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News from the world of cruising ~
September 1-15, 2002

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

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Court Rejects Norwegian Cruise Line's Position on Americans with Disabilities Act

HOUSTON, Sept. 13 -- A Texas federal judge's ruling allows the discrimination claims of disabled cruise line passengers to go forward against Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL).

In a September 9, 2002 ruling, U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey rejected Miami-based NCL's argument that foreign-flagged ships do not have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

According to Edwards & George, LLP, of Houston, which represents the plaintiffs in the case, NCL ships that sailed out of the Port of Houston denied mobility-impaired passengers access to programs, services and facilities available to other passengers. NCL also charged mobility-impaired passengers surcharges for use of accessible cabins and for assistance from crew members, according to the claims.

"NCL is headquartered in Miami, and the vast majority of its cruises are purchased by Americans," attorney Brady Edwards said. "However, NCL takes the position that American laws simply do not apply to their ships. We are hopeful that this court opinion will change NCL's conduct."

The case, Douglas Spector, et al., v. Norwegian Cruise Line Limited d/b/a Norwegian Cruise Line,  is pending against NCL in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

In addition to Edwards & George, the plaintiffs also are represented by Bruckner Burch PLLC, of Houston.

Copies of the Memorandum and Order are available from the Court or may be requested from:

   Brady Edwards
   Edwards & George, LLP
   5847 San Felipe, Suite 2375
   Houston, Texas 77057
   (713) 339-3233
   (713) 339-2233 (fax)

Edwards & George, LLP, a law firm with offices in Houston and Dallas, is active in major civil litigation cases pending in federal and state courts in Texas and throughout the United States. For more information, contact Mr. Edwards or the firm's Web site at

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FTC Staff Said Unopposed to Cruise Bids

WASHINGTON, Wed Sep 11 - Antitrust staff at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday recommended that the agency not oppose the acquisition of P&O Princess Cruises Plc by either Carnival Corp. or Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, sources close to the deal said.

Even though either deal would reduce the number of competitors in the cruise business, the FTC's competition bureau told the agency's five commissioners that the companies would be unable to raise prices as a result, one source said.

FTC spokesman Derick Rill said the agency was reviewing the matter but declined to discuss the case further. The final decision requires a vote by the FTC's five commissioners. Either deal would combine two of the world's top three cruise lines. One of the sources close to case said the proposed mergers could still run into opposition from some of the commissioners in spite of the recommendation.

"There are some questions among some of the commissioners about this," this source said. "The commission is not a rubber stamp."

Antitrust enforcers at the European Commission have already approved both merger proposals.

The merger of P&O Princess and Royal Caribbean, announced in November, would combine the No. 2 and No. 3 cruise lines. Carnival, which came out with a competing bid for P&O a month later, is the world's biggest cruise line.

The cruise line mergers have provoked opposition from some consumer groups. In July the Washington-based American Antitrust Institute said either deal would "present a substantial risk of anti-competitive effects." Lawyers for the cruise companies won over the FTC's competition bureau by using detailed data on cruise pricing to argue that they could not use their increased size to raise ticket prices, the sources said. By Peter Kaplan

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New Pacific Princess to Set Sail in Alaska
Princess to Base Small Ship in San Francisco for 11-Day Sailings in 2003

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. Sept. 9, 2002 - Princess Cruises announced that its new Pacific Princess will be joining the company's 2003 Alaska fleet, offering 11-day roundtrip voyages from San Francisco. The small 688-passenger vessel, formerly sailing for Renaissance Cruises, will reposition to Alaska after cruising in French Polynesia and, for sister company P&O Cruises Australia, in the South Pacific. Pacific Princess will offer 10 departures between May 29 and September 5, 2003 on an Inside Passage itinerary that includes calls at Victoria or Vancouver, Ketchikan or Sitka, Skagway and Juneau, plus sailing through the dramatic glaciers, rock walls and waterfalls of Tracy Arm and the twin Sawyer Glaciers.

"This new addition to Princess' fleet is enabling us to return to San Francisco next year with a very distinctive summer Alaska program," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "San Francisco has historically been a great summer home port for us, and now passengers can combine the convenience and appeal of departing from this world-class city, with sailing on a small ship that offers 'big ship choice.'"

The line's "new" 30,227-ton Pacific Princess, built in 1999, will feature a boutique version of Princess' Personal Choice Cruising experience, with two-thirds of the outside cabins featuring Princess' trademark balconies, plus alternative dining in a variety of different restaurants. "I can't think of a better way to experience the stunning Alaska scenery than from a private balcony," added Brown.

The vessel will join six other Princess ships in Alaska next summer: Coral Princess, Island Princess, Dawn Princess and Sun Princess sailing the Gulf of Alaska route, as well as Diamond Princess and Star Princess which will debut first-time round-trip Inside Passage cruises from Seattle.

"With two new spectacular ships sailing roundtrip from Seattle and a small, intimate ship sailing from San Francisco, our Alaska/Inside Passage itineraries will be hard to beat," said Brown. "And for the maximum Alaska experience, we'll again have four ships sailing across the Gulf of Alaska, which can be linked with one of our famous wilderness land tours."

Pacific Princess will be operating on a split deployment, sailing half the year as part of the Princess Cruises fleet, and the other half for the P&O Cruises Australia brand during their summer cruise season. Following the 2003 Alaska season, the ship will return to the French Polynesia region to join her sister ship Tahitian Princess, with a series of sailings beginning on October 3, 2003.

Early booking fares for Pacific Princess Alaska voyages start at $1,349 per person, double occupancy. Passengers can also choose to extend their vacation with a Princess Cruise Plus package to enjoy extra time in the "City by the Bay." One- and two-night packages are available and begin at $179 per person.

More information about Princess' Alaska schedules and fares is available through a professional travel agent.

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Seattle, September 6, 2002 - Holland America Line is offering AARP's more than 35 million members a savings of up to $200 per cabin booked on Holland America cruises. 

"Holland America enjoys a stellar reputation among travelers over the age of 50," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president of marketing and sales, Holland America Line. "We're enthusiastic about using this partnership to welcome AARP members who want a vacation matched to their lifestyle and preferences." 

AARP members will save $200 per cabin on cruises of 10 days or longer, $100 per cabin on cruises from seven to nine days and $50 per cabin on cruises of six or fewer days. AARP members may book up to four cabins with the discount, permitting travel with friends and family. Proof of membership is required. AARP members can learn about the offer on the AARP Web Place at as well as through their travel agents. 

Giersdorf added, "Our AARP Privileges savings also apply nicely to a quickly growing area of the travel industry - multi-generational and family reunion travel. With our ability to provide a high level of comfort, service and enjoyable activities to baby boomers, seniors and kids alike, we are already seeing growing numbers of cross-generational families traveling on our cruises." 

"As more of our members search for multi-generational travel experiences, we're pleased to make available these special savings from Holland America through our AARP Privileges Program," said Hal Norvell, Manager, Personal Enrichment, AARP Services, Inc. "Our members have long enjoyed the outstanding quality and service that have always been a hallmark of Holland America." 

According to the Travel Industry Association, nearly 20 percent of travel in 2001 spanned three generations. Ranked as the top premium cruise line in the world in several magazine polls, Holland America offers cruises on 11 ships to all seven continents, featuring Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, Asia/South Pacific, Canada/New England, South America with Antarctica, and a 108-day Grand World Voyage. Holland America's premium cruises feature spacious staterooms, superb dining, renowned service, casino, first-rate entertainment, duty-free on-board shops, internet centers, the Club HAL kid's program, complete fitness centers and popular "tipping not required" and "cashless" ship policies.

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Royal Caribbean Declares Dividend 

MIAMI, Sept. 5 -- The Board of Directors of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has declared a quarterly dividend of 13 cents per share for shareholders of record at the close of business on September 17, 2002, payable on September 30, 2002. This is the 36th consecutive quarter Royal Caribbean's Board of Directors has voted to declare a dividend to shareholders.

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Yoga Adds Balance to Crystal Cruises' 2003 Theme Roster Featuring Food, Wine & the Musical Arts
Luxury Line Debuts New Musical Theatre Theme & 
Announces Most Extensive Program Ever

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4 -- From the classic to the contemporary, Crystal Cruises' line-up of 2003 Theme Cruises awakens the senses and engages the imagination with a vast selection of itineraries featuring celebrations of health and spirit, as well as food, wine, music and film. A Musical Theater cruise showcasing selections from West End to Broadway debuts in 2003, joining an encore collection of the award-winning line's most popular programs including: Yoga, Health & Fitness, Crystal Wine & Food Festival, Classical Music, Jazz & Blues, Big Band, Opera, '70s Music, Film Festival, and Murder Mystery.

Thirty-three of the 70 worldwide itineraries offered in 2003 aboard Crystal's fleet of three luxury ships -- Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony, and the new Crystal Serenity, launching in July 2003 -- are dedicated theme cruises, representing the most extensive theme program the line has ever offered.

"Our Theme Cruises occupy a very prominent place in our overall entertainment portfolio, and are an example of our commitment to deliver a value-added vacation experience that is interactive, stimulating, and fun," says Adam Leavitt, senior vice president, marketing.

The 2003 Theme Cruise roster offers itineraries of nine to 27 days in Australia, Asia, the Pacific, the Atlantic, Alaska, Canada, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, South America, New England, Europe, and the Mediterranean.

A cornerstone of Crystal's theme cruise program is its highly regarded Crystal Wine & Food Festival, now in its ninth year. On 15 different sailings to 12 destinations, the world's most prominent and well recognized culinary masters, wine experts and celebrity chefs come aboard to share their passion for all things culinary. Guests participate in wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and gala dinners.

Crystal's Yoga, Health & Fitness series continues to expand with three cruises designed to recharge, rejuvenate and revitalize. Invigorating instructors, best-selling authors and motivating lecturers provide inspiration and instruction on total health, finding inner peace, and spirituality.

Music is celebrated with Big Bands such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and guest vocalists who perform perennial favorites for nightly dancing and other musical sets; Classical Music soloists and chamber orchestras, typically from The Juilliard School of Music, host full evening concerts, matinee recitals and tea-time performances; renowned sopranos and tenors fill Crystal Harmony with Opera's favorite arias, duets and operettas; a headline performer highlights Popular Music of the '70s, a nostalgic salute to the decade that brought us disco dance anthems, Studio 54 and John Travolta; and Jazz & Blues ensembles representing America's top talent provide soulful sounds on a cruise that steams into the blues capital of New Orleans.

Two Film Festival cruises salute American motion pictures with a serious yet entertaining look at the history of cinema and the stars of the silver screen. An interactive Murder Mystery cruise returns for a second year, tapping into the curiosity, intrigue and puzzle-solving skills of modern day Agatha Christies.

Since the 1995 launch of the Wine & Food Festival, Crystal has been at the industry forefront of creative and enriching onboard entertainment and programming. Redefining the mid-sized luxury cruise experience, the line recently announced another progressive element to its entertainment roster with its Repertory Theatre at Sea, featuring a selection of renowned comedic and light dramatic works performed by troupes of professional actors on every Crystal sailing. The Crystal Visions Enrichment Program features speakers from a broad range of disciplines, such as politics, academia, science, journalism, and the Arts.

Crystal's commitment to providing the most comprehensive, enriching and experiential entertainment for its discerning guests is consistently awarded the highest scores in readers' surveys conducted by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines.

The line's Six-Star rated 50,000-ton, 940-guest sister ships Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, are two of the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising the world. Their unique size in the luxury market allows for smooth sailing and a wide range of innovative facilities, generous amenities and elegantly-appointed accommodations, more than half of which offer private verandahs.

In July 2003, the line will welcome its newest ship, the 68,000-ton, 1,080-guest Crystal Serenity, featuring a higher space-per-guest ratio than her sister ships. Plans include expanded areas for spa services and other athletic, cultural and intellectual pursuits. Within a range of luxury accommodations, the line will increase its number of penthouses and enlarge its deluxe staterooms with verandahs. Approximately 85% of its all outside staterooms and suites will offer private verandahs.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary 2003 Cruise Atlas, call 800.820.6663. Visit the luxury liner's website at

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New Travel Agency Opens With an Eye for Entertainment 
Sixth Star Travel Targets Theme Cruises and Luxury Travel 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 4 -- Sixth Star Travel, a new full-service travel agency based in Fort Lauderdale, opened its doors today with a unique twist. In addition to luxury travel planning, the company specializes in entertainment-based theme cruises, a burgeoning travel product that has been largely under-promoted by cruise lines and subsequently, overlooked by most travel agencies.

Well qualified to specialize in both realms, the company was co-founded by two respected names in the travel/cruise industry: luxury sales specialist Jeannie Cartier Sauleau, who recently sold her top-producing Virtuoso agency, Cartier Travel & Cruises in St. Louis; and cruise industry veteran Doug Jones, former director of entertainment for Renaissance Cruises and founder of Sixth Star Entertainment & Marketing.

"While theme cruises abound, it's questionable how effective they've been in drawing passengers," says Jones, who admits it's not uncommon for passengers to board a ship without knowing that they are joining, for instance, a country or an opera cruise. "We want to fine-tune the operation and fill ships with passengers who book specifically for the theme."

Carving an entertainment-oriented niche for itself in the industry, Sixth Star Travel works in conjunction with sister company Sixth Star Entertainment & Marketing to provide a turn-key operation -- developing the theme concept, marketing to affinity groups and handling the on-board operation.

Sixth Star Travel is currently promoting three musically themed voyages for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. One sailing will be led by Richard Nader, producer of rock 'n' roll revival shows at Madison Square Garden.

While the agency is utilizing internet and direct marketing to support current cruises, future offerings may be promoted in conjunction with cable networks. Jones is currently in discussions with Showtime to develop a cruise surrounding one of the network's popular shows.

In addition to the theme-related portion of the business, Sixth Star Travel's management team is primed to build a strong clientele base on the luxury side.

Sauleau, president of the agency, has assembled a team of experienced travel professionals who specialize in custom travel and personalized service. Her new general manager is Jan Hammond, current president of ASTA's South Florida chapter and former founder/president of Carlson Wagonlit Travel/Travel Planners in Miami Lakes.

For more information, contact Sixth Star Travel at 866-576-7827, via e-mail at or visit the agency's interactive website at

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On Thursday, September 5, 2002, Jennifer Reynolds, Marketing Manager of Quasar Nautica/Galapagos Expeditions will be a guest of Sandy Dhuyvetter, host of Travel Talk Radio. This Internet travel program can be heard by logging on to from 9:00am-11:00am, Pacific time.

Located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are quite easy to get to and gaining in popularity with just about every market segment; from young and middle aged couples to retirees and even extended families.

Additionally, Jennifer will be hosting a session on Galapagos in the ICTA e-learning center on Wednesday October 9th at 3:00pm Eastern Standard Time. See for more information.

Take advantage of these opportunities to lean about the amazing Galapagos Islands! Visit Quasar Nautica online at and get an unbranded brochure at

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The World departs Europe for America

London, 9/3/02 - This week, The World of ResidenSea, the first-ever resort community at sea continuously navigating the globe, will be arriving in American waters following an enormously exciting and acclaimed five-month, 60-port, 21-country tour of Europe.

The World's itinerary in Europe included visits to the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix and the British Open in Scotland as well as stays of up to five days in some ports designed to give residents and guests the time to experience all the sights, sounds and flavours of Europe's most exciting countries.

Recently appointed to lead ResidenSea's transition from a developing company to an operating one, Robert Riley, formerly the president and CEO of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, is bullish on the future of his company's unique brand of travel. Riley states that the company is financially healthy and on target with its sales of residences. The substantial majority of apartments have been sold, and he is confident that business - even in a post-9/11 environment - will continue to grow as The World starts its US season. We are extremely excited finally to introduce the ship to the American market, which next to the European markets is a big market, where a lot of interest has been shown.

"The World is a revolutionary concept whose time has come. Luxury travel is inherently unregimented and our approach to cruising, with the ability to embark in any port of call, extended stays in highly desirable ports, a presence at major world events and luxurious accommodations, is exclusive to ResidenSea," said Riley. "The World is for the experienced and new cruisers alike. For the uninitiated, The World offers a luxury resort environment with the added bonus of multiple exciting destinations. And for the experienced, The World takes cruising into a new generation. While The World certainly is luxurious, the lifestyle isn't solely about luxury; it's also about adventure and exploration and cruising at your own pace."

Arriving in the US this week, The World will also be visiting Canadian Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Montreal; sailing the Cape Cod Canal to Martha's Vineyard; and visiting America's Eastern Seaboard from New York to Key West, the gateway to the colorful Caribbean. The World will spend her first autumn at sea at some of the most spectacular tropical islands in the world - including Grand Cayman, St Martin, Dominica, Barbados and Grenada - before sailing the Panama Canal to the west coast of Costa Rica, Mexico and the US, and arriving in magical Hawaii to see in 2003.

  • About The World

The World of ResidenSea is the first mixed-use resort ship at sea continuously circumnavigating the globe, comprised of 110 elegant, privately owned residences - many of which are available for rental - and 88 studio residences available for the high-end vacation market. Extended stays of up to five days are designed to give residents and guests the time to experience all the sights, sounds and flavours of the world's most exciting ports.

ResidenSea Ltd., in Nassau, The Bahamas, is the holding company of the Group. Its wholly owned subsidiaries, ResidenSea AS and ResidenSea (U.S.A.), Inc., are both service companies involved in the sales and marketing of the vessel "The World". The World of ResidenSea Ltd. is the ship-owning company.

Website:; purchase options: please call +1-305-264-9090; rental options (or to order a 2003 brochure): please call +1-305-779-3399

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Seattle - Holland America Line is introducing a new concept alternative restaurant on two of its premium cruise ships: The Pinnacle Grill, featuring fine Pacific Northwest specialties and wines. The new Pinnacle Grill will debut this October on the sister ships ms Statendam and ms Ryndam. The 66-seat Pinnacle Grill will be installed during the regularly scheduled dry-docks of the Statendam in Seattle from Sept. 23-Oct. 2 and on the Ryndam in Seattle Sept. 27-Oct. 5. The new 1,800-square-foot restaurant will be constructed in space formerly occupied by a portion of the Explorers Lounge and the Kings Room private dining area adjacent to the Rotterdam Dining Room on Upper Promenade Deck. 

"The Pinnacle Grill represents the best--literally, the pinnacle--of Pacific Northwest cuisine and style, in its seafood and steak menu, the high-quality ingredients, fine wines and elegant presentation," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "We are excited about this new addition to our S-class ships. The new concept will offer our guests even more options in Holland America's premium cruise experience." 

The décor of the Pinnacle Grills will feature rich warm fabrics in reds and golds, complemented by fine wood accents, representing the ambiance of the great Northwest. There will be many window tables for two, which will create a memorable and romantic dining experience afloat. A cozy Pinnacle Wine Bar, located within the restaurant, will offer carefully selected wines at its granite-topped bar from renowned pacific Northwest vineyards such as Chateau Ste. Michelle, Canoe Ridge, Willamette Valley Vineyards and Tualatin Estates. In addition, guests may sample specially created drinks such as a Northwest Apple Martini. 

"The Pinnacle Grill will offer a special dining venue with a contemporary design, while remaining true to the classic style of service," said Giersdorf. "Whenever possible, Northwest items will be used in preparation and noted on the menu, with all fruits and vegetables selected based on the season."

Guests will be greeted by a host, who will guide them to their table, where a waiter, wearing a crisp starched white Pinnacle logo jacket and tie, will seat them. At each setting will be a large Bvlgari "show plate." Other select china patterns have been chosen from Rosenthal in various shapes and sizes, with some representative of the Pacific Rim region. Additional tableware includes quality glassware from Reidel, tasteful white Frette linen, and an iron breadbasket, specially designed by Seattle artist Mary Gioia. A signature orchid in bud vase is centered on each table. 

To commence the culinary experience, guests will immediately be served a sampling hors d'oeuvre - possibly a pastry puff of Salmon Caviar and Crème Fraiche or a spoonful of Black Sesame Tuna Tartare with Soy-Ginger - presented in an Asian porcelain spoon. 

A typical evening's menu provides a wide selection of choices. For starters, guests may choose from dishes that may include an array of Cold Smoked Northwest Seafood and Cranberry Marmalade, Dungeness Crab Cakes in Brown Butter with Haystack-Fried Onions, Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon or Venison Carpaccio. Two signature soups will be offered, one a tomato-based Smoked Salmon Chowder and the other a Washington Baked Potato Soup with Applewood Smoked Bacon. The salad course features a Pinnacle Salad of mesclun greens, candied pecans and roasted Washington apples in an Oregon bleu cheese vinaigrette that is tossed at tableside. Before the entrée is served, guests will be offered a palette-refreshing Northwest Wild Berry Sorbet. The entrees may include Sesame Crusted Halibut with Ginger Miso, Roasted Salmon with three sauces, Peking Duck Breast with Blackberry Sauce, a special Northwest Cioppino, or Northwest Rack of Lamb, in addition to premium "Sterling Silver" hand-selected cuts of beef, including bone-in Delmonico rib-eye steak, center-cut T-bone steak and two sizes of filet mignon. Side dishes will feature such choices as Washington Spuds au Gratin, Grilled Asparagus, Sauteed Button Mushrooms or a Honey Maple Three-Bean Stew. Delectable desserts, featuring Pacific Northwest ingredients, will be offered, such as Washington-grown Bing Cherry Fritters with Vanilla-Ginger Ice Cream, a Warm Rhubarb Flan, and Not-so-Classic Baked Alaska. In addition, an array of cheeses will be presented tableside, with choices including Oregon bleu cheese, local chevres, Washington aged cheddar and traditional French cheeses, with Ports and Northwest Rieslings suggested as accompaniments. To conclude their memorable evening at the Pinnacle Grill, guest will be presented with an assortment of mini-cookies. 

Guests who wish to dine in the Pinnacle Grill for dinner may do so with an advance reservation; there is a modest charge of $15 per person. 

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

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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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