ACTRESS JULIE ANDREWS broke the bottle on the hull
of the Crystal Serenity July 3 in Southampton, England. Guests,
dressed in the black-and-white-themed affair, were doused with
colored streamers and confetti at the ceremony, which was attended
by Crystal president Gregg Michel and Jiro Nemoto, chairman of
parent company NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha). The ship departed July 7
on its inaugural northern Europe cruise.
THE SERENITY was delivered to Crystal Cruises'
parent company NYK from Alstom's Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard
on schedule June 30. However, as previously reported, delays at the
yard meant the ship's hotel operations aren't yet to Crystal's
liking so its inaugural cruise was offered free to the passengers
-- most of whom are longtime Crystal guests.
THE CARNIVAL CONQUEST will return to the Big
Easy July 13. Confirming previously announced plans, Carnival
Cruise Lines said the Mississippi River receded to the point that
low-hanging power lines were no longer a danger, enabling a return
to the Port of New Orleans. The Carnival Conquest had been pulled
out of New Orleans for four months and had been based in Gulfport.
The 2,974-passenger vessel was to make its final Gulfport sailing
July 6 and was slated to rejoin the 1,452-guest Holiday in New
Orleans a week later. The Conquest performs seven-day western
Caribbean cruises from New Orleans, one of Carnival's
PRINCESS CRUISES WILL ...
• Begin calling in Belize on its Panama Canal itineraries next
year. The Coral Princess -- between Oct. 11, 2004, and April 17,
2005 -- will make 19 stops in Belize City on its 10-day cruises.
The new calls are part of Princess' 2004-2005 Panama Canal cruise
• Offer 14 short "sampler voyages," one- to six-night West Coast
sailings designed for passengers who are new to cruising or are
short on vacation time.
• Extend its offer to earn extra income to travel agents for
booking Caribbean cruises electronically through August 31.
Agencies will receive a 1% bonus commission on each Caribbean
cruise booked through any GDS or Princess' online Travel Agent
THE DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY published new
maritime regulations designed to strengthen security at U.S. ports.
The regulations, which complement other international security
initiatives, specify requirements for security plans, baggage,
passenger-screening procedures, and other ship and port security
measures. For example, the regulations require a designated
security officer who can implement a ship or facility's security
plan. "Small cruise ships traveling from Chicago to Montreal" and
"cruise ships on a Caribbean voyage" are examples of vessels most
directly impacted by the new regulations, along with cargo ships,
gaming boats and ferries, the department said. The International
Council of Cruise Lines said it was studying the new rules. Final
rules are scheduled to be in place by October.
SOCIETY EXPEDITIONS purchased the World
Discoverer, the expedition-style ship that it previously chartered
from a holding company -- and which was seized last month by the
U.K. bank that financed the ship's mortgage. Society's parent
company, Society Expeditions Int'l, purchased the ship for about
$35 million and added an additional infusion of capital that
company president Michael Lomax said will help overcome the ship's
2001 startup costs. The vessel, which was briefly tied up in Japan,
is on its way back to Nome, Alaska, and will pick up its Aug. 4
cruise as planned, Lomax said.
SEADREAM YACHT CLUB is promoting the upcoming
Caribbean winter season with the "Buy Now and Save" program, with
rates on its five-day itineraries starting at $1,499 per person;
rates increase to $3,540 for seven-day voyages. Fares include all
meals, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar, use of water sports
equipment and gratuities. The Caribbean season runs from November
through April aboard the SeaDream I and II. Ports of call include
Anguilla, Antigua, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada,
Guadeloupe, St Barts, St Vincent, St. Croix, St. Kitts & Nevis,
St. Lucia, St. Martin and Tobago. For details, call (800) 707-4911
or visit www.seadreamyachtclub.com.