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Archive for August, 2007

Less of a “Carnival” atmosphere?

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 30 - 2007

When the Carnival Inspiration emerges from its drydock in October, it will offer something no other Carnival ship will have – a quiet area just for adults. Inspiration will be the first Carnival Cruise Lines ship to feature a new adults-only area called “Serenity”.

Designed as an oasis for relaxation on deck, the Serenity areas are part of the $250 million “Evolutions of Fun” initiative which is updating Carnival’s eight Fantasy-class ships. The Serenity areas will be located in a secluded aft section of each vessel and will feature plush chaise lounges and chairs, oversized umbrellas and two whirlpools. Waiters will offer bar service, and the Lido Restaurant is nearby for snacks or casual meals.

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Cruising brings billions into U.S. economy

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 29 - 2007

According to a just-released report by Cruise Lines International (CLIA), the North American cruise industry generated $35.7 billion in gross U.S. economic output in 2006, including $17.6 billion in direct spending. The report also states that the industry supported 348,000 American jobs last year, accounting for $14.7 billion in wages and overall cruise industry spending grew by a total of 10 percent and impacted all 50 U.S. states. 

According to CLIA, 12 million people worldwide cruised last year, a 7 percent increase over 2005. U.S. residents accounted for 78 percent of the industry’s total passengers. CLIA counts a fleet of 151 vessels with a combined capacity of 249,691 lower berths.

In the U.S., direct purchases by the cruise lines for such goods and services as food, fuel and equipment plus spending by passengers and crew totaled $17.6 billion. Adding indirect economic impacts, such as transportation services and utilities, the total economic impact generated was $35.7 billion. The cruise industry touched every state, with 79 percent of direct purchases and 83 percent of total employment and income concentrated in 10 states: Florida, California, Texas, Alaska, New York, Hawaii, Georgia, Washington, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Embarkations at U.S. ports increased by more than 4 percent, totaling 9 million, and accounted for 75 percent of total global embarkations. The top 10 U.S. ports by embarkations were Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, Galveston, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa, Long Beach, Seattle and Honolulu.

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Propeller woes anchor Norwegian Crown

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 28 - 2007

While returning to New York from Bermuda on Friday, Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Norwegian Crown experienced a mechanical problem with the vessel’s starboard propeller shaft.  While this has had no impact on the safe operation of the ship it has unfortunately affected the speed of the ship.  The reduction of speed resulted in a delayed arrival into New York, with the ship arriving Monday, August 27 at 6 a.m. instead of its scheduled arrival on Sunday, August 26.

NCL stated that a team of divers inspected the propeller shaft this morning and, unfortunately, the inspection revealed damage to the seal in the starboard propeller shaft, which will require a replacement of the seal versus a repair.  The line says engineers have started the necessary repairs and are estimating a departure sometime this afternoon. The Crown is fully operational with all restaurants, lounges, entertainment venues and spa open for passenger use.  Nevertheless, the delayed departure has disrupted the original itinerary for the cruise.  As a gesture of goodwill the line is extending a 50 percent refund of the cruise fare paid and a 20 percent future cruise credit (based on the fare paid for the disrupted cruise) toward a future cruise with NCL. NCL will also be refunding government taxes and fees of approximately $34 to the guest’s on-board folio.  NCL says if a guest prefers not to sail, NCL will, of course, provide a full refund of the cruise fare paid plus all applicable taxes.

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Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises going expedition
Seatrade is reporting that Silversea Cruises is planning to build ships for expeditionary voyages. The line’s president, Amerigo Perasso, stated at a media event in Sydney, Australia that future plans call for the building of ships for expeditionary voyages and upgrades to the company’s two oldest vessels. Silver Wind, which entered service in 1995, will go into drydock for a month in October next year and Silversea’s first ship, Silver Cloud, will follow in October 2009. Silversea is slated to receive its first new-build ship in eight years during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Costa alters calls in Greece this week
The tragic fires that have devestated southern Greece for the past week is forcing one cruise line to alter port stops in the country. Costa Cruises has announced that it will change the itineraries for the Costa Serena and Costa Mediterranea for this week. Costa Serena, sailing from Venice for a seven-day Eastern Mediterranean cruise, will replace Katakolon with Mykonos on Tuesday. Costa Mediterranea, also sailing from Venice on seven-day Greek Isles voyage, will call at Corfu instead of Katakolon on Wednesday.

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What a pill! Cruise terminal evacuated over medication

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 26 - 2007

Jacksonville, Florida port authorities say heart medication triggered a bomb scare at the Carnival Cruise Line terminal Saturday afternoon.

Security personnel with bomb-sniffing dogs detected a suspicious substance in one of the bags during the embarkation screening process for the Carnival Celebration.

Authorities evacuated the terminal and searched all the bags. The all-clear to board came about seven hours later.  Carnival Cruise Lines gave all passengers a $15 shipboard credit for the delay.

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Princess launches “sampler” sailings

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 24 - 2007

If you fancy the idea of a cruise vacation but don’t have the time for a full-length journey, you may be interested in the launch of a number of sampler sailings from Princess Cruises during the 2008-09 season.

Passengers can opt for one to four-night journeys in the spring and autumn aboard the 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess. The ship offers guests the choice of casual dining options of burgers and pizzas or speciality dining options for those on a more formal cruise. Princess says that guests on the longer sampler voyages will also be able to explore the world-renowned wine producing parts of the region, including Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

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