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Cruise news roundup

SmarterTravel

The cruise world doesn’t slow down just because I’m out of town. Here’s the news you may have missed while I was away from my computer.

  • The Carnival Freedom will sail year-round seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Miami, starting in November 2007. The ship makes its debut next year with Mediterranean and Greek Isles voyages from March 14 through October 16, 2007. Bookings open for the Caribbean sailings on September 6, 2006, and prices start at $599 per person.
  • Carnival also revealed plans to send another ship to New Orleans. The Carnival Triumph will start year-round seven-night Caribbean cruises from the Louisiana port in August 2007. It will join the Fantasy, which will sail four- and five-night cruises from New Orleans, beginning this October. The seven-night cruises go on sale on September 6, 2006, and prices start at $449 per person.
  • The Seven Seas Voyager, Navigator, and Mariner return to the Caribbean this fall for the first time under the new Regent Seven Seas brand. Guests will find improvements, such as a new all-inclusive liquor policy, an expansion of the travel concierge program, and upgraded soft furnishings and onboard technology. Plus, the ships will visit two new ports: Cayo
    Levantado, Dominican Republic; and Chiapas, Mexico.
  • Celebrity was forced to cancel the September 13 Alaska sailing on the Infinity because one of the ship’s propulsion pods needs replacement. Guests booked on this voyage will receive a full refund and a discount on a future cruise. The ship will return to its scheduled sailing on September 24, but will cut its Panama Canal cruise by one day. Guests on that cruise will receive $500 ship credit, a $200 coupon for a future cruise, and complimentary accommodations in San Francisco on September 23. If you’re booked on an affected cruise and have questions, you can call a dedicated help desk at 800-852-8175.
  • Today, easyCruise announced plans for a second franchise arrangement (the first being its river cruises in Holland and Belgium). The no-frills cruise line has joined forces with Louis plc, a cruise operator based in Cyprus, to offer eastern Mediterranean sailings. To further this plan, easyCruise hopes to increase the number of ships on order to three firm and three optional. By 2011, eight easyCruise vessels could be plying the seas.

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