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Nov 26, 2003
Largest Cruise Ship to Sail From Port Canaveral to be Named Nov. 14

MIAMI – Royal Caribbean International has announced that Jean Driscoll – world-class athlete, Olympian, Paralympian and international advocate for persons with disabilities – will serve as godmother to the line’s newest ship, Mariner of the Seas, which debuts later this year. As godmother, Driscoll will officially give the ship its name during ceremonies in Port Canaveral, Fla., on Nov. 14, 2003.

“We are immensely pleased that such a prominent athlete and outstanding advocate for persons with disabilities will be the godmother of our newest, fully accessible ship,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Jean is a true champion who excels in everything she does, in the sports arena and beyond. She has shown by example that physical disabilities need not limit life experiences, and we are proud to have her spirit lead a ship that was designed to ensure all guests can participate fully in the excitement of a cruise experience.”

Driscoll’s achievements range from winning the women’s wheelchair division of the prestigious Boston Marathon eight times – the only person in Boston Marathon history to achieve that feat – to victories in both the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games. She was recognized by Sports Illustrated for Women as one of the top 25 female athletes of the 20th century and is also a world record holder in the 10,000-meter track event as well as the 10K and marathon road racing distances.

Driscoll, who was born with spina bifida, is actively involved with organizations for athletes with disabilities both in the United States and abroad. In the United States, she is the spokesperson for the ASPIRE project (Adapted Sports in Recreation and Education), which works to bring youth sports leagues for athletes with physical disabilities to each state, with a goal that someday all students with disabilities will have an opportunity to participate in sports programs.

Globally, Driscoll dedicates her time to Wheels for the World, a program that restores wheelchairs and takes them to individuals in third-world countries. She also travels annually to West Africa to teach the sport of wheelchair track. Thanks to her efforts, Ghana will attempt to send its first athletes to represent the country in the Paralympics in Athens in 2004.

Driscoll joins a distinguished list of Royal Caribbean godmothers, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Katarina Witt, Stefanie Graf, Whoopi Goldberg and Queen Sonja of Norway.

About Mariner of the Seas
The 142,000-ton Mariner of the Seas will be the fifth ship in the company’s Voyager class and the largest cruise ship to sail from Port Canaveral. An action-packed ship with numerous dining and entertainment venues, Mariner features the line's signature rock-climbing wall, an inline skating track, a full-size basketball court, and the Royal Promenade – an interior shopping, dining and entertainment boulevard. Mariner of the Seas also features an ice skating rink with ice shows, a 1,350-seat Broadway-style theater, a miniature golf course, and one of the largest fitness and spa complexes at sea.

Mariner of the Seas leads the industry in providing accessibility to guests with disabilities. Royal Caribbean’s progressive accessibility program – Accessible Seas – strives to make travel more convenient, enjoyable and hassle-free for all guests. Mariner offers an extensive list of amenities such as automatic doors; hydraulic pool/jacuzzi lifts; Braille menus and stairwell banister deck numbers; extra-wide corridors; public bathroom facilities; and special devices for the hearing and visually impaired. Mariner also has 26 specially designed staterooms that include a variety of accessibility features such as roll-in showers and pull-down closet rods.

Mariner of the Seas will begin her regularly scheduled, year-round itineraries on Nov. 16, 2003, sailing alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Prices start at $749 per person, double occupancy.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 17 ships in service and three more under construction. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company’s web site at or call 800-327-6700.