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News from the world of cruise travel
September 1-15, 2004

Return to's Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive features thoughts & insights on things seen & heard around the internet & the cruise industry.

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected--updated monthly

Hurricanes Updates
Port Status & Itinerary Alterations

9/15/2004 - The Caribbean: At this time Hurricane Ivan continues to carve a swath through the Caribbean. After devastating Grenada, the storm battered Jamaica with high winds and widespread flooding. Although the eye stayed offshore, extensive damage is reported. The Cayman Islands were pounded by powerful winds, hammering rain, and 20-foot-tall waves slammed the sea wall at the port in Georgetown, Grand Cayman as the hurricane eye passed.

The storm is also expected to deliver strong waves, rain and wind to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel has shut its airport and cancelled the arrival of cruise ships. 

For real-time status on airport conditions throughout the southeast, please check the Air Traffic Control System Command Center.

As we have seen, when a hurricane barrels down on embarkation ports, flights in and out are certain to be delayed or cancelled and ships at sea will not return to port until it is possible to debark passengers safely. Port calls at Freeport, Grand Bahama and most private islands are up in the air at this time as damage assessments and clean up progress. 

Regular updates are being issued by cruise lines and the latest dates are indicated below in red. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Port Canaveral Updated 9/11/04 - Hurricane Frances created a sand bar, 50 feet wide in the channel leading to the port. This has reduced the depth of the water in that area to approximately 30 feet. According to the Canveral Port Authority, the U.S. Coast Guard has given approval for ships with drafts of up to 28 feet to enter Port Canaveral. 

Carnival Cruise Line
Updated 9/15/04 – Due to adverse weather conditions caused by Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Ivan, Carnival Cruise Lines has made the following changes: 

Updated 9/11/04

CARNIVAL GLORY - Seven day cruise that departed on Saturday, September 11 is operating an Eastern Caribbean itinerary visiting St. Maarten (Tuesday), St. Thomas (Wednesday) and Nassau (Friday).

Updated 9/12/04

Due to the projected path of Hurricane Ivan, Carnival Cruise Lines' Sensation will terminate its current voyage and embark the next one in Miami instead of Tampa on Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.

Disembarking guests will be provided complimentary motorcoach service to the Port of Tampa, and the Tampa and Miami airports. Likewise, guests embarking for the next voyage will be provided complimentary motorcoach service from the Port of Tampa and the Tampa airport to the Port of Miami. That motorcoach service will run between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Departure for the next voyage will be delayed until midnight to allow guests ample time to reach Miami to board the vessel. The five-day itinerary departing Miami Sept. 13 will be modified to steer clear of the hurricane, with the scheduled ports of call now being Nassau and Key West. The voyage will end in Tampa. Guests who opt to sail will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit. For guests who sail on the new itinerary and arranged their own transportation, Carnival will provide up to $100 in reimbursement for costs associated with re-booking flights. Proper documentation will be required to receive the reimbursement

INSPIRATION - Seven day cruise departing Sun., Sept. 12 will visit Progreso (Tue.), Cozumel (Wed.) and Costa Maya (Fri.) 


CARNIVAL LEGEND - Eight day cruise that departed Sun., Sept. 12 will visit St. Thomas (Thur.) and San Juan (Fri.) 

Updated 9/1

CARNIVAL CONQUEST - Seven day cruise departing Sun., Sept. 12 will visit Costa Maya (Tue.), Cozumel (Wed.) and Progreso (Fri.)

HOLIDAY - Five day cruise that departed Sat., Sept. 11 will visit Progreso (Mon.) and Veracruz (Tue.) 

Updated 9/14/04

CARNIVAL MIRACLE - Seven day cruise departing Sun., Sept. 12 will visit St. Thomas (Wed.) and Tortola (Thur.)


CELEBRATION - Five day cruise that departed Sat., Sept. 11 will visit Progreso (Mon.) and Veracruz (Tue.) 

Updated 9/1

CARNIVAL TRIUMPH - Seven day cruise that departed Sat., Sept. 11 will visit Nassau (Fri.) 

Up-to-date information on ship arrivals and departures will be available at  and via recorded message at 1-800-CARNIVAL. Individuals scheduled to sail on any of the above voyages should check regularly for updates.

Celebrity Cruises
Updated 9/13/04 - Celebrity Cruises is closely monitoring the path and progress of Hurricane Ivan to ensure our guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises and to make certain our ships steer clear of the storm. The company also continues to monitor its operations resulting from Hurricane Frances. Given Hurricane Ivan’s location and projected path, we have altered the itinerary of one Celebrity Cruises ship and will update this information daily.

Sailing from Port Everglades
Century is sailing a modified itinerary due to Hurricane Ivan. The ship departed Port Everglades Saturday, September 11. It will spend the day at sea on Sunday; make a port call in Belize City, Belize, on Monday; make a port call in Costa Maya, Mexico, on Tuesday; make a port call in Cozumel, Mexico, on Wednesday; make a port call in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, on Thursday; spend the day at sea on Friday; and return to Port Everglades on Saturday, September 18.

At this time, no other Celebrity Cruises ships are being impacted by tropical weather. We will continue to closely monitor weather conditions and update this information. The safety and comfort of our guests are always the foremost concern of Celebrity Cruises.

Disney Cruise Line
Updated 9/10/04 - 
Disney Magic, September 11, 7-night Western Caribbean Sailing
Currently, there are no changes planned for this Saturday’s sailing out of Port Canaveral. We are prepared to make itinerary changes, if necessary, due to weather or other challenges at Port Canaveral.

Holland America Line
Updated 9/10/04 – Holland America Line announced that its award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay, received only minor damage as a result of Hurricane Frances. The island, which is located in the Bahamas, experienced limited beach erosion as well as the typical landscaping and minor wind damage caused by storms. To allow for clean up efforts, Holland America Line has cancelled the call to the island scheduled during the September 11, 2004 sailing of the ms Zuiderdam.

“We are thankful that we were able to secure and evacuate Half Moon Cay prior to the hurricane,” said Stein Kruse, president and chief operating officer, Holland America Line. “This was a significant storm and the island was fortunately spared major damage. Our clean up efforts are underway and we will resume our calls to this beautiful island with the September 18 sailing.”

Hurricane Ivan is currently in the southern Caribbean. The projected path of this hurricane is not expected to have any impact on the ms Zuiderdam or her itinerary. The ship will arrive Fort Lauderdale as scheduled on Saturday, September 11th. 

As previously advised, the September 11th, 2004 sailing of the ms Zuiderdam
will call in San Juan, Puerto Rico instead of Half Moon Cay. The revised itinerary follows:

Date Location Arrive Depart
Saturday, 9/11 Fort Lauderdale 5:00pm
Sunday, 9/12 Nassau, Bahamas 7:00am 2:00pm
Monday, 9/13 At sea
Tuesday, 9/14 Road Town, Tortola, BVI 8:00am 6:00pm
Wednesday, 9/15 St. Thomas, USVI 7:00am 11:00pm
Thursday, 9/16 San Juan, Puerto Rico 7:00am Noon
Friday, 9/17 At sea
Saturday, 9/18 Fort Lauderdale 8:00am

Guests can visit at all times or call 888-624-5788 for updates. Holland America will update this information regularly as new information becomes available. 

All other Holland America Line ships are operating as scheduled. At Holland America Line, the safety and comfort of our guests are our top priorities. 

Holland America Line continues to closely monitor the weather and will make additional changes if needed.

Norwegian Cruise Line
Updated 9/12/04 -Norwegian Dawn’s itinerary, which commenced out of New York, will progress as planned with calls into Port Canaveral, Miami, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. However, the company may need to alter the line up of port calls as it continues to monitor Hurricane Frances' impact on Port Canaveral and its private island, Great Stirrup Cay. 

The company will continue to provide updates when new information becomes available as for now Norwegian Dawn is heading to her first port of call on Tuesday in Port Canaveral.

Princess Cruises
Updated 9/15/04 - Princess Cruises is closely monitoring the current and projected path of Hurricane Ivan in order to ensure the safety and comfort of our passengers and crew, which is always our foremost priority. The following is an update of Princess' sailings in the region. 

Caribbean Princess Voyage B438 
Caribbean Princess departed on an Eastern Caribbean itinerary on September 11. Due to storm warnings for St. Thomas and St. Maarten, Caribbean Princess has been re-routed and will call instead at Montego Bay on Wednesday. The new itinerary for the remainder of the voyage is:

Montego Bay - Wed 15 Sep 8 am 5 pm 
At Sea - Thurs 16 Sep 
Nassau Fri - 17 Sep 8 am 6:30 pm 
Port Everglades - Sat 18 Sep 7 am

Golden Princess Voyage 5438
Due to the US Department of State's Travel Warning advising against travel to Grenada in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, Golden Princess' sailing departing September 12 has been modified to replace the scheduled port call in Grenada with a call at Dominica. Because of tropical storm warnings, Golden Princess' current sailing has also been modified to replace St. Kitts with Barbados and to visit Dominica today, a day earlier than originally scheduled. The revised itinerary for the remainder of the cruise is:

Barbados - Wed 15 Sep 7 am 5 pm 
Isla Margarita - Thurs 16 Sep 8 2 pm 
Aruba - Fri 17 Sep 8 am 6 pm 
At Sea - Sat 18 Sep 
San Juan - Sun 19 Sep 6 am

We will continue to post any updates to this information on our web site, We appreciate the understanding that these changes are being made for the well being of our passengers and crew.

Royal Caribbean Intl.
Updated 9/9/04 - Due to damage caused by Hurricane Frances, Royal Caribbean is currently unable to bring its ships into Freeport, Bahamas; and Coco Cay, Bahamas, Royal Caribbean's private island. 

Updated 9/14/04 Given Hurricane Ivan's location and projected path, we are currently altering the itineraries of several Royal Caribbean International ships. Additionally, several Royal Caribbean International ships are sailing modified itineraries because of Hurricane Frances. At this time, all other Royal Caribbean ships are sailing their normal itineraries.  

Ships sailing from Port Canaveral - Updated 9/14/04

  • Sovereign of the Seas, normally scheduled to depart Port Canaveral Sept. 13 on a four-night sailing, made that sailing from Port Everglades. The ship will sail a modified itinerary and return to Port Canaveral on Friday morning, September 17. Royal Caribbean transported guests from Port Canaveral and the Orlando airport to Port Everglades for embarkation. At the conclusion of this sailing, the company also will transport guests from Port Canaveral to Port Everglades and the Orlando airport.
  • Sovereign of the Seas will resume its normal Friday and Monday departures from Port Canaveral starting on Friday, September 17.
  • Mariner of the Seas, originally scheduled to depart Port Canaveral Sept. 12 on a seven-night sailing, made that sailing from the Port of Miami. The ship will sail its normal itinerary and return to the Port of Miami on Sunday morning, September 19. Royal Caribbean will transport guests back to Port Canaveral and the Orlando airport at the conclusion of this sailing. Due to Hurricane Ivan, port calls are subject to change.  
  • Although the port is set to resume operations, Mariner of the Seas cannot sail into Port Canaveral at present. According to Royal Caribbean, the sand bar at the channel entrance has reduced channel depth to 30 feet while Mariner requires a minimum of 35 feet to safely enter port. Mariner’s regular Sunday seven-night sailing will operate roundtrip from the Port of Miami. Royal Caribbean will transport guests from Port Canaveral and the Orlando airport to Miami for this cruise. 

Ships sailing from the Port of Miami - Updated 9/14/04

  • Explorer of the Seas, currently on its September 12 sailing, will not make its normally scheduled port call in Belize City, Belize, on Tuesday. Instead, the ship will spend the day at sea; make a port call in Costa Maya, Mexico, on Wednesday; and make a port call in Cozumel, Mexico, on Thursday. Royal Caribbean is awaiting word from the Cayman Islands regarding Hurricane Ivan's impact there, so Friday's scheduled port call in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, may be cancelled. The ship will return to the Port of Miami on Sunday morning, as scheduled.
  • Majesty of the Seas departed Miami as scheduled Sept. 13; will make a port call in Nassau, Bahamas, on Tuesday; spend the day at sea on Wednesday; make a port call in Key West, Florida, on Thursday; and return to the Port of Miami on Friday, September 17.

Ships sailing from Port of Galveston - Updated 9/14/04

  • Rhapsody of the Seas, currently on its September 12 sailing, will not make its normally scheduled port call in Key West, Florida. Instead, the ship spent the day at sea and will make a port call in Belize City, Belize, on Wednesday; make a port call in Costa Maya, Mexico, on Thursday; make a port call in Cozumel, Mexico, on Friday; and return to the Port of Galveston on Sunday, September 19. 

Ships sailing from Cape Liberty Cruise Port - Updated 9/14/04

  • Voyager of the Seas, currently on its September 10 sailing, made a port call in Labadee, Hispaniola, on Monday; make a port call in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday; make a port call in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, on Wednesday; make a port call in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, on Thursday; spend the day at sea on Friday and Saturday; and return to Cape Liberty on Sunday, September 19. 

We will provide continual updates as any new information becomes available. If you are sailing with us on cruise departures in the next week, we encourage you to check this information periodically. 

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Holland America Line Enhances Active Shore Excursions in 2005 
Premium Cruise Line Now Provides More Options for Guests to Explore Destinations

SEATTLE -- Holland America Line, the only major cruise line to regularly sail to all seven continents, is introducing several new active shore excursions in 2005. The premium cruise line already provides guests with more than 1,700 shore excursions to choose from, including more than 70 active and adventurous options such as all-terrain vehicle excursions and jungle canopy tours. The company's new active onshore excursions take place in destinations such as Mexico, Chile and in a new port of call, Manaus, Brazil, and provide guests with more ways than ever to immerse themselves in the culture and history of exotic destinations across the world.

"Some of our guests want the solitude and relaxation that comes with an ocean voyage," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Others want to combine our timeless elegance with the excitement that comes with unique and active shore excursions. Fortunately, Holland America Line offers both. Through our shore excursion programs, we can offer first-time as well as more seasoned travelers exciting new ways to experience the nuances of the many destinations to which we sail."

Holland America Line leads the industry in itinerary selection and overnight stays in locations such as Europe, South America, Asia and Australia, which serves to further enhance the onshore experience for passengers. For example, guests who sail on the ms Veendam's 33-day Fall Panama Canal and Amazon River voyage, departing from Seattle on September 26, will spend two days in Manaus, Brazil, a city in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. A new port in 2005, Manaus lies along the north bank of the Rio Negro, just above its confluence with the Amazon River. Guests traveling to this port will have the opportunity to experience nightly jungle activity -- including an "up close and personal" look at alligators inhabiting the river. On this excursion, guides will jump into the water and catch alligators with their bare hands before releasing them unharmed back into the river. This three-hour journey is priced at US$69 for adults.

Other shore excursions debuting in 2005 include the following:

  • * Passengers on the 10-day Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez voyage sailing roundtrip from San Diego aboard the ms Ryndam will have the opportunity to board a private train on the Chihuahua al Pacifico railway in Topolobampo, Mexico, and traverse the magnificent Sierra Madre Mountain range to explore Copper Canyon. Only accessible by rail and considered by many to be the most scenic rail route in the world, the journey winds through 87 tunnels and crosses 35 bridges as it climbs from sea level to 8,000 feet. Guests arrive at Posada Barrancas in time for lunch. After lunch, guests can take a walking tour to the Tarahumara Caves, following a path to the Cueva del Chino cave home to where Tarahumara Native families live. This excursion lasts approximately 16 hours and is US$349 for adults.
  • * Guests on Holland America Line's 8-day Latin America Holiday cruise, departing on December 18 from San Diego on the Ryndam, can take advantage of the Jungle ATV Adventure in Cozumel, Mexico. Traveling deep into the jungle, guests will explore ancient Mayan burial grounds. This excursion lasts approximately three hours and is US$79 for adults.
  • * Guests traveling on Holland America Line's 16-17-day South American Explorer voyage, departing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 26 on the ms Amsterdam can visit Puerto Montt, Chile and drive deep into the forest surrounding Osorno to truly experience the forest canopy. Traveling in the treetops between platforms connected by a series of cables, guests will feel like they are flying. In total, there are 14 platforms and 11 cable rides at an altitude of more than 130 feet. Maximum speed is 28 miles per hour between the platforms. All the platforms are specially designed for guests to observe the wildlife at the treetop level and enjoy the spectacular forest view. This seven and a half hour excursion is priced at US$189.

In addition to the wide variety of excursions available, Holland America Line offers passengers more flexibility in departure times and more personal interaction with guides and other passengers than many other cruise lines. Holland America Line also provides guests with numerous resources to help them get the most out of excursions, including easily accessible information on the Holland America Line website, a helpful shore excursion brochure that is sent to guests along with documents, and onboard experts to help guests choose which trips best suit individual interests and physical abilities. Excursions are provided through partnerships with professional independent tour operators in each port. Guests are encouraged to book shore excursions prior to sailing by visiting 

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Florida Keys Re-opening to Tourists & Cruise Ships

FLORIDA KEYS - Florida Keys tourism officials have set Thursday, Sept. 16, as the recommended date visitors should begin returning to the island destination, after Keys emergency management officials discontinued a mandatory evacuation Monday.

The evacuation of visitors and residents was initiated last Thursday after a National Hurricane Center forecast track indicated that Hurricane Ivan might impact the Keys. Because Ivan's severe hurricane-force winds never came close to the island, the region's basic infrastructure, including electricity and fresh-water delivery, is fully operational. However, Keys tourism officials are asking visitors to delay their vacation plans to provide time for visitor-oriented businesses to reopen their doors.

"Most of our tourism industry personnel heeded the excellent counsel of emergency managers and left the Keys," said Steve Robbins, chairman of the Florida Keys & Key West Lodging Association. "We need a few days to get them back and to undo hurricane preparations. I expect virtually all hotels and attractions to be up and running by Thursday."

The Port of Key West is slated to open Wednesday, but the first cruise ship will not call until Thursday, said ship agent Rick Wells.

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From Beantown To Bermuda: Royal Caribbean Expands Presence In Boston In 2005 
With Two Ships And Unique New Bermuda/Caribbean Itinerary

MIAMI, Sept. 10 -- Royal Caribbean International is giving guests two new vacation options from Boston in 2005: explore the Caribbean and Bermuda on a unique itinerary aboard Jewel of the Seas, or cruise Canada and New England on the newly lengthened Enchantment of the Seas.

"Boston is a terrific departure port for Royal Caribbean and we are excited to expand our presence there in 2005 by allowing guests to pick their own adventure, either north or south," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, for Royal Caribbean International. "Whichever itinerary they choose, they'll enjoy exciting experiences both on shore and onboard these outstanding ships."

The 2,110-passenger Jewel of the Seas, makes her U.S. debut in Boston on Sept. 11, 2004. This fall, she offers seven- and 10-night Canada/New England itineraries. Sept. 12 through October 22, 2005, she returns to Boston to offer five 10-night Caribbean and Bermuda sailings. Jewel will take guests to Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee, Hispanola; Tortola, B.V.I.; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The itineraries also include an overnight stop in King's Wharf, Bermuda, giving guests two days to explore ashore.

From September 4 to September 18, 2005, Enchantment of the Seas will make her Boston debut, offering seven-night roundtrip Canada/New England itineraries. Enchantment will call on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John's, New Brunswick. Enchantment also will sail a five-night cruise on Aug. 30, 2005, with calls to Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Enchantment of the Seas will arrive in Boston after completing an extensive renovation, in which the ship will be lengthened by 73 feet. The ship will feature an additional 151 staterooms as well as a variety of new amenities and activities to be announced later this fall. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship Makes U.S. Debut in Boston
Jewel of the Seas Sparkles with Entertainment, Dining, Activities and Art

MIAMI, Sept. 10 -- Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Jewel of the Seas, makes her U.S. debut in Boston on Sept. 11, offering guests a chance to enjoy the fall foliage and historic charms of New England and Canada. Jewel of the Seas joined Royal Caribbean's fleet in May 2004, sailing Northern European itineraries throughout the summer. This fall, she will offer one seven-night and four 10-night cruises from Boston's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal to ports including Bar Harbor, Portland, Saint John and Halifax.

Guests aboard Jewel will experience each destination with all five senses through Royal Caribbean's Explorations! shore excursions program. The diverse menu of options allows guests to tailor their trip, whether it's touring the Moosehead Brewery in Saint John, taking a walking tour in Quebec City, exploring the Halifax coast on a sea kayaking adventure, or keeping a look out for marine mammals during a whale-watching cruise in Bar Harbor.

The exploration and exceptional scenery don't stop at the shoreline. Guests on Jewel of the Seas enjoy unobstructed views of the spectacular landscapes afforded by Jewel's nearly three acres of exterior glass, delivering the sun, sea and coastal scenery right into dining rooms and lounges throughout the ship. Jewel sparkles with ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows in most public areas, as well as the highest percentage of balcony staterooms in Royal Caribbean's fleet. Throughout the ship, guests will discover she also shines bright when it comes to entertainment, dining, activities and art. Following are some of Jewel's most noteworthy gems.

Entertainment: Jewel of the Seas' spectacular Coral Theater is home to three exciting new productions from Royal Caribbean, including an authentic tango show, "Tango Buenos Aires," starring Argentinean dancers and musicians and two musical reviews. "City of Dreams" features the music of top artists, including Billy Joel, Elton John and Celine Dion, while "From West End to Broadway" presents a variety of musical numbers from Cole Porter to Les Miserables.

Guests aboard Jewel of the Seas have a wide range of entertainment to choose from each evening, including the fast-paced action in the Casino Royale, the nautical-themed Schooner Bar featuring sing-along piano tunes and the Vortex disco with revolving bar and pulse-pounding dance music. The Hollywood Odyssey lounge offers an intimate evening with solo artists and jazz performances, while the Safari Club focuses on fun with theme parties and karaoke nights.

Dining: Jewel of the Seas boasts six outstanding dining venues, including a lovely two-story main dining room, Tides. The Windjammer Cafe offers casual, buffet dining with a large selection of international fare, while the Solarium Cafe serves up pizza and snacks. Tucked away at the top of the ship, the Seaview Cafe is a quiet retreat featuring favorites, including fish and chips and popcorn shrimp. For an intimate evening, or simply to share an outstanding meal with new friends, Jewel of the Seas has two reservations-only, specialty restaurants -- the northern Italian-inspired Portofino restaurant and the Chops Grille steakhouse.

Activities: For an elegant ship, Jewel of the Seas also has a playful side. Active guests will find enough options to keep themselves occupied from sunup to sundown. Jewel's Sports Court includes Royal Caribbean's signature rock- climbing wall, a half-court basketball court, a nine-hole miniature golf course, a golf simulator, a jogging track and a kids pool with slide.

Fitness buffs won't miss a workout with the ShipShape Fitness Center. The gym complex includes an aerobics studio, cardiovascular and weight-training equipment and a dedicated free-weights area. After working up a sweat, guests can treat themselves to a massage in the Jewel Day Spa, or get a pass to the Thermal Suite, which features heated tile loungers, an aromatherapy steam room, a sauna and two tropical fog showers.

Art: The eclectic, $5.3 million dollar art collection on Jewel of the Seas is tied together around the themes of landscape and light. Paintings, sculptures, textiles, ceramics and mosaics throughout the ship set the mood for each area. The mystery and romance of the moon and the ocean tides are explored in Tides dining room with a unique mural, "Full Moon Swing," using Byzantine glass mosaic, brass and copper. The nine-story Centrum features a modern art interpretation of the Northern Lights: a stainless steel, wire and glass sculpture with an integrated lighting system.

The wild beauty of Africa is depicted in the Safari Club through paintings, glass sculpted animal heads, fabrics and collages. The exotic landscape and culture of Thailand is captured in the Solarium, which features lush tropical foliage and Thai art, such as an authentic 18th century temple bell and a traditional Thai gate.

2004-2005 Itineraries: From Boston, Jewel of the Seas will sail one special seven-night Canada/New England itinerary visiting Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick, followed by four 10- night Canada/New England cruises visiting Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Quebec City, Quebec; the Saguenay River; and Saint John, New Brunswick.

Jewel will then head south for the winter in November to sail alternating eight-night Eastern Caribbean and six-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale. She will return to Harwich, England, on May 15, 2005, to sail 12-night Scandinavia/Russia itineraries and two special 12-night British Isles/Norwegian Fjords cruises. Jewel will return to Boston in September 2005 to sail five unique 10-night Bermuda/Caribbean itineraries visiting Tortola, B.V.I.; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; King's Wharf, Bermuda and Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee in Hispanola.

For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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Spectacular Vegas-Style Revues Featured on New Carnival Valor
110,000-ton ‘Fun Ship’ Scheduled to Launch Year-Round Seven-Day Caribbean Service from Miami Dec. 19

MIAMI (Sept 9, 2004) – Two high-energy Las Vegas-style revues – “Far From Over – The 80s” and “Nightclub Express” – will be featured aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ new 110,000-ton Carnival Valor, which is scheduled to begin year-round seven-day Caribbean service from Miami Dec. 19, 2004. Produced by Carnival Productions – the company’s in-house entertainment group – the new shows take center stage in Carnival Valor’s 1,400-seat medieval-themed Ivanhoe Show Lounge, which will feature the latest in shipboard technology – “fly-in” scenery capabilities, a turntable stage with built-in lifts allowing for multiple sets, a multi-million-dollar sound and lighting system, including laser pods, and a rising orchestra pit. 

“Carnival’s shows have gotten progressively more elaborate over the years and ‘Far from Over’ and ‘Nightclub Express’ – both of which feature fast-paced production numbers, spectacular sets and costumes, and dazzling laser and pyrotechnic displays – continue this evolution to bring shipboard entertainment to another level,” said Roger Blum, Carnival’s vice president of cruise programming who is also the shows’ producer. 

The first show, “Far From Over – the 80s” celebrates the era of “big hair,” leg warmers and, of course, unforgettable music. Making maximum use of the Ivanhoe lounge’s technical capabilities, the show kicks off with a captivating laser display set to the song “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. There’s also a tribute to the dance movies of the 1980s such as Fame, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and Flashdance. Production numbers set to songs popularized by the then-new concept of “music television” – Prince, the Bangles, Run DMC, Katrina and the Waves, and Madonna – are also included. 

The second show, “Nightclub Express,” takes guests on a rollicking tour – hosted by a talking, singing sofa, no less – of some of the world’s famous cabarets and night spots. Ten different venues are featured with sets, costumes and music appropriate to each. From the tropical-flavored numbers at the Copacabana to the sultry jazz and blues songs at the Cotton Club and pulsating disco tunes at Studio 54, audiences are treated to colorful interpretations of a variety of musical genres.

Both shows are enjoyed amidst the stunning surroundings of the Ivanhoe Show Lounge, whose décor is inspired by the classic tale by Sir Walter Scott. The spacious room is highlighted by gothic-inspired interiors with walls featuring a figure of a knight in full armor backed by a Medieval-style tapestry, a faux wood-beamed ceiling with ornate inscriptions, and wrought-iron chandeliers. Large castle-like towers flank the stage with stained-glass windows and shields bearing coats of arms. 

Carnival Valor is slated to enter service from Miami Dec. 15, 2004 with a special two-day introductory voyage to Nassau, The Bahamas. The ship is scheduled to begin year-round seven-day service from Miami Dec. 19, operating alternating week-long voyages to the eastern and western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean cruises call at Nassau, The Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, while western Caribbean cruises visit Belize City, Belize; Isla Roatan, Honduras; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. 

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

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Carnival Corporation Reports Financial Impact of Hurricane Frances 

MIAMI, Sept. 8 -- Carnival Corporation & plc announced that it estimates that the financial impact of Hurricane Frances on its fourth quarter earnings will be approximately $0.03 to $0.04 per share. The severe weather affecting South and Central Florida and the subsequent port closures forced the company to cancel three Carnival Cruise Lines voyages and shorten the itineraries for six of its brands' cruises -- four for Carnival Cruise Lines and one each for Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

The company's P&O Cruises Australia unit was forced to cancel a future 10-day voyage as a result of the closure of the Freeport, Bahamas, dry-dock facility where one of its ships was undergoing an extensive refurbishment.

Guests on cancelled voyages were provided with full refunds or future cruise credits. Guests on abbreviated cruises had the option of sailing and receiving partial refunds, future cruise credits and shipboard credits, or canceling and receiving full refunds or future cruise credits. Carnival Corporation & plc also incurred incidental costs to transport passengers to alternate ports of embarkation/debarkation.

"Never in our company's history has a hurricane been so disruptive, causing a number of itineraries to be modified and the closing of Florida's four major cruise ports," said Howard Frank, vice chairman and chief operating officer for Carnival Corporation & plc. "The storm struck Florida for a prolonged period over a weekend, when many of our ships were scheduled to embark and disembark guests, significantly magnifying the impact," he added.

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Holland America Line's 2005 European Voyages Offer 33 Unique Itineraries and 53 Departure Dates

SEATTLE, Sept. 8 -- Convenience, comfort and choice are the key catch words when it comes to Holland America Line's 2005 European cruise offerings. With 53 cruises and 33 innovative itineraries, the premium line offers more European cruises than any other major line.

"We create the ultimate European cruise experience in true style and elegance," stated Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president of marketing and sales. "With more than 130 years of experience, we are the Europe experts -- our itineraries offer the most in-depth explorations -- and the most choice. In 2005 we will visit 98 European cities including first time port calls to Falmouth and Liverpool, England; Melila, Spain; Mitilini, Greece; and Sevastopol, Ukraine."

All voyages are aboard luxurious, five-star ships, boasting every modern convenience including Wi-Fi internet access. The 1,848-passenger ms Westerdam returns for her second season and is joined by the elegant 1,316-passenger flagship ms Rotterdam, the intimate 793-passenger ms Prinsendam, and the spacious 1,258-passenger ms Maasdam. Dining options offer sophistication and selection with the classic dining room, casual Lido restaurant with selections from sushi and stir fry to pasta and deli sandwiches, 24-hour room service in spacious staterooms, and the refined ultra-elegance of the Pinnacle Grill featuring Sterling Silver® premium beef, Bvlgari® china and Riedel® stemware.

Northern European Voyages Offer the Most In-depth Itineraries
Ten- to fourteen-day cruises and seven different itineraries explore northern Europe on 20 cruises in the summer, with convenient roundtrip sailings from Copenhagen and London and numerous extended stays in majestic St. Petersburg, Russia. Whether guests are interested in the scenic splendors of Norway's fjords or a visit to Stockholm's famous Ice Bar, Holland America Line has an itinerary to please. Interesting itineraries feature such striking destinations as Iceland, Ireland, the Scottish Hebrides Islands, Norway's North Cape, and the Arctic Circle. Prices start at US$1,989 for the 10-day Gems of the Baltic.

Mediterranean Cruises Visit Timeless Destinations
What could be more idyllic than winding through the Greek Isles or visiting Venice's famed Rialto Bridge? Holland America offers 18 Mediterranean cruises in the spring and fall from 10 to 12 days. The season highlights unusual destinations such as the Black Sea & Beyond cruise to Romania, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine or Paths of the Seafarers from Barcelona to Athens. Shore excursions feature romantic visits to Florence, Italy, and the Tuscan countryside or historical and archaeological highlights such as a visit to the ruins at Ephesus from Kusadasi, Turkey. Prices start at US$1,779 for the Italian Enchantment or Aegean Odyssey cruises.

Western European Cruises Focus on Art and History
Seven distinctive 12- to 14-day cruises await travelers who want to explore the cathedrals, museums, and glittering ports of Western Europe in summer and early autumn. The premium line delivers the most comprehensive itineraries available such as the European Tapestry and Windmills & Waterford cruises. Adventures include a trip to the Alfama in Lisbon, Portugal; a drive around the island of Guernsey; a tour to the beaches of Normandy; a stroll through the Colosseum in Rome; or a visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Two of the cruises offer overnight stays in Barcelona, Spain, for further exploration and enjoyment. Prices start at $2,219 for the Grand European Capitals cruise.

Transatlantic Voyages Afford the Height of Luxury and Sophistication
Recapture the glamour and leisure of a transatlantic voyage on one of eight 14- to 18-day cruises in the spring and fall. Create one complete 35-day mid-summer voyage departing roundtrip from North America (Boston) featuring the combined 17-day Voyage of Vikings and 18-day Irish Sea Odyssey. A one-of-a-kind 17-day crossing, A Taste of Two Continents, departs from Lisbon, Portugal, visiting ports in Africa and South America before arriving in Rio de Janeiro. Choose from five itineraries traveling between Barcelona, Lisbon, Venice or Civitavecchia (Rome) and Ft. Lauderdale, some featuring northerly routes via Greenland and Iceland. The Spring Transatlantic cruise begins at US$1,819.

All prices are listed per person, double-occupancy, and taxes are additional. Special airfares are available from numerous North American gateways and pre- or post-cruise hotels and vacation packages can also be purchased through the line. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Royal Caribbean Exercises Option to Build Second "Ultra Voyager"

MIAMI - Sept 8, 2004 - Royal Caribbean Cruises exercised its option to build a second Ultra Voyager ship at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland. Scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2007, the ship will be operated by the Royal Caribbean International brand. Like its prototype, which is due for delivery in the spring of 2006, the second Ultra Voyager will be roughly 15 percent larger than its Voyager-class counterpart. At 100- percent capacity, she will carry 3,600 guests and 1,400 crew. Despite adverse foreign exchange rates, building a sister ship results in beneficial cost efficiencies and an all-in dollar cost that is essentially the same as the first Ultra Voyager. 

"With state-of-the art technology and imaginative onboard programming, the Ultra Voyager is another major milestone in Royal Caribbean's history of innovation," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Fain. "We are excited to add this second ship to the series." 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 29 ships in service and one under construction. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. Additional information can be found on

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The Panama Canal: Up-Close & Personal Aboard Windstar in 2005
Four New Voyages Include Holiday and New Year's Departures

SEATTLE, WA, Sept. 7, 2004 - Windstar Cruises combines the drama of transiting the Panama Canal with the elegance of cruising aboard a sailing ship to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience aboard the msy Wind Star on four new itineraries in 2005.

"A Panama Canal transit continues to be a 'must-do' trip for many of today's most sophisticated travelers, and we deliver a luxurious experience that is fascinating and pampering," says Tom Russell, Windstar's vice president marketing and sales. "The intimate size and unique style of Wind Star - a masted motor sailing yacht that is truly 180 degrees from ordinary - provides an up-close and personal perspective of this dramatic event."

The award-winning cruise line will offer two 14-day voyages between Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, and Bridgetown, Barbados, with departures on March 26 and November 19. Each itinerary combines the intrigue of a Canal transit and the beauty of exotic destinations in both the Atlantic and Pacific, with the blissful serenity of days at sea. 

Two December sailings between Puerto Limon and Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, also showcase Panama Canal, including a 10-day holiday cruise departing December 17, and an 11-day New Year's cruise taking to sea on December 27.

Depending on itinerary, ports of call include: Golfito, Isla Coiba, Playa Flamingo, Quepos, Puerto Moin, and Bahía Paraíso, Costa Rica; Isla San Telmo, Panama; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Barranquilla, Columbia; St. George's, Grenada; Bequia, Grenadines; Tobago, West Indies; Isla de Margarita, Venezuela; and Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba, Netherlands Antilles.

From Man-made Wonders to Nature's Miracles
Long considered "the eighth wonder of the engineering world," the Panama Canal connects two great oceans and represents the union of human ingenuity and the miracles of nature. The msy Wind Star will pass through the Canal's three sets of locks during daylight hours. Guests will feel as if they are cruising through the canal on their own private yacht. Windstar's award-winning service combined with spacious decks provides a comfortable vantage point to watch the ship's transit up to the level of Gatún Lake at 87 feet and back to sea level.

Shore excursions on either side of the Isthmus of Panama take guests on adventures through wildlife sanctuaries and rain forests in this exotic and endangered part of the world. Guests may also indulge in Windstar's complimentary water sports activities and Windstar's PADI-certified dive program in the tranquil waters of tropical ports rich in marine life. Guests may dive among hopping frogfish and giant leatherback turtles in Bonaire, enjoy world-class windsurfing in Venezuela's Isla de Margarita, relish the golden-sand beaches and scarlet cala lilies on the lush island of Bequia, witness the beauty of wild macaws and exotic tropical birds at Costa Rica's Parque Nacional Corcovado and journey through the rain forest to see spotted toucans and brilliantly colored butterflies in Bahía Paraíso.

Windstar's signature causal elegance and friendly staff fosters genuine camaraderie between guests and crew. Light and healthy cuisine complements active days at play, while gourmet meals created under the direction of celebrity chef Joachim Splichal are a special indulgence.

The Holidays and Wind Star: A Tropical Treat
Celebrating the holidays at sea with Windstar blends traditional decorations, including beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths on stateroom doors, with added cultural activities based on the ship's itinerary. Guests are exposed to new worlds as Wind Star's talented crew performs native and local carols at a festive holiday show, and special menus toast the season with time-honored favorites highlighted with tropical flavors.

Yet it is the gift of nature that makes Windstar's 2005 Holiday Cruises - a 10-day departure on December 17 and an 11-day journey leaving December 27 - especially unique. Shore excursions allow guests to explore the Carara Biological Reserve and spy pink cranes, chattering monkeys and wild pacas in Puerto Caldera; strap on a harness and literally swing from tree to tree under the rain forest canopy in Playa Flamingo; swim with dolphins and sea turtles in the calm green waters of Panama's Chiriquí Lagoon and view howler monkeys, roseate spoonbills, iguanas and the rare "Jesus Christ lizard" (walks on water) along the fascinating Tortuguero Canals in Puerto Limon.

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Double-Digit Passenger Growth Buoys CLIA Member Cruise Lines' 2nd Quarter Passenger, Occupancy Figures

NEW YORK, Sept. 2 -- The cruise industry continues to generate impressive growth following a strong performance in early 2004 as the member fleets of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) carried 2,604,544 worldwide guests in the second quarter, a 10.8% increase over the same period in 2003. North American passengers grew 14.3% during the same period, to 2,255,975 guests in the second quarter of 2004, up from 1,973,591 second-quarter guests one year ago.

The 2004 second-quarter passenger figures are new statistics released today by CLIA, whose member lines represent over 95% of the cruise capacity marketed in North America. In addition to the growing passenger totals, CLIA cruise lines also continued to sail full, posting a 100.7% occupancy factor in the second quarter of 2004.

"The cruise industry's continued strong performance in 2004 reflects the quality, value and consumer demand for cruise vacations and is a testament to the dedicated efforts of CLIA-member travel agencies," said Terry L. Dale, CLIA's president and CEO. "These positive second-quarter statistics reflect both the hard work of CLIA's professional cruise retailers and the growing popularity of seagoing vacations."

Overall, statistics for the first half of 2004 show a 10% increase in worldwide passengers to 5,024,465 from 4,567,855 for the same period in 2003. First-half North American passengers grew 10.6%, to 4,327,772, while foreign- sourced passengers climbed by 6.5% to 696,693 for the same period.

CLIA's first half passenger carryings statistics also include:

  • Itineraries of 1 to 5 days accounted for a 31.2% share of the cruise market; itineraries of 6 to 8 days accounted for 55.8%; 9 to 17-day itineraries accounted for 12.6% and itineraries of 18 days or longer accounted for .4% of the market.

  • The average length of a cruise in the first half was 6.99 days versus 6.97 days for the same period in 2003.

  • First-half occupancy factors totaled 102% versus 101.1% during the same period in 2003.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is a nonprofit marketing and training organization comprising 19 leading cruise lines in 2004, which together accommodate over 95 percent of the North American cruise passengers. Approximately 16,000 travel agencies focused and engaged in the sales of cruise vacations in the U.S. and Canada are members of the association. CLIA provides an extensive array of educational programs for travel agents including curriculum leading to certification as Accredited Cruise Counselors, Master Cruise Counselors and Elite Cruise Counselors, considered the consumers' best resource for planning a cruise vacation. For more information, visit CLIA's website at

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Celebrity Cruises Cancels One Alaska Cruise 

MIAMI, Sept. 1 -- Celebrity Cruises is canceling its September 10 sailing on Summit to replace a radial-bearing unit that is showing premature wear in the ship's starboard propulsion system. The replacement must be made in drydock, so the ship will enter San Francisco Drydock shipyard on September 12 to make the repairs. The canceled cruise is a seven-night, round-trip Alaska sailing departing from Vancouver. The ship is expected to resume service September 20.

"I am truly sorry for the disruption this canceled cruise will cause our guests," said Jack Williams, president and chief operating officer of Celebrity Cruises. "Regrettably, it is important that we replace this unit in a timely manner. We will work closely with our travel agency partners to provide our guests with the best possible alternative plans."

Guests booked on the September 10 sailing will receive a full refund for their cruise, plus a free future Celebrity cruise, in North America, of up to seven nights, departing on or before December 31, 2005, excluding holiday sailings. Travel agents will receive their full commission for the September 10 cruise, plus a $50 re-booking fee, per stateroom, when their clients reschedule their cruise. Celebrity has established a special Help Desk to assist guests and travel agents with reaccommodations. The Help Desk number is 1-877-200-2897.

Summit is operating safely, merely with its speed reduced from 23 to 18 knots. Summit's current sailing, a seven-night Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Seward, which concludes on September 3, will not be impacted by the bearing issue. The ship's seven-night September 3 sailing, from Seward to Vancouver, will make minor adjustments to two port calls.

Summit's September 17 sailing, a 14-night Alaska and West Coast cruise, departing Vancouver and concluding in San Diego, will be delayed three days and depart on September 20. Celebrity will contact each guest booked on that cruise to rearrange their embarkation in Vancouver and provide further details. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Families Reap Rewards With Holland America Line's Family Reunion Program - An Industry First

SEATTLE -- Recognizing the growing popularity of multi-generational family travel, Holland America Line has created its Family Reunion Program, the first of its kind in the industry, to reward families who cruise together with extra amenities. Premium cruise leader Holland America Line's new Family Reunion Program offers amenities that benefit the entire family. Available to families booking five staterooms or more on any cruise, the program features such benefits as special group pricing; a Fountain Soda Package for every member of the family (unlimited soft drinks throughout the voyage); a family photo per stateroom; and a choice of either dinner for the entire family in the line's alternative Pinnacle Grill Restaurant or, on Caribbean cruises, free rentals of snorkel gear and swim mats or banana boat rides for all on Half Moon Cay, HAL's award-winning private island.

For families booking ten or more staterooms, the line offers its Head-of-the-Family Reward: one complimentary upgrade from an outside stateroom to a verandah. Family groups will receive the free upgrade to a verandah stateroom for the head of the family if booking only five staterooms or more on a holiday cruise in 2004.

"We are very excited to debut our Family Reunion Program -- it offers choice, extensive value, and a benefit for every member of the family," says Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Cruising is the perfect family vacation offering something for everyone. Sharing an exceptional meal with the entire family at the Pinnacle Grill or enjoying all the fun beach toys at Half Moon Cay provides an opportunity for families to bond and create lasting memories -- all with our compliments."

Holland America Line Offers Something for Everyone
Indeed, Holland America Line's extensive onboard programming is designed to appeal to guests of all ages and interests. Club HAL provides a wide variety of exciting age-appropriate activities for kids ages three to 12, including "kids-only" shore excursions. Participating youngsters receive an activity program delivered to their stateroom and a Club HAL T-shirt. There is also a program for teens ages 13 to 17, in which they can participate in activities such as their own discos, karaoke, DDR Dance Competitions and hot tub parties.

Moms, dads and grandparents will enjoy invigorating fitness activities with exercise classes, tennis, volleyball, and state-of-the-art golf instruction, and then relish the soothing treatments at the spa and salon. Enrichment opportunities abound with special guest lecturers, art auctions and carefully planned shore excursions.

The whole family will enjoy evenings out in the line's dramatic, multi-tiered show lounges featuring dazzling Las Vegas- and Broadway-style production shows created by more Emmy®, Grammy®, Tony® and Oscar® nominees than any other cruise line. These spectacular musical programs feature vocalists, comedians, illusionists and variety performers, suitable and entertaining for all ages.

Holland America Line's incomparable cuisine offers something for everyone in a variety of wonderful ways, from bountiful buffets in the line's award-winning Lido Restaurant to the Northwest-themed dishes of the Pinnacle Grill and the diverse meals served in the main dining room. The line offers the most extensive menus at sea (with more than 500 different food items on a typical 7-day cruise). All Holland America Line chefs are members of the prestigious Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs gourmet society and are experts at creating Continental cuisine and regional specialties appropriate to each cruising area and traditional favorites.

In 2005, Holland America Line, fleet of 12, five-star, premium ships are offering nearly 500 cruises from 27 home ports -- 17 in North America. Itineraries range in length from two to 116 days, visit all seven continents and offer the most extensive selection of ports the line has ever visited on cruises to the Caribbean and Panama Canal (175), Alaska (134), Canada/New England (18), and longer, exotic voyages to Europe (45), Mexico (43), Hawaii/Asia/Pacific (20), South America (17), and Transatlantic (8), as well as one Grand World Voyage.

As a part of its renowned Tradition of Excellence, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative providing unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet. The comprehensive enhancements focus on five areas vital to Holland America's guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements have been started on all ships and will be completed by the end of 2006. For more information, consult a 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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