Five Things You Missed About Cruising #4 Holland American Line Upgrades

All Shiny and Chrome.

Holland America Line is investing over $300 million dollars in fleet-wide enhancements in the coming years.  The first ships, Eurodam and Oosterdam have already enjoyed their portion of the improvements and the remainder of the fleet will cycle through during routine dry dock visits.
"Our suites are the epitome of luxury and pampering, and the new amenities and upgrades will ensure that our suite
guests will continue to enjoy the finest in cruise accommodations.  
We have an ongoing program in place to keep our ships looking fresh, but dry-docking gives us an opportunity to take enhancements to the next level to ensure we deliver the elements that make up the Holland America Line cruise experience." said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president.

Read more: Five Things You Missed About Cruising #4 Holland American Line Upgrades

Five Things You Missed About Cruising: PokemonGo at Sea.

PokemonCruise I Choose You!

We kick-off this week's FYTMAC with something we had to hear to believe, even if somehow it is utterly unsurprising.  During a webinar by a Carnival representative on an entirely unrelated topic, it came to light that yes, people are playing PokemonGo at sea.
Artists impression of Pokemon at sea.
Your FYTMAC scribe is headquartered in the cruise capital of Wood County, Ohio: Bowling Green.  As home to Bowling Green State University, the last few weeks of the PokemonGo craze have seen every square inch of quiet college town crawled over by students and townies seeking Pokemon as though they are lost winning Powerball tickets.  

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #1 - The Return of Costa.

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #1

The Return of Costa Cruises to St. Thomas.

Costa Cruises, the Italian line owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, returned to St. Thomas this March.  According to the line, the absence from U.S. ports of call was due to the increase in requirements for passengers outside of the United States.  Since 9/11 travel from U.S. ports on itineraries visiting American territories such as the Vigin Islands and San Jauan have been largely unimpacted.  This is due to most of the burden of screen passengers is done prior to a cruise starting.  In the case of ships departing from non-U.S. ports that subsequently visit these territories it becomes time consuming to clear customs.  With most stays in-port lasting a matter of hours, such delays can prove untenable for the cruise lines.

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #2

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #2

Crystal Empire.
You can be forgiven if you might believe Crystal Cruises is seeking to take over the world around it.  Since being sold to it's current owner, Genting Hong Kong, which owns Star Cruises and until recently a majority of Norwegian Cruise Line, Crystal has been planning a comprehensive array of services and ships.  
The line has since the 2015 change in ownership, announced plans to add five more ships to it's operations.  Were that all there were to the news it would hardly rate as news worthy.  It is the types and history of the existing ships and the purpose of new vessels that is striking.  In 2015 it added the 62 passenger mega-yacht "Crystal esprit" to the existing fleet of small sized 1,000 passenger luxury cruise ships.   Among the new builds on-order an expedition ship intended for arctic cruising and three modern sized 117,000 GRT ships.  Outside of the deep water ships five river cruise ships are also being built.
Beyond the new and existing ships, Crystal stunned the industry and ocean travel aficionados by purchasing the historic SS United States, long rusting after decades of inactivity and dubious attempts at restoration.  Subject to a 9 month engineering survey said to be currently underway, Crystal may spend nearly one billion dollars on restoring the Unite States to new glory.
Yet the moves by Crystal and it's parent company have moved beyond simply running ships.  Genting purchased three entire ship yards with an eye toward ensuring a preferred supplier for it's ships. The cruise line has purchased a Boeing 777-200LR and 787-8 Dreamliner which will be converted for customized VIP service across the world.  These will join a Bombardier jet already in service.
As 2017 fades into 2018 the Crystal Cruises that began in 1988 as a Japanese company will have become part of a cruise empire for it's new owner in Hong Kong.

Cruise Wisdom: The Verse of the One Cruise.

Three pools for swimming under the sky,
Seven dining options for foodies in their quest for cuisine,
Nine spa treatments for the pampered and hair to dye,
One ship for the Cruise Aficionado on it's family cruise.
In the sea of the Caribbean where the ships sail.
One cruise to amaze them all, One cruise to entertain them,
One cruise to bring them all, and on the seas thrill them,
In the Caribbean where the ships sail.

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