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Cruises

Carnival ship transformation put on hold

Carnival Cruise Line is suspending work on the Carnival
Victory’s refurbishment in Spain. After a $200 million overhaul, the ship is to
be renamed Carnival Radiance.  

The ship is drydocked in the city of Cadiz. Carnival said
that travel restrictions have made it difficult to secure workers. 

The Carnival Radiance’s four European sailings and
transatlantic crossings have been canceled and guests are being notified. The Radiance
has been scheduled to make its debut on April 29 with a 10-day Mediterranean
sailing from Barcelona. 

The company did not give details on compensation for
canceled cruises.

The Destiny-class vessel is to get 115 additional cabins and
new bars, restaurant and kids clubs. The ship will accommodate 2,998 passengers
at double occupancy when the work is done.

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Cruises

Ritz Carlton ship delayed again owners take control of shipyard

The debut of the first Ritz-Carlton luxury cruise ship has been delayed again. 

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, blaming shipyard issues for the delay, said the
Evrima will set sail on April 22, 2021. Ritz-Carlton had scheduled a Feb. 5
maiden cruise. It then got postponed to June 13 because the shipyard was facing
issues with delivery and project costs.

The first voyage next year will go from Lisbon to Palma de Mallorca. Subsequent sailings also have been pushed
back.  

The project has been fraught with delays at the Hijos de J.
Barreras shipyard in Spain. The majority of stakeholders of the Hijos de J.
Barreras shipyard have now agreed to hand over control to Cruise Yacht Yard Co., an affiliate of the ship’s owner, Cruise Yacht 1 Ltd. That is led by
Douglas Prothero, CEO of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. 

“This effectively gives this newly formed entity oversight
of the shipyard,” the company said in a statement. “The new structure will
ensure the timely completion of Evrima.”

In a statement, Prothero apologized to guests who have
already booked a cruise on the yacht. 

“We remain deeply committed to ensuring a seamless delivery
of the standards of quality and service that Ritz-Carlton is known for as
well as providing a highly customized, state-of-the-art build that will make
our inaugural yacht the most distinctive of its kind,” Prothero said.

Guests booked on the cruise will get a full refund or fare
savings when they reschedule. 

Those who rebook a cruise within the next 90 days will get a
30% discount on the cruise. After that, they will get 25% off the fare if they
rebook up to six months later. They will get 20% off the fare up to one year
after the announcement of the postponement.

Those who made independent air and hotel arrangements may
be reimbursed for any change or cancellation fees. Travel advisor commissions
will be protected on the cruise fare.

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Cruises

Cruise Ship Finally Docks, Passengers Allowed to Disembark

A Princess Cruises ship was finally allowed to dock in Florida Sunday night after being held off the coast as coronavirus tests came back negative for two crew members.

According to The Associated Press, the Regal Princess vessel was scheduled to dock Sunday morning in Port Everglades but was forced to sail up and down the East Coast while members of the U.S. Coast Guard delivered coronavirus testing kits.

The two crew members who were being tested had transferred more than two weeks ago from the Grand Princess cruise ship in California, which had nearly two dozen people on board who tested positive for the virus, including 19 crew members.

#BREAKING The Regal Princess is back! Inching closer to land, after forced to stay at sea for hours. Held from docking at @PortEverglades after two crew members were thought to have the #coronavirus. The @CDCgov later confirming their tests were negative @wsvn pic.twitter.com/kXobm6n784

Passengers are now off the #RegalPrincess after they were stuck at sea for hours while two crew members were being tested for the #coronavirus. The @CDCgov later confirming both were negative @wsvn pic.twitter.com/x4p7jULwT0

Princess Cruises officials said the sick crew members showed no signs of coronavirus and were well beyond the advised 14-day virus quarantine period. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave the ship clearance late Sunday night after the tests came back negative.

Passengers were allowed to begin disembarking about an hour after the ship entered the port, with most travelers thankful they were permitted to leave in a timely fashion. Compensation requested by customers would be handled on a case-by-case basis.

In Florida, the governor’s office confirmed that two people who tested positive for the viral infection died in the state, which were the first deaths on the East Coast. The victims were in their 70s and had traveled overseas.

Cruise line executives met with Vice President Mike Pence and his team Saturday, where they were asked to establish enhanced entry and exit screenings, develop shipboard testing for the virus and institute new quarantine standards set by the CDC.

In addition, the U.S. State Department issued an advisory Sunday night against cruise travel due to an increased risk of coronavirus infections “in a cruise ship environment.”

While fear continues to mount, several travel agency-focused companies have shared statements, tips and advice on how to address the viral infection and its impact on the industry with clients.

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