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Copyright © 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

July 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.

So many cruises, so little time...

Smart Packing For Today's TravelerThe Cruise Diva web site was originally created to share my personal packing lists and thousands of folks have used them as guidelines. Packing for a cruise is different than for any other vacation style. Some of the questions I receive most often are, "How formal IS formal?" and "What's 'smart casual' anyway?" Those pesky dress codes cause considerable confusion! 

Then there is the matter of how to pack wrinkle-free, which luggage to pack your wardrobe in, and all the little details that can make or break your cruise. While I have my packing system pretty well in hand, I'm always open to new ideas and suggestions. It was my recent good fortune to meet Susan Foster, author of Smart Packing for Today's Traveler.

Even an old hand at cruise travel (or travel in general) can certainly learn new tricks and Susan has every one of them covered in her book. She even includes a "Packing for a Cruise" section and it's beautifully illustrated. Susan outlines "layering" for climate changes, takes the worry out of security and health issues, and so much more. Don't just take my word for it, though. Susan's Smart Packing web site includes sample pages of her book and you can preview her suggestions for evening cruisewear. Susan is the Packing DIVA! I can't recommend her book strongly enough.

Is It Planning Time Yet? — For practical considerations to take care of before your cruise, find the info you need at Favorite Planning & Packing Tips and Packing & Lists.

Listen Up! "Cruises for Non-Cruisers" — How often does a person get to meet one of their real life idols? Not very often. However, in my case, it was a thrill to talk with Diana Nyad, one of the world's greatest long-distance swimmers and the hostess of Minnesota Public Radio's weekly Savvy Traveler program. Naturally we discussed cruise travel. Diana considers herself a non-cruiser... how could someone with an affinity for water not like a cruise? I offered Diana a few suggestions for voyages I think she would love. I hope she decides to sail away soon! If you missed the show on National Public Radio, you can still listen to Diana Nyad and the Cruise Diva discuss cruises in RealAudio on the web site.

Summer is Cruise Season in 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.

Princess Cruises: Decisions, Decisions — In a display of disappointment over the clearance by the European Union Commission of Carnival Corporation's hostile bid for P & O Princess Cruises (POPC), last week the Chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean, Richard Fain expressed surprised at the outcome. He said the EU's approval neither concurred with Royal Caribbean's analysis of the cruise industry in Europe nor with earlier reports of the EU inquiry's own findings. 

Just today, Royal Caribbean noted the publication of a letter from Carnival Corporation to POPC requesting a meeting, and of the reply from POPC declining that request. Royal Caribbean remains firmly committed to the consummation of its agreed merger with POPC and is working hard to obtain a clearance for the merger from US anti-trust regulators. Fain stated, "Carnival continues to push for a self-serving definition of the market because it happens to be the only way they can get their deal approved. By Carnival's logic, there could be a single cruise line in the world without causing harm to the consumer. We respectfully decline to accept that 'logic'. Royal Caribbean sees no reason why it should endorse views which it considers to be inaccurate, particularly in light of the fact that no regulatory authority, including the European Commission, has adopted Carnival's position."

Cruise News Briefs

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises announced a revolutionary new way to cruise. Their Personalized Voyages are a unique purchasing option that affords guests the opportunity to custom design their own cruise vacation experience. With Personalized Voyages, guests enjoy the flexibility and convenience of deciding when they want to embark and debark to create their own personal version of the ultimate luxury cruise vacation. Set to debut on Silver Cloud in 2003, guests will be able to determine the length of their voyage based on their own travel desires; embarking and debarking by choice from a selection of over two hundred enticing ports.

Norwegian Cruise Line will expand its Bermuda schedule by sending two ships there in 2003. Norwegian Majesty will sail from Boston and Norwegian Sea from both New York and Philadelphia. Extending its Freestyle Dining concept ashore, for $5, passengers may purchase a $25 lunch voucher from NCL for use in nearly 50 Bermudan restaurants. Or, $10 will buy a $50 dinner voucher. Also new for 2003, Norwegian Wind will  shift its Seattle departure dates for Alaska cruises from Mondays to Sundays. Wrangell, Alaska, will be a new port of call.

Looking for a 2003 Panama Canal Cruise? Holland America Line offers an abundance of choices. How about more Bermuda options? Celebrity Cruises will continue to sail two ships to the coveted island destination of Bermuda during the 2003 cruising season, with departures from both New York and Philadelphia.

Congratulations are in order... Holland America Line captured a prestigious NACOA Award for Customer Service and Carnival Cruise Line was named NACOA's 'Cruise Line of the Year' for the sixth consecutive year. Earning kudos as the best-of-the-best, Crystal Cruises garnered the highest score ever to win Travel + Leisure's 2002 'World's Best' Award for the 7th year in a row, while Silversea Cruises was named the 'Number One' Small-Ship Cruise Line for the 4th time and Holland America Line earned the Top-Rated Major Cruise Line Award for the 3rd time in the same Travel + Leisure readers' poll.

Carnival Corporation has ordered a fourth 110,000-ton 'Conquest-class' vessel for Carnival Cruise Line. The as-yet-unnamed 2,974-passenger vessel, to be built at an approximate all-in cost of $450-460 million (U.S.), is scheduled for delivery in late fall 2005, approximately 14 months after the delivery of the third "Conquest-class" vessel, Carnival Valor.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

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

Join a Group Cruise!  

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

There will be Cruise @ddicts CH@OS on the Dawn Princess on January 9, 2003. For details, contact Lori Cunningham!

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