CruiseMate Newsletter
 
Avalon Water Ways: Free companion airfare on 2009 Avalon river cruises to Europe.
The Avalon difference begins with the newest fleet. From amazing views, modern amenities and the best on-land programs, Avalon delivers amazing experiences. Plus, now your companion will fly free on any 2009 Europe river cruise. Save Now.

7 NIGHT MEXICO CRUISES FOR FOUR FROM ONLY $1,999
Mariner of the Seas® has so much to offer beyond its incredible 7-day Mexican Riviera itinerary, that you may not want to leave the ship at all. Take your family or go with friends, but hurry and reserve your cruise vacation before this offer ends.

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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.

WHERE THE BARGAINS ARE

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

Other HOT Deals...
  • from $349
    Save up to 82% Off Alaska Cruises & Cruise/Rail Tours. Vacations To Go is offering the best discounts, deals and selection! Our Web site makes it easy to compare and save!
  • Save $500
    Book any Solstice or Equinox 2009 European cruise and receive up to $500 Future Cruise Credit.
  • From $1149
    MSC Poesia roundtrip Bari to Katakolon, Izmir and Istanbul Turkey, Dubrovnik and Croatia.

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: Euro Watch: 1 Euro = $1.32 Dollar.
A stronger dollar means better better value in 2009 European cruises.


 
04.09.2009


Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas

Never a Better Time
to Book a Summer Cruise

I have said it before and will say it again - if you are looking for a once in a lifetime experience - this summer may be your opportunity. The cruise fares in Europe are bargains this year, and adding to the potential - airfare is also predicted to be as much as 33% lower this year. Alaska is also a screaming deal, so don't overlook the opportunities there.

Cruise prices usually go higher in the summer just because it is family vacation time, and this will probably happen in the Caribbean, but this year Europe and Alaska are already on sale. Between the cruise fares, the airfare and a much stronger dollar, this is the year to go to Europe. You already know that because I have been telling you.

To confirm this, just yesterday the travel correspondent for NBC, Peter Greenberg, reported that he expects airfare from the U.S. to Europe to be down as much as 33% this summer. That is an incredible savings. A ticket that cost you $900 last year will be $600 this year. That is $1200 instead of $1800 for two people.

So, we know airfare is a bargain right now, but once that cheap airfare sells out it is gone. So, I repeat, now is the time to be planning your summer cruise.

Here is another reason, by polling our readers and talking to the cruise lines we know there are millions of cruisers out there checking cruise fares each week but not booking. They are watching and waiting, hoping cruise fares could still go lower. The cruise lines have also noticed this pattern, and they aren't caving in. They tell us that they see people waiting until the last minute to book, so they are not lowering prices in a last minute panic. People are still booking, they are just waiting longer to do it.

There is no real incentive in waiting for cruise fares to get cheaper. Chances are they will get more expensive. We have seen prices rising oh so gradually in the last couple of weeks, but they are still bargains.

Here is a spot check of prices; the mid-May 10-night Holland America Noordam sailing roundtrip Rome (Civitavecchia) is now $200 more per person than it was seven weeks ago, from $1699 for a balcony cabin to $1899 now. This is still a steal, but it shows that waiting for a lower price is no guarantee - a gamble at best. Buying early locks in lower rates, gets you a better cabin selection and gives you the opportuity to lock in your lower airfare.

Obviously, many cruisers have been listening to us since ships are starting to sell out in some categories and prices are rising ever so slightly. If things were so tough for the cruise lines that they needed to be discounting, they would be doing it already. They reëvaluate their pricing on a daily basis.


7 NIGHT MEXICO CRUISES FOR FOUR FROM ONLY $1,999
Mariner of the Seas® has so much to offer beyond its incredible 7-day Mexican Riviera itinerary, that you may not want to leave the ship at all. Take your family or go with friends, but hurry and reserve your cruise vacation before this offer ends.
Royal Caribbean: 1-800-Royal Caribbean

For Europeans, or people who may be in Europe this summer, there are a number of short Royal Caribbean cruises at great bargain prices.

I see a four-night Navigator of the Seas sailing from Barcelona to Marseille and Ibiza. This is a fun ship and the cruise starts at just $299 per person; balcony cabins are just $429! A five night cruise on the same ship has a tremendous itinerary; from Barcelona to Cannes France and then to Livorno Italy, the port for Florence and Pisa. This five-day cruise has balcony cabins for just $599.

Vision of the Seas is sailing a four-day repositioning cruise, from London to Amsterdam and ending in Oslo Norway, starting at just $172 per person. From Oslo it offers four-day cruises roundtrip to Amsterdam starting at just $201 per person. What a fun, short getaway at an amazing price.

If you want a longer cruise how about an 11-night cruise on Voyager of the Seas from London throughout the Western Mediterranean? Inside cabins start at just $799 for the May 23 voyage. The May 9 voyage on the same ship is 14-days and starts at $1500 per person.


Avalon Water Ways: Free companion airfare on 2009 Avalon river cruises to Europe.
The Avalon difference begins with the newest fleet. From amazing views, modern amenities and the best on-land programs, Avalon delivers amazing experiences. Plus, now your companion will fly free on any 2009 Europe river cruise. Save Now.
Avalon Water Ways

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new feature articles

Norwegian Epic: "Ships Within a Ship"
Iíve witnessed Salmon swimming upstream during spawning season in Alaska, and watched the bears "fishing" for dinner, swatting at the salmon blue arrows

A Ship Within A Ship Concept VS A Luxury Ship
The latest catch phrase in the cruise industry seems to be "a ship within a ship". The phrase is used to describe more upscale cabin categories... blue arrows

Silversea Presents Culinary Cruises
Silversea presents 11 culinary cruises featuring world-renowned chefs preparing regionally inspired dishes on special itineraries. blue arrows

ShoreTrips -- an Independent Shore Excursion Provider
Now you have other options besides the same old cruise ship shore excursions. 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:
Holland America Line: Noordam
by Elliott Lynch
The staff were so friendly and helpful. The Pinnacle Grill was as nice as any five-star restaurant on land. The entertainment was very good.

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