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Another man dies after fall from world's biggest cruise ship

<p>A passenger has died after he fell from the world's largest cruise ship on the first night of a week-long voyage. </p> <p>The unidentified man allegedly jumped from Royal Caribbean’s new 366 metre-long Icon of the Seas, just hours after it left a port in Miami, Florida on its way to Honduras, according to the US Coast Guard.</p> <p>“The cruise ship deployed one of their rescue boats, located the man and brought him back aboard,” the Coast Guard told the <em><a href="https://nypost.com/2024/05/28/us-news/passenger-dead-after-jumping-off-worlds-largest-cruise-ship/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a></em>.</p> <p>“He was pronounced deceased. Beyond assisting in the search, the US Coast Guard did not have much involvement in this incident,” the agency added.</p> <p>Royal Caribbean told the publication, “The ship’s crew immediately notified the US Coast Guard and launched a search and rescue operation”. </p> <p>“Our care team is actively providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones during this difficult time.”</p> <p>At the time of the incident, the cruise ship had only travelled 500km from Florida, and stopped for two hours to help the search and rescue Coast Guard team to locate the passenger. </p> <p>The man was brought back on-board in critical condition before he succumbed to his injuries and died on the ship. </p> <p>The Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, took its maiden voyage in January this year.</p> <p>The Royal Caribbean ship has 20 decks and is nearly the size of four city blocks, holding 7,600 passengers and 2,350 crew members.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Royal Caribbean </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Shane Dixon's heartbreaking posts before cruise plunge

<p>Shane Dixon sadly <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/sad-reason-why-sydney-dad-went-overboard" target="_blank" rel="noopener">plunged to his death</a> on May 6 on board a P&O cruise ship, after racking up a $9000 casino debt that he couldn't afford to pay. </p> <p>His family said that the debt, on top of series of personal tragedies and setbacks, including health issues, family deaths, and the breakdown of his marriage which led to him being estranged from his three children, was the last straw for Shane. </p> <p>"[After he lost the money] his brain would have been going 100 miles an hour. He probably thought, 'F*** it, I can't afford it,'" his brother Scott Dixon told <em>Daily Mail Australia</em>. </p> <p>Shane was the eldest of five children to parents Susan and Wilbur, and grew up in Campbelltown, Sydney's western suburbs.</p> <p>His youngest brother, Dylan who was a twin, tragically died at just three months old in 1993, leaving a mark on the family. </p> <p>In 2009, Shane lost his father at the age of 54, and the loss had a huge effect on Shane who described him as the "strength of the family" and "life of all parties".</p> <p>Adding to the pain, Shane was also experiencing heart problems and his brother Scott was diagnosed with a terminal illness, which he is still fighting. </p> <p>On top of that Shane was also struggling with the breakdown of his marriage, and now old Facebook posts about his struggles have re-emerged. </p> <p>"F***ing sucks.. Now over 12 years [and I have] not seen or herd [sic] from my kids," he wrote in September.</p> <p>"Not knowing how they [are] doing or if they [are] going through hard times just sucks."</p> <p>On December 31, 2022 he wrote: "The only happy [thing about] New Years is that hopefully 1 year will be happy for me when I meet my kids again."</p> <p>"12 years to not see or hear from you.. Breaks me every year but I stay strong, hoping one new year my dreams will come true," he wrote with a picture of his three young children. </p> <p>Sadly, he never got to fix his broken relationship with his children.</p> <p>In another eerie post obtained by <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13424493/Shane-Dixon-P-O-cruise-debt-suicide-eerie-post.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>, last year the truck driver described how May was his "hardest month".  </p> <p>"My hardest month May is just around the corner," he wrote on April 2023. </p> <p>"[It's] not only my birthday, but my eldest girl turns 18 that I have not seen or heard from in over 12 years. My boy turns 15 and [it's] the same situation as my girl. [It's] my dad's birthday also who passed away in 2009 [at] only 54 years of age.</p> <p>"So yes, to me life is f***ed. [So] don't judge me or let's just swap shoes."</p> <p>His eldest daughter turned 19 this year, just three days after his death, and Shane would've been 46 in just one week. </p> <p>Several others have since spoken out on the enticing gambling tactics, and Shane's friend that he made on board the cruise even <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/it-seems-crazy-shane-dixon-s-gambling-friend-breaks-his-silence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recalled</a> how "full of energy and happy" Shane was just hours before his death. </p> <p>Earlier this week, a P&O spokeswoman told<em> Daily Mail Australia</em> that  it would be inappropriate to comment on Shane's death as the matter is under investigation from the coroner. </p> <p>In response to the other allegations and calls for a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/these-are-people-s-lives-calls-for-gambling-reform-after-fatal-cruise-ship-plunge" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gambling reform</a>, she said: "P&O Cruises Australia appreciates the feedback from guests."</p> <p>"We have Responsible Gaming Conduct Policies on all P&O ships and take those policies seriously."</p> <p>"We encourage any guest with concerns to get in contact with us so that we can investigate."</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Cruising

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“These are people’s lives”: Calls for gambling reform after fatal cruise ship plunge

<p>The shocking death of a 50-year-old father who went overboard on a P&O Cruise has caused widespread outrage, with many questioning who is to blame for his untimely passing. </p> <p>Shane Dixon had racked up $5,000 of gambling debt while onboard the Elvis-themed voyage, which his mother, who was also travelling with him, helped him to repay. </p> <p>The next day, Dixon went back to the cruise ship's casino where he racked up another $4,000 in debt, before he plunged to his death while the vessel was on its way into Sydney Harbour. </p> <p>While questions have arisen about the circumstances surrounding his death, the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform Carol Bennett said the cruise ship operator had failed to provide Shane with an adequate duty of care, and encouraged him to keep gambling. </p> <p>"It's really concerning that when a ship sails 12 nautical miles off the coast it can then allow anything and everything to happen," she told <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13414919/Anti-gambling-Shane-Dixon-cruise-ship-casino.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Mail Australia</a></em>.  </p> <p>"The rules that might apply on land no longer seem to apply and yet you would expect this cruise line would have some kind of duty of care to ensure that people are not plied with inducements, promotions and advertisements that are pushing them to gamble to extremely harmful levels."</p> <p>"It is just beyond belief that there is not an expectation that when a cruise ship leaves a dock that the rules of that jurisdiction apply."</p> <p>"But clearly that's not the case and we leave it all in the hands of the cruise line operator who may or may not apply the responsible service of gambling."</p> <p>Ms Bennett said it was "fundamental" that gamblers were able to set spend limits, self-exclude themselves and be in an environment free of inducements: all of which are required by law when it comes to casinos on Australian soil. </p> <p>"This is just basic harm reduction that any provider or organisation that is providing gambling services should be complying with," she said. </p> <p>"And if they're not, we need to really seriously think about what governments need to do to address this problem because you do wonder how widespread this is. This could be just the tip of the iceberg."</p> <p>Ms Bennett said Australia loses an estimated $25billion on legal forms of gambling each year, with the consequences spreading far beyond the impact on the economy. </p> <p>"It leads to everything from domestic and family violence to health and mental health issues, anxiety, depression, financial distress, right through to suicide," she said. </p> <p>"It is a huge and to some degree hidden problem in Australia, which is why we need stronger enforcement of safeguards and guardrails around gambling that don't see people led into a situation where they see no other way out but suicide."</p> <p>"These are peoples lives. For every person who gambles, there are six people around them who are going to be directly impacted."</p> <p>Labor backbencher Graham Perrett said the British cruise line most likely operated under the UK's gambling laws.</p> <p>"My understanding is that the UK gambling laws are not dissimilar to ours in terms of marketing and advertising," he said. </p> <p>"It's not just a gambling free-for-all, even if they are outside our territorial seas they still have to follow the laws of the UK."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock</em></p>

Cruising

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Rough seas or smooth sailing? The cruise industry is booming despite environmental concerns

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/frederic-dimanche-836528">Frédéric Dimanche</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/toronto-metropolitan-university-1607">Toronto Metropolitan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kelley-a-mcclinchey-1287281">Kelley A. McClinchey</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/wilfrid-laurier-university-1817">Wilfrid Laurier University</a></em></p> <p>Cruise ship season is officially underway in British Columbia. The season kicked off with the arrival of Norwegian Bliss on April 3 — the <a href="https://www.cheknews.ca/first-cruise-ship-of-the-season-to-arrive-in-victoria-in-less-than-2-weeks-1196426/">first of 318 ships</a> that are scheduled to dock in Victoria this year. Victoria saw a record 970,000 passengers arrive in 2023, with more expected in 2024.</p> <p>The cruise industry <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2021.100391">was badly hit</a> by the <a href="https://financialpost.com/financial-times/the-2020s-were-meant-to-be-a-boom-decade-for-cruises-then-covid-19-hit-them-like-a-tidal-wave">suspension of cruise operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic</a> in 2020. Fuelled by heavy consumer demand and industry innovation, cruising has made a comeback. It is now one of the fastest-growing sectors, rebounding even faster than international tourism.</p> <p>While many predicted <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/05/carnivals-struggle-to-survive-the-coronavirus-as-outbreak-wipes-out-the-cruise-industry.html">a difficult recovery</a>, a <a href="https://cruising.org/en">recent industry report shows a remarkable post-pandemic rebound</a>. Two million more people went on cruises in 2023 versus 2019, with demand predicted to top 35 million in 2024.</p> <p>But environmental issues plague the sector’s revival. Are they an indication of rough seas ahead? Or will a responsive industry mean smooth sailing?</p> <p>Cruising has long been criticized <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/their-purpose-is-to-be-fun-but-theres-a-dark-side-to-cruising-the-seas/dzxivdoos">for being Janus-faced</a>: on the surface, cruises are convenient, exciting holidays with reputed economic benefits. But lurking underneath are its <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2017.11.002">negative environmental and social impacts</a>.</p> <h2>Unprecedented growth</h2> <p>Newly constructed mega-ships are part of the industry’s unprecedented growth. Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is the <a href="https://www.cruisehive.com/top-10-biggest-cruise-ships-in-the-world/66448">largest cruise ship in the world</a>, with 18 decks, 5,600 passengers and 2,350 crew.</p> <p>MSC World Europa with 6,700 passengers and 2,100 crew, P&amp;O Arvia with 5,200 passengers and 1,800 crew, and Costa Smeralda with 6,600 passengers and 1,500 crew also claim mega-ship status.</p> <p>Those sailing to and from Alaska via Victoria will be some of the <a href="https://hakaimagazine.com/features/cruise-ship-invasion/">estimated 700,000 passengers departing Seattle</a> on massive ships three sport fields in length.</p> <p>Baby boomers represent less than 25 per cent of cruise clientele. Gen X, <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/life/2024/01/15/cruise-millennials-gen-z">Millennials and Gen Z</a> have more interest than ever in cruising, with these younger markets being targeted as the future of cruise passengers.</p> <p>The Cruise Lines International Association asserts that <a href="https://cruising.org/-/media/clia-media/research/2024/2024-state-of-the-cruise-industry-report_041424_web.ashx">82 per cent of those who have cruised will cruise again</a>. To entice first-timers and meet the needs of repeat cruisers, companies are offering new itineraries and onboard activities, from <a href="https://www.timescolonist.com/business/royal-caribbean-quantum-cruise-ship-1st-at-sea-bumper-cars-skydiving-observation-capsule-4585987">simulated skydiving and bumper cars</a> to <a href="https://nationalpost.com/travel/cruise-ship-offers-pickleball-on-the-high-seas">pickleball</a> and lawn bowling.</p> <p>Solo cruise travel is also on the rise, and <a href="https://www.cruisetradenews.com/demand-for-multi-generational-cruise-holidays-on-the-up-data-finds/">multi-generational family cruise travel</a> is flourishing, explaining the extensive variety of cabin classes, activities and restaurants available on newly constructed and retrofitted ships.</p> <p>However, only a few cruise ports are large enough to dock mega ships. Cruise lines are responding by offering off-beat experiences and catering more to the distinct desires of travellers.</p> <p>In doing so, there is a <a href="https://www.positivelyosceola.com/2024s-top-cruise-trends-embracing-smaller-ships-solo-adventures-and-luxury-suites/">move towards smaller vessels and luxury liners</a>, river cruises and <a href="https://www.travelweek.ca/news/cruise/expedition-cruising-what-is-it-and-how-do-you-sell-it/">expedition cruising</a>. Leveraging lesser-known ports that can only be accessed via compact luxury ships <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/small-cruise-ships-are-more-sustainble-and-on-the-rise">offers more mission-driven, catered experiences</a> for the eco-minded traveller.</p> <h2>Cruising and environmental costs</h2> <p>Cruise ship visitors are known to negatively impact Marine World Heritage sites. While most sites regulate ballast water and wastewater discharge, there are <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020611">concerns about ship air emissions and wildlife interactions</a>.</p> <p>Cruise ship journeys along Canada’s west coast, for example, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/09/us-cruise-ships-using-canada-as-toilet-bowl-for-polluted-waste-alaska-british-columbia">are leaving behind a trail of toxic waste</a>. <a href="https://foe.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Comparison_of_CO2_Emissions_v2.pdf">A study by environmental organization Friends of the Earth</a> concluded that a cruise tourist generates eight times more carbon emissions per day than a land tourist in Seattle.</p> <p>Also, a rise in expedition cruising means more negative impacts (long-haul flights to farther ports, less destination management in fragile ecosystems, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/03/briefing/last-chance-tourism.html">last chance tourism</a>) and a rise in carbon dioxide emissions.</p> <p>Toxic air pollutants from cruise ships around ports are higher than pre-pandemic levels, <a href="https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/europes-luxury-cruise-ships-emit-as-much-toxic-sulphur-as-1bn-cars-study/">leaving Europe’s port cities “choking on air pollution</a>.” Last year, Europe’s 218 cruise ships emitted as much sulphur oxides as one billion cars — a high number, considering the introduction of the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30002-4">International Maritime Organization’s sulphur cap in 2020</a>.</p> <h2>Rough seas ahead or smooth sailing?</h2> <p>Royal Caribbean said its Icon of the Seas is designed to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/worlds-largest-cruise-ship-sets-sail-bringing-concerns-about-methane-emissions-2024-01-27/">operate 24 per cent more efficiently than the international standard</a> for new ships. International Maritime Organization regulations <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-22/royal-caribbean-s-icon-of-the-seas-highlights-climate-impact-of-cruises">must be 30 per cent more energy-efficient</a> than those built in 2014.</p> <p>But despite the industry using liquefied natural gas instead of heavy fuel oil and electric shore power to turn off diesel engines when docking, industry critics still claim <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/jan/26/icon-of-the-seas-largest-cruise-ship-human-lasagne-climate-fuel-lng-greenwashing">the cruise sector is greenwashing</a>. As a result, some cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Venice are <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/maryroeloffs/2023/07/21/war-on-cruise-ships-amsterdam-latest-port-to-limit-or-ban-cruise-liners">limiting or banning cruise ships</a>.</p> <p>Environmental critiques remain strong, especially for <a href="https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/ijegeo/issue/65449/957262">polar expeditions</a>. The industry must respond and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-01949-4_131">increase sustainability efforts</a>, but their measures remain reactive (i.e., merely meeting international regulations) rather than proactive. In addition, by sailing their ships under <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/13/real-problem-with-cruise-industry/">flags of convenience</a>, cruise companies evade taxes and demonstrate an unwillingness to abide by a nation’s environmental, health and labour regulations.</p> <p>In any case, environmental concerns are escalating along with the industry. <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/cruising-green-eco-operators-make-waves">Travel agents and industry figures are aware of these impacts</a> and should help promote cruise lines that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices.</p> <p>Local residents need to expect more from port authorities and local governments in order <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2024.103732">to cope with cruise tourism</a>. Cruise consumers should recognize the environmental costs of cruising, and demand accountability and transparency from cruise lines.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228181/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/frederic-dimanche-836528"><em>Frédéric Dimanche</em></a><em>, Professor and Director, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/toronto-metropolitan-university-1607">Toronto Metropolitan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kelley-a-mcclinchey-1287281">Kelley A. McClinchey</a>, Teaching Faculty, Geography and Environmental Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/wilfrid-laurier-university-1817">Wilfrid Laurier University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/rough-seas-or-smooth-sailing-the-cruise-industry-is-booming-despite-environmental-concerns-228181">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Cruising

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5 ways to avoid going overboard on a cruise

<p>Falling overboard is the stuff of cruising nightmares (and it happens surprisingly more frequently than you might think. Just this year we’ve brought you two stories about passengers falling overboard, but this fishy fate is by no means unavoidable.</p> <p>Here are five ways to ensure you keep your feet dry.</p> <p><strong>1. Limit your alcohol intake</strong></p> <p>If the prices weren’t enough of a reason to go easy on the sauce on your cruise, perhaps the risk of tipping over the balcony will persuade you. Think of it this way – the effect of alcohol on a cruise is the same as the effect of alcohol on dry land, but when you’re on a cruise you’re travelling through sometimes heavy seas at about 20 knots.</p> <p><strong>2. Stay in your room during inclement weather</strong></p> <p>If your ship is sailing into dicey conditions, you’re better off keeping to your quarters. You never know how a cruise liner is going to stand up to the ocean’s wrath, and even if you want a good view of Mother Nature’s nasty side, you’re safer below deck. </p> <p><strong>3. Keep clear of dark corners</strong></p> <p>It’s not a very pleasant thing to think about, but when there are 4,000 passengers on a cruise they’re not all going to be good eggs. Be aware of your surroundings, just as you would be on land, and be sure to report any suspicious activity to a crew member.</p> <p><strong>4. Pay attention during the practice drills</strong></p> <p>Even if you’ve been on 20 cruises it’s a good idea to pay attention during the practice drills. This will reinforce what you need to do in an event of an emergency, and might just save your life (or someone else’s by knowing where to find the safety gear).</p> <p><strong>5. Don’t re-enact the <em>Titanic</em> scene</strong></p> <p>Because going overboard will make you look like anything but, “The king of the world.”</p> <p>Have you ever been on a cruise? Did you ever feel unsafe at any point? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Cruising

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Elderly couple left stranded by cruise ship

<p>An elderly American couple was left behind by a Norwegian Cruise Line while on holiday in Spain this week. </p> <p>Richard and Claudene Gordon- aged 84 and 81 - were on a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Norwegian Viva with plans to celebrate Richard's birthday before things went downhill.</p> <p>The couple decided to take an independent excursion by themselves while the ship was docked in Motril, Spain, but on their return, their bus was delayed for an hour due to poor weather, so they ran late for the 5:30pm all-aboard time ahead of a scheduled 6pm departure.</p> <p>“I am a very experienced traveler and have probably been on as many as 30 cruises during my lifetime,” Richard told <em>CNN</em>. </p> <p>“Never before have we ever missed catching a ship on time at a port. So we are not someone who abuses the system.”</p> <p>Richard claimed that at 5:45pm they notified a relative on board who raised the alarm that they were nearby and running late, but nothing could be done at that point as the ship had to leave on time. </p> <p>By the time the couple arrived at 6:10pm, the boat had left the harbour, but Richard claimed that the cruise line had a tendency to depart behind schedule, and made no attempt to contact them until  late Tuesday. </p> <p>“Our cruise began in Lisbon and we departed from Lisbon about one and a half hours after the scheduled departure at 4pm,” he claimed.</p> <p>“Then the next night or two, at least a half-hour late from the dock, so it is clear that they do not always leave on the exact moment scheduled.”</p> <p>The couple were left stranded without their medication, eyeglasses and spare hearing aid batteries, which were left on board. </p> <p>Their daughter ended up having to book her parents a flight to Palma de Mallorca, where the boat was making its next call Wednesday morning, according to the publication. </p> <p>By the time the couple got to Mallorca, they were met with "a beautiful black BMW limousine" which took them back to their ship. </p> <p>"There we were met by the head of ship services who escorted us inside the ship to meet the general manager of the ship, then they escorted us to breakfast, then they escorted us to our cabin.They said they have already complained about the harbour master who was supposed to take care of things for them.</p> <p>"But of course the ship had not contacted us directly for two days so that doesn’t speak so well for them.”</p> <p>The Norwegian Cruise Line disputed the couple’s account of what happened.</p> <p>“After several attempts to contact these guests with the phone numbers provided, as well as trying to phone their emergency contact, we were unable to speak to them directly. However, we worked closely with the local port agents to make arrangements for the guests to rejoin the vessel,” a spokesperson said. </p> <p>“It is important to note that a delayed departure has the potential to impact the ship’s ability to deliver its planned itinerary and thus influence the experience for all guests on-board. While this was a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time.”</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Aussie cruising fanatics share their top cruise tips

<p dir="ltr">An Aussie couple who are dedicated to cruising have shared their top tips to keep in mind before setting sail. </p> <p dir="ltr">Marty and Jessica Ansen are about to set off on their 130th cruise and have made headlines around the world for their devotion to spending most of their lives at sea.</p> <p dir="ltr">Together they have sailed roughly 770,000 nautical miles over more than 2,300 days on board, which equates to more than six years spent at sea.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Brisbane grandparents, both 77, have just headed off on their tenth trip around the globe, which is also their 52nd consecutive cruise adventure. </p> <p dir="ltr">During all their time spent at seas, the Ansens have learned a thing or two about life onboard, and have shared their top ten tips to make time on a cruise ship as smooth sailing as possible.</p> <p dir="ltr">Their number one tip for cruise travellers is to take a backup credit or debit card, as Marty told<em> <a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/cruising/cruise-tips-couple-princess-cruises-marty-and-jessica-ansen-australia/c61281dd-c47a-41bf-b166-608b581eccdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9Travel</a></em>, "Replacing a lost or stolen card while overseas is not for the fainthearted."</p> <p dir="ltr">The Ansens recommend making a clear and legible copy of your passport, as consulates find it a lot easier if you can provide a copy ready to go when you disembark.</p> <p dir="ltr">After all their years at sea, Marty and Jessica are pro-packers, and recommend wearing all your heaviest clothing when you check in to better adhere to a strict weight limit. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Jessica and I have one piece of luggage, usually under 20kg," Marty said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We also each have one bag of hand luggage. Going on board, regardless of weather, I wear my heaviest clothing."</p> <p dir="ltr">When it comes to packing, they also advise leaving your toiletries at home. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Leave consumables like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and any creams and potions at home as Princess (cruise line) provides basic toiletries and anything you do need can be bought at the first port," Marty said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Marty and Jessica also recommend packing all your essentials in your hand luggage, as it can often take a while for your checked bags to arrive in your cruise ship cabin. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Place all jewellery, passports, visas, medication money and credit/debit cards in your hand luggage for easy retrieval," Marty said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Marty said one thing every traveller must check before setting sail is what electrical connection is used onboard. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Check what electrical connection is used onboard and have the right adapter ready to charge your devices,' Marty said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Many ships have American and European plug points, while newer ones may have USB connections too.</p> <p dir="ltr">When it comes to bringing medications, the Ansens said you should always bring extras, as well as the required paperwork.</p> <p dir="ltr">"As an extra precaution carry copies of scripts so that if you do run out or lose your medications it will be easier to prove what you need to overseas pharmacies or doctors," Marty said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lastly, like any overseas adventure, the Ansens said it is important to always have travel insurance, and to make copies of your policy. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: X (Twitter)</em></p>

Cruising

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"I believe he is alive": Father of young man who jumped off cruise ship speaks out

<p>The father of the young man who jumped off a cruise ship on its way to Florida has spoken out, saying he believes his son is still alive. </p> <p>While the Liberty of the Seas was travelling back from the Dominican Republic on its way to Florida, 20-year-old Levion Parker <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/young-man-who-jumped-off-cruise-ship-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">jumped overboard</a>. </p> <p>The ship was reportedly about 90km off the southern most island of the Bahamas when the young man, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, jumped overboard in the early hours of the morning. </p> <p>Witnesses recounted the harrowing scene, describing how a young man took a spontaneous plunge from one of the ship's decks, despite the desperate pleas and helplessness of his father and brother who stood witness to the impulsive act.</p> <p>After days of searching, the US coast guard called off their search for the young man. </p> <p>Now, Legion's father Francel said he believes his son is still alive. </p> <p>“As soon as he went off the side, I prayed over him. I was confident the prayers I said over my son were heard. I stand on the word of God. I believe he is alive,” Mr Parker told local Florida paper, the <a href="https://www.yoursun.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Sun</em>, </a>on Wednesday.</p> <p>Francel went open to say that he threw six life rings off the ship in hopes of saving his son before the vessel was able to come to a stop about 20 minutes later.</p> <p>When news broke onboard of the tragedy, travellers reported that many people came out of their cabins to stare at the sea, hoping to be able to spot the young man in the water.</p> <p>Levion was reportedly “drunk” on the night of the incident, although details around this are unclear as the minimum age to consume alcohol on Royal Caribbean ships on voyages from North America or the Caribbean is 21.</p> <p>“We don’t drink,” Levion’s father Francel said. “I’d like to know how my son was served so much alcohol.”</p> <p>Francel, who owns an air-conditioning business, was invited, together with his family, aboard the ship as guests of Florida-based air-conditioning wholesalers Tropic Supply to mark the company’s 50th anniversary.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Young man who jumped off cruise ship identified

<p>The young man who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/his-family-was-horrified-young-man-jumps-off-cruise-ship" target="_blank" rel="noopener">jumped overboard</a> from a Royal Caribbean cruise has been identified as 20-year-old Levion Parker. </p> <p>Parker, a former high school footballer from Florida, was onboard the Liberty of the Seas with his family when the incident occurred, as the vessel was making its way back to the US after a four-day cruise to the Dominican Republic. </p> <p>The ship was reportedly about 90km off the southern most island of the Bahamas when the young man, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, jumped overboard in the early hours of the morning. </p> <p>Witnesses recounted the harrowing scene, describing how a young man took a spontaneous plunge from one of the ship's decks, despite the desperate pleas and helplessness of his father and brother who stood witness to the impulsive act.</p> <p>A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/20yo-who-went-overboard-royal-caribbean-cruise-ship-identified/news-story/ebeef7b2ed03d828b5a6efbd2a8ebfe1" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a> the ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue effort alongside the US Coast Guard, who took over the search. </p> <p>“Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family during this difficult time. For the privacy of the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share,” the spokesperson said on Monday.</p> <p>Fellow travellers on the cruise were alerted to the tragedy during breakfast a few hours later, as many stood along balconies starring into the sea in the hopes of finding the man. </p> <p>A passenger took to Reddit to post about the heartbreaking incident said they became aware of the tragedy when the captain "announced it over the PA system while we were at breakfast and the entire room went silent.” </p> <p>Levion’s father Francel Parker, who owns an air-conditioning business, was invited, together with his family, aboard the ship as guests of Florida-based air-conditioning wholesalers Tropic Supply to mark the company’s 50th anniversary.</p> <p>The US Coast Guard has suspended its search for the missing young man.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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"His family was horrified": Young man jumps off cruise ship

<p>What was meant to be a voyage of leisure and joy turned into a nightmare in the early hours of Thursday morning when a young man made a fateful decision to leap overboard, leaving passengers and crew stunned and grieving.</p> <p>The incident occurred as Royal Caribbean's colossal 18-storey <em>Liberty of the Seas</em> cruise ship navigated the waters between Cuba and the Bahamas' Grand Inagua Island. <a href="https://nypost.com/2024/04/04/us-news/royal-caribbean-cruise-horror-as-20-year-old-man-jumps-overboard/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">According to the New York Post</a>, witnesses recounted the harrowing scene: a young man took a spontaneous plunge from one of the ship's decks, despite the desperate pleas and helplessness of his father and brother who stood witness to the impulsive act.</p> <p>Passengers onboard shared their accounts, describing the chilling moments leading up to the tragedy. Bryan Sims, one of the witnesses, told the <em>New York Post</em> he had spent time with the young man and his brother in the ship's hot tub until the early hours of the morning. "He was pretty drunk," Sims said, noting the jovial atmosphere that abruptly transformed into shock and chaos.</p> <p>The young man's declaration to his father, followed by his abrupt jump, left bystanders reeling in disbelief: “As we were walking from the hot tub back to the elevators, his dad and brother were walking towards us," Sims continued. "His dad was fussing at him for being drunk, I guess. When we got to them, he said to his dad, ‘I’ll fix this right now.’ And he jumped out the window in front of us all.” </p> <p>Deborah Morrison, another passenger, echoed the sentiments of shock and horror that rippled through the ship. "His family was horrified. Just beside themselves," she recounted. “There was a lot of yelling, and the crew was alerted immediately.”</p> <p>In a statement addressing the tragic incident, Royal Caribbean affirmed its commitment to providing support to the family, while respecting their privacy during this difficult time. </p> <p>Amy Phelps Fouse, another passenger onboard, attested to the sombre atmosphere that enveloped the ship in the wake of the tragedy. Despite the uncertainty that lingered, she commended Royal Caribbean for their transparency and compassionate response to the situation.</p> <p><em>More to come.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Royal Caribbean</em></p>

Cruising

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"Worst experience of our lives": Aussies break silence after being stranded by cruise ship

<p>An Australian couple have spoken out about how their dream holiday turned into a nightmare after they were abandoned by their cruise ship and left stranded in Africa. </p> <p>Violetta and Doug Sanders were two of eight travellers on the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship who took off on a private tour not organised by the cruise while they were docked on the small African island of São Tomé. </p> <p>After their <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/the-key-decision-that-led-to-cruise-passengers-being-abandoned-by-ship" target="_blank" rel="noopener">private tour ran late</a>, the Aussie pensioners and their fellow travellers were unable to rejoin the cruise as the ship was ready to disembark from the port, and were left stranded. </p> <p>Doug and Violetta are still attempting to rejoin the cruise in Senegal to be reunited with valuables such as their passports to finish out their journey. </p> <p>The couple spoke to <em>Sunrise</em> on Wednesday, detailing their nightmarish experience in the foreign country. </p> <p>“It’s been the worst experience of our lives to be abandoned like that in a strange country, can’t speak the language — Portuguese or an African (language),” Violeta said.</p> <p>“We have no money, our credit cards aren’t accepted.”</p> <p>The group of stranded travellers have been racing through six African countries to get to where the ship is docking in Senegal in time, but US travellers Jill and Jay Campbell have cast doubt on whether they will re-board the ship.</p> <p>“We believe that it was a basic duty of care that they have forgotten about — although there are a set of rules, they have followed them too rigidly,” Jill told US media overnight.</p> <p>The group, which included four elderly people, a pregnant woman, a quadriplegic and a person with a heart condition, were set to rejoin the ship last Sunday in The Gambia, however, low-tide meant the ship couldn’t dock at the African port.</p> <p>The Campbells have been using their credit card to look after the entire group, spending more than $5,000 USD so far.</p> <p>Norwegian Cruise Lines has said it is up to guests to be back on time.</p> <p>“Guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel,” it said.</p> <p>The cruise line later said it was in contact with passengers and had been “working closely with authorities” to allow the guests to re-join the ship.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Sunrise </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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The key decision that led to cruise passengers being abandoned by ship

<p>A group of travellers, including two Australians, have been left stranded in Africa after their cruise ship allegedly refused to let them board the ship after a day trip. </p> <p>Eight passengers were among the many cruisers who disembarked the Norwegian Dawn at São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation of 220,000 people off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, last Wednesday. </p> <p>The group of eight passengers took off on a private day tour, that reportedly wasn't organised through the cruise company. </p> <p>Things turned sour when the group were delayed on their day trip, with their tour operator allegedly connecting with the captain to tell the cruise the eight passengers would arrive later than their 3pm curfew. </p> <p>When the group arrived to the port, the ship was still anchored, but American couple Jill and Jay Campbell said the captain allegedly refused to let them on board.</p> <p>According to cruise ship lawyer Spencer Aonfeld, the group's big mistake was not booking the tour through the cruise company, as private tours come with a huge risk. </p> <p>Weighing into the drama on TikTok, Mr Aonfeld said, “Eight passengers were left behind when their cruise ship left them because they were delayed in an excursion apparently conducted without buying it directly through Norwegian."</p> <p>“These passengers include elderly passengers, one apparently a paraplegic, one has a heart condition, they don't have their medication, money, passports, cell phones and other things — they’re just left behind."</p> <p>“That unfortunately, according to Norwegian and me is, one of the consequences you pay when you buy your excursions from someone other than the cruise line."</p> <p>“Now they’re left there having to come up with the means to travel back to the next port or home and forfeit the remaining potion of their cruise. Imagine trying to do that in Africa without a passport, money or medication — we wish them the very best.”</p> <p>In order to rejoin the cruise and be reunited with their valuables, the group is now trekking to a port in Senegal, where the cruise is set to dock on Tuesday. </p> <p>In a statement, Norwegian Cruise Lines said it was “in communication with the guests,” and was providing them with “additional information” to rejoin the cruise. </p> <p>“While this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel,” NCL said in a statement.</p> <p>The company said it was “working closely with the local authorities” on how the guests might re-join the ship. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / WRAL North Carolina </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Morbid reason why cruise ships throw "free ice cream parties" on board

<p>Dara Starr Tucker, a former cruise ship employee has shared the morbid reason why they throw “free ice cream parties” on board.</p> <p>Tucker, a singer who spent six months living on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean 10 years ago, shared what life was like at sea. </p> <p>In one of her latest videos, she answered one of her follower's question asking whether it was true that if cruise staff started giving away ice cream, it meant that they needed more freezer space for a body.</p> <p>“This is unfortunately often true,” she said.</p> <p>“If the crew suddenly makes a bunch of ice cream available to passengers, ‘Free ice cream party’, it is often because more people have died on the ship than they have room for in the morgue.”</p> <p>She said that most large ships are legally required to maintain a morgue and carry body bags in the event a passenger dies mid-journey and added that she “thankfully” didn't have to deal with the "morbid stuff". </p> <p>“But we were friends with some crew members who did deal with it and they said maybe four to 10 people die every cruise,” she claimed.</p> <p>“There are a lot of older people on ships, and often (out of) a ship that carried maybe 2500 to 3000 passengers on a typical cruise, four to 10 people would die.</p> <p>“So the morgue, I believe they said held about seven people, and if more than seven people died on that particular ship, they would have to start moving bodies to the freezer.”</p> <p>She claimed that if employees would have to "make room for the extra bodies" in the freezer, they would have to take out everything including ice cream. </p> <p>Her video has been viewed over 2.3 million times, with many other cruise ship employees confirming her claims. </p> <p>“Cruise ship medic here. Can confirm the morgue and ice cream correlation,” one said.</p> <p>“Former sailor here — yes, it is accurate. Sometimes space needs to be made in the freezer," another added. </p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Major Cruise line scraps entire season

<p>Virgin Voyages has cancelled all of its sailings in Australia and New Zealand for the next year after they were left with "no choice" in the wake of escalating tensions in the Red Sea.</p> <p>The Resilient Lady ship will not return Down Under for its promised second sailing season next summer due to safety concerns following a series of strikes on container ships in the Red Sea. </p> <p>The cruise line revealed on Tuesday that a lengthier alternative return route around Africa was not viable for the company. </p> <p>"On the heels of these recent changes and based on the regional and government advice we have received, we remain very concerned about potential escalations in the Red Sea over the next 12 months," <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">a spokesperson from Virgin Voyages said. </span></p> <p>“This significant and ongoing conflict puts unacceptable risks for safe passage through the region for our Sailors, crew and vessel."</p> <p>“To say that we are disappointed to have come to this tough conclusion is an understatement.</p> <p>“These adjustments are happening now to minimise potential future disruption to our passengers’ holiday plans, knowing there is a high likelihood that changes would need to happen in the future.”</p> <p>The cancellations will impact customers with trips planned in late 2024 and early 2025 on repositioning voyages between Europe and Australia. </p> <p>Virgin Voyages have indicated that a return to Australian waters will remain a possibility, as they continue to look for available options.</p> <p>They also said that if the 2024/25 can go ahead, customers who had previously booked their holiday will be prioritised if they would like to re-book. </p> <p>Currently, impacted customers have the option to re-book a different trip or request a full refund. </p> <p>A few other cruise companies who operate seasonal sailings or world cruises through the Red Sea and Suez Canal have also had to cancel, reposition, or re-route their sailings. </p> <p>MSC have cancelled three repositioning sailings in April, while Cunard, Princess and Seabourn have re-routed their world cruises to avoid the Suez Canal.</p> <p><em>Image: Virgin Voyages</em></p> <p> </p>

Cruising

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"We want answers": Furious cruise passengers stage protest after itinerary change

<p>Passengers onboard a Norwegian Cruise Line voyage has expressed their outrage after their once in a lifetime trip to Antarctica changed course after the journey had already begun. </p> <p>Melbourne woman Helen Midler was one of hundreds of people onboard the cruise from Buenos Aires to mainland Antarctica, when staff informed all travellers that their itinerary had changed. </p> <p>Days into their journey, those onboard were told they would not be visiting Antarctica at all, but would be doing a "South America round trip" instead.</p> <p>Midler took to social media to share her frustrations, saying the communication between the cruise line and the passengers was very poor. </p> <p>She explained that she only found out about the change after checking the app a few days into the journey and noticed the name of the cruise had been changed.</p> <p>Passengers were later told the change of destination was for "operational reasons" after raising their concerns, however no further explanation was given.</p> <p>Those onboard were allegedly told the decision was made by the head office in the US to not visit Paradise Bay, on mainland Antarctica, before departure on January 31, and that all passengers were notified by email, and again at check-in.</p> <p>However, Midler claims this was not the case.</p> <p>"I can assure you that we never got any email and many of our friends here on board, and I'm talking hundreds of people we know, did not receive any email either," she said in a video posted online.</p> <p>"Until the cruise had commenced, most people on this ship were not aware of the change in the itinerary."</p> <p>Midler said "everyone was angry", with hundreds of passengers meeting at in the ship's foyer one morning in protest to demand further answers from the crew. </p> <p>"Customer service are refusing to acknowledge us, they sent a security officer out to calm us down," she said while standing in the noisy crowd. "We feel we're being cheated, being scammed".</p> <p>Midler said frustrated travellers, some of whom "spent their live savings" on the cruise that costs upwards of $4,000 per person, just "want answers, transparency and clarity" but claims they're being treated with "absolute disdain and disrespect" with little explanation given.</p> <p>"Everyone on this ship has paid a lot of money to cruise to Antarctica, not to do a round trip of South America at sea," she fumed. "We are being dismissed, ignored, refused answers. They're telling us we just have to accept it.</p> <p>"They think we're idiots. We're not idiots and we're not prepared to just accept this sitting down," she continued. "We may not get to Antarctica. The chances of this cruise now going to Antarctica are minimal. But we want answers."</p> <p>In the days after her initial post, Midler updated her online followers and said those onboard were trying to make the best of a bad situation, despite still not hearing any clear answers about the change of itinerary. </p> <p>"We saved and we booked this two years ago for the trip of a lifetime," she said. "We're feeling very disappointed and dejected about the outcomes here."</p> <p>"We'll never be able to afford to do this again. And we've lost that trip to the Antarctica mainland that we had all been hoping and waiting for, and that we'd paid for. But we're going to try and do our best to enjoy it."</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Legal

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The surprising reason you shouldn’t bring camouflage clothing on a cruise

<p><strong>Dress codes</strong></p> <p>If you’ve been on a cruise before, then you’re probably aware that dress codes are still a thing. In fact, clothing recommendations are quite common, as some of the best cruise lines have formal nights, dress-to-impress evenings and planned costume or themed cruise events. So rules about what you can and cannot wear aren’t abnormal.</p> <p>As such, packing for a cruise is no easy feat: You’ll need formalwear for nights, pool wear for the day, outfits for excursions and layers for inclement weather. I’m an avid cruise-goer, and there are a number of items I never board a cruise ship without, but there’s also one thing I absolutely never pack for a cruise headed for the Philippines or the Caribbean: camouflage clothing.</p> <p><strong>Why is camouflage clothing inadvisable?</strong></p> <p>It actually has nothing to do with the formality of your wardrobe. Camouflage clothing happens to be illegal to wear in many countries that are popular cruise destinations. According to cruise liner Royal Caribbean, the Philippines, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago are among those that prohibit camouflage.</p> <p>And while camouflage print clothing and accessories, as well as military-style clothing, aren’t technically banned onboard cruises, most cruise companies will simply ask you not to pack them to curb any potential issues at ports.</p> <p><strong>Why is camouflage clothing banned in these countries?</strong></p> <p>In most countries that prohibit camouflage, it’s because the disguising clothing is reserved for military personnel only. And it’s important to be respectful of this camouflage-free rule, which I learned while travelling to Nevis about seven years ago. My friend was stopped by hotel staff who advised her to change out of her camouflaged pants if she planned to leave the property. Not understanding the seemingly odd request without any context or explanation, we asked what would happen if she didn’t comply. Their response? She could get fined or arrested. As you can imagine, those cute camo pants were then stuffed into her suitcase for the remainder of our stay.</p> <p>“It is a concern because of the affiliation with criminal gangs as well as armed forces,” says Lauren Doyle, a travel advisor and president of boutique travel agency The Travel Mechanic. She says that to avoid any confusion and help curb any potential issues in the future, cruise lines simply advise against bringing it onboard.</p> <p>Doyle, who has booked many cruises for customers, says this information is usually found on a cruise line’s website (which is why it’s important to brush up on cruise tips prior to setting sail), and that many cruise lines will include it in their daily newsletter or app if you’re going to any country that prohibits it.</p> <p><strong>What to do if you accidentally pack camouflage clothing</strong></p> <p>If you’ve packed a camo hat, bathing suit, cargo pants or the camouflage backpack you carry, just leave it on the ship, even if you’re unsure of restrictions on what to wear in certain ports of call.</p> <p>Generally, you can wear camo clothing while you’re onboard, just not during excursions or on land. So if you’ve packed it, go ahead and rock your camo print at the breakfast buffet or on the pool deck (as you ponder those big white balls on the cruise deck). And while you could probably technically wear your camo while chilling on your stateroom balcony, if it’s viewable to the country you’re visiting, it may still be considered disrespectful, so we don’t recommend it.</p> <p><strong>What else is prohibited on a cruise ship?</strong></p> <p>There are plenty of things you can’t do on a cruise, but what about things you shouldn’t bring to begin with? There are a few more surprising items Doyle recommends leaving at home. “Small appliances – like hot plates, steamers or irons – are also prohibited, along with electric blankets,” Doyle says. “Also, medical marijuana is not allowed on cruise ships. Drones are not allowed either.”</p> <p>Each cruise line lists prohibited items on their website, along with some exceptions, so be sure to consult their information before you start packing.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/the-surprising-reason-you-shouldnt-bring-camouflage-clothing-on-a-cruise" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Cruising

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Passengers stranded after three-year cruise abruptly cancelled

<p dir="ltr">When Life At Sea <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/world-first-three-year-cruise-revealed" target="_blank" rel="noopener">announced</a> their world-first three-year voyage in early 2023, many were quick to jump at the opportunity to spend the next years of their life onboard. </p> <p dir="ltr">People from around the globe <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/meet-the-woman-preparing-to-spend-three-years-at-sea#xd_co_f=YTM5MzVmOGQtNTY4My00NWE1LThjNDctMTUxMjJlNjVhMWNj~" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sold their homes</a> and belongings to fork out the hefty $180,000 price tag to spend 36 months travelling the world, with their once-in-a-lifetime voyage set to kick off in November. </p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-ddf609a3-7fff-7e5e-04e2-f5d7a488896d"></span>But now, as their departure date loomed, Life At Sea have left passengers stranded after abruptly cancelling the trip in its entirety. </p> <p>Life at Sea Cruises was scheduled to depart from Istanbul, Turkey on November 1st but departure was relocated and delayed twice to November 30th, before passengers were informed on November 17th the cruise was off, according to <em>CNN</em>.</p> <p>The news outlet reported that the ship that was destined to be the vessel of the three-year journey was bought by another company just one day before the voyage was cancelled. </p> <p>The owner of Life at Sea Cruises’ parent company Miray Cruises, then confirmed they couldn’t afford the ship because investors had pulled out “due to unrest in the Middle East” – but suggested they were working on getting another ship and a new departure date. </p> <p>The idea that the vessel would be replaced filled some travellers with hope they would still be embarking on their three-year adventure, before CEO of Miray Cruises was forced to clarify: “In case we weren’t clear, the Life at Sea cruise trip is cancelled.”</p> <p>Passengers were devastated by the news, with those who thought they had locked in the next three years of their lives telling <em>CNN</em> they felt “incredibly sad”, “angry” and “betrayed”.</p> <p>“I had the next three years of my life planned to live an extraordinary life, and now [I have] nothing,” said one cruiser.</p> <p>“I don’t think they will ever understand how much damage they’ve caused us,” said another.</p> <p>The more than $180,000 three-year trip had been celebrated by big cruising fans and called a “nightmare” and “claustrophobic” by critics across social media.</p> <p>The company’s website is still advertising the cruise as normal, with a countdown stating on Monday it was three hours “until we go for an adventure of a lifetime”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Life At Sea</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Couple misses their own wedding after cruise ship forced to turn back

<p>A couple has missed their own dream destination wedding after their cruise ship was denied entry into New Zealand. </p> <p>Janine Sherriff and Kyle Risk dreamed of exchanging rings at the popular Lord of the Rings filming location, Hobbiton, located on the north island of New Zealand. </p> <p>The couple were meant to meet up with some close friends and family in New Zealand, as they travelled across from Australia on a P&amp;O cruise ship, but were turned back from docking over an unclean hull. </p> <p>The “Kiwi Adventure” cruise, which was meant to be a 13-day journey, turned into more of a Tasmanian adventure after the ship was told to head to Australia’s southernmost state instead.</p> <p>New Zealand’s biosecurity laws were triggered over just three juvenile mussels and one single hydroid (AKA: lace coral), which needed to be removed from the ship's hull. </p> <p>“We took the time off from work, we had our nearest and dearest friends and family all co-ordinate to be in New Zealand at this exact time,” Janine told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-25/cruise-ship-turned-away-from-nz/103151078">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>“The plan was to get off the boat, go straight to Hobbiton, have our wedding, then head straight back to the boat for the rest of the honeymoon.”</p> <p>“Now we have to figure out what to do about our wedding, we have all this money down the drain. I am heartbroken this day has been taken away from me."</p> <p>Kyle added, “First off, I was furious.” </p> <p>“I saw Janine’s face when we got the news. I was ready to explode.</p> <p>“I got a selfie from our family and friends at the site in Hobbiton we should have been on about 20 minutes before we had to turn around.”</p> <p>“It would have meant a lot as it was a beautiful setting. As long as we have each other,” he added.</p> <p>The cruise operator in charge of the vessel, P&amp;O, has offered customers $300 in on-board credit and a 50 per cent credit on a future cruise.</p> <p>“We apologise for the change in itinerary and thank our guests for their patience and understanding,” a spokesperson for the company’s Australian division said per the <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12791331/Engaged-couple-P-O-cruise-forced-turn-New-Zealand-fume-dream-Lord-Rings-wedding-ruined.html">Daily Mail</a></em>.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Woman receives lifetime ban from cruise line over "illegal" item

<p>A 42-year-old mother has received a lifetime ban from Carnival Cruise Line voyages, after she attempted to board one of the company's ships with a seemingly innocent item. </p> <p>Melinda Van Veldhuizen, a nurse practitioner and mother of two from Texas, said she was treated "like a criminal" when cruise ship employees found a bag of the CBD “sleep tight” gummies in her luggage while at a port in Miami. </p> <p>Melinda told local news station <em>WPLG</em> she packed the gummies to help her get some sleep on the August trip she had planned to take with her family to celebrate both her 21st wedding anniversary with her husband and her son’s senior year of high school.</p> <p>Ms Van Veldhuizen was taken to a separate area of the security check-in when the discovery was made, and was questioned by Carnival security and police for two and a half hours. </p> <p>The mother was blocked from boarding the ship, and her husband and son also disembarked as they didn’t want to go on the cruise to Aruba, Curaçao and the Dominican Republic without her.</p> <p>The family had spent just under $9,000AUD on their planned vacation, Ms Van Veldhuizen’s attorney Daren Stabinski told the <em>Washington Post</em>.</p> <p>CBD is a compound commonly derived from hemp that doesn’t cause impairment or a “high,” and is different from marijuana's mind-altering substance of THC. </p> <p>CBD is becoming more readily available across the globe, and is used to treat ailments from chronic pain to sleeplessness. </p> <p>In most parts of the US, CBD products that contain no greater than 0.3 per cent of THC are legal. </p> <p>According to <em>WPLG</em>, Ms Van Veldhuizen’s gummies contained less than 0.01 per cent THC.</p> <p>Despite the product being legal in the state Ms Van Veldhuizen was departing from, the hemp product is prohibited by Carnival Cruise Lines.</p> <p>“While certain CBD products used for medicinal purposes may be legal in the US, they are not legal in all the ports we visit and therefore are also considered prohibited items,” its website states.</p> <p>Soon after Ms Van Veldhuizen was forbidden from going on the cruise she paid for, she received a letter from Carnival informing her she was banned from all Carnival ships for life.</p> <p>The letter signed by Captain Rocco Lubrano states that she will “not be permitted to sail on-board any Carnival Cruise Lines vessel in the future.”</p> <p>“This decision was based on your actions on the current cruise, which were a violation of the ship rules, interfered with the safety and/or enjoyment of other guests on the ship or caused harm to Carnival,” Mr Lubrano wrote.</p> <p>Ms Van Veldhuizen said she has taken more than a dozen Carnival cruises over the years and was freaked out by the letter and the whole experience, and was not expecting such a severe reaction. </p> <p>“I thought it was one of those situations where you’re like, ‘Oh shoot, I left a bottle of water in my backpack; you gotta throw it away,’ kind of thing like that happens at TSA,” she said.</p> <p>Ms Van Veldhuizen is pursuing an internal claim with Carnival, but has threatened to sue if her situation isn’t resolved “appropriately” and hired Mr Stabinski to assist her. </p> <p>“Out of all the cases I take, this one was just specifically outrageous,” Mr Stabinski said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: WPLG</em></p>

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