Friday, July 21, 2006

Miami Vice Mojito ...

Bottoms Up: With South Beach style and fast action, the new “Miami Vice” likely will be a smash. At least that’s what Carnival Cruise Lines is banking on, teaming with Bacardi Rum to create “Miami Vice Mojito” promos aboard Fun Ships. Adults forking out for a Bacardi Mojito aboard any Carnival cruise through Aug. 31, will be in a sweepstakes for a trip to Miami Beach where “Miami Vice” was filmed. Plus, adults who pony up for a Bacardi Mojito when it is designated as Carnival's “Drink of the Day” will be in a drawing for shipboard credit. Miami's allure, the undercover cops, and the attitudes of Michael Mann's culturally influential TV series have been enhanced by time in the feature film. Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx of Ray, Jarhead) is urbane and dead smart. Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell of S.W.A.T.) is unorthodox but procedurally sound. Miami Vice, as a feature film, liberates what is dangerous and alluring about working deeply undercover…especially when Crockett and Tubbs go where badges don't count.

Scribes at Sea ...

Apartment Porn & Kissing Up: Ultra-luxe, all-suite Seabourn Pride hosts two “Writers’ Circle” Caribbean cruises from Barbados, with opportunity to mix with authors. “Seabourn is all about sharing voyages with interesting shipmates and celebrating the good things in life, and that includes good writing,” notes president Deborah L. Natansohn, former wire service newswoman and veteran travel marketing exec. The Nov. 25 sailing features author Michael Gross, whose exposé "Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women" was a New York Times bestseller. His latest: "740 Park," the inside story of New York’s richest, most prestigious, and secretive coop apartment building and the people who live there, which Fortune called “jaw-dropping apartment porn.” The Dec. 9 sailing hails off-kilter perspectives of “investigative humorist” Henry Alford, author of "Big Kiss: One Actor’s Desperate Attempt to Claw His Way to the Middle." Expect subversive excerpts from famed cookbooks and obituaries, word games combining slang terms from rap music and English fox-hunting, and foreign phrase book translations that may not prove useful. From $2,298, double. (800) 929-9391.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Princess Crown Askew ...

Oddity at Sea: Princess Cruises' Crown Princess snailed her way back to Florida's Port Canaveral after a sudden lurch-and-list left passengers and crew scrambling amid flying debris and gushing water. Medics treated the injured as officials tackled logistics of a massive impromptu disembarkation, and launched a probe into what went wrong. The month-old ship carrying more than 2,500 passengers and 1,200 crew had been about 11 miles out to sea and headed to New York on the last leg of a 9-day Caribbean cruise. Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson reported the line is looking into possible steering or mechanical problems and said passengers sustained fractures, bruises and some serious injuries. "We deeply regret this incident, and are doing everything we can to make our passengers as comfortable as possible under these difficult circumstances,'' said Benson, who personally sustained life-threatening injuries several years ago in a land-based vehicular accident in Alaska while on Princess business. Now comes cleaning up the mess, determining what repairs are needed, and calculating financial impact of scuttled days at sea.

Celebrity Orders Third 'Solstice' ...

Celebrity Cruises has ordered a third 118,000 GRT Solstice-class ship, underscoring the company’s commitment to growing the Celebrity brand. German shipbuilder Meyer Werft will build the new tonnage, with delivery of Celebrity Solstice planned for Fall 2008, Celebrity Equinox in Summer 2009, and the third in June 2010. Each will carry up to 2,850 guests, and measure 1,033 long by 121 feet wide, with larger standard staterooms, more balconies, and lots of whistles and bells. Celebrity estimates the all-in cost of the ship to be approximately $245,000 per berth, based on current exchange rates. Celebrity offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences. Celebrity's nine-ship fleet sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For details, call (800) 437-3111.

Mastering Port Everglades ...

Another Study: Broward's Port Everglades has retained DMJM Harris, a consultant in engineering/planning/economic analysis, to whip up a five-year Master Plan, and 10- and 20-year Vision Plans. Port Director Phillip C. Allen says those will address changes since 2001, when Port Everglades presented its original 2020 Vision Master Plan. The firm will incorporate post-9/11 aspects with potential vision impact. Nitty-gritty from a current study of petroleum facilities by Purvin & Gertz, Inc. will wrap in the Master Plan, due in Spring of 2007, with public input invited. Port Everglades, a gateway for international trade and cruises, is the winter homeport for Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. It ranks among the nation's fastest growing container ports, according to the PIERS import/export database. Port Everglades generates $2.87 billion annually. For details, call 954-523-3404.

Monday, July 17, 2006

'Malpractice' at Sea ...

Cruise Lines Liable?: A 2003 civil lawsuit against Celebrity Cruises by a Deerfield Beach, Florida couple, Hilda and Sam Rosenfeld, over a cut from a bathroom spill leading to bone infection now grabs headlines. The woman, 82, walks with a cane, has heart problems, and kidney disease, and her attorney has motioned twice to expedite, both denied. She got antiobotics aboard, but not enough, her lawyer claims. Suing the German doctor aboard isn't viable, he says, so her ability to collect depends on whether Celebrity can be held liable. That likely hinges on a case now before the Florida Supreme Court involving Carnival Cruise Lines. Doctors are trained in a discipline that cruise lines aren't, and courts have upheld that principle in 27 cases over 100 years. Yet rejection came in a suit in federal court in California over Carnival Ecstasy cruise from Miami when a girl, 14, was treated by the ship's doctor for flu. Returning to Detroit, the suit alleges her parents learned she had a ruptured appendix damaging reproductive organs. Miami-Dade circuit court dismissed. But the Third District Court of Appeal overturned in 2003. Carnival appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. Most cruises require lawsuits be brought in South Florida. Change in Florida law means far more than change anywhere else.