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SeaLetter Cruise Magazine
The Jackson Journal

July 1999

by Sharon Jackson

Gulf state cruisers, all right! Effective with the September 24, 2000 departure, Carnival Cruise Lines will be replacing the 48,000 ton, 1500 passenger Celebration, currently sailing from New Orleans, with the 70,000 ton, 2200 passenger Inspiration. Beginning in October of 2000, the Celebration will be doing a a series of 4 and 5 day cruises from Galveston, Texas.


The we-have-to-cancel-the-inaugural-cruises-and-move-other-ships-around-because-our-new-ship-is-LATE syndrome is not scaring Norwegian Cruise Lines. Late in May, NCL issued a money-back guarantee for the inaugural voyage of the Norwegian Sky set to sail on August 9th. They are so confident she is going to be on time that IF she isn't, NCL will provide booked cruisers a full refund and a credit in the same amount for a future cruise. That's TWO FREE cruises is the Sky doesn't sail as scheduled on August 9th. Agents commissions are also protected. That's confidence, Mr. Sbarsky!
Calling all CRUISE ADDICTS! You know who you are - when you're not at sea, you're reading everything you can get your hands on about cruising and cruise ships. Check out the new SeaLetter Book Store for a current listing of general cruise guides, port guides, cruise history, cruise industry, cruise employment, cruise fiction - books AND videos, all as recommended by SeaLetter Cruise Magazine columnists, editors and reviewers. Each item has a clickable direct link to Amazon.com for instant purchase at usual Amazon.com discounted prices. So, head on over to the SeaLetter Book Store to get your daily CRUISE FIX!
Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Destiny will be doing a total of three 3 & 4 night cruises from Boston to Canada and two cruises each from Charleston, South Carolina and Newport News, Virginia during the Spring of 2000. From June through August, 2000, she will be doing 4 & 5 night cruises to Canada from New York. On September 17, 2000, she heads for her new home port of San Juan to alternate two NEW Southern Caribbean itineraries featuring TWO full days at sea and Aruba on both. Itinerary #1 will feature St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao and St. Lucia. Itinerary #2 will call in St. Thomas, Antigua, Guadaloupe and Aruba.

Being a lover of those full days at sea as well as new and interesting itineraries, the Carnival Destiny will have to go on my list of must cruises for Winter/Spring 2000-2001! Perhaps I'll book her for New Year's and watch the turn of the REAL Millennium!


SPECIAL EXPEDITIONS MARINE IS NOW HIRING!

Cruising the waters of Southeast Alaska, the Columbia & Snake Rivers and Baja, Special Expeditions Marine is now accepting applicants for the following positions: Stewards, Deckhands, Assistant Chefs, Pantry Chefs, Galley Assistants, Bartenders, Engineers, and Assistant Engineers.

To apply, visit them at http://www.expeditions.com and select the Shipboard Employment link. Members may also access their direct link through the CrewXchange at www.jobxchange.com/crewxchange in the Passenger Lines section.


Cunard Line is putting a lot of money into three of its ships late this year. The Queen Elizabeth 2 will be restored and preserved at the cost of $18 million. $5 million will be spent to transform the Vistafjord and to rename her Caronia. The Royal Viking Sun, named as the World's Best Cruise Ship several times by the Berlitz Guide, will undergo a $15 million refurbishment and will then join the Seabourn fleet as the Seabourn Sun.
If you are taking ANY cruise on ANY cruise line, you will benefit from the "Cruise Answer Page" at PRINCESS CRUISES new web site. Various topics in this section alone cover everything from documents, clothing, onboard accounts, tipping, US Customs Regulations & Clearance, satellite phone numbers for all Princess ships, parking rates and phone numbers for all Princess embarkation ports, to kids programs, babysitting rates, fitness, activities, last night packing procedures and disembarkation. So point your browser to the Princess Cruises link in our SeaLetter Resource Center and while you're there, check out the LIVE CAM from the bridge of the world's largest cruise ship - GRAND PRINCESS!
That infamous card mill InteleTravel appears to have gone under. Nothing official yet except numerous layoffs and a "reevaluation" period. However, one of our agents who was previously with InteleTravel says they can't be reached and she doubts she'll ever see the commissions owed to her. If you have a booking through an InteleTravel agent, you'd better get in touch with him/her right away to make sure your vacation is protected.
SHIP HISTORY AFICIONADOS visit http://www.maritimematters.com/america.html to see a photo and read all about the ss America from her launch at Newport News, VA in 1939 to her grounding off the Canary Islands in 1994 where her bow section sits upright to this day. Then click on the Table of Contents to find more shipping history, photos of laid-up liners, web cams in harbors & ports, links to world-wide maritime museums and current cruise industry news. Published by Brit Martin Cox to "articulate his fascination with Ocean Liners and cruise ships," http://www.maritimematters.com/ (also found in our SeaLetter Resource Center) is still under construction but there's plenty to see right now!
HOW DO YOU GET A JOB ON A CRUISE SHIP? Start the process by going to http://www.jobxchange.com/ and reading all the FREE stuff like the "Passport to Success Series" where crew members show you how to get that job. Also free are dozens of job descriptions listing the requirements to apply, salary range, benefits & perks, and a listing of companies using the Job Exchange for crew acquisitions. Then sign up for the CrewXchange. The annual membership fee of $39 will give you the ability to submit your resume and get access to job listings as well as entrance to the message board to correspond with crew members from all over the world. You'll also get help with your resume and your career "profile" kept up to date right on the Exchange. This link too can be found at our SeaLetter Resource Center.
Subject to final documentation and financing, NCL has signed with Lloyd Werft shipyard in Germany to build two new ships similar to the Norwegian Sky set to debut in August. Delivery dates for the new-builds would be June 1, 2001 and April 1, 2002. Among the new features of these ships will be an "Internet Cafe!"
National Geographic Traveler Magazine is FREE on line and you can win a 2 week African Safari by winning the PHOTO CONTEST, or correctly guess where MELISSA is and win a National Geographic Atlas or the complete 109-year collection of National Geographic magazines on CD. The TRAVEL TOOLBOX helps those traveling overseas with links to current currency exchange rates, a currency converter, a distance converter (kilometers to miles, etc), and links to lots of other helpful travel sites. The features in each bi-monthly issue contain photos and links to related articles and you can even rate the stories. Skip the "Cruise Finder" - it draws from Fieldings' Database which seems to be outdated as soon as its published, and hasn't been updated since March. You're better off contacting a professional cruise travel agent. But do visit our SeaLetter Resource Center to find the link to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/index.html while the May/june issue is still available.
Uh oh. Just as I was mentioning to someone that I wondered why Carnival Cruise Lines' new ships were always delivered on time while all the others seem to be late, this comes across my desk:

MIAMI, June 25 - Delay Expected in Delivery of New Cruise Ship for Carnival. . .

Seems as if the Carnival Triumph come down with an overheated engine bearing during her final sea trials last week. The pre-inaugural activities and her first two cruises from New York have been cancelled. She is now set to debut on July 27, 1999.


Due to the crisis in Kosovo, Radisson Seven Seas has changed the first four sailings of the new Seven Seas Navigator from the Eastern to Western Mediterranean. The cruises affected are those scheduled to depart from August 16, 1999 through September 18, 1999.
For complete stories on the above and for ALL of your cruise news, don't forget that our Hot Off the Fax news section is updated daily!

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