- Patriot to be Converted in Portland
- Weekend Cruise News
- Concorde Crash en route to MS Deutchland
- Stowaways on Carnival!
- First Details On RCI's Radiance
- Weekend Cruise News
- New Celebrity Ship Named Summit
- Trouble in Carnival Paradise
- P&O Cancels Festival Purchase
- Weekend Cruise News
- Delta Queen Raided For Booze
- Crystal Adds Feng Shui To Symphony
- Stella Solaris Canal w/Free Air
- Carnival Victory To New York
- Premier's Rembrandt to Baltimore
- Weekend Cruise News
- Star Ship To Cruise West
- QE2 Collision In New York
- Millennium Breaks Down
- American Classic's Big July 4 Fete
7-31-00 Patriot to be Converted in PortlandThe ms Patriot, first ship for newly formed United States Lines, will be outfitted at Cascade General of Portland, Oregon. Currently sailing as the Nieuw Amsterdam for Holland America Line, the conversion will include replacing the casino with a destination learning center. Work will take place this Fall with Patriot commencing her weekly Hawaii sailings from Honolulu on December 9, 2000. Cascade General recently finished the Columbia Queen for United States Lines' sister company, Delta Queen Steamboat Co. The Crystal Harmony and Statendam were also overhauled this Spring at the Portland facility. Bookings are open for Patriot's inaugural season with special pricing on the first six cruises. Back to Top
7-28-00 Weekend Cruise News Carnival Victory was delivered to Carnival Cruise Lines today. The "hand-over" ceremony took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where the 102,000 grt, 2,758 passenger vessel was built. The delivery will be commemorated with a reception and luncheon tomorrow for Italian dignitaries and European press. Carnival will then host a dinner and party for Fincantieri's shipyard workers who spent the better part of the past two years constructing the massive, state-of-the-art cruise ship. The Carnival Victory departs Monfalcone Wednesday, Aug. 2 on its transatlantic crossing and is expected to arrive in New York on Monday, Aug. 14.
Cruises to South America are on the increase with 14 cruise ships and 3 expedition vessels taking bookings for the 2000-2001 season. Cruising areas include Cape Horn and the Strait of Magellan, the Amazon, Orinoco River as well as the East and West coasts. There are opportunities to circumnavigate the entire continent on Royal Olympic's Stella Solaris and Radisson Seven Seas Navigator. Visit Rio de Janeiro for Carnival in February on board either Celebrity's Mercury, Royal Olympic's Stella Solaris, RCI's Splendour of the Seas or Crystal Harmony. These four ships will be in Rio between February 25 and 28, 2001with at least one overnight on board. See CruiseMates South American Itineraries for more details.
A crewman died on board Norwegian Sky, Wednesday as the ship approached Haines. Jai Ming Dai, 49, of Shanghai, China was crushed by a hydraulic watertight door in an area of the ships that is out of bounds to passengers. The coast guard is investigating to make sure the door's safety mechanisms and alarms are functioning properly. The massive doors are designed to close slowly to prevent people from being caught in them.
Silversea's new ship, the Silver Shadow is scheduled to sail September 15, 2000 following gala inaugural celebrations in Rome. The Maiden Voyage will depart from Civitavecchia and call at to Livorno (Pisa and Florence), Marseille and Barcelona with a two-day overnight stay in Casablanca. Silver Shadow will then head across the Atlantic on a 14-day crossing from Lisbon to New York by way of Madeira, The Azores and Bermuda.
Grab your dance partners for Delta Queen's Big Band theme vacations operating on select sailings between August 2 and September 1. Mississippi Queen and American Queen will host the big bands on cruises from St. Louis to Nashville, Nashville to Cincinnati, Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, Memphis to St. Paul, Cincinnati to Chattanooga and round trip from St. Paul. Lindy hop, foxtrot and jitterbug to the sounds of Jack Morgan and The Russ Morgan Orchestra, The Sammy Kaye Orchestra, Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians and The Tommy Dorsey Orchstra. First rate entertainers will also be featured including the Ink Spots and Pied Pipers.
If you can't face another Holiday season in the snow and ice, consider heading for the Caribbean on board Cunard's QE2. She will sail a 16-day Caribbean Holiday cruise round trip from Pier 92 in Manhattan to Ft. Lauderdale, December 20, 2000 to January 5, 2001 dates which allow you to avoid the worst days of Christmas and New Year airport congestion. The liner will be beautified by an $18 million refurbishment and will be decked out for a traditional British Holiday season. There will be plenty of festivities on board for passengers of all faiths. QE2 even has a synagogue on board. Ports of call are Ft. Lauderdale, Montego Bay, Jamaica; Curacao; Bonaire; Barbados; St. Thomas and Cape Canaveral, Florida and Fort Lauderdale again, before returning guests, pampered and suntanned, to New York. For more details see your travel agent.
Seabourn Spirit will head for Asia in December following a refurbishment that includes the addition of French Balconies to 36 of the 104 suites. When the full-length sliding glass doors are opened, passengers can enjoy the panoramic views of the Far East, fresh air, sea sounds and sunshine. Virtually the entire ship will be redecorated with new color schemes, fabrics, upholstery, carpets and draperies. Seabourn spirit sails in Asia on cruises that feature Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Burma. The 208 passengers vessel will explore exotic destinations that larger ships cannot visit including sailing up the Saigon River right into Ho Chi Minh City, the breathtaking island of Ha Long Bay and Hongai (Hanoi), Vietnam.
Passengers sailing to Alaska from Vancouver over the next two weeks may enjoy the spectacular Symphony of Fire International Fireworks competition which takes place in English Bay. Ships departing for Alaska often pull out of the harbor and sit for the evening off English Bay allowing passengers to watch the fireworks display before heading for the Inside Passage. Dates this year are Saturdays July 29 and August 5 and Wednesdays August 2 and 9. Back to Top
7-25-00 Concorde Crash en route to MS Deutchland 100 German tourists who had boarded an Air France Concorde jet at Charles deGualle airport died in a fiery crash that occurred just after the plane left the runway. The group was en route to New York City where it was scheduled to join the MS Deutschland for a cruise to Manta Ecuador. The ship was scheduled to depart from New York City, stop in Norfolk, Virginia; Port Canaveral for a visit to the Kennedy Space Center; the Bahamas, transit the Panama Canal and end in Ecuador. The Concorde was chartered by Dielmann tours, the operators of the MS Deutchland. There were also 9 crew members aboard the jet. Back to Top
7-24-00 Stowaways on Carnival! In two separate incidents, an autistic nine-year-old boy and a group of 10 Haitians stowed away on Carnival Cruise Line vessels this past weekend. On Friday, the young boy wandered aboard Carnival's Sensation in New Orleans and spent the weekend cruising; he was taken off in Tampa. The group of Haitians boarded Carnival's Ecstasy last Saturday while the ship was docked in Nassau and were discovered on Monday when the ship returned to Miami; they were handed over to INS agents as the ship docked.Back to Top
7-24-00 First Details On RCI's Radiance CruiseMates is first to release details on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas, the first in a new series of 88,000- ton Vantage-class vessels, scheduled to debut April 7, 2001. Radiance of the Seas will carry approximately 2,100 passengers and while smaller than super-megaliner Voyager of the Seas, will incorporate some of the same features, such as a rock climbing wall. Add to this, some new features as well: the main dining room will have a cascading waterfall and glass-enclosed "sea view" elevators traversing 12 decks. The centrum (atrium) will be 10 decks high. The ship's Solarium is designed to resemble an African Safari watering hole, complete with three 16 foot high stone elephants and cascading waterfalls. The ship's Colony Club will encompass five different entertainment venues: The Bombay Billiard Club, Jakarta Lounge, Singapore Slings and the Calcutta Club. An alternative steak restaurant is Chops Grill, an elegant dining spot requiring reservations. The Aurora Theatre's theme is the Aurora Borealis. Radiance of the Seas will have many additional cabin categories due to the large number of balconies and suites.
The ship's inaugural cruise is the April 7, 2001 14-day Panama Canal crossing from Ft. Lauderdale to Acapulco. Following a seven night west coast sailing, scheduled April 23, 2001 from Ensenada to Seattle, and several short cruises, the ship will cruise in Alaska from May through September, 2001 on one-week voyages round-trip from Vancouver. Following two Hawaii positioning voyages (Nov. 14 and 26, 2001), Radiance of the Seas will move San Juan for the Nov. 17, 2001 to March 30, 2002 schedule of seven night Southern Caribbean voyages sailing round trip from San Juan. Back to Top
7-21-00 Weekend Cruise News
7-20-00 New Celebrity Ship Named Summit Celebrity's third new ship to enter service will be Summit, scheduled to debut Oct. 1, 2001. A sister ship to Millennium and Infinity, Summit will cruise from Ft. Lauderdale on ten- and 11-night cruises. The season will run from Oct. 21, 2001 through April 19, 2002. Summit's 11-night cruise will visit Key West, Cozumel, Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Colon (Panama), Cartagena (Columbia), Aruba, and Grand Cayman. Per person, double occupancy advance purchase rates are $1,099 (inside), $1,279 (outside), $1,279 (balcony cabins). Summit's ten-night cruise will sail from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts and St. Thomas. For reservations and additional information, contact your travel agent. Back to Top
7-19-00 Trouble in Carnival Paradise Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled two more cruises on the cruise ship Paradise for a total of four scheduled to depart between July 16-August 6 while the vessel undergoes repairs for a technical problem.
The ship experienced propulsion problems with its azipod propellor system on Sunday and was forced to return to the Port of Miami. The ship will be taken into dry dock in Newport News, Virginia to fix the problem which occured soon after leaving port on the first day of a 7-night cruise to the Western Caribbean - the ship was en route to Cozumel.
The ship returned to Miami on its own power Sunday evening and the entire cruise was cancelled. Some passengers left the ship, but many were still aboard Monday, waiting for Carnival to arrange transportation.
"We are extremely sorry that this occurred and we understand that it's a big disappointment for our guests," Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz said. "By giving them a full refund and free future cruise we hope they'll give us another opportunity." Back to Top
7-17-00 P&O Cancels Festival Purchase P&O Cruises has announced that it is calling off plans to purchase Festival Cruises. P&O cited a 47% decline in its share prices this year as the reason: last May, P&O reported that it planned to pay up to $400 million in cash and shares for Festival. But the cruise line joins Carnival and Royal Caribbean in poor share prices, making it more difficult to expand by offering stock shares. But Princess Cruises will spin off from parent company P&O as planned. Back to Top
7-14-00 Weekend Cruise News
7-14-00 Delta Queen Raided For Booze Delta Queen Steamboat Company's historic Delta Queen was raided by agents, who seized 3,000 bottles of booze. Agents of the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission weren't looking for moonshine, but charged the cruise line with failing to pay state taxes on liquor. The Delta Queen had just started a nine-day cruise when agents boarded the boat and removed the entire stock of liquor. Passengers on this voyage craving a drink will have to purchase their alcohol ashore. According to a spokesperson for the state agency, "Everyone cooperated on the boat when we came aboard. But of course, we didn't smash things up. When we break up stills in the mountains with hammers and dynamite, that can make the owners pretty mad.'' Back to Top
7-12-00 Crystal Adds Feng Shui To Symphony Those indulging in a sybaritic Spa treatment aboard Crystal Symphony may get more than they pay for. Crystal Cruises is using Feng Shui in Symphony's Spa to induce "health, prosperity and happiness" for those getting treatments. A Chinese practice dating back 4,000 years, Feng Shui is known as the Asian Art of Placement. In order to achieve this, furniture is rearranged and features such as Chinese tiles symbolizing the seasons will cover the walls. A Zen rock garden, incense, fountains, crystals and wind chimes also aid in producing harmony and balance. Feng Shui will also be used to add peace and balancy to the Spa of Crystal Harmony this fall. By the way, Crystal Cruises is based in California. Back to Top
7-12-00 Stella Solaris Canal w/Free Air Royal Olympic has announced two 14-day Panama Canal crossings aboard the Stella Solaris this winter. The Dec. 22, 2000 Christmas/New Year's cruise sails between Ft. Lauderdale and San Diego and on Jan. 5, 2001, Stella Solaris will cruise from San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale. Both sailings will feature port calls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Balboa, Panama; Caldera, Costa Rica; Acapulco, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Rates begin at $1,672 including free airfare; port charges are additional. For reservations consult your travel agent. Free brochures may be obtained by contacting Royal Olympic Cruises at (800) 872-6400; or, visit their web site: www.royalolympiccruises.com. Back to Top
7-10-00 Carnival Victory To New York Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that the 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory will operate a variety of eastern Canada cruises from the Northeast in 2001, including a pair of four-day cruises from Boston and a summer-long series of four- and five-day cruises from New York. On May 21 and 28, Carnival Victory will sail on two four-day cruises from Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. From June through early September, the 102,000-ton ship will operate four-day cruises from New York to Halifax and five-day cruises to Halifax and Saint John. A sister ship to Carnival Destiny and Carnival Triumph, Victory will enter service Aug. 18, 2000 Back to Top
7-9-00 Premier's Rembrandt to Baltimore Premier's Rembrandt (former HAL Rotterdam) has been chartered by Didion World Cruises for the month of July and is sailing from Baltimore. Rembrandt is currently on an 8-night voyage to New England and Canada. This will be followed by a 6-night cruise to Nassau and Salt Cay, Bahamas on July 14, a 2-night cruise to Nowhere and finally a 7-night Bahamas and Southeastern U.S. cruise calling at Freeport, Port Canaveral, Savannah and Charleston on July 22. The Bahamas cruises are on special with fares starting at $495. for an Inside Guarantee plus $125. port charges. Didion World Cruises is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has successfully operated charters in the cenrtal Atlantic region since 1992. Back to Top
7-6-00 Weekend Cruise News
7-6-00 Star Ship To Cruise West Cruise West, which operates a fleet of small ships for nature lovers, has purchased Star Cruises' Sagittarius and will take delivery in April, 2001. The 114-passenger vessel was formerly Renaissance Cruises' Renaissance V. Cruise West will rename the ship Spirit of Oceanus and operate it in Alaska, British Columbia and Mexico. Registered in the Bahamas, it will be the cruise line's only non-U.S. flagged ship Back to Top
7-5-00 QE2 Collision In New York Cunard Line's flagship, Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE 2), collided Wednesday (July 5) night with a Japanese warship which was then pushed into a British military vessel during a minor collision in New York harbor. The ships were in New York as part of the OpSail 2000 festivities. None of the ships suffered more than scraped paint during the event, which happened as QE 2 was docking. Back to Top
7-5-00 Millennium Breaks Down Celebrity Cruises new Millennium had technical glitches on its July 1, 2000 inaugural voyage in the Baltic. An electrical problem prevented power from reaching the propellers, resulting in mechanical failure. Millennium then diverted to Rostock, Germany for repairs, but had to miss its scheduled stop in Stockholm. A Celebrity spokesperson reports that all services are once again normal and the ship will arrive in Helsinki on July 6. Back to Top
7-4-00 American Classic's Big July 4 Fete The new United States Lines has a lot to celebrate during the July 4th weekend: the start of construction of the largest U.S. cruise ship ever built and the first in more than 40 years. When the ship is completed in early 2003, the 1,900-passenger vessel will sail year-round in the Hawaiian Islands and be joined by a twin vessel in 2004. Each ship will feature spacious open decks to view the beauty and scenery of Hawaii, a seven deck atrium, a signature Destination Learning Center and a uniquely Hawaiian outdoor performance stage. United States Lines' first ship to enter service will be the Patriot (currently Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam) in Hawaii on Dec. 9, 2000. The 1,212-passenger Patriot will sail 7-night itineraries every Saturday year-round from Honolulu to Nawiliwili, Kauai; Kahului, Maui; and Hilo and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. United States Lines is a division of American Classic Voyages, which also owns Delta Queen Steamboat Company and American Hawaii Cruises. Back to Top
7-3-00 RCI Adds More Short Cruises In order to meet the needs of busy Americans who have less time for vacations, Royal Caribbean will increase its offerings of short Caribbean cruises in 2001. Nordic Empress and Monarch of the Seas will sail a series of alternating four- and five-night Western and Southern Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale and San Juan, respectively. The new routes are: