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Articles from 2006 In February


Port Everglades edges close to its own world record

Port Everglades edges close to its own world record

26.

Port Everglades claims the world title for hosting the most passengers in a single day on Dec. 21, 2003, with 44,108 passengers.

'If Port Everglades hadn't already set the world record in 2003, this past Sunday would have done the trick. We were just one sailing short of surpassing our own world record,' said port director Phil Allen.

Allen noted that on an average winter Sunday, the port handles approximately 10 to 12 cruise ships and 30,000 to 35,000 passengers. Sunday was extra busy, Allen said, due to 'the overlapping of cruise line schedules and the popularity of cruises during the winter season.'

Though the port hosted 12 ships on Sunday, many were much larger than on the previous record day and therefore carried more passengers. Port Everglades' previous passenger record was set with 15 ships.

Multi-day cruise vessels on Feb. 26 included: Carnival Liberty, Infinity, Summit, Costa Mediterranea, Costa Magica, Westerdam, Regal Empress, MSC Lirica, Star Princess and Sun Princess. Day-cruise ships Discovery Sun and Island Adventure shared one berth.

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Residents leave Carnival ships as charter ends

Residents leave Carnival ships as charter ends

Only a few Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel remain on board the Holiday in Pascagoula, Miss.

'The residents have been getting off over time. The numbers have been declining steadily in recent weeks as FEMA's been preparing for the end of the contract period,' Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher told Seatrade Insider. 'People are finding alternative housing on their own and when they're not finding it, FEMA is assisting them.'

Residents on the Ecstasy and Sensation have been disembarking gradually, and the last people on board are mainly firefighters and police personnel. All will leave today as the two ships are due to sail on Thursday for drydock refurbishments at Atlantic Marine in Mobile.

'We have been assured by FEMA that housing has been set up for them,' Gallagher said.

The last resident disembarked the Holiday earlier this week, and the few remaining FEMA personnel will leave before the ship departs Pascagoula on Friday for its drydock refurbishment at Grand Bahama Shipyard.

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Artist Chihuly to paint on Wind Surf cruise

Artist Chihuly to paint on Wind Surf cruise

During a week-long Mediterranean cruise with his family, Chihuly will create five paintings pierside.

Passengers will be able to watch the artist at work. One painting will be auctioned on board with proceeds donated to Chihuly's designated charity-- The Hilltop Artists in Residence Program for at-risk teens, located in Chihuly's hometown of Tacoma, Wash.

Chihuly also will host a cocktail reception during the cruise.

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Agent wins Lexus in Celebrity Sweepstakes

Agent wins Lexus in Celebrity Sweepstakes

Koch, of NLG/Cruises Only in Miramar, Fla., won the grand prize in the sweepstakes, which ran from Nov. 11 through Jan. 31. Every booking made with Celebrity during that time counted as one entry in the sweepstakes, with bookings on four- or five-night cruises to the Caribbean on Zenith and to Europe on Century qualifying as double entries.

Nearly 3,500 travel agents participated, with two first prize winners each receiving one Celebrity Caribbean cruise for four. Ritzenthaler plans to personally surprise those winners with their prize announcement next week.

One hundred agents qualified for the second prize, each winning a $100 gas card.

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Steiner beats expectations

Steiner beats expectations

Earnings for full year 2005 were $2.23 per share, compared with $2.03 per share in 2004.

Revenues for the quarter rose 15.6%, to $101.1m, up from $87.5m during the year-ago period. Income from continuing operations was $10.8m, compared with $10m for the same quarter in 2004. Q4 2004 included an 8-cent per share gain related to the sale of a minority interest in resort spas in Thailand and China.

Revenues for the year rose 16.3%, to $397.2m, up from $341.5m in 2004. Income from continuing operations was $40.4m, compared with $35.9m in 2004.

'We are very pleased with our record fourth quarter and annual financial results. The strong execution by our personnel allowed us to generate strong earnings growth and cash flow in 2005,' said Leonard Fluxman, president and ceo of Steiner Leisure.

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Seabourn Spirit aids yacht in distress

Seabourn Spirit aids yacht in distress

Seabourn Spirit was en route from Ship's Cove to Lyttelton when a mayday call was received at approximately 10 a.m. local time. Capt. Rickard Lorentzen was requested to proceed to the sloop Estelle, about 5.5 nautical miles from his location, to monitor the situation until the New Zealand Coast Guard could arrive.

Seabourn Spirit reached the scene in less than 20 minutes and stood by the sloop. Winds were gale force, at 30 knots, gusting to 35 knots. Sea conditions were rough, with swells of four to five meters. The Coast Guard rescue launch arrived about an hour and a quarter later, and secured a towing line on the sloop.

Seabourn Spirit proceeded to Lyttelton (for Christchurch), arriving at the pilot station at approximately 2:15 p.m. local time. The ship is sailing a 14-day voyage that departed Lautoka, Fiji, on Feb. 19 and will end at Auckland, New Zealand, on March 5.

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MSC to unveil Sophia Loren advertising

MSC to unveil Sophia Loren advertising

The campaign kicks off on March 6, with billboards in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tampa and New York metropolitan areas. Taxi toppers will pop up on vehicles in New York City and Miami.

Loren's image and the MSC slogan 'Beautiful. Passionate. Italian' will appear in high-traffic areas. 'This is the perfect time for agents to make the connection and sell MSC Cruises,' said Jim Henwood, vp sales for MSC Cruises USA.

The cruise line worked with New York-based IC COMM to create a multi-faceted national campaign featuring Loren as the spokesperson.

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Bothnia ports look to apos;07 breakthrough

Bothnia ports look to apos;07 breakthrough

The Bothnia Cruise Ports participated in last November's Seatrade Europe exhibition, where their booth was 'much frequented by the cruise line decision-makers,' said co-project director Claes-Olow (Ola) Edström. 'All positive comments from them indicate that the season 2007 will be a breakthrough season ... We are optimistic.'

Up to now, calls have been rare. Mona Lisa and Ocean Monarch visited Luleå in 2005, while Piteå, Hudiksvall and Rauma had no ships. For 2006, Amadea is scheduled for Luleå. Delphin Renaissance was booked for Rauma and Luleå before the vessel was sold to Pullmantur.

A base of business, however, is beginning to build for 2007. Silver Shadow, Artemis, Maxim Gorkiy and The World are booked for Luleå. The World also will visit Hudiksvall, and operators of two other ships have been in touch about calls to Rauma.

The Bothnia Cruise Ports will exhibit at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami, represented by Edström and co-project director Max Rune Karlström.

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Gov. Bush asked to explain role in FEMA charter

Gov. Bush asked to explain role in FEMA charter

S. government's charter of three Carnival Cruise Lines ships for hurricane relief housing, seeks an accounting of the role Florida Gov. Jeb Bush may have played in the awarding of the contract.

In a letter to Bush one day before the six-month charter expires, Waxman refers to the $236m deal as 'a boondoggle contract' that 'turned out to be enormously expensive.' He cites emails recently provided to Congress by Michael Brown, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which Waxman says indicate the governor 'intervened at a key moment' to support Carnival's efforts to win the federal contract.

Waxman points to emails between Bush and Ric Cooper, the head of Carnival's advertising agency, which he suggests led to Carnival gaining a favorable position with FEMA and in the subsequent competitive bidding process that was carried out by the Military Sealift Command.

'The governor acted simply to facilitate communication between a corporate citizen of Florida who wanted to provide housing assistance and FEMA, the agency they needed to coordinate with to provide the aid,' a spokeswoman for Bush told Seatrade Insider in response to Waxman's allegations.

'The baseless controversy over the cruise ship charters is old news,' Carnival said in a statement. 'The ships have played an effective and critical role in housing and feeding thousands of people who desperately needed help and we are extremely gratified to have been there for them. The contracts were competitively bid and the process was open to every cruise line.'

Carnival earlier said it based its bid on projected cruise revenue for six months out and agreed to reduce the final bill if an independent audit found the cruise operator earned more from the charter than it would have in the cruise market.

A preliminary review of FEMA's post-Hurricane Katrina relief efforts found that the decision to charter the Carnival ships for emergency housing was 'reasonable under the urgent circumstances.' Earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security inspector general Richard Skinner said his initial review found the charter to be economical 'in a high-cost area such as New Orleans so long as occupancy remains high.'

The findings of an audit of the charter contract terms are imminent.

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New era dawning for P&O Cruises Australia

New era dawning for P&O Cruises Australia

Named by Margaret Thatcher (now Baroness Thatcher) during a spectacular two-day event hosted by Lord Sterling of Plaistow that began in Manhattan on August 7, 1991, with dinner in the US$200m ship's Palm Court Restaurant before sailing that night to Brooklyn for the official ceremony next morning, Regal Princess will replace Pacific Sky which has been sold to Pullmantur Cruises of Spain (Seatrade Insider 20/12/2005).

Carnival Australia president Gavin Smith said that in her new role as Pacific Dawn she will be the first superliner to call Australia home. Smith said she will carry 2,000 passengers in 795 cabins -- 184 with private balconies -- and will operate a South Pacific cruise programme from Sydney.

The company is now taking advance registrations for Pacific Dawn's maiden season Down Under and full details of her itineraries will be announced in April. Itineraries for the 1,900-passenger Pacific Sun and the 1,400-passenger Pacific Star through to January 2008 will also be released in April.

The decision to sell Pacific Sky put an abrupt end to P&O Cruises Australia's plans to operate an inaugural extended Asia programme out of Singapore from this month until October. A condition of the sale was that the 46,000gt 1,200-passenger vessel be transferred to her new owner in May. This forced the cancellation of 27 ex-Singapore sailings, leaving only 10 between February 25 and April 29.

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