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Huggies Link For Disney Ships   

Fantasy

For 20 years, Disney and Kimberly-Clark have been in a relationship. Disney gave Kimberly-Clark — primarily a company of paper products — the right to use Disney characters to sell Kleenex, and Huggies diapers, among other things. Well, maybe “gave” is not the right verb but if you’ve seen Mickey and Minnie on your box of tissue papers or diapers, you get the idea.

After two decades, the relationship is entering a new phase. K-C is going to provide products wherever Disney has customers (like theme parks, cruise ships and probably movie sets). Disney is going to give Kimberly-Clark the right to re-brand its baby care centers — they’ll now be called Huggies Centers — on cruise ships and in theme parks, and to sell its products in the centers…once again, “license” might be the right verb.

K-C is also sponsoring Disney’s Junior Live on Stage performances wherever they’re held.

“It really seemed to make sense, as the relationship has evolved, to take the next step,” said a spokesperson from Kimberly-Clark. “It expanded the licensing agreement into an alliance.”

Doesn’t it sound a bit like being engaged for 20 years (licensing agreement) before getting married (alliance)?

Photo: David Roark/Disney photographer

In the news…

• Norwegian Getaway to cruise summer 2017 from Warnemunde, Germany
• Royal Caribbean, WWF (World Wildlife Fund) partner on ocean conservation
• Holland America’s new Koningsdam successfully completes sea trials

Today at portsandbows.comAmaWaterways ramps up excursions


Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
4 nights
April 11, 2016
Miami (return): Nassau, CocoCay
Inside: $289
Cost per day: $72
www.royalcaribbean.com

Turkey Ports A Victim Of Fear

We’ve never been on a cruise ship that stopped in Turkey. Now, chances are we never will. Such is the cruise climate in this volatile part of the world, even though Istanbul and Kusadesi aren’t in the same area code as places bordering on Syria, where there are daily fears of terrorist attacks.

On the weekend, Crystal Cruises announced Turkey was persona non grata. The Crystal Symphony was scheduled to call at the two popular Turkish ports in late April and early May, but not now. The itineraries have been revised due to the “safety and peace of mind Espritof our guests” and the Symphony will make two more stops in Greece instead. The same goes for Crystal Esprit, a future ship (above) with itineraries that were going to include Turkey. The same goes for Disney cruises that once included Istanbul.

If there’s any irony in this, it’s that avoiding Turkey isn’t exactly the antidote for safety. It’s true that a suicide bomber killed 10 German tourists in Istanbul this month, an act that was obviously the trigger for Crystal’s decision. It’s also true that tourists have either been murdered or in danger of being murdered in Tunisia, and in Paris.

Tourists feel danger everywhere, because murderous attacks strike fear in the hearts and minds of the free world’s population. But it’s all about playing the odds, isn’t it? And in a country that’s geographically close to the troubled Middle East, the odds of being a victim seem higher.

Such is life in today’s world.

In the news…

• Sea trials completed for Holland America Koningsdam
• More Australians than ever booking cruises on P&O ships

Today at portsandbows.comTwo ships coming for Emerald Waterways


Star Princess
7 nights
May 14, 2016
Vancouver (return): Sitka, Glacier Bay, Juneau, Ketchikan
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $99
www.princess.com

Ships, Internet Connected For Cruisers

There are people who go on cruises because they want to escape from their daily routines, and these days daily routines almost always involve being online. When they’re cruising, they don’t want to touch a computer, read from an iPad or see a smartphone.

Well, as one of our friends once said: “Include us out.”

Even if we didn’t need to be online for writing about cruises, we would. The electronic era has captured us. We’re not in denial. We want to be on line when cruising.

If you’re like us, the good news is that being online when at sea is becoming easier, better and cheaper. The cost will still cause you to pause before making a decision, but here’s a few of the things that are happening…

• On half of Carnival’s ships, there’s a flat fee of $5 per day to access Facebook and Twitter.

Disney charges for data used instead of minutes used with its Connect@Sea plan.

• OnRoyal Caribbean’s oldest ship, Majesty of the Seas, the Internet’s free for all.

• More options are being offered at Internet cafes on ships at (we think) more affordable prices.

Silversea gives at least an hour of Internet per day, free, for all guests.

• In general, cruise lines are finding creative ways to satisfy (and yes, entice) customers with social media packages, discounts for loyalty members and options for just texting and tweeting.

Perhaps the biggest things the industry has to overcome is that Internet service on a ship is usually nowhere near as good as it is on land.

That, after all, may be in the hands of the satellite gods.

In the news…

• American Queen changes Mississippi schedule due to high water
• Princess all-inclusive beverage package Sip & Sail free on 350 cruises

Today at portsandbows.com: Norwegian raising gratuities…again

Ruby Princess
3 nights
September 14, 2015

VancouverLos Angeles
Inside: $149
Cost per day: $49
www.princess.com

Cruise And Cancer An Unlikely Tandem

In Canada today it’s National Wear Pink Day, a chance for the whole country to “Get Pink’d” in support of breast cancer.

In Canada, we have a niece who is fighting breast cancer. She just returned from a cruise, which is why today’s subject is the dreaded disease.

For her, the battle is almost two years old, and sometimes it surely seems like a lifetime. Get Pink'dLike so many breast cancer victims, there has been surgery and chemo and concern. And a Disney cruise.

This was her post-cruise report:

“The cruise was amazing! It was just what the doctor ordered. We had fabulous weather with sunshine every day and beautiful temperatures.  We went zip-lining in St. Thomas, horseback riding in Puerto Rico and sat on the beach at Castaway Cay, Bahamas. There is always something to do on the ship and Disney didn't let us down.

“We saw lots of musical shows, comedians, magic acts, Disney movies, and even played bingo. I would do a Disney cruise again.  It definitely distracted me from the realities of life. I think I had a permanent smile on my face for two weeks and don't they say that laughter is the best medicine?  I must be cured then if that's the case.”

Funny, nobody ever thinks about how therapeutic a cruise can be.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Celebrity Constellation
12 nights
April 22, 2015
Rome (return): Anzac Cove, Canakkale, Istanbul, Athens, Santorini, Naples
Inside: $665
Cost per day: $55
www.celebritycruises.com

The Impact of Frozen and Friends

Frozen cruises. Now there’s an oxymoron. With the exception of adventurous expeditions to the Poles, cruises are generally for warm-weather people. Lie on the Disney ship-Frozendeck, swim in the pool, sit in the moonlight on the balcony. None of these things works on a “frozen cruise.”

Unless it’s Disney.

Everybody knows Frozen, the movie…while we did hear a movie critic claim she had never heard “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” Perhaps she doesn’t get out much. So okay, almost everybody has heard of Frozen…the movie, the music, the characters. To the surprise of no one, Frozen characters are going on Disney ships.

Anna and ElsaNo  dates yet, but one Florida travel agency is reporting that Princess Anna and Queen Elsa will be making appearances on three of Disney’s four ships: the Magic, the Wonder and the Fantasy. It will be on cruises to the Caribbean and — here’s another shocker — Alaska.

Disney, meanwhile, is reporting that for the first time it will be cruising to Scotland, Iceland and Norway, the animated “country” that was the movie’s set…and the impact Frozen Norwayon the real Norway has been nothing short of astounding. Disney is implementing guided tours called “A Full Frozen Package” that include fjord visits, trout fishing and a visit to Bergen. Since the movie’s release, traffic to the VisitNorway website has tripled, traffic is up 52 per cent on Norwegian Air Shuttle, searches for Norwegian flights are up 153 per cent and hotel bookings are up 37 per cent.

Frozenmania is widespread. We know people who like everything Frozen.

In a manner of speaking, that is.

Today at portsandbows.com: Copenhagen’s copious attractions

Carnival Splendor
7 nights
September 13, 2014
New York (return): Boston, Portland, Saint John, Halifax
Inside: $409
Cost per day: $58
www.carnival.com

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