NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
said it will "indefinitely"
maintain its 10% commission on air bookings made in conjunction
with a cruise. NCL, which maintained 10% air-sea pay after most
other major lines dropped to 5% last year, had set this month as a
self-imposed deadline to decide whether to continue the policy.
Orient Lines, part of the Star Cruises family like NCL, also will
hold to 10% pay on the air portion of cruise packages.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES, meanwhile, will continue
to keep its travel agent res centers open 24 hours a day, seven
days a week. Carnival started keeping round-the-clock res center
hours two months ago on a trial basis.
SISTER ACT: The Grand Princess will join sister
ship the Golden Princess in the Mediterranean next year. Princess
Cruises will deploy both 2,600-passenger vessels May through August
between Barcelona and Venice, with calls in Monte Carlo, Livorno
(for Florence and Pisa), Naples, Athens, Kusadasi and Istanbul. In
addition, each ship will sail a transatlantic repositioning cruise
that features maiden port calls at Gibraltar and Alicante during
the Grand Princess' May crossing and Cadiz and Casablanca during
both ships' return trips in September.
FOR THEIR 2003 Europe season, on which the
books open at the end of the week, Seabourn Cruises has taken the
concept of a world cruise and shrunk it to fit the Mediterranean.
The Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend both will operate a series
of seven-day cruises that can be booked for the one-week duration
or combined to offer up to five weeks of cruising without repeating
a port. The Spirit will cruise the Eastern and Central
Mediterranean; the Legend will cover the Western Mediterranean.
Both ships will operate in tandem and will meet in port five times,
allowing guests to "ship-hop" from one to the other.
NACOA IS BACK in business! So proclaims the
National Association of Cruise Oriented Agencies' Web site [www.nacoaonline.com]. Indeed, NACOA president Donna
Esposito said the financially-strapped organization was close to
shutting its doors last month -- until it received an unexpected
cash donation from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The donation amount
will carry NACOA through its membership renewal period, which
begins at the end of this month, and Esposito said she was hoping
that members would return in strong numbers. But, she said, "we're
picking up [new] members on a pretty regular basis. It's quite
• Holland America Line launched four new spa treatments and eight
new fitness programs in the ship's Steiner-operated spas. The new
fitness offerings include aquaerobics, Pilates and yoga, while body
and foot treatments with names such as "Aroma Stone Therapy" and
"Sole Delight" also made their debut.
• Crystal Cruises will make the "Repertory Theatre at Sea" a
standard feature on all Crystal sailings. The theater features a
selection of renowned comedic and light dramatic works performed by
troupes of professional actors.