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News from the world of cruise travel ~
July 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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Holland America Line's Lanterman Receives Highly Coveted Decoration From Dutch Royal Family

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands, July 31 -- A. Kirk Lanterman, Chairman and CEO, Holland America Line, became an Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau, an honor bestowed by Her Royal Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. The highly coveted decoration was presented to Lanterman by Ivo Opstelton, Lord Mayor of Rotterdam, aboard the ms Oosterdam during inaugural festivities in the city of Rotterdam. The Queen's sister, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet, served as the godmother of the Oosterdam and was the guest of honor at the event.

The Netherlands government presents this civilian order of merit to individuals who have contributed exceptional value to Dutch society through their work and achievements in their profession and through community service. "These past three days have been among the most memorable moments in the 130- year history of Holland America," said Lanterman. "Seeing hundreds of thousands of people watch as the ships arrived and then welcoming thousands more aboard to visit the ships was a great experience. Receiving this prestigious recognition is certainly a highlight in my life."

Born in North Dakota and a certified public accountant, Lanterman has been with Holland America since 1970. In 1972, he became executive vice president of Westours Inc., the position he held when Westours was purchased by Holland America Line in 1977. Lanterman became president of Westours in 1979, and, in 1983, he was named president of Holland America Line-Westours Inc. He assumed chief executive officer responsibilities in January 1989, when Carnival Corporation purchased the company. In March 1997, Lanterman was named chairman and CEO of Holland America Line and he also serves on the board of directors of Carnival Corporation.

To celebrate its 130th Anniversary and dedicate its newest vessel, the 1,848-passenger ms Oosterdam, Holland America Line hosted a three-day celebration in the company's original homeport of Rotterdam.

Creating a dramatic backdrop, the company's flagship ms Rotterdam and the new ms Oosterdam stood bow-to-bow on the famed Wilhelminakade, just a stone's throw from the company's original headquarters. Over the course of the three days, more than 20,000 past employees, past guests and friends of the company visited the ships. Thousands more gathered near the quayside to view the vessels.

In the company's most elaborate naming ceremony ever, thousands watched as Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet arrived via a red carpet lined with hundreds of officers and crew to a stage framed by the five house flags flown on the fleet throughout its rich history. As Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet cut the traditional ribbon, the flags ascended to the bridge of the Rotterdam and 130 white doves were released commemorating the company's anniversary. Next a 6-liter mathusalem of champagne began its nearly 300-foot decent breaking against the Oosterdam's name on the ship's hull. This was followed by the release of a 20-by-30-foot Dutch flag from the bow of the Oosterdam and a similar US flag from the Rotterdam, clearly representing the company's name.

Following the naming ceremony, nearly 1,000 participated in a Royal Maritime Gala, during which Lanterman received his decoration. After the presentation and dinner, Princess Margriet blew the ship's whistle to begin an elaborate fireworks show that lit up the evening sky.

According to local officials, more than 150,000 people lined the banks of the Maas River to view the fireworks. As the Oosterdam and Rotterdam departed separately on Wednesday, July 30, on a two-hour journey from Rotterdam to the Atlantic Ocean a flotilla of vessels accompanied each ship and included escorts from the coast guard, navy and police. In addition, the Netherlands Royal Air Force escorted the Oosterdam for the first several miles on her itinerary to Hamburg, Germany, for further introduction activities.

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Royal Caribbean International Takes Delivery of
 Serenade of the Seas 

Line's Newest Ship Offers Elegant Escape With a Playful Side

MIAMI, July 30 -- Royal Caribbean International added Serenade of the Seas to its fleet in a ceremony in Eemshaven, Netherlands. The 2,110-guest ship, built at Meyerwerft Yard in Papenburg, Germany, 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.

"Serenade of the Seas is one of the most beautiful ships we've introduced to date," said Jack Williams, president and chief operating officer for Royal Caribbean International. "Her design, decor and art collection come together to offer a truly elegant escape. Yet, she also has everything an active cruiser could want, from our signature rock-climbing wall to a state-of-the art fitness center to a comprehensive shore excursion program offering adventures in every port of call."

The third of Royal Caribbean's Radiance-class ships, Serenade of the Seas offers a medley of outstanding amenities, including intimate lounges, indulgent spa services and diverse dining venues. Art aficionados will enjoy the ship's eclectic collection of artwork, ranging from sculptures, textile artistry and paintings to stained glass, photography and colorful outdoor murals. Relaxation-seekers will be transported a world away in the adults- only, Balinese-themed Solarium, with its cascading waterfall, retractable glass canopy and lush, tropical plants. Nearby, Serenade's ShipShape Day Spa offers a full menu of pampering treatments, including aromatherapy and couples massage. The spa's unique Thermal Suite includes an aromatherapy steam room, a sauna, a fog shower and heated tile lounge chairs facing the ocean.

In the evenings, guests can enjoy dinner in the spectacular, two-story main dining room or at one of the ship's two specialty restaurants, Portofino or Chops Grille steakhouse. After dinner, they can try their luck at Casino Royale or check out one of the many specialty lounges, including the elegant Champagne Bar, the nautical-themed Schooner Bar, or the classic Viking Crown lounge. Those looking for a more spirited evening will enjoy the Safari Club's nightly adult fun and games like karaoke and dance contests, or the non-stop energy and excitement of Vortex, a futuristic dance club.

Serenade of the Seas also offers plenty of options for active guests and family members of all ages, including the ShipShape Fitness Center, a rock- climbing wall, a jogging track, a basketball and volleyball court, ping-pong tables, a golf simulator and a nine-hole miniature golf course. In addition, the Explorations! shore excursion desk offers a variety of exciting onshore options for guests who want to take full advantage of the ship's beautiful ports of call.

Younger guests are in for fun-filled days with the Adventure Ocean Youth Program, from scavenger hunts and sports tournaments to art and science workshops. Teens can hook up with new friends to hang out or dance at their own exclusive nightclub, Fuel, complete with a "mocktail" bar, dance floor and DJ music.

Serenade of the Seas will be named in New York City on Aug. 22 by godmother Whoopi Goldberg. On Aug. 25, she'll sail a one-time-only, seven- night New England/Canada cruise and then begin her scheduled four- and five- night Canadian itineraries, Sept. 1 through Oct. 27, with ports of call in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. Fares start at $499 per person, double occupancy.

In November, Serenade of the Seas will reposition to San Juan, where she will sail weekly, seven-night Southern Caribbean itineraries with stops in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John's, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; and Bridgetown, Barbados. Prices start at $669 per person, double occupancy. In May 2004, Serenade heads to Alaska to sail seven-night Hubbard Glacier cruises from Vancouver.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 17 ships in service with the introduction of Serenade of the Seas, and two more under construction. The line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruisetour division. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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Holland America's New Oosterdam Dedicated in Rotterdam

Posing for the paparazzi are from left, Captain Johannes van Biljouw, master of the Oosterdam; A. Kirk Lanterman, chairman & CEO, Holland America Line; Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of The Netherlands, Oosterdam's godmother; Pieter van Vollenhoven, the princess' husband; and Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corp.
Photo: Jonathan Atkin©

ROTTERDAM, July 29 -- Confetti flew as Holland America Line officially dedicated the ms Oosterdam in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Tuesday, July 29, 2003.

The lavish dockside ceremony was attended by more than 5,000 people, and capped a three-day celebration of Holland America Line's 130th anniversary in the city that was the Seattle-based line's original headquarters during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands served as godmother to Holland America Line's newest ship, the ms Oosterdam. Princess Margriet broke the traditional bottle of champagne against the hull to officially name the ship, assisted by Captain Johannes van Biljouw, master of the Oosterdam.

The third daughter of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands, and sister to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa, Canada, during World War II. She is named for the marguerite, the flower worn during the war as a symbol of Dutch resistance. She is married to Pieter van Vollenhoven, and is the mother of four sons. As a member of the Royal House, Princess Margriet represents The Netherlands at official functions and devotes much of her time to advocating for health care and the arts in The Netherlands and internationally.

The Oosterdam will sail Baltic and western Mediterranean cruises until November, when the ship will cross the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a series of Caribbean cruises through the winter. The 1,848-passenger Oosterdam is the second in the Vista class of ships, following the introduction of sister ship ms Zuiderdam in December 2002, and the 13th ship in the Holland America fleet. The 951-foot-long vessel has 785 suites with an ocean view -- 67 percent with private verandahs -- as well as five-star concierge service for the exclusive use of penthouse and deluxe verandah suite guests. New features aboard the Vista ships include a disco, casual "round-the-clock" café, Internet café, Internet/e-mail data ports in all staterooms, a cabaret-style show lounge, an alternative restaurant featuring fine Pacific Northwest specialties and wines, a casual Lido buffet and the largest spa facilities in the Holland America fleet.

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Silversea Cruises Sets New Single-Day Booking Record
Achievement Tops Off Weeks of Outstanding Cumulative Increases in
Reservation Sales

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - July 28, 2003 -- Silversea Cruises announced it has achieved the highest booking day in its history on July 21, 2003. The single-day record follows a twelve-week period where the ultra-luxury line has been seeing average weekly reservations increase by over 40% compared to the same period last year.

"This accomplishment further validates our efforts to build awareness of Silversea's tremendous value as an ultra-deluxe vacation option," said Bill Leiber, Silversea's Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "Building on Silversea's stellar reputation for excellence, we've introduced a number of product enhancements, like Personalized Voyages and our flexible embarkation and debarkation program, that offer our guests greater convenience, flexibility and choices. These initiatives have bolstered an effective worldwide marketing program, and we're delighted to see that luxury-minded consumers are responding so favorably to our efforts to re-define the concept of elite luxury cruising with the added value of choice and flexibility."

Added Leiber, "With the recent announcement of our new 2004 itineraries, featuring inaugural calls to Alaska and Japan, we expect our reservations call volume to remain exceptionally high over the next several months. And with the special events and programs that we're planning to roll out to celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2004, we're looking forward to seeing these very impressive booking trends continue throughout next year."

Complete details about Silversea's Personalized Voyages and flexible embarkation and debarkation program, as well as the new 2004 cruise schedule with over 160 worldwide itineraries, are available at the line's Web site,

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Renowned Chef Receives Bon Appetit's Coveted "Restaurateur of the Year" Award; Splichal Creates Windstar Cuisine 180° From Ordinary with Imagination and Passion

Seattle, WA, July 24, 2003 - Since 1994, Windstar Cruises has collaborated with acclaimed celebrity chef Joachim Splichal and The Patina Group, his progressive collection of award-winning restaurants nationwide. The partnership started a trend of culinary alliances throughout the cruise industry. Now, as the two companies prepare to celebrate 10 years together, the milestone is made even sweeter as Splichal recently received Bon Appetit magazine's coveted "Restaurateur of the Year" award.

Both Windstar and Patina are known for their innovative, fresh and uncompromising style in catering to a very discerning clientele. The "Signature Cuisine" created expressly for Windstar follows Splichal's philosophy of using the best seasonal ingredients in the most straightforward manner, yet always with an element of surprise - an ideal approach that is revealed the world over with menus that reflect the different foods, flavors, and aromas indigenous to the world's most intriguing destinations.

"What was motivated by our desire to bring a distinctive dining experience to guests aboard the Windstar ships has been rewarded with the rave reviews and consistent recognition of both travel and food critics," said Tom Russell, Windstar's vice president of marketing and sales. "We were thrilled to learn of Joachim's latest accolade from Bon Appetit, but certainly not surprised. The culinary program he has spearheaded aboard our ships is an integral part of Windstar's award-winning success."

"It is a great pleasure to explore the foods of the world as the ships of Windstar travel the globe," commented Splichal. "Food plays such an important role in the overall travel experience, and I enjoy exposing guests to new things - a special dish unique to a country, a certain aroma, or an unexpected combination of flavors - as all will evoke memories of exotic experiences long after a guest has returned home."

The bistro-style of the Patina Group restaurants is a perfect match for the casually elegant atmosphere found aboard the luxuriously intimate ships of Windstar, which carry between, 148- and 308-passengers. More than 380 innovative recipes created by Splichal are presented on menus served in The Restaurant, an inviting environment allowing guests to dine when and with whom they wish in a single, open-seating. With the 1998 arrival of Wind Surf, Windstar debuted the Splichal-inspired alternative-dining venue, The Bistro. Here, guests can enjoy "Signature Cuisine" in an intimate and sophisticated setting modeled after Splichal's popular bistro-styled restaurants, with ever-changing views of the world unfolding through large picture windows.

A typical evening aboard Windstar might feature a Splichal menu of Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Potato Salad; Chilled Tomato Soup with Pickled Fennel and Shrimp; Asparagus and Shiitake Salad; and Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Vegetables and a Spicy Ponzu Sauce. The Windstar - Patina relationship is a true collaborative effort, with Splichal and his expertly trained culinary team spending time aboard the ships in the Windstar fleet perfecting menus and recipes and overseeing galley operations. Similarly, Windstar's culinary team of executive chefs refresh their training at Los Angeles-based Patina, Splichal's signature restaurant.

Technology plays a key role in the continuous development of menus and recipes tailored to Windstar's cruising regions. Splichal and Windstar's culinary team utilize state-of-the-art, interactive software and digital photography to monitor the "Windstar Signature Cuisine Manual" and communicate regularly, regardless of each ship's location. Windstar's "Signature Cuisine" is complemented with a comprehensive selection of "spa cuisine" alternatives. With an eye toward meeting the American Heart Association's guidelines for healthy eating, chef Jeanne Jones created Windstar's Sail Light and Vegetarian menus, which feature healthy choice options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert.

About The Patina Group
Founded by master chef Joachim Splichal and his wife Christine in 1989, The Patina Group has achieved an unequaled level of growth, success, and achievement within the restaurant and hospitality industry, garnering many prestigious awards including national recognition from Zagat Surveys, The Wine Spectator, and James Beard Society, among others. Starting with their flagship restaurant, the renowned Patina, in Los Angeles, the Splichals' have created award winning restaurants that now span from coast to coast.

About Windstar Cruises
Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar exude a private yacht-like atmosphere creating camaraderie and lasting friendships between shipmates. The company's unique vacations offer a seaside window on the world, combining the refinement of a luxury hotel with a moveable feast of cultural experiences. The three masted sailing yachts cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at more than 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and Tahiti. To receive a Windstar brochure, make reservations, or receive more information, contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Seabourn Adds Free Air, Up To 50 Percent Savings To 'Luxury Adventure' Cruises Of Panama, Belize & Costa Rica

MIAMI, July 24 -- Seabourn Cruise Line has added extra value features to the November and December 2003 departures of its "luxury adventure" cruises of Panama, Belize and Costa Rica aboard the intimate, all- suite Seabourn Legend.

Two-week cruises departing November 22nd from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and December 6th, 2003 from Caldera (San Jose), Costa Rica aboard the 208-guest ship now offer free economy class airfare from 28 North American gateways, in addition to Early Booking Savings up to 50 percent with fares starting from $3,998 per person. Savings percentages may be reduced or withdrawn at any time. The same itineraries, departing in 2004 on January 3rd and January 31st from Florida or January 17th and February 14th from Costa Rica, offer Early Booking Savings up to 40 percent and fares from $4,995 per person.  

The itinerary offers opportunities to climb trees, snorkel, swim with dolphins, scale pyramids and raft down rivers, all from the posh platform of an ultra luxury ship. A free 'Exclusively Seabourn' visit to Panama's luxurious Gamboa Rain Forest Resort offers nature walks; folkloric shows; a butterfly farm; serpentarium; orchid garden; a two-level swimming pool and an aerial tram in the jungle canopy. Seabourn Legend will transit one set of Panama Canal locks in daylight and one at night, providing two different experiences.

The unspoiled national parks of Costa Rica can be explored by outrigger canoe, river raft, kayak, off-road vehicle, riverboat, on nature walks and even by rappelling on ropes in the jungle canopy. Between adventures, guests enjoy fine cuisine designed by renowned chef Charlie Palmer and unwind with free Massage Moments on deck or a soothing Molton Brown Pure Pampering bath prepared by their stewardess. For information, call a travel agent or Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or click on

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Florida Residents Find Savings Aboard Disney Cruise Line

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla., July 24 -- Disney Cruise Line is offering special savings for Florida residents on select cruise vacations for late summer and early fall dates. In addition to the great rates, Floridians enjoy new itineraries, renewed age-specific activities and expanded dining experiences.

Florida resident rates start at $349 for three-night cruises, $399 for four-night cruises and $599 for seven-night cruises. Special rates for Florida residents apply to most three-night itineraries departing between Aug. 28 and Oct. 2, most four-night itineraries departing between Aug. 31 and Sept. 28 and seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries departing between Aug. 30 and Sept. 20.

8/28, 9/11-10/2
8/31, 9/7, 9/21, 9/28

Rates are per person, based on double occupancy and subject to availability. Government taxes and fees are not included. At least one adult guest per stateroom must be a Florida resident. Proof of residency is required.

Disney's seven-night Caribbean cruise vacations depart every Saturday from Port Canaveral alternating between a western Caribbean itinerary (Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway Cay) and an eastern Caribbean itinerary (St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay). Three- and four-night sailings depart every Thursday and Sunday, respectively, from Port Canaveral and call at Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and Castaway Cay. 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.

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MIAMI -- Rodeo del Sol, an authentic Mexican-style rodeo, is set to open in Cozumel, Mexico, on Friday, Sept. 5. Operated by Miami-based Global Destinations Development LLC, the rodeo is expected to attract cruise vacationers and area hotel guests seeking a genuine Mexican rodeo experience. The Rodeo del Sol's 800-seat bull ring is located virtually across the street from the Puerta Maya and the Muelle Internacional cruise ship docks, which between them host an estimated 10,000 cruise visitors daily; Puerta Langosta Pier is less than a mile away. 

"Our vision is to create a world-class entertainment venue at this premier location in Cozumel, which has become the world's busiest cruise ship destination," said Michael Greve, president of Global Destinations Development. "In partnership with Rogelio Gutierrez-Bahena, founder and owner of the Rogers Boots national chain, our management team has recruited top international production and creative talent to produce a compelling and exciting Mexican show."

The one-hour Rodeo del Sol will be a Mexican-themed variety show featuring nearly 50 professional entertainers, including bull riders, cowboys, wranglers, rodeo clowns, female singers, a 13-member band, horses and donkeys. 

The rodeo is slated to operate six days a week, Monday through Saturday, with show times at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at 10 a.m. on Monday and Wednesday. Tickets are to be available on board cruise ships calling at Cozumel, at the gate and at all Cozumel-area resort tour desks. Retail ticket prices are $29 per adult with children 12 and under admitted free of charge. 

"The show has been carefully produced to be a showcase of active Mexican entertainment, and will feature two bull rides per show," said Greve. "The music and rodeo performances will bring the rich culture of Mexico to life, and we believe the show will become a very popular activity for Cozumel's cruise ship visitors, regional hotel visitors and locals alike."

Mexican snack foods and beverages will be available at Chico's Paradise, a vintage 1960s-era chuck-wagon trailer. Rodeo del Sol logo items can be purchased on-site, and the adjacent Rogers Boots store offers fine Mexican leather goods and other merchandise. The Rodeo del Sol site and facilities currently are undergoing a major renovation in excess of $1 million prior to the Sept. 5 grand opening. Contractors and designers are repainting the facility, creating new artwork, designing and constructing new banners and flagpoles, constructing new bathroom facilities and adding shade canopies, and fans and misters for hot summer days.

Miami-based Global Destinations Development LLC specializes in the development and marketing of new cruise ports of call and leisure-travel destinations. Besides Mexico, the company currently has projects under way in Alaska, the Bahamas, Belize and other Caribbean destinations.

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Highlights Include Inaugural Cruises to Alaska
Silver Shadow Debuts in Seattle, Vancouver and Japan

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, July 23, 2003 -- Silversea Cruises has announced its new 2004 worldwide schedule celebrating its 10th anniversary with over 160 exciting itineraries. In a first-ever move for the ultra-luxury line, Silver Shadow will embark on eleven summer cruises in Alaska. Inaugural calls in Seattle, Vancouver and ten of Japan's most beautiful cities round out Silversea's innovative 2004 schedule.

"Next year Silversea will be celebrating a decade of excellence and we are delighted that Silver Shadow will be helping us to mark the occasion with our first-ever voyages to Alaska," said Bill Leiber, Silversea's Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "For many of our guests, Alaska offers incredible majestic scenery combined with the comfort and convenience of a traditional destination that is close to home." Added Leiber, "Silver Shadow's debut in other popular cities like Seattle and Vancouver allows us to offer more traditional destinations, yet we are committed to operating a fleet that visits all corners of the world. The addition of cruises to ten new port cities in Japan is a further step in that direction, and will hold great appeal for our many adventurous guests who seek out diverse and enriching cultural experiences." 

Highlights of Silver Shadow's new 2004 schedule include:

New Adventures Down Under
In January and February, Silver Shadow will visit Australia and New Zealand on five new itineraries, ranging from nine to 16 days. The ultra-luxury line is offering enhanced optional land programs in some of the region's most sought-after destinations. From a breathtaking sunset at Ayers Rock to an unforgettable camel safari through the Australian Outback, or a private tour along New Zealand's scenic Coromandel Peninsula, guests will have exceptional opportunities for cultural exploration and discovery when Silver Shadow cruises Down Under.

Cherry Blossom Season in Japan
Springtime is cherry blossom season in Japan and Silver Shadow will be making inaugural calls to ten of Japan's most beautiful cities just when the famed blossoms traditionally make their glorious appearance throughout the island nation. Silver Shadow's visits to Japan in April and May will also allow guests to enjoy unforgettable cultural experiences set amid ancient temples and shrines, peaceful rock gardens, enchanting architecture and stunning mountain scenery. The first three of Silver Shadow's four cruises to Japan, ranging from nine to 14 days, also feature calls in China and Russia. The Japan program culminates with a 14-day cruise from Tokyo to Anchorage, with port calls in Japan, Russia and Alaska.

Alaska's Scenic Inside Passage
Silver Shadow's summer collection of eleven cruises to Alaska will offer sailings from seven to 14 days. Highlights include calls in picturesque Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka and Skagway, showcasing the early frontier spirit of the 49th state. As Silver Shadow plies the placid waterways of Alaska's famed Inside Passage, guests will enjoy panoramic views of towering mountains, spectacular glaciers and cascading waterfalls, while cradled in the pampering comfort of their ultra-luxury Silversea ship. The Alaska cruises feature convenient departures from San Francisco as well as Seattle, Vancouver and Anchorage, three port cities that are new to Silversea.

Mexico and the Caribbean
Silver Shadow will spend the months of October and December navigating the warm waters of Mexico and the Caribbean. The fall program offers eight enticing itineraries ranging from seven to 15 days, including two cruises through the Panama Canal.

Silversea's fleet of four ships will circumnavigate the globe in 2004, visiting destinations ranging from Africa and the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific and Far East, as well as the Caribbean, South America, Canada and the Colonial Coast. Silver Cloud, Silver Whisper and Silver Wind will spend the summer in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. 

For a limited time, Silversea's Silver Sailings program is being offered on  select 2003 and 2004 voyages. Silver Sailings can provide savings of up to 55% off cruise-only fares. For complete details about Silver Sailings and the new 2004 itineraries, visit the line's Web site,

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For the seventh consecutive year, Silversea Cruises was named best small-ship line in the 2002 readers' survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. For the fifth time, Silversea was selected "Number One" small-ship line in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2003. 2004 will be an exciting year as Silversea celebrates its 10th anniversary. Look for upcoming announcements about gala events and special programs to celebrate the line's ten years of excellence. 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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Crystal Cruises Wins Travel + Leisure Magazine's 2003 'World's Best' Award for Eighth Consecutive Year

LOS ANGELES, July 23 -- For the eighth consecutive year, luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises has been named the "World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" in Travel + Leisure magazine's annual readers' survey. With an overall score of 90.44, Crystal Cruises came in almost 15 points above the cruise industry average of 75.5. The line's service score of 96.9 is its highest to date and surpasses the service ratings for all cruise lines, including the small luxury ships. Among large ships, Crystal also ranked #1 for its food, itineraries/destinations and entertainment/activities. The complete list of awards appears in the magazine's August 2003 issue.

Tens of thousands of Travel + Leisure subscribers judged cruise lines on their service, food, itineraries/destinations, cabins, value and entertainment/activities to determine the "World's Best." At 940 guests each, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony were voted in the category of ships with more than 400 passengers. Of the 100 highest rated hotels in the world, only seven achieved scores higher than 90.

"For readers of Travel + Leisure, Crystal Cruises clearly sets a standard of excellence in the large-ship cruise experience. For the eighth consecutive year, they've topped the list. Among their many outstanding attributes is the ability to provide a luxury experience, maintaining intimacy and excellence, while catering to more than 900 passengers on each of their ships," said Nancy Novogrod, editor-in-chief, Travel + Leisure.

"This is an unprecedented achievement," said Gregg L. Michel, president, Crystal Cruises. "Our focus has been to make our legendary service the very best in the luxury service industry, not just the cruise industry. We are very pleased our efforts have been recognized and so appreciated by the magazine's discerning readers."

For the eighth annual readers' survey, subscribers responded to a questionnaire developed by Travel + Leisure in association with Harris Interactive. Available to subscribers at during the first quarter of 2003 and to select subscribers with the February 2003 issue, respondents were asked to report where and how they had traveled worldwide, and to rate only the attributes that were relevant to their recent travel experiences. In addition to cruise lines, the 2003 survey includes worldwide hotels, islands, airlines, cities, car rental agencies and tour operators.

The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony were joined by the 1080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity in early July 2003. All three spacious floating resorts have been designed with exquisitely-appointed staterooms, more than half of which feature private verandahs; a wide variety of venues for entertainment, dining, cultural and educational pursuits and fitness and relaxation. In 2003 and 2004, the fleet will travel the world on cruises of seven to 106 days. 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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Royal Caribbean Wins Awards for Onboard TV Programming
Cruise Line Receives Accolades From Top Production Professionals in the Country

MIAMI, July 23 -- Royal Caribbean International was recently awarded three bronze Telly Awards for two onboard television programs and a corporate video produced by the cruise line. Now in its 24th year, the Telly Awards showcase and give recognition to outstanding non-network and cable television commercials, video productions and non-network television programming.

"At Royal Caribbean, we have some of the most sophisticated production facilities and extensive TV programming at sea, which is just one of the many ways we strive to enhance the onboard experience for our guests and help them make the most of their vacation," said Maria Sastre, vice president, Fleet Operations, for Royal Caribbean International. "We're very pleased to receive this prestigious award and view it as confirmation that we're delivering outstanding quality TV to our guests."

The award-winning programs, "Casino Request Live" and "Get Out There, Episode 1," were created exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests and are included in the onboard programming featured on stateroom televisions throughout the fleet. The corporate video, "Executive Management Gold Anchor Standards," was designed to help train Royal Caribbean International employees to meet the high standards set by the line's guest satisfaction program, Gold Anchor Service.

Created to appeal to younger adult guests, "Casino Request Live" provides a fun, hip overview of the ships' casinos, offering tips on how to play popular games such as blackjack and roulette. "Get Out There, Episode 1" showcases the variety of activities and programs available to guests on a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation, from onboard amenities to Explorations! shore excursions.

Royal Caribbean's RCTV offers 29 channels of in-room television programming fleet-wide, including satellite channels such as CNN International and ESPN International; TNT; Cartoon Network & Boomerang; Discovery, featuring the best of the Travel Channel, The Learning Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel; Bloomberg TV; CNNfn; CNN Espanol; and two movie channels that play recently released theatrical films before they hit the premium cable circuit. The Voyager- and Radiance-class ships also feature pay-per-view movies.

In addition, Royal Caribbean has developed five channels exclusive to the cruise line that offer a variety of hand-picked shows in the lineup, including classic TV shows on Retro TV; current sitcoms and dramas on Family TV; classic movies on Royal Classics; and music videos and E! Entertainment TV programs on XYtv. Later this summer, Royal Caribbean will launch Venus TV with programming including the daytime drama "The Bold & the Beautiful," and E! & Style network shows geared to women.

"Our goal has been to develop and create original TV programming that is both entertaining and informative. We've also focused on developing exclusive, niche program channels, which has distinguished our cruise line from the rest," said Liz Motley, TV programming specialist for Royal Caribbean International, who was recruited from the television industry to head up the line's TV department.

Behind the scenes, each Royal Caribbean ship has its own full-service "mini" TV station at sea complete with a television production crew and editing studio. In addition to keeping the pre-produced programming on schedule and pulling down live satellite feeds, the ships' broadcast technicians produce and edit onboard TV broadcasts, from the Cruise-In-Review videos to highlights of daily entertainment, art auctions, and other activities.

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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MIAMI (07/23/03) – Carnival Cruise Lines has introduced a new children’s dining program that provides kids with delicious supervised meals with their fellow young cruisers in the ships’ casual poolside restaurants while parents enjoy a night to themselves. 

The new children’s dinners – the latest component of the line’s complimentary “Camp Carnival” program – are available fleetwide and take place in the ships’ Lido Deck eateries, the “Seaview Bistros.” Dinners take place from 6 – 7 p.m. after which children are welcome to partake in regularly scheduled “Camp Carnival” activities until 10 p.m. 

The children’s dinners are available nightly on three- and four-day voyages except for the first night of the cruise. On voyages of five days or longer, the dinners are available nightly except for the first and last night of the cruise.

“While we expect most children will dine with their parents in the main dining rooms, this new program provides a wonderful opportunity for kids to enjoy a delicious meal with the youth staff and other children on board, while offering parents a leisurely and romantic dinner by themselves,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president & CEO.

A different menu is featured each night and includes items such as spaghetti with meatballs, chicken quesadillas, hamburgers, hot dogs, roasted chicken drumsticks, pepperoni pizza, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, roasted turkey, and grilled salmon steak. Popular side dishes include French fries, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. A 35-item salad bar is also available. Desserts include assorted ice cream and seasonal fresh fruit. 

Other popular dining options for children sailing aboard the “Fun Ships” include 24-hour pizzerias, a grille serving hot dogs and hamburgers and 24-hour ice cream/frozen yogurt stations. Children’s menus are available in all main dining rooms. A special children’s turn-down service offering freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on the first and last night of the cruise, and the “Fountain Fun Card,” which, for a one-time fee, provides unlimited soft drinks throughout the cruise, are also available. 

The new children’s dinners complement the wide variety of fun morning-til-night activities included in the line’s popular “Camp Carnival” program, featured on all 19 “Fun Ships,” which are expected to host some 400,000 children this year. “Camp Carnival” activities are geared toward children ages 2-15, who enjoy such amenities as indoor and outdoor play areas, computer labs, arts and crafts centers, video game rooms, a new EduCruise science/geography program and more.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

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Grand Princess to Become Largest, Newest Ship Based in Texas Port; Will Offer Region's Only Four-Port, Seven-Day Itinerary

Princess will add to its roster of homeports when it begins offering first-time cruises from Galveston to the Western Caribbean starting in fall 2004. The line will base its 109,000-ton Grand Princess in the Texas port, and it will become the largest, newest and most amenity-filled ship to sail from Galveston. The vessel will also offer the only week-long, four-port itinerary from Galveston during the season.

"With more ships in the Caribbean than ever before next year, we're in a wonderful position to expand into a new home port," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "Galveston is a strong addition to our program, and will offer our passengers a distinctly different cruise option. Not only will we have a great new homeport option, we're offering a fantastic new itinerary and, for our west coast passengers, shorter, more convenient flights to and from their cruise."

The 2,600-passenger Grand Princess will offer 22 roundtrip departures from Galveston between November 13, 2004 and April 9, 2005. In addition to its seven-day roundtrip cruises, the ship will offer a special nine-day holiday sailing celebrating both Christmas and New Year's Day.

"The Port of Galveston is extremely happy to learn of Princess Cruises' decision to locate the Grand Princess at the Port of Galveston in 2004," stated Steven M. Cernak, Port Director. "We understand that the introduction of a new homeport by Princess is a rare occasion and we are very proud to be to be a part of their growth strategy. The Port of Galveston has come a long way in less than three years and we consider our cruise growth to be phenomenal."

Grand Princess' new Western Caribbean itinerary will feature calls at some of the most scenic spots in the Western Caribbean, and offer passengers one more port than competitors' Galveston cruises next fall. The route features stops at Belize, Costa Maya (Mexico), Grand Cayman and Cozumel. A special holiday sailing on December 24 will also feature an additional port of call in Ocho Rios.

Grand Princess debuted a brand-new style of cruising when she began sailing in 1998, with big-ship choice in amenities and public areas, all in an intimately designed environment with a small-ship feel. The ship features multiple dining and entertainment venues, with Princess the only cruise line to offer passengers the unique opportunity to choose from two main dining room experiences -- Anytime Dining or Traditional Fixed-Seating. The vessel brought a number of firsts to the cruise industry, including the first wedding chapel at sea -- and the only opportunity to actually be married by the ship's captain. Among the vessel's many amenities are a highly praised authentic Italian trattoria, an extensive children's center, golf simulator and nine-hole putting course, Lotus Spa, fitness center, a swim-against-the-current pool, and the ship's dramatic Skywalker's Lounge, suspended 150 feet above the sea.

Princess' growth in the Caribbean will be dramatic in 2004, with a 75 percent increase in capacity for the summer 2004/spring 2005 season versus the same period the year before. The full Caribbean program will feature six ships, a wide variety of Western, Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries, the youngest fleet in the region and the highest percentage of balcony cabins in the destination.

For passengers who wish to extend to their Western Caribbean cruise vacation, Princess will offer a full Cruise Plus program with pre- and post-cruise land options in the Galveston area. Early Booking fares for Grand Princess' seven-day Western Caribbean sailings begin at $549 per person, based on double occupancy.

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Line's Caribbean Capacity Jumps 75 Percent with Six-Ship Fleet***Sixteen Different Itineraries Offered

Backing up its commitment to become a major cruise operator in the Caribbean, Princess will launch its most extensive season there ever in fall 2004, with six of its largest and newest vessels sailing throughout the region. The new 2004-05 schedule represents a dramatic 75 percent increase in Caribbean capacity from the season before, and features the youngest fleet sailing in the region.

Featuring 152 departures on 16 unique itineraries with 26 different ports of call, Princess will offer four seven-day and two 10-day ships sailing the Caribbean between October 2, 2004 and April 24, 2005. Highlights of the season include the new Caribbean Princess, a host of new itineraries, a new port of call in Belize, and a new home port of Galveston.

"This is an unprecedented expansion in the Caribbean for us," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "We will offer a unique Caribbean experience, with our emphasis on ‘big ship choice with small ship feel,' the highest percentage of balcony staterooms and the youngest fleet in the destination. We like to call it the only truly royal experience in the Caribbean."

Four ships--Caribbean Princess, Grand Princess, Golden Princess and Star Princess--will offer seven-day itineraries, including two different routes in each of the Caribbean's main regions -- Western, Eastern and Southern Caribbean. Plus, the popularity of Princess' 10-day itineraries has prompted the company to nearly double the number of departures on these extended vacations, and offer two new itineraries. Both Dawn Princess and Sun Princess will sail on alternating 10-day cruises.

Princess' 2004-05 Caribbean season includes:

Caribbean Princess -- This new 3,100-passenger ship, built specifically for the Caribbean trade, continues its 2004 inaugural season with Princess' Classic Eastern Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. The line's largest vessel at 116,000 tons will offer Saturday departures on an itinerary that travels to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays. In addition, the ship will offer a special eight-day holiday sailing on December 18, 2004.

Grand Princess -- Sailing on a new seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary from Princess' new Galveston homeport, the 2,600-passenger Grand Princess departs on Saturdays for a new stop in Belize, plus Costa Maya, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The ship's schedule also includes a special nine-day holiday cruise on December 24, which includes celebrations for both Christmas and New Year's, as well as two six-day pre- and post-holiday sailings, and two repositioning cruises between Galveston and San Juan. The ship also offers two sailings between New York and San Juan.

Star Princess -- Star Princess begins its first season in the Caribbean with alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, departing from Ft. Lauderdale on Sundays. The brand-new Eastern Caribbean itinerary features calls at San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola and Princess Cays. The Western Caribbean itinerary includes stops at Princess Cays, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and Cozumel.

Golden Princess -- Based in San Juan, Golden Princess offers alternating seven-day Southern Caribbean itineraries, departing on Sundays. The Classic Southern Caribbean itinerary includes calls at Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Antigua. The alternate Southern Caribbean Explorer itinerary features the ports of St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grenada, Caracas and Aruba.

Dawn Princess -- Dawn Princess will offer alternating 10-day cruises from Ft. Lauderdale, featuring a new Western Adventurer route with stops at Princess Cays, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary includes calls at Curaçao, Isla Margarita, Barbados, Dominica, St. Thomas and Princess Cays. In addition, the ship will offer a special seven-day Western Caribbean sailing for the holidays on December 23.

Sun Princess -- Sun Princess also joins the 10-day line-up with alternating Eastern Caribbean sailings from Ft. Lauderdale. The new Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary offers calls at St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Thomas and Princess Cays. The Eastern Caribbean Islander route features stops at Princess Cays, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Barbados and Antigua. Sun Princess will celebrate the holidays with a seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailing on December 22.

Regardless of which itinerary passengers choose, they will enjoy some of the most amenity-filled vessels in the Princess fleet, with such distinctive features as the line's signature Personal Choice DiningSM. Only Princess offers passengers the opportunity to choose either the traditional, same time/same table option; or Anytime Dining, which gives passengers the flexibility to choose when, where and with whom they dine throughout the cruise. Other amenities include the Lotus Spa, extensive children and teen centers, wedding chapels, internet centers, and an extensive array of entertainment options and venues.

The newest vessel in the fleet, Caribbean Princess, sports such features as a poolside movie screen, a new Caribbean-themed alternative restaurant, and nearly 900 cabins with balconies -- more than on any other cruise ship sailing year-round in the Caribbean. Early booking fares for Princess' 2004-05 Caribbean season begin at $549 for seven-day sailings and $899 for 10-day cruises.

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July 21, 2003 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has been evaluating several bids from shipyards for repairs to the S/S Norway. The company announced today it would lay up the S/S Norway at Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven Germany, until a final decision has been made on which yard will be appointed.

The detailed bids from shipyards are largely in line with the preliminary indications given, but with one major and critical exception. Although all of the work around the damaged boiler can be completed within the time frame first envisaged, the delivery timeframe for the new replacement boiler itself is estimated to be between seven to 12 months, a timeframe that is significantly longer than first indicated to NCL. Marine boilers are manufactured by specialized companies and then delivered to a shipyard for installation. The detailed specification and bidding process has revealed that no boiler maker is able to meet the ambitious repair deadline initially indicated to NCL by the shipyards. NCL now estimates that the earliest the ship could return to service is spring of 2004; however it is not yet possible to be certain of this timeframe.

In June, with the information available at the time, the company announced the ship would return for the October 5th sailing after more than four months out of service. Travel agents and consumers have naturally been requesting definitive information regarding that return date in order that both marketing and vacation plans can be made with complete certainty.

NCL regrets having to revise the October 5th date and recognizes that it would not be fair or appropriate to announce a further launch date with the repair information now available to it. Therefore, the company will take the ship off sale until a new, firm date can be established in which NCL, travel agents, and consumers alike can have confidence. All passengers currently booked on the Norway will receive a full refund and an offer of a $50 onboard credit (OBC) per person ($100 maximum per stateroom) to switch their plans to other NCL ships. Passengers should rebook by September 30, 2003 to receive the OBC offer.

Passengers can call 1-800-625-5672, a designated number for S/S Norway questions.

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Explorer of the Seas Assists in Hurricane Tracking; Data on Hurricane Claudette Came From Only Cruise Ship With Science Labs

MIAMI, July 21 -- Explorer of the Seas, the world's only cruise ship equipped with state-of-the-art ocean and atmospheric science laboratories, continues to make important contributions of meteorological data to assist the National Hurricane Center. The 142,000-ton Royal Caribbean International ship recently provided the NHC with valuable 15-minute updates of surface winds on Hurricane Claudette as it grew from a tropical storm. The data was mentioned by NHC as a factor in locating the center of Claudette as it interacted with the Yucatan Peninsula.

In readings taken east of Cozumel early on July 11, Explorer of the Seas recorded 50-knot surface winds when reconnaissance planes were unable to get a more reliable indicator that flight-level winds of 40 knots. During the 2001 and 2002 hurricane seasons, data from Explorer of the Seas was used in forecasting for Hurricane Michelle and Hurricane Isidore.

Royal Caribbean's innovative, oceangoing research labs are operated by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, which has provided permanent technicians on two-week rotations. The labs, directed by Dr. Otis Brown, dean of the Rosenstiel school, have been collecting data since the maiden voyage of Explorer of the Seas October 28, 2000. Each weekly voyage adds invaluable information on the variability of strong currents like the Gulf Stream, the distribution of chlorophyll, and seasonal changes in wind patterns and cloud cover that contribute to changing climate, and measurements that contribute to greater accuracy in satellite imagery.

"The data set is the longest and most extensive continuous shipboard measurements available in the Caribbean Sea," says Liz Williams, program manager for the Rosenstiel labs. These labs monitor the ocean and atmosphere as the ship cruises through the Caribbean at an average of 20 knots and provide more than 400 reports a month to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is more than any other vessel in the U.S. Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program."

VOS was organized for obtaining weather and oceanographic observations from moving ships, and some 1,600 vessels transmit data to the National Weather Service. Never is a Royal Caribbean ship in harm's way because wind fields of tropical storms are typically very large. Because there is always a lab technician aboard Explorer of the Seas, the data quality is constantly monitored.

The ocean lab provides scientists with data on sea surface temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, and ocean currents under the ship to 1,000 meters below the hull. This year, a new instrument has measured PCO 2, which is important in predicting the ability of the oceans to absorb carbon dioxide, a gas associated with global warming. The atmospheric lab provides a weekly view of the winds, cloud cover, precipitation and particle counts, which, at times, includes data on the African dust clouds that travel across the Atlantic to Florida.

In addition to research activities on Explorer of the Seas, each week a scientist is available to give tours of the labs and a lecture on current research in their field. Laboratory space can be made available to any scientist interested in marine or atmospheric studies in the Caribbean.

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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New Feature Provides Comprehensive Information about Engineering Marvel and Surrounding Cruise Destinations

Princess has introduced the newest chapter in its comprehensive online destination series -- Destination: Panama Canal. The second such feature on the line's award-winning website,, this section debuts the cruise industry's most comprehensive resource about what makes a Panama Canal cruise such a spectacular vacation experience.

With dozens of pages of informative text and dramatic photos, Destination: Panama Canal serves as a unique tool for planning Panama Canal cruise vacations. Users will find Canal history and information on how the locks work as well as links to itinerary planning and shore excursions sections.

"Response to our first Destination section, on Alaska, was incredibly positive, which reinforced our commitment to expanding this online resource for our passengers -- and potential passengers," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "Anyone considering a cruise through the one of the world's marvels will certainly want to visit this content-rich site as they plan their trip."

The new web feature provides users with a wealth of information, divided into two main sections -- the Panama Canal Experience and Panama Canal Cruises.

In the Panama Canal Experience section, users will find a history of the construction of this wonder of engineering, as well as an explanation of how it works today. In addition, users can access information about the many attraction of Panama, Costa Rica and Caribbean ports featured on Princess itineraries, and descriptions of the rich ecotourism heritage of the region.

The Panama Canal Cruises section presents details about Princess' two types of cruise itineraries -- Roundtrip Panama Canal and Grand Panama Canal -- and the many attractions on each route. The pages provide links to information about cruise highlights and itineraries, plus shore excursion options.

"Because we are a destination-oriented cruise line, and the leader in Panama Canal cruising, it's natural that Princess becomes the resource for planning a cruise there -- we think visitors to will find it a great addition to our website," noted Brown.

Destination: Panama Canal is part of a series of destination guides scheduled to debut on Upcoming sections will feature in-depth coverage of Europe as well as the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada/New England. Later a special section on Princess' many Exotics destinations will join the site to complete this comprehensive online resource.

Users can access the new section directly at

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Norwegian Cruise Line Extends Popular "Star Seeker" Search to Kids
Dynamic young performers can win a chance to be a
 featured entertainer on an NCL cruise

Miami, FL -Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) hot new talent show is already transforming its most talented adult guests into overnight stars. Now it's the kids' turn: NCL has launched a "Junior Star Seeker" program for NCL guests ages 5 to 17 years old, and like their adult counterparts, will have the chance to perform on an NCL ship as part of a professional variety show.

"The adult version of the program has been a huge success and our guests have been clamoring to let their kids take center stage," said Keith Cox, vice president of entertainment and onboard programming for NCL. "Some of our country's most talented performers are also some of our youngest and we're pleased to give America's future stars a chance to exhibit their untapped talent aboard our ships."

NCL's Junior Star Seeker program is offered as part of NCL's Kids' Crew program. The onboard Kids' Crew youth coordinator will arrange Junior Star Seeker auditions, and if chosen, contestants will have a chance to wow their fellow passengers with a performance in one of their ship's showrooms. Junior Star Seekers will perform a three-minute routine showcasing their talent before a panel of judges consisting of the ship's hotel and cruise directors, plus a musician and a guest performer from the ship's entertainment staff. The judges will select winners based on each performer's entertainment value and the audience's reaction.

Individual winners will receive a specially designed Junior Star Seeker trophy, and a videotape of their performance will be sent to NCL's shore side headquarters for review by the entertainment department. NCL will then select one winner to perform a "special spot" as a featured entertainer aboard a future NCL cruise.

For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, contact a travel agent or NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; in Miami-Dade County, Fla., (305) 436-0866; visit NCL’s website

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Royal Caribbean International Receives Top Marketing Award
Alaska 'Get Out There' Campaign Wins 2003 Silver EFFIE

MIAMI, July 17 -- Royal Caribbean International has received the New York American Marketing Association's Silver EFFIE Award for its Alaska "Get Out There" advertising and marketing campaign. The EFFIE, considered a top honor in the marketing industry, signifies a campaign's creative excellence and effectiveness in meeting business objectives. In 2002, Royal Caribbean received the Gold EFFIE for its "Get Out There" campaign, making this the second consecutive year the company has been honored with the prestigious award.

"We're honored to receive recognition for this dynamic campaign that has proven successful even beyond our original objectives," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, for Royal Caribbean International. "The campaign has helped us significantly increase brand awareness. And more importantly, it has helped us show Americans what the Royal Caribbean experience is all about and get them excited about the adventures they can have on a Royal Caribbean cruise."

The Alaska "Get Out There" campaign, created by Arnold Worldwide, is an extension of the original "Get Out There" initiative launched in 2000 to reposition the brand, dispel consumer misperceptions of cruising, and generate increased demand for Royal Caribbean.

The campaign's TV spot opens with two men clinging to the edge of a glacier, with one urging the other to, "Go on, leave me." A female voice interrupts them saying, "If you two don't cut it out, I'm going to be late for my massage." The camera pans up to reveal a Royal Caribbean ship in the background and cuts to fast-paced action-shots of the vacationers climbing the ship's rock wall, glacier trekking, dog sledding and exploring Alaska's interior by train car.

The commercial ends with a voice-over tag: "Somewhere between the glacier hiking, the dog sledding, the train tours and the rock wall, it hits you. This is way more than a cruise. See for yourself at and get out there."

Royal Caribbean and Arnold Worldwide designed the campaign to appeal to consumers the company has identified as "Explorers" -- active and adventurous people of all ages and backgrounds who want to do, learn and experience more on vacation. The integrated effort utilizes a variety of mediums, including print, television, the Internet, and the company's Crown & Anchor loyalty program.

Nearly 300 of the country's top advertising and marketing executives reviewed the campaigns submitted for EFFIE award consideration. EFFIE entries increased by 25 percent this year, making 2003 one of the toughest competitions ever. Winning campaigns incorporate all aspects of a successful marketing program -- planning, market research, media, creative and account management -- and demonstrate a partnership between agency and client in creation, management and building of a brand.

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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Miami, FL, July 16, 2003 – One week into her inaugural voyage, Oceania Cruises’ M/S Regatta is receiving rave reviews from guests onboard. Having set sail from Barcelona, Spain on July 5th, guests have spent their first week sleeping in Oceania Cruises’ exclusive Tranquility Beds, sampling Regatta’s culinary delights in the four, open seating, gourmet restaurants and exploring enchanting ports of call. 

Guests are so pleased, many of them have already written letters and e-mails to Oceania Cruises to express how much they are enjoying their experience onboard Regatta and at least 80 guests aboard the inaugural voyage have booked future cruises.

  • “The food is outstanding, attention to detail is excellent, the staff to passenger ratio is phenomenal. It’s also the friendliest staff I’ve ever encountered at sea.” –J. Neilsen
  • “Beautiful ship! Elegant and luxurious accommodations, superb and friendly service. The menu in the Grand Dining Room is excellent, imaginative, beautifully presented and overall, exquisite.” –A. Lawrence
  • ”This cruise has been spectacular and has exceeded all of my expectations.” –A. Cenedella
  • “The beds are so comfortable, the sheets are so gorgeous, and the staff is friendly and wonderful. The waiters are absolutely charming!” –C. Sabitini
  • ”The cruise is wonderful and ship is lovely, personnel are friendly and eager to please.” –M. Silk
  • “We had a wonderful time on the cruise and everything worked well. The food is great, ports of call very interesting, staff outstanding. My experience on the Regatta has met and exceeded all expectations.” --B. Coggin
  • “The ship is great, food wonderful and those beds!!!! I cannot say enough about how comfortable they are.” –L. Duggan
  • “Love the attitude of your staff, no other ship has come close to it! On other ships, most just pass you by. Here, they smile, make comments and call you by name.” –P. Fletcher

Joe Watters, Chairman of Oceania Cruises, commented,” We’re delivering everything we said the Oceania Cruises experience would be. We know what experienced cruisers are looking for; the finest cuisine, destination-oriented itineraries and a casually elegant environment. The ship is very warm and inviting; the suites and staterooms are plush and comfortable. And the crew is the friendliest at sea.” 

Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, added, “We’ve taken extraordinary measures to ensure that our guests are treated to the finest cruise experience possible. Our staff has been hand picked and every aspect of the Oceania Cruises experience has been meticulously crafted with the utmost care”. Del Rio, along with Chairman Joe Watters, was aboard the Regatta for the first seven days of the inaugural voyage, personally ensuring that all facets of the cruise experience met their demanding and exacting standards. “Oceania Cruises is everything we promised, and then some,” added Del Rio.

Oceania Cruises features two intimate and luxurious 684 passenger ships, REGATTA and INSIGNIA. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations offered at an affordable price.

Regatta’s sold out summer season sees her cruising throughout Northern Europe and Russia before repositioning to the Western Mediterranean for the fall season. On November 25th, Regatta will begin her inaugural season of voyages to the Exotic Caribbean, Panama Canal and Central America with convenient departures from Miami and Los Angeles.

For additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Cancels One Mediterranean Cruise

MIAMI, July 16, 2003 -- Celebrity Cruises is canceling its July 22 cruise on Millennium to replace a thrust-bearing unit in the ship’s port propulsion system. The ship must enter drydock to replace the bearing. The cancelled cruise is an 11-night voyage from Barcelona to Venice. The ship is expected to resume service August 2. 

“Unfortunately, the thrust-bearing unit in our port propulsion system is showing premature wear,” said Jack Williams, president and chief operating officer of Celebrity Cruises. “I know this will upset our guests and I am truly sorry we must cancel their cruise. Regrettably, it is important we replace this unit as soon as possible. We will work closely with our travel agency partners to provide our guests with the best possible alternative plans.”

Guests booked on the July 22 sailing will receive a full refund for their cruise, plus a free future Celebrity cruise of up to 12 nights, departing on or before December 15, 2004, excluding holiday sailings. Guests’ travel agents will receive their full commission for the July 22 cruise, plus a $50 rebooking fee, per stateroom, when their clients reschedule their cruise. 

Celebrity has established a special Help Desk to assist guests and travel agents with reaccommodations. The Help Desk number is 1-877-200-2897. 

The canceled cruise is expected to have a negative impact on Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s third-quarter earnings of $.04 to $.05 per share.

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Interactive Website Is Ideal Travel Planner For Custom-Tailored Romantic Escapes

Seattle, WA, July 17, 2003 - From the cruise line renowned for its romance, service, elegance and adventure, comes the ideal travel planning companion: Windstar Cruises' "Romance Under Sail," an extraordinary program and dedicated website - - that marries romantic travel with amenities and services custom-tailored to individual preferences.

"Romance Under Sail" is a service concept as unique as the cruise line itself, inviting guests to utilize an interactive website to design their very own romantic escape to the exotic locales and hidden harbors visited by Windstar's fleet of luxurious sailing yachts. With special packages that celebrate all things romantic, an extensive menu of wines and champagnes, intimate shore excursions, scuba diving adventures, spa treatments and special in-suite commemorative amenities and services, the website eliminates the stress of last-minute planning by allowing couples to customize their special vacation in advance. 

"By definition, a Windstar cruise is a romantic getaway, and Romance Under Sail was designed to take the guess work out of planning the perfect vacation with someone special, be it a honeymoon, anniversary or birthday," noted Tom Russell, vice president, marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "With this user-friendly website, supported by our experienced staff both shipboard and shoreside, we have provided our savvy clientele with the platform they need to create some of life's most treasured memories."

Windstar's casual luxury, romantic sails and exotic itineraries have made it a popular honeymoon and anniversary destination since its inception, averaging ten honeymoon and anniversary couples a week. "Romance Under Sail" features a selection of Celebration Packages including a fully customizable wedding and vow renewal program that can be purchased pre-cruise by family, friends or the couples themselves.

The deluxe Honeymoon package includes a bottle of Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée champagne and a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries, the perfect bon voyage toast to the journey ahead. For Anniversary celebrants, a bottle of Mumm Cordon Rouge with a plate of assorted hors d'oeuvres will kick off the special occasion in style. The "Just for Us" package indulges romance which a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and caviar for two. 

"Romance Under Sail" offers a Wedding and Vow Renewal program as only a small ship can with individually tailored ceremonies from the simple to the elaborate. Couples can say "I do" all over again at an intimate ceremony hosted by the Captain of the ship and attended by newfound friends and traveling companions. 

Known for being 180 degrees from ordinary, Windstar's Romance Registry adds a new twist to an established tradition with a gift selection that goes beyond the conventional china and silver to offer the sublime - an extensive selection of vintage wines and champagnes, rejuvenating spa treatments, romantic excursions ashore and scuba diving adventures. An on-staff Romance Coordinator assists with special requests and adds that extra touch of personalized attention.

"Romance Under Sail" captures romance ashore with 36 excursions specifically designed for couples featuring such escapades as an overnight interlude in an over-water bungalow at one of Bora Bora's beautiful resorts; Mykonos Beaches by Caique; Parasailing for Lovers and Singles in Moorea; a Gondola Serenade at Night in Venice; a day in Kithera, the 'island of love' and Eros and Ahprodite; a Passion Catamaran sail in the Grenadines.

The line's complimentary water sports program allows for intimate exploration of some of the world's most exclusive destinations - from waterskiing in an exotic lagoon, bay or harbor, to kayaking along intimate shorelines, to windsurfing, sailing, scenic boat rides, snorkeling, and scuba diving in 31 of the world's most exotic locales from Virgin Gorda to Ibiza, and from St. Tropez to Santorini. Breathtaking beaches and pastoral countrysides are inviting escapes to enjoy a Picnic Basket for Two, complete with champagne, fruit, and gourmet sandwiches and treats.

The culinary experience of any vacation plays a very important role, and Windstar's award-winning Signature Cuisine created in tandem with acclaimed celebrity chef and restaurateur Joachim Splichal delights the senses with menus created especially for lovers. The "Romance Under Sail" website features favorite menu selections with links to recipes, allowing guests to return home and recreate the tempting dishes they experienced at sea.

Voted "Most Romantic Cruise Line" by Porthole Magazine and and "Top Honeymoon" by viewers of Today Throws a Wedding and, Windstar provides the ultimate escape for couples looking to get away from it all - together. 

Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar exude a private yacht-like atmosphere creating camaraderie and lasting friendships between shipmates. The company's unique vacations offer a seaside window on the world, combining the refinement of a luxury hotel with a moveable feast of cultural experiences. The three masted sailing yachts cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at more than 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and Tahiti.

To receive a Windstar brochure, make reservations, or receive more information, contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Ultra-luxury Silversea Achieves Highest Rating of All Cruise Lines

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - July 15, 2003 -- Silversea Cruises has been named "World's Best Small-Ship Cruise Line" by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. The results of the recently announced 2003 readers' survey placed Silversea, with an overall score of 91.1, above all other cruise lines, including those in the large-ship category. This is the fifth time Silversea has been voted number one in the prestigious readers' poll.

Each year Travel + Leisure asks its subscribers to determine the "World's Best" awards by rating travel companies and properties based on certain characteristics. Cruise lines are evaluated in the categories of cabins, food, service, itineraries/destinations, entertainment/activities and value. The results of this year's survey appear in the magazine's August issue.

"We are delighted that the readers of Travel + Leisure have again recognized Silversea as the 'World's Best'," said Albert Peter, Silversea's Chief Executive Officer. "This achievement validates our strong commitment to providing guests with the unsurpassed value and service excellence that define the ultra-luxury Silversea cruise experience." 

Added Peter, "The readers of Travel + Leisure are sophisticated world travelers whose expert opinion we hold in high regard. The top rating they have awarded to Silversea is a strong statement about our ability to continually meet and exceed their expectations, and it speaks very highly of the dedication and commitment of the ladies and gentlemen of Silversea who work aboard our ships and in our corporate offices. To be considered the best cruise line of Travel + Leisure's readers is an incredible honor for all of us."

Travel + Leisure boasts a readership in the millions and is considered one of the top travel publications in the world. Since 1996, working in association with independent research firms, the magazine has made available to its subscribers a questionnaire that asks respondents to rate travel providers based on their recent travel experiences. For more information about the "World's Best" awards, visit the magazine's Web site at

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For the seventh consecutive year, Silversea Cruises was named best small-ship line in the 2002 readers' survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. For the fifth time, Silversea was selected "Number One" small-ship line in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2003.

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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Insystcom Announces In-Cabin Web Mail Access; SeaLynx System Provides New Level of Comfort & Convenience to Guests

ALPHARETTA, Ga., July 14 -- Today at its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, Insystcom, Inc. announced a further enhancement to its achievement of sending the first in-cabin e-mail on board the SilverSea cruise ship, Silver Whisper, off the coast of Portugal on May 14, 2003, by using the SeaLynx System. This new achievement by Insystcom enables cruise ship guests to access their own personal web-based e-mail (Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Hotmail as well as any other pop mail accounts) away from home or office. Until now, guests were required to obtain a unique and often lengthy shipboard e-mail address and then wait in long lines to access public computers on the ship. SeaLynx enhances the cruise experience by eliminating the inconvenience of waiting in line for a public computer and having to remember one-time use only e-mail addresses. The SeaLynx system allows guests to easily access their existing web-based e-mail from the comfort and privacy of their own cabin. Additionally, SeaLynx provides a cost savings to guests by allowing the guest to decide which e-mails are opened and read, without having to pay for downloading entire web pages and/or pop-up ads.

SeaLynx is the advanced cruise ship system conceived and offered by Insystcom, Inc., a leader in interactive information and entertainment systems for the cruise ship market. It offers passengers Video on Demand Movies, E-mail in every cabin, Games and Casino, Music on Demand, Shore Excursion Previews and Bookings, and more.

"This system, with its ability to be installed underway, overcomes one of the basic problems on any other approach, namely waiting for dry dock or new build before implementing a newly requested guest service," said Wil Riner, CEO of Insystcom, Inc. "The business case for such a system is now complete since two to four ships a month can be equipped. Combined with the advanced services SeaLynx offers, there is no better answer for this important market."

Leading Edge Technology
By using advanced technology, the SeaLynx system allows guests to use wireless remotes and keyboards to interact with the menu selections displayed on the cabin TV. For example, when a guest selects to receive web-based E- mail, the system prompts the user to choose from a list of web-based e-mail providers (e.g., Yahoo, AOL, MSN, HotMail, etc.). Next, guests are required to enter their personal e-mail address and password used when ordinarily checking their e-mail messages. The SeaLynx system then automatically polls the Internet to gather the headers of e-mail messages sent to that e-mail address. In contrast to most other on-board computer service providers, guests will only have to pay those messages that they wish to open after viewing the Sender and the Subject line. No longer will guests have to pay to read any unwanted messages or for the time spent downloading web pages and pop up ads.

Guests are required to enter their web-based e-mail address and password only once. Subsequently, guests need only check their IN box of e-mail message headers, which display only the Sender and the Subject line of the message. Since guests are charged for any e-mails that are opened and read, being able to preview the Sender and Subject line allows each guest to determine those e-mails to open immediately and those that can be read later or ignored. This unique SeaLynx feature translates readily into convenience, privacy, ease of use and cost savings for each guest.

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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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