Thursday, October 8, 2009

Liverpool to Celebrate QM2's Birthday

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 will be spending her fifth birthday in Liverpool, marking her maiden call there. The event will occur on October 20.

Surprisingly, until the 20th, QM2 has never called on another English port other than her homeport of Southampton. The visit also has some historical roots. Liverpool was Cunard's headquarters for almost 130 years before it was moved to Southampton.

A fireworks display is planned to celebrate the visit at 10:50pm, just before QM2 departs at 11pm.

Preview of the "nieuw" ship

Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam is currently under construction at the Fincantieri yard at Marghera (Italy) and is set to enter service next summer. The line released some artist's renderings of the interior today, and posted them on their blog.

Celebrity Hires Marketing VP

Celebrity Cruises announced the appointment of Lisa Kauffman as vice president of Marketing for the brand.

Kauffman will oversee the cruise line's overall marketing program, including brand strategy and development, web marketing, research, loyalty and direct marketing, public relations, and advertising.

She was previously SVP of marketing for Macy's in Florida where she led a team of 120. Kauffman will report to Celebrity president Dan Hanrahan.

Costa Atlantic is Perfect

Costa Atlantica has arrived in North America for its fall and winter season beginning with a series of Canada and New England cruises. On its first call of the season into New York, the US CDC performed a surprise sanitation inspection and the ship scored a perfect 100%.

This is actually the third time Costa Atlantica has attained the top score. The first was in 2001, and that time was the first perfect score for Costa. Costa Atlantica repeated the score in 2005. Overall, Costa has scored 100 six times in the cruise line's history. The surprise inspections are conducted by the Coast Guard on each ship twice a year when the ship is calling at US ports.

After the fall series in the Northeast US and Canada, Costa Atlantica will reposition to the Caribbean for the winter cruises from Ft. Lauderdale.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crew member medevaced from Carnival Inspiration

About 8pm last night, the US Coast Guard received a call from Carnival Inspiration requesting assistance. A 37-year-old woman, who was a crew member aboard the ship, was suffering from "anemic-attack-like symptoms" and needed to be taken to a shoreside medical facility.

The Coast Guard dispatched an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from their air station in Clearwater, Florida. It arrived on the scene about 8:45pm and lowered a rescue diver to the ship. They hoisted the woman and the diver back to the helicopter, and she was routinely taken to a Tampa hospital by 9:30pm.

Carnival Inspiration had just left from Tampa earlier in the evening (October 5, 2009) as it was departing on a 5-night cruise to Cozumel.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The human side to the story

When we write about someone going overboard from a cruise ship, it's easy to overlook the lives they've left behind. A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about a woman who apparently committed suicide by jumping overboard from Sapphire Princess. The newspaper in her hometown ran an exceptionally nice piece about the human side of the tragedy.

Sentencing for 6 Carnival Passengers Detained on Antigua

The Antigua court today handed down fines for the five Carnival Victory passengers detained on Antigua, but no jail time.

The fines and restitution (for damages to the police officers' property) for the five who pleaded guilty totaled approximately $3,600. They were not sentenced to any jail time.

In the plea bargain agreed to on Saturday, the five pleaded guilty to lesser charges and the charges were dropped against a sixth American on trial.

Some of the Americans are reported to have lost their jobs in New York, and the law school student has had to withdraw from school for the semester.

The six, who have remained free on bail since the September 4 incident, are expected to leave Antigua on Wednesday.

More Details of the Alleged Murder aboard Carnival Elation

The man accused of killing his wife aboard Carnival Elation in July has made another appearance in federal court. An article in the San Diego Union updates the accounts of the alleged murder and details the defense strategy in the case.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Silversea's Prince Albert II Visits Other Side of Jamaica

Silversea's Prince Albert II made an unusual call at the port Black Water, Jamaica. The Jamaica Observer gave a local view of the call.

Detained Tourists Change Plea to Guilty in Antigua

The prosecutor and defense attorney reached a plea agreement Saturday in the trial of six American tourists detained in Antigua after they fought with police officers who were trying to settle a dispute between the tourists, who had been aboard Carnival Victory, and a taxi driver. They have been detained on the island since the September 4 incident, and both sides had already presented their cases in the month-long trial.

The agreement has five of the six New Yorkers pleading guilty, and the charges against the sixth were dropped. The other five Americans in the taxi were not involved in the brawl and not charged.

The plea bargain is expected to carry a fine but no jail time. Sentencing is scheduled for Monday.

The dispute erupted when the Americans were ashore during a call by Carnival Victory. Eleven had hired a taxi and testified they thought they had negotiated a round trip fare of $50 for the taxi. The driver said the fare was each way, and when the tourists didn't want to pay the other $50, he took them to the police station. The six American's charged (four of them women) claimed they didn't know who the police officers were because most were in plain clothes and claimed they thought they were fighting for their lives. The most serious injury sustained was a bite inflicted on one police officer that needed stitches. The charges were all centered around the resisting of arrest.

According to the AP, the six have been staying with local residents on the island since they were released on bail early last month. Despite what families of the six charge about Antiguans delaying the trial, local court officials have said they delayed at least a dozen cases to expedite the Americans' case.

Update Oct 5, 7am
The Antigua Sun has details of the two sides reaching the agreement. Sentencing will be on Monday.

Passenger Medevaced from Carnival Splendor

The US Coast Guard received a call from Carnival Splendor Saturday evening at 7pm PDT requesting a medevac for a 71-year-old man who was experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.

The Coast Guard launched an MH-60J Jayhawk helicopter from their base at San Diego to the ship's location which was about 130 miles southwest of San Diego.

Once on the scene the crew routinely hoisted the man and the ship's nurse, and transported them to a local hospital at La Jolla, California. The Coast Guard reported the man was in good condition.

Carnival Splendor was en route from Cabo San Lucas to Long Beach at the end of a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise. It had departed Long Beach on September 27, and Cabo San Lucas on Friday, October 2.