THE CRYSTAL SYMPHONY will receive what Crystal
Cruises said is the line's "most extensive" interior refurb to
date. The drydock was extended from two weeks to three to
accommodate all the work, a Crystal spokeswoman said; the refit
includes a redesigned spa, an expanded [email protected] Internet
cafe, a newly-decorated dining room, a new Vintage Room
wine-tasting room and a renovated library. The spokeswoman said
more than 150 projects will be tackled onboard the Symphony while
it is in drydock in Lisbon, Portugal.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL "indefinitely"
suspended port calls to Labadee, its private beach on the northern
coast of Haiti, citing "continuing unrest" in the country. The line
said the ships slated to call at Labadee in the next two weeks will
head for Grand Bahama Island -- this includes the Voyager of the
Seas, the Explorer of the Seas, the Navigator of the Seas, the
Mariner of the Seas and the Brilliance of the Seas -- the lone
exception is the March 13 sailing of the Navigator of the Seas,
which will call at Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean's private island in
THE JUDGE overseeing the liquidation of the
Renaissance Cruises estate reversed his own ruling that commissions
are not the "property" of Renaissance's estate. The reversal was a
blow to agents who are fighting commission recalls by the defunct
line's estate. Their legal team, spearheaded by ASTA, had requested
summary judgment on three other legal arguments, which the judge
has previously declined to grant. The court had earlier agreed with
ASTA, which is representing Accent on Travel of Towson, Md., that
commissions are not the property of the estate and, therefore,
agencies are not required to give them back.
THE REVERSAL came after Renaissance's
liquidating trust asked Judge Raymond Ray, of the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of Florida, to reconsider his
ruling. The judge said that, after a review, "there appear to be
issues of material fact" -- i.e. unresolved factual disputes --
which made a summary judgment inappropriate. He then reversed the
decision, denying to rule on the issue before it goes to trial.
Even without the summary-judgment reversal, the case would have
moved to a trial on the three remaining counts. ASTA declined to
comment. Joel Tabas, the attorney for Renaissance's liquidating
trust, said, "It doesn't mean I win. It means I get to keep going
forward. It kind of takes the wind out of what I would characterize
as [ASTA's] propaganda." Tabas said there are about 100 agencies
still fighting to keep their commissions.
WINDSTAR rolled out an agent promotion for
cruises on the Wind Surf: Agents who sell two Windstar cruises by
April 30 for Wind Surf voyages departing April 18 through June 30
sail for free.
LIBYA BOUND: With the State Dept. dropping its
Libya-travel restrictions Feb. 26, Clipper Cruises is transforming
its "Treasures of the Western Mediterranean" into "Antiquities of
North Africa and the Italian Mediterranean." The new 15-day
itinerary will stop in Tangiers, Morocco; Tunis, Tunisia; and
Tarabulus, Libya, before picking up the previous itinerary's stops
in Malta, Sicily and Italy.
CRUCON CRUISE OUTLET in Boston was named
Carnival Cruise Lines' 2003 Agency of the Year. Carnival said
winners are chosen for their "exceptional professionalism,
enthusiasm and motivation in sales and marketing techniques."
THE 216 SEATS in the Todd English restaurant
onboard the Queen Mary 2 are so coveted that the line added a
surcharge to "quell demand a little bit," a spokeswoman said. The
Mediterranean restaurant now charges $20 per person for lunch and
$30 for dinner reservations.
• Crystal Cruises restructured its sales staff and eliminated
Eastern and Western field-sales territories. Among the changes:
Eric Graves was promoted to the new position of vice president,
field sales; Michael von Wittenau will assume the new position of
director, business development; and Doug Reinmuth will become
director, charter & incentive sales. Cathy Denroche Brown will
cover both Eastern and Western Canada sales, and Sandy Stevens
picks up Pacific Northwest coverage from Brown. "Other territories
were also examined and redistributed," Crystal said in a statement.
Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales, will continue
to oversee national accounts until the line appoints a vice
president, national accounts. Jeanne Underwood, who had previously
been director, Western region, will become director, national
• NLG hired Claire Lockley to be the company's cruise vendor
relations manager and act as a liaison between NLG and cruise line
partners; Greg Mattson was hired as cruise business analyst.