Windstar Unveils New ‘Unexpected’ Advertisement Campaign

We’re taking travelers in a different direction with the launch of an intriguing new marketing campaign that introduces a brand evolution for our award-winning small ship cruise line. The new ad campaign emphasizes our specialty in creating vacation experiences that are 180 degrees from ordinary. The novel advertising campaign titled “Unexpected” and debuting this fall, complements recently released 2018 Voyage Collection brochure highlighting how 2018 will be nothing short of adventurous — with 49 new cruise itineraries and an astonishing 148 maiden ports of call. From the eye-catching brochure cover to the handy “sailings at a glance” section, the piece conveys to travelers what makes a small ship cruise vacation with Windstar stand out.

 

“Windstar goes to great lengths to surprise our guests with special moments and memories that last a lifetime. I’m excited to show off our new ad campaign and marketing materials that shine a light on the unexpected delights that travelers encounter on a Windstar cruise,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “We’re doing things differently from other cruise lines and giving guests distinctive stories to share. We’re now telling the Windstar story with more flare and audacity than before — with our new brochure and ads we’re giving consumers a more visual way to conceptualize what an experience on Windstar is really like.”

~ Windstar President John Delaney

Windstar’s Marketing Goes Unexpected

Windstar’s new marketing evolution and “Unexpected” advertising campaign captures the extraordinary aspects of cruising the Windstar way — with imprints of exotic, off-the-charted-course ports of call and unforgettable experiences showcased in an inventive ad campaign. New unexpected imagery is prominently featured in the 2018 Voyage Collection brochure that divulges noteworthy brand differences like personalized service with a 1.5 to 1 guest to crew ratio; exceptional culinary experiences as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation; a welcoming culture; and elegant ships that turn heads in every harbor. Advertising icon Ron Elgin, founder of Elgin/DDB, the original conceptor of Windstar’s time-tested tagline “180 degrees from ordinary,” stated:

“The evolution of the Windstar brand is an opportunity to feature a vibrant and immersive travel campaign from a more playful and savvy cruise line, opening up the traveler mindset to new adventures and their eyes to fresh perspectives.”

~ Ron Elgin

 

Unexpected_Windstar_CruisesThe brand’s new marketing campaign will soon pop in fashionable travel magazines and online media. The Unexpected print campaign launches in late September with bold new first-person perspective photography, displaying goats in trees and other unexpected imagery. The fresh look to the ads and accompanying headlines and copy evolves Windstar’s brand message, speaking to the active travelers thirst for first hand, authentic and active experiences. The Unexpected campaign goes digital in October, with prominent placement on Windstar’s website, on social media and in digital advertising.

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A tour de force of Pacific Northwest creativity, the Unexpected campaign was developed by the cruise line’s Marketing team along with the Seattle-based advertising and branding agency Wax Exp in consort with the brand strategy company, Red Tango, also of Seattle. The creative team traveled to souks, bazaars and beaches in Morocco and Italy’s chic Riviera for active seaside paddling adventures and unexpected shoreside excursions like camel riding, capturing experiences that real Windstar guests can actually do on a small ship cruise.

Unexpected Sweepstakes on Facebook

Windstar will launch an “Unexpected Windstar Sweepstakes” that will run on social media in October, designated by the cruise travel industry as “Plan a Cruise Month.” Unexpected Windstar Sweepstakes entrants will learn about Windstar’s upscale cruise experience through taking a fun “fact or fiction” quiz for the chance to win a suite for two aboard Star Breeze on the 10-day Island Gems of Spain & Portugal cruise sailing round trip from Lisbon on November 18, 2018; the cruise visits Agadir, Morocco where the Unexpected ad campaign was shot. For more information on the sweepstakes and how to enter, visit Windstar’s social media channels and website in early October.

What’s Unexpected in the New 2018 Voyage Collection Brochure?

The 2018 Voyage Collection brochures are being mailed to the homes of Yacht Club Members, Windstar’s loyalty/past guest program. Travelers will be treated to a vivid depiction of how the small cruise ship sets itself apart from other luxury, boutique and expedition cruise lines, including Windstar’s ability to get travelers as close as possible to authentic and immersive experiences in each and every destination, with one-of-a-kind adventures, as well as unparalleled onboard service and intimate yet luxurious settings found on all of their remarkable vessels. The 2018 Voyage Collection is available for viewing and download, and consumers can request a brochure to be mailed to their home, all on the Windstar website.

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Windstar’s 2018 brochure features far-flung ports and interesting itineraries designed by a hands-on staff of travel and cruise experts including ship’s captains. Cruisers will marvel at 12 newly-developed Mediterranean voyages discovering the breadth of the region from the unspoiled charm of Puglia, Italy to exploring the UNESCO wonders in Spain, Croatia, Greece and beyond. Travelers will be drawn to 28 brand new journeys throughout Asia featuring visits to the world’s most exotic beaches and offering one-of-a-kind shore excursions such as Ko Kut Treepod Dining in an ancient tropical rainforest. Introducing a return to the expansive waterways of Alaska in 2018 the ship will sail under Vancouver’s classic Lion’s Gate Bridge heading north to Alaska by way of the historic Inside Passage while exploring rural ports and inlets like Misty and Kenai Fjords, Endicott and Tracy Arms, Metlakatla, Icy Strait Point, Wrangell, Haines and Prince Rupert. Offering 11 diverse cruises from 11- to 27 days, guests can enjoy small ship luxury in balcony suites and expedition-style experiences while cruising along picturesque coastlines.

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The 2018 brochure also introduces first-ever Windstar sailings to Canada and New England, with show-stopper port cities like New York City, Boston, and Montreal mixed with quaint fishing harbors such as Bar Harbor and Rockland with sailings timed to take perfect advantage of crisp autumn weather and changing colors. Exceptional sailings across Northern Europe expand to include new round trip Edinburgh cruises, a sail up the River Thames to London, calls at remote Scottish Isles, popular Iceland circumnavigations, fascinating Norwegian fjords, the remote Arctic Circle, and timeless Baltic Sea journeys – all beautifully suited to exploration by small ship. In addition, perennial cruise favorites like year-round Tahiti and Tuamotu Islands, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Caribbean and Ocean Crossings beckon warm water lovers. Popular Star Collector voyages combine back-to-back sailings and offer guests more time to explore (with free laundry) on longer journeys.

When You Go

To learn more about authentic small ship cruising with Windstar, contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718, or visit www.windstarcruises.com.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Georgia Resident Terry Riley Wins 10th Annual Carnival PokerPro Challenge Aboard Carnival Dream, Awarded $75,000 Grand Prize

 

Terry Riley of Forsyth, Ga., is the winner of Carnival Cruise Line’s 10th annual PokerPro Challenge held recently on Carnival Dream, capturing the top prize of $ 75,000 cash. Riley beat out more than 500 other entrants on board who competed in a series of Texas Hold’em card games utilizing state-of-the-art electronic PokerPro tables from Jackpot Digital.

In addition to the cash prize, Riley received a commemorative winner’s bracelet and, as the 10th anniversary winner, was awarded a coveted seat, including the $ 10,000 buy-in, at the World Series of Poker Main Event, the largest and most prestigious poker tournaments in the world, all courtesy of Carnival

Riley said that winning the PokerPro Challenge was a highlight of his poker-playing career and that earning a spot in the World Series of Poker fulfilled a lifetime dream.  “Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that I would win one of the largest casino tournaments at sea and earn a spot at the WSOP to compete with the best poker players in a world,” he said.

“On behalf of Carnival Corporation, we’d like to extend our congratulations to Terry for his exciting win and let him know we’re rooting for him in the WSOP.  We’d also like to thank our friends at Jackpot Digital for their outstanding partnership to pull off an event of this magnitude.” Stated Marty Goldman, Carnival’s senior vice president of global casino operations

Jackpot Digital President and CEO Jake Kalpakian added, “We are very happy with the success of the 10th annual PokerPro Challenge, and we are looking forward to the tournament next year with our partners at Carnival. Congratulations to Mr. Riley, and best of luck at the WSOP Main Event!”

To be eligible for the tournament, more than 3,500 players participated in satellite tournaments over the past year held aboard Carnival ships. Each satellite winner took home first prize of up to $ 1,000 and earned a seat in the Grand Final Tournament aboard Carnival Dream.   Over the past decade, Carnival has awarded more than $ 1.7 million in winnings for the PokerPro Challenge.

The next Grand Final of the Carnival PokerPro Challenge is scheduled for August 2018 aboard Carnival Breeze.

Carnival Cruise Line News

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Positano, The Jewel of the Amalfi Coast

From the very first glance of the colorful houses that cascade down the wisteria and bougainvillea filled hillside, you know you are somewhere special.  Aptly called the “Jewel of the Amalfi Coast,” the popular Mediterranean seaside resort of Positano has captivated everyone from the Swiss-German Expressionist artist Paul Klee to author John Steinbeck who once wrote, “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” The glamorous town is immortalized on celluloid in the films Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) and the 1994 Robert Downey Jr. comedy Only You.

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Words do not do this idyllic resort justice, and it truly has to be seen to be believed. Magnificent views abound, making it one of Italy’s most photogenic towns. The narrow winding roads, filled with “not for the faint of heart” drops, watchtowers, Vespa’s and the occasional herd of sheep, only add to Amalfi’s ambiance.

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A day in Positano poses many possibilities. Located in the heart of the town and a block from the beach, a visit to the Church of Santa Maria is a must. Speaking of beaches, the stretch known as Spiaggia Grande is filled with restaurants and bars and always lively. Be sure to shop for classic jewel encrusted custom sandals made by local artisans (Artigianato Rallo is a favorite), hand-painted ceramics or take home a watercolor or two of the picturesque seaside. Sample the area’s favorite beverage Limoncello and a Positano pizza at one of the many scenic outdoor cafes. And for the adventurer, hike the Path of the Gods (aka “Senriro degli Dei”) that encompasses five miles of hiking trails with dramatic views of the Amalfi Coast and Capri.

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If you are sailing the Mediterranean aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises® and would like a more personalized tour, take the Beautiful Positano & Amalfi excursion that includes a visit to the 9th-century church St. Andrews Cathedral and leisure time to shop the boutiques, sample the local wine and take in the spectacular views.  A boat ride through the interior of the famed Emerald Grotto where stalactites and stalagmites form columns, figures and shapes and contribute to the water’s incredible green hue is on every traveler’s to-do list. While you are on the Amalfi Coast, visit another one of the area’s incredible towns, Ravello.  Scenic Ravello offers a visit to Villa Rufulo, a stunning Moorish-influenced 13th-century villa and overlooks Piazza Vescovado, the cultural center of the town. Personal time can be spent walking the cobblestone streets of the medieval village with a visit to the Duomo cathedral. And for a personalized experience at your own pace, see the sights via the Executive Collection with a private minibus, van or car complete with an English-speaking guide.

At the end of the day, you will never want to utter the words “Ciao Amalfi.”

View our all-inclusive voyages that visit stunning Amalfi.


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CARIBBEAN UPDATE: Impact on 2017 Caribbean Cruise Itineraries

As you may be aware, a few islands in the eastern Caribbean recently suffered damage due to hurricanes. Ports in the Bahamas and on western and southern Caribbean sailings had minimal or no impact, including our private island, Half Moon Cay. The majority of ports in the eastern Caribbean are open for business and currently welcoming cruise ship guests. There is no better show of support for the Caribbean and the people than to continue to visit.

Following is a list of cruises departing through the end of 2017. If a port change was necessary, it is indicated below. If noted as “No Changes,” the cruise is scheduled to call at the ports originally planned. Please note that 2018 itineraries are being evaluated and an update will be provided October 5.

List updated September 26, 2017:</em>

October 18, 2017, Koningsdam 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with Antigua; cancel St. Thomas, replace with St. Lucia. Port Order changes.
October 28, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean: Cancel Grand Turk, replace with Nassau
October 29, 2017, Koningsdam 10-Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer: No Changes
November 4, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 7-Day Tropical Caribbean: No Changes
November 4, 2017, Oosterdam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean: No Changes
November 4, 2017, Rotterdam 15-Day Southern Caribbean: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Kitts
November 4, 2017, Rotterdam 22-Day Southern / Western Caribbean: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Kitts
November 5, 2017, Zuiderdam 10-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer: No Changes
November 8, 2017, Koningsdam 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Croix
November 11, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean: No Changes
November 11, 2017, Oosterdam 6-Day Western Caribbean: No Changes
November 12, 2017, Eurodam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Croix
November 15, 2017, Zuiderdam 11-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer: No Changes
November 18, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 7-Day Tropical Caribbean: No Changes
November 18, 2017, Prinsendam 30-Day Amazon Explorer: Cancel Cruz Bay, St. John’s, replace with San Juan; cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Kitts; cancel Dominica, replace with Martinique
November 19, 2017, Eurodam 7-Day Western Caribbean: No Changes
November 19, 2017, Koningsdam 10-Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer: No Changes
November 19, 2017, Rotterdam 7-Day Western Caribbean: No Changes
November 25, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean: No Changes
November 26, 2017, Eurodam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Croix
November 26, 2017, Rotterdam 7-Day Western Caribbean: No Changes
November 26, 2017, Rotterdam 21-Day Western / Southern Caribbean: No Changes
November 26, 2017, Zuiderdam 10-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer: No Changes
November 29, 2017, Koningsdam 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Croix
December 2, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 4-Day Bahamas: No Changes
December 3, 2017, Eurodam 7-Day Western Caribbean: No Changes
December 3, 2017, Rotterdam 14-Day Southern Caribbean: No Changes
December 3, 2017, Rotterdam 21-Day Southern / Western Caribbean: No Changes
December 6, 2017, Zuiderdam 11-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer: No Changes
December 8, 2017, Veendam 14-Day Southern Caribbean: Cancel Tortola, replace with St. Croix; cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Kitts
December 10, 2017, Eurodam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Croix
December 10, 2017, Koningsdam 10-Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer: No Changes
December 17, 2017, Eurodam 7-Day Western Caribbean: No Changes
December 17, 2017, Rotterdam 7-Day Western Caribbean: No Changes
December 17, 2017, Zuiderdam 10-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer Holiday: No Changes
December 18, 2017, Prinsendam 16-Day Caribbean Holiday: Cancel Tortola, replace with St. Croix
December 20, 2017, Koningsdam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Holiday: No Changes
December 20, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 3-Day Bahamas: No Changes
December 22, 2017, Veendam 12-Day Cuban Explorer Holiday: No Changes
December 22, 2017, Westerdam 7-Day Tropical Caribbean Holiday: No Changes
December 23, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 7-Day Western Caribbean Holiday: No Changes
December 24, 2017, Eurodam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Holiday: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Croix
December 24, 2017, Rotterdam 7-Day Western Caribbean Holiday: No Changes
December 27, 2017, Koningsdam 7-Day Western Caribbean Holiday: No Changes
December 27, 2017, Zuiderdam 11-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer Holiday: No Changes
December 29, 2017, Westerdam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Holiday: No Changes
December 30, 2017, Nieuw Amsterdam 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Holiday: Cancel St. Maarten, replace with St. Croix
December 31, 2017, Eurodam 7-Day Tropical Caribbean Holiday: No Changes
December 31, 2017, Rotterdam 7-Day Western Caribbean Holiday: No Changes

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Are there any Holland America Line ships in the Caribbean at the moment?
There are no Holland America Line ships in the Caribbean until mid-October.

Will cruises be cancelled?
We will not be cancelling any Caribbean cruises at this time.

Will my itinerary be changed?
For 2017 guests, if there is a change to the itinerary it is noted above. 2018 itineraries are being evaluated and an update will be provided on October 5.

Are you still going to San Juan, Puerto Rico?
Our first scheduled call at San Juan is not until October 31. At this time is impossible for us to predict whether they will be ready to receive ship calls by then.

We always prefer to retain our published ports of call whenever possible. The decision to make a call will be based on information from local authorities, port officials and tour operators to ensure we can deliver a safe and positive guest experience.

Should San Juan not be ready to receive guests, we will make that change closer to the cruise departure dates, and booked guests and their agents would be notified.

Will our insurance cover us if we cancel?
Each insurance policy is different, as a result guests should speak directly to their travel insurance provider.

What if I have booked EXC Tours in cancelled ports, will these be cancelled?
EXC Tours booked for a cancelled port of call will be automatically refunded back to the original form of payment. EXC Tours for our new ports of call will soon be available to book on our website.

Can I bring items to donate on board?
As it requires infrastructure to receive and distribute supplies and the needs at the islands vary, the organizations responding to the rebuilding efforts are requesting monetary donations. Donations will be accepted onboard.

Our thoughts are with all of those who have been affected. We are actively working to support recovery efforts as part of a larger initiative by our parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc. For guests interested in donating to the affected communities, monetary donations will be accepted onboard.

For more information about the affected Caribbean itineraries, please visit the Holland America Official Caribbean Update page. Please check this page prior to your cruise in case of any changes.

We look forward to welcoming you on board.

Holland America Blog

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Dispatches from Crystal Symphony’s Evolution: Week 1

Crystal Symphony arrives in Bremerhaven.

Crystal Symphony’s Cruise Director Shane Morley has his hands full, which is nothing new for the master of entertainment aboard this beautiful ship. Except currently, he is not juggling daily schedules of performances, destination spotlights, enrichment briefings and all things otherwise entertaining. He is up to his shoulder epaulets in construction and the carefully managed, but massive, project of Crystal Symphony’s dry redesign, currently underway in Bremerhaven, Germany. Straight from the heart of the action, Shane shares his observations of the progress of her remarkable transformation here on the Crystal Insider.

Our dry dock work kicked off with more than 220 contractors coming aboard to dismantle 66 Deluxe Staterooms with Verandahs. I’m so happy that many of the contents from these rooms (Beds, Mattresses, bedside table, sofas and tables) have been donated to a local charity in Portugal.

Crews begin work transforming verandah staterooms to Penthouses on Deck 9.

On the 20th we sailed across the Bay of Biscay through the English Channel and into Bremerhaven. During this time, all the “covering teams” went to work covering the public areas that are not being refurbished so, that when the dust began to fly, these spaces would stay protected.  We arrived in the afternoon of September 23 and by evening, we were already “high and dry” and connecting to shore power ready to start the enormous evolution of our beautiful ship.

By about 8pm on September 23, the hull inspection was already underway, and it was found to be in excellent condition.  It was eerily quiet in anticipation of all of the major works, from the propeller to the stabilizer, and of course the repainting of the hull with the special paint that keeps everything ship shape underneath the waterline.  Such marine projects can only be completed once the ship is up on the blocks.

Major engineering and deck projects also burst into action the moment we were docked. On Sunday came the influx of contractors. With nearly 500 contractors on board focusing on every facet of the process, the ship is a hub of activity at all times.

The major projects for the first week were the Deck 9 Penthouse conversion and the Deck 11 Trident area, where we are to have the new Silk Kitchen & Bar. Both of these areas will be incredible when finished, but in the meantime, we had to take everything back to the bare bones.

Carpet installation begins aboard Crystal Symphony.

Teams worked around the clock to remove all of the staterooms and lounge areas that are being redesigned, ready to be replaced by the newly imagined spaces.

Of course, all work and no play is not good so the crew has been able to relax in the evening in the impromptu Starlight Club and there has been a tent set up on the Deck 12 forward area of the ship for evening refreshments and social interaction.

Speaking about refreshments, the F& B department should be commended for the wonderful effort that they are making in feeding almost 1000 crew members three meals a day! They are truly doing a wonderful job and the food has been great. The daily procession to the canteen is really a sight to be seen. The bar department is also doing a great job keeping up with the feverish demand for sandwiches and coffee at the morning & afternoon tea breaks.

And the work goes on…stay tuned for more updates from the yard.

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