CruiseMates Newsletter
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

Norwegian Cruise Line's 7-day Epic from $749.
Visit or call your travel professional to book your cruise today.
Book Now at

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



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

Other HOT Deals...
  • from $499
    7-night Caribbean Cruise $499 Seranade of the Seas Roundtrip from San Juan to Aruba, Curacao, Domina, St Thomas.
  • $100 credit
    Allure and Oasis of the Seas $100 onboard credit and Free savings booklet!
  • from $329
    7-night Caribbean Cruise on Norwegian Sun roundtrip Port Canaveral to to Guatamala, Belize, Cozumel and Key West. Balconies from $569

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:


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.

Disney Dream takes your imagination on a cruise.

Seeing the Disney Dream
I just returned from Papenburg, Germany, home of one of the oldest remaining full service shipyards in the world, Meyer-Werft. I was there with a small group of cruise journalists to witness the floatout of the brand new cruise ship, Disney Dream, still under construction but scheduled to enter service on January 26, 2011.

We were given three extensive tours at Meyer-Werft; first to see how ships are made in the shipyard facility, then a tour of the Disney offices with mock-ups of various parts of the ship, and finally we were taken aboard the actual ship for about six hours to see all of the interior details bottom to top, most already in place but protectively covered in plastic and tape.

Most shipyard visits require the use of one's imagination to envision the final product, but on this trip my imagination was enhanced by the "Disney Imagineers" who gave us a thorough preview of Disney Dream's coming attractions. Most of these Imagineers normally work in the Glendale, California, Imagineering laboratory, but they had been living in Papenburg, Germany, (a one-pub town) for over a year now to "project manage" the technology installations on the ship.

Norwegian Cruise Line's 7-day Epic from $749. Visit or call your travel professional to book your cruise today.
Book now at

This was the most thorough shipyard visit I have ever experienced, but now having seen the ship as an adult if I could have just one wish granted by Aladdin's genie I would be eight years old again. I want to experience the ship as a child. But rest assured that Disney Dream will also appeal to adults - and I wouldn't want to miss that either.

The Disney Cruise Line Difference
The main difference between Disney and other cruise lines is that Disney is first and foremost a very successful entertainment company. Disney is financially strong enough that they could have easily built a fleet of ships to rival the other major cruise lines in the last ten years they have been in operation. But Disney Dream is just their third ship.

The reason they have not tried to take over the cruise industry completely is now apparent to me. This was the first time I had met with Disney Cruise Line, solely due to years of schedule conflicts, and I have to say I am really sorry about that now. I find these people very appealing and it has nothing to do with my favorite mouse. It is the way they exude a consistent awareness and dedication to the Disney reputation. They really care about the past, but they care even more about how the things they plan to do in the future will reflect on that past. In other words, a Disney cruise is not just another sea voyage; it is an extension of everything else that is Disney. And the last thing they would ever want to do is tarnish that good reputation.

Walt Disney laid the foundation for his entertainment dynasty by extolling good old-fashioned American values, and the people I just met from the Disney of today keep that original dream alive with a dedication beyond anything I expected. They not only believe that extolling the better virtue in life is a worthy and honorable pastime, they also have a dedication to bringing these values to life with a fine attention to detail.

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

Meet the Disney Dream
With the classic superstructure of a fine ocean liner, Disney Dream pays homage to the era of great liners like the Cunard Queen Mary, inaugurated in 1938. Like the original Queen Mary, Disney Dream is steeped in 1930s Art Deco tradition.

Disney Dream will appeal to Disney enthusiasts first, but it will also appeal to anyone who enjoys quality food, entertainment and comfort. Many Disney Dream passengers may be experiencing cruising for the first time and because of the Disney dedication to tradition they will learn a great deal about passenger vessels they probably did not know before.

Disney Dream has areas that will appeal to adults only, areas designed for parents to have fun with their children and other areas designed just for children (under staff supervision, of course). Within those children's areas there is even greater diversity to appeal to kids of various age groups ranging from 12 weeks to 18 years old.

Overall, the stateroom accommodations are among the best designs I have ever seen, especially for families. The dining options will satisfy the palates of the parents as well keep the children amused throughout the meal despite their searing temptation to return to their favorite playtime activity.

The range of attractions on Disney Dream will have something for everyone. The "AquaDuck" is a 685-foot waterslide that takes raft riders over the edge of the ship (inside an enclosed see-through tube) and through one of the smokestacks. All-age attractions include some of the finest entertainment at sea, including first-run Disney 3-D movies to be released on the ship the very same hour as they debut in movie theaters on land. For adults there will be an exclusive French cuisine restaurant with a menu designed by two-star Michelin chef Arnaud Lallement from l'Assiette Champenoise in Reims, France.

I just returned home last night, so it will be a few days before my articles, along with plenty of pictures, about Disney Dream will be online at CruiseMates. But I wanted to give a short overview. Stay tuned to CruiseMates for more on Disney Dream - pictures, menus and behind the scenes stories coming in the next few days.

Discuss Disney Dream here.

gray hr

new feature articles

Do I Really Want Starbucks To Vacation With Me?
Last week Royal Caribbean (who'd already been doing with business with Starbucks via their Seattle's Best coffee brand) announced that Starbucks would have a presence on... blue arrows

Holland America Remakes it Culinary Image
The idea is to create a special "An Evening at Le Cirque" special night in the exclusive specialty restaurant onboard most Holland America ships, Pinnacle Grill blue arrows

Disney Dream Floutout Video!
We are in Papenburg, Germany, for the floatout ceremony of Disney Dream. See the Floatout Fireworks video here! Lots of pictures. too. blue arrows

Holiday Cruises for Foodies
2010 Holiday Cruise recommendations for food lovers by our Cruise Culinary Editor blue arrows

Disney Cruise Line Celebration
To celebrate Disney Dream Floatout, Disney Cruise Line is offering significant bargain prices on all of its ships for the 2012 season blue arrows

gray hr

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"


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!