2013 was a high profile year for the cruise industry. From unfortunate fires, to the debut of new ships, and even Fiats escorting ships into port. Let’s review the top 10 headlines from the cruise industry in 2013.
Carnival Triumph Fire
Kicking off 2013, Carnival’s Carnival Triumph suffered an engine fire in her aft engine room on February 10, 2013. As a result of the fire, the ship lost most of its power and propulsion, setting the ship adrift. The Carnival Triumph was soon towed back to the United States, docking in Mobile, Alabama late at night on February 14th. The fire onboard the Carnival Triumph led Carnival to undertake a fleet wide review of their fleet’s safety systems and install additional generators onboard each ship.
Grandeur of the Seas Fire
A few months later, Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas suffered a fire on one of her rear crew decks. As a result, guests were required to report to their muster stations. After the fire was extinguished, the ship proceeded to sail towards Freeport, Bahamas under her own propulsion. Guests were flown back to the United States following their arrival in Freeport.
Costa Concordia Raising
Roughly over a year after the tragic sinking of the Costa Concordia, the ship was finally righted on September 17, 2013. After a multiple hour operation, the Costa Concordia was finally lifted from her side and placed upright in the water. Now, crews are preparing the ship to be re floated and towed to an undisclosed scrapyard.
Cruise lines took a strong stance against smoking this year, many banning it altogether from balconies. Royal Caribbean, Disney, Cunard, P&O, and MSC North America banned smoking on all balconies. The group or cruise lines cited guest feedback, health concerns, and the obvious risk of fire as the primary reasons to extinguish the flame on balcony smoking.
In a predictable move, local Venetian officials enacted legislation banning all cruise ships over 96,000 GRT from navigating the main Venetian lagoon and canal. In addition, the number of cruise ships sailing through the main canal will be cut by 20%. The decision came after months of large scale protests by local citizens. Venetian officials are researching a new route for cruise ships to navigate for sailing into Venice.
Carnival Sunshine Renovation
The Carnival Sunshine, formerly known as the Carnival Destiny, debuted this past summer after a roughly month long renovation at Fincantieri’s Trieste shipyard. The Carnival Sunshine underwent a major transformation, rebuilding and redesigning almost every area of the ship. The ship later debuted with a string of unfinished projects, which were soon resolved. The Carnival Sunshine’s renovation was the largest renovation project undertaken by Carnival in its history.
Disney Magic Renovation
The Disney Magic also underwent a major transformation across the Mediterranean in Cadiz, Spain. Undergoing a redesign of many public areas, the ship’s renovation was the largest undertaken for Disney Cruise Line.
MSC Divina Arrives In Miami
MSC’s first year round North American ship arrived in Miami with much fanfare on November 19, 2013, announcing the Italians had arrived. The MSC Divina was escorted into PortMiami by a small fleet of Fiat’s, quickly gliding over the water and jumping through the ship’s wake. The event quickly went viral on Twitter and YouTube.
While 2013 was a small year for new ship debuts, two important ships made their debut early in the year. Norwegian’s Norwegian Breakaway and Princess’ Royal Princess both are new builds for their respective cruise lines and are launches to new classes of ships. Both debuted to much fanfare and celebrities such as the Rockettes and Gavin MacLeod. Both ships will be followed by a sister ship in 2014.
2013 also saw an increase in the number of cruise lines offering all inclusive beverage packages. Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Holland America Line debuted new beverage packages, offering guests a new variety of options for onboard beverages.