Friday, May 8, 2009

MSC Cruises Arrives in NYC for Maiden Call

MSC Orchestra made the line's first ever call at New York with an overnight visit earlier this week. It sets the stage for a series of Canada and New England fall foliage cruises in the fall of 2010 by MSC Magnifica which is currently under construction at STX Europe in France.

The visit also provided for some really cool photos as it departed New York. We have them in a newsfile on the Cruise News Daily website.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine Flu - H1N1 - Carnival Cruise Lines Changes Itineraries thru June 15

Carnival Cruise Lines has now suspended calls for all 16 of its ships that were scheduled to call at Mexican ports through June 15, 2009. Ships affected are Carnival Conquest, Carnival Destiny, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Elation, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Legend, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Valor, and Holiday.

Carnival's latest statement is below.

Miami, FL – Monday, May 4, 2009 – 3pm

Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled all port of call visits in Mexico for 16 of its ships that were previously scheduled to stop in that country. 

Itineraries for vessels departing between now and June 15, 2009 that included stops in Mexico have been modified. In many instances, the modification simply involved substituting an alternate port.  Full details on the modified itineraries are available on the update chart.

Guests who do not wish to sail on a modified itinerary may opt to receive a refund in the form of a future cruise credit equal to the full amount paid for the voyage.  The credit may be applied to an alternate sailing departing through the end of 2010.  Compensation for missed ports/altered itineraries (where applicable) for guests who sail varies by itinerary.  With four and five-day cruises from Galveston and New Orleans that are being converted to seven-day voyages, those guests may opt to receive their refund in the form of a future cruise credit or money back. Details are on the link at the right on the update chart.

Celebrity Solstice to Sail Caribbean Year Round

Celebrity Solstice will operate 7-night Caribbean programs from Ft. Lauderdale year round beginning in the fall of 2009. The 7-night itineraries will alternate between eastern and western Caribbean.

Adjustments will be made to the line's European program which previously had Celebrity Solstice sailing there.

Details to follow.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Other Side of the Equation

We are seeing a lot of articles, mostly from local news outlets on the West Coast, which are reporting the sudden windfall by their local port of cruise ships diverted from Mexican ports.

Most are reporting the reason is that the US Government has warned against nonessential travel to Mexico due to the H1N1 virus (that most regular people are still calling swine flu), and that the cruise lines have heeded that warning. Most of them are also reporting, most of them excitedly (many gleefully), the sizable economic benefits of having a large cruise ship call for a day. Even major cities like San Diego and San Francisco are having their civic heads turned by these ships bringing an expected million dollars to their communities. Not only are the cruise lines paying the ports for being there, but local merchants are also poised for a major unexpected windfall.

The sad part is that almost none of them, if any, acknowledge (let alone empathize) that for every one of those dollars coming into their city, it's a dollar not going into a Mexican port, most of whom have almost their entire economies based on tourism.

The cruise lines have done the right thing by suspending their calls in Mexico. The cross section of the population which takes cruises could easily and rapidly spread the influenza virus far and wide.

We're just saying that there needs to be some recognition that the good fortune on one side of the border is resulting in misery on the other.