Archive for July, 2013





Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that its two new Breakaway Plus class ships will be the first new builds in the cruise industry to feature innovative scrubber technology developed by Green Tech Marine (GTM), a world leading marine scrubber supplier.

Green Tech Marine will provide five scrubbers per ship for the engines which range from 14.4 to 16.8 megawatts. This installation will be the largest scrubber plant in the world with a total engine power of 76.8 megawatts.

“Norwegian Cruise Line has a history of innovation along with a commitment to utilizing green technology whenever possible,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Installing scrubbers from Green Tech Marine on our new Breakaway Plus vessels is a smart decision and one that will ensure these ships are as eco-friendly as possible.”

GTM has previously delivered scrubbers to Norwegian’s Pride of America which sails year-round in Hawaii. The scrubbers were installed during the ship’s dry dock refurbishment in March and are scheduled to be fully operational later this year.

The two new Breakaway Plus vessels will be built by MEYER WERFT GMBH in Germany and delivered to the fleet in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

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Vicki Freed pic



Please read below for my statement to Woman’s Day, regarding their article “9 Things Travel Agents Won’t Tell You”

To the Editor:

It was with extreme dismay and disbelief that I read the Woman’s Day article “9 Things Travel Agents Won’t Tell You.” As part of the leadership team at Royal Caribbean International, a cruise vacation company that continually advocates for agents as a booking channel, I found every one of your points to be highly misinformed.

Plain and simple, this is irresponsible “journalism.” Your quick and easy fluff piece is filled with damaging allegations about a highly dedicated group of individuals.

I have worked in travel, directly with travel agents, for more than 30 years. Travel advisors are not vindictive, money hungry, misleading people as your article portrays them to be. Anyone who operated in that way would not last a day in this field. Travel agents are fueled by a passion for serving others. They are entrusted with the most memorable days of their clients’ lives and they do not take that lightly. They work tirelessly to learn all they can about their clients’ needs, desires, and dreams. Based on these intimate qualifiers, they craft vacations using their up-to-the-minute knowledge of destinations, suppliers, and offers. At Royal Caribbean, we call travel agents “value interpreters” due to their unrivaled ability to get the very best vacation value for their client, dollar for dollar.

For the majority of full-time agents, there is never a day off. They are always on the clock – reaching out to clients, obtaining certifications, meeting with supplier reps, attending experiential events, resolving concerns, and on and on – not to mention, planning the actual vacation! When you break it down to per hour earnings, you’ll understand – it is not overflowing bank accounts that drive the travel agent – but the overflowing memory vaults of their happy and grateful clients.

You recommend in your article that readers should save travel agent services for milestone vacations. With a travel agent, EVERY vacation will be a milestone. Just as it should be. Our guests work hard for those few precious days each year where they can truly enjoy family, friends, peace, beauty, and the joy of travel. Every vacation is special. Every client is special. And it’s for that reason that Royal Caribbean International continues to recommend booking our vacations with a travel agent.


Vicki L. Freed, CTC
Senior Vice President
Sales and Trade Support & Service
Royal Caribbean International



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Oasis of the Seas

The North American cruise industry continued to be a substantial contributor to the U.S. economy in 2012 according to an independent study commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The study shows that CLIA’s 26 North American member lines and their passengers and crew contributed over $42 billion in total U.S. economic impact, a 4.6 percent increase from 2011.  In addition, the cruise industry generated 356,311 jobs, paying a record $17.4 billion in wages to American workers.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Total economic impact on the U.S. economy grew by 4.6 percent to $42.3 billion in 2012, with direct spending by the cruise industry growing by 4.0 percent to $19.6 billion.
  • During 2012, CLIA’s North American cruise line members carried nearly 17 million passengers on cruises around the globe. This represented a 3.8 percent increase from the previous year.
  • An estimated 10.1 million cruise passengers embarked on their cruises at U.S. ports, accounting for 59 percent of the CLIA North America member cruise line global embarkations and representing a 2.5 percent increase from 2011.
  • The North American cruise industry benefited every state in the nation through direct purchases of goods and services, with approximately 80 percent of the impact concentrated in ten states – Florida, California, Texas, New York, Alaska, Washington, Georgia, Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey.

Key data points for the top five states impacted by the cruise industry include:

  • #1: Florida ports handled approximately 6.1 million embarkations and accounted for 60 percent of all U.S. cruise embarkations in 2012. Florida businesses received $7 billion, or 36 percent of the direct expenditures generated by the cruise industry in the U.S.
  • #2: California cruise ports combined generated just under 837,000 passenger embarkations during 2012, 8.3 percent of total U.S. embarkations. As a result of the activity of the cruise industry, direct expenditures generated total economic impacts of 42,833 jobs and $2.4 billion in income throughout the California economy during 2012
  • #3: The primary cruise port in Texas is Galveston, which had 604,000 embarkations, or 6 percent of total U.S. cruise embarkations, in 2012. Cruise activity in Texas accounted for $1.24 billion in direct spending and 19,745 jobs paying $1.1 billion in income.
  • #4: New York accounted for 6.3 percent of the industry’s direct expenditures with $1.24 billion – and this spending generated an estimated 16,342 jobs paying $944 million in income.
  • #5: Alaska ports received about 3.55 million cruise passenger visits, approximately 65 percent of all port-of-call cruise passenger visits at U.S. ports. Direct expenditures in Alaska generated total economic impacts of 22,632 jobs and $1.03 billion in income during 2012.

Source: CLIA

For the full report go here>

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Popular land-based Howl at the Moon, also aboard Norwegian Epic, Breakaway and soon Getaway, is wanting to send you aboard a sailing out of New York City or Miami.

You can enter to win a cruise on Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Getaway or Norwegian Breakaway on their website.

Good luck!

Go to www.TheCruiseXperts.com for information on all cruise lines.

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Regent Seven Seas Voyager

Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced today that Seven Seas Voyager will receive a multi-million dollar refurbishment at the ship’s scheduled dry dock in October. The all-balcony, all-suite 700-guest capacity vessel will enter dry dock on October 14 in Marseille, France and will unveil her new look on October 23when she sets sail on the 10-night Lands of Myths, Seas of Fables cruise from Rome to Venice.


As part of the ship’s refurbishment plans, the company will re-decorate all Penthouse Suites in a stunning new décor with custom-crafted elegant furnishings, plush carpeting, curtains, wall coverings, furniture, lighting, original artwork and outdoor furniture.


A complete refurbishment is also planned for the Horizon and Observation lounges. The venues will receive distinctive new bars, furniture, carpeting, wall coverings, lighting and original art. Additionally, the Constellation Theater will be refurbished with new carpeting, wall coverings, tables, wall sconces, banquettes and chairs.


New plush carpeting will be installed throughout the interior of the ship and all public spaces will receive an eclectic selection of original artwork. The atrium will be outfitted with fine marble and receive new furniture.


Outside, new teak will be installed on all balconies. The outdoor relaxation area on Deck 11 and outside the Observation Lounge on Deck 12 will receive new resort-style furniture and decor.


Depending on the ship, guests can choose from up to four, open-seating gourmet restaurants, including Prime 7, a contemporary American steakhouse and Sette Mari at La Veranda, the line’s Italian dining experience. With some of the highest space-per-guest ratios in the cruise industry, accommodations include such requisite amenities as down comforters, Egyptian cotton linens, flat-screen television, DVD players and Wi-Fi access. Penthouse and higher-category suites aboard all three ships are equipped with iPads.


Source: Regent Cruises

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