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September 27, 2005

MSC Cruises Presents The Caribbean With A Distinctly European Flavor, Both Onboard And Ashore

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MSC CRUISES PRESENTS THE CARIBBEAN WITH A DISTINCTLY EUROPEAN FLAVOR, BOTH ONBOARD AND ASHORE

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (Sept. 12, 2005) – Visiting the Caribbean onboard an MSC Cruises’ ship is not your “typical” Caribbean cruise experience. MSC Cruises combines its uniquely authentic Italian culture and cuisine (which are part of every MSC cruise) with a distinctly European way of experiencing Caribbean destinations to create lifetime memories for its guests.

“We present our guests with a bit of Italy in the Caribbean Sea,” says Richard E. Sasso,president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA, “taking them to not only the customary and popular ports of call but also the less crowded, undiscovered gems of the Caribbean.”

There are many exciting and memorable experiences to be found – both onboard and ashore – on MSC Cruises’ Caribbean sailings of MSC Opera and MSC Lirica. Onboard, guests will enjoy the line’s “True Italian Signature” experience. An Italian-owned company, MSC Cruises features fine cuisine ranging from traditional authentic Italian recipes to gourmet delights and perennial All-American favorites. The ambiance is further enhanced by the ships’ elegant Italian design, the incomparable hospitality of the Italian officers and international crew, and the European-style entertainment – including the roaming Pagliacci troupe – that consistently earns rave reviews.

With this distinctly European ambiance as a backdrop, guests can swim or soak up some sun on deck, enjoy pampering in the spa, work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center, play miniature golf, or take part in some unique programs – perhaps even learn to speak Italian! MSC Cruises is also hosting several special theme cruises during the 2005-06 Caribbean season:

• Baseball Greats: Dec. 10 and April 22(MSC Lirica) and Jan. 28, Feb. 18, and March 11 (MSC Opera) – Six former “greats of the game” (player lineup varies by sailing) share tips, stories and complimentary autographs.

• Big Band: Jan. 13, March 20 and April 22 (MSC Lirica) – The 15-piece Les DeMerle Big Band features vocalist Bonnie Eisele.

• The Ink Spots: Jan. 24 (MSC Lirica) – With more than 80 hit records and numerous million sellers, The Ink Spots will delight audiences with the wonderful harmonies and arrangements that have made the group a musical legend around the world.

• Jazz: Feb. 15 (MSC Lirica) – Jazz pianist Joe Augustine and award-winning singer Dana Paul will be featured on this musical cruise, lending their stylings to the music and lyrics of the “greats” of yesterday and today.

On shore, MSC Cruises’ 7-, 10- and 11-night Caribbean itineraries offer an assortment of shore excursions with something for everyone’s interests, whether it is relaxing and rejuvenating on white sandy beaches or more adventurous island explorations. “Our exciting itineraries feature an array of shore excursions designed to let guests experience the Caribbean as they would like to, tailoring the onshore experiences to their own interests,” says Sasso. MSC Cruises’ private paradise, Cayo Levantado in the Dominican Republic, is sure to be one of the highlights of the 2005-06 Caribbean season. Known for its pristine beaches and turquoise waters, the Samana Bay that surrounds the island is also where humpback whales migrate each winter to give birth, making it ideal for whale watching.

Guests Guests who enjoy sightseeing and exploration can choose to tour the historic sites and picturesque scenery by bus, Jeep, catamaran, bicycle, or even by helicopter. Golfers who want to enjoy their hobby while on vacation will find themselves challenged by some of the Caribbean’s most renowned championship courses. Several Caribbean port calls also offer guests the opportunity to try something adventurous, such as kayaking, clay shooting, skeet shooting, off-road ATV adventures and whitewater rafting, or horseback riding along the shore or through rainforest and countryside. Since the best way to get close to marine life is in the water, guests can dive in and learn to scuba dive, go snorkeling, or swim with dolphins. MSC Lirica departs Genoa Nov. 23, 2005 on a 17-night transatlantic journey that brings her to Fort Lauderdale Dec. 10. MSC Lirica’s first sailing of the 2005-2006 Caribbean season is a 7-night itinerary that departs Fort Lauderdale Dec. 10, 2005 and calls at San Juan and St. Maarten in addition to La Romana and Cayo Levantado in the Dominican Republic. The ship then sails several itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale:

• 10-night Deep Caribbean Holiday Cruise (Dec. 17) – San Juan, Antigua, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and Nassau.

• 11-night Panama New Year’s Cruise (Dec. 27) – Montego Bay, Cartagena, Cristobal, Puerto Limon, Roatan Island and Cozumel.

• 11-night Panama Cruise (Jan. 13, Feb. 4, Feb. 26, March 20, April 11) – Ocho Rios, Cartagena, San Blas, Cristobal, Puerto Limon and Roatan Island.

• 11-night Deep Caribbean Cruise (Jan. 24, Feb. 15, March 9, March 31, April 4) – San Juan, St. Maarten, Grenada, Barbados, Antigua, Tortola, and Cayo Levantado.

MSC Opera departs Genoa Dec. 27 on an 18-night westbound transatlantic itinerary to Fort Lauderdale that includes eight nights at sea and calls at Valencia, Funchal, Grenada, Margarita Island, Martinique, St. Maarten and San Juan. MSC Opera begins a series of seven-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Jan. 14-April 1. The itinerary includes calls at San Juan, St. Maarten, La Romana and Cayo Levantado. MSC Opera departs Fort Lauderdale April 8 on a 17-night transatlantic crossing that calls at Cayo Levantado, Tortola, Martinique, Funchal, Malaga and Marsiglia before arriving in Genoa. MSC Lirica begins her return to Genoa May 3 on a 17-night journey that includes calls at Cayo Levantado, Tortola, Martinique, Funchal, Malaga and Barcelona. “When you take the lush Caribbean destinations, add in the extensive assortment of shore excursions and top that off with MSC Cruises’ ‘True Italian Signature’ experience, you are sure to have memories that will last a lifetime,” says Sasso.

Press Release by MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises European Cruise Information
MSC Cruises Caribbean & Panama Canal Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 08:37 AM

September 24, 2005

Oceania Cruises Releases The New 2006-2007 Winter Collection

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OCEANIA CRUISES RELEASES THE NEW 2006-2007 WINTER COLLECTION

Free Air and 2-for-1 Cruise Fares Offered On All Voyages

Miami, FL (September 15, 2005) - Oceania Cruises announced the debut of their new 2006-2007 Winter Collection of sailings to Asia, South America and the Caribbean. Comprised of 29 sailings that range from 10 to 35 days in length, all voyages will offer the extraordinary value of Free Air and 2-for-1 Cruise Fares that begin at $1,299 per guest.

Sailing to 90 ports on five continents, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica showcase the crème de la crème of cosmopolitan cities, scenic natural wonders, tropical island hideaways and off-the-beaten-path locales. Guests will be treated to the mystical wonders of Beijing and Xiamen, the crystal-clear waters and sugar-sand beaches of Grand Turk or the awe-inspiring majesty of Iguaçu Falls and the Amazon. Enriching the destination experience, Oceania Cruises offers more than 40 overnight port stays throughout Asia, South America and the Caribbean along with an abundance of enticing shore excursion and overland touring options. “Oceania Cruises has set the industry standard for upscale destination cruising and this diverse array of itineraries raises the benchmark for excellence to new heights,” commented Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Highlights of the 2006-2007 Winter Collection

Singapore to Hong Kong, 15 Days
Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Canton (Huangpu)
December 22, 2006; January 6, 2007 (reverse); January 21, 2007

Bangkok to Beijing, 24 Days
Ko Samui (Thailand), Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Da Nang (Vietnam), Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Hong Kong, Taipei (Keelung), Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Shanghai, Seoul (Inchon)
February 20, 2007

Hong Kong to Athens, 35 Days
Da Nang (Vietnam), Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Singapore, Phuket, Goa (Mormugao), Bombay, Salalah, Luxor (Safaga), Aqaba, Suez Canal, Cairo (Port Said)
April 21, 2007

Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, 10 Days
Ihla Grande (Brazil), Parati (Brazil), Santos (Brazil), Itajaí (Iguaçu Falls), Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), Montevideo (Uruguay)
December 9, 2006

Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, 16 Days
Montevideo (Uruguay), Puerto Madryn (Argentina), Port Stanley (Falkland Islands), Ushuaia (Argentina), Cape Horn, Punta Arenas (Chile), Chilean Fjords, Laguna San Rafael (Chile), Puerto Chacabuco (Chile), Puerto Montt (Chile)
December 19, 2006; January 4, 2007 (reverse); January 20, 2007; February 5, 2007 (reverse)

Manaus to Bridgetown, 14 Days
Anavilhanas Archipelago (Brazil), Amazon River, Boca da Valeria (Brazil), Santarem (Brazil), Devil’s Island, St. George’s (Grenada), Isla Margarita (Venezuela)
March 20, 2007

Miami to Miami, 26 Days
Tortola, St. Barts, St. Lucia, Tobago, Amazon River (Macapa), Santarem (Brazil), Boca da Valeria (Brazil), Manaus (Brazil), Parintins (Brazil), Devil’s Island, Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, Virgin Gorda, Samaná (Dominican Republic), Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos Islands)
November 25, 2006

Miami to Miami, 12 Days
Virgin Gorda, St. Barts, Dominica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Tortola, Samaná (Dominican Republic), Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos Islands)
December 21, 2006; February 13, 2007; March 11, 2007

New Ports of Call

  • Laguna San Rafael, Chile
  • Puerto Chacabuco, Chile
  • Nanjing, China
  • Qingdao, China
  • Xiamen, China
  • Samaná, Dominican Republic
  • George Town, Grand Cayman
  • Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

“The focus of Oceania Cruises is on destinations and discoveries, transporting guests to new cultures while enjoying the extraordinary style, comfort and gourmet cuisine that Oceania Cruises has become synonymous with. Oceania Cruises is always seeking to elevate the travel experience, and that is why we have added these enchanting new destinations to our critically acclaimed itineraries,” added Del Rio.

Free Air and 2-For-1 Cruise Fares

These new itineraries represent the pinnacle of value and are certain to sell out as quickly as the 2005 and 2006 sailings which are virtually sold out. Complete itineraries, fares and shore excursions are available online at OceaniaCruises.com or through your travel agent. The offer of Free Air and 2-for-1 Cruise Fares is capacity controlled and expires January 31, 2006.

Press Release by Oceania Cruises

For Additional Information About Oceania Cruises European Cruises Click Here!

Posted by Denise at 10:41 AM

September 22, 2005

RSSC Unveils "Circle of Interest" Options for Seven Seas Voyager's Oct.30th sailing

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RSSC Unveils "Circle of Interest" Options for Seven Seas Voyager's Oct.30th sailing

Onboard & Ashore: Excursions, Workshops and Lectures Focus on Nature, Antiques, Archaeology

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL. (September 12, 2005) - Radisson Seven Seas® today unveiled an innovative "Circle of Interest" concept, offering guests of select cruises their choice of exclusive packages featuring ship and shore programs linked by a common theme. The enrichment programs will be launched on the Seven Seas Voyager"s® October 30 Athens to Monte Carlo voyage where nature, antiques and archaeology themed experiences will feature onboard lectures and workshops plus specially created excursions and events led by "Circle" guest experts.

Following the July rollout of its "Travel Concierge" program, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises has added another highly customizable ship to shore option for guests. "The easy-to-book 'Circle of Interest' packages enable guests to adjust their experiences in various ports through their own personal lens on the world," said Mark Conroy, president of Radisson Seven Seas. "Our 'Circle of Interest' offerings will provide an entertaining, educational means for them to obtain these enriching experiences, while drawing fellow guests into a social circle of shared interests - the kind that foster an easy spirit of camaraderie."

The inaugural seven-night "Circle of Interest" cruise on the 700-guest all balcony-suite Seven Seas Voyager departs Athens for Monte Carlo on October 30, calling at Kusadasi, Rhodes, Heraklion, Sorrento, and Civitavecchia (Rome). These classical Mediterranean ports will come to life through three optional "Circle of Interest" packages: "Explore the Natural Beauty of the Mediterranean" with acclaimed environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau; "Archaeology & Ancient History" with well-known destination author and world traveler Dr. Sandra Bowern; and "Antiques, Art & Artifacts" with experts from the popular BBC television series Antiques Roadshow.

Stunning Scenery

From plunging cliffs to charming countryside villages, guests will "Explore the Natural Beauty of the Mediterranean" during four excursions through some the area's most exquisite coastal destinations. Among the package's highlights are "Positano & Lunch at Hotel San Pietro with Jean-Michel Cousteau" (Sorrento), "Panoramic View of Rhodes," "Flavors of the Etruscan Countryside" (Civitavecchia), and "Acardi and Old Rethymnon" (Heraklion). The tour package is $395 per person, and is limited to just 50 participants.

Discover the Past

Participants of the "Archaeology & Ancient History" package will enjoy in-depth historical perspectives of ancient Mediterranean sites from Dr. Sandra Bowern. In addition to two exclusive onboard evening events, four shore excursions are featured: "Ephesus & the Sirinee Villas with Sandra Bowern" (Kusadasi), "The Palace of Knossos & the Heraklion Museum," "Medieval Rhodes & the Grand Masters Palace," and "Ancient Pompeii" (Sorrento). The tour package is $246 per person.

Hidden Treasures

Hidden treasures of Turkey, Greece and Rome with be unearthed during the "Antiques, Art & Artifacts" program. Antiques Roadshow experts will host workshops to help guests find the most unique local offerings, and provide advice on appraising quality and price. In addition to the experts leading forays in Kusadasi and Rome, guests will also enjoy three half-day tours (which will allow time for independent shopping): "Cretian Pottery and Vineyards" (Heraklion), "Panoramic View of Rhodes," and "Ancient Ephesus" (Kusadasi). At the end of the week, an "Antiques Boatshow" will be staged onboard, where participants can share their discoveries with the appraisers. The tour package is $260 per person.

Per person fares for the October 30 Seven Seas Voyager cruise start at $3,746 and include 25% savings, all shipboard gratuities, wine with dinner, all juices and soft beverages, and an in-suite bar set up.

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 09:00 AM

September 21, 2005

Tahiti & Beyond: Paul Gauguin to feature NEW Australia itinerary in 2006

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Tahiti & Beyond: Paul Gauguin to feature NEW Australia itinerary in 2006

Radisson Seven Seas Will Manage Vessel Through 2008;
$6 Million in Renovations Planned for January 2006 Dry Dock

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (September 13, 2005) - Luxury cruising on the Paul Gauguin® in 2006 will chart appealing new waters as the ship expands her repertoire with some exciting new ports. In addition, she will reprise her popular Marquesas voyages, as well as her romantic series of seven-night cruises sailing roundtrip from Papeete in Tahiti & Her Islands, Radisson Seven Seas® announced today.

In a further development, the ship's owner Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited has renewed its contract with Radisson Seven Seas to manage the vessel through the end of 2008. The Paul Gauguin will also undergo a $6 million renovation during its January 2006 dry dock.

In 2006, the acclaimed Paul Gauguin, synonymous with luxury cruising in Tahiti since entering service in the famed islands in 1998, will offer a selection of 24 seven-night Society Islands itineraries, plus an expanded lineup of nine-, 10-, 11-, and 14-night sailings reaching the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Australs, and Cook Islands. Additionally, following a 22-day January dry dock in Brisbane, Australia, she will set sail on a new 18-night course from the Queensland capital to the Tahitian capital of Papeete.

Extending Stay, Enhanced Luxury

"Haere mai" (come hither) to the South Pacific and sail the elegant 339-guest Paul Gauguin, the only luxury vessel to make Tahiti her year-round home. Named the "World's Best Small Ship" in Condé Nast Traveler's 2004 Cruise Poll, the Paul Gauguin will continue to sail the crystal waters of the South Seas through the end of 2008 under the management of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises.
Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited will spend $6 million to renovate and enhance the celebrated luxury vessel during her January 7-29, 2006, dry dock. She will be outfitted with a new lounge/piano bar and 14 additional staterooms, half of them with private balconies. The Internet café will be redesigned and carpets and soft goods will be updated.

South Pacific Sojourns

The acclaimed Paul Gauguin's intimate size, tasteful elegance and all ocean view accommodations (50% with private balconies) embrace the dramatic panoramas of French Polynesia, much as the artist Paul Gauguin¿s bold brushstrokes captured these enchanting island settings over a century ago.

The ship's 24 seven-night roundtrip sailings depart Papeete on Saturdays and visit Raiatea (the cultural heart of Polynesia), Tahaa (for a call at the ship's private islet of Motu Mahana), Bora Bora (for two full days on the island James Michener used as the model of his idyllic "Bali Hai") and two days in Moorea (the inspiration for Herman Melville's novel Omoo).

Also in 2006, she will sail two 14-night Marquesas cruises; one 14-night Cook and Society Islands, Australs and Tuamotus voyage; three 11-night Society Islands, Tuamotus and Marquesas voyages; three 10-night Society Islands and Tuamotus cruises; and two nine-night Society Islands Holiday voyages which include calls at Huahine. Plus, select departures of her seven-, 10-, and 14-night sailings will feature an optional six-night post-cruise land adventure including three nights in Auckland, New Zealand and three nights in Sydney, Australia.

Among the wide array of new, optional shore excurs¬ions are a "Capture Moorea Photo Adventure," "Botanical & Agricultural Walk" (Moorea), "Sunset Sail Aboard the 'Margouillat'" (Moorea), "Romantic Escapade at Bora Bora Pearl Beach" (overnight), and a "Clear Kayak Safari to Motu Ofetaro" (Raiatea). Other choices include island and lagoon explorations, parasailing, shark and stingray feedings, off-road mountain adventures, wave-runner tours and helicopter flight-seeing expeditions.

Launched last year to much applause, the Paul Gauguin's "Ambassadors of the Environment" program will again be offered to youngsters on the June 10 to August 23 sailings. In partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, the program aims to give young cruise guest participants aged nine to 15 interactive experiences with and knowledge of marine and island ecosystems, emphasizing the critical importance of coral reefs, sustainable lifestyles and traditional Polynesian culture.

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 08:37 AM

September 19, 2005

Tropical Weather Update: September 19, 2005 6:30 p.m.

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Tropical Weather Update: September 19, 2005 6:30 p.m.

Royal Caribbean International continues to closely monitor the path and progress of Tropical Storm Rita to ensure our guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises, and to make certain our ships steer clear of the storm.

The safety of our guests and crew is always the foremost concern of Royal Caribbean International.

Given Tropical Storm Rita's location and projected path, Royal Caribbean is currently altering the itineraries of four ships:

Ships sailing from the Port of Baltimore:
Grandeur of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Key West, Florida, Tuesday, due to the closure of the port. Instead, the ship will sail directly to Cozumel, Mexico, where it will arrive on Tuesday afternoon.

Ships sailing from Port Canaveral:
UPDATED: Mariner of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Nassau, Bahamas, today, due to the closure of the port. Instead, the ship will spend today at sea and provide a substitute port call in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday. The ship will then complete its scheduled itinerary.

UPDATED: Sovereign of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Coco Cay, Bahamas, Tuesday. Instead, the ship will spend Tuesday at sea, make its scheduled port call in Nassau, Bahamas, on Wednesday and make a port call in Coco Cay on Thursday.

Ships sailing from the Port of Miami:
Majesty of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Nassau, Bahamas, Tuesday, due to the closure of the port. Instead, the ship will spend the day at sea.

At this time, no other Royal Caribbean International ships are being adversely impacted by tropical weather. Royal Caribbean will continue to closely monitor weather conditions and update this information at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Press Release by Royal Caribbean International

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

Posted by Denise at 07:46 PM

September 17, 2005

Tropical Weather Update: September 17, 2005 -- noon

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Tropical Weather Update: September 17, 2005 -- noon

Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises continue to closely monitor the path and progress of Tropical Storm Ophelia to ensure our guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises, and to make certain our ships steer clear of the storm.

The safety of our guests and crew is always the foremost concern of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.

Given Tropical Storm Ophelia’s location and projected path, Royal Caribbean is currently altering the itinerary of one ship and Celebrity Cruises is currently providing guidance regarding two ships:

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

Ships sailing from the Port of Baltimore:

UPDATED -- Grandeur of the Seas will arrive in and depart from the Port of Baltimore today, one day later than normal. The ship arrived in Baltimore at 6 a.m. this morning. Embarkation began at 11 a.m. today, and all guests should arrive at the port by 3 p.m. The ship will depart Baltimore at 3:30 p.m. today. Royal Caribbean will provide up to $100 per person for airline ticket change fees for guests needing to alter air transportation to meet the ship. Due to the ship’s delayed departure from Baltimore, its scheduled port calls in Freeport and Coco Cay, Bahamas, will be cancelled. The remainder of the itinerary will be carried out as scheduled. Guests who sail on this cruise will receive an onboard credit of $250 per stateroom.

CELEBRITY CRUISES

Ships sailing from the Port of Philadelphia:

Horizon will arrive in and depart from the Port of Philadelphia as scheduled today.

Ships sailing from Cape Liberty Cruise Port:

Zenith will arrive in and depart from Cape Liberty as scheduled today.

At this time, no other Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises ships are being adversely impacted by tropical weather. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises will continue to closely monitor weather conditions and update this information as needed.

Press Release by Royal Caribbean International

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

Posted by Denise at 12:40 PM

New Digital Video Editing Course Added To Crystal Cruises’ Expanding Computer University@Sea Curriculum

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New Digital Video Editing Course Added To Crystal Cruises’ Expanding Computer University@Sea Curriculum

Cruise Industry’s Most Comprehensive Computer Enrichment Program

Features 30 Different Courses from Novice to Expert

LOS ANGELES, (August 23, 2005) - A new digital video editing course invites Crystal cruisers to try their hand at creating 'mini-documentaries' of their worldly travels. The class is the newest addition to the extensive and continually expanding curriculum of 30 different complimentary courses offered as part of Crystal Cruises' innovative Computer University@Sea®. From the adventures ashore to the sophisticated elegance on board, a Crystal vacation can be immortalized - and personalized - as guests learn how to creatively edit together their own video with footage from acquired sources, such as existing Crystal videos, and even add special effects.

Comprising the majority of Crystal's expansive computer class roster are approximately 20 hands-on courses presented in the state-of-the-art Computer University@Sea labs. In addition, Crystal offers technology themed auditorium-style lectures on varied contemporary topics ranging from computer security and online privacy to shopping online. On any given cruise, instructors teach an average of ten classes, ranging from novice to expert levels. On longer cruises, such as the luxury line's 106-day World Cruise, a progressive series of courses is available. All of the classes are complimentary; private instruction is available for a fee.

"For nearly a decade, Crystal's Computer University@Sea has been at the forefront of our industry offering guests contemporary enrichment opportunities in line with the dramatic evolution of the Internet and digital communication," says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president, hotel operations. "The extensiveness of our program is unmatched in both its variety and originality. Imagine returning home with a customized movie of your trek through Machu Picchu, your exploration of the pyramids at Giza, the new friends you've met along the way and the ever-changing scenery of the world beyond your private balcony."

In 1996, Crystal became the first cruise line to offer regularly scheduled computer instruction and e-mail. Today, the line features one of the highest ratios of computers to guests than any other resort, 24-hour Internet access from every lab computer and from every stateroom, and a dedicated team offering instruction on topics ranging from basic computer skills on e-mail, Word, Excel and understanding your hand held organizer to advanced digital photo finishing and website design.

Laptops and desktops in the Computer University@Sea labs are configured for Internet access, allowing guests to explore cyberspace and/or send or retrieve e-mail instantly via their own Internet e-mail system or Internet service provider. Guests also retain the option of sending/receiving e-mail through the ships' e-mail service. Laptops are available to rent for $5 per day, or guests may choose to have their own laptops configured for in-stateroom Internet access.

Crystal's around-the-clock Internet capabilities augment many other onboard information services that keep guests up to date on the latest news and information from around the world. Guests can watch CNN, CNBC, Fox News and ESPN 24 hours a day in most destinations, read daily news summaries and receive free delivery of USA Today in most ports.

Press Release by Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises to Alaska
Crystal Cruises to Mexico
Crystal Cruises to Europe

Posted by Denise at 11:31 AM

September 16, 2005

Freedom Is... Hanging Ten A Hundred Miles Out To Sea

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Freedom Is... Hanging Ten A Hundred Miles Out To Sea
Royal Caribbean International Introduces First Surf Park At Sea Aboard Freedom Of The Seas

Miami - August 31, 2005 - Active cruisers wondering "what's next?" have their answer. Royal Caribbean International - the cruise line that introduced the first onboard rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks and in-line skating tracks - now will offer guests the chance to "hang ten" a hundred miles out to sea with the first-ever shipboard surf park aboard Freedom of the Seas.

The company unveiled plans today for the onboard surf park at a special event at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., which will be the first U.S. stop in Freedom of the Seas' preview schedule when she debuts as the world's largest cruise ship in May 2006.

Created by WaveLoch, Inc. of La Jolla, Calif., the 32-foot-wide by 40-foot-long FlowRider® generates a thin sheet of water that flows over the ride surface, creating a wave-like shape. Similar to swimming against a current in a stationary lap pool, riders surf or body board against a wave like waterflow of 30,000 gallons per minute, carving turns and trying tricks.

"There's no greater feeling of freedom than challenging yourself to expand your limits," said Royal Caribbean International President Adam Goldstein. "In the same way that our rock-climbing walls have inspired cruisers to get out there and try new things, we know the FlowRider® will add to our guests' excitement with an adrenaline-pumping, unforgettable new experience."

Adventurous guests can try their hand (and legs) at stand-up surfing, known as flowboarding, or opt for less-balance-demanding body boarding. The FlowRider's® design features a composite surface similar to a trampoline that provides a cushion to absorb the impact of falls.

Descending from the aft sports court on Deck 13 down to Deck 12, the FlowRider® will be surrounded by plenty of space for spectators to cheer on their friends, family and fellow cruisers. After guests sign up, instructors will walk them through a required safety session with tips for a successful ride. An adjacent sports bar will feature flat-screen TVs with a live feed of the surf park action, while a sports boutique will offer surfing gear and wear. There will not be a charge to ride the FlowRider®.

To give cruisers a preview of the new surf attraction, Royal Caribbean also has created a new TV commercial that shows the hottest trends in surfing through the ages, ending with computer-generated images of what the FlowRider® will look like on Freedom of the Seas. The message is concise: "Long board. Short board. Boogie board. Onboard." The ad begins airing today nationwide.

The new surf park is the fourth outstanding aqua environment to be announced for Freedom of the Seas. The ship also will feature an adults-only Solarium with two cantilevered whirlpools extending 12 feet past the sides of the ship; a main pool area with two pools, including one dedicated to team sports and lap swimming; and the colorful H2O Zone water park, featuring interactive sculpture fountains, ground geysers, a cascading waterfall and a circular pool with current.

Wave Loch, Inc. manufacturers simulated surfing attractions located around the world (see www.waveloch.com). FlowRider® is a trademark of Light Wave Ltd., of Reno, Nevada.

At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,600 guests double-occupancy, Freedom of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in May 2006. The first in Royal Caribbean's new Freedom class, she will be the most forward-looking and innovative ship the company has built to date. Freedom of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola.

Press Release by Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International Alaska Cruise Information
Royal Caribbean International Alaska Cruisetour Packages
Royal Caribbean International Canadian Rockies Cruisetour Packages
Royal Caribbean International Whistler Cruisetour Packages
Royal Caribbean International Mexico Cruise Information
Royal Caribbean International Europe Cruisetour Packages

Posted by Denise at 08:56 AM

September 15, 2005

Celebrity Cruises' Millennium And Infinity "Trade Places"

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CELEBRITY CRUISES' MILLENNIUM AND INFINITY "TRADE PLACES"

Miami - (September 01, 2005 ) - Celebrity Cruises will "swap ships" for its 2006 sailings in South America to avoid disruption of guests' vacations and keep both ships on track for scheduled drydock periods. Celebrity's Millennium will replace sister ship Infinity in South America, while Infinity will sail in the Caribbean.

"Drydock availability for Infinity changed following completion of our 2006 deployment plans, so to avoid disrupting any of our guests' vacation plans, we chose to swap ships," said Celebrity's President Dan Hanrahan. "Millennium is scheduled to enter drydock this November, just before returning from Europe to the Caribbean, leaving the ship perfectly positioned to offer our guests a full, uninterrupted season of cruising in South America."

Meanwhile, sister ship Infinity is scheduled for drydock in the Caribbean from March 20 through April 2, 2006. Celebrity's decision also was based on the virtually identical guest experience offered on the two ships.

"Guests who are familiar with Infinity will feel completely at home onboard Millennium, and vice versa," said Hanrahan. "Both are ranked among the top 10 ships in the world, and the layout of the two is almost identical, as are all of the signature spaces, short of design and color scheme."

All itineraries in both regions remain exactly as scheduled. Guests currently booked on either Infinity or Millennium in the first quarter of 2006 are being informed that they will retain the same accommodations they have now. All guest data, such as booking and stateroom numbers, will be automatically transferred to the appropriate ship.

Celebrity has established two toll-free lines for travel agents and guests with questions. For group bookings, call 1-888-305-4549, and for individual bookings, call 1-888 837-5676.

Millennium-South America Itineraries
On December 24, Millennium will sail a 15-night South America voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso, Chile. The ship then will depart on alternating 14-night South America cruises from Valparaiso or Buenos Aires, Argentina, January 8 and 22, and February 5, 2006. On February 19, Millennium will offer Celebrity's wildly popular 14-night "Rio Carnaval" cruise roundtrip from Buenos Aires. The ship's South America season will be capped with a 14-night cruise from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso on March 5, and a 14-night Panama Canal cruise departing Valparaiso on March 19, followed by the resumption of Millennium's Caribbean season beginning April 2, 2006, with a seven-night cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.

Infinity-Caribbean Itineraries
Infinity will sail a nine-night Eastern Caribbean holiday cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on December 24, 2005. On January 2, 2006, Infinity will set sail on a special six-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale, and every Sunday through March 19 will offer a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. Following scheduled drydock from March 19-April 2, 2006, Infinity will cap the season with a 15-night Panama Canal cruise departing Fort Lauderdale April 2, ending in San Francisco.

To compensate for Infinity's two-week dry-dock period in March and to meet guest demand for additional Caribbean cruises this winter, Celebrity also is offering four new seven-night cruises on Century. The ship will sail round-trip from Fort Lauderdale on March 19 and 26, and April 2 and 9, calling on Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Key West, Florida.

Celebrity Cruises is the industry's highest rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has 10 ships in its fleet, which sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. In addition, Celebrity Xpeditions offer exotic travel experiences in the Galapagos Islands and every major region where Celebrity sails.

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 08:36 AM

September 14, 2005

Savings Specials On Three October Crystal Cruises

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Savings Specials On Three October Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, (August 22, 2005) - Crystal Cruises announces new savings for its fall season, which includes an additional 15% off two sailings to New England & Canada and new lower fares on an October Mediterranean cruise. Adding special enrichment to these cruises are celebrity food and wine experts and lectures by specialists from the Smithsonian and Sotheby's Institutes.

15% off New England & Canada

For new bookings made by September 15, 2005, guests will enjoy an additional 15% off all Deluxe Stateroom accommodations (categories A through E) on two New England & Canada cruises departing October 16 and 27 aboard the luxurious Crystal Symphony. New fares represent a savings of up to $400 per person, depending on cruise.

On October 16, Crystal Symphony's 11-day cruise departs from New York and visits Newport, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts (overnight); Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Québec City (overnight) and Montréal, Québec. Fares start at $2,851.

Guest Chef Dominique Filoni, winner of the 2004 "Best New Chef" award by Food & Wine Magazine, and Peter Marks, curator of wine at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts, team up for cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and a grand chef's dinner on this Crystal Wine & Food Festival sailing.

On October 27, Crystal Symphony's 10-day voyage departs from Montréal and visits Québec City, Québec; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; New York; Charleston, South Carolina; and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Fares start at $2,580. Author Steven May, a frequent Smithsonian lecturer and tour guide, will headline this Smithsonian Associates Theme cruise and offer insights on New England art and culture.

New Lower Fares to the Mediterranean

New lower fares are available to the Mediterranean for Crystal Serenity's 11-day October 14 cruise from Rome to Barcelona. Starting at just $2,995, the new lower fares represent a per person savings range of $700 to $1,200, depending on stateroom category. Ports of call include Naples and Livorno/Florence, Italy; Villefranche/Nice, France (overnight); Gibraltar, UK; Málaga/Granada and Mallorca, Spain.

Old Master Paintings Expert Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe of Sotheby's Institute of Art in London will entertain guests with her informative lecture series on the history and techniques of Baroque and Renaissance painters in Europe.

Fares quoted include port charges and are based on per person, double occupancy accommodations. A fuel surcharge of $4.00 per person, per day will be applied to all cruise fares.

Press Release by Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises to Alaska
Crystal Cruises to Mexico
Crystal Cruises to Europe

Posted by Denise at 08:55 AM

September 13, 2005

Confluence Of Hanukkah, Christmas And New Year's On Crystal's Two Luxuriously Festive 2005 Itineraries

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Confluence Of Hanukkah, Christmas And New Year's On Crystal's Two Luxuriously Festive 2005 Itineraries
Convenient Domestic Departures from Los Angeles or Ft. Lauderdale

LOS ANGELES, (August 18, 2005) - This holiday season, travelers will have the unusual opportunity to celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's Eve on a single two-week tropical cruise aboard the luxurious ships of Crystal Cruises. Hanukkah dreidels, toy soldiers, Christmas trees, New Year's noisemakers, menorahs, seasonal gifts and more come together for a joyous celebration through either the Mexican Riviera or Caribbean.

"This year, a holiday vacation with Crystal is truly a wonderful gift for extended families and friends of different faiths to share the most joyous time of the year together," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "With Hanukkah beginning on the eve of December 25th and ending on New Year's Day, guests will have the rare chance to celebrate their own traditions and at the same time share other festivities in a decidedly joyful yet sophisticated ambience."

Round-trip from Los Angeles, the warmth of Mexico and the luxury of Crystal Serenity beckon travelers to escape the home-based hustle of the holidays on a Pacific Riviera itinerary departing December 21, 2005. The 14-day cruise journeys to San Diego, California; Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta (overnight), Mazatlán and La Paz, Mexico. Fares start at $6,425 per person, double occupancy.

A 14-day Tropical Holiday voyage on Crystal Symphony travels round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale on December 22, 2005, visiting Key West, Florida; Aruba, Dutch West Indies; Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles; Barbados and St. Lucia, West Indies; St. Barts, French West Indies; St. Thomas, USVI; and Nassau, Bahamas. Fares start at $5,600 per person, double occupancy.

In keeping with Crystal's ultra-luxury vacation experience, $100,000 of seasonal décor - such as handcrafted ornaments, ornate sleighs, elaborate trees, twinkling menorahs - will adorn each ship. Clergy will be aboard to conduct a Christmas Eve Mass or a Protestant Christmas Eve service, and a rabbi will travel with each ship to conduct Hanukkah services. Junior activities staff will coordinate youth events throughout. Rich seasonal foods are complemented by low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free, vegetarian and other dietary selections on every menu.

Holiday cruise highlights include:

Christmas Eve

  • Traditional Christmas Eve Dinner of roasted young duckling with chestnut stuffing and caramelized raspberry sauce, among other savory specialties;
  • Christmas tree lighting ceremony hosted by the Captain - complete with Christmas carols, cookies and hot chocolate;
  • Holiday tunes in the Avenue Saloon piano bar;
  • Gingerbread houses adorning the dining room, lounges and Crystal Penthouses; and,
  • Holiday gifts for all guests.

    Christmas Day

  • Complimentary morning eggnog followed by a gala Christmas luncheon;
  • An afternoon arrival of Santa Claus bearing gifts for Junior Cruisers;
    "A Christmas Carol" performed by Crystal's innovative Repertory Theatre at Sea troupe;
  • An extravagant Christmas Day Dinner with roasted Maryland tom turkey with bourbon-pecan gravy, cranberry-mango chutney and orange stuffing or sugar-glazed ham with marsala wine sauce and other traditional trimmings;
  • Holiday-themed films (throughout cruise), shown in the Hollywood Theatre, as well as other popular recent releases; and,
  • In-stateroom television programming (throughout cruise) of Christmas classics for all ages.

    Hanukkah or "The Festival of Lights" (December 25-January 1)

  • Traditional and nostalgic festivities include the nightly lighting of the Menorah;
  • Traditional fried foods such as potato latkes;
  • A Hanukkah dinner with gefilte fish, home-made chicken soup with matzo balls, roasted kosher chicken and potato pancakes with all of the seasonal accompaniments;
  • Hanukkah "gelt" chocolate coins for all ages; and
  • Story-telling of Hanukkah traditions and singing of Hanukkah folk songs.

    New Year's Eve

  • An opulent, gala New Year's Dinner, followed by drinks and dancing;
  • A New Year's Eve live show; and,
  • A festive New Year's Eve Countdown and balloon drop in the elegant two-story atrium.

    New Year's Day:

  • Complimentary Bloody Mary parties; and,
  • New Year's Day Brunch with champagne and mimosas.

    Fares are based on per person, double occupancy accommodations and include port charges. A fuel surcharge of $4.00 per person, per day will be added to the cruise fare.

    Press Release by Crystal Cruises

    Crystal Cruises to Alaska
    Crystal Cruises to Mexico
    Crystal Cruises to Europe

    Posted by Denise at 08:34 AM
  • September 11, 2005

    New Amazon Itineraries Highlight Crystal Cruises' New 2006 South America Program

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    New Amazon Itineraries Highlight Crystal Cruises' New 2006 South America Program
    Luxury Line Debuts New Three-Night Overland Journey to Machu Picchu

    LOS ANGELES, CA (August 10, 2005) - Two new Amazon itineraries and an overland adventure to Machu Picchu distinguish a new South America season for luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises in 2006. From the wilds of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego to the cosmopolitan beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, Crystal reveals the passion of South America on six eco-rich itineraries.

    From January through April, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity offer a diverse collection of South America cruises ranging from 11 to 16 days, departing from Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Manaus, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Valparaíso, Chile. Maiden calls to the Brazilian ports of Alter do Chão and Boca de Valeria spotlight Crystal Symphony's two Amazon cruises, a region regarded as the most diverse ecosystem on the planet.

    The season's highlights include itineraries around Cape Horn, offering excursions to Antarctica, overnight stays in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Punta Arenas, Chile; Lima, Peru; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil; and extended land programs including:

    A new three-night journey to Machu Picchu aboard the Hiram Bingham train, with accommodations in Cuzco's Hotel Monasterio (from Lima or Valparaíso);

    A five-night excursion to Iguazú Falls, featuring spectacular vistas from both the Argentinean and Brazilian sides (from Buenos Aires); and,

    A four-night adventure to the Galapagos, featuring the lunar landscape of Bartolome Island and the endangered tortoises on Santa Cruz (from Valparaíso)

    "South America is a land of diversity - the mysteries of the Amazon, the drama of the Chilean fjords, the sophistication of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires - and a vacation with Crystal Cruises affords travelers a chance to explore both the rugged and posh with seamless luxury and attention to detail," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing.

    The 1,080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity kicks off the South America seasonon January 18 with a 14-day journey from Los Angeles to Lima, celebrating Aztec and Inca treasures with port calls at Acapulco and Huatulco, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Guayaquil, Equador (overnight); and an overnight in Lima, Peru.

    The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Symphony follows with five cruises - including two journeys through the Amazon, a destination Crystal originally explored in 2001 - with each itinerary offering opportunities for unique adventure:

    February 18; AMAZON - Miami to Manaus; 11 days; ports of call include Antigua/St. John's and Barbados/Bridgetown, West Indies; Devil's Island, French Guyana; Alter do Chão and Parintins, Brazil.

    March 1; AMAZON - Manaus to Buenos Aires; 15 days; ports of call include Boca de Valeria, Santarém and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Montevideo, Uruguay.

    March 16 - Buenos Aires to Valparaíso; 14 days; ports of call include Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt Chile; and cruising Cape Horn, the Beagle Channel and the Chilean Fjords.

    March 30 - Valparaíso to Buenos Aires; 14 days; ports of call include Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas, Chile; cruising the Chilean Fjords, the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn; and Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

    April 13 - Buenos Aires to Miami; 16 days; ports of call include Montevideo, Uruguay; Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Fortaleza, Brazil; and Barbados/Bridgetown, West Indies.

    As part of the line's renowned Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program, experts from the Sotheby's Institute, Smithsonian Associates and other prestigious institutions will travel aboard most itineraries sharing insight into the cultures and histories of the diverse continent. For example, Professor Maxine Margolis will discuss the results of her research on Brazilian culture and society.

    Fares for Crystal's South America cruises begin at $2,995 per person, double occupancy, depending on itinerary and do not include taxes or fuel, port, security and handling charges.

    Press Release by Crystal Cruises

    Crystal Cruises to Alaska
    Crystal Cruises to Mexico
    Crystal Cruises to Europe

    Posted by Denise at 10:31 AM

    September 10, 2005

    Holland America Line Unfolds Three 56- To 105-Day Grand Voyages In 2007 Aboard Two Ships

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    Holland America Line Unfolds Three 56- To 105-Day Grand Voyages In 2007 Aboard Two Ships

    Seattle, WA (August 25, 2005) – The ms Amsterdam will circle the globe and the ms Prinsendam will explore select regions when Holland America Line expands its prestigious Grand Voyage program to two ships and three epic cruises in 2007. This will commemorate the company’s 43rd year of featuring globe-spanning sailings and mark the return of the popular 1,380-guest flagship Amsterdam to world cruising.

    Offering three distinctive ways to enjoy in-depth cruising, the Amsterdam will make a true circumnavigation of the globe in 105 days, while the 793-guest Prinsendam reveals beguiling icescapes and cities on a circumnavigation of South America and Antarctica for 66 days followed by a 56-day sojourn traversing the Atlantic to the classic and provocative ports of Europe and North Africa. The two ships will chart different courses to city and island destinations, and will cross paths docking the same day in picturesque Dubrovnik, Croatia, on April 11, with a special celebration planned for guests on both ships.

    “As the leaders in world voyages, we at Holland America Line are consistently listening to past guests and building innovative itineraries,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “With two different ships and more extended port stays than ever, these epic cruises feature diversity, luxury and a sophisticated experience that is in a class-by-itself.”

    Around the World in a Leisurely 105 Days

    Returning to sailing the Grand World Voyage itineraries, the Amsterdam will chart a westward course through 17 oceans, encompassing three maiden ports, daylight passing through the Panama and Suez canals as well as two- and three-day stays in Callao (Lima), Peru; Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong, China; Mumbai, India; and Dubai, U.A.E. On her third world voyage, the Amsterdam will make three maiden visits to the resort town of Nha Trang, Vietnam; the vast, pearl-rich harbor of Tuticorin, India; and chic Salalah, Oman, with its lingering aromas of Frankincense.

    The Amsterdam will depart Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 15, 2007, on a 33,400-nautical-mile journey to 38 ports in 26 countries and six continents. Onboard, staff will help guests celebrate the Panama Canal transit with an evening deck party, and the crossing of the Equator with a charming King Neptune Ceremony initiating guests into south-seas sailing. An overnight in Callao (Lima) provides an opportunity to visit the mystifying Incan world of Machu Picchu. Two days become one when the Amsterdam crosses the International Date Line and glides toward the fascinating worlds of Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

    More overnights, including two in Hong Kong and Mumbai, add time for enjoying a range of beaches and famous temples of the world’s religions. Other highlights include “center-of-the-world” Easter Island, Cairns, Australia, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef; Singapore; Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, home of Mount Sinai; transit of the 101-mile Suez Canal; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey and the great marble Temple of Artemis; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; and Livorno, Italy, providing options to visit Florence or Pisa.

    Circle South America & Antarctica Highlights

    On her first of two region-specific voyages, the Prinsendam will cruise 17,400 nautical miles to 33 ports in 14 countries. This 66-day roundtrip sailing, departing Jan. 5 from Ft. Lauderdale, combines travel down the captivating Amazon River with four days of scenic cruising around the white wonders of Antarctica. The ship calls at nine ports in Brazil – including tropical Recife, culturally diverse Salvador and three nights in Rio de Janeiro -- and seven Chilean ports, featuring the beautiful Bavarian lake district of Puerto Montt, the Emerald forests of Puerto Chacabuco, and fascinating Antofagasta, with its myriad lakes, geysers, deserts and volcanoes. The cruise also offers overnights in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Callao (Lima), Peru; and Manaus, Brazil. Other highlights include Devil’s Island, known for the expansive prison where Napoleon banished political prisoners, Caribbean Turks and Caicos, and the charming San Blas Islands, inhabited by the Cuna Native Americans.

    Grand Mediterranean & North Africa Voyage

    Opulent cathedrals, ancient ruins, world wonders, colorful souks, amber deserts and legendary art underscore travels on the Prinsendam’s second 56-day roundtrip journey, departing Ft. Lauderdale, March 12. The ship lingers in the Caribbean, calling at French-chic St. Barts and lush Dominica before crossing the Atlantic and visiting the volcanic archipelago of the Cape Verde Islands, Dakar, Senegal, boasting fashionable cafes and markets, and Banjul, Gambia, where guests may take a camel safari. They may select the high-speed train excursion in Marseille, whisking them to Paris, and tour options in Livorno, Italy, leading to Tuscan countryside and Florence grandeur. Additional highlights feature the Moroccan cities of Rabat and Casablanca; Tarabulus (Tripoli), Libya, home to Roman ruins and the colossal Red Castle; millionaire playground Santorini, Greece; Valletta, Malta, full of Baroque architecture; and idyllic Palma de Majorca, Spain.

    Guests who prefer a longer voyage can combine both cruises for a 122-day journey around South America and across the Atlantic to Europe and back. Guests sailing on the combined journey will receive additional savings on cruise fares.

    Holland America Line affords guests the opportunity to book the full voyage, or abbreviated segments of these sailings. Guests may experience a diversity of shore excursions, including the company’s Off-the-Beaten-Path adventures, luxury private-car touring and exclusive Medallion Collection excursions. Culinary staff will lead cooking classes and demonstrations in the onboard Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine.

    Press Release by Holland America Line

    Holland America Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
    Holland America Alaska Cruise Information
    Holland America Alaska Cruisetour Information
    Holland America Europe Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 05:14 PM

    September 09, 2005

    More 10-Day Cruises And Sailings From New York Mark Holland America Line’s 2006 Caribbean Program

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    More 10-Day Cruises And Sailings From New York Mark Holland America Line’s 2006 Caribbean Program

    Seattle, WA (August 15, 2005) – With more 10-day cruises than ever before, four convenient homeport departure cities and 22 different itineraries, Holland America Line offers savvy travelers unprecedented choices to explore the Caribbean in 2006. Several itineraries showcase a new port call at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, and nearly all cruises visit the line’s award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay.


    “The increase in our 10-day cruises allows travelers more opportunities to relax a little longer and explore a lot more with itineraries traveling deep into the Southern Caribbean and the Panama Canal,” says Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales.

    In 2006, the premium cruise leader offers a varied collection of 5- to 14-day Caribbean cruises aboard 10 ships with 152 total departures. More than half of the itineraries represent voyages of 10 days or longer. In February 2006, the ms Noordam arrives as the fourth in the line’s series of 81,769-ton Vista-class ships.

    Adding a shot of flavor to the ms Volendam’s January 22, 2006, departure is Marko Karakasevic, an artisan vodka maker of the Domaine Charbay Winery and Distillery in St. Helena, Calif. Johnny Iuzzuni, executive pastry chef at New York’s famed Restaurant Jean Georges, is the icing on the cake aboard the Noordam’s April 5, 2006, cruise. And Anthony Giglio, wine expert and sommelier, will sail on the November 25, 2006, cruise on the Noordam. All are part of the line’s Culinary Arts Program presented by Food & Wine magazine.

    Twenty-eight cruises to the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean feature a first-ever call at Grand Turk. Renowned for its spectacular diving, snorkeling and fishing, Grand Turk is consistently rated one of the top ten dive sites in the world. Nearly every itinerary also features a day at Half Moon Cay, the line’s acclaimed private island. With its new horseback riding and swimming excursion, guided AquaTrax watercraft tour, stingray adventure, and fun-filled family aqua park, Half Moon Cay continues as the line’s highest rated Caribbean port of call.

    Caribbean Escapes from New York, Norfolk, Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale

    The February 22, 2006, maiden voyage of the Noordam heralds Holland America Line’s return to New York City, the company’s former headquarters and the newest North American homeport for 13 Caribbean cruises. With a focus on convenience and choice, the line offers Caribbean escapes round trip from Norfolk, Virginia, providing easy access for many eastern seaboard residents; Tampa, Florida, highlighting 7-, 10-, and 14-day itineraries; and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, showcasing the most extensive portfolio of Caribbean departures.

    Premium Leader in 10- to 14-day Caribbean Cruises

    With thirty-eight 10-day journeys to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, and 31 cruises of 11 days and longer, Holland America Line offers more longer itinerary and homeport choices (New York, Norfolk, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale) than any other premium line cruising the Caribbean. The inaugural season of the Noordam spotlights the collection of longer voyages with seven cruises to the Eastern Caribbean and six to the Southern Caribbean.

    Eastern ports offer Bridgetown, Barbados; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Roseau, Dominica; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John’s, Antigua; and, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

    To the south, itineraries feature varied port visits to: Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries and Soufrière, St. Lucia; El Buamache, Isla de Margarita, Venezuela; Fort-de-France, Martinique; George Town, Grand Cayman; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Roseau and Cabrits, Dominica; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. George’s, Greneda; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Barts; and, Willemstad, Curaçao.

    7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean – From Ft. Lauderdale

    Featuring Saturday and Sunday departures, Ft. Lauderdale serves as Holland America Line’s main gateway to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. From January through April 2006, and again from October through the end of the year, sister Vista-class ships ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam explore the Caribbean waters on 36 itineraries that balance enriching port calls with rejuvenating sea days. Eastern Caribbean itineraries features the following port calls: Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. All feature a visit to Half Moon Cay.

    The Western Caribbean is revealed on 12 journeys that may include stops at Costa Maya and/or Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

    7-day Western Caribbean – From Tampa

    The ms Veendam travels roundtrip from Tampa on a Western Caribbean itinerary featuring stops in Belize City, Belize, and Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala, as well as Cozumel, Mexico and Key West, Florida. The ship also offers an alternate itinerary to Costa Maya, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The 20 Tampa departures operate from January through April 2006, and again from October through December 2006.

    10- and 13-day Panama Canal

    The Panama Canal is a must-see on many world traveler lists and Holland America Line’s history in exploring this engineering marvel is without peer among premium cruise lines. The ms Zaandam and ms Amsterdam travel round trip from Ft. Lauderdale showcasing the canal on 16 Southern Caribbean itineraries, entering at Cristóbal and cruising to Gatun Lake with a stop in Colón, Panama, before sailing to Puerto Limón, Costa Rica.

    Special Cruises Feature 5-day Getaway and Tropical Holidays

    On January 3, 2006, the Westerdam sets sail from Ft. Lauderdale on a 5-day itinerary with visits to Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas; and, Key West, Fla. Holiday sailings at the end of the year offer up Christmas in the Caribbean, Hanukkah at sea, or New Year’s Eve in Mexico. Departing from its four Caribbean homeports – Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Norfolk and New York, travelers can choose 14 holiday itineraries of 7, 10, 11, or 14 days.

    Caribbean cruise fares begin at $699 per person, double occupancy, for a 7-day cruise, and $599 per person, double occupancy for the 5-day cruise.

    Press Release by Holland America Line

    Holland America Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
    Holland America Alaska Cruise Information
    Holland America Alaska Cruisetour Information
    Holland America Europe Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 09:25 AM

    September 08, 2005

    Tropical Weather Update September 8, 2005 -- 6:30 p.m.

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    Tropical Weather Update September 8, 2005 -- 6:30 p.m.

    Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises continue to closely monitor the path and progress of Hurricane Ophelia to ensure our guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises, and to make certain our ships steer clear of the storm.

    The safety of our guests and crew is always the foremost concern of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.

    Given Hurricane Ophelia’s location and projected path, Royal Caribbean is currently altering the itinerary of two ships and is providing guidance regarding one additional ship. Celebrity Cruises is not currently altering the itineraries of any ships.

    ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

    Ships sailing from the Port of Baltimore

    Grandeur of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Port Canaveral on Friday, September 9. Instead, the ship will spend the day at sea. This modification enables the ship to sail around Hurricane Ophelia, and return to Baltimore, as scheduled, on Sunday at 7 a.m.
    Ships sailing from Port Canaveral

    Sovereign of the Seas, normally scheduled to arrive in and depart from Port Canaveral on Friday, September 9, will now do that from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale). Guests currently onboard the ship will be transported by Royal Caribbean back to Port Canaveral and the Orlando airport from Port Everglades. Similarly, Royal Caribbean will transport guests from Port Canaveral and the Orlando airport to Port Everglades for Friday’s three-night sailing. Guests booked on Friday’s sailing should not drive to Port Everglades, as their cruise will conclude in Port Canaveral on Monday, September 12. The ship is expected to depart Port Everglades at approximately 10 p.m. Friday to allow time for the arrival of guests being transported.
    Mariner of the Seas is currently expected to arrive in and depart from Port Canaveral, as scheduled, on Sunday, September 11.

    CELEBRITY CRUISES

    Celebrity Cruises is not currently altering the itineraries of any ships.
    Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises will continue to closely monitor weather conditions and update this information at 11 a.m. Friday

    Press Release by Royal Caribbean International

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

    Posted by Denise at 06:59 PM

    Princess Announces Full Season of Southeast Asia Cruises Aboard Pacific Sky in 2006

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    Princess Announces Full Season of Southeast Asia Cruises Aboard Pacific Sky in 2006
    Casual, Australian-style cruises from Singapore offer new options for exploring Malaysia and Thailand

    SANTA CLARITA, CA (August 17, 2005) -- Princess has announced that a full season of Southeast Asia cruises aboard Pacific Sky, operated by sister company P&O Cruises Australia, will be marketed in North America. The February through November 2006 sailings will feature a more casual Australian-style cruise experience, and will take passengers to some of the most renowned ports on both sides of the Malay Peninsula.
    Two distinct seven-day Southeast Asia itineraries will sail roundtrip from Singapore, and the alternating itineraries can be combined for a full 14-day exploration of the Malay Peninsula that calls at nine ports in Malaysia and Thailand -- the most comprehensive cruise experience in the region.

    During Pacific Sky's February to November Southeast Asia cruise season passengers can choose from 38 seven-day departures or 37 sailings on the 14-day itinerary, with airfare included in the cruise pricing.

    "We know there is growing interest in North America to visit Asia and we think the Pacific Sky itineraries will offer passengers a great way to explore some of the best of Southeast Asia's resort areas, in a relaxed and fun-filled cruising environment with Australian flair," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales.

    The ship's two alternating seven-day itineraries both depart from Singapore. The Eastern Sunsets route visits the tropical island of Ko Samui (Thailand), tranquil Kuantan (Malaysia) with its picturesque fishing villages, and includes an exciting overnight stay in Bangkok. The Western Tropics itinerary features historic Melaka (Malaysia), Malaysia's bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur, the stunning island of Langkawi (Malaysia) with its hidden coves and deserted beaches, Asia's most popular holiday resort Phuket (Thailand), and the colonial outpost of Penang (Malaysia). Both itineraries can be combined for a complete 14-day adventure.

    The 1,200-passenger Pacific Sky offers a fun-filled Australian-style vacation. The ship features a variety of dining and entertainment features including two main dining rooms, a 600-seat Broadway-style show lounge, nine bars, and a deckside nightclub for dancing under the stars. Additional dining options include a 24-hour pizzeria and ice cream parlor, lunchtime hamburger, hotdog and pasta bar on deck, plus steaks and snacks at the outdoor grill. The ship's children's activity center offers a fun-filled youth program, and other features include a cinema screening recent release movies, two large outdoor swimming pools plus a special pool for children, a health center and spa, fitness center and outdoor jogging track, Internet facilities and a library. Currency onboard will be in Australian dollars.

    Early booking fares begin at $1,995 (USD) for seven-day sailings and $2,690 for 14-day cruises and include air transportation from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver or Honolulu. Low air add-on rates are available from other gateway cities.

    Press Release by Princess Cruises

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    Posted by Denise at 08:59 AM

    September 06, 2005

    Three Carnival Cruise Ships To Be Chartered By Federal Government For Six Months As Part of Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

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    THREE CARNIVAL CRUISE SHIPS TO BE CHARTERED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR SIX MONTHS AS PART OF HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF EFFORTS

    Carnival to Make Subsequent Fleet Deployment Changes to Accommodate Guests

    MIAMI (Sept. 3, 2005) - Carnival Cruise Lines has chartered three of its cruise ships to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for six months as part of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

    The three cruise ships are the Ecstasy, Sensation and Holiday.

    The Ecstasy, normally homeported at Galveston, Texas, operating four- and five-day cruises, and Sensation, normally homeported in New Orleans operating four- and five-day voyages, will be pulled from service effective Monday, Sept. 5. Initial plans are for both vessels to be docked in Galveston.

    The Holiday, which is homeported at Mobile, Ala., operating four and five-day Mexico cruises, will be pulled from service effective Thursday, Sept. 8. Initial plans are for the vessel to remain docked in Mobile.

    "We sincerely apologize to those guests whose vacations have been impacted by these voyage cancellations," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "However, given that Hurricane Katrina is the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, we trust our guests will understand that the decision to enter into these charters was the right one. This inconvenience to our guests will provide desperately needed housing for thousands of individuals affected by this tragedy," he added.

    All guests whose bookings have been cancelled will be offered full refunds and will have the opportunity to re-book their cruise on any Carnival ship. Guests who re-book on any Carnival ship will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit. Carnival is protecting travel agent commissions on cancelled cruises.
    As a result of three ships being taken out of service, Carnival is implementing some additional deployment changes within its fleet.

    The Elation, which currently operates seven-day cruises from Galveston, will offer a one-time six-day voyage departing Sept. 4, then take over the Ecstasy's four and five-day Galveston program effective Saturday, Sept. 10. Guests on the Elation's six-day voyage will receive a 15 percent refund and a $50 per person shipboard credit. The Ecstasy's five-day cruise of Sept. 5 has been cancelled.

    All guests originally scheduled to sail on the Ecstasy during the affected six-month period will be automatically moved to the Elation.
    The Ecstasy and Elation are sister ships with identical layouts.
    Guests will be assigned to the same cabins on Elation that they had booked on the Ecstasy.

    Carnival Conquest, which is normally based in New Orleans, will move to Galveston after it completes its current drydock on Sept. 11, to operate her original seven-day itinerary to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest entered service in 2002.

    The Ecstasy entered service in 1991, the Sensation in 1993 and the Elation in 1998. All three are sister ships in Carnival's eight-ship, Fantasy-class series. The vessels measure 70,367 gross tons and have a basis-two passenger capacity of 2,052 and a total passenger capacity of 2,606.

    The 46,052-ton Holiday entered service in 1985 and has a basis-two passenger capacity of 1,452 and a total passenger capacity of 1,800.

    Carnival shipboard employees will be staffing the three chartered ships.
    The Ecstasy, and Sensation each have approximately 920 crew and the Holiday has approximately 660.

    Affected Carnival guests will be notified of the cancelled and modified sailings this afternoon.

    Press Release by Carnival Corp.

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    Posted by Denise at 01:18 PM

    September 05, 2005

    Princess Introduces Digital Photo Kiosks Fleetwide

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    Princess Introduces Digital Photo Kiosks Fleetwide
    User-Friendly Machines Enable Passengers to Easily Print and Store Their Precious Vacation Memories

    SANTA CLARITA, CA (September 1, 2005) - As travelers are increasingly adding digital cameras to their packing lists, Princess Cruises has made it easier than ever for its passengers to print or save those precious vacation memories right on board with new self-service digital photo kiosks.
    The entire fleet of Princess ships now features state-of-the-art machines from Pixel Magic Imaging, a leader in digital imaging and photo kiosks. The user-friendly stations offer passengers the opportunity to make high-quality prints of favorite photos in a variety of sizes or save their images to a CD at the touch of a button. The kiosks accept all popular forms of digital media, enabling owners of most types of digital cameras to access the service's many features.

    "We know that capturing vacation memories is important to our passengers," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "These innovative kiosks have been enthusiastically received by our passengers who don't want to wait until they return home to enjoy their photographs. They're also great for sharing copies of photos instantly with newfound friends, and passengers can download their digital media cards directly to a CD, freeing their cameras for the next round of cruise memories."

    A Pixel Magic digital kiosk is located adjacent to the onboard photo services desk on each ship. The machines offer a range of printing options, including editing functions to crop or enlarge images plus add boarders and other special effects. Prices for kiosk services begin at 45 cents for a 4x6 print.

    Princess' shipboard photography program also offers a wide range of professional photographic options including portrait services, event photos, wedding photography & videography, retail digital cameras & accessories and digital imaging services.

    Press Release by Princess Cruises

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    Posted by Denise at 10:29 AM

    September 02, 2005

    Royal Caribbean Floats Out Freedom of the Seas, Announces Captain

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    Freedom Is? Afloat With Possibilities

    Royal Caribbean Floats Out Freedom of the Seas, Announces Captain

    MIAMI, FL (August 22, 2005) - Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas is now the largest cruise ship afloat. The ship, under construction at Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland, reached an important maritime milestone this weekend. With her hull now complete, Freedom of the Seas was "floated out" - moved from dry dock to wet dock for the final months of finishing work leading up to her May 2006 debut.

    The line chose this celebrated occasion to announce that Freedom of the Seas will enter service under the command of Captain William S. Wright, a 13-year veteran of Royal Caribbean and one of the few American captains in international cruising. Having spent most of his adult life at sea, Capt. Wright currently serves as the senior vice president of Marine Operations for the company.

    In bringing out the 3,634-guest Freedom of the Seas, Capt. Wright will earn the distinction of being the first at the helm of both the largest and the smallest ships in the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family. Capt. Wright served as the first master for Celebrity Cruises' 100-guest, luxury Xpedition ship in the Galapagos Islands when she debuted in June 2004.

    "Bill Wright is not only an accomplished seaman and an outstanding captain, he is a true reflection of the Royal Caribbean spirit, with the desire to get out there and explore new places, try new things and make memorable experiences," said Royal Caribbean President Adam Goldstein.

    "I am honored to be the first captain of the most innovative ship at sea," Wright said. "I am excited about taking guests out to fully experience the freedom of choice this ship has to offer."

    At 158,000 gross registered tons, Freedom of the Seas is the world's largest cruise ship. Her size allows the line to build upon its history of offering innovative, exciting and unexpected activities and amenities by introducing a multitude of new features, including an unparalleled top-deck aqua environment featuring three massive pool areas: an interactive water park called the H2O Zone, the most dramatic whirlpools at sea and a dedicated sports pool.

    Freedom of the Seas also will feature the largest shipboard rock-climbing wall and the line's longest Royal Promenade to date. At 427 feet long, Freedom of the Seas' Royal Promenade will include expanded shopping, dining and entertainment options such as a book store and pizzeria.

    For accommodations, Freedom's 1,817 staterooms will include six different family-focused stateroom categories specially designed for larger families and groups of friends. The largest will be the 1,215-square-foot Presidential Suite, which will sleep 14 and will feature four bedrooms, four baths and a 810-square-foot outdoor living area with whirlpool, wet bar and al fresco dining table.

    At 158,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Freedom of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in May 2006. The first in Royal Caribbean's new Freedom class, she will be the most forward-looking and innovative ship the company has built to date. Freedom of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola.

    View more about the Freedom of the Seas!

    Press Release by Royal Caribbean International

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    Posted by Denise at 09:29 AM