Tuesday, March 14, 2006

RCI's New Beds & Threads ...

Mattress Gap Thwarted: Royal Caribbean plans to sack existing beds with a fleet-wide bedding enhancement. What's described as an extreme makeover includes new frames designed to prevent sagging, nine-inch-thick spring mattresses with separate two-inch-thick micro-fiber pillow tops; 220-thread-count cotton-blend sheets; A pair of micro-fiber pillows, plus a decorative pillow; Duvet with cotton-blend covers; Bed skirts; and colored bed scarves for ends of beds to protect duvets. "Though we think bedtime is the last thing on anyone's mind while on a Royal Caribbean cruise, we do realize that sleeping well is essential," said Adam Goldstein, president. RCI also has solved the dreaded gap that forms when twins are pushed together for a queen-size effect. Custom-designed pillow tops are doubled over when placed atop twin beds, but are unfolded to go on top of one another and the mattresses to create a queen-size, gap-free mattress. The bedding program debuts in May on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, and will roll out to the rest of the fleet by May 2007. RCI has 19 ships in service and two under construction for sailing in Alaska, Canada and Europe. For details, call 800-327-6700.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Now It's Really "Where The Bags Are" ...

Port Everglades Doubles Luggage Area: To make way for bigger ships carrying more cruise passengers and their luggage, the one-time "Where The Boys Are" capital of Greater Fort Lauderdale has doubled Passenger Terminal 2 at Port Everglades to create the seaport’s largest baggage hall -- and one of the industry's largest. Passenger Terminal 2 's baggage hall has gotten a stretch from 25,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet (4,646 meters) for larger cruise ships, primarily belonging to Princess Cruises. The cost: $2,259,525. The hall can be sectioned off for dual check-in and other uses. Other niceties: A covered passenger drop-off, waiting lounge with satellite dish television, two sets of restrooms, a mezzanine, three elevators, two escalators, environmentally friendly electric forklifts for baggage handling, and two telescopic passenger loading bridges. Princess operates year-round seven-night Caribbean cruises with the 3,100-passenger Caribbean Princess, and during the winter sails 10-nighters with both the 1,950-passenger Coral Princess and 1,950-passenger Sun Princess, and 14-nighters with the 1,950-passenger Sea Princess. Forty cruise ships and nearly 20 cruise lines call at Port Everglades. The Port's ever-expanding fleet provides sampler-size day cruises to around-the-world cruises. For details, www.broward.org/port, and while you're at it, check out www.portofcallguide.com