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PERFORMANCE AND TECHNOLOGY MEET IN TWO70°: INVENTIVE ENTERTAINMENT ON QUANTUM OF THE SEAS

Jul 30

Princess Cruises Debuts “Chocolate Journeys” in Partnership with World-Renowned Chocolatier Norman Love

New Program Offers Guests the Most Delectable Chocolate Experience at Sea

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 29, 2014) – Princess Cruises today announced a delectable new partnership with internationally acclaimed master chocolatier and pastry designer Norman Love. “Chocolate Journeys,” the line’s new onboard chocolate experience will entice guests with an impressive array of onboard chocolate offerings among which are custom-crafted desserts, chocolate and wine pairings, and exquisite chocolate bites created by one of the top names in artisan chocolate.

Since debuting Norman Love Confections in 2001 after a notable career as a pastry chef for many luxury resorts, Love has since received wide-spread recognition for his hand-crafted, chocolate-making artistry including being named as one of the “top 10 chocolatiers in North America” and creating “the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation.” His sea-going chocolate creations will debut this fall aboard the new Regal Princess for her inaugural Caribbean season, and will continue to roll out to the rest of the Princess fleet throughout the next year.

 “Around the world there’s incredible passion for chocolate, as evidenced by ever-growing consumption and the plethora of specialty varieties,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “So we’re excited to partner with one of the best chocolatiers in the world to bring some additional moments of decadence and delight to our guests with truly amazing chocolate experiences that we know they’ll love!”

Swartz added that she believes the partnership with Norman Love was meant to be, because of the line’s close association with the iconic TV show “The Love Boat” and Princess’ reputation for romance. “Based on his name alone this is a perfect match,” she said.

In a recent national survey conducted by the cruise line about people’s passion for chocolate, Princess found that 58 percent of women would choose chocolate over sex; 69 percent surveyed have frequent chocolate cravings; 53 percent surveyed would turn to chocolate over a friend when feeling sad; two thirds surveyed (67 percent) eat chocolate more often when they’re happy than when they’re stressed; 81 percent agree that chocolate improves their mood; and 84 percent would like to receive chocolate as a gift.

“One thing is for certain, chocolate makes people happy,” said Love. “So what I create and what Princess Cruises offers its guests are quite similar – what could make people smile more than savoring decadent chocolate creations while enjoying their cruise vacation? I think we have a winning combination.”

Love has personally trained Princess Cruises’ pastry team to deliver this unprecedented chocolate experience across the company’s fleet of ships.

“Chocolate Journeys” will offer Princess’ guests the following sweet experiences:

Decadent Desserts – Norman Love has produced 15 chocolate dessert designs for Princess Cruises that will be offered on a rotational basis in the ships’ main dining rooms, specialty restaurants (Sabatini’s and Crown Grill) and Chef’s Table experience. Examples of the desserts include a Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Mousse and Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Pistachio Dome with Almond and Pistachio Nougatine, and a truly unique Chocolate Tiramisu with Mascarpone Cream and Espresso Gelato that shouldn’t be missed. (Complimentary in main dining rooms. Specialty restaurants carry a cover charge.)

Chocolate & Wine Pairings – In Vines, Princess’ signature wine bar, wine and chocolate enthusiasts alike can sample Norman Love’s exquisite Black™ Single Origin Dark chocolates paired with specific wine varietals designed to enhance the tasting experience, all selected by Love. (Extra charge)

Captain’s Welcome Reception Treats – Guests will be able to toast the start of their cruise with a glass of bubbly along with “Chocolate Love Pop” truffles created by Love, at the signature welcome reception hosted by the Captain. (Complimentary)

Chocolate Libations – Throughout the ships’ lounges and bars, guests can splurge on a number of decadent chocolate drinks including a Chocolate Salted Caramel Hard Shake, Chocolate Bacon Bourbon Bliss or a Chocolate Chile Margarita. (Extra charge)

Chocolate Dessert Demonstrations – Princess pastry chefs will treat guests to entertaining and informative demonstrations so they can learn some simple tips for creating tasty chocolate treats for their family and friends back home. (Complimentary)

Chocolate Petits Fours at Formal Night – Chocolate bites designed by Love will accompany the dessert menu presented to guests following the formal night dinner, for guests to enjoy as they peruse the evening’s sweet endings.

Norman Love Renowned Boxed Chocolates Available for Purchase – Passengers wishing to bring some of Norman Love’s exquisite chocolate confections home to family or friends (or to enjoy themselves during the cruise) will be able to purchase these extraordinary creations in the onboard shops.

Chocolate Spa Treatments – Because chocolate is not only for eating, the ship’s Lotus Spa will offer guests the opportunity to relax with the aroma of pure bliss by offering a Chocolate Indulgence Body Treatment combining a chocolate renewal scrub, whipped chocolate body mask and chocolate massage oil. (Extra charge)

Additional information about Princess’ new Chocolate Journeys experience can be found atwww.chocolatejourneys.com.

Jul 30

Princess Cruises to Add New Ship to Fleet

Line’s Third “Royal Princess” Class Vessel to be Delivered in 2017

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 30, 2014) – Today Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, announced that it has reached an agreement with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build a new ship, which will  enter service in 2017.

The as-yet unnamed 143,000-ton vessel, which will be built at an all-in cost of approximately 600 million euros, will carry 3,560 passengers, and feature the successful design platform introduced by sister ships Royal Princess in 2013 and Regal Princess which entered service this past May.

The new ship will include the signature elements that have become synonymous with the Princess Cruises guest experience such as a soaring central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; the adults-only Sanctuary; Movies Under the Stars cinema experience, and 80 percent of all staterooms with balconies. The ship will also include some brand-new innovations to enhance the guest experience even further.

 “We are incredibly excited to add this fabulous new ship to our already formidable fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Royal Princess and Regal Princess have been exceptionally successful for us and have received numerous accolades from guests, travel agents and media, so adding another sister ship will enable us to continue to expand our innovative vacation experiences. We’re very pleased that this new ship order is an indication of the confidence that our parent Carnival Corporation has in the future of the Princess brand.” She added that this is the only new order Carnival Corporation & plc anticipates for 2017.

Specific features and amenities for the ship, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the coming months.

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri Chief Executive Officer, commented: “All the orders we win are important for our Group, but some are more special than others. The one we’re announcing today certainly belongs to this select category. In fact, it’s no coincidence that Fincantieri is the universally recognized leader among the builders of cruise ships. It’s a source of great pride to be able to immediately build another ship for a prestigious brand like Princess Cruises following the successful deliveries of two jewels like “Royal” and “Regal,” which have already become part of maritime history.” Bono ended by saying, “Our objective has always been to build ships of the future, and thanks to the Carnival Group, the leading market player, which has reconfirmed its well-founded confidence in us, we have proven over time not only to have kept faith with this ambitious goal but also to have been able to consolidate our world leadership in a sector of absolute technological excellence, like cruise ships.”

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Jul 14

Norwegian Cruise Line Orders Two New Ships

Miami   -    Jul 14, 2014   —   

Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ: NCLH) announced today that it has reached an agreement with MEYER WERFT GmbH of Germany to build two new Breakaway-Plus class cruise ships for delivery in the second quarter 2018 and the fourth quarter 2019. Each ship will be 164,600 gross tons and include 4,200 passenger berths.

 

“Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway have proven themselves as industry game-changers and are extremely popular with our guests,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “It was only natural that we build on their success with this new ship order that further solidifies our long-term growth strategy.”

The contract price for both ships is approximately euro 1.6 billion. The Company has export credit financing in place for each ship, arranged and underwritten by KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH of Germany.

“We are thrilled that Norwegian Cruise Line has the continued confidence in MEYER WERFT to expand their fleet,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of MEYER WERFT. “We are very proud of our longstanding relationship with Norwegian.”

Norwegian Cruise Line pioneered the concept of Freestyle Cruising which offers guests the freedom and flexibility to enjoy their cruise vacation on their own terms, including multiple dining venues, relaxed attire, a variety of accommodations and world-class entertainment. The Company took Freestyle Cruising to the next level with the introduction of Norwegian Epic in June 2010 and subsequently launched two game-changing vessels, Norwegian Breakaway based in New York in May 2013 and Norwegian Getaway homeported in Miami in February 2014. These ships incorporate groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place, a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that create a whole new complex at sea and connect guests with the ocean

via Welcome to NCL.

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Jul 09

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL BECOMES FIRST CRUISE LINE TO USE GOOGLE STREET VIEW TECHNOLOGY

Sample your vacation by exploring one of the world’s most impressive ships from dry land

MIAMI, July 7, 2014 – Royal Caribbean International today announced it is changing the way how people plan their vacations by working with Google to be the first cruise line to launch Google Maps Business View using Google’s Street View technology onboard the world’s largest and innovative cruise ship Allure of the Seas.

By using Street View technology, Royal Caribbean International will provide consumers with an immersive and interactive experience when they are searching for a vacation.

“Business View allows people all over the world to explore a range of businesses and organizations in great detail in just a few clicks” said Deborah Schenker – Program Manager at Google UK, “You can check out anything from restaurants to aircraft in Google Maps, and now for the first time you can sail the seas too with the first ever cruise ship coming on board.”

With just a few clicks, guests will be able to virtually walk through the various decks of Allure of the Seasincluding the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, flanked by restaurants, boutiques and lounges; Central Park, an outdoor park longer than a football pitch complete with over 12,000 live plants and trees; the Boardwalk, featuring a hand-crafted carousel, two rock-climbing walls and the AquaTheater, a high-dive aquatic performance venue with the deepest pool at sea; Entertainment Place, with an elaborate theatre, night club, comedy club, jazz club and ice-skating rink, which offers professionally produced ice shows; the Pool and Sports Deck featuring a zip line, twin FlowRider surf simulators, full-size basketball/sports court, nine-hole mini-golf course, 15 pools and whirlpools and 22 restaurants, and many, many more.

Vacationers will be able to access the technology, a first for the cruise industry at http://www.royalcaribbean.co.uk/royalview or via Google Search results, Google Maps and Google+ whether they’re using their computers, smartphones or tablets.

Jo Briody, director of marketing & PR, Royal Caribbean International commented: “We’re thrilled to be at the forefront of the industry when it comes to delivering innovative consumer facing technologies, whether it be Roboscreens and digital shows on our newest ships or Google Street View technology on our website. Consumers go online to research their vacations and this is the closest they can get to actually being onboard. We are confident that once people get virtually immersed in Allure of the Seas’ various decks and features thanks to Google Street View technology, they’ll be eager to experience the real thing.”

Over 20,000 images were taken over the course of 60 man hours and eight days to complete the virtual representation of the ship which stands taller than Nelson’s Column (165 feet) at 240 feet high and can accommodate more guests per sailing than the capacity of the Royal Albert Hall (5,544 seats).

The images were taken using a basic DSLR camera using a fisheye lens and a panoramic head resting on a tripod. This method takes twelve photographs at each point and uses high-dynamic-range imaging to ensure the best exposure for areas of different light.

Jul 09

Cruise ship study lays out costly options for Tampa Bay | Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA — The cruise ships that sail up and down Tampa Bay generate more than $380 million in annual economic activity for the area and help support up to 2,000 jobs.

But saving that industry from extinction could cost hundreds of millions — and maybe even a billion or two — in local, state and federal tax dollars, a state study estimates.

The question Tampa Bay leaders must ask themselves in the coming years: Are cruise ships worth it?

That’s the difficult choice facing the bay area after the Florida Department of Transportation released its long anticipated and oft-delayed study of the local cruise ship market on Tuesday.

“I think it reaffirms what we’ve always known,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “There are no inexpensive solutions.”

The problem facing Tampa Bay, and other communities across the country, is that the new breed of megasized cruise and cargo ships are too big for existing port entryways.

Here, mega cruise ships cannot fit beneath the Sunshine Skyway bridge. The Skyway can handle cruise ships that measure 180 feet from the top of the waterline. But the mega ships can sit as high as 225 feet above the waterline.

Those ships would never be able to sail unimpeded to the cruise ship terminals in downtown Tampa’s Channel District. But those are the ships that the industry is rapidly adopting. There may not be enough of the smaller, older ships in the future to dock in Tampa.

The $150,000 report listed options for dealing, or not dealing, with the coming problem:

• Officials could choose to build a new Skyway bridge, or raise part of it, so that mega cruise ships could pass beneath it.

Building a new Skyway (which was finished in 1987) would cost $2 billion. It also would take two years to tear down the current bridge and four years to build a new one.

The span could be raised, but at a cost of up to $1.5 billion that would leave it closed for years. That option creates a “high risk of instability,” the report said.

Both options could block motor vehicle traffic between Pinellas and Manatee counties for an extended period and interfere with shipping routes to Port Tampa Bay.

The Skyway is an interstate highway. That means federal money and approval would be required.

Richard Biter, FDOT’s assistant secretary for intermodal systems development, said he could imagine how federal officials would react: “They would say you have a perfectly good bridge with a 30-year lifespan left and you just want to tear it down?”

The Skyway option was included because “we just wanted to lay that out there,” he said.

The study also identifies another expensive and problematic issue: Tampa Bay’s shipping channels. Even if mega ships could fit beneath the Skyway, the channels are two narrow for them to pass by each other side-by-side. The bottom of the bay would have to be dredged, which is expensive, difficult and highly regulated.

via Cruise ship study lays out costly options for Tampa Bay | Tampa Bay Times.

Jun 28

Analysts: Cruise prices to grow modestly, led by Europe, Alaska – Travel Weekly

Cruise line pricing is poised to head mildly upward in the second half of 2014, as itineraries in Europe and Alaska that dominate the third quarter take center stage and the weaker Caribbean recedes in importance.

That’s the rough consensus of several Wall Street analysts who track pricing across the industry.

But when broken down by cruise region and cruise line, the pricing picture looks mixed. Cruises in Europe are definitely showing the best price improvement over last year, while the Caribbean lags.

Among the major cruise companies, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) appears to be enjoying the strongest pricing power, with Norwegian Cruise Line struggling and Carnival Corp. starting to put last year’s troubles at its flagship Carnival Cruise Lines brand behind it.

“Demand is improving,” Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Rachael Rothman wrote in a June 12 report. “We believe that net yields will be positive for all operators over 2014, demonstrating that demand has exceeded supply even in spite of the meaningful capacity increase in the Caribbean.”

Other analysts said the industry was benefiting as it gets further from the Carnival Triumph slump of a year ago, but they cautioned that a strong recovery in 2015 is by no means assured.

via Analysts: Cruise prices to grow modestly, led by Europe, Alaska – Travel Weekly.

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