Travel Weekly's Cruise E-Letter: April 9, 2002

THERE HAVE BEEN NO new shipbuilding orders for more than a year-and-a-half, but the dry spell could end soon, according to a regular report by UBS Warburg analyst Robin Farley. Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises and P&O Princess all have new-build options with European shipyards expiring in three to four months, she said. Farley said new orders could have a negative impact on stocks, but she told investors not to panic: How the companies play their order options -- including taking a pass -- could improve share prices.

PLANS TO OPERATE the former Premier Cruises ship Rembrandt (otherwise known as the HAL ship Rotterdam V) as a time-share vessel have been permanently shelved. Delivery of the ship to EXA International, which was to sell time-share cabins on the ship under its Cruiseshare program, was scheduled for May. However, EXA terminated the deal with Rembrandt owner Credit Suisse/First Boston, forfeiting its deposit on the ship. According to EXA president Steve Priskie, the Rembrandt might not comply with safety and health inspections in 2010.

PRINCESS CRUISES boasted that its newly announced 2003 Europe season will be the line's biggest expansion there, with four ships and 79 different ports of call. New itineraries include a 10-day Greek Isles cruise between Venice and Athens; a 12-day trip from Rome that sails along the Black Sea coast; and an Iceland/Norwegian Fjords itinerary that departs from Southampton, England and stops in Belfast.

THE NORWEGIAN STAR rescued 11 survivors from an Indonesian cargo ship on April 1 after the vessel had been adrift since March 13. The Star, which was southwest of Hawaii while en route to Fanning Island in the Republic of Kiribati, answered a visual distress call Monday from the vessel by an engine fire that caused the death of one crewmember. Of the 11 remaining crew, one had to be airlifted to a Hawaii hospital for burns, forcing the Star to return to Hawaii and replace its Fanning Island call with Lahaina.

NCL AND ORIENT LINES, meanwhile, signed an agreement to become provider participants on Amadeus Cruise. The cruise lines will be available for booking on Amadeus Cruise later this year, the company said.

DEALS AFLOAT
• NCL and Orient Lines are promoting the decision to retain their 10% air commissions with a series of special offers through April 14, including bonus commissions, group amenity points, reduced air add-ons and aggressive pricing on oceanview staterooms.
• Crystal Cruises said it will -- for the first time -- offer free cabin upgrades on its Aug. 21 and Sept. 2 12-day Alaska sailings from San Francisco on the Crystal Harmony. Until now, complimentary upgrades have only been available to Crystal Society members.
• Guests receive 50% off the second cabin booked for seven-day Mediterranean sailings aboard the SeaDream I and II yachts. Bookings must be made before April 30. In addition, SeaDream is offering a free Mediterranean sailing for agents who sell one SeaDream cabin. Agents do not need to travel with clients.
• Clients who book and deposit a Radisson Seven Seas Cruises sailing by credit card on the same day receive a $100 per person shipboard credit. The program ends May 4.
• First European Cruises is offering savings of up to 25% on seven-day Mediterranean cruises aboard the 1,500-passenger European Vision and the 1,200-passenger Mistral for select October and November departure dates.
• The Cruise Lines International Association is sending CLIA affiliated and non-affiliated agencies an e-mail that includes printable coupons allowing agents attending a local CLIA training course to bring another agent free of charge.

PERSONNEL FILE: Carnival Corp. promoted Arnaldo Perez to senior vice president-legal and Richard Ames to senior vice president-audit services. Perez joined Carnival in 1992 as assistant general counsel; Ames joined the company as director of internal audit in 1989.

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