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News & Notes

August 2019

New Royal Amplified® Features on Allure of the Seas®

Allure of the Seas will be receiving a grand renovation in 2020 as it becomes one of the six Royal Caribbean ships to be Amplified. The renovation, which will bring the ship to the standards of the two newer ships, Harmony® and Symphony®, is set to have its post-renovation debut on May 10, 2020. Spring and Summer 2020 sailings will depart from Barcelona on a 7-Night Western Mediterranean cruise, visiting Palma De Mallorca, Provence, Florence/Pisa, Rome, and Names/Capri, while Winter 2020 and Spring 2021 sailings will be available to Eastern and Western Caribbean destinations, once the ship moves to Miami, Florida.

As the biggest and most innovative ship sailing Europe, guests will not only experience the historic must-see cities along the Mediterranean, but also the 7 unique neighborhoods onboard the newly renovated ship.


New Amplified Features: Ultimate AbyssSM; The Perfect StormSM; Splashaway BaySM, Adventure Ocean & Teen Space; Laser Tag – Clash for the Crystal City; Royal Escape RoomSMApollo 18: Lunar Landing

Adding to the already innovative features onboard, Allure of the Seas is now bolder than ever. With reimagined spaces – Adventure Ocean, Glow-in-the-dark laser tag, and Royal Escape Room – and 2 thrilling new waterslides – Ultimate Abyss and The Perfect Storm – children and adults alike can fill their days with excitement and adventure onboard the Amplified Allure of the Seas.


New Amplified Features: Music Hall; SpotlightSM Karaoke; The Lime & CoconutSM; PlaymakersSM Sports Bar & Arcade; Bionic Bar

The newly Amplified Allure of the Seas will be home to not only the most bars of any ship sailing the seas, but the best bars of the entire Royal Caribbean fleet. The new Amplified features include the Bionic Bar – with robotic bartenders, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – where beer flight samples are available, The Lime & Coconut – cool new cocktails, Spotlight Karaoke, and Music Hall – live music by the best cover bands at sea.


New Amplified Features: Giovanni’sSM Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar; Portside BBQSM; El Loco FreshSM; Sugar BeachSM

Revel in a dining experience like no other onboard the Amplified Allure of the Seas. Enjoy the completely reimagined Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar – offering wood-fired pizzas and a charcuterie station, choose from a meat-packed menu at Portside BBQ, indulge in delectable Mexican cuisine at El Loco French, or satisfy your sweet tooth at the kid-approved Sugar Beach.

What are you waiting for? Contact your Vacation Consultant today and book your next grand adventure on the newly Amplified Allure of the Seas!

Riviera River Cruises Adds New Seine, Danube Itineraries for 2020

Riviera River Cruises is adding two new itineraries on the Seine and Danube Rivers in 2020. These exciting additions, on top of their already impressive collection of itineraries, allow cruisers more options to explore Europe along two iconic rivers.

“We’re excited to offer these new itineraries on the Seine and Danube Rivers to guests in 2020,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ Vice President Sales and Marketing North America. “At Riviera River Cruises, our itineraries are balanced with insightful excursions led by experts who bring history and culture to life, as well as time to allow guests to explore destinations at a relaxing pace. Join us as we meander through the French countryside and past chalk cliffs, and visit the medieval cities and towns of Austria and Germany.”


7-Night Seine, Paris & Normandy River Cruise

Beginning in the heart of Paris, cruise past the sweeping bends and dramatic cliffs of France’s Seine Valley as you sail into historic Normandy. Visit the ruins of Richard the Lionheart’s Chateau Gaillard in Les Andelys, explore the picturesque harbor of Honfleur, and discover Monet’s home in Giverny. Tour the medieval city of Rouen, the D-Day landing site at Omaha Beach, the Normandy American Cemetery, and iconic Paris sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, The Louvre, and more.

  • Sailing Dates: April – October 2020
  • Ports of Call: Paris, Les Andelys; Rouen; Bayeux and Arromanches; Honfleur, Giberny and Vernon 

7-Night Vienna, Bohemia & the Treasures of the Danube River Cruise

Cruise from the Austrian capital to the former Roman garrison of Regensburg, Germany with this voyage into the Czech Republic and scenic Bohemia. Visit Krems and the hilltop Gottweig Abbey, explore Passau and site of the former Cistercian monastery at Aldersbach, and tour the former Habsburg palaces of Hofburg and Schonbrunn in Vienna. Take it all in as you traverse the winding streets and elegant squares of Regensburg, and the majestic Cesky Krumlov castle overlooking the Vltava River.

  • Sailing Dates: April – September 2020
  • Ports of Call: Vienna, Krems, Passau and Aldersbach; Regensburg; Linz Or Český Krumlov 

Riviera River Cruises

Riviera River Cruises, the United Kingdom’s leading river cruise operator, has the youngest fleet sailing in Europe – 13 ships all 6 years old or younger. Their award-winning cruises come equipped with spacious cabins and suites, impeccable culinary experiences featuring regional specialties, and expert-led excursions. Offering 15 itineraries (17 in 2020) on 10 rivers and waterways, Riviera guarantees exceptional value at incredible prices. Plus, Riviera also offers select itineraries for solo travelers with no single supplements!

Contact your Vacation Consultant today to book your next Riviera River Cruise!

Victory Cruise Lines’ New 2020 Shore Excursions

Following an announcement of six new itineraries for 2020 onboard the M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II, Victory Cruise Lines unveiled a new and exciting lineup of shore excursions. Allowing guests the opportunity to further explore each destination along the way, their goal is to deliver authentic, cultural experiences that highlight the novelty of each coastal destination. Plus, guests will have the opportunity to select from several premium shore excursion upgrades!


Great Lakes

Cleveland, Ohio

Known as America’s “North Coast,” Cleveland features a wide variety of cultural attractions amidst the city’s cool, revitalized atmosphere. Explore the world-class Cleveland Museum of Art or enjoy a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Plus, available as a premium experience, get a glimpse into a simpler way of life with a visit to an Amish home for a traditional wedding feast in Geauga County.

Detroit, Michigan

Welcome to the Motor City where guests can explore the captivating history of America’s automotive industry. A visit to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is available as an optional premium excursion and will delight any auto-aficionado with its vast and varied artifacts collection. All guests may choose from included excursions to the Detroit Institute of Arts and its staggering 100-plus galleries, the Motown Museum, the West Canfield Historic District, and much more!

Other excursion ports include: Sault Ste. Marie; Muskegon, Michigan; Mackinac Island; Green Bay

New England

Bar Harbor, Maine

Explore the Acadia National Park and Sand Beach on a scenic excursion where guests can experience the unparalleled and diverse beauty of the region – from its pink granite landscape, to its towering evergreens. Plus, for the adventure seekers, the premium excursion includes a scenic flight Over Acadia National Park!

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

The coastal town that served as the original inspiration for Anne of Green Gables is as breathtaking as it is iconic. The premium excursion invites guests to tour the original farmhouse that inspired L.M. Montgomery’s famous 1908 novel. Along the way, guests will learn about the history of the area with stops at the fishing village North Rustico, Cavendish Beach, and the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company.

Other excursion ports include: Portland, Maine



Montreal is the epitome of metropolitan sophistication. Explore local boutiques, galleries, museums, churches, restaurants, and more as you stroll the picturesque streets of Montreal. Guests can opt for the premium excursion which will take them to Sucrerie de la Montagne – a traditional sugar shack in the heart of Mont Rigaud.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Falls is three waterfalls that straddle the border between Canada and the United States of America and is an impressive collection of waterfalls to even the most discerned travelers. A premium excursion is also available to guests to get closer to the falls on the famed Hornblower boat tour, including a ride up to the top of the Skylon Tower to take in the 360-degree view of the area.

Other excursion ports include: Quebec City, Quebec; Little Current, Manitoulin Island; Halifax, Nova Scotia

What are you waiting for? Contact your Vacation Consultant to book your exciting Victoria Cruise Lines journey!

7-Night Eclectic Cruise with Celestyal Cruises

Explore the wonders of Turkey and Greece with Celestyal Cruises on their 7-night Eclectic Aegean Cruise. This cruise, which departs from picturesque Piraeus, makes stops in Turkey (Istanbul and Çanakkale) and Greece (Volos, Heraklion, Santorini, and Mykonos), with overnights in Istanbul and Mykonos.

Piraeus, Greece

Start and end your trip from the largest port in the Mediterranean. Take in the sunrise or sunset as you walk the sun-soaked promenade, enjoy Greek delicacies at al-fresco cafes and bars, or shop to your hearts content at one of the many stores along this seaside port.

Istanbul, Turkey

Stradling the borders of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is one of the most coveted cities in the world. Rich in history, culture, and beauty, the largest city in Turkey was once the capital of both the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire. With two days to explore Istanbul, be sure to visit some of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites including The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia Museum.

Çanakkale, Turkey

Visit the city that lies at the narrowest point on the coast of the Dardanelles, strategically joining Europe and Asia. See for yourself how contemporary history comes to life in this vibrant city filled with ancient ruins and breathtaking vistas. A trip to the ancient city of Troy is a must for those visiting Çanakkale – view the iconic wooden Trojan horse which was part of one of the greatest battles in Greek mythology (the Trojan War).

Volos, Greece  

Lying at the foot of majestic Mount Pelion, Volos is one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. Explore the many picturesque restaurants with delightful seafood, gaze at the grandeur of the city’s architecture, or visit Pelion – home of the mythical Centaurs.

Heraklion, Greece

Take in the magnificent walls of Koules Fortress as you sail into the capital of Crete – Greece’s largest island. Heraklion is one of the Mediterranean region’s most fascinating and vibrant cities filled with lively nightlife, world-class museums, and golden beaches.

Santorini, Greece

Easily one of the most recognizable places around the world, Santorini is as breathtaking as it is iconic. From its striking cliffs, to its whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, there is quite possibly no city in the world as magical as Santorini.

Mykonos, Greece

Basking in year-round sunshine, Mykonos is a lively town that flaunts rugged rocky landscapes and smooth sandy beaches. Known as the Ibiza of Greece, Mykonos is home to massive dance clubs and thrilling night life. 

About Celestyal Cruises

A voyage with Celestyal Cruises allows guests to experience the highest standards of hospitality and comfort, all while enjoying each ships’ unique character and intimate atmosphere. Celestyal’s two ships are home to spacious staterooms and suites, elegant restaurants, bars, and lounges, revitalizing spas and fitness centers, and much more! Enjoy your home away from home on your next Celestyal voyage through the breathtaking cities of Europe.

Don’t miss out – contact your Vacation Consultant to book your next cruise with Celestyal Cruises!

Escape and Explore with Apple Vacations


Apple Vacations has rightfully earned its title as one of the leading names in all-inclusive vacations. Whether its Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Central America, or South America, every Apple Vacations package includes roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations, and in-resort transfers. Plus, guests who book an all-inclusive resort will have all meals, drinks, entertainment, and tips included in their Apple Vacations package.

Mexico and the Caribbean

Feel the soft white sand between yours toes and breathe in the fresh sea air as you stroll along the pristine beaches of Mexico and the Caribbean. With some of the best all-inclusive hotels along the Caribbean Sea, a vacation to Mexico or the Caribbean is a must for those seeking sun, sand, and relaxation.


Hawaii is a collection of six breathtaking main islands filled with intriguing history, unique culture, exquisite delicacies, and iconic landscape. From the active volcanoes on the “Big Island” to the crystal-clear waters on the beaches of Maui, each island has its own undeniable charm and beauty. Experience a beautiful contrast between modern and ancient living in Oahu, hike 10,000 foot volcanoes in Maui, or enjoy an outdoor playground in Kauai as you take up kayaking, paddle boarding, or zip lining!

Central and South America

Explore the magical landscapes and rich history of Central and South America. From Nicaragua – a paradise known for its pristine beaches, vibrant night life, and mountainous coffee farms, to Colombia – the only country in South America with coasts on two oceans, there is so much to see and do that you’ll be planning your second vacation to Central and South America before you’ve completed your first.

Sit back and relax as every detail is taken care of before your vacation even begins. Plus, with competitively priced packages at exceptional value, you’ll be glad you booked your next adventure with Apple Vacations.

Contact your Vacation Consultant today to book your getaway with Apple Vacations and enjoy the benefits of a true all-inclusive experience.

Irish Castle Stays with CIE Tours

Enjoy a fairy-tale experience as you spend the night in the same halls where royals once slept! It’s one thing to explore and roam ancient castles, but it’s an entirely different experience to share the same sleeping corridors as the great monarchs of the past. Several tours in the CIE Tours collection feature overnight castle stays that will appeal to fans of history, romance, and fantasy alike!


7-Night Irish Heritage & Dromoland Castle Tour

Beginning in Limerick at the 13th century King John’s Castle, guests learn Norman history with costumed guides and 21st century technology, followed by a medieval-style banquet at Knappogue or Bunratty Castle. Next, head to the Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, and Ross Castle’s 15th-century ruins.  After a visit to the famous Blarney Castle, guests continue to the House of Waterford Crystal and the monastic site of Glendalough, then spend a day exploring Dublin. The tour ends with a visit to The Irish National Stud and a night at Dromoland Castle.

11-Night Irish Odyssey        

A stay at the 1760 Cabra Castle Hotel in Kingscourt culminates an epic journey that takes guests from Dublin through the southern and western coasts and up through Northern Ireland, before returning to the capital city. Along the way, guests explore historic sites from Kilmainham Gaol to Kylemore Abbey, Titanic Belfast and the Neolithic tombs at Newgrange, plus spectacular natural wonders from the Cliffs of Moher to the Giant’s Causeway. This itinerary also includes a stop at the world-famous Blarney Castle.

9-Night Irish Supreme

The most luxurious offering in the CIE Tours collection begins in Dublin with a Trinity College Tour and visit to the 9th-century Book of Kells. Next is a visit to mystical Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains followed by the Irish National Stud, House of Waterford Crystal, and a sail to Spike Island – home to a 6th-century monastery and 18th-century star fort. Ireland’s castle legacy enters the tour with visits to Blarney Castle and Killarney’s Ross Castle. Other highlights include the Atlantic Irish Seaweed Walk in Kerry, a sheep herding demonstration on the Dingle Peninsula, the Cliffs of Moher, a working goat farm visit, and the medieval old town of Limerick. For castle lovers, the trip’s highlight is a night at Dromoland Castle.


As one of the premier operators for Irish and British vacations, CIE Tours has 87 years of experience in booking extraordinary vacations. Their tours and staff exemplify the best of Irish hospitality with warmth, approachability, natural storytelling, and immersion in local culture. With the success of the past few years, CIE Tours has expanded their destination offerings to include tours in Italy, Iceland, and Europe, in addition to their existing Irish and British tours.

Don’t miss out – contact your Vacation Consultant to book your fairy-tale castle stay with CIE Tours.

Experience River Cruising Onboard CrosiEurope Cruises

CroisiEurope, a leader in European river cruises, welcomes nearly 200,000 passengers yearly aboard its 50 boats that crisscross the rivers of Europe and the World.  A family-run business, fiercely attached to its independence, has held its high position among river cruise companies for three generations. Nowadays, the company is known throughout the world from its home port in Strasbourg, where it was founded in 1976.

Their state of the art, top level barges and ships can carry 22 to 200 passengers on board. The French canal barges with just 22 passengers offers an intimate space with charm and travel at a slower pace. In Southeast Asia and South Africa, they offer the same quality tinged with exoticism.

Plus, everything on board invites passengers to relax. At CroisiEurope the warm and caring family spirit makes all the difference. Welcome to their world of navigation with experienced crews that are smiling, discreet, and always present as we cruise to the most beautiful destinations in the world.

CroisiEurope is considered the most important European ship owner in the river category. Their range of destinations and being the largest and most nuanced distinguishes them in the market. Their programs on rivers, seas and canals, allow you to discover the most beautiful historic, artistic and architectural treasures of the world, many which are classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The tourist aspect is not the only criterion used when preparing a new itinerary. CrosiEurope also takes into account the particular tastes of their customers. From their desire to combine idleness and hobbies, gastronomy & culture, visits to major cities & small corners of paradise, as well as visiting several countries at once.

With CroisiEurope Cruises ranging from 2 to 16 days, there are plenty of choices to experience an unforgettable getaway with an experienced and globally recognized company.

Don’t miss out – contact your Vacation Consultant today to learn more about setting sail on board CrosiEurope Cruises, the leader in river cruising!

Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Is Reversing the Tide

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