Cruise ships get a bad rep when it comes to Norovirus. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure the stomach flu can happen wherever people are in a small area. Since health officials are only required to track illnesses on ships — not hotels or resorts – it seems TV cameras congregate only when sickness happens seaside.
Rest assured that cruise lines are all about promoting good hygiene. If you’ve cruised before, you may have noticed crewmembers offering hand sanitizer outside dining areas or signs kindly asking passengers to refrain from refilling water bottles. But there’s only so much they can do.
It’s time to face the real problem: Inconsiderate cruisers. Apparently, some people want to spend three days in a row “incapacitated” during their vacation (see, what it’s like to be under cruise ship quarantine). If you’re one of them – or think “that would never happen to me” — here are nine sure-fire ways to get sick on a cruise ship.
1. Don’t wash your hands after using the restroom.
On a recent cold and snowy river cruise, I was tempted to pick up a jigsaw puzzle from the library to while away the afternoon. The moment passed when the only one available featured an unremarkable photo of an unknown (to me) European royal family. I also wondered if the lounge staff would clear away my work if I left the table before having the satisfaction of slotting in the last piece.
I now realize my fleeting conundrum was nothing compared to the literal puzzle faced by Cruise Critic member kayelbee, who took to the message boards to raise the subject of jigsaw etiquette. Namely, is it OK to pitch in when someone else has started a puzzle? And does it make a difference or you’re simply helping with the easy parts or taking the glory by completing the final piece of sky or expanse of grass?
kayelbee, who prefers to work alone, told a tale of jigsaw wars over a partially completed puzzle on P&O Cruises’ Oriana:
Our next Cruise Critic Live! chat takes place a week from today (Thursday, February 26) at 11 a.m. ET and looks at the world of luxury cruising. Although the base price of a luxury cruise can seem out of reach, when you look at what the fare encompasses – often drinks, tips and shore excursions – a luxury cruise can end up giving you more for your money.
Cruise Critic Live: Can You Afford a Luxury Cruise?
February 26, 2015, 11:00 AM ET
Think a luxury cruise is too expensive? Think again. Join luxury travel agent Scott Anderson as he talks about high style on the high seas!
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Our special guest is someone who knows a thing or two about the luxury cruise sector – Scott Anderson, general manager of the Luxury Cruise Company. We caught up with Scott to quiz him ahead of the chat and here’s what he had to say:
CC: What kind of trends are you seeing in the Luxury sector?
Scott: The luxury cruise lines are now offering a more inclusive experience than ever before onboard the ships. Regent has for a few years now included all tours, and we are seeing other lines starting to follow. Silversea has recently announced that on their Mediterranean sailings they are offering Silver Shore Select Excursions – which offers the guest two complimentary tours in every port. Also Silversea is offering complimentary Wi-Fi and other lines offer this in higher grades of accommodations. I don’t think it will be long before free Wi-Fi is standard on the luxury lines.
CC: What are good entry level points for luxury? How do you know you’re ready?
To celebrate the arrival of its third year-round cruise ship to the port of Galveston, Carnival Cruise Line hosted more than 1,000 members of the U.S. military and their families onboard Carnival Freedom to enjoy a concert by country superstar Martina McBride on Valentine’s Day 2015.
Though she has performed several times onboard a cruise ship as part of Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Live! concert series (read our concert review from Carnival Ecstasy), McBride has yet to set sail for a full cruise herself (performers are flown in for the gigs). Cruise Critic caught up with McBride for a brief chat before the concert to talk about cruising.
Why Go?: With no indigenous people, government or economy, Antarctica is one of the most mysterious destinations in the world. Its untouched lands are not only breathtaking, but also an ideal hangout for multiple species of penguins, seals and whales. In fact, it has the largest concentration of marine wildlife in the world.
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 email@example.com 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!
My first cruise on British cruise line Fred. Olsen was also my first sailing with so many intensive port stops in so many days.
I’m used to the traditional port day schedule — arrive at 9 a.m. and leave at 5:30 p.m. — but on a cruise around the Canary Islands, you can’t help but leave late and arrive early. And when I say leave late, I’m talking about next-day departures in the early morning — around 12:30 a.m.
For this particular cruise, I sailed on Boudicca, which initially departed Southampton in the U.K. (though I joined the ship at its first port of call). The itinerary included three days at sea and a visit to the gorgeous island of Madeira followed by five Canary Islands in five days: La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. The ship then pressed onto Lisbon before returning home, so a fortnight in all.
We left Funchal in Madeira at 5:30 p.m., but the rest of the stops (bar Gran Canaria) were 12:30 a.m. departures.
It also happened to be Carnaval — the weeklong fiesta when the Spanish really party — so the timing could not have been better, allowing passengers to (theoretically) party until the early hours.
But such late departures have pluses and minuses.
Cruise Ship: Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess
Itinerary: South America and Antarctica
Background: This Rio-to-Valparaiso cruise was two years in the making. So when solo cruiser ccastner finally decided to take the plunge, he knew exactly what he needed to plan the perfect vacation — which included a balcony cabin (see why, below). Between trivia and shows onboard to extensive tours off the ship, the cruise kept him busy with just enough time to relax and recharge.
Onboard Highlight: The service, especially in the Explorer’s Lounge. The crew had his favorite drink memorized and waiting for him.
Port Highlight: Punta Arenas, Chile, where ccastner toured a local ranch before setting out to Fort Bulnes near the Straight of Magellan.
Don’t Miss: The Mexican lunch at Horizon Court.
Watch Out For: Deck loungers are in high demand on sunny days, so ccastner recommends booking a balcony cabin to get your dose of vitamin D.
More: Read ccastner’s full review for details about the ship and exotic itinerary.
Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, and showcase one as the Member Review of the Week.
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