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Daily Travel Dish

December 8, 2003 

Did you know that more than 2.6 million people took a cruise during the third quarter this year, putting the cruise industry on track to send nearly 10 million vacationers on a cruise this year. In 2004, 12 new ships are slated for introduction, which will set a record for the number of berths introduced into the market: Nearly 26,400 new cruise beds will be on the market by the end of 2004. These aforementioned statistics are from CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), the official trade organization of the cruise industry.

To entice even more people to cruise, Carnival Cruise Lines is launching its very own version of a "vacation club," where vacationers pay up-front for packages that include points toward future cruises, plus discount coupons at resorts and other benefits valid over a five-year period. The program, called the Carnival Vacation Club will start in January.

Speaking of cruising, today I am heading to Miami in preparation for ten days aboard Oceania Cruises Regatta. Be sure to keep coming back for daily "sea blog" entries along with photos and your questions answered on our bulletin board.

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