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Linda Coffman


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

February 15, 2002

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

Happy Day After Valentines Day!

Cruise Romance at SeaHow can you spot the newlyweds on a cruise ship? Unless the bride is wearing a white gown and the groom has rice in his hair, you can’t. What setting could be more idyllic for romance than a ship at sea? Couples on board Princess Cruises' fleet celebrated the "Love Boat Holiday" on February 14th, but all cruising partners can share Romance at Sea. Enhance your cruise with some of my suggestions to make lasting memories together.

So many ships, so little time...

Cruise Diva's FOCUS is on Cool Cruise  Destinations: Alaska & the North Cape
Glaciers, fjords, whales! There are some pretty incredible sights on cruises to Alaska and the Norwegian fjords. When summertime in the "lower 48" is sizzling, that's the perfect time to experience a cool cruise break. Explore Cool Cruising and the experience of an Alaska cruise. Or cross the Arctic Circle to the North Cape with cruise expert Mary Ann Rizzo, who offers her observations and advice to passengers bound for Norway & The North Cape.

Begin your preparations with Cruise Diva's Original Packing List. One thing to remember is that you are not going to the North Pole. However, you want to be prepared for just about any contingency—rain is a definite possibility and some cool to cold temperatures are a sure thing. Warm sunny days ashore can easily segue into chilly nights at sea. Continue your preparations by following the suggestions for Cool Weather Cruise Packing.

Cruise News Briefs

First, a bit of personal news... is celebrating an anniversary this month. We've been online for a year and want to thank everyone who has contributed to our success!

Who will win the hand of the fair princess? Or, more precisely, the battle for approval of Princess Cruises' stockholders? At the heavily attended meeting in London, it appears that institutional shareholders are leaning toward a fatter  "fun ship" deal, or at least are willing to see if Carnival puts their money where their mouth is. Speaking of which... Richard Fain of Royal Caribbean and Micky Arison of Carnival traded last minute pre-meeting salvos; Fain predicting that an adjournment vote by shareholders would be deal breaker and Arison countering that it was a "hollow threat." The St. Valentine's Day shareholder meeting (or massacre, depending on your viewpoint) ended without a decision... votes are being tabulated and results should be available Friday. That complete news story & more is in Cruise News. Watch for further developments as they unfold.  

Said to be popular with European passengers, the ports of Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia will be served by a new cruise line later this year. Cruiseinvest, the company that snagged six of the eight elegant R-class vessels at auction, has announced its first leasing deal. It looks like R6 and R7 are headed for Dubai to anchor the fleet of brand-new Imperium Cruises. After a refit, R6 will be relaunched as "White Goddess," and sail Arabian Gulf and Red Sea cruises out of Dubai as early as June. R7 will also receive attention and a new name, "Goddess Nayna," before she begins sailing itineraries in the Indian Ocean come November. Both vessels will call Dubai their home port.

Rumors abound that R8 has secured a berth in the fleet of Swan Hellenic, a P&O subsidiary. However, Swan Hellenic has no comment to make on the speculation that has been widely discussed in the UK.

More grist for the rumor mill... would Carnival actually consider selling off (gasp!) Holland America Line in order to win regulatory approval for the Princess marriage? Princess and Holland America are both heavy hitters in the Alaska market and it's said that such a move would grease the ways for regulatory approval. 

From the "Looks Can Be Deceiving" Department: The newly refitted ultra-yacht Sea Dream II has flunked her inspection by the Centers for Disease Control. Set to call St. Thomas USVI her home, the former Sea Goddess received a Sanitation Score of 82 (ships must achieve 86 to pass) after CDC inspectors discovered potentially hazardous food temperatures storage, preparation display, service, and transportation; unsatisfactory dishwashing sanitizing rinse temperature, concentration, time; and food-contact surfaces, equipment, and utensils that did not meet cleanliness and safety standards (among other minor problems). According to a CDC spokesman, Sea Dream Yacht Club officials are taking "corrective action" and are anxious for a follow-up inspection within the month.

As predicted in the last issue of SEA VIEWS, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Norwegian Star will call at Kahului, Maui on Fridays through May 3, 2002 instead of Lahaina, Maui as previously scheduled. NCL has tested the operational feasibility of offering Kahului as an alternative to Lahaina when there are port conflicts or inclement weather that prevent tendering at Lahaina. Colin Veitch, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line stated, "We will test Lahaina again once the promised shore side tender support is available later in the spring."

For even more news stories, check the Cruise News

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

JOIN US... we've got some Royal Caribbean coming! 

Enchantment of the Seas Group CruiseAn Enchanted Group Cruise - Have you ever fantasized about being treated like royalty? As a little girl, I daydreamed of being a princess. I'd have settled for Queen for a Day, but an enchanting week at sea is even better! No cooking... no cleaning... and the camaraderie of a wonderful group of cruise-loving Internet friends! Plus, all that royal pampering!! Join your Cruise Critic Host and Cruise Diva on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas as our floating castle sets sail on Sunday, October 13, 2002. Staterooms are limited, act now.

Cruise Diva's Book & Audio Cassette Selection for February

The Essential Little Cruise BookCruise Control - Secrets for a Perfect CruiseThe Essential Little Cruise Book:  
Secrets from a Cruise Director for a Perfect Cruise Vacation
by Jim West 

Cruise Control: Secrets for a Perfect Cruise by Jim West

A Reader's Review: "I purchased Jim West's first book The Essential Little Cruise Book and found it to be more helpful than what my travel agent could provide for me. Then I was planning my second cruise, only this time I was traveling with my brothers and sisters and their families—34 people in all. We purchased Cruise Control and not only found a fantastic cassette tape of helpful tips, but the package contained a copy of The Essential Little Cruise Book. Such a deal!! He actually worked as a cruise director for 10 years on cruise ships, so he knows the information first hand." ~ Steve Barcowitz from Pittsburgh, PA on
Cruise Diva's comment:
A winning combination, lauded by none other than the renowned explorer Sir Edmund Hillary!

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Shore Trips - "Escape the crowds, Experience new adventure, Pursue your interests, Demand the highest quality." Chart your own course by booking shore excursions offered by "400 tour operators on 22 Caribbean Islands who bring you over 1000 well designed ShoreTrips®!" All are personally selected by travel professionals Barry and Julie to enhance your days ashore.

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Illustrations courtesy of Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean Intl.