Member Review of the Week: Ruby Princess

July 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

Mendenhall Glacier

Cruise Ship: Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess

Itinerary: Alaska

Member: dihays

Background: Would you ever have your wedding or honeymoon on a cruise? Dihays and her husband combined both on their recent trip to Alaska. It was their first cruise, so while the extra special treatment may be hard to compare to a regular sailing, they had favorites and not-so-favorites they felt were worth sharing.

Onboard Highlight: The wedding, of course! Princess’ staff organized the perfect day for dihays and her husband, and dihays felt like a Princess herself. Her only concern was that the ship’s photographers were too good; she ended up spending almost as much on pictures as she did on the wedding!

Port Highlight: Juneau, where the enjoyed sightseeing and beers at Red Dog Saloon.

Don’t Miss: The Chef’s Table, an exclusive dining experience in which you can sample hors d’oeuvres and sip Champagne with the head chef. Dihays says it’s worth the $95 splurge.

Watch Out For: The food, if you’re a foodie. It wasn’t a deal breaker for dihays, but she also wasn’t impressed.

More: Read dihays’ full review, and browse future cruises on Ruby Princess.

For their efforts, dihays, Tump02, 5 in OK, drytoastfan and Lisafit receive Cruise Critic logo items.

Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, and showcase one as the Member Review of the Week.

Read more reviews or write your own cruise review.

    8 Tips for Cruising To Greece During the Greek Financial Crisis

    July 6, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

    Greek flag in Euros

    With Greek voters giving European austerity measures a resounding no this weekend, cruisers with upcoming Greek sailings have been wondering: How should we prepare for a trip to Athens and the islands during the Greek financial crisis?

    Here at Cruise Critic, we’re going ahead with a planned sailing on Azamara Journey later this month that centers on Turkey and Greece, including port stops in Volos, Hydra, Skiathos, Mykonos, Santorini and Athens. Unless we hear otherwise from the line, we will hedge our bets against the currency upheaval by doing the following:

    Bring Euros. Usually we rely on ATMs overseas when we travel, as our bank doesn’t charge us foreign transaction fees. But with news reports noting some ATMs are out of money, we’ll be prudent and come prepared.

    Read on for more

      Live from Pearl Mist: Saluting Veterans Onboard

      July 2, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

      American flag waving in the air near Blue Water Bridges

      The son of a navy officer, Pearl Mist cruise director Jon Stewart has a profound appreciation for military veterans and their families. The small luxury ship, which has spent the summer sailing the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canadian Maritimes, draws an older crowd.

      So the 28-year-old decided to show his appreciation this past Memorial Day with a veterans’ tribute program.

      During the inaugural event, which he held on sister ship American Star, Stewart played the service anthems of all five armed forces branches, inviting members of each branch to stand during their song. Afterwards, veterans were invited to take the microphone and tell a piece of their story.

      The response — from veterans and non-veterans alike (there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, Stewart said) — was enough to convince him to make the tribute a part of every sailing going forward.

      Read on for more

        July 2015 Desktop Wallpaper: Norwegian Fjords Cruise

        July 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

        Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas docked in Alesand, Norway, Shutterstock

        Get your July 2015 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!

        Cruises along the Norwegian Fjords are in full swing. We hope this photo of Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas docked in Alesand, Norway, will inspire you to consider your own Norwegian Fjord cruise.

        Here’s how to put this photo on your computer, tablet or cell phone:

        1. Click on the following links to get the size that you want. Each link will open a new window (or tab) displaying the wallpaper, in the appropriate format for your screen size.

        2. For the desktop versions, right-click on the image, and choose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background”, “Use as Desktop Picture,” or something similar. The wording depends on your browser. Mac users should ctrl-click and save the photo on their computer in the “Pictures” folder.

        3. If the image does not fit your desktop background neatly, you may have to go to your preference panel (on a Mac: System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop; on Windows: Control Panel > Display > Desktop) and choose”Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image.

        4. For phone and tablet, open the link and center the photo on your phone so it fills the screen. Take a photo and save it on your device. Then go to your Settings and find your Wallpaper (on an iPhone, this is under “Wallpapers & Brightness.” Set the saved calendar photo as your wallpaper.

        2560 x 1440 | 1200 x 800 | Tablet | Mobile

        Check back on July 31 for the August 2015 calendar.

          Cruise Tip of the Week: Arrange Your Own Transfers

          July 1, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

          Cruise ships in Port Miami

          Tip: Your cruise is booked. Now you need to need to figure out how you’re getting to the terminal from your hotel or the airport. It’s easy to give into to the cruise lines’ transfer services when they’re only a click away, but with a little research, you can save a lot of money traveling by public transportation, a shuttle, shared taxi or private car. Just make sure you plan arrangements early, especially if you’re traveling during rush hour or during peak season.

          Full Article: Read 10 more ways to make your dream cruise a reality.

          Want More?: Check out our related links below for more info, tips and advice.

          Find your perfect cruise

          12 Surefire Ways to Have a Miserable Cruise

          22 Do’s and Don’t’s for Your First Day Onboard a Cruise Ship

          Stay tuned for more Cruise Tips of the Week — revealed every Wednesday!

            5 Cool Things about a Seattle Seahawks Football Cruise with the 12s

            June 30, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

            Seattle Seahawks fan

            The 12s – the notoriously loud and passionate fans of the Seattle Seahawks football team – made waves this week, as Princess hosted its first cruise for the Emerald City’s football fans. Departing from Seattle on June 20, the seven-night itinerary on Crown Princess touched down in Southeast Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia, giving participants plenty of time to both see the sights and interact with their favorite players.

            While supporters didn’t set any more noise records or register on seismographs, they showed their fervor with Seahawks banners, jerseys and face painting. About one-third of the 3,316 passengers took part in the Sail With The 12s celebrations – 10 events scattered throughout the week.

            Ready to kick off your own football theme cruise? Here are 5 cool things we experienced on the Seattle Seahawks sailing:

            Seattle Seahawks fans cruising Tracy Arm fjord

            1. The Sailgate Party

            After scenic cruising among the icebergs of Tracy Arm fjord, Crown Princess cranked up the heat with an afternoon Seahawks bash on the bow, featuring Blitz the mascot and the Sea Gal cheerleaders. Fans then got a chance to pose with players like Jordan Babineaux, a safety from 2004–2010 and Jim Zorn, the team’s original quarterback (1976–1984).

            Read on for more

              Member Review of the Week: Adventure of the Seas

              June 30, 2015 | By | No Comments

              Beach at St. Kitts in the Caribbean

              Cruise Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

              Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

              Member: kruzals

              Background: Two years after kruzals first sailed on Adventure of the Seas, she returned with her husband and four-year-old daughter. The now-updated ship still showed some wear, but features like the Adventure Ocean kids’ club and added variety in Windjammer Cafe made up for it. Read on for her hits and misses.

              Onboard Highlight: Adventure Ocean kids’ club, where kruzals’ daughter with special needs had the time of her life.

              Port Highlight: St. Kitts, thanks to a kid-friendly catamaran ride followed by time to unwind on a deserted beach.

              Don’t Miss: Dinner at Johnny Rockets if you don’t feel up to formal night.

              Watch Out For: The shops in Antigua, especially if you’re easily overwhelmed.

              More: Read kruzals’ full review, and browse future cruises on Adventure of the Seas.

              For their efforts, kruzals, IanBork, surgie, racepoint and J3RZG1RL receive Cruise Critic logo items.

              Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, and showcase one as the Member Review of the Week.

              Check out more cruise reviews or write your own. Who knows; yours may be featured next!

                Hits and Misses from a Svalbard Cruise

                June 29, 2015 | By | No Comments

                Polar bear in the Arctic

                Quark Expeditions is one of the world’s specialists in polar travel, offering small-ship itineraries in Antarctica, Greenland, northern Canada, Norway, Iceland and even the North Pole. Though there are other expedition lines operating in many of these regions, Quark has broken new ground in recent years by introducing unique adventures such as paddleboarding in Antarctica and hot air ballooning at the North Pole.

                Cruise Critic recently joined Quark’s “Introduction to Spitsbergen” itinerary, a Svalbard cruise that sails round trip from Longyearbyen, Norway, with a focus on spotting polar bears, walruses, reindeer and other Arctic wildlife. Over eight nights aboard Sea Adventurer, Quark’s oldest vessel, I discovered a few of the qualities that make a Svalbard cruise special — plus a couple of little things that didn’t quite live up to expectations.



                Reindeer in the Arctic

                Wildlife: Every part of a Svalbard cruise is designed to get passengers as close to the wildlife as possible. When a whale surfaces or a polar bear is spotted in the pack ice, the ship veers off course to get a better look. For a more intimate look, smaller Zodiac boats bring passengers right up to the shoreline for views of nesting puffins or grazing reindeer. In the most incredible moments, the animals came to us — as when a polar bear padded directly across the ice to within about 50 feet of our ship, lifting its sensitive nose to scent us every step of the way. The wildlife is the number one reason that most people book a Svalbard cruise, and it didn’t disappoint.

                (For more Arctic Cruise options, read Arctic Cruise Basics).

                Read on for more

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                  The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

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