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News from the world of cruise travel ~
May 16-31, 2003

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

SARS Updates from the cruise industry

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

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NCL Cancels Additional S/S Norway Sailings

May 30, 2003, 5:00PM EST - Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled the June 15 and June 22 sailings onboard the S/S Norway as a result of the May 25th accident. The company is currently contacting travel agents and passengers to notify them of the cancellation. Passengers will receive a full refund.

NCL is fully cooperating with the US Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board to understand the cause of the boiler room accident.

Passengers needing more information about the cancellation should call 1-800-327-7030 or speak with their travel agents.

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Seventh S/S Norway Crewmember Dies

May 30, 2003, 1:20PM EST - It is with much sorrow that Norwegian Cruise Line reports the death of a seventh crewmember from the accident involving a boiler onboard the S/S Norway this past Sunday, May 25. The crewmember was Ramon Villarais, an engine room stoker from Bulacan in the Philippines who had worked with NCL for eight years, always on the Norway. Villarais was 39 years old.

Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to Ramon Villarais' family, those who are injured and to the families of those who lost their lives.

Nine crewmembers remain hospitalized. Yesterday two crewmembers were discharged and one crewmember was taken off the critical list and is resting in serious but stable condition. One crewmember remains on the critical list.

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Pacific Princess Arrives with "Captain Stubing" at the Helm

A new Love Boat pulled into the City by the Bay this week as the new Pacific Princess sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time on its maiden call in its new summer home. Even "Captain Stubing" himself, actor Gavin MacLeod, was on the bridge as the ship arrived, to greet officials and press as the ship prepared to begin its season of Alaska cruises from the city tomorrow.

The new Pacific Princess takes on the name of the ship featured prominently in "The Love Boat" television series, after the original vessel was retired from the Princess fleet last fall. The boutique-style ship offers an intimate cruising environment, with a total of just 670 passengers, but incorporates many of the dining and entertainment options available on today's larger cruise vessels. The ship, which originally entered service in 1999 as R3 for Renaissance Cruises, began sailing for Princess just last month. The vessel spends its winter season in Australia and the South Pacific with sister company P&O Cruises Australia.

"The name Pacific Princess is synonymous with 'The Love Boat' and cruising," said Dean Brown Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "We couldn't be more delighted to welcome this ship into our fleet, and base it in a city with which we've had a long history and successful relationship." Pacific Princess' Alaska season will offer 10 departures between May 29 and September 5, 2003 on a 11-day Inside Passage itinerary roundtrip from San Francisco that includes calls at Victoria or Vancouver, Ketchikan or Sitka, Skagway and Juneau, plus sailing through the dramatic glaciers, rock walls and waterfalls of Tracy Arm and the twin Sawyer Glaciers.

In addition, the vessel will offer Princess passengers a selection of South Pacific voyages before the ship returns to the P&O Australia fleet in the fall. Among the featured offerings are a 16-day cruise from San Francisco to Papeete, a series of four roundtrip French Polynesia cruises from the Tahitian capitol, and a final 16-day voyage between Papeete and Sydney.

The new Pacific Princess is well suited to offer many of the onboard options that have become Princess trademarks. Passengers will find a wide variety of dining experiences with four onboard restaurants, including alternative dining options such as Princess' renowned Sabatini's trattoria and the premium Sterling Steakhouse. The ship also offers a full spa and fitness center, casino, a variety of entertainment lounges and bars, an Internet café, fully stocked library, two duty-free boutiques and a jogging track. And, with 92 percent outside staterooms -- with over two-thirds of these including a private balcony -- the vessel provides the perfect venues for watching Alaska's dramatic glaciers, or the tropical paradises of the South Pacific.

One of the best-known names in North American cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company. Part of Carnival Corporation, its current fleet of 10 ships sail on approximately 150 different itineraries around the globe, calling at more than 260 ports on all seven continents. By 2006 a further five ships will be introduced.

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"Tie the Knot" Program Makes Wedding Planning Easy, Complete with
Industry's Only Ceremonies at Sea Performed by Ship's Captain

When Princess launched its seagoing weddings program in 1998, the line made maritime and marriage history -- and turned cruising lore into reality -- by having the captain perform the wedding ceremony. Until then, it had been a common misconception that any ship captain was empowered to join couples in matrimony, but in truth no such ceremony had been conducted in more than 100 years.

Grand Princess' launch, featuring the cruise industry's first ocean-going wedding chapel, changed myth to fact and today hundreds of couples are married each year by Princess captains in waters around the globe, including the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Alaska and numerous exotic destinations.

Today, Princess' "Tie the Knot" wedding program has grown to not only offer these exclusive at-sea ceremonies on all of its newest ships, but also include fleetwide harborside ceremonies in embarkation ports or weddings ashore in select ports of call. Together these options have created the cruise industry's most diverse and unique wedding program, offering the convenience of a wedding and honeymoon in one customizable package that makes this important event easy and hassle-free.

Get Married At Sea -- A Princess Exclusive
Imagine getting married on the ocean waves, with the ship's captain joining you as man and wife. Only on Princess is this dream a reality, with the line's unique "Tie the Knot At Sea" wedding program. Princess' newest and largest ships feature an onboard wedding chapel, decorated in flowers and candlelight for the special day. The line offers ceremonies complete with a number of special touches that bring together the talents of the ship's chefs, musicians and photographers.

Every "At Sea" wedding includes live music; champagne; bridal bouquet and groom's matching boutonniere; a photo package with album; a wedding cake; a souvenir wedding certificate and the services of Princess' onboard wedding coordinators to make sure the day runs smoothly. The happy couple can also customize their event with a variety of food and beverage, floral, photography and video choices. They can also choose to add pampering pre-ceremony spa treatments for the bride or take advantage of the ship's tuxedo rental program for the groom, among a host of other options. Reception options further allow the couple to create their perfect day.

Prices for At Sea weddings begin at $1,800 for the ceremony plus $400 for registration and license fees. Marriages are performed by the captain under the legal authority of the ship's Bermuda registry, and Princess' wedding program assists with all required paperwork. 

Wedding Cam -- Have Family and Friends Join in Via Cyberspace
In another Princess exclusive, couples using the ship's wedding chapels can take advantage of the cruise industry's first live Wedding Cams to share their special day with family and friends at home. The Wedding Cam beams a live picture from the ship's wedding chapel, accessible from a special link on Like Princess' pioneering Bridge Cams, the image refreshes once a minute, enabling viewers to follow the proceedings as they happen. The camera is used only when the couple chooses to do so, and makes arrangements prior to their ceremony.

In-Port Ceremonies -- Choose the Perfect Location
Princess' wedding program also offers the opportunity to schedule special pre-cruise "Tie the Knot Harborside" ceremonies aboard any of Princess' vessels, or to arrange a romantic "Tie the Knot Ashore" event in port during the cruise. As ship captains only have authority to marry couples in international waters, all in-port weddings are conducted by a non-denominational officiant. Harborside weddings offer couples the opportunity to choose to invite family and friends to join them just for the day, or to stay for the full cruise. Ashore weddings offer a variety of romantic backdrops, such as sparkling Caribbean beaches, the Alaskan wilderness, or historic European cities. Packages for both types of in-port wedding include music, a bouquet and matching boutonniere, a photographer, a wedding cake, champagne and the services of a professional wedding coordinator. Couples can personalize their ceremony with a variety of extra options depending on the port. Costs for both Harborside and Ashore weddings also vary by port.

Of course, once the ceremony and reception are finished, the honeymoon cruise is just beginning. The wide variety of Princess itineraries offers couples the opportunity to start their married life with the perfect vacation, whether it's lounging in a tropical paradise, visiting a cosmopolitan city or just spending time together on their own private balcony, watching the world go by.

"Tie the Knot" wedding packages can be arranged by contacting your professional travel agent.

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S/S Norway Crewmembers' Condition

May 29, 2003, 6:50PM EST- Today two crewmembers who were hospitalized and being treated for injuries in relation to the accident onboard the S/S Norway were discharged. Norwegian Cruise Line has put them up at local hotels near the hospital so the crewmembers can receive further treatment as needed.

Additionally, another crewmember was released from the Intensive Care Unit and is resting in serious but stable condition.

Our sympathy, thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family members, those who are injured and with the family of all of our lost colleagues.

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Prestige Luggage Maker & Ultra Luxury Line Launch Co-Branded Promotions

MIAMI, May 29, 2003 -- Ultra luxury small ship operator Seabourn Cruise Line and Tumi, the prestige brand of American luggage and accessories, have announced a new marketing partnership that combines two potent icons of high style in travel. The alliance promises to deliver superior value to the audience of discerning, affluent travelers the two companies share. As an initial manifestation of the relationship, later this year Seabourn will begin providing fashionable and functional document portfolios and luggage tags designed and manufactured by Tumi for guests on its three intimate, all-suite Yachts of Seabourn. 

The custom designed travel accessories, which are manufactured exclusively for Seabourn guests, are crafted in Tumi's patented Fusion Z nylon fabric accented with fine leather details, to ensure a lifetime of stylish, durable use. Embossed with the Seabourn shield insignia and the distinctive Tumi hallmark, they are sure to draw admiring glances from knowledgeable travelers. In the near future, the two companies plan to launch further exclusive strategic marketing initiatives that will add value for Tumi's customers and Seabourn's past guests with savings certificates, joint sweepstakes and value-added gifts and awards.

"Beginning with their breakthrough garment bag in the 80s, Tumi has created a unique combination of substance and style that is the epitome of smart, casual elegance," according to Richard Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "They also believe in constantly making the best better, and that makes them a great match for Seabourn," he continued.

Chad Mellen, Tumi's vice president of marketing, noted that "Our joint consumer, the affluent traveler, is constantly seeking to experience new adventures and discoveries. Seabourn provides these experiences in an atmosphere of sophistication and ease, which is the sense we strive to deliver with each of our products."

In addition to the portfolios and luggage tags, Tumi will be providing a limited supply of its luggage to each of The Yachts of Seabourn, for use as complimentary loaners for guests who have utilized the line's exclusive Personal Valet luggage shipping service, should it become necessary. The guests can use the Tumi luggage for their homeward journey free of charge and then return the bag to Seabourn.

Seabourn will join the select group of exclusive distributors of Tumi products when they become available at the online Seabourn Boutique. The companies will also share hyperlinks from each other's websites.

Seabourn's association with Tumi is another of the line's Signature Delights, a continuing series of enhancements and alliances adding elegance and value for guests aboard the 208-guest Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend. Tumi joins other prestige brands including Heidsieck French champagne, BoseÒ WaveÒ audio systems, Molton Brown beauty and wellbeing products and designer soaps by Chanel, Bijan, Hermès and Bronnley. In addition, the line features signature cuisine designed for The Yachts of Seabourn by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer.

The Yachts of Seabourn provide the ultimate in ultra luxury cruise vacations to the most desirable destinations on earth.

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Two New High-Energy Vegas-Style Revues Featured on Celebration
'X-Treme Country' and 'SRO: Standing Room Only' Complement
Multi-Million-Dollar Refurbishment

MIAMI (05/28/03) - Two new high-energy Vegas-style revues - "X-Treme Country" and "SRO: Standing Room Only" - with fast-paced set and  costume changes, precision choreography and dazzling special effects, are now featured aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' "Fun Ship" Celebration.  The two new shows, which are presented in the elegant multi-level Astoria Lounge, complement the Celebration's recent  multi-million-dollar refurbishment that included a redesigned purser's lobby, extensive  cabin and dining room upgrades, various technical modifications and cosmetic enhancements to virtually every public area. 

"The Celebration's makeover not only included a variety of shipboard upgrades but also two new high-energy Vegas-style revues, which  combined with the wide range of dining, activity and entertainment options  available, add up to the ultimate 'Fun Ship' vacation getaway," said Bob  Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.  

The first of the Celebration's new shows, "X-Treme Country," is a rompin' and stompin' tribute to country music's greatest artists. The 50-minute show kicks off with a rousing rendition of Toby Keith's rodeo-inspired Gimme Eight More Seconds, complete with whips and  mechanical bulls, while a talented fiddle-player lends an authentic touch to  classics such as Orange Blossom Special and The Devil Went Down to Georgia.  Closing the show is God Bless Texas - appropriate for a Galveston-based cruise  ship -featuring a dazzling pyrotechnic display. 

The second show, "SRO: Standing Room Only," pays homage to the legendary shows of the Great White Way. Highlighting this  larger-than-life spectacle are production numbers from popular revivals such as Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, and Gypsy, along with songs from current Broadway  hits Mama Mia, The Lion King and Hairspray, with sets and costumes  appropriate to each. The hour-long show concludes with the "Sharks and Jets"  performing a toe-tapping salute to the Broadway classic, West Side Story.  

"X-Treme Country" and "SRO: Standing Room Only" are among the numerous entertainment options available aboard the Celebration. The 48,000-ton SuperLiner also features the Red Hot Piano Bar, where guests  can sing along to contemporary and classic hits; Endless Summer Lounge, featuring live music and dancing; and Islands In the Sky lounge, home  to Carnival's popular "Midnight Special" comedy revue. The Celebration launched year-round four- and five-day cruises from Galveston in September 2000. On this schedule, four-day cruises depart Thursdays and call at Cozumel, while five-day voyages depart Mondays  and Saturdays and visit Cozumel and Playa del Carmen or Calica. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel  agent Internet portal

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Sixth Norway Crewmember Succumbs to Injuries

May 28, 2003, 4:00 PM EST– Norwegian Cruise Line is sad to report the death of a sixth crewmember from the accident involving a boiler onboard the S/S Norway this past Sunday, May 25. The deceased crewmember was Winston Lewis, a steward from Jamaica who had worked with NCL for 31 years.

Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to Winston Lewis’ family, those who are injured, and to the families of all of our lost colleagues. The Company and NCL employees have established an aid and memorial fund for the badly injured and for the families of the deceased called the “S/S Norway Relief and Memorial Fund.” We are working closely with the families and arrangements are being made for family members to come to Miami as soon as possible.

The following crewmembers lost their lives in Sunday's tragedy:

  • Ramil Bernal, Stoker in the Engine Department, served continuously on the S/S Norway since joining NCL in 1996. Prior to his most recent position, he was an Oiler in the Engine Department. He was born on Oct. 4, 1974 in Cavite, Philippines.

  • Ricardo Rosal, 3rd Engineer in the Engine Department, was a veteran of 16 years with NCL and had also served continuously on the S/S Norway. Prior to his most recent position, he was a Stoker in the Engine Department. He was born on June 19, 1952 in Cavite, Philippines.

  • Candido Valenzuela, Stoker in the Engine Department, worked on the S/S Norway since 1987. He was born on Feb. 26, 1987 in Cavite, Philippines.

  • Rene Villanueva, Oiler in the Engine Department, had been with NCL for a little over one year serving onboard the S/S Norway. He was born on Dec. 8, 1974 in Manila, Philippines.

  • Mari John Bautista, 1st Assistant Refrigeration Engineer in the Engine Department, had been with NCL since 2000 serving onboard the S/S Norway. Prior to his most recent position, he was an Oiler in the Engine Department. He was born on Oct. 19, 1973 in Manila, Philippines.

  • Winston Lewis, Second Steward in the Hotel Department, was a veteran of 31 years with NCL. He previously served as a Room Steward and Head Steward in the Hotel Department onboard Norwegian Star (Norwegian Capricorn Line), Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Majesty and Norwegian Wind. He was born on January 30, 1950 in Manchester, Jamaica.

NCL will not release to the media information about the family members, when they are scheduled to arrive or where they are staying. We will be meeting with the families individually to determine their needs and provide as much support as possible. This is a very distressing time for everyone involved and we ask that media respect the family members’ privacy.

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May 27, 2003, 5:00PM EST - Norwegian Cruise Line is sad to report the death of a fifth crewmember from the accident involving a boiler onboard the S/S Norway this past Sunday, May 25. This terrible accident also resulted in the injury of 20 other crewmembers, some of whom remain hospitalized. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to those who are injured and to the families of our lost colleagues. NCL employees have established an aid and memorial fund for the badly injured and for the families of the deceased called the “S/S Norway Relief and Memorial Fund.”

NCL is working closely with the families and arrangements are being made for family members to come to Miami as soon as possible. NCL will not release to the media information about the family members, when they are scheduled to arrive or where they are staying. We will be meeting with the families individually to determine their needs and provide as much support as possible. This is a very distressing time for everyone involved and we ask that media respect the family members’ privacy.

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Newest Freestyle Cruising ship features eight restaurants 
and unprecedented meeting facilities

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced the names for its first two Project America ships, which will begin sailing Hawaii inter-island cruising next year. Project America 1 will be named "Pride of America", reflecting the "Best of America" theme on board. The line's second Project America ship, currently sailing as Norwegian Sky, will be reflagged into the U.S. registry, and will be renamed, "Pride of Aloha" reflecting the strong Hawaii theme to be incorporated during a complete refurbishment in September 2004. The ships will sail under the company's new U.S. Flag brand - NCL America sm- with 100 percent U.S. officers and crew.

Pride of America will be the first new ocean-going passenger ship in nearly 50 years to sail under the American flag. She will begin service in Hawaii in July 2004, offering seven-night inter-island cruises round trip from Honolulu. The ship will feature the innovative attributes of NCL's newest Freestyle Cruising fleet. She features eight restaurants offering traditional dining experiences in two main restaurants plus multiple alternative dining venues, from formal to casual and 24-hour room service.

Pride of America has over 660 balcony staterooms, the broadest range of family-friendly interconnecting cabins available at sea, state-of-the-art entertainment venues, three pools, extensive children's facilities, an abundance of spacious public rooms, and the largest dedicated meeting facilities at sea. All inspired by the diverse regions of America. The ship will also include several firsts for NCL including a Conservatory, a new category of Family Suites, a Tennis Court and an Art Gallery.

"As the first new ocean-going ship to hoist the Stars and Stripes in nearly 50 years, Pride of America has been designed to reflect many diverse parts of the country," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL. "From an Alaskan Gold Rush Pub to a New Orleans' Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge to a Hawaii-themed Aloha Café and Waikiki Bar, passengers will be able to experience the flavor of the U.S. while enjoying the Aloha Spirit of the Hawaii crew on board."

A Star Spangled Lineup of Culinary Options
Pride of America offers the flexibility of eight restaurants and nine different menus every night. Guests can choose from two main restaurants and an array of alternative gourmet, ethnic, and casual eateries, including:

  • Skyline Restaurant - Main restaurant, located on deck 5; inspired by the architecture and skyscrapers of the 1930's and offering a traditional dining experience; accommodates 628;
  • Liberty Restaurant - Second main restaurant, located on Deck 6; a classical design from Colonial days featuring the Founding Fathers and large paintings depicting important moments in American History. Offering a traditional dining experience and accommodates 496;
  • Lone Star Steak House - Located on Deck 6; a modern, upscale steak house featuring a Texan décor with art of the Houston Space Center, Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys. Serving a choice of certified Angus Beef ä, veal, pork, lamb, seafood and grilled chicken; accommodates 106;
  • China Town - Located on Deck 5; a taste of Asia: an elegant Pacific Rim/Asian Fusion restaurant; featuring a sushi and sashimi bar and a Teppanyaki room with two tables accommodating a total of 32 and offering an interactive Japanese dining experience where food is prepared in front of guests;
  • Jefferson's Bistro - Located on Deck 5; NCL's signature restaurant featuring an a la carte menu of nouvelle and classic French cuisine; inspired by Thomas Jefferson's home in Monticello; Jefferson was the US Ambassador to France from 1785-1789 before becoming America's third President; accommodates 104;
  • Cadillac Diner - Located on Deck 6; a 24-hour, 1950's style diner featuring décor of '50's Rock 'n Roll stars complete with Cadillac seats and a video juke box. Fare includes hamburgers, fish and chips, potpies and wok fast dishes; accommodates 106 (70 indoor; 36 outdoor)
  • Little Italy - Located on Deck 11; a modern, casual Italian eatery inspired by New York's Little Italy. Serving pasta, pizza and other popular Italian fare; accommodates 116;
  • Aloha Café/Kids Café - Located on Deck 11; indoor/outdoor buffet-styled eatery with a Hawaii theme, outrigger canoes, Polynesian carvings and traditional Hawaii artifacts. Features "food action stations" including prepared-to-order omelets, waffles, fruit, soups, ethnic specialties, and pasta; offers extensive and varied selections; accommodates 322 indoor and 310 outdoor; includes a buffet for kids with small chairs and tables; accommodates 48.

In addition, Pride of America will offer seven lounges and bars including the Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge - the ship's nightclub, the Napa Wine Bar, Pink's Champagne & Cigar Bar, John Adams Coffee Bar, Gold Rush Pub and the outdoor pool bars - Key West Bar & Grill and the Waikiki Bar.

A Vast Array of Accommodations
Pride of America offers an extensive choice of cabins highlighted by an expansive Grand Suite, the broadest range of family accommodations with more than 250 cabins that interconnect, over 660 balcony cabins and a new concept for NCL -- Family Suites.

The ship's Grand Suite offers 1,400 square feet of living space at sea. Positioned high atop the vessel forward of the main sundeck, the Grand Suite features sweeping views of the ocean and an impressive assortment of amenities usually found only at five-star land based resorts.

The Grand Suite features a large living room with a state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen entertainment center with remote controlled TV, a CD, stereo and DVD player as well as a CD/DVD library, computer access with internet connection and a wet bar. The suite features a dining room with a polished teak table seating six and a private butler to serve meals restaurant-style. The master bedroom features a king-size bed, an en-suite bathroom with separate shower and Jacuzzi bath, a dressing area with a flat screen TV and a large, walk-in closet. There is also a separate powder room at the entrance of the suite perfect for visitors.

The luxuries extend to the outer deck, where guests find a large, wrap around veranda. Suite occupants and their guests can enjoy open-air dining, a Jacuzzi designed to hold up to six people, and completely private areas for sunbathing and relaxing designed to entertain up to 50 people.

Pride of America also features five 870 square feet Owner's suites, which are named after indigenous flowers in Hawaii - the Bird of Paradise, Hibiscus, Gardenia, Orchid and Plumeria; six Deluxe Penthouse suites at 735 square feet, and 28 Penthouse Suites ranging in size from 504-585 square feet. Each of these suites offer a bedroom with a king-size bed and walk-in closet, a bathroom, separate shower with a Jacuzzi bath, dressing area and flat screen TV as well as a separate living room that features a state of the art Bang & Olufsen entertainment center, a TV with a DVD player and a CD/DVD library. Computer access with Internet connection is offered as well.

The ship also features a unique new style of accommodations and another family-friendly innovation from NCL - the Family Suites. Eight 360 square feet family suites feature a living room with a double sofa bed and entertainment center, separate den with a single sofa bed and a private bedroom with two twin beds that can be combined for a queen-size bed. Four additional family suites measuring 330-380 square feet feature two interconnecting cabins that can sleep up to eight people. The larger of the two cabins is an oversize, outside cabin with two single beds that can be combined for a queen-size bed; a sitting area with a double sofa bed. This cabin interconnects with another outside cabin that features two single beds and two upper berths. These eight-person family suites feature two separate bathrooms.

Amenities to be Proud of
Pride of America's All-American theme extends to the ship's spacious public areas. The heart of the ship, the Capitol Atrium, is inspired by the Capitol Building and White House and will feature a decorative stone floor, impressive water feature and a stunning backlit glass dome. The Soho Art Gallery will feature original works of art and the Newbury Street Shopping area is inspired by early 1900s New England shops. There is a Conservatory, a first for NCL, with a tropical landscaped garden and live exotic birds, as well as the Washington Library and the ship's Hollywood Theater, which accommodates 872 and has large, golden statues adorning the walls.

The ship features the latest in relaxation and fitness facilities with the Santa Fe Spa and Fitness Center. Decorated with artifacts from New Mexico with authentic plants, the Spa will be a tranquil area making use of natural elements such as stone and wood. Hawaii-based Mandara Spa, the world's leading operator of landside resort spas, will operate the spa pampering NCL guests with an exotic menu of spa and beauty treatments combining the best of East and West. The Santa Fe Fitness Center boasts state-of-the-art Cybex exercise equipment and Lifefitness cardiovascular machines, each with their own flat screen TVs, an aerobics room offering high/low impact aerobics, yoga, power walking and belly busters classes. The center also features invigorating saunas and steam room and a relaxation area.

The Sports Deck contains a basketball, volleyball and soccer court. The large South Beach sunning and swimming area is inspired by Miami's Art Deco district and features some novel distractions and activities capturing the energy and fun of Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road.

The ship is particularly family-friendly and features the Rascal's Kids Center and Kid's Pool, a supervised facility for children designed around a theme of native animals of America.

The Largest Dedicated Meeting Facilities at Sea
Pride of America and Pride of Aloha will provide the best meetings and conference facilities at sea. The ships are a unique opportunity for meeting planners with three, four and seven day cruises available every week of the year. Planners can book a full week's cruise or alternatively book a three or four day cruise with the option to combine the cruise with a hotel stay to accommodate a variety of meeting lengths.

And as the only U.S. flagged ships sailing the Hawaii islands and visiting only U.S. ports, conferences and meetings on board NCL America ships qualify for both corporate and individual tax deductibility for meetings expenses. Pride of America's meeting facilities will feature six dedicated meeting rooms ranging in size from boardrooms for 10 people to an auditorium that can accommodate over 250 guests.

Five of the meeting rooms (the Hawaii Room, the Oahu Room, the Kauai Room, Molokai room and the Maui Room) can be used individually or combined with others. The Diamond Head Auditorium is a multi-level, circular room that boasts a state-of-the-art audiovisual system that lowers from the ceiling and can be viewed by all participants with it multiple screens. The auditorium also splits into two amphitheatre-like presentation rooms.

The conference area features a business center, a separate large gathering and break area and the Lanai Bar and Lounge, perfect as another break area, for private one-on-one meetings or for group cocktail parties.

Pride of America will also feature Wi Fi capability, which is also available on each of NCL's existing ships fleet wide. Guests can visit the Internet Center on Deck 6 to obtain an Internet access card if they have brought their own laptops with them, or rent a laptop with wireless Internet capabilities.

Pride of Aloha to Begin Sailing in October 2004
Pride of Aloha, currently Norwegian Sky, is a modern 2,002-passenger ship that was the first NCL ship to offer Freestyle Cruising when the program was introduced in 2000. Reflagged into the U.S. register, she will be 100 percent U.S. crewed and will begin her Hawaii service in October 2004, offering three- and four-night inter-island cruises round trip from Honolulu. The company will announce detailed plans of the redesign for the ship in the next few months.

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Carnival Announces 2004 Ship Deployments

MIAMI (05/27/03) - Carnival Cruise Lines has announced a variety of new "Fun Ship" deployments for 2004, including the first year-round cruise program from Jacksonville, Fla., an innovative seven-day round-trip schedule from Baltimore, and newer, larger ships homeported in Tampa and New Orleans.

"Carnival is always seeking ways to keep the 'Fun Ship' product fresh and exciting for our guests and these new itineraries and ship deployments offer a wide range of cruise lengths, itineraries and departure points, all at prices to match any budget," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.

First Year-Round Cruise Program From Jacksonville 
Carnival's 46,052-ton Holiday will become the first cruise ship based year-round in Jacksonville when it launches a new program of four-day Bahamas and five-day Key West/Bahamas cruises Oct. 23, 2004. Four-day cruises call at Freeport and Nassau, while five-day cruises call at Key West and Nassau.

Additionally, the 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle, currently under construction at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland, will debut with a series of three-day Bahamas, and five-day Key West/Bahamas and six-day Mexico sailings from Jacksonville March 1 - April 17, 2004. Three-day cruises call at Freeport; five-day sailings visit Key West and Nassau; and six-day voyages visit Cozumel and Costa Maya or Playa del Carmen.

Innovative Seven-Day Cruise Program from Baltimore 
Carnival Miracle will also operate a series of 14 week-long round-trip Key West/Bahamas sailings from Baltimore - the only program of its kind from that port. The program, which will feature Key West, Nassau and Freeport, will run April 25 - May 30 and Sept. 5 - Oct. 24, 2004. Carnival Miracle will also operate a pair of two-day cruises from Baltimore departing June 6 and Oct. 31, as well as a three-day Labor Day weekend cruise Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004.

Newer, Larger Ships to Tampa & New Orleans 
Carnival will increase capacity from New Orleans by 41 percent when the 2,052-passenger Sensation takes over the 1,452-passenger Holiday's four- and five-day Mexico cruise program beginning Oct. 23, 2004. On the Sensation's new route, four-day cruises call at Cozumel, while five-day voyages add a stop in either Calica or Costa Maya.

Beginning Nov. 7, 2004, Carnival Miracle will replace Inspiration on seven-day "exotic" Caribbean cruises from Tampa, becoming the largest cruise ship homeported year-round at that port. Featured ports on this itinerary include Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Belize.

Inspiration, in turn, will shift to four- and five-day cruises from Tampa beginning Oct. 30, 2004. On this route, four-day sailings visit Cozumel, while five-day cruises call at Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Signature 'Fun Ship' Amenities All of these vessels offer a variety of "resort-style" amenities and facilities, including a heath and fitness center, Internet café, full casino gambling, an on-board duty-free shopping mall, a video game room, and a "Camp Carnival" children's program. A wide range of formal and casual dining options, including elegant main dining rooms, a poolside eatery offering breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives, 24-hour pizza, ice cream and stateroom service, are also available. Carnival Miracle will also house a reservations-only supper club offering U.S.D.A. prime beef and other upscale cuisine. Multiple swimming pools and cascading water slides are also featured on all vessels. A comprehensive golf program offering professional instruction both aboard ship and during golf excursions is available, as well. Carnival is currently accepting reservations on all of these new "Fun Ship" departures. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Royal Caribbean Invites Guests To Discover Paradise Or Sail The Ocean Connection That Changed The World
Legend of the Seas to Sail Expanded Hawaii, Panama Canal Itineraries

MIAMI, May 27 -- With experiences like swimming under waterfalls in lush rain forests or galloping on horseback through Costa Rica's Valley of the Monkeys, it's no wonder travelers are increasingly interested in cruises to Hawaii and the Panama Canal. In response, Royal Caribbean is adding expanded sail dates to both destinations on Legend of the Seas. Bookings are now open on the new Hawaii and Panama Canal itineraries through Spring 2004.

"We're seeing a resurgence of interest in Panama Canal and Hawaii cruises as travelers look for exotic destinations and experiences that are more convenient to home," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, for Royal Caribbean International. "The new itineraries allow guests to enjoy spectacular scenery, experience new cultures, and explore unforgettable ports of call through our Explorations! shore excursion program -- all while enjoying the outstanding amenities and Gold Anchor service aboard Legend of the Seas."

Legend of the Seas begins her new itineraries on Sept. 19, 2003, after returning from the summer season in Alaska, where she will offer seven-night Gulf of Alaska cruises.

Legend's 10- and 11-night Hawaiian itineraries depart alternatively from Honolulu and Ensenda, making calls in Hilo and Kailua Kona, Hawaii; Nawiliwili, Kauai; and Lahaina, Maui. With more than 60 Explorations! shore excursions, including 15 brand new adventures, guests can experience all that paradise has to offer. Following are highlights of just a few additions to the Hawaii shore excursions lineup:

  • Kilauea Volcano Bike Adventure (Hilo): Guests bike eight miles on this scenic journey punctuated with photo stops and short hikes to view Hawaii's famous volcanic  terrain.
  • Kona Kayak Adventure (Kona): Keauhou Bay is the starting point of this picturesque paddling experience that offers views of sea caves, lava tubes and even the occasional dolphin or turtle. Participants also will have the opportunity to snorkel.
  • Catch a Wave Surfing Lesson (Maui): Guests will be "hanging ten" in no time after a lesson and safety orientation from the experts. All equipment is provided.

Legend's 14-day Panama Canal cruises offer guests a chance to sail through the legendary architectural triumph, with alternating Sunday departures from Miami and San Diego making ports of call in Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco Mexico; Puntarenas/Caldera, Costa Rica; Cristobal Pier or Fuerte Amador, Panama; and Oranjestad, Aruba. Through Royal Caribbean's shore excursions program, guests can chose from adventures ranging from watching Acapulco's famous cliff divers to river-rafting through the jungles of Costa Rica. Some of the most popular excursions include:

  • Arikok Nature Hike (Oranjestad, Aruba): This hike through Aruba's Arikok National Park gives guests a chance to explore the island's arid landscape and enjoy its native plant and animal life, including the unique divi-divi and kwihi trees and ever-present iguanas.
  • Skywalk in the Forest (Puntarenas, Costa Rica): Crossing through national parks and protected lands, the Skywalk trails and their suspended cable bridges show intrepid travelers some of the wonders of the tropical forest from the perspective of the area's many treetop dwellers.
  • Sea Kayaking Eco-Adventure (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico): The rugged coastline, crystal blue water and diverse marine life make Cabo San Lucas Bay an ideal place to learn and experience sea kayaking. Paddlers will also have the chance to snorkel and relax at Lover's Beach, which is only accessible by water.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 16 ships in service and three more under construction. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria

MIAMI, May 27, 2003 - For the first time in its long history Cunard Line will operate three luxury liners named for British monarchs. In 2005, the line's fleet will consist of the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. The 668-passenger Caronia will leave the fleet in November 2004, having been sold to the UK-based Saga Group. 

"With our three Queens, Cunard will truly have the most famous ocean liners in the world, offering luxury amenities, our unique Queens Grill and our signature White Star Service," according to Pamela Conover, Cunard's president. "Caronia will continue to play an important role in the fleet through the fall of 2004. We will ensure that during that time she continues to offer her unrivalled service and we expect strong demand for 2004, her farewell season."

Queen Mary 2, in the final phases of construction in France, is the world's largest, tallest, longest, widest and - at $780-million - the most expensive passenger liner ever; she debuts in January 2004. Queen Victoria, currently being built in Italy, is a 1,968-passenger luxury vessel that is scheduled to join the fleet in March 2005.

The Saga Group presently operates two cruise ships: Saga Rose and Saga Pearl. Built in 1973, Caronia, the ex-Vistafjord, is the sister to their flagship Saga Rose, which was formerly Sagafjord.

For information on Caronia's 2004 Farewell Season, contact a professional travel agent, call toll-free at 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit the website

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May 27, 2003, 12:30PM EST - A boiler room accident on the S/S Norway in the early morning of May 25th resulted in the death of four crewmembers and the hospitalization of thirteen other crewmembers. None of the 2,135 passengers was injured in the incident and all passengers were safely disembarked.

As a result, the May 25th cruise was cancelled. Passengers have been offered compensation packages of a full refund plus a future cruise credit certificate in the same amount as the fare they paid for the cancelled cruise. Additionally, NCL offered to assist all passengers with their return travel arrangements.

NCL has also cancelled the June 1 and June 8 voyages and is currently contacting travel agents and passengers to notify them of the cancellation. June 1 passengers will receive a full refund plus a 50 percent future cruise credit certificate. June 8 passengers will receive a full refund plus a 25 percent future cruise credit certificate.

NCL is fully cooperating with the US Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board to understand the cause of the boiler room accident.

Passengers needing more information about the cancellation and/or compensation package should call 1-800-327-7030 or talk to their travel agents.

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May 25, 2003 - Today, at approximately 6:30 am, while the S/S Norway was at the Port of Miami returning from an Eastern Caribbean cruise, there was an incident in the engine room involving one of the boilers. We are deeply saddened to report the death of four crewmembers. Several other crewmembers have been taken to local hospitals.

All 2,135 passengers have been safely disembarked and are being made as comfortable as possible at the Port of Miami. No passengers were injured in the incident.

As a result, the May 25th cruise has been cancelled. Embarking passengers are being notified and offered compensation packages of a full refund and a future cruise-only credit certificate. Additionally, NCL is assisting all passengers with their return travel arrangements.

Any passengers needing more information about the cancellation and/or compensation package should call 1-800-625-5672.

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Norway Explosion Kills Crew Members

Miami, 5/25/03 -- As many as two to four crew members were killed and another twenty injured following an early morning explosion and fire in a boiler room aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s SS Norway. 

Port authorities stated the Norway returned to the Port of Miami on schedule at around 5 am Sunday morning after completing a 7-night Caribbean cruise with 2,135 passengers and 911 crew on board. Approximately two hours later the fire was touched off following an explosion, which was possibly caused by a steam leak. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue workers extinguished the blaze in about an hour. Within three hours, all passengers and crew had evacuated the ship. No passenger injuries have been reported in what appears to be an accident.

Word has not been issued on the extent of the damage to the ship; however, the fire apparently did not reach passenger areas of the vessel. The Norway's current scheduled sailing was canceled in order to give officials time to evaluate damage, according to Norwegian Cruise Line spokeswoman Susan Robison. Approximately 2,000 passengers booked on that cruise will be issued a complete refund and a voucher for a future sailing.

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Disney Cruise Line Wins Top Cruise Award From AAA Travel

DISNEY CRUISE LINE DISNEY MAGIC 83,000 tons of fun -- The Disney Magic offers alternating 7-night (eastern and western) Caribbean cruise vacations that feature magical entertainment, clever programming & unique dining experiences. Disney Magic and  sister ship Disney Wonder make up the Disney Cruise Line fleet. (PRNewsFoto)

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla., May 20 -- AAA Travel recently named Disney Cruise Line its "2002 Preferred Cruise Partner of the Year." The annual program relies on quarterly surveys of AAA's 78 clubs, and recognizes the cruise line that scores highest in overall satisfaction as its preferred cruise provider. Criteria used to evaluate cruise lines include service, product and marketing.

  • Service considers reservations, customer service, agent support, complaint resolution and follow-up.
  • Product takes into account value, commissions, member benefits, availability of product and cancellations of departures.
  • Marketing includes sales, training, promotional materials, support and brochures.

"This award reflects our deep appreciation for the high-quality product and service provided to AAA members by this exceptional cruise line," said AAA Travel vice president Sandra Hughes.

"It is an honor to be recognized by an outstanding organization such as AAA," said Disney Cruise Line president Matt Ouimet. "Each of our cast and crew members, who truly deserve the credit for our success, is committed to providing AAA, its clients and our guests with excellent vacations."

AAA is a not-for-profit federation of 78 clubs with 1,100 offices providing more than 46 million members in the United States and Canada with travel, financial, insurance and auto-related services.

In the last five years, Disney Cruise Line has proven that families can enjoy cruising. Offering three-, four- and seven-night cruise vacations in addition to land and sea packages, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder were designed to appeal to the unique vacation needs of every member of the family. Today, new itineraries, renewed age-specific activities and expanded dining experiences combine to make a Disney Cruise Line vacation better than ever.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a Disney Cruise Line vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit or call Disney Cruise Line at (888) DCL-2500. Travel agents can call Disney Cruise Line at (888) 325-2500 or visit

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From Ajaccio to Venice, Crystal Serenity's Inaugural Mediterranean Season Features 169 Shore Excursions
12-Day Itineraries Showcase 24 New Shore Tours, New Signature Collection Excursions and a Maiden Call at La Rochelle, France

LOS ANGELES, May 22 -- Enjoy a private cooking lesson in St-Tropez. Create a custom French perfume in Grasse. Tour private estate homes in Valetta. Watch for dolphin in the Strait of Gibraltar. These are but a few of the 24 new and exclusive shore programs luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is adding to its impressive roster of 169 enriching excursions during its 2003 Mediterranean season, each designed to showcase the artistry and beauty of some of the world's most inviting destinations.

From July through November, Crystal Serenity will celebrate its inaugural season with nine, 12-day Mediterranean cruises through France, Portugal, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Morocco. Crystal's team of land experts has assembled an extensive variety of tours from the archaeological, Rome's Colosseum and Athen's Acropolis; to the cultural, Florence's Uffizi Gallery and Barcelona's tributes to Picasso, Miro, Dali and Gaudi; to the gastronomic, the wine regions and Michelen-starred restaurants of Burgandy and Tuscany.

"We strive to bring a new dimension to each of our shore programs, and focus our planning on the discovery of the new, exclusive and unexpected experiences in each region that will both surprise and engage our savvy, well-traveled clientele," says Laurie Childers, Crystal's shore excursions coordinator.

Indeed, new excursions for 2003 include the exclusive, such as the Maltese Interiors land program from Valetta, an intimate tour of elite family estates hosted by owners sharing personal insights into island history and architecture; as well as the unexpected, a Dolphin Watching Cruise in the Straight of Gibraltar accompanied by a naturalist who will talk about wildlife of the area.

Tapping into the line's renown for culinary programs and enrichment, this year's Signature Collection--excursions that offer intimate cultural experiences to a limited number of guests--includes: a Private Cooking Lesson at L'Amandier in Mougins under the tutelage of culinary icon Roger Verge (available from Cannes, Monte Carlo and Villefranche); Culinary Delights of St-Tropez features a cooking lesson at La Table du Marche where guests learn the fundamentals of French cuisine and then enjoy a wine tasting as they savor their creations; and Culinary Traditions of the Mediterranean, a private lunch at Hotel Splendido overlooking the picturesque harbor village of Portofino.

Crystal's 2003 Mediterranean program features a maiden call to La Rochelle, France, where guests may tour the Poitou Marshland, often referred to as the Green Venice, on a short canal cruise; absorb the unspoiled, natural beauty of Ilse de Re while enjoying a wine tasting on this island that has inspired many artists; or explore the cities of Saintes and Cognac on a full-day adventure that includes a lunch typical of the Poitou-Charentes region and features a behind-the-scenes tour of a cognac distillery.

Crystal will again offer some of its most popular and highest-rated tours throughout the Mediterranean, including excursions to Mt. Etna and the vineyards of San Michele Estate from Taormina; aerial tours of the stunning Amalfi Coast from Sorrento and the captivating Cote d'Azur from Monaco; and from Casablanca, a journey to the imperial city of Marrakesh, situated amidst an oasis of half-a-million palm trees and surrounded by deep walls high in the Atlas Mountains.

Depending on the itinerary selected, fares begin at $3,995 per person, double occupancy. Mediterranean cruises depart on July 21, August 2, 14 and 26, Sept. 7 and 19, Oct. 1, 13 and 25. Pre- and post-cruise hotel stays are available in Barcelona, Venice, Rome, Athens, and Lisbon.

The July arrival of Crystal Serenity allows the award-winning cruise line to deploy its fleet more globally, with longer dedicated seasons in some of the world's most fascinating cruising regions. This summer, from late May through August, Crystal Symphony will offer a series of Northern European and Baltic itineraries from Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London and Paris (Rouen), while Crystal Harmony journeys round-trip from San Francisco on nine cruises through Alaska from June through September.

The newest member of Crystal Cruises' Six-Star-rated fleet, at 68,000 tons, Crystal Serenity will feature a higher space-per-guest ratio than her sister ships, expanded areas for spa services and other athletic, cultural and intellectual pursuits, an increased number of penthouses and enlarged staterooms. Crystal Cruises currently operates the 50,000-ton, 940-guest sister ships, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, two of the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising the world. Their unique size in the luxury market allows for smooth sailing and a wide range of innovative facilities, generous amenities and elegant accommodations. Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure, call 800.820.6663. Visit the web site at

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MIAMI, MAY 22, 2002 -- Royal Caribbean International today announced that its ship Adventure of the Seas has been selected for the company's fourth annual Environmental Ship Of The Year Award. The annual award is designed to encourage Royal Caribbean's longstanding commitment to environmental innovation and improvement. Competition for the award assists the company in progressively advancing its environmental performance in manners that go above and beyond regulatory compliance. Judging for the awards was conducted by the independent external auditing firm of Haley and Aldrich, which audits all 16 Royal Caribbean ships for adherence to the company's Environmental Compliance Plan.

The announcement was made by Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President for Fleet Operations, Harri Kulovaara, and Senior Vice President for Safety, Security and Environment, Capt. William Wright, during a Miami meeting of the company's top shipboard managers.

"I applaud the crew of Adventure of the Seas for their outstanding achievements," Kulovaara said. "I also congratulate our other ships for their commitment to environmental excellence and continuous improvement. Our employees do an outstanding job to make environmental advances onboard all our ships."

The selection of the Environmental Ship Of The Year was based on seven criteria established by Royal Caribbean and its independent external auditors and covered all of 2002. The criteria evaluated includes audit findings related to environmental performance, timeliness and effectiveness of corrective actions, reports of near incidents and non-conformities, the submission of monthly environmental status reports, and performance of pollution prevention equipment.

In their award, Adventure of the Seas' crew was cited for having no findings in their 2002 compliance audits, which examines a ships adherence to the company's environmental policies and procedures. They were praised for their reporting of the most minor of environmental events, which resulted in a higher level of awareness by the ship's top management regarding environmental issues and their increased involvement in corrective actions. Additionally, the ship's crew was credited for its commitment to compliance with the International Standards Organization's 14001 ideals for continuous improvement in their environmental performance.

"Our ships have again proven their dedication to a continuous improvement philosophy that is the hallmark of Royal Caribbean," Wright said. "All of our ships have distinguished themselves as they sought higher environmental performance standards through innovation and communication. We thank them for their hard work and the impressive examples they set."

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 25 ships in service and three under construction. The company also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruise-tour division. Additional information can be found on and

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Carnival Launches New Discount Program for U.S. Military Personnel
For A Limited Time Only, Up To Four 'Fun Ship' Staterooms May Be Booked At Special Discounted Rates 

MIAMI (05/22/03) - Through a new program from Carnival Cruise Lines, active U.S. military personnel can book up to four "Fun Ship" staterooms at savings of up to 50 percent off published fares. The special rates are available for a limited time only on a wide variety of "Fun Ship" departures through the end of 2003. The discounted rates start at $169 per person for three-day cruises; $199 per person for four-day cruises; $219 per person for five-day cruises; and $299 per person for seven-day, on sailings to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, and Canada/New England. 

"Carnival has historically offered discounts for military personnel. However, this new program not only allows men and women currently serving in the U.S. armed forces to enjoy special savings on 'Fun Ship' vacations but also to bring along their friends and family members at the same discounted rates," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Reservations can be made through any travel agent or by contacting Carnival Cruise Lines' Special Promotions Desk at 1-800-794-6225 and requesting fare code CPM1/CPM2. Valid military identification is required at the time of booking. Military personnel must sail to be eligible for discounts on additional staterooms purchased. Rates reflect category 1A (interior) accommodations and are capacity controlled. Certain other restrictions apply.

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Seattle, WA, May 21, 2003 — Luxury cruise operator Windstar is adding value to cruise offerings by packaging hotel and air components with European cruises. Thirteen cruise itineraries visiting a total of 11 countries offer great rates including hotel or airfare. Sailings depart in May, June, July, September, October, and November aboard one of two sleek sailing yachts—the 308-passenger Wind Surf or the 148-passenger Wind Spirit.

“Consumer trends show that vacationers are looking for more value with every purchase these days. At Windstar we are used to giving our guests exactly what they want—a cruise that is 180 degrees from ordinary, one-stop shopping and all-inclusive pricing,” said Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises.


Windstar is offering air-inclusive cruise packages now available on seven cruise dates featuring roundtrip air from New York, a 14-day Mediterranean cruise, and all necessary lodgings and transfers required as a result of flight times.

The air-inclusive package is offered on the following 14-day Wind Spirit cruises in 2003: June 7 from Athens, Greece to Rome, Italy; July 5 from Lisbon, Portugal to Nice, France; October 25 from Athens to Barcelona, Spain; and November 1 from Rome to Lisbon. Rates for these sailings start are $3,245 for category B stateroom and $3,445 for category A stateroom.

The Wind Surf, boasting exclusive suites, WindSpa and Internet business center, offers the air-inclusive package on three 14-day cruises, the first departing June 1, 2003 from Venice to Rome. The journey begins with a pierside overnight in magnificent Venice before sailing to Hvar and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu and Cephalonia, Greece; Taormina, Sicily; Grand Harbour and Gozo, Malta; Porto Empedocle, Italy; LaGoulette, Tunisia; Lipari, Amalfi, Sorrento (overnight), and Capri, Italy arriving in the port of Rome (Civitavecchia) two weeks later.

Rates for the above air-cruise package start at $3,245 for category B stateroom; $3,445 for category A stateroom; and $4,933 for Suite category.

Two other featured Wind Surf air-inclusive cruises are as follows:

On September 21, 2003 the Wind Surf sails 14-days from Lisbon to Nice visiting Portimao, Portugal; Tangier, Morocco; Marbella, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Tarragona, and Mahon, Spain; Port Vendres, Marseille, Porquerolles, and St. Florent (Corsica), France.

Finally, on October 19, 2003, a Venice to Nice Wind Surf sailing features port calls to Hvar and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; Taormina (Sicily), Amalfi, Rome, Porto Vecchio, Portoferraio, Portovenere, and Portofino, Italy; St. Tropez, France, and a shipboard overnight in the magical kingdom of Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Rates for the two air-cruise packages above are $3,545 for category B stateroom; $3,745 for category A stateroom; and $5,383 for Suite category.


Consumers can also opt for a hotel and cruise package available on six dates including 2-nights deluxe hotel in Istanbul pre- or post-cruise and a seven-day Greek Isles cruise.

The Hilton Istanbul, a five-star property in Istanbul, Turkey is where guests will stay. The two free hotel overnights are taken before or after the cruise depending on cruise departure city. Situated in gardens and overlooking the Bosphorus Sea, the Hilton Istanbul has world-class sightseeing and shopping nearby, as well as refined service and dining and décor evocative of the region combining both contemporary and traditional Turkish delights.

The nine-day hotel-inclusive cruise package is offered onboard the Wind Spirit on May 31, September 20 and 27, and October 4, 11 and 18, 2003. Windstar’s “Sail & Save” promotional rates on the above six cruise departures start at $2,595 for category B stateroom.

The cruise itinerary celebrates Windstar’s twelfth year of cruising between Athens, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey. The graceful sailing yacht Wind Spirit is a natural complement to the idyllic Greek Isles and she and her guests enjoy a welcome homecoming when visiting the history-laden ports of Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes, Greece; Bodrum and Kusadasi, Turkey.

All rates listed are per-person, based on double occupancy. Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when passengers cancel for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. To receive a Windstar Europe brochure, make reservations, or receive more information, contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Sail over to Windstar Cruises online at

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Miami, FL, May 20 2003 – Oceania Cruises unveiled its revolutionary Tranquility Bed, an oasis of comfort unlike any other found at sea. The most luxurious and sybaritic sleep experience in the cruise industry, the sumptuous, stylish, Tranquility Bed is comprised of a custom designed mattress set, deluxe 350 thread count Egyptian cotton linens, a plush comforter, silk-cut duvet and the most exceptional, fluffy down pillows in the business. For the best sleep at sea, one must experience the unbelievable comfort of Oceania Cruises’ Tranquility Bed.

Joe Watters, Chairman of Oceania Cruises stated, “The Tranquility Bed is another fine example of the great lengths Oceania Cruises goes to in an effort to ensure our guests are coddled from start to finish. Think of the Tranquility Bed as a little slice of heaven on the high seas.” In true luxury fashion, all the bedding and accessories aboard Regatta and Insignia have been hand selected by senior management at Oceania Cruises. “It doesn’t end with the mattresses and pillows. We realize that beds are not just for sleeping, they are for relaxing as well. That’s why we’ve gone to extremes to make them so inviting,” added Watters. Beds in the suites and staterooms will feature bolster pillows; more commonly known as tootsie-rolls; and soft, cuddly, throws which are perfect for nap time or watching an in-stateroom movie.

Frank Del Rio, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises, added, “Nothing is more relaxing than an ocean voyage and we are complementing that experience with the greatest sleep experience at sea.” Oceania Cruises chose the moniker “tranquility” as it embodies everything that a good night’s sleep should be - peaceful, calm and undisturbed. “The reality is the onboard sleep experience is something that our industry has not concentrated on. An outstanding night’s sleep, like extraordinary cuisine and captivating ports, is essential for a truly sublime cruise experience,” added Del Rio.

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

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Savings programs, Personalized Voyages sm and Reassurance Program provide attractive booking incentives for guests

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 20, 2003 -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises announced it is seeing substantial increases in cumulative booking trends since the conflict in Iraq ended last month. Highlighting recent weeks of increased booking activity is an impressive 35% surge in reservations over the same period last year.

"Since early April, when people started to get a sense that the conflict in Iraq was ending, we've been seeing impressive gains in week-over-week bookings for 2003 cruises," said Bill Leiber, Silversea's Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "For 2004, the demand is so robust that the cumulative increases are often well beyond our expectations. Not only does this show us that people are eager to get back to traveling, but it's an encouraging sign that more and more travelers are feeling greater confidence about making plans well into the future." Added Leiber, "The momentum we're experiencing reflects the overall business strategy we have set in place. A number of key programs and initiatives are helping travelers to have peace of mind and get back to traveling even in the midst of continued economic and geopolitical uncertainties. Yet the trends we're seeing also suggest that certain destinations that are traditional favorites, like Northern Europe, are increasingly able to attract guests with minimal need for pricing incentives to act as a stimulus."

Silversea makes it easy for travelers to plan ahead for their vacation by offering attractive savings programs, such as the Early Booking Incentive and Advance Payment Bonus. In addition, on select voyages, guests can find the most generous savings opportunities with the line's Silver Sailings program, which can provide up to 50% savings on cruise-only fares. When these savings options are combined with Silversea's all-inclusive shipboard experience, guests will discover a vacation whose quality and value is unsurpassed.

Guests also have the option to follow one of Silversea's carefully designed voyages, or create their own. With Silversea's innovative Personalized Voyages, guests have the flexibility and convenience of deciding when to check in and check out from their cruise from over two hundred available ports. And Silversea's Reassurance Program, which can now be purchased for as little as $100 per guest, when purchased with Silversea's GuestCare® optional travel insurance, ensures peace of mind and gives guests the freedom to alter their travel plans at the last minute for any reason without being penalized.

Complete details about Silversea programs and savings incentives are available at the line's Web site, Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard intimate vessels designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Norwegian Sky, Setting the Record Straight

5/20/03 -- Norwegian Cruise Line collects and maintains accurate data concerning the health and well being of passengers on board our ships. We learn from others what happens to our passengers after they disembark our vessels. We know with certainty that approximately two and a half percent of the guests on board Norwegian Sky's six-day voyage departing May 11 from Vancouver to Seattle reported to the ship's medical center during the cruise, with various symptoms of stomach flu generally lasting 24 hours. This is an incidence level that falls below the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) threshold for an 'outbreak'. Nevertheless, we have been in close touch with the CDC and continue to be.

NCL has subsequently been made aware of some media reports that more than 300 passengers, who left the ship healthy on Saturday morning, became ill by Saturday evening at the Marriott hotel at Seattle's SEATAC Airport. We have contacted the Marriott and have been advised that to their knowledge, a total of three passengers - not 300 - were sick with stomach flu-like symptoms. We have contacted the King County Health Department and have been advised that to their knowledge, a total of 20 people reported feeling ill to some degree.

NCL has absolutely no idea where the media outlets in question received information that 300 Norwegian Cruise Line passengers reported ill, and regards such media reports as what may politely be termed 'unreliable'. Likewise, both the hotel and the King County Health Department have explicitly confirmed to us that nobody was quarantined and no quarantine order was issued.

Reports of mass outbreaks of illness in these sensitive times is a serious matter and NCL requests that the media outlets carefully verify their facts before issuing such damaging and potentially alarming information. The CDC estimates that 23 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are due to Norovirus (NLV) infection. NLV is a common gastrointestinal virus - only the common cold is reported more frequently. It has an incubation period of 12-48 hours and generally runs its course in about 24 - 48 hours. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and a low-grade fever. NLV is not an upper respiratory virus such as the flu. This illness itself is not life-threatening.

In an earlier statement, David Forney, chief of Vessel Sanitation Program of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said: "These ships are maintaining the highest standard of sanitation in the world. Cruise lines are doing everything they can to minimize the risk of coming in contact with this gastrointestinal illness. There are no guarantees, but they're doing everything they can to make sure that this is not an issue"

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Offers More Than 40 Separate Holiday Itinerary Options--Many Short Segments for Incentive Market Many Overnights and late Night Departures More Marina Days to Enjoy Water Sports

SeaDream Yacht Club, operator of the twin, ultra-luxury mega yachts SeaDream I and II, has announced its 2004 schedules: a compendium of new yacht sailings in the in the Caribbean and in Europe with more than 40 holiday itinerary options. Included are classic cities and resort destinations as turnarounds and intriguing, small and exclusive yachting ports. Basically, organized in seven-day offerings, the schedule also features a series of shorter sailings ideal for the incentive market.

SeaDream’s European season runs from May through October with sailings along the French and Italian Riviera, the Greek Isles, the Aegean Sea to Istanbul and ports in Turkey, Croatia, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Home ports with turnarounds are Monaco, Nice, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Istanbul. The Caribbean sailings stretch from November to mid-April with St. Thomas and San Juan as homeports.

Larry Pimentel, CTC, President and CEO of SeaDream, said the 2004 schedules “respond to the desires of the yachting company’s up-market clientele for a longer European season and to loyal repeat guests looking for new yachting itineraries in both Europe and the Caribbean. Our guests love the glamour yachting ports and classic cities. Our goal for the 2004 schedule and itineraries was to build on this and add still more magic. Our guest surveys confirm that we have a winning combination of hot spots, nightlife destinations and off-beat yachting favorites. Our guests are active, inquisitive travelers. They love to explore. They love to take advantage of the sun and sea with the water sports 'toys' we have aboard and they love to participate in the nightlife of some of the exciting ports where we call. That is why our yachts either overnight or have late departures included in many itineraries. The 2004 sailing program has been designed to take advantage of the casual lifestyle of our guests. So for our summer Mediterranean sailings we will be overnighting St. Tropez, Cannes, Capri, Sorrento and Bonifacio in Corsica. Also in such ports as Positano and Calvi we will remain until late in the evening to give our guests the opportunity to enjoy some evening hour fun ashore,” Pimentel said.

In the Caribbean we will overnight in Jost Van Dyke and Gustavia on St. Barts. While most sailings are seven-days, there’s also a variety of three and four day opportunities ideal for small corporate meetings, incentives or guests with time constraints. In the Caribbean SeaDream yachts will sail the British Virgin Islands, the French West Indies and the Lesser Antilles. Among ports of call and islands are: Anguilla, St. John, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Nevis, St. Kitts St. Martin, Tortola and Dominica.

Ports of call in Europe include: Cassis, Villefranche, Cannes, Porto Azzuro, Portofino, Porquerolles, Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Portovenere, Giglio, Porto Servo, Lipari, Gaeta, Ponza, Porto Azzuro, Venice, Taormina, Giannutri, Dubrovnik, Havar, Losinj, Corfu, Fiskardho, Itea, Hydra, Navplion, Monemvasia, Santorini, Mykonos, Bodrum, Kusadasi, Seville, Barcelona, Malaga, Ceuta, Alicante, Marbella, Tangier and Casablanca and Funchal Madeira.

Details of the 2004 itineraries are on the SeaDream website at A full-color brochure is available online and may be ordered at no cost. Pricing per person, per day for the SeaDream’s 2004 sailings are from $399 in the Caribbean and from $485 in Europe. Some conditions apply. Prices are capacity controlled.

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

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Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship To Sail Inaugural Season 
From New York City
Serenade of the Seas to Offer Line's First Cruises to Canada From The Big Apple

MIAMI, May 19 -- The arrival of Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Serenade of the Seas, in New York this August marks two firsts for the cruise line: Serenade of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to sail an inaugural season from New York City, as well as the first to offer Canada itineraries from The Big Apple. Set to be delivered on July 31, 2003, Serenade of the Seas first will sail a series of special, pre-inaugural cruises before offering four- and five- night itineraries to Canada from New York City, Sept. 1 through Oct. 27.

"Serenade is the third in our Radiance-class series of ships, which combine an elegant, yacht-like design with many of the most innovative amenities and onboard programs available in the cruise industry," said Adam Goldstein, executive vice president, Royal Caribbean International. "Like her sister ships, Serenade allows guests to both do and see more during a cruise vacation -- whether it is enjoying an intimate dinner for two at the Chops Grille steakhouse, working up a sweat on the rock-climbing wall, or enjoying the fall foliage from a private balcony."

Serenade of the Seas was designed to bring the sea, sun and coastal scenery indoors with nearly three acres of exterior glass -- including floor- to-ceiling windows in most lounges and public areas; the line's highest percentage of balcony staterooms; and glass elevators facing the ocean. The 90,090-ton Serenade also offers an impressive span of activities, including Royal Caribbean's signature rock-climbing wall; a sports deck with a golf simulator, nine-hole miniature golf course and basketball court; a billiards room with gyroscopic pool tables; the ShipShape Fitness Center and Spa; an adults-only Solarium with retractable glass canopy; and expansive Adventure Ocean facilities for kids ages 3-17.

Guests on Serenade of the Seas have a variety of dining venues to choose from, including the two-story, traditional main dining room; two casual eateries, the Windjammer Cafe and Seaview Cafe; and two specialty restaurants, Chops Grille steakhouse and Portofino. Evening entertainment includes a Las Vegas-style casino, full-scale production shows, and a range of performers and musicians appearing in multiple bars and lounges throughout the ship.

Serenade of the Seas' special, pre-inaugural season schedule includes a transatlantic voyage from Amsterdam to Boston on Aug. 4 and two charter cruises by Vacation Outlet on Aug. 14 and 18 from Boston. She will be named in New York on Aug. 22 and then will sail a one-time-only, seven-night New England/Canada cruise on Aug. 25. Beginning Sept. 1, Serenade will offer four- and five-night cruises from New York to Canada, with stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. Prices start at $499 per person, double occupancy. In November, Serenade of the Seas repositions to San Juan, where she will sail weekly seven-night Southern Caribbean itineraries to ports of call, including St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John's, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; and Bridgetown, Barbados. Prices start at $649 per person, double occupancy.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 16 ships in service and three more under construction, including Serenade of the Seas. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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New Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess to Sail from Seattle; Regal Princess Returns to San Francisco

Princess will offer more Inside Passage cruising in Alaska in 2004 than ever, with a significantly expanded schedule featuring two of the line's newest and most amenity-filled vessels, Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess, in Seattle as well as the return of Regal Princess to Alaska with cruises from San Francisco.

With 48 sailings to choose from and more than double the line's previous Inside Passage capacity, the program continues to offer the convenience of easily accessible home ports. These roundtrip cruises complement Princess' other 2004 Alaska offering, the "Voyage of the Glaciers" Gulf of Alaska itinerary, offered on four ships. The Inside Passage program offers passengers a convenient, U.S.-based discovery adventure that also offers the opportunity to visit many additional attractions during pre- or post-cruise stays in Seattle or San Francisco.

"We're pleased that these Seattle-based Inside Passage sailings have become a successful part of our extensive Alaska lineup," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "Diamond and Sapphire Princess will not only allow us to double our capacity on this popular route, but will certainly be the most spectacular ships in Alaska next year -- offering the perfect way to enjoy the beauty of southeast Alaska and the best of Princess choice and service."

Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess Sail From Seattle
Both of these new 2,670-passenger sister ships will take passengers on a seven-day roundtrip voyages from Seattle to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, plus cruise through the dramatic glaciers, rock walls and waterfalls of Tracy Arm and the twin Sawyer Glaciers. Diamond Princess will offer 19 voyages on this itinerary departing on Saturdays between May 8 and September 11, 2004, while Sapphire Princess will offer 18 voyages departing on Sundays, beginning May 16 and continuing through September 12.

Regal Princess Sails from San Francisco
Regal Princess will offer 11 departures between May 6 and August 14, 2004 on a 10-day Inside Passage itinerary roundtrip from San Francisco that includes calls at Victoria, Ketchikan or Sitka, Skagway or Haines, Juneau, and premiere glacier viewing in Tracy Arm.

Canadian Rockies Cruisetours
Passengers who would like to enjoy a complete land and sea vacation have three Canadian Rockies tour options designed to coordinate with Inside Passage cruises from Seattle. Princess' escorted itineraries take guests to the heart of these spectacular mountains with visits to Banff, Jasper, Calgary and Kamloops, along with other local highlights. The 12- and 13-day packages feature stays at the area's premiere resort hotels such as the Chateau Lake Louise, Banff Springs Hotel and Jasper Park Lodge.

Early booking fares for Inside Passage voyages start at $899 for cruises and $2,449 for Canadian Rockies cruisetours. One of the best-known names in North American cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company. Part of Carnival Corp, its current fleet of 10 ships sail on approximately 150 different itineraries around the globe, calling at more than 260 ports on all seven continents. By 2006 a further five ships will be introduced. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Miami, May 19, 2003 -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. issued a brief statement today in response to a lawsuit filed late Friday regarding the taxes and fees it charges cruise guests.

"We are outraged by the actions of the attorneys filing this suit," said Lynn Martenstein, vice president, Corporate Communications. "Our figures show they are dead wrong in their facts and we feel they are hugely irresponsible in using the media to sensationalize a nonexistent case. We actually pay more in government taxes and fees than we charge our guests," she explained, citing a preliminary analysis of guest charges and payments made to government.

Using actual figures paid by two of the plaintiffs as examples, the company said they were charged $26 and $40, respectively, for government taxes and fees. The company, in turn, paid approximately $45 and $58, respectively, to cover such taxes and fees.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 25 ships in service and three under construction. The company also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruise-tour division. Additional information can be found on, or

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NCL responds to New York agents' requests for deep Caribbean in the winter

MIAMI - May 16, 2003 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced Norwegian Dawn will sail a series of four 10- and 11-day Exotic Southern Caribbean itineraries from New York during January and part of February in 2004 and 2005. The change is spurred by New York area travel agents' request for an exotic Caribbean itinerary during the coldest months of winter. NCL can make these attractive itineraries possible for travel agents and passengers because of Norwegian Dawn's great speed of 25 knots -- reaching as far south as Barbados and Grenada.

NCL is the only cruise line to offer a year round program from New York with Norwegian Dawn. Itineraries range in length from 7 to 10 and 11 days, which is a completely new choice for the New York market on a year round basis. "We have put our newest ship in the Big Apple and she has been extremely well received by New York agents," said Andy Stuart, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Norwegian Cruise Line. "They have asked for a longer itinerary that reaches further south in the heart of the winter so we're giving them a choice of two exotic Caribbean options."

The new itineraries go on sale Tuesday, May 20th with prices starting from $1,099 per person.

On January 4 and 25, 2004 Norwegian Dawn will set sail for an 11-day Exotic Southern Caribbean itinerary from New York calling at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua; Barbados; Grenada; Dominica; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. This itinerary will also be offered in 2005 departing on January 2 and 23rd.

On January 15, 2004, Norwegian Dawn will sail a 10-day Exotic Southern Caribbean to San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua; Dominica and St. Maarten.

On February 5, 2004 the ship departs for a 10-day Exotic Southern Caribbean itinerary sailing to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua; Barbados; St. Maarten and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. This itinerary will also be offered in 2005 departing January 13th and February 3rd.

The innovative Norwegian Dawn offers 10 restaurants; original artwork by Impressionist masters Matisse, Monet, Van Gogh and Renoir, and two 5,350 square-foot Garden Villa suites, the largest staterooms at sea. The ship also features a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa plus one of the largest children's complexes at sea.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is an international cruise company and industry innovator. NCL is the leader in round-trip seven-day cruising from US and Canadian ports, offering its popular Homeland Cruising program seasonally from Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Orlando (Port Canaveral), San Juan, Seattle and Vancouver, and year round from New York, Miami, Houston and Honolulu. For further information on NCL, agents in the US and Canada may contact NCL at (800) 327-7030; visit NCL's website at

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New guest program further defines Silversea as the most flexible cruise line

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 15, 2003 -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises announced an innovative program that enables guests to embark and debark with maximum flexibility. Expanding on its success with such revolutionary concepts as Personalized Voyages sm, which allows guests to create their own customized cruises, Silversea is now making it even easier for guests to check in and out from their cruise with flexible embarkation and debarkation options.

"We want to ensure our guests enjoy a totally hassle-free vacation, so we're always exploring innovative ways to offer greater flexibility and convenience," said Bill Leiber, Silversea's Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "With our new program, we're now giving guests the option of boarding the ship as soon as possible, or remaining on board for a short time after their cruise has ended." Added Leiber, "Some guests may have an early-arrival flight and will prefer to transfer directly to the ship, so they can enjoy a full-course lunch in the ship's restaurant before getting settled in. Or, after their cruise, some guests may prefer to linger a few hours in their suite, have lunch, go exploring ashore without worrying about their luggage, or just enjoy cocktails in the ship's lounge before catching their flight home. It's all about giving guests what they want."

There is a nominal charge for the new embarkation and debarkation program, which will be applied to the guest's shipboard account. The cost ranges from $100 to $150 per guest, depending on the guest's personal requirements. Subject to local government regulations, which may limit program availability, the following options are available:

Early Embarkation - Guests wishing to board their Silversea cruise earlier than the scheduled embarkation time (usually 3:00 p.m.), may embark as early as 10:30 a.m., after guests of the previous cruise have been cleared by customs and allowed to disembark. Early-embarking guests will have access to their suite, as well as the ship's restaurants and public lounges, where they can relax and enjoy fine food and drink. Guests need to register for early embarkation prior to the cruise and the cost is $100 per guest.

Late Debarkation - For guests wishing to remain aboard ship as late as 5:00 p.m. to have lunch in the restaurant or relax and have a drink in any of the public lounges, the program fee is $100 per guest and should be arranged through the Concierge aboard ship. Late-disembarking guests are also issued a special pass that enables them to come and go from the ship as they please, and Silversea arranges for the storing of their luggage. For guests who also require a suite, the cost is $150 per guest and is subject to availability.

Guests are encouraged to consult with their travel agent or visit the line's Web site,, for complete terms and conditions on the new program. Early-embarkation registration forms are also available on Silversea's Web site. 

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Carnival Miracle To Become Tampa's Newest & Largest Cruise Ship
New 'Fun Ship' To Offer Seven-Day 'Exotic' Caribbean Sailings Starting in Fall 2004
 Inspiration To Switch to Year-Round Four- and Five-Day Cruises from Tampa

MIAMI 05/15/03 -- Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise operator, will deploy the new 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle on seven-day "exotic" Caribbean cruises from the Port of Tampa beginning Nov. 7, 2004. The 88,500-ton vessel will be the largest cruise ship homeported year-round at Tampa. Carnival Miracle will replace the Inspiration on this one-of-a-kind seven-day, four-port Caribbean itinerary, which features Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Belize.

Carnival Miracle will bring a new level of cruising to Tampa with a wide range of innovative features, including indoor and outdoor wrap-around promenades, an upscale supper club located atop a towering 11-deck-high atrium, and the largest percentage of balconied staterooms of any Tampa-based cruise ship, making it the ideal vessel for scenic cruising. 

Inspiration will shift to year-round four- and five-day cruises from Tampa beginning in Oct. 2004, continuing this unique and popular program that is currently operated by the Sensation, which will be repositioned to New Orleans. On this route, four-day cruises depart Thursdays and visit Cozumel, while five-day cruises depart Mondays and Saturdays and call at Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Commented Zelko Kirincich, managing director, Tampa Port Authority, "It is exciting to see Carnival make yet another commitment to the Tampa Bay area. In nine years Carnival has expanded its commitment eight times, continually increasing spending and jobs in our region, and helping make Tampa one of the fastest growing cruise ports in the nation." 

Pricing and Reservations - Prices for the Carnival Miracle's seven-day sailings from Tampa begin at $499 per person, while four- and five-day Inspiration cruises begin at $299 and $379 respectively. If purchased through Carnival's "Fun Finance Plan (SM)," which enables consumers to extend their "Fun Ship" cruise payments over 24 monthly installments, the Carnival Miracle's seven-day cruises begin at $24 per month, while Inspiration's four- and five-day cruises begin at $14 and $18 per month, respectively.  Actual "Fun Finance Plan" monthly payments and terms may vary according to the applicant's credit qualifications. Valid for U.S. individual bookings only. Certain other restrictions apply. Round-trip air transportation supplements from a variety of North American gateways and special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available. 

Carnival will begin accepting reservations for the Carnival Miracle and Inspiration sailings from Tampa on Friday, May 16, 2003. For additional information and reservations, contact your travel agent.

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Carnival Bringing Newer, Larger Ship to New Orleans
Sensation to Begin Year-Round Four- and Five-Day Mexico Sailings From
Big Easy in Fall 2004

MIAMI, May 15 -- Carnival Cruise Lines will deploy the "Fun Ship" Sensation on four- and five-day Mexico sailings from New Orleans beginning in fall 2004. The 2,052-passenger Sensation will replace the 1,452-passenger Holiday on this itinerary, expanding capacity by 41 percent. The Sensation, which currently operates from Tampa, will launch year-round sailings from New Orleans with a four-day cruise departing Oct. 23, 2004. On its new route, the Sensation will depart New Orleans Thursdays on four-day cruises to Cozumel, and on Mondays and Saturdays on five-day cruises to Cozumel and either Costa Maya or Calica.

"Since Carnival launched New Orleans' first short cruise program aboard the Holiday in April 2002, consumer response has been outstanding. We're certain that the newer, larger Sensation will enjoy the same success sailing from New Orleans, which has become a guest favorite for its strong tourist appeal and convenient, close-to-home location," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Commented Port of New Orleans Executive Director/CEO Gary LaGrange, "The four/five day itinerary has always been an extremely popular cruise option for this market. Carnival's decision to base the Sensation in New Orleans demonstrates the ongoing popularity and excellent growth potential of this market. The Port of New Orleans is responding to this challenge with its newest cruise terminal at Erato Street, scheduled to open in the fall of 2004."

Dickinson added that the New Orleans community has been very supportive of Carnival, a fact that makes this latest capacity increase all the more gratifying. "We have received such tremendous enthusiasm from the people of New Orleans since we first started cruising from there some eight years ago. That support was particularly evident and instrumental during our recent challenges with the Carnival Conquest and the Chalmette power lines," Dickinson stated.

"The efforts of many people, including Congressman David Vitter, Senator Ken Hollis, Port Director Gary LaGrange and all of the Dock Board Commissioners, Public Service Commissioner Jay Blossman, Governor Mike Foster, Mayor Ray Nagin, and numerous others who worked hard to achieve a resolution is so very much appreciated by all of us at Carnival. It clearly demonstrates a commitment on the part of those individuals to achieve solutions that benefit the greater New Orleans community and they should be commended for their efforts," he added. "We look forward to returning the Carnival Conquest to New Orleans where she will remain year-round, as soon as the river level goes down."

Continued Expansion of New Orleans Cruise Market
Including the Sensation's 41 percent capacity increase over the Holiday, combined with Carnival Conquest's seven-day sailings from New Orleans, Carnival is expected to carry approximately 350,000 guests annually from New Orleans -- a 12-fold increase over the line's first full year of operations there in 1995. "New Orleans is one of our fastest growing homeports, consistently receiving high marks from our guests for its accessible, convenient location, as well as excellent pre- and post-cruise land stay opportunities," Dickinson said.

Value-Packed Four- and Five-Day Mexico Cruises
The Sensation will kick off its New Orleans-based four- and five-day Mexico cruise program Oct. 23, 2004. On this route, four-day cruises depart Thursdays and call at Cozumel, one of the Caribbean's most popular destinations, with a wide variety of dining establishments, as well as excellent beaches, golf, fishing, shopping, and watersports. Cozumel is also featured on five-day voyages, along with Calica on five-day cruises departing Mondays and Costa Maya on five-day sailings departing Saturdays. Both Costa Maya and Calica offer gorgeous white-sand beaches and magnificent crystal- clear waters, which attract sun worshippers, snorkelers and scuba divers the world over. 

Signature Fun Ships Amenities
The 70,000-ton Sensation, which entered service in 1993, features a wide range of "resort-style" amenities, including a 12,000-square foot health club, three swimming pools, a 114-foot-long water slide and a dozen different lounges and bars, ranging from a rollicking piano bar to a multi-deck theater offering lavish Vegas-style entertainment. The ship's 10 passenger decks also house three restaurants, including two main dining rooms and a poolside eatery offering alternatives for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a 24-hour pizzeria.

Like all "Fun Ships," the Sensation offers its own version of "Camp Carnival," offering fun, supervised activities for kids ages 2-15, as well as a comprehensive golf program with professional instruction both aboard ship and during golf excursions.

Pricing and Reservations
Prices for the Sensation's new four- and five-day Mexico cruises from New Orleans begin at $329 per person, based on double occupancy. If purchased through Carnival's "Fun Finance Plan (SM)," which enables consumers to extend their cruise payments over 24 monthly installments, the four- and five-day cruises are available starting at $16 per month. "Fun Finance Plan" payments are based on a 24-month payment term at the lowest annual percentage rate available. Actual "Fun Finance Plan" monthly payments and terms may vary according to the applicant's credit qualifications. Valid for U.S. individual bookings only. Certain other restrictions apply. Round-trip air transportation supplements from a variety of North American gateways and special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available.

Carnival will begin accepting reservations on the Sensation's new four- and five-day cruises from New Orleans on Friday, May 16.

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Miami Lakes, FL, May 15, 2003 -- Regal Cruises announced that the monies that its passengers paid for cruises on the REGAL EMPRESS are protected by the Federal Maritime Commission Bond that the vessel and her owners/operators have in place. A special claims handling center has been formed to enable Regal Cruises to efficiently respond to all claims submitted. To download a refund form, click here.

To have a form sent to you, forward your request to:

Regal Cruises Refund Center
P.O. Box 4179
Hialeah, FL 33014-0179
305.362.3536 – Telefax

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

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