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

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10.29.2009
Oasis of the Seas During Recent Sea Trials

Oasis of the Seas is Delivered

The web site for the new ship Oasis of the Seas (oasisoftheseas.com) is overwhelmed with traffic today with news that the ship has been "delivered" to Royal Caribbean. As we explained last week, "delivery" means the shipyard has finally officially turned possession of the vessel over to the cruise line - much like a car salesman handing you the keys to your new car.

Needless to say, this is an event the company has been anticipating since they first conceived the "Genesis" project five years ago. They've done the test drives, felt the upholstery, cranked up the sound systems and took a few corners at top speed. She passed all the tests with flying colors and Royal Caribbean is reportedly thrilled with their new ship.


50% Off* Air on Europe River Cruises with Avalon Waterways
Experience the Avalon difference with the youngest fleet in Europe and get undeniable value with included sightseeing and complimentary wine. Receive half off your airfare with purchase of a qualifying air-inclusive European river cruise. *Offer Details >
Avalon Waterways 866.397.6594

Seatrade is reporting the ship is about to begin its trek across the Atlantic Ocean from Turku, Finland, and scheduled to arrive in Ft Lauderdale on November 11. What we don't know yet is what Royal Caribbean plans to do with the ship for the nine days it will be alongside in Ft Lauderdale before it sails on its first scheduled cruise with guests onboard on November 20th. Most likely there is still some interior work to be done that is more easily accomplished stateside.

It appears they are waiting until they reach Florida to install the lawn and trees that will bring Central Park to life - crossing the North Atlantic in the dead of winter probably isn't a good environment for the perfect lawn. One thing I know they are waiting to do in Florida is rehearsals for the stage shows since a required last minute reconstruction of the stage rigging meant the cast of entertainers couldn't use the theater for dress rehearsals during the Atlantic crossing.


Panama Canal Cruises with Holland America Line from $60 per day
Experience this modern marvel with Holland America Line. We offer more ways through the Panama Canal than anyone else with convenient explorations of Gatún Lake. Longer transits include Costa Rica & Colombia itineraries. View our special offers now.
Holland America Lines

The ship is already full of 2165 crewmembers who will be putting many last-minute touches in place, such as the artwork. There are also some 300 additional people onboard for training the crew and testing the new merchandise.

Richard Fain, the CEO, has revealed some crucial numbers about Oasis, "The ship has 4,100 toilets, 42 elevators, and 4,500 air conditioning units. Inevitably some of each of those won't work properly when first turned on. Every one of them has been tested out and vetted prior to delivery, but I guarantee there will be some breakdowns when they first go into actual operation. We have added extra plumbers, air conditioning, engineers, and elevator maintenance people on the early sailings to deal with those inevitable problems, but we want them all to be tested during the shakedown cruises and not during the formal revenue cruises."

What is especially surprising, however, is the weakness in fares to cruise on this beautiful brand new ship. If Oasis had come out in a different economic climate, we would be hearing about it being booked to the brim months in advance. But in this economy that just isn't the case - too bad for such an innovative ship.

A few months ago we heard cruise moguls saying cruise fares had bottomed out and were not going to get any cheaper. They were exactly right, but they haven't gone much higher, either. The theory is that many people who planned on buying a cruise nailed the bargains last month and now the next wave of people booking will be the last-minute buyers who don't pull the trigger until they are sure the prices are not going any lower.


Norwegian Cruise Line's Deals of the Decade.
Visit Cruisenow.com to book your cruise today. Norwegian Cruise Line's Deals of the Decade.
Norwegian Cruise Lines

Reports are out that there is still availability of several categories onboard Oasis of the Seas for the holiday cruises, and most other sailings even including the 4-day inaugural cruise for passengers.

When you consider that we are still in the "value season" season between early September when school starts and the holidays it is not surprising that cruise prices have not ticked up yet. But with the strong trend towards last minute booking these days it also won't be surprising to see Oasis fill up at the last minute.

What does that mean for you? If you are wavering about whether or not you want to go - now is the time to book for the best cabin selection. Cruise lines do NOT drop prices the week before a ship sails just to fill the ship - that is a myth, ships always fill up at the last minute anyway.

There are amazing bargains out there right now, but oil prices are going up and the value of the dollar is dropping. This may force cruise prices go up soon, especially if the economy starts to rebound again. Get onboard those beautiful new ships now. This is a rare opportunity for the experience of a lifetime at a bargain price.

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When Everything Is About Oasis, What’s a Cruise Blogger Like Me To Do?
Let's face it; for the next month or two all the “news” is about, or going to blue arrows

60's Rock Music Cruise is Real Deal
Not a nerdy tribute cruise, it's the real deal with Bill Medley, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Association and Drifters blue arrows

Find the 2010 Cruise Deals
If you took a cruise this year because fares were too low to pass up, chances are you'll be equally tempted in 2010. blue arrows

Cruise Crime Act of 2009
The U.S. House of Representatives just passed the Cruise Crime Bill of 2009 making passage in the Senate the next step. blue arrows

Teens on Carnival to New England/Canada
Our resident teen cruise editor, Alex Gaynor, interviews fellow teens on their impressions of a Carnival getaway to New England/Canada.blue arrows

Disney Cruises 2010 European Cruises
Disney Wonder will wander to Europe in 2010 for the longest season overseas yet for family-friendly Disney Cruise Lines, including Baltic itineraries. blue arrows

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Snoozeman's Galveston Conquest Cruise
Join your CruiseMates Host Snoozeman on the Conquest of Galveston! Travel from the Lone Star harbor to the Western Caribbean: Galveston to Montego Bay Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. January 7, 2010.

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.