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NCL's Freestyle Cruising to the Caribbean
Do you want the 5-, 7-, 9- or 14-day tan? NCL has many choices to the Caribbean and Bahamas.

SHORT. SWEET. AND A STONE'S THROW FROM HOME
Carnival cruises starting from $279! Depart from convenient ports in Florida, the West Coast, the Gulf Coast and more.

ONE OCEAN. TWO CONTINENTS. WHY NOT?
Cruise from one world to another, from as little as $599, with a 12-night Royal Caribbean Transatlantic cruise.

$499 Alaska 7-Night Spring Cruise, Save $230!
Depart from Seattle or Vancouver. Choose from 8 departure dates. Oceanview cabin upgrades are just $699.

$189 Caribbean Cruise this Winter
Up to $200 Off Caribbean cruise during peak season. Hurry, offer ends Nov. 21!

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Kiplinger's Magazine named CruiseMates to its
Top 25 Best Value Travel Sites for 2006

CruiseMates is the most useful cruise-review site. We especially like its advice columns, which are written for people of different ages and interests.

WHERE THE BARGAINS ARE

Last Minute Deals Looking for a deal? Check America's Vacation Center's last-minute cruise offers! Click for Details!

Other HOT Deals...
  • from $249
    UNBELIEVABLE 7-Night Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Dawn to St Thomas, Tortola and Private Island.
  • From $129
    2 to 4 Day Cruises for Senior Citizens over the age of 55
  • From $449
    Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas RT Los Angeles to Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan. Balcony just $699

We want your cruise reviews!
CruiseMates started publishing our readers' cruise reviews long before other web sites even thought of it. We already have thousands of reviews online, but there are never enough! CruiseMates and our sister site cruisereviews.com both want more of YOUR cruise reviews. So, please send them to us: Euro Watch: 1 Euro = $1.30 Dollar.
A lower dollar means better better value in 2009 European cruises.


 
11.20.2008



Circumnavigating South America
There are two excellent opportunities to sail all the way around South America this coming spring. Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean have a mega-ship, each, that they need to re-locate to the west coast. Under normal circumstances a cruise like this is only available on premium or even luxury lines doing world cruises. To have a chance to completely circumnavigate the entire continent of South America, from Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco, at bargain rates on new ships is truly rare.
One million poppies dropped from two Tiger Moth aircraft commemorate QE2.

The entire trip takes 39 or 40 days. The voyage on the 110,000-ton Carnival Splendor (inaugurated 2007) begins January 31 and arrives March 21; total cost $3197 per person, minimum category stateroom. That's less that $80/day including transportation, all meals, entertainment, etc.

On the way you see some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean; Dominica and Barbados, before crossing the equator. Next comes the northeast coast of Brazil including Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador.

Then come the major cities of South America; Rio de Janeiro, stay overnight in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and visit Montevideo, Uruguay. There is a stop at Port Madryn, Argentina before you make the 530-mile trip through the Strait of Magellan, one of the most dramatic oceanic passageways in the world. This is the spot that stop Captain Bligh and the Bounty after trying for several weeks before we changed his mind and headed to South Africa instead, opting for the long way to Tahiti rather than risking his ship around Cape Horn.


ONE OCEAN. TWO CONTINENTS. WHY NOT?
Cruise from one world to another, from as little as $599, with a 12-night Royal Caribbean Transatlantic cruise.
Royal Caribbean: 1-800-Royal Caribbean

Next you get a day of cruising the Chilean Fjords. Yes, this part of South America so close to the Antarctic Circle that there are deep fjords with calving glaciers, the drama of Alaska with the beauty of Norway. This destination has been named the favorite of luxury cruise lines like Silversea year after year. You then stop in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world on the island of Tierra Del Fuego.

Next you visit Puerto Montt, Santiago and Arica, Chile. Next is Lima, Peru; then Quito Ecuador. You cross the equator again and sail until you reach Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Los Angeles and end in San Francisco.

For $4800 per person you can have an ocean view room. Or, since the cruise is actually broken up into three segments, you could move to a balcony for part of the trip (they are sold out on the first leg already). A lot of dedicated cruisers are already talking about this trip, it is a retirees' dream voyage.


SHORT. SWEET. AND A STONE'S THROW FROM HOME
Carnival cruises starting from $279! Depart from convenient ports in Florida, the West Coast, the Gulf Coast and more.
1-888-CARNIVAL or book online

Your other South America circumnavigation mega-ship option is the permanent relocation of Mariner of the Seas to the West Coast by Royal Caribbean. For about $3300 per person, you can leave earlier and take 46 days to sail from Port Canaveral to Los Angeles. The departure date is January 4, 2009 - start packing!

On the way to the continent you see St Martin, St Kitts and Barbados before you reach Salvador, Brazil. You spend the night in Rio de Janeiro, although you do arrive at 3:00 p.m. Next you see Montevideo, Uruguay and then proceed to Buenos Aires, where you also spend the night.

You cruise around Cape Horn and land the next day in Ushuaia, next comes the Strait of Magellan followed by the Chilean Fjords. You spend a long day in Valparaiso, Chile and then cruise to Arica followed by Lima. Last come Puerto Caldera, Ecuador, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas.

Naturally, both of these cruise also include plenty of days at sea. The good thing is that these are big ships with plenty of activities. Keep in mind that the Royal Caribbean Voyage is in the peak of summer down there, which is an advantage when going to the extreme southerly destinations. The Carnival route will have you in the Chilean Fjords in early April which is getting firmly in the autumn season.

Another advantage of the Royal Caribbean cruise is that balcony cabins are still available for the each of the three separate itineraries required. Just to be clear, both itineraries are actually three separate cruises of 15, 10 and 15 days (Carnival), or 15, 15, and 16 days (Royal Caribbean).

As mentioned, the Mariner of the Seas cruise base rate is $3300 per person, inside cabin but if you want to have a balcony for the entire voyage the cost is $6350 apiece. At $138/day for a balcony cabin, that is a great bargain for the trip of a lifetime.

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new feature articles

Latest Cruise Blog Update!
A Split Cruising Paradigm? We are living in interesting times, and cruising reflects it as well as anything. On the one hand people are filled with "hope" and excited for change. On the other hand, there is palpable fear, uncertainty and doubt. blue arrows

Celebrity Solstice Debuts!
The newest jewel, Ruby Princess, receives a ceremonial welcome worthy of her name in Fort Lauderdale. blue arrows

Canyon Ranch - Land and Sea Immersion Destination
The story behind Canyon Ranch embodies the evolution of the health and fitness industry in this country. blue arrows

Cruises To
Here are our top recommendations for cruises to Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii and Mexico. blue arrows

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Reader Contributed Cruise Reviews!
We have thousands of cruise reviews written by people like you. This week's review:
Norwegian Cruise Line - Norwegian Jewel
by erikhag
Our overall experience was great! The ship was great, the crew was great, the food was great and the ports were great! Some things have been better before but some things were better now.

- - We also wants articles by aspiring travel writers. Get More information.
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NEW CRUISEMATES CRUISES!

Celebrity Solstice - Brand New ship
SOLD OUT! Our prices were $400+ under everyone else. From $749 balcony! Celebrity's newest ship, Solstice from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl on November 30, 2008. 7 glorious nights, calling on San Juan, Puerto Rico - St. Kitts, St. Maarten, and returning to Ft. Lauderdale.

John Heald's Blogger Cruise 2
Come and join all of John Heald's friends and the CruiseMates' family. Everyone is welcome on this cruise, and it's going to be a ball.

Ruby Princess Venetian Fantasy
Travel down the canals of Venice to the Inter-coastal Waterways of Ft. Lauderdale! 18 Amazing nights and six glorious 25 hr. sea days on the most stunning Princess ship yet.