Various rumors and odd "news" as heard by the Cruise industry News editorial team at the 2013 Cruise Shipping Miami conference:
• Viking Ocean Cruises: With four ship orders in at Fincantieri and two options, Viking Ocean Cruises could deliver a first ship as soon as March 2015 according to multiple suppliers with knowledge of the timeline.
• Hot New Port: Look to El Salvador, which is finding a place in future Panama Canal itinerary offerings.
• Safety Issues: Yesterday, this website questioned whether it was a wise idea for the industry to exclude media (after initially inviting them) to an upcoming safety exercise. After another incident, jumped on this morning by mainstream media, it may be time to re-visit that decision.
• Scandinavian Sourcing: With stable economies, Norway, Sweden and Denmark may represent a growing and affluent sourcing market, according to one country’s tourism boss, who just returned from a trip north.
• Bill Shock: Major telecom providers to the cruise ships are reporting that they are fielding fewer complaints about passengers experiencing post cruise mobile “bill shock” than in prior years.
• Monarch Refurb: In early April the Monarch of the Seas will head to the Grand Bahama Shipyard to be painted Pullmantur blue, along with a refurbishment to adjust her to the Latin American market, before she deploys for the Spanish brand to the Southern Caribbean.
• Best Dressed: Italian Pavilion.