Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: Jan. 15, 2008

AN OFFICER ON THE CROWN PRINCESS caused the ship to list during a cruise in July 2006 by turning the ship's wheel in the wrong direction, the National Transportation Safety Board determined. The NTSB said that the probable cause of the accident, which resulted in 14 serious and 284 minor injuries to passengers and crewmembers, was the officer's attempt to correct a problem with the ship's automatic navigation system that had caused the ship to go off course. That officer turned the wheel the wrong way and "aggravated the situation, resulting in a very large angle of heel," the NTSB said. Princess said in a statement that "this isolated incident was the unfortunate result of human error" and that since the incident it had introduced measures designed to keep a similar situation from occurring.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES implemented eligibility requirements in order for travel agents to qualify for reduced rate agent cabins on the line's 22 ships. An agent must have made a minimum of five Carnival bookings within a 12-month period to qualify for the rate. The move came after Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said it was terminating its relationships with travel-related companies that sell "ordinary consumers access to benefits designed for actual travel agents," specifically companies that offer members the ability to "travel like a travel agent." Vicki Freed, Carnival's senior vice president of sales and guest services, said that with "so many different business models out there in the travel distribution system... it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that only professional travel agents who are actively promoting and selling cruises are receiving travel agent discounts."

PETER UEBERROTH will be the keynote speaker at the opening of Cruise Lines International Association's 2008 Cruise3Sixty conference in Fort Lauderdale on March 7. Ueberroth founded the First Travel Corp. in 1962; he also was the president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and from 1984 to 1989 he was commissioner of Major League Baseball. He is currently managing director of Contrarian Group, an investment and management company, and owner of the Pebble Beach Co. His son, Joe Ueberroth, is the Chairman and CEO of cruise and travel company Ambassadors International. "When it comes to success stories in the travel industry, few top that of Peter Ueberroth," said Terry Dale, CLIA president and CEO.

AZAMARA CRUISES will send the Azamara Journey to the Caribbean next winter, switching from an originally scheduled series of sailings in South America. Azamara President Dan Hanrahan said that demand for the line's Asia and exotic Caribbean cruises led the brand to "focus on these markets in lieu of South America and a world cruise." The Journey will reposition to Miami from Europe and operate two 16-day Panama Canal sailings, followed by a series of 12-day Caribbean cruises. The ship will return to Europe in March 2009.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL will allow its guests to dance onstage as part of "Invitation to Dance," the line's newest production show. As part of the show, put on by the creator of the ABC hit "Dancing with the Stars," four couples on the Explorer of the Seas will be chosen during a ballroom dancing event at the beginning of each cruise to participate in the show later that week. Professional dancers, stylists and makeup artists will prep them for the event. The couples will then join the Royal Caribbean cast on stage and compete against each other for the applause of fellow guests in the audience.

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-2065

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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