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 [...]

Planning a Cruise to Asia: Your First Steps

Photo courtesy of Teijo Niemela On the eve of my trip to Singapore to meet up with Compagnie du Ponant’s Le Soleal for a 12-night Indonesia-centric voyage, I’m reflecting on the pros – and cons – of traveling to Asia. In over ten years as chief editor of Cruise Critic, I’ve been to Asia just [...]

Destination Spotlight: 6 Things to Love About St. Maarten/St. Martin

I’ll be honest: I was a little leery about last week’s trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin. The dual-culture island — one side Dutch, the other French — seemed to become too popular for its own good, with up to seven ships in port at a time. Would the Caribbean stalwart have a soul under all [...]

Destination Spotlight: 5 Things to Do in Galveston Before Your Cruise

There’s no doubt Texas is gaining popularity as a homeport state. Galveston, severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008, has recovered and currently serves as home base for Carnival Triumph, Carnival Magic and Mariner of the Seas (which will be replaced by Navigator of the Seas in November). With its historic buildings and clean beaches, [...]

Destination Spotlight: 5 Things to Do in Houston Before Your Cruise

There’s no doubt Texas is gaining popularity as a homeport state. Houston, which has seen only a handful of calls since Norwegian Cruise Line stopped using it as a homeport in 2006, has renovated its terminal facilities and is poised to permanently welcome Caribbean Princess next month. Offering more drive-to options for southern cruisers, particularly [...]

Destination Spotlight: What’s Coming to Costa Maya, Mexico

Call it the Comeback Kid: Built out of nothing and decimated by storms, the Mexican port of Costa Maya continues to not only survive, but thrive – and has ambitious plans for future growth. Located near the former fishing village of Majahual (also spelled Mahahual), Costa Maya receives regular year-round calls from Carnival Cruise Lines [...]

« go backkeep looking »
  • Subscribe to the Lido Deck by E-Mail








  • About the Lido Deck

    Welcome to the Lido Deck, where Cruise Critic readers and editors gather to share ideas, news, photos, videos and opinions on everything from ship etiquette and past voyages to happy hours and excursions. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

    Click here to meet the crew.



  • Recent Posts


  • What’s Your Cruise IQ?


  • RSS Cruise Critic News




  • Categories