Five Things You Missed About Cruising #3

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #3

 
Massive Sand Castle
 
MSC Cruises signed a 100 year lease for the former site of sand extraction for use in beach reconstruction and such.  Rather than counter beach erosion or to make a million cats exceedingly happy, MSC is investing over two hundred million to convert the location into a state of the art private port for its ships.  
 
 
Formally called the "Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the facility is located sixty-five miles east of Miami and will boast a two thousand seat amphitheater, zip-line as well as the usual array of beach space and entertainment options.  MSC Yacht Club members will have access to an exclusive spa and private bungalows.  
 
MSC has also stated it will open a crew training school in Nassau to aid in building a local base of shipboard staff.  When ships do call on the new island the line has indicated it will continue to operate all normal ships services including the casino.  That is somewhat unusual given that normally in a port the stores and casino close.
 
 
"Ocean Cay" is planned to open in December 2017.

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #4

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #4

Carnival at Cozumel.
 
Carnival.....the holiday season not the cruise line.  It is best known for being associated with Rio, New Orleans, Samba schools and Mardi Gras parades before the start of lent, the island of Cozumel has been making an effort to build awareness of their own Carnival season.
 
 
Held for over 130 years, Cozumel is known to most cruise passengers as a port stop.  The community hopes the increased promotion online will lead greater tourism and possibly extended visits by cruise ships.  Several lines already offer longer stays in port at Cozumel but none active promote such stays during the carnival season.

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #5

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #5

Put it on my Tab.

Have a thirst?  Norwegian Cruise Line offers unlimited drinks onboard the Norwegian Sky.  Begun in January of 2016 the offering is beyond the usual drink packages offered on most ships and is part of the cruise fare itself, not an additional charge.  That does include alcoholic drinks for passengers of age.  Curiously this includes passengers 18-20 with the consent of a parent.  The younger passengers not partaking are able to enjoy unlimited juice and soda.  This is a standard feature for all passengers.

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #1

Five Things You Missed About Cruising.

Single and Family Staterooms

Holland American's MS Koningsdam has been in revenue service since March and is the first ship in six years built with single passenger cabins.
 
The industry has been tacitly investigating expanding offerings that cater to single cruisers.  Normally cruising alone would mean a surcharge and would land a passenger in a normal stateroom.  Koningsdam was also built with 32 Family Oceanview Staterooms designed to accommodate five people with two bathrooms.  

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #2

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #2

Made In China

The Asian market is considered central to long-term growth in the cruise industry.  Though much of the emphasis has been on movement of ships and construction of ports in recent years, the industry has been slowly shifting ships and learning how to operate in Asia nearly 20 years now.  Each line has maneuvered to curry favor with passengers and governments alike.  Now Carnival Cruise Lines has taken the step of partnering through their long-time ship builder Fincantieri to construct new ships in Shanghai which will then be used in the Asian markets.  

It is standard practice in China for manufacturing and other international companies to partner with a locally controlled counterpart.  In this way China builds expertise and guards against concerns of external influence.  The cruise industry has largely avoided having to partner extensively given that its ships visit ports and are transient in much the same way airlines are.  However the Chinese government has expressed a desire to develop a native cruise industry and a first step in that direction must be learning how to build such ships.  Accordingly the move by Carnival and Fincantieri represents a move to forge strong ties with the Chinese government.
 
In this case the partnership begins with Fincantieri partnering with the China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC,) which services the countries usual mandate to have local ownership while Carnival provides a guarantee of a buyer for the ships produced.  The only thing missing is a credible Chinese cruise line to operate its own ships after CSSC learns the finer points of the process.  However with the promise to operate the ships in the Asian market you can fairly describe Carnival as a proxy for the usual locally control entity.  The arrangement surely gives Carnival a political edge over it's rivals in Asia as well.

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