Latest industry gossip has Celebrity deploying HORIZON to Miami in the Spring of 2002 for a 7 day Caribbean year round program, giving up her Bermuda cruises. And just by coincidence, Renaissance will be sending a ship to NYC at the same time for Canada/NE itineraries. Can Bermuda be far behind? This situation for HORIZON brings up the possibility that she may be seriously up for sale. Sad. Anyone hear anything to confirm these rumors?
Can you elaborate on the problems with the cruises out of Aruba? We sailed out of Aruba some years ago on Seawind Crown. Loved Aruba and thought it would make a good alternative to sailing from San Juan or Miami and inspire some innovative itineraries. I know that Air Aruba went out of business, but were the problems related to insufficient airlift or something else?
We also sailed on the Seawind Crown out of Aruba in 1997. The airport there was a nightmare. Flew on Aruba Airlines out of Miami - they lost our luggage and another couple's that we knew of. We sailed much later than scheduled because the airlines didn't get people there on time. Our flight home (on Aruba Air) was re-scheduled. Then that flight was cancelled even after our luggage was checked thru. We finally flew home on American Airlines. Spent the whole day in that miserable Aruba airport. Never again!! Also, I don't think Aruba is so wonderful. Been to better islands. P.S. I can see why Aruba Air went out of business.
I too had a positive experience sailing out of Aruba with Premier. I was already planning on visiting with family in Florida... so I just booked their air from Orlando. This was 1998. cost was $400. They picked all 3 of us up in a full-sized coach!! in the parking lot of the Service Merchandize in Orlando. It was so funny. 3 pax on a 57 pax coach. 1-1/2 hrs later we were in Tampa. Had about 1-1/2 hrs to kill before our flight.. which was fine. We were on a Pan Am charter flight going down..... and coming back - while the interior of the plane was the usual.... we were on Miami Heat's Plane... oh... what a paint job!!
I think Premier did a wonderfull job hussling people in and out of Aruba. It can be done. You just have to have knowledgable people movers in the office who know how to take care of all the arrangements. It is painfully apparent that Celebrity did not have these people in place. I work in wholesale travel and know what goes on in the office when you are trying to move 1000+ people - to all different directions - at the same time!!
Royal Caribbean cited a lack of airlift into Aruba as the main problem with the cruises from Aruba. Air Aruba ceased operations this fall and with that, the costs of air to/from Aruba skyrocketed. In many cases, the cost of air was more than the cruise price.
It's too bad that they didnt approach Apple Tours to secure a space charter as Apple was left high and dry with the demise of Crown Cruise Line. A friedn of mine was on the 1/13 cruise and he raved about it. I too wish this itinerary had continued as I very much wanted to take the Horizon from Aruba this fall.
Wwe did a December sailing from Aruba on the Horizon and enjoyed it very much. We both like this island and would go back in a minute. The trouble is the air in & out. Weather in the US forced many of the planes inbound to be delayed causing massive back-ups at the Aruba airport. Unfortunatly the airport is not that big and has there are few facilities for food once you pass customs.
We spent an entire day in the airport due to delays.
Also cost of air was more than cost of cruise so I can see why that is a problem.
Ship didn't leave Aruba until well after midnight waiting for passengers to arrive. Also had a few people on the cruise who did not get thier luggage , never got transfered in Atlanta.