AMERICA'S four ships in Hawaii were unscathed after an
earthquake measuring 6.6 in magnitude shook the islands early on
Oct. 15. The Pride of Aloha stayed an extra night in Honolulu to
accommodate disembarking passengers who were unable to get their
flights home and to wait for passengers on the current cruise who
were unable to get to Hawaii by the ship's scheduled departure
time. The Pride of Aloha was to miss its call in Kona, which was
closed for evaluation, but the rest of the itinerary was unchanged.
NCL did not change itineraries for the Pride of America, the
Norwegian Wind and the Pride of Hawaii, but all are subject to
change depending on the status of the Kona port.
CRUISES plans to have cell phone service operational on
both its ships later this month via a partnership with SeaMobile.
The firm's Quiet Zone technology will allow service to work in some
parts of the ships, while other areas will be "cell phone-free."
Thomas Mazloum, Crystal's senior vice president of hotel
operations, said the distinction is for travelers that want to stay
in touch but "don't want to be disturbed." Text messaging and the
use of personal digital assistants will also be possible. The
charges will be billed at international roaming rates to the
passenger's cell phone bill.
CRUISES became the 20th member of the Cruise Lines
International Association on Oct. 6. Pearl Seas, the offshoot
affiliate of small-ship operator American Cruise Lines, had
announced in September that it had signed contracts to build one
165-person cruise ship that will enter service in July 2008 and a
210-passenger vessel that will enter service in June 2009.
CLIA-member cruise lines collectively represent 97% of the cruise
capacity marketed in North America.
AMERICA LINE said that its $225 million Signature of
Excellence initiative is now complete, with the last piece, a
Culinary Arts Center on the Oosterdam, installed this month. The
two-year project on twelve HAL ships took 200 days of drydock and,
between shipyard workers, contractors and ship personnel, almost
2,000 people to complete. HAL CEO Stein Kruse said that reaction
from passengers, travel agents, press and staff has been
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