CARE PACKAGES: Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2, on a recent crossing from New York to England, provided some supplies for Canadian rower Mylène Paquette in the mid-Atlantic. Paquette is endeavoring to become the first North American woman to row solo across the Atlantic.
Passengers lined the rails and watched as Queen Mary 2 dropped four watertight canisters of supplies into the sea, which were collected by Paquette.
The solo rower had been hit by the remnants of Atlantic Storm Humberto and had lost her anchor and a satellite phone, among other supplies. Queen Mary 2 provided the rower with a new satellite phone and two drogue anchors, which are used to hold the boat’s position when it is not being rowed.
Other supplies included fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, pastries, crackers, chocolate (yes!), plus bottled water and coffee, tea and hot chocolate. And there were practical items, too: a scraper to remove the barnacles underneath the boat, duct tape, soap, shampoo and body lotion. Plus, postcards of Queen Mary 2, a memento of their encounter at sea.
HAUL OUT THE HOLLY: Disney Cruise Line is promising holiday season events stem-to-stern aboard its ships beginning Nov. 9. “Very Merrytime Cruises” will feature a tree-lighting ceremony on the first night, holiday crafts, storytellers and a Deck the Deck party.
Disney is also planning some special events to celebrate the holidays themselves.
Those sailing on Thanksgiving will enjoy a feast along with Mickey and Minnie dressed in Thanksgiving attire. NFL games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor jumbo screens.
Santa Claus and his elves will be aboard Christmas morning in the atrium lobby with surprises for all the kids. Caroling by the crew choir and a special musical performance for youngsters are also planned, along with a traditional Christmas dinner.
To ring in 2014, there will be a special New Year’s Eve party with music, sparkling wine and a midnight countdown with a balloon drop.
For more information on the Merrytime cruises, visit www.disneycruise.disney.go.com.
COFFEE TABLE BOOK: Here’s the perfect holiday gift for fans of Oceania Cruises. The cruise line has just released The Oceania Cruises Art Collection, a comprehensive catalogue of the art and artists featured in the collection onboard Marina and Riviera. More than 2,000 works adorn the line’s award-winning mid-size ships.
The 205-page book showcases images of the renowned works in the collection as well as artist biographies and the story of how Oceania Cruises founders Frank J. Del Rio and Bob Binder personally amassed the collection. From masters like Picasso and Miró to the modern art of Robert Mars and Damien Hirst, to emerging artists such as Li Domínguez Fong and Carlos Luna, the diverse collection spans eras and genres. In a nod to Del Rio’s Cuban heritage, the collection includes celebrated Cuban artists such as Wifredo Lam, Cundo Bermúdez and René Portocarrero.
The Oceania Cruises Art Collection is available at www.OceaniaBookCollection.com, and is available for purchase onboard Regatta, and the rest of the fleet by mid-November.
Of course, another great gift would be booking one of the 86 voyages in the cruise line’s recently announced 2014-2015 Winter Collection. These cruises include two-for-one cruise fares and free airfare. Guests who book a veranda or higher category by Dec. 31 will receive free pre-paid gratuities, free unlimited Internet and early booking savings of up to $5,000.
Learn more about the Winter Collection at www.oceaniacruises.com.
NEW HORIZONS: Experience three new Caribbean itineraries for the 2014-15 winter season aboard Celebrity Constellation.
Two nine-night cruises depart from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 29 and Dec. 13, 2014, and an eight-night voyage leaves from the same port on Jan. 16, 2015.
Guests on the new sailings will enjoy visits to St. Barts, St. Croix, St. Maarten and San Juan — plus a stop at Celebrity’s private island paradise of Labadee, on the north coast of Haiti.
Bookings open for the new trio of Caribbean vacations, with special offers for Captain’s Club loyalty members. Visit www.celebritycruises.com.
CALLING ALL DIVAS: MSC Cruises, in celebration of the arrival of MSC Divina in PortMiami next month, is giving away three-day trips on the ship’s maiden voyage.
Enter the “Living the Diva Life” contest by creating a short video of no longer than 1 minute and 30 seconds showing how you enjoy living the diva life. Videos can be created in Vine, Instagram or YouTube. (YouTube videos should be no longer than 60 seconds.)
The contest ends Nov. 1. For details, go to www.facebook.com/MSC.Cruises.USA.