CruiseMates newsletter

10.18.2007

Holiday Cruising
The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and many people choose to celebrate these special days on cruises. It is a great way to get the extended family together for a fun filled gathering where everyone can relax
and have fun. And no one has to worry about making the event perfect.

What are some of the advantages to a holiday cruise? You can get as many family members together as the ship can hold, from grandparents down to the youngest children, and no one has to worry about entertaining out of town guests. There is something for everyone to do aboard a cruise ship, so even the most sullen teenagers will get involved, having a great time with little effort on your part to keep them amused.

No one has to cook or clean - anything. There are no dirty dishes or leftovers to put away. No one has to sleep on an air mattress or dusty futon resurrected from the garage or attic. And you have your holiday and a cruise. You can give the cruise as a holiday gift if you like.

Holiday cruises can be wonderful for people who don't have large extended families and maybe miss seeing children enjoy this special time of year. If your family number has diminished over the years, being on a cruise ship is a way to share your holiday with other people, especially if you go on a group cruise like the CruiseMates Thanksgiving cruise on Carnival Freedom.

What are some of the downsides of holiday cruises? It varies depending on which holiday you choose. Christmas and Thanksgiving tend to be more melancholy for some people than others. You may find you miss your home or certain people who may not be with you. Be prepared for lots of children on board almost any ship, especially on Thanksgiving and Christmas cruises. They will be on scheduled vacation time away from school. That may or may not be a "downside" for you.

New Years Eve, however, is a wonderful holiday to spend on a cruise ship. No one gets melencholy on this holiday and most cruise ships devise truly spectacular ways to celebrate.

Holiday cruises do tend to be more expensive than the same cruise a week before or after the holiday.If you do want to consider a holiday cruise, try to book as soon as possible as ships almost always sell out on holidays.

If you do take a holiday cruise, don't forget that it is also a holiday for most of the crewmembers. I have found most crewmembers enjoy the holidays as much as the guests do and that they will get personally involved with the passengers and become part of the celebration. If this seems unusual to you, just remember that while you are with your family and/or friends those crewmembers are not. Their loved ones are usually at home, and that can even mean husbands or wives and children.

If you want to make someone really happy, remember your crewmembers at the holidays. Bring a simple gift for your room steward or waiter, a unique food item from your hometown perhaps, that they can enjoy back in their cabin. Try handing a simple wrapped gift to any Lido waiter or busgirl and see what kind of a smile breaks out on his or her face. Many of them are from countries like Romania, Slovakia or the Phillipines - countries with long-standing holiday traditions. Don't worry about the captain or cruise director, by the way, they usually have plenty of friends on board.

If you can figure out a way to do it, calling cards make a great gift. For about $5 you can give a crewmember a card that will let them call home for several minutes. This is easy to do if you are on a Caribbean itinerary that you know the ship will be repeating. They might be able to use it in the next port, or the next time the ship visits the island where you bought the card.

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Need to get away?
Check out the latest hot deals on cruises with Royal Caribbean.
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new feature articles

First Look at Celebrity Solstice
The line's new class of ships is the first in a wave of upcoming new-build ships with innovative design. blue arrows

Your First Cruise: What to Expect - Part 2
In this second installment of our three-part series, Kuki helps us get acquainted with our ship and its many ammenities. blue arrows

Your First Cruise: What to Expect - Part 1
CruiseMates' own Cruise Director, Kuki, walks us through what to expect on that much-anticipated first cruise. In this installment he takes us to our cabin! blue arrows

Dining at Sea: An Overview
Here's a quick summary of what the major lines offer in dining venues and policies. 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:
RCI's Mariner of the Seas: Ahoy! Overall it was a great cruise! Now for the good, bad and the ugly!
- - We also wants articles by aspiring travel writers. Get More information.
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read about cruisemate

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

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"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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Be Godmother to the Cutest Baby Ever Berthed
Go to gemitgirl.com for details on how to become Godmother of Norwegian Gem and win a 7-day cruise.

Need to get away?
Check out the latest hot deals on cruises with Royal Caribbean.

where the bargains are

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cruise news


new cruisemate's cruises

Check Our New CruiseMates Cruises!

7 nights in the Eastern Caribbean.
Carnival Freedom, Thanksgiving, 2007.

John Heald Blogger Cruise
Carnival Freedom, January 19, 2008.
We have the best prices available, from $532 pp plus a $100 shipboard credit and CruiseMates cocktail party. Click in for details!

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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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.

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