Oceania to debut a ship class in 2022
Oceania Cruises ordered two 67,000-gross-ton ships from Fincantieri for delivery in 2022 and 2025. The 1,200-passenger, Allura-class ships will cost a combined $1.3 billion at current exchange rates. The ships will be about the size of the Marina and Riviera, Oceania's first newbuilds, delivered in 2011 and 2012, and will retain all of their elements and amenities, Oceania said.
Carnival rethinks room service fees
Carnival Cruise Line put on hold a recently announced plan to charge for almost all room service, per an a la carte room service menu with items costing $2 to $6, with the exception of a free continental breakfast. Senior cruise director John Heald said the line was "in the process of making some adjustments to that plan to balance the interests of our guests with our efforts to reduce food waste costs."
London will have first Standard outside U.S.
Standard Hotels' first hotel outside of the U.S. will open later this year in London. The 266-room Standard London, opening in a historic building in the King's Cross district, will have rooms with terraces overlooking St. Pancras Station. The property will have an indoor/outdoor garden restaurant and a rooftop venue. The Standard has five hotels: two in New York, one in Miami Beach and two in Los Angeles.
Viking's world cruise will call in Hawaii
Viking's 161-day world cruise in 2020-21 will include stops in Hawaii, a first for the 5-year-old ocean cruise line. The voyage, departing Dec. 14, 2020, from Miami on the 930-passenger Viking Sun, will visit 75 ports and overnight in 13 cities before arriving in London in April 2021. The ship will call in Oahu and Kauai. Other new ports for Viking will be the South Pacific island of Moorea in French Polynesia and Hue, Vietnam. Pricing starts at $59,995 per person.
Norwegian Air debuts free long-haul Wifi
Norwegian Air put its first WiFi-equipped long-haul aircraft into service, becoming the first low-cost airline to offer free WiFi on transatlantic flights. The carrier will offer a free, basic Wifi plan for web browsing, emailing and texting and a premium plan for $14.95 for three hours that enables streaming music, TV shows and movies.
Biltmore Mayfair to be Hilton's 2nd LXR
Hilton will make the 257-room Biltmore Mayfair in London the second member of its high-end LXR Hotels & Resorts independent property portfolio. The former Millennium Hotel London Mayfair closed for a multimillion-dollar renovation last July, and a spring reopening is planned. The 234-room Habtoor Palace in Dubai is the other LXR hotel. The portfolio debuted last year.
Friends & Colleagues
Beverly Nicholson-Doty, who has served as the U.S. Virgin Islands' commissioner of tourism for the past 12 years, resigned from her post on Dec. 27, following the election of a new government. Nicholson-Doty led the Department of Tourism longer than any other commissioner before her, serving under two governors: John P. de Jongh Jr. from 2007 to 2015 and Kenneth Mapp, who was defeated in November by Albert Bryan. • • • Dana Young is the new president and CEO of Visit Florida, appointed by recently elected Gov. Ron DeSantis. She replaces Ken Lawson, who has been tapped by DeSantis to serve as executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Young took office on Jan. 9. Young served in the Florida House from 2010 to 2016, rising to the role of House Republican leader, and most recently served as a state senator for District 18 in Hillsborough County, a seat she lost in the November election. • • • Pacifica Hotels has promoted Adam Marquis to president. Marquis, who joined Pacifica in 2010, most recently served as the West Coast hospitality group's executive vice president. He previously was a senior consultant at PKF Consulting and a rooms division manager for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.