Buzz

Carnival Corporation Cruise News

Christine Duffy and Super Bowl Ad making cruise news

From Twitter

From Twitter

Carnival Corporation and popular cruise brand Carnival Cruise Lines has been busy making cruise buzz. Yesterday an announcement that Christine Duffy would take over at the helm of  Carnival Cruise Line as President made it’s rounds on social media.

Duffy, currently president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), will assume the role on Feb. 1, reporting to Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.The following quote was from a press release that was circulated yesterday:

“Christine is one of the most respected and dynamic leaders in the travel industry,” said Donald. “She brings a wealth of experience to Carnival Cruise Line that will help the cruise line continue to deliver unmatched vacation experiences to millions of guests each year.”

Duffy has more than 30 years of experience in the travel industry and started her career as a travel agent in Philadelphia at McGettigan Partners. As CEO of CLIA, the leading trade association of the cruise industry, she led many advancements including the globalization of cruise industry associations around the world to create a unified voice promoting cruising to key stakeholders from policy makers to consumers through CLIA’s more than 13,000 travel agency members representing over 50,000 travel agents.

Interactive crowdsourcing contest lets consumers “join the company’s marketing team”

 


The world’s largest cruise company is asking consumers for input on final four concepts for its Super Bowl TV commercial – with participants having a chance to win a yearly cruise for life
.

The final Super Bowl TV commercial will be sourced from the company’s recently launched “World’s Leading Cruise Lines Marketing Challenge” that gives consumers across North America the chance to provide Carnival Corporation with input on its new advertising creative. Hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, this interactive crowdsourcing contest lets consumers “join the company’s marketing team” and vote for their favorite creative concept with a chance to win a grand prize of a yearly cruise for life.

To Check Out and Vote on TV Spots, go to WorldsLeadingCruiseLines.com
Consumers can visit Carnival Corporation’s new campaign hub created by BBDO Atlanta – WorldsLeadingCruiseLines.com – for details on how to vote in the Marketing Challenge and be entered to win a cruise every year for life. Starting today, rough-cut preview videos of the semi-finalist ad concepts are available for review and voting. The final elimination round will help determine which two finalists emerge from the following spots:

  • “Getaway”: Cruising gives guests the chance to get away from all the stresses of life
  • “Cruise Virgin”: These people tell consumers about their first time to cruise – which they will happily remember
  • “Message in a Bottle”: Special moments of cruising are in a message in a bottle
  • “Mystery Spot”: This idea contains a surprise that will remind people just how special the sea can be

All four semi-finalist concepts are now in full production under the artful direction of BBDO Atlanta and Pfister, who will use their wealth of storytelling experience to bring these four creative concepts to life and help capture the essence of cruising. Pfister’s extensive experience spans decades of filmmaking in Hollywood, including directing Transcendence starring Johnny Depp earlier this year and serving as director of photography on dozens of films, including Moneyball, The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, which earned him an Oscar® in 2011.

Source: PR Newswire

 

 


Christmas Markets photos

Christmas Markets in Europe

River cruising is a great way to explore the Christmas Markets in Europe. Cruise companies like Uniworld and Viking River Cruises offer packages along the many rivers in Europe like the Rhine and Danube.

River Cruising in Europe

I have been on two river cruises to experience the Christmas Markets along the Rhine and Danube rivers. Below are links to the posts in case you are wondering what there is to do on a river cruise during winter.


Azamara Club Cruises – Cyber Monday cruise sale

Looking for a cruise deal?

What are you waiting for? Azamara Club Cruises is ready to welcome you onboard.

What are you waiting for? Azamara Club Cruises is ready to welcome you onboard.

When I had my agency, I loved Thanksgiving and the cruise sales that would pop up to entice would-be cruisers to book. One sale came across my email today that sparked my interest from Azamara Club Cruises…. The offer is below.

But before you read the offer, you should read my endorsement. A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to sail on Azamara from Istanbul to Athens on Azamara Quest (although I did sell a handful of their cruises in the past when I had my agency). The buzz about Azamara about destination immersion, more time in port, special touring programs, and excellent service from personable staff all lived up to the hype. I had so much fun that if you are one of the people looking for a reason to book on Azamara, then take advantage of their Cyber Monday offer.

Azamara Club Cruises, the boutique cruise ship line focused on destination-immersion, is offering loyal cruisers a special offer, just in time for the holidays!

Launching, Friday November 28 and running thru December 2, Azamara fans will receive a special $500 onboard credit for all new bookings made during the offer period on select sailings (below).

Eligible Sailings Include:

  • 12 Nights of Croatia Voyage (6/23/15)
  • 9 Night Turquoise Coast Voyage (7/12/15)
  • 9 Night Greek Isle/Summer Holiday (7/21/15)
  • 7 Night Greek Isles & Turkey Voyage (7/30/15)
  • 10 Night Isles of Greece Voyage (8/6/15)
  • 9 Night Turquoise Coast Voyage (9/20/15)
  • 10 Night Greek Isles & History Voyage (10/11/15)
  • 11 Night Acropolis Rome & Florence (10/21/15)
  • 9 Night South France & Spain (11/1/15)
  • 15 Night Madeira & Canary Islands Voyage (11/10/15)
  • 15 Night Suez Canal Voyage (10/19/15)
  • 10 Night Temples Dragons & Beaches (12/12/15)
  • 12 Night West Indies Hideaway Voyage (12/11/15)
  • 11 Night Panama Canal New Year’s Voyage (12/23/15)

Cruisers must ensure to note promotion “AZA CYBER SALE” in the reservation at the time of booking. www.azamaraclubcruises.com

Fine Print

And by the way, work with a travel agent (I am not one) because they can help you get the perfect cabin, manage your booking, and help you with pre and post cruise logistics.

Terms and Conditions
2014 Azamara Cyber Monday sale offer is applicable to new individual bookings only on selected Azamara Club Cruises voyages.  New bookings must be made between November 28 and December 2, 2014 to qualify for the offer.  Please ensure promotion “AZA CYBER SALE” is listed in the reservation at the time of booking.  Offer applies to all category types.  Limit one offer per stateroom.  OBC offer is combinable with brand promotions, including FREEUP, as well as onboard savings, back to back savings, and reduced single  supplements.  Unless otherwise noted, offer is not applicable to discounted rates, including but not limited to, Net Rates, Travel Agent rates, Interline rates, or Closed User rates.  Offer is not combinable with any other Onboard Credit offer.  Offer open to residents of US and Canada only.  After the Offer Period, the Offer will be removed from the booking if the guest cancels and reinstates the booking, applies a fare change, or changes the ship or sail date of the booking; certain other changes to the booking may also result in removal of the Offer.  Offers are subject to change, and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.  Certain restrictions apply.

Onboard Credit (“OBC”) amount is in USD, has no cash value, is not redeemable for cash, is not transferable, and will expire if not used by 10:00 PM on the last evening of the voyage.  OBC cannot be used in the Casino or for future cruise bookings.  $500 per stateroom OBC is based on double occupancy ($250 per person).  OBC for single bookings will be prorated based on single supplement paid ($500 for 200% supplement, $375 for 150% supplement, $312.50 for 125%, etc.).  OBC is not available for 3rd and 4th guests in a stateroom.


Nauplion, Greece via Azamara Quest

Pleasantly Surprised – Nauplion, Greece

View of the Argolic Gulf.

View of the Argolic Gulf.

The last port of call on our journey of discovery on Azamara Quest from Istanbul, Turkey to Piraeus, Greece was Nauplion, Greece. Captain Carl told guests that there was a general sentiment among the guests of being pleasantly surprised by this port that is located  in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece.

Some guests set off on Land Discoveries to explore sights from ancient Greece:  Epidavros and Mycenae.  Other guests took advantage of the tender to explore the town on their own. Captain Carl told us that he hiked the 999-steps to get to the top of the fortress of Palamidi, while others opted to swim, shop, stroll, and drink up the sunshine.

Argolic Gulf: crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming

Argolic Gulf: crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming

Art in all the right places.

Art in all the right places.

Waterfront along the harbor in Nauplion, Greece

Waterfront along the harbor in Nauplion, Greece

Sunday fun day in Nauplion, Greece

Sunday fun day in Nauplion, Greece


Cruise Global, Eat Local: Kallisti Taverna in Pyrgos Village

Local flavor of Santorini, Greece via Azamara Quest

Seeing double: our sous chef and waiter at Kallisti Tavern.

Seeing double: our sous chef and waiter at Kallisti Tavern.

There are many ways to explore Santorini when visiting the island situated in the southern Aegean Sea. For me, it was about destination immersion, which was delivered via an exclusive tour offered by Azamara Quest. Guests who opted to get a sneak peak of the boutique cruise line’s new Cruise Global, Eat Local series, which will officially launch in 2015, headed off to the nearby town of Pyrgos Village.

The Cruise Global, Eat Local tour in Santorini was perfect for cruise foodies; there were five of us and we had an amazing time.

Heading off by tender, our small group was met by our local guide. On our way up the hill outside of Fira, we learned about the history, geography, and highlights of the island.

Walking tour

Local Pyrgos Village

Local Pyrgos Village

Before lunch we had a chance to learn about Pyrgos Village, which was once the island’s capital. The traditional Greek village offers cruise visitors a chance to experience an authentic local neighborhood. Not as touristy as Fira or Oia, this tour was perfect those craving destination immersion.

Upon arrival in Pyrgos, we had time for a walking tour. I was happy that I listened to the recommendation of the ship to wear comfortable walking shoes because our stroll (perhaps hike is a better word) ended up at the top of a street near the remains of a Venetian castle.

Cruise Global, Eat Local

The Land Discoveries description promised that we would eat at a typical place that locals frequented: and they were good on their word. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch that lasted for about two hours.

Chef making Moussaka

Chef making Moussaka

Bon appetit

Moussaka, one of the two main dishes offered for lunch.

Lamb stew

Lamb stew – #delish.

 

Our menu included: Kallisti Salad (a modified version of a Greek salad consisting of tomato, goat cheese, capers, olives), Fava (similar to hummus but made with fava beans), tomato fritters, stuffed tomatoes, grilled white eggplant; we had an option to select lamb stew or Mousaka as our main dish.

Local products 

 

Local wines

Local wines

As an added bonus, we had a wine tasting and learned about the local wine industry while sipping white and red wines from a local vineyard.

 

What I liked

 

Local products     Local products on dislapy - the capers on the bottom left were amazing.

Local products
Local products on display – the capers on the bottom left were amazing.

I liked that the Cruise Global, Eat Local tour allowed me a chance to hang out like a local for a few hours. Besides the great hospitality we received at the tavern, our group from the ship was well suited,.  Because we all shared a passion for cuisine we had a lot to talk about. Since we also had a tour escort from the ship, we had everything organized for us so that we could just kick back and enjoy.

After lunch, we were dropped off in Fira where our group went their separate ways before heading back to the ship.


Azamara Quest: Marmaris, Turkey

Marmaris, Turkey port review: Turkish Riviera, there is such a thing.

Marmaris, Turkey

Panoramic view of stunning Marmaris, Turkey from the castle.

Azamara Quest called on Marmaris, Turkey, a beautiful port on the Turkish Mediterranean that is said to be the region that served as the location of the courtship between Antony and Cleopatra. For those cruise passengers wanting to pay homage to Cleopatra  Azamara Club Cruises offered a Land Discoveries tour to Sedir Island, which was quite popular from the buzz I heard from passengers choosing this exploration.

Smaller Ships, Better Parking

Azamara Quest right at home in the marina with all the yachts.

Azamara Quest right at home in the marina with all the yachts.

So far, in my experience sailing for the first time on Azamara Quest the ship has never had a bad parking place. Because the staff on the ship has been so friendly and attentive, I will be honest; I don’t have a sense of urgency that I need to get up and off the ship.  Instead, I been leveraging the fact that Azamara stays in port most times until around 8:00 pm if they are not overnighting in town, which means that I sleep in and then set out on to explore or I have opted for a small group tour that takes passengers off the beaten path.

 Marmaris

View of the coastline of Marmaris, Muğla Province, southwest Turkey, Mediterranean.

 Marmaris

Sculpture of two fishermen bringing in their catch.

 Marmaris

Marmaris souvineers

Marmaris is a pedestrian friendly city. Although their are ample cabs outside the cruise terminal, I walked around the marina to look at the yachts. At the end of the marina, I found the bazaar, which had everything a tourist could want: fake designer handbags, jewelry, leather goods, t-shirts, shoes, local crafts, and an assortment of local souvenirs like keychains. I enjoyed getting cozy at a seaside cafe (there are many) where I could study the landscape of the surrounding area.

Marmaris Castle

Marmaris Castle

Marmaris Castle

 

Marmaris Castle

Marmaris Castle

Getting there is half the battle. You can see the Turkish flag flying high from the top of the castle. Walking up a steep climb to reach the castle is worth the effort. The views from the top are breathtaking. You will see almost 270-degrees around and the view of the water is spectacular. Besides the view, there is a nice collection of antiquities to observe.

 

If you are going to Marmaris, Turkey, I found this website very helpful: click here.

 


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