AMERICAN CRUISE INDUSTRY generated $35.7 billion in gross
U.S. economic output and supported 348,000 jobs in 2006, according
to an annual report released by the Cruise Lines International
Association last week. Direct spending, which includes purchases by
the cruise lines for goods and services and spending by crew and
passengers, increased by 9% in 2006 to $17.6 billion. Cruise
industry spending had increased 13.8% in 2004 and 10% in 2005, and
the report attributed 2006's slower growth rate in part to a slower
growth of embarkations at U.S. ports. Embarkations from U.S. ports
increased 4%, to 9 million, which accounted for 75% of total global
embarkations. The industry's fleet increased to 151 vessels.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES' ship the Inspiration will get their
own area, a quiet, no-kids zone called "Serenity," when the vessel
emerges from a month-long drydock in early October, Carnival said.
The Inspiration will be the first Carnival ship to feature the new
area, which will be located in a secluded aft area of the ship and
feature plush chaise lounges and chairs, oversized umbrellas and
two hot tubs. The Serenity areas are part of Carnival's $250
million "Evolutions of Fun" enhancement initiative and will be
installed on all the Fantasy-class ships.
CARNIVAL, meanwhile, said it would homeport
its 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory year-round in San Juan, where
it will run seven-day, Southern Caribbean cruises beginning in
November 2008. The Victory will replace the Carnival Destiny,
giving Puerto Rico a newer and slightly larger ship, Carnival said.
The Victory will operate a new five-port itinerary that calls in
St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica, St. Thomas and the Dominican
Republic, where it includes an overnight stop in the resort area of
La Romana/Casa De Campo.
WEST will spend $2 million to renovate its 138-passenger
Spirit of Yorktown ship and will add four cabins with teak-floored
balconies on its sun deck, creating a new balcony cabin category.
The ship's hallways, lobby areas, observation lounge and living
room will also be redecorated and renovated. The five-week wetdock
begins on Oct. 23 and is set to be completed in time for the
vessel's cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on Dec. 22. The ship's
new look will include artwork from Alaskan communities that the
ship visits and heirlooms from the West family, the line's
founders. Cruise West said it plans to renovate other ships in its
fleet over the next two years.
CRUISE LINE became the "official cruise line of the PGA
Tour and Champions Tour," NCL Corp. said. The three-year marketing
partnership with the golf tours gives NCL the right to use the PGA
Tour marks in its advertising, and there are promotional and
tournament hospitality opportunities built around both tours, NCL
said. The PGA and NCL will work together on promoting the line's
Golf Hawaii and Golf Bermuda programs and other golf opportunities.
Scott Rogers, NCL's senior vice president of sales and marketing,
said that the "demographic of [PGA] fans aligns well with NCL's
target audience" and that "this partnership with the PGA Tour will
let golfers around the world know that you can combine a great
cruise vacation with top golf experiences."
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