Travel Weekly's Cruise E-Letter: September 3, 2002

ACCORDING TO A POLL by, 46% of the 186 travel agents surveyed said they would recommend the Federal Trade Commission deny both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s proposed merger with P&O Princess and the proposed hostile takeover of P&O Princess by Carnival Corp. The FTC's verdict is expected later this month, marking the final regulatory decision needed by both firms to pursue a P&O Princess pairing. Although 46% said "deny both," the remaining respondents clearly favored RCCL, as 31% said they would tell the FTC to approve the RCCL/P&O Princess merger and deny Carnival Corp. Only 10% said they would prefer Carnival be approved and RCCL denied.

ON THE ISSUE of what defines the cruise market -- a key consideration in determining whether either deal would restrict competition -- respondents were evenly split. According to the survey, 51% said cruise vacations compete with all vacation types; 49% said they compete only with other cruise vacations.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES will call 11 times in Bermuda next year, using two of its newer ships: the Carnival Pride and the Carnival Legend. Carnival's 2003 Bermuda schedule more than doubles the number of calls the line is making there this year. Before 2002, Carnival last visited Bermuda in 1999. The ships will dock at King's Warf, which is able to accommodate larger ships.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE will send the Ryndam and the Statendam into dry-dock in October to add an alternative restaurant and concierge-level lounge to each ship. The restaurant, called the Pinnacle Grill, will feature Pacific Northwest cuisine. It will carry a surcharge, but the line has not yet determined how much it will be. The Neptune Lounge is a private area for passengers who book the ships' top staterooms.

MEANWHILE, a U.S. Coast Guard official said Holland America Line could face a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for a discharge of partially treated sink, shower and sewage water from HAL's Ryndam while the vessel was docked in the Juneau harbor. Initial reports from Holland America said 250 gallons were released, although the Coast Guard said the total could be closer to 40,000 gallons. The Ryndam uses a sewage treating system called Zenon, which processes and cleans the waste to "near drinking water" status before it is discharged, a HAL spokesman said. The discharge was accidental, he said.

PORT EVERGLADES, near Fort Lauderdale, named Ken Krauter port director. He is a former CEO of the Jacksonville Port Authority, the Saint John (New Brunswick) Port Corp. and the Prince Rupert (British Columbia) Port Corp.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI