Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Got your winter vacation planned yet? ANNOUNCING A 10-DAY PANAMA CANAL CRUISE for January 2009!

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JEWEL OF THE SEAS.jpg Here we go again!For the 4th straight year, my wife Chassity and I are proud to offer you a tropical winter vacation to paradise.As you'll read below, the upcoming 10-day adventure we will be hosting looks to be the best one yet as we head for the Panama Canal.But only a limited number of cabins are available, and several are already sold and spoken for.Here's an overview of the trip, which comes after previous journeys to the eastern, western and southern Caribbean.INFO:.THURSDAY JANUARY 29 - Fly to Miami, stay overnight.FRIDAY JANUARY 30 - Board the Royal Caribbean "Jewel of the Seas" and set sail.SATURDAY JANUARY 31 - Get to know the ship while spending the day at sea.SUNDAY FEBRUARY 1 - Discover beautiful Labadee, a private island owned by Royal Caribbean.MONDAY FEBRUARY 2 - Spend the day at sea.TUESDAY FEBRUARY 3 - Port of call in Cartagena, ColumbiaWEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 4 - See one of man's most impressive creations while crusing through the Panama Canal. Also make a stop in Cristobal Pier, PanamaTHURSDAY FEBRUARY 5 - Port of call in Puerto Limon, Costa RicaFRIDAY FEBRUARY 6 - Spend the day at sea.SATURDAY FEBRUARY 7 - Port of call in George Town, Grand CaymanSUNDAY FEBRUARY 8 - Spend the day at sea.MONDAY FEBRUARY 9 - Return to Miami, fly home.PRICES:Prices include: Return airfare, cruise, hotel in Miami, Florida night before cruise, all transfers, welcome aboard cocktail party, one shore excursion, $25 gift certificate.INSIDE STATEROOM - $1,688 per personOCEAN VIEW STATEROOM - $1,968 per personBALCONY - $2,218 per personTaxes and Port Fees not included - $608.85 per personOTHER INFO:The Jewel of the Seas is one of the newest ships in Royal Carribean's fleet, holding over 2,500 passengers and offering all the state-of-the-art comforts you can imagine.Among her spectacular features are the ten-story glass-constructed Centrum, glass elevators facing the sea, and the highest percentage of outside cabins in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Ship highlights include:Rock-climbing wallPortofino Italian RestaurantChops GrilleLatté-tudes,a specialty coffee house featuring Seattle's Best Coffee®Seaview CaféThemed bars and loungesCasino RoyaleThe Colony Club,a unique British colonial-style lounge with self-leveling pool tablesBeautiful indoor SolariumIndoor/outdoor country club with golf simulatorAdventure Ocean® youth facilitiesDay Spa and Fitness CenterSports court with basketball/volleyball courtClick HERE to read more about it.Only 30 cabins are blocked off this year for the group and interest is already very high - especially with many cruisers from the first three trips coming back on boardd.The trip is also being promoted on my weekly national radio show and website. Journey's has also started weekly newspaper advertising.As you likely know, signing on for a "group" cruise is simply a great way to get a better rate. Because our sponsor, Journey's Travel, is buying in bulk, they can secure much better pricing then what an individual couple could get.As well, it's a great way to experience new things with like-minded folks who may end up becoming good friends.However, don't think going with a group means you won't get to chart your own adventure. You will have all the time in the world to do absolutely everything you like. There are no commitments whatsoever.If you'd like to simply treat it as if you were just going by yourselves - yet taking advantage of the discounted group rate - there's nothing wrong with that.If you'd like to hang out with some of the other Canadian cruisers in the group, well, you're more than welcome as well. In the past three years, we usually ate dinners as a group and took in a few nightly theatre shows together. But with the exception of our on-board cocktail party and the one included group excursion, everyone has tended to go their own way the remainder of the time. It's been a perfect mix of private time and socializing.So, if you are thinking this would be a great way to getaway for a bit next winter, don't hesitate!You can email Mike for more information (mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca) or call Journeys Travel as soon possible.PHONE: 942-5000 in Winnipeg or toll-free at 1-800-859-6354. ASK FOR PAULAThere is also a little perk to making a deposit this early. You will receive a reservation number which will allow you to purchase your excursions before it gets too busy. For popular ones such as swimming with dolphins this is a great bonus.Thanks again for your interest. It really means a lot to both of us.Cheers & Best Wishes,Mike and Chassity McIntyre

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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