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Old April 16th, 2002, 01:56 PM
MikeInPgh
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Default Non-Merger and Merger news

The Sea Princess will be moved to the P&O fleet in spring of 2003 (to join the Ocean Princess, moving this fall). And the 4th Grand Class ship which was to be in the P&O fleet in Europe and the Med will move over to Princess and be named get ready for this....
The Crown Princess. The exsisting Crown Princess is to go to P&O's European fleet sometime in the future.

As far as the merger goes most analysts say the review by the EU is a non-factor. Both RCL and CCL have about the same chance in having their package greenlighted for a full shareholder vote. It seems that it will boil down to the shareholders. Do they want their beloved Princess to be part of an American company or to stay with a European owned business (I know RCl is based in Miami, but but majority ownership resides with a select few in Europe).
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Old April 16th, 2002, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Non-Merger and Merger news

Mike,

First, there are two errors and a couple omissions in your stated plans for the Princess fleet.

>> The present MV Crown Princess is going to Europe this spring. She'll be the first ship of a brand new line, named A'Rosa, in the German market. Sister MV Regal Princess is now scheduled to follow in the spring of 2004.

>> The new MV Crown Princess (3100 passengers) is not a sister to MV Grand Princess (2600 passengers), but rather a substantially larger vessel.

>> MV Ocean Princess will transfer to P&O Cruises, the British division, as MV Oceana in November. MV Sea Princess will follow as MV Adonia in the spring of 2003. These ships will replace MV Victoria (formerly MV Sea Princess), which has been sold, and MV Arcadia (formerly MV Star Princess), which will inaugurate a new "casual" cruise line named Ocean Village.

The press release (http://www.poprincess.com/press_020410.htm) from P&O Princess Cruises Ltd. (LSE: POC), which is the British parent of Princess Cruises, is a little misleading on the second point. It also provides a handy table of all fleet transfers at the end of the article.

Regarding the merger prospects, it appears that the hostile tender offer from Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) is running afoul of antitrust regulators in the UK as well as here in the States, where regulators essentially rejected Carnival Corporation's bid for Norwegian Cruise Line about a year ago, if I remember correctly. As the owner of Cunard Line, which probably is the second largest operator in the British market after P&O Princess Cruises, Carnival Corporation is a major player there as well. I don't see any way that antitrust regulators will approve a take-over of P&O Princess Cruises Plc., hostile or otherwise, by Carnival Corporation.

The proposed merger with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) has a lot fewer regulatory problems. The combined size of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and P&O Princess Cruises Plc. is approximately comparable to Carnival Corporation, so the merger creates an equal to the current larger player. Regulators generally regard mergers that create an equal competitor to the largest player in the industry as promoting competion, and thus grant approval pretty readily. In the European cruise market, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has only a joint venture with P&O Princess Cruises that has not even launched yet so loss of competition as a result of the proposed merger is not an issue.

Norm.
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Old April 17th, 2002, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Non-Merger and Merger news

I personally don't want Princess to go with either. I really think it is bad for us the consumer if they merge. I am concerned about the direction the cruise industry is taking and I really don't think it is for the better. JMHO.

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Old April 18th, 2002, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Non-Merger and Merger news

JOHN I AGREE WITH YOU,I DONT THINK PRINCESS SHOULD MERGE WITH ANY OTHER LINE.
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Old April 18th, 2002, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Non-Merger and Merger news

I would have also hoped that they could remain independent, but it appears that after analyzing the competitive situation they are in, Princess, RCI and Celebrity executives determined that their best hope for survival and maintaining a competitive edge with Carnival was a merger. If a merger is inevitable, I believe that a merger of Princess with RCI and Celebrity is a better fit and would be better for us as consumers than a hostile takeover of Princess by Carnival. The ideal solution is not always possible and so we often are faced with choosing between alternatives. In this case, IMHO, it is the Princess -RCI/Celebrity merger. I will be boarding Dawn Princess on Saturday and hope to learn how the ship's staff feels about this situation.
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Old April 18th, 2002, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Non-Merger and Merger news

I agree Bill G. Again, even though they say they are different brands, the acquired always takes the form of the buyer. New HAL ships are starting to feel like Celebrity. The Celebrity Millennium class and the RCL Radiance class are very similar in layout.

Do you want McDonnalds or Burger King? That is the way it is heading and I am afraid that in 3-5 years the fun and enjoyment of cruising will be gone as these companies survive.

I am not one of those that knew and cruised Celebrity before RCL bought them, but since 1999 and five cruises with Celebrity, I have seen them decline in little ways that when I add them up concerns me.

There doesn't seem to be a middle class line any more. I would argue that HAL, Princess and Celebrity are no longer Premium lines. They are the same as NCL, RCCL, and Carnival. Pricing is the same. Unless you want to have 5 mortgages on your house and sail SilverSeas, your only choice is the five six standard lines that are owned by the big three. The other thing that I hate is this total move to 90,000 to 170,000 ton ships. I applaud Princess for taking over the 30,000 ton R class ships in Tahiti. What is wrong with the 50,000 to 70,000 ton ships?

Only time will tell where this industry goes.

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