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Old March 9th, 2017, 09:22 AM
Aerogirl Aerogirl is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,020
Default You're CruiseMates Story

Might as well have a little fun while we can.

It was late 2008 and we had just booked a cruise on Carnival Inspiration for Nov of 2009 out of Tampa, it had been eight years since my last cruise.

I decided to google the ship and clicked on the CM link and found its message board. Here to greet me was Trip, Beenie Weenie, Ray & Dave the Wave....these were the CM's I first has contact with. I remember enjoying Ray & Helen's "guess where we are " photots.

I quickly feel into the CM Family and became a daily poster. Over the years I've gotten cruise advice , recipes, and support when I was troubled. I've seen grandchildren born and grow , children leave the nest, spouses pass away and the loss of too many CruiseMates as well as their loved ones.

I've had the pleasure of cruising with Ray twice , Lisa, and have an upcoming cruise with Moiraine, Ray and hopefully a few others.

I know years from now I will think back at this place and all the happy memories made and shared and it will put a smile on my face, I hope you think of me and smile too.

I wish nothing but happiness for all our CM and their loved ones.

Take care my friend ❤
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Old March 9th, 2017, 08:40 PM
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rollerdonna rollerdonna is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Caribou River, Nova Scotia
Posts: 17,740

My CruiseMates story begins when I first got a computer, I think it was around 2001. I had one cruise under my belt and it had been over 5 years since. James and I got married in 2001 and booked a honeymoon cruise, so I started researching cruise questions, and found CruiseMates.
I remember being warmly welcomed by Trip, Mike M, Ray, Kuki, Donna Nye, Beenie Weenie, and probably many more I've forgotten. I have to thank Mike M. for his computer expertise, I had no idea what I was doing and he taught me everything I know now.
At New Years 2006/07 I was fortunate to go on a CM cruise and met so many of you, and that cruise will always be a happy memory for me. Since then I have sailed with Paul B.[(writer of great cruise poems) and the late Phyllbo. I have even made a trip to Halifax to meet Ray off of one of his many cruises, and we had a nice visit! Oh! and on a trip to California for a family funeral, I even met up with Cruising K&J, Keith and Judy! So many highlights!
I will always remember the love and support from my CM family during my mom's illness and passing. You all meant so much to me at the time, and always will. I hope we never lose touch. Thank you CruiseMates!

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Old March 9th, 2017, 09:05 PM
Manuel Manuel is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Palm Coast, Florida
Posts: 24,559

A CruiseMates story that I like happened on the Oasis of the Seas. In 2010 we were cruising on the Oasis and ' ready2togonow' was on that cruise as well. She found out from my postings that I was going to be on the same as ship as she and her husband were on. She did not know what I looked like nor my full name and I did not even know that she was aboard on that cruise, besides not knowing what she looked like.

In a ship that size, what are the chances of us meeting?

I attended a get together for Veterans and some Gentleman asked if there was anybody who posted on CruiseMates. When I told him that I did he called his wife on some electronic device and She came over. She and her husband turned out to be a friendly couple and it was a pleasure to have met them on that cruise.

I do have other interesting stories and plenty of fun memories aboard cruise ships.

Century 4/1998
Mercury 4/2000+4/2006+7/2007
Sensation 4/2002
Infinity 4/2003
Summit 4/2004+4/2005
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Solstice 4/2009
Oasis 4/2010+4/13/2013
Allure 1/16/ 2011
Equinox 4/11/2011+4/4/2016
Independence 12/29/13
Vision OTS 2-14-2015
Freedom OTS 3/6/16
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Old March 9th, 2017, 10:34 PM
Mike M's Avatar
Mike M Mike M is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: You're Looking At Me
Posts: 24,366

I came to Cruisemates in 2000. I started researching our first cruise that was in February of 2000 on another board and I was attacked for asking the old, but simple question: "Can you bring your own alcohol onboard". I was called a drunk, cheapskate and rule breaker. No one really just answered the question.

It was at that time I found Cruisemates. I asked the same question and got a direct answer. I knew I had found a place to truly learn about cruising. I asked and answered questions for about a year when I was asked to join the staff. I was still working at that time and they knew I had IT experience and needed a West Coast Chat Host.

I think my profile still reads that I have fifteen cruises under my belt. Boy is that old. It's now around 46 or 47.

I have met so many wonderful people online, face to face and on Cruisemates cruises. I have sailed or hosted about eight Cruisemates cruises and I have greatly enjoyed every one of them. Sadly, the cruise lines changed their pricing policies for groups and not as many people booked. They wanted the low price and not the additional goodies and camaraderie. They also wanted the ships to leave from their front door.

I will reveal a truth about the Cruisemates cruises. The host did get a free cabin but that's it. We paid for our travel, hotel, onboard expenses, tours and anything else. Often hosts would pay, out of their own pocket, for goodies like t-shirts, pens, cocktail parties and other things to make the cruise more enjoyable. The free cruise was far from free.

I personally know so many people: Kuki, Paul, Donna, Rollerdonna, Trip, Ray, VTJen, Tweety, Marylou, Keith and Judy and so many more and I enjoy knowing them. Except Kuki. If it wasn't for his lovely wife I don't know if I could handle him. (That is a joke. He is a good guy.)

There are some like Pam Kane (Pamda), Phyllis (Phyllbo) and Todd who are no longer with us. I remember the late night calls with Pam and Todd. Often we would be on the phone for hours talking about everything. Todd and I both are shooters. I was a neophyte compared to him but we would discuss cats, dogs, guns, ballistics and many other things. Some longtimers still post and others have gone their separate ways. I can say that many of these people I truly love and appreciate.

The mid 2000's were the glory days for the site and I wish they'd come back but alas the world and the Internet have changed. As a Community Leader, Moderator and Administrator I have borne the wrath of some people and the appreciation of others. I've stayed up all night working on site issues, helped people with computer problems, received calls at midnight because the site was down or Chat wasn't working, and many, many weeks put in more time on the site than a full time job. I didn't do it for money (The moderators get paid little or nothing. For most of the time I was in the nothing category and early on I was in the little category.) I did it because I loved doing it and being able to provide information, learn new things and have a "hobby" and use my skills to get me through some very rough times, healthwise. It's been a blessing in many ways.

I can truly say that I saw the end coming but I am sad that it is happening. I want to thank Paul and Anne for starting the site and all they've done to keep the site going, and for many years, making it the best cruise information site on the Internet.

I will miss it.

Take care,
Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator

"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me

"Fear is the assassin of dreams." ~Me

Last edited by Mike M; March 10th, 2017 at 01:55 AM.
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Old March 10th, 2017, 08:31 PM
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Moiraine Moiraine is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: on my computer
Posts: 6,099

I came here in 2009 needing advice for my upcoming first cruise in spring of 2010. I made loads of new friends.

So far I've met Manny and his wife and will meet Robin and Ray next year.

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Old March 10th, 2017, 08:48 PM
Lakers Fan Lakers Fan is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 22,576

I can describe my time on Cruisemates as The Good ,the bad but not the Ugly.I am not going to dwell on the bad .
I have met Manny in person as well as a guy named Tom who posted here briefly in 2010.
I have had telephone conversations with Manny ,Todd and a guy who is a retired NYC Detective (I am drawing a blank on his name ,sorry).
I have e-mailed with Manny ,Todd ,"Venice" and currently e-mailing with several other people who are CM regulars.

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Old March 10th, 2017, 09:07 PM
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Fern Fern is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,627

I had to check my Profile to see when I joined CM's! It was March 11, 2004, about the time of our second cruise. Frankly, I can't remember HOW I got here but I'm sure glad I did! All of the moderator's and poster's have been so friendly and helpful! There used to be new posts in almost every category and it was fun to read and, if you could help, answer questions.
I wish I knew what happened to change things? I've looked at many other sites and none were as helpful and friendly.

I'm "guessing" that the site doesn't make enough from the ads (not enough clicks), but who knows how these things work!
I just hope I can keep up with everyone using CruiseTalkCafe (Laura's site) and FB.
Carnival Inspiration2002CarnivalElation&
EmeraldPrincess2017 Island Princess2018
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Old March 11th, 2017, 11:09 AM
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Kuki Kuki is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,500
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Well, I was VERY lucky. My CruiseMates story is a LONG one. I went from going on my first cruise in 1995 to hosting live online chats on Cruise Critic, to becoming Features Editor, and a ship reviewer for CruiseMates in 2000.

I was fortunate to meet and cruise with many of the leaders in the cruise industry on various press trips, and attend the annual Seatrade convention in Miami, as well as attend various ship inauguration ceremonies. I even got to visit shipyards to see ships being built, and once got the privilege of sailing a new ship out of the shipyard.

When I first began writing daily reports live from ships, they had no internet. I put my reports on floppy discs, and took them to the ship's radio room to have them sent in.

I got to create the CM group cruise program, and met and cruised with hundreds of CruisMates readers. I couldn't name them all, buecause I'd likely forget some who are important to me. The most rewarding thing was we had quite a large group who jumped onboard the CM group cruises over and over and over again.

I got to assign CM staffers to host groups, and reward them for their devoted work to the site. Our very first group cruise we had Bob Dickerson, at the the time the President of Carnival, with us, and on that trip I got my picture featured in the USA travel section. That would never happen, unless I had committed a serious crime, and that wouldn't be in the travel section

Our largest CM group cruise had 450 people with us. At the time CruiseMates was getting 25,000 to 30,000 unique visitors to the site every day.

During my tenor at CruiseMates it was sold three times.

If you think of how much our entire world has changed by technology from our beginnings and affect all parts of our lives it's all darn incredible. And substantially is responsible for the coming end of the site.

I owe a substantial debt to Anne and Paul, and all of the folks who read my ramblings over 15 years, and participated in the site, to allow me to "live the dream" rewarding me with the opportunity to travel to many many places, make MANY great friends, and learn that I had to use spell check
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Old March 11th, 2017, 07:41 PM
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rayb rayb is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 3,867
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Default Cruisemates

I used cruise critic them cam immediately to Cruisemates. I have cruised many times as a group. We traveled to Hawaii and back all over to Europe and Transatlantic. I have met and made and kept many friends from cruisemates. I remember all of them and will keep those memories for the rest of my life. and I hope life stays with me for a few more years. I am now 97 and many people I meet say no way. You look like 70s. Well I hope i can see many more of you . Come on the Glory with us next Feb 17. Thatwould be great.

Nuff said. Good nite.


RayBCruising on Canival Paradise July 13, 2017 4 days to Cubal--Cruising on Carnival Vista, 8 days, Jan 27, 2018 From Miami, FL.Cruising on Carnival Liberty 5 days from Port Canaveral Feb 22,2018
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Old March 12th, 2017, 08:50 PM
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CruisinK n J CruisinK n J is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 7,762
Default Your CruiseMates Story

Actually, I found CruiseMates accidentally. In 2004, my DH Keith, fell and had emergency brain surgery because of the fall. It was a nightmare. He had many seizures, all of which I witnessed in the ER and beyond. It took him well over a year to recover. I was scared to death! But I found CM, by chance, and poured out my anguish. So many wonderful people offered sympathy and courage.

Later, much later, I met a lot of these people on a CM cruise on the Century. Eventually, Keith and I also had lunch with Rollerdonna at a beachfront restaurant here in CA. We also had dinner with Mike and Betty in Minneapolis. We met Kuki at a pre-cruise dinner before a Hawaii cruise. That was here in CA. We didn't go on that cruise, but I always thought we should have!

I am so grateful that my original post has turned into daily posts for all these years! I have enjoyed our daily musings. It's like talking with a neighbor over the back yard fence. I wish this site could have gone on and on, and I thank you all.

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