Friday, December 30, 2011

Video: Coast Guard Medevac from Carnival Triumph

A coast Guard helicopter crew from Houston evacuated a 73-year-old man from Carnival Triumph in an unusual nighttime operation Thursday night (Dec 29, 2011) about 11:40pm when the ship was about 120 miles off the coast of Galveston (Texas).

The man was suffering from a blood clot in his foot. He was taken to a local hospital in the Houston area.

The video below, provided by the US Coast Guard, opens with the rescue swimmer being lowered to the deck of the cruise ship from the MH-65C Dolphin helicopter, followed by the stretcher. In the next scene, the helicopter is making another pass coming up on the ship from its stern and then hoisting the patient on the stretcher from the deck. While this is going on, note the speed at which the ship is moving through the water and how the helicopter has to synchronize its speed to appear motionless over the deck. Also note the crew member in the helicopter leaning out to steady and position the stretcher with his foot. At the end of the operation, the rescue swimmer is hoisted from the deck.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Disney Fantasy Gets Its Elephant

A Disney tradition is that each of their ship’s has a larger-than-life character suspended over the stern that appears to be painting the ship’s name there. Back in September Disney revealed that the character given that singular honor on Disney Fantasy will be Dumbo.

The flying elephant was installed in his place of honor on the almost-complete Disney Fantasy on December 14 (2011) at Meyer's Papenburg yard as shown in the photos below. The video shows the creation of flying elephant and the attention to detail.

Update January 8: Disney Fantasy Float Out

Photos courtesy of Disney Cruise Line.

The complete story appeared in the December 29, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crew Memeber Overboard from Celebrity Summit

A crew member went overboard from Celebrity Summit on Saturday evening after the ship left San Juan. A crew member witnessed the other crew member jumping overboard at 12:23 am (Sunday, December 25) and reported it to the bridge.

The ship's captain immediately stopped the ship and returned to the location to begin a search. The Coast Guard says they were notified at 12:50am Sunday and began to deploy assets to the scene which was approximately six and a half nautical miles off the northeastern coast of Culebra Island, Puerto Rico.

Later on Sunday the Coast Guard advised Celebrity Summit they would assume control of the search and the ship could resume its voyage to Barbados. On Monday, after searching some 2,000 square nautical miles without finding the woman, the Coast Guard suspended their search.

The complete story appeared in the December 27 (2011) edition of Cruise News Daily.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Video: Coast Guard Medevac from Queen Mary 2

A US Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter medevaced a 64-year-old woman and the ship's doctor from Queen Mary 2 as it was sailing 110 miles off the coast of Nags Head, North Carolina on Tuesday (December 20, 2011). The woman was suffering from severe abdominal pains and was flown to a hospital in Norfolk about 4pm.

In most of the clips of medevacs, just the actual hoist is shown, but in this Coast Guard video, they show us more of the process before the lift as the rescue swimmer and a ship's officer struggle against the wind on deck to get the passenger in the basket and off the deck safely.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Carnival Launches New Advertising Campaign

Carnival Cruise Lines will launch a new advertising campaign on December 26 that targets the first-time cruiser. The light-hearted spots focus on comparing cruises versus land vacations and the value for dollar found on cruises.

Here is a sample of one of the television ads that will begin running next week.

The complete story appeared in the December 21, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First Look at Oriana's New Facilities

P&O's Oriana has just returned from a month-long dry dock where she was converted to a ship which will carry adults only. The biggest changes made were the elimination of the children's facilities and repurposing those for adults, such as a new MArco Pierre White premium restaurant. Here are some photos of the new areas:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pacific Sun to Leave P&O Australia Fleet

P&O Cruises Australia announced today that Pacific Sun will leave the fleet at the end of its July 1, 2012 cruise, on July 8. The buyer was not disclosed.

The ship is probably best known to North American readers as Carnival Cruise Lines' Jubilee, which was transferred to Carnival's Australian brand in 2004. In making the announcement in Australia today, Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry called the ship "the core to rebuilding cruising in Australia."

In a very effective method Sherry regularly employs, she made the announcement to consumers via You Tube, as seen below.

The complete story will appear in today's edition of Cruise News Daily.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wind Surf Accommodations Refurbished

The first phase of Windstar Cruises' refurbishment of Wind Surf has been completed, and the ship has taken on a whole new look. Wind Surf's public rooms will undergo their own transformation next fall.

The staterooms and suites now have a smart new look with light colors and new lighting features. They now feature leather headboards, linen wall coverings, elegant window coverings, and wool carpeting. The rooms are accented by new artwork, stately arm chairs, and stylish bed cushions. Suites now have furnishings that convert to lounging, dining or to accommodate a third passenger.

Photos courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Rascal Flatts to Perform on Norwegian Cruise Line

Country music group, Rascal Flatts will perform aboard Norwegian Spirit during the February 26, 2012, cruise from New Orleans.

The intimate acoustic performance will take place aboard the ship while it is docked in Cozumel on March 2.

In an unusual method of pricing for cruises, there will be no surcharge for the 7-night cruise itself. It will sell at regular prices through regular distribution channels, but tickets for the concert will be sold separately from the cruise and priced at $50 and $150. Those purchasing the $150 VIP tickets, in addition to the concert, will be going to a private cocktail reception where they will have an opportunity to have their picture taken with the band and receive an autographed souvenir.

P&O Adonia Cancels Sailing

P&O Cruises has canceled the January 3 (2012) sailing of Adonia for urgent maintenance prior to the ship's 3-month program to South America from the UK. The January 3 sailing was to have been a 10-day cruise from Naples to Southampton.

The line is managing to operate Adonia's holiday cruise, which is a 14-night cruise in the eastern Mediterranean from Athens to Naples on December 20.

P&O says passengers on the canceled sailing are being given a full refund plus a future cruise credit of 25% of what they paid for the canceled cruise. The line did not disclose the exact nature of the urgent maintenance but said it was an "unavoidable decision."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Portrait for Queen Mary 2

During her recent refit, Queen Mary 2 received a special new piece of artwork. Shown below is a new portrait of Her Majesty The Queen which was commissioned by Cunard, which will hang in the ship's Grand Lobby.

The oil portrait was painted by Gail Graham and depicts Her Majesty during her final visit to Queen Elizabeth 2 in Southampton on June 2, 2008.

Cancellations Extended for Mexican Ports

Holland America Line is advising passengers that port calls in Mazatlan and Acapulco have been canceled for sailings through March. This affects both Mexican Riviera cruises as well as Panama Canal itineraries.

Virtually all US-based lines suspended calls at the ports due to the potential for violence last winter and extended the revised itineraries through the summer and fall seasons. Most have tentatively left the calls scheduled for this winter season after the first of the year.

Mazatlan, especially, has been on a public relations campaign to convince the industry it is safe to visit the city, even bringing in journalists a few weeks ago to visit, with most saying from their experience in the city it seems very safe. (Most probed no more deeply than asking tourism officials if it was safe to visit Mazatlan, however.) Obviously there is more beneath the surface to prompt Holland America to cancel another series of calls over three months.

Updated 4pm.
The complete appeared in the December 15, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Star Princess Returns from Refit

Star Princess has returned to service with some new features which were installed during a three-week refit at the Fincantieri yard in Trieste.

One of the major projects completed was the construction of a Crown Grill steak and seafood restaurant. In the photos below, it can be seen how the Horizon Court was also updated, and the wedding chapel was moved.


The complete story appeared in the December 14, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Photos courtesy of Princess Cruises.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Minor Engine Fire Cancels Bahamas Cruise

A small engine room fire aboard Bahamas Celebration canceled today's sailing from Palm Beach to the Bahamas.

The fire resulted from an oil leak in one of the ship's six generators, and according to the line, it was quickly extinguished by the ship's systems. Neither the ship nor the passengers were in danger, the line said. The ship never lost power during the incident, however the fire has affected the vessel's air conditioning.

Today's sailing was canceled, and Thursday's may also face cancellation while the air conditioning is fully repaired.

Norwegian Sets 2013/2014 Deployment and Opens Bookings

Norwegian Cruise Line released more of their 2013/20014 deployment today.

Probably the biggest news is that the line plans to return to 7-day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles with Norwegian Star beginning in October 2013. Interspersed in the schedule will be eight 14-day Panama Canal sailings between Los Angeles and Miami.

The line will also upgrade their hardware in New Orleans for the 2013/2014 seasonal sailings to a Jewel-class ship, Norwegian Jewel, for the first time.

Norwegian also said they will have three ships sailing from Miami for the winter season, including Norwegian Epic, one (released so far) from New York, and one from Tampa.

During the fall of 2013, the line will also operate a short series of Canada and New England cruises from Boston and New York.

The sailings are now open for sale to past passengers and will open to the general public on December 15, 2011.

The complete article appeared in the December 13, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Queen Mary 2 Accommodations Refit

During Queen Mary 2 refit, in addition to the public rooms which we showed you earlier, all 1,310 staterooms and suites also got a fresh new look. Each received new carpeting, bedspread and curtains, and some also had furniture replaced. Note the design in the carpeting of the standard staterooms and Princess suites. The design is similar to the tail of the Q in the Queen Mary 2 logo.

Photos courtesy of Cunard Line

Royal Caribbean Changes Marketing Slogan

Royal Caribbean said today their new marketing slogan will be "The Sea Is Calling. Answer It Royally." For the first time, this same campaign will run globally.

The new slogan will begin to appear immediately on the RCI website. Then on December 19, a teaser campaign will begin to appear in several key US cities and in banner ads on the internet. Television advertising that expands the full concept will begin running in the US on January 9, 2012. The campaign already began in some international markets last month.

This will replace the current "Nation of Why Not?" campaign.

The complete article appeared in the December 12, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Refurbished Queen Mary 2 Returns to Service

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 just returned from a two-week refit at the Blohm+Voss yard in Hamburg. During the time, virtually every area inside the ship received attention and refurbishment. The photos show some of the updated public rooms.

Photos courtesy of Cunard Line.

Details of the refurbishment appeared in the December 9, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Additional Video from Queen Mary 2 Refit

Queen Mary 2 returned to service Thursday (December 8, 2011) after a two-week refit in the giant dry dock at the Blohm+Voss yard in Hamburg. In this video, entertainment director Paul O'Loughlin shows us around the refurbished ship and meets the ship's Master, Captain Kevin Oprey, at the bottom of the dry dock for a tour under the ship.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Video: Celebrity Cruises Using Design to Improve Fuel Efficiency

Interesting look, although brief, at how Celebrity Cruises uses marine technology and design to improve their ship's fuel efficiency.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Video: Martina McBride Visits Voyager of the Seas

Country superstar Martina McBride visited Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas to promote the ship being homeported for the winter at New Orleans. While aboard, she performed a concert for invited guests and toured the ship. This video shows some of the behind the scenes of her visit.

Along the way, Royal Caribbean may have picked up a new customer and a nice endorsement (as seen in the video starting at about 0:55). McBride said that she's never been on a cruise ship before, but it's something her family has thought about for a vacation. Now that she has seen it, she said it's something she definitely considering. And she got to blow the ship's whistle.

Video: Carnival Infested by Chipmunks

You are either going to love this or hate it, but the TV ad is now airing for "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" which is opening nationally later this month. If you are a Carnival fan, there's no mistaking that Carnival is involved in this with probably a case of ultimate product placement.

Royal Caribbean Declares Dividend

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the parent of multiple cruise brands including Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, has declared a quarterly dividend.

The dividend is $0.10 per share, payable on January 11, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 22, 2011.

The company operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises, all based in the US and sourcing passengers worldwide. For European sourced passengers they operate Pullmantur, CDF Croisieres de France, and have a 50% stake in TUI Cruises.

Crystal Opens 2013 Sailings

Crystal says they have become the first luxury line to release their entire 2013 schedule and open all 2013 sailings for bookings.

More to follow.

Celebrity to Expand Suite Selection on Reflection

Celebrity Cruises said this morning that Celebrity Reflection will enter service next fall with an expanded selection of suites, including two new suite types.

The five Signature Suites will be located in a private area of the 14th deck, accessible only with a key card. The 441-square-foot suites will maximize the sea views and have floor-to-ceiling windows and doors which open out onto a 118-square-foot veranda. They will accommodate four people and offer 24/7 butler service.

The Reflection Suite will occupy a corner location of Deck 14 and be the line's first two-bedroom suite. Included in the 1,636-square-foot suite will be a bathroom with a rain shower in a bathroom that extends out over the side of the ship. The 194-square-foot wrap-around veranda features a private whirlpool tub. The Reflection Suite is also in the exclusive private area of the ship requiring key card access, and also offers 24/7 butler service.

Celebrity has opened the new suites for sale to their Captains Club members and will open them for bookings from the general public on December 12.

The complete story appeared in the December 7, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Alaska's Governor Welcomes Norwegian Capacity Increase

In a statement late Tuesday, Alaska's governor Sean Parnell expressed his pleasure at hearing Norwegian Cruise Line would add a third ship to their Alaskan fleet in 2013.

“We are pleased that Norwegian Cruise Line will bring even more passengers to our great state,” Parnell said. “This is more evidence that lowering taxes on an industry leads to increased investment that Alaskans will reap into the future.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Norwegian announced that Norwegian Sun would be deployed on 7-day one way cruises between Vancouver and Whittier during the summer 2013 season, the first time Norwegian has had three ships in Alaska in four years. Their third ship in the market was withdrawn due to a downturn in consumer demand for Alaska brought on by the sagging economy coupled with the increased taxes in Alaskan increasing costs (ultimately to cruise lines) making it harder to make a profit in the market.

The governor said that a large ship such as Norwegian Sun would add approximately 40,000 annual visitors to the state and approximately $40 million in direct and indirect spending within Alaska. Coupled with the additional 60,000 visitors the state projects will visit in 2012 due to capacity increases next year, the governor said it will begin to help offset the estimated 265,000 visitors lost and 5,000 jobs lost in recent years as cruise lines cut back.

The Norwegian Sun itineraries are the type the state has particularly sought since they allow for pre- and post-cruise stays in Alaska which translate into increased visitor spending directly in the state.

Reversing the decline in visitor travel has been a focus of the Parnell administration. Parnell sponsored legislation that reduced the cruise passenger head tax, lowering costs and thus incentivizing cruise lines to return capacity to the market.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Woman Falls From Queen Mary in Long Beach

A woman was fatally injured last night when she fell from the original Queen Mary ocean liner, which is now permanently moored in Long Beach for use as a hotel and entertainment center.

The incident occurred Monday evening (December 5, 2011) about 8:30pm. One bystander jumped into the cold water to try to rescue her, and two Long Beach police officers followed him. The woman was taken to a Long Beach hospital in critical condition and later died of her injuries. Her rescuers were treated for hypothermia.

The 26-year-old woman reportedly fell from a walkway at a height of about 75 feet from the water. No information is yet available about where they woman fell from on the ship, and according to local media, investigators are still trying to determine how and why she fell. A spokesman for the LA County Coroner's office indicated alcohol may have been a factor.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces 2013 Deployment

Norwegian Cruise Line announced their 2013 summer deployment for several areas today. The new schedule will increase capacity in Alaska by adding one ship, which will operate one way 7-day cruises between Vancouver and Whittier, marking the first time Norwegian has had three ships in Alaska since 2009. The line will again have four ships in Europe for the summer season. Two of them will continue to be deployed there year round. Norwegian will increase capacity in Bermuda again operating two ships in the market, but the capacity increase will come with the previously-announced new Norwegian Breakaway operating from New York.

Norwegian also said they will continue their year round US-flag operation in Hawaii, opening bookings for the 7-day program through April 18, 2015. The line will also continue their year round operation of short cruises from Miami to the Bahamas, with the opening of the books through April 25, 2014.

The complete article appeared in the December 6, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Steve Jobs' Parents' Only Splurge

Here's an interesting posting by Princess Cruises' on their Facebook account:

Is anyone reading the Steve Jobs biography? Imagine our surprise when we found this on page 106:

“His biggest personal gift was to his parents, Paul and Clara Jobs … Their only splurge was to take a Princess cruise each year. The one through the Panama Canal “was the big one for my dad,” according to Jobs, because it reminded him of when his Coast Guard ship went through on its way to San Francisco to be decommissioned.”

We are honored to have been his parents’ “only splurge”!

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back to Mexico

At the end of October we reported a sizable gunfight in Cabo San Lucas, previously thought by cruise lines to be isolated from the violence that's plagued other Mexican port cities on the west coast. As it turns out, just a couple days later there was a well-organized daylight armed robbery of an upscale jewelry store virtually across the street from the cruise ship pier in Puerto Vallarta - in the early afternoon while Holland America passengers were coming and going to their ship across the street.

Neither of these incidents directly targeted cruise passengers, nor were any directly involved, but these are the types of incidents which worry cruise lines and have caused them to cancel calls, because the violence could easily involve cruise passengers who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In this case, the robbery was in the GAD jewelry store in the exclusive Plaza Galerias. A large number of Holland America passengers were reported to be in the square adjacent to the shopping mall at the time of the robbery. Reports say that two armed robbers stood guard at the door of the store while four more moved quickly through the crowded store to the more expensive jewelry, clearly knowing what they wanted and where it was. There were no shots fired, but the store manager was beaten severely in the head with a pistol by one of the men. The robbers told employees not to call the police, or they would return and extract revenge.

At the end of the robbery, all six men fled in different directions. There was reported to be a large police presence outside the mall. If they had been informed, and a gun battle broke out, the Holland America passengers in the square probably would have been involved.

The November 1 incident was brought to our attention by a reader who saw a single article about the robbery in a local Puerto Vallarta newspaper.

Cruise lines again are probably considering the situation. Holland America and Carnival continue to call at Puerto Vallarta. Princess suspended calls, but has signaled their intention to return during the winter season. Disney has also returned for the winter season.

Ports along the west coast seem to be in full damage control mode lately, stressing that the extremely violent incidents Americans are hearing about in the news are far away from their ports. If the subject of violence in their cities comes up, they tell you that there were only a few incidents which involved tourists and they were just minor
street crimes. Never mind the ones that happened to local citizens who weren't tourists.

A couple of weeks ago, Mazatlan organized a large press trip to show how much the city has to offer, and reassure media about the safety. They only seemed to invite people whom they knew would write positive articles and not ask probing questions.

In one interview resulting from that trip, the person from the tourist board said there had only been a couple of minor incidents "targeting" tourists, and he went into detail describing two street crimes. The interviewer never
brought up the widely-reported incident when a Canadian tourist (not a cruise passenger) was killed by gunfire in
the parking lot of his Gold Zone hotel when the target of a drug-related execution ran and the rival gang sprayed the area with automatic weapon fire trying to hit the fleeing man. It was true that the tourist wasn't a target, but it also certainly wasn't a "minor street crime."

In another interview from that same trip, another reporter talked about how he "didn't feel unsafe." But then again with the way these incidents pop up and then disappear quickly, one wouldn't feel unsafe. In the recent Cabo San Lucas incident at a shopping mall, there was no inkling of trouble until the armed men, who were apparently hiding out from police in the parking lot were spotted by police and opened fire with AK-47's. Police returned fire, but it quickly stopped as the men fled into the mall, and shoppers were pinned down for hours, not wanting to come out while police searched, in case the gunfire would erupt again.

That same reporter who felt safe, also reported on the safety of the cruise port and interviewed the port manager. They talked about the 20-foot walls around the port, the guard tower, and the way tour buses can drive right up to the cruise ships so passengers never have to walk outside the port. The reporter never asked the obvious questions about if Mazatlan is so safe, why the port felt it necessary to build 20-foot walls around the port so most cruise passengers won't be exposed to the area around the port.

The Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta incidents seem to demonstrate that this "pop up" violence is spreading in Mexico, and can crop up even in areas thought to be "safe." The Puerto Vallarta incident especially is an example of the type of violence that cruise lines have feared most.

With the 2011-2012 winter season just beginning, and most cruise lines beginning to relax and return to their established Mexican Riviera itineraries, it's going to be interesting to see how the cruise lines respond.

The original article appeared in the November 28, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Queen Mary 2 Photos from the Bottom of the Dry Dock

The two-week refit of Queen Mary 2 is continuing at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg (Germany). Today, the action has moved to the bottom of the dry dock. The photos from Cunard show the ship sitting high and dry.

QM2, with its newly painted hull, sits in the drydock at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg.

Captain Kevin Oprey with Entertainment Director Paul O'Loughlin underneath Queen Mary 2's bulbous bow.

Here you can see the blocks on which the ship rests while it is in the dry dock and the bow thrusters on the ship's port side.

Photos courtesy of Cunard Line.

Norwegian to Enhance Loyalty Program

Norwegian Cruise Line said today they will change they way customers accrue points in their Latitudes loyalty program and move to higher, more feature-rich tiers. Points are now awarded based on the length of the cruise, with additional points for passengers booking suites and even advance booking.

The complete story appeared in the December 5, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Royal Caribbean to Sell Specialty Dining Packages

Royal Caribbean International said today in addition to traditional pay-as-you-go dining for their specialty restaurants, on four ships the line will also sell packages of specialty dinners in specific combinations of restaurants. The packages offered will vary depending on the ship, because each ship has different combinations of restaurants. The package price will represent an approximate 25% discount off the individual prices.

RCI will also begin to offer reservation-only pre-paid parties in some of the line's casual restaurants.

The specialty restaurant plan is similar to one sister-line Celebrity began offering a couple of months ago.

In the complete CND article, we also looked at RCI's motivation behind offering the new rates.

The complete article appeared in the December 5, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Video: Decorating Disney Dream

As you would expect, the holidays are a magical time aboard Disney Dream, and since this is its first Christmas, they are even more so. Unlike other lines, Disney can draw upon the same year round professionals who are responsible for decorating the park, and they transformed the entire ship - with Disney attention to detail - during its turnaround at Port Canaveral. And speaking of detail, there are new "hidden Mickey's" in the Christmas decorations, as seen in this video.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Queen Victoria at Bermuda

Queen Victoria made its first call at Bermuda today since Cunard switched its registration to Bermuda last month. Its home port (as shown on the ship's stern) is Hamilton, but ironically, it called at the more remote Dockyard because Queen Victoria can't fit into the Hamilton. Photo

Happy Birthyday, Princess

This is the 46th anniversary of Princess Cruises' first sailing. December 3, 1965.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holidays, Italian Style

 Costa Cruises has an interesting holiday tradition on most of their ships. Each year for the last few years they have hired some well-known chefs (in Italy) to create some very special (read: outstanding) menus for Christmas dinner and dinner on New Year's Eve.

It's a high-end menu very much like the Chef's Tables which have become popular on some of the lines, except these menus will be served to everyone on the ship. They will be available on all Costa ships sailing in the Mediterranean and the United Arab Emirates. (Sorry, Caribbean and South America.)

This year 2-Michelin-star chef Carlo Cracco and one of Italy's most popular TV chefs, Benedetta Parodi, have been tapped to create the highly anticipated meals. They will collaborate with Costa's executive chef Stefano Fontanesi who will make sure everything translates well into the Costa galleys.

The Holiday Menus are shown below. 

The complete article appeared in the December 2, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Christmas dinner 2011

Welcome per tutti - Amuse bouche

Antipasti – Appetizers

Insalata di Astice e lenticchie con germogli e sedano, condita con bisque di crostacei  
Lobster and lentils salad with crustacean bisque as condiment (C.Cracco – B.Parodi)

Paté di carne e fegato d’anatra con insalatina novella e pane grigliato
Country meat and duck liver pate with grilled brad and baby salad (C.Cracco – B.Parodi)

Vegetali stufati e misticanze
Roasted vegetables and micro greens


Ravioli del plin con sugo d’arrosto e carciofi
Meat and spinach ravioli with meat jus and artichoke (C.Cracco – B.Parodi)

Risotto al tartufo nero
Risotto with black truffles

La tradizione – Tradition

Tortellini in brodo di cappone
Tortellini with capon consommé

Zuppa di verdure
Vegetables soup

Il pesce e le carni – The fish and meat

Trancio di baccalà in confit con misto di verdure e profumo di vaniglia
 Cod confit with mixed vegetables, vanilla sauce

Aragosta Thermidor
Lobster “ Thermidor Style”

Tournedos di manzo alla griglia con cipolla al sale patate al forno e sugo naturale
Grilled beef tournedos with baked potato and natural gravy

La tradizione – Tradition

Petto di faraona cotto con mandorle, prugne e puntarelle, contorno di patate saltate al guanciale
Sautéed guinea-fowl breast with dry plums and raisins, served with greens and lard roasted potatoes (C.Cracco – B.Parodi)

I formaggi – Cheeses

Selezione di formaggi italiani e francesi, con mostarde “di nostra produzione”ananas e rosmarino,arance e cannella
A selection of Italian and French cheeses with mustard "of our production" pineapple and rosemary, oranges and cinnamon 

La nostra pasticceria – Our Pastries


Il classico panettoncino “di nostra produzione” tiepido con gelato alla vaniglia bourbon
The classic panettone "Our production" warm with vanilla ice cream bourbon 
(C.Cracco – B.Parodi)

Il levante, crema di limone e meringa
The East, cream and lemon meringue

Leda Bianco doc 2009 “ Aneri”  (Trentino-Alto Adige, Italia)
Pinot Nero doc  2008 "Aneri" (Alto Adige)
Prosecco di Valdobbiadene doc “ Aneri” N° 1


New year’s Eve Dinner 2012

Welcome per tutti – Amuse bouche


Insalata di gamberoni e fave all’olio e limone, con raviolo di mango allo yogourt magro
Shrimp salad served with broad beans tossed with lemon oil and mango ravioli

Cotechino con fonduta al tartufo
Traditional Stuffed Pig trotter with cheese and truffle fondue (C.Cracco – B.Parodi)

Le melanzane in tazza con pomodoro basilico e spuma di formaggio grana
Eggplant with tomato basil and Parmesan cheese mousse


Mezze lune di pasta fresca con salmone,burro caviale erba salvia
Half moon fresh pasta served with salmon, caviar and butter sage

Tortelloni fatti a mano con ripieno di cinghiale, Ricotta, parmigiano reggiano
Tortelloni filled with wild boar, ricotta and parmesan cheese (C.Cracco – B.Parodi)


Pasta e fagioli con aceto balsamico
Pasta and beans with balsamic vinegar

Crema di spinaci con crostoni di pane all’aglio
Creamed spinach with garlic croutons

Secondi piatti

Aragosta Thermidor
Lobster “ Thermidor style”

Scaloppa di rombo bruschettata con intingolo di frutti di mare e tagliatelle di carote e zucchine
Turbot served with thinly sliced carrots, zucchini and seafood sauce

Coscia D’anatra croccante cotta a bassa temperatura,laccata con semi di girasole
insalata di fagiolini verdi e patate al forno
Crispy duck leg cooked at low temperature with sunflower seeds, green beans and roasted potatoes

Filetti di Vitello alla griglia con tartar di broccoli, patate rosolate e sugo naturale
Grilled veal fillet with broccoli and sautéed potatoes (C.Cracco – B.Parodi)

Tatin di asparagi verdi uovo in camicia e salsa al latte di soya  
Green asparagus tatin, poached eggs and soy milk sauce



Tortino tiepido al cioccolato amaro con salsa al lampone
Warm bitter chocolate cake with raspberry sauce

Zuppetta di frutto della passione con cremoso al pistacchio e croccante di mandorle
Passion fruit soup with pistachio cream and crunchy almond

Il classico panettoncino “di nostra produzione”tiepido con gelato alla vaniglia bourbon
The classic panettone "Our production" warm with vanilla ice cream bourbon (C.Cracco – B.Parodi) 

Dolci pensieri
Sweet thoughts

Leda Bianco doc 2009 “ Aneri”  (Trentino-Alto Adige, Italia)
Pinot Nero doc  2008 "Aneri" (Alto Adige)
Prosecco di Valdobbiadene doc “ Aneri” N° 1

On 31st December in occasion of New Year’s eve at the Midnight buffet you will have to serve zampone with lentils

A Ship Gets Its Lips

Now here's something you don't see every day. In this video, it looks like lipstick is being applied to AIDAmar, AIDA's next vessel under construction at Meyer Werft in Papenburg (Germany). You don't need to understand the German in this video to know the new ship is having AIDA's iconic red lips painted on its bow - a sign that construction is proceeding on schedule for delivery in May.

First Video Update from Queen Mary 2 Dry Dock

Today Cunard has sent us our first video update from Queen Mary 2's refit. Entertainment director Paul O'Loughlin takes us through some of the work that is going on in the first days (Nov 28-30) of the two-week project. (Actually, the ship doesn't seem like it's in the same disarray you usually find during a refit. Of course, you don't normally find anyone in a suit and tie in a dry dock, but then again, this is Cunard.) The project is being carried out at the Blohm+Voss yard at Hamburg.

Carnival Brands Readying UK Expansion

From some corporate changes at Carnival Corp in the UK, it appears three of the company's US-based brands are positioning themselves for higher visibility and significant penetration of the UK source-market.

Until now, the Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America and Seabourn brands have all shared small joint facilities and staff in the UK and have been represented to the public and the trade via general sales agents. Holland America and Seabourn will now share operations as they do in North America, and the Carnival brand will have its own facilities. Both are transitioning away from general sales agents in favor of their own staff.

To support those, top management changes have been announced over the last few days. Adolfo Perez will be moving
from Miami to head Carnival Cruise Lines UK operation as managing director of Carnival Cruise Lines UK sales and reservations office in London, while the Holland America/Seabourn operation will be headed by Lynn Narraway as managing director and Wendy Lahmich as director of sales.

The complete story appeared in the December 1, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Looks Like Snow Again

It happens every year about this time. Snow is forecast for the atrium of almost every ship in the Princess fleet. And the forecast is always 100% correct. It snows each evening around the holidays, and sets the mood for all the special holiday activities Princess has in store for their passengers.

There are so many holiday-themed things going on aboard Princess ships between now and New Year's, on so many different levels, that passengers will wonder if they are on a cruise or in the middle of a holiday spectacular.

The holiday observances will range from religious (Christmas and Hanukkah) to secular, and include everything from decorations throughout the ship (even a Christmas tree on the mast) to special holiday music and entertainment. Special events will include everything from the traditional (holiday meals and a visit from Santa Claus) to whimsical (a gingerbread house building competition and a giant Yule log burning on the huge poolside screen).

The complete story appeared in the December 1, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

New Men at Top of Costa's US Operation

Last month Carnival Corp luminary Maurice Zarmati announced his retirement as president and CEO of Costa Cruises North America. Today, Costa said it's going to take two men to replace him.

Ruben Perez has assumed the new position of general manager of the North American office at Hollywood, Florida, reporting directly to Costa's Genoa headquarters.

Filling the other portion of Zarmati's job will be Scott Knutson who has become the VP of sales and marketing.

Knutson came to Costa three years ago after spending 20 years in sales and marketing with sister brand Carnival Cruise Lines. Perez has been with Costa for the past 28 years.

Zarmati has been retained as a consultant to Costa Cruises for its worldwide sales, marketing and passenger-traffic initiatives.

The complete story appeared in the December 1, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Revitalized Splendour Returns to Service

Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas returned to service after undergoing the month-long revitalization process at Cadiz (Spain). During the process, features and venues from the newest ships are added to the line's older tonnage. Four of those new venues/features are shown below. Splendour returned to service last week and is now crossing the South Atlantic to its winter home in Brazil.

Izumi Restaurant

Diamond Lounge

R Bar

Dog House

The Life of an "Aqua Captain"

As cruise lines evolve and offer new features, new positions, never imagined a decade or two again, are created. I remember a few years back interviewing the gardener on the first ship to introduce live shrubbery and plants. Just a few years, I talked with professional ice skaters who told me when they were doing competitive skating, and they considered where their careers could take them, they never imagined they would be skating in an ice show on a cruise ship.

Just thee or four years ago, the position of "aqua captain" didn't even exist. Dance captains had been around for years, but there was no need for anyone to be in charge of the divers and swimmers until Oasis of the Seas came along.
Now Royal Caribbean has two of them, and this week, one of them was a guest blogger for Royal Caribbean.

Nicholas James Thomas McMahon is the Aqua Captain of the Aqua cast aboard Allure of the Seas, and his blog takes readers behind the scenes at the Aqua shows on the giant ships:

The three levels we have in our aqua shows, “Ocean Aria” and “Let You Entertain Me”, are a 3 meter springboard, and a 10 and 17 meter platform. All of the divers in our cast dive from the 3m springboard, and the 10m platform. However, only our two featured high divers can dive from the 17m high dive.

Before each Ocean Aria performance, we have a half hour warm up period where the lifts and boards are down so we can do a few dives. At 8 o’clock the stage staff presets the props underwater, so we have to get out of the pool. After this we have an hour to stretch and warm up until the show starts at 9:00 PM. In between shows we usually grab a bite to eat, and if necessary, fix any problems that occurred in the first show. During the course of a regular week, we have two “Ocean Aria” performances on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and two “Let You Entertain Me” shows on Saturday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Video: MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia and MSC Melody in Genoa

MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia and MSC Melody recently met in Genoa, making for some beautiful visuals of three ships, of three distinct sizes and designs, including the classic Melody.

Ports Increase in Importance to Carnival Corp

Ports have become more and more important to Carnival Corp's business over the years. The company has invested in and built (and operates) a number of ports. Some are high-profile and known to the customers of the company's brands, such as the Grand Turk Cruise Center, or Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. Others aren't quite as obvious, such as Cozumel or St. Maarten. Some are complete destinations, while others simply guarantee them space at a pier and some amenities for passengers as they leave the terminal.

Until now, the Caribbean ports have been developed and administered in Florida, and the European ports, in Italy. Carnival has now created a new Global Port and Destination Development Group which will have responsibility for port projects and operations worldwide. It will be headed by SVP of global port development, Giora Israel.

That doesn't mean everything will happen in Florida, however. An office will also be created in the UK for the development of strategic port projects in Europe and the Mediterranean.

The new division more or less elevates ports to the same stature within Carnival Corp as another cruise brand.

The complete story appeared in the November 30, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Cruise Lines Fill up on Water at Florida Ports

Several environmental groups are promoting the fact that cruise lines fill up on water when they visit South Florida ports, while at the same time, area residents and businesses are subject to water use restrictions.

Local water rules don't restrict cruise lines' water at all, even at times when emergency restrictions are in place. Cruise lines also get preferential rates for the water they buy. The groups say the industry takes enough water from South Florida ports annually to supply a city of 30,000 people.

The issue isn't getting much traction in Florida, however, because residents realize tourism is a major cash generator for the state's economy, and they have to make allowances.

The complete story appeared in the November 30, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ship Blocked by Protesters at Molokai

An anti-cruise group succeeded in blocking - physically - a small ship from American Safari Cruises from docking at Kaunakakai Harbor, Molokai in Hawaii on Saturday morning. The local protesters, who don't like the fact that cruise ships - even though they are small - are coming to Molokai without any community input, blocked the ship's path with surfboards and small boats. The captain continued on to Lanai, the next port of call. The ship did return the next day, without any public announcement, and had docked by the time protesters arrived at the port.

ASC had called at the island twice before in recent weeks and was met by protesters on land, but their demonstrations were ineffective. Two more Molokai calls are scheduled in the next weeks.

Not everyone on Molokai is unhappy about the cruise calls, tour operators and other local businesses were extremely disappointed by Saturday's cancellation.

The incident does have unsettling overtones for the cruise industry in Hawaii, and we looked at the story from several sides - including where the protesters got the idea for blocking the ship's arrival - in the November 29, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Video: The Projects Under the Ship during Splendour's Dry Dock

The main reason a ship goes into a dry dock is to do the maintenance below the waterline, under the ship, that can't be done while the ship is in the water. In this video, Royal Caribbean shows some of the projects that were accomplished while Splendour of the Seas was out of the water recently during a 30-day dry dock.

Port Everglades Gets New Ferry Service to the Bahamas

The Bahamas Express will start a round trip ferry operation from Port Everglades (at Ft. Lauderdale) to Freeport, Bahamas on December 9, 2011.

The ship will depart from Cruise Terminal 1 at Port Everglades, near the Convention Center. Parking is available at the Northport Parking Garage. The line will use the fast ferry Pinar del Rio which sails at a speed of 32 knots and has a capacity for 463 people. Amenities aboard include a bar, a duty-free shop, pet cages and a baby changing area.

The service will operate daily except Wednesdays, departing Port Everglades at 10am and returning at 10pm. The trip will take between two and three hours.

The Bahamas Express is operated by the Balearia Group, a Spanish shipping company which has operated for 13 years in the Spanish Mediterranean.

Additional information is available at

Costa Fascinosa to Be Named in Savona

Costa Cruises said today the 16th ship in their fleet, the 114,500-ton Costa Fascinosa (Italian for "fascinating"), will debut on May 2, 2012 with a cruise from Venice to Savona (near Genoa) where it will be named on May 6.

The 3800-passenger ship is currently in the final construction phase at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard. The ship's official inaugural cruise will be an 11-night voyage from Venice on May 11, 2012.

Muppets to Debut on Disney Fantasy

The Muppets will debut aboard aboard Disney Fantasy when the ship enters service in March 2012. The popular characters will appear in a new adventure game aboard the ship. In the fast-paced game, passengers will follow clues around the ship to solve a mystery involving the 20 Muppet characters.

Complete details appeared in an article in the November 29, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Norwegian to Add Pre-Cruise Services for Suite Passengers

Norwegian Cruise Line announced they are offering a pre-cruise concierge service for passengers booking suites in The Haven, their most luxurious suites aboard Norwegian Epic and their Jewel-class ships.

The concierge desk will handle arrangements for dining, entertainment (especially useful on Norwegian Epic) and other services.

The complete article appeared in the November 28, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Video: Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger from Carnival Spirit

The US Coast Guard medevaced a 77-year-old woman from Carnival Spirit on Saturday (November 26, 2011) as the ship sailed 230 miles southwest of San Diego.

The Coast Guard was contacted at 12:30pm requesting a medevac for the woman who was experiencing symptoms of a stroke, and they dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from San Diego and a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Sacramento to provide communications and coordination.

Once on the scene, as can be seen in the Coast Guard-provided video, a rescue swimmer was lowered to the ship's aft deck to assist in hoisting the people from the cruise ship. Notice the speed at which you can see the ship moving through the water, and the skill needed by the helicopter pilot to coordinate and remain virtually motionless over the deck during the transfer.

You first see a nurse from the ship being lifted to the helicopter, followed by the patient in a second basket, and finally the rescue swimmer being retrieved.

The helicopter returned to San Diego at approximately 6pm, and the patient was transferred to a San Diego area hospital for treatment.

Queen Mary 2 Enters Dry Dock

Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 entered the dry dock yesterday at Blohm + Voss at Hamburg. The line plans interior work on the ship as well as the required mechanical work and routine maintenance under the ship.

Here QM2 is shown arriving at the Hamburg facility.

Due to the prep work while the ship was traveling to Hamburg, the Golden Lion Pub is ready for work to begin as the ship arrives in dry dock. When the ship returns to service, QM2's Golden Lion will look more like the pubs on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

A few hours after arrival in the dry dock, the water has been drained, and Queen Mary 2 is sitting high and dry.

During the preparation for the dry dock, everything not being removed is covered to protect it, as can be seen in the hallway on Deck 2.

This applies not only to hallways, but all public rooms. Protective covering has been taped down on everything in the Commodore Club.

Here the whirlpool in the spa has been drained for maintenance there. The spa manager and entertainment director are shown in the the empty pool recording a video entry for Cunard's blog, "We Are Cunard."

Photos courtesy of Cunard Line.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Video: AIDAmar Gets Its Stack

AIDAmar is under construction at Meyer Werft in Papenburg (Germany). Last week Meyer lifted the ship's stack into place, making it the last major exterior element to go into place. Of course there is another "major" feature yet to come, AIDA's iconic giant red lips, which still have to be painted on the ship's bow.

Friday, November 18, 2011

R Bar to Be Center of Splendour of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas is currently in dry dock at Cadiz having a number of new features installed.

During the process, the ship's atrium will undergo a visual transformation, and its centerpiece will replace the current Champagne Bar. The new bar will be called the R Bar.

The new bar will have "a sophisticated 1960's vibe."

The rest of the atrium will also be getting a makeover with the latest in sound and light technology, but its most unique feature will be new equipment being installed above the heads of the passengers in the 60-foot Centrum. It will be used for the ship's "vertical entertainment," aerial acrobatic vignettes several times a week which blur "the lines between artful choreography and state-of-the-art technology."

Splendour returns to service with its new features in place on November 26, 2011.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Princess' Entertainer of the Year

Princess Cruises is beginning the process to select their Entertainer of the Year:

The competition will culminate with a special eastern Caribbean cruise aboard Ruby Princess on April 8, 2012, when the five finalists will be showcased, and passengers will vote for the line's 2011 Entertainer of the Year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dreamworks' Puss in Boots 3D Debuts aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas

Dreamworks Animation pulled out all the stops for the debut of Puss in Boots aboard Allure of the Seas. Of course the premier was a red carpet event, complete with the shows stars which included Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Princess Updates Sabatini's

Princess Cruises has updated the Sabatini experience across their fleet. The signature specialty restaurant now has a new a la carte menu that is lighter and allows passengers to order just what they want. This also makes it possible for passengers to dine quickly, if they want, and have time to enjoy some other activities aboard ship during the evening, or they can still make their Sabatini experience a leisurely evening.

This video highlights the experience and new menu.

A copy of the complete new menu is here. The price has not changed and remains at $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New Menu aboard Allure of the Seas' at 150 Central Park Restaurant

Chef Molly Brandt has created a new fall menu for the upscale 150 Central Park restaurant aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas. This is what is looks like as it's coming together.

Chef Molly Brandt on Allure of the Seas has just presented her new seasonal Fall menu featuring dishes made with fresh ingredients, served together in balance and harmony evoking a unique symphony of elements served in an elegant, fine dining scene in Central Park.

Some of Chef Molly's gastronomical delights include an Apple Cider Marinated Veal Tenderloin, Cornbread Parisienne Gnocchi, fresh Autumn Salad, and Smoked Confit Hamachi paired with award winning wine selections.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Video: Crown Princess arrives in New York

Princess Cruises' 113,000-ton Crown Princess' sunrise arrival in New York:

Arrival on October 22, 2011
Gross tonnage: 113,000 tons
Length: 951 feet (290 meters)
Video by NJPhotographer62.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Video: Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas Enhancement Project

The latest Royal Caribbean International ship to undergo their revitalization process is Splendour of the Seas. The ship is currently in drydock at the Navantia shipyard at Cadiz, Spain. Splendour is assigned primarily to the internationally-sourced market. When it emerges from the drydock on November 25 (2011) it will head to Santos (Brazil) for the austral summer season there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Video: Norwegian Gem Rescues Five

Five Canadians probably owe their lives to the captain and crew of Norwegian Gem. They seem to be alive today because the Norwegian ship came to their rescue Saturday in the North Atlantic and was willing to delay its return to New York by a half an hour.

Saturday morning (Oct 29, 2011) Norwegian Gem responded to a call from the US Coast Guard about a 39-foot sailboat (Sanctuary) which was in distress two hours away from their position.

Norwegian Gem was returning to New York from Bermuda, and the sailboat was located about 350 miles from New York. The sailboat had four men and one woman aboard. It had large waves breaking over its bow, had lost power and its life raft, and was taking on water.

Norwegian Gem's captain, Hankan Svedung, immediately changed course to intercept the sailboat.

Once on the scene, Svedung said they encountered extreme weather conditions with winds up to 40 knots and large swells, which made it challenging to launch Norwegian Gem's rescue boat. Once they did get it in the water, it made contact with the rescue boat and quickly transferred the five people to the cruise ship. Those extreme conditions can be seen in the video when the rescue boat is under way from Norwegian Gem to Sanctuary.

About four hours after receiving the initial call, Norwegian Gem once again set its course for New York, and it arrived only about 30 minutes late on Sunday morning. The five Sanctuary passengers disembarked there along with Norwegian Gem's other passengers.

"This rescue operation was conducted under extremely difficult circumstances," said Captain Svedung. "I am proud of our crew who braved their lives to rescue the five people in distress."

The Coast Guard-provided video above was shot from a USCG Hercules C-130 aircraft which was launched from Air Station Elizabeth City to coordinate the rescue from the air.

The video below was shot by a passenger from aboard Norwegian Gem during the rescue:

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Chef Brings New Menu to 150 Central Park

150 Central Park is one of the more elegant restaurants aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, and on October 29, it will have a new executive chef, Michael Schwartz. He has created a new menu for the establishment, and in this video, you have a chance to preview his Chef's Table.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fincantieri Lays Royal Princess Keel

Construction began today at Fincantieri's Monfalcone (Italy) yard on Royal Princess. The first 500-ton block of the ship's keel was laid in the dry dock with completion set for spring of 2013.

We also have computer-generated renderings of the ship on the CND website.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Video from Ft. Lauderdale Promoting Pre- & Post-Cruise Stays

Ft. Lauderdale's Convention & Visitor's bureau is starting a new push for cruise passengers' pre- and post-cruise stays. In conjunction with that they have created this clever video starring an unnamed cabin steward and one of those towel animals that magically appear on our beds. Along the way, it, of course, answers the question, "What's there to do in Ft. Lauderdale?"

There’s more information about pre- and post-cruise stays on the CVB’s website at

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cunard Celebrates Queen Elizabeth's First Year in Serivce

Cunard Line is marking the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth entering service, which is rather unusual for a cruise line. Then again, Queen Elizabeth isn't your average ship, either. This video gives you the particulars of her first year in a much more inspiring way than plain text telling you how many passengers have sailed on her and how many ports she's visited.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Norwegian's New Advertising Brand Platform

Norwegian Cruise Line debuted a new “brand platform” for their advertising. You’re soon going to know what it means to “Cruise Like a Norwegian.” This video will give you a sampling of the television ads which have already begun running on ABC and CBS, as well as cable networks such as the Travel Channel, HGTV, MSNBC and the Discovery Channel. The theme will carry through to NCL's digital advertising on the web and to their social media platforms.

The complete story appeared in the October 11, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Update (Oct 12): NCL released copies of the actual television ads that will be airing:

1st - 15-second spot:

2nd (very similar) - 15-second spot:

30-second spot:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Carnival Jumps on the "Branded" Bandwagon

Carnival Cruise Lines has a new half-billion-dollar initiative that represents an evolution of the brand which they are calling Fun Ship 2.0.

It's bringing aboard a number of "branded" products, mostly via celebrity names. Carnival is using the branding in a quite different way than most lines have.

The two highest profile celebrities are television chef Guy Fieri and comedian George Lopez. Neither will personally appear aboard any cruises, however.

Fieri will lend his name to a gourmet burger stand aboard selected ships, while Lopez will work mainly behind the scenes helping Carnival select comedians to appear onboard, but allowing the line to use his name to promote their comedy clubs.

It will be some time, however, before the Fun Ship 2.0 features debut aboard all the ships. Dates are tentatively scheduled through 2015, and even at that, not all ships in the fleet will be completed.

Fun Ship 2.0 also seems to be seeking to change the line's demographics. Will it work for Carnival?

The complete article appeared in the October 3, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Paul Gauguin to Expand with Second Ship

Paul Gauguin announced this afternoon that they will acquire a small second ship (45 staterooms) which will begin sailing in December 2012. It will be christened m/v Moana and refurbished in November 2012. Plans are for it to sail in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

The complete story will appear in the September 30, 2011, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Can Now Sleep More Soundly on Celebrity Cruises

Passengers aboard Celebrity Cruises are going to be able to sleep more soundly on fresh clean pillows and not have to worry about the old yucky pillows going into a landfill. The line has purchased nine of Harris Pillow's Pillow-Vacs that will operate behind the scenes on every ship (except the tiny Celebrity Xpedition).

Depending where the pillow is in the process, you'll agree that the Pillow-Vac really sucks. At the end of the process, you can also say it really blows.

The complete article appeared in the September 28, 2011 edition of Cruise News Daily.