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Linda Coffman


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

July 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...

Gentlemen Hosts® — Let The Little Girl Dance!

As I prepared for the Captain's Welcome Aboard Reception on Silver Whisper, song lyrics from my teenage years ran through my mind... "little wallflower on the shelf, standing by herself."

Was it really worth all the trouble to go through the formal night ritual of makeup and hair and a gown and heels? Sailing solo, would I find myself sipping champagne and discussing recipes and grandchildren with other unaccompanied ladies?

I had worried needlessly. Two Gentlemen Hosts® were on board for the entire cruise. Their presence added to the ambiance and social atmosphere of the voyage for everyone, especially for those of us without dancing partners.

If you're uncertain about taking a cruise on your own, explore Sailing Solo with me!

The Silver Whisper Cruise Diary — The "Adriatic Interlude" diary is now complete. Come on along.

The US Virgin Islands — Trouble in America's Caribbean Paradise?

Holland America is the latest cruise line to announce they are bypassing St. Croix for safer harbors. Citing concern for passenger safety, HAL canceled 36 port calls that the Zuiderdam had scheduled for St. Croix in the upcoming season. Last May Carnival Cruise Lines canceled 52 port days scheduled for the Triumph and Victory and Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky has opted not to call at St. Croix either, substituting eight calls in Tortola, British Virgin Islands instead. Lack of passenger demand for the US Virgin Island port and safety concerns were given as reasons for the pullouts.

At present, St. Croix remains on the schedule for next fall and winter for Celebrity Cruises' new Constellation. P&O's German cruise ship, Aida, will make a call on November 19, and Mediterranean Shipping Cruises' Melody will be in St. Croix April 25. Cruzan tourism and government officials are attempting to develop solutions to reverse the cruise lines' decisions to go elsewhere.

It's the Cruise Season for The Mediterranean — Cradle of ancient civilizations and playground of the jet-set, the Mediterranean offers tantalizing sights for history buffs or those who want to sunbathe in the buff.

Cruise News Briefs

Norwegian Cruise Line announced it has added a Parasail Adventure to its Dive-In program offered on the company's private Bahamian Island, Great Stirrup Cay. Passengers can now sail above the pristine waters of the Bahamas either solo or in tandem while being towed by a brand new parasail boat on the beach of Great Stirrup Cay (photo).

Carnival Cruise Lines will for the first time offer five-day cruises from Miami featuring a day-long visit to Belize, one of Central America's most enticing and sought-after destinations, as well as a day in Key West. Beginning Sept. 2, 2002, once every two weeks as part of its regular year-round schedule of four and five-day cruises, the "Fun Ship" Imagination will begin operating the new itinerary.

For 2003, Celebrity Cruises will offer a significantly expanded number of enticing Alaska cruisetour packages operated by Royal Celebrity Tours, while again presenting a full season of seven-night cruise itineraries from Vancouver and Seward on Summit, Infinity and Mercury.

While well-known for its sophisticated entertainment and enrichment roster, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises surprises many with how well it caters to children. The latest enhancement to the line's Junior Activities Program, offered on summer and holiday sailings aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, is the refurbishment of Crystal Harmony's main venue for children's activities, Fantasia.

Following tremendous consumer response to the first "Stop Smoking Caribbean Cruises" aboard Carnival Paradise, the world's only smoke-free cruise ship, Carnival Cruise Lines, the American Lung Association of Connecticut, and Manchester Community College will offer six more of the popular smoking cessation cruises in 2003.

Small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line has teamed with DHL Worldwide Express to provide an optional service that allows cruise guests to ship their personal luggage from their homes directly to their luxurious suites on the intimate Yachts of Seabourn anywhere in the world.

On July 5, 2002 Royal Caribbean International added Brilliance of the Seas to its fleet during in a ceremony in Eemshaven, Netherlands (photo left).

Adding a new innovation, passengers can go paperless with Royal Caribbean's new paperless embarkation system, which allows them to register online before boarding their next cruise. This simplifies the check-in process and makes it easier for passengers to be certain their boarding information is correct. Repeat passengers can ascertain that their Crown & Anchor Membership Number is included to receive all their onboard member benefits.

The good news from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is that 1.7 million cruisers sailed in the first quarter of 2002 and the cruise industry is on track to carry 7.4 million passengers for the year.

SeaDream Yacht Club has announced its 2003 schedules, itineraries, new pricing structure and a “Book Today and Save Program” for its ultra luxury mega yachts SeaDream I and II.

And, finally, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean International have taken their P&O Princess acquisition spat directly to travel agents through a series of phone calls, letters, and faxes. Carnival alleges "scare tactics." Royal Caribbean claims that a Carnival takeover is an anti-competitive move while a Princess/RCI merger will be pro-competitive.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

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

JOIN US... there's still time! An Enchanted Group Cruise - It's not too late! Enchantment of the Seas, our floating castle sets sail on Sunday, October 13, 2002.

Cruise Diva's July Book Selection

Caribbean Ports of Call Western Region
by Kay Showker

Cruise Diva's comments:
Enjoy the splendor of the Western Caribbean with advice from an expert

Elsewhere on the Internet:

There will be Cruise @ddicts CH@OS on the Dawn Princess on January 9, 2003. For details, contact Lori at Skyscraper Tours & Cruises!

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