By Mike Coleman
Book lovers are in for a special treat this April.Â
Top-selling writers are scheduled to bring their prose to life on a week-long “Authors at Sea” Mexican Riviera cruise aboard Carnival Pride, round-trip from Los Angeles (Long Beach), April 2 to 9, 2006. Port calls include Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.
From top-selling romance authorsÂ Victoria Alexander, Beverly Barton and Kat MartinÂ and travel guru Arthur Frommer, to Marci Shimoff, leading motivational expert and author of several Chicken Soup for the Soul series books, passengers will enjoy intimate book chats while feasting on a series of parties, giveaways, activities and shore excursions designed exclusively for the literary lover in mind.
Â The kick-off party April 1 isn’t bad, either. Literary powerhouses Jackie Collins and Dean Koontz are scheduled to host the Bon Voyage event at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach, along with best-selling author, Fox Sports commentator and former NFL star, Tim Green.Â
The onboard lineup is expected to feature: Cherry Adair, best-selling adventure romance author; Jennifer Bushman, syndicated television “Kitchen Coach;” Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, archeological fiction writers; Cindy Gerard, romantic suspense author; Eileen Goudge, New York Times (NYT) women’s fiction and culinary author; Heather Graham, NYT best-seller of suspense and romance; Sherrilyn Kenyon, NYT vampire, science fiction and romance author; Paul Levine, legal mystery author; Marjorie M. Liu, paranormal romance author.Â
Also scheduled for the sailing: Debbie Macomber, NYT women’s fiction best-seller; Connie Mason, historical romance author; Teresa Medeiros, NYT romance best-seller; Carla Neggers, romantic suspense author; JoAnn Ross, NYT romantic thriller author; Sharon Sala, NYT best-selling romance author; Christina Skye, NYT romantic action-adventure author; Jyl Steinback, America’s Healthiest Mom; F. Paul Wilson, best-selling thriller and science fiction author.Â
Aspiring writers should also take note. Passengers will have the opportunity to work on their manuscripts with a top New York-based editor.Â
For more information, log on to www.AuthorsAtSea.com or call toll-free, 1-877-238-6843.Â
From the literary world to 10,000 leagues under the sea, Royal Caribbean has reached an impressive milestone.Â
The line known for active onboard amenities such as surfing simulators, rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks and bungee trampolines, has announced that more than 7,000 guests over the past six years have received Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Scuba Diver certification while on a Royal Caribbean cruise.Â
PADI certification is available through SeaTrek dive shops on all Voyager-class ships (Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas) and will be offered on Freedom of the Seas, which will debut in May 2006.Â
In a seven-day period, guests over the age of 12 can complete the program by attending a combination of classroom instruction and pool sessions along with two open water dives at select ports of call. For guests who are already certified scuba divers, the line offers a variety of scuba diving excursions year-round in more than 14 destinations.Â
In addition, would-be divers can purchase a variety of accessories onboard, from snorkels, masks and fins, to regulators, gauges and dive computers.