2011 Year In Review – Cruise Edition

Well, it’s been a great year. So much has happened this year in our world, and today were going to put the major stories aside and focus on some of the largest cruise related stories of the year, the one’s people tend to forget about. For starter’s this blog launched in June of this year, and in just 7 short months we have accumulated over 7,000 views. So thank you to all of our blog readers for supporting us and promoting us, this has been one great year, and an even greater is yet to come in 2012. So let’s get started…

Hurricane Irene

Remember her? Irene started as a tropical storm on August 20th, and disrupted cruise itineraries for days. She mostly ran through the eastern Caribbean which moved ships such as Oasis of the Seas and Carnival Freedom. On August 24th she reached her peak intensity of a category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. She was a danger to civilians on land, and a nuisance to the cruise industry. For a more detailed summary you can read a blog done by Jennifer Stern here.

Ditched in San Juan

This story also ties into Hurricane Irene. When Irene came close enough to San Juan, the San Juan Port Authority closed the port around noon. This meant that all of the ships needed to leave the harbor, including the cruise ships. Now, the ships starting their cruises in San Juan (Serenade of the Seas and Carnival Victory) leave  later in the day, so not all of the passengers had made their way onto the ship yet. The cruise ships were forced to leave the port and abandon arriving passengers. Carnival contacted or at least tried to contact guests ahead of time to tell them the port authorities were requiring cruise ships to leave the port early, Royal Caribbean didn’t do anything.  Carnival paid for over 300 guest’s hotels and offered to fly them to the next port to meet the cruise ship.  But Royal Caribbean did not bother to have a representative at the airport or port to explain what was happening. Even when Royal Caribbean changed course in response to the universal criticism and decided to offer a future cruise credit (only 30%) to the abandoned guests, it was unable to issue a clear or genuine apology – calling the incident just an out of norm fluke. You can read more on this story on Cruise Law News here.

Health Inspections FAIL

This past year both Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas failed random CDC health inspections. They both scored an 84% with an 85% being the passing score. Both ships were found to have dead and alive fruit flies in food areas. Queen Mary 2 was even worse with a finding of 4 adult cockroaches in the buffet area. Both ships also slipped up when it came to dirty pool water, incorrect signage, and other minor, but still serious violations. Queen Mary 2 quickly corrected these violations and received a 100% score this past November during a followup inspection, but I don’t feel very confident in Monarch as this is her 2nd time failing a CDC health inspection. Many cruise ships have recently received scores of 100% such as Celebrity Silhouette, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Magic, and Norwegian Pearl.

A Rocky Year

Many cruise ships were rocked by huge and sometimes deadly waves this year and December of 2010 🙂 . These stories are told by the videos below.

New Ships

3 major cruise lines placed orders for brand new classes of ships this year. These line were Princess, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. Princess ordered 2 new ships, with the first to be named Royal Princess, Norwegian ordered Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, and nobody knows anything about Royal’s Project Sunshine. Rendering for NCL’s staterooms have been released, along with a Lido deck rendering for Royal Princess (shown below.) It will be interesting to see what more will be revealed about these ships in the coming new year, I know I am excited for these new ships!

I can’t wait to see what the cruise industry will bring us in this new year! I want to thank all of our blog readers again for supporting us throughout our first year, and we are very excited to share with you the cruise news and cruising stories of 2012. Have a great new year everybody!




Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.