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Take A Cruise With A Cause

The season of giving lasts well past the December holidays and everyone needs a break after the stress of holiday preparations. A newly announced cruise now provides a way to enjoy a relaxing post-holiday vacation while giving back to others. Join other caring cruisers on Together for Goodís sailing aboard the Norwegian Spirit. It's a great way to have a fun-filled vacation and help those in need by 'cruising with a cause.'

The Together for Good cruise departs from New Orleans, Louisiana on January 3-10, 2010 and visits the exotic ports of Costa Maya, Mexico; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Participants can enjoy visiting beautiful destinations, meeting like-minded passengers, and assisting with local community projects to benefit schools, orphanages, and children in need.

This Ďcruise with a cause' has a nice itinerary for giving back, although cruisers can choose to participate in ship shore tours, head out independently, or come along with Together for Good on humanitarian excursions while in port. Participation in Together for Good shore excursions are entirely voluntary, so cruisers may be involved in as much or as little as they like.

The Together for Good cruise leaves from New Orleans on January 3, 2010 and spend a day at sea after that. Then, itís on to four Caribbean ports of call. Each port offers a Together for Good excursion as well as a variety of other tempting activities to explore.

January 5: Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya offers an enticing combination of crystal blue waters and alluring beaches, kid-friendly activities, adventure tours, historic sights, and good shopping. Protected by the second largest coral reef in the world, the region is home to lovely white sand beaches, the spectacular Chacchoben Mayan ruins, the charming town of Mahajual, and many opportunities for cultural interaction.

Participants in the Together for Good outing will stop at a small kindergarten to provide books, school supplies, crafts, and other items to help underprivileged children in the local community. Then, itís on to the Uvero Beach Club to spend some time cleaning up one of the beautiful beaches near the area. After the clean-up, relax in the sun and play in the Caribbean Sea before heading back to the cruise terminal for some shopping before returning to the ship.

January 6: Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala

The port of Santo Tomas de Castilla offers opportunities for exploration, cultural interaction, historical tours, nature walks and hiking, and shopping for a wide variety of indigenous handicrafts.

Today, the Together for Good group takes a leisurely 5-hour trip up the Rio Dulce by water taxi to visit communities and a local school in the Livingston area. As part of the humanitarian tour, the group will be bringing much needed school supplies and other items for students as well as donations for a large orphanage of over 250 located up the river. Schools in this area suffer from a severe shortage of basic materials. The group will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the local community, have lunch, purchase locally made handicrafts, and enjoy the beauty of the Rio Dulce region. After returning to the port area, there will be opportunities to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs before reboarding the ship.

January 7: Belize City, Belize

The port of Belize City is the gateway to the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, tropical rivers and rainforests teeming with wildlife, over 600 Mayan sites, and some excellent shopping opportunities at the cruise terminal.

In Belize, the Together for Good group will be bringing personal care items and school supplies to a local orphanage. The orphanage is home to up to 45 abandoned, abused or orphaned children between the ages of 1-15. Then, itís on to the ancient city of Altun Ha, once a key link in the Mayan trade route through Mexico's Yucatan region. Altun Ha contains the 2000-year-old remnants of 13 key structures surrounding two major plazas. At the end of the tour, participants will arrive back at the Belize port facility where they can shop, enjoy local drinks, or return to the ship to relax.

January 8: Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and one of the most popular cruise ship ports of call in the region. This little island is loaded with duty-free shopping, world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities, wildlife encounters, adventure tours, cultural experiences, enticing bars and restaurants, and so much more.

In Cozumel, the Together for Good excursion will deliver much-needed items to a local orphanage that provides a family-oriented living environment for over 20 children. Next, the group will go to a popular beach club that serves as a drop-off site a community-based non-profit organization providing school-related materials to low-income Cozumel families. Here, the group will drop off school supplies such as backpacks, pens, pencils, scissors, and other items to help children in need. Then, spend the rest of the day at the beach club relaxing and playing in the sea. Lunch, snacks and drinks are also available for purchase.

On January 9th, the cruise spends a relaxing day at sea before returning back to New Orleans on the morning of January 10th.

This Together for Good cruise is not a formal group booking, so reservations can be made through any travel agent or directly through Norwegian Cruise Line. All efforts for this cruise are being done on a voluntary basis and Together for Good does not charge overhead or receive any monetary compensation from cruise bookings, shore excursions, or other activities on the cruise. The Together for Good shore excursions are entirely optional, so they are not included in the price of the cruise.

For more detailed information about this cruise, visit the Together for Good website at www.togetherforgood.org.

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