July 2007 Cruise News

Cruisemates' cruise news offers the latest cruise information updated as it happens. Unbiased and independent, CruiseMates' cruise news is for cruise enthusiasts who want to know everything about cruise vacations.   Cruise News Archive Who cares about old news? We do! Years: 2000 - 2012 CruiseMates RSS News Feed Add to My Yahoo!
Add CruiseMates to your My Yahoo
See the Newest Updated TSA Security Requirements and Passport Required for All Cruisers, Starting June 1st, 2009.

Back to Top

7-26-07: Sun Princess Passengers in Sea Plane Accident Four Sun Princess passengers are the victims of an Alaskan sightseeing plane crash that happened near Rudyerd Bay Tuesday. The plane crashed in mountainous terrain near the Misty Fjords National Monument. Everyone on board perished in the single-engine floatplane crash.

The de Havilland Beaver plane left Ketchikan, Alaska about 1:30 p.m. for the tour over the Misty Fjords Monument. It was reported missing when a dispatcher was unable to contact it.

The plane was located near the south arm of Rudyerd Bay about 180 miles northeast of Ketchikan. There was no immediate indication of what may have caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

They had been traveling on the Sun Princess, a ship with Princess Cruises that was on the second day of a 7-day roundtrip cruise from Seattle. The 1,950-passenger ship left Seattle on July 22.

Princess Cruises said the seaplane was operated by Taquan Air and the company suspended Taquan Air tours pending an investigation of the accident.

The company issued a statement confirming the passengers deaths, saying, "Our thoughts and prayers remain with our passengers' family members, with whom we have been in touch since the plane was reported missing late yesterday afternoon. Our shoreside care team is doing everything possible to help their families through this difficult tragedy, and we share in their grief."

Back to Top

7-24-07: New Smoking Policy Onboard Royal Caribbean Ships Mirrors Growing Trend Toward Smoke-Free Environment RCI's Vitality Wellness Program continues to bring a breath of fresh air fleetwide.

In time to help guests set their New Year's resolutions for a healthier lifestyle, Royal Caribbean International announces a new smoking policy onboard its ships, effective January 2008. To bolster the cruise line's new Vitality wellness program, recently debuted on Liberty of the Seas � the newest vessel to share the title of the world's largest cruise ship with sister-ship, Freedom of the Seas � Royal Caribbean is increasing smoke-free zones by designating all staterooms and one lounge on each ship in its fleet as non-smoking areas. The new policy will go into effect aboard 18 of the line's 21 ships initially, with Legend of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas following suit with the 2008 summer season.

"Feedback from our guests was a driving force behind the new Vitality program and our focus on wellness," said Alice Norsworthy, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. "Results from online polls as well as input from all of our international offices worldwide, show very strong support of the new smoking policy. These changes reflect a more contemporary approach to healthier lifestyles and will significantly improve the cruise vacation experience for our guests."

Currently, smoking is prohibited in guest hallways and corridors, restaurants, entertainment venues and most of the ship's interior public spaces except for designated areas in bars and lounges. The new policy will add all guest staterooms and suites, and one bar or lounge on every Royal Caribbean ship onto the roster of smoke-free spaces. Guests wishing to smoke may still do so from starboard outer decks, in designated areas in bars and lounges, and on stateroom and suite balconies. Ashtrays are available in designated smoking areas or by request through stateroom attendants. Violations of the smoking policy will result in cleaning charges to the guest's onboard account and may also be addressed through the line's Guest Conduct Policy, details of which are available both online and in all staterooms.

Royal Caribbean's Vitality wellness program was designed to encourage and introduce ways for guests to achieve a better balance in their lives. The program presents healthier lifestyle choices across every aspect of the cruise experience, including fitness classes and spa treatments, onboard and land-based activities, shore excursions, and healthful drinks and food selections. Guests have the choice to try one or two elements or enjoy the total Vitality wellness experience to begin a more balanced approach to healthier living.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and three under construction. The line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and New Zealand through its cruisetour division.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call (800)-ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. For travel professionals, go to www.cruisingpower.com or call (800) 327-2056.

7-23-07: Queen Victoria's Inaugural European Season Boasts Maiden Calls In port cities throughout the world Cunard's newest liner, Queen Victoria, follows in the footsteps of her liner predecessors, offering a collection of compelling inaugural itineraries that underscore her well-traveled passengers' quest for genuinely intriguing travel experiences. Highlights of the ship's 2008 schedule are an eclectic variety of Mediterranean itineraries offering departures from Rome, Barcelona, Venice, Athens and Southampton - allowing guests a more in-depth experience into the ancient cities and renowned ports of this popular region. In addition, Queen Victoria's voyages to the Baltic mark Cunard's much-anticipated return to this intriguing part of the world.

And in keeping with Cunard's storied heritage of maiden call fanfare, the ship is expected to be greeted by celebratory festivities and large numbers of well wishers at every port. Guests sailing on these voyages will not only enjoy the opportunity to be a part of Queen Victoria's once-in-a-lifetime maiden season, but will also enjoy the opportunity to depart from some of Europe's most glamorous cities.

Mediterranean Exploration Following the sun, Queen Victoria will sail the Mediterranean for a series of open-ended voyages that afford her discerning passengers an even greater opportunity for in-depth exploration and discovery. Many of the ship's Mediterranean voyages depart from Barcelona, Rome and Venice - even Athens - and arrive in another of the Med's iconic ports.

Legends of the Mediterranean - Two 12-day voyages departing Barcelona on August 25 and October 24, with stops in Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa, Naples/Capri, Valletta, Crete, Izmir, Athens, Sicily and Rome. Voyage fares start from $2,395.

Classical Mediterranean - Two 12-day voyages departing Venice on August 13 and October 12, with stops in Dubrovnik, Katakolon, Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Sicily, Rome, Florence/Pisa, Marseille and Barcelona. Both departures feature an overnight stay in Venice. Voyage fares start from $2,445.

Ancient Wonders of the Mediterranean - Two 12-day voyages, departing on November 5 and November 17 from Rome and Athens, respectively, with stops in Naples/Capri, Sicily, Valletta, Alexandria (for Cairo/Giza), Port Said, Kusadasi, Istanbul, Dikili, Volos and Athens. Voyage fares start from at $2,295.

Connoisseur's Mediterranean - A 12-day voyage, departing Rome on November 29 and ending in Southampton, with stops in Naples/Capri, Sicily, Katakolon, Dubrovnik, Valletta, La Goulette and Malaga. Voyage fares starting at $2,295.

Greek Isles and Aegean Shores - Two 12-day voyages, departing Rome on September 6 and September 30, with stops in Naples/Capri, Santorini, Izmir, Istanbul (overnight), Samos, Athens, Zakinthos, Dubrovnik and concluding with an overnight in Venice. Voyage fares start from $2,695.

Crimean Coasts - A 12-day voyage, departing from Venice on September 18 and ending in Rome, with stops in Kusadasi, Istanbul (overnight), Odessa, Yalta, Athens, Sicily and Rome. Voyage fares start from $2,795.

For those wishing to sail to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands or Western Europe roundtrip from Southampton:

Canary Islands Splendour - A ten-day voyage, departing roundtrip from Southampton on April 22, with stops in Madeira, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lisbon and Vigo. Voyage fares start from $1,775.

Spring Getaway - A four-day voyage, departing roundtrip from Southampton on May 2, with stops in Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. Voyage fares start from $995.

Mediterranean Delights - A 14-day voyage departing roundtrip from Southampton on May 6 with stops in Seville, Corsica, Rome, Naples/Capri, Valletta, La Goulette and Gibraltar. Voyage fares start from $2,975.

Caribbean Holiday - A 22-day voyage, departing roundtrip from Southampton on December 11 with stops in Ponta Delgada, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Madeira and Vigo. Voyage fares start from at $5,695.

Additionally, Queen Victoria offers a Mediterranean voyage departing from Southampton, ending with an overnight in Venice:

Jewels of the Mediterranean - A 12-day voyage, departing Southampton on August 1 and ending with an overnight stay in Venice, with stops in Gibraltar, Cannes, Florence/Pisa, Rome, Sicily, Corfu and Dubrovnik. Voyage fares start from $2,995.

Throughout her first year, Queen Victoria will chart a far-reaching course through Europe stretching as far south as the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria; as far east as Yalta, Ukraine, once an ancient Greek colony on the northern coast of the Black Sea; and west to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Likewise, rare overnight stays in Venice, Istanbul and St. Petersburg will afford Queen Victoria's guests the opportunity to explore these captivating cities at a more leisurely pace.

"Covering the northernmost ports, then south to Egypt, east into the Black Sea and west to the Canary Islands, the breadth of her dazzling itinerary really sets her apart as she will sail a significant percentage of the globe in her first year," Marlow added.

A Return to Russia Another highlight of Queen Victoria's 2008 programme is Cunard's much-anticipated return to Russia. Three 14-day Russian Rendezvous voyages (departing May 27, June 22 and July 18 roundtrip from Southampton) will circle the Baltic Sea and feature two full days in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as stops in Bruges, Belgium; Gdansk, Poland; Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. Voyage fares start from $3,375.

Voyaging Through Northern Europe For sheer drama, few regions can compare to Northern Europe. Queen Victoria's forays into this enthralling region include a seven-day Norwegian Fjords voyage, departing roundtrip from Southampton on May 20, with stops in Bergen, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Aalesund and Stavanger, and two 12-day Voyage of the Vikings voyages departing roundtrip from Southampton on June 10 and July 6, with stops in Bergen, Tromso, Honningsvag (for the North Cape), Trondheim, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Olden and Stavanger. Voyage fares for Norwegian Fjords start from $1,675 and Voyage of the Vikings fares start from $2,895.

Queen Victoria's entire inaugural year's voyages are detailed in Cunard's 2008 Fleet Brochure.

The 90,000-ton Queen Victoria will not only be a classic ocean liner, offering the very best of Cunard's heritage and traditions, along with all modern day luxuries, but will also feature many exciting innovations. These will include the first traditional West End-style private viewing boxes at sea in the Royal Court Theatre; the first floating Cunardia museum display, housing Cunard artifacts and memorabilia and the first two-story, 'spiral staircased' library at sea. The ship will also feature the line's celebrated luxury Grills accommodation and dining, further enhanced on Queen Victoria with exclusive deck terraces and an al fresco dining option.

From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at what differentiates a Cunard liner from a standard cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship's adherence to liner traditions of the past, with elegant double- and triple-height public rooms featuring rich wood paneling, intricate mosaics and gleaming chandeliers. There will also be a grand, colonial-style Winter Garden complete with a retractable glass roof.

As well as being the second largest Cunarder ever built, Queen Victoria's arrival is particularly noteworthy as it will mark the first time that three Cunard Queens have been in service together in the company's 168-year history. She joins the world's grandest ocean liner, Queen Mary 2, and the world's most famous ship, QE2.

For more information about Queen Victoria's 2008 itineraries, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com.

Back to Top

7-23-07: Princess to Offer Mexico Departures from Los Angeles and San Francisco Princess has announced its 2008-09 season of cruising to the Mexican Riviera. Drawing on more than 40 years of experience in Mexico since the line first sailed "south of the border" in 1965.

Two of the line's amenity-filled vessels, the 116,000-ton Sapphire Princess and the 109,000-ton Star Princess will offer sailings from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Together, the two floating resorts will offer 38 Mexican journeys from which to choose, with a choice of fun-filled seven-day or 10-day vacations.

"Since Princess' beginnings, we've offered the ultimate way to escape south of the border," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Next year we're offering sailings on two of our most amenity-filled vessels which offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy the fun and sun of Mexico combined with our attentive service."

Sapphire Princess will sail from the Port of Los Angeles for a season of 32 departures to the sunny Mexican Riviera. This favorite seven-day roundtrip route takes in the prime ports of call of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Sapphire Princess will depart on Saturdays between September 27, 2008 and May 2, 2009.

Princess is the only cruise line to offer Mexican Riviera sailings from San Francisco during the 2008-09 season. Star Princess will sail a more in-depth exploration of the Mexican Riviera with 10-day cruises from San Francisco featuring calls at Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. The ship will offer six roundtrip sailings between Oct 11, 2008 and April 27, 2009.

While in Mexico, passengers can choose from a number of unique Princess shore excursions, such as a "salsa and salsa" hands-on cooking/dance class, being a dolphin trainer for a day, and America's cup racing in Cabo San Lucas.

All Mexican Rivera cruises feature Princess' distinctive amenities, including the line's signature Personal Choice Dining, Lotus Spa, youth centers, internet cafes, and an extensive array of entertainment options and venues, all in an intimately designed, personalized environment offering the line's renowned Princess service.

Early booking fares for Princess' Mexican Riviera sailings begin at $599 per person, based on double occupancy, for seven-day sailings.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.

Back to Top

7-17-07: Star Clippers Introduces 13-night Cruise-Tour in Asia Star Clippers is offering a special 13-night cruise tour between Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand, during the 2007-08 Far East season. The package combines a seven-night Southern Route or Northern Route round-trip Phuket cruise with a four-night pre-cruise tour of Bangkok and a two-night post-cruise tour of Phuket. The "Senses of Siam" cruise tour is offered on eight departure dates from November 2007 through February 2008.

The cruise tour enables guests to explore the mysteries and marvels of Asia aboard Star Clipper, a 170-passenger authentic tall ship that feels more like a mega-yacht. Guests will have time to immerse themselves in Thai culture, taste exotic delicacies, take advantage of many spectacular diving opportunities and discover the amazing pagodas and temples throughout the country.

The cruise tour from Bangkok to Phuket begins with a four-night "Vibrant City" tour in Bangkok that gives passengers the opportunity to explore the city of more than 10 million inhabitants. The tour includes a stay at the five-star Montien Hotel, a half-day city tour with a visit to the Grand Palace, a cultural dinner show, transfers and the short flight between Bangkok and Phuket at the end of the tour to meet the ship. Optional add-on tours are available, and there will be time to shop independently and explore the many splendors of Bangkok.

The two-night post-cruise Phuket tour features an evening performance of "Phuket FantaSea," a spectacular show complete with traditional Thai shadow puppets, dancing elephants and daring acrobats as well as a Thai dinner before the show. The tour also includes a seafront hotel stay at the Merlin Patong Phuket, time to explore independently, optional add-on tours and transfers.

The pre- and post-cruise tours are combined with a seven-night round-trip Phuket cruise aboard Star Clipper. Guests can select from two itineraries: the Northern Route sailing includes calls at Surin Islands, Similan Islands, Hin Daeng/Ko Rok Nok, Phi Phi Islands and Phang Nga/Ko Khai Nok, Thailand, and Langawi, Malaysia. The Southern Route sailing calls at Batong Group, Ko Lipe, Ko Khai Nok, Phang Nga/Ko Hong and Simian Islands, Thailand, and Penang, Malaysia.

The 13-night cruise tour also includes airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Bangkok and the return flight to the United States from Phuket. Reduced air add-on rates are available from select cities.

Economy season rates for the Jan. 14 and Jan. 21, 2008, cruise tours start at $2,750 and go up to $3,670. Rates for the remaining six departures start at $2,850 and go up to $3,770. All rates are per person, double occupancy. Port charges, an air tax and fuel surcharge are additional. For cruise and land tour only, deduct $800 from the above rates. These special rates are available only to residents of the United States and Latin America.

Star Clippers, ranked one of the Top 10 Small-Ship Cruises by "Travel+Leisure," combines the luxury of mega-yacht cruising with the thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Guests rediscover what sailing was like during the golden age of tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger cruise ships.

The four- and five-masted clipper ships feature a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Passengers dress in resort-casual attire and dine in one unhurried, open seating. Whether unwinding in the bowsprit net while gazing at the sea below or climbing the mast for a panoramic view of the horizon, a unique sailing adventure awaits.

To request a brochure, call toll-free (800) 442-0556 or e-mail brochures. To make a reservation, contact a travel professional. For information, call Star Clippers at (800) 442-0551 or visit Star Clippers.

Back to Top

7-16-07: NCL Offers Special Cruise Contest for TIVO Users Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is working with TiVo Inc., the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), to offer TiVo's more than four million subscribers the opportunity to learn more about NCL's signature Freestyle Cruising and enter to win a seven-day NCL cruise for two. This marketing initiative continues the cruise line's dedication to unique advertising techniques that grab consumer attention.

Starting today, TiVo users who record a program that includes an NCL television commercial will see a special tag when the commercial is viewed or fast-forwarded through, giving them the option to move to the NCL showcase. Once there, TiVo users can learn more about Freestyle Cruising, request a brochure, and get more information about entering the sweepstakes.

The sweepstakes is being exclusively promoted to TiVo users who can enter via a special URL. It begins today and ends on October 14, 2007.

Back to Top

7-16-07: Celebrity offers Museum Quality Art Tours Onboard Celebrity Cruises' guests now can enjoy museum-quality audio equipment and commentary while viewing the fleet's permanent onboard art collection. Seven of the line's ships now offer complimentary use of handheld audio devices featuring self-guided art tours that provide education and insight into the works.

"We're thrilled to be the only cruise line to offer equipment of such high quality to guests interested in art," Celebrity Vice President of Entertainment Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said. "Whether someone is new to the world of art or an art historian, our self-guided art tour will give them new insight into the works on display, ultimately enhancing their cruise experience."

To take an audio tour, a guest can simply visit the Guest Relations desk and sign out an audio tour device. The easy-to-use devices � the same equipment used in the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art � allow guests to explore works of art at their own pace and in whatever order they choose. Each device offers the highest available sound quality.

Written by an art historian, each tour has been created to appeal to a broad range of tastes. Featuring points of interest that will appeal to the novice art enthusiast or an art historian, the tours offer a combination of academic information and lighter knowledge as they introduce the listener to thought-provoking concepts such as what the artist may have been thinking when he or she created the piece, or whether an artist's intent is more important than a viewer's perception.

The line implemented the new self-guided audio art tour on Celebrity Century in April. By the end of October 2007, Celebrity will complete installation on Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Galaxy, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Mercury, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Summit.

Each ship's collection is valued at more than $1.5 million, and features modern and contemporary 20th century works by artists such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Pablo Picasso, in a variety of media, including sculpture, oil on canvas and photography. Each collection offers a balance of serious and whimsical art; this mixture is reflective of the comfortable sophistication guests experience on a Celebrity vacation.

Back to Top

7-10-07: Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria World Cruises on Sale Cunard announced yesterday the 2009 World Cruise itineraries for Queen Mary 2 and the new Queen Victoria.

In 2009 both liners will undertake their second world cruise and offer a multitude of voyage options packaged with a variety of early booking incentives, additional savings bonuses and amenities for independent and group guests. Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will explore the globe during voyages of 90 and 99 days, meeting in Ft. Lauderdale for a Cunard Royal RendezvousTM on January 13, 2009.

Queen Mary 2 adds eight days and eight more ports for her 90-day Epic Expedition from Ft. Lauderdale to New York, stopping on four continents. Queen Victoria will sail a 99-day Exploration of Distant Horizons, departing from New York to Southampton with stops in 37 ports across five continents.

Queen Victoria: Distant Horizons Heralding her second year of service, Queen Victoria will traverse the globe in a westbound direction, transiting the Panama Canal and Suez Canal with calls in some of the world's most captivating ports, including Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Shanghai, Chica; Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands and Rabual, Papua New Guinea, as well as an overnight call in Sydney Australia. Queen Victoria will also call on the port city of Mormugao in Goa, on the west coast of India, which is known for its pristine beaches and Portuguese architecture; and the charming port city of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia's second oldest city.

Maiden calls offer an added bonus of excitement and fanfare and in addition to those ports mentioned above Queen Victoria will be a cause for celebration when she visits 18 ports for the first-time,including; Apia, Western Samoa, Aqaba (for Petra), Jordan, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Cairns (Yorkey's - for the Great Barrier Reef), Australia, Christchurch (Lyttelton), New Zealand, Nagasaki, Japan, Nha Trang, Vietnam, Nuku'alofa, Tonga, Phuket, Thailand, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Pusan, South Korea, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, Willemstad, Curaçao.

The journey culminates in Southampton on April 20, 2009. Guests who wish to return to New York may then transfer to Queen Mary 2 for one of her legendary six-day transatlantic crossings for a 105-day Full World Cruise.

Early Booking Fares for Queen Victoria's 99-day Exploration of Distant Horizons world cruise start from $20,955 per person, double occupancy.

Shorter Liner voyages are available and include the 50-day Los Angeles to Singapore voyage, with Early Booking Fares starting from $11,540 per person, double occupancy and the 59 day Sydney to Southampton voyage, with Early Booking fares starting from $12,920.

Queen Mary 2: Epic Expedition Departing from Ft. Lauderdale, simultaneously with her sister ship Queen Victoria, on January 13, 2009, Queen Mary 2 will set sail on a 90-day Epic Expedition to 26 ports on five continents. Included is a port call to Alexandria (for Cairo/Giza) affording visits to the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. Maiden calls include Lima, Peru; Osaka, Japan; Bangkok, Thailand; and Salalah, Oman.

The ship will journey in a westward direction, sailing around South America to Los Angeles, across the Pacific to Honolulu, Hawaii. From there, stops include Pago Pago, American Samoa; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The voyage culminates in New York on April 14, 2009.

Early Booking Fares for Queen Mary 2's 90-day Epic Expedition world cruise start from $20,745, per person, double occupancy.

Liner and Segment Voyages are available and include the 66-day Ft. Lauderdale to Dubai voyage, with Early Booking Fares starting from $15,898 per person, double occupancy, and the 15-day Los Angeles to Sydney voyage, with Early Booking Fares starting from $4,415 per person, double occupancy.

Incentives For Early Booking Early Booking Fares for the Full World Cruise represents a 25 percent savings per person off brochure rates. As an extra incentive, guests will save an additional five percent when bookings are made by January 31, 2008. Onboard credits are offered for early booking on Full World Cruises and Liner Voyages up to $2,000 per couple. Full World Cruise guests receive an invitation to the legendary President's World Cruise Dinner along with a special amenity package. Grill guests who book early will also have the opportunity to attend exclusive shore events.

For more information and to book 2009 World Cruises on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, consult your Travel Professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com.

Back to Top

7-10-07: Regent Seven Seas to Change Smoking Policy Mark Conroy, the president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, has distributed this letter to all guests booked on upcoming cruises on their fleet of luxury ships:

Dear Traveler,

The issue of smoking on board cruise ships has become quite a hot topic in our industry. And while Regent Seven Seas Cruises is respectful of the lifestyle choices of our guests and will always give smokers a warm welcome, we also recognize the need to restrict where smoking is permitted so as not to cause discomfort to, or provide a health or safety hazard for, the majority of our guests who do not smoke.

In light of continuing legislative changes in smoking policies around the world as well as the health and safety issues involved, RSSC will be changing our smoking policy in suites, staterooms and on private balconies. Not only does smoking present a fire hazard, but it is also an inconvenience to other guests as the smoke, or its odor, invades surrounding suites, balconies and public areas, creating discomfort for the guests in these areas.

Smoking will therefore be prohibited in all suites, staterooms and balconies fleet-wide. This change will take effect on the following dates:

* Seven Seas Voyager: December 21, 2007 * Seven Seas Mariner: December 21, 2007 * Seven Seas Navigator: December 27, 2007 * Paul Gauguin: December 29, 2007

Failure to comply with this ban will result in guests being asked to leave the ship at their expense, without refund or credit for the unused portion of their cruise.

This decision was made after much deliberation, and we would appreciate your assistance in communicating our new policy to your clients. Partners with clients booked on voyages after the policy takes effect will receive additional communications from Regent later this month.

A detailed list of public rooms/areas where guests can smoke is below.

Thank you for your support of Regent Seven Seas. We look forward to continuing to welcome your clients aboard our ships and providing them with The Regent ExperienceSM.

Kind Regards,

Mark S. Conroy President, Regent

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Smoking Policy While we will always give smokers a warm welcome on our ships, we also recognize the need to restrict where smoking is permitted so as not to cause discomfort to, or provide a health or safety hazard for, the majority of our guests who do not smoke.

Cigarette smoking is not permitted in any enclosed dining areas, whether it be the ships' main dining rooms or the alternate dining venues. Cigarette smoking is only permitted in designated areas of the outdoor Pool Grills. Other than open deck areas, the following are the only public rooms or areas where cigarette smoking is now permitted:

Seven Seas Voyager: Connoisseur Club, Casino, Voyager Lounge (designated area), Horizon Lounge (outside area only), Pool Bar Seven Seas Mariner: Connoisseur Club, Casino, Horizon Lounge (outside area only), Stars Nightclub (designated area), Pool Bar Seven Seas Navigator: Connoisseur Club, Casino, Stars Lounge (designated area), Galileo�s (outside area only), Pool Bar Paul Gauguin: La Palette (outside area only), Le Grill (designated area), Pool Bar

Pipe smoking is only permitted in the Connoisseur Club aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Mariner and Navigator. Pipe smoking in open deck areas is considered an extreme fire hazard and is not permitted. Cigar smoking is only permitted in the Connoisseur Club aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Mariner and Navigator, and in the designated area of the Pool Bar area aboard all four vessels.

Update as of July 5, 2007: In light of continuing legislative changes in smoking policies around the world as well as the comfort, health and safety of our guests and crew, both in terms of the proven dangers of second hand smoke and the fire hazard that smoking presents, Regent Seven Seas Cruises will be changing our policy of smoking in staterooms, suites and on private balconies. Not only does smoking present a fire hazard, but it is also an inconvenience to other guests as the smoke, or its odor, invades surrounding suites, balconies and public areas, creating discomfort for the guests in these areas. Smoking will therefore be prohibited in all staterooms, suites and balconies fleet-wide.

This change will take effect on the following dates:

Seven Seas Voyager: December 21, 2007 Seven Seas Mariner: December 21, 2007 Seven Seas Navigator: December 27, 2007 Paul Gauguin: December 29, 2007

Failure to comply with this ban will result in guests being asked to leave the ship at their expense, without refund or credit for the unused portion of their cruise.

Back to Top

7-9-07: Bob Dickinson of Carnival Cruise Lines to Retire Bob Dickinson, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, has informed Carnival that he will retire those posts at the end of the year. He will remain on the company's board of directors.

Bob will be replaced by Gerry Cahill, executive vice president and CFO of Carnival Corporation & plc, will assume Dickinson's responsibilities as president and CEO effective immediately so that there is an ample transition period. David Bernstein, Carnival Corporation & plc's vice president and treasurer, will become the company's CFO, also effective immediately.

"I have been blessed to have had a long, fun-filled career helping to build Carnival and the cruise industry. I'm still having fun so giving all of that up has been a very difficult decision but I'll be 65 next month and have been pondering this with my family for some time," Dickinson said. "I look forward to working with Gerry who will inherit what I believe is the most talented and dedicated management team in the cruise industry," he added.

"Bob has truly achieved legendary status in the travel industry. There is simply no other travel industry executive who is as well known and respected as he," said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. Arison called Dickinson, "one of the most influential people in the development of the modern-day cruise industry." He said that Dickinson would be missed "not only by everyone here at Carnival, but by travel agents, his competitors and the media who loved his often humorous sound bites."

Bob Dickinson joined Carnival Cruise Lines as executive vice president in 1972. He became senior vice president of sales and marketing in 1979. In 1993, he was promoted to president and in 2005 CEO was added to Dickinson's title. During his 35-year tenure at Carnival he has been very active in travel industry affairs having served as chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the Travel Industry Association (TIA), and the Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority and as vice-chair for the United States National Tourism Organization.

Back to Top

7-8-07: Celebrity Millennium Cancels Two Mediterranean Sailings Celebrity has cancelled two 12- night Med sailings aboard Celebrity Millennium due to damage to the ship's propellers. A statement issued by the line on Sunday reports that the ship struck a submerged rock while anchored off Villefrance, France. Celebrity said three of the four blades on the starboard propeller and one on the port propeller were damaged and needed to be replaced.

The Millennium departed Barcelona on June 30, with the incident occurring on July 2. Initially, the line thought repairs could be accomplished while the ship was docked in Civitavecchia, hence the current sailing was not cancelled until today. The next departure (July 12 from Venice) has also been cancelled.

Back to Top

7-5-07: Pair Arrested in Grand Cayman for Marijuana Miss Ship Two cruise ship passengers who arrived in Grand Cayman on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas last week Tuesday didn't leave with their ship because they were in custody for importation of "ganja," or mariguana, as it is more commonly known in the U.S.

Brittany Anne Pitts-Day and Joseph James Termini, both American citizens who reside in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, were held in seperate lockup facilities on Grand Caymen from Tuesday until they could appear in Summary Court on Friday. Pitts-Day, 25, was held at the West Bay lock-up; Termini, 21, was kept at the George Town Police Station.

The magistrate, Margaret Ramsay-Hale, imposed a fine of $500 each for possession of the marijuana, and $250 apiece for the importation of a pipe for smoking it. She also ordered them to pay $125 each in costs. The magistrate said she was taking into account the fact that they had already spent four days in custody when she imposed the fine.

Asked how they happened to come about with the "ganja" and a pipe, Termini said he bought the pipe after their ship stopped in Jamaica. As many of us who have been there know, he said that people with drugs for sale were chasing them in the open marketplace.

Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale commented that the pipes are freely sold in Jamaica, "leading some stupid tourists to believe they were legal."

Here is a summary of the case by Crown Counsel Kirsty-Ann Gunn: An officer on duty in a neighbourhood near downtown George Town, Grand Cayman, saw Pitts-Day in the company of a known drug offender. When the officer spoke to Pitts-Day, she said the island man was "a friend and they had known each other about a week." But when he asked her were she had come from, she indicated she had just come off the cruise ship that day, which obviously did not make sense.

The officer was unable to prevent her from walking away with the known drug offender. However, based on his suspicions, he sought permission from the captain to board the ship. The security officer on board paged Pitts-Day several times, but received no answer. Cayman officers were then escorted to her cabin. On their arrival, only her male companion, Joseph Termini, was present.

Officers found some marijuana stalks on a counter top and in a garbage bin. They also found a wooden ganja pipe with partially burned ganja in it. When Pitts-Day returned to her cabin later in the day a search was requested and officers found a plastic wrapping of ganja in her purse. She and Termini were arrested and cautioned, taken to shore and booked into custody.

Interviewed the next day, Termini said the stalks were part of the ganja purchased in Jamaica. He denied smoking ganja in Cayman waters, and said he thought he had cleaned the pipe since their arrival here. He also said he did not realise "ganja was taken so seriously here."

Pitts-Day also said the ganja and pipe had been purchased in Jamaica and smoked en route to Cayman. Ms Gunn said there had not been time for laboratory analysis of the ganja, but its weight was estimated at five grams. The magistrate said the lab report was not necessary because the defendants' admissions were sufficient evidence.

Defense Attorney Phillip McGhee said Pitt-Days' experience had been particularly unpleasant because she was without a prescription medicine and had to be taken to hospital while in custody.

At West Bay, the running water supply was not what it should be, he said. "She has suffered much by way of consequences already."

He said she had cooperated fully with officers and apparently now realised her stupidity.

Based on a report in the Grand Cayman Compass

Back to Top

7-3-07: Silversea Announces 2007 Holiday Cruises Silversea Cruises is offering an enticing collection of voyages traversing the globe from Africa and the South Pacific to the Caribbean and South America for the 2007 Holiday season. Guests aboard these extensive 14- and 16-day sailings will have the pleasure of exploring fascinating destinations while enjoying the special ambiance that accompanies a celebration of both Christmas and the New Year.

Discerning travelers should not delay in reserving their Silversea holiday voyage. Silver Cloud's December 22 "South African Sojourn," departing Cape Town, is already sold out, and space for the remaining trio of cruises aboard Silver Wind, Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper is limited and filling up quickly.

"Our holiday voyages are designed to offer an escape from the pressure of deadlines and having to plan parties and prepare meals," said David Morris, Silversea's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "Instead we offer a luxurious retreat where the focus is on authentic pleasures -- discovering new places, making new friends, and spending quality time with loved ones."

For these holiday sailings, Silversea ships dress up with imaginative and elegant decorations, many created by the line's master chefs, including gingerbread cottages and festive gourmet cookies to adorn public spaces with a touch of old-fashioned holiday charm. Guests can sip delicious eggnog, hot chocolate and warm mulled wine. Santa will visit one of the ship's cozy lounges. A special holiday-themed variety show is staged in the elaborate Show Lounge with passengers, staff and crew join together for traditional Christmas caroling. Clergy are also on board to conduct an ecumenical Christmas worship service.

Party hats, noisemakers and streamers abound when Silversea rings in the New Year. The complimentary champagne starts flowing early at a gala cocktail party and special pre-dinner performance in the Show Lounge. Celebrations continue with live music and dancing in the main restaurant as guests enjoy a sumptuous gourmet dinner. The cruise director and ship's staff continue the countdown to the New Year with an exciting night of music, lively entertainment, gifts, surprises -- and more champagne toasts.

Silversea's privileged guests can enjoy the holidays this year cruising the warm tropical waters of the South Pacific aboard Silver Whisper's 16-day "Barrier Reef Discovery" voyage (#4743), sailing from Singapore to Sydney on December 20, with calls in Kura Kura (Karimunjawa) and Semarang in Indonesia, and the Australian ports of Darwin, Thursday Island, Cairns, Brisbane, and Whitsunday Islands. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $10,110 per person, double occupancy.

Or travelers might opt for Silver Wind's "Chilean Fjord Fantasy," a 16-day voyage (#2734) through the majestic Chilean fjords and around Cape Horn. The cruise departs Santiago on December 21 for Buenos Aires, with calls in Chile's Puerto Montt, Laguna San Rafael and Punta Arenas; Ushuaia and Puerto Madryn in Argentina; and Montevideo, Uruguay. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $9,855 per person, double occupancy.

Another enticing option is Silver Shadow's 14-day "Captivating Caribbean" cruise (#3733), sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale on December 23, with calls in St. Bart's, St. Kitts, Antigua, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Barbados, Tortola and Key West. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $8,095 per person, double occupancy.

Back to Top

7-02-07: Man Rescued After Jumping from Cruise Ship The U.S. Coast Guard rescued another man, Scott Durrin, 29, early Monday morning after he reportedly jumped from the Carnival Liberty 50 miles off the coast of Boca Raton, Florida.

The cruise ship alerted the Coast Guard just before midnight Sunday thata man had possibly jumped overboard. The Coast Guard was told Durrin had appeared to be intoxicated. Durrin fell about 36 feet into the water, and Liberty crew members threw life-rings and jackets over the side. Coast Guard crews located Durrin about an hour later.

The man was examined for injuries early Monday.

Back to Top

7-02-07: 18-year Boy Jumps from Cruise Ship and Dies Sunday, July 2, was a sad day aboard Carnival Ecstasy, just setting out on a 5-night cruise to the Western Caribbean. A yet-to-be identified 18-year boy jumped from the ship into the sea, and was recovered 1/2 later, but pronounced dead once back aboard the ship.

He is believed to have jumped about 7:30 a.m. and was recovered only 1/2 hour later. By indications, someone saw him jump and notified the bridge immediately, prompting the captain to slow the ship down and send out a boat to recover the boy.

There were very few details, earlier, but now we know the young man was suffering from emotional pain due to a recent racially-motivated attack last year by skinheads in April last year. He had to undergo more than 30 operations after been stripped naked, burnt with cigarettes and repeatedly attacked by two skinheads.

His attackers, one of whom received a life sentence while the other got a 90-year sentence, sexually assaulted Mr Ritcheson with a PVC pipe, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The 70,000-ton ship carries 2052 passengers and is continuing on with its cruise. It will land in Cozumel on Monday and return to Galveston on Thursday.

Back to Top

Recommended Articles