Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: Sept. 4, 2007

THE NORTH AMERICAN CRUISE INDUSTRY generated $35.7 billion in gross U.S. economic output and supported 348,000 jobs in 2006, according to an annual report released by the Cruise Lines International Association last week. Direct spending, which includes purchases by the cruise lines for goods and services and spending by crew and passengers, increased by 9% in 2006 to $17.6 billion. Cruise industry spending had increased 13.8% in 2004 and 10% in 2005, and the report attributed 2006's slower growth rate in part to a slower growth of embarkations at U.S. ports. Embarkations from U.S. ports increased 4%, to 9 million, which accounted for 75% of total global embarkations. The industry's fleet increased to 151 vessels.

ADULTS ON CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES' ship the Inspiration will get their own area, a quiet, no-kids zone called "Serenity," when the vessel emerges from a month-long drydock in early October, Carnival said. The Inspiration will be the first Carnival ship to feature the new area, which will be located in a secluded aft area of the ship and feature plush chaise lounges and chairs, oversized umbrellas and two hot tubs. The Serenity areas are part of Carnival's $250 million "Evolutions of Fun" enhancement initiative and will be installed on all the Fantasy-class ships.

CARNIVAL, meanwhile, said it would homeport its 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory year-round in San Juan, where it will run seven-day, Southern Caribbean cruises beginning in November 2008. The Victory will replace the Carnival Destiny, giving Puerto Rico a newer and slightly larger ship, Carnival said. The Victory will operate a new five-port itinerary that calls in St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica, St. Thomas and the Dominican Republic, where it includes an overnight stop in the resort area of La Romana/Casa De Campo.

CRUISE WEST will spend $2 million to renovate its 138-passenger Spirit of Yorktown ship and will add four cabins with teak-floored balconies on its sun deck, creating a new balcony cabin category. The ship's hallways, lobby areas, observation lounge and living room will also be redecorated and renovated. The five-week wetdock begins on Oct. 23 and is set to be completed in time for the vessel's cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on Dec. 22. The ship's new look will include artwork from Alaskan communities that the ship visits and heirlooms from the West family, the line's founders. Cruise West said it plans to renovate other ships in its fleet over the next two years.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE became the "official cruise line of the PGA Tour and Champions Tour," NCL Corp. said. The three-year marketing partnership with the golf tours gives NCL the right to use the PGA Tour marks in its advertising, and there are promotional and tournament hospitality opportunities built around both tours, NCL said. The PGA and NCL will work together on promoting the line's Golf Hawaii and Golf Bermuda programs and other golf opportunities. Scott Rogers, NCL's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said that the "demographic of [PGA] fans aligns well with NCL's target audience" and that "this partnership with the PGA Tour will let golfers around the world know that you can combine a great cruise vacation with top golf experiences."

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-2065

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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