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News from the world of cruise travel ~
November 16-30, 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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More Glaciers, More Ships, More Seattle Departures on 139 Holland America Line Alaska Cruises in 2004

Seattle, Nov 26, 2003 - Holland America Line - the leader in Alaska cruises and CruiseTours with 56 years experience - will sail seven ships on 139 cruises to Alaska during the 2004 sailing season, 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 combined the breathtaking views of Alaska's stunning glaciers with the fascinating ports of the famous Inside Passage of Alaska and Canada. Aboard every Alaska cruise, Holland America offers a full-time naturalist to discuss and point out wildlife and key natural features, and a native artisan, affiliated with the Alaska Native Heritage Center, to showcase Alaskan native artistry. The "Artisans in Residence Program" features an Alaskan native artist on board demonstrating a traditional craft such as ivory or soapstone carving, basket weaving, or mask making.

"In 2004, we've improved our popular Glacier Bay Inside Passage cruise itinerary by adding even more glacier sightseeing with Tracy Arm's Sawyer Glaciers," said David A. Giersdorf, executive vice president, marketing and sales. "Combined with the famed Glacier Bay National Park, these Vancouver sailings offer our guests more dramatic scenic cruising than any other roundtrip Alaska cruise. We've gone to great lengths to be sure the glacier scenic cruising and port calls of our itineraries are the best in the industry."

More Glacier Bay National Park Than Any Other Line -- Holland America offers 96 cruises visiting spectacular Glacier Bay National Park, more than any other cruise line. Every Glacier Bay visit includes commentary and presentations from a National Park Service ranger and the Huna Totem native speaker. "We're the only cruise line that can get you to Glacier Bay on all three major Alaska cruise itineraries: roundtrip Vancouver, roundtrip Seattle, and between Vancouver and Seward," said Giersdorf. "That's a great selection for our guests."

More Glaciers in 2004 -- The Holland America fleet will visit more glaciers than ever in 2004, with cruises scheduled to tour the imposing 5-mile wide, 40-stories-tall Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm with the Sawyer Glaciers, College Fjord, and Glacier Bay National Park. Many cruises will give passengers two separate days of glacier viewing. Port calls include Juneau, Sitka, Skagway and Ketchikan, with dozens of optional excursions available to guests in each port, including dog-sledding, glacier hiking, flightseeing, kayaking and guided city tours.

New Vista-ship in 2004: the Oosterdam -- Holland America's newest 1848 passenger vista class ship, ms Oosterdam, will debut a program of Saturday Seattle sailings, featuring mammoth Hubbard Glacier. The ship offers a wide selection of affordable verandah staterooms and suites and already showcases many of Holland America's Signature of Excellence features: the Pinnacle Grill, the expansive Greenhouse Spa, and numerous dining venues. "This is a spectacular ship with the best glacier viewing of the ships sailing Saturdays from Seattle," said Giersdorf. "We take the extra time in Tracy Arm to show guests one of the largest tidewaters glaciers in the world, surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in North America."

The Three Kinds of Alaska Cruises -- Beginning in May, Glacier Bay Inside Passage cruises will depart on round-trip, 7-day voyages from Vancouver on board Holland America's "twins," the 1,440-passenger Zaandam (departing every Saturday) and her sister ship, the ms Volendam (departing Wednesdays). The voyages will take in the placid, scenic waters of Canada's Inside Passage and tour Tracy Arm before calling at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Each cruise features a day of cruising Glacier Bay National Park, including the stark vistas of the Johns Hopkins Glacier and the stunning, bright white and blue Margerie Glacier in Tarr Inlet. Cruise-only fares start at US$849 [CAN$1,230], per person, double occupancy. Government taxes are additional.

Three ships will sail the waters between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska throughout the summer on one-way Glacier Discovery Cruises of seven days. Departing on alternating Sundays, the Statendam and Veendam cruises feature Glacier Bay National Park and the sixteen glaciers of secluded College Fjord. The Ryndam, embarking on Fridays, visits inspiring Hubbard Glacier. Each ship carries only 1,258 passengers, as much as half the number of guests of the other ships on similar itineraries. Cruise-only fares for these voyages begin at US$849 [CAN$1,230], per person, double occupancy.

Seattle departures will double in 2004 with the introduction of the new 1,848-passenger Oosterdam joining the 1,380-passenger flagship Amsterdam on Alaskan Explorer round-trip voyages from Seattle. Together, they will make 40 seven-day journeys between May and mid-September. The new Oosterdam sails Saturdays and visits Hubbard Glacier. The Holland America flagship, ms Amsterdam, will sail Sundays from Seattle visiting Glacier Bay National Park. Port calls include Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria. Cruise-only fares start at US$899 [CAN$1,303], per person, double occupancy.

Largest Five-Star Fleet in Alaska -- With the largest five-star fleet in Alaska, Holland America excels in service, amenities and special programs. Menus, highlighted by Alaska specialties like salmon, halibut and King crab, are among the most extensive at sea. A wide range of shore excursions is offered in the ports of call, including an exclusive "Just for Kids" program, with high appeal to the growing numbers of families choosing to cruise Alaska for their summer vacation. Alaska cruises are scheduled in conjunction with Holland America's extensive Cruisetours program (see separate release for details), which combine a huge variety of land-based touring options to the Yukon and the 49th state's most popular attractions, including Denali National Park, the gold rush towns of Whitehorse and Dawson, and Canada's Kluane National Park.

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Recommend Magazine's 2003 Reader's Survey Names Holland America Line "Top Premium Cruise Line"

Seattle -- Further cementing its position as the world's top premium cruise line, Holland America Line recently was named the best Premium Cruise Line by readers of Recommend magazine in the monthly publications' annual reader travel survey.

"We are very proud to be named the top Premium Cruise Line by the readers of a Recommend," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "This is the third national travel magazine that has honored Holland America in the past four months, confirming that we not only claim we are the best, we prove it every day by exceeding expectations and delivering exceptional service, the most diverse cruise itineraries and five-star dining on more than 500 sailings every year."

In addition to recognition by Recommend, Holland America also tops the rankings as best premium cruise line in the Conde Nast Traveler 2003 Readers' Choice Awards and the 2003 Travel & Leisure "World's Best" Awards.

About Signature of Excellence -- As the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on Holland America Line's renowned tradition of excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America Line guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; in-depth enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements, and in some cases construction build-outs, have been started and are expected to be completed by the end of 2005. 

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, VA; Baltimore, MD; and Boston, Mass. Recent additions to the fleet include the 1,848-passenger Vista ships, ms Zuiderdam and ms Oosterdam. In April 2004, the third Vista sister, ms Westerdam joins the fleet. The fleet will visit all seven continents in 2004, while increasing the number of cruises to popular destinations such as Alaska (139 cruises scheduled), the Caribbean (191), Europe (58) and Canada/New England (26).

The winner of the 12th consecutive "Best Overall Cruise Value" award from the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society (WOCLS), the line offers the only trip cancellation program in the industry that provides cash back for canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit With a circulation of 55,000, Recommend is the most circulated travel industry publication and is published monthly by Worth International Communications Corporation. More than 1,200 travel agents responded to the reader survey on travel preferences and destinations.

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New Princess Cruises Australia/South Pacific Brochure Debuts
Guide Details Princess' First Summer Exotics Season and Sapphire Princess' Debut Down Under

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 26, 2003 - The lure of "Down Under"--from Australia's Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand's scenic fjords to the tropics of Hawaii, Tahiti and other South Pacific idylls--holds special appeal for a growing number of Princess passengers each year. Now, the line has made planning a vacation to Australia/New Zealand a bit easier by issuing a dedicated brochure just for these destinations.

The new 70-page planning guide is part of Princess' new series of destination-specific Exotics brochures, and will enable passengers to explore both cruise and cruisetour options to these popular regions and choose from between two distinct ship experiences. The season not only features the brand new amenity-filled 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess' debut in Australia but also the first summer Exotics season aboard the intimate 670-passenger Pacific Princess.

"As the market leader in Australia and the South Pacific we're committed to innovating cruising programs there," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "No one else is sending their largest and newest ships to Australia, so our program there is naturally unique. We've also expanded our Hawaii cruise program and have a dedicated year-round ship in French Polynesia, so it makes sense to offer customers an easy-to-use reference for planning trips to these exotic destinations."

Sapphire Princess in Australia/New Zealand
Sapphire Princess will debut on Princess' Australia/New Zealand route in 2004-05, taking over from Star Princess as the largest and most amenity-filled vessel to ever sail "Down Under." Her itineraries include six 12- or 14-day Australia/New Zealand voyages, plus a 30-day Hawaii/Tahiti/South Pacific cruise as part of the line's new Connoisseur Adventure Voyages.

In addition, passengers will find four land options for creating a full cruisetour vacation. These five- to seven-day tour choices include a wide variety of sightseeing choices - a catamaran ride to the Great Barrier Reef, a visit to the "capital of the tropical north" Cairns, and the opportunity to relax at the beach resort Paradise at Dunk Island. New for the season is a revised Australia Explorer tour that now features two nights at one of the continent's most dramatic inland attractions, Ayers Rock - giving passengers more time to experience this unique and magical part of the world.

Island Princess Goes Hawaiian
Princess will deploy Island Princess to the Hawaiian Islands for the first time ever, launching and expanded season of 15-day round-trip Hawaii cruises from Los Angeles. The series features 15 departures September 21, 2004 and April 19, 2005 - including a special holiday voyage on December 20, during which passengers can celebrate both Christmas and the New Year. The itinerary will take passengers to all of Hawaii's major islands with visits to Hilo, Kona, Honolulu, Nawiliwili (Kauai) and Lahaina (Maui). In addition, passengers can take advantage of this new amenity-filled ship's many Personal Choice Cruising options and services during a series of relaxing days at sea between the islands and Los Angeles. A highlight of the ship's visit to the Big Island is an evening cruise-by of one of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea; providing the perfect vantage point to watch as glowing lava flows down to the sea.

Year-Round French Polynesia on Tahitian Princess
Tahitian Princess' second season sailing the beautiful waters of French Polynesia will offer two unique 10-day itineraries - Polynesia & the Cook Islands and Polynesia & the Marquesas Islands. Both routes feature scenic cruising along the picturesque island of Tahaa, plus calls in Moorea, Reiatea and Bora Bora; and passengers can choose whether to visit Rarotonga in the Cook Islands or the more remote Marquesas with scenic cruising through the atolls of the Tuamoto Archipelago. Tahitian Princess' season will run from May 7, 2004 through April 12, 2005, culminating with a 12-day Papeete to Hawaii cruise.

Connoisseur Adventure Voyages on Pacific Princess
Passengers looking for a longer adventure have several options on Pacific Princess. A 24-day Papeete to Ft. Lauderdale cruise and a 28-day Cape Town to Sydney sailing offer exotic choices for exploring several continents. In addition, the intimate 670-passenger vessel will offer several shorter South Pacific options with a 15-day sailing between Sydney and Papeete and a 12-day Hawaii/Tahiti voyage.

The new Australia/South Pacific brochure and other brochures are available by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or may be requested using the company's website at

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Elegant Paul Gauguin celebrates "Summer in Tahiti" with 
FREE roundtrip air

Ft. Lauderdale, FL., Nov, 2003 - Escape the chill of winter 2004 with hot savings during "Summer in Tahiti" on the Paul Gauguin's 13 January through March cruises, offering special savings plus free roundtrip economy airfare from 84 North American gateway cities.  The elegant vessel, which cruises French Polynesia on a year-round basis, charts a leisurely course among some of the most beautiful islands on earth, including Radisson Seven Seas' private isle of Motu Mahana.

The deluxe 320-guest Paul Gauguin, which has become a South Seas legend, sails weekly roundtrip voyages from Papeete, Tahiti, to Raiatea, Tahaa/Motu Mahana, Bora Bora and Moorea.  The 13 "Summer in Tahiti" departures, on January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14, 21, 28, March 6, 13, 20 and 27, during French Polynesia's summer season, include special savings plus free roundtrip economy airfare from 84 North American gateways, for savings of up to $2,799 per person based on regular 2004 air/sea fares.

Specially designed for cruising these exotic islands, the intimate vessel offers spacious, ocean view accommodations (50 percent with private balconies), and an open, airy style that takes full advantage of the tropical breezes, crystal clear waters and dramatic scenery of French Polynesia. With her own retractable watersports platform, the Paul Gauguin offers complimentary kayaking, water-skiing and winddsurfing - and an optional full scuba dive program for all levels of expertise.  Beginners can take a one-week course allowing them to leave the ship with their PADI certification.

The culinary experience aboard is inspired by two-star Michelin chef Jean-Pierre Vigato in two fine restaurants whose open-seating policy allows guests to dine when and with whomever they wish.  Nightly entertainment includes international performers plus the talents of the Gauguines, an all-female troupe of Polynesian singers and dancers.

A wide array of shore excursions, ranging from shark and ray feeding to flightseeing to waverunner and off-road adventures, plus two days each in Bora Bora and Moorea give guests plenty of time to exercise their options.  World-famous Carita of Paris operates the shipboard spa.

Special prices for the "Summer in Tahiti" cruises start at $2,835 per person, and include free roundtrip economy airfare from 84 North American gateways, all shipboard gratuities, wine with lunch and dinner, soft drinks throughout and an in-stateroom bar set-up. Port/handling and security charges of $207 per person are additional.

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Windstar Cruises + Tahiti = Romance
msy  Wind Star Sails Tahiti and her Islands Year-Round in 2004

Seattle, WA, November 25, 2003--Couples searching for an idyllic retreat will find the vacation of their dreams by combining one of the most romantic destinations in the world, Tahiti and her Islands, with Windstar Cruises, the cruise line voted most romantic by Porthole magazine. Couples can indulge in a luxurious vacation with incredible value on thirteen sailings from January 2 through March 26, 2004.  Windstar is offering air-inclusive cruise fares to and from Papeete from 78 North American gateways.  Air-inclusive 7-day cruises start at $2,995 per person based on double occupancy. The luxurious 148-passenger Wind Star explores French Polynesia's paradisiacal ports-including Raiatea, Huahine, Bora Bora, and Moorea.
"Tahiti and her islands are the quintessential tropical paradise," says Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "It's the perfect setting for  romance, and Windstar enhances the experience with a relaxed, casual elegance that is truly 180-degrees from ordinary."
Windstar's unique sailing yacht provides the ultimate Tahiti experience.  Guests relax on deck beneath billowing white sails surrounded by lush tropical islands, sparkling beaches and brilliant water.  Attentive staff caters to every whim allowing couples to enjoy luxury time together. Couples interested in customizing a romantic getaway will appreciate the addition of the "Romance Under Sail" program. A dedicated Web site,, allows guests to pre-order gift packages or luxury amenities-ranging from a spectacular arrangement of fresh-cut flowers to a Wedding Vow Renewal package-for weddings, anniversaries, or other special occasions.  The site includes a convenient romance registry so friends and relatives can easily order gifts for the couple as well. An on-staff romance coordinator helps with individual requests. Special ceremonies such as a symbolic wedding or a renewal of wedding vows, either on-deck or on the islands, can be tailored through Windstar's event planning partner, The Wedding Experience (phone: 877-580-3556).

Passengers can do as much or as little as they like aboard the Wind Star. While many prefer to devote themselves fully to the pursuit of nothing, the ship offers a panoply of choices for active people. Complimentary water sports are offered from an aft water sports platform. Guests can take advantage of the platform for swimming, snorkeling, water-skiing, kayaking, sailing, "banana boating," and windsurfing. Water sports coordinators help guests with activities and point out prime snorkeling spots. PADI instructors offer scuba diving adventures for novice and experienced divers. Certified divers can light up the underwater world in Bora Bora at Toopua Reef on a magical night dive.
A spectrum of shore excursions further illuminates the Polynesian experience for Wind Star's guests. Adventurous guests may choose to go parasailing in Moorea which affords a stunning view of the landscape from a new perspective.  In Raiatea, guests may discover the secrets of the Tahitian black pearl on an excursion to a pearl farm.  An exceptionally romantic excursion in Bora Bora includes spending the night in an over-water bungalow complete with candlelit dinner and breakfast in bed.
On all its cruises, Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure.
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 find out more about Windstar's Tahitian cruises, sail over to Windstar Cruises online at For special offers and information about Windstar's romantic cruises, visit To receive a Tahiti brochure, make reservations, or receive more information, contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245.

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Carnival's 'Fun Ship' Jubilee to Operate 4- & 5-DAY Cruises From Jacksonville in Summer 2004
1,486-Passenger SuperLiner Marks the Third Carnival 'Fun Ship' To Sail From Northeast Florida Port Next Year 

MIAMI (11/25/03) - Following tremendous response to Carnival's first-ever "Fun Ship" departures from Jacksonville, Fla., scheduled to begin next year, the company has announced plans to deploy the 1,486-passenger "Fun Ship" Jubilee on a series of four- and five-day cruises from that port May 11 - Aug. 26, 2004. On this program, four-day cruises will depart Thursdays and visit Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas, while five-day cruises will depart Mondays and Saturdays and feature Key West, Fla., and Nassau (with the exception of a special four-day introductory cruise that will depart Tuesday, May 11 and call at Freeport and Nassau.) 

Including the Jubilee, Carnival is deploying a total of three ships on cruises from Jacksonville in 2004. As previously announced, from Feb. 27 to April 27, 2004, the new 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle, currently under construction in Helsinki, Finland, will operate a series of three-, five- and six-day voyages from Jacksonville. Then in the fall, the 1,452-passenger Holiday will kick off Jacksonville's first year-round cruise program with a special six-day voyage Oct. 17, followed by the launch of four- and five-day service Oct. 23, 2004.

"We received such fabulous response to the Miracle and Holiday programs that we wanted to be able to fill in the gap next year between those two programs and provide consumers the opportunity to cruise on a 'Fun Ship' from Jacksonville throughout 2004, including the peak summer travel period," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. Dickinson noted that the Jubilee's four- and five-day cruises from Jacksonville continue the expansion of the company's popular short cruise offerings (voyages of five days or less in length), which reflect a huge trend toward shorter duration getaways sought by the vacationing public. Carnival will operate 32 short cruise options in 2004, the most of any other cruise line. More than half of Carnival's ships will be deployed on short cruise itineraries next year. 

The 47,262-ton Jubilee, which entered service in 1986, features three swimming pools, one with a 115-foot-long water slide, as well as an Internet café, a full gambling casino, a health and fitness center, and 10 lounges and bars, including a 1,000-seat theater showcasing lavish Vegas-style productions. Three restaurants, including two main dining rooms and a casual poolside eatery featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives and a 24-hour pizzeria, along with a children's play area 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 departures from Jacksonville. Prices for the Jubilee's four- and five-day cruises start at $399 and $429 per person, respectively. These cruises can also be purchased through Carnival's "Fun Finance Plan (SM)," which enables consumers to extend their cruise payments over 24 monthly installments. Certain restrictions apply. Round-trip air transportation supplements from a variety of North American gateways and special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available. For additional information and reservations contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Caribbean Princess to Debut Early
Line Adds Two New Sailings to Inaugural Schedule

SANTA CLARITA, CA (Nov 24, 2003) – Bringing innovations such as “Movies Under the Stars” to consumers early, Princess’ upcoming vessel Caribbean Princess will now set sail on her inaugural voyage on April 3, 2004 – two weeks sooner than originally announced. The 116,000-ton vessel, currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, will offer two extra Western Caribbean sailings from Ft. Lauderdale, expanding the company’s most extensive Caribbean season ever. The new sailings will depart on April 3 and 10, with calls at Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Montego Bay and Princess’ own private island, Princess Cays.

“As we become a bigger player in the Caribbean, we’re delighted that these two additional departures will emphasize that we are the only truly ‘Royal’ experience in the Caribbean,” said Dean Brown, Princess’ executive vice president of customer service and sales. “Being able to add these two new cruises is an exciting way to launch our first dedicated Caribbean ship.”

Caribbean Princess, which will become the largest ship in the Princess fleet, sports a number of new features designed specifically for Caribbean itineraries, such as a giant 300-square-foot LED poolside movie screen for watching Movies Under the Stars, Caribbean cuisine dining options and nearly 900 cabins with balconies--more than on any other cruise ship sailing year-round in the Caribbean.

The ship also offers many of the line’s distinctive features such as the signature Personal Choice Dining®. Only Princess offers passengers the opportunity to choose either the traditional, same time/same table option; or Anytime Dining, which gives passengers the flexibility to choose when, where and with whom they dine throughout the cruise. Other Caribbean Princess amenities include the line’s first in-house Lotus Spa®, extensive children and teen centers, a wedding chapel, internet center, and an extensive array of entertainment options and venues.

The two new Caribbean Princess sailings will be available to book starting November 24, and fares for the new cruises will begin at $699 for the seven-day sailings. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting 

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Holland America Line Offers Nearly 60 Roundtrip Sailings From 
San Diego Homeport

Exclusive California Resident Cruise Values Available Through End of December

SEATTLE, Nov. 21 -- With nearly 60 sailings to and from San Diego in 2004, Holland America has made California an important homeport for cruising to Mexico, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, South America and the Pacific Coast. And now, through December 31, 2003, the leading premium cruise line is also making it easier to enjoy a cruise with a special California resident ocean-view cabin upgrade promotion, as well as up to $2,400 savings off select San Diego cruise departures. All 2004 Winter San Diego sailings depart between the months of January and April. On select seven-day Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez sailings from January 17 through March 27, California residents will receive a free oceanview stateroom upgrade when booking an inside stateroom. In addition, Holland America also offers savings of up to $2,400 per cabin for select Panama Canal, Hawaii, and 10- to 14-day Mexican cruises through 2004.

"Holland America's San Diego homeport offers travelers convenience and choice," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "This year with our largest offering of cruises ever, nearly 60 in all, we have made it very easy for local residents to take advantage of the convenience of San Diego as a cruise homeport and experience the dazzling entertainment, superb dining, spacious staterooms and relaxed ambience of a vacation with Holland America."

With nearly 60 cruises ranging from 7 to 21 days, Holland America Line is also the only cruise line to offer Sea of Cortez itineraries from San Diego and a 21-day Panamerica roundtrip cruise from the "Place Where California Began." Sea of Cortez sailings visit Loreto, Pichilingue, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The exclusive Sea of Cortez cruises feature optional sportfishing in Loreto, snorkeling at Coronado Island and scuba diving at Pichilingue, one of the world's top dive regions. Departing October 15, 2004, the Panamerica cruise calls at Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Santa Cruz Huatulco, Zihuatanejo, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Amador and Panama Canal, Panama; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; and Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.

Other cruise destinations feature 15- or 16-day Hawaii cruises with nine days at sea to relax and enjoy the many amenities of the ms Statendam and five or six days visiting the Hawaiian islands of Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, and Maui.

Panama Canal cruises range from 14 to 16 days and feature departures between San Diego and Port Canaveral, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ports of call include islands in the Caribbean, a daytime transit of the Panama Canal in its locks, and various towns along the sunny Mexican Riviera. Longer Mexican cruises of 10 days visit the sun-soaked western coast of Mexico with stops including Manzanillo, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and Santa Rosalia.

One 17-day South American explorer cruise departs March 31, 2004, from Valparaiso, Chile, and sails to San Diego. Ports feature Coquimbo and Arica, Chile; General San Marin and Callao, Peru; Guayaquil and Esmeraldas, Eduador; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Pricing for San Diego cruises range from $699 to $2,689 per person, double occupancy. Taxes are additional. Through November 30, this California exclusive offer applies to all 2004 winter seven-day Mexico cruises. Through December 31, 2003, it applies to select sailings. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

About Signature of Excellence
As the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on Holland America Line's renowned tradition of excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America Line guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; in-depth enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements, and in some cases construction build-outs, have been started and are expected to be completed by the end of 2005.

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Oceania Cruises' Regatta to Arrive In Miami on November 24th

Miami, FL, Nov 20, 2003 -- Oceania Cruises’ flagship, the luxurious M/S Regatta, is set to make her grand entrance into the Port of Miami at 7 a.m. on Monday, November 24th. Escorted by a flotilla of pleasure craft and tug boats with a traditional water cannon salute, she will sail majestically down Government Cut to her berth at Terminal 12, on the south side of Dodge Island. The vessel’s arrival marks her North American debut and heralds the start of her highly anticipated Caribbean season. Regatta is currently sailing a 14 night transatlantic voyage from Lisbon which marks the conclusion of her sold out inaugural season of European voyages.

Launched on January 6, 2003 by well known industry veterans and local entrepreneur Frank Del Rio and Joe Watters, Oceania Cruises has magically morphed from an ambitious dream into a very successful and dynamic company. Best in class cuisine, destination driven itineraries, and outstanding value define Oceania Cruises’ five-star product and has quickly positioned the company as the cruise line of choice for traditional premium and luxury category cruisers. Oceania Cruises’ second vessel, Insignia, will debut in Europe on April 3, 2004 followed by Nautica in the spring of 2005. 

Having already chosen Miami as its corporate home, Oceania Cruises has gone one step further and chosen the Port of Miami as the winter homeport for its first ship, the intimate and luxurious 684 guest Regatta which is the only 5-star vessel based in Miami. Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises stated, “Miami is the cruise capital of the world and for good reason.” Miami has long been the epicenter of the cruise industry and is home to many of the largest and most successful cruise lines. Del Rio added, “The advantages to being located in Miami are numerous and varied. Oceania Cruises has been a magnet for experienced executives and personnel. We also have access to top notch industry vendors and the infrastructure of a world class city which includes an efficient transportation network.”

On November 25th, Regatta will host a series of tours and gala luncheons for 500 invited travel professionals, dignitaries and VIP guests before setting sail on her inaugural Caribbean voyage to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica. The balance of her winter season will find her cruising on 10- to 14-day voyages to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Central America and Mexico. 

Oceania Cruises features three intimate and luxurious 684-guest ships, REGATTA, INSIGNIA and NAUTICA. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations coupled with extraordinary value. For additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation, please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

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Walk-On-Water and WALKVEST® by Debbie Rocker Add Weight to Crystal Cruises' Fitness Program
Fitness Expert Creates Exclusive Walking Program for Luxury Line

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20 -- The most popular exercise in the world will find its sea legs when fitness expert Debbie Rocker debuts her exclusive Walk-On-Water (WOW) exercise program aboard the award-winning ships of Crystal Cruises later this year. Designed to maximize the many health benefits of walking, the innovative program, featuring Rocker's revolutionary weighted WALKVEST® by Debbie Rocker, allows guests to expand their fitness regimen in idyllic settings around the world. Tailor-made for Crystal, Rocker's Walk-On-Water regimen will be introduced on Crystal Harmony's holiday cruise on December 22, 2003, and then rolled-out fleetwide in January 2004.

The main feature of the Walk-On-Water program is Rocker's exclusive WALKVEST®, a lightweight cotton vest with weight pockets strategically located around the mid-section. In contrast to exercising with hand-held or ankle weights, which may alter the natural stride and can wrench the spine, WALKVEST® places weights around the waistline, providing better support and equilibrium control. More than a dozen specially designed weight pockets hold one or more weights in half-pound increments, allowing for a gradual increase from two to sixteen pounds.

The WOW program takes full advantage of the expansive Promenade Deck found aboard each ship, a unique feature not found on many of today's cruise ships, and uses the WALKVEST® together with customized motivational music-driven audiotapes, a day-by-day guided walking program, and educational instructions on how to walk safely and effectively on deck. Each ship in the Crystal fleet will be equipped with 40 WALKVESTs, customized with the Crystal logo, and Rocker will personally train Crystal's sports directors on the nuances of the WOW-WALKVEST® walking program.

"We strive to stay a step ahead of current trends to provide our guests with enrichment opportunities that will benefit both the mind and the body," says Kristin Turner, Crystal's manager, enrichment programs. "Walking is the exercise most commonly recommended by physicians -- its health benefits are extensive, and it can be done safely at any age. By incorporating Debbie Rocker's leading-edge technology and fitness experience with Crystal's engaging activities and beautiful worldwide destinations, we have created a program that will rejuvenate and stimulate our guests."

"We are excited about this unique joint venture with Crystal Cruises. Walking is the most popular form of exercise in the world, and it's a thrill to be launching a program that provides guests on board with a convenient, exciting and motivational way to keep up with, or begin, an exercise routine," says Debbie Rocker, WALKVEST® creator. "Walk-On-Water brings numerous benefits and possibilities to both WALKVEST® and Crystal Cruises."

Professionally-designed for postural benefits and back safety, doctors recommend exercising with WALKVEST® to strengthen bones and muscles while also increasing cardiovascular strength. Walking with WALKVEST® helps burn more fat and calories than walking alone. Additional benefits of WALKVEST® include lowered blood pressure; reduced stress; lowered cholesterol; enhanced stamina and increased energy. Guests who Walk-On-Water will rack up miles, burn calories, and feel great. Those achieving pre-set walking goals between various ports of call will be eligible for special prizes, including a WALKVEST®. Ultimately, cruise guests will be able to buy (or win) customized Crystal Cruises' WALKVEST® kits for walking at home and for repeat cruises.

Each evening, guests participating in the program will receive inspirational and informational flyers in their stateroom. Additionally, Rocker will work in conjunction with Crystal's executive chefs to identify dining selections from the ships' menus that provide options for a luxuriously healthy lifestyle plan. As the program evolves, the line expects to offer walking tours ashore, combining the benefits of walking with the discovery of new destinations.

Debbie Rocker is a former professional athlete, World Record holder in cross country cycling and personal trainer for thousands of individuals, including health and medical professionals, and some of Hollywood's best-known celebrities. Also one of the original developers of Spinning, operating the company and establishing Spinning gyms in Los Angeles and New York, Rocker brings an attuned sensibility to the business of fitness. Her passion is to aid in the empowerment of individuals by helping them change their lives not just their bodies.

Crystal's three sister ships--the 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony and the 1,080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity--are among the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising the world. Their unique size in the luxury market allows for smooth sailing and a wide range of innovative facilities, generous amenities and elegant accommodations. The Six-Star-rated liners feature grand lounges, a lavish spa outfitted in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, extensive exercise facilities, complimentary golf, yoga and Pilates instruction, Asian and Italian specialty restaurants, the only Caesars Palace at Sea casino afloat, and the popular Computer University@Sea, offering 24-hour e-mail and internet access, as well as hands-on instruction, expansive decks, two pools, award-winning cuisine and entertainment, and exquisitely appointed staterooms, more than half of which offer private verandahs. Crystal Cruises is sold exclusively through travel agents. Call 800.820.6663 for a brochure, or detailed cruise information can be found at the line's website, For more information about WALKVEST®® by Debbie Rocker visit the website at or call 877-WALKVEST.

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Planning on Packing on the Poundage at Thanksgiving?
Dr. Terry Riley offers his top 5 tips to avoid weight gain during the holiday season

SANTA CRUZ, CA, – November 17, 2003. The Thanksgiving Holiday is rapidly approaching and what is normally the biggest travel weekend of the year will find many travelers returning home packing more than their underwear. They'll be packing a few extra pounds as well. To avoid looking like a stuffed turkey this year, Dr. Terry Riley, author of the upcoming The Complete Travel Diet® offers these simple tips.

  • Drink more water than you normally do. Why? For two reasons: First, in the winter, the heating of homes, shopping malls and other buildings such as transportation terminals, dehumidifies the air. In addition, airplane passenger compartments have very low humidity. The low humidity causes your body to lose water – water that must be replenished for your digestive system to function efficiently. Second, a stomach that is empty sends messages of hunger to your brain. A stomach that is filled, even with just water, can lessen a sense of hunger, and help prevent you from overeating.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol. Alcohol, and to a lesser extent caffeine, can act as diuretics – not the effect you are looking for when you are trying to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Eat. Between traveling to visit your relatives and thinking about a holiday meal, you may go without eating for many hours. Not good. Putting your body in this state of deprivation will cause it to conserve, rather than burn fat, and it will make you hungry (famished is the word you'll probably use) causing you to overeat.
  • Take a walk. Whenever possible, avoid using trams, moving sidewalks, people movers, escalators, elevators or other mechanical conveyances. Walking between gates at a large airport can easily take 10 minutes, and if you are carrying luggage, you get an extra workout. You can easily burn 50 calories just making connecting flights.
  • Enjoy yourself! This is the holiday season. It's time to relax, to enjoy the company of your friends and relatives and to enjoy the food. You can't do that if you are rushing through a meal. Take half of the amounts than you might normally load on to your plate, keeping in mind that you can always have "seconds." (The notion here is that by the time you get around to having seconds, you're not all that hungry anymore.)

About Dr. Terry Riley: Dr. Riley is the principal of Applied Psychology, a consulting firm that applies fundamental psychological principles to help corporate executives and corporate travel providers understand, manage and influence travel, diet and workplace behavior. Dr. Riley is the author of Travel Can Be Murder and C.H.A.R.M. School and writes Err Travel, a syndicated on-line column on travel behavior. The Complete Travel Diet: The on the road guide to taking pounds off is scheduled for release in January, 2004.

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    Royal Caribbean Sweepstakes Gives Families Chance to Win Cruise  
    for Extended Clan

    MIAMI, Nov. 19 -- Royal Caribbean International has launched a new sweepstakes that offers families a chance to win one of three grand prizes, each a seven-night Royal Caribbean cruise for 12 to the destination of their choice--Alaska, the Caribbean, or Europe, on select ships. In addition, on Nov. 27, Thanksgiving Day, all visitors to, also can enter to win a one-day Bonus Sweepstakes--a Bahamas cruise for four.

    "Taking a cruise is an ideal way for families to spend quality time together," said Barbara Shrut, vice president, Customer Loyalty and eMarketing, for Royal Caribbean International. "Royal Caribbean's activity- packed ships and exciting itineraries give extended families a chance to reconnect through group activities, but also offers the chance to pursue individual interests, so everyone can enjoy their vacation as well as being together."

    The Royal Caribbean Family Cruise Sweepstakes offers entrants multiple chances to win. Would-be cruisers can go to through Jan. 31, 2004, and enter to win:

    • one of three Grand Prizes -- a seven-night cruise for 12 to Alaska, Europe, or the Caribbean, on select ships

    • one of three First Prizes -- a seven-night Caribbean cruise for four on a Voyager-family ship

    • one of three Bonus Prizes -- a three- or four-night Bahamas cruise for four (available for entries submitted on Thanksgiving Day only)

    The three Grand Prize-winning families can choose their dream destination and then pick the ship and sail date that suits the extended clan. All Royal Caribbean ships feature something for the whole family, from the line's signature rock-climbing walls to outstanding dining and entertainment to the industry-leading Adventure Ocean Youth Program. Winners will be selected on or about Feb. 6, 2004. Complete rules and regulations are available at

    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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    Crystal Cruises Announces Family Savings for 2004 Alaska Cruises  
    From San Francisco

    Kids Sail Free and 50% Off Fares for Ultra-Luxurious Crystal Harmony

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 -- Six-Star Crystal Cruises is gearing up for the 2004 Alaska season with incomparable incentives for the whole family. Children under 12 can sail free on all ten of the 12-day cruises when sharing the same stateroom with two adults and, at the same time, can learn social skills through the line's Cotillion program. Additionally, accommodations on the elegant Crystal Harmony are now available at 50% off published fares -- with rates starting at just $2,595 per person, double occupancy. Coveted verandah accommodations are available at 40% off brochure rates.

    Having cruised the region for the past 11 years, Crystal Cruises is the most experienced luxury line in Alaska and the only luxury line sailing roundtrip from San Francisco to Alaska for the entire season, from May 30 to September 15. Crystal Cruises is also the only line sailing round-trip from San Francisco to Alaska with Glacier Bay in the itinerary.

    "Multi-generational families, as well as individuals and couples, seeking an Alaska vacation in luxury will appreciate Crystal's attention to detail, value and experience," said Adam Leavitt, the line's senior vice president, marketing. With its highly acclaimed children's programs and activities, Crystal Cruises is the luxury operator best suited for the family market. "No other luxury line offers the same depth and breadth of programs for children," Leavitt added.

    Crystal Harmony has a fully supervised Junior Activities program for kids ages 17 and under and a dedicated children's playroom outfitted with games, craft materials, Sony Playstation® video games, and personal computers with entertainment and education software. The highly qualified staff of Junior Activities Directors includes grade school, high school, and physical education teachers on summer holiday, as well as seasoned camp counselors. There is at least one counselor for each 12 participants, a ratio that supports a variety of age-appropriate activities tiered for toddlers through teens. Crystal Cruises also caters to children with a special Alaska program featuring a guest naturalist when Crystal Harmony cruises Glacier Bay. For the second consecutive year, Crystal Harmony will feature its highly successful Cotillion program for juniors, which teaches children social and dining etiquette and ballroom dancing in a fun, hassle-free setting.

    Crystal Harmony's voyages, roundtrip from San Francisco, will visit Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway and Juneau in Alaska; and Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. Departures are set for May 30, Jun. 11, 23, Jul. 5, 17, 29, Aug. 10, 22, Sep. 3 and 15, 2004. Family-friendly accommodations include three-bed staterooms in a range of categories, as well as suites and connecting staterooms. Cribs are available. Cruise fares start at $2,595 per person/double occupancy. The "kids sail free" promotion is limited to triple stateroom accommodations and is capacity controlled.

    At 50,000-tons, the luxurious Crystal Harmony carries only 940 guests, and is a perfect floating resort from which to view the breathtaking glaciers and unspoiled Alaskan and British Columbia scenery. The award-winning ship features expansive decks, richly-appointed staterooms, more than half of which boast private verandahs, a wide variety of lounges for critically-acclaimed entertainment, gourmet dining, a Caesars Palace at Sea casino and a state-of-the-art, feng shui-designed spa and fitness facility. Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on the 2004 Alaska season, or any of Crystal Cruises' worldwide sailings, call 800.820.6663. Visit the line's website at

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    Children's Charities to Benefit from Regatta's Debut in Miami

    Miami, FL, Nov 18, 2003 – Oceania Cruises will sponsor a charity event in Miami to celebrate the North American debut of it’s flagship M/S Regatta on November 24th. The Regatta will play host to a gala charity fundraiser to benefit the Holtz Center for Maternal and Child Health at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. 500 VIP guests, supporters and Oceania Cruises executives have raised $250,000 to benefit the Holtz Center for Maternal and Child Health at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and will sail on the “Overnight Cruise To Remember” featuring headline entertainment by Grammy award winning musical artist John Secada.

    “Great accomplishments are rarely achieved through good intentions and hard work alone. There must be hope. The must be inspiration. And an unswerving determination to make a real difference in people's lives. This is what the Holtz Center for Maternal and Child Health provides,” stated Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. “There is nothing more satisfying than being able to give back to the communities where we live and work. This is where I was raised, and my children were born. And our corporate roots run very deep, the majority of our shareholders call Miami home as do the majority of our employees,” added Del Rio.

    Oceania Cruises features two intimate and luxurious 684-passenger ships, the 5-star REGATTA and INSIGNIA, debuting in 2004. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations coupled with extraordinary value. For additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

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    Diversity of Golfing Opportunities Available in Conjunction with
     Carnival Miracle Cruises
    Top Courses, Professional Instruction Featured Within Comprehensive Golf Program Aboard Carnival's Newest 'Fun Ship' 

    MIAMI (11/18/03) - Carnival Miracle's diverse schedule for 2004,  which includes cruises to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico and Florida from four convenient U.S. departure points, not only provides guests the opportunity to visit spectacular destinations but also to play some of the regions' most beautiful and challenging golf courses. Currently under construction in Helsinki, Finland, the new 2,124-passenger "Fun Ship" is slated to debut Feb. 27, 2004 with the first in a series of 12 three- to six-day voyages from Jacksonville, Fla. Following these cruises, Carnival Miracle will operate week-long round-trip cruises from Baltimore and New York then launch year-round seven-day service from Tampa Nov. 7, 2004. 

    The golf courses featured within Carnival Miracle's itineraries are part of the line's comprehensive golf academy offering professional instructors who provide lessons aboard ship and escort golfers during shoreside golf excursions. The program is managed by Sunrise, Fla.-based Elite Golf Cruises LLC. 

    Featured courses in the Carnival Miracle's golf program include: 

    Key West Country Club - Key West (Jacksonville and Baltimore departures) - The southernmost golf course in the continental U.S. is built upon more than 200 acres of native foliage with stately palms, dense mangroves, and rolling hills, which, combined with its challenging layout, adds up to an unforgettable golf outing. 

    Cable Beach Golf Course - Nassau (Jacksonville, Baltimore and New York departures) - This newly renovated "resort friendly" course is perfectly suited to golfers of all levels, including beginners, with spacious fairways, large greens and a minimum of sand bunkers. Although Cable Beach is a relatively short 6,453 yards, it encourages strong hitters to shave strokes with long, well-placed drives. 

    Cozumel Country Club - Cozumel (Jacksonville and Tampa departures) - Created by the Nicklaus design team, this is the island's first and only championship-caliber course. Incorporating the natural habitat of the island, the 6,724-yard course was built around native trees, mangroves and wetlands, creating a truly spectacular golf venue. A "must play" for the vacationing golfer. 

    Lucayan Country Club - Freeport (Jacksonville, Baltimore and New York departures) - With elevated greens, tight doglegs, narrow fairways and deep rough, this 6,824-yard course is a test of precision rather than distance. This Bahamian beauty is affiliated with the Audubon Society and designed by Dick Wilson, creator of the famed Bay Hill in Orlando and Doral's legendary Blue Monster. 

    Savannahs at Sykes Creek - Port Canaveral, Fla. (New York departures) - Nestled among a majestic hardwood forest and serene lakes, Savannahs provides a formidable challenge that emphasizes and rewards accuracy. Notable holes include #7, where golfers tee off over water and onto a two-tiered green, and #11, which requires a long accurate drive to make par. 

    The Links at Safe Haven - Grand Cayman (Tampa departures) - The island's only full-length 18-hole championship course, The Links at Safe Haven features undulating greens, natural trade winds, and a lay-out reminiscent of old Scottish courses. The site of the 1997 Caribbean Open, the course has been named the "Caribbean's Best Golf Course" by Caribbean World Magazine five times. 

    Caye Chapel Golf Resort - Belize (Tampa departures) - This spectacular 6,800-yard championship course offers ocean views at virtually every turn and has received international acclaim for its creative yet challenging lay-out, beautifully manicured greens and fairways, and Caribbean Sea vistas. Adding to the day's fun is an exhilarating plane transfer, which is included in the price. 

    Playacar Club de Golf - Playa del Carmen (Jacksonville departure of March 6 only) - Designed by renowned course architect Robert Von Hagge, this 7,202-yard course meanders through the lush Mayan jungle with tight fairways and many doglegs. A unique feature is the many large depressions throughout the course that makes for a memorable round. Price includes on-course food and beverages. 

    Private or group shipboard lessons are available in 30- and 60-minute increments and conducted by a certified golf professional who utilizes state-of-the-art "V1" teaching software featuring side-by-side comparisons to golf legends and top tour players. Shipboard lessons take place in covered "learning centers" which are lighted for daytime and evening instruction. Golfers can purchase a personalized video recap of their lessons and even continue their instruction when they return home with customized "V1" Web-based software. Shipboard golf professionals also conduct complimentary putting contests on sea days; specialty clinics and group demonstrations are available for a nominal fee. 

    All-inclusive golf excursions include priority tee times, round-trip transportation to and from course, and all cart and green fees. Equipment rental, including golf clubs and soft-spike shoes, are available, along with golf accessories such as golf balls, gloves and apparel. Itinerary, golf course and pricing information, as well as advanced reservations, are available on-line at, or by calling 1-800-324-1106. Requests can also be faxed to 1-954-382-5398. Guests can also stop by the shore excursion desk once on board. All-inclusive golf packages, including professional instruction, begin at $115 per person for 18 holes. Professional on-board lessons range in price from $25 for a "swing check' to $80 for a complete one-hour video analysis with an instructor. Additional information on Carnival is available calling 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or by visiting the line's travel agent Internet portal at

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    Grand American Queen Combines Riverboat Cruise With Sights of
     the Big Easy

    NEW ORLEANS, La. – The grand American Queen, the world's largest steamboat, is described as a “floating palace,” filled with a treasure trove of fine antiques and beautiful Victorian furnishings. She rises six decks high, her fretwork and curlicues glistening white in the sunlight like a lavishly decorated wedding cake. At 418 feet long, with a pair of fluted stacks and a big red paddlewheel, she accommodates 436 passengers. The 30th vessel operated by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company since 1890, this gracious lady of the river has all the qualities of an opulent Victorian mansion, blending the charm and elegance of yesterday with all the comforts of a deluxe ocean cruise ship.

    Beginning in April 2004, the American Queen will become part of the exciting New Orleans & Riverboat Adventure Week Vacation, offering 3- and 4-night riverboat cruises that will depart from New Orleans each Monday and Friday. Passengers can opt to take their riverboat cruise before or after their New Orleans Experience land package. The American Queen will also showcase the New Orleans Experience onboard, where passengers will dine on sumptuous cuisine, featuring signature dishes by New Orleans chefs and regional specialties, served in the opulent J.M. White Dining Room, and enjoy waterline views of the river through walls of stained-glass-topped windows, rising two decks high.

    Each evening guests can gather in the Grand Saloon, with its tall proscenium stage, flanked by private box seats on the mezzanine, to enjoy performances by professional onboard entertainers in special shows with a New Orleans flavor — an original Night in New Orleans production, Cajun Night and rhythm and blues shows and a lively Mardi Gras Ball.

    Passengers will enjoy the first-class service of an All-American staff and crew, as they explore the Old South and discover the moss-draped beauty of historic antebellum plantations, charming river communities and Civil War battlefields. On a 3-night riverboat cruise, passengers will visit Oak Alley Plantation and Baton Rouge, La., where they can enjoy optional shore excursions to Oak Alley and Laura Plantations or a Cajun Swamp Tour. The 4-night riverboat cruise will include a delightful day on Ol' Man River, with stops at historic Natchez and Baton Rouge. Optional shore excursions include Natchez Historic Homes, Frogmore Plantation: "Cotton Then & Now," or the haunting Vicksburg National Military Park. Visits to historic St. Francisville in English Louisiana may be substituted for Vicksburg in certain seasons.

    At the bow of the boat, a sweeping exterior staircase ushers guests up to the second-level Cabin Deck. There, at the top of the stairs, an entrance foyer separates the Gentlemen’s Card Room—a masculine retreat—from the Ladies’ Parlor, a demure Victorian drawing room. Past the parlor and card room and leading to the Purser’s Lobby is the antique-filled Mark Twain Gallery, which overlooks the J.M. White Dining Room and provides comfortable seating for reading or relaxing.

    Up one more deck, on the bow of the Texas Deck, the Front Porch of America beckons with a porch swing, cozy rocking chairs for river-watching, and a frosty lemonade or freshly brewed tea. In the afternoon, a basket of fresh-baked cookies can be found there or soft-serve ice cream. Other public spaces include a theater, the Chart Room for following the steamboat’s route and learning about the river, the Captain’s Bar, Engine Room Bar, Calliope Bar, and a Sun Deck recreation and bathing pool area.

    Many American Queen staterooms open onto wide promenade decks, an arrangement patterned after the Delta Queen to enable easy access to the river’s panorama and provide a sense of “neighborhood” so popular with passengers. 
    In keeping with the century-plus heritage of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, the American Queen’s 45-ton paddlewheel is propelled by two refurbished vintage 1930s antique steam engines that originally drove the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge Kennedy.

    For reservations on a New Orleans & Riverboat Adventure Week Vacation, contact your travel agent. For a complimentary full-color brochure or more information, call the Delta Queen Steamboat Company toll-free at 800-543-1949, or visit the Web site at

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    Creative Learning Institute Expands Fleetwide on 
    Crystal Cruises in 2004

    Innovative Program to Debut Aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17 -- Piano instruction by Yamaha. Language immersion by Berlitz. Wellness seminars by The Cleveland Clinic and Tai Chi Cultural Center. Art classes by Parsons School of Design. Leaders in their respective fields, these are but a few of the companies and schools that have partnered with luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises to create the Creative Learning Institute (CLI), the most innovative complimentary enrichment program at sea, set to roll out fleetwide in 2004. Equal parts educational and entertaining, the CLI debuted to rave reviews aboard the new Crystal Serenity in July 2003. Crystal Symphony will welcome the revolutionary program aboard its first cruise in 2004, a 12-day journey from Ft. Lauderdale to Caldera, Costa Rica including a transit of the Panama Canal. CLI joins Crystal Harmony in February during its season in Hawaii.

    "Travel today is not only about embracing new cultures and destinations. It's about taking time for yourself, to learn, to discover and to rejuvenate," says Bret Bullock, Crystal's vice president, entertainment. "The comprehensive structure of the Creative Learning Institute allows our guests to tailor their enrichment activities to suit individual interests and desires, making the vacation experience more about one's overall personal journey."

    Innovative in concept and progressive in nature, the CLI is an extensive new series of interactive classes providing comprehensive instruction focusing on improving wellness and enhancing quality of life. In keeping with Crystal's penchant for quality alliances, the newly-minted CLI has partnered with several other well-known organizations and schools--such as Society of Wine Educators, Pepperdine University, and Barnes& bring experts in their respective fields aboard to share their knowledge in a classroom setting. Offered as a series of classes, the CLI curriculums feature progressive levels of instruction on a single subject or several one-class sessions of related topics. The "five centers" comprising the Creative Learning Institute include:

    • Arts & Entertainment - from Asian woodblock printing, gift wrapping and painting with watercolors to advertising, jewelry design and acting workshops.

    • Business & Technology - from Computer University@Sea, estate planning and fundraising to philanthropy, real estate appraisal and patent applications.

    • Lifestyle - from foreign language instruction, book clubs, and home organization to floral and interior design, menu planning, and successful grand-parenting.

    • Wellness - from advances in medicine, alternative medicine, dance and fitness classes, yoga, tai chi and Pilates, to skin care, sports health, nutrition, memory fitness, and men's and women's health.

    • Wine & Food - from beginning sushi, sake, cheeses, caviar, chocolate and the art of serving, to the wines of Champagne, Italy, Chile, California and Bordeaux.

    Offered year-round on every cruise, the CLI is the latest development in Crystal's highly-regarded Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program of renowned speakers and celebrity guest lecturers. The program was introduced in The Studio, a dedicated, state-of-the-art "edutainment" facility aboard Crystal Serenity, and soon expanded to other areas throughout the ship. For example, Tai Chi classes are held in the early morning hours on deck, and wine tastings take place in the larger Stardust Lounge or more intimate Vintage Room. When CLI debuts aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, the line will make use of the variety of public rooms afforded on a large luxury ship.

    The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony were joined by the 1,080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity in early July 2003. All three spacious floating resorts have been designed with exquisitely appointed suites and staterooms, more than half of which feature private verandahs. Cruising the world on itineraries of seven to 106 days, the three elegant ships also feature a wide variety of venues for entertainment, dining, cultural and educational pursuits and fitness and relaxation.

    Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on any of Crystal's worldwide sailings, call 800.820.6663. Visit the luxury line's website at 

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    Olivia Announces Women's Leadership Summit Aboard Mexican  
    Riviera Cruise
    Summit Brings Women Leaders Together

    OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 17 -- Olivia, the lifestyle company that connects, transforms and celebrates the lives of lesbians as well as their families and friends, today announced the company's first Women's Leadership Summit aboard its Mexican Riviera cruise scheduled for January 16 through January 23, 2004. The Summit, appropriately named "Women Who Have Dared" is designed to bring leaders in the women's world together, offering panel discussions and break-out sessions for guests to share knowledge and network, as well as hear the stories from key speakers in the lesbian community.

    "As we continue to expand our travel options for the community, it made perfect sense to create an outlet for the many accomplished women who travel with us," said Amy Errett, CEO. "We are thrilled to host this event and are excited to have such an amazing lineup of speakers join us, all who so strongly represent the LGBT community."

    Networking & Empowerment - "Women Who Have Dared"
    Olivia will provide the perfect fusion of intellectual stimulation and fun on board the cruise:

    • Col. Grethe Cammermeyer: An advocate for lesbian and gay service members, Cammermeyer, a former Army nurse honored with a Bronze star, challenged the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Her biography, "Serving in Silence," was made into a TV movie with Glenn Close playing Cammermeyer.

    • Elizabeth Falkner: Named one of the nation's top pasty chefs by Bon Appetit, Falkner whips up her delectable desserts as the executive pastry chef and managing partner of San Francisco's celebrated Citizen Cake patisserie and restaurant.

    • Kate Kendell: Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kendell is an ardent and eloquent advocate for the rights of lesbians and their families.

    • Kathy Levinson: Former President and COO of E*TRADE and founder of the Lesbian Equality Foundation of Silicon Valley, Levinson encourages equal rights and leadership for LGBT individuals.

    • Linda Villarosa: Former Executive Editor of Essence magazine, Villarosa came out to 7 million readers in a ground breaking Mother's Day article. She's now a well-known author, freelance journalist and full-time mother of two.

    • Judy Wieder: One of the most visible figures in lesbian and gay media, Wieder, The Advocate's first woman editor in chief, is currently senior vice president and corporate editorial director of LPI Media, parent company of Out, The Advocate, The Out Traveler and HIV Plus.

    In addition to the Summit, Olivia will provide a week's full of nightly entertainment with a lineup that includes musicians Suede, Lucie Blue Tremblay, Zoe Lewis and comedians Suzanne Westenhoefer, Kathleen Madigan and Karen Williams. Added to the itinerary will be a premiere screening and party featuring cast members from the Showtime Original Series "The L Word", a show that explores the lives and loves of a group of Los Angeles lesbians. Olivia is offering special pricing until January 15, 2004. Rates start at $999 per person and are based on double occupancy. The most up-to-date information on all Olivia vacations can be found on the Company's website at

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    Radisson Seven Seas Cruises Features Media and Government Icons on 94-night "Grand Asia Pacific" Voyage
    Share Perspectives with Garrick Utley, Catherine Crier, William H. Webster and Other Guest Lecturers on five Individual Segments Ranging From 16 to 22 Nights

    FT. LAUDERDALE, FL., Nov 11, 2003 - A glittering lineup of celebrated speakers are scheduled to entertain and enlighten 700 guests on the five-segment, 94-night Grand Asia Pacific Voyage of the all-balcony suite Seven Seas Voyager ®, departing Los Angeles on January 10. Guests will have the rare opportunity to query and converse with TV journalists Catherine Crier and Garrick Utley, as well as former CIA and FBI head William H. Webster, former attorney general Dick Thornburgh and political satirist Mark Russell. Insider political commentary and White House anecdotes will flow in privileged encounters with some of our era's shrewdest observers. Former congresswoman Patricia Schroeder and former national security adviser Robert McFarlane will be onboard a post-Grand Voyage April 13 Panama Canal transit.

    The lectures will enrich each of five individual segments of the Grand Voyage, as the luxurious Seven Seas Voyager navigates her leisurely segments of the Grand Voyage, as the French Polynesia, Tonga, New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan and Hawaii, with extended overnight calls in Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle (Perth), Singapore, Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tianjin (for Beijing), Kobe and Tokyo.

    In sailing this first-ever Grand Asia Pacific Voyage, the Seven Seas Voyager will guide her guests to memorable experiences in 41 destinations in 18 countries, highlighting their visits with exclusive complimentary shoreside events, optional overland tours and hands-on Le Cordon Bleu® culinary workshops. The 94-night voyage can be booked in its entirety or in five individual, combinable segments.

    Built specifically for worldwide cruising, the Seven Seas Voyager boasts the largest lead-in suites in the industry. Her 350 staterooms offer spacious suite accommodations ranging from 356 to 1,403 square feet with walk-in closet and private balcony. The vessel's elegant design features extensive public space, an Internet cafe, and four restaurants - one directed by Le Cordon Bleu chefs.

    Guest Celebrities By Segment

    • Feb. 2, 20-night Sydney to Perth voyage with Dick Thornburgh, two-term governor of Pennsyvania who handled the Three Mile Island accident, and attorney general in Bush and Reagan's administrations; and Garrick Utley, highly respected former chief foreign correspondent for NBC and ABC, as well as contributor to CNN, moderator of Meet the Press and host of Sunday Today. The ship will also present world-renowned Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in an exclusive engagement with the New Zealand Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • Feb. 22, 18-night Fremantle (Perth) to Hong Kong cruise with lawyer, judge and broadcast journalist Catherine Crier, know for her self-titled Court TV programs Catherine Crier Live and Crier Today, as well as Fox News Channel's Crier Report. 
    • March 11, 18-night Hong Kong to Tokyo voyage with William H. Webster, the only American to have served as director of both the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation. 
    • March 29, 16-night Tokyo to Los Angeles cruise with Mark Russell, now in his 28th consecutive season of on PBS, whose scathing musical comedy revue skewers public figures across the entire political spectrum.

    Upon return to Los Angeles on April 13, the ship will round out the grand itinerary with a coast-to-coast 14-night cruise to Ft. Lauderdale with former congresswoman Patricia Schroeder and former national security adviser Robert McFarlane onboard. Further enriching the shipboard programming on each segment of the Grand Asia Pacific Voyage will be Smithsonian Institution lecturers distinguished for outstanding contributions in the arts, sciences, government services and the media.

    Prices for the 94-night voyage start from $38,695 per person, including first class air from 84 North American gateways, special shoreside events, shipboard gratuities, wine with dinner and up to $1,000 shipboard credits. Single segments - ranging from 16 to 22 nights-start from $7,421 per person, including economy airfare and up to $1,500 savings. Two-for-one prices for the April 13 cruise start from $4,048 per person.

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