Sickness Virus hits the AIDA Prima for six

Hundreds of cruise passengers quarantined in their cabins after bug sweeps the decks and leaves them vomiting and suffering diarrhoea

The Aida Prima, pictured, boasts 12 restaurants, 14 bars and cafes and a casino and can carry over 3,000 passengers
AIDAprima

Hundreds of passengers on a luxury Mediterranean cruise were reportedly struck down with a sickness bug that left them quarantined in their cabins.

Around 300 people on board the Aida Cruises ship the Aida Prima were left suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea after a virus is thought to have swept the vessel following its departure from Palma in Majorca on September 22.

The cruise liner had been bound for destinations including Corsica, Rome, Florence and Barcelona.

But it reportedly had to turn back for Majorca after passengers started feeling ill with gastroenteritis, leaving on-board doctors completely overwhelmed and ordering those that were sick to stay in their cabins.

Image result for aidaprima

According to German newspaper Bild, several passengers first started feeling unwell following a planned bus excursion.

Then when all those on board the cruise returned to the ship, the bug quickly spread with some passengers having to wait up to five hours to see the doctor.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that infected passengers were then told to stay in their cabins while they were brought bread and water by staff.

After turning back to Palma earlier than planned, all guests that had been on board were reportedly taken to a farm on the outskirts of the city and told to wait for flights back to Germany.

But it is believed that many refused to stay and took the first flights they could find back home.

The Aida Prima boasts 12 restaurants, 14 bars and cafes and a casino and can carry over 3,000 passengers.

A wave of illness also spread over one of the Prima’s sister ships, the Perla, recently.

Last month dozens of passengers on it fell ill and they were quarantined on board after it moored in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.

The ship’s German operator Aida Cruises said in a statement that crew increased hygiene measures after ‘gastro intestinal infections occurred among passengers’.

Local emergency services said in a statement that 70 passengers reported feeling sick and received treatment on-board.

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Marella Cruises christens new Marella Explorer in Palma

Marella Cruises christens new Marella Explorer in Palma

Marella Explorer is the largest ship in Marella Cruises’ fleet (Image: Marella Cruises)

Marella Cruises has officially welcomed Marella Explorer to its fleet during a christening ceremony at the Port of Palma in Majorca, Spain on 17 May.

Formerly sailing as Mein Schiff 1 for Marella Cruises’ sister brand TUI Cruises, Marella Explorer was named by two godmothers – Susan Stewart, the line’s hotel operations manager, and Mandy Galloway, a travel agent at one of TUI Group’s retail stores in Edinburgh, Scotland. They were joined on stage by Marella Explorer’s master Captain Peter Harris and 10 crew members, who each represented a different part of the ship and held a beam of light that released the champagne bottle to christen the ship.

“I will remember this special moment forever,” said Galloway.

During the ceremony, invited guests, Marella Cruises employees, suppliers, travel agents and media also enjoyed a performance by a Take That tribute band, a fireworks display and an hour-long live DJ set from multi-platinum selling and award-winning recording artist, songwriter and rapper Craig David. The DJ set was accompanied by a show of mappable versatube lights, floating pool lights and lasers that was masterminded by Black Skull Creative’s Dan Shipton, Ross Nicholson and Jay Revell. Guests also wore LED wristbands that changed colour to the beat of the music.

“It was great celebrating the launch and performing on Marella Explorer in Palma,” said David. “I loved surprising the crowd, the atmosphere was electric.”

Marella Explorer was inaugurated following a four-week, multi-million-pound dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, which involved a team of 1,600 partners, contractors and Marella Cruises’ employees. Together they transformed the 1,924-guest ship by adding Marella Cruises branding, multiple new onboard venues and amenities, 45 square kilometres of carpet, more than 60 kilometres of data cabling and 650 wi-fi access points. A total of 35 public spaces were renovated by UK-based marine interior outfitter Trimline, while Northern Ireland-based company MJM Group revitalised the shopping area and Finnish company Makinen worked on the cabins.

Many of the public spaces were developed in cooperation with UK-based design consultancy 20.20, including a new flagship bar, club and casino named Indigo, several restaurants, the Hideout children’s area, the shimmer wall and the 962 cabins, nearly 40% of which have balconies. Other public spaces include the Broad Street Shops area and the first-ever Champneys Spa at sea. The spa will offer a full-service thermal suite, treatment suites with their own showers and mini saunas, a Finnish sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows, and spa cabanas on the adults-only Veranda Deck.

Guests will also be able to choose from 10 bars and 10 onboard restaurants. New venues include The Mediterranean, which has a retractable glass roof; The Dining Club, which offers French cuisine; Scoops vintage-style ice cream parlour; Umi Sushi; The Market Place buffet; Surf & Turf Steakhouse; pan-Asian restaurant Kora La; and Latitude 53 & Vista restaurants that serve Italian dishes.

“The launch of Marella Explorer marks an exciting time for us as she is the first ship to officially launch under the Marella Cruises name,” said Chris Hackney, managing director of Marella Cruises. “Marella Explorer marks the next step in the continued modernisation and growth of the Marella Cruises fleet. We pride ourselves on continuing to offer more ships, new destinations and fantastic service and the futuristic feel of this evening have given a real glimpse of how we are continuing to look to the ahead.”

Marella Explorer will embark on her first customer sailing around the Mediterranean, leaving from Palma on 19 May. The ship will then sail in the west Mediterranean this summer before moving to Barbados for winter.

Costa Cruise’s Latest New Addition.

 

Costa Diadema

Costa Cruises has received its newest cruise ship the Costa Diadema from the Italian ship builder Fincantieri.

The ship was built at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard which is a popular choice for Carnival owned cruise ships. The large vessel will also be the new flagship of the Costa fleet. Costa Cruises has invested a total of around 550 million euro in the construction of the Italian based cruise lines most advanced ship.

The project has involved approximately 1,000 shipyard workers plus another 2,500 subcontractors and about 400 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms, engaged for the fitting-out of the interiors of the cruise ship. Costa Diadema is the 12th cruise ship built-in Italy by Fincantieri for Costa, with a total investment worth more than 5 billion euro.

“Costa Diadema is our new flagship, she will set new standards in the European cruise industry and further strengthen Costa’s leadership in Europe. She is the best expression of our new brand positioning: Italy’s finest. It`s passion and modern Italian lifestyle, hospitality and elegance” commented Costa Crociere S.p.A CEO, Michael Thamm.

At 132,500 gross tons, more than 300 meters long and 37 meters wide, Costa Diadema has 1,862 guest cabins and will be an Ambassador of Italy’s finest offering the best of Italian lifestyle, entertainment, gastronomy and hospitality. The new flagship’s interiors are even cozier, roomier and more modern in terms of facilities and layout of her public areas. She is a cutting-edge vessel which offers large, split-level rooms directly overlooking the sea and conveniently interconnected, thus evoking the atmosphere of a buzzing Italian seaside resort.

The perfect example is the outside promenade on deck five – a real “terrazza all’italiana”, extending over 500 meters, where guests can go for a stroll and enjoy the spectacular view over the sea, or, even better, relaxing in one of the several bars and restaurants, drinking a cocktail or having a romantic dinner.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri S.p.A. said:“Costa Diadema is the 44th cruise ship we have built since 2002, the 12th cruise ship we have built for our friends from Costa Crociere. This is thus a very special occasion to us and we are very proud to present the latest result of the Italian excellence, which confirms our leading position in ship design and construction for cruise sector, a sector without parallel in terms of technological complexity and competitiveness.” Bono concluded: “Today, during this day of celebration, I express my wish that this fruitful cooperation between two main national companies may continue and bring good luck to the whole country.”

After the delivery, Costa Diadema will set sail from Venice on October 30 and will reach Trieste, from which her “vernissage cruise” will start on November 1, then will call at Dubrovnik, Corfù, Malta, Naples, to then end in Genoa on November 7, for the Christening event. After the vernissage, from November 8, she will depart for three 7-day inaugural cruises.

As “Regina del Mediterraneo”, Costa Diadema will be deployed in the Mediterranean Sea. From November 8 until the end of 2015 Summer season, the new flagship will leave from Savona on 7-day cruises in the western Mediterranean Sea, calling every week at Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Naples and La Spezia. They will offer the chance to visit during a single cruise Florence and Naples, two of the most popular Italian cities, and beautiful Mediterranean cities like Barcelona and Marseille.