News Archive - September 2004

9-24-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Carnival Corporation has ordered four new ships from Italian shipbuilder, Fincantieri for delivery in 2007 and 2008. The multi-billion dollar deal calls for the construction of a 110,000-ton "Conquest-class" ship for Carnival Cruise Lines at Fincantieri's Sestri yard, and a 116,000-ton "Caribbean Princess-class" ship for Princess Cruises at Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard. Both ships are expected to be delivered in spring 2007. Two similar-sized vessels � one at 110,000 tons carrying approximately 3,000 lower berth passengers and another 116,000 tons carrying approximately 3,100 lower berth passengers - are expected to go to Carnival's European based cruise lines. Carnival has a one-year option to designate which of the company's cruise lines will take delivery of the vessels. Both are scheduled for delivery in spring 2008. They will also be built at Fincantieri's Sestri and Monfalcone yards. Carnival is revising the design of Cunard Line's Queen Victoria and extending its delivery date from January 2007 to the summer of 2007. The vessel will be lengthened by 12 feet and its tonnage increased to 90,000 with its lower berth passenger capacity increased to 2,000. In addition, Carnival is continuing to work with Fincantieri on new cruise ship development projects including the "Pinnacle Project" which is a large prototype vessel for the Carnival Cruise Lines brand.

*** Norwegian Cruise Line has released more details of the Norwegian Jewel, the sister ship of Dawn and Star which will enter service in August 2005. NCL has increased the number of cabins from 1112 on Norwegian Dawn to 1188 on Norwegian Jewel, accommodating 2,400 passengers (double capacity) and more than 1,000 crew. New onboard will be 10 penthouse suites sharing a private courtyard, complete with swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a small gym. Norwegian Jewel will have 10 restaurants including Cagney's Steak House, Blue Lagoon, NCL's signature restaurant, Le Bistro, Tango's for Latin/Tapas fare, Chin Chin Asian restaurant and Mama's Italian Kitchen. The two main restaurants will be the Tsar's Palace, with decor is inspired by the palaces of St. Petersburg and the era of Russian Tsars, and Azura with modern boutique hotel designs. The new "Bar Central" will feature Shakers Martini and Cocktail Bar with '60's inspired decor, Magnum's Champagne and Wine Bar in French art deco style replicating the grand liner Normandie and Maltings Beer and Whiskey Pub in contemporary style with low seating and tables, mood lighting and backlit artwork. Additional bars and lounges are the Sky High Bar, a beer garden designed to resemble a hot air balloon and the "Fyzz" Cabaret Lounge with three private Karaoke rooms.

*** Cruise ships were not calling at the islands of Grenada, Grand Cayman and private islands in the Bahamas this week in the wake of recent hurricane and storm damage. The International Council of Cruise Lines and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association are working with the cruise lines to secure aid for stricken areas. Caribbean Princess made a service call to Grand Cayman to deliver aid to the badly damaged island. No passengers were disembarked. The Zuiderdam will replace Half Moon Cay with a call at Nassau today due to the direction of the latest storm, Hurricane Jeanne, and will replace Grand Cayman with a call at Costa Maya on its October 2 cruise due to damage from Hurricane Ivan. Meanwhile the remnants of Hurricane Ivan reached the Canadian Maritimes preventing the Queen Mary 2 from calling at Sydney, Nova Scotia last Tuesday.

*** Clipper Odyssey is currently en route to Papeete Tahiti where she will resume her cruising schedule on October 1. The Clipper Odyssey had been damaged after running against a previously uncharted rock in the Aleutian Islands on July 31. Necessary repairs were carried out in Vancouver, British Columbia. No injuries were sustained by anyone onboard the ship, and official reports indicate that environmental impact was negligible. The October 1 cruise from French Polynesia to Easter Island includes a visit with the descendants of the H.M.S. Bounty mutineers on Pitcairn Island and gives passengers a chance to view the giant stone moai on Easter Island. Clipper Odyssey will then sail to Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and New Zealand's North and South Islands for the remainder of the year.

*** The entire Royal Caribbean fleet will be registered in the Bahamas by early 2005. Enchantment of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas will be transferred from the registry in Norway. Royal Caribbean's other 13 ships are already registered in the Bahamas, as are the nine ships of its sister brand, Celebrity Cruises. Having Royal Caribbean's ships registered in two countries has required the company to operate under different sets of standards involving marine operations, hiring, compensation and benefits, medical certification and other issues. Operating under a single flag will result in a more streamlined management process for Royal Caribbean's shipboard operations, according to the company.

*** Carnival Valor has embarked on sea trials in the Adriatic. The 110,000-ton vessel is being constructed in Italy at Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard. Valor enters service in December and will be christened by Katie Couric, the longtime co-host of NBC News' "Today" show, at an evening ceremony in Miami on December 17, 2004.

*** Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf sails the Mayan Riviera in 2005, a world-class diving region. The diving program onboard ship offers two-tank dives on five of seven cruising days, as well as post-cruise dive opportunities. PADI Diving Society members will receive a $75 diving credit on board when they identify themselves at booking. Programs are in place for both advanced divers and novices who wish to experience the thrills of diving alongside dolphins, turtles, whale sharks and some of the finest coral environments in the world. Windstar has extensively surveyed the region and identified the top diving opportunities at each destination. Teams of PADI-certified instructors and dive masters will be on board to organize dives and accompany both experienced and novice divers to sites that match their ability levels. Check-out dives and pool sessions are available for divers who wish to brush up on their skills before returning to deeper waters. Advance booking rates are as low as $1,295 for bookings made before November 30, 2004 and dive packages can be purchased for as little as $360, including six dives in Belize and Honduras, a complimentary dive in Mexico and a souvenir.

*** Hundreds of employees from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will roll up their sleeves Saturday, October 2 to spruce up schools, youth centers and other inner-city public areas as part of the company's annual G.I.V.E. Day activities. Now in its seventh consecutive year, G.I.V.E. ("Get Involved Volunteer Everywhere") Day is a community service event that brings out Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises employees, their families and friends to help nonprofit organizations improve the quality of life in their communities. The company will also operate the annual Cystic Fibrosis fund raiser, SHINE ON MIAMI, the weekend of January 20-23, 2005. The event includes a one-day offshore fishing competition, a double shotgun, 18-hole golf tournament, and a gala dinner and auction celebration combined with a lavish one-night cruise on Celebrity Cruises' Summit, with proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation and United Way of Miami-Dade. Back to Top

9-17-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Costa's newest ship, the Costa Magica, will debut in November. The sister ship of Costa Fortuna, Magica is 105,000-tons and carries 3,470 passengers and a crew of 1,068. The decor is inspired by well-known areas of Italy, including Positano, Portofino, Capri, Bellagio, Salento, Sicily and Venice. On board highlights include four swimming pools, including one for children and six Jacuzzis. The main swimming pool deck is shaped like an amphitheatre while the stern swimming pool has a retractable dome roof. On board are two, two-deck restaurants, a self-service buffet, a Club (a la carte) restaurant, pizzeria, three-deck theater, two-deck discotheque, ballrooms, 11 bars, Internet Cafe and casino. The wellness and beauty center is equipped with an ultramodern gym with glass walls overlooking the sea, a sauna and Turkish bath. Numerous relaxation and wellness services will be offered. Costa Magica will debut on November 10, 2004, departing from the Palacrociere in Savona, for an eight-night cruise to Naples, Messina, Kotor Bay, Venice, Dubrovnik and Corf�. From November 18, 2004 through April 26, 2005, Magica will sail 11-night cruises round-trip from Savona to Naples; Alexandria, Egypt; Limassol, Cyprus; the Greek island of Rhodes; Marmaris, Turkey; Athens and Katakolon. Two eight-night cruises sail at Christmas 2004 and the beginning of March 2005 to Greece, Malta and Tunisia.

*** Carnival Cruise Lines' Paradise will no longer be a non-smoking ship when she starts year-round service from Long Beach to the Mexican Riviera on Monday September 20. She will follow the same Carnival regulations as the rest of the fleet with some no-smoking areas including show lounges, Lido Deck alternative restaurants and the main dining rooms. From Long Beach Paradise will sail three-night cruises on Fridays to Ensenada and four-night cruises on Monday to Ensenada and Catalina Island.

*** Windjammer Barefoot Cruises' Yankee Clipper will homeport on the island of St. Vincent while Grenada rebuilds following Hurricane Ivan. Passengers aboard the sailing ship will still visit the islands of the Grenadines on their Yankee Clipper cruise. Windjammer plans to slowly return to Grenada as its facilities are repaired.

*** The Alaska season is winding down this month with ships sailing away from Vancouver and Seattle for the last time in 2004. Norwegian Star, Norwegian Spirit, Sapphire Princess and Diamond Princess depart Seattle this weekend. Silver Shadow has left the region following Silversea's first Alaska season. The line will return in 2006. Holland America, the leader with seven ships sailing to Alaska in 2004, will be the last line to leave Vancouver in early October. HAL will again send seven ships to Alaska in 2005 when the season starts up again next May.

*** Windstar Cruises will offer four Panama Canal transits in 2005 aboard the Wind Star which is being redeployed to the region from Tahiti at the end of the year. Two 14-night Panama Canal sailings between Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, and Bridgetown, Barbados depart March 26 and November 19, 2005 while two December transits sail between Puerto Limon and Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, including a 10-day holiday cruise departing December 17, 2005 and an 11-day New Year's cruise taking to sea on December 27, 2005. Depending on itinerary, ports of call include: Golfito, Isla Coiba, Playa Flamingo, Quepos, Puerto Moin, and Bah�a Para�so, Costa Rica; Isla San Telmo, Panama; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Barranquilla, Columbia; St. George's, Grenada; Bequia, Grenadines; Tobago, West Indies; Isla de Margarita, Venezuela; and Bonaire, Cura�ao and Aruba, Netherlands Antilles. Shore excursions include visits to wildlife sanctuaries and rain forests in this exotic and endangered part of the world. Passengers may also participate in Windstar's complimentary water sports activities and PADI-certified dive program offered from the ship's sports platform.

*** Jewel of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas will sail from Boston in 2005 on two new itineraries. From Sept. 12 through October 22, 2005, Jewel of the Seas returns to Boston to sail 10-night Caribbean and Bermuda sailings calling at Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee, Tortola, B.V.I., St. Maarten and a two-day stay in King's Wharf, Bermuda. From September 4 to September 18, 2005, Enchantment of the Seas will make her Boston debut, sailing seven-night round-trip Canada/New England cruises calling at Martha's Vineyard; Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John, New Brunswick. A five-night cruise on Aug. 30, 2005, will call at Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Enchantment of the Seas will arrive in Boston after completing an extensive renovation, in which the ship will be lengthened by 73 feet. The ship will feature an additional 151 staterooms as well as a variety of new amenities and activities to be announced later this fall.

*** Celebrity's Mercury will sail a new series of cruises to ports along British Columbia's Inside Passage next fall. The three and five-night cruises sail round-trip from Seattle between September 16 and October 8, 2005 on various itineraries calling at Campbell River, Victoria, Prince Rupert and Nanaimo. Back to Top

9-10-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Royal Caribbean has ordered a second Ultra Voyager ship to be built at Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland for delivery in the spring of 2007. The first Ultra Voyager is already under construction, scheduled for delivery in May, 2006. The Ultra Voyagers are expected to be about 160,000 tons, roughly 15 percent larger than the existing Voyager-class ships, Voyager, Explorer, Adventure, Navigator and Mariner of the Seas and just over six percent larger than the Queen Mary 2, currently the world's largest cruise ship. Ultra Voyager will carry 3,600 passengers and 1,400 crew at full capacity. The expected cost of the new vessel is around U.S.$700 million (EURO 570-580 million).

*** Port Canaveral remains closed due to damage at the harbor entrance caused by Hurricane Frances. Ships will continue to sail from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale until Port Canaveral reopens. Cruise lines are transferring passengers to their ships from Port Canaveral or their arrival airport.

*** Ships are altering itineraries as Hurricane Ivan crosses Jamaica and the Cayman Islands forcing Western Caribbean bound ships to head for Eastern Caribbean ports. Last week when Hurricane Frances caused disruption in cruise schedules, Jamaica benefited as Caribbean Princess and Voyager of the Seas were diverted to Montego Bay due to Hurricane Frances and the threat to the Eastern Caribbean ports. The 6,000 passengers and crew the two ships carried added an unexpected boost to the local economy. Attractions, tour operators, restaurants, beaches and souvenirs shops all benefited according to a spokesman for the port. 2004 was shaping up to be another record year for cruise ship visits to Montego Bay prior to the arrival of Ivan.

*** Carnival Cruise Lines' Jubilee is currently at Grand Bahama drydock being transformed into the Pacific Sun for P&O Cruises Australia. With the closure of the drydock due to Hurricane Frances, Pacific Sun is behind schedule forcing the cancellation of the first voyage from Sydney, Australia. Pacific Sun will now sail her maiden voyage on October 27, a six-night cruise to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup horse race. Naming ceremonies for the vessel have also been delayed to sometime in November. Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer Lisa Curry Kenny will name Pacific Sun.

*** Jewel of the Seas arrives in Boston for the first time tomorrow. Royal Caribbean's newest ship entered service last May and sailed in Northern Europe for the summer. The fourth Radiance-class ship for RCI, Jewel is 90,090 tons and carries 2,500 passengers. From Boston, Jewel of the Seas will sail one special seven-night Canada/New England itinerary followed by four 10-night Canada/New England cruises visiting Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Quebec City, Quebec; the Saguenay River; and Saint John, New Brunswick. Jewel will then head south for the winter in November to sail alternating eight-night Eastern Caribbean and six-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale. She will return to Harwich, England, on May 15, 2005, to sail 12-night Scandinavia/Russia itineraries and two special 12-night British Isles/Norwegian Fjords cruises. Jewel will return to Boston in September 2005 to sail five unique 10-night Bermuda/Caribbean itineraries visiting Tortola, B.V.I.; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; King's Wharf, Bermuda and Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee in Hispanola.

*** Some Caribbean nations are finding the number of cruise passengers arriving on large cruise ships to be overwhelming. Belize recently capped the number of visitors at 8,000 a day while Mexico is considering a new tax on cruise passengers. Mexico has seen the number of cruise passengers triple in the last decade to more than five million. A charge of $5 to $10 per passenger has been proposed by Mexico's Tourism Secretariat to support local development since Mexican port taxes often go to private companies who operate the cruise ship facilities.

*** The new Carnival Valor enters service December 15, 2004 sailing a pre-inaugural cruise. The 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger ship will sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises weekly from Miami year-round starting December 19. Two Las Vegas-style revues, "Far From Over - The 80s" and "Nightclub Express", will be featured in the ship's 1,400-seat medieval-themed Ivanhoe Show Lounge. "Far From Over - The 80s" includes a tribute to the dance movies of the 1980s such as Fame, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and Flashdance while "Nightclub Express" takes passengers on a tour of ten world famous cabarets and night spots, from the Copacabana to the Cotton Club and Studio 54.

*** Spain plans to lift its ban on cruise ships which call at Gibraltar. For much of the past three years, non-European Economic Community vessels were not allowed to call in Spanish ports if they had already called at Gibraltar, a move which took Gibraltar off many itineraries and fueled anti-Spanish sentiment in Gibraltar. The Spanish government still claims sovereignty over Gibraltar. It is hoped that the lift of the ban will see Gibraltar added to more Western Mediterranean itineraries. Back to Top

9-8-04 Port Canaveral Closed - Ships Avoid Ivan Port Canaveral is expected to remain closed to cruise ship traffic through September 9 due to damage at the harbor entrance caused by Hurricane Frances. Disney Wonder and Sovereign of the Seas will sail from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow and Friday respectively. Sovereign of the Seas will sail a modified itinerary, visiting Nassau, Bahamas, from 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and return to Port Everglades on Monday morning September 13. Disney Magic is expected to return to Port Canaveral on September 12. Fantasy will sail Thursday's three-day Bahamas cruise from Miami instead of Port Canaveral. The cruise will return to Port Canaveral on Sunday September 12 as scheduled. Cruise lines are arranging for passengers to be transported from their arrival airport or from Port Canaveral to Port Everglades and Miami.

Due to the path of the latest major storm, Hurricane Ivan, Adventure of the Seas is replacing Curacao with St. Lucia and Enchantment of the Seas will call at Nassau in place of Cozumel this week. Carnival Destiny is sailing a modified schedule calling at Dominica today, Barbados (tentative) on Thursday and Tortola on Saturday. Back to Top

9-7-04 Further Changes Due to Frances The two Carnival Cruise Lines vessels homeported at Port Canaveral, the Fantasy and Carnival Glory, terminated their current voyages in Miami today as a result of Hurricane Frances and the continued closure of Port Canaveral. Passengers disembarking in Miami from both ships were provided complimentary bus transportation to the Orlando airport and Port Canaveral. Passengers scheduled to sail on tonight's voyage of Carnival Glory are being transported by coach from the Orlando airport and Port Canaveral to Miami. This sailing is now a four-day cruise from Miami to Port Canaveral with port calls at Nassau and Freeport (Freeport call is tentative), Bahamas. The two-day Fantasy voyage that was to depart Miami tonight has now been cancelled. Back to Top

9-05-04 Hurrican Frances Update - Sunday September 5 *** Due to the slow progress of Hurricane Frances and port closures, cruise lines are making further amendments to their schedules:

Carnival has announced that Sensation's cruise, previously delayed to Tuesday has now been cancelled. Inspiration originally scheduled to depart on Sunday, Sept. 5, has now been modified to a five-day cruise departing Tuesday, Sept. 7. The cruise will call at Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Both ships will be arriving late from their current voyages due to the path of the storm and subsequent port closure. Up-to-date information on all Carnival ship arrivals and departures is available via the cruise line's web site at and via recorded message at 1-800-CARNIVAL.

Caribbean Princess is arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on Monday instead of Saturday due to the port closure. The next voyage will be a five-night Western Caribbean sailing departing 10 p.m. Monday September 6. More details are available at

Zuiderdam will arrive in Ft. Lauderdale on Monday morning. The ship was scheduled to arrive in Fort Lauderdale at the conclusion of its cruise on Saturday, September 4. Friends and family of those currently on the Zuiderdam can call 888-624-5788 for the latest information. The Saturday, September 4th sailing of Zuiderdam will now depart on Monday, September 6th at 7:00 p.m. Embarkation will begin at 1:30 p.m. The cruise itinerary has been changed with calls in Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. Passengers can call 888-624-5788 for recorded updates. More details are available at

Norwegian Dawn's cruise departing from New York, Sunday September 5 may have its itinerary adjusted depending on weather conditions. NCL is monitoring the situation.

Century is currently expected to arrive at Port Everglades Monday morning, September 6. The ship, normally scheduled to depart Port Everglades Saturday, on a seven-night sailing, will now sail a five-night cruise departing Monday at 10 p.m. The ship will sail a modified itinerary that will end as originally scheduled. More details are available at

Royal Caribbean has several ships affected by the hurricane. More details are available at

  • Navigator of the Seas is currently expected to arrive at the Port of Miami Monday morning, September 6. The ship, normally scheduled to depart the Port of Miami Saturday, on a seven-night sailing, will delay its departure until Monday at 10 p.m. local time. The ship will sail a modified itinerary that will end as originally scheduled.
  • Enchantment of the Seas is currently expected to arrive at Port Everglades Monday morning, September 6. The ship, normally scheduled to depart Port Everglades Saturday, on a five-night sailing, will delay its departure until Monday at 10 p.m. local time. The ship will sail a modified itinerary that will end on September 9.
  • Mariner of the Seas is currently expected to arrive at Port Canaveral late Monday evening, September 6, or early Tuesday morning, September 7. The ship, normally scheduled to depart Port Canaveral Sunday, on a seven-night sailing, will delay its departure until Tuesday at 5 p.m. local time. The ship will sail a modified itinerary that will end on September 12.
  • Explorer of the Seas is currently expected to arrive at the Port of Miami Monday morning, September 6. The ship, normally scheduled to depart the Port of Miami Sunday, on a seven-night sailing, will delay its departure until Monday at 10 p.m. local time. The ship will sail a modified itinerary that will end September 12.
  • Sovereign of the Seas is currently expected to arrive at Port Everglades Monday morning, September 6. Guests will be assisted with travel arrangements to return home. Sovereign will not make its four night cruise scheduled to depart Port Canaveral on Monday, September 6. That sailing is cancelled.
  • Majesty of the Seas is currently expected to arrive at the Port of Miami Monday morning, September 6. The ship will delay its departure until 8 p.m. Monday evening.
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9-3-04 Hurrican Frances Update *** Cruise line offices in South Florida are closed today as residents prepare for Hurricane Frances. Cruise ships are expected to return late to Florida from current voyages due to port closures with the impending arrival of the hurricane. Many weekend sailings have been cancelled including Majesty of the Seas, Sovereign of the Seas, and Fascination. The weekend departure of longer sailings has been delayed to Monday (Navigator of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Century, Carnival Triumph, Paradise, Caribbean Princess) or Tuesday (Carnival Glory, Fantasy, Inspiration) with cruises shortened accordingly. Cruise lines continue to issue updates on their web sites. Links to cruise line sites can be found on our "Cruise Links" page. Back to Top

9-3-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Celebrity Cruises has cancelled the September 10 Alaska sailing of Summit which needs a bearing replacement in the starboard propulsion system. Passengers booked on this sailing will receive a full refund and a free future cruise. Celebrity has established a special Help Desk to assist passengers and travel agents at 1-877-200-2897. The ship is operating at 18 instead of 23 knots. There will be adjustments to the time spent in two ports on the September 3 cruise due to the propulsion problem. Summit will be repaired in San Francisco, returning for the final Alaska sailing from Vancouver to San Diego, now scheduled to depart on September 20 instead of September 17. Premature wear of propulsion system bearings has been an ongoing concern with Celebrity's Millennium class ships. Celebrity has a law suit in progress against the manufacturers.

*** Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas has received an Environmental Life-Buoy Certificate from the Ports of Stockholm for its use of low sulfur fuel. Captain James MacDonald, master of Jewel of the Seas, accepted the award on August 25, during the ship's last of five port calls in Stockholm this summer. The ship will make seven calls there next year, between May and September. Since the mid-1980s, the Ports of Stockholm have worked to reduce emissions of sulfur oxides and nitrous oxides and to improve waste handling onboard commercial vessels. In 2000, the ports began awarding environmental initiatives on the Baltic Sea with the Environmental Life-Buoy Certificate. One of RCI's four 90,090-ton Radiance-class vessels, Jewel is equipped with LM2500+ gas turbines, manufactured by General Electric Marine Engines which reduce the emission of nitrous oxides by 85 percent and sulfur oxides by more than 90 percent. Jewel's smokeless gas turbine power system uses a very refined, distillate fuel, virtually eliminating airborne emissions compared to internal combustion engines. As a certificate recipient, Jewel of the Seas is now entitled to reduced harbor fees at the Ports of Stockholm.

*** Three cruise ships were involved in rescues at sea in August. Carnival Cruise Line's Holiday rescued five people off the coast of Cancun on August 21 after their fishing boat burned and capsized. The rescue took place in darkness. Two people were pulled from the water followed by three others, including a 10-year old boy, 90 minutes later. After being treated in the ship's infirmary, they were transferred to a vessel of the Mexican Coast Guard. NCL's Norwegian Sea rescued four Honduran men in the Yucatan Strait August 22. The four had set out on a fishing trip from Roatan on August 8. Their boat capsized two days later and drifted for 12 days before the rescue. The men survived their ordeal by drinking rainwater and eating fish. On August 4, Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow answered a distress call from a sailboat while en route from Prince Rupert, BC, to San Francisco. The Canadian-registered Winds of Tune had six crew on board and was heading for Vancouver from Hawaii when it ran out of diesel fuel. Silver Shadow delivered 120 liters of fuel to the boat which continued on its way.

*** Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of the Carnival Corporation was awarded the Officer of the French Legion of Honor, France's highest civilian honor, in a ceremony held earlier today in Marseille, France, aboard the Queen Mary 2. The award, which was conferred by President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac, acknowledges Arison's many accomplishments during his 35-year career, especially his contributions to French shipbuilding, including his decision to construct the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest ocean liner, at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire.

*** New self-service, digital photo printing kiosks are appearing on board the ships of Carnival Cruise Lines and will be available fleet-wide by year end. Pixel Magic's iStation 150 photo printing kiosks are located near the ships' photo galleries. To print their photos, passengers insert the memory card from their digital camera into a card reader located within the stand-alone printing kiosk. After selecting photo size and quantity, the images are then printed on high quality digital photo paper using Pixel Magic's latest MegaPixel III printers. Photos can be customized with borders, backgrounds and other features. To pay for the photos, passengers swipe their "Sail & Sign" shipboard card and the amount is charged to their account. Another new feature being tested in photo galleries is "facial recognition technology" which matches a passenger's likeness with photos taken by the shipboard photographers and displays their photos on the computer screen for review and purchase. Carnival has also expanded the photo accessories sold onboard its ships to include ScanDisk digital memory cards.

*** Small ship operator Cruise West has lined up a series of Virtual Cruise Nights to give an idea of what it is like to sail aboard its fleet. A new series of presentations is scheduled at 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time beginning September 21 and running until December 2, 2004. Details on how to log into the web-based conference call presentations are available at Cruise West's web site,, by way of the "Attend Live Presentations" link on the site's right-hand side. Each presentation is enhanced by the images of scenery and wildlife taken by Cruise West passengers and crew, as well as detailed maps and photos of each ship's facilities. The state-of-the-art presentations are able to respond immediately to participant questions and comments. Each hour-long session (participants can join or sign-off at any point) is hosted by a knowledgeable speaker and allows for questions and comments from the participants throughout. The current line-up offers presentations on the British Columbia Coastal Wilderness Cruise (Sept. 21), Costa Rica and Panama (Oct. 5), Exploring the Inside Passage (Oct. 21), the Columbia & Snake Rivers - Lewis and Clark (Oct. 28), Alaska's Grand Voyages (Nov. 4), Daylight Yacht Touring (Nov. 16) and Discovering Prince William Sound (Dec. 2). Future sessions, posted on the company's web site, will include additional Cruise West Alaska itineraries, and California Wine Country. Cruise West operates a fleet of eight small ships with capacities of 78 to 114 guests. Its focus is always on the destination - wildlife, glaciers, fjords, indigenous cultures, pristine beaches, remote ports.

*** The 2005 route has been announced for The World, the only private residential community at sea. The vessel sails continually worldwide. Starting 2005 in South Africa, The World will then head for southeast Asia, continue through Suez to Europe for the summer then on to North America, ending the year in the Caribbean. Through the Travel by Design program, it is possible to sail aboard the exclusive ship by booking an apartment for six nights or longer. The nightly charge is $1,000 per night per unit for studio residences and $2,000 per night for one to three-bedroom apartments. The fare includes dining, beverages, gratuities and port charges. Additional guests in a studio or apartment residence will be charged a $200 per person, per night fare. Single occupancy fare for studio and apartment residences will be the full per unit fare. Apartments are also available for purchase at a price of $1,247,500 for one-bedroom, $1,697,500 for two-bedroom apartments and $4,170,000 for three-bedroom apartments. For more details visit Back to Top

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