Baltimore sets new cruise passenger record


The port of Balitmore, Maryland set a new record for number of cruise passengers in 2010.  Thanks in part to Royal Caribbean offering year-round cruises from the port, 210,549 people sailed on 91 cruises from the Cruise Maryland Terminal. The 2010 cruise record beat the previous record set a year earlier in 2009 of 167,235 passengers on 81 cruises.

According to the Maryland Port Administration, the cruises in 2010 generated about $90 million for the state's economy in 2010, an increase of about $10 million from the previous year.

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas will return in 2011 and offer cruises to Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean pushes back first cruise stop at Falmouth


The Jamaica Observer is reporting that Royal Caribbean is pushing back the first cruise ship stop at it's soon-to-be-opened cruise port facility at Falmouth, Jamaica.  Originally Navigator of the Seas was scheduled to stop here on January 7th but now Navigator of the Seas has been rescheduled to arrive on February 17th.

The new date was selected to "ensure that both the port and the town were ready to offer the ship's approximately 4,000 passengers and 1,200 crew a positive experience".

Falmouth Jamaica port not ready?


A brand new cruise port in Falmouth, Jamaica is set to open this month, which has been a major project for Royal Caribbean but reports are coming in that the billion dollar port isn't quite ready yet.

A visit by a reporter for the Jamaica Observer newspaper reports the port looks "more like a bomb went off on the site than a high-class tourist trap".

Massive cranes were still dumping debris scraped from the sea-bottom along the shoreline at the foot of the giant double pier. Heavy earth-movers slipped deftly between scurrying hard-hatted workers, some drilling, some tamping down earth, some disappearing into the catacombs of maintenance access points beneath the earth, like hundreds of worker ants.

Royal Caribbean's first ship, Navigator of the Seas, is set to dock at Falmouth on January 7th,

Allure of the Seas makes first stop in St Thomas


Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's newest ship and the largest cruise ship in the world, made its first stop ever at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands earlier this week.

To commemorate the occasion, Allure of the Seas Captain Herman Zini told those in attendance "Thank you once again for the continuous focus you have on making the destination better and better.".  A plaque commemorated the event as well.

Royal Caribbean vice president of government relations was excited about the stop in St. Thomas, "The passengers want to take the greatest ship in the world to the greatest destination in the world".

The people of St. Thomas and every port Allure stops at have very good reason to be excited.  Both Allure and her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, are expected to bring $1.5 million in revenues to the territory during each port call - $78 million a year.  In addition, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Associatian reports the average cruise passenger spends $193 while in the U.S. Virgin islands and crew members spend about $150.  Adding to the potential riches, the ship itself brings revenue through taxes and fees that Royal Caribbean is responsible for in accordance with docking and berthing the ship.

By 2012, Royal Caribbean estimates about 875,000 passengers will visit St. Thomas on an annual basis.

Falmouth cruise port in Jamaica to open in January 2011


The brand new 32-acre Falmouth port in Jamaica will finally open next month.  The construction of the port has been a $220-million project developed by Royal Caribbean in partnership with the Port Authority of Jamaica.  

The first ship to dock will be Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas, and her guests will have access to walking tours of the 240-year-old town, as well as access to 60 attractions in the surrounding area and in Ocho Rio and Montego Bay.

Fort Lauderdale looking to take advantage of cruise business


The city of Fort Lauderdale, home to Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, is seeing increasingly large growth in terms of the amount of passengers that pass through the city on their way to a cruise and the city is looking to capitalize on the big business.

In just two years, Port Everglades will become the busiest cruise port in the world and city officials want to get as many of those millions of cruise passengers to stay in their city and spend money locally.

To get things going, city officials agreed in principle earlier this week to start a new bus service to take people from cruise ships into Fort Lauderdale before they take their flights home from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  Routes would run to downtown and the beach.

How big of a number are we talking here?  It's expected to exceed 3.5 million passengers per year once Allure of the Seas starts regular cruises and many more will follow as a result of a recent deal with Carnival cruise line that will bring an additional 25.5 million cruise passengers over the next 15 years.

Royal Caribbean considering ports of call in Africa


In the next five years, Royal Caribbean is going to look to expand its itineraries to include stops in Africa, according to its UK and Ireland trade trainer.

At the recent Association of Cruise Experts cruise expo, Leon Hand admitted Africa remained an area which Royal Caribbean needed to “make a dent in”.

“It’s at the food for thought stage,” he said, “but we are certainly thinking about it. We know that Africa is an emerging market, and it’s somewhere we will be looking at adding [to our itineraries] in the next five years.”

While Africa is on the horizon, northern Europe is booming as a popular port stop with Russia and Scandinavia in particular growing in popularity among cruisers from the UK.  In addition the Mediterranean, non-European union countries continued to lead the way, such as Croatia, Egypt and Turkey.

Grandeur of the Seas to visit Colombia


Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas will arrive in Cartagena, Columbia on Monday with about two thousand foreign tourists at the opening of the season 2010 -2011.

Royal Caribbean chose Cartagena as the city that will be the opening of the 2010-2011 season of the boat. Proexport reported that for the cruise season, which runs until May 2011, is expected to arrive in Cartagena of 208 boats with about 500 thousand tourists.
Proexport reported, the arrival of the vessel continues to consolidate at the Colombian Caribbean as a destination inevitable in the international cruise.
"In 2007 we reached our ports, vessels 99 126 000 890 passengers in 2008 with 228 vessels landed 161 thousand 221 tourists and last year we had 218 346 000 693 cruise tourists," revealed the President of Proexport, María Claudia Lacouture.
For this cruise season, which runs until May 2011, awaiting the arrival of 208 ships with about 500,000 tourists, whose presence in the Heroic City will leave about 40 million dollars in profits for the region.
After his stop in Cartagena, the Grandeur of the Seas will sail the next day to Santa Marta. There Proexport and the Port Society of the city will welcome the passengers with typical regional groups and invited to tour the sights of the capital of Magdalena.

Korean port of Incheon to become a cruise hub


Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas is going to call the port of Incheon, South Korea not just a port of call but their home port very soon.  Incheon port authority officials are hoping to welcome even more cruise ships by expanding facilities and adding more immigration booths.

Thus far 15 cruise ships have made a call to Incheon this year and with more passengers from Europe and North America traveling to South Korea for tours, Incheon officials hope to develop more local tours to encourage tourists to stay in the area.

A ship like Legend of the Seas generates a lot of revenue for the city, as each time she pulls into port, approximately W1 billion (US$1=W1,114) in financial effect hits the city.

Falmouth, Jamaica port still not ready


Unfortunately the brand new port at Falmouth, Jamaica is still not ready for cruise business yet, a fact that cannot sit well with Royal Caribbean.  Royal Caribbean has tried infusing the project with millions of dollars to get things going and the port is still not ready for cruises due to a number of construction delays.

All was expected to be ready in time to welcome 1,800 passengers from P&O's Aurora and another 1,250 from Holland America's Ryndam on November 3, but those visits have now been cancelled and the ships will divert to Ocho Rios.

The new plan is to have Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas make the inaugural visit to the port on January 7, with Oasis and Allure following in March.  A Royal Caribbean spokesperson had this to say about the progress and future of the port.

"The revitalisation of Historic Falmouth Port is moving forward as scheduled and we look forward to beginning ship calls at what will be a great cruise port.
By mutual agreement between the Jamaica Port Authority and Holland America, initial ship calls to Falmouth that were scheduled during November and December 2010 will now anchor at Ocho Rios. This modification will minimize interference with the ongoing construction efforts that include more than 300 workers on site.
Royal Caribbean looks forward to the cruise port's successful completion and readiness by January 2011."