Tips On Travel
Nov/Dec 2007 issue
Cruising for ‘08 includes new ships
RCCL photo
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports more than 48 million North Americans say they will take a cruise vacation by 2010. The cruise industry, according to CLIA, has had an average annual passenger growth rate of 8 percent since 1980.

Cruise lines continue to keep up with the growing market by offering bigger ships, new itineraries and ports of call or enhanced onboard amenities. The following is a sample of what’s coming next year in cruising.

Carnival Cruise Lines will have completed some of the $250 million in renovations to its Inspiration and Imagination Fantasy-class ships by the end of this year. New water park and pool areas, plus an adults-only deck, will soon be ready. These and other improvements to the six additional Fantasy- class ships will be complete by 2009.

Celebrity Cruises will unveil the first of four new ships in 2008. Celebrity Solstice will have 1,425 cabins, 85 percent of which will have verandahs. Some of those rooms are dedicated to spa enthusiasts, offering free access to the Aqua Spas’ relaxation area and Persian Garden, an aromatherapy/steam room.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line debuts its Independence of the Seas next May in the United Kingdom. The Independence will be the largest (3,643-passenger) cruise ship ever to have a European home port. Royal Caribbean next year will have a total of seven ships in Europe.

Other cruise lines will return to popular ports or itineraries next year. Disney Magic next May returns to the Port of Los Angeles for the popular Mexican Riviera cruise that calls at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

To reserve these or another cruise vacation, contact AAA Travel at (888) 366-4222.

Two St. Louis attractions receive awards

Two St. Louis attractions recently received awards. The Saint Louis Science Center in Forest Park was named one of the 25 most-visited museums in the country. The list by Forbes Traveler was based on 2006 visitor attendance, which totaled 1.2 million at the Science Center. It is the only Missouri museum to make the list, which also included the Smithsonian Institute’s 19 museums and the Field Museum in Chicago.

Current exhibits include “Body Worlds 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies” and “Genome: The Secret of How Life Works.”

For information about the Science Center, call (800) 456-SLSC (7572) or visit

The Kemp Auto Museum, located in Chesterfield, a western suburb of St. Louis, was recognized at the Rocky Mountain Concours in Colorado Springs. The museum’s rare 1931 370S Mannheim Mercedes-Benz took the best-in-class honors at the inaugural event that included more than 100 cars and 30 motorcycles. The car has been part of the Fred M. Kemp Foundation collection since 2000. In 1967, the 370S Manneheim took first place at the Classic Car Club of America’s Grand Classic Concours.

For information about the Kemp Auto Museum, call (636) 537-1718 or visit

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