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News from the world of cruise travel
October 16-31, 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

Celebrity Cruises Shines 'Spotlight' on Aspiring Singers
Top Premium Line's President & COO Jack Williams Pens Song for Contest

MIAMI, Oct. 29 -- The premium cruise line that "treats guests famously" just might make one of its guests famous. Celebrity Cruises is sponsoring Celebrity Spotlight™, a national talent competition in which aspiring singers enter to win a chance to record the official version of "Fueled by Moonlight Dust," the line's new theme song, which was inspired and written by its President & COO Jack Williams, with songwriters Tom Gross and Aaron Barker. The Celebrity Spotlight competition will run from November 1, 2004 through January 7, 2005, and is open to four categories of entrants: (1) all guests sailing with Celebrity during that period, (2) Captains Club members, (3) travel agents, and (4) employees of Celebrity Cruises and sister brand, Royal Caribbean International.

Entrants will sing a song of their choice, as well as their own rendition of Williams' "Fueled by Moonlight Dust." A panel of music industry experts will select three finalists from each of the four groups and fly them to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the final event onboard the cruise line's Summit, February 18, 2005, followed by a gala celebration at a local venue. During the final event, a panel of celebrity judges will listen to the 12 finalists and vote for their favorite. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000, a Celebrity cruise for two, and the opportunity to record the official version of the theme song. Three runners-up (one from each category) also will receive a Celebrity cruise for two. For more information on the contest and to obtain the song lyrics, visit the Celebrity Web site at

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Princess Issues Newest Brochure for Planning Exotic Escapes to Asia
Passengers Can Explore the Mystery of the Far East in 2005-06 with China Cruisetours, 
Southeast Asia Sailings and Extended Connoisseur Voyages

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 29, 2004) - From Beijing to Bangkok, Shanghai to Singapore, Princess passengers can plan the vacation of a lifetime exploring the wonders of Asia, with the line's newly released Asia cruise and cruisetours brochure.
The 64-page booklet includes a handy at-a-glance port finder that enables passengers to select the perfect itinerary to take them to the places they've always dreamed of visiting, or exciting new venues such as Princess' newest Asian port, Petropavlovsk, in Russia. Travelers can use the guide to choose from 11 Asia sailings on eight unique itineraries, plus three China cruisetour options offered for the 2005-06 season.
Among Princess' Asia choices for May-December 2005 departures are:

* Diamond Princess Cruises to Asia-- Diamond Princess' first Asia season will feature a variety of itineraries departing between September 24 and December 20, 2005, including a 17-day Alaska/Far East cruise offering a new port of call at Petropavlovsk, Russia. The lineup includes a 19-day Australia/Asia cruise between Singapore and Sydney; three 16-day Southeast Asia/China cruise between Beijing and Bangkok or Singapore; an 11-day China/Far East sailing between Osaka and Beijing; and a 17-day Alaska/Far East voyage from Seattle to Osaka.

* Pacific Princess' Asian Summer -- In addition to Diamond Princess' fall voyages, the intimate Pacific Princess will also offer a unique program of three summertime sailings on the popular Southeast Asia/China route between Beijing and Bangkok. The ship will offer three sailings of the 16-day itinerary, departing between June 24 and July 26, visiting ports in South Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. 

* China Cruisetours -- Passengers can make the most of their Asian sojourn by opting for a full land/sea vacation by adding a three- to nine-day land package to their cruise to some of the most unforgettable sights in China. Guests can visit treasures such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the famed Terra Cotta Warriors and the Yangtze River as part of a seamless vacation that includes one of several cruise options aboard Diamond Princess or Pacific Princess and one of three tour choices: Beijing and the Great Wall, Beijing and the Terra Cotta Warriors, and Beijing, Xian and Yangtze River Cruise. 

* Connoisseur Adventure Voyages -- Princess once again offers a selection of special, longer voyages that travel between continents or major destinations. Pacific Princess offers several sailings, including Princess' very popular 25-day Islands of the Pacific Theater route on May 29, featuring calls at many of WWII's important battle sites between Honolulu and Beijing. Pacific Princess will also sail on a 30-day Asia/India/East Africa voyage from Bangkok to Cape Town, departing August 11. 

Copies of Princess' new brochure are available from professional travel agents or by clicking on the "Brochures" link at Brochures may also be downloaded in pdf format from the website. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent or by calling 1-800-PRINCESS.

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SeaDream Yacht Club Offers Caribbean & Mexican Yucatan
 Year-End & Spring Break Special Value Fares

SeaDream Yacht Club has announced a series of Year-End Holiday and Spring Break Special Value Fares with 25 percent off on selected sailings. They are being offered to those who book two or more staterooms on the same, selected, seven-day sailings in the Caribbean, along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Belize. 

The selected Year-End Sailings are three Christmas or New Year’s voyages in the Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula in December. They are offered at $2,999 per person for Deck Two, Yacht Club Staterooms---a savings of $900 from SeaDream’s “Book Now and Save” pricing.

The selected Spring Break Sailings are five Caribbean sailings and three Yucatan Peninsula sailings next March and April. They are offered at $2,199 per person for Deck Two, Yacht Club Staterooms---a savings of $700 from the “Book Now and Save” pricing.

This special pricing, based on double occupancy per stateroom, guarantees the accommodations which are allocated approximately 24 hours prior to sailing. Modest per person government fees and port and handling charges are additional. 

Year-End Holiday Special Value sailings are:

  • SeaDream I---December 19, Caribbean

  • SeaDream II---December 19 and 26, Yucatan Peninsula

Spring Break Special Value Sailings are:

  • SeaDream I---March 6, 13, 20, 27 and April 3, Caribbean

  • SeaDream II---March 13, 20 and April 3, Yucatan Peninsula and Belize

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Carnival Offers New Pre- and Post Cruise Hotel Packages
 in Jacksonville

MIAMI (October 29, 2004) - Carnival Cruise Lines is offering new one-night pre- and post-cruise hotel packages at the luxurious Adam's Mark Jacksonville Hotel in conjunction with new year-round "Fun Ship" cruises from Jacksonville, Fla. Beginning January 2005, the one-night hotel packages can be combined with four- and five-day cruise departures aboard the 1,486-passenger Celebration. Four-day cruises visit Freeport and Nassau, while five-day voyages feature Key West and Nassau. 

The largest hotel in northeast Florida, the Adam's Mark Jacksonville Hotel features 996 rooms, 110,000 square feet of meeting space, four restaurants and bars, and a full-service rooftop health club and pool overlooking stunning views of the St. Johns River and surrounding cityscape. Located along the newly developed north riverbank boardwalk, the hotel is situated in the heart of the downtown business district and only minutes from various local attractions, including the Jacksonville Landing, Center for Performing Arts, Florida Theatre, Alltel Stadium, golf courses, shopping and beaches. Prices for the one-night hotel stays begin at $53 per person, based on double occupancy. Carnival is currently accepting reservations for the new hotel packages and "Fun Ship" cruises from Jacksonville.

For additional information and reservations on Carnival's new Jacksonville departures, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit Additional information on the Adam's Mark Jacksonville Hotel is available at

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Carnival Corp Names Stein Kruse CEO of Holland America Line

MIAMI, Oct. 28 -- Stein Kruse has been named chief executive officer for Holland America Line Inc., a wholly owned unit of Carnival Corporation. His appointment is effective December 1, 2004. Kruse will report to Micky Arison, chairman & CEO, and Howard Frank, vice chairman & COO, Carnival Corporation. Kruse, who will serve as president and chief executive officer, succeeds A. Kirk Lanterman who led Holland America Line for more than 30 years. Lanterman, a cruise industry icon, will continue to serve as chairman of Holland America Line Inc. in a non-executive role and as a member of the board of directors of Carnival Corporation. 

"Kirk has been a guiding light in the cruise industry for more than 30 years and, together with his team, positioned Holland America Line as the premium cruise leader," said Arison. "Under his strong leadership Holland America Line has exceeded the expectation of numerous stakeholders, including employees, guests, travel sellers and our shareholders. His contributions to our organization have truly been significant. Kirk has overseen the growth of Holland America Line from a relatively small, three-ship operation when it was acquired by Carnival in 1989, to one of the most successful and innovative cruise companies in the world," continued Arison. "The level of service Holland America Line delivers, their industry-leading repeat rates, the longevity of employees and rigorous financial controls are among Kirk's many accomplishments. I am very pleased that Kirk, while no longer performing executive duties, will remain at Holland America to provide both Stein and me with his valued counsel." Arison added, "Stein and Kirk have worked together for a number of years and Stein is uniquely qualified to continue Holland America Line's track- record of accomplishment. Stein's proven leadership ability will not only ensure a smooth transition but also position Holland America Line for continued success as the company fully implements its important Signature of Excellence initiatives and takes delivery of additional capacity.

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'Parents' Magazine Names ms Zuiderdam's Seven-Day Caribbean as Best Family-Friendly Cruise 

SEATTLE, Oct. 28 -- Holland America Line's ms Zuiderdam's Caribbean sailing was named best cruise for an extended family by "Parents" magazine. The publication cited Zuiderdam's on-board facilities and programs as appealing to guests from toddlers to grandparents. According to the Travel Industry Association, each year five million American families take a multi-generational vacation, defined as having three or more generations traveling together. The Zuiderdam was recognized by "Parents" because it specifically appeals to multi-generational guests. The article's author, Lauren Bernstein, highlighted the ship's diverse amenities including two outdoor pools, a full-service spa, gym, golf simulator, cyber cafe and Club HAL, the line's youth activity program.

"The Zuiderdam offers something for everyone in the family because it was designed to meet the diverse needs of today's cruisers and multi-generational guests," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Like its sister ships, ms Oosterdam and ms Westerdam, it features WaveRunner, a place just for teens, and KidZone for younger cruisers. Parents and grandparents can enjoy adult activities on their cruise knowing the kids are having fun in a supervised atmosphere."

Zuiderdam alternates week-long Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries departing on Saturdays from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Eastern cruises sail to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Western cruises visit Key West, Fla.; Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; and Half Moon Cay. Prices start at $599 per person, double occupancy, for 2004 sailings. Children occupying the same cabin (up to two per cabin) are $199 per child. Taxes are additional.

Half Moon Cay Adding New Kids Activity Choices
Bernstein wrote that "your children will have a blast at Half Moon Cay." Holland America Line's award winning private Bahamian island offers many activities for kids, such as Just for Kids shore excursions, sand-castle building, swimming, snorkeling, sailing and plenty of beach fun. New activities will be added by December 1, 2004. These include a new Family Aqua Park and AquaTrax guided personal water craft park. A new sting ray adventure program and a horseback riding and swimming tour will also be added to the island's activities by late fall.

Club HAL Has Something for Every Kid
The Vista-class KidsZone has both indoor and outdoor play areas that are supervised by professional youth coordinators. Daily activities include arts and crafts, games, computer fun, candy bingo and special kids-only parties. The Zuiderdam's WaveRunner is an area complete with a dance floor and a game room for the teen activity program. Teens are free to watch movies on a big-screen TV, compete in teen sports tournaments, hang out with friends and participate in activities such as their own discos, karaoke, DDR Dance Competitions and hot tub parties. Bernstein suggested that while mom and dad are at the casino or a live show, kids can try candy bingo or tye dye T-shirts. She also noted that kids love the Zuiderdam because junior theater buffs can learn about the entertainment on backstage tours.

While the kids are being entertained, adult guests can participate in a wide range of activities including tennis, basketball, swimming, jogging and dancing. The state-of-the-art fitness center and luxurious Greenhouse Spa allow guests to indulge and enjoy themselves. Under Holland America Line's new Signature of Excellence initiative, Club HAL will expand its hours of operation and will now cater to kids three years old and up (previously five years and up). It will begin a teen activity program for ages 13 to 17 and construction also will begin for Club HAL facilities for kids (ages 3-7), Tweens (ages 8-12), and teens on eight ships in the line's fleet. The first to be completed, ms Ryndam, sailed October 20, 2004, with new facilities. 

Club HAL facilities will feature a streaming array of colors swirl on the ceiling, paint brushes serve as pillars and enormous pencils adorn the back wall. Art tables, a big screen television and a tape dispenser styled slide in the middle of the room inspire creativity and fun, giving children a great sanctuary where they can escape into a world all their own. An area for older kids ages 8 to 12 features arcade games, air hockey, foosball, Karaoke, Internet access and Sony Playstations, providing everything they look for in land-based activities and more. This getaway provides kids in this age group an area to relax, surf the internet, and play games in a cool, modern atmosphere. 

Specially designed to resemble a New York artist's loft, The Loft is a lounge area for teens that has a contemporary feel with bright colors and funky patterns. One of the most exciting features of this area is the special passageway to a secluded teen deck called The Oasis, where teens can soak up rays and then cool off in a one-of-a-kind waterfall and cave.

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Oceania Cruises’ New Mediterranean Odyssey to Libya, 
Tunisian & Morocco

Oceania Cruises is pleased to announce a very special voyage that visits some of the Mediterranean’s hidden jewels including Libya, Tunisia and Morocco aboard its award-winning flagship Regatta. A leader in destination cruising, this extraordinary voyage offers sophisticated travelers an exceptional opportunity to discover the rich cultural diversity and historical treasures of Benghazi and Tripoli in Libya while transporting guests through centuries of history and ancient civilizations. Brimming with intriguing ports of call, this exceptional itinerary is perfectly tailored to appeal to those savvy travelers seeking exotic destinations and far-flung adventures. Having been off-limits to Americans for over two decades, travelers can once again explore some of the finest ancient sites found anywhere in the western world. Guests will have the opportunity to explore lands settled by the Romans, Phoenicians, Greeks and other great civilizations and discover the region’s wealth of incomparable archaeological treasures. 

Featuring an overnight stay in historic Tripoli, opportunities for exploration abound. Magnificently preserved Leptis Magna which was founded in the 1st millennium BC and contains the largest bath house built outside Rome. Or the ancient Roman city of Sabratha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which served as a Phoenician trading-post. Sabratha was part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. Benghazi is Libya’s second largest city, situated on the eastern edge of the Gulf of Sirt. Benghazi saw good times and bad during the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras before the Arabs conquered the city at the beginning of the 7th century. A short distance outside of the city lie many historic including the ancient Greek city of Cyrene. La Goulette offers an opportunity to visit Tunis, Carthage and the picturesque village of Sidi Bou Said. Carthage is where Hannibal set out from with his men and elephants to cross the Alps against Rome. Casablanca, once the capital of the French Colonial Empire, Casablanca is a Moorish paradise and Morocco’s window to the world. Examples of outstanding Moorish architecture can be seen near the United Nations Square and the Hassan II Mosque, completed in 1993, is a striking addition and anchor of the city’s skyline. 

Commenting on this historic voyage to Libya, Bob Binder, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Oceania Cruises stated, “We’re elated to be able to introduce travelers to Libya’s wealth of archaeological treasures.” Boasting more than 1,200 miles of exquisite Mediterranean Sea coastline, Libya’s most celebrated sites are concentrated near the shoreline in the Eastern and Western proximities of the country, making it the perfect destination to explore via cruise travel. “Oceania Cruises is always seeking enticing new destinations which offer our guests an enriching and enthralling exploration experience. I’m confident that guests on this historic voyage to Libya will come away with a cache of memories that is unrivaled,” added Binder.

Regatta’s 12-night Mediterranean Odyssey sails from Barcelona to Lisbon on November 5, 2005. Ports of Call include Benghazi, Tripoli (overnight), Valletta, La Goulette, Gibraltar, Casablanca, and Seville. For a limited time, guests may take advantage of Free Airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares beginning at $1,999 per guest including FREE airfare from select U.S. and Canadian gateways. Oceania Cruises’ acclaimed 5-star fleet features three intimate and luxurious 684-guest ships, REGATTA, INSIGNIA and NAUTICA. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations coupled with extraordinary value. For detailed itineraries or additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation, please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

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ms Deutschland Now Sailing to Canadian, U.S. & Caribbean Ports

NEW YORK, Oct 2004 -- The luxury ocean liner MS Deutschland of Peter Deilmann Cruises is currently in North American waters sailing a series of two-week cruises to Canadian and U.S. ports along the Eastern Seaboard. The five-star ship's first U.S. call will be in Bar Harbor, Maine, Oct. 18. The ship will continue to Boston, Oct. 19; Newport, Rhode Island, Oct. 20; New York City, Oct. 21-25; Philadelphia, Oct. 26-27; Baltimore. Oct. 27-29; Port Canaveral, Nov. 1, and Miami, Nov. 2. 

The 513-passenger vessel will depart Oct. 25 from New York on a 16-night cruise that will combine U.S. ports with visits to Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Barrios, Guatemala; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The next two cruises, between Nov. 8 and Dec. 19, will feature Caribbean and Mexican ports with U.S. calls in Miami, Key West and New Orleans. The Christmas-New Year's cruise, Dec. 19-Jan. 6, 2005, will sail from Santo Domingo to Colombia, Panama, transit the Panama Canal to Ecuador, Peru and Valparaiso (Santiago) Chile. 

Two sailings, Jan. 6-Feb. 7, focus on Chile, Argentina and Brazil and include cruising the Chilean Fjords, Punto Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Horn Passage, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza and Belem. The Deutschland will cross the South Atlantic from Brazil to Lisbon for a series of cruises between Feb. 7 and May 9 in the Canary Islands and Mediterranean departing from Lisbon, Cadiz, Venice and Monte Carlo.

Music Cruise
One of these sailings, April 1-13, 2005, is a two-week music cruise from Lisbon to Venice visiting Seville, Barcelona, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Palermo. There is no additional charge for the music performances on the 12-night cruise, which is priced from $3,354 per person double and $4,146 single. Air supplements start at $349 from New York and several other gateways.

The other eight- to 10-night Mediterranean and Canary Island cruises start at $2,212 per person double and $2,263 single. Deilmann is offering reduced air supplements on these cruises starting at $199 from 50 U.S. gateways; a 50% reduction on pre-purchased English-language shore excursions; and free airport/ship transfers. Passengers arranging their own air can deduct $750 from the cruise fare. 

Ports of call on these sailings include Cape Verde Islands, Santa Cruz, Las Palmas, Funchal (Madeira), Casablanca, Tangier, Seville, Palermo, Catania, Cagliari, Marseille, Barcelona, Ibiza, Valencia and Monte Carlo. Deilmann is offering optional golf theme packages on several of the Mediterranean sailings. The 286-cabin vessel sails from Lisbon to France, Ireland and England, May 9-20, and to the Netherlands and around the British Isles, May 20-June 3. Summer cruises of the MS Deutschland will take travelers to countries on the Baltic and North Seas with ports of call in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia and the British Isles. 

Classic Ocean Liner
The MS Deutschland, a classic ocean liner launched in 1998 and refurbished each year, is richly decorated in art nouveau and art deco styles recalling earlier days of grand ocean travel. Dining on board rates highly with passengers and offers a choice of three attractively designed restaurants while an outdoor dining terrace, intimate salons with music and friendly cafes are among other choices. The high-level of service adds to passengers’ comfort with one crew member for every two passengers. 

Outdoor and indoor swimming pools, three sun decks, open-air promenade deck, an elegant theater for film screenings and other events, fitness center, sauna, Turkish bath, a grand two-level ballroom with dancing and shows, shopping boutique, beauty salon with massage therapy and infirmary are among other features of the nine-deck ship. 
For the new Grand Hotel Voyages brochure, call Peter Deilmann Cruises at 1-800-348-8287 or e-mail . Online, visit

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Seabourn Announces 'Wonders of the World Odyssey' in 2005

MIAMI, Oct 27, 2004 -- Ultra luxury cruise pioneer Seabourn Cruise Line has announced a 56-day "Wonders of the World Odyssey" sailing from Hong Kong to Venice from March 27 to May 22, 2005 aboard the intimate, 208-guest Seabourn Spirit.

Visiting three continents and 28 ports of call, the voyage links together several cruises to offer all the excitement of a world cruise with Grand Voyage Savings of 60% off the brochure fare. For as little as $286 a day, guests can bask in the inclusive value and exceptionally pampered style that has made Seabourn the favored mode of travel for those who have every choice.

"These truly are the wonders of the world, places and experiences that every traveler dreams of," said Seabourn's president, Deborah L. Natansohn. "With this splendid itinerary, this award-winning ship and these tremendous savings, we are inviting a few fortunate travelers to make 2005 the year they experience them all."

The litany of marvels and monuments that dot the itinerary might serve as a model for a well-traveled lifetime. Day after day, great modern cities such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Mumbai are interspersed with timeless treasures such as Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, Petra and the pyramids of Egypt. The Minoan and Mycenaean ruins of Rhodes and Crete lead on to Ephesus; the Byzantine beauties of Istanbul; classical Delphi; Olympia and finally to the canals and baroque domes of Venice. All this and much more will be enjoyed in consummate elegance and ease, aboard the ship that readers of Condé Nast Traveler last year voted the World's Best Cruise Ship.

Between the fascinating ports of call, guests will benefit from Seabourn's Signature Delights, an array of features and services that includes gourmet cuisine designed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, served in a gracious, open seating Restaurant or a more casual indoor/outdoor Veranda Café. Open bars serving complimentary wines, spirits and French champagne lend a relaxed, club-like atmosphere to life on board. 

World-class Dress Circle guest experts enrich your journey with insights into the history and culture of each region as you sail. Grand Voyage guests will also enjoy five complimentary Exclusively Seabourn shore experiences especially created to give them privileged, insider's views of Thailand, Dubai, the Sinai, Ephesus and the Dalmatian island of Korcula.

Spacious, ocean view suites, many with balconies, offer all the amenities of a lavish home away from home: queen size bed and separate seating area; a walk-in closet; marble-clad bath with Pure Pampering bathing preparations and wellbeing products from Molton Brown, London. A television and VCR join three channels of closed circuit audio and a Bose® Wave® radio/CD stereo to provide in-suite entertainment media. With Grand Voyage Savings of 60%, fares for the 56-day Wonders of the World Odyssey start from $15,995 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot suite. Shorter segments of 19-42 days are also available at savings of 50%. For more details, or to reserve your suite on the 2005 Wonders of the World Odyssey aboard Seabourn Spirit, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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'Movies Under the Stars' to Premiere Aboard Grand Princess
Ship's New Giant Outdoor Movie Screen Will Bring Popular Feature to Galveston Cruising 

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct. 27 -- Passengers gave an enthusiastic "two thumbs up" to Princess' new "Movies Under the Stars" outdoor movie screen when it debuted earlier this year aboard Caribbean Princess. When Grand Princess begins its inaugural Galveston cruise season in two weeks, it will also feature this innovative entertainment concept that has been receiving rave reviews from cruisers.

One of the trademark features of the Grand Princess will be its new Times Square-style LED (Light Emitting Diode) screen located above the ship's Neptune's Pool area. More than 300 square feet in size and featuring an impressive 69,000-watt sound system, the million-dollar screen has sufficient lighting power to be seen clearly even during daytime hours and offers passengers a movie experience comparable to a shoreside movie theater. Grand Princess becomes the first Princess ship retrofitted to offer this now-trademark feature as the company expands the state-of-the-art screens to other ships in its fleet.

Princess' maiden cruise from Galveston on November 8 will introduce the largest ship to sail out of the Texas port. The 109,000-ton Grand Princess will offer seven-day roundtrip Western Caribbean cruises featuring calls at Cozumel, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman and a new port of call in Belize -- the only four-port week-long cruise itinerary in the region. Princess will offer 22 departures from Galveston through April 2005.

"Movies Under the Stars made quite a splash with customers when we introduced it earlier this year," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of sales and customer service. "Everyone loves to go to the movies, but few have the opportunity to watch a film on a giant screen while floating in the pool mid-day or while enjoying a cocktail 'under the stars' in the evening." Swartz added that the giant screens will be added to a number of other vessels in Princess' Caribbean fleet.

Grand Princess' "Movies Under the Stars" program will show a variety of entertainment throughout the day, featuring up to seven movies or events daily, including family films and first run hits -- such as "Spider Man 2," "Shrek 2" and the unique "Sing-A-Long Wizard of Oz" -- as well as concert footage and other special programming such as NFL Monday Night Football. In the evenings, lounge chairs are covered with special cushions and blankets and Princess' hallmark poolside service is available to enhance the viewing experience with free popcorn plus a variety of drink specials and movie nibbles.

The 2,600-passenger ship features a variety of dining and entertainment venues, with Princess the only cruise line to offer Anytime Dining, the unique opportunity to choose when, where and with whom to dine. The vessel brought a number of firsts to the cruise industry including the first wedding chapel at sea. Among the ship's many amenities are a highly praised, authentic Italian trattoria, a premium steakhouse, an extensive children's center, golf simulator and nine-hole putting course, Lotus Spa, fitness center including a swim-against the current pool, and the ship's dramatic Skywalker's Lounge, suspended 150 feet above the sea.

Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Royal Caribbean & Fisher-Price Announce Unprecedented Partnership
Companies to Offer New Programming for Youngest Cruisers and Their Parents

MIAMI, Oct. 27 -- Royal Caribbean International and Fisher-Price, Inc. have big plans for small cruisers. Royal Caribbean, an innovator in family cruise vacations, and Fisher-Price, a leading brand of infant and preschool toys worldwide, today announced a new partnership to develop a series of programs and services for the line's youngest cruisers and their parents.

"Since 2000, we have seen more than a 50-percent increase in the number of children under three cruising with their parents aboard our ships," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, for Royal Caribbean International. "We already have the outstanding Adventure Ocean Youth Program for children ages three and up, and are pleased to partner with the early- childhood experts at Fisher-Price to now offer families with younger children enriching experiences of their own, designed to further enhance their cruise vacation."

The first programs to head to sea will be a series of fun and interactive educational sessions for children six months to three years old and their parents, developed by the specialists at Fisher-Price's famous Play Laboratory. These daily, 45-minute playgroups offer age-appropriate activities that expose children to new experiences and teach parents tools for incorporating skill-building into playtime through storytelling, creative arts, music, and a variety of Fisher-Price learning toys and games.

Aqua Babies targets parents with children ages six months to 18 months with six themed sessions, each designed to introduce babies to different types of skills and activities to enhance development in a particular area. For example, "Get Up & Go" utilizes activities and Fisher-Price toys such as the Stride-to-Ride Walker™ and the Stand-Up Ball Blast™ to help promote physical development and problem-solving skills through active and imaginative play. Other Aqua Babies sessions focus on promoting self-confidence by experiencing cause and effect, exploring rhythm and movement through music, encouraging baby's sense of accomplishment, reinforcing early learning, and making new discoveries about the world around them. The six Aqua Tots sessions encourage toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years old to explore their expanding world, develop their imaginations and build self-confidence. Playful activities are incorporated into familiar themes that create enriching, educational interactive play experiences.

"Fun on the Farm" uses the Little People® characters and the Animal Sounds™ Farm to help kids make the connection between farm animals, the sounds they make and the ways they move. "Learning Fundamentals" gets kids -- and their parents -- moving and singing as they learn their ABCs and 123s, as well as shapes, colors and phonics. Additional Aqua Tots themes tap into toddler favorites, including creative play with cars and trucks; constructing cities and farms with building blocks and toys; learning about the people in their neighborhoods; and discovering more about what they'll see and do on their family cruise vacation.

Parents who participate in either program will receive a special newsletter and daily Cruise Compass onboard that explain the theme and objectives of each session and include "Playtips to Go" -- related ideas for continuing to strengthen their child's newly found skills through themed play activity back at home. The Aqua Babies and Aqua Tots programs debut on Explorer of the Seas this month and will be available on all Royal Caribbean ships by the end of March 2005. The sessions are free of charge and are hosted by Royal Caribbean's specially trained youth staff. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. The companies also will extend the Aqua Babies and Aqua Tots programs into guest staterooms with "Fisher-Price TV," age-appropriate programming for Royal Caribbean's in-room televisions fleetwide. "Fisher-Price TV" will include popular Fisher-Price programs such as the company's award-winning "Baby Development" and Little People(R) video series. In addition, Fisher-Price's director of Child Research, Dr. Kathleen Alfano, provides parents with valuable tips for traveling with children and on-the-go play. 

Aqua Babies, Aqua Tots and FPTV are just the first wave in programs to come out of the Royal Caribbean and Fisher-Price partnership. Additional programs and services are in development and will be announced in 2005. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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The L Word Films Aboard Mayan Caribbean Cruise 
Cast Members Kick Off Olivia's First Annual Lesbian Film Festival, Too 

OAKLAND, Ca., Oct. 27 -- After the wildly successful premiere of "The L Word" aboard Olivia's Mexican Riviera Cruise in January 2004, Olivia is pleased to announce that Showtime will film part of an episode for season two aboard Olivia's Mayan Caribbean Cruise & Lesbian Film Festival featuring The L Word cast. Additionally, Olivia presents an all-star entertainment line-up for the sold-out cruise, which runs October 30 through November 6, including the incomparable Indigo Girls and Grammy award-winning singer Shawn Colvin.

"Our guests love the show. We had such a tremendous response to 'The L Word' premiere on board that we just had to bring them back," Judy Dlugacz, president and founder of Olivia, said.

About Olivia
Founded in San Francisco in 1973, Olivia, the premier travel company serving the lesbian and gay community, reaches more than six million people internationally. Over 75,000 people have traveled with Olivia in the last ten years. The company charters the entire ship or resort bringing world-class entertainment like the indigo girls, k.d. lang, Shawn Colvin and the cast of Showtime's THE L WORD.

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Silversea Cruises Enhances Web Site With New Option for Reserving Spa Treatments & Tours
Schedule Spa and Beauty Salon Treatments & Pre-Book Shore Excursions by Clicking on Convenient New "My Voyage" Feature

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Oct 26, 2004 - Guests of ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises can now take advantage of a newly created feature called "My Voyage" at the line's Web site to schedule appointments for spa and beauty treatments and pre-reserve shore excursions. The new feature also provides guests with easy access to itinerary information for their specific voyage, a virtual tour of the ship, as well as the ability to register online for Early Embarkation.

"We're delighted to be able to offer this new feature at our Web site," said David Morris, Silversea's Senior Vice President, North America Sales. "With the addition of the 'My Voyage' section, we're giving our guests a very user-friendly option that enables them to conveniently schedule a spa treatment or pre-book tours well in advance of sailing, so that once they are on board, they don't have to rush anywhere. They can just relax and start enjoying their cruise."

To take advantage of the new feature, which is available 60 days prior to sailing, guests (or their travel agents) can simply visit Silversea's Web site at, and click on the "My Voyage" feature. Guests are then prompted for their name and booking number. Once guests are logged on, they will have easy access to detailed information about their particular cruise, shore excursions, and the spa and beauty treatments offered at the line's award-winning Mandara Spa. Guests simply scroll through the available options and click on their selections as prompted to make or modify reservations and appointments.

Appointments for spa and beauty salon treatments can be made online until 48 hours prior to sailing. Shore excursions can be pre-reserved online until seven days prior to sailing. Both shore tours and spa and salon treatments can still be booked or scheduled aboard ship after the guest embarks. Costs for the selected tours and services, including Early Embarkation, are charged to the guest's shipboard account after he or she embarks on the cruise.

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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Holland America Line Embraces Hawaii
Exploration Speaker Series Enhances Polynesian Activities and Amenities

SEATTLE, Oct. 26 -- Holland America Line's Hawaii cruise vacations offer cultural immersion with recently enhanced onboard programming that reflects the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Holland America Line combines cultural programming, island port calls and leisurely days at sea. From fall 2004 through winter 2005, the premium line offers 16 Circle Hawaii sailings with departures from San Diego, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. All sailings are 15 to 17 days in length and visit the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and spend two days on Hawaii's namesake, the big island.

"Our Hawaii sailings are in a class by themselves. Holland America Line's advantage is our expert presentation of the sights, sounds and flavors of Polynesia," stated Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president of marketing and sales. "Our Exploration Speaker Series features specialists on Polynesian music, dance, cuisine and culture to enrich our guest's vacation experience."

San Diego is the popular homeport for fourteen roundtrip sailings; each features a call to Ensenada, Mexico. Four 2004 departures are scheduled for Nov. 5 and 20, and Dec. 6 and 21. In 2005, cruises are set to depart on Feb. 4 and 19, Mar. 6 and 21, Apr. 5, Oct. 3 and 18, Nov. 2, Dec. 7 and 22. The Pacific Northwest is the start point for two Hawaii cruises in 2005. The first, roundtrip from Seattle, departs May 5 and also embarks guests in Vancouver on May 6. The second embarks guests in Vancouver on Sept. 16, features a port visit to Astoria, Oregon, cruises the Hawaiian Islands and then disembarks in San Diego.

Hawaiian Style Activities and Amenities
The Holland America Line Explorations Speaker Series offers instruction from experts providing information on the history of Hawaii and Pearl Harbor, astronomy of the Pacific skies, and the biological diversity of this fertile region, its wildlife and landscapes; as well as insights on Polynesian music, dance and food traditions. Featured speakers include:

  • Allan Seiden, a travel journalist, writer, photographer, Hawaiian archivist and historian. Seiden has lived in Honolulu since 1974 and imparts his witty experiences and imagery of this fascinating region.

  • James Ho, a Hawaiian Historian, retired from the University of Hawaii and Department of Education shares his research and writings with cruise guests. Ho helped start Hawaii's first history and heritage
    educational program, "Knowing Hawaii."

  • David Dodge, chief astronomer at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, Canada for 30 years, has extensive experience in astronomy as an educator, communicator and lecturer.

  • John Palmisano, marine biologist, a successful researcher, teacher and consultant, began lecturing at sea in 1999 informing and delighting with his knowledge of the world's ocean and its creatures.

Polynesian cuisine is provided throughout the cruise featuring a grand Luau barbecue one evening with local specialties such as Lomi Lomi-marinated salmon, papaya salad, Maori-style lamb chops, sesame and soy marinated chicken and Maui Kalbi beef ribs. Hawaiian-inspired dinner selections include manoa lettuce with crushed pineapple, caramelized macadamia nuts and ginger sesame dressing, and fish such as ono, and opakapaka (snapper), bought fresh daily on the islands.

Expert narrations from the Navigational Bridge provide cruise guests with an in-depth look at the Kilauea Volcano, the most active volcano in the world, as well as Kauai's Na Pali Coast. Located on the "Garden Isle's" remote northwest coast, "Na Pali" or, "the cliffs" rise 2,000 to 3,000 feet from the sea and embrace a series of deep jungle valleys, a rare viewing experience for even seasoned travelers. And did you know that each of the major Hawaiian Islands have their own traditional leis? Some are made of flowers while others are made of berries, leaves, stems and seashells. The link between the islands and their leis evolved over time. In 1923, the Hawaiian Territorial Legislature officially adopted the concept of the giving and receiving of leis as an overall Hawaiian tradition. Cruise guests receive leis and learn about the lei ceremony including when the kiss became a part of that famous tradition.

Prices for the 15-day Circle Hawaii cruises start at $1,799 per person, double occupancy, and taxes are additional. For a copy of the Hawaii, Asia & Pacific Cruises brochure and for more information contact a professional travel agent, call 877-724-5425 or visit online at

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Jacksonville Hosts "Super Bowl Fleet"

Jacksonville, FL, Oct. 2005 - Jacksonville Port Authority has announced the berth locations for five cruise ships that will serve as floating hotels and entertainment venues during the upcoming Super Bowl. Radisson Cruises’ Seven Seas Navigator will tie up alongside the Adam’s Mark Hotel; three Holland America Line ships, Volendam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam will dock at Jaxport’s Talleyrand terminal, about two miles north of downtown; and Carnival Miracle will dock at the Jaxport temporary cruise terminal where she was christened earlier this year. The Miracle and Seven Seas Navigator are slated to arrive on Wednesday February 2nd and the others will follow later in the week. All are scheduled to leave the following Monday.

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Norwegian Coastal Voyage Introduces 
2005 Special Interest Cruise Tours

NEW YORK -- The Lofoten Islands, western and northern fjords of Norway are the focus of three new special-interest cruise programs on the MS Lofoten from Norwegian Coastal Voyage; a $100 savings per person on all 2005 departures is offered on reservations made by December 31. The air-inclusive 10- and 11-day packages, costing $3,200 to $4,795 per person, double occupancy, have 20 departures from April 20 to August 31.

The 171-berth Lofoten, an intimate, traditional ship built in 1964 and Norway's only floating national historic monument, sails from Bergen and Bodo on regional voyages for active, seasoned travelers who want an in-depth experience of nature and the Norwegian way of life in locales with outstanding scenery. Meals of traditional local specialties, lectures and activities relate to the specific region. Hiking tours, fishing trips and the use of small PolarCirkel boats to land at otherwise inaccessible sites enhance excursions to a mix of well-known sights and remote destinations.

Although cruise routes vary, the awesome scenery includes the mighty Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord, Lysefjord, Trollfjord, the towering Lofoten Wall and Svartisen or Josedalsbreen Glacier. Changing views take in scores of islands, narrow straits, cliff-lined fjords, snowcapped mountains, and colorful fishing or fjord villages. Activities range from observing puffins and other sea birds, fishing and whale watching to a ride on the steep Flam Railway and visits to art galleries, museums and old churches. Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Alesund have rich maritime and cultural heritages.

The choice of itineraries includes the 11-day Western Fjords cruise tour from Bergen, with departures from April 20 to May 25 and August 31, at $3,200 to $4,380; the 11-day Lofoten Islands voyage from Bodo, above the Arctic Circle, June 8 to August 17 at $4,000 to $4,795; and the 10-day Fjords to North package between Bergen and Bodo, combining segments of the other two sailings, on June 1 and August 24 at $3,560 to $4,235. Cruise rates cover transatlantic flights from New York, first-class hotels with breakfast daily, cabin category selected and all meals during the seven-day cruise, most activities and sightseeing, tour guide, air taxes and port charges and, depending on the package, an Oslo-Bodo flight, Oslo or Bergen Cards, and Oslo transfers. Itineraries may change because of weather, tides or special events. Add-on airfares are available from other cities.

The wood-panelled Lofoten has two lounges, restaurant, 24-hour café and a sundeck. A majority of cabins have upper and lower berths and about half a private bathroom. Some have two lower berths. Early booking is recommended since the best cabins sell out first. For information, 2005 brochures and reservations contact Norwegian Coastal Voyage at (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; for brochures, (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day;

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A Cruise Makes The Holidays Delightful
Celebrate In Style, With Cruises In Norway, Antarctica And Points In Between

NEW YORK, Oct. 22 -- Holiday cruises are a popular segment of the cruise industry, and it's easy to understand why, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the nonprofit marketing organization which represents 19 cruise lines and more than 16,000 travel agencies.

"With ships decked out for the season, and all the menu planning and entertainment taken care of, guests can relax and focus on what truly counts during the holiday season: spending quality time with family and friends, celebrating old traditions, and creating new ones along the way. With such a wealth of destinations and experiences, you might be able to forego presents altogether," said Terry Dale, president and CEO of CLIA.

This holiday season, CLIA-member cruise lines are offering holiday itineraries as far north as Norway and as far south as Antarctica, and many points in between, including the Mediterranean and Europe, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Panama Canal, South America, Mexico, Tahiti, Africa and Australia. All holiday itineraries include special religious observances, gourmet menus featuring classic holiday favorites as well as regional specialties, and live onboard holiday entertainment, sometimes with an international twist. And let's not forget visits from Santa, who manages to squeeze cruise ship visits into his busy schedule. CLIA fleets will also feature champagne toasts, under the stars and in magnificent ballrooms on New Year's Eve.

Here is a sampling of how CLIA-member lines will celebrate the 2004 holiday season:

  • Carnival Cruise Lines offers a variety of three- to eight-day holiday sailings to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexican Riviera, with special treats for children including a visit from Santa, and a chance to shine in a special holiday performance. Ships are decorated with Christmas trees, wreaths and mistletoe; carols are performed on deck and in the shows, and piped into cabins; midnight mass is celebrated; and Christmas dinner features roast turkey and pecan pie.

  • Celebrity Cruises' ships feature Christmas trees and wreaths, sparkling garland and other festive décor to help set the tone on sailings to the Caribbean and Mexico which are timed to whisk guests away to celebrate Christmas and New Year's at sea.

  • This year, Costa Cruises offers 18 holiday itineraries for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's. Expect seasonal menus, religious services, Santa visits, Hanukkah and Christmas gifts for children, tree-decorating for kids and holiday-themed entertainment. Itineraries are designed to showcase the splendors of the eastern and western Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean, and South America.

  • Guests of Crystal Cruises find the ambiance festive yet sophisticated, with each ship showcasing $100,000 worth of seasonal décor, including handcrafted ornaments, ornate sleighs, Old English toy soldiers, and a dozen twinkling Christmas trees. Christmas Eve services and masses are planned, and Christmas Day serves up eggnog, a noontime buffet, a "Chocolate Tea Time," a visit from Santa and an extravagant dinner.

  • Celebrate the holidays in British style aboard Cunard Line's QM2 and QE2 in the Caribbean. Festivities include a visit from Father Christmas, a Festival of Carols, a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, a Yuletide show and religious services. And, passengers get to experience an additional holiday: the British celebration of Boxing Day on Dec. 26. New Year's Eve is celebrated with a black-tie gala, deck parties, hats, noisemakers, streamers and Baby New Year and Father Time.

  • Disney Cruise Line offers a Christmas experience for the entire family. Highlights include a tree-lighting ceremony where "snow" magically falls; a visit from Santa Goofy; carols performed by crew members from around the world; opportunities for families to design and decorate their own gingerbread houses; a reading of "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" by Mrs. Claus; traditional holidays feasts; and multiple faith and inter-denominational holiday services.

  • On Holland America Line, guests experience a multi-cultural holiday, with the international crew choir and staff singing native carols to entertain passengers. Other special holiday features include seasonal decorations throughout the ships; holiday movies; a visit from Santa; and a feast featuring goose, turkey, plum pudding and eggnog.

  • MSC Cruises' new MSC Opera is the setting for a pair of roundtrip holiday cruises out of Fort Lauderdale: a 10-night Dec. 18 "Christmas of Your Life" Panama Canal sailing, and an 11-night Dec. 28 "Swing Into The New Year" deep Caribbean sailing. The Dec. 18 itinerary features entertainment by the Lorri and Mike Hafer Quartet and screenings of holiday film classics, and the Dec. 28 sailing features the "Swing! Swing! Swing!" cast, Michele Anastasio and the Music of Your Life Swing Band, and comic Bill Terrell.

  • Guests aboard Norwegian Coastal Voyage's vessels experience the traditions and customs of the Norwegian Yuletide, with local holiday delicacies and an extravagant Scandinavian smorgasbord on Christmas Eve, readings of the Christmas gospel by the crew, caroling, Santa visits, and shore-side church services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when ship schedules permit. Passengers also can make old-fashioned ornaments and revel at an after-dinner dance on Boxing Day.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line's holiday itineraries feature all the usual amenities, with special decorations, feasts, carols, seasonal shows and visits from Santa Claus. Catholic priests and Protestant ministers are onboard for masses and services, and rabbis for Hanukkah observances.

  • Oceania Cruises' festively garbed vessels provide a fitting backdrop for menorah lightings, caroling and visits from St. Nick. Two itineraries are offered: a 17-day voyage aboard Insignia, departing from Valparaiso, Chile on Dec. 17 and visiting Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia and Puerto Madryn, Argentina; and Montevideo, Uruguay, before ending in Buenos Aires; and a 12-day, roundtrip Caribbean cruise aboard Regatta, departing Miami Dec. 21.

  • Enjoy a White Christmas? How about a trip to the White Continent? Orient Lines offers a holiday cruise lasting 33 days featuring a leisurely tour along the west coast of South America and a visit to Antarctica. The itinerary includes, weather permitting, zodiac landings at points of interest in Antarctica, including major penguin rookeries.

  • Princess Cruises' ships are trimmed stem to stern with wreaths, holly, mistletoe and, of course, Christmas trees, sometimes even on the ship's mast. It's not uncommon to see Yuletide carolers strolling the decks, waiters wearing Santa hats, and seasonal entertainment including live shows and classic movies. Midnight mass and interdenominational services are offered, and Christmas dinner features seasonal favorites such as roast turkey or goose, gingerbread mousse, mincemeat pie, chocolate Yule logs and cookies.

  • Radisson Seven Seas Cruises offers a wide array of holiday itineraries aboard festively decorated vessels, such as an 11-night French Polynesia voyage aboard the Paul Gauguin. Departing Papeete, Tahiti on Dec. 28, guests visit Motu Mahana and Bora Bora, ring in the New Year at sea under the South Pacific sky, then visit the Marquesas' Hiva Oa (Atuona) and Nuku Hiva (Taiohae) as well as Rangiroa and Moorea before returning to Papeete.

  • Royal Caribbean International's vessels are decked out with Christmas trees, wreaths, sparkling garland and other festive décor, and holiday revelers have their choice of voyages to the southern, western and eastern Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Baja Mexico, with departures from Galveston, San Juan, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles, Port Canaveral and Tampa.

  • Guests of Silversea Cruises sail the Far East and South Pacific aboard Silver Cloud's 16-day "Passage Down Under" cruise, departing Singapore Dec. 22 and calling at Semarang, Darwin, Thursday Island, Cairns, Townsville, Hayman Island and Newcastle before reaching Sydney. Silver Wind features a 16-day "Voyage to the Bottom of the World" itinerary departing Valparaiso, Chile, for Buenos Aires on Dec. 21, and sailing through Chile's scenic fjords and around Cape Horn.

  • Swan Hellenic's Minerva II sails along the Ivory Coast of Africa, departing Capetown on Dec. 18 and visiting East London, Durban, Mozambique Island, Zanzibar and La Digue. Expect traditional festivities, dinner carols and mince pies, and an informative lecture from Dr. Penny McCracken, art historian, on "The Influence of African Art on Europe and the Christmas Story In Art." Guests ring in the New Year in Praslin on the Island of Mahe.

  • Holiday festivities onboard Windstar Cruises' ships blend traditional decorations, such as trees and wreaths on stateroom doors, with cultural activities based on the individual itineraries and holiday shows by the crew. Special menus pay homage to the season with time-honored favorites accented by flavors of the tropics. Itineraries include 11 days in Tahiti aboard Wind Star, nine days in the Caribbean aboard Wind Surf, and 10 days in the Caribbean aboard Wind Spirit.

  • The Yachts of Seabourn celebrate the holidays in warm and sunny climes. Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Legend sail 14 days roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale to the islands of the Caribbean. Passengers on each vessel experience Seabourn's signature Champagne and Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue on a secluded beach. Seabourn Spirit sails 14 days from Singapore to Hong Kong, exploring Thailand and Vietnam, with a Champagne and Caviar in the Surf extravaganza at Thailand's Kood Island.

To find a cruise expert to help plan your vacation, visit CLIA's Web site, By typing in your zip code you can find the nearest CLIA-member agency. The Web site also features a wide range of information on cruises and destinations, as well as numerous links to member cruise lines and other resources.

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Sail Through the Holidays With Windstar 
Spend This Holiday Relaxing on a Windstar Cruise in Tahiti or the Caribbean and Leave the Cooking and Decorating to the Crew 

SEATTLE, Oct. 21 -- Great cruise rates for Windstar holiday cruises make stress-free, relaxing holiday vacations infinitely attractive. Leave the hustle and bustle of the homebound holidays behind and travel aboard a sleek and intimate sailing ship to exotic, warm-weather ports of call in the Caribbean or South Pacific. Windstar alumni receive a double discount of $250 off the cruise fare on the following holiday sailings: Wind Surf, Dec. 19; Wind Spirit, Dec. 18; Wind Star, Dec. 17.

The 308-passenger Wind Surf makes an especially delightful holiday experience with two sailings in the Caribbean. Ports of call on the December 19 sailing include St. John, Isla Culebra, St. Barthelemy, Nevis, Pigeon Island, Iles des Saintes and St. Martin. Ports of call on the December 28 sailing include St. Thomas, St. John, Isla Culebra, St. Martin, Iles des Saintes, Antigua, St. Barthelemy and Virgin Gorda.

Amenities such as the WindSpa, Internet center, four bars and two lounges attract guests to cruise the peaceful Caribbean seas aboard the Wind Surf. Holiday cruise rates for the Wind Surf's December 19 and December 28, 2004 9-day roundtrip St. Thomas sailings start at $2,595 per person.

"Spending the holidays at sea with Windstar Cruises gives guests an experience that is 180-degrees from ordinary holiday activities," said Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales. "Ringing in the New Year on the ship's bell or drinking celebratory champagne amidst tropical islands creates a special holiday spirit onboard."

The 148-passenger Wind Spirit also spends the holidays cruising through the Caribbean. Secluded, sparkling white sand beaches and turquoise waters provide a perfect winter escape. Ports of call on the December 18, 2004 roundtrip St. Thomas, 10-day holiday sailing include: St. John, Saba, Iles des Saintes, Pigeon Island, Bridgetown, Bequia, St. Barthelemy, and Virgin Gorda. Cruise rates start at $2,895 per person.

The 148-passenger Wind Star will spend the holiday season cruising in the exotic South Pacific visiting Tahiti and her Islands and the Tuamotos. The 11-day Tahiti Holiday cruise departing on December 17, roundtrip from Papeete (Tahiti), visits Rangiroa, Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Moorea. The leisurely voyage spends three days at sea and overnights in Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Moorea. Cruise rates start at $4,795 per person. It's the second to last voyage for the Wind Star in Tahiti. In January, the ship repositions to Costa Rica for the rest of the winter.

Leave the holiday cooking to the Executive Chef
A special holiday menu features traditional fare, such as roasted turkey with chestnut dressing, rack of lamb and plum pudding, and perennial favorites such as surf and turf, caviar and baked Alaska. Each executive chef will also offer vegetarian entrees and specialties like champagne risotto with lobster and shrimp. After dinner, the benefits of cruising during the holiday season become clear: no dishes, no cleanup, just more time to spend relaxing and celebrating with travel companions.

Celebrate the season at sea
Holiday festivities blend traditional decorations, such as beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the lounge and wreaths on stateroom doors, with added cultural activities based on the ship's itinerary. Catch a glimpse of another culture as the talented crew performs native and local carols at a festive holiday show. The unregimented schedule aboard Windstar allows guests the freedom to choose activities such as lounging on deck, exploring a port of call on a shore excursion or kayaking off the ship's open water sports deck.

For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Royal Caribbean Reports Record 3rd Quarter Earnings 

MIAMI - (Oct 21, 2004) - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today that net income for the third quarter of 2004 was $282.5 million, or $1.33 per share. This compares to $191.9 million, or $0.97 per share, for the third quarter of 2003. Revenues for the third quarter of 2004 increased 23.7% to $1.4 billion from revenues of $1.1 billion in the third quarter of 2003. The increase in revenues was attributable to a 10.8% increase in capacity coupled with an increase in cruise ticket prices and onboard revenues. Gross Yields for the third quarter of 2004 increased 11.7% from the third quarter of 2003. Net Yields, which the company considers a better measure of revenue performance, increased 12.8% from the third quarter of 2003. As a result, Net Yields for the quarter not only returned to pre-9/11 levels, but also surpassed levels reached in the third quarter of 2000 and 1999. Occupancy reached 109.0%, up from 107.7% in the third quarter of 2003, which approaches levels achieved in 2000 of 109.7%. 

"Clearly we're doing something right," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer. "The improvement in the market and in the position of our brands is very gratifying." 

The company also reported that advanced booking volumes continue to be encouraging. Both pricing and load factors for the fourth quarter of 2004 are ahead of the same time last year. Accordingly, the company forecasts that Net Yields for the fourth quarter of 2004 will increase in the range of 4% to 5%, compared to the same period last year. As a result, the company expects Net Yields for the full year 2004 to increase approximately 9% from the prior year.

The company noted several developments that occurred during 3rd quarter 2004:

  • A unique series of hurricanes hit Florida and several important Caribbean island destinations. While some storm activity is not unusual, this series of storms was exceptionally disruptive because of a unique combination of their path, their speed and their timing. Not only was this season the most costly in the company's 33-year history, it was worse than all the previous seasons combined. Lost revenue and extra costs associated with these hurricanes impacted the company's third quarter earnings by $0.10 per share. 

  • A French-built propulsion pod on Celebrity's GTS Summit failed, necessitating an emergency drydocking of the vessel. 

  • The company exercised its option to build a second Ultra-Voyager ship at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland, to be delivered in the spring of 2007. The two Ultra-Voyager ships will be approximately 15 percent larger than their Voyager-class predecessors, with a double occupancy capacity of approximately 3,600 passengers.

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Seabourn's Amazon Cruise Wraps High Adventure in High Style

MIAMI, Oct 20, 2004 - For travelers in search of excitement, Brazil's Amazon River exerts a powerful attraction. Teeming with exotic wildlife, indigenous cultures and impressive natural wonders, the region also affords visitors a wide variety of experiences impossible to duplicate anywhere else on earth. And sailing the Amazon aboard the ultra luxury Seabourn Pride is a far cry from the travails of early explorers, and from the rather spartan conditions one might expect even today in the heart of the Brazilian forest. 

According to Captain Karlo Buer, Master of the Seabourn Pride, the Amazon is "…the most exotic itinerary we sail, in a way, because it's so different from everywhere else. I mean, where else can you go water buffalo riding, piranha fishing and alligator hunting?" Yet for all the pulse-quickening adventure just beyond the ship's railing, on board guests are spared no indulgence or pampered pleasure.

The 16-day voyage from Manaus, Brazil to Fort Lauderdale, Florida begins on February 27, 2005, nearly a thousand miles from the sea. Nearby, two smaller rivers meet: the light-brown Rio Solimoes and the black-tinted Rio Negro. For miles, the two colors of water flow side by side, before they come together to form the Amazon. By contrast, back on board, guests can ask their stewardess to draw them a soothing Pure Pampering bathing experience from Molton Brown.

Next day brings Parintins, and a complimentary Exclusively Seabourn shoreside event-a special Boi Bumba folkloric festival similar to Rio's Carnaval, complete with colorful samba schools in vivid regalia, dancing to energetic music. After all that pageantry, guests can look forward to a sumptuous dinner designed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, perhaps capped by a trio of Cr*mes Brulees en Parade, in white chocolate, dark chocolate and milk chocolate caramel.

The port of Santarem provides other opportunities to experience the Amazon basin. A visit to Maica Lake reveals water buffalo farms, flooded forests, native homes and, with luck, a glance at some rare Amazon pink dolphins. Guests can even try their luck fishing for voracious piranha. Or visit the Amazonian Center for the Preservation of Wildlife, which cares for rescued or injured wild birds and animals such as tapirs, 
marmosets, squirrel or spider monkeys, tortoises and wild pigs, along with parrots, macaws and perhaps a majestic Harpy Eagle, until they can be returned to the wild. If the weather cooperates, this might be a good night to enjoy Movies Under the Stars on deck.

Pausing at the mouth of the Curua Una River next day, Seabourn Pride allows guests the rare chance to travel up this tributary in double decker riverboats. Passing flotillas of the huge Victoria Regia water lilies, they come to the tranquil village of Pacoval, to visit the local Caboclos, of mixed European, African and Indian races. Seabourn Pride is also able to navigate the North Breves Narrows, a cut between the mainland and an island that brings the jungle-clad banks close on either side as the ship leaves the river for the Atlantic. The perfect time for a glass of complimentary French champagne, toasting Amazon adventures added to a lifetime of travel memories. 

A stop at Devil's Island off the coast of French Guiana shows that what was once a notorious prison is now a rather pleasant place to spend a few hours. The adventurous options continue as Seabourn Pride threads her way up a chain of the Caribbean's most appealing islands: Barbados, St. Barts and St. Thomas. Each island offers optional excursions that include submarines, helicopters, snorkeling, sailing and exploring the backcountry in a 4WD vehicle.

Seabourn's Signature Delights continue, as well, with complimentary Massage Moments on deck, invigorating fitness classes and wellbeing treatments in The Spa at Seabourn, relaxing hours spent listening to music or audio books on the Bose Wave CD player in the ocean-view suite and much more. With Early Booking Savings up to 35%, fares for the 16-day cruise start from $6,594 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite.

For more information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 10800-929-9391 or visit

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ms Ryndam First in Series of Holland America Line Ships to Showcase Full-Breadth of Signature of Excellence Enhancements

SEATTLE, Oct. 20 -- In a move to further strengthen its leadership position in the premium cruise category, Holland America Line announced today that it has re-launched the spacious and elegant ms Ryndam, featuring dramatic product and service enhancements in virtually every area of the ship. Enhancements range from new state-of-the-art facilities in the ship's public spaces to luxurious amenities in every stateroom. Highlights include the innovative new Culinary Arts Center, the new "Explorations Cafe - powered by The New York Times" and upgraded youth facilities. All of the enhancements on the Ryndam are a direct result of the line's $225 million Signature of Excellence initiative which focuses on five areas that are central to the guests' experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide destinations. Although several enhancements are already in place on other Holland America Line ships, the Ryndam is the first in a series of the premium cruise line's five-star ships to feature the full breadth of this initiative. Work on all ships is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2006.

"We are committed to redefining premium cruising and the completion of the work on the Ryndam boldly demonstrates that passion," said Stein Kruse, president and chief operating officer for Holland America Line. "Already a spectacular ship, we challenged ourselves to ensure that the Ryndam, and ultimately all Holland America Line ships, continues raising the bar for the industry. We're proud to provide our guests with a ship that will exceed their every expectation."

New Culinary Arts Center Part of Innovative, Five-Star Culinary Experience
Guests traveling onboard the Ryndam will be the first to get a taste of the comprehensive new Culinary Arts Program. The program integrates an entertaining enrichment experience with passengers' love for fine food and wine. A series of cooking demonstrations, tasting events and intimate cooking classes feature regional cuisine that highlights the ship's itinerary. Some cruises will even offer presentations by special guest chefs to complement the expertise of the executive chef and his team on board.

The Culinary Arts Center, featuring a state-of-the-art show kitchen, serves as a hub for these interactive gourmet experiences. Guests in the audience can get an up-close view of the cooking action on large, plasma screens while broadcast capabilities provide all guests the opportunity to watch these events from the comfort of their staterooms. In addition to the onstage kitchen, each Culinary Arts Center will have portable cooking stations where groups of up to 16 guests can participate in hands-on classes.

Explorations Cafe Serves Up Relaxation, Entertainment & a Wealth of Resources
The new "Explorations Cafe - powered by The New York Times" offers a comfortable, living room-type environment where guests can sip a cup of coffee, browse through one of the most extensive libraries at sea, spend time enjoying a wide selection of music at one of several listening stations or surf the Internet. Guests who visit the cafe can access a variety of interesting books and "TimesTalks" events, as well as the website. The cafe is decorated with compelling photos from the publication's famous archives and is furnished with tables that feature The New York Times crossword puzzles. Guests can sit at the tables and use grease pencils to complete the puzzle, or leave the difficult parts for the next guest to finish.

Holland America Line also continues to offer the Exploration Speaker Series that provides guests with an entertaining way to learn more about the cultural nuances of popular and exotic destinations.

Youth Program Adds Cool, New Facilities to the Cruise Experience
A more comprehensive Youth Program and expanded kids facilities offer age-specific activities designed to provide younger passengers with entertaining choices, and parents with peace of mind knowing their children are enjoying supervised fun. These facilities are the most elaborate of any cruise line. Club HAL®, offering fun and creative activities for kids ages 3 to 12, includes state-of-the-art facilities and will serve as the hub of the youth program. A streaming array of colors swirl on the ceiling, with paint brushes serving as pillars and enormous pencils adorning the wall. Art tables, a big screen television and a tape dispenser-styled slide inspire creativity and fun. An area for older kids, ages 8 to 12, features arcade games, air hockey, foosball, Karaoke, Internet access and Sony Playstations. Holland America Line is also introducing new areas on all its ships that will provide teens, ages 13-18, with a unique environment of their own where they can spend time and have fun. The Loft, a teens-only lounge designed to resemble a New York artist's loft, features a special passageway to a secluded, teens-only sun deck called The Oasis. The Oasis is the perfect space for teens to soak up rays and then cool off in a one-of-a-kind waterfall and cave. Unmatched anywhere in the industry, The Oasis gives teens their own space to relax and socialize.

Greenhouse Spa and Salon Deliver Unparalled Service
Guests on the Ryndam will also be able to take advantage of the exclusive Greenhouse Spa and Salon, which provides guests with a wide range of exotic skin, body and hair treatments. The spa features new treatment rooms, a thermal suite and hydro-pool as well as access to a spacious, well-appointed fitness facility.

Attention to Luxurious Detail in Accommodations
Known for the intimacy and elegance upon which Holland America Line has built its reputation, the Ryndam has furnished each stateroom with amenities that help ensure each guest is pampered during their voyage. From the complimentary fresh fruit welcome to the premium plush Euro-top mattresses to the deluxe waffle and terry cloth bathrobes, guests who travel onboard the Ryndam will find some of the most spacious, luxuriously appointed staterooms as well as the best bathrooms at sea.

Onboard Dining Reaches New Heights
Holland America Line has elevated the dining experience on board the Ryndam with exciting additions such as the Pinnacle Grill restaurant, featuring Pacific Northwest fare and fine wines, and two additional dining times in the main dining room. Guests aboard the Ryndam will also enjoy enhanced Lido dining and expanded selection from the complimentary 24-hour room service.

An Elegant Leader in Worldly Destinations
Guests on the October 20 voyage will depart from San Diego for the stunning blue waters of the Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez, visiting a compelling mix of ports. Popular ports such as Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan as well as those less traveled including Topolobampo and Pichilingue/La Paz will provide guests with a rich cruise experience that offers something for everyone. After a series of voyages to Mexico for the duration of 2004, the Ryndam will kick off 2005 with a breathtaking passage through the Panama Canal. During 2005, the ship will call on the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and, at the year's end, make a return to Mexico.

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Holland America Introduces Explorations Cafe, 
Powered by The New York Times

SEATTLE, Oct. 20 -- Holland America Line today announced enhancements to the onboard experience across the premium cruise line's five-star fleet with the introduction of the "Explorations Cafe - powered by The New York Times." The cafe is a comfortable, living room-style environment where guests can sip a cup of coffee, browse through a selection of more than 2,000 books, spend time enjoying a wide selection of music and surf the Internet. Guests can take advantage of these new resources, including a wealth of content provided by The New York Times, to get an in-depth look at the history, culture and traditions of Holland America Line's worldwide destinations. The cafe, part of the cruise line's enhanced Explorations enrichment program, is one of the highlights of Holland America Line's $225 million Signature of Excellence initiative.

"It is an honor to be working with The New York Times. They have been instrumental in the creation of the Explorations Cafe and in helping build upon our Tradition of Excellence," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Holland America Line. "We realize that taking guests to exotic global destinations is only part of our commitment and with the 'Explorations Cafe - powered by The New York Times' we are providing guests with an opportunity for 'full-immersion' in local cultures and attractions before they ever set foot on land."

In the "Explorations Cafe - powered by The New York Times," Holland America Line guests can get a cappuccino and a pastry and enjoy access to a variety of activities, resources and audio and video programming including the following:

  • Access to the Guests will be able to stay up to speed on world news and events from one of the nation's most trusted publications.

  • A selection of The New York Times books in the cafe library, one of the largest libraries at sea.

  • Unique travel-related crossword puzzles. The New York Times will create crossword puzzles specifically for Holland America Line.

  • Discovery Times Channel programming available both in the Explorations Cafe and in staterooms. "TimesTalk" events will be made available on CD.

  • New York Times merchandise such as collections of photographs from the publication's archives, trivia books, commemorative newspapers and coffee mugs.

  • Complimentary access to The New York Times Electronic Edition which is an exact replica of the New York edition of the newspaper that will be downloaded via the Internet to the computers in the Explorations Cafe.

Rounding out the Explorations Cafe, The New York Times is also providing compelling photos from the publication's famous archives. Tables with glass tops featuring New York Times crossword puzzles contribute to the ambiance of the cafe. Guests can sit at the tables and use grease pencils to complete the puzzles or leave the difficult parts for the next guest to finish. In addition, the cafe area will feature nine music stations, about a dozen Internet stations and offer guests the convenience of wireless Internet access.

"We are delighted to enter this innovative marketing agreement with Holland America Line," said Alyse Myers, vice president of marketing, The New York Times. "It allows us to bring The New York Times to life for Holland America Line's intellectually-curious passengers and is in keeping with our approach to provide high-quality news, information and entertainment across a variety of multi-media platforms."

Holland America Line has also secured expert speakers for its Explorations Guest Speaker Series, on all cruises lasting 10 days or longer beginning December 1. For example, a cruise to the Western Caribbean may feature a museum curator discussing the ancient Mayan civilization and folk art of the Yucatan Peninsula. The speaker series, which brings respected authorities to speak on topics relating to the history, culture, art and cuisine of various destinations, was previously available on cruises lasting over 14 days. It provides a great way for guests to enhance their cruise experience and fully immerse themselves in each destination.

Holland America Line will also provide guests with lists of informative Web sites on their destinations of choice. Guests can use the menus for their convenience or search for topics on their own. This wealth of information delivers a rich cruise experience for all guests no matter where their interests lie.

The ms Ryndam is the first ship to showcase the "Explorations Cafe - powered by The New York Times" on its October 20 sailing to Mexico. The broader Explorations program will be in place across the fleet in 2006.

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Holland America Line to Install Stateroom Flat-Panel TVs
LG LCD Technology Sets Cruise Line Standard for Premium Entertainment

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 20 -- Holland America Line, the highest-rated premium cruise line, has selected LG Electronics to equip its staterooms with more than 9,000 LCD televisions into its fleet of five-star ships over the next three years as part of its 'Signature of Excellence' initiative. This marks the first high-profile installation of LCD technology in cruise-line staterooms, replacing bulky picture-tube TVs.

Reinforcing LG's position as a premium consumer electronics brand in the United States, the initial installation on a Holland America Line vessel was the ms Ryndam, which is set to launch today in San Diego. Ryndam, named the "Ship of the Year" in 1996 by the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society, will conduct a dramatic re-launch today to introduce the ship's new product and service enhancements, including a new Culinary Arts Center, Explorations Café and 700 LCD televisions ranging from 20- to 27-inches in screen size, from LG Electronics. By April 2005, more than 3,500 LG LCD TVs will be installed on almost half of the fleet.

"We initiated the $225 million 'Signature of Excellence' to provide our guests with the finest amenities possible, including the latest in-room entertainment. As a pioneer in LCD technology, LG was the obvious choice," said Richard D. Meadows, senior vice president, marketing and sales of Holland America Line. "LG Electronics' LCD TVs offer a sleek and elegant premium experience for our customers. And LG's premium brand positioning dovetails perfectly with Holland America Line's luxurious environment."

LG's 20-inch LCD TV (Model RU-20LA80C) is equipped with LG's high-performance liquid crystal display technology, and offers 640 x 480 resolution, sleep timer and child lock, among many other features. With its wide 170-degree viewing angle, guests will be able to view the screen clearly from nearly all angles in the stateroom. It boasts an exceptional contrast ratio of 800:1 and peak brightness of 500 cd/m2 for picture quality unmatched for clarity and brightness, even in well-lit rooms.

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Disney Cruise Line Gives Disney Wonder a Magical Makeover

PORT CANAVERAL, FL -- Disney Cruise Line completed significant renovations to Disney Wonder, adding three new age-specific venues that appeal to the varied interests of adults and teenagers and refurbishing interior and exterior areas of the ship. The enhancements to the Disney Wonder conclude a series of investments made by Disney Cruise Line to its fleet. Its sister ship, the Disney Magic, underwent similar renovations twelve months ago. The work took place during a two-week period commonly referred to in the maritime industry as "dry dock." On Oct. 3, 2004, the Disney Wonder set sail for the Norshipco ship yard in Norfolk, Va. with a team of nearly 1,000 crew members and 600 contractors ready to tackle the ship's makeover.

"At Disney Cruise Line, we are always looking for ways to enhance the guest experience," said Disney Cruise Line President Tom McAlpin. "When we asked guests for their feedback, we found that they had great suggestions about how we could further enhance our already-popular age-specific areas, and we took their ideas to heart." Three areas on the ship underwent substantial renovations, making room for brand new venues that cater to teen and adult passengers--Aloft, Cove Cafe and Diversions.

Aloft is a teen haven perfect for relaxing or socializing with newfound friends. With a cozy decor that is a cross between a college dormitory and a trendy coffee shop, the space is loaded with comfy couches and overstuffed chairs. The venue features the latest video games, a collection of magazines, MP3 listening stations, a variety of board games, computers with internet access and a bar that dispenses both soft drinks and smoothies. Aloft hosts a variety of activities, some specifically for younger teens, others for older teens and some designed for the entire group. The Disney Wonder is the first ship in the Disney fleet to feature this new teen area.

Cove Cafe and Diversions are two new areas just for adults. Located next to the Quiet Cove pool is Cove Cafe; inside guests can relax with a popular magazine, watch television, access their email or socialize with other adults. Day or night, guests can enjoy gourmet coffees, specialty drinks and lighter fare cuisine. Diversions adds a new dimension to the ship's nighttime entertainment district. Themed as a traditional sports pub and filled with flat-screen plasma TVs, guests can join together here to cheer for their favorite sports teams or gather to watch their favorite TV shows. This venue features a diverse range of adult activities, from trivia-based game shows to board games to sing-along karaoke.

During dry dock, the team worked around the clock, replacing the decorative tile, swapping out the elaborate carpeting, refurbishing the ship's signature wood decking and reupholstering the furniture aboard the Disney Wonder. At Norshipco, the 83,000-ton ship was lifted out of the water, giving the team a chance to inspect the underside of the ship, clean the ship's hull and add a fresh coat of paint. Dry dock is a regulatory requirement by Lloyds Register. All ships must be taken out of the water completely twice every five years to allow for inspection of underwater parts and related engine room systems.

A leader in the family cruise business, Disney Cruise Line offers three-, four- and seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Land/sea vacation packages that include a stay at the Walt Disney World Resort are also available. During the summer of 2005, Disney Cruise Line will offer its first-ever seven-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera departing from the Port of Los Angeles. With a pre- or post-stay at the Disneyland Resort, guests can combine the fun and excitement of the Disneyland Resort with the enchantment of a Disney cruise. The repositioning of the Disney Magic to southern California also includes two 14-night Panama Canal cruises, nicely blending exotic ports of call with leisurely days at sea.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a Disney Cruise Line vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit or call Disney Cruise Line at (888) DCL-2500.

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Princess' New South America Brochure Released
Regal Princess' First South America Season Features New Brazil Itinerary & Cruisetour 

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 18, 2004 - With increased South America capacity in 2005-06, Princess offers more passengers than ever the opportunity to escape to the sultry and exciting destinations of Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aries and Machu Picchu. 

To help plan the perfect South America vacation, Princess Cruises has issued a new 54-page brochure featuring cruise options aboard Regal Princess and full cruisetour adventures. Regal Princess' first South America season features a number of itineraries that have become passenger favorites, plus a new Brazilian Adventure sailing and a new cruisetour option in Rio.

Princess' December 2005 to April 2006 South America season includes:

  • Around Cape Horn -- Passengers can round the fabled Cape Horn with Regal Princess' popular Cape Horn/Strait of Magellan itinerary between Santiago and Buenos Aries, now a 13-day cruise. Sailings depart between January 29 and March 9, 2006 and include scenic cruising of Chile's dramatic fjords and a stop in the Falkland Islands in addition to the passage around the southernmost tip of the continent.

  • Cruisetours -- The Cape Horn itinerary can also be combined with one of three pre- or post-cruise land tours for a full 17- or 18-day land/sea vacation. Options include a new Rio de Janeiro tour, "Parks and Peaks of Rio," plus intriguing "Rio and Iguazu Falls" and "Machu Picchu Explorer" packages.

  • Brazilian Adventure -- Regal Princess also debuts a new Brazilian Adventure route, an 18-day voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro, departing December 21, that calls at four additional Brazilian ports -- Belém, Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador -- as well as some of the most interesting islands in the Caribbean.

  • Up the Amazon -- Passengers can also choose to explore the legendary Amazon River with two sailings on a 12-day itinerary between Ft. Lauderdale and Manaus, departing April 7 and 19, 2006. The Amazon River adventure includes several stops in the Caribbean plus calls along the mighty river itself.

  • Andes -- The Andes Mountains and the ruins of Machu Picchu highlight a 16-day Andes/South America voyage from Santiago to Ft. Lauderdale. Passengers on this March 22, 2006 sailing will also enjoy a transit through the locks of the Panama Canal.

  • Antarctica -- One of the most noteworthy itineraries in Princess' Connoisseur Adventure Cruise lineup, Princess' Antarctica voyage, presents a new itinerary in 2006 aboard a new vessel. Regal Princess takes over the journey of a lifetime, which now sails from Rio de Janeiro to Santiago on January 8, 2006. The adventure includes four days of scenic cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula plus visits to popular South American ports.

Copies of Princess' new brochure are available from professional travel agents or by clicking on the "Brochures" link at Brochures may also be downloaded in pdf format from the website. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Carnival Corporation Orders Two Ships for German Brand AIDA

MIAMI, Oct 19, 2004 - Carnival Corporation announced it has ordered two new 68,500-ton cruise ships for its AIDA brand, which caters exclusively to the German-speaking market. To be built at Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard, the vessels have an all-in cost of approximately EUR315 million each and are expected to be delivered in April 2007 and April 2009. 

Each vessel, which will operate under AIDA's informal "club resort" cruise concept aimed at younger, more active passengers, will carry approximately 2,030 lower berths - roughly 22 percent more than the largest vessel in the German cruise operator's current fleet. 

"Part of our European strategy is to aggressively grow the German market. Exciting new ships like these are needed and they must be specifically designed to meet the demands of German travelers who are increasingly discovering the value and convenience of cruise holidays," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO.

This announcement marks the second time in four weeks that Carnival Corporation has placed a new ship order. Just last month, the company reached an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of four new cruise ships, as well as the redesign of the Queen Victoria for Cunard Line. Arison noted that these multiple ship orders fulfill the long-term strategy of growing the cruise market globally and also lower the company's newbuild costs. He pointed out that the per-berth price of the AIDA ships comes at the low end of the range that Carnival has historically paid for euro-priced newbuilds. 

With these new orders, Carnival's capacity growth remains in line with previous guidance of mid-single digit growth. Based on the current order book, capacity growth will be 6.9 percent in 2007, 5.5 percent in 2008, and 2.1 percent in 2009. AIDA Cruises has revolutionized the German cruise market with the AIDA club ships since 1996. In 2009 a total of six club ships will be operating in the Mediterranean, the Canaries, North Sea, the Baltic, the Caribbean and Central America.

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MS Europa Receives Plaque from Berlitz Publishing in Recognition of being the World’s Highest Rated Cruise Ship

Miami, FL – Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, a subsidiary of TUI Group, the world’s largest tourism group, has been awarded a plaque by Berlitz Publishing for its flagship luxury cruise ship, MS Europa, in recognition of being the only cruise ship in the world to reach the coveted Five-Stars-Plus rating. Douglas Ward, author of Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005 and world renowned authority on cruise ships, presented the plaque on behalf of Berlitz Publishing to Captain Hagen Damaschke of the MS Europa. 

For the fifth consecutive year, Europa, the luxury Hapag-Lloyd ship, captured the highest ratings in Berlitz Publishing’s annual definitive cruising guide, Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005, which is due in bookstores in November 2004. 

“What Mr. Ward has to say about the industry and the individual ships means a lot to Europeans and Americans alike, and we value his opinions and those offered by Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005. We are honored by this award for the fifth consecutive year, and pledge to continue making Europa the best ship possible in the coming years, “says Sebastian Ahrens, Managing Director, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

The Europa, which entered service in 1999, is so exclusive and high-scoring in all possible decisive factors that Ward created a new class for her: Five-Stars-Plus. Europa is classified as a “Small Ship”, serving up to 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 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. In September 2004, Europa revealed a new refurbishment that includes a new bar, a three-level fitness area, and an expanded children’s playroom.

“Berlitz’s Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and it is impressive that one ship has held fast to the number one spot for basically one quarter of the time the book has been in publication,” says Jeremy Westwood, Managing Director of Berlitz Publishing/Insight Guides. “This book has become the most highly regarded source of comparative material not only for cruise purchasers but also for cruise industry executives, crew members, and travel agents all over the world. Douglas Ward, author of Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005, created the category of cruise criticism two decades ago, and his book is now as renowned in its field as Europa is in the cruise industry. His objectivity and keen observations of the burgeoning cruise industry are legendary. It’s only fitting that he was on site in Miami today to award Hapag-Lloyd the plaque on behalf of Berlitz Publishing. “

Information and picture materials for Hapag-Lloyd may be downloaded from the internet at For further information on Hapag-Lloyd cruises contact a travel office, including the following agents.

• Julia Ann Liantonio, Euro Lloyd Travel Group, Tel: 516-228-4970, or Ingrid Schacht, 800-334-0284, Fax: 516-228-8258; Website:; E-mail: OR Ingrid Schacht, Tel: 704-752-0042, 800-782-3924; Fax: 704-752-0662; Website:; E-mail: 
• Annemarie Victory, Annemarie Victory Organization, Inc., 136 East 64th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021; Tel.: (212) 486-0353 / Fax: (212) 751-3149
• Mary Dailey, Dailey-Thorp Travel, P.O. Box 670, Big Horn, WY 82833; Tel.: (307) 673-1555 / FAX: (307) 674-7474
• Chuck Cross, Expeditions, Inc., 20525 SE Dorchester Rd., Bend, OR 97702; Tel.: (541) 330-2454
• Lisa Wilson-Schmitt, Nonstop Travel, Alpine Village, 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Suite 111, Torrance, CA 90502, Tel. (310) 324-5500 / Fax: (310) 324-7623

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Queen Mary 2 Garners Top Honors from Berlitz Cruise Guidebook

VALENCIA, CA, Oct 19, 2004 – Cunard Line’s RMS Queen Mary 2 has been awarded a maritime Oscar from Berlitz in their 2005 guide to Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships. The famous liner’s Queens and Princess grill accommodations were awarded five stars, ranking Queen Mary 2 seventh out of more than 260 ships, and besting the luxury vessels of Silversea, Crystal and Radisson Seven Seas. 

Queen Mary 2, which began service in January 2004, is the only ship in the world offering regularly scheduled transatlantic crossings between Europe and North America. The world’s largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive – $800 million – liner offers accommodations for 2,620 passengers in degrees of style and comfort ranging from pampered elegance to almost unimaginable luxury. 

In fact, passengers who occupy the award-winning Grill accommodations, with butler service and all the other requisite trimmings of finery, enjoy consummate luxury. What other ship in the history of ocean travel has offered the option of a 9,000-square foot, bi-level living space with five bedrooms, 10 marble bathrooms, private balconies and exercise rooms? What other ship, since the heyday of the French Line a half century ago, has offered a bar devoted to the finest Champagne? And the world’s first planetarium at sea with virtual-reality rides through the galaxies… not to mention the exquisite pleasures of America’s best-known spa?

“It is especially gratifying to receive this recognition as Queen Mary 2 has not even been in service for a year,” said David Gevanthor, Cunard’s vice president of marketing, “Queen Mary 2 has made her mark as a travel icon for the 21st century and we know that these accolades from Berlitz echo a respect shared by many travelers worldwide.”

All hail Cunard’s new, award-winning Queen
From November 2004 through April 2005, Queen Mary 2 will operate 18 Caribbean cruises departing from either New York or Fort Lauderdale. Depending on the sailing date, prices for a seven-day cruise go from $15,449 per person, double occupancy, for one of the liner’s 2,249-square foot Grand Duplex apartments to $3,249 per person, double, for junior suites measuring 381 square feet. Inside cabins for seven-day sailings start from just $1,149 per person, double. 

When not cruising the Caribbean, Queen Mary 2 resumes her reign plying the North Atlantic as Cunard liners have for 165 years. For 2005, the line will offer 26, six-night crossings between New York and Southampton, England, priced from $1,499 per person, double, which includes Economy Class air to or from London. A collection of cruises to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the eastern seaboard of North America are interspersed with the transatlantic series.

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 features 10 dining venues, including a Mediterranean speciality restaurant operated by celebrity chef Todd English. The liner also has the only Canyon Ranch SpaClub® at sea, the world’s first planetarium at sea, the largest ballroom at sea, the largest library at sea, and the largest wine collection at sea, as well as a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, a two-story theatre, a casino, five indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, boutiques and children’s facilities complete with British nannies. For more information about Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 or to receive a brochure, contact a travel professional travel, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Cesare Ditel Named Commodore of Princess Cruises Fleet

SANTA CLARITA, CA - Cesare Ditel, a 40-year Princess veteran, has been named commodore of the company's 14-ship fleet. The designation of commodore is an honor that is traditionally given to the most senior captain of a fleet of ships.

Currently serving as master of Star Princess , Ditel takes over the new title after a long career commanding many of the ships in the Princess fleet. He began his career at sea with Princess Cruises and the former Sitmar Cruises in 1964 as a third officer. Ditel also holds the distinction of being the first Italian captain in the Princess fleet to earn his British Master's certificate, allowing him to sail the line's British-registered vessels.

Ditel hails from a seafaring family on Italy's island of Elba. He began his maritime studies in 1953 at the Nautical School in Leghorn, Italy, and after attending the Italian Naval Academy and serving in the Navy for a couple of years, he began a Merchant Navy career in 1961 aboard tanker ships. In 1964 he joined Sitmar as a Third Navigating Officer and moved up the ranks, receiving his first post as Captain in 1985. He was appointed captain of Star Princess for her 2002 launch, plus brought out Ocean Princess when she debuted in 2000 and Regal Princess at the time of her 1991 debut. He has recently commanded Golden Princess, and has also been master of Sun Princess, Crown Princess, and the original Star Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess. When not at sea, Ditel lives in the town of DiCampo on the island of Elba with his wife and two sons.

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Holland America Line Honored With Prestigious 
International Five Star Diamond Award
American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Recognizes Premium Cruise Leader's Tradition of Excellence with Coveted Award

SEATTLE, Oct. 13 -- Holland America Line announced it has been awarded the prestigious International Five Star Diamond Award from The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. Each year, the American Academy bestows the honor on an exclusive group of hospitality companies around the world that are deemed to be the pinnacle of quality and excellence in their respective industries.

The American Academy selects award recipients based on thorough evaluations of hospitality, gastronomy, attitude, quality, cleanliness and, above all, service. The decisions of the American Academy are based exclusively on whether the establishment demonstrates a commitment to excellence in luxury and service within its category.

"We are honored to receive this very prestigious emblem of achievement and quality," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Holland America Line. "It reflects a deep commitment that every one of Holland America Line's employees has to our company and our guests. We continue to look at every facet of our business in order to ensure that every guest has the very best premium cruise when they sail with us."

The announcement comes in the midst of the company's Signature of Excellence initiative, a series of groundbreaking investments occurring throughout Holland America Line's five-star fleet that are enhancing the company's position as the premium cruise leader.

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Even Computers Can "Escape Completely" With New Download Options on Princess Web Site
Interactive Bridge Cam Desktop Among Popular New Features on

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 15, 2004) - Computers across the country are helping their users keep that 'vacation feeling' even when not at sea. Thanks to a new series of fun, downloadable features on the Princess Cruises web site, Princess fans are dressing up their computer desktops and adding screensavers with images that provide a virtual vacation aboard a Princess ship. By far the most popular of the new features is an Interactive Desktop that incorporates the live bridge cam from Sapphire Princess or Caribbean Princess . More than 60,000 people so far have chosen this option so they can take a daily escape and "sail along" with the ships right from their computer's desktop throughout the day. Among the other new download options on are other desktop pictures of Princess ships in a variety of beautiful locations, a Princess screensaver with dramatic rotating photos, a slideshow of Princess ships and destinations, and a series of icons that users can place in instant messages or on Internet message boards.

"We wanted to give our very enthusiastic Princess fans out there a little something extra--a way to share in the cruise experience even at home," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "These various download options have become a fun way for Princess fans to do just that, and have proven to be very popular."

The new Interactive Desktops feature a full-screen photo of the ship with a built-in live image from either the Sapphire Princess' or Caribbean Princess' bridge cam. Always one of's most popular features, the Bridge Cam images show a live camera view, looking forward at the sea or port views, which refreshes every 60 seconds. Viewers will follow Sapphire Princess on her current sailings to Mexico and then across the Pacific in fall, or join Caribbean Princess as she visits the idyllic islands of the Caribbean. Additional interactive desktops featuring other vessels will be added in the future.

Users can also choose to download a Princess screen saver that will fill an idle computer screen with rotating images of Princess ships and beautiful destinations -- or those who don't want to wait until their computer is idle can also take a quick escape with a slideshow of scenic Princess photos. Princess fans may also choose from additional stunning desktop photos that show Princess ships or island images.
The site also offers icons for the major instant messaging services. With these downloads, people who use instant messaging can have the Princess logo or their Princess Captain's Circle status shown in all their messages. In addition, Captain's Circle and Princess logos are available for use in online forums., the line's comprehensive web site, offers a wealth of information about Princess ships, destinations and schedules. Whether a user is new to cruising, an experienced cruiser or is booked and ready to set sail, the site provides the tools and resources to plan a voyage or just relive the excitement. The site's vacation-planning features include detailed destinational information with virtual visits through stunning 360-degree photography, full shore excursion listings, ship tours and deck plans, and downloadable versions of many of the company's current brochures. In addition members of Princess Captain's Circle past passenger program can register preferences and track their accounts online. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Spice Up the Holidays with a Holland America Line Cruise Vacation 
19 Cruises Provide Fun Options for Entire Family

SEATTLE -- Whether it's a Christmas gift for mom or a way to escape the hectic rush of December, a cruise provides excellent value, activities for every age group, and a perfect chance to spend quality time with or without the family. Cruise vacationers don't have to leave their traditional holiday observances at home, either. In addition to special holiday festivities, entertainment and decorations, on-board clergy conduct Catholic, Protestant and Jewish services.

"It's a great time to cruise because the kids are out of school and the grandparents can come along, too," says Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president of marketing and sales, Holland America Line. "Holland America Line offers special holiday cruises on all its ships as an ideal way to celebrate the holidays with all the fun and none of the hassle. There are facilities and programs for the kids and plenty of different activities for parents and grandparents."

Holland America Line provides a wide selection of holiday cruises departing from December 15 through 30 and ranging from seven to 21 days in length. Most sailings are in the warm blue waters of the Caribbean and most of those call at Half Moon Cay, the company's award-winning private Bahamian island. At Half Moon Cay, guests will enjoy four new attractions this December as well. These include a new Family Aqua Park with slides, AquaTrax guided personal water craft park, sting ray adventure program and a horseback riding and swimming tour.

Additionally, Holland America Line offers a Christmas/New Year's cruise to the Hawaiian Islands roundtrip from San Diego and a sailing along the Mexican Riviera that makes a Holland America Line maiden call at Topolobampo, Mexico, cruise gateway to the spectacular Copper Canyon. For the ultimate white Christmas, the line's Amsterdam flagship will spend Christmas with the penguins, visiting Antarctica on December 25, and exploring ports in Chile, Argentina and Brazil on other days.

Holland America Line's on-board festivities for the entire family include holiday decorations, special movie showings, traditional dinner selections, religious services, a visit for the kids from Santa -- sometimes arriving by parasail -- activities and crafts for the Club HAL kids program, and a Christmas show by the crew on Christmas Eve. The line also holds a New Year's Eve Gala and arranges to broadcast some college bowl games on board the ship.

And a holiday cruise won't break the bank. Holland America Line has seven-day sailings starting at $899 per person with an extra $199 per third or fourth child in the same cabin. For more information about planning a holiday cruise, contact a travel agent or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Seabourn Named 'Best Cruise Company' by the Telegraph
Ultra Luxury Line Tops Annual British Customer Satisfaction Travel Awards

LONDON -- Ultra luxury small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line was named the "Best Cruise Company" for 2004 in the annual Travel Awards created by the United Kingdom newspaper The Telegraph. The award is based on surveys of actual customer satisfaction with various travel experiences. 

Deborah L. Natansohn, Seabourn's president, said "We are thrilled that the Telegraph's readers have placed us at the top of their list. The United Kingdom is the second-largest source of Seabourn guests, after North America. British guests tend to be very experienced travelers who come to us with high expectations, and we are delighted that our ships and staffs have sent them home happy." 

The Telegraph Travel Award caps a year in which Seabourn was also rated higher than any other cruise line in a Luxury Survey of readers conducted by Departures, published exclusively for American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders. 

Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend, the company's three intimate ships, known collectively as The Yachts of Seabourn, carry just 208 guests each, exclusively in spacious, ocean-view suites. Seabourn's highly inclusive onboard experience provides complimentary open bars, award-winning gourmet cuisine and peerless, personalized service made possible by one of the highest ratios of staff to guests in the industry, with tipping never expected. 

Cruises of seven to 28 days or longer explore landmark ports and lesser-known gems where larger ships cannot go. For information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit Seabourn's award-winning website at

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Carnival Cruise Line’s Celebration Kicks Off Jacksonville’s First Year-Round Cruise Service

Jacksonville, FL – Carnival Cruise Line’s 1,486-passenger ship Celebration began year-round cruise service from Jacksonville on Tuesday, October 12, departing for a five-day cruise to The Bahamas. The ship will operate 75 voyages from Jacksonville every year, carrying approximately 122,000 passengers annually. After its initial sailing, the 47,262-ton SuperLiner will operate a six-day cruise to Mexico departing October 17 before launching year-round four- and five-day cruises from Jacksonville beginning October 23. On this program, four-day cruises will depart Thursdays and visit Freeport and Nassau while five-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays and call at Key West and Nassau.

Encompassing 10 decks and standing 733 feet in length, the Celebration houses 10 lounges and bars, three restaurants, a 24-hour pizzeria, an Internet café, on-board duty-free shopping, a health club, a children’s play room, and three swimming pools, one with a 114-foot-long water slide.

“We are thrilled that Carnival has chosen Jacksonville to host this beautiful ship,” said Rick Ferrin, JAXPORT’s Executive Director. “The Jacksonville community has shown tremendous interest in cruising from JAXPORT, and the Celebration is a wonderful ship to provide this service.”

The Celebration is the third Carnival ship – and fourth overall – to offer cruises from Jacksonville since service began at JAXPORT, but the first to offer year-round cruising. The Carnival Miracle sailed from Jacksonville from February 27 through April 17, 2004, followed by Carnival’s Jubilee sailing from May 11 through August 26 before being sold and leaving the city. Celebrity Cruises’ Zenith also offered service from October 27, 2003 through April 22, 2004. The Zenith returns to Jacksonville on November 3 to offer another cruise season. Prior to the Celebration’s first sailing on Tuesday, JAXPORT Executive Director Rick Ferrin presented Captain Giulio Basso with a maiden voyage plaque to commemorate the occasion.

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Celebrity Cruises Treats More Guests Famously With Expansion of 'ConciergeClass'

MIAMI, Oct. 14 -- High demand for Celebrity Cruises' "ConciergeClass" category of plush veranda stateroom accommodations has led the line to expand it across its Millennium-class fleet just one year after its introduction.

"We anticipated a favorable response to ConciergeClass, but our guests have reacted so positively that we accelerated our plans to expand," said Senior Vice President of Fleet Operations Dietmar Wertanzl.

Beginning in 2005, the number of Celebrity ConciergeClass staterooms will more than double, from 100 to 228 staterooms per ship on Constellation, Infinity, Millennium and Summit. Formerly classified as categories 1A and 1B, "premium ocean-view with veranda" staterooms, each ConciergeClass stateroom is 191 square feet with a 41-square-foot veranda. Guests booked in ConciergeClass staterooms are treated famously throughout their cruise, from the moment they arrive in their stateroom with a bottle of chilled champagne, fresh flowers and a selection of fruits, to the time they're ready to sleep, with tension-absorbing pillow-top mattresses, plush duvets and a pillow menu whose selections include conformance, body, goose down or Isotonic.

Additional ConciergeClass amenities include afternoon canapes, a leather key holder, personalized stationery, an oversized tote bag, an umbrella available to use throughout the cruise, and shoeshine service. For guests who choose to linger in the comfort of their plush bedding, Celebrity offers a room service breakfast menu designed exclusively for ConciergeClass guests. ConciergeClass bathroom amenities include plush bath rugs, oversized Egyptian cotton towels, double-thick Frette bathrobes, two hair dryers, a Hansgrohe showerhead, and a selection of fine shampoos, body lotions, soaps, shower caps, breath mints and a sewing kit. Special services associated with ConciergeClass include priority luggage delivery, dining time and seating preferences, VIP invitations to exclusive shipboard events, priority shore excursion bookings, early embarkation and debarkation privileges, and a one-touch button on the phone to reach a ConciergeClass desk representative directly.

ConciergeClass amenities also extend to the veranda, which features a table large enough for dining al fresco, cushioned chairs, and high-powered binoculars for zooming in on captivating scenery throughout the cruise. The industry's highest-rated premium cruise line with a taste of luxury, Celebrity Cruises' 10-ship fleet is the youngest of any major line. Celebrity sails in the Arctic, Antarctic, Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800- 437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Silversea Cruises Voted No. 1 Small-Ship Cruise Line 
by Condé Nast Traveler Readers
Overall Score of 95.0 Tops All Other Cruise Lines

Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has again been voted the world's Number-One "Small Ship Cruise Line" in this year's Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards, the eighth time the magazine's discerning readers have so honored the cruise line. With an overall score of 95.0, Silversea surpassed its own performance in each of its prior seven wins, and ranked above all other cruise lines in this year's survey, including those in the large-ship category.

"Our goal has always been to create a luxurious vacation completely different from anything other cruise lines or land-based resorts are able to offer," said Silversea's Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre. "Winning this award for the eighth time is a clear indication we have succeeded in designing an experience that is truly exceptional - and one that continually exceeds the expectations of our guests, who are some of the world's most savvy and sophisticated travelers."

Albert Peter, Silversea's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "This achievement would not be possible without the phenomenal efforts, enthusiasm and dedication of the ladies and gentlemen who work aboard our ships and in our corporate offices throughout the world. I'm very gratified and proud of their efforts to keep Silversea the leader in ultra-luxury cruising." 

Each year Condé Nast Traveler, whose motto is "Truth in Travel", polls its subscribers to determine the world's very best travel companies and properties based on certain characteristics. Cruise lines are evaluated in the five categories of Itineraries, Crew/Service, Cabins/Design, Food/Dining and Activities/Events. The complete results of this year's survey will appear in the magazine's November 2004 issue, which goes on newsstands October 26th.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For the eighth year, Silversea was named "Number One" small-ship line in the 2004 "Readers' Choice" survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. For the sixth time, Silversea was selected "World's Best" small-ship line in the 2004 Travel + Leisure readers' poll.

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Celebrity Cruises Secures Position as Top Premium Line
 in Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards

MIAMI, FL -- At the October 7 presentation of the coveted annual Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards, Celebrity Cruises again took top honors in the premium cruise category. According to results to be published in the November edition of Conde Nast Traveler, Celebrity ranked third in the "Top 25 Cruise Lines: Large Ship Lines" poll, behind only luxury lines Crystal Cruises and Radisson Seven Seas.

Subscribers' responses resulted in Celebrity's rating of 85.8 out of 100, up from last year's score of 82.9. Celebrity's total score has increased every year since 2001.

The annual poll asks the magazine's subscribers to evaluate cruise lines on a combination of itineraries, crew/service, cabins/design, food/dining, activities/excursions and entertainment/events. Celebrity attributes its steady rise over the last four years to its extensive series of brand enhancements; a new category of accommodations introduced in 2003, "ConciergeClass;" and an accelerating momentum building on this year's launches of "Celebrity Xpeditions" and the line's exclusive partnership with Cirque du Soleil.

"We are absolutely thrilled with this award, which validates the enhancements we've made to-date, and encourages us to continue to present our guests with new and innovative cruise experiences," said Celebrity's President and COO Jack Williams. "We are honored to have the endorsement of the sophisticated readers of Conde Nast Traveler."

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Royal Caribbean International Launches New Spanish Web Site Offers Colorful, Concise Cruise Resource for Spanish-Speaking Travelers

MIAMI -- Royal Caribbean International has launched a new Spanish-language web site for Spanish-speaking travelers who prefer to plan their vacation in their primary language. The new site,, provides a colorful and concise resource for the growing number of Internet-savvy Hispanic travelers.

"Recent research studies show that by the year 2007, nearly nine percent of all Internet users in the United States will be Hispanic," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, for Royal Caribbean International. "We are pleased to launch a site that simplifies the information gathering and planning process for this important market. We have seen the number of Hispanic travelers cruising with us continue to grow and want to ensure that they have an outstanding experience with our brand, starting with their very first contact with us online."

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Crystal Cruises Receives Ninth Consecutive World's Best Award From Readers of Condé Nast Traveler
Luxury Line Achieves Personal Best With Its Highest-Ever Score 

LOS ANGELES -- For an unprecedented ninth year in a row, Crystal Cruises has been named "World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" in the coveted Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards marking nearly a decade of continued excellence from the innovative cruise line. Crystal's overall score of 94.6 is the company's highest-ever rating.

"We are honored to be at the forefront of our industry and remain steadfast in our commitment to provide a luxury vacation that continuously excites and rewards our sophisticated guests," says Crystal President Gregg L. Michel. "Each year we continue to innovate, to introduce new onboard programs, and to differentiate the Crystal experience. Nine consecutive years as the world's best large-ship cruise line speaks to the consistency and stature of a Crystal vacation. This recognition also credits our dedicated staff for their unfaltering talent and creativity. It is gratifying that their efforts and choices have been recognized by the readership of Conde Nast Traveler magazine."

Crystal's winning formula of delivering the best service, space, quality and choices has earned it an enviable reputation among savvy travelers and industry experts worldwide. The line invests a significant amount of time and resources to evolving the Crystal experience, with shipboard and shoreside employees embracing the company's Six-Star Crystal Basics, a multi-point credo for anticipating and fulfilling guests' needs.

Large-ship cruise line (vessels carrying 500 or more passengers) scores are percentages based on the "excellent" and "very good" votes from the subscribers in the categories of itineraries, crew/service, food/dining, cabins/design, and events/activities.

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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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