SEA VIEWS Newsletter from Cruise Diva Linda Coffman's Cruise Planner


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

March 15, 2003

Can't read email in HTML format? Find this SEA VIEWS Newsletter at

Royal Caribbean Cruises announced an amendment to its cancellation policies for Mediterranean sailings with both Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Effective immediately, any guests who, for any reason, choose to cancel their Mediterranean cruise prior to May 1, 2003, will receive a future cruise credit equal to 90 percent of the cancellation fees imposed by the company.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

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

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

Cruise Crazies Message Board — Meet other people who are crazy about cruising. Register and post your questions.

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.

~ Did you miss an issue of SEA VIEWS? Check the SEA VIEWS Newsletter Archive
~ Want to share SEA VIEWS with your friends? Simply forward it to their email or send them this URL to subscribe:
~ SEA VIEWS is sent by permission only.  If you wish to unsubscribe, please send an email with  'Unsubscribe' in the 'Subject' field to .

Images courtesy of, Eddie Bauer , Norwegian Cruise Line, Cunard Line

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

Find the answers to your cruise questions on,
 the Online Cruise Travel Guidebook

CruiseDiva Home | Site Map & Search

So many cruises, so little time...

Spacious & stimulating, the Kid's Crew youth center on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Dawn

Kid Stuff & More — Family Cruises

Will your family enjoy a cruise? Most parents report that once they are on board the ship, they barely see their children. Mom can savor some well earned beauty rest while Dad heads for a solitary jog on the deck, secure in the knowledge that their children are happy and well cared for in the youth center.

Family Cruising, The Basics — Chances are, it will be difficult to convince your children to leave the ship at the end of your family cruise vacation. 

What to Know Before You Go and Do's & Don'ts to experience one of the most satisfying vacations your family can share. What's the best part of a cruise? No small voices in the back seat of the car asking, "Are we there yet?"

Listen to the Cruise Diva & Travel Queen discuss cruises

The Cruise Diva joined the Travel Queen on the Michigan Talk Radio Network to discuss cruises on March 8th. To listen on Real Audio, "dial" in on the Travel Queen web site.

Did You Know?

Cruise lines are offering travel options for uncertain times Anita Dunham-Potter updates the Most Flexible Vacations During War Time.

Queen Mary 2—Follow her Progress

March Update — The funnel has been lifted into place and the Interactive in-cabin TV system and an innovative entertainment option revealed. Photo at right.

Delaying her "maiden" voyage... HAL's Oosterdam not quite ready for Prime Time

Holland America Line announced a revised maiden voyage date of Aug. 3, 2003 for the ms Oosterdam, the second of the line’s Vista-class ships. The 1,848 passenger Oosterdam’s maiden voyage will depart London (Harwich) on August 3, 2003. The ship’s first two scheduled sailings, Jul. 10 and Jul. 22, have been cancelled. Are you booked? Find the details in CRUISE NEWS.

Cruise News Briefs:

More than 7.6 million North Americans are estimated to have cruised in 2002, including 7.47 million on Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member line ships, surpassing industry expectations and setting yet another record, according to CLIA, the non-profit marketing organization that represents 25 North American cruise lines. They were part of a worldwide total of 8.66 million cruise guests hosted by CLIA member lines last year. This represents a 15.5 percent increase (over the 2001 number of 7.49 million) in worldwide guests sailing on CLIA member cruise lines at an average 2002 industry utilization of 97 percent.

Silversea Cruises announced it is enhancing its Reassurance Program while reducing the cost. The innovative cancellation option was originally introduced in 2001 and was the first cruise-line program to allow travelers to alter their travel plans at the last minute for any reason without being penalized. In addition, deployment changes will affect two of Silversea Cruises' ships. The line will bring Silver Wind back into service in May and will temporarily lay up Silver Cloud from October through April 2004, at which time the ship will undergo a major refurbishment. The line is also expanding its popular Silver Sailings program to include additional voyages in 2003. Additionally, Mandara Spa will continue its relationship to be the exclusive provider of unique spa and massage services, hair dressing and beauty treatments, and fitness programs on the Silversea fleet of luxury cruise ships.

Do you sing in the shower? Are you the first in your crowd to grab the Karaoke mike? If you're waiting in the wings for stardom, then Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has the competition for you! The company will shine a spotlight on its onboard guests when its new "Star Seeker" premieres April 4th. This new American Idol-style contest will be offered aboard all of NCL's ships on four-day and longer voyages to give every guest a chance to wow the crowd and possibly win a full-time entertainment contract onboard an NCL ship.

This summer when Princess Cruises passengers head to Alaska, they'll discover that the wonders of this "last frontier" are not only enjoyed ashore. The company is offering a unique local experience in each port, a program that has been designed to give a true insider's view of this majestic destination. New cultural offerings in each port of call, unique partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, and an interesting lineup of local entertainers, historians and naturalists further enhance passengers' Alaska experience.

With Crystal Serenity’s Grand Inaugural Voyage scheduled to depart Southampton, England, on July 7, 2003, Crystal Cruises is counting the days! And they’ve got loads of news about their new ship to share… like the naming of beloved singer, actress and entertainer Julie Andrews to be Crystal Serenity’s Godmother. Befitting the luxury standards for which Crystal Cruises has become famous, the award-winning line's Hotel Operations unveiled today an impressive array of new features to tempt palates and enrich the lives of guests on the high seas through 2004, including complimentary bottled water, soft drinks, juices and specialty coffees, including cappuccino and café latte, beginning with Crystal Harmony's Alaska season.

OUCH! Carnival Cruise Lines has shifted its cruise ship Carnival Conquest from its homeport in New Orleans to Gulfport, Mississippi, for at least six weeks, which commenced Sunday, March 9, 2003. The repositioning is necessitated by rising water levels in the Mississippi River, which combined with low hanging power lines down river from the Port of New Orleans, pose a potential safety issue for the Carnival Conquest. On a happier note, for Carnival Spirit's 2003 Alaska season, the line has added a number of exciting shore excursions, including "extreme" activities such as helicopter/hiking expeditions and snowshoe trekking tours. The new excursions, 10 in all, are among the 95 different on-shore activities available in conjunction with Glacier Bay and Glacier Route cruises. In a patriotic move, Carnival Liberty is the name chosen by Carnival Cruise Lines for its new 110,000-ton SuperLiner scheduled to enter service in fall 2005. The Carnival Liberty's homeport and itinerary have yet to be announced.