The wow factor is exactly what Celebrity Cruises is striving for on Eclipse. But before the line’s newest ship carried any paying passengers it was called to carry out a mission like no other.
You’ve seen the ads in the fancy travel magazines or perhaps you received a mailing or even a phone call encouraging you to choose a cruise line because it’s offering free airfare. Is that free airfare for your cruise really free? Maybe not.
Erin and Sean Spital last saw their luggage after checking in at New York’s JFK airport, shortly before they boarded their flight to Barcelona on Iberia Airlines. The couple waited until the last bags made their rounds on the luggage carousel, their bags never arrived. Left with only the clothes on their backs, and with their 7-day Norwegian Cruise Line cruise about to depart, the Spitals did the only thing they could do: They filed a claim with Iberia and went out to buy new clothes.
Tennessee resident Patty Johnson was looking forward to her 5-day cruise on the Carnival Fantasy sailing from Mobile, Alabama last December. However, when she arrived at the pier there was no ship due to severe fog. According to Johnson the weather wasn’t the only thing that was foggy, but so too was the information they received from Carnival.
Dubai has had some significant financial turmoil the past few months, but that has not deterred cruise vacationers to the embattled emirate as it is quickly becoming a must-see port of call. More cruise lines are placing ships in Dubai for the winter season, but no cruise line has dedicated more ships in the region than Costa Cruises.
Minnesota residents Kristen and Joe Wegleitner just wanted to start their October honeymoon off in grand style with a romantic 7-day Mediterranean voyage on Celebrity Cruises. Unfortunately things began to unravel when bad weather and a hodgepodge of missed airline flight connections forced the newlyweds to scuttle their cruise plans. Thankfully the couple had the foresight to purchase travel insurance and thought the claims process with Travel Guard would be hassle free. Or so the Wegleitners thought.
The DeBorde family of Galveston, Texas had high hopes for their first-ever cruise vacation – a four-day sailing on the Carnival Ecstasy from their hometown to Mexico. According to the DeBordes the cruise didn’t live up to what was promised in Carnival’s brochure or website and they wanted the line to own up to its “Vacation Guarantee” so they could get off the ship and get their money back. There was just one big problem - they didn’t tell Carnival they wanted to leave.
“Champagne?” the tuxedoed waiter asks, “Yes, that would wonderful,” I reply. I have just boarded the brand-new Silver Spirit in Monte Carlo for its first sailing with passengers. The moment is surreal and a far cry from my previous voyage a few months earlier during Silver Spirit’s sea trials when the vessel was still under construction and where instead of champagne I shared breakfast pizza and espressos with the shipyard workers onboard.
Stacey and Jason Bandish were looking forward to some much needed sun and fun on their September Caribbean cruise. The Pennsylvania couple boarded Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas in Port Canaveral in a festive mood and felt at ease when they handed over all their luggage to the porter, which would later be delivered to their stateroom. As the ship headed off into the sunset the festive mood turned into frustration when their luggage never showed up.
Cruise lines are scrambling to find new ways to top each other in the innovation stakes. Bigger ships and never-before-seen features are the shape of things to come on the high seas in 2010.