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Disney Adds New Cruises for 2014

By Robert Firpo-Cappiello
January 12, 2022
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George Oze Photography / SuperStock

It's never too early to start planning your next cruise, and Disney Cruise Line has sweetened the 2014 pot by rolling out expanded European cruises and adding two new knockout homeports—Venice, Italy, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Some highlights of the family-friendly cruise line's 2014 offerings include:

New Mediterranean cruises. Ah, Venice! It often tops favorite-city lists, and will serve as the homeport for the Disney Magic when it returns to the Mediterranean from May through August next year. That means that before embarking you can take a gondola ride on one of the city's canals, see iconic St. Mark's Square, and check out one of the world's best collections of modern art at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. While Disney cruises have always featured encounters with fairy tale characters for little ones, its new Mediterranean cruises will now offer Percy Jackson-crazed tweens the chance to step into the land of Greek mythology with stops in the Greek Isles, Crete, and Sicily. (And, of course, the gods of sun, sights, and shopping will smile down on you, too.)

San Juan and the Caribbean. The Disney Magic will also be exploring the southern Caribbean from its new homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. With more U.S. carriers than ever, including JetBlue, making San Juan a destination, it's a convenient embarkation port—not to mention an intoxicating place to explore hundreds of years of Caribbean history, winding old-world streets, and shopping deals. Seven-night cruises in September and October will visit Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, and a new port-of-call for Disney: Grenada, known for its snorkeling, waterfall-laced mountains, and Creole cuisine.

Alaska. The Disney Wonder will depart from Vancouver to explore such Alaska ports as Sitka, Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan, featuring Disney's Port Adventures programs created in partnership with local tour operators who are experts on Alaska's natural history and environment. Seven-day cruises will run from June through early September.

For more information on these and other Disney cruises for 2014 (including sails to the Bahamas and western Caribbean), visit disneycruise.disney.go.com.

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Cruises

Save Big on Avalon's European River Cruises

It's no secret that we're big fans of river cruises as a unique, elegant way of seeing the world. So we were psyched to learn about a special offer from Avalon. For a limited time, you can save $2,000 per couple on select Avalon 2015 European River Cruises. The Suite Ships of Avalon have truly changed the way people think about the river cruise experience.  Avalon's spacious, innovative Panorama Suites are some of the largest in river cruising, featuring unique Open-Air Balconies with giant walk-to-wall windows that provide spectacular views. And when you leave your lovely room, you will find that same attention to detail everywhere on board. You'll also find fewer people than you would on an open-sea cruise, which means more space everywhere you go. Avalon's cuisine is another reason travelers choose to see Europe via river: The company puts care into creating every day's menu using fresh, quality ingredients. All prepared to perfection by their culinary artisans. It's not easy to be an expert on, well, everywhere, but thanks to Avalon's relationship with the award-winning tour company Globus, with more than 85 years of experienced and 300 support staff on the ground in 65 countries around the world, Avalon's cruisers are privy to the best land programs available. What's more, Avalon offers a variety of special interest cruises. From food and wine to culture, music, and beyond, Avalon special interest cruises feature expert onboard presentations to enhance your subject knowledge as you mingle with others who share your passion. Avalon's limited-edition special interest departures afford you these unique travel opportunities, and it's all at no additional cost. These cruises include: Art & Impressionist River Cruises, Beer River Cruises, Culinary River Cruises, Wine River Cruises, and many more! To learn more, visit avalonwaterways.com/special-interest-river-cruises.

Cruises

Rockin' cruises

Cruise with your favorite musician! Sixthman is an Atlanta company that sets up cruises that headline musical stars. Today, for example, "tickets/fares" go on sale for the first Cayamo "song cruise" with Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris, which will set sail Feb. 4 through Feb. 10, 2008 on the Carnival Victory. Prices start at $747 per person for a double interior room. As with any cruise, add about 30 to 55 percent for additional costs, such as on-board alcoholic drinks, taxes, and port charges. Other upcoming cruises will feature the rock and pop acts Ben Folds, John Mayer, and Barenaked Ladies. Indie- and retro-rock fans will want to consider a trip on the The Rock Boat, which will depart Jan. 19, 2008, for a five-day festival at sea, with headliners Sister Hazel, Aslyn, and Toad The Wet Sprocket. Sixthman's website offers a list of upcoming music cruises.

Cruises

Confessions of a Cruise Ship Captain

This article was written by Sherri Eisenberg and originally appeared on Fox News Travel. What’s it really like to be at the helm of one of these mega cruise ships? We caught up with Captain Rune Myre, 17-year veteran of Norwegian Cruise Line and the captain of the Miami-based Norwegian Getaway. Born in to a fishing family in northern Norway, Myre has spent his career at sea. In 1998, joined Norwegian Cruise Line and worked on many of line’s ships, including the Norwegian Sea and Norwegian Dawn and captained the Norwegian Pearl before taking the helm of the Norwegian Getaway. Myre oversees every aspect of the massive 3,969-passenger vessel and its 1,700 crew. Since setting sail in 2013, the Norwegian Getaway has gotten rave reviews for its family-friendly features and celebrity chef restaurants, among other things. For Super Bowl XLVIII, the ship was transformed into a floating Bud Light hotel with football parties and celebrity appearances.   On a recent trip, while docked in St. Thomas, he took a few minutes out of his busy day to talk to us about what isn’t a 9 to 5 job. Myre: Some people drive to work at 7 a.m. and come home at 7 p.m.; I work 10 weeks and then I have 10 weeks off. I think I have it best. That’s what it’s like to be a sailor. FoxNews.com: What are some common preconceptions about your job?Myre: I don’t think a lot of people think about what goes on behind the scenes on a billion dollar ship. Every week, you meet four and a half thousand new people. You’re responsible for the safety and security of, on a ship like this, 6,000 people. The crewmembers are 70 different nationalities. It is a challenge. FoxNews.com: People get hurt and die on cruise ships. What's the hardest thing about your job?Myre: When things happen to crewmembers’ families and you have to get them home. FoxNews.com: What's the coolest thing that has ever happened to you on a ship?Myre: For me it was a great honor and pleasure to take out the ship. We then had the Super Bowl in New York, and then the christening in Miami with Pitbull (singer Armando Christian Perez), and I got to meet the guy. He is cool as cool can be. FoxNews.com: What's the most surprising thing that has ever happened to you on a ship? Myre: I’ve been to births and deaths. We had a child birth once that was amazing. FoxNews.com: What's your favorite port to sail into?Myre: I love Alaska, and I have done eleven seasons in Alaska. It is like being home [northern Norway]. The ports all look the same—the mountains, the ice caps. It’s special up there. FoxNews.com: What is your least favorite port to sail into?Myre: The ports have developed during the years; 15 or 16 years ago I could have answered that question but now all of our ports are good. The Caribbean is nice because of the weather, but I will say that there are a few ports where there are too many ships. That’s the only negative: There are too many people walking around the streets. Some passengers might feel that it might be a little crowded during winter season. FoxNews.com: What do you like to do when you have extra time in port?Myre: I normally get off the ship in St. Thomas for a couple hours. I go for a walk, and get some fresh air, and go for a good hike if I have time. In St. John I went snorkeling; Megan’s Bay Beach in St. Thomas is beautiful. There’s also the airport in St. Martin where the planes land just over the beach, so you can watch the planes. FoxNews.com: What do cruisers often miss out on when they're at sea that captain's notice?Myre: A lot of people are hanging around the pool deck, listening to music, chilling, climbing the walls, whatever. I see birds, flying fish, dolphins, and sometimes a whale. FoxNews.com: What is the best experience you have had with a cruiser?Myre: I am not the kind of guy who gives out my personal information right away, but I have people every week that I know from other sailings. FoxNews.com: What is the worst behavior you have seen from a cruiser?Myre: If you live in a city of 6,500 people things are going to happen. People misbehave because they drink too much or have a disagreement with their spouse. I have seen fights during my career, it happens, and we deal with it. We have security onboard and procedures for everything.My position in a town like this is like the mayor, and I have a police force. People are here to have a great time, and that’s what people do. We don’t have much trouble. FoxNews.com: What is your best advice for cruisers?Myre: If you come onboard a ship of this size, go to information meetings, learn about the ports. We have a lot of information onboard, and it takes time to get to know the ship. The people who want to experience the most in the week that they’re here have to get the brochures. FoxNews.com: What is your favorite thing about the ship you are on today?Myre: I like the Illusionarium, which is a magic show. It is a great experience. Every friend who comes onboard I personally book in Illusionarium. I have been 15 times, and I am trying to figure out how they make the birds disappear! I don’t want to ask them, I want to figure it out. More From Fox News Travel: #IWillComeToTunisia: Tourists pledge to visit the country following the attack Are you a MAMIL? Jealous boyfriend crowdfunds trip to spy on girlfriend's spring break

Cruises

Cruise news: Celebrity says "Turf's up!"

In December, Celebrity Cruises launches the 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice. In what is being called an industry first, the top deck of the Solstice will be covered in real grass. The half-acre Lawn Club will include places for playing golf, bocce ball, and croquet. It will also have picnic spots. Here's an artistic rendering of what the Lawn Club will probably look like: The Solstice sets sail December 14 from Fort Lauderdale on a seven-night cruise to Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. An interior cabin room starts at about $800 per person, based on double occupancy (celebritycruises.com). If you’re looking to cruise, there are two other major ships to keep an eye out for this year: Royal Caribbean’s 3,600-passenger Independence of the Seas (set to debut in May) and Princess Cruises’ 3,100-passenger Ruby Princess (slated to launch in November). —Amy Chen CRUISE ADVICE Virgin cruiser Josh Dean took readers' tips on a trip to Alaska, to see just how helpful they were—and came back with some advice of his own. Read his story here. MORE BY AMY CHEN Report from the Balloon Festival.