The 5 most noticeable news stories to be discussed this year were:
1. Oasis of the Seas: Royal Caribbean's massive floating city, also known as the Oasis of the Seas (http://www.cruiselinefans.com/
2. Disney Dream: 2009 was a "Dreamy" year for cruise ships. Dozens of ships were added to major cruise lines across the varying tiers in the cruise industry. The Disney Dream, although not sailing until 2010, began taking bookings in November 2009 and has caused quite a stir amongst the Disney faithful and newcomers alike. Equipped with an onboard water-slide that must be seen to be believed, the Disney Dream (http://www.cruiselinefans.com/
3. Down, Down, Down Goes the Economy and Cruise Fares: 2009 saw a great decline in overall cruise fares and packages, despite the premiums seen on Oasis of the Seas and raised prices at the newly dubbed Azamara Club Cruises. Travel agents, cruise specialists and cruise lines were all forced to scramble and put together thousands of unique cruise deals (http://www.cruiselinefans.com/
4. Carnival Dream: Not to be outdone by Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, Carnival Cruise Lines rolled out the Carnival Dream, a totally new class of ship for the cruise lines known as operators of "The Fun Ships". The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream offers a host of innovations, including Ocean Plaza, an indoor/outdoor café and live music venue; a host of new accommodation categories, including two-bath, five-berth staterooms that appeal to families and cove balcony cabins located closer to the water line. CruiseLineFans covered the Carnival Dream's transatlantic journey and naming ceremony, plays host to many upcoming Roll Calls for the ship and continually updates its members on the latest Carnival Dream (http://www.cruiselinefans.com/
5. Royal Caribbean's Loyalty Program: Cruise Communities, Forums and Message Board became the story within a story once Royal Caribbean discontinued portions of its Loyalty Program. Once a program faithfully followed by tens of thousands of CruiseLineFans, the Diamond Club members of the program were lavished with discounts, early boarding, concierge lounge access, Captain's Dinners, free or discounted alcohol along with many other exclusive deals. Royal Caribbean and its most loyal members ran into some murky waters when some were accused of posting favourable messages regarding Royal Caribbean, in exchange for perks.
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