CruiseMate Newsletter
NCL's Freestyle Cruising to the Caribbean
Do you want the 5-, 7-, 9- or 14-day tan? NCL has many choices to the Caribbean and Bahamas. Call your travel professional. Book now.

It may be cooling off in the States, but Australia is heating up for summer and a Royal Caribbean cruise can take you Down Under from as little as $699 per person.


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


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.


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

Other HOT Deals...
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    6-Night Independence of the Seas: Fort Lauderdale to Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.
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    Norwegian Star to Mexico: Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta. 2 FREE onboard coupon books.

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 both want more of YOUR cruise reviews. So, please send them to us: Euro Watch: 1 Euro = $1.28 Dollar.
A lower dollar means better better value in 2009 European cruises.


The Future of Travel
Many cruisers are frequent travelers. Cruise ships go all over the world, not just to the Caribbean. I wrote a newsletter a month ago about which Presidential team has a solid record of supporting the cruise industry, and what the other side has done in relation to cruising. I won't repeat it because frankly, people have gotten a bit more tense about this election since then. This is definitely the political season, so it is very difficult to write anything without politics entering into it somehow.

But here is something I want to say; the terrorist event of 9/11 was very much a "travel-related" crisis. The attack involved jets leaving from major U.S. gateway airports that many cruisers use. The attacks happened in September, a month when there are still plenty of Americans traveling overseas.

So, this brings me to my concern. I have started a Euro-watch on these newsletters and today the Euro dropped to another record low, and the biggest drop in a single day in years. The Euro is now down to $1.28. If this continues, and many economists believe it will, we should have a very robust summer cruising season for Americans in Europe. It is predicted that the U.S. should be emerging from our recession by then, but it will just be gaining steam in Europe.

It may be cooling off in the States, but Australia is heating up for summer and a Royal Caribbean cruise can take you Down Under from as little as
$699 per person.

Royal Caribbean: 1-800-Royal Caribbean

Last summer, 2008, many European cruises will filled with European nationals taking advantage of the strong Euro based on their strong local economy. This year, cruises will be more expensive to them and they will have less money to spend. This means the cruise lines will probably be giving Americans plenty of incentives to travel to Europe this summer, and we should! Fuel is currently cheaper than it has been in years, and the Euro/Dollar exchange rate will be more favorable to us, and the economy will be slow in Europe making most things cheaper.

Naturally, this is all speculation, but I predict many of us will be traveling next summer, and this is where my concern comes to play. I do not know right now who will be elected President, but Barack Obama is leading in the polls and his running mate, Joe Biden, just gave out a stern warning that our enemies will somehow be "testing" our new President sometime in the next six months. This could apply equally to McCain, we do not know.

Either way, the indications are that we need to watch our tails overseas right now. Biden's warning came just after a security briefing he attended with our military intelligence, and yesterday morning former secretary of state Madeline Albright confirmed that she believes it is possible that something could happen in the next six months.

I am not saying this to scare anyone away from cruising or traveling overseas. Just the opposite. I am encouraging you to go overseas and act as our ambassadors to the world. Let them see your pretty, smiling faces and spread that true American goodwill throughout the world. If this recession is going to get as bad as some people believe, the world is going to need American visitors.

But while you are overseas, I highly encourage you to remain vigilant. Keep your ears and eyes open, and look for anything that seems strange to you. When the 9/11 tragedy occurred there were a few weeks when people wondered if travel would ever come back to the level of popularity it had prior to the attack. History shows that it not only came back, it exceeded that level. We don't want that to change; fear didn't stop us from traveling then and it shouldn't now. But we do need to remain vigilant because truthfully, these are uncertain times.

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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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Read about CruiseMates

"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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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.