Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: April 26, 2005

THE GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS was expected to arrive in New Orleans April 25 following its run-in with a dock in Costa Maya, Mexico. The ship struck the pier last week while it was trying to dock and tore a 42-foot hole in its hull. The line said that repairs had been completed and the ship was on its way to its homeport, two days behind schedule. No passengers or crew were hurt in the incident. Passengers who needed to return to New Orleans earlier than April 25 were flown back from Costa Maya on a charter flight.

GRANDEUR'S CURRENT CRUISE was scheduled to depart April 25 at 8 p.m. and will sail an abbreviated cruise to Key West, Fla., and Cozumel, Mexico. Guests who choose to sail will receive a $300 per-cabin onboard credit, or they can choose to cancel and receive a full refund.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE said a plan to shoot an episode of the hit TV show The Apprentice onboard the Norwegian Dawn on April 17 had no influence whatsoever over the operational decisions taken relating to the Norwegian Dawn's passage home. The shoot was canceled after the Dawn encountered a freak wave and rough seas on the return leg of its cruise that broke two windows onboard, forcing it to stop in Charleston, S.C., for repairs. Under no circumstances would NCL compromise the safety of our passengers and crew, NCL said April 21.

NCL had altered the itinerary of the Dawns April 10 cruise to build in extra time to get back to New York for the shoot. Passengers were informed of the itinerary changes beforehand in a letter that mentioned a special event in New York on April 17. NCL said the Dawn was on its usual northerly track from South Florida/Bahamas to New York when the ship encountered the rough seas. The line also added that it was not subject to monetary penalties for failing to get back to New York in time for The Apprentice shoot. Monetary conditions were simply not a factor, NCL said.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES net income for first-quarter 2005 rose 41% to $135.3 million, and revenues rose 10% to $1.2 billion, compared with first-quarter 2004. RCCL said fuel costs were up 30% year over year; fuel now represents 6.1% of revenue, compared with 5.2% of revenue in first-quarter 2004. For the first time, new Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises presidents Adam Goldstein and Dan Hanrahan joined CEO Richard Fain on the companys quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts.

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