Tag Archives: Travel

Royal Caribbean comes back to New Orleans!

Really big cruise news was announced today that has me excited for my friends in New Orleans!! Royal Caribbean announced today a new redeployment strategy for a few of their ships. It appears that the catalyst for the move is the struggling California economy not being able to support the price points that a ship of the calibre of the Mariner of the Seas should be commanding.

The Mariner of the Seas will be heading toward Europe on January 16th, 2011. On her way, she will make several South America voyages including one during Carnaval. July – September 2011 The Mariner of the Seas will be sailing roundtrip from Rome on 7 night Sailings. It is interesting to not that during the 2011 Summer, 50% of Royal Caribbean’s fleet will be in Europe.

Now for the News that got me excited, quoted directly from Royal Caribbean’s Nation of Why not Blog:

Voyager of the Seas to relocate to New Orleans and restart our New Orleans program that we stopped after Hurricane Katrina. The program will commence on November 12, 2011 and last until April of 2012. The weekly 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary will offer Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico and George Town, Grand Cayman.

New Orleans has received a 6 month committment from Royal Caribbean on one of their huge Voyager Class Ships. This is great news for the city of New Orleans. It shows that Royal Caribbean has confidence in being able to fill a large ship every week for 6 months. This will be an incremental increase of 3800 new visitors to New Orleans on a weekly basis.  A significant increase which should help support New Orleans remarkable story of rebuilding and growth.  Congrats New Orleans!

Related New Orleans News: Social Fresh Cruise announces it will depart from New Orleans



Filed under Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Transatlantic Cruise Deal

Thanks to left-over group rates, CruiseDeals.com has the 14-Night Transatlantic Cruise departing on November 7th from Barcelona spain to Galveston, Texas. This Transtalantic cruise vacation is on the Voyager of the Seas which is one of the largest ships cruising across the Atlantic this fall. CruiseDeals.com is offering this voyage for $607 per person for an Inside Cabin with a $100 credit to spend onboard the ship. Oceanview Cabins are only $713. Compare this exclusive deal below to the Royal Caribbean rates of $799 per person with $0 in shipboard credit. That is a $500 savings!! At 3PM ET on April 15th, 2010 CruiseDeals.com only had 3 inside Cabins and 3 Oceanview Cabins remaining on this deal.

Call 800-668-6414 Now to book this exclusive offer!

Click Picture to enlarge Comparison:

Royal Caribbean Selling Transatlantic Cruise for $799 pp


Filed under Royal Caribbean

Celebrity Solstice Cruise, Last Day

On our last day at Sea, I’m thinking back to everything that has made this Celebrity Solstice Cruise vacation so special. 5 years ago, I fell in love with cruising because it is the most social form of vacationing. We make new friends on every cruise vacation. As always, our fellow passengers helped make this cruise special. With the introduction of the Solstice Class of ships, Celebrity has had to have knocked 10 years off of their passenger’s average age. This cruise offered a diverse mix of age ranges, but no matter the age of the passengers we met they were all the type of people who strive for the finer things in life. They had a good understanding of the quality of food, drinks, and service that distinguished this cruise ship from most of the others. I talked to several passengers travelling in the Aqua Class Suites. After a few days on board, they were all sold on the value of the cost to upgrade to the Aqua Class. The cabin size of the Aqua Class Suites are similar to a balcony cabin, but the exclusive access to the Specialty Restaurant, Blu, the Persian Garden, and the Concierge Service were well worth the extra money according to passengers with whom I spoke. One passenger, Sam, even stated that the upgraded shower in the Aqua Class Suite was enough for her to book an Aqua Class suite again.

The Celebrity Solstice is the perfect example of a large vessel offering a noticeably higher level of service, food, and style. The diverse entertainment onboard from the Hot Glass Show to the Circus style show offers something for cruisers of all ages. Earlier this week, I met a family in which the grandparents typically cruised on Oceania. For a large family vacation consisting of ages ranging from 11 months old – 75 years old, they compromised and chose the Celebrity Solstice. The grandparents were very impressed by the food and service on the Solstice and the kids were having a blast in the kids club. For all that the Celebrity Solstice is offering, the Solstice has been selling for rates that are close to the less premium cruise ships making it the best value in the Caribbean.

Celebrity Solstice, Circus style Show

The onboard experience on the Celebrity Solstice has been unmatched. The feedback I’ve received from our new friends onboard has been consistent with our feelings about the Celebrity Solstice. So if you are a travel agent, your clients will love you for recommending a Solstice Class ship and if you are a cruiser looking for the perfect combo of amenities, entertainment options, style, service and food, I fully recommend the Celebrity Solstice.

Jess & Dylan with the Celebrity Solstice

Full Disclosure, I did not pay for my Cabin. I did pay for Airline tickets, Gratuities, Excursions, Bar Bill, etc…. I’ve been on about 15 cruise ships in 3 years. They’ve all been wonderful, but the Solstice Class is special. My 8 year old would probably like the Liberty of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas better (he enjoyed the Fun Factory, but was upset that there was not a waterslide on the Solstice)… I’m a big fan of the style and service that is the Solstice. I have loads of photos and video that I will be uploading from home so you can see the Celebrity Solstice experience for yourself.


Filed under Caribbean, Celebrity, Family, First Cruise, Ship Reviews, Travel Reviews

Old San Juan, Lawn Club Pictures – Solstice Day 2

We explored our first port of call today aboard the Celebrity Solstice. We arrived in San Juan with the Grand Princess, The Sea Dream I, and a Regent Cruise Ship already docked. We were some of the first off the Celebrity Solstice at 2:30 PM. We walked 4 – 5 miles and covered most of Old San Juan in 2.5 hours. The Celebrity Solstice is docked today in San Juan from 2 – 10 PM. We were back on the ship about 5 PM. We ate dinner and then played Corn Hole on the Lawn Club as the sun set. We almost had the entire deck 14 to ourselves. We were the only passengers on the lawn playing during the sunset. This was a highlight of my cruising career and definitely recommended. Checkout the pictures I’ve uploaded Live to Flickr from our Celebrity Solstice Cruise.

If you are on other cruise ships, are in port in Old San Juan from 2 PM – 10 PM, and you are wanting to see the city for free by walking on your own then I recommend eating a late lunch at 3 PM and disembarking at 4:30 PM. Walk San Juan from 4:30 – 7:00 PM when it is not as hot. San Juan is a US Territory so we were able to upload pictures live to Flickr as we walked Old San Juan. We were also able to call home.
Tomorrow we will be in St. Kitts and we plan on hitting the beach so Dylan can take his first swim in the beautiful clear waters of the Caribbean. See you in St. Kitts!

Playing Cornhole on the Lawn at Sunset on the Solstice

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Filed under Family, First Cruise

Now Booking: Carolina Singles Cruise

We’ve Teamed up with Certified Relationship Coach & Matchmaker Sheryl Spangler of Heart&Soul Matchmaking, Inc based out of Charlotte, NC to bring you the first annual Carolina Singles Cruise. Sheryl’s recently been featured on Fox News and is a regular guest on WCNC’s Charlotte Today!

The Carolina Singles Cruise will depart out of Jacksonville Fl on the newly refurbished Carnival Fascination. This is the first Singles Cruise dedicated to residents of North Carolina and South Carolina. For those of you have never cruised before, cruising is the most social form of vacationing. Cruising with a group of Singles from your area is a great way to expand your network and possibly meet Mr./Mrs. Right. We will have dedicated social events & dinner seating for our group of singles. Sheryl will also be leading dating and relationship discussions such as the 14 Dating Traps, Conscious Dating for Relationship Success, and How to Master Online Dating!

For more information call David at 800.668.6414 ext. 149 or Join the Carolina Singles Cruise Facebook Group. To reserve your spot on the Carolina Singles Cruise Click here.

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Filed under Carnival, Singles Cruise

Champagne Living on a Budget? Checkout the Celebrity Solstice

My Good Twitter Friend @zipporahs, the blogger at ChampagneLiving.net sent me a quick tweet asking if I knew of any hot deal for her readers. Her readers are looking for ways to live the high-life on the cheap. I’m sure there are plenty of people who are used to living the Champagne Lifestyle but due to the great recession they are unable or choose not too. Thanks to Celebrity Cruise Line increasing their capacity in the Caribbean by 71% with the addition of the brand new Celebrity Solstice… getting pampered and enjoying some of the most delicious food and drinks at sea is very affordable (dare I say Cheap) on the Celebrity Solstice. The Celebrity Solstice was the perfect match for the Champagne Living Blog, so I sent @zipporahs a tweet with a link to the deal. She loved it! Check out Zippy’s blog post describing the awesome value of the current Celebrity Solstice Balcony Deal that ends on April 11th, 2010. The Deal Basics: $799 Balcony Cabins with $100 Spending Money plus FREE Gratuities ($150 Value).

Full Disclosure, I am sailing on the Celebrity Solstice on 4/4. I did not pay for the cabin, but I am paying for everything else.. I truly believe the Balcony Deal is the best deal in cruising today… if you disagree, please leave a comment… My readers would love to be turned on to a better deal!

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Filed under Caribbean

Celebrity Solstice, Family Cruise

Life is better when you have a cruise vacation to look forward too.  Over the past couple of weeks, while working long hours I kept pushing myself because in a few weeks I’ll be able to relax while cruising the Caribbean with my Family.  Well those few weeks flew by and that time to relax is almost here!!  We depart on April 4th, 2010 on the Celebrity Solstice

I was thoroughly impressed with my first Celebrity Cruise Line experience in November 2009 sailing on the Celebrity Century.  The Century is one of Celebrity’s oldest vessels, but thanks to recently being refurbished the Century is in excellent condition.   More important than the hardware, experiencing the Celebrity treatment in the quality of the service and food for the first time is what made the cruise standout from my other cruise vacations. 

Celebrity is a premium cruise line offering Food and Service a notch better than some of the other cruise lines.  Traditionally, Celebrity’s average age has been slightly older than the other Cruise Lines due to the entertainment, service, length of cruises, and price being more geared to an older and affluent clientele.   With the introduction of the new innovative Celebrity Solstice, they’ve supposedly knocked 10 yrs off of the average age of their passengers.    

We’ll see… my wife is 27, I’m 35, and my son is 8 and we’ll notice if we are one of a few families on the ship. This is my son’s first cruise and I have to be honest…  For 3 years he’s had to stay at home while we’ve cruised Hawaii, Italy, the Caribbean, and Mexico.  I want this cruise to be very special for him and I probably wouldn’t have taken him on any other class of Celebrity Cruise Ship for his first cruise.  He’s pretty wild, full of energy, and I’m sure he would have gotten bored on some of the other Celebrity Ships.   He’s watched all of my videos from the Oasis of the Seas, so he knows that some ships offer tons to do for kids.  He’s very excited to play on the grass lawn on the Celebrity Solstice… he wants to find out if they have to mow it.

Grass Lawn on the Celebrity Solstice

The Week of April 4th, I’ll be posting daily here on CruiseSource.us from the Celebrity Solstice.   As always, I will be live-Tweeting from the ship and posting pictures on Flickr.   If you thought about taking your family on the Celebrity Solstice, Equinox, or Eclipse follow along by subscribing to the blog or following @cruisesource on Twitter!

Happy Sailing ~ Rich Tucker


Filed under Family, Ship Reviews, Social Media, Travel Reviews