Although this is a big year for cruise ship arrivals in New York, the media seems less than enthusiastic about welcoming them.

When the Nordic Prince arrived for its summer season of New York/Bermuda cruises, it made the news because it arrived with a gray whale corpse stuck to its bow.

With four ships scheduled to arrive in rapid succession - the new Homeric, Sun Line's Stella Maris, the new Maxim's des Mers, and Carnival's new Jubilee - among others, the lines will have their work cut out for them attracting media and VIP's to functions.

Home Lines is hosting a press dinner, with an optional overnight stay aboard the Homeric, when she arrives on May 22. Maxim's des Mers will host fundraising dinners for the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and The American Place Theatre, along with a special press luncheon during her stay at the South Street Seaport, June 17 through June 20.

Carnival expects more than 50,000 agents to visit the Jubilee when the ship calls in New York on June 18 - on her way from Kockums to her homeport of Miami - and company officials have been busy heaving superlatives on the new ship: revolutionary, state-of-the-art and spectacular.