News Archive - November 2001

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013
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Weekend Cruise News ***Concorde is back in service and Cunard Line is once again offering air travel on the world's only supersonic passenger plane. The one-way Concorde upgrade in conjunction with a QE2 Transatlantic Crossing costs $2,395 per person. In conjunction with a QE2 or Caronia Cruise it costs $2,995 per person. For those not wanting to fly Concorde, Cunard is offering a free business-class upgrade on scheduled flights. Also, early booking savings of 20% are available if you book your transatlantic crossing by March 31, 2002.

***Star Cruises will halt sailings from Taiwan as of December 5, 2001. The SuperStar Taurus, the former Leeward of NCL, has recently been re-deployed from Japan to take over the Taiwan cruise program. The vessel, which had been under charter until 2003, will now be returned to its owners ahead of schedule. Star cited poor economic conditions for the cancellation of the program. The company said it would return to Taiwan with fly/cruise vacations when conditions improve.

***Celebrity Cruises is expanding to a new region with the announcement of a Canada/New England itinerary. Galaxy sails May 27 and September 9, 2002, round trip from Baltimore, Maryland, on 11-night cruises. Ports of call are Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Quebec City, Quebec; Portland, Maine, and cruising the spectacular Saguenay River.

***The new Carnival Legend sets sail next August. The third Spirit Class vessel, Legend carries 2,124 passengers and is a sister ship to Carnival Spirit and the Carnival Pride, debuting in January. Carnival Legend will feature 16 bars, lounges and nightspots, a duty-free shopping mall, a 13,700-square-foot health spa, an Internet cafe, an expansive casino, a 2,400-square-foot children's play area, four swimming pools and a cascading water slide. Dining options will include a two-level formal restaurant, a "steakhouse-style" supper club serving aged beef and other upscale cuisine, and a casual poolside eatery featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives, Asian and American specialty areas and 24-hour pizza and ice cream/frozen yogurt. A patisserie and complimentary 24-hour stateroom service are also available.

Following a Baltic cruise and transatlantic crossing from Harwich to New York, Carnival Legend will sail a pair of two-day cruises-to-nowhere from New York Oct. 17 and 19, 2002 and a three-day cruise-to-nowhere Oct. 3, 2002. Eleven-day Canada/New England sailings will depart New York Sept. 22 and Oct. 6, 2002. Ports of call are Boston; Portland or Bar Harbor, Maine; Quebec City, Quebec (with an optional shore excursion to Montreal available); and Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Carnival Legend then sails to Bermuda, round trip from Philadelphia, Oct. 23 and from Baltimore, Oct. 30 for six-day cruises docking at King's Wharf, Bermuda.

For the winter, Carnival Legend will sail alternating eight-day "exotic" cruises from Miami, commencing Nov. 10, 2002, calling at either St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique, or Belize City, Belize; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama (with an optional Panama Canal and Gatun Lake excursions available).

***Two lines are offering exceptional early booking savings for 2002:

Holland America Line has the "Best Cruise for the Best Price" early booking incentive for all 400 of its 2002 sailings.Cruisers can save more than 50 percent off 2001 rates for cruises booked by January 31, 2002. Designed to stimulate early bookings, the incentive features every sailing, even peak destinations during peak sailing dates.

Norwegian Cruise Lines offers a "buy one get a different cruise free" sale from now through December 31, 2001. The two-for-one program allows passengers to cruise on one of five NCL ships and receive a free cruise on a different itinerary for the same ship. The offer makes the free cruise available for immediate family members (parent, child, spouse or sibling) so the purchaser can give the free cruise as a gift. Both cruises must be booked at the same time in the same cabin category and vessel. Available cruise combinations are:

  • Buy a 12-day summer Europe sailing on Norwegian Dream (4/17, 5/13 through 8/29/02) and receive a free 14-day South America voyage (1/6 through 3/3/02) on the same ship.
  • Buy a summer Bermuda sailing on Norwegian Majesty (4/28 through 10/20/02) and receive a free Southern Caribbean voyage (1/6 through 3/31/02) on the same ship.
  • Buy a summer roundtrip New York (4/28 through 8/25/02) or Canada/New England sailing (9/1 through 10/13/02) on Norwegian Sea and receive a free 3-day Bahamas cruise (1/4 through 4/12/02) or free 4-day Caribbean Cruise (1/7 through 4/8/02) on the same ship.
  • Buy a summer Alaska sailing on Norwegian Sky (4/28 through 9/22/02) and receive a free Eastern or Western Caribbean voyage (1/5 through 3/20/02 - excluding 3/16/02) on the same ship.
  • Buy a spring or fall Hawaii sailing on Norwegian Wind (3/17, 3/29, 4/8. 4/18 and 9/16 through 12/9/02) and receive a summer Alaska voyage (4/29 through 9/9/02) on the same ship.

See your travel agent for more information on these deals.

*** Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas will host the third annual Tom Joyner Foundation's Fantastic Voyage 2002 celebrity cruise and fundraiser. Known as "the ultimate party with a purpose," the Fantastic Voyage's proceeds will benefit the Tom Joyner Foundation, which provides scholarship funds to students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU.) The two previous Fantastic Voyage cruises each have raised more than a million dollars for the Tom Joyner Foundation.

Tom Joyner's morning show airs on the ABC network. The Fantastic Voyage departs Saturday May 25th sailing from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico. St. Thomas and Labadee located on the coast of Haiti. Special activities are planned at each port including a private beach party, plus daily activities on the ship.

***Carnival Cruises announced it is offering more cruises from Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans on board the Holiday.

  • The new sailings from Mobile include two two-day cruises-to-nowhere departing March 15 and 23, a five-day western Caribbean voyage departing March 31, and two six-day "exotic" western Caribbean sailing departing March 17 and 25, 2002. Ports of call on the five-day voyage include Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Mexico, while six-day voyages will visit Playa del Carmen; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel
  • Holiday will then sail new 10 and 11-night itineraries from New Orleans in April. On April 6, 2002, the 11-night cruise will call at Isla Roatan; Grand Cayman; Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel. The 10-night cruise, April 17, calls at Progreso/Merida and Costa Maya, Mexico. Can be combined with pre or post cruise stay in New Orleans for a 14-night vacation.
  • Commencing April 27, 2002, Holiday will sail for four nights on alternating Thursdays and five nights on alternating Saturdays and Mondays to Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. Cruises can be combined with pre or post cruise stay in New Orleans for a seven-night vacation.

***The famous Panama Canal railway has reopened . The railway offers excellent views of ships passing through the Canal. Cruise lines are showing interest in adding the three-hour rail journey as an added excursion. Watch CruiseMates for further developments.
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Weekend Cruise News ***The dual christening of Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star, which took place last Saturday in Miami, can be viewed at the Norwegian Cruise Lines web site, Seven movie segments covering the entire ceremonies are available for download from the site.

***Silversea Cruises and Princess Cruises have expanded their cancellation policies:

Silversea has announced a new "reassurance" program. Passengers who cancel their Silversea cruise for any reason one to 14 days prior to departure will receive a 100 percent Reassurance Cruise Credit on a future cruise valid for 12 months from the date of issue. The optional "Reassurance Program" is available for new bookings made through March 31, 2002 for any voyage commencing on or after April 1, 2002. Passengers with existing bookings on voyages commencing on or after April 1, 2002 may add the "Reassurance Program," but must do so by December 31, 2001. More details are available from your travel agent.

The new Princess Cruises' plans are called Princess Travel Care (formerly Love Boat Care) and Princess Travel Care Gold (formerly Love Boat Care Gold). In addition to offering comprehensive coverage for medical emergencies, lost baggage and other unforeseen difficulties, the new plans allow passengers to postpone their vacation for any reason they wish. Princess-booked air and hotel travel are included as well as children travelling in third or fourth berths. Rates are not based on a passenger's age. For complete terms and conditions, call the Princess Travel Care desk at 1.800.453.4069.

***Cunard Line's Caronia will sail four Panama Canal cruises in March and April in place of Middle East and India cruises. The 12 and 13-day itineraries sail between Ft. Lauderdale and Acapulco, calling at Montego Bay, Jamaica; San Andres Island, Colombia; San Blas Islands, Panama; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala plus Zihuatanejo, Mexico on the 13-day cruises. Caronia sails from Ft. Lauderdale for 13 days, March 11 and April 5, 2002 and from Acapulco for 12 days, March 24 and April 18. The 24,492-ton, 677-passenger Caronia is the former Vistafjord.

***Malta is upgrading the Valletta Sea Passenger Terminal over the next four years in response to the booming Mediterranean cruise business. The project includes development of new cruise and ferry terminals, a Waterfront Promenade including outdoor entertainment facilities, improved road and pedestrian access to the Valetta town center and additional parking facilities. Two 18th-century buildings will be preserved and restored as part of the terminal. They will be used for retail and food and beverage outlets. Valetta welcomed 377 cruise ships in 2001, an increase from 275 in 2000.

***Costa Cruises has revised its "Winter Best Value Collection" which now features the CostaVictoria. The specially priced air-sea packages start at $1,399 per person including roundtrip airfare from the U.S. and port charges. CostaVictoria sails three Canary Islands itineraries round trip from Savona, near Genoa, Italy through April 4, 2002. The 10-day itineraries call at Barcelona, and Malaga, Spain; Casablanca, Morocco; Tenerife, Canary Islands and Madeira with four days at sea. The 11-day sailings add Agadir, Morocco and Arrecife, Canary Islands, spending three days at sea. The 75,200-ton, 2,464-passenger CostaVictoria entered service in July, 1996. It is the first time Costa has deployed one of their newest ships for winter, best value cruises.

***Star Princess is scheduled to sail her maiden voyage from Singapore to Los Angeles, February 13. Following a series of Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles, Star Princess will reposition to Vancouver for summer Alaska cruises. The repositioning cruise is a unique seven-day itinerary calling at San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco and Seattle. Star Princess is a sister ship to Grand and Golden Princesses. The 109,000-ton, 2,600-passenger vessel will be the largest cruise ship to ever sail in Alaska. The signature piece is the disco/observation lounge accessible only by a glass-enclosed, moving "skywalk". Star Princess also features a 24-hour AOL Internet Cafe, a nine-hole putting green, a swim-against-the-current lap pool and an expanded children's and teen's center.
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Princess and Royal Caribbean to Merge P&O Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises said on Tuesday they plan to merge to create the world's largest cruise company. The move is being made to allow both companies to reduce expenses through consolidation of operations.

The merged group will have a market value of about $6.0 billion and expects annual savings of over $100 million. The combined group will have a fleet of 41 ships and about 75,000 berths. The new entity will be managed under one board. RCI chairman Fain will be Chairman and Chief Executive of the new group, which is yet to be named, while P&O Princess Chief Executive Peter Ratcliffe will be its managing director.
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Weekend Cruise News ***Norwegian Cruise Line's double christening of the Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star in Miami will be broadcast live on the Internet. Tune in to at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time tomorrow (November 17) to watch the ceremony. Godmothers for the occasion are model and television personality Brooke Burke christening the Norwegian Sun and Miss America 2001 Angela Perez Baraquio, a native of Hawaii, christening the Norwegian Star, which will homeport year-round in Honolulu.

***The ‘60's rock group, Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, will be special guests on board the QE2 during the initial segment of her 2002 World Cruise. Together, Peter Noone's Herman's Hermits have sold over 52 million records and had 23 top 20 hits, including Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter, I'm Henry VIII I Am, Silhouettes and There's A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World Tonight). The band will perform during the 14-day segment from New York to Los Angeles which calls at Fort Lauderdale; Cartagena, Colombia; Balboa, Panama; and Acapulco and Zihuatanejo in Mexico. Passengers may join the ship in Ft. Lauderdale to take the cruise as a 12-day world cruise segment.

*** Crystal Cruises is introducing complimentary yoga and Pilates instruction on all worldwide sailings aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony. Both Pathway to Yoga and mat-based Pilates are part of Chi-Balancing fitness therapies, which are derived from Eastern philosophies. Other Chi-Balancing classes include Inner Harmony (strength program focusing on the abdominals and back while relaxing the mind) and Sunrise Chi Walk. Chi-Energizing offerings are more aerobic and include Step Harmony, Aerobic Symphony, Body Sculpt (strengthening abdominals, hips and thighs), Aqua Moves (low-impact water workout), and Cardio Ki-Bo Circuit Training (boxercize, kickboxing and aerobic conditioning). In addition Crystal offers a variety of Eastern spa treatments including the popular Aroma Stone Therapy Massage.

Crystal is offering two Yoga, Health & Fitness theme cruises in 2002 on a 10-day Alaska/Canada cruise departing Vancouver on June 24, and an 11-day Panama Canal voyage from Ft. Lauderdale on November 29, 2002. Among the guest lectures scheduled are: Dr. John C. McMichan, former Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, critical care expert, and teacher; certified yoga instructor Marnie Neve, who also holds degrees in both theatre and counseling psychology; and award-wining medical writer, columnist and teaching hospital administrator, Ruth Jacobowitz, whose books include The Estrogen Answer Book and 150 Most-Asked Questions About Midlife Sex, Love and Intimacy.

***Costa Cruises has a special "Free Europe"program. Passengers booking their 2002 European cruise with Costa before January 3,1 2002 will receive a two-night post cruise package as well as a $2000 shipboard credit. The Free Europe package includes accommodations for two at a four-star hotel, hotel/pier or pier/hotel transfers, continental breakfast, a half-day sightseeing tour and hotel porterage. Depending on your itinerary, cities included in the offer are Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Genoa, Nice/Monte Carlo, Paris, Rome and Venice.

***The luxury expedition vessel, Clipper Odyssey will sail a new itinerary to Tasmania in February. Cruising round trip form Sydney, the 128-passenger vessel will call at several National Parks and remote spots of Australia's island State, as well as Hobart, Devonport and Port Arthur. King Island, Flinders Island and Melbourne, Australia are also on the itinerary. Clipper Odyssey is equipped with a fleet of zodiac landing craft and a decompression chamber for scuba divers. The 17-night adventure cruise-tour departs from the U.S. February 11, 2002.

*** Premier Cruises' SS Rembrandt, formerly Holland America Line's flagship, Rotterdam V, will be delivered to new owners, CruiseUnit Project, Ltd., in mid-May, 2002. The ship will become a timeshare ship in the new venture, CruiseShares. The classic transatlantic liner, considered one of the finest ever built, has been well maintained. She will retain the name The Rembrandt for the new project. For more details see the CruiseShares web site at

***The island of Cozumel is about to open its new shopping and entertainment complex, Punta Langosta. The $30,000,000 development is located at Cozumel's Punta Langosta cruise terminal, just outside of downtown San Miguel. A pedestrian walkway connects the open-air complex with the cruise terminal. The shopping center will house 94 bars, restaurants and duty-free boutiques, such as DKNY, Versace, Nike, Warner Brothers Studio Store, Sony, TGI Friday's and Senor Frog's. The complex is scheduled to open in late November.

*** Canyon Ranch health resorts will design and operate the spa, beauty salon, wellness and fitness facilities on board Cunard's new $800-million flagship Queen Mary 2. The 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art spa and fitness facilities will be located on two decks and employ 51 staff. Incorporated into the design will be unique water features emphasizing the healing and therapeutic benefits of water and heat. Facilities will include a 30x15-foot co-ed Thalassotherapy Pool that features airbed recliner lounges, neck fountains, a deluge waterfall, air tub and body massage jet benches. The pool area also will have a whirlpool. Adjacent to the pool will be an extensive Thermal Suite featuring an herbal sauna, Finnish sauna, reflexology basins and an aromatic steam room. Canyon Ranch "healthy living experts" will offer on-board lectures and workshops addressing lifestyle change, health and medical issues, stress management, smoking cessation, healthy aging and disease prevention.

The 150,000-ton luxury liner is expected to enter service in December 2003. At 1,132 feet in length, 237 feet in height from keel to funnel top and a beam of 135 feet, Queen Mary 2 will be the longest and widest passenger ship in the world.
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Carnival From Alabama Carnival Cruise Lines will inaugurate cruising from Mobile, Alabama when it launches a series two- to six-day voyages aboard the Holiday beginning March, 2002. The 1,452-passenger ship will sail a two-day cruise to nowhere, scheduled March 2 followed by the March 4 five-day western Caribbean voyage to Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Mexico. A six-day western Caribbean cruise to Playa del Carmen; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel will depart March 9. Fares for the two-night cruises start at $199; the five-day cruise begins at $299 and the six-day voyage begins at $349. For reservations and additional information, consult your travel agent or visit
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Weekend Cruise News ***New Celebrity Cruises' itineraries get underway this weekend. Horizon starts a new seven-night itinerary from Miami on Friday with a departure time of 10 pm. This is the only late-night sailing from Miami. The itinerary takes Horizon to Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Progreso (for Merida and Chichen Itza.) On Sunday, Zenith starts a new seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary from Tampa to Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Grand Cayman.

***CostaAtlantica is heading for drydock before commencing her winter season of Caribbean cruises. The vessel, which entered service in July, 2000, will arrive at the Fincantieri yard at Palermo, Sicily, on Saturday. Routine maintenance of the hull, engine and hotel areas will be undertaken. CostaAtlantica sails from Genoa to Ft. Lauderdale on November 21. CostaAtlantica will be the sole Costa ship to sail from Ft. Lauderdale this winter as CostaVictoria's Caribbean season has been replaced with Western Mediterranean cruises.

****Following naming ceremonies and inaugural cruises from New York this weekend, Adventure of the Seas will head for San Juan. Commencing November 18, the new vessel will sail round trip from San Juan on Sundays to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. From April 14, 2002 this itinerary alternates with one calling at St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados, from Sunday April 14, 2002 through October 27, 2002. At 142,000 tons, Adventure of the Seas is the largest cruise ship afloat and a sister-ship to Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas.

***Carnival's latest ship, Carnival Pride enters service January 12, 2002 sailing from Port Canaveral on seven-night cruises to the Caribbean. On board there are a number of dining choices as part of Carnival's "Total Choice Dining" program:

  • The main dining room, the Normandie, is designed after the classic ocean liner, considered by many to be the most beautiful passenger vessel ever constructed. Cuisine will feature eight different soups, salads and appetizers, seven entrees and six desserts nightly. A special children's menu, and vegetarian and health-conscious menu items will also be available.
  • The casual, self-service restaurant, Mermaids' Grille, will offer full breakfast and lunch buffets, Asian and American specialty areas, pasta and meat-carving stations, extensive salad and dessert bars, and 24-hour pizzeria and ice cream/frozen yogurt. Every evening, the two-level poolside eatery will be the venue for casual dinner-time service.
  • The upscale steakhouse-style restaurant, popular on board sister-ship Carnival Sprit, will be called David's on Carnival Pride. Located at the top of the nine-deck-high atrium and underneath a red glass dome forming the front portion of the ship's funnel, the restaurant is patterned after New York's widely popular steakhouses. David's will offer hand-cut dry-aged U.S.D.A. prime steaks, chops, and seafood, along with a Carnival exclusive - crab claws from Miami Beach's world famous Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant. A 12-foot replica of Michelangelo's famed David, will be the restaurant's centerpiece. David's will carry a $20 per person reservations fee.
  • The Piazza Cafe is a patisserie serving specialty coffees, sweets and confections.
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service features a selection of freshly made sandwiches, desserts, fruits and other items.

    ***Royal Olympic Cruises has reached an agreement with Blohm + Voss shipyard for the delivery of Olympia Explorer, delayed since last April due to a dispute over the vessel's readiness to sail. A joint statement by the two companies announced the Olympia Explorer "will reach the port of Pireaus [Greece] by the beginning of 2002". The 25,000-ton, 836-passenger Olympia Explorer is a sister ship to Olympia Voyager.

    ***Crystal Cruises' has announced that its next ship will be called Crystal Serenity and is scheduled for delivery in the summer of 2003. At 1,080 guests and 68,000 tons, Crystal Serenity will be the largest ship in the Crystal fleet with expanded dining and entertainment options.. The new vessel will feature nearly double the number of Penthouse Suites, more Penthouses, an increased number of outside staterooms with verandas, and eight specially designed wheelchair accessible staterooms and penthouses in a range of accommodation levels. New entertainment options include paddle tennis courts, a Creative Learning Center with a range of interactive educational classes, and a classic boardroom with wine cellar. An expanded Computer University@Sea classroom, 50% larger than the facilities of Crystal's current fleet, will house a 24-hour Internet center and private area for computer use.

    Crystal Serenity will have five evening dining choices. A sushi bar and casual evening deck menu will be added to the Italian and Asian specialty restaurants and the Crystal Dining Room. Additional daytime dining venues, include The Bistro, a popular social coffee and wine bar, for morning and afternoon snacks; The Trident Grill, for casual poolside lunches throughout the afternoon; lavish themed luncheon buffets that will be staged on selected days by the ship's second pool; and an ice cream, sherbet and frozen yogurt bar. Complimentary room service will be available 24 hours.

    ***Carnival Destiny's Southern Caribbean itinerary will change April 21, 2002. Sailing round trip from San Juan Carnival Destiny will make day-long calls at St. Thomas/St. John and Martinique, and 15-hour calls at Barbados and Aruba. This unique itinerary will replace the current alternating schedule which calls at either St. Thomas, St Lucia, Aruba and Curacao or St. Thomas, Antigua, Guadeloupe and Aruba.

    ***Orient Lines has revamped its Mediterranean cruises for 2002 with more sailings from Rome and fewer calls at Istanbul. Crown Odyssey will visit the Greek Isles on 13-day cruise-tours, round trip from Rome. Ports of call are Taormina, Nauplia, Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, Malta, and Sorrento with departures on April 19, May 26, June 4 & 23, July 2, September 7, 17 & 26, 2002. Marco Polo will sail in the Baltic and call at the Norwegian Fjords next summer as well as sailing several cruises in the Mediterranean. For a complete list of destination focused cruise tours, visit CruiseMates Orient Lines' Itinerary page.

    *** Four ships have been re-deployed to Alaska from Europe for 2002. Celebrity's Mercury and Seabourn Spirit will sail from Vancouver, while HAL's Amsterdam will sail from Seattle and Regal Princess, from San Francisco. In all, 28 ships will sail to Alaska next season, including the three small vessels of Cruise West. Two expedition vessels, Society Expeditions' "New " World Discoverer and the Hanseatic of the German company, Hapag-Lloyd, will call at the more remote ports in the Bering and Beaufort Seas.

    ***A new cruise port is planned for Cancun. "The Port of Cancun at Xcaret" is a joint venture between Carnival Corp and Parque Xcaret Associates. The new port is being built at a cost of $40 million at a location about 30 miles south of Cancun International Airport. It will be able to serve four ships up to 100,000-tons in size at one time. The terminal will also house retail shops and food and beverage services.
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    Giuliani To Christen RCI Ship Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Adventure of the Seas, will be christened by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in New York City. The ceremony, scheduled Nov. 10, 2001, will also be attended by surviving spouses, relatives and friends of heroes from the Police and Fire Departments of New York City. The new ship will be the first major cruise ship to enter New York Harbor since September 11. Approximately 2,000 police and firemen's family members will be present for the naming ceremony and then sail on a special two-night tribute cruise.
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    Weekend Cruise News ***While Royal Caribbean International has taken delivery of its newest ship, Adventure of the Seas, on Oct. 26, the company says it expects to negotiate three- to five-month delivery delays on four ship orders through 2004, including Navigator of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas.

    ***Apparently some travel agents and/or consumers are questioning the financial health of Silversea Cruises. The company as issued a statement claiming continued support of its "financial institutions and shareholders during this time of transition in the travel industry." According to company CEO Albert Peter, "Unfortunately, the fallout from the events of September 11, coupled with the recent demise of two cruise companies, provides fertile ground for industry speculation and rumors" Silversea Cruises is a family-owned business and it's financial records are not open to scrutiny by analysts.

    ***Carnival Cruise Lines will present a $1.5 million check to the American Red Cross and New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani during the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) World Congress in New York Nov. 5. Funds were generated from a $50 per-cabin donation for all staterooms sold between Sept. 17-Oct. 17.

    ***Norwegian Cruise Lines has extended Norwegian Wind's 10 and 11-day Hawaii sailings to commence September 27, 2002 instead of January, 2003. The Asia cruises for the Fall of 2002 have been cancelled. Norwegian Wind will instead sail round trip from Honolulu on 10 and 11-day cruises from September 27 through April 14, 2003 calling at Kona, Fanning Island (Republic of Kiribati), Hilo, and Lahaina with overnight onboard in Lahaina on the 11-day cruise. Norwegian Sky, which was scheduled to sail several Hawaii cruises next Fall, will reposition via the Panama Canal to Miami. Following a dry dock, Sky will sail seven-day Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan. commencing November 3, 2002. Ports of call are Martinique, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola and St. Thomas.

    ***The Port of Vancouver announced a record 1,060,383 revenue passengers passed through Vancouver's cruise terminals in 2001, representing a one per cent increase over 2000. While the number of Alaska sailings dipped slightly to 331 sailings in 2001, down from 336 in 2000, the larger capacity cruise vessels and an increase in the number of 3- to 4-night "pocket cruises" between Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle raised passenger counts to new levels in 2001. "Each cruise ship that passes through our port represents $1.5 million in economic benefits. In total, the cruise sector is responsible for 4,500 direct jobs" said David Stowe, Chairman, Vancouver Port Authority. Vancouver is the 13th busiest cruise port in the world.

    ***Celebrity's newest ship, Summit, achieved a perfect score of 100 on its recent sanitation inspection conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Public Health. Celebrity's three previous perfect scores were awarded to Mercury, Century and Galaxy. Summit, which entered service October 1, sails 10 and 11-day Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale.

    ***A new instructional cooking video has been developed featuring the Signature Cuisine of Carnival, Holland America, Windstar, Costa, Cunard, and Seabourn. The 68 minute video features chefs from each line preparing their trademark entree, appetizer, side dish or dessert. The video comes with printed recipes of each dish. The video cost is $17.95. It is available in the gift shops on board the lines' ships, and on-line retailers.

    ****Norwegian Sun has the industry's first live lobster tank at sea. At East Meets West, the ship's high-end Pacific Rim restaurant, passengers can choose their lobster from the octagonal, salt-water lobster tank which is stocked at the beginning of each cruise. The lobsters range in size from 1¼ to 1½ pounds and can be served broiled with lemon-butter fondue; a la nage with hollandaise sauce or as wok-flashed medallions atop Udon noodles in a kaffir lime and lemon grass broth.
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