SEA VIEWS Newsletter from Cruise Diva Linda Coffman's Cruise Planner
The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

June 30, 2003       

Fabric Africa features what is sure to become the latest trend, the Kikoi! Featured in Town & Country and Vanity Fair magazines, the Kikoi is as beautiful as it is useful. Just the thing for your next cruise.

Southeast Aviation: CLICK HERE for info — 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

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Silver Wind

Silver Wind — Le Champagne Wine & Cigar Room

Tour Silversea Cruises' "New" Silver Wind

The economic aftermath of September 11th hit the travel and tourism industries hard and, as a result, Silversea Cruises' Silver Wind began a hiatus to wait out the stormy seas.

The time she was out of service wasn't wasted, however. Silver Wind has recently emerged from drydock refreshed and rejuvenated after a multi-million-dollar renovation, including the elegant new Saletta restaurant, Le Champagne wine and cigar room, an all-new "Tranquility" Room, and expanded Fitness Center. She also features new furnishings, draperies, and carpets as well as refreshed woodwork. Suite interiors are enhanced with appealing new artwork, draperies, sofas, chairs, headboards, and bedding topped with plush new duvets. In addition, new carpeting is underfoot in many suites, public areas, stairways, and corridors.

Take a PHOTO TOUR of the "New" Silver Wind and discover the hottest trend in spa design—the "Tranquility" Room.

Where's Cruise Diva? Sailing on board Silversea Cruises' SILVER WHISPER. Starting July 1st, follow the Copenhagen to Stockholm Cruise Diary. (Barring any technical difficulties with satellite communications!)

New on! Money, Money, Money — Making dollars & sense out of the Euro. Plus,'s tips for favorable foreign currency exchange.

S/S Norway Update: Norwegian Cruise Line reported the death of an eighth crewmember as a result of the accident onboard the S/S Norway on May 25, 2003. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the U.S. Coast Guard have now completed their on-site investigation although the NTSB has stated that it may take a year to determine the cause of the accident. Norwegian Cruise Line is finalizing repair plans and will soon move the S/S Norway from Miami to a shipyard. NCL will distribute updates as they become available.

Size Matters...

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced it has designs for a new and even more spectacular ship, the "Ultra- Voyager," and it has signed an agreement with shipbuilder Kvaerner Masa-Yards that could lead to a firm order. The agreement anticipates one ship, deliverable in 2006, and one option, for delivery in 2007 or 2008. The Ultra-Voyager would be roughly 15 percent larger in space and in passenger capacity carrying 3,600 guests (double-occupancy), 500 more than its predecessors. At just under 160,000 tons, the Ultra-Voyager would provide more room for passenger facilities and amenities and would produce even greater economies of scale than her predecessors.

In a bit of one-upsmanship, Carnival Corp. & plc Chairman and CEO, Micky Arison disclosed a project he referred to as 'The Ultimate Caribbean Princess.' Arison stated that P&O Princess was contemplating such a vessel prior to their merger and discussions are continuing within the new Carnival Corp. & plc group under the title 'The Ultimate Carnival-Princess Project.' Plans are not firm, but the 'Ultimate' vessel may be in the 170,000-180,000 tons range and carry approximately 3,600-4,000 passengers. Arison added that it would be 2006 or 2007 "when this could theoretically materialize."

Do you know... the Standard Duty-Free Allowance — What is it for you?

Cruise News Briefs:

Under sunny skies in Barcelona, Spain, accolades were spoken and tears were shed as Oceania Cruises’ M/S Regatta was christened. Crowds cheered and applauded, and as a magnum of champagne kissed the hull, Regatta’s horn let forth a thunderous roar. A ship had been christened, but more importantly, a new chapter was opened in the annals of cruise history.

The Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee signed contracts with three cruise lines to secure five ships to serve as "floating hotels" for Super Bowl XXXIX. The Radisson Seven Seas Navigator, Holland America's Volendam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam and the Carnival Miracle will add 3,617 rooms for Super Bowl guests.

A Royal Caribbean ship has made another dramatic rescue of sailors floating alongside their sinking vessels. One week after Radiance of the Seas saved three Canadian fishermen off the western coast of Canada, Nordic Empress conducted an emergency rescue in the Atlantic.

Two notable new-ship christenings are set to take place this summer... Princess Cruises announced that Olympic gold medal-winning figure skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier will christen the line's newest ship, Island Princess, during the first such ceremony ever held in Vancouver. This fall, Whoopi Goldberg will reprise her role as a godmother for Royal Caribbean when she officially names the line's newest ship, Serenade of the Seas, during ceremonies in New York City in August. Goldberg previously served as godmother to Royal Caribbean's Viking Serenade, which left service in 2002.

Under a new partnership with England's prestigious University of Oxford, authors, historians, artists, scientists and celebrities will address a variety of topics during the "Oxford Discovery" series aboard Cunard Line's new Queen Mary 2, scheduled to debut in January 2004.

For the first time ever, Disney Cruise Line plans to include St. Lucia, Antigua and San Juan as scheduled ports of call on select sailings. In another first, Disney plans to embark on a 10-night holiday cruise vacation from Port Canaveral Dec. 18, 2004. Shore excursions for these and all other Disney Cruise Line vacations can now be reserved within 60 days prior to sailing.

Royal Caribbean is enlisting monsters and pirates and a very hungry caterpillar to get young cruisers excited about reading. The line's Adventure Ocean Youth Program has added a new book-focused curriculum to its "edu-tainment" lineup for its younger guests. Just in time for summer, Royal Caribbean's Master Chef Rudi Sodamin shares his ideas for planning, preparing and presenting the perfect party and holiday fare in The Royal Caribbean Intl Holiday & Entertainment Cookbook. The new cookbook is available onboard all Royal Caribbean cruise ships, nationwide at bookstores, and through online book retailers.

Carnival Corporation announced that Carnival Cruise Lines' 1,486-passenger Jubilee will be transferred to P&O Cruises Australia in fall 2004. The 47,262-ton Jubilee, which will be renamed, will be the largest cruise ship based year-round in Australia.

Crystal Cruises has added a comprehensive program of wellness and enrichment to its innovative Creative Learning Institute. Set to debut aboard the new Crystal Serenity next month, it features two of the most preeminent names in health, fitness and well-being—the stature of The Cleveland Clinic and the wisdom of the Tai Chi Cultural Center are combined to create a progressive series of interactive classes, allowing guests to customize a curriculum of courses tailored to their own personal well-being.

Princess Cruises celebrated another addition to the family as it formally took delivery of its newest vessel, Island Princess. The 92,000-ton ship was delivered to the company at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyards in St. Nazaire, France, and is on its way to Vancouver where it will be the first cruise ship ever christened in the Canadian port city, on July 11 at the ship's berth in Canada Place. 

Ultra-luxury small ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line has published a complete cruise guide for voyages aboard the intimate, all-suite Yachts of Seabourn throughout 2004 and the first quarter of 2005. The 116-page, full-color brochure, which was produced in an "album-style" horizontal format, provides complete details of the 208-guest sister ships, along with the array of Signature Delights that provide guests with an exceptionally pampered and all-inclusive onboard experience. The new brochure announces the introduction of several added touches of luxury for 2004.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) heads to California next year when it brings Freestyle Cruising to Los Angeles. Following its first season in Alaska, 2,240-passenger Norwegian Star will reposition to Los Angeles next fall to offer NCL's first regularly scheduled weekly Mexican Riviera cruises beginning Sept. 26, 2004. The exotic itinerary features the industry's only weekly cruise to include the Mexican Rivera's most famous playground, Acapulco, with a full day and overnight stay.

The popularity of Princess Cruises' current schedule of Hawaii cruises has prompted them to more than double its capacity for the upcoming 2004-05 season. The larger Island Princess will now sail on the 15-day round-trip sailings from Los Angeles, in place of the Regal Princess. In addition, the schedule now features five additional sailings, giving the line a total of 15 departures to the island paradise.

Destination cruise specialist Orient Lines will carry its experience-seeking guests far across Europe's broad shores in 2004, offering a collection of 57 separate CruiseTour itineraries sailing from the waters of the Cote d'Azur to the far reaches of the Baltic, Scandinavia and Russia.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

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

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