Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mike Figgis: Here to "shoot a pilot"

Mike Figgis: that TSA "shoot a pilot" thing was bogus

Apparently, there were several stories related to Mike Figgis being detained by TSA for saying he was at the airport to "shoot a pilot", was not true.

Here is the real Story of how the events took place

Northwest Exit Bankruptcy

Northwest Airlines is set to exit bankruptch on Thursday, ending a 20 month spell in Chapter 11. This will be the first time in 5 years that none of the major US airline are in bankruptcy. That in itself is a sad commentary...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cruise News - 5/29/07

CELEBRITY CRUISES placed an order for a fourth Solstice-class cruise ship with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft, with an expected delivery date in fall 2011. The three other 122,000-ton, 2,850-passenger Solstice-class ships are the Celebrity Solstice, the Celebrity Equinox and the Celebrity Eclipse, with slated deliveries every year between 2008 and 2010. Celebrity's fleet would grow to 11 ships with the $798 million new ship-order, a testament "to the demand we've received from travel agent partners and travelers" for Celebrity, said parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises' CEO Richard Fain. All four Solstice-class ships are being constructed by Meyer Werft and will have 90% outside cabins, 85% of those with verandas.

NCL CORP. will offer priority hiring to soldiers in an army employment program for jobs on the line's U.S.-flagged NCL America ships. NCL joined the Army's Partnership for Youth Success program, to help NCL "develop long-term relationships with quality candidates for our NCL America ships in Hawaii," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. Under an agreement with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, interested enlistees agree to interview for one of approximately 50 positions on NCL America ships upon completion of their term of service.

THE FOURS SEASONS WILL FLOAT on a luxury residential cruise ship development slated for a 2010 delivery. BV International Ocean Holdings opened sales for private residences aboard Four Seasons Ocean Residences, a partnership with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts brand. The 48,600-ton residential vessel will have 112 wholly owned one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom residences, from 800 to more than 7,000 square feet, starting at $3.8 million and will feature a helipad, a putting green and more than 70,000 square feet of public space.

THE PORT OF COPENHAGEN in Denmark will invest $40 million in a new dock for cruise ships, scheduled for completion in 2009. The dock is primarily geared towards cruise ship turnarounds, the port said, and the investment is part of a long-term strategy to attract more cruise ship traffic. "Good facilities play a leading role when cruise lines and passengers choose a destination," said Per Schmidt of the Port of Copenhagen. The port said it would set a new record in terms of cruise ship visits this year, with 290 vessels slated for arrival, carrying 420,000 cruise passengers, a 5% increase compared with 2006.

Baby born on Delta Flight

Two doctors on a Delta Air Lines flight from Germany delivered a baby in the aisle of the plane and resuscitated him when he wasn't breathing, officials said.

Delta Flight 131 to Atlanta was over the Washington area when a woman about 32 to 36 weeks — or nine months — pregnant went into labor Wednesday afternoon, prompting an emergency stop in Charlotte, N.C., about nine hours into the flight.

Apparently Delta does not have a "no fly" rule for women flying in their last month of pregnancy. I bet they will now...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cruise News - 5/22/07

NCL CORP. said weak pricing on its interisland Hawaii cruises was the main culprit behind the cruise line's $60.8 million loss during the first quarter. NCL reported revenues of $490.8 million, a 15.1% increase over the same period of 2006, on a 23.4% increase in capacity days. Occupancy for the quarter was down from 105.5% to 103.9%. NCL CEO Colin Veitch reiterated that "we remain committed to the Hawaiian market," and that taking the Pride of Hawaii out of the Hawaii and redeploying it to Europe would "allow the company to further capitalize on the growing demand for European cruises."


DISNEY CRUISE LINE wired the Disney Magic for passengers for passenger cell phone usage in time for its transatlantic voyage to Europe. The ship departed Port Canaveral for the Mediterranean on May 12. Disney said the service will be added on its second ship, the Disney Wonder, this summer. In a statement, the line said that mobile phone service was only available in passengers' cabins while at sea, so "guests who still look for a cruise vacation as a way to escape need not worry." Wireless Maritime Services is proving a service that will support more than 340 cellular providers worldwide, Disney said.


ACTRESSES, A TRAVEL AGENT, AND A PRINCESS were among the godmothers who named a whopping five cruise ships last week. Culminating the run was Saturday's christening of the Costa Serena in Marseille, France, by French film star Marion Cotillard. The Costa Serena christening was preceded hours before by the naming of Norwegian Coastal Voyage's new ship, the Fram, by Norway's Crown Princess Mette Marit. On Friday, the Liberty of the Seas was named in Miami by travel agent Donnalea Madaley, and last Monday the MSC Orchestra was named in Rome by Italian film icon Sophia Loren. The week kicked off last Sunday in Greece when the Emerald Princess was named in Athen's port of Piraeus by 1970's sitcom stars Florence Henderson, Susan Olsen, Marion Ross and Erin Moran. The five ships range in size from the 12,700-ton Fram to the 158,000-ton Liberty of the Seas.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Carnival Spa Contest

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES is holding a contest to name the 21,000-square-foot spa on its upcoming ship, the Carnival Splendor. The winner will receive a cruise for two in a Carnival Splendor spa suite and complimentary spa services for the entire voyage. The Name Our Most Spectacular Spa Ever contest is asking consumers to help coin a name for the largest spa in the line's fleet, and the second largest at sea. The spa will feature Carnival's first spa staterooms and suites; a thalassotherapy pool; a thermal suite; and Middle Eastern and Asian spa therapies. The 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor will represent a new class of vessel for Carnival, and is slated to debut in July 2008 operating Carnival's first Northern Europe cruise program. To enter the contest, contestants must submit their suggestion via an entry form available on the Carnival Splendor's site, Entries will be accepted through June 15.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

IRS more popular than Airlines

Recent survey released said that American like IRS better than their airlines. Ouch !

The airlines' score -- down two points from last year -- was the lowest for the industry since 2001 and reflects growing dissatisfaction with the travel industry. The airlines' long struggle to return to profitability after a prolonged slump following the attacks of September 11, 2001 may have led them to cut costs and service too far.

Interline Story

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ship ran aground in Alaska

206 PASSENGERS on Majestic America Lines' Empress of the North, which ran aground May 14 after hitting a charted reef in Alaska, will receive a full refund for that seven-day cruise plus a credit for a future cruise. The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into how the cruise ship came close enough to the reef to hit the rocks in an area known as a well-marked and lighted fishing spot. David Giersdorf, Majestic Cruise Line's president, said in a statement that "we are actively working to identify the cause of this incident, and will take appropriate action once all the facts are known." The impact damaged the ship's outer hull, forcing it to run aground and take on water; it was still able to float free of the reef and return to Juneau under its own power. Interline Story >>

Thursday, May 10, 2007

JetBlue CEO Ousted

Back on February 19th when JetBlue's operational disaster, many people speculated that if Neeleman wasn't the founder, he would have been fired.

Well that is exactly what the board of directors did. So it goes to show, you can start a successful airline and still get fired.

Neeleman will remain as a non-executive chairman of the board. More Interline Story

Monday, May 07, 2007

Liberty of the Seas Inaugural

I’ve just returned from the inaugural celebration aboard Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Liberty of the Seas. Like her sister ship (Freedom of the Seas), these vessels are the largest passenger ships afloat and offer guests unlimited activities, dining options and an abundance of space!

The Royal Promenade, (first introduced on Voyager of the Seas), is larger than a football field and offers everything one would expect to find along a chic boulevard in a trendy town, such as a wine bar, authentic English pub, boutique shops, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor and even a place to get a clean shave for the men. Although this is the social hub of the ship, it is by no means the only place to have fun – and fun is what this ship is all about. Some of the biggest new key features are the H20 Zone waterpark, complete with interactive sculpture fountains, ground geysers and a cascading waterfall; Flowrider – the first ever onboard surf park at sea; cantilevered whirlpools that extend 12 feet beyond the sides of the ship, and a boxing rink!

I personally enjoyed the ships d├ęcor and found many areas to be reminiscent of the art-deco period, especially in the Palladium Show Lounge. Entertainment here was incredible and some of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

For those wanting the ultimate in fun and adventure, Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas are the ships for you!

Leonard Ott

Friday, May 04, 2007

RCI Launch Azamara Cruises

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES unveiled a new cruise line member of its family on Friday when RCCL Chairman Richard Fain introduced Azamara Cruises, a "deluxe" brand positioned between the premium and luxury segments. The new line will comprise ships that were bound for the Celebrity Expeditions brand, the Celebrity Journey -- now the Azamara Journey -- and the Celebrity Quest, which will be renamed the Azamara Quest this fall. The new line and the 710-person Journey, which just completed a $19 million refurbishment, were introduced to the public on May 4. The ships will sail the itineraries that have been marketed under the Expeditions banner, the line said, and will offer Asia and world cruise itineraries.

AZAMARA CRUISES is introducing a new, "deluxe" category name to mainstream cruising, and RCCL said Azamara will distinguish itself from premium line Celebrity by offering destination-oriented itineraries in remote places where Celebrity's larger ships can't go, with butler service in every cabin category, no formal nights and a more immersive shore excursion programs. "Because this is a different product, and so distinct, it deserves a category name of its own to represent the fact that we're offering something different," said Fain. Azamara cruises will be priced above Celebrity's but below luxury lines, said Azamara President Dan Hanrahan, who also is president of the Celebrity brand.

THE AZAMARA JOURNEY'S first passengers, who had been booked on the ship when it was called the Celebrity Journey, got to take their cruise for free: The vessel departed from Bayonne, N.J., on its first sailing on May 6, a day late, because refurb work was still being completed onboard. The line gave passengers a full refund.