News Archive - July 2006

7-28-06 Weekend News 7-28-06 *** A 22- year-old female passenger has been reported missing from Voyager of the Seas, last seen Monday, July 24, according to Seatrade reporter Anne Kalosh. The ship is currently on a cruise in the Mediterranean and was in transist between Civitavecchia (Rome), to Naples. The last time the woman was seen was when she went to bed in the same stateroom as her parents about 12:30 a.m. The report that she is missing came from her sister at 7:30 the next morning just after the ship docked in Naples.

"A number of search boats and aircraft have been used by the authorities in the past couple of days," Michael Sheehan, director corporate communications Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., told Kalosh., "There have been no sightings reported."

Among the officials notified by Royal Caribbean; the US Consulate in Naples and the Naples police, US and Italian Coast Guards, the the FBI. The report states Naples police conducted an investigation and the Italian Coast Guard is conducting air and sea searches.

The well-known response requisites are being taken by Royal Caribbean, including the collection and preservation of onboard records, videotapes and statements, and preserving staterooms for investigators.

*** The World of ResidenSea, the world's first co-op style cruise ship where the passengers own the suites is now officially completely sold out. Furthermore, the ship is now fee and clear of any debt. The median age of owners is 52. Most are entrepeneurs who are still working and use The World as a holiday home. About half are Americans and 40% are Europeans.

The vessel was launched in 2002,and has actually been kept pretty much a secret to the rest of the world. Very few pictures of the vessel's interior have been released, and employees who sign on as crew are required to sign strict confidentiality agreements. While the suites are owned by undividuals, the ship is managed by a company that as part of its duties re-lets the suites for passengers who agree, to travelers looking to sail on the ship for a short period of time.

The average cost for a family-style suite on board in anywhere from $1200 to $5000 per day, including meals, posts charges and taxes. Accomodations on board are represented by a group of about 30 travel agents and some real estate agents. Information on buying or vacation on the ship can be found at

Though all of the original available units have been sold, at any given time anywhere between 5 to 10 percent of them are on the resale market. Currently, 14 units are available at prices ranging from $800,000 for a studio to $7.2m for three-bedroom, 3,400-square-foot home.

*** Various sources including a Florida television station WESH-TV, Orlando and a web site are now saying the course of events behind the cause of the Crown Princess list was a junior officer on the bridge who thought that the automatic pilot was making the ship turn too much, so he took the vessel off automatic pilot, but mistakenly sent it into an even sharper turn. Princess Cruise Lines, however, will not confirm this account of events and says it prefers to wait for the conclusion of the official investigation currently underway by the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board to conclude.

*** The board of directors for the NCL Corporation, parent company for Norwegian Cruise Lines, is receiving two new members of distinction; Bob Graham, a former three-term United States Senator and two-term Governor of Florida, and Alberto Ibarg´┐Żen, President and CEO of the Knight Foundation, and former publisher of The Miami Herald.

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7-25-06 Human Error Caused Princess List In an open letter of apology to the passengers of Princess Cruises, the line has confirmed that the list was caused by human error. The letter is published upon the Princess Cruises web site (, and it says that the appropriate personnel changes have already been made.

No further details are included in the letter, it is not mentioned whether or not the Coast Guard has completed its investigation, nor does it say how the incident occured. It does, of course, imply that it was non-intentional. Back to Top

7-21-06 Crown Princess Sails for NY City Crown Princess leaft Port Canaveral yesterday at 5:00 p.m. after disembarking all passengers (previous reports stated 400 were staying aboard). The ship is expected to arrive in the city at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 22. The company statement says "We are confident there are no mechanical or ongoing operational issues that would compromise the safety of the ship, passengers or crew." Back to Top

7-20-06 Crown Princess 7-20 Cruise Delayed to 22nd Princess Cruises has announced this morning that the 9-day cruise originally scheduled to leave today from New York City will be delayed two days and will leave on a revised 7-day cruise itinerary on July 22nd. Here is the schedule for the revised itinerary:

Date Port Arrive Depart
Saturday, July 22 New York 7:15 am 5 pm
Sunday, July 23 At sea
Monday, July 24 At sea
Tuesday, July 25 Grand Turk 7 am 4 pm
Wednesday, July 26 At sea
Thursday, July 27 Bermuda (West End) 8 am 5 pm
Friday, July 28 At sea
Saturday, July 29 New York 7:15 am 5 pm

Passengers about to sail on the cruise above will receive a 50% refund of their cruise fare, and out of pocket expenses for changing airfare may be submitted to the company for reimbursement. Princess asks Passengers requiring hotel accommodations to contact 1-800-PRINCESS. Passengers choosing to cancel this voyage may do so without cancellation fees, according to the Princess web site.

The ship is to sail from Port Canaveral today to New York City with 400 passengers from the cruise still onboard. The rest of the passengers were disembarked in Port Canaveral and arrangements were made to fly them home.

As far as the incident investigation is concerned, it has been determined the captain was not on the bridge when the incident occured. Tests on the captain have been conducted for alcohol and other drugs, alcohol has been ruled out, drug tests results take longer. 240 people were treated onboard in a riage center set up in the dining room for lesser injuries such as bruises and abrasions, and 94 of those were transferred to hospitals onshore. Only two passengers currently remain in hospital.

The cause of the unexpected list is still being investigated. Back to Top

7-20-06 Crown Princess Steering Accident The Crown Princess, sailing off the coast of North Carolina, experienced a severe list to port as it tried a turning maneuver. The incident is described as a steering casualty, and it occurs when there is a mechanical malfunction that causes the ship to turn within a smaller radius, and faster, that intended. This can be caused by computer, mechanical or operator error, but in this case the cruise line says it was a computer malfunction.

One passenger reported seawater spilling over several of the top decks, but since the swimming pools on the top decks of ships are filled with seawater, and it has been reported that the pool lost much of its water, what this passneger most likely saw was swimming pool water coming overside from the decks above. Princess has reported that the watertight integrity of the ship was not compromised.

However, about Fourteen people were reported to be seriously injured and 33 passengers were suffering from minor injuries. Two people were critically injured, including a child who was flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando. The vessel, with about 3,100 passengers and 1,200 crew, had just departed Port Canaveral on Florida's east coast en route to New York when it listed badly to its left side, said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer James Judge.

The ship is currently docked in Port Canaveral, Florida, where it will remain until the situation can be further assessed. "Details about the next cruise will be provided as soon as Princess is able to fully evaluate the situation." a Princess spokesperson said. Crown Princess was on a 9-day Western Caribbean sailing, roundtrip out of New York, with calls at Grand Turk, Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman. Port Canaveral was the last port of call before returning to New York. Arrangements are being made to return the passengers home. A full refund will be given to passengers, together with a full reimbursement of any additional expenses. Back to Top

7-14-06 Weekend News *** Celebrity Cruises has announced that it will offer cruise/tour packages as part of the Mercury's new Australia/New Zealand itineraries beginning November, 2007. They include three-night pre-or post-cruise originating in Sydney and a two-night stay in Cairns visiting the Great Barrier Reef and a crocodile adventure. A five night land tour includes a one-night stay in Sydney, two nights in Ayers Rock and two nights at a resort town in North Queensland. All Celebrity Australia and New Zealand Cruisetours include in their land portions fully escorted tours, some meals, four-star hotel accommodations, and all transportation, including transfers to and from the ship and airport, as well as flights between destinations. Mercury will make six 14-night open-jaw sailings between Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia, from December 2007 through March 2008.

*** Holland America passengers taking Alaska tours in 2007 will find a new fleet of 39 coaches for the 2007 Alaska season. Having more legroom, spiffy leather seats, an enriched narration program including topical handouts, exclusive visuals designed to inspire and educate guests while en route to the next Great Land destination, guests will ride in style.

*** Oceania Cruises has announced 2007/08 "DownUnder" cruises aboard Nautica. The ship will cruise Down Under after repositioning from the Mediterranean next summer. The season will be split between Asia and Australia-New Zealand before the ship returns to the Med for Summer 2008. Itineraries will be finalized within the next month.

*** Norwegian Cruise Line has announced the release of its 2007/08 Freestyle Cruising Brochure, which includes information and itineraries for its two newest ships, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem. To obtain a copy visit The cruise line has implemented cellular phone service fleetwide no matter where the ship is sailing with their own cellphones. Back to Top

7-8-06 Weekend News 7-8-06 *** The inauguration of the Costa Allegra in Shanghai on July 2 marked a historical milestone for Costa Cruise Lines as the company inaugurates cruises from China. Beginning July 3, the Costa Allegra will operate cruises departing from Shanghai exclusively for the Asian market. The 28,500-ton vessel, which caries 1,000 passengers, will offer five-day itineraries with stops in Nagasaki, Japan and Cheju, Korea. In November, the ship repositions to Hong Kong for a 2006/2007 season of five-day cruises to Sanya, China and to Vietnam. Costa also took delivery of its newest ship July 2, Costa Concordia , which will cruise year-round in the Mediterranean.

*** Princess Cruises' "Tie the Knot At Sea" wedding program has been expanded to all 15 ships in the company's fleet. Originally offered only on the line's larger vessels with formal wedding chapels, legal shipboard weddings are now also available aboard Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Regal Princess, Pacific Princess and Tahitian Princess. The ships have all been reflagged to a Bermuda registry, the authority under which each marriage is legally certified. P rices for At Sea weddings begin at $1,800 for the ceremony plus $450 for registration and license fees. Princess' wedding program assists with all required paperwork associated with Bermuda regulations.

*** This month Disney Cruise Line is adding another attraction to it's private Bahamian Island, the " Flying Dutchman". The 175-foot ghost ship featured in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest movie, will be anchored in the harbor of Castaway Cay, a regular stop for passenger's sailing on Disney Magic sailings. Starting this summer, Disney Magic will embark on seven-night alternate western Caribbean itineraries with two stops at the private island. The special itinerary sails every fourth week, through Dec. 9, 2006, and will also include two days at sea and stops at Costa Maya and Cozumel.

*** Uniworld, which markets a fleet of European river boats has announced a series of holiday market cruises along the Rhine, Danube and Main Rivers this December. Ranging from eight to 13 days in duration, the special holiday sailings include visits to local Christmas markets and sightseeing in France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. Air/cruise rates start at $1,998 for an eight-day cruise, including transfers and exclusive shore excursions.

*** Passport Deadline Pushed Back - Again. US Senate appropriators moved Thursday to push back a deadline for requiring travelers entering and leaving the United States to have a secure, government-approved identification document like a U.S. passport. The lawmakers said the delay is needed to avoid a bureaucratic jam at the nation's borders. The Appropriations Committee approved an amendment that would delay implementation of the so-called Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative until June 1, 2009. Without the delay, the requirement would go into effect for all air and sea travelers on Jan. 1, 2007, and all land travelers by Jan. 1, 2008. The State Department is responsible for issuing the new identification documents, while DHS would have to install technology to read the documents.

*** Cunard Lines' Commodore Warwick hosts his final QM2 voyage after 36 years of Cunard Line service, a crossing on the flagship Queen Mary 2 from New York to Southampton on July 24. Commodore Warwick joined Cunard in 1970, and received his first appointment as captain for the Cunard Princess in 1986, and also sailed in command of the Cunard Countess and Cunard Crown Dynasty before his appointment as Master of Queen Elizabeth 2 in July 1990. From April 1996 he was the senior master of QE2 until his appointment as Master-designate of Queen Mary 2 in 2002. In December 2003 he was promoted to the rank of Commodore of the Cunard fleet.

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