The Cruise Examiner for 9th January 2012: American Cruise Agency Franchisors Expand to the UK – Other Cruise News: Two Carnival Corp & PLC Ships In For Emergency Drydockings Before World Cruises


          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 9th January 2012

The Costa Deliziosa “cruises” into Chantier Naval de Marseilles on 19th December – photograph © Ann Haynes

While there have been UK-based cruise agency franchise operations in the past, with one of the most successful being Fred. Olsen Travel affiliate GO Cruise, the Americans are now coming to the UK. Within the past year, two large US cruise franchise operators, Cruise Holidays and Cruise One, have each announced their intention to expand into the UK market. For more on this story continue to THIS WEEK’S STORY

Meanwhile, in two unrelated incidents, two ships owned by Carnival Corp & PLC lines had to go for emergency drydockings prior to setting out on their world cruises this year.The pre-Christmas season started out with a surprise for those booked onto the Costa Deliziosa’s December 18 cruise from Savona to Naples, Tunis and Ajaccio.  Two days before the 92,720-ton ship was due to sail, passengers were advised that she needed to go for an emergency drydocking at Marseilles before departing on her world cruise on December 28.

The ship then offered to take her passengers on board and cater for them from the dry dock in Marseilles, where they would be given courtesy shore tours. Those who did not want to go were offered a full refund and a 20% reduction on a future Costa cruise. And those who were game to go on this “drydocking cruise” were offered the cruise if they wanted to proceed, plus a full refund and a 20% reduction on another Costa cruise.

Surprisingly, 2,000 passengers decided to take the “drydocking cruise” to Marseilles and as she can carry 2,260 in lower berths this was a pretty full load. After an overnight run from Savona, the ship entered the Chantier Naval de Marseilles dry dock on the 19th and left it again on the 21st, with the emergency work completed, for Savona.

The bars were open and the shows went on and from reports from those on board everyone seems to have had a good time. From one of our own customers we had a note: “The passengers were very happy. It makes one wonder whether destinations are necessary in cruises!” Another passenger, Ann Haynes, has kindly provided us with this week’s photograph of the Costa Deliziosa “cruising” into dry dock. We are also pleased to be able to bring you Ann’s illustrated account of the “drydocking cruise” at her own blog, here at Haynes World.

Costa Deliziosa eventually departed Savona on schedule on her first world cruise, a 99-day voyage, and Costa’s first  in seventeen years, on December 28, on a cruise that was sold out. She will return to Savona on April 16.

Meanwhile, P&O Cruises’ 30,277-ton Adonia arrived yesterday at the A&P shipyard at Falmouth for unscheduled emergency repairs before starting her own 87-day “South American Adventure” world cruise next Friday. A&P must make the necessary repairs in four days flat, as, unfortunately for the superstitious, her next departure date just happens to be Friday the 13th. That cruise too is sold out.

A 10-day cruise from Naples to Southampton scheduled for last Tuesday had to be cancelled, and passengers were given a full refund plus a 25% credit toward a future cruise. P&O described the work as “essential maintenance” and didn’t provide any details, but passengers who were interviewed by one of our clients on another ship in Salerno last week indicated that the ship’s stabilisers were not working properly and they had missed a call in Egypt because of rough weather.

The 710-berth Adonia was built in 1990 and entered service for Renaissance Cruises as the R8, later becoming Swan Hellenic’s Minerva II and Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess before joining P&O as the Adonia in May of last year.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                          (See previous columns)

About thecruisepeople
Specialists in sea travel - ultra-luxury cruising, freighter travel, small ships and expedition voyages.

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