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Norwegian launches new youth programme

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

To better meet the needs of the growing family holiday market, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it is revitalising its current youth programme and will implement a new best in class programme fleet wide, the company said in a statement.

The re-branded programme will be introduced on Norwegian Gem in mid-February and will be rolled out to all of the line’s Freestyle Cruising® ships subsequently. “More and more families are choosing a cruise for their holiday since it represents such good value and offers so much for the entire family. In fact, close to 150,000 children sailed on our ships in 2010 and that number continues to rise,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We’ve already taken family programming to the next level by offering Nickelodeon experiences on some ships. Now, we want to make sure that we are continuing to offer the best possible experience for families. To do this, we are investing millions of dollars in revamping our youth and family programming.”

The current programme, Norwegian’s Kid’s Crew in place since 1999, will be renamed and the age groups are being redefined to better address the skills and interests of children. The new age groups will be: three to five years; six to eight years; nine to 12 years; along with two teen groups: 13 to 14 and 15 to 17 years. There will also be programming for babies and toddlers ages six months to two years. The new fully developed and enhanced curriculum tailored to each age group is being produced in conjunction with The King’s Foundation and Camps, a UK-based organisation that provides high quality sport and activity programmes designed to make a positive impact on children. More focus will be placed on sporting activities, arts and crafts, theatre and technology. Activities will change every 30 to 60 minutes depending on the age group and will be set within blocks of programming time in the morning, afternoon and evening.

The new curriculum will also include creative themes, such as circus day, theatre/technology/sports and port of call day. The company has engaged Cirque Du Jour, a New York-based company that specialises in teaching children real circus skills such as scarf juggling, ball juggling, plate spinning, clowning and acrobatics. Circus workshops and shows will also be offered for the entire family. In addition, the youth programmes will be expanded to utilise other areas of the ships, including the sports courts, rock walls, theatres, lounges and public spaces and will feature more family events such as parades and scavenger hunts.

“We want to ensure our youth and teens are engaged in the programmes we offer and that they are having fun,” said Richard Ambrose, Norwegian Cruise Line’s vice president of entertainment. “We have designed this new youth programme to cater to the specific interests and skill sets of children and teens to ensure that they are having the holiday of a lifetime.” The company is also investing in its youth staff, by increasing the ratio of staff to children and establishing new criteria for the hiring of counsellors, including the requirement of a college degree in recreation or child care (or the equivalent experience).

The line currently offers exclusive Nickelodeon family events, shows and activities on three ships: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Gem (beginning mid-February). Activities include pool games, breakfast with the characters, where kids – and adults – can eat, sing and play with SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Patrick, Diego and more; Dora’s Dance Party, where kids can join Dora and the Nickelodeon cast to dance and sing along; meet and greets with popular Nickelodeon characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and many more. In addition, there are also other family activities offered, including Nick Jr. story time, family trivia and special arts and crafts sessions.

P&O Cruises to publish 175th anniversary book

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

P&O Cruises, the UK based contemporary market unit in Carnival Corp & plc group,  has announced the publication of a special book commissioned to celebrate 175 years of maritime heritage. P&O Cruises: celebrating 175 years of heritage, tells the official story of one of Britain’s oldest, yet even today best-loved brands. The cruise line’s ships have seen service in two world wars and the Falklands war, and, in peace time, have inspired loyalty and great affection in their passengers. 

Looking forward, P&O Cruises has a bright future with yet another new ship on the horizon and this new book celebrates the remarkable history and future of the line, combining British innovation with glamour and service excellence. The book, by Sharon Poole and Andrew Sassoli-Walker, covers the history of the company since 1837, when the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company won a lucrative mail contract to the Iberian Peninsula. Not long afterwards the concept of cruising was born and since then has evolved into a mainstream holiday choice.

The authors, keen maritime historians, who have previously published the definitive history of P&O Cruises’ Artemis, give a compelling account of the company’s varied and impressive history, highlighting key milestones in the history of P&O Cruises and intriguing personal stories and anecdotes from the early days of first-class cruises in the nineteenth century to Canberra’s crucial role in the 1982 Falklands war, to the current day logistics and running of a major cruise line, and then on to the future with a new ship planned for 2015.

P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, said: “We are delighted that this fascinating book will be part of our anniversary celebrations in 2012. We can trace our roots back 175 years and during that time our ships and crews have been at the cutting edge of maritime and cruising innovation, served with distinction in several conflicts, and, most importantly, offered our customers a cruising experience that they have loved, year in and year out. We have seen countless weddings, honeymoons and proposals on board, along with all manner of other remarkable events. It’s excellent to have a book which sheds some light on some of these personal stories, as well as the current day operation of our brand and our ships.”

“The anniversary will be celebrated on 3 July 2012, when for the first time in the company’s history, our entire fleet of seven ships will be docked together for our ‘Grand Event’ in Southampton. After a spectacular send-off, the ships will form a procession in the Solent as they depart for seven special anniversary cruises.

Brilliant promoted to Senior Vice President of Management Advisory Services and Chief Audit Executive at Carnival Corporation & plc

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Richard Brilliant, a 17-year Carnival veteran, has been named senior vice president of management advisory services and chief audit executive for Miami-based Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest cruise vacation group.

In this capacity, Brilliant is responsible for managing an international team of approximately 60 professionals and reports to Howard Frank, vice chairman and chief operating officer as well as the audit committee of the board of directors.

Brilliant began his career with the Carnival organization in 1994 as a senior financial/operational auditor. He held multiple audit and advisory positions prior to being named vice president and chief audit executive in 2006.

His wide-ranging accomplishments have included overseeing the corporation's global financial and operational internal audit projects, designing and implementing the SOX 404 compliance program, and implementing the Enterprise Risk Management Framework.

Brilliant has also been involved with various due diligence activities associated with Carnival's acquisition of other cruise lines and he was responsible for establishing the internal audit functions at several of the corporation's international brands.

"Over the past 15-plus years, Richard has been a tremendous asset to our company and has provided significant contributions to improved controls and governance, process improvements and increased profitability," said Frank. "In addition to possessing a wealth of industry knowledge and experience in his field, he is highly dedicated and plays a vital role in the continued success of Carnival's global operations."

Prior to joining Carnival, Brilliant began his career with Kenneth Leventhal & Company in their Hospitality Consulting Services Group.

Brilliant graduated from the University of Florida and subsequently obtained his Masters of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Florida International University. He continues to be closely involved with FIU as a member of the board of directors for the FIU foundation where he also serves as treasurer and chairman of the finance and audit committee.

TUI Cruises introduce Android app

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

TUI Cruises, the German premium market company that operates two ships and has a third one on order, has introduced an Android application for use in mobile phones, the company said in a statement.

The move comes after successful launch of applications for use in iPhones and iPods. The applications include both entertaining and informative features, including position finder, which shows the location of each vessel at a given time plus a webcam.

The applications also include deck plans and 360 degree camera views of areas on board the ships plus video blogs and cruise itineaeies, the Hamburg based company said.

UK government to outlaw credit card charges - report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The British government will introduce legislation that will make it illegal to charge customers that pay by credit card a fee in addition to the cost of the product, the Daily Telegraph reports on its website.

Many travel companies charge a fee for paying by credit card, which means that British consumers pay hundreds of millions of pounds each in these charges, yet it only costs the seller 20 pence to process a credit card payment.

The legislation will be introduced at the end of next year, the report said.