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Crystal Serenity to add acupuncture

Crystal Serenity to add acupuncture

The acupuncture treatments launching this month on Crystal Serenity focus on weight loss, pain management, stress reduction, detoxification, smoking cessation, facial rejuvenation and sea sickness.

The cost is $150 for a 60-minute session booked through Crystal's feng shui-designed spa.

Other aspects of the program include three to five seminars per cruise that will cover acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and feng shui practices.

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Regent savings on apos;Grand Explorationsapos;

Regent savings on apos;Grand Explorationsapos;

From January through May, the two ships will visit a total of 110 ports in 50 countries on six continents, packaged in 14 voyages of 12 to 24 nights. Destinations range from major cities like Sydney, Hong Kong and Dubai to rarely visited islands such as the Marquesas and Pitcairn. Joining the cruises will be celebrity guests such as former NFL coach Don Shula and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Complimentary shoreside events are planned for each voyage and, depending on departure date and suite category, savings of $3,200 to $35,345 are available. Free airfare or hotel stays are also featured on select departures.

On a 19-night Los Angeles to Auckland voyage sailing in mid-January, for example, customers are offered up to $200 per suite shipboard credit, and two-for-one fares starting at $7,995 per person.

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Farcus shares his vision of Splendor

Farcus shares his vision of Splendor

'This is not your living room at home. I believe people book a cruise to get into magical, perfect surroundings and unwind. It's kind of a fantasy world,' Farcus told reporters aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' 22nd ship.

'My desire is that people experience new things throughout the entire cruise. That creates interest and, as a result, everything is better. There's excitement,' he added.

Farcus calls his style 'entertainment architecture' but shuns comparisons with Las Vegas.

'I look at it as less kitschy than Las Vegas but rooted in art,' he said. 'A ship is handcrafted, especially the interiors. We work with artisans and creative people who are really creating one-of-a-kind features.'

Inspired by 'splendid things' as his central design idea for Carnival Splendor, Farcus used elements like mother of pearl, gold leaf, marble, granite, fine wood, leather and Murano glass. Pink is a dominant color -- it gives a happy feeling, the architect said -- with a repeating circular pink motif and pink-stained wood in the atrium and main staircases.

At 113,300gt with 3,006 lower berths and capacity for 4,914 passengers, the ship is the largest ever built for the brand. It's the latest evolution of the Carnival Destiny platform, which grew into the Conquest class and was customized for Costa Concordia and Serena for year-round Mediterranean service with a destination spa, spa cabins and retractable glass domes over double-deck pool areas.

Carnival Splendor's glass-topped central Lido area with its movie screen is a multipurpose space that forms the ship's largest public room. Unlike the latest Costa vessels, Splendor's aft pool is uncovered.

The 21,000-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa includes a thermal suite, 17 treatment rooms and the line's first thalasso pool. The 68 staterooms and suites adjacent to the Steiner Leisure-operated spa are trimmed in Asian motifs.

The children's areas are the most expansive in the fleet, and a water park and teen center round out the youth amenities.

When pondering 'splendid things,' Farcus first thought of pearls. Hence, rooms like the Gold Pearl and Black Pearl restaurants, each sporting decorations resembling strands of pearls. Other opulent areas are El Morocco, the aft lounge, recreating the famous 1930s New York club of the same name by using zebra-stripe banquettes, gold-leaf palms and an intricately tiled ceiling.

The interior promenade is punctuated with glass vitrines by Venetian artist Luciano Vistosi. And, for The Pinnacle supper club, Farcus redesigned the layout to add more seating and a dramatic feature: a glass dance floor suspended over the Lido buffet restaurant below.

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Viking opens Australasia office

Viking opens Australasia office

Fors, the new md for Viking in Australia and New Zealand, will report to Michele Saegesser, who has returned to Los Angeles as vp sales after almost a year as vp sales Australasia.

Fors was formerly sales and marketing manager for MyPlanet Australia, the gsa for Hurtigruten, Gota Canal Steamship Company, Viking Line Ferries and Icelandair.

Speaking to Seatrade Insider after her arrival this morning, she said the new office at 350 Kent Street in the Sydney central business district will be responsible for sales and marketing and that the Los Angeles office will continue to handle reservations.

She has hit the ground running with travel agent training seminars in Sydney and Melbourne over the next two weeks and the launch of a 2009 brochure with prices in Australian dollars scheduled for mid-August.

As previously reported, Viking River Cruises is now a member of International Cruise Council Australasia and Cruiseco 2009 will be held on a six-night Yangtze River voyage aboard Viking Century Sky, departing Chongqing March 16.

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Carnival sets dividend

Carnival sets dividend

The dividend is payable Sept. 12 to shareholders of record on Aug. 22.

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RCCL schedules Q2 earnings report

RCCL schedules Q2 earnings report

The company scheduled a call for analysts at 10 a.m. Eastern time that day. The call may be heard live at www.rclinvestor.com.

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Sherry: New chapter in Australian cruise history

Sherry: New chapter in Australian cruise history

More than 80% of the 1,900 passengers on board Princess Cruises' resident ship are from Australia and New Zealand and 75% will make the entire voyage to 29 ports in 17 countries.

This will include Sun Princess' maiden calls at 12 ports, among them Moorea, Christmas Island, Petropavlovsk, Osaka, Nagasaki, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Sherry said the average age of the passengers is 60 and the youngest is a one-year-old child.

'For decades Australians have had to fly half-way around the world to join the start of a world cruise but now, thanks to growing demand, Princess Cruises is bringing world cruises to our doorstep,' she said.

Dawn Princess, which will also be permanently based in Australia in October, will make a 104-night world voyage from Sydney on July 5, 2009.

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Hurtigruten vp joins Niche exec committee

Hurtigruten vp joins Niche exec committee

Fridsberg joins executive committee members Susan Shultz of American Cruise Lines and Mark Flager of Voyages of Discovery, whose terms expire in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Fridsberg is responsible for Hurtigruten's sales development in North America and supervises a team of five sales directors.

The Seattle-based Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance consists of 16 member lines.

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Recycling consortium salutes MSC

Recycling consortium salutes MSC

This year, in addition to honoring three city councils, the consortium also recognized the MSC Cruises fleet, in its role as a 'floating council' with thousands of residents.

MSC Cruises entered an agreement with CiAl in the spring of 2007 to collect what amounted to more than 22,000 pounds of aluminum that was amassed from May to December 2007.

Cans, aluminum foil, boxes and aluminum packing were all turned over to CiAl for recycling into new items such as household goods, furnishings, construction components and more.

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Celebrity rolls out holiday promotion

Celebrity rolls out holiday promotion

Customers who book between now and July 27 will receive an on-board credit based on the length of their cruise.

Those who book nine nights or more will receive a $200 credit per stateroom, those who book six to eight nights will receive $100 per room and those who book five nights or less will receive $50 per room.

Sixteen sailings are eligible. They range from five to 14 nights to varied destinations. For example, six Thanksgiving sailings operate in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and Australia/New Zealand.

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