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News from the world of cruise travel ~
September 1-15, 2003

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

SARS Updates from the cruise industry

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

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NCL America Invites Hawaii Artists To Design Pride Of Aloha Hull And Crew Uniforms
Competitions to showcase Hawaii artist's creativity

Miami, Sept. 15 - Last month, NCL America announced that Pride of America, the first ocean-going U.S. Flagged cruise ship in nearly 50 years, would feature on its hull a vibrant, artistic interpretation of the Stars and Stripes combined with the United States' national bird - the Bald Eagle. Now, the company is turning to Hawaii artists to create a hull design for its newest addition to NCL America, Pride of Aloha, which launches service on Oct. 1, 2004. In addition, the company is looking for artists and students to compete to design an "Aloha" shirt for crew uniforms to be worn aboard both Pride of Aloha and Pride of America vessels.

"We are inviting local artists to participate in these designs to ensure an authentic representation of Hawaii," said Colin Veitch, NCL America's president and CEO. "Since December 2001, when we home ported Norwegian Star in Honolulu, and as we continue to expand our presence in the islands, we have been embraced by the people of Hawaii. We want to continue to find ways for us to develop partnerships, programs and friends in Hawaii and this is just one way we hope to do that."

Pride of Aloha Hull design
From its restaurant and public room décor to the furnishings in its staterooms, Pride of Aloha's interior design will be infused with Hawaii influences. The winning hull design will also reflect Hawaii's rich culture, and will additionally conform to the following parameters:

  • The design will be easy to replicate and recognizable from a distance of over one mile
  • The design will have one iconic theme representing Hawaii
  • The design will have no more than 10 colors, will utilize shadowing for depth effect, and will not feature blended colors
  • Artists will use the hull graphics on Norwegian Dawn and Pride of America as reference with respect to the area of the hull to be covered and the dynamic appearance of the graphic design
  • All designs must fit within the areas outlined on the scaled hull graphic drawings issued to prospective entrants, and artists should include a short description of their design;

NCL America Design Contests/2

  • NCL will work with the winning entrant to adapt (if necessary) and transfer the design to the ship's hull.

The winning artist will see his or her work displayed on the hull of the ship, receive a $10,000 cash award and win a cruise for two aboard Pride of Aloha's inaugural voyage.

NCL America will send prospective artists photos of the hull designs currently featured on Norwegian Dawn and Pride of America, photos of various angles of Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) Norwegian Sky (which will be re-flagged and renamed Pride of Aloha next October), a package of scaled hull graphics, plus an electronic form on which entrants may draw and color their design. The competition is open to any Hawaii artist, including college students and children. Entries will be judged on the basis of their creativity and appearance. NCL will also work with the winning artist to publicize the artist and his or her artwork. NCL will judge the entries for the competition and notify the winner in November 2003.

Hawaii artists interested in entering the hull design competition should e-mail Trevor Young, Senior Director of Hotel Operations for Star Cruises, at or send a fax to 001-49-4961-81-4304. Both should include the artists' address and artistic background. NCL will respond to all inquiries with further information and detailed specifications. Entries must be postmarked and received by Oct. 31, 2003 at NCL America's offices at 700 Bishop Street - Suite 900, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

Signature shirt design
NCL is also sponsoring a competition to create an "Aloha" shirt fabric design for crew aboard Pride of America and Pride of Aloha. The contest is open to students currently enrolled in the University of Hawaii's art program, and the winning design will represent NCL's Freestyle Cruising concept as well as the Hawaii Islands. Interested artists will receive an entry package that includes an entry form and detailed information on Pride of America and Pride of Aloha.

The winning artist will receive $2,000 and a cruise for two aboard Pride of America or Pride of Aloha. NCL will judge the entry and notify the winner by Oct. 15, 2003. NCL will also work with the winning artist to publicize the artist and his/her artwork.

The shirt fabric design should fit the following parameters:

  • The design will be printed onto a polycotton fabric in four-color ranges (same design with one or two color changes) to depict different departments aboard ship
  • The fabric design should be simple, appropriate for crew and representative of Hawaii

NCL America Design Contests/3

  • A maximum of five (or fewer) colors are to be used
  • Entries using airbrushing will not be considered
  • Any pattern used must be a 12" by 12" repeatable pattern
  • All entries must consist of all four-color prints on a 12" by 12" art card.

Entry forms can be picked up at the University of Hawaii's Art Office or from NCL America's Honolulu office. Shirt-design contestants should send their entries to NCL America's offices in Honolulu, with entries postmarked by Sept. 30, 2003.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is an industry innovator. NCL recently announced its new brand, NCL America, under which its US flagged ships will operate. The company is currently building its first US Flagged ship, Pride of America, which begins inter-island Hawaii cruises on July 4, 2004. NCL is also the leader in roundtrip seven-day cruising from U.S. and Canadian ports, offering its popular Homeland Cruising program seasonally from Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Orlando (Port Canaveral), San Juan, Seattle and Vancouver, and year round from New York, Houston and Honolulu. For further information on NCL, contact a travel agent or NCL in the US and Canada at (800) 327-7030; in Miami-Dade County, Fla., (305) 436-0866.

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The Ship Never Comes In Within Celebrity Cruises' New Advertisements
Non-Traditional Campaign Showcases Vacationers 'Treated Famously'

MIAMI, Sept. 15 -- In a true departure from typical cruise advertisements featuring pool decks, sparkling seas and romantic sunsets, Celebrity Cruises is launching a new campaign showcasing the impact a Celebrity vacation can have in making their guests' experience memorable. The new "Treated Famously" television and print campaign, created by Arnold Worldwide, a Boston-based advertising agency, features past guests going about their daily routines while finding parallels to the vacation they just experienced with Celebrity Cruises.

The two television commercials, "King and Queen" and "Back to Work," will run on national cable networks from now into 2004. "Back to Work" follows a Celebrity cruiser going about his daily business while reminiscing about his cruise being a sharp contrast to his everyday life. Similarly, the husband and wife characters in "King and Queen" comment on specific highlights that reflect the one-on-one service Celebrity provided them. Both ads humorously convey that the characters clearly wish they were back onboard where they felt treated "famously." The commercials will air on national cable on A&E, CNN, History, Fox News, Food Network, Bravo, Travel Channel, and CNBC.

"Creating great memories is perhaps the best thing a vacation brand can say about itself," said Celebrity's Senior Vice President of Marketing Steven Hancock. "We have all had the experience of returning from a vacation and contrasting our daily life with the past week's events. On Celebrity ships, we believe this happens more than usual because of how well the staff knows our guests and what they want from their vacations. Treating people famously creates lasting memories."

"Our new campaign for Celebrity continues the conscious choice of not showing traditional and obvious images of ships," said Arnold Worldwide Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Ron Lawner. "We wanted to be sure that the key message people understood from this advertising is how people felt after being treated famously. Any cruise brand can show a ship. Not every cruise brand can say they've created the kind of experience where guests have such great memories about their vacation that they want to come back."

The print campaign will launch in the premier issue of Town & Country Travel this Fall, and also will appear in other travel and epicurean magazines, including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, and National Geographic Traveler. The print ads also showcase past cruisers in their daily lives, wistfully remembering their famous treatment from Celebrity.

Celebrity is the industry's highest rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has nine ships in its fleet, which is the youngest of any major line. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Norwegian Dawn Set Sail On Scheduled 9/14 Itinerary

Miami, Sept 14, 2003 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced today that Norwegian Dawn will sail its scheduled itinerary to Florida and the Bahamas.

The NCL Hurricane Task Force is tracking Hurricane Isabel's progression hourly. If weather conditions change and prevent Norwegian Dawn from traveling to Florida and the Bahamas, then the company will alter the ship's schedule to a contingency Canada/New England itinerary.

The company would like to thank its guests for their continued patience and understanding of this weather situation. Guests wanting more information should contact their travel agent or NCL at 1-800-327-7030. 

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Hurricane Isabel Statement from Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises

Sept 12, 2003 -- Royal Caribbean Intl and Celebrity Cruises are closely monitoring the path and progress of Hurricane Isabel to ensure our guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises and our ships steer clear of the storm.

The safety and comfort of our guests is always our foremost concern. We appreciate the understanding of our guests regarding this fluid situation. Given Hurricane Isabel’s current and projected path, we have not altered the itineraries of any Royal Caribbean Intl or Celebrity Cruises ships.

We will continue to closely monitor the storm and update this information as needed.

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Hurricane Isabel Statement from Norwegian Cruise Line

Miami, Sept 12 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is closely monitoring Hurricane Isabel, which could potentially affect Norwegian Dawn's itinerary for her Sept. 14th cruise out of New York.

The NCL Hurricane Task Force is tracking the storm's progression hourly. As it is the company's sincerest desire to sail to Florida and the Bahamas, the task force will determine on Sunday whether the ship can sail its original itinerary.

In the event that Hurricane Isabel prevents Norwegian Dawn from traveling to the Florida and Bahamas, Norwegian Dawn's itinerary will be altered to the following New England/Canada contingency itinerary:

Date Day Port Arrival Departure
9/14 Sun New York, New York
- -
9/15 Mon At Sea
- -
- -
9/16 Tue Halifax, Nova Scotia
9/17 Wed At Sea
- -
- -
9/18 Thu Portland, Maine
9/19 Fri Boston, Massachusetts
9/20 Sat Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
9/21 Sun New York, New York
- -

NCL would like to advise its guests to be prepared for either itinerary. The company would also like to thank its guests for their continued patience and understanding of this weather situation. Guests wanting more information should contact their travel agent or NCL at 1-800-327-7030.

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Bermuda Re-opens Ports to Cruise Ships

HAMILTON, BERMUDA, Sept. 12, 2003 - Bermuda's tourism industry took another positive step today in its rapid recovery from the effects of last week's Hurricane Fabian, as the Bermuda Department of Tourism (BDOT) announced that, effective Monday, September 15, the ports of Hamilton, the Royal Naval Dockyard and St. George's will be open to receive cruise ships.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Bermuda Update

Miami - Sept 12, 2003 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that Norwegian Sea will sail its scheduled Bermuda itinerary and Norwegian Majesty will sail a revised Bermuda itinerary on Sunday, September 14. NCL's Hurricane Task Force has been working closely with the Bermuda Department of Tourism to determine the situation in Bermuda following Hurricane Fabian.

Bermuda has informed NCL that it has made good progress on its recovery efforts and that the island is ready to once again welcome cruise ship visitors. Although these recovery efforts are not complete, NCL believes its passengers will be pleased that Norwegian Sea and Norwegian Majesty will return to Bermuda.

NCL will alter Norwegian Majesty's itinerary from its three days in St. George's Bermuda. The ship will now spend Tuesday in St. George's, an overnight in the King's Wharf, Bermuda and an overnight in Hamilton, Bermuda. The company has made the change because the causeway that connects St. George's to Hamilton and the main sights in Bermuda has sustained damage. It can only support one lane of traffic and is closed during hours of darkness. While ferries between St George's and the rest of the island are operational, NCL and Bermuda tourism believe a shorter stay in St. George's will enhance the cruise guest's experience.

The revised schedule is below:

Date Day Port Arrival Departure
9/14 Sun Boston, MA
- -
9/15 Mon At Sea
- -
- -
9/16 Tue St. George's, Bermuda 1:00pm
- -
9/17 Wed St. George's, Bermuda
- -
- -
Wed King's Wharf, Bermuda Noon  
9/18 Thu King's Wharf, Bermuda
- -
- -
Thu Hamilton, Bermuda
- -
9/19 Fri Hamilton, Bermuda
- -
9/20 Sat At Sea
- -
- -
9/21 Sun Boston, MA 7:00am
- -

The company would like to thank its guests for their continued patience and understanding while the situation in Bermuda has been evaluated. Guests wanting more information should contact their travel agent or NCL at 1-800-327-7030.

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Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises Bermuda Update

Sept 11, 2003 -- Royal Caribbean International's Nordic Empress and Celebrity Cruises’ Zenith and Horizon will sail their normal itineraries to Bermuda this weekend.

Bermuda has been working diligently to recover from the effects of Hurricane Fabian, and has made good progress. It is our sincere desire to provide our guests with the warm and sunny vacation destination they envisioned when they purchased their cruise. Although the recovery efforts in Bermuda are not complete, we believe our guest can have a full and enjoyable experience there.

We appreciate the understanding of our guests regarding this fluid situation.

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Top Architects/Designers to Give Advice to Queen Mary 2 Passengers
Cunard Line partners with Architectural Digest

MIAMI - As part of an innovative entertainment program that has been conceived for Cunard's new Queen Mary 2 - which enters service in January 2004 - Architectural Digest magazine will arrange for top architects and interior designers to present on-board lectures and offer private one-on-one design consultations to passengers. 

The unusual "Designing the Seas" enrichment series will be featured on select transatlantic crossings from May to October 2004. Prices for the six-day voyages between New York and Southampton, England, start at $1,499 per person, double occupancy, including all meals, entertainment and one-way Economy Class air to or from London.

The designers will conduct on-board seminars in which they discuss design and decoration. Passengers can learn about building a collection, architectural history, displaying fine artwork or historic gardens, among other topics. Some will even have the opportunity to schedule a private consultation, where they can discuss specific ideas to enhance their home with the designer. 

Designing the Seas' workshops will be held in Cunard ConneXions, a 10,225-square-foot learning space comprised of seven classrooms and an auditorium. The innovative facility aboard Queen Mary 2 allows Cunard to reach a wide spectrum of passengers by offering simultaneous seminars on topics from the history of Jazz to global issues to Shakespearean acting techniques. The Architectural Digest collection of architects and designers will be published up to six months in advance of the voyage on the Datebook pages of the magazine and posted on their web site. A listing will also be featured on

According to Deborah Natansohn, Cunard's senior vice president of sales and marketing, "Queen Mary 2 passengers will have the rare opportunity to gain design and style insights from world-renowned designers and architects while cruising aboard a luxury liner of world renown." 

Many of the names associated with the new Architectural Digest program have also graced the magazine's coveted list of "The World's Top 100 Designers." Here is the listing of architects and designers by transatlantic crossing departure date:

  • May 18, New York to Southampton - Renowned Interior designer Vicente Wolf, based in New York, also designs furniture, lighting, rugs, china, crystal, stemware and flatware. The Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and L'Impero restaurant in New York, winner of the 2003 James Beard Foundation Award for "Outstanding Restaurant Design," are among his projects. Currently, Wolf is designing two venues for the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel.

  • June 5, Southampton to New York - Thomas Pheasant studied architecture before shifting his focus to interior design. The Thomas Pheasant Collection of furniture was introduced in 1996. Baker Furniture unveiled the Thomas Pheasant for Baker Collection in Spring 2002. The Washington, DC-based designer also has offices in Paris.

  • June 19, Southampton to New York - California-native Craig Wright has a professional background in architecture, fine arts and art history. The owner of Quatrain antiques gallery in Los Angeles, he first began exploring the antique market in Europe in 1968. His celebrity clients include Michael Douglas, Dan Aykroyd and James Coburn.

  • July 28, New York to Southampton - This internationally prominent designer from Ireland, who goes simply by the name Clodagh, began her career in the fashion industry. After much success as one of her country's leading couturiers, she transitioned to architectural design. Presently she is working on the redesign of a major resort at Disney World in Florida.

  • September 11, Southampton to New York - Cecil Hayes is the only Florida-based interior designer to have twice made "The World's Top 100 Designers" list by Architectural Digest. Among her notable clients are actors Wesley Snipes and Samuel L. Jackson, NBA all-stars Penny Hardaway and Jamal Mashburne and Ty Law, NFL 2002 Super Bowl champion.

  • October 11, New York to Southampton - Architect Hermes Mallea and interior designer Carey Malloney together form M (Group) of New York. Their focus on both disciplines has garnered them numerous accolades and the assignment to design the Architectural Digest Greenroom at the 2002 Emmy Awards.

Cunard Line has offered regularly scheduled transatlantic service between England and the U.S. since 1840. Queen Mary 2 takes over the role currently operated by her sister ship, QE2, as Cunard's transatlantic flagship. In her inaugural year, QM2 will offer a total of 15 crossings between New York and Southampton. Other itineraries visit ports in the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Canada and New England.

Queen Mary 2 is the perfect venue to showcase award-winning designers. The largest, longest, tallest and most expensive passenger ship ever built, Cunard's new flagship boasts handsome, traditional exterior lines complemented by stylish interiors that carry the grace and elegance of a bygone era into the future. The London-based marine interior design firms of SMC-Tillberg and designteam have created a modern vessel that recalls the grand liners of the past, with sweeping staircases, towering domed public rooms, a grand ballroom and a 360-degree Promenade Deck. 

Facilities include 10 dining venues, including the only shipboard restaurant by celebrity chef Todd English, the only Canyon Ranch SpaClub® at sea, the world's first planetarium at sea, the largest ballroom at sea, the largest library at sea, and the largest wine collection at sea. The ship will also feature a Veuve Clicquot Champagne bar, several other elegant bars and showrooms, a two-story theatre, a casino, five indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, boutiques, a pet kennel, and a children's facility, complete with British nannies. For more information on Queen Mary 2, consult a travel agent, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit the website at

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Miami, FL, September 11, 2003 -- Oceania Cruises just published 2004 European Collection brochure is now available to travel agents and the traveling public. The 74-page, full-color guide showcases the line's wide range of European itineraries, diverse culinary options, luxury amenities, and country club-casual atmosphere which define Oceania Cruises as the best value in luxury cruising.

The fresh, luxuriant tone of the 2004 brochure is set by its deep burgundy cover embossed with Michelangelo’s David and opens with a 21-page section describing the casually elegant lifestyle offered to guests aboard Regatta and Insignia. From exceptionally personalized service made possible by the line's guest-to-staff ratio of fewer than two-to-one, the myriad dining options such as open seating dining in four gourmet restaurants, a culinary program designed by world-renowned chef Jacques Pépin, the line’s exclusive Tranquility Bed and the wide array of onboard entertainment and enrichment options, the brochure fully illustrates the line’s dedication to providing guests with the highest quality cruise experience possible.

The brochure also provides extensive destination information, simplified fare charts and detailed maps highlighting each voyage. Pre- and post-cruise extended land programs, available in Athens, London, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Lisbon, Stockholm and Istanbul, are also highlighted. Oceania Cruises will feature three hotels in each city, offering an unprecedented range of luxury and boutique hotel properties.

What’s New in 2004
2004 will herald the arrival of Oceania Cruises’ second ship, Insignia. Debuting on April 3, 2004, Insignia sails her gala 10-day inaugural voyage from Barcelona to Athens, calling at Marseille, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Taormina and Valletta. She will sail a spring season of Mediterranean voyages before summering in the British Isles, Norwegian Fjords and the North Cape. Capping off her inaugural European Season, autumn finds her sailing the Black Sea, Greek Isles and Mediterranean.

Regatta returns to Europe for her second season of highly successful cruises to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Building upon the magic of the “Vikings, Castles and Kings” itinerary, Regatta will spend an unprecedented three full days per voyage in St. Petersburg, Russia, affording guests the opportunity to extend their explorations to Moscow at a more leisurely pace while still affording a copious amount of time to explore St. Petersburg itself.

Oceania Cruises features two intimate and luxurious 684 passenger ships, REGATTA and INSIGNIA. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations offered at an affordable price. For additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation, please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

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Carnival Cruises' Itinerary Changes for Cruises departing on September 10, 13 & 14

Due to the projected path of Hurricane Isabel, we will change the itineraries for the following scheduled Eastern Caribbean cruises: 

• Carnival Legend - September 10, 2003 cruise will visit Key West, Nassau and Freeport.

• Carnival Triumph - September 13 cruise will visit Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios.

• Paradise - September 14 cruise will visit Belize, Isla Roatan, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

All other cruise departures will operate the scheduled itineraries.

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MARITIME MAGIC to debut on the Travel Channel

MARITIME MAGIC, a brand-new one hour "behind-the-scenes" look at cruising today, will debut on the Travel Channel on Friday, September 19, 2003. The program highlights all the details, people, and hardware that goes into making cruising so special and appealing. 

Filmed on board five unique cruise ships, MARITIME MAGIC features:

  • The stern paddlewheeler "Queen of the West" as it cruises along the Lewis and Clark expedition route of the Columbia and Snake River. A really great trip!

  • The Silversea Cruises "Silver Whisper," unequaled luxury.

  • Star Clippers 5-masted sailing vessel "Royal Clipper" departing from Cannes in the Mediterranean

  • Royal Olympic Cruises "Olympia Explorer" from Venice to Istanbul.

  • The German club ship "AIDAvita" operated by Seatures in the Baltic Sea.

"Vacationing on a cruise liner evokes images of pleasurable, elegant, and 
enchanting travel experiences. Journey behind the scenes of any modern cruise ship and you will discover myriad bold mechanical innovations, ingenious industrial designs, and the very latest in technological wizardry. Hop aboard five unique cruise ships and get an intimate look at how these magnificent specimens of human ingenuity are designed, built and operated."

MARITIME MAGIC is the third cruise ship documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Thomas Horton Associates. The others are CITIES ON THE SEA which deals with the largest cruise ships, and FAST SHIPS about fast ferries.

For show times, please visit The Travel Channel online and click "Travel Channel TV" for schedules.

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Triathlon Is Latest Way To 'Get Out There' With Royal Caribbean
Florida Triathletes Join World-Class Competitors in Cruise to Bahamas Event

MIAMI, Sept. 10 -- When dozens of guests on the 2,350-passenger Majesty of the Seas wheeled bicycles up the gangway for a Labor Day weekend sailing to the Bahamas, Royal Caribbean International's appeal to vacationers with active lifestyles went up another notch. The cruise line that urges you to "Get Out There" was hosting the first-ever triathlon cruise.

A group of 400 triathletes, family members, and friends sailed to Nassau to compete in "The Big One With the Big 3," part of the Publix Family Fitness Weekend/Coca-Cola Classic Triathlon Series. The sprint triathlon, which consisted of a half-mile ocean swim, 18-mile bicycle ride, and five-kilometer run, was the seventh event in a nine-race series managed by Exclusive Sports Marketing. Altogether, 164 cruisers (108 male and 56 female, between the ages of 12 to 67) competed in age and weight groups and in an Elite division. Most finished the Nassau test in one to 1 1/2 hours. The cruisers also held a one-mile ocean swim the next day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas.

"The weekend was a phenomenal success," said Craig Milan, president of the company's cruise-tour division and a third-place finisher in the male, 40-44 age group. "We introduced a lot of triathletes to cruising; one-third of the group were first-time cruisers."

An exception was made to a Royal Caribbean policy that prohibits bicycles being brought onboard the ship. Among other special arrangements for the group was a pasta dinner on the eve of the race (to load up on carbohydrates), an awards ceremony, and clinics and Q&A sessions with "Big 3" triathlon superstars Dave Scott, Scott Molina, and Scott Tinley. Dave Scott is a six-time winner of Ironman Hawaii, a grueling nine-hour test that includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a full 26.2-mile marathon.

Royal Caribbean leads the cruise industry in innovative ships, amenities and onboard programs that appeal to travelers who want to experience more during their vacation. The cruise line's signature rock-climbing walls, which are extremely popular with guests of all ages, are being installed fleetwide this year. Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 17 ships in service and two more under construction. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700. 

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MIAMI - Cunard Line has just launched a completely new sub-website dedicated to its magnificent Queen Mary 2, the world's largest, longest, tallest, widest and - at $780 million - the most expensive passenger liner ever built. The site features the latest in navigational tools and substantially new interactive content; it is now possible to take a tour of the vessel that won't even be launched until January 2004. The site, which has been completely redesigned and enhanced, features virtual imagery that enables web surfers to tour the grand liner, get a panoramic view of public rooms and cabins and even watch a movie of her construction milestones.

According to David Gevanthor, Cunard's vice president of marketing, "The new area of our website dedicated to Queen Mary 2 emulates a portal to simplify navigation. Our web presence has never been static, but evolutionary to keep consumers and travel agents coming back."

To access the new Queen Mary 2 sub-website, visitors go to and click on the QM2 logo. They will be re-directed to the QM2-specific area, which features a second, larger QM2 logo. Clicking "begin" in the bottom right corner yields a full-screen image of the vessel with its exterior walls "cut-away" to reveal the inside public rooms and cabins. The upper left corner of the visual contains four navigation "tabs" under the heading: Live the Experience.

"Live the Experience" sums up new site
Viewers simply select an area of interest on Queen Mary 2 by clicking a section of the cut-away graphic and in a flash the room will come into focus on their screen. At that point they can see a panoramic video or read a description of the room. However, more detailed information about Cunard's new flagship is found under four tabs designed to let you "Live the Experience." They include: About QM2, On Board, Destinations and Photo Gallery. 

About QM2 provides a brief description of the vessel and contains menus for Ship Facts, The Making of QM2, Did You Know? and QM2 Exclusives. Each sub-section is comprised of informative and entertaining data, but it is "The Making of QM2" that steals the show - a movie of some construction highlights beginning with cutting of the first steal in January 2002. 

On Board invites visitors to learn about Queen Mary 2 accommodations and dining options, as well as review deck plans and go on a virtual tour with the simple click of their mouse.

Destinations offers an overview of her annual cruise schedule. "Voyage Details" gives site visitors the option of scrolling through the calendar with departures listed by date. Selecting any departure brings up a day-to-day itinerary with an added button for any applicable special offers. Armchair travellers can also access a description of port highlights. Those without a personal travel agent can complete a booking form so that a Cunard representative contacts them.

Photo Gallery is a collection of artist's renderings of Queen Mary 2, including public rooms and accommodations. They can be downloaded or forwarded.

In 2004, her inaugural year, Queen Mary 2 will offer 15 transatlantic crossings as she takes over the role currently operated by her sister ship, Queen Elizabeth 2. The vessel will also introduce a series of Caribbean cruises from New York and Fort Lauderdale; a voyage to Rio and back, timed for Carnival; five Europe itineraries and two fall cruises to Canada & New England. 

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Extensive Refurbishment Planned for 'Fun Ship' Fantasy
New Lobby Bar, Refurbished Cabins, Remodeled Promenade Included in Multi-Million-Dollar Makeover

MIAMI (09/08/03) - Carnival Cruise Lines' 2,056-passenger Fantasy is currently undergoing an extensive multi-million-dollar refurbishment as part of its scheduled five-week drydock. The refurbishment, which is taking place at the Freeport Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas, will include a new lobby bar, remodeled cabins and a redesigned promenade.

"The 'Fun Ship' Fantasy, always a popular choice for its convenient three- and four-day Bahamas itineraries from Port Canaveral and stunning interiors, will be even more dazzling following this extensive multi-million-dollar refurbishment," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Changes will be evident from the moment guests arrive on board. The first level of the ship's soaring seven-deck-high atrium will now feature a new lobby bar offering the ideal spot for before- and after-dinner cocktails and people watching. Popularized on Carnival's Destiny- and Spirit-class vessels, the new venue will also include a stage where a trio will play classical music during embarkation and throughout the voyage.

Each of the Fantasy's 1,028 staterooms will also receive a complete makeover with new wall coverings, furniture, bedding and linens. In-cabin bathrooms will be fully remodeled, as well, with updated vanities, new tile work and shampoo and soap dispensers.

Via Marina, an enclosed double-width promenade, will also receive a facelift, with elegant new furniture and a decorative marble floor with carpet inlays, while The Forum, the Fantasy's conference facility, has been reconfigured so that it can be utilized as both a meeting space and entertainment venue. Windows on the Sea, the ship's poolside restaurant, will be enhanced with new tile work, carpeting and additional salad and dessert bar stations. Numerous other areas throughout the ship, including Cleopatra's Bar, Electricity Dance Club, Cats Lounge, and Celebration and Jubilee dining rooms, will receive cosmetic enhancements, with new carpeting and wall coverings throughout.

The namesake vessel in Carnival's Fantasy-class, the 70,000-ton SuperLiner entered service in 1990 and operates year-round three- and four-day Bahamas voyages from Port Canaveral, Fla. Three-day cruises depart Thursdays and overnight in Nassau, while four-day voyages depart Sundays and feature an overnight call in Nassau, as well as a day-long stop in Freeport. The Fantasy is part of Carnival Cruise Lines' 19-vessel "Fun Ship" fleet which operates three-to 16-day cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Bermuda from homeports throughout North America. For additional information and reservations on the Fantasy and the other "Fun Ships" in the Carnival fleet, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel agent Internet portal

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Chef Todd Gray Explores Southeast Regional Cuisine, Culinary Events

MIAMI, September 8, 2003 -- The all-suite, 208-guest Seabourn Pride will host a seven-day Great American Food & Wine Festival from the Washington, D.C. area (Alexandria, Virginia) to Nassau departing October 31, 2003. The ultra-luxury, gourmet cruise is being offered at guarantee rates of $1,995 per person. During the cruise, guests will enjoy onboard cooking demonstrations by guest chef Todd Gray of Equinox in Washington, DC. Signature dishes created by Chef Gray will be featured on menus in the ship's open-seating Restaurant and the casual alternative Veranda Café.

Todd Gray trained at the Culinary Institute of America and served his stages with many of America's most celebrated chefs including Jean Louis Palladin at the Watergate; Daniel Boulud; Thomas Keller; and at classic restaurants in Northern Italy. Gray has been nominated as Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic by the James Beard Foundation for the last three years. Equinox has won numerous awards including Town & Country magazine's Best Restaurant in Washington DC, and is included in top tables lists of Esquire, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Condé Nast Traveler, Wine Spectator and the Washington Post since its opening in 1999.

Palmer, whose active advocacy of American-grown and produced ingredients has evolved into a distinctive style called Progressive American Cuisine, will be the ideal host for this culinary exploration of the Eastern Seaboard. His amiable, down-to-earth discussions impart a tremendous depth of knowledge in a highly palatable and satisfying style that has made him a popular guest on national television shows such as the Today Show, the Food Channel and others.

The harvest-time cruise itinerary includes a number of cities that enjoy rich culinary traditions and vibrant contemporary cooking scenes. In ports that include Yorktown (for Williamsburg) VA; Charleston SC; Savannah GA and Port Canaveral, FL; guests will explore these by means of tours and visits to local growers and purveyors, green markets, historical sites and other culinary attractions.

- From Yorktown, a historical culinary excursion will carry guests to the Williamsburg Inn in nearby Colonial Williamsburg, where they will enjoy a luncheon of typical colonial-era Virginia cooking using local ingredients and authentic methods.
- A tour of Charleston, South Carolina's rich heritage will include details about Carolina Gold rice and the influence of African cultures-- two of the key elements of the distinctive "low country" cooking. Then enjoy a cooking demonstration and luncheon prepared by renowned Charleston chef Donald Barickman of Magnolias Uptown/Down South.

-  A walking tour of the gracious squares and private gardens of Savannah, Georgia will culminate in a traditional family-style luncheon of Southern specialties at Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House, a renowned Savannah institution.

- From Port Canaveral, an airboat excursion takes guests to a hundred- year-old fishing camp in the Everglades, for a "Florida Cracker" style luncheon including catfish, grouper, alligator, trout and frog legs from the surrounding waters.

Special guarantee fares for the seven-day cruise are just $1,995 per person, based on double occupancy of an ocean-view Seabourn Suite. Specific suites will be assigned 30 days prior to departure. For those with a taste for more, the entire 13-day Great American Food & Wine Festival starts October 25th in New York. Celebrity chef Charlie Palmer of Aureole in New York and Las Vegas, kitchen 22 and other top-rated restaurants coast-to-coast will be presiding on board from New York to Alexandria. Ports of call include Newport, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Alexandria. With savings of 50 percent off the published rates, fares for the 13-night cruise start from just $5,132 per person, based on double occupancy. For details on Seabourn Pride's Great American Food & Wine Festival, call your travel agent or Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Early Booking Savings of up to 47% plus FREE or 2-For-1 airfares

Miami, FL, September 5, 2003 – Oceania Cruises unveiled early booking fares featuring savings of up to 47% plus the extraordinary value of FREE or 2-For-1 roundtrip economy class airfare from select US and Canadian gateways on select Mediterranean and Western European voyages aboard Regatta and Insignia.  

Air Inclusive Fares From Just $1399 Per Guest
“These air-inclusive cruise fares, starting at just $1399 per guest, represent unprecedented value in luxury cruising,” stated
Jeff Drew, CTC, Senior Vice President of Sales for Oceania Cruises. “Spring is the perfect time to explore the Mediterranean and Western Europe as there are no crowds and the climate is practically ideal with a mixture of warm sunshine and cool breezes, “ added Drew.

Casual Elegance And Extraordinary Value
“Luxury does not necessarily equate to high prices, rather, with Oceania Cruises, it is a combination of superb cuisine, exceptional service and intriguing destinations,” stated
Bob Binder, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Oceania Cruises. “These voyages are the ideal opportunity for guests to experience this highest quality, luxury cruise product at fares that are extraordinarily affordable,” added Binder.

Early Booking Savings of up to 47% Plus FREE Air                


Lisbon to Barcelona – March 29, 12 days; Seville, Malaga, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Rome, Palma de Mallorca 

Barcelona to Venice – April 10, 14 days; Cannes, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Bonifacio, Rome, Sorrento, Amalfi, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice 


Barcelona to Athens – April 3, 10 days; Marseille, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Taormina, Valletta

Athens to Rome – April 13, 10 days; Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Taormina, Sorrento, Amalfi, Rome 

Early Booking Savings of up to 47% Plus 2-for-1 Air


Venice to Barcelona – April 24, 14 days; Dubrovnik, Corfu, Sorrento, Amalfi, Rome, Bonifacio, Florence, Portofino, Monte Carlo, Cannes

Barcelona to Lisbon – May 8, 12 days; Palma de Mallorca, Rome, Florence, Portofino, Nice, Marseille, Malaga, Seville

Lisbon to London – May 20, 12 days; Oporto, La Coruna, Bilbao, St. Malo, Honfluer, Cork, Dublin, Falmouth, St. Peter Port


Rome to Barcelona – April 23, 10 days; Sorrento, Florence, Portofino, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca

Barcelona to Venice – May 3, 14 days; Marseille, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Taormina, Valletta

Venice to Lisbon – May 17, 14 days; Dubrovnik, Corfu, Rome, Florence, Nice, Portofino, Marseille, Barcelona, Seville

Oceania Cruises features two intimate and luxurious 684 passenger ships, REGATTA and INSIGNIA. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations offered at an affordable price. For additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation, please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

* Early booking fares are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy and include port charges. Regatta and Insignia “from” fares apply to specially marked sailing dates only.  This offer not valid on Owners and Vista Suite categories.  All fares listed are in U.S dollars and include all discounts. Air promotion applies to economy, round-trip flights only from select Oceania Cruises U.S. & Canadian gateways. This offer expires October 31, 2003. Fares for third and fourth person when occupying the same cabin are available upon request. Government fees, taxes, air taxes and ground transportation are additional.  All terms and conditions can be found in the passenger ticket contract. Ships’ Registry: Marshall Islands.

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Miami, Sept 7, 2003 -- Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Norwegian Sea's and Norwegian Majesty's itineraries have been altered as a result of hurricane Fabian in Bermuda.

Norwegian Majesty's itinerary is scheduled as follows:

Date Day Port Arrival Departure
9/7 Sun Boston, MA   4:00pm
9/8 Mon At Sea    
9/9 Tue Sydney, NS 7:00am 4:00pm
9/10 Wed Halifax, NS 8:00am 4:00pm
9/11 Thu St. John, NB 10:00am 7:00pm
9/12 Fri Bar Harbor, ME 7:00am 2:00pm
9/13 Sat Newport, RI 10:00am 3:00pm
9/14 Sun Boston, MA 7:00am  

Norwegian Sea's itinerary is scheduled as follows:

Date Day Port Arrival Departure
9/7 Sun New York   4:00pm
9/8 Mon At Sea    
9/9 Tue Halifax, NS 7:00am 5:00pm
4 Wed St. John, NB 10:00am 7:00pm
9/11 Thu Bar Harbor, ME 7:00am 7:00pm
9/12 Fri Boston, MA 8:00am 5:00pm
9/13 Sat Newport, RI 9:00am 6:00pm
9/14 Sun New York 7:00am  

NCL's thoughts are with our friends in Bermuda.

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Hurricane Fabian Update from Celebrity Cruises

MIAMI, September 5, 2003 - Although we do not yet know the full extent of Hurricane Fabian's impact on the island of Bermuda, we believe it is in the best interest of our guests' safety and comfort to alter the September 6 itinerary of Zenith as follows:



  new york, new york


  4:30 pm


  at sea




  halifax, nova scotia

  8:00 am

  5:00 pm


  st. john, new brunswick

  8:00 am

  5:00 pm


  bar harbor, maine

  8:00 am

  5:00 pm


  portland, maine

  8:00 am

  5:00 pm


  at sea




  new york, new york

  8:00 am


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Hurricane Fabian Update from Royal Caribbean

Although we do not yet know the full extent of Hurricane Fabian's impact on the island of Bermuda, we believe it is in the best interest of our guests' safety and comfort to alter the September 7 itinerary of Nordic Empress as follows:

SUN New York, NY 5 p.m.
MON At Sea
TUES Halifax, Nova Scotia 9 a.m. 10 p.m.
WED At Sea
THUR Portland, Maine 7 a.m. 5 p.m.
FRI Boston, Mass 7 a.m. 5 p.m.
SAT At Sea
SUN New York, NY

7 a.m.

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Celebrity Cruises to Return to Jacksonville for 2004-05 Cruise Season 
Cruise Line Pleased with Community’s Response

Jacksonville, FL -– Celebrity Cruises, which will offer the industry’s first cruises from Jacksonville from October 2003 through April 2004, announced today that the cruise line will return to Jacksonville to present another series of cruises from October 2004 through April 2005. Celebrity officials cited the Jacksonville community’s enthusiasm for its service as a key reason for its decision to offer a second series of cruises to the Southern and Western Caribbean.

“We are very pleased with our work to date with the Jacksonville Port Authority and with the community’s response to our decision to homeport a vessel in Jacksonville,” said Celebrity’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Steve Hancock, adding that Celebrity is very pleased with bookings to date.

The Zenith will depart from the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal, a 63,000-square foot temporary facility now under construction in Northeast Jacksonville. “The entire Jacksonville community can be proud that it has responded in such a positive way to Celebrity,” said Rick Ferrin, JAXPORT’s Executive Director. “JAXPORT is committed to facilitating Celebrity’s success in Jacksonville and the accompanying positive impact it will bring to the Jacksonville community.” 

In March 2003, Celebrity announced that it would present a series of 13 cruises from Jacksonville to the Southern and Western Caribbean. Each cruise, aboard the 1,374-guest ship Zenith, will range from 11 to 14 nights in length. The ship will depart Jacksonville on various dates from October 27, 2003 through April 22, 2004. At the time of its announcement, Celebrity called this year’s 13 exotic Caribbean cruises “a test” of the Jacksonville market. Now, Celebrity will return in October 2004 with the same ship offering a similar itinerary.

Among the highlights of Zenith’s Western Caribbean itinerary this year are Celebrity’s first calls on Roatan, the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands, surrounded by coral reefs and offering superb diving and fishing opportunities; a transit through the historic Panama Canal, and a visit to private island, Labadee, Hispanola. The ship’s Southern Caribbean itinerary includes an overnight stay in exotic Barbados, as well as visits to Tortola, B.V.I., and Grenada, a volcanic island widely known for its picturesque villages, dense forests and cascading rivers. Reservations for all Celebrity cruises may be made by calling a travel agent, by contacting Celebrity Cruises Reservations department at 1-800-437-3111 or by visiting the Celebrity web site at

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Norovirus Onboard Regal Princess

9/4/03 -- Onboard the recent August 18 sailing of Princess Cruises' ship Regal Princess, which concluded in New York on Tuesday, September 2, there was an increased incidence of gastrointestinal illness among the passengers. This illness was confirmed through laboratory testing to be caused by Norovirus (also known as Norwalk Virus), which is a common but highly contagious illness that is easily transmitted from person-to-person. Over the full course of the voyage, a cumulative total of 302 passengers (20%) and 45 crew members (7%) reported ill with the virus. Princess began extensive measures to interrupt the spread of the virus when it was noticed on the third day of the cruise.

Regal Princess has now completed an extensive sanitation process over the last three days, and the ship has been thoroughly cleaned and is now ready for its next cruise departing this afternoon. CDC's Vessel Sanitation Chief Dave Forney has expressed satisfaction with Princess' response procedures and disinfection measures, and feels that the ship is safe for embarking passengers. He was quoted in the press yesterday as saying Princess' protocols are "top notch," and that "they notified the CDC well before they were required to do so." Throughout this sanitizing process, we have been working closely with the CDC, who are supportive of the measures we implemented.

Regal Princess had arrived one day earlier than scheduled into New York in order to conduct this thorough sanitization. While we regretted shortening the previous cruise by one day, we did so as the health and well-being of our passengers and crew is our highest priority. Conducting this intensive cleaning without passengers onboard was the most effective way to stop transmission of this common but contagious virus, which we believe was brought aboard by an ill passenger in Copenhagen. There was no increase in gastrointestinal incidences during the previous cruise.

The additional time in New York gave us extra days to conduct a full sanitation of the vessel, and this was concluded successfully last night. The ship's crew, in an addition to an 18-member specially-trained sanitation team, and 25 members of an outside sanitation company worked to disinfect all areas of the ship, including all passenger and crew areas. Some of these measures included:

  • Public areas including passenger and crew cabins were either "fogged," or sprayed with an effective sanitizing solution designed to kill Norovirus
  • Contact surfaces were wiped clean with the sanitizing solution
  • Linens and food utensils were disinfected
  • Carpets through the ship were shampooed with the disinfectant solution
  • The passenger terminal was sanitized by a fully-trained local sanitation team after the passengers departed on Tuesday
  • The motorcoaches used to transport the passengers back to the airport on Tuesday were fully sanitized

Our intensive measures are credited with reducing the number of passengers who reported unwell each day on the previous sailing. When the ship arrived in New York earlier this week, only two passengers were still unwell, and those passengers stayed aboard the ship overnight and departed for home yesterday. We sincerely regretted any disruption to our passengers' vacation plans and are pleased that, under the circumstances, the large majority of our guests were understanding of the situation and pleased with our crew's efforts to continue to provide an enjoyable cruise experience. The previously ill crew members aboard Regal Princess have completely recovered.

Passengers embarking the ship today were notified through their travel agents last week that there was an increased incidence of gastrointestinal virus, identified as Norovirus, onboard the ship, and invited them to contact us with their concerns. In the event some of the passengers did not receive this information, they are being provided with details upon check-in, and we have Princess medical and hotel staff standing by during embarkation to answer any questions.

The ship is sailing today close to its capacity of 1,590 passengers with 679 crew members. The Regal Princess departs New York at 5 pm on a 10-day cruise through New England and Eastern Canada, calling at Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, St. John's, Halifax, Quebec and Montreal.

What Happened on the Previous Sailing:
At the onset of the increased incidence of gastrointestinal illness, which occurred on the third day of the cruise, we immediately intensified sanitation efforts onboard Regal Princess to minimize transmission to other passengers. Princess collaborated with local and international public health agencies and initiated an extensive sanitation program onboard in association with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.K. Port Health Authorities and Health Canada, to interrupt the spread of this virus.

As a result of our efforts, we saw a decline in the number of passengers who reported unwell each day, and the majority of people affected by the illness recovered quickly and completely within 12-24 hours. As the cruise concludes, we're pleased that our efforts to contain the illness have been successful, and there are only two remaining ill passengers who are recovering onboard and are expected to depart for home on Wednesday, September 3.

The pattern of the spread of illness suggests that the virus was most likely introduced onto the ship in Copenhagen by a passenger with the illness. Land based Norovirus outbreaks are common and have been occurring recently throughout Europe and North America. Under the circumstances, we decided to conduct a special, comprehensive sanitation of the ship without any passengers onboard, and to proceed directly to New York to accomplish this sanitization process and minimize the risk of any further transmission. This necessitated a cancellation of two ports -- Qaqortoq in Greenland, and St. John's in Newfoundland, and the ship is arriving one day early in New York today.

As a result of the itinerary change, we are offering to our passengers:
- A full refund of the cruise fare for the portion of the cruise we were unable to deliver, representing one of the original 16 days scheduled for this cruise.
- A $300 credit for onboard purchases was given to each passenger.
- We have refunded any shore excursions scheduled for the port of St. John's, and any government fees and taxes for the two missed ports.
- We automatically re-scheduled all passengers' airfare enabling them to depart for home today, and have offered assistance with individual passenger's travel arrangements where needed.

The ship departed Copenhagen August 18 and sailed on a 16-day Northern Europe/Atlantic crossing itinerary, arriving in New York on September 2. The ship carried 1,528 passengers and 679 crew members. Over the course of the voyage, 301 passengers and 45 crew were affected.

What Princess did to contain the illness:
The safety and comfort of our passengers and crew is always Princess' number one priority. As is currently standard procedure across our fleet, all the ship's passengers were provided with a health notice advising of the increased activity of the Norovirus worldwide and the precautionary measures to avoid contraction and spread. We enhanced the already intensive measures onboard Regal Princess to contain this illness, which included sanitation of every aspect of the ship.

* Two of Princess' Senior Public Health Officers joined Regal Princess, and two special sanitation teams created by Princess to support its vessels in a situation such as this were mobilized on the ship. A third sanitation team joined the ship to further assist. The team members have been specially trained in sanitizing routines using disinfectant agents and supplemented the efforts already being implemented by the ship.

* Passengers and crew were provided with regular health advisories alerting them to an increased incidence of gastrointestinal illness, along with measures to minimize the risk of infection such as washing hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching the mouth, avoiding use of the buffet area if symptomatic, and reporting to the medical center if any symptoms are experienced.

Examples of sanitation measures undertaken onboard Regal Princess included:
- Using a powerful sanitation solution to regularly clean all food and beverage areas of the galley, affected passenger cabins, public restrooms and all surfaces in the ship's public areas (e.g. handrails, door knobs, elevator buttons) including soft furnishings, multiple times each day
- Suspension of all galley tours
- Slot machines and casino furnishings were sanitized several times daily
- Gym equipment was sanitized regularly
- Public restroom doors were propped open to reduce risks of unwitting door handle contamination
- Bar snacks were offered in single servings only
- All dishwashers were being checked hourly to ensure they were operating at a temperature of 165F or above

* Passengers who reported to the medical center with symptoms were treated, without charge. Passengers who were unwell were asked to isolate themselves in their stateroom until non contagious and comply with the doctor's instructions. Unwell passengers were also asked not to proceed ashore, and any shore excursion costs were refunded.

* Room service was provided to affected passengers and every effort was made to make them as comfortable as possible.

* As drinking large amounts of clear fluids is helpful for diarrhea, we provided complimentary bottled water to affected passengers.

What is the Norovirus?
Norovirus is an extremely common and highly-contagious virus which causes gastroenteritis (an inflammation of the stomach and the intestines). Symptoms of Norovirus include nausea, vomiting and watery diarrhea; some people may also experience headache, mild fever and abdominal cramps. It is sometimes known as the "24-hour stomach bug." Symptoms usually last between one and three days and generally resolve without treatment or long-term consequences. The incubation period of the virus averages about 24 hours, and people infected with the illness typically remain contagious for 72 hours after they have recovered.

Norovirus is spread by direct person-to-person contact. As the viral particles are able to survive for long periods in the environment, the illness can be spread through contact with surfaces such as hand rails, door knobs and elevator buttons, or by sharing food, water or eating utensils.

Norovirus is not an upper respiratory virus such as the flu, and only the common cold is reported more frequently. The CDC estimates that Norovirus is the causative agent of some 23 million cases of gastroenteritis in the USA annually, however the vast majority of all outbreaks occur on land. Statistics have shown that the chance of contracting Norovirus on land is 1 in 12; and 1 in 4000 on a cruise ship.


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MIAMI, September 2, 2003 - Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises invite guests to see Alaska from the inside out beginning May 28, 2004, when the lines introduce two new, exclusive Alaskan cruisetours, featuring the only luxury glass-dome train service between Seward and Anchorage. Offering authentic Alaskan cuisine, luxurious accommodations, and visits to landmarks such as Denali National Park, the two exclusive, new land-tour packages span four to five nights and, depending on the itinerary, include stops in Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Talkeetna, Anchorage and Seward. Each tour also includes exclusive travel on the Wilderness Express train cars between Anchorage and Seward.

The Wilderness Express, with 360-degree glass-dome viewing, provides some of the most impressive views in Alaska. On the Anchorage to Seward train ride, guests may see everything from whales and Dall sheep to cascading waterfalls and spectacular glaciers and other sights visible only on this stretch of rail tracks. Other highlights include a Resurrection Bay Wildlife Cruise in Seward, a Denali National Park Tour, and either a cruise on the Riverboat Discovery Sternwheeler or a tour of El Dorado Gold Mine, where guests may strike it "rich" panning for gold in Fairbanks. Like all other Alaska cruisetour packages offered by Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, the new cruisetours are escorted throughout by highly knowledgeable tour directors.

Both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises offer guests a full Alaska vacation experience with a total of 19 Alaska cruisetours offered either before or after an Alaskan cruise on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas or Celebrity's Summit. The land tour portion ranges from two to six nights, and in the Canadian Rockies, Whistler and Europe, from three to five nights. The cruisetours operated by the two cruise brands are the fastest-growing in the industry, and rated first in service.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 26 ships in service and two under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada, including Whistler, and Europe through its cruisetour division. Additional information can be found on or

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Veranda Cafés Welcome Guests in Elegant Casual Attire on 'Formal Nights'

MIAMI, September 2, 2003 - The privileged clientele who sail aboard the all-suite Yachts of Seabourn are accustomed to having every choice. They dine when and with whom they please, every night, even enjoying Seabourn's award-winning cuisine in the privacy of their sumptuous suites if they wish. And now, the ultra luxury line is expanding guests' choices by offering a more casual dining alternative on evenings when the suggested attire for the ships' open-seating Restaurants is Black Tie Optional. In the past, the alternative indoor-outdoor Veranda Café on each 208-guest ship has been closed on so-called "Formal Nights." Now this popular dining area will be open for dinner on those evenings, serving those who prefer an elegant casual alternative, with jackets, but no ties required for gentlemen and dresses, skirts or pants with a sweater or blouse for women. In bars and lounges throughout the ship, either of these two attire options is suggested after six p.m.

"Many Seabourn guests consider a formal dinner integral to their enjoyment of their cruise," said Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "And why not? After all, they do look terrific in their tuxes and formal gowns. But there are others for whom the formality holds little appeal, especially as we have created more seven-day cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean that attract and satisfy travelers with different ideas of what they like on vacation." According to Meadows, the compromise has been tried successfully on all three Seabourn Yachts. "We wanted to remain true to Seabourn's heritage of elegance, while acknowledging the desires of some of our other guests. This solution accomplished both goals," said Meadows.
The Veranda Cafés were redecorated at the beginning of 2003, with brighter, lighter colors and new furniture. Seabourn designed a new concept for the Veranda Café dinners, featuring different themes each night, such as Ginger and Spice (Asian), Modern Mediterranean and Seabourn Steakhouse. A re-design of the Veranda Café galley creates an "open kitchen" ambience in the room. In December, the Veranda Cafés will add new Rosenthal china as well, in a chic, contemporary design. The Veranda Cafés are also popular venues for breakfasts and luncheons. They offer indoor and outdoor seating, with lavish buffets and a casual atmosphere at both meals. In good weather, many Seabourn guests opt for the family-style seating outdoors, overlooking the harbor when the ship is in port, or the ship's wake when at sea.

More casual alternative dining options are only the latest in a continuing series of  enhancements aboard The Yachts of Seabourn. Complimentary open bars, free Massage Moments on deck and Pure Pampering in-suite bathing experiences by Molton Brown add sumptuous touches to the Yachts' club-like atmosphere. Each ship's 208 fortunate guests receive the skilled attentions of nearly the same number of dedicated staff, allowing a level of nearly clairvoyant, personalized service that has set the line apart since its inception. Superb cuisine designed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer graces the open-seating Restaurant for dinners. From the elegant Tumi document portfolios and baggage tags that assist guests on their way, to the Heidsieck French champagne that adds sparkle to their special moments on board, to an unforgettable Exclusively Seabourn complimentary shoreside experience-every detail of a Seabourn cruise bespeaks a privileged, exclusive style of travel that is simply unavailable by any other means.

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. For information on The Yachts of Seabourn, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Carnival Corporation & plc to Consolidate German Cruise Operations

MIAMI, Sept. 2 -- Carnival Corporation & plc announced that it will consolidate its German cruise operations, transferring the 1,590-passenger cruise ship A'ROSA Blu to its AIDA brand in summer 2004. Separately, the company announced that it has entered into a letter of intent to sell the A'ROSA brand name and the A'ROSA riverboats. With the transfer of the A'ROSA Blu, to be renamed AIDA Blu, Carnival Corporation & plc will have two distinct brands operating five vessels catering exclusively to German-speaking clientele. The four AIDA ships will operate under the informal "club resort" cruise concept aimed at younger, more active passengers while the vessel of Costa Kreuzfahrten, a division of Costa Cruises, offers a more traditional cruise experience.

Commented Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison, "AIDA and Costa are the two most recognizable and respected names in German ocean cruises. This is a strategic move that will allow us to focus on these two truly exceptional but markedly different cruise products for German-speaking clientele while optimizing asset utilization and maximizing returns for the corporate group," he said. "The German-speaking market is one of the fastest growing in Europe and these two well-known, popular brands will serve as a platform for our future growth there," he added.

Arison pointed out that the consolidation of Carnival Corporation & plc's German operations is yet another example of the company taking advantage of the unique opportunities presented by the DLC combination of Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises that was finalized in April 2003. For example, in June of this year, the company announced the transfer of Carnival Cruise Lines' 1,486-passenger Jubilee to P&O Cruises Australia to operate seven- to 14-day South Pacific cruises beginning in fall 2004, doubling the size of its operations in the region. "We will continue to explore opportunities to utilize our existing assets to benefit the diversity of brands within Carnival Corporation & plc," he said.

As previously announced, Pier Luigi Foschi, Costa Cruises' chairman and CEO and a member of Carnival Corporation & plc's boards of directors, will continue to have overall responsibility for the company's German cruise companies, including Seetours, which operates AIDA, with Seetours President Lars Clasen reporting directly to Foschi.

The parent company of Seetours, the operator of A' ROSA, has signed a letter of intent with Arkona AG for the sale of its A'ROSA river cruise business, including three 200-passenger riverboats and the "A'ROSA" trademark, effective later this year. The sale price for the transaction is equal to the net book value of the assets on Nov. 30, 2003, with an additional Euro 800,000 payable for the goodwill of the business. Thirty percent of the purchase price is payable at closing with the remaining balance payable over a five- year period, with interest. The completion of the transaction is subject to the execution of definitive agreements. The transaction, if completed, will have no financial impact to the company.

Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of 13 cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises, Cunard Line, Windstar Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Ocean Village, Swan Hellenic, AIDA, A'ROSA, and P&O Cruises Australia.

Together, these brands operate 70 ships totaling more than 110,800 lower berths with 13 new ships scheduled for delivery between now and mid-2006. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates three riverboats on Europe's Danube River and the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, Holland America Tours and Princess Tours. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.

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