Cruise News Shorts: An Angry Cruise Ship Captain, NYC Hot Dogs and Kid-Free Fun

November 30, 2012

(2:35 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.

Celebrity Captain Pens Angry Letter to Antigua

Don't make a ship captain angry; he just might pen a heated letter and make it public. At least, that's what Celebrity Eclipse's Captain Dimitrios Manetas did when he fired off an angry missive to Antigua port authorities after his ship came close to hitting bottom in St. John's, the Antigua Observer reported. "The vessel could have damaged the hull and compromised the safety of guests and crew onboard," Manetas wrote, referring to the fact that a pilot erroneously told him there was enough water for the ship to dock at Nevis Street Pier. When ship's crew did its own test, it found the keel had only barely cleared the bottom. The ship had moved to Nevis Street Pier after being told only one walkway was available at the Heritage Quay South Pier. "Such last-minute changes," he added, "result in delaying the ship docking and causing dissatisfaction amongst our guests." Manetas sent the letter to the Antigua Port Authority, Antigua Pilot Association and ship agent Bennett Bryson & Co.

Hot Dogs Here, Get Yer Hot Dogs Here

In keeping with the Norwegian Breakaway equals all things New York City theme, Norwegian Cruise Line (formerly NCL) has announced the new ship will feature Sabrett Hot Dog carts and Brooklyn Lager beer. The three hot dog carts – the same you'd find in Central Park – will be located on the Waterfront, pool deck and forward deck and will offer complimentary all-beef franks. The Brooklyn Lager will be available in the Uptown Bar & Grill. Follow Norwegian Breakaway's progress on our Project Breakaway page.

Going Bananas, Want to Come

Silversea Cruises is the first cruise line to schedule a call at Honduras' Banana Coast, the western Caribbean's latest custom-built port of call, now almost 80 percent complete. Intended to attract the megaships of Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, and scheduled to be ready for ships by January 2013, so far the only ship scheduled to visit is the 296-passenger Silver Cloud in December 2014.

No Kids Allowed

Though MSC is actually a kid-friendly cruise line, with kids under 11 years old sailing free on every voyage, the line also knows adults often want to get as far away from the little 'uns as possible. Beginning summer 2013 all Fantasia-class ships will offer the Top 18 Exclusive Solarium, a child-free space for adults that features express spa services, a bar menu and free fruit skewers. Entry to the Solarium will be via daily and cruise-long passes (prices to be determined). Top 18 will be available on MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Divina and MSC Preziosa.

Bon Journo Italy Cruisetours

Norwegian Cruise Line is dipping its toes into the European cruisetour market, with new 11- to 15-day Italy options (including sailing) for Norwegian Jade's seven-night Eastern Mediterranean & Greek Isles or Adriatic cruises from Venice or Norwegian Epic's seven-night Eastern Mediterranean cruises from Civitavecchia.

Far Out…er, Far East

Princess Cruises is expanding its Far East offerings next year with two special Asia cruises on Diamond Princess. The sailings, in October and November 2013, depart roundtrip from Singapore and visit ports in Bangkok, Bali, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor
Photo courtesy of Stuart Monk /