cruisemates newsletter


Oasis of the Seas Updates
Royal Caribbean had news last night for cruise fans everywhere. If you don't know already, Oasis of the Seas, set to debut in December 2009, is the next world's largest cruise ship. At 220,000 gross tons and 5400 berths, the ship is 30% larger, both in size and passenger capacity than anything that exists today.

Rendering: The stern end of Oasis of the Seas, Copyright © 2008 Royal Caribbean Intl.
The current world's largest cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas (also Royal Caribbean) is also about 30% larger than any cruise ship from anY other cruise line. So, Oasis of the Seas is twice the size of any other cruise ship from any cruise line (ie: Carnival or Princess) currently sailng anywhere in the world.

The latest unveilings for features upon Oasis were made by the cruise line last night. One of the big announcements is that bookings are already open for past passengers of Royal Caribbean. Bookings open for the general public on September 3rd.

Take an unforgettable cruise to the Mexican Riviera on the Mariner of the Seas. 7-night cruises departing L.A. for Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta start at just $549.
Royal Caribbean: 1-800-Royal Caribbean

Other announcements include two new "neighborhoods," the pool deck and the Spa. Little was actually said about the Spa, but the pool area looks amazing with something for everyone. There is a comprehensive water park for the children, and an adults-only solarium with cantilevered hot tubs and a swim-against-the-current pool. There will be two Flo-riders (not the rumored three) but they will be the largest ever built. There are two regular swimming pools with an adjacent restaurant and bar called the "Wipe-Out Restaurant" and "Wipe-Out Bar."

The children's water park is centered around a huge octopus-like structure with slides, water jets and wading pools, a minature golf courses and something like a "beach-pool" which looks like a small wave pool - not suitable for surfing, but where the water-level inclines gradually.

The adults-only Solarium is two-decks tall and completely enclosed within glass walls for a greenhouse effect in any kind of weather. It is at the far forward portion of the Pool-Deck with commanding views over the bridge. It also includes a Solarium Restaurant with healthy-choice entrees available for lunch and dinner. The Solarium will have live plants and temperature control.

The two all-ages pool areas (port and starboard) are behind the Solarium. There are hot tubs as well as large pools. Deck loungers surround the pools in tiered levels. The Wipe Out Restaurant and Bar are in this are as well. The sports areas include basketball courts on the top decks and a nine-hole miniature golf course on the Central Park level of the ship.

The zip line is suspended nine-decks high from a crossover above the AquaTheater. The rock-climbing walls begin on the deck adjacent to the Boardwalk and climb six decks all the way to the Pool Deck.

The Spa is two decks tall (decks five and six) with its fitness center, boxing ring and a health-conscious restaurant.

Other items revealed: Though it wasn't discussed, details about the main dining room were revealed. It will be four decks tall and will have two seating times. Some of the two-deck Loft Suites are located high up adjacent to the Viking Crowne Lounge on decks 17 and 18. We do not see a main theater in the deck-plans, and president Adam Goldstein did say that the AquaTheater will be a spectacular nighttime entertainment spot. The main theater would have to be huge and almost impossible to hide on the deck plans, so there does not appear to be one. Is this such a surprise? Not really, it appears to be the trend of the future.

One thing Oasis will not have is indoor balcony cabins as CruiseMates thought we had detected in the early renderings.

gray hr

new feature articles

Cabin Categories: Which are Most Popular and Why
Cruisemates readers have different reasons for selecting one type of stateroom over another, and it isn't always related solely to price. blue arrows

A Refresher Course for First Time Cruisers
CruiseMates' Cruise Director Kuki revisits his advice on what to expect and how to prepare if you've never sailed before. blue arrows

Cape Liberty: Cruise Gateway to Manhattan
Here are some tips for extending your cruise vacation with a visit to New York City -- at New Jersey prices. blue arrows

How to Complain to a Cruise Line and Get Results
A poll of our readers finds surprises in the most effective ways to get satisfaction for problems -- including financial compensation. blue arrows

gray hr
Reader Contributed Cruise Reviews!
We have thousands of cruise reviews written by people like you. This week's review:
Carnival Cruise Lines: Imagination
by Jbfree: Overall I really enjoyed my cruise. I would definitely cruise again but next time would probably look for something with less children and teens.

- - We also wants articles by aspiring travel writers. Get More information.
gray hr

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"

blue arrows

Get a 3-level stateroom upgrade and up to $400 to spend on board
Call your travel professional, dial 1.866.234.0292, or visit

Take an unforgettable cruise to the Mexican Riviera on the Mariner of the Seas. 7-night cruises departing L.A. for Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta start at just $549.


Last Minute Deals Looking for a deal? Check America's Vacation Center's last-minute cruise offers! Click for Details!
    Other HOT Deals...
  • From $400 pp
    Don't miss Oceania's 2009-10 Priority Registration. Get special prices and $400 Shipboard Credit.
  • From $875
    Emerald Princess 10 Night Southern Caribbean from $875. Group number TT1E831.
  • From $219
    Carnival Cruises Special Holiday Sale! Two Cat Upgrade! Free Insurance or Prepaid Gratuities!



Check Our New CruiseMates Cruises!

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.


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.


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