Travel Weeklys Cruise E-letter: November 15, 2005

CRUISE SHIPS AGAIN began calling in Cozumel, Mexico, this week. The docks were damaged by Hurricane Wilma, but ships will anchor offshore and tender passengers to the island. The Carnival Triumph and the Celebrity Galaxy were the first scheduled ships to anchor in Cozumel, and by Wednesday up to four ships will drop anchor there.

TO WELCOME PASSENGERS to the destination, which was damaged by Wilma, local government officials and businesses organized a weeklong event called Festival del Mar Caribe that will take place in Cozumels town square. The fiesta will feature music, dance performances, artisans and street vendors selling crafts and paintings.

MSC CRUISES pushed itself to the forefront of mega-ship cruise companies by confirming an order for two 3,300-passenger cruise ships for delivery in 2008 and 2009. The ships, which will have a maximum capacity of 3,887 passengers and 1,300 crew, will be the second-largest cruise ships in terms of capacity, after Royal Caribbean Internationals Freedom of the Seas. The ships will be built at the Chantiers de lAtlantique yard in Saint-Nazaire, France; Patrick Bossier, president of Alstom Marine division, which runs Chantiers, said the contract is the largest-ever firm order for the yard.

SELL A CRUISE, WIN A CAR. Each booking an agent makes with Celebrity Cruises by Jan. 31 counts as an entry into the Celebrity Treatment sweepstakes. Bookings on the Zeniths four-day cruises in the Caribbean and the Centurys Europe cruises count as double. The line is giving away one 2006 Lexus ES300 and 100 gas cards each worth $100.

EASYCRUISE began its first Caribbean season on Nov. 12, launching its unique (orange-hued) brand of hop-on, hop-off cruises from Barbados. The line, in what it said was a first for an EasyGroup company, has reached an agreement with Amadeus to offer EasyCruise inventory through that GDS, and travel agents can book EasyCruise online at www.easycruise.com for a 5% discount.

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