Friday, July 11, 2014

Cruise News Daily Headlines for July 11, 2014

* Now You Can Order a Florida Cracker
There used to be a time when cruise lines kept their product consistent across their fleet. The same onboard products and amenities were available no matter which ship you sailed.
   That began to change as lines varied their fleets and their source markets.

* Other Things You’ll Want to Know
CND subscribers also read about how an icon was named ... since it works so well in Chicago ... marking your calendar ... and today was National Mojito Day.

The complete articles appeared in the e-mail edition of Cruise News Daily delivered to our subscribers.

Cunard Introduces the Helen Gormley

This article, written by Michael Gallagher, public relations executive and historian for Cunard Line, is part of an ongoing series of key moments in Cunard Line's history. It's about how the name was chosen for the iconic Queen Elizabeth 2, and gives us non-British a glimpse into the intricacies of Royal protocol in everything, even something as "simple" as the importance of the presence (or absence) of a single character at the end of a name.

When Her Majesty The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) accompanied her Mother to the launch of Queen Elizabeth in 1938 the world knew that the new ship was to be called Queen Elizabeth (great secrecy had surrounded the name of Queen Mary until the very moment of her launch in 1934). When Her Majesty named Queen Elizabeth in Southampton in 2010 the world knew what name she was to give that ship. And when Her Majesty named the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth last Friday once again the name was known beforehand.

But when Her Majesty travelled to Clydebank on 20 September 1967 to name the new Cunarder it was a different story…

There was considerable public and press interest in the likely name of Q4 (how the ship was referred to throughout her gestation period and build prior to her launch) from the moment the contract was signed. There was pressure from Cunard’s American offices for a ‘Queen’ name, while the favourite in the UK – at least in the early days – was Princess Anne.

In January 1966 the Daily Mirror columnist, Cassandra, wrote:

“The next question for romanticists such as myself is to speculate on what they are going to call the new maritime giant, which is known simply as No.736 [the shipyard number]. I predict that there will be enormous pressure to christen the new Cunarder a Queen. But which queen?

“We are short of reigning queens in English history. The Normans, the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts, the Hanovarians, the Saxe-Coburgs and the Windsors have only produced half-a-dozen in the past thousand years.

“Two Marys, two Elizabeths, one Anne and one Victoria. Queen Anne was a colourless nobody and Queen Victoria was a colourful somebody.

“So RMS Queen Victoria is a distinct possibility for that dumpy little old lady was a real character who ruled for sixty-four years at the height of British imperial wealth and power.

“The Americans who will be the main clients for the ship would, I am sure, settle for RMS Winston Churchill. They are very fond of that old Anglo-American party.

“My own suggestion doesn’t stand a hope in high water. It is that the new ship be called John Brown. A fine solid British name that any commoner should be proud of.

“Nobody would know which John Brown. The chap who founded the firm that will build the ship. The whisky drinking Scottish ghillie who for nineteen years dominated Queen Victoria. The John Brown whose soul goes marching on. John Brown the celebrated Northumberland poet. John Brown who wrote the famous Dictionary of the Bible. John Brown the celebrated Edinburgh theologian of any of the thirty eight John Browns who are listed in the London telephone directory.

“It would provide endless argument as to which John Brown was meant that would rage in every bar in the country, including the bars onboard RMS John Brown.

“I just want to be helpful."

Immediately before the launch more than 15,000 bets had been placed with the bookmakers and a Glasgow bookmaker was offering the following odds:

3 – 1 Sir Winston Churchill

4 – 1 Prince of Wales
Prince Charles
Princess Margaret

5 – 1 Britannia

6 – 1 Princess Anne
John F Kennedy

8 – 1 Queen Victoria

10 – 1 Aquitania

12 – 1 Mauretania

14 – 1 Queen Elizabeth II
Prince Philip
Atlantic Princess

25 – 1 Clyde Princess
British Princess

Other suggestions included Queen of the United States, Great Britain, Ocean Queen, The Crown and Anchor, Rose of England, Twiggy, The New Elizabethan, Gloriana, Windsor Wave and Donald Campbell (he had been killed a few weeks earlier).

Housewife Helen Gormley suggested ‘Helen Gormley.'

Over 400 names were put forward with the last suggestion, Francis Chichester, arriving in just 48 hours before the naming.

But one name which was not suggested was Queen Elizabeth 2.

Sir Basil Smallpeice, Cunard Chairman, maintained silence on the issue save to say in July 1966, in an apparent rejection of a ‘Queen’ name:

“We shall have to find a name which will reflect this modern age and not recall the days of Henry Hall’s band.”

He claimed his intention was to resolve himself into a “committee of one” to choose the name, and preferably this would not be done until just before the launch.

In the event the final selection of three names was decided in May 1967 by Sir Basil and his Deputy Ronald Senior. Sir Basil later confirmed that the three names were Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne. The final name was chosen by the same two men on Monday 18 September 1967 – just two days before the launch on Wednesday 20 September by Her Majesty The Queen. Once this was done, a message was sent to the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Michael Adeane, at Balmoral – so at that stage only four people knew. The secret was kept to the very end.

A sealed envelope simply containing the name was sent to Cunard’s New York office on the first flight on 19 September. It was to be placed in a safe and only opened by the company’s American boss if the scheduled live broadcast of the launch to the States somehow failed. The envelope would be retrieved and opened and the New York office would be able to announce the name.

Public speculation continued, and Princess Margaret became the 4 – 1 favourite on the eve of the launch when it was announced at the last minute that she would attend the ceremony. The yard workers had a different view and chalked ‘Princess Anne’ on the hull – allegedly Captain Warwick’s (the ship’s Master Designate) preferred name.

But Cunard’s chosen name was not Princess Margaret or Princess Anne, it was note even Queen Elizabeth II, let alone Queen Elizabeth 2. It was simply Queen Elizabeth.

One reason may have been that no British merchant ship had ever been named after a reigning monarch and the company did not wish to presume an exception – a reason advanced by Sir Basil Smallpeice.

But another reason of considerable weight concerned the sensibility of the Scots, whose ship this indubitably was. Cunard had built over 100 ships on the Clyde in the preceding century and was attuned to Scottish sensitivities. The company knew full well that in Scotland the present Queen is not Queen Elizabeth II - she is simply Queen Elizabeth. To ignore such an historical fact would reek of English arrogance and would be resented – and, in any case, there was no need to do so as Cunard’s wish to have the ship named after the Queen was perfectly well served by the chosen ‘Queen Elizabeth.'

When the Queen proceeded at the launch ceremony to name the ship ‘Queen Elizabeth the Second’ - not just ‘Elizabeth,' nor even ‘Elizabeth Two’ – the fleeting look of consternation on Sir Basil’s face was obvious to the millions of television viewers tuned in to the historic event.

But it is difficult to know if it was a look of surprised delight that the Queen had, of her own choosing, decided to ignore tradition and to confer her name on Cunard’s ship – a merchant ship. That would have been a singular honour from the monarch. Or, conversely, if it was a look of concern deriving from a knowledge of what complication would ensue. Probably a bit of both.

As soon as the Queen had surprised everyone, including Sir Basil, controversy began.

In England the name was criticized as being unimaginative, but in Scotland it was damned as “insulting”, “provocative” and “disgraceful."

Arthur Donaldson, chairman of the Scottish Nationalist Party, said:

“It could not be a bigger insult to the people of Scotland."

More than 500 calls were made to the various offices of Cunard in the UK, most of which congratulated the company on the choice.

Later on the evening on 20 September in New York the staff remembered about the envelope. Despite knowing the name they opened the envelope and it contained two words: Queen Elizabeth. So if the link had failed the New York office would have announced the wrong name.

In his autobiography Sir Basil maintained that he “could hardly contain” his delight when the Queen conferred her name in full on the ship. But despite this being clearly her wish he says he proposed the use of the Arabic ‘2’ as it would not have been appropriate to use the “official designation of the Queen as sovereign” – that is, Roman Numerals – in advertising.

Cunard caused even more confusion by issuing a release on 1 February 1968 saying that the Arabic 2 rather than the Roman II was chose “for clarity at a distance” on the stern of the ship:

“The name of the new 58,000 ton Cunarder will appear on the ship as Queen Elizabeth 2 – not Queen Elizabeth II.

“This decision, like other decisions about the design of the ship, was taken for sound practical reasons.

“As with motorway signs, for clarity at a distance it was necessary to use block lettering for the name on the bow and stern of the ship. Roman numerals cannot all be successfully represented with block lettering – in particular the Roma figure ‘II’ can only be represented by a repeated Arabic numeral 1 and then unfortunately appears as a figure 11.

“The decision has the advantages of being in keeping with modern design trends (Roman numerals are disappearing even from such traditional manifestations as clock faces, and the fly leaves of books), and the popular contraction of the ship’s name is much more legible and attractive as QE2 than QEII.”

Clarity at a distance it may have been, but as far as clarity for the public was concerned there was little; QE2 was often wrongly referred to as QEII throughout her long career.

Conversely, today people wrongly refer to the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford, the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London and the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal in Southampton as the QE2 Bridge, the QE2 Conference Centre and the QE2 Terminal.

Years later when asked why all the secrecy, Sir Basil said:

“It just seemed rather fun. People seemed to having a marvellous time trying to work out what it would be called. We decided to let them carry on. We were anxious to continue our tradition of royal names for our ships. I did not, by the way, have a bet with the bookmaker."

Source: Cunard Line

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cruise News Daily Headlines for July 10, 2014

* Specialists on Call
Since you take your kids to a pediatrician at home because kids have special medical needs, wouldn’t you want a pediatrician to consult on their needs when you are away from home on vacation, especially in an emergency? And wouldn’t it be great if you had access to the top pediatricians in the world to consult on your child’s case?
   Beginning over the next few months, if you are traveling with your child on an MSC ship, you will.

* Other Things You’ll Want to Know
CND subscribers also read about wine for everyone (and send the bill to Gerry) ... new threads for those who serve ... and ready to expand.

The complete articles appeared in the e-mail edition of Cruise News Daily delivered to our subscribers.

The butler did it. New European-styled uniforms for the
Silversea staff. The butlers' uniforms are shown above.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cruise News Daily Headlines for July 9, 2014

* Expanding the Club
Windstar Cruises has joined an “exclusive” club because they’ve announced that in 2015 their passengers will be invited to “exclusive” events, once on each cruise.
   The complimentary “Private Events” will be exclusively available to passengers from the ship, and are designed to give passengers a unique taste of the culture and usually something behind the scenes or in a spectacular setting.

* Carnival Not Going Anywhere
The Port of New Orleans has locked Carnival Cruise Lines into a new contract that will see Carnival staying put in the Crescent City with two ships, until 2019. The agreement also includes three one-year extensions that could see the line staying until 2022.

The complete articles appeared in the e-mail edition of Cruise News Daily delivered to our subscribers.

Windstar Adds Exclusive Events

Windstar Cruises to Debut Exclusive Private Events on all 2015 Voyages

Small luxury cruise line expands 2015 Voyage Collection to offer new complimentary Private Events

Seattle, July 9, 2014 – Starting in 2015, all Windstar Cruises’ itineraries will feature a spectacular onshore Private Event, created exclusively for Windstar guests. These complimentary events are crafted to give guests an in depth and authentic local experience that compliments their voyage. Private Events include activities such as an after-hours tour and dinner under the stars in the magnificent Celsus Library of Ephesus or a private ballet performance in the famed Odessa National Opera and Ballet Theatre.

“We curated these Private Events with the local experience in mind. Our product managers toured the regions sampling cuisines, talking to locals, visiting the UNESCO sites to create the best experience possible,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our guests gain an even deeper involvement into the local culture.”

Windstar débuted its first exclusive Private Event on its Dreams of Tahiti voyage in May. The event, included on all 2014 sailings through the South Pacific, features an evening of entertainment with music and a dazzling performance by local fire dancers on a secluded island or “motu.” The evening also includes a dinner of local Tahitian cuisine with tender suckling pig slowly steamed in a traditional "ahima’a” earth oven.

New Private Events featured on 2015 voyages:

  • Phuket: A Feast for the Senses: Featured on the Singapore & the Malay Peninsula voyage, guests will start the evening with a performance by local dancers and a Long Drum Parade, followed by dinner at the award-winning restaurant, Sala Bua (Pavilion of Lotus), overlooking the Andaman Sea, and a private performance of graceful Thai dance.
  • Hoi An: Dreams of Floating Lanterns: Featured on the Treasures of Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia Unveiled, and Southeast Asia Unveiled & Angkor Wat Cruisetour voyages, guests will start the evening with a private performance of lion dancers, before dining in the beautiful Nam Long restaurant surrounded by lush gardens on the Thu Bon River. Floating lanterns gliding down the river accompanied by traditional music and dancers will add to the enchantment of the evening. Guests will also have the opportunity to take part in interactive workshops of Vietnamese letter drawing, lantern-making, and wood-engraving.


  • Luxor: Temples and Tombs on the Nile: Featured on the Wonders of Arabia and Wonders of Civilization Cruisetour voyages, guests will travel to Luxor for a two-day tour of the Luxor Temple that includes an evening showing of the Sound and Light display at Karnak Temple, and a one-night hotel stay in the Hilton Luxor. On the second day of the tour, guests will explore the Valley of the Kings – the most important archaeological site in the world that features the tombs of King Tutankhamun and Ramses IV – followed by lunch aboard a felucca, a traditional sailboat, as they float down the Nile.

Greek Isles, Turkey & Black Sea

  • Rhodes: The Tantalizing Tastes of Greece: Featured on the Greek Isles & Turkish Delights (Athens to Istanbul) voyage, guests will be wined and dined at the award winning Hatzikelis Fish Taverna in Rhodes that will include a sampling of traditional and modern Greek fare and wines from the local Cair Winery, followed by an exhilarating performance by local musicians and dancers.
  • Kusadasi: Evening in Ephesus: Featured on the Greek Isles & Turkish Delights (Istanbul to Athens) and Pride of the Aegean voyages, guests will enjoy an after-hours tour of the magnificent Celsus Library of Ephesus. The evening includes a five-course, white-glove-service dinner in the courtyard of the Library serenaded by a trio from the Aegean Chamber Orchestra.
  • Odessa: Artistry in Architecture and Dance: Featured on the Black Sea Tapestry voyage, guests will enjoy an exclusive ballet performance in the Odessa National Opera and Ballet Theatre – one of the most important landmarks of Eastern Europe designed by Viennese architects F. Felner and H. Helmer. The evening also includes champagne and canapés served during intermission, and a chance sighting of the famed ghost of Pavlova.

Caribbean & Panama Canal

  • Prickly Pear Beach: Island Beach Party: Featured on the Yachtsman's Caribbean Voyage the event includes a day of relaxation and fun on Prickly Pear Beach, a secluded and uninhabited nature refuge in the British Virgin Islands. Activities include water skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, friendly games of beach volleyball, horseshoes, and bocce ball, and a lunch of freshly grilled local seafood.
  • Mayreau: Private Beach Getaway: Featured on the Jewels of the Windward Islands voyage, this Private Event includes a day in paradise on the small island of Mayreau. Guests will enjoy music and a Mixology Class to learn how to make favorite local drinks, in addition to an amazing lunch of fresh local food.
  • St. Lucia: Getaway in Paradise: Featured on the Classic Caribbean voyage, guests will spend a day of fun and adventure on a secluded beach on Pigeon Island, where the bar is open and the steel drums are playing. Guests can take part in an escorted snorkeling excursion or a number of water sports. After working up an appetite, Windstar chefs will serve a dinner of local fresh fish, lobster, and the uniquely Caribbean specialty, conch.
  • Isla de Coiba: Tropical Beach Delights: Featured on the Passage Through Panama voyage, guests will have opportunity to explore the Isla de Coiba, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, accessed only by special permit. Snorkel or take a guided hiking tour through the island’s untouched natural beauty. The day will be accompanied by live music, cocktails, and a beachside lunch.


  • Messina: Taste of Sicily: Featured on the Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast voyage, the event begins with a wine tasting and tour of Vinicola Benanti, a family-run winery, followed by lunch featuring traditional Sicilian food paired with a selection of the family’s wines.
  • Monte Carlo: Glitter & Games: Featured on the Yachting the Riviera, Rivera Enchantment, and Glitter & Glam of the Riveras voyages, guests will enjoy red carpet treatment during an on deck cocktail party set against the glittering backdrop of Monte Carlo. After dinner and cocktails on board, guests will enjoy a champagne and dessert reception in the legendary Grand Casino, followed by an evening of gaming in the city.
  • Agrigento: Beauty Among the Ruins: Featured on the Sicilian Splendors voyage, guests will enjoy an exclusive tour through the Valley of Temples – one of the most important archaeological sites in the world that features ancient temples and edifices built between 510 and 430 B.C. The day will include lunch at the five-star Hotel Villa Athena.


  • Giardini Naxos: Taste of Sicily: Featured on the Enchanting Greece & the Amalfi Coast voyage, the event begins with a wine tasting and tour of Vinicola Benanti, a family-run winery, followed by lunch featuring traditional Sicilian food paired with a selection of the family’s wines.
  • Mallorca: Bolero, Fandango, and Other Works of Art: Featured on the Islands of the West Med and Spanish Serenade voyages, this event features a private guided tour through the March Palace, which features a renowned works of art collection. At the end of the tour, guests will enjoy tapas on the terrace and a performance by 30 local artists featuring Mallorcan folk dances such as the bolero, the jack, the fandango, and the copeo.
  • Cádiz: Best of Breed – Andalusian Horses and Sherry: Featured on the Splendors of Southern Spain voyage, this event starts with a tour and sherry tasting at the internationally recognized González Byass Bodega. The day also includes a spectacular equestrian ballet performed at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art Foundation, followed by tapas and a sherry tasting.
  • Marrakech: Textures and Treasures: Featured on the Casablanca & the Canary Islands voyage, this event starts with a tour of the famed Majorelle Gardens, followed by a private lunch served in the heart of the exclusive Palm Groves neighborhood of Marrakech. Guests will go on to visit the holy site of Ben Youssef Madrasa – a stunning example of 16th century Moorish architecture – followed by treasure hunting in Souk Smarine. Guests will end the day in Djemaa el Fna square, where fireeaters, mime artists, snake charmers, and street musicians perform.
  • Butrint: Bronze Age to Venetians: Featured on the Venetian Passageways voyage guests will enjoy a day of exploration in Butrint, which features some of the world’s most significant and beautiful Roman ruins. The day will also include a presentation by the former director and founder of Butrint National Park, Auron Tare, followed by a cocktail reception.

Northern Europe

  • St. Petersburg: Private Reception at the Catherine Palace: Featured on the Baltic Delights voyage, this event includes an exclusive tour through the Palace led by guides and followed by a champagne reception in the Throne Room, accompanied by “Catherine the Great” herself who will take part in a Farewell Dance in the Courtyard before departing in her royal carriage.
  • Bordeaux: A Perfect Blend: Featured on the Culinary & Wine Delights of Spain & France voyage guests will enjoy a wine tasting and estate tour of the Chateau Giscours. The tour includes a French cooking class at the Halle Suzanne followed by dinner accompanied by a quartet of classical musicians.
  • Porto: Songs and Spirits of Portugal: Featured on the Gems of France & Iberia and Best of Europe's West Coast voyages this event includes a guided tour through the historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Ferreira Cellars, where guests will enjoy a glass of port accompanied by a fado performance by the national known singer, Joana Costa.
  • Nærøyfjord: Dramatic Passage: Featured in the Lands of the Midnight Sun voyage, this event includes a sailing tour of the cascading waterfalls and stunning beauty of Nærøyfjord – a UNESCO World Heritage Site rated by the National Geographic Society as the world's number one natural heritage site in 2006. The tour will include a picnic of regional delicacies as guests enjoy the vivid scenery.
  • Ijmuiden: Swords and Dungeons: Featured on the Northern Europe Wonderlands voyage, this event includes a guided tour through Forteiland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one-of-a-kind fortress built half underground near Amsterdam. Following the day of exploration, guests will also enjoy a candlelit tapas dinner in the Koepelzaal (Dome Hall).
  • Copenhagen: An Evening with Princes and the Gods: Featured on the Spectacular Scandinavia and Scandinavian Tapestry voyages, this event includes a canal cruise through Copenhagen and a tour through The National Museum, closed to the public for Windstar’s exclusive use. The tour will also feature a classic Danish smorgasbord paired with local beverages.
  • SAIL Amsterdam: Parade Of Tall Ships: Featured on the Windmills & Tall Sails voyage, guests will have deck-side seats to one of the world’s largest sailing parades on board Wind Surf. Enjoy a lunch and cocktails as the yacht sails with hundreds of sailing heritage craft, modern and naval ships, and historical replicas during SAIL Amsterdam.
  • Culloden: Fields of the Bonnie Prince: Featured on the Gaelic Explorers voyage, guests will enjoy canapés and champagne at Fort George, during an exclusive after-hours tour with expert guides who will take guests through the history of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Highlanders loss to the Duke of Cumberland during the Battle On The Moor. The event will include the traditional military and musical performance, Beating Retreat, complete with pipes, drums, and marches.

About Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships known for its intimate yacht style experience and unique voyages to the world’s best small ports and hidden harbors. Its three recently renovated sailing yachts carry just 148 to 310 guests and cruise to 50 nations, calling at 150 ports throughout Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central America. In May of 2014, Windstar launched Star Pride, the first of three newly acquired power yachts. In May of 2015 the company will launch Star Breeze and Star Legend. The power yachts, with a capacity of 212 guests each, will double the size of Windstar’s fleet, making the company the market leader in small ship cruising with 300 or fewer passengers, with a total of 1,242 berths. The additional capacity will open up new itineraries such as voyages to Southeast Asia, Arabia, Iceland, and beyond. Windstar was recently listed on Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious Gold List, coming in as the #3 cruise line in the world.

Additional information is available from the line at and at

Source: Windstar Cruises

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cruise News Daily Headlines for July 8, 2014

* Missile Shrapnel Lands on AIDAdiva
Monday evening as AIDAdiva was departing the Israeli port of Ashdod, passengers and crew witnessed a missile explode overhead, and small debris from it rained down on the ship.
   The missile was believed to have been fired by Hamas from Gaza, one of several dozen fired yesterday and destroyed in the air by Israeli defense forces. 

* Crew Member Overboard from Carnival Spirit
A crew member failed to report for work Tuesday morning (local time in the South Pacific) aboard Carnival Spirit, and that began a shipwide search for him. When he was found, the ship turned around and began to retrace its route to where it was when he was last seen aboard on Monday night.

* Other Things You’ll Want to Know
CND subscribers also read about no more stepping outside for a cigarette on Carnival ... and stating the obvious.

The complete articles appeared in the e-mail edition of Cruise News Daily delivered to our subscribers.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Cruise News Daily Headlines for July 7, 2014

* Meyer Werft Working on Expansion
Last fall KDB (Korea Development Bank) began pushing for STX to sell off their European yards. It looks like that’s about to start happening.
   Germany's Meyer Werft looks to be the first to capitalize on it.

* Just Looking Around
Thanks to Google technology, you can now look around Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas the same way you look around a restaurant you’ve heard about in New York and in much the same way you can virtually walk around in London on your laptop from the comfort of your bedroom.

The complete articles appeared in the e-mail edition of Cruise News Daily delivered to our subscribers.