Cruise Planner & Industry News from Cruise Diva
Discover the world of cruise travel

Subscribe Now! Cruise Diva's FREE Newsletter

Make the most of your cruise vacation with
 information from 

~ Site Map & Search
~ Cruise Lines
~ Articles & Advice
~ Cruise News
~ Planning Tips
~ Packing & Lists
~ Ports of Call

~ Cruise Reviews

~ HOT Tips Archive
~ About CruiseDiva
~ Cruise Links
~ Cruise Diary
~ CruiseDiva Home

Insure My Trip
Insure your cruise ~ Use the automated quote form to compare plans

Cruise Bon Voyage Gifts from Well Wishers -- CLICK HERE!!!

Bon Voyage gifts & more delivered worldwide by Well Wishers

Get cruise gear & more from
The Cruise Shop

 Cruising by the Book ~ Top Picks in 
Cruise Guidebooks

The favorite of serious cruise travelers:
Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman

News from the world of cruising ~
November 1-15, 2002

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

Back to Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive

Planning the Perfect Family Vacation: Royal Caribbean Shares Family Vacation Survey Results and Expert Tips, Offers Chance To Win One of Nine Family Cruise Getaways

MIAMI, Nov. 15 -- Family vacations are an American tradition and a chance to spend quality time together. According to a new survey from Royal Caribbean International, most Americans (63%) enjoyed at least one trip in 2002, with more than a third taking two or more vacations with the family. But getting everyone together for a successful getaway can be challenging, survey respondents revealed. Other than cost, the 1,200 survey respondents said the top challenges in choosing a family vacation are finding the time (37%), finding something everyone will enjoy (16%), deciding when to go (16%), and selecting a destination (15%).

"Vacations are a wonderful way to reconnect with your loved ones and enjoy time as a family," says The Travel Mom Emily Kaufman, family travel expert and writer. "After all, when was the last time you had dinner together five, six or even seven nights in a row? The key is to make it a priority and plan a vacation that appeals to all family members."

As for what activities hold the most appeal, survey respondents named relaxing (84%), sightseeing (64%), hitting a beach (58%) and visiting relatives (53%) as the top things their families like to do on vacation. Other interests include doing something adventurous, exploring new places, and focusing on cultural and educational activities.

"One of the top things I recommend for families are cruises," says Kaufman. "A cruise combines activities, entertainment and relaxation at one affordable price. And there are so many different things to do from shopping, seeing a show or simply relaxing by the pool to making new friends, exploring new destinations and having family adventures in international ports of call. With all the terrific ships and itineraries available now, cruises offer something for every member of the family, no matter what age."

One in four survey respondents agree, listing cruising as a vacation their whole family enjoys. And that's an important consideration, says Kaufman, especially when you consider that 43 percent of survey respondents said their family vacations can include the extended clan. Siblings (57%) and parents (53%) are the most likely travel companions, followed by cousins (28%), in- laws (23%), aunts and uncles (16%), and grandparents (14%).

Making sure everyone has a great time can be challenging, but it's not impossible, says Kaufman. Here are her top tips for planning the perfect family getaway:

  • Set your budget and stick to it. Nothing can ruin a relaxing vacation faster than worrying about money. Look for deals and packages that provide added value, like a cruise or a resort, which include accommodations, meals, entertainment and activities in the price.
  • Pick a date now; there's never a perfect time for anything. Block out time on your calendar and commit to it, or you'll find another year has slipped away.
  • Choose a vacation that offers a variety of things to see and do. Royal Caribbean's Voyager-class ships, for example, not only travel to exotic destinations, they also have something for everyone right on board, from spa pampering, live entertainment and shopping to ice skating, full-court basketball, mini golf, rock climbing and in-line skating. Dining options range from casual buffets to Johnny Rockets burger joints to upscale specialty restaurants.
  • Look for places that offer special children's and teen's programs so young ones can meet new friends and have someone to hang out with besides the adults. The whole family will be happier with time to pursue their own interests.

The Royal Caribbean Family Cruise Sweepstakes
Royal Caribbean wants to help families get away for some quality time together. Through December 15, 2002, visit to enter the Royal Caribbean Family Cruise Sweepstakes for a chance to win a great cruise getaway for the whole family. Royal Caribbean is giving away three Grand Prizes of a seven-night Caribbean cruise for a family of 12 and three First Prizes of a seven-night Caribbean cruise for a family of four. In addition, participants who visit on Thanksgiving Day can also enter to win one of three bonus prizes of a four-night Bahamas cruise for four.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 16 ships in service with the launch of Navigator of the Seas this December and three more under construction or on firm order. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700 for reservations.

Back to the top of the news list

First Cruise Cancelled, New Inaugural Voyage Set to Depart Dec. 24

The delivery of Princess' upcoming ship Coral Princess has been postponed by the shipyard, necessitating the cancellation of one sailing. The vessel's inaugural Panama Canal cruise will now depart on December 24, 2002.

Passengers on the affected December 14 sailing will receive a full refund as well as a $500 per cabin credit on a future cruise. Travel agent commission will be protected on all fully paid bookings.

"The shipbuilder, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, found itself faced with unexpected delays," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "We certainly regret canceling this voyage, as we know it is disappointing news to our passengers. But we will be working diligently to accommodate passengers on alternate Princess sailing dates."

The 88,000-ton Coral Princess is the first in a new series of ships for Princess, and will be the largest of the line's ships to be able to transit the Panama Canal. The 1,970-passenger vessel will debut with a series of 10-day roundtrip Canal voyages from Ft. Lauderdale, and will be christened by the president of Panama on January 17. The ship features multiple dining and entertainment venues; plus more than 80 percent of cabins feature a private balcony--a Princess hallmark.

Back to the top of the news list

Line Honored with Corporate Award from Western Law Center for Disability Rights

The Western Law Center for Disability Rights has honored Princess Cruises by presenting the line with its prestigious annual Corporate Award, which recognizes a company's commitment to making its services accessible to people with disabilities. The award was presented November 12 at a gala ceremony at the Los Angeles Music Center.

"Princess has long placed a high priority on making cruise vacations accessible for all passengers, including those with special needs," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "We are pleased that our efforts to provide accessible spaces for our passengers have been honored this way and that such a prestigious organization has noticed our endeavors."

The cruise line initiated its award-winning Princess Access program in 1992 to raise the standards of cruise ship access across the fleet, while keeping in mind the natural constraints and special considerations inherent to a ship at sea. In recent years, the company has further committed it efforts in the area of passenger accessibility. Princess was the first cruise line to employ a manager of access compliance -- who was recently appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board.

Princess is the first company in the travel industry to be awarded this honor, and the line joins a list of distinguished previous honorees, including Northrop Grumman, Amgen, Southern California Edison, IBM, and Home Depot.

Back to the top of the news list

Mariner of the Seas to Sail From Port Canaveral
Central Florida Port Will Be Home to Two Royal Caribbean ships

MIAMI, Nov. 13 -- Royal Caribbean International today announced that its 3,114-passenger Mariner of the Seas, which will be delivered to the company in October 2003, will sail regularly from Port Canaveral, Florida. The agreement reached between the company and Port Canaveral will make Mariner of the Seas the second Royal Caribbean ship to sail regularly from the central Florida port. The company's Sovereign of the Seas has sailed from Port Canaveral since June 2000.

The 142,000-ton Mariner of the Seas will be the fifth and final ship in the company's Voyager class. Those Voyager-class ships have distinguished themselves through their revolutionary design and groundbreaking size. The ships feature rock-climbing walls soaring 200 feet above sea level, inline skating tracks, full-size basketball courts, and interior staterooms with views of their Royal Promenade, the four-story shopping and entertainment boulevard that winds through the center of the ships. Other Voyager-class features include 900-seat ice skating and entertainment venues known as Studio B, 1,350-seat Broadway-style theaters, miniature golf courses, and the largest casinos afloat.

"Mariner of the Seas will be the crowning achievement of the most successful class of cruise ships ever built," said Jack Williams, president and chief operating officer of Royal Caribbean International. "Our Voyager- class ships, the largest cruise ships in the world, have become the 'ships of choice' in the Caribbean, and we're confident Mariner of the Seas will become the 'ship of choice' in Port Canaveral."

Mariner of the Seas will sail alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, departing Sundays, beginning on November 23, 2003. The Eastern Caribbean itineraries will include port calls in Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The Western Caribbean sailings will include port calls in Labadee, Hispanola; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico. Bookings for Mariner of the Seas are open, with staterooms available from $699 per person, double occupancy, for sailing in winter 2003-2004.

"Since their introduction in November 1999, when Voyager of the Seas began sailing, our Voyager-class ships have set a new standard for the cruise industry," Williams said. "We are very excited to bring Mariner of the Seas to Port Canaveral, where it will help us continue to redefine the entire cruise experience."

Sovereign of the Seas was Royal Caribbean's first ship to sail regularly from Port Canaveral. Sovereign of the Seas sails three- and four-night Caribbean cruises, departing Thursday and Sundays respectively. Those sailings make port calls in Nassau, Bahamas; and Coco Cay, Bahamas, Royal Caribbean's private island. Along with the arrival of Mariner of the Seas at Port Canaveral, Sovereign of the Seas will shift the departure day of its three-night sailings to Fridays, and its four-night sailings to Mondays. This will make Sovereign of the Seas' three-night offering Port Canaveral's only true weekend get-away cruise -- with Friday evening departures and Monday morning arrivals.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 15 ships in service and four more under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique land tour packages in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruise-tour division. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

Back to the top of the news list

Princess Cruises Confirms 2004 Delivery Dates for Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess
Accelerated Construction Schedule Will "Switch" Sister Ships, With Spring Debut for Diamond Princess in Mexico, Followed by Sapphire Princess Launch in Alaska

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov. 11, 2002 -- Princess Cruises announced firm 2004 delivery dates for its set of new sister ships--Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess--and that an accelerated building schedule and "switch" of names for the under-construction hulls will enable the line to launch Diamond Princess into Mexico in March, and Sapphire Princess in Alaska for a full summer season.

Last month a fire broke out aboard Diamond Princess in the shipyard and the damage assessment is now complete. Princess and the Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have confirmed that the ship's construction will continue, and the vessel will be delivered in May 2004, but with the name "Sapphire Princess." The ship will be based in Seattle for a roundtrip Alaska cruise program. The delivery of the second ship has been brought forward by three months to February 2004, and this identical ship will now be named "Diamond Princess," with its inaugural season in Mexico prior to moving to Alaska for the summer.

"We are very excited that Mitsubishi has made such a tremendous effort to deliver these two ships into the trades for which they were originally intended," said Dean Brown, executive vice president of Princess Cruises. "Switching the hulls of these sister ships was an innovative solution and will enable us to have these two spectacular vessels sailing roundtrip from Seattle to Alaska for the summer of 2004. Mitsubishi has committed to use all necessary resources available for the construction of both vessels, including resources from their other yards. This includes dedicating virtually two full teams to each vessel to achieve this new schedule."

Diamond Princess will launch in March 2004 with weekly sailings to Mexico roundtrip from Los Angeles. After the Mexico season, Diamond Princess will be repositioned to Seattle and joined by Sapphire Princess, placing these two newest and largest Princess ships together in Seattle for seven-day roundtrip Alaska Inside Passage sailings. The ships will offer both a Saturday and Sunday departure from Seattle's brand-new Terminal 30.

"These two ships are going to offer exciting cruise opportunities for our passengers, as they'll be our largest and most amenity-filled vessels yet," said Brown. "They'll bring our Personal Choice Cruising concept to new levels with unprecedented dining and entertainment opportunities, plus Princess' trademark balconies."

Princess Cruises, part of P&O Princess, is a global cruise and tour company. Its current fleet of nine ships sail on approximately 150 itineraries around the world, and a further seven ships will be added by 2004. Additional information can be obtained by calling 1-800-PRINCESS.

Back to the top of the news list


Orlimar Clubs to be used Exclusively for Onboard Golf Simulators

COCONUT GROVE, FL - SeaDream Yacht Club, with a fast gaining reputation for featuring an array of sophisticated sports equipment aboard its twin, ultra-luxury, mega yachts SeaDream I and II, has announced a partnership with Orlimar Golf Company. The partnership includes the exclusive use of state-of-the-art, Orlimar titanium drivers and irons with the Golf Simulators aboard the SeaDream yachts. SeaDream guests are able to play more than 50 championship courses on the Simulators. Additionally, guests sailing on the SeaDream yachts are able to purchase Orlimar Clubs while aboard, and to have their purchases drop-shipped to their homes.

“Our plan right from the beginning of our yacht company has been to ally ourselves with only the best suppliers of goods and services,” Larry Pimentel, CTC, Chairman and CEO of SeaDream stated. “These alliances are much appreciated by our guests. Hence, on SeaDream yachts we have only the best of the best whether it is our wines, food, bedding, mountain bikes, water sports equipment--or now, the clubs used in our Golf Simulators. Our new relationship with Orlimar is a point of pride with us.”

SeaDream Yacht Club is the yachting venture by Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad who founded Seabourn Cruise Line and Larry Pimentel, who was president of Seabourn under Brynestad and later president and CEO of the merged Cunard and Seabourn. Pimentel is Chairman and CEO of the Coconut Grove, Florida-headquartered SeaDream Yacht Club and a co-owner. The company operates SeaDream I and SeaDream II, twin, ultra luxury, mega yachts that operate on seven-day sailings in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. The yachts are not only ideal for discerning travelers seeking an unstructured and casual holiday experience but also for small meetings and incentive groups or individual private family gatherings. They are available for full charter. The SeaDream Yacht Club reservations number is 1 800 707-4911. The website is

Back to the top of the news list

President Of Panama To Christen New Coral Princess
Ceremony Underlines Princess' Leadership And Historic Role In Panama Canal Cruising

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 12, 2002 -- Princess Cruises announced that Her Excellency Mireya Moscoso, president of the Republic of Panama, will christen the line's newest ship, Coral Princess, in a historic ceremony in the Panama Canal.

The first cruise ship christening ever in the Canal, this unique "lockside" naming will take place as Coral Princess transits the Canal's Gatun Locks on January 17, 2003. The ship will be in the Canal as part of it regular cruise itinerary, on a sailing that departs from Ft. Lauderdale on January 13.

"In our 32 years of Panama Canal cruising, we've established a strong and beneficial relationship with Panama, so we feel President Moscoso is the perfect person to christen this ship, which was built specifically for Canal transits," said Phil Kleweno, president of Princess Cruises. "As we offer more Panama Canal sailings than any other line and even plan to double our number of Canal cruises next year, we are delighted to have President Moscoso become the 'godmother' of Coral Princess and to host the first naming ceremony in the Canal."

Panama's first female head of state, President Moscoso took office in September 1999 and has since become a popular leader who has worked to strengthen her country's social and educational programs. Shortly after her election, she experienced her first Canal transit aboard another Princess ship, Sun Princess.

The selection of President Moscoso to christen Coral Princess follows P&O Princess' long history of selecting illustrious women to become the "godmothers" of its new ships, including Queen Elizabeth of England, Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, among others.

"Passengers aboard that sailing are certainly in for a special treat," noted Kleweno. "We've never before christened a ship while it was in transit, so the passengers have a unique opportunity to become part of this historic event." The naming ceremony will also be broadcast over the ship's onboard television system.

The event will take place while the ship is in the Panama Canal's Gatun Locks, one of three sets of locks that make up this engineering marvel, which took more than 30 years to build and was completed in 1914. The Gatun Locks are made up of a series of three locks which connect the Caribbean with the massive Gatun Lake in the middle in the Canal. The Canal's locks lift and lower ships a total of 170 feet as they move over the Panama isthmus - a 51-mile transit in total.

Coral Princess' inaugural season begins December 14 and will consist of a series of roundtrip Panama Canal sailings roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. Passengers will enjoy calls at the ports of Limón in Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Princess' private island Princess Cays, as well as the Panama Canal transit and cruising of the Canal's Gatun Lake.

The 88,000-ton Coral Princess was designed to provide passengers the many amenities of the line's larger vessels on a ship built for Panama Canal transits. Coral Princess' 1,970 passengers will enjoy a variety of Personal Choice Cruising options, including multiple dining and entertainment venues. The ship features three distinctive show lounges, including the two-story interactive Universe Lounge equipped to offer full television production capabilities and high-definition projection. The ship's Personal Choice Dining lineup is comprised of two main dining rooms, the popular Sabatini's Italian trattoria and the new Bayou Café, the first New Orleans-style restaurant at sea. Other new features include Churchill Lounge, a cigar lounge with its own humidor, and Crooners, a 1960s-era martini bar - both firsts for Princess. The ship also continues Princess' emphasis on affordable balconies, as 83 percent of all outside staterooms feature a private veranda.

Princess Cruises, part of P&O Princess, is a global cruise and tour company. Its current fleet of nine ships sail on approximately 150 itineraries around the world, and a further seven ships will be added by 2004. Further information can be obtained by calling 1-800-PRINCESS.

Back to the top of the news list


MIAMI - The first ship of the two vessel "Project America" shipbuilding program tasted the open ocean last week, partially completed and towed by a powerful tug. The hull, plus the materials and equipment needed to complete her, plus all the work in progress and materials for the second ship, are on their way to Europe from the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The new owner, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), is in advanced discussions with Lloyd Werft in Germany to complete the ship. Lloyd Werft supervised the removal and towing of the hull and materials on Tuesday, November 5, 2002. In August, NCL contracted with Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) to buy all of the materials and equipment and the work performed to date on the two "Project America" vessels.

The original design of the first "Project America" ship has been modified and will sail under the NCL brand as the latest addition to the company's revolutionary Freestyle Cruising fleet. The yet-to-be-named vessel will be delivered in Spring 2004 and will be the fourth new ship for NCL in as many years.

Once the completion of the first vessel is under way, NCL will explore the feasibility of completing the second vessel based on the work in progress and materials that have been purchased as part of the deal with NGSS.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is an international cruise company and industry innovator that operates a fleet of nine ships sailing to more than 140 ports around the world.

For further information on NCL, contact a travel agent or NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; in Miami-Dade County, Fla., (305) 436-0866; visit NCL's web site at

Back to the top of the news list

Seabourn Extends Europe Savings of Up to 50 Percent
Cruise-Only Savings Now on All Mediterranean, Select Northern Europe Cruises

MIAMI, Nov. 12 -- Ultra luxury cruise pioneer Seabourn Cruise Line has extended its offer of cruise-only savings up to 50 percent to include all 2003 Mediterranean cruises of Seabourn Spirit and Legend, and a selection of cruises in Scandinavia and Northern Europe aboard Seabourn Pride.

On seven- to 11-day Mediterranean cruises aboard The Yachts of Seabourn, cruise-only savings up to 50 percent result in fares from $3,286 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square-foot Seabourn Suite.

The savings, which vary by departure, can result in perdiem rates from $377 for the full array of ultra luxury amenities aboard The Yachts of Seabourn, including complimentary wines, spirits, and French Champagne; an included Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experience; free Massage Moments on deck; superb cuisine by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer; Pure Pampering therapeutic bathing experiences by Molton Brown; an in-suite Bose Wave stereo radio/CD; Movies Under the Stars and the finest service afloat.

During 2002, Seabourn sailed at or near full capacity in Europe, and progressively reduced the savings percentages on all of its cruises throughout the season, according to Richard Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales & marketing. "Guests who booked later in the year definitely paid more for their cruises," he said. "If travelers want this kind of value on an ultra luxury cruise vacation in 2003, they should act now."

Seabourn Spirit and Legend will sail a variety of one-week cruises in the Mediterranean that can be combined to create vacations of up to five weeks with different port content. Combining two or more cruises earns additional 10-percent Combo Savings. Seabourn Pride sails cruises of 10 to 14 days in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

For more information on The Yachts of Seabourn, or to take advantage of this special offer, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

Back to the top of the news list

New Carnival Conquest, Largest Cruise Ship to Be Based in New Orleans, Arrives Tuesday, Nov. 12

WHAT: Arrival of Carnival Cruise Lines' new 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest, the largest "Fun Ship" ever constructed, which will be homeported in New Orleans, becoming the newest and largest ship based there year-round. 

More than three football fields in length, Carnival Conquest boasts an unprecedented 22 lounges and bars, four swimming pools--one with a 214-foot-long water slide--along with a duty-free shopping mall, an Internet cafe, a 12,000-square-foot fitness center, an expansive teen club/video arcade, and a 4,200-square-foot children's play area, part of the line's top-rated "Camp Carnival" program. Enhancing these areas are stunning interiors inspired by the world's great Impressionist painters, appropriate for a ship based in New Orleans, a city possessing a rich European heritage. Carnival Conquest is expected to be at Jackson Square at approximately 8:30 a.m. and be alongside the Julia Street Terminal, Berth 2, at approximately 9 a.m.

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean's Splendour of The Seas Sails From Galveston; Two Royal Caribbean Ships Now Sailing From Texas Port

MIAMI, Nov. 8 -- Royal Caribbean International's 1,800-passenger Splendour of the Seas will begin sailing from the Port of Galveston this Monday. Splendour of the Seas will be the second Royal Caribbean ship currently sailing from the Port of Galveston. The company's Rhapsody of the Seas has been sailing regularly from Galveston since April 14, 2002.

Splendour of the Seas will dock at the Port of Galveston's Terminal 2 at Pier 27 at approximately 6 a.m. Monday. The ship will make 17 sailings from Galveston between November 11, 2002 and April 28, 2003. The ship's sailings will alternate between 10-night Caribbean cruises and 11-night Panama Canal cruises.

"We couldn't be happier to have a second ship sailing from Galveston," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president of Marketing and Sales for Royal Caribbean International. "We have the newest and most beautiful large ships sailing from Texas and we hope everyone from Texas, and beyond, is able to take advantage of that fact."

Splendour of the Seas will make eight 10-night Caribbean sailings, departing Fridays (November 22; December 13; January 3, 24; February 14; March 7, 28; and April 18), with port calls in Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Key West, Florida.

The ship will make nine 11-night Panama Canal sailings, departing Mondays (November 11; December 2, 23; January 13; February 3, 24; March 17; April 7, 28), with port calls in Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Panama Canal (cruising); Cristobal Pier, Panama; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and George Town, Cayman Islands. The Panama Canal sailings are unique in that Splendour of the Seas will sail into the Panama Canal and turn around in Gatun Lake. This provides guests as complete a Panama Canal experience as possible without actually exiting it on the Pacific side.

Splendour of the Seas arrives in Galveston at the completion of a 15-night transatlantic sailing that departed Barcelona, Spain on October 27, with port calls in Malaga, Spain; Tenerife, Canary Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; George Town, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico.

The ship departs Galveston on May 9, 2003, on a 15-night transatlantic sailing to Barcelona, Spain, with port calls in Key West, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands, Portugal; Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal; and Malaga, Spain.

Bookings for the 10-night Caribbean sailings are available from $799, per- person, double occupancy. Bookings for the 11-night Panama Canal sailings are available from $1,199, per-person, double occupancy.

Splendour of the Seas' sister ship Rhapsody of the Seas was Royal Caribbean's first ship to sail regularly from Galveston, between October and December 2001. Based on the success of those sailings, in April the company brought the ship back to Galveston for year-round sailings. Rhapsody of the Seas departs Galveston on Sundays for seven-night Western Caribbean sailings, with port calls in Key West, Florida; George Town, Cayman Islands; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. The Key West port calls include late-night departures that allow guests extra time to enjoy the Key West nightlife. Bookings onboard Rhapsody of the Seas are available from $399 per person, double occupancy.

Splendour of the Seas made her maiden voyage in 1996. The ship is 867 feet long and 105 feet wide. It has 11 decks and 900 staterooms, 575 with ocean views, 231 of those with balconies. The ship has two pools, one outdoors and one indoor/outdoor in the ship's Solarium, which is equipped with a sliding glass roof. The ship also features complete conference facilities, a ShipShape Fitness Center, the Casino Royale, as well as Adventure Ocean youth facilities, the 802-seat 42nd Street Theater, and an 18-hole miniature golf course.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 15 ships in service and four more under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique land tour packages in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruise-tour division. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

Back to the top of the news list

Hull art unveiled as Norwegian Dawn floated out of Meyer Werft

Norwegian DawnMIAMI -- Most cruise ships relegate their artwork to the inside. Norwegian Cruise Line takes art one-step further by featuring dynamic images on the hull of its newest Freestyle Cruising ship - Norwegian Dawn.

The artwork, depicting Norwegian Dawn's innovative itinerary, runs on both sides of the hull with the starboard side featuring dolphins playing in Technicolor waves reflecting the ship's Caribbean itinerary from the port of Miami. The port side features New York City's leading lady, the Statue of Liberty, signifying the ship's groundbreaking Bahamas and Florida itinerary from the port of New York.

The ship's hull also features reproduced signatures of Renoir, Matisse, Van Gogh, Monet and Pop icon Andy Warhol. NCL is installing a collection of original oil paintings by the Impressionist artists in its signature Le Bistro restaurant. Elsewhere on the ship is a collection of Pop Art featuring original signed works by Warhol.
The artwork is on loan from Star Cruises Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay's personal collection and will be displayed on the 2,240-passenger Norwegian Dawn.

NCL unveiled the hull artwork, designed by Graphic Designer Keith Allan, as it was floated out of Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany.

The Countdown Continues
On Nov. 2, 2002, the 91,740-ton Norwegian Dawn sailed down the Ems River from Papenburg to Eemshaven (Netherlands) and is performing a series of preliminary sea trials before docking at Eemshaven for final outfitting. Official Sea Trials are scheduled for Nov. 8-11, 2002. On December 5, Norwegian Dawn will officially be handed over to Norwegian Cruise Line and will sail to Southampton, England. On December 6th in Southampton the vessel will host a one-night preview cruise for European travel agents and press.

From there, Norwegian Dawn will sail a transatlantic voyage, premiering in New York City on December 14, 2002. NCL will roll out the red carpet for its inaugural festivities in New York on December 16th, before the ship begins her regularly scheduled sailings alternating between the Eastern and Western Caribbean from the port of Miami on December 21, 2002.

The ship begins her inaugural summer season from New York on May 18, 2003 to begin a series of seven-day, round-trip sailings to the Bahamas and Florida. Ports of call on this innovative itinerary include Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, and Miami and Port Canaveral/Orlando in Florida. Guests have the additional option of embarking in Port Canaveral as well.

About the Artist
Graphic designer Keith Allan was born in Mozambique, grew up in South Africa and began his career as a graphic designer in Johannesburg. Allan moved to London in 1996 to continue his career with SMC & Tillberg Design Group, world-renowned architects and interior design company who designed Norwegian Dawn. Allan has been instrumental in the design of several Star Cruises vessels, including the Superstar Leo, Superstar Virgo and Norwegian Star.

Masterworks for A Masterful Ship

The four master works on exhibit in Le Bistro each represent outstanding examples from different periods in the artists' lives. A summary of each follows:

"Un Parc Au Printemps (A Park in Spring)" - Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

Painted in May 1887 during the two years the artist spent in Paris - among the most pivotal of his career -- the earliest known owner of this piece was Mme E.H. du Quesne-Van Gogh. It has previously been exhibited in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum on loan from 1993 - 1999, and in Washington, D.C. at the National Gallery of Art from 1998 - 1999.

"Nu Au Turban (Nude with Turban)" - Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

Often regarded as the most important French artist of the 20th century, Matisse painted this work in Nice in 1921. Acquired from the artist in April 1921 by Josse & Gaston Bernhelm-Jeune, it was exhibited publicly by the National Museum in Stockholm in 1963.

"Vetheuil de Soleil (Vetheuil in Sunshine)" - Claude Monet (1840-1926)

Painted in Giverny in 1880 by the man credited with the birth of Impressionism, this work was originally acquired from the artist in April 1880 by Luquet and Ernest Hoschede. It has a long history of exhibitions starting in Le Havre by the Society for Friends of the Arts of Le Havre in 1880. It was later exhibited at the Hotel de la Curiosité et des Beaux-Arts in 1925.

"La Baigneuse (The Bather)" - Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
A leader among the Impressionists, Renoir painted this work in Cagnes in 1909. Maurice Gangnat of Paris, a friend and patron of the artist acquired it in June 1925. It was first exhibited in Paris at the Musee de l'Orangerie in 1933 and then at the Palais Des Beaux-arts of Brussels in 1935.

NCL will display 25 signed and numbered Warhol silkscreen prints in three of its expansive stairwells on Norwegian Dawn.

Like Norwegian Star, Norwegian Dawn will be one of NCL's largest ships, accommodating 2,240 passengers and 1,100 crew. It will also feature NCL's new standards in cabins, with rich cherry wood finishing, refrigerators, tea and coffee makers in every room, and a much larger bathroom unit than other ships, containing separate WC, shower, and washstand compartments separated by sliding doors. Seventy percent of cabins are outside staterooms and over 70 percent of these have balconies.

Thirty-six suites, 372 standard staterooms with balconies, and an entire deck of 107 mini-suites with balconies are among the spacious and well-appointed accommodations located on the 15-deck ship. There also will be 20 cabins of various types designed for passengers with disabilities. In addition, Norwegian Dawn offers the ultimate opportunity to cruise in style with the spectacular Garden Villa suites. At a cost of $26,000 per week, each of the two Garden Villa suites offers an unprecedented 5,350 square feet of living space at sea.

Back to the top of the news list

2003 Itineraries Feature Ports of Call in 10 Different Countries

Seattle, WA, Nov. 7, 2002 — Windstar Cruises continues its tradition of offering guests access to some of the most intriguing places in the world. In 2003 Mediterranean cruise offerings include stops in 10 different countries on three of Windstar’s luxury sailing yachts, the 308-passenger Wind Surf and the 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit.

Portugal, Spain, Morocco, France, Monaco, Italy, Tunisia, Malta, Greece and Croatia are the countries featured in the vast array of itineraries for 2003. Each of these countries offers varied ports of call serving as the backdrop for fascinating cultural encounters and idyllic visual experiences.

"Windstar’s sailing yachts cover the Mediterranean from one end to the other in an entirely different fashion than other ships. Windstar offers an intimate vacation experience to many ports only accessible by small yachts, such as the quaint fishing villages of Portimao and Port Vendres, to the historic and stylish towns of Malaga and Capri. Each Windstar cruise itinerary offers the crème de la crème of the Med," stated Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "Uncommon in looks, style and service, our romantic sails make visiting these locales unforgettable. The timeless Mediterranean becomes ‘180 degrees from ordinary’ aboard a Windstar ship," added Russell.


A total of 37 cruises, ranging from seven to 14 days in length, will navigate the Mediterranean from April 19 to November 9, 2003. Cruise-only rates start at $2,612 per person, double occupancy.

For the first time the company has announced overnight stays onboard the sailing ships at some of the most attractive ports of call the Mediterranean has to offer. These unprecedented extended stays will occur in Monte Carlo, Monaco; Casablanca, Morocco; Grand Harbour, Malta; Venice and Sorrento, Italy; and Marseille, France. With 14 itineraries exploring nine countries, cruise guests will witness the ships hi-tech sails unfurl in centuries-old harbors all across the Mediterranean.

New for 2003 is an exclusive 10-day itinerary between Rome and Venice, Italy. The Wind Star will transport guests elegantly around the Italian boot-shaped coastline into the Adriatic Sea visiting four countries enroute featuring a visit to the medieval city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Tradition rich Dubrovink, Croatia is the setting for 15th-century churches and Franciscan cloisters. The ancient ramparts yield magnificent views of the town and the waterfront walkways provide great opportunities to see a Dalmatian coast sunset.

Four offerings on the new 10-day sailing feature the ports of Rome and Sorrento Italy; Porto Empedocle, Sicily; Grand Harbour, Malta; Corfu, Greece; Dubrovnik and Korcula, Croatia and Venice, Italy. The cruises depart on May 10; June 11, July 26, and August 27.

Additionally, the luxury line has added two new homeports to the Mediterranean roster in 2003. Marseilles, France and Malaga, Spain will serve to complement the unparalleled access offered to the Mediterranean by Windstar. Featured cruises from these new homeports are listed below.

There are three 7-day cruises between Marseille, France and Rome, Italy on Wind Star. Sailing dates include September 6, and October 11 and 18, 2003 visiting the ports of Portoferraio and Portovenere, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and St. Florent (Corsica), St. Tropez, Porquerolles, and Sete, France.

On September 13, 2003 the Wind Star will cruise from Marseille, France to Malaga, Spain. The ports of call on this 7-day cruise include Port Vendres, France; Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, and Ceuta, Spain.

Two 7-day cruises between Malaga, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal will depart on September 20 and 27, 2003. The Wind Star stops at Marbella and Cadiz, Spain; Casablanca and Safi, Morocco; and Portimao, Portugal. The September 20 departure features an overnight in romantic Casabalanca and an optional transfer to Marrakech from the port town of Safi.

On October 4 the Wind Star travels from Malaga, Spain to Marseille, France. Stops on this 7-day journey include Ceuta, Altea and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Port Vendres and Sete, France.

The Wind Star will make one 8-day sailing adventure that begins in Windstar’s new homeport city of Marseille, France and ends on the Atlantic coast in Lisbon, Portugal. The journey starts on October 25 and stops include Port Vendres, France; Mahon (Menorca), Ibiza and Marbella, Spain; Tangier, Morocco; and Portimao, Portugal.


The Windstar tradition of bringing guests to extraordinary destinations continues in 2003 with eight cruises between Lisbon, Portugal and Barcelona, Spain featuring a sail through the Strait of Gibraltar. Barcelona, Spain offers the spectacular architecture of Antonio Gaudi. His eccentric style can be seen at Parc Guell and at various buildings throughout this cosmopolitan capital. Narrow alleyways that lead to enticing eateries and fashionable shops compliment the grand boulevards of this city.

The complete itinerary for the Lisbon to Barcelona cruises feature port calls to Portimao, Portugal; Tangier, Morocco; Marbella, Ibiza, and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The Wind Spirit, Wind Star and Wind Surf will alternate traveling this route on the following dates: April 19; May 4; June 22 and 28; July 5; September 21 and November 8 and 9, 2003.

An overnight stay in Monte Carlo, Monaco is the highlight on three of six 7-day cruises that will travel between Barcelona, Spain and Rome, Italy. Monte Carlo, Monaco delights visitors with the royal changing of the guard at the Prince’s Palace in Le Rocher. In the evening, the glamorous casino provides an opportunity to dress up and glimpse the world of fame and fortune.

The Wind Star, Wind Spirit and Wind Surf travel to Barcelona, Spain; Port Vendres, Nice and Marseille, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco and Portofino, Portoferraio and Rome, Italy. The six dates of departure are April 26; May 3 and 11; June 15 and 21 and November 1, 2003.

Two Wind Surf cruises navigate the waters between Italy and Malta for 7-day adventures on May 18 and June 8, 2003 with overnights in either Sorrento or Malta. She calls on Rome, Capri, Sorrento and Lipari, Italy; La Goulette, Tunisia; Porto Empedocle, Sicily; Gozo, and Grand Harbour, Malta.

Two 7-day odysseys on the Wind Surf from Grand Harbour, Malta to Venice, Italy feature an overnight in the romantic city boasting canals for streets. Stops include Taormina, Sicily; Cephalonia and Corfu, Greece; and Dubrovnik and Hvar, Croatia. The two dates of departure are May 25 and June 1, 2003.

The Wind Star and Wind Surf both make 7-day voyages between Barcelona, Spain and Nice, France on July 12 and September 28, 2003 respectively. Port calls include Tarragona and Mahon (Menorca), Spain; and Port Vendres, Marseille, Porquerolles, St. Florence (Corsica), France.

Two 7-day tours of the Mediterranean also feature overnights in Monte Carlo on the Wind Star and Wind Surf traveling from Nice, France to Rome, Italy stopping in Monte Carlo, Monaco; St. Tropez, France; Portofino, Portovenere and Portoferraio, Italy; and Porto Vecchio (Corsica), France. Cruise departure dates are July 19 and October 26, 2003.

Four countries are again highlighted on two 7-day cruises between Rome and Venice, Italy on October 12 and 19, 2003 on the Wind Surf. The ports of call on this escape include Amalfi, Italy; Taormina, Sicily; Corfu, Greece; Dubrovnik and Hvar, Croatia.

On November 2 the Wind Surf will depart from Nice, France on a 7-day cruise that will finish in Barcelona, Spain. The itinerary includes St. Florent (Corsica), Sete and Marseille, France; and Mahon, Spain.

The sailing ships of Windstar offer between 148 to 308 guests’ exclusivity in a pampering, upscale atmosphere. Soaring sails, teak decks and a casually elegant onboard ambience complement the all ocean-view staterooms and award-winning service and cuisine. Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when canceling for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. To receive brochures or for more information contact 1-877-827-7245. For reservations contact a travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Sail over to Windstar Cruises online at

Back to the top of the news list

Crystal Cruises' 2003 Alaska Program Delivers Far-Away Travel So Close to Home
Nine Cruises Roundtrip From San Francisco Aboard Crystal Harmony

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 7 -- From May through September 2003, sophisticated travelers yearning for exotic adventure but preferring to stay closer to home may choose from nine different cruises exploring one of the world's most awe-inspiring destinations. Award-winning Crystal Harmony will be the only luxury cruise ship offering a dedicated season of Alaska cruises roundtrip from San Francisco next summer.

Crystal Harmony's Alaska season begins May 23 with a single 10-day cruise originating in Vancouver, followed by a summer of eight 12-day departures roundtrip from San Francisco: June 2, 14; July 8, 20; August 1, 13, 25; and September 6. The majesty of the Last Frontier, towering evergreens, expansive glaciers, dramatic fjords, and the midnight sun, is revealed on itineraries featuring the Inside Passage and calling at the Alaskan ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka; as well as Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia; and, depending on itinerary, cruising Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier or Tracey Arm.

Always a popular destination for Crystal, the 2003 Alaska season is proving to be in strong demand among the savvy clientele of the line's Crystal Society (repeat guest program). For the second year in a row, Crystal has seen a surge in its Society bookings with more than 50% of the 2003 season bookings-to-date coming from repeat guests, indicating that the combination of far-away travel and the luxurious environment of Crystal Harmony is a hot ticket as the penchant for domestic travel increases.

"Alaska is an attractive destination for first-time visitors, as well as for our past guests who thrive on new experiences yet appreciate the familiarity and incomparable service found aboard our ships. They recognize that a second or third trip to Alaska is still rife with new discoveries," says Adam Leavitt, senior vice president, marketing. "Similarly, Alaska is a huge draw for multi-generational family travel. It is a convenient, seamless experience highlighted by our onboard programming and shore activities that appeal to all ages, from celebrations of wine, food and music to trekking on a glacier or dog-sledding or fly-fishing."

Enrichment Aboard -- Discovery Ashore
Indeed, the majesty of the land is made all the richer with two itineraries featuring Crystal's renowned Wine & Food Festival, one showcasing the classical proteges of The Juilliard School of Music, and yet another filling the ship with the sounds of renowned sopranos and tenors:

June 14 -- Wine & Food Festival
Aboard, relish the award-winning cuisine of Lee Hefter, Spago executive chef and Wolfgang Puck protege, and learn of wine's subtle nuances with Eugenio Jardim, wine director at San Francisco's Jardiniere. Ashore, participate in an outdoor alderwood salmon bake at Juneau's Taku Glacier Lodge, accessible only by floatplane.

July 8 -- Classical Music Cruise
Aboard, soloists and chamber orchestras, typically from The Juilliard School of Music, host evening concerts, matinee recitals and tea-time performances. Ashore, embark on a seaplane exploration of the two-million-acre Misty Fjords National Monument.

July 20 -- Opera Cruise
Aboard, allow yourself to be lulled by opera's legendary names and rising stars as they perform favorite arias, duets and operettas. Ashore, take home memories of a true Alaskan-style adventure on a Juneau excursion that includes helicopter flightseeing, glacier landing and a dog sled ride.

August 25 -- Wine & Food Festival
Aboard, Roberto Donna, Chef-Proprietor of Galileo, Washington, D.C. creates unforgettable cuisine, while Master Sommelier Jay James of the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas shares the best kept secrets of wine tasting. Ashore, enjoy sportfishing in Sitka, catching salmon and other local fish -- to freeze, package and ship home, or to have specially prepared on board Crystal Harmony.

On every cruise, enrichment and discovery abounds ashore with intimate Alaskan experiences. Adventure seekers, wildlife fans, history-lovers, photo buffs and sybarites can explore the exceptional natural attributes of the region through a diverse offering of shore excursions. Also as part of the Crystal Visions Enrichment Program, special-interest lecturers including noted geologists, historians and naturalists will be aboard all sailings to share their insight on the natural beauty, history and culture of Alaska.

Making the Vacation Last
Guests may choose among three ways to extend their Bay Area experience. Capitalizing on the exceptional culinary traditions of the region, The Wine Making Traditions of Napa Valley is an optional 3-night, pre-cruise land program showcasing the world-famous vintages of many of the area's premier wineries including: Domain Chandon, Niebaum Coppola, Trefethen and St. Supery.

For those preferring to write their own itinerary, Crystal will arrange for pre- or post-cruise one- to three-night stays at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco or the new Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, two of the city's most prominent properties. Rates for both hotels start at $295 for the first night and $185 for each subsequent night, per person, double occupancy. Prices include hotel tax and porterage, airport, airport/hotel/ship transfers and Crystal Cruises Hospitality Desk services.

With Crystal's "Perfect Harmony" savings, guests enjoy 40% off of regular fares, representing savings of up to $3,830 per couple. Cruise fares start at $2,520 for the 10-day voyage; and rates for the 12-day departures feature the line's "Value Collection" or "Perfect Harmony" pricing and begin at $2,775. All rates are per person, double occupancy.

Crystal Harmony is an elegant and spacious ship providing breathtaking views of glaciers and the unspoiled Alaskan landscape. Following an extensive refurbishment in September 2002, the 50,000 ton floating resort, which carries only 940 guests, now features a completely new Feng Shui-designed full-service spa and fitness center, and a new Connoisseur Club for after dinner cognacs and cigars. Other enhancements include updates in the Galaxy Lounge, the ship's main show room for its Broadway-style production shows, Crystal's signature Palm Court with its sweeping panoramic views, and Fantasia, Crystal Harmony's Junior Activities Program venue.

The award-winning ships of Crystal Cruises are known for their expansive decks, richly-appointed staterooms, more than half of which boast private verandahs, a wide variety of lounges for critically-acclaimed entertainment, gourmet dining, and a full-service spa and fitness facility. Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on the 2003 Alaska season, or any of Crystal's worldwide sailings, call 800.820.6663. Visit the line's website at

Understanding that many guests prefer not to fly, and may wish to drive to San Francisco to embark, Crystal Cruises has teamed with the Port of San Francisco to provide easy and secure parking near the cruise terminal. For parking details, call the Port of San Francisco at 415.274.0400.

Back to the top of the news list

New Carnival Legend Arrives at Port Everglades Nov. 8th

WHAT: Arrival of the 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend, Carnival Cruise Lines' newest "Fun Ship," which will operate a series of eight-day "exotic Caribbean" cruises from Port Everglades through the winter cruise season. Legend is the first new Carnival "Fun Ship" to be home-ported at Fort Lauderdale and the line's first long-term program from that port in more than a decade.

Following a two-day cruise from Port Everglades Nov. 8, Legend will launch an innovative eight-day alternating southern and western Caribbean cruise program from that port Nov. 10. The southern route features calls at St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique. The western itinerary sails to Belize City, Belize; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama.

More than three football fields in length, Carnival Legend houses 12 passenger decks with 16 lounges and bars, four swimming pools, a corkscrew water slide, Internet cafe, 14,500-square-foot health spa, nine-deck-high atrium, duty-free shopping mall, wedding chapel, video arcade, and an 1,800-square-foot children's play area, part of the line's top-rated "Camp Carnival" program. Three restaurants, including an expansive poolside eatery featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives and a 24-hour pizzeria, a two-level 1,250-seat full-service dining room and an intimate supper club offering prime aged beef, along with crab claws from Miami Beach's world famous Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant, are also available.

WHERE: Terminal 21, Port Everglades.

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 8, 2002. The ship is expected to arrive at the pilot station at 7:30 a.m. and will be alongside Port Everglades at approximately 8 a.m.

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean International Launches Europe-Focused Integrated Marketing Campaign
Multifaceted Effort Reinforces Company's Leadership in European Cruise Vacations

MIAMI, Nov. 5 -- Royal Caribbean International today launched an integrated marketing effort to support its expanded cruise vacation offerings in Europe in 2003 and reinforce the company's leadership in the region. The campaign illustrates the advantages of exploring Europe on a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation by showcasing both onshore and onboard experiences.

Royal Caribbean will have three ships in Europe for the 2003 season, offering a series of Mediterranean, British Isles and Scandinavia/Russia itineraries, as well as new cruise-tour vacations that pair cruises with fully-escorted land tours of some of the most beautiful and historic areas of France, England and Spain. In addition, the company is offering a special, family-friendly tour of England with stops in London, Alnwick and York, tracing the steps of Harry Potter®, from the hit movie "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone™."

The new campaign kicks off this month with a series of print advertisements that humorously connect onshore and onboard experiences available to Royal Caribbean guests by depicting well-known sites in Europe along with paper stubs from ship activities. One execution pairs a photo of the Sistine Chapel's famed ceiling with an appointment card for a neck massage in the ship's spa. Another matches the sculpted backside of a Michelangelo statue in the Louvre with a reminder to attend spinning class in the ship's fitness center. The print advertisements were designed to complement and extend the reach of the company's award-winning "Get out there" television commercials, which currently focus on the line's Alaska and Caribbean products.

"We feel that many Americans are interested in going back to Europe next year. The new campaign targets consumers who are considering a trip to Europe and may not have discovered the option of a Royal Caribbean cruise, an exciting and convenient alternative to a typical European excursion," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, for Royal Caribbean International. "We continue to focus on explorers, people who are interested in trying different types of activities in different locations, but also appreciate the ease of essentially having their hotel travel with them throughout their trip so they can experience more on their vacation."

"Throughout the campaign, we featured images of Europe that would resonate with people and which they might not associate with cruising," said Jay Williams, managing partner and group creative director at Arnold Worldwide. "Including components of onboard activities within the ads captures the complete experience of a Royal Caribbean cruise. In many ways, Royal Caribbean's ships are destinations unto themselves, and paired with the rich sights of Europe, they offer an unparalleled vacation experience."

The print campaign will appear in travel and lifestyle publications starting in November, including National Geographic Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, T&L Golf, The New Yorker, and O, the Oprah Magazine. Beyond the print ads, the new campaign also includes consumer outreach through direct mail, Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor loyalty program newsletter and public relations efforts. Guests cruising with Royal Caribbean this winter will be able to learn more about the European itineraries through an in-stateroom video. In addition, interactive aspects of the Europe campaign will appear on Royal Caribbean's web site starting in November.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 15 ships in service and four more under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique land tour packages in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruise-tour division. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea Cruises is awarded the highest score of any cruise line

Fort Lauderdale, Nov 4, 2002 -- Ultra-luxury cruise market leader, Silversea won the highly prestigious Condé Nast Traveler award for World’s Best Small Ship Cruise Line 2002, for the seventh year running, at this year’s award ceremony held in Honolulu during the ASTA congress last night. Silversea also received the highest score of any cruise line large or small for the third year in a row.

With the highest score of 92.9, Silversea Cruises outscored the nearest runner-up in the Small Ship category (vessels carrying fewer than 500 passengers) by 4.1 points. The high score of 92.9 also enabled Silversea to outscore all cruise lines in the Large Ship category (ships carrying more than 500 passengers).

Albert Peter, CEO of Silversea Cruises commented “I am so proud of the crew and personnel of Silversea whose daily commitment to go above and beyond our guests’expectations have made this record possible”. Peter added “Winning this award for 7 years in a row is an exceptional achievement and the result of our commitment to consistently deliver the most luxurious experience ‘at sea’ ”.

This highly prestigious Condé Nast Traveler award is the latest to be added to an ever growing list of accolades that have been given to the company since it started operating in 1994. For the fourth consecutive year, Silversea Cruises was named best small-ship line in the 2002 readers’ survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveller UK magazine. Recently Silversea Cruises was also named as the “World’s Best Small Cruise Line, 2002” by the readers of Travel + Leisure.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard intimate vessels designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. The recent launch of all-suite luxury sister ships Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper continues Silversea's award-winning service excellence and sophistication with new features and amenities aboard vessels catering to just 382 guests. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, please call (800) 774-9996 or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Inaugural Palm Beach Sailings as Low as $1,499
Nearby Resort The Breakers to Offer SeaDream Guests Special Savings

COCONUT GROVE, FL -- SeaDream Yacht Club, operator of the twin, ultra luxury mega yachts SeaDream I and II, is about to launch its first season sailing out of the renowned South Florida resort, Palm Beach. “Good news for SeaDream, good news for Palm Beach and good news for our fortunate guests,” proclaimed an enthusiastic Larry Pimentel, CTC, Chairman and CEO of the highly-regarded yacht company. “SeaDream and Palm Beach are made for each other,” he added.

Beginning Saturday, November 9 SeaDream I, will begin a series of ten 7-day Palm Beach sailings. Nine will depart from the new Port of Palm Beach on a Saturday evening and return the following Saturday morning. The 10th will sail from Palm Beach to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The schedule includes two year-end holiday special sailings, December 21 and 28. Ports of call for the yacht, SeaDream I, which accommodates only up to 110 guests, are the small yachting ports of Green Turtle Cay and Rose Island in the Bahamas, Paradise Island, Nassau, the Bahamas, and Key West. The calls on Green Turtle Cay and Rose Island will feature the SeaDream yacht’s stern, water sports Marina and allow guests to enjoy a wide variety of SeaDream’s highly popular water sports “toys”, including, kayaks, sunfish sailboats, water skiing, snorkeling and rides on the banana boat, the highly-popular, banana-shaped, inflatable craft used in secluded bays and harbors. 

The SeaDream yacht will also remain more than a day-and-a-half in Key West, where the yacht’s water sports Marina will also be deployed on both days. Guests may also choose to go ashore and participate in the attractions of that unique town. Out of Key West, SeaDream will also offer a series of special “Yachting Land Adventures”--The Dry Tortugas by Seaplane ($299 per person), Kayaking in the Mangroves ($50 per person), Snorkeling on America’s Only Living Coral Reef ($40 per person) and Sports Fishing ($214 per person). The four-hour Dry Tortugas by Seaplane “Yachting Land Adventure” is an undoubted highlight of these sailings. Frequently referred to as the Atlantic Galapagos, this small island system off the tip of Florida is recognized as one of the most diverse and beautiful ecosystems in the world. Guests selecting this unusual SeaDream “Yachting Land Adventure” will view the Dry Tortugas area from low altitude with the opportunity to spot sharks, rays, porpoise and sea turtles in the shallow Gulf waters. A fly-around will be made over several sunken Spanish galleon treasure sites. The seaplane will land near the Civil War Fort Jefferson, now a National Monument. Guests will also have the opportunity to tour the fort, snorkel, swim and stroll on a white sand beach. The National Park Service severely limits commercial at the site as it is intended for primarily for private boaters. As a result space is severely limited.

“We are excited about our new home port of Palm Beach,” said Pimentel. “It is a perfect location to begin and end a SeaDream yacht holiday. The luxurious, upscale community provides an exciting extension to our exclusive yachting experience.” The SeaDream executive went on to highlight several advantages of using Palm Beach as a base for these sailings: “The new Port of Palm Beach is a top-notch facility, easy for embarking and disembarking guests to navigate. “The surrounding resort area offers our guests many attractions either before or after their SeaDream yachting experience, including fine dining and shopping as well as the nearby world-class resort, The Breakers,” said Pimentel.

SeaDream guests may enjoy at a 10 percent savings, at The Breakers before or after their Palm Beach yachting experience. In order to obtain the special 10 percent savings off published “rack rates” travel agents or the SeaDream guests must book the SeaDream sailing first and obtain a booking number which is then provided to The Breakers for confirmation of the resort stay.

“The modern and up-to-date Palm Beach International Airport offers easy access to and from the Port and our yacht,” Pimentel stated. The final Palm Beach sailing, which departs January 11, 2003, SeaDream I will sail for St. Thomas where she will join her twin SeaDream II in a series of 7-day Caribbean sailings through April 2003 when both yachts will sail to Europe for their scheduled Mediterranean summer season.

The 7-day Palm Beach sailings are priced at $1,499, $1,999 and $2,900, based on double occupancy and on the specific sailing. Government fees, handling and services of $215 per person are in addition. Air transportation to and from Palm Beach and ground transfers to and from the yacht are not included. Fares include all meals, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar, use of water toys and gratuities.

SeaDream Yacht Club is the yachting venture by Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad who founded Seabourn Cruise Line and Larry Pimentel, who was president of Seabourn under Brynestad and later president and CEO of the merged Cunard and Seabourn. Pimentel is Chairman and CEO of the Coconut Grove, Florida-headquartered SeaDream Yacht Club and a co-owner. The company operates SeaDream I and SeaDream II, twin, ultra luxury, mega yachts that operate on seven-day sailings in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean . The yachts are not only ideal for discerning travelers seeking an unstructured and casual holiday experience but also for small meetings and incentive groups or individual private family gatherings. They are available for full charter. The SeaDream Yacht Club reservations number is 1 800 707-4911. The website is

Back to the top of the news list

Crystal Cruises Wins Best Large-Ship Cruise Line Award In 2002 Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Survey

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 4 -- For the seventh consecutive year, Crystal Cruises, a leader in luxury cruising, has won Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice award for the "Best Large-Ship Cruise Line." The results were announced on Sunday November 3, and a complete list of the Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice awards appears in the magazine's November issue. With a score of 90.2, Crystal Cruises placed nearly three points above its nearest competitor.

"We are extremely honored to receive this seventh consecutive designation as the world's 'Best Large-Ship Line' from the well-traveled readers of Conde Nast Traveler," says Gregg L. Michel, president, Crystal Cruises. "After so many years and awards, our guests come aboard expecting the best. Winning again this year is particularly meaningful as it means we continue to meet and exceed the very high expectations of today's luxury traveler."

The Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards represent the culmination of an extensive poll of subscriber travel preferences. Large-ship cruise line (vessels carrying 500 or more passengers) scores are percentages based on the "excellent" and "very good" votes from the subscribers in the categories of itineraries, crew/service, food/dining, cabins/design, and activities/events. In July, Crystal Cruises also won the industry's other top award for 2002 as "World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" voted by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.

Crystal Cruises offers worldwide cruises aboard the two Six-Star rated, 940-guest Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony. The luxury line's third ship, Crystal Serenity, will sail its inaugural voyage in July 2003. Crystal Cruises is sold exclusively through travel agents. Call 800.820.6663 for a brochure, or detailed cruise information can be found at the line's website,

Back to  the top of the news list

Marlink Extends Communications Contract With Radisson By Adding Two Vessels To Seven Seas Cruise Line Business 
Seven Seas Navigator
& New Seven Seas Voyager Join Seven Seas Mariner as Marlink Customers

OSLO, Norway & BETHESDA, Md, Nov. 1, 2002 -- Marlink today announced a new four-year agreement with Radisson Seven Seas Cruises to provide complete onboard satellite communications for two more ships, the Seven Seas Navigator and the new build Seven Seas Voyager, due for launch early next year. The two ships will join the Radisson Seven Seas Mariner in offering at sea satellite communications from Marlink. The company has been providing high-speed data communications at 128 kbps for the Seven Seas Mariner since 2001.

"Radisson Seven Seas Cruises is committed to improving our communications systems and providing our guests with a system that will not only improve their voice and data communications but enhance their overall cruise experience," said Jeff McVay, director of communications and technology for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. "We are excited about expanding our fleet's high-speed data satellite communications with Marlink."

The agreement calls for Marlink, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telenor Satellite Services formed to serve as the preferred interface between maritime customers and the satellite communications industry, to provide Sealink high-speed data service. Operating at speeds up to 128 kbps, the Sealink solution allows guests and crew to enjoy greater access to e-mail, fax services, and telephone service. The systems being installed aboard both ships offer one of the most advanced shipboard satellite communications solutions available today with the highest reliability in the industry.

The system will provide Internet access for the ships' Internet Cafe. In addition to Internet access, the system permits simultaneous transmission of large amounts of data, voice calls, facsimile, and e-mail messages, and has the potential for videoconferencing. Guests apply usage charges to a major credit card, making billing and payment simple and easy to understand.

Back to  the top of the news list

NewspaperDirect Offered Fleet-Wide On Norwegian Cruise Lines
Onboard Newspaper Service Branded "OceanNews"

NEW YORK, NY -- NewspaperDirect, the leading innovator in out-of-market newspaper delivery, announced today that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will be offering the NewspaperDirect service, which provides same-day newspapers printed onboard, across the entire fleet. Provided in partnership with Maritime Telecommunications Network, guests on NCL vessels can now receive same-day editions of their favorite newspapers, including USA TODAY, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, Le Monde, and el Nuevo Herald.

"Providing NCL with our service across their fleet is continued proof of the acceptance of our service," said Miljenko Horvat, President and CEO, NewspaperDirect. "Now, combined with our chain-wide rollout at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, we believe that the ND service has become a must-have service in the hospitality industry -- much like CNN is today."

"We look forward to delivering OceanNews and other exciting, emerging technologies to our customers," states David Kagan, Chief Executive Officer of MTN. "Now, reading the morning news can be a part of the cruise ship experience and NCL's guests can stay in touch with local, national and international news, wherever they are."

NCL is the innovative developer of Freestyle Cruising, the most creative and unique cruise experience, which provides passengers with extensive freedom of choice. Whether you are dining, enriching your mind or body, or just relaxing, NCL has created a world of options. Guests can choose their style of cuisine, manner of dress, meal times and settings, tailoring the cruise experience to fit them.

"Through Freestyle Cruising, Norwegian Cruise Line offers passengers the same amenities they would find at five-star land-based resorts, and offering current issues of USA Today and The Wall Street Journal everyday illustrates this," said Colin Veitch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "We're proud to partner with MTN to bring our passengers this exciting new service."

Back to  the top of the news list

Donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation During Carnival Conquest Inaugural Functions Will Net Agents $500 in Bonus Commission Certificates

MIAMI (11/01/02) -- Travel agents participating in inaugural activities on Carnival Cruise Lines' new 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest Nov. 15-21 from New Orleans will have the opportunity to receive $500 in bonus commission certificates and a chance to win a free cruise through their support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

Agents who make a $5 contribution to benefit Make-A-Wish at special booths aboard the Carnival Conquest will receive a packet of 12 bonus commission certificates (four $25 and eight $50 certificates) valid for specified sailings between Nov. 24, 2002 - March 31, 2003. The booths will be located within the trade show area during the cruises. Additionally, agents will be entered into a drawing for a free ocean-view cabin for two on a seven-day Caribbean cruise from New Orleans aboard the Carnival Conquest between Jan. 5, 2003 - April, 27, 2003. A drawing will be held on Nov. 25, 2002, and the winner will be notified by phone. Proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a national organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses. Since 1998, Carnival has raised more than $60,000 for Make-A-Wish aboard various preview cruises.

Beginning Dec. 1, the Carnival Conquest will operate year-round western Caribbean seven-day cruises from New Orleans and visit Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Prior to that, the ship will operate three special voyages: a four-day cruise departing Nov. 15 will feature Cozumel; a six-day cruise departing Nov. 21 will visit Grand Cayman; and Cozumel; and a four-day Thanksgiving weekend cruise departing Nov. 27 will call at Cozumel.

Back to  the top of the news list

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

Cruise Diva Home | Site Map & Search