(1:45 p.m. EST) -- What's in a name?
In light of reports that Royal Caribbean has trademarked six dead ringers for ship names, we've reached out to rival Carnival Cruise Lines about a suspicious pair of monikers on readers' radars for months.
"Carnival Sunrise" and "Carnival Splash" appear in the registry; the trademark for Sunrise was issued in August, with an extension for Splash approved in September. (According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the applicant has six months from the mailing date of the notice of allowance in which to either file a statement of use or file an extension request.)
The rub: There's little more than innuendo to indicate either two-word pairing is designated as a possible ship name.
That hasn't stopped some from speculating that Sunrise, Splash and Sunshine would form a new series of dramatically overhauled Destiny-class ships. The first in series, Carnival Destiny, will begin a $155-million makeover in February before emerging as Carnival Sunshine in April. Carnival Victory (2013) and Carnival Triumph (2014) are also scheduled for overhauls, but the line has yet to reveal the extent of each.
Carnival was quick to respond.
"These are not names we are currently using, and there are no plans at this time to rename the Victory or Triumph," spokesman Vance Gulliksen said. Cruise Critic has asked for additional information about the origin of the trademarks.
Meanwhile, other expected names and phrases, such as Very Important Fun Person, after Carnival's new past-passenger program, and the line's 24 ships, are TM-ed. "Live Thirsty," the slogan for Carnival's custom brew, ThirstyFrog Red, also appears -- though we're still surprised Dos Equis' owner, Heineken, hasn't cried foul over the similarity to "stay thirsty, my friends."
--by Dan Askin, Senior Editor