CRUISE REPORT
Brave New Cruise World
Deals, Route Changes Abound

By Carol Sottili
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 7, 2001; Page E01

There are two reasons to go online for cruise information: to do research or to book a cruise. Booking is easy to find and execute, from the individual cruise line sites, to travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity, to specialized sites like cruise411.com and icruise.com. As for research, good information is more elusive, as many sites that pass themselves off as objective are affiliated with a travel agency or cruise line. Here are a few exceptions:

www.CruiseMates.com

Even before the attacks that unsettled the travel industry, Cruisemates was one of the best sources on the Web for cruise news and information. Now it is invaluable, with up-to-the-minute updates and information on cancellations and itinerary changes. The site's consumer correspondent, who responds to reader queries, is also useful. And the "First-time Cruisers" section is a good starting point for novices.

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Washingtonpost.com lists Web links and phone numbers for major and boutique cruise lines.

-- Ben Abramson