News Archive - August 2000

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013
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8-29-00 Millennium Dry-dock Scheduled Celebrity Cruises has announced that its newest ship, Millennium, will enter dry-dock during November and December, 2000, causing the cancellation of four cruises. The unscheduled repairs will necessitate the cancellation of the seven-night November 26, December 3 and 10, 2000 cruises, plus a two-night Nov. 23 voyage. Passenger on the seven-night sailings will receive a full refund plus a 50% discount on any future Celebrity one-week cruise. Those booked on the two-night voyage will receive a $100 credit towards a future Celebrity cruise.

A vibration had been detected in certain areas of the ship under certain sea conditions. This vibration has been linked to the design of the stern hull. Shipyard workers will use the dry-dock period to attach a buffer to the aft section of the hull, which will eliminate the vibration. Similar modifications will be made on Millennium's sister ship, Infinity, while it is still under construction at the shipyard. Back to Top

8-29-00 RCI's Expanded "Down Under" Cruises Those who have always dreamed of cruising "Down Under" will have the chance in the 2001/2002 season when Royal Caribbean International's Legend of the Sea offers expanded cruising in the region. And, the Royal Journeys program, launched in 1999, will be renamed "Exotic Destinations" and feature seven exciting voyages between Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand as the centerpiece of the season.

The itineraries include an overnight stay onboard the ship while in port in Sydney and Auckland, allowing an entire day and night to explore these cities. Passengers will have several pre- or post-vacation packages to choose from, including an inland tour to Australia's Outback and the monolith of Ayers Rock. With the Explore Overnight tour program, passengers can disembark for an overnight in New Zealand and reboard in the following port of call.

The 2001/2002 "Exotic Destinations" program is as follows:

  • Athens to Dubai - 14-nights on Nov 10, 2001. Departs Athens (Piraeus), Greece, with calls at Haifa and Ashdod, Israel; Port Said, Egypt; cruising the Suez Canal; Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Safaga, Egypt and Muscat, Oman. Ends in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Dubai to Singapore - 13-nights on November 24, 2001. Departs Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with calls at Bombay (Mumbai) and Cochin, India; Phuket, Thailand; Penang and Kuala Lumpor (Pt. Kelang), Malaysia. Ends with an overnight in Singapore.
  • Singapore to Sydney- 16-nights on December 7, 2001. Departs Singapore, with calls at Bali, Indonesia for two full days and Australia's port cities of Darwin, Cairns and Brisbane. Ends in Sydney, Australia. The highlight of the sailing is an overnight in Cairns where guests can experience the overwhelming beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Sydney to Auckland - 14-nights on December 23, 2001; January 20, February 17 and March 17, 2002. Departs Sydney, with calls at Melbourne Australia; Hobart, Tasmania; cruising through Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds in New Zealand's Fjordland National Park and Dunedin, Christchurch, Tauranga and Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Auckland to Sydney - 14-nights on January 6, February 3 and March 3, 2002. Departs Auckland, with calls at Tauranga, Christchurch and Dunedin, New Zealand; cruising through Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds in New Zealand's Fjordland National Park; Hobart, Tasmania and Melbourne, Australia. Ends in Sydney.
  • Auckland to Honolulu - 16-nights on March 31, 2002. Departs Auckland, New Zealand, with calls at Tauranga, New Zealand; international date line crossing; Moorea and Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Papeete, Tahiti; Hilo, Hawaii and two full days in Lahaina, Maui. Ends in Honolulu, Oahu.

Reservations and additional information may be obtained from local travel agents; for a brochure, contact Royal Caribbean at 1-888-303-7225; their web site is: www.royalcaribbean.com Back to Top

8-28-00 Carnival Cancels Two Elation Sailings

Carnival has announced that the Elation's October 29 and November 5 Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles will be canceled in order for the ship to undergo preventive maintenance on the azipod propulsion units. Sister ship Paradise canceled five sailings in July for azipod repairs. The work to Elation should prevent a similar problem from happening in the future. Passengers booked on the two canceled cruises will receive a full refund and a 50 percent discount on a future cruise. Back to Top

8-28-00 2001 Russian River Cruises

Viking River Cruises has announced three new Russia itineraries, scheduled from May through October 2001. The Viking Pakhomov sails between St. Petersburg and Moscow on 12, 13 and 16-day cruises, visiting Kizhi, Goritsky, Yaroslav, Uglich plus three nights in both St. Petersburg and Moscow. The General Lavrinenkov sails on 16-day cruises in the Ukrain, cruising round-trip from Kiev to the Black Sea; port calls include Zaporozhye, Odessa (overnight), Sevastopol (overnight), Yalta, Cherson, Dnepopetrovsk plus two nights in Kiev. Sailing between St. Petersburg and Moscow, the Anton Chekhov cruises in Siberia on the Yenisey river; port calls include Krasnoyarsk, Taskino,Yenisseisk, Vorogovo, Turuchansk, Pestscahniy and Dudinka, with a two nights stay in St. Petersburg. Rates include round-trip airfare from the U.S., transfers and sightseeing. Per person double occupancy rates are $2,448 for a 12-day Moscow/St. Petersburg cruise; $2,798 for a 16-day Ukraine sailing and $3,498 for a 17-day Siberia sailing.

All ships have English-speaking staff, with tours conducted in English. Viking River Cruises has issued its first brochure, covering 2001 river cruises throughout Europe; call (877) 66-VIKING for a free brochure or visit their web site: www.vikingrivers.com. Back to Top

8-25-00 Weekend News Travel Guard, one of the most popular insurance companies used by cruisers, offers a new service for those concerned about hurricanes. Storm Guard Online, a dedicated area on Travel Guard's web site (www.travelguard.com) features a 24-hour toll-free hotline for those carrying the insurance who are worried about their vacation being affected by a hurricane. The site also has links to the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center. Another new Travel Guard feature is free insurance for children under 16.

When Holland America Line's Amsterdam debuts on September 30, passengers will dine under a stained glass ceiling in the La Fontaine Dining Room. Decorated with a floral motif in shades of green, blue, orange and yellow, the ceiling will be lit in such a way that even during the day, passengers will be able to see light coming through.

Regal Cruises is introducing two sailings round trip from New Orleans on board the 900 passenger Regal Empress. The November 1, 2000 10-night voyage to the Panama Canal calls at Cozumel; San Andres Island , off the Colombian coast and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. On November 16, 2000, Regal Empress sails round trip from New Orleans for 7 nights to Progreso, (port of Merida, Mexico); Cozumel and Belize. For more information contact Regal Cruises at (800) 270-7245 or visit their web site at www.regalcruises.com.

Princess Cruises has introduced online shore excursion reservations. The service allows passengers with current cruise bookings to access their reservation information through the Captain's Circle section of the princess web site, www.princess.com They can personally select and book excursions in advance of the cruise. The service is available for all destinations. Advance tour reservations will also continue to be available by mail.

Crystal Cruises has been named the best large cruise line by the subscribers of Travel and Leisure magazine. And, this is the fifth consecutive year that Crystal has received the distinction. Silversea Cruises, was named the best small cruise line in the same survey.

Cunard passengers will be able to take advantage of special pricing announced after they have booked their 2001 cruise. Any specials that come up will apply to both existing as well as new bookings. The fare reduction will not be automatic for existing reservations however. Your travel agent must make the change with Cunard. Agency commissions will be protected at the original rate.

Adults have new entertainment aboard Disney Cruise Line ships: dueling pianos. The new program is found in the adult-only nightclub. Three shows a night are forty-five minutes of guest participation, with sing alongs.

In 2001, Holland America's Alaska passengers can opt to take the Alaska Railroad in lieu of a motorcoach as a transfer between Seward and Anchorage. The cost is $39 per person in addition to the $55 per person motorcoach charge, a total one way cost of $94.

Hurricane Debby lost strength and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Cruise lines were scrambling earlier in the week to make alternate arrangements for ships which could have been effected by the hurricane but the crisis has now been averted much to the relief of those living in South Florida and the islands. Back to Top

8-24-00 Canyon Ranch To Launch Cruise Line Canyon Ranch, famous for its luxury spas, has announced it will design and operate a line of cruise ships under the umbrella company of Canyon Ranch at Sea, with a focus on health, healing and adventure. The company has signed an agreement for the construction of two 25,000-ton vessels at an Italian ship yard, with start-up scheduled in 2002. The new ships, Quest 1 and Quest 2, will boast staffs of 300 catering to 320 passengers. The ships will each carry a floating lagoon for swimming, sunning and water sports -- including jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking and scuba diving. Each ship will also carry a 12-person underwater observation vehicle for exploring the ocean. Some 90% of all staterooms will have private balconies; amenities will include an entertainment center and spa bathroom.

Canyon Ranch at Sea's vessels will have extensive health and healing center providing passengers with access to health educators, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, movement therapists and other health and fitness experts. The spa treatment center will feature more than 35 massage, skin care and body treatment rooms and an exceptionally caring, accomplished staff. Equipment and amenities will include treadmills, stationary bikes, circuit-training machines, stepmills, as well as indoor and outdoor whirlpools and steam rooms. A full complement of personal trainers and other fitness professionals will offer classes and personal instruction.

Quest I and Quest II will also contain a theater for first-run movies and educational presentations, a library, boutiques, meeting rooms, cyber-cafe and a full-service business center. The dining rooms and lido cafes will serve Canyon Ranch's spa cuisine in an open, single-seating format. Shore excursions will include activities such as hiking, mountain biking, golf, tennis, walking tours and cultural events.

The two ships will offer world-wide itineraries and while rates haven't been announced, fares will be around $5,000 per person, per week. Headquarters for Canyon Ranch at Sea will be in Tucson, Arizona. Operational offices will be located in South Florida and Athens, Greece. Back to Top

8-24-00 Carnival's Miracle Carnival Cruise Lines has contracted with Finland's Kvaerner Masa-Yards for an 86,000-ton ship. The 2,124-passenger vessel, to be named Carnival Miracle, is slated to enter service in 2004. Carnival Miracle will be the fourth ship of the line's Spirit class, joining Carnival Spirit, which debuts next April, and Carnival Pride and Carnival Legend, slated for delivery in late 2001 and summer 2002, respectively. The ships each will have 12 passenger decks, an alternative restaurant bordering the ship's funnel and a 24-hour pizzeria. Back to Top

8-22-00 Costa To Build New Ship Costa Crociere, parent company of Costa Cruises, announced yesterday that it has signed a contract with Finland's Kvaerner Masa-Yards for an 86,000-ton cruise ship. The as-yet-unnamed vessel will cost approximately $350 million. The new ship is a sister to the recently launched CostaAtlantica, accommodating 2,154 guests. Scheduled to enter service in the summer of 2003, the vessel will be the eighth -- and largest -- ship in Costa's fleet. Back to Top

8-18-00 Weekend Cruise News Renaissance Cruises has announced they will take delivery of the R7 on September 27, 2000 from Chantier de L'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France. Godmother Thelma Kirby Unger, mother of Richard Kirby, Renaissance Cruises' newly named President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, will christen the ship during naming ceremonies, September 30 in Saint-Nazaire. R7 will then commence its 10 - 15-day Mediterranean cruises, followed next summer by cruises in Northern Europe.

Carnival Cruise Lines has just announced that Carnival Valor is the name of its sixth "Destiny-class" vessel, scheduled to debut in the fall of 2004. The 110,000 grt, 2,974-passenger ship will be constructed at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Sister ships Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory are scheduled to enter service in fall 2002 and summer 2003 while the latest Destiny-class vessel, Carnival Victory, commences sailings from New York today.

Holland America Line's newest ship, the Amsterdam, will have an "Astrolabe", a 29.5 foot astronomical timepiece, as the focal point of the central atrium. Its base includes a carillon with bells that play melodious music. Decorated with astrological themes, the Astrolabe will sit on a floor of marble and glass and is similar in scale to the clock tower on board the Amsterdam's sister flagship, Rotterdam. Amsterdam is on schedule for delivery September 30, 2000 and will replace the Nieuw Amsterdam which is leaving the fleet to become the Patriot for new United States Lines in Hawaii.

Princess has announced its Alaska 2001 cruises and cruisetour program. Sun, Dawn, Sea and Ocean Princesses return to sail the 7-night "Voyage of the Glaciers" route between Vancouver and Seward with calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord and cruising the Inside Passage. Regal Princess repeats this year's Inside Passage itinerary on Sundays featuring Sitka, Skagway, Juneau and either Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier on the 7-night itinerary. First-time features offered include a new Katmai itinerary, fly/drive tours, combination Mt. McKinley/Denali lodge stays and enhanced three-day packages. Visit the Canadian Rockies by rail or extend your Alaska vacation to include remote Prudhoe Bay, Nome or Kotzebue. Pre and post cruise packages are available in Anchorage, Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Calgary and Seattle.

Renaissance has changed its refund policy: 0-14 days prior to sailing, 0% refund; 15-44 days, 50% refund; 45-75 days, 75% refund and 76 days or more, full refund. In addition, cruisers may now purchase Access America travel agents through their travel agents.

From Nov. 4, 2000 to April 14, 2001, Crown Cruise Line's Crown Dynasty will cruise on one-week voyages in the Southern Caribbean from Aruba. The 800-passenger ship will visit Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada and Bonaire. Working with Apple Vacations, fares for the seven-night sailing begin at $699 per person, double occupancy including port charges. Roundtrip airfare with rates as low as $199 per person is available from 28 gateway cities across the Southern United States. Reservations and additional information may be obtained from local travel agents, or, visit Crown's web site at www.crowncruiseline.com

Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic has begun its schedule of year-round seven-day cruises. Sailing eve Saturday from Port Canaveral, Florida, the ship will visit Eastern Caribbean ports, including St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay, Disney's private Bahamian island. Sister ship Disney Wonder continues to cruise on three- and four-day Bahamian cruises, which may be combined with stays ashore at Walt Disney resort hotels and includes entrance fees to parks.

Carnival expects to host a record number 250,000 kids onboard its fleet in 2000. The "fun ships" cater to junior cruisers by offering special children's menus and complimentary sodas for kids under 12 in the main dining rooms; "children's turn-down service," with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a poem placed in their staterooms on the first and last night of their voyage; the "Fountain Fun Card," good for unlimited soft drink purchases throughout the cruise for children under age 21 and the very popular "Camp Carnival" activities for all kids ages 2-15. Babysitting is also available Carnival ships from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Back to Top

8-11-00 Weekend Cruise News So far this year, 97 couples have said "I do" on board Princess Cruises' 109,000-ton Grand Princess, and there are more than 60 weddings scheduled for 2001. Golden Princess, sister ship to Grand Princess, will also offer nuptials for those who care to tie the knot at sea. Both ships offer a formal wedding chapel, a legal service performed by the ships' Captain, and wedding packages that range from $1,000 to $2,400 per couple.

Holland America Line's Amsterdam is on schedule for delivery September 30. Sea trials have been successfully completed and outfitting continues at Fincantieri in Italy. The 61,000 grt, 1,380 passenger sister ship to Rotterdam will be christened by Janet Lanterman, wife of Holland America chairman, Kirk Lanterman. Inaugural activities will take place in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale following Amsterdam's transatlantic crossing. The new vessel will then commence 10-day Panama Canal cruises between Ft. Lauderdale and Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica for the winter.

Meanwhile, RCI has announced that track and field star, Jackie Joyner-Kersee will be godmother of Explorer of the Seas which arrives in New York City, October 16. "Jackie embodies the spirit of leadership and a commitment to an active, healthy lifestyle that complements the design and personality of Explorer of the Seas," said Jack Williams, president of Royal Caribbean International. Explorer of the Seas is a sister-ship of Voyager of the Seas and has many of the same sports features including a rock climbing wall, ice skating rink and in-line skating track. Joyner-Kersee has dominated track and field's seven-event heptathlon since 1984, when she won the Olympic silver medal. She has since won three Olympic gold medals and two Olympic bronze.

Cruise ships have started sailing to Sydney for the Olympic Games, where they will be used as hotels. The German cruise ship, Deutschland is already making its way across the South Pacific. It will be home to the German Olympic team during the games. Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam will be docked beside the Deutschland during the Olympics. She leaves Vancouver for Sydney, August 24. Seven Seas Navigator and Crystal Harmony both sailed from Vancouver this week on their final Alaska voyages prior to heading down under on cruises from San Francisco August 19 and 22 respectively.

Disney Magic inaugurates 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral on Saturday. The new itinerary takes Disney passengers to St. Maarten, St. Thomas/St. John and Castaway Cay with 3 full days at sea. Disney Cruise Line promises the new longer cruises will be an exciting new experience featuring a sophisticated evening theatrical spectacular, an all-new approach to adult programming and unique dining experiences including champagne brunch in the Palo Restaurant on sea days.

Celebrity's Infinity and Summit will have modifications made to their hull design following the discovery of possible vibration problems with sister-ship Millennium. A final decision to drydock Millennium following her arrival in New York in November has not been made however it may be necessary to correct the problem. The vibration has not been evident during the European season but may become problematic in the Caribbean Sea where Millennium will sail next winter on alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

Princess has announced new options for its 2001 Europe Cruisetour programs in conjunction with cruises on Crown Princess and the new Golden Princess. Passengers can enjoy five to seven night tours of the Bavarian Castles and Italian Lakes; Paris and the French countryside; Heart of Spain to Madrid, Toledo, Seville and Granada; Swiss Alps; and a Danube River cruise with visits to Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Tours can be taken in conjunction with Golden Princess's 12-night cruises between Barcelona and Istanbul or Crown Princess's 10-night sailings to Scandinavia and Russia from Copenhagen. Tours include rail or motorcoach transportation, quality hotels and some meals. Prices start at $3,899.

Annual spa usage on Carnival Cruise Line's 15-ship fleet is expected to top the one million mark for the very first time with the introduction of Carnival Victory. That means half of Carnival's passengers are using the Nautica Spas on board the ships. The 15,000-square foot health and fitness facility on board Carnival Victory is state of the art. Encompassing the forward areas of Spa Deck 11 and Sun Deck 12 with large picture windows providing panoramic views of the sea, the two-level spa offers guests all of the amenities and equipment available in the best land-based resorts. In addition to a full gymnasium housing 16 Keiser progressive-resistance xercise machines, free weights, rowing and stair-climbing machines, treadmills and exercise bikes, the spa offers a 2,000-square-foot mirrored aerobics studio, separate men's and women's saunas, steam rooms and locker facilities, whirlpools and 10 private massage/treatment rooms. Carnival Victory arrives Monday in New York following its transatlantic crossing. Back to Top

8-11-00 Cunard Announces "Perfectly Paired" Program Cunard Line has launched an enticing new program for those seeking a grand cruise experience: the "Perfectly Paired Passages". The 2001 program allows travelers to make a single purchase and journey across the Atlantic aboard Queen Elizabeth 2 before or after sailing on Cunard's small, elegant Caronia, for a voyage in either Europe or North America. Ranging from 18 to 24 days in duration, pricing for Cunard's Perfectly Paired Passages include Cunard's 10% voyage combination savings and also the Book Early Savings Tariff (BEST) savings program, which offers savings of up to 30% for guests who book early. Thirteen combinations are available between May 19 and September 10, 2001 including the following:

* May 19 - June 6, 2001 - QE 2 Transatlantic Crossing & Norwegian Fjords on Caronia; 18 days. Ports include Stavanger, Bergen, Flaam, Gudvangen, Olden, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Trondheim, Molde, and Kristiansand, Norway rates begin at $3,878. Similar program offered June 12-30, 2001.

* June 6 - 24, 2001 - Iberia Caronia cruise & QE 2 Transatlantic Crossing;18 days. Ports include Lisbon, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands; Barcelona, Spain; Gibraltar; La Coruña, Spain. Rates begin at $3,668

* June 24 - July 12, 2001 - Transatlantic Crossing & Scandinavia/Russia;18 days. Ports include Visby and Stockholm, Sweden; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Kiel, Germany. Rates begin at $4,094.

* July 18 - Aug 11, 2001 - QE 2 Transatlantic Crossing & Scandinavia/Iceland/Canada cruise on Caronia; 24 days. Ports include Rosyth (Edinburgh), Scotland; Bergen, Flaam and Gudvangen, Norway; Torshavn, Faeroe Islands; Akureyri and Reykjavik, Iceland; St. John's, New Foundland; Halifax, Nova Scotia. Rates begin at $4,320

* August 29 - Sept. 16, 2001 - QE 2 Transatlantic Crossing & Bermuda/Colonial South cruise on Caronia; 18 days. Ports include Baltimore, Maryland; Bermuda (2 days); Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina. Rates begin at $3,704. Itinerary in reverse available Sept. 16-22, 2001.

Fares are per person, double occupancy and include port and handling fees plus one-way economy airfare between London and 117 North American gateways. Reservations and additional information may be obtained from travel agents. Back to Top

8-10-00 Renaissance Changes Cancellation Policy Cruisers' main gripe against Renaissance Cruises has been its trip cancellation, refund and insurance policies. The cruise line today announced it has revised those policies, effective for all new bookings beginning Aug. 15, 2000. Renaissance Cruises' new refund policy is: 0-14 days prior to sailing, 0% refund; 15-44 days, 50% refund; 45-75 days, 75% refund and 76 days or more, full refund. The new deposit/full payment policy is $750 per person deposit on all bookings with full payment due 90 days prior to sailing. Renaissance has also reintroduced its "Early Bird" payment policy, which rewards cruisers who book and pay in full at least 90 days prior to travel with a $1,000 per cabin discount. Reservations and additional information may be obtained from local travel agents. Back to Top

8-09-00 Renaissance Adds 7-Day Tahiti Cruises Those who don't have time for a ten- to 15-day vacation can now cruise in Tahiti on the new seven-night itinerary offered by Renaissance Cruises. While the company will still operate 10-day cruises through June, 2001, the seven-night itinerary is offered aboard both R3 and R4. Visiting five islands, the ships will sail round-trip from Tahiti to Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora. Cruise-only fares begin at $999 per person; low-cost rates are available on transpacific flights and ground transfers.

Renaissance Cruises offers year-round itineraries to The Greek Isles, Tahiti and the South Pacific, Northern Europe and Scandinavia, and The Mediterranean on six new 684-passenger R-Class ships. Two additional new "R- Class" ships, the R7 and R8, will be launched in the next 8 months bringing Renaissance Cruises' total capacity to 5,742 berths. Reservations and additional information may be obtained from travel agents. Back to Top

8-08-00 RCI to Add Web Links To Cabins Royal Caribbean Cruises has announced that its passengers will be completely wired: the cruise line will bring the Web into cabins of Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas, and plans to implement in-cabin Internet access fleet-wide by 2001. The current interactive TV gives passengers a choice of first-run movies and lets them sign up for on-shore tours, but full Internet access will open the door to many possibilities, such as looking up information about the next port or sending a gift to someone at home from an online store. The cruise line hasn't set rates yet. Back to Top

8-07-00 Holiday, Fascination, Ecstasy: Changes Confirmed Carnival has confirmed that Holiday, Fascination and Ecstasy will switch Home Ports and itineraries next year. On May 4, 2001, the 70,000 grt Fascination will commence sailings from Miami departing Fridays on three day cruises to Nassau and Mondays on four-day cruises to Key West and Playa del Carmen/Cozumel. These mini cruises are currently undertaken by the 70,000 grt Ecstasy which will reposition to Los Angeles May 18, 2001 to operate three day cruises to Ensenada on Fridays and four-day cruises to Ensenada and Catalina Island on Mondays. Ecstasy joins sister ship Elation in Los Angeles. Elation which will continue to offer Carnival's 7-day Mexican Riviera itinerary from Los Angeles. The 45,000 grt Holiday is currently sailing the Mexican mini cruises from L.A. Holiday will reposition to San Juan to operate 7-day southern Caribbean cruises commencing June 2, 2001. Sailing every Saturday, Holiday will visit St. Kitts, St. Barts, Tortola/Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas./ St. John, Martinique and Barbados. For a complete list of Carnival sailings, visit CruiseMates' Carnival Itineraries page. Back to Top

8-07-00 Itinerary Change on Our Millennium Cruise Celebrity Cruises have altered the itinerary for CruiseMates' October 13 cruise on board the Millennium. The new itinerary is as follows:

  • 10/13 Friday Genoa, Italy Dep 6pm
  • 10/14 Saturday Villefranche, France 7am-4pm
  • 10/15 Sunday Toulon, France 7am-5pm
  • 10/16 Monday Barcelona, Spain 7am-7pm
  • 10/17 Tuesday Palma de Mallorca, Spain 7am-5pm
  • 10/18 Wednesday At Sea
  • 10/19 Thursday Valleta, Malta 7am-3pm
  • 10/20 Friday Naples, Italy 8am-7pm
  • 10/21 Saturday Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 7am-7pm
  • 10/22 Sunday Livorno (Florence/Pisa)It 7am-7pm
  • 10/23 Monday Genoa, Italy 7am
Times in port are subject to change. There are still some Category 2b deluxe cabins with balconies available for this sailing which includes several special features. Back to Top

8-04-00 Weekend Cruise News RCI's Explorer of the Seas is being outfitted at Turku, Finland. Explorer successfully completed a week of sea trials in the Baltic Sea last month during which the 137,300 grt vessel displayed impressive results, especially in the steering tests. Sister ship to Voyager of the Seas, Explorer's inaugural cruise is scheduled for October 28, 2000.

Star Clippers' newest vessel, the five-masted Royal Clipper is making a grand impression during her inaugural season in Europe. The world's largest and most luxurious sailing ship, Royal Clipper's main mast stands a towering 197ft. tall. She carries 228 passengers on a voyage with all the romance of sail, in pampered luxury. There are many unique features including the submarine portholes in the lounge which allow marine life viewing when the ship is at anchor. The ceiling of the ship's atrium is the glass bottom of the largest of the three swimming pools. Royal Clipper is sailing from Cannes, France on a serious of 7-night inaugural voyages.

Costa Cruises appears poised to negotiate a takeover of First European Cruises (which operates in Europe as Festival Cruises). Costa had shown interest in the line prior to the P&O Princess agreement to purchase First European, a plan which has now collapsed. First European's fleet includes the Azur, Bolero, Flamenco and Mistral. Two newbuilds, European Vision and European Dream are planned for 2001 and 2002 with a firm order for two additional ships to be delivered in 2003 and 2004.

Barton J. Millar has joined the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. as the historian aboard the Columbia Queen riverboat which inaugurated service from Portland, Oregon, May 26, 2000. With a bachelor of science degree in U.S. history from Portland State University, Millar is well qualified for his job of entertaining and educating passengers during the course of their 8-night cruise-tour on board the riverboat. He gives lectures on the history, culture and lore of the region as well as leading informal discussions, answering questions and accompanying shore excursions. The Columbia Queen's route extends 1,000 miles from the Oregon coast to Idaho along the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers. The cruise-tours are offered year round.

Royal Princess will sail another world cruise in 2002. The voyage will take 71 days on a route from Ft. Lauderdale to Athens with calls at 25 ports along the way including Cartagena, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Easter Island, Tahiti; Sydney; Hong Kong; Singapore; Mumbai (formerly Bombay,), India; Safaga, Egypt; and Ashdod, Israel. Scheduled departure date is February 11, 2002. The announcement follows the overwhelming success of the 2001 world cruise program when Royal Princess will sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome on a 72 day cruise beginning February 15, 2001.

Two new cruise lines are being formed. Voyager Cruises is looking for two 1,000 passengers vessels for use in the U.S. convention market. Indian Ocean Cruise Line has chartered the Ocean Majesty for a new series of cruises which will be marketed in Europe and North America. Watch CruiseMates for more details as they become available.

Regal Cruises has revised its Fall 2000 schedule for its ship, Regal Empress. Seven-night Bermuda cruises will sail round trip from Charleston, South Carolina, October 3 and round trip from Wilmington, Virginia, October 10. A five-night cruise to Nassau and Freeport, round trip from Wilmington, sails October 17 followed by a one-night party cruise to nowhere from Wilmington, October 22. Regal Empress will then reposition to Port Manatee, near Tampa, for the winter season.

A new cruise terminal that will handle megaships is being seriously considered by the Hong Kong Government. There has been talk for sometime about the need for a second terminal in addition to Ocean Terminal. Several locations are under consideration, the leading contender being near the former Kai Tak airport runway in West Kowloon. Back to Top

8-02-00 Millennium: Drydock Possible Celebrity Cruise Lines and Chantiers de l'Atlantique, the French shipbuilders who built the Celebrity Millennium, are investigating a possible problem with vibration that could result in the ship going into drydock for modification. The drydocking would take place soon after the ship's arrival in New York City on November 15 after its Atlantic crossing. The amount of time needed and how many cruises might be cancelled have not been determined. Celebrity Cruises will provide more detailed information as it becomes available and will contact all guests whose cruises may be affected.

There are a number of short (2-day) cruises that are scheduled for the ship upon its arrival in New York, mostly "non-revenue" orientation cruises for travel agents. How many of these cruises might be cancelled, if any, depends on the determination of the companies as to what is required to correct the problem.

The ship is said to be very stable in most sea conditions, but it is surmised that under certain conditions, said to be more prevalent in the Caribbean, that the vibration could be more pronounced. The ship is equipped with the cruise industry's first gas turbine engines which under most conditions perform with unusually low levels of noise and vibration. Back to Top

8-02-00 Carnival Victory Heads for U.S. The 102,000-ton, 2,758 passenger Carnival Victory sails today from Monfalcone, Italy on a transatlantic crossing to New York. The 15th vessel in the Carnival fleet was delivered ahead of schedule by the Italian shipyard, Fincantieri allowing Carnival to offer four cruises-to-nowhere from New York, commencing August 18. These two-night cruises sold out soon after they were announced. They will be followed by four and five-day cruises from New York to the Canadian Maritimes from August 31 through September 29. Carnival Victory will then sails a series of mini cruises to the Bahamas and to nowhere from Newport News, VA and Charleston, SC before commencing alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises form Miami, October 15. Carnival Victory is a sister-ship to Carnival Destiny and Carnival Triumph. Back to Top

8-01-00 August 13 Paradise Cruise Canceled Paradise will remain in Newport News longer than originally expected for repairs to the damaged starboard Azipod propulsion unit. The technical problem occurred shortly after Paradise departed from Miami for a 7-day cruise on July 16. Carnival has now canceled the August 13 cruise and expects Paradise to be back in service for the August 20 sailing. Guests who were scheduled to sail on the Aug. 13 cruise will receive a full refund as well as a 50 percent discount on a future three to seven-day cruise. Back to Top

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