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Changes onboard in 2008

SmarterTravel

New programs from five cruise lines will make onboard life more interesting in 2008. Here’s what Crystal, Disney, Holland America, Princess, and Regent have planned.

Crystal

[% 13516 | | Crystal %] will introduce a stricter smoking policy aboard its ships come May. At that time, smoking will be banned on all stateroom and suite balconies on the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Guests who break the rules will be reminded to observe the new policy. Repeat offenders may be asked to leave the ship.

Another new program also focuses on passenger health. Crystal has partnered with PocketMD to offer guests a new way to carry their health information while they travel. Cruisers who sign up for the service will get a CD the size of a credit card that contains all of their health records. This easily accessed information can be invaluable in a medical emergency onboard or in port. Subscriptions to PocketMD cost $149.

Disney

[% 13509 | | Disney Cruise Line %] will debut a new musical this spring onboard the Disney Wonder. “Toy Story: The Musical” is the first-ever adaptation of the Pixar animated feature for the stage. The production will feature a new eight-song score, inflatable costumes, puppets, and a projection screen.

Holland America

[% 9823 | | Holland America %] is focused on food this year, and will debut new menus inspired by regional cuisines. Each menu will reflect the ship’s itinerary, featuring local food and recipes. The Mexico and Caribbean menus are already available on ships sailing in those areas. Look for fresh fish and local produce (chayote, bread fruit, guava, and fresh Mexican chilies, to name a few), and dishes such as chicken mole, jerk-style chicken, tortilla soup, and West Indian lassi soup. Next up: Menus from northern and southern Europe and Alaska.

Princess

[% 14460 | | Princess %] is taking onboard movie screenings to new heights. Each of its 16 ships will offer a sneak preview of the movie “Bonneville” (starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen) the week of February 11. The film debuts in theaters the week of February 29. The event will be the first time a movie has been shown on a cruise ship prior to its release in theaters.

Regent Seven Seas

Dr. Deepak Chopra will make an appearance on the June 4 voyage of [% 9668 | | Regent’s %] Seven Seas Mariner. Guests on this Alaska cruise can sign up for the health guru’s “Grow Younger, Live Longer” program and learn a 10-step process designed to slow or reverse aging. Participants will receive instruction in “stress management, relationship fulfillment, cultivating a youthful mind, sexual vitality, restful sleep, and optimal nutrition,” as well as meditation, yoga, and Ayurvedic cooking. The program costs $1,995 per person, in addition to cruise fare.

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