Cruise News

Cruise News Archive
Sail with us and your friends

News Archive - March 2002
back to archive listing

Celebrity Cancels Sailings
Celebrity Cruises has announced that Summit and Infinity will both make unscheduled dry-docks and that the several departures will be cancelled. Both vessels require propulsion pod repairs. Summit will cancel a March 29 sailing from Fort Lauderdale, and an 11-night cruise April 8 will be shortened to a seven-night sailing April 12. Guests on the shorter voyage will receive a 50-percent refund. Infinity will miss her April 13 and 20 sailings from San Juan. In addition, Infinity will modify two itineraries. The April 6 sailing, originally a roundtrip from San Juan, now will originate in San Juan and terminate in Fort Lauderdale. The April 27 Transcanal sailing, originally from San Juan to San Diego, now will operate from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego.

Celebrity has established a special Help Desk to assist guests and travel agents with rebooking, air transportation and other issues. That toll free number is 1-888-305-4626.
Back to Top

Weekend Cruise News
*** Princess Cruises has announced that both 109,000-ton Grand Princess and Golden Princess will call in Istanbul and Kusadasi, Istanbul in 2003. Turkey and Greece are the two Mediterranean countries suffering the most this summer after cruise companies cancelled port calls right after September 11.

*** Carnival is adding a two-night pre- or post-cruise hotel option in Alaska during the 2002 season. Available in conjunction with seven-day cruises aboard the Carnival Spirit, the two-night land package features a visit to Talkeetna, Alaska, including a river safari by jet boat and nature hike, an overnight stay at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, a drive along Turnagain Arm, and a visit to the Alyeska Resort, including a tram ride up Mount Alyeska and lunch at a mountain-top restaurant. The package also includes an overnight hotel stay in Anchorage. Per person, double occupancy rates begin at $580.

*** Carnival Corporation has confirmed its intention to sell the Patriot, formerly Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam. The Patriot sailed for the new-defunct American Classic Voyages.

*** Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has announced that it will deploy a second vessel to Alaska in 2003. While the cruise line didn't mention which vessel will join Norwegian Sky in cruises from Seattle, the company has booked the pier for Saturday and Sunday departures during next year's season.

*** Following several delays, the residents of the World of ResidenSea have begun to board their new home. The first owners moved in on March 28 in Oslo, Norway. Residents will continue to board as the World sails a revised schedule for April which includes calls at Hamburg, London, Portugal, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Spain. A highlight of the Spring sailings is a visit to the French Riviera in May for the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix. Those not able to purchase a suite on board the ship, may book a guest suite for individual cruises on board the word's first resort community at sea.
Back to Top

Weekend Cruise News
*** The 74th annual Academy Awards will be featured on board the ships of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises this Sunday. The gala event will be aired in various lounges and theaters onboard, with special decorations, themed events, drink specials and look-alike contests to heighten the excitement. Hollywood trivia contests directed by the Cruise Director and staff, including "Guess That Best Picture," "Best Song, Name that Tune," and "Who's Who of Oscar Winners" will set the stage for the actual show. Guests will be able to cast their ballots for their favorite nominees for fun prizes. Very Berry Bubbles, Beautiful Mind Eraser, Woo Woolin Rouge and many other drink specials will pay tribute to Hollywood's best actors, movies and directors.

***Crystal Cruises has an added an excellent lineup of speakers for the Crystal Visions enrichment program. Special guest lecturers, authorities in the fields of science, medicine and history will sail on board Crystal Harmony and Symphony in the Caribbean and Panama Canal this fall. In addition, the following special theme cruises are scheduled:

  • The Yoga, Health & Fitness cruise on board Crystal Symphony, November 29, will feature Dr. John C. McMichan former Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, critical care and herbal medicine expert, and teacher; certified yoga instructor Marnie Neve, who also holds degrees in both theatre and counseling psychology; and award-wining medical writer, columnist and teaching hospital administrator, Ruth Jacobowitz, whose books include The Estrogen Answer Book and 150 Most-Asked Questions About Midlife Sex, Love and Intimacy.

  • Tom Hook and the Terrier Brothers, headliners of the Jazz & Blues cruise, will perform concerts and dance sets of jazz and the blues while Crystal Harmony cruises from Acapulco to New Orleans, October 16.

  • For the Fall Crystal Food and Wine Festival cruises, guest chefs will include Sherry Yard, executive pastry chef, Spago in Beverly Hills; Tim Keating, executive chef, Houston's Four Seasons Hotel; and master sommelier Evan Goldstein. The culinary theme cruises take place on board Crystal Harmony, Oct. 27, Nov. 7, and Nov. 18.

*** Holland America Line has announced a 24-day Fall Mediterranean/Transatlantic cruise for Noordam. The voyage begins November 10, 2002 with an overnight stay on board the ship in Civitavecchia, Italy, the port for Rome, and ends in Ft. Lauderdale on December 4. Ports of call along the way include Naples for the Isle of Capri, Pompeii and Sorrento; Messina, Sicily; Livorno, Italy, featuring optional tours to Florence and Pisa; Valletta, Malta; Ajaccio, Corsica; Villefrache, France, with tours to Cannes, Grasse/St. Paul de Vence, and Monaco; Barcelona, Alicante and Cadiz (for Seville), Spain; Gibraltar; Lisbon, Portugal; Casablanca, Morocco; Funchal, Madeira and Half Moon Cay, the company's private Bahamian island.

***Windstar has released a new brochure for Wind Song's Tahiti cruises. The vessel will position from Auckland, New Zealand to Tahiti May 1, 2002 on a 14-day voyage. Sailing in the wake of explorer Captain James Cook, Wind Song calls at the Cook Island ports of Rarotonga, Aitutaki, and Atiu. The May 14, 2002 10-day "Tahiti Maeva" welcome back sailing will have Windstar's 2002 brochure artist Christopher Corr and local dignitaries on board. The voyage celebrates Wind Song's return to her native islands sailing round trip from Papeete, Tahiti, with stops in Rangiroa, Arutua, Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea. On May 24, 2002 Wind Song begins its regularly scheduled seven-day cruises departing every Friday through December of 2002 which call at the islands of Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea. Overnight calls are featured on all islands except Huahine. To request a copy of the "Tahiti and Her Islands" brochure call 1-87-STAR-SAIL (1-877-827-7245.)

*** Silver Wind will return to service of Silversea Cruises next February 28, 2003. The vessel has been out of service since late 2002 as a result of 9/11 events. Silver Wind will sail from Athens through the middle east to Singapore where a series of cruises in the Far East commence April 6, 2003. These voyages take Silver Wind to ports in Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Taipei, Indonesia and Malaysia. From September 7 to the end of the year Silver Wind calls in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

*** Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step on the moon during the Apollo XI moon landing, is scheduled to be a special guest aboard two upcoming cruises. Aldrin will lecture and meet passengers on board Royal Princess during the 10-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale April 12. Appropriately, this voyage visits the Panama Canal, considered the moon shot of its day when it was constructed early last century. Other ports of call are Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Cartagena , Colombia and Limon Costa Rica.

Aldrin will also be onboard Cruise West's Spirit of Oceanus for the May 28 "Voyage to the Bering Sea". Passengers will have a chance to meet Buzz and his wife, Lois, during this 13-night cruise from Whittier to Nome. Naturalists Tim and Patty Hostiuck will also join this cruise as well as a Kodak Ambassador, photography specialist, who will be on hand to assist passengers with capturing the perfect shot. The 114-passenger Spirit of Oceanus will call at Kodiak, Homer, Dutch Harbor, Gambeltt Yanrakynnet in the Russian Far East, Pribliofs Islands and Little Diomede on the special voyage.

*** Royal Caribbean International has added a number of new shore excursions to its Alaska cruises and cruisetours. A jeep excursion from Skagway in the Yukon Territory gives passengers a chance to navigate a four-person-off-road jeep Wrangler to the historic village of Carcross with views of Pitchfork Falls and Moore Bridge along the way. For wildlife viewing, the Orca Point Lodge and Cruise excursion takes you on the deluxe whale watching boat from Auke Bay to Orca Point for the chance to view whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions and bald eagles. RCI has gained two more dome rail carriages for cruisetours to Talkeetna, Fairbanks, Alyeska, Denali and Anchorage. A selection of 13 cruisetours are available this season ranging from nine to 13 nights. RCI is sending Radiance of the Seas, Vision of the Seas and Legend of the Seas to Alaska for 2002.
Back to Top

Celebrity Cancels Sailings
Celebrity Cruises has announced that Summit and Infinity will both make unscheduled dry-docks and that the several departures will be cancelled. Both vessels require propulsion pod repairs. Summit will cancel a March 29 sailing from Fort Lauderdale, and an 11-night cruise April 8 will be shortened to a seven-night sailing April 12. Guests on the shorter voyage will receive a 50-percent refund. Infinity will miss her April 13 and 20 sailings from San Juan. In addition, Infinity will modify two itineraries. The April 6 sailing, originally a roundtrip from San Juan, now will originate in San Juan and terminate in Fort Lauderdale. The April 27 Transcanal sailing, originally from San Juan to San Diego, now will operate from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego.

Celebrity has established a special Help Desk to assist guests and travel agents with rebooking, air transportation and other issues. That toll free number is 1-888-305-4626.
Back to Top

Weekend Cruise News
*** The World of ResidenSea has finally been delivered and residents will be able to board starting March 28 in Oslo, Norway. The delay in delivery has resulted in a new schedule and christening ceremonies in New York, April 19, have been cancelled. The vessel will remain in Europe this spring. Details of the new Christening ceremonies are yet to be announced. The World will visit the French Riviera in May so that residents may attend the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. It is possible to sail on The World without purchasing a suite as guest suites are available for individual cruise segments.

*** A small fire in the aft funnel of Disney Magic prompted precautionary measures to be taken Thursday morning. Passengers were called to their emergency stations from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. while the fire was brought under control. There were no injuries and the Coast Guard did not need to board the vessel. Disney Magic was 200 miles northwest of San Juan when the fire was detected on a video monitor in the engine room by the officer on watch. Magic continued on course for Castaway Cay.

*** Carnival Cruise Lines marked its 30th anniversary last Monday, March 11, the date Mardi Gras set sail on the line's first cruise in 1972. Carnival plans a year of on board contests and promotions. Commemorative items have been created, a song recorded by Broadway star Andrea McArdle and the new '30 Years of Fun' logo, has been designed. A special Fun Ship Coors Light beer can has also been produced for sale in shipboard bars, restaurants and lounges.

*** Costa Marina has completed a dry-docking during which time the ship was converted for cruises devoted to the German market. Renovations included conversion of the disco into a club with a dance floor and buffet. The theatre and suites were also re-designed. Costa Marina will sail on 10 and 11-day itineraries in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe during spring, summer and fall. Winters will be spent in the Caribbean.

*** Cunard Line and Crystal Cruises have announced the appointment of renowned master chefs to create signature menus for their ships. French-born Daniel Boulud will join Cunard Line. Boulud owns and operates several eateries in New York including Cafe Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne and his restaurant, Daniel, one of the top rated restaurants in the world. His signature dishes will be featured on board Cunard liners starting in the late summer.

Wolfgang Puck's acclaimed Santa Monica-based restaurant, Chinois on Main, will soon be featured at Jade Garden, the Asian specialty restaurant aboard Crystal Symphony. "Wolfgang has been one of the great innovators of world cuisine over the past two decades," said, Toni Neumeister, Crystal's director of culinary operations. Signature dishes to be added to the Jade Garden's menu include Chinois chicken salad, Szechwan pancakes filled with stir-fried Cantonese duck, seared Shanghai lobster with a lightly spiced ginger-curry sauce, white miso-marinated baked sea bass fillet Chinois-style and the grilled Mongolian lamb chops with cilantro mint vinaigrette sauce.

*** Carnival Cruise Lines has expanded its golf program in the Caribbean, Bermuda and Europe. "Take your golf game to a whole new latitude" is the program's slogan which now features ten new golf courses. Recently added to the line's golf course options are the Southampton Princess Golf Club (Bermuda), El Conquistador Resort & Country Club (San Juan), Fano Golf club (Denmark) and Expoo Ringside Golf Club (Finland). All-inclusive golf excursions feature golf pro escort, priority tee times, round trip transportation between ship and course, and cart and green fees. Golfers can rent Callaway clubs and Adidas shoes and purchase golf balls, gloves and apparel. Shipboard practice ranges are well lit allowing for both day and nighttime lessons. Golf clinics and putting contests are held through the cruise. The program is operated in conjunction with Elite Golf Cruises which offers professional instruction aboard ship and during golf excursions. The "V1" teaching computers provide split-screen, side-by-side comparisons with top tour players , sophisticated video analysis and a take-home video of the 30 and 60-minute lessons. Course information is available at The all-inclusive golf packages begin at $60 per person. On board lessons range in price from $25 for a "swing check" to $80 for a complete one-hour video analysis with a private instructor.

*** Sail to the High Arctic this summer on board Clipper's 122-passenger expedition vessel, Clipper Adventurer. The unique itinerary sails in the wake of 19th century Arctic explorers. Following a two-night hotel stay Oslo, Norway, passengers fly 400 miles north of the mainland to embark the Clipper Adventurer in Longyearbyen. The expedition itinerary is flexible, depending on conditions, but the vessel is expected to sail to the Svalbard Archipelago, Hinlopen Strait, one of the best spots for wildlife viewing; Moffen, the walrus-inhabited island; and Woodfjorden, for polar bear viewing. The Clipper Adventurer continues to Reykjav�k, Iceland for a full-day excursion to Golden Circle of lakes, hot springs, and waterfalls in the Hvita River. Throughout the journey, naturalists and other experts in the area's natural and cultural history will be onboard providing commentary and answering questions. Rates for the 16-day trip begin at $7,080 per person, double occupancy, including roundtrip international air from New York to Oslo, Norway, returning from Reykjav�k, Iceland; two pre-cruise nights in Oslo at the Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel; air transportation from Oslo to Longyearbyen; eleven nights aboard the Clipper Adventurer and one post-cruise night stay in Reykjav�k at the Radisson.

*** Crystal Cruises has reduced rates on its pre and post-cruise hotel stays. The "Crystal Classic" and more deluxe "Crystal Classic Plus" programs include hotel tax, porterage, and a specially-designed sightseeing tour by motorcoach between the ship and hotel plus the services of Crystal representatives at the hotel. The 2002 pre- and post-cruise hotel programs are available in Athens, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, London, New Orleans, Rome, Sydney, Tokyo, Santiago and Vancouver with featured hotels including the Real Inter-Continental in San Jose, Costa Rica, Lisbon's Four Seasons Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco and Hotel Bauer in Venice. Rates start at $275 for the first night, per person, double occupancy, and $110 for each additional night.

*** Holland America Line is preparing for the acquisition of Seabourn Sun April 23. The vessel will be transformed into the Prinsendam during a 35-day refit. Changes will include the addition of a new alternative Odyssey Restaurant and a Lido Restaurant, a new Ocean Bar, an Art Gallery, a new Internet Center, a revamped show lounge, and new "lanai" staterooms. The 14 new staterooms being added will raise passenger capacity to 794. Prinsendam's public rooms will have the familiar Holland America Line names, including Explorers' Lounge and Crows Nest, and house a multi-million dollar collection of art and antiques. The Prinsendam departs New York on June 3 for its 10-day maiden voyage to Southampton, calling at Halifax, Nova Scotia; Cobh (Cork), Ireland and Plymouth, England.

*** A foundation has been established in Amsterdam to promote the return of the S/S Rotterdam to Holland. The well loved ship was a transatlantic liner and later cruise ship for Holland America Line from 1959 to 1997. She then joined Premier Cruises as the Rembrandt. Plans to convert the vessel into a time-share holiday resort have run into difficulty as there is too much real wood on board for the ship to comply with new SOLAS (safety of lives at sea) regulations. The foundation wants to stimulate activities which will lead to the ship's preservation. For more information email or visit their web site
Back to Top

Carnival Adds Bermuda
Carnival Cruise Lines has announced it will add Bermuda to its list of 2002 itineraries. The new 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend (sister to Pride and Spirit) and the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph will sail from four US ports this year.

The schedule is:

Charleston, S.C. (spring 2002) - six-day sailing departing May 29 aboard the Carnival Triumph Norfolk, Va. (summer 2002) - two seven-day voyages from Norfolk, Va., departing June 5 and 12 aboard Carnival Triumph Philadelphia (fall 2002) - six-day cruise aboard Carnival Legend departing Oct. 23 Baltimore (fall 2002) - six-day voyage aboard Carnival Legend departing Oct. 30.

Prices for six- and seven-day Bermuda cruises begin at $799 and $899 per person, respectively, based on double occupancy. For reservations, consult your travel agents.
Back to Top

Windstar to Baltic
Windstar Cruises has announced that it will sail its 308-passenger Wind Surf in northern European waters and the Baltic region for the first time next year. The Wind Surf will offer five 10-day cruises from Stockholm, Sweden, on an itinerary that spends two full days in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ship also will call in Dover, England, when it repositions to Stockholm from the Greek Isles in July. Next year, the Wind Surf will call in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., twice, reducing its total U.S. embarkations by seven. Meanwhile, Windstar's Wind Song will operate Tahiti cruises throughout 2003.
Back to Top

Weekend Cruise News

***Star Princess passengers are being entertained by Gavin MacLeod, the former Captain Stubing of television's Love Boat series as the ship sails from Honolulu to Los Angeles on the final leg of her inaugural voyage. MacLeod and his wife, Patti, presented the Broadway hit, Love Letters which chronicles the lifelong correspondence between characters Andrew Makepeace Ladd and Melissa Gardner. "Captain Stubing" is also serving as a lecturer, hosting question and answer sessions and posing for photographs during the cruise. The new sister ship to Grand Princess and Golden Princess, Star Princess will be the largest cruise ship to be based on the west coast when she arrives in Los Angeles on Sunday. Introductory cruises will be followed by seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles commencing March 16.

*** Celebrity Cruises has announced that Galaxy will sail 10 and 11-night Caribbean cruises from the port of Charleston, South Carolina commencing in December. From December 13, 2002 through February 24, 2003, Galaxy sails round trip from Charleston on alternating 10-night western and 11-night eastern cruises. The eastern itinerary calls at Tortola, Antigua, St Thomas, St Maarten, and Nassau. The western calls at Nassau, Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Key West. A special one-time 10-night cruise sails December 3, roundtrip from Charleston, to Tortola, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Juan and Nassau.

*** Watch for Alaska Magazine Television which will soon be shown on PBS stations. Holland America Line-Westours is sponsoring the public television series which consist of 52 half-hour programs. The series was produced entirely on-location in Alaska by a consortium of Alaska public television stations and Alaska Magazine.

*** Swan Hellenic's Minerva sails "discovery cruises" in Asia and East Africa next winter. These special cruises feature new itineraries, ports of call and excursions, such as game spotting on the Serengeti Plains and snorkeling in the Maldives. A special early booking discount of up to 30 percent is available through May 31, 2002. The 300-passengers Minerva is scheduled to sail the following newly announced cruises:

  • Larnaca to Aqaba, Nov. 9-23, 2002
  • Aqaba round trip, Nov. 23-30, 2002
  • Aqaba to Dubai, Nov. 30-Dec. 14, 2002
  • Dubai to Colombo, Dec. 21-Jan. 4, 2003
  • Colombo to Singapore, Jan. 3-18, 2003
  • Singapore to Hong Kong, Jan. 17-Feb. 2, 2003
  • Hong Kong to Bangkok, Jan. 31-Feb. 15, 2003
  • Bangkok to Colombo, Feb. 14-March 1, 2003
  • Colombo to Mombasa, Feb. 28 - March 15, 2003
  • Mombasa to Aqaba, March 14-29, 2003
  • Aqaba to Valletta, March 29-April 12, 2003

    ***Costa has special air-sea-tour packages on Western Mediterranean cruises aboard CostaTropicale, formerly the Tropicale of Carnival Cruise Lines. Sailing from Barcelona, CostaTropicale calls at Palma de Mallorca; Tunis, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily; Civitavecchia (Rome); Savona (Genoa) and Cannes, France. Priced from $1,799 to $4,199 per person double occupancy, the 12-night package includes roundtrip air from New York and other gateways, 3 nights at a 4-star hotel in Madrid, transportation to and one-night hotel stay in Barcelona, half-day sightseeing tours of Madrid and Barcelona, transfers, continental breakfasts and the seven-night cruise on CostaTropicale. The package is available from April 26 through November 1, 2002.

    ***Passengers on board Seabourn Pride's three 14-day cruises of Scandinavia & Majestic Fjords this summer will be able to attend Floriade, the biggest horticultural exposition in the world, during a two-day call at Amsterdam. The Floriade exposition takes place every ten years and brings together exhibits from Africa, Asia, the Americas and all over Europe to the Netherlands in an extravaganza of carefully cultivated vegetation. This year's version, the fifth such festival, runs from April though October on a 160-acre site in the suburbs of Amsterdam. Displays have been growing since 1996 in the park-like setting. There are indoor and outdoor exhibits, including both hybrid and wild varieties of flowers, vegetables, fruits, shrubs and trees, fungi and over a million bulbs. The climate-controlled indoor exhibition measures over 320,000 square feet. Seabourn Pride sails the Floriade cruises, roundtrip from London, departing June 15, July 13 and August 10, 2002. Garden enthusiasts can enjoy Early Booking Savings up to 20 percent including free airfare.

    ***Crystal Cruises reports that a higher percentage of past passengers are returning to Alaska this season. Almost 20 percent of its Crystal Society members booked to date on 2002 Alaska cruises, have cruised with the line previously to the State. Adam Leavitt, senior vice president of marketing for Crystal notes that "Alaska was not traditionally considered a repeat cruise destination, like Europe, until the interest in domestic, close-to-home destinations increased, as it has for 2002." The line has expanded its shore excursion offerings in Alaska over the last few years. This year arrangements have been made for five new shore tours including a Helicopter Glacier Trek and Dog Sled Ride in Skagway, added because of the popularity of a similar one in Juneau and a kayak expedition in Ketchikan's Tongass National Forest. The 50 previously featured excursions, repeated for 2002, offer varied opportunities for mountain biking, rainforest nature walks, sport fishing, wilderness safaris, bird watching, scenic railway tours, streetcar rides, horseback riding, glacier trekking and other wildlife experiences. On board, guest geologists, historians and naturalists will provide insight into the 49th state's unique treasures. As Alaska is an ideal destination for multiple generations, Crystal boasts a well-supervised children's program with experienced Junior Counselors and guest naturalists to gear activities to younger cruisers. Crystal Harmony sails to Alaska from San Francisco on 12-day cruises and between Vancouver and Seward or San Francisco on 10-day cruises, between June 14 and September 14, this year.
    Back to Top

    Renaissance Ship Leased
    Swan Hellenic, which specializes in exotic itineraries aboard small ships, has leased the ex-Renaissance Cruises ship R8 from Cruiseinvest, the company which owns the fleet. The ship, which has been leased for seven years, will commence "discovery and exploration cruises" starting April 2003, sailing as the Minerva 11; it will replace Swan Hellenic's existing ship Minerva. The company will announce the ship's new itineraries in June.
    Back to Top

    Weekend Cruise News
    *** Westerdam sails tomorrow on her final Caribbean cruise for Holland America Line. Following the eight-day cruise, Westerdam heads for Europe to join sister-company Costa Cruises. Westerdam will be refitted during a short dry dock, emerging as the CostaEuropa with a new 450-seat Medusa Ballroom, the Delo Bar and the Squok Club for children. Upgrades will be made to suites and the casino and crew spaces will be improved. CostaEuropa will sail in the Mediterranean April and May before heading for the summer home port of Amsterdam to sail a series of 10 to 14-day Baltic, Norwegian Fjords and North Cape cruises.

    *** Norwegian Star will drop Maui as an embarkation port as of August 16, 2002. Passengers are currently able to join the cruise on Fridays in Maui. From August 16 the seven-night Hawaii cruises will be offered from Honolulu only. Norwegian Star sails every Saturday from Honolulu callling at Hilo, Hawaii; Fanning Island Republic of Kiribati (passport required), Kahului, Maui and Nawiliwili, Kauai. Norwegian Star will call at Lahaina, Maui instead of Kahului from May 3, 2002 when the ship's larger tenders will be ready for operation. Historic Lahaina is a tender port, while the ship is able to dock in the port of Kahului.

    ***Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises' passengers can now obtain their flight information 60 days ahead of sailing. This allows more time for alterations to be made to flight schedules, if passengers desire, through Custom Air, the lines' air deviation service. Custom Air can be planned up to 11 months in advance or booked as little as seven days prior to North American sailings. By utilizing Custom Air for a $50 administrative fee ($75 for international sailings), passengers can secure an existing itinerary or select other flights and times that most suit them. The service is free to Crown & Anchor Society members at the Diamond and Platinum levels.

    *** In response to the growing number of families cruising today, Carnival has initiated a new stroller rental program on board Carnival Pride. Families can rent single or double strollers for use both aboard ship and during port calls. The cost is $6 per day and $25 per week. If the program proves to be popular, it will expand to other Carnival vessels. Carnival Pride sails weekly from Port Canaveral on seven-night Caribbean cruises.

    *** Rhapsody of the Seas has begun sailing form New Orleans, the first time Royal Caribbean International has deployed a ship in the Mississippi River port. Rhapsody will sail from New Orleans through March 30, 2002 on six, seven-night Western Caribbean sailings calling at Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; and Georgetown, Cayman Islands. Royal Caribbean plans to send Grandeur of the Seas to New Orleans from October 5, 2002, through May 3, 2003, on weekly sailings calling at Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico or Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico; and Key West, Florida. The Key West port calls include an overnight stay near Duval Street and Mallory Square. Grandeur will also sail Panama Canal cruises between New Orleans and San Diego on January 18, 2003 and February 1, 2003.

    *** Monty Python's John Cleese will be aboard QE2 for the British Comedy Cruise, June 20-26, 2002. A legend of English comedy, John Cleese is a guest entertainer during the transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton. Cleese headlines an ensemble cast of top comedians and comedy writers from Britain who will be aboard the QE2. A star with many comedic film roles to his credit, Cleese is most famous as a creator of Monty Python's Flying Circus. He also collaborated on the Monty Python films. Cleese has also entertained television audiences for many years as Basil Fawlty, the country hotel manager on the TV series, Fawlty Towers. During the crossing, Cleese and others will entertain passengers with special skits, impromptu stand-up routines and related in-cabin programming. A special book signing will also take place.

    *** World Explorer Cruises, educational Alaska cruise specialists, have several theme cruises planned for their 25th season in the region. The line offers destination focused cruises on board the 737-passenger Universe Explorer, round trip from Vancouver. Throughout the 2002 season, Wayne Hewson, Tsimshian Elder and renowned Totem Pole Carver from Metlakatla, the seldom visited Alaskan Indian reservation, will be carving World Explorer Cruises' 25th Anniversary Commemorative Totem Pole onboard the ship. The season kicks off May 5, with a 9-night, Native American Arts and Crafts cruise featuring Traditional Basket Weaver, Button Blanket Artist, plus Educational Program Lecturers. The theme of the 14-night May 14 cruise is Mystery Writers of Alaska hosted by four mystery novel writers, Dana Stabenow, Sue Henry, John Straley, and Father Brad Reynolds, S.J., all residents of Alaska. The 14-night June 11 cruise has a bird watching theme and is hosted by renowned wildlife biologist and author Robert H. Armstrong and President of the Juneau, Alaska Audubon Society, Steve Zimmerman. Contemporary Alaskan Life and Literature is the theme of the 14-night cruise August 6 which will have a Bush Pilot, a fisherman, a dog "musher" and others on board. For a 2002 brochure, call 1 800 325-2752 or visit their website

    *** Celebrity Cruises has announced "Celebrity Escape" adults only cruises for those over 21 years of age only. The four cruises scheduled so far are:

    • Millennium 11-night Ultimate Caribbean departing September 23, 2002.
    • Mercury seven-night Western Caribbean departing October 25, 2002.
    • Horizon seven-night Western Caribbean departing November 17, 2002.
    • Infinity 10-night Hawaii departing November 28, 2002.

    *** Radisson will offer special Cordon Bleu cooking classes on board Seven Seas Mariner again this year. Limited to 32 participants per cruise, the workshops are taught by Le Cordon Bleu trained chefs. Three, intensive two-hour workshops are held during the cruise. Upon graduation, participants will receive their own chef's apron and short touque, a tea towel, a special Le Cordon Bleu cookbook of classic recipes and a certificate of participation. The cost is $395 per person. Cruises offering the Cordon Bleu classes for 2002 are:

    • April 26, 2002, 13 nights Ft. Lauderdale to Barcelona
    • June 13, 2002, seven nights, Lisbon to Southampton
    • June 20, 2002, 11 nights, Southampton to Hamburg
    • September 4, 2002, 11 nights, Rouen to Monte Carlo
    • October 26, 2002, 11 nights, Monte Carlo to Venice
    • November 6, 2002, 10 nights, Venice to Barcelona
    • November 23, 2002, 9 nights, transatlantic, Las Palmas to Ft. Lauderdale.

    *** Princess is expanding the Lotus Spa program to all its ships. The Asian-themed treatments and expanded fitness program are currently operating on board the larger vessels, Grand Princess and Golden Princess and are found on board the new Star Princess, which has the largest spa in the Princess fleet. Lotus Spa treatments will be introduced aboard the rest of the fleet in March, including Chakra Stone Therapy, Asian Lotus Ritual (massage with reflexology, reiki and shiatsu, plus Silk Booster Facial), Lime & Ginger Salt Glow and Wild Strawberry Back Cleanse. Expanded fitness options include a more extensive menu of exercise classes, more fitness instructors and gym supervision as well as a series of health and nutrition seminars.

    *** Silversea Cruises is known for its Silver Links golf program which allows passengers to play on some of the world's finest golf courses during their cruise. The line has complimented the program with Silver Links 365, an on board golf program which gives passengers the opportunity to improve their game while at sea.. The innovative program is being offered aboard every voyage of the Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper. Here's what's included:

    • Professional instruction from a PGA-classed pro in 22' X 10' full-motion golf cages with night lighting.
    • The latest V1 video-computer teaching technology featuring over 100 tour player comparisons in conveniently scheduled 60- or 30- minute lessons. (Personalized video lessons are $95 for a one-hour lesson and $55 for a half-hour lesson)
    • A VHS video of guest's lessons to take home with voice over by a Silversea golf pro.
    • Complimentary clinics and demonstrations.
    • Putting contests and demonstrations for all ranges and abilities.
    • The finest Callaway clubs and other equipment rental.
    • Escorted excursions - Silversea golf pros will escort guests to the world's most challenging courses throughout each itinerary. Outings include all transfers, power - carts when available, caddies or pull carts. (Escorted excursion pricing available three weeks prior to sailing)

    Back to Top

    Copyright © 2013 , Cruisemates. All rights reserved.
  • Free Newsletter
    Cruise News, opinions & the Web's best cruise bargains. "One of the best!" says Chicago Tribune.
    subscribe >>
    cruise bargains CRUISE BARGAINS
    Online Cruise Shopping mall
    CruiseMates Cruise Bargains - Hot deals from the Cruise Lines & Web's best Discount Agencies