Author Archives: michael catanzaro

MHA set dates for 2025 40th Anniversary Conference & Trade Show

The Marine Hotel Association (MHA) has announced dates for its 2025 conference and trade show, marking the 40th anniversary of the event.

The event, targeted at the food and beverage and hotel sectors of the global cruise industry, will take place at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Florida, running from March 27 through March 29, 2025.

Registration will be open and available soon on the organization’s website, with priority exhibitor registration also available soon.

With the cruise industry sailing with full ships and the big companies generating strong financial results, food spend was notable for the big companies in the first quarter of 2024.

2024 Q1 food and beverage spending:

  • Carnival Corporation: $346 million
  • Royal Caribbean Group: $221 million
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings: $85 million

Global Cruise Ship Order Book Expands to 60 Ships Through 2036

May 2, 2024

The global cruise ship orderbook now extends the farthest out it ever has, with new ships on order through 2026, thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings which announced a large newbuild deal with Fincantieri in April.

In the latest update to the cruise ship orderbook from Cruise Industry News, eight new Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ships have been added, including two newbuilds each for Oceania and Regent, and four for Norwegian Cruise Line.

[Note: Download a print-ready PDF of the orderbook here]

Per berth prices on the Oceania and Regent newbuilds are higher than previous classes of ships for those companies.

In addition, Windstar will get its first new ship in more than three decades with the arrival of the Star Seeker from West Sea in Portugal in 2025; the ship was previously expected to operate for Mystic’s U.S. brand in Atlas Ocean Voyages.

Other key updates include the MSC World Asia, which received its name in April and is now expected to operate in Asia when it debuts following its delivery from Chantiers in France.

With 60 ocean-going ships on order through 2026, the average ship price is just over $760 million and the average capacity is 2,346 guests.

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Holland America Line has launched a global fresh fish program whereby the cruise line is sourcing some 80 different types of fish from 60 ports worldwide, according to Michael Stendebach, vice president, food and beverage.

Stendebach promised that fresh fish sourced locally is served onboard in less than 48 hours, going from port to plate.

Examples of different fish include monkfish in Norway, Patagonian toothfish and bonito in South America, barramundi, flathead and Tasmanian Atlantic salmon in Australia, red mullet in the Mediterranean, and mackerel in the North Atlantic.

At the same time, Stendebach noted, the cruise line is making efforts not to source certain species that are not considered sustainable or suffer from overfishing, including Alaskan king crab.

The fresh fish is offered at no extra charge in the main dining rooms.

Holland America has also named Chef Masaharu Morimoto as its fresh fish ambassador. In addition, at press time, he was slated to open a stand-alone restaurant on the Nieuw Amsterdam called Morimoto by Sea. The menu will emphasize fresh fish dishes, Asian-inspired dishes and beverages created by the chef.

Morimoto’s signature style dishes are also available in the ships’ dining rooms across the fleet, while a pop-up restaurant concept will be rolled out fleetwide by early 2024.

A spokesperson said there will be a $55 cover charge for the pop-up restaurants and Morimoto By Sea, plus 18 percent gratuity.

The main dining room dishes include fresh black cod yuzu, epice lobster tails, fresh halibut XO with Asian vegetables, dried shrimp and scallop XO sauce.

The pop-up restaurants will feature crispy fried whole fish, shrimp Morimoto style, Maine lobster, broiled beef tenderloin with Japanese-style mushroom sauce, Jidori chicken teriyaki, and more, as well as alcoholic beverages such as Morimoto brut rose, wines and saki.

At Morimoto by Sea appetizers include sushi plates, tuna pizza, calamari salad and pork dumplings with fried whole fish, yellowtail tuna, lobster, slow cooked Alaskan salmon, broiled beef tenderloin and more offered among the main courses. Desserts include dark chocolate sphere, baked tofu cheesecake, white chocolate lime ganache and a trio of sorbets.

A separate sushi menu is also featured.

Holland America laid the foundation for its fresh fish program in Alaska where the ships are said to serve more than 2,000 pounds of Alaska salmon, 1,000 pounds of Alaska.


The Catch by Rudi seafood restaurant being introduced aboard Princess ships is about delivering a new way to enjoy seafood and a fresh perspective on something they (passengers) thought they knew, according to Chef Rudi Sodamin.

“Everything we are doing with the Catch is about ‘catching’ that precious moment we call ‘now’ and doing it in such a memorable and unexpected way that makes you say ‘wow,” he said.

Introducing the new restaurant aboard the Enchanted Princess as she emerged from drydock in April, Princess Cruises described it as a joint partnership with Sodamin, head of culinary arts for the cruise line. The restaurant was also introduced on the Majestic Princess and the Sky Princess in May, and will be on the Discovery Princess this fall.

The Catch by Rudi is the first Princess restaurant devoted to seafood and promises the freshest, sustainably sourced seafood from local ports of call.

The unique twist will be the chef’s contemporary interpretations of classic dishes, international fusion influences, highly-creative presentations and engaging dinner experiences, according to Princess.

The venue offers new takes on such go-to seafood dishes as Asian fried calamari and modern variations on classics like lobster with garlic butter crust, and other signature seafood inventions including whole Dover sole.

There is also a seafood trolly, a refrigerated cooling unit, designed to showcase the daily offering of fresh fish, lobsters, shrimp, oysters, mussels and more.

“The Catch by Rudi is my way of combining my love of food, seafood and people with my culinary journey at sea and my lifelong story of cooking seafood across the globe to the delight of Princess guests,” Sodamin said.

Main courses feature shitake-crusted halibut, grilled king prawns, Dover sole meunière-style filleted tableside by waitstaff, Scottish salmon, lobster tail or a whole split lobster, surf and turf – lobster and filet mignon, oysters on the half shell, the fresh catch of the day, or as alternatives to seafood: steak frites or a double-baked goat cheese soufflé with a mixed garden salad.

Replacing the Bistro Sur la Mer, the approximately 80-seat Catch by Rudi is priced at $39 per person.