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Here's some of the best deals a handful of major travel agencies are advertising this week. Many start from under $100 a day.
Euro line MSC Cruises has flown largely under America's radar, but its new executive team has big plans, with two new ships heading across the Atlantic this week and more on the way.
Initial prices are indeed the lowest they've been in years, but you'll still need to figure in all the extras you can be charged once you're on board ship.
Learn about the restoration of an classic explorer, free legs to Beijing, Melissa Etheridge performances, a family vacation sweepstakes and more in this cruise news roundup.
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Reader's Voice
From simba2: "Does anyone know anything (good or bad) about this organization? A friend of ours just got involved with them. He had to pay $1,295 for this kit and supposedly he will sell these trips and get $1,000 commission. Carnival Cruises is one of the vendors. I am very suspicious. He is gullible and has been 'taken' before. I'd like some more information about Coastal Vacations. Does anyone have any info.? Thanks."
From Barbara Ross: "I am traveling on NCL January 9, 2005 and understand that they are dropping Tortola, one of the most beautiful islands on the trip. I have been told that they will be refunding passengers $7.49 for the port charges. There is no logical reason for this and $7.49 is unfair."
From Soprrrano: "Wow! My first cruise. If anyone has any questions, fire away! Ketchikan was breathtakingly beautiful. All the excursions in all of the cities were fantastic, and the ship was beautiful. Don't miss the champagne waterfall on the last formal night. It's like New Years Eve. I didn't attend too many events because they started too late."
From Gerald Ashfield: "We recently returned from a 7 day Mexico cruise on Diamond Princess. Ship is huge, and the public areas are nice. Our main complaint is with the food, just average. We had a hard time getting our meals served hot. Several staff members were just plain rude and the disembarkation process was terrible. We tried 3 seperate times with the Pursers department to schedule our party of 3 couples to exit ship at same time as one of the couples needed a flight out of LAX to Philadelphia. This couple exited the boat at 11:00 for a 12:30 flight out of LAX, other two couples who had 3:00 flight exited the ship at 8:15."
From mkennedy: "WE are 1st time cruiers. I got the best price on Cruisecompete.com from Cruise Value Center. What experiences have you had with them? I'm also getting prices from my AAA travel agent. I'm sure they will be higher. What should I consider in selecting between them? Thanks."

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