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News from the world of cruise travel ~
February 16-29, 2004

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

Important Travel Safety Information letter from Jack Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer, Royal Caribbean International

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Rhapsody of the Seas Passengers Stuck in Gulf of Mexico

Reporting from somewhere outside Gulfport MS, in 70 kilometer winds and rain on Feb 23, 2004 -- New Orleans is out of reach. The Captain announced yesterday and again today they will be bussing all the passengers (who want to go) to Mardi Gras 24/7 when we arrive in Gulfport due to the accident that closed the mighty Mississippi. The trip is reported to be 2-3 hours just to arrive in New Orleans. Needless to say most are not going. It appears the shops will be closed, casinos down, yet all dining rooms will be open 24/7 to accommodate the people arriving at various hours on board.

Right now no one is allowed outside (not that you would want to) due to 70 kilometer winds and rain across our bow. Near zero visibility, rain, and wind are adding insult to injury to the anxious passengers and crew who all are very saddened by the circumstances. As I sit in the internet cafe most are trying to book a hotel and stay in town but alas, the situation looks grim and prices high.

We meet with the Captain soon for a Q & A in the main showroom so he can take his whippin'. This reporter would not like to be in his shoes! Our group of around 60 people are hanging in there and most are glad they didn't opt for the inside cabins as we will sit in Gulfport until Wed around 6.

Signing off for now, 
Barry Cunningham -- Skyscraper Tours & Cruises

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This year’s Academy Awards Oscar celebrity presenters and performers will receive an invitation for a complimentary sailing on one of the ultra-luxurious, twin mega-yachts, SeaDream I or II and other high-end goodies. The unique Oscars Gift Baskets with top-rated SeaDream’s invitation, will be distributed at the 76th Annual Academy Awards Presentations February 29. Recipients of the Gift Baskets may choose a SeaDream yachting holiday in either the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. The offer is good for two persons. The Oscar Gift Baskets, a tradition at the Academy Awards presentations, contain a variety of ultra-luxurious products and services and are highly valued by recipients.

SeaDream Yacht Club is the yachting venture by Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad who founded Seabourn Cruise Line, and Larry Pimentel who was president of Seabourn under Brynestad and later president and CEO of the merged Cunard and Seabourn. Pimentel is President and CEO of the Coconut Grove, Florida-headquartered SeaDream Yacht Club and a co-owner. Brynestad is Chairman. The company operates SeaDream I and SeaDream II, twin, ultra luxury, mega yachts that operate on seven-day sailings in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. The yachts are not only ideal for discerning travelers seeking an unstructured and casual holiday experience but also for small meetings and incentive groups or individual private family gatherings. They are available for full charter. SeaDream I and II share the top Five-Star Club award in the Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships 2003 guidebook and recently in the 2004 guidebook. In the Americas the SeaDream Yacht Club reservations number is 1 800 707-4911. In Europe it is +47 23 28 96 60. The website is

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Crystal Cruises Delivers Luxurious Adventure in Alaska
Kids Sail Free and 50% Fares Offer Family Savings

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20 -- In keeping with Crystal Cruises' penchant to exceed guest expectations, the luxury line is catching travelers by surprise with unusual land adventures during its 2004 Alaska season. A snorkeling excursion in the clear waters off Ketchikan and an overnight expedition at base camp on Mendenhall Glacier are just two of the unique shore experiences Crystal is offering during its May - September Alaska voyages. In all, 30 percent new excursions ashore have been added to create a rich collection of 91 choices for adventure, including glacier trekking, ice climbing, river rafting, fly fishing, whale watching, dog sledding and more.

The majesty of the Last Frontier is explored with pampering comfort as Crystal Harmony journeys through Alaska on ten 12-day departures conveniently roundtrip from San Francisco: May 30; June 11, 23; July 5, 17, 29; August 10, 22; and September 3 and 15. Itineraries feature the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier and call at the ports of Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Vancouver and Victoria, and, depending on the sailing, Skagway or Haines. Crystal Harmony is the only luxury ship cruising all season round-trip from San Francisco and the only luxury ship with Glacier Bay in its itineraries.

"The sheer vastness and extensive choices offered in each port of call make Alaska a great repeat destination. Our ever-changing onboard activities and excursions ashore provide fresh, new options during each visit, year after year," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "Crystal's savvy clientele want the luxury of a first class hotel coupled with the soft adventure and unique personal experiences that create memories of a lifetime."

2004 marks Crystal's 10th consecutive season in Alaska, making the award-winning company the most experienced luxury cruise operator in the region. The line recognizes Alaska's appeal among the growing multi-generational family market, and has crafted shore programs catering to the interests and capabilities of all ages.

On every cruise, enrichment and discovery abounds ashore with exclusive Alaskan experiences. Adventure-seekers, wildlife fans, history-lovers, photo buffs and fitness enthusiasts can explore this educational playground through a diverse offering of shore excursions:

  • A snorkeling adventure in the calm, clear waters of Ketchikan's Mountain Point promises a surreal experience with guests outfitted in state-of-the-art quarter-inch wetsuits.
  • An overnight excursion at the Base Camp of Mendenhall Glacier delivers an event of a lifetime by combining helicopter and airplane flightseeing with trans-glacial hiking complete with the latest quality mountaineering wear, technical gear and spacious private sleeping tents.
  • Hike by foot, travel by jet-powered river boat, float by raft, or explore by bike ... the Chilkat Valley and Rainforest is home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world and is one of Alaska's premier bird-watching sites.
  • Alaska is a fisherman's dream come true with freshwater fishing in Chilkoot Lake (from Haines); sportfishing the waters of the Inside Passage (from Juneau) and the wilderness waterways off Ketchikan, the "Salmon Capital of the World," and fly fishing in Bear Creek in heart of the Tongass National Forest (from Juneau).
  • Adventure abounds with glacier exploration on all levels, from the thrill-seeking: a helicopter glacier trek and climb; river rafting at Mendenhall Glacier and Lake; and a flightseeing, glacier landing, dog-sled ride; to the serene: the historical Taku Glacier Lodge by floatplane and the Mendenhall Glacier and Wildlife Quest.
  • Crystal's Signature Collection of unique shore programs affords the most discerning guests with exclusive insights into the history and adventure of Alaska with events including Guided Alaskan Fishing & Private Wilderness Dining; the Neets Bay Bear Watch Expedition; and a Glacier Explorer by Helicopter featuring two glacier landings.
  • Fitness enthusiasts enjoy soft adventure on excursions such as Klondike by Bike, Yukon Horseback Adventure, Alaska Sled Dog & Musher's Camp, Orca Whale Watching, and the Sea Otter Wildlife Quest.
  • Refined adventure awaits with the British Columbia Food & Wine Experience; Biking Stanley Park and English Tea at Butchart Gardens (from Vancouver and Victoria).

Also as part of the Crystal Visions Enrichment Lecture Program, special-interest lecturers including noted geologists, historians and naturalists will be aboard all sailings to share their insight on the natural beauty, history and culture of Alaska.

Family Savings
With incomparable incentives for the whole family, children under 12 can sail free on all ten of the 12-day cruises when sharing the same stateroom with two adults and, at the same time, can learn social skills through the line's Cotillion program. Accommodations on the elegant Crystal Harmony Alaska cruises are now available at 50% off published fares -- with rates starting at just $2,595 per person, double occupancy. Coveted verandah accommodations are also available at 40% off brochure rates.

At 50,000-tons and carrying only 940 guests, Crystal Harmony is an elegant and spacious ship from which to view the unspoiled Alaskan landscape and breathtaking glaciers. Its unique size in the luxury market allows for smooth sailing and a wide range of innovative facilities, generous amenities and elegant accommodations. The Six-Star rated floating resort features grand lounges, a lavish spa outfitted in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, extensive exercise facilities, complimentary golf, yoga and Pilates instruction, the only Caesars Palace at Sea Casino afloat, the innovative Creative Learning Institute, expansive decks, two pools, gourmet dining including Japanese and Italian specialty restaurants, and exquisitely appointed staterooms, more than half of which offer private verandahs.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on the 2004 Alaska season, or any of Crystal's worldwide sailings, call 800-820-6663. Visit the line's website at

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Jacksonville Welcoming Plans for Carnival Miracle

2/20/04 -- Carnival Cruise Lines' newest "Fun Ship" Carnival Miracle is scheduled to arrive in Jacksonville, Florida next Monday afternoon. She is expected to arrive at the mouth of the St. Johns River about 2 pm and tie up at her berth at the Jaxport Cruise Terminal on Dames Point between 3 and 3:30 pm.

To celebrate Carnival Miracle’s arrival, a party will be held from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Sandollar Restaurant & Marina (9716 Heckscher Drive). The vessel is expected to pass that location on the St. Johns River next to Mayport Ferry at around 2:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The 88,500gt, 2124-passenger Carnival Miracle was built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards’ in Helsinki, Finland. Its 12 passenger decks encompass 16 lounges and bars, four swimming pools, three restaurants, a 14,500-square-foot spa, a wedding chapel and extensive children’s facilities. Interiors by architect Joe Farcus are inspired by famous fictional icons of theater, film, literature and music.

Godmother, former US Army private Jessica Lynch will christen Carnival Miracle in ceremonies before the inaugural voyage on February 27. The ship then sails with her first passengers on a three-day cruise to Freeport, Grand Bahama. Carnival Miracle will complete a series of a dozen cruises from Jacksonville through April 17.

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Special "Sail & Save" Rates Set for Baltic, North Sea Cruises

Seattle, WA, February 20, 2004 - Windstar Cruises is unfurling its distinctive sails and setting a course this summer to tour the great capitals of Scandinavia and northern Europe. The Wind Surf is scheduled for a summer that is sure to be "180 Degrees From Ordinary" with cruises to the Baltic states for the second consecutive summer season, featuring itineraries that call at the exotic ports of Russia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Dozens of exciting and romantic shore excursions are planned for exploring the culture, history and landscapes of this seldom-visited corner of Europe.

"Our premier season of cruising the Baltic states was a huge hit with our guests, and we're coming back with even more ways to experience '180 Degrees From Ordinary' in the great capitals of St. Petersburg, Estonia, Finland and Sweden," says Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "A strong shore excursion program will allow guests to find their own special place in this fascinating part of Europe."

Windstar's 2004 "Sail & Save" rates make northern Europe and the Baltic more affordable than ever, with ten-day voyages departing from Copenhagen beginning at $3,895 per person, double occupancy, and a 13-day voyage from St. Petersburg that begins at $4,995. Two 12-day journeys between London and Copenhagen, with stops in Scotland, Amsterdam and Norway, begin at just $3,995.

The 308-passenger Wind Surf is scheduled for three voyages to the Baltic in July and August. On July 12th and August 11th, the ship embarks from Copenhagen on identical 10-day journeys that call at the ports of Rostock, Germany; Ventspils, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia for an extended, overnight visit; Helsinki, Finland and Ronne (Bornholm), Denmark before returning to Copenhagen. A 13-day journey that departs from St. Petersburg on July 29th begins with an overnight stay in the great Czarist capital city, and then makes its way to Vyborg, Russia; Helsinki and Tallinn; Mariehamn (Aland), Finland; Stockholm, Sweden and the Gotland island of Visby; Ventspils; Klaipeda, Lithuania and Gdynia, Poland before arriving in Copenhagen.

On June 30th, the ship embarks from London (Dover), England on a striking sailing journey of 12 days in the North Sea. Wind Surf will make her magnificent entrance into the Scottish harbors of Leith (Edinburgh) and Invergordon; visit the fjordlands of Stavanger, Norway and the capital city of Oslo; cross to the continent for stops at Zeebrugge, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands; and stop at Århus, Denmark before concluding its voyage in Copenhagen. The same itinerary is conducted in reverse on a 12-day voyage that departs Copenhagen on August 21st. 

Shore Excursions: Windstar has created an extensive program of shore excursions for all of the northern European and Baltic itineraries. Dozens of options are available for guests (including eight different tour options just in St. Petersburg) who want to study the fascinating culture and history of each place, or simply enjoy a romantic getaway for two with Windstar's "Romance Under Sail" program of distinctive shore options.

In Århus, Denmark, for example, couples can embark on a five-hour excursion to the peaceful and beautiful Silkeborg region, with walks through narrow streets of a charming town and a private tour on a small boat. 

"Secret Amsterdam" is the name of a popular tour that winds through the canals of Holland's vibrant city by small boat, and then goes ashore for walks through the 15th-century Nieuwmarkt and a tour of the Heineken brewery. 

In Helsinki, the "Romance in the Baltics" tour explores the relationship between Finland's capital city and the sea, with a romantic cruise that stops on a lovely, secluded island where guests can swim, experience a Finnish sauna, practice archery or sunbathe on scenic cliffs.

St. Petersburg comes alive with a wealth of tours. Guests can visit Peterhof, the "town of palaces" that was built in 1710 by Peter the Great, or enjoy a lavish gala evening of costumed entertainment at the magnificent Yusupov Palace, which witnessed the murder of Grigori Rasputin in 1916. Other tours visit the Hermitage Museum for a unique tour of the Golden Room, and travel to Pushkin for a visit to the breathtaking palace built by Catherine the Great. 

Guests on Windstar's northern European tours are also invited to bike on unspoiled Swedish islands, tour cultural centers like Berlin's Jewish Museum, share a Nobel Prize-style banquet dinner in Stockholm, or see Sweden's capital city from the unique perspective of a hot air balloon.

About Windstar Cruises
Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their casually elegant atmosphere. A high-percentage of return guests attests to the appeal of Windstar's casual ambiance of resort-style attire, innovative cuisine and wine selections, open restaurant-style seating, attentive service, exotic destinations and complimentary water sports. Guests sailing in 2004 will benefit from a recent multi-million dollar investment in the Windstar fleet. Enhancements range from new flat screen LCD TVs and DVD players in staterooms to new fabrics, décor and window treatments throughout the ship.

Rates are quoted per person, double occupancy including non-discountable amounts and taxes. Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when you cancel for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- Silversea Cruises has just announced the full-year 2005 global itineraries for its four ultra-luxury ships in response to a strong early demand by guests to finalize their travel plans for next year. The award-winning luxury cruise line has been seeing an extraordinary increase in call volume and bookings over the past several weeks, with many callers inquiring about next year's voyages. In response, Silversea has started accepting reservations for 2005 sailings and has published its full-year cruise schedule on its Web site,

"January is shaping up to be a month that will surely break all our previous sales records," said David Morris, Silversea's Senior Vice President, North America Sales. "I'm thrilled to see such a strong surge in bookings, plus guests who are showing a renewed enthusiasm for making their vacation plans early. We're hearing the same message from our travel-agent partners. With this kind of sustained momentum, we knew we had to roll out our 2005 itineraries as early as possible."

Highlights of Silversea's 2005 schedule include:

Silver Cloud
Fresh from a comprehensive refurbishment undertaken in 2004, 296-guest Silver Cloud begins the winter season in the warm waters of the South Pacific, offering three cruises to Australia and New Zealand, ranging from ten to 16 days, and continues to the Far East and Africa. In the spring, Silver Cloud sets a course for the Mediterranean, where the ship will offer a series of eight cruises to some of the most sought-after destinations in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy before embarking on a collection of summer cruises to Northern Europe. Silver Cloud wraps up an exciting 2005 schedule with cruises to South America and the Amazon.

Silver Wind
Next year, Silver Wind explores the spectacular beauty of South America, with a variety of itineraries ranging from seven to 16 days, before crossing the Atlantic to embark on a series of cruises to Africa, featuring scenic stopovers in Walvis Bay, Cape Town and Richard's Bay. The ultra-luxury ship's schedule continues with over twenty Mediterranean sailings, ranging from five to 15 days. In the fall, the 296-guest Silver Wind cruises to Egypt, the Seychelles and South Africa.

Silver Shadow
The 382-guest Silver Shadow spends the winter season navigating the warm waters of the Mexican Riviera and South America before repositioning to the Mediterranean. During spring and summer, Silver Shadow offers more than 25 different cruises visiting the most enticing destinations in the western and eastern Mediterranean, including a special program of 14 seven-day voyages. In autumn, Silver Shadow offers an exotic collection of voyages to the Far East and South Pacific.

Silver Whisper
During winter, Silver Whisper visits the sun-soaked beaches of the Caribbean on nine different voyages, ranging from five to ten days. The 382-guest luxury ship repositions to the Mediterranean for a series of cruises, ranging from six to ten days, revealing the history and grandeur of Spain, Italy, France and Northern Europe. Highlighting the program are several three-day stopovers in the celebrated city of St. Petersburg. In the fall, Silver Whisper sets a course for Canada, the Colonial Coast and the Caribbean.

The line's new Voyage Planner, featuring complete itineraries and pricing for 2005, is scheduled to be published in April. Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. 2004 will be an exciting year as Silversea celebrates its 10th anniversary. Look for upcoming announcements about gala events and special programs to celebrate the line's ten years of excellence.

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MIAMI, Feb 18, 2004 -- In 2004, guests embarking for ultra luxury cruise vacations aboard the three, all-suite Yachts of Seabourn will enjoy added touches of elegance during their time on board. The beds in their sumptuous, 277-square foot ocean-view suites will be richly dressed with sheets, pillowcases and duvets from Frette, the prestigious 140-year old Itaian purveyors of fine quality linens. Also, guests arriving to dine in each ship's indoor/outdoor Veranda Café will find their tables graced with new porcelain tableware in a lively, contemporary style, designed and manufactured by the renowned German company Rosenthal.

Renowned for the quality of their materials, precise attention to detail and sublime design and craftsmanship, Frette supplies the finest hotels, restaurants and cruise ships. Their inclusion among Seabourn's Signature Delights underscores the line's dedication to providing its guests with the finest the world has to offer. According to Richard Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing, "Frette maintains an ageless integrity in their products, while keeping them as stylish and contemporary as today's haute couture. It's a formula that perfectly matches our vision to offer our guests the best of the best in ultra luxury travel."

The ships' new white porcelain Rosenthal table service is a mix of two patterns: Epoque and Loft, which, according to Meadows, were selected to match the casually elegant style of the refurbished Veranda Cafés. The pieces are well-suited to the sumptuous buffet breakfasts and lunches served there daily, as well as the nightly themed dinners that have made the Veranda Café popular as a more casual alternative to the dressier atmosphere in the ship's open-seating Restaurant. "We chose the Rosenthal tableware because its clean, lighthearted design provides a perfect presentation for the contemporary style of cuisine we feature in the Veranda Café," said Meadows. "It's un-fussy, but with an elegance to the touch that tells you this meal is something special." 

Frette and Rosenthal join a coterie of other prestige brands as a part of Seabourn's bouquet of Signature Delights for the line's guests, including document portfolios and luggage tags by Tumi, Heidsieck French champagne, Bose? Wave? audio systems, Molton Brown beauty and wellbeing products and designer soaps by Chanel, Bijan, Hermès and Bronnley. In addition, the line features signature cuisine designed for The Yachts of Seabourn by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer.

The Yachts of Seabourn provides the ultimate in small-ship, ultra-luxury cruise vacations to the most desirable destinations on earth. The Seabourn fleet incudes Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend.

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Holland America Line's Dramatic Brand Ad Campaign Launches to Industry Praise
Consumer Publications See Ad Campaign as an Innovative Glimpse into Holland America Line's Tradition of Excellence

SEATTLE, Feb. 17 -- To further capitalize on Holland America Line's undisputed leadership in the premium cruise category, the cruise line recently launched a multi-million dollar print advertising campaign that leverages the company's Tradition of Excellence. With use of dramatic photography, art direction and copy, the campaign brings to life Holland America Line's brand positioning. The ads deliver a distinct point of view on the way Holland America Line delivers the cruise experience in the classic tradition of ocean voyaging as evidenced by five brand pillars that are central to the guests' experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated, five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. The campaign, launched this month, is receiving high praise from the publications running the ads.

"From the outset, we were committed to developing a dramatic campaign that was much more than just advertising," said David A. Giersdorf, executive vice president of marketing and sales for Holland America Line. "The resulting work eloquently communicates the spirit of our comprehensive Signature of Excellence initiative, an unparalleled investment to further enhance our products and services. It underscores the fact that Holland America Line tirelessly works to raise the bar with new standards that deliver on the promise of a superior premium cruise experience."

"Rarely have I seen such an aesthetically delicious campaign that captures so well the sensory delights of a cruise experience -- from the accoutrements of high tea to the aroma stone therapy in the spa, not to mention the sheer joy of delectable dining," said Lynn W. Heiler, vice president and publisher of Bon Appetit. "This campaign whets our readers' appetites for sumptuously appointed travel and heightens their expectations of the luxury cruise experience."

"Holland America Line's smart new ad campaign illuminates the innovative measures the cruise industry has been taking to stay ahead in the travel game," said Ellen Asmodeo, vice president and publisher of Travel + Leisure. "The reference to Travel + Leisure's World's Best Award, selected by T+L's discerning readers, is a testament to excellence. We are proud to showcase Holland America Line's unique creative within the pages of the world's leading travel magazine."

"Holland America Line's new advertising campaign delivers on the ultimate promise of travel communications -- it literally transports you," said David Carey, vice president and publisher of The New Yorker. "By making clever use of gatefolds within the pages of The New Yorker, the campaign teases our readers with the set-up page, then brilliantly pays it off as you open the gatefold. I'm sure that readers of The New Yorker, as they see the campaign unfold, will ask, 'I wonder what Holland America Line will do next?'"

The campaign, produced by DDB Seattle, consists of a series of six gatefold ads, each one focusing on a particular iconic feature that speaks to a pillar of the brand. The ads use the gatefold to focus on a micro detail, opening to reveal a larger point of view of the brand pillar. One execution running this month opens with a close-up on a striking gold and royal blue plate of exquisite fine bone china designed by Bulgari and used aboard Holland America Line's fleet. The line reads, "It could just as easily be hanging on an art gallery wall." Inside the gatefold the reveal states, "Were it not sitting on our dining table." This execution highlights Holland America Line's philosophy that the complete dining experience is as extraordinary as the food itself.

Another ad leads with a tight image of smooth, black volcanic massage stones. The headline reads, "There is both a time and place for all things practical." The reader opens the gatefold and the line continues, "We are pleased to report this is neither." This execution capitalizes on Holland America Line's long tradition of gracious, unobtrusive service and the sophisticated indulgences guests can experience at the luxurious Greenhouse Spa and Salon.

The ads began running this month in a variety of travel, epicurean, shelter and lifestyle magazines such as Travel + Leisure, Bon Appetit, Architectural Digest and The New Yorker. Various executions run simultaneously, allowing consumers to absorb the "sum of the parts" as they digest various ads through a variety of publications.

For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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MIAMI - The new Carnival Miracle will feature a diverse selection of artwork, ranging from bronze sculptures and ornate glass vases to colorful bold paintings, that will highlight the ship's "fictional icons" interior theme.

Adorning the ship's corridors will be the works of Italian artist Augusto Vignali, who created 18 original paintings of legendary fictional characters, including the Phantom of the Opera, Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe and Captain Ahab. The fictional theme will also be portrayed on the Lido pool deck with three bronze statues of the mythical figures Orpheus, Ulysses and Sirens. Created by Italian sculptor Katia Tasselli, these six-foot-high statues enhance the areas surrounding the pools that bear their names.

Throughout the Carnival Miracle's stair landings will be 60 Bohemian crystal pieces - elegant vases, candle holders and other items -- by Czech glass artist Borek Sipek, along with 27 original murals on the ship's stair landings by artists Andrea Tana, Calman Shemi and Devita Writer. Tana's works, which can be seen on many Carnival ships, illustrate mythology folklore, while Shemi created a variety of bright colorful abstract murals on aluminum boards. Writer also used bold colors to paint eight murals depicting beautiful skylines and landscapes.

The Carnival Miracle's 1,062 staterooms will feature original motifs by American artist Janine Alter, who painted a series of warm, serene images of nature, plant life and lake views.

Carnival Miracle debuts from Jacksonville Feb. 27, 2004, with a series of 12 three- to six-day voyages through April 17, 2004, marking the first time that Carnival has ever operated from that port. The ship will also operate seven-day departures from Baltimore and New York before repositioning to Tampa for year-round seven-day western Caribbean cruises from that port beginning Nov. 7, 2004. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL 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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