Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: April 19, 2005

THE NORWEGIAN DAWN SAILED INTO NEW YORK Monday morning after a weekend when the ship, after weathering rough seas, was slammed by a "freak wave" that reached up to the ship's 10th deck. The 2,224-passenger Dawn, which sails to the Bahamas, Florida and the Caribbean year-round from New York, was en route from the Bahamas to New York when it experienced rough weather on the evening of April 15. The weather appeared slightly calmer at daybreak, NCL said, but the ship was hit by a wave that smashed two windows and flooded 62 cabins. Four passengers were injured with cuts and bruises. The ship was diverted to Charleston, S.C., and NCL said on April 17 that the Dawn left Charleston for New York after completing successful repairs to the two windows and passing a U.S. Coast Guard inspection.

THE DAWN will operate a revised schedule on the cruise departing April 18. After originally dropping Great Stirrup Cay, its private island, from its itinerary for the week, NCL put the call back in and eliminated its Miami call, with the proviso that "in the event that the weather looks like the tendering operation in our private island may not be feasible, then we will continue to Miami."  Passengers on this cruise will be covered under NCL's Winter Weather Guarantee, which gives passengers a $100 per-person onboard credit and prorates the cruise fare by one day, which will be refunded to the passenger's onboard account.

TWO QUEENS IN KINGS: The Queen Mary 2 and, to a lesser extent, the Queen Elizabeth 2 will berth in Brooklyn, N.Y., next year at piers being created by New York to relieve cruise congestion in Manhattan. Princess Cruises' Crown Princess also will utilize the Brooklyn facilities for its summer 2006 season. The piers, in Brooklyn's Red Hook section, currently are being converted to cruise-ship use; the two cruise lines, which are operated under Carnival Corp.'s P&O Princess Cruises International division, will be its first tenants.

THE EMERALD PRINCESS is the name of Princess' third Caribbean Princess-style ship. The Emerald will debut in spring 2007 and follows its sisters, the 3,100-passenger Caribbean Princess and Crown Princess, both of which are bigger versions of Princess' Grand-class series.

JAMAICAN AUTHORITIES will levy a new $2 "tourism enhancement" fee on each cruise passenger arriving on the Caribbean isle as of May 1. According to Jamaican tourism minister Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, the new fee will raise capital to maintain and improve Jamaica's tourism infrastructure. Air travelers to Jamaica will pay a $10 fee in addition to the country's existing departure tax.


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