Tag-Archive for » Port Everglades «

More ships, voyages for Windstar

Windstar, the yacht-style cruise line that has grown from bankruptcy four years ago to a fleet of six ships by summer, has unveiled its collection of voyages for 2016…There are 11 new ones and 30 new ports that Windstar ships will visit, all of it made possible by the addition of the Star Breeze and Star Legend this spring, following appropriate Star Priderefurbishment…Until they go into drydock, the ships will continue sailing as the Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend…Then they’ll join another former Seabourn ship, now Windstar’s Star Pride (above), which has been flying under the new cruise flag for almost a year…The most intriguing of the new itineraries is a circumnavigation of Iceland on the Star Legend, from Reykjavik to Reykjavik in seven days at the beginning of July (least amount of ice?)…The fare is currently listed at $3,399 per person.

Richard BransonWhen our colleague Phil Reimer was writing about Richard Branson and his Virgin Cruises of the future last week, another layer of the story was unfolding…Colin Veitch, the former Norwegian executive whom Branson recruited to be a founding partner, is suing the magnetic entrepreneur because he claims he could’ve made $315 million before Branson dumped him…The suit is based on Veitch’s contention that it was his financing plan Branson used to start the new venture, which will apparently start with a pair of 4,200-passenger ships designed to attract young travelers…The question about the concept is this: Are there enough “young travelers” with enough vacation time to keep two big ships full year-round.

The folks who live and work around the cruise ship terminal in Fort Lauderdale have been used to seeing the twin towers of cruising, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, coming and going on alternating weeks…Oasis is moving to Port Canaveral next year, following the cruise line’s investment in a new terminal that opened in December…It will be replaced in Fort Lauderdale by Harmony of the Seas, the third Oasis - LabadeeOasis Class ship that will arrive next fall, so maybe the people who live and work around the Port Everglades terminal won’t even notice that Oasis is gone — unless they read the bold type on the side of the ship.

On the theory that there’s strength in numbers, seven Indian Ocean islands are sending representatives to wherever cruise executives gather to generate business for their ports…The seven include the Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Maldives and three most of us have never heard of, let alone visited…This month, they were at a tourism trade fair in Germany and managed to convince Costa Cruises to consider having more of a presence in the islands, which its ships visit, and to give residents a chance to board ships for round-the-islands cruises…The islanders are offering pre- and post-cruise shore excursions that include an African safari…Geography is perhaps the biggest problem — the islands are in the same hemisphere as Somalia…Can you say “pirates?”

Today at portsandbows.com: Royal Caribbean's next biggest ship coming

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
4 nights
August 24, 2015
Miami (return): Nassau, Coco Cay, Key West
Inside: $219
Cost per day: $54

Company For World's Top Cruise Ports

Miami…Fort Lauderdale…Port Rashid…

Notice the apparent disconnect?

Well, not so fast.

The acknowledged kinds of cruise ports are  Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Proven to send more than eight million people off on their favorite cruise ships every year. Gateways to the Caribbean, primarily, and that’s still where most people go on their first cruise. Also their second, third, fourth…

Port Rashid?

That’s the new, world-class cruise port in Dubai. It opened on Friday. It is the largest cruise terminal in the world, and there’s a lot of that kind of thing happening in the Port Rashidoil-rich United Arab Emirates, probably for decades now. It’s capable of handling 14,000 passengers every day. Joining two older terminals at the port, it’s capable of handling more than seven million passengers every year.

That’s almost Miami and Fort Lauderdale combined.

Granted, it’s still speculation…and this is the Middle East.

Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) was Porthole Cruise Magazine’s “Best Domestic Port” and “World’s Top Cruise Port” in 2013. It was home to nine cruise lines, 43 cruise ships and several times broke daily records for number of passengers processed.

Is there a challenger on the horizon?

Today at portsandbows.com: Amber Cove…coming in 2015

Crown Princess
3 nights
January 3, 2015
Los Angeles (return): Ensenada
Inside: $149
Cost per day: $49

Relief for Customs Lines in Florida?

Twice last month we disembarked from a cruise ship at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. The first time, there was a short delay in clearing customs. The second time, it felt like we were at Disneyland or Disney World, in one of those never-ending lines that keep moving to think you're making progress.

Yesterday…good news.

Port Everglades is one of 16 partners in a program which allows for additional customs officers when required. As in…when a cruise ship arrives.

It's no surprise to port officials that Customs is often short-staffed when cruise passengers are leaving ships but, until now, there was no solution. Especially in Port Port EvergladesEverglades, where two 6,000-passenger ships — Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas — come and go every week.

Now there is a solution, providing the port's customers (the cruise lines) request and pay for additional service.

Yes, it could have the hint of a "new tax" for cruise passengers…doesn't it? Or maybe it'll just be buried in the cost of your cruise.

Phil Reimer today: Seabourn expanding 2015-16 itineraries

Celebrity Summit
7 nights
November 1, 2014
San Juan (return): BarbadosSt. LuciaAntiguaSt. MaartenSt. Thomas
Inside $399
Cost per day: $57

Gr-eight Day at Port Everglades


Good friends of ours (also travel writers) — Harry and Joan Shattuck — stepped off Holland America's Eurodam and into history last weekend in Fort Lauderdale. Stepping into history is always memorable, if nothing else.

The occasion was eight ships — including the mighty Oasis of the Seas — in a port at the same time. This will happen six times this cruise season at Port Everglades, but last weekend was the first time passengers on ships from the Carnival family were able to be processed getting on and off a ship simultaneously.

This was happening in four terminals, numbers 2, 19, 21 and 26. That's where an estimated 25 million cruise passengers from Carnival-brand ships will experience the upgrade over the next 15 years. This, in turn, is worth $500 million to the port. The $54-million renovation has been in the works, on time and under budget, for almost three years since Carnival and the county agreed on their respective commitments.

As much as it was historic for passengers to be getting on and off Carnival, Holland America and Princess ships at the same time, it brings the process in line with what has been happening at Terminal 18 for two years. That's where Oasis and Allure of the Seas passengers have been experience a similar process for two years…in a terminal built following an agreement between Royal Caribbean and the port.

On days like last Saturday, the modernization and ease of transport is appreciated when eight ships are in port. Incidentally, that will happen again next Saturday (December 1)…and four more times by next spring.

But nothing's quite like that historic first.

Oceania Riviera
10 nights
February 22, 2013
Miami (return): Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Santo Thomas de Castilla, Belize, Costa Maya
Balcony: $3,355
Cost per day: $335

Cruise Radio for the cruiser who…

Are you one of those people who can't get enough cruising? Not just "cruising" on ships, but knowing about cruising?

If so, check out Cruise Radio?

Having spent five years of my career in radio, and having a new iPad that still needed exploring, I was at least curious. So I went to the Apple Store and downloaded the app, for 99 cents. Getting an idea for today's blog made it more than a good investment. With a little instruction from my partner in cruising and in life, I was even able to tune in to Cruise Radio. Yes, on the iPad.

I didn't listen for a long time — there were things to do, like write this — but long enough to find out that:

• The $150 million Carnival "promised" Mexico it would spend on Mexican ports was only a "possibility" and that it had to include Calica, the Mayan port that vehemently rejected previous attempts, and Puerto Cortez.

• Captain Patrick Dahlgren, the youngest cruise captain anywhere and one of our interview subjects from more than a year ago, has left and returned to the helm of Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas since we met him (the Cruise Radio interview was less than compelling).

Miami considers itself the mother of all cruise ports (or "Cruise Capital of the World") and has a lead of 400,000 passengers on Port Everglades, which in the words of Cruise Radio's reporter "isn't much" of a difference.

There were some flaws. The station tends to be parochial at times — it's based in Jacksonville and sometimes sounds like it caters to south Floridians (after all, Miami is the CC of the W). And my iPad kept losing the audio after two or three minutes, causing me to "unlock" it, an annoying flaw that even my partner couldn't solve.

But I'll go back to Cruise Radio. Hey, I invested 99 cents in it!

Carnival Valor
6 nights
May 6, 2012
Miami (return): Key West, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $66

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