The winners of our “Who Did You Cruise With In 2009?” game

Departure Lounge by Armond Noble

The searchlights brighten the sky, the band strikes up a sprightly tune and down the red carpet come the winners of our “Who Did You Cruise With In 2009?” game. (At the end of this column are details on the next game and a new essay contest.)

Winners and their prizes are as follows: Earl Kessler, Fairfax, VA (Lifetime ITN subscription); Ann and David Litten, Savannah, GA (three-year ITN subscription); Charlotte Olstead, Redwood City, CA ($50 Magellan’s Travel Supplies gift certificate); Anne Jeffries, Centennial, CO (two-year ITN subscription); Robert and DeLores Frederick, Salinas, CA (ITN wristwatch, so you don’t go down the Amazon in a canoe wearing your Piaget watch); Patrice Munroe, Charlotte, NC (one-year ITN subscription); Irvin Smith, Missouri City, TX (a one-year ITN gift subscription to give); Paul Wheeler, Birmingham, MI (complimentary ITN travel award certificate); Amy Ferrell, LaGrangeville, NY (ITN’s “Best of Britain”), and June and Bob Diehl, Franklin, MA (ITN’s “Best of Italy”).

I guess I’m just turning into an old softie. So many nice people entered the game, I’ve decided to have another prize outgo.

Bu first, from the multitude out there, there must be some of you in businesses where your products would make nice prizes for our games. (You get to take it off your taxes as promotion.) Oh, it doesn’t have to be a giant prize like a hilltop estate in the Bahamas. Little prizes bring a few moments of joy — like a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud or a Lamborghini Diablo (JEST KIDDING!). Let me know if you have a prize to donate.

So here we go again: Linda Kolb, Del Mar, CA (Lifetime ITN subscription); Sabine Joyce, Davidsonville, MD (three-year ITN subscription), Lisa Cubban, Marietta, GA ($50 Magellan’s Travel Supplies gift certificate); Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA (two-year ITN subscription); Janet Simonitsch, Lee’s Summit, MO (ITN wristwatch, so you don’t wear your Patek Philippe when climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro); Jane O’Connell, Brookfield, WI (one-year ITN subscription); Frank Beresh, Palos Heights, IL (a one-year ITN gift subscription to make someone’s Christmas merry); Dee and Dave Partridge, Shelburne, VT (complimentary ITN travel award certificate); Everett and Lois Angell, High Bridge, NJ (ITN’s “Best of Britain”), and Dr. Jeff and Dawn Miller, Portland, OR (ITN’s “Best of Italy”).

Now, which were the most popular cruise ships? Remarkably, Holland America Line’s (HAL’s) Prinsendam and Maasdam tied for First Place. Then came Princess’ Tahitian Princess, tied with Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. Another tie followed: HAL’s Eurodam and Volendam. After them, bunched together, were Azamara Club Cruises’ Quest, Celebrity’s Celebrity Mercury, Crystal’s Crystal Symphony and Oceania’s Regatta. At the next, same level were the Celebrity Century, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ Paul Gauguin, HAL’s Westerdam, Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL’s) Norgwegian Jade and Norwegian Jewel, Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Explorer, Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI’s) Jewel of the Sea and Voyages of Discovery’s Discovery. The list continued with Azamara’s Journey, the Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Constellation, HAL’s Oosterdam and Noordam, NCL’s Pride of America, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Spirit and Princess’ Grand Princess, Diamond Princess, Coral Princess, Crown Princess, Golden Princess and Caribbean Princess. Also registering were RCI’s Legend of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Regent Voyager, Seabourn Cruise Line’s Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Legend, SeaDream Yacht Cruises’ Sea Dream II and 71 others.

What was interesting to see wasn’t just the absolute results but the relative results. Naturally, Holland America and Princess, being so huge, drew the most. But, relative to its size, the winner was Voyages of Discovery, followed by a tie between Azamara and Paul Gauguin. Next was Crystal, Cunard, Regent Seven Seas, SeaDream, Seabourn and Star Clipper.

Our next game is “Which Airline Did You Fly Overseas With In 2009?” Send your answers to or Airlines, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818. Don’t forget to include your ZIP code.

I recently had my annual physical (from the esteemed Dr. Bayard Chang). I noticed some new pictures on his wall. He said, “I love London.” A bell went off. So that’s our new essay contest: “I Love London,” in 300 words or less. Prizes!

The deadline for each of these will be two months after the first entry is received.