Cruise Line Shorts: Holland America and Princess Get Closer, Puerto Rico Expands Its Pier and More Cruise News

November 8, 2013
Houston (3:13 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.

A Royal Move
Beginning December 1, Princess Cruises will become part of the newly created Holland America Group, which will include Holland America Line, Princess and Seabourn. As a result the cruise line will be steered jointly by Holland America President and CEO Stein Kruse and Princess' president Jan Swartz. Holland America Group, which will operate 41 ships with over 36,000 employees, will be headed by Kruse.

Mas Pier
Puerto Rico will spend $8.7 million to expand its Old San Juan cruise pier. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla told the move will make the pier 182 feet longer and include a new baggage processing facility. The additions will help to accommodate larger ships like Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas, which will make its first of several calls on the port in late 2014.

Houston, We Have a Cruise Ship
Four years after completion, Caribbean Princess became the first ship to depart from the Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal. The terminal, which cost $108 million, has been empty since its completion, but will soon serve as homeport for ships from both Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Pigskin, Suds & a Cruise Ship?
This year several thousand lucky football fans heading east for the Super Bowl will be staying not in a regular hotel, but on a cruise ship. Norwegian's brand new Getaway, to be specific. Only it won't quite be a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. Instead, the ship will be transformed into a Bud Light-themed hotel, complete with Bud Light logos imprinted on thousands of pillows, hand towels, shampoo bottles and other shipboard items. Lodging for fans will be available from Thursday night before the big game through Monday morning. Norwegian Getaway will depart after the Super Bowl for its year round homeport of Miami.

Hello Mr. President
Cruise with a Celebrity president. No, not Bill Clinton or Barack Obama… Celebrity Cruises' president, Michael Bayley. The cruise, which is open only to Captain's Club members, sails July 26 from Rome aboard Celebrity Equinox, will be hosted by Bayley and offer a series of special culinary events including a four-course Mediterranean dinner in Nice; a Spanish tapas feast with Spanish wine pairings; and a free Italian dinner in Bolgheri, a 15th century medieval village in Tuscany.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor and Ashley Kosciolek, Associate Editor