The Jewish Chronicle - - TRAVEL & CRUSING - BYCATHYWINSTON com) roy­al­caribbean. voy­agestoan­tiq­ uni­ msc­ tour­sand­ cos­mosaval­on­cruises.


Voy­agers on Princess Cruises are to be the first in the Car­ni­val group to ex­pe­ri­ence the com­pany’s Ocean Medal­lion — wear­able tech­nol­ogy de­signed to per­son­alise the pas­sen­ger’s ex­pe­ri­ence.

The size of a 10p, the medal­lion can be worn as a pen­dant or wrist­band, or placed in a pocket or bag and will do ev­ery­thing from un­lock­ing your door re­motely to help­ing you find and mes­sage fam­ily mem­bers on the sprawl­ing ships.

You can also use it to or­der food, to be brought to wher­ever you plan to be at a par­tic­u­lar time (wait­ers are sent your photo to aid de­liv­ery) or to find tai­lored sug­ges­tions for ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­cur­sions.

As well as speed­ing up em­barka­tion and dis­em­barka­tion, it can be used for pur­chases on board — and promises en­hanced din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences based on your food and drink pref­er­ences — although those wary of hand­ing over too much in­for­ma­tion will have the op­tion to sup­ply less.

The Ocean Medal­lion will be avail­able from Novem­ber 13 on Regal Princess, fol­lowed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018. Car­ni­val plans to in­tro­duce the per­son­alised discs across the com­pany’s fleet over time. CUE CUBA

Since diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the US and Cuba have re­laxed, cruise trav­ellers to the is­land have a sud­den wealth of choice, as Amer­ica-based cruise com­pa­nies start adding it to their itin­er­ar­ies. Royal Caribbean (

is plan­ning its first Florida-Cuba trips in April on Em­press of the Seas, af­ter re­ceiv­ing ap­proval from the Cuban gov­ern­ment, while Re­gent Seven Seas ( has added Ha­vana to two Caribbean voy­ages in April. The lat­ter stay overnight in the cap­i­tal, so guests have plenty of time to ex­plore.

NCL’s Nor­we­gian Sky ( is also sail­ing from Mi­ami to Cuba, via the Ba­hamas, on a four-day round trip dur­ing May.

If you want some ex­tra cul­ture with your Cuba cruise, Voy­ages to An­tiq­uity ( is adding the is­land, along with some of the les­s­ex­plored Caribbean, to its sched­ule for Aegean Odyssey from Novem­ber. (Trips on sale from this month.) GO-TO GALA­PA­GOS

With its lim­ited num­ber of vis­i­tors and fas­ci­nat­ing wildlife, the Gala­pa­gos Is­lands are a sta­ple of trav­ellers' wish­lists. And with Celebrity Cruises’ three 100-pas­sen­ger ships vis­it­ing the re­gion from March, it is now eas­ier to dis­cover this par­adise. Be­tween them, Celebrity Xpedi­tion, Xplo­ration and Xpe­ri­ence will of­fer six itin­er­ar­ies vis­it­ing 15 is­lands and more than 30 ports of call.

The com­pany is also of­fer­ing what is billed as the only seven-night round trip to the Hub­bard Glacier from Van­cou­ver, on Celebrity In­fin­ity. You can also sail from Van­cou­ver, Bri­tish Columbia or Se­ward, Alaska on Celebrity Mil­len­nium.

These are part of an ex­tended cruise of­fer­ing that cov­ers more than 280 des­ti­na­tions in 76 coun­tries dur­ing 2017/18, with 236 overnight stays in 55 cities as well as 31 dou­ble overnight stays in 10 ports around the world. celebri­ty­ CUR­RENT THINK­ING

River cruises have of­ten been pi­geon-holed as for more ma­ture trav­ellers only but, with a new cruise col­lec­tion aimed at 18- to 40-year-olds, U by Uni­world ( wants to change that.

Tar­geted at “youth­ful ad­ven­ture seek­ers”, the cruises will go on sale next month for de­par­tures from early 2018, promis­ing In­sta­grammable and Snapchat-wor­thy stops through­out Europe, from Am­s­ter­dam to Bu­dapest.

Two of the com­pany’s ex­ist­ing ships — the River Baroness and the River Am­bas­sador — are be­ing re­designed to give them a con­tem­po­rary feel, in­clud­ing com­mu­nal ta­bles, in­ter­na­tional DJs and cre­ative mixol­o­gists.

The itin­er­ar­ies them­selves will fo­cus on longer stays in the des­ti­na­tions, to give trav­ellers the chance to dis­cover lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ences and more of the night-life, as well as of­fer­ing ad­ven­tur­ous ex­cur­sions. DARINGLY DECKED

This year sees the first voy­ages for MSC Cruises’ ( mega­ship MSC Sea­side — one of the line’s two huge new ships com­ing into ser­vice dur­ing 2017. With a 120m zi­pline, aqua park with four ex­hil­a­rat­ing slides, a 360-de­gree ocean-level prom­e­nade and 30m bridge on the top deck, her home port from De­cem­ber will be Mi­ami, for year-round sail­ings in the Caribbean. SIN­GA­PORE ON SONG

Sin­ga­pore is tipped as one of the big des­ti­na­tion trends for 2017: vis­i­tor num­bers from the UK were up five per cent last year and, with more cruise brands of­fer­ing pre- and post-cruise stays in the city state, 2015’s fig­ure of one mil­lion cruise pas­sen­ger ar­rivals might be only the be­gin­ning.

P&O re­turned to Sin­ga­pore last year for the first time in a decade, while Royal Caribbean’s cur­rent sea­son is its long­est here. Se­abourn En­core is even be­ing chris­tened in the coun­try be­fore her maiden voy­age. CAN­CEL­LA­TION CON­SO­LA­TION

The year started on a low note for the cruise in­dus­try with the demise of the All Leisure Group, leav­ing pas­sen­gers who booked with Swan Hel­lenic or Voy­ages of Dis­cov­ery with­out their trips.

So Cos­mos Tours has stepped in to of­fer those who were due to travel with ei­ther cruise brand £50 off if they re­book the cruise (or tour or beach hol­i­day of their choice) through one of the com­pany’s three brands; Cos­mos Tours & Cruises, Avalon Wa­ter­ways and Archers Hol­i­days.

You will need a copy of the can­celled cruise hol­i­day in­voice, ready to email, be­fore ring­ing Cos­mos Tours on 0800 440 2797. For more de­tails, see



Cham­pagne? Ask the but­ler on your wrist, the Ocean Medal­lion by Princess

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