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


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

June 15, 2003       


So many cruises, so little time...

First Aid Kit


Over the years, I've stubbed my toes, toppled down stairs, and experienced any number of other clumsy little accidents while traveling on cruises. Fortunately, most of my injuries were minor. Unfortunately, they didn't all happen within close proximity of a ship's medical center. As a result, I've learned to be prepared at all times with basic first aid items. My tote bag always contains a few adhesive bandages and a small bottle of waterless antibacterial hand sanitizer, which can also be used to clean small cuts.

For all around care, I've put together a list of first aid and emergency items that I never leave home without. Be prepared for your own small emergencies with's First Aid Kit for cruise travelers.

Where's Cruise Diva? Sailing in July on board Silversea Cruises' SILVER WHISPER. See what's in store for the Copenhagen to Stockholm Cruise Diary.

From the Chicago Sun-Times... Cruise Smart!  Advice from Cruise Diva & other travel experts.

Queen Mary 2: June Progress Report — Construction update: Approximately 1,000 out of 2,017 passenger and crew cabins have been installed, painting of the ship's exterior begins next week, and 60 master plasterers are working on the decorative parts of public room ceilings. Pictured right, the Britannia Restaurant.

Cunard Line and the world famous house of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin have agreed to create an elegant Champagne Bar aboard Queen Mary 2. The elegant, 64-seat venue will be Clicquot’s first and only venture on a cruise ship. In addition, Queen Mary 2 will have the largest wine cellar at sea.

Cruise News Briefs:

As a result of the May 25th accident onboard the S/S Norway, Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled the ship's sailings through Sept. 2003. NCL is fully cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board and United States Coast Guard to understand the cause of the boiler room accident. It has become clearer, with each additional day of inspections, that the repair work is likely to take months rather than weeks. Accordingly, NCL has cancelled three months of cruises and intends to reintroduce the ship on October 5, 2003.

More than 2.2 million worldwide passengers cruised on the member lines of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) during the first quarter of 2003, including more than 1.9 million North Americans. This places the industry on pace to carry more than 8.5 million passengers worldwide in 2003, CLIA reports. "The first quarter results represent a significant 23 percent increase over the number of passengers carried during the same period last year," says Mark Conroy, CLIA chairman and president of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. "We view this as an encouraging vote of confidence in cruising as consumers respond to new ships, itineraries, ports, programs and enhancements, and the consistent value of a cruise vacation."

Crystal Cruises is offering up to 25 per cent off brochure rates plus the choice of a low Business-Class air add-on upgrade from just $299 or an additional $750 cash savings during a 16-day Musical Theatre-themed cruise from London to New York aboard Crystal Symphony. The voyage, which departs August 19, 2003, must be booked by July 1, 2003. Guests traveling aboard the new Crystal Serenity may add an enriching dimension to their world travels by learning a new language during the course of their cruise. Luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has partnered with Berlitz, the world's premier language services firm, to offer a progressive curriculum of complimentary foreign language instruction as part of the line's innovative new Creative Learning Institute (CLI). In addition, Crystal Cruises has announced its 2004 Value Collection sailings allowing savvy travelers the opportunity to plan ahead and realize extraordinary savings of up to 51% off regular cruise fares.

Carnival Cruise Lines' new Carnival Glory will offer a variety of all-inclusive romantic wedding packages, which are ideal for couples seeking a "destination wedding," where a wedding and honeymoon are held at the same location. Carnival Glory's wedding packages will feature a shipboard ceremony during embarkation day or at various on-island locations in the eastern and western Caribbean. The packages are part of Carnival's popular fleetwide wedding program, which is expected to host 2,200 couples in 2003. After the wedding, honeymooners can join other guests for "Rock Down Broadway" and "Livin' in America" - two fast-paced Vegas-style revues which will be featured on the new 110,000-ton Carnival Glory, set to debut in July.

Need a reason to book a cruise? Carnival Cruise Lines is kicking off a new free upgrade promotion combined with extraordinarily low pricing for the fall cruise period on a wide variety of three to eight-day cruises. For a limited time only, guests who book an inside stateroom on a voyage departing between September and mid-December 2003 receive a complimentary upgrade to ocean view accommodations. Those who book an ocean view stateroom receive a free upgrade to an ocean view balcony room.  For guests booked on one of the 50 "Fun Ship" departures from New York this year, including voyages to the Caribbean, Bermuda, New England and Canada, Carnival Cruise Lines has expanded its shore excursion offerings to include more than 120 different choices, everything from deep-sea fishing and kayaking to "helmet diving" and bicycling.

Between May and November, 2003, two of the three magnificent sailing yachts of the Windstar Cruises luxury fleet—the 308-passenger Wind Surf and the 148-passenger Wind Spirit—will be cruising the Mediterranean, taking in eleven countries from Italy to Morocco. Along the way, a wide-ranging program of shore excursions gives passengers many rare opportunities to immerse themselves in this historically rich, artistically diverse, and scenically stunning region.

Royal Caribbean International is helping vacationers discover the explorer within. Through August 16, 2003, adventurous travelers can go to to see if they would have been a stellar addition to Columbus' crew, James Cook's Arctic explorers, John Smith's scouts, or Hernan Cortes' conquistadors -- and then enter the Royal Caribbean "Explorer Sweepstakes" for a chance to win one of four seven- night cruise adventures for two.

For the first time ever, nine-time Tony award- winning director, choreographer, dancer, and singer Tommy Tune has created an original production spectacular specifically for a cruise ship. Holland America Line is proud to present “Tommy Tune’s ‘Paparazzi’”, a musical extravaganza debuting onboard the newly introduced ms Oosterdam in August 2003 and the ms Westerdam in April 2004.

In a move that will increase capacity in Europe by 19,701 berths for 2004,  Cunard Line has announced that it will deploy its world-famous Queen Elizabeth 2 on a series of cruises that sail round-trip from Southampton, England, to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. It has been announced that Cunard Line's beloved Caronia - formerly Vistafjord - will be leaving the fleet in November 2004. To celebrate her farewell season Cunard is making every voyage a gala occasion and anticipates strong demand, especially from past passengers.

Princess Cruises is known for offering choice and customization to passengers aboard its ships, and now this commitment has just gotten stronger with the debut of its newly designed web site, which was enhanced to help guide first-time cruisers in particular, through the cruise vacation decision and buying process. Featuring links to a comprehensive array of information, the site at offers a personalized cruise vacation planning process that begins on the new home page.

There's something about Sweden! Last month Norwegian Cruise Line kicked off what is expected to be Stockholm's busiest cruise season to date. Celebrity Cruises joins Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Silversea Cruises, and other major cruise lines in scheduling Stockholm as a port of call or a turnaround port on their Baltic itineraries. Sweden's cruising capital anticipates welcoming an estimated 210,000 passengers from 220 cruise ships between May 14 and Sept 18, an increase of nearly 26 percent over 2002.

Royal Caribbean International's Monarch of the Seas arrived in Los Angeles after undergoing extensive renovations, including the addition of amenities and activities tailored to West Coast cruisers' tastes, such as expanded spa and fitness facilities and new, California-inspired dining options. Monarch of the Seas will sail from Los Angeles on Fridays and Mondays year-round, offering 3- and 4-night Baja Mexico cruises. Joining Monarch of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International's Vision of the Seas will arrive in Los Angeles on Sept. 28, 2003, to offer 7-night Mexican Riviera itineraries. Meanwhile, on the east coast, Voyager of the Seas will offer alternating 9-night Caribbean and 5-night Canada cruises from New York City from May through October 2004. The sailings mark the first time a Voyager-class ship, the world's largest and most innovative cruise ships, has been home-based outside Florida or San Juan.

One year to the date that Celebrity Cruises introduced an enhanced Captain's Club program with new pre- cruise privileges and onboard perks for repeat guests, the line has introduced another enhancement: the transition to a no-fee membership. As of June 1, 2003, Celebrity's former $35 Captain's Club enrollment fee has been eliminated. All passengers are sure to appreciate the outstanding line-up of guests that Celebrity has added to their 2003 Lecture Series. From a man who walked on the moon to one of America's favorite "Honeymooners," a host of celebrities will be on board to share their stories and unique experiences with their guests.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

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

Did you miss it? How often do you get to sail BENEATH a cruise ship?!? Take a short photo tour between her twin hulls for a close up look at Radisson Diamond's incredible futuristic design.

Cruise Diva's Book Selection:

You Are Here Traveling with

You Are Here Traveling with
by Eric Leebow, with John E. DiScala

Cruise Diva comments: You love! This is the ultimate Internet Travel Guide to get you where you want to go.

Elsewhere on the Internet

Star Batteries — Keep up with your travel companions on your next cruise! Star Batteries offers an Instant Rebate on Motorola Talkabout T5410 two-way radios.

CLICK HERE for 2-way radios & rechargeable batteries — The informational site featuring Priceline and Hotwire for pre- and post-cruise hotel bargains. For anyone who wants to use Priceline, but is confused or simply wants a shortcut for the research and bidding process, there is

Southeast Aviation: CLICK HERE for info

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