Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Celebrity Adding New Level of Concierges

* Putting the Personal in Personal Concierge
There's a new staff member starting to appear on Celebrity ships, and he or she knows just what you need.

The line has created a new position called a Personal Concierge, which is an outgrowth of a previous program, because their reach covers a whole lot more circumstances.

The complete article appeared in the June 30, 2010, edition of Cruise News Daily.

SS United States to Be Rescued - Maybe

The United States Conservancy is reportedly announcing today that they are receiving a $5.8 million donation which will be the first step in them buying the classic SS United States, The ship has of late been laid up in Philadelphia, and without this purchase it seems destined to be scrapped.

The funds will allow the group to enter into a preliminary agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line and Genting Hong Kong (formerly Star Cruises) that will give the group time to decide exactly what they will do with the ship and where they will put it, if they proceed with the purchase. The decision will be based in large part on if they find the ship could support itself in operation as a hotel.

Details were in the complete article which appeared in the June 30, 2010, edition of Cruise News Daily.

NCL Plans for Epic Christening, Lybian Line Builds Big Ship, NCL Passenger Assaults Girl at Dinner, That Pesky Sculpture in San Juan

CND subscribers also read about NCL choosing a host for Norwegian Epic's inaugural ceremonies in New York and the line webcasting the event live on Friday at 2pm. (You can register at

+ STX France signed the final contracts with Libyan oil carrier GNMTC for a 139,400-ton cruise ship carrying almost 3,500 passengers (double occupancy). The line has a fleet of 24 tankers, but this is their first venture into passenger shipping.

+ An NCL passenger was convicted of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old girl at dinner in the presence of his wife, child, and the girl's family.

+ The new San Juan port director pledges to get rid of the pesky sculpture which has already "stood in the way" of some of the port's cruise business.

Details of these items were in the "Other Things You'll Want to Know" column in the June 30, 2010, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alex Has Little Impact on Cruise Industry

Tropical Storm Alex (who also occasionally has become Hurricane Alex) is again over the Gulf of Mexico, now between the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mexican mainland. As of 5pm, it is now expected to make landfall slightly south of the border just after midnight on Thursday, so it appears its effects on the cruise industry are finished.

The impact on cruise ships has been minimal, with only three ships having to change itineraries. The only ships reporting changes were Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas (June 24 sailing), Carnival Ecstasy (June 26 sailing) and Carnival Triumph (June 26 sailing).

Details were in the June 29, 2010, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Dubai Is a Hit and a Milestone for RCI

A couple months ago, Royal Caribbean finished its first season with a ship based at Dubai. They were so impressed with the results, they are already making changes to add more sailings than originally planned in their third season.

But where the demand is coming from is what's surprising and impressive, because it represents a significant step forward in RCCL's global expansion.

The complete story appeared in the June 29, 2010, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Norwegian Epic Just Keeps Getting Cooler

It seems like an oxymoron, but one of the hottest tickets on Norwegian Epic is scoring a reservation to spend a half hour in the new ship's ice bar. And today, NCL announced it just got cooler, if that's possible.

The line announced an exclusive partnership with SVEDKA Vodka and Inniskillin ice wine, and the ice bar will be renamed the SVEDKA Ice Bar.

For a peek inside the ice bar, watch the video below: (And don't leave the door open.)

Princess Adds Third Seating for Traditional Dining

Princess' customers who like to dine early and like Princess' traditional dining now have a new option.

The line has just completed roll-out across the fleet of a new third seating (on most ships) for traditional dining. This is in addition to their Anytime Dining program.

Details appeared in the June 28, 2010, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Chinese Planning for Growth in the Cruise Industry

When you consider the population of the region and the number of cruise ships that are based there even seasonally, by any standards, China and Asia's cruise industry is in its infancy. Western cruise companies have an adequate number of ships there to satisfy demand from western cruisers, but both Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean are taking a slow, methodical approach to selling to the various local markets. For both companies the first step is to have a ship or two in the region, and educate consumers about cruise vacations, what they are, and the good value they are.

With the western-sourced and the Asian-sourced markets combined, there is only a handful of cruise ships in Asia, but Chinese port authorities are planning for the future. On Saturday Tianjin opened a huge cruise terminal already with plans to expand it.

Costa Romantica was the first ship to call at the new terminal, and we have photos of the ultramodern new terminal in a newsfile on the CND website.

The complete article appeared in the June 28, 2010, edition of Cruise News Daily.