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Linda Coffman


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

August 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...

How Will You Handle Flying Now? "Homeland Cruising" has become a buzzword in the cruise industry during the past year and many of us have taken to the road to reach our embarkation ports. For some fearful flyers, security isn't an issue, it's just one of many aspects of flying that cause sweaty palms and heart palpitations. 

With the one year anniversary of the September 11th attacks upon us, many people feel renewed anxieties about flying. If you have an upcoming flight, how will you deal with your jitters?  Captain Stacey Chance has compiled ten valuable tips from the free online Fear of Flying Help Course he developed and offers them to the readers of in his insightful article.

And, lest we forget, Doug Lindsey described what it was like to be a cruise passenger en route to the United States from Europe that fateful day. In Flight from Amsterdam on 9/11 is his account of the events as they unfolded as a US Airways flight diverted to Halifax.

Cruise Diva on USA TODAY's "Talk Today" — It was my pleasure to answer questions posed by the readers of USA Today on August 20th. If you missed the live chat, you can click HERE for the transcript. Thanks to everyone who wrote in—the response was overwhelming—there were over 150 questions and I'm sorry if I didn't get to yours! 

Featured Itinerary — TAHITI — "Where love lives!" Born of volcanic violence, the islands typify an earthly paradise with unrivaled beaches and lush tropical scenery. Few other places on earth come so close to perfection.

Whatever happened to 'Project America'? The rumor was true—Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that it will add another 2,000-guest ship purpose-built for Freestyle Cruising to its rapidly modernizing fleet. The yet-to-be-named ship will be delivered in spring of 2004 in time for the summer season. NCL has contracted with Northrop Grumman Ship Systems to buy all of the materials and equipment and the work performed to date on the two "Project America" vessels under construction at Northrop's Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi. The substantially completed hull of the first vessel, plus all of the associated equipment and materials, will be transported to Europe, where work will be completed in one of the major cruise ship building yards. NCL is in advanced discussions with European yards to determine which one will complete the ship.

"The acquisition of the 'Project America' assets was prompted by the success of Freestyle Cruising, the tremendous reception we have had to Norwegian Sun and Star, and the need to add ships as soon as possible after the delivery of Norwegian Dawn, our last scheduled new build, in December 2002," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL. The original design of the "Project America" ship has been modified and will sail under the NCL brand as the latest addition to the company's revolutionary Freestyle Cruising fleet. "We were impressed with the initial creative design of the ship," Veitch said. "Now with the changes we have made, she will be an outstanding addition to our fleet, bringing to four the number of new purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships we will introduce between 2001 and 2004."

Enter to win a cruise! "Sail Away to the Caribbean With Folger's Jakada" - Info on contest in Cruise News

Cruise News Briefs:

For a limited time Windstar is combining "Early Booking Discounts" (EBD) with its "Advanced Savings Advantage Program" (ASAP) to offer exceptional savings on each of 174 unique cruises scheduled to sail in 2003. Cruises must be booked by Tuesday, October 15, 2002 to take advantage of EBD savings from $200 to $500 per person, up to $1,000 per stateroom. Cruise rates and discounts vary by departure date and itinerary. The combined EBD and ASAP discounts represent savings from 25 to 60 percent off brochure tariffs on every 2003 cruise aboard the luxury lines fleet of four sailing yachts.

For a tiny startup operation that went into business a year ago at just the wrong time (Sept. 1, 2001), SeaDream Yacht Club isn’t doing too badly. Larry Pimentel. CTC, SeaDream’s Chairman and CEO explains their vision and the secrets of their success. And where does SeaDream Yacht Club go from here? “It will be more of the same only better,” Pimentel said.

Holland America Line announced its 2003 May through October Canada/New England cruise schedule of 12 departures that combine destination rich ports with renowned cultural and historical diversity with cruise departures from convenient gateways in Boston, New York and Montreal.

Carnival Cruise Lines will for the first time operate a series of seven week-long Bermuda cruises round-trip from New York on the Carnival Pride, which entered service in January 2002. Additionally, the line will again in 2003 offer two six-day Bermuda cruises from both Philadelphia and Baltimore on the Carnival Legend. "It has been our desire for many years to offer an extensive schedule of voyages to Bermuda and we are pleased to be operating 11 cruises from three different departure points on the two newest, most spectacular ships in this market," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.

Planning a cruise vacation with Royal Caribbean? Looking to making a few new friends? Royal Caribbean International has teamed up with Cruise Critic, the leading online cruise community, to bring consumers the latest in cyber community innovations: Royal Caribbean/Cruise Critic Parties.

Ultra luxury small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line has unveiled an initial roster of celebrities and experts who will participate in the line's celebrated Dress Circle onboard enrichment program on every cruise this year and next. They comprise a veritable Who's Who of personalities from the fields of music, theater, film, television, journalism, literature, history, geography, politics, food and wine.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that its new up and coming star, Norwegian Dawn, the sister-ship to Norwegian Star and the third ship purpose-built for Freestyle Cruising, is on schedule to be delivered to NCL on Dec. 5, 2002. The 91,740-ton Norwegian Dawn, now under construction at the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Germany, will sail from Southampton, England on Dec. 7th, arriving in New York City on Dec. 14, 2002. NCL will roll out the red carpet for its inaugural festivities in New York and Miami before the ship begins her regularly scheduled sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from the port of Miami on Dec. 21, 2002.

In a cruise industry first, Crystal Cruises is introducing a progressive curriculum of complimentary French and Spanish instruction on Crystal Symphony's 104-day 2003 World Cruise, its newest addition to the grand voyage's substantial enrichment roster. In addition, Crystal Cruises is launching its strongest early booking incentive for next year's cruise lineup. The "Best of Everything" promotion offers up to $1,000 in savings per stateroom on new bookings made between now and Dec. 31, 2002 for more than a third of Crystal's 2003 voyages. Eligible cruises include itineraries in the Panama Canal/Caribbean, Orient, Europe, as well as Trans-Atlantic and Pacific sailings aboard Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony, and the line's newest ship, Crystal Serenity, launching in July 2003.

"Full Steam Ahead!" On Aug. 26, the authentic steam-powered paddle wheeler Delta Queen commemorated 75 years of service by setting sail from New Orleans on her 2002 inaugural journey. The anniversary cruise was the first since the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, America's continuously operating cruise line, was acquired in May by Delaware North Companies (DNC), a global leader in hospitality, retail and food service management.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

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

Cruise Diva's August Book Selection

Smart PackingSmart Packing for Today's Traveler by Susan Foster

Cruise Diva's comments: The very BEST packing advice & it's all beautifully illustrated in one book. An absolute MUST for every traveler! The cruise section is terrific.

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

SEA VIEWS is brought to you by...

Southeast Aviation - CLICK HERE!

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Magellan's Catalog — If you're a serious traveler, you'll appreciate their wide selection of gear, from luggage to electrical gadgets and health needs. Shop online with confidence for all your travel accessories.

Elsewhere on the Internet

Elliott - A rich online resource for travelers. Just search the site for "cruises" to read Chris Elliott's cruise-related columns and commentary. -  Your online portal to everything related to travel. Find the links you need and sign up for John Discala's newsletter for all the latest travel info. Here's a tip... find all the toll-free phone numbers you need for cruise lines, airlines, taxi services, hotels, and car rental agencies from JohnnyJet's' home page.

Signature Cuisine - Serve your friends and family a signature dish savored by passengers aboard one of the world’s leading cruise lines. The renowned chefs who created them teach you how.

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Illustrations courtesy of, Captain Stacey Chance, Smart Travel Press, Southeast Aviation, & Magellan's