Where in the World is Cruise Critic?

May 5, 2014 | By | No Comments

cruise-critic
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!)
Ship: Windstar CruisesStar Pride
Where: Barcelona and the Western Mediterranean
Who: Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief
Why There? The 212-passenger Star Pride, which many may remember as Seabourn Pride, will be christened in Barcelona on Monday, May 5 and we’ll be there to cover it. Windstar made an arrangement to acquire all three of Seabourn’s smaller ships and this is the first to join the fleet.
We Can’t Wait: As part of Seabourn, Star Pride was a ship more attuned to a rather more formal luxury cruise. We’re curious to see how Windstar’s transformed the ship to reflect its own more active, more informal vibe. We’re also curious: Star Pride is the first ship in the Windstar fleet without sails, and it’s positioning the vessel, along with its other two siblings (joining the line in 2015) as a yacht experience. How will that change the Windstar style?

Ship: Royal Caribbean‘s Oasis 3
Where: France’s STX Europe shipyard, in St. Nazaire
Who: Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief
Why There? Following Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the as-yet unnamed Oasis 3 will have a keel laying ceremony at the shipyard on Thursday, May 8.
We Can’t Wait: The keel laying is an important part of the shipbuilding process, marking the lowering of a part of a vessel’s structural base onto the building blocks. (The four key symbolic aspects of a ship’s construction starts with the steel cutting, which in this case took place last fall, the keel-laying, the float-out, when the drydock is filled with water and it floats for the first time, and, finally, when the ship is delivered to the cruise line). The 227,000-ton, 5,400-passenger ship, which will debut in April 2016, will be the largest cruise vessel ever built.
Ship: Cunard Line‘s Queen Mary 2
Where: Transatlantic (Southampton to New York)
Who: Adam Coulter, Senior Editor, Cruise Critic UK
Why There? The QM2 is a purpose-built cruise liner and the only vessel which makes the journey from the Old to the New World on a regular basis.
We Can’t Wait: First up, I’ve never done a Transatlantic, and I’m intrigued about how I’m going to fill seven whole days at sea! Plus, the romance of history and the excitement of sailing on my first cruise liner (not ship), as well as meeting the architect of QM2, Stephen Payne, who’ll be onboard.
Ship: International Expeditions‘ Evolution
Where: Galapagos Islands
Who: Sarah Schlichter, Senior Editor of Cruise Critic’s sister site, IndependentTraveler.com
Why There? The small size of the Evolution — just 32 passengers — makes the ship an ideal option for passengers seeking an intimate experience in the Galapagos. The weeklong cruise includes stops on Isabela, Fernandina, Bartolome, Espanola and several other islands.
We Can’t Wait: Along with the usual naturalist guides, there will be a special guest lecturer aboard my sailing: Joan Embery, a noted wildlife and environmental advocate and the host of the series “Animal Express” and “Animals of Africa.”

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