HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Royal Olympic Cruises
is pulling its Olympia Voyager from Houston this summer, where it
was scheduled for a yearlong run to Central America and Mexico, and
repositioning the ship in the eastern Mediterranean. The company
attributed the move to "particularly strong customer demand" for
Greece and Turkey, prompted by a withdrawal of several U.S.-based
cruise lines from that region. The Olympia Voyager's last
"Mayaribbean" cruise from Houston will be June 8, but it will
return to Houston Nov. 24 for the winter season.
AS GOOD AS NEW: Celebrity Cruises said the
Constellation, its leaky starboard propulsion rod under repair,
will embark as scheduled on its maiden voyage, a western
Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona May 12. The line canceled a May
5 charter voyage after the vessel returned to the Chantiers de
l'Atlantique yard in St. Nazaire, France, last week when the leak
was discovered during sea trials.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES does not intend to
reverse its decision to eliminate St. Croix as a port call, even
though last week St. Croix tourism officials called a series of
meetings with industry partners to "develop solutions" to woo the
line back. "We are modifying the relevant itineraries and do not
plan to call there," a Carnival spokeswoman said. For the record,
the Triumph and the Victory will now call in St. Maarten (although
the Triumph is heading up the East Coast and won't be back in the
Caribbean until late fall.)
MORE CARIBBEAN: When Carnival Glory makes its
debut in July 2003, it will replace the Carnival Pride in Port
Canaveral, Fla. CCL said the 2,974-passenger vessel will operate
seven-day Caribbean cruises, alternating eastern and western
itineraries weekly. Eastern Caribbean itineraries will call in
Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten; western Caribbean cruises call
in Key West, Belize City, Cozumel and Progreso. Still to come: The
displaced Pride's 2003 itineraries and its new home.
MEANWHILE, CCL canceled the May 3 Hawaiian
Islands sailing of the Carnival Spirit because of an air
conditioning malfunction aboard ship. The problem also caused the
line to cut short the Carnival Spirit's previous voyage.
CRUISE WEST'S Alaska bookings over the past
seven weeks increased 50% over the same period last year, the line
said May 3, and Alaska bookings recorded from January through April
were 27% ahead of the same period in 2001. A spokeswoman attributed
the increase to a deluge of bookings that normally would have been
taken during the fall.
CRUISEPATH NETWORK, which provides real-time
booking for nine cruise lines, signed a 3-year licensing agreement
with AAA Travel. The CruisePath technology will be used both by AAA
travel agencies and consumers at www.aaa.com.
ARE YOU A "WATER SOAKER" or a "Nature
Observer"? Princess Cruises says you can find the right ship and
destination to satisfy these or other interests by using a new
"voyage-planning tool" on its enhanced Web site [www.princess.com].
Other features include maps and pull-down menus to research a
vacation by destination, date and/or ship.