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June 30, 2005

Holland America Line’s New ms Noordam Will Sail Maiden Voyages To Caribbean From New York In 2006


Holland America Line’s New ms Noordam Will Sail Maiden Voyages To Caribbean From New York In 2006

Seattle (June 20, 2004) – With the newest vessel in Holland America Line’s premium cruise fleet just eight months away, bookings for cruises from the newest and one of the most convenient Caribbean homeports are gathering steam. Eleven sailings will depart New York for the southern and eastern Caribbean, beginning with the maiden voyage of the 1,848-passenger Noordam on February 22, 2006.

“Sailing from New York provides millions in the metro area with easy drive-up access to a winter vacation destined for the sunny Caribbean,” said Rick Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “It’s an ideal location for our newest ship . Guests from the area can start their vacation immediately and not spend time on a plane getting to their cruise.”

New York Caribbean cruises feature a 10-day Eastern Caribbean program that visits new port of call Grand Turk, Turk and Caicos; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Winter/Spring departures sail on February 22, March 15, and April 5. Fall cruises depart October 25, November 15, and December 6 and 27, 2006.

An 11-day Southern Caribbean itinerary calls at Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Roseau, Dominica; Bridgetown, Barbados; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Spring sailings depart March 4 and 25, 2006. Fall cruises sail on October 14; November 4 and 25; and December 16, 2006.

Holland America Line features a shore excursion program with more than 500 Caribbean offerings. Optional activities for cruise passengers feature such tours as the America’s Cup Regatta experience at Philipsburg, Tortola Dolphin Swim at Road Town, Tortola, and the Champagne Catamaran Sail and Snorkel to St. John at St. Thomas. The latter offering is part of the Medallion Collection shore excursions, designed by Holland America Line to provide discerning guests with unique experiences and in-depth perspectives. In addition, whale-watching, snorkeling and diving and nature tours will be offered at new port Grand Turk.

Pricing for Holland America Line’s new 2006 New York-based Caribbean cruises start at US$1,199 per person, double occupancy.

Scheduled for delivery in January 2006, the ms Noordam is the fourth and last in a series of 81,769-ton Vista class ships. Eighty-five percent of its staterooms will offer ocean views, with 67 percent of all staterooms sporting verandahs. The ship will be delivered with Signature of excellence amenities in place, including plush Euro-top mattresses and flat panel TVs and dvd players in all cabins, new dining options, and the pampering Greenhouse Spa and Salon

Press Release by Holland America Line

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Posted by Denise at 09:07 AM

June 29, 2005

Look Forward to the Holiday Season with 12 Luxury Cruises


Look Forward to the Holiday Season with 12 Luxury Cruises

Club Mariner Youth Programs, Special Guests Jean-Michel Cousteau and Senator Bob Graham, Le Cordon Bleu Workshops and Savings Featured

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (June 21, 2005) - If the thought of dashing through the snow leaves you cold, be warmed by a choice of 12 Radisson Seven Seas® holiday sailings this November and December on Seven Seas Voyager®, Seven Seas Mariner®, Seven Seas Navigator®, and Paul Gauguin®.

Instead of stuffing another turkey this Thanksgiving, feast on Le Cordon Bleu® cuisine while reveling in the scenic splendor of Hawaii or diving in the South Pacific. Skip the last-minute mall traffic and laze on the golden beaches of Mexico and the Caribbean. Ring in the New Year Panamanian style or with a fireworks fiesta in Acapulco.

Also, in celebration of the season of giving, select sailings feature up to 50% special holiday savings.

Activities abound for every member of the family on these tropical seven- to 26-night holiday sailings. Six voyages will feature complimentary Club Mariner children's programs for youngsters aged five to 17. And, while the kids are making ornaments or baking gingerbread cookies, adults can enjoy an herbal wrap at the Carita Spa or be entertained by a number of guest lecturers.

Through Radisson Seven Seas' joint partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau¿s Ocean Futures Society, the famed environmentalist and ocean explorer will join the Paul Gauguin's November 19 14-night and the final segment of the Seven Seas Mariner's November 21 19-night South Pacific Thanksgiving cruises to offer a series of lectures and accompany guests on several dives. Naturalists from the Society will also sail the Seven Seas Navigator's 26-night November 8 cruise to discuss the ecosystems of destinations visited.

Rounding out this Seven Seas Mariner Thanksgiving cruise will be a Spotlight on Film featuring acclaimed New Zealand and Australian movies, with commentary by Silver Screen critics. In addition to the ship's chefs recreating film meals like Babette's Feast and the towering timpano from Big Night, guests can hone their cooking skills in optional six-hour, hands-on Le Cordon Bleu culinary workshops ($395 per person).

The 14-night December 27 Seven Seas Voyager New Year's cruise will welcome aboard special guest host Florida Senator Bob Graham. The former two-term governor and 18-year senate veteran will discuss his political career, experience as the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and his new book Intelligence Matters.

Prices for the below voyages are per person and include all shipboard gratuities, wine with dinner, an in-stateroom/suite bar set-up and savings as noted. Low-cost air add-ons are available from 86 North American gateways from $299 per person.

Giving Thanks:

Keep the kitchen clean this year and enjoy a sumptuous repast prepared by talented Radisson Seven Seas chefs.

  • 700-guest all-balcony suite Seven Seas Voyager, Nov. 21, seven-night Caribbean voyage roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. Thanksgiving Day in Cozumel (onboard overnight). Two-for-one prices from $2,248. Club Mariner offered.

  • 700-guest all-balcony suite Seven Seas Mariner, Nov. 21, 19-night Auckland to Los Angeles voyage with Jean-Michel Cousteau. Thanksgiving Day at sea. Complimentary shore event in Hiva Oa, Marquesas. Le Cordon Bleu workshops, Spotlight on Film, Club Mariner offered. Two-for-one prices from $4,998.

  • 490-guest all-suite (90% with private balconies) Seven Seas Navigator, Nov. 8, 26-night South Seas Passage roundtrip from Los Angeles. Thanksgiving Day at sea. Prices from $6,982 include 45% savings. Ocean Futures Society lecturer onboard.

  • 320-guest Paul Gauguin, Nov. 19, 14-night Marquesas/Tuamotus/Society Islands voyage roundtrip from Papeete, Tahiti, with Jean-Michel Cousteau. Thanksgiving Day in Hiva Oa. Prices from $4,795.

The Perfect Holiday Gift:

This year, the first night of Hanukkah is December 25. Sing yuletide carols or light the menorah on a choice of four tropical luxury getaways.

  • Seven Seas Voyager, Dec. 17, 10-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. Christmas Day at Sea. Prices from $4,496 include 50% off second guest savings. Club Mariner offered.

  • Seven Seas Mariner, Dec. 17, 10-night Mexican Riviera voyage roundtrip from Los Angeles. Christmas Day at sea. Prices from $4,421 include 50% off second guest savings and complimentary one-category suite upgrade. Club Mariner offered.

  • Seven Seas Navigator, Dec. 19, nine-night Western Caribbean sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan. Christmas Day at sea. Prices from $3,971 include 50% off second guest savings. Club Mariner offered.

  • Paul Gauguin, Dec. 17, 11-night Society Island/Tuamotus/Marquesas voyage. Christmas Day in Rangiroa (onboard overnight). Prices from $4,195.

Happy New Year!

Ring in 2006 at the Captain¿s Gala New Year¿s party featuring ever-flowing champagne, unfurling confetti and a world-class midnight celebration.

  • Seven Seas Voyager, Dec. 27, 14-night Panama Canal voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. New Year¿s Eve in Panama. Prices from $5,097 include 40% savings.

  • Seven Seas Mariner, Dec. 27, 14-night Panama Canal voyage from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale. New Year¿s Eve in Acapulco. Prices from $4,953 include 41% savings. Club Mariner offered.

  • Seven Seas Navigator, Dec. 28, 10-night Eastern Caribbean voyage from San Juan to Ft. Lauderdale. New Year¿s Eve in Castries, St. Lucia. Prices from $4,421 include 50% off second guest savings. Club Mariner offered.

  • Paul Gauguin, Dec. 28, 10-night Society Island/Tuamotus voyage roundtrip from Tahiti. New Year¿s Eve in Rangiroa (onboard overnight). Prices from $3,795.

Radisson Seven Seas Cruises was voted "Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" by the readers of Departures magazine in 2004.

Press Release by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 08:09 AM

June 27, 2005

Princess Grows Asia Cruise Capacity by More Than 25 Percent in 2006-07


Princess Grows Asia Cruise Capacity by More Than 25 Percent in 2006-07
Line Debuts Largest Asia Deployment Ever; Features Industry's Widest Variety of Itineraries, Ships

SANTA CLARITA, CA (June 16, 2005) -- Underscoring its leadership position in the Asia market, Princess Cruises offers its largest deployment there ever with two ships and a vast array of unique itineraries. The line will increase its Asia capacity by more than 25 percent for the 2006-07 season. Whether exploring the secrets of Angkor Wat in new port-of-call Cambodia, or soaking up the lively traditions of Beijing, Princess passengers have more options than ever before to delve into the fascinating cultures of exotic Asia.
Two ships will return to Asia, beginning May 2006 -- the intimate Pacific Princess and the choice-filled Sapphire Princess. Passengers will be able to choose from 15 departures of eight unique itineraries, including an enhanced route for the China & Far East cruise, now featuring a new port of Kagoshima, Japan, known for Iso Garden, beautifully designed in 1660 by the Shimazu lord of the time. Pacific Princess also debuts a Southeast Asia & India voyage that will feature another colorful new port, Sihanoukville, Cambodia --a gateway for an overland tour to the legendary temple of Angkor Wat.

"The lure and mystique of Asia continues to attract Princess passengers because they can visit an array of celebrated ports steeped in history, beauty and culture but have the ease of unpacking once and returning to their amenity-filled ship at the end of each day ," said Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Princess. "Princess' focus on amazing destinations around the globe is underscored with the announcement of our new Asia program which features two ships and sailings in summer and fall."

The 2006-07 Asia season includes:

Southeast Asia & China -- Three itineraries offer passengers the opportunity to sample the wonders of China as well as the delights of Southeast Asia. Sapphire Princess features a 16-day route between Beijing and Bangkok that includes calls at Nagasaki, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Nha Trang (Vietnam), Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. Sapphire Princess offers two sailings on October 26 and November 11, 2006.

Pacific Princess will sail on five departures of Princess' popular 16-day Beijing/Bangkok route featuring calls at Pusan, Nagasaki, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Nha Trang (Vietnam), Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and Kuantan (Malaysia). Departures include May 29, June 14 & 30, July 16 and August 1, 2006.

Sapphire Princess also offers a sailing on a similar 16-day Beijing to Singapore cruise with calls at Pusan, Nagasaki, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Nha Trang (Vietnam), Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Kuantan (Malaysia). The ship departs on November 27, 2006.

China & Far East -- Two itineraries feature China and neighboring countries. The first, a 12-day cruise from Beijing to Osaka, this new route adds stops in Taipei, Okinawa and a new port for Princess, Kagoshima (Japan), in addition to calls at Dalian, Shanghai (overnight) and Pusan. Sapphire Princess sails on this new itinerary on October 2, 2006.

In addition, both Sapphire Princess and Pacific Princess offer sailings on a 12-day route from Osaka to Beijing that includes calls at Nagasaki, Vladivostok, Pusan, Shanghai, and Dalian. Pacific Princess departs on this route on May 17 and Sapphire Princess on October 14, 2006.

Australia & Asia -- Sapphire Princess travels from Singapore to Sydney with a 19-day route that features Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Bali, Darwin, Cairns, Cid Harbour (for the Great Barrier Reef), and Brisbane. Sapphire Princess heads "Down Under" on a special holiday voyage departing December 23, 2006.

Southeast Asia & India (with Cambodia) -- A new 15-day journey between Bangkok and Mumbai features Princess' new call in Cambodia. The route includes not only the new port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, but also calls in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Phuket, Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Goa (India). The Cambodia call serves as the gateway for an overland excursion to Cambodia's most renowned attraction, Angkor Wat, and will also include the country's capital, Phnom Penh, and a tour of Ho Chi Minh City. Pacific Princess offers two sailings on August 17 and September 1, 2006.

Alaska & Far East -- A 15-day voyage between worlds, sailing from Anchorage (Whittier) to Beijing as Sapphire Princess takes passengers to Kodiak, Adak (Aleutian Islands) scenic cruising, Petropavlovsk, Sapporo, Tokyo (Yokohama) and Nagasaki. Sapphire Princess sails on September 16, 2006.

Early booking fares for Asia cruises begin at $1,495 for 12-day sailings. Cruises open for booking on June 11, 2005. Additional information can be found on the websites below.

Press Release by Princess Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 07:58 AM

June 23, 2005

Princess Details 2006 Canada & New England Cruise Season


Princess Details 2006 Canada & New England Cruise Season
Star Princess Debuts in the Region; Sea Princess Introduces New Port

SANTA CLARITA, CA (June 9, 2005) -- Fall foliage fans have several choices for viewing the breathtaking autumn colors next year as Princess offers voyages aboard Sea Princess and Star Princess --which will sail the northeast coast for the first time. In addition, the line debuts a new port of call, Ville Saguenay in Québec.
Together, the two ships will offer nine departures on three different itineraries that take in 15 destinations. Star Princess will sail on seven-day roundtrip cruises from New York, while Sea Princess departs on 10-day sailings between New York City and Québec City. Sea Princess will also sail one Canada & Colonial America voyage along the full length of the Atlantic coast. The Canada & New England season will run from September 18 through October 28, 2006.

"Whether passengers are looking to take in the dramatic fall colors, walk back through history or even just enjoy a steamed New England lobster, these cruises are the perfect option," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "With Star Princess and Sea Princess in the region we're able to offer several great itinerary choices complete with Princess' service, amenities and, best of all, private balconies for watching the beautiful scenery go by."

Star Princess debuts in the region with a seven-day itinerary featuring the best of the northeast combined with one of the line's most amenity-filled vessels. A convenient round-trip cruise from New York City, this itinerary features visits to Halifax (Nova Scotia), Saint John (New Brunswick), Bar Harbor (Maine), Boston and Newport (Rhode Island). The ship offers four voyages between October 7 and 28, 2006.

Sea Princess sails on a classic 10-day Canada & New England voyage between New York City and Québec City. The itinerary features a new port of call of Ville Saguenay, which is nestled between three national parks, a fjord and the shores of the Saguenay River -- offering a variety of outdoor recreation options and opportunities to visit with local artisans. In addition, passengers will enjoy an overnight stay in the quaint Québec City, and visit Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax and Sydney (Nova Scotia), plus enjoy cruising on Canada's scenic Saguenay River. Sea Princess offers four sailings, departing between September 18 and October 18, 2006.

In addition, Sea Princess will also offer a special 14-day Canada & Colonial America voyage between Québec City and Ft. Lauderdale, visiting six of the original U.S. colonies. This extended journey departs on October 28 and features calls at Corner Brook (Newfoundland), Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York City, Philadelphia, Norfolk (Virginia) and Charleston.

For those who would like to extend their Canada & New England vacation, Princess offers escorted pre- or post-cruise land tours in conjunction with these sailings, in which passengers can travel back through historic America or spend further time in Canada with a complete cruisetour.

Early booking fares for Princess' Canada & New England sailings begin at $995 for Star Princess' seven-day voyages and $1,495 for Sea Princess' 10-day cruises.

Press Release by Princess Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 06:08 PM

June 21, 2005

Princess Debuts Unprecedented 73 New European Adventures Ashore® This Summer


Princess Debuts Unprecedented 73 New European Adventures Ashore® This Summer
From Hiking Volcanoes to Touring Haunted Homes, 2005 Season Offers Enticing New Excursion Options

SANTA CLARITA, CA (June 7, 2005) -- By train, by foot -- even by kayak. Exploring an undersea shipwreck or hiking an ancient volcano. Stepping back in time into the houses of the ancient elite in Ephesus, or sharing stories in the home of modern Norwegians. Sampling Guinness in Dublin or Cognac in ... Cognac. This summer, Princess passengers have more ways to explore Europe than ever before as the line adds an unprecedented 73 new tours to its Europe lineup.
In total, Princess will offer more than 430 tours throughout Europe including a new Elite Collection of more intimate tours. In addition, Princess passengers have the option of arranging private car or van service in 16 ports.

"As this is Princess' largest Europe season ever with three Grand class ships deployed there for the first time, it's the perfect opportunity to introduce our passengers to some of the region's unusual and delightful excursion options," noted Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Princess. "This summer we set out to offer our passengers the broadest possible range of touring experiences. From a private concert in St. Petersburg's Hermitage to a haunted estate in Scotland, there's a tour for just about any interest."

Highlights of these new adventure options include:

Unique Experiences:

-- Enjoy a Musical Evening at the Famed Hermitage Museum -- An unusual opportunity to visit St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum at night when passengers can enjoy the beautiful collections in private, followed by a champagne reception and a classical concert. (St. Petersburg, Russia)

-- Explore Shipwrecks off Scotland's Orkney Islands via ROV-- Passengers explore under the sea to view the remains of the largest scuttling of navy ships ever to take place, viewing the many of the 74 sunken navel ships of WWI's German High Seas fleet via transmission from a ROV (remote equipped vehicle) that is sent down to the bottom of Orkney's Scapa Flow area. (Kirkwall, Orkney Islands)

-- Take the Train to Rome/Visit Nero's Golden House -- Passengers can get a feel for local life by taking a train to Rome for their tour which includes St. Peter's Basilica, the Colesseum and a unique opportunity to visit Nero's Golden House (Domus Aurea), a series of once gold-covered buildings the emperor built following the fire of 64 AD. (Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy)

A Taste of Local Culture:

-- Learn The Guinness Story -- Synonymous with Ireland, Guinness was born at Dublin's St. James Gate Brewery more than 230 years ago. Passengers on this tour will see, hear and smell the ingredients as they make their way through the process of becoming Guinness' famous stout, and can sample the "black stuff" just yards from where it originates. (Dublin, Ireland)

-- Visit a Norwegian family -- Passengers can explore everyday life in Stavanger as they tour the home of local residents and exchange stories over a plate of Norwegian waffles. (Stavanger, Norway)

-- Learn the Art of Brandy Making in Cognac -- The famed home of cognac, the Hennessy Cellars opens its doors to passengers to explain the art of brandy making. (La Rochelle, France)

Get Active:

-- Hike Santorini's Volcano -- Just off the coast of Santorini lies a volcano credited with the largest eruption in history -- which is said to have destroyed the Minoan civilization in Crete around 1650 BC, and perhaps gave rise to the story of Atlantis. Today's passengers will sail out to the volcano and hike to the crater to view the black lava blocks, domes of magma and the dramatic vistas of Santorini. (Santorini, Greece)

-- Paddle through Norway -- Several new excursions offer the opportunity to explore Norway's stunning fjords from sea level. Options include floating through the Valldal Wilderness Adventure or kayaking the Geirangerfjord, where passengers can paddle through one of nature's masterpieces to glide up close to steep mountain walls in the "world's most beautiful fjord." (Flåm and Geiranger, Norway)

-- Search for Feathered Friends -- A number of new excursions offer passengers the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors as they explore some of Europe's prime bird-watching areas. Whether in the many reserves of Scotland's Orkney Islands or off the coast of Norway's North Cape, bird lovers and can keep watch for a variety of feathered friends. (Kirkwall, Orkney Islands; Honningsvag, Norway)

Follow the Footsteps of Royalty:

-- Tour St. Petersburg's Suburban Royal Residences -- A unique glimpse of the everyday family life and traditions of Russian monarchs. Passengers will visit the sumptuous Catherine Palace, the unique newly opened Alexander Palace -- the last tsar's home -- and the Palace of Emperor Paul I. (St. Petersburg, Russia)

-- Visit Britain's Most-Haunted Stately Home -- With a reputation as the most-haunted stately home in Britain, Glamis Castle has been a royal residence since 1372 and was the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. (South Queensferry, Scotland)

The Elite Collection/EZ Tours; This year Princess introduces new tour designations to help passengers find the perfect tour. The Elite Collection tours offer a more intimate group that usually travels by mini bus and includes exclusive visits to local attractions that cannot accommodate a larger group. A total of 11 Elite Collection tours will introduce passengers to special experiences in Athens, Corfu, Livorno (Florence), Kusadasi, Marseille, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome), Istanbul, Copenhagen, Berlin and Flåm. Among the new tours this year:

-- Explore the Terrace Houses of Ephesus -- This special Elite Collection tour offers visitors to the ancient city of Ephesus the opportunity to explore a newly excavated area of homes accessible only by special permission. These terrace houses belonged to the city's wealthy and are decorated with fine mosaics and frescos. (Kusadasi, Turkey)

-- Revel in Provencal Delights -- An opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful natural sites in Provence, the Lubéron range. Passengers on this Elite Collection excursion will enjoy a landscape filled with orchards and vineyards punctuated by farmhouses and charming villages. The tour will visit two such towns, Lourmarin and L' Isle-sur-Sorgue. (Marseille, France)

Also new this year, the EZ Tours designation indicates excursions designed for passengers with limited mobility. These leisurely tours primarily feature driving with stops for photo opportunities and shopping. In total 21 such EZ Tours are offered in a wide range of cities, including Athens, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Kusadasi, Livorno (Florence), Monte Carlo, Naples, Rhodes, Venice, Barcelona, Cannes, Civitavecchia (Rome), Lisbon, Propriano, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Gdynia, Oslo, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Honnigsvag. Among the new options are:

-- Visit the World's Northernmost Fishing Village -- Part of Princess' new EZ tour program, this excursion offers a relaxing drive around Norway's Mageroey Island and a visit to the North Cape Christmas and Winterhouse. Passengers will visit the northernmost fishing village in world and may spot some of the island's 4,000 reindeer. (Honningsvag, Norway)

-- Drive Along Marseille's Corniche -- This EZ tour features a leisurely drive to take passengers along one of the most beautiful areas of Marseille, including the city's 35 miles of seafront, where visitors can enjoy views of the city's cathedral, old harbor and the highest point of the city, the enormous Roman-Byzantine Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde. (Marseille, France)

All three of Princess' celebrated Grand-class ships will ply the waters of Europe in 2005, offering more destination choices than ever before for passengers who want to explore the continent in style. The amenity-laden Grand Princess, Golden Princess and Star Princess headline a season that features a 63 percent capacity increase in the region for Princess, several new and enhanced itineraries, and the most balconies of any fleet in Europe. The 2005 European season also includes the return of Sea Princess. Together, Princess vessels offer 57 departures between April 16 and November 10, 2005, sailing on 20 itineraries which feature more than 74 different ports of call or destinations.

Press Release by Princess Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 08:29 PM

June 20, 2005

Princess Introduces First Two-Ship South America Season in 2006-07


Princess Introduces First Two-Ship South America Season in 2006-07
Golden Princess and Pacific Princess Share Maiden Seasons to Cape Horn, the Amazon and Antarctica

SANTA CLARITA, CA (June 2, 2005) -- More Princess passengers than ever before will be able to escape to the exotic lands of South America in 2006 and 2007 as the line positions both the Grand-class Golden Princess and the intimate Pacific Princess in the region. Together the vessels will offer Princess' first two-ship South America season, with Golden Princess sailing around the fabled Cape Horn and Pacific Princess traversing the mighty Amazon River.
From December 2006 to March 2007 the ships will sail on 12 voyages of seven itineraries visiting 47 destinations, including three new routes and two new ports for Princess -- Salaverry, Peru and St. Barthélemy. Golden Princess' deployment features not only the popular Cape Horn & Straits of Magellan voyage, but also an enhanced Andes & South America cruise, a new Brazilian Adventure voyage from New Orleans to Rio and Princess' Connoisseur voyage featuring Antarctica and South America. Pacific Princess will sail up the Amazon River as well as offer two new Andes cruises to Peru.

"This South America program really offers the ultimate in choice," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Passengers can opt for the many amenities and private balconies of Golden Princess as they sail among the breathtaking Chilean fjords or they can enjoy the true intimate atmosphere of our world traveler, Pacific Princess, as she navigates the Amazon River. Either way, they'll enjoy the adventure of a lifetime." Itinerary options for Princess Cruises' 2006-07 South America season include:

Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan -- A 12-day journey between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile, this classic adventure features remarkable natural beauty from the peaks of the Andes Mountains to a coastline carved by deep fjords. Not only will passengers follow the route of the ancient mariners around the continent's southernmost tip, but will visit Montevideo (Uruguay), The Falkland Islands, Ushuaia (Argentina), Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt (Chile). Golden Princess will offer three sailings on this voyage on February 12, 24 and March 8, 2007.

Amazon River -- This 12-day sailing up the world's largest river takes passengers between Ft. Lauderdale and Manaus, Brazil, taking in several Brazilian ports as well as the unusual Caribbean calls of St. Lucia, Trinidad and St. Bartélemy -- a new port for Princess. Pacific Princess will also call at Devil's Island, off the coast of French Guiana and the Amazon River ports of Santarem, Boca da Valeria and Manaus, where passengers will enjoy an overnight stay. Pacific Princess sails on this itinerary on January 20, February 1, 13 and 25, 2007.

Andes & South America -- The lure of Machu Picchu highlights this 16-day voyage from Santiago to Acapulco, with time allowed for an optional excursion to these mysterious ruins. This adventurous cruise features calls at La Serena (Chile), Arica (Chile), San Martin (Peru -- for Pisco and Machu Picchu), Lima (Peru), Quito (Equador), Fuerte Amador (for the Panama Canal), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), and Huatulco (Mexico). Golden Princess departs on this itinerary on March 20, 2007.

Andes/Pathway to Peru -- A new route between Aruba and Lima, this 15-day adventure features a full transit of the Panama Canal, the west coast of Central America, Ecuador and Peru. The exotic ports of call include San Blas, San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala), Guayquil (Equador) and Salaverry, Peru -- a new port for Princess and the gateway to the colonial city of Trujillo and the ruins of the ancient imperial city of Chan Chan. Pacific Princess sails on December 21, 2006.

Andes & Ancient Civilizations -- A new 15-day itinerary from Lima to Ft. Lauderdale featuring ports steeped in history from the ancient civilizations of the Inca, Carib Indians, Maya and the Spanish conquistadors. Pacific Princess will visit Guayaquil, San Blas, Limon (Costa Rica), Roatan, Belize, Cozumel and transit the Panama Canal, departing on January 5, 2007.

Brazilian Adventure -- A 16-day opportunity to travel from the "Big Easy" of New Orleans to the excitement of Rio de Janeiro. This new itinerary includes calls at Grand Cayman, Aruba, Isla Margarita, Trinidad, Devil's Island, and the Brazilian ports of Fortaleza and Salvador plus an overnight stay in Rio. Golden Princess offers this voyage on January 6, 2007.

Antarctica & South America-- A 21-day Connosiseur Voyage, this dramatic journey features a new route for Princess' fourth journey to the southernmost continent. Traveling from Rio de Janiero to Buenos Aires, Golden Princess will visit Puerto Madryn and the Falkland Islands, before crossing Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula, where passengers will enjoy several days of cruising with striking views of the islands, straits and channels of Antarctica. The ship will also sail around Cape Horn and to the ports of Ushuaia, Punta Arenas and Montevideo. Golden Princess will depart on this cruise on January 22, 2007.

For travelers who would like to extend their South America adventure, Princess offers escorted pre- or post-cruise land tours in conjunction with several sailings, for a complete cruisetour vacation.

Early booking fares for South America sailings begin at $1,695 for 12-day sailings. Cruises open for booking on June 11, 2005.

Press Release by Princess Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 09:34 AM

June 19, 2005

Sea Princess Stars in Absolutely Fabulous Southampton Naming Ceremony


Sea Princess Stars in Absolutely Fabulous Southampton Naming Ceremony
British Actress Joanna Lumley Headlines Hollywood-themed Event as Ship Re-joins Princess Fleet

SANTA CLARITA, CA (May 26, 2005) - Sea Princess officially re-joined the Princess fleet today during a star-studded ceremony in her current home port of Southampton. British actress Joanna Lumley, best known for her role as 'Patsy' in the hit comedy "Absolutely Fabulous," became the ship's godmother as she released the traditional bottle of champagne to break against the ship.
The vessel regained her former name during a ceremony that celebrated the ship's newest feature, "Movies Under the Stars," with a Hollywood premiere theme. Joining the festivities were Oscar®-winning actress Goldie Hawn as well as British stars Brenda Blethyn, Tina Hobley, Michelle Collins, Craig Fairbrass, Amanda Holden, Anthea Turner, Collin Salmon, Linda Barker, Ruby Wax and Floella Benjamin.

The ceremony, a fund-raising event for Bernardo's, the UK's leading children's charity, celebrated Hollywood glamour as the ship's pool areas was transformed into a re-creation of a movie set with classic movie moments shown on the 300-square-foot "Movies Under the Stars" screen. Guests also enjoyed a gala dinner in the ship's dining room, movie-themed entertainment and a dramatic fireworks display.

The 1,950-passenger Sea Princess has sailed for the past two years as the P&O Cruises ship Adonia. The ship returns to the Princess fleet this month, launching a new series of European cruises from Southampton. During the fall-spring season, Sea Princess will move to the Caribbean to offer 14-day roundtrip cruises from Ft. Lauderdale. In addition to the ship's new "Movies Under the Stars" poolside movie screen, the vessel sports two main dining rooms and showlounges, a premium Sterling Steakhouse and pizzeria, a 24-hour restaurant, seven lounges and bar areas, four pools, an Internet café, comprehensive children's and teens' centers, and more than 400 of Princess' hallmark private balconies.

Press Release by Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
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Posted by Denise at 02:49 PM

June 18, 2005

Royal Caribbean International Adds 73-Foot Midsection To Enchantment Of The Seas


Royal Caribbean International Adds 73-Foot Midsection To Enchantment Of The Seas

Miami (May 31, 2005) - Shipbuilding technology has come a long way since Royal Caribbean International lengthened its last ship 25 years ago. Royal Caribbean's third ship to be extended, Enchantment Of The Seas, lies in dry dock this month, where workmen are laboring round-the-clock to add a 22.2-meter (73-foot) midsection and other major innovations. What once took three months now takes one, and assembly is on dry land.

Royal Caribbean teamed with two European shipyards to stretch the eight-year-old Enchantment Of The Seas. Aker Finnyards of Finland, which built the original ship, was given overall responsibility for designing, building and installing the mid-body section. Aker asked Keppel Verolme of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to split the ship in two, insert the midsection, and reassemble the parts. When again whole, Enchantment Of The Seas will return to sea for sea trials and soon afterwards will resume service on July 7, 2005.

"This partnership has been outstanding," said Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain. "The final product exemplifies not only the very best in shipbuilding, but the very best in what cruisers have come to expect of a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation."

"Aker Finnyards is proud to present this project as one more achievement during the 35-year cooperation with Royal Caribbean, including 14 delivered cruise vessel newbuildings and three lengthenings," said Aker Finnyards President Yrjö Julin.

Planning among the three teams began more than a year ago. Construction started on the mid-body last September, and the finished mid-body sailed the Baltic and North seas by barge 2,300 kilometers (1,430 miles) to Rotterdam earlier this month. Meanwhile, Enchantment Of The Seas arrived May 15 at the Keppel Verolme yard and entered dry dock, where the mid-body was waiting. The size of the dry-dock bay, one of the largest in the world, allowed the ship and mid-body to sit side-by-side, and allowed for use of an advanced and faster lengthening process.

Splitting the ship in two took workers six days to cut through more than 600 meters (1,969 linear feet) of steel with gas and oxygen torches and circular saws. Once they were severed, sections were moved into place with skids and hydraulic jacks, which were guided by a laser alignment system. The 10,265-metric-ton (11,315-ton) bow section slid first. The 2,666-metric-ton (2,939-ton) mid-body was then moved into alignment and pushed back toward the ship's aft section. The bow section was then moved back into place.

Twenty-five years ago, when Royal Caribbean stretched Nordic Prince, the yard had to fill the dry dock with water; float the aft section of the ship out of the bay, the midsection into the dock, and the aft section back into the bay; and then drain the dry dock and reconnect the ship.

Today, workmen are welding Enchantment Of The Seas back together, a painstaking, two-week job that also involves reattaching nearly 1,300 individual cables, pipes and ducts to each end of the new mid-body.

"The scope of this project presented a great challenge for Keppel Verolme and our partner ALE Lastra, which required drawing on our in-house shipbuilding knowledge to optimize the cutting, skidding and insertion process," said Keppel Verolme Managing Director Harold W.M. Linssen. "Making maximum use of our facilities to offer the highest level of service in both quality and safety is our ambition, and we are proud to provide innovative solutions for our marine clients."

Additional Space For New Amenities, Activities
The lengthened ship will have 151 new staterooms and a number of new venues and amenities, including soaring suspension bridges on Deck 10, a vitality course with four fitness stops, an interactive water fountain play area and the first bungee trampolines at sea.

Several of Royal Caribbean's signature features also are being added, borrowing from the line's latest ships, including Boleros Latin lounge, Chops Grille steakhouse specialty restaurant and Latte'tudes coffee and ice cream shop, offering Seattle's Best Coffee® and Ben & Jerry's®.

Enchantment Of The Seas will sail a series of New England/Canada sailings from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., Philadelphia and Boston when she reenters service in July. She returns to Fort Lauderdale in October to resume four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise vacation company with 19 ships in service and two more under construction. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe.

Press Release by Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International Alaska Cruise Information
Royal Caribbean International Alaska Cruisetour Packages
Royal Caribbean International Mexico Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 01:41 PM

June 17, 2005

Strong Demand Fuels 1st Quarter Passenger Growth For CLIA-Member Cruise Lines


New York (June 07, 2005) - Strong consumer demand for seagoing vacations drove robust passenger growth in the first three months of 2005 as the member fleets of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) carried 2.63 million worldwide guests in the first quarter of 2005, an 8.9 percent increase over the same period in 2004. North American passengers grew by 12.9 percent during the quarter to 2.34 million guests, up from 2.10 million first-quarter guests one year ago.

The 2005 first-quarter passenger figures are new statistics released today by CLIA, whose 19 member cruise lines represent nearly 98 percent of the cruise capacity marketed in North America. In addition to the growing passenger totals, CLIA cruise lines also posted impressive occupancy figures, with a 104.3 percent occupancy factor in the first quarter of 2005 compared with 103.3 percent for the year prior.

"The cruise industry's strong first-quarter 2005 passenger totals provide further evidence of the fertile consumer interest and demand for cruise vacations. The positive results are also testament to the hard work and productivity of CLIA 16,500-plus member travel agencies," said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the cruise industry's chief marketing and training organization and North America's largest travel industry association.

"As the cruise lines continue to attract more and more consumers through non-stop innovation and new onboard options, CLIA-member agencies also continue to play a key role, providing today's consumers with the latest cruise product information and unmatched counsel and sales expertise," Dale added.

CLIA's first-quarter passenger carryings report also found:

  • Itineraries of 1 to 5 days accounted for a 31.7 percent share of the cruise market; itineraries of 6 to 8 days accounted for 54.3 percent; 9 to 17-day itineraries accounted for 13.7 percent and itineraries of 18 days or longer accounted for .4 percent of the market.

  • The average length of a cruise in the first three quarters was 7.33 days versus 7.09 days for the same period in 2004

Information Taken from C.L.I.A.

Alaska Cruise & Cruisetour Information
Europe Cruise & Cruisetour Information
Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
South Pacific Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 08:12 AM

June 16, 2005

Celebrity Cruises Launches A New Century


Top-rated premium line's classic ship to receive multimillion-dollar makeover

Miami - (June 01, 2005 ) - For most, the new century begins in 95 years, but for Celebrity Cruises, it will launch next year. The top-rated premium cruise line has announced plans to significantly revitalize its 77,713-ton Century, which entered service in December 1995.

Following an approximately $55-million makeover beginning in April 2006, and marking Celebrity's most extensive refurbishment to-date, Century will emerge from a five-week drydock period on June 2, 2006, with 314 new verandas.

"This initiative is nothing short of miraculous, technically and otherwise - particularly the veranda program," said Celebrity's President Dan Hanrahan. "In just five weeks, we will add 314 verandas, which is a first for an existing cruise ship."

The revitalization project also will result in the addition of 14 new suites, 10 new staterooms ranging from inside to veranda category, an expanded number of ConciergeClass category staterooms, a new specialty restaurant, and a series of the "tastes of luxury" that typify the line's acclaimed Millennium-class fleet.

"Our goal is to modify the Century to be more aligned with our Millennium-class fleet, in order to maximize guest satisfaction and offer every Celebrity guest a consistently extraordinary vacation experience across the fleet," said Hanrahan.

It's All About Choices:
* Like Celebrity's Millennium-class specialty restaurants, Century's new specialty restaurant will present an intimate, elegant dining experience with a menu designed by Celebrity's longtime culinary and wine consultant, Master Chef Michel Roux. The venue, still to be themed, will follow the distinctive style of Celebrity's Millennium-class specialty restaurants, which introduced the industry's first tableside cooking, carving and flambé.

* Celebrity's "Casual Dining Boulevard" on the lido deck will be expanded to offer a Sushi Café, made-to-order Pasta and Pizza Bar, a small ice cream parlor, along with buffet breakfasts, themed lunches, and dinner service with a casual dress code every night.

* In response to growing guest interest in Celebrity's Spa Cafes on the Millennium-class fleet, a new Spa Café will be introduced on Century, offering light, healthy spa cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

* Century's dramatic, two-level "Grand Restaurant" will continue to offer both light and elaborate breakfasts, lunches and five-course dinners in an elegant setting.

* Cova Café Milano, the seagoing version of the stylish coffeehouse in the heart of Milan's fashion district, will adopt the pastry and chocolate displays that have made the venue such a "hot spot" on the line's Millennium-class fleet. At night, the space will transform to a romantic, lamp-lit wine bar, complete with live music.

* A sophisticated new Martini Bar offering Celebrity's famed menu of more than 30 versions of the popular libation will be located adjacent to Century's "Michael's Club" piano and jazz bar.

* Outdoors on the aft deck, a new bandstand and bar complete with tapas carts will offer the ultimate setting for romantic sailaways at sunset.

Abundant Enrichment Opportunities:
* "High Seas Computing" will find a home onboard the Century, just as it has on Celebrity's Millennium-class fleet, in a newly dedicated space offering guests Internet access and courses ranging from basic computer use to web site creation to digital photography.

* Holder of the largest corporate collection of contemporary art, Celebrity Cruises continues to offer guests the opportunity to enjoy great original works throughout each ship in the fleet, as well as in its new art galleries. Like those on the Millennium-class fleet, Century's new art gallery will join the array of trendy boutiques in "The Boulevard," allowing art aficionados to purchase one-of-a-kind works.

* Because enrichment isn't appreciated only by adults, the "Fun Factory" children's area will be expanded, and a new teen room will be added, featuring a number of options ideally suited to adventuresome teens.

A Wealth of Wellness:
* Century will follow the lead of Celebrity's Millennium-class in presenting a permanent space dedicated solely to the line's exclusive "Acupuncture at Sea" program, offering guests acupuncture treatments, therapies and enrichment lectures by licensed doctors of Oriental Medicine.

* An industry pioneer in presenting a spa experience at sea on a par with the best of those on land, Celebrity has won numerous awards for its exotic AquaSpa facilities operated by the elite Elemis Ltd. Century's AquaSpa will be expanded significantly to allow for a number of new features yet to be announced.

Accommodations of All Sizes:
* Century's enormous accommodations initiative will, first and foremost, add 314 new verandas to both aft and side staterooms. A total of 393 staterooms among the total 907 will have verandas. The number of ConciergeClass staterooms, featuring the host of amenities offered in that category, will increase to 176. A total of 10 stylish ocean-view staterooms will be added, along with 14 new Sky Suites, each suite offering Celebrity's impeccable, 24-hour butler service.

Celebrity's ambitious Century revitalization project will be completed during drydock from April 28 through June 1, 2006. The line has begun a bidding process to select the shipyard where the work will be performed.

Following its revitalization, the "new" Century will set sail on a series of 12-night Baltic and10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings, a 13-night "Best of Europe" voyage, and a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise. Bookings for all itineraries open June 3.

Celebrity's 'New' Century - 2006 Europe Cruise Fares:
* Fares for Century's Baltic cruises beginning at $1,600 for inside, $1,900 for outside, and $2,750 for ConciergeClass accommodations, all per person and based on double occupancy.

* Fares for the Mediterranean sailings begin at $1,500 for inside accommodations, $1,800 for outside, and $2,650 for ConciergeClass accommodations, all per person and based on double occupancy.

* Fares for Century's seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise begin at $1,100 for inside, $1,400 outside, and $2,200 for ConciergeClass accommodations, all per person and based on double occupancy.

* Fares for the 13-night "Best of Europe" voyage begin at $2,000 for inside, $2,300 for outside, and $3,250 for ConciergeClass accommodations, all per person and based on double occupancy.

Century also will be one of the first Celebrity ships to offer short cruises from the cruise capitol of the world, the Port of Miami, beginning in November 2006. The ship will present four- and five-night roundtrip Caribbean cruises through April 2007, offering travelers with limited vacation time the opportunity to experience what the top-rated premium brand has to offer.

Bookings for Century's new, short Caribbean sailings open next week, with fares beginning at $330 per person, double occupancy, for the four-night vacations, and $340 per person, double occupancy, for the five-night cruises.

Press Release by Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruisetour Packages
Celebrity Cruises Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
Celebrity Cruises European Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 08:06 PM

June 15, 2005

Ms Statendam Sixth in Line To Receive Signature of Excellence Enhancements


Ms Statendam Sixth in Line To Receive Signature of Excellence Enhancements

Seattle, WA (May 31, 2005) – The ms Statendam is the latest Holland America ship to acquire all of the company’s $225 million Signature of Excellence product and service enhancements ranging from cutting edge facilities in the ship’s public spaces to luxurious amenities in every stateroom. The transformed Statendam began sailing its summer Alaska season on May 13 with such enhancements as the innovative Culinary Arts Center and upgraded youth facilities.

The Statendam is Holland America Lines’ sixth ship to receive the Signature of Excellence enhancements. The ms Ryndam, ms Prinsendam, ms Zaandam, ms Rotterdam and ms Westerdam have been transformed by Signature of Excellence. The remaining seven ships will receive the enhancements in fall 2005 and during 2006.

“As each ship acquires Signature of Excellence enhancements, guest feedback is incredible,” said Rick Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales, for Holland America Line. “Guests love all these new features and services, from the premium Euro-Top mattresses to the innovative Culinary Arts Center. Holland America’s goal is to redefine premium cruising with Signature of Excellence, and our guests are enthusiastically endorsing this effort.”

Meadows noted that the Rotterdam and Westerdam just acquired Signature of Excellence enhancements in April, and Holland America has been receiving rave reviews from guests as the two ships began their summer Europe cruise schedule. The Statendam now features the full breadth of Signature of Excellence enhancements on its seven-day Alaska cruises this summer:

Among the highlights of the recently added upgrades are:

  • Resembling the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs, the Culinary Arts Center features an innovative theater-style venue. The state-of-the-art “show kitchen at sea” has large plasma video screens to display overhead and close-up video views of the food preparation, and a large cooking display counter where guests can learn new cooking techniques and dishes. Holland America Line recently announced a new partnership with Food & Wine magazine for guests to experience culinary demonstrations by top chefs provided by the publication.

  • The new Explorations Café – powered by The New York Times offers guests an opportunity to sip coffee, browse through one of the most extensive libraries at sea, enjoy a wide selection of music at one of several listening stations or surf the Internet. They also can work The New York Times’ crossword puzzles and access “TimesTalks” events and the NYTimes.com website.

  • Younger cruisers now enjoy supervised, age-specific activities in a more comprehensive Youth Program and expanded Club HAL® designed for kids ages 3 to 12. The younger ones can enjoy creative activities at art tables, watch big-screen television and play on a fun slide. Older kids, ages 8 to 12, have an area featuring arcade games, air hockey, foosball, Karaoke, Internet access and Sony Playstations.

  • Teens, ages 13-18, can enjoy The Loft, a teens-only lounge designed to resemble a New York artist’s loft. It connects via a special passageway to a secluded, teens-only sun deck called The Oasis.

  • Under the Signature of Excellence initiative, the Statendam also adds elegant amenities in each stateroom including premium Euro-Top mattresses, deluxe waffle and terry cloth bathrobes, flat-panel televisions, DVD players and complimentary fresh fruit bowls.

  • Dining choices now include the Pinnacle Grill restaurant, featuring Pacific Northwest fare and fine wines, and four dining times in the main dining room.

  • The expanded exclusive Greenhouse Spa and Salon features more treatment rooms, a thermal suite and hydro-pool, as well as a new spacious, well-appointed fitness facility.

Press Release by Holland America Line

Holland America Alaska Cruise Information
Holland America Alaska Cruisetour Information
Holland America Europe Cruise Information
Holland America Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
Holland America Canada/New England Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 03:32 PM

June 14, 2005

Two-For-One Savings on the Suite Life!


Two-For-One Savings on the Suite Life

Leisurely Transatlantic Crossing Also Features Big Band Spotlight

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (June 9, 2005) - Island lovers, those with a yen for open water cruising and chocoholics alike will find their tastes satisfied aboard their choice of luxury cruises on the 700-guest Seven Seas Voyager® this November and December. From the Caribbean¿s palm-fringed shores to Europe's "Island of Eternal Spring", Radisson Seven Seas Cruises® offers five itineraries featuring two-for-one savings, from a five-night cruise in the tropics to an eight-night transatlantic crossing.

Adding to this savory collection of luxury cruises is a chocolate-themed "Spotlight" cruise on December 5, featuring top pastry chefs and chocolatiers.

Relaxing on the Atlantic:
The restful tranquility of a transatlantic crossing is legendary - and the all-balcony suite Seven Seas Voyager makes everything effortless on her 8-night crossing departing November 13 from Madeira, an island renowned for its perpetual spring-like climate. En route to Fort Lauderdale, guests may enrich their leisurely days at sea by absorbing new cooking techniques from world-famed Le Cordon Bleu chefs, set to impart their culinary skills in a series of practical cooking classes ($395 per person, limited to a maximum of 16 guests per class). In addition, as the Spotlight turns to Big Bands, guests will be able to dance to the live music of the Nelson Riddle Orchestra (with none other than Christopher Riddle conducting from the bandstand).

Two-For-One in the Caribbean:
Sweeping ocean vistas observed from every guest's private balcony suite accommodations will help set the island mood on the Seven Seas Voyager's November 21, 28, and December 12 Caribbean cruises sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.

With something for every family member, the Seven Seas Voyager November 21 Thanksgiving cruise plies the Caribbean with calls at Key West, (overnight), Cozumel, (overnight), and Georgetown (Grand Cayman). Featuring Club Mariner, a complimentary youth program designed for three age groups ¿ five to nine, 10-13, and 14-17 - this seven-night voyage makes cruising an engaging intergenerational experience from grandchildren to grandparents.

Aboard the November 28 seven-night cruise, guests are invited to discover the sandy beaches of Nassau, historic San Juan, and the charms of St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Luxury goes exploring for five nights, on a short Caribbean getaway departing on December 12, bound for quaint Cozumel and enchanting Key West.

Spotlight Sailing:
A truly "sweet" Caribbean adventure charts a course on the acclaimed vessel¿s December 5 seven-night "Spotlight on Chocolate" cruise, highlighted by mouthwatering samples confected aboard by some of America's leading chocolatiers and pastry chefs. John Scharffenberger, a top boutique chocolate maker, will illuminate the art of fine chocolate and its strong ties to the Caribbean as the Seven Seas Voyager sails roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Grand Turk.

Prices for the November 13 voyage are from $2,148, with the November 21, November 28 and December 5 voyages starting at $2,248. Prices for the December 12 sailing are from $1,648. All prices are per person and include two-for-one savings, fine wine with dinner, all shipboard gratuities, an in-stateroom/suite bar set-up and all soft beverages. Low-cost air add-ons are available from 86 North American gateways.

Radisson Seven Seas Cruises was voted the "Best Large Cruise Line" by readers of Departures magazine in 2004.

Press Release by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises

Read A Review On Seven Seas Mariner
Information On Radisson Seven Seas Alaska Cruises
Information On Radisson Seven Seas Mexican Riviera Cruises
Information On Radisson Seven Seas Tahiti Cruises

Posted by Denise at 09:31 PM

June 08, 2005

Silversea Redefines The Art Of Exotic Travel With Six Luxurious Voyages To Africa And The Indian Ocean



This Fall and Winter Guests Can Sail to the Most Intriguing, Out-of-the-Way Destinations and Enjoy Savings of up to 50%

Ft. Lauderdale, FL (May 24, 2005) - Silversea Cruises is offering six luxurious “Exotic Voyages” this fall and winter that will call in some of the world’s most untamed, untrodden and unforgettable destinations in Africa and the Indian Ocean. From the colorful lemurs of Madagascar and giant tortoises of Mahé, to Jordan’s ancient rose-red city of Petra, to the fragrant spice plantations of Zanzibar, guests will experience the extreme opposite of humdrum and ordinary, as they sail from one intriguing port to the next in the pampering luxury of their intimate, six-star ship.

In addition to savings of up to 50%, these “Exotic Voyages” offer guests spacious, ocean-view accommodations, most with private veranda, award-winning gourmet cuisine, personalized service, warm Italian hospitality, and Silversea’s unmatched selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities.

“There is no more-glorious way to explore the culture, history and natural beauty of Africa and the Indian Ocean than aboard the elite, intimate ships of Silversea,” said David Morris, Silversea’s senior vice president, North America sales. “For those sophisticated ‘been there, done that’ travelers who want to escape the ordinary, these six cruises offer an exceptional opportunity to visit some of the world’s most alluring and exotic destinations, while enjoying all the comfort and convenience of ultra-luxury cruising.”

Guests can enhance their “Exotic Voyage” with optional pre- and post-cruise land programs offered from Cape Town, Port Said (Cairo), Mombasa and Singapore. Listed below are three such programs Silversea offers from Cape Town on “Exotic Voyages” 2532 and 2601 through its partnership with Micato Safaris, voted the “World’s Best” Tour Operator and Safari Outfitter by the readers of Travel + Leisure:

** The Good Life – Relais & Châteaux: A three-night program designed for discerning travelers, it features accommodations at luxurious Relais & Châteaux boutique lodgings – one night at the Marine Hermanus, overlooking Walker Bay, plus two nights at the Grand Roche Estate, a magnificently restored 18th-century Dutch manor house in Paarl. Other highlights include world-class cuisine, exclusive tours of premier wineries, and a demonstration of the art of “sabrage” (opening a bottle with a saber). Wine tastings, most meals, transportation and transfers are also included. Available as both a pre- and post-cruise option, the program ranges from $3,075 to $3,590 per person, based on double occupancy.

** Wildlife of Londolozi: Guests on this four-night package embark on an expedition into Africa’s safari lands to witness a dazzling array of animal life – lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and Cape buffalo. Highlights include one night at the Michelangelo Hotel, two nights at the renowned Londolozi Private Game Reserve and one night at the Cape Grace Hotel, plus escorted safaris. Most meals, inter-African airfare, transportation and transfers are also included. Available as both a pre- and post-cruise option, the program ranges from $5,615 to $6,125 per person, based on double occupancy.

** Victoria Falls & Chobe Game Reserve: This five-night program journeys to Botswana’s Chobe National Park and Zimbabwe’s magnificent Victoria Falls. Guests visit a local craft village, take a leisurely sunset river cruise, and experience thrilling open-vehicle safaris, offering unforgettable close-up views of African wildlife. The package features one night at the Michelangelo Hotel, two nights at Botswana’s exclusive Chobe Game Lodge, one night at the Victoria Falls Hotel, and one night at the Cape Grace Hotel. Most meals, inter-African airfare, transportation and transfers are also included. Available as both a pre- and post-cruise option, the program ranges from $5,340 to $6,525 per person, based on double occupancy.

Throughout “Exotic Voyage” 2532, also a “Spirit of Exploration” voyage, “Resident Explorer” Brian Jones will be on hand to host guests to a series of entertaining presentations that reveal his knowledge, personal insights and quest for discovery. Jones, together with his Swiss colleague Bertrand Piccard, pulled off one of the most daring feats in aviation history – the first circumnavigation of the earth in a hot air balloon – acclaimed as one of the greatest triumphs of ballooning.

Please find below a complete listing of Silversea’s six “Exotic Voyages” to Africa and the Indian Ocean:

- Silver Wind departs November 5, 2005 on a 17-day “Passage to the Seychelles” voyage (2529) from Port Said (Cairo) to Mahé with calls in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Safaga, Egypt; Massawa, Eritrea; Djibouti, Djibouti; Praslin and La Digue, Seychelles. Silver Sailing fares start at $6,017 per person (30% savings).

- Silver Wind departs November 22, 2005 on a 7-day “Wonders of the Seychelles” voyage (2530) from Mahé to Mahé with calls in Nosy Be / Nosy Komba, Madagascar; Desroches and Praslin, Seychelles. Silver Sailing fares start at $1,848 per person (50% savings).

- Silver Shadow departs November 22, 2005 on a 14-day “Indian Ocean Explorer” voyage (3536) from Dubai to Singapore with calls in Fujarat, U.A.E.; Muscat, Oman; Mumbai and Mormugao, India; and Phuket, Thailand. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,967 per person (30% savings).

- Silver Wind departs December 10, 2005 on an 11-day “Across the Tropic of Capricorn” voyage (2532) from Port Louis (Mauritius) to Cape Town with calls in Pointe des Galettes, Reunion Island; Richard’s Bay, Durban and East London, South Africa. Silver Sailings fares start at $4,057 per person (30% savings).

- Silver Wind departs January 4, 2006 on a 10-day “South Africa and Beyond” voyage (2601) from Cape Town to Port Louis (Mauritius) with calls in East London, Durban and Richard’s Bay, South Africa; and Pointe des Galettes, Reunion Island. Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $4,046 per person (25% savings).

- Silver Wind departs January 14, 2006 on a 9-day “Into Africa” voyage (2602) from Port Louis (Mauritius) to Mombasa with calls in Pointe des Galettes, Reunion Island; Nosy Be / Nosy Komba, Madagascar; Mayotte, French Comores; Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar, Tanzania. Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $3,916 per person (20% savings).

Detailed information and complete itineraries are available at www.silversea.com. A colorful self-mailer describing the “Exotic Voyages” and land programs is also available to travel agents and can be ordered online at Silversea’s Web site.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For the eighth year, Silversea was named “Number One” small-ship line in the 2004 “Readers’ Choice” survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. For the sixth time, Silversea was selected “World’s Best” small-ship line in the 2004 Travel + Leisure readers’ poll.

Press Release by Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruises European Cruise Information
Silversea Cruises Mexican Riviera Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 05:09 PM

June 07, 2005

Paul Theroux + Linda Ellerbee + 40 New Crystal Adventures + 5 Diverse Itineraries = Crystal's Rich Fall Mediterranean Season


Paul Theroux + Linda Ellerbee + 40 New Crystal Adventures + 5 Diverse Itineraries = Crystal's Rich Fall Mediterranean Season
Luxury Cruise Represents One of Europe's Best Travel Values

LOS ANGELES (May 31, 2005) - This fall, Crystal Cruises' Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program lectures, classes and shoreside Crystal Adventures are as rich as its Mediterranean port content.

Travel/fiction writer Paul Theroux and broadcast journalist/author Linda Ellerbee are among the notable speakers joining Crystal Serenity's fall Mediterranean cruises. Ashore, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is introducing 40 new Crystal Adventures to its roster of almost 200 varied tours in the Mediterranean from September through November.

Five diverse 11- and 12-day itineraries offer the luxury of exploring as many as six different countries on a single voyage. Each features at least one overnight and evening stays in port. Cruises depart from Venice, Athens, Rome or Barcelona and visit such romantic destinations as the south of France, Greek islands, and seaside towns in Turkey, Croatia and the Amalfi Coast.

"With fewer crowds and slightly cooler weather, the fall is an ideal time to visit the Mediterranean," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales and marketing. "Additionally, savvy travelers will appreciate the exceptional value of a 2005 European cruise on Crystal Cruises, given the dollar's weak standing against the Euro and the resulting high prices of Europe's top luxury hotels. Crystal Serenity's unique combination of choices, quality, service, space and value is particularly compelling this year."

Crystal Serenity's fall Mediterranean season is abundant in stimulating lectures, classes and evening entertainment on board, as well as special interest, limited availability experiences ashore. New authentic culinary experiences, exclusive enrichment and even adrenaline-filled adventures include:

  • Amarone wine tasting and local fare at a renowned Tuscan villa (from Venice);
  • A private tour of the Vatican Museum (from Rome);
  • Advanced and beginning scuba diving in Sorrento's Punta Campanella;
  • Helicopter tours of the Dolomites (from Venice) and the Amalfi Coast (from Sorrento);
  • Off-road 4x4 excursions in Valletta and Funchal; and,
  • Zipping around Nice on a Segway® Human Transporter.

And golf at some of the world's most renowned courses:

  • Málaga's venerable Real Club de Campo;
  • The Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the Montecastillo Hotel & Golf Resort in Cádiz;
  • The Green Course at Casablanca's Dar Es-Salam Royal Golf Club;
  • The superb Real Club de Golf de Tenerife; and,
  • Lisbon's stunning Penha Longa Golf Course.

All shore tours can be researched and pre-reserved online at www.crystalcruises.com prior to departure.

With Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program lecture series, the onboard experience is as rich as the port content. Highlights include:

September 8 – 20; 12 days; Rome to Venice; and,
September 20 – October 2; 12 days; Venice to Athens

  • Dr. Lewis A. Sussman, professor of Classics at the University of Florida,provides insight into the history of the Greek and Roman worlds.
  • Richard Karras of the Society of Wine Educators shares his extensive knowledge of the region's best vintages.
  • Progressive classes in Italian are taught by a certified Berlitz language instructor (offered on all five fall itineraries).

October 2 - 14; 12 days; Athens to Rome

  • Linda Ellerbee, multi-Emmy Award-winning television producer and author of the new memoir Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table, provides a look at her life including her successful fight against breast cancer.
  • Paul Theroux, renowned travel novelist discusses his acclaimed books.
  • Dr. Howard Clarke, professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of California, Santa Barbara shares his insight on Greek and Roman mythology.

October 14-25; 11 days; Rome to Barcelona; Sotheby's Institute Cruise

  • Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe is a respected Old Master paintings expert at Sotheby's Institute of Art in London.
  • Corrado Amice, Italian tenor, performs favorite arias of his homeland.

October 25 - November 6; 12 days; Barcelona to Lisbon; Golf Cruise

  • Susan Reed, editor in chief of Golf for Women, is joined by a PGA golf pro to host play at some of the world's most established courses (listed above).

Depending on itinerary, ports of call include: Nice/Villefranche, France (overnight); Monte Carlo, Monaco (overnight); Florence/Livorno, Portofino, Sardinia/Porto Cervo, Sorrento, Naples and Sicily/Taormina, Italy; Corfu and Mykonos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Valletta, Malta; Málaga/Granada, Palma de Mallorca, Cádiz/Seville and Canary Islands, Spain; Gibraltar, UK; Casablanca, Morocco; and Madeira/Funchal and Portimão, Portugal.

Eleven- and 12-day cruise fares begin at just $3,695 and $3,995, respectively, and are based on per person, double occupancy accommodations.

The Crystal Difference:
Aboard the luxurious Crystal Serenity refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, extensive choice, and quality, providing worldwide vacations that bridge the best of land and sea.

The 1,080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity is among the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising in the luxury market. Its unique size allows for smooth sailing and a wide range of innovative facilities, generous amenities and elegant accommodations. Her luxurious features include grand lounges, a lavish spa outfitted in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, extensive exercise facilities, complimentary golf, yoga and Pilates instruction, specialty restaurants (Nobu's cuisine at Silk Road), the only Caesars Palace at Sea® casino afloat, and the popular Computer University@Sea®, offering 24-hour e-mail and internet access, as well as hands-on instruction, expansive decks, two pools, award-winning cuisine and entertainment, and exquisitely appointed staterooms, more than half of which offer private verandahs.

Crystal Cruises has consistently earned the travel industry's most distinguished hospitality awards and guidebook ratings, including the best large-ship line award in the most recent readers' surveys conducted by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines.

Press Release by Crystal Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 10:15 PM

June 04, 2005

Housewives Desperate to Escape?


Housewives Desperate to Escape?
Three "Nurturing" Professions Ranked Most Overworked in Survey Commissioned by Princess Cruises to Launch "Help Someone Escape Completely" Contest

Santa Clarita, Calif. (May 25, 2005) -- Nurses (55%), teachers (44%), and homemakers (43%) were ranked by U.S. adults as the top-three most overworked professions in the Escape Completely study recently commissioned by Princess Cruises to assess U.S. adult consumer opinions about people's need to "escape." Topics covered in the survey ranged from ways people escape stress in their daily lives and the situations from which people most often want to escape, to a ranking of the top individuals in people's lives who most need a vacation escape, and more. Findings include:

Keeping Away From The Joneses...More U.S. adults ranked "neighbors" (40%) among the top-three people in their lives from which they most need to escape, surpassing even their boss (34%) and their immediate family (spouse/partner: 32%; child/children: 31%).

It's All About Me. When asked to rank the top-three people in their lives who most need a vacation escape, 79% of U.S. adults placed themselves among the top three, while only 58% placed their spouse/partner there.

It's "Cell" Not "Yell." People talking on their cell phones too loudly in public places was the personal habit of others that makes the largest number of U.S. adults most want to escape (58%).

40 Truly IS Fabulous. When respondents were asked to name the celebrity who they would most want to accompany them on a vacation escape, "A Cast Member from Desperate Housewives" beat out "A Cast Member from Sex in the City" two to one (6% to 3%).

Venus Is Probably Neater. Women are 10 times more likely than men to escape from stress in their daily lives by organizing a closet (11% to 1%).

Guys, Take Etiquette Classes Before That First Date. Women are more likely than men to most want to escape people who eat with their mouths open (46% to 34%), talk with their mouths full (43% to 32%), or slurp their drinks (27% to 19%).

The Verdict On Attorneys? Guilty...Of Not Being Overworked. Only 4% of respondents ranked attorneys among the top three most overworked professions.

"Better Late than Never" Doesn't Cut It...42% of respondents want to escape from people who are habitually late, compared with only 4% who wanted to escape habitual early birds.

In order to escape stress in their daily lives, women are three times more likely than men to... Go shopping (32% to 11%) Talk on the phone (30% to 10%) or Read a trashy novel(12% to 4%).
The Escape Completely survey is helping Princess Cruises to kick off an unusual type of contest that will bring out the "nurturer" in everyone. From now until August 31, 2005, Princess is conducting the "Help Someone Escape Completely" contest, which asks people to nominate an especially deserving person in their own lives to win a seven-day cruise vacation for two to either the Caribbean or the Mexican Riviera. Princess is offering the contest in celebration of its 40th Anniversary this year, and to underscore that significant milestone, 40 winners will be chosen from among the nominees. Full contest details can be found at www.princess.com/escape, where nominators can tell their story using a maximum of 500 words on the easy-to-use entry submission form. Winners will be announced in October 2005.

Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales, says that the survey and contest were developed in keeping with the company's brand positioning -- which ensures that its passengers "Escape Completely" while cruising with Princess. According to Swartz, "we know that people want to truly escape when they're on vacation, to leave their everyday routine and responsibilities behind and enjoy a meaningful break where they can both indulge and rejuvenate. We thought that the Escape Completely survey would help uncover some salient -- and humorous -- facts about this need." (Additional survey findings attached).

Now, with the "Help Someone Escape Completely" contest, Princess Cruises is offering to provide a vacation escape for some passengers who deserve to leave their cares behind and experience some serious relaxation and pampering. Says Swartz, "All too often, the people we know in our lives that could most use a vacation are the people who are not in a position to take one...whether the reason be financial, time constraints, or just personal circumstances." Princess hopes that this contest will help provide the impetus that these people need to take a refreshing break from their everyday lives. Adds Swartz, "It's infinitely easier to make time for a vacation when it's already been planned and paid for...all one has to do is pick a date."

One of the pioneers of the modern-day cruise industry, Princess Cruises began as a one-ship company operating cruises to the Mexican Riviera in 1965. Celebrating 40 years of operation in 2005, the Los Angeles area-based company ranks as one of the largest cruise lines in the industry, with 13 ships sailing on approximately 150 different itineraries around the globe, and calling at more than 280 ports on all seven continents. The line became a household name in the mid 1970s when one of its ships was cast as the "star" of the long-running television series The Love Boat. Today, Princess is a leader in the rapidly growing cruise market and one of the best-known names in North American cruising. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the web at www.princess.com.

ABOUT THE SURVEY Harris Interactive® fielded the online survey on behalf of Princess Cruises between April 13 and 15, 2005 among a nationwide sample of 2,271 U.S. adults aged 18 or older. The data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity and propensity to be online. Though this online sample is not a probability sample, in theory, with probability samples of this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error for the results of men (1,021) is plus or minus 5 percentage points and for the results of women (1,250) is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

ABOUT HARRIS INTERACTIVE® Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll® and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.

Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (www.hieurope.com), Paris-based Novatris (www.novatris.com), Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide, a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V

Additional Escape Survey Findings

Women & Food: A Love-Hate Relationship...U.S. adult women are more than twice as likely as their male counterparts to consider "quantity of comfort food eaten" as an indicator that they are experiencing a high level of stress (43% to 20%), and four times more likely to feel that way about chocolate (24% to 6%).

Either Way, They're Driving People Crazy...While 52% of respondents most want to escape from people who tailgate, nearly the same percentage of respondents most want to escape from people who drive too slow in the fast lane (51%).

The Boss is a Real Dog. The percentage of U.S. adults who would rank their boss among the top-three people in their lives who most need a vacation escape is nearly the same percentage of adults who would rank their pet among the top three (6% to 4%).

Mom, I Love You But...When asked to choose the top-three people in their lives who most need a vacation escape, 79% of U.S. adults ranked themselves among the top three, while only 32% ranked their mothers in the top three.

Overall Greatest Stress Indicators: Being Tired, Cranky, and Bloated...The three most common things that U.S. adults say indicate a high level of stress in a typical day for them include: ...Hours of sleep lost (55%) ...Number of disagreements with people close to them (40%) ...Quantity of comfort food eaten (32%)

The Myth About "Monsters-in Law"...When asked "Who in your life do you most often need to escape from?" more people ranked their own parents among the top three than their in-laws (26% to 23%).

Voted In, But Not Stressed Out...Only 2% of U.S. adults ranked politicians among the top-three most overworked professions.

Five Alarm Surprise...Homemakers(43%) and waiters/waitresses (39%) beat firefighters (20%) approximately 2 to 1 for being ranked among the top-three most over worked professions.

"Low-Tech" Stress Reduction...The three most common ways people said they use most often to escape the stress of daily life were watching television (60%), listening to/playing music (49%), and taking a shower/bath (35%), whereas only 5% escape stress by visiting a chat room.

Retirement is Truly Bliss...While only 10% of people said they "do not face any stress," nearly half of those people are retired (49%).

A Debt-Trimental Situation...More than one-quarter of U.S. adults said bills/debts is the situation which they need to escape from the most (28%).

America's Diverse Palate...The three most popular items that people named as the one food they would choose if they could eat only one food on their vacation escape were steak (22%), lobster (20%), and pizza (12%).

Don't Talk About Needing a Vacation...Nearly half of US adults (47%) think that no TV talk show host deserves a vacation escape.

Just Say "No" to Paparazzi...More than one quarter of U.S. adults (26%) would not want to take ANY celebrity with them on a vacation escape.

Read the Signs, Dummy...More than one quarter of US adults (28%) want to "escape" from people who bring more than 10 items to the "10 items or less" lane at the grocery store.

Press Release by Princess Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 01:35 PM