This Week in Cruise - Royal Caribbean Quite Active Last Week, Plus, Carnival Launches Agent Sweepstakes

Royal Caribbean has had a busy week. The cruise line concluded the month-long $50-million drydock of the Legend of the Seas, which was stationed in Singapore as it received Oasis-class amenities, upgrades and renovations. Through March the ship is sailing Southeast Asia itineraries from her Singapore homeport. Itinerary options include: Malaysia (three nights), Southeast Asia (four or five nights), Bangkok and Ko Samui (five nights) and Borneo (seven nights). Beginning in April, the ship will sail a four night Southeast Asia itinerary roundtrip from Singapore and then reposition to Europe for the summer season. It will begin by sailing seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Rome.

The line also began steel cutting for the construction on the first of two new Project Sunshine ships. The steel cutting took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where the two ships will be built. In celebration, Royal Caribbean announced the names of the ships as Quantum of the Seas, set to debut in fall 2014, and Anthem of the Seas, which will follow in spring 2015. They will be part of the Quantum class of ships.

On the subject of renovations, the American Queen Steamboat Company's 436-passenger American Queen entered Bollinger Shipyards in New Orleans for annual refurbishments. The update, costing $500,000 dollars, is scheduled to be finished in time for the American Queen's first 2013 voyage taking place on Feb. 23. Refurbishments include new woodwork, custom-milled carpets and period fabrics in jewel tones. Additionally, all furniture in both public areas and suites is being either reupholstered or replaced.

In order to promote the upcoming 2013 European programs of Carnival Sunshine and Carnival LegendCarnival Cruise Lines is launching a travel agent sweepstakes. For every online booking made for a European voyage on either of these two ships, travel agents may enter their bookings into a drawing to win a grand prize seven-day Carnival cruise for two of their choice, $100 gift cards or 10,000 bonus points in the line’s Travel Agent Rewards Program. Travel agents may enter qualifying bookings in the European Sweepstakes section of through March 8, 2013.

Lastly, Holland America Line announced “On Deck for a Cause,” a new shipboard giving program that will benefit six international cancer organizations located in the United States, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom. The program invites guests to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk on every sailing aboard each of the line’s 15 ships, with proceeds to be distributed among the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Research UK, Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) and KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society). The program will be implemented on ships in the coming month, and a minimum of a 80 percent of guest donations will be distributed to the organizations.

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