Saturday, January 28, 2012

Man Dies in Accidental Fall aboard Carnival Fantasy

updated January 28, 2012, 9:04pm EST

A 26-year-old man died in a fall aboard Carnival Fantasy on Friday (January 27, 2012).

Carnival said the passenger fell from an upper level in the ship's atrium to the lobby level while the ship was docked in Nassau late Friday evening, approximately 11:30pm. The police in the Bahamas, which are investigating the incident, characterized it a little differently, saying their initial reports indicate the man died when he was trying to jump from one floor to another. The police in the Bahamas confirmed the man was from South Carolina.

Due to the ongoing investigation, Saturday's call at Freeport was canceled and the ship remained in Nassau until 3pm on Saturday. Carnival Fantasy is on a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas from Charleston (SC) which departed on Wednesday (January 25). The ship will return to Charleston as scheduled on Monday (January 30).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Costa Details Offer to Passengers aboard Costa Concordia

Yesterday, Costa Crociere held discussions with consumer groups to determine a fair compensation to those passengers who were aboard Costa Concordia on January 13 who were not injured. The line has just released details of that offer which are in the press release republished below.

We will have further details on the story, and perspective, in today's edition of Cruise News Daily.

Costa Cruises Details Costa Concordia Guest Reimbursement

Jan. 27, 2012 -- Costa Crociere wishes to again express its profound condolences to the families of the victims, continued sympathy to the families of the missing and deep regret and sorrow for the damages and hardship the Costa Concordia accident caused to all its guests.

Costa Crociere announced a compensation proposal for guests who have returned home after the Jan. 13 tragic Costa Concordia accident. This proposal is the result of negotiations between Costa Crociere and consumer associations protecting guests’ interests, with the support of multiple tourism and travel industry associations. In Italy, the company has already reached an agreement with the National Council of Consumers and Users, a national organization.

The families of the deceased and guests who were injured and required medical treatment on site will be covered under a separate proposal that will take into account their individual circumstances.

The compensation package for Costa Concordia guests who have returned home includes:

• A lump sum of 11,000 euros (US$14,458.07 at today’s exchange rate) per person as indemnification, covering all patrimonial and nonpatrimonial damages, including loss of baggage and personal effects, psychological distress and loss of enjoyment of the cruise vacation;

• Reimbursement of the value of the cruise, including harbor taxes;

• Reimbursement of air and bus transfers included in the cruise package;

• Full reimbursement of travel expenses to reach the port of embarkation and return home;

• Reimbursement of any medical expenses resulting from the cruise;

• Reimbursement of expenses incurred on board during the cruise.

This compensation package is higher than the current indemnification limits provided for in international conventions and laws currently in force. The 11,000 euro lump-sum payment is offered to all Costa Concordia passengers, including nonpaying children, regardless of their age.

Costa also has pledged not to deduct from this sum any amount paid by any insurance policy stipulated by guests. In addition, the company will return all goods stored in cabin safes, where retrieval is possible.

Costa Crociere also has pledged to provide a program for psychological assistance to any guests that request it. The company has further agreed to offer customers the ability to cancel any upcoming cruise booked before Jan. 13, on any of its routes, without penalty through Feb. 7, 2012.

Dedicated operation units will handle claims to ensure timely resolution. Payments will be credited by the company within seven days of receipt of the acceptance of the proposal. Guests should e-mail or call 954-266-5693 for assistance.

This statement is also posted in our archive of all statements and press releases from Costa Crociere and Carnival Corp (Costa's parent) which relate to the Costa Concordia accident.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Video: Coast Guard Makes Precision Air Drop to Carnival Spirit

Usually we show you Coast Guard helicopters medically evacuating passengers from cruise ships. Yesterday, however, Carnival Spirit was too far away from Hawaii for a helicopter to reach it. To help stabilize the patient, the ship's doctor requested the Coast Guard bring them six units of blood. A few hours later, when the ship was about 600 miles away from Hawaii, a US Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft was flying over the ship surveying its layout. A few minutes later, it lowered its rear cargo ramp and first dropped a trail line across the ship's bow, and then dropped a shatter-proof container with six units of blood in the water just behind the ship. All that was left for the crew of Carnival Spirit to do was grab the trail line and pull it onto the ship.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Announces Winter 2012/Summer 2013 Progams

As expected, Disney Cruise Line announced they would begin sailing from Miami in December 2012. Disney Wonder will sail a pattern of two different five-night itineraries and a four-night itinerary from the South Florida home port. The new program will run through the winter season to May 2, 2013.

The line also announced Disney Magic will return to Europe during the summer of 2013 with a series of four-, seven- and twelve-night cruises from Barcelona.

It was previously announced that Disney Magic will be sailing from Galveston during the fall of 2012. Disney said today that series will continue all the way through May 2013 when Disney Magic leaves for her summer 2013 European program.

Details will be in today's edition of Cruise News Daily.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Erroneous Reporting about Future Discounts for Costa Concordia Passengers

Updated January 24, 2012 below:

It's being widely reported that Costa Cruises has offered a 30% discount on a future cruise, to passengers who were aboard Costa Concordia at the time of the accident. This is absolutely NOT TRUE.

These news stories are mostly the result of bad journalism. The people writing these reports are taking the information from other reports, and reporting it as fact without verifying the information with Costa.

The original report probably came from a misunderstanding of information Costa sent to travel agents last week. It was regarding customers they had who were booked on future sailings of Costa Concordia, which obviously won't be sailing. One of the things being offered to them was a 30% discount on a future sailing. Along with a full refund, of what they had paid for their sailing on Concordia, that type of offer is normal in the cruise industry.

Early last week, before a policy had even been established for future passengers, Costa released information about what they were providing to passengers who were aboard the ship at the time of the accident. That included refunding the full cost of the cruise, any expenses incurred on board the ship (remember some passenger had been on the ship as long as six days at that point), and transportation costs to the ship and return home. Passengers will also be reimbursed any medical expenses as a result of the accident.

Passengers will also be contacted in the very near future to discuss compensation for belongings left onboard. Contents of safes will be returned as soon as the safes can be recovered.


Update January 24, 2012:

Costa Crociere issued the following press release:

Costa Cruises: Clarifications on discounts and promotional offers

Jan 24, 2012 - With reference to news reports on discounts and promotional offers, Costa Cruises feels bound to point out that the company has never offered any discount on future cruises to guests who were on board the Costa Concordia for the cruise of January 13th and involved in the tragic accident. The information published by a newspaper and reported in various news outlets is totally unfounded, as is confirmed by the English passenger who was quoted by the newspaper.

Costa Cruises reiterates that after the tragic accident the company’s priority has always been to provide the maximum possible assistance and solace to the people involved. From the outset the company has been fully aware of and saddened by the suffering and hardship endured by guests and crew members and has acted with this firmly borne in mind.

On a joint basis with rescue teams, the Company worked to provide evacuated passengers and crew members with all the necessary assistance to ensure they were able to return home. Subsequently it contacted guests by telephone, after they had returned home, to check on their physical and emotional wellbeing, and to confirm that they will receive a refund for the cruise and all material expenses relating to it.

As already announced, the company welcomes discussion with its guests and all consumer protection associations to determine indemnity for the hardship endured, with the support of tourism sector trade associations with which it has been in contact for days.

Driven by its sense of ethics and the values of fairness and responsibility which guide it, the Company has also given all customers with bookings for future Costa cruises the possibility, if feeling afraid, to cancel their cruise booking by giving notice no later than February 7th. All travel agents who work with the Company were informed of this days ago.

Costa Cruises would also like to clarify that starting on the day after the accident, all advertising initiatives planned were cancelled out of respect for those affected by this tragedy. The Company was unable to stop only one postal promotion which had already been sent to some customers at the end of December.

Costa Cruises is incredulous at the disgraceful and unfounded assertions made about the Company without any form of verification.