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.
Calling all Trekkies!
Get ready to beam aboard the official Star Trek: The Cruise with William Shatner (aka Captain James T. Kirk) and a "crew" of celebrity actors from the iconic science fiction brand. The six-night voyage on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Pearl features performances, comedy shows and concerts by Star Trek stars like Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Picardo, James Darren, Denise Crosby, and John de Lancie -- in addition to themed parties, screenings, interactive games, and more. The cruise sails roundtrip from Miami on January 9, 2017, and visits Cozumel, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.
From $975 per person, based on double occupancy.
When Crystal River Cruises debuts its first of two luxury river yachts in spring of 2017, they're not going to be your typical river ship. Cruisers will enjoy walk-in closets, king-size beds, double vanities, and other uncommon amenities . Each yacht will have 70 suites, including two 500-square-foot penthouses suites.
Itineraries and fares TBD; bookings open December 1.
Choose your own luxury:
Next May, guests on Royal Caribbean International's Oasis- and Quantum-class ships will be able to select one of three accommodation options in a new "Royal Suite Class," each with a range of luxury amenities and services like premium bath products, butlers, complimentary Internet, and access to an exclusive dining venue. They'll roll out first on Anthem of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas, before expanding to the two new ships launching next spring.
All social media all the time.
Carnival Cruise Line's low-cost social media internet package, which piloted earlier this year, is expanding to all of the Fun Ships starting in early 2016. The $5 per day plan enables cruisers to use popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. In other mobile news, its Carnival HUB mobile app, which provides guests with a chat function and onboard information, will also roll out fleetwide by next summer.
For the foodies:
Can't get enough of Oceania Cruises' culinary-focused vacations at sea? The decadent experience pioneered by French Master Chef Jacques Pepin onboard is now getting an extension, with Oceania launching two- and three-night culinary land tours next spring. In Tuscany, for instance, tour guests can participate in a hands-on cooking class at Villa Pandolfini, an estate dating back to the 1200s.
From $1,399 per person (in addition to the cruise fare).