Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: Jan. 23, 2007

DISNEY CRUISE LINE is sending the Disney Magic back to Los Angeles during the summer of 2008 to operate eight-day Mexican Riviera sailings. The ship ran a similar itinerary from Los Angeles during the summer of 2005 for six weeks in a tie-in with Disneyland's 50th anniversary, and according to Disney Cruise Line President Tom McAlpin, "the guest reaction to the itinerary was tremendous." Beginning on May 25, 2008, the Magic is scheduled to sail 12 eight-day cruises from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. The ship will spend this summer sailing 11- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona.

THE CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION has big hopes for 2007, as the association expects upwards of 12 million people to cruise this year, 10.6 million of them from North America. At a CLIA press conference held in New York on Jan. 17, Dan Hanrahan, Celebrity Cruises' president and the chairman of CLIA's marketing committee, said that 12 ships will join the CLIA fleet this year, adding 22,039 berths, a 4.1% net capacity increase to the industry. Preliminary CLIA numbers showed that 12.1 million people cruised in 2006, beating the organization's original forecast by about 500,000 passengers, mostly due to a surge in cruisers from international markets, particularly Europe. When asked about Wave season, Hanrahan would only say that he had spoken to travel agents who said they were busy, and that "the Wave is definitely underway."

IN CONTRAST, AG Edwards analyst Tim Conder said initial Wave season demand was "tepid." According to Conder's Mid-January Cruise Pricing Survey report, Caribbean pricing remained weak into the second and third quarters of 2007, and that Alaska pricing was mixed, while Europe remained strong.

CELEBRITY CRUISES said it was "disappointed but undeterred"  by a New York judge's decision to toss all but $10 million of a $193 million jury verdict against the Essef Corp. for damages stemming from a 1994 outbreak of Legionnaires' disease on the Celebrity Horizon. The judge said that there was no proof that the incident caused Celebrity to lose future revenue. Essef Corp. manufactured the swimming pool filtering system that Celebrity said had malfunctioned and spread the bacteria that caused several passengers to contract the disease. The cruise line said it is reviewing the decision and determining how best to pursue its options.

A MIAMI JUDGE, meanwhile, dismissed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises that was brought by the family of George Smith, the Greenwich, Conn., honeymooner who disappeared from a Royal Caribbean International cruise in 2005. Smith's family had alleged that Royal Caribbean tried to cover up the incident to avoid liability and negative publicity. The FBI is still investigating the case.

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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