Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: Aug. 14, 2007

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE became the latest cruise company to update its smoking policy. Some outdoor areas and all public interior venues, with the exception of the cigar rooms and casinos, are now designated nonsmoking. Cigarette smoking is still allowed in cabins and on balconies. The line also changed its evening dress codes and will allow passengers to wear jeans in all but one onboard restaurant during dinner. The more formal venue will vary on each ship, but it typically will be the aft main dining room.

AMERICAN SAFARI CRUISES will double its passenger capacity in 2008 with the addition of two new vessels: a 150-foot, 39-passenger vessel, the Safari Explorer, and a 108-foot, six-passenger, charter-only yacht, the Safari Legend. The Safari Explorer, which currently runs scuba expeditions in California, will undergo a multimillion-dollar retrofit before entering service as the line's largest ship; American Safari currently offers cruises on vessels of no more than 22 passengers. The two vessels are scheduled to enter service in Alaska in May, and the Safari Explorer will sail interisland Hawaii cruises beginning in December 2008.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE will debut a new line of shops when it debuts its first Signature-class ship. Called Signature Shops, the four main stores would be the center of a substantially expanded shopping promenade and would include Merabella, offering designer jewelry collections; Fine Jewelry, specializing in diamonds and gemstones; Fine Watches; and Destination & Apparel, offering classic nautical wear and a selection of items tailored to the climate where the cruise will be, HAL said. With the exception of Merabella, which has been in place on two HAL ships since May, the new shops will debut in June 2008 on the 2,104-passenger Eurodam.

P&O CRUISES AUSTRALIA last week cancelled its third cruise in a month on the Pacific Star, an eight-day sailing from Auckland, New Zealand, to Brisbane, Australia, in order to repair a ventilation duct on the ship. The ship had been scheduled to depart from Auckland on Aug. 7 but had remained in port in order to make the repairs, P&O Cruises Australia said; it decided on Aug. 9 to cancel the sailing and send the ship to drydock. The line had canceled two Pacific Star sailings in July due to storm damage. The latest setback came just after P&O Cruises Australia confirmed that a 31-year-old male passenger traveling on another of its ships, the Pacific Sun, had died onboard during a South Pacific cruise. An investigation is underway into the cause of his death.

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-2065

[email protected]

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