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Cruise News
November 1-30, 2009

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

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

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected.

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

Cruise Diva

Princess Cruises Takes Viewers Behind the Scenes as Tahitian Princess
 is Transformed into Ocean Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 24: Capping a year of taking viewers behind the scenes as ships go through drydock, Princess Cruises is again offering an opportunity to follow a vessel through the renovation process. In the newest installment of the Princess online drydock journal, the current Tahitian Princess will not only undergo a makeover, but also get a new name. The vessel, one of the small ships of Princess, will be transformed into Ocean Princess during the two-week process, giving her a new moniker reflecting her global range of fascinating itineraries.

The fifth in this unprecedented series, the Ocean Princess Drydock Journal will run through Dec 2 on, and will be updated regularly with photos as the ship progresses through its drydock at Keppel Shipyard in Singapore. Viewers can follow along as the ship's name is removed and replaced on the bow and throughout the vessel, including on equipment such as the lifeboats. The journal will also chronicle changes as the ship is lifted from the water and receives a new coating of energy-efficient silicone paint, plus the interior refurbishments, with new upholstery, carpet, and flooring.

"Response to our drydock journals has been remarkable--passengers love to see what's done to the ship and how much work is involved in such a short time," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "This latest journal will give cruise fans yet another insiders' peek behind the scenes, with the added interest in seeing the name change."

The Ocean Princess Drydock Journal follows the enthusiastically received online journals chronicling work on Golden Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, and Coral Princess. The journal can be found on the Ocean Princess page in the website's "Ships" section, and it will be updated throughout the ship's two-week drydock. The photos will also be posted to Princess' Twitter feed, Facebook page and Flicker photostream.

After the drydock the newly named Ocean Princess will set sail on a 16-day Treasures of Southeast Asia cruise from Singapore to Shanghai, beginning a season of unique Asia, India and Africa sailings, followed by a summer of European voyages. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

Tastes of New Zealand Take Center Stage on Crystal Sailing

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24: For foodies, New Zealand is a veritable playground, renowned for its award-winning wines and farm-fresh cuisine. On March 30, from New Zealand to Australia, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is showcasing the epicurean appeal of the region on a 12-day Wine & Food Experiences of Discovery cruise. Master Sommeliers Robert Bath and Cameron Douglas, the first and only Master Sommelier from New Zealand, will guide guests through the nuances and pairings of New Zealand's finest vintages, while optional Crystal Adventures take guests to celebrated Cloudy Bay Vineyards, Hawke's Bay and Marlborough. Sailing to Sydney, leading Australian chef and innovator Serge Dansereau will share regional specialties via cooking demonstrations, tastings and special menus, while top Australian food purveyor Simon Johnson will host tastings of artisanal cheeses and gourmet chocolate.

"With Crystal, in great style and comfort, epicureans can enjoy an authentic, informed wine and food experience," says Toni Neumeister, Crystal Cruises' vice president, food and beverage. "The guest experts - icons in their fields - along with Crystal Symphony's own culinary professionals share a breadth of knowledge that will no doubt enhance the flavors of this magical itinerary."

Ashore, Crystal Adventures offer intimate looks at the farms and vineyards dotting the coast:

 -- Cloudy Bay Vineyards, which first put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map, provides guests with a tutored tasting session in the privately hosted barrel room.
 -- At Hawke's Bay, New Zealand's leading wine-producing region, guests will visit three of 600 celebrated wineries, Brookfield's Vineyards, Church Road and Mission Estate.
 -- From the rich farmlands of the Wairau Valley to the vineyards of Marlborough, the largest grape-growing region in New Zealand, then Havelock, the mussel shellfish hub, guests will see varied sides of New Zealand food and drink.

From Auckland, Crystal Symphony visits Picton, Wellington, Christchurch, Napier and Dunedin, New Zealand; the breathtaking fjords of Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and its longest fjord, Dusky Sound; concluding with an overnight in Sydney.

For more information and Crystal reservation, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Silversea's 2011 Worldwide Cruise Schedule Opens For Sale Today

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nov 23: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is pleased to announce all voyages for 2011 are now open for sale and complete day-by-day itineraries are available at In the next few weeks, reservations will also open for the expedition ship Prince Albert II.

In 2011, the company's quintet of elegant all-suite ships, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and the new Silver Spirit, will offer 170 diverse itineraries, visiting over 335 ports in more than 100 countries and island destinations. From the pristine wilderness of Alaska and the amazing pyramids of Egypt to the ancient castles of Dublin and the sleek yachts of Monte Carlo, Silversea will present a vibrant collection of the world's most sought-after destinations. Highlights include Silver Spirit's 119-day Inaugural World Cruise and seven new Silversea destinations: Brindisi, Italy; San Sebastian on the Canary Island of La Gomera; Ballycastle, Northern Ireland; St. Helier on the British Isle of Jersey; Matarani, Peru; Cooktown in Queensland, Australia; and South Australia's Port Lincoln.

"It's always our goal to provide unique and enriching travel experiences," said Kenneth Watson, Silversea's chief operating officer. "Our 2011 schedule has been carefully designed to offer a broad range of travel choices, including multiple-day calls and overnight stays showcasing traditional must-see destinations, as well as myriad opportunities to explore the world's most exotic regions."

SILVER CLOUD: The 296-guest Silver Cloud starts the year with a series of Caribbean voyages and two crossings of the Panama Canal before spending a month in the Mediterranean. Silver Cloud then travels northward to summer in Iceland, Scandinavia, Britain and Ireland. An overnight visit to remote Archangel, Russia, is one of the season's highlights. Autumn in the Mediterranean precedes a stylish return to the warm Caribbean waters and explorations in the Amazon.

SILVER WIND: 2011 itineraries aboard the 298-guest Silver Wind begin in fascinating Dubai, visit India and exotic Oman, slip into the seductive Seychelles and trace Africa’s coastline from Mombasa to Cape Town to Morocco. Mediterranean destinations, including the Holy Land, and a Black Sea cruise fill the idyllic days of spring and summer, followed by two more cruises to the Holy Land and an encore of Arabian ports and Seychelles islands to close out the year.

SILVER SHADOW: As the 382-guest Silver Shadow opens the year with explorations of Oceania, spectacular New Zealand fjords and a first-ever, 30-day circumnavigation of Australia are among the season's highlights, followed by extraordinary Far East wonders during spring. Alaska cruises fill the entire summer season before a return to China, Japan and Vietnam. Popular holiday sailings in Australia and New Zealand are again on the calendar for 2011.

SILVER WHISPER: Aboard the 382-guest Silver Whisper, 2011 arrives in the majestic Chilean fjords, setting the tone for a year of spectacular experiences in South America, the Caribbean and Northern Europe. Fulfilling the requests of Silversea's valued guests, itineraries include three days in St. Petersburg, Norwegian fjord cruising, and fall foliage season in Canada and New England. The year concludes as it began with Caribbean and South America voyages.

SILVER SPIRIT: For 540-guest Silver Spirit, 2011 features a 119-day Inaugural World Cruise spanning from Los Angeles to Southampton. This epic journey takes in the tranquillity of French Polynesia, Australia's untamed landscapes, the unique customs and cultures of Asia, Egyptian wonders and favorite Mediterranean ports from Italy and Monaco to Spain and Portugal. Throughout summer, special Mediterranean sailings focus on the Greek isles or the flavors of Italy. Exclusively for Formula One racing enthusiasts, Voyage 5112 overnights in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix. Late autumn months are celebrated beneath the warmth of a Caribbean sun.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper--and launching in December, Silver Spirit--all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the addition of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent.For a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Cunard’s Newest Queen Receives Her Legendary Name

Nov 23: For more than 70 years, Cunard ships graced with the name Queen Elizabeth have been a significant part of maritime history, British heritage and an unparalleled cruise liner experience. And now, with less than a year to go until her maiden voyage, the legendary letters that will identify the newest addition to Cunard’s regal fleet of Queens have been welded onto the bow of Queen Elizabeth at the Fincantieri yard in Trieste, Italy.

“It is a rare honor for any ship to bear the name Queen Elizabeth, and as I saw the famous name being welded to the bow, I was overcome by the historical significance,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “A milestone such as this only continues to build on the already wide anticipation of the debut of our gracious new Cunarder.”

Limited space is still available on voyages for Queen Elizabeth’s maiden 2010 season, comprised of six legendary voyages, calling on 32 distinct ports in 18 countries. Her Maiden Voyage, now sold out, will depart from Cunard’s homeport of Southampton, UK, on Oct 12, 2010, en route to the Atlantic Isles.

During a recent call to Venice (Italy) aboard Queen Victoria, Entertainment Director Alastair Greener was able to visit the Trieste shipyard and post more progress photos on Cunard’s blog at

For more information about Cunard and to book a voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, contact your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit us online at

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Cruise West Offers Family Cruising Stimulus

Seattle, WA, Nov 19: Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, makes family cruising more affordable. The line announced that kids ages 18 and under will now pay 50 percent of the adult rate and kids ages two or younger will travel for free on all voyages. Cruise West is taking this unprecedented step to give families the opportunity to share special lifetime events that will create lasting memories. Although video games may conjure up visions of knights and warriors in far off lands, Cruise West actually takes guests to see the real thing including medieval castles, stunning gold temples, lush jungles, and more.

“Our goal in introducing the new kids rates is to attract families with inquisitive kids who yearn for the rich educational and enrichment focus of Cruise West’s itineraries,” said Dietmar Wertanzl, president & CEO. “Coupled with the informal environment on board our small ships, we offer a cruising experience the entire family will enjoy and cherish for years. Imagine yourself, your kids or grandkids admiring an enormous brown bear searching for food on a nearby shore in Alaska, snorkeling in the Sea of Cortés with playful sea lions, or discovering ancient Callanish dating back to around 3000 BC, often described as Scotland’s Stonehenge.”

Cruise West offers a multitude of cruise adventures to all seven continents, 38 itineraries to be exact, so there is a voyage that is sure to spark interest with most families. Choose nature-focused voyages in Alaska, Sea of Cortés, Panama & Costa Rica, Antarctica, Cocos Island, Galapagos, Scandinavia, the South Pacific and British Columbia; more historical and cultural itineraries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, East Coast Canada and USA; and the gentle, scenic rivers in Europe and the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest offering tremendous diversity and intrigue.

A hallmark of all Cruise West voyages is engaging topical and thought-provoking presentations from experienced Exploration Leaders aboard every sailing. The onboard enrichment program, Compass, covers topics such as Marine wildlife, glaciers, native culture and history, local industry, economic issues and more. Examples include learning how to recognize a whale by its tail markings and the history of the making of the Panama Canal. On many itineraries, recognized experts supplement the already exceptional programming with additional insights.

The best value afloat... with most cruises, guests pay extra for every little thing (and big things) such as soft drinks, taxes and port charges, and shore excursions. But with Cruise West, the fare includes everything except alcohol and a few optional excursions in select ports. There are no surprise charges that can easily add up to double the fare or more. Cruise West’s “up close, casual and personal” small ships range in capacity from 78-148 guests and offer itineraries from 4-nights/5-days to 19-nights/20-days. For further details on Cruise West’s itineraries and family cruising adventures, visit, call 800-296-8307 or a travel professional.

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Royal Caribbean Intl Appoints Seven Godmothers for Oasis of the Seas

MIAMI, Nov. 18: When Royal Caribbean Intl officially names its newest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, on Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, the global cruise line will continue its tradition of innovation by putting a new twist on one of maritime's longest standing traditions. While normally bestowing the honor of godmother on one special person, Royal Caribbean has chosen seven extraordinary godmothers to represent the seven signature neighborhoods onboard Oasis of the Seas. Each of the seven godmothers was chosen because they personify strength of character, exemplify the spirit of giving, and are role models for men, women and children alike. The godmothers include:

-- Gloria Estefan, world-renowned singer, songwriter, actor and author, who was godmother of Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas
-- Michelle Kwan, the Olympic Games medalist is an all-time great and the most decorated figure skater in United States history, and is also an American Public Diplomacy envoy promoting education, positive health practices and respect for diversity
-- Jane Seymore, a multiple Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor, as well as an Officer of the British Empire, who remains actively involved in the J and J Foundation benefiting children in need. Based on her philosophy that keeping an open heart despite adversity can bring a wealth of love, hope and inspiration into life, she founded the website, a community where people can share stories and engage in a dialogue about living with an open heart.
-- Dara Torres, twelve-time Olympic medalist and oldest female swimmer to compete in a record five Olympic games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008)
-- Keshia Knight Pulliam, film and television actress is well-known for her role as Rudy Huxtable on the classic sitcom "The Cosby Show." The youngest actress ever nominated for an Emmy Award when she was only 6 years old, she presently stars on the TBS television comedy "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" and was most recently seen starring in the hit motion picture "Madea Goes To Jail."
-- Shawn Johnson, four-time medalist at the 2008 Olympic games for women's gymnastics and cancer philanthropist, who in addition to serving as a godmother for Oasis of the Seas, will be granting wishes onboard as part of her work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
-- Daisy Fuentes, international television personality and producer, beauty and fitness expert, and recognized role model for Latin-American women in the United States, who is committed to improving children's health and treatments through St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Starlight Children's Foundation and the March of Dimes

"It is a humbling and equally exciting privilege to have these seven exemplary women take on the responsibility of being godmothers of Oasis of the Seas," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "We felt it only fitting that our most revolutionary ship be named by an outstanding group of women who embody the same excellence in their respective fields."

The seven women will take their posts to officially name the ship at a ceremony during a one-night inaugural celebration-fundraiser onboard Oasis of the Seas to benefit the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime event begin at $500 per person. Guests who wish to continue their adventure onboard will receive an exclusive discount price, beginning at $650 per person, on a four-night cruise package sailing to the cruise line's private beach destination, Labadee, departing the morning following the event on Tuesday, Dec. 1 (rates based on double-occupancy and stateroom package). For reservations to this exclusive event combined with the four-night sailing, contact Cynthia Paez, Royal Caribbean International, at (877) 202-1520, ext. 12751, or .

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

As the ultimate expression of Royal Caribbean's legacy of imagination and innovation, Oasis of the Seas introduces unique industry "firsts" including a neighborhood concept - seven main themed areas providing guests with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal style, preference or mood. Within these seven neighborhoods - Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Pool & Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone - are extraordinary elements such as the first living park at sea; a thrilling zip line that races diagonally nine-decks above an open-air atrium; an original handcrafted carousel; 28 multilevel urban-style loft suites boasting floor-to-ceiling windows; an amphitheater-style theater that serves as a pool by day and a dazzling ocean front theater by night; and an array of epicurean innovations that allow for new culinary experiences each day of a guest's cruise vacation.

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

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

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More 7-Day European Options Than Ever for Crystal in 2010

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16: Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is offering more 7-day options than ever for 2010 European cruises. Six itineraries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Baltic and British Isles allow travelers to enjoy the award-winning Crystal Experience and a wealth of intriguing ports in a shorter time than Crystal's more prevalent 11- and 12-day European cruises.

"The 7-day European itineraries are a great way for guests with limited vacation time to enjoy a luxury getaway, and for new guests to sample the celebrated Crystal product," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "They also present an ideal opportunity to take a six-star vacation at a lower fare, plus the tremendous value added for 2010."

Crystal's European season runs from May through November, with 7-day voyages including:

Crystal Symphony
-- May 26, Mediterranean, Athens to Rome: Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; and Sorrento, Italy
 -- June 14, British Isles, Roundtrip London: Guernsey, Channel Islands; Dublin, Waterford and Belfast, Ireland; and Liverpool, England
 -- August 7, Scandinavia, Copenhagen to Stockholm: Tallinn, Estonia; and St. Petersburg, Russia (double overnight)

Crystal Serenity
-- May 11, Mediterranean, Rome to Athens: Sorrento and Sicily, Italy; Crete and Mykonos, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey
 -- May 18, Mediterranean, Athens to Venice: Sanotrini and Corfu, Greece; Bodrum, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia
 -- June 18, Mediterranean, Athens to Venice: Mykonos and Corfu, Greece; Split, Croatia; Kusadasi, Turkey

In addition to new 2-for-1 fares and $500 per person All Inclusive - As You Wish shipboard credits for 7-day European voyages, the line also recently introduced complimentary roundtrip air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways, even Business Class for penthouse guests. With many combination options that don't repeat ports, 7-day voyages can be taken back-to-back with various cruises for longer vacations, and additional savings. Along with the shorter European voyages are a seven-day, roundtrip Miami, Caribbean cruise and three roundtrip Los Angeles, Mexican Riviera cruises. Two fall nine-day options in the Mediterranean are also available. For more information or Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Paradise Found: Cruise West Offers Two Voyages to Idyllic Locales of
Cocos Island, Panama & Costa Rica

Seattle, WA: Take one rarely visited island paradise, add a visit to a jungle tribe much unchanged by modern culture, mix with an incredible array of tropical sea life found in two oceans, then sweeten with lectures and guided tours by two generations of renowned marine researchers. The results are tropical adventures found on two Central American voyages presented by small-ship line Cruise West for the 2009/2010 season. Announcing a new 6-night Cocos Island voyage and a freshly revised 9-night Between Two Seas itinerary that ventures from Panama to Costa Rica. Book both voyages back-to-back and save 25 percent on Cocos Island and an additional five percent on Between Two Seas.

Cocos Island, rich in history, rich in nature
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cocos Island borders on the magical--caverns rumored to hold pirated Incan treasure; 200 streaming waterfalls; the world’s largest population of hammerhead sharks; 90 species of birds; and outstanding kayaking and snorkeling are just a few of its many attractions. An inspiration for the film Jurassic Park, Cocos Island is considered the jewel of the Costa Rican park system; a paradise that Jacques Cousteau once called “the most beautiful island in the world.” Choose from two departure dates, roundtrip from San Jose, Costa Rica: Jan 24 and April 12, 2010.

Leading these voyages onboard the 100-guest Pacific Explorer are renowned Christopher and Stephen Weston, second and third generation naturalists from a family long known for its exploration and protection of Cocos Islands.

Famed shark and tropical ecology specialist Stephen Weston will share his passion for marine life conservation on both cruises. Grandson of the famed Cocos Island explorer Julian A. Weston, the third generation Weston honed his craft diving at father’s side. Today, he operates a marine research station where he has pioneered methods in identifying and documenting sharks. Author and researcher Christopher Weston joins son Stephen on the April cruise to share stories of the family’s long history with Cocos Island as well keen insights into its flora and fauna.

Between Two Seas awaits a tropical adventure
Starting in the Caribbean Sea and ending in the Pacific Ocean via a transit through the Panama Canal, the 9-night Between Two Seas voyage offers spectacular exploration of the tropical isthmus that separates these two seas. Within this ribbon of land are more species of wildlife and flora than any other place on the planet, complemented by slumbering and active volcanoes, cloud forests and turquoise bays that teem with marine life.

A highlight of this voyage is a zodiac excursion to visit the remote Emberá, a tribe much unchanged by modern culture and designated as a UNESCO site. Located in the Darién Jungle, the excursion offers a true immersion experience into an historic local culture. Guests also will revel for two days at Coiba National Park, known for its abundant sea life and world class snorkeling; visit the exotic gardens of Casa Orquideas at Golfo Dulce; and enjoy some well earned beach time at Corcovado Conservation Area and Manuel Antonio National Park, both known for prolific wildlife and bird viewing.

Book both voyages back-to-back and save 25 percent on Cocos Island and five percent on the Jan 15, 30 and April 3, 2010, departures of Between Two Seas. In addition, the single supplement fee will be waived on these departures in select cabin categories. The 9-night Between Two Seas voyage operates through April 3, 2010. An added bonus for holiday travelers--Christmas or New Year’s celebrations with festive Costa Rican and Panamanian holiday activities and traditional cuisine.

Land tour add-ons include two nights at El Establo Hotel deep in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a 4-day Highlights of Costa Rica tour or a 4-night coastal wildlife experience at Costa Rica’s famed Tortuguero National Park. For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307 or a travel professional.

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Cruise Into the New Year Queen Mary Style

LONG BEACH, CA, Nov. 16: Southern California New Year's Eve celebrations at the Queen Mary include five parties and a gigantic fireworks display for one low ticket price as well as deluxe dining and room packages to ensure a New Year's Eve spent in style. Jazz by vocalist Eddie Wakes, Latin-inspired entertainer Red Loquita, swing and dance classics from The Wise Guys Big Band Machine, dueling pianos, and live D.J. music will provide non-stop entertainment in five different venues on the ship. Partygoers in each salon will celebrate midnight in a blizzard of confetti before heading to the Verandah Deck for a spectacular fireworks display to light up Long Beach.

The Queen Mary is offering four exclusive New Year's Eve room packages. Each includes tickets to the ship's celebration, accommodations, party favors and dinner for two prepared by the ship's award-winning culinary team overseen by newly-appointed Executive Chef Larry Banares. Individual dining packages are also available and include tickets, party favors and the Grand Gala Dinner Buffet or dinner in Sir Winston's, the Queen Mary's newly-renovated signature restaurant.

Advance reservations and payment are required for all accommodations packages. Tickets to the ship's celebration are available to guests 18 and older. Parking is $15 per day. For more information, see or call (800) 437-2934. The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queen's Highway in Long Beach.

About the Queen Mary: Located in the Port of Long Beach, the Queen Mary features a rich maritime history, authentic Art Deco decor, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Long Beach city skyline. Its award-winning restaurants include the signature Sir Winston's as well as a weekly Champagne Sunday Brunch served in the ship's Grand Salon. History buffs enjoy the ship's museum and Behind the Scenes tour while guests of all ages love the Ghosts and Legends tour. The Queen Mary features 80,000 square feet of event space in 17 remarkable Art Deco salons as well as a tri-level, 45,000 square-foot Exhibit Hall. The Queen Mary boasts 314 staterooms spanning three decks including eight full suites which have hosted a variety of colorful characters from World War II leaders to British royalty and the stars of Hollywood's golden era. For more or for reservations, see or call (800) 437-2934.

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Voyages to Antiquity: A New Cruise Line, a New Philosophy, a New Opportunity

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Nov. 16: Gerry Herrod, founder of Ocean Cruise Line and Orient Lines, has announced a new destination cruise line, Voyages to Antiquity. The new venture is designed in the same spirit that Mr. Herrod created the Ocean Pearl's unique Far East program and Orient Lines itineraries aboard the Marco Polo, but this time focused only on the Mediterranean

Cruises on the Aegean Odyssey will begin in May of 2010 and Voyages to Antiquity will provide an experience where guests learn about the cultures and people who created the "cradle of civilizations" of the Mediterranean. Meticulously planned itineraries are inspired by John Julius Norwich's book "The Middle Sea" that traces the development and impact of the three prominent ancient cultures in Rome, Egypt and Greece. The small ship is able to provide truly unique experiences by sailing closer to the coast and visiting many unique harbors and inlets near otherwise inaccessible sites ashore.

The Voyages to Antiquity brochure features 9 itineraries and 16 departures to the Mediterranean, North Africa and Red Sea where only a small ship can take guests to a myriad of fascinating destinations. The aim is to combine the very best in cultural travel - fascinating destinations and first-class lecturers - with a sense of fun and style. This sense of fun does not stretch to nightclubs and casinos. Some of the traditional formalities of cruising, such as formal nights and black tie receptions, have been dispensed with and "smart casual" best describes the dress code. However, some exceptional special events are planned including a private evening in the Doge's Palace at St. Mark's in Venice and a cocktail reception at the Palazzo Gangi in Palermo, Sicily.

Extraordinary value is a hallmark at Voyages to Antiquity. For 2010, in addition to included shore experiences in each port of call, wine at dinner and shipboard gratuities, free air is offered from select east coast gateways and low air add-ons from more than 70 gateways throughout North America. Additionally, a number of special offers apply for the 2010 inaugural season. There is no supplement for single occupancy on most sailings and a $1,000 or $500 savings (per stateroom) applies on select departures throughout the summer. Certain restrictions apply.

The Aegean Odyssey is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment and the capacity is being reduced from 570 to around 350 guests. Over 80 brand new suites and staterooms will be featured and there will be extensive enhancements to many public areas including the Spa and Terrace dining venues. Onboard the Aegean Odyssey, guests will enjoy a comfortable, relaxed environment with friendly service, good food and wine. The dining experience will feature continental cuisine augmented by regional foods obtained during each voyage and the relaxed atmosphere is enhanced by open seating dining in the main restaurant with wine, beer or soft drinks included with dinner each evening. There will be alternative dining venues at the Terrace Cafe and Tapas on the Terrace.

Voyages to Antiquity brochures may be requested, viewed or downloaded at For reservations and information, contact your travel professional or call the Voyages to Antiquity office in Fort Lauderdale, toll-free: 1 877 398 1460. Office hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm (Monday-Friday) Eastern Time.

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Join "The Beatles" Tribute Cruise At Sea

Nove 16: The Beatles Tribute Cruise sets sail from Ft Lauderdale on 3/28/10 aboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas for 6 nights to the Western Caribean. Along for this "Ticket to Ride" are Beatles Insider's like:

-- May Pang: John Lennon's former girlfriend and the author of "Loving John" and "Instamatic Karma"
-- Nancy Andrews: Ringo's former fiancee and the author of "A Dose of Rock and Roll"
-- Chris O'Dell: former Apple employee, George Harrison wrote "Miss O'Dell" about her and she just published her memoirs called "Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long night wit the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and the Woman They Loved"
-- Shannon: the World's Greatest Beatles Artist who will unveil eight of her original Beatles paintings from her "Hard Days Night Hotel Collection" in a pre-cruise ceremony
-- Paul Saltzman: photographer and the author of "The Beatles in India"
-- Jorie Gracen: Paul McCartney's photographer for over twenty years and the author of "I Saw Him Standing There"
-- Joe Johnson- the host and creator of the nationally syndicated radio show "BeatleBrunch"
-- BritBeat: America's Premier Tribute to the Beatles who will perform three different concerts and conduct a Beatles Guitar Workshop during the cruise

There will be Question and Sessions with old friends May Pang, Nancy Andrews and Chris O"Dell and another with Jorie Gracen. Paul Saltzman will offer his multi-media presentation "The Beatles in India", Beatles Trivia contest, two Beatles movie nights and much more.

The Beatles Tribute Cruise is a fund raiser for the Dara Roberts Fund. Dara is a young Beatles fan with Cerebral Palsy who attends Stanford University. It takes a tremendous amount of specialized equipment for her to manage on her own. For more information about our Beatles Guests, Beatles Events, cabin availability, or prices go to the Beatles Tribute Cruise Website at

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Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Arrives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

MIAMI, Nov. 13: Royal Caribbean Intl's newest cruise ship, the highly anticipated Oasis of the Seas, made her global debut today, arriving into her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. following a 14-day transatlantic crossing from Turku, Finland. Hundreds of eager onlookers - ranging from Royal Caribbean top executives to local government officials, residents and media - came out to welcome Oasis of the Seas to the United States for the first time and to be among the first to catch a glimpse of the world's most revolutionary cruise ship.

In the course of the next six days, the ship will undergo the final touches in preparation for pre-inaugural festivities kicking off with an exclusive private performance by pop music artist Rihanna, the first performer ever to take the stage on Oasis of the Seas', Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009. Oasis of the Seas will then make her national television premiere on ABC's "Good Morning America," Friday, Nov. 20, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (EST). Until that time, eager consumers can track her progress during the pre-inaugural activities via webisodes and updates, which are available at as well as join the conversation on Twitter by following @OasisandAllure and including #Oasisishere in Tweets.

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

The ultimate expression of Royal Caribbean's legacy of imagination and innovation, Oasis of the Seas introduces unique industry "firsts" including a neighborhood concept - seven main themed areas providing guests with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal style, preference or mood. Within these seven neighborhoods - Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Pool & Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone - are extraordinary elements such as the first living park at sea; a thrilling zip line that races diagonally nine-decks above an open-air atrium; an original handcrafted carousel; 28 multilevel urban-style loft suites boasting floor-to-ceiling windows; an amphitheater-style theater that serves as a pool by day and a dazzling ocean front theater by night; and an array of epicurean innovations that allow for new culinary experiences each day of a guest's cruise vacation.

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

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SeaDream Yacht Club Unveils New Routes For 2011

SeaDream Yacht Club will present its “Elegant but Casual Holiday Experience” in a new and exciting sailing region in 2011--Northern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain and Portugal.
Although SeaDream has a well-regarded reputation for summertime European voyages in the Mediterranean, Greek Islands and along the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, where it delights guests with calls at classic and historic cities as well as secluded towns, villages and yachting ports, the plan was to develop something new and outstanding. So, in 2011 SeaDream Yacht Club promises to surprise and delight guests with new sailings to England, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Germany, France, Holland, Spain and Portugal. From May through August award-winning SeaDream I, one of its elegant twin mega yacht cruisers, will sail these new routes.

Among highlights will be:
· The line’s first call on the world-renowned city of London,
· Summertime scenic cruising in the spectacular Norwegian fjords,
· Daylight sailing through the famed Stockholm Archipelago,
· A visit to the classic Hanseatic seaport city of Hamburg,
· Two nights and three days in the old Russian capital of St. Petersburg,
· A call on Copenhagen the exciting capital city of Denmark,
· A transit of the Kiel Canal that links the North Sea to the Baltic Sea,
· A stop in England’s seldom-visited Jersey Islands,
· Port stops in Brittany, historic cultural region of northwest France,
· A visit to Bordeaux in the heart of one of France’s most distinguished wine regions,
· And unusual, less visited stops along the Atlantic Coast of Spain and Portugal.

Prior to its voyages along these new Northern European routes SeaDream I will make a 15-day transatlantic sailing in April 2011 from San Juan, Puerto Rico across the Atlantic to London with a stop in the Azores. Following her London call May 8 SeaDream I will sail for Bremerhaven, Germany where she will undergo dry docking for routine maintenance and upkeep, prior to sailing these new routes.

Bob Lepisto, SeaDream’s President, said “These new itineraries are ideal for our clientele. They are the essence of the SeaDream Experience. We expect to have complete 2011 schedules and itineraries up on our website and be ready to accept bookings by the weekend of November 20.”

Among new ports of call for these 2011 itineraries are: Stockholm and Marstand, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; Oslo, Stavanger, Lillesand and Bergen Norway; Tallin and Kuressaare, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, Holland; Honfleur, St. Malo, Belle Ile, La Rochelle and Bordeaux, France; St. Jean de Luz, Gigoni/Oviedo, Spain; Cascais, Portugal and, of course London, at the conclusion of SeaDream I’s transatlantic passage. Norwegian fjords in which SeaDream I will sail include the Hardangefjord, and the Sognefjord.
Norwegian Atle Brynestad, SeaDream’s founder, owner and CEO, stated “It’s long been a dream of mine to have our yachts sail in Scandinavian waters, especially in the magnificent Norwegian fjords which I love. While I know our guests will love all of these new voyages, I believe they will especially love my Norwegian fjords.

Both SeaDream I and SeaDream II sail in the Caribbean in the winter months.

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Celebrity Cruises Toasts Guests With Wine Harvest Celebration

MIAMI, Nov. 11: Celebrity Cruises is toasting guests on every sailing with a seasonal expansion of the brand's new Celebrity Life "Savor" series of onboard food and beverage programming. From now through Dec 15, guests on every Celebrity ship can enjoy the line's Wine Harvest Celebration, a "full-bodied" program celebrating the global harvest of the grape through rich wine appreciation courses and tastings, aromatic food and wine pairings, "smoky" silent auctions, and "crisp" presentations by noted authorities on select sailings.

"Celebrity continues to offer one of the broadest and best wine selections in the industry, inspired by the high percentage of our guests who are wine enthusiasts," said Celebrity's Vice President of Culinary Operations, Chef Jacques Van Staden, who shaped the Savor series of Celebrity Life. "Our Wine Harvest Celebration presents a series of activities celebrating the Fall harvest and our guests' passion for wine."

Among the highlights of Celebrity's Wine Harvest Celebration will be an industry-first unveiling of Beaujolais Nouveau simultaneously across the fleet on November 19. Hosted by a guest speaker and one of Celebrity's own certified cellarmasters, the event will offer guests the opportunity to sip the eagerly-anticipated light wine from oak casks and commemorative bottles, while enjoying live music and dancing, canapes, a cheese carving station and a roast carving station.

Guests with a passion for cool music and rich chocolate are likely to be "seduced" by Celebrity's "Jazz, Port and Chocolate Tasting Seduction," with a complimentary glass of port wine and a deluxe chocolate buffet and fountain, all set against a backdrop of light jazz music.

At the "Grand Cru Dinner," following a sparkling wine reception, Celebrity's cellarmaster, guest speaker and chef will prepare a top-tier dinner comprised of food and wine reflective of the region in which each ship is sailing. Up to 40 guests can participate in each distinctive dinner in Celebrity's intimate specialty restaurants.

Through "Sabering at Sea," guests will observe the delicate, age-old art of sabering - uncorking a bottle with saber or knife - while participating in tastings and discussion of sparkling wines including Champagne, Cremants, Spumantes and California Methode Traditional wines.

Throughout the course of the celebration, a "Celebrity Wine Harvest Exposition" will be open to all guests on embarkation day. Hosted by Celebrity's certified cellarmasters and a variety of noted wine authorities from around the world, the event features a complimentary glass of house wine, canapes and hors d'oeuvres, and an overview of the varied wine experiences and packages available for guests, paired with the opportunity to make reservations for limited-capacity events.

Additionally, among the wine-focused experiences offered year-round through the Celebrity Life "Savor" series are:

-- "Wine Appreciation 101" presents tastings of six different varietals and wine appreciation tips offered by Celebrity's certified cellarmasters.
-- "The Art of Food and Wine Pairing" explores how certain flavor components, such as acids in food, can impact the flavor of wines.
-- "Celebrity's World Wine Tasting and Silent Auction" allows guests to taste wines from each of the regions represented in Celebrity's global wine program, including Africa, France, Germany/Austria, Italy, Spain, the U.S. and South America. The tastings are paired with canapes, fruits and cheeses, and highlighted by a silent auction of premium wines packaged at special prices.
-- "The Riedel Comparative Wine and Crystal Workshop" is a one-hour seminar Celebrity has offered since becoming the first cruise line endorsed by Riedel to offer it in 2007. Participants learn and experience how dramatically the shape of a wine glass can affect the outcome of flavors on the palate, and hear the interesting tale of how the Riedel family has influenced the crystal industry.

Celebrity's fleet, including the new Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, will be joined by Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Seabourn Odyssey Arrives in the United States

MIAMI, Nov 11: Seabourn Odyssey, the first new luxury cruising vessel to debut in over six years, breezed into Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale, Florida with the dawn on Nov 10. The full complement of guests on board were coaxed out of their luxurious suites to witness the display of colored spray arching from a port-sponsored fireboat and to dance to the energetic music provided by Broward County’s own Nova High School Titan Band, assembled on the dock in their green and black uniforms. It was the first coastline the pampered guests had seen since they left the Portuguese island of Madeira on Nov 2.

Seabourn Odyssey was built in Italy, and after her triumphant debut at Venice in June, she has spent the balance of the season sailing itineraries in the Greek isles, Turkey and the Black Sea.

Seabourn Odyssey’s maiden call in the U.S. will begin with a once-over by the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Public Health Service. That will be followed by a two-day open house. First, on November 11, for the proud staff who work at Seabourn’s Miami headquarters, and the next day by travel agents from around the Southeast and beyond, eager to see the vessel USA Today called “…quite simply a game-changer for the luxury segment.”

On November 13, The Yachts of Seabourn is sponsoring a gala overnight cruise called an “Arts Odyssey” benefiting the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and three of its resident companies: The New World Symphony, Florida Grand Opera and the Miami City Ballet. Then on November 14, she starts a series of cruises to the Caribbean sailing round trip from Fort Lauderdale. On January 5, 2010, Seabourn Odyssey will embark guests for her first-ever round-the world cruise, ending over three months later at Athens, Greece.

Two smaller Seabourn sisters: Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit, will dock at Port Everglades in November, as well. And in just over a year, Odyssey's twin sister Seabourn Sojourn will arrive, following her debut in London in June of 2010.

For more information, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Windstar Cruises Offers a Cannes Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix Cruise Aboard Wind Surf

SEATTLE, Nov. 11: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, offers a special 8-day cruise from Rome, Italy to Nice, France aboard the elegant, 312-guest Wind Surf departing May 9, 2010. The sailing features the glamorous Cannes Film Festival and the thrilling Monaco Grand Prix race. Guests will overnight in Cannes, France during the star-studded Cannes Film Festival and spend three nights in Monaco during the prestigious Formula One Grand Prix race. Other ports visited include Bastia, France and San Remo, Italy. Cruise rates begin at $2,999 per person, double occupancy.

Guests who wish to attend the Grand Prix may purchase the Monaco 68th Grand Prix Package Tour which begins on Friday, May 14 and ends on Sunday, May 16, 2010. The package includes a private transfer to the luxurious L'Hermitage for an exclusive cocktail party overlooking Monaco's Marina and Royal Palace with open bar, original Monegasque canapes and live music. A lavish dinner with wine pairings and live music follows. Guests also receive entrance to the renowned Grand Casino and an exclusive gift package of binoculars, official 68e Grand Prix de Monaco program, official club ticket holder, souvenir hat and jacket.

On Saturday, guests tender to the pier in Monaco to take their seats in Tribune K reserved section of the Formula One Grand Prix time trials. That evening, an exclusive private cocktail reception will be held followed by a private Grand Prix dinner on board Wind Surf.

Sunday morning guests enjoy a private Grand Prix brunch on board the ship followed by a thrilling day of viewing the final Grand Prix race from the same track-side reserved seats. Box lunches will also be available. The limited 3-day shore excursion package must be pre-booked at

Windstar recently announced the latest phase of its Degrees of Difference initiative featuring added amenities and enhancements to its luxurious ships in the areas of dining, accommodations, entertainment, spa, fitness and shore excursions. With this latest initiative, Windstar continues to raise the bar, delivering a vacation experience that is "180 Degrees from Ordinary."

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Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises & Royal Caribbean Intl Announce
 New eDocs & Luggage Tag Program

MIAMI, Nov 11: Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean Intl believe that their guests’ cruise experience begins before the first suitcase is packed. Today, the cruise lines announced a new electronic cruise document, or “eDocs,” and luggage tag program designed to offer guests a dynamic, one-of-a-kind pre-cruise documentation experience and simultaneously give travel agents an opportunity to promote their own business.
A personalized, interactive, visually appealing, web-based format offers guests all the information they need prior to their cruise, including travel agency contact details, information on shore excursion choices and various onboard offerings available during the guests’ particular cruise, travel and documentation instructions, and much more. Once the booking has been finalized, eDocs will be issued as early as 49 days prior to sailing. In an effort to offer guests more information in a visually appealing way with less burden on the environment, all Azamara, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean bookings made on or after December 13, 2009, will generate eDocs as the default format for guest travel documents. eDocs also will be the default format for any bookings made before December 13, 2009, that didn’t include a selection of a hard-copy guest travel documents preference. Guests will access their eDocs via each cruise line’s consumer website:, and

“Our travel partners have told us that now is the time to move to an electronic option for cruise documents,” said Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President, Sales, Royal Caribbean International. “Given that close to half of our guests and travel partners already select eDocs as their preferred format, the momentum has been building toward this type of approach as eDocs have become widely accepted by travel partners and cruise travelers alike.”
“While most other cruise brands have moved to a purely electronic format, we wanted to continue to offer a choice by providing guests the opportunity to purchase a printed document,” said Dondra Ritzenthaler, Senior Vice President, Sales, Celebrity Cruises. “We realize that our travel partners may choose to print the eDocs’ printer-friendly version and give a hard copy to their clients, but we strongly encourage our partners to share the eDocs link so their clients can experience the truly interactive, personalized format.”

The technology behind the eDocs brings with it various conveniences for the guests and travel partners who use them. Not only do the eDocs give guests and travel partners around-the-clock access to important pre-cruise information, they also offer hyperlinks to all pre-cruise activity reservation opportunities. Additionally, eDocs offer a table of contents with hyperlinks that take the guest to the exact page they're interested in, the ability to email a copy to friends and family, and the option to print specific pages. As an added bonus, the eDocs that Azamara, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean will offer are visually stunning, colorful and easy to read.
Celebrity and Royal Caribbean will offer guests the option of ordering printed cruise documents, for a fee of $35 per document. The up-market, smaller-ship brand Azamara, however, will waive this fee for its guests who order printed cruise documents.

“We want to offer our guests the same highly personalized service that is already part of the onboard Azamara experience, before they even step onboard,” said Edie Bornstein, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Azamara Cruises. “We include butler service, concierge style amenities and complimentary specialty restaurant dining for every guest, so we wanted to include the printed cruise document option, too.”

It is also possible for travel partners and guests to self-print eDocs at no charge using a printer-friendly format; however, this version will lack the interactive qualities of the online eDocs. Not only will the new eDocs program help travel partners avoid shipping costs by eliminating the need to mail printed documents to their clients, but travel partners also have options around how their clients receive their eDocs. Agents can receive eDocs on behalf of a client, they can give the cruise line the client’s email address or provide the client with the booking number so that the client can self-manage their eDocs (which saves the travel partner valuable administrative time). Alternatively, travel partners can offer their clients the opportunity to purchase a printed document.

A new eDocs luggage tag system designed to save guests time at the pier and streamline the onboard luggage sorting and delivery process is a crucial part of the three cruise lines’ revamped pre-cruise planning and documentation experience. Qualified guests may request luggage tags to be mailed to them by completing the request form available on each brand’s website. With the new program, guests will receive, via mail, a complimentary set of eight pre-printed, self-adhesive, color-coded and personalized luggage tags. Luggage tags can be requested as soon as documents are issued and must be requested no later than 14 days prior to sailing. Alternatively, travel partners can request that a client’s luggage tags be mailed either to the client or the travel agency by providing a mailing address at the time of booking; these will be mailed 13 days prior to sailing. The new eDocs luggage tag program is already available for Royal Caribbean International’s guests, and will become available for Azamara Cruises’ and Celebrity Cruises’ guests beginning Nov 16, 2009.

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MSC Poesia is Here! MSC Cruises’ Ship Arrives for Inaugural Caribbean Season

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Nov 10: Welcomed by local and port officials and popular television star and entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, MSC Poesia arrived in Port Everglades today to begin her inaugural season of Caribbean sailings.

“We are very excited to introduce MSC Poesia to North America,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc. “It is an elegant ship in every respect – spectacular public areas, and a wealth of choices for dining, entertainment and activities, all with a style that epitomizes MSC Cruises.”

Somers presented Sasso with a plaque commemorating the ship’s arrival.

“MSC Poesia is poetry in motion and we are excited to have her sail to our shores,” said Port Everglades Director Phil Allen.

The Italian, family-owned line is bringing the elegant MSC Poesia to Fort Lauderdale for a season featuring itineraries of 3, 5, 7, 8 and 10 nights throughout the Caribbean and to Bermuda during the winter season before returning to Europe in spring 2010. MSC Poesia features 1,275 staterooms, of which 80% are outside staterooms and 65% have a balcony. Guests can enjoy 2 pools and 4 hot tubs, a 13,000-square-foot spa, and four restaurants, including a Sushi Bar themed restaurant.

MSC Poesia arrived in Fort Lauderdale this morning after a 17-night transatlantic journey from Venice. Her Caribbean season will include:

5-night sailings: Nov. 10 and Nov. 15
10-night itineraries – Nov. 20, Nov. 30, Dec. 10
7-night Christmas itinerary, departing Dec. 20
7-night New Year’s itinerary, departing Dec. 27
7-night itineraries – a variety of eastern and western itineraries Jan. 16-April 10
7-night Bermuda itinerary – departing April 17, features 3 nights in Bermuda
3-night Bahamas cruise, departing April 24
MSC Poesia departs Fort Lauderdale April 27 on an 18-night voyage to Hamburg.

During the 2009-10 season, MSC Poesia will host an extensive lineup of theme cruises, including:

President’s Cruise: Nov. 10, 2009 -- 5-night “Caribbean Escape”
Latin Music: Jan. 23, 2010 -- 7-night “Eastern Caribbean Enchantment”
Comedy: Jan. 30 2010 -- 7-night “Eastern Caribbean Enchantment”
Country Music: Feb. 20, 2010 -- 7-night “Eastern Caribbean Enchantment”
Oldies Music: March 20, 2010 -- 7-night “Eastern Caribbean Dream”
Festa Italiana: April 10, 2010 -- 7-night “Island Treasures & Ancient Temples”
Baseball Greats: Nov. 20, 2009 10-night “Dazzling Dutch Caribbean & The Panama Canal”; 7-night sailings: Jan. 16, 2010 and Feb. 6, 2010 “Island Treasures & Ancient Temples”; March 6, 2010 “Eastern Caribbean Enchantment”; April 3, 2010 “Eastern Caribbean Dream.”
Big Band: Dec. 10, 2009 -- 10-night “Remarkable Rainforests & The Panama Canal”
Polka: Jan. 9, 2010 -- 7-night “Eastern Caribbean Enchantment”
Baseball Greats & Big Band: Feb. 27, 2010 -- 7-night “Island Treasures & Ancient Temples”
Life Modification Cruise: January 16, 2010—7 night “Island Treasures & Ancient Temples”
On each sailing, guests will enjoy the line’s highly acclaimed entertainment, European-style ambiance, dishes from “La Cucina Italiana,” and top-of-the-line pampering.

For more information on MSC Cruises, visit or a local travel professional.

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Costa Cruises & Dubai Team Up For Inaugural Celebration of New Costa Deliziosa

LONDON, Nov 9: Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, and the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) announced today that the new Costa Deliziosa with be named in Dubai. Costa and DTCM will team up for the event, which marks the first time a cruise ship will be named in an Arabian city. The stunning new flagship of the Costa fleet will be inaugurated in the international locale on Feb 23, 2010. Today’s announcement was made at World Travel Market in London.

The naming ceremony will take place during the ship’s Grand Inaugural cruise, departing from Savona, Italy on Feb 5, 2010 and calling in Dubai from Feb 23-26. Costa guests sailing on the first leg of the grand maiden cruise will be able to attend the exclusive inaugural ceremony.

The Costa Deliziosa (92,600-tons; 2,260 dbl occ) is currently being fitted out at Fincantieri’s Marghera (Venice) shipyard and will be delivered on January 29, 2010. Together with her sister ship, Costa Luminosa, christened on June 5 of this year, the Costa Deliziosa will be the most exclusive and innovative ship in the Costa fleet. Both ships will be deployed in Dubai during winter 2009/10, offering 7-night cruises from Dubai, complete with two overnights and visits to other UAE countries.

“Costa Cruises was the first and it’s still the major operator to believe in the value of this new cruise destination, confirming the pioneering spirit of our Italian company,” said Fabrizia Greppi, Costa Crociere S.p.A. Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Communication. “Thanks to the partnership and four years of activities with the DTCM, we have boosted our presence, bringing ships to Dubai which are ambassadors of the best of “made in Italy” in the world. For the coming winter season Costa will deploy in the area “top of the range” sister ships Costa Luminosa and Costa Deliziosa. The naming ceremony of our fifteenth ship, Costa Deliziosa, in Dubai confirms our strategy while strengthening the partnership between Costa Cruises and DTCM. We are working together towards the same goal of creating an unforgettable event rich with surprise and atmosphere, combining the charming tradition of an Arabian night with the unique Italian style by Costa Cruises.”

The Costa Deliziosa naming ceremony further strengthens the ties linking Dubai and Costa Cruises. The Italian company, together with AIDA Cruises, a German brand also belonging to Costa Crociere’s group, was the first to market regular cruises in the Arabian Gulf, turning Dubai into a major cruise destination and contributing to its growth as a tourism destination. In winter 2009/2010, Costa’s ships are expected to bring 140,000 passenger movements to Dubai thanks to the presence of three ships - the Costa Luminosa, the Costa Deliziosa and the Costa Europa, for a total of 32 calls. The estimated economic impact will be approximately €14 million,* coming from Costa guests’ direct spending, shore excursions, transfers, cruise operation expenditures, and general expenditures (food & beverage). In addition to Costa Cruises’ ships, one AIDA Cruises ship, AIDAdiva (69,200-tons and 2,500 total guests), will call 20 times in Dubai during the winter 2009/10 season. Costa’s operations in the area began in winter 2006/2007 with one ship, the Costa Classica (53,000-tons and 1,308 dbl occ). The immediate success of the new cruise destination prompted Costa Cruises to increase its capacity in the area year after year. Costa Cruises’ passenger movements in Dubai increased from 44,000 in winter 2006/07 to 100,000 in winter 2008/09. Costa Cruises’ ships have generated substantial and growing business for the emirate of Dubai and the other ports of call on the itinerary.

In winter 2009/10 both Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa will sail 7-night itineraries with two overnights in Dubai and one day calls at the ports of Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Bahrain. The Costa Deliziosa will depart from Dubai on Sundays from March 24, 2010 to May 9, 2010 the Costa Luminosa will depart on Saturdays from December 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010. In addition to the two Costa flagships, the Costa Europa will offer a brand new itinerary: 18-night winter cruises from Savona to Dubai and from Dubai to Savona – a unique itinerary crossing the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.

About Costa Deliziosa
The Costa Deliziosa is “the new jewel” of the Costa fleet – the most exclusive and innovative ship intended for Costa’s “high-end” customers. This is readily apparent in her cutting-edge design and use of premium materials such as various types of marble and granite, stucco applied by spatula using the technique known as “spatolato veneziano” and other decorative interior finishes including “parchment scroll” lamé, refined Zebrano wood and Wenge timber, Murano glass, and stylish polished and glazed steel. Featured in the stunning atrium (a strong focal point on all Costa ships) are fine works of art, notably “Sphere” by Arnaldo Pomodoro and a piece by Mario Donizetti.

Whether it’s fun or relaxation, there are an incredibly large number of entertaining things to do on board, all involving the use of leading-edge technology. These include 4D cinema, a roller skating track, the latest generation golf simulator with a putting green, a Grand Prix race car driving simulator and the exclusive 23,000 square-foot “Samsara Spa” complete with spa accommodations offering direct access to the wellness center. The ship also features “PlayStation World,” an area onboard dedicated exclusively to PlayStation3, as well as “PlayStation on demand” cabin service.

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

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“Legendary” Celebrity Performers to Debut on Norwegian Epic in Renowned
Legends in Concert Show

MIAMI, FL, Nov 6: Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Legends in Concert, the original and world’s greatest live tribute show, will be featured for the first time at sea in more than a decade on Norwegian Epic, the company’s largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, debuting in June 2010. A staple on Las Vegas’ center strip for the past 25 years, Legends in Concert is known as the pioneer of live tribute shows and has assembled the greatest collection of live tribute artists and celebrity look-alikes in the industry. Norwegian Epic also welcomed Howl at the Moon, the world’s greatest rock ‘n roll dueling piano show that encourages audience participation.

“Norwegian Epic has already made headlines with its world-class entertainment offerings, featuring Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams™ and Dinner and The Second City. Now, with the addition of Legends in Concert and Howl at the Moon, we have raised the bar even higher, taking cruise ship entertainment to a whole new level, on par with major entertainment hubs like Las Vegas and New York,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With their wide range of incredibly talented superstar tribute artists and celebrated entertainers, Legends in Concert will appeal to music fans of all ages, making this a must-see show for our guests. Howl at the Moon gives guests the chance to sing along to music from the ‘70s to today in a highly interactive show.”

Legends In Concert: Legends in Concert is a live musical celebration featuring the world’s greatest celebrity tribute artists such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Tom Jones, Tina Turner, Madonna, Garth Brooks, Rod Stewart, Cher, Barry White, Tim McGraw, and Shania Twain, among many others. Legends in Concert on Norwegian Epic will feature three celebrity tribute performers taking the stage in the Epic Theater for six 45-minute shows over three days during a 7-day cruise. In addition, a cabaret-style show will be performed on three additional nights in the Manhattan Room, the ship’s New York-inspired supper club, providing an unprecedented dining and entertainment experience on Norwegian Epic. The celebrity performers will change every four months, keeping the show fresh and exciting. Each universally-renowned Legends in Concert performer not only looks and sounds like the star they portray, they transform themselves through hours of practice at their craft. This is accomplished by using their own natural voices and every detail is taken into consideration from choreography, to hair, make-up, and mannerisms.

Howl at the Moon: Performing four times per cruise in Headliners, Norwegian Epic’s comedy club, Howl at the Moon is a total entertainment experience where the talented piano players not only entertain the guests; the guests become part of the show. The fun is centered around two baby grand pianos and a full out rock show with Howl’s entertainers playing the best music from 70’s rock to hip-hop for four hours per show. Howl at the Moon, with multiple locations across the United States, encourages people to live out their inner rock star, so guests should be ready to clap, sing, dance, and howl.

Norwegian Epic: In addition to world-class entertainment, the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic incorporates many innovations including several new types of accommodations – the curved New Wave staterooms; the largest Villas suite complex at sea, comprising 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship; and spa and family-friendly accommodations. The ship also boasts unique nightlife options with the first Ice Bar at sea and Spice H20 with non-stop entertainment day and night; an expansive Aqua Park with the only tube slide and largest
bowl slide at sea -- The Epic Plunge; seven decks of Freestyle Family Fun with highlights including a 33-foot high, 64-foot wide extreme rock climbing wall and the first ever rappelling wall at sea; the most bowling lanes at sea with six in two venues; a mixed-use sports deck with the ability for guests to engage in eight different athletic activities; as well as three separate kids’ and teen activity areas. In addition, Norwegian Epic will offer the next generation of Freestyle Dining with 20 dining choices and 20 bars and lounges.

For more information on Norwegian Epic as well as to book your cruise on Norwegian Epic to the Eastern or Western Caribbean, call Norwegian at 866-234-7350, visit, or call a travel agent.

Oasis of the Seas Arrival Update

Nov 6: While crossing the North Atlantic Ocean on its way to Port Everglades, Florida, Oasis of the Seas encountered strong winds and high seas. Due to the inclement weather, Oasis of the Seas is now scheduled to arrive at Port Everglades on the morning of November 13, 2009, two days later than originally scheduled. The late arrival will not impact any inaugural events, promotional activities or revenue sailings. You may continue to follow Oasis’ journey on

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

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Carnival Cruise Lines Announces Godmother, Marcia Gay Harden For Carnival Dream

NEW YORK, Nov. 6: In celebration of the launch of its newest, largest and most family-friendly "Fun Ship" ever, Carnival Cruise Lines announces that Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden will serve as godmother of the new Carnival Dream and will unveil the world's largest children's book in New York City today, along with a major, multi-year partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

New Yorker and mother of three, Harden will officially name the new ship when it makes its North American debut in New York on Nov 12, 2009. In honor of Carnival Dream's much-anticipated arrival, the Tony Award-winning actress will unveil Carnival's Big Book of Dreams, measuring 15.5 feet high by 20 feet wide, in New York City's Rockefeller Center today and will conduct a special reading of the larger-than-life story to dozens of schoolchildren. Inspired by the imaginative dreams of children who sailed on Carnival Cruise Lines this spring, "The Dream Plucker of Perrysport" tells the tale of a group of young friends who find themselves on a unique adventure after they encounter a furry orange monster in a quest to remember their dreams. The book will remain on display at Rockefeller Center November 6 and 7 as part of a series of free, activity-filled Carnival "Dream Big" events for the whole family.

"As a mother and actress driven by the idea of dreaming big, I'm honored to take on this new role as godmother of Carnival's largest-ever ship and to help bring the Big Book of Dreams to life for local children," said Marcia Gay Harden. "I'm also inspired by Carnival's dedication to support and encourage all kids to dream big through its partnership with St. Jude."

During the three-year partnership with St. Jude, Carnival Cruise Lines' goal is to raise $3 million to help achieve the hospital's mission of finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses. To support the hospital, under the theme "Care to Play," Carnival is creating a number of fun, interactive on-board fundraising activities that will involve guest participation. Carnival will also donate hundreds of kid-sized copies of "The Dream Plucker of Perrysport" to the hospital.

To learn more about Carnival Dream and the Carnival Book of Dreams, visit

Carnival Cruise Lines' newest and largest ship, the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, is a new class of vessel for the line and ushers in an exciting new era in "Fun Ship" cruising. On September 21, the Dream began its inaugural voyages in Europe and will make its North American debut in New York on Thursday, November 12. The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream offers a host of innovations including more than 19,000 square feet of space dedicated to children and families, as well as an expansive WaterWorks aqua park featuring the longest water slide at sea. The ship also offers a stunning indoor/outdoor café and entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza, a two-level Serenity adults-only retreat, a wrap-around promenade encircling the ship and a 23,750-square-foot health spa. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Nieuw Amsterdam Floats Out at Italian Shipyard

Seattle, WA, Nov 5: Holland America Line’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam, currently under construction at Fincantieri shipyard, was floated out of its dry dock at Marghera, Italy, Friday, Oct. 30, 2009. The floating out — considered a significant milestone in the construction process—was prefaced by several traditional ceremonies. Following the ancient practice of shipbuilders, two commemorative coins were sealed in a compartment in the traditional Coin-Under-the-Mast ceremony, believed to bring good fortune to a vessel.

“It is always a meaningful moment to bring a new ship along to this point in the building process,” said Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line. “With the rich legacy of the name Nieuw Amsterdam, and this being the fourth ship in our 136-year history to carry this name, it is all the more significant for our company.”

The special coins used in the ceremony were minted to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's discovery of the river in New York that bears his name. In 1609, Hudson, an English explorer employed by the Dutch East India Company, sailed his ship Half Moon up that river. Hudson’s explorations eventually led to the first permanent Dutch settlement in North America—a tiny village on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, which was named Nieuw Amsterdam. In recognition of that longstanding connection, several rooms on Nieuw Amsterdam will have New York City themes. The main restaurant is the Manhattan Dining Room, the atrium art is inspired by the city’s skyscrapers and the youth area will feature an authentic 1981 New York Checker cab.

After the blessing of the ship and the ceremonies, floodgates on the dry dock opened. As the dock began to fill, a bucket was lowered into the water and some of the first water to touch the ship's hull was captured and preserved in a crystal bottle that is presented to the captain during the ship’s official dedication. Nieuw Amsterdam was towed to the fitting-out dock where she will be finished and delivered in early July 2010. Second in the Signature Class and sister ship to the ms Eurodam, she will carry 2,106 guests and 929 crew.

For more information visit the ms Nieuw Amsterdam microsite located on in the Quick Links area of the homepage, consult a travel agent, or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425).

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Holland America Line's 2011 Grand Voyages Set To Explore Seven Continents, 65 Countries

Seattle, Nov 05: Holland America Line’s ms Amsterdam and the line’s Elegant Explorer, ms Prinsendam, will each sail two spectacular Grand Voyages in 2011. When combined, the four extensive itineraries feature a total of 308 cruising days, 121 ports of call and 65 countries. Built for world cruising, Amsterdam will sail a 110-day Grand World Voyage in January and a 70-day Grand Asia & Australia Voyage in the fall. Simultaneously, ms Prinsendam will sail a 66-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage followed by a 62-day Grand Africa & Mediterranean Voyage.

“A Grand Voyage with Holland America Line is more than a vacation, it’s an experience of a lifetime,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. “These voyages offer guests a unique blend of inspired itineraries, lasting friendships and the pleasures of life at sea while exploring the world.”

Grand World Voyage: Departing Jan. 5 and sailing roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Amsterdam rings in 2011 with its sixth Grand World Voyage. The 110-day journey is a port collector’s dream that includes 10 overnight calls, visits to an impressive collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and three maiden ports of call—Alofi, Niue; Oban, Stewart Island, New Zealand; and Koror, Palau. Several exciting segments ranging from 16 to 48 days also are available. Sailing westbound, Amsterdam will call on Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, before continuing on its way to a daylight transit of the Panama Canal, one of the most remarkable man-made wonders in the world. Also in store for guests are unforgettable calls at Callao, Peru—the gateway to Machu Picchu—and Easter Island, Chile, known for its famous giant stone statues. As Amsterdam continues its voyage, the ship will journey throughout Australia and Asia, transit the Suez Canal and cruise the Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic and heading back to the States.

Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage: Also departing Jan. 5 on a Grand Voyage is Holland America Line’s most intimate ship, ms Prinsendam, which is designed to explore the most remote corners of the world in elegance and style. Prinsendam returns to South America, Antarctica and the Amazon on a 66-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage that sails roundtrip Fort Lauderdale. The itinerary emphasizes in-depth exploration by offering eight overnight calls, including an overnight at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a maiden call at Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Other memorable moments include eight full days of cruising the Amazon River, navigating around Cape Horn and through the Straits of Magellan, a daylight passage through the Panama Canal and scenic cruising in Antarctica. An option for those with less time is a 33-day segment to or from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Grand Africa & Mediterranean Voyage: Following its Grand Voyage down south, Prinsendam returns to Ft. Lauderdale March 12 and embarks on a 62-day Grand Africa & Mediterranean Voyage. The roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale sailing takes guests on a journey to West Africa, the Mediterranean and the Holy Lands. Guests will enjoy a call at Haifa (Tel Aviv), Israel, where they may travel to Nazareth and visit the land of miracles: Galilee, the Jordan River, the Mount of the Beatitudes and Tabgha. This exceptional itinerary will especially appeal to guests who have traveled or cruised this region before, as the ship is set to call at many unique ports including Banjul, Gambia; Dakar, Senegal, and Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Four maiden ports of call are scheduled for the Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage as well: Havre de Robert, Martinique; Lipari, Italy; Syracusa, Sicily, Italy and Motril, Spain.

Grand Asia & Australia Voyage: Amsterdam will wrap up the year with a 70-day Grand Asia and Australia Voyage sailing from Seattle, Wash., to Los Angeles, Calif., departing Sept. 26. Following calls throughout Asia to Indonesia, the itinerary will continue to Western Australia and the South Pacific. This voyage offers extensive time in port to allow guests to take in the wide-ranging history and culture of the region and includes overnights at Beijing and Hong Kong, China, and Sydney, Australia. Guests on board also can enjoy some tropical sunshine with calls at the exotic islands of New Caledonia, Samoa, Fiji and Hawaii.

2011 Grand Voyages open for reservations: Reservations are now available for all four Holland America Line 2011 Grand Voyages, and early-booking bonus amenities for full-cruise guests may include prepaid hotel service charges, a shipboard credit, luggage delivery service and an exclusive shore event when booking select stateroom categories; amenities vary by cruise and category booked. The four Grand Voyages are available to book for the full cruise or in segments as short as 16 days.

Complete details regarding Holland America’s 2011 Grand Voyages are included in the line’s recently released brochure, “Exotic Voyages 2010-2011.” Along with important itinerary information for both 2010 and 2011, “Exotic Voyages 2010-2011” includes detailed maps, fare information, sample shore excursions, pre-and-post hotel and vacation packages, stateroom floor plans, an “at-a-glance” 2010 -2011 sailing schedule and ship deck plans. The brochure is also available on the Holland America Line website. For more information on Holland America Line’s Grand Voyages—consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Oceania Cruises Launches Online Reservations for Specialty Restaurants

Miami, Nov 4: Oceania Cruises is introducing a new online portal that will let booked guests make advance reservations for specialty restaurants from the comfort of their home. Oceania Cruises’ three 684-guest vessels – Regatta, Insignia and Nautica – offer a choice of four different dining venues, all of which come under the watchful eye of renowned master chef, Jacques Pépin, who serves as executive culinary director for the cruise line. Guests can choose from The Grand Dining Room, Polo Grill, Toscana and Tapas on the Terrace.

The new online “Dining Reservations Calendar” conveniently includes the times the ship is in port, as well as any pre-reserved shore excursions to assist guests in selecting the ideal dining times. Reservations can be made 90 days in advance of sailing, once final payment has been received, and will remain available until 10 days prior to departure.

“Offering the ability to pre-book specialty restaurant reservations before embarkation is just one more we have elevated our acclaimed dining experience,” stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises’ president. “At home they are accustomed to making advance reservations for top restaurants. On board our ships the dining experience is every bit equal in both quality and service, now it is also equally convenient.”

Guests may now access the Dining Reservations Calendar beginning with the 2009-2010 Winter Collection voyages of Regatta, Insignia and Nautica to Asia and Australia, South America and the Caribbean. To access the calendar, guests must register in the “Already Booked” section of 

By year-end, travel agents will also have the ability to make dinner reservations on behalf of their clients via the travel agent center on Oceania Cruises’ Web site.

Oceania Cruises’ brand new, 1,258-guest Marina, scheduled to launch in winter 2010, will offer 10 different dining venues, six of which will be gourmet restaurants included on the Dining Reservations Calendar.

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Baltimore Cruises Its Way Into The Record Books

Nov 4: Did you know you can cruise out of Baltimore, MD? Apparently lots of people have found this out, as The Port of Baltimore set a record for most cruise passengers in one calendar year of 125,248 embarked passengers, surpassing its old record of 104,253 embarked passengers set in 2004.

With a prime location off Interstate 95, near Baltimore-Washington Intl Airport and Baltimore Penn Station, and featuring a city that offers so much to tourism, it’s no wonder why Baltimore is becoming an ever increasingly popular cruise port. In 2010, the Port will offer a record 92 cruises, including year-round service from Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean.

The city of Baltimore has grown to become one of the most well-known destinations along the east coast, attracting visitors from all over the country with the maritime feel of the Inner Harbor, diverse culinary scene and value-added vacation packages. Don’t forget when in Baltimore; do as “Bawlmers” do, and walk. The city is a walker’s city, from the Inner Harbor to Fell’s Point to Camden Yards, visitor’s can tour a number of historical sites and monuments and museums and shops without worrying about the parking meter.

Baltimore’s downtown area features popular cultural sites, fine dining, shopping, educational museums, monuments and attractions. To make visiting all of Baltimore’s world-class attractions as easy as possible, Baltimore offers a special “Harbor Pass,” which includes admission to four attraction: the Maryland Science Center, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Top of the World Observation Level and a choice of either Port Discovery Children’s Museum or the American Visionary Art Museum. The pass is available for three days from the date of purchase, and offers a savings of 25 percent if booked online at

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Princess Debuts Fully Digital Travel Documents

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 3: Princess Cruises has debuted an innovative array of digital documents designed to transform the way passengers plan for and learn about their upcoming cruise. The all-new electronic format will deliver more information about their cruise than ever before, arriving conveniently by email and right to their computer desktop from the time of booking and continuing through departure. The timely digital documents include a brand-new email series filled with personalized pre-cruise information, a downloadable Princess Countdown Connection widget that delivers useful and entertaining information to a passenger’s computer, personalized online luggage tags, and customizable shore excursion eBooks. The change from printed information to fully digital documents applies to all North American passengers on voyages departing on or after January 21, 2010.

“These new digital enhancements are yet another example of our commitment to service innovation,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ executive vice president. “Not only will our passengers receive the most comprehensive array of pre-cruise information we’ve ever made available, the information is also fully personalized, and the content is designed to build excitement and anticipation for their cruise with a rich collection of multi-media experiences. Digital documents are also more environmentally friendly.”

Princess’ new digital documents include:

Personalized Pre-Cruise Emails
As soon as passengers book their cruise, they will begin to receive a new series of four emails that are timed to deliver just the right information needed for each stage of the cruise planning process. Replacing a printed Cruise Answer Book, the emails include the passenger booking details and interactive content that gives passengers a fun, engaging way to learn more about the signature amenities and activities they will experience on their ship. The information will be customized to the itinerary and the ship the passenger is sailing, and greetings are featured from some of the senior officers who will be sailing on their cruise. An array of links are also provided to such things as ship videos and virtual tours, bridge cams, dining options, entertainment choices, shipboard features and amenities, travel logistics, weather information, packing tips, frequently asked questions, Captain’s Circle benefits, important notices and reminders, and how to stay connected to family and friends while onboard.

Princess Countdown Connection

To help passengers anticipate and prepare for their upcoming sailing, the innovative Princess Countdown Connection
widget is an eye-catching online clock that ticks down the days, hours and minutes until their cruise departs. The new application, which can be downloaded from the pre-cruise emails, can live right on a passenger’s computer desktop, and will automatically deliver an array of personalized information to them about their upcoming sailing such as dining, onboard activities, shore excursions, and notices.

Personalized Online Luggage Tags
Passengers will also be able to print their own personalized luggage tags from their home or office computer. These new tags not only include the passenger's name, but also feature their Captain's Circle membership status, cabin number and embarkation information. Passengers will be able to print as many tags as needed to ensure all their luggage is properly marked prior to boarding the ship. The printable luggage tags debut for all voyages departing after December 1, 2009, and are accessible through the Cruise Personalizer. They can be printed up to 75 days prior to the sailing date. Generic luggage tags will continue to be available at the pier for passengers who may need them.

Shore Excursion eBooks
Beginning in December, passengers will be able to print their own personalized shore excursion eBook for their cruise. Using this innovative tool, passengers will be able to select their favorite excursions from the wide array offered in each port, and create their own customized eBook of shoreside experiences. Further details will be available next month.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting

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Costa Cruises Unveils Names of Newest Fleet Members:
Favolosa & Costa Fascinosa

MIAMI, Nov 3: After more than 16,000 suggestions from more than 40,000 travel agents and fans around the world, the names of the 16th and 17th ships in the Costa fleet have been selected. The two sister ships, set to debut in 2011 and 2012, will be named the Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa. The selections were chosen as a result of Costa’s “Send Us a Sea of Names” project whereby travel agents and fans sent in name suggestions for the two ships. The final selections were chosen based on their definition of the all-encompassing magic, glamour, emotion and passion reflected on all of Costa’s ships.

The Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa, (114,500 gross tons with a double occupancy of 3,000 each) will be delivered in summer 2011 and spring 2012 respectively. The two new sister ships, built by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard, are part of a major fleet expansion plan for Costa with five new ships due for delivery between 2009 and 2012. This plan includes the launch of the Costa Luminosa the Costa Pacifica (June 2009) and the Costa Deliziosa (set to debut in January 2010). The Costa Favolosa will be the first of the two new vessels to enter service. The laying of the first “building block” is set to take place on Thursday, Nov 5 at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard.

The choice of names was guided by 40,000 travel agents in over 40 countries who submitted more than 16,000 pairs of names as part of the “Send Us a Sea of Names” project. The initiative encouraged travel agents, customers and web users all over the world to take part in the search for the names for the two new Costa flagships. The submissions were summarized in a list of 25 pairs of names posted on All web site visitors were invited to choose their favorite pairing. More than 42,000 votes were received.

Magic, glamour, emotion and passion are elements that have always inspired Costa Cruises in the design of its ships and the creation of a unique and unforgettable cruise experience. The Costa Favolosa is intended to be the epitome of ship interior design, interpreting the excitement and emotion of people who see cruises as a magical voyage in a “contemporary enchanted castle.” The Costa Fascinosa is designed to express the special glamour of a cruise ship and her capacity to ignite strong emotion and passion.

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

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'Soap Cruise' Returns to Celebrity Century

MIAMI, Nov. 2: Fans of Celebrity Cruises and of soap opera stars have the rare opportunity to spend four days with their favorite actors at sea, when Celebrity Century again hosts "Soap Cruise" in 2010. Soap Cruise, the third voyage of its kind, is a special offering that pairs Celebrity's exceptional service with exclusive activities allowing guests who have purchased the Soap Cruise package the opportunity to directly interact with 20 of the hottest actors on several of daytime TV's most popular shows.

Among the activities that Soap Cruise organizers have arranged exclusively for Soap Cruise guests will be autograph and photo sessions, soap opera trivia games, an elite beach party with the stars, and other special events allowing guests to mingle with their favorite actors. Fans of Guiding Light - the show that shined for 72 years - will have the opportunity to meet top actors from the landmark show, including Kim Zimmer ("Reva"), Robert Newman ("Josh") and Jeff Branson ("Shayne").

Hosting Soap Cruise will be Cameron Mathison, who plays "Ryan" on All My Children and has appeared on Dancing with the Stars. Joining him on Celebrity Century will be fellow All My Children actors Jacob Young ("J.R.") and Vincent Irizarry ("David"); Austin Peck ("Brad") and Julie Pinson ("Janet") from As the World Turns; Brandon Beemer ("Owen"), Don Diamont ("Bill") and Winsor Harmon ("Thorne") of The Bold and the Beautiful; Nadia Bjorlin ("Chloe"), Drake Hogestyn ("John") and James Scott ("E.J.") of Days of Our Lives; Bradford Anderson ("Spinelli") and Laura Wright ("Carly") from General Hospital; Jeff Branson ("Shayne"), Robert Newman ("Josh)" and Kim Zimmer ("Reva") of Guiding Light; Bree Williamson ("Jessica") and John Brotherton ("Jared") on One Life to Live; and Daniel Goddard ("Cane") and Christian LeBlanc ("Michael") of The Young and the Restless.

The stars will mix it up exclusively with guests who have booked the Soap Cruise package on Celebrity Century's Jan 28 itinerary departing roundtrip from Miami, with visits to Key West, Fla., and Cozumel, Mexico. But, "like sand in the hourglass," time is running out for booking the opportunity. A limited number of staterooms remain for guests interested in experiencing Soap Cruise. For reservations, visit, or call 888-381-4654. Bookings on Celebrity Century's Jan 28 itinerary through other avenues will not include access to Soap Cruise activities.

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Windstar Cruises Announces the Next Phase of Its Degrees of Difference Initiative

SEATTLE, Nov. 2: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, announces the latest phase of its Degrees of Difference initiative featuring added amenities and enhancements to its ships which will be completed in stages and finishes the summer of 2010.

"The next phase of the Degrees of Difference initiative will take the ship to a new degree of excellence," said Diane Moore, president of Windstar Cruises. "Our guests enjoy fine dining, luxurious accommodations, outstanding service, dream destinations and the feeling that they are sailing on their own private yacht. With this latest initiative, we look forward to delivering an experience that continues to raise the bar."

Fine Dining
The Restaurant menus on all three ships will be reinvigorated with innovative new dishes from land and sea, bringing the flavors of the world to guest plates. This unique culinary dining experience will exhibit flavors of the destinations that Windstar Cruises visits.

Wind Surf's alternative restaurant Degrees will feature a new rotating menu reflecting the fresh and seasonal preparations of Mediterranean cooking. The menu highlights popular flavors of Mediterranean Rim cuisines showcasing the use of authentic ingredients and simple techniques. The spirited menu will also highlight the regional and local cooking reflective of the areas visited. Menu examples include: Tuscan shrimp and white beans; grilled lamb loin chops with green olives, preserved lemon and spinach; baked snapper with nicoise olives, tomato and basil; shellfish in saffron brodetto; pompano with rouille and toasted almonds; crepes with champagne poached pears and creme fraiche; and panna cotta with tangerines in dark rum syrup.

Other dining enhancements include the addition of a spa dining menu and redesigned menu holders with sleek and elegant lines.

Fine Wines
Wind Surf's Yacht Club will be transformed into a contemporary wine bar featuring a selection of luscious California, Washington, Oregon, New Zealand and Australian wines by the glass. On each ship, during each sailing, guests will be able to partake in special wine tastings featuring crystal stemware by Riedel and led by a sommelier.

Spa Suite Accommodations
For those looking for a retreat for the mind, body and soul, Windstar will introduce relaxing spa suites on Wind Surf. Spa suites will feature special bedding and linens, spa amenities, and credits for certified organic spa services and fitness classes in WindSpa provided by The OnboardSpa Company's O SPA London.

Relaxation & Fitness Enhancements
All guests will be able to enjoy new rejuvenating poolside spa treatments that take pampering to a whole new level. Offerings include a 30-minute reflexology session, a foot and ankle massage (complete with Himalayan salt scrub), an hour-long traditional sport massage or Swedish massage. Each treatment begins with a facial towel infused with Signature O SPA Essence - an exotic, organic aromatherapy blend with lemongrass, lime and cedar as guests indulge while enjoying views from the deck. Spa reservations are now bookable in advance by calling 1-888-820-0418 and will be available online at in December.

Wind Surf's Fitness Center and Wind Star and Wind Spirit's Gyms will receive new state-of-the-art fitness equipment including weight machines, treadmills, bikes and stair climbers from Technogym, a world leader in the design of fitness equipment.

Inspired Activities
Water sports enthusiasts appreciate the up-close and personal views of the world's most dramatic coastlines with Windstar's complimentary waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, ski-tubing and kayaking from the ship's aft Marina Deck. This summer, Windstar introduced an inflatable island trampoline to Wind Surf's watersports platform equipment collection which has proven to be extremely popular with guests. Windstar will also be investing in new watersports equipment on all three ships.

The ships' library DVD collection of feature films has been expanded along with travel, adventure and discovery favorites for guests to use in their staterooms. A collection of new travel and guide books will also be added to the library. In addition to Windstar's iPod program, where guests check out an iPod to listen to music during their sailing, Windstar will offer a Kindle program for booklovers for reading e-books and other digital media.

This year Windstar's Signature Collection Host Series returned by popular demand allowing guests the opportunity to travel with luminaries in the world of food, wine, photography, art and sports. Windstar will continue to offer the program in 2010 and beyond and will also add enrichment and port lectures on sailings.

For those who love to shop, Windstar's Signature Shops will be refurbished and will showcase stylish product lines and unique items.

Personalized Shore Excursions
Earlier this year, Windstar launched its exclusive Concierge Collection of Shore Excursions designed to appeal to guests who were looking for extraordinary experiences in Europe and celebrating these destinations in a special way--limited to small groups of 6 to 25 guests. Expanding on this concept and offering personalized service, Windstar will arrange private shore excursions and customized pre- and post-cruise packages for guests. Windstar will also add personal iPod Discovery Walks in Italy, Croatia, France, Greece, Monaco, Portugal and Spain where guests enjoy a guided tour of the destination on an iPod.

Enhanced e-Sail Docs
In March, Windstar introduced its e-Sail Docs program to support its environmental efforts. Windstar guests who opt for e-Sail Docs, receive their cruise documents earlier and in a more convenient fashion since they are delivered electronically. In the coming year, e-Sail Docs will reveal a new look and feel and include additional information on ship services.

For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Crystal Symphony Scores Perfect 100 in U.S. Public Health Inspection

LOS ANGELES: Following an intensive inspection by a team of U.S. Public Health officers, Crystal Cruises’ ultra-luxurious, award-winning Crystal Symphony received a “perfect” score of 100 from the Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC). The audit occurred during Crystal Symphony’s Oct 21 call in Boston, Massachusetts.

Scoring is based on 41 inspection items of the potable water system; food preparation and storage areas; waste management systems, including filters, ventilation devices and sanitizing temperatures; cleaning sequences and standards of accommodations and public areas; and general environmental health issues. Swimming pools and spas are also inspected. The CDC developed its Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which operates under the U.S. Public Health Service Act, to inspect all cruise ships that offer foreign itineraries with U.S. ports, and assist the cruise ship industry in the implementation of systems to protect the health of travelers. Under the VSP, cruise ships are subject to unannounced health inspections.

In addition, Crystal Serenity also received a perfect 100 during her most recent call in Canada in May.

“Crystal Cruises’ record of perfect scores is indicative of our efforts to meet the highest standards of excellence in all areas of our cruise operation,” says Joe Valenti, Crystal Cruises’ senior vice president, marine operations.

Earlier this month, Crystal Symphony emerged from drydock with freshly redesigned Crystal Penthouses and Penthouse Suites, elegant Lido Café and Prego Italian restaurant and completely transformed pool deck, among other transformations. The $25+ million makeover reinforces Crystal’s commitment to delivering a product that consistently earns the industry’s top accolades. For more information or Crystal reservations, contact a professional travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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Costa Cruises Offers Eco-Excursions on Worldwide Sailings

MIAMI, Nov 2: Travelers sailing with Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, may select from 240 special eco-excursions, created to minimize their impact on ecosystems and generate economic opportunities for local communities. Excursions are available on all Costa sailings, throughout the regions Costa sails including the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, Dubai, Indian Ocean and Far East.

“Costa’s commitment to social accountability is deep-rooted and these excursions are a reflection of the efforts we’re making on many levels, all of which are highlighted in our voluntary and public sustainability report,” said Maurice Zarmati, president & ceo of Costa Cruises North America. “We love bringing our guests to some of the most intriguing destinations in the world while being able to leave an eco-friendly footprint behind in these special places.”

One of Costa’s most popular eco-excursions is “Lanzarote: Yesterday and Today” in Arrecife, Canary Islands. This excursion takes travelers through the scenic hidden side of Lanzarote and introduces guests to the island’s art, traditions and customs. Travelers will first be taken to the César Manrique Museum-Foundation, located on the site of Manrique’s former house and studio. Manrique, famous for his paintings, architecture and sculptures was also a renowned ecologist. The museum is built on an outcrop of lava on top of five large natural volcanic bubbles. Visitors of the museum will learn how he furnished and designed the spaces by taking advantage of all environments. Later, excursionists will cross Lanzarote’s lunar landscape and arrive at the Cactus Garden, containing over 1,000 different species of cacti. At the end of the excursion, travelers will visit “El Patio Agricultural Museum,” where they will be able to visit a farmer’s house dated from 1840 with all of its typical furniture and utensils set in the oldest and largest agriculture cultivation of the island. El Patio still grows fruit trees, tomatoes and other vegetation and breeds animals including camels, goats and chickens in an agricultural landscape showing the best example of human integration to nature. Guests will also be able to taste traditional food from the island accompanied by a glass of local wine.

In Singapore, guests may enjoy the “Night Safari Tour,” which is the world’s first wildlife park built to be viewed at night. The park covers an area of 40 acres where animals are allowed to roam freely in huge landscaped enclosures. The different areas of the park are divided into eight geographical zones, including everything from the exotic Himalayan foothills to the Nepalese River Valley, the Savanna grasslands of Equatorial Africa and the dense jungles of Indo-Malaya. A subtle lighting technique throughout the park enables excursionists to view over 1,000 nocturnal animals of over 100 species in their most active time. The featured animals on the safari include the greater one horned rhino, cape giraffes and buffalo, Malayan tigers, African bongo, blue sheep and Asian elephants.

For guests seeking an action-packed eco-excursion, the “Volcano Hiking” tour in Santorini, Greece is not to be missed. After a boat trip in a traditional “caique,” an uphill walk will take excursionists to the crater of an active volcano. While walking up the ascending path, guests will have the opportunity to observe lava fragments and volcanic rock formations. Once they have reached the crater, they will have time to relax and enjoy the view of Santorini. Guests will also see the amazing cliff of Caldera, a depression created as a result of a volcanic eruption.

Spa and wellness enthusiasts will have the opportunity to enjoy an incredibly unique spa experience when cruising with Costa in Northern Europe. Located in Lake Myvatn, the “Myvatn Nature Baths” is Iceland's newest health-spa and part of Costa’s eco-excursion offerings. Opened in June 2004, the complex offers bathers a completely natural spa experience with a relaxing dip in clouds of steam rising up from a fissure deep in the Earth's surface. Containing a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms, the warm, soothing waters of Myvatn Nature Baths benefit both skin and spirit alike, creating a sense of well-being which lingers on as a lasting memory of a visit to this area at Europe's outer limits.

These eco-excursions are part of over 1,100 different excursions Costa offers. All shore excursions may be conveniently reserved in advance online after guests purchase their cruise at

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