• New Asia visits: Holland America is expanding its presence in Asia during the 2013-2014 season, increasing capacity and adding new itineraries. Two ships, the Volendam and Rotterdam, will be based in Singapore during the season. New itineraries include a 14-night Volendam sailing to Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and India, and a 14-night cruise by the Rotterdam to Indonesian ports, among them the island of Komodo, known for its formidable “dragon,” and an overnight in Bali.
The recent news that Disney Cruise Line will now allow passengers to wear shorts at dinner in the main dining room should come as no surprise.
After all, Mickey Mouse wears shorts. And they look pretty snazzy.
If you’re keeping track, Disney and Norwegian lines allow shorts at dinner, but Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and more pricey cruise lines still won’t.
So far, no swimsuits are allowed in the main dining rooms on any cruise ship. Even Mickey has to draw the line somewhere.
HERE AND THERE
• As a result of unrest in Egypt, MSC Cruises has canceled the MSC Armonia winter itineraries in the Red Sea and replaced them with two new itineraries departing from the Canary Islands.
• Costa Cruises has dropped prices to as low as $399 per person, double occupancy, on European cruises now through December. The discounted fares are available on nine ships making voyages of seven to 11 nights. www.costacruises.com.
• Next year, Crystal Cruises will add six new topics to its extensive theme cruise program — thrill-seeking, elegance, the Roman Empire, maritime history, magic and microbrews. The line has 10 other theme cruises scheduled.
• American Queen Steamship Co. has established a loyalty program for guests who sail on the line’s American Queen or American Empress, debuting in the spring. Members of the new Steamboat Society of America program will receive onboard credits, future cruise discounts and other perks.
• Movie/television legends Jane Powell, Robert Wagner, Theodore Bikel, Margaret O’Brien and Alex Trebek will join hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz on Turner Classic movies’ third TCM Classic Cruise sailing on the Disney Magic from Miami Dec. 8-13. www.TCMcruise.com.
• Legendary jazz guitarists Paul Brown and Marc Antoine will perform on two special sailings of Silversea’s Silver Spirit this fall — Antoine on a Mediterranean cruise out of Rome Nov. 2, Brown on a Caribbean sailing out of Fort Lauderdale Dec. 13.