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Cruise Guide: Politicians, plush bedding, tea service brewing at sea

By Mike Coleman

Luxury cruise lines will be rolling out a series of nice touches in 2007 to pamper their guests like never before. New bedding is in at Silversea; tea service will be taken to new heights at Cunard and onboard enrichment programs at Seabourn will feature power, politics and punditry from Washington’s leading insiders. 

Guests traveling on select cruises aboard The Yachts of Seabourn in 2007 will share their voyages with luminaries from the closely entwined worlds of international politics and investigative journalism. Seabourn has invited a trio of prominent personalities to provide insights into the inner workings of public policy and the news media.

David S. Broder is a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for the Washington Post; a syndicated columnist; author of half a dozen books on U.S. politics and a regular commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press; PBS’s Washington Week in Review and CNN’s Inside Politics. He will sail aboard Seabourn Pride’s 13-day cruise of Rio & the Amazon departing Rio de Janeiro Feb. 18, 2007.

Robert C. McFarlane is intimately familiar with the corridors of power, having served as national security advisor to President Reagan and in key White House posts in the Ford and Nixon administrations. As founder of Global Energy Systems and a director of the Washington Institute for Near East Studies, he will join Seabourn Spirit’s 16-day voyage to Arabia, India & Orchid Isles departing Dubai Nov. 20, 2007.

Bob Schieffer, anchor of the CBS Evening News in 2005 and 2006, rounds out the series when he embarks on Seabourn Spirit’s 14-day cruise of Asian Capitals & Vietnam departing Singapore Dec. 6, 2007. His career as a broadcast journalist includes 20 years as anchor of the Saturday CBS Evening News and 15 years as moderator of the network’s Sunday staple, Face the Nation. As CBS chief Washington correspondent, he has covered presidential campaigns since 1972.

Silversea, meanwhile, is set to enhance the sleep experience for its guests, with the installation of new Sealy Posturepedic plush EuroTop mattresses aboard its fleet of four all-suite ships. The line’s top suites – Owner’s, Grand, Royal and Rossellini – will feature Stearns & Foster plush ultra-luxury beds which provide 10 percent more sleep surface than a conventional mattress. The new beds, custom-designed by Sealy exclusively for Silversea, will debut aboard Silver Shadow just in time for its 126-day world cruise, departing Fort Lauderdale Jan. 15, 2007, and will be rolled out to the rest of the fleet during the following months.

The new mattresses are set to complement a luxurious selection of bedding amenities that already includes fluffy goose down duvets, sheets made of 100 percent fine Egyptian cotton, and a choice of pillows. The line’s standard pillow is a soft goose down and feather blend, but guests may opt for a firmer goose down and feather pillow, a synthetic one that’s hypoallergenic, or even a contour pillow of therapeutic foam.

Cunard, meanwhile, has introduced Wedgwood tea service aboard its flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2, featuring a selection of 23 premium teas, including traditional varieties such as Darjeeling and Orange Pekoe, as well as new flavors specially developed by Wedgwood.

“The introduction of this wide range of Wedgwood teas is a perfect complement to our extensive Wedgwood china collection, and underscores the very British experience that passengers expect aboard a Cunard ocean liner,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.

The full line of Wedgwood teas is available aboard Queen Mary 2 in the daily tea service offered in the Queens Grill Lounge, featuring finger sandwiches, sweet pastries and warm scones, served with jam and fresh cream. The teas are also available in the Queens Grill and Princess Grill accommodations and restaurants, the Grills Concierge Lounge and in cocktail lounges upon request. Guests will also be able to enjoy the new teas in the ship’s new Britannia Club restaurant, debuting in spring 2007.

Aboard QE2, the teas are available in Queens, Princess and Britannia Grill accommodations and restaurants. Additionally, guests can enjoy the teas in the Queens Grill Lounge and in cocktail lounges upon request.

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