Industry Status
Cruise line executives speaking at last week’s Miami Cruise Conference were upbeat, reporting positive market trends. Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines said that “the business came back robustly in the fall and gave us the ability to change our mentality for this year. If consumers think they can wait for lower prices, they got the story wrong.”

Change of Heart?
Is Alaska changing its course? Will the state repeal the punitive head tax and roll back its stringent environmental regulations?

5 Million Europeans
According to the European Cruise Council, nearly 5 million European passengers took a cruise in 2009, up 12 percent from the previous year. The biggest markets were the UK with 1.5 million passengers and Germany with more than 1 million.

Ponant to the U.S.
While U.S.-based lines are focused on more international sourcing of passengers, other lines come to North America to find passengers, including Ponant Cruises, which has set up a Miami sales and reservations office. The goal is to generate more than 12,000 American passengers a year for its up-market, French-flavored fleet.

Streamlining the U.S. Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard has recently opened a 10-person 24/7 command center in Portsmouth, Va., overseen by Rear Adm. James Watson. The center’s responsibilities include monitoring and overseeing operations supporting the Coast Guard's 11 mission-programs executed by districts and deploying assets.

New York Numbers
NYCruise released promising economic data from 2009 relating to their cruise business in Manhattan and Redhook at a press conference in Miami last week. “We generated nearly $94 million in a year where our ship calls were actually down, which says a lot,” commented Tom Spina, director of cruise operations. “We also found we had a lot of overnight guests and the crew numbers are also really important, as our survey showed they are spending $270 each.”

And there is more: Crystal Cruises is introducing Perfect Choice Dining; Bremerhaven is upbeat despite a setback in cruise traffic due to autobahn construction; and more details about the Orion II.