Is Free Room Service on Its Way Out?

One of the long-standing perks of cruising has been the ability to have food magically appear at your cabin, at any hour of the day. I remember the delight my sister and I felt on our first cruise, a Western Caribbean voyage on Carnival Fantasy, when we realized that we could order a cheese plate […]

Just Back From… Cuba Cruise, Hits and Misses

The Canadian company Cuba Cruise has made waves these past two years by being the only cruise line to offer seven-night Havana-to-Havana circumnavigations of the Caribbean’s largest island. It was also in the right place at the right time when President Obama loosened travel restrictions for Americans, partnering right away with people-to-people organizations to offer […]

Were You April Fooled?

If you’re anything like us, you spent most of yesterday either avoiding the Internet or reading everything with a skeptical eye. Several of our Cruise Critic members got into the act with April Fools’ Day pranks of their own. Our favorite? The announcement of “Carnivore Class” on Celebrity Cruises’ upcoming Edge Class ships, cleverly written […]

10 More Things Americans Should Know About Cruising to Cuba

Chris Gray Faust, an American, is back from a cruise to Cuba with the Canadian line Cuba Cruise. Here are 10 more things that Americans should know before they board (read her first installment). 1. Set your expectations, shipwise. Louis Cristal is not a new ship — and while the ship’s Greek and Cuban crew […]

10 Things Americans Should Know About Cruising to Cuba

It wasn’t all that long ago that traveling to Cuba seemed like a pipe dream, at least for the average American. For more than 50 years, the U.S. trade embargo against the Caribbean’s largest island meant that even as the rest of the world could experience Cuba’s beaches, culture and music, Americans were shut out. […]

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 […]

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