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Old May 8th, 2008, 05:17 AM
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May8- Last Day at Sea- Freedom
I’ve now been on the Freedom 26 days in the relatively short time since Nov. ’07. We experienced American Thanksgiving on her, and then the John Heald Blogger’s Cruise, followed shortly thereafter by this transatlantic sailing. By now we should definitely be pretty accustomed to her.

Perhaps the most interesting about the three trips on her is that all three were quite different from each other; each unique because of the different itineraries, and because of the make-up of the passengers on each sailing, and to some degree, the changes to the way the ship was operated for each sailing.

I reported daily to CruiseMates from each of these cruises, and you may find it interesting to go back and read each of those reports. If you did so I believe you’d find that each cruise has its own “character”. Different cruise experiences are available, not just by sailing different cruise lines, or different ships, but just by choosing different sailings of different ships.

One common denominator is on each of these sailings we were accompanied by a Cruisemates Group; members of our own CruiseMates community. And the other common denominator was what a great bunch of people are members of that community! Some of the people in these groups are active posters on the community message boards. Others are those “lurkers” we often talk about, who read the site often, but rarely post on the message boards.

In both cases, what they have in common, is they are well armed with excellent up to date information on what to expect, and in large part, because of that, they are well prepared with fairly accurate expectations, to enjoy the cruise experience they get. This assists and enables them to relax, enjoy and have on their cruises. As on this cruise which has been filled with “distractions” from fellow passengers who are less prepared, those in the CruiseMates group have viewed all the complaining and resulting rudeness, and squabbling, as entertainment, and they’ve been able to enjoy their cruises, and get full value for the vacation dollars they’ve spent.

It’s proven to me yet again, what a wonderful community of people we have at CruiseMates, and how valuable the information we share on the site is. I would also dare to say everyone who’s in our CruiseMates would say they enjoyed their cruise immensely, and in large part because they were a part of our CruiseMates group. I’m not reluctant in saying this because many of the people in this group have already been asking me for, and talking about, future group cruises we have planned.

ANYONE who is considering a future CruiseMates group cruise shouldn’t hesitate! It really is worth it to sail with other CruiseMates folks, and it does make the cruise special and different!

Our next CruiseMates group cruise is a repositioning cruise from New York to Miami on the NCL Jewel. She’s a ship I sailed last year, and I was most recently on her sister the Jade last month. As a result I’ve become a big fan of NCL’s new “Freestyle” ships. And I can almost guarantee joining us will result in a superb cruise for you. Just click in the link in my signature file below for all the details, and come along with us. I know you will not regret it!

Our morning today is cloudy and it’s quite cool on the open decks; thus this mid-day report. I’ll be back later to report on the balance of the day.
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