When my ship comes in


Reliable sources have been whispering in my good ear that Fincantieri Shipyard, feeling it has mastered the mundane business of shipbuilding, is going to take a whack at the cruise business.

Agita Cruises is the working title of the new line. The name, which is an Italian word that, loosely translated, means "warm heart," is considered to be a shoo-in for the venture, as Fincantieri execs reportedly feel that Agita accurately evokes the feeling both agents and passengers can expect from the operation.

Agita expects to hit the water with three spanking-new vessels: the Sooner, the Later and, with a wink at another recent Cruise market entrant, Disney, the Never-Never. All three million-ton ships will be built simultaneously, starting this afternoon. Maiden voyages for the quartet are scheduled for Friday, though shipyard sources predict that delivery on the vessels, all of which will sail out of Kansas City, could be delayed until Monday or 2009, depending on whether or not shipbuilding crews feel like building ships this week.

Insiders predict that passengers will be eager to book passage on the Agita line's maiden voyages. As one veteran cruise customer said, "We don't care if there's really a ship, we just like to throw our time and money down a sinkhole whenever a surefire opportunity presents itself."


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