No Concerns in the Caribbean for Royal

Oasis of the Seas (Photo: Arjan Elemendorp)
Oasis of the Seas
The new Symphony of the Seas will help propel the Caribbean to a record year of cruise capacity.

Despite the uptick in ships and passengers, capacity and pricing is not a concern for Royal Caribbean International.

“After the hurricanes in September, we saw that softness for about four to six or seven weeks but that recovered and picked up and we’re in a good booked position for Q1,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, on the company’s Q4 2017 earnings call. “And overall we’re feeling pretty good about the Caribbean for 2018.

“We’re fortunate because we’ve got the Symphony of the Seas coming into the Caribbean towards the end of the year. We have also got Celebrity Edge and we’re introducing Mariner of the Seas after an extensive modernization and revitalization and we’re putting that product into the short market, so that’s quite a lot of volume that’s coming into that market. We’re actually very excited about what that product’s going to do, the bookings are going very well and it’s still outside of its typical booking window because it’s a short product. So overall, we’re feeling okay about the Caribbean.”

As for the booking window, the company opened 2019 deployment four months earlier than in previous years.

Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, noted the booking window continues to impress.

“Now you may recall that a year ago I said and I’m quoting, that the booking window has stretched as far as we will ever want and I don’t expect to announce another record level bookings a year from today,” Fain said. “Well I wasn’t terribly accurate, here we are a year later and we’re announcing another record level bookings.”

CFO Jason T. Liberty advised that other companies in the Caribbean marketplace may have pricing challenges, but those incidents are not indicative of the entire market.

“There are occasions sometimes when a new product enters the market from competitors and they may have some challenges initially and you may see some fairly aggressive pricing going into the market,” he said. “That can be disruptive but it’s very localized.”

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Norwegian Bliss to sail from Miami in winter

Norwegian Bliss to Cruise the Caribbean after a Alaskan season.

After spending its inaugural season in Alaska, the Norwegian Bliss will sail weeklong Caribbean cruises from Miami in winter 2017-18.

Beginning on Nov. 17, 2018, the Bliss will depart each Saturday on cruises that will call in St. Thomas, Tortola and Nassau.

Norwegian Cruise Line will bridge the Alaska and Miami deployments with a five-day sailing from Vancouver to Los Angeles, four round trip Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles, and a 14-day Panama Canal cruise from Los Angeles to Miami.

A rendering of the Haven observation launge on the Norwegian Bliss.
A rendering of the Haven observation launge on the Norwegian Bliss.

The Bliss will journey through the Panama Canal’s new locks, along with calling in Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Cartagena, Colombia.

The Bliss is slated to enter service in June 2018, sailing Alaska cruises from Seattle.

Carnival sending a second ship to Tampa

Image result for carnival miracle cruise

Carnival Miracle joins Splendor at Tampa

Carnival Cruise Line said it will deploy a second ship year-round from Tampa, designating the Carnival Miracle for seven-night Caribbean cruises from the port, starting in 2018.

Also, Carnival said it will put a bigger and newer ship, the Carnival Splendor, in Long Beach to do seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises.

The 2,124-passenger Miracle will join the Carnival Paradise in Tampa and will do extended stays in Cozumel, along with a broader array of excursions there.

The 3,006-passenger Splendor will replace the Carnival Miracle, joining the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination in Long Beach, where Carnival is in the process of expanding its terminal.

The Splendor will sail a 13-day Panama Canal cruise departing Miami on Jan. 14, 2018, and become the first Carnival ship to use the new locks opened this year.

Carnival said the Splendor will also sail two 14-night round trip Hawaii cruises in 2018 from Long Beach.