(12:10 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.
A New Assignment
Beginning in winter 2015, Carnival Triumph will sail three 10- to 12-night voyages from Galveston, visiting the Caribbean and Central and South America. The first voyage, an 11-night Southern Caribbean cruise in early February, will call on Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica and St. Maarten. The second, a 10-night Eastern Caribbean cruise in mid-February, will stop at St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Croix and Falmouth. The final sailing, a 12-night voyage in early March, will visit Grand Cayman, Limon, Colon, Cartagena and Santa Marta. Adding to the offerings from Galveston, Carnival Magic will sail short itineraries (four to six nights) for the first time ever, featuring Cozumel as a staple port of call.
No More Free Breakfasts
Royal Caribbean is adding a $10 surcharge for its DreamWorks character breakfasts. Reported by RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com, the fee will be charged to any breakfast attendees over 5 years old starting September 1. The character breakfasts have been free since they were first launched in 2010. The cruise line has not given a reason for the introduction of the fee. The DreamWorks character breakfast is offered on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.
Surf & Turf
Windstar is getting into the cruisetour gig, offering a selection of land and sea combos in Asia and Arabia. A first for the small cruise line, the cruisetours include: Singapore, the Malay Peninsula and Myanmar; Southeast Asia Unveiled & Angkor Wat; and the Wonders of Civilization, which includes a six-night cruise between Athens and Safaga, Egypt, plus visits to Cairo and they pyramids of Giza. Cruisetour prices include the cost of the cruise, flights to the cruisetour city, hotel accommodations, excursions, select meals and all transfers.
Cruise to the Cannes Film Fest?
A relaxing cruise and a bucket list iconic world event: perfect together. And in 2015/16 Celebrity Cruises passengers will have the chance to combine their sailing with such events as the Cannes Film Festival, Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, Rio's Carnival and the British Open in Edinburgh. On top of that, as part of these Celebrity Signature Event Sailings, passengers can book a variety of specially designed shore excursions that put them in the middle of the action or give them a VIP view.
E-News at Sea
Passengers on Seabourn no longer have to leave their awareness of the day's news behind when they head out to sea. The line has launched PressReader Offline, a customizable digital newspaper and magazine service. The service enables passengers to download full editions of more than 2,500 global newspapers and magazines to a pre-downloaded app on their personal Apple or Android mobile devices while in port or at sea without going online. Instead, Seabourn will download the requested content and store it on the ships' local network. The app will automatically sync with the ships' network and pull in the requested newspaper or magazine. Those without personal digital devices can borrow one of a small number of tablets kept onboard.
Speaking of the Internet …
MTN Communications, one of the main providers of communication solutions for cruise ships, will be supplying a variety of Internet, cell and entertainment systems to three cruise lines in the coming months. The lines are Lindblad Expeditions, Pearl Seas Cruises and Windstar, which is renewing its 10-year contract.
--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor and Ashley Kosciolek, Copy & Ports Editor