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Newsletter: Cruise, 4/21/07

Largest Royal Caribbean Ships To Employ Own Brand of New York


Able to hold 5,400 passengers, Royal Caribbean’s Project Genesis ships will almost be large enough to fit the entire island of Manhattan. It will settle with its own take on Central Park.

Travel agents and media have finally got their first glimpse of one feature onboard Royal Caribbean’s much anticipated Genesis-class ships, which will debut in 2009 and 2010. Shrouded in secrecy up until now, the cruise line this month unveiled Central Park, a football-field-in-length area sure to gather a high volume of foot traffic. The park will include real foliage, trees, gardens, an assortment of stores, seven restaurants, cafes and bars, featuring alfresco dining, and the Rising Tide Bar, which actually will vacillate up and down. In addition, there will be 254 park-view staterooms—all of which will be open to the sky.

An area such as this is possible, said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, because of the ship’s vastness. “Innovation defines us and is reflected in what we do,” Fain said. “We wanted to build our ships with a focus on spaces and activities.”

The idea behind Project Genesis began some four years ago with a focus to develop a large menu of choices for guests. Royal Caribbean has long been a trailblazer in equipping its ships with features such as rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, full-length basketball courts and FlowRider surf simulators.  “The technology of design has changed,” Fain said, “giving us the ability to add more choice and options.”

Royal Caribbean says its next “reveal,” which should divulge the rest of Genesis’ layout, will be June 18 in Manhattan’s Nokia Theatre in Times Square. Visit

Celebrity Hardens Smoking Policy


Citing stricter smoking policies worldwide, Celebrity Cruises is toughening its stance by prohibiting smoking in staterooms and on verandahs, a decision that will go into effect on October 1. Additionally, the new policy will reduce the number of onboard public areas where guests can smoke.

Dan Hanrahan, Celebrity’s president and CEO, says the line is the first premium line to enact such a new standard. He adds that 90 percent of Celebrity’s clientele are non-smokers.

Designated indoor areas where smoking is permitted include the port side of one lounge per ship and a designated slot machine area in each ship’s casino. There will also be designated areas outdoors where guests can smoke. Violations can incur a $250 cleaning fee charged to the guest’s onboard account.

The new policy will first go live on October 3 sailings on Celebrity Galaxy, Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Mercury. Visit

Lance Armstrong-Inspired Class Comes to Crystal


Crystal Cruises is launching an indoor cycling program on both its ships that will resemble stages of the Tour de France. Crystal says the program, was inspired by Lance Armstrong, and will be led by onboard instructors using Le Monde Life fitness bikes and will include three virtual Tour de France rides.

The program is part of Crystal’s nod to onboard health and wellness programs. Guests who complete all three stages will receive a yellow Live Strong wristband, and, for every band distributed, Crystal will donate one dollar to the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s fight against cancer.

The program will first appear in mid-April on Crystal Symphony, then in May on Crystal Serenity. Visit

Boston’s Cruise Season Kicks Off


Warm east coast weather signals the beginning of Boston’s cruise season, which officially began on April 12 at Cruiseport Boston. This year’s season will run through November 7 with some 116 ships representing 15 cruise lines carrying upwards of 280,000 cruisers. Itineraries will include calls in Canada/New England, Bermuda, the Caribbean, as well as transatlantic voyages.

“This cruise season promises to be a busy one with a 20 percent increase over last year,” said Mike Leone, Massport’s port director. “This is good news for Boston’s local restaurants, shops and attractions.”

Beginning in May, NCL’s Norwegian Dream will call Boston home, replacing Norwegian Majesty, and offer weekly Bermuda itineraries and seven-day Canada/New England cruises. NCL and the government of Bermuda recently signed a 10-year agreement, which continues NCL’s run as the exclusive line sailing between Boston and Bermuda.

Boston also welcomes back Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas, which will offer Canada/New England and Caribbean cruises. Also new this season will be a visit from Holland America’s newest ship, Eurodam, which debuts in July. Visit

Celebrity Reprises Short Caribbean Cruises in 2009


Celebrity Cruises will operate four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries again in winter 2009/2010, bookings for which are now open. From December 12, 2009, through April 22, 2010, Celebrity Century will sail 29 short Western Caribbean itineraries departing from Miami on Mondays, Thursday and Saturdays, each featuring two ports of call including Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Key West. Visit

Sayonara to Celebration


Carnival’s Celebration departed on its final stateside cruise on April 14 from Jacksonville, where it had been sailing year-round four- and five-day cruises to the Bahamas. The 21-year-old, 1,486-passenger ship will join Iberocruceros, Carnival’s joint venture with Orizonia Corporacion, Spain’s largest travel company, after extensive renovations. Fascination will assume Celebration’s old routes this fall. Visit

The Latest Deals: Cruise West Offers Agent Promotion


Cruise West is offering a new promotion explicitly for travel agents called “2-64-6-8 Who Do we Appreciate It? Our Travel Partners!” The promotion is open to travel sellers for new bookings of 2008 Alaska Inside Passage and Glacier Bay Highlights cruises made through May 31.

For every two bookings made, the incentive increases and agents have the chance to make up to $1,000 in AmEx gift cards if they book eight new cruises. Visit

The Latest Deals: Holland America Offers Early Booking Amenities on 2009 Grand Voyages


Holland America Line’s 2009 Grand Voyages, which span between 50 and 117 days, will offer guests a host of amenities if booked by May 31, 2008. Early booking amenities vary depending on the cruise and stateroom category and can include first-class or economy air, limo transfers, shipboard credits, luggage delivery and pre-paid gratuities.

Holland America will offer four Grand Voyages in 2009 on Rotterdam, Prinsendam and Amsterdam exploring such destinations as South America, Antarctica, the South Pacific and the Mediterranean. Visit

The Latest Deals: Save on NCL Northern Europe Voyage


Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a 12-day North Cape cruise roundtrip from Southampton on Norwegian Jade departing June 29 for $1,399 per person for a best available inside room.

The cruise calls in Aalesund, Kristiansund, Svartisen Glacier, Honningsvaag, Trondheim, Hellesylt, Bergen and Stavanger. Use promo type PGSD1. Visit

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