The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

February 28, 2003

Can't read email in HTML format? You can find this SEA VIEWS Newsletter at http://cruisediva.com/SeaViews_022803.htm

So many cruises, so little time.
Get on board... REGATTA

Get on board. Setting sail in July—REGATTA

Oceania Cruises presents... A 'Preview' of the REGATTA

To past passengers of Renaissance Cruises, REGATTA will look familiar. She should, after all she was the R-1, the first of the acclaimed R-Class ships. Take a closer look, though, and you'll discover subtle distinctions. This is NOT a renaissance, but an entirely new concept in upper premium cruising aboard celebrated mid-size vessels.

Highlighted by an unsurpassed culinary experience, a casually elegant atmosphere, and unparalleled personal service, Oceania Cruises is about to set sail. Discover REGATTA—Take the Photo Tour

And watch your mailbox, Oceania Cruises has published its 2003 European Collection brochure highlighting the inaugural season sailings of REGATTA and INSIGNIA to Western Europe, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

Listen to the Cruise Diva & Travel Queen discuss cruises

Mark your calendar! At 11:00 am (EST) on March 8th, Cruise Diva (Linda Coffman) joins the Travel Queen (Jane DeGrow) on the Michigan Talk Radio Network to discuss cruises. To listen LIVE on Real Audio, "dial" in on the Travel Queen web site.

But is it still FUN?

There's something new on Carnival Cruise Lines' web site that hasn't been "publicly" announced in a press release. Under the FAQs section... Effective February 2003: Guests are prohibited from bringing beverages of any kind (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) on board the ship for consumption. This includes: sodas, juices and bottled water.

Did You Know?

Ever wonder who created the cool, creamy Piña Colada? I did, so I went to the source—the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Piña Colada—The Tropical Taste of Puerto Rico; this is the story and the Caribe Hilton's original recipe.

Repositioning Cruises Offer Unique Values — With the change in seasons come changes in cruise destinations, especially in the spring and fall. When cruise lines move their ships from one destination to another, it's called a repositioning, and the voyage is called a repositioning cruise. "Repositioning itineraries offer cruising experiences that are available only once or twice a year," says Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). From Anita Dunham-Potter.

Cruise News Briefs:

With President Bush's approval of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2003, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will revive Project America as a US-flagged and US-manned operation for inter-island Hawaii cruise service. The Act contains a cruise ship provision championed by Senator Daniel K. Inouye that will create thousands of jobs for US and Hawaii residents and provide a significant boost to the Hawaii economy. "We will have the honor of being the first company in nearly 50 years to hoist the Stars and Stripes above a new ocean-going passenger ship. The Project America ship will be a great addition to our fleet," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO.

The dream of a European cruise vacation is more affordable than ever this summer with Princess Cruises' "Ultimate 2 for 1" sale on Mediterranean cruises. The promotion includes 2-for-1 fares on all Princess Mediterranean sailings, plus complimentary Princess Travel Care insurance featuring "cancel for any reason" coverage. The program also provides free cabin upgrades from inside to outside, or outside to balcony staterooms. Two-for-one pricing applies to both cruise fares and deposits, and to Cruise Plus® packages for pre- or post-cruise stays in Barcelona. The "Ultimate 2 for 1" promotion also includes a coupon book good for discounts on onboard services for every Mediterranean booking.

How does the cruise line which pioneered the concept of pre-reserving shore excursions online celebrate the second anniversary of this popular and innovative feature? By expanding on it. Princess Cruises announced that its successful online booking function has been newly updated, offering passengers who log on to www.princess.com more information and more choices than ever before.

Carnival Cruise Lines' newest "Fun Ship," Carnival Glory, takes colors as its central design theme, with each public room celebrating a different shade of the rainbow. The 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger Conquest-class ship is slated to debut July 19, 2003, from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Oceania Cruises is launching Sea of Assurance, an optional new insurance upgrade allowing guests to postpone their cruise for absolutely any reason up until 24 hours prior to departure, and receive a 100% cruise credit valid for any sailing within 36 months. Sea of Assurance is available on all cruises aboard Regatta and Insignia, departing between July 5 and October 31, 2003.

The white T-shirts that distinguish Celebrity Cruises' latest ad campaign made headlines in part due to their sheer simplicity. But one new Celebrity T-shirt is anything but simple. In sharp contrast to the balance of the sought-after shirts, this one is studded with diamonds and has a total retail value of more than $50,000. Celebrity's "gem" of a T-shirt is only part of a grand prize package that ultimately will be awarded to the winner of the line's "Carats & Cruise Sweepstakes," running now through April 15, 2003. To enter the sweepstakes, log on to the Celebrity web site at www.celebrity.com.

Children 12 and under will sail free all summer long to Alaska and be treated to an ambitious Crystal Cruises Junior Activities Program aboard the 940-guest Crystal Harmony. In addition, the pioneer cruise line for providing guests with regularly scheduled computer instruction and e-mail capabilities, Crystal Cruises has rewired its acclaimed Computer University@Sea program to offer even more high-tech opportunities for learning.

Ultra luxury small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line is offering free roundtrip business class airfare from five Eastern North America gateways to 26 different two-week European cruises aboard the intimate, elegant Yachts of Seabourn.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

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

Cruise Diva's Book Selections:

Berlitz Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2003
by Douglas Ward

Total Traveler Guide to Worldwide Cruising

Total Traveler Guide to Worldwide Cruising 
by Ethel Blum

Berlitz Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2003

Cruise Diva comments: Watch for an in-depth review of these important cruising resources. They are MUCH more than ordinary travel guidebooks.

Elsewhere on the Internet

Most Flexible Vacations During War Time - AnitaVaction.com offers travel options for uncertain times.

War? We're Traveling Anyway - According to Chris Elliott, war worries aren't grounding frequent travelers.

Great Travel Clothes...

Eddie Bauer Founder's Sale!

Eddie Bauer -- Casual clothing for men and women, plus luggage, and accessories on sale! Save on over 100 of this season's best styles.

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Images courtesy of Amazon.com, Coldwater Creek & Oceania Cruises

"The world's best islands are the ones that float and move.  They're called cruise ships." ~ Cruise Diva

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