The popular TV show Dancing With the Stars is going to sea. Holland America will conduct six theme cruises featuring Dancing With the Stars events in 2013 and early 2014. In addition, the line will conduct an exclusive Dancing With the Stars program on every sailing of all 15 of its ships.
Events on the six theme cruises will include dance lessons, a chance to meet the dancers, photo ops and a production featuring celebrities and dance pros from the TV show. Among those scheduled so far are pro dancers Mark Ballas and Kym Johnson, Tristan MacManus and Lacey Schwimmer. Dates for the seven-night theme cruises are Feb. 16 on Eurodam (Caribbean), June 22 on Veendam (Canada/New England), June 30 and July 7 on Oosterdam (Alaska) in 2013, and Jan. 5 and Jan 12, 2014, on Nieuw Amsterdam (Caribbean).
Non-theme-cruise programs on all the ships will include dance lessons and a dance-off performance with chosen guests pairing with the ships’ professional dancers. The program will begin Feb. 16 with the Eurodam’s seven-night Caribbean cruise out of Fort Lauderdale.
ICE BAR ABOARD
Passengers on Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Breakaway will be able to enjoy really icy drinks when the ship enters service in May. The New York City-based ship will have an ice bar aboard complete with seats, bar and glasses all made entirely of ice. It will also have ice sculptures of three New York structures, the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building.
The room, which will be kept at 17 degrees Fahrenheit, will accommodate about 25 guests at a time; each will be given a coat and gloves to keep warm. The charge for admission to the bar, which will include two signature cocktails, has not been determined, but the ice-bar fee on the Norwegian Epic is $20.
Several cruise lines are reducing the number of ship calls to Bermuda next year, but Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Breakaway, entering service out of New York City in May, will offset some of the projected decline.
Next year’s schedule shows that Bermuda will receive 35 fewer port calls, down from 163 last year to 128. Biggest loss comes because Holland America’s Veendam, which made 19 calls this year, is not returning to the island in 2013. Neither is Carnival, but it made only one call at the island this year.
Royal Caribbean, which has two ships calling at Bermuda, is reducing the number of port calls from 54 this year to 40 in 2013. Norwegian Dawn is maintaining the same number of calls next year at 22, as will Celebrity’s Summit, which will stay at 19. Princess had two calls scheduled for this year, but one was canceled because of Superstorm Sandy. The other comes in December, as does its sole visit to Bermuda in 2013.
Norwegian’s new Breakaway, which will be based in New York City, is scheduled to make 23 stops in Bermuda from May to October of 2013.
BACK TO HOUSTON
Two cruise lines are returning to Houston in coming years. Princess will station its Caribbean Princess there for 26 departures during the 2013-2014 cruise season. It will be the first time Princess has based a ship at the Texas port. Norwegian Cruise Line will return to Houston in 2014 for the first time since 2007. The line’s Norwegian Jewel will make seasonal seven-night Caribbean cruises for a minimum of three years.
HERE AND THERE
• Port Everglades has reopened four cruise terminals after a $54-million renovation project. The four are the terminals primarily used by Carnival Corp. brands — Carnival, Cunard, Holland America, P&O, Princess and Seabourn.
• Two-year-old company Alaskan Dream Cruises will add another vessel, the Baranof Dream, to its fleet in 2013. The 62-passenger ship, formerly Cruise West’s Spirit of Alaska, will introduce three new 11-night itineraries next summer.
• Introducing a more flexible buffet service on its ships, MSC Cruises is now keeping its buffet restaurant open 20 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• Costa Cruises is offering a free two-night post-cruise stay in a Rome hotel on select cruises this winter aboard its Costa Pacifica and Costa Magica, both of which sail out of the Italian capital.
• Disney Cruise Line will visit Jamaica for the first time late next year when it begins seven-night cruises out of Galveston.
• Crystal Cruises is expanding its international golfing opportunities by 25 percent in 2013 with new itineraries on three golf-themed voyages.
• Carnival Imagination, currently sailing out of Miami year-round, will move to Southern California in 2014, where it will add to Carnival’s three- and four-day cruises out of Long Beach to Ensenada, Mexico and Catalina Island. At the same time, the Carnival Ecstasy will be repositioned from Port Canaveral to Miami to take up Imagination’s short cruises to Nassau, Cozumel and Key West.