Last week was a huge one for Norwegian Cruise Lines, which made three announcements that made headlines in the cruising world. One, NCL improved its profitability in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, mainly because of the launch of Epic. Two, documentation was initiated to take the company public, the last of the major carriers to do so on this side of the Atlantic...
Saturday, 06.Nov.2010, 11:53 (GMT+3)
Last week was a huge one for Norwegian Cruise Lines, which made three announcements that made headlines in the cruising world.
One, NCL improved its profitability in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, mainly because of the launch of Epic.
Two, documentation was initiated to take the company public, the last of the major carriers to do so on this side of the Atlantic.
And three -- the one of the greatest importance to you -- there are two new-generation Norwegian ships scheduled to launch in the spring of 2013 and 2014, respectively.
We know the ships will carry 4,000 passengers and will be built at the Meyer Werft plant in Germany. Both will hold about 200 passengers fewer than the Epic, currently cruising the Caribbean. Norwegian indicated the ships will create a new class of Freestyle Cruising vessel. For NCL, it's a return -- to some degree -- to its roots. Meyer Werft built the Jewelclass ships: Gem, Pearl, Jewel and Jade.
Additional details about each of the new ship's features will be released as construction progresses. The contract price for both is approximately $1.7 billion Cdn. The company has committed financing in place from a syndicate of banks.
The cruise line's owner, Apollo Management, also owns Regent Seven Seas and Oceania.
Do you recall the movie L.A. Story with Steve Martin, in one scene sitting in a group ordering coffee, and everybody ordering a different kind? Martin ordered a half-caf, half-decaf, with a twist of lemon.
It goes without saying that it was part of the Starbucks coffee culture.
If you miss Starbucks coffee -- and the strange orders made by the person in front of you -- it won't happen when you're cruising on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas.
Last week, Royal Caribbean's parent company and Starbucks agreed to a licensing agreement with the first ship to get its own Starbucks store, the Allure.
The store will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. That's just what you need for a good night's sleep: a double espresso and a grande Frappuccino! A la carte prices will prevail. There's nothing to indicate if drinks will cost the same as on the street, or higher. Meanwhile, Seattle's Best Coffee (a brand owned by Starbucks) will be served throughout the ship.
Holland America is looking to increase revenue by adding a Cirque du Soleil theme in its Pinnacle Grill for at least one night on its seven-day sailings.
The price is $39 for the New York restaurants, with Pinnacle-created dishes and $59 with three glasses of wine.
One-off cruises have a tendency to sell out quickly. The Journey, from the Azamara Club Cruises fleet, will sail an inaugural Antarctica cruise Jan. 13, 2012. The Journey will sail round-trip from Buenos Aires, with stops in Montevideo, Falkland Islands, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia and, of course, around Cape Horn. Three days will be cruising in Antarctic Sound.
Starting price is $4,119 Cdn. More at azamaraclubcruises.com.
Here are a few last-minute sailings being offered at the time of writing. They are per person, double occupancy and do not include taxes and fees.
Nov. 21: Eastern Caribbean, return from Fort Lauderdale, seven days aboard the Celebrity Solstice, a premium-plus ship. Prices start at $499 Cdn, balconies at $819 (went up $100 in two days). See celebritycruises.com
for the latest.
Dec. 5: Western Caribbean, return from Miami, seven days aboard the Norwegian Pearl. Starting price is $369 US, balconies $689. More at ncl.com.
Dec. 12: Western Caribbean, return from Fort Lauderdale, seven days aboard the Carnival Glory. Starting is price $399 US, balconies $599. More details at carnival.com.
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