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What are some of our Past and Present Traditions on Board

I found a fun and and entertaining read on the traditions of some of the old and cherished traditions onboard our cruise ships of old and what has lasted to our current situation on the mega-liners.

An article written by Matt Hannafin of Frommer's has done a good investigative job to give us some background on what we do today and where they came from yesterday.

Read on his article called, "Here Be Monsters: The Secret Story Behind Cruising's Most Cherished Traditions." You will enjoy what he has found out and sharing with us.

Have a fun read.

Source: frommers.com

Dubai Steps Up Promotion for their Region

Very interesting news from Dubai in their hopes to start promoting the region as a cruise destination that will enlighten travelers on the history and culture of their region, while working on filling up their hotels and economy.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Furjairah has a lot to offer, mostly a new destination that is quickly becoming the fashion.  

Read on to for more details as Dubai attends the Cruise Shipping Miami Convention.
Sean Cronin from The National explains:  thenational.ae

Royal Caribbean Unveils new 2013 Alaska Adventures on Sea, Land and in the Air

Two Newly Revitalized Ships to Offer Guests More Delectable Dining Choices and Innovative Entertainment

MIAMI, Mar. 13, 2012 – For its 24th consecutive season, Royal Caribbean International will ply Alaskan waters in summer 2013 with the cruise line’s recently revitalized ships to offer vacationers a virtually new fleet in the region. Soon to be revitalized Rhapsody of the Seas will offer guests refreshed staterooms, expanded technological conveniences, and nearly quadrupled dining options on seven-night round-trip cruises from Seattle, Wash. Radiance of the Seas, revitalized in 2011, will alternate seven-night north- and southbound itineraries from Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, respectively. Guests will be awed by nature’s grandness; encounter thriving wildlife; and enjoy Royal Caribbean’s Gold Anchor Service for an incredible adventure in the Last Frontier. Royal Caribbean International’s summer 2013 Alaska cruises and Cruisetours are now open for sale.

“Royal Caribbean has been delivering majestic Alaska to adventurers for nearly a quarter century and we are glad to announce our 2013 Alaska cruise and Cruisetour program,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Our newly revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas offer guests what they’ve always loved, and now, so much more. Along with our friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service delivered by every member of our staff and crew, the best way to explore Alaska is with Royal Caribbean International.”

To fully experience all that Alaska can offer, vacationers can choose a Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetour, which combines a Radiance of the Seas’ sailing with a pre- or post-cruise land tour that totals to a 10- to 13-night land and sea adventure that ranges as far north as Fairbanks. For the land tour portion, guests are escorted by a dedicated Royal Caribbean Tour Director, who knows what to see, where to eat and how to experience the most of Alaska. Royal Caribbean Cruisetours include premium hotel accommodations, motorcoach transportation, admission into select attractions, and peace of mind – Royal Caribbean takes care of all the details. Almost all 2013 Alaska Cruisetours also include a leg aboard the Wilderness Express, Royal Caribbean’s luxurious, glass-domed train cars that offer incomparable views of the unfolding and untamed Denali National Park.

Vacationers also can choose a 13-night Canadian Rockies Cruisetour, which features independent travel aboard Canada’s VIA Rail to Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver and Victoria. Furthermore, vacationers can choose an 18-night Cruisetour that combines Alaska and the Canadian Rockies for a truly grand Pacific Northwest expedition. Webisodes about what Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetours offer can be seen athttp://bit.ly/zF8U3z and http://bit.ly/w90yHU.

Every Friday from May 17 through August 30, 2013, Radiance of the Seas will alternate seven-night north- and southbound itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska. Alaskan ports of call include Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Skagway. Additionally, guests will cruise the Inside Passage as well as get an up-close view of Hubbard Glacier. A webisode of Radiance of the Seas’ Alaska experience can be seen at http://bit.ly/wTHtu4.

Rhapsody of the Seas also will sail every Friday on seven-night, round-trip Alaska cruises from Seattle, calling at Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, B.C. Guests also will transit Alaska’s Inside Passage, as well as venture up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

In port, Royal Caribbean offers guests more than 160 Alaskan shore excursions that help delve into Alaska on land, at sea or in the air. At additional charge, guests can choose a helicopter tour from Skagway, which lands on a glacier for a quick walk around, or an exhilarating flight down a mountainside on the world’s largest zip line at Icy Strait Point. Royal Caribbean shore excursions also offer a large menu of experiences that feature Alaska’s fresh seafood, as well as a slew of choices to witness the wildlife, from whales to moose to bald eagles and everything in between, on land and sea. Guests also can choose experiences to learn about the history and culture of native Alaskans, as well as Gold Rush-era to modern lifestyles – on some, guests can actually pan for real gold.

Guests aboard Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas enjoy all the new amenities, dining and entertainment that were introduced when each ship was revitalized. Both ships will feature refreshed staterooms with interactive flat-panel TVs, a new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, oversized LED screen on the pool deck, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service, and more dining and entertainment options than ever before on an Alaska cruise. The cruise line’s suites guests and loyal Crown & Anchor Society members also can enjoy newly installed Diamond Lounge and Concierge Lounge aboard both ships.

Radiance of the Seas’ guests have more than double the dining options prior to its 2011 revitalization, and now the ship features eight specialty dining options, among them the exclusive Chef’s Table, Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse Chops Grille, Izumi sushi and Asian fare, and casual deli-style Park Café. A webisode about Radiance of the Seas’ expansive onboard dining options can be seen athttp://bit.ly/wleUWO.

When Rhapsody of the Seas completes its revitalization at the end of March 2012, guests also will be dazzled by a new form of spectacular, high-flying entertainment in the ship’s Centrum, first introduced aboard Splendour of the Seas in 2011. Choreographed aerialists dance and glide throughout a five-deck atrium, telling a story just above the heads of guests enjoying a cocktail in the R Bar, another new lounge concept. A webisode that includes a glimpse of the Centrum WOW that is featuring now aboard Splendour of the Seas can be seen athttp://bit.ly/yTOQAw.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming. The cruise line has a 40-year history of giving guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for nine consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter, @RoyalCaribbean. Travel professionals should visit www.cruisingpower.com or call (800) 327-2056.

Royal Caribbean International is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSX: RCL), a global cruise vacation company that also operates Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur, CDF Croisieres de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture with TUI AG. The company owns a combined total of 40 ships and has one under construction and two under agreement.

The Princess Pacific to be Scrapped- An Era Gone

Unbelievable to think that the 40 year old "The Love Boat" is about to be scrapped.  Once owned by Princess cruises, the ship was named "The Pacific Princess" between 1975 and 2002.

Recently reported, the ship has been sold for between $2.5 and $3.3 million dollars to the Turkish firm, "Cemsan" which specializes in scrapping vessels no longer in need. Though the owners, repeatedly tried to auction the ship off, there were no takers. Sadly so, as it holds a dear heart for Americans has it truly helped the cruising industry. Future passengers were tantalized to venture on board to see what all the hoopla was about, and indeed, kept them coming for many years to come. It is a shame that something could not have be done as the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, to some how keep the ship as a floating hotel in one of the larger ports available in the United States.

The comedy series, "The Love Boat", gave us some fun years in television allowing us a chance to get to know the  lives of those working on board.  I had the opportunity to meet the stars when they traveled on board the Stella Solaris in filming their Greece tour of the series. Some want to believe the show was a bit exaggerated in their story telling, however, it wasn't. On a daily bases, life was always an interesting tale that showed the fun side of what cruising is all about, of which, gave me my own livelihood for more than 27 years.

The ship was built in 1971 and first named Pacific for Sea Ventures, from 1975 to 2002, it was known as The Pacific Princess and lastly was owned by the Spanish company, Quail Cruises. The ship had been laid up in Genoa, Italy since it was ceased by the Italian Coast Guard in 2009.

It will be sad to say good-bye to yet another era in the Life and Times of the Cruising Industry. Final destination for the ship is Aliağa, Turkey.

Those of you interested in learning about some of the old ships, their histories, stories, some of the items they once housed and lots of fabulous photographs, don't miss Peter Knego and Martin Cox at: maritimematters.com 

Celebrity Cruises Reveals Details of Enticing European Season: Plans to Bring Solstice Class STyle to Alaska in Summer 2013

MIAMI – March 13, 2012 – When considering a vacation, the first question typically is, “Where do you want to go?” In the summer of 2013, Celebrity Cruises – named “Best Large-Ship Line” in the elite Condé Nast Traveler’s Annual Readers’ Choice Awards – will present more answers to that question than ever before, offering its broadest lineup of modern luxury vacation options in Europe, and bringing Solstice Class style to Alaska for the first time.

Broad and varied experiences in Europe on new and newly Solsticized ships

In the summer of 2013, Celebrity will offer its most widely varied array of modern luxury cruises and cruisetours on one of the newest fleets of ships in Europe. Those six ships will visit 25 countries from seven departure ports and visit a total of 88 destinations in Europe alone, six representing Celebrity ‘firsts.’

The first-time destinations include Liverpool, England, famed home of “The Beatles”; Waterford, Ireland, known for the fine crystal bearing its name; Torshavn, the capital of Denmark’s Faroe Islands; Varna, Bulgaria, the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast; Sevastopol, the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa; and Kristiansand, Norway, named in 1641 for its founder King Christian IV, and today known for major events ranging from the Bragdoya Blues Festival to the Quart Festival headlined by world-renowned rock artists.

Celebrity’s summer 2013 Europe portfolio:

Celebrity Reflection – which sets sail in October of this year, complete with the brand’s first “Signature Suites” and jaw-dropping, two-bedroom “Reflection Suite,” complete with a sea-view bathroom extending out over the edge of the ship, a veranda tub with soothing rain shower, and panoramic views courtesy of the wraparound veranda – will present a full season of 10- and 11-night sailings roundtrip from Rome. The 10-night itinerary features visits to Sicily, Italy; Athens, Greece and the Greek Isles, and Kusadasi, Turkey, while the 11-night sailing also features an overnight stay in Istanbul.

Celebrity Silhouette – honored with a Gold award for “Best Premium Ship” in Travel Weekly’s annual Magellan Awards, and the first to enhance Celebrity’s industry-first Lawn Club with The Lawn Club Grill, The Porch, The Alcoves and the Art Studio – will offer a blend of 10- to 13-night roundtrip sailings from romantic Venice, as well as voyages to and from Venice and/or Rome. With one to two days at sea on each sailing, the itineraries were expressly designed to offer a destination-rich vacation, including towns along the Adriatic coast, as well as multiple locations in Greece and Turkey.

Celebrity Infinity – the second of four Millennium Class ships to complete Celebrity’s ambitious, $140-million ‘Solsticizing’ initiative, incorporating a host of guest-favorite venues and experiences from the Solstice Class, such as the hip Celebrity iLounge, the eclectic Qsine specialty restaurant, and AquaClass accommodations with exclusive access to the Mediterranean specialty restaurant, Blu – will make her European debut in 2013, offering new 10- and 11-night British Isles, Norwegian Fjords and Iceland & Fjords itineraries roundtrip from Harwich, England. And, in September 2013, Celebrity Infinity will present the “Immersive Europe Wine Cruises” that premiere onCelebrity Constellation this fall during harvest season, complete with overnight stays in Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), France; Bilbao, Spain; and Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France.

Celebrity Constellation –also featuring the guest-favorite enhancements incorporated in the line’s Solsticizing initiative, including the eclectic Qsine specialty restaurant, AquaClass accommodations with exclusive access to the Mediterranean specialty restaurant, Blu, CellarMasters wine bar and the hip Celebrity iLounge, among other new venues – from May through August 2013 will present seven Scandinavia/Russia cruises, an Arctic Circle voyage and a Norwegian Fjords sailing, all roundtrip from Amsterdam. Then, from Istanbul, the ship will set sail on two new 12-night Black Sea & Greek Isles sailings, highlighted by an overnight stay in Odessa, Ukraine; visits to Sevastopol and Yalta, Ukraine, and Celebrity’s first visit to Varna, Bulgaria. Celebrity Constellation will round out her summer season with four 12-night Greek Isles & Turkey voyages, all roundtrip from Istanbul.

Celebrity Equinox – named “Best Overall” in the discerning Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice Awards (North America), and one of three Solstice Class ships to mesmerize guests with The Hot Glass Show offered in association with The Corning Museum of Glass – will present a full season of 12-night sailings roundtrip from Barcelona, Spain, with the majority of the cruises featuring visits to Florence (Livorno), Naples and Adriatic ports, in addition to an overnight stay in Venice. The ship’s alternating itineraries include visits to Naples, Athens, Ephesus (Kusadasi), the Greek Isles and Valletta, Malta.

Celebrity Eclipse – named “Best from the UK” in Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice Awards (UK), and the first ship to debut the hip Celebrity iLounge and the eclectic Qsine specialty restaurant – will continue to offer a mix of distinct 14-night Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Russia, Iceland/Norwegian Fjords and Canary Islands/Azores holidays roundtrip from Southampton. The ship’s Baltic season in 2013 will be expanded slightly, with the Iceland/Norwegian Fjords itinerary featuring an overnight stay in Reykjavik, Iceland, and a full-day visit to Akureyri, Iceland.

For even deeper immersion into the endlessly appealing region, Celebrity’s summer Cruisetour options in Europe in 2013 range from 12 to 18 nights in length, when pairing the cruise and land-based experience, and include six tour patterns, all fully escorted by expert Tour Directors. Among the highlights are an entirely new four-night Istanbul and Cappadocia, Turkey, package; enticing Italian experiences in Lake Como, Venice, Florence and Rome; vibrant options in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain; and alluring Northern Europe packages featuring stays in London, Paris and Amsterdam.

Celebrity’s summer 2013 Northern Europe vacations open for booking March 16, 2012, with the balance of its summer 2013 European vacations opening for booking beginning March 27, 2012.

Celebrity Solstice to bring Solstice Class ‘sizzle’ to Alaska, Canada and California in 2013

The sleek, 2,850-guest flagship of the Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Solstice – named “Best Premium Ship” in Travel Weekly’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards (US) – will become the first of its class to offer vacations in Alaska in the summer of 2013, joining Celebrity Century and Celebrity Millennium in pairing Celebrity’s chic style and design, signature cuisine, exciting activities and extraordinary service with the region’s breathtaking, inspiring scenery.

Celebrity Solstice will present 7-night Tracy Arm Fjord sailings roundtrip from Seattle, with visits to the charming Alaskan towns of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, as well as Victoria, British Columbia, and transiting the scenic Inside Passage. Preceding the Alaska season will be a 9-night “West Coast Wine Cruise” from Ensenada, Mexico, to Seattle in May, and rounding out the season will be a 10-night “America’s Cup Wine Cruise” in September, when guests on Celebrity Solstice will have a commanding view of the boats participating in the finals of the world-famous sailing race in San Francisco Bay, complete with an overnight stay.
Celebrity Millennium – the fourth Millennium Class ship to complete Celebrity’s Solsticizing initiative this year, adding AquaClass accommodations with exclusive access to the specialty restaurant, Blu, the Celebrity iLounge, CellarMasters wine bar, and Bistro on Five creperie, among other new venues – will reprise Celebrity’s in-demand, alternating Northbound and Southbound 7-night Alaska sailings between Vancouver and Seward, highlighted by spending several hours near the picturesque, ice-blue Hubbard Glacier.
Celebrity Century – the first ship to debut the “icy-cool” Martini Bar – will reprise her summer series of 7-night Hubbard Glacier vacations roundtrip from Vancouver from May through August, 2013. The ship’s Alaska season will be capped with an 11-night “Ultimate Alaska” voyage departing roundtrip from Vancouver September 15, 2013, including visits to Prince Rupert and Victoria, British Columbia. A special 11-night Wine Cruise will be offered September 26 from Vancouver, ending in San Diego.

Celebrity’s 10- to 13-night Cruisetour packages in the summer of 2013 will include 16 tour patterns associated with Celebrity Millennium’sNorthbound and Southbound Alaska sailings. All Cruisetours – including the new “Alaska Family Style Cruisetour” designed to enthrall family members of every generation – visit famed Denali National Park, with six including a two-night stay in Denali, while 15 include travel on Celebrity’s plush Wilderness Express domed railcars. All Celebrity Alaska Cruisetours are escorted by expert, personal Tour Directors.

Celebrity’s Cruisetours in the Canadian Rockies and Whistler Mountain in 2013 include five tour patterns offered in association with sailings onCelebrity Century and Celebrity Millennium, and range from 10- to 13-nights, when combined with the cruise. Each is highlighted by the opportunity for guests to independently enjoy the sheer beauty of Banff, Calgary, Lake Louise, Jasper, Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler. The Canadian Rockies tours feature travel onboard VIA Rail train cars in sleeper touring class, with hotel accommodations at elegant Fairmont properties.

Celebrity’s 2013 Alaska vacations open for booking March 14, 2012.

Rounding out Celebrity’s 2013 summer season: the beauty of Bermuda and the enchanting Galapagos Islands
Celebrity Summit – which, in February 2012 became the third in Celebrity’s Millennium Class fleet to complete the brand’s noted Solsticizing initiative, adding Qsine, the Celebrity iLounge, AquaClass accommodations and exclusive access to Blu, CellarMasters wine bar, and more – will return to Cape Liberty, NJ, in 2013 to present its fourth season of Celebrity’s in-demand 7-night vacation experiences to Bermuda, known for its exquisite, pink-sand beaches and turquoise waters. The ship will cap the season with three 14-night Canada & New England vacations beginning in September, featuring to two full days in Quebec City, Quebec. Celebrity’s 2013 Bermuda bookings open April 11, 2012.
The intimate, 96-guest Celebrity Xpedition – ranked among the top small ships in the world in Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Ships in the World” readers’ poll this year – will continue to offer the once-in-a-lifetime vacation experiences the brand has offered year-round since 2004 in the enchanting Galapagos Islands. Bookings are open.

Loyalty has its rewards

Celebrity will again reward the members of its Captain’s Club loyalty program with an exclusive onboard credit offer ranging from $200-600 per stateroom/suite on voyages of 16 nights or longer; $150-500 per stateroom/suite on sailings of 10- to 15-nights, and $100-400 per stateroom/suite on cruises of six to nine nights, with the credit amount dependent upon the category of accommodations booked. This exclusive offer applies for 2013-14 bookings made from March 15 to May 18, 2012.

About Celebrity Cruises:

Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. In addition to offering vacations visiting all continents, Celebrity also presents immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's fleet of 10 ships represents the newest in the premium cruise category, with an additional Solstice Class ship, Celebrity Reflection, scheduled to join the fleet this fall. Celebrity Cruises is part of global vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL). For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visitwww.celebritycruises.com, or call your travel agent. Follow the brand socially at www.facebook.com/celebritycruises.

Rhapsody of the Seas enters Singapore'​s Sembawang Ship Yard for a $54 Million, month-long revamp

London, 9 March 2012 - Royal Caribbean International's Rhapsody of the Seas entered Sembawang Shipyard (a subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine Ltd.) in Singapore to begin a month-long, $54 million drydock where it will undergo a major make-over and emerge with an array of new features. The ship revamp is the largest of its kind ever to take place in Singapore and will employ more than 800 local workers from the region.

Rhapsody of the Seas will receive a host of new dining and entertainment venues as well as an assortment of technological upgrades. The ship also will receive a bow-to-stern refresh of all furniture, carpet and upholstery, including renovated staterooms.

Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International said:

"With our $300 million investment throughout 2014, no ship in our fleet will go untouched and our guests will have an unrivalled holiday experience no matter which destination in the world they visit or on what ship they sail."

Similar to sister-ship Splendour of the Seas, which underwent its refurbishment in November 2011, Rhapsody of the Seas will receive new dining venues, including Chops Grille, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Chef's Table experience and Park Cafe. Additional offerings include a Diamond Lounge for Crown and Anchor loyalty guests, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top tier loyalty guests, a transformed Viking Crown Lounge and the popular Royal Babies and Tots Nursery.

New offerings for guests include ship-wide Wi-Fi, a digital way finding system, electronic mustering, an outdoor movie screen, as well as iPads in every stateroom featuring content about the ship's onboard features and activities, ensuring a seamless cruise experience for guests. The ship's Centrum, with its sweeping views and central location, will transform into a new venue featuring daytime activities, nightly entertainment and jaw-dropping aerial spectacles. The ship's Champagne Bar, located in the Centrum, will also re-emerge as the R Bar, complete with iconic furnishing and signature cocktails mixed by a mixologist.

When the enhancements are completed on 28 March, Rhapsody of the Seas will sail a 15-night itinerary from Singapore to Sydney (Australia). From there, the ship will sail across the Pacific with a combination of cruises from Australia and Hawaii, before beginning an Alaska season in May 2012.

In Alaska, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer seven-night itineraries from bothVancouver (British Columbia), and Seattle (Washington) joiningRadiance of the Seas, which was refurbished in May 2011.

For more information on Royal Caribbean International andRhapsody of the Seas please visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk, call 0844 493 2061, or talk to your travel agent. Travel professionals should visitwww.cruisingpower.co.uk.

Source:  royalcaribbean.com

Newsletter Consult DC - Port and Destinatio​n Cruise Developmen​t

CONSULT DC
Dear friends and cruise industry colleagues,
Consult DC is a Port and Destination Development firm that covers the global
arena. We bring you the following latest news:
During this year’s World Cruise Tourism Summit Workshops Consult DC will
introduce and discuss the Cruise in the West and Central African region during
the “New Destination Development” session taking place on Monday, March
12th between 1pm and 3pm at the Cruise Shipping Miami, and we welcome your
participation.


Luis de Carvalho, CEO of Consult DC and will be attending Cruise Shipping Miami 2012. If you would like to meet and discuss how  Consult DC can assist you, please contact: luis@consult-dc.dk or call +45 22210131. Please visit our website at: www.consult-dc.dk

Consult DC has officially joined Cruise Copenhagen Network. Established in 1992, the association has  60 active partners including all the major Danish ports & destinations, tour operators, port agents, city officials, attractions and service providers. Amongst its main objectives and activities are to successfully promote & coordinate cruise in Denmark and to educate its members. Director Bo Larsen had this to say: “We are proud to welcome Consult DC to our family. Consult DC is already very engaged in assisting some of our ports & destinations as well as promoting the regional product in general. Consult DC brings valuable cruise knowledge and experience that will contribute to the continuous success and effectiveness of our association”.


On behalf of Cruise Copenhagen Network and Cruise Baltic and for cruise line convenience Consult DC is organizing a meeting service and program for cruise lines to get acquainted with the following destinations during Cruise Shipping Miami: Frederica, Korsoer, Elsinore, Skagen, Aarhus, Faaborg and Roenne in Denmark; and Malmö and Karlskrona in Sweden. This will prove an opportunity for quick, efficient and successive meetings in a short period of time during the ever so busy Cruise Shipping Miami. Representatives of the above destinations will be present at stand 1015 Cruise Copenhagen Network and at stand 915 Stockholm Cruise Network.  For more details on how to participate please contact Luis de Carvalho luis@consult-dc.dk or call +45 22210131

Welcome to Faaborg, the Hans Christian Andersen port which is located in the island of Fyn and strategically situated between mainland Jylland and the island of Sjaelland in Denmark.  Faaborg is a cozy and charming village with a fairy tale atmosphere. Attractions include numerous manors and castles such as Egeskov, Nyborg and Valdemar’s castle, a vintage train ride, rich history, gastronomy options including chocolate tasting, cooking classes, micro breweries, art galleries, fishing, biking, kayaking, vintage car riding and other outdoor activities. Within a short drive you will reach Odense, the birth place of Hans Christian Andersen where you will be able to trace the writer’s footsteps. The port is located in the center of the city and it is a fairly new destination with their first call in 2011. It can be considered a tailor made destination where the programs can be suited for everyone. The main contacts are: Lone Østergaard loneo@udviklingfyn.dk and Lasse Olsen laol@faaborgmidtfyn.dk


In Elsinore, Denmark cruise ships can dock right in the city’s centre next door to Kronborg, home of Shakespeare´s Hamlet.  In addition the city is well positioned allowing quick access to numerous neighboring attractions including more than 30 castles and manors, museums and attractions among them Louisiana Museum, Karen Blixen house (Out of Africa), the renaissance castle of Frederiksborg and the Royal summer residence Fredensborg castle. Nice to know: located 1 hour away from Copenhagen; new cruise quay suitable for smaller cruise ships; a scenic anchoring point 0.25 nm from the pier; Hamlets castle (Kronborg) - UNESCO World Heritage Site; a new maritime museum located at the pier will open 2013; picturesque downtown for relaxed sightseeing, shopping and homemade ice cream; a 20 minute ferry trip to Helsingborg, Sweden. Main contacts: Benny Carlsen bca53@helsingor.dk and Henrik Numelin hnu@visitnordsjaelland.com

Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark after Copenhagen. The city has much to offer in terms of attractions including: the old town open air museum with 75 old original Danish houses and typical lifestyle, several museums, modern art galleries, castles, manors, a Zen garden, a vintage train ride, the Fyrkat Viking fortress, Aarhus cathedral, the Tollund man - the world’s most well-preserved body from pre-historic times, Boehme quarter with nice cafes and restaurants, walking tours, good shopping, scenic country rides…you name it, we have it! The port and city have been working closely to improve the service standards and options for both passengers on tours and independents. This resulted in the creation of a new local cruise association that will coordinate all cruise initiatives and activities, and in a new pier location just a few minutes walking distance from the city centre (see the above picture) including a reception area with space for 30 buses and a local market. Main contacts: Nicolai Krøyer nk@port.aarhus.dk and Vibeke Jorgensen vj@visitaarhus.com

Located at the south west tip of Sweden, Malmö is a world-class award winning city at the forefront of ecological and environmental friendly city development that has its roots in ancient times. Amongst its attractions are Scandinavia’s oldest renaissance castle - Malmöhus castle, Lund cathedral, the turning torso skyscraper, canal tours, modern art, rich gastronomy, shopping, multi cultural ambiance and the gateway to the beautiful province of Skåne with its rolling hills, fantastic coastline and numerous castles and manors. Within a 20 minute drive across the mighty Oresund bridge you can also reach Copenhagen with all the attractions and the many historical sites. In the past the port has received calls from mainly small and luxury cruise lines. In addition to port of call visits and due to its proximity to Copenhagen and its own Malmo international airport, the port is also a natural contender for possible turnarounds. To sum up Malmö we use a local quote:  “It is not a place; it is a state of mind”. Main contact: Arnt Møller Arnt.Moller@cmport.com

Korsoer is located in the “heart of Denmark”, only 1, 5 NM from the channel through the “Great Belt” which connects the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. It lies directly at the foot of the Great Belt Bridge, the largest suspended bridge in Europe. Founded in 1425, it is an attractive old seaside market town that invites for a walk in its old quarters with charming houses and cobblestones. Other attractions include a fortress built by King Christian IV around 1600, the Gavnø castle, “Birkegårdens Haver” (gardens), nearby cozy smaller towns, golf course, lush countryside with forest, beaches and outdoors activities. A few kilometers away we find Trelleborg, an old Viking site. Both Copenhagen, Roskilde and Odense (hometown of Hans Christian Andersen) are located within one hour distance. The city was developed around the port and therefore the three available cruise piers are conveniently situated in the centre of the city. The main contact is Flemming Erichsen fer@korsoerhavn.dk

Source: consult-dc.dk

Passenger Gets Time for Dropping Anchor

By ELAINE SILVESTRINI | The Tampa Tribune

Published: March 06, 2012

TAMPA --"After a night of steady drinking on a cruise ship chugging from Mexico to Tampa, Rick Ehlert made his way to an off-limits area of the deck that was supposed to be accessible only to the crew.

There he saw the MS Ryndam's 18-ton stern anchor and thought it looked a lot like the anchor on his own 50-foot boat. He put on a pair of work gloves, removed a cable attached to the anchor, turned a handle, released another cable and then released the brake.

A cloud of dust and rust rose up from the chain, and the room shook from the vibration as the anchor dropped.

"Many people have asked me why I dropped the anchor," he later wrote in an apology letter to the ship's captain. "I believe that I was intrigued by the machinery and curious to see if I could operate it. I do remember trying to stop the anchor once it started moving, but it just kept going faster."

On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced Ehlert to four months incarceration — two months to be served in a federal prison and two months of home confinement — followed by three years of probation. U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday, who called the incident a "bothersome crime," also ordered Ehlert to pay a $7,500 fine and participate in substance abuse and mental health counseling..."

View Court Video and read more of Elaine Silverstrini's article at:  tbo.com

Will the Costa Concordia be Scrapped

Removal of the liner cannot begin until all 500,000 gallons of fuel have been extracted from its tanks.

The Associated Press

ROME – The Italian owners of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized off the Tuscan coast are considering six proposals to remove the vessel – a yearlong operation that may involve breaking it up.

Costa Crociere SpA said Friday that each plan submitted for bidding consideration envisages a 10- to 12-month salvage operation. And each proposal focuses on ensuring the least environmental impact around the tiny island of Giglio, which is in a marine sanctuary, Costa said.

The Concordia slammed into a reef off Giglio on Jan. 13 after the captain veered off course and steered the liner close to port in an apparent stunt. Twenty-five people were killed and seven others are missing and presumed dead following a hectic and delayed evacuation.

Continue to read at:  pressherald.com

Coast Guard Rescue's Woman off Cruise Ship

video
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — "A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew medevaced a 47-year-old woman off a cruise ship approximately 115 miles northeast of Cape Henry Friday night.

The captain of the cruise ship Norwegian Jewel contacted Coast Guard watchstanders at approximately 5 p.m. reporting they had a woman with abdominal pains who was in need of medical attention.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. were dispatched to the scene...."

Read more of the story at:  wtkr.com

Thomson Cruises introduces Thomson Majesty to its cruising holiday programme

Thomson Cruises is pleased to announce that the Thomson Majesty will be joining its fleet this summer.

Thomson Majesty will be the latest ship to join the fleet as part of Thomson Cruises modernisation plans. From May this year the ship will begin sailing the Adriatic Explorer, Pearls of Aegean, Colourful Coasts and Canarian Flavours itineraries and will replace Thomson Destiny that was originally scheduled to operate these routes.Thomson Majesty will provide customers with a fantastic cruising experience. All cabins are more modern and well-dressed, and every outside cabin comes with a picture window. Thomson Majesty also plays host to five fabulous restaurants including sumptuous a la carte offerings at Le Bistro, 5-course waiter service dinners in both Seven Seas Restaurant and Four Seasons Restaurant, 24-hour buffets in Café Royale and snacks by the pool at Piazza San Marco. There is a full range of bars and entertainment venues – imagine soaking up widescreen views from the Royal Observatory with a cocktail in your hand, or a fun-filled evening at the Jubilee Lounge that’s home to the smooth harmonies of the resident Majesty Singers. Another of the ship’s standout features is its spa. With two saunas and seven themed treatment rooms – including a couples’ massage room – it’s the ultimate relaxation zone.

Fraser Ellacott, Managing Director of Thomson Cruises says, “We’re thrilled to be announcing that Thomson Majesty will be joining our fleet as part of our modernisation plans. Majesty is a fantastic ship with great onboard facilities, more outside cabins and the same first-rate service you’d expect from Thomson Cruises. Thomson Majesty will be calling at some of our favourite ports in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. 2012 is set to be a very exciting year for us.”

There will be no changes to the itineraries and Thomson Majesty will be calling at ports such as Corfu Town, Venice, Sanatorini, Dubrovnik, Split in the Eastern Mediterranean, Santa Cruz, Funchal, Las Palmas in the Canaries and Agadir in Morocco.

Thomson Cruises understand that some customers due to sail on Thomson Destiny in Summer 2012 may be disappointed by this news – and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. But would like to reassure customers that Thomson Majesty is a great addition to the fleet and will give customers a fantastic cruise experience.

All customers set to travel on Thomson Destiny are being contacted directly by our dedicated customer service team to arrange their transfer to Thomson Majesty.

For more information or to book visit your local Thomson travel shop,thomson.co.uk/cruise or call 0871 231 3243.

Cruise Passengers Vote Thomson Cruise Entertainment THE BEST

Thomson Cruises take four out of five top positions in the 2012 Cruisers Choice Awards entertainment category.

The Thomson Dream, Thomson’s flagship cruise ship, came out on top in a host of categories at the Cruisers Choice Awards, including first place internationally in the Best Overall Mid-Sized Ship class and was rated top for Best Service, Cabins (UK) and Shore excursions (UK). The results of the annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards are compiled by Cruise Critic and based on ratings and reviews submitted by its 800,000 members.

The 1,506-passenger Thomson Dream was also awarded first place in the ‘Best Entertainment’ category scoring 4.7 out of 5 in the awards. The Thomson Destiny came in third with 4.4 out of 5, the Thomson Celebration gained fourth place with 4.3 out of 5, and the Thomson Spirit took fifth place with 4.2 out of 5. Thomson Cruises took four of the top five places in this category, making them the most entertaining fleet of ships nominated at the awards. Customers on board the Thomson Dream this winter in theCaribbean, got something extra from their entertainment too, as Ashanti, the winner from Sky 1’s reality TV show Showboater’s, joined the show team.

Fraser Ellacott, Managing Director of Thomson Cruises, says “We pride ourselves on offering the whole package but to be regarded top in entertainment for all our ships is fabulous. We are also thrilled that the Thomson Dream has come out on top in five categories. Winning awards voted for by our passengers is fantastic and we are very pleased.”


Source:  sourcewire.com

Chef Kelly Announces New Culinary Discovery Tours

I am so thrilled to announce that with the launch of Riviera this May, we will be expanding the enrichment programs of the Bon Appétit Culinary Center and introducing Culinary Discovery Tours in more than 25 ports worldwide.

As you may have surmised from all of my market visits over the past several months, we have been developing this program for some time. I have been so excited about all of our new plans for Riviera, as well as the other ships in the fleet, and it has been nearly impossible to hold my tongue until the official announcement was made to the press. But our secret is finally out, and I’m now free to share with you all of the new Bon Appétit Culinary Center experiences that you can enjoy in 2012.

Our Culinary Discovery Tours have been uniquely designed for each port, so that guests can now join me in exploring all of these fabulous local food markets I’ve been visiting over the past year. Chef Franck Garanger and I have recruited master chefs from all over the world to join the culinary center team onRiviera and Marina in 2012, and many of these chefs will lead market tours as well.

In Athens, you can visit the Agora meat and fish market and then have lunch in the Plaka. When in Barcelona, we’ll enjoy a Spanish olive oil tasting, shop at Santa Caterina Market — one of my favorites — and then finish the day with lunch at a tapas restaurant. And best of all, after many of the tours, we’ll haul all of our goodies back to the Bon Appétit Culinary Center for a cooking class inspired by our local market visit. I have so enjoyed sharing all of my market trips with you here on the blog, and it’s going to be even more fun now that guests will be able to join me.

We’ve also been feverishly working on some new curriculum for the culinary center, including classes such as Oceania Highlights, which features favorite recipes from Jacques, Red Ginger, Polo Grill and Toscana. Our guests have been clamoring to learn the secrets of these onboard restaurants forever! We’re also going to offer some shorter classes on “hot topics” in the culinary world like innovative cheeses and pairing food with cocktails. Of course, Jacques Pépin continues to be a great source of inspiration for us all, and we’re very excited to teach some of the techniques from his newest book,Essential Pépin.

For those of you sailing on Regatta and Nautica in 2012, you’ll be thrilled to learn that you can participate in Culinary Discovery Tours as well. We’ll be combining our excursions to local markets with classes at shoreside cooking schools and hands-on experiences in local restaurant kitchens. It all promises to be great fun and a wonderful learning experience. Stay tuned for more information on when these tours will be available on Regatta and Nautica

Oceania Cruises really is a cruise line for foodies, and we’ve always known that meant we had to do more than serve fantastic cuisine. We had to connect the onboard culinary experience to all the fabulous ports of call, so guests not only learn from chefs during classes and demonstrations, but also understand and appreciate the unique food and wine perspectives of the places we’re visiting. Our new Culinary Discovery Tours ensure that we will continue to achieve that goal, offering both the finest cuisine and the most extensive culinary enrichment programs to be found at sea.

Can you tell I am excited about this new program? I hope all of you have the chance to experience one of our new Culinary Discovery Tours very soon!

Chef Kelly

Executive Chef, Bon Appétit Culinary Center

Culinary Enrichment Director, Oceania Cruises

Tensions between Argentina and England are Rising

Argentina — Tensions between Argentina and the United Kingdom continue to rise as the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war draws near. The most recent clash comes as two cruise ships were turned away from an Argentine port. There are conflicting reports as to why this happened. One side claims it was because the ships had visited the Falklands while others say it was the enforcement of a recent law that prohibits British ships or vessels partly owned by British companies from docking in Argentina. With nearly 3,000 passengers on-board the two ships now continue on their South American cruise while British and Argentine diplomats try to figure out what happened.

Go to story...

Ricardo Amaral Re-elected as President of Abremar

Ricardo Amaral has been re-elected as president of ABREMAR, the South American cruise association.

Amaral is managing director, Latin America for Royal Caribbean Cruises and is responsible for Brazil, Latin America and Mexico for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.

Amaral has led ABREMAR since 2009, and his new term runs through 2014, when a new president will take over. The new president will be chosen by a rotation of companies.

Andre Pousada was replaced as vice president by Aurelio Maduro.

P&O Cruises in free cabin upgrade offer in March for 67 cruises from June to December

Written by Kari Reinikainen

P&O Cruises is offering free cabin upgrades in March on a selection of 67 cruise holidays on all seven ships in the fleet, departing between June and December 2012, the company said in a statement.

"The Ultimate Upgrade promotion is valid on bookings made throughout March, and entitles customers to a higher grade cabin at a lower grade price. All cruises in the promotion depart from Southampton and are between two and 35 nights in duration, to a choice of destinations such as the Mediterranean, Baltic, Canary Islands, Caribbean, USA and Canada, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, and Around Britain," the company said.

P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, said: “Customers booking in March will receive a fantastic value cruise holiday, offering the kind of cabin that may normally not be affordable for an even better cruise experience. This summer or autumn you could be enjoying a stunning view of the fjords from your balcony or toasting the Caribbean sunset from a suite; all for less than expected, thus highlighting the unbeatable value for money offered by a cruise holiday."

Azamara Names Bornstein Senior VP, Sales and Marketing

Azamara Club Cruises today announced the promotion of Edie Bornstein to senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for the destination-immersive cruise line. Ms. Bornstein has nearly 30 years of experience in the global cruise, travel, and technology industries, and most recently held the position of vice president of Sales and Marketing. She leads a marketing team and field sales organization dedicated to the brand, and works closely with the extensive global network of Azamara Club Cruises’ parent Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd. outside of North America.

“This newly created position recognizes Edie’s enormous contributions to Azamara’s relationships with the worldwide travel agency community,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO for the up-market cruise line. “Azamara Club Cruises is growing exponentially in both travel agency reach and direct consumer awareness. So it’s fitting that we grow Edie’s portfolio exponentially as well.”

Prior to joining Azamara – which launched in 2007 – Edie Bornstein was Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships for Carnival Cruise Lines. Previously she was a senior officer at Cunard and Seabourn Cruise Lines where she developed profitable strategic plans and partnerships with a series of international luxury products and services – including Hermes, Canyon Ranch Spa, Dunhill and Veuve Clicquot. Earlier she served as Vice President Global Distribution System for Amadeus.

“We are growing dramatically throughout the world and Edie is poised to help us grow even more and add to our momentum,” Pimentel concluded.

Princess Cruises "Inspired to Cruise" Blog Showcases Reasons to Cruise 6-10

The Varied Reasons to Vacation at Sea Include Bridging the Generation Gap, Revisiting Wartime Memories and Surprising a Loved One

Princess Cruises'new blog, "Inspired to Cruise: A Year of Reasons to Get Away From the Everyday" has chronicled its second five reasons to cruise, offering readers a new collection of distinct passenger stories about what can inspire travelers to vacation at sea.

With touching tales of surprising a family member with the vacation of a lifetime, reliving wartime memories, visiting family members far away, sailing aboard "The Love Boat," and reconnecting a teenager with her grandparents, the blog, found at http://inspiredtocruise.com, illustrates some of the diverse reasons people take cruise vacations.

Each week during 2012 the blog will explore the celebrations, accomplishments, milestones and other inspired reasons to cruise, each told by a different passenger. This diverse group of contributors -- from long-time cruisers to those who set sail for the first time -- will share a total of 52 stories throughout the life of the blog.

Reasons to cruise 6-10 are:

Story #10: Bridging the Generation Gap Between My Teenage Daughter and Her Grandparents -- Dylan Schulz of Temecula, California, tells of how a Thanksgiving cruise together allowed her teenage daughter to see her grandparents in a new light, and helped them forge a new relationship.

Story #9: Reconnecting with Our Wartime Memories -- Patricia Smith of Palm Desert, California, and her husband, Don, traveled aboard a special cruise to the islands of the Pacific theater to visit many of the places that paid a significant role during World War II. Especially poignant for couple was the opportunity to revisit Okinawa, where they met as teenagers.

Story #8: Surprising My Dad with His Dream Trip -- Karen Hannan of DeKalb, Illinois, decided to book a cruise to Alaska as an unexpected gift for her father, who had always wished to visit America's "last frontier." In the process the father/daughter team not only explored the wonders of the 49th state, but also found that the cruise became a surprise bonding experience.

Story #7: Our Dream was to Sail Aboard the "Love Boat" -- Carla Bailey of Bonney Lake, Washington, tells how her courtship with husband, Cary, included a long-distance "date night" to watch "The Love Boat" on television. They were able to live their dream of sailing on the famous ship for their 20th wedding anniversary, where the couple renewed their vows on the iconic staircase from the show.

Story #6: Our Cruise to Visit Family Living Far Away -- Patricia Martin of Glasgow, Scotland tells of a cruise to Australia to visit her niece, who was a bit homesick after relocating Down Under. Little did they know that the Scottish flags they packed to hang on their balcony would take on special meaning on this voyage.

Also featured on the blog is a weekly "Escape Inspiration" video. Each 30-second favorite moment at sea is introduced by a Princess crew member who describes why the scene is meaningful to them.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS ( 1-800-774-6237 ), or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.

Source;  princess.com

Azamara Club Cruises Offer for 2012 Europe

2012 Europe Program

It holds Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Rome’s mighty Colosseum. Birthplace to an array of the world’s finest wines, it has been called home by some of the most influential figures in history. It’s Europe, and exploring it at your leisure with longer stays, more overnights, and night touring is only part of what Azamara Club Cruises provides you when you join us on the voyage of a lifetime!

Discover all the wonders and history of Europe at an incredible value

Book a 2012 European voyage between December 5, 2011 and March 31, 2012 and receive
Up to $2,000 in ChoiceAir credits per couple
Complimentary stateroom upgrade from Club Oceanview to Club Veranda stateroom on select sailings

-plus-
Up to 50% off brochure rates
50% off Land Discoveries (shore excursions) when booked online prior to sail date
Gratuities included

Check the site for eligible European Cruises.

Club Oceanview to Club Veranda upgrade offer is subject to availability and is only offered on select sailings. Offer code SFF5 must be mentioned at the time of booking to redeem offer. After offer code SFF5 is requested, booking will be upgraded to a Club Veranda stateroom within three business days. Bookings must be made in categories 04, 05, 06, 07, or 08 to qualify. Bookings will be upgraded to category V3, V2, or V1. Offer is not applicable with discounted rates, including, but not limited to: Interline, Travel Agent Discounts, and Net Rates. Offer is not applicable on Azamara Quest May 24 and July 22, 2012 voyages. The number of veranda staterooms is limited. Club Oceanview to Club Veranda offer is available only on select European voyages. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Certain restrictions apply.

2012 ChoiceAir Credit and Club Oceanview to Club Veranda Upgrade are not available on Azamara Quest May 24 and July 22, 2012 voyages. Up to 50% off brochure rates, 50% off Land Discoveries (shore excursions) when booked online prior to sail date and gratuities included are applicable to the Azamara Quest May 24 and July 22, 2012 voyages.

Up to 50% Savings is based on full brochure fares available on AZAMARACLUBCRUISES.COM/2012RATES, AzamaraClubCruises.com/2012Rates, and is available on all 2012 voyages. Savings vary by sailing and stateroom category. Full brochure fares may not have resulted in actual sales. All booking tools, includingAZAMARACLUBCRUISES.COM and booking confirmation already reflect the 50% savings off brochure fares.

50% savings on 2012 Land Discoveries (LDS) is valid for full fare bookings on all 2012 voyages if pre-booked online at AZAMARACLUBCRUISES.COM/LANDDISCOVERIES, and is not available once onboard ship. LDS offers 50% savings on most Azamara Land Discoveries; but excludes tours including a flight and/or hotel, special ticketed events such as the Monaco Grand Prix, Rio Carnival, concerts and other ticketed performances, as well as private arrangements. Once guests have made at least one payment toward their voyage, Land Discoveries tours can be booked online beginning four months prior to each season. Booking number, ship name and sail date are required when booking online, and bookings can be made until 4 days prior to sailing date. LDS reservations accepted on a first come, first served basis, and are subject to availability. Onboard spending credits cannot be used towards 50% LDS bookings once onboard ship. LDS is not available for chartered voyages. Cancellation penalties apply to Land Discoveries reservations cancelled less than 24 hours prior to day of shore excursion.

Included gratuities are for housekeeping, dining and bar staff only, available on all Azamara Club Cruises voyages.

Source:  azamaraclubcruises.com

What's headed for Spring 2012

The challenge is the same industry-wide, said Alvin Dennis, vice president of purchasing and logistics at Norwegian Cruise Line. “Prices are going up across the board, especially for protein products.

“I have reached out to my counterparts at other cruise lines,” he continued, “and we are all on the same page. We will not do anything to diminish the product or affect the passenger experience negatively.”

Norwegian is vigorously pursuing new suppliers and looking for new products, according to Dennis. “We are looking for competitive suppliers,” he said, “but they must maintain our quality standards.

“We have taken our chefs to Europe together with a purchasing team to evaluate a number of items. We found many quality products that were price competitive.”

Without changing product specifications in terms of food and beverage, he said the industry will pay for quality, but is willing forego paying for brand names, if other products meet their requirements.

Thus, menus remain basically the same, the only changes some “freshing up” from time to time.

“We have to give the customers what they want,” Dennis said. “We have all gotten our marching orders: we cannot under any circumstances affect product quality negatively. All of us in our company have gotten the message, and I think the same goes for the other cruise lines.”

As for purchasing systems, Dennis noted that Norwegian has been using reverse auctions more, especially for hotel products, and to a lesser extent for food and beverage. However, in order for auctions to work, he said, there must be several suppliers bidding on very clear product specifications.

Because prices on food products tend to change more often, it is important to follow the markets. “You have to be attuned to markets,” he said. “There are times you can buy certain products and other times you should not. You have to time it right.”

As for new suppliers, he said vendors are welcome at Norwegian where they will be paired with the company’s specialist commodity group.

Vendors can also approach cruise line representatives at the Marine Hotel Association’s April conference and trade show in Orlando, according to Dennis, who is serving a two-year term as the elected president of the organization.

For example, just because there are many wine merchants participating, he said that “does not mean we will not talk to a new winery. Just approach us and talk to us.

“We have an open door policy. You never know where the next product will come from.”

The key words are pricing, service and quality. When a ship pulls away from the pier, the supplies have to be onboard. And there is a very limited delivery window.

“We want vendors to become more than suppliers,” Dennis added. “We want them to become our partners."

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Spring 2012

Royal Caribbean to bring second ship to Southampton as Adventurer of the Seas arrives in 2013

Written by Kari Reinikainen

Royal Caribbean International says it is celebrating an addition to its spring and summer UK deployment - in May 2013 the 3,114-guest Adventure of the Seas will offer cruises from Southampton alongside the 3,634-guest Independence of the Seas, based in Southampton for its fifth season.

Dominic Paul, vice president and group managing director, Royal Caribbean International, EMEA, explains: “The UK cruise market has long been a success story for Royal Caribbean International and doubling the number of ships sailing from Southampton is another great milestone. Royal Caribbean International is fiercely proud to have changed the face of UK cruising with the introduction of activity-packed ships offering rock climbing, ice skating, surfing and much more. Not only does having both Adventure of the Seas and Independence of the Seas sailing from Southampton mean we can offer a greater variety of cruise holidays from the convenience of a UK port, but it also means we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the UK market, and the port of Southampton .”

Royal Caribbean International first based a ship in Southampton in 2005 with the 2,435-guest Legend of the Seas and this has since steadily increased with larger and larger ships calling the cruise city home. 2013 is the first year that two Royal Caribbean International cruise ships will be based from Southampton .

In 2008 the world’s largest cruise ship at the time – Independence of the Seas – launched from Southampton and has remained based from the port during the spring and summer months of the year ever since. The addition of Adventure of the Seas to Royal Caribbean International’s UK deployment sees the cruise line offer more Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Iceland , Baltics and Canary Island cruises than ever before.


To read more of Kari Reinikainen, go to:  cruisebusiness.com

Great American Steamboat Company makes Agreement with Apollo Ship Chandlers

Apollo Ship Chandlers has signed an agreement with Great American Steamboat Company to provide a selection of management and training services to the startup company, headquartered in Memphis, TN.

Beginning March 1, 2012, for an initial 6 month period, Apollo will provide hands on service and sanitation training for the dining room and bar departments, as well as menu explanations and guest service training.

In the important area of bar revenue, Apollo will also bring wine service and knowledge training, cocktail training, and upselling techniques.

The agreement also covers the provision of standard operating procedures, USPH inspection before opening, and a USPH plan for the vessel. Initial visits will achieve these goals before the first revenue voyage scheduled for April 13, after which monthly follow up visits will ensure standards are being maintained.

Alaska for Summer 2013 - Oceania Returns

Oceania Cruises will return to the great state of Alaska from May through mid-August 2013 after a one-year hiatus. For the first time Seattle will provide the point of departure for many northern voyages.

In addition to two-for-one cruise fares, free air and bonus savings of up to $3,500 per stateroom, Oceania Cruises is offering two-for-one savings on its new Unlimited Passport Collection package. The special tour package promotion, which has a value of up to $999, will be available for those guests who book an Alaska cruise by June 30, 2012.

“Regatta is one of the smallest ships operating in Alaska providing our guests with a unique and intimate experience,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president. “With two-for-one savings on our unlimited shore excursion package, these voyages offer great value for travelers who wish to truly explore the The Last Frontier.”

Scenic highlights include cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage, the awe-inspiring Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord. The destination experience can be further enhanced with excursions such as a sea kayaking adventure in Kachemak Bay State Park, a day of fishing followed by an outdoor salmon bake or an expedition aboard a sled pulled by a husky team through Alaska’s rainforest.

Travelers can choose from seven itineraries:

Gateway to Alaska – 9 days between San Francisco and Vancouver, visiting Astoria, Oregon, Sitka, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Departure: May 9

Fjords & Frontiers – 7 days roundtrip from Vancouver. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka and Wrangell. Departure: May 19

Majesty of Alaska – 10 days between Vancouver and Seattle, a maiden port for Oceania Cruises, calling at Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Hoonah and Ketchikan. Departure: May 26

Alaskan Wonders – 7 days between Seattle and Vancouver, with visits to Sitka, Ketchikan and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Departures: June 5, June 12, June 29, Jul 6

Alaskan Wilderness – 10 days roundtrip from Seattle. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Hoonah, Sitka and Victoria, BC. Departures: June 19, Jul 13

Glacial Passage – 7 days between Seattle and Vancouver, calling at Sitka, Wrangell and Ketchikan. Departures: Jul 23, Jul 30, Aug 6

Alaskan Grandeur – 10 days between Vancouver and San Francisco, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Victoria, BC and Astoria, Oregon. Departure: Aug 13


Princess Cruises Puts Denali on Sale March 5-15

Lowest Alaska Cruisetour Fares of the Season Begin at $799

With Princess Cruises’ new Denali on Sale promotion, passengers can take advantage of the lowest Alaska cruisetour fares of the season. The sale, which runs from March 5-15, features special rates on land and sea vacations to the state’s most popular inland attraction – Denali National Park with its magnificent Mt. McKinley.

Denali Explorer cruisetours begin at just $799 per person for a 10-day vacation, including a seven-day Alaska cruisewith a land tour into the Alaska wilderness to see the majesty of Denali, and North America’s tallest peak. Travelers will enjoy accommodations at Princess’ own wilderness lodges and exclusive rail car service.

“We continually receive accolades for our Alaska experience, and this sale makes it more affordable than ever to take advantage of the fantastic vacations we provide in the Great Land,” said Jan Swartz, executive vice president of Princess Cruises.

Examples of Denali on Sale fares include:

10-night Fairbanks to Vancouver Denali Explorer cruisetour: $799 interior (was $1,248)

11-night Anchorage to Vancouver Denali Explorer cruisetour: $1,049 interior (was $1,948)

12-night Vancouver to Fairbanks Denali Explorer cruisetour: $1,199 interior (was $1,698)

All fares are per person based on double occupancy.

Denali on Sale runs from 12:01am on March 5 through 11:59pm PST on March 15, 2012. Sale prices are available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS ( 1-800-774-6237 ), or by visiting the company's website athttp://www.princess.com.

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company operating a fleet of 16 modern ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided in an environment of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess carries 1.3 million passengers each year to destinations around the globe ranging in length from seven to 107 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc.

Princess Cruises is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises and Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World’s Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations. Visit us at http://www.worldsleadingcruiselines.com.

Find us:
Blog: InspiredToCruise.com
Facebook: facebook.com/PrincessCruises
Twitter: twitter.com/PrincessCruises
YouTube: youtube.com/princesscruises
Flickr: flickr.com/photos/princesscruises
Pandora: princess.com/radio
Newsroom: princess.com/news
Google+: https://plus.google.com/

Source:  prweb.com

Silversea implements trim optimisation technology

Cruise operator Silversea Cruises has implemented a real-time dynamic trim optimisation technology system from Finnish company Eniram, with the hope of cutting its fuel costs by around 3 per cent on long distance voyages.

The Italian cruise operator, headquartered in Monaco, has now deployed the software on two of its long-distance cruise ships, Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper, along with onshore systems to ensure consistency when crews change on its vessels.

Eniram’s technology continually measures a vessel’s trim during a voyage and informs the crew of the optimum level, with the aim of maximising fuel efficiency while reducing emissions.

“Ships operate with big fixed costs so our aim as an operator is always to maximise efficiency,” explains Christian Sauleau, executive VP of fleet operations at Silversea.

“Fuel is one of the biggest costs, and prices have soared over the last 2-3 years so we are keen to keep associated expenditure under careful control.”

“Several other operators we know use Eniram tools and report that they are working well. We understand we can expect to make a 2-3 per cent saving on fuel, which is a conservative estimate. When you’re talking about an annual consumption rate of around 70,000 tons, the figures will soon add up.”

Silversea’s strategy has been to begin with deployment on the vessels travelling the longest distances, such as its cruise liner operating around Australia, for example.

“The technology offers maximum results at the highest speeds and for the longest distances. While we don’t have ferries, we do cover long distances,” said Mr Sauleau.

The company says that it expects to report results of the deployment within 2-3 months, following analysis of the data collected.

This will be supported by Eniram’s analytics and reporting services, also part of the agreement with Silversea, which uses the data collected from the vessels for further analysis to help the operator identify additional efficiencies.

Commenting on the deployment, Eniram’s CEO, Philip Padfield, said, “We are delighted to be working with such a prestigious and exclusive cruise operator as Silversea Cruises, and look forward to helping the company derive new efficiencies in fuel consumption and reduce environmental impact.”

Eniram’s dynamic decision support technology is used by more than 50 cruise ships, with a further 20 currently in the process of implementing the technology.

Cunard Announces New Media Developments

Cunard Line has revitalised its media portfolio with a series of new developments. The website features a fresh look for the homepage, with enhancements that offer a more user-friendly experience; the "We Are Cunard" blog has re-launched with improved navigation; a new Queen Mary 2 infographic brings the details of the iconic ocean liner to life in a new sharable format; and the line's third Interactive Voyage - where Facebook users review and suggest daily activities during a Queen Mary 2 trans-Atlantic Crossing - attracted nearly 50,000 interactions and comments.

"Research tells us that more and more guests begin their journeys with us online, checking out our website, interacting on Facebook or reading the blog. Keeping our online material fresh, accessible, engaging and relevant is the best way to bring the whole voyage experience to life, and gives people a sense of how special a Cunard voyage really is," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.

The revitalised website has a faster site speed and is guided by recent research findings. It prioritises improvements to the visitor experience, featuring better search engine optimisation, and flash-free slideshows that can display on iPhones and iPads.

Unique visitor numbers to the website increased by 35% in 2011, a trend the new design seeks to further accelerate. On the social media side, there have been over 750,000 views of Cunard's YouTube channel to date, the Cunard blog has had over 777,000 visits from 200 countries since 2009 and Cunard's Facebook page has just reached 55,000 fans, while the brand has over 7,000 Twitter followers.

Website Highlights:
** Improved Homepage - Features a more modern design, faster download times and better navigation to enhance the user experience, plus more links showcasing new site content, and product developments:
* strong iconic brand imagery in the main homepage slideshow with ability to add messages and links per
slide, bringing the ships to life
* flash-free slideshows that can display on iPhones and iPads
* four images on the homepage feature drop down menus for click-throughs to more information
* a new box has been introduced for fast access to latest news, blog and videos
* easy sign-up for Special Offers
** Search by voyage number - The introduction of a specific search by voyage number feature improves the user journey and ease of fast booking.
** Responsive content - Heading displays will alter according to what users are looking for; i.e., the most popular ports/most popular pages will appear as links in the footer.
** Google + - Cunard now has a brand page on Google+.

Infographic
The infographic is an image of Queen Mary 2 displaying fun facts and figures about a typical trans-Atlantic Crossing aboard Cunard's flagship, the largest ocean liner ever built. The new template also includes social media share buttons, to encourage pass-on to friends.

Interactive Voyage
A member of Cunard's online team recently travelled aboard Queen Mary 2 for an interactive trans-Atlantic Crossing whereby Facebook users could request what the traveller did each day; dining, entertainment and daily activity options were all decided by the line's Facebook fans. The voyage attracted over 3,000 additional fans and the number of interactions dramatically increased, with clicks on photos boosted from below 700 per day to over 47,000. Click here to see the photo album.

For more information about Cunard or to book a voyage, call toll-free 1-800-728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com.

Source:  cunard.com

European River Cruising on the Rise

With 12 new ships and more destinations, European river cruising is on the up.

6 March 2012: European river cruising is on the up as more Brits chose to sail the region’s waterways in 2011. Figures released today by the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) show the UK European river cruise market increased by seven per cent in 2011 to 80,000 passengers.

The number of British passengers choosing a combined cruise along both the Rhine and Danube doubled, while the French rivers of the Rhone and Seine saw a combined increase of 28 per cent.

Further afield, the Russian waterways saw an 11 per cent increase while the number of holidaymakers taking river journeys in Asia and China rose by six per cent.

The trend for cruising the world’s river continued to grow and, with the exclusion of The Nile, saw a five per cent increase in the number of UK passengers enjoying a river cruise.

The political unrest in Egypt saw the number of Nile cruises taken by British passengers fall by fifty seven per cent to 25,000.

The average price paid for a river cruise in 2011 rose to £1,574 compared with £1,367 in 2011 with the total value of the UK river cruise market being approximately £179 million.

As European river cruises in particular continue to grow in popularity, PSA director Bill Gibbons said “The appeal of a river journey has never been stronger. Passengers enjoy panoramic landscapes together with easy access to explore the heart of great cities and towns, and all while just unpacking once. 2012 will see the launch of 12 new river cruise vessels, a number which feature suites and balconies, together with some wonderful new itineraries.”

Visit www.discovercruises.co.uk, home of cruising, to start planning your escape.

Story of the Two Grand Ladies - with Arthur and Patricia Parsons

Patricia and Arthur Parsons
One of the things I love to do is research the internet. My enjoyment is informing readers of the variety of events concerning cruising, river cruising, ferries, deals and more. Along in doing that, I like to take a step ahead in my want to find that ‘little something’ which adds a touch of class, a new perspective or just a good story to read. I have found just that. Let me introduce to you Arthur and Patricia Parsons, The Discerning Travelers. This couple have a creative and delightful blog of their traveling encounters which have been written from a discerning eye and viewpoint. Like many of us, we are looking of our own niche in travel. Doesn’t have to be like someone else, or, duplicated in kind. Those who love to travel, never get bored of reading how someone else took their journey. Reading stories only encourages us to travel, encourages us to interact and encourages us to step out of our comfort zone.

I came upon one of their stories titled, “Two Grand Ladies of the Sea: The Original Queen Mary and Queen Mary 2”. I enjoyed this read so much I contacted them to show my appreciation. Their story shows how a ship’s life can indeed bring about a certain type of curiosity. How a ship’s life can bring about good feelings. And, how a ship’s life brings about the joy of what cruising means. We are lucky to be able to visit the new mega ships of today and at the very same time, visit the mega ships of old dreaming of the grandeur that once was.

Here is how the story of Two Grand Ladies begins:

“When we crossed a trans-Atlantic voyage on a grand ocean liner off our bucket list last summer, we were hooked by the nostalgia of the grand ocean voyages of yesteryear. On board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 with us on that voyage was a lecturer named William H. Miller (aka “Mr. Ocean Liner”) whose standing-room-only presentations that week were so mesmerizing that we bought one of his books.[1] When we read his description of the original Queen Mary as the most “beloved” of the ocean liners, we wondered whether her “daughter” the new Queen Mary 2 might in some ways resemble her earlier incarnation. Then, several synchronicities happened.

First, our son said, “I’m going to be in Los Angeles in February. Why don’t you two come and meet me before you go to Hawaii?”

Second, we started to explore activities in the LA area and discovered that the original Queen Mary is docked in Long Beach, California, a 20-minute drive from where we’d be staying in Costa Mesa.

Finally, Patty’s 89-year-old mother said, “You know, I’m sure your father came home from Europe [after fighting in WW II] on the Queen Mary.”

…so we knew we’d have to visit her…and we did.”

Click here to read more of their story and view their photos, you won’t be disappointed:    
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