & Greenland: In the Wake of the Vikings, which shows the striking contrast between the two countries, plus workshops from A&K’s Photo Enrichment Coach; Article Cruise Adventure: Norway, Greenland, & Iceland with polar bears, geological wonders, and history; Antarctica: The Incredible White Continent with glacial ice and blue seas; Classic Antarctica, which starts in Argentina and travels through the Drake Passage; Family New York with features two Young Explorer Guides for younger and older children; Understanding Climate Change, led by Dr. James McClintock, noted Antarctic researcher and climate change expert; and Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands, with king penguin, Southern elephant seals, and wandering albatross.

Travel Pulse reports that Carnival Corporation will widen its WiFI@Sea program to about 40 percent of its ships by the end of the year and a “majority” of its ships by 2016. WiFi@Sea is linked to 31 satellite systems, antennas around the world, and Wi-Fi from port connections.

Travel Weekly reports that Carnival’s Fathom cruise brand will offer more than 20 excursions as part of its week-long sailings to Cuba, starting May 2016. Fathom released in a statement that the activities will be “part learning, part sharing, and all immersion into the Cuban culture and full connection with the Cuban people” as Americans traveling to Cuba must have “purposeful travel.” Some of the activities include a walking tour of Cuba’s capital of Havana with an emphasis on architecture; a trip to Las Terrazas, a UNESCO biosphere reserve; a visit to a Soviet-style 1970s housing project; and Cojimar, the fishing village that served as the setting for the novel The Old Man and the Sea. Fathom will also stop in Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, and even Trinidad.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Port Everglades has received LEED certification for its Cruise Terminal 4. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design requires recycle concrete and asphalt be used for construction; low-water usage toilets, urinals, and fixtures; use of materials manufactured within 500 miles of the port; energy-efficient lighting inside and outside as well as use of natural lighting within the terminal; and more.

And just for fun…