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Shaking Hands With Cruise Captains

This is a sign of the apocalypse: Don’t shake hands with the captain of your cruise ship.



According to a recent story in London’s Daily Mail online edition, captains have been warned about shaking hands with passengers, lest they be infected with the dreaded Captain-Princessgastrointestinal illness that we are encouraged to believe only happens on cruise ships.

Oops. We’re guilty. We’ve met captains on almost every cruise ship we’ve been on, usually for an interview, and without fail we have shaken hands probably before and after the interviews. We may be just doing elbow bumps in the future.

The Mail’s story included this message from Crystal Cruises to its guests who may be attending a reception attended by the captain.

“While the captain is pleased to meet you, he and the other staff receiving you refrain from shaking hands in order to provide the most effective preventative sanitary measures.”

Apparently, this has been Crystal’s policy for seven years. Unlike norovirus, it hasn’t spread through the industry, but it could. Or common sense could prevail because, in the words of the Cruise Lines International Association: “You are 750 times more likely to get norovirus on land than on a cruise ship.”

There is another alternative to avoid spreading germs: Wash your hands before meeting the captain.

But that’s old-fashioned and most un-apocalyptic.

In the news…

• Cruise ships bypass Bermuda because of Hurricane Joaquin
• Multi-year partnership for Carnival and New Orleans Saints
• Severe weather delays start of New Zealand cruise season

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Norwegian Sun
17 nights
November 4, 2015
San Diego, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, Puerto Quetzal, Puntarenas, Salaverry, Lima, Arica, Coquimbo, Santiago
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $35

New Threats To Cruise Passengers

This is one of those stories we don’t want to tell, and shouldn’t have to tell, but there is really no choice.

It’s about terrorists.

You know how your life has changed when boarding planes, with security personnel checking everything but the dirt under your fingernails? You know how when you’re walking the streets of a big city, or even a small town, you’re supposed to be aware not just of your surroundings but also the people who inhabit them? You know how in the interests of public safety, you have to be suspicious of virtually everybody?

Well, shipmates, get ready.

According to the Associated Press, would-be jihadists are booking tickets on cruise ships. They’re using ships to get them to Turkey, specifically, so they can join the battles in Syria and Iraq. The news surfaced at an Interpol conference this week in Monaco and the conclusion was for accelerated screening at transportation hubs…”airports and, more and more, cruise lines.”

The intelligentsia say that the terrorists, because they know it’s getting tougher for them to board planes, are taking to the seas. A statement from Cruise Lines International Association, to which almost all cruise lines belong, maintained that cruise-ship security is taken as seriously as airline security, and that passengers manifests are shared with U.S. authorities.

What is left unsaid is the threat that these unwelcome jihadists will use cruise ships for more than transportation…instead, as a final destination.

Either way, that terrorists are known to be boarding ships is dreadful news for the passengers, and for the industry.

Today at portsandbows.com: Closer look at Royal Caribbean's new ship

Holland America Zaandam
14 nights
December 8, 2014
Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Port Stanley, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Horn, Sarmiento Canal, Chilean Fjords, Puerto Montt, Santiago
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $42

New Name For Cruise Sales' Big Week


Once a year, the entire cruise industry stages its biggest promotion, when everything goes on sale but the ships themselves. It’s hyped as the “World’s Largest Cruise Sale” because it’s time for — drum roll, please — Cruise Lines International Association’s National Cruise Vacation Week.

Now there’s a mouthful.

Or was.

Starting next week, when the 2014 sale begins, it will be called CLIA Cruise Week. Bet that one day we’ll just be calling it “Cruise Week.”

This is all about branding, marking and words that don’t fill your mouth. CLIA’s acronym has become better known in public. The words “National” and “Vacation” were unnecessary or redundant or both, especially since the promotion is going more international. And it is only one week every year so if everybody in cruising  knows what happens the first full week of October, Cruise Week should suffice.

Nobody calls it World Series Week, do they?

Today at portsandbows.com: One special cruise from Houston

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
4 nights
October 13, 2014
Miami (return): Nassau, Coco Cay, Key West
Inside: $119
Cost per day: $29

Big Easy — No. 6 in cruising


Next month, it will be eight years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. At the time, there was some doubt if the most famous city below sea level would ever recover.

Not that this makes the recovery complete by any means, but the cruise news from New Orleans is all good. More cruises, more passengers, more money…and if ever a city outside of Detroit needed a kick in the economy, it was Nawlins.

Here are some figures, courtesy of the Cruise Lines International Association:

• Number of passengers in 2012 almost a million, up 32 per cent from 2011

• Cruise industry spending of $399 million, up 42.5 per cent

• Jobs generated — 7,548, or 2,036 more than the previous year

• Income from jobs generated — $294 million, up 39 per cent

• 80 per cent of the passengers from out of state, and 60 per cent of them spend at least two nights in the city before or after cruising

• Money spent by passengers and cruise ship crews of $78.4 million, more than half of it from lodging, food and beverage

As a result, New Orleans has moved up three spots and is No. 6 among the largest cruise ports in the U.S. Some of it comes from the altruistic and ongoing desire to help the city hit so hard by violent weather. Some of it is just because New Orleans is New Orleans.

Celebrity Millennium
11 nights
October 22, 2013
EnsenadaLahaina, Nawilwili, Kilauea Volcano, HiloKonaHonolulu
Inside: $949
Cost per day: $86

National Cruise Vacation Week

Time is running out. Isn't it always? This time it's for taking advantage of cruise deals during National Cruise Vacation Week.

It ends on Saturday. Every cruise line has saved something for this alleged "best week of the year to book a cruise." That may be subjective, but this week does attract attention to cruising, and it does have some specials that are used to market lines and ships.

The best place to see what's available is the Cruise Lines International Association website: www.cruising.org/vacation/national-cruise-vacation-week-specials.

It was CLIA that came up with this…er, idea, but some of us think every week you're on a cruise ship is National Cruise Vacation Week.

And it's you who can take advantage of it!

Crown Princess
20 nights
December 2, 2012
Venice, Rome, Florence, Cannes, Barcelona, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada, Fort Lauderdale, Galveston
Inside: $905
Cost per day: $45

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