This Week in Cruise - Lin Arison Selected as Godmother of the Carnival Sunshine

Lin Arison, wife of the late Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Cruise Lines, was named the godmother of the Carnival Sunshine, the former Carnival Destiny, which was renamed following a $155-million makeover earlier this year. Arison will officially name Carnival Sunshine during an invitation-only ceremony held on board the transformed 102,853-ton ship at its new U.S. homeport of New Orleans, Nov. 17. During the event, Carnival will donate $25,000 each to the Miami-based National YoungArts Foundation and New World Symphony.

Lin originally named Carnival's first ship, Mardi Gras, in 1972 during the company's inception. She is the only person to be godmother to three Carnival ships, having also named the Holiday in 1985, as well as the Carnival Destiny in 1996 and now the Sunshine.

In operations news, the three largest U.S.-based cruise lines posted comprehensive data regarding crimes committed aboard cruise ships to their websites. The voluntary disclosures came from Carnival Corp., Royal Carnibbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, and show a larger number of crimes were reported to security personnel than had previously been made public, though they still represent a minute number when compared with the nearly 17 million people who embark on cruises in North America every year.

Before this data was released, cruisers only had access to U.S. Coast Guard crime figures that were based solely on cases in which the FBI had concluded an investigation. Federal law requires these statistics only for homicide, suspicious deaths, missing U.S. persons, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury, rape and other sexual assaults, tampering with a vessel and thefts over $10,000. Only 31 such crimes had been reported by the U.S. Coast Guard since January 2013, while Royal Caribbean and Norwegian reported 94 crimes and 20 crimes in their data.

"We are doing this voluntarily to remove all doubt about the relatively low level of crime on cruise ships, especially when compared with comparable land-based crimes," said Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell in an email to the Associated Press. "The majority of these are never substantiated as actual crimes after the initial investigation."

Based on suggestions and travel agent feedback, Crystal Cruises released an enhanced version of CruiseBuilder, the line’s online booking portal for travel agents. CruiseBuilder 2.2 allows for more convenient site navigation and new search options to aid the cruise reservation process. Other enhancements to the website include new group options to allow agents to find voyages with which their agencies have group contracts, and a new navigation panel on the left side of the site.

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