Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: October 25, 2005

CRUISE LINES WERE ONCE AGAIN monitoring a hurricane: Wilma. With the closure of the Ports of Miami, Everglades and Tampa at least through Monday, lines were forced to alter their departures and shorten itineraries. Carnival Cruise Lines altered the itineraries of at least five ships, the Celebration, the Elation, the Carnival Glory, the Carnival Victory and the Carnival Miracle -- and suggested that passengers keep checking in for information about cruise departure and arrival times. In addition, Carnival said several vessels already at sea were forced to make itinerary changes to avoid the storm. At Royal Caribbean, passengers were advised that the Sovereign of the Seas, the Majesty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and the Enchantment of the Seas would depart on their next cruises on Oct. 25, a day later than expected, and sail modified itineraries. Altered itineraries also were projected for the Rhapsody of the Seas. The line added that additional changes could occur. Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line said the Norwegian Sun and the Norwegian Dream said the vessels were sailing modified itineraries to avoid the storm.

THE WORLDS LARGEST CRUISE NIGHT drew about 25,000 consumers around North America to travel agencies doors on Oct. 19, said the event's sponsor and promoter, the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA). According to CLIA, 424 agencies hosted an event that day to promote cruising.

THE MUSICA, MSC Cruises latest ship, was floated out of the dock at Chantiers de lAtlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, on Oct. 15. MSC Cruises said final delivery of the 2,550-passenger ship will be in June and its inaugural sailing will be July 1 from Venice. The ship will arrive in the U.S. in November. U.S. CEO Rick Sasso last week added that the Musica will have all the amenities, venues and spacious areas that a megaship can offer, but without the crowds.


ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONALS Grandeur of the Seas will return to New Orleans on Dec. 2, 2006, the line said. The Grandeur, which was scheduled to sail from New Orleans during the coming winter season, is instead sailing from Tampa between December and May. The ship will resume its typical New Orleans itinerary when it returns in late 2006 for a four-month stay: seven-day sailings to Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.


ROYAL CARIBBEAN and its sister company Celebrity Cruises picked Discover the World Marketing to act as its sales representative in Thailand. In addition to acting as a general sales agent in Thailand, Royal Caribbean said it and Discover have had a long-term relationship representing the lines in Australia, Colombia and Pakistan.


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