Historic Honolulu and Hidden Hilo

Synonymous with beauty, adventure, surfing and tropical serenity, Hawaii has long held an allure like no other. More importantly, it is ripe with historical significance as Oahu Island was the scene of one of the most pivotal attacks in United States history.


If you are taking a Regent Seven Seas Cruises voyage in the Pacific aboard Seven Seas Navigator®, the shore excursion Pearl Harbor and City Highlights excursion will be one of the more memorable experiences. The attack on the Pearl Harbor by the Japanese navy on December 7, 1941 signaled the US entrance into World War II and changed the course of history. Some seventy years later, you can still visit the monument and view the wreckage of the sunken USS Arizona, learn about the attack at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and the Punchbowl National Cemetery where you can view the moving “Courts of the Missing,” the final resting place for more than 25,000 soldiers from three wars. You can also tour the USS Missouri Event and board the famed “Mighty Mo” ship where General Douglas MacArthur accepted the official surrender of Japan.


While there, be sure and visit Hawaii’s most populated city, Honolulu (also known as “Sheltered Bay”) the main city of Oahu, offering everything from luxury shopping to water sports (snorkeling and surfing) and scenic hiking jaunts. Or take the Panoramic Honolulu tour via the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle and see Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church and China Town along the way.

Hawaii’s second-largest city, Hilo, is a contrast from Honolulu, offering off the beaten path, hidden gems. Filled with lush greenery, scenic sea cliffs and incredible waterfalls, Hilo has a low-key laid back vibe. The Secrets of Puna tour offers up close and personal look at the area’s natural beauty beginning with a scenic excursion down famed Banyan Drive viewing areas created by volcanic eruptions along the way. And where else can you snorkel in a thermal pond or dine at a macadamia farm?


Hilo also boasts an interesting collection of monkeys, parrots, reptiles and Bengal tigers at the 12-acre Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo and Garden. The city is also known as a survivor of two tsunamis (1946 and 1960, the latter devastating most of the island) and you can learn more at the Pacific Tsunami Museum. For a truly hidden experience, check out Kaumana Caves Park which is free, open 24 hours a day and created by the eruption of the world’s largest volcano in 1880. The Volcanoes National Park Odyssey is another choice excursion, offering a scenic drive on the 11-mile Crater rim followed by a walk on of Hawaii’s natural wonders, the Thurston Lava Tube and a visit to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory.

And last but not least, be sure to catch four of the majestic waterfalls in the rainforest outside of Hilo in the Waterfalls Spectacular tour. It’s truly a one of a kind experience.

View a list of all-inclusive voyages sailing to Hawaii.

Seven Seas Voyager 01
regent seven seas cruises
Image by rob the tog

Find your next luxury cruise at Luxury.TopCruiseFinder.com.

Carnival Horizon To Feature Line’s First Teppanyaki Venue Offering Authentic Delicacies From The Far East


Carnival Cruise Line will introduce its first-ever teppanyaki dining venue when the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon debuts in Europe in spring 2018.

Teppanyaki is a traditional method of Japanese cooking whose name is derived from the combination of the words “teppan” or iron plate with “yaki” meaning grilled or pan-fried.   Teppanyaki combines ancient Japanese cooking techniques with modern performance art to create a feast that is both culinary and visual.

Located on Carnival Horizon’s Promenade Deck, Bonsai Teppanyaki will offer a wide-ranging menu with authentic delicacies from the Far East prepared by highly skilled chefs who will create tantalizing dishes on custom-built stations that form the center of the venue’s two eight-seat tables.

In keeping with Carnival’s atmosphere of spirited and participatory fun, dinner at Bonsai Teppanyaki will be an unforgettable culinary experience with chefs engaging with diners and dazzling them with their amazing knife skills and other performance elements.

“Carnival is all about providing our guests with a wide array of choices and that, of course, includes a seemingly endless array of delicious culinary options,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.  “The new Bonsai Teppanyaki promises to be a wonderful addition to the Carnival Horizon, offering delectable cuisine from the Far East enhanced by show-stopping performances by our talented and engaging chefs,” she added.

At the reservations-recommended restaurant, diners begin their meal with samplings of five tempting appetizers – Miso Soup; Kabuki Salad with Ginger Dressing; Teppanyaki Shrimp with Soy Butter and Salsa Vinaigrette; Pork Belly Yakitori with Sesame Asparagus Fries and Seaweed Salad; and Spicy Tuna on the Rocks with Onion Sesame Sauce and Den Miso.

Guests can then choose from a variety of tantalizing entrees: Lobster Tail with Yuzu Cream and Citrus Kosho; Filet Mignon with Truffle Salt, Garlic Chips and Champagne Cognac Flambé; Teriyaki Salmon with Savory and Sweet Teriyaki Glaze; Black Cod with Soy Reduction; Shrimp with Young Lettuce and Gyukuro Tea; Shichimi Spiced Grilled Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce; and Grilled Tofu with Vegetables, Yaki Udon, and Teriyaki Anticucho Sauce.

Four different combination dinners are available, including filet mignon/shrimp, shrimp/spiced grilled chicken, filet mignon/teriyaki salmon, and filet mignon/lobster tail.  Meals end on a sweet note with a Chocolate Bento Box with Green Tea Ice Cream.

All dishes include fried rice and stir-fried vegetables.  Prices for Bonsai Teppanyaki are on a per-person basis and include all appetizer selections, entrée and dessert.   The restaurant will be open for lunch on sea days and for dinner every night of the cruise.

The new teppanyaki venue will be located within Carnival Horizon’s stand-alone Bonsai Sushi restaurant that will serve traditional sushi, sashimi, rolls and “bento ships” on an a la carte basis.   It’s one of dozens of different dining and beverage venues on board offering a wide range of international cuisines.  These include Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, the Mexican-themed themed BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic tacos and burritos, the 24-hour Pizza Pirate, and the New England-inspired Seafood Shack.

Carnival Horizon will also be the first ship to feature a Dr. Seuss-themed water park as well as a groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, and an IMAX Theatre.

A wide range of accommodations will also be offered, including spa cabins with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-roomy staterooms in Family Harbor, and tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites with exclusive daytime access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

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 that port.  Carnival Horizon will reposition to the U.S. with a 14-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York May 9-23, 2018.

Following its 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.

To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit Carnival.com. For reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL.

Carnival Cruise Line News

Carnival Liberty – Carnival Cruise Lines
carnival cruise lines
Image by TDelCoro

Book your dream cruise at TopCruiseFinder.com.


Guests aboard the Northwest Passage voyage have seen numerous breathtaking views along their journey thus far, although today’s view may exceed all others. Crystal Serenity’s own Captain Birger J. Vorland – an accomplished photographer with a keen eye, in addition to his maritime expertise – captured images of one of the Arctic’s most majestic creatures: a large polar bear roaming the ice.

A polar bear roams the ice as Crystal Serenity cruises Larsen Strait (Photo: Capt. Birger J. Vorland)

Also on the docket for today: transit of Victoria Strait, which carries some majesty of its own, as explained by expedition team member Russell Potter…

VICTORIA STRAIT, whose name reflects the monarch under whose reign the Northwest Passage was most ardently sought, has played many roles in the history of Arctic exploration. For Sir John Franklin, who likely reached it via the deceptively clear channel of Peel Sound, it was a rude awakening – from the northwest, down what would later be named the McClintok Channel, came a heavy floe of bergs and multi-year ice, within which Franklin’s ships would be trapped for more than two years. It was here, on June 11th, 1847 that Franklin died on board HMS “Erebus”; in less than a year – the following April – the crews left their ships behind.

They then sledged, or trudged, five leagues to land, arriving at a point known as “Crozier’s Landing” after the man who was now in command, Francis Crozier.  Crozier sent men to Victory Point where, the previous season, a party from the ships had left an optimistic note. Now, a somber addendum recounted Franklin’s death, along with 8 other officers and 15 men; the plan, it seemed, was to head to the Back River. Whether this was for hunting and resupply, or (as was long assumed) to ascend that river for 600 miles to reach the trading posts on the Great Slave Lake, has never been clear. We now know that it’s quite possible that one or both ships were later re-manned, as they survived the narrowing of the Victoria Strait and made it through – for a short time at least – to the other side.

After several seasons of searching the area where Inuit evidence pointed, Parks Canada and its partners decided that in 2014 they would shift their attention back to where the ships were last known to be – and thus was born the Victoria Strait Expedition. And yet, once again, the ice took a leading role: there was too much loose ice in the strait for the search to proceed; the ships turned back to the area the Inuit knew as Utjulik, where they had seen a ship founder and sink. And there, in September, she revealed herself on the side-scan screen to Parks archaeologist Ryan Harris, who famously exclaimed “That’s it! That’s it!”

Russell Potter – Expedition Team 

Near the end of the day, in true Crystal Cruises fashion, a musical team was sent to serenade us from a zodiac. Guests – and the hard-working crew – also spent much of the day aboard Zodiacs, enjoying ice floe navigation with the expedition leaders.

Crystal Serenity guests were serenaded from a Zodiac among the ice floes in Victoria Strait on Tuesday, August 29. (Photo: John Stoll, VP of land programs).



Find your dream luxury cruise at Luxury.TopCruiseFinder.com.

Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation and Chairman Micky Arison’s Family Foundation to Donate $2 Million to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Carnival Cruise Line, and its parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation are pledging a minimum of $ 2 million to relief and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2004.

Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation, are each donating $ 500,000 to Harvey disaster relief efforts, for a total donation of $ 1 million from the company. Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine are matching the corporation’s commitment with a $ 1 million donation from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.

To help generate additional relief funds, cruise guests sailing on certain Carnival Cruise Line cruises will have the option to make a donation when they check in for their cruise, while the corporation’s brands and employees will be participating as well.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and all of us throughout the Carnival Corporation family feel a responsibility to do our part in supporting relief and rebuilding efforts in a region that we call home and where so many of our guests and business partners live and work,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are very committed to the Gulf Coast as a vibrant and special part of the North American cruise industry, and our commitment will remain as strong as ever during the region’s recovery process. We know this storm is still active, so we will continue to hold positive thoughts for everyone in the region while exploring ways to support affected communities as they recover and rebuild.”

Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Corporation are working together with emergency response authorities, community leaders, and key relief and recovery organizations to identify the most urgent needs and immediate allocations for the donated funds. The donation will be used to maximize positive impacts on recovery efforts and support on-the-ground teams that are distributing emergency supplies and aiding rebuilding efforts targeting the most affected families in the region.

Carnival Corporation’s support will help relief and recovery organizations provide families with access to food, shelter, water, hygiene products, general necessities, medicines and healthcare supplies as they begin the relief and recovery process after initial life-saving and well-being needs are met.

About Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line, part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®” with 25 ships operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Two 133,500-ton Vista class ships are currently scheduled for delivery – Carnival Horizon in 2018 and an as-yet-unnamed vessel in 2019. Additionally, two new 180,000-ton ships are scheduled to enter service in 2020 and 2022.

Carnival Corporation & plc
Carnival Corporation & plc is the world’s largest leisure travel company and among the most profitable and financially strong in the cruise and vacation industries, with a portfolio of 10 dynamic brands that include nine of the world’s leading cruise lines. With operations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, its portfolio features Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK), as well as Fathom, the corporation’s immersion and enrichment experience brand.

Together, these brands operate 103 ships with 231,000 lower berths visiting over 700 ports around the world, with 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2018 and 2022. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only dual listed company in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.

In 2017, Fast Company recognized Carnival Corporation as being among the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” in both the design and travel categories. Fast Company specifically recognized Carnival Corporation for its work in developing Ocean Medallion™, a high-tech wearable device that enables the world’s first interactive guest experience platform capable of transforming vacation travel into a highly personalized and elevated level of customized service.

Additional information can be found on www.carnival.com, www.fathom.org, www.hollandamerica.com, www.princess.com, www.seabourn.com, www.aida.de, www.costacruise.com, www.cunard.com, www.pocruises.com.au, and www.pocruises.com.

Carnival Cruise Line News

Shower – Carnival Cruise Ship Paradise
carnival cruise lines
Image by jshyun

Find your next cruise at TopCruiseFinder.com.

What is Wet Landings on a Cruise?

Windstar allows guests to get closer to the world by often sailing to remote ports for untouched natural beauty. Some of these ports require a wet landing, which is an active and mobile adventure. However, you will always also have the option to stay aboard the ship and enjoy the luxurious onboard amenities.



Windstar utilizes Zodiacs, rugged inflatable boats designed to take guests safely to remote ports with no docks. A wet landing consists of boarding a Zodiac from a floating dock on the yacht and riding it from the ship to the shore. Once you reach the beach, you will disembark directly in the water.

“A Windstar Cruises wet landing means two things: You’re going to be exploring an exotic place where few other cruise ships have ever roamed. And you need to pack a pair of waterproof shoes. Preferably several.” – Carolyn Spencer Brown Cruise Critic Editor in Chief.




To prepare for the wet landing, make sure you bring water shoes, water socks, etc. to help you walk in the water and sand. Some landing sites may have rocky bottoms. You will most likely get wet, so be conscientious of your attire. You may also want to bring a ziplock or watertight bag for your phone and camera to keep them dry.

After disembarking, adventures await on shore!


Where Windstar Cruises has Wet Landings?

Windstar Cruises uses Zodiacs to bring guests ashore in Costa Rican ports of Isla Parida, Puerto Jimenez, and Bahia Herradura (if dock is not available). In French Polynesia, only Motu Mahaea (Taha’s) is a wet landing.

Please call our Vacation Planners at 1-800-258-7245 or your Travel Agent if you have more questions.


The post What is Wet Landings on a Cruise? appeared first on Windstar Cruises – A Luxury Cruise Blog.

Windstar Cruises – A Luxury Cruise Blog

Book your dream luxury cruise at Luxury.TopCruiseFinder.com.