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Taking The Bus: In A New York Minute?

When a cruise line decides to try to make it easier for passengers to get to the ship, only the people can decide if it makes sense.

Take Norwegian's expanded offer to shuttle passengers to (and from) its Breakaway (and Gem) for $110 each. Of course, the value depends where you catch the motor coach but on the surface, this sounds attractive.

The ships depart from New York's Manhattan Cruise Terminal. The expanded service — Norwegian already has a program with a travel agency — goes into effect for 11 cities 

in New England on May 3…and for five mid-Atlantic cities at the end of May.

Attractive?

NY-Manhattan Cruise Terminal

Salem, New Hampshire, is on the list. That's about a five-hour drive from New York. So is Washington DC, at least four hours in the other direction. In between are 14 other stops of varying distances from The Big Apple.

Assume you're a couple. That's $220, round-trip. Let's say you're driving from Washington. Driving will cost you eight hours of gas, plus parking (a week in New York City!). A reasonable guess is that those costs will be close to paying for the bus ride.

You don't have to worry about getting lost. You don't have to deal with the stress of driving into and finding your way in New York City. You don't even have to worry about getting your luggage from the car to the ship.

It sounds like a no-brainer, and an idea that could become popular whenever cruise ships home-port in big cities.

In the end, the people will decide.

Today at portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Celebrity Constellation
12 nights
May 21, 2014
Amsterdam (return):  BerlinStockholmHelsinkiSt. PetersburgTallinnCopenhagen 
Inside: $1,199
Cost per day: $99
www.celebritycruises.com

A Quantum Leap From April 2014

It was just one year ago. In New York City, home to Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean unveiled its newest and greatest ship at a press conference. The head honchos from the cruise line, Richard Fain and Adam Goldstein, were there. So was Kristin Chenoweth, the new ship's Godmother-to-be.

There was one word on everyone's lips or, for the writers among us, in everyone's vocabulary.

Wow.

Fast track 12 months. It's April again. Quantum of the Seas, still several months from leaving the shipyard, is making news again. And there's that word again.

Wow.

The newest and greatest ship from this mainstream cruise line is going to leave North America almost as soon as she arrives. Okay, Quantum will be in New York from November to May, not even long enough to consummate the relationship. Then she'll be leaving New York a jilted lover, and running off to Shanghai.

Talk about a Shanghai surprise!

To be fair, she'll be sending her almost-twin sister as a stand-in. The Anthem of the Seas will become New York's Royal Caribbean new ship later in 2015, with all the same curves and attributes and flash.

When Quantum arrives in Shanghai, will Kristin Chenoweth be on deck? If she is…

Wow!

Today at portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Holland America Rotterdam
14 nights
May 24, 2014
Rotterdam (return): CopenhagenBerlinTallinnSt.PetersburgHelsinkiStockholmAarhus
Inside: $999
Cost per day: $71
www.hollandamerica.com

Does Cruise Growth Leave You Cold?

As somebody who loves to cruise just about anywhere, I'm always eager to hear about how the industry's growing. If nothing else, it means that others are discovering something we were fortunate enough to discover a long time ago.

So when the European Cruise Council and the Cruise Lines International Association compile data that demonstrates a growth pattern, I'm interested. On the other hand, the latest news is that cruising is growing in the Arctic…

My husband always says I'm umbilically connected to the temperate zone. I always say who does he think he is, Jimmy Buffett? What he means (my husband, not Jimmy) is at the mention of the word "Arctic" I start shuddering. Umbilical connections melt. Think icebergs.

According to these two organizations that compile such statistics, Arctic cruising is up 37 per cent. Norwegian fjords cruising is up 29 per cent. Northern Europe, from the British Isles to the Baltic Sea, is up between six and 16 per cent. I wouldn't say it's cold there, but has anybody been watching the Olympics? Or, most years, the British Open.

I should warn them…they're going to have to do it without me.


Norwegian Pearl
14 nights
September 28, 2012
Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, Puntarenas, Panama Canal, Cartagena, Miami
Inside: $1,129
Cost per day: $80
www.ncl.com

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