Thursday, December 27, 2012

RCCL Orders Third Oasis-Class Ship

Royal Caribbean Cruises ordered a third Oasis-class vessel for their Royal Caribbean International brand today from STX France.

The ship will be built at the STX France yard in Saint Nazaire for delivery in mid-2016.

Details and analysis appeared in the December 27, 2011 edition of Cruise News Daily.

Monday, December 24, 2012

UK Reports: QE2 Sold for Scrap - Updated

Update below original story

According to UK newspaper reports, The classic Queen Elizabeth 2 has apparently been sold for scrap to a Chinese yard.

The oceanliner has been sitting in a port at Dubai since its purchase by resort interests there in 2008. The original plan was to convert it to a luxury hotel for use there, but that plan was shelved when world financial markets tightened. A crew of 40 to maintain the vessel has been constantly aboard since the handover.

The UK reports say QE2 was sold to Chinese interests for 20 million pounds. It's original sale price was 64 million pounds, and it has been running up fuel and docking fees since.

The reports say that a crew of 20 Chinese replaced the original crew last Friday, indicating a change of ownership. The rumor is that the ship will be going into drydock before leaving for an undisclosed destination in Asia. That would seem to point to it ultimately being scrapped.

Reports from the UK are notoriously unfounded, but this one seems to have a lot of detail with it, and it's quite possibly true.

British interests had been negotiating to purchase the ship and bring to back to the UK for use as a hotel, but those hopes would now seem to be ended.

In an unusual move, Cunard has issued a statement saying they have been in contact with "Dubai" regarding the stories published in British newspapers "and to the very best of our knowledge this story is pure speculation."

This is unusual in that in the past Cunard has never wanted to comment on their former vessel. The attitude seemed to be that it was no longer theirs, so anything to do with it was no longer their business.

Beyond that, while it is reassuring what Cunard said, they actually have no more information than anyone else. If the Dubai owners aren't ready to confirm the sale to anyone else, they aren't likely to confirm it to Cunard, since Cunard has no interest in the project, past or present.

As we mentioned in the original article UK media often runs with reports without verification, and they were saying the Dubai owners were not commenting, but this does have a lot of detail, and the Dubai owners were not denying the story either. If they have no interest in selling the ship, logic would say they'd be very quick and very public about denying the reports. There seems to be a lot of smoke for no fire. One explanation may be that a sale may not have closed yet, but it could in the near future. Time will tell.

By the way, Cunard has commented to CND in the past that they have absolutely no interest in reacquiring the vessel.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monarch of the Seas Passenger Arrested with Child Porn

A passenger returning from a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas was arrested when it was discovered that his laptop computer contained more than 1,100 images and video believed to be child pornography.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, the pictures included toddlers and babies being sexually abused. Authorities said about 350 of the children in the material have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The man has now been indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography charges. The alleged pornography was discovered when the man returned from his cruise on December 10, 2012.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Toddler Falls from Monarch of the Seas

A toddler aboard Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas reportedly fell from an upper deck to a balcony one deck below shortly after the ship left Port Canaveral Friday afternoon.

Royal Caribbean said the 14-month-old child was treated at the ship's medical facility, but the injuries were extensive enough that the ship returned to Port Canaveral where the child could be airlifted to a hospital in Orlando.

Monarch of the Seas departed Friday (Dec 22, 2012) on a 3-night cruise to Coco Cay and Nassau.

Details will appear in the next edition of Cruise News Daily.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Queen Mary 2 Sailing from Manhattan

Last month when the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was closed due to damage during Hurricane Sandy, Queen Mary 2 instead sailed from the cruise terminal in Manhattan, giving us a rare (these days) chance to see her sailing past the famed Manhattan skyline. Making it all the more romantic was the nighttime departure.

Luckily our favorite New Jersey YouTube ship videographer, NJPhotographer62, was there to capture it for us. You can almost hear Frank Sinatra singing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Carnival to Expand Capacity in Southern California for Short Cruises

Carnival Cruise Lines said today they would expand capacity at Long Beach by moving Carnival Imagination there for 3- and 4-day cruises beginning January 26, 2014.

Once repositioned, Carnival will operate three ships from Long Beach. Carnival Imagination will join Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Miracle which will continue to operate their respective programs from the Southern California port.

Carnival Imagination is currently sailing short cruises from Miami. Carnival Ecstasy, now operating from Port Canaveral, will reposition to Miami to assume Carnival Imagination's program of short cruises from Miami to the Bahamas.

Additional information will appear in today's edition of Cruise News Daily.

Norwegian Cruise Line Sets Caribbean Programs for Winter 2014/15

Norwegian Cruise Line has opened the books on their Caribbean and Bahamas programs for the winter 2014/2015 season.

The line will have eight ships in the Caribbean, with the bulk of the choices and marquee ships in Miami and New York. Norwegian will also have ships in Tampa, New Orleans, and 2014/2015 marks their return to Houston.

Details appeared in the December 19, 2012 edition of Cruise News Daily.

Norwegian Star Decorates for the Holidays

If you are cruising over the holidays, you get to see your cruise ship like at no other time of the year. Cruise lines make a point of decorating their ships in various styles from the tastefully understated to the spectacular. Here is Norwegian Star's atrium decked out for the holidays in one of the more modern and creative ways we've seen.
Photon courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Duchess of Cornwall Visits Queen Victoria

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall spent the day aboard Cunard's Queen Victoria last week marking the fifth anniversary of her christening the vessel. While aboard, she attended several events including the unveiling of a new portrait which will be displayed aboard Queen Victoria.

In this video, Cunard President Peter Shanks describes the duchess' time aboard the vessel.

Video courtesy of Cunard Line

Salvaging Costa Concordia

Last Sunday evening (December 17, 2012), CBS's 60 Minutes ran a story on the salvage of Costa Concordia. If you've been following Cruise News Daily's coverage, you already know the information presented, but it does show some interesting footage of the wreck and correspondent Leslie Stahl talks with Titaln Salvage's Nick Sloane about the project. We have the report here. (It does have a couple commercial breaks, but that's how CBS pays the bills. Just stick with it.)

Below the report which aired, we have some web extras that give some interesting behind the scenes perspectives on the 60 Minutes story.

In the first web extra, CBS shows how the crew shot the footage of the ship.

The next web extra is a clip from the interview with Nick Sloane of Titan Salvage talking about how they used supercomputers to do the calculations for the design of the salvage operation.

In the third web extra, senior salvage master Nick Sloane tells Lesley Stahl why the ship weighs so much -- and why it's an environmental priority to remove it in one piece.

In the last web extra senior dive master Jimmy Conroy has been working on the wreck for months on end, but says he feels honored to be part of a project that's attracted "some of the best maritime talent in the world."

Video courtesy of CBS.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Photos: Costa Diadema Construction Begins

Fincantieri laid the first block of Costa Diadema (Italian for "tiara") at their Marghera yard on December 10. The ship, when delivered on October 2014, at 132,500 grt, will be the largest flying the the Italian flag.

This interior block measures 15 by 29 meters and weighs 504 tons, 
and this one will form part of the keel. Here it it being lowered onto the blocks
on which the ship will rest until the drydock is flooded and the ship is
floated up.

Costa Diadema's interior has again been designed by Joe Farcus.
The atrium is shown above.

The ship's main restaurant will be located aft for spectacular sea views (above).

The ship will also have a premium/specialty restaurant (above). Details will be available later.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Norwegian Unveils Hull Art for Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Cruise Line chose well-known Miami artist LEBO (David Le Batard) to create the hull art for Norwegian Getaway. The ship will be based in Miami, and the line wanted the artwork to have a Miami connection.

Norwegian Getaway will debut in Miami on February 1, 2014.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Princess Reveals Swanky New Royal Princess Sanctuary

Ever since debuting aboard Crown Princess, the Sanctuary has become one of Princess' signature features. When Royal Princess debuts in June 2013, it will have a Sanctuary which has evolved from the original concept into a quite elegant new facility as shown in the video. Together with the adjacent Retreat Pool, it is an area for complete relaxation of adults only.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Norwegian Getaway Construction Begins

Construction began on Norwegian Getaway on Tuesday (October 30, 2012) at the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg (Germany) when a crane lowered the first 530-ton block of the ship's keel into the yard's massive covered dry dock. It will be the first of 73 blocks that comprise the 146,600-gross registered ton vessel.

The crane lowered the block onto a "lucky coin" (below) that was struck for the occasion.

Norwegian Getaway will enter service on February 1, 2014 and be home ported at Miami.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Let's Go to a Party!

In this video, Princess' VP of Entertainment, Martin Hall, talks about the Ultimate Deck Party aboard the new Royal Princess, and how it will make use of the special features of the top decks.

(Even if you're not interested in the deck party, the video has some stunning animation of Royal Princess at sea.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Just Add Water

Last week we told you that the last piece of Norwegian Breakaway's hull had been put into place. On Sunday (October 21, 2012) Meyer Werft float up the ship for the first time in their covered building dock.

Once floating, the ship was then winched forward making room for another newbuild to be started behind it.

Photos courtesy of Meyer Werft.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Norwegian Breakaway Passes Two Construction Milestones

Norwegian Breakaway, under construction at Meyer Werft in Papenburg (Germany), passed a second milestone this morning in as many days.

In the first photo below, taken yesterday, the bow section was lifted into place, completing the assembly of the ship's hull.

The bow, known to the yard as Block 73, weighed 361 tons and took only 30 minutes to lift into place. The block measured 72 feet long, 101 feet wide and more than 39 feet high. Despite the weight, the process of lifting the bow into place took only about 30 minutes.

That was followed up this morning by another milestone when the last block of the superstructure was put into place. (below)

This is the most forward block of the superstructure that contains the navigational bridge, ports of the spa (the salt room), suites and staterooms.

Norwegian Breakaway is scheduled to enter service in April 2013.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Video Shows Royal Princess' Top Deck Features

Princess seems to be taking the top deck of the new Royal Princess in a different direction than most other cruise lines. As they detail their top deck features in this video, you'll see the difference. While most ships are featuring activity, Royal Princess seems to be more about relaxation and enjoyment.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Celebrity Reflection Leaves on Its First Voyage

(New video appears at the end of this item.)
The fifth and final Solstice-class ship, Celebrity Reflection, left Meyer Werft at Papenburg (Germany) this afternoon. The ship is different from the rest in that it is a little larger (one deck higher, one meter wider) than its four sisters.

The ship is traveling very slowly down the Ems River to the Dutch port of Eemshaven from which it will embark on a series of sea trials before delivery. The journey is very precarious due to the shallow clearance and very narrow passage in most places. To improve maneuverability, the ship travels down the river backwards with the assistance of two tugs.

The ship left the yard about 5pm (local time), about twelve hours after the original schedule due to forecasts of windy conditions which would make the ship more difficult to control.

Celebrity Reflection backs away from the finishing dock at Meyer Werft today at about 5pm (LT). It will move backward through the barrier that separates the lagoon at the shipyard from the river (seen here just beyond the ship's stern).

Having cleared the first barrier, Celebrity Reflection can be seen in the first part of the river headed toward the next barrier at Weener. To date, Celebrity Reflection is the largest ship Meyer has ever delivered, all of which must make the transit down the river before delivery.

Photos and video courtesy of Meyer Werft

Friday, September 14, 2012

Walking on the Sea

One of the new architectural features of Princess Cruises' new Royal Princess is a "Sea Walk" promenade on the ship's top deck. The glass-enclosed walkway will give passengers dramatic sea views extending out 28 feet past the side of the ship. The drama doesn't end there, because the dramatic views will be both out to the horizon and down through the glass floor to the sea 128 feet below.

Royal Princess is under construction at Fincantieri's Monfalcone (Italy) yard, and these photos taken on Tuesday will give you a first look at the Sea Walk.

In the photo above. shot from Deck 17, you can see inside what will be the glass-enclosed Sea Walk on Deck 16. The openings where the glass panels will go in the floor are covered with metal plates.

This view, still shot from Deck 17, looking forward, will give you a better perspective of the views that will be available from the Sea Walk.

Seen from below, you get a perspective of how high the Sea Walk is - and how much work there is to complete on the ship before it enters service in June.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Living Wall aboard Crystal Symphony

A living wall was installed aboard Crystal Symphony. The freestanding wall is kind of like a vertical garden with the plants anchored in two to four inches of soil on the wall. In this case, the plants were arranged to form a map of the world.

Photos courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Look at Norwegian Breakaway's Peter Max-Designed Hull Art

Norwegian Cruise Line today gave the world the first look at Norwegian Breakaway's distinctive hull artwork designed by noted artist Peter Max.

It is the first time the line has commissioned hull art for one of their ships from a "name" artist.

The line features artwork on the hulls of all their vessels. Norwegian Breakaway's will have a New York theme tying in with the ship's New York year round home port.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Princess Provides New Evidence Star Princess Did NOT Pass Fisherman in Distress

Last March a man was rescued from the Pacific Ocean after being adrift for 28 days. Passengers aboard Star Princess said they had seen a man waving in distress and had taken pictures. They alerted a crew member, but Star Princess never stopped. In the side-by-side display below, provided by Princess, it shows the differences between the boat the survivor was in when he was rescued, and the boat photographed by the passengers aboard Star Princess. Experts have authenticated that they are two entirely different boats and that based on the wind and ocean currents, it is unlikely the boat in question and Star Princess ever crossed paths.

Princess also found video of the man's rescue last March. Again, it shows a marked difference between the two boats, indicating the boat the passengers aboard Star Princess saw and the one with the man in distress were different ones. It is believed that the boat the passengers photographed may be one of a group the crew of Star Princess had seen earlier with which they exchanged visual greetings.

The complete story appeared in the August 30, 2012, edition of Cruise News Daily.

Photos and video courtesy of Princess Cruises.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Royal Princess Sister: Fincantieri Lays Keel, Princess Names Ship

Today, at their Monfalcone yard, Fincantieri laid the keel for the sister ship to Royal Princess, which is also under construction there.

The 500-ton block was lowered into the drydock, where the ship will be built around it, and where it will remain until the ship is floated out next summer.

At the same time, Princess took the opportunity to announce the 114,000-ton vessel will be named Regal Princess, a familiar name to longtime Princess fans.

Regal Princess will be delivered in the spring of 2014.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Delays Carnival Valor Turnaround at Miami

The Port of Miami is expected to close by 11:00pm on Saturday night. Carnival Valor was scheduled to turn around at Miami on Sunday, August 26 (2012). It will, instead, remain at sea until the port reopens, which is expected at noon on Monday.

Sunday's scheduled sailing will be delay until Monday, August 27 and operate as a 5-day cruise. The call at Key West will be canceled. The new 5-day itinerary call at Grand Cayman and Montego Bay. Departure time on Monday is expected to be at 8:00pm.

Passengers are being offered the option to either cancel with a full refund, or if they choose to sail on the 5-day cruise on Monday, they will receive a one-day prorated refund of their cruise fare, and they will also receive a $50 per person shipboard credit.

Hurricane Isaac Relocates Carnival Legend Turnaround

The Port of Tampa will close at 3am Sunday until Hurricane Isaac passes in the Gulf. Carnival Legend was scheduled to turnaround at Tampa, but will turnaround at Port Canaveral instead.

Carnival Legend will arrive at Port Canaveral on Sunday, August 26 (2012) at 8:00am. Carnival will provide complimentary motorcoach service for passengers from the port to the Port of Tampa and Tampa International Airport. It is an approximately two and a half hour drive.

For passengers who were scheduled to on embark on Carnival Legend on Sunday, August 26, Carnival will be providing complimentary motorcoach service from Tampa to Port Canaveral. At this point, Carnival Legend will operate its scheduled itinerary as planned. The ship will return to Tampa on Sunday, September 3 as scheduled.

Hurricane Isaac Reschedules Allure of the Seas Turnaround

Even though Hurricane Isaac will not be hitting South Florida directly, tropical storm force winds are currently extending out 205 miles from the center, so they will be affecting operations at Port Everglades. Royal Caribbean has, therefore, rescheduled next week's sailing of Allure of the Seas.

Sunday's turnaround has been delayed until Tuesday, August 28.

Passengers on that sailing are asked not to arrive at Port Everglades until 11:30am on Tuesday. Check-in and boarding will be between 11:30am and 4:00pm.

The shortened cruise length will necessitate a change of itinerary. Allure of the Seas will spend Wednesday at sea, and call at Cozumel on Thursday, August 30. Friday will be another sea day, and on Saturday, September 1, Allure will visit Nassau. Allure of the Seas will then return to Port Everglades as scheduled on Sunday.

Customers who are on the shortened cruise will receive an onboard credit, the amount of which will be based on their stateroom category. (The amount will cover both the refund for the shortened cruise and provide a small compensation for the inconvenience.) They will also receive a future cruise credit of 10% of the price they paid for the August 26 cruise. The details of the offers will be explained in a letter delivered to the stateroom.

Passengers who are currently aboard Allure for the current cruise which departed Port Everglades on Sunday, August 19, will remain aboard the ship for a couple bonus days and arrive in Port Everglades Tuesday morning, August 28.

Royal Caribbean is automatically adjusting return air flights for passengers who purchased air arrangements from them. The line is also opening their phone and internet lines to other passengers who need to contact airlines to adjust their return flights.

Last update Saturday, August 25, 2012, 12:10pm

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Royal Princess Floats Out

Fincantieri floated out the new Royal Princess at their Monfalcone yard today. As noted in the video, the ship and the ceremony had a special connection to the original Royal Princess.

A detail of the ships port side shows the level of completion as it is moved to the outfitting dock.

This is the bell that you heard about in the video which will like the original Royal Princess with the newest ship to bear the name.

Royal Princess will be delivered in the spring of 2013 and will enter service in June 2013.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Celebrity Reflection Sees the Light of Day

Meyer Werft floated out Celebrity Reflection on Sunday (August 12, 2012) and positioned the ship at the yard's finishing docked where it will remain until its river conveyance which is scheduled for the weekend of September 16-18.

The video below will give you a feeling for the atmosphere during the operation and show you some aspects you don't normally see.

Photos courtesy of Meyer Werft

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Video Preview of Lotus Spa aboard New Royal Princess

This month, Princes pulls back the curtain a little farther on the new Royal Princess to show us the Lotus Spa.

Royal Princess' spa will be one of the their most full-featured, and will include indulgences not found in other Princess spas, new ways to "escape completely."

Royal Princess will enter service in June 2013.

In a bonus video, Princess' VP of Entertainment, Martin Hall, gives us a quick preview of the ship's Princess Theater.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

From South America to Alaska in Two Minutes

Knowing our readers' penchant for time lapse video, we thought they would enjoy this one by one of our favorite YouTube posters. This video is shot from the bridge during a repositioning cruise from Buenos Aries to Alaska and back to Vancouver. It's very cleverly shot and edited. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Princess Reveals Sports & Fitness Facilities in Video about New Royal Princess

In this month's video about the new Royal Princess, the line reveals the extensive sports and fitness facilities which will be available aboard the ship when it debuts in less than a year - June 2013.

For those who may not be into the fitness aspect, we have a bonus video that deals with what will be another popular facility aboard Royal Princess, Sabatini's Italian restaurant. In this video, Peter Tobler, VP of Food & Beverage describes the new dishes that will become instant hits aboard Royal Princess.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Paul Gauguin Releases First Images of Tere Moana Refurbished Interior

Paul Gauguin Cruises' new Tere Moana's will debut in the Caribbean at the end of December 2012. The line has now released the first images of the refurbished staterooms.

The line says the staterooms will be "chic and stylish with Polynesian touches," even though the ship will be operating in Europe and the Caribbean. The small ship will carry just 90 passengers, double occupancy, in casual luxury. Shown below are the window staterooms and one of the eight balcony staterooms.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hanrahan Resigns from Celebrity Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd said Dan Hanrahan has resigned as the President and CEO of the Celebrity brand effective at the end of the month.

This morning the line said that after 13 years with the company Hanrahan was leaving "to take an exciting new opportunity." This afternoon, Regis Corp announced he would join their company as President and CEO on August 6 and also become a member of the board of directors on that date. The Minneapolis-based company operates under a number of brands (including Supercuts, Sassoon Salon, Regis Salons, MasterCuts, SmartStyle, Cost Cutters, Cool Cuts 4 Kids and Hair Club for Men and Women) with more than 12,700 worldwide locations of beauty salons, hair restoration centers and cosmetology education.

RCCL did not immediately name a successor.

updated July 11, 2011 - 11:30pm

Friday, June 22, 2012

Miami Heat Cheered on Around the World aboard Carnival Cruise Lines

With Carnival Cruise Line being Miami based, there are always a lot of people from South Florida aboard Carnival ships wherever they go in the world. That includes the new Carnival Breeze, which is on its second cruise, and last night it was in the Adriatic heading toward Venice for a call today (June 22, 2012). Meanwhile last night in Miami, the Heat was battling the Oklahoma City Thunder for the NBA championship in what was to be the final game of the series.

Time and distance though were no obstacles for Heat fans, including the ones currently sailing aboard Carnival Breeze. Because of the time difference, the 9pm Miami tipoff meant it would be 3am aboard Carnival Breeze, and there were fans ready to watch the game live on Carnival Breeze's giant poolside screen. (We assume there were also some less hardy fans who watched from the privacy of their staterooms.) They saw the Heat win the title just after 6am this morning with a glorious Venetian sunrise as a backdrop.

They can be seen here watching the post-game celebration about 6:30 this morning, with Carnival Chairman Micky Arison - and Miami Heat owner - being interviewed along with Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra (right) as part of the ABC/ESPN coverage broadcast live to the ship.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Video Update on Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity Cruise Line executives give a video update on the construction of Celebrity Reflection at Meyer Werft and discuss the necessity of adding some new features on Reflection since it is a bit different design from the rest of the Solstice-class and a number of new features were added to Silhouette.

Of course Celebrity is also thinking beyond Celebrity Reflection, because Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity's SVP of Hotel Operations, says, "A lot of the things we've done on Reflection give us a nice springboard for the future as well."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What is exciting people most about Royal Princess?

The new Royal Princess will be reality in just a year. It's going to be loaded with new features and improvements on ones we're already familiar with, so Princess' executive vice president of fleet operations, Rai Calouri, wanted to know what people are most excited about.

Rai took his video camera around Princess' headquarters and aboard some ships and asked other Princess executives, travel agents and passengers what's the first thing they're going to do when they step aboard the new Royal Princess.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New AIDA Vessels to Utilize "Air Lubrication" System to Save Fuel

The two 125,000-ton vessels being built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for Carnival's German AIDA brand will incorporate MHI's Air Lubrication System to achieve a 7% fuel savings. The MALS system will force air bubbles under the ship's hull to create a cushion of air flowing under the ship which will allow it to move through the water with less friction resulting in lower fuel usage and less CO2 emission.

The system has been in use for several years on cargo vessels built by MHI, but the AIDA vessels, set for delivery in 2015 and 2016, will be the first cruise ships to employ the MALS system.

The animation below from Mitsubishi shows how the system works.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Costa Begins Work on Second Terminal at Savona

Costa is going to construct their second cruise terminal at Savona (near Geona) in record time. Work began today on the 10,500-square-foot facility, and it is slated to open in September 2013, just in time for the peak winter cruise season from the port. The dramatic design of the new terminal is shown in the rendering below.

Video: Three Cunard Queens Celebrate Jubilee in Southampton

Cunard's three queens, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, and their flagship, Queen Mary 2, arrived together this morning (June 5, 2012) at Southampton to honor Her Majesty The Queen on her Diamond Jubilee. It was the first time ever the three ships have arrived together in their home port. The arrival is described here by Capt Kevin Oprey, master of QM2.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Carnival Breeze Arrives Venice

The 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze arrived in Venice late Saturday afternoon (June 2, 2012) for its inaugural cruise on which it would depart Sunday afternoon. The ship arrived over the protests of environmentalists. Shown below are photos of the arrival.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Video: Revitalized Grandeur of the Seas Returns to Service

Grandeur of the Seas is the latest Royal Caribbean ship to emerge from a $48 million revitalization. The work was done last month at the Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz (Spain). New additions to the ship include five new dining venues, a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, a transformed Viking Crown Lounge and new aerial entertainment in the Centrum.

New York Rolls out the Welcome Mat for Disney Magic's Maiden Arrival

New York City rolled out the welcome mat as only they can for Disney Magic's maiden arrival in the Big Apple. The ship's arrival (with the world's largest bumper sticker) marks the beginning of Disney's first-ever series of cruise from New York.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Difference in Carnival Breeze

Carnival Breeze was delivered to Carnival today, and while it's a sister to Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic, it's not a clone. It has some major new features, but the most notable difference is the interior decor.

Carnival Breeze has taken on more the look and feel of a tropical resort hotel as can be seen in the photos below.


Walkway surrounding the atrium

Piano Bar 88

Forward Sapphire Dining Room

Aft Blush Dining Room

Lido Market Place

Photos copyright Carnival Cruise Line and CND

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Norwegian Adds Cabanas to Great Stirrup Cay

Norwegian Cruise Line has added ten private cabanas to their private Bahamian island, Great Stirrup Cay.

The "Cabanas on the Cay" accommodate up to six and come equipped with lounge chairs, tables, cooler, beach towels and a shower.

The $249 price includes priority tender tickets, six bottles of water, a fruit basket, six all-day passes to the Hippo Waterslide (a $120 value), one large float (a $25 value) to use while on the island and a $50 food and beverage credit. Guests in the cabanas have access to an exclusive menu of snacks and beverage packages. The $50 credit may be used toward these or individual beverages at any bar.

The "Cabanas on the Cay" should be reserved through as a shore excursion.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MSC Divina Christened in Marseille

MSC Divina was christened by her godmother, the legendary Sophia Loren, in Marseille on Saturday night (May 26, 2012). The ship is getting more attention than normal from American cruisers since the ship will be MSC's first ship beyond 100,000 tons in the Caribbean (139,400 grt - about 50% larger than MSC Poesia, which is currently operating in the Caribbean during the winter months). MSC Divina will arrive for her first Caribbean season during the winter of 2013-2014.

Here Sophia Loren cuts the ribbon which releases the bottle against the bow. In the photo below, the naming party can be seen on stage (lower right) along with MSC Divina's officers, just after the bottle breaks and a shower of confetti rains down on the crowd.

MSC Divina is going to be a standout in the Caribbean (and everywhere else she sails). We've selected a couple photos (below) of her interior to show her sleek and stylish, modern European interiors.

The Silver Lounge (above)

The Cigar Lounge