Greece still has a lot of work before it can be ready for Royal Caribbean


Greece has been meeting with Royal Caribbean as part of the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum that took place this week but represenatives from the country recongize the fact more work is needed to be done before it can be ready for likes of Royal Caribbean.  The aim of the visit of top executives of Royal Caribbeanto Greecce is to explore possibilities for further development of the company in Greek cruise market. 

In order to promote cruise tourism throughout Greece, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism George Nikitiadis accompanied Royal Caribbean Vice President John Tercek on visits to the ports of Thessalonica, Kos and Rhodes.

Rhodes has all conditions for emerging as one of the major cruise destinations, however, "still wants a lot of work". The process of fast-tracking is the conclusion extracted from what was said yesterday evening, during the press conference given at the Municipality of Rhodes.  Tercek traveled with Nikitiadis to tourist destinations across the country and visited the port facilities there as well as has meetings with local actors. 

During their visit, then, in Rhodes and Kos, they had the opportunity to see the situation of port facilities and areas of potential cruise passenger visits and discussed issues critical to the development of ports in a way that creates perfect conditions for the reception of cruise ships and increased traffic.

Some positive impressions seemed to be made on the Royal Caribbean executives, who said yesterday, from Rhodes that "it is a beautiful island, is a rapidly growing island is a popular tourist island"   Asked also Mr. Tercek if Rhodes can easily be home-port, he replied that: "Not easy but possible", while Mr Nikitiadis added that "wants a lot of work."

Nikitiadis' deputy also commented on the possibilities, "I think the cruise market is a great challenge. The government is committed to proceed with very important measures and believe that even the prospect of creating the municipalities in the region, with any carrier, new facilities. This will be subject to procedures of fast-track. Such a process will reach all sides of the market, which will ensure that we have more people, more and more ships, more and more visitors all year long. "

He added, "I must point out that one of the major issues of concern throughout the whole country... is to ensure greater security, which must serve the visitor and not to harass them. This happens in most our ports. It matters that we discuss with them the cruise line, because they know much better since they go around the world and they know what they receive complaints aboutd. So, this cooperation is the relationship developed and we believe that, in future, strengthens more and more, is for the good of the island, for the good of the marine tourism is good for the cruise and hope in the future to go too much better. " 

Royal Caribbean adds Genoa as new Italian port


Royal Caribbean aims to expand in the Italian cruise market and announced Genoa, Italy as the second port of call for Mediterranean cruises.

Starting on July 23, 2011 and running to September 3, 2011, Mariner of the Seas will sail from Genoa and offer Western Mediterannean seven-night cruises to the guests that will visit Cannes, Ajaccio, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.

Mariner of the Seas arrived in late March for the first time ever in the Mediterranean where she sails from Italy in the port of Civitavecchia.  In October 2011, two alternating 12-night itineraries in the Eastern Mediterranean (at the beginning and end of season) and itineraries of seven nights in the central western Mediterranean in the season. 

Royal Caribbean representatives look at Santander, Spain as possible port


Representatives from Royal Caribbean along with five other cruise lines visited the port of Santander, Spain today in a reconnaissance trip being made to the tourist area in the north of Spain.

Today and tomorrow, these representatives will look at tourist destinations in Cantabria Santander, Santoña, Laredo, Castro Urdiales, Park Cabárceno Soplao Cave, Altamira, Santillana del Mar, Comillas and San Vicente de la Barquera.

The visit is organized by Cruise Forum, an organization for the promotion of Santander as a destination for cruise ships and to improve the quality of services received by the passengers of such vessels on its scale in the port of Santander.

Port of Miami looking to allow for larger ships


The Port of Miami is working on a plan that would allow it to handle Oasis of the Seas sized ships and compete better with other ports, such as its neighbor to the north, Port Everglades.

A $250 million plan is still being kept under wraps but would center around upgrading the cruise facility to handle larger ships.  In addition it would include the construction of a "multi-terminal — a single terminal that can accommodate more than one cruise vessel," according to Kevin Lynskey, port director of business initiatives.

Work on any new terminal wouldn't start for at least four of five years according to Lynskey.  He also believes the Caribbean cruise market will continue to grow yearly over the next 10 years.

A greater issue would be how the new project would be financed.  Currently the port owes a little more than $490 million in debt with revenues at around $110-115 million.

Royal Caribbean insists ports still a priority


During last week’s World Travel Market Vision conference in London, Royal Caribbean’s UK and Ireland managing director Dominic Paul denied the notion floating around these days that cruises in the feature will focus on slower voyages with fewer port calls.

“There’s been a feeling that with the high cost of fuel, cruise ships will have to call at fewer ports.  But when we speak to customers they are focused on itineraries – they are interested in visiting different and new places."

Paul's statement comes after Carnival Cruise UK chief executive David Dingle at the Cannes Seatrade Med conference in December claimed that cruises in the future would need to slow down in part due to new environmental protection laws.

Paul insisted ports of call were too important to Royal Caribbean customers for the line to reduce them,“You can build a ship that’s a destination in itself, but the opportunity to visit lots of different destinations in one holiday is a big selling point of a cruise. That’s what customers want – we would be nuts to start moving away from that model".

Royal Caribbean returning to New Orleans


Royal Caribbean will once again have a cruise presence in New Orleans, Louisiana as Voyager of the Seas is set to arrive in the Port of New Orleans in November 2011 for seven-night trips to the western Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean's return to New Orleans will be its first sailing since 2007 and voyages will continue through April 2012.

Royal Caribbean is a major player in the port of Malaga, Spain


Royal Caribbean has just embarked on becoming the largest operator at the cruise port in Malaga with a challenge on the horizon of moving 75,000 passengers.

The company opened its third season in Manchester and the second with the ship Adventure of the Seas , a veritable floating city where passengers enjoy experiences such as skating on an ice rink, climbing or attend a show worthy of the billboard Broadway.

This ship was activated an operation that provides up to 28 outputs from the port of Malaga cruise one week until the end of next October.  Malaga thus constitutes the second most important point of embarkation for Spain for Royal Caribbean, behind Barcelona.

The ship Adventure of the Seas has planned seven-night cruise sailing the Mediterranean and visiting cities such as Rome, Pisa / Florence, Ajaccio in Corsica, Malaga and Valencia.  The novelty of the season is that in autumn, the ship carried four-night short breaks from Manchester visiting Lisbon, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

Marc Pedrol, communications director for Royal Caribbean's goal this year is to consolidate Málaga a product that is working well and that has permeated the force.  Pedrol reported that in 2010 the ship moved 63,000 passengers in Malaga, of which 38,000 were Spanish. This year the challenge will reach 75,000 passengers in Malaga, of which half will be Spanish.

An important market in which Royal Caribbean wants to focus this year, with reinforcement of personnel and marketing activities, is the capital of Spain. The idea is to turn the port of Malaga from Madrid who love cruise travel.

Thus, the ship keeps the agreement reached with the railway operator Renfe that allows them to check their luggage at Madrid's Atocha station before boarding the AVE Malaga direction and find the bags in their cabins.

According Pedrol, 'this year we have ahead of departures from Manchester compared to last year and have changed the itineraries in the fall season. We are delighted with the response and hope to continue growing in this city. "

Vendor applications in Falmouth spike on cruise days


The brand new port of Falmouth, Jamaica is bustling with new cruise ship passengers who are visiting the port every week and that has local businesses excited.  So much so that the Trelawny Parish Council is overwhelmed with applications for vendor licenses on days when ships are in port.

Last month the Trelawny Parish Council started encouraging vendors to register after reports of some locals harassing cruise guests.  The council reports that in just four days, over 1000 applications have been submitted.

Falmouth Mayor Colin Gager isn't sure how to proceed, "We are overwhelmed by the number of venders who want to sell craft items and at this point we are not sure how we are going to accommodate all of them".

The original plans by the council called for between 20 and 25 vendors in Water square to be allowed on a rotating basis.  In addition, there would be another 50 allowed on the pier during a day when a cruise ship was docked.

St. Kitts added to Navigator of the Seas' itinerary


After Royal Caribbean decided to move Navigator of the Seas from Europe to the Caribbean, St Kitts has been added to her itinerary for the 2011-2012 cruise season.

Navigator of the Seas' new winter schedule will have her sailing out of Fort Lauderale, Florida on a series of five and nine-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries starting on November 20.

Harry Liu, Royal Caribbean Spokesman, says the last minute deployment is about demand, “We are responding to vacationers’ demand for more Caribbean options this coming winter (and) spring".

Falmouth port officially opens with ribbon cutting ceremony


With the docking of Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas on March 22, the brand new Falmouth port in Jamaica is officially opened after a ribbon cutting ceremony that was attended by Jamaican officials and Royal Caribbean represenatives.

Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain was on hand for the ceremony along with Jamaica Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett,  Member of Parliament Dr Patrick Harris and chairman and chief executive officer of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Noel Hylton. 

Henry, in his opening remarks, said, "I am happy to be part of this official opening ceremony for the new cruise ship port here in Falmouth. It is certainly good to be no longer hearing about one cruise port being poised to stifle the others, but about the very exciting times that are here and ahead for the local cruise sector.

"... Whether the cruise liners dock in Montego Bay, Falmouth, Ocho Rios or Port Antonio, it is important to remember that we are one country, from Negril to Morant Point, as we collectively search for a better life and more opportunities for each and every one of us".

The Falmouth project was developed by the Port Authority of Jamaica in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises.