News Archive - August 2011

| Monday, 01 Aug. 2011

 

Cruise News Archive Who cares about old news? We do! Years: 2000 - 2012 CruiseMates RSS News Feed Add to My Yahoo!
Add CruiseMates to your My Yahoo
See the Newest Updated TSA Security Requirements and Passport Required for All Cruisers, Starting June 1st, 2009.

08-31-11 Galapagos Cruises Effected By New Regulations Due to averse effects to the islands caused by the presence of too many tourists as well as erosion, Ecuador's Galapagos National Park has issued new rules limiting the frequency of cruise ship excursions. Larger cruise ships will still be granted access but with a limitation of not being allowed to visit certain sites more than once within a two-week period.

Now cruise ship passengers will have the opportuity to enjoy the flora and fauna of these islands, made infamous by Charles Darwin, more exclusively with less chance of encountering overrun ecological sites.

These regulatory changes will begin to effect cruise ships come February 1st of next year.

Back to Top

08-29-11 Cruisers at Sea Get an Extra Day, Private Islands Damaged by Irene USA Today is reporting that the private islands of Royal caribbean (Coco Cay), Norwegian cruise Lines (Great Stirrup Cay) and possibly the Disney island (Castaway Cay) have sustained some damage from Hurricae Irene and will need some repair before ships can visit them again

Royal Caribbean stated that it is sending a team to the island to inspect the damage and they could yet say when ships would be visiting once again. Norwegian already has a team on its private island and the line would provide an update today (Monday, Aug 29).

In addition, the paper is reporting that some cruises that were scheduled to come into port in Northeast cities over the weekend were extended by a day. Meanwhile, the cruises that were scheduled to begin this last weekend have been shortened by a day.

Royal Caribbean currently has this warning on its web site dated Monday, Aug. 29:

Regrettably, the island of CocoCay, Bahamas, was impacted by the storm, and we feel our guest experience ashore would be disrupted. Because of this, we have cancelled Freedom of the Seas' call to CocoCay for today. Instead, Freedom of the Seas will call on Nassau, Bahamas, today from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We anticipate that Monarch of the Seas will call on CocoCay tomorrow, as scheduled.

Carnival Cruise Line has no weather update on its web site today.

Norwegian has the following "Weather Alert" at its Web site.

August 28, 2011, 4 pm ET At Norwegian Cruise Line, the safety and security of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance. Therefore, the company continues to closely monitor the path of Tropical Storm Irene. Because of the storm, we have modified the following itinerary: Norwegian Gem will remain at sea, keeping a safe distance from the storm, on Sunday, August 28 instead of returning to New York as scheduled. The ship will arrive in New York at 7 am on Monday, August 29. All guests for the August 28 cruise are asked to arrive at the pier on Monday, August 29 beginning at noon. The ship is scheduled to depart New York at 4 pm on Monday en route to Bermuda. The current itinerary calls for three full days in Bermuda as scheduled. Guests on board the vessel will be kept up to date by the ship's Captain. We appreciate our guests' understanding.

Back to Top

08-29-11 Captain Cook Cruises Purchased by SeaLink The Australian cruise line excluding the Fijian operation will be included in the sale. According to a report by eTurboNews, the family company will be sold to SeaLink Travel Group based in Adelaide. This sale encompasses fifteen vessels along with berths and licenses.

"As a family business, we have always placed enormous value on our staff, customer and business relationships. It is very satisfying to know that SeaLink shares these same values," said Captain Trevor Haworth, Captain Cook Cruises' founder.

Staying true to those values, the Director of Sales position will still be held by Trevor Haworth's daughter, Jackie Haworth Charlton, and Anthony Haworth will become General Manager of Captain Cook Cruises.

Back to Top

08-27-11 Norwegian Posts New Hurricane Irene Updates Norwegian Cruise Line just posted the following: At Norwegian Cruise Line, the safety and security of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance. Therefore, the company continues to closely monitor the path of Hurricane Irene which is currently forecasted to impact the New York area late Saturday and Sunday. Because of the storm, we are modifying the following itineraries:

Norwegian Jewel will return to New York early on Saturday, August 27 and guests currently on board will disembark beginning at 6 am. Embarkation for the August 27 cruise will commence earlier beginning at 10 am. The ship will depart three hours earlier than scheduled at 1 pm. All guests are advised to arrive at the pier between 10 am and noon. Once the ship is underway, there may be a change to the scheduled Bahamas & Florida itinerary.

Norwegian Gem will remain at sea, keeping a safe distance from the storm, on Sunday, August 28 instead of returning to New York as scheduled. The ship will arrive in New York at 8 am on Monday, August 29. All guests for the August 28 cruise are asked to arrive at the pier on Monday, August 29 beginning at noon. The ship is scheduled to depart New York at 4 pm on Monday en route to Bermuda.

Norwegian Dawn is sailing from Boston to Bermuda today as scheduled.

Norwegian Sky is sailing from Miami today as scheduled. The ship will spend a day at sea on Saturday, August 27 instead of calling at Great Strirrup Cay, Bahamas. The ship will visit Nassau as scheduled on Sunday, August 28.

Guests on board the vessels will be kept up to date by the ship's Captain. It is also important to note that we will continue to closely monitor the storm and if the path changes, we may need to modify these itineraries.

We appreciate our guests' understanding. If there are any further changes, we will update this site. Thank you.

Back to Top

08-27-11 Carnival Changes Routes to Avoid Hurricane Irene Hurricane Irene Update - 8/27/11 - 10:00 AM (EST) We (Carnival) are continuing to closely monitoring the forecasted path of Hurricane Irene in the Atlantic and it is now clear the track of the storm will force us to make some changes to our scheduled itineraries. As always, the safety of our guests is our number one concern and our ships will maintain a safe distance from the storm at all times.

Hurricane Irene is expected to pass thru the east coast this weekend. We have modified the itineraries below.

CARNIVAL GLORY - 8/27/11 In anticipation of Hurricane Irene's arrival Sunday night, New York City is taking pre-cautionary measures that may affect your ability to arrive at the terminal on a timely basis. We encourage all guests sailing on the Carnival Glory to make plans to arrive at Pier 88 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Please bear with us as the debarkation process from the previous sailing will be ongoing, but we will do all possible to make you comfortable. Sailing time remains at 3:00 PM, however we may sail earlier.

CARNIVAL PRIDE - 8/28/11 Since Hurricane Irene is forecasted to affect the northeast coast early Sunday morning, the Carnival Pride has been directed by the US Coast Guard to arrive early from the previous cruise and proceed to a secure, alternate location until the storm passes. Therefore, if the track remains the same, embarkation is scheduled for Monday, August 29th from 10am to 2pm at the Baltimore cruise terminal. An email was sent to all guests on Thursday evening with additional information.

All other sailings departing on or after Saturday, August 27, 2011 will continue to operate as scheduled. In the event we need to make a deviation to the itinerary, we will update our guests. Please continue to check back on carnival.com for further updates.

Back to Top

08-24-11 Crystal Cruises Announces 2012 ItinerariesTwenty new destinations are among the exciting ports-of-call for Crystal Cruises next year.

As Crystal Cruises sails around the globe from Akureyri to Zadar in 2012, the line is upping the originality with 20 new ports-of-call, a dozen new itineraries, more shorter-length cruises, and an almost 50% increase in overnights around the world. Strategic planning has most of 2012's cruises beginning with a shipboard overnight stay in port, while 86% of the voyages include at least one two-day call. Together, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will visit 182 ports-of-call in 59 countries on 60 itineraries worldwide.

"Our goal for the year was to enhance the ease and value of traveling with Crystal," explains President Gregg Michel. "For example, by adding more overnights to the cruises, especially at embarkation, travelers only have to unpack once, yet get even more time to experience a culture, while still having their Crystal home as a luxurious base."

The mix of overnight destinations includes both large cultural capitals like Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, and New York, and smaller locales with charm appeal, like Bordeaux, Edinburgh, Tahiti, and Sorrento.

New, Overnight-Packed Itineraries

Crystal's 2012 cruise calendar offers cruises lengths from seven to 19 days, not including the three-month World Cruise. Seven-day voyages are sprinkled throughout the year, with half in the Mediterranean, half in North America. New routes include:

Mediterranean, half in North America.  New routes include:

 

  •  Jan 4-Panama Canal: Instead of simply sailing through the Canal, Crystal Serenity will stop in Panama, for a maiden call in Panama City.
  •  Jan 18-World Cruise: A 94-day Australasian immersion, with segment highlights including:
    • A maiden call in Newcastle, Australia, after visiting the island of New Caledonia.
    • Overnights on both eastern and western Australian coats, in Sydney and Perth, before voyaging to Bali, Java, and Singapore (overnight).
    • A wide range of cultural experiences in one, starting in Osaka, Japan (overnight), then sailing to Petropavlovsk, Russia before traversing the Bering Sea to less-ventured calls in Alaska, through Glacier Bay, and back to L.A. along the Pacific Coast.
  • Feb/March-Brazil: An uber-regional Brazilian experience with five maiden calls (Buzios, Ilha Grande, Paraty, Sao Paulo/Santos and Itajai) exploring tropical coastline, rain forest and Portuguese-German heritage, and highlighted by an overnight in Rio during Carnival (also a highlight of the prior Feb. 20 voyage from Miami).
  • May 21-Europe's Western Coast: Journey of contemporary and historic contrasts along Spain and France's northern coasts, hitting unusual ports such as La Coruña (Galicia), Bilbao (Basque), St.-Jean-de-Luz (French Basque region, maiden call), St.-Malo (Brittany), and Honfleur (overnight).
  • July-North Cape: Although Crystal usually makes a North Cape voyage annually, 2012's version sees Norway's lesser-visited Molde, Åndalsnes and Trondheim added, as well as a maiden call in neighboring Leknes/Lofoten.
  • Aug 3-Baltic: An eastern Baltic-focus stopping in Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; and Klaipeda, Lithuania (maiden call), with an overnight in Stockholm and double overnights in St. Petersburg.
  • Sept 6-Black Sea: Overnight in Odessa, plus stops in Yalta, Ukraine and Sochi, Russia.
  • Sept 30-Eastern Canada: Seven-day, intimate French-Canadian/Gulf of St. Lawrence round-trip from Montréal with three maiden calls:  Sept-Îles, Magdalen Islands, and France's Saint-Pierre/Miquelon.
  • Oct-U.S./Canada East Coast: Two seven-days between Boston and Montréal (overnight), offering a shorter-than-usual way to visit northeast New England, Halifax, and the Saguenay River area.
  • Dec-Australia/New Zealand: Holiday cruise through New Zealand and Australia boasts two nights in Sydney over New Year's Eve.
  • Trans-Ocean Sailings: With six major ocean-crossing sailings during the year, Crystal is  reinventing the journey:
    • A 16-day N.Y.-London/Dover Trans-Atlantic in May includes a maiden call in Heimaey, Iceland and just three days at sea.
    • A 14-day reverse pond crossing overnights in Reykjavik and makes a maiden call in Akureyri, Iceland.
    • Two sailings in Nov/Dec that, combined, sail from L.A. to New Zealand and stop in some of the most legendary romantic tropical islands in the Pacific, including Hawaii, Moorea, Papeete, Bora Bora, the Cook Islands, and Fiji.

Unusual Ports-of-Call

European cruises also include maiden calls in Bonifacio on the French island of Corsica and Palamos, Spain and numerous ports that Crystal rarely visits such as:

  • Riga, Latvia
  • Sochi, Russia
  • Ravenna, Italy
  • Zadar, Croatia
  • Argostoli, Kefalonia
  • Agadir, Morocco
  • Palermo, Sicily
  • Bodrum, Turkey

Beginning with its spring Trans-Atlantic voyages (March 19 and May 8 on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, respectively), all Crystal cruises will be all-inclusive, with complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff, including at Nobu Matsuhisa's complimentary Silk Road and other on-board gourmet dining destinations.

Promotional offers, available for a limited time, include Two-for-One fares, bonus savings on select sailings, as well as fare reductions for repeat guests, families and friends traveling together, new-to-Crystal, early payment, and substantial savings for select back-to-back cruises. Fares, starting at $2,755/person, double occupancy, include free airport/ship transfers and round-trip air from two dozen North American hubs (or substantial air credits).

All 2012 itineraries are outlined in Crystal's 2012 Cruise Guide, as well as seasonal Winter, Europe and an upcoming Fall Collection brochures.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Back to Top

08-23-11 Carnival Changes Routes to Avoid Hurricane Irene Carnival Cruise Line has changed the regularly scheduled itineraries on seven different cruises to avoid the bad weather created by Hurricane Irene. Other itinerary changes were announced on Sunday.

Carnival Triumph's Aug. 20 seven-day cruise from New Orleans replaced calls at Freeport and Nassau with a day at sea and a visit to Cozumel. A day at sea Thursday will be replaced with a visit to Progresso.

Carnival Liberty's Aug. 20 7-day cruise from Miami will stop in Grand Turk and Cozumel instead of St. Thomas and San Juan this week. A call to Grand Turk was made Aug. 22 instead of Aug. 25.

Carnival Destiny's Aug. 22 five-day cruise from Miami has a whole new itinerary. It will visit Key West, Cozumel and Costa Maya instead of Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

Carnival Conquest, sailing from Galveston on a 7-day cruise Aug. 21, is replacing calls at Nassau, Freeport and Key West Wednesday through Friday this week with visits to Costa Maya, Cozumel and Progresso.

Carnival Miracle, cruising from New York on an 8-day cruise Aug. 18, is replacing calls at San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk Sunday through Tuesday with a day at sea and visits to Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay.

Carnival Victory, which left San Juan on a 7-day cruise Aug. 21, replaced a call at St. Thomas on Aug. 22 with a sea day and a visit to St. Maarten with St. Thomas on Aug. 27.

Carnival Pride's Aug. 21 seven-day cruise from Baltimore swamped a call at Port Canaveral on Wednesday with one on Tuesday and added Freeport to Wednesday. The remaining itinerary will change based on the storm's path but might replace Freeport on Aug. 26 with a day at sea.

Back to Top

08-20-11 Oceania Cruises to Return to New England/Canada for Fall 2012 Oceania Cruises will offer Canada and New England cruises for fall 2012 in place of previously scheduled Mediterranean voyages. In total, nine itineraries have been changed.   "Our 2011 Fall Foliage cruises have been so well received by our travel agent partners and their clients that we decided to redeploy Regatta from Europe to Canada and New England in fall 2012," stated Bruce J. Himelstein, Oceania Cruises' president. "These new voyages offer exceptional value with two-for-one fares and free roundtrip air."    Scenic highlights include cruising the Bay of Fundy, Saguenay Fjord and St. Lawrence River. Optional excursions enhance the destination experience and include a horse-drawn carriage tour of Quebec City; visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lunenburg fishing village; and a lobster lunch at Dalvay by the Sea, the 19th-century summer home built by then Standard Oil chief Alexander MacDonald. Outdoor pursuits include cycling Acadia National Park and Prince Edward Island and kayaking coves in Maine and Nova Scotia.

7-Day Cruises Priced from $1,499 per Guest

Aug 30 Sept 11 Sept 25 Oct 7 Oct 19 Nov 2 Nov 27 Mediterranean Splendors, 12 days, Istanbul-Lisbon Colonial Passage, 14 days, Lisbon-New York Colors, Coasts & Coves, 12 days, New York-Montreal Colors, Coasts & Coves, 12 days, Montreal-New York Autumn Vistas, 14 days, New York-New York Enchanted Amazon, 25 days, New York-Miami Caribbean Interlude, 7 days, Miami-Miami

Travelers will discover these exciting destinations aboard Oceania Cruises' 684-guest Regatta – an intimate ship acclaimed for its open-seating gourmet dining (no surcharges), luxurious public rooms and accommodations, and warm, attentive service.

Back to Top

08-19-11 Viking River Cruises Announces Two More New Builds for 2012; Total of Six New Viking Longships to Debut Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise line, today announced that it has ordered two more ships in the Viking Longships class for delivery in 2012, bringing the total of new vessels to six. This announcement marks an unprecedented number of ships launching in a single season, an accomplishment that eclipses Viking's own record of four ships christened into the fleet in 2001.

"To accommodate the demand, we have decided to accelerate the new builds schedule and bring two more Viking Longships into the fleet in 2012." "Ever since we announced the introduction of the Viking Longships earlier this year, the response has been overwhelming," stated Torstein Hagen, Chairman and CEO of Viking River Cruises. "To accommodate the demand, we have decided to accelerate the new builds schedule and bring two more Viking Longships into the fleet in 2012."

These two new ships are part of the company's $250 million fleet development program, comprised of several complete refurbishments plus the introduction of ten new Viking Longships by 2014. The two new state-of-the-art ships—Viking Embla and Viking Aegir—will make their debut in July and August 2012, respectively, joining sister ships—Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin—to be christened in March 2012.

"The Viking name has always been synonymous with exploration, leading the way where others follow," continues Hagen. "With the launch of these six great ships, we continue this tradition, leading the river cruise industry with inspiration, innovation and creativity—resulting in outstanding accommodations and an unrivaled experience for our guests."

The Viking Longships are a new class of vessel marked by sophisticated and inviting design coupled with high-tech and patent-pending features. Designed by celebrated maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten—the team behind the Disney Dream and the Yachts of Seabourn—the new ships integrate cutting-edge technology with amenities that reflect guest preferences and recent travel trends.

Building upon the company's reputation as the industry innovator, Viking is once again at the forefront by setting a new standard in onboard amenities, energy efficiency and guest comfort. By shifting the corridor one meter and reorienting the staterooms, this patent-pending design of an asymmetrical corridor configuration creates additional space and a variety of stateroom choices. The result is the largest real suites in Europe—featuring separate sleeping and living rooms in each of its Explorer Suites and Veranda Suites—as well as more full-size rooms and full-size verandas than other European river cruise vessels. Plus, three-quarters of staterooms will feature a veranda, French balcony or both.

Each of the state-of-the-art Viking Longships will be 443 feet long, feature 95 staterooms per ship and will boast key innovations such as:

  • Two Explorer Suites—which will be the largest river cruise suites in Europe at 445 square feet—each featuring a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom and private wraparound veranda, offering 270-degree views.
  • Seven 275-square-foot Veranda Suites with a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom.
  • Thirty-nine Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas, each at 205 square feet.
  • A new all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace that reinvents the lounge by bringing the outdoor river scenery indoors with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
  • Al fresco dining areas on the Upper deck, adjacent to the lounge to present more dining choices to guests.
  • Sustainability upgrades such as energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels and an onboard organic herb garden.
Named after key individuals from Norse mythology, the six ships are scheduled to sail Viking's most popular European itineraries including the 15-day Grand European Tour, 8-day Romantic Danube, 8-day Danube Waltz, 10-day Tulips & Windmills and 8-day Rhine Getaway. In addition to the introduction of the new ships, additional departures were added in late 2012 where guests can experience Europe's festive Christmas markets.

The Viking Longships are currently available for booking. Dates and pricing as well as ship and itinerary information are available on the company's website at www.vikingrivercruises.com. Viking's all-inclusive pricing features accommodations, all onboard meals, daily guided shore excursions and more. Also, Viking is the only river cruise line to include port charges in the cruise fare. For additional details, contact your travel agent or Viking River Cruises toll-free at 1-877-66VIKING (1-877-668-4546).

About Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise company, offers scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. The company has been honored multiple times as the top river cruise line on Condé Nast Traveler's "Gold List" and Travel + Leisure's "World's Best" Awards as well as recognized as the World's Leading River Cruise Operator at the World Travel Awards. Travel agents have also recognized Viking River Cruises as "Best River Cruise Line" by Travel Weekly, "Best River Cruise Line" by Recommend and Travel Agent magazines, Best Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises at the Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence and as "Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising" and "Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support" by TravelAge West. Since its 1997 inception, the company has grown to a fleet of 19 vessels, and provides unique, deluxe vacations to experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. With a $250 million investment in a fleet development program, by 2014 Viking will have several refurbishments plus the introduction of ten new Viking Longships starting with six to be introduced in 2012—Viking Aegir, Viking Embla, Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin. For additional information, contact Viking River Cruises at 1-877-668-4546 (1-877-66VIKING) toll-free or visit the company online at http://www.vikingrivercruises.com. Follow Viking River Cruises on Facebook here.

Back to Top

08-18-11 Art Auctioneers Leave Celebrity Cruises - Abandon Auctioneers Fine Art Registry, a web site that often reports on the state of cruise ship art auctions, is reporting that an interesting thing happened at Celebrity Cruises in the last couple of weeks. Here is what the web site says:

BREAKING NEWS: On August 15, 2011, it was reported to Fine Art Registry that Ira Shore and his company, International Art Galleries, LLC. (formerly British American Auctions) were thrown off Celebrity cruise ships at the end of last week. The auctioneers had to be flown home at Celebrity's expense. Rumor has it that International Art Galleries is about to declare bankruptcy. It is also reported that suppliers are up in arms and have gone directly to the cruise lines to seek satisfaction.

Many of our readers have reported to us about ongoing problems with British American, and its sister company, British Australian art auctioneers who worked aboard P & O cruise ships. Both companies have several people complaining that they never received the art they purchased onboard. In some cases they were sent a different print from what they actually purchased.

The owner of both of these companies is a man named Ira Shore - who interestingly enough, has very close ties to Park West Gallery. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line officially ended its agreement with Park West Gallery a couple of years ago. This left sister company under the Royal Caribbean corporate umbrella, Celebrity Cruises, without an art auction purveyor.

Celebrity forged an agreement with a man named Ira Shore, who was affiliated with Park West Gallery previously in many ways, but apparently was going his own way on Celebrity. Shore's main duty to Park West Gallery was to operate the company that officially found auctioneers for Park West Galleries on cruise ships and employed them under the name Plymouth Auctioneering. The auctioneers were said to work independently from Park West, and therefore Park West maintained in court and other places that anything an auctioneer may have told a buyer on a cruise ship was not Park West Gallery's responsibility. Ira Shore has bragged that he got Park West Gallery into the art auction business.

Now Ira Shore's new company, British American Auctions, has ceased operations and closed down as a company. There was in fact a name change registered with the Florida Corporation Commissions a few weeks ago to Arts International, and that company has already received over four million dollars in venture capital funds. However, it is not currently clear for what that money is intended, or if it will ever be used for any legitimate business reason. Some people watching these events believe the money had disappeared along with British American Auctions.

Back to Top

08-18-11 Regent Seven Seas Introduces Cruise Documents with Personalized Details Regent Seven Seas Cruises has upped the ante on cruise passage documents by introducing an elegantly designed book that provides guests with customized travel details and comprehensive information on their upcoming voyage.

Each personalized keepsake book is tailored specifically to the guest's Regent experience and contains all reservation information for their cruise, shore excursions, pre- and post-cruise hotel stays and land programs and any other supplemental items booked.

"Our quest to enhance customer experiences is ongoing, and Cruise Vacation Documents are an important part of the pre-cruise experience," states Mark Conroy, the line's president. "We are pleased to introduce these new documents that offer richer, more personalized content."

The new Cruise Vacation Documents book is divided into three easy-to-use reference sections:

  • Section I: All reservation information including Cruise Itinerary, Suite Information, Travel Checklist, Luggage Service, Guest Information Form and Seven Seas Society status. The guests' agency of record information is prominently featured in this section, including all contact details, highlighting the travel agency as the primary point of contact.
  • Section II: Information and detailed descriptions of Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Free Unlimited Shore Excursions and Regent Choice Shore Excursions that have been booked in advance or are available for booking. Information on hotel and land programs is provided within this section on separate dedicated pages.
  • Section III: The Onboard Experience offers a wealth of information to allow guests to take full advantage of onboard features such as the specialty restaurants, Canyon Ranch SpaClub® and a host of services and amenities offered aboard ship.
Pre-printed luggage tags for guests and Visa stamps (if applicable) will also be included in the back of the book. In addition, a Final Cruise Summary will be emailed 14 days prior to departure and will include the passenger's final air schedule, any shore excursions, pre- or post-cruise land programs and dining reservations that have been booked, or changes made, since the printing of their Cruise Vacation Documents. This final summary, as with the document book itself, will be sent to the travel agency unless elected that the documents be sent to the client directly.

The line's new Cruise Vacation Documents will debut with Seven Seas Navigator Aug. 31 departure; Seven Seas Mariner Sept. 3 sailing and Seven Seas Voyager Sept. 19 voyage. According to Conroy, future enhancements will include biographies and photos of senior officers, information on guest lecturers and Spotlight theme cruises, as well as information on gala and special events held onboard, "…making the Cruise Vacation Documents a true keepsake of the Regent experience for each guest."

Back to Top

08-16-11 North Americans to be Surpassed as Biggest Cruise Set Predicted by Richard Fain, foreigners will book more cruises in 2012 than North Americans.

According to a report by The Vancouver Sun, the cruise market is likely to take a turn in 2012 with more foreigners booking cruise vacations than North Americans. The article points out that this is a likely scenario based on the fact that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (Richard Fain is the company's chairman), the parent cruise company to Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Cruises, will position a bulk of its Royal Caribbean fleet in Europe next summer. Carnival Corporation's European brands, Costa and AIDA, are also ramping up their efforts in the market with new ship builds.

Back to Top

08-12-11 Disney Cruise Line to be Showcased at Disney's D23 Expo Disney will be hosting its biennial fan event, the D23 Expo 2011, at the Anaheim convention center August 19-21.

The cruise line points of interest include a panel discussion on Sunday morning:

IMAGINEERING THE DREAM AND THE FANTASY - 9:00-9:45am

Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and Bob Zalk talk about the design of Disney's latest cruise ships.

View the full convention schedule here.

Disney will also be showcasing what it calls the "Carousel of Projects," an exhibit space designed to spotlight a number of the company's wares including the Disney Cruise Line with, as they say on the D23 Expo web site, "what's new at Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Disney Vacation Club." View the web site here.

What's more, those who are particularly well versed in all things Disney can test their knowledge at the Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament with the chance to win a trip on Disney Fantasy. View the details here.

Back to Top

08-11-10 Norwegian Offers Discounts to Southeast Residents For a limited time, Alabama, Georgia and Florida residents can save on cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Norwegian Cruise Line invites residents of Alabama, Georgia and Florida to experience a Freestyle Cruising vacation to the Caribbean or Bahamas with special rates on select sailings in 2011 and 2012 for new cruise reservations booked beginning Monday, August 15 through Sunday, August 21, 2011.

Norwegian's cruises offer residents exceptional value and convenience to experience a vacation close to home with departures from Miami, Port Canaveral and Tampa, Florida. Guests can choose from a variety of itineraries including quick three-day weekend getaways to the Bahamas or more relaxing 11-day voyages to the Southern Caribbean.

From Miami, guests can enjoy an exciting three or four-day cruise to the Bahamas on board Norwegian Sky; a seven-day cruise to the Western Caribbean on board Norwegian Pearl; or an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the line's newest and most innovative ship, Norwegian Epic. For a longer retreat, guests can set sail on a 10 or 11-day cruise to the Southern Caribbean on board the newly refreshed Norwegian Dawn. From Port Canaveral, guests can experience the thrills and theme parks of Orlando then embark on a seven-day cruise on board Norwegian Sun to the Eastern or Western Caribbean; and in a first for the company, Norwegian Star will be home ported in Tampa sailing a seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary beginning October 16, 2011.

Norwegian's signature Freestyle Cruising features award-winning entertainment; accommodations to suit an array of needs from solo travelers to families; and dining around the world with options ranging from Italian, French, Chinese and classic American to sushi, Teppanyaki and Brazilian churrasco.

Back to Top

8-9-11 Norwegian Cruise Line Changes Smoking Policy Fleetwide Smoking will no longer be permitted in guest staterooms

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced adjustments to its smoking policy for each of the line's 11 Freestyle Cruising ships in response to changing guest preferences. Effective January 2012, guests setting sail on a Norwegian cruise vacation are no longer permitted to smoke cigarettes in their staterooms. Guests who are in a balcony stateroom will be permitted to smoke on the outside balcony; however, cigar and pipe smoking in staterooms and on balconies is prohibited. Ashtrays will be available for use upon request through housekeeping staff.

In an effort to diminish the presence of smoke indoors, cigarette smoking is only permitted in the casino, where ashtrays and appropriate signage will be displayed. Smoking is prohibited in all other public interior venues including all bars, restaurants, conference rooms, corridors, restrooms, staircases and landings. Guests may utilize the enclosed cigar bars on board Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Spirit for cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking.

In addition, the policy allows guests to smoke cigarettes, cigars and pipes in outdoor public guest spaces and open decks, where designated by the appropriate signage. Smoking is not permitted near outdoor venues which serve food, in open spaces such as the jogging track, sport complex, children's pool and in The Haven outdoor areas.

For more information on Norwegian's updated smoking policy guests may consult their Freestyle Daily once on board the ship, or view the policy on the website at www.ncl.com.

To book a cruise vacation with Norwegian contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

Back to Top

8-5-11 Carnival Commits to Baltimore through 2016 Carnival Cruise Lines is set to sail from Baltimore into 2016. The line just signed a 5-year contract extension with the Maryland Port Administration avoiding the expiration of its current two-year deal set to end on Aug. 31.

Carnival was the first cruise line to schedule year-round cruises from the South Locust Point cruise terminal in Baltimore in 2009. It carries about 115,000 passengers a year through Baltimore, Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill said in a statement.

"We are very pleased to continue our outstanding relationship with the port and city of Baltimore," Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill said.

There are 112 112 cruises scheduled from Baltimore in 2011, up from 91 in 2010, which carried a record 210,549 people.

Back to Top

8-4-11 Cunard Sponsors "Cinematic Passages: Ocean Liners on Screen," at Lincoln Center Cunard Sponsors "Cinematic Passages: Ocean Liners on Screen," 26-30 August, showcasing the glamour of ocean travel through films of the last 50 years. Tickets on sale Thursday, 9 August

Paying homage to the heyday of ocean liner travel and the films that celebrated those voyages across the seas, and utilizing that setting for high drama, smart comedy and some of the most famous Fred Astaire dance numbers, The Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) provides New York audiences with a summertime treat by presenting the film series, Cinematic Passages: Ocean Liners on Screen. Sponsored by Cunard Line, the revered ocean liner company whose iconic voyage experience personifies the Golden Age of Ocean Travel, the series runs 26-30 August at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street). Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, 9 August, both at the theatre box office.

"Cunard voyages offer guests the ongoing fascination, glamour and sophistication of the Golden Age of Ocean Travel," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. "As portrayed in the iconic films of Cinematic Passages, Cunard vividly brings to life this storied travel experience for today's ocean liner enthusiasts to discover and enjoy."

Highlights of the series include the Marilyn Monroe/Jane Russell romp Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Preston Sturges' classic screwball comedy The Lady Eve, the Fred Astaire musicals Shall We Dance and Royal Wedding, and a rare 70mm presentation of James Cameron's box office record breaker Titanic.

Another highlight will be the presentation of Ocean Liners in Fact, Fiction and On Screen: An Illustrated Lecture by Bill Miller on Friday, 26 August at 7:00 p.m. A frequent, immensely popular speaker in Cunard's award-winning on board enrichment programme, Cunard Insights, and an international authority on the subject of the great "floating palaces" of the past and current generation of cruise ships, Miller is known as "Mr. Ocean Liner." He has written more than 75 books and 1,000 articles, lectured on more than 50 liners and sailed nearly 350 voyages to date. His presentation will be complimentary with the purchase of a three-film pass to the film series.

Continuing FSLC's effort to offer free-to-the-public programming, Robert Neal Marshall's documentary on Bill Miller, Mr. Ocean Liner, as well as his documentary Three Queens-International Rendezvous (2008), about the final voyage of Cunard's longest serving Cunarder, QE2, will be screened at the FSLC's Film Center Amphitheater throughout the run of Cinematic Passages. Mr. Ocean Liner makes its New York City debut as part of the presentation.

Guests sailing a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard delight in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination. By day, guests enjoy voluminous libraries, world class spas, white-gloved afternoon tea service and engaging Insights programmes; and by night are entertained by black tie dinners, Royal Nights themed balls, West End-style productions and Veuve Clicquot champagne cocktails.

For more information about Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, and to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to www.cunard.com.

Screening Schedule

Screening Venue: The Film Society of Lincoln Center - Walter Reade Theater 165 West 65 Street, between Broadway & Amsterdam (upper level)

Friday, 26 August 1:00 p.m -- The Princess Comes Across 2:40 p.m. -- Shall We Dance 5:00 p.m. -- A Night At The Opera 7:00 p.m. -- Ocean Liners In Fact, Fiction And On Screen: An Illustrated Lecture by Bill Miller 9:00 p.m. -- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Saturday, 27 August 10:30 a.m. -- A Night At The Opera 12:30 p.m. -- Royal Wedding 2:30 p.m. -- A Night To Remember 5:00 p.m. -- The Lady Eve 8:00 p.m. -- Titanic (70mm print)

Sunday, 28 August 12:30 p.m. -- Love Affair 2:30 p.m. -- The Princess Comes Across 4:15 p.m. -- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 9:00 p.m. -- The Poseidon Adventure

Monday, 29 August 1:00p.m. -- A Night To Remember 3:30p.m. -- Royal Wedding

Tuesday, 30 August 1:30 p.m. -- Titanic (70mm print)

Back to Top

8-3-11 Carnival Corp. Orders New Ships for Costa and Aida

Orders Include a 132,500-Ton Ship for Costa and Two 125,000-Ton Vessels for AIDA; Largest Ships Ever Constructed for These Two Brands

MIAMI (August 3, 2011) - Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) today announced it has reached agreements for the construction of three new cruise ships - one 132,500-ton vessel for its Costa Cruises brand and two 125,000-ton ships for its AIDA Cruises brand. The ships will be the largest ever constructed for these two cruise lines.

A contract has been signed with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of a 3,700-passenger ship for Costa that is scheduled for delivery in October 2014. The all-in cost for this vessel will be approximately €150,000 per lower berth.

A memorandum of agreement has been signed with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to build two 3,250-passenger ships for AIDA which are scheduled for delivery in March 2015 and March 2016. The all-in cost for these vessels will be approximately €140,000 per lower berth.

The order for the two AIDA ships marks a return by Carnival Corporation & plc to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which built two highly successful ships for Princess Cruises, both of which were delivered in 2004. The contract with Fincantieri continues the company's longstanding and successful relationship with the Italian shipbuilder, which dates back nearly 20 years.

The new Costa ship order is subject to financing. The memorandum of agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is subject to customary closing conditions, including execution of shipbuilding contracts and financing. Additional design and itinerary details for the three new vessels will be announced at a later date by Costa and AIDA.

Today's AIDA order marks Carnival Corporation & plc's first new ship delivery for 2016 and continues the company's strategy of introducing two to three ships per year. Including the new orders for Costa and AIDA, Carnival Corporation & plc currently has 10 ships on order - three for 2012, two for 2013, two for 2014, two for 2015 and one for 2016.

The delivery of the new Costa ship in fall 2014 is expected to replace capacity from the sale of certain older Costa ships beginning with the sale of Costa Marina, which will leave the fleet in November 2011. In the third quarter of 2011, the company will record a loss on the sale of approximately $0.02 per share.

Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and P&O Cruises (Australia).

Together, these brands operate 101 ships totaling approximately 200,000 lower berths with 10 new ships scheduled to be delivered between May 2012 and March 2016. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.

Back to Top

8-2-11 MSC 'Balcony Bonanza' on 2011-12 Europe Cruises

Balcony Staterooms for Inside Rates

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (August 2, 2011) - MSC Cruises is offering travelers planning to cruise Europe this winter an opportunity to take advantage of its new "Balcony Bonanza" savings promotion, one of the cruise line's best of the season, between now and Sept. 30.

Guests receive a balcony stateroom at the inside stateroom rate or a balcony superior at the standard balcony rate. Rates begin at $649 for a balcony stateroom per person plus government fees and taxes (GFTs) on select 8-night cruises and $849 for a balcony superior.

Cruises to Europe featuring special "Balcony Bonanza" rates on 7-, 8-, 9- and 11-night sailings include:

  • MSC Musica: 8-night, Eastern Mediterranean "World Heritage Tour" roundtrip from Venice or Bari, balcony from $649; balcony superior from $849 plus government fees and taxes (GFTs); Oct. 30 and several dates in Nov.
  • MSC Magnifica: 7-night, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia "The Magnificent Mediterranean" roundtrip from Venice or Bari, balcony from $869; balcony superior $1,149 plus GFTs; Nov. 12 and 19.
  • MSC Splendida: 7-night, Western Mediterranean "The Splendid Mediterranean" roundtrip from Genoa or Barcelona, balcony from $919; balcony superior from $1,199 plus GFT; Oct. 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30, Nov. 4 and 6; and Jan. 7 and 8.
  • MSC Fantasia: 7-night, Western Mediterranean "Mediterranean Fantasy" roundtrip from Genoa, Barcelona, or Civitavecchia (Rome), balcony from $969; balcony superior from $1,289 plus GFTs; Oct. 14.

 

Select 9- and 11-night cruise itineraries include:

  • MSC Magnifica: 9-night and 11-night, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia "The Magnificent Mediterranean" roundtrip from Venice or Bari, 9-night balcony from $869 and balcony superior for $1,199 plus GFTs; 11-night balcony from $1,069 and balcony superior from $1,379 plus GFTs; Nov. 26 and 27, Dec. 7, and Jan. 5 and 6.
  • MSC Splendida: 11-night, Western Mediterranean "The Splendid Mediterranean" roundtrip from Genoa or Barcelona, balcony from $1,019 and balcony superior from $1,349 plus GFTs; Nov. 13 and 24, and Dec. 5.
  • MSC Fantasia: 11-night, Western Mediterranean "Mediterranean Fantasy" roundtrip from Genoa, Barcelona, or Civitavecchia (Rome), balcony from $969 and balcony superior from $1,229 plus GFTs; Nov. 5, 16, 26, 27, 28 and Jan. 7, 8, and 9.

For more information about MSC Cruises, call 877-665-4655, contact a local travel professional, or visit us online at www.MSCCruisesUSA.com.

Back to Top

8-1-11 Norwegian Announces Q2 Profit VS Loss for 2010 In today's earnings announcement from Norwegian Cruise lines the company announced that net income for the Second Quarter 2011 ending June 30 was a profit of $29.2 million on revenue of $586.6 million - vs. a net loss of $14.9 million on revenue of $477 million for the same quarter in 2010.

Net Revenue increased 19.8% to $418.0 million from $349.0 million in 2010 due to the addition of Norwegian Epic to the fleet in June 2010, along with an improvement in Net Yield of 4.2%.

The price of fuel in the second quarter increased 17.1% to $595 per metric ton from $508 in 2010.

Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan commented, "I'm pleased to see continued strong Net Yield growth throughout the fleet." Continued Sheehan, "Controllable costs were kept in check despite this environment of high fuel prices, while initiatives aimed at improving the guest experience resulted in record satisfaction scores in the quarter."

Norwegian Dawn completed a multi-million dollar Dry-dock in May for additions and refurbishments enhance the onboard guest experience and drive revenue. Accommodation improvements included the addition of fifty-eight new suites and staterooms, along with upgraded flat screen televisions in all staterooms. Enhancements to the public areas included the addition of the popular Moderno Churrascaria, a new layout for the Dawn Club Casino, and a complete renovation of the Kid's Crew and Teen Club.

Back to Top

Recommended Articles