Carnival Splendor Sets Sail Again

Carnival Splendor

Following a three-month dry-dock repair of its engine room the Carnival Splendor set sail Sunday with a full load of passengers heading on a seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise from its home port in Long Beach, CA.

It marks the first sailing for the ship since it was marooned at sea 150 miles off the coast of San Diego November 8, 2010 after a diesel engine generator caught fire in the engine room. The fire was contained in the engine room but the heat melted insulation that protected the ship’s 110 miles of electrical cables that would have allowed a second engine room to take over. The result was a total loss of power for three days. The beleaguered ship was eventually tugged into San Diego.

“These are not the things you expect to happen, especially not in a ship only two years old,” says Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “There are two engine rooms and you don’t expect to lose both aft and forward.”

The company added several safety measures to the new repairs: improved sensors, stronger insulation protection and the creation of a fire safety task force across the cruise line fleet – including better trained crew and stronger communications with land-based response facilities.

Damages from the incident, from the cost of repairs to the cost of reparations and lost revenue from cancelled sailings top $65 million, Cahill says. The Splendor incident in November displaced 47,000 passengers in all.

In a conciliatory gesture following the fire, the cruise line reimbursed the 3,299 passengers aboard the cruise, took care of passenger transfers and hotel nights and safe return to their onward, flights and sent them off with promise of a free equivalent cruise at a later date. Passengers who were booked on cancelled cruises were given full refunds and discounts toward a future sailing.

“We have not had any problems in rebooking passengers or with any passengers who sailed on the ship,” says Peter Ward, a travel consultant with Legendary World in San Marcos, CA.

But recent reports from some disgruntled passengers and travel agents say the cruise line has not been so forth coming.

“If there are some unhappy passengers out there we don’t know about them,” says Cahill.

The 3,006-passenger Splendor is one of three Carnival ships based in Southern California with sailings to Mexico. The Paradise sails out of Long Beach and the Spirit docks in San Diego for another 15 months before moving to Australia.

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Jennifer Hudson named Disney Dream’s godmother

Jennifer Hudson

Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson was named godmother of the Disney Dream, which will be christened on Wednesday in Port Canaveral, Fla.

Disney Cruise Line made the announcement in an email to customers.

Hudson gained recognition as a contestant on “American Idol” in 2004. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film adaptation of “Dreamgirls” in 2006. Her debut album in 2008 won three Grammy Awards.

Disney Dream Cruise Ship

Disney said Hudson was a performer on the Disney Wonder in 2003.

The 4,000-passenger Disney Dream sets sail on its maiden cruise on Jan. 26.

Top 10 Reasons to take a Cruise

Carnival Cruise Ship

1) Choose to cruise for Value. One price pays for your stateroom, dining, entertainment and s much more.

2) Choose to cruise for Romance. Secluded beaches, en suite dining on a balcony overlooking the beautiful ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits avaiable.

3) Choose to cruise for Cuisine. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza ad ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting,  a small bistro or a casual eatery.

4) Choose to cruise for Variety. With over 200 distinctive ships, 3000 ports-of-call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, there is a perfect cruise for you. For even more choice, consider a pre – or post land tour.

5) Choose to cruise for Activities. Fill your days with sightseeing, sports activities, cultural lectures, educational tours led by naturalists and historians or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dance extravaganza, musical revues, gaming and or a quiet evening gazing at the stars or the one you love.

Slide on Carnival Cruise Ship

6) Choose to cruise for Simplicity. Don’t come back from your vacation needing a vacation. Planning a cruise is simple, your professional travel counselor can handle all of the details. Once you’ve on board, nearly all expenses are pre-paid…talk about hassle-free.

7) Choose to cruise for New Horizons. Fall asleep in one destination and wake up to a new horizon…and you only have to pack and unpack once!

8) Choose to cruise for Family. Families love cruising. Children’s programs, kid-friendly menus and tours of the ship will keep your children happy, while affording you some time alone.

9) Choose to cruise for Pampering. Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.

10) Choose to cruise for Satisfaction. It’s a fact that cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.

Top 10 Spa Experiences

Spa Experience

Relax, Unwind, Rejuvenate

1) Conquer jet lag with an aromatheraphy bath and deep-tissue massage

2) Drift away with a nighttime treatment including in-room massage, turn-down service, and warm tea

3) Bring out your golden tan with a tropical oil exfoliation

4) Hydrate with a luxurious black pearl facial

5) Rejuvenate tired feet with an energizing lemon and lime soak

6) Polish skin to a silk glow with an exfoliating lime and ginger body rub

7) Detoxify with a warm volcanic mud wrap

8  ) Share a romantic beachfront couples massage

9 ) Smooth and shine locks with a lustrous palm oil hair treatment

10) Soothe tired eyes with calming collagen and rice powder

Whatever your idea of the perfect experience, whether for a week or a weekend, there’s a destination to meet your need. So go on, reward yourself!

When you are ready to have a spa getaway, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or email us at Info@carterelitetravel.com

Destination Wedding Spotlight: St. Lucia

Bay Gardens Beach Resort Wedding on the Beach

Come to St. Lucia and it will not take you long to see why the island became known as the Helen of the West Indies – and why the French and British empires spent almost two centuries fighting to possess her. The island’s French legacy can still be heard in the local patois, seen int he many Gallic place-names and enjoyed in the irrestistible French Creole cuisine to be found in hotels, restaurants and bistros.

St. Lucia is large enough to provide visitors with breathtaking contrasts and small enough to ensure that those who want to laze their days away in peace and quiet can do just that. The climate on the island is tropical with temperatures ranging from 70 – 90 Fahrenheit. The rainy season is June – November, but don’t expect a constant downpour; rather, there are numerous short but incredibly intense showers. Trade winds provide breezes year-round, regardless of the season.Perfect for a day at the beach!

You’ll see banana and cocoa plantations, the crater of a dormant volcano, bubbling sulphur springs, mineral springs where visitors can bathe, 18th century forts and sleepy coastal villages. And could you really leave St. Lucia without seeing the Pitons, the massive twin volcanic cones that have become the island’s signature image? Lovers will search out secluded beaches, night-owls will find entertainment in the hotels, and bars, and yacht crews will find dozens of safe harbors, from small coves to an 83-acre marina and the large natural harbor, once the world’s 14th busiest port, which is overlooked by Castries, the lively capital town where French Creole houses can still be seen. Divers, snorkelers, hikers and golfers will all find happiness on St. Lucia.

St. Lucia is the perfect destination for Caribbean weddings and honeymoons. The natural beauty of this Caribbean tropical island seems to have been created for romantics. Palm fringed beaches, elegant old plantation houses, the soft tropical air, hypnotic steel band music, the tantalizing aroma of the cuisine all combined to make weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries popular on St. Lucia. St Lucia offers you the freedom of having your wedding just the way you want it. Wonderful climate, astounding beauty and friendly islanders make St. Lucia simply perfect, Simply Beautiful for your special wedding day.

Here is a list of the documents that you need to obtain a marriage license in St. Lucia:

* Valid Passport & Original Birth Certificate

* Divorce Decree Absolute (if one of the parties is divorced)

* In the case of a widow/widower a Death Certificate of first spouse is required

* If a name has been changed, a Deed Poll is required

* If one of the parties is under the age of 18, evidence of a consent of parents is required in the form of a sworn affidavit stamped by a Notary Public

* Residency requirement of 2 business days unless an express fee is paid

* If any required documents are not in English, an authenticated translation must be available

Now is the time to all Carter Elite Travel to assist in making your Destination Wedding/Honeymoon come true. We are Certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoons Specialists and truly enjoy assisting our couples to make their dreams come true.

Call one of our Romance Experts to get started at 310-722-3099 or send a email to DW@carterelitetravel.com!

Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Specialist

Top 10 Reasons to have a Destination Wedding

Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding Gazebo

1. Save Money – Traditional wedding can cost several times the amount of a destination wedding 

2. Do Something Different – Forgo a typical wedding in favor of a unique and memorable experience 

3. Have the Best of Both Worlds – Combine your wedding and honeymoon into one beautifully planned celebration 

4. Crowd Control – Bring along the whole family for a fun celebration, or make it just the two of you 

5. Stress-Free Planning – Your Travel Consultant will work directly with the resort’s wedding coordinators 

6.  Perfect for Second Marriages – Scale it down the second time around and go somewhere special to wed 

7. Neutral Setting – Instead of getting involved in potential family drama, choose a neutral setting 

8. So Much to See and Do – With the many on-site activities at resorts, plus off-site fun, your guests will keep busy 

9. Celebrate Longer – Traditional weddings last 5 hours while a destination wedding fun can go much longer 

10. Expand on a Theme – Incorporate your love of the beach, the snow, your heritage, or something else special to you 

When you are ready to get started planning your beautiful Destination Wedding, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or send us a email at Info@carterelitetravel

 We are certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialists, so we treasure each and every bride we have the opportunity to assist in making their wedding a dream come true! 

Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Certificate