CRUISES has come a long way in the past four years,
growing from a small cruise line with three older ships to a
serious player in the market with seven vessels in the water. And
more are on the way. The line announced
it has a tentative agreement with the French yard Chantiers de
lAtlantique to build two 130,000-ton, 3,200-passenger vessels. That
is in addition to the MSC Musica and sister ship the MSC Orchestra,
which are due from Chantiers in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Were
becoming a lot more noteworthy, MSCs North American CEO Rick Sasso
said. Sasso also noted that the cruise
line has reached an agreement with Expedia, making its inventory
available via the Web site. The MSC sailings are included in
Expedias cruise price guarantee.
BROUGHT BY a former Carnival Cruise Lines Personal
Vacation Planner (PVP) against Carnival Corp., claiming the company
failed to pay PVPs overtime compensation, was granted class-action
status in Miami federal court. The court certified the class as
PVPs or Vacation Planners employed in Carnivals Miami and Miramar,
Fla., offices between January 2002 and the present. Carnival said
in a statement that it considers PVPs to be exempt from overtime
since they earn the majority of their pay from commission, and it
added it planned to vigorously defend itself.
CRUISE LINE is working on a Web site that will include a
consumer booking engine because [cruisers] are requesting it,
according to Executive Vice President Andy Stuart. The site
redesign should be complete right after the new year. NCL has an
online res tool for agents and is one of the last lines to roll out
one for the public.
MUST-READ for followers of the cruise biz hit the
bookshelves this week. Devils on the Deep Blue Sea, written by
Kristoffer A. Garin and published by Viking, is a 350-page peek
behind the curtain at an industry described by the author as
rapacious, insatiable and feral. Garin spent time with some of the
industrys heavy hitters Micky Arison, Richard Fain and Peter
Ratcliffe, to name-drop a few in researching the book.
APPARENTLY wont be following in the wake of Crystal
Cruises and Radisson Seven Seas when it comes to tacking on a fuel
surcharge, at least not yet. The only place we have implemented
fuel surcharges is with charters, Deborah Natansohn, Seabourns
president, told Travel Weekly. At the moment, we dont have any
plans to do it to our FIT customers.