Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: August 23, 2005

PRINCESS CRUISES will be marketing sister-brand P&O Australias new Southeast Asia cruises on the Pacific Sky. The seven-day cruises sail roundtrip from Singapore and alternate eastern itineraries (Ko Samui and Bangkok, Thailand, and Kuantan, Malaysia) and western (Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang, Malaysia, and Phuket, Thailand). The cruises begin in February. The onboard experience, Princess said, will feature a more casual, Australian-style cruise experience, right down to the onboard currency.

SHORT CRUISING is coming to Alaskas Glacier Bay National Park next year, courtesy of new three- and four-day Cruise West voyages. The Spirit of Alaska and the Spirit of Glacier Bay will sail roundtrip from Juneau and call at Skagway and Haines and cruise Glacier Bay; the four-day cruise adds a visit to Icy Strait. Another new option enables passengers to extend their four-day Glacier Bay cruise into a cruise-tour that includes day-cruising on Cruise Wests yacht the Sheltered Seas and overnights in hotels in Juneau, Petersburg and Ketchikan.

A RENOVATION is in the cards for the Disney Magic, which on Oct. 1 is going to the Norshipco yard in Norfolk, Va., for a 10-day drydock. Disney is the latest line to incorporate a giant movie screen into its pool deck decor; the 24-by14-foot screen will be used for movies as well as sporting events and other special presentations. Plans include an expansion of the Vista Spa and Salon to include three indoor/outdoor treatment rooms and a bigger fitness room. For the kids, three conference rooms will be turned into a hangout called Ocean Quest, where they can watch live video feed from the Magics bridge.

MEANWHILE, Oceania Cruises Nautica is getting a stem to stern refurbishment before it begins operations this fall. That means new carpeting throughout, new furniture and upholstery, a next generation of Tranquility Beds, a new on-deck lounge called the Patio and extensive changes to the top suites. Also new will be a cabana deck on Deck 11 that will feature reservations-only private cabanas with Balinese sun beds.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE is planning to establish a customer service and reservations center in Mesa, Ariz., east of Phoenix. The line already has several home-based res agents operating in the region. Andy Stuart, NCLs executive vice president of sales and marketing, said that the success of its home-based program prompted the line to expand further with both home-based and office-based staff in advance of our big growth over the next few years. With some 50% of our product offering now in Hawaii, Alaska and the west coast of Mexico, we need a bigger res center in the [Pacific] time zone.

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