Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: July 13, 2004

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES' upcoming ship, the Carnival Valor, will be filled with decor that depicts of heroes and heroism. Presidents Washington and Lincoln will be the themes of the Valor's two main restaurants, Neil Armstrong will be honored in the One Small Step Dance Club and the New York Yankees are the inspiration behind the Bronx Sports Bar. Joe Farcus, Carnival's longtime interior architect, promises "a certain American feel to the decor overall," though some public rooms will be inspired by Japanese shoguns, Joan of Arc and Winston Churchill. The 110,000-ton vessel, a sister to the Carnival Conquest, will debut in Miami in December.

SABRE AND CARNIVAL CORP., meanwhile, widened their distribution agreement by adding booking options for several Carnival brands in all Sabre channels for the first time, Sabre said. When the pact is implemented, Sabre businesses will have access to cruises from Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises, Ocean Village, Swan Hellenic and Aida. Under the prior contract, only Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines were distributed through Sabre and Travelocity.

BRUCE NIERENBERG succeeded Rick Abramson as president of the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. (DQSC). Abramson left the cruise line to take a position in the sports-service division of Delaware North Cos., which owns DQSC. Nierenberg, a cruise industry veteran who was a founding partner of Premier Cruise Lines and held executive positions at Norwegian Cruise Line and Costa Cruises, joined DQSC last year.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE'S Pride of America is now slated to arrive in Hawaii in July 2005, and the second former Project America ship -- to be named the Pride of Hawaii -- will arrive in 2006. The two ships plus the Pride of Aloha will make up NCL's U.S.-flag fleet in the Hawaiian Islands. The Pride of Hawaii will be constructed using the materials purchased by NCL from the U.S. shipyard that was to build both Project America ships, and it will be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany as the second of two ships NCL ordered from the yard last year. The Pride of America, meanwhile, was originally intended to be NCL's first U.S.-flagged vessel, but the ship earlier this year was partially flooded and sank in its berth at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Germany, which delayed its debut by about a year.

THE PRIDE OF ALOHA, meanwhile, kicked off its interisland Hawaii cruises last week following a Hawaiian-flavored christening ceremony that was attended by several Hawaiian political dignitaries, including Sen. Daniel Inouye and his wife, Margaret, who served as the godmother and ceremoniously changed the vessel's name from the Norwegian Sky to the Pride of Aloha.

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