Four New Cruise Ships Launching Spring 2018

You may have heard that millenials are killing off the cruise vacation, but cruises are only growing in popularity. In fact, the estimated number of cruise ship passengers in 2018 is expected to increase by over a million. This large growth is only possible because the cruise lines continue building more and larger ships. A total of 13 new cruise ships will start sailing in 2018 with 2 of them sailing this week.

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Carnival Horizon

Skyride Attraction On-Board Carnival Horizon

The Carnival Horizon was the first major new cruise ship to set sail in 2018. She was delivered to Carnival on March 28th and started her inaugural sailing on April 2nd. The Horizon will go on 4 Mediterranean cruises before re-positioning to New York for the summer. On September 22nd she will move to Miami and run 6 and 8 night Caribbean cruises. The Horizon is Carnival Cruise Line’s 26th ship and second largest, behind only her sister ship, the Vista.

Carnival Horizon Quick Facts
  • Inaugural Sailing: April 2, 2018 – 13 Night Europe from Barcelona
  • Decks: 15
  • Passengers: 3,954
  • Gross Tons: 133,500
  • Notable Features: IMAX Theater
    Dr. Seuss Water Park
    SkyRide – Suspended bike above the top deck

If you are ready to book a cabin on board the Carnival Horizon, drop us a note and we’d be happy to start helping you plan.

Why you Should Stay at an All-Inclusive Resort

Private Pool area at the Chic Mansion in Punta Cana

The world is a stressful place; the last thing you need is a stress filled vacation. Stress can’t necessarily be completely avoided, but one vacation that promises to minimize your stress is staying at an All-Inclusive resort. All-Inclusive resorts are certainly not for everybody. They are typically one of the least adventurous types of vacations you can take. In fact, when staying at an All-Inclusive resort you never even have to leave the property if you don’t want. Still, the number of US travelers who stay at an All-Inclusive resort is on the rise. According to PhoCusWright, in 2010 8% of all US travelers stayed at an All-Inclusive resort. In 2012 that number rose to 14%.

So why are All-Inclusive resorts gaining in popularity? I believe it is because people are finally starting to see past the old misconceptions. The fact is, there is an All-Inclusive resort option for every kind of traveler. And as an added bonus, with an All-Inclusive resort there is no second guessing your budget. Unless you choose to go off-site or get a spa treatment, you will know upfront exactly how much your vacation will cost. And here at Adventures With Anthony, we can easily package your resort and airfare into a single purchase, saving you even more.

Newly constructed Royalton Bavaro has a lazy river and a FlowRider surf simulator
All-Inclusive resort packages are cheaper than you might think

When you figure in all the various costs of any vacation, an All-Inclusive resort can become an excellent deal. When you book an All-Inclusive resort through us, the price includes round-trip airfare, transportation to and from the airport, and the resort itself. At the resort all of your meals and drinks are included, as well as a number of on-site activities. Price can vary based on location, time of year, and specific resort, but it is not unheard of for a 4 night package to be as low as $500 per person from select US cities.

Even if you aren’t lucky enough to snag one of these special deals, the regular price of our packages are extremely reasonable. For example, a 6 night package in a 4 and a half star resort from Salt Lake City to Punta Cana in August is only $1,239 per person. That’s $2,478 for two people to fly internationally, spend 6 nights in a suite, and have all meals and drinks included. If you were to book this trip separately, the airfare alone would cost $1,594. That is for the same exact JetBlue flight included in the package. The resort itself, the Grand Palladium Bavaro, starts at $239.70 per night. That’s a total of $1,438.20 for the entire 6 night stay. The transfer from Punta Cana airport to the resort would normally cost an additional $20 per person. That puts the grand total of the vacation when purchased piecemeal at $3,072, almost $600 more than booking one of our packages.

Even when compared to a more traditional hotel, the value of an All-Inclusive stands out. A typical 4-star hotel will run around $100-150 per night. Lunch at a fast food restaurant for 2 can be around $20-30, and dinner for 2 can range from $60 to well over $100. Alcohol is harder to budget, depending on your personal habits, but two cocktails or glasses of wine with dinner could easily add another $25. That would mean on the low end you could spend $180 per day on food and lodging, up to $300 or more. For this same 6 night vacation, avoiding an all-inclusive would cost between $2,674 and $3,394.

You aren’t trapped at the resort
Chichen Itza, one of the world wonders, is only 4 hours away from Cozumel

While many resorts have plenty of activities to keep you occupied, you are free to explore if you want. It will cost extra, but you can book transportation to local sights or even book an off-site excursion. Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic offers trips to Saona Island, snorkel and scuba trips, a canopy zipline, and the famous Coco Bongo nightlife experience. Cozumel is close to 6 different Mayan ruins, including Chichen Itza which was recently named as a world wonder. You can book these excursions in advance, although I would personally recommend waiting until you arrive at the resort. That way you will have a better idea of how much time, if any, you want to spend away from the resort.

There is a resort for everyone

When many people hear All-Inclusive, their mind tends to jump to a couples retreat. A romantic getaway to a Sandals or a Beaches resort. Something expensive and reserved for a very special occasion. Your honeymoon or a milestone anniversary, perhaps. That, however, is just one type of All-Inclusive resort. There are also resorts that cater more towards the hard partying Spring Break crowd. There are elegant, 5-star resorts with fine dining and private golf courses. If you are traveling with kids, there are family friendly resorts complete with an entire on-site water park. There is even a Nickelodeon Resort in Punta Cana, and a second one under construction in Riviera Maya.

AquaNick at the Nickelodeon Resort is a great escape for families

It doesn’t matter if you want an adults only or a family friendly resort. One that has less than 100 rooms or more than 1,000. Budget or extravagant. Reach out and we will be happy to help find the perfect resort for you.

Being a Tsunami Ready Traveler

This past Tuesday evening, a large underwater earthquake happened off the coast of Honduras. This earthquake led to the Tsunami Warning Center issuing a tsunami advisory for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. While many people are familiar with hurricane season and some of the risks involved, tsunamis are less common. As a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador, we would like to make sure you are prepared and safe, no matter what mother nature may throw your way. Read on for information about these rare events and additional resources so you can be a tsunami ready traveler.

Tsunami Information

What is a Tsunami?

When most people hear tsunami they initially think of a single massive wave that’s hundreds of feet tall. This visualization of a tsunami is popular in Hollywood for dramatic effect, but in real life such mega tsunamis are exceedingly rare. A tsunami is simply a series of waves caused by a large and sudden displacement of water in the ocean. Usually, this displacement is caused by an earthquake near the ocean floor, but anything that causes a sudden and large movement of water can trigger a tsunami. Other potential triggers include landslides, volcanic eruptions, explosions, and asteroid or meteor strikes.

Most tsunami waves are less than 10 feet tall when they reach land. This may sound minor, but the waves come in a series and often move at 20-30 miles per hour when they hit land. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock over an adult, and 2 feet of water can carry away most vehicles. Also important is the fact that tsunamis can be filled with a variety of debris. Unlike the typical wind driven waves seen at beaches, tsunami waves have no face and do not curl and break. Instead they are like a wall of water, carrying with it debris from the ocean, as well as debris from the land that washed back with a previous wave.

When and where do tsunamis strike?

Unlike other events, tsunamis do not conform to a typical “season” or region. A tsunami can strike any ocean coast and can even travel up rivers that feed into the ocean. The good news is that tsunamis are exceedingly rare. On average, two tsunamis hit land near their source per year. Approximately once every five years there will be a “distant” tsunami, or a tsunami that makes land fall more than 600 miles away from the source.

Since local tsunamis are more common than distant tsunamis, and earthquakes are the most common tsunami cause, the highest risk will be coastal communities that are near an active fault line. Earthquakes are hard to predict, but it is a good idea to know if you are traveling to an earthquake prone area. Most importantly, however, is to understand and respect the potential power of a tsunami. Don’t ignore them just because they are rare, and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security if you hear that the expected waves will only be a few feet high.

Understanding Tsunami Alerts

Tsunami Alert information courtesy of NOAA

The Tsunami Warning Center issues three different levels of tsunami alerts. In order of severity these are watches, advisories, and warnings. Any of these alerts can be downgraded, upgraded, or cancelled as more information becomes available, so it is important to stay tuned for any updates.

Tsunami Watch

A tsunami watch means that there is the possibility of a distant tsunami. Typically with a distant tsunami, you will have a lead time of at least an hour, but you should be prepared to take action if you are near a coast. There is no need to evacuate at this point, but you should definitely listen for more information, and be ready to evacuate if it becomes necessary.

Tsunami Advisory

At this level, a tsunami is either expected or is already occurring. With an advisory there is the potential for strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or near the water. Flooding of the immediate beach and harbor area is possible. If you are in an area under a tsunami advisory it is important that you get out of the water and stay out until given the all clear. Even if there are no visible waves, strong currents and sudden tides can cause drowning. There is also a risk of debris in the water that can cause serious injuries. You should move away from the beach and harbor area until local officials give the all clear.

Tsunami Warning

If you are placed under a tsunami warning you should move to high ground or far inland. A tsunami warning is issued when there is a tsunami that is expected to cause widespread flooding. A large tsunami can cause significant flooding more than a mile away from the water. This flooding and dangerous currents can last for hours or days, so it is crucial to listen to local officials. Stay away from the water and coastal areas until the warning is lifted. There is no way to tell visually if another wave is coming or not.

Resources to Become Tsunami Ready

US Tsunami Warning System http://tsunami.gov/
NWS Tsunami Safety Information http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/Tsunami/index.html
International Tsunami Information Center http://itic.ioc-unesco.org/index.php

Cocktails from Around the World

Traveling the world can give you a wide variety of unique experiences. While many of these experiences can come home with you only in the form of memories and photographs, there are some experiences that you can recreate from the comfort of your home. Food and drinks from around the world can be an excellent way to relive past adventures or have a mini adventure right at home. We’ve gathered up 5 of the best cocktails from around the world that you can enjoy no matter where you are.

Singapore Sling

Singapore Sling Cocktail
Singapore Sling from Santosa | Courtesy Wikipedia

The Singapore Sling is a gin and cherry mixed drink that was invented in the early 1900s at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The exact original recipe is lost to time, but is generally agreed to be comprised of gin, cherry liqueur, and orange, pineapple, and lime juices. The modern recipe varies at various venues across Singapore, but the standard ingredients of gin, cherry liqeur, and pineapple juice always stay the same. If you want to try your hand at it, the official recipe from the International Bartenders Association is below.

  • 2 Parts Gin
  • 1 Part Cherry Liqeur or Cherry Brandy
  • ½ Part Benedictine
  • ½ Part Cointreau
  • 1 Part Lime Juice
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • 8 Parts Pineapple Juice

Combine all ingredients and mix with ice. Strain and serve straight up in a highball or hurricane glass. Garnish with cherry and pineapple.

Royal Caribbean 2019/2020 Deployment

** UPDATE ** – Royal Caribbean has made some changes to the schedules for Empress, Enchantment, Majesty, and Vision. See the updates here.

Royal Caribbean just announced the first half of their 2019/2020 deployment and there are some BIG changes in store. Today’s announcement includes the deployment for Caribbean, Alaskan, Northeast, and select European cruises. You will be able to book these cruises starting next week, and reserving early often gets the best deal. Royal Caribbean will announce the remaining cruises, including Asia, Australia, and the rest of Europe, next spring. We are very excited with the information that has already been released, and are looking forward to more details.

Caribbean Cruises

The Pitons on Saint Lucia

As their name implies, the majority of Royal Caribbean’s offerings are in the Caribbean. They are sending 13 of their 25 ships to the Caribbean for the summer of 2019 into 2020. The cruises will range from 3 to 8 nights and visit Mexico, the Bahamas, and Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean islands. You will also have a lot of options, with cruises leaving from Galveston, three ports in Florida, Boston, Baltimore, Newark, and San Juan.

Short Caribbean Adventures

If you are new to cruising or are just looking for a short trip, Royal Caribbean has you covered. The Navigator of the Seas and the brand new Symphony of the Seas will both be making 3 and 4 night cruises to the Bahamas from Miami. Also leaving from Florida, the fully reimagined Mariner of the Seas will be making the same cruise from Orlando. For something a little different, you can also take the Enchantment of the Seas from Galveston, Texas. The Enchantment will be making 4 and 5 night trips to Mexico and the Western Caribbean. These shorter itineraries will be available for bookings starting the week of November 20th.

7 Night Caribbean Adventures

A main staple among cruise lines, 7 night cruises are a great way to get the full cruise experience when you don’t have a lot of time. All four of the Oasis Class of ships – Oasis, Allure, Harmony, and Symphony – will be based in Florida. Both Oasis and Symphony will be departing from Miami on alternating Eastern and Western itineraries. The Allure of the Seas will be moving to Fort Lauderdale, and Harmony will go to Port Canaveral/Orlando. They will both also be alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings. In addition to the Florida offerings, Liberty of the Seas will be taking 7 night Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston, Texas.

If you want something a little more exotic, the Freedom of the Seas will be departing San Juan, Puerto Rico for the Southern Caribbean. Our own very first cruise was on this itinerary. The Southern itineraries tend to have more ports than their Eastern and Western alternatives. So, if you like visiting as many places as possible, this might be the perfect cruise for you. These will be the first cruises available to be booked, with reservations opening the week of November 13th.

The Streets of Old San Juan
East Coast to Bermuda

There are also a variety of options to visit the Caribbean from the east coast. The Anthem of the Seas will continue sailing from Cape Liberty, New Jersey on 5 night cruises to the Bahamas and 9 night cruises to the Caribbean. Also at Cape Liberty is the Adventure of the Seas, offering 8 night cruises to Bermuda and the Bahamas. In the fall of 2019, the Serenade of the Seas will offer some 7 night cruises to Bermuda from Boston, while the Grandeur of the Seas will alternate 5 and 9 night Bermuda/Bahamas cruises from Baltimore, Maryland. These will all be available starting the week of December 4th.

Canada and New England

Burntcoat Head Park – Nova Scotia

All of the ships from the East Coast above will also be offering summer cruises to New England and Canada. Typically, these ships will alternate itineraries, going to Bermuda one week and Canada the next. Adventure of the Seas out of Cape Liberty will offer both the longest and the shortest of these itineraries to Canada. In the summer Adventure will be taking 5 night cruises to Canada and New England, while in the fall she will offer 10 and 11 night cruises. These longer cruises are one way trips; going from Cape Liberty to Quebec City on one cruise, and then returning on the next. Currently, this is the only itinerary Royal Caribbean is offering that visits Quebec City.

The Anthem of the Seas will also be visiting Canada and New England from Cape Liberty. This is a cruise we have done before, and visits Boston, Bar Harbor, Portland, New Brunswick, and Halifax. This cruise will be 9 nights long and will only be available during the fall months. The Anthem is a Quantum Class ship and has a lot of the big amenities that make Royal Caribbean so much fun to sail. The Serenade of the Seas will be offering a similar, 7 night option. Since the Serenade leaves from Boston it is able to complete the remainder of the itinerary faster than the Anthem. The Serenade is also a slightly smaller ship, and as such may be a better option for some cruisers.

Finally, the Grandeur of the Seas is your only option for sailing to Canada and New England in the summer months. Sailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Grandeur will be making 9 night cruises up the eastern coast. All of these options will become available for bookings starting December 4th.

Europe and the Mediterranean

Mediterranean

There are some big changes in store for European cruises. Royal Caribbean is adding a brand new port, Portofino, Italy, to select European cruise itineraries. This stop is currently scheduled to be added to the 7 night Mediterranean cruise on the Brilliance of the Seas. This will be running only during the fall months, leaving from Barcelona, Spain. During the summer, the Brilliance will be sailing out of Amsterdam on 10 night cruises to the Iberian Peninsula and 12 nights to the Baltics.

Aside from the Brilliance, the Oasis of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will also be sailing from Barcelona. The Oasis will be sailing 7 night Western Mediterranean cruises in the summer before repositioning to Miami. The Vision will be alternating 12 night Mediterranean itineraries, switching between visiting the Greek Isles and Venice.

If you would rather start your trip in Venice, the Rhapsody of the Seas will be leaving from there. The Rhapsody will sail alternating 7 night cruises; one to the Greek Isles and one to Greece and Croatia. The Greece and Croatia route will have brand new ports that Royal Caribbean ships have never visited before. The exact ports which are new to this itinerary have not been identified yet, but should be announced by the beginning of December. Also leaving from Italy will be the Jewel of the Seas. The Jewel will be going on 7 and 9 night cruises to the Greek Isles and Western Mediterranean from Rome.

Scandanavia and Russia

The last ship that is scheduled for summer European sailings is the Serenade of the Seas. The Serenade will spend the summer in Copenhagen before transitioning across the Atlantic for fall in Canada and New England. While in Copenhagen the Serenade will be going on 7 night cruises, alternating between the Norwegian Fjords one week and Russia the next. The first round of European sailings will be available for booking starting December 11th.

Alaska

Alaska is going to have some really exciting changes for 2019. The Radiance of the Seas will return once again to complete the open jaw 7 night cruises through the Inside Passage. The Radiance has been a staple ship in Alaska for several years, and is one of our favorite cruises. We have actually taken the Southbound Alaska cruise on the Radiance twice. This cruise goes from Seward Alaska to Vancouver, Canada and then back the next week, visiting Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, and the Hubbard Glacier.

The big change for 2019 is the Ovation of the Seas will be replacing the Explorer of the Seas for Alaska glacier cruises. The Ovation is a Quantum Class ship and is much larger than the typical ships which sail to Alaska. The Ovation also has the North Star Observation platform, which promises some outstanding views of wild Alaska. It will be ported in Seattle, Washington, and will take 7 night, round trip cruises. The current itineraries that the Explorer takes visit Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Victoria, British Columbia. Royal Caribbean has not yet confirmed if Ovation will be following the same route, just that it will go on Alaska cruises from Seattle. Both Alaska cruises will be available starting December 11th.

North Star Observation Pod

Plan a Cruise

The initial deployment schedule looks very promising, and we are very excited to see what details will come out over the next month. While 2019 and 2020 seem fairly far away, the nature of cruises often means the earlier you can book the better price you will get. Reach out today to find your perfect cruise. Don’t forget, we offer a lowest price guarantee. If a better deal is available after you book until final payment, we will get you the lower price.

Royal Caribbean 2019-2020 Deployment