Tuesday, September 21, 2004

KATIE, CANCER RESEARCH & VALOR: NBC’s bubbly Katie Couric, longtime co-host of the Today show, plays godmother for Carnival Valor, officially naming the new SuperLiner on Dec. 17 at the Port of Miami, by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne across the hull. Couric, whose husband died of colon cancer and who received the prestigious Peabody award and six Emmy’s for Today segments on the killer disease, helped launch the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA), supporting education, research and regular medical screenings. Carnival Cruise Line is donating in her name to the NCCRA. The new ship, third in the 110,000-ton Conquest-class, is among the largest at sea, with 22 bar/lounges and interiors celebrating themes of heroes and heroism. Also aboard: Four pools, a 214-foot-long water slide, a 13,300-square-foot spa, kid and teen space, and four restaurants, including a supper club. After an overnight inaugural to Nassau followed by naming hoopla, the ship launches year-round seven-day Caribbean sailings on Dec. 19, becoming the largest Fun Ship ever based in Miami. For details, call (800) CARNIVAL.