Friday, November 9, 2007

Form the you can't please all of the people all of the time department:

The Charleston (SC) Post & Courier reports that Norwegian Cruise Line is increasing its turnarounds at the city this year to a record 36 NCL cruises departing Charleston this year.

The agreement between the state, which operates the port, and the cruise line guarantees the port 105,000 passengers will board NCL ships at this winter season, on nine more sailings than last year over the same period. The article says last year the port's passengers numbered 107,030 for all cruise lines combined. In addition to the NCL sailings from Charleston, five other lines have scheduled port calls there.

Of course while the additional ships are bringing additional revenue to the port and providing economic benefit to the area, there is an element of the local population, as reported in the article, which is concerned about the effects of the additional visitors on the city. Read all about it in the link to the Post & Courier article.

Note: Link is valid at the time of posting.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

From the in case you haven't missed it department:

Norwegian Crown wrapped up it's Bermuda season for Norwegian Cruise Line and has been handed over to Fred Olsen for conversion to Balmoral.

Fred Olsen has actually owned the ship since last year, but a condition of the sale was that NCL could lease it back through the 2007 Bermuda season.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Carnival's North American Brands to Implement Fuel Surcharge

Carnival's brands marketing in North America will add a fuel surcharge to their prices for passengers departing on February 1, 2008 and after.

The surcharge will be $5 per person per day for each of the first two passengers in the cabin, capped at $70 per person for the voyage. Additional passengers in the cabin will not be charged.

The brands affected by today's action are Carnival, Costa, Cunard, Holland America, Princess and Seabourn. A surcharge was previously added to the company's European brands.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

From the factoid department:

According to Fairplay, Cuba says they have lost $17 million worth of cruise business since Royal Caribbean purchased Pullmantur and could no longer do business with the island nation. That includes termination of all Pullmantur's ship's calls on the island's ports and no longer employing Cubans to work on the ships.

From the shore excursion department:

The Palm Beach Post reports of the death of a cruise ship passenger while ashore. This gentleman rented a motor scooter while ashore in Nassau.

Like so many others who die tragically, he may have forgotten he was doing something he wasn't used to.

The activities look easy because, as in this case, we all drive, but that can lull us into a false sense of security. People tend to forget there is actually an extra element of danger involved. That's compounded by the fact that you aren't really used to doing the activity in this particular way. In this case, this man probably wasn't used to driving a motor scooter, and since he was a Florida resident, he wasn't used to driving on the left side and having the controls reversed.

If there is some good that can be brought out of tragic incidents such as these, it is that they should serve to remind the rest of us that there is an element of danger to many of the activities available ashore. Whether it be parasailing, snorkeling, driving a motorboat or even just driving a motor scooter, they may look easy, but we shouldn't forget to add an extra big element of caution while we're having fun. We just have to remember that we aren't invincible.

From the personnel department:

Silversea Cruises announced that Rocco Auteri will become its SVP of Fleet Operations effective immediately. He will be based in the company's Monaco office.

Auteri comes to his new position with previous experience. Most recently he was Costa's director of operations for Asia. Prior to that he managed their hotel operations division which he came to after a ten-year career as a shipboard hotel director for the Italian line.

At the same time, the line announced Erling Frydenberg will transition from the role of COO, which he has held for four years, to work as a consultant on special assignments for Silversea.

Monday, November 5, 2007

From the is this news department:

Here's the story: Two passengers die from natural causes aboard Celebrity's Summit last week while the ship was en route from San Diego to Hawaii. That's not much of a story, but it was enough to generate articles from a number of outlets (we counted at least six) and three from the Honolulu Advertiser alone (including two follow-ups). To make it even more of a waste of space, when the original was published, it included a statement from Royal Caribbean saying the two deaths were completely unrelated (and went on to give the causes). (If they had in any way been related, it would have been unusual and would have had some newsworthyness.)

The general media needs to get over this attitude of anything that happens on a cruise ship is news (such as norovirus outbreaks - they need to learn what the numbers mean). I noticed that on the same day the original story ran, they carried 26 local obituaries. If it's only a matter of grabbing readers' attention, "26 Dead in Honolulu" sounds like a much bigger story to me than "Two Hawaii cruise ship deaths from 'natural causes'" or the following day's follow-up, "Cruise ship arrives in Hawaii with two dead." (By the way, just in case you were wondering, the follow-up article also details the death of a humpback whale Summit struck accidentally in Alaska in 2006, and perhaps I'm dense, but I cannot see the relevance there either.)

Note: Links are valid at time of posting.