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Actress Mira Sorvino Named Godmother
Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino has been chosen as godmother for Carnival Cruise Lines' newest ship, Carnival Liberty, set to debut in Italy this summer. Sorvino is scheduled to break the traditional bottle of champagne against the ship's hull during a naming ceremony July 19, 2005, in Civitavecchia, Italy.
Early in her career, the Italian-American actress shot to stardom in her breakthrough role in Woody Allen's 1995 movie "Mighty Aphrodite," for which she won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a National Society of Film Critics Award, and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has an extensive resume that includes numerous leads in feature films, including "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," "Mimic," "Summer of Sam," "The Replacement Killers," "The Triumph of Love," "Barcelona," and "Quiz Show."
Sorvino earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her performance in the HBO movie "Norma Jean and Marilyn" in which she played Marilyn Monroe. The multitalented actress also produced the acclaimed independent feature comedy "Lisa Picard is Famous," which had its debut as an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival. She also associate-produced the documentary "Freedom to Hate" tracing anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union, and the feature film "Amongst Friends."
She is also the official ambassador for the Stop Violence Against Women Program with the worldwide human rights organization, Amnesty International. This past April, Sorvino's work with Amnesty International was recognized at the Artivist Film Festival, which acknowledges socially conscious filmmakers, activist celebrities, and charitable organizations. She is also a past recipient of the National Italian American Foundation's Achievement Award and has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a British Academy Award.
"It is an esteemed maritime tradition that a ship's godmother is a woman of honor and distinction whose name will be forever linked with that vessel. Mira Sorvino's wide-ranging achievements as an actress and activist make her the ideal candidate to serve as godmother for our spectacular new ship, Carnival Liberty," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
Born in Tenafly, N.J., Sorvino is the daughter of veteran actor Paul Sorvino, whose credits include the films "Goodfellas" and Oliver Stone's "Nixon" and TV's "Law and Order." She was raised in New Jersey and went to Harvard University where she graduated magna cum laude in East Asian studies and received the Hoopes prize for her thesis. She is married to Christopher Backus and they have a six-month-old daughter.
Currently in the final stages of construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the new Carnival Liberty will depart on an introductory three-day cruise from Monfalcone July 16 and arrive in Civitavecchia July 19, with the naming ceremony taking place later that evening. The ship is slated to commence a series of 12-day Mediterranean cruises -- a first for Carnival Cruise Lines -- from Civitavecchia July 20, 2005.
New Carnival Comfort Bed Sleep System
A new stateroom sleep system manufactured exclusively for Carnival Cruise Lines is the latest in a series of cabin amenity upgrades that are part of the "Today’s Carnival" fleetwide product enhancement program.
The Carnival Comfort Bed ensemble, including custom pillows, duvet and cover, pillowcases and mattress set, provides an unsurpassed level of lavishness in shipboard sleep accommodations. Introduction of the new bedding system, already on several ships, is ongoing and is expected to be implemented fleetwide by the end of the year. Manufactured in Europe, the Carnival Comfort Bed features an eight-inch spring mattress designed exclusively for Carnival Cruise Lines. Completing the custom sleep system is a duvet made from 100 percent hypoallergenic down and sheets made of a high quality cotton blend. The duvet covers and pillowcases are of an ultra-fine, ring-spun, satin-striped cotton blend, creating a luxurious and comfortable sleep environment. The material is also highly durable for long-lasting use and attractiveness.
New Generation Pillows, made of non-allergenic micro fiber to create a fluffy, down-like consistency, will be featured in all staterooms. In suite accommodations a special "suite pillow menu" will offer guests the choice of a variety of different pillow types for their sleeping comfort, including a luxury goose down and a firm latex pillow.
"A restful, luxurious sleep is an important component of the vacation experience and we are extremely excited about this opportunity to brand a high-quality sleep system with the Carnival name," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
Among other stateroom upgrades that have been incorporated on Carnival's ships are high-quality fluffy bath and hand towels, plush terrycloth bathrobes in all ocean view staterooms, in-shower soap and shampoo dispensers, and in-cabin amenities baskets containing a variety of name-brand product samples. Stainless steel ice buckets and attractively bound directories round out the new high-end feel of each stateroom. "Over the past decade, we have enhanced nearly every aspect of the shipboard experience," noted Dickinson. "As our guests have become more discerning, we have implemented these upgrades in our ongoing commitment to continue to exceed their expectations."
First-Ever Presidential Wine Club Cruise
Carnival Cruise Lines and the new Presidential Wine Club – the cruise industry's first affinity group for wine enthusiasts – will host a "Carnival Wine Cruise" aboard the Carnival Liberty in December 2005. The six-day cruise, which can be booked through any travel agent, will operate round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dec. 4-10, 2005, calling at Freeport, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
The event will be hosted by Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson, a noted wine collector and connoisseur who is the namesake behind the Presidential Wine Club. The inaugural Presidential Wine Club Cruise will feature a number of exclusive events, including gala wine tastings, informative seminars with wine experts, and wine-themed parties. All attendees will also receive a gift bag of wine-related accessories from Wine Spectator magazine.
Although guests need not be members of the Presidential Wine Club to participate in the cruise, club members will receive more than $200 in free merchandise and discounts, as well as access to several members-only events during the voyage. Among the exclusive members-only events is a seminar hosted by Riedel Crystal, a leading manufacturer of crystal stemware and wine accessories, which will provide insight on the effect that different glasses have on wine and why it is important to use the proper stemware when drinking fine wine. Attendees will receive a free Riedel stemware gift set valued at $120.
Carnival Legend to Operate Bermuda Cruises in 2006 and 2007
Carnival Cruise Lines will operate a six-day Bermuda cruise in 2006 and another in 2007 aboard the 88,500-ton Carnival Legend. The six-day voyages will depart from New York on April 20, 2006, and April 19, 2007, and feature an overnight visit to King's Wharf, Bermuda; as well as a full-day call at Newport, R.I. The two Bermuda voyages precede Carnival Legend's eight-day Caribbean cruise schedule from New York which runs from April – October 2006 and 2007.
"Bermuda is a much sought-after cruise destination and these two voyages offer guests an opportunity to explore this island paradise while sailing aboard one of our most beautiful and amenity-laden ships, Carnival Legend," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
Carnival Liberty to Feature Massive 270-Square-Foot
One of the largest outdoor television screens ever installed on a cruise ship will be featured on Carnival Cruise Lines' new 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty when it inaugurates the line's Mediterranean cruise program this summer.
"Carnival's Seaside Theatre" – which will include a 12-foot-high by 22-foot-wide LED (light-emitting diode) screen – will be located poolside on Carnival Liberty's Lido deck and show movies, sporting events, concerts, and various other programming, including the ship's own "Morning Show" hosted by the cruise director. Manufactured by Belgium-based Barco, a worldwide leader in innovative visual solutions, the massive 270-square-foot screen uses the same technology featured in large stadiums and New York's Times Square and can be seen during both the day and evening hours. In addition to superior picture quality, the state-of-the-art entertainment system includes a 70,000-watt sound system, providing concert quality sound, even outdoors.
"Carnival already offers the widest variety of shipboard activities at sea and the new LED television screen aboard the Carnival Liberty is just another example of the innovative entertainment options available for guests sailing aboard the ‘Fun Ships,'" said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. The poolside screen will take center stage during the evenings when feature films, concerts and other programming are showcased while guests relax in oversized lounge chairs and enjoy drink specials, complimentary popcorn, and other typical movie-time fare.
"Carnival's Seaside Theatre" will also be utilized for national sporting events featuring various food and drink specials. During Carnival's legendary deck parties, music videos, along with live shots of the band and party guests, will be displayed. Kids' favorite movies and cartoons will also be featured while Play Station 2 units will be connected to the system to provide a "larger than life" video game experience. The new outdoor LED screen will debut when Carnival Liberty launches the line's first-ever Mediterranean cruise program which will run from July 20, 2005 through Oct. 12, 2005.
Carnival Cruise Lines to Return to Europe Next Year
Following strong consumer response to its first-ever Mediterranean cruises set to debut aboard the new Carnival Liberty this summer, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that the vessel will return for a second time for a full season of Med cruises beginning in May 2006. The 110,000-ton SuperLiner, which is currently under construction in Monfalcone, Italy, will operate a series of 15 12-day "Grand Mediterranean" cruises round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia) May 7 - Oct. 22, 2006. The itinerary includes extended port calls in seven magnificent locations: Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy.
Prior to and following this program, Carnival Liberty will operate 14- and 16-day transatlantic voyages between Rome (Civitavecchia) and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in April and November 2006, respectively. Carnival Liberty will also operate a schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 12, 2005 - April 15, 2006 and then will resume that program on Nov. 19, 2006.
"Because consumers can experience a broad range of destinations in a single voyage, cruising is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to see Europe -- and with the high dollar-to-euro ratio, one of the most affordable, as well," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "Our efforts at expanding our 'Fun Ship' itinerary choices include having an ongoing presence in Europe and we're delighted that the Carnival Liberty will return to the region with even more exciting Mediterranean voyages next year," he added.
Carnival Cruise Lines Returns to Norfolk in 2006
Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise operator, will return to Norfolk, Virginia, next year with a series of four voyages aboard the 2,758-passenger "Fun Ship" Carnival Victory in summer and fall 2006. The four voyages will depart from Norfolk's Nauticus Cruise Terminal and will include two six-day Bahamas voyages June 4 and Oct. 8, 2006, and a pair of two-day cruises departing June 10 and Oct. 14.
"Consumer response to ‘Fun Ship' cruising from Norfolk has been very positive and as a result we're returning next year with another exciting series of voyages from this port," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "These departures from Norfolk aboard Carnival Victory continue our efforts to providing more ‘close-to-home' cruise options, which offer added convenience for our guests," he added.
The two-day cruises will depart Norfolk June 10 and Oct. 14, 2006. Both voyages depart on Saturdays and return on Mondays, providing the perfect weekend getaway. The six-day Bahamas cruises will depart Sundays on June 4 and Oct. 8, 2006, and feature an overnight call at Nassau, and a day-long visit to Freeport. Both ports offer excellent beaches and watersports, including snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as numerous dining and shopping opportunities.
Carnival is currently accepting reservations on the Carnival Victory's two- and six-day cruises from Norfolk. Prices begin at $299 per person for the two-day cruise and $649 per person for the six-day voyage, based on double occupancy. Special rates for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom are also available.
Carnival Liberty to Feature Multi-Million Dollar Art Collection
For the new 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty – set to launch Carnival's first-ever Mediterranean cruise program July 20, 2005 -- the line has commissioned a group of talented artists to enhance the vessel's striking interiors, which celebrate great artisans and their works.
Israeli artist Calman Shemi took the Carnival Liberty's design theme to heart and created a series of large, colorful murals that feature depictions of iron workers, glass blowers, jewelry makers, and sculptors practicing their crafts. The massive aluminum panels, which measure an impressive six feet high by nine feet wide, are positioned within the ship's center stairways. Shemi also created 45 different motifs that were reproduced to adorn each of the Carnival Liberty's 1,479 staterooms.
In her first commission from Carnival, California painter Marian Westall also pays homage to the artisan theme with a series of large canvases for the aft stairways. The brightly colored paintings depict pottery and ornate grillwork set against a variety of dramatic settings, including the desert, sunsets, and a lake.
Virginia Ferrara's large, tropical-themed pieces, which adorn Carnival Liberty's stair landings, are inspired by the surroundings of her adopted South Florida home. Measuring up to six feet high by 15 feet wide, the huge, pastel-hued pieces offer a laid-back look at the Sunshine State, with images of palm trees, hammocks and swimming pool scenes that evoke a feeling of total relaxation.
Adjacent to the Carnival Liberty's swimming pools are four bronze sculptures of Susanna Holt, who has been commissioned to create artwork for six Carnival ships. For Carnival Liberty, Holt created authentic depictions of an anhinga bird drying its wings, sea lions in repose, and a stag and a doe in standing positions.
Rounding out the Carnival Liberty's multi-million-dollar collection are colorful glass pieces of renowned Italian glass artist Luciano Vistosi, which are illuminated from behind and positioned along Carnival Liberty's ship-long promenade, and Sara Righi's sculpture of "Aurora," a bronze sculpture found along the promenade bar adjacent to the Czar's Palace Casino.
Carnival Liberty is scheduled to debut July 20, with a series of 12-day Mediterranean voyages that will run through Oct. 12, 2005. Featured ports include Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy; Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. She will also operate a 16-day transatlantic voyage departing Rome (Civitavecchia) Oct. 24, and arriving at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 9, 2005, calling at Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Málaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. Carnival Liberty will then launch the cruise industry's only year-round six- and eight-day Bahamas/Caribbean schedule from Fort Lauderdale beginning Nov. 12, 2005.
More Than 80 Shore Excursions Available in Conjunction
From gondola rides and guided museum tours to kayaking excursions and day-long trips to ancient cities and landmarks, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering more than 80 different shore excursions in conjunction with its first-ever Mediterranean cruises aboard the new Carnival Liberty. All Carnival Liberty's shore excursions can be pre-booked at carnival.com and guests are encouraged to book their preferred tours in advance.
The 2,974-passenger SuperLiner will operate eight 12-day voyages roundtrip from Rome (Civitavecchia) July 20 – Oct. 12, 2005. The Carnival Liberty will visit some of Europe's most historic and charming cities, including Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy.
"Each of these cities offers historic sites and museums, beautiful architecture, and unforgettable dining and shopping opportunities. We are pleased to offer such a wide range of shore excursions for our guests to explore and experience all this magnificent region has to offer," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival's president and CEO.
Numerous golfing opportunities featuring some of most beautiful and challenging courses in Italy, France and Spain are available, as well.
Carnival Liberty's Spa Offers Array of Services
Pampering will be taken to a new level when Carnival Cruise Lines' new Carnival Liberty is introduced in Europe this summer. Responding to trends in the spa industry, Carnival has added an array of barber services for men, tooth-whitening treatments and a spa program aimed at teens aboard the 110,000-ton SuperLiner.
The expansive 13,300-square-foot Spa Carnival health and fitness center will also feature state-of-the-art exercise equipment, fitness and aerobic classes, and a wide variety of sophisticated European-style treatments. A new youth spa program, called Generation YSPA, will offer treatments created specifically for today's teens.
"According to current spa industry data, an increasing number of men are interested in receiving spa and salon treatments, and we have responded with a comprehensive barber services menu," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "Likewise, our YSPA program caters to teens, and our other new spa services make Carnival Liberty's health and fitness program one of the most comprehensive in the Mediterranean cruise market this summer."
The new barber menu will include the "Express Shave," which decongests and polishes the skin, while providing a clean, close shave; the "Deep Cleanse Men's Grooming with Shave," which expands on the "Express Shave" with a soothing face and scalp massage, and a deep pore cleansing mask; and the "Shave of All Shaves," which combines the "Express Shave" with a targeted anti-aging mini-facial and skin treatment that includes a face, scalp, hand and arm massage, and facial mask.
Other new spa services will include Gentle Touch Tooth Whitening, a system that uses an FDA-approved non-toxic gel and laser therapy to gently lift away stains from coffee, nicotine, red wine and other strong food colorants.
Carnival Liberty's spa also will offer a variety of popular European-style treatments, such as Aroma Stone Therapy and La Therapie Facial, as well as the Generation YSPA program, which features face, body, hair and nail treatments created just for teens. Located on Spa Deck 11, Carnival Liberty's spa will house complete locker room facilities, steam rooms and saunas with ocean views, and a boutique offering spa products for sale. A full-service beauty salon will feature hair styling services, manicures and pedicures.
Carnival Liberty: The Ultimate European Vacation
With its European-inspired interiors celebrating great artisan works, an unforgettable seven-port, 12-day Mediterranean itinerary, and affordable pricing, Carnival Cruise Lines' new 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty offers the ultimate European vacation.
Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the 2,974-passenger SuperLiner is slated to debut July 20, 2005, with the first in a series of eight 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) – Carnival's first-ever Mediterranean cruise program.
Prices for Carnival Liberty's 12-day Mediterranean cruises start at $1,899 per person based on double occupancy, making these voyages one of the most cost-effective ways to see Europe. Plus, with the high dollar/euro exchange rate, there's no better way to experience Europe this summer.
"Not only does the Carnival Liberty offer a distinctive and memorable vacation environment, its value-added features and facilities, and magnificent Mediterranean ports of call make it the ideal vessel for scenic European cruising," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. Carnival Liberty's Mediterranean program will encompass eight 12-day cruises operating round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia) July 20 – Oct. 12, 2005. The unique seven-port itinerary features some of the most charming and historic cities in Europe, including Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy.
During these cruises, guests can visit popular destinations such as Capri, Taormina, Monte Carlo and Florence. Guests can also extend their European vacation with one- to three-night pre- and post-cruise land packages in Rome.
The fourth in Carnival's highly successful Conquest-class, Carnival Liberty will offer a wide range of signature "Fun Ship" amenities -- a 13,300-square-foot spa, expansive children's and teen facilities, and a multitude of dining options, including two two-deck-high formal restaurants, a 1,400-seat poolside eatery and an intimate reservations-only supper club. Encompassing 13 passenger decks, Carnival Liberty will also house an Internet café, a jogging track, a patisserie, full casino gambling, and a multi-level theater showcasing lavish Vegas-style production shows, just one of several entertainment venues on board.
CCL Launches New 'Corporate University'
Businesses and other organizations wishing to enhance their communication skills, teamwork and creativity can now tap into the vast knowledge and expertise of one of the world's most successful companies -- Carnival Cruise Lines.
The new "Carnival Corporate University" encompasses a series of professional enrichment seminars that provide insight into the proven management principles that have made Carnival the most popular cruise line in the world.
"Carnival has earned its leadership position through an unmatched combination of superior products and top-notch service delivered by a highly motivated workforce. With the new 'Carnival Corporate University,' we are pleased to share our expertise to help businesses enhance teamwork, build communication skills and celebrate diversity through fun, interactive activities -- all at a cost that is lower than most land-based training sessions," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
The program, which is available in conjunction with any Carnival cruise, encompasses a full schedule of custom-designed management training sessions created by Carnival's award-winning corporate training department, which conducts in-house training for the company's 30,000 shipboard and shoreside employees. The department can also work with businesses to specifically tailor programming designed to meet individual goals or objectives and businesses can purchase as many or as few sessions as they want.
Unlike typical shoreside management seminars, "Carnival Corporate University" classes take an inventive, often unconventional approach, with thought-provoking seminars where participation is encouraged -- all in a relaxing and memorable environment that is conducive to learning and team building. "The courses within 'Carnival Corporate University' go beyond typical landside training sessions, with enthusiastic facilitators who utilize role- playing and other instructional methods that engage participants and ultimately lead to higher retention and greater productivity," Dickinson said.
Sample programming includes "Cruising to Communication," focusing on effective verbal and non-verbal communication techniques; "Win Win," an interactive exercise on building and maintaining trust; "Charting the Course," emphasizing strategies of effective leaders; "Creativity by Design," which enables participants to harness their creativity within; and "Passport to Diversity," a celebration of today's culturally diverse work environment.
When participants are not enrolled in "Carnival Corporate University," they are free to enjoy the wide range of "resort-style" amenities and facilities available aboard the "Fun Ships" -- an array of formal and casual dining options, numerous dancing, entertainment and live music venues, including lavish Vegas-style production shows, luxurious spa facilities, full casino gambling, duty-free shopping, swimming pools and cascading water slides. Many Carnival ships also have private conference centers and the line's public rooms are also available for meetings, awards receptions and other corporate functions.
Prices for "Carnival Corporate University" vary according to the size of the group and the number of sessions purchased. Additional information on "Carnival Corporate University" is available by contacting Carnival's incentive sales department at 1-800-438-6744, ext. 70007.
$75,000 in Prizes Up for
A guaranteed $25,000 prize pool awaits lucky guests sailing on any of three Carnival Cruise Lines' voyages featuring special slot tournaments in 2005.
Sponsored by Carnival's Ocean Players Club, the tournaments are open to all guests age 18 and over and will be held aboard three seven-day cruises – May 22 from Miami aboard the new Carnival Valor, August 14 from New Orleans on Carnival Conquest, and October 29 from Port Canaveral, Florida, on Carnival Glory. Each of these 110,000-ton ships offers a 9,000-square-foot casino with more than 220 slot machines and a variety of table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette and poker.
The entry fee for the tournament is $100 per person which can either be paid in advance or once on board. Tournament entries are limited and guests are encouraged to enter prior to departure. First-place winners for each tournament receive $10,000 and a variety of other cash prizes totaling $15,000 will be awarded throughout the tournament. Tournament participants will receive a number of on-board amenities, including complimentary champagne and chocolates in their stateroom, as well as an invitation to attend a private cocktail reception and awards reception.
"The Ocean Players Club Slot Tournaments add even more excitement to our ‘Fun Ship' cruises by offering guests a chance to take home a share of $25,000 in cash," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
The Ocean Players Club offers something for every level of player, from awards for playing slots to establishing credit lines and betting limits for high rollers. Players can earn points towards complimentary beverages, free gifts, discounts off onboard services, future cruise benefits and even cash back rebates redeemable on board future cruises. Membership in the Ocean Players Club is free and enrollment is coordinated with the casino host on board. For more information visit oceanplayersclub.com .
Prices for the Ocean Player Club Slot Tournaments cruises begin at $679 per person (includes entry fee). Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom and "Fly Aweigh" air supplements from more than 170 North American gateways are also available.
World's Largest Cruise Line Expects to Carry
With capacity increases in five U.S. homeports, new year-round programs from Mobile, Alabama and Jacksonville, Florida, and its first-ever Mediterranean cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines expects to carry a record 3.3 million passengers and operate an unprecedented number of voyages in the coming year.
Newer, larger "Fun Ships" have been deployed in Miami; Tampa; New Orleans; Galveston, Texas; and Long Beach, California, representing an average capacity increase of 31 percent over the vessels they replaced. In total, Carnival will operate more than 1,300 cruises aboard 20 "Fun Ships" departing from 18 different North American homeports -- the most in cruising -- during 2005.
The unprecedented number of cruise offerings, combined with a high quality shipboard experience influenced by the line's wide-ranging "Today's Carnival" product enhancement strategy, adds up to an anticipated record-breaking year for guests carried, according to Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson. "From new itinerary and homeport choices to expanded dining, activity and entertainment options, Carnival has a variety of exciting developments on tap for the coming year," he said. "Consumers are encouraged to book early to not only get the best price but also the itinerary and stateroom of their choice," Dickinson added.
Carnival has recently expanded capacity in five different U.S. homeports, deploying newer, larger tonnage on a variety of three- to eight-day itineraries. These include the 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor, the largest "Fun Ship" ever based in Miami, operating week-long Caribbean voyages. Carnival also continued its dramatic growth in New Orleans and Galveston by deploying 2,052- passenger "Fantasy-class" vessels in those markets. The 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle also became Tampa's largest "Fun Ship," while the 2,052- passenger Inspiration was deployed on four- and five-day cruises from that port, providing a fresh new alternative on this popular itinerary. The 2,052- passenger Paradise was redeployed to Long Beach to become the newest cruise ship to operate short cruises from the West Coast.
Carnival Liberty will also operate a series of 12-day, seven-port cruises round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia) July 20 - Oct. 12, 2005, calling at Naples, Dubrovnik, Venice, Messina, Barcelona, Cannes, and Livorno. Following this program, Carnival Liberty will operate a 16-day transatlantic voyage departing Rome (Civitavecchia) Oct. 24, and arriving Fort Lauderdale Nov. 9, 2005, calling at Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Málaga, Funchal (Madeira), and St. Maarten.
2005 also marks the first full year of new "Fun Ship" cruise programs from Mobile and Jacksonville -- the only year-round schedules from those ports. From Mobile, the 1,452-passenger Holiday departs Thursdays on four-day cruises to Cozumel, and Mondays and Saturdays on five-day voyages to Cozumel and Playa del Carmen or Costa Maya. From Jacksonville, the 1,486-passenger Celebration departs Thursdays on four-day cruises to Freeport and Nassau and five-day cruises to Key West and Nassau.
Carnival has revamped virtually every aspect of the "Fun Ship" cruise experience over the last few years, everything from dining options and shore excursions to children's programming and spa facilities. New activities have been added to the line's top-rated "Camp Carnival" program, including art, music, science, and reading programs, while shore excursions now feature more active "adventure-type" tours. A new youth spa program has added to the line's expansive Spa Carnival health and fitness facilities.
The new Carnival Valor is the first cruise ship to offer "100 percent bow to stern" Wi-Fi capabilities, complementing the line's fleetwide Internet cafes and Wi-Fi services.
Dining options now include a greater variety of casual choices such as fleetwide 24-hour pizzerias and delis and upscale offerings like reservations-only supper clubs on select vessels.
Carnival Launches Industry's First Wine Club
Calling it a "club with a mission," Carnival Cruise Lines has launched the Presidential Wine Club, the cruise industry's first affinity group for people interested in wine. Members will receive two bottles of select boutique wines each month, and have access to an on-line wine information and communication resource.
All wines featured in club mailings are tasted and approved by Bob Dickinson, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, a noted wine collector and unabashed oenophile, or wine connoisseur. Many of the wines come from small, boutique wineries located in the world's great wine regions of California, France, Italy, Spain, Chile, Argentina and Australia. Among the Dickinson Selection wines that members can expect to receive are Merryvale Starmon Sauvignon Blanc 2003, Napa, Calif.; St. Supery Cabernet 2000, Napa, Calif.; Pirramimma Shiraz, McClaren Vale 2001, Australia; Tasman Bay Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2004, New Zealand, and Oriel Courant Cote du Rhone 2003, France.
"With the Presidential Wine Club, we are doing for wine what Carnival did for the cruise experience — demystifying it," said Dickinson. "The enjoyment of wine often is perceived as elitist, just as cruising used to be. We are making wine accessible to those who might otherwise be intimidated by the idea of fine vintages."
While membership will be primarily marketed to Carnival Cruise Lines past guests, anyone with an interest in wine may join. The cost is $39.99 per month for two bottles, plus $9.99 shipping and handling. There is no contract and membership can be discontinued at any time without penalty. Dickinson says the club's mission is to educate people about the enjoyment and health benefits of wine. The club's Web site functions as a wine information resource and has interactive message boards for members to trade opinions about wine and a monthly "Ask Bob" column by the cruise line's president.
Additional member benefits include opportunities to participate in annual Presidential Wine Club cruises featuring wine tastings, food pairings and sessions with wine makers and other wine experts. Members also qualify for discounts on special wine purchases and wine-related products and accessories sold through the Web site.
Current plans for the club include making select Presidential Wine Club vintages available at designated bars on all Carnival ships. According to Dickinson, this will provide guests an opportunity to taste some of the club wines before becoming a member. "Our goal is to make wine the beer of tomorrow," said Dickinson. "Beer is like a birthright to Americans, while people who drink fine wines account for less than 10 percent of the population. Carnival is set to carry 3.3 million guests in 2005, and I think we can reach a lot of those folks with our message."
To become a member of the Presidential Wine Club, visit the Web site at www.presidentialwineclub.com or call, toll-free, 1-888-292-2582.
NOTE: Currently, the Presidential Wine Club can ship select vintages to 29 of 50 U.S. states. Some states may require sales tax be collected. Those prohibiting the interstate shipment of wines include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.
Carnival Corporation & plc and Its Cruise Brands
The funds -- $2.4 million of which is being donated by Carnival Corporation & plc with another $800,000 already raised by the company's 12 cruise brands -- will be forwarded to several different international organizations coordinating relief efforts in Asia and Africa.
"The entire Carnival Corporation & plc family, both aboard ship and ashore, is saddened and deeply concerned by this horrible tragedy and we are pleased to make this donation to aid in the region's long-term relief efforts, which will be substantial," said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. "The tsunamis are the worst natural disasters of our lifetime and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this catastrophe," he added.
Former President George H.W. Bush, who along with former President Clinton is co-chair of the United States Of America's Tsunami Relief Effort, said, "I am very pleased to join in saluting Carnival Corporation for their leadership and generosity that accompanies this very special announcement. By making this significant donation, they are offering a badly needed helping hand to the innocent victims of the horrific tsunami in Asia -- helping to rebuild shattered lives. To be clear, the work in that part of the world is only just beginning -- and my job is to help encourage more good corporate citizens to step forward in a similar fashion. Every donation, no matter how big or small, will make a difference."
Arison noted that Carnival Corporation & plc's $2.4 million donation has been earmarked for the following worldwide relief organizations: the American Red Cross International Relief Fund ($1 million), the U.S. Fund for UNICEF ($1 million), and Save The Children Asia Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund ($400,000).
In addition to the corporate donation, all of Carnival Corporation & plc's 12 brands have conducted their own fundraising efforts, both in their respective offices and throughout the fleet. The brands have already collected more than $800,000 and fundraising efforts continue at the respective companies.
Carnival Glory Earns Perfect 100
Carnival Cruise Lines' 110,000-ton Carnival Glory received a perfect 100 score on its most recent inspection by the United States Public Health Service. This marks the second time in the past three inspections that Carnival Glory has scored a perfect 100 (in the other inspection, the vessel scored a 97).
Carnival Glory, which has operated year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida, since its debut in July 2003, received perfect marks on all 42 items that comprise the U.S. Public Health Service's comprehensive Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) checklist.
The unannounced inspections, which are conducted twice a year and required for any cruise ship with an international itinerary calling at a U.S. port, evaluate vessels in a variety of areas, including adherence to proper food handling, preparation and storage procedures, and overall galley cleanliness. Ships' potable water supplies used in spas and pools are also evaluated.
During the past year, Carnival's fleetwide VSP inspection record resulted in an average score of 93. "The Vessel Sanitation Program inspections are extremely detail-oriented and Carnival Glory's 100 score is indicative of our company's commitment to provide our guests with a high quality vacation experience," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
Carnival Glory departs every Saturday from Port Canaveral on seven-day cruises, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean cruises call at Nassau, St. Thomas/St. John and St. Maarten, while the western route visits Key West, Belize, Cozumel and Progreso.
New On-Line Shore Excursion Booking System
Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise operator, has introduced a new on-line shore excursion booking system that provides guests the opportunity to purchase shore excursions prior to their cruise utilizing the line's user-friendly Web site, carnival.com. With the new system, guests are able to book shore excursions in conjunction with all Carnival "Fun Ships" sailing to 65 different ports throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Europe.
More than 1,000 different shore excursion choices are available. Snorkeling and scuba expeditions, horseback riding, helicopter flightseeing, shopping and city tours are among the excursions that can be booked via this new dynamic shore excursion booking engine. In-depth information such as excursion description, activity level, duration, and pricing are included in each listing.
"More consumers than ever are using the Internet for travel research and purchases and our new on-line shore excursion booking system provides Carnival guests with an easy and convenient means for purchasing the wide variety of fun and interesting shore excursions available aboard the 'Fun Ships,'" said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
To access the new on-line shore excursion booking engine, guests must be registered on carnival.com and have a fully deposited cruise booking. After accessing their cruise booking through the "View Cruise Details" link, guests are prompted with the "Add Shore Excursions" option which lists all shore excursion choices associated with the ports of call featured on their particular cruise.
To purchase a shore excursion, guests simply click on the shore excursion of their choice and enter credit card payment information via a secure encrypted reservations portal. Guests are provided with a printable shore excursion confirmation and shore excursion tickets are delivered to guests' staterooms on embarkation day. On-line shore excursion orders can be made from 180 days up to five days prior to departure date. Guests are also welcome to visit the shore excursion desk once on board to book shore excursions and obtain additional information.
The new on-line shore excursion system is just the latest enhancement to Carnival's popular carnival.com Internet site, which encompasses more than 2,000 Web pages and offers a host of new and expanded features, including enhanced site navigation, streaming video, personalized content tailored to each visitor, and more 360-degree "virtual tours" of the "Fun Ship" fleet.
New Carnival Valor First Cruise Ship to Offer
Carnival Cruise Lines' new cruise ship, Carnival Valor, which has made its U.S. debut, is the first cruise ship to offer "100 percent bow to stern" wireless Internet access, providing guests unparalleled opportunities to surf the Web, check e-mail, and obtain stock quotes and news updates from anywhere aboard the massive 2,974- passenger SuperLiner.
Unlike other cruise ships that have designated Wi-Fi hotspot areas, Carnival Valor will feature ship-wide wireless Internet capability, enabling guests to use laptop computers to access the Internet from every public area, including all lounges, bars and pool decks, as well as any of the ship's 1,487 staterooms.
"Wi-Fi is a huge consumer trend, appearing in more places than ever and Carnival Valor's new ship-wide wireless Internet service offers our guests unprecedented convenience and connectivity at sea. This multi-million-dollar investment places Carnival at the forefront of this new technology," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
Carnival Valor's new Wi-Fi system complements the ship's Internet café, "The Web," which provides guests with high-speed Internet connectivity via private flat-panel workstations. The new system works with any Wi-Fi-enabled laptop. Laptops and Wi-Fi cards are also available for rent on board for a nominal fee; charges apply for Wi-Fi connectivity.
Carnival Valor's new "bow to stern" Wi-Fi system is part of a pilot program that may be expanded to other Carnival ships, all of which currently feature Internet cafés and wireless Internet access in select areas. The new system, which was installed during construction by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, was designed by Carnival's in-house network engineers and San Jose, California-based Cisco Systems Inc. The capability to provide highly secure Wi-Fi access throughout Carnival Valor was accomplished with Cisco Aironet 1230G Series IEEE 802.11b/g Access Points (AP) compliant with the 802.11g 54 mb/s standard. For the ship-wide Wi-Fi Hotspots, Cisco Catalyst® 6509 Series Switches provide switching capability at the core while Catalyst® 3750 Series Switch with Power over Ethernet connect the Cisco Aironet APs to the network.
Carnival Valor offers year-round seven-day cruises from Miami, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean.
Carnival to Launch New Multimillion-Dollar
Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise operator, will launch a new multimillion-dollar broadcast and print advertising campaign designed to communicate the significant elevation in product quality aboard the "Fun Ships" in recent years. The campaign -- the largest ad buy in the company's history -- depicts the Carnival vacation experience of today, which is the result of a multiyear program of comprehensive product enhancements and upgrades.
Four different television commercials, as well as the company's first extensive consumer magazine placements, will appear in a wide variety of media outlets beginning Jan. 3, 2005. Tagged "There Are A Million Ways to Have Fun," the wide-ranging advertising initiative was created by Carnival's ad agency, Coral Gables, Fla.-based Cooper DDB.
According to Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson, the new campaign is a dramatic departure from previous advertising efforts, conceived to communicate the ongoing evolution of the "Fun Ship" product, while maintaining the line's core brand promise of "fun."
"Our research shows those who have vacationed with Carnival in recent years have a vastly different perception than those who either haven't sailed with us in awhile or have never vacationed aboard the 'Fun Ships,'" Dickinson said. "We've enhanced virtually every aspect of the Carnival cruise experience, from dining, entertainment and service standards to on-board programming, shore excursions and in-cabin amenities. This campaign reflects the high quality level of 'Today's Carnival,'" Dickinson added.
The TV campaign consists of four different commercials -- "couple," "family" and two versions of an "active couple" spot -- all set to the classic tune "Beyond the Sea," made famous by recording artist Bobby Darin. Each spot features guests enjoying various aspects of a "Fun Ship" cruise -- dining, spa, shore excursions, service, entertainment and other on-board activities.
The "family" spot, for instance, depicts parents relaxing in a whirlpool, the kids sliding down Carnival's identifiable corkscrew waterslide and the entire family frolicking with dolphins during a shore excursion. The "active couple" spot shows a husband and wife running laps on the jogging track, working out in the gym and traversing the Jamaican countryside on elevated cables as part of an adventurous canopy tour.
The spots also include signature Carnival features such as the line's popular "towel animals," reservation-only supper clubs, considered the finest alternative dining option at sea, and lively wait staff dining room performances. "The new TV spots are definitely more contemporary, with a softer focus and longer shots of the subjects, all designed to communicate the higher caliber of Carnival's product," Dickinson said.
More than 6,400 spots are expected to air over the course of 2005 and will appear on top-rated network shows such as "24," "The West Wing," "Gilmore Girls," "Law & Order," "The O.C.," and "Amazing Race," as well a variety of cable channels, including A&E, The Discovery Channel, TNT, HGTV, Bravo, The Travel Channel, VH1, Fine Living and Food Network.
The new print ads feature a large image of a Carnival "Fun Ship" set against a sunset background, done in a mosaic style made up of thousands of tiny images of different aspects of a "Fun Ship" cruise. The end result is a series of dramatic, colorful ads that resemble Impressionist-style paintings. Each ad also has an inset photo that is tied to a particular theme - cuisine, service, family cruising, etc. -- which can be used to market to a specific publication or audience.
The print ads will appear in high-end, high-circulation consumer magazines such as Oprah, Real Simple, More, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Cooking Light, Condé Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, and People.
Carnival Valor: The Ultimate Family Vacation
With expansive facilities such as a 4,200-square-foot play area and a teen dance club/recreation area, as well as a variety of new and exciting activities, including an art program, a music program, a youth spa program, and hands-on science experiments, Carnival Valor will offer the ultimate family vacation experience.
Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the new 110,000-ton "Fun Ship" is scheduled to begin year-round seven-day Caribbean service from Miami Dec. 19. "Families are one of the fastest growing markets in travel – Carnival alone is expected to host 500,000 kids this year, a 300 percent increase versus 10 years ago. The new Carnival Valor, with its full schedule of activities and spacious kid-friendly facilities, offers a fun and affordable vacation for the entire family," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
The focal point of the Carnival Valor's "Camp Carnival" program is an expansive 4,200-square-foot enclosed play area that includes a 16-monitor video wall continuously displaying movies and cartoons; an arts-and-crafts center with spin and sand art and candy-making machines; a "soft play area" with padded play equipment for the under-two set; a computer lab with educational computer games and PlayStation 2 game consoles; and a children's library with youth-oriented books and magazines.
The play area is also the site for several new "Camp Carnival" activities, including an art program, "WaterColors," debuting on Carnival Valor. With the new program, which will eventually be expanded fleetwide, kids can create their own artistic masterpieces – paper maché, oil paintings, and watercolors, for example – while learning techniques employed by professional artists. Also debuting on Carnival Valor is "SeaNotes," a new music program that introduces kids to different musical instruments and genres.
There's also "H2Ocean," a new science program with hands-on projects where kids can make their own ice cream and create custom-made helicopters and miniature hovercrafts; "EduCruise," with fun, interactive projects focusing on the cultures, landmarks, history and geography of Carnival Valor's Caribbean destinations; and "ExerSeas," a recreational fitness program that encourages kids to "get out and play" through intense physical activity.
Dining is considered a highlight of the "Fun Ship" vacation experience and kids sailing aboard Carnival Valor will enjoy a wide variety of delectable dining options from which to choose. In addition to Rosie's, an expansive Lido restaurant offering hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries, and 24-hour pizza and ice cream, the two-level Washington and Lincoln dining rooms feature children's menus with such favorites as chicken nuggets, pepperoni pizza and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, along with a "daily junior special" promising something new and different each day.
There's also a program where kids can dine with the youth counselors each evening. Also available is the "Fountain Fun Card," which, for a one-time fee of $28, provides unlimited soft drinks throughout the Carnival Valor's seven-day Caribbean cruises (an adult version is available, as well). Kids are also provided with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies one night during the voyage, as part of the line's popular children's turndown service.
Teens have their own unique vacation expectations and on Carnival Valor older kids can enjoy a variety of "just-for-teens" facilities and activities. These include a 1,800-square-foot teen club, "The Caboose," which in addition to a distinctive railroad décor, includes a dance club with a DJ and state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, along with a "mocktail lounge," where kids ages 15-17 can enjoy a variety of non-alcoholic specialty drinks. "The Caboose" will also include a video game room with more than 60 of the latest video and arcade games, as well as a library with popular teen-oriented books and magazines, video game units and computers loaded with gaming software.
And with Carnival's new fleetwide youth spa program, children ages 12-14 and their parents can also enjoy soothing body and beauty treatments together on port days. Packages are available in mother/daughter and father/son combinations and include hair and nail treatments, health evaluations, and foot and scalp massages. There's also a teen shore excursion program where kids ages 12-17 can partake in "just for teens" shoreside experiences during the Carnival Valor's seven-day Caribbean cruises.
The line's popular fleetwide stroller rental program, where parents can rent single and double strollers by week for $25, will also be featured on Carnival Valor. "Bouncy seats," travel swings and GameBoy Advance gaming units are available for rent, as well. Babysitting, which takes place in the children's play room, is also available at a cost of $6 per hour for the first child and $4 per hour for each additional child in the same family.
"Multi-generational" activities where parents and kids can enjoy their "Fun Ship" cruise together as a family with games and activities such as arts and crafts sessions, family water play and "make-your-own-sundae" sessions are also offered. A new reading program in which youth counselors read popular children's books aloud to parents and kids in the ships' libraries and then present creative interpretations of the stories through puppet shows and skits will be featured, as well.
The third in Carnival's highly successful 110,000-ton Conquest-class, Carnival Valor is slated to begin year-round seven-day cruises from Miami, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean, Dec. 19. On this route, eastern Caribbean cruises call at Nassau, The Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, while western Caribbean cruises visit Belize City, Belize; Isla Roatan, Honduras; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. Prior to the start-up of this program, Carnival Valor will operate a special two-day cruise from Miami to Nassau Dec. 15-17.
Pre- and Post-Cruise Hotel Packages for 2005 Mediterranean
Carnival Cruise Lines is offering pre- and post-cruise hotel packages in several first class hotels in Rome, Italy, in conjunction with Carnival Cruise Lines' first-ever Mediterranean cruises on the Carnival Liberty beginning in summer 2005.
The one- to three-night hotel packages can be combined with the new 12-day Mediterranean voyages aboard the 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty from July 20 - Oct. 12, 2005, as well as a 16-day transatlantic voyage departing Rome Oct. 24, and arriving in Fort Lauderdale Nov. 9, 2005.
"Rome is a beautiful and fascinating city, filled with numerous historic sites and attractions, and these new hotel packages provide guests with a perfect opportunity to discover this city's many treasures," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "Combined with the resort-style amenities and features on the Carnival Liberty, our guests will have a truly memorable and exciting European vacation."
The featured hotels include:
Prices for the one- to three-night land stays range from $180 to $510 per person, based on double occupancy and depending on length of stay. Rates include complimentary buffet breakfast and porterage service. Transfers between the hotel and airport/pier are also available at an additional cost. Guests choosing to stay at either the Cicerone Hotel or Visconti Palace Hotel will be accommodated at these properties, or a comparable alternate hotel, based on room availability.
Carnival is currently accepting reservations for the various hotel packages and Carnival Liberty's Mediterranean cruises.
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