Add NCL Breakaway to your Cruise Bucket List

Are you ready?

Especially if you are nearby the northeast, then GET READY because the tri-state area is becoming home to an amazing new Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Ship! How about a few teasing tidbits? A picture is worth a thousand words.

Cabins– modern design throughout. From interior cabins to the Havens Owners Suite, the decor is warm, crisp and clean using inviting colors.

 

If you are a single cruiser, dont forget NCL has roomy studio cabins just for you!

How GREAT is this Aqua Park? You KNOW You have to add Norwegian Breakaway to your Cruise Bucket List! And, tell your friends & family, they will want to go with you!

And an AQUA PARK just for kids!

Spa? Oh yeah! 

First Salt Spa Room at Sea – 

Norwegian Breakaway SPA will boast 22 treatment rooms and feature 50 plus signature services for men and women including Elemis signature facials like the luxurious 24 Karat Gold Facial– massages such as the Thai Herbal Poultice Massage, the Bamboo Massage and the Freestyle™ massage; and two bliss®services: the bliss® triple oxygen treatment and the bliss® fatgirlslim. Norwegian Breakaway will also be offering acupuncture, teeth whitening and cosmetic medical treatments, performed by a licensed medi-spa doctor.

Cuisine- “Geoffrey Zakarian” – Need we say More?

Iron Chef to launch Norwegian’s first ever seafood restaurants

Norwegian Breakaway is where history will happen as Food Network star, Iron Chef and New York City restaurateur, Geoffrey Zakarian, launches Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian. Our first-ever fine-dining seafood experience will also be a first for Chef Zakarian, who will bring his 25 plus years of award-winning style and passion for fine cuisine to Norwegian Cruise Line with a restaurant highlighting his attention to detail not only in the kitchen but throughout the dining room as well. Guests will be treated to a menu of refined seafood items prepared with the highest quality ingredients, a stellar wine list and of course, Zakarian’s signature cocktails. Oceanside during the daytime hours, Ocean Blue on The Waterfront, where every table enjoys the breeze and views of the sea, will serve up casual “beachy” fare referencing Zakarian’s love for classic shore favorites. And right beside Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian is The Raw Bar, Zakarian’s take on his perfect meal – oysters and a glass of wine. Offering fresh crustaceans, crudos, shellfish and extensive wines by the glass, this bar allows guests to pull up for a snack or a meal, solo or with friends and simply enjoy the best that the ocean has to offer. In addition to creating all-new food and beverage menus and signature dishes for all three dining venues, Geoffrey Zakarian will meet-and-greet guests and provide intimate cooking experiences for smaller groups on select sailings.*taken from breakaway.ncl.com Along with Ocean Blue will be the classic CAGNEY’S Steakhouse, Wasabi Sushi Bar, Savor, Le Bistro, Taste, Teppanyaki, The Manhattan Room AND MORE! 

Entertainment at its Finest!

 

                                                       

Breakaway will begin weekly summer seven-day cruises to Bermuda on Sunday, May 12, 2013.  And October 2013 through April 2014, the ship will offer voyages from  Manhattan to the Bahamas & Florida and the Southern Caribbean.

stacey@windsorcrowntravel.com

Hurricane Season Cruising…..Is it for you?

Hurricane Season Cruising…..Is it for you? [republished/revisited]

Do you have the right mojo for a cruise during hurricane season? Historically speaking, your cruise most likely will not encounter hurricane conditions. But, are you ready? In the words of NY’s Mr. Bloomberg regarding the most recent hurricane, Irene, “prepare for the worst, hope for the best”.

Pre-Cruise Prep during hurricane season- 

This means travel insurance really should be top priority on your vacation list, #1. Be aware (or beware) that the itinerary that you booked could possibly be subject to change due to weather conditions. It is a reality that you should be aware of when you cruise during hurricane season.  You will not be compensated for missed ports. *Read your cruise contracts.

Transportation-

If you are booking air or train transportation to a port of embarkation (ie; Florida or Puerto Rico), do NOT travel the day of your cruise.  Book your travel for the day before your cruise embarks.  This limits stress and any questionable and unpredictable weather conditions. And secures that you will not miss the ship. Again, we strongly encourage you to take out Travel Protection Insurance.

Up On the Bridge-

The Master of the Ship will, at all costs avoid going into a hurricane or tropical storm. Modern ships are all equipped with the latest technology that monitors weather.  Since a ship moves faster than a storm, a ship can veer off into different directions or, outwit and move faster than the storm to keep in front of it.  Armed with this information can help you decide if you have the MOJO to cruise during Hurricane season (June-November, respectively)

In Transit-

If you are cruising during hurricane season, even the most well seasoned cruisers should contemplate packing an anti-seasickness remedy. They range from Bonnine to the pressure point sea bands you wear on your wrist to natural remedy- Ginger pills. We have found ginger pills to be a miracle. Even if the Captain changes the direction of your ship, you can still experience rough seas.

Be Vigilant-

Take control and monitor the weather and your cruiseline announcements. You should telephone your cruiseline and question them.  Most Important, BE PREPARED.

Fun Holiday Camera Gadgets for Travel Anywhere

Calling all Geeks with the MUST HAVE GIMMIES

Get Your Christmas and Holiday List to Santa.

Have You Heard: Start up company Lytro introduces a new way to take pictures. Technology that will change the way you take pictures. 8GB in Graphite or Electric Blue sells at $399 (350 pictures) and a 16GB available in RED HOT sells for $499 (750 pictures). https://www.lytro.com/

We are also very intrigued by the [patent pending] Throwball Panoramic Ball Camera. I would stay informed for this one! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th5zlUe6gOE&feature=player_embedded

Cruise from Manhattan & Brooklyn Cruise Ports – Immerse Yourself in NYC Culture

New York Cruising *One of the TOP 5 Cruise Ports in the U.S.”

It began in the 1930’s at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal – originally called, “Passenger Ship Terminal” and continues to remain the primary cruise port for trans-Atlantic crossings from Europe.  Cunard, Princess, Norwegian & Carnival cruise lines name just a few lines that sail out of New York.  From Pier 84 – Pier 94, Ocean Liners came and docked. The stretch of piers became known as “Luxury Liner Row”.

SS Normandie called upon NY in 1935, followed by Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. In the 1960’s the resurgence of cruising and popularity of Bermuda became evident.  In the 70’s the Manhattan Cruise Terminal underwent renovations leading it to continue on its historical role as a passenger cruise terminal.

Not only do cruise ships sail out of NYC, making it very convenient for north east travelers, but there are many cruise lines that call on the city of Manhattan as well– NY is an integral port of call for more than a dozen cruise lines.  Area attractions in Manhattan draw many.  From world-class cuisine to food trucks (street vendors) passengers will find some of the finest fare in the world in NY. Looking for culture and Night life, look no further.  Are you a Museum aficionado, you will find many to suit your eye!

Always want to go to a Broadway Show, maybe a Musical, or how about a visit to Strawberry Fields in Central Park? A nearby stop in Chinatown or Little Italy for an authentic feel of downtown Manhattan?

Come Visit Brooklyn, NY you will be amazed!

So, in plain words – [some] Cruise ships GOT TOO BIG for NYC! Onward to Brooklyn, NY – You will love what Brooklyn has to offer.

Brooklyn is derived from the Dutch word for broken land, Breukelen. By 1860 Brooklyn was an international industrial center and was the third largest city in the United States of America.  Brooklyn is the leading icon of the American city [today]. From Brownstones to Mansions, 100s of houses of worship and the many different ethnic neighborhoods to sample authentic fare-the eateries will delight; there is something for everyone to fall in love with in Brooklyn, New York. Tour Park Slope, there are many walking tours to chose from.

Immerse yourself in Brooklyn, your heart will take over from there!  Peek here: http://www.visitbrooklyn.org/   Stage your Wedding at The Brooklyn Botanical Garden http://www.bbg.org/ for one of the most beautiful, unique and amazing weddings ever. Visit parks, beaches and famous amusement parks- a visit to Coney Island amusement park can fulfill much of your NY Bucket list- and you too can say you have been to the home of Nathans!

 A Cruise from or to New York will promise to be one of your MOST memorable! 

Cruising & Travelling With Little Ones

Travelling with little ones? 

When do you travel abroad with babies and toddlers?  Is seeing London and seeing France, going to Castles in Ireland and ruins in Greece memorable for little ones? Is packing and unpacking (diapers come to mind, as well as stuff to occupy baby/toddler) on your journey tiresome?

I have two feelings; the first is that any time spent showing your little ones knew things is awesome, but when do children have a genuine understanding and appreciation for history, culture, architecture and travelling the world? When does it make sense, for you?

I also have the belief that true desire to travel to these places should be from within, from things learned and books read and with heightening excitement, so it will be a learning experience and be enjoyed and remembered.  A time only you as a parent will know, a time when your child can help “plan” the journey with you and be an integral part- when they can read some things about your destination, understand them and show excitement.  Can they appreciate Mondsee, Austria where the cloister church was used for the site of the wedding in The Sound of Music? [at the very least, can they watch a movie like the Sound of Music and “relate” to it on your journey?] Maybe for your child it is 6 or 8 years old, maybe for others it is much older.
We didn’t travel to far off exotic places when my children were young but we took this time in their young lives to take trips that would appeal more to what their age was at the time.  A weekend at Sesame Place in Pennsylvania seemed apropos at a year and two years old. Being from the northeast, longer trips included places like Montauk and the Hamptons, Virginia/Washington, DC, Upstate NY,  the Pennsylvania Dutch area, Disney World and Florida beaches, and Myrtle Beach just to name a few.  By the time my children were in their teens they had also been to at least 15 Caribbean islands, Bermuda a few times and Puerto Rico. Needless to say they love to Cruise and love learning about the culture on the different islands- through the people on the islands.

When older children are asked about their family vacations from when they were under 5 years old they recall and reply from pictures and stories they have seen and heard through their developing years. When asked specifics about a particular holiday away they can reply with events that impacted them; like they remembered “being sick” or they remember the “big airplane” or the lady who gave them a “sweet treat”.

Cruising is a wonderful Holiday away for every age.  A huge Ship will never be just a memory from stories and pictures. The kids clubs on board most cruise lines offer activities to delight every age.  Excursions tailored and can be age appropriate.  Ask us for the deets on a specific cruiseline kids club and we’ll get the info back atcha’! For you it might be DISNEY Cruise Line, or maybe Royal Caribbean Oasis/Allure with 28,000 square feet dedicated to children and teens (ages 6 months to 11) and a Teen club up to 17. Whatever your needs, Windsor Crown Travel will find you a cruise to fit all your expectations!

A Cruise Holiday will be the greatest holiday away memory for your entire family!

Planning is half the fun! Contact us today!

Upgrades to Radiance of the Seas

Dining Spiced Up!

Dining on board Royal Caribbeans Radiance of the Seas affords the cruise passenger a lot more variety & options. Now more like Oasis and Allure in a mini version.

Options on board Radiance of the Seas, include, Asian Izumi; expect sashimi sushi and for those that prefer their food “cooked” there is a nice array of hot rocks…

Ritas…mexican. A happy place…

Dog House on Deck 11, popular w. families.

Chefs table…gives the passenger an opportunity to interact with the chefs table mgr…

Samba is most popular being on deck 12 with excellent scenery…

Giovannis Table… described as an Italian Trattoria, sure to be a hit with all.

Check out this video:

http://www.oasisoftheseas.com/video.php?embed=IzMGd0Mjq4mVAhULsrKRFN1TmPLEPy2U

NCL Sky – You Need Sushi Too

 

I love Sushi and Sashimi, there is NO denying it. I am a happily admitted Sushi-Snob.  I eat Sushi at least once a week at our local Sushi restaurant, they obviously greet us by name and customize our orders.

Highlights of the making of a Sushi Snob.  

I started off slow. I would meet my husband for lunch here in Princeton and we would get take out. Something like typical and plain California rolls. And, it grew into an obsession. So long ago,probably a decade back.  Sometimes I would look at the specialty area in the local supermarket and I would watch the sushi rolls being rolled, I knew this was not for me. I must have my white seaweed or soy paper.  I must be confident in the chef that handles my fish. We must become good friends.  I will learn where he was trained and where they obtain their fish from. Very shortly thereafter we noticed a small place open locally. We investigated. We interviewed. We took a leap. A decade later I call them my “sushi-family”.

The wait for some real, quality, GOOD “On-Board” Sushi for us was long. We would NEED to have a special sushi-dinner the night before we embarked on every Cruise, as we knew there would not be acceptable sushi [only buffet] on board. For us, although it might have been available on cruise lines we didn’t sail on, but I would doubt that 10 years ago other lines offered quality sashimi, it then it turned up on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager-Class ships.  We just could not bring ourselves to eating Buffet Sushi, although I admit to sending my husband to get some for an appetizer while I was in our stateroom getting ready for dinner so we could try it.  Okay, so we tried it and declined to do it ever again. For us, there were much better calories to be had on board. We did find that Carnival Miracle provided a fairly decent array, rolled as you waited- but this barely sufficed in holding us over until we returned home either.  I would pick at it and although visually appealing, that is all it was. A trick to the palette through ones eye.

When we booked RCI’s Oasis of the Seas, I was very happy to read such wonderful reviews on IZUMI, Royal Caribbeans first Japanese Specialty Restaurant (w/ sashimi).  Not a “kiosk” called “Jade” in the middle of a buffet, or a Japanese restaurant sans the Sushi, but a Japanese that will have and serve appropriately, “RAW FISH”. I couldn’t wait.

This excited me more than the Zip Line on Oasis or the Carousel or COACH™.  Once we boarded we headed straight to Izumi to speak to the Maitre D. We confirmed our reservation and we asked if they had either white seaweed or soy paper to make our Sushi rolls with.  They were quick and eager to accommodate our request and we were assured our Sushi would be prepared the way we asked.  SCORE! I would quickly recommend Izumi on Oasis of the Seas.

Norwegian Cruiseline just announced that September 16th through October 5th, 2011 a newer Sushi menu [almost] Fleetwide, excluding NCL Sky will be rolled out.  [already realeased on EPIC]

Ten NCL ships will have a new option- “Ala carte sushi”- averaging $4.00/item.  More FREESTYLE Benefits allowing you to customize your meal.  Appetizers like edamame, miso and seaweed salad will be options. Additionally, on sea days and embarkations days Lunch will now be offerred.  Yellow fin and Blue fin are a favorite of mine as well as white tuna.  I hope they offer these! Other members of my family like salmon. I do hope when we sail on NCL that they can accommodate our sushi snobbery and offer white seaweed or soy paper!  I will be there EVERY day they are opened.