CruiseMate Newsletter
$249 & up -- 7-Night Cruises at Lowest Prices of the Year
Norwegian Cruise Line is having a massive 1-week cruise sale. Get more details at Travelzoo.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s 3 and 4-day getaways from Miami
First 2 guests sail as low as $99 each and up to three more for $49 each, plus up to a four-category upgrade. Call your travel professional.

$699 -- Balcony on 11-Night Caribbean Cruise w/Credit
Celebrity Constellation, Ranked #1 on Conde Nast Travel. Balconies on similar cruises are running more than $1000.

Vacations don't get much bigger than Alaska, and you can see the Great Land starting from $499 with a Royal Caribbean cruise.


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

Other HOT Deals...
  • from $449
    7 Night Royal Caribbean sailings to Mexico! Free insurance or prepaid gratuities included!
  • From $699
    Celebrity Cruises: 9 Night Australia! Up to $100 onboard credit plus Free Insurance included!
  • From $399
    Norwegian Star to Mexico: Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta. 2 FREE onboard coupon books.



Check Our New CruiseMates Cruises!

Norwegian Jewel NY City to Miami
Oct 28-Nov 9 2008 Ports of call: New York City; Samana; Aruba; Curacao; Belize City; Roatan; Miami and a Halloween Party too!

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.


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.


Playboy Jazz Cruise Contest!
Hosted by Marcus Miller

Win a cabin and full entry tickets for two people to the Playboy Jazz Cruise aboard the Holland America Westerdam. Itinerary: Roundtrip out of Fort Lauderdale. Produced by JazzCruisesLLC.
Enter the Playboy Jazz Cruise Contest


Cruise Outlook for 2008!
The Cruise Line International Association just released its Market Profile for 2008. The purpose of the report is to outline specific factors that influence the behavior of cruisers, and to predict how those factors will affect the near-term future of cruising. This study was conducted online during late March - early April of 2008, and involved 2482 people, some of which were experienced cruisers, some were vacationers who have not yet cruised, and some were basically stay at home types. This isn't just a survey of people who cruise regularly. The point is to compare "cruisers" to the rest of the world.

Taking a random sample of American people, those who identify themselves as experienced cruisers tend to be just one year older (46) than the general polulation of the sample (45). Their household income is higher ($93,000 annual vs. $79,000) and they have more education (69% college grads vs. 62% grads for non-cruisers).

One of the first things the study shows is that cruisers say they are more likely to travel in 2008. Surprisingly, certain kinds of cruisers plan to travel much more; specifically luxury and "destination" cruisers, meaning people who see cruises primarily as a way to see the world. 31% of luxury cruisers and 28% of destination cruisers said they plan to cruise in 2008.

For purposes of this study, "luxury" cruisers are those who favor cruise lines like Silversea, Regent, Crystal, Seabourn and Cunard. "Destination" cruisers tend to take smaller ships to far way places. Destination cruise lines include Oceania Cruises, Azamara and Orient Lines.

The two other kinds of cruiser categories the study recognizes are "contemporay" cruisers who generally take Carnival, Royal Caribbean or NCL to the Caribbean, Mexico or Alaska; and "premium" cruisers who prefer the slightly more expensive brands of Holland America, Celebrity and Princess which cruise all over the world.

2008 is shown in the study to be especially attractive to the luxury and destination cruisers. Why? Two reasons come to mind; The first is that the dollar is now at $1.34 to the Euro, the lowest it has been in years. This is especially important to cruisers who want their dollar to go farther, Indeed, if the current trend continues the dollar soon could be far stronger, compared to the Euro, than it is right now. The second reason is the current economic conditions pointing to the fact that cruise prices are right now becoming historically low.

CruiseMates has seen some fantastic cruise bargains from various cruise lines in all sectors; destination, contemporary, premium and luxury. Orient Cruises just lowered all of the European cruise fares for 2009. Crystal Cruises just announced free airfare for their upcoming Panama Canal cruises as well as reduced deposits, and NCL and Carnival are both having sales in October with 7-day Caribbean cruises at prices below $350/person for a 7-day Caribbean cruise.

Vacations don't get much bigger than Alaska, and you can see the Great Land starting from $499 with a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Royal Caribbean: 1-800-Royal Caribbean

Cruisers have not been slouches when it comes to getting passports. Despite the fact that the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative allows cruisers to arrive from the Caribbean, Mexico or Canada without a passport (you do need a passcard or enhanced driver's license), some 98% of destination and 96% of luxury cruisers do have passports. Unfortunately, only 71% of cruisers who tends to favor "contemporary" cruise lines, meaning Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean, hold passports. This means these cruise lines could probably benefit from enhanced education on identification requirements for cruise vacations after the federal January 2009 deadline.

When it comes to asking non-cruisers vs experienced cruisers how likely they are to take a cruise in the next three years, 53% of cruisers said they DEFINITELY will be taking a cruise and 77% said they are very interested in taking one. Once again, that shows how popular cruise vacations are with the people who have tried it at least once. Most people who cruise once do cruise again, and in this 2008 study more than half of them say they will definitely cruise again within the next three years.

Planning is an interesting topic. Surprisingly, the group that tends to book a new cruise closest to the actual sail date are the destination-oriented and luxury cruisers. 53% of luxury cruisers and 51% of destination cruisers book their cruises with four months or less to plan. The percentage of cruisers who book a cruise that sails in under a month: 6% of luxury cruisers, 4% of destination cruisers, 3% of "contemporary" (aka mass market) cruisers and 2% of premium cruisers.

As for the percentage of cruise types who use a travel agent: 88% of luxury cruisers, 83% of premium cruisers, 80% of destination cruisers and 74% of contemporary cruisers. The obvious conclusion here is that the "mass-market" cruise lines are seeing more people booking directly than ever before. This makes sense as the typical 7-day cruise to the Eastern or Western Caribbean has actually changed very little in the last 20 years, and there is no reason why a person would need a travel agent to help with such a cruise.

Ironically, travel agents can still benefit these cruisers with lower prices or more amenities than these people can get by booking the cruise themselves, but there is a growing number of contemporary cruisers who think they get a better deal by booking directly with the cruise line. In fact, this is not true, but many cruise agents are not even concerned. Why? The cost for a 7-day cruise is so low (under $300 per person in some cases) that the commission is hardly worth the work involved.

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new feature articles

John Heald's Blog and Bloggers Cruise
Ship Shape or The Shape of a Ship?

This is my blog about John Heald's Blog and his Bloggers Cruise. John's Blogger's Cruise is also a CruiseMates cruise I am hosting with about 200 people ... blue arrows

Cruising the Greek Isles Primer
A guide to Europe's most popular tourist region, the Greek Isles. Must-see highlights of the Eastern Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. blue arrows

Exclusive Cruise Ship Upgrades
Cruise Bargains Newsletter Plus the best prices from our sponsors! blue arrows

Cruise Line Private Islands
An overview of the private islands of Costa, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. 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:
Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Glory by Tom Burke
The ship was very clean and well maintained. The crew was friendly and in good spirits. -- 1000's of Reader Reviews here!

- - We also wants articles by aspiring travel writers. Get More information.
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