CRUISES and Air France announced a partnership that Costa
said would "boost commercial synergies" between the two companies.
The companies said they would coordinate schedules and capacity to
provide their customers with additional benefits and services,
including greater flexibility for Costa passengers on Air France
flights in terms of bookings and flight availability and the
ability for customers of both companies to benefit from each
other's loyalty programs and online marketing campaigns. Costa is
currently Air France's main customer in terms of fly/cruise
packages, while Air France is Costa's main airline with regard both
to revenue and the number of passengers carried.
CRUISE LINES rolled back the changes it recently made to
its onboard beverage policy and decided to allow passengers to
bring limited quantities of nonalcoholic beverages onboard. Earlier
this month Carnival had said it instituted a policy that would ban
passengers from bringing any nonalcoholic beverages onboard after
"so many people were abusing our leniency in terms of the quantity
they were bringing on board." The line reconsidered its program and
"in the end it was decided to continue to allow limited quantities
but to monitor the situation."
A MARCH SURVEY of travel agents indicated that demand for
Alaska cruises this year might be weakening when compared with last
year, Bank of America analyst Michael Savner wrote in a recent
research note. According to the Bank of America survey of travel
agents nationwide, 39% of agents said Alaska demand was stable, 23%
said it was stronger than last year and 38% said it was slowing.
When asked which cruise region was strongest during this year's
Wave season, compared with last year's Wave, 16% of agents chose
Alaska, down from 33% in February. "Partially offsetting a
potential softening in Alaska is continued strength in Europe,"
CRUISES said it altered the time and place of its upcoming
christening ceremonies for the Emerald Princess and the Royal
Princess, which were to take place in Santorini, Greece, out of
respect for the sinking of Louis Cruises' Sea Diamond. A dual
naming ceremony was to take place in Santorini, Greece, on May 12.
Princess said the Emerald Princess will be named on May 13 in
Athens, and a new date and location for the Royal Princess
christening would be announced shortly. "Out of the respect for
those affected, we have decided that it would not be appropriate to
continue with the celebrations we had planned in Santorini," said
Alan Buckelew, Princess' president.
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