Travel Weekly's Cruise E-Letter: October 9, 2001

COSTA CRUISES increased its travel agent commission rates on Costa's Caribbean voyages to 12% through the end of the year. The increased commission rate applies to the cruise-only portion of Caribbean sailings, for departures between Dec. 2 and April 21. Bookings must be made by Dec. 31. Costa continues to pay 10% on air add-ons. The line also reduced deposit requirements on Caribbean bookings to $100 from $200 through Dec. 31. Costa operates two ships in the Caribbean, CostaAtlantica and CostaVictoria, which offer eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. For more information, call (800) GO-COSTA.

WIDESPREAD redeployments prompted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will result in increased cruise traffic for destinations in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico, said Micky Arison, Carnival Corp. chairman, at the eighth annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Assn. conference in Aruba. Arison, also chairman of FCCA, said cruise lines have pulled 15,000 to 18,000 berths out of European routes since the attack, with most of ships redirected to the Caribbean for 2001 and 2002. "All of the Caribbean will benefit, but those destinations that are closest to the North American marketplace, the drive-in markets, will benefit the most," he said. Arison added that some of the southern Caribbean destinations won't share in the traffic surge.

THE TYPICAL cruise ship carrying 2,000 passengers and 900 crew members generates almost $259,000 in passenger and crew expenditures during a port of call visit, according to "Cruise Industry's Economic Impact on the Caribbean," a PricewaterhouseCoopers study that was completed in conjunction with Business Research & Economic Advisors, a private firm. The study also found that in 2000, Caribbean cruise passenger capacity grew by 21.8% and the industry had a total annual economic impact of $2.6 billion throughout the Caribbean.

THE CARTAGENA de Indias Cruise Ship Terminal of Colombia is offering Florida-Caribbean Cruise Assn. member lines a 50% discount off passenger head taxes for all port calls not scheduled prior to Sept. 11. The discount will apply for the remainder of the fall 2001/spring 2002 season, port officials said. Among the lines affected: Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

DISNEY CRUISE LINE inventory now can be booked through the Sabre Cruise Director. With real-time connectivity to Disney Cruise Line vacations, agents now can confirm reservations on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder cruise ships directly through the CRS.

P&O PRINCESS CRUISES named Peter Foy deputy chairman and said he will succeed Lord Sterling as chairman on Oct. 23, 2002, which will mark the second anniversary of Princess Cruises' becoming a separate company. Foy was managing director of McKinsey and Co. U.K. and has been a nonexecutive director of P&O Princess Cruises since its demerger last year.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE foresees no layoffs and will continue with its plans to add five ships and expand staff in the next four years, CEO Kirk Lanterman told a press conference in Seattle.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. signed an agreement with GoCruiseDirect.com to make the inventory of Royal Caribbean Int'l and Celebrity Cruises available through GoCruiseDirect.com's Cruise Path Network.

MEANWHILE, Royal Caribbean Int'l and Celebrity Cruises, launched links on their Web Sites that will enable consumers to buy clothing and accessories stamped with the cruise lines' logos. Just the thing for that virtual cruise they've always dreamed of, perhaps.

WINDSTAR CRUISES said it will redeploy the Wind Surf to Fort Lauderdale about two months earlier than expected. The line now will start seven-day Florida Keys/Bahamas cruises on Jan. 13. The line initially scheduled roundtrip Caribbean sailings out of Barbados in January and February, with the Florida Keys/Bahamas itinerary set to debut in March.

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