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Take Advantage of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Exclusive Cruise Offerings



WHY IT RATES: The Winemaker Cruise Series includes its first female master sommelier and three- and four-day cruises take guests to Great Stirrup Cay. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer

Norwegian Cruise Line announced an array of upcoming cruise offerings for new and experienced cruisers alike. The offerings include a Meet the Winemaker cruise series, three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas and special Spring Break cruises.

Meet the Winemaker Cruise Series

This series calls on all wine enthusiasts and foodies. Pairing breathtaking destinations with world-class vintages and gourmet cuisine, the Meet the Winemaker cruise series offers guests the exclusive opportunity to engage with trailblazing winemakers, sommeliers and other industry experts through open-forum discussions, meet-and-greets, intimate wine tastings and wine-paired dinners in The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar available on Norwegian Joy, Bliss, Dawn and the soon-to-debut Encore.

The 2019 season includes the first female Master Sommelier and three-time James Beard Award winner, Andrea Robinson, along with accomplished experts including Gerard Bertrand of Languedoc Roussillon; Bob Bertheau of Chateau Ste. Michelle; Juan Munoz of Columbia Crest; and more. The experience is available on a variety of itineraries to Alaska, Bermuda, the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera.

Meet the Winemaker schedule:

October 6, 2019–Norwegian Bliss (Los Angeles-Mexican Riviera): Michael Mondavi, son of Robert Mondavi and pioneer of the Napa Valley wine industry

October 20, 2019–Norwegian Escape (New York–Bermuda): Salvatore Ferragamo, heir of famed Italian fashion house and owner of Il Borro Winery in Tuscany

November 3, 2019–Norwegian Bliss (Los Angeles-Panama Canal): Aaron Sanchez, award-winning chef, owner of Johnny Sanchez restaurant, and one of the world’s leading Latin chefs

November 24, 2019–Norwegian Joy (Los Angeles-Mexican Riviera): Juan Munoz Oca, head winemaker at Columbia Crest

December 1, 2019–Norwegian Encore (Miami-Eastern Caribbean): Rob Mondavi Jr., son of Isabel and Michael Mondavi and a fourth-generation Napa Valley winemaker

January 4, 2020–Norwegian Escape (Miami-Western Caribbean): Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson

January 26, 2020–Norwegian Encore (Miami-Eastern Caribbean): Jacques Lardiere, French winemaker recognized for Maison Louis Jadot Wines

February 16, 2020–Norwegian Encore (Miami-Eastern Caribbean): Gerard Bertrand, renowned vintner of Languedoc-Roussillon

February 20, 2020–Norwegian Dawn (Tampa-Western Caribbean): Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson and celebrity Chef J.J. Johnson

Three- and Four-Day Bahamas Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line is also presenting a variety of special three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas from New York and Florida, including a stop at Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay. With its crystal-blue waters and white-sand beaches, the Bahamas are an idyllic hideaway that welcomes guests year-round, particularly as a respite from the sometimes-harsh northern winters.

On all three- and four-day Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun cruises, guests can immerse themselves in an all-inclusive experience with unlimited beverages, including wine, beer and spirit offerings. The all-inclusive offerings also extend to Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay, so guests can enjoy unlimited beverages while experiencing the island.

Norwegian is also the only North America based cruise line to offer free open bar on three-to five-day Bahamas cruises on Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun, ideal for first-time cruisers.

Spring Break Cruises

With a host of dining choices and Freestyle Cruising allowing guests to cruise freely without a set schedule, Norwegian Cruise Line has it all. Relax and soak up the sun poolside, get lucky in the casino, unwind at the spa or spend quality time with family or friends.

For spring break, book the eight-day Bahamas and Florida cruise from New York on Norwegian Gem and stop at the company’s private island, Create Stirrup Cay, starting at $399/person; or the seven-day Western Caribbean cruise from Tampa aboard the Norwegian Dawn, starting at $499/person; or the seven-day Hawaii cruise from Honolulu, starting at $899/person on Pride of America.

Norwegian Cruise Line also offers benefits for groups of 10 or more, including one passenger cruises free for every 10 passengers booked, a beverage package, a specialty dining package, a $50 Port Shore Excursion Credit per cabin, a photo package, and more. Groups can also receive a 15% discount with advanced booking.

SOURCE: Norwegian Cruise Line press release.

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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