Cruise Tracker: First American Female Captain & More

by  Donna Tunney | Jul 14, 2015

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

Introducing the cruise industry's first American female captain.
When mariner Kate McCue begins serving as captain of Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Summit next month, she'll be making history as the first American female to helm a mega-ship. With 15 years of experience sailing worldwide itineraries and a graduate of the California Maritime Academy, McCue will take 2,158 guests from New Jersey's Cape Liberty on seven-night sailings to Bermuda.
From $629 per person.

A new way to book your cruises:
More from the premium line: Celebrity Cruises has changed how it prices its cruises, based on a perk bundling model. Now applied to all bookings except for inside cabins, the new policy allows passengers to sample four add-ons -- a beverage package, unlimited internet for two, $150 onboard credit, or prepaid gratuities -- though it removes the option of booking an oceanview or higher cabin without these perks. Travelers choose from three fares types (Go Big, Go Better, or Go Best) to enjoy one, two, or four perks.

Jamaican me want to book this new excursion.
How do you like the sound of kicking back for several hours in a private home on Jamaica -- where a secluded beach and rum-infused cocktails await? It's one of a slew of new shore excursions that Carnival Cruise Line has rolled out across its worldwide itineraries. Prices vary, but the line also added free family-friendly activities at its beach destinations, not to mention how youngsters 5 and under get a free excursion in certain ports.

New for your bucket list: This around-the-world cruise.
Luxury line Silversea Cruises' 116-day World Cruise 2017 is one bucket list journey to write home about. Sailing from San Francisco to Monte Carlo aboard the all-suite Silver Whisper, passengers will experience 62 destinations in 25 countries -- including the South Pacific, Bali, mainland China and Hong Kong, India, Abu Dhabi, and capitals of the Mediterranean. And in other Silversea news, the line is building a new 596-guest ship, Silver Muse, launching in spring 2017.
All-inclusive World Cruise fares start at $61,550 per person, based on double occupancy.

Put on your dancing shoes.
The American Queen Steamboat Company just unveiled the details for its Big Band Swing voyages this fall, aboard the 436-guest paddlewheeler American Queen. Taking place September 5-13 from St. Paul to St. Louis, and September 12-20 from St. Louis to St. Paul, the  nine-day Mississippi River voyages include nightly dancing accompanied by the 13-piece Great American Swing Band, onboard lectures from music historians, and special appearances by vocalist Lynn Roberts.
From $1,499 per person,covering port tours, wine and beer with dinner, and other amenities.

Editor's note: American Queen Voyages ceased operations in February of 2024.

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