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River cruising is a quiet little corner of the cruise world that deserves more attention, offering the ultimate leisurely retreat. The pace is slow, the waters calm, the ambience generally informal, and, unlike most cruise ships, there's something to look at besides water out the window of your stateroom. This month, three of the major river-cruise companies have announced new routes and deals.
Here's where you'll find some of the best deals around from a handful of major suppliers.
To keep the peace as more families cruise with teens, cruise lines are designing bigger and better teen hangout areas to accommodate them.
A sunken vessel prevents others from leaving New Orleans, the world's largest retailer gets in the travel game, D-Day memorial itineraries and more in issue's new roundup.
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Cruise Venice
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Reader's Voice
From Jenny Robinson: "I would like to take my son on a Mediterreanean cruise this summer. He enjoys ancient history & asked to visit this region. Which cruise line would be good? I saw a great special for the QE II for July 31 (sale prices + $99 airfare) but didn't know if my son would meet any other teens aboard."
From A. Westmoreland: "My husband and I just read in the newspaper this morning about the cargo ships that collided in New Orleans causing one to sink. We are scheduled to leave on the Grandeur of the Seas on March 13 for a week long cruise. I read that our cruise ship was not able to leave port over the weekend due to the sunken ship. We did not puchase cruise insurance and worry what might happen if the problem is not rectified by the time we're supposed to leave. Is anyone else supposed to be leaving on the Grandeur of the Seas within the next 2-3 weeks? IF so, has your travel agent said anything about this situation?"
From Alan Xu: "I am considering subscribing to the newsletter from www.yourowncabin.com. Before I pay the $19.95, I would like to hear from some people who already get the newsletter. Are the specials worth paying for? I travel solo and always pay the 200% single supplement and figure I could cruise twice as often for the same money if their specials pan out."
From Mimi Gonow: "We just returned from a Western Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas. The islands we visited were Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Belize. I would suggest you schedule your island visits ahead of time either thru the ship or thru internet sites. We booked trips after we landed which was OK and mainly snorkeling but we didn't have as much time on the islands as those who had booked ahead. We did get to 'Sting Ray City' on Grand Cayman where you actually have the sting rays swimming up to you, kissing you and allowing you to hold them. This is a don't miss."
From Mike Frederick: "I just returned from my first cruise and had a lot of fun but am ambivalent about whether or not I'd go again. We sailed on the Norwegian Dream out of New Orleans. Four ports were Cozumel, Honduras, Belize and Cancun. Food was great, service was outstanding! Crew was absolutely wonderful. My problem was that as a world traveler I'm more interested in the destinations. Port calls are rather short; 7 to 10 hours each. Emphasis is on the ship, not the ports-of-call."

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