MSC – Where Kids Sail FREE!

From the charms of the Caribbean to the wonders of Europe, kids 11 and under can enjoy it all . . . compliments of MSC. And kids 12-17 sail at a reduced rate. What’s more, MSC provides countless activities that offer captivating adventures for everyone.

Complimentary Kids Clubs!

Four separate Kids Clubs programs are available from 9 a.m to 11 p.m for young guests; each tailored to a specific age group:

  • mini club – 3 to 6 years old
  • Junior Club – 7 to 11 years old
  • Y-Team – 12 to 14 years old
  • MSC Generation Teen Club – 15 to 17 years old

Cool Kids Zones!

Your children are sure to be delighted by the colorful and spacious play area with lots of room to run, jump, and have fun. On MSC Poesia, children can enjoy the Stone Age dinosaur play area, while MSC Fantasia offer igloos and life-size polar bears in Il Polo Nord, “The North Pole” children’s play area that includes a swimming pool with waterslide.

Fun Kids Activites!

On board our ships you’ll find a wide selection of family, kid and¬†teen activities like basketball and soccer tournaments, table soccer, carnival parades, volleyball, crazy ping pong, karaoke, treasure hunts, dance competitions, miniature golf, tennis and more! Budding artists can channel their creativity with fun crafts. Future journalists and¬†cartoonists will be proud to see their work published in the new kids newspaper.

Digital Fun For Kids!

In addition to sporting, arts, and crafts and theater activities, MSC offers Microsoft Xbox Kinetic, Nintendo Wii and a wide variety of games from which to choose. The teen corner now includes a docking station for iPods, iPhone, iPads and USB readers; and a social corner connected to Net TV and with Bluetooth keyboards. For the ultimate virtual reality experience MSC Spendida and MSC Fantasia feature the stunning 4D Cinema where cinema comes to lift. A giant screen and special headphones for an audio/visual experience like never before.

Flavorful Foods Just For Kids!

The fun continues even with our children’s menus. Kids love our authentic Italian favorites like pasta and pizza, but we offer All-American favorites, too, such as hamburgers, hot dogs and delicious pastries and desserts. And, My Teen Card makes it convenient for kids 12-17 to make pre-paid purchases while onboard.

Kids sail free on MSC is not a promotion on certain sailings, it is all sailings all the time. So what are waiting for? To take advantage of what MSC has to offer contact AREA Vacations at travel@area-vacations.com or call 770-591-5552.

Norway – 9 Customs and Etiquette Advice

Hurtigruten - NorwayAbout 4,463 miles is the distance between the central U.S. and Norway. With such great lengths invariably comes new customs, unique walks of life and different ways of doing things. So¬†before setting sail on a Norwegian cruise and docking at cities across the Scandinavian country, it’s helpful to learn¬†about the Norwegian people and their customs. Here are nine things you should take with you:

1. For starters, more than 99 percent of the 4.3 million people who live in Norway speak Norwegian, the official language. Norwegian has two written forms of language:¬†Bokm√•l (literally “book language”) and Nynorsk (“New Norwegian”). Although both have the same legal recognition,¬†Bokm√•l is¬†more common. You will see both on signs throughout the country.

2. When greeting someone from Norway, use a firm handshake, direct eye contact and a smile. Like the U.S., Norwegian greetings are casual but meaningful. If you want to stay¬†on the side of caution and be very polite, people may use the honorific title “Herr” (Mr.) or “Fru” (Mrs.) followed by their surname.

3. Though informal, Norwegians generally have reserved body language, so don’t take offense if someone appears cold or aloof.

4. Norwegians are punctual in both social situations and business.

5. Keeping calm and not displaying strong emotions in public are common virtues in Norway.

6. Avoid discussing business. Norwegians tend to separate their business and personal lives.

7. Similar to the rising trend in the U.S., many couples live together without getting married. A wedding is not a prerequisite to starting a family, so it’s best not to make presumptions about people’s marital status.

8. In general, Norwegians are known to be humble, good-natured and friendly. Many people recognize Jante Law, a term used to describe a pattern of behavior associated with Scandinavians that frown upon individual success and achievement. Essentially, it is meant to teach people to be modest. As such, Norwegians try to see all people as standing on equal footing.

The tenets of the law are: 

– You shall not think you are special.
– You shall not believe you are smarter than others.
– You shall not believe you are wiser than others.
– You shall not behave as if you are better than others.
– You shall not believe that you know more than others.
– You shall not believe that you can fix things better than others.
– You shall not laugh at others.
– You shall not believe that others care about you.
– You shall not believe that you can teach others anything.

9. Most Norwegians have simple tastes and are not prone to excessive showiness.

One of the best ways to experience Norway is on Hurtigruten coastal cruise. You will be immersed in the culture and visit as many as 30+ ports in the 6, 7, or 12-night itinerary. For more information about visiting Norway or taking an exciting Hurtigruten cruise please contact AREA Vacations at travel@area-vacations.com or call 770-591-5552.

Carnival Miracle – Upgraded to Fun Ship 2.0 in 2015

CarnivalThe Carnival Miracle, a Spirit Class cruise ship operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, will undergo an extensive refurbishment this spring that will add an array of new and exciting on-board innovations, from unique bar concepts like RedFrog Pub and Alchemy Bar to fun entertainment choices such as Playlist Productions and Hasbro, The Game Show, and the family-friendly Seuss at Sea program! The new features – part of Carnival’s ongoing Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative – will be added during a two-week-long dry dock that will take place March 7-21, 2015.

The exciting new enhancements include:

  • Red Frog Pub – Carnival’s Caribbean-inspired watering hole featuring the region’s best rums and beers – including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red – enjoyed in a distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West atmosphere
  • Alchemy Bar – at this vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy,” mixologists “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients with creative names like “Forty is the New Twenty” and “Restorative Basil Drop”
  • Playlist Productions – these four spectacular shows – 88 Keys, 80’s Pop To the Max, Getaway Island and Heart Of Soul – combine captivating live performances of recognizable pop and rock songs with dazzling special effects to create unforgettable evenings of entertainment
  • Seuss At Sea – part an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Seuss at Sea brings the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss to life with fun activities like the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends, Seuss-a-Palooza Story Time, and more
  • Hasbro, The Game Show – this audience-participation favorite features larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic and popular games with titles like Connect4 Basketball, Sorry Sliders, and Yahtzee Bowling
  • Cherry On Top – this “candy and more store” celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more
  • New SPORTS Bar – at this sports lovers’ paradise, guests can catch live sporting events and check out scores on the real-time 24/7 sports ticker
  • Spin U – developed in partnership with legendary DJ IRIE – Carnival’s official DJ who has entertained crowds from South Beach to Las Vegas – this fun DJ academy provides aspiring spin-masters ages 15-17 all they need to know to “hit the decks” and rock the club!

These innovations complement a wide range of existing onboard features such as the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, a Serenity adults-only retreat with magnificent ocean vistas, a classic American-style steakhouse serving prime cuts of beef and other gourmet cuisine, a nine-hole miniature golf course, a 14,500-square-foot health and wellness center, and The Taste Bar offering bite-size samples from popular Fun Ship 2.0 dining venues.

Carnival Miracle Itineraries
Carnival Miracle operates year-round departures from Long Beach, California, featuring three different week-long Mexican Riviera cruise options: a three-port itinerary featuring Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas; a two-port option that includes a stop in Cabo San Lucas, along with a two-day overnight stay in Puerto Vallarta; and a third choice featuring a day-long visit to Puerto Vallarta, along with a two-day call at Cabo San Lucas.

Carnival Miracle will also offer 15-day Hawaii cruises round-trip from Long Beach departing Oct. 17 and Nov. 28, 2015, and Jan. 16, 2016, along with a special one-time 13-day Mexican Riviera cruise departing Jan. 31, 2016.

Reservations are currently being accepted for all of Carnival Miracle’s 7 to 15-day departures from Long Beach. For additional information, please contact us at travel@area-vacations.com or call 770-591-5552.