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Archive for January, 2012


Oceania Cruises new ship Riviera delayed due to shipyard labor strikes

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 25 - 2012

Oceania Cruises was notified by Fincantieri late last week of construction delays and as a result, will reschedule the maiden voyage of its m/s Riviera. Construction on the 1,250-guest ship fell behind schedule when strikes at Fincantieri’s shipyard near Genoa, Italy, lasted longer than expected. The maiden voyage of Riviera has moved from April 24 to May 16, and all guests affected by the delay will be contacted by their travel agents or by Oceania Cruises directly to discuss alternative cruise dates.

“We sincerely regret any inconvenience that this may cause our guests,” stated Kunal S. Kamlani, the cruise line’s president. “We are working very closely with the shipyard to ensure Riviera is completed to meet Oceania’s high standards of quality and service.” “We know that sophisticated international travelers are anxious to welcome Riviera and we regret that labor strikes have caused this delay,” said Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s chief executive officer. “All of us at Fincantieri are committed to producing a superior quality ship and we will deliver a truly magnificent vessel to Oceania Cruises without further delays.”

The new maiden voyage is a 10-day “Pearls of the Aegean” cruise that includes an overnight aboard ship in Venice before visiting Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Monemvasia, Crete, Santorini, Kusadasi (gateway to Ephesus), Delos, Mykonos and Athens. Guests booked on affected sailings will have the option of rebooking another cruise and receive a future cruise credit, which ranges from $250 to $1,000 per guest, depending on category of accommodation. In the event guests do not wish to rebook, they will receive a full refund. Travel agent commissions will be protected.

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Blog, News, Twitter, What's New?

Disney announces new ports and itineraries for 2013

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 24 - 2012

In 2013, Disney Cruise Line will offer new itineraries, including an expanded portfolio of European cruises with new destinations such as Venice, Italy, and the Greek Isles. In addition, Disney Cruise Line will utilize a second homeport in Florida, with Caribbean sailings departing from the Port of Miami for the first time.

With the addition of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy to the fleet of cruise ships, Disney Cruise Line is able to take more families to more destinations around the world. Disney Cruise Line has always catered to the unique vacation needs of families, and next year will be enhancing the cruise options for guests — whether it’s sun and sand in the Caribbean, outdoor adventures in Alaska or experiencing the wonders of Europe.

Highlights of the Disney Cruise Line 2013 schedule (which can be booked beginning Jan. 23, 2012) include…

Mediterranean from Barcelona

disneygreece

Beginning June 1, 2013, the Disney Magic returns to Europe with plenty of new twists to the Mediterranean itineraries, including a four-night option and special 12-night sailings in
The new 12-night sailings visit destinations such as Venice, Italy, and Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast on one itinerary and Ephesus, Turkey and the Greek Isles including Athens, on another. Each itinerary will offer a sailing departing in June and another departing in July.addition to seven-night itineraries that treat guests to the best of Europe during the three-month season.

All itineraries depart from Barcelona, Spain, as the Disney Magic takes guests on an exciting journey of richly diverse cities, cultures and people. With romantic boulevards, bustling bazaars, iconic locations, mild climates, sun-drenched islands and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea, guests will enjoy a world-class family vacation with legendary Disney guest service.

Rates start at $796 per person for four-night cruises, $1,015 per person for seven-night cruises and $2,244 for 12-night cruises departing from Barcelona for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Four-night Mediterranean Getaway

Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Departure dates: July 9, Aug. 6

Seven-night Mediterranean Cruise

Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Naples, Italy

Departure dates: June 1, 8, Aug. 10, 17, 24, 31

12-night Mediterranean with Greece

Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Mykonos, Greece; Valetta,

Malta

Departure dates: June 15, July 13

12-night Mediterranean with Venice

Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Naples, Italy; Venice, Italy (overnight); Dubrovnik, Croatia; Valetta, Malta

Departure dates: June 27, July 25

Bahamas and Western Caribbean from Miami
The itineraries offer families magical days at sea to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Wonder and days in port to lounge on warm, golden beaches, to swim and snorkel in azure waters or to shop to their heart’s content in exotic marketplaces.Disney Cruise Line will sail from Miami for the first time on Dec. 23, 2012. One six- and one seven-night Caribbean sailing aboard the Disney Wonder will set the stage for a schedule of four- and five-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean between Jan. 5, 2013, and May 2, 2013. The four- and five-night cruises have a variety of itineraries. Ports of call may include Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; Key West; Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Rates for four- and five-night cruises departing from Miami start at $440 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Five-night Caribbean

Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay

Departure dates: Jan. 5, 19, Feb, 2, 16, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27

Five-night Caribbean

Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

Departure dates: Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, March 11, 25, April 8, 22

Four-night Bahamas

Ports: Miami, Key West, Nassau, Castaway Cay

Departure dates: Jan. 10, 24, Feb. 7, 21, March 7, 21, April 4, 18, May 2

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.


Carnival Corporation announces fleetwide safety overhaul

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 19 - 2012

Following the tragic Costa Concordia accident, Carnival Corporation, parent company of Costa Cruises and nine leading cruise lines around the world, today announced a comprehensive audit and review of all safety and emergency response procedures across all of the company’s cruise lines. Carnival Corporation is the parent company of ten cruise lines including 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).

Carnival Corporation and the cruise industry as a whole have maintained an excellent safety record over the years. “However, this tragedy has called into question our company’s safety and emergency response procedures and practices,” said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation. “While I have every confidence in the safety of our vessels and the professionalism of our crews, this review will evaluate all practices and procedures to make sure that this kind of accident doesn’t happen again.”

The review is being led by Captain James Hunn, a retired U.S. Navy Captain and currently the company’s senior vice president of Maritime Policy & Compliance. Following a 32-year career in the Navy, Hunn has held senior positions at Carnival Corporation for nearly a decade, focusing on corporate-wide efforts to establish maritime policy standards, while overseeing the company’s health, environmental, safety, and security practices. Hunn and senior health and safety executives from each of the lines will review all safety and emergency response policies and procedures, officer and crew training and evaluation, bridge management and company-wide response and support efforts. Hunn will report to the Health, Environment, Safety & Security Committee of the Board, and to Howard Frank, vice chairman and chief operations officer of Carnival Corporation.

In addition, the Health, Environment, Safety & Security Committee is engaging outside industry-leading experts in the fields of emergency response organization, training and implementation to conduct an audit of all of the company’s emergency response and safety procedures and to conduct a thorough review of the Costa Concordia accident.
Frank said, “This company-wide initiative will identify lessons learned and best practices to further ensure the security and safety of all of our passengers and crew.” Carnival Corporation also supports the call for a comprehensive evaluation of safety regulations by the International Maritime Organization, which was requested earlier today by the Cruise Lines International Association.

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.comYour online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Advice, Blog, Miscellaneous, News, Twitter

According to a report in the Bloomberg Businessweek analysts at Numis Securities Ltd. said the Costa Concordia accident is expected to be the most costly marine loss on record. Reports are estimating that the total insurance loss to be between $600 million and $800 million and the cruise ship’s hull insurance will pay out about $512 million. The article also cites sources stating that insurers are expected to pay out more than the $500 million paid out following the Exxon Valdez disaster off the coast of Alaska in 1989. These staggering amounts make the Costa Concordia disaster the largest marine loss on record.

In a statement earlier today Carnival said today that it is self-insured for the loss of the use of the vessel, which is insured for damage with a deductible of approximately $30 million. Its third-party personal injury liability insurance carries a deductible of approximately $10 million for this incident. The grounding will cost the company as much as $95 million, or between 11 cents and 12 cents a share in fiscal 2012, it said. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and our hearts go out to everyone affected by the grounding of the Costa Concordia and especially to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives,” Carnival Chief Executive Officer Micky Arison said in the statement.

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.comYour online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.


Carnival Corporation issues statement regarding Costa Concordia

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 14 - 2012

This statement is from Carnival Corporation & plc in Miami, FL. Carnival Corporation & plc is the parent company of Costa Cruises.

On January 13, 2012, Costa Cruises’ vessel, the Costa Concordia, departed from Civitavecchia, Italy with approximately 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members on a seven-day voyage. At approximately 10:00pm CET, the vessel struck rock off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy and sustained significant damage causing the ship to list severely. The order was given to abandon ship and deploy the lifeboats.

Tragically, there are reports of some deaths and injuries. This is a terrible tragedy and we are deeply saddened. Carnival Corporation & plc offers our sympathies and heartfelt condolences to all of the Costa Concordia guests, crew members and their families. Carnival Corporation & plc and Costa Cruises are committing our full resources to provide assistance and ensure that all guests and crew are looked after.

We want to express our deep gratitude to the Italian Coast Guard and local authorities and community members who have gone to extraordinary lengths to assist in the evacuation of the ship and provide support for our guests and crew. We are working to fully understand the cause of what occurred. The safety of our guests and crew members remains the number one priority of Carnival Corporation & plc and all of our cruise lines. Costa Concordia was sailing on a Mediterranean cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) with scheduled calls at Savona, Italy; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca; Cagliari and Palermo, Italy.

Friends and family members may use the following country-specific contact numbers to reach Costa Cruises:

Italy 848505050
U.S. 800-462-6782
Austria 00438109006565
Germany +4940570121314
France +33155475554
Spain +34934875685
Portugal +34914185951
UK 08453510552

Carnival Corporation & plc is the parent company of ten cruise lines including 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).

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.comYour online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

The Costa Concordia carrying more than 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew, hit a rock and sank in the shallow waters off the Italian island of Giglio.  Concordia had just started the first leg of a seven-day cruise out of Rome’s port of Civitavecchia. According to Costa officials, most of the passengers were evacuated, but at least three people were killed and dozens more injured.  Reports are unclear on the number of missing.  Costa Cruises, which is owned by Carnival Corporation confirmed the evacuation of roughly 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crewmembers from ship.  “The evacuation started promptly, but the ship began to list severely, making it more complicated to complete the evacuation,” Costa said. “At this time, the cause of the incident cannot be confirmed. Costa Cruises is working with the highest commitment to provide all needed assistance to guests, crew members and the local Italian authorities.” Costa Concordia was sailing a Mediterranean cruise from Civitavecchia (Port of Rome) with scheduled stops at Savona, Italy; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca; Cagliari and Palermo, Italy.  According to Costa there are many nationalities onboard including 1,000 Italian passengers, 500 Germans,  250 North Americans,  160 French, along with 1,000 crewmembers.

CostaConcordia

Costa Concordia reportedly hit a sandbar near the Italian island of Giglio as passengers were having dinner. Passengers quoted in press reports state that there was a panic among passengers as the ship began to list heavily to one side. Most people reached land by lifeboats but some swam ashore and others were rescued by helicopters. The 114,500-ton Costa Concordia is the largest ship ever to sink.

“It is a tragedy that deeply affects our company,” Costa said in a statement. “Our first thoughts go to the victims and we express our condolences and concern to their families and friends.  At this time all our efforts are focused on completing the last emergency operations and providing assistance to the guests and crew who were on board to facilitate their return home as soon as possible. Emergency procedures started promptly to evacuate the ship. The severe list of the ship made the evacuation extremely difficult.”  Costa added: “We express our profound gratitude to the Coast Guard and all the organizations coordinated by the Coast Guard in the rescue mission, including the authorities and citizens of the island Isola del Giglio, who were involved in the rescue and assistance to guests and crew members.” The line said it would cooperate fully with the relevant authorities to determine the causes of the accident. A Costa spokesman said family members and travel agents with passengers on Costa Concordia could call Costa’s call center at 800-462-6782 for more information.

By Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.