The Cruise Examiner for 7th November 2011 – Carnival Abandons Bermuda – Other Cruise News: UK Winter Turnaround – Carnival Hikes Gratuities by 15% – And Tips Down Under

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 7th November 2011

The surprise news has broken that after fifteen calls this year by Carnival Cruise Lines, the line will cut back its 2012 Bermuda program from twelve calls to just one, next April. The curious thing is that no one seems to have said why this is happening, except that Carnival has planned alternate itineraries elsewhere. With complaints that Dockyard, a $35 taxi ride from the capital of Hamilton,  is too far away, with 45 minute waits in long lines in the baking sun for ferries and buses, and the fact that Bermuda does not allow shipboard casinos to open on overnight stays, maybe Bermuda needs to do a little research in an effort to improve its product and keep ships (and paying passengers) coming. In the UK, meanwhile, another chase for revenue maximization means that Royal Caribbean will be abandoning winter cruising from Southampton with its Independence of the Seas next year in favour of warm weather cruising from Fort Lauderdale for the foreseeable future. But P&O will place its Oriana and Oceana in Southampton instead. And back to Carnival again, after ten years of no increase, that line is hiking its recommended daily gratuities per person by 15% while it does away with tipping under a new “tipping not required” policy on its Carnival Spirit Down Under. Celebrity, meanwhile, will retain tipping on its Celebrity Century when she goes Down Under.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                          (See previous columns)