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Copyright © 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

February 28, 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.

So many details... what to know before you go

Silversea Cruises' Reassurance ProgramThere are times when you need more than ordinary travel insurance and several cruise lines recognize those situations. You say, "It can't happen to me"... or can it?  Examine these scenarios and see if you recognize an unexpected situation that might cause the loss of your entire cruise fare. It's about More Than Insurance — Cancellation Options for Cruise Passengers.

Cruise News Briefs

Guests of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises now can view their flight itineraries 60 days prior to cruise departure and decide whether to use Custom Air service to lock in those flights or choose others. Itineraries not secured with Custom Air are subject to change until the time of ticketing, typically four weeks prior to sailing. "This service gives travel agents and guests more time, if needed, to adjust air arrangements prior to receiving cruise documents," said Nick Hafner, vice president of Air/Sea. "By providing guests their air itineraries earlier, agents and guests can decide if it makes sense for them to take advantage of our Custom Air program."

After a successful debut on board Golden Princess last year, Princess Cruises is introducing its new Lotus Spa program fleetwide. The cruise industry's first branded spa, the unique Asian-themed Lotus Spa offers an atmosphere and treatments based on ancient therapies and rituals from the Far East. The program is currently in place aboard the line's largest vessels: Grand Princess, Golden Princess, and the new Star Princess, which debuted last week in Singapore. Operated by Steiner Leisure and featuring colorful Japanese-inspired décor, the Lotus Spa program will be introduced on most of the Princess fleet's remaining ships by mid-March.

Celebrity Cruises has announced Celebrity Escape, cruises reserved for adult guests age 21 and older. (This means no children on board!) Sign up now and sail through the blue waters of the Caribbean or Hawaiian islands on your choice of four Celebrity Escape cruises scheduled for fall 2002.

  • Millennium 9/23/02, 11-night Ultimate Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale

  • Mercury 10/25/02, 7-night Western Caribbean from Miami

  • Horizon 11/17/02, 7-night Western Caribbean from Tampa

  • Infinity 11/28/02, 10-night Hawaii from Honolulu

Valentine's Day has past but every day holds special treats for lovers aboard the intimate sailing yachts of Windstar Cruises, with romantic South Pacific and Greek Isles itineraries and new onboard couple's packages. Voted "Most Romantic Cruise Line" by Porthole Magazine and and "Top Honeymoon" by viewers of Today Throws a Wedding and, Windstar provides the ultimate escape for couples looking to get away from it all— together.

Rhapsody of the Seas in New OrleansLet the good times roll...

The first Royal Caribbean ship to set sail regularly from the Port of New Orleans, Rhapsody of the Seas docked at the Julia Street Terminal One on Saturday, February 23rd in preparation for her first sailing to ports of call at Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Georgetown, Cayman Islands. Additional seven-night Western Caribbean sailings depart March 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2002. Thanks to Joe Reynolds, who caught Rhapsody of the Seas pierside (photo left) earlier in the month when she called on the Crescent City during Mardi Gras festivities.

Conveniently located for residents of most major Florida cities, Port Canaveral-based Disney Cruise Line offers special savings for Floridians on most April and May, 2002, cruise vacations.

The February 15th vote to adjourn the P&O Princess shareholders' meeting placed the Royal Caribbean merger on the back burner until United States and British regulators review the merger proposals of both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corporation. Despite pleas from P&O Chairman Lord Sterling that shareholders back the Royal Caribbean deal, the vote failed due to institutional investors who felt they had an obligation to consider Carnival's higher offer. However, a large number of individual investors appeared to favor the merger with Royal Caribbean. Oddly, Carnival Chairman Micky Arison (a P&O shareholder) was allowed to take the stage and present Carnival's case.

For details of these stories and more, check the Cruise News

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

Carnival Victory - According to Jana M. Jones, NBC 17 Travel Expert, Carnival Victory is a perfect example of Carnival Cruise Lines' commitment to excellence.

Cruise Diva's Book Selection for March

Chicken Soup for the Traveler's SoulChicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul:
Stories of Adventure, Inspiration & Insight 
to Celebrate the Spirit of Travel
by Jack Canfield (Editor), Mark Victor Hansen, Steve Zikman

From Library Journal: "Part of the 'Chicken Soup' series, this collection of 101 traveling stories by such writers as Pico Iyer, James Michener, Charles Kuralt, and Maya Angelou celebrates the art of traveling with 'a different set of eyes.' Series founders Canfield and Hansen and travel writer Steve Zikman, the editors of the collection, have divided the essays into nine sections, each dealing with a specific situation or condition. While different in tone and style some describe funny situations, others great loss, and still others life-changing events, all essays show the triumph of the human spirit over discomfort or misfortune and show that travel breaks down barriers and prejudices and that people, regardless of where they reside, have more commonalities than differences."

Cruise Diva's comments: These are uplifting stories to satisfy the wanderlust of the armchair traveler. Look for the essay by Jim West, author of my February book and audio selections, The Essential Little Cruise Book and Cruise Control: Secrets for a Perfect Cruise.

Elsewhere on the Internet:

South Beach... Chic, hip and trendy, SoBe is Miami's adult playground on what is known as America's Riviera.

Insure My TripInsure My Trip - Insure your cruise. Use the automated quote form to compare popular travel insurance carriers and plans.

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Illustrations courtesy of Joe Reynolds, Silversea Cruises, 
Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean Intl.