News Archive - June 2008

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6-27-08 John Kerry Introduces Cruise Safety Bill Senator John Kerry has introduced legislation for the cruise industry designed to clarify the issue of crime on cruise ships. The bill calls for adding safety measures on ships, and standardizes reporting of possible crimes on ships. The press release is below:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator John Kerry today introduced legislation that would improve cruise ship safety and accountability. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2008 would require crimes aboard cruise ships to be reported to the Coast Guard and FBI. Cruise ships, which operate under foreign flags of convenience, are not currently required under U.S. law to report crimes that occur outside of U.S. territorial waters.

In addition, the legislation would require cruise ships to maintain medications used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases after assault, as well as equipment and materials for performing a medical examination to determine if a victim has been raped. A United States licensed medical practitioner would be on every ship to perform the necessary examinations and to administer treatment.

The legislation follows last week's hearings on cruise ship safety, chaired by Sen. Kerry. Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) held similar hearings last year in the House. Kerry was compelled to hold hearings in the Senate after meeting Ken Carver, whose daughter Merrian disappeared on a cruise in 2004. Merrian was a resident of Cambridge, MA.

"Millions of Americans will board cruise ships this year and they should know that they are safe," said Sen. Kerry. "The tragic loss of Ken Carver's daughter Merrian should serve as a reminder that security and crime reporting regulations need to be tightened. Murky legal jurisdictions in international waters are no longer an excuse for failing to report serious crimes so that they may be effectively prosecuted. If U.S. passengers are at risk, then U.S. law should hold the industry accountable for their safety."

"Over the past year our organization and other victims of cruise crimes have met numerous times with cruise lines executives in an effort to have them voluntarily take the necessary steps as outlined in our proposals," said Carver, President of International Cruise Victims. "The cruise line industry has failed to step up to the challenge and make any significant changes to improve safety. That resistance to change is a clear signal to us that the only alternative left is for the United States Congress to move forward with legislation. I'm grateful to Senator Kerry and Rep. Matsui for their support in this endeavor."

"It is absolutely appalling that the cruise industry does not have basic reporting and prevention mechanisms in place to keep their patrons safe," said Rep. Matsui. "When a goliath like the cruise industry will not act in the best interest of the customers who are entrusting it with their personal well-being, then Congress has a responsibility to step in and shed some sunlight on the problem."

"It's important we continue the efforts to improve cruise ship safety which began in the last Congress, when I chaired the National Security Subcommittee," said Rep. Shays. "The bottom line is, the crime statistics provided by the cruise industry are inaccurate and inadequate. This must change."

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2008 will:

  • Improve Ship Safety. The legislation would mandate that: guard rails reach 54 inches in height; entry doors of each passenger stateroom and crew cabin have peep holes, security latches, and time sensitive key technology. Ship owners would be required to implement fire safety codes as well as technology to detect when a passenger falls overboard. Procedures would be established to determine which crew members have access to staterooms and when.
  • Provide Transparency in Reporting. The legislation would establish a reporting structure based on the current voluntary agreement in place between the cruise industry, the FBI, and the Coast Guard. Additionally, each ship would be required to maintain a log book, which would record all deaths, missing individuals, alleged crimes, and passenger/crewmember complaints regarding theft, sexual harassment, and assault. The log books would be available to FBI and Coast Guard electronically, as well as to any law enforcement officer upon request. Statistical information would be posted on a public website maintained by the Coast Guard.
  • Improve Crime Scene Response. Each ship would be required to maintain anti-retroviral medications and medications used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases after assault, as well as equipment and materials for performing a medical examination to determine if a victim has been raped. A United States licensed medical practitioner would be on every ship to perform the necessary examinations and to administer treatment. Private medical information would be protected, and would require written authorization for release. Additionally, all passengers would be given free, immediate, and confidential access to a National Sexual Assault Hotline and the FBI.
  • Improve Training Procedures. The legislation would establish a program designed by the Coast Guard and the FBI, and certified by the Administrator of the Maritime Administration, to train appropriate crewmembers in crime scene investigation. Each ship would be required to maintain one crewmember trained and certified under such a program.
  • Enforce Safety and Environmental Standards. The Coast Guard is authorized to dispatch personnel to monitor discharge of waste, to verify logbook entries related to waste treatment and disposal, and to act as public safety officers by securing and collecting evidence of alleged crimes. The bill also establishes fair and equal remedies for persons injured in boating disasters. Additionally, the Secretary of the Coast Guard shall conduct a study of passenger security needs and report findings/suggestions to Congress.

    Click here to discuss the cruise safety bill.

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    6-26-08 Carnival to Launch "Endless Summer Celebration" Sale Carnival Cruise Lines will launch a new sales promotion - "Endless Summer Celebration" - offering different weekly specials on "Fun Ship" cruises booked during the month of July.

    The new "Endless Summer Celebration" offers sales promotions on a wide range of three- to 12-day "Fun Ship" cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico and Europe in 2008-09, with a different promotion featured each week.

    Upcoming offers for the "Endless Summer Celebration" sales event include shipboard credits; stateroom upgrades; special rates for third and fourth guests in a stateroom; holiday offers and regional savings; and discounts on a variety of fall, winter and spring departures.

    The promotion is capacity controlled and not combinable with any other discount offer. Applies to new individual bookings only. Certain other restrictions apply.

    A special Web site, www.bookccl.com/endlesssummer, has been created where travel agents can request a collateral kit, download ad slicks, e-flyers and more.

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    6-26-08 NCL offers New Free-sytle" Shore Excursions Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has launched a new class of private touring that offers more choices and convenience for guests wishing to explore ports of call however they want, whenever they want. Examples include a private horseback ride through the Tuscan countryside or chartering a catamaran to sail through the glacier-carved fjords of Alaska. These VIP tours are designed for small groups from two to 18 people. Ultimate Touring is available at all of NCL's ports of call and can be booked pre-cruise or on board at each ship's Shore Excursion Desk.

    NCL cites a study by YPB&R/Yankelovich, Inc. 2007 National Leisure Travel MONITOR which says that more than 60 percent of cruisers look for personalized shore excursion options during their cruise. Examples of the new, unique tours NCL plans to offer in Alaska, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico and South American ports are below.

  • Helsinki, Finland - Archipelago Speed Boat Adventure: Guests jump on board a high speed boat and enjoy the sites on the way toward the narrow straight "Kustaanmiekka," and then go full throttle. After getting a taste of the speed on water, guests will land ashore amidst the archipelago. Here, they will be treated to a Finish-style culinary experience and sample a taste of Finnish beer.

    Stockholm, Sweden - Rooftop Walk: During a guided walk conducted along the roofs of this historic city, guests will be stunned by the fantastic views and fascinating stories of a local guide. Tour locations include the Old Parliament Building, the Gamla Stan quarter and the Royal Palace.

    Livorno, Italy - 4x4 Rally Experience: From Lamborghinis to Ferraris, Italians have a passion for cars, and now NCL guests can too at the famous Rally Club of Barga. The experience begins at the pier where a 4x4 car and driver take guests for a ride of approximately one and a half hours through the Tuscan landscape. Once at the club, a professional driver gives tips on navigating the full mountain course where guests are able to drive through the obstacles.

    Valletta, Malta - Aerial View of Maltese Islands: Taking off from the spectacular Grand Harbor on a float plane, this 60-minute tour gives guests the chance to enjoy the beautiful archipelago from 1,500 feet in the air.

    Ketchikan, Alaska - NCL's Freestyle Private Touring: An Alaskan's Chef Table: A six-course tasting menu is planned to highlight Alaska's sustainable, wild bounty. A personal chef serves a succulent meal while sharing secret methods of brining, roasting, smoking and grilling.

    NCL also offers exclusive four- and nine-hour tours in a private vehicle—a car (up to two guests) or minivan (up to seven guests)—which allows complete freedom for guests to maximize their time by exploring only the places that interest them.

    For a complete list of NCL's ports, and Ultimate Touring and Shore Excursion options, please visit www.ncl.com/shorex.

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    6-26-08 Cunard Line Partners with The Royal Astronomical Society Cunard Line has a new partnership with The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) onboard its three ocean liners, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and QE2, as part of Cunard Insights, the Line's award-winning enrichment program. The RAS partnership begins this summer with RAS Fellows joining 15 voyages on popular itineraries including Queen Mary 2's Transatlantic Crossings and Caribbean voyages and Queen Victoria's Mediterranean sailings.

    RAS will offer custom night sky displays of constellations and star navigation instruction, and highlight astronomical points of interest using the SkyScan software in the only planetarium at sea onboard Queen Mary 2. Nighttime "Star Parties" on deck, informal discussion groups and formal lectures with leading astronomers, will also be distinguishing features of this first-at-sea program.

    RAS Fellows scheduled to sail in upcoming months include:

    Alan Fitzsimmons - Professor of Astronomy at Queen's University Belfast. Fitzsimmons is an expert on the solar system with a particular interest in killer asteroids. On board, Fitzsimmons' lecture topics will include "The Path of the Dinosaurs" and "The Life of Stars." He will sail on QE2's July 20 Mediterranean Mosaic voyage.

    Paul Murdin - Fellow, Institute of Astronomy and member of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge and Visiting Professor, John Moores University, Liverpool. Murdin has worked in five countries studying exploding stars and black holes. His topics include a discussion of the cosmic history of water, climate change and the universe's composition. He sails on QE2's August 27 Mediterranean Sojourn voyage.

    Dr. Alastair Gunn - Professional Astrophysicist, musician and author. Gunn's professional research relates to the extended atmospheres of highly active binary stars. He will sail on Queen Mary 2's November 15 westbound Transatlantic Crossing.

    Dr. Roberto Trotta - Lecturer at Imperial College, London, and former Lockyer Fellow of RAS at the Astrophysics Dept. of Oxford University and Fellow of St. Anne's College, Oxford. Trotta will tackle topics ranging from the "observable universe" highlighting the history of discoveries in the past five centuries, to the "invisible universe" and "implausible universe." He sails on Queen Mary 2's November 21 Caribbean Adventure voyage.

    Ian Ritpath - Astronomer, author and former Council member of the RAS. Ritpath is the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy and author of The Monthly Star Guide and Star Tales, in which he explores his particular interest in Greek myths of the constellations, the subject of one of his onboard discussions. He will sail on Queen Mary 2's November 29 Southern Caribbean Calypso voyage.

    Dr. Simon Mitton - Astrophysicist, Fellow of St. Edmund's College at the University of Cambridge and member of the Department for the History and Philosophy of Science, and Jacqueline Mitton, Astronomer, author and media spokesperson for RAS. Simon Mitton will share his 35 years of experience researching the origin and evolution of the universe, black holes and the highest energy objects in the universe. He also authored a biography of British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle. His wife is an award-winning author of children's books on astronomy and a frequent lecturer. The Mittons will sail on Queen Mary 2's December 9 Southern Caribbean Calypso voyage.

    Cunard Insights/RAS programmes in conjunction with The Royal Astronomical Society are featured on the following voyages:

    Queen Mary 2: Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing to Germany (July 22) Westbound Transatlantic Crossing from Germany (July 30) Westbound Transatlantic Crossing (Aug. 13) Westbound Transatlantic Crossing (Nov. 15) Caribbean Adventure (Nov. 21) Southern Caribbean Calypso (Nov. 29) Southern Caribbean Calypso (Dec. 9) Caribbean Celebration (Dec. 19)

    Queen Victoria: Legends of the Mediterranean (Aug. 25) Connoisseur's Mediterranean (Nov. 29)

    QE2: Land of the Midnight Sun (June 2) Mediterranean Mosaic (July 20) Taste of Mediterranean (Aug 12) Mediterranean Sojourn (Aug. 27)

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    6-25-08 California Kills State "Cruise Safety" Bill The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a California state bill to place "ocean rangers" on cruise ships, funded by a $3 per person head tax, has been effectively killed by a state legislative panel.

    The bill was presented with great fanfare by a state senator, Joe Simitian, who had been lobbied heavily by people who call themselves "cruise victims."

    Reportedly, the cruise lines also lobbied heavily. In the end, the panel vote was two for and two against, with three abstentions. A majority was needed to get the bill through.

    The bill was called "the most stringent regulation in an industry that victim-rights advocates contend is governed by a vague web of federal and international rules that allows crime and crime reporting to fall through the cracks." CruiseMates contends that while that may have been true in the distant past, the cruise lines have been reporting crimes to the FBI and local authorities since 1999, and following U.S. congressional mandates to report ALL potential crimes voluntarily to the FBI for the last two years. The federal government has jurisdiction in Maritime matters according the constitutional law.

    The ocean rangers were to be combined certified peace officers and licensed marine engineers who would monitor public safety and ensure that ships complied with environmental laws that prohibit dumping. The problem, as CruiseMates sees it, was that the rangers only had legal jurisdiction for crimes while the ships were in California waters, up to 12 miles from the coast. In addition, it is hard to find people qualified in both police science and marine biology.

    Another factor is the actually very low crime rate on cruise ships which shows that the while the need for a peace officer on a cruise ship may have been a benefit in literally a few cases, the article quotes Royal Caribbean's head of Security, Gary Bald, as saying that out of 140 sailings only five crimes were reported by passengers onboard Royal Caribbean ships departing from California in the last nine months.

    Yet another factor may be the fact that U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts just announced this week that he will bring federal legislation forward to address cruise ship safety.

    One victim of a serious possible crime on a cruise ship sailing out of California, Jamie Barnett, was understandably upset. Her daughter died of an overdose of the opiate Methadone. Tests show the young lady did not use drugs. However, the methadone was brought onboard by the young lady's boyfriend with whom she was sharing a cabin. How or why Ashley ingested the drug is not known, however, it seems very clear that this is not a case where an "ocean ranger" could have prevented what happened.

    Carnival Cruise Lines did respond to the event onboard immediately, once Ashley's boyfriend reported her not breathing. A nurse was in the cabin within three minutes, but Ashley was cold and unresponsive. The nurse called the Barnett family and told them Ashley had passed. The Barnetts asked to speak to the boyfriend, but the nurse replied that he was being questioned.

    The methadone had been smuggled onboard by the boyfriend in a Nyquil bottle. It is thought Ashley may have ingested it by mistake, even though she had apparently previously known the substance was not Nyquil.

    Ashleys body was left in Ensenada, Mexico, and the Mexican local police began an investigation. The boy was held on the ship until it returned to Los Angeles. At that point, the FBI boarded and took over the investigation. The boyfriend was questioned at length, but not charged with a crime.

    Later, it is reported by CBS news, Carnival supplied the Barnett family with vast amounts of documentation and even gave the family a personal meeting with the company in Miami. The police in Ensenada Mexico and the FBI also have open investigations for this case. To this date, nothing has been resolved.

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    6-24-08 Carnival Dream: Largest "Fun Ship" Ever, to Debut Sept. 2009 Carnival's largest ship ever, the 3,646-Passenger and 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, will debut in Europe in September 2009, and will launch year-round service from Port Canaveral in December, 2009.

    Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the 3,646-passenger SuperLiner will be a new class of vessel for Carnival Cruise Line. With a new layout, sleek hull and distinctive profile, Carnival says the Dream is designed as the ultimate vacation experience.

    Unique features of the Carnival Dream include a new concept in entertainment called The Piazza, a mid-ships indoor/outdoor café and live music venue; the most elaborate children's facilities at sea, including expansive play areas and a huge Carnival WaterWorks aqua park; "scenic whirlpools" that extend over the ship's beam; and a variety of new stateroom categories, including those specifically catering to families. Carnival Dream will also offer many other exciting and innovative features that will be announced in the coming months.

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    Carnival Dream   Outdoor Café

    Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO, says, "We've taken everything we've learned about shipbuilding and incorporated it into Carnival Dream. By offering the widest variety of all-inclusive facilities and features at sea, we will create fun, memorable vacations for our guests, all at an incredible value. From a bold new entertainment concept called The Piazza to innovative new larger stateroom categories and the most elaborate children's facilities ever featured on any Carnival 'Fun Ship' - all of which are included in the initial cruise fare and accessible to everyone on board. - Carnival Dream was specifically designed with our valued guests in mind," he added.

    Inaugural Schedule

    Carnival Dream is scheduled to enter service September 21, 2009, with an inaugural 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruise from Rome (Civitavecchia) featuring seven ports: Naples, Livorno and Venice (two-day call), Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Messina, Sicily; Monaco; and Barcelona, Spain.

    Two additional 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruises will be offered on October 3 and October 15, 2009.

    The ship will then sail on a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing departing Rome (Civitavecchia) Oct. 27 and arriving New York Nov. 12, 2009. Featured ports include Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and Malaga, Spain; Las Palmas, Canary Islands; and King's Wharf, Bermuda (overnight call).

    From New York, Carnival Dream will operate two eight-day Bahamas/Florida cruises departing Nov. 15 and 23, 2009. These voyages include a call at Port Canaveral (in proximity to Orlando-area attractions), followed by a visit to Nassau and Freeport in The Bahamas.

    Year-Round Cruising From Port Canaveral

    Following its New York departures, Carnival Dream will reposition to Port Canaveral, Fla., where it will launch year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises Dec. 5, 2009. On its new Port Canaveral-based program, Carnival Dream will depart every Saturday on alternating weeklong cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean cruises will call at Nassau; St. Thomas/St. John, U.S.V.I.; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles; while exotic Western Caribbean voyages will visit Cozumel; Belize; Costa Maya; and Nassau. Carnival Dream will assume this route from the Carnival Glory, which will be redeployed to Miami to operate year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning October 3, 2009.

    Unique Features and Facilities

    With a berth capacity of 3,646 passengers and spanning 1,004 feet in length, Carnival Dream is the largest and longest "Fun Ship" ever constructed and the line has made use of the vessel's added size by creating some on-board facilities and features never offered on a carnival ship before.

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    Outdoor Cafe 1   Aft Lido Pool

    Among the ship's many highlights is The Piazza. Designed as a comfortable oasis during the day and a bustling entertainment complex at night, this breathtaking indoor/outdoor café and live music venue will feature a bandstand where a variety of musical genres will be showcased, along with a large circular dance floor. A massive floor-to-ceiling curved glass wall will separate the room, creating comfortable and spacious indoor and outdoor seating areas with stunning ocean views. Guests at The Piazza can also enjoy full bar service, along with an espresso bar offering gelato and a variety of dessert baked goods, along with high-speed Internet access.

    Carnival Dream will also take the traditional cruise-ship promenade to new heights with a half-mile, open-air promenade encircling the ship on Promenade Deck 5. Guests can take a stroll while enjoying spectacular ocean vistas, read a book, or just take in the sun from one of the many deck chairs that will line this unique open deck area.

    Along the expansive promenade, four "scenic whirlpools" cantilever out over the sea to provide magnificent sea views. Higher up, Lido Deck 10 will offer the most elaborate and expansive open-deck area of any Carnival ship with a tropical, resort-style main pool complete with a Seaside Theatre LED screen, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and numerous other features.

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    Dance Club   Outdoor Aft Lido Area

    A wide variety of lounges, bars and nightspots - including a new dance club concept offering indoor/outdoor access - will be accessible via an 11-deck-high atrium whose ground level will offer a cantilevered bandstand atop a massive dance floor. Other features include an expansive 23,750-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa - Carnival's largest and most elaborate health and wellness center to date.

    Innovative New Staterooms

    Particular attention was paid to Carnival Dream's accommodations, as several innovative new types of staterooms will be introduced. The line's first-ever "cove" balcony staterooms - located closer to the water line - offer beautiful sea views and exceptional value.

    New deluxe ocean view staterooms - featuring a unique, guest-friendly configuration with two bathrooms - will provide the ultimate in comfort and convenience for guests who can enjoy their unique spaciousness, particularly families. In addition to twin beds that convert to a king, ample closet space and elegant décor, the two-bathroom configuration will include one full bathroom and a second bathroom featuring a junior tub with shower and sink.

    There are even staterooms that can accommodate five guests - a rarity in new ship construction and also ideal for families. Additionally, there will be a wide selection of balcony staterooms and suites from which to choose - all offering the best in scenic cruising. Additionally, adjacent to Carnival Dream's luxurious Cloud 9 Spa will be 65 spa staterooms and suites which will offer guests a number of exclusive amenities and privileges.

    All Carnival Dream staterooms will feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows.

    Families Will Live the Dream

    Carnival Dream's numerous family-friendly amenities will include separate, purpose-built facilities for the line's three distinct children's programs: "Camp Carnival" for kids ages 2-11, "Circle C" for 12- to 14-year-olds, and "Club O2" for teens ages 15 to 17, along with a full schedule of morning-til-night activities catering to each age group.

    Sure to be a hit with guests of all ages will be Carnival WaterWorks, an expansive aqua park offering exhilarating water slides and various water spray apparatus. Carnival Dream will also be the first "Fun Ship" to feature a two-level miniature golf course.

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    Kid's Spray Pool   Dream Waterworks

    All this, combined with the spacious two-bathroom staterooms and an attractive and convenient Port Canaveral/Central Florida homeport, will make Carnival Dream an exceptional family vacation.

    Reservations Open July 1

    Reservations will be accepted for all of Carnival Dream's cruises starting July 1, 2008. A special online preview of the Carnival Dream is available now at carnival.com/dream. The site showcases a variety of the exciting features and amenities of this spectacular new ship.

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    6-20-08 New Itineraries for Oasis of the Seas Announced by Royal Caribbean Ship Opens For Sale September 3, 2008: Maiden Voyage Set for December 12, 2009.

    Royal Caribbean International announced seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries for the new ship's inaugural year, with the inaugural voyage planned for December 12, 2009. Bookings for Oasis of the Seas will open September 3, 2008. The ship's homeport is Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    Oasis of the Seas will begin her inaugural season with 19 consecutive seven-night sailings to the Eastern Caribbean, with ports of call at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas. Starting May 1, 2010, Oasis of the Seas will alternate its Eastern Caribbean itinerary with the Western Caribbean itinerary, which will call at Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private beach destination in Haiti; the new port of Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico.

    Royal Caribbean has been working closely with the ports on the Oasis of the Seas itineraries to ensure the guest experience is seamless when the ship visits. The cruise line and St. Maarten will enhance the guest welcome facilities, while Cozumel's pier will be widened. Approaches to the docks at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau also will be dredged.

    Royal Caribbean is working in partnership with the Port Authority of Jamaica to complete the new Falmouth Cruise Pier by March 2010, as well as establish the associated infrastructure necessary to welcome cruise ship guests. A historically important 18th-century settlement, Falmouth was a colonial center of Jamaica's sugar and fine rums industry. The town's rich history and Georgian architecture has most recently drawn the attention of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who has been a long time supporter of restoring historic buildings of Great Britain.

    Royal Caribbean also is working with the government of Haiti to construct a pier at Labadee, the cruise line's private beach destination. Additional plans are underway to expand guest offerings with an alpine coaster and fast-boat tours, among others, to complement Labadee's stunning Dragon's Breath Flight Line, which has proven to be one of the destination's most popular attractions.

    Oasis of the Seas will be the world's largest and most revolutionary ship introducing the cruise line's new neighborhood concept, which will provide vacationers with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences in seven themed areas based on their personal styles, preferences or moods. Boardwalk will be a breathtaking space for families. Inspired by the nostalgic seaside piers of yesteryear, Boardwalk will dynamically engage the entire family in classic fun -- whether young or just young at heart -- with eateries, retail outlets, and carnival games. An original, handcrafted carousel -- the first at sea -- will be the centerpiece of this vibrant neighborhood. Off the Boardwalk, the first amphitheater at sea, AquaTheater, will celebrate water with the largest freshwater pool found on a ship offering a full spectrum of activities and performances for guests. Created to offer two unique experiences, AquaTheater will allow guests to swim in the theater's magnificent kidney-shaped pool, relax on sun loungers located on tiered platforms surrounding the pool, and even take SCUBA lessons in the afternoon. At night, it will deliver a complete sensory experience playing on the element of surprise as audience members witness the venue come alive with heart-pounding theatrical performances featuring dramatic acrobatics, synchronized swimming, water ballet, and professional high-diving, as well as elaborate fountain shows synchronized to music and lights. Other surprises include two 43-foot rock-climbing walls on either side of the AquaTheater and the first zip-line at sea suspended nine decks above Boardwalk.

    Enhancements to the cruise line's signature Royal Promenade, the heart of the ship, will include a mezzanine level that overlooks the main promenade below. The Crystal Canopy sculptured-glass domes will allow natural light to cascade down from the sky. There will be a vast array of shopping, dining and entertainment options including, the Rising Tide bar, the first moving bar at sea, which will traverse three decks and allow cruisers to enjoy a cocktail as they slowly ascend into Central Park, the neighborhood above. Central Park, a revolutionary design in which the center of the ship opens to the sky, features lush, tropical grounds spanning the length of a football field. With its serene pathways, seasonal flower gardens and canopy trees, Central Park will evolve from a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere during the day to a gathering space for alfresco dining and entertainment in the evening, where guests will enjoy concerts and street performances.

    With the introduction of the neighborhood concept, Oasis of the Seas will debut a new portfolio of 37 categories of accommodation options, many with views unique to the ship. Park View and Boardwalk View balcony staterooms offer inward facing accommodations overlooking the two open-air neighborhoods. Another industry-first, the introduction of 28 contemporary two-level loft suites will redefine cruise ship accommodations with vibrant, ocean-inspired colors in a sophisticated and spacious setting. The lofts will be the highest accommodations at sea, offering spectacular views of the ocean, and floor-to-ceiling, double-height windows to ensure the view will be enjoyed from every vantage point. Other features among these coveted 28 lofts will be a unique modern design dotted with abstract, modern art pieces; spacious living areas on the lower level with contemporary detailing; and a private balcony with sun chairs and stunning views to help guests unwind. Each loft, which will measure 545 square feet (51 square meters) or larger when combined, and will be fitted in contemporary décor with a Caribbean influence. The impressive design will include an upper-level bedroom that overlooks the living area and extended ocean views. Beds will be outfitted with white, luxurious duvets complemented by tropical blue and green accents that tie into the loft's natural surroundings. The lofts will feature LCD televisions, separate vanity areas, a guest bathroom downstairs and an upstairs master bathroom featuring his and hers shower heads, fog-free mirrors, and limestone mosaic tile accents.

    When she launches in late 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons (GRT), carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line's new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, and the Royal Promenade. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at www.oasisoftheseas.com.

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    6-18-08 Royal Caribbean Announces New Oasis Neighborhood Features Royal Caribbean announced today in New York City a new neighborhood concept for their forth-coming new cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, slated to be the first of an entirely new class of ship and the next "largest cruise ship in the world" by some 40% over the exisiting largest cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas,

    The new neighborhood is known as "Boardwalk," and it is inspired by the "nostalgic seaside piers of yesteryear." It also features the first amphitheater at sea, AquaTheater, a huge largest freshwater pool with stages and high dives built into the stern of the ship with several rows of theater seating in front of it. The Aquatheater pool will offer activities for guests and surprise performances of high diving, synchronized swimming and other water acrobatics fthroughout the day.

    Boardwalk is a new neighborhood said to be reminiscent of the piers that dot the coast of England and amusement parks such as Coney Island. Features of Boardwalk include eateries, retail outlets and carnival games. An original, handcrafted carousel - the first at sea - will be the centerpiece of this vibrant neighborhood. Other surprises announced today include two rock-climbing walls and the first zip-line at sea suspended nine decks above Boardwalk.

    Central Park is just forward of Boardwalk on the same open air deck above Royal promenade, so Boardwalk and the grass-lawned "Central Park" neighborhood which was introduced in April both include similar sky-lights for natural light made to cascade down to the Royal Promenade through Crystal Canopy sculptured glass domes.

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    Amphitheater   Boardwalk

    AquaTheater, created to offer two unique experiences, will allow guests to swim in the theater's magnificent kidney-shaped fresh-water pool, relax on sun loungers located on tiered platforms surrounding the pool, and even take SCUBA lessons in the afternoon. At night, it will deliver a complete sensory experience playing on the element of surprise as audience members witness the venue come alive with heart-pounding theatrical performances featuring dramatic acrobatics, synchronized swimming, water ballet, and professional high-diving, as well as elaborate fountain shows synchronized to music and lights.

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    Two Deck Loft Suite   Two Deck Stateroom

    The introduction of 28 contemporary two-level loft suites will redefine cruise ship accommodations with vibrant, ocean-inspired colors in a sophisticated and spacious setting. The lofts will feature spectacular views of the ocean with floor-to-ceiling, double-height windows to ensure the view will be enjoyed from each and every vantage point. The signature lofts will round out a new portfolio of 37 categories of accommodation options, many with views unique to Oasis of the Seas.

    Royal Promenade, the heart of the ship, will include a mezzanine level that overlooks the main promenade below. The Royal Promenade will be home to a vast array of shopping, dining and entertainment options including the Rising Tide bar, the first moving bar at sea, which will traverse three decks and allow cruisers to enjoy a cocktail as they slowly ascend into Central Park. A focal point will be a giant copper globe sculpture built into the facade above the Globe and Atlas Pub, which will "crack open" to create a spectacular, surprise element for guests, as it unfurls on hinged hydraulics and becomes a bridge platform for performances. Other options include the cruise line's popular Schooner Bar and Champagne Bar; the new Mondo Coffee Bar; Focus, a photo shop and gallery; and the ever-popular Boleros Latin dance club.

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    Central Park   Royal Promenade

    When she launches in late 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. She will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons (GRT), carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line's new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, and the Royal Promenade (nore to be announced). The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Additional information is available at www.oasisoftheseas.com.

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    6-16-08 MSC Offers Family Cruise Incentives MSC Cruises has implmented several incentives for families to book cruises on an MSC Cruises ship. Children ages 17 and under sail free on all MSC Cruises' itineraries when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults.

    MSC Cruises' ships are kid friendly, offering daily entertainment and plenty of space for running, exploring, diving, swimming and playing. The crew is specially trained to handle the specific needs of children of all ages - including the youngest. Each ship has cheerful, colorful, safe play areas.

    Special activity leaders organize age-appropriate fun activities, with ages 3-9 in the Mini Club, 9-13 in the Juniors Club, and 14-17 in the Teenagers Club.

    MSC Cruises also offers MY Teen Card. This personalized card, which can be used like a credit/cruise card, allows children ages 12-17 to spend small amounts of money on board.

    Each card comes with a bonus amount. In the Caribbean, a $30 card purchase comes with a $5 bonus (a total card value of $35); a $50 card purchase comes with $10 bonus, for a total value of $60.

    In the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, a €30 card comes with a €5 bonus, making it a €35 card, and a €50 card comes with a €10 bonus, making it a €60 card. Dollars are used on Caribbean cruises instead of Euros.

    Children's menus offer Italian favorites like pasta and pizza, All-American favorites such as hamburgers and hot dogs and numerous tantalizing pastries and desserts.

    Knowing the youngsters are with the expert staff, parents can relax and enjoy the sun or the pool, or unwind with a Turkish bath, an aromatic massage or a session at the fitness center.

    MSC Cruises also offers a 30% discount for children under age 14 with families who want to share a shore excursion experience.

    Cruise-only rates begin at $449 per person, double occupancy for a 7-night Caribbean cruise and $599 per person, double occupancy for a 7-night cruise in Europe. Government fees and taxes for all guests are additional, as well as a fuel surcharge for the first and second guests in a stateroom.

    For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.msccruisesusa.com or your local travel professional.

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    6-12-08 Disney Magic Pays Record Amount to Cruise Through Panama Canal The 964-foot-long Disney Cruises flagship, Disney Magic, paid a record amount for a cruise ever, $283,400, to cross the Panama Canal. The vessel crossed on May 16, 2008, according to the Panama Canal Authority. The ship is registered in the Bahama and sails out of Port Canaveral, Florida.

    Panama increased canal fees last year and now charges cruise liners according to number of beds rather than cargo capacity. The "Disney Magic" has 875 staterooms. The price of buying a slot does not include the normal tariff, which varies according to weight.

    This is not the highest amount ever paid, however, as three container ships also recently paid more than $313,000. Waiting times to enter the canal increased by a third in the first three months of this year, compared with the same period in 2007, due to a high traffic levels at the canal. The number of passenger and cruise ships crossing the canal increased by 30 percent in the same period.

    Non-reserved slots for crossing the canal are sold at auction to the highest bidder, with yachts, cruise liners and container vessels all competing for limited spaces.

    Panama is trying to establish itself as a cruise ship destination. But an increase in cruise ships using the canal worries shipping firms that container carriers may be forced to pay ever-higher prices, or face waits of up six days, to receive a canal slot.

    The Panama Canal is a 50-mile (80-km) waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific that allows cruise ships to journey from the Caribbean to the Pacific. Companies shipping goods between the U.S. East and West Coasts are willing to pay higher prices to cross the canal to save time sailing around South America or docking at ports in Mexico and Central America and transporting them over land.

    Last year, the U.S.-built canal started a $5.25 billion expansion plan, but work won't be completed until 2014.

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    6-9-08 British Celebrity Myleene Klass to be Carnival Splendor Godmother British celebrity Myleene Klass, a chart-topping musican, singer and television personality, is to be godmother of the new Carnival Splendor and will preside over the official naming ceremony for the newest "Fun Ship" in Dover, England on July 10, 2008. At 113,300 tons and carrying up to 4,914 passengers, the Carnival Splendor will be the largest passenger ship ever to sail from the Kent port chosen for this summer's UK inaugural voyage departures.

    To emphasize its choice of Britain to launch the Carnival Splendor, Carnival will also mark another first by dispensing with the traditional champagne and using the highly acclaimed Nyetimber English Sparkling wine to smash against the hull.

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    Myleene Klass   Nyetimber

    Myleene Klass is a classically trained musician and singer with success on both the pop and classical charts in the U.K. She is also a popular TV presenter who has hosted British TV shows and currently hosts "The Screening Room" on CNN International, as well as the British radio program Classic FM Breakfast Show. Additionally, in 2007 she became the face of renowned British retailer Marks & Spencer and is currently featured in billboards, retail displays and television advertising throughout Britain.

    Myleene Klass said, "I am very excited, and a little nervous, at becoming a ship's godmother for the first time, especially when it involves naming a ship the size of the Carnival Splendor. But my family is very connected with ships as my father served in the Merchant Navy."

    Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill said, "Myleene is the perfect godmother to name Carnival Splendor, with her many talents complementing the many features of the ship... The British cruising market is growing fast, with over 1.3 million taking cruises from the UK last year, and this is why we have chosen Britain for our inaugural summer season for Carnival Splendor."

    Nyetimber owner Eric Heerema said, "We are honoured that Carnival should choose Nyetimber 1994 Blanc de Blancs in preference to champagne for such a traditional occasion. The only problem is that we have such limited stocks of the 1994 vintage left that we were loath to lose even a bottle, but this is further important international recognition of the quality of our sparkling wine produced in West Sussex." Nyetimber is served at leading restaurants including Le Gavroche, Gordon Ramsey's Petrus, Chewton Glen and The Dorchester, and has been served at 10 Downing Street and by Her Majesty The Queen at many state occasions.

    Carnival Splendor offers a comprehensive selection of restaurants, entertainment, four swimming pools, a 5,500-square-foot children's play area and Carnival's largest-ever floating spa featuring a thalassotherapy pool, thermal suite and 17 treatment rooms.

    Following the naming ceremony, the Carnival Splendor sets sail for a three-day mini preview cruise to Amsterdam, returning to Dover on July 13, when it will depart the same day for its official inaugural 12-day cruise to the Baltic countries, visiting Copenhagen, Warnemunde (for Berlin), Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Amsterdam. At the conclusion of its European program, which also includes a series of Mediterranean voyages, the Carnival Splendor will reposition to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for seven-day Caribbean departures. Following a series of 14- to 18-day South America voyages, Carnival Splendor begins year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, Calif., March 29, 2009.

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    6-9-08 Bermuda to Allow Late-night Casino Play in Port The Bermuda Royal Gazette is reporting that the government of Bermuda has ruled to allow gambling and onboard shopping on cruise ships late at night - after 10:00 p.m. The reasoning is that Bermuda needs to compete with other cruise destinations and that the laws were making the isolated island less attravtive to cruisers.

    Bermuda is a solitary island due east of South Carolina. When cruise ships visit the islnd, they generally spend two days at sea to reach it, three days in port, and the two days returning. There are no other islands close by for ships to relocate to, so the ships remain docked. Previously, the ships were not allowed to open onboard services that would compete with local services, such as onboard shopping. Casino gambling is currently not allowed onshore in Bermuda.

    Some cruise lines relocate the ship between the two ports, Hamilton and St George, to give them time at sea to open the casino and other onboard revenue sources at night. But many ships do not do this re-location.

    There is a great deal of oppostition to this plan within the island community which opposes gambling, but island residents will not be allowed on the ships to gamble. Also, in exchange for the privilege, the cruise lines will be expected to contribute to local Bermuda funds to help promote locals arts and music shows.

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    6-6-08 Carnival to launch year-round cruises from Baltimore Carnival Cruise Lines will launch the first year-round cruise program from the Port of Baltimore with seven-day cruises aboard the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride beginning in fall 2009.

    The new program kicks off September 13, 2009, and encompasses two different weeklong itineraries departing Sundays from the historic Maryland port.

    Baltimore's first year-round cruise program will feature a variety of interesting ports on two distinctly different seven-day itineraries. Exotic Eastern Caribbean departures will call at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay; and Freeport, The Bahamas; while Bahamas/Florida departures visit Port Canaveral, Fla.; and Nassau and Freeport, The Bahamas.

    It is expected that the Carnival Pride will carry more than 115,000 guests annually from the Port of Baltimore. Including its new Baltimore-based program, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate from 17 North American departure points, including 11 year-round homeports - the most of any cruise operator.

    Year-Round Cruising From Baltimore

    Carnival Pride's year-round seven-day cruises from Baltimore will visit popular destinations in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

    Carnival Pride's Exotic Eastern Caribbean cruises from Baltimore feature Grand Turk, a 10.5-square-mile island paradise which offers crystal-clear waters that attract snorkelers and divers the world over.

    Ships dock at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, a modern facility offering an 800-foot-long private beach, a Margaritaville-themed restaurant and a variety of retail shops.

    Also featured is Half Moon Cay, a crescent-shaped private island offering beautiful beaches and a diversity of watersports opportunities, along with a children's aqua park and beachside cabanas.

    The third destination on this itinerary, Freeport, The Bahamas, is the island chain's second largest city with excellent shopping at the International Bazaar and the Port Lucaya Marketplace, along with stunning beaches and exciting golf opportunities.

    Seven-day Bahamas/Florida cruises call at Port Canaveral, located on Florida's Space Coast and in close proximity to Orlando-area theme parks and attractions, as well as the world famous Kennedy Space Center. Visitors also enjoy the area's gorgeous white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

    Other ports include Nassau, the historic Bahamian capital known for its outstanding duty-free bargains, beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere. During their visit in Nassau, guests can tour a variety of historical sites, including centuries-old forts. A daylong visit to Freeport rounds out this itinerary.

    Special Six-Day Voyage from Baltimore

    Prior to the start-up of year-round seven-day cruises, Carnival Pride will operate a special one-time six-day departure round-trip from Baltimore September 7-13, 2009. Featured ports on this voyage include Freeport and Port Canaveral.

    'Fun Ship' Carnival Pride

    The 88,500-ton Carnival Pride offers a host of facilities and features, including indoor and outdoor promenades, a wedding chapel, and an elegant reservations-only supper club located at the top of a soaring nine-deck-high atrium and accessible by a glass staircase, just one of several different dining venues on board.

    Other features include a ship-long promenade with a variety of lounges, bars and nightspots, including a multi-level theater showcasing lavish production revues. Family friendly amenities include organized programs for three different age groups - "Camp Carnival" for younger kids, "Circle C" for 12- to 14-year-olds, and "Club O2" for older teens - with supervised activities and expansive facilities for each.

    Carnival Pride also offers a variety of accommodations including a wide selection of balcony staterooms and suites - perfect for scenic cruising. All Carnival Pride accommodations feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows.

    Carnival Pride also houses an Internet Cafe, along with ship-wide Wi-Fi access and cell phone service.

    Reservations

    Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Pride's new departures from Baltimore. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air supplements from a variety of North American gateways and pre- and post-cruise Baltimore land stays, are also available.

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    6-3-08 Her Majesty the Queen Bids Farewell to QE2 In recognition of Cunard's longest-serving ocean liner leaving the fleet in November, Her Majesty The Queen made her farewell visit to Queen Elizabeth 2 in Southampton on June 2, 2008.

    The Queen began by touring the vessel and meeting many crew members, some of whom have served on board since QE2 entered service in 1969 and others who went with the ship when she was requisitioned as a troop carrier in the Falklands Conflict. Later she attended a reception and lunch on board with 300 guests, including former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

    While on the bridge, The Queen gave a signal to sound QE2's whistle to salute Cunard's current flagship Queen Mary 2, which was also in port today and was named by The Queen in January 2004. Queen Mary 2 responded by sounding her whistle in salute of Her Majesty's visit. After disembarking, Her Majesty was presented with 55 red roses by QE2's Executive Housekeeper Roz Price Evans who is the longest-serving female member of crew; the gesture marked 55 years to the day since The Queen's Coronation.

    The Queen also met nine QE2 Captains including Captain Peter Jackson who became Master of QE2 in 1973 and who took the ship to the Falklands in 1982.

    Her Majesty The Queen has visited QE2 twice since the launch - on May 1, 1969, immediately prior the Maiden Voyage, and on July 27, 1990 to mark Cunard Line's 150th anniversary.

    "We are delighted and honoured that Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to visit QE2 to wish her farewell. Her Majesty has taken a close interest in the ship over the last forty years, having launched the ship, visited twice and reviewed the ship four times, including during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of D Day. I am certain this final visit will be a memorable occasion for all involved," said Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line.

    QE2, the most famous ship in the world, and for 35 years the flagship of the Cunard fleet, was launched by The Queen at Clydebank on September 20, 1967 - forty years ago last year.

    Since then the ship has travelled over 5.6 million nautical miles, more than any other ship; has carried over 2.5 million guests; has completed 25 World Cruises; and has crossed the Atlantic 803 times. She leaves Cunard service in November 2008 prior to starting a new life in Dubai as a first class hotel and entertainment destination.

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    6-3-08 Monaco Royalty Honors Silversea Naming Ceremony In the heart of Monte Carlo's harbor Tuesday morning, the expedition ship Prince Albert II officially joined the Silversea fleet during a naming ceremony in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. As in the time-honored tradition, the dedication included a blessing of the ship by H.E. Monsignor Fabrice Gallo, Prelate of the Pope of Rome.

    Guests listened attentively to heartfelt speeches and then raised their glasses in a toast when the red and white ribbon (representing the heraldic colors of the Grimaldi family) was cut by HSH Prince Albert II, marking the launch of a new era in expedition cruising -- one that will offer authentic and respectful adventures from a base of easy-going luxury.

    "This is a very exciting and proud day for Silversea," said Manfredi Lefebvre, chairman of Silversea. "We are extremely honored that His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, has personally dedicated the ship that will bear his name. May her many journeys of discovery always honor His Serene Highness through a commitment to responsible travel."

    Added Silversea President and CEO, Amerigo Perasso, "It is indeed a great privilege that His Serene Highness is here with us today and is the namesake of our new ship. In keeping with his legacy of exploration and environmental conservation, it is our hope that by educating and connecting people with distant cultures and wildlife, the Prince Albert II can open eyes and foster respect and greater care for our planet and its inhabitants."

    Fresh from a multimillion dollar renovation, the Prince Albert II boasts the largest average size accommodations of any expedition ship. An unmatched selection of 20 premium suites has been created especially for the discriminating traveler with 350 to 675 square feet of luxurious living space, double private French balconies or large private verandas, and additional elite amenities including butler service. All 66 ocean-view accommodations are tastefully appointed and have private marble bathrooms with bathtubs.

    The Prince Albert II welcomes her first guests on June 12 as she sets sail from London on an Inaugural Season of voyages of 10 to 22 days focusing on polar adventures. Sailing first to the Arctic Circle, Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland for the summer, the ship will then reposition to South America and Antarctica for autumn and winter voyages.

    Silversea is a provisional member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), dedicated to managing respectable, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruising in the Arctic. The company has also joined the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO). This important organization promotes and practices safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica. In addition, Silversea plans to voluntarily adopt and apply similar operating procedures in all other destinations where the Prince Albert II will operate.

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    6-3-08 Norwegian Pearl Wins Port of San Francisco Cruise Ship Environmental Award Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that Norwegian Pearl recently received the Port of San Francisco's Cruise Ship Environmental Award. In 2007, Norwegian Sun was honored with the same award.

    The Port's program recognizes annually those cruise ships whose on-board environmental systems help decrease air and water pollution. The three categories evaluated are air emission reduction, wastewater treatment and recycling and disposal programs for solid waste.

    "It's an honor for Norwegian Pearl to be recognized by the Port of San Francisco for the environmental standards and practices we have in place to protect the waters on which we sail and earn our livelihood," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "We have shown our commitment to maintaining the highest level of environmental protection standards by using low-sulfur fuels, reducing air emissions, efficiently and effectively treating our wastewater and recycling and disposing properly of solid waste while in port."

    The Cruise Ship Environmental Award was created by the Port of San Francisco's Cruise Terminal Environmental Advisory Committee (CTEAC). Established in 2003, CTEAC advises the Port Commission on cruise ship-related water and air quality issues. Committee members include regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, organized labor, community groups and maritime industry representatives.

    "The Port of San Francisco is pleased to acknowledge ... Norwegian Pearl for going above and beyond the existing regulations to preserve and protect the air and water quality of San Francisco Bay and beyond," said Peter Dailey, maritime director for the Port of San Francisco. "We sincerely appreciate Norwegian Cruise Line's commitment to safeguarding the environment."

    Norwegian Pearl accommodates more than 2,400 guests and includes a world of innovative features and amenities, including 10 restaurants, 13 bars and lounges, two swimming pools and a casino. The ship also features an industry first - a four-lane, ten-pin bowling alley at sea and an impressive 30 foot rock climbing wall. Norwegian Pearl offers five- and nine-day sailings to the Western and Southern Caribbean, seven-day Alaska and nineteen-day Panama Canal itineraries.

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    6-2-08 NCL - First to Offer Botox Treatments at Sea Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), in partnership with Steiner Transocean, LLC ("Steiner"), announced today that it is the first cruise line to offer BOTOX® Cosmetic, Restylane® and Perlane® facial aesthetic treatments in its Mandara-operated spas. The treatments, which are part of Mandara's medi-spa program, are currently available on select NCL ships, including Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Spirit, with plans to launch fleet-wide this fall.

    All of the facial aesthetic treatments are under the supervision of Steiner's Medical Director, Dr. Brad Herman, a Miami-based, board-certified plastic surgeon and his team of medically-licensed doctors who have been trained specifically in the administration of these treatments.

    "Our spas are the best at sea and we are continually looking for ways to enhance the guest experience on board our ships," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "By being the first to offer these popular medi-spa treatments, we are furthering the tradition of NCL-led innovation in the cruise industry."

    Leonard Fluxman, president and chief executive officer of Steiner Leisure, said, "We believe this expansion of our medi-spa services provides yet another opportunity to perpetuate our philosophy of imparting inner and outer beauty for our guests. As beauty and wellness needs continue to evolve, we always strive to present our guests with a premium selection of treatments that suit their individual lifestyle and preferences."

    BOTOX® Cosmetic is a simple, non-surgical treatment that can safely and effectively soften lines and reduce wrinkles. BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used therapeutically for over 18 years, and according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, has been the number one non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the US since its FDA approval for cosmetic use in 2002.

    Guests who want to reduce lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth can opt for the number one selling dermal filler in the United States: Restylane® or its sister product Perlane®. Restylane® and Perlane® treatments can provide volume and fullness to the skin with instantaneous and long-lasting results. Guests can schedule a 30-minute consultation with the medi-spa physician on board who will create an individualized treatment plan.

    These medi-spa treatments supplement NCL's wide-range of skin, body, massage, and hair and nail care already available on board. Other treatments available at sea include GoSmile Tooth Whitening, Microdermabrasion and Ionithermie Cellulite Reduction Program, a body contouring treatment instantly improving the look of cellulite.

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