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.
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We caught up with Guy to get some of his thoughts before our chat, and here’s what he had to say:
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.
1. Book the right cruise line.
Spring break with the family and spring break with your friends are two entirely different vacations; in most cases, they warrant entirely different cruise lines. It may not seem like picking the right cruise line or ship is that important when you’re just looking to get away on a quick trip, but doing a little research before you book may save partygoers unwanted screaming children, and parents, unwanted screaming partygoers. There’s likely to be a mix of families, couples and revel-rousers on any spring break cruise, but the ratio on a short Carnival sailing versus a week on Disney, may make a significant difference. A travel agent specializing in cruise can help you choose what sailing might be the best fit.
Destination: Princess Cays
Why Go?: If you cruise the Eastern or Western Caribbean with Princess Cruises, chances are you’ll visit the line’s private island and experience a quieter side of The Bahamas. Chow down on island barbecue in a private bungalow (available for rent), unwind in a beachside hammock or go deep-sea fishing off the coast.
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. Feel free to send us your Twitter or Instagram handle. Maybe you’ll get a shout-out next #WanderlustWednesday!
This towel animal is having an identity crisis with its clashing-color body. (unknown)
This towel animal is not okay with being choked by its own legs. (Photo: HOTELCURLY)
Cruise Ship: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Member: Still Dreaming
Background: Big cruise ships can be intimidating, no matter how many times you’ve been on one. Like Cruise Critic member Still Dreaming, you can study deck plans and watch countless tour videos, but there’s nothing like exploring the ship on your own. Still Dreaming realized this on her recent cruise aboard the 4,028-passenger Norwegian Getaway. What began as nerves slowly turned into relief, and she realized size does matter, after falling in love with everything the ship had to offer.
Onboard Highlight: Dinner at the Illusionarium, a for-fee restaurant inspired by an old-style magic show.
Port Highlight: The Golden Eagle Sailaway and Swim in St. Maarten — an excursion offered by the cruise line.
Don’t Miss: Martini tasting at Sugarcane Mojito Bar, which Still Dreaming felt was well worth the $15.
Watch Out For: Smoking is allowed in the casino, so be mindful of it when playing or passing through.
More: Read Still Dreaming’s full review to get a better feel for Norwegian Getaway.
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.
Samantha Brown’s enthusiasm for travel is contagious. It’s no doubt a big reason the noted expert has enjoyed a long career inspiring viewers of the Travel Channel. Fans of her shows are familiar with her positive personality and willingness to try just about anything — traits that could spark wanderlust in anyone.
Brown, who said she believes travel should be accessible to anyone who chooses to do so, recently joined forces with Carnival Cruise Line. A long-time fan of cruising, Brown is hosting a video series, called “How to Cruise With Travel Pro Samantha Brown” on the line’s YouTube channel.
The first series takes a “cruise 101″ approach, tackling topics like, “What will I eat” and “What’s there to do?” All videos are short — around 1 minute — and are designed to educate new cruisers and debunk common myths. Brown said the project will take place over a two-year period. Up next? Cruise excursions.
We caught up with Brown on March 7 at the Washington, D.C., Travel and Adventure Show to talk about our favorite topic — cruising. Here are her thoughts:
On Carnival Cruise Line…
“Probably five years ago, I went on my first Carnival Cruise, and like many people I had a little trepidation. It had the reputation, probably six or seven years ago, of being the party line, being the booze cruise. … I was so pleasantly surprised by the level of service that you got, especially from the crewmembers, who were outstanding, the families that were having a wonderful time, and this was all being done at the most affordable level. And for me, my goal, has always been to show how accessible travel is.« go back — keep looking »