July 26, 2001
President Bush may have been the lone world leader at the G8 summit to not use Festival Cruises’ European Vision as a floating hotel but it would seem that U.S. reporters assigned to cover this week’s international gathering-of-minds had no choice. The intense and highly publicized preparations announced by Festival for European Vision, which housed the remaining seven world leaders, didn’t apply to two smaller vessels that were home in Genoa for the media. In particular, members of the White House press corps were so appalled by accommodations on Festival’s Azur -- size of cabins and cleanliness were primary issues -- that their complaints drew not only an apology from Festival executive Georges Poulides but also an offer for a free future cruise -- specifically naming the line’s newer ships, such as the aforementioned European Vision and the Mistral. The reporters have a year to use the free trip.