Notes on the Boats

THE RIGHT PRICE…………….$1,049
September 10: Seattle to Juneau, Alaska return, 7 nights, Holland America Zandam
Bonus: 3rd/4th passengers in same room free on select categories
Contact: VacationsToGo

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The entire Celebrity fleet will have a personal concierge — at your service — by the beginning of September. This is a person to help plan special celebrations on board, or something special or private on shore, or just some personalized attention for that milestone being celebrated.

Consultation costs nothing. You pay once you enlist the services of this “personal assistant.”

There is one ship exception — the Xpedition. Its trips to the Galapagos Islands service just 92 passengers.

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Sailing to Hawaii, more convenient and more cost-effective? That’s what Carnival Cruise Lines is saying, and that’s the reason behind its test run, two round-trip cruises from California to the 50th state in 2011 and 2012.

The Carnival Spirit (capacity 2,124) will make both the 15-day sailings, December 2 next year from Los Angeles and April 13, 2012 from  San Diego. At its South Pacific destination, the ship will make day-long stops at Honolulu (Oahu), Kahului (Maui), Nawiliwili (Kauai) and Hilo and Kailua-Kona (The Big Island).

More convenient than flying there and renting a car and navigating Hawaii’s congested roadways…sure. But cost-effective? With prices starting at $1,199 — and $1,729 for a balcony — it is. Right now, a regular economy ticket for December, L.A. to Honolulu, costs more than the balcony stateroom for 15 days!

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Always looking for a way to buy into world greening, Royal Caribbean has come up with a new one. When Oasis of the Seas makes its first trip to Cozumel, Mexico,  “voluntourism'” is on the agenda.

In a shore tour that will eventually also be on Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, passengers will be able to give something back to the community by planting trees and shrubs at the local Red Cross.

And you can reward yourself at Jimmy’s place.

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