It’s time once again for Cruise Hive’s weekly cruise news update, recapping all of the major developments you need to know about. This week, we have stories from Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Disney Cruise Line.

It’s easy to stay on top of the big cruise headlines of the week with Cruise Hive, a leading source for cruise news and features.

Our coverage this week includes fascinating articles on a cruise guest seen tampering with bottled water in her cabin, Princess Cruises revamping its dining policies, and three Carnival Cruise Line voyages where loyalty perks will not be available.

Also, read about the new dining venues planned for the new-build Norwegian Aqua, a social media image that prompted cabin safety concerns, and the dramatic evacuation of a Disney Cruise Line guest.

A video showing a Carnival Cruise Line guest tampering with a bottle of water in her cabin is making waves on social media, and some comments suggest she ought to be banned from cruising, or even prosecuted.

Without providing a clue as to when the tampering happened, the video shows a guest filling an empty water bottle with water from her bathroom sink, gluing the top back on, and replacing the Carnival Cruise Line tag before placing the bottle back onto a cabin shelf.

It seems to suggest that the guest drank the spring water inside the bottle and then, in an attempt to fool the cruise line into thinking she did not drink it — and won’t have to pay for it — refills the bottle.

Cruise Passenger Tampers With cabin Water Bottle

The video does not confirm which cruise ship the guest was sailing on, but it is a Carnival Cruise Line vessel. While the date of the filming is unknown, one clue is found in the price of the 1.5-liter bottle. The video shows the price as $4.25, but the line raised the cost of that size bottle to $4.50 in December 2023, so presumably, the tampering happened sometime before then.

There has been no comment from the cruise line but some of the 100,000-plus people who have seen the video have suggested the guest be banned from cruising and possibly be charged with a crime, such as theft — if the video is real. There also is no indication as to who filmed the video.

Princess Cruises Restructures Main Dining Room Options

Princess Cruises restructured the dining options in its fleet’s main dining rooms, offering three distinct types of services: traditional, reservable, and walk-in anytime, effective with cruises departing on and after September 14, 2024.

Under the new policy, the traditional option enables guests to have the same table, wait staff, and meal time each night, while another offers reservable dinner times, and a third provides a dine-anytime approach.

The cruise line will designate separate dining room areas for each of the three options aboard every ship in the fleet, besides Coral Princess and Island Princess. On those ships, reservable and anytime-dining will be combined into one dining room area, due to space constraints.

Sun Princess Dining Room (Photo Credit: Vintagepix / Shutterstock)

Starting June 17, 2024, passengers booked on cruises departing after the effective date can use the Princess Cruises app to select the dining style they prefer.

The cruise line will automatically cancel existing main dining room reservations already booked for cruises departing after September 14, 2024, except for those on Sun Princess, the line’s newest ship.

Sun Princess launched in February 2024 with the three-choice dining plan in place. The 4,300-guest ship features a three-story dining room, and one level is designated for traditional, one for reservable, and one for dine-anytime service.

Reservations already booked in specialty restaurants across the fleet are unaffected by the new policy.

Loyalty club guests on three upcoming Carnival Cruise Line voyages will not receive some of the perks and services they normally do, according to an email alert they received.

The affected cruises are all Carnival Journeys sailings, which are longer itineraries that typically attract higher numbers of loyalty program guests. The loss of some benefits happens more often on these cruises due to operational challenges when so many guests are eligible for the upgraded services.

Carnival Pride Sailing (Photo Credit: Ella_Ca / Shutterstock)

In this case, all three sailings will not offer Diamond- and Platinum-level guests priority embarkation and debarkation, including at the beginning and end of the sailing and at all port calls. Also, the cruises will not guarantee main dining room seating requests from Diamond-level guests, which is the highest level in the line’s VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) loyalty program.

The three impacted voyages are Carnival Miracle’s April 6, 2024 departure of a 15-night Hawaii cruise roundtrip from Long Beach, California; Carnival Pride’s April 7, 2024 departure of a 14-night repositioning cruise from Tampa to Norfolk; and Carnival Spirit’s April 7, 2024 departure of a 16-night repositioning from Tampa to Seattle. The line apologized for the changes to the loyalty program benefits.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Aqua, the line’s third Prima-class ship that is scheduled to launch in April 2025, will sport several new dining options for her guests along with some reimagined spaces.

The line announced it will delve into a brand new cuisine not offered on any of its ships, with the introduction of a Thai specialty restaurant called Sukhothai. Situated on Deck 17, the eatery will serve dishes such as Thai Cashew Chicken, Salt and Pepper Prawns, and Thai Grilled Steak Salad.

Norwegian Aqua New Dining Experiences

The ship’s Indulge Food Hall will feature a new station called Planterie, offering plant-based food bowls with healthy options such as spiced vegetables, tabbouleh, and honey-roasted carrots.

Some redesigned spaces will include new furnishings and nautical accents in the Commodore Room, the ship’s main dining room, which also is featured onboard sister ships Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva. Additionally, Cagney’s, the cruise line’s signature steakhouse, will be expanded on the new ship to enable more seating.

Norwegian Aqua will debut in Southampton in April 2025 and sail a transatlantic cruise to Boston before operating two cruises from Miami. After that, she will be based in Port Canaveral until August 2025 and then will reposition to New York for the fall 2025 season.

An alarming scene inside a cruise ship cabin showing electrical cords and fans hanging from a stateroom ceiling appeared on social media, prompting Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald to weigh in on what is, and is not, allowed in guest cabins.

The posted image shows two fans suspended from the ceiling using a kind of pulley system, with their electrical cords, and possibly extension cords, draped along magnetic hooks attached to the metal ceiling. It is impossible to determine where the image was taken, so the identity of the cruise ship and cruise line is unknown.

Items Hanging from Carnival Cruise Cabin Ceiling

The scene inspired Heald to express safety concerns about the elaborate set-up in a post on his Facebook page. He informed followers that Carnival Cruise Line does not allow “anything like this to be done.” A rigged electrical system like the one in the image could lead to a fire, damage the ceiling, affect the efficiency of a cabin’s sprinkler system, and cause other problems.

Heald noted that guests who suffer from sleep apnea and rely on CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are allowed to use magnets to position the CPAP cords across the ceiling, so guests don’t trip over them.

Magnetic hooks can be used for storing bags, hats, and other items, but should only be attached to cabin walls or doors, and never to the ceiling.

The dramatic evacuation of an expectant mother sailing aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Fantasy was expertly completed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) on April 15, 2024.

The ship was about 180 miles northwest of Puerto Rico and headed to the British Virgin Islands when the 35-year-old woman developed health complications that needed to be handled at a shoreside medical facility. Neither her specific health concern nor her identity were revealed, and it is not clear whether the complication was related to her pregnancy.

US Coast Guard Evacuation from Disney Ship

A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft were dispatched to the scene to handle the evacuation of the guest and the ship’s doctor.

The Jayhawk crew hoisted the two onboard and transported them to the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where local emergency personnel were waiting to take them to a nearby hospital.

The 4,000-guest ship continued on its voyage, a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise that is due to conclude in Port Canaveral on April 20, 2024. 

Like other cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line’s policy prohibits a guest from sailing if she is more than 23 weeks pregnant due to the ship’s lack of specialized prenatal and newborn care.

That’s right, there’s even more! Cruise Hive covers all of the cruise industry news from around the world, including developments such as TUI Cruises planning an at-sea christening of its newest ship, cruise ports in Scotland expecting their best season ever, P&O Cruises’ Pacific Adventure leaving dry dock with exciting new features, MSC Cruises rolling out add-on hotel packages, and Royal Caribbean cancelling a cruise due to Red Sea tensions.

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