Kelly Clarkson named Norwegian Encore’s godmother

Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Andy Stuart with Kelly Clarkson on the set of "The Kelly Clarkson Show."
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Andy Stuart with Kelly Clarkson on the set of “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

In an appearance on the “The Kelly Clarkson Show” on Tuesday, Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Andy Stuart invited Clarkson to be the Norwegian Encore’s godmother.

The recording artist and TV personality will perform at the Encore’s christening ceremony in Miami on Nov. 21 as well as fulfil the traditional ship blessing and naming.

The Texas-born Clarkson achieved fame in 2002 when she won the inaugural season of “American Idol.” Since then, Clarkson has recorded eight studio albums and numerous hit singles, including “Since U Been Gone,” “Miss Independent,” “Because of You” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”

The Grammy Award-winning Clarkson has hosted the Billboard Music Awards, appeared on “The Voice” as a coach and made her daytime TV debut in September with “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

Stuart said Clarkson “represents our core values.”

“Kelly is a role model who is passionate about family and community, as well as music and entertainment.  These are our passions too. We are honoured to have her join our family of godparents and look forward to celebrating Norwegian Encore’s debut in Miami with her,” Stuart said in a statement.

To celebrate Clarkson’s appointment as godmother, Clarkson and Norwegian Cruise Line awarded 20 music educators on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” with a seven-day cruise.

“I am so honoured to be named the godmother to Norwegian Encore, and to get to be a part of such a special ceremony to christen the new ship in Miami,” said Clarkson in a statement. “I believe that surrounding yourself with the ones you love and taking time for them is important while having the most amazing and unforgettable vacation, which is what Norwegian Cruise Line stands for and provides for its guests.”

The Norwegian Encore will sail seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24.

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Carnival and Arison’s Pledge $2 Million for Hurricane Relief

Carnival Sunshine

Carnival Corporation today announced that the corporation’s philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, and its nine global cruise line brands together with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for relief efforts in The Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian, according to a press release.

Carnival Foundation and the company’s nine cruise line brands are pledging a total of $1 million in monetary and in-kind donations in support of immediate relief and recovery efforts in The Bahamas.

Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine are matching the corporation’s commitment with a $1 million donation from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.

“We are fully committed to supporting the critical relief and recovery efforts already underway for The Bahamas, and we are working closely with officials and affected communities to identify the needs for support and assistance,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “Our company has always been closely tied to The Bahamas with a rich history spanning many years, so it’s heartbreaking to see the impact of Hurricane Dorian, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of The Bahamas. We have long admired the unyielding spirit of the Bahamian people and have no doubt they will overcome, rebuild and recover, and we look forward to supporting their efforts.”

A portion of the combined pledge will immediately go to support efforts being managed by Direct Relief, an international humanitarian organization that provides critical medications and supplies during emergency situations. Direct Relief is currently assembling and delivering requested medical aid and additional emergency medical caches with first-aid supplies to the affected areas in The Bahamas.

In addition, Carnival Corporation and its brands are working together with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organizations to identify the most timely and urgent relief needs and immediate allocations for additional funds and support.

Separately, the company today announced an effort to collect and deliver food and supplies donated in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties for the people of The Bahamas, through a partnership with Tropical Shipping and The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The effort, funded by Carnival Corporation and Tropical Shipping, will work in partnership with NEMA to provide immediate assistance to the people of the Bahamas where it is most needed.

The cruise industry view of Trump’s order to leave China

Image result for royal caribbean in china

With President Trump “ordering” U.S. companies via Twitter to leave China, and suggesting they return home, one wonders what would happen if he turned his attention to the cruise firms headquartered in Miami.

Could he “order” them to bring their Shanghai-based ships back to U.S. waters? Or to stop building their $1 billion ships in Europe?

Of course, the first obstacle is that none of these companies are legally incorporated in the U.S. But set that aside for a minute. They’re certainly American companies in other respects.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio appears to have beaten Trump to the punch by ordering home the Norwegian Joy to sail in Alaska this summer alongside its doppelganger, the Norwegian Bliss.

Of course, Del Rio acted for business reasons and not out of any animosity towards China or need to chastise Chinese leader Xi Jinping for raising tariffs.

If Royal Caribbean International or Princess Cruises did pull their ships from China, they would probably be rewarded on Wall Street, which has a much easier time analyzing profits in the short term than investments for the long haul, which the China market needs.

But the cruise ship example shows how perverse the strategy of “finding an alternative to China” can be for many industries. Calling home the ships in the China market doesn’t mean they would sail from Seattle to San Diego full of happy Americans.

In fact, American law would prohibit them from being used that way. The ships would go back into the international mix of itineraries that have some ships departing from Miami and New York, but others from Barcelona and Southampton.

The kingly notion of imposing tariffs and directing private business decisions from the throne was losing viability when economist Adam Smith attacked it in the 18th century. It may have some political appeal but in economic terms, the world has passed it by.

For the same reason, building big cruise ships in America – no matter the cost – makes no particular sense either.

As many companies manufacturing in China are finding out, the key in the 21st century to making things reliably and at market prices is an intelligent and at least somewhat skilled workforce and a robust network of proven contractors that can accommodate just in time delivery.

That’s what the European shipyards that make cruise ships have. And by operating within the framework of the European Union they can bring to bear a workforce that while not as large as China’s is larger than the U.S’s.

Yes, China may be cheating on some of the economic terms and conditions that make free trade a win-win proposition. But going back to the idea that each country should manufacture everything on its own makes about as much sense as booking your next cruise on the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria.