Observed Onboard: Cruising with Japanese Toilets

Are you ready for a wash and blow dry? (And we’re not talking about hair salons.) When Princess Cruises turned its attention to Japan – with Japanese-built Diamond Princess and Sun Princess offering cruises designed specifically for passengers from Japan – it wasn’t just the menus that were tweaked to cater to the tastes of […]

Observed Onboard: Charging for Water?

The dream of ‘all-inclusive’ cruising has slowly eroded over the last two decades; few topics inspire as much passion as outrageous ‘nickel and diming’ charges on Cruise Critic message boards. On my recent cruise through the Norwegian fjords on Hurtigruten Lofoten, however, I found one of the most unusual charge yet: water. It wasn’t that […]

WWYD: Botox on Board?

Cruise Critic member Freckles83 posed an interesting question on the Holland America message boards recently. How about hopping off a ship in Costa Rica, known for the quality and low prices of its cosmetic surgery, having a quick procedure done, and hopping back on again? If you think about this, it’s not a reality, as many […]

Observed Onboard: Norwegian Getaway’s Best Bars

Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Getaway, boasts 18 decks and nearly as many bars. Whether you’re up for dancing into the wee hours, taking in a performance or just grabbing a relaxing after-dinner nightcap, there’s a venue for you. Read on to see which watering holes earned top marks on our recent cruise to […]

Observed Onboard: Would You Switch Lines to Travel with a Crewmember?

Would you switch cruise lines to follow a crewmember? Wit and charisma go a long way in the cruise industry and many cruise ship captains achieve near-celebrity status. When Captain Dag Dvergastein left Regent Seven Seas Cruises and moved to Seabourn in 2010, for example, he took with him a loyal following of guests who enjoyed […]

Observed Onboard: The $499 Bubble Bath

Here’s a new level of cruising decadence: $499 for a bath. OK, this is the top offering on Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Bath Butler menu, whereby a butler runs the bath and provides a bottle of Dom Perignon and sturgeon caviar for the guest to savor while they soak. But seriously? For $499, I would expect […]

Observed Onboard: Do You Want to Meet Your Neighbors?

A curious event was listed on the daily program for the first evening of my recent Regent Seven Seas cruise: A block party. Scheduled to coincide with Sailaway, the event – where you step out of your cabin into the hallway to have a drink and meet your neighbors – is apparently it’s a tradition […]

Live from….Costa Luminosa: 5 Things I Learned Onboard

Costa Cruises’ Costa Luminosa heads across the Atlantic in a few weeks, where it will trade its Mediterranean base for one out of Miami, sailing 10-night western Caribbean itineraries throughout the winter. I wondered: Will this ship, which has been geared to the Italy-based cruise line’s traditional, pan-European base appeal to fellow North Americans looking […]

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