A Closer Look: What’s Your Cruise Packing Strategy?

The summer season of overcrowded airports, mammoth check-in lines, exorbitant baggage fees and lost luggage is fast approaching. So would you do a cruise with carry-on bags only, simply to avoid the hassle? I have before, but it’s not easy when you want to look good in the evenings and take workout gear and drag […]

A Closer Look: Project Linus on HAL Amsterdam

What do you do when you’re at sea for 112 days? That’s what Arna Lewis a frequent cruiser with Holland America, wondered before her 2010 world cruise on Amsterdam. So she contacted the Seattle office of Project Linus with an idea: Could the non-profit that provides blankets to ailing children and teens give her some […]

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 […]

A Closer Look: What Makes a True Cunarder?

Cruisers are a fiercely loyal bunch. Either they only have (and ever will) travel with one cruise line, or have tried another, hated it (or missed the one they are used to) and come back to the original one. This is played out most clearly on the Cruise Critic Message Boards, where you’ll rarely see […]

A Closer Look: Royal Caribbean Celebrates Oasis 3 Keel-Laying

If the most momentous surprise at today’s keel-laying for Royal Caribbean’s third Oasis-class ship was the announcement that company executives had just signed a contract for a fourth vessel in the series, it took nothing away from the real reason we’d traveled to STX France, the St. Nazaire-based shipyard. Here to attend Oasis 3’s keel-laying […]

A Closer Look: Secrets of a Cruise Ship Lecturer

For my first lecture stint aboard a transatlantic cruise filled with British passengers bound for America, I laid out some folders, guides and maps relating to my topic, New York City. A couple of passengers came to the lectern for a chat, and I lost track of the collection, part of my personal archive of […]

A Closer Look: British vs. American Cruises

I’ve just returned from a Caribbean cruise on P&O Cruises’ Ventura. It’s been a year since I was on a British ship and in between, I have found myself on a lot of U.S. ships (Carnival Sunshine, Royal Princess, Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway). While on Ventura, I realized how different the traditional U.K. cruise experience is, […]

A Closer Look: Is a Cruise to Nowhere for You?

It’s no secret that weather woes have dominated the news this winter. From endless snows on the East Coast to bone-chilling temps down South to drought conditions in the West, it seems everyone is ready for a getaway, no matter how short. Enter the cruise to nowhere, called “CTN” on our member forums for short. […]

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