Tag Archives: Carnival

Answers to Questions Regarding Cruising in the Gulf

See Original Press Release from CruiseDeals.com

The internet cruise retailer encourages travelers to continue cruising from and visiting the Gulf Coast

Charlotte, NC June 18, 2010 — In response to client’s questions and concerns about cruising out of the Gulf Coast this summer or fall, CruiseDeals.com relays that cruise ships are still currently departing as scheduled from the Gulf Coast ports of New Orleans, Mobile, and Tampa to Caribbean destinations.

Gulf Shores Alabama“Fortunately people with summer cruise vacations planned departing from a Gulf Coast port have not yet had their itineraries affected by the massive oil spill,” explained Rich Tucker, cruise blogger and CruiseDeals.com’s business development specialist. “In the event that a port of call is adversely affected, we expect the cruise line to alter the itinerary appropriately, just as they do in the event of inclement weather.”

Fortunately people with summer cruise vacations planned departing from a Gulf Coast port have not yet had their itineraries affected by the massive oil spill.
CruiseDeals.com responds to frequent questions and concerns they have been receiving from their cruise clients regarding the oil spill and their upcoming cruise vacations:

1. If my cruise itinerary is altered, how will I be notified?
If the change is established in advance of your departure, CruiseDeals.com will reach out by phone or email to advise you of the planned changed. It’s also possible that the itinerary could be modified once you’ve departed, in which case the ship’s officers will notify all guests.

2. Am I able to reschedule my cruise for a different date?
That will depend on several factors, including the length of time remaining before your cruise departs and/or whether or not you have trip protection coverage in place. Each customer’s situation will be unique and therefore requires a unique answer.

3. Are people still making new cruise reservations originating out of Gulf Coast ports?
CruiseDeals.com is currently not seeing a halt to any reservation activity in this region, although some clients are inquiring if the itineraries are still operating as normal.

4. Does cruise travel insurance cover the potential effects of oil spills?
Typical travel insurance may not cover the potential effects of oil spills. If you have not yet purchased your cruise departing from the Gulf coast region, be sure to purchase a travel insurance policy along with your cruise that allows you to cancel your cruise for any reason. These policies will give you back a large percentage of your investment for any reason that you decide to cancel your vacation.

5. Is there anything I can do if I did not purchase insurance with my upcoming cruise?
If you have already purchased a cruise and have not made your final payment yet, you may be able to cancel your existing cruise reservation with no penalty and immediately rebook the same cruise along with the purchase of ‘cancel for any reason’ travel insurance mentioned in the previous question. When considering this option, be sure to work with your travel agent to find out what the new cruise fare is and what type of staterooms are available as they might be slightly higher than your original fare and stateroom selection.

“We are recommending our clients visit the New Orleans or Gulf Shores region a day or two before their cruise departs if possible as a small way to help these local economies that rely heavily on tourism,” said Kevin Weisner, vice president of CruiseDeals.com. “There are plenty of other fun recreational activities to choose from other than going to the beach and you’ll get the satisfaction of helping boost their economy.”

For more information on the latest deals in cruising, visit CruiseDeals.com or call 800-668-6414.

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Will Oil Spill give boost to Summer Cruise Sales?

Who would have ever thought that we could have a maor oil leak this close to the US Shoreline going on two months? Thanks to the unthinkable, the BP Oil Spill will have a devasting impact on some of the most beautiful beaches that we have to offer in the US. This Summer there are millions of travellers who may be cancelling their current vacation plans and looking for other vacation options. With Caribbean cruises departing from New Orleans, Mobile, and Tampa those who were going to drive to the Gulf Coast region can still drive to a Gulf Coast port to catch a cruise ship. From the Gulf Coast this summer cruise ship passengers will be getting away from the spill by cruising to Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Key West & more.

Gulf Shores Alabama by Faungg

There were reports from Key West about Tar Balls from the spill, this is from Reuters FactBox on the Oil Spill:

Amidst a scare involving tar balls found on Florida Keys beaches — later declared not to have come from the BP oil spill,

Currently cruise itineraries have not been impacted by the oil spill and it is very important to keep shipping channels operating as usual:

U.S. authorities are anxious to keep Gulf shipping operating to maintain vital U.S. exports and imports. NOAA says the Lower Mississippi River ports export over 50 million metric metric tones of corn, soybeans and wheat each year, more than 55 percent of all U.S. grains inspected for shipment.

I’m curious about your thoughts, do you think people who have planned vacations to the gulf coast region will look at cruise vacations as an alternative? Or do you think the will head east toward the Carolina Beaches? Or to the Mountains?

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Celebrity Century 5nt. Cruise to Jamaica & Grand Cayman

I’m in the airport getting ready to head to Miami for the 8th time this year. Those of you who have been following along know I have had a blessed year. Jess and I cruised 7-nights around Hawaii on the Pride of America. I was one of the first on the Oasis of the Seas for a 2 night inaugural sailing. I’ve toured 4 Carnival ships including the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom. And my personal favorite, I was the lead organizer of the 1st Annual Social Fresh Cruise which is the Premier Social Media Conference at Sea.

Today, I’ll be boarding the Celebrity Century for a 5-night cruise with stops in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. This will be my first Celebrity Cruise Line experience so I am very excited. In full disclosure, this is a work trip. I will be teaching a Social Media class to other Travel Professionals. So, I am not paying for the trip, but it is in not what I would consider free as I will hopefully be earning my keep.

While in Jamaica we will be doing the Dunn’s River Falls tour and in Grand Cayman we will be swimming with the Stingrays at Stingray Island. Grand Cayman is a new Island for me and I hear it is beautiful. I will be posting videos on the CruiseSource TV Channel on YouTube. Follow along to see the Celebrity Century for yourself. If the videos get you excited about trying the Celebrity Century for yourself, I have good news: In January and February 2010 you can sail on the 5 star Celebrity Century for 5-nights for only $295 per person.

Jumping on the plane now! Please forgive any grammar or typos I did not have time to edit. ~ Happy Sailing ~ Rich Tucker

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Cruise Industry, Making Waves on Twitter

I’m anticipating that the Cruise Industry will get a lot of chatter on Twitter next week and of course I am very excited. My opinion has been that Cruising and Social Media are like peanut butter and chocolate…two tastes that taste great together. I think the Cruise Industry has as much to gain from Social Media as any other and this upcoming week (11.09.09 – 11.17.09) will put the spotlight on what is possible when the cruise industry properly utilizes Social Media.

soCruise[1]

On Twitter next week you will want to follow the #SoCruise Hashtag. CruiseDeals.com & Social Fresh, LLC teamed up on the Social Fresh Cruise. The Social Fresh Cruise is a networking vacation for 50 Social Media Insiders like Chris Brogan, Jason Keath, Missy Ward, Greg Cangialosi, and many more! The Cruise Departs on the Carnival Destiny on 11.12.09. Adding to the Buzz, The Social Fresh Cruise BonVoyage Meetup in Miami Florida on 11.11.09 has about 200 RSVPs and was recently featured in the Miami New Times.

The other Hashtag to watch next week is #Followmeatsea. Princess Cruise Lines is paying for 10 bloggers/social media personalities like my friends Simone di Santi and Shannon Hurst Lane to go on the Crown Princess and write online about their experience. I’m assuming that Princess Cruise Line realized I was going on Social Fresh Cruise and that is why they did not ask me to go on #followmeatsea. Joking aside, it is great to see the Cruise Lines starting to understand the potential power of Social Media and I think this promotion will be a big win for the Industry and for Princess Cruise Lines.

The Last Hashtag I’d watch next week is #OasisoftheSeas. The Massive Oasis of the Seas upcoming Inaugurals will be big buzz through all media outlets. This ship is a design and architectural wonder that will change the face of cruising. The Today show will be live on the Oasis of the Seas on 11.20.09. Plus with 3000 – 5000 Travel Agents on the first couple of sailings, I am guessing that you will see lots of Tweets with the #Oasisoftheseas Hashtag. I will be live tweeting from the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas on 11.22.09.

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Fuel Surcharges, Coming to Cruise Bookings soon?

Increase in Oil Can be felt at the Pump

Increase in Oil Can be felt at the Pump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2007, cruise agencies and clients were blown away when the cruise lines added fuel surcharges to existing bookings. We all understood that the cruise lines fuel costs had went up dramatically, but were taken back when they added up to $140 per person to existing bookings.
After the price of oil dropped to $35 a barrel, the cruise lines removed the fuel surcharges with the stated policy that they reserve the right to add the fuel surcharges back when the price of oil is above $65 – $70 a barrel. The Cruise Lines wanted to protect themselves by being open that they will pass on exuberant fuel costs to their customers. When you book a new cruise today your agent is supposed to let you know that the total you are paying for you cruise can increase at a later date because the cruise line can add on fuel surcharges.
The difference between the first time the cruise lines tacked on fuel surcharges and now is that this time the cruise lines are warning you that they can add on fuel surcharges when oil hits a certain price. One Cruise Line goes as far to say that they will even charge fuel surcharges at the pier at the time of boarding. The $65 – $70 per barrel mark that has been set by the cruise lines has been surpassed. The Price of oil recently hit $74 a barrel. Thanks to the ever increasing US debt, announced to hit $9 Trillion, the US Dollar will continue to weaken which will cause continued inflation. Inflation will cause the price of all commodities including oil to continue to go up. For more on Inflation, read my post on Hyperinflation and Cruise Prices from May 2009.

Booking your 2010 Cruise early will get you the best deal because of the potential of continued inflation. You need to be realistic when booking your cruise and budget in the extra $10 per person per day that may be added to the booking as a fuel surcharge as a result of the inflation. Booking early is still the best way to get the best 2010 deal.

Do you have thoughts on Fuel Surcharges? Do you think we will ever see them again in the cruise industry?  Did you have an existing booking last-time they added fuel surcharges?

 

You have a 2010 Cruise Booked?  We will be tracking Oil prices and Fuel Surcharges very closely.  Subscribe to CruiseSource.us to stay ahead of the news that will impact your cruise vacation.

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Hurricane Tracker 2009

After dealing with Hurricane Felicia on our recent NCL Pride of America cruise to Hawaii, I know first hand how it feels to have your vacation impacted by one of these powerful and difficult to predict storms.   Last year, CruiseSource.us was the only site that aggregated all cruise line impacts in one place.  Just like like year, I will update the page twice daily when their are active storms impacting Cruise Itineraries.    The page is linked above Hurricane Cruise Tracker.

The first release of the page for 2009 has current updates for Hurricane Bill and Tropical Storm Ana.

Make sure to Subscribe to CruiseSource.us if you have a cruise sailing anytime during the 2009 Hurricane Season.

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Touring Carnival Freedom Today

I’m juicing up all of my batteries for todays tour of the Carnival Freedom. Yesterday while live tweeting from the Carnival Liberty my phone battery died. So today, I will have two phone batteries!! Follow me live today on Twitter for live updates, pictures and thoughts from one of Carnival’s newest ships the Carnival Freedom.

This is all part of the CruiseSource.us 2 year anniversary 5 live ship reviews in 2 weeks. Today, when I return from the Carnival Freedom I will post the videos from the Carnival Liberty and the Carnival Freedom. As I tweeted last night, there were some aspects of the Carnival Liberty that I really loved and there were a couple of items that were not as impressive. I will post the full review with the videos of the staterooms and public areas later today.

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