Alerts about cruise news, reviews and deals plus general musings from USA TODAY Cruise Log blogger Gene Sloan

New cruise line to offer 'social impact' vacations

wtsp.com — Would you take a cruise to help people in need? Industry giant Carnival Corp. is betting on it. The parent company of Carnival, Princess and Holland America today announced plans for a new cruise brand to debut in 2016 that will offer week-long "social impact" vacations to developing countries such as the Dominican Republic.

First look: The swanky spa planned for 'most luxurious ship ever'

thv11.com — A new cruise ship that's being billed as the most luxurious ever will feature a lavishly appointed spa operated by Canyon Ranch. The Deck 5 oasis on luxury line Regent Seven Seas' next vessel, the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, will boast eight treatment rooms and a thermal suite with a state-of-the-art infrared sauna, aromatic steam room and a "cold room" maintained at 54 degrees, the line will reveal today.

Actress Kristin Chenoweth christens giant cruise ship

usatoday.com — The most anticipated new cruise ship of the year, Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas, officially was named today in an upbeat ceremony in the New York area. Actress Kristin Chenoweth served as godmother for the 4,180-passenger vessel during the hour-long event, which took place at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., where it'll be based through early May.

New giant cruise ship dazzles with innovations

usatoday.com — ABOARD THE QUANTUM OF THE SEAS -- Craig Harvey, 51, of Bradenton, Fla., says he would never think of jumping out of an airplane. But here he is on the back of Royal Caribbean's newest ship, all suited up in a special outfit, ready to give a different kind of skydiving a try.

Latest gee-whiz cruise ship attraction: Skydiving

usatoday.com — ABOARD THE QUANTUM OF THE SEAS -- Rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks, zip lines and now ... skydiving simulators. Passengers aboard the maiden voyage of Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas today began trying out the latest gee-whiz attraction to open on a cruise ship: A glass-enclosed wind tunnel that mimics the feel of skydiving.

Living large: New cruise ship's swanky mega-suites

usatoday.com — ABOARD QUANTUM OF THE SEAS -- Want to see how the other half lives when sailing the world's oceans? Take a cruise through the photos above and video below, which offer a first look at the mega-suites on Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas.

Robot bartenders? This new cruise ship has them

usatoday.com — ABOARD QUANTUM OF THE SEAS -- Finally, a robot that does something useful. Cruise giant Royal Caribbean is making waves this weekend with a new bar that boasts robot bartenders -- a cruise industry first. Dubbed the Bionic Bar, the high-tech venue on the line's new Quantum of the Seas features two drink-slinging robotic arms that mix drinks to order.

Exclusive: Inside the hottest new ride at sea

usatoday.com — SOUTHAMPTON, England -- Are you ready to soar hundreds of feet above the sea? Click on the carousel above for an exclusive first look at North Star -- the much-ballyhooed ride into the sky atop Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas.

Touring Europe in style on a luxury cruise ship

usatoday.com — What's it like touring the Mediterranean on a luxury cruise ship? Now you can see for yourself right here at USA TODAY's Cruise Hub. The final installment of our six-part video series on the recently revamped Seven Seas Mariner, in the carousel above, offers an insider's look at the experience of calling at ports such as Venice and Rome while sailing on the vessel.

Inside some of the most luxurious cruise ship suites

usatoday.com — What are rooms like on one of the world's most luxurious cruise ships? Now you can see for yourself right here at USA TODAY's Cruise Hub. Part 4 of our six-part video series on the recently revamped Seven Seas Mariner, in the carousel above, offers an insider's look at the wide range of accommodations on the world's first all-suite, all-balcony vessel.
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Jun 19, 2015

The swankiest suites at sea? @onlyrichest has the definitive list, picked by...hey, that's us! bit.ly/1SvTLhA pic.twitter.com/DhDuaVuWMj

Jun 19, 2015

Small-ship line Haimark's new vessel in an accident just weeks into inaugural season with company ... twitter.com/SeatradeInside…

Jun 19, 2015

What's it like on an @AzamaraVoyages sailing? Cruise blogger @OrlandoChris will have a live report next week: bit.ly/1GVDv5C

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