Crystal Launches VIP Airport Service
Crystal Cruises launched a VIP airport service that fast-tracks the usual airport experience. Services included in the 24/7 program vary by airport but may include greeting upon airport arrival(inbound, outbound and connecting flights); luggage porter service; flight tracking and handling, including assistance with delayed or canceled flights and related lodging, transportation, meals, etc.; escorted and expedited airport check-in, security, customs and immigration; entry to restricted-access airport lounges; preferred boarding; and limo/town car transfers between airport, home, day room and/or ship. Packages are available for up to four people. Prices vary depending on location and services selected.
Cunard Unveils Weddings Program Details
Cunard Line has unveiled details of its new weddings program, scheduled to go live in April. To maintain exclusivity, only one wedding will be arranged per day, at either 11a.m. or 3:30p.m., with ceremonies only taking place on days at sea. To allow couples to personalize their big day, the line has introduced a Wedding Package, with a variety of optional extras also available. The main package includes the ceremony conducted by the captain, traditional wedding music, a White Star Bellman escorting the bride, floral arrangements including bouquet and boutonniere, champagne, one-tier wedding cake, plus priority check-in and luggage delivery. The basic cost is $2,500 plus a marriage license fee of $575.
Oceania, Regent Expand Charter & Incentive Sales Team
Prestige Cruise Holdings, the parent company of both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, named Freddy I. Muller to the newly created position of director, corporate, incentive and charter sales. Based out of the cruise lines’ Miami office, Muller will be responsible for developing corporate, incentive and charter business for both brands, as well as strengthening relationships with meeting and incentive travel partners.
Royal Caribbean Revamps Meetings, Incentives and Charters Online Portal
Royal Caribbean International has revamped its online portal dedicated to corporate meetings, incentives and charters at sea. Meeting planners can use the new site to create their own accounts; save searches and profiles; search for availability; request a proposal; and access a library of information and resources to help planners create an event. The new site is www.RoyalCaribbeanIncentives.com. A new search engine is connected live to the line’s inventory system, which planners can use to check ships’ availabilities based on a wide range of criteria.
Azamara Ups Commissions on ChoiceAir
Azamara Club Cruises has introduced a bonus commission of $25 for travel agents when they purchase air for their clients through the line’s ChoiceAir system. The bonus commission is good for all of 2012. In other Azamara news, the line has promoted Edie Bornstein to the newly created position of senior vice president, sales and marketing. She previously served as vice president, sales and marketing.
Norwegian Debuts Pre-Sailing Dinner Reservations
Norwegian Cruise Line now enables guests to pre-book dining reservations for specialty restaurants. Guests cruising within 45 days on any Norwegian ship can plan and pre-pay specialty dining by visiting www.ncl.com/myncl.
Norwegian Reveals Breakaway Details
Norwegian Cruise Line revelaed new details of its upcoming ship the Norwegian Breakaway, including a boardwalk-inspired space lined with shops, restaurants and bars called The Waterfront. Also new is 678 Ocean Place, a three-deck venue that connects The Waterfront's outdoors with interior restaurants, retail outlets and more. In total the ship will feature 17 dining venues (eight in The Waterfront), as well as 12 bars and lounges. Among the restaurants will be the new Ocean Blu, the line's first-ever all-seafood eatery, as well as the popular O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, which debuted on The Epic. The Norwegian Breakaway launches in April 2013.
Viking Commissions Six More Longships
Viking River Cruises has commissioned six more Viking Longships for delivery in 2013. The six ships will join the four being christened this month, and the two being delivered later this year. The Viking Longships feature: two Explorer Suites, each 445-square feet with wraparound balconies; seven two-room Veranda Suites; 39 Veranda Staterooms; and 22 French Balcony Staterooms. Also featured is the all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
Royal Exercises Option for 2nd Ship
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. exercised its option to build a second Sunshine-class ship to be delivered in Spring 2015. Little is known about the Sunshine-class ships except for their size, which is smaller than the Oasis and Allure, accommodating 4,100 passengers.
MSC To Add 13th Ship in 2013
MSC Cruises will add a newbuild, to be named the MSC Preziosa, to its fleet in March 2013, after taking over the ship's contract from its previous owner. It will be the line's fourth Fantasia-class ship. The MSC Preziosa will feature 1,751 staterooms, the MSC Yacht Club, four restaurants, 21 bars, four swimming pools, mini-bowling, and more. Forty-five percent of the ship's total construction is now complete.
Sapphire Princess Completes Makeover
The Sapphire Princess has returned to the seas after an extensive makeover to add a host of signature Princess Cruises features. Among the additions are: the Piazza Atrium with the International Café and Vines wine bar; Alfredo’s Pizzeria; a giant Movies Under the Stars screen; and the adults-only Sanctuary. Also part of the ship’s renovation, new carpet, upholstery and tile were added throughout the ship, and all staterooms now feature new flat-screen TVs.
Uniworld to Debut Newbuild on Douro River
In 2013, Uniworld will introduce the Queen Isabel to the Douro River, replacing the Douro Spirit, which launched in 2011. The Queen Isabel will have a 118-passenger capacity and feature more junior suites than the Douro Spirit. Also, unlike the Douro Spirit, the Queen Isabel will have a more classic Old World style similar to Uniworld’s other ships in Europe.