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Celebrity Cruises' new adventure-travel program features small expedition ships and unusual land add-ons. It's a far cry from Celebrity's normal ecological niche in the megaship world, but that's exactly the point.
We report on Holland's recommended onboard tipping policies, NCL's ship renaming and new itineraries, pre-booking spa appointments online and celebrity lectures rosters.
This month, we'll take a look at one of the most active, outdoors-oriented lines in the Alaska market and beyond. Plus, we've got special deals just for Frommer's readers.
We've found the best deals currently being offered by a handful of major travel agencies. Cruises are capacity-controlled, and offers may be withdrawn at any time so book early to reserve your space.
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Reader's Voice
From Paul Barkevich: "It seems like the Princess Line has no interest in answering complaints via e-mail. My wife and I were on the Grand Princess from 2/15 thru 2/22. We were unable to sleep one night due to repairs being done in the cabin next to us. Would you believe they chose to work until 3AM pounding and sawing (why not during the day?)? When I asked about the noise, I was told they have clients and needed to work thru the night as to accommodate them (what am I?). A complaint to the purser, Diane Hoddy, netted me a letter to take home. It gave me the e-mail address to forward my complaint. After 2 tries and no reply, I write this to inform others that Princess does not care to hear complaints."
From Katie Brindle: "My husband and I are going on our first cruise in April on the Costa Victoria. It leaves from Venice and stops in Bari, Katakolon, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik. Does anyone have any advice about the ports, this ship in particular or just cruising in general? I'm not so sure about buying shore excursions from the cruise ship. I think we're leaning towards going out on our own, but I'm a little worried. Does anyone have any experiences to share?"
From Connie Kopas: "I would appreciate information from other cruisers on two-way radios. Is a 2-mile range better or a 5-mile range? Is it necessary to obtain an FCC license? What brand names are best?"
From Linda Lee Snock: "Hi, I'd be curious to know other's experience with NCL when winning a free cruise. My husband and I won a 14-night free cruise last year while sailing on the Dawn in July. NCL sells tickets on board and promotes their top prize, which is the free cruise we won. Unfortunately, we have not been able to book because of NCL's policy of allowing you to pick only from selected cruises -- not what we were told when we won the cruise. Because I work in a school I am locked into the school calendar and need to sail in the summer. NCL told us to wait for their monthly list to come out, which we have done patiently since last August (!), only to find they skipped over the summer months completely. We are very upset and have a complaint in; they've told us they are working on it. Our feelings are that NCL gives nothing away for free -- the cruise we won was paid for by the many passengers who bought tickets and did not win. Any suggestions?"
From Thoman2: "We visited Bonaire on a Southern Carribean cruise this year and due to our tour guide really enjoyed Bonaire. Klaas Baaker who is a retired, Dutch, Professor of Botany provided us with a wonderful tour of the island that he loves. From the salt flats to the slave huts, to the Flamingos & wild donkeys we saw a lot and Klaas insisted that we all take a short swim and snorkel - Klaas swam with us so that he could show us the treasures hidden under the beautiful warm water."
 

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