Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: November 8, 2005

SEABOURN CRUISES said its passengers and crew on the Seabourn Spirit were safe following an attack on the ship as it sailed in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. Seabourn said that around 5:30 a.m. the Spirit was approached by two small, armed boats, whose occupants tried to board the Spirit. Seabourn said the Spirits crew initiated a trained response and that as a result of protective and evasive measures the attackers were unable to board the Spirit.  The ship was carrying 151 passengers and 161 crew.

THE SPIRIT, which is docked in Victoria, Seychelles, will turn around Nov. 8 in Victoria instead of Mombasa, Kenya, and will resume its published schedule after the turnaround. Bruce Good, a Seabourn spokesman, said it was not known who the pirates were; Seabourn said it was in contact with U.S. and U.K. authorities about the incident.

CUNARD LINE has a new president and managing director: Carol Marlow, the former managing director for Cunard in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and a former U.K. managing director for Princess Cruises. Marlow will continue to be based in the U.K. and split her time between the U.K. and the U.S.; shell report to Peter Ratcliffe, the CEO of Carnival Corp.s P&O Princess Cruises International division. The top Cunard post has been empty since former President and COO Pamela Conover moved to an internal position at Carnival Corp.

MELANIA TRUMP, the wife of Donald, christened the Norwegian Jewel Nov. 3 during a ceremony in Miami. Said the godmother: At 93,502 gross tons, she is by far the largest, most luxurious jewel I have ever seen.

SPEAKING OF LARGEST, Royal Caribbean International is looking for a godmother for the 160,000-ton Freedom of the Seas in an unusual manner: By launching a national search. The line admitted that the godmother role is historically an honor reserved for heads of state, politicians and celebrities. But, for this time at least, it said it will conduct a search through NBCs Today show for an outstanding individual someone who has demonstrated exceptional spirit, courage and integrity.

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