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Cruise News Update January 28, 2023

Here’s your cruise news update with coverage on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

It’s time to double-check on all the major cruise news from the past week that Cruise Hive has reported on, including coverage on Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises.

Cruise Cruise Update
Here we go with another cruise news update across the major cruise lines, just in case you haven’t had a chance to catch up. In this week’s round-up, Celebrity Cruises is making history by having brother as co-captains of its upcoming new ship, Norwegian decides to go back to the old muster drill procedure, Carnival warns passengers of delays due to a major event, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship suffering from engines issues and more Royal Caribbean news with a warning to guests regarding a ban in Mexico.

Like ships that pass in the night, co-captains Dimitrios Kafetzis and Tasos Kafetzis will serve three-month rotating assignments on Celebrity Ascent.

Their appointments mark the second time Celebrity Cruises has charted new territory on the bridge: The line in 2015 chose Kate McCue as captain of Celebrity Edge, making her the industry’s first female cruise ship captain.

Captain Dimitrios has been with Celebrity Cruises since 1990, his brother since 1998. The two will share the helm of the 3,260-guest ship, which is under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

Celebrity Ascent, the fourth in the line’s Edge Series, reached a major construction milestone on January 21 when it was floated out of the shipyard. Work on the 140,600 gross ton vessel continues at her mooring location, prior to sea trials later this year.

Traditional Muster Drill Returns to NCL
In a communication sent to travel partners, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the simplified e-muster drill, which has permitted guests to complete much of their safety briefing online and then check in to their muster station at their leisure on embarkation day, will be ending, effective immediately.

“The safety of our guests and crew members is our number one priority. We continuously evaluate our procedures for providing detailed instructions on safety and security measures to our guests, and as such, have made the decision to reinstate synchronized muster drills on embarkation day across all vessels in the fleet,” the email read.

“This policy will go into effect immediately up each vessel’s next embarkation day.” Norwegian Cruise Line currently operates 18 vessels, including the new Norwegian Prima, and every ship will be returning to the traditional.

Guests aboard different Norwegian Cruise Line ships have reported “traditional” safety briefings in recent weeks, but this new communication confirms that no ships will continue with the virtual or e-muster process.

The updated e-muster, also called virtual mustering or the online safety drill, was adopted by most cruise lines as travel cautiously resumed after the pandemic lockdown and cruising gradually restarted.

This helped minimize crowds and promoted social distancing. Now that other onboard health protocols have ended, however, the logic behind a virtual safety drill no longer applies.

At times, all cruise lines have experienced difficulties with the e-muster, such as guests failing to report to their muster stations upon embarkation or an inability to confirm that guests have, in fact, reviewed safety information prior to setting sail.

Carnival Cruise Line PortMiami Delays
Carnival Cruise Line sent out a letter on January 27, 2023, advising guests booked onboard Carnival Celebration and Carnival Horizon of numerous street closures and heavier-than-normal traffic in and around the city of Miami on January 29. This is due to the Miami Marathon taking place on the same day.

Guests are advised to schedule their travel plans in such as way that they arrive at the port at their scheduled embarkation time.

The Miami Marathon is an annual event in Miami, Florida, and is known for attracting thousands of participants and spectators. According to the official website, the marathon will start and finish at Bayfront Park, located near the Port of Miami, where the Carnival Celebration and Carnival Horizon are set to sail.

According to the letter sent by Carnival Cruise Line: “PortMiami officials have informed us that the city will be hosting the Miami Marathon on the day of your embarkation. As a result, there will be numerous street closures and heavier than normal traffic in and around the city.”

The letter continues, “Since this could impact your commute to the port, we encourage you plan ample travel time to ensure prompt arrival within your pre-selected arrival appointment. If you purchased Carnival’s transfer services, please note that our transfer times may also be impacted. We are working closely with our transportation provider to offset any potential delays.”

According to Carnival Cruise Line, all guests must be on board their respective ships no later than 3:00 PM, or they will not be permitted to sail.

Royal Caribbean Warns Guest on Ban in Mexico
Royal Caribbean is informing all guests sailing on applicable cruises of the recently enacted smoking ban in all public spaces in Mexico, and how it can impact travelers.

All forms of public smoking and consumption of nicotine products, including e-cigarettes and tobacco, have been banned in all public areas in Mexico. This includes on beaches, in parks, town squares, pier areas, hotels, and other public spaces, including areas popular with cruise tourists.

It should be noted that private beaches, such as those associated with independently-run resorts, can still permit smoking on the beach or within their own spaces, but individual policies may vary. Designated smoking areas may also be available, depending on the destination and local ordinances.

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