Travel Weeklys Cruise E-letter: April 25, 2006

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. beat earnings expectations even as the companys first-quarter earnings fell 37% year-over-year, to $119.5 million. In a conference call with analysts Royal Caribbean executives cited fuel costs, ship refurbishments and the cost of doing business in Hurricane Wilma-torn Cozumel as factors. The companys premium brand Celebrity Cruises outpaced Royal Caribbean International in terms of growth, Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain said.

 

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE took delivery of the Pride of Hawaii last week at a ceremony in the Dutch port of Eemshaven after a delay due to problems with the ships Azipod propulsion system. NCL said the Pride of Hawaii would arrive in Baltimore by the end of this month, and after a series of inaugural events in San Francisco and Los Angeles in May it will begin sailing out of Honolulu June 5. The shipbuilder, Meyer Werft, said in a statement that it had changed the bearings in the ships pod system as a measure of precaution.

EASYCRUISE will launch a second vessel this summer, a riverboat called EasyCruiseTwo that will offer river and canal itineraries in the Netherlands and Belgium starting July 14. The 100-passenger ship will remain owned and operated by a franchisee, Boonstra River Line, but will be renovated and restructured to EasyCruise standards. Chairman Stelios Haji-Ioannou said that the company is negotiating with two other potential franchisees to run EasyCruise ships in the Greek Islands and on the Nile River.

HAJI-IOANNOU said the company made a few tactical errors with the EasyCruiseOne, the lines first ship, and is fixing them before next year. The ships dining options will be refined in order to offer more than the current sports-bar menu. There will also be more outside cabins and windows fitted on the ship, as Haji-Ioannou said he took a lot of stick (i.e. criticism) for boarding up the windows in the EasyCruiseOnes outside cabins. Both ships will be outfitted with a new EasyCruise logo and hull paint job.  

 

THE QUEEN MARY 2 sailed into the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, its new New York homeport, for the first time on April 15. All went smoothly at the $56 million facility, with one snag: some people who disembarked the QM2 from a Caribbean cruise waited more than two hours for buses to take them on a city tour before going to the airport. Jackie Matthews, a Cunard Line spokeswoman, said the private bus company has made accommodations that will ensure a smooth operation in the future and that the motorcoach parking area will be changed to accommodate more coaches and allow more efficient loading of the coaches.

Cruise E-Letter Editor:

Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-7940

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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