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On Crystal Serenity, Cruising with Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s New President

Posted by on April 22, 2014

Listen In: Crystal’s New President and COO talks about new concepts in cuisine on Crystal and the service culture that makes the luxury line so successful

Edie Rodriguez

Edie Rodriguez, new president and COO of Crystal Cruises. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

In episode #4 of The Avid Cruiser Audio Podcasts, I interview Edie Rodriguez. Edie is the new president and COO of Crystal Cruises. I’ve known Edie for a number of years, including during her recent tenure at Azamara Club Cruises.

Dondra Ritzenthaler Talks About Celebrity Suite Class In Our Avid Cruiser Audio Podcast

Posted by on April 15, 2014
Celebrity Suite Class

Dondra Ritzenthaler, Celebrity Cruises’ senior vice president of sales and trade support for the North America market, the UK market and the Asia market.

Celebrity Suite Class

We learn more about this new class of service in our interview with Dondra Ritzenthaler

Celebrity Cruises recently announced a brand-new class of service, and it’s aimed at cruisers who would normally sail with traditional luxury brands. Dubbed “Celebrity Suite Class,” the line’s newest class of service is designed deliver an all-new level of pampering to guests staying in the line’s highest-ranking suites.

Silversea Expeditions: Tap Your Inner Explorer, An Interview With The Expedition Leader

Posted by on April 11, 2014

Silversea Russia Far East

In March of 2014, I flew to Singapore to cover the christening of Silversea Expeditions’ third expedition vessel, Silver Discoverer. While on board Silver Discoverer (only for an overnight), I was fortunate to sit down with Conrad Combrink, the  friendly and knowledgeable director of expedition planning and strategic development for Silversea Expeditions. You can listen to the interview  in the player below. I hope you enjoy the 10-minute conversation.

Seabourn’s Smaller Ports: Feature Video

Posted by on April 8, 2014
 

 

Transcript: One of the things that I like about ships of the size that Seabourn operates is that they’re large enough to have all the activities you could ever want, and yet they’re small enough to visit both marquee destinations and small ports of call that larger ships often can’t visit.

Today, for example, we’re in Saint-Tropez. A lot of the guests are off touring the town that Bridget Bardot put on the international map and others are on an excursion to Port Grimaud, which is a little like Venice here in the south of France.

Uniworld’s S.S. Catherine: Ship of Elegance

Posted by on April 1, 2014
Retractable windows, S.S. Catherine

Room with a view: Opened wide on this beautiful day in the south of France, my retractable window in stateroom 326 on Uniworld’s S.S. Catherine. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

I thought I had cruised Uniworld before. I had not. It is true that I had been on a vessel with the Uniworld name emblazoned on it, the River Empress. But that was in 2008. That Uniworld and the Uniworld I am experiencing this week are, well, Uniworlds apart.

Bay Area’s Cruise Specialists Preparing for Luxury-Focused Inspection of Queen Victoria

Posted by on March 27, 2014

Cunard_InsideCabin2Balcony_EmailAs Cunard Line’s celebrated Queen Victoria sails into the Port of San Francisco on March 31, 2014, ten representatives from the Bay Area and Seattle offices of Cruise Specialists – America’s leading world cruise travel agency – will be provided a rare tour of the ship to conduct inspections of the luxury suites where their most discerning clients frequently stay. Additionally, Cruise Specialists is using the opportunity to welcome 50 clients who have been sailing on the Queen Victoria either as part of a full world cruise or who are completing an exclusive “Boomerang Voyage” that the agency arranged for passengers who boarded in Australia.

16 More Viking Longships, A Second Guinness World Record, One Spectacular Day

Posted by on March 21, 2014
Streamers explode over guests as Viking River Cruises welcomes an additional 16 vessels to the fleet. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Streamers explode over guests as Viking River Cruises welcomes an additional 16 vessels to the fleet. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

This week, my colleague Aaron Saunders and I traveled to France for the christening of 16 Viking River Cruises vessels. Aaron’s report follows.

Today was one of the most deeply moving days I have ever experienced in my lifetime, as we bore witness to the christening of Viking River Cruises striking Viking Longships, 14 of which will set sail this year and two of which were introduced into service last summer.

Your Alaska Questions Answered, Plus Our 2014 Alaska Guide

Posted by on March 7, 2014
September Alaska Fall Foliage

It’s not too late to begin planning your Alaska cruise. © Ralph Grizzle

You’d think with all of the cold weather sweeping across North America that cruisers’ thoughts would be on any place but Alaska. Nonetheless, we’ve had a slew of emails asking us for advice about cruising The Great Land.

Tauck Unveils New Loft Staterooms

Posted by on February 27, 2014

Tauck has just released the first photographs of the new innovative multi-level “loft” staterooms found aboard its new Inspiration-class river cruise vessels, ms Inspire and ms Savor. In addition, the line also reiterated its new beverage policy for 2014, offering up unlimited beer, wine and spirits throughout the day aboard all of Tauck’s river cruise ships. In years past, Tauck had offered unlimited wine and beer with onboard meals only.

Feature Video: Sampling Local Wines With Seabourn’s Sommelier

Posted by on February 25, 2014
 

 

Video Transcript

One of the fun things to do on Seabourn is to try the complimentary local wines. And to do that, I’m with Philippe, the head sommelier on Seabourn Quest, and we’re going to head out into Mykonos and find some wines, right?

Philippe: I’m sure we’re going to find some very local wines, right from this place – very popular [wines], to give the experience to our guests.

Ralph: Let’s go.