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7-Night Carnival Caribbean $519
Carnival Splendor, roundtrip Fort Laud to San Juan, St Thomas, Dominican Republic & Nassau.
•  America's Vacation Center (866) 501-7271
CM Note: Carnival's newest and biggest ship ever built - a top Carnival pick.
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Norwegian Coastal Companion Free
2 FOR 1 OFFER on selected 6, 7 and 12-day Norwegian coastal voyages! Companion sails FREE.
CM note: Must book by 9-31-08. 12-day voyages qualify for free air from JFK.
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7-night Ruby Princess Balcony $899
Brand new Ruby Princess; W. Caribbean RT Ft Laud to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Princess Cay
•  BUYCRUISES 1-800-510-1786
CruiseMates says: Princess's newest ship - great price for a balcony
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Trans-Atlantic Royal Caribbean - $649
12-Day cruise bargain on Navigator of the Seas from $649 pp. Sails 11-10-08, Barcelona to Ft Laud.
•  CruiseMagic.com 800-474-5678
CM Note: eight sea days; stop in Cartegena Spain, Azores and Nassau.
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Oasis of the Seas
7-night East or west Caribbean cruises - bookings open for Crown and Anchor members!
•  CRUISEVALUE: 1-800-231-7447
CruiseMates says: this amazing new ship is set to debut in December 2009.
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Carnival Dream New Year's Eve
2009 New Years Eve on Carnival's newest & biggest ship ever! Balcony cabins from $1,125 pp. Christmas from $975
•  Cruise Planners 1-800-561-0802
CruiseMates says: 2009 Christmas cruise also available from $975!
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Royal Caribbean Mega-ship from $549
Liberty of the Seas, 7-night Miami to St Martin, San Juan and Labadee. Comp dinner for two.
•  America's Vacation Center (866) 501-7271
CM Note: One of RC's most popular and world's biggest cruise ship!
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10-nt Holland America Christmas Cruise $999
Deep Caribbean Christmas cruise: HAL Noordam, Fort Laud to Tortola, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, St Kitts, Half Moon Cay.
•  BUYCRUISES 1-800-510-1786
CM Note: A premium ship, bargain price, holiday cruise, sails 12-17.
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Holland America Special Offer
Exclusive low fares, Free Pinnacle Grill Lunch for two, plus $25 - $50 ship credit per person.
•  CRUISE MARKETPLACE 1-800-826-4333
CruiseMates says: Dozens of HAL cruises on sale - ship credit is per person.
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You can access all of these specials above - or go to CruiseMates' Cruise Bargains for even more!
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"CruiseMates Best of the Web
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The ONLY travel newsletter containing cruise bargains we verify to be the Best Cruise Bargains on the Web. For each listing, you will not find a better price for that ship, sail date and cabin category on the Internet. If it isn't the best of the Web, we won't print it!

Hurricane Conditions

One of the worst seasons in memory.
The hurricane season of 2008 is the worst one in my memory as far as the impact upon cruises is concerned. Fortunately, no one on a cruise ship has been hurt, but there has been loss of life and property in some of the popular Caribbean destinations such as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

Carnival has changed ten different itineraries based on the paths of both hurricane Gustav and tropical storm Hanna. Royal Caribbean changed four ship routes and NCL changed one. This is more changes in the same week than I have ever seen. Some lucky people, on Carnival Fantasy which homeports in New Orleans, have had their four-day cruise extended into a six-day voyage, many of those days at sea. The ship is actually sailing in and out of Mobile, Alabama, instead of New Orleans these days and that is where it will end its current cruise on Wednesday.

Passengers on Carnival Ecstacy, which homeports in Galveston, TX, are also getting two extra days added to their voyage and will receive a 50% refund on their current cruise and a 50% discount on a future one. That essentially adds up to a free cruise, plus two extra days on the current one. Guests on Fantasy get a 25% refund and a 25% future discount.

One of the most interesting and extensive itinerary revisions is NCL's Norwegian Spirit six-day cruise out of New York City. Because of the current expected path of Tropical Storm Hanna, forecasted to pass near the islands of the Bahamas, NCL altered the itinerary from a six-day Bahamas & Florida sailing, departing New York on August 31, 2008, to a call on the island of Bermuda. No compensation is being offered.

Cruise lines are not required to offer any compensation to passengers because of itinerary changes. If they offer any it is usually out of consideration for their guests being inconvenienced in terms of air arrangements, as in the case of Fantasy and Ecstacy changing the originally scheduled arrival date.

I once had one less-experienced cruiser write to me that she was upset her itinerary had been changed but the cruise line didn't give her a free cruise, even though she got all seven days and visited other equally interesting islands. I couldn't resist asking her if she really would have preferred going through 20-foot seas to the scheduled island experiencing 120-mph winds at the time.

In other words, according to your cruise contract cruise lines sell cruises - not passage to specific destinations. And they are not responsible for the weather.

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We are an online, interactive CRUISE SHIP GUIDE with ship reviews, features articles, message boards and more. Recommended by: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN Television, a Forbes Magazine "Best of the Web" site. Prices listed are cruise only, per person, double occupancy and include port charges (also called non-commissionable cruise fare). Fuel surcharges and government taxes & fees are additional unless otherwise noted. Prices are in US dollars, airfare is extra unless otherwise noted. Limited availability and restrictions may apply. Prices are subject to change without prior notice. Typographical errors may occur. Offers apply to new bookings only.