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.

River Cruising, African-Style?

Deepest Africa isn’t a place normally associated with cruising. But on a small stretch of the Chobe River, a sometimes mile-wide waterway forming part of the border between Namibia and Botswana, there’s an unexpected and thriving boutique riverboat operation, the elegant, 28-passenger Zambezi Queen.

Royal Princess’ ‘Love Boat’ Horn: More Than an Incredibly Catchy Tune?

On our recent shipyard tour of the nearly finished Royal Princess, the all-new feature that generated the most buzz wasn’t the tweaked mini-suite design, the size and breadth of the expanded piazza or even the spiffy Princess Live! entertainment venue.

Is Titanic II an Elaborate Hoax?

Australian multi-millionaire rock-er Clive Palmer has been continent-hopping to promote Titanic II, a 55,000-ton, 2,435-passenger replica ocean liner set to launch in 2016. The drip campaign began in April around the 100th anniversary of the original doomed voyage. Revelations have been made about No. Two’s three-class setup, its vintage gymnasium reminiscent of a medieval torture […]

12 Things You Never Thought You’d Hear on an Expedition Cruise

We’ve all heard about the funny questions cruise passengers ask on big ships. “Do the crewmembers sleep on board?” Or “What time’s the midnight buffet?” And so on. But what about the more rugged types who favour small expedition ships? Let me tell you, the ask-before-you-think mentality is just the same. Here are some gems […]

Cliche Souffle: Paula Deen Staffer Knocks Cruise on Twitter

If your boss took you on a theme cruise — her theme cruise — would you knock it in public? According to Us Weekly, that’s what Brandon Branch — personal assistant to Southern cooking chef and TV personality Paula Deen — did while he was onboard the Paula Deen & Family cruise. Branch tweeted from […]

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