CruiseMates newsletter

John Heald Blogger's Cruise
by Paul Motter

This is the week that the world's most popular cruise director is holding court on a cruise dedicated just to him aboard Carnival Freedom. We have been getting daily updates from our reporter on board.

On the heels of the success of this John Heald cruise, Carnival just announced yet another "Bloggers Cruise" to sail next year at about this same time. As before, CruiseMates already has cabins, and from what I understand our low rate starting at just $299 per person (for a five day cruise!) will only be good for about the next month. So book it now! For more information, go here: John Heald's Bloggers Cruise 2009

FYI: I have to mention there will be fuel supplement surcharge. You are going to be seeing this in all cruise advertising from here on out so get ysed to it. It is about $5 per person per day on most cruise lines and may go up a little for suites. Usually, only the first two people in each cabin have to pay it.

I also just heard that John will be onboard the sailing of Carnival Imagination next week to blog about the new improvements to the Fantasy-class ships that Carnival is already rolling out. These include amazing new waterparks that will be even better than what is on the Carnival mega-ships. A 300-foot waterslide!

One thing John's Blogger's Cruise points out is how people can come together online and become a community of friends in cyber-space, and then can actually get to know each other in real life. This is the premise that CruiseMates was founded on nine years ago, and the idea grows all the time as more and more cruisers get online.

Our intrepid cruise reporter, Kuki, writes that a nine-year old girl wanted a hug from John Heald on stage last night, and how Kuki remembered meeting this same girl on a CruiseMates group cruise when she was just two years old and had just been adopted from Russia. The concept of cyber-friendships becoming real don't get much more real than that.

To read about Kuki's adventures onboard, go to our Carnival Cruise Lines Message Boards.

If you watched football last weekend you know are having a COLD winter this year in many parts of the country. Many people are booking Caribbean cruises right now, and why not? The bargains are certainly out there.

Voyager in Galveston

Royal Caribbean has relocated its first mega-ship to Galveston, Texas; Voyager of the Seas. What a treat for all the people in the Houston area to be able to catch a ride on a mega-ship any week they want. We already have our first report about the experience from one of our readers - Snoozeman. He points out that the ship is great, but needs a lesson in how Texans like their iced tea. Always with ice (don't let that bucket run out) but just a few cubes at a time, "European-style" as he says.

Be Sure to Check Out CruiseMates' Royal Caribbean Bargains Just for you!

We are looking forward to getting our first permanent mega-ship on the West Coast as soon as Explorer of the Seas comes to Los Angeles. And by the way, if you have not noticed cruises to Mexico are solid bargains, some of the best deals for cruise out there are going to Mexico.

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new feature articles

John Heald's Bloggers Cruise
Kuki is Sailing with the top Cruise Director and Hosting a reporting from the ship on a daily basis. All this week get updates on the events of John Heald's Bloggers Cruise. blue arrows

Comparing Carnival and Celebrity
After back-to-back cruises on each, Kuki evaluates the two lines' respective strengths and weaknesses. blue arrows

Catalina Island, California
This small island off the coast of Los Angeles is now a regular stop on four-day cruises to Mexico. blue arrows

Cruising from Tampa Bay
This convenient Gulf Coast port has plenty of attractions for pre- or post-cruise visits. 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:
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Voyager of the Seas by Snoozeman: Overall a fantastic cruise!! We are already booked for next year!
- - We also wants articles by aspiring travel writers. Get More information.
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read about cruisemate

"Many sites that offer reviews are selling cruises, which raises questions about impartiality. An exceptions is CruiseMates."

"The Web's best site for articles, advice, or chatting with Cruise People. Self-financed and run independently of the industry, so their opinions are impartial"

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cruise news

new cruisemate's cruises

Check Our New CruiseMates Cruises!

John Heald's Blogger Cruise 2
Second Official John heald Blogger's Cruise, February 7, 2009. 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.

A 14-night transatlantic cruise.
April 2008, from Florida to the Caribbean then to Europe including the Canary Islands, Spain, Florence Italy and ending in Rome - starting as low as $699 per person. This one is filling up fast!

Celebrity Solstice - New Ship!
Sail on Celebrity's next generation ship, Celebrity Solstice, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl on Jan. 11/ 09, with all your CruiseMates friends and your host, Kuki. Calling on San Juan, Puerto Rico - St. Kitts, St. Maarten, and returning to Ft. Lauderdale.


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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.