P&O's Largest Teen Centre

Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2010 | 0 comments
P&O's Pacific Pearl will sport the cruise line’s largest-ever teen centre, specifically designed for 11 to 17 year olds. Spanning 190sq m, the designer space features floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views over the ship’s wake, along with two giant screens - one for Playstation and one for movies - 21 Playstations, a surround sound system, dance floor and custom made deck furniture.

As part of the Pacific Pearl's multi-million dollar refurbishment it will have two teen clubs, HQ and HQ+, the new centre has been purpose-built for Pacific Pearl and added to its top decks. The centre will be open from 1am, the HQ Club caters for teenagers aged 11-14 years, while the adjacent HQ + is perfect for 15-17 year old.

The Pacific Pearl will offer a total of four kids’ clubs to ensure everyone has a great holiday at sea. Turtle Cove Kids Club for kids aged 3 - 6 years old is located on Deck 11 and adjacent to the family deck, the netted safe play area provides fully supervised fun and games for little guests. There is also the Shark Shack that looks after kids aged 7 - 10 years old. Children under the age of 3 are able to enjoy the kids club facilities provided they are accompanied by a parent

The operating hours of the kids club is from 9am -10:30pm each day (with breaks for lunch and dinner) and is included in the cruise fare. There is an after hours baby sitting service from 10:30 - 1pm for a small fee of AU$5 per child per hour.

Pacific Pearl’s Family Christmas Festival

Posted on Monday, November 15, 2010 | 1 comments
P&O have just announced the the official celebrations for the Pacific Pearls launch in Auckland on the 21st of December 2010.

To mark the occasion there will be a spectacular fire works display over the Waitemata Harbour (if it is half as good as the display put on the mark the first visit to Auckland by the QM2 then we are in for something special) and there will be free performances by Stan Walker and Dane Rumble, a huge ferris wheel and circus and street performances.

As it will be a "family festival" the naming ceremony will begin at 5pm, with the God Mother of the ship to be Barbara Kendell, a triple Olympic medal winning Board Sailer for NZ.

The event will also be an opportunity to sample the fantastic food that is served onboard in the restaurants and cafes and also in Luke Mangan's specialty restaurant Salt Grill.

The Cruises Online team will be going on a two night travel agents "shake down" ( a shake down cruise is where all the ships services are tested before the first cruise) cruise before the ship is launched so we will keep you up to date with photos and stories from the new ship.

I have also been invited to the naming ceremony so keep an eye out for my blog on the 22nd of December where I will give a full rundown on the event, and of course with lots of pictures.

Allure of the Seas arrives in Fort Lauderdale

Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2010 | 0 comments
Royal Caribbean International’s newest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, arrived at her homeport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today. Eagerly awaiting and celebrating the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship’s arrival were hundreds of onlookers as well as a flotilla of maritime escorts made up of fireboats and private watercrafts.



The Oasis-class ships will made history once again when Allure of the Seas is joined by famed sister-ship Oasis of the Seas for a one-of-a-kind visual of the world’s two largest ships together for the first time on Saturday 13 November 2010.

ORION EXPEDITION CRUISES NAMED “BEST RESPONSIBLE CRUISE OPERATOR”

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Orion have been named Best Responsible Cruise Operator at the internationally acclaimed 2010 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards which took place as part of World Travel Market in London on Wednesday 10th November (World Responsible Tourism Day).

Thousands of tourism organisations and travel experiences were nominated by the public in just 13 categories with the central tenet being that all types of tourism – from niche to mainstream – can and should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people. These prestigious awards recognise individuals, companies and organisations in the travel industry that are making a significant commitment to the culture and economies of local communities and are providing a positive contribution to biodiversity conservation.

Commenting on Orion Expedition Cruises, the judges said: “Orion Expedition Cruises is the only cruise company with Earthcheck certification, and shows a real commitment to the communities it visits. By acknowledging that authenticity can only be realised for their guests by working in partnership with communities, they conduct community research ahead of establishing new ports of call - helping protect cultural heritage and environment while offering real benefits to the places they visit. They have influenced suppliers to make positive changes like moving from plastic containers to cardboard and aluminium bottles over plastic. Cruise is a growth area and this small operator is one to watch.”

Commenting on the award, Sarina Bratton, Founder and Managing Director of Orion Expedition Cruises, said: “The destinations visited by Orion are some of the most pristine and sensitive wilderness areas on our planet, with little or no infrastructure to support visits by one hundred people at one time. Understanding this, we have a social responsibility to develop a marine tourism blueprint that is sustainable, one that is at the forefront of eco-sensitivity and a benchmark for internationally recognisable and environmentally sound operating practices. For Orion, sustainability is more than a fashion, a trend or a compelling need. Sustainability is a core component of our company’s originating vision and values. To explore “a path less travelled” requires a gentle step. To work with the challenges and opportunities these environments offer is the starting point of every journey.”


To view cruise deals on MV Orion click here

Alaska: the cruise of a lifetime?

Posted on Monday, November 8, 2010 | 0 comments
Alaska: the cruise of a lifetime?

The hour had arrived.

As the "Golden Princess" pulled away from Seattle bound for Alaska, I wondered would an Alaskan cruise meet my high expectations? After all, I'd heard it dubbed 'the cruise of a lifetime' so many times.

Having experienced cruising in Mexico, the tropical Pacific, and Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park, my expectations were already high. After a brief look around the ship and a fantastic dinner I settled in for the night.

The next day was the first of only two sea days. This was the perfect start to the cruise as it gave me the opportunity to explore further and discover what the ship had to offer. I wasn't disappointed. I quickly found the indoor swimming pool, hot tubs, numerous places to eat and drink, and superb entertainment options. This was seeing Alaska in style and comfort!

On day three of the cruise we had made our way to Juneau, the capital of Alaska, where there was an abundance of tours, including a whale watching tour that guaranteed you would see Humpback Whales or your money back. With so much confidence in their product how could I say no? And considering we saw more whales than I can remember, surfacing right next to our boat, I was happy I didn't need a refund.

The day ended perfectly with a beer at the authentic, but very touristy Red Dog Saloon. The bar had everything, including an American wearing an NZ Warriors hat.

Next stop was Skagway, gateway to the Klondike - a town that embraces its Gold Rush past. Again there were plenty of tours on offer, but I preferred to explore the town streets where all of the buildings have been to faithfully restored. This gave a great insight into the history of this town.

But for me, the highlight of my Alaskan Cruise was the day we spent scenic cruising at Tracey Arm Fiord. With a Park Ranger on board to give expert commentary, and crew out on deck handing out hot drinks, we made our way into the Fiord heading towards Sawyer Glacier. Scattered across the water were large blocks of ice that had carved off Sawyer Glacier - some of these mini icebergs had seals pupping on them. I had been to Milford Sound, but this was much grander in scale! What better way to enjoy the moment than to get into the hot tub on deck and enjoy the view.

The following day we arrived in Ketchikan, regarded as the Salmon Capital of Alaska. In the peak of the salmon season (late June, early July) the salmon run up Ketchikan Creek that cuts through the middle of this small town.

The last port of call was a visit to the city of Victoria, Canada. Known as the “City of Gardens”, Beacon Hill Park was a highlight, but a standout place to visit is the The Empress Hotel. At night it is simply stunning, adorned in thousands of tiny fairy lights.

Reluctantly we made our way back to Seattle left with hundreds of wonderful memories and photographs. I asked myself, had my Alaskan cruise met my expectations? Yes was my answer. A cruise through Alaska is a cruise of a lifetime.

Allure of the Seas

Posted on Thursday, November 4, 2010 | 0 comments




Last Thursday Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship Allure of the Seas departed the STX ship yard in Turku, Finland. She passed Denmark's Storebaelt Bridge with very little clearance to spare, proving a successful start to her 13-day transatlantic journey to her home port in Fort Lauderdale.

Allure is set to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday the 11th of November were she will join her sister ship the Oasis of the Seas. Now the question that the cruise industry is asking, will two ships of this size be able to go out each week close to capacity can be answered.

For many people ships of this size is too big and there are concerns over embarkation and disembarkation on how you can easily move so many people on and off the ship. Personally I look forward to the day I get to experience a ship like this because they are something very special.

To view cruise itineraries on the Allure of the Seas please click here



No more gratuities

Posted on Thursday, October 7, 2010 | 0 comments
Some news I am sure you will all enjoy. P&O Australia have stopped the automatic gratuities (tipping) for all passengers travelling from the 1st October 2010. I would however suggest if you have a cabin steward that goes the extra mile you may want to give them a little something to
say thank you for all their hard work.

Visit three continents in four weeks with Princess Cruises

Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | 0 comments
An exciting cruise itinerary for 2011 would have to be the 28 night cruise on the Ocean Princess departing Rome (Civitavecchia) on the 15th of October 2011. This four week voyage includes stops in Europe, Africa, and Asia before arriving in Singapore on the 12th of November.

The Ocean Princess (formerly the Tahitian Princess) is the sister ship to the Royal and Pacific Princess is intimate in size with a capacity of less than 700 passengers. The Pacific Princess is a personal favourite of mine as there is so much space onboard to relax, deck chairs are plentiful and queues that you associate with larger ships are not present.

This 28 night voyage include calls at Sorrento, Italy; Athens; and Kusadasi, Turkey (for the ruins of Ephesus) before transiting the Suez Canal and continuing on to Sharm El Sheik, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan (for the ruins of Petra); Safaga, Egypt (gateway to the Egyptian ruins of Luxor and Karnak); Dubai; Muscat, Oman; Mumbai, India; Cochin, India; and Kuala Lumpur.

To view a full range of Ocean Princess departures please visit cruisesalefinder.com.au

Pacific Pearl

Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 | 0 comments
Last night I attending an announcement regarding the Pacific Pearl and her launch in December 2010. The ship will have some fantastic features never offered before by a P&O cruise ship. The Pacific Pearl will launch in Auckland New Zealand on the 22nd of December which is the first time a ship has ever been launch in NZ. After a summer season cruising out of Auckland the ship will move to Sydney. The god mother of the ship hasn't been named but a good guess could be Julie Bailey.

One of the fantastic new features is a LED 7 metre outdoor big screen like they have on some Princess ships. The screen will play movies, games, and even karaoke under the stars!

The Pacific Pearl will have a "Dome" area at the top of the ship, similar to the Pacific Dawn, however it will be very different to the Dawn as it will double as a lounge/viewing area by day and in the evening it will be an entertainment area that then turns into a night club late in the evening. The viewing during the day from this area is said to be spectacular as the windows are on a 90 degree angle unlike the Pacific Dawn's windows that are on a 45 degree angle.

The Pacific Pearl's other first is a swim up bar, which I suspect will be very popular, and very difficult to get a seat at.

Early bookings for the Pearl have exceed all expectations with many of the early sailings ex Auckland starting to fill up. Personally I think the Pacific Pearl will be another step in the right direction by P&O and will again lift the standard of local cruising to another level.

To view some of the sailings on the Pacific Pearl visit www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Celebrity Century coming Spring 2011!

Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | 0 comments
In Nov 2011, the stunning Celebrity Century will make her debut in Australasian waters, becoming the region’s highest rated cruise ship*. Celebrity Century will sail a range of 12 – 18 night cruises from Honolulu, Auckland, Sydney and Fremantle. Itineraries will be released in the coming weeks and due to go on sale on Fri 30 Jul with an exclusive early booking offer.
*Berlitz Guide to Cruising 2010

Onboard Credit

Posted on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | 1 comments
What is onboard credit? And why do some cruises receive it and others do not?

If you look on on websites you will notice that many cruises have a bonus internet offer of onboard credit. This means that when you board the ship your onboard account is automatically credited for the amount shown on the website. It can be used to pay for any onboard expenditure including shore excursions, duty free shopping, or fixing up your bar account. The credit is there to be spent and any onboard credit not used is non refundable. It is also important to note that no vouchers are issued by the cruise line for onboard credit, instead it is just applied to your account.

So why do some cruises have it and others don't? The cruise lines allow us select cruises that we want the onboard credit on and we are limited in the number we can select. However because we are a cruise specialist and big sellers this is acknowledged by the cruise lines and they allow us to select more cruises than your regular retail travel agency.

Also look our for our "cruise sale weeks". We can have a maximum of six cruise sale weeks a year and during a cruise sale week all P&O and Sun and Dawn Princess cruises 7 nights or more receive onboard credit of up to $100. If the cruise already receives onboard credit then this is additional to that making for fantastic value.

High demand for QM2 Circumnavigation Cruise

Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | 0 comments
Congratulations to those of you who were lucky enough to secure a cabin on one of the three QM2 Circumnavigation Cruises that went on sale yesterday. Within an hour most cabin categories had sold out on this historic voyage and by the end of the day the Fremantle and Adelaide departures were completely sold out. To give you an idea of the demand for this cruise when our office called Cunard at 5 minutes to 9am ( it went on sale at 9am) we were on hold for 30 minutes before our call was answered.

It will be interesting to see in the next few days how many of the cabins held will become deposited reservations, however I am sure they will get snapped up as soon as they are released and the cruise goes on sale to the general public.

One thing that is for certain Cunard will repeat this cruise again in the future. There aren't many cruises that can sell out 18 months in advance!

Guarantee Cabins

Posted on Thursday, July 8, 2010 | 0 comments
What does means when a cabin is on guarantee status? A question we are often asked as the cruise lines seem to be offering guarantee cabins more and more these days.

When a cabin is on guarantee it means no cabin number can be selected at the time of booking and the cruise line guarantees you the cabin category booked or higher. There is a strong possibility of an upgrade, however where they place you is at the cruise lines discretion and changing a cabin number after it has been allocated is hard to do.

So why are so many cabins going on guarantee status? The cruise lines do this when they need to fill a cruise and they will over sell a lead-in cabin grade (lead-in means cheapest price) and upgrade people into higher cabin categories. It also happens when there are only a few cabins left in a cabin category so an upgrade is not guaranteed.

If you do book a cabin on guarantee you must be prepared to take a cabin located anywhere onboard the ship, so a guarantee cabin is not advisable if you are traveling in a group or if you have a specific preference to where you are located. If these factors are not important to you then you can quite often get a very good deal.

Princess Australia 2011-12 Program Released

Posted on Monday, June 21, 2010 | 1 comments
Princess Cruises have just released their largest ever Australian cruise program with 48 cruise departures in total. The big increase this has been on cruises to New Zealand with a total of 27 departures on offer. To support the increased number of departures to NZ Princess Cruises have enhanced their onboard experience by adding the following:

o Special food menus to include the famous NZ egg and bacon pie for breakfast.
o Fjord Balcony Dining Breakfast as you sail through Milford Sound
o Inclusion of New Zealand beers, Stein Lager and Rheineck.
o Port Lecturer destination experts will be on board each vessel to deliver illustrated
port lectures for each port visited with tourist recommendations, traveller tips and
historical overview.
o Naturalist during day of scenic cruising in Fjordland National Park, a certified park
ranger will provide bridge narration (similar to Alaska) for each vessel.
o In-Port Cultural Practitioners in select NZ ports Maori cultural practitioners will
present 45 minute afternoon enrichment workshops demonstrating an aspect of
their culture and heritage. Maori masters with skills in explaining their respective
disciplines will include: Kapa Haka dance traditions, tiki warrior rituals, Waiata chants, Maori word lessons.

However the big reason for the increase to the cruise program has been the arrival of the Sea Princess, who will offer 12 different cruise departures between October 2011 and March 2011 during her maiden Australian cruise season. A highlight to the cruise program for the Sea Princess will be the very popular 42 night Cherry Blossom cruise departing on the 4th of march 2012.

The Sun Princess will call Brisbane home for the summer which is the first time a Princess ship has called Brisbane home. A stand out itinerary from Brisbane will be the 42 night China and Japan Cruise in September 2011. The Dawn Princess will return to Melbourne for the Summer operating 13 night cruises to New Zealand.

Another big announcement that Princess Cruises made was the removal of tipping from all Sun, Dawn and Sea Princess Australian cruises from May 2011 which I am sure we will all enjoy!!!

To view a these new departures visit CruiseSaleFinder

Cruise Sale Week

Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2010 | 0 comments
Starting Sunday the 20th of June Cruise Sale Finder will be having one of their exclusive one week cruise sales. During this week all P&O Australia Cruises 7 nights or more receive $50pp onboard credit (maximum of $100). If the cruise already receives onboard credit then this is additional to that! The cruise sale also applies to Sun and Dawn Princess departures and they also receive the bonus onboard credit.

During cruise sale weeks deposits on cruises are also reduced. This is particularly good value if you are looking at booking a longer Princess Cruise that normally requires a large deposit. For example the 2011 World Cruise on the Dawn Princess normally requires a deposit of $4,100 per person however during the cruise sale week the deposit is only $2,100 per person.

Carnival Australia allows their agents to run six cruise sale weeks in a calendar year and they really are the best time to book your first or your next cruise holiday.

Cruises 360

Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2010 | 0 comments
I have just returned from Vancouver where I attended the largest cruise conference in North America, Cruise 360. The event was attended by 1,400 travel agents 22 of which were from Australia. It was very apparent that the cruise industry in the USA had been through a tough 2009, but they had a very positive outlook for 2010 and beyond.

The conference was held at Canada Place which is a stunning cruise terminal in downtown Vancouver. If you ever do an Alaskan cruise from Vancouver I highly recommend spending at least a couple of days pre and post cruise so you can explore this very pretty city.

Canada Place is now accessible by train direct from the airport at a cost of less than $5 Canadian. While is is easy to use, it is a public train system so if are travelling with a lot of luggage then this may not be the bets option for you.

While at the conference I was lucky enough to have lunch and an inspection onboard Royal Caribbeans Radiance of the Seas. This ship is fantastic, with so many features that will appeal to the Australian cruise passenger when it arrives in our waters in October 2011. To see a list of sailings please click here

Queen Mary 2 Circumnavigation

Posted on Monday, May 31, 2010 | 0 comments
Cunard Line has announced that it
will close registrations for Queen Mary 2’s circumnavigation of Australia at 5:00pm (AEST) on Wednesday 16JUN. Only Cunard past passengers and people who have registered their interest online will be able to book on the voyage when sales open at9:00am (AEST) on 13JUL. Sales to the general public will not open until the following day.

Cunard Line said it expected cabins on the February 2012 voyage to be in strong demand.
”Almost 3000 people have already registered their interest, and with most registrations covering two people, that means we have close to 6000 people indicating they want to be part of history on this voyage,” said Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia which represents Cunard Line. Expressions of interest can still be logged at
info@cruisesonlinereservations.com

Cunard Line said that each registered person would be able to book one cabin only on the voyage. Full email and postal addresses must be received for all registrations, which will
be issued with a unique booking number prior to 13JUL. In addition, a 10% deposit will be required within 3 days of making the reservation.

When is the best time to book your next cruise?

Posted on Sunday, May 30, 2010 | 0 comments
A question I am often asked is "when is the best time to book your next cruise holiday" Unfortunately their isn't a simply answer but their are some cruise booking rules you can follow to make sure you get a cruise deal that you are happy with.

Firstly the cruise lines will never let a cruise ship go out with very many empty cabins so they will rather discount these cabins heavily than let them go out empty and hope to make up the revenue through onboard sales. When they do this we will display them on our homepage and send details out in our weekly "deals of the week" newsletter. However it is important to note that these cabins are often sold on what is known as guarantee basis. This means the cruise line will guarantee the cabin category you have reserved or higher. So yes you have secured a good value deal but the position where the cabin is located onboard the ship may not be as good. So if cabin location is important to you I suggest you consider booking much earlier than a few months before departure...

Another occasion where I strongly suggest you book early is if you are traveling with children. Child space onboard a cruise can fill up 9 - 12 months in advance, especially if the date falls into the school holidays. Children's space on cruise ships are restricted as there is limited childrens space onboard the ship, and they are not very good spenders at the bar. Another thing to consider here is that some cruise ships have limited numbers of 4 berth cabins which are ideal for families. The Pacific Jewel in particular as very few 4 berth cabins.

The most important thing is to make sure you have booked your cruise on sale. Cruises are almost always on sale so the most important thing is to book your next cruise holiday at a price that you are happy with. That has got to be the best way to start a holiday!!
Cruise Sale Finder

Princess Cruises – New Early Dining Time Option

Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | 0 comments
Princess Cruises’ have just announced the addition of a third Traditional Dining seating time on most cruises (Sun Princess and Dawn Princess are not affected).

The new seating time is in response to the high demand they’ve received for their Traditional Dining option. The new seating time will be in a separate dining room at either 5:15 pm or 5:30 pm depending on the cruise, from 1 June 2010. The only cruises not offering the third seating will be on our small ships, those sailing in Australia and Sapphire & Diamond Princess. Below is a chart outlining the Traditional Dining seating times for each ship:

For a full range of Princess Cruise departures click here

Royal Caribbean WOW Sale

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Royal Caribbean have just announced that they will be holding one of their famous WOW Sales from the 21st - 25th of May 2010

Cruises 3 - 5 nights receive US$50 onboard credit per cabin plus 50% per person reduced deposit

Cruises 6 - 9 nights receive US$100 onboard credit per cabin plus 50% per person reduced deposit

Cruises 10+ nights receive US$200 onboard credit per cabin plus 50% per person reduced deposit

The offer is valid for new bookings departing after the 1st of September 2010. If you were thinking of making a booking on Royal Caribbean then this is the time to do it!

See Greece from the Comfort of the Splendour of the Seas

Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | 0 comments
Splendour of the SeasSplendour of the Seas is based in the Mediterranean Sea for part of the year, with cruises going from Venice, Italy and stopping at ports along the coast of Greece, including Corfu and Athens.

To book your fare aboard Splendour of the Seas go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Official languages on the Splendour of the Seas include English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese -- this vessel is dedicated to keeping a mix of international travellers happy. Features include a seven-story lobby, rock-climbing wall, and a 12-hole miniature golf course.

Don't forget to book ahead -- to check out the great deals on fares aboard Splendour of the Seas go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Video: Tour of Splendour of the Seas

See the South Caribbean with Serenade of the Seas

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Serenade of the Seas
The Serenade of the Seas sails the Southern Caribbean during the winter and spring and Alaska during the summer. Right now there are great deals on fares for Southern Caribbean cruises, taking in San Juan - and depending on which cruise you pick, stops at Tortola, Philipsburg, Saint John, Castries and Saint Georges.

To book a fare aboard the Serenade of the Seas go to http://www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Powered by two smokeless gas turbines, Serenade of the Seas is a sistership in the Radiance class, which includes Jewel of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas. She has 12 passenger decks and nine passenger elevators, six of which are glass and either look over the Centrum atrium or outside the ship via a glass wall. The ship holds 2,490 guests and 891 crew. There are a total of 1,055 staterooms aboard, 829 of which are ocean view and 589 of those have balconies.

Check out the range of itineraries and great deals on gratuities inclusive fares aboard Serenade of the Seas at http://www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Video: Belly flop contest aboard Serenade of the Seas

Check out the Eastern Caribbean Aboard Liberty of the Seas

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Liberty of the SeasSet sail from Miami, Florida on a seven night/eight day Eastern Caribbean Cruise aboard cruise ship Liberty Of The Seas. You'll visit three ports including Philipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Labadee, Haiti.

To book a cruise aboard Liberty of the Seas go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

The Liberty of the Seas is based in the Eastern Caribbean, with a range of cruise itineraries that include visits to Puerto Rico, Haiti, St. Maarten, Cayman Islands and Mexico. You can even find a cruise that circumnavigates Cuba (although it doesn't stop there).

Here's some information on a couple of the ports that Liberty of the Seas stops at:

Philipsburg, St. Maarten: Features endless stretches of beach, beautiful landscapes and great shopping. After the Spanish closed their colonial fort on St. Maarten in 1648, some Dutch and French soldiers hid on the island and decided to share it. Soon after, the Netherlands and France signed a formal agreement to split St. Maarten in half, as it is today. Philipsburg has a Dutch heritage, evident in its architecture.

San Juan, Puerto Rico: Surrounded by mountains, underground caves, coral reefs, white-sand beaches and a huge rain forest supplying fresh water to most of the island. San Juan has a bustling business district, with resorts and casinos.

A seven night cruise aboard Liberty of the Seas includes all main meals onboard, musical stage shows and entertainment, special guest entertainers, new release movies (in cabin and on big screen), a choice of bars and lounges and fully supervised children's programmes for ages 3 to 17 years.

Check out the great deals on cruises aboard Liberty of the Seas at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Video: Slideshow of a couple's secnd cruise on Liberty of the Seas

The Pool Tables are Great Aboard the Radiance of the Seas!

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Radiance of the SeasIt's a busy year for the Radiance of the Seas cruise ship. Currently cruising the Mexican Riviera, the vessel moves north to the Canadian Pacific coastline at the end of May 2010, sailing between Alaska and the city of Toronto. And from October, she will reposition to the Western Caribbean, departing Tampa Florida and visiting Cozumel (and sometimes Costa Maya) in Mexico.

To book a cruise aboard Radiance of the Seas go to http://www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Radiance of the Seas is Royal Caribbean International's flagship of the Radiance class, which includes Jewel of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas. Registered in Nassau, Bahamas, the vessel is powered by gas-turbine engines:
"This system produces higher efficient speeds than other cruise ships, and emissions to the air are much lower than cruise ships powered by diesel engines." Source: Wikipedia
Radiance of the Seas is also the first cruise ship with pool tables that are kept level by way of a computer-controlled gyroscope, adjusting with the motion of the ship to keep the playing surface level with the horizon.

So rack em up on a Radiance of the Seas cruise -- to get a great deal on fares aboard the Radiance of the Seas check out http://www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Video: Radiance of the Seas

Enjoy a European River Cruise Aboard the MS Amabella

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MS Amabella
European river cruising is a relatively new offering, with several luxury vessels operating including the brand spanking new MS Amabella, which is due to launch in May 2010.

To book a European river cruise aboard the MS Amabella go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

You'll take in glorious historical cities like Amsterdam, Cologne, Nuremberg and Budapest, and more. Below are some of the on-board features of the MS Amabella:
  • The services of an APT Cruise Director
  • Two Distinct and Stylish Main Lounges
  • Intimate Rear Lounge
  • A Choice of Three Outdoor Decks
  • Swimming Pool On The Sun Deck
  • Fitness Centre
  • Massage
  • Hair and Beauty Salon
  • Library
  • Multiple Restaurants
  • Boutique Onboard Shop
  • Elevator and 24 Hour Reception
  • Bicycles – Perfect For Exploring The Shore
Make the most of your European tour and see it from the comfort of a luxury river cruise. Book your MS Amabella cruise at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

See the Caribbean with Enchantment of the Seas

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Enchantment of the SeasEnchantment of the Seas is a Vision Class cruise ship, owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. She mainly cruises the Caribbean, but also visits the coast of Alaska and the Panama Canal.

For a great deal on cruise fares aboard the Enchantment of the Seas go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

In 2005, Enchantment of the Seas entered dry dock at shipyards in Rotterdam for an extensive overhaul. The vessel was "stretched" by cutting it in two amidship and adding a 73-foot (22 m) long section. The ship was back in service less than two months after entering dry dock.
"The new section includes 151 new staterooms, outdoor trampoline bungees, suspension bridges, an expanded pool area, a 64-jet interactive fountain area for kids, and floor windows allowing an unobstructed view of the ocean below." Source: Wikipedia
Don't forget to book your Caribbean cruise aboard the Enchantment of the Seas through www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Video: Enchantment of the Seas gets underway

Australia to NZ Cruises Aboard MS Volendam

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Volendam
Named after the city of Volendam, the MS Volendam is part of the Holland America Line and a identical sister ship to the MS Zaandam. Flowers are a big part of the internal decor, with fresh flowers displayed in abundance. Features include mini-suites with verandahs, an Internet centre, and boutique shopping.

From October 2010, the Volendam will be sailing from Sydney, Australia, and taking in ports in Noumea and around New Zealand. To book a cruise aboard the Volendam go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

An earlier ship registered in 1922 was also named the SS Volendam, although it was nowhere as comfortable as the modern MS Volendam. A recent visit to Australia brought back wartime memories for one man:
"The visit of the MS Volendam brought back memories for Eden resident John Polak, whose family fled to Australia from Czechoslovakia following persecution in World War II. John spent his 10th Christmas and saw in 1949 on the SS Volendam during a five-week trip from Rotterdam, Holland to Melbourne, Australia."
(Source Edenmagnet.com.au)
Don't forget -- there are great deals on cruise fares aboard the Volendam at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au. So book early to get a great deal and avoid disappointment!

Video: SE Asia Volendam Cruise 2009

Sail the Mediterranean Aboard Brilliance of the Seas

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Brilliance of the Seas
Rock climbing walls are fun and great exercise, but you'd have to possess nerves of steel to take on this one, featured in the below video. It's aboard the Brilliance of the Seas, which is currently sailing around Dubai and the Suez Canal, and about to sail the Mediterranean from May.

To book a cruise aboard Brilliance of the Seas go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Brilliance of the Seas is a cruise ship belonging to the Royal Caribbean's Radiance class. It cruises the Mediterranean from April to January, and is based in Dubai sailing to ports around the Middle East and India from January to April, doing two "repositioning cruises" each year through the Suez Canal.

Some features aboard Brilliance of the Seas:
  • Rock-climbing wall
  • Portofino Italian Restaurant
  • Chops Grille
  • Seaview Café
  • Latté-tudes, a specialty coffee house
  • Themed bars and lounges
  • Casino Royale
  • Indian Raj-themed Solarium
  • Colony Club, a unique British colonial-style lounge with self-leveling pool tables
  • Indoor/outdoor country club with golf simulator
  • Adventure Ocean youth facilities
  • Day Spa and Fitness Center
  • Sports/basketball/volleyball court
  • Panamax Ship - able to travel through Panama Canal
Check out the fantastic deals on fares aboard Brilliance of the Seas at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Video: Brilliance of the Seas

Sail the Caribbean or Mediterranean aboard Adventures of the Seas

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Adventures of the Seas

Check out the sailing dates for the Voyager class cruise ship Adventure of the Seas at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Voyager-class ships are the fourth largest passenger ships in the world. The only ships that are larger are Queen Mary 2, Royal Caribbean International's Freedom Class and Oasis of the Seas. Adventure of the Seas was completed in 2001 at Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland. She sails in the Southern Caribbean and the Western Mediterranean.

Facilities aboard include:
  • Ice skating rink
  • 32.8 feet high rock climbing wall with 5 separate tracks
  • Inline skating
  • 3 outdoor pools and jacuzzis
  • Nine-hole par 26 miniature golf course
  • Golf simulators
  • Full-sized basketball court
  • Adventure Ocean youth facilities
  • Game room
  • Roller-blading track
  • Four-story Royal Promenade
  • Casino
  • Main dining room on three floors
  • Restaurants - Johnny Rockets (1950s-style) and Portofino (Italian)
  • Themed bars and lounges
  • Lyrics Showlounge, spanning 5 decks, with 1,350 seats, features cabaret acts and late-night adults-only comedy
  • Day spa and Fitness Center
  • Wedding chapel
  • Internet café and two level library
Here's a quote from a review in www.cruisecritic.com:
"This ship is so well designed -- with lots of very distinctly themed rooms and with even the larger venues like the Lyric Theater and Imperial Lounge feeling unexpectedly cozy -- that Adventure of the Seas has the potential to spoil first-timers and even seduce some of us crusty ol' cruise traditionalists." (Source)
Remember to check out the great deals on fares aboard Adventures of the Seas at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Video: Amateur video tour of the Adventure of the Seas

Great deals on European Cruises aboard Crown Princess

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European CruisesA 15 night European Explorer cruise sounds like just the ticket, especially when you can save up to 62% on fares. Setting sail from the Roman port of Civitavecchia, you'll visit Livorno, Genoa, Cannes (Monte Carlo), Barcelona, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Dublin, Greenock, Paris (Le Havre) and Zeebrugge, arriving relaxed and content in Southampton, UK.

For great deals on European Cruises go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

This cruise aboard the Crown Princess departs Civitavecchia on June 8, 2010 and arrives in Southampton on June 23. if you get in quick you can get fares like the following: Twin cabins from AUD $2002.79 per person, quad cabins from AUD $2852.21 pp, triples from AUD $3169.23 pp and single cabins frm AUD $4005.58.

  • Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy: The largest of New Caledonia’s Loyalty Islands, Lifou has gorgeous white-sand beaches, coral reefs, dense forests and amazing limestone caves.
  • Genoa (Milan), Italy: The port city of Genoa is alive with art, churches and palaces, and the coastal town of Portofino is easy to visit from here.
  • Cannes, France: Aah, the French Riviera -- treat yourself like a film star.
  • Barcelona, Spain: Spain's capital and cultural hub, is rich in history, culture and the arts.
  • Gibraltar: The "Rock of Gibraltar" is a British colony less than three-square miles in area, and one of the most renowned strategic military strong points in the world.
  • Lisbon, Portugal: Portugal's cultural centre and capital. The mile-and-a-half-long 25th of April Bridge greets you as you enter the harbour.
  • Dublin, Ireland: On the east coast of Ireland, Dublin has plenty to see and do. Visit a castle, or take a walking tour, or get a Guinness down you!
  • Glasgow, Scotland: About 30 miles east of the port of Greenock, Glasgow is one of Britain's liveliest cities, surrounded by farmland and salmon streams in the Lowlands.
  • Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), France: From the port of Le Havre you'll find the great northern cities of France: Paris, Etretat, Fecamp and the Normandy region are all an easy drive away.
  • Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium: The port city of Zeebrugge takes you to Belgium's capital, Brussels, with medieval architecture and great restaurants, plus two of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe -- the Flemish Ghent and Bruges.
  • Southampton, England: Southampton has been a premier passenger-ship port since the golden days of Trans-Atlantic passage.
Video: Slide show featuring the port and architecture of Civitavecchia, Italy

Save Up to 55% on Southeast Asia Cruises Aboard Sun Princess

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Southeast Asia Cruises
Fancy a round-trip cruise from Fremantle, Western Australia, to Southeast Asia, taking in Geraldton, Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore? For a great deal on Southeast Asia Cruises check out www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Right now you can save up to 55% on fares aboard the Sun Princess, with quad cabins from AUD $2070.32 per person, Twin cabins from 2442.60 pp, Triple cabins from $2467.97 pp and single cabins from $4838.20 pp. Be quick though, these fares won't stay low for long!

This is a 17 night cruise on a world class superliner, visiting beaches, shopping districts, and plenty of opportunity to take in different cultures and great cuisine. Take a rickshaw ride through Penang's old Port City and check out the beautiful temples and the thriving antiques district. And after you've seen Singapore, you get to unwind for five whole days (and six nights) on the return trip to Fremantle.

Remember to check out Southeast Asia Cruises at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Video: A group of cruise ship tourists on trishaws in Penang

Book Now to Grab a Deal on Mexico Riviera Cruises

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Mexico Riviera Cruises
Take a Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Sapphire Princess, and visit the beautiful resort cities of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

If you're looking for a great deal on Mexico Riviera Cruises head straight to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

John Huston filmed his 1963 film The Night of the Iguana in Mismaloya, a small town just south of Puerto Vallarta, giving the area a huge level of media coverage, especially due to Elizabeth Taylor's extramarital affair with Richard Burton. The publicity helped put Puerto Vallarta on the map for US tourists. (Source: Wikipedia)

Mazatlán was also held in high esteem as a sportfishing mecca by film stars including John Wayne and Gary Cooper and hotels flourished during the 1940s through to 1960s.

Located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is known for its beaches, diving spots and the distinctive sea arch El Arco de Cabo San Lucas.

Check out the deals on Mexico Riviera Cruises at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Video: A family vacation in Cabo San Lucas

Cruises from Newcastle NSW to New Zealand

Posted on Monday, February 15, 2010 | 0 comments
Cruises from Newcastle
To book Cruises from Newcastle aboard the Pacific Sun head straight to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

If you're thinking of booking cruises from Newcastle it's worth checking out this great review of the Pacific Sun from traveller Barry Moore at www.cruise-australia.net. He and his wife Jackie cruised aboard the Pacific Sun from Brisbane to Noumea, Lifou and Vanuatu in 2008.
"We arrive in Noumea, a little disappointed that there are so few daylight hours available to enjoy this bustling French tourist destination. But this is offset by subsequent destinations like Lifou with its unhurried nature and almost primitive lifestyle. Ashore in Lifou I decline an invitation from a cheerful local Lifouan woman to have my hair braided, with coloured beads. Hair? When I playfully remove my cap, her following eyes instigate a change in sales pitch to an offer of a massage instead. Touché."
From September, P&O Cruises will become the first cruise company to base a ship in Newcastle when the Pacific Sun operates out of the Port of Newcastle. The ship will dock at the Channel Berth, Carrington. Pacific Sun will be sailing to New Zealand in February 2011 and right now you can save up to 51% off fares. For Cruises from Newcastle to New Zealand go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Video: Sun Princess leaves Port of Tauranga, New Zealand.

Cruises from Auckland Aboard Pacific Sun

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Cruises from Auckland

To book Cruises from Auckland aboard the Pacific Sun head straight to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Auckland is not the only port to be considering an upgrade to its wharves -- in Newcastle, NSW a similar proposition is on the table. You see, from September, P&O Cruises will become the first cruise company to base a ship in Newcastle when the Pacific Sun operates out of the Port of Newcastle.

Interestingly, both cities are talking about upgrading Queens Wharf -- yes there's a Queens Wharf in both Auckland and Newcastle. It's the rise in cruise tourism that is driving this need in both cities.

An article at Theherald.com.au says that money to complete a feasibility study on building the terminal at or near the Newcastle Queens Wharf site is "guaranteed", possibly as a partnership between public and private sectors.

Meanwhile the drive to develop Queens Wharf in Auckland in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup has been stymied, with Auckland City Council arguing that development money should come from Government coffers rather than ratepayers. Redevelopment is inevitable with the rise in cruise ship visits -- but it's not clear who will foot the bill.

Remember to check out the great deals on Cruises from Auckland aboard the Pacific Sun at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Video: Pacific Sun visits the beautiful Wala island in Vanuatu

Cruises from Fremantle to Thailand and Malaysia

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Cruises from Fremantle
The Sun Princess is a regular visitor to Thailand and Malaysia in South East Asia, visiting Phuket, Langkawi and Penang, Kuala Lumpur's Port Kelang and Singapore. Cruises depart Fremantle, Western Australia from May to August and there are savings of up to 58% if you book now. To book Cruises from Fremantle go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

In 2004 South East Asia was torn asunder by the Boxing Day Tsunami, which was generated by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Phuket and other nearby areas on Thailand's western coast suffered extensive damage. But today there are few signs of the tsunami damage other than at very remote beaches -- and the tourist industry, which Phuket relies on for its economy, has now almost fully recovered.

An early warning system in also in place -- U.S.-made tsunami-detection buoys are positioned around the Indian Ocean as part of a regional warning system.

Sail around South East Asia -- for savings on Cruises from Fremantle head to http://www.cruisesalefinder.com.au/results.html?pickup_location=Fremantle

Video: Good footage of the Sun Princess, taken during a family cruise that visited Vanuatu and New Caledonia

Cruises from Melbourne Aboard the Dawn Princess

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Cruises from MelbourneIf you're thinking of booking Cruises from Melbourne check out the savings on fares at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

By booking ahead you can save up to 53% off fares on the "Around Australia" cruise aboard the Dawn Princess - this is a cruise circumnavigating the continent of Australia, departing in November 2010.

Other Dawn Princess cruises departing Melbourne later this year sail around New Zealand, taking in ports of Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Lyttelton (Christchurch), Port Chalmers (Dunedin) and the tranquil Milford Sound.

For more information and discounted fares on Cruises from Melbourne go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

Video: Fran and George depart Melbourne aboard the Dawn Princess

Volunteer Ambassadors Welcome Cruises from Brisbane

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Cruises from BrisbaneIf you're looking for Cruises from Brisbane check out the deals at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au. At the moment you can save up to 51% off cabins on a Gold Coast "Week Tropique Cruise", stopping at the Whitsundays, Cairns and Port Douglas.

Forget the "Smiles Everybody" greeting from TV's Fantasy Island -- cruise visitors at Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays are being greeted by some very friendly faces.

"Volunteer ambassadors are the first port of call for holiday makers as they come ashore from their cruise boats to check out all that Airlie Beach has to offer" says a story at www.whitsundaytimes.com.au.

"On Monday about a dozen volunteer ambassadors were at Abel Point Marina to greet some of the 2000 visitors from the Pacific Dawn cruise ship. The cruise stopped over in Airlie Beach as part of a trip from Brisbane to Port Douglas. It is the first of nine visits by cruise ships to the area between now and June."

Remember to check out the great deals on Cruises from Brisbane at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au.

Video: A helicopter circles the Pacific Dawn in Brisbane River.

Deals on Cruises from Sydney

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Cruises from Sydney

Looking for Cruises departing Sydney? To book Cruises from Sydney go to www.cruisesalefinder.com.au

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the cruise ship Queen Victoria is going to "turn pink" while in Sydney Harbour, in support of breast cancer research. The Queen Victoria, owned by Cunard line, is one of the world's largest cruise ships.

"The liner will visit the harbour on Friday, playing host to the National Breast Cancer Foundation's (NBCF) launch of its 2010 fundraising campaign that night. Cunard, which owns the ship, says the Queen Victoria will be covered in pink lights from dusk on Friday, making for a spectacular sight on Circular Quay."

Read the story at SMH.Com.au.
The same article says that Royal Caribbean Cruises is planning to double its presence in Australia, sending 30 ships to Sydney Harbour over 2011 and 2012, and bringing 30,000 tourists to Australia. Two large superliners - Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will be permanently based in Sydney from October 2011.

If it's cruises from Sydney you're after check out the deals at www.cruisesalefinder.com.au. Right now you can save up to 15% off fares aboard Rhapsody of the Seas, sailing 26 February from Sydney to Fremantle. Ports of call include Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Cairns, Port Moresby, Darwin, Broome and Exmouth.

Video: Rhapsody of the Seas leaving Sydney Harbour

How to Book Cruises for Seniors

Posted on Sunday, January 10, 2010 | 0 comments
Cruises for SeniorsYou'll find some great discounts when you book Cruises for Seniors at http://seniorcruises.co.nz. And some good advice for seniors wanting to book their first cruise can be found over at www.edubook.com:
"Once decided, the first thing to do is to find the appropriate cruise line. A tip is to consider a ship that offers extra services that can be beneficial if you have to accompany a senior citizen. Examples of cruise ships that offer these services are Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruises. At present, there aren’t many cruise ships that specifically target senior citizens but there are those which offer onboard activities that seniors might find enjoyable, relaxing, and worth the travel."
"Asking senior citizens what they expect or what they want to do aboard a cruise ship can help a lot when selecting a cruise ship. Some seniors usually want to spend time in dining places. You can always search for a family-oriented ship that caters to all age groups. Others enjoy dancing so you should search for ships with dancing halls. Most of the time, dancing halls have experienced and well-trained dance instructors who can accompany elders when they dance. The good news is that most cruise ships offer such services for free."
Remember, if it's Cruises for Seniors you're after, go to http://seniorcruises.co.nz

Video: The newest and largest cruise ship in the world, the Oasis of the Seas.

Take in Some Australian Art Aboard Senior Cruises

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Senior CruisesHere's something for all Australians to be proud of - Australian art for Australian cruise ships. Yes two Australian artists have been chosen to represent their country by providing artworks for P&O’s Australian cruise ships.

To get a great deal on Senior Cruises visit http://seniorcruiseholidays.com.au.

Here's a link to the story on www.socruise.com/cruise-news. It also says that Olympian and former track and field athletics star Cathy Freeman acted as as the godmother of P&O’s Pacific Dawn which was launched from its new home-port of Brisbane on 19 December:
"The ship, along with Pacific Jewel and Pacific Sun, is carrying art from Warren Salter and Raelean Hall, both professional artists. They may also have the chance to have their work displayed on other P&O cruise ships. The Pacific Dawn (formerly known as Regal Princess) carries 2,050 passengers in 795 cabins and 696 crew. Built in 1991, she received a multi-million-dollar refurbishment in Singapore in 2007 before beginning to operate from Australia to South Pacific destinations. She is the first ship of the P&O Cruises Australia fleet with an all-white hull, inspired by the shape of a dolphin according to the ship’s designer, to mark P&O's 75th anniversary in Australia."
Don't forget -- to book Senior Cruises visit http://seniorcruiseholidays.com.au

Video: Part One of a tour of the Pacific Dawn

Go On - Take That Last Minute Cruise

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Last Minute CruiseItchy feet? Can't wait to get away from it all? For an unbeatable deal on Last Minute Cruise go to http://lastminutecruise.co.nz.

But before you run out the door and hop in the first cab for the wharf, check out these 10 cruise etiquette tips by Travel columnist John Frenaye. Here's his opening paragraph, you can read more on www.msnbc.msn.com:

"Recently, I had the pleasure of sailing on the world’s largest ship: Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas. It was a fantastic week which was exactly what the doctor ordered for some rest and relaxation for my family at the end of a hectic summer. But after witnessing the behavior of some of the passengers, I had to wonder if they saw the cruise as an opportunity to be rude and obnoxious. If Emily Post were not already dead, those louts and bounders would certainly have sent her to her grave!"
For great deals on Last Minute Cruise go to http://lastminutecruise.co.nz

Video: Freedom of the Seas

Family Cruises from Sydney to New Zealand

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Family CruisesThe travel industry is very competitive these days and it pays to look around for the best deal you can, especially so with Cruise fares. Here's a great starting point then, check out the incredible discounts available on Family Cruises at http://familycruises.co.nz.

If you're travelling with kids, there are a few basics to consider when making a booking. Here's an excerpt from travelwithkids.about.com:
  • Check the size and location of the stateroom, and the guardrails on the bunk-beds.
  • Some ships have cabins that can sleep five; some ships have adjoining cabins; some give special rates for a second cabin for teens. Family suites are a new trend.
  • Check the medical services available.
  • Are you in your third trimester of pregnancy? Check to see if they'll take you.
  • What documentation is required for children? Be careful if your child is crossing borders and only one birth parent is on the trip.
  • Check cancellation fees and fees for changing dates; consider taking out trip cancellation insurance
Check out the great deals on Family Cruises at http://familycruises.co.nz

Video: A family holiday cruise - from Sydney to New Zealand