Carnival, Princess adopt new onboard smoking policies

Image courtesy Matt Roseboom — Two of the world’s most popular cruise lines, Carnival and Princess, have modified their respective onboard smoking policies.

By Michael Coleman

Carnival and Princess, two of the world’s most popular cruise lines, have adopted new onboard smoking policies which will be rolled out in the coming months.

Citing its “ongoing commitment to keep pace with changing guest preferences’’ the 23-ship Carnival fleet, effective this week, will only permit cigarette smoking in dance clubs, designated areas within the casino and casino bar, certain sections on the open decks on all vessels and also in the jazz clubs on 13 Carnival ships.

The 13 ships include Carnival Destiny, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Victory, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, and Carnival Splendor. Cigar smoking will also be permitted in the jazz clubs. On other vessels in the fleet, cigar (and cigarette) smoking will also be permitted in designated areas on deck.

Effective December 1, 2011, smoking will be prohibited in all Carnival guest staterooms. Those guests in balcony accommodations will be permitted to smoke cigarettes and cigars outside on the balcony. Spa staterooms, currently featured on Carnival Splendor, Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic, will continue to remain entirely smoke-free, including on the balconies.

The modified smoking policy is the result of recent guest surveys conducted by the company that covered a wide range of topics. The surveys indicated that nearly 90 percent of all Carnival Cruise Lines’ guests are non-smokers with less than five percent of guests opting to smoke in their staterooms.

Meanwhile, at Carnival Corporation-owned Princess Cruises, the line will prohibit smoking in cabins and on balconies across its 16-ship fleet effective January 15, 2012.

The new policy reflects changing customer preferences and the move around the globe — from North America to Europe — to further restrict areas where smoking is allowed, according to the line.

“Our consumer studies now show that smokers are a small minority of our passengers, and that the large majority of passengers value having their primary living space onboard smoke-free,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

Swartz added that balconies are included in the new policy because they are a hallmark feature of Princess ships, and the line believes it’s important to keep that peaceful space clear of smoke.

She added that Princess still welcomes passengers who smoke, and will continue to provide special venues around respective ships to accommodate smokers. Smoking will continue to be allowed in the Churchill’s cigar lounge, a section of the disco and casino, and a portion of the open decks.

On the web:
www.carnival.com
www.princess.com

Watch Carnival Magic’s launch videos and enter to win a free cruise

Carnival Cruise Lines is inviting their Facebook fans to experience the excitement of Carnival Magic’s May 1 launch from Venice, Italy, with a series of videos that showcase the ship’s inaugural activities along with its many unique features. Then fans can participate in a Facebook quiz based on the videos for a chance to win a seven-day Carnival Magic cruise for four to the Caribbean.

A series of 11 videos will be posted every half hour between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time) on Sunday, May 1. The videos take viewers on a journey as they enjoy a front-row seat at the Carnival Magic’s naming ceremony, tour the ship’s bridge, and learn more about the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, WaterWorks aqua park, and Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant, with insight from company executives who helped create these exciting new spaces.

The videos also offer an in-depth look at the ship’s European ports of call and a recap of the day’s events, including a chat with the ship’s godmother, Lindsey Wilkerson, a former patient of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who now serves as an employee and an ambassador of the organization. Carnival Magic’s Senior Cruise Director John Heald will also answer questions submitted by Facebook fans as part of an informative “Ask John” segment.

“Only a handful of people get to witness a ship launch in person so by using Facebook we’re enabling fans from all over the world to be right there with us as we welcome Carnival Magic into the fleet,” said Jim Berra, Carnival’s chief marketing officer. “Those who are not already among our 725,000 and growing Facebook fans can visit us at facebook.com/carnival and simply hit the “like” button.”

Fans can also follow Cruise News Weekly staff as they attend the inaugural activities and first sailing. Just visit Facebook.com/CruiseNews and click the “Like” button. You can also follow even more updates from May 1-10 on their Twitter account at Twitter.com/CruiseGuide.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic will spend its inaugural season in Europe with a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1 through October 16, 2011. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will begin seven-day Caribbean cruises out of Galveston, Texas, on November 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round ship.

Carnival takes delivery of their Magic – All Carnival brands to celebrate on Friday

Carnival Corporation & plc added its 100th cruise ship to its fleet today with the delivery of the Carnival Magic. This photo illustration depicts the new vessel along with the company’s first ship, Mardi Gras which began service in 1972. At 130,000 gross tons, the Carnival Magic is almost five times the size of the Mardi Gras’ 27,250 tons.

Carnival Cruise Lines took delivery of the corporation’s 100th ship, the Carnival Magic, during a ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy today, where the vessel was built.

In recognition of this achievement, on April 29 all guests sailing aboard Carnival Corporation & plc’s 100 ships will enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at dinner to commemorate this historic and unprecedented milestone. All told, more than 227,000 guests across the company’s 10 cruise brands will participate in the toast, believed to be the largest celebration of its kind at sea.

Following the traditional maritime handover ceremony in Italy, Carnival Magic will debut on May 1 with a nine-day Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Prior to the departure of its inaugural voyage, the 130,000-ton vessel will be named by its godmother, Lindsey Wilkerson, a former patient of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who now serves as an employee and ambassador of the organization. The choice of Wilkerson as godmother is a tribute to Carnival’s ongoing partnership with St. Jude, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

As the line’s newest ship, Carnival Magic will introduce a host of innovations, including the RedFrog Pub, a colorful Caribbean-inspired watering hole featuring its own private label draught beer; Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant that brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table; and SportSquare, an expansive open-air recreation complex with the first ropes course and outdoor fitness area at sea.

Other features include a WaterWorks aqua park with a 312-foot-long spiral water slide and other attractions; The Lanai, a wraparound promenade with an outdoor barbeque area and whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides; and Ocean Plaza, a stunning indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue.

“With a combination of exciting new features such as the RedFrog Pub, SportSquare and Cucina del Capitano and other popular ‘Fun Ship’ amenities, Carnival Magic epitomizes our company’s continued commitment to providing our guests with fun, memorable vacations at an incredible value,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines’ president and CEO.

Added Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO, “The delivery of a new cruise ship to one of our brands is always a proud and exciting moment,” said Arison. “It is particularly meaningful that delivery of Carnival Corporation & plc’s 100th ship is for the Carnival Cruise Lines brand, which provided the foundation upon which Carnival Corporation & plc was established and, ultimately, grew into the largest cruise operator in the world with 10 global brands.”

Following the May 1 inaugural voyage from Venice, Carnival Magic will sail a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean departures from Barcelona through Oct. 16, then reposition to Galveston, Texas, for year-round seven-day Caribbean departures beginning Nov. 14, becoming the largest ship ever based at the port year-round.

– Be sure to follow Cruise News Weekly from May 1-10 aboard the Carnival Magic. Updates will be posted on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Twitter.com/CruiseGuide
Facebook.com/CruiseNews

The Magic of Carnival cruise ship construction

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic will debut in May 2011. Carnival has created a fascinating interactive website detailing the step-by-step “How It’s Made’’ construction process for its largest-ever super liner. Image courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines

By Michael Coleman

Have you ever wondered how – even with the most-amazing of latest technologies – a modern-day cruise ship is constructed?

It’s an enormous undertaking even for the world’s most popular cruise line.

With less than seven months until its maiden voyage, the new Carnival Magic reached another construction milestone when it was “floated out” earlier this week from her outfitting quay at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

The initial stages of a cruise ship’s construction take place in a dry dock facility. Once exterior outfitting is completed, the dry dock is flooded with water and the ship is “floated out” and moved to a wet dock facility where construction continues.

Carnival has removed the veil on the entire construction process by providing both exclusive images and video of the Carnival Magic’s construction at an amazing interactive website. Just click the “How It’s Made” icon at the top of the page for a rare look into the fascinating process of cruise ship construction.

The ship’s next major milestone — sea trials in the Adriatic Sea — is slated for early next year in anticipation of Magic’s May 1, 2011 European debut.

The most innovative “Fun Ship” in Carnival’s fleet to date, Magic will offer a host of new facilities and features including the RedFrog Pub, a Caribbean-inspired watering hole with its own private label beer; Cucina del Capitano, an Italian family-style restaurant that brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table; and SportsSquare, an expansive sports complex featuring the first-ever ropes course and outdoor fitness area at sea.

Other innovations include Carnival WaterWorks aqua park, a Serenity adults-only retreat, The Lanai, a wrap-around promenade with whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides and what the line bills as a “stunning’’ indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza.

The ship is slated to debut with a nine-day cruise from Venice to Barcelona May 1-10, 2011, followed by a series of seven-to 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona, Carnival’s first-ever departures from the Spanish port. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the largest cruise ship ever based in Texas year-round.

On the web: carnival.com

Cruise Guide: Carnival Dream Review, Photos and Videos

The 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, Carnival Cruise Lines'€™ largest ship, will be sailing from Port Canaveral year-round. Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines/HO
The 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, Carnival Cruise Lines'€™ largest ship, will be sailing from Port Canaveral year-round. Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines/HO

The Carnival Dream recently made her North American debut. The 130,000-ton ship is the first of a new class of ships for Carnival Cruise Lines and their largest yet. It’s 1,004 feet long and holds up to 3,646 passengers. The Dream offers many firsts for Carnival and cruise lines in general.

Click here to read the full review, and view our photo gallery and videos from the ship.

Carnival Dream successfully completes its sea trials

dream-sea-trials

The 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest, largest ship, is shown here conducting sea trials in the Adriatic Sea in preparation for its Sept. 21 debut from Europe. Continue reading “Carnival Dream successfully completes its sea trials”