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News from the world of cruise travel ~
February 16-28, 2003

For schedule changes & departure information on a specific cruise line or port of call, please select Latest Updates by Cruise Line

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Explorer of the Seas Fire Damages Upper Deck

Feb. 28, 2003 -- Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas experienced a fire of unknown origin at approximately 3:00 am Thursday morning. Discovered quickly and extinguished in under a half hour by crewmembers, damage appears confined to the vessel's Explorer Dunes miniature golf course, inline skating track, and children's water slide. Guests were not summoned to muster stations and no injuries were reported.

The 3,114-passenger Explorer of the Seas continues its Eastern Caribbean itinerary as scheduled and will return to Miami Saturday when clean up and repair crews will board the ship. A Royal Caribbean representative expects damaged areas aft on Deck 13 to remain inaccessible to passengers during the ship's next weekly cruise.

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Optional Supplemental Coverage Provides Cruise Credit For up to One Year

MIAMI, Feb. 28, 2003 -- Seabourn Cruise Line has announced a new, supplemental option to the line's SeabournShield travel insurance that will allow guests to cancel bookings for any reason. Guests who opt for the new SeabournShield Plus coverage can cancel within the published penalty period up to 24 hours prior to departure. Under the terms of the policy, which is available for sale starting today, guests who cancel will receive a cruise credit equal to 90 percent of the paid fare that can be used on any Seabourn cruise departing within one year of the original departure date.

"A Seabourn cruise vacation is all about relaxation," noted Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "We created SeabournShield Plus to allow our guests to relax and enjoy the process of planning their cruise vacations."

SeabournShield Plus is sold at a non-refundable premium of $295 per person. It must be purchased at the time of deposit as an added option on the comprehensive SeabournShield travel policy that covers cancellation or interruption for medical reasons, emergency medical transportation, baggage damage or delay and other contingencies.

The coverage is available for Seabourn cruises of any length departing between June 1 and December 31, 2003. Guests with existing bookings for eligible cruises may take advantage of the coverage by purchasing the insurance package by March 7, 2003. 
Full details of the policy terms and conditions are available on Seabourn's website at or by dialing Fax On Demand at 1-888-732-2687 and referencing document #802. For more information on The Yachts of Seabourn contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391.

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Package Includes Complimentary Princess Travel Care Insurance with ‘Cancel for Any Reason' Coverage ~ Free Upgrades from Inside to Outside/Outside to Balcony

The dream of a European cruise vacation is more affordable than ever this summer with Princess Cruises' "Ultimate 2 for 1" sale on Mediterranean cruises. The special promotion includes two-for-one fares on all Princess Mediterranean sailings, plus complimentary Princess Travel Care[SM] insurance that offers "cancel for any reason" coverage. The program also provides free cabin upgrades from inside to outside, or outside to balcony staterooms. Two-for-one pricing applies to both cruise fares and deposits, and also to Cruise Plus® packages for those who choose a pre- or post-cruise stay in Barcelona. The "Ultimate 2 for 1" promotion also includes a coupon book good for discounts on onboard services for every Mediterranean booking. The two-for-one pricing fares begin at $1,295 per person.

"We're making it more enticing than ever to cruise Europe this summer with these great fares," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "Plus, recognizing the current travel climate, we've added in complimentary Princess Travel Care to ensure our passengers feel comfortable with booking a cruise now, knowing they can cancel any time they wish."

Princess Travel Care is among the few travel protection plans that allow passengers to choose to postpone their vacation for any reason they wish. The plan ensures that passengers receive 100 percent cash reimbursement of non-refundable cancellation fees in the event a covered illness, injury or other specified event forces them to cancel their vacation. In addition, passengers who choose to delay their vacation for any reason not reimbursable under the insurance portion of the plan will recover 75 percent of their cancellation penalty as a future cruise credit provided by Princess. Passengers can cancel at any time up until departure to be eligible for cash or credit reimbursement. More extensive coverage is also available through Princess Travel Care Gold.

Princess will offer 11 sailings aboard Golden Princess departing May 5 through September 2. Its famed 12-day Grand Mediterranean itinerary between Barcelona and Venice offers an overnight at both ports, plus calls at Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa, Naples/Capri, Athens, Ephesus and Istanbul.

For passengers sailing to or from Barcelona, special two-for-one pricing makes it more affordable than ever to enjoy an extra day or two exploring the city's whimsical Gaudi architecture, the Gothic Quarter or the shops of Las Ramblas. Packages feature one or two nights at the Fira Palace Hotel or Le Meridian Barcelona, and begin at $159.

Two other Princess ships are also sailing the Europe region this summer. Regal Princess will offer nine Scandinavia/Russia sailings, taking in the best of the Baltic seacoast. Royal Princess sails on an extended Europe season with 19 Connoisseur cruises, featuring the widest range of itinerary choices in the cruise industry. Routes include the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, the British Isles, and the Norwegian Fjords.

Altogether, Princess' three-ship European season features a wide variety of choices, with 24 different itineraries featuring 70 distinct ports of call. Cruisetour options are available for many sailings, creating a complete land/sea vacation that allows passengers to explore many of the region's most popular cities and attractions.

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Miami, FL, Feb 26, 2003 – Oceania Cruises announced today that it has published its 2003 European Collection brochure highlighting the inaugural season sailings of REGATTA and INSIGNIA to Western Europe, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean. The full color brochure highlights Oceania Cruises’ distinctly different approach to cruising. From unparalleled personalized service made possible by one of the industry’s highest guest-to-staff ratios, to the myriad of dining options, inspired cuisine created by world renowned master chef Jacques Pepin and the causally elegant on board atmosphere, the brochure fully illustrates Oceania Cruises’ commitment to providing the best value in luxury cruising. 

Oceania Cruises features overnight port stays in Barcelona, Bordeaux, Cadiz (Seville), Copenhagen, Istanbul, Lisbon, Livorno, Rome, St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Venice allowing guests more time to immerse themselves in the local history and culture of Europe’s star ports. 

“Our mid-size vessels are perfectly suited to visiting the many charming ports and cosmopolitan cities we’ve selected as part of our inaugural season, and we’re please to be able to offer such comprehensive itineraries at extraordinarily affordable fares,” stated Bob Binder, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Oceania Cruises. 

Oceania Cruises features two intimate and luxurious 684 passenger ships, REGATTA and INSIGNIA. Oceania Cruises’ hallmarks are an unsurpassed culinary experience, a casually elegant atmosphere and unparalleled personal service coupled with extraordinary value. For additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

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Crystal Cruises Expands Computer University@Sea Program
State-Of-The-Art Labs, New Equipment and a Host Of Enriching Classes Offered

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 -- Crystal Cruises, a pioneer in the cruise industry for providing guests with regularly scheduled computer instruction and e-mail capabilities, has rewired its acclaimed program to offer even more high-tech opportunities at sea. Computer University@Sea, offered since 1997 aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, now features new state-of-the-art computers, an increased number of computers, 24-hour Internet access from every lab computer and from every stateroom. In addition, the luxury line has expanded its computer instruction with a complimentary 30-course curriculum. From basic computer skills on e-mail, Word, Excel and even understanding your hand held organizer to advanced digital photo finishing and website design, a dedicated team of instructors guide guests on a journey of discovery on every Crystal cruise.

"With e-mail and the Internet being an integral part of today's way of life, we have made a significant commitment to provide the most progressive and comprehensive communications program at sea, complete with leading technology and high-tech equipment," says Bret Bullock, Crystal's vice president, entertainment. "Our staff of professionally trained computer experts has created our most extensive curriculum to date, allowing guests to choose a course of study suited to their own personal and professional enrichment."

While Crystal boasts more computers per guest than any other ship, guests can bring their own laptops and have them configured for in-stateroom Internet access or rent laptops for only $5 per day. Private instruction is also available. New laptops and desktops in the Computer University@Sea labs are configured for Internet access, allowing guests to not only explore cyberspace, but also to send or retrieve e-mail instantly via their own Internet e-mail system or Internet service provider. Guests also retain the option of sending/receiving e-mail through the ships' e-mail service.

Haven't had the time on shore to learn PowerPoint or master surfing the Internet? Crystal's Computer University@Sea utilizes the user-friendly Windows XP Professional operating system with 30 different complimentary courses tailored for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. Among the varied courses offered:

    * Letter Wizard -- learn to create more formal documents using editing
       and style tools
    * Build a Better Budget -- create spreadsheets for a budget with
       credit, debit and balance columns with Excel
    * Design -- create greeting cards, invitations, business cards, flyers
       and postcards
    * Personalized Calendar Builder -- create a family calendar for loved
    * Digital Photo Finishing -- download and edit images, create animated
       images and special effects
    * Web Page Design -- learn to build web pages

Beginning in May, Crystal's Computer University@Sea features a new Internet Lecture Series with instruction on how to most effectively surf the web. Instructors will call up both good and bad sites, advise what guests need to know before submitting personal information and credit card information, and show useful websites to research stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments. Additionally, each ship has two webcams, one in the lab and one on the bridge, so friends and family at home can check in on life at sea aboard any one of Crystal's three ships.

Crystal's around-the-clock Internet capabilities augment many other onboard information services that keep guests up to date on the latest news and information from around the world. Guests can watch CNN, CNBC and ESPN 24 hours a day in most destinations, read daily summaries of The New York Times and receive free delivery of USA Today in most ports.

Crystal's two, 50,000-ton sister ships, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, are among the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising the world today. The line's newest ship, Crystal Serenity, is set to debut in July 2003. At 68,000 tons, Crystal Serenity will feature an even greater space-per-guest ratio than her sister ships. Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary copy of the 2003 Cruise Atlas, call 800.820.6663. Visit their website:

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Presidential Approval Clears Way for Norwegian Cruise Line to Offer
New Inter-Island Hawaii Cruise Service
New service will create first U.S.- flag cruise ship in nearly 50
years and revive Project America

Miami, Feb 24, 2003 -- Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will revive Project America as a US flagged and US manned operation for inter-island Hawaii cruise service with President Bush's approval Friday of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2003. The Act contains a cruise ship provision championed by Senator Daniel K. Inouye that will create thousands of jobs for US and Hawaii residents and provide a significant boost to the Hawaii economy.

This measure will allow NCL to use the Project America vessels and one existing cruise ship to serve the Hawaii Islands with inter-island cruise service. The vessels will be U.S.-flagged, and 100 percent US crewed, generating more than $800 million in economic benefits for Hawaii and the US, and 20,000 jobs including 10,000 plus jobs for Hawaii residents of which some will be 3,000 US seafaring jobs, according to a recent Price Waterhouse Coopers report.

"This is an exciting and innovative new product for NCL and we look forward to providing high-quality U.S.-flag cruise service in the Hawaii islands," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "We applaud Senator Daniel Inouye and Representative Neil Abercrombie for their support for the legislation, which will create thousands of American jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits to Hawaii and the United States."

"Friday's approval of Senator Inouye's Hawaii cruise ship initiative is a great opportunity for us to achieve three goals in one," Veitch said. "1) We are able to expand our Hawaii operations, offering cruise customers an ever broader array of options; 2) we remain on track with our goal of adding one new ship per year since 2000; and 3) most satisfying of all, we will have the honor of being the first company in nearly 50 years to hoist the Stars and Stripes above a new ocean-going passenger ship. The Project America ship will be a great addition to our fleet and another outstanding example of our innovative Freestyle Cruising concept, with open-seating main dining rooms, multiple dining choices (nine restaurants), over 700 private balcony staterooms, state-of-the-art entertainment venues, three pools, extensive children's facilities and an abundance of spacious public rooms."

NCL recently reached an agreement with Lloyd Werft of Bremerhaven, Germany, to complete work on the first ship. The design of the vessel has been modified for Freestyle Cruising as well as to upgrade its original safety and environmental specification. After a series of cruises and introductory activities on her way from the shipyard to her homeport of Honolulu, the new ship will begin offering regular service in Hawaii by early summer 2004. In August 2002, NCL purchased from Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) the partially completed hull of the first Project America ship plus all the materials and equipment and the work performed to date on both on both Project America vessels under construction at NGSS's Ingalls Shipyard in Mississippi. The hull and the associated equipment and materials were towed to Europe under Lloyd's Werft's supervision in November last year.

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Princess Builds on Success of Its Customer-Service 
Oriented Website
On-line Shore Excursion Reservations Now Available Months in Advance of Sailing; Passengers Who Book Early Have Extra Opportunity to Assure First Choice Tours

SANTA CLARITA, CA - Feb. 24, 2003 - How does the cruise line which pioneered the concept of pre-reserving shore excursions online celebrate the second anniversary of this popular and innovative feature? By expanding on it. Princess Cruises announced today that its successful online booking function has been newly updated, offering passengers who log on to more information and more choices than ever before. 

For those passengers seeking the ease of online travel arrangements, shore excursion reservations can now be made as early as four to six months in advance of the voyage--more than double the 60 day time frame previously available. Once logged in, passengers can view all the shore excursions available for an individual itinerary, which can be up to 30 options per port; locate specific excursions using a special search tool; and access detailed descriptions of each tour. Copies of the complete shore excursion brochures for various destinations can also be downloaded from the site. Passengers who take advantage of pre-reserving their shore excursion selections online will find their tour tickets waiting for them in their staterooms upon boarding.

"Being the first to offer passengers an easy and convenient way to reserve shore excursions electronically in advance of their trip was a great example of Princess innovation," said Dean Brown, executive vice president of customer service and sales. "Making the most of the technology available online to provide passengers with easy-to-use, detailed information about our products, including 'round-the-clock access to electronic versions of our brochures, illustrates Princess' commitment to customer service."

Shore excursions can be reserved online through the Cruise Personalizer(SM) function on This exclusive feature also enables passengers to fill out necessary pre-cruise forms and make requests related to their cruise well in advance of the sailing. In addition to securing space on tours, passengers can customize their cruise by noting medical or dietary considerations and informing Princess about special celebrations taking place during the voyage. There are options for filling out immigration documents, providing emergency contact information, registering a credit card for use with an onboard account, arranging to send a gift or simply sending comments.

Beyond Cruise Personalizer, has a host of unique and innovative features and options designed to simplify the vacation planning process. First-time cruisers will love the "Plan Your Voyage" section, which offers itinerary suggestions based on the user's travel preferences. The "Destinations" section, which recently made its debut with a comprehensive guide to Alaska*, can help even the most seasoned veteran make informed choices, placing them inside the adventure using 360-degree photo technology. And for those who need up-to-the-minute details on a destination, or simply want to follow along from home, the site's network of bridge cams continues to transmit live images from cameras mounted to each of Princess' 11 vessels.

*The Destinations section will be expanded in coming months to incorporate in-depth information on all Princess service regions.

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MIAMI (2/24/03) - Carnival Cruise Lines' newest "Fun Ship," Carnival Glory, takes colors as its central design theme, with each public room celebrating a different shade of the rainbow. The 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger Conquest-class ship is slated to debut July 19, 2003, from Port Canaveral, Florida.

"The central idea of colors is fundamentally felt by people," explained Carnival's interior architect Joe Farcus. "All of the public rooms center around the idea of color, which is reflected in the name and the décor, and the overall effect will be spectacular in a quiet, unassuming way."

The kaleidoscope of colors begins in The Colors lobby, where one finds the Color Bar and the main atrium, named Old Glory, featuring interpretative paintings of U.S. flags. Enhancing the ship's kaleidoscope Boulevard promenade, as well as the atrium, are one-square-meter polished aluminum light fixtures faced with white glass. Each fixture is subdivided into geometric modules that are backlit with trips of red, blue and yellow LED lights. The result is thousands of different tones in slow-moving kaleidoscopic effects that offer a sense of motion as the lights modulate between colors.

The Colors Atrium alone houses some 70 of the lighting modules, but more spectacular is the way the kaleidoscope concept is presented on the towering atrium wall. The wall itself is silver with an array of light projectors mounted on the opposite wall that illuminate abstract shapes. With approximately 20 stage lights shining on the surface in constant motion, Farcus said the effect creates "a giant, constantly evolving abstract painting that never repeats a pattern."

Carnival Glory's main show lounge is the Amber Palace, named after Russia's famous Amber Room, a gift by Frederick the First of Prussia to Peter the Great in 1715. For Glory's Amber Palace, Farcus chose mosaics of amber for the walls along with design touches that include fancy rococo moldings, gold leaf columns with female figures, candelabra, cornices and a "double eagle" image of Russian lore, and paintings of famous Russian czars and czarinas. The famed Silver Temple and Golden Temple in Kyoto, Japan, are the inspiration for the Platinum and Golden Dining Rooms. The restaurants employ a distinctive decagon-shaped window frame, while LED lights in V-shaped concave ceiling fixtures provide color-changing effects similar to those in the atrium and promenade. Wall coverings feature a pattern of traditional Japanese bonsai peony trees and flowers painted on silver- or gold-leafed backgrounds.

The Camel Club Casino features an Egyptian motif - not ancient Egypt, but the era of exploration when Napoleon Bonaparte invaded the country. Life-sized kneeling camels greet visitors at entrances, and sandstone-like friezes of camel heads are found on the ceiling and slot bases. Statues of the jackal-faced god Anubus, papyrus-like columns, and Middle Eastern tent-style ceilings add to the atmosphere. The design of the White Heat Dance Club is "Liberace-like," according to Farcus, in the form of candles-gigantic white candles 12 to 18 inches in diameter in silver candelabra bases ranging from two to five feet tall. The candles' "flames" are clusters of fiber-optic lights, and scattered around the room are smaller candles on silver trays. Carnival's trademark "video wall" displaying live shots from the dance floor and special effects is also featured.

One deck below the disco is the Ivory Club, featuring an Indian theme set off with elephant tusk replicas, intricate wall coverings with spindles and ivory-like squares, windows inset with mosaics of faux semi-precious stones, and a wood-paneled ceiling with embossed brass beams. The bar front sports elephant faces in bas-relief, and the barstools and table bases replicate elephant feet. Cinn-A-Bar, Carnival Glory's piano bar, offers a contemporary look in stylish reddish-brown hues. Panel-like columns, flat on the sides and concave on the face, curve up to a chrome band that extends from the top of the column in waves and connects the columns across the room. Walls are of curved aluminum with wavy streaks and anodized in cinnabar color. Bar Blue is, appropriately, the ship's jazz bar. The main features of the walls are giant peacock feathers that extend from the floor almost to the ceiling. The "eye" of the feather is glazed with colored glass backlit with a soft incandescent light. The peacock feather motif is also found in the Tiffany-style glass ceiling and on the parquet dance floor.

The Ebony Cabaret has an African atmosphere, with dark ebony walls and ceilings, and hand-carved and painted authentic wooden African masks mounted in copper-like frames. Table bases and barstools are in the shape of carved wooden heads, and tabletops feature batik fabric laminated under a clear finish. There is also an elaborate mirrored geometric design over the dance floor. On the Green, the sports bar, celebrates the centuries-old game of golf, with vitrines containing clubs and other memorabilia from the sport's legends. Each vitrine is topped by a stained-glass golf hole flag, which also adorns the plush leather sofas surrounding the room. Walls feature murals of famous golf courses, and barstools and table bases are half-golf balls on tees. Fabrics are Tartan green plaid, paying homage to golf's Scottish origins.

The Black & White Library features three-foot checkerboard wood squares in alternating black and white patterns and medium-tone wood bookcases. Framed on the walls are the front pages of famous newspaper headlines. Black-and-white ceiling panels and light fixtures continue the theme. Wood-louvered shutters cover the windows.

The Red Sail Restaurant, a casual poolside eatery, offers a sailboat motif with highly varnished pine masts, sails, chrome hardware and light fixtures and a wood-beam ceiling. Teak railing, false portholes, stainless steel stanchions and large half-sailboat models carry on the theme, and vitrines located throughout the room contain small sailboat models under glass. Carnival Glory's reservations-only supper club, the Emerald Room, features shiny, cobalt-blue walls and lighting fixtures resembling giant emeralds, which also are found in the ceiling and in a continuous cove molding around the room. A huge medallion on the wall is made up of hundreds of these light fixtures, creating a single massive emerald.

Beginning July 19, 2003, Carnival Glory will operate year-round seven-day sailings from Port Canaveral, with alternating eastern and western Caribbean voyages departing every Saturday. Eastern Caribbean cruises will call at Nassau, St. Thomas/St. John, and St. Maarten, while western Caribbean voyages will include Key West, Fla.; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel and Progreso/Merida, Mexico.

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Carnival Updates Beverage Policies

There's something new on Carnival Cruise Lines' web site that hasn't been "publicly" announced in a press release. Under the FAQs section...

What are your alcohol and consumption policies?

Effective February 2003:

Guests are prohibited from bringing beverages of any kind (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) on board the ship for consumption. This includes: sodas, juices and bottled water.

However, we will make the following exception:  If guests are celebrating a special occassion on board, they may bring ONE sealed bottle of wine or champagne per cabin. If the wine and/or champagne are brought to the Dining Room for consumption, a $10.00 corkage fee will be charged to the guest. Otherwise, the guest may drink the wine and/or champagne in the privacy of their cabin only. It may not be brought into any public lounge or room.

Alcohol purchased in a port-of-call: Alcoholic beverages purchased in any port-of-call will be appropriated at the gangway and stored onboard until the last night of the cruise, upon which it will be delivered to the guest’s cabin.

Alcohol purchased in ship gift shops: Alcoholic beverages of any kind purchased in the ship's gift shop will also be stored onboard and delivered to the guest's cabin on the last night of the cruise.

Consumption of alcohol on board: The minimum age for the purchase and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages while on board is 21 years of age. In the event that Bar/Restaurant/Gift Shop Staff are in question that the guest is under 21, they shall request picture identification prior to serving said guest.

Note: The legal drinking age onboard is 21 and is strictly enforced. We do not allow the purchase of drinks or bottles of liquor by adults for minors. Possession of alcohol by a minor will not be tolerated and any found will be confiscated, even if found in cabin.

Source: Carnival Cruise Line

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Miami, FL, Feb 20, 2003 – Oceania Cruises is launching Sea of Assurance, an optional new insurance upgrade allowing guests to postpone their cruise for absolutely any reason up until 24 hours prior to departure, and receive a 100% cruise credit valid for any sailing within 36 months. Sea of Assurance is available on all cruises aboard Regatta and Insignia, departing between July 5 and October 31, 2003.

“At Oceania Cruises, the comfort, safety and security of our guests is paramount and we recognize that our they want reassurance and peace of mind in times of uncertainty” stated Frank Del Rio, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises. “This new program affords our guests the ability to change their travel plans at any time and gives them three years to rebook on a new sailing”.

The new program is available as an upgrade to the line's standard Travel Protection Program which covers trip cancellation and interruption for medical reasons and a range of other emergency assistance services. The cost to upgrade to the Sea of Assurance program from Oceania Cruises' standard Travel Protection Program is an additional $149 per guest. The future cruise credit may be applied towards a new sailing on a space available basis, 90 days prior to departure.

Oceania Cruises features two intimate and luxurious 684 passenger ships, REGATTA and INSIGNIA. Oceania Cruises’ hallmarks are an unsurpassed culinary experience, a casually elegant atmosphere and unparalleled personal service coupled with extraordinary value. For additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Offers Chance to 'Sweep Up' $50,000 Shirt; Carats & Cruise Sweepstakes Features Diamond-Studded T-Shirt

MIAMI, Feb. 20 -- The white T-shirts that distinguish Celebrity Cruises' latest ad campaign made headlines in part due to their sheer simplicity. But one new Celebrity T-shirt is anything but simple. In sharp contrast to the balance of the sought-after shirts, this one is studded with diamonds and has a total retail value of more than $50,000.

"The T-shirts featured in our ad campaign met with such unanticipated demand that we've made them available on our web site," said Celebrity's Senior Vice President of Marketing Steve Hancock. "Now, we thought it would be great fun to offer a prize package that is as extraordinary as the response to our campaign has been."

Celebrity's "gem" of a T-shirt is only part of a grand prize package that ultimately will be awarded to the winner of the line's "Carats & Cruise Sweepstakes," running now through April 15, 2003. The grand prize package also includes a cruise for two on any Celebrity ship and itinerary of the winner's choice, with the best suite accommodations available, round-trip first-class air, and a $2,500 onboard credit for use as the winner chooses.

In addition to the grand prize, a seven-night Celebrity Caribbean cruise for two also will be awarded on a weekly basis throughout the sweepstakes' duration. For more information, or to enter the sweepstakes, visit the Celebrity web site at

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Kids Sail Free on Nine Crystal Cruises Itineraries to Alaska
Comprehensive Junior Activities Program Compliments Family Vacation Experience

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 19 -- Children 12 and under will sail free all summer long to Alaska and be treated to an ambitious Crystal Cruises Junior Activities Program aboard the 940-guest Crystal Harmony. From just $1,995, Crystal's Alaska season commences May 23 with a 10-day Vancouver-San Francisco sailing. The remaining eight voyages, all 12-day roundtrip sailings from San Francisco, depart June 2 & 14, July 8 & 20, August 1, 13 & 25 and September 6. Kids 12 and under sail free when sharing the same stateroom with two adults. Crystal Harmony is the only Six-Star rated ship cruising roundtrip from San Francisco to Alaska.

"Because we are so well known for our service, fine dining and sophisticated entertainment, it may come as a surprise to some that we offer a Junior Activities Program," says Adam Leavitt, Crystal's senior vice president, marketing. "As family and extended family travel continues to rise, it's important for us to provide not only the most stimulating programs for the savviest of travelers, but to also provide the most enriching travel experiences for our youngest guests." [Crystal witnessed a 12 per cent increase in its youngest cruisers, ages 17 and under, during its 2002 summer Alaska season.]

In 2003 the Last Frontier will serve as an enormous environmental classroom -- naturalists will add a special dimension to kids' understanding of indigenous wildlife, glaciers, and other natural attractions -- while a host of child-pleasing amenities await young guests aboard Crystal Harmony.

A qualified staff of Junior Activities Directors, featuring grade school, high school, and physical education teachers and seasoned camp counselors will oversee a variety of age-appropriate activities tiered for toddlers through teens, ranging from arts and crafts, backstage tours, dancing, Sony PlayStation® games, and storytelling. There will be at least one counselor for each 12 participants. Fantasia, the main venue for children's supervised activities, was refurbished in 2002 and outfitted with new furniture, carpet, and custom designed built-in kiosks for Sony PlayStation® video games, and personal computers complete with entertainment and educational software.

In addition, the ship's Library offers more than 1,500 titles, including a selection of children's books and children's videos for the televisions/VCRs that are standard in all staterooms, and the Trident Grill serves hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, sandwiches and frozen yogurt and ice cream throughout the afternoon. Young athletes can take advantage of the ship's paddle tennis court, golf-driving nets, and putting greens, and can even compete in their own mini-Olympics.

Younger children will be afforded the opportunity to display their handcrafted creations, such as frosted sugar cube igloos, in an Alaska Art Expo open for viewing by all guests. For older siblings, another trip high point is a 'teens only' disco night for which they get their own personal invitations.

Three-bed staterooms are available in a range of categories, as well as suites and connecting staterooms. Cribs are available when requested in advance. Babysitting service is available. Families may plan their days and nights according to "Surf Runner," the children's newsletter which details scheduled activities and is delivered to each child's stateroom the preceding evening.

Ashore, there are several opportunities for multiple generations. In each port, Crystal Harmony offers optional excursions such as wilderness safaris, bear-watching expeditions, dog-sledding, seaplane explorations, hiking, mountain biking, whitewater river rafting, horseback riding, and panning for gold.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on the 2003 Alaska season, or any of Crystal's worldwide sailings, call 800.820.6663. For more on Crystal's Junior Activities Program, visit the luxury line's website at

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Celebrity Cruises Announces Two Key Appointments; New Executives Fortify Premium Cruise Line's 'Taste of Luxury'

MIAMI, Feb. 19 -- Celebrity Cruises has announced the appointments of two executives whose expertise will clearly reinforce the "taste of luxury" being unveiled throughout the Celebrity fleet.

Jacques Wulffaert is Celebrity's new vice president of Total Guest Satisfaction and will be chiefly responsible for all aspects of hotel operations across Celebrity's nine-ship fleet. Wulffaert most recently was senior vice president of Operations and Product for ResidenSea, where he played an integral role in the creation and development of "The World," the first floating luxury resort community set to circumnavigate the globe. Prior to that, Wulffaert held a variety of positions, including that of hotel director for top-rated luxury lines Crystal Cruises and Silversea Cruises. His new position with Celebrity brings him full circle, professionally: One of the first roles in his career was that of restaurant manager for Celebrity Cruises.

Concurrently, the new position of vice president of Food & Beverage Operations for Celebrity has been accepted by Othmar Hehli, who will oversee Celebrity's entire food and beverage operation and will play an integral role in shaping the line's evolving culinary program. Hehli most recently was senior director of Operations for luxury line Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, where he was widely praised for contributing to the line's success. During his 13-year tenure with Radisson Seven Seas, Hehli held a variety of roles, including director of Hotel Operations and Food Operations consultant. He also once served as senior executive chef for Celebrity's sister line, Royal Caribbean International.

Both Wulffaert and Hehli will report to Celebrity's Senior Vice President of Fleet Operations, Dietmar Wertanzl. The appointments are effective immediately. "I am thrilled to have such highly regarded gentlemen join our organization," said Wertanzl. "The expertise they bring is invaluable, and I am confident that our guests will continue to experience the difference, as we stake our claim as the undisputed leader in the premium cruise category ... 'with a taste of luxury'."

The industry's highest-rated premium cruise line, Celebrity Cruises' nine- ship fleet is the youngest of any major line. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For more information, visit the Celebrity web site at

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Free Business Class Air To Seabourn European Cruises

MIAMI, Feb. 18 -- Ultra luxury small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line is offering free roundtrip business class airfare from five Eastern North America gateways to 26 different two-week European cruises aboard the intimate, elegant Yachts of Seabourn. The offer could represent savings of over $8,500 per couple on airfare alone. Value-priced roundtrip business class airfares from another thirteen gateways in the Central and Western regions start from just $299 per person. The airfare offer includes domestic flight legs in either first or business class, depending on cabin configuration.

Guests combining two seven-day Mediterranean cruises aboard Seabourn Spirit or Seabourn Legend get 10 percent Combo Savings plus Early Booking Savings, for a total savings of up to 41 percent, with fares starting from $6,991 per person, including the business class air offer. Guests who book either of two 14-day cruises aboard the 208-guest Seabourn Pride in Northern Europe also qualify for Early Booking Savings up to 25 percent. Fares for these start from $8,996 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite and including the airfare offer.

East regional gateways offering free business class airfare include New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Toronto. Central gateways, with roundtrip business class airfares starting from $299, include Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Miami. Fares from Western region gateways start from $399. Included are Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver. Honolulu is also included at slightly higher fares from $599.

  The two-week cruises and combinations included in the offer are:

   Seabourn Pride
   Norway & Northern Capitals           London/London  Jul. 1
   St. Petersburg & Baltic Treasures   London/London  Aug. 12

   Seabourn Spirit
   Turquoise Coast & Aegean   Athens/Venice      Jun. 15, Jul. 13, Sep. 7
   Greece, Adriatic & Italy       Istanbul/Rome      Jun. 22, Aug. 17
   Adriatic, Italy & Greece       Venice/Athens       Jun. 29, Jul. 27, Aug. 24, Sep. 21
   Italy, Greek Isles & Turkey  Rome/Istanbul      Sep. 28
   Greek Isles & Turkey          Istanbul/Istanbul   Oct. 12, Oct. 26

   Seabourn Legend
   Spain & Cote D'Azur      Lisbon/Nice          Apr. 20
   Italy & French Riviera    Nice/Nice             May 4, Jun. 1, Jun. 29, Aug. 24
   Italy, France & Spain     Rome/Barcelona   Jun. 8, Jul. 6, Aug. 3, Aug. 31
   Spain & French Riviera   Nice/Nice             Jun. 15, Jul. 13
   French Riviera & Italy     Barcelona/Rome  Jun. 22

All cruises aboard The Yachts of Seabourn feature an array of Signature Delights that include complimentary fine wines and spirits throughout every cruise; free Massage Moments on deck; complimentary Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experiences on every cruise; Movies Under the Stars on deck; exciting new dinner menus created by renowned chef Charlie Palmer, enhanced services at The Spa at Seabourn and Seabourn's Pure Pampering featuring fine wellbeing products and a selection of therapeutic bathing experiences by Molton Brown, London.

The Yachts of Seabourn provide the ultimate in small-ship, ultra-luxury cruise vacations to the most desirable destinations on earth. The Seabourn fleet includes Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. Seabourn Cruise Line is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises. Together, these member lines share a commitment to quality and value, offering cruise vacations that appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets and sail to some of the world's most exciting destinations. For more information on The Yachts of Seabourn, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines, cruise-related industries, and their agents.

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