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April 22, 2008

?Tour De Spin? Cycling Classes Debut Aboard Crystal Ships

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'TOUR DE SPIN' CYCLING CLASSES DEBUT ABOARD CRYSTAL SHIPS
Funds donated to Lance Armstrong Foundation for each guest who participates

LOS ANGELES, April 14, 2008 - Demonstrating an increased commitment to health and fitness, Crystal Cruises is launching "Tour de Spin," a complimentary indoor cycling program that mirrors stages of the Tour de France. The program, inspired by top cyclist Lance Armstrong and led by onboard instructors, will utilize Le Monde Life Fitness Bikes and include three virtual Tour de France rides.

Participation in the program can benefit one's health as well as The Lance Armstrong Foundation, which unites people to fight cancer. Guests who have completed all three rides in the program will receive a yellow Live Strong wrist band courtesy of Crystal's onboard fitness operator, Steiner Leisure. For each wrist band distributed, Steiner Leisure will donate one dollar to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which unites people to fight cancer. Participants will also receive a letter from Lance Armstrong thanking them for their participation.

Beginning mid-April on Crystal Symphony and in May on Crystal Serenity, the classes will be available on all itineraries, and will be offered on every sea day and in port when time allows. The three rides are choreographed to music specifically selected for indoor cycling.

Rides include:

  • Les Alps - a multi-level profile, which can include flat, medium-mount and mountain stages;

  • Time Trial - an interval workout, where cyclists race alone against the clock; and

  • Alp D'Huez - a mind-body climb, maximizing guests' cycling potential.

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    "Our guests are health-conscious, active individuals looking for the very latest in sophisticated fitness classes and equipment, and we are thrilled to add yet another option to our roster," says Thomas Mazloum, Crystal's senior vice president, hotel operations. "This program allows them to participate in something that benefits their own health, as well as a worthy foundation."

    Crystal's two ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, are equipped with Fitness Centres complete with panoramic ocean views and state-of-the-art equipment including LifeFitness treadmills with individual flat screen televisions, elliptical trainers, recumbent and upright life cycles and steppers, strength-training equipment, free weights and a Pilates Reformer machine. Daily exercise classes include yoga and personal training sessions. Crystal's Walk-on-Water program features the WALKVEST Training System, which revolutionizes walking simply by adding resistance (added weight) to your walk. Fresh fruit, fresh fish, creative salads, low-calorie and low-carb meals add to the completely trans fat-free dining experience available throughout the ships.

    This year, the line is also hosting renowned medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic - one of the nation's most respected academic medical research centers -- who will speak to guests about the latest trends and treatments on a variety of topics, from cardiovascular disease to wellness through mind, body and spirit.

    The Crystal Difference
    Aboard the ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, extensive choices and superior quality, providing worldwide vacations of seven to 100+ days that bridge the best of land and sea. Grounded in more than a decade of accolades, Crystal has been voted "World's Best" by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history.

    For additional information and Crystal reservations, please contact a travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)
  • April 21, 2008

    Short But Oh, So Sweet: Celebrity Cruises to reprise four- and five-night Caribbean Sailings in 2009

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    Miami - (April 15, 2008 ) - Celebrity Cruises' four- and five-night Caribbean sailings are perfect getaways for guests who crave a taste of the line?s signature service with style and the spectacular sunsets of the Caribbean. The line?s 2009-2010 winter Caribbean season will feature, for the third consecutive year, a series of these sailings on the recently refurbished Celebrity Century. These voyages opened for sale today. From December 12, 2009 through April 22, 2010, Celebrity Century will sail a total of 29 short Western Caribbean itineraries, departing from Miami, Florida, on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Each itinerary features two ports of call; these include Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Key West, Florida.

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    Onboard the 1,814-guest Celebrity Century, guests can enjoy all the enhancements made when the ship underwent a $55-million makeover in 2006. These upgrades included the addition of 314 new verandas, 14 new suites, 10 new staterooms ranging from inside to veranda categories, and an expanded number of ConciergeClass category staterooms. Celebrity also expanded its AquaSpa, added the specialty restaurant, Murano, refurbished the main dining room, created the first ice bar at sea, and enhanced the bedding in staterooms.

    In port, guests can experience the delights of the Caribbean through a variety of shore and land excursions, such as "Temazcal Mayan Steamlodge Experience" in Cozumel, which includes a shaman-guided ritual reflective of those that the ancient Mexicans would perform; "Chukka Ultimate Adventure" in Ocho Rios, which offers a horseback ride along the White River, river innertubing, a Jamaican lunch and a hike; or "Taste of Key West," a guided walking tour through the town?s colorful gardens and historic buildings, with delectable treats included.

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    To learn more about Celebrity's 2009-2010 short Caribbean sailings, guests are encouraged to visit Celebrity Cruises website. Guests also can tour Celebrity Century.

    Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Australia, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for "The Top Cruise Ships in the World," as voted by the readers of Conde' Nast Traveler (February 2008 readers' poll), Celebrity's current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, and a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit Celebrity Cruises website.

    Posted by Denise at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

    April 18, 2008

    Carnival Splendor: The Ultimate Family Vacation

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    MIAMI (April 9, 2008) ? From a 5,500-square-foot play area ? the largest in the Fun Ship fleet ? to a fun-filled water spray park and facilities and activities aimed at youngsters, ?tweens and teens, kids of all ages are sure to have a blast aboard Carnival Cruise Lines? new 113,000-ton Carnival Splendor, set to debut this summer.

    The largest ?Fun Ship? ever constructed, the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor is slated to debut July 2, with a special eight-day Europe voyage from Genoa followed by the launch of the line?s first-ever 12-day Northern Europe program from London (Dover) July 13, 2008.

    Designed as the ultimate vacation for families, Carnival Splendor will offer different programs catering to specific age groups, including ?Camp Carnival? (ages 2-11), ?Circle C? (ages 12-14) and ?Club O2? (ages 15-17), along with children?s menus, a corkscrew water slide, a stroller rental program and numerous other family-friendly features.

    ?As the largest ?Fun Ship? ever constructed, Carnival Splendor provides a huge canvas to create some truly exciting spaces to entertain kids of all ages while further bolstering Carnival?s distinction as the family cruise leader,? said Lynn C. Torrent, Carnival?s senior vice president of sales and guest services.

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    Largest Play Area in the ?Fun Ship? Fleet
    A focal point for many of the Carnival Splendor?s youth activities will be an expansive 5,500-square-foot children?s play area ? roughly 30 percent bigger than the largest facility in the Carnival fleet.

    Located mid-ship on Panorama Deck, the two-level facility will be divided into separate areas with each focusing on a different activity or function. One area will be an all-ages playroom with a variety of toys, games and puzzles. Another will be a computer game room with the latest computer gaming consoles, while a third will offer a dance floor and plasma screen TV displaying music videos and popular children?s movies.

    Located one deck above will be a children?s water park with various water-spray apparatus, and a wet tot lot offering hours of splashing fun. The water park will complement Carnival Splendor?s four swimming pools, including a pool on Panorama Deck featuring the line?s signature 214-foot-long ?Twister Waterslide.?

    In addition to activities focusing on music, art, science and physical fitness, Carnival Splendor will also offer educational programming geared toward the ship?s various European, Caribbean, South American and Mexican Riviera itineraries.

    New ?Circle C? Program for 12- to 14-Year-Olds
    Carnival Splendor will be the first ?Fun Ship? to feature a purpose-built ?Circle C? facility, which caters specifically to the 12- to 14-year-old set.

    Located mid-ship on Atlantic Deck, the sleek, modern facility will feature a dance floor with high-tech sound and lighting system, along with 42-inch plasma-screen TVs displaying movies and music videos, and a touch-screen jukebox stocked with the latest hits.

    Other features will include gaming pods with the latest video games and consoles, with 20-inch plasma-screens positioned throughout the room and used exclusively for video gaming. ?Circle C? activities will include basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, water games, and late-night movies and pool parties.

    ?Club O2? for Teens
    Continuing Carnival?s emphasis on providing older kids with their own spaces and activities, Carnival Splendor will offer its own version of the line?s popular ?Club O2? teen program, which is aimed at kids ages 15 to 17.

    The 2,365-square-foot facility, located mid-ship on Promenade Deck, will include a dance floor, DJ, and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, and a lounge where teens can relax and enjoy non-alcoholic specialty drinks. A library with popular teen-oriented books and magazines will also be available. Special shore excursions offering older kids an opportunity to visit historic European destinations together as a group, along with Carnival?s popular Y Spa teen spa treatment program, will also be offered.

    Children?s Dining Options, Other Family-Friendly Amenities
    Kids have their own unique dining preferences and Carnival Splendor will offer such family friendly options as children?s menus in the main dining rooms, 24-hour pizza and ice cream at the poolside restaurant, and a program where kids can enjoy a meal with the youth staff on the Lido Deck.

    A children?s turn-down service providing freshly baked cookies at bedtime and Carnival?s popular ?Fountain Fun Card,? which, for a one-time fee, provides unlimited soft drinks throughout the voyage, will also be available.

    Nightly babysitting services, at a cost of $6 per hour for the first child and $4 per hour for each additional child in the same family, along with Carnival?s popular stroller rental program, are also available. Also featured will be ?Carnival?s Seaside Theatre,? a 270-square-foot LED screen located poolside on Lido Deck and displaying movies, concerts and other programming.

    Of the ship?s 1,503 staterooms, nearly 200 will be interconnecting with more than 350 accommodating up to three and four guests ? perfect for families.

    Exciting Inaugural Schedule
    Following a special one-time eight-day western Europe voyage from Genoa July 2-10, 2008, Carnival Splendor will launch the line?s first-ever 12-day Northern Europe cruise program from London (Dover) July 13, 2008. The program will run through Aug. 30, after which the ship will sail a trans-Atlantic crossing from London (Dover) to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from where it will launch a schedule of seven-day Caribbean voyages beginning November 29, 2008.

    From January ? March 2009, Carnival Splendor will sail on a series of 14- to 18-day South America voyages ? the line?s first within the region ? then reposition to Long Beach, Calif., for year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera voyages beginning March 29, continuing the expansion of the line?s West Coast operations.

    Reservations are currently being accepted for all of the Carnival Splendor?s various European, Caribbean, South American and Mexican Riviera itineraries. Round-trip air supplements and special discounted rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available.

    For additional information and reservations, contact a travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

    April 13, 2008

    Holland America Line Offers New Asia Pacific Cruise Itineraries in 2009

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    Highlights include round-trip Hong Kong and maiden ports in China, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines

    Seattle, March 3, 2008 - Holland America Line will feature a selection of nine unique voyages to the Asia Pacific region in 2009. For the first time next fall, ms Volendam will sail to destinations throughout the Pacific, calling at exotic locales in China, Southeast Asia, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Russia. A convenient new round-trip Hong Kong itinerary is offered and for guests looking to add to their port repertoire, the 2009 Asia Pacific voyages also include four maiden ports of call: Puerto Princesa, Philippines; Otaru, Japan; Sanya, Hainan, China; and Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan.

    The enticing itineraries offer a comprehensive exploration of over a dozen of the most popular Pacific Rim nations on cruises from 14- to 19-days that were designed to enable guests to combine cruises for a truly unique and extended experience of up to 66 days. The Explorations Speaker Series provides further opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in the region with lectures focused on select ports of call.

    "Asia Pacific is a must-do for experienced travelers, and Holland America Line continues to raise the bar on the premium cruise experience with our exceptional itineraries and engaging ports of call not found with other lines," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. "We strive to offer our guests innovative and exciting destinations and onboard activities that bring them back year after year for new adventures."

    First round-trip Hong Kong sailing for Holland America Line
    For guests wanting a new adventure, Holland America Line offers a round-trip Hong Kong itinerary for the first time. The 14-day journey departs Oct. 26, 2009, and explores the ancient wonders and mysteries of China and Vietnam. Guests enjoy an overnight stay in Shanghai where shopping abounds and a visit to the tranquil Yuyuan Gardens awaits. A maiden call at Sanya, Hainan, a popular resort area in China, enhances the alluring itinerary.

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    New Southeast Asia itinerary features maiden port of call
    From Singapore to Hong Kong, Volendam is set to explore Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, offering two itineraries - a 14-day cruise starting April 4 and a 12-day cruise starting Nov. 7, 2009. Highlights of the new 14-day itinerary include a maiden call at Puerto Princesa in the Philippines, famous for its crocodile farms, underground rivers and dive spots. Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park features a spectacular limestone karst landscape. An overnight stay in Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand, allows guests plenty of extra time for shopping and exploring the city's amazing pagodas and temples.

    Great Wall of China, Forbidden City explored on 14- and 16-day voyages
    On Volendam's 14- and 16-day China, Japan and Korea cruise, there's plenty of time to explore the palaces and tombs that dot the ancient lands, take in the tranquility of the temples and gardens and sample the unique flavors of Asian cuisine. The itinerary offers two overnight stays in China to ensure that guests are able to explore the bustling city of Shanghai with an abundance of shopping and historical sightseeing opportunities, and Xingang (Beijing) with optional shore excursions to the Forbidden City, Ming Tombs and the Great Wall of China. Volendam departs on this 14-day itinerary on April 18, 2009 and 16-day itinerary on Oct. 10, 2009.

    Adventurous voyage takes guests from ancient traditions to colossal glaciers
    Guests wanting a cruise with amazing scenery and diverse ports need only join Volendam for its Japan, Eastern Russia and Alaska itinerary. On the cruises between Kobe (Osaka), Japan; and Vancouver, the ship will explore Petropavlovsk - known as Russia's Far East - with it's scores of volcanoes, as well as the scenic Kurill Islands off the coast of Russia and Alaska's Aleutian Islands and Inside Passage.

    An overnight stay in Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, allows guests time to experience one of the world's busiest cities and take in the Senso-ji and Kannon Temples. Guests on this voyage are in for a double treat: crossing the International Date Line and visiting the maiden port of Otaru, Japan. Otaru is located on Hokkaido Island and is one of Japan's leading tourist destinations.

    The 19-day cruise - which actually is 18 calendar days in length due to the crossing of the international dateline - departs May 2, 2009, and sails from Kobe (Osaka) to Vancouver. The 16-day cruise in the reverse direction departs Vancouver on Sept. 23, 2009 or guests can board the 15-day version sailing from Seattle on Sept. 24, 2009 and take the ship to Kobe (Osaka). This cruise gains one day by crossing the dateline, thus actually making the voyage 17 or 16 calendar days, respectively.

    Exclusive 15- and 19-day itineraries explore Indonesian Islands and the Great Barrier Reef
    Volendam's two new Indonesian Islands and the Great Barrier Reef itineraries are firsts of their kind among major cruise lines in the region. Several interesting ports will be visited in Indonesia, including Komodo Island, part of the Komodo National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - as well as Padang Bai, Bali, with an abundance of shopping opportunities, and Semarang, a bustling city teeming with ancient temples. Also on these exclusive cruises, guests enjoy four days cruising the Great Barrier Reef, including two days of daylight cruising through the world's largest coral reef system. Scenic highlights in the reef include viewing the sunrise while anchored off Lizard Island, an overnight anchorage in the reef near Sherrard Island, cruising Torres Strait and taking in the sunset off Booby Island. The 19-day itinerary from Auckland to Singapore departs March 16, 2009, and the 15-day Singapore to Sydney cruise departs Nov. 21, 2009.

    Holland America Line also features a further selection of nine adventurous voyages Down Under in 2009 with 14-day cruises and a special 16-day holiday sailing between Australia and New Zealand.

    The Holland America premium cruise experience
    At the heart of a Holland America cruise is a warm and award-winning style of service that is never in the way and never out of reach. As You Wish? dining provides an inviting culinary experience with options to suit every taste. Culinary staff and guest chefs also lead cooking classes and demonstrations in the onboard Culinary Arts Center while the Explorations Cafe enables guests to read up on the news, their next port, and connect to loved ones. A good night's sleep is assured with the Mariner's Dream stateroom amenities, including luxurious beds and linens.

    For a 2009 Asia Pacific cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

    April 11, 2008

    Celebrity Cruises Revamps Smoking Policy First premium cruise line to join trend toward cleaner-air environment

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    Miami - (April 10, 2008 ) - Cruise enthusiasts may praise the virtues of "sea air," but to many of them, what matters more is clean air. As more hotels and restaurants worldwide implement stricter smoking policies in order to promote healthier air, Celebrity Cruises also is taking action. Beginning October 1, 2008, guests on Celebrity's ships will enjoy fresher air as a result of a new policy that disallows smoking in Celebrity's staterooms or on stateroom verandas. The policy also will reduce the number of public areas in which guests can smoke onboard.

    "We are proud to be the first premium cruise line to set a new standard toward creating an environment of cleaner air on our ships," said Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "We pay careful attention to what our guests have to say, and approximately 90 percent of them have told us they are non-smokers. By increasing the number of smoke-free areas onboard while still designating areas for those who smoke, our aim is to make the onboard experience as pleasant as possible for all of our guests."

    The new policy, created after Celebrity polled past guests, will result in a cleaner, fresher and healthier environment on Celebrity's ships. Designated indoor areas where guests can smoke cigarettes include the port side of one lounge per ship and a designated slot machine area in each ship's casino. The new policy also designates outdoor areas where guests can smoke. These include the port side of the pool deck and sundecks on each ship, the port side of the Sunset Bar on Celebrity Century and on Celebrity's Millennium class of ships, and the port side aft outside of Winter Garden on Celebrity Galaxy and Celebrity Mercury. Celebrity's new Solstice class of ships, launching with Celebrity Solstice late this year, will follow the new policy beginning with the first sailing. Celebrity Solstice's Lawn Club and the Sunset Bar at the Lawn Club will not allow smoking. Violations to Celebrity's smoking policy may result in a $250 cleaning fee charged to the guest's onboard account and may also be addressed through the line's guest conduct policy.

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    The new policy will go into effect on Celebrity's fleet on the first day of the first sailing to follow October 1:

  • Celebrity Galaxy, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Mercury - October 3 sailings
  • Celebrity Summit - October 4 sailing
  • Celebrity Constellation - October 5 sailing
  • Celebrity Century, Celebrity Millennium - October 6 sailings
  • Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox - upon ship launch

    Celebrity currently allows guests to smoke in staterooms, on stateroom verandas and in a number of indoor and outdoor public spaces. The exception is Celebrity Xpedition, the 92-person mega-yacht sailing year-round in the Galapagos Islands, which operates under a stricter policy than the rest of the fleet, allowing smoking only on the ship's outer decks, in designated areas.

    Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Australia, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for "The Top Cruise Ships in the World," as voted by the readers of Conde' Nast Traveler (February 2008 readers' poll), Celebrity's current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, and a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011. For more information, call #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)
  • April 10, 2008

    Norwegian Cruise Line Launches New Online Guest Feedback Initiative

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    Miami, Apr 9, 2008 - Furthering its commitment to the guest experience as part of its fleet-wide Freestyle 2.0 initiative, NCL Corporation (NCL) is implementing a new comprehensive guest feedback process. The NCL Guest Experience & Loyalty Scorecard is the new online system to collect, analyze and report guest feedback about the entire cruise experience.

    "We are committed to exceeding our guests' expectations while delivering a superior cruise experience, so having this new guest feedback tool in place is of the utmost importance to our success," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "Guest feedback helped NCL shape the new Freestyle 2.0 cruise experience and we will continue to listen to our guests to measure the delivery and impact of those enhancements, as well as guide future product innovations within Freestyle Cruising."

    Once guests return home from their NCL cruise, they receive an email invitation allowing them to conveniently provide feedback on their entire cruise experience via a post-cruise online survey. The web-based format, which takes the place of the on-board guest comment card, allows NCL to continuously listen to the voice of the guest and integrate that insight into further development of the NCL product and customer strategy.

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    The scorecard, which will be in place fleet-wide by mid-April, will help measure the impact of the new Freestyle 2.0 enhancements which include a major investment in the total dining experience; upgrading the stateroom experience; new wide ranging on-board activities for guests of all ages; and additional recognition, service and amenities for balcony, suite and villa guests. Norwegian Jade is the first ship to feature Freestyle 2.0. Additional ships will launch Freestyle 2.0 within the following weeks, with fleet-wide roll out implemented by June 1, 2008.

    NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line.

    NCL is building two new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400-passenger Norwegian Gem.

    Posted by Denise at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

    April 09, 2008

    Princess Cruises Adds Trademark "Sanctuary" to All Ships by Popular Demand

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    Enthusiastic Passenger Response Prompts Line to Reprise Tranquil, Adults-Only Haven Fleetwide

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 7, 2008) - Prompted by enthusiastic response from its passengers, Princess Cruises' ground-breaking "pocket of tranquility" - The Sanctuary - has become such a popular haven for passengers looking to escape to a serene hideaway, that it will be added to the entire fleet of Princess ships.

    Beginning this summer, the line's trademark retreat will be added to Island Princess, followed by Grand Princess and Star Princess by the end of the year. Additional ships will have The Sanctuary added through 2010.

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    The Sanctuary, which debuted in 2006 aboard Crown Princess, was an instant success as it gave passengers the perfect place to take a break and indulge in a private getaway with a plush, outdoor spa-inspired setting, complete with massage cabanas, signature beverages, light meals, attentive service and relaxing personal entertainment. The exclusive adults-only retreat enjoyed continued popularity on sister ship Emerald Princess, and will also be available on Ruby Princess, debuting in November.

    "The Sanctuary has come to personify Princess' essential philosophy of escape coupled with personal service," said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "Passengers have told us they love this opportunity to completely relax in such a peaceful and pampering environment, so we're delighted to introduce this special Princess feature on all our vessels."

    Depending on the ship, The Sanctuaries will be created in different areas onboard, such as the sports courts atop the "Grand-class" vessels, which will be relocated.

    Sanctuary guests lounge amidst lush greenery, with the presence of gentle breezes, ocean waves, and softly piped-in spa music combining to further insulate the area with relaxation sounds. Guests can relax on plush outdoor furniture including double loungers for couples, as well as deluxe chaise lounges and chairs. Passengers also enjoy the personal attention of Serenity Stewards in The Sanctuary, who are on hand to provide everything from a chilled face towel and Evian water atomizers, to a menu of healthy beverages and fare. Serenity Stewards also have personal MP3 players with noise canceling headphones available loaded with themed playlists focused on relaxation for those who want to escape with music.

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    In addition, The Sanctuary features two outdoor private cabanas where guests can also take advantage of the exclusive Lotus Spa Services at The Sanctuary, including sybaritic favorites such as a Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, a relaxing Swedish Massage or a Full Body Lotus Massage especially for couples.

    Guests can also refresh with a variety of special drinks and snacks created exclusively for The Sanctuary. Each day Serenity Stewards will be on hand to offer guests an array of drinks and snacks. Signature Sanctuary beverages include healthy smoothies, energy drinks, iced flavored waters and freshly made lemonade. A menu featuring a selection of light bites such as refreshing fruit skewers, lettuce wrapped spring rolls, and spicy tuna pate with baked pita wedges will also be available through the Serenity Stewards.

    Half-day passes for The Sanctuary are available for $10 per person, for 8 am to 12:30 pm or 1 pm to 5 pm. Passengers choosing to indulge with an outdoor massage may also enjoy an hour's use of The Sanctuary area after their treatment.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

    April 08, 2008

    Princess Cruises Builds on Tradition of Worldwide Itineraries, Combining Long-Time Favorites with New, Emerging Destinations

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    Exotic Lineup for 2009-10 Includes All Seven Continents Including Debut of New World Cruise and Sailings to Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, and Canada & New England

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 3, 2008) - Continuing its long tradition of bringing passengers to some of the world's most intriguing places, Princess Cruises has released its 2009-10 schedule of exotic itineraries which include long-time passenger favorites along with some new, emerging destinations. With the new program, passengers will be able to explore the splendors of Asia, the spectacular scenery of South America and Antarctica, the popular "Down Under" attractions of Australia & New Zealand, the South Pacific idylls of Hawaii and Tahiti, fall foliage journeys to Canada & New England, and a new world cruise adventure.

    The new lineup of global cruises includes more than 110 sailings on 10 ships to all seven continents with six new itineraries and calls at more than 180 destinations including 11 new ports. Destinations include Africa, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Hawaii, Tahiti, India, South America, Canada & New England, and a world cruise.

    New for this season, the line has increased capacity in Asia with two ships and three new 14- to 16-day itineraries offered on the newly named Ocean Princess (formerly Tahitian Princess), which will also venture into India and Africa. Other new itineraries include a 31-day West Africa Adventure and a special 13-day holiday sailing in Australia/New Zealand on Diamond Princess. In addition, Pacific Princess will set off on an extensive 107-day world cruise visiting 40 destinations. The 2010 worldwide sailing will feature maiden calls to a number of fascinating new ports, including Topolobampo for Mexico's Copper Canyon, Vietnam's "City of Peace" Halong Bay, and Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.

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    The program's 10 ships offer a full range in size from the line's three intimate, 680-passenger small ships to the largest 3,100-passenger amenity-filled vessels. Ocean Princess will sail on a variety of new sailings in Asia, India and Africa. Pacific Princess will take over the line's popular Tahiti & Polynesia sailings before setting out on a new world cruise itinerary. Golden Princess will return to the lush Hawaiian Islands, now with Sunday departures from Los Angeles. Royal Princess will once again venture up the world's largest river - the mighty Amazon, while Star Princess returns to cruising around South America's Cape Horn and Antarctica, plus offering two South Pacific crossings between the West Coast and Sydney. Diamond Princess will again cruise through Asia and "Down Under" to Australia & New Zealand. The line will also continue to offer year-round cruising from Australia aboard Sun Princess, which is joined by Dawn Princess for Aussie-style voyages to New Zealand, Asia and the South Pacific, departing from Sydney or Melbourne. And in fall, Crown Princess joins Caribbean Princess to sail the Eastern seaboard to Canada & New England.

    Eleven new ports debut - Muscat, the capital of Oman; Yangon in Myanmar; Qingdao, a beautiful seaside city in China; Fukuoka, western Japan's major cultural center; Phillip Island in southern Australia, where visitors can watch the local penguins on their daily parade; Newcastle, Australia; the Caribbean island of Nevis; and on the world cruise Topolobampo, the gateway to the majestic Copper Canyon in Mexico; Picton, New Zealand at the head of the South Island's lovely Queen Charlotte Sound; Halong Bay/Hanoi (Cai Lan) in Vietnam; and Sharm el-Sheik, a resort city on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

    "We know our passengers are explorers who revel in the opportunity to see some of the world's exotic locales," said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "So we've designed a full slate of itineraries to take them to all seven continents in the comfort of our wonderful ships."

    New Tahitian/Ocean Princess Sailings to Asia, India and Africa - Tahitian Princess will sail on one last Africa, India and Southeast Asia itinerary from Cape Town to Singapore before being transformed into the new Ocean Princess. The newly renamed ship will then set off on a series of cruises through Asia, including new itineraries such as the Treasures of Southeast Asia between Singapore and Shanghai, South China Sea Explorer between Shanghai and Bangkok, and China & Japan Explorer between Shanghai and Tokyo. The ship will end the season with an Africa, India and Southeast Asia voyage from Singapore to Cape Town and a West Africa Adventure from Cape Town to London (Dover). Sailings depart between September 17, 2009 and May 7, 2010.

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    Golden Princess to Hawaii - Golden Princess returns to Princess' popular Hawaii route, offering convenient 14-day roundtrip sailings from the port of Los Angeles. The itinerary features visits to the Big Island (Hilo), Honolulu, Kauai (Nawiliwili), and Maui (Lahaina). Golden Princess will sail on 16 Sunday departures between September 27, 2009 and April 25, 2010.

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    Diamond Princess in Asia and Australia/New Zealand - Diamond Princess returns to the Far East with a series of voyages throughout Southeast Asia and China as well as Australia & New Zealand sailings. Choices include six cruises on a 16-day Beijing/Bangkok itinerary, five sailings on the favorite 12-day run between Sydney and Auckland, plus a new 13-day Australia/New Zealand holiday sailing that adds the new port of Phillip Island. Other itinerary options are an 18-day Eastern Australia and Asia cruise from Bangkok to Sydney, and a 20-day Western Australia and Asia sailing from Sydney back to Bangkok. Two Alaska & the Far East cruises begin and end the season, which runs from September 12, 2009 through April 30, 2010.

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    Royal Princess through the Amazon - Royal Princess will sail on nine sailings of an enhanced 14-day Amazon River adventure between Ft. Lauderdale and Manaus, Brazil. The 710-passenger ship will visit St. Barthelemy (or the new port of Nevis on two sailings), St. Lucia, Trinidad, Devil's Island, and the Amazon ports of Santarem, Boca da Valeria, and Parintins plus an overnight visit to Manaus. Royal Princess sails between December 19, 2009 and April 10, 2010.

    Star Princess - South Pacific, South America and Antarctica - Star Princess will start the season with two South Pacific crossings, sailing between San Francisco or Los Angeles and Sydney. The ship then heads down to South America for sailings around Cape Horn (between Santiago and Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires) and two Antarctic adventures. The ship also will begin and end the South America season with an Andes & South America route between Santiago and Los Angeles or San Francisco. Star Princess' season runs from September 23, 2009 through March 30, 2010.

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    Pacific Princess to Tahiti and Hawaii - Pacific Princess takes over the popular 10-day Tahiti & Polynesia cruises, sailing roundtrip from Papeete and calling at Huahine, Rangiroa, Raiatea (overnight), Tahaa Scenic Cruising, Bora Bora (overnight), and Moorea. The ship offers seven departures between October 9 and December 8, 2009. In addition, the ship will sail on one Hawaiian Islands cruise from Vancouver to Honolulu, a Hawaii & Tahiti sailing, and a 26-day South Pacific & Andes Explorer adventure from Tahiti (Papeete) to Ft. Lauderdale which features an optional overland tour to Machu Picchu as well as a full transit of the Panama Canal.

    Sun Princess and Dawn Princess Australia Departures - Both Sun Princess and Dawn Princess will offer a selection of sailings departing from Sydney and Melbourne, featuring Australian-style cruising. Itineraries include voyages to New Zealand, Tasmania, New Caledonia & Vanuatu, and Round Australia sailings that circumnavigate the continent. Sun Princess will also sail on a journey to China & Japan roundtrip from Sydney and Dawn Princess offers a Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific voyage. The season's sailings depart between October 17, 2009 and April 3, 2010.

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    World Cruise - Pacific Princess - Pacific Princess spans the globe with a 107-day journey of a lifetime from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome, visiting some of the most dramatic locations on the globe, including Aruba, San Blas Islands, Panama Canal transit, Costa Rica (Puntarenas), Guatemala (Puerto Quetzal), Acapulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Topolobampo (for Copper Canyon), Los Angeles, Honolulu, Fiji (Suva), Vanuatu (Vila), New Caledonia (Noumea), Bay of Islands, Auckland, Picton (for Marlborough Sounds), Sydney (overnight), Cairns (for the Great Barrier Reef), Rabaul (Papau New Guniea), Micronesia (Chuuk), Guam (Northern Mariana Islands), Nagasaki, Pusan (South Korea), Beijing (Xingang - overnight), Hong Kong, Halong Bay/Hanoi (Cai Lam), Kota Kinabalu, Brunei (Muara), Singapore, Phuket, Maldives Islands (Male), Mumbai, Dubai, Muscat (Mina Qaboos), Safaga (for Luxor/Karnak), Sharm el-Sheik, Aqaba (for Petra), Suez Canal transit, Athens (Piraeus), and Sorrento/Capri. This world cruise departs on January 27, 2010 with segments ranging from 18 to 89 days available for explorers who'd like a shorter voyage.

    Caribbean Princess and Crown Princess to Canada & New England - Along with the previously announced 7-day Caribbean Princess Canada & New England program, Crown Princess will sail on Princess' classic 10-day route between New York and Quebec City. Ports of call include Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John (New Brunswick), Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia) and Ville Saguenay (Quebec), plus an overnight stay in charming Quebec City. The ship will offer three departures on this route between September 23 and October 13, 2009. In addition, Crown Princess will sail on a 15-day Canada & Colonial America itinerary from Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale on October 23, with an overnight in Quebec City and calls at Corner Brook (Newfoundland), Sydney (Nova Scotia), Halifax, Saint John (New Brunswick), Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York City, Norfolk, and Charleston. Caribbean Princess seven-day itineraries sail roundtrip from New York from August 22 to October 17, 2009 visiting Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John (New Brunswick) and Halifax.

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    A variety of cruisetour packages are available in Australia, Asia, South America and Canada/New England, offering cruise passengers the opportunity to add to their vacation with such wonders as the Angkor Wat, Ayers Rock, and Machu Picchu.

    Exotic cruises are available for booking on April 23, 2008. Escape Fares for 10-day sailings start at $1,395 per person, based on double occupancy. Past Princess passengers are eligible for up to $100 in Captain's Circle Launch Savings on bookings made by December 31, 2008 (excluding the world cruise). Past passengers booking the full world cruise by this date are also eligible for special offers, including air-inclusive travel or a $300 Captain's Circle Launch Savings discount (depending on cabin category booked). Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

    April 06, 2008

    Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces New Entertainment Lineup for 2008

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    Fort Lauderdale - March 26, 2008 - Regent Seven Seas Cruises, voted the "#1 Small-Ship Cruise Line" in Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 Readers' Choice Awards poll, has completed a multi-million dollar upgrade of entertainment programming aboard three of its ships, including the addition of professional ballroom dance teams, new productions featuring "The Regent Singers and Dancers," and the largest live orchestra aboard any luxury cruise line.

    "Our dynamic new entertainment program offers exciting production shows featuring elegant ballroom dancing and pulse-pounding music with more energy, texture and variety," said Lyn Farmer, director of entertainment and special events for Regent Seven Seas. "Our guests are thrilled at this new entertainment lineup."

    In celebration of the ballroom dance craze sweeping the nation thanks to "Dancing with the StarsTM" and other programs, several of the new shows feature professional ballroom couples performing original choreography showcasing Latin, swing, waltz and other dance styles. The dancers even offer complimentary lessons for guests on days at sea.

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    The nine-piece "Regent Signature Orchestra" performs aboard 700-guest all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager, and 490-guest, all-suite Seven Seas Navigator. This talented unit lends concert-quality musical support to production shows and breaks into smaller units for combo performances around the ships, allowing late-night cocktails or afternoon tea in one of the lounges to be complemented by the mellow sounds of a live jazz trio.

    The new shows include new cabaret revues and five new feature productions for each ship, all with live music by the orchestra and a permanent cast of up to 10 singers and dancers (shorter cruises typically feature three production shows; longer cruises feature four or five). A new highlight aboard Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator this year is the musical "Breaking Up is Hard to Do," with music by legendary singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka, whose signature tenor voice produced a string of Billboard hits in the 1950s and 60s. Seven Seas Voyager features another show, "Romance Romance," for added variety and texture.

    In addition to the new shows, Regent will continue to offer a roster of headline entertainers throughout the year, as well as specialty programs like "James Bond Martini Night," "Beatles Night," a live disco show and all-new production shows tailored to each ship.

    The new entertainment offerings are produced by Peter Grey Terhune Productions, 20-year veterans of the cruise entertainment industry and among its foremost trendsetters.

    Posted by Denise at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

    April 04, 2008

    Hubba, Hubba! Three Celebrity Cruises Ships to visit North America's Largest Glacier in 2009 Alaska Season

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    Miami - (April 01, 2008 ) - Hubbard Glacier is the reigning beauty in Celebrity Cruises' Alaska, where the breathtakingly rugged splendor of the natural world meets the comfortable sophistication of a top-notch cruise. Guests on all three Celebrity ships that will sail in the region in 2009 will have the opportunity to gaze at the glacier, which is the only advancing glacier in Alaska. Hubbard Glacier is but one of countless must-see sights in the region, and much of Alaska?s coastal magnificence is featured in Celebrity's 2009 season there. Unique cruisetours will afford guests the opportunity to experience inland Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, and Whistler, British Columbia. Celebrity Cruises? 2009 Alaska sailings opened for sale today.

    Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Mercury, and Celebrity Millennium will sail Alaska in 2009, from a total of five ports. The season's cruise highlights include the following:

    Celebrity is offering the industry's first roundtrip Alaska cruise out of Los Angeles, with a 14-night roundtrip "Ultimate Alaska" sailing on Celebrity Mercury. The voyage includes visits to five Alaska ports as well as Seattle, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia, on April 27. Immediately following that cruise, the ship will sail a 13-night "Ultimate Alaska" voyage from Los Angeles to Vancouver, also visiting five Alaska ports, among others.

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  • Celebrity Millennium will sail the line's first 10-night roundtrip-from-Vancouver sailing with an "Ultimate Alaska" voyage on September 18, visiting six Alaska ports and one Canadian port.

  • At the core of Celebrity's 2009 Alaska season is a series of seven-night sailings between May and September that include stunning views of Hubbard Glacier, with the itineraries varying between the three ships.

  • Celebrity Infinity will depart Fridays roundtrip from Seattle, visiting Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. Nearly all of these sailings also feature a call at Icy Strait Point, giving guests the opportunity to experience Alaska's only wilderness port. Adjacent to the largest Tlingit Indian settlement and home to the historic salmon cannery and carefully restored museum, Icy Strait Point offers numerous shore excursions, including flightseeing, whale watching, sport fishing, biking, kayaking, and rides on the world's longest zip line, which measures 5,330 feet in length and includes a 1,300-foot vertical drop.

  • Celebrity Mercury will depart Sundays roundtrip from Vancouver, calling at Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan, and cruising the famed Inside Passage, one of National Geographic Traveler's highly rated destinations. In Juneau, the "Taku Glacier Lodge Flight and Feast" excursion lets guests board a floatplane and enjoy 50 minutes of flightseeing over five glaciers before landing at the historic Taku Lodge for a King salmon feast.

  • Celebrity Millennium will cruise between Seward, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia, departing on Fridays, calling at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, and cruising the Inside Passage. In Ketchikan, guests can taste local seafood in an intimate setting with the "Alaskan Chef's Table" excursion.

  • Celebrity Mercury will reprise its popular 2007 and 2008 wine cruise with an 11-night sailing from Vancouver to San Diego, California on October 12, 2009.

  • Celebrity Mercury will continue to alternate between three- and four-night Pacific Northwest sailings out of Seattle in September and October, with calls at Nanaimo and Victoria, British Columbia. In Victoria, the "Butchart Gardens, Wine and Chocolate" shore excursion gives guests an introduction to the city's charms, including the renowned Butchart Gardens and a unique wine-and-chocolate-pairing experience at a local winery.

    Combining a cruise with a multi-night, land-based journey enhances the Alaska experience. In 2009, Celebrity is increasing its cruisetour offerings. Highlights include the following:

  • A total of 21 Alaska cruisetours are available to guests sailing seven-night voyages on Celebrity Millennium out of Seward and Vancouver.

  • In 2009, these offerings include a new seven-night post-cruise tour through Seward, Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali National Park and Fairbanks, Alaska.

  • Three Canadian cruisetour journeys (two Canadian Rockies and one Whistler) are available to guests sailing seven-night voyages on Celebrity Mercury out of Vancouver.

  • A five-night Canadian Rockies package featuring rail travel on Rocky Mountaineers' RedLeaf will visit Calgary, Banff and Vancouver.

  • A three-night Whistler package features rail travel on Rocky Mountaineers' Whistler Mountaineer Coast Classic and visits the 2010 Winter Olympics sites of Vancouver and Whistler.

    To learn more about Celebrity's 2009 Alaska and Pacific Northwest cruises and cruisetours, guests are encouraged to call #1-800-738-8837. Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Australia, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for "The Top Cruise Ships in the World," as voted by the readers of Conde' Nast Traveler (February 2008 readers' poll), Celebrity's current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, and a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011.

    Posted by Denise at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)
  • April 03, 2008

    Princess Cruises to Host First-Ever Live Opera Transmission at Sea

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    Exclusive "Opera Under the Stars" Event Gives Passengers Unique Opportunity to Enjoy Puccini's La Bohème on Saturday, April 5 as part of The Met: Live on the High Seas

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 2, 2008) - In an industry exclusive event, Princess ships will become the first cruise vessels ever to broadcast a live performance from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The special The Met: Live on the High Seas presentation of Puccini's La Bohème will be held on Saturday, April 5 as part of the Met's series of eight opera performances that are transmitted live via satellite to movie theaters around the world (The Met: Live in HD).

    This unique experience will be offered across Princess' 16-ship fleet. On vessels equipped with Movies Under the Stars, passengers can enjoy a unique "Opera Under the Stars" event, as they take in the production on the giant poolside LED screens. Other vessels will show the broadcast in the Princess Theater. Opera lovers and newcomers alike can enjoy this famous love story while sailing in locations such as Mexico, the Caribbean, or Hawaii, as well as exotic locations such as Cape Horn and Egypt.

    Puccini's most popular masterwork, La Bohème tells the story of a community of artists in Paris, and is the opera that inspired Broadway's hit musical, RENT. Acclaimed soprano Angela Gheorghiu and tenor Ramón Vargas star as Mimi and Rodolfo in Italian director and designer Franco Zeffirelli's iconic production. Nicola Luisotti conducts.

    "It's quite unusual to be able to sit by a pool in the Caribbean and watch a world-class opera live from New York," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president. "We're very excited to be breaking new ground with this first-ever live Metropolitan Opera broadcast at sea. It's a rare opportunity to present our passengers with such an enriching cultural experience included in their cruise."

    The Met: Live in HD was launched during the 2006-07 season as part of the Met's new mission to revitalize the art form and to attract new and larger audiences to opera. The initiative expanded from six to eight opera transmissions in 2007-08, and also includes distribution in New York City public schools. Global distribution of the series triples this season to reach more than 600 participating venues in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. France and New Zealand join the international network on April 5.

    The Met: Live on the High Seas is one of many special events and features shown daily on Princess' giant Times Square-style Movies Under the Stars LED screens. The unique, 300-square-foot screens show up to seven movies or events daily, including family films and first run hits, as well as concert footage and other special programming. In the evenings, lounge chairs are covered with special cushions and blankets and Princess' hallmark poolside service is available to enhance the viewing experience with free popcorn plus a variety of drink specials and movie snacks. Movies Under the Stars is featured on Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess and Sea Princess.

    The digital broadcast of the Met's first-ever live event at sea is being made possible by MTN Satellite Services, a division of SeaMobile Enterprises.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

    Princess' Department of Romance Selects Five Finalists in "Are You the Greatest Romantic?" Video Contest

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    Nationwide Search Garners Nearly 100 Heartfelt Video Submissions Proving Hopeless Romantics Abound; Public Invited to Vote for Favorite Entry

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 1, 2008) - Confirming that romance knows no boundaries, the five finalists of Princess Cruises' "Are You The Greatest Romantic?" video contest include a grandmother married 40 years, a minister and father of five, couples married only a few years and a hopeless romantic just getting serious with his love. The finalists were selected by the line's Department of Romance, and the public can now vote for their favorite entry. The largest number of votes will determine who is crowned "The Greatest Romantic," which will be announced on April 15.

    Nearly 100 videos were submitted in the contest, which began on Valentine's Day, and the entries were judged by Princess' Department of Romance members which include actor Gavin MacLeod, The Love Boat's "Captain Stubing;" Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the always-provocative couples therapist; Alex Michel, the first Bachelor on ABC's hit show; Trish McDermott, vice president of love at Engage.com; and Lisa Light, destination wedding expert and author. The panel selected the five videos they felt embodied romance, along with creativity and originality.

    "We were so impressed by the wonderful, romantic videos people submitted," said Gavin MacLeod, who charted a course through 10 years of TV love stories. "I was particularly moved by the heartfelt emotion that went into the entries, and it's quite evident that the finalists give real meaning to incorporating romance into their everyday lives."

    The public now has the chance to log onto www.princess.com/romance and vote for their favorite entry. The finalist with the most votes will join the Princess' Department of Romance for one year and be featured on the company's website offering their sage romantic advice through articles and a special podcast. The winning romantic will also receive a seven-day cruise for two to the Mexican Riviera or the Caribbean. Additionally, one lucky person will win a seven-day cruise just for voting for their favorite video.

    "We're really excited about the enthusiastic reaction to our contest - we not only received some fantastic entries but thousands of people visited the site to view and rate their favorites," said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "And now we hope that in the final stages of our search, people will be just as excited to help choose the person that represents the ultimate in romance."

    The five finalist videos include:

    "The Greatest Romantic???" - Phil Roberts nominates himself with a creative and touching poem delivered by his 3-year-old daughter. The 37-year-old father and minister from Lexington, Ky., shares the ups-and-downs and joys of his nine-year marriage to his wife, and says that romance has always been the core of their relationship. Phil's wife, Lisa, always wanted to get engaged at the ocean, so he created a beach scene in his apartment in Ohio, complete with a thousand pounds of sand, stars in the sky and a fluorescent beach scene painted on the walls. Through a difficult delivery of quadruplets and the loss of a child, Phil has always put his love for Lisa before all others, making each day like a Princess cruise for her.

    "Everyday the Greatest Romantic" - Brian Krall of Manchester, N.H., nominates his wife, Irene, who makes romance a part of their daily life, slipping notes into his lunch to remind him how much she loves him and making simple things like a game night into a romantic night with candles, soft music and a bottle of wine. Brian and Irene met on August 26, 2005 and married exactly two years later. Brian suffers from a spinal disorder and is confined to a wheelchair, but that doesn't stop Irene from planning special getaways or evenings out or making the most of every day together.

    "40 Years of Romance" - Sixty-year-old Lydia Kimball Gibbons of Orem, Utah, nominates her husband Ted as "The Greatest Romantic." Lydia and Ted have been married nearly 40 years and have 12 children. Lydia proudly shares all the daily ways Ted romances her - he's written her love poems almost every day of their marriage and not only constantly tells her how much he loves and appreciates her, he also shows her by making her scrapbooks, daily planners and photo collages of their children and grandchildren.

    "Our Story - Ashley and Kacey Evans" - Kacey Evans nominates himself, paying loving tribute to his wife, love and best friend, Ashley. In a vivid video display, Kacey shares the details of their courtship and love, and how every day is infused with romance - from trips, to evenings at home to gatherings with friends. The Ramsey, Minn., couple have been together for more than five years and married for two.

    "Practice Makes Romance" - Hopeless romantic Justin D'Ambrosio's details his pursuit and preparation for true love. From rehearsing romantic dance moves, to preparing candlelit dinners, to writing love poems (all with his dog), Justin has made sure he's readied his romantic skills for his true love, Erin, whom he began dating two years ago. Although an aspiring comedian, the 23-year-old, who recently relocated from Ohio to Jersey City, N.J., takes romance very seriously. He pursued Erin for several months before his romantic wooing paid off and she finally agreed to a date.

    All five finalists will receive prizes packages including decadent chocolates from Godiva Chocolatier, pampering products from Princess' exclusive Lotus Spa and flowers from Teleflora.

    Long known as a leader in romance, Princess has been offering romantic cruise vacations around the world for more than 40 years. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)

    April 02, 2008

    Princess and Cruise Critic Host Online Chat with Gavin MacLeod to Celebrate First Release of "The Love Boat" DVD

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    Hundreds of Questions Posed to "Captain Stubing"

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 31, 2008) - In conjunction with the first-time release of "The Love Boat" on DVD this month, Princess Cruises partnered with leading online cruise site Cruisecritic.com to offer cruise fans their own opportunity to interview their favorite "captain" - Gavin MacLeod, the series' "Captain Stubing."

    MacLeod participated in an online question and answer session, in which Cruise Critic members could pose their queries about the show and his career. MacLeod answered many of the hundreds of questions posted, and then awarded his favorite 10 questions with copies of the newly released "The Love Boat" - Season One, Volume One on DVD.

    "I never get tired of talking about 'The Love Boat' and the fun memories it has for people," said MacLeod. "I appreciate just what an impact the show had on the cruise industry, so it's fun sharing my insight, especially with the enthusiastic cruisers in the Cruise Critic community."

    Gavin MacLeod's favorite questions were:

    1. What are some of your favorite ports of call and why? Since you probably have several, please share a few and why they are your favorites.

    I've been lucky enough to travel to many wonderful places in the world. But my favorite ports are New York, Sydney and Venice. I love New York because there is something electrifying about sailing into the "city that never sleeps." The Opera House stares out at you in Sydney and it doesn't get much better than that! And, Venice, come on! It's so romantic.

    2. Which Princess ships have you sailed on? Have you been on a cruise with the new ships of Princess - for example, the Caribbean, Emerald or the Crown? Since your show was on the Pacific Princess I assumed you got to see her in person. I realize that the show was on a TV sound stage but I'm curious.

    I have actually sailed on most of the Princess ships. I've been an ambassador for Princess since the show went off the air in 1986, and I've been to virtually all of the ship christenings since that year. Plus, I cruise several times a year as well.

    3. What would be your favorite activity (that you can reveal here) onboard your dream cruise?

    I love the theater. I very much enjoy watching the great production shows they put on. The performers are so talented!

    4. I would like to know what your initial reactions and feeling were when you first read the script before taking the part? Did you feel it fit your personality and did you feel the viewing audience of that time would grasp the concept of taking a cruise?

    I knew right away it would be a hit, and I did think the audience would love the idea, which was a big part of why I took the role.

    5. With all the time you spent on the show at the helm of the Pacific Princess, did you ever have the opportunity to actually steer her or guide her in or out of a dock?

    Yes I did! On the ship's very last voyage for Princess in 2002, I got to take her out of the slip in New York. Of course the Captain was on one side of me and the Staff Captain on the other in case I made a wrong move, but I did get to work the controls for a moment. It was very emotional, the end of an era.

    6. If you could, would you do it again, and who would you select as your crew?

    Well, today I'd play the head of the cruise line. Here's how I'd cast the show using today's actors:
    Captain - Tom Hanks
    Gopher - Patrick Dempsey
    Doc - Tom Arnold
    Julie McCoy - Beyonce
    Isaac - Denzel Washington
    Vicki - Dakota Fanning

    7. What guest "passenger" had star quality? So many young and upcoming actors/actresses were "passengers" on the Love Boat. Is there any one (or two?) that caught your eye back then and had you thinking - "This young man/woman is going to be a star?" And they ARE????

    That would have to be Tom Hanks. He came on when "Bosom Buddies" was just coming on the air. I'm told we were his television debut because our episode actually aired first. Regardless, he eclipsed everybody. He was very bright and a great communicator, which made him a wonderful actor. He gave more than what was demanded of him at the time.

    8. If you could have a fantasy dinner on the Love Boat, as Captain, you can have six guests join you. They can be from past episodes, the world of movies and television, history, religion, sports, mythology, etc. .... Who would they be and why?

    That's a great question!! I'd pick:
    Frank Sinatra and his wife, Nancy
    Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans
    My wife, Patti
    Captain Stubing's TV wife -- my dear friend Marion Ross
    Dinah Shore
    Pat and Shirley Boone
    Alan Buckelew, the president and CEO of Princess Cruises, and his wife, Chris
    I guess we'd need a bigger table than one for six!

    9. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite episode. Do you have a favorite show or memory that stands out more than any other?

    I actually have two favorite episodes. One was the "Love Boat Follies" where we got to sing and dance with some of the greats from musicals - Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Cab Calloway, Van Johnson and so many others. It was actor's heaven - these were some the biggest stars in musical theater.

    But my very favorite episode was our last one where Captain Stubing got married to Emily, played by Marion Ross. I've known her since 1958, and this experience was a celebration of our friendship, which still continues. I got to see her last Mother's Day when she was one of the godmothers of Emerald Princess.

    10. Compared to the smaller ships that the Love Boat original series was based on, what is your opinion of the larger ships of today? Do you find them better, worse, or just a lot different than the smaller more intimate ships shown on the Love Boat episodes?

    I've sailed on both, and they're both great. There are so many more things you can do on the larger ships. But Princess does still have three ships that are about the same size as our original Pacific Princess (the new Pacific Princess, Tahitian Princess and the new Royal Princess) - and to be honest these are my favorites.

    All of MacLeod's questions and answers can be read here.

    The Cruise Critic online chat coincided with the first-time release of "The Love Boat" series on DVD from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment. "The Love Boat - Season One, Volume One" features the first 12 episodes from the inaugural season on three discs, offering fans of the classic anthology series the opportunity to revisit the high seas adventure and celebrity passengers who came aboard each week.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by calling 1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)