Steal of the Week: 7-Night S. Caribbean from $499

July 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

piggy bank cruising caribbean
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: Celebrity Cruises is offering a seven-night Southern Caribbean cruise onboard Celebrity Summit, sailing roundtrip from San Juan on November 1, 2014. Prices start from $499 per person, for an inside cabin.
WHAT WE LOVE: Beautiful ship, beautiful itinerary, beautiful price. Summit has received a number of Solstice-class upgrades in recent years, offering Qsine, Aqua-class cabins and Apple products. Five gorgeous ports in seven days will keep you busy, touring Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. From $72 per person per night, the value (versus traveling to each port and putting up for hotels) is huge.
WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: No passport required, but flights to Puerto Rico can still be pricey. If you’re looking for something other than an inside cabin for the week, the price jumps significantly to $849 for an ocean view. If you are splurging, the difference between a balcony, Concierge-class and Aqua-class cabin is more minimal — a $50 to $100 difference — so research the amenities you’re looking for ahead of time. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional. If you’re a person who likes sea days to explore the ship, there’s only one; be prepared for a port-intensive itinerary.
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.
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    Say What? Silly Cruise Questions (That Never Should Have Been Asked)

    July 9, 2014 | By | 10 Comments

    Woman looking silly
    Cruise Critic member GHstudio made an acute observation on the message boards recently: “Somehow, when people get on a ship on a cruise vacation, the most logical people just turn off their brain.”
    And when the brain is left on the dock, out come the questions and comments.
    Not just the old classics like ‘Do the crew sleep on board?’ and ‘What time is the midnight buffet?’ but new, even more ridiculous offerings.
    Read on to find out more crazy questions!

      Wanderlust Wednesday: Gone Fishin’

      July 9, 2014 | By | No Comments

      Abandoned boats found during a cruise ship excursion in Costa Rica
      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 or post it in our member photo gallery.
      Have you ever discovered a hidden treasure while cruising? Cruise Critic member coappleby1 stumbled upon these two abandoned boats during an excursion in Costa Rica. (We wish we could take a peek inside.) If you’ve got a story, share it in the comments below!
      Find interesting places to visit based on region.
      Everything you need to know about planning a cruise.
      Explore Trip Reports of unique itineraries.

        You Tell Us: 5 Refreshing Ways to Cool Off on a Cruise Ship

        July 8, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

        Father and son eating ice cream on vacation
        With summer officially here, the heat is on, particularly in the Caribbean where humidity can get overwhelming in July and August. So we asked our faithful Cruise Critic Facebook fans what onboard treats brought their temperatures back down to acceptable levels.
        Soft-serve ice cream. Who doesn’t enjoy a cone or cup of this summer-time favorite, available on almost every cruise line for no extra charge? As Herb Meade put it, “The soft serve is the oft forgotten but one of the most amazing little perks to cruise life.” We agree.
        Read on for more.

          Member Review of the Week: Keepin’ it Classy

          July 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

          hamilton bermuda cruise
          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 Viva_la_Vida‘s recent cruise to Bermuda aboard Celebrity Summit.

          Overall Impression: Going from a Solstice-class ship to a Millennium-class ship for her recent Celebrity cruise was a smooth transition for Viva_la_Vida, who had prepped herself with knowledge and was wary of the differences in each. Thus, instead of unexpected surprises, she and her husband were able to enjoy and appreciate what distinguished each.

          Read on for highlights, tips and more.

            Cruise Critic Live! We Chat About Best Places to Snorkel and Dive

            July 7, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

            Girl snorkeling in the water with fish
            Every Thursday — this week at 11 a.m. (Eastern) — Cruise Critic Live! takes a look at all the things to love about cruising, from favorite destinations to amazing dining experiences to the latest and greatest new ships on the oceans and rivers. We also welcome outside experts including cruise line CEOs and newsmakers.
            This week, we’re chatting about snorkeling and scuba diving. For many people, cruising includes a dip into the deep blue sea. The Caribbean, for example, is a great spot for first-timers looking to dip the proverbial toe in the water, while cruises to Australia can provide some breathtaking scenery that will blow away even the most veteran divers. Our water-loving editors will take your questions, give our favorite tips for snorkel and scuba excursions and help you pick the destinations that will create lasting memories.
            Not around on July 10? Ask a question here, and we’ll make sure we answer it. The chat will be archived, and available, after it winds up so don’t forget to bookmark the page.
            *Follow along on Twitter at #CruiseCriticLive.
            *Read the transcripts from previous Cruise Critic Live! chats.

              Contest: How Well Do You Know Your Cruise Ships?

              July 7, 2014 | By | 11 Comments

              keep calm and cruise on
              Perhaps you’ve sailed with a number of different cruise lines. Or maybe you’re a professional ship-spotter, always checking to see who is docked in port. Or perhaps you just have really good photographic memory. Either way, we’re testing your knowledge. See if you can identify and name the 10 cruise ships below. (It might seem easy at first, but don’t worry, it gets harder!)
              Submit your answers in the comments below. The first person who comes closest to having all correct will receive some snazzy Cruise Critic swag!
              Good luck, and happy guessing!
              Contest open to U.S. residents only.
              Read on to reveal the 10 images.

                Guest Post: Cruise Industry Hails CDC Norovirus Report

                July 3, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

                Green health cross on a cruise ship
                Occasionally here at Cruise Critic, we take guest posts from industry leaders. This post, written by Christine Duffy, president of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), is a response to a norovirus report released by the Centers for Disease Control in June that found that an extremely small percentage of the gastric cases actually take place on cruise ships. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the report in the comments.
                The recent release of a report on norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underscores what the cruise industry has known and communicated for a long time:  The occurrence of norovirus on cruise ships is rare and it is dramatically lower than the number of incidents of this common illness on land.
                Norovirus is often referred to as a “stomach bug” and the symptoms typically last between 24 and 48 hours.  It is second only to the common cold in terms of its prevalence and is generally not  considered a serious illness.
                According to the CDC, there are about 20 million cases of norovirus annually on land in the U.S. Americans have about a 1 in 15 chance of getting norovirus even if they never step foot on a cruise ship.
                Read on for more.
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