Norwegian Getaway Launched

Fireworks over the Norwegian Getaway

Fireworks over the Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway is to be officially named by The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders during its christening ceremony in Miami on February 7th 2014.

The twin of ship of Norwegian Breakaway, which was christened last May, is scheduled to sail year-round out of Miami with its revenue cruises taking place after the christening ceremony.  Cruise destinations offer seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailings from Miami to Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.

Constructed by the  Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, (which is also constructing Norwegian’s next two vessels, the Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss  set to debut in fall 2015 and spring 2017 respectively), Norwegian Getaway offers many of the same features as Breakaway, but with a Miami theme.

Aside from theme changes,  Getaway offers up the Grammy Experience in replacement of Breakaway’s Fat Cats, with nightly performances by Grammy-award winning artists such as Latin Grammy winner Nestor Torres, a jazz and Latin flautist.

Getaway also replaces Breakaways Cirque Dreams Spiegel tent with an all new unique dinner and magic show called The Illusionarium. Featuring a set menu dinner, entertainment in the specially created dining room is provided by five different magicians with different specialties such as levitation, hypnosis and slight of hand in conjunction with a sound and light show projected onto  the large central dome above the circular stage.

Signature restaurants remain the same with menu items tweaked in tune with the ship’s new Miami style such as Florida-sourced fish In Ocean Blue, the Geoffrey Zakarian specialty restaurant.

For more information on Norwegian Getaway from dining options to family fun and entertainment along with pictures of the venues click here.

Costa Concordia Operation Has Begun

The salvage operation has begun

The salvage operation has begun

The operation to right the Concordia has begun.

Engineers delayed the start by 2 hours due to bad weather overnight, but the lift finally got underway at 8am GMT this morning.

Expected to take 12 hours, the operation will pull cables attached to the side of the stricken ship.

Once the ship is upright, it will remain in place whilst tanks are welded to side of the ship that was underwater. Once this (a process taking several months) is completed, the Concordia will be refloated and towed away to be scrapped.

The photograph above shows the Bridge of the Concordia at around 9am GMT this morning. You can clearly see the part of the ship that has been underwater.

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Five Crew Killed In Thomson Majesty Lifeboat Drill

Thomson Majesty Cruise Ship

The Thomson Majesty

Five crew members aged between 30 and 32 have been killed during a lifeboat drill on the Thomson Majesty.

The tragedy happened in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa during a routine crew exercise. The crew fell approximately 65ft into the water and were trapped underneath the upturned lifeboat.

Three Indonesians, a  Filipino and a Ghanaian died, whilst two Greek and one Indonesian were  seriously injured.

The older type of lifeboat deployment system requires the procedure to be carried out precisely and in the correct order leading to speculation that this could be the cause of the accident, although mechinical or cable failure are also posibilities

The Thomson Majesty was built in 1992 for the now defunct Majesty cruise line, before being bought by the NCL cruise line and renamed the Norwegian Majesty.

Thomson cruises operate a fleet of 5 ships marketed mainly at the British market. Although sailing under the Thomson flag, the Majesty is actually owned and operated by the Cyprus based Louis cruise line.

You can find further information and track the Thomson Majesty here

Cruiseasute.com says :

Whilst tragic for the crew members concerned, these crew training exercises are a standard part of the schedule and happen hundreds of times per week around the world.

Passengers are never onboard during the exercise so the only time that this would impact a passenger would be during a real emergency.