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Cruise News
April 1-30, 2011

Click the following links to the cruise news stories...

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

What's on Cruise Diva's mind? A bit of editorializing, news, announcements, and travel tips--find that and more in Cruise Diva's Blog. Recent headlines appear below.

Cruise Diva

New ‘Seven Seas Signature’ Initiative Includes Onboard Enhancements

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fl., April 28: Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced additional upgrades as part its multi-million dollar, fleet-wide Seven Seas Signature initiative. The company operates the all-suite Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator on 7- to 119-night voyages to Alaska, the Mediterranean, Greek Islands, and Holy Lands before venturing to Egypt, India, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, South America, and the Caribbean for the winter.

“We are pleased to continue enriching guests’ experiences with the third phase of our Seven Seas Signature initiative,” states Mark Conroy, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “This is an ongoing plan to elevate our ultra-luxury brand and long-term value proposition. More updates and enhancements will be announced in 2012.”

A Multi-Phase Master Plan
The first phase of the Seven Seas Signature program, completed last year, featured a $100 million enhancement of all three vessels. Almost every area of the ships was refurbished, with public rooms being substantially redesigned by the renowned architectural firm of Yran & Storbraaten of Oslo, Norway. The updates resulted in a new look that is fresh, elegant and luxurious yet retains the familial warmth and charm for which Regent Seven Seas Cruises is lauded.

In October 2010, the company revolutionized the cruise industry with phase two of the Seven Seas Signature initiative, when it announced that guests would receive a free, luxury hotel package in connection with every cruise, beginning in April 2011. Coffee Connection was added to all ships for refreshing drinks and pastries. Exclusive Suite Slumber Beds were added to all suites in addition to L’Occitane® bath amenities; Hermès amenities are featured in Penthouse suites and higher.

The third phase of the Seven Seas Signature program includes the renovation of select public rooms and suites and equipping Penthouse and higher-category suites with iPads. Beginning with the 2012 summer season, guests in concierge-level suites and higher will enjoy a range of benefits from priority online shore excursion and restaurant reservations to upgrades and complimentary amenities. Enhancing the culinary experience, menus in the Compass Rose and La Veranda restaurants will be expanded with a greater emphasis placed on showcasing specialties from the regions visited.

Today, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is widely recognized as the world’s most inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line with airfare, all-suite accommodations, award-winning cuisine, premium spirits and fine wines, live entertainment, shore excursions, gratuities and taxes, and a pre-cruise hotel stay included in cruise fares. To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, see a professional travel agent, visit, or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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Carnival Cruise Lines Takes Delivery Of 130,000-Ton Carnival Magic

MIAMI, April 27: Carnival Cruise Lines, a brand of global cruise operator Carnival Corp, accepted delivery today of the corporation’s 100th ship, the Carnival Magic, in ceremonies at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where the vessel was built. Following the traditional maritime handover ceremony in Italy, Carnival Magic will debut on May 1 with a 9-day Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Barcelona.

In recognition of this achievement, on April 29 all guests sailing aboard Carnival Corp’s 100 ships will enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at dinner to commemorate this historic and unprecedented milestone. All told, more than 227,000 guests across the company’s 10 cruise brands will participate in the toast, believed to be the largest celebration of its kind at sea.

Prior to the departure of its inaugural voyage, the 130,000-ton vessel will be named by its godmother, Lindsey Wilkerson, a former patient of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who now serves as an employee and ambassador of the organization. The choice of Wilkerson as godmother is a tribute to Carnival’s ongoing partnership with St. Jude, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

As the line’s newest ship, Carnival Magic will introduce a host of innovations, including the RedFrog Pub, a colorful Caribbean-inspired watering hole featuring its own private label draught beer; Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant that brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table; and SportSquare, an expansive open-air recreation complex with the first ropes course and outdoor fitness area at sea. Other features include a WaterWorks aqua park with a 312-foot-long spiral water slide and other attractions; The Lanai, a wraparound promenade with an outdoor barbeque area and whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides; and Ocean Plaza, a stunning indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue.

“With a combination of exciting new features such as the RedFrog Pub, SportSquare and Cucina del Capitano and other popular ‘Fun Ship’ amenities, Carnival Magic epitomizes our company’s continued commitment to providing our guests with fun, memorable vacations at an incredible value,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines’ president and CEO.

Added Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO, “The delivery of a new cruise ship to one of our brands is always a proud and exciting moment,” said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation. “It is particularly meaningful that delivery of Carnival Corporation’s 100th ship is for the Carnival Cruise Lines brand, which provided the foundation upon which Carnival Corporation & plc was established and, ultimately, grew into the largest cruise operator in the world with 10 global brands.”

Following the May 1 inaugural voyage from Venice, Carnival Magic will sail a series of 7- to 12-day Mediterranean departures from Barcelona through Oct. 16, then reposition to Galveston, Texas, for year-round seven-day Caribbean departures beginning Nov. 14, becoming the largest ship ever based at the port year-round. For additional information and reservations on the Carnival Magic or any other of the line’s ships, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2012-13 Caribbean Cruises

MIAMI, April 27: Royal Caribbean has announced the cruise line’s 2012-13 Caribbean cruises, offering vacationers more choices for an exciting vacation aboard some of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the largest and most revolutionary cruise ships at sea, as well as Freedom of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas will continue sailing a range of Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries year-round from five convenient drive-market ports. Six additional ships, Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas, will offer even greater flexibility with 4- to 12-night Caribbean itineraries, departing from four more convenient domestic U.S. ports in winter 2012-13. Royal Caribbean’s 2012-13 Caribbean cruises aboard Adventure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, and Explorer of the Seas are open for booking immediately, while 2012-13 sailings aboard Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas will open throughout next week.

“Royal Caribbean’s 2012-13 Caribbean cruises aboard some of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships are perfect settings for families and couples of all ages to create memories that will last a lifetime,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Our unmatched ships, amazing onboard staff and crew, and exciting itineraries are all part of the Royal Advantage that we deliver to guests on every cruise. There’s something for everyone onboard, from relaxing in the solarium to participating in the DreamWorks character parade to attending a Broadway musical, to enjoying a multitude of dining options, all of which create opportunities to bond and grow.”

In 2012, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas continue to alternate seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Every weekend, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., while Freedom of the Seas sails from Port Canaveral along the Space Coast.

The recently launched Oasis-class ships introduced many ‘firsts’ to the industry and offer guests the widest array of innovative onboard amenities, accommodations, dining and entertainment options. Aboard all three ships, and Liberty of the Seas, guests enjoy the exclusive DreamWorks Experience, which feature programs and interactive sessions with DreamWorks Animation’s characters from “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Throughout winter 2012-13, Brilliance of the Seas will take over for Serenade of the Seas and join Adventure of the Seas to offer vacationers two ships to embark on a round-trip, seven-night Southern Caribbean cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas continue their year-round departures from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, and Baltimore, respectively, to the Caribbean. Explorer of the Seas offers New York-metropolitan vacationers seven-night Bahamas and nine- to 11-night Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries. In mid-April 2013, vacationers also can choose a five- or six-night Bermuda or a nine-night Bermuda and Caribbean itinerary. Enchantment of the Seas, on the other hand, will sail seven-night Bahamas, nine-night Eastern Caribbean and 12-night Southern Caribbean itineraries throughout the season.

Gulf Coast vacationers will again have three convenient regional ports to embark on a Caribbean cruise in winter 2012-13. Sailing 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries, Navigator of the Seas will replace Voyager of the Seas as a new seasonal product from New Orleans, while Mariner of the Seas will sail round-trip from Galveston again. Jewel of the Seas will continue four- and five-night from Tampa, where the new five-night itinerary will alternate calls at Cozumel and Grand Cayman or Cozumel and Key West.

Liberty of the Seas also will offer four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades. Additionally, Monarch of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas continue to sail 3- and 4-night Bahamas getaways from Port Canaveral and Miami, respectively. These quick getaway cruises call at Nassau and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.

Onboard, guests can enjoy a day by the pool, rejuvenate with a session in the ship’s day-spa, or on select ships, take on the challenge to climb the rock-wall, hang-ten on the FlowRider surf simulator, or fly nine decks high on the zip line. At night, the Casino Royale offer world-class gaming, while lounges offer a variety of atmospheres for dancing into the night to relaxing and recounting the day’s activities. The cruise line’s complimentary, award-winning Adventure Ocean kids and teen programming help younger guests meet likeminded peers to build lasting friendships in counselor-led activity sessions from morning to late night. Throughout, every guest enjoys Royal Caribbean’s friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Expands Onboard Guest Appearances With
Acclaimed Artists, Lecturers & Entertainers

BELLEVUE, WA, April 26: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, announced an expanded line-up of renowned artists, lecturers, and entertainers for its 2011-2012 sailings. The impressive roster of onboard presenters as well as exclusive excursions and exhibits provides guests of The Gauguin educational experiences to enhance their appreciation for the natural and cultural history of French Polynesia.

As part of the authentic Polynesian experience aboard The Gauguin, guests are invited to sample the local cuisine and watch electrifying Polynesian performances, or choose to indulge in traditional Tahitian spa treatments and experience the beauty of French Polynesia through an array of optional shore excursions. To further enrich the onboard experience, Paul Gauguin Cruises offers lectures by special guests in art, history, ecology, and Polynesian culture. Lecture topics include the history of the South Pacific, the conservation of coral reefs and marine creatures, astronomy, island formation, black pearl farming, and much more, and, in addition, respected Polynesian artists offer regular exhibits of paintings and photography. Celebrated guests include:

· Bobbie Verdegaal: The Gauguin’s onboard naturalist, Verdegaal is a trained marine biologist and environmental educator with extensive experience in the waters of French Polynesia. With her wealth of knowledge and engaging manner, she is well equipped to teach and discuss a wide range of topics associated with the marine environment of the beautiful South Pacific.
· Mark Eddowes: Eddowes is an acknowledged authority and researcher in the field of Polynesian anthropology. Almost every voyage offers entertaining and enlightening lectures by this renowned archaeologist and scholar—and gifted raconteur.
· Cécile Gaspar: President of Te Mana O Te Moana, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation, education, and research, Gaspar will enlighten guests on the organization’s efforts to rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles and return them to the deep.
· Gotz Donaghy Philippe: Appearing on the July 9, 2011 sailing, painter and artist Gotz Donaghy Philippe uses his in-depth knowledge of Polynesian life to pen a humorous comic strip. Donaghy is also an expert on the Polynesian art of tattooing, having written several books on the subject. Guests will gain a unique perspective of French Polynesia through his artwork.
· Jean-Pierre Vigato: Parisian Celebrity Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato, owner and Chef Propriétaire of the two-star Michelin-rated Restaurant Apicius in Paris, will join guests aboard the July 30, 2011, culinary sailing, where he will personally prepare gourmet dishes and offer demonstrations of his culinary techniques.
· Devlin, The Matador of Magic: A professional magician for more than 30 years, Devlin brings a Latin flair to his style of magic, which has earned him the sobriquet "Matador of Magic!" The recipient of the Society of American Magicians’ highest honor, Magician of the Year, he has appeared (and disappeared!) on stages around the world—including select sailings aboard The Gauguin.

For more information about these and other special guests, please visit For information about the onboard experts, visit

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Carnival Magic to Feature Exhilarating Entertainment Lineup

MIAMI, April 26: Carnival Cruise Lines’ latest “Fun Ship,” the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, is set to raise the bar on shipboard entertainment with some of the most spectacular shows ever seen at sea. In addition to three spellbinding stage shows that feature detailed sets and costumes, state-of-the-art video technology and sophisticated special effects, Carnival Magic offers an array of entertainment choices at various venues throughout the ship, including everything from solo singers and comedians to live bands and engaging audience participation.

“On Carnival, it’s all about giving our guests choices, and Carnival Magic is our most entertaining ship to date,” said Senior Vice President of Guest Operations Mark Tamis. “With our most fun and diverse entertainment lineup ever, we are offering something for everybody.”

A Magical Extravaganza: The first production show, “Destination: Unknown,” is the largest show ever staged on a Carnival ship and the latest in Carnival Cruise Lines’ arsenal of hits. It stars Jason Byrne, award-winning “magician extraordinaire” and Las Vegas headliner. The mood is set before guests even enter the Showtime theatre with high-tech special effects, and as the houselights dim, full-stage silk drapes fall into view and quickly disappear into the floor or fly into the wings to reveal the full cast of singers and dancers. Then Byrne, the show’s star magician, appears out of thin air piloting a helicopter mid-stage. What follows is a mystical and magical circus full of masterful illusions made possible by the Showtime theatre’s state-of-the-art, unparalleled technology. This is a can’t-miss show stopper that’s sure to entertain the whole family.

Grooving Through the ’70s: The 1970s were more than just disco music and polyester bell-bottoms, and “The Groove Line” is a funky journey through the city streets and iconic discotheques of that era. Choreographed to the tunes that shaped a generation and featuring artists such as KC and the Sunshine Band, The Jackson Five, and Sister Sledge, this show will have guests on their feet and carry them back to the heyday of the 1970s.

It’s a Game Thing: “Win! The Game Show” is a wild and crazy parody of television’s most popular game shows. The different and twisted games comprise a travelogue that guides the audience to exotic and exciting places, from a NASCAR-style race track to the Las Vegas Strip. With opportunities for audience participation and a fabulously catchy soundtrack featuring songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Shania Twain, and Ricky Martin, this show is sure to be a major hit with guests.

More Entertainment Options
Carnival Magic’s two new venues help to take the line’s reputation for diverse, at-sea entertainment choices to a new level. Cucina del Capitano (“The Captain’s Kitchen”) not only boasts singing and dancing waiters and waitresses alongside a barrel of Chianti on wheels, but also has a loop of 65 hand-selected, Italian-themed songs.

Meanwhile, each evening as the sun sets, patrons of the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub can kick back to live acoustic guitar and vocals as they relax on swing-gliding chairs or amuse themselves with any number of bar games, such as foosball, a tabletop shuffleboard, darts, puzzles and more.

Ocean Plaza is the central entertainment hub of the ship. Here, sip on a latte from the coffee shop, delight in an ice cold beer or indulge in a frozen concoction. By day, this is the place to surf the web, gather with friends or enjoy fun trivia contests led by the cruise staff. By night, the fabulous indoor/outdoor space turns into a whole different world with entertainment acts taking the stage and guests dancing the night away.

Also featured on the Carnival Magic is the Punchliner Comedy Club, which highlights a wide variety of comedians offering both family-friendly and adult-only performances nightly. “Superstar Live” takes karaoke to a whole new level by offering wannabe starlets, crooners and rockers the opportunity to perform accompanied by a live band and backing singers.
Additionally, a variety of solo performers and musical ensembles can be found in different locations throughout the ship, providing musical entertainment spanning a wide range of musical genres.

More Shows in Texas
Upon arrival at Carnival Magic’s homeport of Galveston, Texas, two more shows will be added to the ship’s entertainment lineup. The first is guest favorite “Carnival Legends.”
For those who have dreamed of performing with a live band dressed as Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, or Cher, this is the opportunity to make that a reality. During the “Carnival Legends” show, guests don authentic, highly detailed costumes of their favorite singer and perform one of the artist’s signature tunes, backed by a talented 10-piece orchestra and full complement of dancers. After rehearsing with the Carnival Magic’s band and production show dancers, it’s “showtime” as the would-be stars take to the stage and strut their stuff to a packed audience.

Currently showing on Carnival Triumph, “A Kiss Goodnight” is drawing capacity crowds for each adult-only late-night show and is set to do the same on board Carnival Magic. The show features the slight-of-hand and close-up magic of house magician Mark Miller and featured magician Jason Byrne alongside the table magicians who work the room prior to showtime. Cue the music and dancers grace the stage in alluring costumes, moving in and out of the shadows to create a sensual and beautiful atmosphere like no other.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic is slated to debut in Europe with a series of 7- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1–Oct. 16, 2011. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will launch 7-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship.

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Digital Film Pros to Teach Travel Video Mastery on 2011 Crystal Cruise

LOS ANGELES, April 25: Lights! Camera! Action! Guests on Crystal Cruises' Oct 24 "Digital Filmmaking"-themed voyage will get to hone their production skills with an intense video production program that focuses on creating extraordinary travel videos. During the 12-day NYC-Miami Caribbean cruise, Michael Rosenblum, a digital film groundbreaker who led the BBC's transition to digital production and created The Travel Channel Academy, among other credits, will lead a team of instructors in teaching guests how to create the best travel videos possible. The pros will cover every step of the production process and teach travelers to think through their videos before shooting, so their finished product will be a more watchable and compelling film to share with friends, family, or the world.

"Whether a complete novice, or a veteran videographer, there will be instruction geared toward every guest's level of shooting experience," says Crystal's Vice President of Entertainment, Bret Bullock. "It's an exceptional opportunity for travelers to gain a practical education in a fast-growing arena from one of the top experts in the field--all for free."

On board, guests can attend multiple training classes, seek daily one-on-one assistance at a program "base camp," and view other guests' raw footage and finished films in a constructive workshop setting. Crystal will provide all equipment for program participation, including video cameras, Macintosh laptop computers, and editing software. On various excursions, instructors will accompany guests to provide hands-on shooting guidance.

Production areas that will be covered include:
-- Pre-production and storyboarding
-- Setting up/framing shots
-- Shooting time/clip lengths
-- Uploading footage
-- Editing
-- Graphics
-- Music
-- Finalizing finished product for sharing

Calls during the "Pink Sands and White Beaches" voyage include Bermuda, St. Maarten, Antigua, Aruba, and Grand Cayman. New Fall Sale fares  include complimentary airfare from 24 North American cities (or air credit) and $500/person "As You Wish" spending credit. Crystal's Family Memories program provides additional savings for groups of six+. Crystal Cruises' award-winning, luxurious offerings always include a diverse selection of thought-provoking, scholarly, and sophisticated enrichment activities that provide extensive onboard choices for cultured world travelers. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent. Call 888-799-4625. Visit

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Royal Caribbean Premieres “Kung Fu Panda 2” In 3-D At Sea

MIAMI– April 25, 2011 – Royal Caribbean is rolling out the red carpet in honor of the May 26, 2011 world premiere of the highly anticipated DreamWorks Animation film “Kung Fu Panda 2” with 3-D movie viewings, a family-themed promotion, and special onboard programming throughout the summer. Guests sailing on Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Liberty of the Seas from June through August 2011 will have the unique opportunity to see the 3-D animated film at sea while it is still in movie theaters across the globe. The cruise line will host a series of red-carpet premieres, which will be celebrated onboard Oasis of the Seas on June 4, 2011, Freedom of the Seas and Allure of the Seas on June 5, 2011, and June 18, 2011 for Liberty of the Seas. Ample viewings of “Kung Fu Panda 2” will take place throughout each sailing onboard all four ships through the end of August 2011.

In conjunction with the at-sea premiere of “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the global cruise line will launch “Pandamonium,” an exclusive summer promotion perfect for a family cruise vacation. The package is available onboard four Royal Caribbean ships that feature the DreamWorks Experience and includes VIP seating at one of the onboard “Kung Fu Panda 2” premieres, exclusive meet and greets with DreamWorks Animation characters, two soft drink packages, two cupcakes from the Cupcake Cupboard, a complimentary family photo, and a chance for guests to build their own Pets at Sea plush animal. Kicking off today, the “Pandamonium” package can be booked through a Royal Caribbean booking agent or with a travel agent using the promotional code YNOTxxPO. Availability is limited.

As an extension of the DreamWorks Experience summer programming, the Oasis-class ships will dazzle consumers with Boardwalk family festivals celebrated three to four times per sailing through the end of August. Guests of all ages are invited to come down to the Boardwalk to get their faces painted; enjoy live performances by stilt walkers, marching bands and DJ’s; as well as watch themed circuses and balloon artists; and participate in special kids activities.

The DreamWorks Experience, first launched aboard Allure of the Seas, and now offered aboard Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, provides Royal Caribbean guests with renowned entertainment programs, including some of the studio’s most popular feature films. Year round, “celebrity” characters including Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of “Shrek;” Alex, Mort, and the Penguins of “Madagascar;” Po of “Kung Fu Panda;” and Hiccup of “How to Train Your Dragon,” engage guests of all ages, day and night, in unique events and energetic parades, as well as through interactive character meals in the main dining room, and of course plenty of photo opportunities. Royal Caribbean’s younger guests in the complimentary award-winning Adventure Ocean children’s program can relish in an exhilarating line-up of activities, games and adventures rooted in the popular DreamWorks Animation movies. Additionally, guests can enjoy DreamWorks Animation programming on a dedicated RCTV channel in their staterooms, as well as DreamWorks Animation’s films in 3-D in the four ships’ theaters on the big screen. What’s more, all of these unique entertainment offerings are included in the cruise fare.

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Cunard Line President Keys WeAreCunard Blog

April 25: As Cunard Line said farewell to longtime Entertainment Director Alastair Greener earlier this week, the company announced that Cunard President Peter Shanks will now write the WeAreCunard blog. Since taking the helm as president, Shanks has been a regular contributor to the blog, enthusiastically sharing his experiences, from launching the new Queen Elizabeth in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen last October, meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu during Queen Mary 2’s 2010 World Voyage, to climbing atop famed Sydney Harbour Bridge earlier this year.

“I love to write about Cunard and I share Alastair’s passion both for the company and for the new world of communication in which we live, where blogs bring things to life that other forms of communication simply can’t touch,” Peter Shanks remarked. “We intend to continue developing the blog and through it bring a whole range of Cunard experiences and celebrations to life.”

Shanks will continue to engage Cunard fans and guests on the blog each week, along with having guest bloggers recount stories of their adventures on board. He spoke with the Line’s Director of Entertainment Martin Lilly on his goals and vision for the blog in a recent video interview.

Guests sailing a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard delight in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination. By day, guests enjoy voluminous libraries, world class spas, white-gloved afternoon tea service and engaging Insights guest enrichment programmes; and by night are entertained by black tie dinners, Royal Nights themed balls, West End-style productions and Veuve Clicquot champagne cocktails. For more information on Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, and to book a voyage, consult your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Holland America Line Celebrates Earth Day With Roll-Out of
Sustainable Seafood Program

Seattle, WA, April 21: In honor of Earth Day, Holland America Line has announced the roll out of its new sustainable seafood program which adopts environmentally responsible purchasing practices and features menus that showcase sustainable seafood. Working in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Institute, a Washington State partner in promoting sustainable and compatible use of the oceans, Holland America Line’s sustainable seafood program emphasizes adopting sustainable seafood purchasing practices.

“Our sustainability program is an important element in our ongoing commitment to oceans on which we sail and to being responsible corporate citizens in every aspect of our business,” said Richard Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs at Holland America Line. “We are proud to roll out this program and know our guests will appreciate the fact that their seafood menu selections are responsibly sourced and help promote the continued availability of fish species that are essential to a biologically diverse marine environment.”

To determine the sustainability of a particular seafood item, Holland America Line and Marine Conservation Institute referred to well-established seafood ratings/rankings—from Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Blue Ocean Institute Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood, World Wildlife Fund Sustainable Seafood Guides, Environmental Defense Fund Seafood Selector and others. Marine Conservation Institute then applied their professional judgment to assess the sustainability of the selection. Each seafood item is evaluated for its abundance, how well the fishery is managed and what damage is done to the surrounding marine ecosystem through catching or farming the seafood. The sustainability program places particular emphasis on maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems.

Holland America Line will begin the sustainability program with its 2011 Alaska and Europe cruises, and the company plans to extend the program worldwide across the 15-ship fleet over the next year. Menus will be reviewed prior to contracting cycles to ensure that all procured seafood meets the program criteria. New seafood options are evaluated and best-choice alternatives are used whenever possible. The line has provided sustainable seafood specifications to all of its seafood suppliers and modified its procurement process to achieve its goal of all seafood items being responsibly sourced.

New program is extension of partnership with Marine Conservation Institute
The sustainability program is an extension of “Our Marvelous Oceans,” a 3-year program announced by the two partners in 2010 that includes guest and staff education and support for marine conservation biology research. Support for Marine Conservation Institute’s education program also includes annual grants made to graduate students and young scientists working in historical marine ecology.

Holland America Line’s environmental efforts have been recognized throughout the industry. The line recently was named the World’s Leading Green Cruise Line at the World Travel Awards in London, received a 2010 Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Gold Environmental Protection Award from the U.S. Coast Guard and received a Blue Circle Award from the Port of Vancouver. Other awards include the 2010 Marine Environmental Business of the Year from the Port of Seattle and in 2009 a Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award. For more information, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Cunard Line Announces New Commodore

April 21: Captain Christopher Rynd has been appointed Commodore of the Cunard Line fleet, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, the youngest fleet in the industry and The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World. Captain Rynd assumes the title held by Commodore Bernard Warner who retired from the company on 19 April 2011.

“I must put on record our appreciation for the marvelous contribution that Bernie made to Cunard Line. We wish him and his family all the best for his retirement,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.

Captain Rynd joined Cunard in 2005 when he took command of Queen Elizabeth 2. While on QE2, he came to appreciate Cunard’s distinctive product and traditions. Since then, he has commanded both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. He took Queen Mary 2 on her Maiden World Voyage and attended the Queen Victoria during her construction and sea trials and later proudly served as her master.

“I am delighted with the appointment of Captain Rynd as Commodore of Cunard Line and am sure that many of our regular guests will be as pleased as I and will join me in congratulating him on this notable achievement,” Shanks said.

Captain Rynd was born in New Zealand and grew up in Singapore, Sri Lanka, and in the islands of Fiji and Samoa of the tropical South Pacific. He began his sea career in 1970 at the age of 17 in New Zealand. The influence of his father and upbringing helped in this choice. After completing his cadetship, Captain Rynd joined his first passenger liner, P&O’s Oronsay. His early sea days were in P&O vessels on routes between Australia and the UK, which also included cruising. Since then, most of his career has been in passenger cruise ships on worldwide itineraries. Additionally, he expanded his experience with eight years as a reserve officer in the British Royal Navy. He gained his qualification as Master in London in 1979. During his time with P&O and Princess Cruises, he commanded Royal Princess, Regal Princess, the first and second Pacific Princess, Pacific Sky and Sapphire Princess.

In 2008, Captain Rynd was elected a Fellow of the Nautical Institute, the international professional body for maritime professionals, and he took time out in 2009 / 2010 to work as a coach under the auspices of the Company’s training facility, ‘CSmart,’ in the Netherlands. This was an opportunity to travel in ships across the corporate fleets and be involved in the introduction of new procedures that enhance the safe operations in navigating ships. Captain Rynd and his Australian wife Julie have three children who are now young adults, which allows Julie to accompany her husband at sea most of the time. When not at sea, they spend time in both Britain and Australia but visit New Zealand each year to hike and fish trout.

For more information about Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, and to book a voyage, consult your travel professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to

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Ambassadors & Windstar Sale Timeline Approved by Court

SEATTLE, April 21: Ambassadors International, Inc. announced today that at a hearing on April 19, 2011, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the timeline for the proposed sale by Ambassadors of substantially all of its assets, including its principal operating unit, Windstar Cruises ("Windstar"). The sale is expected to close by May 23, 2011.

Hans Birkholz, CEO of Ambassadors and Windstar, said, "We are thrilled that the court approved our sale timeline, which allows the sale to move quickly as planned. With the sale timeline firmly in place, we look forward to positioning Windstar for long-term profitability and success under new ownership. This is great news for Windstar, and our guests and travel partners can rest assured that Windstar will be providing luxury travel experiences for many years to come."

As previously announced on April 1, 2011, Ambassadors has entered into an agreement with Whippoorwill Associates, Inc., as agent for its discretionary funds and accounts ("Whippoorwill") providing for the sale of its assets. Whippoorwill intends to maintain Windstar's business and operations and invest in Windstar's growth following the completion of the sale.

The court has already approved requests by Ambassadors to ensure that Windstar continues its normal operations and is sailing as scheduled as it moves forward through the sales process including: maintaining all of Windstar's programs and policies and honoring all Windstar fares and reservations, including charter contracts; providing commissions and payments to travel partners as usual; and paying employees and crewmembers in the usual manner and continuing their benefits without disruption. Ambassadors continues to expect that Windstar vendors and suppliers for goods and services received both before and during the reorganization process will be paid in connection with the sale.

Under the terms of the agreement, the sale to Whippoorwill is subject to court approval and other specified closing conditions. In compliance with Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, qualifying bidders will also have an opportunity to submit higher and better offers for evaluation through a court-supervised competitive bidding process. A hearing to consider the sale has been scheduled for May 18, 2011.

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Silversea To Rename Expedition Ship

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 20: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today announced plans to change the name of the Prince Albert II, its expedition ship, to Silver Explorer. The change will occur later this month while the vessel is in dry dock at the Lisnave shipyard in Setubal, Portugal, undergoing routine maintenance prior to commencing a summer program of Northern Europe and Arctic voyages.

"Our expansion into adventure travel has turned out quite successful and we have to prepare for the possibility of adding more ships," said Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea's chairman. "To reinforce the Silversea luxury brand image for the expedition segment, we decided to change the name of our first expedition ship to Silver Explorer and anticipate any future expedition ships will bear similar names that evoke a sense of luxurious adventure." Lefebvre added, "It has been an absolute privilege to have a ship in our fleet named in tribute to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II. We will continue to honor his legacy of exploration and environmental conservation through our support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and look forward to hosting future onboard fundraising events to benefit the Foundation's projects."

The company is committed to raising awareness of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which is dedicated to the protection of the global environment. Its focus is on three major challenges: climate change and developing renewable energies; the loss of biodiversity; improving universal access to clean water and fighting desertification. For more information, visit

Silver Explorer offers full-scale exploring from an ultra-luxury base at sea, in true Silversea style. With the largest average size accommodations of any expedition ship, guests enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodations (many with French balconies or large private verandas), butler service, sumptuous gourmet cuisine, warm hospitality and personalized service (with a crew-to-guest ratio of nearly one to one), and Silversea's generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, bottled water, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities. The Lloyd's Register 1A ice-rated vessel explores the world from top to bottom, including Central and South America and Africa.

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Holland America Line Selects Trans-Atlantic Essay Contest Winner

Seattle, April 20: Holland America Line announced today that it has selected Maria Henderson’s essay as winner of the contest held to commemorate the line’s 40th anniversary of its transition from offering scheduled trans-Atlantic crossings to becoming entirely dedicated to pleasure cruising. A panel of judges chose the winning essay from more than 400 entries. For her literary winning story, Henderson will receive a cruise for two on ms Rotterdam’s July 12, 2011, celebratory trans-Atlantic voyage from New York to Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

“We were touched by how many wonderful and moving essays we received from people who were so greatly affected by Holland America Line and our historic crossings,” said Richard Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Maria’s story was especially emotional with the many twists of fate she encountered.”

The “Your Trans-Atlantic Story” contest focused on classic Holland America Line crossing experiences during the line’s nearly 140-year history, whether told firsthand or through a family member or friend. Henderson’s essay told the story of her family’s crossing from Rotterdam to New York City in 1956 aboard ss Groote Beer, a Holland America Line ship at the time. She, her four sisters and her parents made the journey to America to fulfill her father’s desire to become a U.S. citizen after being liberated from Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. Throughout the years Henderson and her family continued to take Holland America Line cruises, including one in December 2010 where she met two American men who served in Gen. George S. Patton’s army that liberated her father in 1945. Making the tale even more incredible was that she also met a fellow guest who, she discovered after a chance encounter in the dining room, was on the same trans-Atlantic crossing aboard ss Groote Beer in 1956.

Upon hearing that her essay had won, Henderson said the news was yet another emotional twist of fate in her relationship with Holland America Line.

"It was on April 13, exactly 55 years ago, that my family and I sailed past the Statue of Liberty and into our American life,” she recalled. “I am excited to cruise back, hopefully with my siblings, to greet our cousins in Holland that as children waved good-bye to us from the banks of Rotterdam's River Maas those many years ago. I feel I have come full circle, this is a dream come true!" added Henderson.

-- A winner from the Netherlands, Hendrik Verbree, also was selected and won passage on the July 3, 2011, Rotterdam to New York crossing.

-- Honorable mentions went to Johanna VanGeloof and Yvonne Garcia. Holland America Line received so many interesting and compelling stories that the top 30 entries will be published in a book that will be available for purchase on the two July crossings.

The trans-Atlantic sailings on ms Rotterdam will feature enriching activities, guest lecturers and chefs, giveaway items and plenty of opportunities to celebrate the line’s heritage. Special entertainers and events will ensure that both crossings create memories to last a lifetime. A commemorative keepsake poster — harkening back to classic Holland America Line posters — will be given to guests as a memento of the crossing. Guests seeking to learn more about the company’s history can visit the Crow’s Nest, which will be set up as a temporary “Museum at Sea” during both crossings, or attend a lecture by a renowned maritime historian. For more information and cruise fares, contact a professional travel seller, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Holland America Line's 2012 Europe Season to Feature
New Itineraries & Maiden Calls

Seattle, April 19: Holland America Line’s 2012 summer Europe sailing program offers extensive choices, featuring 44 unique itineraries including four new notable itineraries and five maiden ports of call. Ranging from seven to 35 days, these cruises offer travelers an opportunity to explore a variety of destinations, from the most sophisticated capitals of the world to hidden gems of the region. Holland America Line will deploy seven of its 15 ships—ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Prinsendam, ms Rotterdam and ms Ryndam—to cruise throughout Europe on 103 departures that span from the northern tip of Norway to the Baltic and Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

“Europe continues to be one of the most popular sailing regions in the world due to its history, cultural diversity, scenic beauty, charm and ease of access,” said Richard Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Our new itineraries and port calls are sure to intrigue both new and loyal Holland America Line guests. We take great pride in creating unique experiences on board and ashore, and a cruise offers tremendous value in this region given the currency fluctuations.”

The 2012 Europe cruise season reflects Holland America Line’s focus on destination diversity, timeless appeal and quality, featuring maiden calls at Durress, Albania; Fowey, England; and Eidfjord, Kirkenes and Ulvik, Norway, as well as overnight stays to 17 popular cities such as Barcelona, Spain; Hamburg, Germany; Istanbul, Turkey; St. Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden; Dublin, Ireland; Mgarr (Victoria), Malta; Reykjavik, Iceland; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Venice, Italy, and Bordeaux, France.

Longer Voyages Offer Exceptional Value
For true explorers seeking an in-depth experience at an exceptional value, extended Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 35 days offer the ultimate European cruise experience. These artfully crafted, longer cruises combine back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to visit more ports and spend extra time exploring centuries of art, history and culture. Per-person cruise fares begin at $2,149, double occupancy.

Notable New Itineraries
20-Day Portugal, Spain & Canary Islands
Departing April 16 on Ryndam, guests will sail from Rotterdam, Netherlands and end in Dover (London), England; visiting tropical ports in the Canary Islands where they can enjoy the warm climate and explore natural attractions such as Mount Teide, the third-largest volcano in the world. The itinerary also includes calls in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Guests also have the option of sailing for 19-days and making their trip either roundtrip Rotterdam, Netherlands on April 16, or roundtrip Dover, England on April 17.

17-Day Spanish Rhapsody
Those seeking an itinerary with a Spanish flavor can embark on a 17-day sailing aboard the Rotterdam roundtrip from Rotterdam. The cruise departs May 2 and calls at Lisbon, Portugal; Cartagena, Valencia, Barcelona, Ibiza, Almeria and Cadiz (Seville), Spain; Gibraltar, and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.

7-Day Norwegian Fjords (Southern & Northern)
Cruisers looking to explore the glaciers and fjords of northern Europe can choose from two seven-day itineraries that sail roundtrip from Dover, Rotterdam or Amsterdam aboard Ryndam, Rotterdam or Eurodam. These shorter adventures offer a spectacular scenic tour and call at popular Norwegian ports from May through September. The 7-Day Southern Norwegian Fjords visits ports such as Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger. The 7-Day Northern Norwegian Fjords visits ports such as Bergen, Alesund and Geiranger.

14-Day Venetian Empire
Also new for 2012 is the 14-day “Venetian Empire” voyage aboard the Prinsendam. Guests depart Oct. 17 and sail roundtrip Civitavecchia to some of the most beautiful and untouched ports in the region. In addition to cruising past the still-active Stromboli volcano, the ship will call at Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Ravenna, Sorrento, Venice (overnight) and Gallipoli, Italy; Valleta and Mgarr (overnight), Malta, and Sousse, Tunisia.

Engaging Unique Experiences
Additional exciting Holland America Line Europe itineraries enable guests to be among the few to cross the Arctic Circle, transit Germany’s Kiel Canal or cruise the Gironde Estuary into Bordeaux. Other unusual itineraries include visiting the ancient pyramids of Giza, near Cairo, Egypt, along with the holy lands in Jerusalem and Nazareth. Those interested in taking a dip in the famous “Blue Lagoon,” Iceland’s unique geothermal seawater, can choose the Icelandic Adventure aboard Prinsendam, which includes an overnight stay at Reykjavik. For more information, contact a travel agent by calling 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Royal Caribbean Redeploys Navigator of the Seas to Caribbean in Winter 2011-12

MIAMI, April 18: Royal Caribbean Intl has announced the redeployment of Navigator of the Seas for the 2011-12 winter season, offering a wider selection of Caribbean vacation options. The ship will now reposition to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and sail a range of 5- to 9-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries beginning Nov 20, 2011. Navigator of the Seas also offers a 14-night, trans-Atlantic itinerary from Rome to Port Everglades, departing Nov 6, 2011, and a 15-night return cruise to Rome on April 14, 2012.

Navigator of the Seas will alternate a 6-night Western Caribbean with an 8-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Ports of call on the 6-night sailings include Grand Cayman, the newly opened Historic Falmouth Port, and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination on the north coast of Haiti. The 8-night sailing features calls at St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Labadee.

Additionally, a 7-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary, departing on Jan 8 & 22, 2012, subtracts a call at St. Kitts from the 8-night itinerary, while a 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary, departing Jan 15, adds a call to the 6-night itinerary at Cozumel, Mexico. A special 9-night New Year’s cruise, departing Dec 30, 2011, adds a call at St. Thomas to the 8-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary.

Vacationers have a wide range of Caribbean cruise options aboard 15 of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, sailing from nine convenient U.S. ports throughout winter 2011-12. Navigator of the Seas joins Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Liberty of the Seas at Port Everglades to offer regular sailings to the Caribbean. Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas offer Northeast U.S. vacationers convenient Caribbean cruise getaways from Cape Liberty in Bayonne and Baltimore, respectively, while Freedom of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas sail to the Caribbean and Bahamas from Port Canaveral on the Space Coast.

 Along the Gulf Coast, Voyager of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, and Jewel of the Seas offers convenient sailings from New Orleans, Galveston, and Tampa, respectively. Vacationers also can sail the Southern Caribbean aboard Adventure of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Grandeur of the Seas from Colon, Panama. Meanwhile, Majesty of the Seas continues to offer short cruise from Miami to the Bahamas on Mondays and Fridays.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships currently in service. The line also offers cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Sailings for Navigator of the Seas’ winter 2011-12 cruises are open for sale. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit, or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Cunard Line Begins 2011 Transatlantic Season With A
New Dimension In Entertainment

April 18: As Cunard Line prepares to begin flagship Queen Mary 2’s seventh Transatlantic season on 26 April, the company announced today a new dimension in entertainment, bringing to life even more unique offerings. New on board entertainment experiences include 3D films through a partnership with RealD, dynamic and interactive songwriting workshops, and RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) “street theatre” performances and writing workshops.

3D Partnership with RealD
Starting on Transatlantic Crossings in early May, Queen Mary 2 will offer 3D films in association with RealD, the world’s most widely used digital 3D projection technology, presented in the ship’s stadium-seating theatre, Illuminations.

Throughout June, the opera “Carmen” – a co-production of RealD and London’s Royal Opera House – will be featured, providing viewers the best seat in the house, taking them on a magic carpet ride into the heart of this famed opera – immersing them into this exciting story of love, jealousy and betrayal. CARMEN IN 3D is a dazzling film, filled with some of the best-loved music ever written and performed by a world-class cast. With English subtitles throughout, it is the perfect event for life-long opera fans and first-timers alike. In addition, upcoming summer 3D blockbusters will be shown, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Professional Insights Songwriting Program
Also new this year, professional songwriter and producer Chris Difford, formerly of the 1970’s British new wave band Squeeze, will conduct songwriting workshops with four other professional songwriters as part of the Professional Insights series. With Difford’s songwriting program, guests will collaborate in small groups with guitarists, pianists, singers and bass players from Queen Mary 2’s performance company. The best songwriters will then have the opportunity to record their songs in a studio on board and be able to take them home. Difford and the songwriters also will be performing well-known Squeeze favorites during the voyage. Difford’s Professional Insights songwriting program will be offered on the following voyages:

-- May 10-17 (Southampton – NY)
-- June 24-July 1 (Southampton – NY)
-- Aug 15-22 (Southampton – NY)
-- Sept 20-27 (Southampton – NY)
-- Sept 27-Oct 7 (New England & Canadian Sojourn)

“Cunard’s guests have come to expect top-notch entertainment and enrichment programs, and our new offerings will enhance their experience even more,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Once again, the worlds of theatre, music and literature truly come alive on board, providing guests the combination of accessible world-class entertainment with the opportunity to tap into their own creative sides.”

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)
The RADA graduate company continues to celebrate its longstanding relationship with Cunard with daily workshops and classic performances. This year, RADA will go beyond Queen Mary 2’s Royal Court Theatre to feature several new interactive offerings including dramatic re-enactments throughout the ship. These “street theatre” performances will be taken from such classic works as Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing:

-- The Pilgrim’s Journey: The actors will travel in costume around the ship in characters from The Canterbury Tales as they would travel to Canterbury; they will stop several times for a short scene/improvisation
-- Much Ado Around the Ship: Two groups of actors will perform short scenes from the play around the ship
-- A Bedtime Story: Taking place in the Grand Lobby, one of the RADA actors will sit in an armchair and read a bedtime story, surrounded by a small group of guests; requests can be taken for night six of the voyage

The Canterbury Tales Performance, Royal Court Theatre: RADA will perform a different Canterbury Tale each month, performing the complete works over the course of two years; at the end of each performance, the audience will be encouraged to choose their favourite tale; the actors will then ask for short stories to be called The Cunard Tales to be written by members of the audience; these will then be workshopped and performed by the actors and participants

Also new for 2011, RADA appears in two of Queen Mary 2’s lounges, blending musical components with performances featuring poetry, piano and jazz including:

-- Jazz Poetry with the Mark Hodgson Trio, Chart Room: The actors will perform rhythmic, jazz and rap poetry accompanied by the trio
-- Passion and Piano, Winter Garden: The actors will read passionate poetry and prose accompanied by the piano, and will also read chosen pieces and take requests from the audience.

On a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, guests revel in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination–-enjoying activities such as the only planetarium and largest library at sea, white-gloved afternoon tea service, the engaging Cunard Insights enrichment program and West End-style productions, as well as the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub on board a ship. For more information on Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, consult your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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New Seabourn Quest Features Unique Spa Amenities

MIAMI, April 15:  From exclusive skin care products to therapeutic massage treatments, the new Seabourn Quest, which is scheduled to debut June 20, 2011, will feature a number of unique spa amenities and healthy offerings. The expansive Spa at Seabourn on Quest, encompassing two decks, will feature a full-service salon and a thermal suite with eight heated loungers, cocooning recliners, an aroma steam bath with salt inhalation and a unisex herbal bath. There are two types of saunas in the spa, including a Bio sauna in the women's changing area and a traditional Finnish sauna in the men's area. On the top deck, guests will discover an outdoor, cabana-style relaxation area, furnished with lounge chairs and sofas in warm and soothing tones.

Available only on Seabourn ships, the Spa at Seabourn will offer Thai massages, a specialized discipline that relaxes and heals the body by combining gentle compression and yoga-like stretches. Thai massages also help to adjust the skeletal structure, increase flexibility, relieve muscular and joint tension and stimulate the functioning of internal organs. The treatments are available in 75-minute sessions conducted in a private area of the fitness center.

The Spa at Seabourn is also the only seagoing spa licensed to offer SkinCeuticals skin care products. Seabourn's specialists are specially trained and authorized to administer the award-winning skin care line of scientifically-backed products, serums and treatments for every skin concern. In addition to the SkinCeuticals skin care line, the spa will also offer high-end Elemis products.

"The Spa at Seabourn on Quest is a beautiful and technologically-advanced facility designed to offer our guests the most advanced spa experiences at sea," said Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's president. "Our spa offers several unique and exclusive amenities that guests can enjoy only when they sail with Seabourn."

Other innovative and healthy options available in the 11,400-square-foot spa include a Kneipp Walk pool, which provides holistic, water therapy treatment designed to enhance circulation. The Kneipp therapy involves guests walking slowly through a shallow circular basin separated into areas of cold and warm water, thus stimulating capillary circulation, aiding metabolism and soothing pain.

Guests can indulge in a collection of treatments gleaned from ten Eastern cultures, from Chinese reflexology to aromatherapy. There are six treatment rooms, as well as a canopied Spa Villa which can be reserved. This private sanctuary features a treatment area large enough for duet treatments, complete with shower; a bathtub big enough for two; a private balcony for sunbathing; a full living room area; a double daybed and dining area where guests can enjoy healthy snacks.

The fitness center will feature high-tech exercise, cardio and strength equipment; a motion studio with the latest version of the Kinesis System; and a variety of fitness classes, including yoga, Pilates and tai chi. Personal trainers will also be available to develop customized workout regimes for guests.

Seabourn Quest is the third iteration of the sleek and widely admired design that first appeared as Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009, and has been hailed as "a game-changer for the luxury segment." The second sister ship, Seabourn Sojourn, entered service in June of 2010. Seabourn Quest's maiden season includes 7-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises, operating alternately between Athens and Istanbul, and Venice and Athens, as well as a 7-day Black Sea voyage. On Jan 5, 2012, Seabourn Quest begins a 109-day World Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice on a unique eastbound course via South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. For more information or reservations, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Holland America Line Introduces Spanish-Speaking Hosts & Tours on
12 ms Ryndam Sailings

Seattle, WA, April 14: To fulfill the expectations of its growing Hispanic market, Holland America Line is adding a Spanish-speaking host and Spanish-language guided tours on 12 of ms Ryndam’s fall 2011 Mediterranean cruises sailing roundtrip from Barcelona, Spain. The hosts will assist Spanish-speaking guests to make arrangements both on board and ashore. Additionally, the popular City Highlights shore excursion in each port will be offered in Spanish.

“As a global company, Holland America Line recognizes the value of offering our guests shore excursions in their native language to some of the world’s most attractive historical and cultural sites," said Richard Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “By offering tours led by Spanish-speaking guides to architectural wonders and iconic ports in the Mediterranean, our guests can be assured of receiving rich, lifetime memories on these unique cruises departing aboard the ms Ryndam."

During Ryndam’s 2011 Mediterranean voyages, guests can marvel at the genius of Picasso in Barcelona, Spain, tour the 14th-century Franciscan monastery at Dubrovnik, Croatia, or explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii in Naples, Italy.

Voyages aboard ms Ryndam include:

7-Day Spanish Serenade: Departs Oct. 9, 2011. Ports of call include Malaga, Cadiz (Seville) and Ibiza, Spain; Casablanca, Morocco, and scenic cruising through the Strait of Gibraltar.
7-Day Mediterranean Glamour: Departs Oct.16, 2011. Ports of call include Monte Carlo, Monaco; Santa Margherita, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Trapani, Italy, and La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia.
10-Day Cultural Mosaic: Departs Sept. 8 & Sept. 29, 2011. Ports of call include Messina, Brindisi, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Argostoli, Greece; Kotor, Montenegro, and Marseille (Provence), France.
11-Day Ancient Discoveries: Departs August 28 and Sept. 18, 2011. Ports of call include Trapani, Naples and Cagliari, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Katakolon, Kerkira (Corfu), Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
11-Day Canary Island Explorer: Departs Oct. 23, 2011. Ports of call include Malaga, Santa Cruz (Tenerife) and Cadiz (Seville), Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Arrecife, Canary Islands, and Agadir and Casablanca, Morocco.
14-Day Eastern Mediterranean Circle: Departs Oct. 9, 2011. Ports of call include Malaga, Ibiza and Cadiz (Seville), Spain; Casablanca, Morocco; scenic cruising Strait of Gibraltar; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Santa Margherita, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Trapani, Italy, and La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia.
18-Day Islands and Empires: Departs Oct.16, 2011. Ports of call include Monte Carlo, Monaco; Santa Margherita, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Trapani, Italy; La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia; Malaga, Cadiz (Seville) and Santa Cruz (Tenerife), Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Arrecife, Canary Islands, and Agadir and Casablanca, Morocco.
21-Day Mediterranean Treasures: Departs Sept.18, 2011. Ports of call include Trapani, Naples, Messina, Cagliari, Brindisi, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Valletta, Malta; Katakolon, Argostoli and Kerkira (Corfu), Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Kotor, Montenegro, and Marseille (Provence), France.

For more information or to book a 2011 Europe cruise, contact a professional travel agent or visit

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Special Needs Group, Inc. Named Exclusive Supplier of Special Needs Equipment for Norwegian Cruise Line

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, April 14: Special Needs Group, Inc, a global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry, was recently named the exclusive mobility and oxygen equipment supplier for Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the world's major cruise companies. The agreement, which is effective immediately, applies to all 11 ships of Norwegian's fleet, including their newest and largest ship, the 4,100-guest Norwegian Epic.

"We are proud to be affiliated with Norwegian Cruise Line, an outstanding cruise company that has consistently worked to welcome and accommodate guests with special needs," said Andrew J. Garnett, founder and CEO of Special Needs Group. "Our goal is to make cruising enjoyable and accessible for everyone, especially guests with disabilities who may not have thought that they could see the world," added Garnett.

Norwegian and other lines in the growing cruise industry are proactively taking steps to accommodate guests with disabilities, both in ship design and onboard services. According to Garnett, cruise ships are growing larger with each generation of new-builds. For example, Norwegian Epic, which debuted in July 2010, measures 1,080 feet from bow to stern. This, coupled with an aging U.S. and European population, along with an existing market of 43 million individuals with disabilities, increases the need for wheelchairs, oxygen, scooter rentals and other special needs equipment rentals designed to make cruising easier for slow walkers and travelers with disabilities.

With Special Needs Group's new exclusive contract with Norwegian, it is now the only mobility and oxygen equipment supplier that is approved to deliver to all major cruise lines. Special Needs Group works with, and is recommended by, all major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland America and more.

The company provides a full range of special needs equipment, including motorized scooters, power chairs, oxygen equipment, portable oxygen concentrators (POCs), patient lifts and other mobility aides for cruise travelers. It delivers directly to cruise ship staterooms at ports around the world. All services are customized. In addition to providing services to cruise guests, Special Needs Group also rents and sells equipment to cruise lines. For more details, to reserve equipment, or to request a brochure, call Special Needs Group toll free at 1-800-513-4515, email .com or log onto

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Save on Canada/New England Fall Foliage Cruise & Airfare with
MSC Cruises Inclusive Offer

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, April 13: Now is the ideal time to book a fall foliage vacation with MSC Cruises onboard MSC Poesia while taking advantage of this air and cruise special including cruise air and transfers through May 31. From the fascinating departure ports in Quebec City and New York City, explore the seafaring history of the New England Coast, experience the French charm of Quebec and discover the diverse landscapes of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

MSC Cruises is offering new, reduced rates for guests who book a 7-night, fall foliage cruise to Canada/New England from/to Montreal or Quebec and from/to New York City on the following cruises:

-- “Captivating Colors of Canada” cruise from New York City to Quebec City and calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and an overnight in Quebec City, Quebec. Oct 8, 2011.
-- “Brilliant Colors of Fall” cruise from Quebec City to New York City and calling in Quebec City, Quebec; Saint John, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Newport, Rhode Island. Oct 15.

Rates are available for residents of the US and Canada; offer is per person, based upon double occupancy, cruise only, and subject to availability. Rates include one-way air between Montreal or Quebec airport and New York airport. For more information, visit, or contact a local travel professional or MSC Cruises at 877-665-4655.

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Princess Cruises Launches Daily Video Journal Chronicling Grand Princess Drydock

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 12: Today Grand Princess begins the most significant transformation ever in Princess Cruises history, and viewers can follow along with a daily video journal chronicling the 24-day drydock. Hosted by Grand PrincessCruise Director Martyn Moss, the videos, as well as photos, are available at and on YouTube and Flickr. In the first installment, audiences get a first look at the beginning of the ship’s transformation as it sails to the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas. The journal will include daily updates through May 4.

During the makeover, approximately 1,400 workers will be busy around the clock adding many of Princess’ trademark features, including the signature Piazza atrium. Several new spaces will also be created including a unique tea lounge and library called “Leaves”; “Alfredo’s,” a full-service pizzeria showcasing this renowned Princess dish, and a new nightclub called “The One5.” One of the most dramatic video moments is sure to be the removal of the distinctive Skywalkers Nightclub, which is being taken off to improve the ship’s operational performance, including greater fuel efficiency.

“Our passengers really loved following the photo journals we offered during previous drydocks,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “So for this, our most extensive transformation, we wanted to take it to the next level and enable viewers to follow along with daily videos. We expect Martyn to share some intriguing behind-the-scenes footage of the work that goes on during a project of this magnitude.”

Among the other changes highlighted in the video journals will be the transformation of the ship’s atrium to the Piazza, complete with the International Café and Vines Wine Bar. Videos will also follow the addition of a new feature, Leaves Tea Lounge and Library, with shelves of books for passengers to browse as they enjoy personalized tea blends; and a new nightclub, The One5, which will take shape on deck 15. Several new restaurants will be added to the ship, including Alfredo’s, a new pizzeria with an open kitchen, as well as the Crown Grill, the line’s classic steakhouse and seafood restaurant. Also part of the renovation will be the addition of seven new suites; remodeled casino, boutiques and art gallery; enhancements to the Horizon Court, Lotus Spa, and wedding chapel; and the addition of Crooner’s Martini Lounge.

The newly renovated ship will debut on May 5 in Ft. Lauderdale where she will depart on a transatlantic crossing for her summer and fall homeport of Southampton, from which she will cruise on a variety of European itineraries.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Carnival’s Port Canaveral Embarkation Team Earns Top Honors
For the 6th Time In 13 Years

MIAMI, April 8: Port Canaveral has once again earned top honors in the company’s annual guest comment card survey, which ranks embarkation personnel from the lines’ 11 year-round homeports in a variety of service- and process-related categories. This marks the sixth time that Carnival’s Port Canaveral team has earned the award in the past 13 years.

Under the direction of Guest Logistics Manager Maritza Ferry, the 135-member team was recognized for their outstanding professionalism, enthusiasm, and friendliness while assisting guests embarking on the two Carnival ships that sail from Port Canaveral year-round.

Carnival is the largest cruise operator from Port Canaveral, with the 2,052-passenger Carnival Sensation offering 3- and 4-day Bahamas cruises and the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream sailing 7-day Caribbean departures. In November, Carnival will add a third ship, the 2,052-passsenger Carnival Ecstasy, which will offer 4- and 5-day Bahamas cruises year-round. With these three ships, Carnival will carry an estimated 600,000 passengers annually from Port Canaveral, the most of any cruise line.

“For Port Canaveral to be named Carnival’s ‘Embarkation Port of the Year’ six times in 13 years is a testament to the commitment to superior service of this hard-working group and the spirit of cooperation that exists between our guest logistics team and the port’s operations personnel,” said Milly Martin, senior director of guest logistics for Carnival Cruise Lines. “Congratulations to Maritza and the entire Port Canaveral team for this well-deserved honor.”

“The dedication to service from Carnival’s embarkation team and the port’s operations staff again proves to be a winning combination,” said Stan Payne, CEO, Port Canaveral. “From the time of arrival in our parking lots to their departure post-cruise, passengers benefit from the joint efforts of the team of professionals at Port Canaveral working to provide a quality vacation experience from start to finish. We are excited to be the Port of the Year for this honor.”

In recognition of their achievement, the Canaveral Port Authority hosted a celebratory breakfast for Port Canaveral embarkation team members, Carnival Sensation personnel, and the port’s operation staff yesterday inside Cruise Terminal 5. Later this month, the Port Canaveral embarkation team will enjoy a reception and dinner compliments of Carnival at a local restaurant, during which they will be presented with a plaque to display in their offices.

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Celebrity Cruises To Tantalize Travelers With Caribbean
Solstice-class Experiences in Winter 2012-13

MIAMI, April 8: Celebrity Cruises plans to send its four newest Solstice Class ships and two “Solsticized” ships to the Caribbean in the winter of 2012-13, giving vacationers multiple options for luxurious getaways in stylish spaces with gourmet cuisine, extraordinary service, and fun activities. In total, Celebrity will present 103 Caribbean sailings with 21 distinct itineraries visiting ports from three homeports, from Nov 2012 through April 2013.

Recognizing that people’s vacation time is precious, Celebrity has shaped a 2012-13 winter destination lineup that exemplifies the premium cruise brand’s focus on offering a multitude of ways for people to have the best vacation experience possible. Earlier this week, Celebrity announced to its Captain’s Club loyalty program members that the first full season for its fifth Solstice Class ship, the 3,030-guest Celebrity Reflection, currently under construction, will be in the Caribbean. Three other Solstice Class ships will also offer Caribbean itineraries. Celebrity Constellation, which was “Solsticized” in 2010 to include many of the features of Celebrity’s award-winning Solstice Class, and Celebrity Summit, which will be “Solsticized” in early 2012, also will present vacationers with the opportunity to enjoy luxurious getaways in the region.

Members of Celebrity’s Captain’s Club will have the opportunity to be the first to secure space on Celebrity Reflection during her inaugural Caribbean season, as well as on a “9-Night Northern Europe inaugural debut” cruise in Europe, two Mediterranean sailings and one transatlantic sailing that will precede the ship’s official naming and an additional three-night Caribbean inaugural debut cruise. A special booking window for Captain’s Club members opened yesterday and will be available through April 19; more information is available on a special landing pageon Celebrity’s website.

Bookings will open to the general public on April 20, along with the full line-up of Caribbean bookings. That same winter, Celebrity also will offer a full season of cruises in Hawaii and the Panama Canal, along with a 13th season of its popular South America cruises. These will open for booking on April 21. Recently, Celebrity announced that its Solstice Class flagship, Celebrity Solstice, will be the first Solstice Class ship to offer sailings in Australia/New Zealand, and that Celebrity Millennium will sail Celebrity’s first Asia season.

Award-winning Solstice Class experience provides premium Caribbean escape
By positioning its four newest ships and two of its Solsticized ships in the Caribbean in a single season, vacationers seeking luxurious accommodations, extraordinary service, gourmet cuisine and fun, enriching activities will have many choices.

-- Celebrity Reflection will sail roundtrip from Miami, Florida on alternating 7-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries, departing on Saturdays.
-- Celebrity Silhouette, which will debut in Europe later this year, will offer alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, departing from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida on Sundays. New to this itinerary in 2012-13 will be a different Western Caribbean lineup, as Celebrity is replacing calls to Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya, Mexico with calls to Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica.
-- Celebrity Eclipse will sail 14-night roundtrip Southern Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale, plus one 8-night Eastern Caribbean sailing at the start of the season.
-- Celebrity Equinox will present 10- and 11-night “Ultimate Caribbean” itineraries from Fort Lauderdale.
-- Celebrity Summit will offer 7-night Southern Caribbean cruises with two alternating itineraries, departing on Saturdays from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Celebrity will add new venues and new AquaClass staterooms, a category Celebrity introduced in 2008 with the debut of Celebrity Solstice, when it Solsticizes Celebrity Summit in early 2012.
-- Celebrity Constellation will present a series of 4- and 5-night cruises roundtrip from Miami.

Onboard luxury in Hawaii, Panama Canal, South America
Four Celebrity ships will offer vacationers the opportunity to explore Hawaii, the Panama Canal, and South America in 2012-13, with a total of 29 sailings ranging from 11 to 17 nights in length and visiting 42 ports of call.

Celebrity will present a full season comprised of cruises in Hawaii and the Panama Canal. The 1,814-guest Celebrity Century will offer eight 15-night Hawaii sailings roundtrip from San Diego, California, as well as four 15-night Panama Canal cruises between San Diego and Fort Lauderdale.

Celebrity Millennium will offer two 15-night Panama Canal sailings between San Diego and Miami, as well as an 11-night Hawaii sailing from Ensenada, Mexico, to Honolulu, Hawaii.

After her first Australia/New Zealand season, Celebrity Solstice will offer an 11-night Hawaii sailing from Honolulu to Ensenada. Both 11-night voyages will include overnights in Lahaina and Honolulu.

Celebrity Infinity, which will be Solsticized later this year, will present five Panama Canal voyages: one will be 17 nights in length, from Seattle, Washington to Fort Lauderdale, and four will be 15 nights long, between Fort Lauderdale and San Diego. Celebrity will add new venues and new AquaClass staterooms, a category Celebrity introduced in 2008 with the debut of Celebrity Solstice, when it Solsticizes Celebrity Infinity later this year. Celebrity Infinity’s South America season will feature a core offering of 14-night “Around the Horn” cruises between Valparaiso, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Two of these will be Antarctica cruises. The season also includes a 15-night “double holiday” cruise on December 22, from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires, and an early-season 15-night Panama Canal and South America cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso.

Immersive cruisetours to add depth to South America experience
Vacationers who wish to deepen their experience in South America can take advantage of Celebrity’s cruisetour offerings, which combine select cruises with a 3- or 5-night pre- or post-cruise escorted land package. Travelers seeking a more immersive South America experience can combine a cruise with both a pre-cruise and a post-cruise land package. All of these packages are escorted by a local tour director and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfasts and some additional meals.

A 3-night Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls package will highlight both the city dubbed “the Paris of South America” and the second largest waterfall in the world. A 5-night “Machu Picchu Explorer” package will include visits to Lima, Urubamba, and Santiago, Peru. In the Sacred Valley, guests will visit the ruins of Machu Picchu via a full-day trip on the Vistadome railcar.

Engaging shore excursions offer deeper immersion
Celebrity’s 2012-13 winter destination line-up will include numerous shore excursions that vacationers can purchase to round out their shipboard experience.

In the Caribbean, the “Xplor All-Inclusive Adventure” in Cozumel, Mexico presents a series of seven underground circuits where guests can connect with their emotions and senses within a natural environment. The “Pinel Island Eco Snorkel and Beach Tour” in St. Maarten offers guided snorkeling in the heart of a protected marine reserve.

Celebrity’s Panama Canal cruises will offer the experience for guests to see a cloud forest by train, through the “Monteverde Trainforest” excursion in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Vacationers seeking the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty in Hawaii can opt for the “Raft and Snorkel Adventure” in Kailua-Kona, which will feature a local-guide-led cruise along the Big Island’s Kona Coast on a 24-foot rigid-hulled inflatable boat, or RIB, snorkeling, up-close views of lava flows, sea caves and coastal blow holes, and the chance to gaze upon pods of Hawaiian spinner dolphins, sea turtles and seasonal humpback whales.

In South America, the “Tango Show and Dinner” excursion in Buenos Aires will immerse guests in the spirit of Argentine tango and feature a three-course dinner and an orchestra-backed live dance performance.

Members of Celebrity’s Captain’s Club are eligible to receive up to $600 savings per stateroom when booking select winter itineraries before July 29, 2011. Shore excursions and cruisetours are not included in cruise fare. For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit or call your travel agent.

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Crystal's New Standby Fares Mean Huge Discounts For
Last-Minute Luxury Cruising

LOS ANGELES, April 8: Crystal Cruises is announcing a rare "Standby" program that enables last-minute travelers to sail the ultra-luxe line at up to 75% off brochure fares on five May-June sailings in Alaska, the Baltic and North Cape. Greatly reduced tiered pricing offers fares as low as $2995 for 12-day cruises.

Standby fares are based on availability, require a $500 per guest deposit upon reservation, and will be confirmed on a "first requested, first confirmed" basis no earlier than 45 days prior to departure.

Eligible cruises include:

--12-day Alaska cruises: round-trip from San Francisco, departing May 9, 21 & June 2
--11-day Scandinavia/Russia sailing: Hamburg to Stockholm, departing May 22
--14-day North Cape/Arctic Circle voyage: Copenhagen to Stockholm, departing June 13

Standby fares on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are cruise-only, for new bookings as of April 7, and do not include air transportation; port, security and handling charges; or "All Inclusive-As You Wish" spending credits. Fares are per person, based on double occupancy accommodations, and other restrictions apply. Final payment is due within three days of confirmation.

"We haven't offered anything like this in almost a decade," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales & marketing. "There is no doubt that travelers who make their decisions early are rewarded with early confirmation, a greater choice of accommodations, and value-added spending credits. However, there are people making travel decisions closer in, and this is an extraordinary opportunity for luxury travelers who just can't plan their vacations far in advance."

Crystal Cruises' resort experience always includes a host of complimentary amenities, from enlightening enrichment workshops to pampering pillow menus and specialty dining featuring the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio. The company's passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned Crystal more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2012 Alaska Cruises & Cruistours

MIAMI, April 7: Royal Caribbean Intl has unveiled its 2012 Alaska cruises and cruisetours aboard Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas. Representing the global cruise brand’s return to the “Great Land” for a 23rd consecutive year, Radiance of the Seas will sail 7-night north- and southbound itineraries between Vancouver, B.C., and Seward, Alaska, while Rhapsody of the Seas will embark on a series of 7-night cruises, roundtrip from Seattle. Royal Caribbean is introducing a brand-new series of cruisetours, ranging in length from 10 to 18 nights, which incorporate both the land and cruise portions of the vacations, for a total of 20 tours. Bookings for Royal Caribbean’s 2012 Alaska cruises and cruisetours open today.

“Experiencing the pristine beauty of the 49th State is high on many vacationers’ bucket lists and Royal Caribbean’s incredible portfolio of Alaska cruises and cruisetour land packages will provide guests with adventures of a lifetime that will fulfill any dream,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean Intl. “Whether looking for family fun, high adventure or romance, vacationers will find the experience onboard a Royal Caribbean ship, second to none thanks to the Gold Anchor service from our crew combined with unparalleled ship amenities, or what we call the Royal Advantage.”

Radiance of the Seas’ 7-night northbound cruise schedule, from Vancouver to Seward, will cruise the Inside Passage and call at Alaska’s Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Hubbard Glacier (cruising). The southbound journey will reverse the itinerary. Sailing from Seattle, Rhapsody of the Seas’ 7-night cruises also will sail the Inside Passage, calling at Juneau and Skagway, sailing past Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier.

Throughout, guests enjoy an extensive array of shore excursion options for an additional charge to immerse themselves in America’s last great frontier. At Icy Strait Point, guests can take a ride down a 1,300 ft. mountainside on the ZipRider, the world’s largest zip line, for birds-eye views of Port Frederick, Icy Strait and the expansive wilderness. The Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour at Ketchikan takes guests aboard the Aleutian Ballad crab boat to explore the coastline scenery and learn about all manners of Alaskan sea life from men who have worked the seas as they haul up crab pots. Alaska Gold Rush & Skagway Highlights is a family friendly adventure aboard the White Pass and Yukon Railway with a stop at the Klondike Gold Fields to offer guests a chance to pan for their own gold followed by a hearty buffet lunch.

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas are both appointed with multi-deck, dazzling glass windows, affording guests sweeping vistas of Alaska’s landscape as it unfolds. Guests can race to the top of the ships’ iconic rock-climbing walls for an even more thrilling view from the ship’s highest point or enjoy a variety of rejuvenating spa treatments in the Day Spa. Younger guests will be entertained and enlightened in the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean and teen programs, with scheduled activities led by a college-graduate counselor beginning from 9 to 2 a.m. In the evenings, guests can enjoy Royal Caribbean Productions’ award-winning Broadway-style musical revues, and recount the day’s experiences in multiple onboard bars and lounges over cocktails.

For 2012, Royal Caribbean will debut three new Alaska cruisetours in conjunction with Radiance of the Seas’ 7-night itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, creating 10- to 13-night cruise and land vacations. All Royal Caribbean Alaska cruisetours are escorted by knowledgeable, dedicated Royal Caribbean Adventure Specialists, who know what to see, where to eat and how to do it best. The offerings feature a 12-night program geared toward families, featuring a Resurrection Bay & Wildlife cruise, where participants can take in the region’s dramatic cliffs, alpine glaciers, marine life and seabirds, with a trip to Fox Island–a nature lover’s delight; and excursions to the Anchorage Museum & Imaginarium, where families learn and explore art, history and science through play. The cruisetour also includes an excursion to Denali National Park, complete with experiences designed specifically with families in mind.

Additionally, a Canadian Rockies cruisetour of six nights will combine the destinations of Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver and Victoria with an overnight train journey aboard VIA Rail and accommodations throughout at world-renowned Fairmont hotels. An 18-night Ultimate Cruisetour couples the Canadian Rockies pre-cruise with a 5-night post-cruise Alaska land tour.
For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Celebrity Chef, Restaurateur Michelle Bernstein to Sail on
Holland America Line's ms Nieuw Amsterdam

SEATTLE, April 7: Michelle Bernstein, award-winning chef, restaurateur and culinary author from Miami, Florida, is scheduled to participate in the guest-enrichment program on the June 3, 2011, Mediterranean Romance Voyage aboard the line's newest ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam. Bernstein sails on the 12-day voyage departing from Venice, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain. The ship will call at Catania, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kerkira (Corfu), Argostoli and Thira (Santorini), Greece. The voyage also features scenic cruising through the Strait of Messina, a narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria, Italy.
During the cruise, Chef Bernstein will perform cooking demonstrations for guests in the ship's state-of-the-art show kitchen and participate in question and answer sessions.

A Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent, the effervescent chef has dazzled diners and critics alike with her flavorful Latin-inspired cuisine and charming personality for nearly two decades. The professional ballerina turned award-winning gourmet chef served as lead chef at Azul, the Mandarin Oriental's signature restaurant in Miami, where she became a powerful force in the city's burgeoning culinary movement. She later became a household name after serving as a judge on Bravo's acclaimed "Top Chef" series and host of the PBS series, "Check, Please!" Bernstein's restaurant ventures include Michy's and Sra. Martinez in Miami, MB in Cancun, Mexico, and Michelle Bernstein at The Omphoy in Palm Beach, Florida.

Holland America Line's Culinary Arts Center is featured on each of the line's 15 ships. A first-class "show kitchen at sea," the Culinary Arts Centers presented by "Food & Wine" magazine resembles the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. The facilities are used for demonstrations, tastings and hands-on cooking classes during every Holland America Line sailing. Each facility features a theater-style venue with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter. In partnership with "Food & Wine" magazine, Holland America Line will schedule approximately 65 celebrated chefs and wine experts to sail in 2011. On cruises that do not have a celebrity chef on board, classes and demonstrations are conducted by Holland America Line's own expert chefs.

Holland America Line also offers a youth Culinary Arts Center activity program to teach kids and teens how to cook. The program incorporates dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in complimentary 45-minute-long classes. Kids under 8 years old learn to make theme cookies, fruit roll-ups, ice cream sandwiches, salad people art and scones. Kids 8 and over make soft pretzels, granola bars, pita chips and hummus, and saltwater taffy. Teens also can attend adult culinary demonstrations.

The Culinary Arts Center and guest enrichment program are part of Holland America Line's innovative and leading culinary initiatives, which also include a partnership with Le Cirque to present "An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill" and a Culinary Council comprised of renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and the line's Master Chef Rudi Sodamin. For a full schedule of Holland America Line's culinary guest program, visit and click on the Culinary Arts Center tab. For more information or to book a cruise, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Is Adding Exotic Escapes With Introduction Of
New Asia Itineraries

MIAMI– April 7: From the Great Wall to the river markets of Vietnam, Asian culture has long intrigued vacationers who seek exotic lands and exquisite cultural experiences. Premium cruise brand Celebrity Cruises will give vacationers a way to enjoy Asia in style when it introduces its first-ever season in the region, during the winter of 2012-13, on Celebrity Millennium, which Celebrity plans to “Solsticize” in April 2012.

“Visiting the Far East for the first time is the result of constantly listening to consumers, who have told us they're eager to vacation in the region with Celebrity,” said Dan Hanrahan, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We know that vacationers’ time is precious, and by delivering a destination as culturally rich and compelling as Asia, with a luxurious shipboard environment that offers truly extraordinary accommodations, service, cuisine and activities,we are offering them the opportunity to experience a deeply rewarding, memorable holiday.”

Celebrity Cruises coined the word “Solsticize” last year, referring to the addition of some of the most popular venues on the line’s widely heralded Solstice Class ships, to its Millennium Class ships. In keeping with those plans, when Celebrity Millennium becomes the first Celebrity Cruises ship to sail an Asia season, she will do so with a new slate of AquaClass staterooms. In a drydock scheduled for April 2012, 70 of the ship’s existing Concierge Class staterooms will be converted to Celebrity's signature, industry-first, spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms, and an additional 37 will be built. Guests who book sumptuous “Celebrity Suites” in which to enjoy Celebrity’s Asia cruises will also enjoy more time outdoors on a new veranda, as Celebrity plans to add these to Celebrity Millennium’s eight existing suites in this category. Celebrity also plans to add six inside staterooms and 17 oceanview staterooms, increasing the total number of available staterooms to 1,079.

New countries, exotic cultures
During the 2012/13 winter season, Celebrity Millennium will visit nine countries new to the brand, including Vietnam, Thailand and China, among others. Celebrity’s inaugural Asia seasonwill consist of a series of 14-night open-jaw cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong. Overnight stays in ports like Singapore; Bangkok, Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Halong Bay, Vietnam and Hong Kong, China offer more opportunities for travelers to immerse themselves in Asian culture. The season also will include two 14-night sailings roundtrip from Singapore with overnight stays in Bali, Indonesia, in January 2013.

Bookending Celebrity Millennium’s core Asia season will be two transpacific voyages offering unique experiences. The westbound cruise will coincide with the total solar eclipse in November 2012. Guests will be able to view the eclipse while at sea, when sailing from Fiji to New Zealand. In April 2013, Celebrity Millennium will reposition from Hong Kong to Shanghai on a cruise featuring overnight calls in Hong Kong and Beijing (Tianjin), China. The ship will then continue eastbound across the North Pacific to Alaska and will call at various ports in China, Japan, and Russia.

Guests who wish to deepen their experience in Asia can take advantage of one of Celebrity’s cruisetours, which combine a cruise with a five-night pre- or post-cruise escorted land package out of Hong Kong. The cruisetours will feature trips to Xian and Beijing to view the famed Terra Cotta Warriors and the Great Wall of China. All of these packages are escorted by a local tour director and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfasts and some additional meals.

While sailing, a variety of shore excursions are available to travelers who wish to immerse themselves in the region. A number of overnight stays in port during the Asia cruises will offer guests the opportunity to enjoy two- or three-day excursions. Examples of these include a two-night/three-day overland experience from Bangkok to Siem Reap to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The tour focuses on the temples of Angkor to see the best examples of stone carvings recovered from temples across Cambodia. During cruises that include an overnight stay in port at Halong Bay (Hanoi), Vietnam, an overnight shore excursion includes a visit to the Old Quarter of Hanoi; an opportunity to witness unique Vietnamese performing arts at the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre; enjoy dinner at a traditional Vietnamese restaurant; and an overnight stay in a leading hotel in Hanoi. Guests also will experience the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Museum, as well as a gentle ride on a traditional street cyclo, and lunch at Vietnamese restaurant.

Celebrity also recently announced additional expansion in the Eastern Hemisphere–the award-winning, 2,850-guest Celebrity Solstice, will be the newest Celebrity ship to sail a full winter season in Australia/New Zealand in 2012-13. More details will be available on April 8, when bookings for Celebrity’s new 2012-13 Asia itineraries will open for sale.

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Royal Caribbean Kicks Off Summer Early With Oasis & Allure of the Seas Offer

MIAMI, April 7: Royal Caribbean Intl is ushering in the summer with a family-friendly, offer for Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas  running through April 13. This offer is ideal for an exciting family getaway during June, July or August 2011. Vacationers booking two or more Central Park- or Boardwalk-view balcony staterooms, that are grouped together, will receive a $200 onboard credit per stateroom, up to a maximum of three staterooms for a total of $600 onboard credits per group.

“Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas have been immensely popular with families during the first season that both ships have been in service,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “With triple- and quad-occupancy staterooms on both ships filling up quickly, this offer is the perfect opportunity to provide families with an affordable alternative for a memorable cruise vacation at a great value.”

The offer is only valid for new U.S. and Canada individual bookings made from April 6 through April 13, 2011, for Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas departures between June 1 and August 31, 2011. Guests must book a Central Park- or Boardwalk-view balcony stateroom through their travel agent or by calling 1-800- 877-722-5266 and quote option code “SEF5” at the time of booking in order to redeem onboard credit. Offer is valid for new bookings and limited to available inventory and individual bookings. Onboard credits are valid only during the booked sailing.

Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas sail year-round and round-trip from Port Everglades, Fla., alternating an Eastern and a Western Caribbean itinerary. Guests call at Nassau, Bahamas, St. Maarten and St. Thomas on the Eastern Caribbean sailing, and Cozumel, Mexico, the recently opened Historic Falmouth Port, Jamaica, and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination in Haiti on the Western Caribbean itinerary. For information , call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Disney Cruise Line Unveils New Itineraries & Ports for 2012

CELEBRATION, FL, April 6: For the first time ever, Disney Cruise Line will set sail from three new ports in 2012New York, Seattle and Galveston, Texasmaking the Disney family cruise vacation more accessible to guests around the country. Additionally, the cruise line will offer more choices than ever before with several new itineraries planned.

"In 2012, we're making it easier than ever for families to enjoy a Disney Cruise Line vacation by offering cruises from a variety of regional homeports," said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. "Guests can now enjoy a magical, one-of-a-kind Disney cruise experience with the convenience of departures from their own backyard."

2012 New York Schedule
Beginning May 25, 2012, the Disney Magic will sail a total of 20 cruises from New Yorkincluding 8-night cruises to the Bahamas and 5-night cruises up the New England coast to Canada plus 2-night cruises that will give a sampling of the Disney Cruise Line experience over a weekend:

-- The eight Bahamas cruises will include a day at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay; Nassau, Bahamas; and a stop at Port Canaveral, Fla., giving guests an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World Resort. As part of this itinerary, each guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation
between their Disney ship and the resort.
-- The nine 5-night cruises up the New England coast will call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. In these popular Canadian ports, guests can soak in splendid natural vistas, explore historic sites, visit quaint cafes and charming shops, and browse Canada's oldest farmer's market.
-- Three two-night cruises (June 15, July 13 and Aug. 10) out of New York are perfect for families looking for a quick getaway with a day at sea over a weekend.

2012 Galveston Schedule
Beginning Sept. 22, 2012, the Disney Magic will sail twelve 7-night cruises from the Port of Galveston to the Western Caribbean. Ports of call include Grand Cayman and Mexico's Costa Maya and Cozumel.

A Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic offers families a tropical getaway with world-class entertainment and impeccable guest service found only on a Disney Cruise Line vacation. Guests will enjoy three magical days at sea to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Magic and three days in port to lounge on warm, golden beaches, to swim and snorkel in azure waters or to shop to their heart's content in exotic marketplaces.

2012 Seattle Schedule
Beginning May 28, 2012, the Disney Wonder will sail a total of fourteen 7-night cruises from the Port of Seattle to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. These cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Disney Cruise Line works closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to best experience Alaska's natural beauty and rich history.

On their Alaskan adventure, guests may catch a glimpse of a brown bear, bald eagle or humpback whale. They can explore magnificent glaciers and fjords in Juneau. In Ketchikan, guests can fish for some of the largest wild salmon in the world and learn about local culture through hand-carved totem poles. In Skagway, Disney Cruise Line guests can traverse panoramic landscapes by railway, or pan for gold like miners from the famous Klondike gold rush.

2012 Los Angeles Schedule
The Disney Wonder is scheduled to continue sailing 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises from the Port of Los Angeles for the majority of the yearthroughout winter, spring and fall. Additionally, the Disney Wonder will sail four 7-night Pacific Coast cruises from Los Angeles (on Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 7), calling on San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico.

For the first time, the Disney Wonder will offer a special 15-night voyage to Hawaii from Los Angeles, calling on Hilo; Kahului, Maui; Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kauai and Ensenada, Mexico.

2012 Port Canaveral Schedule
The Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will continue to sail a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries departing from Port Canaveral.

The Disney Fantasy will depart on her maiden voyage March 31, 2012, and will sail out of Port Canaveral on 7-night Caribbean itinerariesalternating eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). Special Eastern Caribbean sailings in November and December 2012 stop at St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. All Disney Fantasy itineraries include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

The Disney Dream will sail 3-, 4- and 5-night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. Five-night itineraries include two stops at Castaway Cay.

Until she is repositioned to New York, the Disney Magic will sail out of Port Canaveral on 7-night Caribbean itineraries and 4- and 5-night Bahamian cruises.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.

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Former St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Patient, Now St. Jude Ambassador,
To Serve As Godmother To New Carnival Magic

MIAMI, April 6: Lindsey Wilkerson, whose inspirational story has taken her from a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® to an employee within the organization and ambassador helping share its message of hope and inspiration, has been named godmother of the new Carnival Magic. Wilkerson will officially name the 130,000-ton vessel during a shipboard ceremony taking place May 1 in Venice, Italy, prior to the ship’s inaugural voyage.

The selection of Lindsey Wilkerson continues Carnival’s ongoing relationship with St. Jude, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

“Lindsey embodies the spirit of the tremendously talented, compassionate and dedicated individuals at St. Jude who are true heroes in every sense of the word. Lindsey’s selection as godmother is a tribute to the special children of St. Jude, as well as an acknowledgement of the groundbreaking efforts the organization has made in the fight against childhood cancer,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

Last year, Carnival launched its new Care to Play: Carnival For St. Jude Kids program, which encompasses shipboard fundraisers fleetwide that provide guests an opportunity to participate in fun, interactive activities designed to raise funds and awareness in the fight against childhood cancer. Carnival’s goal is to raise $3 million over a three-year period. The line will also make a $50,000 donation in Wilkerson’s honor during the naming ceremony.

Wilkerson was diagnosed with cancer at age 10 and began treatment as a patient at the St. Jude facility in Memphis, Tenn. After nearly three years of treatment, doctors determined her cancer was in remission and she went on to finish high school and attend college. She joined ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude, in 2004 and is now a volunteer specialist helping to engage and support St. Jude volunteers across the country. Wilkerson also volunteers as a tour guide at the hospital and is a member of the organization’s Family Advisory Council and the St. Jude Women’s Club, the latter for which she serves as president.

“On behalf of all of the children of St. Jude, I’m so honored to serve as godmother to the beautiful Carnival Magic and celebrate this exciting opportunity,” said Wilkerson. “I am alive today because of the world class research and treatment at St. Jude. The generous support of Carnival and their guests will help St. Jude continue to provide hope to children stricken with catastrophic illnesses.”

Following the naming ceremony, Lindsey and her family will be among the nearly 3,700 guests who will sail on the Carnival Magic as she departs on an inaugural nine-day Mediterranean voyage that ends in Barcelona May 10. The ship will then operate a series of 7- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises through October then reposition to Galveston, Texas, for 7-day Caribbean cruises beginning in November, becoming the largest cruise ship ever based year-round at that port. For additional information on Carnival vacations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or visit

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Royal Caribbean Offers Wedding Package Fit For A Prince & Princess

MIAMI, April 5: Royal Caribbean is celebrating the upcoming British royal wedding by offering an exclusive Royal Caribbean wedding package for couples looking to tie the knot at sea. The Royal Wedding package offers engaged couples, or those looking to renew their vows, the opportunity to have a truly regal experience in a symbolic ceremony onboard one of the cruise line’s 22 ships. The package, available to purchase through December 2011, commemorates the couple’s big day, April 29, and starts at $2,904. The cruise line also has launched a new honeymoon registry, providing a go-to spot for family and friends to help make a couple’s dream of a perfect honeymoon cruise a reality.

“Royal Caribbean’s full fleet of ships around the world will broadcast the royal wedding live so that guests may join in the ceremony’s excitement,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Inspired by the pending royal nuptials, the Royal Wedding package and honeymoon registry offers guests the Royal treatment on their special day and honeymoon cruise.”

Royal Caribbean’s royal wedding package offers the happy couple a wide range of royal wedding essentials including a tiara for the bride, a 12-rose hand-tied bouquet, strawberries and champagne, toasting flutes and keepsake server each engraved with a crown, and of course, dinner at the captain’s table. All of this comes with a dedicated wedding planner, photographer, boutonniere, save-the-date announcements and a tiered wedding cake. The Royal wedding packages involve an onboard symbolic wedding ceremony, due to the varying international legal restrictions. Royal Romance Wedding Coordinators handle every detail so that the couples’ special day is a truly regal experience including any legal requirements pre-departure.

The Royal Caribbean honeymoon registry continues the romance with friends and family contributing to a couple’s ideal Royal Caribbean honeymoon cruise. Instead of the standard pots and pans, the couple’s family and friends can contribute to a dinner at a specialty restaurant, a couple’s massage, or an excursion to zip line. Couples can add all of the onboard activities they’d like in the new registry, where their family and friends can even contribute to the cruise fare and help make the dream of traveling to far-off places a reality.

For more information about the Royal Caribbean Royal Wedding Experience contact your preferred travel agent, visit, email us at or call 888-WED-RCCL (888-933-7225). To create a honeymoon registry visit,

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Holland America Line Increases Guest Capacity for 2012 Alaska Season

SEATTLE, April 4: Beginning in May 2012, Holland America Line will feature four Alaska cruise itineraries on seven of its mid-sized vessels, totaling 130 departures from May 2 through Sept. 23. The extensive itinerary offerings will increase the line's guest capacity in the region by nearly 6 percent. Guests can choose from a selection of seven- to 14-day cruises that sail roundtrip from Seattle, Wash., and Vancouver, British Columbia, and also between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska. Guests will have the opportunity to visit some of the region's most popular ports of call and scenic surroundings, including Alaska's famed Inside Passage and Glacier Bay National Park, a glacier-crowned maritime wilderness that stretches over 3.3 million acres.

"Alaska itineraries continue to be among the most popular cruises Holland America Line offers, and our increased capacity means more guests will have the opportunity to explore a region that has so much to offer culturally, historically and experientially," said Richard Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Cruising is one of the best ways to experience Alaska so you can get up close to a glacier, visit several ports or perhaps even see some wildlife from the comfort of your balcony."

Three Options for Roundtrip Seattle Alaskan Explorer Voyages
Both ms Oosterdam and ms Westerdam will sail the 7-day Alaskan Explorer voyage departing roundtrip from Seattle May 6 and 12, respectively. The itinerary features port calls at Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska; Victoria, British Columbia, and a scenic cruising experience at Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm Fjord/Twin Sawyer glaciers. The 1,380-guest ms Amsterdam will homeport in Seattle and includes two Alaskan Explorer sailings on May 18 and May 25.

Amsterdam then sails a series of 14-day Alaskan Explorer voyages beginning June 1 for a total of eight sailings. From Seattle, the itinerary features port calls at Ketchikan, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak, Icy Strait Point and Sitka, Alaska; as well as Vancouver Island and Victoria. The itinerary also features scenic cruising through Alaska's Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord. In Anchorage, the ship spends a full day and evening, allowing diverse optional shore tours from cultural exploration at the Native Heritage Center to spectacular flightseeing around 20,320-foot Mt McKinley and Denali National Park.

During embarkation for the Seattle voyages, a ranger from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park will be available to talk to guests about the Klondike parks and other national parks located throughout the Inside Passage. On all Glacier Bay sailings, a park ranger and native interpreters from the Huna people board the ships to explain the origins of their tribe and cultural traditions.

Seven-Day Inside Passage Voyages Sail from Vancouver
Three Holland America Line ships - ms Volendam, ms Zuiderdam and ms Zaandam - will sail roundtrip from Vancouver on a series of 7-day Inside Passage voyages. The 1,432-guest Volendam (Wednesday departures) and 1,916-guest Zuiderdam (Saturday departures) sail a total of 41 voyages from May 2 to Sept 22. During those voyages guests will visit Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay National Park and Tracy Arm Fjord. Two additional Inside Passage cruises sail aboard Zaandam on May 6 and Sept 16.

Seven-Day Glacier Discovery Voyages Provide Exploration Further North
Statendam and Zaandam once again will provide the only mid-sized cruise ship experience available in the Gulf of Alaska. Glacier Discovery cruises sail between Vancouver and Seward (Anchorage) with Sunday departures May 15 through Sept 16. The itinerary features port calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, a day at sea in the Gulf of Alaska and scenic cruising through the Inside Passage. Each ship will sail 18 voyages and include a visit to Glacier Bay.

Holland America Line offers more than 250 optional shore excursions in conjunction with its Alaska cruises. While in port, guests can optimize their Alaskan experience with excursions that involve everything from adventure and wildlife watching to history, art and cuisine. Introduced in Juneau in 2009 with a whale viewing and data collection research tour, exclusive Cruise with Purpose shore excursions turn vacation time into an exciting give-and-take opportunity -- combining traditional tour content with a chance to make a difference to society, the environment, animal welfare or economic growth.

Guests also can enjoy active excursions such as sea kayaking, fly or sport fishing, dog sledding and viewing eagles, sea otters and whales. Other exciting excursions feature such attractions as the White Pass Summit Scenic Railway from Skagway, Russian heritage in Sitka, a photography tour in Haines and a five-course tasting meal featuring Alaska seafood prepared by a local chef in Ketchikan.

For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line's Alaska Voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Queen Elizabeth Meets QE2 for First-Time Cunard Royal Rendezvous

April 4: The Grand Celebration continues as Queen Elizabeth, Cunard Line’s newest ship, made a very special maiden call to Dubai on March 31 during her Maiden World Voyage, meeting Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), the longest-serving Cunarder, for the first time. Upon her arrival in Dubai for an overnight visit, Queen Elizabeth exchanged whistle salutes with QE2, which left the Cunard fleet in 2008 after more than 40 years in service, to take up permanent residence in Dubai.

The new Queen Elizabeth is on the final leg of her first circumnavigation around the globe – the Middle East & Mediterranean Memories segment with remaining ports of call to Aqaba, Jordan; Suez and Port Said, Egypt; Athens; Rome; and Lisbon before returning to her homeport of Southampton on April 19. For more information about Queen Elizabeth and to book a voyage, contact your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD, or visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Finalizes New Concierge-Level Amenities

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, April 4: Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world’s most all-inclusive luxury line, will offer added amenities to guests in higher-level suites. Beginning with the 2012 summer season, guests in concierge-level and above suites will enjoy a range of benefits from priority shore excursion and restaurant reservations to upgrades and complimentary amenities.

“We revealed some preliminary information last week, but we are delighted to now confirm all of our new concierge-level amenities,” stated Mark Conroy, the cruise line’s president. “Regent Seven Seas has once again raised the bar on luxury cruising.”

Guests in categories E and above on Seven Seas Mariner (beginning April 2, 2012) and Seven Seas Voyager (beginning April 16, 2012) and category D and above on Seven Seas Navigator (beginning May 30, 2012) will receive the following exclusive concierge services:

-- Upgraded pre-cruise luxury hotel package
-- Priority online reservations on FREE, unlimited shore excursions
-- Priority online reservations in the specialty restaurants Prime 7 and Signatures
-- 15 minutes of FREE phone calls and 60 minutes of FREE Internet access per suite
-- 25% off premium wine and liquor purchases
-- 10% off pre- or post-cruise hotel or land packages
-- 10% off Regent Choice shore excursions
-- Eligible for suite upgrades at time of sailing, when available with preference by booking date
-- In-suite binoculars, coffee brewer and cashmere blanket
-- Regent Seven Seas Cruises special gift

Additionally, every voyage continues to include a complimentary luxury hotel package, complete with overnight, pre-cruise accommodations at a deluxe hotel including breakfast, airport-hotel and hotel-ship transfers, as well as round-trip air; all-suite accommodations; gourmet cuisine served in open-seating restaurants; open bars; free and unlimited shore excursions; gratuities, and taxes. The new concierge-level amenities and services are in addition to Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ acclaimed Seven Seas Society benefits and perfectly complement the line’s award-winning service and pampering for which it is renowned.

The award-winning Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ fleet is comprised of three all-suite ships that carry from 490 to 700 pampered guests to ports in Europe, Asia, Alaska, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. Public areas are resplendent with rich fabrics, textures and furnishings. Suites, among the most spacious at sea, measure from 300 to 1,200 square feet and offer tastefully appointed living and sleeping areas, marble bathrooms, walk-in closet, flat-screen TV, fully stocked bar and private balcony. Facilities include several elegant bars, a show lounge, casino, library, Internet center, card room, outdoor pool, hot tubs and Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Depending on the ship, guests can choose from up to four, open-seating gourmet restaurants. To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, see a professional travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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Carnival Cruise Lines Hosts First-Ever Wedding at Charleston's Annual 10K
Cooper River Bridge Run

CHARLESTON, SC, April 4: Carnival Cruise Lines hosted a first-ever post-race wedding ceremony at the 2011 Cooper River Bridge Run this weekend, the culminating event in the Race to the Altar contest and fundraiser which resulted in a $10,000 donation to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children's Hospital.

Carnival's Race to the Altar contest was part of the line's sponsorship of the annual 10K run, which is the third largest 10K race in the U.S. Following a nationwide search, Carnival selected Andy Cook and Tina Berwanger as the winning couple based on their inspiring personal story. Immediately following the 10K run, which the couple ran in custom-designed wedding attire, they were married in a beach-themed ceremony in Charleston's Marion Square, complete with sand, calypso band, and signature Carnival slushy drinks. For every slushy served, Carnival donated $1 to MUSC Children's Hospital for a total $10,000 donation. As winners of the Race to the Altar contest, Cook and Berwanger received a five-day Bahamas honeymoon cruise aboard Carnival Fantasy.

"The wedding in Marion Square was the kind of spontaneous and fun experience that Carnival creates for our guests," said Jim Berra, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. "This was our second year as a sponsor of the Cooper River Bridge Run, which is a great event and a wonderful opportunity to show our support for Charleston and MUSC Children's Hospital."

Carnival's sponsorship of the Bridge Run was part of a yearlong partnership with MUSC Children's Hospital, which includes in-kind and monetary donations, and fundraising events, as well as quarterly hospital visits by crewmembers from the Carnival Fantasy, which is based in Charleston year-round.

The day prior to the race, at the Kid's Fun Run in Charleston's Hampton Park, Carnival Cruise Director Malcolm Burn led the crowd of children and their families in forming Charleston's largest conga line. To learn more about the Race to the Altar contest and the winning couple's story, visit

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Launches New 20-Night Cruise & Hotel Package

BELLEVUE, WA, April 3: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, announces the South Pacific Discovery: Australia, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands. Departing Jan 23, 2012, guests of the exclusive 20-night hotel and cruise package are invited to discover all the scenic splendors and fascinating cultures of the South Pacific--exploring the shores of nine distinctive islands in five archipelagos on a single voyage.

This 20-night hotel and cruise package commences in cosmopolitan Sydney, with three days at leisure in Australia’s oldest and largest city and one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Guests will stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, located in the historic Rocks area of the city. After basking in Sydney’s enviable harbor setting, guests will fly to Brisbane to board The Gauguin to begin their experience of the beautiful South Pacific. The sailing includes exceptional visits to New Caledonia, Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga, ending in French Polynesia, arguably some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

-- Noumea, New Caldonia: This capital city has been named the “Paris of the Pacific” due to its French ambience, heritage and culture.
-- Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji: The largest of the island chain is comprised of high mountains, lush vegetation, shimmering water and pristine white-sand beaches. Fiji’s urban culture and easygoing ambience are present on this island nation.
-- Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji: Once a bustling trading port, this Fijian village is now known for its geothermal hot springs.
-- Vava’u Tonga: Never colonized by Europeans, this South Pacific Nation maintains a strong Polynesian culture. Crystal clear waters and high mountain tops offer unparalleled views of the Tonga islands.
-- Aitutaki, Cook Islands: Consisting of three volcanoes and 12 coral islets, this island offers beautiful coral reefs and a pristine lagoon. Aitutaki is nearly flat, affording ocean views from virtually any point on the island.
-- Taha’a: Visit Motu Mahana, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private island featuring white-sand beaches with swaying palms, crystal-clear waters and gentle breezes. A delicious Polynesian barbeque lunch and local entertainment will prove a highlight of any sailing.
-- Bora Bora: Bora Bora has been described as the most beautiful island in the world. While here, guests will have the opportunity to view the famous marine life or relax on a beautiful, private beach on a motu off the coast.
-- Moorea: The lush scenery is out of a dream, with green vegetation, an abundance of fresh fruit and flowers, spectacular mountain peaks and palm-fringed beaches.

While onboard, guests will experience a relaxed, elegant and graceful setting in which to enjoy the amenities of the award-winning, newly refurbished ship. The ship will host lectures by the onboard naturalist, SCUBA diving lessons, local entertainment and an exquisite variety of cuisine. Special guests, activities and entertainment introduced especially for this unique voyage add to the experience of sailing on the region's most highly acclaimed luxury vessel. Guests may choose to extend their time in the beautiful South Pacific by adding a pre-trip extension exploring Auckland’s seaside paradise or post-trip hotel stays in a wide choice of idyllic French Polynesian islands.

All guests will receive 50% off standard cruise fares in addition to free airfare from Los Angeles. For this one sailing only, past guests of The Gauguin who reserve by May 31, 2011 will receive double Paul Gauguin Society savings on this incredible voyage. For rates and reservations for Paul Gauguin Cruises, contact a professional travel agent, call 800-848-6172, or visit for additional information.

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Celebrity Cruises Begins Construction of Celebrity Reflection

MIAMI, April 1: Reflecting on the success of Celebrity Cruises’ stylish Solstice Class fleet, the line’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan has activated the first cut of steel for the fifth in the five-ship class, Celebrity Reflection, at shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The sleek, 3,030-guest ship will debut in the Fall of 2012.

Proudly watching over her sister ship’s start, Celebrity Silhouette is in the midst of the final phases of her own construction. Celebrity Silhouette sets sail in July of this year, enhancing guests’ precious vacation time with a host of industry-first venues and experiences within The Lawn Club, including the interactive “Lawn Club Grill,” where guests can select and grill their own meats side-by-side with Celebrity’s expert chefs, or have them cooked to order; the relaxing, private, wi-fi-equipped cabanas called “The Alcoves”; “The Porch,” a breezy, casual dining spot offering sandwiches, coffees and captivating views of the sea and the ship’s lush lawn, and “The Art Studio,” where vacationers can bring out their inner artist. The ship also will present another entirely new venue, “The Hideaway,” an intimate, quiet space reminiscent of a childhood tree house.

Celebrity Reflection will present all the new venues, in addition to the line’s first AquaClass suites, expanding on Celebrity’s in-demand, spa-inspired AquaClass stateroom accommodations. The distinctive new experiences will join the diverse array of other modern venues and attributes already associated with Celebrity’s Solstice Class ships.

Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of the world’s top-rated premium cruise line, with spacious, stylish interiors; dining experiences elevated to an art form; personalized service, with a guest-to-staff ratio of nearly 2:1; unexpected, trendsetting onboard activities, all designed to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines, Celebrity’s fleet currently consists of nine ships, with two additional Solstice Class ships scheduled to join the fleet: Celebrity Silhouette in July 2011, and Celebrity Reflection in Fall 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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