Wednesday, 12 December 2018

SS United States Conservancy Reaches Deal to Explore Redevelopment of Famed Ocean Liner

SS United States Conservancy Reaches Deal to Explore Redevelopment of Famed Ocean Liner

SS United States
Photo: Brian W. Schaller
The SS United States Conservancy has entered into an agreement with commercial real estate development firm RXR Realty to explore options for the revitalization of the historic SS United States. 
According to the Conservancy, over the next several months RXR Realty will be working to determine the viability of the SS United States’ redevelopment and will explore a range of potential locations for the historic vessel. In connection with its work, RXR will also be paying a substantial portion of the ship’s carrying costs and making other investments during this option period, including assembling a team to assess the vessel’s interior spaces and explore concepts for the ship’s revitalization. 
The SS United States, aka “America’s Flagship”, has faced an uncertain future in recent years. In 2015, the SS United States Conservancy, which owns the transatlantic liner, was nearly forced to the scrapping of the ship due to mounting costs, only to be saved by an outpouring of public support that helped the Conservancy raise an additional $600,000 to save the ship. The following year, Los Angeles-based Crystal Cruises reached an agreement to purchase the iconic 1950’s era vessel with the goal of converting it into a modern, luxury cruise ship in compliance with all modern safety, environmental, and technical standards. But ultimately that deal too fell through after a technical feasibility study determined that the plan was a little too far fetched. Crystal instead ended up donating $350,000 to the Conservancy to help with ongoing costs.
Now, RXR Realty will go through its own due diligence process, but both sides are hopeful that a plan can be reached to redevelop the ship. 
The SS United States is one of America’s great vessels and an icon of American engineering and design,” RXR Realty says. “Given our history of repurposing and updating some of this country’s most historic structures, we are now working with the SS United States Conservancy to explore what options might exist for the ship, going forward. We are currently at the very beginning of this process – a process that will require substantial work on all sides. At the end of this period, we will have a better sense as to whether we have a viable plan and, if so, the specifics of that plan and in which waterfront community it might be actualized.
The SS United States has been laid up at a dock in Philadelphia since 1996.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Scarlet Lady Gets Her Funnel

Scarlet Lady Gets Her Funnel

Scarlet Lady Funnel
Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady is inching closer to her 2020 debut as Fincantieri installed the vessel's funnel earlier this week.
Sailing year-round from Miami starting in early 2020, Virgin is expected to open sales for the Scarlet Lady in early February 2019. The 2,770-guest ship will feature an adults-only experience. 
Scarlet Lady
Scarlet Lady Funnel
Scarlet Lady Funnel

Cruise couple held over suitcase cocaine

Cruise couple held over suitcase cocaine

The Marco Polo cruise ship

A British couple in their 70s have been arrested after cocaine was found in their cruise ship cabin.
Officers found 20-22lb (9-10kg) of the drug "ingeniously concealed" in false compartments in four suitcases, Portuguese police said.
The man and woman, aged 72 and 70, were held on suspicion of drug trafficking when the ship docked at Lisbon.
Operator Cruise and Maritime Voyages said it was "co-operating fully with officials".
The Marco Polo ship had left Tilbury in Essex on 5 November and travelled to the West Indies and the Azores with 610 passengers and 294 crew on board.
The couple were arrested on 4 December following a tip-off from the UK National Crime Agency.
They appeared before a judge and will be held separately while a joint Portuguese and British investigation continues.
A spokesman for the operator said the firm "does not tolerate any criminal activity or anti-social behaviour onboard its ships".

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Funchal Poised to Become Hotel Ship in London

Funchal Poised to Become Hotel Ship in London

Funchal
The much-loved classic Funchal is set for a new life as a hotel ship in London.
On Wednesday, Dec. 5 the ship was sold at auction for 3.9 million euro to Signature Living, which was represented by John Hanbidge of QPS Marine Ships/Cruise Ventures.
Four bidders got things going at the bank auction, with two ultimately dropping out in front of a crowd of around 60 people. 
"Signature Living and QPS Marine Ships have been negotiating for almost two years with the bankruptcy administrator and the main creditor for the purchase of the vessel," QPS said, in a statement sent to Cruise Industry News.
As for the vessel, plans call for it to move from Lisbon to Central London where it will be berthed permanently as a hotel vessel.
QPS will act as a consultant in repositioning the ship and management functions as the ship is converted to a hotel.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Miami Expecting 52,000 Cruise Passengers in One Day

Miami Expecting 52,000 Cruise Passengers in One Day

Norwegian Getaway
PortMiami is hosting an estimated 52,000 cruise passengers on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.
This sets a one-day record for passenger traffic at PortMiami, the port said, in a statement. 
PortMiami will be welcoming the following cruise vessels:
  1. Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Horizon
  2. Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Magic
  3. Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic
  4. FRS Caribbean San Gwann
  5. MSC Cruises MSC Divina
  6. Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Getaway
  7. Oceania Cruises Oceania Riviera
  8. Royal Caribbean International Empress of the Seas
  9. Royal Caribbean International Allure of the Seas
"It's definitely a busy time for PortMiami,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "I want to welcome all cruise visitors to Miami-Dade County and encourage them to explore all that our community has to offer. Cruise passengers are essential to the continued growth and development of the tourism industry in Miami-Dade and contribute millions of dollars to our local economy annually. That includes air travel, hotel nights, entertainment and shopping. I want to thank the more than 52,000 passengers we’re expecting this Sunday for selecting Miami as a destination.”
"PortMiami is home to the world's most renowned cruise lines,” said Chairwoman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee Rebeca Sosa. “Last year the Cruise Capital of the World handled more than 5.6 million cruise passengers, welcoming each and every one with open arms and a smile. We’re more than ready for the 2018-2019 cruise season!”

Costa Venezia Set for Trieste Christening

Costa Venezia Set for Trieste Christening

Costa Venezia
Costa Cruises announced that the new Costa Venezia will be christened in Trieste on March 1, 2019, before transiting to China.
She is one of seven new ships being delivered to Costa Group by 2023, marking a total investment of some 6 billion euro, the company said. 
The Costa Venezia will be the company's largest ship in China at 135,500 tons, and with capacity for 5,100 guests.
While christening details are still being worked out, Costa said there will be a full city-wide fireworks display, and multiple giant screens for spectators to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The event will be attended by around 1,500 guests from China, South Korea, Japan and several European countries, and they will also have the opportunity to discover Trieste and its surrounding area, as the ship will be moored in the city until March 3, when it will depart for its first cruise.
"We are very happy to be celebrating the naming of Costa Venezia in such a beautiful Italian city as Trieste. Costa was the first company to operate in China in 2006 and over the years we have established ourselves as a leader, offering a product focused on Italian excellence. Costa Venezia will feature other unprecedented innovations, designed specifically to offer Chinese customers a real Italian experience, marking a new era for both Costa and the whole Chinese market, which is among the most promising in the world in terms of future growth," Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Group Asia.
The Mayor of Trieste Roberto Dipiazza stated: "It is a great pleasure for the city of Trieste to host the naming ceremony of this new ship by Costa. With great pride, both from an institutional and personal point of view, I applaud this new jewel, which is the result of the work of the best talents in shipbuilding and Italian design who reside in our region and city. Our expertise, our values are well rooted in the Costa Group. This new ship, along with the other “queens” that we had the pleasure of admiring in our Gulf, will be another ambassador of Made in Italy in the world. There is a strong bond of mutual respect between Trieste and the Costa Group, that I am sure will continue to strengthen in the future."
The first Costa Venezia cruise will depart from Trieste on March 3, 2019, and sail to Greece and Croatia. On March 8, the ship will be back in Trieste for the start of its maiden cruise: a 53-day journey as the ship moves to Asia.
The Costa Venezia will be the second Costa ship named in Trieste as in 2011 the Costa Favolosa was named in the port.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Carnival brings back classic name for the new ship: Mardi Gras

Carnival brings back classic name for the new ship: Mardi Gras


Carnival said its largest ship due in 2020 will be named the Mardi Gras, bringing back the name of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972.

The first Mardi Gras, originally the Empress of Canada, burned bunker fuel and had a water displacement of 27,000 tons. The new ship will burn liquefied natural gas (LNG) and displace 180,000 tons.

Carnival revealed the name to a nationwide television audience on the game show Wheel of Fortune on its signature Puzzleboard at the conclusion of the broadcast.

Currently, under construction in Finland, the ship will accommodate 5,200-plus passengers at double occupancy and offer a variety of new amenities and attractions. 

Itineraries for Mardi Gras will be announced in January. Carnival fans who want to be the first to book Mardi Gras can register to get a "first to know" alert and promotional offer before itineraries are opened for sale later in the month.

"Our first ship Mardi Gras was a historic vessel, introducing a brand-new style of cruising to the vacationing public. What better way to pay tribute to our company's nearly 50-year history of creating wonderful vacation memories than by naming this groundbreaking vessel after our original and beloved Fun Ship," said Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Norwegian Encore to feature 'Kinky Boots' production

Norwegian Encore to feature 'Kinky Boots' production

"Kinky Boots," exclusive to the Encore, will be joined by two other shows that have debuted on other Norwegian ships.
"Kinky Boots," exclusive to the Encore, will be joined by two other shows that have debuted on other Norwegian ships.

The Norwegian Encore, coming in 2019, will feature a version of the Broadway musical "Kinky Boots" as its showpiece in the main theatre.

The show features music from Cyndi Lauper and is based on a 2005 film about a struggling shoe factory in England whose strait-laced owner turns to making boots for drag queens to save his business.

"Kinky Boots," exclusive to the Encore, will be joined by two other shows that have debuted on other Norwegian ships.

"The Choir of Man," which recently debuted on Norwegian Escape, combines high-energy music, dance, live percussion and foot stomping choreography by nine "ordinary guys" who perform everything from sing-along anthems to classic rock.

"Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical," the interactive cocktails and theatre show, and the Beatles-themed Cavern Club first appeared on Norwegian Bliss and will also be on the Encore.

Norwegian also said the two-deck go-cart track from Bliss will be expanded on the Encore to 1,150 feet. It will have ten turns and four points that extend up to 13 feet over the side of the ship, along with a covered viewing area in the centre of the track where guests can provide passing go-karts with an additional turbo boost by tagging them with a laser beam.

Also on the Encore will be the Galaxy Pavilion, a 10,000-square-foot indoor virtual-reality complex, with multisensory virtual experiences, simulators and an escape room.

The open-air laser tag arena on the Encore will be themed to the lost city of Atlantis. An Aqua Park and two multistory water slides complete the entertainment package.

Malala Yousafzai Christens Celebrity Edge at Port Everglades

Malala Yousafzai Christens Celebrity Edge at Port Everglades

The Celebrity Edge was officially christened during a Tuesday ceremony pierside in Port Everglades by godmother Malala Yousafzai.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Yousafzai was joined by all on board to “bless this ship and all those who sail upon her.”
The naming event brought together more than 3,000 guests, employees, crew members and students to commemorate the debut of Celebrity’s first new ship in six years and first new ship series in more than a decade.
“We are honoured that Malala agreed to be the godmother of this ship, a role that reflects centuries of maritime traditions,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Celebrity’s parent company. “We are especially proud because Malala’s example of relentless persistence and achievement is an inspiration to our crew, who have all worked so hard and made real sacrifices to build better lives for themselves and their families.”
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, added: “I am so very proud to have Malala Yousafzai as the godmother of Celebrity Edge. Malala embodies our commitment to opening the world through education and gender equality. Seeing her aboard our ship sends a powerful message to our crew who represent over 70 diverse nationalities, and our guests who we sail all over the world. The ceremony today was both touching and symbolic of what Celebrity Cruises stands for. I am grateful to Malala, her family and Malala Fund for embracing today’s events and look forward to continuing our work together around the world.”
"I'm fighting to ensure millions of girls stuck in situations of poverty or war that they didn't create can learn what they need to choose a future for themselves. But to continue making progress for girls' education, we need support from leaders in every sector. I am so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for their generous support and investment in the potential of girls everywhere,” said Malala Yousafzai, co-founder of Malala Fund.
Photo: From left: Richard D. Fain, Malala Yousafzai, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Capt. Costas Nestoroudis, christen Celebrity Edge at the ship’s Naming Ceremony.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Carnival Legend to Offer Europe and More in 2020

Carnival Legend to Offer Europe and More in 2020

Carnival Legend in the port of Dover.

Carnival Legend will sail a European season in 2020 with nine- to 16-day voyages calling at 34 ports in 16 countries, Carnival Cruise Line announced.
“We’ve put together an unmatched program of European cruises, featuring off-the-beaten-path destinations as well as some of the most popular seaside port cities.  There’s no better way to Choose Fun in Europe,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Itinerary Highlights:
A 16-day Northern trans-Atlantic crossing from New York to London (Dover) June 3-19, featuring day-long visits to these spectacular destinations: Qaqortoq, Greenland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Lerwick, Shetland Islands; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Cork (Cobh), Ireland. 
A nine-day Norwegian Fjords cruise round-trip from London June 19-28, visiting six scenic Norwegian ports:  Bergen, Olden, Molde, Trondheim, Alesund, and Stavanger, with ample opportunities to view the Norwegian fjords.
A nine-day Western Europe cruise June 28 – July 7 from London to Barcelona, visiting Le Havre (Paris), France; La Coruña, Spain; Leixoes and Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar; and Malaga, Spain.
Nine- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises between Venice and Barcelona with stops including Marseilles, France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Dubrovnik and Rijeka, Croatia. 
A 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to Tampa Oct. 30 – Nov. 15, highlighted by visits to Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; Antigua; San Juan; and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic).
Carnival Legend Voyages from Tampa, New York
Before her summer in Europe, the Carnival Legend will operate a 13-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal voyage from Tampa to New York May 3-16, 2020, with calls in Cozumel, Mexico and Limon, Costa Rica prior to a partial Panama Canal transit followed by visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Aruba; and Grand Turk.
Once in New York, Carnival Legend will operate two nine-day Caribbean sailings departing May 16 and 25, 2020 and featuring San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.
Carnival Legend will also offer a schedule of six- and seven-day Caribbean sailings featuring calls at a variety of tropical islands, including Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), as well as eight-day partial Panama Canal voyages, round-trip from Tampa in winter 2020-21.

Carnival Corporation to Operate Santa Cruz de Tenerife Cruise Terminal in Canary Islands

Carnival Corporation to Operate Santa Cruz de Tenerife Cruise Terminal in Canary Islands

Tenerife
Carnival Corporation today announced an agreement with the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife following a Board of Directors meeting presided by Pedro Suárez López de Vergara to be the first concession-holder to operate the Canary Islands' and Mid Atlantic's newest cruise terminal.
The terminal can accommodate "green" ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will welcome AIDAnova, from the corporation's Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand, on its maiden voyage in December, Carnival said. 
Welcoming 617,987 cruise passengers in 2017, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Canary Islands, the seven-island Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa and Spain.
Carnival Corporation also manages two other cruise terminals in Spain – the Helix and Palacruceros facilities in Barcelona.
Seven brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises UK – make port calls to Tenerife during the course of the year. Carnival Corporation expects to bring more than 300,000 passenger visits to the port in 2018 – half of all cruise passenger visits – with 130 calls by 31 different ships from the company's cruise line brands.
"Carnival Corporation has long been a valued partner with the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Canary Islands, and we are confident that they will be a wonderful steward of our recently built cruise port," said Pedro Suárez López de Vergara, president of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. "Thanks in large part to Carnival Corporationships, the cruise market generated an economic impact to the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the city of Santa Cruz of €24 million ($27.1 million) in the 2018 cruise season, an increase of €6m from the 2017 cruise season, and we look forward to continuing to share our beautiful island with visiting cruise passengers coming through this cruise terminal."
The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife celebrates this long-term agreement with the aim of extending the benefits to its other ports – Santa Cruz de La Palma, San Sebastián de La Gomera, La Estaca in El Hierro and Los Cristianos in Tenerife.
"This concession and our ongoing investment is part of Carnival Corporation's long-term strategy to continue to develop the cruise industry in the Canary Islands," said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. "Our passion is to always provide the best possible experiences for our guests, and Tenerife is an extremely popular destination that offers something for everyone – including a storied history, beautiful beaches, exotic gardens, unique crafts and memorable cuisine. We look forward to ensuring that our cruise guests coming through the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife have a great experience, and we also look forward to expanding relationships with our friends in Tenerife."
Santa Cruz Terminal joins eight global ports and terminals already operated by Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands, including:
Barcelona (Helix & Palacruceros terminals) in Spain
Savona in Italy
Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic
Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico
Grand Turk Cruise Center in the Turks and Caicos Islands
Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras
Long Beach in California

Friday, 30 November 2018

Holland America Line takes delivery of Nieuw Statendam ship

Holland America Line takes delivery of Nieuw Statendam ship

Image result for nieuw statendam

The new Holland America Line ship Nieuw Statendam has been delivered by Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice.

The vessel is the 16th Holland America Line ship built by Fincantieri and is the line’s second Pinnacle-class ship after Koningsdam, delivered in 2016.

Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri will also build the third vessel in the series, due to be delivered in 2021.

Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation’s chairman; Arnold Donald, the corporation’s president and chief executive; Stein Kruse, the chief executive of Holland America Group; and Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, all attended yesterday’s ceremony.

According to the shipbuilding team, the 99,500-tonne vessel’s technology is aimed at ensuring energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact.

Fincantieri is currently designing or building 53 other ships across all of its yards.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

MSC Virtuosa Is Open for Bookings

MSC Virtuosa Is Open for Bookings

MSC Virtuosa
PHOTO: Rendering of MSC Virtuosa. (photo courtesy MSC Cruises)

Royal Caribbean Announces New Bid-Based Stateroom Upgrade Program

Royal Caribbean Announces New Bid-Based Stateroom Upgrade Program

Royal Caribbean International ships docked in Cozumel, Mexico
PHOTO: Royal Caribbean International ships docked in Cozumel, Mexico. (photo by Jason Leppert)

Thursday, 22 November 2018

MSC Cruises to homeport ‘enlarged’ ship in Southampton

MSC Cruises to homeport ‘enlarged’ ship in Southampton


MSC Cruises is to lengthen and refurbish one of its ships and homeport it in Southampton for the summer season in 2021.

The ship, which has not been named, will go into drydock and re-emerge as “a super-enhanced version” of itself.

It will be the first time MSC has based one of its ships in the UK for a full season.

Speaking exclusively to Travel Weekly, Antonio Paradiso, managing director for UK & Ireland, said: “This is not just a refitting. It will be a perfect blend of an old prototype ship and a new one.

“The larger ship will sail northern Europe itineraries to the Baltic capitals, Norwegian Fjords, North Cape and some southbound destinations.”

He also said: “It was the first time we have made a 100% commitment to the UK market.”

Paradiso revealed the ship would partner with “exciting British brands” and be “adapted” to meet the needs of the UK market.

“We learnt a lot from MSC Magnifica, bringing on British food, kettles and tea bags,” he added. “It has satisfaction scores of 7.5 out of 10 which is great for a first operation out of the UK.

“2021 gives us an opportunity to further improve those scores.”

Paradiso said plans were still being finalised and he would confirm the ship, deployment and details in “two to three months’ time”.

Edge of Space Flight incentive from Norwegian Cruise Line

Edge of Space Flight incentive from Norwegian Cruise Line

Image result for MiG-29


Love2shop vouchers… a bunch of flowers… a food hamper… travel agents get the chance to win some great prizes by making bookings. But has Norwegian Cruise Line just announced the mother of all incentives?

Norwegian Cruise Line will reward any agent who makes 499 bookings of its current £99 roundtrip airfare offer with a flight to the edge of space.

Last month, the line revealed passengers could upgrade to a cruise-fly fare to more than 25 European destinations for just £99 up until January 4.

Today, to further incentivise agents, NCL is offering a string of rewards for those making bookings – with the top prize a chance to reach the very tip of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Five bookings will earn agents a Time Together giftbox, which includes a champagne helicopter tour, worth up to £79.

Ten bookings will give agents an iFly Indoor Skydive and a three-course meal for two, worth up to £99.

But, if agents can upgrade 499 bookings from a cruise-only fare to a cruise-fly one, they will earn the chance to fly to Russia, strap into a G-suit and soar 80,000ft on board a MiG-29 aircraft.

Nick Wilkinson, NCL’s vice president and UK & Ireland managing director, said he was “lucky” to have a team around him to develop such “sexy” plans to reward agents.

“We are very excited about introducing this new incentive,” he said. “This idea had an incredible wow factor.

“I go back to our partners-first approach. We value our travel partners. We are always thinking of ways that we can incentivise them.

“We try to make sure that NCL is at the front of their mind. This offer gives agents the chance to do something that has never been done – it is sexy.”

The Edge of Space flight is scheduled to take off at the end of March or early April, Wilkinson said.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Carnival starts construction on its largest ship

Carnival starts construction on its largest ship


Carnival Cruise Line on Thursday unveiled what the exterior of its first XL ship will look like.

At a steel-cutting ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, Carnival revealed a navy-blue hull with vibrant red and white accents running the length of the ship.

The 5,200-passenger ship, due to be delivered in 2020, will be Carnival's largest at 180,000 gross tons. Carnival said it would reveal the ship's name in December.

When it enters service in 2020, the ship will sail from Port Canaveral, Fla.

Carnival says the ship "will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations." It will be the first cruise ship based in North America to run on liquefied natural gas, Carnival said. 

A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022.

Norwegian Jade cruise interrupted by a mechanical problem

Norwegian Jade cruise interrupted by a mechanical problem

 Norwegian Jade by Dave Jones

Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled a 10-day Norwegian Jade cruise that departed Miami on Nov. 16 because of a mechanical issue.

The ship is in San Juan, where it will disembark passengers on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

It had been scheduled to depart San Juan on Sunday night for St. Thomas on a cruise that was to include St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Maarten.

After disembarking passengers, the Jade will sail back to Miami for repairs.

A Norwegian spokeswoman said the line is working to fly guests back to Miami and to points beyond, helping to modify travel arrangements to their final destinations.

Norwegian said guests will get a full refund of the fare for the abbreviated cruise and a 100% credit toward a future cruise.

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this unexpected situation has caused," a statement said.

Brunch with a drag queen: Virgin Voyages' unique dining experiences

Brunch with a drag queen: Virgin Voyages' unique dining experiences


The bold stripes of the Razzle Dazzle restaurant.

NEW YORK -- As the Scarlet Lady moves from concept to full-fledged cruise ship, the next frontier -- and the next reveal -- for Virgin Voyages is dining. 
The cruise line presented the looks of several restaurants during a high-octane evening in New York that began with a press conference, moved on to a multicourse dinner with a troupe of drag queens as the emcees, and culminated in a set by rocker Joan Jett. 
Virgin said it engaged its "creative collective" of designers to conceive buzzy, fun eateries and partnered with chefs such as Brad Farmerie of Public and Saxon + Parole. 
The laboratory-inspired Test Kitchen will be home to chef-table dinners.
The laboratory-inspired Test Kitchen will be home to chef-table dinners.
The line took inspiration from the great restaurants of major foodie cities, said Nirmal Saverimuttu, head of sailor experience and chief commercial officer.
In turn, he added, "we hope to inspire the cities that inspire us." 
What you won't find on the ship is the main dining room, a buffet, or upcharges for speciality dining.
The restaurants have different high-concept designs, but the connecting thread seems to be a commitment to chic, clean, modern lines that appeal to sophisticated grownup tastes (no kids are allowed onboard). One point the Virgin brass made: bars are located inside each of the restaurants.
The restaurant with the most outer design is Razzle Dazzle, where the walls have bold, geometric patterns of black-and-white paint inspired by ship camouflage from World War I and a bar done up entirely in slick Virgin red. The menu will include a "nice" side with veggie and vegan offerings; the "naughty" side includes meat add-ons and the ability to add alcohol to the healthy smoothies. 
The Galley will have several food stations.
The Galley will have several food stations.
This is also the location for a Drag Brunch, featuring the ship's drag queen -- yes, there will be a drag queen in residence -- and cocktails like the Yaas Queen.  
The laboratory-inspired Test Kitchen will be home to chef-table dinners and cooking, mixology and coffee-brewing classes. Passengers enter through a hallway papered with a Periodic Table of foodie elements.
Pink Agave is the ship's Mexican restaurant; think upscale Mexico City for this look. "Authentic dishes that put an elevated twist on Mexican food," Saverimuttu said. Virgin said it's "designed to be a lively, shared-plate restaurant experience, where the DJ amps up the energy of the room as the evening hours slip away." 
There will be a Korean barbecue restaurant, Geonbae, where guests can cook at their table and enjoy a complimentary round of soju. Extra Virgin is the cruise line's take on a trattoria.
Pink Agave will be the Scarlet Lady's Mexican restaurant.
Pink Agave will be the Scarlet Lady's Mexican restaurant.
The dock will be the Scarlet Lady's al fresco lounge area. Galley will be more like a food hall than a buffet, featuring at least eight shops and food carts. Wake, situated in the ship's aft section, will be the ship's most upscale restaurant.
The Scarlet Lady is expected to make its debut in 2020.

Celebrity Edge arrives in Fort Lauderdale


Celebrity Edge arrives in Fort Lauderdale


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The $875 million Celebrity Edge arrived at Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades after a 15-day transatlantic crossing.

To accommodate Celebrity Cruises' first new ship in six years, Port Everglades spent $120 million to reconfigure and upgrade two older terminals into a modern terminal called T25.

Both the terminal and the ship sport high design and state-of-the-art technology. The terminal will operate an expedited arrivals process and a dedicated lounge for premium guests booked in The Retreat.

Chock full of new features, the Edge's signature amenity is the Magic Carpet, a nine-ton movable platform cantilevered on one side of the ship, which can serve as a dining venue and a shore excursions departure platform.

"This has been more than four years in the making," said Celebrity CEO Lisa-Lutoff-Perlo, who shepherded construction of the ship at the Chantiers de L'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, along with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. chairman Richard Fain and RCCL executive vice president maritime and newbuilding Harri Kulovaara.

The Edge, which will sail from Port Everglades during the winter on Caribbean itineraries, is designed to carry 2,900 passengers, the same general capacity of Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam, which debuts next month, and Virgin Voyages' inaugural ship the Scarlet Lady, which is scheduled to arrive in January 2020.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Carnival Cruise Line to Offer Sailings to Cuba from New York, Virginia

Carnival Cruise Line to Offer Sailings to Cuba from New York, Virginia

cruise, ship, Cuba
Classic Pink convertible driving past a cruise ship in Havana, Cuba. (photo via WoodysPhotos / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Carnival Cruise Line to sail in Med in 2020

Carnival Cruise Line to sail in Med in 2020

Image result for carnival radiance


Carnival Cruise Line is returning to Europe in 2020 with revamped ship Carnival Radiance.

The vessel will sail in the Mediterranean from Barcelona from April 29, 2020, following a $200 million refit in dry dock in Cadiz.

Carnival Radiance will run a ten-day itinerary followed by nine-and 12-day departures visiting destinations throughout the region, including Italy, France, Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain.

The ship will then embark on a 13-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona on June 11 to 24, to be in place for an inaugural season in New York, including the first Cuba cruises from the city.

The ship will also offer four five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk, Virginia, in October and November 2020, also including calls into Cuba.

Carnival Radiance will reposition to Port Canaveral in Florida to sail a winter schedule of six- to eight-day cruises to the Caribbean and Cuba from November 8, 2020.

Carnival Radiance and Carnival Sunrise will each undergo extensive refits in 2019 and 2020 respectively to add new food, drink and entertainment options, including aqua parks and an open-air recreation complex.

The new-look Carnival Sunrise will operate a series of long weekend cruises from New York to Bermuda as well as longer Caribbean voyages and calls into Cuba from May 21, 2020.

The line also has three new ships due for delivery – the 133,500-ton Carnival Panorama set to enter service in 2019 and two as-yet-unnamed 180,000-ton ships in 2020 and 2022.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Norwegian Jewel Set for Sydney Debut After Refit

Norwegian Jewel Set for Sydney Debut After Refit

Norwegian Jewel Pool Deck
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the completion of the refurbishment of Norwegian Jewel as part of The Norwegian Edge program.
Following a two-week drydock in Singapore the Norwegian Jewel will debut in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, Dec. 1, showcasing refreshed venues, updated spaces, premier entertainment and redesigned staterooms, the company said.
The ship will spend her winter 2018 and spring 2019 seasons cruising from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore, before joining Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy in Alaska for the summer.
“Norwegian Jewel’s complete renovation showcases our dedication to providing guests with quality experiences across the fleet and around the world,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.
“Not only are we revealing updated designs and accommodations throughout the ship, but guests will also enjoy new venues and three incredibly exciting shows, one of which premieres for the first time on Norwegian Jewel.”
Norwegian Jewel Pitstop
The Norwegian Jewel will feature two new shows – “Rock You Tonight,” and ship exclusive “Velvet." The Australian musical “Velvet" makes its debut at sea with disco classics, a combination of circus acrobatics, cabaret and burlesque elements, and features the talented Brenda Edwards of “X Factor UK” as the lead, with “The Voice” finalist, Frenchie Davis to follow. 
Nearly all dining, bar and lounge offerings on Norwegian Jewel were updated, and two new venues were opened – The Pit Stop and Bliss Ultra Lounge, replacing the Sky High Bar and FYZZ Cabaret Lounge, the company said. Drawing inspiration from the 1950’s, The Pit Stop is an all-American bar retrofitted with vintage license plates, gas station signage and other classic car elements of the era. The Bliss Ultra Lounge offers late-night entertainment in a modern and upscale setting, with more intimate seating options now available.
New Look Atrium
All 1,188 staterooms were upgraded with new televisions and USB outlets, as well as new carpet, artwork and furniture. The Haven by Norwegian received updates to the courtyard, additional cabanas on the sun deck and new finishes, carpets, tiles, drapes, artwork and furniture for all suites and villas. The ship also now has two new Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suites, at nearly 1,200 square feet and featuring large, 567-square-foot balconies, two private jacuzzies and accommodates up to four guests. 
The Atrium has also been revitalized with an entirely refreshed look centred around a custom-design chandelier and includes updated flooring, refurbished reception and shore excursion desk areas, the addition of relaxed banquette seating and a large TV screen.

Symphony Arrives in PortMiami

Symphony Arrives in PortMiami

Symphony of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas has arrived in PortMiami.
Fresh from her inaugural Europe season, the world’s largest cruise ship sailed into her permanent, year-round home at Royal Caribbean’s new Terminal A at PortMiami, the largest cruise terminal in the U.S., according to a press release. 
Symphony of the Seas
“Symphony takes family vacationing to a whole new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around vacationers’ preferences,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With her U.S. homecoming this week, Symphony is changing the game for how travellers of all ages vacation on our biggest and boldest adventure yet.”
The Symphony of the Seas will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami beginning Saturday, Nov. 17, and will add visits to the cruise line’s private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, opening May 2019. 
Symphony of the Seas
The official naming ceremony for Symphony of the Seas will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15, hosted by a Godfamily – actors and avid Royal Caribbean fans Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, along with their toddler son Ocean.