Cruise News Shorts: First Concordia Lawsuit Thrown Out; Huge Cruise Deals Around the Corner

September 28, 2012

(3:15 p.m. EDT) -- Every week we catch wind of so much cruise news, we don't always know what to do with it all, but a few standout bits usually catch our attention. Here are some cruise developments we think you might like to know about.
Take It To Italy, Judge Says

A Florida judge has determined a group of Italian businesses has no legal right to take Carnival Corp. to court in the United States over the Costa Concordia disaster. The judge found in favor of Carnival's claim that the lawsuit should be filed in Italy, the home country of Costa Crociere, the Associated Press reported. The businesses had argued that because Carnival Corp. is the parent company of Costa, they should be permitted to sue in the United States – where, incidentally, it is easier to sue a company for damages. This is the first Concordia-related lawsuit to be thrown out. Several lawsuits filed on behalf of passengers are still pending in the U.S.

World's Largest Cruise Sale Just Around the Corner

If you're a lover of cruise deals, then National Cruise Vacation Week is probably your favorite time of year. This year's event will give consumers access to a variety of offers including two-for-one fares, free airfare, shipboard credits, free excursions and more. But you have to book with a travel consultant to take advantage of the offers. National Cruise Vacation Week 2012 runs October 21 to 27. Twenty-five ocean-going and river cruise lines are participating.

Really, Only Four Cabin Category Choices?

In an industry that embraces an over-abundance of cabin categories, Costa is heading in the opposite direction. Beginning in December, the line is reducing its cabin categories to four – Classic, Premium, Samsara and Suites. Costa reduced the number of cabin categories “to eliminate a lot of the frustration and confusion that can happen when there are too many options and levels of accommodation,” Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America, said. The Classic category, available in inside, oceanview and balcony style, is the least expensive and is located on the lower decks of the ship. Premium cabins, also available in three styles, are on the upper decks and include confirmed dining times, free in-room breakfast and room service (Classic passengers must pay delivery charges for room service) and double Costa Club points, plus a 10 percent future cruise discount. Samara cabins and suites are located inside or near the spa and include unlimited access to the Samara spa, a suites-only restaurant, free wellness treatments, as well as all Premium cabin benefits. On top of all that, each suite guest also is entitled to priority boarding and a bottle of sparkling wine.

Good-Bye Dubai

Royal Caribbean has axed Dubai and the Persian Gulf from its late 2013/2014 itineraries citing lack of demand. “The trends for Serenade of the Seas did not justify continuing to deploy her in the region,” Royal Caribbean director of corporate communications Cynthia Martinez told Cruise Critic. She would not speculate as to why there has been a decline in demand.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor