Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: April 15, 2008

CELEBRITY CRUISES this fall will ban smoking in cabins and on balconies and will  offer fewer public smoking areas. Designated indoor smoking areas will include the port side of one lounge per ship and a designated slot machine area in each ship's casino. Outdoor smoking areas will vary with each ship. Celebrity Cruises President Dan Hanrahan said that approximately 90% of Celebrity guests do not smoke. Violations to Celebrity's smoking policy could result in a $250 cleaning fee charged to the guest's onboard account. The policy will go into effect on each Celebrity ship's first sailing after Oct. 1.

CARNIVAL CORP. raised the fuel surcharge for six cruise brands by $2, to $7 per day for each of the first two passengers in each cabin. The lines -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa, Princess, Holland America, Cunard and Seabourn -- will apply the higher surcharge only to bookings made after April 20. The total surcharge is capped at $98 each, per cruise, for the first two passengers. The lines are also adding a fuel surcharge of $2 per day for the third, fourth and fifth passengers in any cabin, capped at $28 per person, per cruise.

A CALIFORNIA BILL that aims to place law enforcement officers known as ocean rangers on cruise ships operating from California ports passed its first test on April 8, when the California Senate's Public Safety Committee gave it unanimous approval and pushed it to the next step in the legislative process. State Sen. Joe Simitian (D) introduced the California Ocean Ranger program in a bill, saying that the cruise industry does not adequately protect its passengers from crime and has a poor record of self-policing its environmental law compliance. The bill says that the cruise lines would pay for the program by levying a $1 surcharge per passenger for each day that the ocean ranger was onboard.

THE CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION said that it supported the bill's apparent intent, to protect California citizens, but Terry Dale, CLIA's president, said that the bill "attempts to man international ships with state-employed rangers to perform federally regulated law enforcement functions." CLIA believes the bill extends beyond California's jurisdiction, could jeopardize criminal investigations and is overly burdensome given the industry's solid track record on environmental compliance and criminal reporting, Dale said.

MYSTIQUE OF THE SEAS and Allure of the Seas was the fifth pair of names chosen as finalists in the contest to name Royal Caribbean International's upcoming megaships, currently called the Genesis-class ships. The contest, being held along with USA Today, allows readers to submit name suggestions in pairs; the cruise line is revealing them once a week until April 18. The other finalists are Mosaic of the Seas and Coronation of the Seas; Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas; Utopia of the Seas and Allure of the Seas; and Amazement of the Seas and Epic of the Seas.

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill
Phone:
(201) 902-2065
[email protected]
For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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