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Daily Travel Dish

November 25, 2003 

Yesterday, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) unveiled its 'Cruise-And-Stay' packages for Pride of Aloha guests sailing on 3 and 4 day cruises in Hawaii beginning Oct. 1, 2004. The packages pair cruises with hotel stays, car rentals, transfers, gratuities and other amenities to form land/sea vacations ranging from seven to nine nights. Prices start at $999. In preparation for Pride of Aloha, NCL has begun hiring employees for its U.S.-flagged vessels, all of which require a 100 percent U.S. crew protected by American labor laws. The cruise line expects its labor costs to more than double compared with foreign-flagged ships, but it hopes to offset that with a "premium price" for U.S.-flagged cruises. According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, NCL's ships are expected to create 10,200 jobs in Hawaii, $271 million in wages and salaries and $300 million in taxes by 2007. NCL's Hawaiian sailings could book as many as 650,000 cruise ship passengers by 2007. This will make NCL the #1 tourist draw to Hawaii.

In other cruise news, Oceania Cruises' Regatta made her US debut yesterday when she arrived at the Port of Miami to begin a winter season of Caribbean/Panama Canal sailings. It's nice to see the old Renaissance vessels finding good homes.

November 24, 2003 

Is Ted really a low fare airline? Just out of curiosity I went to Travelocity to check out some Ted fares. I checked fares from Denver to Las Vegas leaving on February 15, 2004 and returning on February 19, 2004. What Travelocity displayed was enlightening. Frontier Airlines had the lowest fares from $223 to $287 then came America West and Ted fares at $311 -- $88 more than Frontier's lowest fare. I don't know about you but $88 is dinner and a show in Vegas. What was really odd in the display was Ted's codeshare partner US Airways. US Airways flight 6363 is operated by "United for Ted", but they are charging $351. Why pay $40 more to fly a codeshare flight?

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