Packing Challenge: An Adventure Cruise to the Amazon

Preparing for my latest voyage, the packing checklist looks a lot like the usual, at least on the surface. New shoes? Absolutely. A few new items of clothing? Why not. Camera, raincoat, Kindle, are also among the staples I lug around from cruise to cruise. But this is no “normal” voyage. On this trip — my […]

Live from….Costa Luminosa: 5 Things I Learned Onboard

Costa Cruises’ Costa Luminosa heads across the Atlantic in a few weeks, where it will trade its Mediterranean base for one out of Miami, sailing 10-night western Caribbean itineraries throughout the winter. I wondered: Will this ship, which has been geared to the Italy-based cruise line’s traditional, pan-European base appeal to fellow North Americans looking […]

Live from…Queen Mary 2: Hits, Misses & a Few So-Sos

Cruise Critic’s Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Spencer Brown took a transatlantic voyage last week on Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2. This is her third and final dispatch from the high seas. Read the first and second posts. When Cunard Line debuted Queen Mary 2 in 2004, it was a ship of many firsts. Among the distinctions: At […]

Live from….Queen Mary 2: Sea Day Satisfaction

Cruise Critic’s Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Spencer Brown is taking a transatlantic voyage this week on Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2. This is her second dispatch from the high seas. Read the first one and stay tuned for more installments. So far, every day onboard Queen Mary 2 I’ve felt just a little bit lighter than the […]

Live from….Queen Mary 2: Will a Transatlantic Cruise be Boring?

Cruise Critic’s Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Spencer Brown is taking a transatlantic voyage this week on the Queen Mary 2. Stay tuned for installments of her trip. When a plane can zip over the vast Atlantic in 6 ½ hours (or slightly more, or less, depending on where you’re headed) why on earth would you choose a method that takes […]

Live From….AmaPrima: Hits and Misses

The latest stage in AmaWaterways‘ ambitious growth plan – since its founding in 2002, it has introduced 15 ships! – feels more like a boutique hotel than a riverboat. Christened last week in Vilshofen, Germany, AmaPrima felt intimate and cozy, with a crew that offered sublime service (it’s been in service since April). The 164-passenger ship […]

Live from Hapag-Lloyd Europa 2: Cruising “Foreign”

Why would you choose to take a cruise on a ship where the main language is not English? Onboard Hapag-Lloyd’s brand-new Europa 2, on a Mediterranean voyage, announcements are made first in German, then English.  Passengers wish you a pleasant “Guten Tag” in passing rather than “Good Afternoon.” And on its menus, which focus primarily […]

The Early Word on Royal Princess: Hits & Misses

After days of hype over Princess Cruises’ new Royal Princess, culminating in an elegant and truly moving naming ceremony with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as godmother, it’s time to focus on what’s ultimately the most important thing: What’s the ship really like? As a prototype — cruise industry parlance for a new design, rather than […]

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