News Archive - September 2002

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9-30-02 Bungee Jump To Veendam Some people will do anything to take a cruise. A bungee jumper is under arrest in Vancouver today after trying to jump off Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge onto the deck of Holland America's Veendam. The 42 year-old man miscalculated the speed of the ship and bounced off the vessel's tennis court. He then hit stern railing and dangled in mid-air before rappelling to the water. Police picked him up after he was rescued by a small craft. He was treated for minor head injuries charged with public mischief. Back to Top

9-30-2002 Greeks sign QM2 as hotel for 2004 Olympics Planning your 2004 cruise already? Better book early for August of that year, when a significant portion of the passenger fleet will be tied up--literally--for other purposes. The Summer Olympics will be held in Greece that month, and organizers are lining up cruise ships to provide extra accommodations during the event. The latest to be signed up is Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 (QM 2), which will become a floating hotel during the 2004 Olympic Games. The 1,310-cabin ship will arrive in Piraeus, port of Athens, on August 12, 2004, and remain docked through August 30. QM 2 will be one of an estimated 11 ships that will be used to house up to 13,280 visitors. The 150,000-ton Queen Mary 2 will enter service in January 2004 with unique features such as a planetarium, indoor and outdoor pools and a nursery with British nannies. Back to Top

9-27-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Ocean Princess will sail from Vancouver for the last time this Saturday, on the first leg of her final voyage for Princess Cruises. By November the ship will be transferred to sister-company P&O Cruises to sail as the Oceana. The winter will be spent sailing 14-night Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale. Oceana will be joined by one of her sister-ships next April, when Sea Princess becomes the Adonia for P&O Cruises.

*** Norwegian Wind arrives in Honolulu September 27 to begin a season of Hawaiian cruises through April 14, 2003. The 10 and 11-night cruises sail round-trip from Honolulu to Kona, Fanning Island (Republic of Kiribati), Hilo and Lahaina plus overnight onboard in Lahaina on the 11-night sailings. Norwegian Star is continuing her year-round seven-night Hawaiian cruises departing Honolulu on Sundays for Hilo, Fanning Island, Kahului and Nawiliwili.

*** Hurricane Isidore and Tropical Storm Lili have weakened but not before causing extensive damage in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the islands of St. Vincent, Barbados and St. Lucia. The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Foundation has pledged a donation to assist recovery efforts in Merida, Mexico where an estimated 300,000 have been left homeless by Hurricane Isidore.

*** Zuiderdam, Holland America's first vista-class ship, is on schedule to commence year-round Caribbean cruises December 14, 2002. The 82,000-ton, 1,848-passenger Zuiderdam will feature glass elevators on the outside of the ship, a three-deck showlounge, Internet/Email data ports in all staterooms, a tennis court, basketball court and expansive kids and teens facilities. In addition to the two-deck La Fontaine Dining Room, the Odyssey Restaurant offers Italian cuisine and the Lido Restaurant is designed food-court style. Holland America's signature rooms, the Explorers Lounge, Crow's Nest and Ocean Bar are found on board as well as the traditional teak promenade encircling the ship. Following inaugural and Holidays cruises, Zuiderdam will sail round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale every Saturday from January 4 to April 12, 2003 and Oct. 25 to Dec. 27, 2003 calling at Half Moon Cay, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Nassau. From April 19 through October 18, 2003, Zuiderdam alternates this Eastern itinerary with a Western route calling at Key West, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Half Moon Cay.

*** CostaMediterranea, sister ship to CostaAtlantica, was recently floated out from the Kvaerner Masa Yards in Helsinki, Finland. The 86,000-ton, 2,114-passenger ship will enter service next June on seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Genoa every Sunday. Onboard design by Joe Farcus is inspired by 17th and 18th Century Italian palaces.

*** Crystal Cruises newest ship, Crystal Serenity, will have an additional Penthouse category. The Penthouse Stateroom with Verandah joins the three Penthouse categories found on Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony -- Penthouse, Penthouse Suite and Crystal Penthouse. Special amenities in all penthouse categories include butler service, binoculars, slippers, Riedel glassware, personalized stationery and luggage tags for priority delivery. Guests will receive complimentary welcome champagne, a fully stocked in-room bar upon embarkation, and complimentary in-room soft drinks and bottled water throughout the cruise. All accommodations aboard Crystal Serenity will be larger than those found on her sister ships Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony and will boast a seating area, queen-size or twin beds, remote color television and DVD, data port for laptop computer hook-up, refrigerator, security safe, and full bathtub and shower. Currently under construction in France, the 1,080-passenger, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity will enter service on July 7, 2003 with a 14-day Northern Europe "Grand Inaugural Voyage," round-trip from Southampton. Summer cruises in Europe, the Mediterranean, and Black Sea, will be followed by a trans-Atlantic crossing, two Caribbean/Panama Canal voyages, and a combined Christmas/ New Year's Mexican Riviera sailing, round-trip from Los Angeles.

*** Special cruises for Mardi Gras in New Orleans are available in 2003. Regal Empress sails round-trip from Port Manatee, near Tampa, for seven nights March 1, 2003 to New Orleans, spending two days in port for Mardi Gras then to Key West overnight before cruising Cay Sal, Bahamas. The March 1, 2003 Nordic Empress cruise will be a seven-night cruise round-trip from Tampa to New Orleans and Progreso, Mexico. On March 2, Rhapsody of the Seas sails from Galveston on a seven-night Mardi Gras cruise to New Orleans and Cozumel.

*** Amsterdam will replace Ryndam on South America sailings for Holland America in 2003-2004. Next Fall Ryndam will continue sailing from San Diego to the Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez while Amsterdam will head for Valparaiso, Chile to sail Cape Horn cruises between Valparaiso and Rio de Janeiro. No word yet if Amsterdam will add Antarctica to any of these voyages in January 2004. Ryndam is scheduled to head for the "White Continent" on a 21-night "Antarctica Explorer" cruise, January 24, 2003 sailing from Valparaiso to Rio de Janeiro.

***Star Clippers has arranged three excursions for diving enthusiasts on new Mayan-Caribbean cruises from Cancun's Puerto Calica. The sailing ship Star Clipper calls at ports along the Great Mayan Reef which fringes Honduras, Belize and Guatemala. Second only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the area is noted for its diving opportunities. The three diving excursions are "Dolphin Dive" from Roatan, one of the Bay Islands off Honduras, "South Water Caye Marine Reserve Dive" in Belize and "Turneffe Atoll Dive" from Belize City. Non-certified divers can experience a dolphin encounter in Roatan, visit the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich in Coco Plum, Belize, take an overnight tour to Tikal in Guatemala and kayak in Goff's Cay, Belize. Star Clipper sails from Calica every Sunday from December 1, 2002 to March 23, 2003 and November 16, 2003 to March 21, 2004. For more details on the excursions contact your travel agent or call Star Clippers at 800.442.0551. Visit Star Clippers online at

*** The city of Norfolk, Virginia is building a cruise terminal in the wake of increasing cruise calls. The $25-30 million facility will be a two-story structure of 58,00 sq. ft. Built over the water on pilings it will stand beside the cruise pier and adjoining National Maritime Center Nauticus and battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin. Completion is expected in Spring, 2005. Back to Top

9-25-02 Ships Avoid Hurricane Isidore Hurricane season is upon us, and several ships are diverting their itineraries to bypass Isidore. In the western Caribbean, Carnival changed its port calls on four ships-- the Imagination, Sensation, Paradises and Jubilee -- to avoid Mexico. Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas were also rerouted away from the coast of Mexico. Another threat is tropical storm Lili currently threatening Dominican Republic and Haiti. Back to Top

9-20-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Carnival Legend is in New York today following her first European cruises and transatlantic crossing. Following inaugural activities in New York, the newest Spirit Class ship will sail several cruises from Baltimore and Philadelphia. Commencing November 10, Legend will sail from Ft. Lauderdale on alternating eight-day "exotic" cruises, to either St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique or Belize City, Belize; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama with optional Panama Canal and Gatun Lake excursions available.

*** Silversea's Silver Wind will emerge from a complete refurbishment in Spring 2003 to sail on a new Mediterranean and Caribbean program. In total, Silver Wind will operate fourteen new Mediterranean voyages, four Monte Carlo to London itineraries, and seven Caribbean voyages for 2003. Exact itineraries, ports of call, and pricing details for these new sailings will be announced shortly. Low demand for Silver Wind's originally scheduled Far East and Australia/New Zealand cruises in 2003 prompted the change in deployment.

*** American West Steamboat Company's Empress of the North sternwheeler is on schedule to commence Alaska Inside Passage sailings next June. A major source of transportation in the Gold Rush era, sternwheelers have not plied the Inside Passage for over 100 years. Empress of the North, under construction in Freeland, WA, will be 360 feet long and accommodate 236 passengers and 84 crew. Her authentic paddlewheel will be 35 feet in diameter. Of the 112 outside suites and staterooms, 105 will have private verandahs. The 11-night Inside Passage itinerary sails between Seattle and Juneau calling at Victoria, Vancouver, Misty Fjords, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Glacier Bay, Skagway and Tracy Arm. Brochures will be available soon. Following the Alaska season Empress of the North will reposition to Portland, Oregon to join Queen of the West from September to May for cruises on the Columbia, Snake, and Willamette rivers along the Lewis & Clark route, Oregon Trail and Columbia River Gorge. For more details visit

*** Crystal Cruises has developed a new Musical Theater cruise as part of its 2003 theme cruise program. Showcasing selections from West End to Broadway, the Musical Theater cruise will be held aboard Crystal Symphony's "Path of the Vikings" sailing from London to New York for 16 nights, August 19, 2003. Ports of call are Edinburgh (Rosyth), Scotland, Faeroe Island, Reykjavik, Iceland, St. John's , Newfoundland, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Bar Harbor, Maine. Of Crystal's 70 worldwide itineraries in 2003, 33 will be theme cruises. For a complete listing see Crystal Cruises on CruiseMates' theme cruise page.

*** The World of ResidenSea has received a perfect score from the U.S. Coast Guard on her first inspection. The vessel was also rated excellent on its Certificate of Compliance for health and safety regulations. The four-hour inspection took place in Boston on September 4. The World is continuing her North American inaugural visit with calls in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Montreal, sailing the Cape Cod Canal to Martha's Vineyard followed by the Colonial Coast from New York south to Key West.

*** Royal Olympic Cruises has revised its winter itineraries for Olympia Explorer and Olympia Voyager. The Orinoco River and Amazon River will both be featured on Olympia Voyager's 17-day (return to Fort Lauderdale) or 19-day (return to Houston) journey to the heart of Brazil, and the Venezuelan outback. Departing December 5, 2002 and January 15, 2003 this unique itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale calls at Virgin Gorda, Barbados, Orinoco River, Puerto Ordaz (Venezuela), Devil's Island and the Amazon River, Boca da Valeria, Manaus, Santarem, Trinidad and St. Thomas, prior to returning to Fort Lauderdale and continuing on to Houston. Several other cruises to either the Amazon or Orinoco River are also offered next season aboard Olympia Voyager and Explorer.

*** Seabourn's "Dress Circle" Enrichment program welcomes special guests for Seabourn Pride's circumnavigation of South America early next year. Renowned experts in the fields of history, biology, cultural anthropology, archeology, geographic exploration and the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence will be aboard during the 72-day voyage which is available in segments: Ft. Lauderdale to Valparaiso (Santiago) Chile, 18 days, January 4, 2003; Santiago to Buenos Aires, 18 days, January 22, 2003; Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, 7 days, February 9, 2003; Rio de Janeiro to Manaus, 13 days, February 16, 2003; Manaus to Ft. Lauderdale, 16 days, March 1, 2003.

*** Royal Caribbean International will switch Monarch of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas in June, 2003 instead of December. The 2,350-passenger Monarch of the Seas will reposition to Los Angeles from Fort Lauderdale to begin sailing four- and five-day Baja Mexico cruises June 2. The 1,950-passenger Enchantment of the Seas will leave Los Angeles and reposition to Fort Lauderdale on May 18, to replace the Monarch on its current five- and six-day Bahamas sailings.

*** Windjammer Barefoot Cruises has announced theme cruises for 2003 aboard its fleet of sailing ships in the Caribbean. Scheduled themes include Singles' Cruises aboard S/V Polynesia from St. Maarten, April 21, December 1 and 8 and out of Grenada on S/V Yankee Clipper August 4 and 11. "Caribbean Culinary & Spirits Cruises" sail aboard S/V Legacy from St. Thomas, April 28 and December 1. A new six-day Photo Cruise sails aboard S/V Legacy, April 28. New in 2003, on all ships in the fleet is Windjammer's Pirate Week - swashbuckling fun on the high seas over Halloween. The "Junior Jammer" program will run from June 2 to August 30, 2003 for kids ages 6 through 12 aboard S/V Legacy, in the Bahamas, and S/V Polynesia, in the ABC Islands (Aruba-Bonaire-Curacao). Kids sail free when accompanied by two full-fare adults or for half fare when accompanied by one adult. For more information call (305)672-6453 or visit

*** Royal Caribbean International has extended its options to purchase the fifth and sixth Radiance-class ships scheduled for 2005 and 2006. In agreement with the shipyard, Meyer Werft of Papenburg, Germany, the options have been extended to January 10, 2003. Both options were to have expired today. The second Radiance-class ship, Brilliance of the Seas, entered service in July of 2002. The third and fourth Radiance-class ships are scheduled for delivery in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Back to Top

9-19-02 Century To Remain In Caribbean Celebrity Cruises has announced that it is canceling 17 Europe sailings of Century in 2003. The ship instead will be deployed to the Caribbean , where it will join Galaxy in year-round cruises. Celebrity will continue to operate two ships, Millennium and Constellation, next year in Europe. Century sails from Ft. Lauderdale on seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises. For schedules, go to Back to Top

9-13-02 Weekend Cruise News *** The new Pacific Princess will sail seven-night French Polynesia cruises following her first Alaska season in 2003. The seven-night itinerary round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti calls at the islands of Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Moorea with two days in Papeete. Departure dates are October 4, 11, 18, 25, 2003. Sister-ship Tahitian Princess will sail 10-night French Polynesia cruises, year-round, commencing this Dec. 24. These longer itineraries will include a call at either the Cook Islands, the Marquesas or Samoa in addition to Tahiti and her islands. The new Princess vessels are the former R3 and R4, built for the French Polynesia cruises of Renaissance.

*** The Queen Mary 2 promises to follow in the footsteps of the "Floating Palaces" of the past with a modern flare. The brochure of Cunard's newest ship colorfully shows off the new vessel currently under construction in France. The 150,000-ton ship will be the world's largest, longest, highest and widest vessel. Remarkable statistics include a height of 236 feet, taller than the Statue of Liberty, Tower of London and the Colosseum in Rome. A length of 1,132 feet makes QM2 longer than 3.5 football fields, 36 London double-decker buses and four city blocks. Queen Mary 2 debuts January 12, 2004 on a 14-night voyage from Southampton to Ft. Lauderdale. Brochures can be ordered online at

*** The twin-hulled Radisson Diamond will retrace the historic route sailed by Spanish conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa this winter. The seven-night "Tracing the Path of Balboa in the Tropics" itinerary sails between San Juan and Puerto Lim�n, Costa Rica, calling at Curacao, Aruba, San Blas Islands and Colon, Panama. Radisson has a two-for-one special on January and February departures with fares starting from $1,748 per person. For more information contact your travel agent or visit Radisson's web site at

*** Monte Carlo will be the new home port of SeaDream Yacht Club's SeaDream I and II for Mediterranean sailings in 2003. This is good news for the principality which wants to become a home port for cruise ships. The luxury yachts, formerly Seabourn Goddess I and II, will also offer Rome as a turnaround port on their 2003 Med schedules. Other features for next year include more overnights calls and late nights ashore, more marina days to enjoy water sports from the ship plus additional Island visits and exploration of the Amalfi Coast. The 2003 schedule is now live at SeaDream's web site,

*** Peter Deilmann Cruises will offer more than 300 European river cruises in 2003 on nine deluxe river ships that operate on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Rh�ne, Sa�ne, Elbe, Po and other rivers from late March through early November. The five-star Katharina, a 79-passenger vessel that debuted in 2001, will move to the Rhine in March 2003 to sail the Rhine, Moselle and Main-Danube Canal. Peter Deilmann is building a new 100-passenger, five-star vessel for the Rhine, which will debut in 2004. The current Rhine vessel, the ten-year-old Prussian Princess, will be retired and sold at the end of this season. For a copy of the Great Rivers of Europe 2003 brochure, contact a travel agent or Peter Deilmann Cruises at 1-800-348-8287. Visit online at

*** It is expected that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will approve both the Carnival and Royal Caribbean bids for P&O Princess, however the final decision rests with the five commissioners. An announcement of their decision is imminent. If both bids are approved, P&O Princess shareholders will decide the issue at a meeting likely to take place before November. Back to Top

9-9-02 New Princess Ship to Alaska Princess Cruises has announced that the new Pacific Princess -- formerly owned by Renaissance Cruises -- has been added to the cruise line's 2003 Alaska fleet. The 688-passenger ship will make 11-day round-trip voyages from San Francisco scheduled May 5 and Sept. 29, sailing on an Inside Passage itinerary that includes calls at Victoria or Vancouver, Ketchikan or Sitka, Skagway and Juneau, plus sailing through Tracy Arm and the twin Sawyer Glaciers. Early booking fares start at $1,349 per person, double occupancy. Back to Top

Built in 1999 as part of Renaissance Cruises' R-class ships, Pacific Princess will be operating on a split deployment, sailing half the year as part of the Princess Cruises fleet, and the other half for the P&O Cruises Australia brand during their summer cruise season. Following the 2003 Alaska season, the ship will return to the French Polynesia region to join her sister ship Tahitian Princess, with a series of sailings beginning on October 3, 2003. Reservations and additional information may be obtained by contacting your travel agent. Brochures are available by calling 1-800-PRINCESS. Back to Top

9-6-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Coral Princess has successfully completed sea trials and is being prepared for delivery to Princess Cruises in November. The 88,000-ton 1,950-passenger vessel is a new class of ship for Princess. Distinctive features will include the Universe Lounge featuring the "Scholarship at Sea" enrichment program. As part of the Personal Choices dining program, there will be two main dining rooms plus several alternative restaurants, including the Bayou Cafe, with New Orleans-style cuisine. Some 90% of all cabins are outside and the majority will have private verandas. Coral Princess commences 10-night Panama Canal cruises round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale December 14. Both Coral and sister ship Island Princess will sail in Alaska in 2003.

*** The World of ResidenSea has been in Boston and New York this week for the first time. The world's first condominium at sea departs New York tonight on a Canada/New England cruise. The World will be back in New York from October 1 through 4 then head for the Caribbean via Philadelphia; Yorktown, Virginia; Baltimore; Savannah, Georgia; Amelia Island, Palm Beach, Miami and Key West, Florida. In December the ship will call at San Diego and San Francisco before heading to Hawaii for year end. Next summer, The World is scheduled to visit Alaska and the West Coast en route from Asia. A new program was recently announced allowing passengers to book segments as short as three nights on ResdenSea's worldwide cruises. There are five categories of luxurious studio residences. Daily fares for 2003 range from $1,150 to $2,810, per studio, double occupancy, based on a three-night minimum cruise. this includes accommodations, onboard meals and beverages, on board gratuities, and port charges. For more details visit

*** Royal Olympic Cruises has announced an extensive list of special guests for its cultural enrichment program next Fall and Winter. Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter leads a lineup of scientists on board Olympia Countess for the African Solar Eclipse December 4. Archaeologists, Astronomers and Anthropologists will be onboardd Olympia Voyager for the Mayaribbean and Mayan Equinox Cruises, round-trip from Houston, in February and March, 2003. Classical pianist Michael Fennelly, who recently represented the United States at the Horowitz Piano competition in Kiev, Ukraine and classical guitarist Jonathon Sargent will join Ambassador Lauralee Peters and author and television producer, Zvi Dor-Ner, as special guests on the Orinoco River and Panama Canal cruises, January 6 and 15, 2003. Olympia Explorer circumnavigates South America, commencing February 7, 2003 with a lineup of scientists, commentators and entertainers on board including National Geographic photographer Captain Loren McIntyre, Archaeologist and anthropologist Dr. Michael Moseley, Archaeoastronomer Dr. Phyllis Pitluga and classical pianist Roger Rundle. One of the world's most distinguished chefs, Andre Soltner will be aboard Olympia Explorer for the 14-night Hawaii cruise round-trip from Los Angeles, January 24, 2003. For more on the enrichment program visit visit

*** The U.S. Coast Guard "Quality Shipping for the 21st Century" initiative recognizes ships making a commitment to safety and quality of operations, based on ship inspections and the Coast Guard's dealings with the vessel. Cruise ships on the July 26, 2002 listing include Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam, Zaandam, Noordam, Oriana, Sun Princess, Sea Princess, Dawn Princess, Ocean Princess, Pacific Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Star Clipper, Rhapsody of the Seas, Sovereign of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, QE2, Seabourn Pride and Flamenco.

*** The 800 foot extension of Canada Place in Vancouver has been opened to the public. The new open walkways provide some of the best ship viewing opportunities of any port. The facility has been able to handle three mega-ships at a time this season, a year ahead of schedule. Restaurants and shops are expected to open in the new extension in time for the 2003 Alaska season.

*** Royal Far East Tailors is expanding to the ships of Carnival, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean International. The company currently offers custom made suits on board the Holland America fleet. Passengers have a half-hour fitting during their cruise. Suits are then made and shipped to the passenger's home within a month.

*** The Humane Society of the United States reports a happy ending to the story of Hokget, the dog rescued by the Coast Guard last Spring from the drifting tanker, Insiko 1907. Hokget completed the mandatory 120-day quarantine in Hawaii on August 30. Following a press conference, the two year old white terrier mix was united with new owners, Micheal and Helen Kuo, friends of the dog's original owner and Captain of the Insiko. Hokget was stranded on the tanker when a fire killed one crew member and knocked out power and communications on March 13. Norwegian Star found the stricken vessel and rescued the crew April 2. Shortly afterwards it was learned that Hokget had been left on board. The Humane Society launched a search which ended weeks later when a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft located the Insiko and a tugboat brought Hokget to Hawaii. Hokget has lived up to his name which means "happiness, good fortune, blessing�all that is good" in Chinese. Back to Top

9-4-02 Celebrity Upgrades Services In a recent meeting with Dietmar Wertanzel, Celebrity Cruises' Senior Vice President for Fleet Operations, CruiseMates learned that the cruise line will inaugurate changes in key areas of food and service. Michael's Clubs, presently cigar lounges on all ships, will be converted to elegant piano bars and a glass of complimentary champagne will be served when the ships leave port. Both a secluded topless sunbathing area and a late night "adult" comedy hour will be added. Additional enhancements will include dedicated pool attendants to assist guests with towels and spa facilities, which will include pool-side massages and longer Thalassotherapy pool hours. A brunch (at extra charge) will be served during sea days at the Olympic Restaurant. Passengers on the Sept. 23, 2002 sailing of Millennium will get a first sample of the new features, which will be in place fleetwide by March, 2003. Back to Top

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