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To be in all of these places at the right time, ships reposition from one region to another, typically between seasons, during the months of September and October and April and May. These one-off oddball itineraries are called repositioning cruises and they're often deeply discounted because most don't include a whole lot of port calls.
We've found sales on transatlantic crossings, coastal Costa Rican outings, leaf-peeping tours through New England and Canada and just about every route imaginable.
This week we turn to the Caribbean, still the #1 cruise destination and home to more than 600 excursions, from ho-hum bus tours to daylong hikes up the side of a volcano.
We round up the most important cruise industry news in our bi-weekly report.
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Go ashore in St. Thomas, USVI
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Reader's Voice
From kakalina: "We are planning to spend 75 days on board ship. Does anyone have any suggestions to prevent massive boredom afer the first 2 weeks?
From Lucky B: "We're booked on the Golden for next month. Is it really as bad as we've been reading, or has it just gone from excellent to very good?"
From renzi: "My friends and I (10 in all) would like to charter a sailing yacht to cruise the Mediterranean in the summer of 2006 for 10 days. We found Valef Yachts and are considering the Cyclades itinerary. Does anyone have feedback on their offerings or suggestions for other companies?"
From sooellen: "I've heard that the new Oceania line has wonderful food, and one reason may possibly be that it's a small ship -- about 800 people I think. Much easier than dealing with 2,500 mouths to feed! Have others found a correlation? What about an in-between ship -- say 1500 passengers?"
From carwar: "We will be visiting Barcelona on a cruise in late Sept. The shore excursions from the ship are vague and we have no clue as to what would be the best one to take. One goes to the Gothic Quarter, then past the Passeig de Gracis and then Sagrada Familia Church continuing down to the Plaza Espana and Montjuic. The other excursion goes to Montjuic Mountain and then through the city, along Passeig de Gracia to Gracia. Both tours are about 3 hours long. Is the port close enough to the city to explore the city on our own?"
 

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