Introducing the Victory I with Victory Cruise Lines

In July of 2016, a new cruise line was launched by veteran cruise industry executive, Bruce Nierenberg.  Introducing, Victory Cruise Lines and the small luxury cruise ship, Victory I.  Summers are spent exploring the Great Lakes and Winters the ship cruises from Miami to Cuba, capturing the imagination of seasoned travelers seeking a new adventure.  The following video is an excellent introduction to the Victory I Great Lakes cruising!

With such a unique cruise product, it’s important to plan your journey with the Victory Cruise Lines Experts at VANTAGE ADVENTURES.  At Vantage Travel you’ll be in-touch with a luxury travel expert that will be able to assist you in planning the perfect Great Lakes cruise.  You can also visit for more information and reviews of cruise ships and cruise-related content.

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FATHOM Launches Impact Travel

Impact Travel and Deep Travel are new terms to describe a brand new cruise line that begins operation in April and May of 2016 out of Miami to the Dominican Republic and Cuba.  A start-up cruise brand that stems from Carnival Corporation, will have a fascinating, relatively new concept in cruising, called Impact Travel, where passengers can participate in unique excursions developed by Fathom, to reach out a helping hand in the local ports the ship visits.  Fathom begins with the P&O vessel Adonis which carries 700 passengers in an elegant environment onboard with comfortable staterooms and suites, many with private verandas.  The Adonis will visit the newly constructed $85 Million port of Amber Cove, just outside of Puerto Plata, which is a convenient location for passengers to explore the Dominican Republic.   A first for the cruise industry, a dedicated ship, the Adonis, has a specific mission to provide a luxurious experience for passengers, and also provide Impact Travel excursions for passengers to connect with local people and help with unique projects like; jumping into the process of making chocolate, or constructing and distributing much needed water filters to local families, and even helping elementary school children to speak conversational English.  The details of the excursions in Cuba have not been entirely released as of yet, but the plan is to have similar Travel Immersion activities there too.   The following video shows some of the excursions and unique elements to a Fathom Cruise Experience.

Please use the following link to visit TravelSafe Insurance and explore the unique cruise-specific policies that are highly recommended when traveling to the Dominican Republic or Cuba.


Visit the website to book your own Fathom cruise experience.


#deeptravel #traveldeep  #impacttravel  #fathom

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Paul Gauguin Cruises

vanessa_410x515In our latest podcast at Cruising Authority we interviewed Vanessa Bloy, who is the Public Relations Director at Paul Gauguin Cruises.  Some of the highlights to this interview are a description of the Tahitian Islands the Paul Gauguin vessel explores each week, what the lifestyle is like aboard the ship and the fact that this upscale cruise line is a great fit with families with children.  Nearly everything is covered in the cruise fare when passengers embark on a Paul Gauguin cruise, particularly the dining, entertainment, port visits and so much more.  Please take twenty minutes to listen to this podcast and learn for yourself all of the exciting things you can expect on a Paul Gauguin cruise vacation.

Click HERE to listen to this Podcast

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Three Unique Cruises

Having cruised all over the world on many different cruise ships and cruise lines with fascinating itineraries, I get asked often what my move UNIQUE cruise experiences have been over the years.  My answer is in this video which captures three very Unique cruise itineraries #1 is across Sweden #2 is out  of Dubai and #3  is on the Yangtze River in China.  To see the full videos featuring these Unique Cruises, check out the “Play Lists” at

Our Sponsors for this project are as follows:  TravelSafe insurance is an absolute MUST Click on the TravelSafe logo below to get rates:


To book your next Cruise Adventure, contact The Cruise Brothers or click on the link below to get the best rates, upgrades, discounts and amenities:



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America’s Superliner May once again go to Sea!

America’s superliner SS Untied States has been in mothballs since 1969 and has seen multiple owners come and go.  Richard Hadley, in Seattle, in the late 70’s, had aspirations of transforming the SS United States into a cruise ship / time share vessel that would cruise the Hawaiian islands.  Unfortunately those plans fell through.  Then the ship was towed across the Atlantic to have her interior fittings, including tons of asbestos, removed, leaving the ship an empty gutted hulk.  The Big U, as she was affectionately called, eventually made her way to Philadelphia where she remains today, towering over an IKEA in a backwater pier.  Norwegian Cruise Lines also had dibs on restoring the ship to service, but that plan too was scrubbed.  Finally, February 4th at a press conference at Pier 88 in New York City, Crystal Cruises, a luxury cruise brand, announced they would take on the $60,000 per month tab on the ship’s docking fees, and conduct a feasibility study to be certain the ship can be sound-enough to go to sea again.

Chief Executive at Crystal Cruises, Edie Rodriguez, standing with Susan Gibbs, who is the Grand Daughter of William Francis Gibbs, the designer of the great American-built ocean liner, announced the plans to restore the SS United States to sea again.  Artist renderings show a modified superstructure to offer verandas, her massive iconic red, white and blue funnels will remain in-place.  Recently, Crystal Cruises has surprised the cruise industry by purchasing a 787 luxury jet, a yacht-like vessel for luxury adventure cruises and Crystal will also enter the river boat market with their own brand of luxury river boats.  The estimated costs to restore the SS United States to sea again may cost up to $800,000 million dollars, which sounds about right considering the ship has been idle for 47 years.  In the past few years divers and investigators have determined that her hull is still very much in excellent condition.  You wouldn’t think she is seaworthy by looking at her in her current condition because her black hull paint is falling off, there’s rust everywhere, and she simply looks terrible, however; the paint chipping and rust is only a minimal layer to her otherwise steel and aluminum hull which is battleship strong.  Once in drydock, and after a good sand-blasting and hull-cleaning, she is in great shape for an extensive refit.  Every little inch of her interior, her hull plating, and in the bowels of the ship, will be scrapped, repainted, and power-cleaned in order to make sure she is ready for the sea again.

According to Crystal Cruises, when the SS United States emerges once again as a luxury cruise vessel, she will only carry up to 800 passengers as opposed to the nearly 2,000 passengers she use to carry in her life as America’s great ocean liner in the 50’s and 60’s.  With a passenger complement of only 800 passengers, the SS United States will have more space per passenger offering more lounges, restaurants and offer a more upscale, luxury experience.  In the old days as a superliner, crossing the Atlantic, the SS United States carried famous people such as Bob Hope, President Kennedy, Sean Connery, Walt Disney, Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe, to name a few.  Elizabeth Taylor was also a regular passenger and she would usually request the Duck Suite.  Gone are the days of the trans-Atlantic era, but today, the SS United States by Crystal Cruises, may once again wow her passengers with grace, poise and luxury.

Some interesting nuggets of information that many people may not know include the fact that when the SS United States was launched in 1952, she had more aluminum built into her superstructure than any other single structure built at that time.  William Francis Gibbs, the ship’s designer, was fanatical about creating a ship that was nearly fireproof, with very limited use of wood onboard, in fact, the only wood found onboard were the pianos, the butcher’s block, and in her bilge keel.  Gibbs even went as far as to remove the music director’s wooden baton with a replica made from aluminum.  The SS United States could carry up to 15,000 troops in wartime and could steam up to 10,000 miles on one tank of fuel.  The battleship-ready luxury liner was built for speed, which was a U.S. military secret, until she was removed from service in 1969.  Her engines could generate up to 240,000 horse power and her top speed was arguably in excess of 40 knots which is nearly 50 land miles per hour.  That’s incredibly fast considering she was such a large vessel, and she proved her speed by winning the Blue Ribband for the fasted trans-Atlantic record of three days, ten hours, and forty minutes.

Time will tell if this plan of Crystal Cruises will result in America’s superliner returning to sea.  If a company can do it, Crystal Cruises can, as they establish their brand as the leading luxury cruise line.  Now we await the results of a feasibility study, and remain optimistic that America’s great superliner will return to sea.  The following video was filmed in 1979 in Norfolk Virginia while the SS United States still contained her interior fittings.  Some pictures are also used from another visit to the ship in 1986, after much of her interior furniture and fittings were removed.  The video is a Vaudrin production with all rights reserved through Cruising Authority.

Look at the excellent photos of the SS United States in mothballs in Norfolk Virginia:

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My Two Favorite Cruises

I’ve been on nearly 300 cruises over the years as a passenger, a member of the crew and as a Cruise Journalist.  So the most asked question I hear is, “What’s your favorite cruise?”  As a Cruise Journalist, I started a multi-media business called Cruising Authority which offers written articles and reviews, audio podcasts and original videos.  I recently launched a new brand called: “Cruising With Barry”, that exclusively offers video reviews and commentary about the cruise industry, cruise ships and cruise itineraries.  Please enjoy this video where I talk about my two favorite cruise experiences.


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This content is sponsored by the following companies:

Carilohoa    This is a very interesting company that offers a fascinating fabric made from Bamboo.  I would’ve never thought that bamboo fabric would be so soft and luxurious, but overnight I sleep on bamboo sheets and I have a shirt made from this bamboo fabric from Cariloha.  Check out the website from the link provided and explore the products they offer.

TravelSafe  Having traveled the world, I always purchase travel insurance because you truly never know what could happen…so I gain a peace of mind knowing that I’m covered should there be an unplanned incident.  Click on the link just above and see for yourself the protection you can get from TravelSafe.  There are many policies there to consider.  Remember that particularly on a cruise, chances are your own life insurance or credit card insurance or even insurance offered by the cruise lines do not offer the comprehensive insurance policies that are specific to a cruise vacation.

The Cruise Brothers   I have now booked several cruises with The Cruise Brothers and I often refer my closest family and friends to this cruise agency because I know they will be taken care of and get the best rates, amenities, upgrades and discounts.  I even booked a large group of 80 passengers, and The Cruise Brothers handled every booking with great care and precision.

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Carnival Unexpectedly Launches a Tenth Cruise Brand

AdonistouchedupCarnival Corporation is a massive company with numerous cruise brands under their wing including: Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, and a few others. The tenth brand will be called simply, Fathom, and the ship to start-off this new cruise venture, Adonia, was taken from another one of Carnival’s brands, P&O Cruises, which caters mostly to passengers from the UK. The Adonia is a 30,000 ton vessel built at Chantiers de L’Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France in 2001, originally for Renaissance Cruises. The Adonia was one of eight ships built for Renaissance Cruises and she was originally named “R Eight”, because she was the last of eight ships built for the line, which filFathomLogo6ed bankruptcy in late 2001. The vessel has had several names with different cruise lines including: Minerva II and Royal Princess. In 2011 the Royal Princess was transferred out of the Princess Cruises’ fleet to operate with a sister company P&O Cruises and renamed Adonia.

AdoniastairsIt’s not unexpected for Carnival Corporation to launch a new cruise brand, however; it is unexpected for Carnival to have launched a unique cruise company like Fathom, which will engage in humanitarian efforts.   Fathom will engage in “social impact travel”, offering to passengers the exclusive opportunities to reach out a helping hand in the cruise ports to help the less fortunate, and offer ongoing assistance with educational programs in third-world communities. Another way to explain what Fathom does is Volunteer Tourism.  Many companies, tour operators and faith-based ministries have been conducting “volunteer tourism” for many years, in fact as the author of this article, I can say that since 1997 we have conducted several projects which we called a Cruise With A Purpose. I even wrote a book about the details of a Cruise With A Purpose and included several case studies as examples of what we did and how we did it. You can order my book Cruise With A Purpose at the following link:

Adonisinterior4The Social Impact travel company Fathom, will begin it’s impact cruise series partnering with well-established organizations like Entrena and IDDI, or Instituto Dominicano De Desarrollo Integral, Inc.   Fathom’s first mission will be to the Dominican Republic, where the Adonia will dock in Amber Cove, Puerto Plata for three days. Carnival Corporation spent 85 Million Dollars on Amber Cove, so that various cruise lines under the Carnival Corporation banner will be able to dock there. This area is fascinating because it is where parts of the first Jurassic Park movie was filmed. This is a very exciting project because now cruise passengers have an entirely new port to visit and explore.   Amber Cove in Puerto Plata is also the perfect region for Fathom to reach out to the local people, and make a long-lasting and positive impact in the various nearby communities. For Carnival Corporation to develop the concept of Fathom, it shows that even a mega company like Carnival has a heart. Launching in April of 2016, Fathom’s first ship the Adonis, departs from Miami to the Dominican Republic with roughly 700 passengers eager to make a difference in the lives of people in the Puerto AdonislibraryPlata area. Reservations can be made by visiting the Fathom website at

Cruise pricing aboard the Adonis with Fathom will start at $1,540 per person, and a portion of the cruise cost will go to the non-profit organizations that Fathom is working directly with in the Dominican Republic. Onboard the Adonis, passengers will enjoy a very traditional, upscale, luxurious environment with a fabulous grand staircase, fine wood paneling, and wonderful dining. It will be interesting to mix social impact immersion activities with a luxurious onboard experience. Passengers will go from a luxuriously appointed ship, to immersing themselves in a third-world country environment where some people may struggle daily with what to eat.   It’s that contrast that will be a fascinating social experiment.   Typically those who enjoy an upscale lifestyle tend to avoid placing themselves in an environment where they may see extreme poverty. Passengers onboard the Adonis will attend lectures and classes to prepare them for their outreach experience in the port. Some passengers may assist students in how to speak conversational English, while other passengers may help out in a factory that manufactures chocolate. Fresh water is a desperate need in the Dominican Republic, so Fathom passengers will be instrumental in the construction of water filters to be adonisloungedistributed to families and individuals throughout the community.

Fathom is truly making a long-term investment with this project to make a difference and make a positive impact in the communities in Puerto Plata and the surrounding areas. A long-lasting impact is the only way to have a successful outreach in areas like Puerto Plata, so that the efforts to stand along-side the local people will be an ongoing, purposeful activity for many years to come.


This article was sponsored by these fine companies:

Reverie manufactures the ultimate high-tech mattresses.  If you are in the market for a new bed, forget about the sleep number bed or the TempurPedic bed, the Reverie mattress is state-of-the-art comfort.  Click on the logo below and investigate for yourself how a Reverie mattress will change your life!


When ever you travel, either to a resort or on a cruise, it’s important you have travel insurance.  Click on the TravelSafe link below and find out why TravelSafe is the best possible travel insurance company to consider the next time you are planning a cruise vacation.


I have recently discovered a fantastic product made by Cariloha that I’m sure will amaze you.  Carolina has somehow produced incredibly soft and luxurious fabric out of Bamboo.  I never imagined you could make something so soft with Bamboo, but Cariloha has found a way.  I have bed sheets that are vastly more comfortable than the highest count of Egyptian fabrics.  It’s such a pleasure to sleep at night with this unbelievably comfortable fabric made from Bamboo!  The fabric becomes even softer over time.  The more you wash and use the more soft it gets!  Check out the Cariloha website and browse through their clothing and bed sheets.


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