Crystal Cruises officially began its transition to an “All Inclusive.” Launched with the start of Crystal Symphony’s Miami to Lisbon Trans-Atlantic cruise, guests can now enjoy open bar service in all lounges and pre-paid gratuities for all housekeeping, butler, bar and dining staff. Crystal Serenity is following suit with spring Trans-Atlantic sailing on May 8.
Royal Caribbean is transferring its Monarch of the Seas to its Pullmantur brand on April 1, 2012, following its last sailing for Royal Caribbean International, which departs on March 29, 2013.
American Cruise Lines' Queen of the Mississippi completed its first sea trial on March 18 after the pier at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland. The 150-guest steamboat will be completed in May, with its inaugural cruise scheduled for Aug. 11, 2012 from New Orleans to Memphis.
Silversea will host chef Kirsten Dixon, who will take charge of a culinary arts enrichment program aboard Silver Shadow's Voyage 3213, sailing May 17 to 31, Tokyo to Seward, with calls in Hakodate, Kushiro, Petropavlovsk, Dutch Harbor, Kodiak and Homer. On Culinary Arts enrichment voyages, celebrity chefs display their talents during informative cooking demonstrations. The voyages also feature escorted provisioning trips to international markets (when the itinerary permits), food and wine pairings, regional dishes and a five-course gourmet dinner.