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.

      Steal of the Week: 7-Night Europe River Cruise from $1,756

      July 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

      piggy bank cruising river
      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: Viking River Cruises is offering a seven-night European river cruise onboard Viking Baldur, sailing from Passau to Budapest on November 23, 2014. Prices start from $1,756 per person, for an inside cabin.
      WHAT WE LOVE: Viking’s longships are a fantastic way to see Europe, and can be slightly more affordable than other river lines. Spend the week of Thanksgiving with family and friends, cruising the Danube and marking the beginning of the holiday season in cities such as Vienna and Salzburg. From $251 per person, per night, daily sightseeing tours as well as most drinks (regional wine or beer with dinner) are included. River cruising is a relaxing and intimate way to travel, and you only have to unpack once! See Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary during this charming time of year.
      WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: Two-for-one pricing ends July 31, so you must book and pay by in full by the end of the month to receive the discounted price. Pricing does not include airfare to and from your overseas ports, so budget accordingly. You can compare flight prices with our sister site TripAdvisor’s meta-search tool.
      If you’re very attached to turkey and all the fixings, don’t hold your breath for a traditional Thanksgiving meal onboard. While the spread is appetizing and marks a special occasion, your ship may not choose to prepare what you would expect for dinner — you’re in Europe, after all.
      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.
      Get great cruise deals — and exclusive member offers — delivered weekly to your inbox.

        A Closer Look: Chikungunya Concerns in the Caribbean

        July 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

        Traffic sign warning of mosquitoes ahead
        It makes us itch just thinking about it. But there’s no denying that Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that cropped up in the Caribbean last December, has blossomed from a few isolated incidents into a serious concern among the islands – and cruisers.
        In the St. Martin/St. Maarten forum, liltellurr asks, “Are there areas to avoid, certain things I shouldn’t be doing, etc? I nearly get eaten alive whenever they (mosquitoes) are around, so I’m trying to be careful.” Member KBRADFORD79 reported having symptoms similar to Chikungunya after a Western Caribbean cruise on Allure of the Seas.
        In response, Cruise Critic has put together a Chikungunya FAQ about the illness, how it spreads and what you can do to treat it, as well as prevention tips. There is currently no cure or vaccine; however, most people who come down with Chikungunya feel better within a week.
        Our staffers have noticed warnings for the virus on recent trips to affected islands. On a land trip to Martinique in late May, Ports Editor Ashley Koscielek noticed large signs warning of Chikungunya as soon as she stepped off the plane. Further, two journalists in her group came down with the illness and were in bed for a couple of days with flulike symptoms that included fevers and sore muscles.
        And in Grand Turk last week, Cruise Critic Editorial Assistant Brittany Chrusciel overheard several public service announcement about Chikungunya broadcast on a local radio station. The segments stressed preventative measures that the island residents should take, such as wearing insect repellent, and to be aware of the illness’ symptoms.
        Back on Carnival Freedom, Chrusciel checked the CDC website and discovered the virus was also in her next port stop, La Romana in the Dominican Republic (Carnival had a health safety message on the FunTimes for both ports, warning people to protect against mosquitoes, although Chikungunya was not mentioned by name). “We had a serious session of bathing in bug spray as a precaution.”
        Our best advice? Keep up to date with the Travelers Health section of the Centers for Disease Control, and follow their guidelines for mosquito protection, if you’re traveling to an affected area. This will help you keep abreast of warnings for chikungunya, as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue, malaria and Yellow Fever. And if you do suffer symptoms, be sure to visit a doctor immediately for testing.

          Wanderlust Wednesday: Art Around Every Corner

          July 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

          buenos aires argentina cruise
          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.
          You never know what — or who — you’ll run into when it comes to art in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This dapper gentleman is one of the many Pop Art figures in the city’s La Boca district. Thanks to Cruise Critic member Downwind for the photo.
          Find interesting places to visit based on region.
          Everything you need to know about planning a cruise.
          Explore Trip Reports of unique itineraries.

            Just Back From…. S.S Legacy, a “Softer” Small Ship Adventure

            July 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

            Un-Cruise SS Legacy cruising in Alaska
            Durable hiking shoes: Check. Water-resistant clothing: Check. Adventurous spirit: Check. These are only a few requirements for an expedition cruise. Sounds pretty intense, huh? You might be surprised.
            Many cruisers (including first-timers) are under the impression that expedition cruising is solely a whirlwind of an adventure, trekking up steep terrains, kayaking through narrow waterways and getting up close and personal with nature in goggles and an oxygen tank.
            While these cruises do exist for adrenaline junkies, there are also options for those who crave a small-ship experience and wildlife immersion without the extreme recreation. Un-Cruise Adventures‘ 88-passenger S.S. Legacy is one of them.
            Onboard the ship’s “Heritage,” history-oriented tour of Alaska’s Inside Passage, I found myself amongst a group of passengers who fit the aforementioned description of those who want an intimate, ‘relaxed adventure.’
            Here are some of the things that have stood out about this style of cruising:
            Read on for the highlights.

              Member Review of the Week: A Magical Surprise

              July 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

              Disney Magic cruise ship in Castaway Cay
              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 sunnyinchagrin‘s recent transatlantic cruise aboard Disney Magic.

              Overall Impression: Slightly skeptical about spending so much time at sea, sunnyinchagrin was proven wrong after a recent transatlantic cruise aboard Disney Magic. It was a far cry from the tedious, boring voyage they feared when planning to try something new.

              Read on for highlights, tips and more.

                July 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Sailing Norwegian Fjords

                June 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

                July 2014 Desktop Calendar of Cruise Ship in Norwegian Fjords
                Get your July 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! We hope that this photo of a cruise ship sailing through the Norwegian Fjords will get you excited about those summer cruises that you have planned.
                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 | 1280 x 800 | Tablet | Mobile
                Check back on July 31 for the August 2014 calendar. 
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