Carnival To Launch New One-Of-A-Kind Short Cruise Program From Port Canaveral

Carnival Cruise Lines today announced a unique and exciting new “Fun Ship” cruise program from Port Canaveral, Fla.

The 2,052-passenger Carnival Ecstasy will operate four- and five-day Bahamas cruises from the Space Coast beginning November 7, 2011. The move further bolsters Carnival\’s position as Port Canaveral\’s largest cruise operator with three year-round ships carrying approximately 600,000 guests annually.

“In addition to offering a convenient departure point for millions of consumers in the southeastern U.S., along with attractive port facilities and excellent flight options into nearby Orlando, Port Canaveral is an extremely popular homeport and we\’re excited to provide our guests with some fantastic new cruise choices from Central Florida,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

On the Carnival Ecstasy\’s new schedule, two different four-day itineraries will be offered, along with two different five-day itineraries.

Carnival Ecstasy will depart Thursdays on four-day \’long weekend\’ cruises visiting Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Freeport. Five-day cruises will depart Mondays and Saturdays and call at Nassau, Freeport and Half Moon Cay or Key West.

With Carnival Ecstasy\’s new four- and five-day schedule, combined with year-round three- and four-day Bahamas cruises aboard Carnival Sensation and seven-day eastern and western Caribbean voyages on Carnival Dream, the line will offer an unprecedented array of cruise lengths and itineraries from Port Canaveral.

Prior to repositioning to Port Canaveral, the Carnival Ecstasy will continue to operate from Galveston, Texas through September 8, 2011 and then from New Orleans September 22 through November 5, 2011, as previously scheduled.

Tsunami devastates Japan

A ‘once in one hundred year’ earthquake has hit Japan, the most powerful since records began struck the north-east coast on Friday, triggering a massive tsunami.

Ships, cars, even a bullet train are missing, swept away by a wall of water after the 8.9 magnitude tremor took hold of north-east Tokyo.

A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant, where pressure went over the normal levels.

Thousands of people living near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been ordered to evacuate.

The death toll has been predicted to reach over 10,000 -thousands are still missing, but it is feared they many not be found.

Japan’s ground self-defence forces have been deployed, and the government has asked the US military based in the country for help. The scale of destruction from the biggest quake ever recorded in Japan will become clear only at first light.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had earlier said the US Air Force had flown emergency coolant to the site.

But US officials later said no coolant had been handed over because the Japanese had decided to handle the situation themselves.

The UN’s nuclear agency said four nuclear power plants had shut down safely.

The tsunami rolled across the Pacific at 800km/h (500mph) – as fast as a jetliner – before hitting Hawaii and the US West Coast, but there were no reports of major damage from those regions.

In other developments:

  • Four trains are missing along the coast, says Japan Railways; and a ship carrying 100 people was swept away
  • Fire has engulfed swathes of the coast in Miyagi prefecture’s Kesennuma city, one-third of which is reportedly under water
  • A major explosion hit a petrochemical plant in Sendai; further south a huge blaze swept an oil refinery in Ichihara city, Chiba prefecture
  • Some 1,800 homes are reported to have been destroyed in the city of Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture
  • A dam burst in north-eastern Fukushima prefecture, sweeping away homes, Kyodo news agency reports
  • At least 20 people were injured in Tokyo when the roof of a hall collapsed on to a graduation ceremony



Hawaii tsunami advisory cancelled

At approximately 11:26 am on Friday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre cancelled the tsunami advisory for the Hawaiian Islands following the 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan sending a tsunami warning throughout the Pacific. The event passed with no major impact to Hawaii’s six major islands – Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii Island – and with the exception of a section of Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island; it is business as usual across the state.

Travellers heading to Hawaii should continue do so with confidence after checking with their airline as there may be some temporary delays. Tourist attractions are open and functioning as normal, including the Polynesian Cultural Centre and Battleship Missouri Memorial, to name a few.

Those travelling to Japan should call their airline carrier for the latest flight updates and information.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the people of Japan, especially those who have lost loved ones in this tragic event.