Steal of the Week: Holiday Sailing Bonuses on Norwegian

July 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

holiday-themed piggy bank
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: Book a holiday sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line and benefit from onboard credit, along with their Freestyle Choice promotion which offers a choice of one promo for outside cabins and above, and all promotions to passengers booked in a suite (or The Haven).
WHAT WE LOVE: It’s Christmas in July! While it may seem strange seeing late fall and winter holiday sailings during your summer vacation, it’s the perfect time to book and earn a little extra onboard spending money during the holidays. And whatever holiday you celebrate (there’s Festivus sailings, we’re not kidding), Norwegian has you covered with themed menus, onboard activities and celebrations for anyone to enjoy. Get cozy with the family in one cabin (or even better, a suite); third and fourth berths are free on select sailings.
WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: While the Freestyle Choice promotion has been around for ages, the offers and conditions are constantly being tweaked. For that reason, there’s no explicit expiration dates, making it difficult to know when to book. If you book today, the offer could be totally different tomorrow. If you like the dining, drinking, Wi-Fi and shore excursion options set forth now, be sure to book now. Know what bonuses you consider to be the highest value, and pounce when they appear. Holiday sailings tend to book quickly, so if you’re holding out, be aware that pricing and availability can shift significantly.
Check out our professional photo galleries with thousands of photos for Norwegian Sky, Pride of America and Getaway.
HOW TO BOOK IT: For all the nitty-gritty on these deals (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.
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    Cruise Tip of the Week: How to Get a Cheap Cruise Using Social Media

    July 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

    Young woman using cellphone

    Tip: Social media savvy? Twitter is like a shopping mall for cruise deals. Just about every agent and agency tweets its best offers. A few accounts to follow are (@cruisedeals), (@cruisecom) and Best Travel Deals (@cruisedealsbtd). Cruise lines have jumped on the trend as well, so be sure to follow the ones that interest you. You can even use Twitter’s list function to customize a list of your favorite deal tweeters.

    Full Article: Read 13 more ways to find cheap cruise deals.

    Want More?: Check out our related links below for more info, tips and advice.

    – Check out our latest cruise deals

    – Sign up for Cruise Critic’s Price Drop, which will let you know when fares are dramatically reduced so you can get the best price for your sailing.

    Last Minute Cruising: 9 Tips for Getting a Deal

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    Stay tuned for more Cruise Tips of the Week — revealed every Wednesday!

      Member Review of the Week: Ruby Princess

      July 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

      Mendenhall Glacier

      Cruise Ship: Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess

      Itinerary: Alaska

      Member: dihays

      Background: Would you ever have your wedding or honeymoon on a cruise? Dihays and her husband combined both on their recent trip to Alaska. It was their first cruise, so while the extra special treatment may be hard to compare to a regular sailing, they had favorites and not-so-favorites they felt were worth sharing.

      Onboard Highlight: The wedding, of course! Princess’ staff organized the perfect day for dihays and her husband, and dihays felt like a Princess herself. Her only concern was that the ship’s photographers were too good; she ended up spending almost as much on pictures as she did on the wedding!

      Port Highlight: Juneau, where the enjoyed sightseeing and beers at Red Dog Saloon.

      Don’t Miss: The Chef’s Table, an exclusive dining experience in which you can sample hors d’oeuvres and sip Champagne with the head chef. Dihays says it’s worth the $95 splurge.

      Watch Out For: The food, if you’re a foodie. It wasn’t a deal breaker for dihays, but she also wasn’t impressed.

      More: Read dihays’ full review, and browse future cruises on Ruby Princess.

      For their efforts, dihays, Tump02, 5 in OK, drytoastfan and Lisafit 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.

        8 Tips for Cruising To Greece During the Greek Financial Crisis

        July 6, 2015 | By | 6 Comments

        Greek flag in Euros

        With Greek voters giving European austerity measures a resounding no this weekend, cruisers with upcoming Greek sailings have been wondering: How should we prepare for a trip to Athens and the islands during the Greek financial crisis?

        Here at Cruise Critic, we’re going ahead with a planned sailing on Azamara Journey later this month that centers on Turkey and Greece, including port stops in Volos, Hydra, Skiathos, Mykonos, Santorini and Athens. Unless we hear otherwise from the line, we will hedge our bets against the currency upheaval by doing the following:

        Bring Euros. Usually we rely on ATMs overseas when we travel, as our bank doesn’t charge us foreign transaction fees. But with news reports noting some ATMs are out of money, we’ll be prudent and come prepared.

        Read on for more

          Live from Pearl Mist: Saluting Veterans Onboard

          July 2, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

          American flag waving in the air near Blue Water Bridges

          The son of a navy officer, Pearl Mist cruise director Jon Stewart has a profound appreciation for military veterans and their families. The small luxury ship, which has spent the summer sailing the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canadian Maritimes, draws an older crowd.

          So the 28-year-old decided to show his appreciation this past Memorial Day with a veterans’ tribute program.

          During the inaugural event, which he held on sister ship American Star, Stewart played the service anthems of all five armed forces branches, inviting members of each branch to stand during their song. Afterwards, veterans were invited to take the microphone and tell a piece of their story.

          The response — from veterans and non-veterans alike (there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, Stewart said) — was enough to convince him to make the tribute a part of every sailing going forward.

          Read on for more

            July 2015 Desktop Wallpaper: Norwegian Fjords Cruise

            July 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

            Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas docked in Alesand, Norway, Shutterstock

            Get your July 2015 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!

            Cruises along the Norwegian Fjords are in full swing. We hope this photo of Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas docked in Alesand, Norway, will inspire you to consider your own Norwegian Fjord cruise.

            Here’s how to put this photo on your computer, tablet or cell phone:

            1. Click on the following links to get the size that you want. Each link will open a new window (or tab) displaying the wallpaper, in the appropriate format for your screen size.

            2. For the desktop versions, right-click on the image, and choose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background”, “Use as Desktop Picture,” or something similar. The wording depends on your browser. Mac users should ctrl-click and save the photo on their computer in the “Pictures” folder.

            3. If the image does not fit your desktop background neatly, you may have to go to your preference panel (on a Mac: System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop; on Windows: Control Panel > Display > Desktop) and choose”Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image.

            4. For phone and tablet, open the link and center the photo on your phone so it fills the screen. Take a photo and save it on your device. Then go to your Settings and find your Wallpaper (on an iPhone, this is under “Wallpapers & Brightness.” Set the saved calendar photo as your wallpaper.

            2560 x 1440 | 1200 x 800 | Tablet | Mobile

            Check back on July 31 for the August 2015 calendar.

              Cruise Tip of the Week: Arrange Your Own Transfers

              July 1, 2015 | By | 8 Comments

              Cruise ships in Port Miami

              Tip: Your cruise is booked. Now you need to need to figure out how you’re getting to the terminal from your hotel or the airport. It’s easy to give into to the cruise lines’ transfer services when they’re only a click away, but with a little research, you can save a lot of money traveling by public transportation, a shuttle, shared taxi or private car. Just make sure you plan arrangements early, especially if you’re traveling during rush hour or during peak season.

              Full Article: Read 10 more ways to make your dream cruise a reality.

              Want More?: Check out our related links below for more info, tips and advice.

              Find your perfect cruise

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              Stay tuned for more Cruise Tips of the Week — revealed every Wednesday!

                5 Cool Things about a Seattle Seahawks Football Cruise with the 12s

                June 30, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

                Seattle Seahawks fan

                The 12s – the notoriously loud and passionate fans of the Seattle Seahawks football team – made waves this week, as Princess hosted its first cruise for the Emerald City’s football fans. Departing from Seattle on June 20, the seven-night itinerary on Crown Princess touched down in Southeast Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia, giving participants plenty of time to both see the sights and interact with their favorite players.

                While supporters didn’t set any more noise records or register on seismographs, they showed their fervor with Seahawks banners, jerseys and face painting. About one-third of the 3,316 passengers took part in the Sail With The 12s celebrations – 10 events scattered throughout the week.

                Ready to kick off your own football theme cruise? Here are 5 cool things we experienced on the Seattle Seahawks sailing:

                Seattle Seahawks fans cruising Tracy Arm fjord

                1. The Sailgate Party

                After scenic cruising among the icebergs of Tracy Arm fjord, Crown Princess cranked up the heat with an afternoon Seahawks bash on the bow, featuring Blitz the mascot and the Sea Gal cheerleaders. Fans then got a chance to pose with players like Jordan Babineaux, a safety from 2004–2010 and Jim Zorn, the team’s original quarterback (1976–1984).

                Read on for more

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                  The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

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