Royal Caribbean offers to give Parliament the horn

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The Queen Elizabeth Tower holds the Big Ben Bell.

Royal Caribbean has offered up one of its ship’s horns to be played from Parliament Square after it was announced Big Ben would be silenced for four years.

Royal Caribbean Cruises has written to Speaker of The House of Commons, John Bercow MP, offering to adapt one of its horns to strike every hour to the note of E – accompanied by four quarter blasts every 15 minutes.

Yesterday, the House of Commons said it would look again at the length of time Big Ben will be silenced during renovation work after “concerns” were raised.

The bell is to be put out of use – except for special occasions – for four years on Monday to allow repairs to the surrounding Elizabeth Tower.

But Prime Minister Theresa May said “it can’t be right” that the famous bongs will not be heard again until 2021.

The letter from Royal Caribbean reads: “Having chimed – almost – unbroken for the past 157 years, we’ve heard The Great Bell will be out of action for four years and were compelled to try and help.

“Rather than leave the capital in silence, the Royal Caribbean team have put in a word with our UK and Ireland managing director, Ben Bouldin (the other Big Ben), and he would be more than happy to lend you one of our ship’s horns until 2021 to play from Parliament Square. To keep as close as possible to our great traditions, we could specially adapt our horn to strike every hour to the note of E – accompanied by four quarter blasts every 15 minutes.

“Let us know if this floats your boat (ship)…”

Carnival adds five more Cuba cruises for 2018

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Carnival Cruise Line has tacked on five more voyages featuring extended calls in Havana in 2018.

Like the previously scheduled ones, the cruises are on the Carnival Paradise sailing from Tampa.

They include three five-day cruises to Havana and Cozumel or Key West departing Feb. 17, July 2 and Sept. 5, 2018; a six-day sailing featuring Havana and Grand Cayman departing Aug. 26, 2018; and an eight-day voyage with stops at Havana, Grand Cayman and Cozumel departing Aug. 18, 2018.

All of the cruises include a day-long call and overnight in Havana and the eight-day cruise offers two full days at the Cuban capital.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to use Costa ship

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Costa Neoclassica

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has received approval to add a second vessel cruising to Grand Bahama from the Port of Palm Beach.

Bahamas Paradise said that next year it will add the Costa Cruises ship neoClassica. The neoClassica will leave Costa’s fleet in March.

The port commission voted 5-0 to approve the line’s plan, which will result in daily cruises to Grand Bahama starting in April 2018. The line currently sails to Grand Bahama every other day.

Bahamas Paradise operates the 1,500-passenger MV Grand Celebration on a schedule that departs the Port of Palm Beach in the evening, spends all day docked in Freeport the following day, and returns overnight to the Port of Palm Beach. The ship sailed for Carnival Cruise Line as the Celebration from 1986 to 2008.

The ship will do the same itinerary to Grand Bahama as the Grand Celebration.

The port projects that with two ships offering two-day cruises at 60% occupancy, it will attract 765,000 passengers.