Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dawn Princess Delayed at Sydney

Dawn Princess arrived at Sydney Saturday (May 23, 2009) for its turnaround. It arrived at noon, delayed first by storms, and then passengers experienced another six hour delay while authorities screened for H1N1/Swine Flu. Several passengers aboard had tested positive for Influenza A, but they had recovered some ten days ago.

There were some 2,000 passengers waiting to disembark and the same number waiting to board for their cruise. The story was covered in the Melbourne Herald Sun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NCL Signs Blue Man Group

In the final reveal of the innovations on Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that the featured entertainers aboard the ship will include a troupe of Blue Man Group.

NCL is designing many aspects of Norwegian Epic to appeal to demographics that do not now necessarily think about taking a cruise.

Other unusual entertainment will include Cirque Dreams and Dinner, an unusual combination of specialty acrobatic-type acts in a dinner theater designed to look somewhat like a circus big top. The ship will also boast a comedy club that showcases the talents of a troupe from Second City, which appears in the main theaters on other NCL ships.

Norwegian Epic enters service on July 17, 2010. The order has been pared down to be a single ship, so you will see things aboard Norwegian Epic you won't see anywhere else.

The video below of the announcement yesterday begins with a brief recap of Norwegian Epic's nightlife and how Freestyle Cruising has evolved, and then examines the varied and unusual entertainment Norwegian Epic will have.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Someone Up There Understands

CND has often written about how the State of Alaska (with the voters' approval) is making it less and less profitable for cruise lines to operate there. The longer this goes on (and increases), the fewer the number of cruise ships that will be there. The state's economy has benefited much from cruise tourism, and as the industry withdraws it will take a larger and large toll on the state's economy.

There have already started to be direct effects over the last couple of years as the cruise lines stopped expanding for the first time in years. Next year their capacity going to Alaska will start to shrink.

Alaska is now starting to have secondary effects with other businesses recognizing the state's economy will shrink as the cruise ships go away, and because of the shrinking economy, those business no longer want to expand in the state, causing further shrinking of the economy. In a letter to the editor of the Juneau Empire, Gary Droubay, the CEO of Goldbelt, which develops real estate in Alaska, writes about what a bad move it was for the voters to pass the 2006 citizens' initiative, and immediately thereafter his investors canceled a $200 million project near Juneau because they could see the effect the measure would have on the cruise industry and then later, the state's economy.

The letter is worth reading. It's nothing we haven't said, but this time it's coming from someone in Alaska who is watching the economy begin to collapse around him.

Monday, May 18, 2009

If You Want to Be Alone

The cost of being alone just got a little cheaper. MSC Cruises just reduced their single supplement for virtually all fall 2009 cruises in the Caribbean aboard MSC Poesia.

The single supplement is going down from 80% (already lower than most lines) to 50% for all of MSC Poesia's Caribbean sailings in 2009, except the holiday cruises, in categories 1 through 11. The reduction is only for a limited (but unspecified) time for bookings.

Trouble in Galveston

A KHOU/Galveston County Daily News article reports that the president of the local International Longshoremen's Union has filed a lawsuit against the port of Galveston and various other related parties alleging the port has "rogue port police officers" and has done nothing to reign them in.

Among the allegations are that port police officers stop stevedores from the cruise terminal (who receive tips from passengers) just more or less for the sake of harassment, and his members have been told that the stops will end when the longshoremen "share the wealth." Complaints, the suit alleges, have been met with more harassment. The complaint says this has been going on for as long as five years and demands a jury trial.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coast Guard Airlifts Passenger from Coral Princess

The US Coast Guard medevaced a 57-year-old woman from Coral Princess Saturday afternoon (May 16, 2009) during a 3-day cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver.

According to the Coast Guard, the woman was drowning and a nurse aboard the ship resuscitated her after she was pulled from the swimming pool.

The Coast Guard received a call from the ship at 1:45pm saying the woman needed further medical attention at a shoreside hospital, and they dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station San Francisco. They met Coral Princess when it was about 30 miles west of Bodega Bay (CA) and transferred the woman to a hospital in Santa Rosa (CA).

The pick up was made from the deck above the central pool area on Coral Princess which had been cleared of all people and furniture. Likewise passengers with balconies on that side of the ship were told to remain indoors during the operation. In the video, provided by the Coast Guard, you can see the helicopter crew making several lifts from the deck of Coral Princess. The entire operation above the ship took about 30 minutes. The video was taken from a stationary camera above the door of the helicopter, hence the quality is not always the best.

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Wanted: The Silent Sail Away

The new cruise terminal at Seattle is only a couple of weeks old, but KOMO reports that it's already drawing complaints from the neighbors - not because of the extra traffic or the ships' horns - but rather the loud music coming from the ships in port and at sail away time. Some of the complaining neighbors are a mile away.

The port says they have now asked the ships not to play music until after they have left the terminal.