The big cruise news this week of course was Superstorm Sandy and how many cruise ships altered their itineraries to avoid the storm. Other hot cruise news include the Carnival Conquest completes its dry dock with fancy new enhancements, Royal Caribbean can now hold weddings while at sea, Carnival orders its 25th “Fun Ship”, and Holland America adds its Master Chef’s table dining experience to the Zuiderdam.
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Carnival Conquest Returns to New Orleans with Multi-Million Dollar Enhancements
New Orleans’ largest year-round cruise ship, Carnival Conquest, returned from a two-week, multi-million dollar dry dock in The Bahamas this week loaded with new dining, bar and entertainment options. The refurbished ship now features a number of elements of Carnival’s $500 million “Fun Ship 2.0” fleetwide enhancement program, including Guy’s Burger Joint – developed in tandem with Food Network personality Guy Fieri – an EA SPORTS Bar, and the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.
To mark the occasion and refurbishment of one of its local vessels, Carnival Cruise Lines made a substantial donation to the United Way of Southeast Louisiana. The contribution will specifically be used to help the people in affected parishes in rebuilding after Hurricane Isaac in August, through local organizations including Committee for Plaquemines Recovery and St. Bernard Project.
As New Orleans’ largest cruise operator, Carnival Cruise Lines has a long-standing relationship with city. In 2011, the line brought its capacity back to pre-Katrina levels with two year-round ships from the port. The newly refurbished Carnival Conquest operates seven-day Caribbean cruises and Carnival Elation offers four- and five-day cruises from New Orleans to Mexico.
Royal Caribbean Announces New Weddings at Sea
Engaged couples can now experience the romance of being joined at sea by the Captain aboard a Royal Caribbean International ship through the Royal Romance weddings and vow renewal program. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas has cleared the cruise line to conduct legal weddings aboard the world’s most innovative cruise ships while they are at sea. A Royal Caribbean ship is an ideal option for a ‘multi-destination’ wedding, able to cater to large parties, attended by family members and friends, to smaller – but still unforgettable – affairs. Couples wishing to share this special moment with friends and family can enjoy the Sweethearts at Sea promotional offer, inclusive of a ceremony performed by the Captain, photography and more, when booking 12 or more staterooms on a 2013 Royal Caribbean International sailing during the special introductory offer.
Carnival Orders New 135,000 ton ship – 25th Vessel in “Fun Ship” Fleet
Carnival Corporation & plc, the parent company of Carnival Cruise Lines, recently announced it has reached an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction a new 135,000-ton vessel for Carnival Cruise Lines. Representing a new class of vessel for the line, the 4,000-passenger ship is scheduled for delivery in winter 2016.
The new Carnival Cruise Lines ship is part of a two-ship order that also includes a 99,000-ton vessel for Carnival’s sister company Holland America Line. The total cost for the two vessels combined, which includes the U.S. dollar denominated contract price and all owner’s costs, will be approximately $195,000 per lower berth.
Including the newbuilds announced today, Carnival Corporation & plc’s brands currently have nine new ships scheduled for delivery – two for 2013, two for 2014, three for 2015 and two for 2016.
Design details and itinerary information for the new Carnival Cruise Lines ship will be announced in the future. The new ship will be the 25th vessel in the “Fun Ship” fleet, building upon Carnival’s distinction as “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®.”
Master Chef’s Table Debuts on Holland America Zuiderdam
(From the Holland America Line Company Blog) Corporate Traveling Trainer Troy Wastell is implementing the Master Chef’s Table on board Zuiderdam with Executive Chef Karl Eller and Chef Tournant Daniel Lin. Pictured are the Pinnacle Grill Service Staff, with Pinnacle Restaurant Manager Jorn Van Woerkom, Culinary Operation Manger Boban Zivkovic and Roland Borsje A Com. The Master Chef’s Table already is on Eurodam, Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam and Westerdam, with Zuiderdam completing the project.
The concept was voted the “Most Secret Dinner in the Cruise Industry’ by Porthole Magazine. The uniform, designed by Chef Sodamin, matches the menu and was awarded first prize last year in the category of “Most Creative New Uniforms” by the North-American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors. The exclusive dinner will be featured once per cruise for a limited amount of HAL foodies. Master Chef Rudi joined the Zuiderdam team recently and added his final touch while guiding the culinary team through the finer details.