Cruise News Shorts: News from Carnival, Norwegian, Oceania & More

August 22, 2014
bruschetta with tomato

(2:14 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.

Mo' Money
Carnival cruisers must now fork over a bit more for dinners at the line's two specialty restaurants Cucina del Capitano and Ji Ji Asian Kitchen. The prices at both venues went up $3, from $12 to $15. Cuncina del Capitano can be found on Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine; while Ji Ji Asian Kitchen is only on Carnival Sunshine. Prices for children 11 and under remain at $5.

Icelandic Ash
Thousands of mini-earthquakes underneath the ice-capped Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland are raising fears of an eruption that could disrupt air travel in Europe. In 2010, a large plume of volcanic ash from an eruption under a glacier in the Eyjafjallajoekull area of Iceland closed airports in the UK and Europe, stranding thousands of travelers around the world -- cruisers included. Aviation industry officials have elevated air travel warnings to orange -- signaling a greater potential likelihood for disruption -- based on advice from Iceland's Meteorological Office.

But Wait, There's More
Norwegian Cruise Line has extended the deadline for booking its all-inclusive package to September 30. Among other amenities, the $899 per person, seven-night package comes with a 10 percent cruise fare discount, six bottles of water, shore excursion credit of up to $200, 250 minutes prepaid Internet access, as well as the ultimate beverage and ultimate dining packages.

Caribbean Eats
Oceania cruises is expanding is Culinary Discovery Tours program to two Caribbean islands, St. Lucia and Antigua. The tours give Oceania passengers the chance to explore local food markets, vineyards, farms and restaurants with a chef from the line's Bon Appetit Culinary Center. The St. Lucia option includes a visit to a private estate for a tour of an expansive herb garden and hands-on cooking class. In Antigua participants tour the local market, then head to the Villas at Sunset Lane hotel and cooking school to prepare their own lunch using local ingredients. Both tours will be offered the Dec. 23 Holidays in the Tropics and two 2015 Island Paradise sailings.

Head First into Asia
Enough of the dipping toe thing! Australia cruise and tour operator APT is diving into the waters of Burma (Myanmar) with the addition of two new river ships. RV Samatha and RV Princess Panhwar are scheduled to debut 2016. Both river ships will offer 15-day itineraries between Yangon and Mandalay from January 2016. The operator previously offered Burma cruises through a partnership with AmaWaterways.

Double Down
Tauck River Cruises has ordered two more ships, the result of which will double the size of its fleet from 2014 to 2016. The as-yet unnamed vessels will join the line's two Inspiration-class vessels, Inspire and Savor, which launched this year. The line also will launch one Jewel-class ship in 2015, Esprit. The five new ships take the line's total fleet from four ships to nine in the space of just two years.

--By Gina Kramer, Associate Editor; Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor; and Dori Saltzman, News Editor