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Avalon Waterways
Up to $1,000 off per couple on Avalon Cruises

Sail on the newest ships on the European waterways. Avalon’s impressive fleet is just two years in age – compared to an industry average of seven years.

Disney Cruise Line
Order a FREE Vacation Planning DVD and discover all the wonders of a Disney Cruise-including a preview of our new ship, Disney Dream™. Order it now!
Order it now!

Squeeze More Everything into your Carnival Vacation
Bring the whole gang on any Carnival Cruise and get ready for some serious fun. Because almost everything is included, like comfy accommodations, jaw-dropping destinations, delicious dining options, live entertainment, and so much more.
Book Your Carnival Function

New 2011 Penthouse Sale on Crystal Cruises
Enjoy up to $3,000 off Penthouse and Verandah staterooms from Crystal Cruises, voted World’s Best. Call 1-866-204-7920 to book by December 31, 2010.
Crystal Cruises
1-866-204-7920

Norwegian Cruise Line's 7-day Bahamas from $599.
from $699.

Visit ncl.com or call your travel professional to book your cruise today.
Book Now at NCL.com

Allure of the Seas CruiseMates Cruise from $779
We have the best prices on Allure we have seen yet: Central Park view from $949. $100 shipboard credit. Join our group cruise.
Cruisemates Cruises
Allure of the Seas

CRUISE NEWS


WHERE THE BARGAINS ARE

  • 50% OFF
    NCL Decade of Freestyle Cruising Sales Event!
  • $100 credit
    Celebrity Cruises Fleet Wide Onboard Credit Sale!!!! Book ANY Celebrity cruise by 10/12/10 and receive up to $150 in onboard credit per stateroom + FREE TRAVEL INSURANCE!! Call or visit our website for details!
  • balcony $1195
    Ruby Princess 18-night Trans-Ocean (Trans-Atlantic Westbound) from Venice.

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:

kiplingers

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

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


 
10.21.2010
Another incentive to book a cruise?
The "cancel for any reason" policy.

Cruise Cancellation Policies
Carnival Cruise Line's new "Cruise Vacation Protection Plan" now includes "cancel for any reason." The new protection plan allows cruisers to cancel their cruise for any reason and receive a future cruise credit equal to
75-percent of the cruise cancellation charges, provided they notify Carnival prior to the ship's departure.

The same protection plan will give a 100% refund to people forced to cancel due to covered reasons. The new plan will apply for all cruises departing January 1, 2011 or later, and the price of the plan remains the same beginning at $49 per person but will go higher depending on the length and cost of the cruise.

Carnival Cruisers sailing in 2011 or later who have already purchased the plan will be given this "cancel for any reason" benefit automatically at no additional cost. Those who have already paid deposits but have not yet made their final payments can still purchase the plan up to their cruise's final payment due date.


Norwegian Cruise Line's 7-day Europe from $799. Visit ncl.com or call your travel professional to book your cruise today.
Book now at ncl.com

For the record, these are the same "cancel for any reason" terms (roughly, a 75% cancellation-fee credit for a future cruise) that are already offered by Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and NCL.

Holland America started offering its own "cancel for any reason" policy five weeks ago. Holland America's policy allows cruisers to cancel for any reason and receive back 80% of the fare, but there is a significant difference. It is paid as a refund rather than a future cruise credit. You get an 80% refund with the line's standard plan or 90% of the fare paid with the premium plan.


New 2011 Penthouse Sale on Crystal Cruises
Enjoy up to $3,000 off Penthouse and Verandah staterooms from Crystal Cruises, voted World’s Best. Call 1-866-204-7920 to book by December 31, 2010.
CRYSTAL CRUISES 1-866-204-7920

Princess Cruises has the same future cruise credit offer as Carnival, but the line also offers a more expensive "Princess Platinum Vacation Protection Plan" where cruisers can get 100% of their cancellation fee as a future cruise credit up until the time of departure.

Despite the differences noted above, most of these cruise line protection plans have things in common. The cancellations are administered by BerkelyCare, an independent, provider of travel insurance, the cost of vacation protection goes higher depending on the length and cost of the cruise and guests must purchase the plans no later than their cruise's final payment due date to be eligible for the "cancel for any reason" benefit.


Squeeze More Everything into your Vacation
Bring the whole gang on any Carnival Cruise and get ready for some serious fun. Because almost everything is included, like comfy accommodations, jaw-dropping destinations, delicious dining options, live entertainment, and so much more.
Book your Carnival Function

This final payment due date, generally 60 to 90 days before the cruise sails, has a lot of significance where refunds are concerned. You can cancel before this date and get a full refund, or just lose your deposit, but after this date you will pay a cancellation penalty that varies from 50% up to 100% of the cost of the cruise, depending on the proximity of the sail date.

Always make sure that you shop and purchase your travel insurance early in the booking process, especially if your main concern is a pre-existing medical condition. Most travel insurance policies require full payment at the same time you make your full vacation payment.


Disney Cruises - Order a FREE Vacation Planning DVD
Discover all the wonders of a Disney Cruise - including a preview of our new ship, Disney DreamTM.
Order it now!

Another place to purchase "cancel for any reason" cruise insurance is through third party providers such as "Travel Safe." Third party policies generally cost more, but they also offer refunds rather than cruise credits. Third party insurance should also cover bankruptcy by the travel provider. Simply put; if you buy cruise insurance from a cruise line that goes bankrupt, you are not going to get a refund from them. People considering cruises on specialty cruise line that do not sail from United States ports should always seek third-party cruise insurance. Credit card companies will sometimes reimburse people in the case of default by the travel service provider.

There is a lot to be said for a refund rather than a cruise credit. The cruise credit is better than nothing, but little help if you lost your job or just cannot travel any more. It is important to check each policy carefully for differences in protection. There are third party travel insurance brokers who offer policies from a variety of sources. There is no one "best" insurance provider in every case because vacations vary in detail.


Avalon Waterways - Up to $1,000 off per couple on Avalon Cruises
Sail on the newest ships on the European waterways. Avalon’s impressive fleet is just two years in age – compared to an industry average of seven years.
BOOK NOW
Avalon Waterways 866.397.6594

To discuss Arthur Frommer's Article, go here: Summer Caribbean Cruises - Arthur Frommer.

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new feature articles

Cape Liberty: Cruise Gateway to Manhattan
Here are some tips for extending your cruise vacation with a visit to New York City -- at New Jersey prices. blue arrows

Is Traditional Cruising Gone Forever?
There are still a few cruise lines offering the authentic “at sea” experience: assigned dining times, afternoon tea and mandatory dress codes. blue arrows

Defining Cruise 2.0
The definition of Cruise 2.0 means balcony cabins, open-seating dining, broadway caliber entertainment, multiple dining venues at added costs and a Web component to every cruise. blue arrows

The Last of the New Ships
The ships arriving now through 2011 represent the last of this new generation of ships which started arriving in 2009. blue arrows

Queen Elizabeth II Names Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II officially names her third ship, her namesake Queen Elizabeth in Southampton, England, on October 11, 2010. The weather was beautiful and the performance went perfectly - the Cunard way. blue arrows

Polar Opposites - Arctic and Antarctic
While you can cruise to both Polar Regions, they are vastly different experiences. We'll examine the similarities and the differences. blue arrows

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NEW CRUISEMATES CRUISES!

Chef Matt Sigel's Cruise with CruiseMates
Join Chef Matt Sigel's on Norwegian Epic, Halloween Cruise, Oct 30, 2010 Travel from Miami to Costa Maya, Roatan Honduras and Cozumel - 7-days

Let's Get Lei'd 5.0
We're doing yet again - for the fifth time (because these cruises do so well) - We are going to Hawaii on a Princess ship, this time the mega-Sapphire Princess. We sail from Los Angeles and return to the same. Eight days at sea and five beautiful ports of call - four of them in Hawaii, plus Ensenada. February 26, 2011.

Allure of the Seas
Join your CruiseMates on the newest world's biggest cruise ship on October 2nd, 2011, on the sister ship to Oasis of the Seas slated to debut in early December of 2010. We have great prices and plenty of onboard fun in store for you!