Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ambassadors Sells Queen of the West

Ambassadors International has sold the laid up Queen of the West to Blue Spruce, an affiliate of American Cruise Lines.

Ambassadors has had all their non-Windstar assets for sale, as they focus the business on the Windstar brand. They have also recently completed some restructuring of their debt to better their current cash position.

Queen of the West has 71 staterooms and most recently sailed on 7-night cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers from Portland, Oregon. The sale price was not disclosed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Mickey Got His Picture Taken

When Disney Cruise Line announced their Alaskan program last week, along with it came a photo of Mickey Mouse standing on the pontoon of an iconic float plane.

That photo didn't just happen to get taken a few minutes before the announcement. In the Juneau Empire's article about the new program, they've included a unique slant to the story: how that picture came to be taken several weeks ago, apparently in preparation for the announcement. The Disney people had very specific requirements as to what they were looking for. For the complete story, check the Empire article for a little behind-the-scenes about the planning for the announcement.

Azamara Hires AVP Hotel Ops

Azamara has hired Bert Van Middendorp to fill the position of Associate Vice President of Hotel Operations.

Van Middendorp most recently served as SVP of Hotel Operations and Quality Assurance for Seadream Yacht Club. He has extensive experience in the hotel operations and customer service areas having previously held positions at Cunard, Seabourn, Royal Viking, and the Crest Hotel Group in Amsterdam.

Antigua Brawl Testimony Continues

The Antigua Sun reports that testimony continued Monday in the case of six Americans off Carnival Valor in Antigua who refused to pay their taxi fare and then fought with police. Monday's testimony was from uninvolved bystanders. The more we hear, the more bizarre the incident seems, and the worse things seem for the Americans, especially considering this was all over $50 in taxi fare. According to the story, the fighting continued even after they were in jail. To be amazed, read the Sun article, but be sure to have a pencil handy so you can keep track of the players.

Cayman Cruise Berths Ready for Bids

According to the Cayman Net News, it seems Grand Cayman is finally ready to take another step toward having a place for cruise ships to actually dock. As we've reported in Cruise News Daily, the plan has been mired in dispute and red tape. In our most recent CND article, the Caymans now are seeing the cruise industry's premier ships actually bypassing the island, and apparently that has lit a fire under the government to get the project moving.

Update 3pm. The fire may be there, but it's not a roaring fire. According to Cayman Net News, the deadline for bids has now been extended for another week.