Play the Cruise Critic Embarkation Day Scavenger Hunt!

Embarkation Day. A day that brings with it excitement, frustration, eagerness, anxiety and impatience. There’s so much to see: the guilty-looking guy claiming he didn’t know a bottle of rum wasn’t allowed in his backpack; the bartender with the fruity looking drink; a couple already in their bathing suits. It’s a people watchers’ dream, filled [...]

What Do You Love About Cruising?

For those who haven’t wandered over to the Cruise Critic message boards, you’ll find them a wonderful place, with all facets of human life represented (for good and ill). Informative, self-regulating, kind, often humorous and frequently bizarre, the threads are so numerous that — for the first-timer — the boards can seem somewhat daunting. If [...]

Say What? Silly Cruise Questions (That Never Should Have Been Asked)

Cruise Critic member GHstudio made an acute observation on the message boards recently: “Somehow, when people get on a ship on a cruise vacation, the most logical people just turn off their brain.” And when the brain is left on the dock, out come the questions and comments. Not just the old classics like ‘Do [...]

What’s On Your “Must Pack” List?

Most of us have that one treasured item we just can’t live without — even when we’re headed away on holiday. We make sure our “can’t live without” item finds its way into the bag, even if something more essential has to be left behind. We here at Cruise Critic have a theory, based on [...]

Slideshow: Have You Been Naughty or Nice on Your Cruise?

The Cruise Critic editors are making a list and checking it twice; we want to find out who’s been naughty or nice on their cruise vacations. We all love to complain about our least favorite shipmates — the chair hogs, the queue jumpers, the arrogant types who give the crew a hard time — but [...]

Observed Onboard: Shore Excursions with “Extras”

While cruising on Star Clippers last week, I joined a shore excursion from the Dalyan River in Turkey. We were to sail along the river in a small boat, daub ourselves with healing mud from a natural thermal pool and admire ancient rock tombs cut into the cliffs towering over the river. We were all [...]

Live from Hapag-Lloyd Europa 2: Cruising “Foreign”

Why would you choose to take a cruise on a ship where the main language is not English? Onboard Hapag-Lloyd’s brand-new Europa 2, on a Mediterranean voyage, announcements are made first in German, then English.  Passengers wish you a pleasant “Guten Tag” in passing rather than “Good Afternoon.” And on its menus, which focus primarily [...]

A True IQ Test: Turning Off the Lights

Cruise ship cabin design seems to follow the rule that the newer and more luxurious the ship, the more complicated the cabin electronics. I’ve battled with silly showers and crazy curtains, nonfunctioning telephones and “smart” interactive TV systems with messages welcoming another passenger entirely. But I’ve never been defeated by the lighting system. Until now.

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