August 2007 Cruise News

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8-30-07: Regent Theatre at Sea 2008 Features Top Celebrities Regent Seven Seas Cruises will host an all-star collection of Broadway, Hollywood and TV greats aboard the all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner during "Theatre at Sea 2008," a 12-night Amazon River cruise from Manaus, Brazil to Fort Lauderdale.

Departing February 21, 2008, the 35th Theatre At Sea, presented by the Theatre Guild, will feature a cast of distinguished actors including TV and Broadway legend Ed Asner; four-time Drama Desk Award-winning actress Tovah Feldshuh; acclaimed film and television actress Anne Jackson; Broadway star Karen Mason; Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Neal; television star and former Miss America Susan Powell; Helen Hayes Award-winner and director Lee Roy Reams; Broadway leading man Richard White and legendary theatre, film and television icon Eli Wallach.

These stars will entertain guests with eight performances throughout the voyage, and will also join passengers at exclusive "Green Room" parties after each show. Guests will also have the opportunity to interact with these stars at special, "members-only" events.

Seven Seas Mariner's Amazon journey will depart Manaus to call at Parintins and Santarem, Brazil; Devil's Island in French Guiana; plus Barbados, Dominica, San Juan and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos, before concluding in Fort Lauderdale. Highlights include a trip to Manaus' Opera House, shopping excursions, a reception with the Governor of Barbados and a call at Brazil's Boi Bumba Festival. The itinerary also features three luxurious days spent at sea.

Seven Seas Mariner is the world's first all-suite, all-balcony vessel, as well as the first to offer dining by the famed Le Cordon Bleu® of Paris in Signatures, one of four single, open-seating restaurants. Accommodating only 700 guests, she is one of the most spacious cruise ships afloat, and her staff-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.6 provides the highest level of personal service in the six-star tradition of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Rates for the Theatre at Sea 2008 voyage range from $5,295 to $20,395 per person, double occupancy. Chartered economy airfare is available for $700 per person. Contact Theatre at Sea, 135 Central Park West, Suite 4 South, New York, N.Y., 10023. Telephone: 800 752 9732.

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8-29-07: Cruising Bolsters U.S. Economy by $35.7 Billion According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the cruise industry generated $35.7 billion in gross U.S. economic output in 2006, including $17.6 billion in direct purchases by the cruise lines for such goods and services as food, fuel and equipment. Additional spending by passengers and crew of $17.6 billion for such services as transportation added indirectly to the economic impact, making the total of $35.7 billion, according to the study commissioned by the Cruise Lines International Association.

The fact that an industry that sails foreign flagged vessels and employs thousands of crewmembers from overseas actually contributes such a significant amount of economic activity to the U.S. economy is often overlooked. It also supported 348,000 American jobs last year, paying $14.7 billion in wages.

Total industry spending grew by 10% in 2006, with some impact in all 50 U.S. states, with 79% of direct purchases and 83% of total employment and income concentrated in 10 states: Florida, California, Texas, Alaska, New York, Hawaii, Georgia, Washington, Illinois and Massachusetts. 12 million people cruised worldwide last year, a 7% increase over 2005, with U.S. residents accounting for 78% of that total.

Embarkations at U.S. ports increased by more than 4%, totaling 9 million, and accounted for 75% of total global embarkations. The top 10 U.S. ports by embarkations were Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, Galveston, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa, Long Beach, Seattle and Honolulu.

The full report will be available at the CLIA web site:

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8-27-07: Norwegian Crown Late: Turnaround moved to Today (8-27) While returning to New York from Bermuda this afternoon, Norwegian Crown experienced a technical issue with the ship's starboard propeller shaft. While this has affected the speed of the ship, it has had no impact whatsoever on the safe operation of the vessel.

Unfortunately, the reduction of speed has resulted in a delayed arrival into New York. The ship will now arrive on Monday, August 27 between 6 and 8 a.m. instead of its scheduled arrival on Sunday, August 26. Once Norwegian Crown is alongside in New York on Monday, repair work will commence immediately. NCL anticipates that the repair work will be completed by the ship's new scheduled departure time of 4 p.m. on Monday.

Embarkation will be on Monday, August 27 at approximately 1 p.m. After departing New York on Monday, Norwegian Crown will sail the following revised itinerary to Bermuda:

Day Port Arrive Depart Mon New York, NY 4:00 PM Tue Wed Hamilton, Bermuda 9:00 AM overnight Thu Hamilton, Bermuda ---- overnight Fri Hamilton, Bermuda ---- noon Sat Sun New York, NY 8:00 AM

NCL representatives are in the process of reaching out to all embarking guests to inform them of the delayed arrival and the revised itinerary.

NCL would like to thank its guests and travel partners for their patience and understanding. The company will be refunding one seventh of the cruise fare paid in the form of an on-board credit. In addition, NCL is offering a 10 percent future cruise credit on the cruise fare paid as a gesture of goodwill.

Guests sailing on Norwegian Crown with questions can call NCL at 866-234-5615. In addition, NCL will post updates on as needed.

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8-27-07: Carnival Expands "Walk for the Cure" to 14 Ships Following a highly successful pilot program aboard the Carnival Valor and Carnival Fascination, Carnival Cruise Lines will dramatically expand its involvement with the "On Deck for the Cure" breast cancer fundraising initiative, adding one-kilometer walks and other activities to the majority of its fleet.

Modeled after a program introduced by Holland America Line and launched earlier this year aboard five Carnival Corporation & plc brands, the innovative fundraising initiative benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the global leader of the breast cancer movement. "On Deck for the Cure" has a goal of generating $1 million toward breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.

Carnival's expansion of the program will encompass 14 ships and will include all vessels operating cruises of seven days or longer, including Alaska and Europe sailings, as well as four- and five-day voyages aboard the Carnival Elation from San Diego.

Guests participating in Carnival's "On Deck for the Cure" activities are encouraged to make a minimum $10 donation and partake in a one-kilometer walk around the ships' jogging tracks while wearing their custom-designed T-shirts and wristbands included with each donation. Additionally, pink lemonade � signifying the color associated with breast cancer awareness � will be served after the walk to all participants.

"Through the tremendous generosity of our guests, the pilot program launched on Carnival Valor and Carnival Fascination has been an overwhelming success," said Vicki Freed, Carnival's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "We're sure this success will continue as we roll out this innovative initiative to other ships in our fleet and raise much-needed funds for this truly worthwhile cause," she added.

"For the past 25 years, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has been on a mission to end breast cancer forever," said Katrina McGhee, vice president of marketing at Komen for the Cure. "Programs such as 'On Deck for the Cure' are an integral part of that mission, helping us reach millions of people everywhere with life-saving breast health messages and raising funds that support breast cancer research and community outreach programs."

"On Deck for the Cure" activities are promoted via the line's daily shipboard newsletter, "Carnival Capers," as well as on in-cabin television programming.

In addition to the "On Deck for the Cure" initiative aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' ships, other Carnival Corporation & plc brands participating in the program include Holland America, Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn.

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8-27-07: Carnival Victory to San Juan for 7-day southern Caribbeans Carnival Cruise Lines will deploy the 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory on year-round seven-day southern Caribbean departures from San Juan beginning in November 2008. Carnival Victory replaces the Carnival Destiny on this popular itinerary and provides a newer, slightly larger ship, as well as a fresh new choice for consumers.

Carnival Victory will feature Carnival's Seaside Theatre with a huge outdoor LED screen showing movies, concerts and other programming. A full range of daytime and evening features will be available including everything from kids movies to major sporting events.

The Carnival Victory's new five-port, seven-day schedule from San Juan kicks off Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008, and includes an overnight call in the elegant resort area of La Romana/Casa De Campo, along with extended visits to the tropical destinations of St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica and St. Thomas.

Casa de Campo is one of the Caribbean's premier resorts and features extensive resort amenities including Altos de Chavon, a 16th century Mediterranean village replica; world-class golf and a wide variety of beach and watersports, to name just a few. In addition to breathtaking beaches ranging in color from black to golden, St. Kitts offers a landscape of rugged mountains and dense rainforest. Barbados is a friendly British isle boasting beautiful aqua-blue waters and white-sand beaches, along with numerous shopping, dining and watersports opportunities. A 289-square-mile island dominated by hot springs and volcanoes, Dominica offers gorgeous white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters teeming with tropical fish, while St. Thomas is one of the Caribbean's most popular islands, with excellent duty-free shopping bargains and world-famous beaches.

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8-23-07: St. Maarten Announces $97.5 Million Pier Project The island of St. Maarten is announcing plans for a $97.5 million expansion of the island's existing cruise facilities.

Servicing over one-million cruise passengers annually, the new cruise facilities currently under construction parallel to the existing pier, will measure 1,460 feet long by 50 feet wide and be able to accommodate the 220,000-ton genesis-class cruise ships. Additionally, the expansion project will add two-acres of land to the Great Bay area, connecting the new pier to the main thoroughfare in front of the John Craane Cruise Terminal Building.

The expansion also includes plans for an 853-foot extension to the Captain David Quay and adds an additional 90,420 square feet of container storage and handling space. With the expansion of container traffic, and St. Maarten's emerging roll as a mini-hub for cargo transshipment purposes for the neighboring islands, the new facilities will help protect cargo ships from rough waters while offloading cargo.

The project is funded by a $40 million loan from Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RRCL).

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8-23-07: Crystal Publishes 2008 Europe Schedule Early Citing earlier booking patterns, Crystal Cruises has published its 2008 Europe "Crystal Collection" brochure earlier than ever and several months ahead of schedule. The 57-page, full color catalogue details the 29 European itineraries to 84 ports and 30 countries aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity from late April through November 2008.

"Due to onboard booking incentives and the strong interest we're experiencing in 2008, we accelerated production of our 2008 Europe Crystal Collection," says Nitsa Lewis, Crystal's vice president of marketing. "We want to provide guests with as much information and as many tools as possible to take advantage of early promotions. Savvy travelers know that booking early is the best way to get their preferred accommodations, and booking Europe at U.S. dollar prices offers greater value."

The brochure illustrates the "Crystal Experience" with new photography and 110 bullet points highlighting the luxury line's distinctive dining, space, entertainment and enrichment. Featuring 19 cruises in the Mediterranean, eight in Northern European and two Trans-Atlantics, the 2008 Europe Crystal Collection compendium outlines each cruise with easy-to-read maps, day-by-day itineraries, cruise fares, special values, themes, Crystal Visions� Enrichment programming and a summary of optional Crystal Adventure shore excursions. The brochure also provides deck plans and information on Crystal Cruises' expanded European pre- and post-cruise hotel options.

    Cruise highlights include:
  • Seven new ports of call highlighted with a special footnote, including Sarande, Albania; Valencia, Spain; and Olden, Norway
  • Eleven theme cruises, each identified with a special footnote, featuring a new Arts & Antiquities and new Classical Music theme
  • Former White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater highlighted as the celebrity guest lecturer on Crystal Serenity's July 7 voyage from Venice to Athens
  • Five cruises that provide Value Collection savings opportunities of up to 51% off
  • Crystal Adventures© shore excursions that offer, among others, a volcano and glacier flightseeing adventure in Reykjavik, Iceland; a master class for instruction on how to paint a piece of porcelain at the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg; or a three-island yacht cruise in Dubrovnik

Most itineraries feature shipboard overnight stays in some of Europe's most fascinating cities such as Monte Carlo, Bordeaux, Sorrento, Venice, Istanbul, Athens, Barcelona, Lisbon, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Edinburgh.

For a brochure, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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8-22-07: Cozumel Update The island of Cozumel is reported to be in excellent shape with the island's tourism infrastructure completely intact.

According to Raul Marrufo, Director of the Cozumel Tourism Promotion Board, "Cozumel was well prepared for Dean, but fortunately the hurricane did not pass through the island," explained Marrufo. "Cozumel is back to normal and everything on the island is set to resume operations on Wednesday including local schools, hotels, restaurants and more."

"Some of the hotels, restaurants and shops took today to clean up and remove light debris scattered by the tropical winds," adds Marrufo. "All of the resort properties and local businesses will be open and prepared to welcome guests back to the island by tomorrow."

Current updates from the island as of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday night:

  • The Cozumel International airport reopened immediately after the storm at 12:00 p.m. today (Aug. 21) and received its first flight, a Continental Airlines flight that arrived from Houston.
  • Passenger ferry services between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen will resume operation tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007, at 6:00 a.m. CDT. The vehicle and cargo ferry will begin service tomorrow as well at 12:00 p.m.
  • All of Cozumel's piers, including the Punta Langosta Pier and International Pier for cruise ships, are fine and fully operational.
  • Cruise ships will begin returning to Cozumel on Thursday, Aug. 23. The island will be welcoming two Carnival Cruise Line ships scheduled to arrive that first day and three ships (including Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines) on Friday, Aug. 24.
  • The majority of Cozumel hotels and resorts were up and running today and the remaining properties will be open and ready to receive guests by tomorrow (Aug. 22).
  • Restaurants and shops throughout the island, including downtown San Miguel, have started to reopen today and all are expected to resume business by tomorrow (Aug. 22).
  • Cozumel beach clubs are scheduled to reopen on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007.
  • The Cozumel Country Club Golf Course incurred no damage and will reopen tomorrow (Aug. 22).
  • The Museum of the Island of Cozumel reopened today.
  • Chankanaab Park and the archaeological sites at San Gervasio will reopen tomorrow (Aug. 22).
  • All island tours are currently up and running.
  • The Atlantis Submarine ride will begin operating again on Friday, August 24, 2007.
  • Individuals who have existing travel plans to Cozumel during this time are always encouraged to check with travel agents, hotels and airlines for additional updates.

    Travelers can also visit tomorrow for Cozumel updates and recent photos from the island.

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    8-22-07: Costa Maya Out for Six Months Costa Maya on the southern coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula near the border of Belize, was hit by Hurricane Dean after the Category 5 hurricane made landfall at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

    According to Costa Maya's director of sales and marketing, Cesar Lizarraga, approximately 50% of the port's infrastructure, including the cruise ship pier, has been damaged by the storm. An early estimate indicates the port will remain closed for six to eight months while clean-up and construction crews work to bring it back to full operational mode.

    Revitalizing the port and surrounding areas represents a multi-million dollar investment. Costa Maya officials are currently meeting with cruise lines with previously scheduled port calls to reevaluate schedules. Costa Maya hopes to see a speedy recovery and have cruise ships calling back to the port as early as mid 2008.

    Costa Maya is sheltered by the world's second largest coral reef and recently started attracting all the major cruise lines to its shores. The port facilities about to begin the renovation consist of three berthing spaces and a 70,000 square foot Mayan pyramid-style entertainment complex to showcase the region's colonial heritage with all of today's modern conveniences.

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    8-21-07: Cozumel Survives Hurricane Dean Cozumel based web site "" is reporting that the island is in good shape following the passing of Hurricane Dean yesterday. This is what they reported:

    Hurricane Dean passed by about 130 miles to the south of Cozumel last night, bringing rain and wind to the island but with minimal effects.

    Locals in Cozumel estimate that wind speeds were not much higher than 60 miles per hour (100kmh).

    There has been no interruption to power, the downtown seafront looks just as it did yesterday and there is virtually no damage to buildings or other infrastructure.

    Tom Fryer, owner of the Hotel Flamingo, said that downtown would "probably be back to normal tomorrow". With minimal clean-up being required, tourists will be able to resume their vacations almost immediately.

    The category 5 storm made landfall near Mahajual on the coast of Mexico around 2.30am local time, said the National Hurricane Center in the United States.

    Although the intensity of the storm has dropped now it is over land, other parts of the country continue to be on alert as the storm crosses the Yucatan Peninsula and moves towards the Gulf of Mexico.

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    8-17-07: Royal Caribbean Itinerary Changes - Hurricane Dean Royal Caribbean International continues to closely monitor the path and progress of Hurricane Dean to ensure guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises, and to make certain our ships steer clear of the storm.

    Given Hurricane Dean's location and projected path, Royal Caribbean is currently altering the itineraries of two ships and providing guidance regarding a third ship.

    Ships sailing from Port Everglades Enchantment of the Seas will depart Port Everglades Saturday, August 18, as scheduled. The ship will sail a modified itinerary with port calls in Labadee, Haiti, Monday; and Nassau, Bahamas, Wednesday; before returning to Port Everglades as scheduled, Thursday.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Galveston Rhapsody of the Seas will depart the Port of Galveston Sunday, August 19, as scheduled. The ship will sail a modified itinerary with port calls in Key West, Florida, Tuesday; Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Thursday; and Cozumel, Mexico, Friday; before returning to the Port of Galveston as scheduled, Sunday. The ship's itinerary is subject to change based on possible storm-related damage to the Cayman Islands and Mexico. Should the aftermath of Hurricane Dean prevent the ship from visiting these locations, alternative ports of call would be sought. As weather conditions involving the storm are constantly changing, guests booked on this sailing are asked to continue monitoring these updates to receive the latest information. Guests also may contact Royal Caribbean at 1-800-327-6700 to receive these updates.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Miami Freedom of the Seas will depart the Port of Miami Sunday, August 19, as scheduled. The ship is currently expected to sail its scheduled itinerary. The ship's itinerary is subject to change based on possible storm-related damage to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico. Should the aftermath of Hurricane Dean prevent the ship from visiting these locations, alternative ports of call would be sought. As weather conditions involving the storm are constantly changing, guests booked on this sailing are asked to continue monitoring these updates to receive the latest information. Guests also may contact Royal Caribbean at 1-800-327-6700 to receive these updates.

    At this time, no other Royal Caribbean ships are being adversely impacted by tropical weather. We will continue to closely monitor weather conditions and update this information at 1 p.m. EST Saturday.

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    8-17-07: Carnival Itinerary Changes - Hurricane Dean

    Carnival Reported as of 5:00 a.m. this morning: We are closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Dean. All of Carnival's ships will continue to operate at a safe distance from this storm at all times. Our number one priority is the safety of our guests and crew.

    We will make some itinerary changes for several departures this weekend in order to provide our guests with an enjoyable shore experience, while operating the ships in the safest and most comfortable conditions possible.

    Carnival Triumph August 18 departure - The ship will visit San Juan, St. Thomas, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

    Carnival Imagination August 18 departure - The ship will visit Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

    Carnival Inspiration August 18 departure - The ship will visit Nassau and Freeport.

    Holiday August 18 departure - The ship will visit Freeport and Key West.

    Carnival Legend August 19 departure - The ship will visit Key West, Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk.

    Carnival Valor August 19 departure - The ship will visit Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

    Carnival Conquest August 19 departure - The ship will visit Grand Cayman and Cozumel as scheduled, but the call in Montego Bay will be cancelled.

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    8-17-07: NCL Gets Equity Infusion from Apollo Management Norwegian Cruise Lines has just received an influx of $1 billion in cash equity from Apollo Management, a New York City-based investment group that supplies alternative financing to companies. Apollo is the same company that took a $850 million stake in Oceania Cruises just last March.

    The investment is an equity infusion that is additional to the shares owned by NCL parent company Star Cruises. The terms of the deal put Apollo Management in a 50/50 "partnership" with Star Cruises for ownership of NCL and Apollo will name a majority of the NCL board with certain consent rights retained by Star Cruises.

    As part of Apollo's investment in NCL, Apollo and Star have entered into a sub- agreement relating to the NCL America brand ("NCLA") providing for deferred consideration to be paid to Star by NCL in the future. The sub-agreement is designed to support the business of NCLA in the near term and permit NCLA time to realize the benefits of various measures recently implemented to raise revenue yields and to lower crew turnover and payroll costs. Taken together with the pre-money valuation implied by Apollo's $1 billion payment for 50 percent of the expanded equity, this added element of the transaction implies a total enterprise valuation of NCL of approximately $4 billion.

    NCL is currently on a course of introducing new ships to its fleet to replace the older ones, and with the debut of Norwegian Gem in December says it will have the "youngest" fleet (referring to the average age of all of its ships) of all the contemporary cruise lines.

    Before its investment in Oceania Cruises, Apollo Management had never been in the cruise business before. Its other equity investments in leisure companies include Harrah's Entertainment.

    Apollo management is said to have a reputation for looking for distressed companies to which it applies its strong management abilities, however, some companies just prefer the private equity the company provides.

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    8-15-07: Princess Offers "Romance Survey" Results According to a recent survey, one quarter of respondents are not able to make time for romance in their daily lives and, not surprisingly, it appears as though work is the culprit. Forty-five percent of those questioned report that their jobs are the main obstacle to romance, though roughly half do make time to regularly say "I love you" to their partner. The survey was conducted by Princess Cruises' Department of Romance in honor of Romance Week (August 13-17).

    To help inspire passengers to put romance back into their lives on a daily basis, Princess has also debuted its "Certified Romantic" course on Crown Princess this week. Hundreds of passengers have already been certified as romantics aboard sister ship Emerald Princess, which debuted the unique course this past spring. The light-hearted presentation offers a history of romance, humorous stories and practical tips from the company's Department of Romance experts - Trish McDermott, former vice president of Romance at and a founder of; couples therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer; and former Love Boat captain, Gavin MacLeod.

    Romance expert McDermott concurs with the survey findings, saying that most couples leave romance mostly for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine's Day. "People need to make time every day for romance," she says. "It takes a conscious effort to do this, but the results are well worth it."

    Some of the suggestions McDermott offers couples are to agree upon a time of day when TV, cell phones and computers are turned off, as well as setting a date night each week. "Couples need to remember why they fell in love, to disconnect to reconnect," says McDermott. "Romance Week is a great time to remember just that. Not to think about gifts or cards, flowers or chocolate, but to remember what they love about each other and to incorporate ways to express that into their everyday lives."

    "Who else but Princess is uniquely qualified to help inspire passengers to re-discover romance," says Jan Swartz, the company's senior vice president of customer service, alluding to the 30-plus years the company has been known as "The Love Boat" line. "We celebrate romance 365 days a year onboard our ships, so celebrating Romance Week is just an extension of our efforts to help passengers escape from their everyday routines and re-invigorate their relationships with loved ones."

    Princess Cruises unveiled its Department of Romance this past Valentine's Day, along with several romantic initiatives including a Romance-By-Room-Service menu that includes a special presentation of champagne and chocolate, scattered fresh rose petals and candlelight, all set to a background of romantic music. A special section of the line's website,, which will be launched this fall, will focus solely on romance and offer tips and trends from the Department experts.

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    8-15-07: NCL's Norwegian Gem Leaves Dry-Dock

    click on pictures below for larger images:

    NCL's Norwegian Gem Leaves Dry-Dock

    We go our first glimpse of Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) newest "It" Girl; Norwegian Gem, as she left drydock at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany on Sunday, August 12. Prior to leaving drydock, the 93,500-ton ship underwent a series of tests and engine trials, all of which went smoothly. She will be berthed at the outfitting pier in Papenburg while outstanding work is completed. The ship is scheduled to make the River Ems passage to Eemshaven/Netherlands for sea trials in mid-September.

    "The introduction of Norwegian Gem not only marks the completion of our Jewel-class series of ships, but also solidifies NCL's status as the youngest and most modern fleet in the industry," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation.

    Custom built for Freestyle Cruising, Norwegian Gem defines what it is to be an 'It' Girl: from her extravagant suites and villas, to her 10 A-list dining options. With a crew of more than 1,000, Norwegian Gem can accommodate 2,400 guests (double occupancy) and has all the top-of-the-line amenities guests have come to expect from NCL, including a four-lane ten-pin bowling alley, rock climbing wall, two top-of-the-ship Deluxe Owner's Suites and the ultra-hot Wii� video game system by Nintendo.

    NCL Corporation Ltd. is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 14 ships in service and under construction. The corporation oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines. The company recently took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Pearl, and is currently building Norwegian Gem for delivery in October of 2007. In addition, NCL plans to build up to three new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery between 2009 and 2011.

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    8-13-07: P&O Denies Fist Fight was Cause of Death Previous reports, supplied by other passengers who claimed to be eyewitnesses, that Reves Boustani died as the result of a "king hit" (sucker punch) on the cruise ship P&O's Pacific Sun, are now being refuted by the cruise which says they have no evidence that an altercation took place.

    Police are still investigating the case, and have closed down the cabin of a witness, but reports still say the police also are not of the belief that any foul play was involved.

    Sydney, Australia, Police Superintendent Terry Dalton yesterday said there was no evidence whatsoever to suggest Mr Boustani had been king hit or that there was a fight on board prior to his death. One newspaper had reported a passenger saying the victim was king hit following an alcohol-fuelled fight with another man over $20.

    Supt. Dalton, who is waiting for the results of a post mortem examination, said "every single" claim reported in the Sunday newspapers was denied by police on Saturday, including a claim that there had been a brawl on board.

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    8-13-07: Carnival Pride Inspected After Boat Comes Too Close The Coast Guard received a report around 11:30 a.m. Saturday that a small skiff was within the 100-yard security zone around Carnival Pride, which was docked at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal. The boat, a 15-to-18 foot metal skiff that was holding three males and a female, was seen in front of the cruise ship and along the cruise ship pier, Munoz said. The boat exited the area before law enforcement arrived.

    Police, lifeguards, the Coast Guard and Long Beach Fire Department all responded immediately, said Lt. Junior Grade Andrew Munoz of the Coast Guard. The Port Operations Dive Group, which is composed of divers from U.S. Coast Guard, Long Beach Police, Long Beach Fire Department, Long Beach Lifeguards, Port of Los Angeles Police and Los Angeles Fire Department, searched the pier and cruise ship hull but did not find anything suspicious.

    Federal regulations prohibit unauthorized persons and vessels from approaching within 100 yards of a docked cruise ship. Violations of the security zone, which extends to 200 yards in front of the cruise ship and 100 yards around the rest of the ship while underway, is a federal offense which can result in seizure and forfeiture of the vessel, fines of up to $32,500 and up to 10 years in prison.

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    8-11-07: Man Dies on P&O Pacific Sun After Fist Fight There have been many reports out of Australia about a 31 year man who won a cruise on P&O's Pacific Sun in a radio show contest. The young man was found dead in a toilet cubicle last Monday, but no news was released as to the cause. Today, Fairfax newspapers reported that passengers aboard the P&O's Pacific Sun say the man died as the result of a "king-hit" following a drunken fight over $20.

    "King-hit" is a down-under term for "sucker punch." It is reported the man was in a fist-fight with another passenger, not yet identified. The fight was apparently over $20. The 31-year-old man from Dulwich Hill, part of Sydney, Australia's inner-west.

    Fairfax newspapers say at least 13 police officers, including detectives and forensic specialists, met the ship when it docked at King Street Wharf in Sydney.

    The papers said that as passengers disembarked they spoke of claims swirling around the holiday ship that the man had been king-hit following an alcohol-fuelled fight with another passenger over $20.

    According to reports, witnesses said the man had asked security guards for help before his death.

    Police were yesterday treating the death as suspicious, the paper added.

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    8-08-07: Troubled P&O Pacific Star Abandons Voyage More than 1,000 passengers aboard the troubled P&O cruise liner Pacific Star will head home early, after its latest voyage was abandoned due to mechanical problems. The 1145 passengers aboard, including 80 Australians, had paid to join an eight-night cruise from Auckland to Brisbane but today learned their trip would not go ahead.

    The 35,000 tonne ship had its Tuesday departure date delayed so a ventilation duct could be repaired. P&OCruises today said the trip would now be abandoned so further repairs could be made. The company today insisted repairs to the ventilation duct had caused the delay and that the problems did not affect the ship's watertight integrity. The trouble followed a bad month in July when the ship was damaged in a gale shortly after leaving Auckland. Last month, P&O cancelled two cruises after the ship was damaged in gale-force winds and swells of up to 10 metres.

    Passengers will get a refund on the cost of the tickets and a 25 per cent credit on a future cruises. All on-board expenses incurred by passengers since they joined the ship on Tuesday will be waived, the company said.

    Disappointed passengers wanted answers after complaining of toilets which did not flush and a strong smell of sewage. They also complained the company was not being up-front with passengers disappointed they would miss part of their cruise because of the ship's problems.

    Pacific Star was built in 1982 and can accommodate 1350 passengers in more than 500 cabins. It has a top speed of 19 knots.

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    8-8-07: Norwegian Gem ready to leave Shipyard (picture) Upon completion of ample tests and engine trials the 93,500 gt cruise ship "Norwegian Gem" will leave the covered building dock of MEYER WERFT on Sunday, 12 August. Undocking of the ship, which is built for the American cruise operator Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), will start around 7.45 a.m. If weather conditions are favourable, the manoeuvre will be finished within a couple of hours.

    Changes of the undocking procedure may occur due to weather conditions!

    With the ship being berthed at the outfitting pier, outstanding work will be completed on board. The Ems passage of the newbuilding to the sea trials port in Eemshaven/Netherlands is planned for mid of September 2007. A detailed schedule will be published within short. The new luxury liner has a length overall of 294.13 m, is 32.2 m wide and reaches a speed of more than 24 knots. More than 2,400 passengers can be accommodated in 1,197 cabins and are taken care of by a crew of about 1,100.

    click on pictures below for larger images:

    Norwegian Gem in the Meyer Werft (Papenburg Germany) Shipyard

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    8-8-07: Carnival Fantasy Class to Receive Water Parks (picture All of the ships of the older carnival Fantsy-class, mostly ships of about 80,000-tons making shorter cruise runs of three to five days, are receiving upgrades to their decor to bring them more in line with the newer ships of the Carnival Fleet.

    One of the upgrades they will all recive is a new Pool-deck water park with water slides and sprays, especially7 loved by children. Here are the renderings of these new water parks:

    click on pictures below for larger images:

    Top View   Side View

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    8-8-07: Costa Pacific Bow Delivered by Shipyard (picture) The first section of the Costa Pacifica, Costa's newest flagship, which is due to enter service in Spring 2009, was delivered to Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente yesterday. The future bow section of the Costa Pacifica is 127 meters long, nearly 30 meters high, and weighs approximately 8,000 tons. It was built in Fincantieri's Palermo shipyard and transferred by sea to the Genoa Sestri Ponente shipyard where construction will continue.

    The Costa Pacifica (114,500 tons and 3,780 passengers) will be a sister ship to the Costa Serena and the Costa Concordia, Costa's current flagships and the largest passenger vessels flying the Italian flag. The Costa Pacifica will offer the same exciting innovations as her sister ships, including the Samsara Spa�one of the largest spas at sea, two swimming pools with retractable magrodomes, and an authentic Grand Prix race car driving simulator.

    Costa has three new ships on order or under construction in Italy with Fincantieri. In addition to the Costa Pacifica, two other ships, the Costa Luminosa (92,700 tons and 2,828 passengers) and her sister ship will be delivered by the Marghera shipyard in the Spring of 2009 and March 2010, respectively. At the end of 2010, when the last of the three ships currently on order are delivered, Costa's fleet will be 15 vessels strong and will offer more than 30,000 lower berths. This will further strengthen the fleet's position as Europe's largest and most modern, while also increasing its capacity by more than 30%.

    Since 2000, Costa has invested approximately �3.5 billion in Italy to build seven new ships, all ordered from Fincantieri. These orders are part of an expansion program worth �4.5 billion to introduce 11 ships from 2000 to 2010.

    click on pictures below for larger images:

    Pulled by Tug   Entering Drydock (to be emptied)

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    8-08-07: Carnival Splendour Floats Out from Drydock (picture) Carnival Splendor, which is under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri, Italy, was 'floated out' from its drydock facility and towed to a new location at the yard over the weekend. Construction on the 113,300-ton ship, the largest in the Carnival fleet, will continue through next June with the vessel scheduled to enter service on July 13, 2008.

    The 3,006-passenger "Fun Ship" will feature a host of innovations, including a 21,000-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa, 68 spa staterooms and suites, a two-level 5,500-square-foot children's play area, and the Carnival Seaside Theatre giant outdoor movie screen. Dining options will include twin two-level main dining rooms, a casual poolside eatery featuring a 24-hour pizzeria, deli, a traditional Indian Tandoori oven, an upscale seafood venue and numerous other choices, as well as an elegant reservations-only supper club offering prime quality beef and other gourmet cuisine.

    Carnival Splendor will start service on July 13, 2008 and introduce Carnival's first 12-day Northern European cruise program, followed by a series of 12-day Mediterranean departures through Oct. 17, 2008. The ship will then sail on a transatlantic crossing from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 29, continuing with a series of seven-day Caribbean voyages from that port beginning Nov. 22, 2008.

    Carnival Splendor will then operate three special South America departures in 2009 -- a 17-day, six-port cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jan. 31-Feb. 17; a 14-day, six-port voyage from Buenos Aires to Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile, Feb. 17-March 3, and an 18-day, six-port South America/Mexican Riviera cruise from Santiago (Valparaiso) to San Francisco March 3-21. That will be followed by the launch of year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, Calif., beginning in March 2009.

    click on pictures below for larger images:

    Carnival Splendour Floated Out from Drydock in Italy's Fincantieri's Shipyard

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    8-06-07: Delta Queen to Lose Historic Landmark Status - Planning its Farewell Season.

    CruiseMates is very sad to report that the days of the Delta Queen, the United State's most important river boat, working as a sailing steamboat are close to being over. The boat had been granted a special dispensation by Congress more than 40 years ago to give it an exemption to a rule forbidding wooden superstructure vessels from continuing to sail in U.S. waters, but as of 2008 that exemption is not being reinstated.

    CruiseMates is especially sad about this, because one of the people who helped save the Delta Queen many years ago was Bill Muster, a personal friend, and father to one of CruiseMates' editor Paul Motter's best friends since childhood, Nori Muster. Nori has been supporting steamboating in the United States for years now with her website, and her father, Bill Muster, established a special award for travel photographers through the Society for American Travel Writers, SATW, many years ago.

    To read Nori's history of how her father helped to save the Delta Queen, click here: The Story of the Delta Queen

    Bill Muster was a humanitarian and great American who helped build and recognize the U.S. cruise and travel industry before it became the popular thing to do. His efforts to save the Delta Queen were herculian, finally requiring an act of the U.S. Congress.

    Today, the Delta Queen is owned by Majestic America Line, one of the world's premier river cruise lines and the largest river and coastal cruising company in America. Despite tremendous efforts by the company, many esteemed partners and thousands of previous guests, the U.S. Congress has decided that the Delta Queen should not continue operating on America's rivers beyond 2008.

    And so, Majestic America Line is committed to providing this American treasure with a proper and well-deserved send off, and will spend the Delta Queen's 2008 farewell season celebrating this historic landmark with the communities and people who hold her storied tradition of sailing the waterways of the United States so dear.

    Built in 1926, the Delta Queen features a steel hull and a superstructure constructed of wood -- a direct reflection of the designs of her time. Subsequent Coast Guard regulations prohibited wooden superstructures, but Congress decided more than 40 years ago to provide a special exemption from these rules for the historic Delta Queen. This exemption, which Congress had extended no fewer than six occasions, was set to expire in November 2008. Majestic America Line recently joined forces with those who know and love the fabled ship to extend this exemption. A comprehensive campaign was launched to raise awareness for the Delta Queen's excellent safety record, its impeccable training program and the quality and experience of the crew. However, Congress recently chose not to include this extension on legislation. Without the extension from Congress, the Delta Queen will not be able to continue cruise voyages on the river.

    "We are incredibly disappointed by this decision, but we are extremely grateful to those who worked tirelessly on behalf of the Delta Queen to preserve her place on the Mississippi River," said Joe Ueberroth, President and CEO, Ambassadors International, which owns and operates Majestic America Line. "This includes many congressional leaders such as Congressman Lacy Clay (D-MO), who gathered the support of so many of his colleagues, thousands of loyal guests, our hard-working travel partners and Delta Queen enthusiasts like We appreciate their efforts and we will continue to keep them involved as we plan the best way to honor the Delta Queen."

    For years, the Delta Queen has been a beloved fixture on the heartland rivers of the United States and provided guests with a view of America from the waters that shaped the country's expansion. The Delta Queen provides a wholly unique way to experience the great American communities, cultures and experiences along the Upper and Lower Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, Black Warrior and Cumberland rivers, as well as the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

    In 1970, recognized as the last operational steam paddlewheeler with overnight accommodations plying the rivers, the Delta Queen was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1989, she was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior. She was inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame in 2004.

    A veteran of World War II and the only steamboat to transit the Panama Canal, the 80 year-old Delta Queen was host to three U.S. presidents and a princess. Stars of stage, screen and the entertainment world have also graced her decks, as well as some of the most prominent business leaders and statesmen of our time.

    The ship itself is rich with art and antiquities such as original Tiffany- style stained glass windows, rich hardwood paneling, gleaming brass fittings, the only Siamese ironwood floor aboard a steamboat, the dramatic and often- photographed Grand Staircase, an 1897 steam calliope, and the very same ship's bell that sounded out landings for the steamboat that Mark Twain rode downriver in 1883.

    Majestic America Line will dedicate the 2008 season to celebrating the Delta Queen's 80 years of service and her fabled time on the river.

    "A journey on board the Delta Queen is a true American experience, providing guests with an authentic glimpse of our country's culture and a time in our history when steamboats ruled the rivers," said David A. Giersdorf, President, Majestic America Line. "We will make every sailing in 2008 a special event, allowing every guest, like so many before, the opportunity to share in the Delta Queen's legacy and honor the last chapter in her service on the river."

    Majestic America Line is planning special commemorative events, exclusive departures for previous Delta Queen guests and commemorative gifts that will mark the farewell season. With just 24 departures on the Delta Queen during 2008, guests are encouraged to reserve their place in history soon.

    The company is continuing to evaluate the best way to preserve her legendary spirit and her esteemed place in American history for future generations.

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    8-3-07: Oceania Sets Company Record for Most Bookings in a Day Oceania Cruises says August 1st set a new record for reservations as the line's 2008-2009 Winter Collection of sailings went on sale for the first time. Oceania Cruises opened its reservation lines at 8 am on August 1st and took more than 400 new reservations in the first hours. At the close of business the line had bested it previous reservations record by almost 30% and some departures were 50% sold.

    Bob Binder, President of Oceania Cruises, cited limited availability for its 2008 winter sailings.

    The line's new 2008-2009 Winter Collection includes 24 voyages to Asia, Australia, the Caribbean and South America, ranges from 10 to 35 days in length, calls on more than 100 ports of call, and features 46 overnight port stays. Highlights of the 2008-2009 Winter Collection:

    • A roster of overnight port stays in Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Luxor, Dubai, Yangon, Bali, Bangkok, Hanoi, Saigon, Itajaí, São Paulo, Kyoto, and Taipei.
    • Nautica returns to Australia and Asia with eight voyages ranging from 15 to 35 days.
    • Insignia sails an array of 12- to 19-day voyages to the coastal villages of Brazil and the Chilean fjords. Three new 19-day cruises between Rio de Janeiro and Valparaiso offer a look at a grand continent.

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    8-02-07: MSC Poesia Makes Shipyard Strides (Photos) MSC Poesia, the third ship in the "Musica" class of MSC Cruises' vessels, has reached two more milestones in anticipation of its floating out, scheduled for the end of August.

    In the last few days, the two rear funnels have been positioned. Constructed of stainless steel, they stand 128.9 feet above sea level, have a base of 22.9 feet by 7.5 feet and a height of 14.7 feet.

    click on pictures below for larger images:

    Adding the Funnel   Adding Propellars

    The ship's two rudders have also been placed and locked. Built by Rolls Royce Marine, the two Full Spade rudders measure 17.7 feet and have an area of 237 square feet for a weight of 27 tons. With these two stages, MSC Poesia is structurally complete and will join the fleet in April as the ninth masterpiece of the MSC Cruises fleet.

    The construction of MSC Poesia reaffirms the ongoing solid relationship between MSC Cruises and Aker Yards in France, where, after having built MSC Poesia's sister ships MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra, the yard is currently building MSC Fantasia.

    MSC Fantasia will join the fleet in the autumn of 2008, to be followed by her twin MSC Splendida in 2009. These two ships will be the largest ships to be commissioned by a European ship owner. On March 30, 2007, MSC Cruises also confirmed the construction of MSC Magnifica, the fourth ship in the "Musica" class and twelfth ship in the fleet.

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    8-2-07: Carnival Victory Hits NY City Pier Carnival Victory struck a pier overhang while docking Thursday morning on the West Side of Manhattan, closing down 12th Avenue near 56th Street and causing backups on the Henry Hudson Parkway.

    But New York City Police said their were no reported injuries in the incident, which occurred at 7:35 a.m. when the ship struck an overhang as it was docking following its return from a four-day cruise to Canada and New England.

    Police had no other details.

    The Victory had just completed a 4-day round-trip cruise to Saint John, New Brunswick, in Canada and was supposed to disembark passengers in New York starting at 8 a.m. at the Passenger Ship Terminal, operated by the New York City Economic Development Corp., when the accident occurred Thursday.

    In a prepared statement, released by Carnival shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday, the cruise ship line said: "Around 7 a.m. this morning, August 2, as the cruise ship Carnival Victory was in the process of docking at one of the west side piers in Manhattan, the vessel came in contact with the pier causing minor damage to the ship and pier.

    No guest or crew injuries were reported and the ship is expected to sail this afternoon on its next voyage as scheduled. A comprehensive investigation is underway as to the exact cause of the incident."

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    8-02-07: Carnival to Carry 2.9 Million to Caribbean in 2007 Carnival Cruise Lines is announcing the number of passengers it is scheduled to carry in the caribbean this year, 2007. There has been a lot of financial industry speculation that Caribbean cruises were not performing as well as in the past. Meanwhile carnival says it's 2.9 million scheduled passengers is the most in its entire history.

    In 2007, Carnival will deploy 18 ships in the Caribbean with 14 of those offering year-round service. Overall, upwards of 1,150 three- to eight-day cruises will be operated by Carnival, which is the only cruise line to offer the option of departing from 12 convenient U.S. homeports.

    According to statistics from the Cruise Lines International Association, the Caribbean is the most sought-after cruise destination by far, with the region featured on roughly half of all itineraries of North American cruise operators.

    According to Vicki Freed, Carnival's senior vice president of sales and marketing, while Caribbean demand the past year or so has been impacted by unfavorable economic factors affecting consumers' discretionary purchasing, it was clearly part of a cyclical trend that the industry has seen many times in the past. "Bookings for the second half of 2007 and early 2008 have shown much stronger fundamental demand and the trend we were previously observing clearly was not a reflection of the Caribbean's popularity or desirability," said Freed. "Consumers are unquestionably responding well to the strong value appeal inherent in a cruise vacation versus other vacation options," she added.

    "Many of our other guest metrics also point to the strength of Carnival's Caribbean cruise product, with guest satisfaction levels remaining at exceptionally high historical levels including very favorable guest feedback on Caribbean destinations," said Freed.

    Carnival is continually updating its cruise itineraries and destination choices and over the next few months will introduce several new programs.

    These include a new five-day itinerary on the Carnival Imagination featuring Grand Turk, the new port in the Turks and Caicos and the private island of Half Moon Cay; a seven-day, five-port schedule on the Carnival Destiny from San Juan offering extended day-long visits to St. Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados and St. Thomas; and seven-day cruises aboard the Carnival Triumph from Miami that feature Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, St. Thomas, and San Juan.

    Carnival has also been working to expand shore excursion programming, offering more choices than ever. In 2007 alone, Carnival will offer approximately 900 landside tour choices in the region.

    Carnival's Caribbean expansion will continue in 2008 when the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor � the largest "Fun Ship" ever constructed � launches a series of seven-day Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 22. Featured will be visits to San Juan, St. Thomas, Nassau and Casa de Campo, one of the Caribbean's finest resorts.

    In addition to three- to eight-day cruises to the Caribbean and The Bahamas, Carnival offers three- to 16-day voyages to the Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, New England, Canada, Europe, the Greek Isles, and South America.

    The line currently has three new ships on order � the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor, set to debut in Europe July 13, 2008; and the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic, scheduled for delivery in October 2009 and June 2011, respectively.

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    8-1-07: August 1st Sale on Carnival Holiday Cruises All of Carnival Cruise Lines' 22 ships will operate holiday cruises this year, with each vessel featuring oversized Christmas trees, wreaths and other traditional touches, along with special entertainment and programming created just for these unforgettable voyages. With a festive on-board atmosphere, elaborate decorations and an array of traditional cuisine, entertainment and activities, Carnival's "Fun Ship" holiday cruises are the ideal option for reconnecting with friends, families and loved ones.

    To promote its upcoming holiday cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines is holding a special sale on Wednesday, Aug. 1, with discounts on select three- to seven-day "Fun Ship" departures during the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

    "Our 'Fun Ship' cruises provide a welcome respite to the hustle and bustle of the holidays, offering a chance for families to get together and enjoy the cherished traditions typically associated with the season," said Vicki Freed, Carnival's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "And with these special prices, 'getting away from it all' during the holidays is more affordable than ever," she added.

    The special holiday cruise sale on Wednesday, Aug. 1 includes four- and five-day day Caribbean/Bahamas cruises from Miami starting at $439 and $599 per person, respectively; four-day Baja cruises from Long Beach, Calif., starting at $439 per person; seven-day Caribbean cruises from Miami starting at $719 per person; five-day Caribbean cruises from Tampa starting at $569 per person; and seven-day Caribbean cruises from Tampa starting at $949 per person, based on double occupancy.

    In addition to terrific values on a variety of "Fun Ship" departures, Carnival's ships provide a truly unique and memorable holiday vacation venue.

    A festive mood is created as soon as guests arrive on board, with the ships' atrium and promenade areas lavishly decorated in the spirit of the season and featuring signage with traditional holiday greetings.

    A highlight of these cruises is an elaborate revue in each ships' main show lounge evoking a "home away from home" atmosphere with cozy sets featuring faux oversized fireplaces, large comfortable sofas, Christmas trees with decorations created by the kids from the "Camp Carnival" program, and, of course, a visit from Santa.

    Holiday menus include the traditional oven roasted turkey with all the trimmings and freshly baked pecan pie, among many other selections.

    Caroling is also popular with guests and crew strolling throughout the ship singing classic and contemporary holiday songs, while popular holiday-themed movies such as "The Polar Express" are shown on the in-stateroom televisions.

    New Year's cruises are just as memorable, offering one of the biggest celebrations at sea highlighted by the traditional countdown and complimentary noisemakers, party favors and champagne for "Fun Ship" revelers to ring in the new year.

    Rates for Carnival's holiday cruises reflect category 4 (interior) staterooms, are capacity controlled and subject to change without notice. Certain other restrictions apply.

    Reservations are currently being accepted for all of Carnival's 2007 holiday departures.

    For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel agent Internet portal,

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    8-1-07: NCL Begins "Pity the Procrastinator" Sale Norwegian Cruise Line today launched a new promotion, Pity the Procrastinator, which offers a free best available stateroom upgrade at the time of booking. This offer is applicable fleetwide on inside, oceanview or balcony categories for most fall 2007 and winter 2008 sailings.

    NCL's Pity the Procrastinator promotion urges guests to contact travel agents and "hurry up and book" before they miss out on one of the best opportunities ever. For those guests taking advantage of the offer, they pay the lowest price for an inside, oceanview or balcony stateroom, and they will automatically receive the best available stateroom within that category at the time. Guests who don't procrastinate could receive up to an 11-category upgrade for free.

    To help spread the word, travel agents are provided with a variety of tools to promote the offer to their clients, including access to a popular online marketing kit where they can download customizable banner ads, webpage templates, copy and images.

    NCL's Pity the Procrastinator promotion is subject to availability and applies only to new individual and group reservations. The offer is not combinable with any other promotions. For more details, visit

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