Friday, August 18, 2006

Freedom from Miami ...

How long Before Launching 'Around Cuba Cruises'?: Carnival Freedom, shaping up at Italy’s Fincantieri yard, sails year-round 7-day Caribbean cruises from Miami, starting Nov. 17, 2007, alternating eastern/western routes. Before that, Freedom sails a one-time 4-day cruise to Key West and Cozumel, Nov. 12-16. Freedom replaces Carnival Triumph, repositioning to New Orleans in September 2007. Freedom’s inaugural Med/Greek Isles sailings run March 14 to Oct. 16, 2007, followed by a 14-day crossing to Miami, Oct. 28 – Nov. 11, 2007. Freedom’s Saturday departures are for San Juan, St. Thomas/St. John, and St. Maarten, or Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Freedom has 22 lounges, two formal restaurants, a supper club, and a poolside eatery with 24-hour pizza, and ice cream. There’s “Camp Carnival” for kids, and a teen “Club 02,” plus a health club, four swim pools, and golf. Besides cell phone service and an Internet café, Carnival Freedom has “100 percent bow to stern” wireless Internet. Of 1,487 staterooms, 60 percent are ocean view or private balcony. Week sailings start at $599 per person, double; $299 for the four-day cruise. Still in the offing as horizons change: CCL's long-discussed 7-day "Around Cuba Cruises" showcasing the island's various ports. For details, call 800-CARNIVAL.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Crescent City Triumph ...

NOLA Lands Another Ship: Carnival deploys a second year-round ship to New Orleans in August, 2007 -- the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph -- making CCL the only line sailing year-round from the Crescent City. Deployment of the 2,056-passenger Fantasy in October means CCL now offers four-, five-, and seven-day cruises from NOLA. Triumph begins seven-day Caribbean cruises Sept. 2, 2007. Fantasy launches four- and five-day cruises from on Oct. 26, 2006. Triumph also sails a five-day one-timer from New Orleans on Aug. 28, 2007. After Katrina, Carnival reaffirmed commitment and promised it would bring back two ships to homeport year-round as soon as possible. "Carnival has lived up to its promise and shown that cruising will continue to have a vibrant future in New Orleans, ” said CCL's Bob Dickinson. With NOLA pre/posts, Triumph alternates routes to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios or Belize, Cozumel, or Progreso, starting at $449 per person, double; The one-timer starts at $369. For details, call (800) CARNIVAL.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Port Everglades Staffs Up ...

New Gig: Glenn Wiltshire, recently captain of the Port New York/New Jersey, landed the Port Everglades deputy director job. Phil Allen, director, said he starts this month, as the Port begins work on its 5-year Master Plan and 10/20-year Vision Plans. In New York, Wiltshire helped oversee the $2 billion harbor deepening, and supervised maritime security for the 2004 GOP convention. He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in '76, taking a masters from Harvard in '82. For Port info, call 954-523-3404.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Oops, Not Again ...

Nothing to Celebrate: While no Exxon Valdez, Carnival Celebration's engine prop struck the sea floor while docking in the Bahamas, spilling oil, and damaging the vessel, the Miami-based line said. The ship scrapped its call in Nassau and returned to its Jacksonville, Fla. homeport, long-time CCL spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz said, noting the environmental snafu involved an estimated 53 gallons of lubricating oil hitting the water. Passengers each get a $50 shipboard credit for the missed call, plus a 25 percent break on a future cruise, she said. No estimates yet on ship damage.