Cruise Tracker: An Un-Cruise Sale, Plus Weddings & Jazz at Sea

by  Donna Tunney | Feb 11, 2015
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 cruise ship
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 cruise ship / Photo courtesy of the cruise line

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every week for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Un-Cruise Adventures -- whose 22-to-88-passenger ships have unbeatable access to smaller ports -- has rolled out a sale on new bookings on select 2015 voyages in Hawaii, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, the Columbia and Snake rivers, Alaska, coastal Washington, and British Columbia.  The trip includes all adventure activities and excursions in its fares. A weeklong Hawaiian Islands voyage, for example, offers savings of $400 per couple on departures through March, and from November to December coming out to $3,595 per person. Deals must be booked by March 27.

MSC Cruises is catching up with its competitors when it comes to weddings at sea. The line's MSC Divina, which sails the Caribbean and Europe, is the first of the fleet to offer weddings onboard or shoreside at a port of call. (Other cruise lines, such as Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, have been part of the growing trend for years.) MSC Cruises’ event planners handle the details of planning the wedding, including a ceremony coordinator for the big day, and couples can choose from various music, flowers, and food and beverage packages.

Jazz lovers, we’ve found the cruise for you. Cunard and Blue Note Records will bring the Blue Note 75th Anniversary All Star Band onboard the Queen Mary 2, for its New York-to-Southampton sailing this October 29. Blue Note president Don Was, musician and former producer for the Rolling Stones, will participate in Q&A sessions on the voyage, and more Blue Note jazz performances are planned for 2016. Fares on the October voyage start at $1,498 per person.

Never been on a cruise ship before? You can now get an in-depth look with Travel Channel's Samantha Brown. Her new partnership with Carnival Cruise Line features a five-part video series on the Carnival Breeze, covering topics like choosing an itinerary, what costs extra, and even what to pack.

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