Saturday, August 18, 2007

From the Delta Queen department:

It seems to be a trend when plans are announced to retire a classic ship that there's an instant reaction with an outcry to save the ship. There's an excellent editorial in Cincinnati's Enquirer that has a balanced look at several of the issues. Open your mind and then click the link to examine some of the arguments.

Note: Link is valid at time of publication.

Friday, August 17, 2007

From the billion dollar deal department

Update, August 17, 130pm
NCL announced at their press conference that Apollo will become Star's partner in owning NCL. It will be a 50-50 partnership. No management changes are planned, and the cruise line will continue business at they have. Details will be in Cruise News Daily later today.

Update, August 17, 530pm
Star Says that the trade of Star shares will resume in Hong Kong on Monday, August 20.

Update August 17, 1130am
In preparation for the press conference, NCL issued a press release announcing that Apollo Management is taking a $1 billion stake in NCL Corp in partnership with Star.

Update August 17, 11am
NCL Corp has scheduled a news conference for 12:30pm to announce a new stockholder. Details to follow this afternoon.

Update August 16, 9am
At the close of business Thursday, trading remains suspended pending an upcoming announcement.

August 14 Update 4:36am
Reuters reports from Hong Kong say that trading of Star Cruises' shares was suspended yesterday pending an announcement. Further details are not available at this time.

There has been quite a bit of activity recently in Star's casino activity and top ownership. There have also been persistent rumors that their NCL brand is for sale.

More information as it becomes available.

(For US readers, Hong Kong is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

From the no involvement department:

When someone goes overboard from a cruise ship, alcohol is often suspected to be involved, and the cruise line gets criticized for allowing the person to become intoxicated or for somehow serving an underage person.

The medical examiner's report was released on the body of the 18-year-old man who committed suicide by jumping from Carnival Ecstasy last month. According to the AP, the ME found that the man had cocaine and marijuana in his system, but it tested negative for alcohol.

Unless Carnival has greatly expanded its bar menu, they can't be criticized here.

From the belated greetings department:

Did you remember to send a card yesterday? The Panama Canal turned 93. Many of the commemorative events, however, were focused on the future which is symbolized by the start of construction on a new set of locks which will increase capacity and the size of vessels which can transit the waterway. Since it opened on August 15, 1914, more than 922,000 vessels have transited the canal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From the government is watching department:

Updated August 16, 930am - updates details and news link
We still don't understand why people don't realize that the government is taking note of who enters and leaves the country on cruise ships. This seems like a no-brainer.

In an earlier posting we wrote about one passenger who was completely surprised when she was arrested on an outstanding warrant as she disembarked from her ship in New Jersey at end of a Caribbean cruise.

Today, there's a news story about an American sex offender, skipping out on his probation in Texas, and he was arrested by Canadian authorities in Toronto. They were tipped off to the fact that he was in Canada when he failed to return to his cruise ship, Carnival Victory, in Halifax on August 9.

He apparently didn't think anyone would notice that he didn't get back on the ship. Sheesh!

Note: Links are valid at the time of posting.

From the extra department:

Last week in Cruise News Daily, we used a photo of Norwegian Gem in Meyer Werft's covered building dock. It was from an angle looking almost straight down the side of the ship. From that angle you can barely see NCL's unique hull art, but in Meyer Werft's building dock, it's about the best you can do. The building is mammoth, but as large as it is, it isn't wide enough to see the side of the ship well. Yesterday, we were happy to have a picture of Norwegian Gem after it was floated out on Sunday, and you can really see the artwork on the ship's side. (Both photos are currently on the front page of the CND website. The extra photo above shows the early stages of Sunday's operation as Norwegian Gem is slowly backed out, and you can see how narrow the building is, and consequently, why its not good for photography of NCL's hull art. The building is just about as long as the one shown on the left.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

From the musical ships department:

Carnival announced this morning that Carnival Fascination will replace Celebration at Jacksonville beginning Sept 20, 2008.

As always happens with these announcements, it will only be the first of several as the ships are shifted around to fill the holes.

The questions this brings to mind is first, what will happen to Celebration? Will Carnival be using it to open a new market, or is it time for it to be leaving the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet?

Then what will fill the 3- and 4-day slot in Miami? Could this be the time Carnival supersizes that route? Of course that will then raise the question, what will fill that ship's place?

Monday, August 13, 2007

From the Hawaii department:

While it's outside the realm of the type of passenger shipping that we normally cover, we think the launch of Hawaii's ferry service is significant and worth a look.

The Hawaii SuperFerry has set its long-awaited launch date for August 28. The initial routes will be from Honolulu to Kahului (Maui) and Honolulu to Nawiliwili (Kauai).

There are lots of interesting things on the company's website at

Sunday, August 12, 2007

From the too close for comfort part 2 department:

Last update 10:54pm
Another cruise ship had its security zone violated today. This time it wasn't a submarine but rather a 15-to-18-foot metal boat that held three men and a woman, but it had its own ominous overtones.

The boat was seen near the front of Carnival Pride about 11:30am while it was docked at Long Beach today. The ship's command reported the incursion to the Coast Guard, but the boat departed before law enforcement arrived on the scene. The search for the boat and its occupants is continuing.

The metal boat was well within Carnival Pride's 100-yard security zone and was pulling an inflatable orange boat. Witnesses saw one of the occupants dive into the water near the pier and later the person was seen climbing back into metal boat.

Divers spent more than three hours checking Carnival Pride's hull and the surrounding area but found nothing suspicious. Carnival Pride departed Long Beach at 6pm this evening.

From the crime doesn't pay department:

A few months ago in CND we reported on an administrative assistant at a cruise line who had the authority to issue free tickets for legitimate company-related reasons. When she took one of those free trips herself, the cruise line discovered she had issued more than 200 free tickets over a period of time and alleged that that she then sold them to family and friends at a discounted price keeping the money for herself. When she went to court, in a plea bargain she pleaded guilty to several counts and received a sentence of 21 months in prison and agreed to reimburse Royal Caribbean more than $377,000.

The Miami Herald reports that the woman has now begun to serve her prison sentence. An interesting sidelight in the article is that more than $600,000 was seized from her bank account. The police only got $240,000, but the IRS glommed onto all the rest. Apparently, the IRS doesn't care if the income was legal or not; they want the tax on it. She ought to be glad she lives in Florida, because they don't have a state income tax.

Note: Link is valid at time of publication.