Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip…
Carnival Cruise Line has beefed up its optional, all-inclusive CHEERS! Beverage program. Those who pay upfront for their drinks can now indulge in cocktails, cognacs, specialty whiskeys, and other spirits costing up to $50 (previously the price cutoff was $10). The "Fun Ship" line has also added a bunch of new non-alcoholic beverage choices including Zero-proof frozen cocktails and Honest Tea. Purchase the plan before your cruise for $49.95 per person, per day, plus gratuities (wait until you get onboard and it'll cost you more).
How clever of Conde Nast to ask Oscar winners if they'd ever cruise, and how fun the responses. Ron Howard and Mark Wahlberg said they have cruised and so did Jennifer Hudson (who early in her career worked as a singer on a Disney ship). Patricia Clarkson is thinking Alaska on a small ship and Goldie Hawn thinks cruises are a "great idea." Quentin Tarantino? Well, you probably won't run into him on a cruise ship.
Norwegian Cruise Line passengers love their Brat Pack movies. This April, the line is moving its musical tribute to the films of John Hughes to the main theater on Norwegian Escape (the show has been in a small dinner theater). A musical version of "Legally Blonde" was less of a hit on Norwegian Getaway and is going bye-bye.
For those who like to travel on water to get underwater, Australian line Aurora Expeditions is now offering cruisers polar snorkeling excursions in the Arctic. Yes, it's cold (though you do wear a dry suit) and costs a pretty penny: $975 plus your cruise fare.