Cuba Travel Ban Could Ignite Secondhand Ship Market

Cuban Flags

The secondhand cruise ship market could pick up steam following recent Cuba restrictions.

With nautical and infrastructure restrictions in Havana, cruise lines calling on the Cuban city have been using older, medium-sized vessels that may not have fit into their traditional fleets.

Industry sources said they expect some pick-up in the secondhand market with Cuba now off limits, as the now less-competitive tonnage could find new owners, or become ships in new ventures.

Among the players, Carnival Corporation sold multiple ships in 2018 but has not announced any transfers or sales thus far in 2019.

Last year, it was announced that the Pacific Eden was sold to Cruise & Maritime Voyages while the Pacific Jewel was sent to Indian start-up Jalesh Cruises.

Holland America Line sold the Prinsendam, which will become the Amera this summer for Phoenix Reisen.

P&O Cruises UK also announced the Oriana will leave the fleet in 2019, joining the Piano Land startup in China.

Royal Caribbean Cruises has not announced any significant fleet changes in some time, nor has Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

In December, on an earnings call, Carnival Corp. President and CEO Arnold Donald said that if a ship is earning and relevant, that is most key.

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The Carnival Mardi Gras Will Feature New Stateroom Design

Carnival Mardi GrasPHOTO: Agents can now book 2020 trips on Carnival’s Mardi Gras. (Photo courtesy Carnival Cruise Line)Cruise lovers who sail on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, set to debut in late summer 2020, will enjoy an array of architectural features and designs that will enhance many aspects of its balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms.The staterooms were developed in partnership with DCA Design International, a leading product design firm based in Warwick, England, that works across consumer goods, travel and transportation, commercial, and science and technology sectors. The staterooms will reflect new and innovative design practices that are ergonomically friendly and maximize visual space, clean lines, surfaces and storage.

“We took a unique approach to our stateroom design with Mardi Gras, utilizing DCA’s design experts who are well known for innovative product design and partnered them with Miami-based interior architect Studio Dado,” said Ben Clement, Carnival’s senior vice president of new builds. “DCA employed a thoughtful guest-centric approach gleaned from observations of how our guests use their space in conjunction with their vast experience in product design to make the staterooms as comfortable and functional as possible.”

Distinguished by muted turquoise hues, the staterooms’ are enhanced by design touches that include:

—Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors on nearly all verandahs for easier balcony access;

—New sofas that “flip” into a bed and footstools that open up for storage;

—Clear glass doors on the in-room mini-refrigerators to see what’s inside;

—More 110V power outlets and USB connections both on the vanity and by the bed as well as more shelf space to accommodate electronic devices;

—Flexible bedside reading lamps that allow guests to read without disturbing others;

—A larger, customizable wardrobe with two pull-out bins, a sliding shoe rack, folding shelves and storage under the bed for luggage.

—Spacious bathrooms with glass shower doors, a first for the line, along with an in-shower shaving bar.

“We’ve taken the best practices in new interior design and hotel concepts and applied them to Mardi Gras to create guest-friendly staterooms designed to make guests feel at home,” said Dom Hargreaves, sector manager for DCA Design International. “It’s been an incredible opportunity to work with Carnival to enrich the stateroom experience by focusing on both design principles and small details, creating moments of delight for Mardi Gras guests.”

Mardi Gras will offer the widest variety of accommodations of any Carnival ship with more than 70 per cent of staterooms featuring an ocean view or balcony, along with 300 pairs of connecting staterooms, for large families or groups.

In addition to the newly redesigned staterooms with more balcony, ocean view and interior choices than ever before, Mardi Gras will offer favourites introduced on Carnival’s Vista-class including:

—The tropics-inspired Havana staterooms feature vibrant interiors and outdoor patio space. These staterooms have access to an exclusive open deck with sun loungers, Cuban-themed bar and a relaxation pool.

—Extra-roomy Family Harbor accommodations with their nautical decor are located near Camp Ocean, the children’s facility, and have access to the Family Harbor Lounge, an exclusive spot with breakfast and snacks throughout the day, plus board games, family movies, video games and more.

—Cloud 9 Spa staterooms feature exclusive, soothing decor, spa bathrobes and slippers as well as Elemis toiletries. These accommodations offer privileges to the ship’s spa.

Mardi Gras will also offer the most suites of any Carnival ship, a total of more than 180 of varying size and locations. Exciting details on the ship’s suites and amenities will be announced in mid-April, including the premium-level Carnival Excel Suites, which will include a set of exclusive features and offerings.
The new accommodations are the perfect complement to Mardi Gras’ exciting activities and attractions, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and six distinct themed zones with popular dining, libation, entertainment and activity offerings.

Currently, under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe August 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round, seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020.

Carnival AirShip Starts California Tour

AirShip

Carnival’s AirShip has made its debut in Southern California, starting a month-long tour of the state, according to a statement.

The promotion is part of Carnival’s West Coast push, which will see the Carnival Panorama debut out of Long Beach in December 2019.

The 120-foot-long AirShip will fly over and visit culture and entertainment locations across the state throughout January including The Rose Parade: A Showcase of Floats on Jan. 2 as well as sporting events; local schools; Carnival’s homeports in Long Beach on Jan. 5, San Diego on Jan. 13 and San Francisco on Jan. 25; travel agent viewing parties; and select Sky Zone trampoline park locations, Carnival Panorama’s newest all-ages attraction, starting with the Anaheim location on Jan 11.

In conjunction with the AirShip’s California tour, consumers have a chance to win a free cruise as well as additional prizes each week throughout the month of January, Carnival announced.

For anyone who takes a picture of the AirShip and posts it on social media with the hashtag #ChooseFun, Carnival will make a $2 donation to it is longtime charity partner St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital up to a maximum donation of $20,000.

This past summer, the AirShip made its inaugural journey in the southeast U.S. to celebrate the arrival of new ships in multiple homeports.

“The Carnival AirShip was so well received when she debuted earlier this year, and we’re delighted to bring her back to the West Coast to kick-start our year-long celebration of Carnival Panorama. It’s officially go-time!” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival is the number one cruise line from Southern California. Our AirShip is a great way to let everyone know about the many exciting choices for guests to Choose Fun from the West Coast.”

The Carnival Panorama will debut with a special three-day cruise from Long Beach on Dec. 11, 2019, followed by the launch of year-round, seven-day Mexican Riviera sailings on Dec. 14, 2019.