CruiseMates Newsletter
 

Save up to 40% on Alaska CruiseTours 12 days from $999
Experience the Great Land with our cruise and land tour combination itineraries. Explore Alaska's favorite attractions like Denali National Park and travel off the beaten path for a more personal wilderness experience.
View special offers now!

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.

Norwegian Epic CruiseMates Cruise from $599
A Cruisemates group cruise with Chef Matt Sigel of the popular series Hell's Kitchen. Norwegian Epic 10-30-10

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.

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 $829
    MSC Splendida 7-Day Europe Roundtrip Barcelona to Tunisia, Malta, Messina (Sicily), Rome, Genoa and Marseille
  • from $779
    Book an ocean-view stateroom on the Carnival Miracle 8-night Caribbean cruise from NY and receive a FREE upgrade to a balcony stateroom + FREE Travel Insurance! Offer applies to select sailings. Expires 4/25/10.
  • from $659
    8-night Southern Caribbean Carnival Miracle from Ft Lauderdale to Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao; $50 onboard credit.

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:


 
04.15.2010



A Modern Studio Stateroom on Norwegian Epic

An Exclusive Epic View

I am looking forward to the debut of the new NCL flagship, Norwegian Epic, so much that I have booked one of the innovative "Studio Staterooms" on the inaugural passenger cruise crossing the Atlantic from London to New York - just for myself. This first cruise sets sail on June 24th and precedes the two cruises where other reporters are invited to see the ship, not scheduled until she arrives in the United States; set for July 2-4 and July 8 - 10.

You shouldn't have to wait that long to get all the details on this exciting new ship, so while almost everyone else will be seeing Epic in July, CruiseMates readers will get the full story 10 days earlier. I also don't feel a two-night cruise is long enough to see everything this new ship has to offer - especially all of the impressive entertainment options onboard as outlined in our last newsletter.


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.
Offer Details >Book your Carnival function

Starting June 24th I will be uploading articles, dozens of pictures and even video regularly. You will have a chance to see everything about Norwegian Epic as she is on a regular passenger cruise - not the two day circus atmosphere common to many short, introductory cruises.

And there's more; I have booked one of the brand new Studio Staterooms that have tongues wagging throughout the entire cruise industry. While all of the cabins on Norwegian Epic feature innovative, modern décor, these Studio Staterooms are unlike anything ever seen.

The rooms are made to be occupied by just one person, something surprisingly rare in cruise ships. They contain a double bed and full bathroom facilities, but are also each connected to common corridor leading to a private - to the people in these 128 staterooms - but shared living room called the Studio Lounge. Here is a bar with a bartender, snacks, room service available, televisions and more. Since these cabins carry no singles supplement this living arrangement is ideal for single cruisers. They make it easy to meet and socialize with the other single cruisers on the ship -in a way truly never possible before.


Save up to 40% on Alaska CruiseTours 12 days from $999
Experience the Great Land with our cruise and land tour combination itineraries. Explore Alaska's favorite attractions like Denali National Park and travel off the beaten path for a more personal wilderness experience. View special offers now!
Holland America Lines

This is the first cruise ship lounge exclusively available, 24-hours per day, to people staying in staterooms specifically marketed to single cruisers. It is possible some married people will book these cabins - as I am doing, purely in the interest of research - but on most cruises you can be sure the vast majority of these cabins will be booked by singles. Plus, the entire complex of staterooms and lounge are accessible only to the people staying in these cabins via a keyed access-point.

In further Norwegian Epic news - the ship has been chartered by NBC for the showing of the annual Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks show, which has been relocated to the Hudson River from the East River since 2009. Normally the network sets up to broadcast from the Intrepid, a battle cruiser turned maritime museum close to the Manhattan cruise terminal. But this year Norwegian Epic will welcome some 3000 guests of Macy's and NBC to watch the fireworks display from its decks instead. In case you are wondering - the general public is not invited to see the fireworks from the ship - sorry. It is in the hands of Macy's that night. It is a spectacular fireworks show, one of the best in the nation, and will be broadcast live on NBC.


Norwegian Cruise Line's 7-day Alaska from $979.
Visit ncl.com to book your cruise today.
Book now at ncl.com

In other cruise news -the Alaska legislature appears to be close to making changes in the tax laws that have caused so much contention between the state, its tourism industry and the cruise lines. This is actually a more important development than it may appear. If the cruise lines return to Alaska with more ships - and the taxes are reduced - it will make Alaska cruises more affordable for you - not this summer, but possibly next year and definitely by 2012. Keep it in mind.

Summer is getting closer and closer and many cruise ships will soon be moving from the Caribbean to Alaska and European cruising. I am already scheduled for three European voyages this summer which I will report on for you.

The first, sailing May 31st, is a new, specialized cruise line called Voyages to Antiquity. This new enrichment-focused line specializes in small ship cruising with an abundance of onboard lecturers; professors and authors on the antiquity you will be visiting. The ship is the MV Aegean Odyssey, a classic ship that carries just 396 passengers on 11,563 gross tons. We will be sailing from Rome to Sicily, but the ship has excellent cruises scheduled throughout the region for the best of antiquity including the Red Sea to visit Petra and the upper Nile plus visits to Israel, Turkey, North Africa and more.

July 10th I am scheduled to take a Viking Riverboat in Germany. Stay tuned to CruiseMates for more updates on the latest in cruising.

gray hr

new feature articles

Is The Worst Thing About Cruising The Passengers?
At CruiseMates we have a message board titled Cruise Gripes; giving people a place to post and vent blue arrows

Big Ships Have Advantages
Epic will even outpace Oasis in the realm of entertainment productions for the title "most entertaining ship at sea." blue arrows

Cruise Line Loyalty Reward Programs
Every cruise line has a loyalty rewards program; here we rate and review cruise line repeat passenger benefits. blue arrows

Carnival Cruises - Best Food at Sea
Carnival cuisine is surprisingly good, and the best food value in the cruise industry. blue arrows

Park West Sues Fine Art Registry
The $46 million defamation lawsuit over alleged Dali forgeries at cruise ship art auctions continues in Federal Court. See what the controversy is all about. blue arrows

gray hr

Read about CruiseMates

NEW YORK TIMES:
"Many sites that offer reviews are selling cruises, which raises questions about impartiality. An exceptions is CruiseMates."

FORTUNE MAGAZINE:
"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"



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 January 23rd, 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!