Hot on the Forums: What’s Proper Gym Etiquette?

March 20, 2015 | By | 5 Comments

cruise ship gym

Walking into a gym for the first time can be an intimidating experience. All those complicated machines, the confusing array of Swiss balls, kettle bells and free weights, to say nothing of the lithe gym bunnies clad in figure-hugging Lycra and the ripped (and often grunting) weightlifters.

If that wasn’t enough to worry about, it seems gyms at sea pose even more issues. A number of keep-fit enthusiasts have been flexing their muscles on the Cruise Critic forums as they don’t like the idea of newbies being let loose in the gym or passengers coming in to gawk as they pump iron and go through their paces on the treadmills.

Member richleeds has been getting hot and bothered by the fact that some people treat the floating fitness area as a “tourist attraction”, prompting him to ask if ships’ gyms should be limited to regular gym-goers

Warming to his theme, he adds: “Some come up in completely inappropriate attire and footwear. Crocs on the treadmill — really? Some use potentially dangerous equipment without knowing what they are doing.”

Read on for more

    Cruise Critic Members React to Tunis Attack

    March 19, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

    map of Tunisia

    When world events impact the cruise industry, Cruise Critic members turn to our forums to share stories, provide first-hand accounts and connect with others who are as passionate about cruising as they are.

    Here’s what our members have been saying about the tragic situation in Tunisia:

    From Miller3000 whose parents are onboard MSC Splendida: MSC has confirmed 12 passengers on a shore excursion in Tunis were killed, and Miller3000 spent several anxious hours worrying about his parents before they were able to call to say they were safe.

    “They came back from their excursion at 1 p.m. local time. The ship should leave the harbor at 4 p.m., there they said that there was an announcement that not all busses were back and they had to postpone the departure. When my parents went back to their cabin, they saw that some busses came back to the ship accompanied by police cars and one ambulance. They still didn’t know what was going on. They realised what has happened not until they switched on the TV in their cabin. Then they saw that we tried to call them several times and called me back.

    Two persons of the group they are travelling with made the excursion to the museum that was attacked yesterday. Seems that those two guys had a lot of luck and left the museum early enough before the attacks.”

    When several members expressed their concern for Miller3000 and his family, he said, “Yes, they are all ok. Shocked but ok. … Meanwhile there was some kind of a press conference where they told the passengers about the victims. The atmosphere is pretty depressed.”

    Expressions of worry and concern were widespread.. From Pan_Am_Girl on our Oceania forum, a line that has had Tunisia on its itineraries: “These attacks were targeted against the tourists. Keep them in your prayers if they are alive. Can you even imagine how frightening it would be? You set out in good faith to enjoy the day. Life is short, and difficult enough. Why can’t there just be peace?”

    On our Costa Cruises forums, 5waldos and hawkeyetlse discussed a Spanish couple found hiding in the Bardo National Museum where the attacks took place. Official word has come that the passengers are safe and sound, as was their unborn child. The expectant couple were taken to the hospital immediately, and both the woman and her child are reported well.

    Related coverage:

    Cruise Lines Cancel All Calls to Tunisia Following Terrorist Attack

    17 Cruise Ship Passengers Confirmed Dead; More Missing

    Cruise Ship Passengers in Tunisia During Terrorist Attack

    Related links from our forums:

    Tunisia Terrorist Attack

    MSC Cruises Forum

    Costa Cruises Forum

      Steal of the Week: Royal Caribbean Offers Half Off 2nd Cruise Fare

      March 19, 2015 | By | 4 Comments

      piggy bank sailing worldwide
      Everyone is looking for the deal of the century. So how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Check the Lido Deck each week to get the scoop on our favorite deals — then grab the phone and pack your bags.
      THE DEAL: Royal Caribbean is hosting a BOGO50 promotion, promising half off of deposits, half off a second passenger’s fare (and half off their beverage package). When you sail in 2016, take half off third and fourth passengers sailing in the same cabin. Book by April 30.
      WHAT WE LOVE: Get a break on cruise fare when you book a Royal Caribbean sailing (five nights or more) to the Caribbean, Alaska, Canada/New England and more exotic itineraries this spring, summer and beyond, with their latest promotion. Save half on second passenger cruise fare and beverage packages, and if you’re a family looking to book for spring break next year, save half on each additional passenger in a cabin. You have until the end of April to choose your ship, itinerary and price, with fares as low as $65 per person, per night. Some surprising sailings include six nights in Bermuda from $479 per person, or even five nights in Brazil from $487; make sure you’ve scrolled through all the offerings.
      WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: Royal keeps refreshing this wave season deal, and as wave season comes to an end, the inclusions are not quite as strong. Half off on fares around $350 are a nice savings, but the BOGO in the title no longer stands for “buy one get one free.” Prices vary widely, so flexibility with dates and destinations will help. New ships (Quantum and after) are not included in this deal, so if you’re looking to get a jump on the latest, shiniest ship, you’re stuck paying near full pop.
      HOW TO BOOK IT: For all the nitty-gritty on these deals (including that pesky fine print), click here.
      Compare flight prices with our sister site TripAdvisor’s meta-search tool.
      * Looking for cruises for under $75 or even $50 a day? We’ve got ‘em listed on our Cheap Cruises page.
      * Get great cruise deals — and exclusive member offers — delivered weekly to your inbox.

        Wanderlust Wednesday: Sunset on Eagle Beach

        March 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

        Eagle Beach (LittleMissMagic/Cruise Critic Forums)

        Destination: Aruba

        Why Go?: Eagle Beach is arguably the most sought after in Aruba and luckily, an easy trek from the cruise port. Famous for its white sand, crystal clear waters, Fofoti trees and nesting sea turtles, the preserved beach is made for relaxing. And this photo proves that even a simple sunset can be alluring.

        Member: LittleMissMagic

        Every Wednesday, we’ll be taking you on a journey around the world to some of the most interesting places our members have trekked, swum or merely witnessed from afar while cruising.

        Whether these photos inspire you to plan a relaxing escape or walk on the wild side, we hope they ignite your senses and give you ideas for your next cruising adventure. If you have a photo you’d love to share, send it to us at or post it in our member photo gallery. Feel free to send us your Twitter or Instagram handle. Maybe you’ll get a shout-out next #WanderlustWednesday!

        Find interesting places to visit based on region.


        Everything you need to know about planning a cruise.


        Explore Trip Reports of unique itineraries.

          Member Review of the Week: Living the Suite Life

          March 17, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

          Garden Villa Suite Private Jacuzzi

          Cruise Ship: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel

          Itinerary: Western Caribbean

          Member: golfingfool

          Background: Norwegian’s Garden Villa had tempted golfingfool for too long — so with the kids grown up and nothing to lose, he splurged on the suite for their group of seven. While the cost initially was a concern, the memories proved to be priceless.

          Onboard Highlight: The Garden Villa suite, especially the private Jacuzzi, steam room and sundeck.

          Port Highlight: Swimming with sharks and stingrays in Belize, which coincided with the celebration of two birthdays in their group. To top it off, balloons and cake greeted them back at the room.

          Don’t Miss: These two shows in the Stardust Theater: Band on the Run and Le Cirque Bijou.

          Watch Out For: Dining in Le Bistro if you’re in a large group — it may take a little longer to get your food.

          More: Read golfingfool’s full review to learn more about the Garden Villa suite and dining aboard Norwegian Jewel.

          For their efforts, golfingfool, ckaweigh, MNM1011travellady09 and anders92 receive Cruise Critic logo items.

          Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, and showcase one as the Member Review of the Week.

          Read more reviews or write your own cruise review.

            Is Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas Heading to China?

            March 16, 2015 | By | 14 Comments

            Keel Laying

            It’s no secret that the cruise industry is paying more and more attention to the Chinese market.

            In just a few months, Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum of the Seas will move from Cape Liberty to its new homeport, Shanghai. And now there’s some indication that the newest Quantum-class ship — Ovation of the Seas, which is still under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg – will also head to China when it debuts in 2016.

            The tipoff comes from a marketing document released by the U.K. branch of an official Royal Caribbean travel agent. First reported by the Royal Caribbean blog, the document lists Royal Caribbean ships that will be in China in 2016, including Ovation of the Seas (other vessels include Legend of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas).

            As Cruise Critic reported last year, China has become a tempting target for cruise lines wooing the country’s fast-growing middle class. These would-be cruisers are drawn to new ships – which is one argument for bringing Ovation to that market.

            Royal Caribbean is not confirming the travel agent listing. “Regarding this page, it was an unfortunate mistake in posting this preliminary concept,” Royal Caribbean spokesman Harry Liu said in an email. “Our unannounced deployments are still being finalized and only then can we know the exact deployment of our fleet for the 2016-17 seasons.”

            But already, Cruise Critic members have been speculating over the possibility on the Royal Caribbean message boards.

            “Build 3 Quantum Class ships, commit 2 to China before the first one even begins sailing there?!” said Dave85. “That’s an awfully bold move by Royal Caribbean.”

            Stay tuned…

            What do you think about Ovation of the Seas possibly going to China? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

              Cruise Critic Live!: Choose Your Perfect River Cruise

              March 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

              Considering a river cruise? Then you won’t wan to miss our next Cruise Critic Live! chat, Choosing Your Perfect River, on Wednesday, March 18 at 12 p.m. EDT.

              During the chat, we’ll be talking with two of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s top brass — President and CEO Guy Young and UK Managing Director Kathryn Beadle – about new ships, new destinations and new experiences that river cruising will offer in 2015 and beyond.

              It’s your chance to learn about river cruising from industry experts, so make sure to ask your questions now!

              Cruise Critic Live! Choose Your Perfect River

              March 18, 12:00 PM EDT

              We’re joined this week by one of the world’s leading river cruise lines to chat about the bevy of new river ships and where river cruise vacations will take you in 2015 and beyond.
              Add to calendar

              We caught up with Guy to get some of his thoughts before our chat, and here’s what he had to say:

              Guy Young and Kathryn Beadle speak on river cruising.

                Hot on the Forums: Would You Jump Ship if Your Favorite Ship Bar Closed?

                March 13, 2015 | By | 4 Comments

                Molecular Bar Cocktails

                You only have to look at the message boards to see that cruisers are a pretty loyal bunch. Many Cruise Critic members set sail with one line year in, year out; some sticking to a particular ship and others even booking the same cabin.

                So it’s no wonder that Celebrity Cruises decision to close its cutting-edge Molecular Bars is making members choke, metaphorically speaking, on their cocktails.

                An eight-page thread on the forums emerged since word leaked out the Solstice-class watering hole, which hand-crafted drinks such as Coming Up Roses, Watermelon Felon and Berry Patch, is closing. The bar’s “liquid chef,” Junior Merino is not having his contract renewed, a Celebrity representative explained.

                Reactions from the Boards

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