Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: June 1, 2004

MARGARET AWAMURA INOUYE, the wife of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), was named godmother of the Pride of Aloha and will christen the vessel, the former Norwegian Sky, during a ceremony in Honolulu on July 4. Daniel Inouye, in early 2003, introduced the federal legislation that allowed Norwegian Cruise Line to reflag the Pride of Aloha, along with the Pride of America and a third, as-yet unnamed ship, into the U.S. register.

NCL'S FORMER HAWAII-BASED SHIP, the Norwegian Star, emerged from drydock with artwork on its hull -- stars and streamers along the ship's bow that NCL said was an homage to "the long-time cruise tradition of passengers throwing streamers from the bow as the vessel pulls away from the dock." NCL also changed some of the Star's interior spaces by adding a Cagney's Steakhouse, a casino and a "sleek, hip" bar called the Pearl Martini Lounge. A new nightclub, meanwhile, replaces the private Karaoke rooms. The Star started its Alaska season on May 30.

PRINCESS CRUISES ...

... ADDED MORE than 50 new shore excursions to its Europe cruise season this year. Highlights, the line said, include a two-day tour of St. Petersburg, Russia. Several "deluxe" tours, which take only a few people to unique venues in various cities, were added in Athens; Berlin; Cannes and Nice, France; and Holland, Netherlands.

... TOOK DELIVERY of the Sapphire Princess from the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan. The Sapphire Princess will arrive in Seattle June 7 and join its sister, the Diamond Princess, for a series of summer cruises to Alaska. A christening ceremony will be held June 10.

FESTIVAL CRUISES filed for bankruptcy in Genoa, Italy, last week, a spokeswoman for the company told TravelWeekly.com. Festival was marketed in the U.S. as First European Cruises.

CRUISE NEWS IN BRIEF:
• Cruise Planners, a franchiser of home-based cruise sellers, endorsed Amadeus Cruise as its preferred booking tool.
• Carnival began promoting pre- and post-cruise hotel packages in Mobile, Ala., at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in nearby Point Clear, Ala. Carnival begins year-round cruises from Mobile in October on the Holiday.
• Silversea Cruises said it will offer nine "Silver Odyssey" cruises next year, which adds up to nine consecutive segments of a 100-day cruise from San Diego to Venice, Italy, on the Silver Shadow. Guests on the cruises will receive fare discounts and onboard credits depending on the length of their voyage.
• Royal Caribbean Cruises promoted Mike Sutten to vice president, chief information officer from vice president of the company's information technology development group.

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