First There Was Long Island and Then There was Staten Island.

Although Hurricane Melissa was well off shore, strong winds and rough high seas were encountered just outside of the New York Harbor this past Thursday. 10/10/2019. These adverse weather conditions caused ships to alter their itineraries. This past Thursday saw the Peaceboat - Ocean Dream, 2 Viking Ocean Cruises ships - the Viking Sea and Viking Sun and in Bayonne was Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas stayed quay side THursday evening until about 9:45 PM. At this time, the ship sailed toward the Statue of Liberty and went up the Hudson River to the Freedom Tower where she turned around and headed back down river. The Anthem of the Seas then stopped just short of the Veranzaro-Narrows Bridge just off Staten Island where the ship remained idle until 5:30 AM on Friday morning. After sailing under the bridge, the Anthem of the Seas proceeded to Boston Mass. The winds were reported to be in excess of 45 miles per hour Thursday evening.

It …

Norwegian Cruise Line Names Kelly Clarkson Godmother to Its Newest Ship, Norwegian Encore

Clarkson to Headline Norwegian Encore’s Christening Ceremony in Miami on Nov. 21, 2019Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, announced today on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” that GRAMMY Award-winning artist and superstar Kelly Clarkson will serve as the godmother to its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, debuting in Miami in November.
The cruise line’s President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Stuart appeared on Clarkson’s new nationally syndicated daytime show produced and distributed by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution, to invite her to join the Norwegian Cruise Line family as godmother to Norwegian Encore. 
As godmother, she will perform at the christening ceremony in Miami on Thursday, Nov. 21, as well as fulfill the longstanding maritime tradition of blessing and officially naming the beautiful Norwegian Encore.  “We knew we wanted someone who represents our core values,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer.  “Kelly is …

Royal Caribbean Makes A Play For Freeport's Grand Lucaya Resort.

Here is a news story that I had missed. It appears that Royal Caribbean is expanding its presence in the Bahamas and has made an offer to purchase the Grand  Lucaya Resort in Freeport. It appear that the negotiations began before Hurricane Dorian hit Freeport hard and the resort remains closed today due to storm damage. As of this time, It is uncertain where negotiation sit today.

Royal Caribbean hinted that they intended to covert the resort into an experience very close to the "Perfect Day at Coco Cay". It is unclear if the amenities of the renovated resort will be available to hotel guests only - or be offered to cruise passengers and sold as part of a shore excursion.

Here are some additional details on the negotiations from March 27, 2019.

Lucayan Renewal Holdings Ltd. today signed a Letter of Intent with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and the ITM Group to begin exclusive negotiations for the purchase of the Grand Lucayan Resort at a price of $65 million, and th…

German Cruise Operator Hapag-Lloyd's Luxury Cruise Ships - Europa & Europa 2 Receive 5 Star Plus Berlitz Rating.

German luxury cruise ship operator, Hapag-Lloyd receives 5 Plus Star ratings by Berlitz Cruising Guide. The Europa and Europa 2 both received the prestigious rating. The two ships are occasional callers at United States ports including the port of New York.

Although German is the primary language spoken on board, there are cruises which cater to English speaking passengers. In addition the crew is fluent in multiple languages. I have visited the Europa 2 and encountered no issues interacting with the crew.

Here are additional details on the exceptional 5-Plus Star Rating.

The EUROPA and EUROPA 2, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ two luxury ships are the only cruise ships to receive the coveted distinction of 5-stars-plus in the latest edition of the renowned Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2020. As such, they have defended their top rankings as the best ships in the world in the “Top 20 Small Ships” category. The HANSEATIC nature was named best boutique ship for the first time and awarded a …

Nowegian Cruise Line's New Norwegian Encore Completes the Conveyance From Meyer Werft Shipyard Papenburg Germany.

Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced that its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore, successfully completed another major construction milestone, when she departed the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and sailed down the Ems River towards the North Sea.

On Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, Norwegian Encore began her conveyance to Eemshaven, Netherlands, with initial crew members on board already preparing to welcome her first guests this November.  At nearly 1,100 feet long, with a gross tonnage of almost 170,000 and a guest capacity of 3,998, the ship will be delivered to the cruise line on Oct. 30, 2019. She will be christened by Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson in Miami on Nov. 21, 2019 and will commence seven-day voyages to the Caribbean on Nov. 24, 2019.

“Today we celebrate a huge milestone for our history-making ship,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Now is when the anticipa…

MSC Cruises MSC Meraviglia's Maiden Arrival in New York And New England / Canada Cruises

MSC Cruises is marking their return to New York with the maiden arrival of the MSC Meraviglia on Monday 10/7/2019. The 167,600 ton ship, which was delivered in 2017,  is 1,034 feet long and carries 4,500 passengers.

After an overnight in port, the ship is expected to sail the afternoon of 10/8/2019 on a 10 day cruise to New England & Canada visiting Sydney Canada, Corner Brook Canada; Charlottetown, Canada; Quebec Canada,  returning back to New York.

The MSC Meraviglia  is expected to sail on a second New England / Canada cruise on 10/18/2019  to Bar Harbor, Me; St. John Nova Scotia Canada; Halifax Nova Scotia Canada, Sydney Canada, Portland, Me; Boston Ma; and back to New York.

After completing her New England & Canada Program, the MSC Meravilgia will sail a 14 Day  repositioning cruise from New York on October 28th to the Southern Caribbean which includes a stop at MSC Private Reserve - Ocean Cay in the Bahamas. The cruise will end in Miami on November 10, 2019.

The MSC M…

Carnival Corporation, Government of The Bahamas Sign Agreements to Develop Two New Destination Projects

Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest leisure travel company, and two of its cruise line brands today signed an agreement with the government of The Bahamas to build two major port developments. Under the agreement, Carnival Corporation will develop a new cruise port destination primarily for Carnival Cruise Line on Grand Bahama, and construction of a new addition, including a pier, on the Bahamian island of Little San Salvador, home to Holland America Line’s award-winning Half Moon Cay port. The Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 million, and the development on Little San Salvador will be an estimated $80 million investment over time.

The agreement was signed today at the Prime Minister’s Office in Grand Bahama at a ceremony that included Dr. The Most Honorable Hubert A. Minnis, prime minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance The Honorable K. Peter Turnqu…