Medium-sized ships once called Philadelphia home, at least for a portion of the year.

Medium-sized ships once called Philadelphia home, at least for a portion of the year.

New ship-builds are being announced and existing ladies are maneuvered around the U.S. and the world on a regular basis.  Philadelphia, the ninth largest East Coast Cruise Home Port in 2006, has experienced passenger declines ever since.  Then, in 2010 (to today), Philadelphia is a major East Coast port city without a cruise ship calling it home.

On our Facebook Page last Saturday, we polled our fans and asked “what city should be home port to the next cruise ship?”  Philadelphia, or as many called it, “Philly”, was the top response. We wanted to know why Philadelphia is left without a cruise ship, so we did a little research, and here is what we found:

  • The Delaware Memorial Bridge

    The Delaware Memorial Bridge

    Medium-size, 2,400-passenger ocean liners have moved to Europe and European cruises because of the better value of the dollar. And the industry is moving to bigger ships that carry 4,500 to 5,000 passengers. Today’s mega-ships cannot get under the Delaware Memorial Bridge

  • Baltimore, Bayonne, N.J., and New York have become much more competitive, increasing the number of cruises they offer, including those to Bermuda
  • Philadelphia’s location 100 miles up the Delaware River has always been a constraint because cruise ships cannot open up their gambling operations until they get out to the ocean
  • It’s faster to get to the ocean from New York, Baltimore and Bayonne.

Reference: The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Norwegian Getaway, twin to the Breakaway, will sail year-round from the Port of Miami.

The Norwegian Getaway, twin to the Breakaway, will sail year-round from the Port of Miami.

Norwegian Cruise Line has been named “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” by the World Travel Awards. The 20th annual awards, held on September 14 in Antigua, bestow the world’s top travel companies with honors for outstanding products and services and are voted on by travel professionals and consumers from around the globe.

Norwegian, which has been voted Europe’s Leading Cruise Line for six consecutive years as well as the World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line, has eight spectacular Freestyle Cruising vessels sailing the Caribbean this winter from four convenient departure ports, and will soon have a ship sailing to the Caribbean year-round from Miami when Norwegian Getaway joins the fleet in February 2014.

You can read more here and here!

Princess Cruises' newest ship, the Royal Princess.

Princess Cruises’ newest ship, the Royal Princess.

Princess Cruises’ newest ship, Royal Princess, suffered a power outage onboard for 3.5 hours during a Mediterranean cruise over the weekend. Emergency generators provided power for essential services including toilets, during the outage. Full power has since been restored.

The captain kept passengers informed of the situation and at no time was the ship in any danger. However, passengers noted that the ship had many other problems throughout their 12-night cruise, including plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, and other delays like pulling anchor up prior to sailing.

As a result of the loss of power, Royal Princess is canceling the remainder of its trip and will be taken out of service for repair.

Read the rest of the article here.

About 22 years ago, we were looking at condos, for my grandmother, in South Florida.  We actually inquired about several assisted-living venues.  Not that she needed it at the time.  She just did not want to cook, clean, iron, bake or drive!  Back THEN, assisted living facilities were ranging between $2,500 to over $5,000 a month, depending on location, size, amenities and more.  Today, these rates have not lowered.

A couple of years ago, I became friendly with a couple (while part of a management team of a large-scale, active adult condo community) who said, “Jeff, when we are ready to leave this place, we are just going to live on a Carnival ship for the rest of our lives.”  I thought she was kidding, and then I was introduced to other people who simply sail on cruise-after-cruise-after-cruise, and so on.  In between sailings, they would stay with family or in a hotel, a week here…a week there.  Then I started thinking…depending on the cruise line (and ship, of course), it certainly can be a cost-effective living solution, when compared to active adult community options.

Regardless of your age, it is quite a concept.  Sure, there are items to consider, such as a primary care physician, a dentist and more, but, (almost) everything is done for you!  And, you get to visit parts of the world while doing so!  Restaurants and food galore, pools, lounges, entertainment, music, games, recreation, fitness center, salon, nightlife, education enrichment lectures, movies…it’s all there; it’s all on-board!

ResidenSea's "The World"

ResidenSea’s “The World”

There already exists a long-term, living at sea option, and it is called “The World”, by ResidenSea.  The major difference here is that she is for the wealthy, and like other condominiums, potential residents must go through a screening process.  In fact, according to TravelTruth.com, owners on “The World” voted “to end their policies of allowing certain travel agencies to book room rentals,” and that “The World will not accept residents who do not meet our $10 million in assets requirements.”  In addition, applications to sail must be approved by a committee consisted of owners!  And I thought the $4,300 per month for my grandmother’s assisted living choice was steep!

So, cruise lines such as Carnival and MSC are offering consistent sailing rates averaging under $600 per week, per person.  It makes me wonder if one was to approach a cruise line, and mention that you wish to sail with them every week for six months, if they would offer even more aggressive rates!  Perhaps, one day, there will be a cruise line that offers affordable, long-term living at sea.

MSC Fantasia

MSC Fantasia

What do you think?  Could you…would you….live on a cruise ship for extended periods of time?  Do you think cruise ships can offer a legitimate option when choosing apartment-style living?

A rendering of the Quantum of the Seas, by Royal Caribbean.

A rendering of the Quantum of the Seas, by Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean International today announced the introduction of the Quantum Experience Advisors program featuring a group of celebrity experts in fields such as design, sports & fitness, entertainment and others who will work hand-in-hand with Royal Caribbean’s internal teams to provide their expertise to help shape interior design, key amenities and activities on the Quantum-class.

Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas are set to debut in November 2014 and April 2015 respectively.

The Quantum Experience Advisors are lending their professional know-how to ensure every aspect of the guest experience has been maximized to the fullest extent.

The rest of the article is HERE.

A Breakaway-Plus ship under construction!

A Breakaway-Plus ship under construction!

Norwegian Cruise Line today launched the “Norwegians Name Their Ships” contest asking fans in five countries to help select the names for the line’s two new Breakaway Plus class ships.

The names include: Bliss, Discovery, Dreamaway, Escape, Journey, Muse, Passion, Sailaway, Treasure and Triton.

You can read the rest of the article HERE!

Royal Caribbean has joined several other cruise lines in banning smoking on its stateroom balconies as part of a new policy that begins on January 1, 2014.
Royal Caribbean has updated its Smoking Policy on its website specifically banning smoking on balconies, which is in addition to a pre-existing ban on smoking inside a stateroom.

Smoking is not permitted inside any stateroom and any stateroom balcony. This applies to all stateroom categories onboard. If a guest is in violation of this stateroom policy, a cleaning fee of $250 USD will be applied to their SeaPass® account and may be subject to further action pursuant to the “Consequences Section” of the Guest Conduct Policy.

Anyone caught smoking on their balcony or in their stateroom will be subject to a $250 fee.

Read the rest of the article here.