Port Perceptions: Overcoming a Negative First Impression

Not every port makes a stellar first impression. Misunderstandings happen, plans fall through, expectations are dashed. And nowhere in recent memory did I find that truer than in Cabo San Lucas. I had high hopes before I arrived in this happening resort town, long a centerpiece of Mexican Riviera cruises. As a celebrity magazine addict, [...]

Destination Spotlight: The U.S. Virgin Islands, For Every Traveler

Whether it’s your first or 15th trip to the Eastern Caribbean, chances are good that one of the U.S. Virgin Islands will be a stop on your itinerary. The three main islands – St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John – receive an astounding number of cruise passengers per year; in 2013, nearly 2 million [...]

Destination Spotlight: Tulips of the Netherlands

There is, perhaps, no more stereotypically Dutch landscape than what you’ll see on the way to the Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands’ most famous fields of tulips. Windmills, both modern and vintage, dot the roadside, and the water they help manage is everywhere. Over half of The Netherlands, or “Low Countries,” lies at or below sea [...]

Destination Spotlight: River Cruising Comes to Bordeaux

Is river cruising, particularly in Europe, becoming a victim of its own success? The question was on the minds of a few participants in our recent river-oriented Cruise Critic Live! chat, where there is some concern that this year’s explosion in new ship introductions will lead to congestion on the Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Seine, Rhone [...]

Destination Spotlight: Is Roatan Safe for Cruisers?

Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras, gets plenty of cruise activity throughout the year, with ships from most of the major U.S. cruise lines routinely making port stops here. The little island is a dream for snorkelers, scuba divers and lovers of relaxing beach days. Yet some cruisers started questioning safety at the [...]

Destination Spotlight: Cruisers Rediscover Mazatlan

It’s been two years since cruise ships—any cruise ships—have called at Mazatlan, Mexico. So on February 1st when our ship, Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest, docked at this vibrant Pacific coast port, it ranked as one of only a handful of recent cruise arrivals. No wonder everyone I met in “Mexico’s colonial city on the [...]

Live from….Cuba Cruise: A Stop in Santiago

As we walk up the steep hill leading from the port of Santiago to its main square, Plaza Cespedes, we hear what sounds like an explosion. It’s a car backfiring, an ancient Soviet-era Lada, probably dating from the early- to mid-60s, trying desperately to get up the hill. It explodes again, juddering almost to a [...]

Live from….Cuba Cruise: First Impressions

On my second night onboard the Canada-based Cuba Cruise, the first cruise line to offer sailings around the island,  Captain Stathis Goumas added a caveat to his welcome speech that resonated with all of us onboard: “If you want to experience a typical Caribbean cruise, then you have come on the wrong ship. Is that what [...]

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