Opinions, Tips on Cruises by the Industry leader! Find out which cruise lines and which destinations are appropriate for you through reading the insight of the industry leaders!
Home Beginners Guide Cruise Destination Guides Cruise Ship Reviews General Tips on Cruises Hotel Reviews Press Releases

October 31, 2005

Melania Trump to Serve as Godmother of NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE'S Newest Gem

diamondprincess.jpg

Melania Trump to Serve as Godmother of NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE'S Newest Gem

diamondprincess.jpg

It's huge. It's luxurious. And it costs $400 million. NCL Corporation (NCL) today named Melania Trump as Godmother of the world's largest gem, the 93,502-ton Norwegian Jewel, the largest Panamax cruise ship ever built. Synonymous with fashion and glamour, the former model will christen NCL's newest Freestyle Cruising vessel in a ceremony at the Port of Miami on Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 6 p.m.

"Melania embodies the stunning beauty and refined style of Norwegian Jewel as well as the distinctive spirit of NCL's unique Freestyle Cruising," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. "Melania is so much of an icon today and is the perfect Godmother for our newest, most innovative ship."

Born in Slovenia and after obtaining a degree in design and architecture at University of Slovenia, Melania jetsetted between photo shoots in Paris and Milan before settling in New York in 1996. She has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, New York Magazine and many more.

She first met famous billionaire Donald Trump while attending a fashion gala.

Melania married Trump on January 22, 2005 in West Palm Beach, Florida and they are now expecting their own little treasure - their first child together.

Just like Melania, Norwegian Jewel also has ties to New York, South Florida and Europe. In 2005, Norwegian Jewel spent the fall in New York and is moving south to Miami for the winter. When the winter is over, she will head for a summer of fun and relaxation in Europe in from May through October 2006.

Shining from bow to stern, Norwegian Jewel boasts a brand new style of accommodations --10 Courtyard Villas - which along with the ship's two Garden Villas - make up the largest, grandest, most luxurious, most innovative suite complex at sea. The suite complex features a private courtyard and sundeck and both courtyard and garden villa guests have a concierge lounge available to them. Dedicated butlers offer continental breakfast, refreshments all day and canapés and drinks before dinner, and a concierge is available round the clock to take care of all arrangements both on and off the ship.

Norwegian Jewel also features the most versatile, family-friendly accommodations afloat as well as an array of amenities including 10 restaurants, three swimming pools, a contemporary spa and more. Additionally, Norwegian Jewel features a new concept for NCL - a "Bar Central" - featuring a martini bar, a champagne and wine bar, and a beer and whisky pub all connected but with three distinct personalities, plus 10 other bars and lounges for passengers to enjoy.

After transitioning from New York to Miami, Norwegian Jewel will begin her regularly scheduled, seven-day itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean sailings call in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John's, Antigua; St. Thomas, USVI and NCL's Private Island, Great Stirrup Cay. Western Caribbean itineraries will call at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Roatan, Honduras.

Norwegian Jewel will feature these itineraries each Sunday from November 4, 2005 through April 23, 2006. From there she will position to Europe, sailing Mediterranean and Egypt and Greek Isles itineraries.

NCL Corporation ("NCL") is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 15 ships in service and under construction. The corporation oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines. On June 17, 2005, NCL made U.S. maritime history when it christened Pride of America, the largest U.S. Flagged passenger ship ever built and the first new one in half a century. The 2,138 passenger ship is 100 percent U.S.-crewed, and sails year-round in Hawai`i under the NCL America brand alongside Pride of Aloha and Norwegian Wind from sister brand, Norwegian Cruise Line.

The company is currently building three ships, including one more for the NCL America brand in Hawaii - Pride of Hawaii (delivery in April 2006), and two further Norwegian Jewel class ships are scheduled for delivery in 2007.

Press Release by Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line Alaska Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Europe Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Hawaii Cruise Sale

Posted by Denise at 08:52 PM

October 30, 2005

A Record Five Ships To Sail Europe For Holland America Line In 2006

diamondprincess.jpg

A Record Five Ships To Sail Europe For Holland America Line In 2006

55 Europe Cruises, More Time in Port, and ms Noordam Debuts

Seattle, WA (September 15, 2005) – Heading into the 2006 Europe cruise season, Holland America Line deploys a record five ships and introduces a full summer of Mediterranean cruises aboard the new ms Noordam. The premium line covers all of Europe: featuring 14 maiden port calls and 27 unique itineraries sailing the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Russia, Greenland and Iceland, North Cape and Polar Icecap, Black Sea, North Africa, British Isles and Transatlantic voyages.

“We have increased our 10- to 12-day sailings and added more 15- to 16-day itineraries, with a special focus on sailing the Mediterranean for the entire summer,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “We’ve added new ports and more time in ports including late departures and overnights, and our onboard culinary arts and guest-speaker programs enhance the unparalleled value of a premium cruise to Europe.”

Fourteen maiden ports of call lead guests to the pristine north of the Arctic Circle, once forbidden Libya, the breezy esplanades of Alicante and Palomos, Spain, or the rainforest-enveloped castles of northern Turkey during one of fifty-five 10- to 35-day cruises in spring through fall of 2006.

In this hallmark European season, Holland America Line will feature the luxury of one- to two-night stays in Amsterdam, Athens, Gdansk, Istanbul, Marseille, St. Petersburg and Venice; and extended evening stays for enjoying night-life in lively ports such as Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Santorini.

The European quintet of ships includes the intimate 793-guest ms Prinsendam designed for longer cruises; the new, state-of-the-art, 1,848-guest ms Noordam with open, airy spaces; the premium line’s twin flagships the 1,316-guest ms Rotterdam and 1,380-guest ms Amsterdam; and the five-star 1,258-guest ms Maasdam.

Highlights of 2006 Europe Cruises

The new Noordam makes her graceful debut in Europe starting with a 16-day Atlantic crossing with the glamour of a live Big Band followed by a full summer sailing the Mediterranean. Highlights of the Prinsendam sailings feature a 21-day Midnight Explorer journey to Jan Mayen Island and the Arctic Circle and an epic 34-day transatlantic sojourn covering Western Europe. The Rotterdam ventures throughout southern Europe on eight varied itineraries from the thriving arts center of Varna, Bulgaria to the impressive remains of long-vanished empires in Tripoli, Libya.

A vast array of European shore excursions are offered from adventurous Off the Beaten Path tours such as Mallorca kayaking, a four-wheel drive safari in the Sintra Mountains, or riding a jet boat through Helsinki’s waterways, to cultural and historical tours featuring monumental museums, churches and castles, and engaging cultural and folkloric experiences. Medallion excursions deliver exclusive experiences such as Formula One racing in Barcelona and popular Signature Collection touring which provides a private luxury vehicle, a driver and an English speaking guide; guests may design a self-styled itinerary that suits their interests, drawing on the professional expertise of shore excursion staff and the local guide. Hundreds of detailed shore excursion descriptions can be viewed online and are available for booking online approximately six months prior to sailing.

Four culinary experts will sail on European cruises, conducting demonstrations and classes in the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine. Robert Kinkead, chef/owner, Kinkead’s in Washington, D.C., sails on the May 26 Grand European Capitals cruise aboard the Rotterdam; Michael Lomonaco, chef/director, Guastavino’s in New York City and co-host of Epicurious on the Discovery Channel, sails July 28 aboard the Rotterdam’s Best of the Baltic cruise; Mark Fiorentino, chef, boulanger, Daniel Boulud Restaurants, New York City, joins the Gems of the Baltic cruise on the August 11 departure of the Amsterdam; and Charles Dale, founder, Range and Rustique in Aspen, hosts the Mediterranean Enchantment sailing on September 18 aboard the Noordam.

Multi-Cultured Jewels of the Mediterranean
With the arrival of the Noordam, Holland America Line offers a full summer season of 10-day Mediterranean cruises in 2006. Two different itineraries departing roundtrip from Rome feature either the Western Mediterranean or Eastern Mediterranean and Greek Isles, visiting various ports such as Naples, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; La Goulette, Tunisia; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu and Santorini, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Kusadasi, Turkey. For guests interested in combining the two itineraries, the premium cruise line offers a back-to-back booking option creating a 20-day complete Mediterranean sailing adventure starting from $2,999.

Altogether, three ships in the Mediterranean sail on 25 10- to 16-day cruises from May to October. New ports of call, from Ravenna, Italy, and its Byzantine architecture, to Antalya, Turkey, and its mountain-sculptured beaches, are in store for guests on the flagship Rotterdam and elegant explorer Prinsendam. The Rotterdam offers 10- and 12-day voyages between Lisbon and Athens, with four calls at Tripoli, Libya, which boasts colorful architecture and Roman ruins. The Prinsendam spends extra nights in Athens, Istanbul, Marseille and Venice for added leisure time. Her 16-day Cradle of Civilization itinerary explores eclectic markets in the maiden ports of Bizerte, Tunisia and Banghazi, Libya. Fares start at $1,749 per person, double occupancy.

Discovering the Bounties of the Black Sea
The Rotterdam explores the Black Sea on four 12-day sailings between Venice and Athens, while the Prinsendam’s Sept. 15 Empire of the Ottomans cruise leads guests to the legends of Troy in the maiden port of Canakkale, Turkey. Black Sea ports include Odesa, Ukraine; Romania; Istanbul, Turkey; and maiden port calls to Varna, Bulgaria, and Samsun and Trabzon, Turkey, featuring lush valleys and a fourth-century monastery crowning a stunning mountain forest. Cruise fares begin at $2,249 per person, double occupancy.

Best of the Baltic, Scandinavia and Russia
The premium line explores the shimmering sights of Scandinavia and the Baltic on 19 10- to 16-day cruises from May through September. Featured are nine comprehensive Gems of the Baltic cruises, a 10-day compilation of eight interesting ports in six countries in this diverse northern sea. In 2006, every Baltic sailing aboard the twin flagships Rotterdam and Amsterdam includes an overnight in grand St. Petersburg and also calls at regal Scandinavian capitals such as Åarhus, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; and Helsinki, Finland on Vikings and Czars, Best of the Baltic, and Treasures of Scandinavia and Russia cruises. Fares start at $1,899 per person.

Aboard the Prinsendam’s 16-day Scandinavian Summer sojourn on June 24 guests enjoy two nights and three days in St. Petersburg as well as an overnight in Gdansk, Poland. A new 21-day Midnight Sun Explorer cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam on July 10 epitomizes awe inspiring scenic cruising, as the ship sails Norwegian fjords, and into the Arctic Circle to northernmost Longyearbyen then on to Iceland and Scotland. Fares start at $3,669 and $5,069 respectively.

Capitals of Europe Come Alive
Offering a taste of Europe’s diverse tapestry, the Rotterdam sails between Athens and Rotterdam or London in May and September, visiting the ancient treasures in Kusadasi, Turkey; Tripoli, Libya; Rome, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and Le Havre (Paris), France. The July 31, 14-day Prinsendam cruise visits Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland; the remote Hebrides; Dublin, Ireland; La Rochelle, France; Leixoes (Porto), Portugal; Funchal, Madeira; and Cadiz, Spain. Fares start at $2,549 per person.

Grand Dames of Transatlantic Cruising
Holland America Line’s eight 17- to 35-day transatlantic sailings offer many options to explore less-visited ports while crossing the ocean. Highlights include Prinsendam’s May 21 Epic Explorer cruise sails from Fort Lauderdale to the maiden port of Narvik, Norway, via La Rochelle, France, and Casablanca, Morocco; docking overnight in the final city of Amsterdam. The Maasdam’s July 1 sailing offers 17, 18 or 35 days of charming towns and stunning fjords in Ireland, Greenland, Iceland and Norway, as she sails roundtrip from Boston, with a chance to embark or disembark in Rotterdam. For a unique taste of two continents, the Rotterdam sails 15-day voyages between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Lisbon, Portugal. Ports calls will be made at the Cape Verde Islands off of Africa. Transatlantic cruise fares start at $1,879 per person.

Press Release by Holland America Line

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

Posted by Denise at 01:34 PM

October 29, 2005

Seven Seas Voyager's Dec. 27 Sailing Welcomes Aboard Senator Bob Graham

diamondprincess.jpg

'Tis the Season for Holiday Savings

Seven Seas Voyager's Dec. 27 Sailing Welcomes Aboard Senator Bob Graham

diamondprincess.jpg

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (September 29, 2005) - Gift yourself and loved ones this holiday season with a choice of eight luxurious Radisson Seven Seas Caribbean, Panama Canal/Mexican Riviera, and French Polynesia cruises. Wake up Christmas morning to breakfast on your private balcony; kindle your first menorah light en route to Casa del Campo; or toast the New Year amid fireworks in Acapulco's famed horseshoe bay.

And with 40% per person savings, 50% off second guest fares or Extended Early Booking Savings on Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner Seven Seas Navigator, and Paul Gauguin yuletide voyages, the gift of giving will be extra jolly.

In addition to fine dining, personalized service and deluxe amenities, five of the eight holiday sailings offer complimentary Club Mariner children's programs for youngsters aged five to 17, making festive celebrations at sea true family occasions. Featuring fun activities like ornament making and gingerbread cookie baking, the age-graded programs are designed to keep kids merry while allowing adults some appropriately age-graded alone time of their own.

In addition to the Seven Seas Mariner's 10-night December 17 sailing featuring Jean-Michel Cousteau¿s Ocean Futures Society naturalists discussing the marine ecosystems of destinations visited, the Seven Seas Voyager's 14-night December 27 New Year's cruise will welcome aboard special guest lecturer 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.

Season's Greetings

With the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, cooking, baking and decorating left at home, guests can forego last-minute gift-wrapping and instead treat themselves to a body wrap at the Carita of Paris Spa during four Christmas/Hanukkah sailings.

  • 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). Extended Early Booking prices from $4,195.

    Happy New Year!

    From golden beaches to emerald rain forests, fancy galas to intimate champagne toasts at sea, Radisson Seven Seas rings in the New Year in style.

  • 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). Extended Early Booking prices from $3,795.

    Prices for the above 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.

    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

    Radisson Seven Seas Alaska Cruises
    Radisson Seven Seas Europe Cruises
    Radisson Seven Seas Tahiti Cruises

    Posted by Denise at 12:24 PM
  • October 28, 2005

    Tropical Weather Update: October 27, 2005 -- 6:30 p.m.

    diamondprincess.jpg

    Tropical Weather Update: October 27, 2005 -- 6:30 p.m.

    Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises continue to closely monitor the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma to ensure our guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises.

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

    Given Hurricane Wilma's aftermath, Royal Caribbean is currently modifying the itineraries of seven ships and Celebrity Cruises is modifying the itinerary of one ship.

    ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

    Ships sailing from the Port of Baltimore

    UPDATED -- Grandeur of the Seas -- The Friday, October 28, sailing of Grandeur of the Seas is unable to visit Key West Tuesday and Cozumel Wednesday, due to the ports' closures. Instead, the ship will spend Tuesday at sea and will make a port call in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Wednesday.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Miami

    UPDATED -- Navigator of the Seas -- The Saturday, October 29, sailing of Navigator of the Seas is unable to visit Cozumel Thursday, due to the port's closure. Instead, the ship will make a port call in Costa Maya, Mexico, that day.
    Majesty of the Seas is currently sailing a modified two-night itinerary, with a port call in Nassau, Bahamas, today and returning to the Port of Miami Friday.

    Ships sailing from Port Everglades

    UPDATED -- Enchantment of the Seas -- The Thursday, November 3, sailing of Enchantment of the Seas is unable to visit Cozumel Saturday, due to the port's closure. Instead, the ship will make a port call in Costa Maya, Mexico, that day.

    Ships sailing from Port Canaveral

    Mariner of the Seas is currently sailing a modified itinerary with a port call in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, today and returning to Port Canaveral Sunday.
    Sovereign of the Seas is currently sailing a modified itinerary with a port call in Coco Cay, Bahamas, today and returning to Port Canaveral Friday.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Galveston

    UPDATED -- Rhapsody of the Seas -- The Sunday, October 30, sailing of Rhapsody of the Seas is unable to visit Cozumel Friday, due to the port's closure. Instead, the ship will make a port call in Costa Maya, Mexico, that day.
    Rhapsody of the Seas is currently sailing a modified itinerary with a port call in Progresso, Mexico, today and returning to the Port of Galveston Sunday.

    CELEBRITY CRUISES

    Ships sailing from the Port of Galveston

    UPDATED -- Galaxy -- The Monday, October 31, sailing of Galaxy is unable to visit Cozumel Wednesday, due to the port's closure. Instead, the ship will spend that day at sea.

    At this time, no other Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises ships are being adversely impacted by the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma or tropical weather. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises will continue to closely monitor these situations and update this information at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

    BARCELONA UPDATE: October 27, 2005 -- 10:00 a.m.

    Royal Caribbean International has learned that the labor dispute affecting operations at the Port of Barcelona and other seaports in Spain has been resolved.

    Brilliance of the Seas is arriving in and departing from the Port of Barcelona today.

    Splendour of the Seas will arrive in and depart from the Port of Barcelona on Saturday, October 29, and Brilliance of the Seas will arrive in and depart from the Port of Barcelona on Sunday, October 30.

    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 08:46 AM

    October 27, 2005

    Tropical Weather Update For Princess Cruises

    diamondprincess.jpg

    Tropical Weather Update -- Coral Princess Now Departing Thursday, October 27 from Miami

    Due to the effects of Hurricane Wilma, and the current closures of Port Everglades and the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Princess will now turnaround at the Port of Miami on Thursday, October 27, 2005. Miami International Airport is now operational with limited inbound and outbound flights, and the Fort Lauderdale airport is expected to be open tomorrow as well.

    Information for Passengers Embarking Coral Princess Voyage 6537:

    Because Port Everglades remains closed, this cruise will depart from the Port of Miami on Thursday, October 27, 2005. This sailing will conclude as scheduled in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, November 4, 2005.

    Complimentary shuttles will be available tomorrow to transfer embarking passengers from the Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports. A shuttle will also run from Port Everglades.

    Coral Princess Voyage 6537 has been modified to an eight-day itinerary as follows:

    Thursday, October 27: Arrive Miami 8:30 am; Depart 5 pm
    Friday, October 28: At sea
    Saturday, October 29: Arrive Ocho Rios 10 am; Depart 5 pm
    Sunday, October 30: At sea
    Monday, October 31: Cruise Panama Canal 7 am to 3:30 pm
    Monday, October 31: Arrive Cristobal 4 pm: Depart 8 pm
    Tuesday, November 1: Arrive Limon 6 am; Depart 5 pm
    Wednesday, November 2: At sea
    Thursday, November 3: At sea
    Friday, November 4: Arrive Fort Lauderdale 7 am

    Passengers must be at the pier for check-in no later than 4:30 pm.

    Because of the shortened itinerary, passengers on this sailing will receive a refund of one-third of their cruise fare.

    Passengers who booked Princess Air will be automatically rescheduled on alternate flights. Passengers with independent air arrangements should contact the airline as soon as possible to reschedule their flights in accordance with the following times:

    Flights arriving no later than 3:00 pm into Ft. Lauderdale
    Flights arriving no later than 3:30 pm into Miami

    At the conclusion of the cruise on November 4, complimentary shuttles will also be available to transfer passengers from Port Everglades to the Port of Miami.

    Information for Passengers Disembarking Coral Princess Voyage 6536:

    Passengers currently onboard Coral Princess and scheduled to disembark the ship yesterday, will instead disembark tomorrow morning, October 27, 2005 at the Port of Miami, Terminal C.

    Complimentary shuttle service will be available to transfer disembarking passengers from the Port of Miami to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, and to area airports.

    Passengers who booked Princess Air will be automatically rescheduled on alternate flights. Passengers with independent air arrangements should contact the airline as soon as possible to reschedule their flights in accordance with the following times:

    Flights after 12:00 noon from Miami
    Flights after 12:30 pm from Fort Lauderdale
    Flights after 6:00 pm from Orlando

    Tropical Weather Update -- Star Princess Itinerary Changes October 30 and November 6

    The port of Cozumel sustained substantial damage from Hurricane Wilma, and it is therefore necessary to suspend our calls there for the next two sailings. The itineraries for these modified Star Princess cruises are below:

    Voyage 9537 Departing October 30, 2005

    The call in Cozumel has been cancelled, however the ship will drop anchor in Cozumel to deliver relief supplies to assist victims of the storm. Additionally, the port order has been revised. The new itinerary is:

    Sunday, October 30: Depart Port Everglades 10 pm
    Monday, October 31: At sea
    Tuesday, November 1: Anchor at Cozumel to deliver relief supplies
    Wednesday, November 2: Arrive Grand Cayman 12 pm; Depart 7 pm
    Thursday, November 3: Arrive Ocho Rios 9 am; Depart 4 pm
    Friday, November 4: At sea
    Saturday, November 5: Arrive Princess Cays 9 am; Depart 4 pm
    Sunday, November 6: Arrive Port Everglades 7 am

    ** Please be advised that although the ship is planning to depart at 10 pm, the authorities could request a departure as early as 7 pm. We therefore request that you make every attempt to be onboard by 5 pm.**

    Voyage 9538 Departing November 6, 2005

    The call in Cozumel has been cancelled and replaced with a call to Mahahual, Costa Maya. Additionally, the port order has been revised. The new itinerary is:

    Sunday, November 6: Depart Port Everglades 5 pm
    Monday, November 7: At sea
    Tuesday, November 8: Arrive Mahahual, Costa Maya 7 am; Depart 4 pm
    Wednesday, November 9: Arrive Grand Cayman 12 pm; Depart 7 pm
    Thursday, November 10: Arrive Montego Bay 8 am: Depart 6 pm
    Friday, November 11: At sea
    Saturday, November 12: Arrive Princess Cays 9 am: Depart 4 pm
    Sunday, November 13: Arrive Port Everglades 7 am

    Updated October 26, 2005 6:00 pm PDT

    Press Release by Princess Cruises

    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruisetour Information
    Princess Cruises Tahiti Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Mexico Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Europe Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 08:40 AM

    October 24, 2005

    Tropical Weather Update: October 23, 2005 -- 6:30 p.m.

    Tropical Weather Update: October 23, 2005 -- 6:30 p.m.

    Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises continue to closely monitor the path and progress of Hurricane Wilma 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 Wilma's location and projected path, Royal Caribbean is currently providing itinerary updates regarding six ships and Celebrity Cruises is not currently altering the itineraries of any ships.

    ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

    Ships sailing from Port Everglades

    UPDATED -- Enchantment of the Seas -- The Tuesday, October 25, sailing of Enchantment of the Seas – originally scheduled to depart on Monday, October 24 – is now cancelled. The ship will now be used to bring humanitarian relief supplies to the victims of Hurricane Wilma in Mexico. Enchantment of the seas will resume its normal sailings on Saturday, October 28, departing from Port Everglades.

    Guests booked on the cancelled cruise are being provided with three options:
    OPTION 1: Guests may receive a full refund and a certificate for a 25 percent discount on a future Royal Caribbean International cruise.
    OPTION 2: Based on availability, guests may immediately rebook on Majesty of the Seas’ Tuesday, October 25, sailing from the Port of Miami. This is a three-night itinerary with port calls in Coco Cay, Bahamas, Wednesday; Key West, Florida, Thursday; and returning to the Port of Miami Friday. Each guest would also receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare and a $125 onboard credit. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather and port conditions.
    OPTION 3: Based on availability, guests may immediately rebook on Sovereign of the Seas’ Tuesday, October 25, sailing from Port Canaveral. This is a three-night itinerary with port calls in Nassau, Bahamas, Wednesday; Coco Cay, Bahamas, Thursday; and returning to Port Canaveral Friday. Each guest would also receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare and a $125 onboard credit. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather and port conditions.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Miami

    Explorer of the Seas is currently sailing its scheduled itinerary. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather and port conditions.
    Majesty of the Seas -- Based on the best weather forecasts currently available, Majesty of the Seas is currently expected to arrive in and depart from the Port of Miami Tuesday, October 25, one day later than scheduled. The ship will sail a modified three-night itinerary, with port calls in Coco Cay, Bahamas, Wednesday; Key West, Florida, Thursday; and return to the Port of Miami Friday. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions. As weather conditions involving the storm are constantly changing guests booked on this sailing should continue monitoring these updates for the latest information. Guests also may contact Royal Caribbean at 1-800-327-6700 to receive these updates. Guests who sail on this shortened cruise will receive a $125 onboard credit. Guests booked on this sailing may cancel their cruise and receive a letter of credit for the amount paid to Royal Caribbean.

    Ships sailing from Port Canaveral

    Mariner of the Seas is currently sailing a modified itinerary with port calls in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tuesday; Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Wednesday; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Thursday; and returning to Port Canaveral Sunday. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather and port conditions.
    Sovereign of the Seas -- Based on the best weather forecasts currently available, Sovereign of the Seas is currently expected to arrive in and depart from Port Canaveral Tuesday, October 25, one day later than scheduled. The ship will sail a modified three-night itinerary, with port calls in Nassau, Bahamas, Wednesday; Coco Cay, Bahamas, Thursday; and return to Port Canaveral Friday. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions. As weather conditions involving the storm are constantly changing guests booked on this sailing should continue monitoring these updates for the latest information. Guests also may contact Royal Caribbean at 1-800-327-6700 to receive these updates. Guests who sail on this shortened cruise will receive a $125 onboard credit. Guests booked on this sailing may cancel their cruise and receive a letter of credit for the amount paid to Royal Caribbean.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Galveston

    Rhapsody of the Seas is sailing a modified itinerary with port calls in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Wednesday; Key West, Florida, Thursday evening and Friday; and returning to the Port of Galveston Sunday. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather and port conditions.

    CELEBRITY CRUISES

    Celebrity Cruises is not currently altering the itineraries of any ships.

    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 at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

    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 01:11 PM

    October 22, 2005

    Tropical Weather Update: October 22, 2005 -- 12:30 p.m.

    diamondprincess.jpg

    Tropical Weather Update: October 22, 2005 -- 12:30 p.m.

    Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises continue to closely monitor the path and progress of Hurricane Wilma 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 Wilma's location and projected path, Royal Caribbean is currently providing itinerary updates regarding six ships and Celebrity Cruises is not currently altering the itineraries of any ships.

    ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

    Ships sailing from the Port of Miami

    Majesty of the Seas -- Guests booked on the Monday, October 24, sailing of Majesty of the Seas may cancel their cruise and receive a letter of credit for the amount paid to Royal Caribbean.

    UPDATED -- Explorer of the Seas is currently expected to arrive in and depart from the Port of Miami Sunday, October 23, as scheduled. Guests booked on this sailing are strongly encouraged to arrive at the Port of Miami early – as weather conditions may require the ship to depart earlier than its scheduled 5 p.m. departure time. Check in will begin at 10 a.m. The ship is currently expected to sailing its scheduled itinerary. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions. As weather conditions involving the storm are constantly changing guests booked on this sailing are asked to continue monitoring these updates to receive the latest information. Guests also may contact Royal Caribbean at 1-800-327-6700 to receive these updates. Guests booked on this sailing may cancel their cruise and receive a letter of credit for the amount paid to Royal Caribbean.

    Ships sailing from Port Everglades

    Enchantment of the Seas is visiting Freeport, Bahamas, today and returning to Port Everglades Monday.

    Enchantment of the Seas -- Guests booked on the Monday, October 24, sailing of Enchantment of the Seas may cancel their cruise and receive a letter of credit for the amount paid to Royal Caribbean.

    Ships sailing from Port Canaveral

    Sovereign of the Seas is visiting Freeport, Bahamas, today and returning to Port Everglades Monday.

    Sovereign of the Seas -- Guests booked on the Monday, October 24, sailing of Sovereign of the Seas may cancel their cruise and receive a letter of credit for the amount paid to Royal Caribbean.

    Mariner of the Seas is currently expected to arrive in and depart from Port Canaveral Sunday, October 23, as scheduled. The ship will sail a modified itinerary with port calls in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tuesday; Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Wednesday; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Thursday; returning to Port Canaveral Sunday. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions. As weather conditions involving the storm are constantly changing guests booked on this sailing are asked to continue monitoring these updates to receive the latest information. Guests also may contact Royal Caribbean at 1-800-327-6700 to receive these updates. Guests booked on this sailing may cancel their cruise and receive a letter of credit for the amount paid to Royal Caribbean.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Galveston

    Rhapsody of the Seas will arrive in and depart from the Port of Galveston Sunday, October 23, as scheduled. The ship will sail a modified itinerary with port calls in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Wednesday; Key West, Florida, Thursday evening and Friday; returning to the Port of Galveston Sunday. The ship’s itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions. As weather conditions involving the storm are constantly changing guests booked on this sailing are asked to continue monitoring these updates to receive the latest information. Guests also may contact Royal Caribbean at 1-800-327-6700 to receive these updates.

    CELEBRITY CRUISES

    Celebrity Cruises is not currently altering the itineraries of any ships.

    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 at 6:30 p.m. today.

    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 11:15 AM

    October 19, 2005

    Celebrity Cruises Retains Role In Top Trio In Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards

    diamondprincess.jpg

    CELEBRITY CRUISES RETAINS ROLE IN TOP TRIO IN CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER READERS' CHOICE AWARDS

    Miami (October 18, 2005 ) - Celebrity Cruises received "celebrity treatment" last night in New York, where Condé Nast Traveler presented results of its coveted annual "Readers Choice Awards" to an elite group of finalists.

    Celebrity Cruises was honored once again as the world's top-rated premium line in the magazine's "Top 25 Cruise Lines: Large Ship Lines" poll (November edition). Celebrity ranked third overall, sharing the spotlight with luxury lines Crystal Cruises and Radisson Seven Seas.

    "We are thrilled to have the endorsement of the experienced readers of Condé Nast Traveler, and honored to be in such good company," said the line's President Dan Hanrahan. "We congratulate our shipboard colleagues, in particular, for this recognition, because it is undoubtedly the spectacular service they consistently deliver that inspired the magazine's readers to rate Celebrity so highly."

    Condé Nast Traveler's annual poll asks subscribers to evaluate cruise lines on a combination of itineraries, crew/service, cabins/design, food/dining, activities/excursions and entertainment/events. Nearly 32,000 readers were surveyed, with Celebrity Cruises receiving a rating of 85.3 out of 100. Celebrity has continuously improved its standing every year since 2001 (76.7).

    "We view these awards as the industry's Olympics; to be one of the three finalists invited to the ceremony is a tremendous honor in itself," said Celebrity's Senior Vice President, Fleet Operations Dietmar Wertanzl. "This is wonderful reinforcement that a growing number of vacationers appreciate the 'new luxury' that Celebrity provides."

    Celebrity Cruises is the industry's highest rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has 10 ships sailing 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.

    Press Release by Celebrity Cruises

    Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
    Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruisetour Packages
    Celebrity Cruises Canadian Rockies Cruisetour Package
    Celebrity Cruises Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
    Celebrity Cruises European Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 08:43 AM

    October 17, 2005

    Tropical Weather Update: October 17, 2005 -- 12:30 p.m.

    diamondprincess.jpg

    Tropical Weather Update: October 17, 2005 -- 12:30 p.m.

    Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises continue to closely monitor the path and progress of Tropical Storm Wilma 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 Wilma's location and projected path, Royal Caribbean is currently altering the itineraries of three ships and Celebrity Cruises is not currently altering the itineraries of any ships:

    ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

    Ships sailing from Port Everglades

    Enchantment of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Tuesday. Instead, the ship will visit Labadee, Hispaniola, Tuesday, before returning to Port Everglades as scheduled Thursday.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Miami

    Navigator of the Seas will not make its scheduled port calls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Tuesday; Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Wednesday; and Cozumel, Mexico, Thursday. Instead, the ship will visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tuesday; be at sea Wednesday; and visit Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Thursday; before returning to the Port of Miami as scheduled Saturday.

    Ships sailing from the Port of Galveston

    Rhapsody of th Seas will not make its scheduled port calls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Wednesday; Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Thursday; and Cozumel, Mexico, Friday. Instead, the ship will have an extended visit in Cozumel, Mexico, Tuesday; be at sea Wednesday; and have an extended visit in Key West, Florida, Thursday; before returning to the Port of Galveston as scheduled Sunday.

    CELEBRITY CRUISES

    Celebrity Cruises is not currently altering the itineraries of any ships.

    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 at 6:30 p.m. today.

    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 11:30 AM

    October 16, 2005

    Princess Expands Lotus Spa Pre-Reservation Capability

    diamondprincess.jpg

    Princess Expands Lotus Spa Pre-Reservation Capability

    Eight Vessels Total Now Offer Online Bookings for Pampering Spa Treatments

    SANTA CLARITA, CA (September 15, 2005) - Following the success of Princess' groundbreaking debut of advance spa reservations last year aboard Caribbean Princess and Sapphire Princess, the company has expanded the feature to make it easier than ever for passengers on six additional vessels to pamper themselves by booking relaxing spa treatments before they sail.

    Princess' online Cruise Personalizer is now accepting Lotus Spa pre-reservations for passengers with cruises departing on or after the following start dates: Diamond Princess (September 3); Island Princess (September 20); Golden Princess (October 8); Grand Princess (October 29); Coral Princess (November 24); and Star Princess (December 11).

    "When we added online pre-reservations for the Lotus Spas aboard Caribbean Princess and Sapphire Princess it was an industry first and passengers loved the convenience of this new feature," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Thousands of passengers have now successfully booked their massages, facials and other treatments before they boarded, so we're now pleased to expand this capability to more of our ships."

    The reservations tool operates as part of Princess' Cruise Personalizer on www.princess.com. This unique service makes booking spa appointments as simple as entering in a name and booking number and choosing from a full menu of services that includes massages, body treatments, facials, hair and nail options. Passengers will be able to see available appointment times and prices. Passengers without Internet access can call their travel agent to reserve treatments.

    Princess' Lotus Spas feature a relaxing atmosphere and treatments based on ancient therapies and rituals. Highlights include a series of unique spa and beauty services that will indulge guests from tip to toe. Among the options that can now be reserved in advance are Elemis brand treatments such as Aroma Stone Therapy, Absolute Spa Ritual (which includes a Deep Tissue Muscle Massage and Pro-Collagen Marine Facial), Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow, and a couples massage in the suite reserved for two. Other favorites include La Therapie anti-aging facials, Deep Tissue Muscle Massage and body wraps such as the Musclease Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap.

    Press Release by Princess Cruises

    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruisetour Information
    Princess Cruises Tahiti Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Mexico Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Europe Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 05:31 PM

    October 14, 2005

    A Record Five Ships To Sail Europe For Holland America Line In 2006

    diamondprincess.jpg

    A Record Five Ships To Sail Europe For Holland America Line In 2006

    55 Europe Cruises, More Time in Port, and ms Noordam Debuts

    Seattle, WA (September 15, 2005) – Heading into the 2006 Europe cruise season, Holland America Line deploys a record five ships and introduces a full summer of Mediterranean cruises aboard the new ms Noordam. The premium line covers all of Europe — featuring 14 maiden port calls and 27 unique itineraries sailing the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Russia, Greenland and Iceland, North Cape and Polar Icecap, Black Sea, North Africa, British Isles and Transatlantic voyages.

    “We have increased our 10- to 12-day sailings and added more 15- to 16-day itineraries, with a special focus on sailing the Mediterranean for the entire summer,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “We’ve added new ports and more time in ports including late departures and overnights, and our onboard culinary arts and guest-speaker programs enhance the unparalleled value of a premium cruise to Europe.”

    Fourteen maiden ports of call lead guests to the pristine north of the Arctic Circle, once forbidden Libya, the breezy esplanades of Alicante and Palomos, Spain, or the rainforest-enveloped castles of northern Turkey during one of fifty-five 10- to 35-day cruises in spring through fall of 2006.

    In this hallmark European season, Holland America Line will feature the luxury of one- to two-night stays in Amsterdam, Athens, Gdansk, Istanbul, Marseille, St. Petersburg and Venice; and extended evening stays for enjoying night-life in lively ports such as Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Santorini.

    The European quintet of ships includes the intimate 793-guest ms Prinsendam designed for longer cruises; the new, state-of-the-art, 1,848-guest Noordam with open, airy spaces; the premium line’s twin flagships the 1,316-guest ms Rotterdam and 1,380-guest ms Amsterdam; and the five-star 1,258-guest ms Maasdam.

    Highlights of 2006 Europe Cruises
    The new Noordam makes her graceful debut in Europe starting with a 16-day Atlantic crossing with the glamour of a live Big Band followed by a full summer sailing the Mediterranean. Highlights of the Prinsendam sailings feature a 21-day Midnight Explorer journey to Jan Mayen Island and the Arctic Circle and an epic 34-day transatlantic sojourn covering Western Europe. The Rotterdam ventures throughout southern Europe on eight varied itineraries from the thriving arts center of Varna, Bulgaria to the impressive remains of long-vanished empires in Tripoli, Libya.

    A vast array of European shore excursions are offered from adventurous Off the Beaten Path tours such as Mallorca kayaking, a four-wheel drive safari in the Sintra Mountains, or riding a jet boat through Helsinki’s waterways, to cultural and historical tours featuring monumental museums, churches and castles, and engaging cultural and folkloric experiences. Medallion excursions deliver exclusive experiences such as Formula One racing in Barcelona and popular Signature Collection touring which provides a private luxury vehicle, a driver and an English speaking guide; guests may design a self-styled itinerary that suits their interests, drawing on the professional expertise of shore excursion staff and the local guide. Hundreds of detailed shore excursion descriptions can be viewed online and are available for booking online approximately six months prior to sailing.

    Four culinary experts will sail on European cruises, conducting demonstrations and classes in the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine. Robert Kinkead, chef/owner, Kinkead’s in Washington, D.C., sails on the May 26 Grand European Capitals cruise aboard the Rotterdam; Michael Lomonaco, chef/director, Guastavino’s in New York City and co-host of Epicurious on the Discovery Channel, sails July 28 aboard the Rotterdam’s Best of the Baltic cruise; Mark Fiorentino, chef, boulanger, Daniel Boulud Restaurants, New York City, joins the Gems of the Baltic cruise on the August 11 departure of the Amsterdam; and Charles Dale, founder, Range and Rustique in Aspen, hosts the Mediterranean Enchantment sailing on September 18 aboard the Noordam.

    Multi-Cultured Jewels of the Mediterranean
    With the arrival of the Noordam, Holland America Line offers a full summer season of 10-day Mediterranean cruises in 2006. Two different itineraries departing roundtrip from Rome feature either the Western Mediterranean or Eastern Mediterranean and Greek Isles, visiting various ports such as Naples, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; La Goulette, Tunisia; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu and Santorini, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Kusadasi, Turkey. For guests interested in combining the two itineraries, the premium cruise line offers a back-to-back booking option creating a 20-day complete Mediterranean sailing adventure starting from $2,999.

    Altogether, three ships in the Mediterranean sail on 25 10- to 16-day cruises from May to October. New ports of call, from Ravenna, Italy, and its Byzantine architecture, to Antalya, Turkey, and its mountain-sculptured beaches, are in store for guests on the flagship Rotterdam and elegant explorer Prinsendam. The Rotterdam offers 10- and 12-day voyages between Lisbon and Athens, with four calls at Tripoli, Libya, which boasts colorful architecture and Roman ruins. The Prinsendam spends extra nights in Athens, Istanbul, Marseille and Venice for added leisure time. Her 16-day Cradle of Civilization itinerary explores eclectic markets in the maiden ports of Bizerte, Tunisia and Banghazi, Libya. Fares start at $1,749 per person, double occupancy.

    Discovering the Bounties of the Black Sea
    The Rotterdam explores the Black Sea on four 12-day sailings between Venice and Athens, while the Prinsendam’s Sept. 15 Empire of the Ottomans cruise leads guests to the legends of Troy in the maiden port of Canakkale, Turkey. Black Sea ports include Odesa, Ukraine; Constanţa, Romania; Istanbul, Turkey; and maiden port calls to Varna, Bulgaria, and Samsun and Trabzon, Turkey, featuring lush valleys and a fourth-century monastery crowning a stunning mountain forest.
    Cruise fares begin at $2,249 per person, double occupancy.

    Best of the Baltic, Scandinavia and Russia
    The premium line explores the shimmering sights of Scandinavia and the Baltic on 19 10- to 16-day cruises from May through September. Featured are nine comprehensive Gems of the Baltic cruises, a 10-day compilation of eight interesting ports in six countries in this diverse northern sea. In 2006, every Baltic sailing aboard the twin flagships Rotterdam and Amsterdam includes an overnight in grand St. Petersburg and also calls at regal Scandinavian capitals such as Åarhus, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; and Helsinki, Finland on Vikings and Czars, Best of the Baltic, and Treasures of Scandinavia and Russia cruises. Fares start at $1,899 per person.

    Aboard the Prinsendam’s 16-day Scandinavian Summer sojourn on June 24 guests enjoy two nights and three days in St. Petersburg as well as an overnight in Gdansk, Poland. A new 21-day Midnight Sun Explorer cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam on July 10 epitomizes awe inspiring scenic cruising, as the ship sails Norwegian fjords, and into the Arctic Circle to northernmost Longyearbyen then on to Iceland and Scotland. Fares start at $3,669 and $5,069 respectively.

    Capitals of Europe Come Alive
    Offering a taste of Europe’s diverse tapestry, the Rotterdam sails between Athens and Rotterdam or London in May and September, visiting the ancient treasures in Kusadasi, Turkey; Tripoli, Libya; Rome, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and Le Havre (Paris), France. The July 31, 14-day Prinsendam cruise visits Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland; the remote Hebrides; Dublin, Ireland; La Rochelle, France; Leixoes (Porto), Portugal; Funchal, Madeira; and Cadiz, Spain. Fares start at $2,549 per person.

    Grand Dames of Transatlantic Cruising
    Holland America Line’s eight 17- to 35-day transatlantic sailings offer many options to explore less-visited ports while crossing the ocean. Highlights include Prinsendam’s May 21 Epic Explorer cruise sails from Fort Lauderdale to the maiden port of Narvik, Norway, via La Rochelle, France, and Casablanca, Morocco; docking overnight in the final city of Amsterdam. The Maasdam’s July 1 sailing offers 17, 18 or 35 days of charming towns and stunning fjords in Ireland, Greenland, Iceland and Norway, as she sails roundtrip from Boston, with a chance to embark or disembark in Rotterdam. For a unique taste of two continents, the Rotterdam sails 15-day voyages between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Lisbon, Portugal. Ports calls will be made at the Cape Verde Islands off of Africa. Transatlantic cruise fares start at $1,879 per person.

    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 11:35 AM

    October 13, 2005

    Princess Recognizes Alaska Season Shore Excursion Operators for Service Excellence

    diamondprincess.jpg

    Princess Recognizes Alaska Season Shore Excursion Operators for Service Excellence

    Passengers Help Determine Season's Top Shore Tours and Favorite Guides

    SANTA CLARITA, CA (September 19, 2005) - With the 2005 summer Alaska season coming to a close, Princess has announced the winners of its annual C.R.U.I.S.E. awards, which recognize its passengers favorite tours of the season and favorite tour guides in each of the Alaska and Northwest ports visited by Princess ships.

    This marks the sixth year Princess has been presenting these awards, which are given in recognition of the importance these tours and guides are to the visitor's Alaska cruise experience.

    Award winners are those tour companies and individual guides who received the most passenger commendations from Princess' extensive line-up of more than 135 shore excursion options throughout the summer season. The winners will receive their awards at ceremonies held aboard the line's Alaska-based ships.

    "In Alaska, tour operators really are a vital part of the passenger experience, and they're exceptional at ensuring that Princess' service levels continue even off the ship," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "We're always delighted to offer these C.R.U.I.S.E. awards to our top operators each year in recognition of service excellence."

    Begun in 1999 in the Caribbean as part of Princess' C.R.U.I.S.E. (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing In Service Excellence) customer service program, and expanded to Alaska in 2000, these awards are the culmination of a season-long effort to recognize the importance of Alaskan-owned tour operator partners to passengers' cruise experience. Tour Guide of the Season award winners receive $100, a tour of the ship, a letter of commendation, a plaque, and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch onboard for company officials. A full list of winners is attached.

    Princess Cruises and Tours Adventures Ashore 2005 C.R.U.I.S.E. Shore Excursion of the Season & Tour Guide of the Season

    Juneau:
    Co-Shore Excursions:
    Taku Glacier Lodge Flight & Feast, Wings Airways/Taku Lodge
    Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest, Allen Marine Tours
    Tour Guide:
    Melissa Kenney, Gastineau Guiding Company

    Ketchikan:
    Co-Shore Excursions:
    Ketchikan by Horse-Drawn Trolley, Seahorse Ventures
    Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure, Snorkel Alaska
    Co-Tour Guides:
    Bill Block, Snorkel Alaska
    Rob Holston, Lighthouse Excursions

    Seattle:
    Shore Excursion:
    Seattle Highlights, Gray Line of Seattle

    Sitka:
    Co-Shore Excursions:
    Sea Life Discovery Semi-Submersible, Sea Life Discovery Tours
    Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest, Allen Marine
    Tour Guide:
    Debbie Bifford, Sitka Tours

    Skagway:
    Co- Shore Excursions:
    Glacier Point Wilderness Safari, Chilkat Guides
    Klondike Rock Climbing & Rappelling, Alaska Mountain Guides
    Co- Tour Guides:
    Cindy Godbey, Klondike Gold Dredge
    Jeff Kellner, Chilkat Guides

    Vancouver:
    Shore Excursion:
    Capilano Canyon Nature Tour, Rockwood Adventures

    Victoria:
    Shore Excursion:
    Butchart & Butterfly Gardens, Gray Line of Victoria
    Tour Guide:
    Phil Jackson, D'Costa Ports of Call

    Whittier:
    Shore Excursion:
    Blackstone Glacier Cruise, Prince William Sound Cruises & Tours

    Press Release by Princess Cruises

    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruisetour Information
    Princess Cruises Tahiti Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Mexico Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Europe Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 09:11 AM

    October 11, 2005

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

    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 08:36 AM

    October 06, 2005

    NCL Moves Norwegian Sun To Houston Because Of Indefinite Closure Of The Port Of New Orleans

    diamondprincess.jpg

    NCL MOVES NORWEGIAN SUN TO HOUSTON BECAUSE OF INDEFINITE CLOSURE OF THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS

    Ship to reposition to Miami in January for two new eastern and western caribbean itineraries until april 2006

    MIAMI, FL (September 6, 2005) - Norwegian Cruise Line (“NCL”) announced today that Norwegian Sun will move to Houston beginning October 16 to operate its exotic Western Caribbean cruises through the January 8, 2006 cruise. The ship will then reposition to Miami to sail one four-day cruise to the Bahamas on January 17, 2006, and sail a series of alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries beginning January 21, 2006 through April 16, 2006.

    NCL has made this decision as a result of the indefinite closure of the Port of New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. “It is with deep regret that we have to make this change,” said Colin Veitch, NCL’s president and CEO. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this catastrophic hurricane.”

    NCL is working closely with the American Red Cross to assist in the recovery and restoration process. The company is making a corporate donation as well as conducting a fundraising drive for its employees and crew, and a passenger fundraising drive onboard its ships. All money raised will go directly to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. In addition, NCL has established a link from its website to www.redcross.org to assist in the giving process.

    Norwegian Sun’s Panama Canal cruise departing Los Angeles September 30, 2005 will now conclude in Houston, instead of New Orleans, on Sunday, October 16, 2005.

    Below is Norwegian Sun’s itinerary from Houston, October 16, 2005 through the January 8, 2006 cruise. Ports of call have been slightly amended from Norwegian Sun’s original New Orleans itinerary.

    Houston (5:30pm) - At Sea -Playa del Carmen/Cozumel (8:00am-10:00am) - Cozumel (12:00pm-10:00pm) - Belize City (9:00am-7:00pm) - Roatan (7:00am-6:00pm) - At Sea - At Sea - Houston (7:00am)

    For those guests booked on Norwegian Sun sailings beginning January 21, 2006, NCL will offer a series of alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries out of Miami, the details of which will be announced shortly.

    Guests booked on Norwegian Sun beginning in January can choose an itinerary out of Miami or transfer to Norwegian Dream out of Houston. Norwegian Dream’s itinerary out of Houston features calls into Cozumel, Roatan, Belize City and Cancun.

    Norwegian Sun guests booked as of September 1, 2005, who elect one the ship’s revised sailings from Houston or Miami, will receive a $50 per person onboard credit ($100 max per cabin). Moreover, guests booked on Norwegian Sun’s January 15, 2006 sailing, which has been cancelled, can choose a Norwegian Dream sailing out of Houston or a Norwegian Sun sailing out of Houston or Miami and receive $50 per person onboard credit.

    Guests booked with NCL’s Air/Sea program to or from New Orleans will be rebooked on flights to or from Houston and Miami/Fort Lauderdale. Passengers who made independent arrangements to join their NCL cruise should contact the travel agent or airline who made the travel arrangements for the departing cruise for updated information on flight service and schedules.

    Guests who elect not to sail and who advise us by September 30, 2005 can cancel without assessments of cancellation fees.

    Press Release by Norwegian Cruise Line

    Norwegian Cruise Line Alaska Cruise Information
    Norwegian Cruise Line Europe Cruise Information
    Norwegian Cruise Line Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
    Norwegian Cruise Line Hawaii Cruise Sale

    Posted by Denise at 08:38 AM