Tampa Bay Facing Tough Choices To Keep Cruise Ship Industry Going

Cruise line adds more space for solo travelers

The Skyway can handle cruise ships that measure 179 to 181 feet from top to the waterline. But megaships can sit as high as 225 feet above the waterline. "The point is the ships that are currently serving Tampa are eventually going to be rotated out of the fleet," Biter said. "If we look at the market trends throughout the major part of the cruise industry, where they get the greatest return is on the megaships." But one of those options isn't an option: The Skyway cannot be raised. Though some states are raising bridges to accommodate the massive cargo ships of the future, like the Bayonne Bridge in New Jersey, that can't happen here. The Skyway would have to be rebuilt, an incredibly expensive and highly unlikely option that is already off the table. The second option would be to build a cruise ship terminal for the megaships west of the Skyway off the coast of Pinellas or Manatee counties. But that project would require major funding and have to clear numerous environmental hurdles. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/tampa-bay-facing-tough-choices-to-keep-cruise-ship-industry-going/2155996

Witness: 100 aboard Costa ship when captain fled

(Photo: Grand Circle Cruise Line) Tags SHARE 47 CONNECT 56 TWEET 1 COMMENTEMAILMORE Grand Circle Cruise Line is targeting solo travelers in an even bigger way for 2014. Already known for its solo traveler-friendly policies, the small ship and river cruise company last week announced it is dedicating an additional 1,160 cabins on 14 river itineraries for singles. The rooms will be available without the extra charge known as a "single supplement" that cruise lines typically charge a solo traveler to occupy a cabin designed for two. The move comes as the percentage of the line's customers who are traveling alone continues to rise. Solo travelers now account for one in four of all Grand Circle customers, up from one in five just five years ago, and the line believes the ratio this year could approach one in three. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2013/12/09/cruise-line-solo-travelers/3915297/

But the Coast Guard had heard that as many as 300 of the 4,200 passengers and crew were still aboard, the court was told. "Do you see people in the water?" De Falco asks Schettino. "Yes, I scooped up some with my lifeboat," Schettino replies. He says there are still 10 people aboard, "but I cannot see all the ship." De Falco is also heard asking Schettino if there are women and children in the water and if some are jumping off the Concordia into the sea. He later tells Schettino: "You saved yourself, but I will make a lot of trouble for you." De Falco, dressed in his uniform for his court appearance, said he ordered rescuers to be lowered from a helicopter to pluck to safety dozens of people who were clinging to railings and other parts of the ship. Many passengers and crew dove into the sea to try to escape, when lifeboats could no longer be lowered because of the Concordia's tilt. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://finance.yahoo.com/news/witness-100-aboard-costa-ship-183053106.html

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