News Archive - June 2011

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6-22-11 Celebrity to Finish "Solsticizing" Fleet by November In one of the most ambitious revitalization plans in the history of the cruise industry, Celebrity Cruises will build on the highly successful "Solsticizing" of Celebrity Constellation when it Solsticizes Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Millennium in just five short months beginning this November.

"Solsticizing" is the term Celebrity coined for its more than $120-million initiative to complement its Millennium Class quartet's design and ambience with some of the most popular attributes found on its widely heralded Solstice Class ships.

Illustrative of its ongoing commitment to offer an unparalleled vacation experience, highlights of the Solsticizing effort include the addition of AquaClass, Celebrity's soothing, spa-inspired veranda-category accommodations, paired with the chic, Mediterranean-themed specialty restaurant, Blu, offered exclusively for AquaClass guests; the "uniquely unordinary" Qsine specialty restaurant, and the hip "Celebrity iLounge."

"This is an incredibly exciting initiative for us – and more importantly, for our guests, as indicated by their response to our already-Solsticized Celebrity Constellation, whose ratings are consistently through the roof," said Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "The Millennium Class ships already have a large and loyal following, having repeatedly ranked at the top of many of the world's most prestigious consumer surveys. Their style, design and ambience served as significant inspiration for the design of the Solstice Class, and now, we're bringing it full circle – and in just two years' time – incorporating on the entire Millennium Class what our guests enjoy most on the Solstice Class. It ties the whole fleet together in a very powerful way."

One of the many Solstice Class features resonating powerfully with vacationers – and therefore being added to Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Millennium – is Celebrity's trendsetting AquaClass, spectacularly designed to enhance that all-important feeling of truly being away. The modern, luxurious, spa-inspired staterooms include spacious, private verandas; exclusive access to the stylish specialty restaurant, Blu; complimentary access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation Room in the AquaSpa; a personal Spa Concierge to book exotic AquaSpa treatments; use of plush Frette bathrobes and slippers; enhanced personal care products, and plentiful in-room amenities, including Hansgrohe shower heads, fog-free bathroom mirrors, aromatherapy selections, and daily deliveries of complimentary bottled water and teas.

Another Celebrity exclusive – "Qsine," the novel restaurant introduced on Celebrity Eclipse last year, and set to debut on Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Summit following each ship's revitalization in December 2011 and January 2012, respectively – will be presented on Celebrity Millennium, too. The first restaurant at sea to present a menu and wine list on an iPadTM, Qsine serves a blend of classic and contemporary dishes in custom-made serveware, such as spring rolls served in vertical springs, and popcorn shrimp in theater-style popcorn boxes. Celebrity's VP of Culinary Operations and Master Chef Jacques Van Staden, says the restaurant and menu were designed to take what guests expect of a specialty restaurant and "turn it upside down" in a captivating, entertaining and flavorful way.

Joining AquaClass, Blu and Qsine in the "Solsticizing" of Celebrity Millennium will be:

  • the hip Celebrity iLounge, which debuted on Celebrity Eclipse and made Celebrity Cruises the industry's first Authorized Apple Reseller
  • the "cool," ice-topped Martini Bar and Crush
  • Celebrity's vibrant creperie, Bistro on Five
  • the inviting Café al Bacio and Gelateria
  • Cellarmasters wine bar, complete with the "Enomatic" state-of-the-art wine serving system
  • entirely new verandas added to the ship's spacious, luxurious Celebrity Suites
  • additional new oceanview and inside staterooms
  • an expanded collection of original, contemporary art

As previously announced, Celebrity Infinity will emerge from Solsticizing December 3, 2011, followed by Celebrity Summit in January 2012, and now, the line has formalized the same plans for Celebrity Millennium from April 21-May 12, 2012. Each will be Solsticized at Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas.

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6-17-11 Grand Cayman to Finally Build Cruise Piers BusinessWeek online is reporting that the prime minister of the Cayman Islands has signed an agreement with a Chinese developer that has pledged to finance and build a cruise ship port in the capital of George Town.

State-owned China Harbour Engineering Co. also will build a cruise ship pier at a nearby turtle farm as well as renovate and expand a jetty at a popular beach, according to a government statement released late Wednesday.

Prime Minister McKeeva Bush said he expects to sign a contract by November, adding that the Chinese company will finance and design all three projects. The government has not said how much the projects will cost.

China Harbour Engineering Co. also is working on a $400 million project to renovate roads in Jamaica.

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6-25-11 Seabourn Quest Inaugurated in Barcelona Seabourn introduced the new 450-guest Seabourn Quest to the world on June 20th during a naming ceremony presided over by Blythe Danner. The award-winning actress served as godmother to the new luxury vessel, Seabourn's third new ship and the sixth to join its fleet, completing a three-year expansion for the line.

Guests booked on Seabourn Quest's Maiden Voyage had the opportunity to participate in the festivities. A full orchestra was arrayed on either side of the swimming pool, and a projection screen set above the deck allowed guests to view the moment when a bottle of champagne smashed against the bow of the ship. Adjacent to the screen, a contingent of crew members who had served in the start-up teams of all three new ship launches broke confetti-filled champagne bottles in a synchronized wave pattern and as the bottle crashed. The evening was capped off by a dazzling fireworks display sparkling against the city's skyline.

"Seabourn Quest is the embodiment of Seabourn-style cruising," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn's president. "She is sleek and stunning, with spacious decks and public rooms, luxurious suites, a variety of award-winning dining experiences, and an amazing crew offering intuitive and highly personalized service. We can assure guests the very finest travel experiences when they cruise with us on this beautiful ship."

Seabourn Quest is the third iteration of the sleek and widely admired design that first appeared as Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009, and has been hailed as "a game-changer for the luxury segment." The second sister-ship, Seabourn Sojourn, entered service in June of 2011.

Seabourn Quest's 225 luxurious and spacious suites, 90 percent of which offer private verandas, feature separate living areas and bedrooms, writing desks with personalized stationery, and generously sized granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower and twin sinks. Suites are outfitted with walk-in closets, an interactive flat-screen TV with a wide selection of music and movies, and iPod and MP3 connections. Personal bars and refrigerators are stocked according to guest preferences.

Like its sister ships, Seabourn Quest houses an 11,400-square-foot Spa at Seabourn, the largest spa on any luxury vessel, providing the ultimate pampering experience at sea. The two-deck facility features a Kneipp Walk, an herbal bath facility and aroma steam bath with salt inhalation, and a Kinesis Wall. A Spa Villa is available for guests seeking an indulgent private experience, with a treatment area large enough for duet treatments, a shower, a bathtub big enough for two, a private balcony for sunbathing, a full living room, a dining table and double daybed for relaxing.

For foodies everywhere, Seabourn Quest offers gourmet dining experiences in four dining venues that rival the finest restaurants anywhere, all at no extra charge. The Restaurant is a fine-dining and open-seating gourmet experience, with the capacity to seat all guests. Restaurant 2 offers exciting avant-garde dining, serving innovative small-plates tasting menus. The indoor/outdoor Colonnade features an open-kitchen style, while the Patio Grill offers al fresco poolside dining on deck. Guests can also enjoy meals from The Restaurant menu, served course by course in the comfort and privacy of their suite or on their veranda. All dining venues, as well as six bars and lounges, serve a full range of beverages, including Champagne, fine wines and spirits, with Seabourn's compliments.

Seabourn Quest offers a host of other amenities and features, including two swimming pools, six whirlpools, and a unique marina with a variety of watersport activities. One of the most popular spots is Seabourn Square, an innovative concierge lounge with a "club room" ambiance, making guests feel at home during their cruises.

Following the naming ceremony, Seabourn Quest departed on a 14-day Maiden Voyage to Athens, stopping at beautiful seaside towns and ports in France, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Seabourn Quest's maiden season includes seven-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises, operating alternately between Athens, Istanbul and Venice, as well as a seven-day Black Sea voyage. In the fall, the ship will cross the Atlantic Ocean from Malaga, Spain, to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from where it will sail on a series of round trip voyages in the Caribbean. On January 5, 2012, Seabourn Quest will begin a 109-day Maiden World Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice on a unique eastbound course via South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

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6-21-11 UniWorld to Sail the Mekong River in 2012 Uniworld Boutique River Cruises introduces a new ship, River Saigon, and expands their Asia river cruises and tours in 2012, so travelers can experience this destination in world-class style and comfort for which Uniworld is known. With over 100 departures on 8 itineraries ranging from 10 to 24 days in China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, travelers can unlock the richness and vast diversity of this region. From the Great Wall of China to Cambodia's Angkor Wat, from Spiritual Tibet to bucolic Vietnam, and from the mighty Yangtze to the languid Mekong, Uniworld offers something for everyone.

Travelers can select from one of Uniworld's two new itineraries including a 15-day "Timeless Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong" River Cruise and Tour from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi; or a 24-day "Grand Asia & the Mekong" River Cruise and Tour from Beijing to Hanoi. Or opt to travel from Beijing to Shanghai for Uniworld's re-imagined 10-day land-based tour of "Classic China," or a 12-day "Splendors of China & the Yangtze" River Cruise and Tour.

For those traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia, Uniworld will launch in January 2012, a new beautiful ship, River Saigon, sailing the Mekong River with a maximum capacity of up to 60 guests. With a ship so intimate, travelers can experience this captivating region up close and in style with all the amenities and conveniences needed for the most comfortable trip possible.

Whichever Uniworld river cruise and tour travelers choose in Asia, they will receive exclusive VIP treatment throughout, along with a multitude of included benefits - from river view staterooms onboard beautifully appointed ships to deluxe hotels onshore; most meals, including special theme dinners and home-hosted lunches; captivating, fully escorted shore excursions; exciting entertainment; and so much more.

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6-15-11 Carnival Modifies its Smoking Policy - Verandah OK As part of its ongoing commitment to keep pace with changing guest preferences, Carnival Cruise Lines will be modifying its smoking policy across its 23-ship fleet.

The new smoking policy will be rolled out in two stages:

Effective June 15, 2011, cigarette smoking in public areas will be permitted only in Carnival's dance clubs, designated areas within the casino and casino bar, certain sections on the open decks on all vessels and also in the jazz clubs on 13 Carnival ships. The 13 ships include Carnival Destiny, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Victory, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, and Carnival Splendor. Cigar smoking will also be permitted in the jazz clubs. On other vessels in the fleet, cigar (and cigarette) smoking will also be permitted in designated areas on deck.

Effective December 1, 2011, smoking will be prohibited in all guest staterooms. Those guests in balcony accommodations will be permitted to smoke cigarettes and cigars outside on the balcony. Spa staterooms, currently featured on Carnival Splendor, Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic, will continue to remain entirely smoke-free, including on the balconies.

The modified smoking policy is the result of recent guest surveys conducted by the company that covered a wide range of topics. The surveys indicated that nearly 90 percent of all Carnival Cruise Lines' guests are non-smokers with less than five percent of guests opting to smoke in their staterooms.

These changes will be implemented aboard all 23 Carnival Cruise Lines ships, which operate three- to 16-day voyages to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Bermuda, and Europe.

Carnival is updating all of its collateral materials and communicating details of the modified smoking policy to its guests and travel agent partners.

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6-15-11 Princess Bans Smoking in Staterooms and on Verandahs Princess Cruises has announced that smoking will no longer be allowed in passenger staterooms or on balconies, effective on all sailings departing after January 15, 2012.

The new policy reflects changing customer preferences and the move around the globe - from North America to Europe - to further restrict areas where smoking is allowed, according to the line.

"Our consumer studies now show that smokers are a small minority of our passengers, and that the large majority of passengers value having their primary living space onboard smoke-free," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

Swartz added that balconies are included in the new policy because they are a hallmark feature of Princess ships, and the line believes it's important to keep that peaceful space clear of smoke.

She added that Princess still welcomes passengers who smoke, and will continue to provide special venues around the ship to accommodate smokers. Smoking will continue to be allowed in the Churchill"s cigar lounge, a section of the disco and casino, and a portion of the open decks.

Booked passengers are being notified of the new policy, which is also being communicated widely throughout the line"s informational materials.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.

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6-15-11 Carnival Miracle to Sail Year Round 8-night cruises from New York City Carnival Cruise Lines will launch a year-round program of eight-day cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas from New York beginning in April 2012 - the line's first year-round sailings from that port.

On this schedule, Carnival Miracle will offer three uniquely different eight-day itineraries that visit a diversity of beautiful islands throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas. The itineraries include:

  • Eastern Caribbean departures to San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk, offered on a rotating basis April through October
  • Bahamas sailings featuring stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Nassau, offered on a rotating basis April through October
  • Bahamas/Florida cruises with port calls to Port Canaveral (Orlando), Nassau and Freeport, offered November through April

While these Caribbean itineraries are uniquely different, each offers beautiful white-sand beaches, excellent shopping and dining experiences, world-famous landmarks, historical sites and attractions, and myriad sightseeing and shore excursion opportunities, including snorkeling, scuba-diving, and water sports.

These cruises also offer the convenience and affordability of sailing from New York on a year-round basis. Residents throughout the Northeast can simply board the Carnival Miracle in New York and start their vacation right away. This program also represents a tremendous savings in airfare cost for these consumers who avoid the inconvenience often associated with air travel today.

In addition to extended visits to sunny, tropical islands, guests on these voyages can experience Carnival Miracle's wide variety of on-board amenities and facilities -- delicious dining choices, captivating entertainment, extensive spa and children's facilities, and fun-filled top-deck amenities, including the line's signature Twister Waterslide.

According to Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill, Carnival has offered seasonal voyages from New York for more than a decade but the convenience of sailing from the Big Apple on a year-round basis, combined with its unique appeal as a pre- and post-cruise destination, strongly influenced the decision for the new year-round program.

"New York is one of the highest-rated homeports for 'Fun Ship' cruising. Carnival Miracle's new year-round eight-day departures offer consumers the best of both worlds -- a choice of three attractive year-round Caribbean and Bahamas itinerary options with the opportunity to depart from one of the world's great cities," he said.

"The cruise industry continues to be an economic boon for the City, and today's announcement that the Carnival Miracle will start offering year-round cruises from New York City will do even more to stimulate our economy, bringing additional visitors and generating nearly $13 million in direct spending," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky.

Added George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, the city's marketing, tourism and partnership organization, "New York City's five boroughs offer a diversity of experiences for our visitors—we hope with the announcement of the Carnival Miracle's year-round service out of New York that even more cruise passengers will plan a pre- or post-stay right here in the City."

Carnival Miracle will operate its current eight-day Caribbean program from New York through October 2011. The ship will then reposition to Fort Lauderdale for a series of eight-day Caribbean voyages before heading back to New York to begin its year-round deployment in April 2012.

Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Miracle's new year-round sailings from New York. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel agent Internet portal, GoCCL.com.

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6-13-11 Azamara Debuts New Destination-oriented Web Site Up-market travelers can enjoy immersing themselves virtually in captivating cultures and unique destinations on the cruise line's newly relaunched website www.AzamaraClubCruises.com. Offering a more intuitive navigation and wrapped in new vivid colors and graphics, the new website's rich video, gorgeous destination photography and valuable information virtually transport visitors aboard an extraordinary Azamara voyage.

"We are delighted to offer travelers and our valued travel agent partners the most function-rich and aesthetically engaging version of AzamaraClubCruises.com," said Edie Bornstein, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Azamara Club Cruises. "Our newly relaunched website embodies our hallmark of delivering destination-immersive travel experiences. And the new Azamara website also is mobile-optimized, so travelers can explore the world virtually with Azamara from their smartphone or iPad, no matter where they physically are."

Upon arrival at the homepage, visitors will be greeted by an interactive Azamara globe, which puts the world of destination immersion at their fingertips. Visitors can ‘spin' the globe and select the region or port for concise information about the exciting destinations where the cruise line's two ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, sail.

Visitors also can search for a remarkable Azamara destination-immersive voyage from whichever AzamaraClubCruises.com page they are on, with choices in destinations, departure ports, month of travel and length of voyages. The new website is seamlessly integrated with the Azamara booking system so that visitors can instantly and securely make their Azamara voyages reservation online.

The new website features a straight-forward navigation menu at the top of the homepage. When visitors select one of four menu headers: Destinations, Plan Your Voyage, Life Onboard and Community, a site map reveals all the website's pages for quick and easy movement from any page to any other AzamaraClubCruises.com page.

The Community pages on AzamaraClubCruises.com also invite visitors to join Azamara's online network. Integrated with the various social media sites as well as loyalty and current members sites, former and future guests of Azamara can share their "Azamazing" adventures with other members; share pictures and videos; and learn a new recipe from the blog. In addition, visitors can research or relive the onboard experience from home with virtual tours, videos, interactive deck plans and the "You'll Love Where We Take You" destination-immersion videos featuring Azamara's own destination expert Claudius Docekal.

Along the bottom of the AzamaraClubCruises.com's homepage are sliding panels that highlight the latest Azamara news, current special offers and promotions, and other useful information to help visitors make an informed choice for a destination-immersive travel experience. Currently, the website quick-access panel is featuring Azamara's new Extended Voyages offer, which provides savings for travelers booking two or more consecutive voyages for a custom grand adventure at sea.

Additional content planned to deploy throughout 2011 include a World Events Calendar; easy-to-search Land Discoveries and Azamara Cruisetours engine; more in interactivity and social capabilities added to Azamara Globe; and enhanced integration of the Azamara blog and social media components.

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6-8-11 Voyager of the Seas to China in 2012 At a press conference today at the Shanghai International Conference Center in China, executives from Royal Caribbean International told an audience of 300 travel agents and media partners that it will introduce Voyager of the Seas to the China market in 2012.

Michael Bayley, executive vice president of International for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Dr. Zinan Liu, group managing director for China and Asia, revealed that Royal Caribbean International will deploy the 3,114-guest Voyager of the Seas to Shanghai, China in June 2012. Offering a wide variety of itineraries, ranging from four nights to 10 nights, the move is designed to offer exciting new cruise experiences to Chinese vacationers, as well as attract cruise guests from around the world to visit China and sail around Asia.

"There are clear opportunities in the China market, a key area for Royal Caribbean International's global development," says Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. "Our brand's strategy for China is to leverage Royal Caribbean International's leading position in the market by offering innovative ships and customized services. And we look forward to working with our travel partners and helping to grow the cruise economy in China. "

Voyager of the Seas will be double the size of any cruise ship operating in China, and in the Asia-Pacific region - weighing in at nearly 150,000 gross registered tons and more than double the size of Legend of the Seas. Spanning 11 guest decks and with 1,556 staterooms, the ship will come to Shanghai from Europe and offer a variety of sailings to ports in Japan and Korea until August, including Fukuoka and Kobe in Japan, and Busan and Jeju in Korea. Voyager of the Seas will depart for Sydney, Australia in October.

"Customer demand for our brand has been very strong in China," says Bayley, "We are excited to be able to bring such an innovative ship to the China market in 2012." For more than 40 years, Royal Caribbean International has been providing vacationers incredible cruise experiences, constantly pushing the limits of what is possible with its innovative ships, exciting destinations, countless onboard activities, award-winning entertainment, delectable dining and its signature Gold Anchor Service.

"This is a major step forward for the cruise industry in China. We will continue working with the Chinese ports and our travel partners to further develop the country's overall cruise economy," says Dr. Zinan.

"Along with Michael Bayley, we've been meeting with various agencies and officials on playing an active role in the development of home ports for international cruise ships. There's also the need to build necessary support facilities, including bonded warehouses and distribution centers. Our aim is to support cities like Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Xiamen, to grow into world class cruise tourist destinations."

Underscoring the significance of the growing Chinese cruise economy and established desire to sail with Royal Caribbean International, Legend of the Seas will also return to Shanghai in March 2012 for its fourth season. For the two ships, work is underway to offer a wider variety of tailored onboard products to Chinese guests, including more Chinese language services, authentic Chinese food and culturally appropriate recreational activities and duty-free items.

When she sails into Shanghai in June 2012, Voyager of the Seas will introduce several unique concepts never before seen at sea in Asia:

  • Royal Promenade - an indoor "main street" stretching nearly the full length of the middle of the ship, lined with places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained. Guests can stroll up and down the 4-story street and enjoy regular street parades.
  • "Studio B" Ice Rink - an ice skating rink for guests that doubles as a sensational 700-seat venue for ice show productions with world-class figure skaters.
  • Eleven dining venues include specialty restaurant "Portofino" for classic Italian fine dining and 50s inspired American diner "Johnny Rockets". But Voyager's most stunning eatery is the grand three-story, 1,919-seat main dining room.
  • Unparalleled sports facilities including an Inline skating track, Royal Caribbean's signature rock-climbing wall, a 9-hole mini golf course, a golf simulator, a full size sports court with basketball court, three swimming pools and six whirlpools.

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6-6-11 Five Grand Prize Winners to Win VIP Trips to Top Music Artist Performances Carnival Cruise Lines kicked off the "Rock The Deck Summer Mystery Tour Sweepstakes" - a series of Facebook sweepstakes providing five winners and up to three friends with a fun-tastic trip and once-in-a-lifetime VIP music experience at some of the summer's best concerts. Winners will travel in style and be VIP guests at a top rock, pop or country music performance with the mystery artist unveiled when the winner is announced. Carnival is presenting these once-in-a-lifetime concert experiences in conjunction with its national marketing alliance with Live Nation Entertainment, and as part of the line's "Hey America, Didja Ever" campaign, which celebrates trying new things and getting fun done.

's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/carnival), fans 18 and older who "Like" Carnival can enter the first sweepstakes through June 22 for a VIP trip to a concert in Houston, Texas, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, where the company is the Official Concert Series Sponsor. Rocking on the stage will be a top recording artist. Carnival recognizes that concerts are more fun with friends, so winners can make three friends part of their very own "Carnival Concert Crew" enjoying roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations, travel to and from the show superstar-style in a limousine, some of the best seats in the house, and $500 spending money for food and fun.

New sweepstakes on the Summer Mystery Tour continue July through September, when Carnival will offer fans four additional opportunities to enter and win VIP concert experiences at Live Nation venues in major U.S. cities where the line is presenting the Carnival Rock the Deck Concert Series including Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. For more information about exciting shows coming to the Live Nation amphitheatres in these and other markets this summer, please visit www.livenation.com.

"We invite everyone to climb aboard our Rock The Deck Summer Mystery Tour sweepstakes for the chance to live out their rock star dreams, travel with their very own crew and take in some of the best live shows Carnival and Live Nation have to offer this summer, all in VIP-style," said Jim Berra, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. "Concerts, much like Carnival cruise vacations, provide the perfect opportunity for entertainment, bonding with friends and family, and creating memorable moments."

Concert goers attending select Rock The Deck Concert Series shows throughout the season at Carnival-sponsored amphitheatres in the cities above will also have the chance to enjoy Carnival Sailgate parties. These pre-concert parties bring all the fun Carnival has to offer with great tunes and dancing, a live DJ and fun activities with the chance to win VIP ticket upgrades for that evening's show, more tickets for upcoming concerts and other great Carnival prizes.

Show Us Your Firsts on Facebook Today, Carnival also updated the "Didja Ever?" tab on its Facebook page, giving fans the opportunity to see and share firsts that have happened through the year, win monthly cruise giveaways and more. Fans can also upload photos of their fun first-time activities for the chance to be promoted as the "First of the Week" or even featured on a giant Carnival billboard!

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6-1-11 P&O Announces New 141,000-TONNE Ship for 2015. P&O Cruises today announced that it will expand its fleet with a 141,000-tonne cruise ship, built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, scheduled to enter service in March 2015.

The as-yet-unnamed 3,611-passenger vessel will be the largest in the P&O Cruises fleet, as well as the largest cruise ship built specifically for the British market.

To be built at Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard, the all-in cost is approximately €155,000 per lower berth. Ushering in an exciting era for P&O Cruises, the ship will offer a stylish and innovative new design and an unprecedented number of passenger facilities, along with many of the brand's classic and iconic features. Specifications and new product innovations will be announced at a later date.

Commented Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc's chairman and CEO, "P&O Cruises is Britain's number one cruise operator, and is synonymous with high quality holidays that celebrate its rich British heritage. The UK continues to be a key growth market and innovative vessels such as this new P&O Cruises ship - targeted specifically to British clientele - underscore our commitment to leading the expansion of this important cruise region. With a progression of highly successful new ships introduced over the last 15 years, P&O Cruises is uniquely experienced in designing vessels to meet the specific needs and aspirations of British passengers. This newly ordered ship will underline P&O Cruises' position as Britain's favourite cruise line."

P&O Cruises Managing Director Carol Marlow said, "This next-generation ship will deliver the ultimate P&O Cruises experience, with ‘sophisticated wows' and new features to attract thousands of newcomers to our brand, and equally to resonate with existing P&O Cruises passengers by giving them the ‘P&O-ness' they recognise and love. She will offer ‘the best of the best,' combining the favourite classic features of Oriana and Aurora, the choice and variety of Azura and Ventura, and a host of new ideas and concepts which together will deliver to our passengers the holiday of a lifetime, every time they travel with us."

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