Crown Jewel of Asia
Princess Cruises is the latest cruise line to embrace the lure of the Far East, placing Sapphire Princess in Shanghai for four-month seasons beginning May 2014. Ranging from three- to seven-day cruises, the ship's itineraries will include visits to the South Korean ports of Seoul and Jeju Island. Onboard, passengers will be offered cultural culinary programs, daily English tea, a 24-hour buffet, Tai Chi and more. The move follows Princess' recent launch of five new offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
Aye Aye, Captain
Norwegian Cruise Line has selected two long-time captains to command the massive 146,600-ton, 4,028-passenger Norwegian Getaway, set to debut January 2014. Captain Rune Myre most recently has served as captain on Norwegian Pearl and has 28 years' experience at sea. Captain Tommy Stensrud is a 35-year veteran of the sea who has served as captain on Norwegian Pearl. Norwegian also introduced the ship's senior officers: Staff Captain Niklas Persson, Chief Engineer Carsten Forsbo, Chief Engineer Oeystein Undrum and Hotel Director Sean Wumhoeringer.
Friends Without Benefits
Celebrity Cruises is expanding its Captain's Club past passenger loyalty program … sort of. Rather than add a new level -- with benefits -- for passengers who have cruised a lot, the line has introduced a "preview" tier for people who have never cruised on the line before. Preview members have zero points but receive the Captain's Club Newsletter and have access to the members-only Captain's Club Web site. But, they do not have access to any of the promotional specials offered.
--by Gina Kramer, Associate Editor and Dori Saltzman, News Editor