Last CARNIVAL CONQUEST Voyage from Gulfport July 6
Ship Returns to New Orleans July 13
Carnival has confirmed that Carnival Conquest will make its final voyage from Gulfport, Mississippi - the vessel's homeport for the past 18 weeks - on July 6, and return to year-round service from New Orleans July 13, 2003.
The 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest was deployed to Gulfport on March 9, 2003, after it was determined that rising water levels in the Mississippi River, combined with low hanging power lines down river from the Port of New Orleans, posed a potential safety issue. Water levels on the Mississippi River have since receded, enabling the vessel to safely return to New Orleans.
During the 18 weeks that the Conquest sailed from Gulfport, the ship carried some 60,000 guests. Carnival is very grateful to the city of Gulfport, their tourism and port officials, for the support they've provided during this time.
Carnival Conquest launched year-round seven-day Western Caribbean cruises December 1, 2002. Ports-of-call include Montego Bay, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico.
CARNIVAL CONQUEST TO BE SHIFTED FROM NEW ORLEANS TO GULFPORT
MIAMI (03/04/03) – Carnival Cruise Lines will shift its cruise ship Carnival Conquest from its current homeport of New Orleans to Gulfport, Mississippi, for at least the next six weeks commencing this Sunday, March 9, 2003. The repositioning is necessitated by rising water levels in the Mississippi River, which combined with low hanging power lines down river from the Port of New Orleans, pose a potential safety issue for the Carnival Conquest.
The Carnival Conquest is the newest and largest ship in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet and entered year-round seven-day Caribbean cruise service from New Orleans in November 2002. Up until now, the 110,000-ton ship, which is 207 feet tall from the water line to the top of its mast, has been sailing under the Entergy Corporation’s power lines at Chalmette by hugging one side of the river. However, the seasonal rise in the level of the river, combined with strengthening currents, is making it increasingly challenging to navigate under the lines.
“We are extremely disappointed that we have reached this juncture and the responsible parties have not been able to find a means to resolve this situation in a manner that would allow us to continue to operate the Carnival Conquest from New Orleans,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president
“As much as we cherish the New Orleans community and are saddened at the economic loss it will experience, we simply cannot compromise the safety of our guests, employees and vessel and are now regrettably forced to take this action despite this issue having first been raised more than three years ago,” Dickinson stated.
Gulfport is approximately an hour and 15 minutes from New Orleans. Guest embarkation and debarkation will take place at Gulfport beginning Sunday, March 9.Complimentary shuttle service from New Orleans will be provided.
Carnival will fax travel agents today to advise of the change and provide more specific details.
Power Lines Will Dive Under River
Ship should lose major obstacle in 18 months
By Keith Darcé
Business writer/The Times-Picayune
The high-voltage transmission power lines that pose a potential barrier to the Port of New Orleans' newest cruise ship tenant will be buried 95 feet beneath the Mississippi River, state utility regulators and Entergy Corp. officials announced Monday.
The project to move the lines which now hang across the river from towers in Chalmette and lower Algiers will take about 18 months and will cost nearly $15 million, said Frank Gallaher, Entergy's senior vice president of generation, transmission and energy management.
Entergy will seek economic development grant money from the state to offset some of the costs, and Entergy customers who use power that flows across the lines will pay for the rest of the work, state Public Service Commissioner Jay Blossman said. But the cost to customers should be minimal, he said.
Blossman and Gallaher were joined by other utility regulators, Entergy executives and port officials at a late Monday afternoon news conference to announce the project.
Those officials have been scrambling in recent weeks to come up with a plan to move the lines out of the way of the Conquest, a newly launched 3,000 passenger Carnival Cruise Lines ship that began sailing from New Orleans two weeks ago.
Since its arrival, the Conquest has successfully sailed under the lines nearly half a dozen times by hugging the bank of the river where the lines rise to their highest levels and avoiding the center of the river where the lines dip to their lowest point.
A Carnival representative applauded the plan to bury the lines, but said his company is still concerned about problems the ship might face early next year when winter and spring showers cause the river to rise. A higher water line will force the ship to take a narrower path along the bank of the river under the lines, said New Orleans attorney George Fowler, who represents the cruise line locally.
Until the power lines are buried, Entergy will turn off the lowest lines each time the ship passes under them to prevent the electrical current from jumping, or arcing, from the lines to the vessel.
Still, Carnival might move the ship temporarily to Gulfport, Miss., if the ship's captain decides that bringing the ship into New Orleans during high river stages is dangerous, Fowler said.
"We are conducting our own analysis, and there is still a level of concern during high water," he said. "The short-term solution needs to be analyzed."
Port officials, who have invested millions of dollars in recent years to develop a local cruise ship industry, are hoping such a move doesn't become necessary.
Entergy's plan for burying the lines calls for a tunnel to be burrowed about 95 feet below the river bottom and running inside the walls of the river levee system. The transmission lines would run across the levees from power substations and travel through plastic tubes installed in the tunnel.
The bottom of the river already is crossed by more than 50 pipelines carrying natural gas and oil between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans district.
The depth of the buried transmission lines should protect them from being snagged by ships sailing the river, which sometimes drag the soft, muddy bottom when carrying heavy loads of cargo. But if the lines were snapped, safety devices would cut power to the wires almost instantaneously, Gallaher said.
Entergy officials considered lifting the overhead lines by raising the support towers, but they decided against that because of the possibility that future, larger ships still could have problems traveling beneath the lines.
Gallaher said burying the wires offers the only permanent solution.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES TAKES DELIVERY OF CARNIVAL CONQUEST; LARGEST VESSEL IN ‘FUN SHIP’ FLEET AT 110,000 GRT’S
New 2,974-Passenger SuperLiner to Debut from New Orleans Nov. 15
– Carnival Cruise Lines today took delivery of the new 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest, the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed, during official ceremonies at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Carnival Conquest is the first in a new series of ships for the line and becomes the 18th vessel in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet.
“Carnival Conquest is a stunning addition to the ‘Fun Ship’ fleet and offers an unprecedented array of amenities and facilities desired by today’s discerning consumers,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.
The 2,974-passenger SuperLiner will depart Italy on a 16-day transatlantic crossing in late October and is scheduled to arrive in its U.S. homeport of New Orleans the week of Nov. 11. Following an on-board black-tie charity fundraiser benefiting the United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area Nov. 14, Carnival Conquest will sail on its maiden voyage, a four-day cruise to Cozumel departing Nov. 15.
Carnival Conquest will then operate a two-day cruise for travel agents Nov. 19-21 followed by a six-day cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel Nov. 21, and a four-day Thanksgiving weekend cruise Nov. 27. Beginning Dec. 1, Carnival Conquest will launch regular seven-day service from New Orleans, becoming the newest and largest ship cruise ship to operate year-round departures from that port.
Longer than three football fields and towering 207 feet above the water at its highest point, Carnival Conquest offers an unprecedented 22 lounges and bars, including a spectacular three-deck-high theater showcasing elaborate Vegas-style revues, along with a 12,000-square foot health club and salon, jogging track, Internet café, comprehensive golf program, and a nine-deck-high glass-topped atrium. Carnival Conquest also features 1,487 staterooms.
Four restaurants, including two full-service dining rooms, a reservations-only “steakhouse-style” supper club serving U.S.D.A. prime aged beef, along with crab claws from Miami Beach’s world famous Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant, and a two-level poolside eatery offering 24-hour pizza and self-service ice cream/frozen yogurt, New York-style deli, and Asian and American specialty areas, are featured, as well. Other dining options include a patisserie, a sushi bar and complimentary 24-hour room service.
Carnival Conquest’s “family friendly” amenities include a 4,200-square-foot play area -- the largest in the “Fun Ship” fleet – featuring an arts and crafts center, computer lab and children’s library, as well as “Action Alley,” an expansive teen recreation area with a teen dance club/coffee bar and high-tech game room.
the ship also features striking interiors inspired by the works of famous Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters -- appropriate for a ship based in New Orleans, a city possessing a rich European heritage.
In addition to Carnival Conquest, Carnival currently has three other 110,000-ton vessels on order or under construction at Fincantieri – Carnival Glory, set to launch year-round seven-day cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla., July 19, 2003; Carnival Valor, scheduled to enter service in fall 2004; and an as-yet-unnamed vessel expected to debut in fall 2005. Also on order is the 88,500-ton Carnival Miracle set to debut in spring 2004.
CARNIVAL CONQUEST: JUMBO-SIZED FUN ABOARD NEWEST AND LARGEST ‘FUN SHIP’
MIAMI (10/23/02) – An expansive new teen recreation center housing a high-tech game room and teen dance club/coffee bar, along with new hands-on science and geography activities, a computer lab, and the largest play area in the “Fun Ship” fleet, make the 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest the ultimate family vacation, land or sea.
These and other “family-friendly” amenities incorporated into the new 2,974-passenger SuperLiner – the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed set to debut Nov. 15 – will further bolster the line’s distinction as family cruise leader. Carnival is expected to host a record 400,000 kids in 2003, roughly half of the number of children carried by the entire North American cruise industry (CLIA member lines).
New ‘Action Alley’ Teen Recreation Center
Carnival Conquest is the first Carnival “Fun Ship” to feature a new teen recreation area including a state-of-the-art game room with the latest video and arcade games, and a “mocktail” lounge where teens can relax, socialize and enjoy smoothies, specialty coffees and other non-alcoholic beverages. “Action Alley” will also house a teen dance club with a “video wall” continuously displaying music videos and a DJ spinning the latest hits.
Largest Play Area in the ‘Fun Ship’ Fleet, Other ‘Family-Friendly’ Features
The focal point of Carnival Conquest’s “Camp Carnival” program is “Children’s World,” an expansive 4,200-square-foot play area, the largest in the “Fun Ship” fleet.
Divided into four distinct areas, “Children’s World” will house an arts and crafts center with spin and sand art and candy-making machines, an all-ages play room with a variety of toys, games, and puzzles, and kid-sized tables and chairs, a “video room” showing kids’ favorite movies and cartoons, and a children’s library with youth-oriented books and magazines, along with a computer lab and the latest PlayStation 2 game units.
“Children’s World” will also serve as the venue for Carnival Conquest’s babysitting service, available nightly from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. at a cost of $6 per hour for the first child and $4 per hour for the second child in the same family.
Adjacent to “Children’s World” will be an outdoor play area and a wading pool, one of four swimming pools aboard Carnival Conquest, which will also feature a 214-foot-long twisting, turning water slide. Stroller rentals will also be available at a cost of $6 per day and $25 per week.
Variety of New Activities, Including New Science Program
New for Carnival Conquest will be an on-board science education program offering kids an opportunity to partake in fun, hands-on science projects and experiments. There will also be a geography program focusing on the cultures and landmarks of the various islands featured on the Carnival Conquest’s seven-day western Caribbean cruises. These classes are part of Carnival’s “EduCruise” program encompassing a broad range of interactive learning activities taught by trained educational specialists.
Kids can also create their own culinary creations through Carnival Conquest’s new cake-decorating and pizza-making sessions, part of a full schedule of morning-til-night activities for kids ages 2-15. Sample activities include story telling, sing-a-longs and “Play Dough Fun” for younger cruisers and disco parties, scavenger hunts and pool parties for older kids. “Multi-generational” activities, including family water play and “make-your-own sundae” and arts and craft sessions, will also be available.
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