The one where Carnival announces Legend-ary itineraries Down Under…

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The news of Carnival Legend’s deployment Down Under has created a buzz within the Aussie cruise industry with the line’s local office announcing the itineraries that will be on offer in 2014 and 2015 last week.

Shorter cruises seem to be the way of the future for the local market with Carnival doubling the number they will offer once Carnival Legend joins sister ship Carnival Spirit in Sydney from September 2014.

“With two ships sailing from Sydney, we’ve taken the opportunity to add some extra spice to the program – we’ve doubled the number of weekend sampler cruises on offer and we’re taking Carnival Spirit down to Melbourne in 2014 and 2015 for guests to experience the race that stops the nation, the Melbourne Cup,” Carnival Cruise Lines director for Australia and New Zealand Jennifer Vandekreeke said.

The ‘Weekend Sampler’ cruises start from just over $500 quad share and are designed for those unable to get time off work with all but one voyage leaving on a Friday.

Whilst the move reaffirms Carnival’s commitment to to the Aussie market, Carnival Legend will only be in town for the summer season rather than year-round like her sister, but will leave with a promise to return in 2015.

The cruise line will utilise the lessons learnt in the Aussification of Carnival Spirit last year when they refurbish her 2,124-passenger sister ship in preparation for the Australian cruise market.

This does beg the question, are Aussies that difficult to please when it comes to cruising? Or, are we just very different to the other markets worldwide?

Ships have been deploying from the US to Europe for many years, yet we don’t tend to hear of a ‘Europification’ process every season!

Here are just some of the things that the Carnival team have amended aboard Carnival Spirit since she launched in Sydney last October, that will be taken into consideration when Carnival Legend reaches our shores:

* Orders of salmon have increased by ten kilograms per day due to its popularity as a dinner option.
* Coffee orders in the cafe have increased by 500 percent following the additional training of the baristas onboard. Coffee tours of both Sydney and Melbourne were facilitated for the baristas in search of the perfect brew and, by all reports, they seem to have paid off!
*More family-friendly activities have been planned for Aussies who prefer to spend time together as a family than Americans who relish more alone time. I wonder if this means that it will be easier to nab a lounge on the Serenity deck!
* The bars are all stocked up with Sauvignon Blanc and whiskey rather than light Pilsner or ingredients for a rum-based cocktail like our American counterparts.

“What we’ve learnt so far about our guests will help us plan the upgrades for Carnival Legend prior to her arrival so she’s perfectly suited for her new summer home,” Ms Vandekreeke said.

It has been confirmed that there will be no tipping onboard and Aussie power points will be provided (hopefully in higher volumes than aboard Carnival Spirit though, where one is limited to little more than one per cabin in most categories).

Travel agents can access Carnival Spirit’s 2015 itineraries for booking now in Polar with Carnival Legend’s 2014 sailings available for booking by the end of June.

CRUISE IN REVIEW DEAL TIME

Those after a great deal aboard Carnival Spirit should book before 30 September 2013 when any guest booking a Carnival cruise out of Sydney will receive a saving of AUD$100 per person (AUD$200 per cabin) on eight and nine day sailings in 2014 and 2015*.

10, 11 and 12 day voyages will attract a saving of AUD$150 per person (AUD$300 per cabin)*.

*Blackout dates apply.

Click here to view a special performance by Ms Vandekreeke in celebration of the arrival of Carnival Legend.

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