News Archive - October 2012

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10-31-12 Norwegian Gem Stuck at Sea - Calling in Boston Today Norwegian is reporting that its Norwegian Gem, which regularly uses New York City as its home port, could not return to New York on Monday as scheduled and that it still cannot return to New York today, so it is calling in Boston today and giving passengers the option to leave the ship. Here is the report NCL put out today...

At Norwegian Cruise Line, the safety and security of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance. Hurricane Sandy has had a devastating impact on New York City, and as a result the Port of New York remains closed and the reopening date continues to remain uncertain.

At this time, Norwegian Gem is calling in Boston to take on provisions, fuel and give guests the opportunity to go ashore. The ship will depart Boston this afternoon to set sail toward New York where the ship will continue to remain at sea until the Port of New York reopens.

At this time, we anticipate that the Port will re-open on Thursday or Friday. For guests who were scheduled to sail on Norwegian Gem's October 29 cruise, we are preparing an alternate itinerary for a five or six-day Bermuda cruise. As a result of the shortened itinerary, guests will receive a pro-rated credit for the missed days based on cruise fare paid.

We appreciate our guests' understanding and patience as we work through these extreme conditions.

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10-26-12 Carnival & Holland America: New Ships 2015 Carnival Corporation (parent company of Carnival and Holland Ameriva Lines) today announced it has reached an agreement for the construction of two new cruise ships - a 99,000-ton ship for its Holland America Line brand and a 135,000-ton vessel for its Carnival Cruise Lines brand.

A memorandum of agreement has been signed with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of a 2,660-passenger ship for Holland America Line scheduled for delivery in fall 2015 and a 4,000-passenger ship for Carnival Cruise Lines scheduled for delivery in winter 2016. The total cost for the two vessels combined, which includes the U.S. dollar denominated contract price and all owner's costs, will be approximately $195,000 per lower berth. The memorandum of agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including execution of shipbuilding contracts and financing.

The Holland America ship, which will be a new class of vessel for the line, will enter service five years after the last Holland America ship, the ms Nieuw Amsterdam, delivered in 2010. The Carnival Cruise Lines vessel, also a new class of ship, will be launched four years after the introduction of Carnival Breeze, which debuted in spring 2012. The timing of capacity additions for these brands is similar to the five year span between upcoming new ship introductions for both Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises (UK), as previously announced.

"Today's order continues the company's strategy of introducing two to three ships per year across the corporation's 10 brands. We have strategically timed the introduction of these new ships to allow ample time for those brands to further grow their passenger base and absorb the new capacity while minimizing revenue yield dilution in the remainder of their existing fleets," said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

Including the newbuilds announced today, Carnival Corporation & plc currently has nine new ships scheduled for delivery - two for 2013, two for 2014, three for 2015 and two for 2016. Arison also noted that the addition of new tonnage is expected, to some extent, to replace existing capacity reductions from possible sales of older ships.

The memorandum of agreement with Fincantieri continues the company's longstanding and successful relationship with the Italian shipbuilder, which dates back more than 20 years.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said, "These additional orders bring the total number of ships we have built for Carnival Corporation & plc to 61 and confirm Fincantieri's world leadership in the cruise ship sector even at a time of slowing demand." Bono added, "We view these orders as a very positive development for the Italian economy and the global cruise industry."

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).

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10-25-12 Hurricane Sandy Poses a Threat Sandy is a very late season hurricane for 2012 (as you can tell by the name) but watchers are saying she should become one of the worst storms ever.

One thing is certain - cruises leaving Florida the weekend of the October 27-29 could have a very rough ride, with most of the action hitting the coast on Friday and early Saturday.

Port Canaveral cruises heading south towards the Caribbean or Bahamas will have a challenge all weekend, but particularly those leaving on Sunday.

Furthermore, as Sandy heads north it could hit the Northeast states of New York and Boston in a big way as well.

Here are the changes to any ship itineraries:

Three Carnival ships - the Valor, the Pride and the Glory - as well as Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas were all forced to re-arrange their itineraries to avoid the hurricane, mostly just changing the order in which they visit the scheduled stops. Disney's 2,500-passenger Disney Dream is skipping a Friday call at Castaway Cay, the company private island in the Bahamas. It will remain at sea instead of calling at port. Saturday's port call of Nassau is currently pending weather conditions. Disney Fantasy is also skipping a call at Castaway Cay.

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10-19-12 Princess' Cruise Week Sale 10-22 to 10-29

Princess Cruises Celebrates National Cruise Vacation Week with Escape Completely Sale

Cruise Deals on More than 200 Sailings Offer Free Balcony Upgrades

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 19, 2012) - Princess Cruises is celebrating National Cruise Vacation Week with an Escape Completely Sale offering cruise deals throughout the week of October 22-29. More than 200 cruise departures are on sale, and passengers can enjoy a free balcony upgrade as well as 50 percent off their cruise deposit.

Featured destinations include Caribbean cruises as well as cruises to Alaska, Europe, Hawaii and the Panama Canal. Cruise departures run from January to July, 2013. More information about the sale details and pricing can be found at www.princess.com/sale.

Examples of cruise deals include:

  • Caribbean cruise - 7 days: $784 balcony (was $1,184); $584 interior (was $784)
  • Alaska cruise - 7 days: $1,344 balcony (was $1,544); $894 interior (was $944)
  • Greek Isles cruise - 12 days: $2,479 balcony (was $3,029); $1,779 interior (was $2,129)
  • Hawaiian Island cruise - 14 days: $1,694 balcony (was $2,690); $1,094 interior (was $1,790)
  • Panama Canal cruise - 14 days: $1,896 balcony (was $2,996); $1,296 interior (was $2,246)

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy and now include government fees and taxes. The Escape Completely Sale runs from 12:01 a.m. PDT on October 22 through 11:59 p.m. PDT on October 29, 2012 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

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10-18-12 Cunard Sale, October 22-29

Week-Long Sale Offers Complimentary Balcony Upgrades and up to $300 in On Board Credit on Select Voyages aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth

18 October 2012 - If the Norwegian Fjords or the ancient ruins of Seville call to your sense of adventure, then The Cunard Sale may offer the perfect opportunity to book your luxury cruise vacation.

Starting 22 October, this week-long sale will offer a Reduced Deposit, On Board Credit of up to $300 per stateroom, and Complimentary Balcony Upgrades on 30 select voyages, including Cunard's signature Transatlantic Crossings aboard flagship Queen Mary 2.

The Cunard Sale voyages aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth include:

Iberian Highlights, 19 April 2013 - 12 days aboard Queen Elizabeth; Balcony fares from $2,599 St. Petersburg & Baltic Explorer, 1 May 2013 - 14 days aboard Queen Elizabeth; Balcony fares from $3,599 Transatlantic Crossing (Westbound), 26 April 2013 - 7 days aboard Queen Mary 2; Balcony fares from $1,345 Fjords & Waterfalls, 19 May 2013 - 7 days aboard Queen Elizabeth; Balcony fares from $1,799 Mediterranean Delights, 7 July 2013 - 13 days aboard Queen Victoria; Balcony fares from $3,499

All fares and promotions are per person, based on double occupancy. The Cunard Sale runs through 29 October.

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

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10-18-12 Azamara Offers $500 Onboard Credit

MIAMI, October 18, 2012 - Azamara Club Cruises is celebrating Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA) National Cruise Vacation Week by offering up to $500 onboard credit when they book a 2013 Europe voyage between Oct. 21 and 27, 2012. Travelers taking advantage of the National Cruise Vacation Week offer also will enjoy up to $2,000 ChoiceAir credit. The cruise line's twin boutique ships, Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey, will sail European waters beginning March 27 and May 15, 2013, respectively. Savvy travelers can apply their onboard credit toward Land Discovery shore excursions or rejuvenate in the onboard spa after a long day exploring a newfound, favorite European port.

Additionally, travelers eager to start exploring sooner can take advantage of Azamara's current offers, such as the Holiday Voyages airfare savings of up to $2,000 per stateroom, when guests choose between either Azamara Journey's roundtrip 14-night voyage from Singapore departing Dec. 23, or Azamara Quest's nine-night voyage, departing Dec. 18, from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires.

The cruise line recently announced that the guest experience will soon include the new AzAmazing Evening, an immersive complimentary destination event ashore featured on every voyage. In addition, the cruise line is introducing a selection of complimentary standard spirits, wines and international beers in onboard bars and lounges during opening hours. Both offerings will begin with Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey's 2013 Europe season.

Azamara's National Cruise Vacation Week offer is applicable for new individual bookings made with deposit from Oct. 21 through 27, 2012, in the U.S. and Canada. Up-market travelers can enjoy $500 onboard credit per stateroom when booking a suite; $400 for a veranda stateroom; and $300 for an oceanview stateroom. More information on Azamara's National Cruise Vacation Week offer can be found at www.AzamaraClubCruises.com/special-offers/2013-europe-program.

Guests aboard Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest enjoy more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees, teas, and complimentary red and white boutique wines to accompany lunch and dinner, complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available.

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10-12-12 Royal Caribbean WOW-Sale Oct. 15-17

Royal Caribbean just announced that its final WOW Sale of the year will run for three days on October 15, 16 and 17, 2012. For all new individual bookings made for a 2013-14 Royal Caribbean sailing, vacationers can receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom on three- to five-night itineraries; $100 per stateroom for six- to nine-night itineraries; and $200 per stateroom for 10-night itineraries or longer.

Guests can apply their onboard credit toward an exhilarating shore excursion or rejuvenating spa session, or celebrate a special occasion during their cruise with a specialty dining experience. Vacationers also can enjoy 50 percent reduced deposits during the three-day WOW Sale to lock in their 2013-14 Royal Caribbean cruise vacation anywhere around the world.

The WOW Sale onboard credit and 50 percent reduced deposit offers are applicable to all Royal Caribbean International cruises that sail on or after January 1, 2013 including cruisetours. Offer is available only in the U.S. and Canada and applies to new individual bookings with required deposit only and is not applicable to groups. Offer applies to all categories available. All bookings must be made and the required deposit must be paid by October 17, 2012, by 11:59 p.m. local time to qualify for the promotion. Onboard credit is in U.S. dollars, has no cash value, is not redeemable for cash, is not transferable and will expire if not used by 10:00 pm on the last evening of the cruise.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

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10-11-12 Royal Caribbean Upgrades Dining Fleetwide Royal Caribbean International is once again elevating the cruise vacation experience, this time, wowing guests' taste buds. The cruise line, known for bringing the most innovative feature and amenities to the high seas, has redefined its onboard culinary program with an extensive multi-million dollar investment to its main dining room across the fleet. The culinary enhancements continue Royal Caribbean's tradition of culinary excellence emphasizing the freshest, highest quality ingredients available - on land or at sea.

The investment to Royal Caribbean's complimentary dining program focuses on an increased variety of menu options in the main dining room, including dishes infused with regional flavors reflective of the destinations of the world the line's ships sail to; improved choices for guests with dietary restrictions; and superior presentation.

"In today's food-aware culture, the palettes of our guests have evolved and they have come to expect, not only a variety of choices, but cuisine of the highest quality made with the freshest of ingredients," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. "In recent years, we have introduced many new specialty dining concepts and in this next evolution we are expanding the options in our main dining room with even more variety, allowing us to cater to our international guests while offering them the highest quality dining on land or at sea."

The cruise line has revamped the menus in the main dining room with added variety and made sure to include classic favorites that guests have long enjoyed, such as aged hand-cut Manhattan steak, escargot bourguignonne, shrimp cocktail and crème brulee, popular selections now available every night.

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10-11-12 Princess Highlights Holiday Cruises With the holidays fast approaching, Princess Cruises is getting ready for a festive season at sea, and is highlighting four tropical sailings where passengers still have an opportunity to experience Christmas cheer or ring in the New Year in the Caribbean or Panama Canal.

With limited space available, these cruises offer a special opportunity to passengers who would like to spend their holidays in a warm tropical setting. Choices include two Christmas cruises - one through the marvel of the Panama Canal on Coral Princess departing December 15 and the other to the Southern Caribbean aboard Emerald Princess departing December 17. New Year's choices include sailings to the Panama Canal aboard Coral Princess and Island Princess on December 29 and 30.

Holidays aboard a Princess Cruises ship offer a festive atmosphere, complete with a daily snowfall - passengers won't even miss out on a white Christmas as snow magically falls in the ships' multi-story atriums, transforming them into winter wonderlands. With the halls decked out in holiday décor - including a Christmas tree on the mast - and strolling carolers filling the air with the sounds of the season, Princess ships will offer a seasonal cruise experience from bow to stern.

Holiday cruises with availability include:

Panama Canal with Two-Day Canal Experience - December 15 Coral Princess sails from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale for a full Panama Canal transit combined with a full day at Fuerte Amador on the Pacific side of Panama. The 14-day itinerary includes calls at Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena and Aruba in addition to the Two-Day Canal Experience. Balcony staterooms begin at $1,499.

Southern Caribbean Cruise - December 17 For Christmas in the Caribbean, passengers on Emerald Princess' roundtrip sailing from Ft. Lauderdale will enjoy the festive season with 10 days in the Southern Caribbean. The cruise itinerary calls at Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. Balcony staterooms begin at $1,499.

Roundtrip Panama Canal Cruises - December 29 and 30 Coral Princess (December 29) and Island Princess (December 30) each offer an opportunity to celebrate the New Year while enjoying this classic 10-day roundtrip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale. Passengers will experience a partial Panama Canal transit to Gatun Lake followed by an evening a call in Colón, plus calls in the Caribbean ports of Aruba, Cartagena, Limón (Costa Rica), and Grand Cayman or Ocho Rios. Balcony staterooms begin at $1,699.

All rates are per person, based on double occupancy.

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10-1-12 Silversea Silver Cloud's Extensive Refurbishment

Starting this November, ultra-luxury Silver Cloud will welcome guests to a stylishly renovated shipboard environment brimming with a host of new enhancements.

A major stem-to-stern refurbishment will take place this month, with most of the work being completed during a three-week dry dock at Fincantieri's shipyard in Palermo, Italy. Overseeing the design and construction elements of the project is renowned Italian architect Giacomo Mortola.

The goal is to completely renovate Silver Cloud's interior decoration, including the suites, public spaces and dining venues, in order to introduce a fresh and contemporary classic atmosphere. Silversea is making a significant financial investment in this refurbishment to ensure its guests experience a renewed sense of luxury and comfort when sailing aboard Silver Cloud.

Highlights of Silver Cloud's makeover will include:

Refreshed Public Spaces: As soon as guests step aboard Silver Cloud, they will notice a totally renewed lobby displaying a color palette of warm earth tones that will be carried throughout most areas of the ship with the installation of stylish new carpets, wall treatments and artwork in the corridors, staircases and public spaces. Providing contrast to the main color scheme of the ship will be The Bar, which will be decorated in cooler shades of teal mixed with neutral tones of brown and beige. All new furniture, carpet, curtains and reconditioned wood flooring will give the Panorama Lounge a refreshed contemporary look, while The Spa and Beauty Salon will also get a makeover.

Dining Enhancements:

-- Le Champagne, the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea, will be completely transformed with an upgraded entrance design, the addition of gleaming, backlit wine displays, a redesigned seating layout, and new wood flooring, fabrics and window treatments.

--La Terrazza's updated interior will include a remodeled buffet area and handsome new banquettes along the walls, offering greater seating flexibility, including more tables for two.

--The Restaurant will be refreshed with chairs dressed in bright new fabrics, new window treatments and reconditioned hardwood flooring.

--The Grill, with its unique interactive dining concept, will now be featured aboard Silver Cloud as the existing Pool Bar and Grill area is expanded with additional seating, a large overhead awning, and the removal of the central stair unit, which will be replaced with a curving corner staircase. At this new outdoor restaurant, guests will enjoy an innovative dining experience that lets them cook prime meats and fresh seafood on heated volcanic rocks at their table.

Sophisticated New Decor for Suites: The sofas and chairs will be updated with new fabrics. All carpets, headboards, curtains and outside veranda furniture will be replaced. Each suite will have a new mattress custom-made exclusively for Silversea. The mattress will feature an individual spring system with a soft and firm side that can be reversed to suit each guest's preference. The new beds will be outfitted with plush new Pratesi sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers. All bathrooms will be enhanced with new flooring, marble appointments and either a new bath-and-shower combination or a new walk-in, glass-enclosed rainforest shower with sitting area, offering a soothing, spa-like experience. (This will replace the existing bath-and-shower combination in nearly 90% of the Veranda and Vista Suites). The Owner's and Grand Suites will be outfitted with a modern wet room bath configuration featuring a new rainforest shower that will be separate from the bathtub.

Upgraded Outdoor Spaces: The jogging track will feature all-new synthetic turf and the pool area will be outfitted with new deck furniture.

In addition to enjoying a fresh reconditioning and polishing of teak decks and woodwork, the ship will undergo thorough maintenance on mechanical and propulsion systems.

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10-1-12 Carnival: Check-in Counter at Miami Airport Carnival Cruise Lines has set up check-in desks at Miami's airport, enabling guests departing on a cruise from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to get their Sail & Sign card before arriving at the pier.

After guests retrieve their luggage from the flight, they proceed to a Carnival counter at concourse D or H. The counters are open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

After check-in, cruisers receive a boarding card that reads "Airport Express," so that they can be easily identified when they arrive at the cruise terminal. If guests haven't purchased transportation to the cruise terminal, they will be given the option to purchase a transfer.

When guests leave for the pier, they must take their luggage with them. When they arrive at the pier, guests are directed to the "Airport Express" security lane for a check of their photo ID and Sail & Sign card.

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