UP CLOSE WITH HISTORY
Wrapping up a whirlwind schedule of cruise travel events, we have a truckload of news from a variety of sources. This is not ‘news’ like BREAKING NEWS! But stories that have come up along the way that deserve a lot more attention. Going beyond cruise news headlines, i’ll make this easy too, first what was then the headline, then the Twitter version then the whole story.
Headline: Carnival Corporation Opens Arison Maritime Center for World-Class Safety Training
Twitter Version: Carnival Corporation‘s new training center appropriately honors the first family of cruising.
Beyond Cruise News, The Whole Story:
Poke around this website a little bit and you’ll find we focus a good amount of effort on the 10 brands of Carnival Corporation. Have you ever wondered why? That question comes up from time to time. The answer is quite simple and should come as no surprise to regular readers.
We began sailing with our kids in the Summer of 2001, on a short sailing of Carnival Fascination from Miami to Key West and Cozumel. That was on the heels of a week-long stay at Walt Disney World in Florida. That Disney vacation cost us a small fortune. It rained every day. It seemed all the kids did was fight the whole time. I remember asking “What is the matter with you? This is the Happiest Place On Earth and all you’ve done is fight?.” On the first night of that Carnival Fascination sailing, I watched as the giant ship finally started to move after a lot of anticipation. As it did, you could see all the cares and woes of passengers onboard disappear while a rousing sailaway party went into full swing. By the end of the first day, all agreed this was going to be the best vacation ever. By the end of the sailing the only regret was that it had not lasted longer. We were hooked and the notion of travel via cruise ship consumed us.
Shortly after that, the tragic events of 9/11 occurred but did not deter our love for cruise travel. The travel industry took a serious hit some players would never recover from, brick-and-mortar travel agencies closed right and left. We opened one. The power and energy of cruise travel had taken off like a skyrocket and I wanted to be part of it. At about the worst possible time to go into the travel business, we thrived, becoming the only player in a game we invented: focusing on short sailings with small group cruises. This was the business no one wanted. 8 inside cabins on a three-day sailing from Port Canaveral. Local agencies often referred this business to me; it just was not worth their time. Church groups, homeowners associations, families, friends and other groups that had a hard time getting the attention of larger agencies or even the cruise lines themselves we welcomed with open arms. Bonus: the small groups were comprised of mainly first-time cruise travelers, hungry for information. Along to help us every step of the way: Carnival Cruise Line.
The new Arison Maritime Center honors the legacy of the Arisons, considered the first family of cruising. Father Ted and son Micky Arison‘s vision and leadership played the central role in building Carnival Corporation into the world’s largest cruise company. They did that by helping grow cruising from a niche holiday for the ‘nearly dead and newlywed’ to one of the most popular vacation experiences available. In the process, they opened up the world of travel to many who might not have experienced it otherwise, ourselves included.
Headline: Cunard Creates New Cocktails Inspired by Their Knighted Commodores
Twitter Version: @Cunard #QM2Remastered Did Indeed Bring Relevant Focus, We Have Proof
Beyond Cruise News, The Whole Story:
Not long ago, Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 emerged from a dry dock remodeling so extensive the term remastering was appropriate. At the time, we noted that remastered Queen Mary 2 was poised to inject a fresh breath of relevant air into a cruise travel experience that roots dating back to the 1800’s. Adding new venues and stateroom features, we saw remastered Queen Mary 2 as a big part of the new ‘Golden Age’ of cruise travel. Interestingly, we did not have to wait long for documentable evidence that this is indeed the case.
“Whether your cocktail tastes hew toward minimalist Sazeracs or 12-ingredient concoctions, drinks these days look more and more like art,” notes Craig Cavallo, Editor-in-Chief at Digest NY in a recent SAVEUR article, a nod to the relevance of today’s Cocktail revolution. How popular are such efforts? Cavallo’s piece is titled 11 Intoxicating Cocktail Instagrams To Follow.
Cunard’s Commodore Club cocktail bar has a new and distinguished menu that continues a pattern we noted during the remastering event: honoring the past, while infusing a breath of fresh, relevant air. Each new cocktail shares the unique story of the Knighted Cunard Commodores. These are ship Captains that have led the fleet across the sea for almost two centuries and been honored with knighthoods seven times, more than any other cruise line.
Example: Punch Romain à la Carpathia is believed to be the last libation served aboard Titanic, inspired by Commodore Sir Arthur Rostron who led the safe rescue of all survivors of Titanic. Brilliant.
“We are proud to recognize seven of the most decorated Cunard Commodores in Queen Mary 2’s iconic Commodore Club, who have led the Cunard fleets and flagships throughout the company’s illustrious past, ” notes Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America. Significant here, we introduce a new term: Cunard Level.
Cunard Level Goes Further
The mixology focus of major cruise line bars and clubs along with their land-based counterparts is hot and growing. The Alchemy Bar of Carnival Cruise Line comes to mind as does the infusion of celebrity mixologist Brian Van Flandern on Seabourn and Holland America’s new Gallery Bar cocktails by Dale DeGroff. Going a step further to elevate the experience to Cunard Level, the line worked with illustrator Lauren Crow to bring to life these seven knighted commodores with intricate pencil illustrations of each, inspired by their steep history and stories.