CruiseMates newsletter


Who has the Grumpies?
'Tis the season! No, not yet? Oh yes it is. It is the season for the grumpies; the mood that strikes when darkness creeps in just after 4:00 p.m. We are off daylight savings time and the days are getting shorter. In our primordial brains, it feels like the world is ending.

This time of year generates depression in many of us, and a bit of tension in our daily lives is not unusual, especially as we interact with other people. This year things might even be worse; real estate values are down, the holidays are approaching, gas prices are way up and we are approaching a major election year.

All of these things individually cause tension, but put them together and as we try to keep a sunny disposition on the outside, on the inside we are struggling just to cope.

So, how do you deal with your grumpies? My favorite cure is light therapy, like a cruise to the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera, of course.

This year, I urge you to book your post-holiday cruise right away. Why? Because gas prices are rising so you know you don't want to take a road trip. Plus, having a cruise booked gives you something to really look forward to, a sure-fire way to get rid of the winter blahs.

And if it seems too pricey to think of a cruise now with the holidays coming up then try this on for size; You propose to your spouse/family that you make it a simpler Christmas because you want to save money. Then you give them the cruise as a Christmas gift and say "this is why I wanted to save money!"

In any case, if ever there was a year when I think I will be needing a winter getaway cruise, it is this one. I'm feeling the winter blues already.

Royal Caribbean Bargains
Once again, if you missed them last week, I URGE you to look at the
Royal Caribbean bargains we have just for you in this newsletter. Take a look...

Enjoy a Week in the Caribbean
Cruise for 7 nights, starting at only $659.

Be Good to Your Travel Agent

If you have a favorite travel agent, be good to them this year. Things are getting tougher for them. Some cruise lines just announced they are cutting commissions on the air portion of cruise sales. Another cruise line just announced they will be adding a fuel surcharge to cruise fares of $5/day. Yes, that's tough on all of us, but the travel agent still has to sell the cruises at a higher price now, and won't get any commission on the fuel surcharge portion. Also, some cruise lines are cracking down on agents who try to rebate (to save you money) threatening to cut their commissions if they get caught.

Fuel Surcharges Coming

If your travel agent contacts you to say he/she needs to collect additonal money from you for a fuel surcharge on a cruise you have already paid for, that is NOT a scam. Carnival and all their brands have implemented a fuel surcharge on all cruises leaving on Feb. 1st or later. Even if you have already paid for your cruise you will probably be contacted to pay this additional surcharge.

The surcharge is $5/day for the first and second passengers in any stateroom. That's just another non-palatable new task travel agents have to deal with now. It isn't their fault. The cruise lines this applies to are Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and The Yachts of Seabourn.

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Enjoy a Week in the Caribbean
Cruise for 7 nights, starting at only $659.
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new feature articles

Holland America Galley Tour
A galley tour on Holland America's Westerdam shows how meals for 1,800 are conceived, cooked and served. blue arrows

Kid-Smart Safety at Sea
Here's what you should know about how safe your kids really are at sea. blue arrows

Delta Queen Fights Back!
As Delta Queen is about to lose its Congressional exemption the daughter of the man who saved her in 1970 takes up the fight to save her again. blue arrows

Carnival Freedom hits Miami
Our weekly newsletter of cruise bargains and cruise news updates. 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:
Silver Shadow By Ernie Roller: The room service alone is reason enough to sail on Silversea!
- - We also wants articles by aspiring travel writers. Get More information.
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read about cruisemate

"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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Avalon Waterways
Set Sail with Avalon Waterways & Save!
Book an air-inclusive Europe River Cruise by November 30, 2007 and
Save $300 per Couple.

where the bargains are

Short Cruise Specials Looking for a quick getaway? Check's top short cruise offers! Click for Details!

    Other HOT Deals...
  • From $599 pp
    18-night South America Chile to Buenos Aires
  • From $479
    Holland America Eurodam's New York debut! 3 nt cruise on a brand new ship.
  • From $880
    Celebrity Solstice CruiseMates Cruise
    Brand new Ship!

Avalon Waterways
Set Sail with Avalon Waterways & Save!
Book an air-inclusive Europe River Cruise by November 30, 2007 and
Save $300 per Couple.

Short Cruises From $249! offers shorter cruise itineraries for those passengers looking to "get away" from it all. Short on vacation time? This option is perfect for you!

cruise news

new cruisemate's cruises

Check Our New CruiseMates Cruises!

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!

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

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.


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.