Jennifer Hudson will be on the Carnival Breeze on June 15 and the Carnival Ecstasy on June 16. *AFP photo
Jennifer Hudson will be on the Carnival Breeze on June 15 and the Carnival Ecstasy on June 16. *AFP photo
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Do you like country music and cruising?

How about 80s bands and cruising?

Then Carnival cruises could be a great choice for you in 2014.

Carnival has expanded its Concert Cruise programme where they invite a name artist to perform on one of their ships. 

This usually involves a concert and at least one meet and greet. 

Artists scheduled to perform this year are: Jennifer Hudson, Daughtry, Chicago, Foreigner, Jewel, Kansas, Lady Antebellum, Leann Rimes, Martina McBride, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Styx and Trace Adkins. 

The way it works is you pay an add-on price for the concert. 

In the case of Jennifer Hudson — who is on the Carnival Breeze on June 15 and the Carnival Ecstasy on June 16 — it costs $40 per ticket, or, if you want a VIP pass, $150. 

The VIP ticket will get you a laminated VIP pass, a meet-and-greet with Miss Hudson that includes a photograph and an autograph. 

The prices will vary depending on the act. Styx tickets are $20 and $100 respectively and they are performing on seven different cruises.


Hot cruise destinations

Many veteran cruisers don’t bother getting off the boat any more. 

I’ve been on 17 Caribbean cruises and some destinations are not worth a second look let alone a third or fourth.

Cruise Critic has published its hot destinations list for 2014 and a North American itinerary has made the top three — the Panama Canal. 

The Panama getting ready to celebrate the centennial of the Canal being open, lots of events are being planned around it.

It’s one of my top cruise choices to do.

Also, according to Cruise Critic, hot this year is Asia and the Bordeaux region of France. 

More ships are being moved to tap the growing cruise ship desire from the Australian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese markets.


Delta lounge increase

Delta Air Lines announced earlier this month it was raising the price of a yearly membership to its Sky Club airport lounges. Its new programme still allows a base membership of $450, but now its only good for one person. The previous base membership, which cost $450, and allowed the person to bring two guests with them into the Sky club, costs $695. 

Delta is throwing some extra perks in with the changes. Sky Club users will not be able to get Finlandia vodka, shoe shines, manicures and chair massages. They will also start serving pancakes for breakfast and have more dessert choices in the evening.


American Express

Membership is losing its privileges. We reported earlier that American Express Platinum cardholders will lose access to US Airways and American Airlines lounges on March 22, but Delta has joined the closed-door club. As of May 1, AMEX Platinum cardholders will no longer be able to use Delta Sky Club lounges as part of its benefits package. 


Jamaica

Delta has also started service to Kingston, Jamaica from Atlanta. That bad news is the Atlanta flight departs for Kingston at 4:59pm making it impossible to connect from Bermuda on the same day. If you don’t mind a layover day in Atlanta, this could be an option for you. 


Bonus AA miles

American Airlines is giving a 50 per cent bonus when you book a US Airways flight (the two airlines are merging in case you’ve been Rip Van Winkle-like the past year). The deal is good from now through march 2 and you have to use the code AAUSM.