Travel Weekly's Cruise E-Letter: November 20, 2001

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INT'L president Jack Williams is assuming the additional role of president of sister-brand Celebrity Cruises, replacing outgoing Celebrity president Rick Sasso. Parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said Williams, who also was named COO of RCI and Celebrity, will manage both brands' day-to-day operations, although the two divisions "will continue to operate separately." Sasso, who will resign from the company Jan. 1, said, "I will be cheering loudly from the stands as I pursue other opportunities." Celebrity department heads will report to Williams, who will continue to oversee the Royal Celebrity Tours division. Williams joined Royal Caribbean as president in 1997 after holding various management positions at American Airlines. Sasso served as president of Celebrity since 1995.

THE FORMER PREMIER Cruise Line ship Rembrandt, which earlier served as the Holland America Line flagship Rotterdam V, will sail again as a time-share vessel, according to a Florida-based operator. EXA Int'l of Deerfield Beach acquired the Rembrandt from investment firm Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette, said Stanley Priskie, EXA's president. Priskie declined to discuss terms of the agreement. DLJ repossessed the Rembrandt last year after Premier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Delivery of the ship, currently docked in Freeport, Bahamas, is scheduled for May. EXA will retain the Rembrandt name and will market the vessel under the brand name Cruiseshares.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE will inaugurate two-, five- and six-day cruises from Mobile, Ala., aboard the 1,452-passenger Holiday. The ship will offer a two-day cruise to nowhere departing roundtrip from Mobile on March 2, and five- and six-day western Caribbean voyages leaving March 4 and March 9, respectively. The Holiday then is scheduled to offer year-round Caribbean sailings from New Orleans starting April 27.

STAR CRUISES, the Singapore-based parent of Norwegian Cruise Line, reported third-quarter income of $39.6 million on revenue of $379.8 million compared with net income of $21.6 million on revenue of $428.9 million for the same period in 2000. Star attributed the decline in revenue to a 4.8% decrease in capacity days (days during which a ship is in operation) and a 6.9% decrease in net yields (net revenue per available lower berth). Revenue for Star's NCL unit fell 7.2% quarter-over-quarter because of a 2.5% decrease in capacity days and a 4.8% decline in net yields.

LUXURY CRUISE OPERATOR Cunard Line reached an agreement with spa operator Canyon Ranch, which will design and operate the spa, beauty salon and fitness facilities aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2. The vessel is scheduled to enter service in December 2003. The spa will be the first shipboard project for Canyon Ranch, which continues to pursue plans to introduce its own cruise line. The company is negotiating with a Norwegian shipyard for the construction of two ships, a company spokeswoman said.

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