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Linda Coffman


The Newsletter for Cruise Travelers

October 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...

Selecting Luggage for Your Cruise — Don't get left holding the bag! 

What to consider before making a major luggage purchase. It doesn't have to be top-of-the-line, but it should be well-built to withstand the rigors of conveyors and sorting machines; not to mention being stacked, dropped and thrown through the air.

Did you know airlines are now charging for excess and overweight luggage? Find out what the airline baggage regulations are and how to adhere to them. And finally, we answer the question, "How much luggage can I take on the ship?" (Photo—Carnival Cruise Line logo-inspired luggage collection from TravelPro®; available from eBags)

Where's Cruise Diva? Home from a relaxing cruise on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Sea and reliving the week in the Eastern Caribbean Enchantment Cruise Diary.

Oceana: The first new Cruise Line of the Millennium — Experienced cruise executives, Frank Del Rio and Joe Watters recently announced the formation of Oceana Cruises. Subject to final Board approvals, Oceana has reached an agreement for a long-term charter agreement with options to purchase up to three of the R-class vessels formerly operated by Renaissance Cruises. “Joe and I are ecstatic about the opportunity to work together on founding the first cruise line of the new millennium,” said Del Rio, President & CEO. Watters, Chairman of Oceana, added, “My interest in being a part of this new line was predicated on creating a high quality cruise product that will have great appeal."

The first Oceana Cruises ship will be repainted and upgraded before entering service as Regatta in July 2003. Posh bedding purchased from Four Seasons Hotels and resorts will replace the very firm mattresses that many Renaissance passengers found too hard. The new owners also plan an upscale dining experience for their passengers on par with luxury cruise ships and the area of cuisine is receiving heavy attention. Dining will be open seating and resort casual with no additional charge for alternative restaurants. Fares haven't been announced yet, although we won't see a return to rock-bottom Renaissance pricing. Look for an average per diem of $200 per day for a high quality cruise on some of the world's most beloved ships.

Oceana Cruisers Forum — The message board with info about the new cruise line. Join & interact with Frank Del Rio. My suggestion? Godiva chocolates at turn-down.

Cruise Experiences — SIZE Matters 
What difference does a ship's size make? It's actually a very important consideration in determining the overall cruise experience. Cruise Diva and Armand Mantia join forces to explain why.

Royal Caribbean... snubbed at the altar. The wedding with Princess is going to take place, but the "groom" has changed. While Carnival ultimately won the fair maiden's hand and the November 2001 agreement to merge Princess with Royal Caribbean has now been terminated, Royal Caribbean hasn't been left entirely in the lurch financially speaking. P & O Princess has paid Royal Caribbean the agreed break fee of $62.5 million. Quite a dowry for a marriage that wasn't consummated.

Cruise News Briefs:

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises announced that it has extended its highly successful Simplicity Pricing program to include 50 voyages scheduled between January 3 through June 10, 2003. Simplicity Pricing is an extraordinary savings program that allows guests to save up to 50% off the cruise-only fares of Vista and Veranda Suites.

Royal Caribbean International's Nordic Empress will make its first sailing from the Port of Tampa's brand new Cruise Terminal 3 on November 2nd, while Celebrity Cruises' Horizon will make its first sailing from the new cruise terminal on November 3rd. Plus, Royal Caribbean is offering vacationers even more reason to escape for a long weekend or quick weekday getaway starting next spring, as Enchantment of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas take on new itineraries on either coast.

Carnival Cruise Line took delivery of the new 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest, the largest "Fun Ship" ever constructed, during official ceremonies at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy on October 25th. Carnival Conquest is the first in a new series of ships for the line and becomes the 18th vessel in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet. In addition, Carnival Legend scored perfect 100s from both the U.S. Department of Public Health and Canadian Public Health Service during inspections in Baltimore and Halifax, Nova Scotia, earlier this month. And the new Carnival Conquest will offer a number of all-inclusive romantic wedding packages for couples seeking an unforgettable and unique way to tie the knot.

Seabourn Cruise Line will reward travelers who book and pay a deposit on the same day during the month of November with a $100 per person shipboard credit.

Holland America Line, the world's leading premium cruise line, announces its 2003 deployment, featuring the inaugural seasons of three ships -- the ms Prinsendam, ms Zuiderdam and ms Oosterdam. Holland America's 12-ship fleet will offer 448 five-star cruises ranging in length from three to 108 days and visiting all seven continents and Holland America's cruises will sail from 14 North American home ports in 2003. Featuring four ships in Europe for 2003, Holland America Line will expand the number of Europe cruises it offers to 43 with itineraries varying from the Mediterranean and Baltic to Northern Europe and transatlantic crossings. Sailing Holland America's signature Grand World Voyage in 2003, the flagship ms Amsterdam visits five continents in 108 days and, now, new segments have been created for travelers seeking a world-class cruise but with less time on their hands. In addition,  Holland America recently completed an upgrade on 365 staterooms on board the ms Prinsendam.

After 27 years of service, Princess Cruises has bid Bon Voyage to the Pacific Princess, the original "Love Boat," which has departed on its final voyage, a trans-Atlantic cruise from New York to Rome.

Joan Lunden, long-time co-host of ABC's Good Morning America and current host of A&E's Behind Close Doors & The Real Story, will serve as godmother to Holland America Line's first new Vista-class ship, the ms Zuiderdam, in a ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Dec. 14.

Windstar announced that it is extending its early booking program through December 31, 2002. Exceptional savings on each of 174 cruises scheduled to sail in 2003 are now available through Windstar’s "Early Booking Savings" and "Advanced Savings Advantage Program (ASAP)". Cruises must be booked by Tuesday, December 31, 2002 to take advantage of savings up to $1,000 per couple. Cruise rates and discounts vary by departure date and itinerary.

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

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

Passenger Ship Parade — Don't miss this one! Bart de Boer reviews and photographs the fabulous Silver Cloud during a dream cruise.

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