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Linda Coffman


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

May 31, 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. NOTE: In order to bring the Windstar and Silversea Cruise Diary reports to you this spring/summer, issues of SEA VIEWS are presently somewhat off-schedule. I apologize for any inconvenience. The next publication date will be June 25.

So many cruises, so little time...

Accessible Cruise TravelAccessible Cruise Travel — If you thought you couldn't travel on a cruise ship because of mobility problems or other physical limitations, think again! In the wake of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the cruise industry has been under pressure to demonstrate ADA compliance, particularly since a federal appeals court agreed with federal regulators that cruise ships registered in foreign countries are covered by the 11-year-old U.S. law.

Designed from the keel up with the special needs of disabled passengers in mind, new cruise ships are opening the world to guests with mobility, sight, and breathing impairments. The photo of a wheelchair accessible veranda (at left) and the multiple illustrations in the Accessible Cruise Travel article were provided exclusively for readers by Holland America Line. Take a peek at their shore tenders which are equipped with wheelchair accessible platforms.

Silversea Cruises - Silver Suite on board Silver WhisperFirst Impressions - Silversea Cruises — The arrival of cruise travel documents always heightens my sense of anticipation. In the case of my Silversea documents, well—let's just say they REALLY heightened my senses. Opening the package was like exploring a treasure chest. In fact, the first thing I saw was a smooth black box adorned simply with the Silversea Cruises logo. It will come in handy to store jewelry or trinkets. Inside I found a soft leather portfolio, which has a pocket for the cruise contract on one side and sleeves on the other to hold airline tickets, passport, etc. It folds over and closes with a leather "thong." Very practical—it will be useful for years.

Also included is a "Setting Sail" booklet with pertinent details regarding Silversea and general onboard facilities. A second booklet contains details regarding my specific sailing with information about ports, shore excursions, and land programs. It also includes estimated docking information, how far the pier is from town, and really helpful hints for what to see and do independently. There is even a chart with average daily temperatures for the various ports, hints on what to pack, etc. It's really the finest planning guide I've ever seen for a particular cruise! I'm feeling pampered and well cared for already.
Don't Forget: June 19th - Join me on board SILVER WHISPER and follow the CRUISE DIARY from Istanbul to Genoa!

Just In - Discover the most desirable ports of call-in peak season-at an extraordinary value. Silversea Cruises new Simplicity Pricing offers savings of 10% to 50% off of cruise-only fares for most suites on nearly all voyages from July through December, 2002. With savings this extraordinary, there has never been a better time to experience the elite luxury for which Silversea is world-renowned. Get the details.

Cruise Trivia - "Official" hurricane season consumes a full six months of the year from June 1st through November 30th. What to expect when Cruising into Hurricane Season.

It's the Cruise Season for Beautiful Bermuda - The inevitable first question everyone asks is about the beaches, "Is the sand really pink?"  Yes, it is!

Cruise Diva in the News — USA Today calls a "Best of the Web" Leisure Travel web site

Cruise News Briefs

Princess Cruises will bring a new style of cruising to Alaska's famed Inside Passage in 2003 with a significantly expanded schedule featuring two of the line's newest and most amenity-filled vessels—Star Princess and Diamond Princess. With more sailings to choose from and more than double the line's traditional Inside Passage capacity, the program follows a new itinerary using Seattle as a home port for the first time.

For a limited time, Cunard Line is offering savings of up to 55% on five prime sailings of the Queen Elizabeth 2. Imagine! A six-day crossing aboard QE2 for as little as $1,049, including FREE one-way economy air between London and 120 North American gateways. A transatlantic crossing aboard the glamorous Queen Elizabeth 2 is a once-in-a-lifetime journey that transcends the golden age of travel. The staff on board are devoted to pampering guests with the utmost in contemporary comfort and impeccable Cunard White Star Service™. 

Windstar Cruises Offers Free & Low-cost Airfare Nationwide—Just announced! Now you can afford a romantic Windstar cruise through the magnificent islands of Tahiti. Free and low-cost airfare deals are available on 31 Tahiti cruises through the end of 2002.

Holland America Line has teamed with the luxurious Alyeska Resort to offer a special cruisetour package at an extraordinary price on seven Alaska cruises this summer. With prices starting from as low as $1,299 per person, double occupancy, clients can enjoy a northbound, seven-night cruise from Vancouver, BC, through the spectacular Inside Passage to Seward, Alaska, and a two-night stay at the Alyeska Resort, Alaska's premier year-round destination resort.

Carnival Corporation issued a following statement in response to unsubstantiated media reports speculating on a possible divestiture of Cunard Line in order to receive regulatory clearance in Europe for its proposed bid to acquire P&O Princess. Two words, "no way"!

SeaDream I, just out of drydock, has joined her identical twin, SeaDream II, for their inaugural season in the Mediterranean. This completes the redesign and refitting program SeaDream Yacht Club promised at its launching nine months ago. To kick off its inaugural Mediterranean season, they are offering a 50 percent savings on selected sailings from June 15 to July 6. This brings the acclaimed SeaDream yachting experience on thirteen sailings in 2002 as low as $2,100 per person, or $300 per day for the seven-day sailings. Bookings must be made by June 15.

Crystal Cruises will launch the latest addition to its roster of stimulating onboard programs in Europe this summer—an alliance with Sotheby's. Crystal is partnering with Sotheby's to further enhance its Crystal Visions enrichment series with esteemed guest lecturers in fields such as art, wine and jewelry. Sotheby's experts will share their knowledge during three of Crystal Symphony's summer and fall 2002 cruises in the Baltic and Med.

In a cruise industry first, Holland America Line guests will soon be able to select from hundreds of fine fabrics and be fitted for custom-tailored garments while they enjoy a premium cruise. Beginning this month Royal Far East Tailors will have representatives on selected sailings to professionally measure and consult with guests desiring to order custom-tailored clothing.

Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas began sailing from the Port of San Diego this month, launching the first of its 19 sailings from the California port between May 19 and September 21.

Carnival Cruise Lines' new 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend will operate a series of 8-day "exotic" Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale, Florida between Nov. 10, 2002 and April 19, 2003, marking the first time the line has deployed a brand new ship to that port. This program was originally scheduled to operate from Miami.

For details of these stories, new itinerary announcements, and more, check the Cruise News Index

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

JOIN US... we've got some Royal Caribbean coming! 

Enchanted Group CruiseAn Enchanted Group Cruise - Great fun, REDUCED fares. Book by May 13th!!! Get your tiaras and tuxedoes ready! 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.

Cruise Diva's May Book Selection

Death by Chocolate: What You Must Know Before Taking a CruiseDeath by Chocolate: 
What You Must Know Before Taking a Cruise

by Ross Klein

Cruise Diva's comments:
Not a guidebook, but a unique look at cruising by a cruise fanatic.

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Make The National Weather Service your source of information for everything you ever wanted to know about hurricanes and weather.

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