News Archive - October 2001

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10-30-01 HAL Revises Europe Schedule In 2002, Holland America Line will re-deploy the Amsterdam to Alaska from its previously scheduled program of Europe itineraries. Cruising regions for the Noordam, Rotterdam and new Prinsendam will include the Baltic, the Western Mediterranean and Western Europe. Following the April 14 transatlantic cruise from Tampa to Lisbon, Noordam will sail on three 10-day Western Mediterranean voyages followed by nine Baltic sailings round-trip from Copenhagen. Holland America's new Prinsendam will enter service next August and sail on cruises from London, Copenhagen or Amsterdam visiting the British Isles, coast of Spain, Norwegian fjords and Baltic. Meanwhile, in August, the Rotterdam sails from Boston to London with a 16-day itinerary, sailing from London to New York Aug. 26. Back to Top

10-29-01 New Galaxy Itineraries ***Celebrity Cruises' Galaxy has been redeployed to Baltimore for a series of 10- and 11-night cruises, scheduled March 25 through Nov. 21, 2002. The ten-night voyages, sailing round-trip from Baltimore, will visit Charleston, South Carolina; St. Thomas; San Juan and Nassau. The 11-night itineraries include stops in Key West; Cozumel; Belize City; CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas. Reservations and additional information may be obtained by contacting your travel agent or at Celebrity's website, Back to Top

10-26-01 Weekend Cruise News ***The U.S. Coast Guard has recognized a number of cruise ships in its new project "Quality Shipping for the 21st century". Known as Qualship 21, the project recognizes foreign-flagged vessels of all types which demonstrate a commitment to safety and quality and comply with environmental and health regulations. The current list of elite vessels includes Holland America Line's Amsterdam, Maasdam, Noordam, Rotterdam and Zaandam; Princess Cruises' Crown, Dawn, Grand, Ocean, Pacific, Regal, Royal, Sun and Sea Princesses; Cunard Line's Caronia and QE2 ; Seabourn Cruise Line's Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Pride; P&O Cruises' Arcadia and Oriana.

***Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star will be in Miami for a dual christening on November 17. The two vessels are built for freestyle cruising and offer the widest variety of dining options at sea. On NCL, passengers may dine when and with whom they like as part of the freestyle cruising concept. Norwegian Sun feature nine restaurants and ten menus that include French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Pacific Rim, "healthy living" as well as contemporary and traditional American favorites. Norwegian Star boasts ten restaurants and 11 menus serving French, Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Hawaiian cuisine. Unique on board Norwegian Star is the Presidential Menu prepared by former White House Executive Chef Henry Haller. Chef Haller has cooked for five presidents - Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. During every seven-day or longer cruise, one entire dinner menu consists of distinguished dishes and prized recipes served to celebrated White House guests such as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, King Hussein, President Anwar Sadat, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.

***The Port of Seattle reports a record year for cruise ship visits. Norwegian Sky completed 22 seven-day cruises round trip from Seattle to Alaska from late April through late September. Royal Caribbean International's Radiance of the Seas made 16 three-night and four night sailings to the Pacific Northwest visiting Victoria, Vancouver and Desolation Sound. In all 185,000 passengers passed through Seattle, a 54% increase over 2000, resulting in 630 new jobs, $29.6 million in new economic activity and $1.9 million in local and state tax revenues.

Seattle looks forward to 77 sailings in 2002. Norwegian Sky and Radiance of the Seas will be returning to the port. As well, Holland America Line's Amsterdam will sail round trip from Seattle to Alaska on seven-night cruises from May 18 through September 21, 2002 while Zaandam will sail three and four-night Pacific Northwest cruises in May, September and October.

***Carnival Pride will become the largest and newest vessel to sail year round from Port Canaveral when she embarks on her maiden voyage January 12, 2002. The interior decor will be dramatic, a characteristic of Carnival ships. On board will be a multi-million dollar collection of fine art by artists and craftsmen from around the world. Glass works by Czech glass artist Borek Sipek will include 70 decorative vases and candleholders. Six-foot high bronze statues of the mythical figures Venus, Apollo and Poseidon will be created by Italian sculptor Katia Tasselli. Adorning the Carnival Pride's stair landings and bulkheads will be 27 original murals by British artist Andrea Tana, whose works are inspired by artists Gaugin and Matisse.

***Carlson Wagonlit Travel has organized a new program for contacting clients at sea. The "Call Ship" program offers an exclusive, special telephone number that cruise customers can provide to family and friends along with the name of the cruise line and ship. By calling the number, cruisers sailing on one of twenty different cruise lines can be contacted quickly. The program is also less expensive than other methods of contacting passengers on board ship. For more details call 1-800-CARLSON.

***Holland America Line's first Vista Class ship, Zuiderdam, will be delayed by a few weeks. The vessel will now be delivered November 15, 2002 with the 7-day maiden voyage departing Ft. Lauderdale on December 14, 2002. The 85,000-ton Zuiderdam is being built in Italy at Fincantieri's Marghera yard. This new class of ship features 10-deck-high "exterior elevators" on both sides of the vessel, a three-deck main show lounge, casual 24 hour cafe, Internet cafe, Internet/e-mail data ports in all staterooms, extensive children's facility, a concierge lounge for the exclusive use of Penthouse and Deluxe Verandah Suite guests and two interior promenade decks. Zuiderdam will carry 1,848 passengers in spacious staterooms, 85 percent of which will be ocean view and 80 percent of those having private verandahs.

The propulsion system includes a full-scale diesel-electric power plant, backed up by a gas turbine as an additional power source, giving the vessel the capability to operate on either diesel or gas turbine power. The ships also will use the Azipod propulsion system, allowing for greater maneuverability and efficiency.

***Orient Lines' shoreside operations are moving to Miami from London, England to be combined with those of sister company, Norwegian Cruise Lines. Orient Lines operates the Marco Polo and Crown Odyssey on destination focused cruises around the world. The two lines will continue to operate as separate companies with distinctly different ships. Parent company Star Cruises hopes to achieve greater efficiency by operating the two companies from Miami. Back to Top

10-23-01 New RCI Bus Packages Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are offering passengers an alternative to flying to their cruise destination with expanded bus service in Florida, Texas and California. Some 31 cities in Florida now have pickup locations for guests sailing from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, and Tampa. In Texas, motorcoaches can take cruise vacationers from Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio to and from Galveston. Service also is available in Orange County, California, for cruises from Los Angeles. In all instances, roundtrip fares are $25 per person. Passengers are picked up between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and reach port in one to six hours, depending on the distance.

In summer 2002, motorcoach service for Bermuda sailings from New York by Nordic Empress, Horizon and Zenith will be offered in 29 cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast for $45 roundtrip. And, service to Seattle for $35 roundtrip per person has been arranged from 12 cities in the state of Washington, where Radiance of the Seas offers spring and late-summer cruises.

For information on motorcoach service, call Royal Caribbean International (800-327-6700) or Celebrity Cruises (800-437-3111).Back to Top

10-20-01 Weekend Cruise News *** Windstar has increased the number of Wind Surf sailings to the Bahamas and Key West. Cruises are now scheduled on Sundays from January 13 to March 31, 2002. Sailing from Ft. Lauderdale's Port Everglades, ports of call are Salt Cay (with tours available to Nassau), Green Turtle Cay, Half Moon Cay (overnight), Bimini, and a full day in Key West. The itinerary features the first overnight at a private island by a cruise ship with the Half Moon Cay stopover. At 14,745-tons, Wind Surf is the largest vessel in the Windstar fleet. She carries 308 passengers.

***Seabourn Spirit and Regal Princess are the two latest ships to be re-deployed to Alaska for the summer of 2002. Both vessels were originally scheduled to have sailed in Europe following their winter cruises in Asia. Seabourn Spirit will sail 10 and 11-day Inside Passage cruises, roundtrip from Vancouver, May 22 through August 4, 2002. Regal Princess will sail 10-day cruises roundtrip from San Francisco, May 29 to September 6, 2002. Regal Princess joins Crystal Harmony in offering Alaska cruises from San Francisco next year.

***Princess has made further announcements regarding itinerary changes. Golden Princess will sail 10 and 12-day Western Mediterranean cruises between Barcelona and Venice, in place of the Barcelona-Istanbul itineraries. Royal Princess will not sail in the Mediterranean. Following her winter Panama Canal cruises, roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, Royal Princess will reposition, May 22 on a 9-day crossing from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton. The summer cruises in Northern Europe roundtrip from Southampton will continue as scheduled, ending with a 15-day crossing from Southampton to New York calling at Le Havre, Falmouth, Dublin, Glasgow, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, September 3, 2002. Royal Princess will sail Canada/New England cruises between Montreal and New York on September 17, 27, October 7 and 17, 2002.

***Windjammer Barefoot Cruises has a variety of theme cruises planned for 2002. The Windjammer fleet of authentic sailing ships plies the waters of the Caribbean. Singles, golf, art, photography, music and gay cruises are scheduled as well as culinary cruises featuring Caribbean, Latin and Creole cuisine. Here is a complete listing of dates:

  • Singles: Polynesia, January 7, April 22, 29, July 29, Dec. 9, 16, 2002
  • Gay: Yankee Clipper, June 3, 2002
  • Golf: Polynesia, April 1, 2002 ($300. for all inclusive golf package)
  • Culinary: Caribbean cuisine, Polynesia, March 4; Latin cuisine, Mandalay August 20; Creole cuisine, Polynesia, Oct. 22, 2002
  • Spa: Focus on spa treatments, well being and natural beauty. Legacy, January 14; Polynesia, November, 18, 2002.
  • Art: Paint the Caribbean on Flying Cloud, April 18, 2002
  • Photography: Legacy, October 21, 2002
  • Spirit of the Caribbean: Beer, Rum and tropical drink tasting, Legacy March, 25, 2002.
  • Cruisin'-for a Bruisin': Repositioning cruises with a "double dose of partying and good times", Legacy and Polynesia, December 2, 2002.
  • World Creole Music Festival: Polynesia, October, 21, 2002
  • Caribbean Gardens and History: Amazing Grace, October 11, 2002
  • St. Lucia Jazz Festival: Legacy, May 6, 2002; Mandalay, May 6 and 12, 2002
  • Teen program and Junior Jammer cruises for kids throughout the summer.

***Crystal Cruises has confirmed the roster of special guests and entertainers for the upcoming Grand Pacific Circle cruise. Crystal Symphony's 100-day voyage sails round-trip form Los Angeles, departing January 17, with calls at 33 ports in 20 countries. The cruise is available in four segments: Los Angeles to Valparaiso, 18 nights, January 17, 2002; Valparaiso to Sydney, 25 nights, February 4, 2002; Sydney to Hong Kong, 23 nights, March 2, 2002 and Hong Kong to Los Angeles, 34 nights, March 25, 2002. Special guests and entertainers during the voyage include star vocalist Maureen McGovern; comedic great Jonathan Winters; winner of both Academy and Tony Awards, Joel Grey; charismatic entertainers Lorna Luft and John Davidson; television star Richard Herd and CNN's Garrick Utley. Coinciding with the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, Crystal Cruises has also scheduled four Olympians with inspiring stories to share: Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian "sweetheart of gymnastics" who won nine medals and was the first Olympic athlete to score a perfect 10; her husband Bart Conner, a three-time Olympic gymnast team member and winner of two gold medals; Rafer Johnson, a world and Olympic record holder in the decathlon from the 1960 and John Naber, five-time swimming medallist in the 1976 games and current president of the U.S. Olympians alumni association.

***Carnival's next ship, Carnival Pride, will feature a state-of-the-art health and fitness and center on board. The 13,700-sq. ft. area has panoramic sea views from its forward location on Lido Deck 9 and Sun Deck 10. The two-level center has equipment placed on different levels so you are not working out in a cavernous space. Fitness machines include stationary bicycles, treadmills, rowing and stair-climbing machines, Life Fitness pneumatic progressive resistance machines, free weights and dumbbells. Personal trainers are available to assist with your training sessions. In the spa, European and Exotic therapies are offered including the popular "aroma stone therapy" massage. A full service beauty salon completes the spa. The 88,500-ton, 2,124 passenger Carnival Pride debuts December 30, 2001 and begins her year round, seven-day service from Port Canaveral on January 12, 2002. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary takes her to Half Moon Cay or Salt Cay in the Bahamas, St. Thomas/St. John and St. Maarten while the western route calls at Key West, Belize city, Progreso/Merida and Playa del Carmen/Cozumel. A sister ship to Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride is the second of Carnival's Spirit-class vessels.

***Carnival is moving the Holiday to a new home port - New Orleans. Holiday will join the 2,052-passengers Inspiration which offers seven-day cruises from New Orleans. Holiday will reposition from San Juan to New Orleans, April 20, on a seven-night cruise calling at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Key West. Holiday will then sail year round from New Orleans for 4 nights on alternating Thursdays and 5 nights on alternating Saturdays and Mondays to Playa del Carmen and Cozumel commencing April 27, 2002. Cruises can be combined with a pre or post cruise stay in New Orleans for a seven-night vacation. The 1,452 passenger, 46,052-ton Holiday entered service in 1985.

***Star Cruises, the Malaysian based parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line and Orient Lines, celebrates its eighth anniversary in November. Special upgraded dining menus will be featured throughout the month in celebration of the event. New entertainment and surprises are promised throughout the month as well as a grand shopping bazaar on each cruise.

Star has also announced that it is closing its offices in Fukuoka, Japan and shutting down its Japanese operation. The vessel, Super Star Taurus, formerly the Leeward for NCL, is being moved to Taiwan from Japan to replace the Norwegian Star I on one, two and three-night cruises from Keelung to Naha and Ishigaki. There is no word on new itineraries for Norwegian Star I, formerly the Norwegian Star for Norwegian Capricorn Line and NCL, Royal Odyssey for Royal Cruise Line and Royal Viking Sea for Royal Viking Line. Back to Top

10-19-01 American Classic Voyages - Chapter 11 American Classic Voyages has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization and said it will stop operations of all its vessels except for the Delta Queen steamboat. Officials said the company's two Hawaii ships, the Patriot and the Independence, will stop sailing after their current cruises end on Saturday, October 20. As for its Delta Queen brand, the American Queen, Mississippi Queen, Columbia Queen and Cape May Light will cease operations when their current sailings end "over the next three days," the company said. Departures of the Delta Queen are expected to continue as scheduled. The company also said it intends to continue construction of its two 1,900-passenger "Project America" ships.

American Classic Voyages said customers booked on future departures of all vessels except the Delta Queen should contact their travel agent, insurance company or credit card company for information about refunds. The company has set up a special customer information number at 800-856-9904, or customers can visit its website at Back to Top

10-17-01 RCI Youth Evacuation Plan Royal Caribbean International has announced its new Youth Evacuation Plan (YEP), being used onboard all its ships to assist children and their parents during possible emergencies. The program is designed to assist children under 12 years old and their parents in reuniting should they be in separate locations on a ship when they are called to muster stations. The YEP program utilizes colored-coded wristbands, worn by children, that indicate a child's proper muster station, as well as the appropriate exit crew members can use to assist a child in reaching his muster station, where his parents can meet him. Children participating in Royal Caribbean's Adventure Ocean youth program are escorted to their muster stations by youth staff members.

Upon embarkation, cruise staff at the gangway direct families with children under 12 years old to a YEP table, set up in just inside the ship with a prominently displayed YEP poster. At the table, members of the ship's youth staff check the child's cabin number and provide the proper color-coded wristband. The wristbands, which are required to be worn at all times during the cruise, display the child's muster station number in bold type, and are colored coded to correspond with that muster station and the exit crew members can use to assist the child in reaching the muster station. Parents are given a YEP information sheet and a separate wallet card, on which the youth staff writes the family's muster station number, for easy reference. Back to Top

10-17-01 Princess Increases LA Departures In 2002/3, west coast cruisers find even more ships to choose from, as Princess Cruises repositions ships Los Angeles for additional Mexico, Hawaii and Panama Canal voyages. Sun Princess will sail on a series of 10-day round-trip Mexican Riviera cruises between September 27, 2002 and January 15, 2003, and again from March 26 to April 25, 2003. In addition, the ship will offer two 15-day round-trip voyages from Los Angeles to Hawaii on January 25 and March 11, and will sail on two 15-day Panama Canal voyages between Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale on February 9 and 24. These sailings replace the ship's previously scheduled Asia/South Pacific cruises, which will now be offered aboard Regal Princess. Reservations and additional information can be obtained from travel agents or by visiting Back to Top

10-13-01 RCI Ship Damaged Royal Caribbean's Nordic Empress, docked in the port of King's Wharf, Bermuda, sustained some structural damage during a large storm with 80 m.p.h. winds. The cruise line announced that Nordic Empress would delay its return to Philadelphia from Bermuda, and has cancelled the Oct. 14 sailing. Passengers will receive a full refund. Back to Top

10-12-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Princess' newest ship, the 109,000-ton Golden Princess, arrived in Ft. Lauderdale Wednesday. Following a short preview cruise, Golden Princess will set sail from Ft. Lauderdale to begin her first season of Eastern Caribbean cruises on October 13. Golden Princess sails every Saturday, round trip from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays. A sister ship to Grand Princess, the 2,600-passenger vessel features an exclusive Wedding Cam in the chapel, enabling friends and family back home to view passenger nuptials. Princess is the only line to offer at-sea weddings conducted by the ship's captain. Golden Princess also debuts the first AOL Internet Cafe and a host of photographic services, at the F/X Digital Photo Center, the first complete professional digital photography studio at sea.

***Crystal Cruises has been able to maintain its original 2002 itineraries for Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony as outlined in the 2002 Cruise Atlas. Crystal has announced a two-for-one special on a three-night Iguazu Falls excursion. The pre- and post-cruise program starts with a tour and overnight stay in Buenos Aires. Participants fly to Iguazu Falls and visit both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of Iguazu National Park. Priced at $995 per person, the excursion includes all meals, flights and accommodations. The excursion is available after Crystal Harmony's 17-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Buenos Aires on Jan. 29, which calls at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Fortaleza, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (during the city's festive Carnaval celebration); and before her 14-day voyage from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, Chile on Feb. 25, which visits Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Port Stanley, Falkland Islands; Ushuaia, Argentina; Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt, Chile.

***Monarch of the Seas has started a series of alternating four and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale. The 2,700-guest, 73,942-ton vessel sails four-night cruises on alternating Thursdays from October 11, 2001 through April 24, 2003, calling at Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico. Five-night cruises on alternating Saturdays from October 6, 2001 to April 19, 2003, call at Cozumel, Mexico and Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Five-night cruises on alternating Mondays from October 15, 2001 to April 28, 2003 call at Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico and Key West, Florida.

***Seabourn has cancelled the Seabourn Spirit's November 6, Haifa to Mombasa cruise and announced two new itineraries for January to replace cruises around Indonesia. In place of the 12-day Singapore to Bali cruise, January 19, Seabourn Spirit will sail roundtrip from Singapore to Thai and Malaysian islands, with a three-day call at Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma). A complimentary shore excursion will visit the famous, century-old Strand Hotel for refreshments and Burmese musical entertainment. On January 31st, Seabourn Spirit sails from Singapore to Hong Kong, on a two-week exploration of Thailand and Vietnam. The cruise includes two days in Bangkok, visits to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Danang, Hanoi and cruising among the islands of Halong Bay, Vietnam. A complimentary shore excursion will visit the private Prasart Museum in Bangkok. This Singapore to Hong Kong cruise replaces the Bali to Hong Kong itinerary originally scheduled for January 31, 2002.

***Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises now feature a logo store on their web sites. A variety of merchandise is available at the online stores categorized as apparel, desktop accessories and travel and leisure items. RCI has an additional "drinkware" section. The new pages are operated by eCompanyStore and are accessible through the "gift catalog" page of and the "Gifts and More" page of

*** P&O's Aurora and Oriana both scored a perfect 100 on their latest inspections by the US Public Health Authority. P&O Cruises employs a full-time environmental health officer to monitor hygiene on the ships and ensure the food and water safety systems meet the highest recommended worldwide standards. Each year, P&O Cruises trains over 500 people in food hygiene. Oriana scored 100 in an inspection last March and 99 in September, 2000. Aurora's scored 98 in her inspection last January. Ships of P&O Cruises and sister company, Princess Cruises, have consistently scored in the high '90s with Princess Cruises' Ocean Princess also having achieved a perfect 100.

***Celebrity Cruises' new vessel, Summit, raised $75,220 for the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund, on a two-night pre-inaugural cruise. Celebrity Cruises donated a block of staterooms on the two-night sailing, September 28-30 as well as all proceeds from Summit's casino operations during the cruise. Summit is the third of the Millennium-class vessels, a sister ship to Millennium and Infinity. She sailed on her 11-night Western Caribbean maiden voyage on October 1, following the formal naming ceremony on September 30. Summit alternates 10 and 11-night Eastern/Southern and Western/Southern Caribbean sailings from Fort Lauderdale. Ports of call on the 11-night Western route are Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; Oranjestad, Aruba, and Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Summit's 10-night Eastern itinerary calls at Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Basseterre, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

***The World of ResidenSea, the world's first residential resort community at sea, has announced that ten of 88 guest suites aboard the vessel are now for sale. The ship, scheduled to debut January 31, 2002, has 110 privately owned residences. The sale of the smaller guest suites was prompted by residents interested in purchasing units for visiting family, friends, staff and/or associates. The four larger guest suite units measure 229.7 to 238.5 square feet and are offered at $1,350,000. The remaining six guest suite interiors, which measure 111.2 square feet are priced at $680,000. All 10 guest suites are located together on the stern of Deck 7 to create a fully residential area. The World begins its pioneering odyssey in early 2002, on a continuous, round-the-world-itinerary coinciding with major international events including the Cannes Film Festival, Grand Prix of Monaco and the British Open in Scotland. The remaining 78 guest suites which will not be sold, can be booked for individual cruise segments. Back to Top

10-10-01 Royal Olympic Warning CruiseMates has just learned that TravelEx, a large third party travel insurance company, has announced that it will not issue policies for cruises sold by Royal Olympic Cruises. Their ship, Olympia Voyager, is scheduled to sail from Ft. Lauderdale and Houston in 2002. Other ships of the fleet include Olympia Countess, World Renaissance, Stella Solaris, Stella Oceanis, Triton, Odysseus and Apollon.

In light of this development, CruiseMates is urging its readers to exercise due diligence before booking a cruise with Royal Olympic Cruises. Back to Top

10-10-01 ACV & RCI Cancellations American Classic Voyages Co. has announced cancelled itineraries of vessels in two subsidiaries, Delta Queen Steamboat Co. and Delta Queen Coastal Voyages. Delta Queen Coastal Voyages has cancelled 11 voyages of Cape May Light from Nov. 3-17, 2001 and Feb. 9-March 24, 2002. DQ Steamboat Company has cancelled seven sailings the following sailings aboard it's paddle-wheel steamboats: Delta Queen, Jan. 5-March 22; American Queen (January through March 16, 2002) and the Jan. 28 cruise of Mississippi Queen.

Royal Caribbean International has modified one sailing of Legend of the Seas and has canceled two other voyages of the ship. The ship's Nov. 3, 2001, seven-night Mediterranean cruise, originally scheduled to sail between Barcelona and Athens, will now sail round-trip from Barcelona. The Nov. 10 and 24, 2001 cruises to the eastern Mediterranean, Egypt, Suez Canal and Indian Ocean, have been cancelled. The ship will resume it's original itinerary with the Dec. 7, 2001 Singapore to Sydney voyage. Back to Top

10-9-01 American Classic Voyages: Troubled Waters? There are signs that American Classic Voyages, parent company of American Hawaii Cruises, United States Lines, Delta Queen Steamboat Company and Delta Queen Coastal Voyages, may be having financial problems.

On Friday, Oct. 5, two large travel insurance companies, Travel Guard and TravelEx, both reported that they will no longer insure passengers on bookings made after Oct. 3 for any of these cruise lines. On October 9 Access America announced that it won't insure cruisers sailing on AMVC vessels.

The stock price for American Classic Voyages (Nasdaq: AMCV) fell 37% on extremely heavy volume and closed at $.78/share on Friday. While that may be partially attributed to a proposed takeover of the company slated to build AMC's new ships (Northrop Grumman by Newport News), the indication is that someone with a large interest in American Classic Voyages' stock decided to get out of their position as quickly as possible.

In light of these developments, CruiseMates is urging its readers to exercise due diligence before booking a cruise with any of American Classic Voyages' subsidiary companies. A spokesperson for the company has stated that AMCV is working to resolve the insurance situation with Travel Guard to continue to provide insurance coverage in case of default.

Stay tuned to CruiseMates for further developments. Back to Top

10-9-01 Travel Insurance Policy Changes CruiseMates' newsletter urged travelers to purchase third party insurance because it protects against default of the cruise line. We've just learned, however, that one major insurance company, Travel Safe, will no longer cover expenses should the cruise line go under. A company spokesperson told CruiseMates that "default is now a possibility and we only cover unforeseeable possibilities." Two other travel insurance companies, Travel Guard and TravelEx, still include cruise line default in their policies, although travelers are urged to check before they purchase.

Travel Guard has announced that it will no longer offer insurance to those taking an American Classic Voyages cruise. This includes the cruise line's subsidiaries, Delta Queen Steamboat Company, United States Lines and Delta Queen Coastal Voyages. An American Classic Voyages spokesperson said the decision was made without consulting the company and they are now "working diligently to favorably and promptly resolve this matter with Travel Guard".

On October 9 Access America announced that it won't insure cruisers sailing on AMVC vessels. Back to Top

10-05-01 Weekend Cruise News *** Fascination has a new dedicated teen center, the first in the Carnival fleet. The teen center provides entertainment for 16 to 18 year olds. This age group is not included in the "Camp Carnival" program of organized activities which caters to children and teens ages two to 15. The new "Backstreet Club" features a CD jukebox stocked with the latest rock, R&B, rap and hip-hop hits, as well as state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and a large dance floor. The facility also houses a bank of Internet-connected Apple iMac computers, Sony PlayStation 2 video game units and a "mocktail lounge" serving non-alcoholic versions of Carnival's frozen specialty drinks. A karaoke machine and a library featuring teen-oriented magazines are also included . Fascination sails year-round from Miami on three-day Bahamas and four-day western Caribbean cruises.

*** Seabourn has finalized arrangements for complimentary shoreside events in 2002. Commencing this January, a shore excursion will be included as part of the cruise on board luxury yachts Seabourn Legend, Pride and Spirit. The shoreside events focus on arts, culture, history and architecture and feature private gallery and museum tours, local refreshments and entertainment. Over 30 have been designed so far. The complimentary excursions are part of Seabourn's ongoing enhancement of its amenities program.

*** Silversea has announced special culinary cruises for 2002 on board Silver Cloud, Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper. Cooking demonstrations, gala restaurant menus and chef-escorted tours of local food markets are a part of the theme activities. A special guest chef from renowned restaurants around the world joins each culinary cruise to prepare a five-course gourmet dinner in the specialty restaurant, Terrace Cafe . Scheduled culinary cruises for 2002 are:

  • Silver Whisper: January 21, 2002, Rio de Janeiro-Buenos Aires, seven days
  • Silver Shadow: Feb 22, 2002, Cairns-Singapore, 16 days
  • Silver Whisper: Mar 15, 2002, Cape Town-Mombasa, 15 days
  • Silver Cloud: Jun 6, 2002, Istanbul-Lisbon, 11 days
  • Silver Shadow: Jun 20, 2002, London (Tilbury)- Copenhagen, 11 days
  • Silver Whisper: Aug 10, 2002, Rome-Barcelona, 10 days
  • Silver Shadow: Oct 22, 2002, Fort Lauderdale-Barbados, nine days
  • Silver Whisper: Nov 7, 2002, Barbados-Fort Lauderdale, nine days
  • Silver Cloud: Dec 11, 2002, Cristobal-Fort Lauderdale, 10 days

*** The Straw Market in Nassau, Bahamas has reopened in a temporary location, following a fire which destroyed the market on September 4. The new temporary location is one block from the former site on what used to be the parking lot for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. The government plans to rebuild the original market which has long been a landmark in Nassau.

*** Crystal Cruises is offering three 10-day Alaska cruises next summer. In addition to the 12-day Alaska cruises round trip from San Francisco, Crystal Harmony will sail 10-day cruises from Seward to Vancouver, June 14, Vancouver to San Francisco, June 24 and San Francisco to Vancouver, September 14. Pre and post cruise hotel packages are available to extend your vacation. The six 12-day cruises operate from San Francisco from July 4 through September 2, 2002. Crystal's theme cruises in Alaska include Yoga, Health and Fitness (June 24); Crystal Wine & Food Festival (July 4, 16, 28 and Sept. 14); and Classical Music (Sept. 2).

*** Radisson Seven Seas has canceled the Song of Flower's Suez Canal and Asia cruises for the 2001-2002 winter season. Song of Flower will be out of service between October 13, 2001 and May 2, 2002 when she will resume cruises in Europe.

*** Cruise ship itineraries are being amended to avoid the Middle East. Vessels are now sailing around Africa instead of through the Suez Canal. The world cruise itineraries of Amsterdam, Seven Seas Navigator, Seabourn Sun and Oriana have been changed, replacing the Suez segment with a cruise between Singapore or India and South Africa. Crystal Symphony, Crown Odyssey and Prinsendam have also been rerouted around Africa on cruises originally scheduled to sail through Suez. P&O has stopped calling at Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt on the Eastern Med cruises of Oriana, Victoria, and Aurora. Royal Caribbean has yet to announce any change to the Legend of the Seas "Exotic Destinations" itineraries. Legend is scheduled to sail from Athens to Dubai November 10 and Dubai to Singapore November 24.

*** Eight of the ten ships of bankrupt Renaissance Cruises will be berthed in Gibraltar during legal proceedings by creditor banks. R's 1,2,5,6, and 7 as well as Renaissance VII and VIII have begun arriving in the port. Tahiti based R3 and R4 are not included in the proceedings which are expected to last for at least three months. Back to Top

10-01-01 Royal Olympic Extends Cruises from Houston Royal Olympic Cruises today announced details on year round sailings from the Port of Houston through April of 2003. The Olympia Voyager is the world's fastest cruise ship due to her award winning Fast Monohull design. She was originally scheduled to return to Europe next April for summer sailings in the Mediterranean. Instead, the vessel will now continue her seven-day Tropical Explorer II cruises from Houston from March 30, 2002 through April 5, 2003, visiting the ports of Isla de Roat´┐Żn and Puerto Cortes, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Mexico. Per person, double occupancy rates start at $997. including port charges. Back to Top

10-09-01 Updates on Cancellations & Changes Cruise ship itineraries are being amended to avoid the Middle East. Vessels are now sailing around Africa instead of through the Suez Canal. The world cruise itineraries of Amsterdam, Seven Seas Navigator, Seabourn Sun and Oriana have been changed, replacing the Suez segment with a cruise between Singapore or India and South Africa. Crystal Symphony, Crown Odyssey and Prinsendam have also been rerouted around Africa on cruises originally scheduled to sail through Suez. P&O has stopped calling at Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt on the Eastern Med cruises of Oriana, Victoria, and Aurora. ** On Oct. 9, Royal Caribbean announced Legend of the Seas cruises from Athens to Dubai November 10 and Dubai to Singapore November 24 have been canceled. The November 3, seven-night sailing has been modified. It would have departed Barcelona for Athens, making ports calls in Florence and Rome, Italy; Santorini, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey. The sailing will now depart from and return to Barcelona, making port calls in Villefranche, France; Florence, Rome and Naples, Italy; and Valletta, Malta. **

*** In compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, be sure to travel with photo ID and a printed passenger receipt or paper ticket for travel. Acceptable identification includes a government issued photo identification card, driver's license or passport. You will not be allowed to pass the security checkpoint without the required documents. For border crossings, be sure to have proof of citizenship for returning to the U.S.

UPDATES: Listed alphabetically by cruise line: Latest additions made to: Royal Caribbean, American Classic Voyages, Radisson, Silversea, Orient Lines.

AMERICAN CLASSIC VOYAGES American Hawaii Cruises, United States Lines, Delta Queen Coastal Voyages, Delta Queen Steamboat Company So far there are no operational interruptions for these companies. Passengers booked on cruises who have questions regarding their specific departure should contact their travel agent or our Special Assistance Desk at 1-800-810-9165.

"American Classic Voyages Co. expresses its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims of the horrific terrorist attacks on the United States of America. Our hearts and prayers are with all those affected by this national tragedy. As the largest American-flag cruise company in the world, we join with all Americans in standing behind our president in the days and weeks ahead."

" The American flag that proudly flies above each of our vessels is far more than a symbol of our company's American ownership. It is a clear indication that our company and its resources are part of the fabric of our great nation. This flag is our flag. And we stand behind it."

CARNIVAL The following statement was issued Tuesday Sept. 18th: "All of us at CARNIVAL are shocked and saddened by last week's events. We extend our sincerest condolences to the families that had loved ones affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them".

Security Carnival Cruise Lines is operating at heightened security levels throughout its fleet and is working closely with law enforcement and federal agencies to ensure the safety of our ships and ports. The safety and security of our guests and employees is our highest priority.

CELEBRITY CRUISES For the remainder of the Bermuda season, the Zenith is using the port of Baltimore instead of New York while Horizon is using the Port of Philadelphia.

Both ships will depart on September 29, October 6, 13, and 20. In Philadelphia, Horizon will arrive at 7 a.m. and depart at 7 p.m. In Baltimore, Zenith will arrive at 7 a.m. and depart at 6 p.m.

Because of the change of ports, Celebrity will provide ground transportation from New York to Philadelphia and Baltimore to assist guests in reaching their ship. Specific pick-up locations and times are available through guests' travel agents and Celebrity Cruises.

Celebrity also will provide Horizon and Zenith guests with a certificate for a 25 percent discount on a future seven-night Celebrity cruise, redeemable for cruises departing through December 15, 2002, excluding June, July and holiday sailings.

Inaugural events for the new ship Summit have been cancelled in Boston and New York, however the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami events are still scheduled.

Guests needing assistance may reach Celebrity Cruises at 1-800-437-3111. Guests calling from the United Kingdom or Ireland should dial +44(0)1932-834440. Guests calling from France should dial 0800-204060. Guests calling from Scandinavia should dial +47-22-51-3780. All other international guests should contact their local cruise representatives.

Itinerary changes will be made public as soon as possible, as well as posted on the Celebrity Cruises website at

Celebrity Cruises issued a statement saying their highest priority is to ensure the safety and security of all its guests and crew: "A cruise ship is inherently secure because it is a controlled environment with limited access. Under normal circumstances, Celebrity's security programs are stringent. But, in light of recent events, we have strengthened those programs even further. In order to maintain an effective and meaningful security environment, Celebrity has established strict and highly confidential security procedures that cannot, for obvious reasons, be discussed in detail."

CRYSTAL CRUISES "Crystal Cruises wishes to offer its sincere condolences to all persons that have been affected by these acts of terrorism on the East Coast of the United States. As always, the safety and security of our guests is of paramount importance to us. While we have no reason to believe that our ships are at risk, we are taking every precaution to protect our guests, crew and ship. A maximum level of security is in effect. We are closely monitoring all aspects of our operation impacted by the recent events, including but not limited to air transportation. In advance, thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this exceptional situation."

Crystal Harmony's New England/Canada cruise on September 29 and U.S. East Coast/Caribbean cruise on October 10: the port of Baltimore, Maryland, will replace the scheduled disembarkation/embarkation in New York. For teh September 29 cruise, Newport, Rhode Island has been added as a port of call. (On Tuesday Baltimore was substituted for New York and the turnaround operation went very smoothly.)

Crystal Symphony's 24-day East African itinerary from Rome to Capetown on October 1, which had been scheduled to call in Egypt and Jordan and transit the Suez Canal, has been revised with more Mediterranean ports, the Canary Islands, and West Africa, including two full days in Cape Town. Booked guests and their travel agents are being notified.

Crystal Cruises' air department is in continual communication with the airlines and travel agents to reroute guests with new schedules as needed. Crystal Cruises continuously updates its web site at

CUNARD LINE The QE2 and Caronia are using the Port of Boston instead of New York.

Cunard Line said it will reposition the Caronia to Southampton starting in May 2002, from which it will operate a variety of five- to 21-day itineraries, mainly in Europe. "As part of the new marketing initiative, enrichment lecturers and entertainment will be geared toward U.K. passengers, and the currency on board ship will be the British pound," Cunard said. The new schedule includes cruises to the Greek Isles, Norwegian fjords, the North Cape, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE/WINDSTAR: HAL has revamped its 2002 itineraries.

Chairman and CEO, A. Kirk Lanterman said: "The events of the past week have been a shock to everyone at Holland America Line and Windstar Cruises. Personal lives as well as businesses have been greatly affected. We trust that everyone will join us in offering prayers and support for the innocent victims of this past week and the rescue and aid workers who continue to assist in the recovery effort. The company is returning to normal operations and our security measures remain at the highest level...The next several weeks and months will continue to require our patience,our teamwork and our resolve. We feel strongly, as I'm sure everyone in thetravel industry does, that worry-free vacations are one of the many freedoms we hold dear."

LINBLAD EXPEDITIONS New, more lenient cancelation policies have been created. Sven Lindblad, president and founder of Lindblad Expeditions states: "At the end of the day, a vacation, holiday or expedition is something done to bring joy or inspiration to the traveler. If personal feelings preclude that, I don't believe someone should travel, and we should not represent a punitive hurdle in that decision"

For more information, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or check the website at

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES Norwegian Sea and Norwegian Sun are using the Port of Boston instead of New York.

NCL has revamped its 2002 itineraries.

ORIENT LINES The Crown Odyssey's Fall Grand Passage itinerary has been canceled and passengers are recieivng refunds. The cruise was scheduled to sail from Greece through the eastern Med and Suez Canal to Africa and up to India. ** The new itinerary sails from Barcelona to Singapore calling at Malaga, Madeira, Tenerife, Dakar, St. Helena, Walvis Bay, Cape Town (2 days), Durban, Richards Bay, Zanzibar, Mombasa, Seychelles (Mahe and Praslin), Maldives, Phuket ending with 2 days in Singapore. Available in two segments: 36 days from Barcelona to Mombasa ending with a safari in Kenya or 28 days Cape Town to Singapore.

The 2002 Europe program will remain in place with ships sailing in the Mediterranean as well as Northern Europe. **

PRINCESS CRUISES Pacific Princess will now embark and disembark passengers in Boston until further notice. Sailing dates affected include the current voyage as well as five additional Bermuda cruises departing on September 23 & 30 and October 7, 14 & 21.

Motorcoach transportation will be available between Boston and New York regional airports and the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal.

In addition, Pacific Princess' Africa and Holy Land cruises scheduled to depart November 1, 2001 through April 5, 2002 have been cancelled. The ship will sail its 2002 Bermuda season as scheduled beginning May 5, 2002.

Passengers are encouraged to contact their travel agent or call Princess at 1-800-693-7222 for further information.

Princess has also revamped their 2002 Royal Princess and Sea Princess itineraries. All Princess ships are operating at the highest level of security on board. "We want to extend our deepest condolences to everyone affected by this unprecedented tragedy," said President, Phil Kleweno. All Princess ships continue to sail as scheduled and are completing their itineraries as originally published, with the exception of those listed below:

The scheduled events planned for the christening of Golden Princess have been postponed to 2002.

Golden Princess:

Voyage #5121 (Sailing September 25): This voyage has not been affected and the Golden Princess will complete the itinerary as originally published.

Royal Princess Royal Princess' 10-day Canada/New England sailings between New York and Montreal will now embark and disembark passengers at Boston or Baltimore until further notice. The ship's September 20 voyage (#1118) from Montreal is now scheduled to arrive in Boston on September 30, and the following voyage (#1119) will depart from there. The ship's final sailing on this itinerary (#1120), departing from Montreal on October 10, will now disembark passengers in Baltimore on October 20. Passengers will be provided with transportation between the ship and New York regional airports and the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Passengers are encouraged to contact their travel agent or call Princess at 1-800-693-7222 for further information.

RADISSON SEVEN SEAS CRUISES ** Song of Flower's Asia cruises have been canceled for fall/winter 2001-2002. Returns May 2, 2002 for cruises in Europe. **

The Seven Seas Navigator world cruise has been amended to sail around Cape Horn instead of through the Suez Canal. The basic route is now Los Angeles - Sydney - Hong Kong- Cape Town - Rio de Janeiro - Ft. Lauderdale.

"In light of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises has enacted an immediate tightening of security aboard all vessels and in all ports where our vessels are scheduled to visit. At this time, no cruises have been cancelled nor itineraries changed."

REGAL CRUISES Regal Cruises continues to use the port of Philadelphia in place of New York with bus transportation provided from New York and New Jersey to the vessel.

"First and foremost, Regal Cruises wishes to extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to all persons who have been affected by the acts of terrorism on the East Coast of the United States this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the many families and individuals who have been affected by this national tragedy."

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL ** On Oct. 9, Royal Caribbean announced Legend of the Seas cruises from Athens to Dubai November 10 and Dubai to Singapore November 24 have been canceled. The November 3, seven-night sailing has been modified. It would have departed Barcelona for Athens, making ports calls in Florence and Rome, Italy; Santorini, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey. The sailing will now depart from and return to Barcelona, making port calls in Villefranche, France; Florence, Rome and Naples, Italy; and Valletta, Malta. **

The Nordic Empress is using the Port of Philadelphia instead of New York for Bermuda cruises. Nordic Empress has four additional cruises to Bermuda this season. The ship will depart on September 30, and October 7 and 14. This weekend the ship will arrive in Philadelphia at 7 a.m. and depart at 5 p.m. Departure times for future sailings will be announced and posted on Royal Caribbean's website.

Guests needing assistance may reach Royal Caribbean International at 1-800-327-6700. Guests calling from the United Kingdom or Ireland should dial +44 (0) 1932-834440. Guests calling from France should dial 0800 204060. Guests calling from Scandinavia should dial +47 22 51-3780. All other international guests should contact their local cruise representatives. Itinerary changes will be made public as soon as possible, as well as posted on the Royal Caribbean International website at

Guests needing assistance may reach Royal Caribbean International at 1-800-327-6700. Guests calling from the United Kingdom or Ireland should dial +44 (0) 1932-834440. Guests calling from France should dial 0800 204060. Guests calling from Scandinavia should dial +47 22 51-3780. All other international guests should contact their local cruise representatives.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement saying their highest priority is to ensure the safety and security of all its guests and crew: "A cruise ship is inherently secure because it is a controlled environment with limited access. Under normal circumstances, Royal Caribbean's security programs are stringent. But, in light of recent events, we have strengthened those programs even further. In order to maintain an effective and meaningful security environment, Royal Caribbean has established strict and highly confidential security procedures that cannot, for obvious reasons, be discussed in detail."

ROYAL OLYMPIC CRUISES Olympia Voyager will remain in Houston through April 2003 instead of retuning to Europe next summer.

SEABOURN Seabourn Sun's final world cruise itinerary has been changed. The altered segment deletes a passage through the Red Sea, Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea from Mumbai (Bombay), India on March 15 to Malaga, Spain on April 10. Instead, the ship will sail from Mumbai across the Indian Ocean, visiting the islands of Mahe in the Seychelles and Mauritius. Guests will then explore Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, South Africa; the island of St. Helena; Dakar, Senegal and Las Palmas on Grand Canary Island, before crossing the Atlantic to St. Thomas as published.

Seabourn Pride is using the Port of Boston instead of New York. Otherwise cruises are operating as scheduled.

"Seabourn Cruise Line offers its deepest sympathy to anyone affected by last week's catastrophes in New York and Washington D.C. While recognizing that there are many who will need to seek their own ways in which to grieve and recover, Seabourn is committed to maintaining the rights of people to travel and learn. We believe that travel is a valuable freedom for individuals and for the cultures of the world at large."

" With the safety of our guests, crew and ships uppermost in mind, Seabourn Cruise Line has raised the level of security measures both aboard our ships and in every port of call to the highest levels. We are fortunate in that our intimate ships carry only a limited number of guests, so it is possible to maintain the most stringent controls with only a minimal impact on our guests' enjoyment of their cruise."

"SeaDream Yacht Club is keeping itself fully informed of potential danger to its passengers and its officers, staff and crew of SeaDream I and SeaDream II, at sea, in port and ashore. This is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week responsibility. We are vigilant and constantly prudent. This is our highest priority."

"Our total security program has been thoroughly reviewed and some additional measures have been incorporated to respond to this unprecedented series of events. These obviously cannot be discussed. Highly trained security personnel, both aboard our vessels and ashore, are monitoring the world situation and the dangers this may present and are working closely with government security agencies, port officials, airlines and others in the U.S. as well as with those of other countries."

SILVERSEA ** On Friday September 28, Silversea announced a major redeployment of the fleet.

Itinerary Change for Silver Shadow:

Voyage 3122 - Silver Shadow: The calls in Tartous, Syria (October 5th) and Limassol, Cyprus (October 6th) have been cancelled. Silver Shadow will now call on Kastellorizon, Greece on October 5th from 8:00am to 6:00pm and Patmos, Greece on October 6th from 8:00am to 11:00pm.

Silversea issued this statement on September 27 concerning the current situation and its commitment to passenger safety and product delivery:

Silversea's management, shareholders and financial institutions believe that consumer confidence will return, and they remain steadfast in their long-term commitment to the company. Silversea assures its business partners and its passengers that the line has the proper financial resources in place to cover the consequences of recent events.

The safety, comfort and peace of mind of its guests has always been Silversea's highest priority. This continues to be the case with its fleet of luxury ships operating at the highest level of security. Recognizing that there is a significant level of uncertainty among the traveling public today, the line will continue to be sensitive in its handling of each passenger's individual circumstances.

For further details, call Reservations at 1-800-722-9955.

VIKING RIVER CRUISES The line has introduced a new cancellation policy for its river cruises in Europe. Until further notice, all passengers making new 2002 reservations are exempt from any cancellation penalties if a trip is canceled by January 31, 2002. "We want travelers to know that Viking River Cruises provides a safe and comfortable means of travel, from the time of booking until they return home," comments Jeff Dash, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Viking River Cruises. "By implementing this new no-risk policy, we are supporting the idea that Americans want to return to some sense of normalcy by allowing our passengers to secure their cabins early while protecting them in case of future concerns." Back to Top

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