Be on time, it's all the ask. Know when the ship is leaving. Allow time to get back. Don't take excursions you don't know will return or that the cruise line can't track. And by the way, the ship will in fact leave with the other 3,998 passengers even if you aren't onboard. You might want to consider all of those things especially important when your kids and family are not coming with you from a cruise ship two days from home.
In the mid-1990s Disney stirred the waters when it commissioned the 85,000 GRT Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, their first wholey owned, purpose built cruiser ships. After unprecedented amounts of hands-on design and oversight the ships took the cruise industry by storm. In 2009 work began on the much anticipated follow-ups, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, larger than their younger sisters at 129,000 GRT. Now coming in 2021 and 2023 come the unnamed 135,000 GRT twins. Names and details yet to released.
RCI named a most ethical company
The Ethisphere Institute named Royal Caribbean among the worlds "Most Ethical Companies" in its tenth anniversary edition of the designation. "Tomorrow or 10 years from now, there is no substitute for doing the right thing," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Customers expect it, shareholders demand it, and we try to live it every day."
Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%) and provided to all companies who participate in the process. In the U.S. companies including Ford and GE were among the recipients of the designation in 2016. A full list of the honorees can be found here.
MSC announces wellness program
MSC Cruises is adding a new program for passengers who want to make the most of the fitness options aboard their fleet. The "Wellness Experience" will be available to up to 100 passengers per cruise. "We're taking [wellness programs] to a different level," said Ken Muskat, executive vice president at MSC Cruises. "This is starting before the cruise ... continues during the cruise and hopefully after the cruise."
Cuba restricts cruise passengers.
Carnival Cruises will be the first major U.S. cruise line to sail directly to Cuba in a few weeks. However the Cuban government has issued rules which prevent Cuban-Americans from visiting the island from cruise ships. This is a break from the policy that does allow Cuban-American's to travel by air however and Carnival believes there will be changes before the initial cruise takes place. “We continue to believe that Cuba will modify its regulation before we sail on May 1 based on our ongoing discussions with Cuban officials,” said Carnival spokesperson Roger Frizzell.
Texan falls off the ship
A 46 year old man from Texas fell off the Navigator of the Seas last month and is presumed lost 40 miles south of Key West, Florida. The passenger was said to have fallen over 100 feet and likely stunned or knocked unconscious if he survived at all. The late cruiser would be the second passenger lost due to falling overboard in 2016.
Two ships served as the physical location of the landmark 70s TV show “The Love Boat. They were the identical twins Pacific Princess and the Sun Princess. In reality the Sun Princess was more commonly used due to her itineraries and the shows filming season. Built in France in 1972, the ship carried approximately 750 passengers and weight 20,636 gross register tonnes.
After passing between several owners until falling into the hands of a now inactive Chinese corporation. Renamed the Ocean Dream, the ship was anchored near Tialand where it was abandoned by its owner nearly two years ago. After a final move the ship sat without a crew until capsizing. Sadly this almost certainly spells the end of the ship as local authorities are looking into hiring a salvage company to raise and scrap the ship.
Anthem Lawsuits begin
Life, death, taxes and ambulance chasing lawyers. When you first read about the Anthem of the Seas encountering intense weather during a sailing out of Bayonne a couple of weeks ago, you likely mentally wondered how long it would take somebody to sue. The answer to that was slightly less than two weeks as two lawsuits are known to have been filed. One by a known passenger, the other by a law office specializing in suing the cruise lines. Indeed the law office tried to follow the Cruise Aficionados Instagram feed as the event was taking place-and was blocked since I have little use for people trolling my readers for clients. For that matter one passenger who seemed intent on filing a lawsuit before he even got to land had to be deleted and blocked.
Little is expected to come of the lawsuits according to most analysts commenting on the news this week. The cruise lines are well versed in dealing with such things and the explicit language of most cruise documents calls out what they are responsible for. Given the refunds and additional compensation offered, the lack of serious injuries, and the eyebrow raising but not undefendable choice to let the ship sale, you can assume not much will come of the effort.
Anthem hit by norovirus…..and bad weather
It was also not the best of weeks for Anthem of the Seas in general. The latest sailing this week was compelled to turn back according to problematic weather two days early. It appears that some passengers were also showing signs of the Norovirus at the time the ship changed it’s itinerary. Given the percentage of the nearly 4,000 passengers who would have had to displayed full symptoms, it isn’t likely the ship would have been forced back to port due to Norovirus early. Not that the ship wouldn’t have had issues by the end of the cruise.
Ugly Americans Get Pinched in Cozumel
The depths of tackiness cannot be overstated here. Two passengers from a Carnival Cruise Line ship in Cozumel were arrested by local police after store owners saw them stealing several items in the Royal Village Plaza. The 20 year old woman and her 37 year old male companion, both from Arizona, were taken to the local jail and from social media reports, their bags and passports were taken off the ship. The thieves tried to give the items back but I’m sure to their shock, the store owners understandably pressed charges.
Norwegian Names Joy
We will end this week’s Five Things with a bit of Joy. Norwegian Cruise Line has named its latest ship the “Norwegian Joy,” and the second “Breakaway-plus” class ship will be dedicated to the Chinese market explicitly. The original name was intended to be the Norwegian Bliss.