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April 3, 2006

Statistics Prove Cruising is Safe...
Despite a rash of recent negative news coverage, cruise travel remains one of the safest vacation options available, according to data provided by the International Council of Cruise Lines and independently reviewed by nationally known criminologist Professor James Fox for Congress. From 2003-2005, more than 31 million people worldwide went on cruises, with a total of 206 complaints from passengers and crew. Fox said no place - on land or sea - is totally safe and the number of reported incidents of serious crime on cruise ships is extremely low, no matter what standard is used - validating the industry's commitment to the safety and security of its guests.

..but Bad Publicity = Great Deals.
Overall cruise bookings are down this year vs. last year despite an increase in industry capacity--due in part to lots of bad publicity. As the cruise lines' number one priority is filling every cabin on every ship, that will mean aggressive price cutting and great deals for consumers. The slow-down has hit most destinations and just about every line (Princess and Costa seem to be exceptions). Alaska and the Mediterranean are soft, but it's the Caribbean in the fall that seems to be the furthest behind schedule. As Royal Caribbean has received the brunt of the bad press, look for some incredible deals on their mega-ships in September and October.

Kids Rank Cruises Tops
According to a recent National Geographic Kids magazine survey, cruising ranks as the No. 1 vacation option among children. 401 kids ages 8-14 were asked to identify their most popular vacation choice and 35 percent said a cruise was the "perfect summer trip". Other favorites included trips to the beach and amusement parks (17 percent), big cities (5 percent), lakes (3 percent) and summer camp (2 percent). The Cruise Line International Association says more than one million children under the age of 18 took cruises with their families in 2004, with the number rising.

 
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