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News from the world of cruise travel
October 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

Silversea Selects Isabella Rossellini As Its New Ambassador
Acclaimed Actress, Model and Author Joins Exclusive Group of New and Existing Luxury Partners Making Their Home Aboard Silversea

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Oct 11, 2004 - Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has selected internationally renowned actress, model and author Isabella Rossellini to be its first-ever Ambassador. The announcement was made last Friday at a special event and gala luncheon held aboard Silver Whisper. Docked at the New York Passenger Terminal, the elegant, 382-guest ship hosted members of the travel industry and media, as well as local business and society leaders.

Celebrated for her timeless beauty, Rossellini will soon appear in Silversea's print ads and brochures, as seen through the lens of Fabrizio Ferri, acclaimed photographer of Vanity Fair and Vogue. Rossellini will collaborate with Ferri aboard Silversea ships, and in exotic destinations, to create a photographic journal of her travels, giving particular expression to the unique sensations and emotions associated with the line's award-winning concept of ultra-luxury cruising. Daughter Elettra Wiedemann, a burgeoning model in her own right, will occasionally join Rossellini on her cruises.

"We asked Isabella because she is the ideal personification of Silversea's exclusive standard of elegance, glamour and sophistication," said Barbara Muckermann, Silversea's Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Communications. "Being Swedish and Italian, and living in New York, she is especially qualified to represent Silversea's international flavor and Italian heritage."

Added Muckermann, "During her travels with us, Isabella will become part of our family, making her 'home away from home' aboard each of our ships in a suite she will personally select, which will be renamed The Rossellini Suite, and customized and refurbished to her liking during the course of 2005."

Recognizing that authentic luxury is often simply a scent, a texture, an image or a taste that stirs the emotions and deepens one's enjoyment of life, Silversea is launching additional partnerships with companies whose acclaimed products and services will provide its guests with an exclusive experience of the very best that life can offer. These new alliances will complement Silversea's existing partnerships with such prestigious companies as Relais & Châteaux - Relais Gourmands and Davidoff.

Acqua di Parma: The ancient Romans used the essence of lavender to enhance and refine the pleasure of the bathing ritual, so it is fitting that Silversea would select the renowned Italian fragrance house of Acqua di Parma to produce its luxurious in-suite bath amenities. A name that epitomizes Italian style and elegance, Acqua di Parma has produced exquisite fragrances for almost 100 years, maintaining a tradition of excellence characterized by natural ingredients, delicate production processes and meticulous attention to detail - with most products still packaged and bottled by hand.

FAI - Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano: Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano (the Italian National Trust) protects and cares for some of Italy's most beautiful architectural and cultural treasures, including ancient castles, villas, a monastery, gardens, and stretches of pristine countryside and coastline. Through Silversea's exclusive partnership with FAI, guests will enjoy an enhanced program of shore excursions, cultural events and access to some of Italy's most intriguing historical sites. 

Italian Factory: Italian Factory is, in their own words, the new Italian art scene. They represent a collection of Italy's new art masters such as Petrus, Velasco, Pignatelli, Frangi, Neri and Rapetti. Through Silversea's exclusive partnership with Italian Factory, Silversea ships will soon house some of the most sought-after Italian artwork. As well as providing a new level of decor for the line's ships, Italian Factory's creations are sure to stir the imaginations and emotions of guests. By special arrangement with Italian Factory, guests will be allowed to purchase select pieces. 

Loro Piana: Loro Piana is the ultimate Italian luxury brand. For six generations, the company has excelled in fabrics production by selecting, purchasing and converting the best raw materials in the world, such as the finest merino wools, cashmere and vicuna. This expertise has allowed Loro Piana to create, in the last 20 years, a vast range of elegant, timeless, and top quality pieces for men and women, which also include accessories, gifts and made-to-measure products, all 100% "made in Italy. In addition to the 65 Loro Piana directly operated stores worldwide, four new Loro Piana locations will be inaugurated on the Silversea fleet by mid-2005.

Viking Range: Viking Range, whose ultra-premium appliances grace the luxury kitchens of those who truly enjoy the finer things in life, is uniting with Silversea to offer the ultimate culinary cruise experience with the introduction of the first Viking Cooking School at sea. This unique alliance will give Silversea guests the opportunity to actively participate in cooking classes led by the distinguished Relais & Châteaux - Relais Gourmands chefs hosting Silversea's popular Culinary Cruises. The new Viking culinary theatres will feature a custom-designed cooking station, fully equipped with Viking professional-caliber cookware, cutlery and countertop appliances.

For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Presents Proprietary Wine Series 
Cellarmaster Selection™ Enhances Dining Experience Onboard and at Home

MIAMI, Oct. 11 -- Celebrity Cruises has introduced a line of proprietary wines to complement its award-winning cuisine: the Celebrity Cruises Cellarmaster Selection™.

"With our Cellarmaster Selection, we have not simply placed our name on an existing wine; we have created proprietary wines that meet the same exacting standards as our food," said Celebrity's Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations Othmar Hehli. "Celebrity has been an industry trendsetter since its inception, and this new product continues that tradition."

Celebrity also is pioneering the use of the Internet to make it possible for adult consumers to order the wine for home consumption, where permitted by state and local laws. A full-service Web site,, enables consumers to preview, purchase and pay for the wine, and track their orders from any Internet-connected PC. Past guests and travel agents will be offered special pricing in appreciation for their loyalty.

"Our Cellarmaster Selection is tailored to perfectly complement Celebrity's extraordinary cuisine, while also providing our guests the opportunity to enjoy a taste of the Celebrity experience at home," said Hehli. "Only when we were satisfied that the wine would meet our precise standards and the discriminating palates of our guests did we approve the final blends."

The first two varietals, a 2002 Russian River Valley Chardonnay and a 2001 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, will be available onboard every ship in the fleet this month, with additional products scheduled to follow shortly. The company's intensive product development process paired leading wine makers with Celebrity's shipboard chefs, sommeliers and shoreside Food and Beverage colleagues, who secured grapes from some of the most highly regarded appellations in the world. Dozens of wines were sampled, with several blends refined numerous times. Third-party tasters were engaged to provide an independent perspective. 

For more information about Celebrity's Cellarmaster Selection, or to order the product online, visit The wines also can be ordered by calling toll-free 1-888-969-WINE (1-888-969-9463).

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The Oscar-of-the-Sea Goes to... Berlitz Announces Ratings for Top 20 Five-Star Cruise Ships From Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005
Europa Captures Highest Rating, and Is in `Five-Stars-Plus' Class by Itself 

MASPETH, NY -- For the fifth consecutive year, Europa, the luxury Hapag-Lloyd ship, tops the list in the most criteria in Berlitz Publishing's annual definitive cruising guide: Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005, which is due in bookstores next month. So exclusive and high-scoring in all possible decisive factors that author Douglas Ward, world-renowned authority on cruise ships, created a new class for the ship a couple of years back: Five-Stars-Plus.

Europa is classified as a "Small Ship," serving up 408 passengers. Ward has described her as "the very best and most luxurious cruise ship and cruise experience available today" and notes that Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, its owner, works hard to deliver a unique life experience to every passenger on every trip. This includes exceptional cuisine, world-class lecturers, interesting and unusual excursions, and a beautifully trained staff in gorgeous surroundings.

While Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005 delivers the most far-ranging analyses and ratings for the 256 cruise ships that sail today's seas, Ward says there is "no best cruise line in the world." Cruise lines - he notes - are like everything else. Their standards can waver each year, due to competition, the introduction of new ships, and other factors.

Ward asks readers to carefully consider the numbers, which he so dispassionately compiles, in the guide's ratings, rather than just the number of stars per ship. "The numbers never lie," he says. "They reflect evaluations in a most objective way, which is what I've been doing seriously for 20 years. The Europa, for example, attained 1,858 - out of a possible 2,000 - points.

This year, only 20 ships brought in the numbers necessary for membership into the prestigious Five-Stars Club, as opposed to 25 which earned the rating in last year's guide. See the following for the full membership list and top 20 Five-Star Ships in the world, according to Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005.


1. Europa (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises) 1,858 points out of a possible 2,000


1. SeaDream I with 1,790 points
2. SeaDream II with 1,790 points
3. Seabourn Legend with 1,786 points
4. Seabourn Pride with 1,785 points
5. Seabourn Spirit with 1,785 points
6. Queen Mary 2 (Grill Class) with 1,764 points
7. Silver Shadow with 1,757 points
8. Silver Whisper with 1,757 points
9. Hanseatic with 1,740 points
10. Silver Cloud with 1,717 points
11. Silver Wind with 1,717 points
12. Sea Cloud II with 1,709 points
13. Hebridean Spirit with 1,707 points
14. Sea Cloud with 1,704 points
15. Crystal Serenity with 1,702 points
16. Crystal Symphony with 1,701 points
17. Hebridean Princess with 1,701 points
18. Seven Seas Mariner with 1,701 points
19. Seven Seas Voyager with 1,701 points

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Discovery World Cruises Offers Two Golf Packages on New Zealand Cruisetour in March

FORT LAUDERDALE – In addition to the delights of New Zealand, one of the world’s great golf destinations, passengers on Discovery World Cruises’ 14-day New Zealand Cruisetour will have the opportunity to play five of the nation’s top courses, including the top-rated coastal course, Kauri Cliff, reached by helicopter. The cruisetour vacation, departing March 6, 2005, features the best of New Zealand’s North and South islands and includes cruising the picturesque Milford, Dusky and Doubtful sounds as a scenic highlight. Fares start from $2,450 per person, double, and include a three-day stay and half-day city tour in Auckland.

While in Auckland, golfers will sample the Gulf Harbour Golf Course, home of the 1998 World Cup of Golf. During the ship’s port call at Tauranga, passengers venture to the Mt. Maunganui Golf Course, a traditional links-style course. From the Art Deco city of Napier, players have a round at the parkland-style Napier Golf Club and, in Akaroa, the course of choice is the Clearwater Golf Course, which is featured on New Zealand’s PGA Nationwide Tour of resort courses.

These four courses are the highlights of Discovery World Cruises’ “Golf Extra” package, priced at $995 per person. In addition to four rounds of golf, the package includes shared use of golf carts, confirmed tee times, all ground transportation, GST tax and lunch at each course.

For the ultimate New Zealand golf experience, passengers can also opt for the “Kauri Cliff” golf package. This includes a one-hour helicopter flight over magnificent coastal scenery on North Island from Auckland to the Kauri Cliffs where a packed lunch and a round of golf awaits. The package, which includes helicopter transportation, green fees, cart share and the meal, is priced at $1,575 and is sold separately from the “Golf Extra” package.

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Holland America Line Offers 28 CruiseTours for 2005, Adds Tombstone Territorial Park for More Alaska and Yukon Wilderness 
Featuring Extra Time in the Best Places 

SEATTLE, Oct. 8 -- Holland America Line features an exciting array of Alaska and Yukon CruiseTour itineraries in 2005 with extra time for in-depth exploration in Denali National Park, Kluane National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, and newly added, Tombstone Territorial Park. This remote and unique, sub-arctic landscape north of Dawson City in the Canadian Yukon is the setting for an exclusive new program of tours and guided hikes. Expanded Dawson City Klondike Gold Rush activities and numerous additional wilderness adventures such as hiking, flightseeing, scenic tours by jeep and boat, bird watching and golfing are also part of the line's 2005 season of 28 CruiseTours.

"Holland America Line continues to offer a unique focus on the extraordinary experiences offered by U.S. and Canadian national parks," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "With our expanded offerings and addition of Tour Directors on many CruiseTours, the 2005 CruiseTour season is sure to be our most exciting."

The Leader In Alaska Cruises and Tours
Celebrating its 57th year as the leader in Alaska travel, Holland America Line will have seven ships offering 134 cruises in 2005 with more cruise and CruiseTour departures featuring Glacier Bay National Park than any other company. CruiseTours also highlight more time in Denali National Park. All 28 CruiseTours include the complete six-hour Denali Tundra Wilderness Tour for 71 percent more wildlife viewing and better Mt. McKinley viewpoints. Holland America Line offers the most "Double Denali" CruiseTours featuring a second full day at the Park and four new itineraries will travel directly between the ship in Seward and Denali National Park for a quicker transfer to the wilderness.

Additionally, every CruiseTour also includes travel aboard the new McKinley Explorer® luxury dome railcars, two nights at the new lodge at the McKinley Chalets at Denali National Park and one or two nights at the expanded Fairbanks Westmark Hotel.

"The best way to experience the natural wonders of Alaska and the Yukon is to take your time," said Meadows. "Guests can flightsee Mt. McKinley from Denali Village, get their hiking boots dirty in Tombstone or Kluane, cruise down the Yukon River aboard our exclusive dayboat, and cross the Arctic Circle to Prudhoe Bay. All CruiseTours features our five-star Holland America fleet with the extraordinary glaciers of Glacier Bay Hubbard Glacier, College Fjord or Tracy Arm."

Great values are another highlight of Holland America Line's 2005 season with current Early Saving discounts of 30%. Early Savings, double occupancy fares for 11- to 19-day CruiseTours start at $1,449; and double occupancy fares for seven-day cruises start at just $799.

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New Carnival Liberty to Debut One-of-a-Kind 6 & 8 Day Cruise Program From Fort Lauderdale in November 2005
110,000-ton SuperLiner Will Be First Carnival ‘Fun Ship’ Based
 Year-Round in Fort Lauderdale

MIAMI (Oct 7, 2004) – In fall 2005, Carnival Cruise Lines’ new 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty will launch the cruise industry’s only year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruise schedule from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 2,974-passenger SuperLiner is the first Carnival “Fun Ship” to based year-round in Fort Lauderdale. 

On this convenient schedule, which is slated to begin Nov. 12, 2005, six-day cruises will depart Sundays and visit Freeport, The Bahamas; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico, while eight-day voyages will depart Saturdays and alternate to the eastern and “exotic” western Caribbean. 

Eight-day eastern Caribbean voyages will feature five ports: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas/St. John, USVI.; Antigua, Lesser Antilles; Tortola/Virgin Gorda, BVI.; and Nassau, The Bahamas, while “exotic” western Caribbean cruises will include Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama and Cozumel, Mexico. 

“For the Carnival Liberty, we’ve assembled a terrific and diverse itinerary that combines some of the most popular and scenic ports in the eastern and western Caribbean all with the convenience of weekend departures from Fort Lauderdale,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. “With its wide-ranging dining and entertainment choices, huge array of balconied staterooms, and stunning interior design, Carnival Liberty is an excellent addition to the ‘Fun Ship’ fleet and will further solidify Carnival’s position as the ‘Number One Choice for Caribbean Cruising,’” he added. 

Carnival Liberty’s new six- and eight-day cruises will follow a previously announced series of 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) and a 16-day transatlantic crossing from Rome to Fort Lauderdale operating July 20 – Oct. 24, 2005.

Innovative Six- and Eight-Day Cruises
On its new schedule, Carnival Liberty will operate the only year-round six- and eight-day cruise program from Fort Lauderdale featuring a wide variety of fascinating Caribbean ports. “In addition to providing an outstanding value and an unparalleled combination of shoreside experiences, Carnival Liberty’s six-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale offer a convenient Sunday departure as well as a Saturday return that allows guests an extra day to relax before heading back to work,” Dickinson said. He noted that the Sunday departure should be particularly attractive to honeymooners. 

Six-day cruises offer guests three distinctly different island experiences – Freeport, Grand Cayman and Cozumel – each of which offers a wide range of interesting things to see and do, including excellent beaches, outstanding shopping and dining, and watersports such as snorkeling, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. 

Five ports – San Juan, St. Thomas (optional shore excursion to St. John), Antigua, Tortola (optional shore excursion to Virgin Gorda) and Nassau – are featured on Carnival Liberty’s eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises, providing consumers a variety of shoreside choices, from dining and shopping to snorkeling, parasailing, scuba diving and horseback riding. Highlighting this cruise is an extended evening stay in San Juan, providing an opportunity to sample the city’s legendary nightlife. 

The eight-day “exotic” western Caribbean cruises encompass three ports – Cozumel, Mexico; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama – which, in addition to numerous historical sites and attractions, including centuries-old ruins, offer a multitude of dining, shopping and watersports experiences. 

On these cruises, guests can visit the awe-inspiring Panama Canal from nearby Colon and partake in a variety of “adventure-type” tours in Limon such as canoeing, white-water rafting, and exploring the countryside in off-road vehicles. Also included is a visit to Cozumel, one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean, world-renowned for its gorgeous white-sand beaches and excellent shopping. Dickinson noted that the eight-day rotation provides guests an opportunity to visit a variety of tropical destinations that are typically available only on cruises of 10 days or longer. 

Signature ‘Fun Ship’ Amenities
The fourth in Carnival’s highly successful “Conquest-class,” Carnival Liberty will offer a wide range of “resort-style” facilities and features, including four restaurants – twin two-level main dining rooms, an expansive poolside eatery and an upscale supper club – along with a 13,000-square-foot spa, four swimming pools, a 214-foot-long water slide, a duty-free shopping mall, full casino gambling and an Internet cafe. 

Twenty-two lounges and bars, including a piano bar, wine bar, sports bar, a jazz club, and a multi-level theater showcasing Vegas-style productions, will also be featured. A comprehensive golf program where golfers can receive professional shipboard instruction and play top Caribbean courses will be available, as well. 

Of the ship’s 1,487 staterooms, 60 percent will offer an ocean view with 60 percent of those featuring private verandahs.

Myriad Family-Friendly Features
Building upon Carnival’s distinction as the family cruise leader, Carnival Liberty will house a 2,400-square-foot children’s play area featuring an arts and crafts center, computer lab, and a variety of toys and games. Special dining amenities for children, including a turn-down service offering chocolate chip cookies at bedtime and a program where kids can dine with the youth counselors on Lido deck, will also be featured. 

Carnival Liberty will also house “Action Alley,” a special area for teens, which will offer a dance club, coffee/soda bar and a high-tech game room with more than 40 video and arcade games. These amenities are part of the line’s top-rated “Camp Carnival” program that caters to the 450,000 children who sail aboard the “Fun Ships” annually.

Pricing and Reservations 
Carnival is now accepting reservations for the Carnival Liberty’s new six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale. Prices for the six-day cruises start at $499 per person while eight-day voyages start at $599. Special discounts for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom and optional round-trip air transportation from a variety of North American gateways are also available. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or

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High Tees on the High Seas
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Caters To Golfers with Inspiring Golf Programs

Hamburg, GERMANY – Is golfing your pleasure…or do you love cruising? Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, a leading international cruise line based in Germany with an established record in golf cruising, now offers bilingual trips. Golfers should be aware of these luxury ships and golf programs now available to U.S. travelers. The best golfers will be identified this month, and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will host an awards ceremony followed by a gala dinner on the Europa, the only ship in the world to achieve a Five-Stars-Plus rating from the world-respected Berlitz Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2004.  

Tee off from the High Seas on the Dream Ship
The Europa is a favorite among sophisticated travelers, and now that it offers an increased schedule of bilingual sailings, U.S. golfers can take advantage of the programs it offers. The Europa will sponsor bilingual sailings on three of its upcoming golf cruises: October 16-22, 2004 – Philadelphia-Nassau; January 20 – February 3, 2005 – Acapulco-Honolulu; and September 21-30, 2005 – Santander, Spain-Monte Carlo. 

On golf cruises aboard the only 5-Star-plus cruise ship, a PGA (Professional Golfers Association) golf pro is available 365 days a year for individual training sessions usually on board and also on golf courses if available – on designated Golf cruises and regular cruises alike. Additionally, during the Golf & Cruise programs, a second PGA Pro is aboard taking special care of golfers, accompanying them to the golf courses, making video analysis of your techniques, mental fitness etc. From the middle of the ocean, players learn everything about birdies, eagles, and other terminology, or enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and the anticipation of the next adventure ashore. Video analyses and individual training on the driving range help to improve your game and swing, while the Europa sails toward the glorious golf courses along the coasts of the Caribbean, the South Sea, Western Europe & the Mediterranean. Cruisers can also work on their shots on 21 of the best courses right onboard – thanks to Europa’s new golf simulator. Lectures on golf psychology, fitness, and professionally organized tournaments round out the ship’s offerings.

Time on the Great Lakes of North America: Golf & Cruise with the Columbus
In September 2005, the Columbus is scheduled to sail on a golf cruise on the Great Lakes with a ten-day trip from Chicago to Sarnia, which includes some of the country’s most beautiful greens. Northern forests at the height of Indian Summer – colorful foliage, roaring water falls, and craggy rock formations present a dramatic backdrop for a dream of a golf trip. Even the most demanding traveler will be delighted with Parry Sound, Ontario on Canadian Georgian Bay, and with Thunder Bay, Ontario on Lake Superior. On a special course in Duluth – a true inside tip in Minnesota – passengers can tee off in championship-course-style. They can enjoy the small greens and wide fairways of Wawashkamo Golf Course on Mackinac Island and the spectacular and changing landscape of waterfalls, bays and streams when they visit the Crimson Ridge Golf Resort in Sault Ste. Marie. The duration of the Golf Cruise is September 12 to 22, 2005.

Golf for Globetrotters on the Columbus
Whether it’s Mexico, America, or Australia, with Golf & Cruise on the Columbus, a vacation becomes an exciting trip of discovery for golf enthusiasts. Those who want to prepare for golf on shore can train on the ship with German PGA professionals. An individual training program prepares travelers for the greens. In addition to attention from PGA champs, Columbus offers a Golf Package with transfers, greens fees for 18 holes, a set of golf balls, a handbook, and tees. In its “Book of Greens,” Hapag-Lloyd provides detailed travel information for all golf cruises available on the Columbus. You may also book golf cruises now for the 2005/2006 season.

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Say 'I Do' All Over Again: Carnival Adds Wedding Vow Renewal Packages
Ship Captains to Perform Renewal Ceremonies Aboard 'Fun Ships'

MIAMI (Oct 7, 2004) - Whether it's to mark a special anniversary or simply celebrate the joy of marriage, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering two new packages for guests wishing to renew their wedding vows on a "Fun Ship" cruise. The renewal ceremonies, performed by the ship captains, are available fleetwide and held in a public lounge or the wedding chapel (Spirit-class ships).

"Our wedding vows renewal packages, along with the romantic atmosphere aboard our ships, provide a unique experience for couples to express their love for each other all over again," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

The standard package starts at $385 and includes a shipboard ceremony performed by the captain, a "renewal of marriage vows" certificate, a champagne toast with two keepsake etched flutes, flowers for both bride and groom, a traditional two-tier wedding cake, pre-recorded wedding music and photographic services. The deluxe package starts at $785 and offers all the amenities of the standard package, as well as a reception with one-hour open bar and hot-and-cold canapés. Ceremonies include aisle runner and decorative floral arrangements. A variety of options such as videography services, live music and tuxedo rental are also available at additional cost. 

The wedding vow renewal packages are part of Carnival's fleetwide wedding program, which is expected to host 2,200 couples this year and offers a variety of shipboard and shoreside wedding packages featuring romantic ceremonies aboard ship or in ports of call. Carnival's wedding and renewal packages are available on each of the line's 19 "Fun Ships," which operate voyages from three to 16 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Europe.

For additional information on Carnival's wedding packages, call the line's Bon Voyage Department at 1-800-933-4968. Information and reservations on Carnival's "Fun Ship" cruises can be obtained by contacting any travel agent, calling 1-800-CARNIVAL or visiting the line's Web site at

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Royal Caribbean Expands Onboard Gift Items & Amenities
New Catalog Features Enhanced Selection & New Online Ordering Option

MIAMI, Oct. 7 -- Royal Caribbean International's new Gifts and Gear catalog is helping guests enhance their vacation even before it starts. The new catalog allows guests to purchase gifts and treats online in advance, to be delivered directly to their staterooms once they have arrived onboard.

"This is a significantly enhanced line of amenities designed to complement guests' cruise experience," said Maria Sastre, vice president, Fleet Operations-Hotel, for Royal Caribbean International. "Guests can purchase special gifts for their own enjoyment or as a bon voyage gift for family and friends. In addition, with the new online ordering feature, they can do it all by visiting our web site."

The Gifts and Gear catalog features new clothing collections and youth products as well as sweet and savory treats and stateroom surprises. Guests can purchase everything from yoga suits to wines and birthday decorations. The new Adventure Wear and Gear line features accessories for every cruiser. Whether it's a tote bag, water bottle holder, beach towel or waist pack, guests can find the perfect item to take to the pool or into town. Guests looking to pamper themselves or someone special will enjoy the line's new lounge wear, featuring Royal Caribbean terry robes and matching slippers and luxurious terry waffle robes embroidered with the distinctive Royal Caribbean logo. Guests also can treat themselves or a friend to an extensive collection of flower arrangements and special sweets, including chocolate-covered strawberries.

Kids will enjoy the goodies from Royal Caribbean's youth shop. Partnering with Crayola®, Royal Caribbean is now offering Color Wonder® activity packs that include Color Wonder Finger Paint and coloring books; Color Wonder activity totes; and a cuddly Crayola Travel Turtle filled with several items--the perfect thing to keep kids busy during quiet times onboard or on the way home.

Guests can view and download the Gifts and Gear catalog online at Purchases can be made by filling out the order form and submitting it online; emailing the order to ; or call 1-800-722-5443. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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SeaDream Yacht Club Introduces Booked Guest’ Website

SeaDream Yacht Club, operator of the ultra luxury, mega yachts SeaDream I and II, has introduced a new website for guests with future reservations; Access to this particular website is limited to those with a future reservation. To enter the website guests are required to input their future reservation number, their sailing date and their SeaDream Club number.

The site was specifically created as a convenient way for guests to complete required travel information prior to their voyage. On the site guests are able to view their upcoming reservation and itinerary, input passport details, update contact information and notify SeaDream of their bedding requests, allergies and special dietary requirements. Soon the site will also allow for pre-booking of SeaDream Land Adventures.

The portal used is called SeaWeb and interfaces with SeaDream’s versatile reservations software system SeaWare. If guests are unable to access this website or prefer to provide this information in another manner, it may be communicated by mail, fax or email. They are invited to contact SeaDream at 1 800 707-4911. Once booked, full fare guests become members of the SeaDream Club, the operator’s past passenger organization and a variety of value-added benefits are available.

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Royal Caribbean Takes Travel Channel on a Mediterranean Cruise
Travel Channel Host Samantha Brown Takes Her First Cruise Onboard Royal Caribbean International's Brilliance of the Seas

MIAMI, Oct. 6, 2004 - Travel Channel viewers accustomed to touring the world's great hotels with popular host Samantha Brown can join her on October 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT as the travel pro takes a prime-time exploration of new waters aboard her first cruise vacation. Filmed onboard a Mediterranean sailing of Royal Caribbean International's Brilliance of the Seas, SAMANTHA BROWN'S FIRST CRUISE packs 12 nights worth of onboard adventure, shore excursions, sightseeing, fine dining, and pampering all into a one-hour special.

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Norwegian Dawn to Set Sail on R Family Vacation 
from NYC on July 10, 2005

NEW YORK, Oct. 5 -- Rosie O'Donnell, along with her partner Kelli O'Donnell and travel entrepreneur Gregg Kaminsky are the principals of R Family Vacations, the first travel company devoted to gay and lesbian family vacations. Following the success of its first cruise, R Family Vacations second cruise will set sail on the Norwegian Dawn with a completely customized itinerary departing from New York City on July 10th 2005, with Ports- of -Call to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Provincetown, Boston, and Martha's Vineyard.

R Family Vacations fills an important niche--it's truly the first of its kind. "We are the gay cruise with family values. We're creating vacations for gay and lesbian travelers and their family of choice -- children, parents, relatives, friends, couples, and individuals," said Kelli O'Donnell. "R Family  Vacations creates an instant community where everyone is welcome. Kids are not required to join our cruise. Many gay and lesbian travelers prefer a more relaxed atmosphere with more sophisticated entertainment than what is currently being offered on other gay and lesbian cruises with less emphasis on late-night dance parties. So this cruise is perfect for them. You don't have to compromise your lifestyle to go on a vacation," adds Gregg Kaminsky.

R Family Vacations are specially designed so children can meet other children from families just like theirs, and parents can relax and pamper themselves. This past summer's cruise had over 600 children. "There are great kids' programs on the ship. It is like a 'day camp at sea' and we offer early evening entertainment that is just for the kids. Kids have their own activities at night while parents can enjoy dinner and a show. For adults, there will be premier entertainment and a lot of pampering and relaxation opportunities," says Kelli O'Donnell. There are themed nightly programs including carnival games, westerns and mardi gras. Last summer, the kids enjoyed watching the off-Broadway production of "Schoolhouse Rock." The kids were excited about their own activities while the parents enjoyed the scrumptious dinners and shows. Babysitting services are also available.

Rosie O'Donnell says, "We welcome all families, however you define them, to join us on this cruise. I'm excited to share this experience again with my friends and family." Many straight travelers enjoyed the incredible entertainment and energy offered on this unique gay family cruise. The Broadway -themed entertainment is world-class. Additionally, R Family Vacations again will offer an array of speakers and seminars. Last summer, our guests enjoyed Ms. Shabazz (Malcom X's daughter), Chrissy Gephardt and Esera Tuaolo (gay NFL football player) to name a few. The cruise included travelers from all over the United States and Canada. Weddings are also offered on board. Last summer there were 23 weddings performed. HBO filmed our extraordinary voyage for a documentary that will air sometime in 2005.

Gay and lesbian travelers take an average of 11% more leisure trips per year than heterosexual travelers. In the last decade, the number of cruises of any kind departing from New York City has more than tripled. Travelers today want more choices, and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) wants the choice to be yours. That's why they have introduced "Freestyle Cruising" and "Freestyle Dining." Choose what (if any) activities or excursions to participate in, and when and where to eat from ten exclusive restaurants offering everything from Asian to French to Italian cuisine. "Charters are a very important business segment for NCL and we are pleased that R Family Vacations has chosen the Norwegian Dawn again for its second charter cruise," said Mitch Schlesinger, vice president of North America sales for NCL. "We look forward to welcoming R Family guests onboard this historic cruise to enjoy Freestyle Cruising out of New York."

R Family Vacations' goal is a simple one: to provide acceptance for all families and to create a welcoming and nurturing environment so a good time can be had by all. We are thrilled that more than half of last summer's guests rebooked for next summer's cruise. To make a reservation, call (866) 732-6822 or visit our website at

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Princess Announces Fifth Annual Alaska Shore Excursion Awards
Local Tours and Guides Recognized for Providing Exceptional Shore Experiences to Princess Passengers

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct. 5 -- Feedback from Princess passengers throughout the season proves that local shore tour operators are an integral part of every visitor's Alaska cruise experience. In recognition of that fact, Princess uses these customer comments to celebrate the best tour guides and shore excursions in Alaska each season through the company's C.R.U.I.S.E. customer service program. This year marks the fifth anniversary of this unique program, which determines the top operators in each Alaskan and Canadian port featured on Princess itineraries. Award winners are those tour companies and individual guides who received the most passenger commendations from Princess' extensive line-up of more than 125 different shore excursion options. The winners recently received their awards at ceremonies held aboard the line's Alaska-based ships.

"Our tour operators really do such an outstanding job of ensuring that Princess' service levels continue even when passengers get off the ship," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "We're very pleased to be able to offer them these C.R.U.I.S.E. awards each year in recognition of that fact."

Begun in 1999 in the Caribbean as part of Princess' C.R.U.I.S.E. (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing In Service Excellence) customer service program, and expanded to Alaska in 2000, these awards are the culmination of a season- long effort to recognize the importance of Alaskan-owned tour operator partners to passengers' cruise experience. Tour Guide of the Season award winners receive $100, a tour of the ship, a letter of commendation, a plaque, and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch onboard for company officials. A full list of winners is attached.

Princess Adventures Ashore 2004 C.R.U.I.S.E. Shore Excursion of the Season & Tour Guide of the Season

Co-Shore Excursions: Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest -- Allen Marine Tours; Four Glacier Adventure via Helicopter -- ERA Helicopters
Honorable Mention: Guides Choice Adventure Hike -- Gastineau Guiding; Pilot's Choice Helicopter Exploration -- Temsco Helicopters; Taku Glacier Lodge Flight & Feast -- Wings Airways/Taku Lodge; Helicopter Glacier Walkabout -- NorthStar Trekking
Co-Tour Guides: Chuck Stratton -- ERA Helicopters; Kirk (Ziggy) Ziegenfuss -- AJ Mill/Gastineau Mine
Honorable Mention: Jami Likins -- Gastineau Guiding

Co-Shore Excursions: Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure -- Snorkel Alaska
Guided Alaskan Fishing & Wilderness Dining -- Baranof Skiff Excursions
Honorable Mention: Lighthouse & Eagles Excursion -- Lighthouse Excursions
Wilderness Explorations and Crab Feed -- Experience Alaska Tours
Co-Tour Guides: Kris Chamberlin -- Snorkel Alaska; Rob Holston -- Lighthouse Excursions
Honorable Mention: Alex Smelnoff -- Snorkel Alaska; Erika Olson -- Snorkel Alaska

Co-Shore Excursions: Glacier Point Wilderness Safari -- Chilkat Guides; Skagway's Original Street Car -- The Skagway Street Car Co.
Honorable Mention: Klondike Rock Climbing & Rappelling -- Alaska Mountain Guides; Pilot's Choice Helicopter Odyssey -- Temsco Helicopters
Co-Tour Guides: Nicki Bunting -- The Skagway Street Car Co; Boris Wise -- Chilkat Guides
Honorable Mention: Marianne McElroy -- Chilkat Guides

Shore Excursion: Captain's Choice Wildlife Quest & Beach Walk -- Allen Marine Tours
Tour Guide: Bobbi Daniels -- Sitka Tours

Shore Excursion: Butchart Gardens, Wine & Chocolate -- D'Costa Ports of Call
Tour Guide: Gordon Parkin -- Gray Line of Victoria

Shore Excursion: Seattle Highlights -- Gray Line of Seattle

Shore Excursion: Blackstone Glacier Cruise -- Prince William Sound Cruises & Tours

Shore Excursion: Deluxe Grand City Tour -- Gray Line of Vancouver

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C Wines Debuts as New Proprietary Label for Crystal Cruises
Award-Winning Cruise Line is First in Luxury Market  to Produce Exclusive Label

LOS ANGELES - Oct 4, 2004 - Building on its reputation for excellence and innovation in the culinary arts, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has created its own proprietary label called C Wines. Debuting aboard the line's fleet of three award-winning, luxury ships this month, C Wines features six new appellations including three reserve and three premium selections of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. 

Under the direction and guidance of Crystal's executive food and beverage team and its expert sommeliers, C Wines are produced to exacting specifications in the vineyards of California's legendary Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Arroyo Seco, and Santa Lucia Highlands. Carefully made in limited production to ensure quality, Crystal's first order of C Wines will deliver 54,500 bottles to Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. C Wines will be offered by the glass or by the bottle, and will be showcased on the line's already impressive wine list.

"The creation of C Wines has been a labor of love among our sommeliers and executive hotel staff for the last year. These vintages represent the ultimate culmination of our collective passion for and knowledge of wine that will surely appeal to the senses of sophisticated aficionados, as well as complement our cuisine," says Toni Neumeister, Crystal's vice president of food and beverage operations.

After extensive research, Crystal tapped the Monterey Wine Company, widely regarded for its consistency and reliability in producing quality wines, to manage the growing and production of C Wines. With state-of-the-art winemaking facilities throughout California's prime wine regions, the celebrated company's advanced technologies allow for continual testing and experimentation ensuring only the best grapes are bottled. 

The Monterey Wine Company is led by a team of experienced winery professionals representing more than 85 years of growing, making and/or managing vineyards with distinguished labels such as Caymus, Domaine Chandon, Joseph Phelps and Kendall-Jackson, among others.

Recognizing the depth of commitment among Crystal's sommeliers to C Wines, Vineyard Manager Steve McIntyre comments, "The sommeliers wanted to know exactly which vineyard blocks produced the flavors they were looking for, and how to harvest those vines for richer flavors."

In directing the winemaking, the sommeliers endeavored to preserve the rich, complex flavors of the grapes, and selected the most superior lots to create the reserves such as the C Reserve Merlot, Napa Valley 2003, which is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. The grapes for the C 2003 Chardonnay, California, were grown in premium vineyards esteemed for producing fruit with lively, rich flavors. 

Eric Laumann, director of production for Monterey Wine Company, observes, "I was impressed with the care that the Crystal team exhibited, thinking about their customers, considering only the wines that would best accompany the cuisine served at the various restaurants on board." 

The six propriety labels include three C-Reserve wines - 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley; 2002 Merlot, Napa Valley; and 2003 Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco/Santa Lucia Highlands; and three C-Premium vintages - 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, California; 2003 Chardonnay, California; and 2003 Merlot, California. C Wines is the latest evolution of Crystal Cruises' sophisticated culinary program which includes its highly regarded Crystal Wine & Food Festival, now in its eighth year, and its Wine & Champagne Makers Dinners, the first such concept to be offered at sea.

The line continues on its worldwide journey to advance the culinary arts, leading the cruise industry by forming innovative alliances with some of the world's most celebrated names in food, wine and hospitality including menus designed by Nobu Matsuhisa and signature dishes from Wolfgang Puck's Chinois on Main. Now in its third year, the luxury line also hosts the Best Young Chefs of Italy, a collaborative effort with long-time partner Piero Selvaggio, proprietor of the acclaimed Valentino restaurants. For additional information, contact a travel agent or call 866.446.6625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society Enrolls 
Three Millionth Member

Loyalty Program Continues to Grow in Membership, New Reward Levels

MIAMI, Oct. 4 -- Sandra Cosad of Waterloo, NY, is already stocking up on suntan lotion in preparation of her free seven-night cruise for two on Royal Caribbean International, which she won for helping the line's Crown & Anchor Society reach a significant milestone. Cosad, who joined the loyalty membership program this summer after sailing onboard Adventure of the Seas, was the three millionth guest to enroll in the society. 

"Repeat guests are important to everything we do at Royal Caribbean. That's why we created our Crown & Anchor Society -- to show how much we value their loyalty and look forward to serving them again and again," said Barbara Shrut, vice president, Loyalty and eMarketing, for Royal Caribbean International. "The response we've received since the program was relaunched in 2002 has been tremendous. One in every five guests who cruise with us is now a member, making Crown & Anchor one of the largest and most successful loyalty programs in the industry."

The company's loyalty program now has four levels of membership: Gold after guests' first cruise; Platinum after their fifth; Diamond after their tenth, and a newly created fourth level, Diamond Plus. To commemorate the growth of the program, the Crown & Anchor Society has created the Diamond Plus level to recognize guests who have completed 24 cruise credits. In addition to receiving the benefits of other levels, Diamond Plus members will get behind- the-scenes tours, a personalized amenity delivered to their staterooms and a stateroom upgrade. After 49 completed cruise credits, guests will have dinner with one of the ship's officers and a VIP theater experience, including a backstage tour. When a member reaches their 100th cruise credit, Royal Caribbean will treat them to a complimentary seven-night cruise in a balcony stateroom.

Guests can join Crown & Anchor after completing their first Royal Caribbean cruise. They will receive a cruise credit each time they sail, as well as extra cruise credits towards membership when they sail on a cruise/cruisetour of 12 nights or longer and book a suite stateroom. 

Crown & Anchor member benefits include a subscription to the award-winning Crown & Anchor magazine and savings on future cruises, including special member cruises. While onboard, members can enjoy a "welcome back" party, a complimentary wine tasting, a commemorative gift and a value booklet including certificates to use at shipboard venues, including casinos, spas and bars. Platinum and Diamond membership entitles members to a private departure lounge, plush robes for onboard use and an exclusive onboard event on each sailing. Platinum and Diamond level members also receive priority check-in and special rates on balcony suites and staterooms. In addition, Diamond-level members receive concierge services on select ships, priority status for dining room seating, priority status on waitlists for sold-out shore excursions and priority departure from the ship.

To join the Crown & Anchor Society, guests can complete an enrollment form onboard at the Loyalty Ambassador or Guest Relations desk, or wait until after their vacation and enroll at or by calling the Crown & Anchor desk at 800-526-9723.

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Royal Caribbean Reports Impact of Hurricanes & Provides 2004 Earnings Estimate

MIAMI - Oct 4, 2004 - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. commented on the financial impact of the unusual spate of hurricanes this summer. The hurricanes impacted sailings which ended in both the third and fourth quarters. As a result, the company expects an impact of $0.10 to its third quarter earnings and $0.02 to $0.03 to its fourth quarter earnings. A portion of the impact is attributable to lost revenue and a portion to an increase in expenses. The impact of these expenses in the third quarter is expected to be partially offset by a shift in the timing of certain expenses from the third to fourth quarter. 

Partially mitigating the financial impact of the hurricanes have been strong bookings for the summer. As a result, the company now estimates that Net Yields for the third quarter of 2004 will be slightly better than the company's previous forecast of an increase in the range of 10% to 11%. 

Based upon these expectations, management anticipates 2004 earnings per share to be in the range of $2.25 to $2.35 despite the unusual events of the summer. The company intends to provide more information on the outlook after the conclusion of the quarter's financial close. 

The company's earnings release will be issued on October 21, 2004. A conference call with analysts has been scheduled for 10 a.m. that day, and can be heard by all interested parties at the company's investor relations web site, Visual aids relating to the call also will be available at the web site. A replay of the webcast will be available at the same site for a month following the call.

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Norwegian Coastal Voyages Introduces 12-Day Cruise Tour Combining Gala New Year's Aboard Ship & A Wilderness Stay in Arctic Norway

NEW YORK – A gala New Year’s Eve aboard the MS Polarlys; induction into the Polar Bear Club in Hammerfest, the world’s northernmost town; a traditional Sami (Lapp) lunch by the fire in a turf hut; a horse-and-sleigh ride, ice fishing and snow scooter ride in the wilderness of Arctic Norway; and the chance of seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky are highlights of a new, 12-day Norwegian Coastal Voyage cruise tour departing December 27.

The air-inclusive package combines a five-day cruise on the 482-berth Polarlys along the fjord-indented Norwegian coast from Bergen, a World Heritage City, to the fishing village of Havoysund with winter activities, outdoor hot tub, sauna and meals with Arctic fish and game specialties at the Ongajoksetra Mountain Farm Hotel in the snow-covered wilderness; sightseeing in Hammerfest, Alta, Bergen and Oslo; drinks at the ice bar of Norway’s only ice hotel; a holiday dinner in Bergen and farewell dinner in Oslo; and first-class hotels with buffet breakfast daily.

Shipboard activities include a gala dinner, dance and midnight champagne toast on New Year’s Eve, crossing of the Arctic Circle ceremony on New Year’s Day, live music and get-togethers, and talks on the Northern Lights, the indigenous Sami culture and other aspects of Norwegian culture and history.

An alternative to a traditional cruise, the Norwegian Coastal Voyage is a unique combination of a first-class cruise ship, a working ship that carries local passengers and cargo, and a lifeline to remote coastal towns and villages. The 27 ports of call range from fishing villages in the rugged Lofoten Islands to Art Nouveau Alesund; Trondheim, Norway’s first capital; and Tromso, home of the Polaria Arctic Experience Center.

The New Year’s package, which costs $4,410 to $4,625 per person, double occupancy, for cabins and $4,870 to $5,010 for a suite, also includes transatlantic flight from New York to Bergen and back from Oslo, an Alta-Oslo flight, tour director and local guides, most meals, cabin category selected for the cruise, port taxes, air taxes and transfers. No single supplement applies in some cabin categories. An AARP member discount of $100 per cabin and a senior savings of $115 per person for travelers age 67 and up can be combined. Add-on airfares are available from other U.S.gateways.

Information and reservations can be obtained from Norwegian Coastal Voyage, (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; for brochures, (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day; web site:

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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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