August 28, 2001
Renaissance Cruises, which begins its first year of Caribbean sailings with the R6’s seven-day Aruba-Barbados itineraries, is suddenly shifting another ship to that market. The R8, originally scheduled to be one of two ships sailing the Far East this winter, has been rerouted to the Caribbean. Uniquely, the R8’s itinerary will actually use the Dominican Republic’s Casa de Campo resort (a chi-chi celebrity magnet) as its homeport. The 7-day voyage, which runs from October 27 - March 16, will stop in ports of call such as Tortola, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Barts and will overnight at Casa de Campo. Not a traditional port of call, Casa de Campo is an upscale resort that’s known for its Altos de Chavon artists’ village -- a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village, a Greek theater and extensive amenities. Passengers will have access to the resort community’s facilities, which include tennis, private beaches, watersports, pools, an equestrian center, deep-sea fishing, gourmet restaurants, sport shooting, boating and two award-winning golf courses. It even has its own airport (and a daily American Airline nonstop to and from Miami). Ironically, the Dominican Republic, which just last year made major improvements to the island’s international airport to attract international travelers, is more familiar to Europeans than Americans. Very few U.S. based cruise lines even make a stop at the island (save for those whose private islands are part of the D.R.) but it’s quite popular with European travelers -- resort types and cruise passengers alike. Passengers who had been booked on R8 Far East itineraries are being shifted to Renaissance’s other ship in the region.