News Archive - October 2004

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

10-29-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Costa Magica will be christened by Spanish actress Paz Vega during ceremonies in Barcelona, November 6, 2004. The christening ceremonies, designed by events organizer Valerio Festi, will include flamenco dancing and a show in Costa Magica's theater entitled "Alcompás del tiempo" - "Keeping pace with the times". The 105,000-ton, 3,470-passenger Costa Magica features four swimming pools, a three-level theater, an Internet cafe, three restaurants, a self-service buffet, and a casino. An extensive wellness area includes a fully-equipped gym, sauna and beauty center with oceanview treatment rooms. Costa Magica will sail round-trip from Savona, Italy on eight and 11-night cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean.

*** Grand Princess begins sailing from Galveston on November 13, 2004 on seven-day Western Caribbean cruises to the ports of Cozumel, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman and Belize. The 109,000-ton, 2,600-passenger Grand Princess will be the largest cruise ship to sail from the Texas port. New onboard is a Times Square-style screen located above the ship's Neptune's Pool area. More than 300 square feet in size and featuring a 69,000-watt sound system, the million-dollar screen has sufficient lighting power to be seen clearly day and night. The screen will be used for "Movies Under the Stars", a popular program aboard the Caribbean Princess, since being introduced earlier this year. "Movies Under the Stars" shows a variety of entertainment throughout the day, featuring up to seven movies or events daily, including family films and first run hits ("Spider Man 2," "Shrek 2" and a "Sing-A-Long Wizard of Oz"), concert footage, NFL Monday Night Football and other special programming. In the evenings, lounge chairs are covered with special cushions and blankets and poolside service is available with free popcorn plus drink specials and movie snacks.

*** Royal Caribbean is introducing a new program for infants and toddlers in partnership with toy maker Fisher-Price. Aimed at children six months to three years old and their parents, the program offers 45-minute playgroups involving storytelling, creative arts, music and a variety of Fisher-Price learning toys and games. Activities will be geared for two age ranges - Aqua Babies are six months to 18 months old while Aqua Tots are 18 months to three years old. Parents who participate in either program will receive a special newsletter and daily Cruise compass onboard that explain the theme and objectives of each session and include "Playtips to Go" to continue the activity at home. The program debuts on Explorer of the Seas this month and will be available fleetwide by the end of March 2005. The sessions are free of charge and are hosted by Royal Caribbean's youth staff. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Another feature of the new partnership is Fisher-Price TV programming geared for children which is available on the in-cabin TV.

*** Grand Cayman will be ready to welcome cruise ships next week. The island has been closed to visitors since suffering severe hurricane damage in September. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity will return to Grand Cayman next week. Carnival plans to return in early November.

*** Carnival's Fascination, Imagination and Carnival Glory will return to their normal port calls at Key West, Florida, the first week of November. Calls have been disrupted since last spring due to renovations to the Outer Mole pier in Key West which are now complete.

*** Silversea Cruises has introduced a new interactive feature to their web site called "My voyage". Passengers can schedule appointments for spa and beauty treatments, pre-reserve shore excursions and register online for Early Embarkation. The new feature also provides passengers with easy access to itinerary information for their specific voyage and a virtual tour of the ship. Visit Silversea's Web site at www.silversea.com and click on the "My Voyage" feature which is available 60 days prior to sailing. Passengers are then prompted for their name and booking number. Costs for the selected tours and services, including Early Embarkation, are charged to the guest's shipboard account after embarkation. Shore tours and spa and salon treatments can still be booked or scheduled once aboard ship.

*** Holland America is adding Polynesian culture to the onboard experience for the line's Hawaii cruises. "Our Exploration Speaker Series features specialists on Polynesian music, dance, cuisine and culture to enrich our guest's vacation experience" said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president of marketing and sales. Topics covered include the history of Hawaii and Pearl Harbor, astronomy of the Pacific skies, the biological diversity of this fertile region, its wildlife and landscapes as well as insights on Polynesian music, dance and food traditions. Polynesian cuisine is provided throughout the cruise featuring a grand Luau barbecue one evening with local specialties such as Lomi Lomi-marinated salmon, papaya salad, Maori-style lamb chops, sesame and soy marinated chicken and Maui Kalbi beef ribs. Hawaiian-inspired dinner selections include manoa lettuce with crushed pineapple, caramelized macadamia nuts and ginger sesame dressing, and fish such as ono, and opakapaka (snapper), bought fresh daily on the islands. Expert narrations from the Navigational Bridge provide passengers with an in-depth look at the Kilauea Volcano, the most active volcano in the world, as well as Kauai's Na Pali Coast. From fall 2004 through winter 2005, the premium line offers 16 Circle Hawaii sailings with departures from San Diego, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. All sailings are 15 to 17 days in length and visit the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the big island of Hawaii.

*** Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo will spend one night on each of three Silversea cruises in the Mediterranean next May to discuss his Il Borro wines. This event will be open to all passengers while a new land tour of Tuscany with the Ferragamo family will be restricted to 10 couples from each of the three sailings: Silver Shadow, Barcelona to Rome May 14 with a four-night Ferragamo Post Cruise Experience: May 26-29; Silver Cloud, Rome to Monte Carlo May 29 with a five-night Ferragamo Pre Cruise Experience May 25-29 and Silver Cloud, Barcelona to Rome, May 19 with a four-night Ferragamo Post Cruise Experience May 25-29. The four- or five-night package features a night in Florence at Ferragamo's Hotel Lungamo overlooking the Ponte Vecchio. Salvatore Ferragamo will lead behind-the-scenes tours of the Ferragamo design shops and shoe factory where participants can sit for a private fitting. They will also have the opportunity to preview merchandise from the Ferragamo boutique's collection for next season and attend a fashion show and private dinner at Ferragamo's Piazza Caponi. A stay at the Ferragamo villa at Il Borro with a concert and dinner at the estate's wine cave are also included. The four- or five-night land package begins at $3,995 per person and can be booked through Protravel International in New York.(Call 212-409-9580 to book.) To kick off the Silversea-Ferragamo partnership, Ferragamo will be hosting a party in the flagship New York store on November 11th.

*** Seabourn Cruise Line has announced a 56-day "Wonders of the World Odyssey" sailing from Hong Kong to Venice from March 27 to May 22, 2005 aboard the Seabourn Spirit. Visiting three continents and 28 ports of call, the voyage links together several cruises to offer all the excitement of a world cruise with Grand Voyage Savings of 60% off the brochure fare. Grand Voyage passengers will also enjoy five complimentary Exclusively Seabourn shore experiences especially created to give them privileged, insider's views of Thailand, Dubai, the Sinai, Ephesus and the Dalmatian island of Korcula.

*** Oceania Cruises' Regatta will visit Morocco, Tunisia and Libya in 2005. Having been off-limits to Americans for over two decades, travelers can once again explore some of the finest ancient sites found anywhere in the western world. Passengers will have the opportunity to explore lands settled by the Romans, Phoenicians and Greeks and discover the region's wealth of archaeological treasures. Regatta's 12-night Mediterranean Odyssey sails from Barcelona to Lisbon on November 5, 2005. Ports of Call include Benghazi and Tripoli (overnight), Libya; Valletta, Malta; La Goulette, Tunisia; Gibraltar; Casablanca, Morocco and Seville, Spain. For a limited time, the cruise is offered at 2-for-1 beginning at $1,999 per passenger including free airfare from select U.S. and Canadian gateways. Back to Top

10-22-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Norwegian Cruise Line has confirmed Norwegian Jewel will be delivered on August 5, 2005 from the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. The 2,240-passenger vessel is the sister ship of Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star. Jewel will sail round-trip from Dover, England, on a Mediterranean cruise August 10, and a Baltic cruise on August 23 before repositioning form Dover to New York on September 4, 2005. She will arrive in New York on September 14 for inaugural festivities followed by a series of 11-day Canada and New England cruises. For the winter season, Norwegian Jewel will homeport in Miami and feature Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

*** Holland America Line relaunched the Ryndam on Wednesday in San Diego, the 10th anniversary of the ship's first christening. Ryndam is the first vessel to feature all the enhancements of HAL's new "Signature of Excellence" program. For full details see CruiseMates' article HAL Sets "Excellence" Rollout . View the relaunch webcast by clicking the link on HAL's Ryndam page.

*** The port of Mobile, Alabama celebrated the opening of its new cruise terminal and the arrival of Carnival's Holiday last Friday. The new facility includes an elevated parking area and a carpeted passenger check-in area. The glass enclosed gangway shelters passengers from the weather as they board. The Holiday is sailing year-round from Mobile on four- and five-night cruises to Cozumel and Costa Maya or Calica/Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

*** Royal Caribbean is adding a surcharge for the use of Johnny Rockets restaurants aboard the voyager-class fleet, Voyager, Explorer, Adventure, Navigator and Mariner of the Seas. The $3.95 charge includes gratuity and is added to the passenger's shipboard account. Children under five are not charged. The takeout menu also carries a $3.95 charge and now consists of one burger or sandwich, fries, onion rings and a dessert. All Crown & Anchor members (repeat passengers) will receive a coupon for one complimentary visit to Johnny Rockets. Voyager of the Seas will be the final ship to add the charge starting November 6.

*** Seabourn Pride embarks on a 16-night Amazon adventure, from Manaus, Brazil to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 27, 2005. Highlights of the sailing include a complimentary shoreside event in Parintins, Brazil where passengers visit a Boi Bumba folkloric festival similar to Rio's Carnaval followed by a special dinner designed by chef Charlie Palmer. At Santarem passengers can fish for piranha or visit the Amazonian Center for the Preservation of Wildlife, which cares for rescued or injured wild birds and animals until they can be returned to the wild. There's also an opportunity to sail the Curua Una River in double decker riverboats and visit the village of Pacoval. Seabourn Pride will also navigate the North Breves Narrows and call at Devil's Island, Barbados, St. Barts and St. Thomas. Early Booking Savings up to 35%, fares for the 16-night cruise start from $6,594 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite.

*** Caronia is currently sailing her final cruise for Cunard Line, a 12-night sailing from Southampton to Madeira, Canaries, Spain and Portugal. The vessel will join Saga Holidays of the U.K. in November and sail as the Saga Ruby next March following a major refit. Built originally as the Vistafjord for Norwegian American Line in 1973, Caronia has sailed for Cunard Line since 1983. At Saga Holidays she will re-join her original sister-ship, Sagafjord, which now sails as the Saga Rose.

*** QE2 will circumnavigate the globe on her 2006 world cruise. Departing from New York on January 3, 2006, the 109-day "Voyage of the Seven Wonders" will visit 42 ports in 27 countries on a route to the Panama Canal, Los Angeles, across the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia, through the Far East to India, Arabia and Europe, and across the Atlantic from England back to New York. Overnight stays are included in Auckland, Sydney (two nights), Hong Kong (two nights), Shanghai, Bangkok, Mumbai (Bombay) and Dubai. Five segments, called "Liner Voyages", ranging from 37 to 72 days are available. Round-trip Economy Class air transportation between 102 North American cities and the ship is complimentary on the World Cruise and all Liner Voyages while shipboard gratuities are included for all passengers sailing for 89 days or longer. The world cruise is priced from $33,999 to $399,999 per person, double. Segments start at $12,999 per person, double. Early booking savings of up to 40 percent are available for the full world cruise as well as the five Liner Voyages segments. Back to Top

10-15-04 Weekend Cruise News *** High demand for ConciergeClass cabins has prompted Celebrity Cruises to more than double the number available in 2005. Aboard Constellation, Infinity, Millennium and Summit there will be 228 instead of 100 ConciergeClass staterooms next year. Formerly classified as categories 1A and 1B, "premium ocean-view with veranda", each stateroom is 191 square feet with a 41-square-foot veranda. Special amenities for ConciergeClass include a bottle of champagne, fresh flowers, fruit tray, tension-absorbing pillow-top mattresses, plush duvets and a choice of pillows - conformance, body, goose down or Isotonic. Passengers receive afternoon canapes, a leather key holder, personalized stationery, an oversized tote bag, an umbrella available to use throughout the cruise, shoeshine service, exclusive room service breakfast menu, special bathroom amenities including plush bath rugs, oversized Egyptian cotton towels, double-thick Frette bathrobes, two hair dryers, a Hansgrohe showerhead, and a selection of fine shampoos, body lotions, soaps, shower caps, breath mints and a sewing kit. Special services associated with ConciergeClass are priority luggage delivery, dining time and seating preferences, VIP invitations to exclusive shipboard events, priority shore excursion bookings, early embarkation and debarkation privileges, and a one-touch button on the phone to reach a ConciergeClass desk representative directly.

*** Holland America Line is embarking on a new chapter in its history with the re-launch of the ms Ryndam. To reintroduce the vessel, Madeleine Arison, the ship's Godmother and wife of Carnival Corp chairman and chief executive officer, Micky Arison, will rededicate the ship in a ceremony in San Diego on October 20, 2004. The ceremony will be broadcast live via satellite to a press conference in New York on board Holland America Line's flagship ms Rotterdam. The Ryndam is the first ship in the fleet to showcase the product and service enhancements of the line's $225 million Signature of Excellence initiative including a new Culinary Arts Center, the new Explorations Cafe and upgraded youth facilities.

*** The new teens only area aboard Disney Wonder features a bar serving soft drinks and smoothies, MP3 stations, Internet access and a variety of board games. Called Aloft, the new area replaces the ESPN SkyBox aboard the ship. Diversions is now the spot for watching sports events while the former teen area, Common Grounds, is now a gourmet coffee shop by the adults-only pool. The changes will be complete when Disney Wonder emerges from drydock next week.

*** Silversea Cruises has formed new partnerships which emphasize the line's Italian heritage. Isabella Rossellini will be Silversea's first-ever Ambassador. The renowned actress, model and author will appear in Silversea's print ads and brochures. Rossellini will personally select a suite, renamed The Rossellini Suite, aboard each of the line's ships which will be customized and refurbished to her liking during the course of 2005. The Italian fragrance house of Acqua di Parma will produce Silversea's in-suite bath amenities. Works of art by Italy's new art masters including Petrus, Velasco, Pignatelli, Frangi, Neri and Rapetti will add to the decor of the fleet. Through Silversea's partnership with Italian Factory, passengers will be allowed to purchase select pieces. Italian luxury brand Loro Piana will open a shop onboard each ship featuring a range of accessories, gifts and made-to-measure products. The first Viking Cooking School at sea will offer cooking classes led by Relais & Châteaux - Relais Gourmands chefs. The new Viking culinary theatres will feature a custom-designed cooking station, fully equipped with Viking professional-caliber cookware, cutlery and countertop appliances. An enhanced program of shore excursions, cultural events and access to some of Italy's historical sites is being arranged with Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano (the Italian National Trust). The new programs will be rolled out to the fleet throughout 2005.

*** Princess Cruises has announced the winners of its Alaska shore excursion awards. Since 1999 feedback from Princess passengers during the Alaska season has been used to determine the annual winners. This year's excursion winners include Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest and Four Glacier Adventure via Helicopter in Juneau, the Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure and Guided Alaskan Fishing & Wilderness Dining in Ketchikan, Glacier Point Wilderness Safari and Skagway's Original Street Car tours in Skagway, Captain's Choice Wildlife Quest & Beach Walk in Sitka, Blackstone Glacier Cruise in Whittier, Butchart Gardens, Wine & Chocolate in Victoria. Tour Guide of the Season winners receive $100, a tour of the ship, a letter of commendation, a plaque, and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship and lunch onboard for company officials.

*** Carnival Cruises has arranged new pre and post-cruise stays at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina in conjunction with Carnival Spirit's eight-day Mexican Riviera cruises this fall and winter. Prices for the one- to two-night land stays range from $113 to $220 per person, based on double occupancy and depending on length of stay.

*** Radisson Seven Seas Cruises has extended its online shore excursion bookings to all cruises fleetwide. Passengers logon to www.rssc.com/excursions to create their travel portfolio and request shore excursions. Tickets will be waiting in the stateroom at embarkation and excursions will be charged to the shipboard account. The service is available from 60 days ahead of sailing.

*** Two cruise lines have created their own proprietary wine labels. Crystal Cruises' C Wines include a Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot from the vineyards of California's Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands. Made in limited production to ensure quality, Crystal's first order of C Wines will deliver 54,500 bottles to Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. C Wines will be offered by the glass or by the bottle, and will be showcased on the line's wine list. Celebrity Cruises' Cellarmaster Selection debuts this month onboard every ship in the fleet. The first two wines, are a 2002 Russian River Valley Chardonnay and a 2001 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon with additional products scheduled to follow shortly. Celebrity is making its wines available for home consumption through its web site, where permitted by state and local laws. At www.celebrityvineyards, consumers can preview, purchase and pay for the wine, and track their orders from any Internet-connected PC. Past guests and travel agents will be offered special pricing. Back to Top

10-8-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Carnival Liberty will become the first Carnival ship based year-round in Ft. Lauderdale. The 2,974-passenger vessel will sail alternating six and eight-day cruises from Ft. Lauderdale commencing November 12, 2005. The six-day cruises will depart Sundays and visit Freeport, Grand Cayman and Cozumel while eight-day voyages sail Saturdays on either an eastern route, calling at San Juan, St. Thomas/St. John, Antigua, Tortola/Virgin Gorda, and Nassau, or a southern route calling at Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama and Cozumel, Mexico. Passengers can visit the Panama Canal on excursions from Colon. Carnival Liberty is the fourth Conquest-class ship. She enters service in Europe next July.

*** Recovery from recent hurricane damage continues in Florida and the Caribbean. Port Canaveral is fully operational once again with the successfull dredging of the harbor entrance. Ships requiring a 36 ft. clearance were ablae to enter the harbor this week, including Mariner of the Seas, the largest cruise ship to sail from the port. Renovation work to transform Jubilee into the Pacific Sun continues to fall behind schedule at the badly damaged Grand Bahama drydock. Two more sailings of the vessel from Sydney, Australia have been cancelled delaying the inaugural sailing to November 18, 2004. Cruise ships continue to spend the day at sea or visit alternative ports in place of private islands in the Bahamas, Grand Cayman and Grenada. Damage has been so extensive that Grand Cayman will not be ready for tourism until mid-November. In Grenada where 90 percent of homes have been destroyed, residents are living in available hotel rooms. Tourism is expected to return to the island in early 2005.

*** The World Cruise Center in Los Angeles is seeing improvements as part of the San Pedro Waterfront Development. The 20-year, $700 million plan ill improve an eight mile area from the bridge to the breakwater and includes the expansion of the cruise facility. The first phase of the project will soon be complete. It involves upgrades to the area outside the cruise center including the addition of a greenery, a two-level 800 foot long promenade with recreation deck and instalation of public art. The next phase is a new park in front of the cruise center with fountains, trees and a section dedicated to the maritime history of Los Angeles.

*** Royal Caribbean International has launched a new Gifts and Gear catalog for the purchase of items to be delivered directly to passenger staterooms. The catalog features new clothing collections and youth products as well as candy and food items, flower arrangements and cabin decorations. The new Adventure Wear and Gear line includes tote bags, water bottle holders, beach towels and waist packs. Terry robes and matching slippers and terry waffle robes embroidered with the Royal Caribbean logo are among the itmes in the lounge collection. The youth shop for children features Color Wonder activity packs that include Color Wonder Finger Paint and coloring books; Color Wonder activity totes; and a Crayola Travel Turtle filled with several items. View and download the Gifts and Gear catalog online at www.royalcaribbean.com. Purchases can be made by filling out the order form and submitting it online, emailing the order to giftsandgear@rccl.com; or calling 1-800-722-5443.

*** Carnival Cruise Lines is offering two new packages for passengers wishing to renew their wedding vows. The renewal ceremonies, performed by the ship captains, are available fleetwide and held in a public lounge or the wedding chapel on Spirit-class ships. The standard package starts at $385 and includes a shipboard ceremony performed by the captain, a "renewal of marriage vows" certificate, a champagne toast with two keepsake etched flutes, flowers for both bride and groom, a traditional two-tier wedding cake, pre-recorded wedding music and photographic services. The deluxe package starts at $785 and offers all the amenities of the standard package, as well as a reception with one-hour open bar and hot-and-cold canapes. Ceremonies include aisle runner and decorative floral arrangements. Videography services, live music and tuxedo rental are also available at additional cost. For information on the line's renewal of vows and wedding packages, contact Carnival's Bon Voyage Department at 1-800-933-4968.

*** Prinsendam will sail the 2006 Grand World Voyage for Holland America Line. The 105-day "Circle of the Sun" will not circumnavigate the globe but is scheduled to call at six continents on a route to South America and the Amazon, Antarctica, South and East Africa, India, Egypt and the Suez Canal, North Africa and the Mediterranean. Overnight Stays are included at Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Mombasa and Mumbai. A highlight of the cruise is the Total Solar Eclipse on March 29 when the ship is at sea between Turkey and Crete. Prinsendam departs Ft. Lauderdale January 5, 2006 and returns on April 20, 2006. Extend the voyage to 108 days by disembarking in New York City on April 23, 2006. Shorter segments will be available for passengers joining the ship in Ft. Lauderdale, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Mombasa, Mumbai or Rome. The "Circle of the Sun" voyage goes on sale next month.

*** National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions are combining their strengths to enable more people to participate in expedition travel. Lindblad's flagship, M.S. Endeavour, will relaunch as the National Geographic Endeavour and set sail April 1, 2005 on its maiden voyage from Valparaiso, Chile, to the Panama Canal. The vessel will feature new technological innovations which will spread to the rest of the Lindblad fleet including state-of-the-art equipment to allow extensive underwater exploration. Passengers aboard National Geographic Endeavour will have the opportunity to interact at sea and on shore with National Geographic explorers, researchers, photographers and filmmakers along with Lindblad's expedition leaders and naturalists. An expert advisory panel of world-renowned researchers, scientists and explorers, including oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle and National Geographic Contributing Photographer-in-Residence Emory Kristof, will help shape the conservation, research and education initiatives of the new alliance.

*** Catch a one-hour special on the Travel Channel filmed aboard Brilliance of the Seas. Airing October 14 at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time, the show features host Samantha Brown on her first cruise vacation. The 12-night Mediterranean sailing calls at Barcelona, Spain; Nice, France; Florence, Naples, Rome and Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Corfu, Greece. While in port, Brown participates in a number of excursions, including a gondola ride and walking tour in Venice, a minibus excursion visiting Rome's treasures, a visit to traditional country homes throughout Croatia's Konavle Valley, and a four-wheel drive tour with off-road exploration and local dining in Corfu. Back to Top

10-1-04 Weekend Cruise News Overhang Bungee Trampoline Enchantment's Overhang (left) and Bungee Trampoline (right). Click image for full size . *** Enchantment of the Seas will receive some innovative features when she is lengthened next spring. The 73-foot midsection will add 151 new staterooms and raise the tonnage from 74,140 to 80,700. Enchantment's pool deck area will be expanded by nearly 50 percent, a new sports deck will be added along with a specialty restaurant and new dining venues. Two suspension bridges will be added to Deck 10 spanning more than 75 feet on either side of the Pool Deck below. The sides of the Pool Deck will overhang the water and have peek-a-boo windows in the floor for glimpses of the ocean. A bar and stage for musical entertainment will be added to the overhanging areas. A new interactive Splash Deck for kids features 64 water jets which can be aimed in different directions. At night this area becomes a fountain with fiber-optic light show. The new Sports Deck will include four bungee trampolines at the front of Deck 10 with a view of the sea, ship and sky. The line's signature rock-climbing wall is already on board and the new jogging track will include four fitness stops - rope jumping, sit-up/press-up bars, a step-up station and stretching area. Three basketball hoops with shooting lanes will be different heights for youth, teen and adult shooters. Other additions to Enchantment include new entertainment and shopping options and an expanded casino. Enchantment of the Seas will be out of service from early May to early July when she returns for Canada/New England sailings from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ and Philadelphia.

*** The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association and the International Council of Cruise Lines are continuing to work with cruise lines to gather and deliver supplies to the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. The associations are also lobbying Congress for relief funds. Cruise lines have donated millions of dollars and tons of relief supplies to support in the aftermath of hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne since August. "While several of the nations in the Caribbean have been severely affected by the recent rash of hurricanes, we want people to be aware that much of the Caribbean is undamaged and we are continuing to visit many of our ports in the Caribbean" said Michael Crye, president of the ICCL.

*** Norwegian Dream will sail two additional cruises from New Orleans on October 10 and 17. Dream is arriving early in her new home port as she is unable to enter drydock in the Bahamas due to extensive hurricane damage at the facility. The additional exotic Western Caribbean sailings are priced from $349 for an inside cabin and $449 for an outside cabin on the October 10 and $399 (inside) and $499 (outside) for the October 17. Ports of call are Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan Bay, Honduras; Belize City, Belize and Cancun, Mexico.

*** Sapphire Princess and Diamond Princess will hook up to shore power when they dock in Seattle next summer. The vessels are equipped with an electrical connection which hooks up to electric power ashore. This allows the ships to turn off their engines while in port which reduces fuel consumption and eliminates emissions. Princess initiated the use of shore power in Juneau, Alaska in 2001 where it had a special power facility installed near the pier for use by Princess ships.

*** Celebrity's Savor the Caribbean culinary cruises take place aboard Millennium from February 6 through March 27, 2005. Participants observe demonstrations by the featured chef, attend daily culinary activities, Caribbean themed deck parties and Bacardi rum tastings and lectures. They will also receive a keepsake recipe booklet from Bon Appetit magazine which sponsors the event. On shore cooking classes will take place in Nassau and St. Thomas and are offered as shore excursions. In Nassau Chef Elijah Bowe of the Graycliff Restaurant will demonstrate how to prepare a typical Bahamian lunch of conch chowder, lobster salad and apple crumble while in St. Thomas, Chef Brian Katz, named Best Chef in the Virgin Islands in 2004, will pair Caribbean rums and local fare at his 215-year-old plantation-turned-restaurant. Departing from Ft. Lauderdale on Sundays, the culinary cruises will call at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and Nassau, Bahamas.

*** The latest addition to the Holland America fleet is extended TV service in staterooms. A new documentary channel features programming based on the ship's itinerary. ESPN, Discovery Channel programs and recent and classic TV shows will now be available in all staterooms. Onboard events will also be shown including cooking demonstrations in the ships' Culinary Arts Center. These new channels are in addition to the existing programming which includes CNN, Boomerang, TNT and CNNfn. Back to Top

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