Friday, August 11, 2006

Celebrity Infinity Pod Problems ...

Alaska Sailing Scratched: Celebrity Cruises is calling off Infinity's Sept. 13 sailing to replace one of two propulsion pods. Booked guests get a full refund and a certificate good toward another cruise. Agent commissions are protected, with a $50 rebooking bonus per stateroom when clients reschedule. Analysts estimate the cancellation will knock off a nickel per share on earnings of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The ailing pod's electrical system is failing to provide maximum speed, reducing from 22 to 19 knots and making it tough to maintain itineraries, although the ship continues to sail. After drydock repairs in Victoria, B.C., the ship sails Sept. 24 on its scheduled transcanal cruise from San Francisco, leaving a day late for Fort Lauderdale. The15-day transit cuts to 14 days, skipping Cabo San Lucas. Guests get a $500-per-stateroom onboard credit, a $200 future cruise certificate, and San Francisco overnight lodging on Sept. 23. Celebrity's help desk: (800) 852-8175.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

CCL Gets Serious on Fun ...

Targets Meetings Market: Keeping pace with fast-growing corporate meetings and incentive travel, Carnival Cruise Lines has dramatically expanded its “Preferred Awards” program, allowing purchase of the line’s all-inclusive cruise certificates to reward top producers and encourage customer sales. Carnival also has created www.carnivalmeetings.com, tailored for corporate meeting planners, with a "Learn the Ropes" section for translating shoreside events shipside, Carnival Corporate University info and more. “Preferred Awards” includes more ships and itineraries than ever, including Europe and Greek Isles departures aboard Carnival Freedom, plus more cabin categories, including top-of-the-line suites – rare in cruise industry incentives. These "provide business leaders with a convenient means to learn about the many benefits of shipboard meetings,” said Richard Weinstein, vp of corporate and incentive sales. For meetings details, call (877) 278-0388. For cruises, (800) CARNIVAL.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Uniworld Tantalizes ...

Viva La France: Uniworld Grand River Cruises whets river cruise appetites with new itineraries, land extensions, and early booking incentives. L.A.-based Uniworld's Europe-Russia season, March through December, has nine-to 30-day cruises and tours in 20 countries. “With success of Uniworld's brand new Grand River Cruise ship, River Royale, and our well-received nine-day Provence and Burgundy cruise, we have added two new programs in France," says Tom Russell, senior v.p. sales/marketing. Uniworld's pre-post options include a six-day Madrid/Granada/Seville package. Uniworld's Grand River Cruises include r/t air, transfers, outside staterooms, meals and entertainment onboard, cruise sanager services, and select shore excursions, from $1,748 per person. Enhanced Early Booking and Pay-In-Full Discounts allow more savings if paid by Oct. 31. For details, call 800-733-7820.