You've probably read most of the horrors experienced by the passengers on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph, currently being towed to Mobile, Alabama, after an engine-room fire disabled the ship's generators on Sunday. By all accounts the situation can only be described as heinous. But it gets worse…
Among the nightmarish conditions: nonworking toilets, odors so overpowering that people are vomiting everywhere, so little food that passengers must stand in line for hours in the hopes of getting nothing more than an onion sandwich, and sewage "sloshing" in the hallways and seeping through the walls! And yet few media are reporting an equally horrifying (though unconfirmed) bit of news: The ship may have stopped serving alcohol.
Singapore ramped up its appeal as a cruise destination with the opening of the $400 million International Cruise Terminal last May. It doesn’t have any height restrictions, which means the large ships, like the Oasis-class Royal Caribbean ships, can now dock in Singapore. Just when Singapore-bound boaters didn’t think it could get any better, the existing Singapore Cruise Centre completed an $11 million renovation earlier last year. All aboard!
Jennifer Chen is Travel and Leisure's Asia correspondent.
Photo by KC Hunter / Alamy
In honor of Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 20th birthday, T+L Cruise Editor Jane Wooldridge spoke with Mark Conroy, the President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises with 38 years in the industry.
Q: What was your first cruise-related job?
A: While attending the University of Miami in 1973, I worked weekends on the pier at NCL. We delivered and picked up the ships’ mail, assisted guests going through customs, ran errands, and sold baggage insurance. I also worked part time in the mail room.
Ever heard of an "Air Cruise"? Neither had we. But that’s the MO behind Mauiva, a budding travel company that launched last June with an out-of-the-box idea: bringing the cruise concept out the sea and into the sky. And why not? Taking to the skies means less time in transit, more time to explore, and luxury bragging rights to spare (travelers fly by private plane, and spend nights at four-star hotels along the way). After a quiet—but successful—launch with itineraries on the East and West Coasts, Mauiva is announcing today that it's making waves along one of the most traditional cruise routes—the Caribbean.
Take T+L’s World’s Best Awards Survey and enter to win a $10,000 Dream Trip!
March is underway, which means there are only a few weeks left to cast your vote.
Go to TLWorldsBest.com and rate your favorite hotels, resorts, spas, cruise lines, airlines, and travel companies—and your top picks might make it into T+L’s annual World’s Best Awards issue in August 2012! Voting ends March 31, so time is running out.
A bonus? Respondents will be entered to win a $10,000 dream trip, among other first, second and third place trip prizes. What are you waiting for? Vote now!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. The 2012 World’s Best Awards Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia age 18 or older. To enter and view complete Official Rules, which govern this Sweepstakes, visit TLWorldsBest.com. Sweepstakes begins at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on 12/01/11 and ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 03/31/12. Sponsor: American Express Publishing Corporation.
Briana Fasone is a digital editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.
The new Disney Cruise Line Fantasy, which was christened last night in New York City, is swoon-worthy, no doubt, but it is also something you might not expect: Subtle. Unlike many modern cruise ships, the 4,000-passenger Fantasy eschews loud color schemes, smoked glass, and an abundance of brass in favor of sophisticated Art Nouveau details, 1930's ocean-liner styling (witness the round portholes), and well-curated handcrafted design elements from around the world. It is, in a word, sophisticated.
Excellent service is one of the most important parts of travel; the type of treatment you receive can make or break a trip. With that in mind, we decided to host a special service-oriented chat on Twitter, bringing in a team of experts from all corners of the travel world, to find out just what goes into making your trip extra memorable.
So join us tomorrow (February 22), from 3p.m. until 4p.m. ET; the chat will be hosted by Travel + Leisure Digital Projects Editor, Sarah Spagnolo [twitter.com/sarahspagnolo], and special guest Anna Post [twitter.com/EmilyPostInst], the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, and the co-author of the 18th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette.
Also joining in the conversation is a panel of travel experts, all eager to answer your burning travel questions. Our expert panelists include:
- JetBlue - @JetBlue
- Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India - @OberoiGroup
- Seabourn - @SeabournCruise
- Stafford London By Kempinski - @StaffordLondon
How does it work?
1. Log in to Twitter any time from 3-4p.m. EST and be sure to follow the chat hosts: @TravlandLeisure, @SarahSpagnolo, & @EmilyPostInst.
2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow and participate in the Getting Great Service Tweet-Up.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to http://tweetchat.com/room/tl_chat
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions! Or ask your own questions! Take advantage of this special access to this fab panel and get some expert travel advice.
We hope to "see" you there!
Joshua Pramis is the social media editor and resident tech aficionado. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis
USA Today | Every vacationer boarding a cruise ship will receive a safety briefing before the vessel sets sail under a new industry-wide policy announced today.
In a joint statement, the U.S.-based Cruise Lines International Association, Europe-based European Cruise Council and UK-based Passenger Shipping Association said the new policy would apply across the board to their members, which include every major cruise line in the world.
The announcement comes in the wake of an industry-wide safety review following last month's Costa Concordia disaster off the coast of Italy, which resulted in at least 17 deaths. Fifteen passengers remain missing.
Travel Weekly | UBS Investment Research analyst Robin Farley noted Jan. 24 that cruise fares have held steady or slightly increased since the start of the year, despite the crash of the Costa Concordia.
UBS had forecasted that prices would take a hit as a result of the accident.
“Although we expected that a strong start to Wave season would likely be derailed by the accident in Italy, said Farley, ticket prices appear to be up as much as 1% since the start of the year, according to the UBS Cruise Data Tracker.
Four new ways to see the Mekong River
Recapturing 19th-century explorations of Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta, Jahan is modeled after riverboats from the colonial era and features 26 cabins with balconies. Also in Vietnam, Life Resorts has launched a 22-junk fleet on Ha Long Bay; the boats accommodate up to four guests (two for overnight trips) and offer kayaks and snorkeling gear. And in Indonesia, the 108-foot Pearl of Papua, an ironwood-and-teak vessel with seven cabins, plies the waters around the unspoilt Raja Ampat islands. This month, Datu Bua—a 131-foot, three-suite phinisi (traditional teakwood schooner)—will start taking guests around the little-frequented waters off Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Photo courtesy of Life Heritage Resort Halong Bay