September 12, 2014 | By Jeannine Williamson | 2 Comments
When I first started cruising I noticed a curious thing – whenever I took stuff to the dry-cleaners it would come back a size too small.
It also seemed odd that my washing machine malfunctioned after a voyage, running hot so clothes emerged smaller.
Now of course, I know better. So while it’s true cruising broadens the mind, it also can broaden the waistline.
So what can we do about it?
Well, as ever, Cruise Critic members have come up with some interesting tips to cut cruising calories.
The debate started when warmwinds asked: “We like to lose a few pounds before pigging out. This time it didn’t happen. How are we going to have any clothes that fit after 14 days?”
September 11, 2014 | By Adam Coulter | 2 Comments
A hirstute Adam Coulter gets ready for his Royal Shave
I’m not a big fan of massages. I also don’t really like going to the hairdresser’s.
There’s just so much other stuff I could be doing while I’m lying down being squeezed and kneaded and pushed and pummeled while tinkly tinkly music goes on in the background. So when Princess Cruises suggested I try out a spa day on Regal Princess – complete with haircut, shave and a massage – let’s just say I wasn’t overly keen. However, I am open to trying new things and having never been to the salon onboard a cruise ship, nor ever had someone give me a shave I thought “Why not?”.
September 11, 2014 | By Brittany Chrusciel | No Comments
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.
Norwegian Cruise Line is offering an 14-night repositioning cruise onboard Norwegian Epic
, sailing from Barcelona to Miami on October 26, 2014. Prices start from $899 per person for an inside cabin.
WHAT WE LOVE: A two-week cruise vacation on Epic — newest Norwegian ship before the Breakaway class — isn’t bad at $899. Repositioning cruises usually add value to your money, with longer itineraries and two ports to choose from for a pre- or post-cruise extension. You’ll have plenty of time to explore all the amenities onboard, with many of the same dining and entertainment options as the line’s newest ships — from sushi and the ice bar to non-variety shows like Blue Man Group. If you’re a ‘ship person’, most of your days are spent at sea, allowing ample time to explore every inch of the vessel. The few port calls there are include Funchal early in the cruise, and two days in the Eastern Caribbean after nearly a weeklong stretch.
WHAT GIVES US PAUSE:
This sailing is selling out quickly and while the cheapest cabin category is still available, you’re only other options are balcony and Haven rooms — balconies are $370 more per person, but may be worth it just for some fresh air on such a long sailing. The main concern is being onboard for the long stretch — and be mindful of weather: you’re sailing into the Caribbean which is still under the hurricane season
umbrella in late October. Booking flights to Spain now is a bit last-minute — check out 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
September 10, 2014 | By Jeannine Williamson | No Comments
To plan or not to plan? That is the question.
I once went on business trip with a man who told the rest of the group that not only did his wife do all his packing, but she labeled each item of clothing (down to his underwear) with the day it was to be worn (sub-divided into daytime and evening).
Everything was fine until the day the itinerary altered. He was thrown into a sartorial quandary as his Tuesday (night) attire was no longer suitable for the less formal dinner, and the more appropriate Monday ensemble had already been worn and Friday’s wardrobe choice was yet to come. Dining out on the tale afterwards, friends found it hard to believe. I have now found there are plenty of his counterparts on cruise lines.
Similar scenarios came to the fore when Cruise Critic member pv_girl started wondering if overplanning and overthinking can take away the magic of cruising.
September 10, 2014 | By Cruise Critic | No Comments
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or post it in our member photo gallery
Grand Circle’s River Anuket was specially designed to cruise the Nile River
. In this photo captured by Cruise Critic member hawkeye1947
, the 138-passenger ship sails into the the horizon as sunset nears. Passengers can head to the Sun Deck pool (shown) to soak up views.
September 9, 2014 | By Colleen McDaniel | No Comments
For bartenders, shaking is part of the job.
Usually, it’s the drinks they’re shaking.
On Friday night, though, nerves had six cruise ship bartenders trembling. The talented mixologists were contending for the best bartender crown in the finals of the Bacardi Cruise Competition, an event that highlighted the top bartenders from a field of more than 1,000. Five contestants were chosen by a judging panel, which culled the group from 25 semifinalists. Cruise Critic members chose the sixth, Vera Restarovic, who tends bar on Carnival Conquest.
I was lucky enough to serve as one of four judges, evaluating the bartenders on areas including drink taste and name, inspiration, storytelling, knowledge of the products and creativity. (Yes, I know, I’m fortunate in my job.)
September 9, 2014 | By Cruise Critic | No Comments
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 pwright
‘s recent cruise on the Danube River
aboard Viking Delling
Overall Impression: For some, not knowing what to expect on a trip makes the prelude more exciting. Leading up to their Romantic Danube Viking cruise, pwright and her husband questioned inviting another couple to join them, but the excitement and anticipation paved the way for what ended up being the “best vacation ever.”
September 8, 2014 | By Dori Saltzman | 3 Comments
Norwegian Jewel, the first of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Jewel-class ships and dating back to 2005, is an oldie but a goody in the fleet. During the ship’s last dry dock (in May 2014), Norwegian took the time to add some popular elements from its newest ships – Breakaway and Getaway – to Norwegian Jewel. The two main additions are O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill, which actually debuted on Epic, and the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, which until now was only available on Norwegian Getaway.
The line also took time during the dry dock to move – and completely redo – the Brazilian steakhouse Moderno Churrascaria, bring its photo gallery into the 21st century and put in digital signage throughout the ship.
But while the shiny new amenities leave the dated elements behind, the redo creates a bit of a split personality for Norwegian Jewel. Here’s what we think works — and what still needs to be fixed.
*O’Sheehan’s. From the first time I experienced this eatery on Norwegian Epic and on subsequent visits on Breakaway and Jewel, O’Sheehan’s stands as one of the line’s best free food stops. The bar and grill is open 24-hours a day, making it the perfect place to grab a casual breakfast, lunch or dinner. And, other than on embarkation day, we never waited to be seated. The menu is the same every day, with three special entrees — spare ribs, fried chicken and prime rib – rotating each night. One thing we miss in this iteration of the restaurant are the games — the darts, billiards and air hockey — that can also make O’Sheehan’s a great place to hang out on Epic, Breakaway and Getaway.
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