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Celebrity Solstice To Extend Inaugural Season, Pushes Up Maiden Voyage
Celebrity Cruises is adding three additional sailings to Celebrity Solstice's inaugural season, including a new maiden voyage. The ship will now enter service November 23, weeks prior to the previously announced debut date of December 14. Guests booked on the previous maiden voyage do have the option of rebooking the new date. Celebrity has established a two-week rebooking window through June. Booked guests will have the ability to move their booking to the November 23 cruise without penalty and receive the same guestroom or suite category, at the original rate. Until June 12, bookings for the new maiden voyage will only be open to guests booked in the December 14 cruise.
Bookings for the November 30 and December 7 sailings are open now.
The December 14 sailing will be followed by two additional seven-night Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale and visiting San Juan, St. Maarten and Basseterre, St. Kitts. Visit www.celebritycruises.com.
Zuiderdam Emerges From Drydock With Renovations
Holland America Line's Zuiderdam has emerged from a three-week dry dock at Fincantieri Palermo Shipyard in Italy with 34 new staterooms, the addition of an Explorations Cafe, a more spacious Pinnacle Grill with the addition of a Pinnacle Bar, increased Lido Restaurant seating and new environmentally-friendly touches. The renovations are part of Holland America's ongoing Signature of Excellence upgrades to its fleet, which has tallied over $250 million. For the remainder of the year, Zuiderdam will offer 12-day cruises in the Mediterranean with a 17-day transatlantic crossing in October from Venice to Fort Lauderdale where it will begin operating 10-day Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises. Visit www.hollandamerica.com.
Costa Bolsters Group Business
Costa Cruises North America has added two new industry professionals to lead its group sales leadership team. Rosetta Pugliese was named director of charter and incentive sales and Susan Windham was named director of group operations. Together they will lead Costa's group sales team and look to grow the line's group business, a very important segment of cruise line revenue.
Pugliese and Windham have worked in the cruise industry for 20-plus years, both most recently for Carnival Cruise Lines, a sister brand of Costa. Pugliese's responsibilities will include conducting group training seminars and product presentations; Windham will be responsible for overseeing the entire group department, which services small and large groups sourced in the North American market. Visit www.costacruises.com.
Holland America Employs Native Alaskan Guides
This Alaskan season, passengers cruising with Holland America Line will get in-depth information about their surroundings and environment from actual native Alaskan travel guides.
The guides will be on board most of Holland America's 114 Alaska sailings this year, sharing their personal knowledge and experience in local culture, history and art. They will give six to seven presentations over the course of a seven-day cruise, focusing on anything from wildlife to glaciers. In addition to the guides, a Tlingit cultural interpreter from Hoonah will board ships at Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier and explain the origins of the Huna people.
The placement of native guides on Holland America's ships is being carried out in partnership with the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Visit www.hollandamerica.com.
Crystal Adds Fuel Surcharge To 2009 Bookings Made After June 15
A fuel surcharge of $7 will be added to all of Crystal Cruises' 2009 bookings made after June 15, 2008. Currently, passengers who book a 2009 Crystal cruise before the June 16 cutoff will not have to pay a fuel surcharge. Crystal currently charges a $7 fuel supplement on 2008 voyages. Visit www.crystalcruises.com.
Royal Caribbean Goes With Oasis and Allure for Genesis Names
Royal Caribbean can do away with its Project Genesis codename. After more than 91,000 entries from the general public, the cruise line has settled on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas as the names of its two mammoth 5,400-passenger, now Oasis-class ships slated to debut in 2009 and 2010.
The "Name that Ship" contest, which launched January 18, was carried out in partnership with USA Today, and entrants were asked to submit two possible names. George Weiser of Livonia, MI, was the lucky winner, receiving the highest scores from a panel of judges, including Lauren Teton, a founding partner of Name One!, which specializes in finding unique names for products. Visit www.royalcaribbean.com.
Holland America Offers Specials on Alaska Itineraries
Holland America Line is making it easy to experience Alaska with cruises beginning as low as $599 per person.
Holland America's seven-day Glacier Bay Discovery Cruise on the Zaandam and the Volendam sails between Vancouver and Seward departing on Sundays through September. Inside rooms begin at $599, while ocean-view rooms begin at $749 per person. In addition, Holland America is offering reduced fares for third and fourth passengers, as low as $99. Visit www.hollandamerica.com.
Carnival Offers Baja Mexico Deal
Seeing Mexico just got cheaper. Carnival Cruise Lines is offering a five-day Baja Mexico cruise roundtrip from San Diego July 12 on Carnival Elation starting at $549 per person. Ports of call include Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada. Visit www.carnival.com.