Cunard Line announced that it is now offering single cabins on Queen Elizabeth. The ship has added eight outside staterooms and one inside for solo passengers. The cabins all are located in mid-ship locations close to the social areas of the Empire Casino, the Royal Court Theater and the Queens Room, the line says. The single staterooms build upon Cunard's amenities and activities catering to a growing solo traveler base. Across Cunard's fleet, passengers traveling on their own can look forward to special activities organized by social hostesses, including a welcome reception on embarkation day, coffee and cookies every sea day morning and special meeting points and excursions on port days. Single ladies who enjoy dancing can find a partner with Queen Elizabeth's Gentlemen Dance Hosts. The expert dancers know all the formal ballroom dances and are available during evening balls held in the Queenâs Room.
Princess Cruises raised $832,000 for the American Heart Association during a themed fundraising cruise in February. The special five-day Western Caribbean sailing on Ruby Princess took place Feb. 10-15 and included activities and educational opportunities focused on heart-healthy living, including training in the American Heart Association's Hands-Only CPR; seminars on how to better manage stress, diet and exercise; a survivor's reception for those who had overcome heart disease; complimentary blood pressure screenings; and a fundraising walk on deck. The sailing was part of the company's "Cruising for a Cause" program. The money was raised from a portion of each guest's cruise fare and a 100 percent matching amount from Princess Cruises.
Royal Caribbean announced actress Kristin Chenoweth, the godmother for the anticipated newbuild Quantum of the Seas, will also serve as the ship's entertainment adviser. Chenoweth joins a lineup of advisers who are working with Royal Caribbean on the experiences and amenities for the 4,180-passenger vessel. Other stars enlisted are: HGTV-star and interior designer Genevieve Gorder, athlete and adventurer Dhani Jones and James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz. The ship is due to launch in the fall and sail the winter season from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J. Quantum of the Seas will relocate to Shanghai as its permanent homeport in May 2015.
Holland America Line's Volendam will complete its drydock service in December. HAL says the ship is getting 21 lanai staterooms, the contemporary bar area Mix and updated bathrooms in all suites and select stateroom categories. The passenger capacity remains at 1,432. The unique lanai accommodations feature large sliding-glass doors with direct access to the Lower Promenade wraparound teak walking deck. Each lanai stateroom includes reserved deck chairs, and the sliding-glass doors have a one-way mirrored coating to ensure privacy. The line's Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam vessels have already received lanai cabins.