Oceania Cruises has expanded its bistro lunch service fleetwide and introduced an entirely new slate of menus with more than 600 new dishes.

Passenger ratings for San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten are consistently higher now than before the hurricanes, a senior Carnival Cruise Line executive said Thursday.

Steve McLaughlin, vp sales Australasia for Oceania Cruises, co-hosted a Valentine’s dinner for media aboard Regatta with Steve Odell, svp and md Asia Pacific of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, before the 684-passenger ship set sail from Sydney late in the evening of February 14.

Steve Odell, svp and md Asia Pacific for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Lisa Pile, vp sales Australia and New Zealand for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, showcased Regent Seven Seas Navigator’s recent bow-to-stern makeover when the luxury yacht-style ship docked in Sydney on Thursday on a 137-day Los Angeles/Los Angeles world voyage.

Navigator had arrived from New Zealand and sailed in the evening, heading for Perth.The aptly-named Seven Seas Navigator visited Australia in February  2002 on the first round-world voyage operated by what was then Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. Odell was unapologetic when he told his media guests, who lunched in the signature Compass Rose Restaurant, that Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the most expensive cruise line.

‘You don’t go to Gucci and ask for a discount,’ he said. ‘Our prices don’t come down. The top suites are always first to sell out and an average fare per couple for a 14-night cruise is around A$20,000.

‘It is not about the price -- it is what is included.’

Pile, who said around 50% of passengers are repeaters, said the company is launching its future itineraries earlier than ever and this has led to an early booking curve.

She said the 2020/21 itineraries will be announced in August.Photo:  Helen Hutcheon

Victory Cruise Lines unveiled a nine-night, all-inclusive cruise between Miami and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula that features three noted Mayan archaeological sites and other cultural and historical highlights of Quintana Roo, Yucatán and Campeche.

When Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Symphony of the Seas, debuts in April the vessel will be the world’s largest cruise ship.

Norwegian Cruise Line opened sales for cruises to Cuba and beyond aboard Norwegian Sun round-trip from Miami for a limited season this fall.

German operator Plantours has announced it will add the 2004-built rivership Rousse Prestige to its fleet from March 2019.

TUI Cruises inked an agreement with Meyer Turku to build Mein Schiff 7 for 2023 delivery. The design is based on the 111,500gt, 2,894-berth new Mein Schiff 1 and 2.

AIDAcara returned to homeport of Hamburg early Saturday morning after a 116-day round the world voyage – the first in the Germany cruise company’s history – having departed on October 17, 2017 with around 1,100 guests.

Page 1 of 378