China Cruise ProtestThe South China Morning Post reports that Chinese cruise passengers aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy staged a protest aboard the NCL ship after fog resulted in the cancellation of the cruise from Shanghai.

The newspaper reports that the shipboard incident is the latest in a series of strange cases where Chinese tourists have resorted to shows of “patriotism” when they have been inconvenienced. “Passengers angrily jostled crew members while singing the country’s national anthem, The March of the Volunteers,” according to the newspaper in Shanghai.

The demonstration is similar to an prior incident three years ago when around 400 Chinese passengers refused to disembark a cruise ship which was delayed by fog. Later, around Chinese 300 passengers refused to disembark the Quantum of the Seas and had to be forcibly removed following a dispute over a change of the ship’s itinerary.

I asked the question in an earlier blog and will pose it again here –  how will the cruise lines deal with a boatload of angry Chinese passengers sick with a massive norovirus outbreak?

Video Credit: 新中国频道

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=0UH4ER94nHo%3Frel%3D0

Chinese Woman Fell From Cruise ShipThe People’s Daily China, a newspaper in China, reported on the "miraculous’ rescue of a thirty-two year old woman from Shanghai, who reportedly fell from a cruise ship. The newspaper tweeted that she reportedly swam for 38 hours and was then rescued by fishermen. 

Earlier today the People’s Daily’s twitter page @PDChina tweeted:

@PDChina "32-year-old Shanghai woman miraculously saved by fisherman on Fri after she fell from a cruise ship & swam for 38hrs."

The newspaper posted two photographs. The first show shows a crowd surrounding a woman leaving a ship. The second photo (left) shows a woman, whose face is digitally obscured, being questioned.

There is no information regarding the name of the cruise ship, or a description regarding how or where the woman went overboard.

If you have additional information, please join the discussion on our Facebook page or leave a comment below.

Photo credit:@PDChina / People’s Daily, China

August 14, 2016 Update: The popular Cruise Hive covers the story with interesting additional information.  In the article titled Overboard Royal Caribbean Passenger Rescued After 38 Hours Adrift At Sea, Cruise Hive sites the Chinese media and says that the woman was a passenger on board the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas who "accidentally fell overboard on August 10 when she  . . . was leaning too far over the railings she fell overboard at around 9 PM."  The cruise ship then returned to its home port in Shanghai the next morning at around 6 A.M. on August 11. It was not until Chinese authorities boarded the ship and the CCTV footage was finally reviewed was the woman seen on video going overboard. On August 12 around 11:00 A.M., fishermen rescued her.  

This situation is another reason why cruise lines like Royal Caribbean should be compelled to comply with the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security & Safety Act and install automatic man overboard systems.  

August 15, 2016 Update: Major newspapers like the BBC and the Telegraph are covering the story.

Ovation of the SeasIt was announced on cruise related websites that Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas was christened in China over this past weekend.

The new 4,650 passenger and 1,500 crew member cruise ship arrived in Tianjin, China a few days ago.

The christening was presided over by the first Chinese godmother, Fan Bingbing, who is a Chinese actress, television producer and pop singer who first reached fame via the Chinese television series My Fair Princess and, more recently, in X-Men: Days of Future Past where she plays a mutant. 

Royal Caribbean plans to base the massive cruise ship in Sydney starting in mid-December 2016. 

Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain (photo below) escorted Ms. Bingbing onto the stage for the ceremonies. 

Having a U.S. based cruise line announce such a ceremony in what was once called "communist China" reveals how much the times have changed in the world of cruising and how hard a U.S. based company is catering to the Chinese market.  

Interested in this story?  Read: China, China, China. 

Photo credit:  top kees torn – SMIT ELBE, SD SALVOR, CC BY-SA 2.0

Bottom: via Royal Caribbean International

Fan Bingbing and Richard Fain

China CruiseEvery day it seems that there is an article about another cruise line expanding into China.

The Wall Street Journal just reported that cruise lines are posting some of the strongest earnings in history with profits this year for Carnival more than quadrupling. Earnings at Norwegian grew 26% and Royal Caribbean earnings rose 20%. Much of these profits are coming from China. The cruise lines are all charging premium fares for the China market.

The cruises lines are all mercenaries, selling their cabins to the highest bidder. Why sail from New York or Miami if the Chinese will pay 50% more for the Quantum? These flags of convenience have no loyalty to the U.S.

MSC announced that the Lirica will home port in Shanghai from May 2016. Princess is already over there, of course. Royal Caribbean seems to be taking the lead in China. Next year the Ovation of the Seas will be joining the Quantum of the Seas in China. together with the Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas.   

Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, whose cruise line is also making a play for China, and Adam Goldstein, COO at Royal Caribbean, are headlining the 10th China Cruise Shipping show in two weeks. 

All the cruise executives want to talk about is China.

China, China, China.

The China frenzy reminds me, in a way, of the Donald Trumph campaign.  He can’t say a sentence without mentioning China. 

And yes, the Chinese are pretty weird passengers, as you can read here and here.  

 

Around 400 Chinese passengers refused to disembark the Henna cruise ship, China’s first domestically operated luxury liner, for nearly eight hours this week after a cruise to Japan was delayed by fog, according to a newspaper report

The newspaper says that the Chinese tourists refused to leave the cruise ship from 8 AM until 5 PM on Monday before they reached an agreement with the cruise line regarding compensation. Their delay caused another substantial delay to passengers waiting to board for the next cruise.

A year ago I wrote about another group of Chinese passengers aboard the the Costa Victoria who Chinese Cruise Protestengaged in another organized protest.

The cruise ship could not enter a port in Vietnam because a sunken ship blocked the harbor.This resulted in a shore excursion to Halong Bay being canceled. The travel agency offered the 1,000 or so passengers a refund of around $40 each and the cruise line offered them $50 each. Over 100 passengers demanded a refund of up to 70% of their cruise fares. They refused to leave the ship and protested loudly and organized a sit-in.

I can’t place my finger on it but there must be a cultural issue explaining the mass protests over what appear to be just a minor inconvenience. 

Most cruise passengers around the world can’t wait to get off the cruise ship after they have had a really bad experience. Or if they encounter fog or some other unavoidable and uncontrollable delay, they just shrug it off.

I wonder how Carnival and Royal Caribbean will deal with a boatload of angry Chinese passengers sick with a massive norovirus outbreak? 

Have a thought?  Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

Photo Credit: South China Morning Post

CNBC’s high-energy Simon Hobbs (my favorite) interviews Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain about the Quantum of the Seas which is being called the world’s first "smart ship." 

Mr. Hobbs interviewed me last year about Carnival’s troubles following the ill-fated "poop cruise."  I found him to be fast-paced and quick-witted.

In the video, Mr. Hobbs asks the Royal Caribbean boss some interesting questions about Royal Caribbean’s decision to send the cruise line’s most spectacular cruise ship, with the NorthStar capsule contraption, iFly simulated sky-diving attraction (there’s already been an injury) and bumper-cars, to China.

Mr. Fain called the Quantum, his baby"wonderful, exciting, fantastic and terrific." He explained his intention of moving the cruise ship to Shanghai because his cruise line has received "terrific interest and great prices" from the Chinese.

I guess that sums it up.   

 

Multiple sources are reporting that Royal Caribbean entered into an agreement to sell the Celebrity Century cruise ship to a Chinese cruise company. 

The company buying the Century is identified as Exquisite Marine Ltd., a holding company controlled by Ctrip International Ltd.

Royal Caribbean says that the Century will "complete its scheduled sailings through the March 22, 2015, itinerary. The 15-night, Dubai to Rome sailing on April 5, 2015 is being redeployed to a 14-night sailing from Dubai to Singapore. Guests with affected individual bookings and named group bookings Celebrity Centuryon Celebrity Century’s April 5, 2015 sailing from Dubai to Rome have the option to either cancel their booking and receive a full refund or move to an alternative sailing and receive a re-accommodation onboard credit as well as compensation to cover air change fees. Guests with reservations affected by the transition will be proactively contacted by Celebrity Cruises. Guests and Travel Agents with specific questions are welcome to call 1-888-283-7275."

The Century joined the Celebrity fleet in December 1995. 

On of my first cases against a cruise line involved the Century. An elderly woman fell on a worn-out, slippery deck, breaking her hip.    

It was a different era back then. The Century was a 70,00-ton ship carrying only 1,800 guests with 860 crew. We will see more and more cruise ships of this vintage appear in the Chinese and European markets as Royal Caribbean brings its monster ships on line.  

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Riley Huntley (Huntley Photography)

Chinese Cruise Ship Strikes BridgeAnd here’s some weird cruise news from China.

A new cruise ship under tow in China struck a passenger bridge in eastern China, causing damage to the vessel’s funnels.    

According to the Xinhua News agency, the bizarre incident involved a newly constructed cruise ship, called the No. 7 Mingzhu Pearl cruise ship.

Four tugboats were towing the cruise ship on the Ou Jiang river when the ship struck a bridge in the city of Wenzhou in the eastern province of China called Zhejiang.  

There were no casualties reported.

There is a suggestion that the height of the vessel’s structure was miscalculated because there were no passengers or cargo or provisions on the vessel when it was under tow.    

 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=4GEKiC28lqc%3Frel%3D0

 

Photo credit: Sina.com

Video credit: ITN News