It’s Hurricane Day! Win a Cruise Critic Hat and Poncho Combo

Cruising the Caribbean in the late summer/early fall — the height of Atlantic Hurricane Season — can be an interesting proposition. Ships do have a distinct benefit over hotels: they can move to avoid a storm. Still, there may be few dicier days to cruise than today.

Norwegian Breakaway and Peter Max Ignite One Hull of a Debate

NCL‘s striking hull designs — featuring jewels, flowers, a radiating sun — have become something of a calling card. But none of the line’s previous liveries could have prepared us for Norwegian Breakaway, whose Peter Max-designed paint work was officially unveiled Tuesday.

The Best Cruise Tradition We’d Never Heard of

Next time, I’ll use the Pony Express. A letter dropped off July 13 at the Galapagos’ famous barrel-cum-mailbox in Post Office Bay still hadn’t arrived after almost a month. Tradition is to blame. For centuries, mariners visiting the famous Ecuadorian isles have relied on the unspoken duty of fellow pirates, whalers and now cruisers to [...]

Royal Caribbean’s Compensation Package for Storm-Shortened Cruise

With Tropical Storm Isaac barreling by Florida’s popular homeports, a number of ships have been forced to wait offshore until the massive system and its entrails blow through. This has delayed debarkations by several hours, a day or, in the case of the world’s largest cruise ship, two full days. Allure of the Seas‘ current [...]

Carnival’s All-Inclusive Drinks Package: In Vino Veritas?

There’s been no shortage of sober feedback about Carnival’s trial all-you-can-drink package, which is currently in beta on Carnival Victory. For about $50 a day, My Awesome Bar Program opt-ins — and all occupants of a cabin 21 or older must opt in — can order beer, wine, spirits, cocktails and certain nonalcoholic drinks priced [...]

Photo: Anatomy of a Galapagos Cruise Ship

Sand is highly corrosive. Excursions in the Galapagos often begin or end on a beach head scattered with sea lions (and their scat). So the stern platform on the 48-passenger La Pinta it outfitted with handheld showerheads. Just up the stairs, wetsuits and mesh snorkel bags hang to dry. In the small lobby, a goodie [...]

Cruise of a Lifetime: When Planning Is Almost as Fun as the Voyage

Be you bucket lister or wildlife buff, the idea of a Galapagos cruise pulses with animal magnetism. It’s a science fiction adventure — ship as time machine visiting a prehistoric land of black lava, alien cactus trees, swimming iguanas and giant tortoises. It turns out that pre-voyage planning, which includes ticking off items like “underwater [...]

The Incredible Floating Cruise Dock (Photos)

The SeaWalk is a motorized, floating pier that saw its first primetime action Saturday when Cunard’s 2,068-passenger Queen Elizabeth anchored in Skjokden, Norway. The 720-foot-long, 15-foot wide mobile dock looks like a piece from an industrial erector set, its three segments unlatched and unfolded into flamboyant “Z.”

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