Wanderlust Wednesday: The Glass Island

August 20, 2014 | By | No Comments

Black and white picture of city with waterway
Every Wednesday, we’ll be taking you on a journey around the world to some of the most interesting places our members have trekked, swum or merely witnessed from afar while cruising.
Whether these photos inspire you to plan a relaxing escape or walk on the wild side, we hope they ignite your senses and give you ideas for your next cruising adventure. If you have a photo you’d love to share, send it to us at photos@cruisecritic.com or post it in our member photo gallery.
This photo of a sidewalk along the canal in Murano, Italy, may have been taken in present day, but it conjures up the image of a simpler time. Brightly colored and vibrant, Murano is known for its glassmaking of more than 700 years. Thanks to Cruise Critic member bigxstudio for submitting the photo.
Find interesting places to visit based on region.
Everything you need to know about planning a cruise.
Explore Trip Reports of unique itineraries.

    Member Review of the Week: Nifty Fifty

    August 19, 2014 | By | No Comments

    Sunset overlooking mountains and see with close-up flowers
    Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, one of which is showcased as the Member Review of the Week. In the spotlight this week is Cruise Critic member dag144‘s recent cruise to the Eastern Caribbean aboard Caribbean Princess.
    Overall Impression: This cruise marked a significant milestone for avid cruiser, dag144. Aside from being the first onboard Caribbean Princess after sailing with the line numerous times, it was dag144′s 50th cruise: An anniversary that made for a new favorite (revealed below).
    Read on for highlights, tips and more.

      Cruise Critic Live! Life’s an Adventure

      August 18, 2014 | By | No Comments

      uncruise adventures wilderness discoverer expedition cruise ship in alaska
      Each week on Cruise Critic Live, we’ll take a look at all the things to love about cruising, from favorite destinations to amazing dining experiences, and we’ll give you the inside scoop on the newest ships at sea and on the rivers. We’ll also welcome outside experts to this space, including cruise line CEOs and newsmakers. And of course, we want to hear from you: What would you like to discuss?
      This week, we’re chatting about expedition cruising. When it comes to cruising, picking an expedition line can help you get into some of those ports larger ships might not be able to access. With things like Zodiacs, snorkeling and round-the-clock guides, expedition cruising combines history and learning, while still providing many of the amenities cruisers have come to expect. Our adventure-seeking editors will take your questions, give our favorite tips for finding the right itineraries for you and help you pick the destinations that will create lasting memories. Join us at 3 p.m. (EDT) August 21.
      Last week, we talked about saving money on cruising, and our readers — and guest travel agent expert — had plenty of advice on how to save. If you didn’t join us last week, you missed out on advice like this.

      Fear not! You can still read the whole chat.

        Where in the World is Cruise Critic?

        August 18, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

        Chris Gray Faust on map
        Cruise Critic staffers set sail every week, traveling the globe to bring you the latest cruise ship trends, port sneak peeks and onboard observations. Here’s where we are this week.
        (Got questions about any of the ships we’re boarding or ports we are visiting? Ask us in the comments!)
        Tour/Ship: A Holland America cruisetour to Alaska
        Where: The cruisetour begins on land in Anchorage, before heading up to Denali and Fairbanks. We then explore Dawson City and Whitehorse, Yukon, before boarding Holland America’s Zuiderdam in Skagway for four days along Alaska’s Inside Passage.
        Who: Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor
        Why There? Cruisetours continue to be one of the best ways to see a lot of the 49th State in a short amount of time. Besides taking a look at Holland America’s Zuiderdam, I’ll give you the scoop on excursions, lodging and other nuts and bolts of what a typical cruisetour is all about.
        We Can’t Wait: I’m no stranger to Alaska’s Inside Passage (read my review of Alaska expedition cruising), but the interior will be completely new to me. I’m interested to see how a cruisetour compares in value to a land vacation, and also how the experience on an Alaska mainstream cruise ship compares to the smaller vessels I’ve been on.

          Hot on the Forums: Do You Take Food on a Cruise Ship?

          August 15, 2014 | By | 11 Comments

          Bunch of gummy bears
          A cruise ship might seem like the last place on earth where you’d need to bring your own food. I always swore I’d never be the type of unadventurous person who’d take sackloads of home comforts on holiday, but sure enough I found myself stashing a pack of Scottish oatcakes and a box of tea in my suitcase for my last voyage. Cruise Critic’s U.K. editor, Adam Coulter, confesses to bringing his own Marmite onboard, too (Editor’s note: and PG Tips, a brand of tea).
          So I wondered, who else brings their own nibbles on a cruise? Turns out, I’m not alone.
          Cruise Critic member MrsCruise2007 says on the forums: “I always pack some small snacks…granola bars, trail mix, crackers. I am a continual snacker at home and sometimes just want something small to tide me over.”

          Read on to find out more.

            Steal of the Week: 11-Nt. Hawaii Cruise from $949

            August 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

            piggy bank cruising
            Everyone is looking for the deal of the century. So how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Check the Lido Deck each week to get the scoop on our favorite deals — then grab the phone and pack your bags.
            THE DEAL: Carnival Cruise Lines is offering an 11-night Hawaii cruise onboard Carnvial Legend, sailing from Honolulu to Vancouver on May 7, 2015. Prices start from $949 per person, for an inside cabin.
            WHAT WE LOVE: Six days in Hawaii, in May, with stellar ports at either end from $87 per person, per night, isn’t a bad idea for vacation. This cruise from Carnival is split, with the first half among the islands and the second half sailing to Vancouver. New shows and amenities will keep you busy during those days at sea, with PlayList Productions performances, Hasbro the Game Show, and Seuss at Sea and a new water park debuting soon. Select Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades have been made, adding RedFrog Pub, Punchliner Comedy Club and Bonsai Sushi venues. Sailing towards the end of the school year, but before Memorial Day, the ship may enjoy peace before the summer season unfurls and with it, more crowds and passengers.
            WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: The price is right, but for a Hawaii sailing — especially with all those sea days at the end — you may want to spring for a balcony, which brings the price up to $121 per person, per night. Flights will be more — to Hawaii and from Canada — adding to the budget. Compare flight prices with our sister site TripAdvisor’s meta-search tool.
            HOW TO BOOK IT: For all the nitty-gritty on this deal (including that pesky fine print), click here.
            Looking for cruises for under $75 or even $50 a day? We’ve got ‘em listed on our Cheap Cruises page.
            Get great cruise deals — and exclusive member offers — delivered weekly to your inbox.

              Wanderlust Wednesday: Cannes Through The Window

              August 13, 2014 | By | No Comments

              Building with murals and artistic figures
              Every Wednesday, we’ll be taking you on a journey around the world to some of the most interesting places our members have trekked, swum or merely witnessed from afar while cruising.
              Whether these photos inspire you to plan a relaxing escape or walk on the wild side, we hope they ignite your senses and give you ideas for your next cruising adventure. If you have a photo you’d love to share, send it to us at photos@cruisecritic.com or post it in our member photo gallery.
              Although not as abstract as Marc Chagall’s interpretation of landscapes, this photo of a building mural in Cannes, France, taken by Cruise Critic member timecop evokes a sense of seamless chaos and French charm similar to that of the artist’s paintings. Do you enjoy scoping out art while in port? Share a story of your most memorable finding below.
              Find interesting places to visit based on region.
              Everything you need to know about planning a cruise.
              Explore Trip Reports of unique itineraries.

                Live from….Hurtigruten’s Finnmarken: 6 Surprises

                August 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

                Hurtigruten Finnmarken in Geirangerfjord
                I’m currently aboard Hurtigruten’s Finnmarken, sailing the line’s northbound Norway coastal voyage from Bergen to Kierkenes. It’s both my first time to Norway and my first time sailing with an expedition line that focuses mainly on destinations, rather than onboard bells and whistles.
                Read on to see what I’m finding most intriguing about the ship and its Norwegian Fjords itinerary.
                1. Embarkation is super relaxed. Forget metal detectors and pat-downs. When I boarded Finnmarken in Bergen, there were no security lines. In fact, there was no security at all. I was able to check in, get my cruise card and walk directly onboard after viewing a short safety video (which took the place of a muster drill). In one port, I bought a bag of cherries and carried them on with me without a problem. In another, I walked back onboard with an open bottle of apple juice and an entire pizza, and nobody said a word. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to come and go and eat/drink what I wanted, where I wanted, without being treated like a criminal.
                Read on for more
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