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


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

April 15, 2003     

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So many cruises, so little time...
Cruise Week on The Travel Channel: CLICK HERE for info

Don't Miss TV:
Sail away with The Travel Channel & Cruise Diva

It's CRUISE WEEK on The Travel Channel

The Travel Channel invites viewers to Sail Into CRUISE WEEK from Monday, April 14 through Saturday, April 19. Cruise Diva is on board — helping prepare visitors to the web site for a relaxing voyage at sea by answering their questions in the Cruise Week Forum.

Check out the other great features on answer the poll question, "Do you plan to take a cruise in 2003?" and discover which "Top 8" cruises made their list. The program schedule even has a reminder function so you won't forget to tune in. There are other helpful travel tools as well—destination guides, "World's Best" lists, and lots more to insure smooth sailing ahead.

Did you know? According to Carnival Cruise Line, the health and fitness facilities featured aboard their  ships are such a popular amenity that approximately half the guests on any given voyage use some facet of their ship's facility, which typically includes a gym, spa, beauty salon, and various exercise classes and demonstrations. Fleetwide, Carnival estimates that nearly 1.5 million guests will use its health and fitness facilities aboard the line's 19 ships in 2003.

Don't be surprised that some spa treatment offerings sound good enough to eat! Cruise Diva shares the experience of "Hot Rocks" & "Cool Gel" in Cruise Ship Spas. Take a peek at the European-inspired formal hair-do created for Cruise Diva by Steiner, Ltd.

NCL Acquires S/S United StatesLate Breaking News!  Norwegian Cruise Line Acquires U.S. Flagship 
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced it has purchased the S/S United States, one of the country's most venerable ships built in the glory days of trans-Atlantic sea travel. NCL intends to convert the vessel to a state-of-the art, modern cruise ship and add her to the cruise line's planned US flagged fleet. Widely considered to be the greatest ocean liner ever built in this country, the S/S United States was engineered to be faster, safer, and more technologically advanced than anything afloat when she was christened. To this day, her Atlantic crossing record is unmatched and she remains the holder of the fabled Blue Riband. "When we discovered this American icon was in jeopardy, we saw a unique opportunity and acted immediately," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. More DETAILS.

Cruise News Briefs:

Princess is about to walk down the aisle with Carnival Corp. The proposed DLC transaction between the two companies was approved at a special Carnival shareholders' meeting in New York City and P&O Princess shareholders are scheduled to vote on the transaction in London on April 16, 2003.

Celebrity Cruises presents a new touch of class, with "Celebrity ConciergeClass," an enhanced level of accommodations featuring new amenities and priority services. Celebrity ConciergeClass guests are welcomed to their stateroom with a bottle of chilled champagne; fresh flowers and a selection of fruits; afternoon canapés; a leather key holder; personalized stationery; an oversized tote bag; an umbrella available for use throughout the cruise and much, much more.

Royal Caribbean announced Monarch of the Seas will undergo extensive renovations, including the addition of new amenities and activities to appeal to West Coast cruisers, before arriving in her new homeport of Los Angeles in June 2003 to sail year-round, three- and four-night Baja Mexico cruises.

Carnival Cruise Lines' 1,486-passenger Celebration has resumed year-round service from Galveston, following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that included an overhaul of the purser's lobby, redesigned dining rooms and cabins, and cosmetic enhancements to virtually all public rooms and areas.

The Spa Carnival health and fitness facility aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' new Carnival Glory is a stunning and contemporary venue offering the latest in high-tech exercise equipment, along with soothing and sophisticated spa treatments. Carnival Glory is scheduled to enter year-round seven-day service July 19, 2003, from Port Canaveral, FL.

Windstar Cruises is preparing for its maiden season in the Baltic and Northern Europe this summer. The 308-passenger msy Wind Surf makes her maiden visit this summer to 22 new ports of call in 13 countries. Cruisers onboard these sailings will witness special arrival celebrations at the various ports as the striking yacht puts it’s best sail forward for the first season in these new destinations.

Norwegian Cruise Line announced its 2004-2005 European itineraries for Norwegian Dream and details on its popular Europe Plus program. Featuring a series of 13 Scandinavian capitals cruises, NCL's longest European season ever is highlighted by a full day and evening excursion to Berlin via train from Warnemünde, overnight stays in St. Petersburg, Russia and Copenhagen, Denmark. and transits of the Kiel Canal. Two free nights in a first-class hotel in either Rome or London are offered as part of the line's early booking Europe Plus program.

Oceania Cruises unveiled Your World. Your Way. savings featuring 2-for-1 cruise fares and free air from a wide array of North American air gateways on the Regatta’s inaugural Western Europe and Scandinavia cruises. “These air-inclusive cruise fares, combined with inaugural season 2-for-1 savings, starting at just $2,995 per guest, represent the foremost value in luxury cruising,” stated Jeff Drew, Sr VP of Sales for Oceania Cruises. “Travelers are unlikely to see such an amazing value again.”

Silversea Cruises announced the return of vocal superstar Cecilia Bartoli for an exclusive series of recitals aboard the ultra-luxury line's Silver Shadow. Ms. Bartoli is scheduled for appearances during June and July 2003 aboard four Silversea voyages in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Cunard Line announced that Wedgwood has designed a signature china pattern exclusively for the $800 million luxury liner Queen Mary 2, scheduled to debut in January 2004. The QM2 china will be used in the ship's top Queens Grill and Princess Grill restaurants and will be sold in an on-board boutique.

ResidenSea, Ltd. announced that The World's Asian itinerary planned for this spring has been cancelled, as a result of the health concerns raised by the persistent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Asia. Remaining in Australia through April 24, The World will then redeploy to North America for voyages along the west coasts of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

No elbows on the table, please! By the time youthful passengers debark from Crystal Harmony's 12-day Alaska cruises they'll be able to elegantly navigate their way through a six-course dinner as if it were second nature, thanks to an exclusive new Crystal Cruises program, Etiquette Training for Juniors. Young cruisers will learn the proper way to handle themselves in a variety of social situations, including the ins and outs of social etiquette, poise, ballroom dancing, and public speaking.

Just for FUN, Carnival Cruise Lines has added a new teen shore excursion program, providing teenagers an opportunity to enjoy a variety of fun and exciting on-shore activities, everything from cave tubing and mountain biking to swimming with dolphins and stingrays, with other teens sailing aboard the “Fun Ships.” Currently available aboard 15 of the line’s 18 ships, fleetwide implementation is expected by the end of the summer.

Never before has an ultra-deluxe cruise experience been all Kosher. Until now! CruiseBlue Partners LLC announced the launch of a new travel company which will market full-ship, all Kosher charters under the Chosen Voyage brand name. Meeting the needs of the growing cruise market for Kosher-observant Jews, Chosen Voyage will launch several new, and very distinctive, full-ship charters on Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf for this traditionally underserved group.

The Spa Carnival health and fitness facility aboard the new Carnival Glory is a stunning and contemporary venue offering the latest in high-tech exercise equipment, along with soothing and sophisticated spa treatments. Carnival Glory is scheduled to enter year-round seven-day service July 19, 2003, from Port Canaveral, FL.

Famed actress Sophia Loren christened MSC Italian Cruises' newest flagship, the MSC Lirica, in Italy on April 11. The 1580-passenger vessel will replace the MSC Melody in the 2003-2004 winter season, offering 47% more capacity for U.S. departures from Fort Lauderdale, FL to the Caribbean, West Indies and Panama Canal.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

Queen Mary 2—Follow her Progress 

April Update — She's afloat! Wedgewood has designed her china, Waterford her crystal, and the Canyon Ranch Spa will be ready to pamper her passengers. Photos of the Floating Out Party.

Who's cruising? The latest Cruise Reviews...

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

Elsewhere on the Internet

Southeast Aviation: CLICK HERE for info

River Barging Through America — Take a "great getaway" with NCB17's travel expert, Jana Jones on Riverbarge Excursion Line's sole vessel, River Explorer.

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

Southeast Tours — Spectacular scenic roundtrip tours out of the port of Skagway, Alaska.

Perfect for "Caribbean Night"...

Hilto Hattie

Hilo Hattie is the original Hawaiian source for Island fashions

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