Costa Flagship Arrives in Dubai for a Season of Middle East Cruises

Costa Toscana, the latest flagship of Costa Cruises, made its inaugural call at Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal today, December 16. To celebrate the occasion, an event was held on board the ship attended by local and Italian authorities. 

Throughout the winter of 2022/23, Costa Toscana will offer week-long itineraries in the Persian Gulf, departing from Dubai and visiting destinations such as Oman, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar. Costa Cruises is one of several cruise lines that has sent its flagship to the Middle East, becoming an ever more popular cruise destination. 

Costa Toscana Arrives in Dubai

Costa Cruises celebrated the inaugural call of its flagship, Costa Toscana, at the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal today, December 16. This terminal, which the Costa Group opened in December 2021, is the most modern in Dubai and will be the home port for the Excel-class Costa Toscana throughout the winter of 2022/23.


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Royal Caribbean Shifts Timing of a Popular Loyalty Benefit

Royal Caribbean International has reached out to guests about another change to its free loyalty drink vouchers for Crown and Anchor Society members, this time in a way guests will undoubtedly appreciate. Now, the time frame to use vouchers is being shifted, which will give guests more peace of mind when enjoying late night drinks.

Time Change for Drink Vouchers

Royal Caribbean guests who have reached the Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle level of the cruise line’s Crown and Anchor loyalty program have long enjoyed daily drink vouchers as a special perk for their loyalty.

A problem, however, is that the time to reset the voucher use window has always been midnight. This means that vouchers redeemed after midnight would count toward the following day’s total, though many guests consider a late night of karaoke, comedy, or hanging out past midnight to be technically part of the previous day.


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Best Cozumel Beaches Near the Cruise Port

As we prepare to explore the best Cozumel beaches near the cruise port, let’s make note of where our cruise ship is docking. On Isla Cozumel, there are three cruise ship terminals at this busy location – Terminal de Cruceros Plaza Langosta, Muelle Internacional and Muelle Puerta Maya. Which of these spots you will disembark depends on which cruise line you are sailing.

All three terminals are conveniently located near the main town of San Miguel and have access to everything you would like to do while in port. Once on land, you will quickly discover that this island (only 30 miles long and 10 miles wide) offers unique beach experiences.

Best Beaches in Cozumel

While all locations in the Caribbean have exceptional beaches, the shoreline here comes in three types – rocky, white sand and a hybrid variety. The natural qualities of those on the west side of the

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Another Major Cruise Line to Raise Gratuity Rates

Holland America Line has quietly added an announcement to the “Crew Appreciation & Service Charge Policy” page of its website noting that as of February 1, 2023, gratuity rates will be increasing. While the increase is relatively minimal, this follows the trend of other cruise lines likewise raising gratuity fees.

Holland America Line Raising Gratuities

Holland America Line, part of Carnival Corporation & plc, has announced a slight increase in gratuity rates to take effect on all sailings from February 1, 2023. The increase will be $.50 (USD) per guest per day in all stateroom categories.

The new rate will then be $17.50 per person per day for guests in suites, and $16.00 per person per day in non-suite stateroom categories such as balcony, oceanview, and interior staterooms.

Holland America Line describes these fees as “a daily amount for each guest that will be automatically added to your onboard

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