If you’re anything like us, you spent most of yesterday either avoiding the Internet or reading everything with a skeptical eye.
Several of our Cruise Critic members got into the act with April Fools’ Day pranks of their own. Our favorite? The announcement of “Carnivore Class” on Celebrity Cruises’ upcoming Edge Class ships, cleverly written by Cruise Critic member aquaclass.
“Guests in Celebrity’s Carnivore Class enjoy a host of Modern Luxury amenities and perks. These include unlimited access to your very own “Butcher Butler,” also known as your personal “Meat Concierge” to help guide your through your daily dining options.”
Chris Gray Faust, an American, is back from a cruise to Cuba with the Canadian line Cuba Cruise. Here are 10 more things that Americans should know before they board (read her first installment).
1. Set your expectations, shipwise.
Louis Cristal is not a new ship — and while the ship’s Greek and Cuban crew keep it in good condition, the vessel can’t compete with the shiny newbuilds many Americans are used to. Only a handful of cabins have balconies, for example, the fitness center is tiny and the buffet is not the expansive spread you’d see on a Princess ship. If you require pampering in luxurious surroundings, this cruise is not for you.
Destination: Sydney, Australia
Why Go?: You can’t miss Sydney if you’re cruising Down Under. The capital of New South Wales is both a starting and ending point for ships that sail to Australia and New Zealand. Don’t miss a tour of the Opera House, a stroll through historic Rocks or the 3.5-hour trek up the Sydney Harbour Bridge for an unbeatable view.
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 email@example.com 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!
Get your April 2015 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! With the Euro at record lows against the dollar, we’re dreaming of spring on the Continent. So it’s the perfect time to put this shot of a cruise ship docking in the port of Marseilles, France, on your desktop.
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.
Check back on April 30 for the May 2015 calendar.
Cruise Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Background: A pair of empty deck chairs and two pina coladas were calling kinesiologynerd’s and his girlfriend’s name, when the college couple snagged a Spring Break deal on Independence of the Seas. As first time cruisers, they decided to test the waters in an inside cabin, with “my time dining,” a beverage package and a couple private shore excursions. Read on to see what they loved and learned.
Onboard Highlight: Sprinkles, the complimentary soft-serve venue conveniently next to the pool.
Port Highlight: Although they were greeted with a morning rain shower in Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private island still won their hearts. Kinesiologynerd specially loved the barbecue and drinks included in their package.
Don’t Miss: Lounging on the Promenade Deck; it tends to be less crowded than the pool area, if you’re seeking a quieter spot to sunbathe.
Watch Out For: Frozen drinks by the pool, which kinesiologynerd felt weren’t blended well. Tip: Order your frozen drink from an inside bar, and then bring it out on deck with you.
More: Read kinesiologynerd’s full review for more details about Independence of the Seas and their private shore tours.
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.
It wasn’t all that long ago that traveling to Cuba seemed like a pipe dream, at least for the average American. For more than 50 years, the U.S. trade embargo against the Caribbean’s largest island meant that even as the rest of the world could experience Cuba’s beaches, culture and music, Americans were shut out.
No longer. In January, President Obama lessened the restrictions on travel between the two countries, making it far easier for Americans to take trips (for more on what the current status is, read our Cuba Cruising Q&A). Although the embargo will have to be lifted in its entirety for large American-owned cruise ships to add Havana as a port of call, smaller cruise ships run by international companies already call upon the island.
Cruise Shipping Miami is the world’s biggest gathering of who’s who in the cruise industry. Held every year in March, the three-day event brings together cruise line executives, media, speakers, port representatives, ship builders and retailers to talk about pretty much every aspect of cruising. A highlight is the event floor, held in the massive Miami Convention Center. Here, you can get lost exploring the hundreds of booths that show off things like the latest technology and trends in shipbuilding. Parties break out regularly, with ports bringing in live music and dancers — and often cocktails. Our pedometer showed we put in an average of 11,000 steps each day checking out the coolest concepts last week.« go back — keep looking »