Cruise Line Shorts: A Magic Makeover, Porters Get Training and More Cruise News

November 1, 2013
(12:55 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 sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting cruise tidbits we think you might like to know about.

A Magical Makeover
Disney Cruise Line cast a Magic spell on passengers aboard the newly refurbished ship, during its official re-launch last weekend. Among the highly anticipated features unleashed were the new kids' clubs -- which included a replica of Andy's room from "Toy Story" and Marvel's Avengers Academy, where kids interact with the characters through a virtual game; the AquaDunk, a freefall version of the AquaDuck found on other ships; Carioca's, the line's new Brazilian-inspired restaurant; and updated cabins with raised beds and nautical decor. Magic is scheduled to sail a number of short cruises and longer itineraries (up to 14 nights) in The Bahamas, the Caribbean and Europe in 2014.

First-class Act
Fort Lauderdale is keeping it classy, as more than 800 luggage handlers from Port Everglades undergo a customer service training course in time for the 2014 cruise season. Porters will focus on key topics such as greetings, attire, body language, difficult situations, safety and security. The mandatory course, which is being taught by members of the International Longshoremen's Association, has been designed specifically for Port Everglades' employees.

Snip, Snip
Azamara Club Cruises is cutting out its 25 percent savings program on excursion pre-bookings. The discount disappears January 4, 2014. Any excursions booked before then will receive the discount. At the same time, Azamara is adding more, shorter excursions, reducing the size of excursion groups and adding the Insider Series, which will offer cultural immersion experiences with locals.

Come on Down
Norwegian Getaway will float out from the Meyer Werft shipyard November 2 to begin harbor and berthing tests. The float out is the first indication the ship is almost ready for its 2014 debut.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor and Gina Kramer, Associate Editor