(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 sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting snippets we think you might like to know about.
Seaward Facing Dog
With Star Clippers' new Yoga-themed cruises in 2015, yoga adherents don't have to forgo their cobra or child poses in order to set sail. The seven-night sailings, two onboard Star Clippers (January 24, 31) and four onboard Royal Clipper (May 16, 23, August 1, 8) will feature free classes out on deck, as well as lectures on the philosophy of yoga and advice for practice at home. Classes are appropriate for all skill levels.
Party Hearty Under the Stars
Princess Cruises will debut the Night Sky Lounge onboard Regal Princess when the ship begins its inaugural Caribbean season this November. The outdoor nightclub will be located near the top-deck Retreat Pool for one night each cruise and will feature a South Miami-style vibe, including atmospheric furniture, lighting and glowing drinks. A small fee will be charged to enter.
Shoreside casual touring will return to SeaDream Yacht Club this fall and winter, when the line rolls out several free, crew-led excursions during the line's 2014/15 Caribbean season. Each tour consists of veteran crewmembers leading passengers to their favorite spots in the islands like Esperanza and Shoal Bay in Anguilla and Flamenco Beach in Culebra. Most of the excursions are fairly active and require hiking and/or biking.
Cunard Helps Sting Bring 'The Last Ship' to Northeast England
Cunard will sponsor two exclusive performances of Sting's new Broadway musical, 'The Last Ship,' to raise money for Northeast England's shipping industry. The musical, based on Sting's most recent album, is about the demise of shipbuilding and its effects on places like Tyneside and Gdansk. As main sponsor, Cunard holds historic ties with the area's shipbuilding industry. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Sage Gateshead 10th Birthday Appeal, a registered charity aimed at bringing world-class, unforgettable, personal musical experiences to music-lovers of all tastes and at all levels of musical knowledge.
Carnival Varies Length of Baltimore Cruises
In a first for the line's Baltimore sailings, Carnival will offer 10- to 14-night voyages from the port on Carnival Pride, beginning in fall of 2015. While some of the sailings will be roundtrip from Baltimore, others will sail Baltimore-to-San Juan itineraries, including a variety of ports like Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Antigua, Dominica, Grand Turk, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Martin and St. Maarten. A variety of shorter voyages will also be thrown into the mix, featuring five-, six- and eight-night jaunts to ports in the Bahamas and Bermuda, as well as Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay, the line's private island. Carnival Pride, which previously offered only seven-night sailings from Baltimore, will undergo an extensive two-week dry-dock this October to add the line's Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements, including Guy's Burger Joint, the Alchemy Bar, EA Sports Bar and BlueIguana Cantina.
New Ship on the Block
Anticipation continues to build for Holland America Line's newest ship, which officially began construction this week with the keel laying. A 680-ton block was lowered into Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard for the line's 99,500-ton, 2,650-passenger ship, slated for delivery in February 2016. The first in the new Pinnacle Class, the new ship (yet to be named) will become the largest in Holland America's fleet.
--By Gina Kramer, Associate Editor; Dori Saltzman, News Editor; Jasmine Shaddock, Cruise Critic contributor; and Ashley Kosciolek, Ports & Copy Editor