Metro area departing late winter and spring cruises, from the thrifty to the transcendent

by Evan Monroe

(Prices are effective at January 15 press date, and may vary)

7 NIGHT TRANSATLANTIC CUNARD LINE’S QUEEN MARY 2
For a truly magical “cross pond” experience, one need look no further than what the legendary Cunard Line describes as “the last great ocean liner that remains at sea,” one which, at the time of her completion in 2004, was the longest (1,132 feet) and highest gross tonnage passenger ship ever built (liners typically require 40% more steel than a standard cruise ship, due to mid-Atlantic weather conditions). Her four sixteen cylinder Wärtsilä Enviro Engine marine diesel power plants generate a stupendous 90,100 horsepower enough to propel Queen Mary 2’s 79,287 tons to a maximum speed of just over 30 knots (35 mph) and a cruising speed of 26 knots (30 mph), significantly faster than a standard cruise ship. She was also the first passenger ship ever built with a planetarium.

QM2 - Cunard Line

Princess Suite guests are offered perks like priority embarkation, dining in the Princess Grill at a time of their choosing, a king size bed, and exclusive access to The Grills Lounge. The April 21 departure itinerary from Manhattan’s West Side pier includes a single stop, at Southampton, England. $3,925 per person, expedia.com

14 NIGHT TRANSATLANTIC OCEANIA CRUISES’ MARINA
Departing April 5 and concluding in London, this extraordinary adventure includes stops in: Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Cork and Dublin in Ireland; and Saint Malo in France’s Brittany region. Marina’s Penthouse Suite includes unlimited access to Canyon Ranch SpaClub’s private Spa Terrace, priority restaurant reservations, a private balcony, walk in closet, and complimentary 24 hour room service. The dining focused on board experience includes cooking instruction at a fully equipped workstation at The Culinary Center, the only hands on culinary school at sea. Guests can also embrace their inner Miró at the Artist Loft, where artists in residence offer step by step instruction. $6,099 per person, expedia.com

14-Night Transatlantic Cruise

PJ MASKS SPREAD

7 DAY BAHAMAS & FLORIDA NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE’S NORWEGIAN ESCAPE
This week long vacation (March 3rd through the 10th) combines the best of two great destinations. Soak up the sun, beaches, and theme parks of Florida, then experience the mecca of shopping, scuba diving, and tropical adventure that is the Bahamas. Stops are Port Canaveral, Florida (with a day trip to Orlando) and Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. Amenities include two quintessential Jimmy Buffett venues: Margarita Ville at Sea and the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar. Norwegian Escape’s Haven Spa Suite includes an en suite whirlpool, then relax on your private balcony or in a waterfall shower, complete with body spray jets. $1,329 per person, ncl.com

7-Day Bahamas & Florida

12 NIGHT CARIBBEAN CRUISE ROYAL CARIBBEAN’S ANTHEM OF THE SEAS
With stops in San Juan (Puerto Rico), St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Kitts, this is as extensive a southern waters journey as March metro area departures offer (Departs Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ on March 3 and returns on March 15), and is a marvelous winter mind reset. At time of press, Avoya Travel was offering a special price for a one bedroom Owner’s Suite, with two twin beds that convert to Royal King size, a full bath with tub and two sinks, and a separate half bath. It also features a marble entry, large closets, living area with dining table, and a sofa that converts to a double bed. $2,799 per person, avoyatravel.com

12-Night Caribbean Cruise