News Archive - June 2006

6-30-06 Weekend News June 30, 2006 *** MSC Cruises took delivery of the MSC Musica June 19 and the new 89,600-ton vessel was christened Thursday, June 29 in Venice by Sophia Lauren. MSC Musica carries 3,013 passengers and will begin a season of Eastern Mediterranean voyages July 1 sailing from Venice and then repositions to Genoa for winter Med sailings. The eight ship to join the Italian cruise line, MSC Musica will have the largest number of balcony cabin and internet connection plus a Sushi Bar. The company has four more new ships on order: MSC Orchestra (2007); MSC Poesia and MSC Fantasia (2008) and MSC Serenata (2009).

*** Those who must use their cell phones on vacation will soon be able to call from Carnival Cruise Line ships sailing anywhere in the world. Carnival Triumph is the first vessel in Carnival's fleet to employ the new technology which will be available fleetwide by early 2007. International roaming fees will be charged users' cell phone bills so it is recommended that you check rates with your cell phone carrier before departure.

*** Crystal Cruises has launched a "Time For Men" spa program aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity with pro-collagen shave, frangipani hair condition, skin IQ facial and aroma stone therapy massages. The Deep Cleanse Grooming Treatment with Shave includes a soothing face and scalp massage and a deep pore cleansing mask, while the 55-minute Pro-Collagen Grooming Treatment with Shave incorporates an anti-aging mini-facial and luxurious face, scalp, hand and arm massage. Back to Top

6-23-06 Weekend News June 23, 2006 *** Regent Seven Seas Cruises is including all alcohol the price of its cruises, a big change from the previous wine with dinner policy. The cruise line has also announced that a fuel surcharge of $100 will be added to the price of Paul Gauguin voyages for cruise-only passengers. Passengers purchasing a Regent air/sea package must pay an additional $200 per voyage since fuel costs for airlines have increased significantly.

*** Carnival Cruise Lines has said that hurricanes have impacted sales of June - December Caribbean cruises with a drop in passenger levels. However, the line reports that lower fares have brought those levels back up and doesn't anticipate that additional price cuts will be necessary for the remainder of 2006. Carnival also said that since repairs in Cozumel, serverly damaged in a major hurricane last fall, will take a signficant amount of time to repair, executives say they hope the opening of a new pier in Grand Turk and future port improvements in Honduras will be buffers for the fall off in traffic to Cozumel and the Western Caribbean.

*** New Jersey's attorney general has sued Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. for diverting a Bermuda-bound cruise to Canada and refusing to issue refunds. The lawsuit alleges the cruise line violations of the state Consumer Fraud Act. It seeks restitution for the people aboard the ship plus civil penalties. The state got complaints from 53 passengers booked on the July 24 cruise who said they were told they would lose all their money if they didn't board the ship, even though its destination had changed. It wasn't clear why the cruise line changed the Voyager of the Seas' itinerary.

According to the state, the cruise line shifted the itinerary from Bermuda to ports in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick without making any effort to notify passengers. The company posted a notice of the change the night before on its Web site. Although a cruise to Canada typically would be significantly cheaper than one to Bermuda, the state says the company offered only a credit of $42.50, representing the difference in port fees and taxes between the two destinations.

*** Carnival Cruise Lines has announced 2007 Europe itineraries of its next newbuild, Carnival Freedom, scheduled to debut next March. The 12-day Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises depart March 14 and 26, April 7 and 19, June 18, Aug. 5, and Sept. 22, and feature Naples, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; Izmir (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey; Athens (Piraeus) and Katakolon, Greece; and Livorno, Italy, as well as an overnight call in Rome (Civitavecchia). The 12-day �Grand Mediterranean� cruises depart May 1, 13 and 25, June 6 and 30, July 12 and 24, Aug. 17 and 28, Sept. 10, Oct. 4 and 16 and visit Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. Back to Top

5-8-06 Weekend News June 15, 2006 *** Holland America will increase its capacity in Europe next year by adding Veendam itineraries to those of Maasdam, Prinsendam and Rotterdam. HAL will also redeply Westerdam to the region. 2007 ports of embarkation will include Athens, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Civitavecchia, Amsterdam and Venice.

*** Star Clippers has announced new four- and five-night Europe itineraries from Cannes in 2007. Star Clipper will sail round-trip to ports in France, Corsica and Elba on the "short escape" cruises. Sailing its final season in the Mediterranean before repositioning to French Polynesia in December 2007, Star Flyer offers seven-night round-trip Athens cruises and 10- and 11-night cruises between Athens and Venice.

*** Costa Cruises' newest ship, Costa Concordia will boast a state-of-the-art Grand Prix driving simulator When she enters service July 7, - the first and only of its kind on a cruise ship. Featuring real-time vehicle modeling, it is the same technology used by Grand Prix champion drivers in training. Passengers aged 16 and above can compete in a Grand Prix race at speeds of over 200 miles per hour on the simulator. In addition, they can record their performance throughout the week to compete with themselves as well as other guests. The 112,000-ton Costa Concordia has a total guest capacity of 3,780 is the largest ship in the Costa fleet and will sail the Mediterranean in her first season beginning this summer. Back to Top

6-16-06 Weekend News 6-10-06 *** Star Clippers, a fleet of modern authentic clipper ships, has announced that Star Flyer will sail from Tahiti beginning December 2007. The 150-passenger ship's itineraries include seven, 10- and 11-night round-trip Papeette cruises and cruises between Papeete and the Marquesas islands. The 11 ports of call that compose the destination-intense itineraries take the ship to the Society, Marquesas and Tuamotus Islands. Along the way, sunset departures, cruising in crystalline lagoons and opportunities to dive and snorkel in some of the most spectacular sites in the world enhance every itinerary. And shore excursions are designed to introduce guests to the fascinating culture and history of the Polynesian people.

*** When Costa Cruises introduces the new CostaConcordia June 30, she will be equipped with the first Grand Prix driving simulator at sea. Located on one of the top decks of the Costa Concordia, guests can �virtually� compete in a Grand Prix race at speeds of over 200 miles per hour on the simulator. In addition, they can record their performance throughout the week to compete with themselves as well as other guests. The Grand Prix simulator is reserved for guests 16 years of age and older.

*** Celebrity Cruises has announced five-night Caribbean voyages aboard Century, which just returned to service after a $55 million renovation. Starting Nov. 18, 2006 and continuing through April 21, 2007, the ship will sail round-trip from Miami to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Grand Cayman; other five night cruises also visit Key West.

*** If you're dreaming of making a circumnavigation of the globe, there are six ships departing from Florida in January, 2007 on world cruises: Crystal Cruises' Crystal Serenity, departing Jan. 12 from Miami on a 109-day voyage; Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2, both sailing from Fort Lauderdale Jan. 10; Holland America's Amsterdam sails on a 105-day world cruise from Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 15; Regent Seven Seas Cruises Voyager departs Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 9 on a 111-day cruise and Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow leaves from Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 15 on a 126-day global voyage. Back to Top

6-6-06 New NCL Ship Deployments Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the Norwegian Spirit will begin cruisinging from the Port of New Orleans in November, 2007. Ports of call include Belize City, Santo Tomas, Guatemala and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. At present, the ship sails from New York on an 8-day itinerary with a day-long call into Bermuda, an overnight in St. Thomas, USVI, and a call into Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. In November 2007, Norwegian Gem will be homeported in New York as NCL places its newest ship year round in the Big Apple sailing a short series of seven-day Florida and Bahamas cruises and four 10- and 11-day cruises to the Southern Caribbean in the winter; and seven-day cruises to Bermuda and the Bahamas in the summer. In November 2007, Norwegian Dawn will move to Miami, where she will sail seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises for the winter. Back to Top

6-3-06 Weekend News 6-02-06

*** The next Royal Caribbean ship in line for renovation will be Majesty of the Seas, scheduled for an "extreme makeover" in January of 2007, according to company president Adam Goldstein. The ship will be out of service between Jan. 12 and Feb. 9. for upgrades that include relocating a larger, "more contemporary" ShipShape Fitness Center to Deck 9, changing the carpeting, window coverings and decor in the Schooner Bar, and adding a Johnny Rockets and Sorrento's pizzeria. Cabins will receive upgraded beds & bedding as part of the cruise line's fleetwide bedding upgrade. The program, designed to enhance the sleep experience, includes an extreme makeover of bed frames, mattresses, pillows, 220 thread count sheets & duvets.

*** Norwegian Coastal Voyage has announced a waiver of the single supplement on air-inclusive Antarctica Expedition Voyages reducing rates to normal double rates, saving solo travelers $1,115 to $1,580, on nine departures from October 16 to January 31, 2007. The waiver can be combined with an AARP member savings of $150 per cabin on all departures and a $300 early-booking discount on five October - December sailings (new bookings made by July 31), so that singles and travelers who prefer not sharing a cabin with family or friends can save up to $1,965 or 22% off normal single rates.

*** Victoria Cruises' Victoria Anna is the company's newest vessel to sail on the Yangtze River as part of the company's China expansion. The Victoria Anna is the largest ship in the company's fleet and boasts the highest passenger capacity and most suites of all vessels sailing theYangtze. The vessel features 154 cabins (132 standard accommodations, 16 junior suites, four deluxe suites and two Shangri-la suites) for a total passenger capacity of 308 (and a crew of 138). At a gross tonnage of 6,200, the five-passenger-deck vessel is 347.7 feet long, 54.4 feet wide, 50 feet high and features a draft of 2.6 meters.

*** Crystal Cruises has added a new Africa shore excursion to Tanzania's 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro. Starting in March 2007, the nine-night pre- or post-cruise program will be available to Crystal Serenity passengers on two cruises out of Cape Town, South Africa. The hike scales the highest mountain in Africa, ending on the continent's only glacier. The climb encompasses an average of four to six hours of hiking each day. The climb includes an average of four to six hours of hiking each day.

*** For the first time in history, the Port of Kiel handled more than 10,000 passengers on one day, of which some 6,000 were cruise visitors. Ships in port included the Costa Classica and MSC Lirica. Next year MSC will add a second ship, MSC Opera, and in 2008 newbuilding MSC Poesia is expected to be based in the city for the summer. Having chosen Kiel as base port for its cruises to the Baltic and Norwegian fjords, MSC Cruises plans to increase the number of annual calls to more than 30 in 2008.

*** Princess Cruises' UK summer-based ship Sea Princess returned to Southampton one day early to disinfect the ship thoroughly, following an increased incidence of acute gastroenteritis during a seven-night cruise, reports the company. All passengers were disembarked and assisted by the line with their onward travel arrangements. In light of the reduced length and missing the visit to Lisbon on this cruise, Princess offered passengers a refund of 30% of their cruise fare. In addition, they will receive a further 150 British Pounds per person towards a future cruise.

*** 113,000gt Princess Cruises Emerald Princess, set for delivery in spring 2007, was launched Friday at Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard and then floated out of the dock on Saturday. The ship's godmother was Mrs Jenny Arkinstall, wife of Charles Arkinstall - newbuild advisor of P&O Princess Cruises.

*** Celebrity Cruises' Century re-entered service today in Barcelona after a $55m makeover at Fincantieri's Palermo shipyard. A total of 314 verandas were added during the five-week drydock, the most extensive refurbishment ever undertaken by Celebrity. Also, it was the largest cruise ship modification completed by the Italian yard.

In addition to the verandas, the work included adding 14 suites and 10 staterooms, ranging from inside to veranda categories. The number of ConciergeClass category accommodations was expanded. Celebrity president Dan Hanrahan called the project "miraculous, technically and otherwise -- particularly the veranda program."

The 1995-built Century gained a specialty restaurant, Murano, decorated with chandeliers of Murano glass. The menu was designed by culinary consultant Michel Roux, and service and cuisine will follow the style of Celebrity's Millennium-class specialty dining venues. Among a host of of other food and beverage changes, Century's two-level Grand Restaurant was fully refurbished, and a casual, 76-seat Sushi Bar was added to the list of dining spots.

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5-26-06 Silversea Launches Wellness Program Silversea Cruises has announced a new fleetwide "Wellness Program" for passengers seeking to improve their overall fitness levels. The program includes an integrated schedule of classes on nutrition and exercise, fitness activities, spa therapies and healthy dining options to create the opportunity for a complete rejuvenation of mind, body and soul while at sea. Participating passengers will receive a daily schedule of activities and seminars which includes popular workout programs such as aerobics (including aqua and step), Pilates, circuit training, and yoga, is perfectly paired with a daily collection of light and low-carb menu selections designed by Silversea's master chefs.

A typical day on the Wellness Program might include a sunrise morning walk and yoga class followed by a late-morning seminar on nutrition, exploring the pros and cons of popular diets. The afternoon might offer a seminar on healthy backs and abs, followed by a workout with circuit weights. Guests could wind down their day with exercises to stretch and relax their bodies, under the careful guidance of their professional fitness instructor. Included in Silversea's Wellness Program is a daily sampling of lunch and dinner selections to complement the roster of fitness activities and seminars with specially selected low-calorie, low-carb and vegetarian menu options. All organized group fitness classes and seminars are complimentary. Personalized, one-on-one training programs and spa therapies are offered at an additional charge. Back to Top

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