- Carnival Takes Delivery of Freedom in Italy
- Weekend News 2-24-07
- 70 Year-old Carnival Passenger Kills Tour Bus Mugger
- Disney Plans To Build Two New Ships
- Windstar Cruises to be sold to Ambassadors International
- Regal Princess Cancels March 1st Cruise
- Court Rules Cruise Line Not Responsible for Ship's Doctor
- Cunard Queens Stop Traffic in Sydney
- Regal Princess Update
- Regal Princess Stuck in Acapulco
- Weekend News 2-17-07
- Carnival Itinerary Changes: Miami and New Orleans
- Carnival's Bob Dickinson; 35 Years on the Job
- Happy Valentines Day for Celebrity Contest Winners
- Royal Caribbean Selects Godmother Finalists
- Carnival Fantasy Update
- New Orleans Barge Hits Carnival Fantasy
- Weekend News 2-9-07
- Norwegian Coastal Voyage 10% off Gota Canal
- Carnival Names Its New SuperLiner Ships
- Carnival Corp. to Enter Spanish Cruise Market
- World's Largest Condo Cruise Ship on Order
- Royal Celebrity Tours Wins Alaskan Environmental Award
- RCCL Reports Record Q4 Profits
- Weekend News 2-3-07
- Love-Themed Activities on Princess Ships for Valentine's Day
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2-28-07: Carnival Takes Delivery of Freedom in Italy Earlier today in a traditional maritime handover ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Carnival Cruise Lines took delivery of the new 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom - the 22nd vessel in the "Fun Ship" fleet. Following its official naming ceremony in Venice March 4, presided over by godmother Kathy Ireland, Carnival Freedom will sail on its inaugural voyage - a nine-day Mediterranean cruise from Venice departing March 5.
Carnival Freedom will then launch a program of 12-day Grand Mediterranean and Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises March 14, operating round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia).
"Europe is one of the fastest-growing regions for cruising, offering consumers the opportunity to experience the stunning landscapes, centuries-old architecture and rich cultural history and then return to the comfort and convenience of a �floating resort,'" said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "And Carnival Freedom, with its array of dining and entertainment options, high-tech amenities and all-ages appeal - along with diverse itineraries featuring magnificent seaside ports in the Mediterranean, Greek Isles and Turkey -- offers the ultimate European vacation," he added.
One of the most technically advanced cruise ships at sea, Carnival Freedom features Carnival's Seaside Theater, a poolside 270-square-foot LED screen displaying movies, concerts and other programming, along with "100 percent bow-to-stern" Internet wireless access and cellular phone service.
Also featured are 22 lounges and bars with dramatic interiors inspired by prominent design themes of the past decades and centuries, as well as a 13,300-square-foot health club, one eighth-mile jogging track, and extensive facilities for children and teens, part of Carnival's popular "Camp Carnival" and "Club O2" programs, respectively.
Sixty percent of its 1,487 staterooms offer either an ocean view or balcony - perfect for scenic European cruising. All staterooms feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows.
Following its European program, Carnival Freedom will sail on a 14-day transatlantic voyage from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Miami, positioning the vessel for a winter schedule of seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning Nov. 17, 2007.
Reservations are being accepted on all of Carnival Freedom's European and Caribbean itineraries.Back to Top
2-24-07: Weekend News 2-24-07 *** Soap Stars On Carnival. The Carnival "Fun Ship," Imagination, will take to the seas November 15th with a bevy of television soap opera stars aboard, sponsored by www.soapcruise.com.
Participating television celebrities include host Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery of ABC's All My Children), Alicia Minshew ( Kendall Hart Slater of ABC's All My Children), Winsor Harmon (Thorne Forrester of CBS The Bold and The Beautiful), Ronn Moss (Ridge Forrester of CBS The Bold and The Beautiful), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine of ABC General Hospital), Don Diamont (Brad Carlton of CBS The Young and The Restless), Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin of CBS The Young and The Restless), Julie Pinson (Billie Reed of NBC Days of Our Lives), Brandon Beemer (Shawn Brady of NBC Days of Our Lives), and Austin Peck (CBS Brad Snyder of As The World Turns)
The interaction with the celebrities will begin as you are welcomed aboard. As the ship sets sail, you will have a meet and greet session with the celebrities and you will have an opportunity to have a professional photo taken with them. As you cruise the beautiful Caribbean there will be a variety of activities to enjoy such as a Cocktail Party, Soap Trivia Game, plus more.
Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly Magazines are conducting a sweepstakes in which Soap Cruise participants are eligible to write and submit a soap script. Winners will act it out with a celebrity of their choice on the cruise. Each and every celebrity will be present at all events. The first 100 people to register for the Soap Cruise will be invited to a special VIP breakfast.
Soap Cruise participants can also enjoy the Imagination's vast array of on-board facilities and features - a 12,000 sq. ft spa and health club, a diversity of formal and casual dining options, full casino gambling, organized activities for children and teens, spacious accommodations and 10 lounges and bars, including a 1,300-seat theater showcasing lavish production revues.
*** Silversea announced details of the Silver Whisper's presence at the 32nd America's Cup regatta. Guests will board the ship in Barcelona on June 22 and sail south to Valencia. On June 23 and 24, the ship will be positioned in Valencia Bay directly alongside the race course, giving guests a front-row seat to the event. The race cannot be fully viewed from the port or shoreline.
June 25, a rest day for cup competitors, provides the chance for Silver Whisper's 382 guests to take escorted shore excursions in Algiers, North Africa. On June 28, the second scheduled rest day for race competitors, guests will have ample time to explore Valencia.
Silver Whisper guests will celebrate the fifth scheduled race day in grand style on June 29 with an elaborate poolside barbecue to commemorate Team Alinghi's stunning five-race sweep in 2003 and offer a toast to this year's winner, who could well repeat the feat and be crowned the holder of the America's Cup, in full view of Silver Whisper's guests, on the same day of the fifth race in this best-of-nine series of match racing. Silver Whisper then sets sail for Barcelona and guests will disembark in the Catalan capital on June 30.
*** P&O Cruises has reached a settelment with the family of Dianne Brimble, the Australian woman who died on a cruise ship from a combination of alcohol and a date-rape drug. The amount of the compensation has not been revealed, but reports in the Australian press have described it as substantial. The settlement was reached within a week of the arrival in Australia of P&O chief executive Peter Ratcliffe from the US and followed months of negotiations.
Mr Ratcliffe, a board member of P&O's parent company, Carnival Corporation, stated the folowing in a press conference in Sydney to apologise to the family and admit that P&O had contributed to their suffering. "We have made the grief for that family much more than it should reasonably be. For our part, we feel we have a moral obligation to do what we can to ensure that the family, particularly the children, are properly provided for. I expressed our sincere hope that through this process we may help bring some form of closure to the family for their tragic loss."
Mrs Brimble, 42, died from a toxic combination of alcohol and the date-rape drug fantasy (gamma-hydroxybutyrate), on the P&O liner Pacific Sky in September 2002. An ongoing NSW inquest has heard she died after suffering cardio-respiratory arrest. Eight men travelling together on the ship became persons of interest in the case and many have given testimony at the inquest. Mrs Brimble's naked body was found on the floor of a cabin occupied by four of the men. The inquest has heard Mark Wilhelm provided Mrs Brimble with the drug and was later photographed having sex with her.
Mr Ratcliffe denied P&O's offer was an attempt to head off a civil lawsuit from the Brimble family. He also denied the company was trying to quell an expected media frenzy once the inquest concluded in July and later issued its findings.
The inquest heard evidence from a cruise ship magician, who danced with Mrs Brimble the night before her death, that he was told to "shut his mouth" by a ship's security guard when he tried to give them information about some of the men who have since been named as persons of interest in her death. The inquest has also been told that a steward on board the cruise ship did nothing when passengers alerted him to a group of naked people inside the men's cabin and a large wet patch, which smelled of urine, just outside in the corridor.
Mr Ratcliffe said the Brimble inquest had been a wake-up call to the company. "There has been excessive behaviour by a minority of people. We've tolerated that. It's occurred often in places which nobody, the main people on the cruises do not see, and we have to completely stamp that out and stop that behaviour," he said.
Members of the Brimble family held a press conference of their own in Brisbane. Mr Brimble said it was a wake-up call to cruise ship operators.
"Other cruise liners that cruise in and out of Australia and anywhere within the Asian region or even right around the world should take note. They should take note that the fact that these measures have to change internationally not just specifically to Australia." P&O sold the Pacific Sky in December 2005 and now has three Australian-based ships, the Pacific Princess, Pacific Sun and Pacific Star, as well as the Sapphire Princess, which visits Australia.
Bar staff no longer receive sales commissions, passengers may not bring alcohol on board, bars are closed during early morning hours and more effort is being made to ensure under-aged passengers are not served alcohol. Closed-circuit television cameras have been installed at a cost of A$2 million ($2.24 million). Drug sniffer dogs are also present when passengers board the cruise liners. A zero-tolerance policy over excessive behaviour has been adopted, resulting in up to 10 people a voyage being kicked off at a ship's next port of call.
Mr Ratcliffe said: "Mrs Brimble's death and the scrutiny of the inquest have changed us for ever."
*** A Carnival Liberty passenger who watched as a U.S. military veteran in his 70s used his bare hands to kill an armed assailant in Costa Rica said she thought the attempted robbery was a joke � until the masked attacker held a gun to her head.
"I thought it was a skit. But then he pointed the gun at my head and grabbed me by the throat and I thought I was going to die," Clova Adams, 54, told The Associated Press by telephone Friday from the cruise ship. The assault occurred during a ship stopover Wednesday in Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose, Costa Rica's capital.
Adams was with 12 American tourists who hired a driver to explore Costa Rica for a few hours. They were climbing out of the van to visit a Caribbean beach when three men wearing ski masks ran toward them, she said. One held a gun to her head, while the other two pulled out knives. Suddenly, one of the tourists, a U.S. military veteran trained in self defense, jumped out of the van and put the gunman in a headlock, according to Limon police chief Luis Hernandez.
Hernandez said the American, whom he refused to identify, struggled with the robber, breaking his collarbone and eventually killing him. Police identified the dead man as Warner Segura, 20. The other two assailants fled.
"I was very scared at the moment," Costa Rican bus driver Roberto Frances Allen said in an interview in Limon. "The bus was shaking and women were screaming," he recalled. "There were two shots and I heard him (Segura) try to fire more, but the gun didn't fire. Luckily, the tourists had forced his hand up and the shots hit the roof of the bus."
*** The Pride of America, tied up in Kahalui, Maui, Hawaii, broke her bow moorings Monday afternoon, probably due to gusty trade winds that may have exceeded 50 mph. Several hundred passengers, returning from shopping or excursions, were forced to wait on Pier 1 for up to 90 minutes until the giant ship could be corralled and tied up again. Kahului Harbormaster Steve Pfister said there were no reports of injuries or serious damage. When the ship pulled away, it broke its water connection and dragged the passenger loading ramp off the pier.
Its bow thrusters helped keep it under some control, although it was unable to get itself docked. The harbor assist tug Pacific Spirit, which was not manned, was called into emergency service. With the tug pushing and the thrusters thrusting, the ship slowly inched itself back alongside Pier 1. Passengers were generally relaxed about having to wait, although Cathie Nordby of Everett, Wash., said she wished the authorities had opened the passenger waiting room so she could get out of the wind. Back to Top
2-23-07: 70 Year-old Carnival Passenger Kills Tour Bus Mugger A tour bus of Carnival Liberty passengers were suddenly boarded by three assilants intent on mugging the 12 senior citizens on self-hired tour bus traveling near the Costa Rica city of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose. An American senior citizen, Warner Segura, believed to be about 70 years old, apperently killed one of the alleged muggers with his bare hands, while his traveling companions aboard the tour bus fended off two other assailants, Limon police said.
Segura, a retired member of the U.S. military, put the suspect in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the 20-year-old and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus. The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves during the Wednesday attack. Afterward, the tourists drove Segura to the Red Cross where he was declared dead, apparently from asphyxiation. The Red Cross also treated one of the tourists for an anxiety attack, Hernandez said.
The tourists left on their Carnival cruise ship after the incident and local police chief Hernandez said authorities do not plan to press any charges against them.
"They were in their right to defend themselves after being held up," he said.
Hernandez said Segura had previous charges against him for assaults. Back to Top
2-22-07: Disney Plans To Build Two New Ships It hasn't hit the wires yet, but CNBC is reporting that Disney Cruises is has just signed a letter of intent to build two new cruise ships, each with 1,250 staterooms and coming in at a respectable 122,000 tons (larger than any of Carnival's current ships).
Disney, which entered the cruise business in 1998, said the new 122,000-ton cruise liners, set to debut in 2011 ans 2012 respectively, will be two decks taller than the existing 83,000-ton ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder.
Disney signed a letter of intent to build the ships with Meyer Werft shipyard, Papenburg, Germany. Design, names and itineraries for the new ships are in development, but as with the currently sailing vessels, the new ships will combine art deco elements reminiscent of ocean liners in the 1930's, with an exterior color scheme matching Mickey Mouse's trademark black, white, red and yellow.
Disney Cruise Line's trips to new destinations, including the West Coast and the Mediterranean, have recently set booking records, the company said. Disney had traditionally offered three-night, four-night and seven-night Caribbean cruises. Back to Top
2-22-07: Windstar Cruises to be sold to Ambassadors International Carnival Corp. PLC. the parent company of seattle-based Windstar Cruises and its sister company, Holland America Lines, announced today the sale of Windstar Cruises to Ambassador International, the parent company of Majestic American Lines, based in Newport Beach, California. Majestic American Lines is the company that acquired the Delta Queen and several other riverboat lines in 2005.
Windstar Cruises is comprised of a three ship fleet which includes the 312-passenger Wind Surf, and the sister 148-passenger ships Wind Star and Wind Spirit. The three ships are all motor-sail-yachts that have been providing a unique sail yacht experience to their guests featuring itineraries in the Mediterranean during the Spring, Summer and Fall, and Winter cruises in the Caribbean and Costa Rica since its launch in 1986.
Promising an experience that is "180 Degrees From Ordinary," Windstar pioneered the concept of non-formal dress codes elegance and yacht-like customer with luxury-style food and service. At the end of 2006 the Wind Surf completed an extensive enhancement and renovation program that elevates her as one of the top ships in the luxury segment. Both the Wind Star and Wind Spirit are scheduled to undergo significant renovations in 2007.
A CruiseMates note: For many Holland America employees, and other cruise enthusiasts, Windstar was the apple of their eye. The line virtually "owned" the Tahiti market during the late 1980s and early 1990s and for those years it was the choice of many cruise industry people for their own vacations away from whatever cruise line they may work for.
The line is closely aligned with Holland America, sharing the same training schools in the Philipines and Indonesia to train staff, and Holland America will continue to manage the Windstar ship through a transition period which includes vessel, reservations and other operational functions.
The largest of the three ships, Wind Surf, recently underwent a large scale upgrade as part of the "Degrees of Difference" program Windstar had recently undertaken in step with Holland America's "Signature of Excellence". No changes have been announced to the plans for the similar upgrade of the two smaller 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Surf sister ships in the near future. Back to Top
2-22-07: Regal Princess Cancels March 1st Cruise Princess issued the following statement late last night: Following further assessment of the damage to Regal Princess after it touched bottom on February 18 upon departure from Huatulco, Mexico, we deeply regret that it is now necessary to cancel the March 1 South America voyage departing from San Juan.
The time required to make the necessary repairs is, unfortunately, longer than we had originally hoped.
As a result of this cancellation, we will give passengers a full refund, including air fare. We will further provide passengers with a future cruise credit equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid for this voyage.
The ship will proceed tomorrow to a dry dock where repairs will be undertaken. The next sailing, a 12-day South America voyage between Lima, Peru and San Juan, will operate as scheduled on March 13. Back to Top
2-21-07: Court Rules Cruise Line Not Responsible for Ship's Doctor Yet another reason to read our article on "cruise insurance". The Florida Supreme Court ruled last week that the cruise line's are not responsible for the actions, or possible mis-diagnoses, of doctors working on cruise ships. The reason being that all medical personell on cruise ships are actually private contractors and not employees of the cruise line.
The ruling means only the doctors can be sued, not the cruise line. The cruise line is protected unless it knowingly hired an incompetent or unqualified doctor, which potentially leaves injured passengers without recourse, plaintiff attorneys say. They argue that most doctors on cruise ships are foreign residents, putting them beyond the reach of U.S. courts for all practical purposes. The cruise lines maintain that medical services are onboard for the convenience of the passengers, not to insure their well-being while onboard.
Florida law is especially significant because the major cruise lines, such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, which are based in Florida, all have ticket contracts that say suits must be brought in South Florida courts.
The ruling overturns a 3rd District Court of Appeal decision in favor of Elizabeth Carlisle, a Michigan teen whose ruptured appendix was misdiagnosed on a Carnival ship in 1997. On a family cruise to Mexico, Carlisle had stomach pains and was told by the ship's doctor she had the flu. When she flew home, the true problem was discovered.
Carlisle, who was 14 years old, was rendered sterile by the rupture and subsequent infection, the court said.
In its 20-page opinion, the Supreme Court said there was merit in Carlisle's case. The lower court had sided with her, saying that the doctor appeared to be an employee of the cruise line. Carnival argued he was an independent contractor.
The Florida Supreme Court agreed, saying that federal maritime law was settled in favor of the cruise lines, despite a lone federal case that disagreed. Since ships move through different state and international jurisdictions, it said, they must face uniform laws. Back to Top
2-21-07: Cunard Queens Stop Traffic in Sydney The government in Sydney this morning is apologizing for the fact that so many people turned out to see the Cunard Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 that thousands of people were stranded in the city in a huge traffic snarl. "The Australian" newspaper says that "Traffic ground to a halt and bus, train and ferry services were overwhelmed by the crowds who gathered to see the Queen Mary 2 and its smaller sister ship, Queen Elizabeth 2."
Assistant Transport Minister Eric Roozendaal said the Government had underestimated the number of people who would travel into the city to see the ships. "Last night was a spectacular event with the QE2 and the QM2 coming to Sydney and the fireworks," he told reporters. "Unfortunately, I know families were delayed on their way home and I am sorry for that delay. "Clearly we did underestimate the massive response from Sydney."
State Opposition leader Peter Debnam said the situation had been a "disaster", and questioned why the Government had failed to put in place the proper crowd management measures. "I was simply appalled yesterday with the way the Government mismanaged that," Mr Debnam told reporters. "You only have to go back through the records to see how many large ships have come in (to Sydney Harbour) and the problems they have caused. "The Government had I don't know how many months or years' notice of that event yesterday and they completely ignored it." Back to Top
2-20-07: Regal Princess Update Prior to Regal Princess' arrival yesterday in Acapulco, it was discovered that the ship had sustained some damage to one of its ballast tanks. Following an assessment of the damage and the associated circumstances, it has been determined that the ship touched bottom as it was departing Huatulco on February 18. At no time during the subsequent sailing to Acapulco was the safety of our passengers and crew compromised.
It has been determined that the required repairs will unfortunately take longer than we had originally anticipated, and Princess spokesperson, Julie Benson, states, "We deeply regret that it is necessary to cancel this current cruise. The ship was scheduled to depart yesterday, February 19, on a 10-day Panama Canal sailing between Acapulco and San Juan. We are making arrangements to return passengers home and, in the meantime, they will be staying aboard Regal Princess, with all the ship's services available to them."
"As a result of the cancelled voyage, we will give passengers a full refund, including air fare. We will further provide passengers with a future cruise credit equal to 35% of the cruise fare paid for this voyage."
"Following some preliminary repairs to Regal Princess, it will proceed to a dry dock where repairs will be undertaken. At this time we expect that the following cruise may also be impacted, but the extent is not yet known. We hope to provide this information as soon as possible. The next sailing, a 12-day South America voyage, is scheduled to depart on March 1." Back to Top
2-19-07: Regal Princess Stuck in Acapulco We have received reports from passengers on Regal Princess, and from the company, that the ship is delayed in Acapulco, having just completed a 10-day Panama Canal cruise from San Juan. Princess spokesperson Karen Candy tells us, "the ship sustained some damage to one of its salt water ballast tanks, the cause of which is still unclear."
"As the extent of this damage needs to be fully investigated prior to leaving Acapulco, we anticipate that the scheduled departure will now be delayed, and we will update passengers later this evening regarding the revised sailing time."
"Regal Princess arrived in Acapulco today following a 10-day Panama Canal cruise that departed on February 9. The cruise scheduled to depart today is a 10-day sailing returning to San Juan on March 1."
A passenger onboard mentioned word of a delay that could last until Wednesday, but that is not confirmed. In any case, CruiseMates surmises that the ship will be delayed in leaving Acapulco while the damage is investigated, but most likely will arrive in San Juan on time. Passengers on the upcoming cruise will likely receive some compensation. Back to Top
2-17-07: Weekend News 2-17-07 *** This year's cruise3sixty, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) annual conference at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center March 30 to April 1, 2007, will feature Earvin "Magic" Johnson, providing the opening address.
Opening day will also feature the industry's very own "Dream Team," including three of the cruise industry's most valuable players - Carnival Corporation's CEO Micky Arison, Royal Caribbean Cruises' Chairman and CEO Richard Fain and NCL Corporation's President and CEO Colin Veitch - who will team up with CLIA President and CEO Terry L. Dale in the "Cruise Visionaries" session.
*** Costa is adding new itineraries from Mauritius with stops in the Seychelles, Kenya and Madagascar on the Costa Atlantica and Costa Mediterranea. Unusual itineraries for the European market that stay in the Eastern hemispher for winter have always been a challenge. These new itineraries seem to be great new options for the burgeoning European cruise market.
With the introduction of new 17-night itineraries from Mauritius with stops in the Seychelles, Kenya and Madagascar aboard the Costa Marina. Costa is the first company to market regularly-scheduled Indian Ocean cruises to these destinations, which they will begin to offer in the 2007/2008 winter season.
Other includes Costa news includes a 30% capacity increase in South America, where the company will deploy three ships (Costa Magica, Costa Victoria, Costa Classica) on sailings to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Following the tremendous success of its inaugural year in Dubai, Costa will deploy two ships (Costa Romantica, Costa Europa) rather than one in the region for the 2007/2008 winter season. Additionally, the Italian company will once again feature cruises aboard the Costa Allegra from China, another industry first introduced by Costa in 2006.
*** Cunard Line announced an extended series of 12 ten-day voyages to the Caribbean from the Big Apple (New York City), as well as two 13-day sailings to Panama and the Caribbean and a 14-day Caribbean Celebration voyage featuring Christmas Day at sea and New Year's Eve in the port of St. Thomas. From her homeport of New York, the 2007 - 2008 itineraries showcase an array of less-traveled ports:
Ranging from ten to 14 days, these journeys include:
- Connoisseur's Caribbean - A total of 12 departures (from Oct. 31, 2007 - April 6, 2008) featuring ten days with stops in the picturesque ports of Tortola, St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Thomas.
- Caribbean Celebration - A 14-day voyage departing Dec. 20, coinciding with the Christmas and New Year's holidays, with stops in Tortola, St. Maarten, Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and St. Thomas.
- Panama and the Caribbean - Two 13-day voyages departing Feb. 2 and March 24, 2008, with stops in Costa Rica, Panama, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Lucia and St. Thomas.
2-16-07: Carnival Itinerary Changes: Miami and New Orleans Carnival Cruise Lines is expanding its previously announced program of seven-day, four-port "Exotic Eastern Caribbean" voyages from Miami, featuring visits to stunning Half Moon Cay, a private Bahamian island, and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, on the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph. The itinerary also features the widely popular ports of St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The cruises were originally scheduled to be offered every other week from April through August 2007 followed by Carnival Triumph's shift to New Orleans to operate weekly Caribbean cruises from that port beginning late August 2007. Instead, Carnival Triumph will remain in Miami at least through April 2008 and the "Exotic Eastern Caribbean" itinerary will switch from every other week to weekly beginning August 25, 2007.
Carnival re-introduced its cruise program from New Orleans in October 2006 with the launch of four and five-day cruises on the SuperLiner Fantasy. According to Dickinson, "We are committed to New Orleans and, not only will the Fantasy remain there, but we will continue our efforts to build consumer interest in cruising from New Orleans and to counter some of the erroneous perceptions of the city that are currently posing a challenge. In the meantime, we do not feel the timing is right to place a second ship there just yet," said Dickinson.
Highlights of the Carnival Triumph's 'Exotic Eastern Caribbean' itinerary from Miami include Half Moon Cay, a stunning Bahamian private island; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., whose postcard-perfect beaches, gorgeous mountain terrain and endless shopping make it an ever-popular favorite; a daytime call in San Juan, Puerto Rico, known for its rich cultural heritage and fascinating historical sites; and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, the Caribbean's newest port of call, offering world-renowned snorkeling, diving and spectacular beaches, along with an expansive shopping complex and spacious pool/entertainment facility, including a Caribbean-themed bar and restaurant, Margaritaville. On certain sailing dates, the ports of call on the Carnival Triumph's 'Exotic Eastern Caribbean' program may vary. Back to Top
2-16-07: Carnival President, Bob Dickinson; 35 Years on the Job The 35th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Bob Dickinson was marked yesterday with a surprise celebration at the company's Miami headquarters. During the festivities, attended by hundreds of Carnival employees, as well as his friends and family members, Dickinson received a number of mementos, including a 35-year diamond-and-ruby anniversary pin, acknowledging his professional achievements.
Dickinson joined Carnival Cruise Lines on February 14, 1972, as executive vice president - just three weeks prior to the inaugural sailing of the line's first ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, on March 9, 1972. He was named president in 1993 and CEO was added to his title 10 years later. Dickinson has overall responsibility for the world's largest cruise line and has overseen the company's growth from a fledgling one-ship company to a fleet of 21 "floating resorts" carrying 3.6 million passengers annually - the most in cruising.
A pioneer in the cruise industry, Dickinson is widely credited with transforming cruising from an elitist experience to a popular mainstream vacation choice through his groundbreaking concept of promoting the ship as the destination - employed by Carnival under the "Fun Ship" marketing banner. He continues to oversee the evolution of the "Fun Ship" vacation experience through a wide range of product enhancement initiatives that have resulted in significant upgrades in every facet of the line's product.
Active in a wide range of charitable, philanthropic and arts-related organizations throughout South Florida, Dickinson currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for Camillus House, which provides a wide range of services to South Florida's homeless population, and sits on the board of directors for Miami's St. Thomas University. He is also vice chairman of the Florida International University Foundation's board of directors.
Dickinson co-authored the books "Selling the Sea: An Inside Look at the Cruise Industry" - the second edition of which is scheduled to be published later this year - and "The Complete 21st Century Travel and Hospitality Marketing Handbook." He has received scores of honors for his contributions to the cruise industry. Most recently, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Travel Weekly magazine. The award is given to those individuals "who have profoundly changed, for the better, not only their own company, but also the broader industry in which they work." Back to Top
2-14-07: Happy Valentines Day for Celebrity Contest Winners Kim and Allan Bartholomew of Apopka, FL, have won a free Caribbean cruise and onboard vow renewal ceremony on Celebrity Cruises. Since announcing its vow renewal packages last year, the line has entered every couple that participated in its onboard "Newlywed and Not-so-newly-wed" contest into the drawing for the cruise and vow renewal. The winners sailed on Celebrity Century in September of last year after booking their cruise through American Express Travel in Phoenix, Arizona. Intrigued by the game, which features a series of questions designed to reveal how much they know about one another, Kim pulled Allan out of his seat in an attempt to participate. He resisted, but the two were caught by the onboard theater's spotlight and the emcee, who coaxed them into playing.
Celebrity's Aisle to Isle vow renewal ceremony includes a ceremony led by a shipboard ceremony officiate; recorded ceremony music; a bottle of champagne; cake for two; a commemorative vow renewal certificate; long-stemmed rose for the bride; matching boutonniere for the groom, and photography services. Celebrity offers additional vow renewal, wedding and honeymoon packages in partnership with The Wedding Experience.
Guests sailing with Celebrity on February 14 can enjoy a variety of onboard celebratory offerings, including couples' spa specials, flowers, chocolate and champagne packages, romance-themed activities, love-song-themed performances by musicians, and more. Back to Top
2-14-07: Royal Caribbean Selects Godmother Finalists Royal Caribbean announced last year that the godmother for their newest ship, Liberty of the Seas, sister ship to mega-ship Freedom of the Seas, will be selected from the travel agent community, with nominees submitted by the public. Today, Royal Caribbean International revealed the ten travel agent semi-finalists. The deserving semi-finalists were recognized on a pre-inaugural cruise aboard the line's newly revitalized Majesty of the Seas.
The semi-finalists for godmother of Liberty of the Seas are:
|Marie Brouard American Express-Centurion Travel Miramar, FL||Ann Torcivia Friends Travel, Ltd. Levittown, NY|
|Laura Elmore Global Dream Vacations Tulsa, OK||Barbara Tyree Tyree Travel Bethpage, NY|
|Carolyn Hadley AAA Travel Baton Rouge, LA||Julia Wadsworth Great Destinations Muncie, IN|
|Michelle Jordan Happy Tours Decatur, GA||Carole Weishaar Carefree Travel of Scottsdale Scottsdale, AZ|
|Donnalea Madeley Thomas Cook Travel Thornhill, Ontario||Susan Weissberg Wylly's Professional Travel Coral Gables, FL|
Three finalists are to be determined within the next two weeks, after which the general public will be invited to cast their vote online (http://www.royalcaribbean.com) for the godmother of Royal Caribbean's newest ship. The godmother will be announced on March 30 at Cruise Lines International Association's Cruise3Sixty conference.
An esteemed panel of 19 members of the media, cruise industry executives and Royal Caribbean travel partners reviewed more than 2,500 nominations of exceptional women travel agents. The ten semi-finalists were selected based on their dedication to community service, inspiration, courage and determination. Within the next two weeks, the panelists will be interviewing each semi- finalist to further narrow the search to three outstanding women. The public will then be able to cast their vote for godmother of Liberty of the Seas from March 1 through 15 at http://www.royalcaribbean.com. More information about the godmother search for Liberty of the Seas and each semi-finalist are available on the cruise line's website. Back to Top
2-12-07: Carnival Fantasy Update The cruise ship struck by a barge Saturday morning (previous news item) on the Mississippi River, leaving a 30-foot gash on the ship, forced Carnival to cancel the five-day trip to the Caribbean scheduked to leave saturday morning.
Authorities say there were no injuries reported on Carnival Cruise Lines' Fantasy ship or the barge. But Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher noted that the just over two-thousand passengers who had been allowed to board the Fantasy in New Orleans for a five day cruise were originally told the ship would sail, albeit with a late departure, but later told their cruise had been canceled.
Guests were invited to remain on the ship overnight and will be fully refunded. Gallagher says they'll also be given a 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-day cruise. Back to Top
2-10-07: New Orleans Barge Hits Carnival Fantasy Carnival Fantasy was struck by a barge Saturday morning while sailing up the Mississippi River to the port of New Orleans. Reports say the barge lost control, collided with the river bank and struck the port side of the ship.
There were no injuries to those on the 2,100 passengers ship, but there was "a large dent" in the ship's hull, said Tim Gallagher, vice president of public relations for Carnival. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
The Coast Guard described the damage as a 30-foot-long "gash" in the side of the hull, near the rear of the port side, about five feet above the water line. The Coast Guard also said there was minor damage to the barge, which was one of six rice barges being pushed by a towboat. There were no injuries or pollution as a result of the collision, the Guard said in a press release.
After the accident, the Fantasy returned safely to the Erato Street Cruise Terminal and the passengers left the vessel. The ship remains fully operational, though its later departure today on a five day cruise to Mexico likely will be delayed, Gallagher said.
All of the ship's services are working just fine and passengers loaded the ship as normal even though the company was not sure when it would leave on its next cruise.
"We didn't want to leave people sitting on the piers," Gallagher said.
The Fantasy is still scheduled to return to New Orleans from the delayed cruise on Thursday, and the return date will not change, but travelers will receive compensation if the cruise is shortened because the Fantasy has to leave later. Back to Top
2-10-07: Weekend News 2-10-07 *** Princess Cruises is creating a new "Department of Romance" that includes a team of romance experts and is launching a number of romantic pursuits on its ships and on its website. The creation of the department is in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the hit TV series "The Love Boat," famously set aboard a Princess ship.
Princess has tapped noted relationship experts to serve in its new Department of Romance. They include dating and romance guru Trish McDermott, therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, wedding planner Alba Carreras, and Gavin MacLeod, who portrayed Capt. Stubing on "The Love Boat."
The department has planned a variety of romantic pursuits scheduled to launch throughout the year. One new feature is the "Romance by Room Service" package, which includes champagne and chocolate, scattered fresh rose petals and flameless scented candles, all set to a background of romantic music. Couples can choose to add the line's "Ultimate Balcony Dinner." Princess will also introduce an entertaining new class for its ScholarShip@Sea learning program, offering instruction on becoming a "Certified Romantic." The course will offer tools on how couples can rediscover romance, as well as tips for sustaining romance long after passengers return home from their cruise. Also, in-stateroom Romance TV programming will feature classic movies such as "An Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle." The daily Princess Patter program will also feature a romantic tip or quotation to inspire affection.
In addition, a new section of the Princess website will be devoted exclusively to the subject of romance, with tips, Q&As, resource information for romantic travelers, articles from the department experts and more. A semi-annual Princess Romance Report will debut on Feb. 14, in which the company's romance experts sound off on the "state of love" with facts, stats and forecasted trends. These programs, to be launched with the debut of Emerald Princess in April, will join Princess' lineup of amenities and services for travelers with romance on their minds. Among them are weddings at sea performed by the ship's captain and the "Engagement Under the Stars" program for passengers who want to pop the question with a surprise video-taped proposal on the ship's 300-square-foot LED Movies Under the Stars screen. For more information, call 800-PRINCESS or visit www.princess.com.*** MSC Cruises is inviting Americans to sail in the Caribbean with an unadvertised two-category upgrade along with Better than 2-for-1 rates on new bookings for select 11-night sailings. Eligible cruises are the March 5, March 27 and April 18 departures of the MSC Lirica and the March 10 and April 1 departures of the MSC Opera. Each roundtrip sailing from Fort Lauderdale calls at San Juan, St. Maarten, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Tortola, and Cayo Levantado, the line's private destination in the Dominican Republic. This unadvertised special is valid on a limited number of available staterooms on a first-come, first-served basis. It excludes upgrades to balcony and suite staterooms, and certain restrictions apply. Prices start at $695, plus $51.25 government fees and taxes per person, double occupancy. For more information, call 800-666-9333 or visit www.msccruises.com.
*** Celebrity Cruises is offering new Alaska shore excursions that let passengers glide along the Alaskan coastline in a 20-foot fishing boat, travel by float plane to Anan Creek for bear-viewing, or tasting the wines and cheeses of British Columbia's Fraser Valley. Overall, Celebrity offers more than 158 Alaska shore excursions. Beginning in May, the Celebrity Infinity, Summit and Mercury will sail seven-, 10- and 14-night Alaska cruises from Seattle and Vancouver. The vessels also cruise through the Inside Passage and beside ice-blue Hubbard Glacier.
Celebrity also offers pre- and post-cruise land options in the Pacific Northwest with the Summit and Infinity. The Summit's pre- or post-cruise itineraries range in length and destination, and include highlights such as Fairbanks, Seward and Denali National Park, home of Mount McKinley. Seventeen cruise-tour packages include segments on Celebrity's glass-domed railcars, the Wilderness Express. Guests sailing on the Infinity's Hubbard Glacier cruises can choose from four fully escorted cruise-tour options. The five-night Canadian Rockies packages visit cities including Vancouver, Calgary, Kamloops and Banff, with each including two days of rail travel and meals in Rocky Mountaineer's RedLeaf Service railcars. The three-night Whistler cruise-tours include stays in both Whistler and Vancouver. For more information, call 800-437-3111 or visit www.celebritycruises.com.Back to Top
2-09-07: Norwegian Coastal Voyage 10% off Gota Canal Norwegian Coastal Voyage cruises is offering a discount on cruises along the historic Gota Canal between Stockholm, the Swedish capital, and Gothenburg, the largest port. The vessels in use for this cruise are M/S Juno, M/S Wilhelm Tham or M/S Diana, vintage ships built in 1874, 1912 and 1931 and lovingly maintained to preserve their classic interiors. The ships retain their stylish Art Nouveau décor, reminiscent of the hey-day of upper class sailings, with mahogany paneling, brass fittings and paisley fabrics. Each has a lounge with a bar and small library, a dining room featuring French cuisine with a Swedish twist and a large wine selection, and 25 to 29 cozy cabins with bunk beds, washbasin and shared toilets and showers with privacy locks.Designed to fit the narrowest canal locks, the recently renovated vessels cruise across Sweden at a leisurely five to 10 knots on tree-lined canals bordered by fields and forests, the
11-lock Berg staircase, huge Lakes Vanern and Vattern, and by many islands. Sightseeing, which varies according to cruise length and direction, may include Lacko and Stegeborg Castles, the Birka Viking city on Bjorko Island, the medieval towns of Vadstena and Soderkoping, and the Royal Hunting, Trollhatten Canal and Motala Motor Museums.
The July and August departures of the two-day sailings between Motala and S�derk�ping are priced before the 10% savings at $495 to $695 per person, double. The four- and six-day cruises, departing from May through September, range in pre-savings prices from $1,095 to $2,265 and $1,815 to $2,795, respectively. Included are all meals, several stops along the route, shore excursions (except on two-day), services of a multilingual crew. Airfares from U.S. cities and single rates are available.
Gota Canal information and reservations can be obtained from Norwegian Coastal Voyage Inc., (800) 323)7436 or (212) 319-1300; fax (212) 319-1390; for brochures (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day; www.norwegiancoastalvoyage.us. Back to Top
2-09-07: Carnival Names Its New SuperLiner Ships Carnival Cruise Lines has chosen names for its two 130,000-ton SuperLiners scheduled to enter service in October 2009 and June 2011, respectively. "Carnival Dream" and "Carnival Magic" are the names. Representing a new class of vessel for the line, the 3,652-passenger "Fun Ships" will be the largest in Carnival Cruise Lines' fleet and offer a host of innovative on-board amenities and facilities.
"Carnival has earned a reputation as a cruise industry innovator by continually upgrading its product and introducing new and exciting features. Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic will epitomize "Today's Carnival," offering the widest variety of dining, activity and entertainment options in our fleet," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
Including Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic, Carnival Cruise Lines has four new ships on order, all of which are being built by Italy's Fincantieri shipyard. The first of these, the 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom, is slated to debut in Europe March 5, 2007; the 112,000-ton Carnival Splendor is scheduled to enter service in July 2008. Back to Top
2-08-07: Carnival Corp. to Enter Spanish Cruise Market The cruise market in Spain is red-hot, growing at the fastest clip, percentage-wise, of any country in Europe. Royal Caribbean entered it last year (2006) when it bought the small cruise line Pullmantur, which at the time was leasing two of th former Renaissance R-ships.
Today, Carnival Corp. announced the signing of a letter of intent to form a joint venture to operate and expand the existing Iberojet Cruceros brand in Spain, the "other" Spanish cruise line, with the "non-cruise" sounding company name. Iberojet Cruceros operates two modern cruise ships, the 834-passenger Grand Voyager, (built by the former Royal Olympia Cruise Lines in 2000), and the 1,196-passenger Grand Mistral (built by defunct Italian operator Festival Cruises), constructed in 1999, which represent the newest ships in the contemporary Spanish cruise market. The new joint venture would eventually be comprised of a multi-ship fleet serving the rapidly expanding Spanish vacation sector.
Under the proposed agreement, the two existing vessels would be transferred to the joint venture company. The intention is to grow that fleet over the next several years through the acquisition of existing tonnage from Carnival Corporation & plc's current fleet. Back to Top
2-06-07: World's Largest Condo Cruise Ship on Order Randall B. Jackson, chief executive officer of Residential Cruise Line Ltd. is announcing today the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) with Aker Yards to build the world's largest residential cruise ship, the Magellan. Aker Yards, a part of the Aker Group, is one of the largest and most renowned shipbuilders in the world.
Designed by the internationally acclaimed Norwegian firm of Petter Yran and Bjorn Storbraaten Architects A.S., the Magellan offers fractional and full-ownership of luxuriously appointed residences and penthouses as well as such unprecedented amenities as a full-service retractable marina, on-call private Bell 429 helicopters, a 450-seat satellite broadcast capable theater and 24-hour on-call concierge service to name just a few. Private residences on the Magellan range in price from $1.875 million to $8 million for penthouses and from $156,250 for fractional ownership residences.
"We selected Aker Yards as our shipyard of choice for their proven track record of building world-class, sophisticated and innovative ships," said Randall B. Jackson. "The Memorandum of Understanding is our first step in building the most luxurious residential cruise ship ever built."
The finalization of the project is subject to the completion of the financing. For more information about ship specifics and fractional ownership opportunities, call 480-497-8833 or visit the Web site at www.residentialcruiseline.com. Back to Top
2-06-07: Royal Celebrity Tours Wins Alaskan Environmental Award Royal Celebrity Tours, the land- based-vacation arm of Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, has been awarded by Green Star, an Anchorage, Alaska-based nonprofit organization that promotes pollution prevention in the workplace, its esteemed Green Star Award.
To achieve Green Star Award status, Royal Celebrity Tours was required to meet a series of pre-determined "Green Star Standards." These include outreach and education; efforts to purchase recyclable, recycled-content and energy- efficient products; waste prevention; paper-, energy- and water-use reduction; and a comprehensive recycling program. In most instances, Royal Celebrity Tours exceeded the number of activities required for each Green Star Standard.
"Royal Celebrity Tours provided one of the most complete and detailed achievement reports we have seen, demonstrating the company's commitment to the Green Star process and goals," said Green Star Program Director Jeanne Carlson. "By implementing a wide range of innovative initiatives, Royal Celebrity Tours impressed us."
Royal Celebrity Tours placed particular emphasis on reducing the amount of time its motorcoaches' engines idle. Determined to reduce the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere and to cut fuel costs, Royal Celebrity Tours instructed all of its motorcoach drivers to turn engines off every time they were waiting for guests. To measure the outcome, Royal Celebrity Tours compared the data tracked by the motorcoaches' internal computers in 2001 to 2003 to that from 2004 to 2006, when the idle-reduction initiative was being implemented. A sample of 13 motorcoaches showed a result of a nearly 17% reduction in engine-idling time.
Royal Celebrity Tours also extended its internal practices to its guests, asking them to join in recycling beverage containers. After being educated by Royal Celebrity tour guides, guests would place glass, plastic and aluminum containers in separate bags during their time on a motorcoach or a railcar.
"Green Star is thrilled that Royal Celebrity Tours has achieved a Green Star Award," said Green Star Executive Director Sean Skaling. "Their commitment to the environment and the specific steps they have taken to achieve the Green Star Award will serve them, their customers, and our environment well, as more and more people choose to support environmentally high-performing businesses and products." Back to Top
2-06-07: RCCL Reports Record Q4 Profits Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced Monday record net income for the fourth quarter 2006 of $46.6 million, or $0.22 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.6 million, or $0.02 per share, for the fourth quarter 2005.
Revenues for the fourth quarter 2006 increased to $1.2 billion from revenues of $1.0 billion in the fourth quarter 2005. Revenues for the full year 2006 increased to $5.2 billion from revenues of $4.9 billion for the full year 2005. Net Yields grew 3.4% to a record $178.
Compared to the same period last year, fourth quarter 2006 Net Yields increased 3.3%, consistent with previous guidance, driven by strong cruise pricing.
"It is very gratifying to achieve such strong performance, especially in our traditionally softest quarter," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This certainly tops off another excellent year. We are particularly pleased with the solid yield performance of our brands, and healthy earnings despite significantly higher fuel costs." Higher fuel prices increased operating costs by $112 million in 2006, which reduced earnings per share by $0.51.
Fain continued, "Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises grew yields 3.4% for the full year 2006. This is at the high end of our original expectations, and is a testament to the strength and momentum of our brands, particularly given a Caribbean pricing environment that is less robust than we had hoped."
"The early indications from the "wave period" are less encouraging than we had hoped," Fain said. We have seen the usual uptick in volume, while pricing appears to have leveled off from the healthy appreciation we have seen over the last few years. The beginning of the year is down slightly, but the revenue picture for the balance of the year is stronger."Back to Top
2-03-07: Weekend News 2-3-07 *** MSC Cruises has announced that ships sailing in the caribbean and carrying U.S. passengers will no longer be using trans-fat in their cooking. In addition, the line has announced that future itinerary changes will include more focus on South America, and that one of the company's new builds will be deployed to the U.S. Caribbean market for the 2008 season.
MSC became the first cruise line to join the "Friends of Venice," marketing initiative to supports the preservation of the city's heritage and is looking adding year-round cruises based in the historic city. MSC made 48 calls carrying 270,000 passengers in 2006. The new MSC Orchestra will initiate cruises from Venice on June 2. Together with MSC Armonia, the ships will call 59 times, carrying 330,000 passengers.
*** Hurtigruten, A Norwegian vessel, ran aground near Antarctica just outside the Deception Islands on Jan. 31. No one was hurt but the vessel required evacuating the 294 passengers and 76 crew to Ushuaia. The outer hull was damaged and permanent repairs will be completed in Argentina.
*** Princess passengers aboard all four ships equipped with the Movies Under the Stars big screen systems will be able to watch the Super Bowl broadcast on deck on the big screen. The match between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts will be seen on Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Sea Princess and Grand Princess, accompanied by "tailgate treats" such as chili, burgers and pizza. Most Princess ships without the big screens also plan to air the game, depending on satellite availability, and will host Super Bowl parties in the lounges.
Meanwhile, the line agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and $550,000 in restitution related to the accidental death of a whale in Alaska's Glacier bay in 2001. Princess said it failed to operate the Dawn Princess at a slow, safe speed near two humpback whales in July 2001, in violation of federal law requiring safe ship operation when endangered whales are present. The line was not charged with killing the whale, however Princess admitted a "close encounter" with two humpbacks in the national park a few days before a dead whale was discovered. Princess said that immediately after the incident, it directed all its ships to voluntarily set speed restrictions in the Icy Straits area, and conducted whale avoidance training for all its captains sailing in Alaska.
*** Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas in a month-long dry-dock renovation in the bahamas now, Upgrades will include overhauls of the dining facilities, the spa/fitness center and the accommodations. Major public areas are being updated, from the casino and the main pool deck to the Viking Crown Lounge.
Windjammer Marketplace, the casual dining venue, will emerge with a fresh layout and furnishings. The new Compass Deli will offer sandwiches, soups and made-to-order salads, paninis and crepes. Also new, in the former beauty shop location on Deck 5, are Café Latté-tudes, brewing Seattle's Best Coffee, and Freeze ice cream shop. The redecorated main dining rooms will be renamed Starlight and Moonlight.
The spa/fitness center is moving down one level, to a larger space allowing for 10 new treatment rooms, a relaxation area and the new beauty salon, equipped with a barber station and teeth whitening room. A new virtual Elemis SpaBar will use interactive technology to give skincare tips and recommend beauty products. Bikes and a new aerobics floor were added for spinning and fitness classes.
The ship will gain RCI's signature Latin dance club, Boleros, and the d�cor of Schooner piano bar and Casino Royale will be refreshed. Other work includes enlarging and updating the conference center and creating a more colorful, dynamic Adventure Ocean youth center. Majesty will have fully rebuilt suites, and improved standard rooms. All accommodations will gain WiFi, wall-mounted flat-screen televisions and upgraded bedding. Back to Top
2-01-07: Love-Themed Activities on Princess Ships for Valentine's Day One of the most memorable events held each year aboard each Princess ship is a group renewal of vows ceremony performed by the captain on February 14. More than 5,000 couples fleetwide typically celebrate their love by participating in this Valentine's Day tradition.
Other heart-themed shipboard festivities include a festive Valentine's dinner capped off by one of the line's most popular desserts "The Princess Love Boat Dream," a Valentine's rendition of the "Newlywed and Not-So-Newlywed Game," a Valentine's Singles Party, Hearts card game lessons and tournament, a special honeymooners cocktail party, romance-themed films and plenty of other activities in keeping with the Valentine's spirit.
For the ultimate Valentine's Day, couples can actually "tie the knot" at sea, with the rare opportunity to celebrate a romantic wedding ceremony on the ocean waves, with the ship's captain officiating. Princess is the only major North American cruise line that makes this dream a reality, offering a variety of customizable ceremony options, including, on larger vessels, an onboard wedding chapel decorated in flowers and candlelight for the special day.
True romantics looking for special ways to celebrate can also take advantage of some of the extra offerings on board. Princess' Champagne Breakfast is the perfect way for couples to start Valentine's Day with a deluxe morning meal in their stateroom. Princess bars will be serving a Cupid's Champagne Cocktail - a romantic concoction of coconut rum, passion fruit, orange juice and sparkling wine that makes for a perfect Valentine's toast. Onboard florists will have a variety of special blooms available for those who want to present a bouquet to their sweetheart. And, for those who want to start their commitment to a life together on this memorable day, Princess' special "Engagement Under the Stars" packages enable suitors to create a dramatic video proposal shown on the "Movies Under the Stars" screen on Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Grand Princess or Sea Princess. Couples will enjoy movie-star status, plus enjoy a special romantic dinner, and other amenities to remember the occasion long after they return home.
Princess ships will be celebrating Valentine's Day in a variety of destinations around the world. Couples may choose to sail among romantic islands, such as those of the Caribbean, Hawaii and Tahiti. Or they may explore such exciting locals as South America, the Panama Canal, the Mexican Riviera, or Australia and New Zealand. Back to Top