Cruising a la Carte: For-Fee Steak & Lobster in the Main Dining Room?

On today’s cruise ships, added fees are appearing in venues where nary an extra nickel or dime was once extracted. Bars serve up-charge sliders. Buffets levy nominal fees for fondue and crab. A public (cruise ship) lawn turns into pricey village green. Even waiting in line has gotten more expensive. (Base cruise fares, as readers […]

Busted Onboard: Tales of Plunder at Sea

When it comes to the list of what not to do on a cruise ship, you’ve got to think that stealing would be near the top. So why the heck are stories of onboard thievery so prevalent? We’re not talking the stray towel here or bathrobe there (and no, we’re not advocating lifting linens).

Crystal’s Living Wall Feels Familiar

Crystal Cruises this week unveiled a living wall aboard Crystal Symphony, touting it as the “world’s first living wall at sea.”

Model Cruiser Builds a Following on Cruise Critic

When does a hobby become an obsession? That’s the first question that pops to mind when I’m reading the impressively detailed answers to a series of questions I’ve asked Jan Indekeu, also known as Modelbuilder on Cruise Critic’s forums. Jan prefers to go by John when talking to English-speakers (he’s Belgian) — just to make […]

What if Norwegian Breakaway’s Hull Was Designed By …

The first rendering of Peter Max’s Norwegian Breakaway hull has garnered mixed reviews. It’s the first cruise ship hull ever designed by a famous artist, so, naturally, we wondered: What if NCL had asked another art icon to tackle the massive project? Not that our four suggested picks are up to the task (they’re dead), […]

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 […]

A Stormy Relationship: What Is It With You “I’s”?

Blame Isaac for scattering Caribbean-based cruise ships, upending tightly coordinated shipping schedules and deluging popular ports. But apparently, none of this should come as a surprise. According to a recent blog on, over the past 11 years, those ornery “I” storms have been among the most destructive of the Atlantic hurricanes. Seven “I” names […]

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