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February 4, 2008

Real grass growing in celebrity solstice's lawn club

The grass really will be greener on a cruise vacation aboard the Celebrity Solstice, scheduled for launch this December. Something is sprouting on the luxury cruise ship's top deck: real, growing grass! The turf is the highlight of the ship's breakthrough "Lawn Club" an industry-first carefully developed by the cruise line in conjunction with University of Florida landscape architects and irrigation specialists. Guests visiting the half-acre Club will be invited to enjoy bocce ball and croquet, practice their putting and picnic, among other leisures. In addition, The Patio on the Lawn will offer sitting areas with casual country club charm and a special coffee car service plus the new Hot Glass Show, presented in collaboration with The Corning Museum of Glass. The area also features the Sunset Bar, enhanced by the natural grass of The Lawn Club and featuring stunning breathtaking views as the Solstice crisscrosses the Caribbean Sea.

Princess Alaska cruises expands land excursions

Recognizing an Alaska cruise is an once-in-a-lifetime adventure for so many travelers; Princess Cruises continually expands its Adventures Ashore program with new and exhilarating excursions each year. 2008 is no exception, with 37 new tour options available to cruisers. Some of the most intriguing include:

An exclusive, private whale-watching encounter in Juneau in groups of 10 people or less;

A five-course Alaskan feast served in a private club dining room overlooking the Ketchikan harbor;

A family-oriented Bear Creek zipline eco-adventure through the Alaskan rainforest;

Bering Sea crab fisherman's tour including the chance to sail aboard a modified commercial fishing vessel featured on the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch show.

A walking tour of Skagway, guided by one of the madams of the Red Onion Saloon who takes guests back to the gold-rush era and once-infamous red-light district.

A cruise through ice-berg laced waters to visit the Columbia glacier, the state's largest tidewater ice field at 435 square miles plus wildlife viewing, including whales, harbor seals, sea otters, sea lions and a variety of birds.

A sea kayaking adventure on Resurrection Bay, one of the area's premiere destinations, featuring Kenai Fjords National Park and up-close visits with sea otters, eagles, porpoises, leaping salmon and sea birds.

A total of eight Princess ships will be cruising the scenic waters of Alaska this year, with a combined 136 departures. All of the 2008 Gulf of Alaska cruises include a visit to Glacier Bay. Princess will take more people to visit this ice and sea spectacle than any other cruise line this year.

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