Travelers Advantage(R) Online Survey: Cruising Is Hot: Nearly 9 of 10 Polled Will Travel High Seas in 2005

NORWALK, Conn., May 2 /PRNewswire/ — Cruising will be the vacation of choice in 2005, according to industry experts, and a new online survey indicates that travel on the high seas will ride a new wave of passenger growth for the year. Eighty-five percent of those responding to the poll from January through March at http://www.travelersadvantage.com/ said they will book another cruise in the coming year.

The cruise industry — following a record-smashing 10.5 million cruisers in 2004 — is predicting that cruising will be the vacation of choice this year, buoyed by strong customer demand, new ship introductions, more U.S. homeport availability and renewed interest in exotic ports. The Cruise Lines International Association says its member cruise ships are sailing at a 100 percent occupancy rate for 2005, and a record number of new passengers are also hitting the deck.

The Travelers Advantage “What I Like Best About Cruising” poll found that some 66 percent rated their most recent cruise vacation as excellent, while food service also scored high marks — with 61 percent rating it tops. The favorite resort destinations, according to the survey, were Mexico (50 percent), Hawaii (25 percent) and Alaska (25 percent). Dream vacations for the future included cruises to the Caribbean (40 percent), Florida (17 percent) and Hawaii (11 percent). Other favorites included Italy, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and California.

“Cruising is where dreams are realized and exotic paradises are discovered,” said Julia Ryan, vice president of Travelers Advantage and TravelersAdvantage.com. “Our poll participants weighed in on such perennial favorites as the Caribbean, the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska, and consumer demand continues to surge for these dynamic destinations as well as Europe and Asia.”

Favorite parts of the cruise, according to the survey, included the great food (29 percent) spending time with family (20 percent), picture-perfect weather (18 percent), rest and relaxation (16 percent) — and don’t forget romance (12 percent).

Caribbean cruises remain the most popular in the world, offering tropical locales on even the briefest itineraries — from three- and four-day Bahama cruises to weeks spent visiting sun-drenched ports of call from one side of the Caribbean to the other. A number of cruise lines depart almost daily from ports all along the Florida coast, and all major cruise lines and airlines offer travel packages to Caribbean destinations. Even with the wealth of cruises available, ships fill up rapidly, with outside cabins — especially those with balconies — going first. With this in mind, be sure and book your dream cruise vacation early.

About Travelers Advantage

Members of Travelers Advantage (http://www.travelersadvantage.com/ or 1-877-841-1335) can save money on air travel, cruises, car rentals and accommodations, as well as earn five percent cash back on eligible travel booked with preferred providers through the service. Membership in Travelers Advantage can be enjoyed during the first two months for only $1. The trial membership can be canceled at any time during the two-month trial period by calling toll free and owing nothing further. Unless the member calls to cancel during the trial, the membership will be extended automatically for an entire year at the $99.99 annual fee and automatically renewed annually upon expiration at the then-current annual fee, billed to a credit card account, without the member having to do anything further. Additionally, members may call toll free to cancel at any time and receive a pro-rata refund of their then current membership fee. Trilegiant Corporation (http://www.trilegiant.com/) is a leader in the membership services and loyalty businesses, providing products and services that touch the lives of millions of Americans. Along with Progeny Marketing Innovations, Trilegiant is part of Cendant Marketing Group.

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