Where in the World is Cruise Critic?

October 6, 2014 | By | No Comments

This week Adam is visiting Costa Rica and Honduras

Cruise Critic staffers set sail every week, traveling the globe to bring you the latest cruise ship trends, port sneak peeks and onboard observations. Here’s where we are this week.

(Got questions about any of the ships we’re boarding or ports we are visiting? Ask us in the comments!)

Where: Costa Rica and Banana Coast, Honduras

Who: Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor

Why There? Coming from the U.K. and being a scuba diver, I never need an excuse to visit the Caribbean. The real reason I am going, however, is to attend Central America Travel Market in Costa Rica, followed by five days in Honduras. The trip includes a visit to the brand-new cruise terminal of Trujillo, which has already welcomed Silversea, and is due to play host to Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania.

We Can’t Wait: I won’t be on any ships, but I will be trekking through Honduras to check out the latest shore excursions on offer; visiting the popular port of Roatan and then along the Banana Coast to Trujillo, the newest cruise port in the world. I’m intrigued to find out what Trujillo has for cruise visitors, both in terms of city visits and excursions – and will be reporting back on both very soon.

    September Caption Contest Results

    October 3, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

    Woman with sunglasses on

    Now that the calendar reads October, we’re happy to announce the results of last month’s caption contest. We asked you, the Lido Deck readers, to speculate as to what’s reflected in this cruiser’s sunglasses, captured in a photo submitted to our site by Cruise Critic member marcyn.

    Our first choice came from reader Sue Kelderhouse for this entry: "Peering over her husband’s sunburned legs, Sarah gazed longingly at the Tiki bar, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to make the long swim and therefore would soon die of thirst."

    But when we went to contact Sue, the email address that she gave us didn’t work. Attempts to locate another email address online were unsuccessful.

    (Which leads us to an important point: If you don’t provide us with the correct email address for our contests, you won’t be able to win. So please double check before you click submit!)

    Luckily, there were a few other entries we enjoyed. In the end, Daria Jones took the prize for this play on the runaway page turner: "50 Shades of Aquamarine"

    Check back soon for October’s contest! And thanks again to Cruise Critic member marcyn for providing this shot.

      Hot on the Forums: When Your Neighbors are Too Noisy

      October 3, 2014 | By | 10 Comments

      Noisy neighbors cutting into your R&R? photo courtesy of Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock

      Dress code, tipping, smoking and chair hogs are regular topics on the Cruise Critic forums – the latter deemed as one of the worst forms of anti-social behaviour at sea. Add balcony shouting and door slamming to the mix.

      Enduring badly behaved neighbours on a hard-earned cruise – particularly when there’s no escape from your next-door cabin dwellers – is enough to dampen anyone’s spirits. And that’s what happened to seasoned cruiser NittanyLioness. She wonders how other cruisers would have dealt with this situation on an otherwise “fantastic” voyage on Oasis of the Seas:

      “On day 1, I knew I might be in trouble. Prior to sailaway, I was standing quietly at my balcony railing. Couple 1 (cabin to left of me) and couple 2 (cabin to right of me) simultaneously came out to their respective balconies. Wife 1 leaned over the railing, looked straight through me, and screamed to couple 2 ‘did you get your luggage yet?’ Wife 2 leaned over and yelled back ‘no, not yet!’ They then had a back and forth conversation without even acknowledging I was standing between them on my balcony!

      “It got worse! In addition to their daily balcony exchanges, for the next 12 days, all four of them would leave/return to their cabins singly, allowing the doors to slam shut each and every time they entered/left! (I calculate I heard their doors slam at least 384 times during this cruise!).

      “As a solo female cruiser, I did not feel comfortable ‘confronting’ them in person or with notes. I am (almost) ashamed to admit that I did nothing! My question is: what would YOU have done?”

      Read on for responses from veteran cruisers

        Win a Tour and Lunch Aboard Queen Mary 2

        October 2, 2014 | By | 8 Comments

        Queen Mary 2 - photo compliments of Cunard

        Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 is celebrating its 10th anniversary year, and 10 lucky Cruise Critic members have the opportunity to spend an afternoon touring the company’s flagship and enjoying a three-course lunch in the grand Britannia Restaurant.

        We’ve teamed up with Cunard to offer readers the chance to enjoy a day aboard Queen Mary 2, along with up to three guests who have never cruised before (what better way to introduce first-timers to cruising than on a ship known for her elegant and classic style?)

        While onboard, the winners will have the chance to take a guided tour of the ship – including stops at the Planetarium and 3D cinema, Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the Queens Room – the largest ballroom at sea – and select staterooms (per availability).

        Continue for details on how to win

          Steal of the Week: Cruise Week Deals

          October 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

          piggy bank cruising
          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: The Cruise Lines International Association, or CLIA, hosts a Cruise Week each year featuring special deals available through travel professionals. This year a number of special Cruise Week deals are available October 6 through 13 from lines like Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. In addition, cruise lines like MSC, Princess and Holland America have promoted their own deals available through most of October.
          WHAT WE LOVE: Bonuses and incentives are popping up left and right, with a number of major lines offering onboard credit, discounts, cabin upgrades and prepaid gratuities to make booking that cruise vacation all the more appealing. While sales are now common year-round, these Cruise Week offers are meant to create a solid push during a booking period that is typically slow.
          Among the deals: Young kids (11 and under) sail free on MSC, which is great for families, and Royal Caribbean is offering half off a second cruise fare, which is nice for couples. Norwegian is touting 10 percent cash back on your cruise totaling a possible $2,000 in onboard credit per cabin. Wherever your destination, and whatever your cruising style, October has become a time to consider what your favorite line has to offer, or trying out a new line with a fabulous deal.
          WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: Cruise Week is intended to give both the cruise lines and the travel professionals who book them an extra push during this booking period. Some of these promotions are riding on the coattails of Cruise Week, not participating in the official event. All of these deals are bookable through a travel agent participating in the event, however. Be sure to read through the fine print to make sure the ships and dates work for you before diving into a sailing.
          HOW TO BOOK IT: For all the nitty-gritty on these deals (including that pesky fine print), click here for MSC, here for Princess, and here for Holland America.
          Compare flight prices with our sister site TripAdvisor’s meta-search tool.
          *Looking for cruises for under $75 or even $50 a day? We’ve got ‘em listed on our Cheap Cruises page.
          *Get great cruise deals — and exclusive member offers — delivered weekly to your inbox.

            Norwegian Jade Crashes Clooney Wedding

            October 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

            Tweet from Norwegian Cruiselines

            Talk about your photobombs. During the hubbub last weekend on Venice’s canals for the George Clooney-Amul Alamuddin nuptials, Norwegian Jade sailed into the picture, its wild hull art clearly visible as the ship loomed above the water taxis ferrying wedding guests.

            @CruiseNorwegian, the official account for Norwegian Cruise Line, tweeted the photo out on Monday, with the following message. “Guess who snuck into the #GeorgeClooneyWedding? None other than #NorwegianJade! Congrats to the happy couple!”

            Continue to read the full story

              Wanderlust Wednesday: Caribbean Reflections

              October 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

              Caribbean Reflections - photo courtesy of Cruise Critic member Terryandpam75

              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 photos@cruisecritic.com or post it in our member photo gallery.

              Williamsted, Curacao, is a pastel-painted, cosmopolitan port city that makes up the ABC islands with Aruba and Bonaire. At night (as shown in this photo submitted by Cruise Critic member Terryandpam75), a row of colors illuminates the sea, creating a beautiful light show cruisers can enjoy from the ship or in one of Williamsted’s many waterfront cafes.

              Find interesting places to visit based on region.
              Everything you need to know about planning a cruise.
              Explore Trip Reports of unique itineraries.

                October 2014 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: Leaf Peeping Cruise in Maine

                September 30, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

                Cruise ship in Bar Harbor photo courtesy of Condor 36/Shutterstock

                Get your October 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! We hope that this photo of a cruise ship sailing through Bar Harbor, Maine, will inspire you to consider leaf-peeping cruises in Canada and New England.

                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.

                1920 x 1200 | 1280 x 800 | Tablet | Mobile

                Check back on October 31 for the November 2014 calendar.

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