NEW YORK -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., cruising's second-largest
operator, will lay off an unspecified number of employees as part
of a comprehensive three-week review of the company's cost
structure prompted by "continuing uncertainties in the vacation
industry," following the Sept. 11 attacks.
Royal Caribbean's senior executives will "drive the review
process [and] coordinate the cost-cutting efforts across both
cruise brands and over both shoreside and shipboard operations,"
according to a statement released by the company, which added, "The
review will result in some layoffs."
In other company news, Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Cruises brand
will redeploy two of the three ships the line previously scheduled
to sail in Europe in 2002.
"Europe remains a viable vacation market," said Rick Sasso,
Celebrity's president. "At the same time, we think it is wise to
reposition some ships."
Celebrity's Millennium, previously scheduled to sail between
Barcelona, Spain, and Istanbul, Turkey, on 12-night cruises, now
will offer 10- and 11-night Caribbean cruises from mid-April to
September 2002, followed by seven-night eastern Caribbean cruises
from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., through October.
Celebrity's Mercury, previously scheduled to sail Baltic and
Mediterranean cruises from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Barcelona, will
reposition to San Diego to offer two 14-night Panama Canal cruises
in April 2002.
The ship will then reposition to Vancouver for seven-night
Alaska cruises from late May through the end of September 2002,
followed by seven-day western Caribbean cruises from Miami
beginning in mid-October.
Celebrity also is adjusting the itinerary of its remaining
Constellation, a new ship slated for delivery in April 2002, now
will offer several seven-night western Mediterranean cruises
departing from Barcelona in May 2002.
The ship then will reposition to Dover, England, for 14-night
Baltic sailings from June to August 2002; then move to Barcelona
for 10- and 11-night western Mediterranean cruises through
Guests booked on canceled or redeployed cruises may be eligible
for compensation from Celebrity, according to company officials.
Specific details of compensation for passengers and travel agents
"will be provided as soon as they are finalized."
Finally, Celebrity officials said the Bermuda-bound ships
Horizon and Zenith will sail from Philadelphia and Baltimore,
respectively, for the rest of the season due to the ongoing closure
of New York's cruise piers and passenger terminal.
Both ships will offer departures on Sept. 29 and on Oct. 6, 13
and 20. Celebrity will provide motorcoach transportation from New
York to Philadelphia and Baltimore to assist passengers in reaching
the ships. Passengers will also receive a 25% discount off a future
seven-night Celebrity cruise.