Hawaii Bids Farewell to Another NCL Ship
NCL’s Pride of Aloha will leave Hawaii.
Just one week after NCL America’s Pride of Hawaii said bon voyage to the Islands, NCL announced the departure of another ship sailing Hawaiian waters. As of May 11, the Pride of Aloha will be transferred to sister cruise line Star Cruises. It will be re-flagged and deployed in Asia this summer, leaving only Pride of America to ply the Hawaiian waters for NCL America.
“Pride of Aloha pioneered the new inter-island market, but ... to take our product to the next level across what is already the youngest fleet in the industry, we cannot justify further investment in this ship,” Andy Stuart, NCL’s executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services, said in a statement. “Withdrawing Pride of Aloha was an extremely difficult but necessary commercial decision. However, we see a strong future for the long-term flagship in Hawaii, Pride of America.”
According to president and CEO Colin Veitch competition from foreign-flagged ships prompted the reduction in passenger capacity by the cruise line.
“Our Hawaii business has been extraordinarily difficult, and although we have progressively established a stable operation, delivering a good product in a great destination, the overall price level in the market has been driven down to a significant degree by an unprecedented expansion of capacity from low-cost, foreign-flag ships based on the West Coast operating domestic Hawaii itineraries,” said Veitch.
For passengers booked on Pride of Aloha after May 11, NCL is holding space on the Pride of America if they take the cruise during the same week (the Pride of America departs one day earlier than the Aloha). In addition, customers will receive a $100-per-person onboard credit, up to $200 per stateroom, if they rebook by March 7.
Guests may cancel their cruise and receive a full refund if NCL is notified by March 7. After March 7, NCL said cancellation fees would apply in accordance with its policy.
Outrigger Offers Choice
Outrigger Enterprises Group and Choice Hotels International have joined forces, allowing six Outrigger properties in Hawaii to be affiliated with Choice’s Clarion Collection Brand. Five properties on Oahu are presently affiliated with the brand: the Ala Moana Hotel, the Outrigger Luana Waikiki, the Wyland Waikiki, the Ohana Waikiki West and the Ohana Honolulu Airport. Now, the Keauhou Beach Resort on the Big Island is also affiliated with Clarion Collection. Plans are also in the works to expand the affiliation to include more Outrigger hotels.
Outrigger hotels can now be booked through Choice’s central reservations systems and on ChoiceHotels.com. The six Outrigger properties are also included in Choice’s awards program, Choice Privileges.
No Seconds on United
United Airlines has announced they will begin charging passengers $25 for checking a second piece of luggage on domestic roundtrip flights. They are the first major domestic airline to do so, however, analysts believe that if the move fails to generate resistance from passengers, the potential for other carriers to impose fees as well would be heightened.
“Everybody is chiseling away at everything that you thought you deserve,” said Tom Parsons, chief executive of the BestFares.com travel Web site in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “But people shouldn’t be upset because we still want to fly coast to coast for $199.”
According to United, the nation’s second-largest airline, the fee was brought about by higher fuel costs and is expected to generate about $100 million in additional revenue.
Set to take effect on May 5, it is believed that families and leisure travelers will be hit hardest by the surcharge.