THE CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION and the International Council of Cruise Lines will become one organization with the CLIA name and relocate from New York and Arlington, Va., respectively, to Miami by the end of this year. CLIA CEO Terry Dale will run the combined organization. Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Cruises CEO and the current ICCL chairman, said the move would allow the two groups to “speak with a unified voice to travel agents and consumers as well as to regulators and legislators.” ICCL and CLIA have not said which staffers will make the move to Miami, or whether Michael Crye, president of ICCL, will accept an offer to be part of the new CLIA.
THE NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY GENERAL is suing Royal Caribbean International for changing a July 2005 itinerary from Bermuda to the Canadian Maritimes without offering passengers a comparable itinerary or a refund. Royal Caribbean countered in a statement that the National Hurricane Center forecasted a hurricane would likely intersect the ship’s path to Bermuda and said it “has an obligation to avoid threatening sailing conditions.” According to the suit, which was filed last week, the cruise line violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act because, among other things, a Canada cruise is cheaper than a Bermuda cruise and guests could not enjoy the outdoors in the cool Canada clime. In its statement, Royal Caribbean said that Bermuda’s stormy weather would not have been conducive to outdoor play either and that “a cruise to Bermuda is not inherently more expensive than a cruise to Canada.”
REGENT SEVEN SEAS is making all its 2007 cruises liquor-inclusive. Regent President Mark Conroy said the change is part of the line’s rebranding strategy and that on liquor-inclusive world cruises “the policy has contributed to the air of conviviality aboard, with more people getting out of their suites [and] socializing.”
CARNIVAL CORP. said its second-quarter profits fell slightly due to fuel costs and a continuing softness in the Caribbean, but it still beat most analysts’ expectations, sending its shares up 5% on June 16. Carnival said its net income for second-quarter 2006 was $380 million, down from $388 million a year ago, while its revenue was up 5.8% year-over-year, to $2.66 billion. Carnival said there are signs of improvement in the Caribbean; in response to recent pricing tactics, it said, bookings for Caribbean sailings increased during the last few weeks. The company also expects a solid increase in revenue from European cruise brands in the second half of 2006 and said its pricing for the second half of this year is ahead of 2005 in both Europe and North America.
MARTHA STEWART christened the 113,000-ton Crown Princess on June 14 at its Brooklyn, N.Y., homeport. The ship began sailing from Brooklyn last week; its inaugural 2006 summer season will feature nine-day sailings to both the eastern and western Caribbean and will include the line’s first regular calls to Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, as well as a return to Bermuda. The Crown Princess will reposition to San Juan for winter Caribbean sailings, Princess said.
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