Rumors and speculations regarding Project Phoenix continue to flourish as the year progresses. The newspaper, Norges Handelsog Sjofartstidende, reported on March 27, that unless something dramatic happened, the approximate $450-million contract to build the giant ship would be given to the German Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft.

A surprised Knut Klaster, NCL Chair­man of the Board, denies this claim, however, insisting that several shipyards are still being considered, and that a decision won't be made until later this year.

To get a sampling of some thoughts on Project Phoenix, CIN asked several people in the cruise industry their impressions. Some of the responses were:

"Everyone is intrigued!" - Travel Editor, Trade Press
"Bold and imaginative approach." - Cruise Line President
"You need more than just size to attract people; the on-board facilities must offset the scariness of size." - Travel Editor, Trade Press
"It will bring many new people into cruising." - Cruise Line President
"Kloster's an optimist. Cities are exactly what people want to get away from." - Cruise Line President
"I haven't heard of Phoenix." - Travel Editor, Trade Press
"Is that the ship with the marina inside?" - Travel Editor, Trade Press
"Beyond 1800 or 2000 passengers, you start to reach diseconomies of scale from the standpoint of human engineering." - Carnival Cruises V.P.