(12:30 p.m. EDT) -- Every week we catch wind of so much cruise news, we don't always know what to do with it all, but a few standout bits sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting snippets we think you might like to know about.
Saving our Oceans
The Carnival Foundation in partnership with Carnival Corporation has donated $2.5 million over five years to support The Nature Conservancy's global marine protection priorities. Carnival Foundation's support will be directed toward identifying locations where industry and community are most dependent on marine and coastal resources -- including key conservation priority sites where Carnival Corporation and its 10 cruise line brands operate. It is also hoped the money will help significantly increase coral restoration initiatives within the Caribbean.
Cruise ship passengers are being urged to get to their ships early due to planned demonstrations in Venice this weekend. MSC Cruises has posted on the Cruise Critic Message Boards urging passengers sailing tomorrow (June 7th) on MSC Preziosa, and on and June 8th on MSC Fantasia to arrive in port "no later than 11.30 am." The demonstrations are part of the on-going protests against big ships entering the lagoon organised by the 'No Navi Grandi' group, who will meet in the main square then move to the cruise terminal.
Volendam Dry Dock Brings Ocean Breezes & Specialty Drinks
Holland America Line's Volendam will feature 21 new lanai cabins as well as Mix, a new bar area, when the ship emerges from dry dock in December. Lanai cabins feature sliding glass doors with direct access to a teak, wraparound promenade deck. Volendam, which sails Alaska, joins Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam, as Holland America ships outfitted with lanai accommodations. Also to be added in dry dock is Mix, a centrally located space incorporating three specialty bars: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales. All suite bathrooms will be updated to feature whirlpool tubs, stone vanities with lighted mirrors and more.
Paul Gauguin Fosters Future Environmentalists with Free Kids' Program
Oceanographer and Environmentalist Jean-Michel Costeau's program onboard Paul Gauguin Cruises will be available free of charge to children on holiday voyages in French Polynesia this December. Book by July 31 to enroll your child (ages 9 to 17) in the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program -- normally a $299 value -- and give them the opportunity to learn about the stunning environment of the South Pacific through hands-on activities.
One in a Million
Jenny Malka, a Toronto-based travel advisor, became Oceania Cruises' one-millionth reservation on Monday. Malka has been an advisor with Atlanta-based company Century Travel for the past 12 years.
--By Adam Coulter, UK Editor, Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant and Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor.