Mickey Sticks with Florida
Disney Cruise Line will continue to stick close to Florida, keeping its fleet of four ships homeported there for the early part of 2015. From January to April, Disney Dream, Disney Magic and Disney Fantasy will sail three- to seven-night Caribbean and Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral, while Disney Wonder will sail four- to five-night sailings out of Miami.
You Want an Upgrade?
How Royal Caribbean decides who gets upgrades is no longer a mystery after the line updated the way doles out the much-desired perk. Beginning this week, Crown and Anchor Society members will be considered for free stateroom upgrades the week before their sailing. But, the only way to qualify is to select your upgrade preference on the Crown and Anchor website. Only registered members will be considered for upgrades.
A Christening Marathon
We can see it now: a domino chain of women decreeing, "I christen this boat," "and this boat," "and this boat," down the line of 14 Viking longships. The marathon christening will occur in March 2014 in France when Viking Cruises intends to outdo its own world record of eight river boats named at one time. By the end of next year, Viking will have introduced 30 brand-new longships over a three-year period.
She'll Be Coming 'Round the River
Norwegian Getaway has begun its journey from the shipyard at which it was built toward its new life sailing out of Miami. The ship departed Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, for a 24-hour long conveyance along the Ems River.
Direct to Your Mobile Device
Passengers onboard Silversea's Silver Cloud and Silver Galapagos can now peruse a selection of newspapers and lifestyle magazines on their mobile phones using the same service the cruise line launched earlier this year to stream movies and live TV. Newspapers and magazines from 100 countries in 56 languages are available. The digital service will be available on Silver Shadow by the end of November, followed by Silver Wind and Silver Whisper in December.
Wii Want to Play
Move over Wii, hello Wii U. Norwegian Cruise Line is expanding its partnership with Nintendo to bring Wii U video game systems to the atriums and youth/teen centers on all its ships. Additionally, the new HD Wii U systems will be featured as part of various competitions on each ship.
This might well be one of the craziest news items we've run across in years, and while it's not really cruise-specific we just had to share it. Seems several dozen cruise passengers who chose to park their cars at a valet parking lot near PortMiami returned from their cruise to discover getting their cars back wasn't going to be so easy. That's because a disgruntled employee had dumped all their keys in the garbage, after parking the cars back-to-back. According to local news station WSVN, tow trucks, locksmiths and the police had to been called in to help.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor