Friday, December 9, 2016

Azamara Includes Havana Call on Existing Voyage

RCCL's Azamara brand also was approved for one sailing to Cuba, and today they opened it for sale and provided some details.

Given Azamara's focus and way of crafting itineraries, this cruise and the limited number of sailings (one) oddly seem to fit Azamara's clientele better than any of the other lines' programs in this recent group of approvals by the Cubans.

The complete story appeared in the December 9 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Royal Caribbean Moving Empress of the Seas to Tampa for Cuba Cruises

Royal Caribbean International today detailed the initial limited program the Cuban government approved for their cruises to the island nation. The first will be from Miami, and the other two from Tampa. All, as anticipated, will be aboard Empress of the Seas.

The line said they would position Empress at Tampa for at least the balance of the summer season for four- and five-night cruises. This will be the first time Royal Caribbean has operated from Tampa during the summer season.

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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cuba as a Port of Call

Until now, most of the talk about cruising to Cuba has been about cruising to Cuba: Taking a cruise that goes to Cuba and seeing Cuba. The assumption has been that once you see Cuba you come home. The single option that has been out there so far, Fathom, has sailed from Miami to three Cuban ports and then returned to Miami.

Yesterday, Oceania's program was one of several approved by the Cuban government, and today they detailed it publicly and opened it for sale. Oceania is the first US-based line to treat Cuba as simply a port of call like they do any other Caribbean port.

Details appeared in the December 8 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Holland America Talks Turkey

Holland America Line has made the decision to cancel all port calls in Turkey through 2017.

The move follows a similar announcement by Cunard & P&O Cruises, also owned by Carnival Corp.

While the European-based brands attributed much of their decision based on advisories of the British Foreign Office and US Department of State, Holland America attributed their decision to “guest preferences for alternate ports.”

The complete story appeared in the December 8 edition of Cruise News Daily.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Everybody to Cuba

This morning, the government in Cuba approved programs to the island by three NCLH brands and two RCCL brands.

Even though these limited programs are the beginning of changing the game in the Caribbean, Cuba didn't fling the doors wide open, and the US rules are still in place.

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

Updated 3:48pm
Both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced this afternoon they have received approval from the Cuban government to begin cruises to the country from the US.

NCLH says their Oceania brand will be the first to call on Cuba with Marina on March 7. Seven Seas Mariner of their Regent band will be next with two cruises in April 2017. Norwegian Sky will follow up with a selection of four-day cruises that will overnight in Havana in May.

RCCL said their Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises brands will operate cruises from Florida to Cuba. The company said details will be announced soon.

The cruise itineraries will comply with U.S. Department of Treasury rules that permit travel companies to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in people-to-people activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Another Year without Turkey

Cunard said today there will be no Turkey on Thanksgiving in 2017 - and no Turkey any other day of the year on any of their ships. The line has again canceled all calls to all Turkish ports in 2017 due to safety concerns.

Sister line P&O agreed and did likewise.

The complete story appeared in the December 6 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Sticking with Tampa Bay

Carnival Corp brands will continue to operate from Port Tampa Bay for another five years. The port last week signed an agreement with the world's largest cruise company that covers their Carnival and Holland America brands to continue sailing from the Florida port through 2021.

The complete story appeared in the December 6 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Just a Sample

Carnival's German brand, AIDA, has a program that the its sister lines should consider. People living near Hamburg, Kiel or Warnemunde who have always wanted to go on a cruise have an opportunity to see what it's like without committing to going on a whole cruise. Likewise there might be other cruise fans who just want to see what a megaliner (AIDA's newest ship, AIDAprima) is like.

Details appeared in the December 6 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

The Way to Start the Holidays and New Year Off Right

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has declared a 48-cent-per-share dividend. The quarterly dividend is payable on January 5, 2017, to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 21, 2016. Payments should arrive just about the same time as the holiday bills.

This item appeared in the December 6 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Don't Pull That Han....

Grand Princess' current voyage is being cut short because of an unusual incident aboard the ship last week during a Hawaiian cruise.

The ship had departed Maui en route back to the Mainland when a tender platform on the starboard side unexpectedly opened and was damaged. The damage prevented the platform from being reclosed, and it also caused minor damage to the hull.

Details appeared in the December 5 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Costa Is Getting Cheesy

Last May we told you about the first fresh mozzarella being made aboard Costa Diadema as part of a pilot project that would see the Italian specialty being made fresh aboard all Costa ships by the end of next year. Since then, the project has expanded to Costa Favolosa, and they have a partner, Italian cheesemaker Latteria del Curatino.

Now the cheesemakers aboard the two ships are popping out enough balls of exquisite fresh buffalo mozzarella each day to satisfy the appetites of all the passengers, and the cheesemaking is ready to ooze out onto the other six Costa ships as fast as mozzarella oozes on a hot grill in the sun.

In the (silent) video below you can watch Costa cheesemakers at work aboard a Costa ship making the fresh buffalo mozzarella. 

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