Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: Oct. 12, 2004

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE modified its language on its $10 per-person, per-day service charge. NCL in June described the charge, which was introduced on NCL America's Pride of Aloha, as "not adjustable." But on its Web site, www.ncl.com, the line now advises that "in the unlikely event we cannot satisfactorily resolve the issue through our guest satisfaction program, guests will be able to adjust the service charge according to the level of inconvenience they feel they have experienced."

SILVERSEA CRUISES launched a rebranding campaign to emphasize its Italian heritage. The line retained actress Isabella Rossellini to travel on several of its cruises as a hostess and roving "ambassador"; photos of Rossellini will appear in Silversea's ads and collateral. The campaign also includes new onboard partnerships with Italian luxury brands like bath products from Acqua di Parma and clothier Loro Piana.

SLIGHTLY MORE THAN HALF of travel agents polled by TravelWeekly.com said they approve of Royal Caribbean Cruises' new rebating policies - i.e. that agents caught rebating will lose commission and co-op dollars. But 27% also said they still can't compete on price against larger agencies, and 20% said they thought the guidelines are "too broad and too difficult to police." Sixteen percent said they should be able to rebate if they choose. Some 567 agents responded to the poll, which was conducted about a month after RCCL's policy went into effect.

GETTING THE BUZZ: Two cruise lines are introducing proprietary wine labels this week. Celebrity's official announcement came Monday: Its Cellarmaster series will debut onboard this month with a chardonnay and a cabernet sauvignon, with more varieties to come (passengers also can order for home consumption at www.celebrityvineyards.com). Meanwhile, Crystal Cruises said last week its new C Wines, also coming onboard this month, feature six wines: three reserve and three premium selections of cabernet, chardonnay and merlot.

THE CARNIVAL LIBERTY, which will offer Carnival Cruise Lines' first Mediterranean sailings next summer, will move to the U.S. in November 2005 for alternating six- and eight-day Caribbean sailings year-round from Fort Lauderdale. Carnival said the 2,974-passenger Liberty would be the line's first year-round ship in Fort Lauderdale.

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