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.

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #3

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #3

Seaside at Port Miami

MSC will port the first of the Seaside class at Port Miami when the lead ship comes online in late 2017.  Projected to carry an estimated 4,140 passengers the ship represents the latest and boldest move by MSC to build its presence in the north American cruise market.  

MSC Seaside

The design of the Seaside is innovative in ways normally seen only among the Royal Caribbean fleet.  The Seaside will live up to her name by introducing a wide and close to the water pool deck aft, along with generous promenade space along the sides of the ship.  At a time when ship design is increasingly turning passenger attention away from the ocean the Seaside embraces it in bold fashion.  Some bemoan the growing size of cruise ships but like the Voyager, Freedom and Oasis classes, size does bring the means to create environments at sea unlike any before them.  

MSC Divina

Previously MSC has featured the Divina in marketing to north American cruisers.  Where the MSC Divina is a highly regarded but very conventional design, the Seaside class will  the Seaside will represent a true "signature" ship to define the public's mental image of the line.  Her placement at Port Miami also represents a very high profile location at a time when the busiest cruise port in the world is experiencing a surge of new ships and lines as well as the return of lines as Cruise Aficionados reported earlier this week.

MSC Seaside Water Slides

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #4

Five Things You Missed About Cruising #4:

Harmony of the Seas arrives!

The third unit in the landmark, ground breaking, Oasis class (all terms related to land being used to discuss ocean going ships) is now officially part of the Royal Caribbean International fleet.  The ship exceeds the original two ships by just over 2,000 GRT and features many refinements to the 2010 design.  

"I'd like to teach the world to cruise, in perfect Harmony."

Read more: Five Things You Missed About Cruising #4

Five Things You Missed About Cruising

Five Things You Missed About Cruising:
#5

RAMMING SPEED!

Lisa Andres from Riverside, USA - Carnival Pride anchored in Cabo San Lucas

We are polishing the FTYMAC format a bit, posting each item by the day.  Countdown style.  So let us begin the week with breaking news.  Or news of breaking.  In this case the gangway bridge at Baltimore cruise port Sunday morning.  The Carnival Pride, arriving from a Bahamas cruise impacted the gangway as it was docking.  The structure crashed to the ground, smashing three cars but did not result in any injuries.  

Read more: Five Things You Missed About Cruising

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