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Protecting The Privacy Of Passengers

The much-publicized (can you say 24/7 on TV?) hacking at Sony this month once again raised the issue of cyber security in every business, which of course includes cruise lines.

While all of them have to pay close attention to the issue, it appears that Carnival was a little ahead of the curve, hiring a specialist with a long history in a similar position with Supervalu, a $37 billion grocery retail and supply chain.

With good reason.

Carnival the Cruise Line is the tip of the “Internet Iceberg.” Carnival the Corporation is the whole iceberg and it includes the following cruise lines (in case you never knew or have Gary Eppingerforgotten): Holland America, Cunard, Princess, P&O, Seabourn, Costa, AIDA, P&O Australia and Iberocruceros (Spain).

Pretty much a world-wide iceberg, right?

Several months ago, Carnival (the Corporation) hired a security expert, Gary Eppinger. After you strip away his lengthy vice-president’s title and list of responsibilities, his primary duty is to make sure the privacy of passengers on ships from all 10 brands is protected…as much as personal information can be protected.

“Millions of customers go onto our ships every year,” he told Travel Pulse. “We look at our ships as floating cities with gambling, hospitals, multiple retail stores, and everything’s connected to your room key. Security is critical for us, because of this huge installed base of customer information. There are things we can do and have done and are doing to put us in a better position to reduce our exposure and risk.”

Reduce? That’s right…there are no absolute guarantees in cyberspace.

“Our navigation systems are in a segregated offline network, so we built controls in place to prohibit things like that happening,” Eppinger explained in the Travel Pulse story. “But with every wall you put up, somebody’s always trying to break in, through or around that wall. We do look at it continuously, and whatever the odds are, they’re still too high.”

Carnival, and every business, knows they are at risk of…becoming another Sony.

Today at portsandbows.com: The most popular 'long' cruises

Carnival Ecstasy
4 nights
February 2, 2015
Miami (return): Key WestCozumel
Inside: $169
Cost per day: $42

The Cruise Ship That's Always First


You know what they say about the first time, right? Whether it's your first boyfriend or girlfriend, your first job, your first holiday, or your first…well, you get the idea. It's special and, whether the experience is good or bad, it's unforgettable.

Let us tell you about our first cruise ship.

It was 1991, or thereabouts. The ship was the Carnival Jubilee. Mexican Riviera cruise, seven days, with the usual stops. Our waiter in the dining room — same time, same table, every night — was from Jamaica and his name was Rochester. We even exchanged addresses.

For a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with Rochester, our maiden cruise was mediocre at best. Then again, what did we know? We were neophytes on a cruise ship and in those days smoking was permitted pretty well everywhere on ships and that, with three children, contributed to the experience's mediocrity.

Cruise lines have changed, and so have we. So has the Jubilee.

She was a fairly new ship then, which means today she is a fairly old ship. A ship's sea life is usually about 35 years, and the "Jubilee" is now 26, sailing up on her retirement years. Carnival sold — or transferred her — to P&O Australia eight years ago and the Jubilee immediately became known as the Pacific Sun.

Yesterday, our friend and colleague Phil Reimer at portsandbows.com reported that the Pacific Sun ended her cruise career on Monday, in Australia. She has been sold — and this time it is not a company transfer — to interests in China, where she will end her sea days as a cruise ship under another name. That's the most fertile part of the world for cruising, because of the numbers of people who have and haven't ever been on a ship.

For them, the "Jubilee" will also be their first time.

Carnival Spirit
12 nights
September 18, 2012
Vancouver, Kona, Kauai, Hilo, Kahului, Honolulu
Inside: $1,199
Cost per day: $99

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