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The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

April 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.

So many cruises, so little time...

Colin Veitch & Brooke Burke at the dual christening of the Norwegian Sun & Norwegian Star
Colin Veitch & Brooke Burke at the dual christening of the Norwegian Sun & Norwegian Star

Coffee with Colin Veitch

There's a lot to smile about at Norwegian Cruise Line and who better to share the news over coffee and croissants than Colin Veitch, the personable CEO and President?

For insight into how the Freestyle innovations on the Norwegian Star are working and a peek at Norwegian Dawn... it's What's New at Norwegian Cruise Line.


Get "WILD ON H2O" with E! Entertainment

SATURDAY, April 20th - It's the television PREMIERE of Wild on H2O with Brooke Burke, Godmother of the fabulous Norwegian Sun. Watch at 11 pm and 2 am (check your local listings for exact time). AND, watch for the good time we had on the Norwegian Star... will you see the Cruise Diva and her friends? Tune in!

Focus on Things to Do Before a Cruise - the Time LineCruise Diva's FOCUS is on Things To Do Before A Cruise - As the sailing date for your dream cruise draws near, it's time to take care of these practical considerations.

Also, check the UPDATED Cruise FAQs.

Oops... a chip off the old POD?

The latest ship to be removed from service for pod repairs is the Radisson Seven Seas Mariner. Radisson noted that other cruise line's ships have had similar problems with pod bearings. "Ironically," the line noted, "the bearings are a relatively minor part in the advanced propulsion system that is likely to become the industry norm." Celebrity Cruises sent two ships, Summit and Infinity, into unscheduled drydocks last month and Radisson cancelled three of the Mariner's sailings for similar repairs.

Ironically, following some time spent on the bridge, an early reviewer of Mariner said, "The Captain felt another fellow's belief that the seals would eventually leak and my feeling the pods were susceptible to being sheared off to be impertinent." What's the glitch? According to Celebrity, "The problem with the pods involves ball-bearing units that are wearing out prematurely. Consequently, ships must reduce their cruising speed, potentially falling behind schedule on port calls."

It's a DOG-gone shame

NCL performed a dramatic nighttime rescue on Tuesday, April 2nd that resulted in saving 11 crewmembers of the INSIKO, an Indonesian fishing supply ship adrift 220 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii. The ship was left disabled and without power or any means of communication following an engine fire on March 13th. One of the rescued men was badly burned.

Instead of being heralded for their good deed, there have been accusations in the media by the Hawaiian Humane Society that the crew of Norwegian Star would not allow the INSIKO crew to bring a dog onboard and deliberately left the animal on the disabled ship. Passengers who were aware of the rescue operation said they did NOT hear a dog barking (the ship was reported to be too far away for that to be possible) and none of the INSIKO crewmembers indicated in conversations with a Chinese-speaking passenger that a dog was on the disabled ship.

Nevertheless, on April 5 the Humane Society launched a $50,000 sea-and-air mission to find the dog, only to call off the effort two days later when the company hired to conduct the search, concluded that the tanker had either gone down or strayed beyond the 14,800-square-mile search area. In an embarrassing "oops" for the Humane Society, a fishing boat reported spotting the tanker about 400 miles south of O'ahu on April 9th. Hopes were raised that the dog could be rescued and the Humane Society's pricey chartered tugboat is continuing the search at no extra charge to the Humane Society.

Refloating the R-ships

P&O is keeping a lid on the info, but it's been reported by Tahitipresse that P&O Princess president Phil Kleweno left Papeete after successful negotiations with the government of French Polynesia over substantial tax concessions to take over R3 and R4. The buzz is that the two ships, which have been laid up in Papeete since last September 26th (following the collapse of Renaissance Cruises), will operate under the Princess flag beginning as early as October 1st. One of the liners will continue to operate year-round Tahiti cruises, while the other will spend extended seasons in New Caledonian waters.

Cruise News Briefs

Royal Caribbean International and the Port of Galveston have signed a five-year agreement to sail from the Texas seaport.

Windstar Cruises announced free airfare from ten North American cities on all seven May and June cruise departures aboard the 148-passenger Wind Song in Tahiti. Don't miss the boat--act FAST!

For the inaugural 2002 season of the new 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend, Carnival Cruise Lines has assembled a diverse schedule that includes the line's first-ever sailings from Europe and its first cruises to Bermuda in three years. While the Carnival Legend's schedule will include scenic ports throughout Europe, Canada, New England, Bermuda and the Caribbean, the ship's comprehensive on-board golf program will provide golfers the opportunity to play some of  the regions' most beautiful and historic courses. The golf program is available throughout 2002.

Silversea, the elite luxury cruise line whose intimate ships carry pampered guests to the world's exotic locales, also attributes its many cuisine honors to teaming with the renowned chefs to provide guests with the most complete and flavorful travel experience. It comes as no surprise that Cruise Week has announced the results of it's cruise cuisine survey for mainstream and luxury cruise lines and Silversea has again garnered top honors.

Crystal Cruises is running a rare promotion for free stateroom upgrades on two late summer Alaska sailings, representing a savings of $490 to $2,670 per stateroom. Through April 30, travelers may book an outside stateroom with large window, then sail in a stateroom with verandah to enjoy Alaska's spectacular scenery at no extra cost.

For details of these stories, new itinerary announcements, and more, 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 during an enchanting week at sea? No cooking... no cleaning... and the camaraderie of a wonderful group of cruise-loving Internet friends! 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.

Frommer's Alaska Cruises & Ports of Call 2002Cruise Diva's April Book Selection

Frommer's Alaska Cruises & Ports of Call 2002
by Fran Wenograd Golden, Jerry Brown

Prepare for an Alaska cruise with Frommer's expert info & advice

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Well Wishers Int'l - Send the perfect Bon Voyage gift to your cruise friends. Champagne, flowers, gift baskets, and much more!!!


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