5 Benefits of Choosing a Longer Cruise

Have you ever finished a 10- or 12-day cruise wishing your vacation could have lasted a little bit longer? Sometimes two-week cruises are too short, and you might not be ready to take the leap and set sail on a 180-day Around the World journey just yet. Enter our beautiful Extended Journeys and Grand Voyages, ranging from 17 days all the way up to 116 days. In this category, there is something for everyone – whether you are looking for a long snowbird-style break from the chilly winter or you’ve always wanted to explore a particular part of Europe, South America or Asia in greater depth.

Spotlight Voyage: Sirena’s Epic Encounters

For example, on our spectacular Miami to Miami Epic Encounters voyage departing June of 2018, you can explore Europe for more than two leisurely and incredible months without taking a transatlantic flight. This special journey brings you the best of Spain, the French and Italian Rivieras, the Greek Isles and the Holy Land minus jet lag. Add relaxing sea days and tranquil calls on Bermuda to perfectly bookend your experience and you have one truly unforgettable journey aboard the luxurious and intimate Sirena.

Read on for some the most alluring benefits of taking a longer cruise like this one.

  1. Unpack once, and the world is yours.

    You only have to unpack once and you get to see as much of the world as you want – 14 cities, 5 countries; the best of Northern Europe, around the tip of South America, Southeast Asia in-depth. The choice is yours.

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  2. More “you time.”

    Traveling overland to see as much of the world that you can on an extended journey requires extra planning and energy. When you’re in transit on your extended journey, you can be sipping a cocktail poolside, attending a guest lecture, at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub®, joining a wine tasting – or simply napping in the sun.

    Oceanai Cruises You Time.jpg

  3. Full advantage of the onboard amenities.

    When was the last time you had a chance to do everything you wanted on board? From the Canyon Ranch SpaClub treatments and daily games and competitions such as trivia to the exciting nightly entertainment options, longer voyages give you the chance to really take it all in.

  4. The Finest Cuisine at Sea™.

    More days on board mean you finally have time to more fully enjoy our unrivaled cuisine. You’ll have time for an elegant breakfast at the Grand Dining Room if you like, or afternoon tea more than once or twice. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to make reservations for a special dinner at Privée or try a wine pairing dinner at La Reserve by Wine Spectator – now you’ll finally have time for it all.

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  5. The camaraderie and personal service.

    You know that feeling towards the end of the cruise when you keep bumping into new friends and familiar faces, and all of the staff knows your name and how you prefer things? It doesn’t have to end so soon.

Inspired? Start planning your dream Grand Voyage or Extended Journey now.

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Carnival Horizon to Feature New Aft-View Extended Balcony Family Harbor Staterooms, Additional Havana Cabins


Carnival Horizon will introduce a new stateroom category for the line – aft-view extended balcony cabins located within the exclusive Family Harbor area. Additionally, the 133,500-ton vessel will offer an additional 18 tropics-inspired staterooms within the popular Havana section.

Like the other 86 staterooms within Family Harbor, the new aft-view extended balcony cabins will feature a colorful nautical theme and will be located adjacent to the Family Harbor Lounge, designed as the ultimate family hangout with large screen TVs and complimentary breakfast and snacks.

Located aft on Deck 6, 8 and 9, the new Havana staterooms will feature vibrant interiors reminiscent of the Cuban capital and will offer exclusive access to the Havana area which includes its own Cuban-themed bar and pool.

The new accommodations are reflected in Carnival Horizon’s deck plans which can be viewed at https://www.carnival.com/cruise-ships/carnival-horizon.aspx.

Carnival Horizon is scheduled to make its maiden voyage April 2, 2018, with a 13-day Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona – the first of four round-trip departures from this port.  The ship will reposition to the U.S. with a 14-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York May 9-23, 2018.    Following a summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures from the Big Apple, Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami and kick off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018. Carnival Horizon will also offer a special two-day cruise to Nassau from Miami Sept. 20-22, 2018.

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Wind Spirit Soars to New Heights with Major Dry Dock Refresh

Cruise Ship Wind Spirit arrives Devenport New Zeland
Wind Spirit arrives in Devenport, New Zeland.

Wind Spirit underwent extensive renovations recently, traveling from Tahiti to Auckland, New Zealand where it was in the dry dock facility for 12 days. Work was being done continuously on the ship for the entire time it was out of service. By the numbers, it is estimated that:

  • Total work amounted to 48,960 hours of labor
  • 120 contractor specialists including CAN Acrobats
  • 462 square meters of teak installed
  • 200 square meters of new steel installed
  • Usable deck space increased by 215 square feet
  • Close to $ 3 million spent on overall repairs, maintenance and improvements

One of the notable projects undertaken was the removal of a skylight from deck three aft Pool Bar area which reclaimed a good amount of deck space for lounging, dining, local performances and enjoying the deck barbecue as well as the lively dancing that follows. The skylight fed into the Lounge on deck two below but was not a significant source of light due to screens and designs. The ceiling in the Lounge was remodeled as a result with a crisp new look.

Wind Spirit_Dry DockIn the spirit of environmentalism and being good stewards or our resources, as well with a nod to Xanterra, our parent company’s credo of “Travel with a Softer Footprint,” Superintendent Theresa Rasmussen explains how an idea to re-use the outdoor teak decking that was being replaced turned into one of the most interesting and rewarding parts of the dry dock.

“The teak deck boards being replaced from the outside decks were so thick that we were able to cut each into four thinner parts perfect for use as a new floor covering throughout the Lounge,” explained van der Hoeven. “The resulting effect is excellent, a beautiful color stained and protected to showcase the original wood that is native to where the Wind Sprit sails. The project was a win-win all around.”

Wind Spirit cruise ship in dry dock

Another important and visually pleasing project that guests will notice included a new look to the entire outer hull of the ship which was received numerous fresh coats of environmentally-friendly marine paint from bowsprit to stern. Along the water line, previously the underwater paint which is a dark red color and serves to keep extra marking growth off the hull used to be set right next to the crisp white of the upper hull. An additional Boot dop of ocean-hued blue paint has been added between the white and the red paints right at the waterline creating a smooth viewing line that better showcases the beauty of these incredible sailing vessels to our guests and adoring public alike.

Propeller After: Wind Spirit Cruise Ship Propeller


In addition to the projects above numerous other projects were completed with tear-outs, installations and refurbishments touching each are of the ship were completed during the round-the-clock schedule. Other undertaken projects included:

  • Extensive work done on the masts by specialized contractors the 10 CAN Acrobats whose highly skilled workers are adept at working stories high in the air on skyscrapers and large vessels around the world.
  • Removal and installation of steel supporting the decks prior to new teak decking installation.
  • Complete removal, refurbishment, and re-installation of the shaft and propeller.
  • Various cosmetic interior projects throughout the ship from the marina to the bridge and galley, to both crew and guest accommodations and public spaces.


The dock in Auckland being flooded after a very successful dry dock for Windstar Cruises’ Wind Spirit! Our Tahiti guests will enjoy!

Be sure to share the news of all of these recent refurbishments with travel agents, Yacht Club Members, colleagues, and vendors. There is no better way to experience the awe-inspiriting Islands of Tahiti than our gorgeous 148-guest masted sailing yacht MSY Wind Spirit. Sincere thanks and congratulations to the officers, crew, project managers, planners, contractors, and vendors and many others who all had a hand in a completion of this major investment in the ships and Windstar brand.


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A Horse Racing Certainty

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A Horse Racing Certainty

I have been gambling since around the age of sixteen. I see it as a bit of a hobby and really enjoy playing poker and bragg. I go to the casino as often as I can and also love to go to the horse racing and to the greyhounds. This article is a story about when I lost a lot of money on a horse which was supposed to be a racing certainty.

As well as gambling, I love to have a few beers. It was during one of my nights out drinking when I met an old school friend. His name was John and we had not seen each other for around fifteen years. The conversation soon turned to talking about various forms of gambling and we realised that we had very similar interests.

John told me about some of his more profitable days and I responded by talking about some of mine. I must say his seemed far more impressive than what I had ever won. John then told me that he was very good friends with a local trainer and that he had some information that I might be interested in.

This night was becoming more interesting by the hour and I enquired as to what type of information he had. He started talking about a horse which the trainer and its connections thought could not lose. The horse was going to run in ten days time and was of a far higher class than what the other horses in the race would be. The trainer wanted the horse to have an easy victory so that it would gain some confidence from the race.

I told quite a lot of people about this horse over the next few days, this was to be a big mistake, a mistake I will not be repeating in the future.

The big race day arrived and I was very excited. I will not tell you how much I placed on the horse but lets just say it was a lot of money. The odds were five to one and I believed that this was going to be the easiest money I would have ever obtained.

The race in question was a three mile hurdle and with only three fences to go the horse was cruising. It was challenging the long term leader who was fading and being strongly ridden. Approaching the second to last fence the horse took the lead but disaster was to strike, yes it fell at this fence. I could not believe it, the horse would have won if only it could have jumped those last two fences.

These are my horse racing tips, beware there is no such thing as a racing certainty and only gamble what you can afford to lose. Gambling can be lots of fun and you can have some great days and nights out, I now treat it like a hobby and have decreased the amount I bet as I now have a family to support.

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Carnival Adds Variety of Fun Programming for This Summer’s Alaska Season


For this year’s Alaska season, Carnival Cruise Line has introduced a number of fun new activities and programming to make voyages to the Last Frontier even more special and memorable.  Carnival’s 2017 Alaska season kicked off this week and runs through September with seven-day voyages departing from Seattle aboard Carnival Legend.

The new activities include a Frontier Festival deck party with parlor games, ice carving demonstrations and an Alaska-themed photo booth, along with trivia games, the Carnival Gold Bar tower game, and Gold Rush bingo where the winners pan for gold in search of the $ 750 grand prize.

During Creative Cove arts classes, guests can create vibrant canvases featuring Alaska scenes like a whale tail in a moonlit ocean, an abstract of the famous Northern Lights and more.   Many of the activities are hosted by crew members dressed as historical figures from the Gold Rush and Klondike eras.

Carnival Legend will operate 18 Alaska cruises round-trip from the Port of Seattle from May 9 to Aug. 29, 2017.  Port calls on these voyages include the popular Alaskan destinations of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as Victoria, B.C., and cruising Tracy Arm Fjord.   There is also a seven-day voyage departing Seattle Sept. 5 and arriving in Vancouver Sept. 12 with stops at Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan along the way.

Each of these destinations offers a rich history and culture, along with awe-inspiring natural wonders, including calving glaciers, magnificent fjords and native sea and animal life. A wide range of shore excursions – from helicopter flightseeing and rainforest canopy tours to hiking, canoeing and kayaking expeditions – are also available. Carnival Legend also features an on-board naturalist who educates guests on the region’s colorful history and points out animal and marine life from the ship’s bridge.

Carnival Legend is the ideal ship for Alaska, with 80 percent of staterooms featuring an ocean view or balcony along with stunning indoor and outdoor promenades – perfect for viewing the spectacular surroundings.

For additional information and reservations regarding Carnival’s Alaska cruises, visit Carnival.com, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL.

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Nikki and Eileen – Carnival Cruise Lines, Port of Long Beach, California
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