Monthly Archives: November 2010


New star on the cruise horizon

As I reported exclusively last week, French cruise line CDF Croisieres de France has sold its only ship to Saga, who will take possession of it in about 12 months' time. The company is not about to disappear, however. It is to take over Pacific Dream, currently being operated by parent company Pullmantur. The ship, originally built as Horizon for Celebrity, was also briefly Island Star (shown above in Bridgetown, Barbados) for Island Cruises, which was a joint-venture operation between Royal Caribbean and First Choice. With 721 cabins accommodating up to 1,875 passengers, the ship - built in 1990 - [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:15+00:00 17 November 2010|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

Battle of the beards?

Captain Greybeard is obviously proud of his facial hair, but he can't compete with eco-warrior David Bellamy (left), who will be escorting a group of UK passengers on a week-long cruise to Costa Rica and Nicaragua in December 2011. The cruise, on the 170-passenger tall ship Star Flyer, will visit some of the world's most pristine rainforest and beautiful beaches. The week-long voyage from Puerto Caldera along the Pacific costs of Nicaragua and Costa Rica calls at the surf resort of San Juan del Sur; the half-moon bay of Playas del Coco, with spectacular wildlife; National Park Santa Rosa, famed [...]

Robbery forces cruise switch

The attack on cruise passengers in St Kitts at the weekend must have been scary. Armed raiders blocked a road with a fallen tree and ambushed a tour bus carrying 16 adults and a child from the Celebrity Mercury. They boarded the bus and forced the tourists at gunpoint to hand over money, jewellery, cameras and mobile phones. No-one was hurt, and within hours police arrested four suspects in pre-dawn raids after a tip-off from other islanders. A police statement said the robbery was unprecedented. "Last year, over 500,000 cruise passengers safely disembarked in St. Kitts to enjoy the many [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:15+00:00 17 November 2010|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Mighty challenge for the Captain

The excitement is mounting - one week from today I will be stepping aboard Allure of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale, ready for a three-night cruise. Last time I was on board, in the shipyard at Turku, Finland, there were workmen crawling all over the vessel and I had to wear a hard hat and protective boots. Now the ship is complete. US media, who don't want to work over the Thanksgiving holiday, will be sailing this weekend, and it is being used as the location for scenes from Adam Sandler's new movie Jack and Jill, also starring Katie Holmes [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:16+00:00 16 November 2010|Cruise Entertainment, Cruise Food & Drink|18 Comments

Splendor passengers back Carnival

An unexpected message from American attorney Jim Walker, who specialises in taking up the cudgels on behalf of passengers who claim to have been victims of crime or injury while on cruise holidays. On his website CruiseLaw, he takes a pot-shot at other lawyers touting for business as a result of the fire on board Carnival Splendor. "Any time there is a cruise disaster, the issue of lawsuits arises," he writes. "Sometimes there is a basis to file a lawsuit, and sometimes - like this time - there is clearly not.  Many passengers from the Carnival Splendor have contacted our office seeking [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:16+00:00 15 November 2010|Cruise News|1 Comment

Celebrity rings the changes

Now that Celebrity Eclipse has finished its first European season, and crossed the Atlantic to spend the winter sailing from Miami, American journalists have had their first chance to see the ship,. They expected to be in Southampton for the launch - performed by breast cancer survivor Emma Pontin - in April. But the Icelandic ash cloud which grounded flights kept them at home, and the ship was sent on a rescue mission to Spain to ferry home trapped British holidaymakers. Eclipse is the third of five planned Solstice-class ships being built for Celebrity. The next one, Silhouette, followed Disney [...]

By | 2010-11-15T21:54:55+00:00 15 November 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

Tense moments on the bridge

Back home in Essex, John Heald is continuing his dramatic account of last week's Carnival Splendor saga. The cruise ship was left drifting off the coast of Mexico last week after an engine room fire left it without power and cruise director John was the man responsible for keeping passengers informed throughout the ordeal. In the latest episode he describes how a visit to the bathroom in his cabin, four hours after the lights went out, brought home to him how serious the ship's plight had become. "The lack of lighting started the worry bells ringing in my head and [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:16+00:00 15 November 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

Oriana goes adults-only

There can't be too many kids desperate to sample Peter Pan's, Decibels or Outer Space, the clubs for younger family members on P&O cruise ship Oriana. If there are, they'd better get mum and dad to book a cruise within the next 12 months, because from the end of November 2011, the ship will become a child-free zone. There are currently two adult-only ships in the P&O fleet; the 2,064-passenger Arcadia and the 1,200-passenger Artemis. In May, Artemis sails off to join a German cruise line, to be replaced by Adonia, which will carry 710 passengers. Because their all-adult capacity [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:16+00:00 14 November 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

Is Admiral Donald at the controls?

Within hours of arriving at the Netherlands port of Eemshaven today, cruise ship Disney Dream has begun her sea trials. She hasn't gone far but she is certainly being put through her paces as far as manouevring is concerned, as this image from MarineTraffic shows. Either that or Admiral Donald Duck has taken over on the bridge. The blue line entering the chart from the bottom right shows the ship's course earlier today from the River Ems. The tangle in the middle of the picture is what the ship has been doing since then, testing its propulsion and steering systems [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:16+00:00 13 November 2010|Cruise Ships|1 Comment

Sweet Dreams at night for Disney

The high winds which were blowing across the UK yesterday must have faded before they reached northern Germany, because Disney Dream (above) set off as scheduled on the complicated journey from shipyard to the sea on Friday night. Unfortunately for the thousands of spectators who turn up in their camper vans for these events, the whole 26-mile journey will have been completed in darkness. The founders of the Meyer-Werft yard at Papenburg can never have imagined when they began building wooden boats in 1795 that one day they would be constructing ships as big as the 128,000-ton Dream. The water [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:16+00:00 13 November 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments