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You'll find savings on European and American river cruises, family discounts and our usual collection of the cheapest offers currently from a multitude of online distributors.
More wintertime departures from New York Harbor, one ship relaunces while another retires, boatbuilding on the horizon and the stars come out for lesbian cruises in this news roundup.
Carnival has just spawned another floating tribute to whimsy and wow in the new 2,974-passenger Valor that debuted in Miami last week. A mirror image of sisters Conquest and Glory in layout, Valor wears its own special interior design.
With the major cruise lines launching and ordering a passel of giant new ships, we thought it'd be fun to take a look at the oldest cruise ship currently serving the American market, the 51-year-young Regal Empress.
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Reader's Voice
From Nelson Pereira: "I have received many tempting cruise offers via the Internet, most of them from Online Vacation Center. Has anybody bought cruises online? Was it a good experience? Thanks!"
From kknee: "My husband and I are going to Eastern Canada & New England next summer with Holland America on the Maasdam. Would you plese give us some recommendation about which side (starboard or port) we should take in order to have a better view while we are in port? Any recommendation is appreciated."
From Irene Gray: "Does anyone know how to find out exactly which ships have Dance Hosts, except for Crystal and Cunard, who always have them. Thanks."
From essick: "We just returned from one of the best cruises ever! The MSC Opera's repositioning cruise leaving from Genoa and ending up in Ft.Lauderdale was terriffic! We chose this cruise for its itinerary. From Genoa we sailed to Barcelona, Casa Blanca & Funchal then enjoyed a 5-day transatlantic crossing before stops in Barbados, Antigua, Tortola, St. Martin, Nassau and Ft. Lauderdale. I wondered if anyone else has comments on their experience with other cruises on the Opera and how their first Caribbean sailing went."
From Jim Felker: "A recent cruise on Holland America began unpleasantly when a one pint flask of brandy I was carrying in my carry on luggage was confiscated during the boarding procedure. Is this legal? Yes, it was returned at the end of the cruise, but the experience was very unpleasant. I was told wine & champagne were okay which seems contradictory? On all of my previous cruises on Holland, I was able to purchase alcoholic beverages at the ship's store. This has been stopped & the only way you can purchase a bottle is through the bar service at a price of $27.50 + a 15% service charge: three times the amount as priced in the ship's store. I question the legality of this tactic & request other readers opinions."

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