Tuesday FLL Notebook: Deployment, China, Henna, More

Various news, rumors and notes as heard by the Cruise Industry News editorial team on Tuesday in Ft. Lauderdale.

New Canada/NE Player: A cruise line will make a long-awaited deployment move in 2018 and 2019, spending fall foliage season in the Northeast for the first time.

Cuba: All four major cruise companies are looking at investing in Cuban ports. 

No Ships: There are two North American cruise ports that have cruise calls booked and may not care less. One port, on the West Coast, simply doesn’t want ships in the summer. A new player in the mid-Atlantic said they prefer cargo calls.

Snapchat: Follow the Cruise Industry News editorial team this week on Snapchat for behind-the-scenes content. Find the links on the CIN Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

Body Cams: Royal Caribbean has added body cameras to its security teams, said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO. 

Moves: With South Korean ports off the table for now on ships sailing from China, cruise lines are racing to replace calls in South Korea with port stops into Japan and more days at sea. This may create a back-lash, however, with the travel agent community in China which is responsible to close to 100 percent of cruise sales through the charter model. Chinese cruise passengers have not been happy with deployment changes and skipped ports in the past, often hosting sit-ins onboard and demanding refunds.

Step Down: While the orderbook is at all time record highs, the latest classes of ships are not breaking any records. Call it the “step-down” size – between 120,000 and 160,000 tons.

Hotel Gouging: Hotels in Ft. Lauderdale have realized they own the supply/demand matrix this week; a quick check of year-over-year pricing shows room rates up nearly 100%.

Henna Back: Is HNA’s Henna heading back to service after the company pulled the plug on its own cruise operation? The ship was reportedly sold to be scrapped but now there is another option – and its picking up steam for a new brand – to deploy the vessel back into China service sailing to Japan for a new brand.

One Industry; Many Voices: Over 150 media members have registered for press access to the South Florida event. 

VIP Parking: For the busy cruise line decision maker, and those with huge stands in Ft. Lauderdale, even the parking garage had a cordoned off special area.

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