Well this is another interesting development in the Cruise lines v. “that damn flu.”  Royal Caribbeans Voyager of the Seas pulled into Villefranche-sur-Mer, France today, along with 60 sick crew members and 2 passengers.  French officials according to this Reuters report, say the sick crew tested positive for swine flu. The report also goes on to say that there are 70 other crew members with symptoms that are being quarantined.

Now things get interesting, Gene Sloan over at Cruise Log scored an interview with RCI about this:

Cynthia Martinez tells USA TODAY that 62 crew members and two passenger on board the Voyager of the Seas are experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms…  the sick passengers and crew have tested negative for influenza A. H1N1 is a type of Influenza A…Martinez notes the line can’t test for H1N1 on board ships as that can only be done in a lab.

Now the question is who to beleive: RCI, who have had a massive stock drop and don’t what ANY publicity over even a false alarm. Or the French officials,  who don’t want a repeat of the Scotland incident.

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  • Richard Fain referred to h1n1 as “that damn flu.”
  • Europe has been a pleasant surprise in terms of demand
  • loss of $0.16 per share
  • Costs are down and fuel costs are down
  • Pricing and discounting are lower (meaning better for the cruiser!)
  • RCI management has a pessimistic look for 2010
  • Spanish market uncertainty has hurt RCI
  • $0.05 per share lost due to h1n1 (CCL lost $0.03))
  • Adam Goldstein onboard revenue down but that was predictable.
  • Alaska net yield the worst its been. Bookings are the same but its just not profitable.
  • Oasis is 90% complete
  • RCCL is using local HQ’s in panama and their new markets to help increase demand from those markets.
  • Dan Hanrahan (Celebrity) notes that more cruisers are booking closer to sailing dates. He did not want to comment on Europe or other destinations.

Q&A time!

  • More passengers, they predict, will be from Europe.
  • RCI is increasing capacity from UK.
  • Dan Hanrahan is pleasant with the performance of the Europe market.
  • Regarding h1ni. Richard Fain states they have a “robust on board program” to control any happenings of it.  “It came; people panic at first and then they came to accept it.” People are expecting to see a surge in it. They monitor passengers that come on. They are in contact with local authorities to monitor. They, along with other lines and a close coordination on how to deal with put breaks.
  • RCI sees yield improvement in Q1. More capacity on new vessels.
  • Revenue management system is improving. Richard Fain: “I don’t know of another company that can predict their revenue as accurately as we do.”
  • On newbuilds. They don’t see the industry as market share, so it doesn’t matter what carnival does or doesn’t do. Fain:”I believe that RCI is a bigger brand than Carnival.”
  • Shorter Caribbean is down because it has the least exposure.
  • End of the year they plan to make an announcement on Allure of the Seas financing.
  • RCI wont switch over to low-sulfur fuels
  • Regarding a worse flu season this fall: the previous flu scare has put them in a better position to deal with future recurrences.
  • Last question
  • RCI prepares internally under worst case scenarios. So they see a bright future. They have alluded to big years in ’10 ’11.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

When the Sapphire Princess docked in Vancouver yesterday for its scheduled turnaround, it arrived with one extra guest. A whale. While sailing through the inside passage, comprising of Canada and Alaska, the ships bulbous bow struck a fin whale and it remained there for the remainder of that leg. Pretty much every cruise ship out there has an extension of the bow underwater to decrease drag and increase fuel efficiency. This part comprises of the “bulbous bow.”

Gene Sloan of Cruise Log, managed to track down a photo of the event.

I updated the Carnival Dream page with pictures from the sea trials. These come by way of Carnival themselves.

DreamSeaTrials5_thumb.jpg

QM2 Update [w/Pics]

July 22, 2009

I found some pics from Cruise Page’s message board, posted by Aad. Have a look.

QM2Damage (1) QM2Damage (2) QM2Damage (3)

Yesterday when the QM2 was calling in Zeebrugge, Belgium, her mooring lines. Reports are that the vessel broke her bow lines from high gusts of wind. The vessel then drifted into the harbor before being helped back with the assistance of local tugs.

Damage is reported, but only as minor, and located in the stern area. Ill update as more becomes available.

UPDATE 2:09pm : de Volkskrant is reporting that the ship was only delayed. This doesnt apprea as bad as the MSCin march. gCaptian has the details on the MSC one here.

A look at the float-out in France can be found at my Norwegian Epic page here.

StphaneNigeon4_thumb.jpgStphaneNigeon1_thumb.jpgGilbertCailler2_thumb.jpg

Site Updated

July 20, 2009

I added separate pages for the Carnival Dream, Norwegian Epic, and Oasis of the Seas. All shipyard Reports will be there. If I add pictures to any of those pages, I will update the main page and just link it, so don’t worry that you might miss something. I love to hear comments so email me ind.cruise AT gmail.com or tweet me at twitter.com/cruiseind

UPDATE 4:10pm:  Also as you may notice the Epic deck plans aren’t at the top of the main page. Don’t worry, they can now be found under the Norwegian Epic page above.

The Past Week Summed Up

July 20, 2009

Well I’m back and as promised here is everything that happened recently including two big stories out of San Diego and Dubai.

  • A domestic dispute turned deadly as a husband murdered his wife in their cabin. A couple on the last leg of their cruise on the Carnival Elation could be heard fighting. When security showed up, she was dead. The FBI and Coast Guard were notified and the FBI took the husband into custody when the ship arrived in San Diego. More here
  • The rumors earlier in the week regarding the fate of the QE2 are starting to become true. A newspaper in Dubai is reporting that QE2’s owner, Nakheel, part of Dubai World, is contemplating sending the ship to South Africa for use as a floating hotel there instead. Then latter in the week word came out that Nakheel will only temporarily move the vessel there. The reports states the the vessel will leave Dubai, where its currently at, for 18 months. Its main duty there will be a floating hotel for the World Cup that will be played there next summer.
  • Carnival Adds Jobless (just like the automakers have) and Storm protection insurance.
  • CLIA now supports the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009. More here
  • Maritime Matters is reporting that Spain’s Quail Cruises ship Pacific (former Sea Venture and most famously Princes Cruises “Love Boat” Pacific Princess) has been arrested by the Italian Coast Guard. The Coast Guard ordered the vessel to remain at the dock until the $14 Million lien placed against the ship the a shipyard that just did the renovations on her, is paid.

Read the rest of this entry »

Where I’ve Been

July 14, 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been away from a computer as I am on a quick vacation (no not a cruise). Check back soon as I will update with all the updates I’ve missed.