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It is pretty much impossible to ‘fall’ off a cruise ship

By Dianne Newcomer From The New Star

“I feel very lucky to be alive,” said the British woman  rescued from the Adriatic Sea after falling from the Norwegian Star cruise ship a couple weeks ago. Her story of surviving 10 hours in the sea at night was amazing — almost as amazing to me as the story that she fell from a cruise ship!

I honestly think anyone who has previously been on a cruise would agree: it is virtually impossible to “fall” overboard. The reality is the sturdy chest- high railings, which exceed the standards required of ocean-going vessels,  make it almost impossible to do.

Yet, very often in my job as a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service, I find the concern about “falling off” a cruise ship to be very real.  Since I am definitely not a strong swimmer, I understand. The Brit who sang and treaded water for so long in the Adriatic Sea definitely deserves kudos for such a feat in my book, but I find it sad she did not utilize the same strength of character when she chose to “fall off” the ship!

I do feel it it important to interject that in every man overboard incident between 2013-2017, the International Cruise Line Organization’s investigation has found “the cause was established to be the result of an intentional or reckless act.” Their study cited an average of 18.2 overboard incidents occurred between 2009 and 2017 and that is out of the 26.7 million people who cruised during the same time period.

As you can see, “falling overboard” is truly a very rare occurrence. Of course, as a travel agent, I say thank heavens to that because (1) I would never want you to worry about your personal safety while on vacation, and (2) I would like to sell you a cruise! Since we are so very lucky to have one of the most popular cruise ports  within easy driving distance of us, I wanted to give you an update about what is happening for  the 2018-2019 season from the port of New Orleans. We definitely have some new faces and places to see when we sail out of the Big Easy!

One of the most exciting new products is Norwegian Cruise Line’s BREAKAWAY. Arriving on November 11, she will be the biggest cruise ship to ever port in New Orleans and, from the looks of the pricing I have seen, she is set to give Carnival Cruises, currently the most popular ships we sell,  a real battle for your cruise business!

Coming in at 145,655 gross tons and carrying just under 4000 passengers, the BREAKAWAY  brings a new level of fun to New Orleans cruising. Ever since she came out in 2013, she was “working” the New York market, but, now, after her refurbishment, she is ready for the much more laid back cruise and fun-loving clientele of Louisiana.

When you are on the BREAKAWAY, it is easy to forget you are on a ship at sea; it feels like you are at a deluxe resort because so much is happening! With over 25 dining experiences and bars, a bungee trampoline, multiple water slides, a zip line, a rock climbing wall and 9 hole mini-putt putt course, plus the usual pools, spas, and exercise rooms, something is always going on. For those of you familiar with Norwegian, she does have the luxury “haven deck” as well as a special  studio deck and pricing for singles only!

 Yet, where this ship stands out is with its entertainment.  On any given sailing, you will have the opportunity to see 3 Broadway hits: ” Rock of Ages,” “Burn the Floor” and “Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy.”  These smash hits bring a new level of showmanship to the high seas. The competition is going to have to kick up their products or else the BREAKAWAY is going to blow them out of the water.

They are also bringing us some diversity in her itineraries as well.  On November 25, January 6 and January 27, she has 11 day sailings from New Orleans to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize City, Harvest Cay, Costa Maya and Cozumel.  Inside cabins start as low as $599 on these dates.  Then, on December 6, January 17, and February 7, the BREAKAWAY has 10 day runs from New Orleans which include Cozumel, Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman and Jamaica with prices from $849 per person, based on a double. When not making these longer runs, she will be cruising 7 day runs until mid April from New Orleans..

 The BREAKAWAY may be the biggest ship, but we are also  slated to get Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s beautiful VISION OF THE SEAS cruising from the Big Easy starting in December. Even though Royal Caribbean has some of the largest ships in the industry, the VISION is not one of them, so if you are looking for something smaller than the BREAKAWAY, this 2500 passenger ship might be just right for you.

Although the VISION has no water slides, no skating rink, and only one pool, she is bringing us a couple of new and unique destinations with her cruises and her weekly schedule will vary.  She does offer itineraries which include Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Nassau, and Key West, but new to New Orleans cruising will be stops in Miami and Coco Cay on select dates.  It’s nice to have these new destinations thrown in the mix, and, thanks to the added competition of the very big and deluxe BREAKAWAY, prices for cruises have never been better, especially for the quality cruise experience Royal Caribbean usually delivers.

Of course, the always popular ships of Carnival Cruise Line will still be operating their 4, 5 and 7 night departures on a weekly basis to the Caribbean and Mexico year round. Yet, even they are having a major ship shake up!  Starting in May, 2019, the always popular TRIUMPH will be replaced by the Carnival VALOR which will take over the  4 and 5 day voyages to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. The VALOR’s gift to us is in her size ; she will be the biggest ship to ever offer year-round short cruise schedule from this port.

Sadly, also in May, 2019, the DREAM will be gone, and the GLORY will take her place on the 7 day cruise!   This 2980 passenger, 110,000 ton ship is smaller than the DREAM,  but the ports of call will be basically the same–Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel or Cozumel, Roatan, and Belize. For DREAM fans, she is being sent to Galveston! The GLORY came out in 2003 and is said to be one of the more “colorful” in a fleet known for delivering fun!  Sounds like New Orleans will be the perfect home for the GLORY!

In all my years as a travel agent, our area has never had more choices to get on board—and hopefully, stay on board—a cruise ship from New Orleans. At Monroe Travel Service, we can happily report  none of our clients have ever “fallen off” a ship; more often than not, most travelers simply never want to get off!

Dianne Newcomer is a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service, located at 1908 Glenmar, right next door to the Muffin Tin.  For your next trip, please contact one of our travel professionals at 318 323 3465 or [email protected] to find the ship right for your next vacation.

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