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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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Default Welcome & please read this first

CruiseMates is a community of cruise enthusiasts who have come together online to share our love of sea-going vacations. Many of the people here have been with us since we started in 1999 (yes, 14 years ago), but there are also new people coming in all the time.

Our name, CruiseMates, refers to the community of people who come here to share their love of cruising. We are NOT just a site for people looking for cruise companions, although that activity is pretty common here. If you are looking for a cabin mate, please go to this part of our forum "seeking cruise companion"

I am Paul Motter - and I write the vast majority of articles for CruiseMates. If you have a question specific to cruising I will be happy to talk to you here - and possibly point you to one of our articles or another source to help you find the answers to any specific cruise question you might have.

Me? I took my first cruise in 1983 - as a crewmember, not a passenger. I worked for the prestigious Royal Viking Line - known as the line that invented "luxury" cruise style. I stayed almost a year.

In 1993 I worked aboard the Norway - NCL's famously remodeled ocean liner built in France as the SS France. She was a beautiful, classic ship, which unfortunately no longer exists.

I moved from NCL to Holland America - working aboard the inaugural season of the Statendam - the first ship built for Holland America by (then) new owners Carnival Corp. I also spent some weeks in Alaska aboard the Westerdam.

In 1996 I started writing cruise articles and CruiseMates was started in 1999. I became the editor here in 2006. Not counting the nearly two years I spent working on cruise ships, I have also sailed upon almost every cruise line in existence. Cruising is a complex topic, yet it is also a convenient and easy vacation - once you "know the ropes".

So, please feel free to ask me cruise-related questions here.

(PS: I am not here to answer personal questions although I may answer a few. Please just keep in mind that I reserve the right to keep some things private - and I expect that people will understand.)

In all cases, my goal is to help cruise consumers have the best cruises possible.

By the way - to ask a question please first click the "create New Thread" button above to ask a new question - do not try to reply to this post. I want all topics to be separate.
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