THE QUEEN MARY 2, Cunard's new flagship, will open
for general booking Aug 1. But a privileged few can begin reserving
cabins on the mega-liner next month. Cunard's preview period begins
July 1, providing an early 30-day booking window for Cunard's top
100 agencies and any passengers who sailed with the line in 2001.
Cunard vp-worldwide sales and marketing Deborah Natansohn said the
unusually long lead time -- the ship sails its maiden voyage in
January 2004 -- is due to interest in and demand for the product.
A SECOND celebrity chef will cook for Cunard.
Natansohn said restaurateur Todd English will open an alternative
restaurant on the QM2. (Chef Daniel Boulud has already been tapped
to create a special menu for Cunard guests in the main dining
rooms.) The restaurant, which will feature "rustic Mediterranean"
fare, will be called, creatively enough, Todd English.
ANY DAY NOW: A ruling from U.K. regulators on
the P&O Princess/Royal Caribbean Cruises merger is expected
soon, but A.G. Edwards' analyst Tim Conder said the August decision
from European regulators on the proposed takeover of P&O
Princess by Carnival Corp. is the critical ruling. Although cruises
represent just 1% of the European vacation market, he said, "We
believe the European Commission could take a protectionist view
toward a combined Carnival Corp./P&O as too much of a dominant
player." But if the takeover is approved by the EC, Conder said,
it's likely Carnival will win Princess' hand.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE is adding Mobile, Ala., to
its embarkation ports this winter. The 1,214-passenger Noordam will
make a roundtrip Caribbean voyage from Fort Lauderdale Dec. 22, but
will add two extra days to the itinerary and finish in Mobile. The
ship will undergo a short drydock before sailing Jan. 17 to Tampa,
Fla., and on to nine Caribbean ports on a 14-day itinerary.
ORIENT LINES will return to Turkey in 2003
after a yearlong hiatus, calling in Kusadasi and Istanbul. The
Marco Polo will call primarily in the Baltic Sea, visiting Denmark,
Estonia, Norway and Russia. The Crown Odyssey, meanwhile, will
spend the summer in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.
CRYSTAL CRUISES appointed Thomas Mazloum
vp-hotel operations. Mazloum, who was Crystal's youngest-ever hotel
director, returns to the line following a three-year stint at