I often report on the inaugurals of new ships in this newsletter, and
today I thought I'd tell you about a few time-honored maritime
traditions that go into the building of a new vessel.
The first important milestone that takes place in a ship's early life is
the ceremonial cutting of steel, which marks the beginning of its
The second notable event is the keel laying. This is when the ship
starts to take shape, as the keel -- known as the "block" -- is lowered
into a dry dock by a crane. One or more coins are welded to the keel, to
bestow good luck on the ship and all who sail on her. Sometimes the
coins are simply placed under the keel and later given to the ship's
captain, to be displayed aboard the ship.
The last big step in the building process is the float-out, which is the
first time that the ship touches the ocean. The dry dock is filled with
the water until the vessel is afloat, then tugboats tow it to an
outfitting dock where the final stages of construction take place and
the ship's interiors are fitted out.
Chairman & CEO
Next, I'd like to share a few cruise bargains we've negotiated with
Celebrity, Regent, Azamara and Star Clippers
. They include
shipboard credits, which are as good as cash on the ship and can be used
toward onboard purchases not covered in the cruise fare, like bar
purchases and spa treatments.
is offering Vacations To Go customers discounts of up
to 78% and exclusive shipboard credits of up to $200 per cabin on all
remaining 2014 voyages. And for 2015 and beyond, those who book
ocean-view cabins or higher can pick one of the following free amenities
on select sailings: 1) free drinks, including alcoholic beverages, 2)
free gratuities or 3) a shipboard credit of up to $775 per cabin.
for dates and prices.
is offering our customers savings of up to 67% and
exclusive shipboard credits of up to $1,000 per stateroom on last-minute
2014 voyages. Plus, receive free unlimited shore excursions, free
prepaid gratuities, free unlimited beverages including fine wines and
premium spirits and free unlimited Internet on select sailings (valued
at $30 a day). Customers paying with American Express Platinum or
Centurion cards qualify for an additional $300 to $500 in shipboard
credits per cabin.
for dates and prices.
is offering my readers huge markdowns -- save up to 75%.
Select sailings also qualify for exclusive shipboard credits of up to
$500 per cabin. Book by September 29.
for dates and prices.
is offering Vacations To Go customers savings of up
to 55% on cruises aboard its masted sailing ships, as well as an
exclusive shipboard credit of $150 per cabin on select sailings.
for dates and prices.
As always, these offers are for new bookings only and subject to
availability. Restrictions may apply.
sails the rivers of Europe, Southeast
Asia and Southern Africa, and many of its ships earned the highest
scores in "Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe," a newly published travel
guide. In the book's ranking of more than 280 riverboats, AmaWaterways
secured the top 11 spots, with the
taking the No. 1 position.
This November, AmaWaterways will introduce its Irrawaddy River
itineraries in Myanmar with the launch of its all-suite
It will carry just 56 guests. Delve into the culture of the region
through onboard presentations like a traditional Burmese puppet show,
and enjoy Asian-inspired treatments in the spa.
The new 124-guest
will debut on the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia in 2015. It will
feature AmaWaterways' signature twin balconies (a French balcony plus a
full-size balcony), a sundeck with swimming pool and two restaurants
serving Western and Southeast Asian cuisines.
Earlier this year, the company launched two new ships for Danube and
Rhine sailings, the
Each 164-guest vessel has multiple dining venues -- including the
intimate Chef's Table restaurant -- a heated pool with swim-up bar and
complimentary bicycles for exploring ashore.
save $1,000 to $2,000 per couple
($500 to $1,000 per person) off AmaWaterways' Irrawaddy and Mekong
cruises when you book by September 30.
The company also is offering our customers special savings on balcony
cabins next year:
Save $500 to $1,500 per couple
($250 to $750 per person) off balcony staterooms on 2015 European river
cruises when you book by October 31
to see all offers and departures from AmaWaterways.
The beautiful, modern-day paddle wheelers of the American Queen
sail the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers in
the heartland and the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific
Northwest. Every cruise includes complimentary wine and beer at dinner.
Bottled water, soft drinks and specialty coffees are available
throughout the cruise.
The company is offering our customers 2-for-1 savings
remaining departures this year when you book and pay in full by
to see these sailings.
applies to a variety of themed cruises taking place aboard the 432-guest
American Queen, such as
when a fleet of riverboats will gather to celebrate the 100th birthday
of the Belle of Louisville, the country's oldest operating steamboat. On
trip, listen to tribute artists and meet guest lecturers who knew the
King. Enjoy favorite Cajun and Creole yuletide traditions on
or toast the arrival of 2015 on
New Year's Celebration
The renovated 237-guest American Empress travels the
Columbia and Snake rivers
in Washington and Oregon. Learn about the age of pioneers and
adventurers as the ship navigates through an unspoiled landscape of deep
canyons, farmland and mountains.
to see all ways to save on an American Queen Steamboat Company
vacation, including free shore excursions, free hotel nights and waived
With megaships carrying upward of 3,500 passengers each on weekly trips
through the Caribbean, there is record capacity in this popular sailing
region right now, and in the Bahamas as well. This means that as cruise
lines compete to fill unsold cabins, they're offering our customers
For example, pay as little as $229
per person (a savings of 87%)
for a seven-day October 25 cruise from Miami
or just $149
per person (a savings of 85%) for a four-day
Bahamas trip, departing October 6 from Miami
To see the best last-minute cruise markdowns in the Caribbean and
Bahamas in the next three months,
have announced their 2016 world
Queen Mary 2
will sail its first circumnavigation since 2009. Highlights include a
Suez Canal transit, port calls in French Polynesia and South America and
a sailing around Cape Horn.
will visit 37 ports in 22 countries, cruising the Panama Canal and New
Zealand's beautiful Milford Sound and overnighting in San Francisco,
Sydney and Cape Town. And the
will explore Asian destinations such as Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia
and Vietnam on its epic voyage.
Here's a look at P&O's 2016 world cruises: The
will visit 38 destinations in 114 nights, such as Cape Town, Hong Kong,
Taiwan and the Seychelles. The
will focus primarily on South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia
and make maiden calls in Papua New Guinea, the Falkland Islands and
To see every world cruise we offer and the various segments that are
And finally, "welcome home" to Mark Fosselman, who recently disembarked
the Carnival Elation after sailing 33 back-to-back cruises on the ship.
The Mississippi resident boarded the Elation in New Orleans back in
April -- and stayed on board for 32 more four- and five-day trips.
According to Carnival, his time on the ship is believed to be the
longest streak of consecutive cruise days in the line's 42-year
The Elation is a special ship for Fosselman, as he and his late wife,
Becky, cruised aboard it several times over the years. When she passed
away this spring, he decided to return to the ship that gave them so
many happy memories.
Here are today's Top 10 Cruises
brand-new specials from the world's best cruise lines.
Click the FastDeal # for details
, 7 nights on Carnival, departs Miami Sep 21, starting at $209, save 88%, FastDeal # 10402
, 4 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs Tampa Nov 13, starting at $377, save 54%, FastDeal # 28864
, 7 nights on Norwegian, departs Miami Sep 27, starting at $419, save 74%, FastDeal # 14281
4) Canada/New England
, 7 nights on Holland America, departs Boston Sep 27, starting at $499, save 77%, FastDeal # 19120
, 9 nights on Princess, departs Fort Lauderdale Nov 15, starting at $478, save 76%, FastDeal # 17270
, 14 nights on Celebrity, departs London Nov 9, starting at $749, save 63%, FastDeal # 35604
, 7 nights on Norwegian, departs New York Sep 28, starting at $449, save 80%, FastDeal # 22459
, 7 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs San Juan Nov 1, starting at $502, save 56%, FastDeal # 20394
, 7 nights on Azamara Club Cruises, departs Rome Oct 4, starting at $2,299, save 51%, FastDeal # 14974
10) South America
, 11 nights on Oceania Cruises, departs Rio de Janeiro Nov 20, starting at $2,399, save 75%, FastDeal # 11035