Cruise Planner & Industry News from Cruise Diva
Discover the world of cruise travel

Subscribe Now! Cruise Diva's FREE Newsletter

Make the most of your cruise vacation with
 information from 

~ Cruise Lines
~ Articles & Advice
~ Cruise News
~ Planning Tips
~ Packing & Lists
~ Ports of Call

~ Cruise Reviews

~ HOT Tips Archive
~ About CruiseDiva
~ Cruise Links
~ Cruise Diary
~ CruiseDiva Home

Insure My Trip
Insure your cruise ~ Use the automated quote form to compare plans

Cruise Bon Voyage Gifts from Well Wishers -- CLICK HERE!!!

Bon Voyage gifts & more delivered worldwide by Well Wishers

Get cruise gear & more from
The Cruise Shop

 Cruising by the Book ~ Top Picks in 
Cruise Guidebooks

The favorite of serious cruise travelers:

Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman

News from the world of cruising ~
August 15-31, 2002

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

Back to Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive


MIAMI (08/30/02) - The 110,00-ton Carnival Conquest, to be the largest vessel in the "Fun Ship" fleet and the first ship in the line's new Conquest-class, has interior spaces unified by a theme based on the works of great Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters. From the bold brush strokes and primary colors of Vincent Van Gogh to the gentle, muted tones of Claude Monet's "Water Lilies," Carnival Conquest's interiors present a huge canvas for the vivid imagination of Carnival's ship architect Joe Farcus. 

The 2,974-passenger ship, which is slated to debut in New Orleans in December, will operate seven-day western Caribbean cruises year-round from the Big Easy. Farcus pointed out that this is the first "Fun Ship" whose interior design was directly tied to its intended home-port. "When I learned the ship was to sail from New Orleans, I was inspired to use the Impressionists as a jumping-off point for the interior design," said Farcus. "Edgar Degas actually lived in New Orleans for a time, so there is definitely a connection between the city, which is an artist's city with a definite French influence, and the Impressionist painters." Farcus describes the ship's main atrium and lobby as a "testimonial to all of the Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters." 

The Artists' Lobby design is dominated by a large hand-painted mural collage of details from famous Impressionist paintings on the central ceiling dome and vertical wall of the Atelier Atrium. The collage effect is picked up again in the promenade and in other public areas throughout the ship. Internally illuminated Murano-glass sculptures of flowers on antiqued bronze stalks provide muted lighting effects and the walls are of wood paneling with inlaid wood marquetry and hand-laid mosaics. The bar fronts are wood inlaid panels interspersed with Murano glass flowers. 

The Toulouse-Lautrec Show Lounge takes as its inspiration the diminutive French painter's sketches and portraits drawn from the subjects he found in the cabarets, theater, circus and brothels of Paris' Montmartre district. The lounge's walls display hand-painted reproductions of the artist's poster works, while gold and red dominate chromatically and the overall style is art nouveau. To the sides of the stage are the famous windmill signs of the Moulin Rouge cabaret, its vanes turning in an imaginary breeze, and the windmill motif is repeated in the carpet design. 

The ship features two two-level dining rooms. "For the restaurants, I wanted to do something quiet and beautiful," explained Farcus, "so I chose Monet and Renoir." Both rooms are architecturally identical, and both feature panels of stylized wood veneered images of the Eiffel Tower in the walls and ceiling. The fabrics and colors are based on different works by the two namesake painters. The forward Renoir Restaurant takes its inspiration from "Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise," a tranquil scene of boaters relaxing at a café overlooking the Seine, which is featured in the wall-covering fabric. The flower-covered trellis in the painting is repeated in the carpet's colors and pattern. In the aft Monet Restaurant, one of the artist's famous "Water Lilies" series of nature scenes sets the atmosphere. Here, the carpet pattern repeats the green water lilies floating in a reflective blue pond, which is featured on the wall fabric. 

The two-level Restaurant Cezanne on Lido Deck takes elements from the post-Impressionist painters works to create the atmosphere of a 19th-century French café. The period hand-painted ceramic-tile wainscoting is complemented by details and reproductions of wall covering patterns seen in classic Cezanne works, including "Chateau Noir," "Self-Portrait on a Rose Background" and "House of Pere Lacroix in Auvers." The Point is the Conquest's reservations-only supper club, located high up on Panorama Deck. The restaurant takes its name from the style of Georges-Pierre Seurat, known as pointillism, which is the rendering of images through thousands of individual dots, or points, of color. The walls have murals in the style of Seurat's famous "Le Cirque (The Circus)," featuring circus tents rendered in the pointillist style. The ceiling is a mural of clouds in a blue sky with special LED and star lights which will provide a sunset-to-night effect during the course of the evening. 

New for the Conquest-class is an expanded game room and teen area that serves as a "second promenade for teenagers," said Farcus. Decorated to resemble the back alleys of the infamous Montmartre district of 19th-century Paris, the room sports brick walls with peeling stucco decorated with rock concert posters and graffiti, building facades and wood fences. The facilities for teens include a dance floor, video wall, lounge, soft-drink bar and the latest state-of-the-art video games. 

The Polynesian world of post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin is re-created in the Tahiti Casino. Beams and columns of bamboo and wood, and cast thatch ceiling panels impart the feeling of a Tahitian village with colorful jungle-motif fabrics and rich wood tones add to the ambiance. Gauguin style native figurative sculptures with simulated flames rising from their heads complete the mysterious, rustic décor. Gauguin's Bar, the Conquest's sports bar, carries on the Tahitian theme from the adjacent casino, but incorporates more wall murals of Gauguin's paintings. 

Henri's Dance Club takes its theme from the exotic jungle paintings of Henri Rousseau. Painted metal cutouts made to look like the coarse grass of Rousseau's paintings are mounted on the wall, with occasional three-dimensional heads of animals similar to the kind often seen lurking in the artist's works. Muted reds, golds and greens dominate the fabrics and window treatments, while the carpet is a colorful, cartoon-like pattern of animals peeking from behind bright-green leaves of grass. 

Vincent's Piano Bar breaks with the design of the other public rooms by not reproducing any actual Van Gogh works as part of the décor. Instead, the architecture itself is made to imitate Van Gogh's surreal style with twisted columns painted bright yellow typified in his painting of the Church at Auveres. The walls are finished in murals of sunflowers reminiscent of the artist's famous painting of a vase of sunflowers, accented by shuttered windows. Light fixtures are colored glass in the shape of irises - another prominent Van Gogh subject. 

The Blue Piano Bar takes as its theme from the blue color commonly found in the works of Henri Matisse, considered the greatest French painter of the 20th century. The walls, ceilings and doors are highly decorated - as if painted by Matisse himself - with swirls, flowers, arabesques and abstract designs. The carpet is a pattern designed after the artist's work "Icarus," which shows a silhouetted figure falling across a background of blue sky and yellow stars. 

Alfred's Bar, located on Atlantic Deck beneath the dance club, is named for Alfred Sisely, an Englishman raised in Paris and one of the fathers of the Impressionist movement. The room is decorated like a wood-paneled English drawing room with large reproductions of Sisely's cityscapes, landscapes and rural subjects displayed on the walls. Dark, rich colors dominate, and between the windows are pedestals supporting busts of the artist's likeness. The Degas Lounge, aft on Promenade Deck, takes its theme from the artist's fascination with ballet dancers. Bronze cast sculptures of ballerina figures are fitted into niches around the room. The ceiling has case decorative bronze-colored moldings and chandeliers, and the fabrics are deep burgundy and gold, creating a very classy venue. 

Prior to entering year-round seven-day western Caribbean service departing New Orleans every Sunday, the Carnival Conquest will operate a series of three special voyages. A four-day cruise departing Nov. 15 will feature a visit to Cozumel, Mexico; a six-day cruise departing Nov. 21 will visit Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel; and a four-day Thanksgiving weekend cruise departing Nov. 27 will call at Cozumel. Seven-day cruises will visit Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups). Information and reservations are also available via the line's travel agent Internet portal,

Back to  the top of the news list

Book By October 15, 2002 For Savings up to 60 Percent

Seattle, WA, August 30, 2002 — For a limited time Windstar is combining "Early Booking Discounts" (EBD) with its "Advanced Savings Advantage Program" (ASAP) to offer exceptional savings on each of 174 unique cruises scheduled to sail in 2003.

Cruises must be booked by Tuesday, October 15, 2002 to take advantage of EBD savings from $200 to $500 per person, up to $1,000 per stateroom. Cruise rates and discounts vary by departure date and itinerary.

The combined EBD and ASAP discounts represent savings from 25 to 60 percent off brochure tariffs on every 2003 cruise aboard the luxury lines fleet of four sailing yachts.

"Our luxury sailing yachts rival the service and amenities found at top land resorts and restaurants while offering exclusivity with just 148 or 308 aboard. Plus, we carry our guests in hassle-free style and comfort to the most sought-after destinations all over the world," stated Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises.

For example, now through October, 15, 2002, this coming winter, prices start at $1,857 for a 7-day Caribbean cruise between St. Thomas and Barbados onboard the Wind Surf. The same itinerary in high season February to April 2003 rates start at $2,247. Combined discounts offer 48 to 58 percent off brochure tariffs which start at $4,110.

The Wind Song’s 2003 is filled with the exotic fragrances and gentle trade winds of the South Pacific. Seven-day sailings depart every Friday visiting Tahiti’s heavenly islands of Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea, and Moorea. With discounts most cruise dates are priced at $3,101 or less.

Free round-trip airfare from 78 North American gateways is included on all Tahiti cruises January through March.

Windstar’s soaring sails once again dominate the horizons of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas in 2003 with a total of 66 cruises on sale now. Wind Surf and Wind Star meander the timeless shores of the Mediterranean on a plenitude of 7-day itineraries ranging in price from $2,612 to $3,002. When booked by October 15, 2002, EBD/ASAP discounts offer 30 to 50 percent off.

And, in July and August of 2003, Windstar visits the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe for the first time ever on a total of eight cruise offerings. These sailings feature tours to the European capitals of Moscow, Paris, London, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Oslo, Talinn, Helsinki, and Copenhagen, with over 20 maiden ports of call.

Wind Surf offers 10-day cruises roundtrip from Copenhagen, Denmark with the highlight of an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia, celebrating its 300th Anniversary in 2003. Discounted rates on all four trips start at $4,202, 42 percent off the brochure tariff of $7,080.

All cruises listed above are priced per person based on double-occupancy and include all meals, accommodations and on-board activities. Non-discountable amounts (port taxes, etc.) are included in all listed cruise fares and range from $205 to $325.

The luxury lines "2003 Voyage Planner" is now available offering a complete overview of 2003 cruise itineraries, dates, and EBD/ASAP combined discount rates for all 174 featured cruises.

More detailed brochures highlighting Windstar’s prime sailing regions of Tahiti, Caribbean/Central America, and Europe will be available within the next few weeks.

All rates listed above are valid through Tuesday, October 15, 2002.

To receive brochures or for more information contact 1-87-STAR-SAIL (1-877-827-7245.) For reservations contact a travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-SAIL (1-800-258-7245.) Visit Windstar Cruises online at

Back to  the top of the news list

The Little Yacht Company that Could
First Year of Operation to Top the Charts

COCONUT GROVE, FL, Sept 1, 2002 - For a tiny startup operation that went into business a year ago at just the wrong time (September 1, 2001) SeaDream Yacht Club isn’t doing too badly.

  • It purchased two classic, twin mega-yachts and renamed them SeaDream I and SeaDream II.
  • Completely re-designed them in record time and put them into seven-day deployments in the Caribbean last winter and in the Mediterranean this summer.
  • Sold out 94 percent of its initial Caribbean season and today reports it has sold out 89 percent of its first Mediterranean season.

Just what is SeaDream Yacht Club doing right and what does it have going for it? Larry Pimentel. CTC, SeaDream’s Chairman and CEO puts it this way:

  • “First, we came up with a yachting concept that just works--ultra luxury, elegant, casual and unstructured. A free-form holiday with no clocks, no crowds, no lines, no stress. Guys can leave the tux and ties at home and gals don’t have to pack the gala gowns. Simply stated, SeaDream is not a cruise line. We are a lifestyle product for those active at heart who seek refined service in a casual, relaxed environment.
  • “Second, we developed a small staff of top-of-the-line management ashore--all seasoned, professional, flexible and dedicated to our yachting concept. We have only 12 people in our Coconut Grove headquarters including me and everyone does everything. Additionally, there are five business development directors located in North America, UK and the Middle East. Then there are seven persons in our Oslo, Norway operational center.
  • “Third, we have a seasoned and professional staff and crew aboard our two yachts. Deck and Engine personnel are the absolute tops and our service staff is highly efficient and friendly without being cloying.
  • “Fourth, we adopted a unique, entrepreneurial business plan, grounded in the new realities of a nine-eleven mentality and the present global economic uncertainty. We have a low cost model for a high profile product. We avoided a complicated organizational structure and focused on simplicity. We outsourced our tech requirements and the manpower-intensive, low-rate-of-return air, land and transfer arrangements. We adopted a simple pricing structure and deployment model. Without an expensive field sales force we train travel agents by telephone conference calls and teach them to use our website. And, we established a limited distribution network of retail agents and a consortia of preferred vendors.
  • “Finally, we accepted the necessary strategy of tactical pricing to get us off and running swiftly.

“Are we encouraged? You bet we are,” said Pimentel answering his own question.

So where does SeaDream Yacht Club go from here? “It will be more of the same only better,” Pimentel said.

  • “Increased training for staff aboard our yachts and ashore.
  • “Increased training for retail travel agents.
  • “Ever increasing attention to detail.
  • “Staying open-minded and listening to our customers our sellers and our employees. That’s what it’s all about.
  • “More brand awareness as we enter our second year.
  • “A few new services and products will be introduced that will match the quality and style of what we are currently doing,” he concluded.

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 Chairman and CEO of the Coconut Grove, Florida-headquartered SeaDream Yacht Club and a co-owner. 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. The SeaDream Yacht Club reservations number is 1 800 707-4911. The website is

Back to  the top of the news list


Seattle, August 29, 2002 - Holland America Line announces its 2003 May through October Canada/New England cruise schedule of 12 departures that combine destination rich ports with renowned cultural and historical diversity with cruise departures from convenient gateways in Boston, New York and Montreal. Passengers will experience a world close to home with French culture and cuisine, Scottish immigrant history, British tradition, Northeast hospitality, and Canadian and American history. Itineraries range from seven to 16 days and cruises depart from Boston, New York and Montreal. They include two new sailings aboard the 794-passenger ms Prinsendam, Holland America Line's new elegant explorer, and ten sailings aboard the 1,380-passenger ms Rotterdam. 

"For guests who want to experience as many ports as possible with incredible options, these are the cruises for them," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "They appeal to history buffs, families, active travelers and experienced cruisers and all will enjoy the outstanding service and value offered by Holland America cruises." 

All cruises are highlighted by scenic cruising in Saguenay Fjord and St. Lawrence River, where guests may watch for Beluga whales. In addition, the 12- and 10-day cruises include a two-day visit to historic Quebec City, allowing guests to fully explore the 400-year-old "heart of French Canada" with cobbled streets and quaint cafes. With shore activities that include cycling Acadia National Park or across Prince Edward Island and kayaking the coves of Maine or Nova Scotia, Canada/New England cruises appeal to travelers who enjoy outdoor activities. 

A special Medallion Shore Excursion program by Holland America also offers unique quality experiences such as becoming a soldier for a day at the Halifax Citadel. Passengers dress in the uniform of a 1870s Highland regiment, complete with kilt and redcoat, and spend the day learning first hand about a soldier's life, drills, activities and meals. Participants will end up in other visitors' travel photos as they become a part of the fort's attraction when performing in drill exercises with other "soldiers" in the Citadel's permanent reenactment garrison. Other Medallion excursions include a horse-drawn carriage tour of Quebec and gourmet dinner at the famous Chateau Frontenac and a day with a lobster lunch at Dalvay by the Sea, the 19th-century summer home built by then Standard Oil chief Alexander MacDonald. 

New 12-day Cruise Added to Favorites on ms Rotterdam 
The Rotterdam begins its spring and summer cruise program with a 12-day cruise to Montreal on May 23. This voyage calls at Newport, R.I., where guests may visit the lavish 19th century summer homes of the Vanderbilts, Astors and Morgans; Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, and its eclectic assortment of frilly, multicolored gingerbread cottages; and Boston, Mass., combining America's colonial past with its thriving present and featuring such attractions as the Freedom Trail with Paul Revere's House and Old North. The last stops in the U.S. are historic Portland, Maine, birthplace of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Bar Harbor, also in Maine. The Rotterdam then spends a day in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where guests have the opportunity to see quaint Lunenburg fishing village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Sydney, Nova Scotia, offering optional tours of the ruggedly scenic Cabot Trail and the meticulously restored 18th century French fortress of Louisbourg; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, with an optional Anne of Green Gables tour, before arriving for the stay in Quebec City. Double occupancy fares start at just $1,989 per person, double occupancy. 

10-Day Cruises Link East Coast and Montreal & Showcase Fall Foliage 
The summer 10-day cruise departs Montreal June 4, arriving in Boston June 14. Ports of call include Quebec City; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; St.-Pierre, St.-Pierre & Miquelon; St. John's, Newfoundland; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Bar Harbor, Maine. Fall Foliage 10-day cruises depart New York Sept. 17 and Oct. 7, and depart Montreal Sept. 27 and Oct. 17. Ports of call, which are identical in either direction, include Newport; Boston; Bar Harbor; Halifax and Sydney; Charlottetown; and Quebec City. Fares for these exciting cruises start at just $1,769 per person. 

Summer Seven-Day Cruises Visit Five Enticing Ports 
Ideal for family summer vacations, seven-day cruises run between Boston and Montreal. They depart Boston on June 14 and June 28; and leave Montreal June 21 and July 5. Stops include Quebec City; Charlottetown; Sydney; Halifax; and Bar Harbor. Fares start at $1,329 per person. Elegant Explorer Comes to Canada/New England in 2003 In 2003, the Prinsendam sails two new cruise programs during the fall foliage time frame. The first, a 10-day exploration of the region, departs October 2 from Boston and visits Bar Harbor, Halifax, St. John's, St. Pierre & Miquelon, Charlottetown, Quebec and Montreal. The second, a 16-day cruise, sails on October 12 from Montreal and calls in Quebec; Charlottetown; Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; New York; Norfolk, Virginia; Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Passengers have an option to end the voyage in New York (10 days) or Norfolk (11 days), too. Prices for the Prinsendam voyages start at $2,769 per person.

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

Schedule to Include First-Ever Departures from New York, Along with Cruises From Philadelphia and Baltimore 

MIAMI (08/28/02) -- Carnival Cruise Lines will for the first time operate a series of seven week-long Bermuda cruises round-trip from New York on the 88,500-ton Carnival Pride, which entered service in January 2002. Additionally, the line will again in 2003 offer two six-day Bermuda cruises from both Philadelphia and Baltimore on the 88,500-ton Carnival Legend, also newly launched in 2002.

"It has been our desire for many years to offer an extensive schedule of voyages to Bermuda and we are pleased to be operating 11 cruises from three different departure points on the two newest, most spectacular ships in this market," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president. "There are no other vessels slated for Bermuda in 2003 that come close to the Carnival Legend and Carnival Pride in terms of newness, amenities, facilities and on-board programming. In fact, excluding Legend and Pride, the average age of the five full-season ships sailing to Bermuda that cater to the contemporary market is more than 12 years," he added. Dickinson noted that Pride and Legend each feature 682 balcony staterooms - more than all of the other contemporary cruise operators serving Bermuda combined. 

Carnival's 2003 Bermuda voyages include: 

New York (summer 2003) - seven week-long sailings aboard the Carnival Pride from July 16 to Aug. 27, 2003 Baltimore (spring and fall 2003) - two six-day voyages aboard the Carnival Legend departing April 29 and Oct. 28, 2003 

Philadelphia (spring and fall 2003) - two six-day voyages aboard the Carnival Legend departing May 6 and Oct. 21, 2003 

All 11 voyages will dock at historic King's Wharf, a centuries-old port city that is home to exceptional shopping and dining opportunities, as well as a number of interesting sites and landmarks. During their stay in Bermuda, which includes four days in King's Wharf aboard Carnival Pride voyages from New York and three days on Carnival Legend departures from Baltimore and Philadelphia, guests can also visit the island's legendary pink beaches and partake in a wide variety of watersports, including snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving. Through Carnival's popular on-board golf program, golfers can receive professional instruction both aboard ship and during excursions to Bermuda's top courses. 

"Legend and Pride's extra-long calls in King's Wharf, combined with the incredible array of shore excursions, provide guests with ample time to experience all that this fantastic island has to offer," Dickinson said.

Carnival Legend and Carnival Pride, part of Carnival's popular "Spirit-class" series, both feature on-board amenities such as indoor and outdoor promenades, a 14,500-foot health club and salon, 16 lounges and nightspots, and an upscale reservations-only supper club serving prime aged beef, along with crab claws from Miami Beach's world famous Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant. Other dining options include a patisserie, an elegant two-level main dining room, and an expansive poolside eatery with full breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, 24-hour pizzeria, and a variety of specialty venues. 

Additionally, 80 percent of the ships' staterooms offer an ocean view with 80 percent of those featuring private balconies - the highest number of ocean view and balconied staterooms of any ship sailing to Bermuda. Both ships also feature four swimming pools, a cascading water slide, wedding chapel, conference room, Internet café, and indoor and outdoor children's play areas, part of the line's top-rated "Camp Carnival" program. Reservations for Carnival's six- and seven-day Bermuda sailings are expected to be open by the end of this week. 

Prices for the six-day Bermuda sailings from Baltimore and Philadelphia start at $749 per person; seven-day Bermuda cruises from New York are available beginning at $1,149 per person, based on double occupancy. If purchased via Carnival's "Fun Finance Plan(SM)," six-day Bermuda cruises are available starting at $35 per month and seven-day cruises at $54 per month (based on a 24-month payment term at the lowest annual percentage rate available). Actual monthly payment and terms may vary according to the applicant's credit qualifications. Valid for U.S. individual bookings only. Certain other restrictions apply. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air transportation from a variety of North American gateways, are also available. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups). Information and reservations are also available via the line's travel agent Internet portal at

Back to  the top of the news list

Sail Away to the Caribbean With Folger's Jakada
Nothing But Blue Skies During the "Peel Off to Sea" Maiden Voyage

DALLAS, August 28, 2002 - Let the allure of turquoise waters and the mystery of treasured isles embrace your senses as you cruise the Caribbean with a freedom found only in Folger's Jakada. Jakada, the new chilled coffee latte from Morningstar Foods, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Dean Foods, enlivens your spirit and relaxes your mind with a chance to win a seven-day voyage through the magnificent Southern Caribbean. The "Peel Off to Sea" Folger's Jakada game bottles are available nationwide at grocery, convenient, mass merchandising, club and drug stores July 26 through October 18, 2002.

"Folger's Jakada is a stimulating beverage that was developed to provide consumers with an opportunity to invigorate the mind and rejuvenate the spirit," said Toby Purdy, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. "So it was only fitting to offer Folger's Jakada drinkers the chance to experience the freedom of luxury travel on the open sea."

How to Set Sail with Folgers Jakada
There is no planning needed to Peel off to Sea when you take a break on Jakada time. Simply purchase any specially marked single-serve bottle of Folger's Jakada and pull the tab to identify the unique code. Then, go to to enter your code online. From there, set the variables - direction, speed and wind with sea currents - and navigate your ship from the coast of Miami to the Caribbean.

As the boat cruises along your pre-determined path, remember that every good captain monitors the progress of the voyage.  Visit to see if you have been chosen to peel off to sea with Jakada. See your local store or visit the web site for more information. No purchase is necessary to participate.

Back to  the top of the news list

Choose Free Air or Cruise Only Savings up to 50 Percent

MIAMI August 28, 2003 - Ultra luxury small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line has announced two new ways for savvy travelers to save on selected seven- to 14-day Mediterranean cruises aboard its intimate, all-suite Yachts of Seabourn next year.

A range of Mediterranean cruises sailing from April through June, 2003 on the 208-guest Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend are being offered with free round trip coach class airfare from 28 North American gateways.
With Early Booking Savings up to 40 percent, air-inclusive fares start from $3,884 per person, based on double occupancy of a luxurious 277-square foot Seabourn suite.
Business class air upgrades value-priced from $1,295 are offered on 14-day cruises and combinations, which also feature an additional 10 percent Combo Savings.

Alternatively, guests may choose increased Cruise Only Savings up to 50 percent and purchase their air transportation separately. With this option, fares start from just $3,286 per person for a seven-day Seabourn Mediterranean cruise.

These extraordinary vacation values can result in a per diem rate as low as $377 for the full array of Seabourn's award-winning Signature Delights, including superb cuisine created by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer; complimentary wines and spirits throughout the cruise; free Massage Moments on deck; an included Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experience; Pure Pampering Molton Brown toiletries and bathing selections; the highest levels of personalized service afloat and more.

The offers apply to cruises sailing from Venice, Rome, Athens, Lisbon, Barcelona, Istanbul, Nice, and Alexandria, visiting the mix of major cities, small isles and exclusive yacht harbors that make Seabourn Mediterranean cruises exceptional.

Both offers are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time. For more information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

Back to  the top of the news list

Disney Cruise Line Newest Participant in Worldspan Go! Cruise(R)
Worldspan travel agents can now sell Disney Cruise Line vacations automatically from the desktop via the Go! Cruise connection

ATLANTA, Aug. 27 - Worldspan, the leader in global reservation systems and e-commerce for the travel industry, today announced that Disney Cruise Line has become the newest participant in Worldspan Go! Cruise, enabling Worldspan travel agents throughout the United States and Canada to book Disney's cruise and land/sea vacations directly through the Go! Cruise reservations portal.

Right from the desktop, travel agents can now offer clients the family-friendly Disney experience in a cruise vacation designed specifically to meet the unique vacation needs of every member of the family. Seven-night Caribbean cruise vacations aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship feature entertainment and dining for all ages, plus age-specific activities and programming. The Disney Wonder cruise ship offers one-of-a-kind land-and-sea vacations that combine a Walt Disney World Resort vacation with a three- or four-night Disney Cruise Line voyage to the Bahamas.

"With its distinctive selection of cruises and land/sea vacations, Disney Cruise Line adds a special and important new dimension to the range of cruise offerings available through Worldspan Go! Cruise," commented Vela McClam-Mitchell, vice president and general manager - Worldwide Travel Supplier Services for Worldspan. "Go! Cruise offers Worldspan agents the opportunity to build commissions through bookings with leading cruise lines around the world, and the addition of Disney Cruise Line enhances that opportunity greatly. We're delighted Disney Cruise Line has chosen Worldspan Go! Cruise to be a part of its distribution strategy."

"Travel agents are essential to our distribution efforts," said Randy A. Garfield, CTC, president of Walt Disney Travel Company and executive vice president of Sales and Travel Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "We are pleased to offer our travel agent partners another way to book their clients' Disney family cruise vacations with confidence and ease by using Worldspan Go! Cruise."

Available through the Worldspan Go! Resource Center, Go! Cruise eliminates the need for multiple phone calls, paper brochures and time-consuming Internet searches. Using Worldspan Go! Cruise, in just minutes travel agents can find the best cruise package for their customers, book a complete cruise itinerary, and receive immediate online confirmation.

Worldspan Go! Cruise provides everything agents need to create the ideal cruise experience for their clients, including real-time cabin availability, comparison shopping features, and multiple package capability for creating pre- and post-cruise packages.

The latest Go! Cruise enhancement, cloning, allows travel agents to automatically reproduce an existing cruise itinerary for additional traveling companions, replicating dates, destination-everything up to cabin selection with a single entry. This time-saving new feature is especially handy when two or more couples or families are traveling together.

And with Worldspan Go! Cruise, air and other trip components can be incorporated into the cruise booking, providing a single complete transaction record.

In addition to Disney Cruise Line, Go! Cruise offers travel agents browser-based access to Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Holland America and Windstar products will be available through Go! Cruise later this year.

Back to  the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean Guests Sail Into Virtual Reality with Royal Caribbean/Cruise Critic Parties
Making Friends on Vacation Has Never Been Easier -- or More Fun!

MIAMI, Aug. 22 - Planning a cruise vacation with Royal Caribbean? Looking to make a few new friends? Royal Caribbean International has teamed up with Cruise Critic, the leading online cruise community, to bring consumers the latest in cyber community innovations: Royal Caribbean/Cruise Critic Parties.

"Making new friends while on vacation is an integral part of the cruise experience," explained Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Royal Caribbean International. "Our partnership with Cruise Critic, an industry first, offers guests a unique way to meet fellow vacationers and share cruise vacation tips and experiences, all online, even before setting foot on the ship."

Royal Caribbean/Cruise Critic Parties are available on any 7-night or longer cruise vacation that departs after August 26, 2002. Guests who have completed the booking process can register online for a party by visiting and clicking on the "Infos and Extras" section on the left-hand side navigation bar. After clicking on the "Royal Caribbean Cruise Critic Parties" link under the "Additional Services" column, they will be prompted to enter their reservation ID/booking numbers. Once registered, guests can follow the links to the Royal Caribbean message boards on, where they can meet fellow cruisers, share tips on message boards and prepare for their Royal Caribbean adventure.

After a minimum of 25 people register for the same sailing, they will be invited to meet onboard in a fun, casual atmosphere at a Royal Caribbean/Cruise Critic party during the first two days of the cruise. Two weeks before sail date, an email confirming the party will be sent to the contact for each reservation ID. On embarkation day, guests receive an invitation in their cabins with the date, time and location of the party. Royal Caribbean will provide light refreshments for guests to enjoy.

Cruise Critic, the leading online cruise community and the winner of the Lowell Thomas Award in 2001, is the best resource for objective cruise information including cruise line profiles and in-depth, candid reviews by professional cruise travel writers of over 150 cruise ships. Cruise Critic is available online at Cruise Critic is published by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a privately held New Jersey corporation.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 15 ships in service and four more under construction or on firm order. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700 for reservations.

Back to  the top of the news list

Star Cruises orders new ship with United States in mind

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Aug 22 - Malaysia's Star Cruises Ltd., the world's fourth largest cruise line, said Tuesday it would add a new ship to its Norwegian Cruise Line fleet in 2004.

The ship, which would be able to accommodate 2,000 guests, will be delivered in 2004 in time for the summer season, a company statement said.

Star Cruises said it had contracted Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, based in Pascagoula, Mississippi, to begin work on the project.

Star Cruises chairman and chief executive K.T. Lim said in the statement that economic conditions were improving and that the new ship would help the company's plan to strengthen the Norwegian Cruise Line brand in the United States.

Star Cruises, which is listed in Singapore and Hong Kong and currently operates 19 ships, is a 36 percent-owned affiliate of Malaysia's Resorts World Bhd., which is in turn 55 percent-owned by hotel and gaming conglomerate Genting Bhd.

Back to  the top of the news list

The Best Is Yet to Come: Crystal Cruises Launches Fleetwide 'Best of Everything' Savings
Guests Save Up to $1,000 on 29 of Its 2003 Voyages With New Early-Booking Promotion

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 21 - Crystal Cruises is launching its strongest early booking incentive for next year's cruise lineup. The luxury line's "Best of Everything" promotion offers up to $1,000 in savings per stateroom on new bookings made between now and Dec. 31, 2002 for more than a third of Crystal's 2003 voyages. Eligible cruises include itineraries in the Panama Canal/Caribbean, Orient, Europe, as well as Trans-Atlantic and Pacific sailings aboard Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and the line's newest ship, Crystal Serenity, launching in July 2003.

A distinctive aspect of this program is that "Best of Everything" savings may be combined with many of Crystal Cruises' other 2003 savings opportunities, such as its Value Collection with up to 2-for-1 fares, group discounts, and even a full payment option, whereby guests receive a 3.5 percent savings when full payment is received six months in advance of sailing.

"Some consumers may have the misconception that the highest-rated cruise line is priced out of their reach. We created the early booking incentive to reinforce that even the 'World's Best' cruise line offers a great value," said Adam Leavitt, senior vice president, marketing. "Even the most affluent travelers are seeking deals and value."

"Best of Everything" savings are available in virtually every month of 2003, and some voyages feature inclusive land programs. Added savings for the almost 30 designated sailings range from $400 to $1,000 per double occupancy stateroom, depending on the cruise. With "Best of Everything" savings, fares for the eligible cruises begin at $214 per person, per day, double occupancy.

The "best" ships, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, are operated by Crystal Cruises, winner of the hospitality industry's most prestigious awards. Most recently, the luxury line dominated Travel + Leisure magazine's annual readers' survey, not only receiving the "World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" honor for the seventh consecutive year, but also outscored all other cruise lines, both large- and small-ship. In addition to its number one ranking in the overall category, Crystal Cruises ranked first in four of the individual categories among large-ship cruise lines -- staterooms, food, service, and entertainment/activities.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure, please call 800.820.6663. Visit the luxury cruise line's website at

Back to  the top of the news list

Seabourn Sets 'Dress Circle' Personalities; Celebrities, Experts Will Enrich Guests' Travel Experiences on Board and Ashore

MIAMI, Aug. 21 - Ultra luxury small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line has announced an initial roster of celebrities and experts who will participate in the line's celebrated Dress Circle onboard enrichment program on every cruise this year and next. They comprise a veritable Who's Who of personalities from the fields of music, theater, film, television, journalism, literature, history, geography, politics, food and wine.

According to Richard Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing, "Seabourn's Dress Circle is different from other lines' enrichment because our ships are different from other ships. We invite people who are interesting and accessible, who fit in to the relaxed, club-like social atmosphere on our ships. They aren't there just to lecture. They really share the journey as shipmates."

Among the famous personalities in the group are:

Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, Actors, TV's L.A. Law odd-couple; September 7, 2002 Legend

Paul Theroux , Author; October 5, 2002 Legend

Rhonda Fleming, Actress, philanthropist; February 15, 2003 Legend

Alan Arkin, Actor; May 25 and June 1, 2003 Spirit

Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated Senior Contributing Writer, author and sports commentator; June 15, 2003 Legend

Joy Philbin, TV host, and her husband, millionaire-maker Regis; June 17, 2003 Pride

Tom Smothers, comedy icon and winemaker; July 27, 2003 Legend

Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy, TV's smartest quiz show; October 12, 2003 Spirit

Dixie Carter, comedic actress and star of TV's Designing Women; Cruise TBA

Gregory Hines, multi-talented dancer, singer and actor; Cruise TBA

Another important aspect of the Dress Circle program provides experts in the history, culture, politics and geography of the ships' destinations. Here, too, Seabourn excels in providing scholars whose exceptional wealth of knowledge and experience add insight and richness to guests' experiences of the places they visit. A brief summary of some of Seabourn's Dress Circle destination speakers includes:

Theodore K. Rabb, Professor of History at Princeton University, has also taught at Stanford, Northwestern, Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities. Among Dr. Rabb's many humanities awards are those from the Ford, Pew and Guggenheim Foundations.

Robin Winks has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He is currently the Townsend Professor in History at Yale. The first American to be named Winston Churchill Lecturer, he also taught history at Oxford University as the Eastman Professor.

Sherrod McCall's 35 year career in the U.S. Foreign Service spanned Europe, Asia and Latin America. Postings included Moscow, NATO territories, Taipei and Hong Kong. In Beijing, the Mandarin-speaker aided the establishment of U. S. diplomatic relations.

Col. John Haseman became an authority on Southeast Asian political affairs through his 18 years of service in Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. He was Defense and Army Attache in Burma during the pro-democracy movement and in Indonesia, where he espoused independence for East Timor.

Dr. Lawrence Herson is a Professor Emeritus at Ohio State University, where he was also Dean of Arts and Sciences. An election analyst for CBS and PBS television networks, he has taught at Northwestern, Indiana, Baylor and Wisconsin and Wilton Park, the British Foreign Office Academy.

Ambassador Richard Tallboys has had a distinguished career in global trade and diplomacy. He served as trade commissioner for Australia in Africa, Singapore, and Indonesia and as senior diplomat for the United Kingdom in Brazil, the U.S., South Korea and Cambodia as well as ambassador to Vietnam. 

For more information about Dress Circle or The Yachts of Seabourn, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

The Yachts of Seabourn provide the ultimate in small-ship, ultra-luxury cruise vacations to the most desirable destinations on earth. The Seabourn fleet includes Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. Seabourn Cruise Line is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises. Together, these member lines share a commitment to quality and value, offering cruise vacations that appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets and sail to some of the world's most exciting destinations.

Back to  the top of the news list

This Fall, Celebrate America's Heritage With Pride on an Ultra Luxury Cruise of the Nation's Historic Harbors

MIAMI, Aug. 20 - The cities that shaped America's early history are a treasure trove of touristic attractions, drawing visitors from coast to coast and around the world. This autumn, travelers can experience these cities from the comfort and elegance of the ultra luxury all-suite Seabourn Pride.

Because the intimate, 208-guest ship can navigate rivers and other restricted waterways where larger ships cannot follow, guests will enjoy a privileged proximity to each port's highlights. Overnight stays offer added time to explore both Philadelphia and the nation's capital.

Departing from New York on October 28, 2002, the 13-night cruise visits Newport, Rhode Island, which boasts the largest collection of original colonial homes in the country, as well as the palatial "cottages" of industrial barons.

The ship then overnights in Philadelphia, docked within walking distance of Constitution Hall, the Liberty Bell and other major attractions. Likewise, in Baltimore, the ship's berth is central to the city's redeveloped Harborplace historic waterfront.

An overnight stay at Alexandria, Virginia, offers easy access to Washington, D.C. and its surrounds. There, guests will enjoy a complimentary Exclusively Seabourn visit to Mount Vernon, the country estate of George and Martha Washington. Next day, Yorktown, Virginia allows a visit to the "living museum" of Colonial Williamsburg.

The antebellum charms of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia will seduce the most jaded traveler with their lovingly preserved homes, gardens, cobbled streets and tranquil squares.

The past gives way to the future as the ship visits Port Canaveral, Florida, home of America's space shuttle program, before concluding in Nassau, Bahamas.

With Early Booking Savings of up to 25 percent, fares for the 13-day cruise start from $6,997 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot Seabourn suite. For information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

Back to  the top of the news list

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces New Ship for 2004
"Project America'' Hull to Become Newest Freestyle Cruising Ship

MIAMI, Aug. 19, 2002 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced today that it will add another 2,000-guest ship purpose-built for Freestyle Cruising to its rapidly modernizing fleet. The yet-to-be-named ship will be delivered in spring of 2004 in time for the summer season.

NCL has contracted with Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) to buy all of the materials and equipment and the work performed to date on the two "Project America" vessels under construction at Northrop's Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi. The substantially completed hull of the first vessel, plus all of the associated equipment and materials, will be transported to Europe, where work will be completed in one of the major cruise ship building yards. NCL is in advanced discussions with European yards to determine which one will complete the ship.

"The acquisition of the 'Project America' assets was prompted by the success of Freestyle Cruising, the tremendous reception we have had to Norwegian Sun and Star, and the need to add ships as soon as possible after the delivery of Norwegian Dawn, our last scheduled new build, in December 2002," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL.

The original design of the "Project America" ship has been modified and will sail under the NCL brand as the latest addition to the company's revolutionary Freestyle Cruising fleet.

"We were impressed with the initial creative design of the ship," Veitch said. "Now with the changes we have made, she will be an outstanding addition to our fleet, bringing to four the number of new purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships we will introduce between 2001 and 2004."

In keeping with the groundbreaking Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star (both introduced in the fall of 2001) and Norwegian Dawn (a 2,200-passenger sister ship to Norwegian Star), the new ship will feature many of the innovative hallmarks of NCL, including open-seating main dining rooms, multiple dining choices (eight restaurants), an Internet Cafe, state-of-the-art entertainment venues, three pools, an expansive spa and health and fitness center, extensive children's facilities and an abundance of spacious public rooms.

Eighty percent of the staterooms will have an ocean view, with 85 percent of those including private balconies - a total of five decks with private balconies.

As with all Freestyle Cruising ships, guests will enjoy no fixed meal times, no assigned dining companions, resort-casual dress code, no cash-tipping, and a relaxed resort-style ambience.

Once the completion of the first vessel is under way, NCL will explore the feasibility of completing the second vessel based on the work in progress and materials that have been purchased as part of the deal with NGSS.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is an international cruise company and industry innovator that currently operates a fleet of eight ships sailing to more than 140 ports around the world. For further information on NCL, 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 web site at

Back to  the top of the news list

In a Cruise Industry First, Travelers Can Learn A Language Aboard Crystal Symphony's 2003 World Cruise
Tommy Tune, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Winters and Lucie Arnaz Headline All-Star Entertainment & Enrichment Lineup on Antarctica & Australia Itinerary

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 - In a cruise industry first, Crystal Cruises is introducing a progressive curriculum of complimentary French and Spanish instruction on Crystal Symphony's 104-day 2003 World Cruise, its newest addition to the grand voyage's substantial enrichment roster. Beginning courses with emphasis on a working language knowledge for travelers will also be available on each of five shorter segments, ranging in length from 18 to 27 days. Crystal Symphony's journey departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 19, 2003 and visits 37 ports of call in 15 countries.

"We know that continuing education and enrichment is of great importance to our guests. Crystal Symphony's three-month world cruise offers a unique opportunity to visit a variety of destinations, make new friends, enjoy new experiences and follow an accelerated program of study," says Adam Leavitt, senior vice president, marketing.

The language curriculum is another educational addition to the Crystal Visions Enrichment Program that includes Computer University@Sea, wine and food appreciation classes, accredited bridge instruction, dance lessons and golf clinics led by PGA(R) professionals, as well as a comprehensive lecture series.

"Our philosophy in scripting the entertainment and enrichment program for our eighth annual World Cruise is grounded in providing a balance of name entertainment, and a provocative and engaging enrichment and lecture series," continues Leavitt. "We have paid particular attention to our inaugural visit to Antarctica and our first-ever circumnavigation of Australia, assembling an impressive roster of destination experts and dignitaries who will provide our guests with up-close and personal insights into these two fascinating continents."

In keeping with the line's tradition of top name entertainment and intellectual programming for its annual World Cruise, the 2003 journey to Antarctica and around Australia features stars of the stage and screen, masters of comedy, decorated Olympians, noted diplomats and ambassadors, celebrated authors, and renowned scientists and explorers.

Tommy Tune & The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Winters, and Lucie Arnaz headline the playbill of celebrity entertainment confirmed to date. They are joined by an internationally renowned team of experts on Antarctica and Australia, for destination-specific lectures.

Crystal Firsts: Antarctica Discovered & Australia Revealed
The mystery and intrigue of "The White Continent" is discovered through a series of engaging presentations by some of the world's leading names in science and conservation: Dr. Harm deBlij, was the popular Geography Editor on ABC's "Good Morning America" for seven years; conservationist and zoologist Peter Carey, Ph.D., one of New Zealand's premier research scientists, has made 50 trips to Antarctica; part adventurer, part scientist, Malcolm Macfarlane's devotion to Antarctica is evidenced by his 42 trips to the continent, totaling more than 1,300 days; and, conservationist Bill Toone of the Zoological Society of San Diego who won international acclaim for his efforts to restore the critically endangered California condor.

Crystal's circumnavigation of "The Land Down Under" traces Australia's exotic coasts, from the cosmopolitan cities of the southeast to the frontier lands of the west to the tropical rainforests in the north. The dramatic differences of each of the continent's six diverse states and territories -- Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, The Northern Territories, Queensland, and New South Wales -- is revealed through presentations shared by local government officials and dignitaries from the respective regions.

Legendary Entertainers
With a nod toward the nostalgic, Crystal's 2003 World Cruise presents some of America's favorite names in entertainment. Nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune, who has performed for three U.S. presidents, the Queen of England and the Royal Family of Monaco, is joined by pop masters The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, known for their polished performances of American popular music from the '20s, '30s, and '40s. The musical scores and songs of legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch have earned him a permanent place in the hearts of people the world over, as well as three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, one Tony and three Golden Globe awards. His groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, received the Pulitzer Prize. A one-man theatrical troupe, Jonathan Winters' improvisational genius entertains with the comedic characters, voices and sound effects that have made him a favorite of Americans of all ages. The daughter of America's first couple of comedy, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz has cemented her own footprints in history as an actress, singer, dancer, producer, director, and most notably, Broadway star.

Olympic Heroes
Crystal's Olympic program has become a staple of its World Cruises, and in 2003 the line will again host an impressive roster of Olympians onboard to share their inspirational stories of commitment, sacrifice, and ultimate victory: Patty McCormack, a four-time gold medalist in diving at the 1952 and 1956 games is also the mother of an Olympic silver medalist; Louis Zamperini, the first American to finish the 5,000 meter run in the 1936 Olympics, survived a plane crash in the South Pacific, adrift for 47 days in an open raft; Donna de Varona won two gold medals in swimming in 1964 and has since achieved many "firsts" in the world of women's sports, also a candidate to become the next USOC President; Billy Mills, America's first Native American gold medalist, overcame prejudice to win a huge upset gold in the Rome 10,000 meter run; four-time Olympian Dan Jansen, one of the most accomplished sprinters in speed skating history, conquered emotional adversity to win the gold in the 1,000 meters in Lillehammer; in 1976 John Naber became the most highly decorated member of the U.S. Olympic Team, winning four gold metals and one silver, and setting four world records in swimming.

In what has become tradition, the line will again host Crystal's World Cruise Olympic Games, an annual event inviting guests to compete in a variety of sporting events on the many days at sea. The Olympians are on hand to cheer on guests and preside over the awarding of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the end of each heat, in addition to doing lecture presentations.

Ambassadors and Diplomats
Tapping into the intellectual curiosity of its guests, the 2003 World Cruise will feature lectures from noted statesmen such as: Marc Ginsberg, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Morocco from 1994 to 1998 as well as Deputy Senior Advisor to President Carter for Middle East Policy (1978-1981); and, Tex Harris, a 35-year career veteran in the State Department and recipient of its highest award, and former President of the American Foreign Service Association whose final diplomatic assignment was to Melbourne.

An All-Star Cast
Known for its commitment to delivering award-winning entertainment and enrichment programming, Crystal's 2003 World Cruise will also feature: Broadway vocalist Dale Kristien reprising her "Phantom of the Opera" performances among others; "Showboat" star Michel Bell; Tony-award winning vocalist Michael Maguire; Broadway performer and soap star Bill Hayes renowned for his rendition of The Ballad of Davy Crockett and a regular cast member on "Your Show of Shows;" Emmy-award winning cinematographer, oceanographer and diver Charles "Chuck" Nicklin whose credits include "The Abyss" and "The Deep;" award-winning medical writer Ruth Jacobowitz, author of the highly acclaimed "The Estrogen Answer Book."

The experts, educators and entertainers confirmed for Crystal's 2003 World Cruise will be joined by a host of distinguished performers and speakers including gemologists, performers from the Juilliard School of Music, and more.

"World Value Fares" for the full 2003 World Cruise start at $41,455 per person, double occupancy, and include round-trip First or Business Class air transportation (depending on stateroom category) from a Crystal Cruises North American air gateway city, private car airport/ship/home transfers, pre-paid gratuities, $1,000 shipboard spending credit, luxury overnight hotel accommodations and gala bon voyage party in Ft. Lauderdale the night before embarkation, as well as overnight programs and exclusive events in key destinations, such as Buenos Aires and Sydney.

Cruise fares for five shorter World Voyages begin at $7,610 per person, double occupancy, and include a complimentary pre-cruise, hotel package. Complimentary air transportation is also included for guests who sail for two or more of the World Voyages. Guests booking a single World Voyage option can also take advantage of specially priced airfares.

The 50,000-ton, 940-guest Crystal Symphony is one of the most spacious and luxurious sailing vessels in the world. Its 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 2003 World Cruise brochure, or for any worldwide destination, call 800.820.6663. Visit the luxury cruise line's website at

Back to  the top of the news list

Norwegian Dawn to Premiere in December
Sister Ship to Norwegian Star to Also Feature 10 Restaurants and Two Garden Villas

MIAMI, Aug. 19 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is proud to announce that its new up and coming star, Norwegian Dawn, the sister-ship to Norwegian Star and the third ship purpose-built for Freestyle Cruising, is on schedule to be delivered to NCL on Thursday, December 5, 2002.

The 91,740-ton Norwegian Dawn, now under construction at the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Germany, will sail from Southampton, England on December 7th arriving in New York City on December 14, 2002. From there, NCL will roll out the red carpet for its inaugural festivities in New York and Miami before the ship begins her regularly scheduled sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from the port of Miami on December 21, 2002.

"Norwegian Star has generated a lot of buzz in the industry with its revolutionary 10 restaurants, largest suites afloat, vibrant public rooms and groundbreaking itinerary in Hawaii," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Norwegian Dawn will feature all of those great attributes and more except she will be home ported in the East Coast, where it will be a quick drive or flight to enjoy and experience. Like her sister- ship, Norwegian Dawn will offer a revolutionary itinerary, using her great speed to offer seven-day roundtrip cruises out of New York calling on four ports in the Bahamas and Florida: Nassau, NCL's private island Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida."

From Miami, Norwegian Dawn will rotate an Eastern and Western Caribbean itinerary through May 3, 2003. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, USVI; Tortola, BVI and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. The Western Caribbean itinerary calls at either Montego Bay or Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Rates for either itinerary start from $799 per person.

On May 3, 2003 Norwegian Dawn repositions to New York on a 14-day cruise from Miami to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; St. Georges, Grenada; Roseau, Dominica; St. Thomas, USVI; Tortola, BVI; Newport, Rhode Island and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts before arriving in Manhattan.

The ship begins her innovative summer season from New York on May 18, 2003 to begin a series of seven-day sailings to the Bahamas and Florida.

Ports of call on this innovative itinerary include Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay, Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida, and guests have the additional option of embarking in Port Canaveral as well.

The Star of the East
Norwegian Dawn will be NCL's largest ship, accommodating 2,224 passengers and 1,112 crew, and is being built at the maximum size to fit through the Panama Canal. The ship will be fitted with pod drives, which substantially improve maneuverability, and like Norwegian Star, will cruise at a maximum speed of 25 knots.

Norwegian Dawn will also feature NCL's new standards in cabins, with rich cherry wood finishing, refrigerators, tea and coffee makers in every room, and a much larger bathroom unit than other ships, containing separate WC, shower, and washstand compartments separated by sliding doors. Seventy percent of cabins are outside staterooms and over 70 percent of these have balconies.

Thirty-four suites, 366 standard staterooms with balconies, and an entire deck of 107 mini-suites with balconies are among the spacious and well- appointed accommodations located on the 15-deck ship. There also will be 20 cabins of various categories designed for passengers with disabilities.

Most cabins will include a sofa-bed or pop-up trundle bed giving a third lower bed and many will have a fourth, pull-down berth. The ship also will offer a large number of cabins (including suites and mini-suites) that can interconnect to create a two, three, four or five bedroom area suitable for small or large families.

Norwegian Dawn's Garden Villas - Fit For A Star
Norwegian Dawn offers the ultimate opportunity to cruise in style with the spectacular Garden Villa suites.

At a cost of $26,000 per week, each of Norwegian Dawn's two Garden Villa suites offer an unprecedented 5,350 square feet of living space at sea. Positioned high atop the vessel in a private area aft of the main sundeck, each Garden Villa features sweeping views of the ocean and an impressive assortment of amenities usually found only at five-star land-based resorts.

Inside, the villa offers a large dining room, living room with a state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen entertainment center, three bedrooms each featuring floor to ceiling windows and luxurious baths with a whirlpool tub and a separate shower. Outside, the suites feature private rooftop terraces, Jacuzzis, outdoor dining, gardens and secluded relaxation areas.

Garden Villas are ideal for guests who enjoy entertaining. Each dining room includes a polished teak table seating eight and a private butler -- another featured amenity -- to serve meals in courses. Garden Villa guests can select from any shipboard menu they choose or have a special menu prepared upon request.

The luxuries extend to the outer deck, where guests will find lush private gardens and terraces finished in glass and steel. From here, suite occupants and their guests can enjoy open-air dining, a Jacuzzi designed to hold up to six people, two couple's steam rooms (each accommodating two people) and completely private areas for sunbathing and relaxing designed to entertain up to 100 people.

A Stellar Line-Up of Culinary Options
Like Norwegian Star, this ship offers more dining options than any other ship in the world, with the flexibility of 10 different restaurants and 11 different menus every night. Guests can choose from three main restaurants and an array of seven alternative restaurants, including:

* Venetian -- an ornate main restaurant offering the traditional six-course dining experience;
* Aqua -- a modern main restaurant featuring a lighter, more contemporary menu;
* Impressions -- a 1900s Grand French restaurant featuring wall-to-wall impressionist artwork, the ship's third main restaurant;
* The Orient -- a Japanese/Thai/Chinese restaurant complex featuring an a la carte menu, a sushi and tempura bar and a teppanyaki room;
* The Steak House -- Featuring an array of Prime USDA cuts of beef, including filet mignon, prime rib and New York strip steaks as well as a selection of lamb, poultry and seafood entrees; 
* Le Bistro -- NCL's signature restaurant featuring the line's trademark menu of nouvelle cuisine and French classics;
* Salsas -- a modern South American restaurant and bar with a full selection of hot and cold Tapas dishes and authentic entertainment;
* La Trattoria -- an Italian-styled restaurant featuring red and white checkered tablecloths, Chianti bottles and a menu offering pasta, pizza and other popular Italian fare;
* Garden Cafe/Kids Cafe -- an indoor/outdoor buffet restaurant extending over a third of a deck that features action stations with prepared-to-order omelets, waffles, fruit, soups, ethnic specialties and pasta in addition to extensive and varied selections arranged along 130 yards of buffet serving counters. Kids Cafe features pint-sized tables, chairs and buffet counter serving pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries;
* Blue Lagoon -- a food court-styled casual eatery featuring hamburgers, fish & chips, potpies and wok fast dishes. 

In addition, Norwegian Dawn will offer an array of casual snacking and cafe outlets, including an on-deck grill, an ice cream bar, a coffee shop and 24-hour hot and cold room service.

Amenities Enhance Guest Experience
Norwegian Dawn will also offer plenty of opportunities for those passengers who wish to work off any unwanted pounds. The Sports Deck will contain a basketball, volleyball and soccer court, while a two-deck fitness and spa center will boast state-of-the-art cardiovascular workout equipment, aerobic and yoga area with a sprung wooden floor, steam and sauna rooms, a jet-current exercise pool, an indoor lap pool, whirlpool and hydrotherapy pool.

Hawaiian-based Mandara Spa, the world's leading operator of landside resort spas, will pamper NCL guests with an exotic menu of spa and beauty treatments combing the best of East and West.

The ship will be particularly family-friendly with a huge children's center complete with a playroom, outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, movie theater, computer rooms, teen center, video arcade, a nursery and toddlers' nap room. There will even be a special children's area in the buffet restaurant with their own low-level serving counter and kid-sized tables and chairs.

In addition, one of the ship's most distinctive attractions will be the Stardust Theater, reaching up three decks and seating an audience of 1,150 in a traditional European opera house ambiance.

For further information on NCL, 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 web site at

Back to  the top of the news list

National Historic Landmark Delta Queen Celebrates Diamond Jubilee
Only Steamboat to Transit the Panama Canal Sets Sail Aug. 26 for First Cruise of 2002

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 19 - "Full Steam Ahead!" On Aug. 26, the authentic steam-powered paddle wheeler Delta Queen sets sail from New Orleans on her 2002 inaugural journey, commemorating 75 years of service. The anniversary cruise is the first since the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, America's continuously operating cruise line, was acquired in May by Delaware North Companies (DNC), a global leader in hospitality, retail and food service management.

"This 75th anniversary celebration will highlight the features that have made the Delta Queen a favorite of steamboating enthusiasts, Americana travelers and river lovers," said Dennis Szefel, DNC Hospitality and Entertainment Group president. "Delaware North Companies is honored to support an American tradition that cherishes and embraces the bygone era of the riverboat, especially during such a milestone year."

The Delta Queen's Diamond Jubilee kicks off Aug. 26 with a patriotic VIP birthday party at the ship's homeport of New Orleans and a three-night, round-trip cruise on the Mississippi River. Recently recognized by Travel+Leisure's Reader's Poll (August 2002) as one of the Top 10 Cruise Lines, the Delta Queen Steamboat Company has announced that the Delta Queen's next anniversary cruise is set for Aug. 29 from New Orleans to Memphis.

"The Delta Queen has truly been part of America's river heritage -- having transported passengers along the country's waterways, served in World War II, and hosted numerous dignitaries and celebrities," added Szefel. "Passengers are always treated as welcomed guests."

History of the Delta Queen
Dubbed "the river's reigning monarch," the Delta Queen was launched in 1927 to carry cars and passengers between San Francisco and Sacramento. In 1947, it became the only steamboat to transit the Panama Canal to its current home on the Mississippi River system. The Delta Queen is 285 feet long and has 87 staterooms and capacity for 174 guests. It's actually the only wooden-sided steamboat still cruising inland waterways with overnight passengers.

A classic California steamer with a single stack and forward-sitting pilothouse, the Delta Queen has been recognized again and again for the true-to-history experience it offers passengers. The paddlewheeler has hosted numerous luminaries including Presidents Hoover, Truman and Carter and Princess Margaret. In 1989, the Queen became a National Historic Landmark.

Today, Delta Queen travelers enjoy tales about the boat's history and friendly resident ghost, the paddlewheel culture and river lore; calliope concerts; sing-alongs; pilothouse tours; engine room viewings; culinary demonstrations and more.

For reservations, contact a professional travel agent. For more information on the Delta Queen's 75th anniversary, call the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, toll-free at 800/543-1949; or visit their Web site at

About Delta Queen Steamboat Company
The Delta Queen Steamboat Company is America's oldest continuously operating cruise line, offering 3- to 11-night river cruises throughout the Heartland and Old South. The company, which traces its roots to 1890, boasts authentic steam-powered paddle wheelers Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen. These vessels cruise on the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, and on the Intracoastal Waterway in Louisiana and Texas.

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company is headquartered in New Orleans, its homeport for more than 15 years. The company hosts nearly 30,000 visitors annually in New Orleans and other ports regularly visited by the steamboats.

Back to  the top of the news list

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