This Week in Cruise: January 23, 2012

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Balmoral arrived in Key West, Fla., on Jan. 21. This marks the ship's first voyage to the United States since Feb. 13, 2010. After its stop in Key West, the Balmoral will make two maiden calls to New Orleans, La., and Galveston, Texas, as part of the Around South America Grand Voyage, which departed Southampton Jan. 5, 2012 and will sail for 89 nights.

SeaDream Yacht Club is introducing "Raw Food" options aboard the SeaDream I and SeaDream II as a gourmet food option. “Raw” refers to a style of preparation in which all ingredients are raw, organic and vegan (no fish, meat, eggs or dairy), and nothing is heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit in order to retain all the micronutrients. Every aspect of a meal has a raw counterpart as part of the SeaDream menu, including beverages and desserts.

American Cruise Lines' Queen of the Mississippi received an updated amenities list that includes the installation of more sliding-glass doors. Eighty-five percent of Queen of the Mississippi’s staterooms feature private balconies, and 71 percent now have sliding glass doors to those balconies. Additional amenities also include a fully-functioning authentic paddlewheel that can be viewed from the Paddlewheel Lounge; floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to private balconies; room service; Wi-Fi in all staterooms; satellite TV and DVD player in all staterooms; gourmet coffee brewers in all staterooms; high tea served in the afternoon; Top Deck Café serving hot and cold beverages, snacks and pastries throughout the day; bottled water and soft drinks; and nightly turndown service.

MSC Cruises is partnering with Blend Craft Wines to provide an exclusive series of wine-based activities aboard four upcoming voyages sailings of the MSC Poesia. Events such as the Winemaker Experience allow guests to create and label their own bottle of wine, while the Winemaker Dinner offers each member of a group one bottle of wine for a blind taste test and an extra bottle of wine to take home. Also available are a series of 60-minute programs for education on the world of wine.

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