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Cruise News
October 1-31, 2009

Click the following links to the cruise news stories...

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Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines,
 cruise-related industries, and their agents.

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected.

What's on Cruise Diva's mind? A bit of editorializing, news, announcements, and travel tips--find that and more in Cruise Diva's Blog. Recent headlines appear below.

Cruise Diva

Holland America Line to Host Windows 7 Launch Parties at Sea
In Onboard Digital Workshops Powered by Windows

Seattle, WA, Oct 30: As Microsoft Corp. rolls out Windows 7 worldwide, Holland America Line joins in the fun with a month-long series of festive High Seas Launch Parties of its own across its entire fleet. Holland America Line’s partiesthe only cruise industry events scheduledcelebrate Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7, which powers the line’s series of complimentary onboard Digital Workshops.

“Holland America Line is excited to be a part of this far-reaching global launch with on board parties in Europe, Asia, South America, Central America, North America and while crossing the Atlantic,” said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Our guests are already experiencing the benefits of Win7 which powers the Digital Workshops offered as part of our enrichment program.”

Classes and launch parties are led by the workshop “techsperts,” or instructors, who are Microsoft-trained and are officially approved Windows 7 launch hosts. All ships have Party Packs from Microsoft and will be giving away Windows 7 theme posters, luggage tags and special discounts and offers in addition to Holland America Line prizes.

Workshops are complimentary and limited to 15 participants per session so that instructors can provide personalized assistance. In addition, instructors maintain “techspert time,” where guests can get their individual questions answered and work on personal program-related projects. Each ship has a dedicated space for the classes, complete with computers, printers and other necessary equipment. For more information on Digital Workshops powered by Windows or Holland America Line, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Creativity & Innovation Take the Helm Aboard Disney Dream

CELEBRATION, FL, Oct. 29: A first-of-its kind water coaster that sends guests racing above the upper decks of the ship. An animated turtle that engages children in conversation about life in the ocean. A sophisticated lounge where the sun sets over the skyline of a different world-famous city each night. When the Disney Dream debuts in early 2011, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet will bring to life these innovations and more.

The Disney Dream will take family cruising to all-new heights, embracing the spirit of innovation, magical family entertainment and immersive experiences that have made Disney Cruise Line the preeminent cruise of choice for families since 1998. Disney Cruise Line revolutionized the cruise industry with purpose-built ships designed just for families. With the Disney Dream setting sail on Jan. 26, 2011, preparations are underway to expand the one-of-a-kind family experience, utilizing technology to enhance the world-class entertainment and legendary guest services onboard. From stem to stern, the Disney Dream will offer a cruise experience that caters to the preferences of the whole family.

"For more than a decade, passengers have filled their passports with memories sailing around the world with Disney Cruise Line," said Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo. "With the Disney Dream joining our fleet, we'll be able to take families to even more places they never imagined they could visit - in true Disney style."

The Disney Dream features a remarkable interior design which provides guests with a warm and welcoming feel throughout. The ship's design offers guests a perfect blend of elegant Art Deco style and fun-filled Disney whimsy to create one of the most spectacular ships afloat. Distinctly Disney guest features aboard the Disney Dream include:

AquaDuck Water Coaster. . .

Disney Cruise Line debuts a cruise-industry first: a shipboard water coaster ... AquaDuck! Guests aboard the Disney Dream will get swept away on an exhilarating high-speed flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids - all while traversing the upper decks of the ship.

-- AquaDuck stretches 765 feet in length - more than two and a half times the length of a football field - and spans four decks in height.
-- Guests slide 13 feet over the side of the ship in a translucent "swing out" loop allowing them to look down on the ocean 150 feet below.
-- Guests experience coaster-like thrills as high-powered water jets push them upwards and forwards at 20 feet per second.
-- AquaDuck continues through the forward funnel, encounters a 335 foot stretch of river rapids and splashes down to an end on Deck 12.

A Virtual Porthole for Inside Staterooms. . .

Disney Cruise Line introduces another stateroom innovation with all inside staterooms on the Disney Dream featuring a Virtual Porthole that provides guests with a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Virtual Porthole. As guests observe the impressive outside views, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters such as Peach the starfish from the Disney-Pixar hit film "Finding Nemo," or Mickey Mouse may pop by the Virtual Porthole.

A Magical Oasis for Children. . .

Only on a Disney Cruise Line ship can children become immersed in their favorite Disney stories with the help of caring counselors, beloved Disney characters and a sprinkling of pixie dust. The celebration of children's creativity rises to a new level on the Disney Dream with nearly an entire deck of youth spaces designed to inspire, entertain and unlock the imagination of children. There are two main spaces for children ages three to 10:

At Disney's Oceaneer Club, children can:

-- Play among larger-than-life characters from Disney--Pixar's "Toy Story" in Andy's Room
-- Explore the Laugh Floor with lovable monsters Mike and Sully from "Monsters, Inc."
-- Dive under the sea with Nemo and friends or visit Tinker Bell's fairy forest

At Disney's Oceaneer Lab, children feel as though they are embarking on a great seafaring adventure in a room filled with maps, maritime instruments and swashbuckling artifacts. Here, children can try their hand at animation, become a pop star or navigate ships through digital seas. Both venues offer magical interactions with the animated characters such as Crush, the sea turtle from the Disney-Pixar motion picture "Finding Nemo" and Stitch, the mischievous alien from "Lilo and Stitch." The characters chat, play and joke with children in live, unrehearsed conversations from their digital undersea and intergalactic environments via 103-inch plasma screens.

Chill-Out Zones for Tweens and Teens. . .

Located inside the forward funnel is Edge, the lounge just for tweens (ages 11 to 13). This tween pad is filled with a multitude of hi-tech entertainment including the ability to create and star in photo postcards and video karaoke using green-screen technology.

Teens have their own exclusive club aboard the Disney Dream with Vibe, a trendy and inviting indoor/outdoor space created especially for guests ages 14 to 17. A "teen-only" swipe card provides access to the nearly 9,000-square-foot club.

Teens can create and edit videos, play computer games, access the onboard social media application or try their hand at spinning and mixing dance tracks. Teens have their own private outdoor deck area with chaise lounges for sunbathing, two wading pools, misters and pop jets for cooling off, and deck games such as ping-pong and foosball.

Personal Touches with Rotational Dining. . .

Disney Cruise Line continues its innovative rotational dining concept onboard the Disney Dream with elaborately themed restaurants, distinctly Disney touches, and world-class cuisine to create a magical dining experience. Throughout the cruise, guests "rotate" through three different restaurants for dinner - with their servers accompanying them, providing guests with friendly, familiar, personalized service each night. The rotational dining restaurants include:

-- Animator's Palate, a signature Disney Cruise Line restaurant that brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room for a unique experience that will captivate the entire family.
-- Royal Palace, an elegant restaurant inspired by the classic Disney films "Cinderella," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Sleeping Beauty."
-- Enchanted Garden, a whimsical, casual restaurant inspired by the gardens of Versailles and featuring a dining environment that magically transforms from day to night.

Just for Adults. . .

On the Disney Dream, while children are having the time of their lives in the elaborately themed youth areas, adults can look forward to incomparable indulgences and relaxation with exclusive areas and offerings designed exclusively for them.

-- Adults can escape into The District, a nighttime entertainment area on the Disney Dream with five unique venues. This playground for grownups features sophisticated lounges, each with its own unique design, look, feel, and palate-pleasing delights.
-- Senses Spa & Salon offers adult tranquility with 17 private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas with indoor treatment rooms and private outdoor verandahs, and Rainforest, a special section of the spa
offering the benefits of steam, heat and hydrotherapy to relax the mind and body.
-- At Palo, adult guests find epicurean excellence and an unforgettable dinner experience at sea. Every seat offers beautiful ocean vistas while a pianist softly serenades guests in an intimate restaurant setting.

The Disney Dream is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage Jan. 26, 2011, and will sail alternating 3- and 4-night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. During summer months, the ship will alternate 4- and 5-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay. Guests can book their Disney Dream cruise beginning Nov. 9, 2009. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500, or contact their travel agent.

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Windstar Announces '80 Degrees of Sunshine; 180 Degrees From Ordinary'

SEATTLE, Oct. 29: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, begins its "80 Degrees of Sunshine; 180 Degrees from Ordinary" two-week sale today on 2010 Caribbean sailings. Guests will receive incredible savings on select 7-day Caribbean voyages.

The 148-guest Wind Spirit debuts a new 7-day St. Martin roundtrip itinerary offering guests pristine beaches, lively island culture and lush tropics. The new itinerary also allows for additional daytime sailing. Port of calls include St. Kitts, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and St. Barts. Selected Wind Spirit sailings on sale are: Jan 16; Jan 23; Jan 30; and Feb 6, 2010.

The 312-guest Wind Surf offers 7-day roundtrip sailings from Bridgetown, Barbados calling on a variety of vibrant ports on northbound and southbound itineraries. Wind Surf's northbound itinerary includes St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Martin, St. Barts, Guadeloupe, Iles des Saintes and St. Lucia. The southbound itinerary includes Bequia, Dominica, St. Lucia, Mayreau, Grenada and Tobago. Selected Wind Surf sailings on sale are: Jan 31; Feb 7; Feb 14; and March 14, 2010.

The "80 Degrees of Sunshine; 180 Degrees from Ordinary" two-week sale is not combinable with any other promotions/programs. Taxes additional. Offer is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn or modified at the discretion of Windstar. Offer valid on new bookings only from Oct 28 through Nov 11, 2009.

A leader in defining the small ship luxury cruise experience for more than 20 years, Windstar has won the allegiance of a new generation of contemporary travelers who appreciate the line's luxurious accommodations, alternative dining venues, diversity of shore excursions, complimentary water sports program and deluxe spa facilities. Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their pampering without pretense and their ability to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations. Carrying just 148 to 312 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Cruise West Announces Three Voyages in the Baltic Sea, Norwegian Fjords & North Atlantic

Seattle, WA: Inspired by the intrepid journeys and legendary explorations of Leif Eriksson to the New World, three voyages mark the third chapter of small-ship exploration line Cruise West’s epic world adventure, Voyages of the Great Explorers. Starting from Honfleur, France and ending in St. John’s, Newfoundland, guests will visit the United Kingdom and Scandinavia, with excursions to multiple UNESCO World heritage sites, before charting a course across the North Atlantic.

Guests will save up to $1,550 per person ($3,100 per cabin) and receive FREE round trip international airfare from five select U.S. Cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York or an air credit of $750 per person by booking and paying in full by Dec 18, 2009. In addition to an included excursion at every port, each of the three voyages will be enhanced by an extraordinary ‘Ultimate Explorers Experience’ (UEE), designed to bring guests into direct personal contact with fascinating peoples, cultures and natural wonders. Engaging presentations by notable experts on the region’s culture, history and current events will bring each region to life.

The Viking’s adventures come alive in three distinct voyages:

Cruise West’s own “Modern Day Explorer” Captain Reidulf Maalen, will take the helm of the Spirit of Oceanus for all three voyages. He brings not only a lifetime of maritime experience, but also a warm level of hospitality that has made him one of the most sought out captains in the industry.

Voyage 11: Honfleur to Oslo, encompasses Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia. The County of Wicklow -“the Garden of Ireland” -- brings guests up close to domed granite mountains, deep glens and wooded valleys. Scotland’s Stornoway, with ancient standing stones, and the Orkney Islands, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and birders’ paradise, reflects Scotland’s wild beauty. Exploring Norway’s spectacular fjords and fishing villages includes another UNESCO World Heritage Site – Saltstraumen, just above the Arctic Circle. In addition, there are ample opportunities to observe the abundant wild life including large colonies of sea birds and pods of Orca whales. In Bergen, guests are treated to a private recital of composer Edvard Grieg’s music in the Troldsalen Concert Hall.

An excursion of Magerøy Island and The North Cape brings guests up close to life in the north (UEE). Guests will travel along the Skipsfjord to the fishing village of Kammøyvaer, populated by 100 hardy souls, before a trip to see some of the Sami people's 4,000-reindeer herd that roams freely here during the summer months. Then, it’s onto Skarsvåg, the northernmost fishing village in the world, to shop for knitwear, Christmas decorations and more at the North Cape Christmas and Winter House.

The 19-night voyage departs July 19, 2010. Add-on: pre-cruise three-night tour of Paris.

Voyage 12: Oslo to London focuses on history, art and architecture of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Russia. Visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the Swedish walled city of Visby; the Estonian city of Tallinn, one of the finest medieval old towns in all of Northern Europe, and the opulence of St. Petersburg. Notable excursions include a tour of Denmark’s small villages, including Gudhjem, a vividly scenic fishing village, en route to majestic Hammershus Castle Ruin.

Excursion highlights include a visit to St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum (UEE). Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, it's one of the largest and oldest museums in the world with collections comprising nearly three million works. Then a short bus ride to the Peter and Paul Fortress, built by Peter the Great in 1703 with a final stop at the Church on the Spilled Blood.

The 15-night voyage departs Aug. 6, 2010. Add-on: three-night pre- or post-cruise The Best of England from London.

Professor Ron Wixman, a specialist in world cultural and political geography and well versed in the societies of Europe and the former USSR, joins both Voyages 11 and 12. His expertise on the peoples and cultures of Northern Europe is extensive, and his informative lectures will provide both a historical and contemporary context for Norway.

Voyage 13: London to St. John’s. Perry’s expertise will prove invaluable on this transatlantic voyage that includes two continents and countless unforgettable stops along the routes that the Vikings charted more than a thousand years ago.

Guests explore the Royal London and Buckingham Palace, before heading for Scotland, Iceland and Greenland. Among the excursions: Iceland’s thermal and geological wonders, including Reykjavik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and a visit to the Greenland settlement founded by Erik the Red. The voyage culminates with arrival to L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, site of Leif Eriksson’s Vinland and the first European settlement in North America, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A highlight of the voyage is a private reception aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, hosted by Rear Admiral Sir Robert Woodard, KCVO, DL, the last serving Admiral, followed by a stirring performance of the annual Military Tattoo, one of Scotland's proudest cultural events (UEE). First staged in 1950, this dramatic spectacle in Edinburgh Castle combines the traditional sounds of the bagpipes and drums with military marching drills.

The 19-night voyage departs Aug. 20, 2010. Add-on: three-night pre- or post-cruise The Best of England, from London.

Guest lecturer David Perry, an authority on maritime history and an avid collector of maritime literature, artifacts and stories joins Capt. Maalen on Voyage 13.

Book by Voyage or Multiple Segments
The Voyages of the Great Explorers, cruise industry first, is a collection of 24 individual voyages (which can all be booked separately) that combine to form a 335-day circumnavigation of the world along the major routes inspired by history’s great ocean explorers. Beginning March 5, 2010, on board Cruise West’s flagship, the 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus, the world voyage will sail ever westward, returning to Singapore on Feb 3, 2011. Prices per voyage include a pre-cruise hotel night, all excursions and transfers and a tour of the embarkation city. Guests who book more than one voyage will save an additional five percent. For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307 or a travel professional.

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Regional Cruise Tourism Up in a Down Economy

CASTRIES, Saint Lucia, Oct. 29: Cruise spending is up in a down economy in destinations visited by cruise line-members of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association. Cruise tourism boosted revenues for ports and businesses in Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean in one of the gloomiest financial years since the Great Depression, according to an FCCA-commissioned study from Business Research and Economic Advisors. BREA reported that FCCA-regional cruise tourism in 2008-2009 generated more than $2.2 billion in direct expenditures, 56,000 jobs and $720 million in employee wages among 29 destinations surveyed.

"This certainly is wonderful news, but it doesn't surprise me," Michele M. Paige, FCCA president, told association members attending the 16th Annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's Conference and Trade Show in St. Lucia. "FCCA members are known for seeing opportunities, not obstacles."

FCCA Chairman Micky Arison agreed. "No industry is recession-proof, but the cruise industry traditionally has been recession-resistant," said Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

The new study analyzed spending by passengers, crew members and cruise lines in destinations ranging from the Caribbean islands, Mexico, Central America and South America, said Andrew Moody, Ph.D., president of the Exton, PA-based research group. Among BREA's findings:

-- Cruise passengers (17.56 million) spent $1.71 billion in 29 participating destinations. An average of 52 percent of passengers bought shore excursions, generating $328 million in total payments to tour operators. Passengers also bought watches and jewelry ($634 million); clothing ($168 million) and other goods and services ($164 million).
-- Crew members (3.24 million) spent nearly $289 million in the 29 destinations, mostly for clothing, food and beverages, as well as jewelry, electronics, perfumes and cosmetics.
-- Cruise lines spent an estimated $279.9 million in participating destinations for port fees and taxes, utilities, navigation services and ship supplies.

"These expenditures have a direct impact on local employment and wages," Moody said. "Local businesses... create additional jobs and income."

BREA-surveyed destinations included Antigua & Barbuda; Aruba; The Bahamas; Barbados; Cayman Islands; Curacao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Jamaica; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos and U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Ensenada and Huatulco in Mexico; Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America, and Cartagena, Colombia, in South America.

Paige noted that polled passengers said they enjoyed their cruises, a strong indication that they are likely to cruise again in the region and spend money.

"Establishing relationships among member lines and the public and private sectors of partner destinations was the reason we founded the FCCA," Paige said. "Never has it been more important for cruise and travel partners to link arms and share ideas. That's the spirit behind the conference we're attending here in St. Lucia."

FCCA is a trade association composed of 15 Member Lines: AIDA Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., Norwegian Cruise Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International. It was created in 1972 by the Member Lines operating more than 100 vessels in Florida, Caribbean and Latin American waters, in order to discuss and exchange views on issues relating to: legislation, tourism development, ports, safety, security and other cruise industry issues.
A complete copy of the Economic study can be downloaded from the FCCA

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Royal Caribbean Takes Delivery of Much Anticipated Oasis of the Seas

MIAMI, October 28, 2009 – After nearly six years in the making, Royal Caribbean International proudly took delivery today of its newest and most revolutionary cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, from STX Europe in Turku, Finland. Kicking off the 12-day countdown until her U.S. debut into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be departing Turku on Friday, Oct. 30 with Captain William S. Wright at the helm. Her transatlantic crossing will be chronicled on as new webisodes are posted daily and via Twitter by following @OasisandAllure. A new feature to will allow visitors to view a Google Maps application and follow Oasis of the Seas journey. Richard Fain’s “Chairman’s Blog” on and “Adam’s Blog” by President and CEO Adam Goldstein on also will provide personal updates.

The cruise line that revolutionized the industry with the FlowRider surf simulator, ice-skating rinks, cantilevered whirlpools, rock climbing walls and the Royal Promenade, an entertainment boulevard stretching nearly the length of the ship, is poised to unveil a range of new attractions and engineering marvels onboard Oasis of the Seas. The ultimate expression of Royal Caribbean’s legacy of imagination and innovation, Oasis of the Seas introduces unique industry “firsts” including a neighborhood concept – seven themed areas providing guests with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal style, preference or mood. Within these seven neighborhoods – Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone – are extraordinary elements such as the first park at sea, a thrilling zip line that races diagonally nine-decks above an open-air atrium, an original handcrafted carousel, 28 multilevel urban-style loft suites boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, an aquatic amphitheater – called the AquaTheater that serves as a pool by day and a dazzling ocean front theater by night; and an array of epicurean innovations that allow for new culinary experiences each day of a guest’s cruise vacation.

This November, just in time for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, Oasis of the Seas will be unveiled on ABC’s “Good Morning America” who will be there to welcome her into her home port in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. as well as give viewers an exclusive first glimpse of the ship during a special live broadcast on Friday, Nov. 20.

The official naming ceremony for Oasis of the Seas will take place on Nov 30 during a one night inaugural celebration-fundraiser to benefit the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime event begin at $750 per person and guests who wish to continue their adventure onboard will receive an exclusive discount price, beginning at $650 per person, on a 4-night cruise package sailing to the cruise line’s private beach destination, Labadee, departing the morning following the event on Dec. 1 (rates based on double-occupancy and stateroom package). For reservations to this exclusive event combined with the four-night sailing, contact Cynthia Paez, Royal Caribbean Intl, at (877) 202-1520, ext. 12751, or .

Bookings are also available for Oasis of the Seas' inaugural sailing departing on Dec 5. The inaugural sailing will include exclusive entertainment and gifts for guests to commemorate the special occasion.

Oasis of the Seas is the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she spans 16 decks, encompasses 225,282 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas is the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Additional information is available at

Royal Caribbean Intl is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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ms Rotterdam's 2010 Alaskan Explorer Cruises Highlight Hubbard Glacier

SEATTLE, Oct 28: For the first time, Holland America Line's flagship ms Rotterdam will sail from Seattle to Alaska in 2010, featuring convenient, 7-day, roundtrip cruises. The Rotterdam will offer a total of 18 Alaskan Explorer sailings departing Saturdays from May 15 through Sept 11. The Alaskan Explorer itinerary highlights the scenic Inside Passage and immense Hubbard Glacier in Yakutat Bay, North America's largest tidewater glacier. Hubbard Glacier is one of only eight glaciers in Alaska that is currently advancing instead of retreating. First mapped in 1895, the Hubbard's huge open face is more than five miles wide and actively calves icebergs as large as 10-story buildings.

"Next May the Rotterdam will have Holland America's latest Signature of Excellence enhancements, including a new category of lanai staterooms," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales, and guest programs. "These and the ship's verandah suites increase guests' opportunities for viewing Hubbard Glacier and Inside Passage as they cruise."

Under Holland America's $525-million Signature of Excellence program, the Rotterdam gains 39 new lanai staterooms, created by replacing existing stateroom windows (on Lower Promenade Deck 6) with lanai doors that open directly onto the walk-around promenade. The ship also adds 23 new spa staterooms, featuring a variety of enhanced spa amenities, on its Verandah Deck. All staterooms and bathrooms will receive complete new decor and furnishings. Public areas will add The Retreat, a resort pool feature; the Showroom at Sea, a glamorous nightclub; and Mix, a new concept with three separate bars: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales. Canaletto, Holland America Line's popular and complimentary casual Italian restaurant, will also be added to the ship.

The Rotterdam's Alaskan Explorer cruises call at the historic ports of Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, plus Victoria, BC, and feature scenic cruising of the Inside Passage and Vancouver Island. In Alaska's capital of Juneau, guests can visit the Alaska State Museum or opt for an active adventure such as kayaking, rafting, whale-watching or flight-seeing over the Mendenhall Glacier. In Sitka guests can learn about Alaska's Russian heritage at onion-domed St. Michael's Cathedral, visit the renowned Raptor Center, or see otters, whales and seabird rookeries up close by day boat or kayak. In Ketchikan they can enjoy its colorful Creek Street, Totem Bight State Park and Saxman Native Village or opt for a floatplane flightseeing trip to Misty Fjords National Monument. Cruise-only fares start at US $649, per person, double occupancy, for a seven-day Alaskan Explorer cruise on the Rotterdam.

The Leader in Alaska Cruises and CruiseTours: Holland America Line has been Alaska's leading tour operator for more than 60 years. The line has eight premium ships, offering 148 Alaska cruises and more than 30 different CruiseTour programs in 2010. For more information, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

Holland America Line: Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 320 ports in more than 100 countries, territories or dependencies. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, and highlights include Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. A 15th ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, is scheduled to join the fleet in 2010.

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Seabourn Adds Free Air to One-Month ‘Bon Voyage’ Promotion

MIAMI, Oct 28: The Yachts of Seabourn has announced a special one-month “Bon Voyage” promotion featuring free roundtrip airfare from 28 North American gateways to 20 different 7-day Mediterranean voyages aboard its award-winning Seabourn Spirit, Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Odyssey. To qualify, bookings must be made between Nov 2 and Nov 30, 2009. The fares include either economy or business class air, depending on the category of ocean-view suite booked. On Seabourn Spirit and Legend, bookings in categories A-B3 include economy class air, and bookings in Classic or Owners Suite categories earn business class. On Seabourn Odyssey, bookings in category A–V6 include economy class air, while categories PH through GR earn business class air. Transfers between the airport and the pier are also included.

“Combined with Seabourn’s consistent top rankings in users’ polls and the praises of professional critics, this free air offer makes November the best time to book a Seabourn cruise,”
said Pamela Conover, Seabourn’s president & CEO.

The voyages, which depart between May and June of 2010, sail from Istanbul, Rome, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Venice and Athens, and explore the Riviera and Western Mediterranean, the Adriatic and Dalmatian coast and the Greek Isles and Turkish region in the Eastern Mediterranean. Fares include complimentary open bars, award-winning dining and personalized service on board. For more information, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Offers “Perfect” Caribbean Steal

MIAMI, Oct 27: Top-rated premium brand Celebrity Cruises launched a new promotion yesterday, featuring a variety of discounts and other offers for those seeking the “perfect” blend of sun, service and sophisticated cuisine. Offering low per-person-per-day rates, free and discounted stateroom upgrades and attractive family packages, the promotion is valid on select Caribbean voyages departing from Nov 16, 2009 through April 25, 2010, when booked now through Nov 1, 2009. Eligible cruises sail roundtrip from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore, Charleston and San Juan.

Known not only for its exceptional service and cuisine, Celebrity is also lauded for the comfortably sophisticated ambience onboard, perhaps most evident when lounging on one’s private stateroom veranda, gazing out at the deep blue waters of the Caribbean. During the booking promotion, dubbed “The Caribbean Perfected,” guests can upgrade their view on select sailings. Celebrity is offering free upgrades from an inside or oceanview stateroom to a veranda stateroom on select 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises on Celebrity Solstice, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. For just $49 per person, guests can upgrade from an oceanview to a veranda stateroom on select sailings on the brand-new Celebrity Equinox’s 10- and 11-night Ultimate Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale, or upgrade from an inside to an oceanview stateroom on select 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean voyages on Celebrity Century, roundtrip from Miami. For only $99 per person, guests on select cruises on Celebrity Mercury, sailing from Baltimore and Charleston, can upgrade from an inside to an oceanview stateroom; the same rate applies to upgrades from an inside to an oceanview stateroom on select sailings on Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Constellation, both offering itineraries roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“The Caribbean Perfected” also offers a steal in the way of inside stateroom rates. Based on double occupancy in an inside stateroom, the per-person-per-day rate (cruise only) is as low as $59 on Celebrity Century’s 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Miami. On Celebrity Summit’s 7-night Caribbean voyages roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, rates per person per day in an inside stateroom (cruise only, based on double occupancy) start from $79.

At rates starting from $99 per person per day in a inside stateroom (cruise only, based on double occupancy), guests can experience Celebrity Mercury’s 9-night Bahamas and 12-night Eastern Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Baltimore – new to Celebrity this winter and repeating in the winter of 2010-11. At the same starting rate of $99, guests can enjoy Caribbean getaways on Celebrity Millennium’s 9-, 10-, 11- and 15-night Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan; or Celebrity Constellation’s 14-night Exotic Southern Caribbean cruises from Miami.

The special rates offered as part of “The Caribbean Perfected” can allow families of four to sail for as low as $1,199 on a sailing less than 6-nights in length; as low as $1,499 on a sailing 7-nights in length; or as low as $2,209 on a sailing of 9-nights or longer. These prices are cruise only, based on four persons in an interior quad stateroom. Interested travelers should visit for additional details.

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Royal Caribbean to Recognize Crown & Anchor Society Members With
December Diamond Events on Sailings Fleetwide

MIAMI, Oct 27: Royal Caribbean Intl is dedicating the month of December 2009 to honor the cruise line’s Crown & Anchor Society members on all ships. During the December Diamond Event, Diamond and Diamond Plus member guests on all sailings in the month will enjoy enhanced recognition benefits, as well as commemorative gifts, special events and exclusive offers on future sailings. In addition, Diamond and Diamond Plus Crown & Anchor Society member guests on the Dec 5, 2009, voyage of Oasis of the Seas will receive an additional cruise credit and additional benefits and gifts to commemorate the inaugural sailing of the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship. Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society is the cruise line’s guest loyalty program, recognizing guests with benefits and savings when they choose a Royal Caribbean cruise or cruise tour land package.

“Royal Caribbean is delighted to honor our valued Crown & Anchor Society members on all December 2009 sailings for their loyalty and passion for our cruise line,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International.

Crown & Anchor Society members can still join more than 800 fellow Diamond and Diamond Plus members on the spectacular Oasis of the Seas inaugural cruise on Dec 5, 2009. In addition to the standard recognition benefits, Diamond and Diamond-plus level members will enjoy additional recognition gifts and benefits, including one additional cruise credit, exclusive special events, other surprise gifts that recognize the cruise line’s most loyal members, and tempting exclusive offers for future sailings.

When she begins service in December 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at

 For additional information about Royal Caribbean or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. For additional information about the Crown & Anchor Society, please visit

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Cage Diving, Cooking & Conservation: 2010 Crystal World Cruise Offers
Wide-Ranging Shore-Side Adventure

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 27: Cage diving with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa, Sicilian-style cooking classes in Italy and paragliding over the Spanish countryside are among the 400 Crystal Adventures in store for guests on Crystal Cruises' 2010 World Cruise. The excursions, nearly 100 of which are brand new, allow guests to experience destinations in one-of-a-kind ways. Whether atop an elephant in Africa, via race car on a Circuit track in the Middle East, or by private plane over Spain's stunning Basque country, intrepid World Cruise guests will find pursuits for virtually any interest. The 108-day itinerary departs Miami for London January 10 aboard Crystal Serenity.

"Crystal World Cruise guests continually seek out-of-the-ordinary experiences that satisfy a quest for true adventure," said John Stoll, director, land program. "These excursions are designed to provide them with memories unique to their travels."

In addition to new African safaris and dozens of Crystal Overland Adventures, shore-side highlights include:

High Adventure
-- *NEW* Race a Caterham in Bahrain
-- *NEW* Explore Iran's ancient Persepolis
-- *NEW* See the highlights of Oman by 4 x 4
-- *NEW* Hike Sochi's Mount Akhun
-- Cage dive with great whites

Aerial Adventures
-- *NEW* Take in Abu Dhabi's sites by Cessna
-- *NEW* Helicopter above Durban's mountainous landscape
-- Soak in the Seychelles' scenery via helicopter
-- Paraglide above Barcelona's landscapes

Regional Culinary Insights
-- Prepare a meal at Lisbon's Albatroz Palace hotel
-- Visit a villa in Catania for a Sicilian cooking lesson
-- Create Catalan cuisine at a Barcelona cooking school
-- Learn culinary secrets at a Michelin-starred Sorrento restaurant

-- Explore an African elephant sanctuary
-- Visit an Abu Dhabi Falcon care and rehabilitation hospital

Besides maiden calls to Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the World Cruise also visits South America, Africa, India and Europe, visiting 41 ports in 37 countries. It is also offered in 12- to 21-day segments. Travelers will enjoy Crystal's new pricing, with two-for-one cruise fares, free airfare for two or more segments, price guarantee, and shipboard spending credits. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Ski-Style Chair Lift Debuts at Mahogany Beach Cruise Center in Roatan

Oct 26: A new elevated chair lift, which will offer an exhilarating round-trip transfer between the new Mahogany Bay Cruise Center in Roatan and beautiful Mahogany Beach, will debut in conjunction with the cruise facility’s grand opening next month.

Unique to the Caribbean, the “Magical Flying Beach Chair” will be the first chair lift that transports riders from a cruise ship terminal directly to the beach. The new beach chair lift will be one of the marquis features of the modern $62 million Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, which will welcome its first cruise ship, Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend, on Friday, Nov 20. The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, which encompasses 20 acres of waterfront property, is a joint project of Carnival Corporation & plc and Roatan businessman Jerry Hynds.

Guests board the new beach chair lift system at the facility’s expansive Welcome Center and are dropped off directly on Mahogany Beach, a 10-acre private island featuring a gorgeous 825-foot-long white-sand beach replete with lounge chairs, floats, a beach volleyball court and myriad watersports opportunities. There are also eight exclusive cabanas for rent offering private beach access.

Modeled after a traditional ski lift and incorporating the latest technological advancements, the new “Magical Flying Beach Chair” takes cruise ship guests on an exciting, fun-filled six-minute ride across nearly 1,200 feet of cables suspended 67 feet above a lush canopy of trees. Accommodating four riders each, the galvanized steel beach lift chairs are available to cruise ship guests for a $5 fee which includes unlimited rides throughout the day. Chair lift passes are also included in pre-sold beach activity on board the cruise ships calling at the port. The chair-lift system has the capability of transporting up to 1,500 passengers per hour.

The “Magical Flying Beach Chair” was designed and installed by Rain Forest Trams, a company that owns and operates five world-class adventure parks in Central America and the Caribbean. Rain Forest Trams also operates Mystic Mountain in Jamaica, one of the Caribbean’s top attractions. The beach chair was manufactured by Salt Lake City-based Dopplemayer, a world leader in ropeway engineering.

The chair lift is an exciting feature of the expansive Mahogany Bay project, which includes two cruise ship piers and can accommodate up to 8,000 passengers daily. The facility is expected to host more than 200 cruise ship calls and more than 500,000 passengers annually. The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center also offers a wide range of retail outlets, including two themed bars, a restaurant and several shops. A transportation hub with the ability to accommodate taxis, rental cars and tour buses, along with a wide range of shore excursion opportunities, are also available. For more information on the new Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, visit

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MSC Cruises’ Popular ‘Sweet’ Suite Deal Returns

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Oct 26: MSC Cruises is once again offering sweet savings of up to 60 percent on balcony suites on select Europe 2010 sailings of MSC Lirica, MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia.

“Suite Deal” rates start at $1,299 per person and must be booked by Jan 31, 2010. The offer is available on select 7-night Western Mediterranean itineraries of MSC Lirica and MSC Sinfonia and on select 7-night Eastern Mediterranean sailings of MSC Armonia. Guests will also receive a $100 per person shipboard credit (maximum $200 per cabin).

Each Category 11 suite boasts a balcony, spacious seating area with sofa bed, king-sized bed, and bathroom with tub.

Government fees and taxes are additional. The offer cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion and is subject to availability; restrictions apply. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit us online at or contact a local travel professional.

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Cruise West Unveils Theme Cruises For 2010

Seattle, WA: Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, announces 18 theme cruises from a choice of 11 itineraries in 2010. Choose from breathtaking Alaska to the wild jungles of Costa Rica, marine rich waters of Sea of Cortés, exotic Southeast Asia, scenic Europe and more. Early booking savings are still available.

There is incredible value with every voyage. In addition to the events associated with each ‘theme’ is an included excursion at every port designed to bring guests into direct personal contact with fascinating peoples, cultures and natural wonders. Guest can anticipate engaging topical presentations by onboard guest lecturers, Exploration Leaders and local acclaimed authorities that will bring each region to life. Ships range from 78-148 guests depending on the itinerary.

Six Photography Cruises
Guests will have the opportunity to participate in onboard presentations and special field events with a photographer who will conduct special field events and onboard workshops throughout the cruise. Whether novice or seasoned photographers, hands-on instruction on everything from image composition and digital image management to tips on how to be in the “right place at the right time” will be invaluable. Each departure includes a full menu of activities as well as the expertise of our Exploration Leaders.

-- 7-night Sea of Cortés Whales & Wildlife, roundtrip Cabo San Lucas departing Jan 23.
-- 9-night Panama & Costa Rica Between Two Seas, one-way Panama City to San Jose departing March 7.
-- 7-night Alaska’s Inside Passage, roundtrip Juneau departing June 6 and Aug 18.
-- 4-night Glacier Bay Highlights, roundtrip Juneau departing June 29.
-- 4-night Glaciers of Prince William Sound, roundtrip Whittier departing Aug 9.

Two Steinbeck Cruises
Sail in the company of a Steinbeck scholar and learn of the extraordinary journeys of famed author John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts, whose voyage of exploration and understanding sparked the creation of The Log from the Sea of Cortez.

-- 7-night Sea of Cortés Whales & Wildlife, roundtrip Cabo San Lucas departing Jan 2 and 9.

Four Chairman & President Voyages
Mingle with Chairman & Managing Director Dick West and wife Leslie or President & CEO Dietmar Wertanzl on four distinct voyages. In addition to the extraordinary itineraries, guests will enjoy hosted dinners, special events and private tours escorted by West or Wertanzl.
Chairman Voyages

-- 16-night Voyage 1: Singapore to Chennai (segment of Voyages of the Great Explorers) departing March 5, 2010.
-- 16-night Voyage 10: Barcelona to Honfleur (segment of Voyages of the Great Explorers) departing July 4, 2010.
-- Rhine & Mosel Rivers in Europe (NEW), one-way Vienna to Cologne departing Oct 12, 2010.

President’s Voyage
-- 13-night Voyage 16: Palm Beach to Panama (segment of Voyages of the Great Explorers) departing Oct 3, 2010.

Six Alumni Sailings
Any alumni that previously sailed with Cruise West (Quyana Club members) receive an additional five percent savings, onboard gift (valued at $15), and a welcome aboard reception hosted by a Cruise West executive. Commiserate and explore with fellow like-minded guests.

-- 7-night Sea of Cortés Whales & Wildlife, roundtrip Cabo San Lucas departing Jan 30.
-- 9-night Panama & Costa Rica Between Two Seas, one-way Panama City to San Jose departing March 25.
-- 7-night River Voyage of Discovery on the Columbia & Snake Rivers, roundtrip Portland departing April 17, June 5 and Aug 28.
-- 7-night Pacific Northwest Coastal Escape that includes British Columbia, roundtrip Seattle departing Sept 25.

Early booking savings are still available for most voyage. Kid’s 18 and younger pay 50 percent off the adult rate. For more information or to book a cruise, please visit or call 800-296-8307 or a travel professional.

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Uncle Kracker & More Join Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most Cruise

Good news for all Kid Rock fans: Uncle Kracker is joining Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most Cruise! As you may already know, Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker have been friends for a very long time, collaborating on projects, and making waves (pun intended) in Detroit Rock City. Now they'll bring that awesome energy out to sea and make it a real Detroit party! On September 15, Uncle Kracker released his latest album, Happy Hour; featuring the smash single, "Smile." You're sure to hear some of the new hits alongside some old favorites on the cruise!

Joining the riot on the water are Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, a blues-rock outfit hailing from Dallas, Texas. Tyler and the band have stirred up excitement in the music industry in just a short time, and recently signed to Atlantic Records. They performed at Austin City Limits music festival, and will also be joining Sixthman on Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man Cruise 2010.

We'll also be turning it up with DJ Mark EP, who has been part of Kid Rock's Top Dog extended family for the past 15 years. He started doing parties in the 90's playing a combination of hip-hop, rock, Motown, soul, and everything in between. To learn more, check out

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Rihanna Fans to Enjoy an Ocean View Concert From Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas

New York, NY, Oct 25: After hearing her highly anticipated new single “Russian Roulette,” music fans from coast-to-coast are no doubt eager for a sneak-peek of Rihanna’s fourth album Rated R, being released Monday, Nov 23, 2009. Pop2Life brought Island Def Jam Music Group, Clear Channel Radio, and Royal Caribbean Intl together to give lucky winners (and their invited guests) access to an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime performance by Rihanna and a private 3-night sailing onboard the cruise line’s new Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, debuting next month. Dedicated fans can win this money-can’t-buy experience by tuning-in to Clear Channel radio stations across the country weekdays beginning Monday, Oct 26 through Friday, Nov 6, 2009. Keywords will be announced throughout the day for listeners to text in for a chance to win.

Live from the Atlantic Ocean within eyesight of the Florida coast, Rihanna will be the first performer ever to take the stage onboard Oasis of the Seas’ AquaTheater, an amphitheater-style space that serves as a pool by day and dazzling ocean front theater by night. Winners and their guests will have VIP access to the concert on Thursday, Nov 19, 2009. Following the adrenalin filled night, guests will be among the first to enjoy a weekend onboard the highly anticipated Oasis of the Seas.

Rated R is Rihanna’s long-awaited follow-up to Good Girl Gone Bad (May 2007), which contained the non-stop string of hit singles that began with the MTV VMA and Grammy Award-winning global #1 hit “Umbrella” (featuring Jay-Z), then “Shut Up and Drive,” “Hate That I Love You” (featur­ing Ne-Yo), and “Don't Stop the Music.” Good Girl Gone Bad spent 98 total weeks on the Soundscan chart, earned cumulative sales of more than 36-times platinum in at least 20 territories around the world, and spun off the CD+DVD package Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded (Jan 2009), which continued the string of hits with the #1 “Take A Bow,” and the #1 “Disturbia.”

About Oasis of the Seas
Boasting never before seen amenities, including the first living park at sea, an authentic handcrafted carousel, a thrilling zip line that races diagonally across a nine-deck high, open-air atrium, and multilevel loft suites boasting floor-to-ceiling windows with ocean views, Oasis of the Seas caters to any personalstyle, preference and mood. An architectural marvel at sea, Oasis of the Seas will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Shewill be the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Additional information is available at

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MSC Cruises Expands South American Cruise Choices for 2009-2010 Season

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Oct 23: South America ranks as one of the world’s great destinations, and with the recent awarding of the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has gained even more worldwide attention. MSC Cruises has established itself as one of the leaders in South American cruises, with a flexible array of 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-night itineraries from Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Buenos Aries from October 2009 through mid-May 2010.

Guests on the more than 140 MSC Cruises sailings in South America can expect to experience the natural beauties, vibrant cities and nightlife which have made the region an increasingly popular vacation choice. Port calls, depending upon itinerary and cruise length, will include Ilhéus, Maceiό, Ilhabela, Ilha Grande, Punta Del Este, Búzios, Ubatuba, Recife, Fortaleza, Cabedelo and Montevidéo.

MSC Lirica will open the season, her first in Brazilian waters, sailing from Santos on Oct. 23 and calling at Rio de Janeiro, Búzios, Ubatuba and Santos. She will be joined by MSC Musica, MSC Opera, MSC Melody, MSC Armonia and MSC Orchestra.

Theme Cruises Spice up the Cruise Season
To add additional spice to the South American cruise experience, MSC Cruises plans these 20 special themed sailings targeting guests’ popular special interests:

-- Dance: MSC Musica, Nov. 22; MSC Opera, Feb. 7, 2010; MSC Armonia, Feb. 11, 2010; MSC Orchestra, March 13, 2010
-- Music: MSC Musica, Dec. 6; MSC Armonia, March 10, 2010
-- Fitness (Sea and Action): MSC Armonia, Dec. 12; MSC Orchestra, Feb. 6, 2010; MSC Opera, Feb. 21, 2010
-- Fantastic World (dream world & magic for children & adults): MSC Orchestra, Jan. 23, 2010
-- Circus: MSC Armonia, Jan. 24, 2010
-- Fashion: MSC Orchestra, Jan. 30, 2010
-- Wellness: MSC Musica, Jan. 31, 2010
-- Beauty: MSC Musica, Feb. 7, 2010
-- Food & Drink: MSC Armonia, Feb. 20, 2010
-- Artmar (arts & crafts): MSC Orchestra, Feb. 20, 2010; MSC Armonia, March 18, 2010
-- Bossa Nova: MSC Musica, March 1, 2010
-- Dolce Vita (physical, mental and spiritual balance): MSC Orchestra, March 6, 2010
-- Humor: MSC Orchestra, March 31, 2010

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit us online at or contact a local travel professional.

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Cunard to Welcome Filmmakers Griffin Dunne & Gary Winick
on Nov 11 Queen Mary 2 Crossing

Oct 23: As part of Cunard's partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival, the iconic ocean liner company will be pleased to welcome acclaimed filmmakers Griffin Dunne and Gary Winick on the 11 November Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton to New York aboard Queen Mary 2. This year, Cunard was recognized as the Official Cruise Line of the Tribeca Film Festival, of which both film industry insiders have been active participants for a number of years. With this upcoming sailing, they join a distinguished list of luminaries and tastemakers that have sailed a legendary voyage with Cunard, operator of The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World.

During the Crossing, Dunne and Winick will participate in Cunard Insights, the line's award-wining onboard enrichment programme, and will screen one of each of their films: Dunne will discuss “Practical Magic,” starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock; Winick will screen his feature film, “13 Going on 30,” starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo. In addition, they will engage in a panel conversation with the ship’s entertainment director where they will share stories about their multi-faceted careers and the many roles they play in the entertainment industry – from director and producer to writer and actor. All programmes will be held in Queen Mary 2’s spectacular 450-seat, stadium-style theatre, Illuminations, which is also the only planetarium at sea.

“Cunard has a long history of hosting those on and behind the silver screen, and we are pleased to welcome these fêted filmmakers aboard Queen Mary 2 as part of this tradition,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We seek to entertain and educate our guests with our Insights programme, so to hear both gentlemen share stories from their longstanding and varied film careers will no doubt be a treat for our guests.”

Griffin Dunne has been involved in the film business for almost 30 years. Beginning as an actor, Dunne starred in John Landis’ cult favorite, “An American Werewolf in London” (1981). A few years later, he had the leading role in Martin Scorsese’s “After Hours” (1985), which is among the many movies that Dunne has produced with partner Amy Robinson through their company, Double Play Productions. Other Double Play productions include “Running on Empty” (1988), “White Palace” (1990) and “Once Around” (1991). Dunne has continued to appear on both sides of the camera, taking supporting roles as an actor in films such as “My Girl” (1991) and “I Like It Like That” (1994). He made his directorial debut with a short film, “Duke of Groove” (1996) (TV), which was nominated for an Academy Award®. Dunne then made the leap to feature films with “Addicted to Love” (1997), “Practical Magic” (1998), “Famous” (2000) and “Fierce People” (2005). Dunne is the son of the late notable writer and investigative journalist, Dominick Dunne, and Ellen Griffin Dunne.

Film director and producer Gary Winick has directed films such as “Tadpole” (2002), for which he won the Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival; “13 Going on 30” (2004); and the live-action remake of “Charlotte's Web” (2006). His most recent film, “Bride Wars,” was released in January 2009. Through InDigEnt, which he founded in 1999, he has produced such films as “Pieces of April” (2003), for which Patricia Clarkson was nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress; “Land of Plenty” (2004); and “Starting Out in the Evening” (2007). He won the 2003 Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for producing “Personal Velocity.”

Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the line's heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with authors and intellectuals who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, politics, arts and literature. The Insights programme underscores Cunard's longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

The 11 November Transatlantic Crossing is one of more than 20 classic 6-day voyages between Southampton and New York offered by Cunard this year. In 2010, Cunard will offer guests more choices of Crossings, sailing six and seven-day Transatlantic voyages between April and November.

Widely considered the definitive ocean travel experience, a Cunard Transatlantic Crossing offers guests myriad opportunities for intellectual interaction, leisurely pursuits, health and wellness activities and gourmet dining. Unique Cunard amenities found aboard Queen Mary 2 include the famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodation, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea and the first Todd English restaurant at sea. For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, consult your travel professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD, or visit

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SeaDream Transatlantic Guests Take A Dip

Oct 22: What do guests aboard a SeaDream Yacht Club transatlantic crossing do on a beautiful, calm day at latitude 26 degrees, 28 minutes-longitude 39 degrees 40 minutes, 958 nautical miles from the Azores and 1541 nautical miles from their destination, San Juan Puerto Rico?

Why, take a swim in the Atlantic Ocean of course.

SeaDream II’s Captain Terje Willasen monitored Atlantic sea conditions each day after departing Seville, Spain on October 10. “Guests had been telling me they would like to take a swim in the Atlantic and at dawn on Thursday Oct 15, I knew that this was the day. The seas were as still as a pond.”

Under the close supervision of staffers, guests who wished to were invited to take a dip in the Atlantic from the SeaDream II’s stern Marina and bobbed about in the blue sea.

Later, in a special ceremony, the Captain awarded his Atlantic swim team a “Certificate of Accomplishment” to highlight the feat. “It’s just an example, of SeaDream Yacht Club going the extra mile--in this case the extra nautical mile in mid-Atlantic,” the Captain said.

Certainly SeaDream II’s transatlantic guests had other diversions during the 10-day voyages from Seville, Spain to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Among them award-winning gourmet dining, yoga, tai chi, spa treatments, long walks on open decks, the pleasure of good books and good conversation, a series of interesting lectures--and even, an occasional swim in the yacht’s onboard swimming pool. The mega-yacht cruiser SeaDream II and her twin SeaDream I have only 56 accommodations for lucky guests and just about a one-to-one ratio of crew to passengers.

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On the Menu: Seven Wine & Food Crystal Cruises for 2010

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20: Michelin Star-awarded chefs Michael Mina and Heinz Beck, Master sommelier Robert Bath, and mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim are part of the distinguished roster of food, wine and spirit experts aboard Crystal Cruises' 14th annual Wine & Food Experiences of Discovery cruises in 2010. Aboard seven Wine & Food itineraries, the special guests will draw inspiration from the destinations visited, as well as their own expertise in worldwide specialties to lead demos and lectures, tastings and pairings, and cocktail and pastry making classes.

"Crystal's culinary options have long been a cornerstone of guests' luxurious vacation experience," says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food & beverage operations. "The breadth and caliber of talent on the Wine & Food itineraries is extraordinary, and further exemplifies our practice of delivering excellence."

In addition to the designated Wine & Food themed cruises, the ultra-luxury line's annual President's Cruise will befittingly feature former White House Chef John Hanny. Aboard the May 3rd voyage from Piraeus to Dubai, hosted by Crystal President Gregg Michel, Hanny will present several presidential-themed dinners and White House favorites from several administrations.

Culinary experts for 2010 include:

Chefs and Foodies
-- Michael Mina: Creator of restaurant group including one Michelin-starred restaurants
-- Heinz Beck: Executive chef of three Michelin-starred La Pergola, Rome
-- Tom Aikens: Michelin-starred chef and owner of London's Tom Aikens Restaurant
-- Andre Soltner: Former executive chef/owner of New York's legendary Lutece
-- Serge Dansereau: Owner of Sydney, Australia's The Bathers' Pavilion
-- Aglaia Kremezi: Greek cuisine expert and acclaimed cookbook author
-- Paula Wolfert: James Beard Award winning Mediterranean cookbook author
-- Simon Johnson: Australia's leading purveyor of quality foods
-- Jon Ashton: Food correspondent for The Daily Buzz and Relish Magazine chef

Sommeliers and Wine Experts
-- Doug Frost: One of only three worldwide to achieve both Master Sommelier and Master of Wine
-- Robert Bath: One of only 79 Master Sommeliers in the U.S.
-- Gerhard Retter: Wine and cheese sommelier at Michelin-awarded restaurants throughout Europe
-- Mel Master: Leading Rhone Valley and Languedoc wine exporter and famed restaurateur
-- Victoria Ordonez: Member of Spain's largest wine exporting family
-- Cameron Douglas: New Zealand's first and only Master Sommelier
-- Filippo DiBelardino: Italian wine expert and vice president of Banfi Vintners-Fine Wines

Cocktail Concoctors
-- Tony Abou-Ganim: National Ambassador of the U.S. Bartenders' Guild and creator of Crystal's exclusive cocktail program
-- Julio Bermejo: Considered the "U.S. Ambassador of Tequila"
-- Livio Lauro: National president of the United States Bartenders' Guild
-- Francesco Lafranconi: Cofounder of the U.S. Bartenders' Guild Nevada chapter
-- Audrey Saunders: Celebrated bartender of the Carlyle Hotel's legendary Bemelmans Bar, owner of New York's Pegu Club

Crystal Wine & Food itineraries are scheduled for March 30, Auckland to Sydney; April 29, London to Rome; May 25, Venice to Barcelona; September 5, Istanbul to Barcelona; September 17, Barcelona to Venice; November 22, roundtrip Lisbon; and December 12, roundtrip Los Angeles, Mexican Rivera.

On every itinerary, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity boast numerous dining options, including specialty dining from Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio and Vintage Room experiences showcasing celebrated wines. Always an incredible value, 2010 Crystal Cruises offer two-for-one cruise fares, free airfare, shipboard spending credits and a price guarantee. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Cruise West Offers Unprecedented Savings on 24 World Wide Voyages

Seattle, WA: Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, is offering unprecedented savings for all 24 individual voyages (ranging from nine- to 19-nights) that combine to form the epic world adventure, Voyages of the Great Explorers. Book and pay in full by Dec 18, 2009, for maximum value-add savings.

Whether guests are eyeing a trip to Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Mediterranean, Greek isles, East Coast Canada and USA, Australia or the South Pacific, there is tremendous value offered in this landmark year. Guests will save up to $1,550 per person ($3,100 per cabin) and receive FREE round trip international airfare from five select U.S. Cities: San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD), Washington D.C. (IAD or DCA) and New York (JFK) or an air credit of $750 per person by booking and paying in full by December 18, 2009. The free air or air credit is valid for Voyages 1 through 18 of the 24-voyage segments of the Voyages of the Great Explorers.

Additional saving incentives for all 24 voyages (except where noted) include:

· Bring a friend (new booking) and each person receives $500 off the cruise fare
· 50% savings for all children 18 and younger
· Single supplement will be waived on Voyages 1 – 4 in all cabin categories
· Reduced single supplement for Voyages 5 – 24 in Superior, Majestic, Premium and Classic cabin categories

The best value afloat: With most cruises, guests pay extra for every little thing (and big things) such as soft drinks, taxes and port charges, and shore excursions. But with Cruise West, the fare includes everything except alcohol. There are no surprise charges that can easily add up to double the fare or more. Cruise West includes a shore excursion in every port, and in addition, each of the 24 voyages includes one ‘Ultimate Explorers Experience.’ A sampling includes tickets to Edinburgh’s world-famous Military Tattoo, the chance to participate in the special novitiate ceremony and feeding of the monks in Rangoon, or an overnight stay in Sydney Harbor during its magnificent New Year’s Eve celebration and fireworks display. These are once-in-a-lifetime events that only a small number of travelers will ever see.

This is the world that most people have never seen: Each of the 24 journeys of the Voyages of the Great Explorers takes guests to the “must see” sights—Pompeii, Petra, Florence, Luxor, the Hermitage, the Guggenheim. Board a Zodiac bound for an uninhabited island in the Maldives or a remote village in the Tuomotus. Travel the narrow Corinth Canal and Kiel Canal where big ships can’t go. Visit tiny islands in the South Pacific like Pitcairn Island of HMS Bounty fame, and Palmerston Island, where all 50 residents are descended from one Englishman. In fact, these voyages will visit 85 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Further, engaging presentations by Smithsonian Journeys guest lecturers and renowned experts on each region’s culture, history and current events will bring each itinerary to life.

All voyages take place on the intimate 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus. Fares include a pre-cruise hotel night. For further details on Cruise West’s Voyages of the Great Explorers itineraries, visit, call 800-296-8307 or a travel professional.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Offers Suite Savingss

Oct 19: Norwegian Cruise Line offers incentives for guests to experience the suite life on bookings made in the following suite categories across the fleet: Penthouse, Romance Suite, Owner’s Suite, Deluxe Owner’s Suite, Courtyard Villa and Garden Villa now through Feb 28, 2010. In addition, the Courtyard Penthouse and Spa Suite unique to the company’s largest and most innovative ship to date, Norwegian Epic, are included in this offer. The promotion is valid on new reservations booked at least nine months prior to sailing, with up to $300 in on-board spending credits per stateroom, based on cruise length. Guests may set sail to any of Norwegian’s amazing cruise destinations, including those to the Eastern and Western Caribbean on Norwegian Epic, launching next summer.

Guests who book sailings of up to four days in a Suite or Garden Villa will receive $150 per stateroom in spending credit, which can be used for anything from shore excursions to spa treatments. For sailings of five days and longer, guests sailing in a Suite or Garden Villa will receive $300 per stateroom in on-board spending credit.

Norwegian’s award-winning suites and villas offer the luxury of Freestyle Cruising with world-class accommodations. The 5,000-square-foot Garden Villas on Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Jewel feature three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, private garden with hot tub, outdoor dining area and terrace, and access to an exclusive private courtyard area with a pool, hot tub, sauna, gym and sun deck. Norwegian Epic will feature the largest suite complex at sea, The Villas, comprising 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship. Guests staying here will have exclusive access to The Villas complex featuring a pool, two whirlpools, gym, a sauna, sundeck, indoor/outdoor dining, bar/nightclub and concierge lounge.

For more information on Norwegian’s Suites and Villas, visit To book a suite cruise, call Norwegian at 866-234-7350, visit or call a travel professional.

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Princess Cruises Continues Behind-the-Scenes Drydock Journals with
Online Look at Coral Princess Transformation

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 16: Princess Cruises is once again inviting cruise enthusiasts to go behind the scenes at a shipyard as Coral Princess undergoes drydock through October 23. The Coral Princess Drydock Journal, featured on the line’s website at, will show the daily progress as the ship is lifted from the water and receives a full exterior and interior makeover, including the addition of the line’s signature features, The Sanctuary and Movies Under the Stars. The journal will feature regular updates throughout the drydock at Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas. The fourth in this unprecedented series, the Coral Princess Drydock Journal follows the enthusiastically received online journals chronicling work on Golden Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess. The journal can be found on the Coral Princess page in the website’s “Ships” section, and it will be regularly updated throughout the ship’s two-week drydock.

“We’ve placed a high priority on enhancing our ships and debuting our signature features across the fleet, and these journals have been a great way for passengers to feel part of the process,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We’ve received wonderful feedback as people get to see the transformation first hand.”

When Coral Princess emerges from the drydock, the ship will feature the opportunity to get away from it all in the tranquility of The Sanctuary, Princess’ signature adults-only retreat featuring plush padded lounge chairs and the services of dedicated Serenity Stewards. Visitors to this exclusive space can enjoy refreshing beverages and light snacks or listen to a relaxing playlist of music. In addition, Movies Under the Stars will also debut in the poolside area with a state-of-the-art Times Square-style LED screen, offering evening movies and a variety of daytime programming. The 300- square-foot screen offers passengers a movie experience comparable to the best shoreside movie theater. In addition to family cinema and first run hits, Movies Under the Stars also features major sporting events, concerts and the Leonard Maltin Movie Club.

Other changes viewers will see throughout the drydock include the installation of new carpet and upholstery, plus a rare view of the bottom of the ship’s hull as it receives several new coats of silicone paint. After the drydock Coral Princess will set off on a series of Panama Canal sailings, including a number of voyages featuring Princess’ Two-day Canal Experience, with an extra day to explore Panama. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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NCL Introduces Norwegian Epic’s Captains & Hotel Directors

MIAMI, FL, Oct 15: Norwegian Cruise Line has named the two seasoned captains who will serve on Norwegian Epic, the company’s largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date. In a live interactive online event, Norwegian also introduced the ship’s two hotel directors who will be responsible for all guest areas, including the 20 dining options, world-class entertainment, extensive nightlife venues, along with family and recreational activities.

The 4,200 passenger Norwegian Epic will enter service next June under the command of Captain Trygve Vorren, a 29-year seafaring veteran who is currently captain of Norwegian Jade, and Captain Hakan Svedung, at sea for 35 years and currently captain of Norwegian Dawn. Vorren, a native of Norway, joined Norwegian in 1980 as first officer on the SS Norway, then the world’s largest cruise ship. He has also served aboard Skyward, Southward, Sunward II, Dreamward, Leeward, Starward, Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Sea, Norwegian Crown, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Majesty. Svedung, who lives in Sweden, has served on Norwegian Dawn since 2006; prior to that he worked for Star Cruises, one of Norwegian’s shareholders, for 12 years. Both captains are looking forward to this exciting and challenging new role.

Klaus Lugmaier and Sean Wurmhoeringer will serve as Norwegian Epic’s hotel directors. Lugmaier, currently director of shipboard operations at the company’s Miami headquarters, began his career at Norwegian 21 years ago aboard Seaward and held a variety of positions before becoming one of the youngest hotel directors in the cruise industry at the age of 26. As hotel director, he has launched seven of the company’s new ships, including Leeward, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl, and Norwegian Gem. He was also part of the team that launched Norwegian Dream and Norwegian Wind. Wurmhoeringer, with Norwegian since 2002, is currently serving as hotel director on Norwegian Spirit and has also served on Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Sky.

“We carefully chose these seasoned veterans to lead the on board team that will launch the most important project in the company’s history,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We are confident that they have the expertise, dedication and passion to make Norwegian Epic’s launch and inaugural season extremely successful.”

Norwegian Epic is currently under construction at STX Europe in France. At 153,000 gross tons, the ship is Norwegian’s largest with 19 decks, spanning 1,068 feet in length and 133 feet in width with a 28.5 foot draft, staffed with approximately 1,730 crew members. The ship’s first 7-day Eastern Caribbean voyage is scheduled for July 10 and is currently on sale, along with the ship’s alternating Western Caribbean sailings. For more information on Norwegian Epic, or to book a cruise to the Eastern or Western Caribbean call Norwegian at 866-234-7350, visit, or call a travel agent.

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Royal Caribbean Teams Up With ABC's 'Good Morning America'
to Bring Viewers First Glimpse of Oasis of the Seas

MIAMI, Oct. 15: This November, just in time for Thanksgiving, Royal Caribbean International will unveil their newest and most innovative cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas. ABC's "Good Morning America" will be there to welcome Oasis of the Seas into her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and give viewers an exclusive first glimpse of the highly anticipated ship during a special live broadcast.

GMA fans across the country can tune in on Friday, Nov 20, 2009, from 7:00 am-9:00 am (ET) on ABC to join "Good Morning America" for a never-before-seen sneak peek at the seven distinct neighborhoods and many spectacular elements and features onboard Oasis of the Seas. Some of these unique features include Central Park, the first park at sea with nearly 12,000 plants and trees; Boardwalk, a family oriented environment with a hand carved carousel; a thrilling zip wire ride that races diagonally over Boardwalk 90 feet above the deck; 28 multilevel loft suites boasting floor-to-ceiling windows; and the AquaTheater - an amphitheater style space that serves as a pool by day and a dazzling oceanfront theater by night.

"We couldn't think of a better way to launch Oasis of the Seas than by partnering with "Good Morning America" to show her off on morning television for the very first time," said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Oasis of the Seas is our most innovative and imaginative ship yet, and we are confident that the millions of viewers will be wowed by what they see."

In addition to the live broadcast, and in the spirit of giving and sharing, Royal Caribbean and "Good Morning America" are working with ABC affiliate stations in six markets--Hartford, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco and Seattle--to execute a contest/search for people who have done something extraordinary for their community, making friends and neighbors thankful for the effort. Three deserving individuals (plus guest) in each market will win a trip to join GMA for the live broadcast onboard Oasis of the Seas, and will enjoy an exclusive pre-inaugural cruise following the show.

When she enters service in Dec 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line's new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at For more information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Discover the World Up Close With a Silversea Mid-Voyage Land Adventure

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Oct 15: The world offers such an abundance of intriguing cultures, landscapes and experiences that Silversea has designed nearly 40 extended mid-cruise excursions for its voyages in 2010. Unlike a partial-day shore tour, these single- or multiple-day inland adventures offer travelers a more leisurely, in-depth and personal encounter with the local people, history, wildlife and natural attractions that lie just beyond the ports of call.

"For our guests, travel is about collecting authentic experiences and making a personal connection with the people and places they visit," said Darius Mehta, Silversea's director of land programs. "Our mid-voyage programs are carefully designed to take guests further into a specific region, giving them plenty of time to fully immerse themselves in its scenery, activities and cultural heritage. And I'm especially pleased to advise that these programs can now be booked well in advance of sailing through our reservations department."

Following is a small sampling of the mid-cruise adventures offered in 2010:

** NEW FOR 2010 "Borneo Great Apes Adventure": Visit the magnificent Temple of Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then travel to the jungles of Borneo to observe orangutans in their natural habitat. Included is a 2-night stay at the Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, the perfect retreat for nature and animal lovers. This 3-night package is offered on Silver Whisper's Jan 18 sailing from Sydney to Singapore. Guests depart from Semarang and rejoin the ship in Singapore.
** "Expedition Antarctica": For most globe trekkers, this is the ultimate destination. Fly by chartered aircraft to King George Island on the Antarctic Peninsula and discover the many natural wonders of the world's last pristine wilderness. Memorable sightings might include penguins, seals and whales. This 13-hour adventure is offered from Punta Arenas, Chile on Silver Cloud voyages of Jan 5 & 20; Silver Shadow voyages of Nov 17, Dec 3 & 19 ; and Silver Spirit's Feb 20 sailing.
** NEW FOR 2010 "Camp Jabulani": Indulge your senses in this tailor-made adventure trip to Camp Jabulani, set within the Kapama Private Game Reserve of Kruger National Park. Highlights include a ride through the bush atop an elephant's back and an open-vehicle game drive through prime big-game territory that supports elephant, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra and other species. This 2-night package is offered on Silver Wind's voyages of Jan 3, 13 & 23 and Feb 2. Guests depart from Richards Bay and rejoin the ship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
** NEW FOR 2010 "Kakadu National Park & the Magic of Uluru": Embrace the spectacular beauty of Australia's Northern Territory. Visit Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the Top End, Alice Springs in the heart of Australia's Red Center, Ayers Rock and the wonders of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This 4-night package is offered on Silver Shadow's Dec 6 sailing from Singapore to Sydney. Guests depart from Darwin and rejoin the ship in Cairns.
** NEW FOR 2010 "Historic Ouro Preto & Futuristic Brasilia": Witness a land of interesting architectural contrasts as you journey from historic Ouro Preto to Brasilia, the futuristic capital of Brazil, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The cobbled streets of Ouro Preto are lined with museums, baroque churches and an 18th-century opera house, while Brasilia's outstanding modernist buildings include the Planalto Palace, Supreme Court, National Congress and Itamaraty Palace. This 3-night package is offered on Silver Whisper's Oct 24 sailing from Barbados to Rio de Janeiro. Guests depart from Salvador and rejoin the ship in Rio de Janeiro.
** "Galapagos Adventure": A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Galapagos offer the rare chance to see blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, marine iguanas and sea lions living without fear of humans in an unsullied laboratory of evolution. This 3-night package is offered on Silver Spirit's March 8 sailing from Santiago to Acapulco. Guests depart from Callao, Peru and rejoin the ship in Manta, Ecuador.
** NEW FOR 2010 "Cordoba & Andalusian Discoveries": Enjoy a panoramic drive through Seville to discover the many attractions of this city founded by ancient Iberians, then travel to the Moorish metropolis of Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore its ancient alleys, impressive squares and La Mezquita, its renowned cathedral-mosque. This 1-night adventure is offered on Silver Wind voyages of March 11 and Aug 1; Silver Spirit voyages of Sept 25 and Oct 16; and Silver Cloud's May 28 sailing. Guests will depart and rejoin the ship in two different ports, Cadiz and Malaga, as determined by the voyage itinerary.

The optional mid-voyage land programs feature deluxe accommodations (if overnight stays are required), all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. 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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Princess Ships Deliver Needed Supplies & Funds for Tsunami Relief to Samoa

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 15: When Star Princess and Sun Princess called in Apia, Samoa and Pago Pago, American Samoa this past weekend, the ships brought along some much needed relief supplies and more than $10,000 in donations for the region that was recently hit with a powerful tsunami. The ships off-loaded pallets of bottled water, sugar, flour, linens and clothing donated by passengers and crew, plus treats of candy and chocolate for the children. In addition, in Pago Pago, both ships welcomed Red Cross relief workers onboard for some relief of their own, with hot showers, use of the ships’ laundries, phone calls home, and lunch.

The ship captains conveyed the heartfelt sympathy and support of Princess crew and passengers for the people of Samoa during this difficult time, and informed local officials that the Princess Cruises Community Foundation is donating $10,000 to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Samoa and American Samoa. The ships also conducted their own fundraising for the relief efforts, including donations from their Crew Club funds, contributions received from passengers and crew, and money raised from auctions of the ships’ navigational charts used during the cruises.

In Apia, the Honorable Misa Telfoni, the minister of tourism and deputy prime minister, was touched by the generosity of Princess Cruises. He made particular mention of the Princess crew and their donation which he described as “random acts of kindness and love” which would greatly assist in the recovery and renewed growth of the area.

Additional information about Princess Cruises 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 to Grant Wishes Onboard Oasis of the Seas

MIAMI, Oct. 14: When Royal Caribbean International officially names Oasis of the Seas – the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship – on Nov. 30, 2009 from Port Everglades Cruise Terminal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the renowned cruise line will be doing more than making wishes come true for vacationers, it will be granting wishes for children across the country through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Royal Caribbean will be hosting an inaugural celebration-fundraiser onboard Oasis of the Seas and has donated 100 percent of the sales from 1,000 of the ship’s staterooms for this once-in-a-lifetime event to the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Tickets for the event begin at $750 per person. Guests who purchase on of the staterooms and wish to continue their adventure onboard will receive an exclusive discount price, beginning at $650 per person, on a 4-night cruise package sailing to the cruise line’s private beach destination, Labadee, departing the morning following the event on Dec. 1 (rates based on double-occupancy and stateroom package).

Wish kids and their families will participate in the onboard festivities during the celebration on Nov. 30, including the official naming ceremony of Oasis of the Seas, and will enjoy the ship’s world-class entertainment amenities during the spectacular inaugural event. Onboard amenities for guests’ enjoyment will include two rock-climbing walls, two FlowRider surf simulators, four unique types of pools in the Pool and Sports Zone, spa treatments at the Vitality Spa and Fitness Center, and an acrobatic diving show in the AquaTheater. Additionally, guests will enjoy a special dinner featured in the Opus Dining Room after which they can catch side-splitting comics in Comedy Live, relax in one of the ships many lounges, or join in world-class gaming in the Casino Royale.

The Make-A-Wish celebration-fundraiser is part of Royal Caribbean’s ongoing support of the organization. Since 2000, the cruise line has hosted more than 1,300 children who wished to go on a cruise to destinations around the world and has contributed more than $2.8 million in in-kind services and $372,000 in discount savings through its Wishes at Sea program. Through employee and guest fundraising efforts, Royal Caribbean has also raised more than $480,000 and 460,000 frequent flier miles, used to secure airline tickets for children’s wish travel and help the Make-A-Wish Foundation conserve critical financial resources.

“The generosity of sponsors like Royal Caribbean has greatly enhanced our ability to grant life-affirming, world-class wishes and is critical to the mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to bring hope, strength and joy into the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions,” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer.

Anyone interested in attending the Nov. 30 festivities and/or booking the exclusively discounted 4-night cruise to Labadee departing Dec. 1 should contact Cynthia Paez, Royal Caribbean Intl, at (877) 202-1520, ext. 12751, or , Monday-Friday, 9:30am to 6pm EST.

When she launches in December 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons (GRT), carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at

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Introducing ms Nieuw Amsterdam Microsite

Seattle, WA, Oct 14: Now cruisers can explore Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, through an exciting new microsite located on in the Quick Links area of the homepage. The site allows visitors to experience the beauty and features of Holland America Line’s newest Signature class ship through interactive videos, photographs, animation and renderings that bring the ship to life.

“We are using the latest technology to present the new ship’s diverse amenities in a way that educates, engages and inspires cruisers and travel sellers,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales, and guest programs. “It's a great tool for travel sellers to learn about this beautiful ship and excite their clients about the many opportunities for premium cruising on Nieuw Amsterdam.”

When first arriving at the page, a vibrant animated invitation to explore the Nieuw Amsterdam greets visitors. From this aerial, 360-degree view of the ship, visitors can then enter into public areas of the ship to visually explore staterooms, the grand atrium, entertainment and dining venues, and other locations. Site content is arranged according to Holland America Line’s five brand pillars essential to the guest experience — spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; gracious, award-winning service; worldwide itineraries; extensive activities and enrichment programs; and sophisticated five-star dining.

Ship renderings and animation are used in combination with photos and narrated videos from other Holland America Line ships, including sister ship ms Eurodam, to give visitors an idea of what it will be like to sail aboard the 2,104-guest Nieuw Amsterdam. Visitors will also find helpful links to connect to the Find Cruises tool on Holland America Line’s website and the Holland America Blog — a fleetwide weblog that highlights all 14 existing ships, including the latest news and photographs on the progress of Nieuw Amsterdam and a wide array of topics. It’s also easy to share the site with a friend via email.

Nieuw Amsterdam’s inaugural cruise sails July 4, 2010 10-days roundtrip from Venice to ports in Croatia, Greece, Montenegro and Italy. After several Mediterranean sailings, Nieuw Amsterdam embarks on a fall crossing of the Atlantic as she heads to warmth of the Caribbean for the remaining winter months. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Holland America Line's Volendam Returns to Asia & Down Under in 2011

Seattle, Oct. 13: Holland America Line’s ms Volendam is set to cruise to Australia and New Zealand in early 2011 with 14- and 18-day voyages to the lands of kangaroos, kiwis, the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and exotic Asian ports. The ship also will sail a 14-day exploration of the South Pacific to island jewels known for their powdery beaches and turquoise waters. In the spring, Volendam will uncover the mysteries of the Far East with 17- and 18-day voyages throughout the Orient, and then take a trans-Pacific journey that will cross the International Date Line on the way back to North America.

“Exotic cruises to destinations such as Australia and the Far East remain high on the wish-list of many travelers, and we’ve developed our itineraries to showcase the best of each region,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. “We pride ourselves in offering comprehensive experiences around the world, and these itineraries are sure to impress any cruise enthusiast.”

14-Day New Zealand Discovery: Both the North and South islands of New Zealand with their beautiful natural landscapes will be explored on the 14-day round-trip Sydney, Australia, sailings departing Jan. 2 and 30, 2011. The ship will make a total of eight calls at ports in New Zealand, including Wellington, Napier, Christchurch, Tauranga and a full day at Auckland. The itinerary also features extensive scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as well as Milford Sound. Guests can take in the breathtaking views of the region’s extreme scenery, ranging from glaciers to mountain ranges and sandy beaches to volcanic plateaus.

14-Day Pacific Treasures: Volendam departs Jan. 16 on a 14-day round-trip Sydney cruise to the islands of the South Pacific and through some of the most pristine waters in the world. Three ports of call in New Caledonia allow guests to dive and snorkel along the region’s coral reef and in the largest lagoon in the world. The ship also calls at the island of Vanuatu with its potpourri of cultures and magnificent natural harbor, as well as two calls at the island of Fiji, known for its sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear seas.

14-Day Australia & New Zealand: Departing Feb. 13 from Sydney and Feb. 27 from Auckland, these spectacular cruises between Auckland and Sydney were created for travelers wishing to discover the diverse scenery and rich culture Down Under. This itinerary also features extensive scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, as well as Milford, Dusky and Queen Charlotte sounds. Holland America Line is one of the few premium cruise lines calling at Picton, the gateway to the South Island and the hub of Marlborough Sound’s thriving wine country, a certain highlight for wine connoisseurs. Guests can experience the Maori culture when the ship calls at Tauranga and experience the novelty of less-visited ports such as Burnie, Australia. For those looking for a more in-depth experience, pre- or post-cruise land tours take guests to the Great Barrier Reef or Alice Springs.

18-Day Great Barrier Reef Explorer: Volendam’s 18-day itinerary departing March 13 from Sydney to Singapore enables guests to enjoy four days of cruising the Great Barrier Reef, including two days of daylight cruising through the world’s largest coral reef system. Scenic highlights include an overnight anchorage in the reef near Sherrard Island and calls within the Whitsunday Island group. Several interesting ports also will be visited in Indonesia, including Komodo Island, part of the Komodo National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as well the beautiful islands of Bali and Java. An overnight call at Singapore at the end of the cruise enables guests to explore the bustling city and return to the comfort of the ship before disembarking the next morning.

18-Day Asia Explorer: Sailing from Singapore to Kobe (Osaka), Japan, Volendam is set to explore all corners of the Orient including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Japan on its April 14 departure. The 18-day itinerary is filled with plenty of time to explore the palaces and tombs that dot the ancient lands, take in the tranquility of the temples and gardens, and sample the unique flavors of Asian cuisine. Three overnight stays ensure that guests are able to explore Bangkok with it’s abundance of palaces and Buddhist wats; the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong with its tea shops and street markets, and Shanghai with its soaring skyscrapers and unforgettable Yuyuan Gardens.

17-Day Japan & Alaska: In the spring, Volendam repositions back to the waters of Alaska with a 17-day trans-Pacific journey from Kobe to Vancouver, British Columbia. Departing May 2, the ship visits the ports of Yokohama, Hakodate and Kushiro, Japan, before crossing the International Date Line over to Alaska and kicking off the season with calls at Kodiak and Sitka, and scenic cruising of the Inside Passage.

For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line’s Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Pacific voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Crystal Cruises 2010 Worldwide Cruise Atlas & Cruise Guide
Highlight 20th Anniversary Value

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13: Just weeks after announcing dramatic new value offers for 2010, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises has published a new 2010 Cruise Guide and will debut its comprehensive 20th Anniversary Worldwide Cruise Atlas by the end of October. Both brochures emphasize the line's new Two-for-One fares, 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard spending credits, free airfare, and price guarantee, along with the line's global itineraries. The Atlas also includes a 2011 preview cruise calendar.

While the 26-page Cruise Guide provides a snapshot of the Crystal Experience and a guide to the year's itineraries and promotions, the 180-page Atlas details Crystal's celebrated cuisine, enrichment, entertainment, fitness and shore-side offerings, including optional hotel programs. Inviting spreads illustrate the extraordinary service, space, quality and choices - as well as the style and value --that comprise the award-winning Crystal Experience. The Atlas also showcases:

-- 20 years of innovations;
-- 20th Anniversary "gifts" section, with Crystal's new fares and inclusive features;
-- Five & Alive charitable opportunities;
-- Enrichment and value-added programs in a handy, user-friendly back cover flap; and
-- The annual President's Cruise, including a new optional two-night hotel program in Dubai

"The messaging and design of the 20th Anniversary Atlas stays true to the Crystal brand - bright, elegant and inviting," says Nitsa Lewis, Crystal's vice president, marketing. "Besides the compelling itineraries, we've focused on simplifying our information about the incredible value available for 2010, as well as the exceptional luxury, services and style found aboard Crystal ships."

In 2010, the freshly redesigned, 922-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Symphony, and the 1,070-guest, 68,870-ton Crystal Serenity cruise through the Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, South America, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Black Sea, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, British Isles, Baltic Sea, Arctic Circle and New England/Canada. New destinations range from maiden calls in Iran, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia on the World Cruise to new North American cruises to the Sea of Cortez and Hawaii. Most Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sailings maintain an emphasis on port intensive, destination driven itineraries with many overnight stays, although some crossings and lengthier cruises celebrate days at sea.

To order a 2010 Atlas or for additional information, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Eight-Year-Old From New Jersey Wins Carnival's 'Virtual Book of Dreams Contest'

MIAMI, Oct 1: Eight-year-old Hailee Steberger of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., is the winner of Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Virtual Book of Dreams” contest, earning the opportunity to serve as the official godchild of the expansive water park aboard the new Carnival Dream. At 130,000 tons, Carnival Dream is the line’s newest and largest ship and will make its U.S. debut in November. Hailee and her family will travel to New York next month to christen the Carnival Dream’s spectacular WaterWorks aqua park, which features the longest water slide on a cruise ship. The family will also receive a free cruise.

The contest invited children ages seven to 12 to share their awesome dreams with a short essay and hand-drawn illustration via a special web site, Five finalists were selected and then voted on by the public. Hailee’s entry, entitled “Wake Me When We Leave,” received the most votes.

Carnival Cruise Lines donated $1 per vote to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, for a total contribution of $25,000. St. Jude is one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

“Hailee’s winning entry was certainly creative and we’re delighted that she will be the official godchild of the magnificent water park aboard the new Carnival Dream,” said Jim Berra, Carnival’s chief marketing officer. “Equally important, we were able to support St. Jude and raise funds to help some very special children and their families,” he added.

Information on the new Carnival Dream, which debuted in Europe and arrives in the U.S. in November, is available at

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Costa Cruises Signs ITV Agreement with Allin Interactive for Costa Deliziosa

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 12: Allin Corporation announced it has secured an agreement with Costa Cruises to install Allin's DigiMix™ digital interactive television solution on the Costa Deliziosa, currently under construction at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy. Scheduled to begin service in Feb 2010, Costa's Deliziosa will carry 2,826 passengers and a crew of around 1,000.

"It's a pleasure to continue working with Costa to install Allin ITV on the Costa Deliziosa," stated John Troutwine, Director of Business Development at Allin Interactive.

Allin ITV will support, enhance and add to Costa Deliziosa's onboard amenities by providing on-demand, in-cabin entertainment for guests as well as providing "real time" onboard information and ship-to-cabin communication with 24/7 availability. The Allin system will also help Costa to promote port activities and excursions, onboard shopping, specialty dining as well as onboard services such as room service.

Together with her sister ship Costa Luminosa, christened on June 5 this year, the Costa Deliziosa will be the most exclusive and innovative member of the Costa Cruises fleet. This is readily apparent in her cutting-edge design and use of premium materials such as various types of marble and granite, stucco applied by spatula using the technique known as "spatolato veneziano" and other decorative interior finishes including "parchment scroll" lame, refined Zebrano wood and Wenge timber, Murano glass, and stylish polished and glazed steel. Fine works of art will be featured in the stunning atrium, notably "Sphere" by Arnaldo Pomodoro and a piece by Mario Donizetti.

Whether it's fun or relaxation, there will be an incredibly large number of entertaining things to do on board, all involving the use of leading-edge technology: 4D cinema; roller skating track; the latest generation super-realistic Golf simulator (with a real putting green); Grand Prix driving simulator with the same software and technology used by the F1 champion drivers themselves in training; the exclusive 3500 m2 "Samsara Spa" wellness centre with the Technogym Kinesis circuit; "PlayStation World", an area on board dedicated exclusively to PlayStation3, plus the "PlayStation on demand" cabin service.

The pure pleasure provided on the Costa Deliziosa also comes in the form of a huge range of culinary delights. Not only will the elegant restaurant and the informal buffet serve guests in maritime style, the Deliziosa will also offer the Club Restaurant - called Club Deliziosa - with menus created by Ettore Bocchia, Executive Chef at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio and a Michelin-Star restaurateur. The dishes at the Club Restaurant will be based on the very best traditional Italian cuisine and quality ingredients, and will be accompanied by a prestigious wine list, devised by international sommeliers, which includes Amarone Stella Aneri Costa Deliziosa Special Reserve 2004, a limited edition produced and matured in 15 barrels set aside for the ships in the Costa fleet. Meanwhile, the Samsara Restaurant, for Guests staying in Samsara cabins and suites, will offer a menu featuring light sophisticated dishes. Guests with a sweet tooth will love the "chocolate bar", while those who prefer a more classical "old style" ambience will be very much at home in the "cigar bar".

The Costa Deliziosa will depart from Savona on her grand inaugural cruise Feb 5, 2010. The maiden voyage has a superb itinerary that will really be two cruises in one. The first part, lasting 22 days, will be from Savona to Dubai via the Red Sea, Yemen and Oman; the second, 19-day cruise will be a round trip from Dubai, to India and the Maldives. Exclusive destinations will also be featured on the ship's other scheduled cruises: starting in March and throughout the rest of winter 2010, the Costa Deliziosa will be offering 7-day holidays in the Arabian Gulf to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain, the latter offered by Costa as a cruise destination for the first time. Then, for the summer season the Costa Deliziosa will operate out of Copenhagen on 7-day cruises to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic cities.

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VH1 & Sixthman Confirm New Artists For Best Cruise Ever

NEW YORK, NY, Oct 12: VH1 and Sixthman have confirmed new artists to perform on VH1 Best Cruise Ever, the first-ever official VH1 entertainment cruise set to sail in 2010. This music festival at sea, hosted by 3 Doors Down, will set sail from Tampa, Fla., to Grand Cayman April 15-19, 2010, on the Carnival Inspiration. Artists joining the cruise say that the cruise is a unique opportunity for connecting with their fans in a friendly and communal environment. Tickets for VH1 Best Cruise Ever are now on sale to the general public at

Among additions to the cruise line up is 7dayBinge, a rock super-group featuring singer/songwriter Jon Nicholson, 3 Doors Down bassist Todd Harrell, Kenny Olson (formerly with Kid Rock), and Shannon Boone on drums. Also on board will be Kentucky crooners Black Stone Cherry, who had a big hit with "Things My Father Said," as well as rock balladeers Parachute, whose hit single "She Is Love" is blazing up the charts. Rounding out the cast is divine songstress Angel Taylor, whose album Love Travels came out Sept 22.

VH1 Best Cruise Ever will feature rock groups Lifehouse and Shinedown, along with friends Finger Eleven, and VH1 "You Oughta Know" artists Carolina Liar and SAFETYSUIT. In addition to seeing these artists perform in a unique and up-close-and-personal setting, guests will enjoy VH1-themed onboard activities, contests and more. As a special treat aboard VH1 Best Cruise Ever, fans will see full electric performances by the mega-rock force 3 Doors Down. The quintessential fivesome, hailed as "the thoroughly modern American band" (Billboard Magazine), are looking forward to hitting the high seas.

While watching non-stop music shows and engaging in exclusive artist interactions, guests can also enjoy all of the amenities and facilities aboard the "Fun Ship" Carnival Inspiration, which last year underwent an extensive multi-million-dollar refurbishment that saw the addition of a water park, adults-only retreat, resort-style pool and numerous other features. Cabins for VH1 Best Cruise Ever are currently on sale. For more information, go to

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Costa Atlantica Receives a Perfect Score for Vessel Sanitation

MIAMI, Oct. 9: The Costa Atlantica, a member of the Costa Cruises fleet, once again received a perfect score for vessel sanitation in a recent inspection conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The inspection was held on September 26 during a stopover in New York, one of the port calls of the Costa Atlantica during the latter part of her transatlantic cruise. The cruise departed on September 16 from Savona and ended on October 3 in Quebec.

The CDC inspections are part of the Vessel Sanitation Program introduced in the early 1970s for all ships that stop in a U.S. port. The inspections are unannounced and conducted by officials from the United States Public Health Service twice a year. The score, on a scale from 1 to 100, is assigned based on a checklist with 48 areas of assessment, evaluating hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), water, shipboard personnel and the ship as a whole.

This is the sixth time that the Costa Cruises fleet has received maximum marks from the CDC inspectors. The first vessel to obtain the perfect 100 was the Costa Atlantica in 2001. She repeated this success in 2005, while her sister ship, the Costa Mediterranea, obtained a top score in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

On Oct 3, the Costa Atlantica began an inaugural series of three 11- to 13-night cruises through Canada and New England. During the winter 2009/2010 season the Costa Atlantica will sail 7-night Caribbean cruises departing from Fort Lauderdale. After completing the winter Caribbean season from Ft. Lauderdale in April 2010, the Costa Atlantica will return to Quebec as part of a limited series of 11- to 17-night routes throughout Canada and New England. The ship will then be positioned in Copenhagen sailing Northern Europe for the summer before embarking on another series of 11- to 17-night routes throughout Canada and New England.

The 86,000-ton (2,114 double occupancy) Costa Atlantica is dedicated to Italian art and culture, boasting design elements including Murano glass accents and in-laid mosaic tile, which provide a Venetian atmosphere to the elegant ship. All 12 passenger decks are a tribute to the life and work of Federico Fellini, Italy's best known film maker, including a "Deck 8 1/2" in honor of one of Fellini's most famous films. In addition, each deck is enriched with an original Milo Manara drawing evoking the film to which it is dedicated. The ship is a true floating museum of contemporary Italian art with over 400 original works of art featured by renowned and appreciated artists such as Paul Pennisi, Sergio Benvenuti, Luciano Vistosi, Lucio Bubbaco, Gian Maria Potenza, Gian Maria Ciferri, Inos Corradin and Carlo Moretti.

Costa is the only cruise fleet flying the Italian flag and therefore is the only line whose cruise ships are subject to more restrictive environmental, safety and social accountability regulations. Costa Cruises not only operates in accordance with the prevailing laws but also, where possible, seeks to preempt legislation, setting higher standards for itself and more ambitious objectives by means of internal procedures that go beyond the scope of mandatory requirements of local, national and international regulations.

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Princess Introduces New Alaska Cruisetour Designed Especially for Families

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 9: With its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and plethora of active adventure opportunities, Alaska offers the perfect family vacation. To make it easier for families to plan a trip to the 49th state, Princess Cruises has added a fun new cruisetour option designed especially with family groups in mind. The 12-night cruisetour offers the best of Alaska by land and sea and includes a variety of special features not usually included in a cruisetour package. Families will have the opportunity to travel on a jetboat, pan for gold, take an interactive tour of Denali National Park, and experience what Alaska is like in the winter when it’s many degrees below zero. The cruisetour (number: FUN) is offered at a 25 percent discount for all berths, so all members of the family are included in the special pricing.

“This is really the ultimate family vacation,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “Alaska is a wonderful travel destination with kids, so we wanted to make it easy and affordable to plan the perfect Alaska experience for everyone in the family.”

The Family Fun cruisetour includes a 7-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise plus a 5-night land tour featuring one night at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and two nights at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. At sea, families can also take advantage of Princess’ many onboard programs especially for children, including a special Junior Ranger program in Glacier Bay National Park.

In addition, the following special extras are included in the tour:

-- Daily Breakfast: Everyone in the family can start their morning off with the most important meal of the day.
-- Direct-to-the-Wilderness Rail Service with Lunch: Princess’ acclaimed Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service gets families to their wilderness lodge faster, and includes lunch aboard the train.
-- Three Rivers Jetboat Tour (Mt. McKinley): An exhilarating alternative to taking a motorcoach to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, this tour travels from Talkeetna to the lodge by jetboat, with stops along the river to view historic encampments and learn about the native wildlife.
-- Arctic Blast (Denali): Family members can experience winter in Alaska – in the summertime. This special chamber is chilled to wintertime temperatures, so visitors can find out what happens to hot water when it is thrown in the air and whether soap bubbles can survive the cold.
-- Music of Denali Dinner Theater (Denali): This rollicking musical comedy tells the legend of the first expedition to the summit of Mt. McKinley, accompanied by a hearty, family-style meal featuring smokehouse ribs and Alaska salmon.
-- Experience Alaska with Alaska Geographic Tour (Denali): A more intimate tour of Denali National Park, this special experience includes a variety of interactive experiences, including an enhanced view of the Denali ecosystem and current research taking place. The narrated bus tour takes guests 15 miles into the park to a beautiful river valley where they embark on a short walk to the historic Savage River Camp, where they can participate in a number of hands-on experiences.
-- Denali Sourdough Expedition Breakfast (Denali): While fueling up for the day with a family-style, Alaskan roadhouse-style breakfast, guests experience an unforgettable journey up Denali through breathtaking images in Laurent Dick's Climb Denali. Participants have the opportunity to meet this real mountain climber and ask questions about mountain climbing.
-- Riverboat Cruise and El Dorado Goldmine Tour (Fairbanks): Families can enjoy traveling on an authentic sternwheeler for a fully-narrated cruise along the Chena River and try their hands at gold panning at the El Dorado Gold Mine, where they will learn about Alaska's gold mining history.

Princess offers a variety of land/sea Alaska experience with itineraries ranging from three to eight nights. All cruisetour options feature at least two nights in the Denali National Park area, stays in Princess’ own riverside wilderness lodges, and a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers sailing with Glacier Bay National Park. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Cruise West Retruns to Europe in 2010 With Three River Cruises

Seattle, WA: Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, returns to Europe in 2010 in grand fashion. The line is offering three majestic 11-night cruises along the Danube, Rhine, Main and Mosel Rivers that touch some of the earliest Old World cultures in eight countries between the Black Sea and the Mosel River, traveling west to Germany and south to Switzerland.

Building on last year’s successful series down the Danube from Bucharest to Vienna, guests in 2010 can choose from the original itinerary or from two newly added itineraries that meander farther west. No matter the route, guests will discover first hand well-preserved medieval towns, regal cities, inspiring monuments and picturesque landscapes along this historic trade route used since the Middle Ages, including visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg – all brought to life through stimulating lectures from experts intimately familiar with the region. A pre-cruise hotel night is included on all three itineraries.

Cruises offer Old World enchantment and New World sights
The original 11-night Danube River itinerary, Bucharest to Vienna, departs Sept 23, 2010. Guests will be greeted at the Bucharest airport before transferring to the 5-star Marriott Hotel. The next 10 nights are spent on board the 148-guest MS Amadeus Diamond cruising down the Danube River through six vibrant countries that reflect old world charm – Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Croatia. Excursion highlights include wine tasting at a well-known vineyard near Vukovar, Croatia; a visit to Viminacium, a former Roman settlement that is a working archeological site; a classical music performance in Vienna; and a tour of the historic city of Constanta with lunch in Mamaia. Guests can add-on a two-night stay in Prague or three-night tour through Transylvania.

New to 2010 is a cruise down the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers on Oct 3 traveling for 11-nights from Vienna to Cologne. Guests will sail into Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site resplendent with over 1,200 historic buildings; through the beautiful Altmühl Valley to Nuremberg, the capital of Franconia and historically the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire; and along the River Rhine to Rüdesheim, a charming old wine town nestled in the upper middle Rhine Valley area. Among the excursion highlights are a visit to a 900-year-old Benedictine Melk abbey; a full day in Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a wine sampling at Dürnstein, the most famous wine-growing town in Austria’s Wachau Valley; a full day in the historic city of Nuremberg; and an exquisite meal at the Michelin-starred Stromburg gourmet restaurant. Guests can add-on three-night Munich and Oberammergau or three-night tour of Cologne, Potsdam & Berlin.

The Rhine, Main and Mosel Rivers offer an 11-night cruise from Cologne to Basel (with Cruise West Chairman Dick West as host) departing on Oct 13. Among the cruise highlights are a Welcome Dinner hosted by Dick and Leslie West with a midnight sailing from Cologne to view the lights of its Gothic towers; a cruise through the exceptional Rhine Gorge passing a multitude of castles and the legendary Lorelei Rock; and an upfront view of villages, vineyards and forest along the beautiful Mosel River to Cochem, home to the world’s finest Riesling wines. Memorable excursions include a piano concert at a 14th century castle in Koblenz; an afternoon tour in Luxembourg’s old city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a visit to a traditional Alsatian village for fine wine tasting; a visit to the magnificent Reichsburg castle for spectacular views of the Mosel Valley; and a tour of Luxembourg the last Grand Duchy in the world, both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the European Union’s financial centers. Guests can add on a three-night pre tour in Berlin/Potsdam and Cologne or a three-night post tour of the Swiss Alps.

The MS Amadeus Diamond
All three river cruises take place on board the elegant new 148-guest MS Amadeus Diamond that features generously proportioned cabins with river-view windows, most with large French balconies. Guests cruise in casual elegance, complete with amenities like a fitness center, hairdresser and masseuse.

As with all Cruise West voyages, the Spirit of Distinction program offers an included excursion at every port, engaging topical lectures designed to entertain and educate, and an enhanced array of delicious food and wine choices. For further details on Cruise West’s itineraries, visit, call 800-296-8307 or a travel professional. Details on the 2010 Europe via the Danube River cruises can be found at

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Seabourn Legend Will Forgo Africa/Indian Ocean in 2010-11

MIAMI, Oct 8: The Yachts of Seabourn today announced that the company will not operate a planned five-month, 15-cruise series of voyages in the Indian Ocean aboard the 208-guest, all-suite yacht Seabourn Legend in late 2010 and early 2011. The vessel will instead be positioned back to the Americas at the end of its Mediterranean season to cruise in the Caribbean for the winter.

Calling the decision “regrettable,” Seabourn’s president and CEO Pamela Conover said that while the intended shoreside destinations remain apparently safe for visitors, the high seas routes between them are currently vulnerable to incidents of piracy that have not been adequately controlled. “It makes me sad to have to cancel these cruises,” Conover said. “I personally loved touring Kenya’s game parks, and the islands of the Seychelles, Madagascar and Zanzibar are lovely and exotic destinations where we sincerely had hoped to be able to take our guests. We look forward to a time when the sea routes are controlled enough for us to cruise there for a season.”

Seabourn yachting enthusiasts looking for exotic itineraries still have a stunning selection from which to choose. Seabourn Spirit will depart the Mediterranean in November of 2010, sailing through Egypt, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and Oman to Dubai. Spirit will then continue via India, Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore, to begin a season of cruises exploring Bali, Borneo, Java and the myriad islands of the Java, Flores and Savu Seas. The intimate vessel will even venture southward to Australia’s Northern Territories and Great Barrier Reef.

Seabourn Pride, meanwhile, will be cruising in Asia for the full year, and in the autumn will be sailing in China, Thailand and Vietnam, with included or optional extensions to Beijing, Guilin, Cambodia & Laos and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

Seabourn Odyssey will make a maiden circumnavigation of South America in early 2011, encompassing the Peruvian and Chilean coasts, the Chilean fjords and Patagonia, Cape Horn, the Falkland Islands, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and the Amazon.

Seabourn Legend’s voyages among the favored yacht harbors and unspoiled islands of the Caribbean remain a very popular choice for travelers looking for an award-winning small-ship experience in a relaxing and beautiful destination. Itineraries are designed to take advantage of Legend’s intimate size and features, such as the unique fold-out watersports marina that can be deployed in a secluded cove for Seabourn’s signature “Champagne and Caviar in the Surf” beach barbecue. Activities ashore range from snorkeling, yacht-racing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding and zip-line adventures to visiting artists’ studios, tony boutiques and strolling or relaxing on world-class beaches. On board, deck barbecues and al fresco dining options make the most of the bucolic climate, as do Dancing and Movies Under the Stars. Week-long itineraries sail between Ft. Lauderdale and St. Thomas, or round trip from St. Thomas.

For more information, or to take advantage of Seabourn’s Yachting Collection Savings of up to 65 percent off brochure fares for 2010 voyages, contact your travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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'Experiences of Discovery' Enrich Crystal's 2010 Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8: Crystal Cruises announces an inspired collection of 2010 Experiences of Discovery theme cruises designed to enrich more than two dozen Crystal cruises with a special-interest focus. Special classes, events and, in most cases, shoreside options will augment voyages throughout the Middle East, Australia/New Zealand, Europe and beyond.

A new Science & Technology focus joins Crystal classic favorites including Crystal's Wine & Food Festival (set for seven cruises, with two back-to-back options); Mind, Body & Spirit; Jazz; Golf; Film & Theater Festival; and Big Band. Additionally, Crystal's annual President's Cruise adds special programming and events in celebration of the line's 20th anniversary of luxury cruising.

"The 2010 Experiences of Discovery offer guests more in-depth exploration of an array of topics that suit most any interest," said Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing.

In focus for 2010 are:

-- *NEW* Science & Technology: Guest expert lecturers focus on the world's latest scientific developments on a winter Caribbean itinerary.
-- Emerging Artists: Tomorrow's stars shine today through Crystal's exclusive partnership with The Music Center Los Angeles, showcasing the brightest talent on two European cruises.
-- Wine & Food Festival: World-renowned culinary experts share techniques and specialties on Australia/New Zealand, Mediterranean and Mexican Riviera voyages.
-- Mind, Body & Spirit: Wellness experts focus on yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and general fitness on Asia/Indian Ocean, Mexican Riviera and Transatlantic voyages.
-- Golf: PGA pros offer onboard and shoreside tips and play at exclusive courses in New England/Canada.
-- Fashion & Style: Personal style consultations with designers and stylists, fashion shows, films and lectures showcase European fashion.
-- Film & Theater Festival: Guest film experts salute film and theater on a Pacific Ocean crossing.
-- Jazz: Live performances and discussions about musical legends jazz up South America and Mexican Riviera itineraries.
-- Big Band: Swing to live daily performances, music lecturers, and extra dance hosts on an Atlantic Ocean crossing.
-- President's Cruise: Crystal's President Gregg Michel hosts Special Crystal 20th Anniversary events on board and ashore on a Red Sea journey.

Experiences of Discovery programs complement Crystal's exclusive ongoing Creative Learning Institute, which presents language classes through Berlitz, keyboard instruction through Yamaha, and stimulating guest lecturers from the Crystal Visions Lecture Program. For more information or Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Family Fun at Sea with MSC Cruises & Kids Sail Free

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Oct 8: For the perfect vacation that combines a family escape with the desire to discover new places, MSC Cruises has it all. Plus, kids ages 17 and under sail free on all MSC Cruises’ itineraries when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults.

On each MSC Cruises sailing, our friendly staff caters to the specific needs of all ages - including the youngest guests. Each ship has cheerful, colorful, safe play areas. MSC Cruises’ ships are kid friendly, offering daily entertainment and plenty of space for running, exploring, diving, swimming and playing.

Special activity leaders organize age-appropriate fun activities, with ages 3-6 in the Mini Club, 7-12 in the Juniors Club, and 13-17 in the Teenagers Club. MSC Cruises also offers a Teen’s Card. This personalized card, which can be used like a credit/cruise card, allows children ages 12-17 to spend nominal amounts of money on board. Each card comes with a bonus amount. In the Caribbean, a $30 card purchase comes with a $5 bonus (a total card value of $35); a $50 card purchase comes with $10 bonus, for a total value of $60. In the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, a €30 card comes with a €5 bonus, making it a €35 card, and a €50 card comes with a €10 bonus, making it a €60 card.

Parents and kids will be delighted with the children’s menus. In addition to Italian favorites like pasta and pizza, there are all-American favorites such as hamburgers and hot dogs and numerous tantalizing pastries and desserts.

Knowing the youngsters are with the expert staff, parents can relax and enjoy the sun or the pool, or unwind with a Turkish bath, an aromatic massage or a session at the fitness center. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit or your local travel professional.

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Norwegian Sky Offers On-Board Savings Certificates for Weekend, Short Vacation Cruises

MIAMI, FL, Oct 7: Norwegian Cruise Line is now offering Savings Certificates for 3-day weekend getaways and 4-day short vacation cruises on Norwegian Sky, the youngest ship sailing short cruises from Miami with the most balcony staterooms. For sailings from now through Dec 31, 2009, guests booking a cruise on Norwegian Sky will receive special Savings Certificates that they can use once on board. These savings include casino credits, spa incentives and family portrait and shopping discounts. The certificates are tailored to meet the needs of a variety of vacationers including those planning short break getaways, family vacations, spa retreats or those with gaming in mind. Upon booking a cruise only on Norwegian Sky, guests can log on to Norwegian’s Certificate Center at and enter their reservation number to download the Savings Certificates.

Norwegian Sky recently underwent $15 million in renovations focused on enhancing the guest experience and now offers guests a ship that features more than 200 balcony staterooms; seven Freestyle Dining options and nine bars and lounges; the hottest poolside deck party at sea with the White Hot Party; and longer, complimentary Kids Crew hours.

“Norwegian Sky offers guests the youngest and highest quality ship sailing three-day long weekend getaways and four-day short vacation cruises from Miami to the Bahamas,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “Norwegian Sky out matches the competition by offering more balcony staterooms; more dining options; and a multitude of on-board amenities including themed parties; kids and teen facilities; and a full-service spa and fitness center.”

Girlfriend & Guy Getaways
Norwegian Sky is the solution to the perfect bachelorette or bachelor party; a girl’s spa weekend or a short vacation with the guys. Savings Certificates range from casino credits for slot play to discounts on body treatments at the spa. The party starts from the moment everyone steps on board and is greeted with a complimentary glass of bubbly. Ladies can indulge in unique and exotic spa treatments while the men try their luck at the casino or vice versa. The party continues into the wee hours of the morning at the White Hot party.

Family Fun
Norwegian Sky offers Freestyle family fun for children of all ages, and parents can enjoy the ship with extended Kids Crew hours. The Kid’s Korner features areas for arts and crafts, movies and computers. The Zone serves as a hip place for teens ages 13 to 17 to hang out, complete with video games, a jukebox, foosball table and air hockey. By night, The Zone turns into a teen disco and bar serving non-alcoholic drinks. Splashes Kid’s Pool is just right for pint-size splashing and playing and features a waterfall and a children’s hot tub. In addition, the popular Wii is available for play. Savings Certificates include discounted family portraits; complimentary kid’s bingo; and internet minutes for the Facebooking teen in the family.

Spa & Casino Lovers
Guests looking for a relaxing vacation will find the Body Waves Spa the perfect place to unwind with unique spa treatments reflecting the beauty, spirit and traditions of rejuvenation from around the world. Guests will find everything from the traditional to the exotic in spa and salon treatments. In addition, aerobics, spinning and exercise classes are also available in the ship’s fitness center.

If getting lucky is in the cards, guests can roll the dice in the Sky Club Casino which features Blackjack, Roulette, 3-Card Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em and Craps. For slot lovers, there are more than 160 of the newest video and traditional slot machines. The ship also features less traditional games including Pai-Gow Poker, Pai-Gow Tiles and Mini Baccarat, on request. Casino and gaming Savings Certificates include various casino credits and complimentary bingo.

Norwegian Sky’s 3- and 4-day Bahamas sailings depart Miami on Mondays sailing 4-day short vacation Bahamas cruises with full-day stops in Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas. On Fridays, the ship sails 3-day long weekend getaway Bahamas cruises, departing Miami at 5 p.m. with all-day stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, returning to Miami at 7 a.m. on Monday mornings. For more information or to book a sailing on Norwegian Sky, call Norwegian at 866-234-7350, visit or call a travel professional.

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Seabourn’s Record Booking Wave Continues

MIAMI, Oct 7: The Yachts of Seabourn reported that booking volumes for 2010 cruises continued to set records through the three-month period ending September 30. The line’s four intimate, ultra luxury vessels are booked at full capacity through 2009 and advance bookings for 2010 during the three-month period are more than double the previous year’s pace.

Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s president and CEO, credited two major factors for the surging activity. “The press, the public and the travel agency community have all eagerly responded to the launch of Seabourn Odyssey,” she said. “The combination of the rave reviews for our newest ultra luxury yacht and our Yachting Collection Savings promotion has generated excitement both among our loyal repeat guests and from new travelers who are trying us for the first time.”

Seabourn Odyssey debuted in June and was immediately hailed as “a game-changer” for the luxury cruising segment. It was the first new vessel to enter the segment in over six years, and, at 450 guests, is also the most intimate new vessel planned by any major cruise company. Two more new Seabourn yachts are on the way. Seabourn Sojourn will launch next June in England, and a third will debut in 2011.

Seabourn responded to last year’s economic downturn by introducing Yachting Collection Savings of up to 65 percent off brochure fares, resulting in historically low prices for the all-inclusive, ultra luxury segment of the industry. The simple, easily understood offers have appealed to travel agents and consumers, and expanded the line’s market penetration at a time when its capacity is also expanding dramatically. Yachting Collection Savings have now been extended through Seabourn’s 2010 European season, offering unprecedented values for its top-rated cruise vacations, with fares for seven-day European voyages starting from $2,799 per person, based on double occupancy. For more information, or to take advantage of Seabourn’s Yachting Collection Savings of up to 65 percent off brochure fares for 2010 voyages, contact your travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria Makes Maiden Calls to Halifax and Québec

Oct 6: As part of her Autumn Colours voyage, which features calls through the New England and Canada coasts, Cunard’s Queen Victoria made her inaugural visits to the Canadian ports of Halifax on Friday, Oct 2, and Québec City on Sunday, Oct 4. The ship will call on St. John's, Newfoundland, before returning to Southampton on Oct 12. Queen Victoria’s first-ever voyage to Canada holds special significance, as it is the homeland of the line’s founder, Sir Samuel Cunard, who was born in Halifax in 1787. Cunard established the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in 1839 to carry the Royal Mail between England and North America. In 1840, he inaugurated the first timetabled steamship service across the Atlantic Ocean, with a route from Liverpool to Halifax and then Boston.

“Cunard prides itself on honouring its history and legacy, so it was a great privilege for me to bring Queen Victoria, Cunard’s newest queen, across the Atlantic and present her to the homeland of our company’s founder,” said the ship’s Master, Captain Ian McNaught. “Our calls to Halifax and Québec continue Cunard’s tradition of providing guests with legendary voyages and historic ports of call and we appreciate the welcoming reception we received in each city.”

Upon arrival to Halifax, Queen Victoria toured the harbour, providing grand viewing opportunities for the city’s residents. As she docked, she was welcomed by the famed 78th Highlanders Pipe Band, a performance group from the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association. A number of dignitaries attended the onboard events commemorating Queen Victoria’s arrival, including Percy Paris, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage for Nova Scotia; David Hendsbee, Deputy Mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality; Robert Brooks, Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture & Heritage; John Langley, Cunard Steamship Society; Margaret Wittingham-Lamont, Mission to Seafarers; Mark MacDonald, Chair, Halifax Port Authority; Karen Oldfield, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority; and David Danskin, Halifax Citadel National Site.

To honour Queen Victoria’s maiden call to Halifax, the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association performed a musical number composed especially for the occasion. To celebrate Queen Victoria’s arrival into Québec City, the Port of Québec hosted a charity lunch onboard, benefiting the local Fondation des Hôpitaux de Enfant-Jésus-Saint-Sacrement. Onboard to welcome the liner into the city were Ross Gaudrealt, President and CEO, Port of Québec; Martin Lachance, Director, Leisure and Medias, Québec Tourism Office; and James Murphy, General Manager, Ramsey Greig & Co. Limited. The celebration continued into Monday, as Queen Victoria docked overnight in the Port of Québec.

For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Victoria or flagship Queen Mary 2, consult your Travel Professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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From Generals to Journalists: Crystal's 2010 World Cruise Enrichment Sails to New Heights

LOS ANGELES, Oct 6: Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Hugh Downs, Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench and Prince of Tides author Pat Conroy are among influential leaders in media, sports, arts, sciences and international politics set for lectures and interactive workshops on Crystal Cruises' 108-day "Exploration of Ancient Empires" World Cruise in 2010. With nearly 200 guest presenters offering hundreds of classes and workshops, Crystal's sophisticated onboard enrichment is as stimulating as the awe-inspiring destinations. The epic journey departs from Miami on January 10, culminating in London on April 29.

"Crystal's World Cruise guests value the learning experience of travel--gaining insights into the destinations they're visiting as well as the world and themselves," says Bret Bullock, vice president, entertainment. "The caliber of experts for our 2010 World Cruise will entertain, enlighten and inspire fascinating discussion."

Among the many notable presenters are:

Intellectual Luminaries
-- Hugh Downs - Emmy Award-winning journalist and 20/20 host;
-- Bill Toone - Conservation expert in recovering endangered species; and
-- Dr. Bulent Atalay - Scientist, author and Renaissance and da Vinci authority.

Military and Politics
-- Brigadier General Nick Halley - Vietnam, Grenada and Desert Storm commander;
-- Thomas W. Lippman - Washington Post Middle East Bureau Chief;
-- Phil Gramm - Retired U.S. Republican senator from Texas; and
-- Dinesh D'Souza - Best-selling author, scholar and former White House policy analyst.

Arts and Americana
-- Pat Conroy - Acclaimed author of The Prince of Tides;
-- Johnny Bench - Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, and
-- Rick Senat - Batman and Superman film producer.

Crystal's Creative Learning Institute will offer expanded programming, including additional classes through the Travel Channel Academy, Yamaha and Berlitz.

The 2010 World Cruise visits 41 ports in 37 countries, including maiden calls at Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Bandar Abbas, Iran; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Manama, Bahrain; Khasab, Oman; Al-Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Segments of 12 to 21 days are also available. For information, terms and conditions, and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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Costa Launches New Routes in Canada/New England with Arrival of Costa Atlantica in Quebec

MIAMI, Oct 5: Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, kicked off its inaugural Canada/New England cruise series with the arrival of the Costa Atlantica in the Port of Quebec on Friday, Oct 2. The first call marks the beginning of a series of 11- to 13-night routes through Canada and New England this fall before the ship embarks on a winter Caribbean season from Ft. Lauderdale in November.

“We are proud to be in Québec to mark the beginning of Costa’s first season sailing from Quebec throughout Canada and New England, and to showcase our ship to the Québécois, who have long been loyal clientele of ours on sailings around the world,” said Maurice Zarmati, president and ceo of Costa Cruise Lines—North America. “This fall is just the beginning of much more to come, with additional cruises next spring and fall through the region on the ship. We look forward to the success of these programs and thank the Port of Québec for welcoming us.”

After completing a winter Caribbean season from Ft. Lauderdale in April 2010, the Costa Atlantica will return to Quebec as part of a limited series of 11- to 17-night routes throughout Canada and New England. The ship will then be positioned in Copenhagen sailing Northern Europe for the summer before embarking on another series of 11- to 17-night routes throughout Canada and New England.

The 86,000-ton (2,114 double occupancy) Costa Atlantica is dedicated to Italian art and culture, boasting design elements including Murano glass accents and in-laid mosaic tile, which provide a Venetian atmosphere to the elegant ship. All 12 passenger decks are a tribute to the life and work of Federico Fellini, Italy’s best known film maker, including a “Deck 8 1/2” in honor of one of Fellini’s most famous films. In addition, each deck is enriched with an original Milo Manara drawing evoking the film to which it is dedicated.The ship is a true floating museum of contemporary Italian art with over 400 original works of art featured by renowned and appreciated artists such as Paul Pennisi, Sergio Benvenuti, Luciano Vistosi, Lucio Bubbaco, GianMaria Potenza, Gian Maria Ciferri, Inos Corradin and Carlo Moretti.

In addition, 44 exclusive spa cabins create a true “vacation within a vacation” on the ship. Guests who reserve these spa accommodations will enjoy a variety of special privileges. These include a personalized wellness consultation, three complimentary treatments, two fitness or meditation classes and complimentary access to the Wellness Restaurant, offering a wide array of spa-friendly cuisine. Spa cabins, available in ocean view, veranda and suite categories, feature aromatherapy diffusers, special shower and air filters, and a mini bar stocked with healthy food and beverage selections. In addition, guests with these accommodations will be offered priority spa reservation times.

Costa Cruises is Italy and Europe’s Number One Cruise Line. For the past 60 years its ships have sailed the world, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine and providing dream vacations with the best in fun and relaxation. In 2008, 1.2 million guests chose to cruise with Costa, a record for the European cruise industry. The company’s 14 fleet members, each with her own distinctive characteristics and unique style, all fly the Italian flag and sail each year to 250 destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, South America, the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and the Indian Ocean. Three additional ships are on order through 2012.

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Holland America Line's ms Rotterdam to Sail 30-Day South America Explorations in
Spring/Fall 2010 & Winter/Spring 2011

SEATTLE, Oct 5: Holland America Line's ms Rotterdam will sail three 30-day South America adventures in 2010 and two more in 2011, allowing guests to visit the remote site of Machu Picchu and explore the mysterious and exotic Inca civilization. With Rotterdam's "Incan Empires" voyages departing Feb. 6, April 10 and Oct. 23, 2010, and again on Feb. 2 and the "Secret Civilizations" voyage departing April 17, 2011, these voyages sail round-trip from U.S. ports on the East and West coasts, making a cruise to Central and South America more convenient for North American travelers.

"Having these itineraries sail round-trip from a U.S. port is ideal for our guests looking to take an exotic cruise, but who don't want to travel extensively to get to the port of embarkation," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. "These cruises offer a premium onboard experience, overnight calls, late-night departures and opportunities to explore many different ports and countries."

Rotterdam's "Incan Empires" voyage spends 30 days exploring 15 ports along the west coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. Extended calls at Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, give guests extra time ashore to enjoy the culture, history and local attractions of that region. A highlight of the itinerary is a 3-night call at Callao (Lima), Peru, enabling guests to take an excursion to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most mysterious archeological locations in the world. Because of the extended three-day call, guests will still visit all the ports and can easily rejoin the ship in Callao after their adventure. An overnight call at Fuerte Amador, Panama, the gateway to Panama City, is another highlight of the itinerary. Fifteen-day segments to and from Callao also are available.

On April 17, 2011, Rotterdam returns to Central and South America, setting sail on a 30-day "Secret Civilizations" round-trip Fort Lauderdale, Fla., cruise that visits 14 ports in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. The itinerary features a double transit of the Panama Canal on the way to and from Callao. The daylight transits allow guests to observe the intricate passage through the lakes and locks of the man-made engineering marvel. This voyage also has a two-night call at Callao, making it possible for guests to take an excursion to Machu Picchu, as well as an overnight call at Fuerte Amador and an extended stay at Cozumel, Mexico. Fifteen-day segments to and from Callao also are available.

When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including Overland Adventures, off-the-beaten-track explorations, Signature Collection private-car touring and exclusive Medallion Collection excursions. For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line's Central and South America Voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Two New Pride of America Sailings Added in Spring 2010

MIAMI, Oct 2: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that the company has added two new Hawai`i cruises on Pride of America next spring. Pride of America is the only ship offering seven-day interisland cruises from Honolulu to all four of Hawai`i’s most beautiful islands. The two sailings go on sale Monday, October 5. The sailings on April 24 and May 1, 2010 will feature a new itinerary that includes a day at sea along with the four ports currently offered on Pride of America: Hilo, Hawaii; Kahului, Maui; Kona, Hawaii; and an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kauai. In addition, the two sailings will include an evening sail by Kilauea Volcano, a day cruise by the north coast of Molokai and an afternoon sail by the breathtaking Napali coast.

Pride of America features the innovative attributes of Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising with a star spangled line up of eight culinary options, dynamic public rooms such as the Hollywood Theater, the expansive Rascal’s Kids Center and the luxurious Santa Fe Spa & Fitness Center. The heart of the ship, the Capitol Atrium, is inspired by the Capitol Building and White House and features a decorative stone floor, impressive water feature and a stunning backlit glass dome.

Pride of America offers an extensive choice of staterooms highlighted by an expansive Grand Suite, a broad range of family accommodations with more than 250 staterooms that interconnect, more than 660 balcony staterooms, as well as Family Suites, accommodating up to eight people.

The ship features the latest in relaxation and fitness facilities with the Santa Fe Spa and Fitness Center. The Sports Deck includes a basketball and volleyball court. The large South Beach sunning and swimming area is inspired by Miami’s Art Deco district and features some novel distractions including a gyroscope and bungee trampoline and activities capturing the energy and fun of Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road.

The ship also offers the best meeting facilities at sea with the largest conference facilities and the only dedicated meeting deck on water. Plus, on-board meetings may qualify for both corporate and individual federal tax deductions. For more information, go to

The new sailings were added as a result of the ship’s scheduled dry dock being postponed to a later date. To book one of these new sailings on Pride of America, guests should contact Norwegian Cruise Line at 866-234-7350, visit, or call a travel professional.

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Carnival Cruise Lines Opens First Children’s ‘Fun Zone’ At Port Of Miami Cruise Terminal

Miami, Oct 2: Carnival Cruise Lines wants to make sure kids always have a good time – even while they’re waiting to board their “Fun Ship” cruise. In keeping with its reputation as the family cruise leader, Carnival Cruise Lines has installed the first-ever “Fun Zone” at the Port of Miami cruise terminal, providing a welcome diversion for families with a host of toys, games and activities.

Located on the upper level of the facility, the “Fun Zone” includes indoor playground equipment, video game consoles, board games, coloring books and more.

The line plans on adding “Fun Zones” to other year-round homeports in the future.

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Special ‘Last-Minute’ Deals on 5- and 10-Night Caribbean Escapes on MSC Poesia this Fall

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Oct 2: Vacationers looking for a great price on a Caribbean escape this fall can take advantage of MSC Cruises’ “Last-Minute” deals on select Caribbean cruises. MSC Cruises features 5- and 10-night Caribbean cruises to the Southern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, and Panama on MSC Poesia as she sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale during her inaugural 2009-10 Caribbean season:

• 10-night “Dazzling Dutch Caribbean & the Panama Canal” Baseball Greats Cruise: calling at Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Cartagena, Colombia; Cristobal, Panama; and Playa del Carmen, Mexico; departing Nov. 20;
• 10-night “Tropical Splendors, European Charm”: calling at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort de France, Martinique; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas; departing Nov. 30;
• 10-night “Remarkable Rainforests & The Panama Canal”: calling at Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Colombia; Cristobal, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Playa del Carmen, Mexico; rates begin at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort de France, Martinique; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas; departing Dec. 10;
• 5-night “Caribbean Escape”: calling at Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Grand Cayman, with two days at sea; departing Nov. 10 and Nov. 15, 2009.

All cruises offer just a $100 per person deposit. The “Last-Minute” offer is available on new bookings made by Oct 31. MSC Poesia’s season will also include a variety of 7- and 10-night Caribbean itineraries, as well as special theme cruises and Christmas and New Year’s sailings.

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MSC Cruises Announces Powerful Lineup of ‘Baseball Greats’ Cruises

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Oct 1: Fans of America’s pastime can gain unique insights into the world of professional baseball on MSC Cruises’ “Baseball Greats” theme cruises. Some of the greats of the game, including numerous record holders and members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, will be onboard, sharing their skills and their memories, during the powerful line up of five “Baseball Greats” theme cruises as MSC Poesia sails her inaugural season in the U.S. during the 2009-10 Caribbean cruise season.

In addition to visits to some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful locations, each “Baseball Greats” “sailing includes free interactive guest/player activities, including a player-hosted trivia game in which guests can test their baseball knowledge, question-and-answer sessions with the players, a guest pitching contest and a lively story-telling session. Players will also host pitching, hitting, fielding and base running clinics. Perhaps the most popular activity is the free autograph session at the end of the cruise.

MSC Poesia offers “Baseball Greats” theme cruises on the following roundtrip itineraries from Fort Lauderdale:

-- Nov. 20, 2009: 10-night Southern Caribbean featuring Panama, featuring Bob Feller, Cito Gaston, Frank Howard, Stan Bahnsen and Bill Russell.
-- Jan. 16, 2010: 7-night Western Caribbean, featuring Hector Lopez, Ken Griffey Sr., Stan Bahnsen, Jeff Torborg, and Cookie Rojas.
-- Feb. 6, 2010: 7-night Western Caribbean; featuring Tony Oliva, Jim Fregosi, Rudy May, Stan Bahnsen and Ed Kranepool.
-- March 6, 2010: 7-night Eastern Caribbean, featuring Amos Otis, Stan Bahnsen, Vida Blue, Rennie Stennet and Rico Petrocelli.
-- April 3, 2010: 7-night Eastern Caribbean; featuring Stan Bahnsen, Tony Taylor, Gorman Thomas and Randy Hundley

 Players are subject to change without notice. On MSC Poesia’s Caribbean cruise itineraries, kids ages 17 and younger sail free when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults. All cruises offer just a $100 per person deposit on all sailings and itineraries.

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