News Archive - December 2001

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12-28-01 Weekend Cruise News ***The newest vessel sailing a New Year's cruise this weekend is Carnival Pride, departing Sunday from Miami on her six-night inaugural voyage. Ports of call are Belize, Playa del Carmen/Cozumel and Key West. Carnival Pride is the second Spirit Class vessel, a sister ship to Carnival Spirit. The 88,500-ton Carnival Pride's on board decor features designs inspired by the Renaissance, Taj Mahal, and the transatlantic liner, Normandie. The centerpiece of the alternative restaurant, David's Supper Club is a full-size replica of Michelangelo's David. Carnival Pride will be the largest ship sailing year-round from Port Canaveral when she commences her Caribbean schedule from the port on January 12.

***Princess will broadcast the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl game from Pasadena, CA on board Princess ships, January 1 and January 3. The undefeated Miami Hurricanes take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers for this year's football game which decides the number one team in the country. Passengers will be able to view both events either in select public lounges or in the comfort of their staterooms on their in-cabin television.

***Peter Deilmann Cruises has expanded its European River schedule for 2002. The company operates ten deluxe river ships including the new Frederic Chopin which will debut March 23 cruising the Oder, Elbe, Vtlava rivers and a new itinerary between Amsterdam and Prague. Other destinations include the Po River, round trip from Venice, the South of France, the Rhine, Moselle and Danube rivers. For a full list of river cruises for 2002, see CruiseMates Peter Deilmann itineraries page.

***The children's facilities on board Holland America Line's Maasdam have been enlarged and upgraded in response to the increase in family cruising. The Club HAL children's area has a separate teen center. Each area features seven computers with software and games, a large screen TV, VCR, DVD player and audio system. The WaveRunner teen room includes a dance floor with lighting and fog system, video games, and a pantry with juice and drink machines. HAL also provides Just for Kids shore excursions. Maasdam sails year round in the Caribbean. HAL has announced that for the Summer 2002, Maasdam will sail Sundays, round trip from Ft. Lauderdale, June 2 to August 25, on alternating between Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. The Eastern Caribbean route calls at Nassau; San Juan; St. Thomas, (with a tour option to St. John) and Holland America's own private island paradise, Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. The Western Caribbean itinerary features Cozumel, Mexico (with tour options to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza or Tulum); Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios and Half Moon Cay.

***Golden Princess and Royal Princess will sail Canada/New England cruises for Princess next Fall. A new seven-night itinerary highlights Golden Princess' season, sailing round-trip from New York on Saturdays to Halifax, Novas Scotia; St. John, New Brunswick; Bay of Fundy cruising; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston and Newport, Rhode Island. Five voyages depart between September 14 and October 12. Royal Princess sails the traditional 10-day route between New York and Montreal calling at the same ports as Golden Princess plus Quebec City, the scenic Saguenay River and Montreal. Three voyages depart on September 17, 27 and October 7. Royal Princess will sail a unique 14-day cruise between Montreal and Ft. Lauderdale, October 17, which adds the ports of Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore and Charleston. Princess offers two cruise tours in conjunction with these sailings: the "Maple Explorer" featuring Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls, Canada and "Historic America" featuring Washington, D.C., Mt. Vernon, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Richmond, Monticelo estate, Charlottesville, Gettysburg, Shenandoah National Park and Lancaster in the Amish country.

***Costa Cruises' Europe program for 2002 includes on five to 16-night cruises in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Spain/Portugal, Western Europe, Norwegian Fjords/North Cape, and Baltic/Russia cruises. The entire fleet will sail in Europe for the summer season, which runs from May through November, from the ports of Genoa, Venice, Savona, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Costa's newest ship, the CostaEuropa, is currently sailing as the Westerdam. The 54,000-ton, 1,494 passengers vessel will homeport in Amsterdam for 10, 11, 12 and 14-night cruises to the Norwegian Fjords, North Cape and Spitzbergen as well as to the Baltic and Russia. CostaEuropa will also sail in the Mediterranean from Genoa next April and again from September through December. See CruiseMates' Costa Itineraries page for a complete list of sailings.

***The port of St. John's, Antigua is undergoing a dredging operation to enable more ships to dock. Antigua welcomed 500,000 cruise passengers in 2001 and this number is expected to increase to 1 million following completion of the new harbor facilities. The 22 million dollar port expansion will allow the port to handle four megaships at one time, including three Voyager class size (142,000-tons). Heritage Pier is being extended and a second quay with a separate welcome center is under construction.

***The new Coral Princess, debuting in December, 2002 will sail round trip from Ft. Lauderdale to the Panama Canal for the winter of 2002/2003. Princess Cruises' first French-built 88,000-ton vessel will sail alternating 10-day itineraries with calls at Limon, for a full day in Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia and either Aruba and Ocho Rios, or Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Both itineraries feature a partial transit of the Panama Canal, cruising through the Gatun Locks and Gatun Lake, the world's largest man-made lake. Back to Top

12-21-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Carnival Pride will be christened January 7 in Port Canaveral. Godmother of the new ship is Dr. Tamara Jennigan, a pioneer in U.S. space travel who has logged more flight hours on the space shuttle than any other female astronaut in history. Following the ceremony, the 88,500-ton Carnival Pride will sail a two-day preview cruise for more than 2,000 members of the travel trade before commencing year-round Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, January 12, 2002.

***Seabourn Cruise Line has expanded the free economy air program for its luxury yachts Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. Included in the new itineraries are 14-day cruises of Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, as well as 10- or 11-day cruises of China, Korea and Japan and cruises of seven to 14 days in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe throughout 2002. Business class upgrades start at $995. The airfare offer is valid from 23 major North American airline gateways in the US and Canada, and is combinable with most of the line's other savings, including Early Booking Savings of up to 30 percent off the published fares.

***More Big Band theme cruises have been announced by Holland America Line. The cruises feature a famous big band performing throughout the voyage, dance contests and six social hosts who provide dinner and dancing company for single ladies. As well movie classics featuring the big-band sound will air in staterooms daily. Four Big Band cruises have now been announced:

  • April 5, 2002, Sammy Kaye Orchestra on board Volendam's 10-day Caribbean cruise round-trip from Fort Lauderdale calling at Kralendijk, Bonaire; El Guamache, Isla de Margartia, Venezuela; Castries, St. Lucia; Roseau, Dominica; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
  • May 2, 2002, Harry James Orchestra on board Amsterdam's 16-day Panama Canal sailing leaves Fort Lauderdale for Seattle May 2, 2002 calling at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Cartagena, Colombia; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Santa Cruz Huatulco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and Seattle, Washington.
  • June 3, 2002, Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians on board Prinsendam's maiden voyage, a gala 10-day transatlantic crossing featuring New York to Southampton (London) calling at Halifax, Nova Scotia; Cobh (Cork), Ireland; and Plymouth, England.
  • November 11, 2002 , Tommy Dorsey Orchestra , on board Amsterdam's 10-day Southern Caribbean cruise, round trip from Fort Lauderdale calling at Willemstad, Curacao; La Guaira/Caracas, Venezuela; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Fort-de-France, Martinique; St.Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

***The new Star Princess, debuting in February, 2002 will sail from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera throughout the fall and winter of 2002 - 2003, following summer sailings in Alaska. Star Princess, sails round trip from Los Angeles on Saturdays for seven days to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas from March 16 through April 27, 2002 and again from September 21, 2002 to May 3, 2003. Sun Princess will offer longer 10-day Mexican Riviera cruises which add Acapulco and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, to the itinerary. Sun Princess sails this route from September 27, 2002 to January 15, 2003, and from March 26 to April 25, 2003.

***Holland America Line's Prinsendam is scheduled to sail a number of unique itineraries after joining the fleet in June, 2002. The 14-day "Fjords & Faberge" cruises combine the Norwegian Fjords with Baltic ports while sailing between Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The comprehensive itinerary calls at Esbjerg, Denmark; Stavanger, Aurlands Fjord and Sognefjord, the villages of Vik and Flam, Bergen and Kristiansand, Norway; Gdansk, Poland; spends two days in St. Petersburg, Russia (optional tour to Moscow); Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm and Karlskrona, Sweden. Two sailings are scheduled on July 10 and August 7, 2002. The 38,000-ton, 794-passenger Prinsendam is currently sailing as the Seabourn Sun.

***Crystal Cruises has announced itineraries for 2003. The 63 sailings for 2003 include ten maiden calls for the line: Huahine, French Polynesia; Launceston and Exmouth, Australia; Deception and King George Islands in Antarctica; Nagoya, Japan; St. John's, Newfoundland; Greenock, Scotland; Dikili, Turkey; and Norfolk, Virginia.

  • Crystal Serenity will be Crystal's largest ship when she joins the fleet in July 2003. The 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity sails inaugural cruises in Western Europe and the Mediterranean through October. She will cross the Atlantic for the first time, sail the Caribbean, transit the Panama Canal, and conclude her first year of service with a Mexican Riviera holiday cruise round-trip from Los Angeles.
  • Crystal Symphony sails her eighth World Cruise in 2003, following a winter Caribbean cruise. The new World Cruise route sails from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles, through the Caribbean, South America, Antarctica, Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii. The following cruise will be a Panama Canal voyage from Los Angeles, so travelers may extend the World Cruise for a round-trip Ft. Lauderdale voyage. Crystal Symphony will cross the Atlantic, to spend the rest of spring and summer in Europe, the Baltic and the British Isles. Another transatlantic crossing will take her to autumn in Canada and New England, followed by a U.S. East Coast cruise, a series of four South America voyages and a Caribbean holiday, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale.
  • Crystal Harmony will begin 2003 with a series of winter Panama Canal cruises, followed by a Trans-Pacific voyage. She will cruise the Orient for most of the spring before crossing the Pacific for a summer in Alaska. From September through the end of the year, she will offer various Panama Canal and Caribbean itineraries, with a Christmas/New Year's holiday cruise round-trip from New Orleans.

The new brochure with complete details will be available in January, 2002.

***Carnival has created a designer luggage collection consisting of three-piece soft-sided luggage sets for both adults and children. The three-piece set for adults includes 22- and 26-inch expandable "rollaway" uprights and a tote bag made of durable blue fabric featuring the Carnival name and logo. The children's set includes a 15-inch "rollaway" upright, a backpack and a waist pack, made of red and blue fabric and featuring the dolphin logo of the line's children's program, "Camp Carnival." The luggage pieces have multiple zippered areas for storage. The new Carnival Luggage Collection is now available at Bentley's Luggage and Gifts, Rich's Department Stores, El Portal and Travel 2000. Back to Top

12-20-01 Windstar's New 2002 Destinations Windstar Cruises has announced that it will offer new itineraries and home ports in 2002. Wind Song kicks off the new year with seven- and ten-day voyages around New Zealand's North and South islands between January and April and again in December. The ship will reposition to Asia, with 12- and seven-day cruises from Thailand to Singapore, visiting ports in Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam, scheduled June through October. In the Mediterranean, the cruise line will offer two night overnight stays in Venice and Malta for passengers sailing aboard Wind Surf on one-week voyages from Rome. For additional information, go to Back to Top

12-18-01 Love Boat in 3-way Tryst P&O Princess Cruises PLC has changed its tune and decided to give its shareholders the opportunity to consider a valid counter offer from Carnival Corp. for its shares, but it also says Carnival has to improve its offer before Princess management will consider it seriously. The largest issue is whether Carnival can modify its proposal so it is not conditional upon regulatory approval. This decision opens the door for Carnival to possibly scuttle the proposed marriage between Royal Caribbean and Princess that looked like a sure thing.

Appropriately for the Love Boat, Princess has re-scheduled a shareholders meeting previously set for early January, for Valentine's Day, 2002, in which its future partner could be decided. Princess plans to distribute a circular the first week of January urging its shareholders to accept the Royal Caribbean offer, but it is also urging Carnival to get its "revised" proposal to shareholders by January 18th in order to give them time to think it over before the February 14th shareholder's meeting.

The current planned merger between Royal Caribbean and Princess values P&O Princess at $3 billion, but the offer from Carnival is valued at $4.4 billion. So, at first blush it would appear to be a no-brainer for Princess shareholders. But the Carnival deal comes fraught with potential red flags from regulators both here and abroad who might scuttle the deal based on antitrust concerns. By combining Royal Caribbean and P&O Princess you get a company somewhat similar in size to Carnival Corp., but if you combine Carnival Corp. and P&O Princess you get a larger company more likely to face regulatory opposition. Some believe the Carnival bid for Princess will face stiff scrutiny and the result will be nothing more than a spoiler for the Royal Caribbean/Princess wedding.Back to Top

12-18-01 New Coral Princess Itinerary Princess Cruises will launch the 88,000-ton Coral Princess in the Fall of 2002 on a series of 10-day Panama Canal voyages. Sailing round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale, the ship will visit Grand Cayman; Limon, Costa Rica; Cozumel; Cartagena. On an alternative itinerary, Coral Princess will stop in Ocho Rios; Limon; Cartagena and Aruba. Both feature cruising through the Gatun Locks and Gatun Lake of the Panama Canal.

In addition to Coral Princess, other ships in the fleet making Panama Canal crossings during the Fall, 2002 to Spring, 2003 season include Dawn, Royal, Sun, Ocean and Sea Princess.

For reservations and additional information, consult your travel agent or visit Back to Top

12-17-01 Carnival Gets Hostile - Princess Bid Carnival offered the management of P&O Cruises $4.5 billion for P&O and Princess Cruise Lines on Sunday, but P&O turned the offer down saying it intends to go forward with the merger with Royal Caribbean as planned. As a result, Carnival Corp. is preparing to take its offer directly to the shareholders of P&O Cruises.

P&O claimed the Carnival offer wouldn't deliver value to shareholders and carried regulatory risk in the United States and the European Union.

Carnival's Vice Chairman Howard Frank responded by telling reporters on a conference call on Monday that P&O Princess is ignoring the interests of its shareholders. He said Carnival on Sunday offered to pay 2 British Pounds in cash and 0.1361 Carnival share for each P&O share. The proposal values P&O Princess at 450 pence a share, 25 percent more than the company's closing stock price of 360 pence on Friday. Back to Top

12-14-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Norwegian Star begins her year-round, weekly cruises from Honolulu this Sunday. With the introduction of Norwegian Star in Hawaii, NCL ships now sail roundtrip from eight homeland ports including: Miami, Fla.; Seattle, Wash.; Vancouver, B.C., Canada; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Boston, Mass.; New York, N.Y; and Honolulu, Oahu and Lahaina, Maui, HI. One way cruises from Miami, Los Angeles and Montreal, bring the total number of Homeland Ports to 10. Norwegian Cruise Line's comprehensive new Homeland Cruising brochure will be available in January. It contains information on NCL's close to home itineraries.

NCL has also introduced its new VISA credit card, which earns upgrades and discounts on future cruises. Past passengers have already received a mail-in coupon for more information in their Latitudes magazine.

***Crystal Cruises and Cruise West are the latest cruise lines to introduce flexible insurance programs. Crystal's Cruise Protection Program-PLUS allows passengers to cancel their cruise for any reason up until three days before departure, and receive a 90% cruise credit of the cancellation fee valid for any sailing within 12 months. The new program is available on all cruises aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony departing between April 1 and December 31, 2002. Protection Program-PLUS is available as an upgrade to the line's standard Cruise Protection Program which covers trip cancellation and interruption for medical reasons and a range of other emergency assistance services. The cost to upgrade from Crystal's standard insurance plan for cruise fares under $8,000 per person is an additional $200 per person, or 3% of the cruise fare for voyages over $8,000 per person.

Cruise West launched a "Peace of Mind Travel Assurance" option that allows passengers who book 2002 voyages or cruise-tours to cancel or postpone without penalty up to 90 days prior to departure. Passengers who buy the travel insurance receive cash refunds if they cancel their booking for any reason covered under the policy.

***For the first time, Costa Cruises is making its South America program available for North Americans. The cruises from Santos, Brazil, outside Sao Paolo, are usually only marketed in Europe and South America. Beginning in January, CostaClassica and CostaTropicale (the former Tropicale of Carnival Cruise Lines) will sail on seven, eight and nine-night cruises to ports in Brazil and Argentina with cruise only rates starting at $899 including port charges.

CostaClassica sails 9-night Brazil/Argentina cruises round trip from Santos, to Rio de Janeiro, Porto Belo, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina and Punta del Este, Uruguay, January 3 through February 17, 2002.

CostaTropicale sails round trip from Santos on 7 and 8-night cruises. The 7-night itinerary calls at Rio de Janeiro, Porto Seguro, Salvador de Bahia and Ilhabela, Brazil, Feb. 16 and 23, 2002; the 8-night itinerary calls at Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, Madeio, and Buzios, Brazil, January 6, 14, 22, and 30, 2002.

***The newest Princess Alaskan lodge is nearly 70 percent complete and will be ready for cruisetour passengers in May. The exterior of the company's fifth riverside lodge has taken form, and interior fitting is well underway. The Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge is situated near Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. It is the first luxury property in the area and opens up a new part of Alaska for cruisetour passengers. For more on the lodge see CruiseMates' Copper River Lodge article.

***Star Clippers has a special offer for honeymooners. On Star Clipper sailings from Barbados starting May 5, 2002 through October 27, 2002, Brides Cruise Free while grooms pay the standard brochure "value season" rate. Star Clipper is a luxury tall ship which carries 170 passengers. This offer is valid on either of the Caribbean itineraries to the Windward or the Grenadine Islands and includes stops at ports-of-call including Martinique, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Barts, Bequia, St. Kitts, Tobago Cays, Iles des Saintes, St. Maarten, Grenada and the Grenadines. These alternating weeklong cruises feature Sunday evening departures. For more information and a brochure, see your professional travel agent or call Star Clippers at 1-800-442-0551.

***Cunard Line will gain one of Holland America's new Vista Class ships in January 2005. Both lines have announced the switch which sees the fourth Vista Class vessel going to Cunard's growing British market. Britain is the world's second-largest cruise market, with over one million passengers expected to sail in 2002. Cunard and HAL are both part of Carnival Corporation.

The 85,000-ton, 1,968 passenger vessel will be built at Fincantieri yards in Italy at a cost of $400 million. The Vista-class ships are 951 feet in length. They feature innovative "exterior elevators," located on both sides of the vessel, providing panoramic sea views for 10 decks. The ships also include a wide range of spacious accommodation categories. About 85 percent of the staterooms feature an ocean view, with approximately 80 percent of those offering private verandahs. The first Vista Class ship, Zuiderdam, enters service December 14, 2002 on seven-day Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale.

***Crystal Cruises' concierges have become the first cruise line concierges to be accepted into the Union Internationale Des Concierges D'Hotels (UICH). Earlier this fall, the concierges aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony were awarded "Les Clefs d'Or," or keys of gold, the organization's prestigious symbols of guaranteed quality service. In order to join the UICH, which has over 3,000 members in 35 countries, concierges must have a minimum of five years' hotel experience, and at least three years as a full-time, lobby-level concierge. The chief concierge and concierge aboard Crystal's luxury liners will wear the signature crossed gold keys on the lapels of their uniforms. The organization states that their member concierges "accommodate every request as long as it is morally, legally, and humanly possible."

***Air fare specials are being offered by a number of lines. Orient Lines is offering a reduced air fare of $99 and $299 in conjunction with European cruises next summer. Cruise West has free air from some gateways for Alaska and Costa Rica cruises. Ultra-luxury The World of ResidenSea offers complimentary and reduced-fare business-class air upgrades on nine voyages in 2002.

***World Explorer Cruises has made special arrangements for those passengers wanting to drive or take the train to their ship in Vancouver. The line provides educational cruises to Alaska on board the classic liner, S/S Universe Explorer. World Explorer will provide complimentary motor coach transfer service from Seattle to the Canada Place Cruise terminal in Vancouver on the day of departure, approximately a 3 � hour ride. It is also offering a one-night downtown Seattle hotel package starting from $125 per person, double occupancy. This rate includes the transfer from Seattle's King Street Rail Station to the hotel on night of arrival. For those interested in driving to Vancouver, British Columbia, World Explorer Cruises is offering to pay up to fourteen days of parking under their new "WEC Free Parking Promotion." The offer is valid only during the dates of the booked cruise and can be redeemed in WEC's designated parking lot only (with convenient shuttle to the Canada Place Cruise terminal.) Ask your travel agent for more details on these promotions at the time of booking. Back to Top

12-12-01 Carnival Pride Delivered Carnival Cruise Lines has taken delivery of its 16th vessel, Carnival Pride in a traditional maritime hand-over ceremony at Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland. Following the hand-over ceremony, Carnival Pride's sister ship, Carnival Legend, was floated out of her building dock. Carnival Legend is scheduled to enter service next August. Bob Dickinson, Carnival President remarked "For these two events - the delivery of the Carnival Pride and the float-out of the Carnival Legend - to take place on the same day is truly special and marks a significant milestone in the continued growth of Carnival Cruise Lines."

The 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride is the first sister-ship of Carnival Spirit which entered service in April this year. Carnival Pride will be the newest and largest cruise ship to operate from Port Canaveral when she commences year round, seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises on January 12. The route from Helsinki takes Carnival Pride on a 13-day transatlantic crossing, arriving in Miami Dec. 26. Inaugural cruises from Miami include a six-day Western Caribbean voyage, Dec. 30 and an overnight fundraising gala benefiting the United Way of Miami-Dade. After positioning to Port Canaveral, Carnival Pride sails a two-day preview cruise for the travel trade Jan. 7-9 and a three-day Bahamas cruise Jan. 9-12, prior to the start of her Caribbean schedule. Back to Top

12-11-01 Pacific Northwest Mini-Cruises Schedules have been finalized for the Pacific Northwest mini-cruises being offered next year by Holland America and Royal Caribbean International. The mini-cruises take place before and after the Alaska cruise season, in May/June and September/October.

Holland America Line: Zaandam will sail roundtrip from Seattle May 3 on a three-night cruise featuring day-long visits to Vancouver and Victoria, plus scenic cruising of Puget Sound. Seven fall cruises are scheduled roundtrip from Vancouver. Three-night cruises depart on the Zaandam Sept. 21, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 and on the Veendam Sept. 29. The Zaandam sails on four-night cruises departing Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and Oct. 8, 2002. Four-night cruises include calls at Seattle and Victoria, then a day of scenic cruising through the Strait of Georgia, Seymour Narrows and Johnstone Strait.

Royal Caribbean International: Radiance of the Seas will sail round trip from Seattle on three and four-night cruises, calling at Vancouver and Victoria, with scenic cruising of Puget Sound. Three-night sailings depart Seattle May 24, June 3, September 17, 20, 27, October 4 and 11, 2002. Four-night cruises depart Seattle May 13, 20, 27, September 23, 30, October 7 and 14, 2002. Two-night positioning cruises from Seattle to Vancouver, calling at Victoria depart June 6 and October 18, 2002. A three-night sailing from Vancouver to Seattle with a day in Victoria and a day of scenic cruising departs September 14, 2002. Back to Top

12-07-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Holland America Line has welcomed aboard its one millionth passenger in the port of Tampa, since starting operations there in 1982. Confetti and a live band greeted Annette Willett and her husband Ed when they boarded the Noordam in the port of Tampa on Wednesday. They received a gift basket from the Port of Tampa Authority as well as an on-board credit, champagne and dinner with the captain during the cruise. The 14-day southern Caribbean cruise is the second Holland America cruise for the Willetts who operate a motel in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

***NCL will have its latest brochure available by year end. The new publication will contain the itinerary changes for 2002. The line is also developing a reward credit card for passengers which will earn points towards a future cruise with NCL or Orient Lines.

***Cruisers may have the chance to sail on the Renaissance ships again. The Marshall Islands registered company, Cruiseinvest bought the R ships last week and will be making them available for charter. The purchase included the R ships 1,2,5,6,7 and 8. Two ships not included in the sale are R3 and R4 . Those two vessels remain in Tahiti with no word yet as to when they will resume sailing.

***Royal Caribbean has released a new cook book in time for the Holiday season. Written by the line's Master Chef, Rudi Sodamin, the book offers a behind-the-scenes look at RCI's award-winning recipes. The 160-page book combines 86 recipes with 90 full-color photographs, and offers instruction from the complex to the most basic dishes. The Royal Caribbean International Cookbook is available at bookstores nationwide for $25.00, and can be purchased online at a reduced rate beginning in December by accessing the Royal Caribbean Store at and selecting the Gift Catalog and Royal Caribbean Store merchandise links.

***The Prinsendam's inaugural transatlantic crossing will be a Big Band theme cruise featuring Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians. The gala 10-day transatlantic crossing departs New York for Southampton (London) on June 3, 2002. Ports of call are Halifax, Nova Scotia; Cobh (Cork), Ireland; and Plymouth, England. Holland America Line's newest cruise ship, the 794-passenger Prinsendam is currently sailing as the Seabourn Sun and was originally built as the Royal Viking Sun in 1988.

Noordam and Rotterdam will also sail transatlantic crossings for Holland America in 2002. The August crossings by the Rotterdam include calls at Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland. Gentleman hosts are on board to dance with single ladies on all crossings, cruises of 14 days or longer and all Prinsendam cruises.

***Star Clippers has announced changes in its summer 2002 schedules for its fleet of luxury sailing clipper ships:

  • Star Clipper will remain in the Caribbean next summer instead of returning to the Mediterranean. Commencing in May, the new seven-day itinerary sails Sundays from Barbados to Martinique, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Barts, Bequia, St. Kitts, Tobago Cays, Iles des Saintes, St. Marten, Grenada and the Grenadines.

  • Star Flyer will re-position to Rome in the spring o f 2002 and resume the Western Mediterranean itineraries to the French and Italian Rivieras and south of Italy, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. Star Flyer's Eastern Mediterranean itineraries from Athens have been cancelled.

  • Royal Clipper, the largest true sailing ship in the world, will re-position to Cannes in the spring of 2002 for cruises to the French and Italian Riviera, alternating with a Balearic Islands itinerary including Spanish Catalonia.

  • New in November 2002 are the Mayan-Caribbean sailings of the Star Clipper from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Sailing on Sunday evenings from Cancun, ports of call include Roatan, the barrier reef at Cochino Grande, Honduras; Dangriga and Goff's Bay, Belize and Cozumel.

For more information contact Star Clippers at 1-800-442-0551 or email

*** Costa is opening a new school in the Dominican Republic for the training of hotel personnel. The Casa de Campo school in La Romana will be the center of excellence for training personnel from the Dominican Republic, Central and South America. The school will operate in collaboration with Johnson & Wales University, the prestigious American university for hotel and service personnel. Costa is investing U.S.$600,000. to develop the project. The school is expected to train 2,000 students in its first year of operation including chefs, barmen, restaurant, housekeeping, maintenance and Front Desk personnel. Costa owns another similar school in Manila, Philippines, and has recently set up a Campus in Genoa for managerial training for both shore side and on board side personnel.

***Cruisemates readers wishing to experience the legendary Galapagos Islands will be happy to find out that there is no increase of 2002 rates aboard the 100 passenger, all-suite, Galapagos Explorer II, the former Renaissance III. "After considerable passenger surveys, we've opted to eliminate our open bar in favor of retaining last years low rates", says General Manager, Andre Barona, of Canodros S.A. of Ecuador.

Canodros S.A. initiated a new era of ecotourism in October 1997 when it introduced the Galapagos Explorer II to the world cruise market. The company's declared objective is to present the perfect blend of comfort, adventure and environmental preservation to those who wish to experience the wonders of the Galapagos and then leave them unchanged and unspoiled for future generations.

The Galapagos Explorer visits up to ten islands on a typical 7-night cruise. The archipelago consists of thirteen "large" islands, six small ones, and more than 40 islets. For further information contact is Maria Eugenia Jauregui, Latin American Expeditions, toll-free at: 1-888-368 9929, or 305-662-2965. Email: Visit the web site at .

***The World of ResidenSea is set to debut February 19, 2002. The first resort community at sea , The World will offer ultra-luxurious cruising while continuously circumnavigating the globe. The 88 guest suites are available on a time share basis in a new program entitled Tailored TimeTM Fares. Passengers can purchase blocks of days aboard the ship to use at their discretion over a period of 24 months. Available in 30-, 60-, 100-, 200- and 300-day blocks, Tailored Time Fares allow passengers to custom craft their vacations, embarking and disembarking at any of the ship's ports of call across the globe and combining the best of land and sea travel with The World as their home base. Sold on a per suite basis, providing occupancy for up to two passengers, Tailored Time Fares range from $41,395 for a block of 30 days in an Adagio suite and up to $55,195 for 30 days in the deluxe Sonata suite. Sixty-day blocks range from $80,645 to $107,495; 100-day blocks are from $129,595 to $172,795; 200 days may be purchased from $249,595 to $332,795; and 300-day blocks are priced from $359,995 to $479,995. Rates include accommodations; meals and beverages including an extensive list of wines, spirits and champagne; gratuities; and port charges. Back to Top

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