Steal of the Week: 7-Night Norway Cruise from $999

August 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

piggy bank cruising
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: Holland America Line is offering a seven-night Norway cruise onboard Rotterdam, sailing roundtrip from Rotterdam on May 9, 2015. Prices start from $999 per person for an inside cabin and include bonuses as part of the Explore 4 package.
WHAT WE LOVE: Pay from $143 per person, per night and explore four ports in Norway with two opportunities for scenic fjord cruising. Scenery is spectacular in May, and you’ll be immersed in the countryside with just two days at sea. If you book an outside or above category cabin, the value of your Holland America sailing increases with their Explore 4 promotion, offering cruisers a free Signature beverage package, free dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, reduced cruise fares for third and fourth passengers and reduced deposits. Suite passengers receive all the above plus $300 in onboard credit and a free Canaletto dinner. You’ll never forget where you’re sailing from on this ship — both the port of embarkation/disembarkation and the ship are Rotterdam.
WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: Taxes, fees and expenses are an additional $161 so you have to factor that into the price. To receive any of the bonuses, expect to spend roughly $1,560 per person (including those fees). Rotterdam is an older vessel — updated, sure, but it may not have any of the bells and whistles of newer ships if you’re looking for that.
HOW TO BOOK IT: For all the nitty-gritty on this deal (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.
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    Wanderlust Wednesday: The Glass Island

    August 20, 2014 | By | No Comments

    Black and white picture of city with waterway
    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 photos@cruisecritic.com or post it in our member photo gallery.
    This photo of a sidewalk along the canal in Murano, Italy, may have been taken in present day, but it conjures up the image of a simpler time. Brightly colored and vibrant, Murano is known for its glassmaking of more than 700 years. Thanks to Cruise Critic member bigxstudio for submitting the photo.
    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: Nifty Fifty

      August 19, 2014 | By | No Comments

      Sunset overlooking mountains and see with close-up flowers
      Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, one of which is showcased as the Member Review of the Week. In the spotlight this week is Cruise Critic member dag144‘s recent cruise to the Eastern Caribbean aboard Caribbean Princess.
      Overall Impression: This cruise marked a significant milestone for avid cruiser, dag144. Aside from being the first onboard Caribbean Princess after sailing with the line numerous times, it was dag144′s 50th cruise: An anniversary that made for a new favorite (revealed below).
      Read on for highlights, tips and more.

        Cruise Critic Live! Life’s an Adventure

        August 18, 2014 | By | No Comments

        uncruise adventures wilderness discoverer expedition cruise ship in alaska
        Each week on Cruise Critic Live, we’ll take a look at all the things to love about cruising, from favorite destinations to amazing dining experiences, and we’ll give you the inside scoop on the newest ships at sea and on the rivers. We’ll also welcome outside experts to this space, including cruise line CEOs and newsmakers. And of course, we want to hear from you: What would you like to discuss?
        This week, we’re chatting about expedition cruising. When it comes to cruising, picking an expedition line can help you get into some of those ports larger ships might not be able to access. With things like Zodiacs, snorkeling and round-the-clock guides, expedition cruising combines history and learning, while still providing many of the amenities cruisers have come to expect. Our adventure-seeking editors will take your questions, give our favorite tips for finding the right itineraries for you and help you pick the destinations that will create lasting memories. Join us at 3 p.m. (EDT) August 21.
        Last week, we talked about saving money on cruising, and our readers — and guest travel agent expert — had plenty of advice on how to save. If you didn’t join us last week, you missed out on advice like this.

        Fear not! You can still read the whole chat.

          Where in the World is Cruise Critic?

          August 18, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

          Chris Gray Faust on map
          Cruise Critic staffers set sail every week, traveling the globe to bring you the latest cruise ship trends, port sneak peeks and onboard observations. Here’s where we are this week.
          (Got questions about any of the ships we’re boarding or ports we are visiting? Ask us in the comments!)
          Tour/Ship: A Holland America cruisetour to Alaska
          Where: The cruisetour begins on land in Anchorage, before heading up to Denali and Fairbanks. We then explore Dawson City and Whitehorse, Yukon, before boarding Holland America’s Zuiderdam in Skagway for four days along Alaska’s Inside Passage.
          Who: Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor
          Why There? Cruisetours continue to be one of the best ways to see a lot of the 49th State in a short amount of time. Besides taking a look at Holland America’s Zuiderdam, I’ll give you the scoop on excursions, lodging and other nuts and bolts of what a typical cruisetour is all about.
          We Can’t Wait: I’m no stranger to Alaska’s Inside Passage (read my review of Alaska expedition cruising), but the interior will be completely new to me. I’m interested to see how a cruisetour compares in value to a land vacation, and also how the experience on an Alaska mainstream cruise ship compares to the smaller vessels I’ve been on.

            Hot on the Forums: Do You Take Food on a Cruise Ship?

            August 15, 2014 | By | 15 Comments

            Bunch of gummy bears
            A cruise ship might seem like the last place on earth where you’d need to bring your own food. I always swore I’d never be the type of unadventurous person who’d take sackloads of home comforts on holiday, but sure enough I found myself stashing a pack of Scottish oatcakes and a box of tea in my suitcase for my last voyage. Cruise Critic’s U.K. editor, Adam Coulter, confesses to bringing his own Marmite onboard, too (Editor’s note: and PG Tips, a brand of tea).
            So I wondered, who else brings their own nibbles on a cruise? Turns out, I’m not alone.
            Cruise Critic member MrsCruise2007 says on the forums: “I always pack some small snacks…granola bars, trail mix, crackers. I am a continual snacker at home and sometimes just want something small to tide me over.”

            Read on to find out more.

              Steal of the Week: 11-Nt. Hawaii Cruise from $949

              August 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

              piggy bank cruising
              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: Carnival Cruise Lines is offering an 11-night Hawaii cruise onboard Carnvial Legend, sailing from Honolulu to Vancouver on May 7, 2015. Prices start from $949 per person, for an inside cabin.
              WHAT WE LOVE: Six days in Hawaii, in May, with stellar ports at either end from $87 per person, per night, isn’t a bad idea for vacation. This cruise from Carnival is split, with the first half among the islands and the second half sailing to Vancouver. New shows and amenities will keep you busy during those days at sea, with PlayList Productions performances, Hasbro the Game Show, and Seuss at Sea and a new water park debuting soon. Select Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades have been made, adding RedFrog Pub, Punchliner Comedy Club and Bonsai Sushi venues. Sailing towards the end of the school year, but before Memorial Day, the ship may enjoy peace before the summer season unfurls and with it, more crowds and passengers.
              WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: The price is right, but for a Hawaii sailing — especially with all those sea days at the end — you may want to spring for a balcony, which brings the price up to $121 per person, per night. Flights will be more — to Hawaii and from Canada — adding to the budget. Compare flight prices with our sister site TripAdvisor’s meta-search tool.
              HOW TO BOOK IT: For all the nitty-gritty on this deal (including that pesky fine print), click here.
              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: Cannes Through The Window

                August 13, 2014 | By | No Comments

                Building with murals and artistic figures
                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 photos@cruisecritic.com or post it in our member photo gallery.
                Although not as abstract as Marc Chagall’s interpretation of landscapes, this photo of a building mural in Cannes, France, taken by Cruise Critic member timecop evokes a sense of seamless chaos and French charm similar to that of the artist’s paintings. Do you enjoy scoping out art while in port? Share a story of your most memorable finding below.
                Find interesting places to visit based on region.
                Everything you need to know about planning a cruise.
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