As seen from Royal Caribbean International's Independence of the Seas a couple of seasons back, we watch one of the great spectacles in cruising, the Elephant Walk of cruise ships leaving port. In this case, Port Everglades. One reason I never schedule a dinner seating near or around six p.m. is so I won't miss ships departing port. There is a grace and power about these huge ships moving so close to thirty story condo and apartment buildings.
Disney announces 2 new ships
In the mid-1990s Disney stirred the waters when it commissioned the 85,000 GRT Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, their first wholey owned, purpose built cruiser ships. After unprecedented amounts of hands-on design and oversight the ships took the cruise industry by storm. In 2009 work began on the much anticipated follow-ups, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, larger than their younger sisters at 129,000 GRT. Now coming in 2021 and 2023 come the unnamed 135,000 GRT twins. Names and details yet to released.
RCI named a most ethical company
The Ethisphere Institute named Royal Caribbean among the worlds "Most Ethical Companies" in its tenth anniversary edition of the designation. "Tomorrow or 10 years from now, there is no substitute for doing the right thing," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Customers expect it, shareholders demand it, and we try to live it every day."
Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%) and provided to all companies who participate in the process. In the U.S. companies including Ford and GE were among the recipients of the designation in 2016. A full list of the honorees can be found here.
MSC announces wellness program
MSC Cruises is adding a new program for passengers who want to make the most of the fitness options aboard their fleet. The "Wellness Experience" will be available to up to 100 passengers per cruise. "We're taking [wellness programs] to a different level," said Ken Muskat, executive vice president at MSC Cruises. "This is starting before the cruise ... continues during the cruise and hopefully after the cruise."
Cuba restricts cruise passengers.
Carnival Cruises will be the first major U.S. cruise line to sail directly to Cuba in a few weeks. However the Cuban government has issued rules which prevent Cuban-Americans from visiting the island from cruise ships. This is a break from the policy that does allow Cuban-American's to travel by air however and Carnival believes there will be changes before the initial cruise takes place. “We continue to believe that Cuba will modify its regulation before we sail on May 1 based on our ongoing discussions with Cuban officials,” said Carnival spokesperson Roger Frizzell.
Texan falls off the ship
A 46 year old man from Texas fell off the Navigator of the Seas last month and is presumed lost 40 miles south of Key West, Florida. The passenger was said to have fallen over 100 feet and likely stunned or knocked unconscious if he survived at all. The late cruiser would be the second passenger lost due to falling overboard in 2016.