Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: May 24, 2005

THE ENCHANTMENT OF THE SEAS went in for major surgery this weekend: It will be lengthened by inserting a 73-foot section into the middle of the ship. The Enchantment, which is in drydock at the Keppel Verolme shipyard in Rotterdam, Netherlands, was cut in half this weekend using gas/oxygen torches and circular saws; the new midsection, which was floated down from Aker Finnyards, is sitting in the drydock next to the ship and will be skidded into alignment this week. The ship will be out of service (the yard will have to weld the vessel back together and finish a major onboard refurbishment) until early July, when it makes its debut at Royal Caribbeans Cape Liberty cruise terminal in Bayonne, N.J.

THE NEW MIDSECTION, which will add 151 cabins, or 302 berths, to the Enchantment, is the only capacity growth Royal Caribbean Cruises has scheduled in 2005. The line said the cost of the expansion is about $60 million.

BORROWING A PAGE, or a plunge, from sister company Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines said last week it will install a 270-square-foot TV screen above the pool deck on the Carnival Liberty. Like Princess LED movie/TV screens on its biggest ships, the Carnival Libertys LED screen will show movies, sporting events, concerts and other programming. It also will show the ships own Morning Show hosted by the Libertys cruise director. The Liberty is currently under construction in Italy and is to be delivered in July.  


PRINCESS has no plans to Princessify Cunard Lines Queen Mary 2, Peter Ratcliffe, the companys CEO, told Travel Weekly last week. In the initial stages we had some interchange with [hotel staff] on the senior level, because it was a very big ship and not easy to operate, he said. But the idea is the hotel crew remains focused on [individual] brands. The two companies announced earlier this month they would combine sales forces. Five of Cunards 13 district sales managers and 10 of Princess 54 sales reps were let go in the reorganization. David Gevanthor, Cunards former vice president of marketing, left the company, as well.

COSTA CRUISES will operate two sailings to Bermuda on the Costa Magica as part of the ships maiden Caribbean season here. The ship, which will operate alternating eastern and western cruises from Fort Lauderdale plus a new southeast itinerary, will sail to Bermuda April 21 and April 28.


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