We Try It: Roadtesting a Butler on a River Cruise

Unless you live in a stately home, the closest you’ve probably gotten to a butler is watching "Downton Abbey." Until recently, I could say the same. Two consecutive river vessel christenings brought back-to-back butlers into my life. Once the preserve of country estates and seagoing ships, butlers have become an increasing presence on river cruise […]

We Try It: Celebrity Cruises’ Suite Class

More and more, mainstream cruise lines are adding separate areas for their highest-paying passengers. Think executive floors on hotels or premium cabins on airplanes, with lounges, separate dining areas and personalized service — only at sea. MSC Cruises has the Yacht Club, Norwegian Cruise Line has The Haven, and Cunard has long had Grills Class. […]

We Try It: Volunteer Guides in Japan

Some people might call me cheap — but I prefer to think that I’m connecting more closely with the local culture when I opt to forgo shore excursions. Well, OK, I’m also saving money. So when I discovered that some shore excursions on my Asia cruise aboard Oceania Nautica topped $300, I knew it was […]

We Try It: Sailing on a Shakedown

Your favorite cruise line has announced the dates for the maiden voyage of a new ship. Excited to be one of the first onboard, you race to book it. New ship, new hardware: What could go wrong? Plenty. Here at Cruise Critic, we’re experts when it comes to "shakedown" cruises. The term is generally used […]

We Try It: Japanese Baths on Diamond Princess

Making promises over dinner and a few wines is OK but when it comes to agreeing to go naked in a Japanese bathhouse, it’s perhaps best to decide when totally sober. A couple of us thought we’d go au naturel to sample the brand-new bathhouse onboard Diamond Princess. After all, most onsens (baths) in Japan […]

We Try It: Late Flight after Debarkation? Get A Room!

On my last cruise, the ship forced us to get off by 9:15 a.m. but our flight wasn’t until 5:30 p.m. What are a travel editor, her baby, her parents, multiple bags and a stroller supposed to do for a day at Orlando Airport? Easy. We booked a day room. Some hotels, particularly those at […]

We Try It: Cool-Weather Cruising

“Are those earmuffs?!” a man asked with a mocking note in his voice. Yes, I had to admit I’d popped them on as we sailed away from Invergordon, Scotland, on Windstar’s 300-passenger Wind Surf. A brisk breeze filled Wind Surf’s huge sails, but my ears were toasty warm, thanks to those muffs – an item […]

We Try It: Ride the Rails, Before You Sail, on Rocky Mountaineer

Photos courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer “Bear on the left!” Like a kid, I can’t stop shouting and pointing at the black bear in the woods. Minutes later, bear gone, I’m scanning jagged mountain peaks for a glimpse of ice-blue glaciers. When lunch finally rolls around (second seating), I’m feasting on wild salmon while sipping chilled […]

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  • About the Lido Deck

    The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

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