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News from the world of cruise travel ~
November 1-15, 2003

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

SARS Information from the cruise industry

Important Travel Safety Information letter from Jack Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer, Royal Caribbean International

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Just in time for the season of entertaining, Princess debuts 
Holiday Recipe Collection online
Celebrated Chefs Create a Fleet of Recipes to Compliment any Holiday Meal

Santa Clarita, CA (November 14, 2003) - This season, Princess Cruises will share their culinary secrets with a much larger audience than the standing-room-only crowd that assembles onboard each cruise for spirited cooking demonstrations. An ensemble of experts representing 28 nationalities have pooled their cumulative experience to create the Princess Holiday Recipe Collection, a selection of favorite seasonal dishes that will allow home cooks to replicate the Princess culinary experience in their own kitchens. The collection is free, and is available online at

From the line’s most requested recipe (Beef Wellington) to its signature Black Star Liner martini, visitors to will discover a selection of recipes as varied as the cruise itineraries offered. The dishes, one for every ship in the Princess fleet, as well as bartender notes to create three of Princess’ signature cocktails in celebration of three new vessels which will debut in 2004, were culled from the recently published, “Courses: A Culinary Journey,” available for sale only on Princess vessels.

“In translating some of our most requested recipes for the personal kitchen we are hoping to share a little of what makes the Princess holiday experience so special,” says Franz Rom, vice president of food and beverage. “Our ships are a home away from home for both passengers and crew and, as with most communities, we enjoy making a fuss over the holidays. Nowhere is that more true than in our dining rooms, where our chefs can share a taste of their own personal traditions with our guests.”

Recipes include: sophisticated starters such as Cream of Porcini Soup , and Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart; complimentary companion dishes including Dried Fruit Barley, and Creamed Peas; and fantasy finishers such as a Drambui and Coconut Parfait, and Caramelized William Pear Tart. Each selection is presented along with color photographs illustrating elegant presentation concepts.

Holiday cruising has become a popular choice for many people in recent years. “The holidays are a special time to be with family and friends, and a cruise allows you to enjoy that time without worrying about decorating the tree or preparing the holiday feast,” says Bob Sharak, executive director of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Princess' fleet offers a wide range of Christmas and New Year's cruises across the globe each year, and this year will be no exception, with holiday sailings in the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Australia/ New Zealand, South America Hawaii, Tahiti and even Antarctica. To review the Princess Holiday Recipe Collection, and the chefs and ships that inspired it, visit To learn more about a Princess holiday cruise, log on to, or contact a travel agent.

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Carnival Miracle To Operate Diverse Inaugural Schedule in 2004
Inaugural Season Includes Departures from Jacksonville, Baltimore,
 New York & Tampa 

MIAMI (11/14/03) - For the inaugural 2004 season of the new 2,124-passenger "Fun Ship" Carnival Miracle, Carnival Cruise Lines has assembled a diverse schedule that includes the line's first-ever departures from Jacksonville, Fla., and innovative seven-day round-trip cruises from Baltimore, New York and Tampa. 

"With departures from four convenient U.S. homeports to a variety of sunny, tropical destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida and Bahamas, Carnival Miracle's inaugural schedule is unique in the cruise industry, providing consumers with maximum opportunities to sail aboard this spectacular 'floating resort,'" said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

Jacksonville: Carnival Miracle will inaugurate "Fun Ship" cruising from Jacksonville when it makes its maiden voyage Feb. 27, 2004 - the first in a series of 12 three- to six-day voyages from the conveniently located northeast Florida port. Three-day cruises call at Freeport, five-day cruises visit Key West and Nassau, and six-day voyages call at Cozumel, Costa Maya or Playa del Carmen, and Freeport. 

Baltimore: On April 25, 2004, Carnival Miracle will operate the first of 14 week-long round-trip Key West/Bahamas sailings from Baltimore - the only program of its kind from that port. The program will encompass six cruises in spring 2004 (April 25 - May 30) and eight more in the fall (Sept. 5 - Oct. 24, 2004). Voyages will depart Sundays and include Key West, Nassau and Freeport. 

New York: On June 12, 2004, Carnival Miracle will operate the first of 12 week-long cruises to Port Canaveral/Orlando and The Bahamas from New York. The seven-day voyages include a 14-hour call at Port Canaveral, Fla., offering guests ample time for excursions to Orlando's popular theme parks and attractions, as well as visits to Nassau and Freeport. 

Tampa: Carnival Miracle will launch seven-day "exotic" Caribbean cruises from the Port of Tampa beginning Nov. 7, 2004, becoming the newest and largest ship based year-round at that port. Carnival Miracle will replace the Inspiration on this one-of-a-kind seven-day, four-port "exotic" Caribbean itinerary, which features visits to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Belize. In turn, the Inspiration will shift to year-round four- and five-day cruises from Tampa beginning in October 2004.

Signature 'Fun Ship' Amenities The fourth in Carnival's highly successful "Spirit-class," Carnival Miracle will offer such on-board features as indoor and outdoor promenades, four swimming pools, a cascading water slide, and upscale reservations only supper club located on the uppermost level of the ship's 11-deck-high atrium - one of three restaurants on board. Sixteen lounges and bars with dramatic interiors celebrating famous fictional icons of film, music and literature, will be also featured, along with a comprehensive golf program offering professional instruction both aboard ship and during golf excursions. Additionally, 80 percent of the ship's staterooms will offer an ocean view with 80 percent of those featuring balconies. Expansive spa and children's facilities will also be featured. Carnival is currently accepting reservations for all of Carnival Miracle's 2004 departures. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Announces 'Savor the Caribbean' Sailings
Eight Food and Wine-Themed Itineraries Created with Bon Appetit Magazine

MIAMI, Nov. 13 -- Seven nights of epicurean delights await guests on select Celebrity Cruises itineraries beginning in February when, in partnership with Bon Appetit magazine, Celebrity will present eight "Savor the Caribbean" cruises to the islands. Each cruise offers travelers the opportunity to learn more about the region's unique style of cooking, and meet the chefs that give the Caribbean its culinary charisma.

Highlighting the "savory" series from February 7 through March 27, 2004, is an array of notable chefs who will offer complimentary demonstrations and tastings onboard. The celebrated chefs include:

  • Michelle Bernstein, whose "Azul" restaurant in Miami's chic Mandarin Oriental hotel continues to receive top ratings, as does Bernstein herself.
  • Carmen Gonzalez, who opened the highly acclaimed "Clowns" in Coral Gables, Fla., and now operates the appropriately named "Carmen the Restaurant" in that same community.
  • Robbin Haas, who has been involved with an impressive list of venues, including Miami area hotspots "China Grill Cafe," "Red Square," "Baleen" and "Chispa."
  • Jessica Harris, author of Sky Juice & Flying Fish: Traditional Caribbean Cooking, who is considered among the world's most articulate speakers on Caribbean cuisine.
  • Mark Militello, who oversees a quartet of superb South Florida restaurants bearing his name: "Mark's Las Olas," "Mark's Mizner Park," "Mark's South Beach" and "Mark's CityPlace."
  • Oliver Saucy, who has received extensive recognition for quality and innovation in the kitchen, as well as for his restaurant, Darrel & Oliver's Cafe Maxx in Pompano Beach, Fla.
  • Norma Shirley, who has been called "the Julia Child of the Caribbean," and is operator of the popular "Norma's" restaurants in Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica, as well as in Miami.
  • Allen Susser, whose "Chef Allen's" in Aventura, Fla., has been called "the best restaurant south of New York City," while Susser himself has been called the "Ponce de Leon" of Florida cuisine.

Every Savor the Caribbean cruise will include a Bacardi sailaway party; daily culinary activities; a demonstration by the featured chef during the day at sea; a Caribbean-themed deck party, and private rum tastings and suggested wine pairings led by noted spirits authorities. In addition, via partnering with culinary experts at Bon Appetit, Celebrity has created shore excursions exclusive to the Savor the Caribbean series, which guests may purchase online, in advance of their cruise.

Among the highlights of the one-of-a-kind excursions are a private cooking class in the Dominican Republic; a tour of the Mount Gay Rum Factory and tea at Sunbury Plantation in Barbados; a private lunch in the gardens of Blackbeard's Castle; a private visit to Antigua's Harmony Hall Inn with its owners; and a class focused on exotic island spices at the hot, new "Rhodes Restaurant" in Grenada's Calabash Hotel.

The platform for the "Savor the Caribbean" series is the newest ship in the Celebrity fleet, Constellation, departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Saturdays, with calls on Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic; Bridgetown, Barbados; St. Georges, Grenada; St. John's, Antigua; and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

Celebrity Cruises is the industry's highest rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has nine ships in its fleet, which is the youngest of any major line. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For more information about Celebrity Cruises' "Savor the Caribbean" itineraries, call 888-305-9153, ext. 80921, log on to, or call your travel agent.

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Johnny Rockets Sets Sail On Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas
All-American Diner Introduces Fifth Restaurant on Cruise Line

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Nov. 13 -- Johnny Rockets, the all-American diner, recently ranked one of the top 10 best hamburger restaurants in markets across the United States by Citysearch, will open its doors on Nov. 16, 2003, on Royal Caribbean International's Mariner of the Seas. This is the fifth Johnny Rockets store to open on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. Other Royal Caribbean ships that already feature Johnny Rockets include Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas.

"Johnny Rockets provides the quality experience that our guests expect from our brand and any brand we align ourselves with," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, associate vice president, Product Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. "With Johnny Rockets, we are always assured our guests are served the highest quality food in an entertaining and family-friendly environment."

The 1,020-foot-long, 142,000-ton Mariner of the Seas sails the eastern and western Caribbean round-trip from Port Canaveral, Fla. In addition to Johnny Rockets, other on-board entertainment includes an ice-skating rink, a rock-climbing wall, a state-of-the-art theater and fitness center and spa.

"We're thrilled to expand our partnership with Royal Caribbean International," said Mike Shumsky, chairman and CEO, The Johnny Rockets Group, Inc. "The Johnny Rockets fun, entertaining-dining experience complements the family vacation experience on Royal Caribbean International."

About Johnny Rockets: For more than 17 years, Johnny Rockets has offered the food, fun and friendliness reminiscent of feel-good Americana. Every Johnny Rockets restaurant offers its guests simple, great-tasting food from a menu of all-American nostalgic favorites, including juicy hamburgers, hand-dipped shakes and malts and freshly-baked apple pie. Guests also enjoy an all-American diner look and feel, servers who know the secret behind getting ketchup out of the bottle, tabletop jukeboxes that belt out tunes for a nickel and authentic decor. To learn more about Johnny Rockets, please visit our Web site at

About Royal Caribbean: Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 18 ships in service and two more under construction. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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Queen Mary 2 Successfully Completes Final Sea Trials

SAINT NAZAIRE, France, Nov. 13 -- Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 returned from the sea for the second time on Tuesday having successfully completed her final series of sea trials off the Brittany coast. During the sea trials, QM2 underwent performance tests that consisted of three runs over a 10-mile-long course. At various points, the ship was stabilised at speed during which very accurate measurements were taken to establish an average speed. The average speed was then corrected for final ship performance standards such as an allowance for the weight that is still to be added before delivery and for weather conditions, etc.

Captain Ronald Warwick, QM2 master-designate, acted as helmsman for the final run. "It was exhilarating to finally take command of Queen Mary 2 on the open sea," said Warwick. "I am happy to report that she performed magnificently and the trials were a complete success."

QM2 is the largest, longest, tallest, widest, and at $780-million, the most expensive liner ever built. The successful trials, where the ship consistently exceeded 30 knots, put her right on schedule for her January 12 maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to Fort Lauderdale. In her inaugural year the ship will offer 13 transatlantic crossings as she takes over the role as Cunard's transatlantic liner that is currently operated by her sister ship, Queen Elizabeth 2. Prices for six-day crossings begin at $1,499 per person, double occupancy, including transatlantic air. QM2 will also introduce a new series of Caribbean cruises from New York and Fort Lauderdale; a voyage to Rio de Janeiro and back, timed for Carnival; five European cruise itineraries and two fall foliage sailings to ports in Canada and New England.

Cunard's new flagship features sweeping staircases, expansive promenades and luxurious accommodations for 2,620 passengers; nearly three-quarters of which have private balconies. World-famous chef Daniel Boulud is the ship's culinary consultant. Facilities include 10 dining venues, including the only shipboard restaurant by celebrity chef Todd English, the only Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea, the world's first planetarium at sea, the largest ballroom at sea, the largest library at sea, and the largest wine collection at sea. Queen Mary 2 also features a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, several other elegant bars and showrooms, a two-story theatre, a casino, five indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, boutiques, and extensive children's facilities.

A special highlight of the QM2's inaugural schedule will be its maiden eastbound crossing from New York on April 25 as both Queen Mary 2 and QE2 will sail in tandem. This day will be the first time two Cunard Queens have been berthed in the port together since March 1940. For more information on Queen Mary 2, consult a travel agent, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit the website at

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Carnival Takes Top Honors in Porthole Cruise Magazine's 2003 "Readers' Choice Awards"

MIAMI (11/13/03) - Carnival once again was the big winner in Porthole Cruise Magazine's annual "Readers' Choice Awards," taking top honors in 11 different categories - the most awards of any cruise line for the fifth consecutive year. Since the awards were introduced in 1999, Carnival has won more than 50 Porthole "Readers' Choice" honors - more than any other cruise line during this period. The awards were determined from on-line and mail-in surveys from thousands of Porthole readers, who rated cruise lines' various amenities, programs and activities. 

Carnival's 11 "Readers' Choice" awards for 2003 include: 

  • Best Value For the Money Line
  • Best Moderately Priced Line
  • Best Alternative Dining Cuisine
  • Most Spacious Average Cabin
  • Best Children's Program
  • Best Entertainment
  • Best On-Board Activities
  • Best Discos
  • Best Short-Duration Cruise
  • Best Mega Ship - Carnival Conquest
  • Best Party Ship - Fascination 

"It's truly an honor for Carnival to be recognized in so many different categories for so many years by Porthole readers, who are experienced and knowledgeable cruisers," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "We strive to provide an unforgettable and quality cruise vacation for our guests and these awards clearly prove the success of our efforts." He added, "We're particularly pleased that Porthole readers recognized Carnival Conquest as 'Best Mega Ship.' The Conquest- and Destiny-class vessels, in particular, offer a preeminent selection of on-board amenities and state-of-the-art facilities to provide the ultimate Caribbean cruise experience for our guests. This distinction reaffirms Carnival as the Number One Choice for Caribbean Cruising, carrying more guests in the region than any other line by far." 

Commented Bill Panoff, Porthole Cruise Magazine's editor-in-chief, "Our readers' recognition of Carnival's outstanding programs and ships demonstrates that Carnival has created the right formula for an exceptional cruise vacation." Carnival is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 19 "Fun Ships" operating voyages ranging from three to 16 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Bermuda. The line currently has three new ships with an estimated value of $1.3 billion scheduled to enter service between now and 2005.

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Celebrity Cruises Sails To Top Of Prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards

MIAMI, Nov. 12 -- The savvy readers of Conde Nast Traveler know what it takes to be one of the world's best destinations and travel companies. This year, they decided that Celebrity Cruises is one of the world's best cruise lines, ranking it third -- behind only two luxury lines -- according to results published in the magazine's 2003 "Top 25 Cruise Lines: Large Ship Lines" poll (November edition).

Nearly 30,000 subscribers were surveyed, and Celebrity Cruises ranked as one of the three finalists. With a rating of 82.9 out of 100, Celebrity has improved its standing every year since 2001 (76.7). The annual poll asks the magazine's subscribers to evaluate cruise lines on a combination of itineraries, crew/service, cabins/design, food/dining, activities/excursions and entertainment/events. Celebrity's steady rise in the last three years can be attributed in large part to an extensive series of brand enhancements, along with the introduction of a new category of accommodations called ConciergeClass.

"Our guests have clearly noticed the enhancements we introduced this year, from the luxuries of ConciergeClass to more choices in dining, to expanded hours in the AquaSpa by Elemis," said Celebrity's Senior Vice President of Fleet Operations Dietmar Wertanzl. "It's a host of little things that make a big difference to experienced travelers like the readers of Conde Nast Traveler."

Among the enhancements Celebrity introduced across the nine-ship fleet this year are Chief Concierges honored with membership in Les Clefs d'Or; Casual Dining Boulevards featuring made-to-order pasta and pizza bars; sunset yoga and Pilates classes; Sushi Cafes; "Celebrity Discoveries," enrichment lectures by actual celebrities and recognized authorities; sunset happy hours with live music and refreshments; frosty towels, fashion shows and sorbet parades poolside; pool butlers, and increased options in dining hours, a more relaxed dress code, and the continuation of 24-hour room service.

Celebrity also introduced ConciergeClass, a new level of veranda stateroom accommodations offering a host of priority services and amenities, including welcome champagne and fresh-cut flowers, fresh fruit and hors d'oeuvres delivered daily, personalized stationery, a pillow menu, 100 percent Egyptian cotton linens and duvets, Hansgrohe massaging shower heads, Frette bathrobes, and a one-touch phone button to reach a dedicated ConciergeClass representative directly.

Celebrity is the industry's highest-rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has nine ships in its fleet, which is the youngest of any major line. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Holland America Line Earns Four Top Honors in 2003 
Porthole Cruise Magazine Annual Poll

SEATTLE, Nov. 12 -- For the third consecutive year, Holland America Line has earned an enviable four Readers' Choice Awards from the prestigious Porthole Cruise Magazine, the world's leading publication dedicated solely to cruise vacations. Holland America outshined its competitors with top honors in the areas of Best Overall Service, Best Alaskan Itineraries, Best Overall Facilities for Physically Challenged Passengers and Best Medical Facilities.

"These awards are particularly meaningful as they are bestowed on us by the very people who choose to vacation aboard our ships," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "With a readership comprised of both experienced cruisers as well as first-timers, the Porthole recognition is a testament to the high standards we strive to maintain in all areas -- most notably our genuine service, our industry-leading destinations and our state-of-the-art onboard facilities."

Recognized internationally as the world's leading premium cruise line, Holland America is committed to exceeding the varied expectations and desires of its discerning clientele. The company invests significant resources to developing and training its staff, both shipboard and shoreside, an effort that is rewarded with the coveted Best Overall Service award. In its continual effort to raise the bar on its own discriminating service standards, Holland America has launched an innovative company-wide service program that builds on its illustrious Tradition of Excellence.

In what is one of the most competitive cruise destinations in the world, Holland America maintains its leading position as the cruise line with the Best Alaskan Itineraries -- a Porthole Readers' Choice honor it has earned for three years in a row. In 2004, the line will sail seven ships on 139 Alaskan itineraries, adding more departures from Seattle, more private verandahs with a new 1,848-passenger Vista-class vessel, and more glacier sightseeing than ever.

Holland America has long been at the forefront of the industry in terms of providing access for passengers with disabilities, and this commitment is recognized with the Best Cruise Line for Physically Challenged award for the third straight year. The company offers facilities and services to give these guests as much assistance as possible when they choose to vacation aboard its ships, with accessible staterooms, restrooms and public areas, and equipment such as visual alert alarms and closed caption decoders for people with visual or hearing disabilities. Holland America also developed the industry's first accessible tenders to allow guests using wheelchairs to safely board tenders via hydraulic ramps and lifts for shore visits.

Holland America's Best Medical Facilities award is supported by the company's commitment to providing the highest quality on-board medical for ship guests and crew members. Every cruise is staffed with at least one physician and three nurses ("Medical Officers") -- all carefully screened and trained and licensed in the United States or Canada -- available 24 hours a day. State-of-the-art infirmaries aboard each ship are equipped with much of the emergency equipment used in hospital emergency rooms throughout the U.S.

Currently in its fifth year, Porthole Cruise Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards polls its 1.1 million readers on a wide range of topics. A complete list of award recipients will be published in the magazine's November/December issue.

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Carnival's 2004 New York Cruises: Bigger and Better Than Ever
Unprecedented Number of Departures from Big Apple Include Voyages to Caribbean, Canada, New England, Bahamas, Florida and Bermuda 

MIAMI (11/12/03) - Carnival Cruise Lines will operate a record 57 "Fun Ship" departures from New York next year - a 250 percent increase over just five years ago. The line's 2004 schedule from New York includes a new seven-day round-trip Port Canaveral/Orlando and The Bahamas cruise program on the new 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle; four- and five-day Canada and seven-day "fall foliage" voyages on the 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory; and eight-day Caribbean sailings on the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend. Carnival Legend will also operate a special one-time Bermuda/New England cruise. 

"'Fun Ship' cruising from New York has grown dramatically in recent years as consumers increasingly seek departures from this popular and convenient homeport," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "In addition to exciting cruises to the Caribbean, Canada, New England, Bahamas, Florida and Bermuda, our 2004 New York cruises will be offered on some of the cruise industry's newest, most amenity-laden ships featuring an unprecedented array of dining and entertainment options and the most stunning interiors afloat," he added.

New Seven-Day Round-Trip Cruises on Carnival Miracle -- On June 12, 2004, Carnival Miracle will operate the first of 12 week-long cruises to Port Canaveral/Orlando and The Bahamas from New York. The seven-day voyages will include an extra-long, 14-hour call at Port Canaveral, Fla., offering guests ample time to visit the nearby Kennedy Space Center or enjoy an excursion to Orlando's popular theme parks and attractions. Also included are visits to Nassau and Freeport, both of which are home to gorgeous white-sand beaches and excellent shopping and watersports opportunities. 

Eight-Day Caribbean Cruises on Carnival Legend -- Carnival will continue its popular eight-day round-trip Caribbean cruise program from New York aboard Carnival Legend April 29 - Oct. 14, 2004. On this one-of-a-kind program, the 88,500-ton SuperLiner will sail from New York to San Juan, St. Thomas/St. John, and Tortola/Virgin Gorda, stunning tropical islands offering magnificent beaches, outstanding restaurants and a diversity of shops and boutiques. The unique eight-day Caribbean itinerary from New York features ports typically available on Florida-based cruises, providing a convenient, cost-effective alternative to departures from that region. 

Four- and Five-Day Canada Cruises on Carnival Victory -- Carnival Victory will operate a summer schedule of four- and five-day Canada cruises from New York June 24 - Sept. 6, 2004. Four-day cruises, which sail Thursday through Monday and call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, provide an ideal weekend getaway. Five-day cruises, which depart on Mondays and Saturdays, visit Halifax and Saint John, New Brunswick. Halifax and Saint John are charming and historic Canadian cities with quaint shops and cafes, distinctive architecture and a rich and diverse cultural heritage. 

Seven-Day 'Fall Foliage' Cruises Aboard Carnival Victory -- Seven-day "fall foliage' cruises on the Carnival Victory will depart New York on four successive Saturdays Sept. 11 - Oct. 2, 2004, and visit Boston; Portland, Maine; and Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Unlike most fall foliage cruises from New York, which operate north or southbound starting and ending in two different locations, Carnival Victory sails round-trip, offering added convenience for guests. In addition to providing guests an opportunity to view the colorful hues of the changing autumn leaves, the week-long Carnival Victory cruises visit four distinctly different cities along the Atlantic seaboard, each with a history and character all its own. 

Special Bermuda/New England Cruise on Carnival Legend -- Carnival Legend will operate a special six-day Bermuda cruise April 23-29, 2004. During their two days in Bermuda, guests can visit centuries-old sites, partake in a variety of watersports and relax on the island's legendary pink-sand beaches. The cruise will also include a stop at Newport, R.I., a charming New England town featuring quaint restaurants and shops, as well as Colonial-style mansions and other historical sites. Signature 'Fun Ship' Amenities Among the newest vessels in the "Fun Ship" fleet, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Victory and Carnival Legend offer a variety of signature "Fun Ship" amenities, including myriad fine and casual dining options, spacious accommodations, lavish entertainment, expansive spa and children's facilities, four swimming pools and a cascading water slide. Carnival Miracle and Carnival Legend also feature steakhouse-style supper clubs featuring U.S.D.A. prime aged beef and other gourmet cuisine. An on-board duty free shopping mall, full casino gambling, and a comprehensive golf program offering professional instruction both aboard ship and during golf excursions are also available. 

Carnival is currently accepting reservations on all of its 2004 New York "Fun Ship" departures. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel agent Internet portal,

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Windstar Begins Multi-Million Dollar Fleet Enhancement
All three sailing ships will be updated while still retaining the renowned Windstar casual elegance

Seattle, WA, Nov 11, 2003 -- Windstar Cruises begins a more than $6 million fleet enhancement project this month with the Wind Surf finishing a weeklong work period on November 9. All three ships will receive extensive improvements to public spaces, soft goods, pool and deck areas and more. 
"The goal is to make the ships just like new while retaining the classic Windstar feel that's so popular with our guests," says Tom Russell, Windstar's Vice President of Marketing and Sales. "The Wind Surf, Wind Star and Wind Spirit are three of the most beautiful ships in the world, and after this investment, they will offer the best of both worlds-new amenities, furnishings and state-of-the-art technology combined with Windstar's tradition of casual elegance, unparalleled service and intimate atmosphere."
Enhancements to lounges will feature the addition of the latest in audio/visual equipment; newly commissioned sculptures and signature floral displays for reception lobbies; and the installation of new color schemes, soft goods, and entertainment centers with DVDs and flat screen TVs in all guest accommodations. Pool and deck areas will be improved with contemporary furniture and reconditioning of teak. Each ship's gymnasium, spa/salon, public spaces, corridors and restrooms will be improved with upgrades to amenities and equipment. New fabrics, décor, floor, wall, and window treatments chosen to reflect Windstar's casual elegance, will be found on all three distinctive sailing vessels.

In addition to the extensive work in public spaces and guest accommodations, the Wind Star and Wind Spirit will also receive substantial attention in many mechanical areas including a significant investment in the air conditioning units. Last week, the 308-passenger Wind Surf completed a week of thorough wet-dock work with more than 140 contractors onboard. The 148-passenger Wind Spirit enters a week's dry-dock from November 16 through 22, 2003. Meanwhile, the Wind Star goes into dry-dock  from December 5 to 19, 2003.

Following are details of improvements being made to the 308-passenger Wind Surf and 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit.

Wind Surf Enhancements:
On November 9, the 308-passenger Wind Surf completed a week of thorough wet-dock work with more than 140 contractors onboard. The Wind Surf reception lobby now welcomes guests to linger with all new décor including new blinds, wood paneling and custom designed logo carpet.

Wind Surf's main lounge, which received a complete upgrade and new floor plan in 2000, now boasts reupholstered furniture, refinished tables and floors, and new lighting and acoustic stage panels. Additionally, state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment has been installed offering the opportunity for movie screenings as well as presentation needs of Windstar's extensive charter and incentive group business.
One of the most notable improvements is the updated Terrace Bar on Wind Surf's Star Deck. Its transformation into a trendy indoor-outdoor gathering area has turned the aft bar and deck into the new hot spot. The bar is the new location for the line's popular "Cigars Under the Stars" program and it now houses a high-tech humidor and flat screen TV for sports viewing. The chic new Terrace Bar is also available to groups for private cocktail parties and receptions.
The lively Compass Rose bar is popular from early in the day to late at night.  Patrons will enjoy a permanent food station for convenient self-service continental breakfasts, afternoon teas, evening appetizers and deserts. Guests can relax and enjoy the view from the deck with stylish new tables and chairs and a new platform stage improves entertainment viewing.
WindSpa has been transformed with new furnishings, floor tiles, carpet, lighting and curtains. The massage rooms have all been updated in new décor. In addition, the gymnasium and Nautilus fitness rooms have a new fitness floor and window coverings, and the Nautilus also has new large mirrors.

New fabrics and colors will greet guests as they enter staterooms and notice French polishing/varnishing on the classic yacht-like wood surfaces, all new bathroom amenities, chairs, soft goods, mattresses, and artwork. Staterooms boast high-tech entertainment systems featuring flat screen TVs and DVD players, and elegant finishing touches like wood-sided ice buckets and trashcans.
Similarly, the Owners Suite (cabin 501) located on the Bridge Deck next door to the Captain's quarters received all new soft goods, furnishings, carpet, ceilings, cabinetry, DVD sound system and flat screen TV. A dining table was added to the layout for en-suite dining and entertaining. The bathroom has been enlarged to include a whirlpool soaking tub.
Other areas of improvements onboard Wind Surf include: new marble floors and countertops as well as new sinks and fixtures installed in all public restrooms. And stairwells received a complete facelift with wood wall paneling installed, and elevator interiors were completely redone. Other areas selected for improvements aboard Wind Surf include the bridge, teak around pools and hot tubs, new chaise lounges on deck, infirmary, Internet and Conference Center.
Wind Star & Wind Spirit Enhancements:
The 148-passenger Wind Spirit enters a week's dry-dock in Portugal from November 16 through 22, 2003. 
Meanwhile, sister-ship 148-passenger Wind Star goes into dry-dock in Tahiti from December 5 to 19, 2003. Following are details o the renovations scheduled for both Wind Spirit and Wind Star. 

The Wind Spirit's Veranda Café will be completely redone with a new floor plan, new glass walls, new furnishings and display stations, and a new outdoor awning increasing the covered dining area. Changes to the Veranda match similar improvements made to sister ship Wind Star in 2001.

A brand new feel will immediately impress guests upon entering each ship's reception lobby boasting a signature commissioned-art sculpture onboard Wind Spirit while onboard Wind Star the intoxicating aromas of Tahiti and her islands will emanate from the signature fresh tropical floral display kept up daily on year-round Polynesian sailings. A center ceiling dome with faux-painted sky scene above a plush circular settee complement the art/floral installations.

Main lounges will echo the intimate onboard ambience with newly designed seating configurations, enhanced updated flooring, bar cabinetry, furniture, skylights, and artwork. State-of-the-art audio/visual equipment will offer movie screenings and fulfill the needs of Windstar's extensive charter, incentive and retail group business.
The popular pool bar and pool areas will be enhanced with an inviting permanent food station for continental breakfast, afternoon tea, evening appetizer and dessert service. The teak bar area will be totally refinished complemented by teak tables, chairs, and towel stations.

Guest accommodations are set for a complete modernization including state-of-the-art entertainment centers featuring flat screen TV's and DVD players; new artwork and hand-held magnifying mirrors; new telephones and mattresses; and all new bathroom fixtures and shower curtains. In addition, all soft goods will be replaced such as mattresses, bedding, carpets, and curtains.
As with their larger sister ship, the Wind Star and Wind Spirit's popular Owner's Suite (cabin 107) will be completely renovated with all new soft goods, furnishings, carpet, ceilings, cabinetry, DVD sound system and flat screen TV.
A rigorous change and enlargement of the gymnasium will take place on both ships with a new floor plan and lighting, glass-etched door addition, and fresh paint on walls and ceilings. All new up-to-date cardiovascular equipment such as elliptical trainers and recumbent bikes will complement a ballet bar, free weights and flat screen TV for an overall mind-body workout. 
In addition to the extensive work in public spaces and guest accommodations, the Wind Star and Wind Spirit will also receive substantial attention in many mechanical areas including a significant investment in the air conditioning units. Examples of other extensive work being undertaken on both ships include: replacing wall coverings and window treatments; new marble floors and counters, and new fixtures and sinks in restrooms; a new massage bed (on Wind Star), marble floor, granite counter top, sink, wall tile and window treatments in the salon/spa; new chaise lounges on deck; and installation of a permanent outdoor awning adding covered dining area to the Veranda Café.

About Windstar Cruises

Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar exude a private yacht-like atmosphere creating camaraderie and lasting friendships between shipmates. The company's unique vacations offer a seaside window on the world, combining the refinement of a luxury hotel with a moveable feast of cultural experiences. The three masted sailing yachts cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at more than 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and Tahiti. To receive a Windstar brochure, make reservations, or receive more information, contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245.  Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Holland America Debuts Early Boarding Program for All Sailings

Seattle, Nov 11, 2003 -- Holland America Line guests arriving for their cruise on morning flights or driving to the port before noon can now board the ship and relax well before the "official" embarkation time. Holland America Line recently launched a new Embarkation Program for all sailings that features boarding as early as 11:30 a.m. to enjoy the many comforts that Holland America offers before their cruise leaves port that evening.

"Holland America began this new program because we wanted to allow our guests to maximize their cruise vacation," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Guests want a seamless cruise experience and one where they can fully enjoy all the facilities and amenities our premium ships have to offer. "With our friendly and efficient early boarding program, guests can board when they arrive at the cruise terminal to relax aboard the ship as well as familiarize themselves with the ship's facilities. Public areas and lounges will be open along with Holland America's renowned Welcome Aboard Lido Buffet. In addition, guests can take care of shore excursion reservations, spa appointments and other needs."

Guests taking advantage of the new early boarding program are welcomed by Holland America staff as they board and directed to the Lido Deck. Carry-on luggage and coats can be checked with ship staff if guests desire. Penthouse and suite guests are escorted to the exclusive suite-only Neptune Lounge where they may enjoy light refreshments before being escorted to their accommodations. Staterooms are normally ready for occupancy at 1:00 p.m.

Each guest receives a welcome letter describing the facilities and amenities available before sailing, which include the "Welcome Aboard" Lido Buffet and Pool Grill on the Lido Deck with live music and public lounges open for service. Guests may opt to enjoy the Ocean Spa (Greenhouse Spa on Vista-class ships) and schedule appointments for massage, spa and beauty treatments during their cruise. The Shore Excursions Desk can advise guests on the many tours offered, make bookings, and provide details on each of the ports to be visited. The Pinnacle Grill at the Odyssey Restaurant will take dining reservations and the Internet Café will be open to set up accounts. Also, the Front Office can answer all inquiries and take credit card registrations.

On Holland America's Vista-class ships, guests also can enjoy the Atrium Bar and Windstar Café. A golf professional is available in the Lido Pool area with sets of clubs and coaching advice. The "Elegant Explorer" ms Prinsendam also features a pro at its Golf Center. Guests who board early can still enjoy Holland America's traditional escort to their stateroom by white-gloved staff. Staff escort guests to their accommodations from the Lido Pool Bar beginning at approximately 1:00 p.m. Those who choose to wait in other public areas will hear an announcement over the public address system, informing them when staterooms are ready for occupancy.

For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Royal Caribbean Intl Expands Innovative Wine Program
Mariner of the Seas' VINTAGES Wine Bar Encourages Cruisers To Explore, Experience Wines of the World

MIAMI, Nov. 11 -- Royal Caribbean International has partnered once again with some of the most prestigious names in wine to offer a week-long wine celebration at sea on its newest ship, Mariner of the Seas. The line has joined with Robert Mondavi, Beringer Blass Wine Estates and Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery to expand its popular VINTAGES wine bar, which first debuted in December 2002 on Navigator of the Seas.

"The exploration and appreciation of wine is another adventure that appeals to Royal Caribbean's guests," said Maria Sastre, vice president, Fleet Guest Services, for Royal Caribbean International. "Every aspect of the new VINTAGES wine bar on Mariner of the Seas was designed to provide opportunities for guests to experiment with, try and enjoy new wines."

"The VINTAGES wine list represents an innovative design in the hospitality industry, enticing our guests to try new wines in an approachable and appealing style," said Bob Midyette, manager, Fleet Beverage Operations, for Royal Caribbean International.

Central to the enhanced VINTAGES program is a vastly expanded wine list, now featuring 61 offerings from Robert Mondavi, Beringer Blass and Niebaum- Coppola, and representing some of the world's premiere winegrowing regions: California, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Chile. VINTAGES' user-friendly menu is organized by both varietals and taste profiles, making it easy to find the ideal white, red, blush or sweet wine. The wine list focuses on superior, yet accessible, wines that appeal to a broad audience, but also includes rare and expensive wines.

In addition to increasing the quantities of wines to choose from, Royal Caribbean is offering new ordering options to encourage guests to expand their wine repertoire. Guests can request complimentary "splashes" of any wine on the list, making it easy to find the wines that suit their tastes. All wines are now also available by half glass as well as by full glass and bottle, with prices ranging from $2.25 to $9.25 per half glass, $4.00 to $18.50 per glass, and $22 to $99 per bottle. Guests can order bottles of wine to enjoy in VINTAGES or to be delivered to their tables in Mariner's main dining room or specialty restaurants.

VINTAGES also encourages guests to expand their wine horizons with 13 different "wine flights." The flights are cleverly named groupings of three or four wines by taste profile, varietal or winegrowing region, such as "Spice Up Your Life," "Pretty in Pink," "How Merlot Can You Go?" and "Down Under." A wine flight purchase includes a 2 oz. sample of each wine, and a complimentary copy of Oz Clarke's Wine Tasting or Wine & Food Matcher pocket guides. All guests visiting VINTAGES also will receive a complimentary copy of Wine Spectator magazine, the wine industry's leading publication.

Each cruise, VINTAGES offers a full schedule of fun and informative events, including a basic wine overview called "Making Sense of Wine;" three levels of wine tastings ranging from excellent wine values to rare and expensive wines; a Spanish-language wine introductory class; a late night wine and chocolate tasting; and a wine trivia game with prizes. All events are run by VINTAGES' "Wine Tenders," who have received extensive training from expert Master Sommeliers and at the wineries of Royal Caribbean's Napa Valley partners. VINTAGES also features live music and complimentary hors d'oeuvres nightly.

The wine bar is located on Mariner's Royal Promenade, a dining, entertainment and shopping "street" that runs down the center of the ship. Designed in the rustic style of California wine country, VINTAGES features warm woods and rich leathers, gleaming copper and brass fixtures, flagstone walls, terracotta floors, and a 600-bottle wine cellar. Photos and television monitors guide guests on a virtual tour of the California wine country as Michael Mondavi, chairman of Robert Mondavi; Ed Sbragia, winemaster of Beringer Vineyards; and Francis Ford Coppola, owner of Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery, share personal insights and winemaking philosophies with guests via video.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 18 ships in service and two more under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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Mariner of the Seas Arrives In Port Canaveral
Royal Caribbean's Fifth and Final Ship in the Voyager Class To be Named Nov. 14

MIAMI, Nov. 11 -- With her towering, 15-deck profile and sparkling expanse of glass balconies, Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Mariner of the Seas, arrived today, making a dramatic addition to the Port Canaveral skyline. The ship will be named by her godmother, Olympian Jean Driscoll, on Nov. 14, and set sail on her maiden voyage on Nov. 16. At 1,020 feet long, 142,000 tons, and carrying 3,114 passengers double occupancy, Mariner of the Seas is the fifth and final ship in the line's Voyager class, the world's most innovative cruise ships. Mariner also is the largest ship to sail from Port Canaveral year-round.

"Mariner of the Seas is the ultimate expression of our commitment to providing an unexpected and outstanding array of amenities, activities and adventures for the whole family," said Jack Williams, president and COO for Royal Caribbean International. "Mariner offers all the innovations that make the Voyager class so popular, from the Royal Promenade to a plethora of dining and entertainment options to the ice skating rink and signature rock-climbing wall. But she also has some surprises in store and a spirit all her own."

Here are just some of the distinctive features that set Mariner of the Seas apart:

  • Pop art sensation Romero Britto has lent his inspiration and paint brush to Mariner's 25,000-square-foot pool deck. The artist has transformed the entire area into an outdoor art exhibit replete with whimsical figures and playful patterns. The one-of-a-kind pool deck also features a side gallery chronicling the project from initial inspiration to final construction.
  • Mariner of the Seas leads the industry in accessibility innovations, offering an extensive list of amenities for guests with disabilities such as automatic doors; hydraulic pool/jacuzzi lifts; Braille menus and stairwell- banister deck numbers; extra-wide corridors; and special devices for the hearing and visually impaired. Mariner also has 26 specially designed staterooms that include a variety of accessibility features such as roll-in showers and pull-down closet rods.
  • VINTAGES wine bar, first introduced on Navigator of the Seas in 2002, makes an encore appearance on Mariner, with even more features designed to encourage guests to expand their wine repertoire. The wine list now features 61 selections from premier wine-growing regions around the globe. Every wine is available by the half glass, glass or bottle, and VINTAGES' "Wine Tenders" are happy to pour free "splashes" for guests, allowing them to taste before they buy.
  • Mariner of the Seas offers a full menu of dining options with seven different dining venues. For more elegant meals, there are two specialty restaurants -- Portofino and Chops Grille steakhouse -- as well as the spectacular, three-story main dining room. Windjammer Cafe and Jade Asian- fusion buffet boast international choices in a more casual atmosphere, while Johnny Rockets offers all-American fare and Cafe Promenade serves quick snacks 24-hours a day. An extra sweet touch is Ben & Jerry's ice cream scoop shop, featuring 16 of the company's famous flavors.
  • Mariner's Adventure Ocean Youth Program has 22,000 square feet of space, including computer stations, art and science workshops, and an extensive video arcade. Older kids can choose from three, spacious, teen-only areas: The Living Room hangout, Fuel nightclub and The Back Deck, a private deck for daytime sun and nighttime fun.

Beginning Nov. 16, Mariner of the Seas will offer alternating, year-round, seven-night cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, departing Sundays out of Port Canaveral. Ports of call for the Eastern Caribbean itinerary include stops in Nassau, Bahamas; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Ports of call for the Western Caribbean itinerary include Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; as well as Royal Caribbean's private beach paradise of Labadee, Hispaniola. Prices start at $699 per person double occupancy.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 18 ships in service and two more under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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Local Charities to benefit from introduction of 
Cunard's Queen Mary 2

MIAMI, November 11, 2003 - Cunard will sponsor charitable benefits in Southampton, England, and Fort Lauderdale in celebration of the January 12 Maiden Voyage of Queen Mary 2, the largest ocean liner ever built. Among the beneficiaries are the U.K.-based Lord's Taverners and Miami City Ballet, New World Symphony and Winterfest, based in South Florida. 

With much anticipation, the round of charitable events will kick off Friday, January 9, with a gala night in Southampton for The Lord's Taverners, one of the United Kingdom's best-known charities with His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh as their patron. Their aim is to raise money for underprivileged children and provide opportunities for young people, able-bodied or with disabilities, under the age of 25 to participate in sports and recreation. Over the last 50 years they have given away £30 million to schools, sports clubs and special-needs organizations. 

Three weeks later, a charity gala held Friday, January 30, to herald the ship's U.S. arrival in Port Everglades will benefit Miami City Ballet, New World Symphony and Winterfest. The latter supports various charities throughout the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. The festivities will include Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the New World Symphony and a performance of the Miami City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella, followed by dinner.

"We are delighted to give back to the communities where we live and work," said Pamela Conover, Cunard's president and COO. "It is fitting to celebrate the launch of the world's most extraordinary new liner by honoring such extraordinary charity organizations."
According to Toby Lerner Ansin, founder, Miami City Ballet, "The demand for the QM2 gala is unprecedented in all my years of organizing fundraising events. We have nearly sold out without even a single invitation being mailed, and have already raised $1.2 million."

An additional fundraising event is being planned to mark the April arrival of Queen Mary 2 in New York City, the liner's other U.S. homeport. 

In addition to these gala fundraisers, over the past five years, Cunard Line and parent Carnival Corporation have made more than $42 million in charitable donations, both through financial contributions through the Carnival Foundation, as well as various in-kind donations to a wide range of local, national and international charitable and arts-related organizations. Among them are: Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Community Partnership for Homeless, American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish Foundation, International Seakeepers Society, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, United Way, Seattle Aquarium, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Alaska SeaLife Center, Mission to Seafarers and Miami Children's Museum.

Cunard Line's new Queen Mary 2 is the largest, longest, tallest and - at $780-million - the most expensive luxury liner the world has ever known. Acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud serves as Cunard's culinary advisor, and Chef Todd English will operate a Mediterranean specialty restaurant of the same name. In addition to three elegant dining rooms, passengers can enjoy a live "open-kitchen" at Chef's Galley; Pacific Rim cuisine at Lotus; roasted meats at The Carvery; Italian specialties at the 24-hour La Piazza trattoria; and traditional British pub favorites at the Golden Lion. All tolled, there are 10 dining venues to choose from.

Facilities include the only Canyon Ranch SpaClub® at sea, the world's first planetarium at sea, the largest ballroom at sea and the largest wine collection at sea. The ship will also feature a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, several other elegant bars, a two-story theatre, a casino, five indoor and outdoor swimming pools, boutiques, and an extensive children's facility.

  • For more information about the Southampton gala, contact Events Department at The Lord's Taverners, 011 (44) 207-821-2828.

  • For more information about the South Florida events, contact Nora Weinreich at Miami City Ballet, (305) 929-7000, ext. 1407 or Christi Caceres at New World Symphony, (305) 673-3330, ext. 269.

  • For more information about Queen Mary 2, contact a travel professional, visit the Cunard web site at or call toll-free (800) 7-CUNARD.

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Holland America Extends Community Appreciation Program to Active Military, Firefighters, Police and Teachers
US$499 per Person Starting Fares for Week-Long Caribbean Cruises

SEATTLE, Nov. 10 -- Holland America Line has expanded its offer of special cruise values for teachers on Caribbean and South America sailings to include other cornerstones of the community: current or retired firefighters and police officers and active military. Holland America offers these special Community Appreciation cruise values on sailings from four convenient homeports in December and January and has added one cruise to Mexico's Pacific Coast. Two South America cruises were also added to make a total of three. All 12 of Holland America's premium cruise ships offer one or more sailings featuring the special cruise values with savings of up to 70 percent off regular cruise prices and fares as low as US$499 per person for a seven-day cruise.

"Holland America introduced its Teachers' Appreciation program for the first time in August, and the positive response encouraged us to extend the offer to other key community personnel," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Holland America appreciates the commitment made by these essential community members, and we welcome the opportunity to provide them with significantly discounted cruise vacations through our expanded Community Appreciation program."

Currently employed and retired teachers, firefighters and police officers and active military can choose from selected seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings, a seven-day Mexico cruise, a variety of 10-, 12- 14- and 15- and 17-day cruises that sail the Caribbean and Panama Canal, and a three 21-day South America cruises. The sailing dates range from Dec. 18, 2003 to Jan. 31, 2004.

Some of the cruises designated for Community Appreciation are on Holland America's new Vista-Class ships, the ms Zuiderdam, introduced in December 2002, and her sister ship ms Oosterdam, which debuted August 2003. The Zuiderdam sails seven -- and the Oosterdam sails two -- eligible seven-day Eastern or Western Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, departing Dec. 20 through Jan. 31. Other Holland America ships sailing similar Caribbean itineraries include the ms Maasdam and ms Volendam, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale; ms Zaandam from Port Canaveral; and ms Veendam from Tampa.

Eastern Caribbean cruises may call at Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Basseterre, St. Kitts; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Western Caribbean ports of call include Veracruz, Progreso and Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Key West, Fla.

Most of Holland America's Caribbean cruises also feature a visit to Half Moon Cay, the company's award-winning private island paradise. Guests may sail, swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters, bask on white sand beaches, have a beachside massage, and then enjoy an array of traditional barbecue fare. The island also offers a variety of age-appropriate activities for kids and shore excursions through the company's Club HAL children and teen's program.The special Community Appreciation fares for seven-day Caribbean sailings start at just US$499 [$719 CAD] per person, double occupancy, including port charges.

10- to 17-day Caribbean Cruises
Longer Caribbean cruises days are also featured on the Community Appreciation program, especially during the holidays. Cruises sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale include a 14-day Southern Caribbean holiday cruise on the ms Noordam departing Dec. 21; 15-day cruise on the ms Statendam Dec. 22; 12-day Caribbean and Panama Canal cruise on the ms Rotterdam Dec. 22; and 10-day Caribbean Westfarer cruise on the ms Volendam Jan. 5.

In addition, the ms Prinsendam, Holland America's "Elegant Explorer," offers a one-way, 17-day Holiday cruise from San Diego through the Panama Canal and Caribbean to Ft. Lauderdale, departing Dec. 18.

The flagship Rotterdam's 12-day Caribbean and Panama Canal cruise lets guests celebrate Christmas in the southern hemisphere and New Year's Eve in the northern hemisphere. The five-star ship sails first to Half Moon Cay, then to San Andres Island, Colombia, celebrating Christmas on the way. Next the Rotterdam calls at Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, before entering the Panama Canal to spend an entire day cruising scenic Gatun Lake. It then visits Willemstad, Curacao and Oranjestad, Aruba; guests enjoy a gala New Year's Eve party before returning to Ft. Lauderdale on Jan 3, 2004.

Cruise fares for this 12-day Caribbean and Panama Canal sailing start at US$1,399 [$2029 CAD] per person, double occupancy, including port charges.

Seven-day Mexico Cruise
Holland America has added a seven-day Mexico cruise through the Sea of Cortez to its Community Appreciation program. This cruise is offered Jan. 31 aboard the ms Ryndam, sailing roundtrip from San Diego. The ship calls at Loreto, Pichilingue (La Paz) and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico while sailing around the Baja Peninsula. Cruise fares start at US$599 [$869 CAD] per person.

21-day South America Holiday Sailing
For those with more time to adventure, the ms Amsterdam, sister flagship to the Rotterdam, offers an intriguing 21-day South America & Antarctic Explorer cruise departing Dec. 18 from Valparaiso, Chile. It sails south towards Cape Horn, cruises the world's southernmost continent on Christmas Day, spends New Year's Eve in Stanley, Falkland Islands, and arrives Jan. 7 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where guests enjoy a special overnight stay before the cruise concludes Jan. 8.

Other ports of call include Puerto Montt, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Montevideo, Uruguay. Scenic cruising areas include the majestic Chilean fjords; the Darwin Channel; the Strait of Magellan; and three incredible days adventuring along the Antarctic Peninsula. Cruise fares start at US$2,499 [$3619 CAD] per person. A 21-day Jan. 8 departure operates in reverse and a Jan. 29 departure sails from Valparaiso to Rio de Janeiro as above.

To book one of the above cruises under the Community Appreciation program, qualifying teachers, firefighters, police and military must mention promotion number 12007 at the time of booking to receive the special value rates. Teachers must show proof of employment by faxing a Teacher's Certification certificate, union card, or letter from principal on school letterhead with their booking. Firefighters, police officers and active military must show proof of eligibility by faxing a copy of their badge or official identification card. Sailing dates and fares are subject to change without notice due to capacity filling. Bookings must be made by December 15, 2003.

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Holland America Line to Invest $225 Million in 'Signature of Excellence' Initiative
Strengthens Company's Leadership Position in Premium Cruise Industry

SEATTLE, Nov. 10 -- In a move to strengthen its position as the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line will invest $225 million in unparalleled product and service enhancements on its fleet of 12 five-star ships. Called "Signature of Excellence," this comprehensive initiative will center around five main components of Holland America Line's cruise experience: dining; accommodations; service; activities; and destinations.

In announcing the "Signature of Excellence" initiative, Holland America Line chairman and CEO A. Kirk Lanterman said, "This nearly quarter of a billion dollar commitment is the most significant product investment in our industry. The groundbreaking initiative will clearly cement our leadership position and our promise of delivering the best premium cruise experience available."

The "Signature of Excellence" initiative will be directed by newly appointed Holland America president and chief operating officer, Stein Kruse. "We are evaluating and assessing just about every aspect of our operation to ensure that we provide our guests with a truly extraordinary experience and tremendous value," said Kruse. "Holland America clearly sets the industry standard in premium cruising, and we need to challenge ourselves diligently and deliberately to ensure our excellent product of today is even better in the future. With 'Signature of Excellence' we will ensure that our premium product is well matched to meet the expectations of tomorrow's sophisticated travelers."

Enhancements, and in some cases construction, associated with the "Signature of Excellence" initiative will begin in late 2003 and are scheduled to be fully completed on all Holland America ships within 24 months. All shipboard work will occur during regularly scheduled dry-docks. Many of the "Signature of Excellence" enhancements will be incorporated on the company's 13th and 14th ships that are under construction in Italy. The 1,848-passenger Vista class ship ms Westerdam is scheduled for delivery in April 2004 and a yet unnamed vessel joins the fleet in January 2006.

Enhanced Dining Experience
Long known for the most extensive menus at sea, Holland America Line will further differentiate its dining experience with additions such as the new Pinnacle Grill, even more personalized service and two more dining times in the main dining room, enhanced Lido dining and services, and a groundbreaking new Culinary Arts Program.

The Pinnacle Grill is a popular alternative restaurant that is currently featured on eight ships and will be added to the remaining ships. The Pinnacle Grill serves Pacific Northwest specialties including aged, prime beef and superb seafood items, as well as fine wines, all in a romantic, upscale atmosphere -- complete with distinctive Bulgari china and elegant Riedel stemware.

The popular Lido, a casual alternative dining experience, features breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed, buffet and food-court style, will be further enhanced with made-to order dinner entrees and table-side waiter service at dinner.

A new Culinary Arts Program will be an interactive experience that will appeal to gourmet food and wine lovers, and will be conducted in specially designed "Culinary Arts Theaters" on-board the ships.

More Luxurious Accommodations
Already offering the most spacious and elegant accommodations in premium cruising, Holland America will enhance its staterooms with even more luxurious items.

All staterooms will be outfitted with Premium Plush Euro-Top mattresses, 100 percent Egyptian cotton bed linens, extra-fluffy towels and deluxe terry bathrobes. New amenities will include massage showerheads, lighted magnifying make-up mirrors and stylish new hair dryers. Guests will also be welcomed with a complimentary fresh fruit basket and an elegant stainless-steel ice bucket and serving tray for use with in-cabin beverages.

In addition, all suites will be outfitted with comfortable duvets on the beds; fully-stocked mini-bars; VCRs or DVD players and access to a well-stocked video/DVD library; and personalized stationery. "Signature of Excellence" will further enhance the "suite life" with the expansion of the Neptune Lounge. Currently available on seven Holland America Line ships, this industry-leading concierge lounge will be extended to all the ships in the fleet. The exclusive Neptune Lounge is a private retreat for Deluxe Verandah Suite and Penthouse Suite guests, where they can relax, read and socialize, as well as take advantage of the personalized services from the Neptune Lounge's concierge.

Continued Superb Service Levels
Holland America, renowned for its superb service, will enhance its service level even further with many additional touches, including early embarkation and a state-of-the-art Greenhouse Spa experience.

The company recently announced an early embarkation program across its 12-ship fleet that features boarding as early as 11:30 a.m. and a leisurely disembarkation process at the end of the voyage. In addition, other service enhancements include a convenient folio posting of nominal, optional gratuities, as well as automatic service charge postings to bar-bills, thus simplifying the sometimes confusing cruise tipping system.

The famed land-based Greenhouse Spa, already existing on Vista-class ships, will be added to the other ships in the fleet. Guests can choose from a variety of Signature Treatments designed especially for Holland America Line. To accommodate the Greenhouse Spa features, spa and fitness facilities will be expanded, adding several treatment rooms, a thermal suite and a hydro-pool.

Exciting and Unique Activities
In order to provide guests with new and unique enrichment experiences, Holland America Line will introduce a number of enhancements including the aforementioned Culinary Arts Theater, Exploration and Enrichment programs and an upgraded HAL Kids Center.

A new Sidewalk Cafe/Exploration Center will be the hub of the enrichment programs and will provide a multi-dimensional venue focused on destination, relaxation and entertainment choices. In addition, Holland America will expand its lecture series with more diverse offerings.

A more comprehensive Kids Center and Youth Program will offer age-specific activities designed to provide kids with entertaining choices and parents with peace of mind knowing their children are enjoying supervised fun.

Unmatched Destinations
Holland America will stay true to its tradition of exploration by offering the best itineraries in the industry. The company will enhance its robust shore excursion program to include more "Medallion Shore Excursions." These, one-of-a-kind, exclusive experiences are available in many ports and range from private tours of estates in the Caribbean to big game photo tours in Africa to private helicopter tours over Hong Kong.

Holland America Line's Half Moon Cay, the highest-rated private island in the Caribbean, will feature new options such as horseback riding, a stingray lagoon experience, a new Kids Aqua Park and a Wave Runner Park.

"This unprecedented initiative will significantly raise the bar in premium cruising and ensure that the Holland America Line experience is unmatched," continued Kruse. "More details about 'Signature of Excellence' enhancements will be announced in the next few weeks. We are committed to ensuring that 'Signature of Excellence' becomes a hallmark of the Holland America Line tradition and will support it with the most extensive advertising and marketing campaign in the company's history."

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New Galveston City Tours Added to Carnival's "Fun Ship" Cruises From Texas

MIAMI, 11/7/03 -- Carnival Cruise Lines has added two post-cruise shore excursion options in Galveston for guests interested in exploring the city following their cruise on either the Celebration or Elation, both of which depart from Galveston year round. The new excursions, Galveston Romance & History Tour; and Trains, Boats & Planes, both offer a fun and interesting opportunity to experience Galveston's history and charm. 

The Galveston Romance Tour visits the Great Storm exhibit at the Pier 21 Theater, where guests watch a short film that chronicles the history behind one of the most devastating natural disasters in U.S. history. The tour also stops at the Galveston County Historical Museum, which takes guests on a two-hour guided motor coach tour of this delightful city, including some of the area's 19th century Victorian mansions and famed churches. The tour also includes some leisure time - perfect for shopping along the Strand or dining at a local eatery. An optional airport transfer is available for guests with flights after 4:30 p.m. 

Guests can explore the history of transportation on Galveston Island by rail, water and air on the Trains, Boats & Planes excursion. This fun and informative tour visits Galveston's Railroad Museum, the Lone Star Flight Museum and Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. The Railroad Museum features the site of the original Union Passenger Depot and guests can explore the galleries and interactive exhibits, as well as the largest collection of antique railcars in the Southwest. Next, the tour visits the Lone Star Flight Museum, a remarkable 50,000-square-foot-facility and home to more than 30 vintage aircraft, as well as the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. Guests can also learn about the port of Galveston, which was once known as the "Ellis Island of the West" due to the number of immigrants that entered the U.S. through this busy seaport. This tour is designed for guests with flights after 4:30 p.m. 

The "Fun Ship" Celebration operates four- and five-day cruises from Galveston to Mexico, departing every other Monday, Thursday and Saturday, while the SuperLiner Elation departs Galveston every Sunday on seven-day western Caribbean voyages. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel agent Internet portal,

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Cunard partners with Gourmet Magazine to launch 'Chefs at Sea' series aboard Queen Mary 2

MIAMI, November 7, 2003 - Gourmet magazine will arrange for internationally renowned chefs to take to the high seas aboard Cunard Line's $780-million Queen Mary 2, the world's grandest ocean liner, which is scheduled to debut in January 2004. The new culinary partnership was announced yesterday by Deborah L. Natansohn, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Cunard Line. 

The Gourmet-exclusive "Chefs at Sea" program will be featured on 12 voyages aboard Queen Mary 2 in 2004. The chefs will be showcased in the ship's innovative "Chef's Galley" restaurant, where guests are taught by the chef how to prepare their meal just prior to dining. There will be a mirrored workstation so that diners can observe the meal preparation before partaking in the fruits of the chef's labors. Chef's Galley is located in the ship's Kings Court dining pavilion. Cunard's own chefs will be featured in addition to those sponsored by Gourmet. 

In making the announcement, Natansohn said "We are delighted to give our guests the rare opportunity to gain insights from world-famous chefs. This new relationship will only enhance our strong reputation for providing the finest dining experiences at sea."

Many of the names associated with the new "Chefs at Sea" series aboard Queen Mary 2 have also graced the pages of Gourmet magazine. Here is the listing by departure date:

  • January 31, Inaugural Caribbean Voyage
    11 nights, round-trip Fort Lauderdale, fares start at $2,499 per person, double 
    Daniel Orr, Gustavino, New York 

  • February 23, Rio's Queen of Carnival
    12 nights, Rio de Janeiro to Fort Lauderdale, fares start at $1,999 per person, double
    Jimmy Bradley, The Harrison, New York 

  • March 16, Explorer's Caribbean
    10 nights, round-trip Fort Lauderdale, fares start at $1,499 per person, double
    Cindy Hutson, Ortanique on the Mile, Miami

  • April 25, INAUGURAL Eastbound Transatlantic
    6 nights, New York to Southampton, fares start at $2,119 per person, double
    Jonathan Waxman, Eleven Madison Park, New York

  • May 10, Explorer's Caribbean
    8 nights, round-trip Fort Lauderdale, fares start at $1,299 per person, double
    Jeffrey Vigilla, Aria, Ritz Carlton, Key Biscayne

  • May 24, Jewels of Iberia
    12 nights, round-trip Southampton, fares start at $2,199 per person, double
    Phillip Cooper, Mirabelle, London

  • June 25, Westbound Transatlantic
    6 nights, Southampton to New York, fares start at $1,699 per person, double
    Laurent Gras, Fifth Floor, San Francisco

  • July 11, Majesty of the Fjords
    14 nights, round-trip Southampton, fares start at $2,499 per person, double
    Matthew Harris, Bibendum, London

  • August 30, Jewels of Iberia
    12 nights, round-trip Southampton, fares start at $2,499 per person, double
    Kevin Dundan, Dumbrody House, Dublin

  • September 17, Splendors of the Fall
    12 nights, round-trip New York, fares start at $2,199 per person, double
    Kira Volz, The Abbey Dining Room, Miami

  • November 16, New Yorker's Caribbean
    10 nights, round-trip New York, fares start at $1,299
    Scott Conant, L'Impero, New York

  • December 6, Escapist's Caribbean
    14 nights, Fort Lauderdale to New York, fares start at $1,749
    Pascal Oudin, Pascal's on Ponce, Miami

Feast at 10 Distinctive Venues Aboard
Queen Mary 2 is the perfect setting to showcase award-winning guest chefs. In addition to the Gourmet stars that will shine in the Chef's Galley, acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud serves as Cunard's culinary advisor, and Chef Todd English will operate a Mediterranean speciality restaurant of the same name. In addition to three elegant dining rooms, passengers can enjoy Pacific Rim cuisine at Lotus; roasted meats at The Carvery; Italian specialities at the 24-hour La Piazza trattoria and traditional British pub favourites at the Golden Lion. All tolled, there are 10 dining venues to choose from.

Facilities include the only shipboard spa at sea, operated by Canyon Ranch (who will create the ship's light menus), the world's first planetarium at sea, the largest ballroom at sea, the largest library at sea, and the largest wine collection at sea. Queen Mary 2 will also feature a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, several other elegant bars and showrooms, a two-story theatre, a casino, five indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, boutiques, a pet kennel, and a children's facility, complete with British nannies. 

In her inaugural year, Queen Mary 2 will sail 13 transatlantic crossings as she takes over the role currently operated by her sister ship, Queen Elizabeth 2, as Cunard's transatlantic liner. Her maiden westbound crossing from Southampton, England, to New York will depart on April 16. Her maiden eastbound crossing will be historic for Cunard as both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 will depart New York on April 25 together. The day in New York will be the first time two Cunard Queens have been berthed in the port together since March 1940. The vessel will also introduce a series of Caribbean cruises from New York and Fort Lauderdale; a voyage to Rio de Janeiro and back, timed for Carnival; five European itineraries and two fall foliage cruises to ports in Canada and New England. For more information on Queen Mary 2, consult a travel agent, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit the website at

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Fictional Icons Inspire Interiors of New Carnival Miracle

MIAMI, 11/05/03 - Legendary characters, places and themes combine in subtle ways to create a unique ambiance aboard the Carnival Miracle, set to debut Feb. 27, 2004, from Jacksonville, Fla. Inspired by characters from novels, songs, poems, myths, movies and Broadway, these "fabulous fictional icons" were chosen for their styles that evoke a different mood in each of the Carnival Miracle's public areas and rooms. 

From the mythical muses of antiquity to the fictional hometowns of Batman and Superman, Carnival ship architect Joe Farcus has allowed his imagination to range freely across genres and eras to design an interior he himself admits is different from anything he has done before. "We haven't done anything quite in this style before, and it creates an entirely new look. It has classical elements, reinterpreted in a sort of post-modern way that combines clean lines yet with decorations and colorations that are simply delicious," Farcus said. 

The design elements of the public spaces evoke a Deco style, and the names of the common areas suggest the 1930s Deco period. Thus, the lobby and atrium are named after the Metropolis of Superman fame. The lobby lounge is called the Jeeves Lounge, after the fictional butler of P.G. Wodehouse's novels. The foyer is the Batman-inspired Gotham Lounge. The Miracle's lower promenade is called the Fountainhead, from the Ayn Rand novel, whose main character is the idealistic architect Howard Roarke. The upper promenade is called Kane's Way from Orson Wells' film "Citizen Kane." The card room is The Joker, referring again to Batman. All of the major doors in public areas are adorned with multihued wood inlays of Clio, the muse of history and creator of the Greek alphabet. Since Clio inspires the art of writing and creation of fictional characters, Farcus chose her as a thematic symbol for the Miracle. 

The main dining room and its annex take their names from mythology. Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, lends his name to the dining room, while the restaurant annex is named after his wife, Ariadne. The restaurant's walls have elements that look like giant silver goblets with a leaf design of a grape vine. Grape lights with antique copper finished leaves are hung in garlands in between the goblets and appear on the ceiling as well. There are also depictions of Bacchus and Ariadne from classical paintings, while ceiling murals continue the grape motif, which is repeated on the edge of the balcony and the separators between the banquettes. Chandeliers resembling bunches of grapes descend from the ceiling. 

The ship's casual dining Lido Deck area, Horatio's, takes its cue from the C.S. Forester stories about the Napoleon-era British naval captain Horatio Hornblower. Around the room are large three-dimensional Horatio figureheads made to look like a carved ivory sculpture. Between the banquettes are large models of 18th- and 19th-century sailing ships. Wooden beams, arches trimmed in brass and anchor motifs complete the nautical ambiance. Nick and Nora's, Carnival Miracle's supper club, is named after detectives Nick and Nora Charles, characters created by Dashiell Hammett. The room, located at the top of the Miracle's atrium and under a red skylight, has a sophisticated look with all ebony paneling. The centerpiece is a large mural of a great black and white photo of New York from the 1930s. More black and white photographs of the same era give the room a decidedly elegant feel. 

The Phantom Lounge takes its theme from "The Phantom of the Opera," from the popular Lloyd Webber musical, which derived from the 1911 novel, Le Fantome de l'Opera, by Gaston Leroux, both of which are set in the Paris Opera House. The theater's windows feature a Phantom's mask in white enamel with curtains fashioned like a cape while walls are decorated in red paneling printed with leaves. Candlesticks and stained-glass lamps adorn the walls and rich fabrics cover the ceiling to recall the elegance of the Paris Opera House. Guests entering the Mad Hatter's Ball show lounge will feel like they just chased the white rabbit into Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." Depicted on the sloping walls are three-dimensional characters from the novel - the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit - having tea together. On the wall slightly raised paintings of the Queen and King of Hearts and some Jacks appear. Heart motifs also are cut into the walls and inlayed into the doors, tables, bar tops and floor. The Queen's rose garden is recreated with rose-shaped lamps in red and white hues. 

Carnival Miracle's dance club, Dr. Frankenstein's Lab, resembles an old gothic castle in ruin with faux stone walls and other decorative touches. Where some stones appear to have fallen off the wall are panels from an original 1941 Frankenstein comic book. Flashes of static electricity are done in neon around the windows and a pair of two-deck-high Frankenstein monsters adorns the dance floor. The chair upholstery is stitched in the same way the monster may have been stitched together, while carpeting also features a Frankenstein motif. A giant Frankenstein is located on the side of the dance floor and will be constantly "brought to life" with electrical arcs. 

The casino is called Mr. Lucky's, after the 1943 Carey Grant movie and television show of the 1950s where Joe Adams, a.k.a. "Mr. Lucky," runs an illegal gambling yacht, The Fortuna, which sails out of New York. The interiors of the room are yacht-like with a dome in the center that looks like a sailboat with a raised cabin, complete with beams and oblong portholes showing the New York skyline, along with a ceiling that looks like a skylight with little stars shining through. Glass chimney lamps and brass lamps accent the walls, and the bars have brass anchors applied to them. The bar tops have a design that looks like coiled rope that says "Fortuna" on them. The sports bar is called McGuire's, after the movie "Jerry McGuire," which is about a sports agent. On the walls are framed autographed photographs of famous athletes as well as some old sports-related contracts such as Babe Ruth's original minor league contract encased in the clear laminated tabletops. The overall motif is a sophisticated Irish sports bar with lots of television screens and bar-top gaming machines. 

The 19th-century anonymous poem and Jazz Age song are the inspiration for Frankie & Johnnie's jazz club, a swanky, speakeasy-modern design. Along the walls are recessed LED lights, and specially designed ceiling lights in polished stainless-steel tapered tubes descend from the ceiling nearly to the tabletop. Long murals in a sophisticated color scheme evoke the Jazz Age. The main wall panels are in textured silver, but there also is woodwork stained in a red birds-eye maple color scheme. The ceiling over the dance floor area has a series of chrome spheres and inverted pyramids that recall the 1939 New York World's Fair. Of all the gin joints in the world, Carnival Miracle's piano bar had to be named Sam's, after the movie "Casablanca." The room's design evokes Morocco, with Middle Eastern columns, grillwork and lights, wood-planked banquette housings, Moroccan-looking fabrics, and decorative Moorish design tiles in the tables, bars and carpeting. 

The Raven Library is named after Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven," and looks the way one would expect the author's library to appear, with beautiful woodwork and a kind of modern Victorian atmosphere. The winter garden enclosed promenade is patterned after the garden of Jay Gatsby's mansion, from the novel "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gatsby's Garden has long arches that look like cast iron trelliswork with intertwining vines, and the pattern is repeated on the walls. "Gatsby's" also features a faux stone floor, along with a ceiling comprised of a series of little domes with ceiling fans. 

Carnival Miracle is slated to debut from Jacksonville Feb. 27, 2004, with a series of 12 three- to six-day voyages through April 17, 2004, marking the first time that Carnival has ever operated from that port. The ship will also operate seven-day departures from Baltimore and New York before repositioning to Tampa for year-round seven-day western Caribbean cruises from that port beginning Nov. 7, 2004. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel agent Internet portal,

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Stein Kruse Appointed President and COO For Holland America Line; David Giersdorf Promoted to Executive VP, Marketing & Sales

SEATTLE, Nov. 5 -- Holland America Line has announced the appointment of Stein Kruse as president and chief operating officer. Mr. Kruse, previously senior vice president, fleet operations, brings nearly 20 years of industry experience to his new position, which is effective immediately.

As president and chief operating officer for Holland America, Kruse will report to A. Kirk Lanterman, chairman and chief executive officer. "I've had the pleasure of having Stein on my management team now for four years, and I can't think of a person more qualified than Stein to assume the role of president," Lanterman said. "Stein has ably assisted us in managing our rapid growth with strong operational performance. In his new role he will further assist me in setting and executing the future strategic direction of Holland America Line."

At the same time Lanterman announced David Giersdorf's promotion to executive vice president, marketing and sales for Holland America Line, reporting to Mr. Kruse. Giersdorf, most recently senior vice president, marketing and sales, has been with Holland America Line for five years. "During his time with us, David has refined and promoted our company and brand through some very tumultuous times for our industry. His marketing savvy and respected leadership will continue to guide us as we again embark on a period of growth and exciting opportunities," Lanterman said.

In 2004, Holland America's fleet of 13, five-star, premium ships will offer nearly 500 sailings from 15 North American home ports, including new departures from Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; and Boston, Mass. Recent additions to the fleet include the 1,848-passenger sister Vista ships, ms Zuiderdam and ms Oosterdam. In April 2004, the third sister, ms Westerdam joins the fleet. The fleet will again visit all seven continents in 2004, while increasing the number of cruises to popular destinations like Alaska (139 cruises scheduled), the Caribbean (191) and Canada/New England (26).

Holland America excels in service, amenities and special programs. Known for consistent and attentive service, its ships have more staff members per guest than any other major cruise line. Spacious staterooms average 25 percent larger and verandahs twice as large as those on other lines' ships. Menus are among the most extensive at sea. Dining choices include formal elegance, alternative specialty dining in the Pacific Northwest-themed Pinnacle Grill, casual fare and complimentary 24-hour room service. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf to Undergo $2 Million Refit

Chosen Voyage and Windstar Cruises have announced that Wind Surf, Windstar's flagship and Chosen Voyage's home for the World's Only All- Kosher Cruises for four weeks this December and January will undergo a $2 million refit immediately prior to our December programs. This magnificent vessel, already ranked in the Ultra-Luxury class by Frommers and hailed by Brides Magazine as the world's most romantic ship, will be further enhanced by this comprehensive improvement.

Included in the refit is a complete upgrade to all passenger cabins and suites, including DVD/Flatscreen entertainment systems, new soft goods, mattresses and furniture, lighting and artwork. In addition, the Wind Surf will receive upgrades to many of her public areas, including the addition of a Cigar Bar, new fitness equipment in the gym, a complete makeover in the WindSpa, and beautiful new finishes in the Lounge.

Please call Chosen Voyages at (866) IM-CHOSEN (866 462 4673) or 412 521 8202 (outside the USA) or visit online at for reservations. Space is extremely limited!

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Princess to Launch New "Lotus Spas" Aboard Two Ships 
Debuting Next Spring
First Major Cruise Line to Manage Spa Operations In-House  

SANTA CLARITA, CA -- When two of Princess' ships are launched next spring, a new sea-going spa product will also debut, marking the first time a major cruise line has created and operated its own onboard spas. The new "Lotus Spa®" aboard Caribbean Princess and Sapphire Princess will feature an array of renowned sea-based treatments and services designed for both men and women, with even some special services for teens, plus custom staff uniforms designed by noted L.A. fashion designer Sue Wong. And, in an industry first, consumers will be able to make advance reservations for spa treatments prior to their cruise through Princess' web site.

The first new Lotus Spa will debut onboard Caribbean Princess in April 2004, and the second will launch on Sapphire Princess when the ship enters service in May. The Steiner Corporation, with whom Princess has had a long and successful history, will continue to operate the spas on the remainder of the Princess fleet.

"With the introduction of Caribbean and Sapphire Princess we had the opportunity to further enhance the onboard spa experience," explained Jeff Kohl, Princess' Director of Spa Operations. "Our goal is to create a sanctuary for our guests where relaxation and rejuvenation of the body and mind come together in a warm, service-oriented environment."

Kohl explained that the serenity of an Asian-themed spa setting has been well received by Princess passengers, and this latest move is designed to build upon that success. "It's very exciting to be able to create a Princess-branded spa experience from the ground up. We were able to assemble an impressive collection of some of the most exciting products and treatments in the spa and beauty industries, plus add a distinctive element of Asian flair to the experience with the custom-designed uniforms by Sue Wong," Kohl said. "Combine all this with a top-notch service credo of warmth and customer care, and we expect our passengers will discover yet another new experience which sets Princess apart."

Kohl, who is also President of the International SPA Association (ISPA), says the organization commissioned a 2002 spa industry study conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers that shows the dramatic increase of spa-going consumers, a 71 percent increase in total spa visits between 1999 and 2001. "The industry numbers, along with our own results, show that the spa experience is growing in importance as a leisure activity. And we want to provide to our passengers the most innovative, pampering and rejuvenating spa experience possible," he said.

High Style on the High Seas
Princess has tapped noted L.A. fashion designer Sue Wong, known for her silky, hand-beaded and hand-painted evening wear, to bring some distinctly Asian fashion flair to the new Lotus Spas. Wong's creations regularly appear in fashion magazines outfitting the many celebrities who are taken with her stylish designs. Wong, whose Chinese name coincidentally is "Lotus," will design and manufacture the uniforms worn by all members of the spa staff, from the managers to the estheticians.

Advance Reservations an Industry First
With the debut of the new Lotus Spas, Princess becomes the only cruise line to offer its passengers the ability to conveniently make reservations for spa treatments in advance of their cruise. The New Lotus Spa reservation system, accessed through Princess' web site, will begin accepting bookings in February 2004 for the Caribbean and Sapphire Princess sailings beginning with their inaugural voyages.

"The technology and back-of-house support behind accepting advance spa reservations is quite complex, but we placed a high priority on making this possible since we know that getting the appointments they wish at the time they would like is an important part of the cruise vacation experience for many of our passengers," said Kohl. "We're delighted to break new ground with this service, and we're sure our spa guests are going to love the convenience of booking their treatments before they even step aboard."

Treatments to Relax and Rejuvenate
These Princess-created and operated spas will feature an innovative menu of treatments, including the distinctive "rasul experience," an eastern combination of healing muds, steam and dry heat in a private sauna and steam suite for couples, plus new offerings especially designed for teens, and for men as well.

According to the 2002 ISPA study, men make up 29 percent of spa-goers, and 14 percent are young adults in the 14-24 year age bracket. "It makes sense that we would welcome both of these groups into our spas by designing treatments just for them," said Kohl. The new men's section includes five special treatments including an Aromatic Pine Sea Scrub, Muscle Thermal Repair and Fitness Massage, Cool Marine Facial and Massage, and an AromaVedic Manicure or Pedicure. On the menu for teens are a body polish and tanning, facials, manicures and pedicures.

The wide array of facials, body treatments and massages will include treatments to relax, exfoliate, hydrate, nourish, soothe and firm. Besides being made from natural ingredients, many of which have been derived from the sea, most treatments include an aromatherapy component. There's even a Golden Sun Kiss tanning treatment for passengers who want a tan but are conscious about the harmful effects of the sun's rays.

Special Touches Enhance Spa Visits
It won't be only the treatments and products that will set the new Lotus Spas apart. Special touches will enhance a passenger's spa visit, such as enjoying a live string quartet during yoga or Pilates lessons in the Lotus Spa fitness center. Smoothies and energy drinks, a signature Lotus Spa drink and spa snacks will also be featured, and at the conclusion of each treatment guests will receive a special thank you gift. A signature Lotus Spa fragrance will also debut.

Products Celebrate Therapeutic Powers of the Ocean
A special element of the new Lotus Spas will be the treatment products exclusive to Princess, supplied by Phytomer, a French company who will bring their 30 years of experience as worldwide experts in marine-based cosmetics. With the company name literally meaning "plant of the sea," Phytomer researches and develops products that include vital sea elements -- their high-tech, natural products have at their core a unique seawater concentrate that is the foundation of their product lines. Found in prestigious resorts and spas around the world, Phytomer's wide range of award-winning products, combined with special training of all spa staff, are designed to regenerate and protect the skin, and relax the body and mind.

Carita Paris will be featured in the hair salon of the new Lotus Spas. The company is known for combining science with fragrance and texture, to create some of the most sought-after products in the beauty industry. In the 1960s, the founders of the line revolutionized the way the world looked at hair and, since then, Carita Paris has become one of the top hair care lines in the world, with products found in upscale stores, salons and resort spas. Rounding out the product line, one of the best-known names in nail care, CreativeSpa, has been selected to supply the manicure and pedicure spa treatment line for the new Lotus Spas. Used at select salons and destination spas, the products are made with natural therapeutic marine ingredients such as botanicals and natural sea extracts.

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Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises President & COO Raises $300,000 For Cystic Fibrosis By Running The New York City Marathon
Fundraising Doesn't Stop at the Finish Line; Miami Events Next

MIAMI, Nov. 3 -- Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises President and COO Jack Williams raised $300,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation yesterday by running the New York City Marathon. After training for 10 months, logging more than 700 miles and losing 20 pounds, Williams earned a race time of 5 hours and 18 minutes.

Today, his company announced the next fundraiser: a two-day weekend celebrating the style and heart of the city and citizens of Miami, tagged "Shine Miami." The weekend begins Friday, January 30, with a two-day, star- studded golf tournament and a concert under the stars at Bayfront Park Friday night. The festivities continue on Saturday, January 31, with "day two" of the golf tournament, as well as a full-day fishing tournament. And the "shine" in Shine Miami undoubtedly will be most lustrous on Saturday night, when a black- tie gala dinner is held, featuring live and silent auctions, as well as live entertainment.

A long-time supporter and board member of the CF Foundation, Williams has helped raise more than $30 million for the cause. With all proceeds from "Shine Miami" donated to the Foundation, he hopes to significantly increase that number. To find out more about "Shine Miami," become an official sponsor, purchase tickets or volunteer, visit, or call 786-275-8000. For more information about cystic fibrosis, visit the CF Foundation web site at or call 1-800-FIGHT CF. And for more information about Celebrity Cruises, the industry's highest-rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Carnival Launches New Online Embarkation Portal
System Will Collect Required Governmental Data, Speed Up Embarkation Process

MIAMI (11/03/03) - To comply with the new data-gathering requirements by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Carnival Cruise Lines has established a new on-line embarkation portal that enables guests to submit the required information for their upcoming "Fun Ship" cruise. The new system will be launched Nov. 25, 2003, and be in effect for all Carnival departures beginning Dec. 15, 2003. Registering on-line prior to the voyage will also serve to streamline the embarkation process. 

For guests who register prior to 40 days before sailing, cruise documents will include a "FunPass" allowing them to "fast track" through embarkation when they arrive at the cruise terminal. Guests may register up to two days prior to sailing and will also have the option of printing their own "FunPass" once the registration process is complete. The new system is in accordance with the new DHS regulations that require cruise lines to provide specific guest information - first, middle and last name, gender, date of birth, nationality and permanent address - for all U.S. guests prior to the departure of the voyage. Non-U.S. guests must supply additional information such as country of residence, passport and visa details (if applicable), and destination address following the cruise. 

"With today's stricter security measures and data-collecting requirements, we wanted to develop a system that complies with the new DHS regulations while enabling our guests to board their 'Fun Ship' cruise in the quickest and most efficient manner possible. Our new on-line embarkation portal meets these new requirements while serving to speed up the embarkation process," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

To access the new system, guests can log on to Carnival's web site, and click on the "OnLine FunPass" icon. From there, guests are instructed to enter their Carnival booking number, last name and ship and sailing date. Guests may register for their cruise at any point after initial deposit is made. Those who do not have Internet access may contact Carnival's reservations department to have a registration form faxed to them. Completed forms may be returned to Carnival via a special toll-free fax number, no later than five business days prior to sailing. The new on-line registration system is available in conjunction with departures on all 19 Carnival ships which operate voyages ranging from three to 16 days to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Bermuda. For additional information on the new on-line embarkation portal or any of Carnival's "Fun Ship" cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

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Thanksgiving in Brazil, Hanukkah in Turks & Caicos, Christmas in Moorea & New Year's Day in Costa Rica
Seven Voyages Include Club Mariner Youth Program; Two Feature Le Cordon Bleu Cooking Workshops & Select Sailings Offer Special Savings

Ft. Lauderdale, FL October 17, 2003 - This year, unwrap a dream and give yourself and your family a holiday cruise aboard one of Radisson Seven Seas'® five luxury vessels. Choose from 15 tropical seven- to 19-night itineraries in Nov. and Dec., with seven voyages featuring Club Mariner children's programs, and two with Le Cordon Bleu® culinary workshops. The Seven Seas Voyager®, Seven Seas Mariner®, Seven Seas Navigator®, Radisson Diamond® and Paul Gauguin® will set sail on a variety of holiday sojourns including Panama Canal & Costa Rica sailings, Caribbe­an and South America voyages as well as idyllic Marquesas and Society Islands cruises. In celebration of the season of giving, guests on select holiday sailings will enjoy either two-for-one savings or up to 50% savings on second-guest fares. 

Featuring acclaimed service, outstanding cuisine, intriguing ports of call and exceptional onboard programming, luxury goes exploring the holidays. Forget cooking at home and enjoy Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas festivities over fine meals prepared by Radisson Seven Seas¿ talented chefs. Guests who yearn to cook like the pros may hone their carving techniques in six hours of hands-on Le Cordon Bleu® culinary workshops aboard the Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner's Nov. 23 Thanksgiving sailings. And for multigenerational travelers, their youngsters will be kept engaged aboard many holiday cruises with Club Mariner's youth program, offering fun, age-appropriate activities in two tiers: for children ages six to 11 and 12 to 17.

All prices for voyages listed below are per person and include all shipboard gratuities, wine with dinner, an in-stateroom/suite bar set-up and savings as noted. Low-cost air add-ons are available from 84 North American gateways, from $299 per person. Guests considering a holiday cruise are encouraged to book soon, as some cruises are already sold out and others only have limited availability.

Thanksgiving With the Trimmings
On Nov. 27, cruise guests can enjoy an elaborate five-course Thanksgiving feast, complete with champagne to accompany the gourmet pumpkin pie.

  • 320-guest Paul Gauguin, Nov. 15, 14-night Marquesas voyage roundtrip from Papeete with Jean Michel Cousteau, guest lecturer/dive leader. Thanksgiving Day at Motu Mahana. Prices from $4,946 include 50% savings on second guest fares. SOLD OUT! 
  • 700-guest all-balcony suite Seven Seas Voyager, Nov. 23, seven-night Western Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. Thanksgiving Day in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Two-for-one prices from $1,798. Le Cordon Bleu cooking workshops available for $395 per person. Club Mariner also offered. SOLD OUT!
  • 700-guest all-balcony suite Seven Seas Mariner, Nov. 23, 19-night South America voyage from Buenos Aires to Ft. Lauderdale. Thanksgiving Day at sea. Prices from $6,071 include 50% off second guest savings. Le Cordon Bleu workshops available.
  • 350-guest twin-hull Radisson Diamond, Nov. 24, seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from San Juan. Thanksgiving Day in Roseau, Dominica. Two-for-one prices from $1,648. Club Mariner offered.
  • 490-guest all-suite (90% with private balconies) Seven Seas Navigator, Nov. 25, seven-night Western Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Tampa. Thanksgiving Day at sea. Two-for-one prices from $1,698. Club Mariner offered.

'Tis the Season For Luxury Cruises
With halls leading to their accommodations decked with holly, guests may mail their holiday cards postmarked from Bora Bora and St. Barts - topping off Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations with a special Captain's Holiday Champagne Dinner. 

  • Seven Seas Mariner, Dec. 18, nine-night Eastern Caribbean sojourn roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. Christmas Day at sea. Prices from $3,596 include 50% savings on second guest fares. Club Mariner offered.
  • Seven Seas Navigator, Dec. 18, 10-night Eastern Caribbean voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan. Christmas Day at sea. Prices from $3,821 include 50% savings on second guest fares. Club Mariner offered.
  • Radisson Diamond, Dec. 18, 11-night Panama Canal transit from Ft. Lauderdale to Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica. Christmas Day at sea. Prices from $3,896 include 50% savings on second guest fares. Club Mariner offered.
  • Seven Seas Voyager, Dec. 20, seven-night Western Caribbean voyage roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. Christmas Day at sea. Prices from $2,771 per person include 50% savings on second guest fares. Club Mariner offered.
  • Paul Gauguin, Dec. 20, seven-night Society Islands sojourn roundtrip from Papeete. Christmas Day in Moorea. Prices from $3,325 per person.

Happy New Year!
The clock strikes twelve, confetti unfurls and noisemakers fill the air as guests toast their exotic surroundings during a spectacular onboard New Year's celebration.

Seven Seas Voyager, Dec. 27, 14-night Panama Canal passage from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. New Year's Day at sea. SOLD OUT!

Seven Seas Mariner, Dec. 27, 12-night Panama Canal transit from Ft. Lauderdale to Callao, Peru. New Year's Day in Puerto Limón, Costa Rica. Prices from $4,346 include 50% savings on second guest fares.

Paul Gauguin, Dec. 27, seven-night Society Islands sojourn roundtrip from Papeete. New Year¿s Day in Moorea. Prices from $3,325 per person.

Seven Seas Navigator, Dec. 28, 11-night Southern Caribbean sailing from San Juan to Ft. Lauderdale. New Year's Day at sea. Prices from $4,196 include 50% savings on second guest fares.

Radisson Diamond, Dec. 29, nine-night Panama Canal transit from Puerto Caldera to San Juan. New Year's Day in San Blas Islands, Panama. Prices from $3,296 include 50% savings on second guest fares.

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Silversea Cruises Offers New "Silver Sights" Land Programs for 2004
Optional Pre- and Post-Cruise Land Extensions Offer Exceptional
Flexibility and Freedom to Explore World’s Most Exciting Destinations

Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- Silversea Cruises has rolled out Silver Sights, a new collection of optional pre- and post-cruise land programs that will debut in 2004 and enhance an already impressive roster of shoreside adventures. The new land options offer guests the chance to experience a city’s history, art and culture at their leisure, following a schedule of their own design, or with tours carefully planned by the luxury line’s destination experts. 

With a Silver Sights land program, guests can extend their cruise vacation with accommodations for three nights at some of the world’s finest hotels in over 30 cities. Each pre- and post-cruise extension includes an escorted half-day city tour (or theatre tickets in London), all transfers, porterage and breakfast. Guests who seek more in-depth exploration of a city or surrounding region can take advantage of an array of other tour options offered at Silversea’s Hospitality Desk at their hotel.

“Our mission in creating Silver Sights was to offer our guests pre- and post-cruise land extensions that echo the luxury and freedom of choice offered aboard our ships,” said Jim Droney, Silversea’s Director of Land Programs. “Silver Sights lets guests enjoy luxurious hotel accommodations in some of the world’s most historic and intriguing destinations. And instead of having a pre-planned program of tours and activities to follow at designated times, guests can discover local attractions and cultural treasures on their own terms and at their own pace.” 

Guests can indulge themselves with glorious days of pampering at celebrated hotels that span the globe. From Istanbul’s Ritz Carlton and Sydney’s Four Seasons to New York’s St. Regis, only the world’s most revered hotels have been selected for Silver Sights programs. Whether they opt to explore unique shopping venues and world-class restaurants, visit famed museums and archeological monuments, or simply take a leisurely stroll along historic boulevards, Silver Sights guests always enjoy the freedom to create their own program of cultural discovery.

Depending on the city, pre-cruise Silver Sights add-on rates for air/hotel guests range from $190 to $695. For cruise-only guests, the pre-cruise rates range from $315 to $1,295. Post-cruise Silver Sights programs range from $315 to $1,195. All rates are per guest, based on double occupancy.

Silversea has just published its new “2004 Land Programs” brochure, which features complete details about Silver Sights, as well as the line’s many other specially tailored, optional land adventures, all providing the perfect complement to an ultra-luxury cruise vacation. To request a copy, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986. Silver Sights program information is also available at

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

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