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Linda Coffman


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

January 15, 2003

Welcome aboard Cruise Diva's SEA VIEWS newsletter, the twice-monthly email publication containing the latest news afloat and the cruise travel information you want.

So many cruises, so little time...

A first look at Oceana Cruises' Regatta in her stylish new livery

The first in a parade of new vessels riding the waves in 2003 was the 88,000 ton, 1974 passenger Coral Princess. She set sail from Fort Lauderdale on January 3rd, bringing innovation and style to Princess Cruises' cruising fleet.

However, not all planned "launches" in 2003 will be brand-new vessels and the year will see the re-christening of four former Renaissance Cruises' R-ships as well as some ship-swapping between related cruise lines. has the details about New Cruise Ships for 2003.

Cruise News Briefs:

A peek at the QM2 under construction in France

Queen Mary 2 - Follow Her Progress — The longest, largest, tallest & most expensive ocean liner ever under construction is 79% complete... take a look at the future "queen" scheduled to begin her reign over the Cunard Line in just under a year. 

Check out the details of the QM2's remarkable propulsion system and meet her future master, Captain Ronald Warwick.

SeaDream Yacht Club, operator of the twin, ultra-luxury mega yachts SeaDream I and II, has topped the prestigious Five-Star Club in the authoritative Berlitz 2003 Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships guidebook. Check for their 2003 itinerary changes, dictated by past guests and would-be passengers.

America's largest steamboat, the American Queen, returns to the country's waterways on Jan 25, 2003, to kick off the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Celebration. To mark the American Queen's homecoming, she will race the reigning champion, the Natchez, in the New Orleans "Louisiana Legends Steamboat Race."

On a related note, Royal Caribbean, the Official Cruise Line of the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Celebration, is offering guests on all Grandeur of the Seas' New Orleans departures in 2003 a chance to enjoy the unique tastes, sounds, and sights of Louisiana during their Caribbean cruise vacation. Laissé les bon temps roule!

For guests on board its fleet throughout 2003, Crystal Cruises is offering gourmet kosher cuisine, food permissible to eat under Jewish dietary laws. In addition, Crystal has unveiled a series of ultra-luxurious 2004 global itineraries featuring visits to 178 ports in 56 countries on six continents, punctuated by a 106-day World Cruise from Los Angeles to New York aboard the newest member of its fleet, Crystal Serenity.

Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess are eyeing a date for their union. The Board of P&O Princess has recommended the proposed Carnival DLC transaction and considers the offer to be a highly attractive opportunity for shareholders. Micky Arison, Chairman and Chief Executive of Carnival, announced, "We are extremely pleased that the board of P&O Princess has recommended the Carnival DLC transaction to P&O Princess shareholders. I look forward to working with Peter Ratcliffe, who will be an executive director of both companies. We urge P&O Princess and Carnival shareholders to approve the DLC transaction at the forthcoming shareholder meetings, and we look forward to completion early in the second quarter of 2003."

Oceana Cruises opened executive offices in Miami after the company completed its agreement for the long term charter of two 684 passenger cruise ships. “We are delighted to be able to offer these luxurious and popular ships to the cruising public” noted Chairman Joe Watters, former President of Crystal Cruises. CEO and President, Frank del Rio added, “I’ve been delighted to hear from so many of our friends in the travel community over the past several months, they’re ecstatic that we are bringing back their favorite ships.”

Royal Caribbean deferred options to purchase fifth and sixth Radiance-class ships that were scheduled for delivery in 2005 and 2006. Royal Caribbean and Meyer Werft shipyard, of Papenburg, Germany, agreed to extend the options to Sept 19, 2003; both options were to have expired on Jan 10, 2003.

Stage, screen and recording star Gregory Hines is scheduled to appear as the Seabourn Dress Circle celebrity guest on board Seabourn Legend's seven-day cruise sailing from Nice to Rome on June 1st, 2003.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

Who's cruising? Check the latest Cruise Reviews on!

Cruise Diva's Book Selection:

Total Traveler Guide to Worldwide CruisingTotal Traveler Guide to Worldwide Cruising 
by Ethel Blum

Cruise Diva comments: 
Ms. Blum has created the "Encyclopedia of Vacations at Sea"

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Images courtesy of Oceana Cruises, Cunard Line, & Eddie Bauer