John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine 29 July 2016

Explorer of the seas.jpeg

A Great Summer on Royal Caribbean   This coming summer cruise season, Australians can expect big fun in the South Pacific on Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the SeasRoyal Caribbean’s twin sister ships that are dedicated to sailing Pacific itineraries all summer long. Both are newly revitalized from bow to stern to the tune of US$180 million.

Summer cruise itineraries will whisk guests away to idyllic destinations like Mystery Island and Port Vila in Vanuatu, and Noumea, Isle of Pines and Lifou (Loyalty Islands) in New Caledonia, there will even be two Fiji overnight calls, when Explorer of the Seas stays the night in Suva during her repositioning voyages between from Australia to Seattle.

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager Class pioneered the interior promenade in cruise ship design, allowing interior staterooms to look down on to an indoor street lined by cafes, shops and bars, where colourful characters from much loved movies like Shrek and Madagascar light up the night with family parades and shows.

Adam Armstronf RCI .jpgRoyal Caribbean is known as an innovator, and for good reason, says Adam Armstrong, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean International in Australia and New Zealand.

“Since we arrived in Australia some eight years ago, we’ve been delivering Australians with the style of cruising they had previously been travelling overseas for. With two Voyager Class megaliners now sailing from Sydney, there’s double the opportunity to cruise on Australia’s most feature-packed ships, and double the fun,” Armstrong concluded.

Voyager and Explorer of the Seas boast a range of accommodation options, such as interconnecting staterooms and luxurious, multi-room suites, as well as the new panoramic family staterooms that offer all the benefits of an apartment, including floor-to-ceiling windows and a separate bunk room for the kids.

RCI Voyager.jpgWhen parents and grandparents are looking for some downtime, the award-winning kids club program, Adventure Ocean, offers a range of age appropriate activities and spaces that kids can call their very own. Included in the fare, Adventure Ocean groups range from Aquanauts (aged three to five years old), Explorers (six to eight) and Voyagers (nine to eleven). Tweens and teens have their own spaces too, including a dedicated night club. Babies aged 6-18 months can attend the Royal Babies and Tots playrooms, where trained youth staff, together with parents, oversee learning and play sessions. In-room babysitting services are available for a small fee.

Fares for a seven night roundtrip sailing on Voyager of the Seas start from AUD$849 per person, twin share, departing Sydney 1 November 2016 and including calls to Noumea and Isle of Pines in New Caledonia*. 
www.royalcaribbean.com.au, phone 1800 754 500 or see your local travel agent.

Cunard's New Commodore Club Cocktails - All Consuming Passion.jpgCunard Creates Cocktails Inspired by Knighted Commodores. Cunard has revealed a new menu for its popular Commodore Club, featuring a blend of signature cocktails created in honour of each of the cruise line’s seven knighted commodores.

The menu shares the fascinating stories of the knighted Cunard Commodores and features special illustrations in a modern menu design, infusing the cocktail experience onboard Cunard’s three Queens with rich maritime history. With the Commodore Club enjoying a prime location on each of the Cunard Queens, the transformed menu is one of a number of new food and beverage concepts being launched across the fleet.

The seven newly designed cocktails include ‘Over the Top’ inspired by Commodore Sir James Charles (1865-1928). Known for doing things on a grand scale, this Commodore’s dinner parties aboard Aquitania were renowned as opulently social affairs, and this aromatic and refreshing sharing cocktail is extravagantly presented, just the way Sir James would expect.

Alohilani Infinity Pool Rendering.jpg

ALOHILANI RESORT AT WAIKIKI BEACH   Hawaiian for “the heavenly brightness,” the name ‘Alohilani Resort at Waikiki Beach was chosen to honor Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch. The area surrounding the hotel was once known to house the highest concentration of royal residences, including Queen Liliuokalani’s home and beachside cottage that she fondly referred to as Kealohilani – the Royal Light or Heavenly Brightness. The hotel currently sits on land held by the Queen Liliuokalani Trust.

The hotel will boast contemporary dining concepts ranging from a farm-fresh buffet breakfast to fine Asia-Pacific cuisine. Conceived by internationally acclaimed chef Masaharu Morimoto, the hotel will feature two Morimoto concepts. Located on the second floor, Morimoto Asia will serve as the hotel’s signature restaurant featuring Chef Morimoto’s world-renowned dishes, which seamlessly integrate Western and traditional Asian ingredients. For a more casual dining experience at street level, Momosan Waikiki will feature yakitori, ramen, and a wide variety of small plates for lunch and dinner, along with a beer garden.The hotel looks forward to opening these two beautiful restaurants at the ‘Alohilani Resort in late 2017.” visit www.pacificbeachhotel.com/transformation or call 808-922-1233

PANDA-MONIUM: MACAO WELCOMES TINY TWIN CUBS    Macao’s adorable local Xin Xin made history when she became the first giant panda to give birth in the city’s Panda Giant Panda cub #3.jpgPavilion. The nine-year-old panda became the proud mother of twins, bonding well with her cubs which were born an hour apart. She and the larger cub, which weighed in at 138 grams, were in good health, but the smaller cub was under weight at 53 grams and was whisked off to intensive care.
Both Xin Xin and male partner Kai Kai, were gifts of the People’s Republic of China in recognition of the handover of Macao to the Central Government. The pair was born at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre in Chengdu. The Macau Panda Pavilion opened in 2010 as an extension to the breeding program for the endangered black and white mammals. www.visitmacao.com.au

  • Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to change.

PHOTOS:

RCI Explorer of the Seas

Adam Armstrong, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean International in Australia and New Zealand.

RCI Voyager of the Seas

Cunard Cocktails

Hawaii Hotel

Macau New Born

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About John Pond, J.P.

Pioneer in television as producer of thousands of hours of TV shows on Australian and American television including Graham Kennedy, Tommy Leonetti, People in Conflict, Hollywood Bowl, Major Specials and Dr John‘s Casebook TV Shows. TV manager J. Walter Thompson & McCannErickson Advertising and head of production for Columbia Pictures TV. John changed careers to the hospitality industry working for Sydney’s top 5 star hotel as director of sales and marketing and GM. Then with Harrah’s/Caesar's World, the world’s largest hotel and casino group in Nevada. Playboy Magazine in Chicago, head of worldwide PR/Marketing, for their Resorts, Clubs, Hotels & Casinos. Producer at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Co-creator of hit US network TV show Joker, Joker, Joker, first TV show to give away a million dollars. Writer travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Washington Post, New York Times, American Playboy as well as local Australian papers and magazines. In the USA represented many personalities including Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, and many other major names. John is Editor at Sea of Australia’s leading cruise magazine, Travel & Cruise writer for The Retiree Magazine, Destinations Magazine and Spectator Group of Newspapers. John reviews cruise ships, Destinations and Hotels, and is ably assisted by his Associate Editor Sandra Tiltman.
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