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Linda Coffman

News from the world of cruising ~
March 9-18, 2001


MIAMI (03/16/01) -- Two original high-energy Las Vegas-style revues presented in an expansive, Egyptian-themed show lounge are sure to dazzle audiences aboard Carnival's newest "Fun Ship," the 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit, set to debut April 29.

The two revues - "SRO (Standing Room Only)" and "High Spirits" - combine a cadre of talented entertainers and behind-the-scenes personnel, elaborate sets and costumes, and Carnival's show-stopping special effects to provide audiences with unforgettable evenings of high-caliber entertainment.

"Carnival's shows have grown progressively more sophisticated over the years and 'SRO' and 'High Spirits' set a new standard for shipboard entertainment, making maximum use of talented personnel, as well as technical capabilities that only a large ship like the Carnival Spirit can provide," said Roger Blum, Carnival's vice president of cruise programming and the shows' producer.

The first show, "SRO," is a toe-tapping tribute to some of the most recognizable and beloved stage productions on The Great White Way.  The show includes recreations of Broadway's favorite moments - from the melodic tunes of My Fair Lady and Oklahoma! to mysterious and sultry Miss Saigon and the sizzling song and dance numbers of A Chorus Line and Fosse. Also included are the sassy sounds of Ain't Misbehavin', the rocking tunes of Tommy and the infamous "Sharks & Jets" of West Side Story.

Equally entertaining is the second show, "High Spirits," which, like the name implies, offers a look at the "spirits" that inspire us all. The avant-garde show combines a variety of musical genres - from Latin, blues, hip-hop and everything in between - with memorable stage set ups, including a swashbuckling pirate ship and a mermaid-infused undersea life to take audiences on a fast-paced journey through a mystical and ethereal world. The show closes in unforgettable fashion with a chorus line atop the wing of a World War I-era biplane, enhanced by state-of-the-art video projections that create the appearance of the dancers in flight.

The shows are presented in the Pharaoh's Palace, a 1,200-seat, three-deck-high show lounge that provides one of the most memorable and spacious entertainment venues at sea. Carnival's interior architect, Joe Farcus, extensively researched ancient Egypt to lend a feeling of authenticity to the modern, multi-level lounge. Highlights include authentic hieroglyphics and other Egyptian markings on the stone bulkheads, ceiling panels and doors, and twin, 20-foot-high statues of Pharaohs flanking the venue's massive stage. Adorning the lounge's windows are gold sarcophagi of the famed King Tutankhamen, while floors are inlaid with blue, red and turquoise ceramic tile offering the appearance of precious stones, a technique patterned after the grand palaces of ancient Egypt. Both revues showcase the abilities of the Carnival Spirit's 18 singers and dancers, who are backed by a talented 10-piece orchestra, as well as a 43-person technical team which operates some of the most sophisticated equipment in seagoing entertainment.  These include a multi-million-dollar computerized sound and lighting system, two high-watt laser banks, variable-speed riggings to "fly in" scenery changes, a "turntable" stage, and a retractable orchestra pit. "Pharaoh's Palace is unquestionably one of the grandest, most sophisticated theaters at sea and serves as the ideal setting for these two new spectacular Las Vegas-style revues," Blum said.

The Carnival Spirit is scheduled to begin its inaugural season April 29 with a 16-day Panama Canal cruise from Miami to Los Angeles, followed by a three-night voyage from San Francisco to Vancouver departing May 20, a series of weeklong Glacier Bay and Glacier Route Alaska cruises throughout the summer, two 12-day Hawaii cruises, and a 14-day Panama Canal sailing from San Diego to Miami departing  Oct. 20. From Miami, Carnival Spirit is slated to sail a unique eight-day program to "exotic" Caribbean ports of call throughout the winter, commencing Nov. 3. 

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Information and reservations also can be obtained via Carnival's Web site at

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Renaissance Cruises Announces Expanded Global Sales Efforts
Steve Novello to Lead International Sales Department
Successful Sales Events Develop United Kingdom Presence  

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March 13, 2001 – Renaissance Cruises today announced that it is enhancing its global sales efforts and is aggressively expanding its General Sales Agent (GSA) presence worldwide. Renaissance Cruises believes that the international market will play a greater role in the company's future sales growth. The Company hopes to see ten percent of its overall business come from the international market by 2001 year-end.  To this end, Renaissance Cruises is working closely with international GSAs, providing them with marketing funds and tailoring cruise deals to fit each country's specialized needs. 

Renaissance Cruises said that it has named Steve Novello to lead the Company's international sales efforts.  As the newly promoted Director of International Sales, Mr. Novello will oversee the Company's burgeoning international sales efforts. 

"The globalization of Renaissance Cruises is a top priority for our company," said Mr. Novello.  "Our cruise product has tremendous appeal to consumers from other countries.  We have decided to further develop our international business as a complement to our existing United States and Canada-based business." 

Renaissance Cruises also announced the success of its recent UK consumer and travel agency sales events. The Company's first major international sales event occurred after the R8 Inaugural. Travel agents, incentive houses, media, and cruise enthusiasts were given a chance to experience "a taste" of Renaissance Cruises, when the brand-new R8 docked at Portland Port, UK.  Over a four-day period, more than 1,200 travel agents and consumer prospects received tours and attended seminars about Renaissance Cruises.  

Renaissance Cruises has targeted the UK market as a growing area of demand for its cruise products.  With the assistance of its GSA, UK-based Cruise Collection, Renaissance Cruises is developing a strong foothold in the international market.

"The recent sales events conducted in the UK were fantastic," said Andrew Gardner, Cruise Collection's Managing Director. "The event was the perfect opportunity for Renaissance Cruises to showcase its award-winning cruise product to the UK market.  It also allowed travel agents and consumers to see a world-class vessel firsthand." 

In addition to the Company's successful relationship with the Cruise Collection, Renaissance Cruises has sales and marketing partnerships with Cruise Abroad in Australia, Central De Cruceros de Mexico in Mexico, and Cruise Holidays in New Zealand. They also have an additional 20 GSAs representing 40 countries worldwide, and are looking to expand into South America and the Caribbean. 

Renaissance Cruises recently signed an agreement with Virtuoso Latin America and will be working closely with American Express in the Caribbean.  In addition, the Company is planning future sales events similar to the recent UK event, for its local GSAs in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.  These events, which will feature the R8, are scheduled for later this month in South America. 

Renaissance Cruises distinguishes itself from other cruise lines with its extraordinary destinations and Five Star service, on the youngest fleet in the cruise industry.  Renaissance Cruises offers year-round itineraries to the Greek Isles, Tahiti and the South Pacific, Asia, Northern Europe and Scandinavia, South America, New Zealand and Australia, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean on eight brand new 684-passenger R-Class ships and two 114-passenger Renaissance-Class ships.  The recent launch of the latest "R-Class" ship, R8, brings Renaissance Cruises' total capacity to 5,742 berths and secures the company's place as the fifth largest cruise line company in the world.  

To book a Renaissance Cruises' vacation, travelers should see their Professional Travel Agent or call 1-800-525-5350.

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ICCL Cruise Line Members Adopt New Mandatory Safety Standards 

Arlington, VA (March 15, 2001) – The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) announced today that its members have unanimously adopted mandatory safety standards for their cruise ships that exceed existing U.S. and international standards.

The adoption of this initial set of safety standards represents the beginning of a process that will address all of the standards that were originally proposed in February 2001 by the ICCL Board of Directors. This marks the first time an association of international passenger vessel operators has adopted mandatory industry safety standards.

These new mandatory standards, with an implementation deadline of July 1, 2001, include the following:

A Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for each infant carried onboard every ICCL member cruise ship. An infant PFD is one that is specifically designed to provide increased safety and comfort for children not large enough to fit into an approved child's lifejacket.

Additional adult lifejackets onboard each cruise ship in excess of the number required by U.S. and international regulations. In general, the number of lifejackets carried will increase by 30 - 50 percent on all ICCL cruise ships.

A suitable helicopter pick-up area for patient evacuation to a shore side hospital. This pick-up area is free of obstruction and its location is coordinated with the helicopter pilot for each emergency medical evacuation.

The announcement of mandatory standards has drawn favorable comments from regulatory agencies. During his speech at last week's Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention, Admiral James M. Loy, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard said, “Vigilance and risk management are essential to every segment of marine transportation, and ICCL and its member companies are certainly demonstrating their commitment in this regard."

Each ICCL member line will integrate these industry standards into its internationally mandated Safety Management System (SMS), which ensures compliance through internal and external third-party audits. Compliance with these standards is a condition of membership in the ICCL. 

“I am pleased that our members were able to act so quickly on this first set of mandatory standards. Safety is our most important priority and the cruise industry will continue to develop standards that exceed federal regulations," said Michael Crye, president of the ICCL. “Sixty million people have safely sailed on cruise ships over the last two decades and we will continue our never-ending voyage to make cruising even safer."

Areas where new standards are planned for future implementation include:

  • Environment
  • Medical Facilities
  • Safety
  • Security

The adopted mandatory standards are listed on our website at

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Destination cruise specialist Orient Lines will add a third ship to its fleet in summer 2002. The 37,012-ton Ocean Voyager is perhaps best known to travel agents as Hapag-Lloyd’s 1982-built Europa – a five-star vessel voted best in the world by the Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships in 1997. Since August 1999 the ship has sailed in Thailand and Japan as the SuperStar Aries for Star Cruises, Orient Lines’ parent company.

Plans call for the Ocean Voyager to be deployed year-round on worldwide itineraries under the line’s popular “Grand Voyages” umbrella. “The addition of a third vessel will satisfy the demand of our loyal past passengers for a greater choice of long itineraries, even a world cruise,” said Colin Veitch, president of Orient Lines.

Orient Lines currently operates the 826-passenger Marco Polo and 1,025-passenger Crown Odyssey on award-winning cruise and land tour vacations to the Greek Isles and Mediterranean; Scandinavia and Russia; Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific; Africa and India; Southeast Asia; South America and Antarctica. With the addition of the 650-passenger Ocean Voyager, the line’s capacity will increase by 36 percent.

The Berlitz Guide has said the exterior of the Ocean Voyager is “well-designed, handsome and contemporary with a really well-balanced profile. She looks like a ship, not a floating hotel.” Author Douglas Ward praises the vessel as “a fine, stable, well-behaved ship at sea” and singles out Club Belvedere as “one of the most elegant rooms afloat.” “The Ocean Voyager is an ideal fit for Orient Lines,” said Mitchell Schlesinger, the line’s senior vice president, sales, marketing and passenger services. “As we’ve seen with the Marco Polo and Crown Odyssey, there is a growing demand for longer itineraries to exotic destinations. According to CLIA statistics, last year there was a 133% increase in cruises of 18 days or more.”

When she sails for Orient Lines, the vessel will offer all the facilities and amenities that the line’s past passengers have come to expect. Spacious staterooms range in size from 150 to 420 square feet, and feature rich wood cabinetry, full-length mirrors, lighted closets and en suite hair-dryers. A first-ever for Orient Lines, the Ocean Voyager will offer single-seating dining in its main restaurant. The ship’s second restaurant will offer buffet-style breakfast and lunch. In the evenings it will transform into a festive bistro, offering both indoor and al fresco seating – a popular dining alternative on all Orient Lines cruises.

Among the vessel’s grand public rooms is Club Belvedere, a forward observation lounge with panoramic views and a grand piano as its centerpiece. The Europa Lounge is the ship’s main showroom offering live cabaret entertaining and ballroom dancing. There is a 238-seat movie theater; a lively casino; attractive boutiques; a well-stocked library, and two outdoor swimming pools – one of which features a retractable glass magradome for inclement weather. The renowned Asia spa operator, Mandara Spa, will also operate the ship’s health and beauty center, which includes a large, indoor swimming pool.

Ocean Voyager’s inaugural voyage under Orient Lines’ signature blue and white livery will be in early summer 2002 after drydocking in Asia for refurbishment and technical maintenance.

Cruise schedules and pricing will be published within the next few weeks.

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Innovative Dining Program Debuts on Sun-Class Ships in May

Following a highly successful debut aboard Grand Princess in the Caribbean last January, Princess' innovative Personal Choice Dining program will launch aboard its Sun-class series of ships - Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess and Ocean Princess - beginning with the summer Alaska season.

As a key element of Princess' Personal Choice Cruising philosophy - an unstructured, individualized approach to the cruise experience - Personal Choice Dining has been met with rave reviews since its introduction. The industry's only program to satisfy both cruise traditionalists and those who prefer to dine as they would at a shoreside restaurant, Personal Choice Dining provides passengers with a choice between a restaurant-style seating option, which enables them to dine when and with whom they wish, or a traditional cruise dining experience, where passengers can enjoy an assigned dining time, waiter and tablemates each evening.

Personal Choice Dining will be available to Gulf of Alaska passengers at the start of the 2001 season, which gets underway in mid-May.

"The feedback we've received from our Grand Princess passengers about this program has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic," said Dean Brown, executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. "They say it's exactly what they have been asking for. No other cruise line gives its passengers this option. With Princess the more traditional cruisers can enjoy the dining experience they've come to love, while others can choose to dine just as they would at a restaurant on land."

In Alaska, the new restaurant-style option will be offered during expanded dining hours of 5:30 pm to midnight. Passengers can choose to reserve their dining time, or can opt to dine at their leisure without reservations. A wide variety of table configurations will allow passengers to join newfound friends or dine at an intimate table for two, whatever they prefer.

"What's important about Personal Choice Dining is that we've put the passenger in control of the experience they have on board," said Todd Putman, Princess' vice president of marketing. "There's a lot of talk in the industry right now about dining choice, but with Princess it's not just about the number of choices. We recognize that people don't really want an overabundance of options - what they want are personal choices which can be tailored to their own individual desires."

The special design of these Princess ships, which were originally constructed to offer maximum dining flexibility in multiple areas with dedicated galleys, enables the line to further innovate this trademark concept. In addition to the main dining room options, Personal Choice Dining incorporates a number of other dining alternatives aboard each of these ships. Passengers in Alaska can also enjoy a 24-hour restaurant, a pizzeria, a new steakhouse, patisserie, a hamburger and hot dog grill, a sushi bar and 24-hour room service.

In addition to dining, each ship also offers the many entertainment and activity choices that define the company's Personal Choice Cruising program.

Personal Choice Dining will also debut with Golden Princess when she is launched in Europe in May.

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Latest Personal Choice Dining Option is Industry First

Adding yet another exciting element to its Personal Choice Dining program, Princess has cooked up the cruise industry's first outdoor steakhouse, to be featured aboard each of its Sun-class ships -- Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess and Ocean Princess. Recently tested aboard Sea Princess to rave reviews, this new option is the only al fresco dining area afloat to showcase American steakhouse favorites. The new dining option is available aboard each vessel this month.

The new "Sterling Steakhouse," as it is called, features special cuts of Angus beef from the famous "Sterling Silver" brand, along with popular side dishes and desserts found at shoreside steakhouses. Passengers dine under the stars between the hours of 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm in the special atmosphere of a sheltered deck area overlooking each ship's pool, complete with special table settings of decorative linens, fine cutlery and table lanterns. The new steakhouse also gives passengers the unique option of choosing their own prime cut of beef from a presentation tray, and watching as the chef cooks their selection.

"Once again, Princess has created a dining experience that exists nowhere else in the cruise industry," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. "This is yet another show of our commitment to developing unique culinary options for our passengers as part of our Personal Choice Cruising philosophy, which enables them to design a dining experience around their own personal preferences."

Steakhouse patrons can choose from four different cuts of beef, exclusively available in this dining venue, in several sizes - Rib Eye (10- and 12-oz. portions), New York Strip (10 and 12 oz.), Porter House (20 oz.) and Filet Mignon (8 and 10 oz.). A barbeque chicken option is available as well, as are a selection of favorite steakhouse extras -- with starters such as a blooming onion, jalapeno poppers, hearty chili and fresh Caesar salad tossed tableside. Steaks are accompanied by a choice of traditional options, including baked potato or fries, creamed spinach and corn on the cob. For those who still have room after the meal, a selection of homestyle specialty desserts is available as well.

The steakhouse is currently offered at Sea Princess' Riviera Grill, Dawn Princess' Balcony Grill and Ocean Princess' Riviera Grill restaurants, and will be in place at Sun Princess' Terrace Grill before the end of March. The restaurants can accommodate approximately 70 passengers each evening, and reservations are recommended. This special experience is available for an $8 per person charge.

The Sterling Steakhouse joins an array of dining choices aboard these Sun-class vessels. Sun Princess made history when it debuted in 1995 with the cruise industry's first 24-hour restaurant, the Horizon Court. All new Princess ships now include this popular feature, which offers a 'round-the-clock buffet as well as a late evening bistro menu with table service. Passengers will also find special culinary offerings here, such as the ships' popular lunchtime sushi bar. Sun-class vessels also feature Princess' trademark pizzeria, a patisserie, a wine and caviar bar, an ice cream shop and 24-hour room service, in addition to the ships' two main dining rooms.

Princess ships all feature Personal Choice Cruising, a fleet-wide dedication to providing passengers with a wide variety of options with which to customize their vacations. The line's ships are designed to offer an array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, including Princess' innovative Personal Choice Dining program, the only program in the industry which enables passengers to choose either a flexible restaurant-style or traditional fixed seating dining experience within the main dining rooms.

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LOS ANGELES, March 7, 2001 -- Crystal Cruises announces that its guests can now access the Internet from their private accommodations. From the personalized e-mail address given to each guest prior to sailing, to the new convenience of in-stateroom 24-hour Internet and e-mail access, Crystal Cruises continues to expand its Computer University@Sea program.

Effective immediately, every stateroom and penthouse accommodation aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony is configured for dial-up Internet access via the rental of an onboard laptop computer. This added convenience complements the around-the-clock cyber service available in the dedicated computer lab and other public areas, which offer more than 25 Compaq® workstations - more computers per guest than any other cruise line. For in-stateroom use, guests may rent laptops for $5 per day, on which they can work with Microsoft Windows, create and read e-mail, and connect to the Internet. In addition to group instruction on every cruise, private tutoring is also available.

“From the beginning, the concept behind Crystal’s Computer University@Sea has been to offer our guests stimulating enrichment and greater convenience,” says Adam Leavitt, senior vice president, marketing. “Now, with the ease of plug-and-play Internet and e-mail access in the privacy and comfort of one’s own accommodations, a greater variety of travelers, perhaps those who are hesitant to be away from the office more than a few days, can realistically consider a 10-, 12-day or longer luxury vacation experience.”

Computer University@Sea debuted in 1997, when Crystal Cruises became the first line to offer regularly scheduled computer instruction and e-mail capabilities. Due to the program’s overwhelming popularity, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony added dedicated computer labs to each ship and the program was soon offered on all sailings. Depending on the length of the cruise, there are three to nine instructors teaching curriculums ranging from Microsoft Windows and e-mail classes to more advanced subjects such as mastering spreadsheets and manipulating digital images. Crystal Cruises remains the only cruise line to offer computer instruction on every cruise.

By 1999, Crystal Cruises increased private e-mail transmissions from once daily to four times a day, and began printing a personal e-mail address on each guest’s cruise ticket, which enables a traveler to leave personal contact information with family, friends and business associates before setting sail. Today, with the real time Internet connection, e-mails are sent instantly from Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony.

In 2000, several computers in Crystal’s Computer University@Sea labs were configured for Internet access to enable cruise 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, including MSN, Yahoo, Earthlink and America Online. Guests also retain the option of sending/receiving e-mail through the ships’ e-mail service.

Crystal's extensive Internet capabilities augment many other onboard information services that keep guests fully up to date. Guests can watch CNN and ESPN 24 hours a day in most destinations, read daily summaries of The New York Times, receive free delivery of USA Today in most ports, or follow their investments via a personalized stock-tracking e-mail service.

Computer University@Sea charges depend on the guest’s service preference. Guests accessing their Internet-based e-mail or exploring cyberspace are charged $1.25 a minute, with a 10-minute minimum. As an alternative, e-mails sent or received via a guest’s personal shipboard e-mail address provided by Crystal Cruises cost $3 each. For both services, there is a nominal one-time set-up fee of $5. Printing, workshops and group instruction are complimentary.

Both Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony are operated by Crystal Cruises, winner of the travel industry’s most distinguished hospitality awards and guidebook ratings. The line’s most recent honors include the fifth consecutive designation as “World’s Best Large Cruise Line,” and “Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines, respectively.

The Six-Star rated sister ships each carry 940 guests in elegant comfort. The ships feature expansive decks, a wide variety of spacious lounges for acclaimed Broadway-style production shows and enrichment programs, full-service fitness facilities, a lavish spa, pool, outdoor Jacuzzis, Caesars Palace at Sea casino and exquisitely appointed staterooms, more than half of which offer private verandahs. Flexible gourmet dining, with alternative Italian and Asian specialty restaurants, is a highlight. Expert bridge, dance and golf instruction, as well as an extensive onboard enrichment program, is offered on each cruise.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure, call 800.820.6663. The luxury line’s website is located at

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MIAMI --  March 15, 2001  --  Team spirit and total guest satisfaction   have earned crew members of the Royal Caribbean International ship   Legend of the Seas the company's Shipboard Team of the Year award for 2000.

The annual competition recognizes efforts by Royal Caribbean crews to deliver superior service to their cruise guests.  The Shipboard Team of the Year selection is based on three criteria: the most improved guest satisfaction ratings, as measured yearly by guest surveys and comment cards on each cruise; the lowest number of negative guest letters, as determined annually by correspondence received by the company's Guest Relations Department; and the highest employee satisfaction ratings, as measured annually by employee satisfaction surveys.

"We are very proud of our crew members on all of our ships, but we are especially pleased at the extraordinary lengths that Legend of the Seas' crew has gone to deliver quality customer service," said Jack Williams, president of Royal Caribbean International.  "The fact that Legend has traveled to many continents and attracts so many international guests makes the effort and the award all the more meaningful."

Legend of the Seas' Master, Thomas Wildung, was presented with a plaque commemorating the award when the ship was in port in Brisbane, Australia recently.  He also received a Shipboard Team of the Year flag to fly over the ship and a $10,000 check to be placed in the Crew Welfare Fund.

Presenting the plaque and honors on behalf of Royal Caribbean were  Adam Goldstein, senior vice president, Total Guest Satisfaction, Tom  Murrill, vice president and chief human resources officer, and Gary Bruton, senior vice president, International.

 "The crew of Legend of the Seas has done an exceptional job of focusing on guest service," Goldstein said.  "They serve as an excellent example to all of our employees, shipboard and shoreside."

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 14 ships in service, and six under construction or on firm order. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Internet web site at or

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MIAMI -- March 9, 2001 was a special date for Royal Caribbean International.  The cruise line accepted delivery of  Radiance of the Seas, the first of its Radiance-class of ships. The 90,090-ton vessel departed Amsterdam on March 11, 2001, and is en route to the Port of Miami.  Her arrival is scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 21, 2001.

"This class of ship represents an evolution in design and creativity, which has always been a hallmark of our brand," said Jack Williams, president, Royal Caribbean International.

The 2,100-guest Radiance of the Seas has the first ultra-high-tech, self-leveling pool tables on a cruise ship, and boasts more glass than any other Royal Caribbean ship.  A new generation world cruiser, Radiance of the Seas is designed to sail world itineraries to Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Pacific Northwest and the Caribbean.

Unique onboard amenities include a trendy bookstore and coffee shop, an African-themed Solarium with 15-foot elephant waterfalls, and a futuristic disco with a revolving bar.  Many dining options include a Chops Grill steakhouse and Portofino, an Italian restaurant.  The ship is powered by an azipod propulsion system, and smokeless, vibration-free GE gas turbine engines, which represent the industry's newest technology for protecting the environment.

A preview cruise will introduce travel agents, media and cruise industry professionals to the new ship on March 24 to March 26 at the Port of Miami.  This event will be followed by a series of one-, two-, and three-night revenue cruises, which will be offered to the general public between March 26 and April 4.

The naming ceremony will take place on April 6, at 5:30 p.m. at Port Everglades, with the ship's godmother, Margot Pritzker, wife of Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Corporation and member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Board of Directors.  The14-night maiden voyage, a Panama Canal cruise, will depart on April 7, from Port Everglades.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 14 ships in service and six under construction or on firm order.  For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Internet web site at or

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MIAMI - From art nouveau to postmodern to funky to Egyptian, the public rooms on Carnival Cruise Lines' newest ship, the Carnival Spirit, celebrate a wide variety of architectural styles in their interior-design themes. Just as the Carnival Spirit represents a new class of "Fun Ship" for the line, its interior design reinvents the traditional central thematic idea by creating a mood of diversity through a synthesis of highly divergent decors.

The 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit is slated to debut in April and sail Alaskan waters during its inaugural season through the summer, followed by a winter program of eight-day Caribbean cruises from Miami.

"Although the central idea for this ship could be called 'noteworthy décor styles,' it's really a very abstract unifying theme," said Joe Farcus, interior architect for the "Fun Ship" fleet. "There is a main decorative style used in each of the public rooms - Chinese in one, art deco in another, for example - however, the styles are not necessarily executed in a traditional manner, but rather are more interpretive," he added.

The Spirit Lobby and some public areas are decorated in the art deco style, which uses sleek, graceful lines and slender organic forms. The lobby houses two grand staircases, a bar with dance floor and the information and tour desks. Rich wood and antiqued copper are used extensively in the lobby, stairwells and elevator bays. Railings are a lacey cast copper, stained-glass domes in the ceiling provide diffused mood lighting, and the walls and elevators combine wood, handmade etched plates, marble inlaid frames and embossed copper trimmings.

The Spirit has several rooms not found on other Carnival ships, perhaps most noteworthy among  them the  alternative-dining venue, the Nouveau Supper Club.  Located at  the top  of a soaring nine-deck-high atrium and housed under a red tinted glass dome that forms the front portion of the ship's funnel, this art nouveau-style restaurant hearkens back to the great supper clubs of the past. Art nouveau is characterized by dense, winding floral forms in a linear arrangement.  It incorporates organic shapes - vines, leaves, flowers, branches - into abstracted architectural elements. In the supper club, pillars are shaped like flower buds in a Tiffany-like design using antiqued copper for the stems and leaves. The floral pattern is carried out throughout the room in hand-painted wall murals, the stained-glass balcony on the upper level and the bud-shaped bar stools. On one side of the room is a beverage bar, and on the other, a display cooking area with bar stools so guests can watch the cooks at work. The circular, two-level room has a stage for entertainers, as well as a dance floor.

Another first on a Carnival ship, The Chapel, is decorated in the linear, graceful  and elegant Gothic style. Available for weddings or other ceremonies, The Chapel has a traditional house of worship atmosphere. A central aisle leads to the stage under stained-glass windows that portray Old Testament scenes. A bride's room with dressing area provides privacy. Located adjacent to The Chapel is the Chippendale Library. Named after Thomas Chippendale, the 18th-century English style of furniture is recognized by its graceful lines and rococo ornamentation. The room's main features are columns shaped like giant Chippendale table legs. The mural of an English garden overlooks a traditional secretary and bookcases mounted on desks which hold computer terminals offering Internet access for guests. The three-level Pharaoh's Palace show lounge is decorated in Egyptian Revival style. Sarcophagi designed after that of the golden King Tutankhamen are situated between the windows and stone walls which are decorated with hieroglyphics. Twenty-foot-tall stone figures flank the stage. A circular staircase and elevator provide access to all three levels of the lounge, which has a retractable orchestra pit, turntable stage and loft for scenery, lights and stage props.

The ornate Versailles Lounge is located one deck below the Egyptian Lounge, and, as its name implies, is richly done in the elegant, highly decorative manner that emerged in 18th-century France. The sloping floor provides excellent sightlines to the stage, which extends into the  seating area for greater interaction between the entertainers and the audience. Since the room is on a lower  deck,  there  are  no  windows.  However, faux windows  have  been  created using ornate frames around French skyline scenes of chateaux with starry skies lit by fiber optics. With a large dance floor, the room has been designed as a cross between a lounge and an intimate theater. 

"Funky" best describes the décor of the two-level Dancin' Dance Club. A large dance floor is located on the lower level of the club, with a bar and overlook seating located on the upper level.  The room also features a two-deck, 20-by-20-foot video wall of 48-inch monitors. The Champions' sports bar is done in the sophisticated moderne style. Decorated like a 1950s club with wood and black lacquer with copper accents, one wall has bas-relief figures of famous sports legends like Babe Ruth and Alonzo Mourning. The room features big-screen televisions and tabletop gaming machines.

The Shanghai Bar, the Carnival Spirit's piano bar, features a heavy Oriental "Chinoise" style that emphasizes elaborate ornamentation. The walls are covered in Chinese fabric, and silk screens are illuminated from behind. Although contemporary, the room has many authentic Chinese elements to create an impressive Oriental atmosphere.

The Spirit's main dining room, the Empire Room, is a two-deck affair done in the Napoleonic, or early 19th-century French style. The ceiling is decorated with domes painted with murals in the grandest empire style, with crystal chandeliers providing an elegant atmosphere. In the center of the room is a grand circular staircase decorated with a sculpture of the regal Napoleon at his coronation.  Flanking the entrances are pilasters that are in the form of female statues. Large circular windows are bordered with a cast frame embossed with shapes of fruit and flowers.

The Lido restaurant, called La Playa Grille, takes postmodernism for its style. The room features a skylight that culminates two levels above and houses a spectacular chandelier.  The majority of seating is adjacent to windows between which are wooden columns connected to deconstructed masonry-like arches that appear to be falling apart.  Multi-colored terrazzo flooring  in an  arabesque design and  hand-painted  murals on  the  walls create  a  stunning  and elegant atmosphere.  The aft section of the restaurant features an outdoor bar and serving area under a large awning.

All of these diverse public rooms are connected by a two-level promenade. A waterfall and grand staircase lead from one level to the other. The Carnival Spirit is scheduled to begin its inaugural season April 29 with a 16-day Panama Canal cruise from Miami to Los Angeles, followed by a three-night voyage from San Francisco to Vancouver departing May 20, a series of weeklong Glacier Bay and Glacier Route Alaska cruises throughout the summer, two 12-day Hawaii cruises, and a 14-day Panama Canal sailing from San Diego to Miami departing Oct. 20. From Miami, Carnival Spirit is slated to sail a unique eight-day program to "exotic" Caribbean ports of call throughout the winter, commencing Nov. 3.

For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups).  Information and reservations also can be obtained via Carnival's Web site at

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MIAMI BEACH (03/07/01) - One of Florida's most renowned delicacies, stone crabs, from Miami Beach's oldest restaurant - legendary Joe's Stone Crab - will be featured for the first time on a cruise ship menu when the new Carnival Spirit enters service in late April.  The announcement was made today at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami Beach. Carnival Cruise Lines President Bob Dickinson and Steve Sawitz, president of Joe's, revealed that the succulent claws will be served in the Carnival Spirit's specialty restaurant, the Nouveau Supper Club.

"We're very excited at being the first cruise line to offer our guests the world-famous stone crabs from Joe's," Dickinson said.  "We are creating a world-class dining venue in the Carnival Spirit's Nouveau Supper Club and through this association with Joe's we will offer our guests a truly one-of-a-kind culinary experience not available on any other cruise ship," he added.

Sawitz, whose great-grandparents established Joe's as Miami Beach's first restaurant in 1913, noted that the arrangement will introduce the tasty claws, native to Florida waters, to a new, sophisticated market segment.

"We anticipate Carnival guests will join the tens of thousands of stone crab aficionados who have enjoyed the claws at Joe's," commented Sawitz. Traditionally served cold, the claws are usually accompanied by Joe's signature mustard sauce or drawn butter. The claw's hard shell is cracked
with a wooden mallet just before being served to preserve freshness. Presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Bill Clinton, royalty including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and celebrities world-wide have savored the seafood delicacy.

The Carnival Spirit, first in a new class of 88,500-ton ships accommodating 2,124 passengers, is expected to make its maiden cruise from the Port of Miami April 29, 2001.

Even MORE Spirit Dining News!

The 156-seat Nouveau Supper Club - Carnival's first reservations-only specialty restaurant --  is located at the top of a soaring nine-deck-high atrium and housed under a red tinted glass dome that forms the front portion of the ship's funnel.  Hearkening back to the great supper clubs of the past, the circular, two-level room has a bandstand and a stage for entertainers, as well as a dance floor.

The Carnival Spirit is scheduled to begin its inaugural season April 29 with a 16-day Panama Canal cruise, a series of weeklong Glacier Bay and Glacier Route Alaska cruises through the summer, two 12-day Hawaii cruises, and a 14-day Panama Canal sailing from San Diego to Miami. From Miami, Spirit is slated to sail a unique eight-day  program to "exotic" Caribbean
ports of call beginning Nov. 3.

While the delectable crab claws from the legendary Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant may get top billing at the Carnival Spirit's Nouveau Supper Club, the a la carte shipboard dining venue, like the Miami Beach institution, will offer a diverse, palate-pleasing menu to suit a variety of tastes.

Taking its cue from New York's widely popular steakhouses, the two-level supper club will offer top-quality aged USDA prime beef, seafood and other upscale cuisine, all in elegant and comfortable surroundings that set the tone for a perfect meal.

Located forward at the top of a soaring, nine-deck-high atrium and housed under a red tinted glass dome that forms the front portion of the ship's funnel, the expansive, reservations-only supper club -- the first true steakhouse at sea -- will offer a wide range of menu items, from
mouth-watering appetizers, salads and side dishes to tantalizing entrees and decadent desserts. The restaurant will carry a nightly reservations fee of $15 per person.

"While our association with Joe's provides Carnival Spirit guests a dining experience not available on any other cruise ship, the Nouveau Supper Club also promises a diverse menu of classic steakhouse dishes in an atmosphere as memorable as the cuisine itself," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.

Typical of upscale steakhouses on land, the Nouveau Supper Club will offer guests a wide selection of the finest hand-cut prime beef, including a 14-ounce New York strip, 18-ounce classic porterhouse, 18-ounce prime rib, and the traditional cut nine-ounce filet mignon. All steaks are cooked to guests' exact specifications.

Diners can also choose from such starters as Seared Rare Fresh Hawaiian Ahi Tuna on Wilted Arugula, Lobster Bisque Flavored with Vintage Cognac and Baked Onion Soup "Les Halles."  Salads include the Classic Caesar (served tableside) and Baby Leaf Spinach and Fresh Mushrooms with Blue Cheese Crumbles and Warm Bacon Dressing.

A variety of delectable entrée items are also available, including Grilled Double-Cut Lamb Chops, Dover Sole Meurniere and Chilean Sea Bass with Citrus Butter, complementing the signature stone crabs from Florida's most famous restaurant. Other upscale dishes will also be offered, some of which will be prepared and served tableside by Carnival's master chefs. Accompanying entrees are traditional steakhouse side dishes, including sautéed mushrooms, golden hash browns, creamed spinach and grilled seasonal vegetables. Desserts such as Warm Chocolate Soufflé with Sauce Anglaise, New York Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis, Trio of Crème Brulee and Tarte Tatin, a warm French apple tart, serve as a delicious finale.

A special wine list, hand-selected by Carnival's executive chefs to match the wide-ranging cuisines, will be available, including Chalk Hill Chardonnay, La Romanee, Vega Sicilia, Opus One 1980 and Chateau Lafite-Rothchild 1985. Table settings, including fine china and crystal stemware, and "personal touches" such as leather-bound menus further add to the refined atmosphere. Dishes will be enjoyed in the spacious surroundings of the two-level 156-seat restaurant, which is evocative of the classic dining venues of yesteryear, with nightly entertainment in the form of a quartet or cabaret singer, as well as a marble dance floor. There's also a cooking display area where guests can watch chefs prepare their culinary masterpieces.
The Nouveau Supper Club's décor, much like the name implies, is patterned after the art nouveau movement of the late 19th century, characterized by free-flowing, curvilinear lines and decorative organic shapes such as vines, leaves, flowers and branches.

Modeled after Brussels' breathtaking Hotel Tassel -- whose interiors are considered among the finest examples of art nouveau design -- the supper club also features hand-painted floral wall murals and antiqued copper stem-like columns capped with stained-glass lighting fixtures formed in an ornate flower bud motif. A colorful Tiffany-style stained-glass balcony completes the art nouveau theme.

The Nouveau Supper Club is just one of several dining options aboard the Carnival Spirit, the first in a new series of 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger "Fun Ships." Also housed within the Carnival Spirit is the 1,250-seat Empire Restaurant, an expansive two-deck-high formal dining room, and the two-level La Playa Grille, a casual poolside eatery offering full breakfast and lunchtime buffets, a Seaview Bistro alternative dinner service, and a 24-hour pizzeria. Complimentary 24-hour room service is available, as well. All of these options comprise Carnival's Total Choice Dining(SM), cruising's most comprehensive dining program offering the widest variety of casual and formal choices at sea.

Carnival Spirit is scheduled to debut April 29 with a 16-day Panama Canal cruise from Miami to Los Angeles, followed by a three-night voyage from San Francisco to Vancouver departing May 20, a series of week-long Glacier Bay and Glacier Route Alaska cruises throughout the summer, two 12-day Hawaii cruises, and a 14-day Panama Canal sailing from San Diego to Miami departing Oct. 20. From Miami, Carnival Spirit is slated to operate a unique eight-day program to "exotic" Caribbean ports of call throughout the winter, commencing Nov. 3.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Information and reservations also can be obtained via Carnival's Web site at

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LOS ANGELES, March 6, 2001 – The luxury of quality choices has been Crystal’s signature since the line’s inception. Expanding on its award-winning formula for large-ship luxury cruising, Crystal Cruises announces it is adding more of its most successful features to the line’s third ship, scheduled for delivery in late June 2003. At 1,080 guests and 68,000 tons, the yet-unnamed vessel will offer more dining venues, more penthouse accommodations, more staterooms with verandahs, more entertainment lounges, and more fitness options, among other features.

“While we plan to introduce a new, state-of-the-art, innovative ship, we also want to maintain the brand consistency valued by our guests and travel agents,” says Joseph A. Watters, president, Crystal Cruises. “In response to their feedback, our third ship will expand upon the best of Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony.”

In the public areas, among the added features are a sushi bar, the ship’s third alternative evening restaurant; a second paddle tennis court; a completely new learning center for a variety of creative and educational hands-on classes; a classic boardroom with wine cellar; and a “clubby,” social lounge designed for Crystal Society members, the line’s repeat guests, to support their love of travel and geography. In addition to the new areas, the line is incorporating contemporary renditions of its guests’ favorite public rooms, including the airy Palm Court and adjacent Vista Lounge, cozy Avenue Saloon and sophisticated Connoisseur Club. Plans also include a significantly enlarged Computer University@Sea classroom, more than 50% larger than its existing facilities, with a 24-hour Internet center and a private area for one-on-one computer instruction; and a lavish Spa and Gym, expanded by approximately 40%.

Crystal’s new vessel will boast an even greater space-per-guest ratio (62.9) than her sister ships within 93,500 square feet of public space (34% greater than Crystal Symphony) and 14 decks (one more than Crystal Symphony).

Approximately 85% of its all outside staterooms and suites will offer private verandahs.

On a deck and a half, the new ship will offer 100 Penthouse accommodations verandahs (56% greater than on Crystal Symphony) with private verandahs. Of those, the most lavish accommodations will be four, 1345 square-foot Crystal Penthouses, which will be at least 37% larger than those on the existing fleet (and two more than Crystal Symphony). There will be almost double the number of Penthouse Suites (32 on the new ship vs. 18 on Crystal Symphony) and 64 Penthouses, a 45% increase.

In keeping with Crystal’s successful approach of offering a range of luxury accommodations, there will be 368 outside staterooms with verandahs 82 outside staterooms with large picture windows.

Eight specially designed, wheelchair-accessible accommodations include two Penthouses, two staterooms with verandahs and four staterooms with large picture windows.

While Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony have two alternative specialty restaurants, Crystal’s third ship will have three: an Italian restaurant, an Asian restaurant, and, for the first time, a separate sushi bar. There will be a total of five evening dining venues, including the main Crystal Dining Room, the three specialty restaurants and an indoor/outdoor poolside area for casual evening dining.

Crystal is also retaining its popular daytime dining venues on the new ship, with some new additions. Permanent hot food stations aft of the ships’ second pool will service themed luncheon buffets and other dining options. Also, the line is featuring stylish versions of its famous Bistro, a social coffee and wine bar, for morning and afternoon snacks, the country-club style Lido Café for breakfast and lunch, the Trident Grill for casual poolside lunches throughout the afternoon, the ice cream/frozen yogurt bar, in addition to 24-hour complimentary room service.

Spa, Sports and Fitness
Crystal’s sybaritic Spa will be approximately 40% larger on the new ship with more treatment rooms, a larger gym and an aerobics studio. Due to the popularity of the paddle tennis court on Crystal’s fleet, the line is adding a second court to its third ship.

In response to the feedback from guests, the ship will retain its outdoor lap pool, flanked by two outdoor whirlpools; a second indoor/outdoor pool covered by a magrodome roof; a full promenade around the exterior of the ship for walking and jogging; and a sports deck with a golf driving range, a shuffleboard court and table tennis area.

Entertainment and Learning Lounges
Crystal Cruises’ entertainment and enrichment programs have earned the line numerous awards and the highest ratings from its guests. The line is promising a rich entertainment and social experience aboard the new ship, along with increased opportunities for stimulating learning activities.

The Galaxy Show Lounge is the main entertainment venue for the line’s
distinctive award-winning production shows, featuring more intimate seating
arrangements, improved sight lines and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. A second cabaret lounge provides another venue for day activities such as dance classes and wine tasting, as well as evening dancing and cabaret entertainment.

The Palm Court/Vista lounge is a top deck lounge for afternoon tea, evening dancing and entertainment, special events and for simply enjoying the changing scenery, with floor-to-ceiling 360° panoramic windows and new room extensions that offer unique views of the glass-enclosed bridge wings one deck below.

Other rooms include:

Avenue Saloon – Crystal’s signature cocktail and piano bar with intimate, “clubby” atmosphere

Connoisseur Club – refined cigar lounge for after-dinner drinks

Crystal Plaza and Crystal Cove – lobby area with two-story atrium, comfortable seating arrangements and a Crystal piano bar

Caesars Palace at Sea Casino – Crystal Cruises offers the only seagoing casino operated by a famed gaming establishment

Disco/nightclub – for late night dancing and karaoke

Cinema/Conference center – theater seating in arena for day and evening movies, lectures and religious services

Boardroom – a new classic boardroom with wine cellar

Creative Learning Center – a new activity center for a variety of creative, educational, hands-on classes

Bridge Lounge – to accommodate Crystal’s avid bridge players

Crystal Society Clubroom – new social lounge for Crystal’s repeat cruisers to pursue their thirst for travel, geography and information on Crystal’s worldwide itineraries

Computer University@Sea classroom – more than 50% larger than the large computer rooms on Crystal’s current fleet, with 24-hour Internet café and an area for private instruction

Fantasia children and teen center
Photo shop and gallery
Retail shops

Crystal Cruises is the recipient of the industry’s most prestigious awards. For the fifth consecutive year, the line has won the “World’s Best” large-ship line and the “Best Large-Ship Line” from the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, respectively. The line’s Six-Star rated ships, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, sail on worldwide itineraries.

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