Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: May 20, 2008

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. said infants must be at least six months old before the first day of a cruise or cruise-tour to sail on its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity and Azamara brands. For RCCL's transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii and certain South American cruises and related cruise-tours, the new minimum age is 12 months. In addition, women must be less than 24 weeks pregnant before the first day of a cruise for sailings operated by RCCL's three brands. RCCL implemented the new policies at the beginning of this month, saying that the changes "recognize that infants and pregnant women can often require specialized, emergency medical attention that can best be provided by land-based hospitals."

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE said that surveillance cameras on the Norwegian Dawn showed that a woman who fell off a balcony on the ship was alone and not the victim of foul play. Media reports indicated that the victim's family suspected foul play concerning the passenger's boyfriend, with whom she was traveling on the Dawn. NCL released a statement giving a sequence of events that led to the woman falling off the ship, saying that the boyfriend had gone to their friend's cabin next door and that the victim was captured on video falling overboard from her balcony into the water. NCL said it has offered to make arrangements for the victim's family to view the surveillance footage.

THE QUEEN VICTORIA suffered damage to its stern after hitting a pier in Malta as it tried to berth last week. Cunard's newest vessel, which entered service in December, was delayed in Malta overnight in order to make repairs and missed its next scheduled stop, in Tunisia. The 90,000-ton, 2,014-passenger Queen Victoria was making a maiden call in Malta on a 14-day Mediterranean cruise and was scheduled to arrive in Southampton, England, May 20 as planned.

PRINCESS CRUISES added a tool for adding group amenities to its POLAR online booking system. Agents can add amenities as they create or manage their groups on POLAR Online, said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of sales and customer service, adding that "with this new addition, not only can agents set up and manage groups online but now can also quickly use their amenity points to customize their group." Princess said that agents could use the group amenity points to offer, among other items, cabin upgrades, shipboard credits, gifts for passengers or events such as an onboard cocktail party.

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill
(201) 902-2065
[email protected]
For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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