Carnival Plan Evokes Return To The 1930s In Hispaniola – Major Changes At Pullmantur – Book Review: Great French Passenger Ships

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 20th October 2014... ..

.Great French Passenger Ships

This week we look at how Carnival Corp & plc’s investigation into developing a new two-berth cruise port at Haiti’s Tortuga Island, together with its Amber Cove development in the Dominican Republic, take us back to the 1930s. Both are on the island of Hispaniola and relatively close to Miami, especially in these days of high fuel costs. We also look at how Pullmantur is extending its reach far beyond Spain, while at the same time watering down its much-vaunted “All-Inclusive” plan. Finally, for a change, we review Bill Miller’s most recent book, Great French Passenger Ships, just published by The History Press.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Century Sold To Chinese “Joint Venture”– Norwegian Acquires Regent and Oceania – Things That Were Not To Be

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 8th September 2014..

Century CdF

Celebrity Cruises’ Century as she will never appear, in the colours of Croisières de France, as she was sold to China instead


Last week was full of news. First, Royal Caribbean announced that it was selling Celebrity Cruises’ Century to a newly formed subsidiary of China’s Ctrip. This was mixed in with rumours from China about additional ships from within the Royal Caribbean group. On the same day, although rumours had been circulating for some time of the acquisition of Prestige Cruise Holdings, owners of the Oceania and Regent brands, by Norwegian Cruise Line, the deal was finally announced. From Australia came word of the cancellation of Funchal’s short 2015 season, and then from France confirmation that the Zenith would remain with Croisières de France as the Century was now going elsewhere.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                            (See previous columns)

Century To Move To Croisières de France – NCL Shares vs Facebook – MSC’s New 902-Footers

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 9th December 2013..

CenturyLast week Croisières de France announced that in 2015 it would be acquiring Celebrity Cruises’ Century (above), to become the largest ship devoted to the French cruise market since the s.s. France was withdrawn in 1974. Croisières de France and Celebrity Cruises are both Royal Caribbean brands. So this week we have a quick look at the French cruise market for any further prospects of growth. Meanwhile, as Norwegian Cruise Line has announced the sale of 22 million new shares, we revisit our comparison of NCLH and Facebook share prices of earlier this year. And MSC Cruises confirms that Fincantieri Palermo will lengthen all four of its MSC Lirica class ships to 902 feet.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                    (See previous columns)

Pullmantur Cruises and Croisières de France’s 2014 Cruise Offerings Are Now Available In Their New 2014 On Line Brochure

Horizon alongside

Pullmantur and Croisières de France’s 2014 offerings are here:

Pullmantur Cruises & Croisières de France 2014 Brochure (English edition)

For bookings please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

Crosières de France’s Horizon Offers 7-Night Winter Cruises From Barbados In 2013-2014 – Departures Every Tuesday At 8 pm

For those who remember Celebrity Cruises in its early days and who like a touch of French culture, Croisères de France is a offering a series of 7-night cruises from Barbados next winter on the Horizon. Built in 1990 as Celebrity’s first ship, the Horizon, which now has balcony cabins available, will be offering a great itinerary sailing to Martinique, St Kitts, Tortola, La Romana and St Lucia, with a day at sea between the last two.

Horizon alongsideWhat’s really great about this itinerary is that it visits real islands and does not visit either San Juan or St Thomas, places that are so much in demand by Americans but only for the duty free and double alcohol allowances allowed to US visitors. Instead, you will get six truly Caribbean islands that have no outlet shops on the docks.

But even more than that, Horizon operates an all-inclusive formula whereby all drinks at the bars and disco and wine with lunch and dinner is included in the main line cruising industry’s only really all-inclusive offering.

The Horizon will depart Barbados at 8 pm every Tuesday between November 30, 2013, and April 1, 2014. For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

Pullmantur Cruises Introduces Its New Fleetwide Branding Today

empress-in-bluePullmantur Cruises of Madrid, the Spanish arm of Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises, is introducing its new branding today, December 21st, including a new livery consisting of two hues of blue for its ships (see photo of Pullmantur’s Empress above).

Pullmantur operates the former Celebrity ships Horizon and Zenith and the former Royal Caribbean ships Empress and Sovereign, as well as its own fleet of 747 aircraft to feed its ships sailing from Venice and the Baltic. There are also plans to transfer the parent company’s Monarch into the Pullmantur fleet in 2013.

This line is actually a world leader in cruising as it was the first of the popular cruise lines to introduce the all-inclusive concept, where all beverages are included in the fare. North American lines are not even starting to catch up with drinks packages that cost on average about $50 per person per day.

Pullmantur has today sent us this rather catchy little video, which might put you in the mood to book another cruise:

As well as its core Spanish fleet Pullmantur operates Croisières de France, in the French market, on which The Cruise People have booked two quite successful groups on board Bleu de France and her replacement Horizon.

For further details on Pullmantur Cruises and Croisières de France please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

The Cruise Examiner Tries Out Croisières de France’s Horizon – Other Cruise News: s.s. Keewatin Finally Leaves Douglas, Michigan


          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 4th June 2012

This Sunday in Marseilles, together with twenty-four members of the Ocean Liner Society, The Cruise Examiner completed a 7-night Western Mediterranean cruise on board Croisières de France’s new 46,811-ton Horizon. with calls at Santa Margherita (for Portofino), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Salerno (for the Amalfi coast), Trapani and Valletta. He filed his report from on board ship on the way back to Marseilles. Next year’s Ocean Liner Society cruise will be a 4-night voyage departing Hamburg on May 27, 2013,  for Kiel via Sylt and Heligoland, on Plantours + Partner’s m.s. Hamburg, until recently operating as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Columbus.
Meanwhile, last week, after forty-five years as a maritime museum at Douglas, Michigan, the former Canadian Pacific Great Lakes steamship Keewatin finally left Douglas, after a false start on a sandbar, on the first leg of a trip under tow to her previous home port in Canada. She will lay over at Mackinaw City, Michigan, before departing on her final leg to Port McNicoll, Ontario, where she is due at 2 pm on June 23, a hundred years to the day after her first passenger departure from that port.

                                          (See previous columns)


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