Is 18 Percent the New Cruise Tipping Norm?

For those who keep track of their cruise bottom line (and isn’t that most of us?), considering automatic gratuities leveled by cruise lines is a necessary part of budgeting. And lately, tipping rates have been creeping upward, from 15 percent to 18 percent. While many cruise line spas have long added an 18 percent gratuity […]

Cruise Bartending’s Best of the Best Mix it up for Bacardi

And now let us praise those unsung heroes of your cruise, the lowly barkeep. In these times of cleanses and CrossFit, it might be unpopular to admit that you’re the one buying an unlimited drinks package. Here at Cruise Critic, we go out of our way to stress that today’s ships are much more than […]

Is Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas Heading to China?

It’s no secret that the cruise industry is paying more and more attention to the Chinese market. In just a few months, Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum of the Seas will move from Cape Liberty to its new homeport, Shanghai. And now there’s some indication that the newest Quantum-class ship — Ovation of the Seas, which […]

Winter Slushy Waves

Llamas, #TheDress, House of Cards – the Internet has been full of so many memes, it’s hard to keep track (Team WhiteGold for-eva). But the viral photos that have kept me mesmerized are the “slushy waves” released by Nantucket photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh. Appearing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and published in Stay Wild magazine, Jonathan’s […]

As Seen on TV: Cruise Ship Singer Carly Waddell on The Bachelor

Norwegians get roses….or at least one of them has been. Carly Waddell, a former cruise ship singer on Norwegian Jade, is a contestant on The Bachelor this season. So far the 29-year-old Texas blonde has made it through four rounds, with the goal of winning the heart of hunky farmer Chris Soules. In her official […]

Love It or Hate It? Carnival Corporation’s Super Bowl Ad

For a cruise company looking for buzz, there’s no better time to seize the national spotlight than during the Super Bowl. And that’s just what Carnival Corporation & plc did with its “Come Back to the Sea” ad last night. The ad represented the culmination of a new marketing push by Carnival Corp., the parent […]

Observed Onboard: UFOs at Sea?

Scanning the night sky from your balcony is one of the more romantic perks of being out on the high seas. Unless, of course, you see a UFO. That’s what happened to Cruise Critic member Bettyandmartin on an Emerald Princess cruise earlier this month. While admiring the stars off the Yucatan Peninsula, she and her […]

Just Back From… Costa neoRiviera: 5 Things to Know About “Neo”

It’s a dilemma all cruise lines face: How do you update and refresh smaller ships that physically aren’t able to compete with the shinier and larger vessels plying the marketplace? With neoRiviera (and several other “neo” flagged ships in its fleet), Costa has made the smart decision to remake the cruising experience itself to cater […]

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