April 4, 2001
Renaissance has just announced it is abolishing its no-kids and no-smoking policies. The reason? “These were two of the last holdovers of the old Renaissance, a company that was restrictive, not in tune with customers’ desires and travel agent wishes,” says company CEO Frank Del Rio. “We have changed so much (but) these two policies were sticking out there like a sore thumb.” The cruise line, which operates eight identical nearly-700 passenger vessels (plus two small boutique vessels), has begun accepting reservations from smokers and family travelers but the old policies will remain in effect until December. Renaissance has tinkered with a number of other options as well. In particular, the company is altering itineraries, transferring money-losing wintertime Mediterranean cruises to a new focus on warm-weather destinations. Besides its established Tahiti/Polynesia and Far East itineraries, next winter will see ships in South America and the Caribbean, among other places. Still no definite plans to cruise Alaska though the possibility, according to Del Rio, exists for summer 2003.