THE QUEEN MARY 2 continues to be a hit for
Carnival Corp.: After attracting scores of onlookers during its
early-morning maiden appearance in New York April 22, the liner
attracted more well-wishers for its historic exit with the Queen
Elizabeth 2 on Sunday. While New Yorkers crowded around the tip of
Manhattan to watch the two Queens sail past the Statue of Liberty
and the accompanying fireworks, Cunard Line and Carnival executives
and VIPs took in the show from a Ritz-Carlton bar perched above the
harbor. A star-studded benefit party was given on the ship on April
24 and included appearances by singer Beyonce and Donald Trump, who
himself did a rendition of "I'll Take Manhattan."
LAST WEEK WAS A BUSY ONE for Carnival Corp. in
New York: Top execs -- including QM2 captain Paul Wright, who did
the honors -- participated in the closing bell ceremony April 22 at
the New York Stock Exchange. The afternoon at the exchange followed
the company's annual meeting in midtown Manhattan, literally down
the block from where the QM2 was berthed. It was a good day on the
market for Carnival Corp.: The stock price that day rose $0.40.
TRAVEL GUARD last week reinstated its
financial-default coverage for Oceania Cruises and removed the line
from the insurer's alert list. Travel Guard had placed the line
April 16 on its alert list because Oceania hadn't responded to
requests for information, a Travel Guard spokesman said. But
Oceania provided the required particulars and was "back in good
standing" Thursday, the spokesman said. Oceania CEO Frank del Rio
earlier in the week told TravelWeekly.com that the dropped coverage
ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD.'S first-quarter
net income was $95.8 million, an 80% increase over the company's
first-quarter 2003 profit of $53.2 million. Revenue increased
20.6%, to $1.1 billion, and the company attributed it to rising
cruise ticket prices and a 13.4% jump in capacity. Net yields,
meanwhile, increased 5.3% quarter-over-quarter. During a conference
call with analysts, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean International
President Jack Williams said gross bookings rose 23% and, as far as
pricing goes: "We are witnessing the same strength we've been
seeing with the bookings."
• The Westerdam, Holland America Line's latest Vista-class ship,
was christened in Venice, Italy, by Dutch actress Renee Soutendijk.
The ship embarked on its maiden voyage in the Mediterranean later
that day. The Westerdam will sail in the Mediterranean this summer
and will reposition to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in November for
• Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the Jewel of the
Seas in Eemshaven, the Netherlands. The ship will sail a series of
preview cruises before arriving in Harwich, England, to begin its
inaugural cruising season in Northern Europe.
• The Norwegian Star will emerge from a multimillion dollar
refurbishment next month with a new steakhouse in place of the Las
Ramblas restaurant, a Tex-Mex restaurant in lieu of the Endless
Summer eatery, a 10,000-square-foot casino and dramatic hull
artwork -- which Norwegian Cruise Line called a "signature
• It is understood that the European Stars will be auctioned in
Marseille, France, on May 13, although a spokeswoman for Festival
Cruises said she had not seen official confirmation.
• Carnival Cruise Lines is the latest company to heed the low-carb
call: It's adding low-carb dining selections on dinner menus
fleetwide over the next month.
• Norwegian Cruise Line created a Hawaii golf program for its Pride
of Aloha sailings, which begin July 4. The ship will offer golf
outings to links on all four main islands visited by the Pride of
Aloha and will set up an onboard pro shop.