Live From Viking Mani: Four Reasons Why River Cruising is a Great First-Timers’ Experience

On our first day onboard our Rhine River cruise on Viking Cruises’ newest ship, Viking Mani, Program Manager Rene van Loon greeted the 187 passengers with a big smile, hearty laugh and a telling question: How many of you have taken a cruise of any kind before?

Six Cruise Line Bartenders Mix It Up in Battle for the Best

On Friday night, talented mixologists were contending for the best bartender crown in the finals of the Bacardi Cruise Competition.

Just Off the Gangway….Regal Princess: Hits and Misses

Princess Cruises’ newest ship, Regal Princess, hit the seas for the first time May 22, sailing Mediterranean itineraries through Greece, Italy, Croatia and Turkey. Regal Princess is a virtual twin of Royal Princess, which debuted in June 2013.  Like its sister ship, Regal has the same large Grand Piazza, large theater with palladium seating and [...]

Live from….Regal Princess: Stranded (Briefly) in Santorini

Cruise Critic Managing Editor Colleen McDaniel is onboard Regal Princess this week, on the ship’s inaugural voyage in the eastern Mediterranean. Today, high winds of 80 knots outside Santorini, Greece, forced the ship to temporarily abandon its tender port to move to safer waters – leaving almost 2,000 people ashore. Here are some of Colleen’s [...]

A Closer Look: Carnival Live! Concert Series

Carnival announced its Carnival Live! concert series with a lot of fanfare — and help from Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson back in January. The idea was simple and cool: Musicians, like Jewel and REO Speedwagon, would perform on one of the line’s ships while docked in either Nassau or Cozumel. Passengers could pay $20-$40 for regular [...]

Live from…American Empress: 5 Things to Love

American Queen Steamboat Company’s newest ship, American Empress, made a soft debut this week, sailing an itinerary from Spokane, Washington, to Portland, Oregon, ahead of the ship’s christening Saturday. AQSC, which launched fleetmate American Queen in 2012 on the Mississippi River, bought Empress of the North in spring 2013 and has meticulously refurbished the paddlewheel [...]

Just Back From….Celebrity Summit: 5 Things that Surprised Me – and 1 That Didn’t

Before boarding Celebrity Summit last week in Puerto Rico, I felt like I had a pretty good idea about what to expect. After all, I’d sailed on two of the line’s newer, bigger ships: Equinox and Reflection. I expected the touches that make a ship “Celebrity,” and I got them: Comfy seating at the pools; [...]

Live from: MSC Divina

MSC Divina is making its debut sailing from its new Miami homeport. The Italian line, which generally has plied the waters of the Mediterranean, is dipping its toe in the Caribbean in a big way, offering deals and holding contests to entice North American travelers to a product relatively unfamiliar to this market. MSC hasn’t [...]

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