Travel: Against the Tide

Boasting an armada of sleek new ships, costs you can count on and all the comforts, cruise lines are filling cabins and defying the recession

The Bahamian sun slides into the aquamarine sea as the last passengers of the cruise ship Nordic Empress return from a hard day of sunbathing, shell hunting and rum drinking on Coco Cay's white sand beach. "Bring me another Bahama Mama," yells Danny Rivero, 23, from amid 102 degrees hot-tub bubbles high up on the ship's sun deck. Fellow passenger Renato Deoliveira, 19, obediently passes along a lethal concoction of 151-proof Myers's rum, apricot brandy, coconut rum and fruit punch, while Ted and Kay LaTour, a Milwaukee couple in their 60s, laugh indulgently and sink lower in the froth. "Supposedly we're...

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