Travel Weekly's Cruise E-Letter: November 5, 2002

PRINCESS CRUISES, if acquired by Carnival Corp., would continue to set its own distribution and compensation policies, Carnival CEO Micky Arison told Travel Weekly. He also said a dominant market share doesn't mean Carnival Corp. could set cruise prices: "We currently are the only company doing three- and four-day cruises out of Los Angeles ... and if we try to drive the price up too high, people make a left turn and go to the Mirage in Vegas," he said.

CRUISE ANALYSTS, meanwhile, said Carnival can increase its global presence by picking up cruise brands in the U.K., Germany and Australia, as well as reduce overlap and costs of Princess and Holland America Lines' Alaska land-based operations, if its new proposal for P&O Princess is approved by London-based line's board and shareholders in early January and mid-February, respectively.

CRUISE LINES INT'L ASSN. is staying put in New York, the group decided during a meeting in Washington. CLIA chairman Mark Conroy said headquarters may relocate to downtown Manhattan to take advantage of less-expensive rents there. The "human cost" of relocating CLIA to south Florida, he said, was too high. CLIA also will fill the vacancy left by former president Jim Godsman; current executive director Bob Sharak will be among those considered for the post, Conroy said.

MEANWHILE, CLIA will "freshen up" its annual National Cruise Vacation Month in February by adding retailers to its roster of cruise industry figures who make consumer-oriented media appearances, Sharak said during a meeting of CLIA's D.C.-area agent advisory board. The idea, he said, was to have "not just a cruise message, but a more-overt travel agent benefit message."

AGENTS AT THE MEETING repeatedly pressed cruise line execs for more tonnage in Baltimore; Philadelphia; and Norfolk, Va. Prices on the sailings on Celebrity's Baltimore sailings on the Galaxy, said CruiseOne agent Lynda Dodd, are "incredible." She added: "The demand is here."

REGAL CHINA CRUISES ceased operations on China's Yangtze River and recalled its western management staff and onboard American guides from its three ships, Princess Jeannie, Princess Elaine and Princess Sheena. The ships are to be operated by their owner, China-based Nantong Lihui Int'l Shipping, with whom Regal China had partnered to market and manage the vessels. "The owning company decided it would like to completely manage, operate [and] market" the three ships, Regal China vp Jeanne Dalton told Travel Weekly.

GET READY to start seeing new TV ads from Carnival Cruise Lines. The company was slated to launch Monday its "So Much Fun. So Many Places" campaign, a series of ads featuring music by the Beach Boys, Cyndi Lauper and Sly & the Family Stone. The ads replaced the ones using passenger testimonials.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INT'L appointed Adam Goldstein, senior vp, to the newly created position of executive vp-brand operations. Goldstein, a 14-year veteran of the line, is responsible for Royal Caribbean's international fleet operations, new builds, marketing and sales, and Royal Celebrity Tours.

ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES were the subject of a "memorandum of understanding" signed by Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano and officials of the North West CruiseShip Assn. According to the state's Environmental Health Administration, all members of the association running cruises longer than one day in the islands pledged to follow certain regulations. For example, with few exceptions, ships may not discharge waste between the shoreline and 4.4 miles beyond an ocean depth of 600 feet. The document is not legally binding and carries no penalties.

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