Cruise News Shorts: NYC Ports Struggle, Port Everglades Expands & Crystal Invites You to Hobbiton

November 16, 2012

(3:50 p.m. EST) -- 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 sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting cruise tidbits we think you might like to know about.

New York Port Limping Along

Almost three weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of New York and New Jersey, the ports of New York City are still struggling. Manhattan's cruise terminal continues to operate under emergency power, while Brooklyn's Red Hook terminal remains closed. In Manhattan, passengers on Carnival Miracle, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Jewel have embarked from the first floor of Pier 88 as there isn't enough power for escalators and elevators, Cruise Industry News reports. As for Red Hook terminal, which experienced severe flooding during the hurricane, Thomas Spina, director of cruise operations for NY Cruise told Cruise Industry News he hopes to have it up and running for the December 22 arrival of Queen Mary 2. QM2's November 27 turn-around has been moved to Manhattan.

Fort Lauderdale Port, Full Steam Ahead

Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades has completed massive upgrades to four of its cruise terminals. Part of a $54 million renovation project, cruise terminals 2, 19, 21 and 26 have been expanded and modernized, and can now each process both debarking and embarking passengers simultaneously. Each terminal now also has a separate baggage hall, improved ground transportation site and covered outdoor waiting areas.

Carnival Selects Mentoring Guru as Breeze Godmother

When Carnival Breeze makes its North American debut next week in Miami, it won't just be pulling into a new homeport. The ship will also finally have a godmother. Tracy Wilson Mourning, founder of the Honey Shine mentoring program for young girls, will serve as the ship's godmother and will preside over a traditional naming ceremony on December 8. Carnival Breeze has been sailing in the Mediterranean since June. It has not yet been christened.

Crystal Offers 'Precious' Movie Experience

Crystal Cruises passengers, welcome to Hobbiton, home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Hobbit prequel. Lucky passengers on the December 20 and January 29, 2013, New Zealand/Australia sailings have the chance to tour the Hobbiton set with a private guide and dine at the Green Dragon Inn. The tour and dinner experience costs $265 per person.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor