Cruising Notes on the Boats

Ship: Norwegian Pearl, 7 days, Seattle to Glacier Bay, Alaska (round trip)
Departures: May 15 and selected dates
Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Victoria
: Inside staterooms $699
Bonus: Upgrade — Oceanview at $849 upgraded to balcony
Contact: Norwegian Cruise Line

* * *

The world’s most prolific cruise blogger, certainly in terms of word count, has to be John Heald from Carnival Cruise Lines…Next week a thousand travel agents will get a chance to see if he’s just as wordy in person and, as a cruise director, odds are that he is…Heald and Carnival President/CEO Gerry Cahill will be on the Splendor — that’s the ship nobody wanted to go on after it lost power off the coast of San Diego in November — in something of a pep rally to return the Splendor to its former status, at least…On his blog, Heald pays tribute to the behavior of his boss during the crisis: “He was in the command center in Miami all the time. He slept in his office and he made the instant decision to give the guests the compensation that was heralded by all. He also came to San Diego when the ship arrived and he came on board, put his bags down on the bridge and then walked the ship talking to many different guests and helped some by carrying their bags off the ship”…As it happened, Heald was on the ship when it caught fire…Repairing the Splendor took two weeks in San Francisco, the only West Coast facility large enough to get a ship so big completely out of the water.

* * *
You may have read about Qsine, arguably the most unique restaurant at sea, on Celebrity’s Eclipse…It costs $30, it’s small servings of tapas and shrimp and many dishes, and orders are placed — by table — on an iPad (left), which also has a place for diners to enter wine tasting notes…Anyway, Qsine was such a hit that Celebrity is making it a staple on other ships…When the next new ship (Silhouette) arrives in July, it will have one of course, but the Infinity gets a Qsine during a “revitalization” in December, the first Millennium Class ships to get one…The other three ships in that class — Millennium, Summit and Constellation — are due for refurbishing between next January and April 2013…More Qsines?…Duh!…On the subject of refurbishments, Royal Caribbean is sending Radiance of the Seas to Victoria, British Columbia for one and then it’s off to Australia following a summer of Alaska cruises…The Radiance will be in drydock for a month, so it must be quite the refurb.

* * *
The Grand Princess will get the same treatment (okay, similar) for 24 days in Freeport, Bahamas…The makeover, announced Thursday, will be the largest ever undertaken by Princess, and includes replacing Skywalker’s on Deck 18 with a new nightclub called One 5 on Deck 15, which will improve the ship’s operational performance, including fuel efficiency…Who figures out these things?…And how?…The “before” photo and “after” artist rendering of the Grand Princess (above) that will emerge from drydock in the spring help to explain it…Australia’s cruising expansion is continuing…Carnival is sending its Spirit “Down Under” and it’s a permanent move, or as permanent as moving cruise ships ever is…When the Spirit arrives in Sydney in October 2012, it will be the largest cruise ship ever to sail year-round in Australia…That will bring to seven the number of ships owned by Carnival Corporation that are 12-month residents…Four years ago, there were two ships based year-round in Australia…It’s becoming quite an exodus from North America, with Norwegian’s taking four ships to Europe, where Royal Caribbean is going to relocate its Mariner of the SeasDisney celebrated yesterday the laying of the keel of its new ship Fantasy, at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, a traditional milestone that’s marked by placing a coin under the keel for good luck…Company President Karl Holz and Minnie Mouse officiated…The Fantasy is now a year away from completion.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

  • Categories

  • Archives