Welcome to the Cruise Radio News Brief for the Week of February 23, 2020, where we bring you the latest cruise news, our weekly podcast, and recent YouTube videos.
1. Carnival Cruise Line released a “Behind the Fun” video showing some of the new venues on the upcoming Mardi Gras, including the new French Quarter area. The area bar’s menu, Brass Magnolia, will feature a classic Sazerac, while the new Fortune Teller bar will feature a Golden Galaxy cocktail that is said to be made with real gold.
2. Norwegian Cruise Line raised gratuity rates beginning April 1. Rates increased by 50 cents across with board, with interior, oceanview, balcony, and minisuite stateroom categories now paying $15,50 per person per day, while guests booking a suite will now pay $18.50 per person per day.
3. Royal Caribbean announced that the line will be increasing stops to St. Maarten this year. These calls to the port will replace sea days on Freedom of the Seas, which is due for a dry dock refurbishment this spring. From May to December, Freedom is expected to carry an extra 68,000 cruise passengers to the island now.
4. MSC Cruises’ ship MSC Meraviglia was denied entry to two Caribbean ports due to invalid coronavirus concerns. Both Jamaica and Grand Cayman did not allow the ship to dock after learning of two people on board with flu-like symptoms. Though the people only had the common flu, the decisions were made in an abundance of caution.
5. Disney Cruise Line announced that the line will return to Greece in 2021. Disney Magic will sail the Greek Isles, Spain, and the French Riviera during May to July before visiting the British Isles, Iceland, and the Norwegian fjords in July through September.
Featured Article: How the Princess Cruise Ship Will Be Cleaned
After the quarantine ends for the crew members on board Diamond Princess, the cruise ship at the center of the coronavirus, the ship will of course need a seriously deep cleaning. With that, Princess Cruises has issued a Request for Proposals to find an experienced cleaning company willing to take on the task.
This Week’s Podcast: Azamara Journey Review
This week we hear a review of Azamara Journey of Azamara Club Cruises while on a 17-night Panama Canal sailing. Azamara is a small luxury cruise line that is a subsidiary to Royal Caribbean Cruises. Azamara Journey is just over 30,000 gross tons and can hold about 700 passengers and 400 crew.
Featured Video: Carnival Mardi Gras Deck Tour
We’re now just months away until Carnival’s newest ship Mardi Gras makes her official debut. Take a deck-by-deck tour of what new features and venues the ship will introduce to the fleet.