Get your October 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! We hope that this photo of a cruise ship sailing through Bar Harbor, Maine, will inspire you to consider leaf-peeping cruises in Canada and New England.
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.
Check back on October 31 for the November 2014 calendar.
Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, and showcase one as the Member Review of the Week. In the spotlight this week is Cruise Critic member bottomfeeder‘s recent cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on Norwegian Getaway.
Overall Impression: The timing couldn’t have been more perfect: It was bottomfeeder’s birthday when she came across a deal she couldn’t pass up, onboard Norwegian’s newest ship. A solo traveler, bottomfeeder snagged a Mini Suite with no single supplement and upon boarding, treated herself to a weekly spa pass. After seven days of "me time," bottomfeeder felt renewed, refreshed and reassured her money was well spent.
Onboard Highlight: The spa, where bottomfeeder made the most of her weekly pass.
Tip: The heated tile loungers offer 180-degree views and are perfect for sailaway.
Port Highlight: Since bottomfeeder never got off the ship in port, the quiet time onboard made for even more time to relax and indulge.
Don’t Miss: The Legally Blonde and Burn the Floor production shows, even if you’re skeptical.
Watch Out For: The Mini Suite balconies. Bottomfeeder found them comfortable for herself, but warns they may be too narrow for more than one person.
More: Read bottomfeeder’s full review for more details, tips and tricks to make the most of your Norwegian Getaway cruise.
Every year, Cruise Lines National Association (CLIA) hosts a week of cruise deals and promotions known as Cruise Week. Held in the fall — a typically quiet booking period for cruising — Cruise Week aims to bolster cruise sales with special deals available exclusively through travel agents who have registered for the event through CLIA.
This year, Cruise Week takes place October 6 through October 13. Deals range from buy one get one half on Royal Caribbean to 10 percent off Hurtigruten, a small line based in Norway. With prices spiking for the holidays, and wave season months away in January, Cruise Week does offer some incentive to book now for warmer weather, or next year. To book, contact your travel agent or find one on cruising.org and ask about Cruise Week specials for select sailings.
Avalon River Cruises
Savings of up to $1,300 per couple on river cruises in Europe.
Carnival Cruise Lines
Reduced deposits of 50 percent, cabin upgrades (two categories) and $50 in onboard credit per cabin.
Up to $175 in onboard credit per cabin on Queen Mary 2 transatlantic crossings.
Up to $100 in onboard credit on select seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries.
Ten percent off current pricing on Norway Costal Voyage itineraries for new 2014 and 2015 bookings.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Up to $300 in onboard credit on select sailings and up to $100 per person for specialty sailings.
Royal Caribbean International
Buy one cruise fare, receive the second at half price plus 5 percent off ChoiceAir bookings.
When I board a cruise ship, I’m not the best at filling the ‘empty time’ between embarkation and getting the green light to go to my cabin. I tend to sit around twiddling my thumbs, and it’s only after I’ve unpacked and got my stateroom shipshape that I really start to relax and enjoy my surroundings.
I should have guessed that savvy Cruise Critic members have come up with much more productive ways to while away the time.
The suggestions started coming in after Shaycatt11 went on the forums to ask: “Do you have any tips on making the most of them ‘first few hours’ before you get given your room key? I usually head to the spa and get myself a raffle ticket, then go find my dining table for the cruise, finally I find a quiet corner and study the cruise compass with a cold drink.”
In the responses, it seems that two activities are most popular with our members: either head to the bar for a restorative cocktail or two, or check out their MDR assignment and find out where their table is located.”
They say age or glasses of wine should never be counted. I’m adding ‘favorite cruise foods’ to that list.
Between the main dining room, buffet, complimentary eateries and for-fee specialty restaurants, the meal options on cruise ships are endless (not to mention, all the local fare in port).
Even if you’re not a foodie, everyone has at least one vacation dish that lingers in their culinary memory. Narrowing down your favorite can be difficult (not that we’re complaining!)
If I had to name my dream meal, I’m torn between entrees I’ve eaten on Carnival, Oceania and Un-Cruise Adventures and desserts sampled on Royal Caribbean and Disney. It’s impossible to choose just one.
Here at Cruise Critic, our editors decided to try to figure out our own perfect three-course cruise meals. We were allowed to choose one appetizer, one entrée and one dessert, from any cruise line of our choosing. Here are the results: