Cruise News Shorts: Godmothers, an Early Launch and How to Win a Cruise

October 5, 2012

(1:30 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 usually catch our attention. Here are some cruise developments we think you might like to know about.

Godmothers for the Cure

Celebrity Cruises is honoring four of its employees for their efforts in the fight against breast cancer by naming them godmothers of Celebrity Reflection. Jovanka Goronjic, Megan Mathie, Helen O'Connell and Rosey Rodriguez have been touched by breast cancer in some way, either because a close family member has battled the disease or because she, herself, was diagnosed with it. "These impressive women personify the qualities we admire among our Solstice Class Godmothers: remarkable strength and courage, along with optimism, warmth and genuine care for others," Michael Bayley, the line's president and CEO said. "They beautifully represent countless other women within our country and around the world who have battled the disease or supported the cause in honor of friends or family who have done so." The four Celebrity Reflection godmothers will preside over the naming of the ship December 1 in Miami.

Getaway Gets a Way Early

If the execs at Norwegian Cruise Line are drumming their fingers in impatience, it's not because their ship builder is running late. The Meyer Werft shipyard is running ahead of schedule and will deliver Norwegian Getaway in late January 2014, earlier than scheduled. With the new launch date in mind, the line announced Getaway will sail seven-day Eastern Caribbean itineraries from Miami year-round beginning February 1, 2014. Ports of call will be: Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas; and Nassau, Bahamas. Getaway also will sail a special transatlantic itinerary from the Netherlands on January 16, with a stop in Southampton (where passengers also can embark), followed by nine days at sea before arriving January 27 in Miami. Bookings open to the public on October 22, 2012.

Silver Cloud Gets a Polishing

Time to take out the silver and give it a good polishing – Silversea's Silver Cloud that is. In November Silver Cloud will go into dry dock for a stem-to-stern refurbishment in Palermo, Italy. All suites, public spaces and dining venues will be updated. For instance, the ship's Ralais & Chateaux restaurant, Le Champagne, will get a new entrance design and redesigned seating layout, while the La Terrazza buffet eatery will be remodeled to create greater seating flexibility and more tables for two. The pool bar and grill will be expanded and transformed into The Grill, an interactive dining experience during which diners can cook their own meat and seafood on heated volcanic rocks. Suites will get new carpets, headboards, curtains, outside verandah furniture and either a new bath-and-shower combo or walk-in, glass-enclosed rainforest shower with sitting area.

Pin It, Snap It, Win a Prize

Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line (previously known as NCL) have launched social media photo contests with free cruises as grand prizes. Carnival's "I'd rather be Carnival cruising to _____" contest asks people to create a Pinterest contest board, then tell a visual story of their dream cruise to the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska or Hawaii via images pinned to the board. At least five of the images must come from any of Carnival's social media sites or The contest runs through October 14. The winner will receive a seven-day Caribbean cruise for two. Norwegian's "Norwegians Snap and Pack" Instagram sweepstakes invites vacationers to submit pictures that best embody a Caribbean cruise. The contest runs through the end of October; entrants must submit their photos addressed to @norwegiancruiseline via Instagram and tagged with #snapandpack. Seven cruise prizes are up for grabs.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor