Regal offers Fantasy Fest 5-night sailing

PALMETTO, Fla. -- Regal Cruises is celebrating Fantasy Fest 2001 with a five-night sailing to Key West, Fla., home of the annual event.

The cruise departs from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 24. Early-booking fares of $629 to $1,226 per person, double, including port charges, are available.

The 900-passenger Regal Empress sails the Berry Islands, a cluster of 30 small islands in the Bahamas, spends three nights in Key West -- Thursday to Sunday, the high point of the festivities -- and then returns to Fort Lauderdale.

In Key West, the ship serves as a floating hotel as passengers join the festivities on shore.

Fantasy Fest is a local version of Halloween and Mardi Gras with revelers wearing colorful costumes. This year's theme is Secrets of the Zodiac Revealed.

The Regal Empress will be in port for the Bellsouth Fantasy Fest Parade on Oct. 27.

More than 70,000 participants turned out last year to view the procession of floats, bands and dancing groups.

Other highlights include Pretenders in Paradise, a costume contest, and Pet Masquerade, in which costumed animals and their similarly attired owners take center stage.

For details, call (800) 270-7245; fax (941) 723-0900, or visit

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