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The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

October 12, 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...

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian StarTips for Selecting a Cruise Ship Cabin

"What does it matter? I'll only use the cabin for changing my clothes and sleeping!" Ah, I've heard that so many times. However, your cabin is your home away from home and, if you view it as your sanctuary, you will want a bit more than the usual "standard inside."

Cruise ship cabins are not all created equal, but they are all designed for comfort, convenience, and practicality. helps your make the right choice by illustrating the features of inside, outside, balcony staterooms, and suites.

The first rule for cabin selection is: Pick the category and location you will be most satisfied with for smooth sailing on your cruise. Discover your options! (Photo—a balcony cabin on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star)

Where's Cruise Diva? I will be cruising on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Sea next week. Watch for installments of the Cruise Diary, beginning on October 22nd.

Featured Itinerary — Culture, Cuisine, Carnaval! These Tips for South America Cruise Travel are offered by a frequent traveler to some of South America's most popular destinations. Find out more about Cruises to SOUTH AMERICA.

Diamond Princess FireFor Princess Cruises, The Bad News Was that a devastating fire raged through the Diamond Princess in Nagasaki, Japan last week. Under construction at Mitsubishi's Nagasaki Shipyard & Machine Works, the ship was anchored for fitting out at the time of the blaze. It is not clear whether the ship can be salvaged and delivered at a later date. Yasumi Matsuo, the shipyard's general affairs manager, said the damage appeared to extend through the passenger rooms and public spaces from the ship's 5th to 13th decks. The full extent of the damage is still uncertain and the cause of the fire is under investigation. The company expects the ship's delivery date to be significantly delayed and has announced the cancellation of Diamond Princess cruises to Feb 28, 2004. "Obviously, this fire was an unfortunate and unforeseen setback in this vessel's construction," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "We certainly regret any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause some of our passengers and travel agent partners." More Details & Dramatic Photos in Cruise News.

On the Good News Front for Princess Cruises, the United States Federal Trade Commission announced that it would not oppose either the Princess DLC combination with Royal Caribbean or Carnival's takeover proposal. After consulting with its advisers, the Princess Board of Directors concluded that a DLC combination with Carnival is both feasible and financially more attractive than the agreed DLC combination with Royal Caribbean. Therefore, the Princess Board has decided to enter into talks with Carnival to discuss Carnival's DLC proposal. Together with Royal Caribbean, P&O Princess is examining ways of changing their agreement so that their combination can be approved by a simple majority vote, putting the Royal Caribbean merger and the Carnival share exchange offer on a more equal footing so far as shareholder approval is concerned. On the financial front. P&O Princess expects its 2002 profits to be at or above analysts' predictions. Although third quarter results are about 5% below third quarter 2001, they are higher than estimated.

Micky Arison, Chairman and Chief Executive of Carnival, commented: "We are very pleased that P&O Princess has now acknowledged that Carnival's proposal is financially superior and deliverable. We look forward to meeting P&O Princess to discuss a recommended transaction. Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean, said: "We have no doubt that our agreed merger represents a compelling opportunity to create significant value for both P&O Princess shareholders and Royal Caribbean shareholders. Our merger plan offers both our shareholders the best deal for the future." 

It's still up in the air, cruise fans. A real Love (Boat) Triangle. Details in Cruise News

Cruise News Briefs:

The works of masters on a masterpiece ship! Most new ships boast a multi million dollar art collection. On Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) new Norwegian Dawn a single restaurant will feature four original works valued at more than the entire collection of most other ships. In a new development for the cruise industry, NCL is installing a collection of original oil paintings by 20th Century masters Renoir, Matisse, Van Gogh and Monet in its signature Le Bistro restaurant. Elsewhere on the ship is a collection of original Pop Art featuring original signed works by the likes of Andy Warhol. Cruise Diva will cover the christening ceremonies and report back in December!

Windstar will launch its 2003 Caribbean season with new itineraries and significant savings, inviting cruisers to experience new twists and old favorites. Three of Windstar’s four-ship fleet of luxury sailing yachts will ply Caribbean waters on 45 cruises, featuring the 308-passenger Wind Surf and the 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit.

Corrine "Lindy" Clairborne Boggs, former U.S. representative from Louisiana, is to serve as godmother of Carnival Cruise Lines' newest ship, Carnival Conquest, at the official naming ceremony slated for Nov. 19, 2002, in New Orleans. Carnival Conquest will be the line's first vessel inaugurated at the Port of New Orleans, where the ship will be based year-round. Boggs will name the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against the hull in a special ceremony at the port. As the largest "Fun Ship" ever constructed, the 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest will offer an exceptional array of formal and casual dining options, everything from a reservations-only supper club to a pair of two-level main dining rooms, a patisserie and an expansive two-deck-high poolside restaurant with a 24-hour pizzeria, a New York-style deli and Asian and American specialty venues. 

For "Homeland Cruising" fans, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate a series of 2- to 6-day voyages from Charleston, S.C., and Norfolk, Va., aboard the 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory in 2003. According to Carnival President Bob Dickinson, the voyages continue the line's strategy of deploying tonnage near large U.S. population bases to provide residents in those markets with affordable, close-to-home "Fun Ship" cruise vacation options.

Windstar  has announced inviting cruise rates to dreamy destinations for the holiday season. Recently named "Most Exotic Cruise Line" by Recommend Magazine the luxury line is offering savings on exotic journeys that are almost too good to be true. Trust me, they are also the most romantic ships at sea!

Celebrity Cruises makes "California dreamin'" a reality in 2003, introducing the line's first series of 7- to 11-night cruises along the California coast and the Mexican Riviera on the 1,870-guest Mercury. Celebrity's first cruise along the California coast departs round-trip from San Francisco on September 28, 2003

Kids cruising with Royal Caribbean can now see first-hand how closely Crayola crayon colors like Caribbean green and sunset orange compare to their natural namesakes. A new program from Royal Caribbean and Crayola provides children the opportunity to exercise their creativity with crafts such as cultural masks and pottery, while learning about the art, history and culture of the regions they visit on vacation.

Perfecting a successful recipe, Crystal Cruises announced its seventh annual series of Wine & Food Festival cruises with an A-List of the hot young talent and legendary masters headlining today's international culinary arts scene. On 16 luxury cruises in 2003, some of the best names in food and culinary icons will pair with the finest names in wine. And... from the emperors and dynasties to silks and spices, Crystal Cruises returns to Asia in 2003 with four diverse itineraries, each featuring a complimentary three-night land program in Beijing.

Carnival unveiled a new year-round four-port "Exotic Western Caribbean" itinerary from Tampa, featuring Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Belize, which will be introduced in May 2003 on the "Fun Ship" Inspiration. The week-long voyages will depart every Sunday, replacing the Inspiration's current seven-day schedule from Tampa, which will continue through the departure of April 27.

Details of these stories and more in CRUISE NEWS

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

Cruise Diva's Book Selection:

Selling the Sea: An Inside Look at the Cruise IndustrySelling the Sea: An Inside Look at the Cruise Industry
by Bob Dickinson, et al

Cruise Diva's comments:
A peek inside the business from one of cruising's top names

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

Skyscraper Tours--CLICK HERE!

Great Travel Clothes & Gear From our newest sponsor...

Lands EndLands' End — THE source for smart and stylish travel clothing, polos, shorts, swimwear, luggage, accessories and more for the entire family.

Elsewhere on the Internet

Have a travel question or travel problem? Ask Anita! Write to her at

National Hurricane Center — Hurricane season officially runs from June 1st to November 30th. Will your cruise be smooth sailing or storm tossed? Get the info you need.

New York City Pier & Parking — From cruise expert, George Hall. Not only does he offer directions, his instructions are illustrated.

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