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Cruise Suits, Sickness and Singapore

Headline: Costa settles for $1.31 million

The first reaction to this was something like "Who bought off the Italian judge?"

However, on digging deeper (it's called reading further),  the settlement over the Costa Concordia accident last year is really a fine that means no criminal charges against the cruise line, ending potential liability with the state of Italy. Under Italian law, it's close to the maximum fine allowed.

It does not, however, mean that Costa can't be sued privately by passengers or crew members, nor does it let Captain Schettino off the legal hook.

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Headline: More bad news for Carnival

This is not a headline from last week, or the week before, or the week before that. It seems every time Carnival turns a rudder, it's losing another soldier in the PR battle.

This one is yet another Carnival ship that didn't wash behind the ears properly. The Fascination failed a cleanliness test administered by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, with a score of 84. The ears are only clean if the score is 86.

Carnival reacted with typical damage control: ""In the past five years, no Carnival ship has failed a U.S.P.H. inspection and the fleet's average score during that time period is 97. The average over 20 inspections already conducted in 2013 is 97.2."

Danmage control is a weekly headline, too.

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Headline: Singapore new cruising hotspot

As the world's fourth leading financial center with one of the five busiest ports anywhere, Singapore has always been something of a hotspot for ships.

But not necessarily cruise ships.

With the growth of CIA (Cruising In Asia), both Princess and Royal Caribbean are expanding their stakes in the area. Princess is dispatching the Sapphire Princess (below)for four months and 15 round-trip cruises, with more destinations than any competitor. Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas left Singapore last week…and was replaced by Mariner of the Seas, which carries 3,114 passengers, or 50 per cent more than the Legend.

"Princess Cruises will be the first premium cruise line to have ships based in Singapore for an extended period," said President and CEO Alan Buckelew.

You can be sure this isn't the end of CIA stories.

Golden Princess
17 nights
December 4, 2013
Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, San Juan del Sur, Puntarenas, Lima, La Serena, Santiago
Inside: $1,399
Cost per day: $82

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