Is Majesty of the Seas the ideal first cruise? It seems to be for one-third of our editorial team, who all sailed the Royal Caribbean vessel as their first mainstream cruise. All had different experiences – Erica Silverstein boarded as a 17-year-old during a family vacation in 1994, Ashley Kosciolek celebrated college Spring Break with friends in 2007 and Brittany Chrusciel took her first work trip on the ship just last week as an adult in her mid-20s.
By surveying their experiences, we’ve realized that while Majesty might not be the newest, biggest or fanciest ship, it’s reliable and friendly – and consistent. On this #ThrowbackThursday, take a look at how the three trips compared over a nearly 20-year period.
(Remember, we want your #ThrowbackThursday cruise photos! Send them to email@example.com with Throwback in the subject line.)
Erica (7 nights in the Western Caribbean): “Majesty was pretty new at the time, and we thought it was so cool. I remember walking around the deck, feeling like I was in some tropical fantasy and maybe I would have an onboard romance.”
Ashley (3 nights in the Bahamas): Booked through Expedia at the last minute, the cruise itself cost less than the airfare to get to Miami. “When we first boarded, we were bombarded with offers to buy the Drink of the Day, and, being college students, that’s just what we did. We also let some friendly crewmembers talk us into buying soda cards. They were a total rip-off – man, were we gullible!”
Brittany (4 nights to Bahamas and Key West): “As a Semester at Sea graduate, returning to a ship each day during my four-night Bahamas sailing did feel like coming home. The idea of having nothing to do but drink, eat and be merry, on the other hand, was an entirely new concept.”
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: CruCon Cruise Outlet is offering a one-day Black Friday sale on November 29, 2013, with bonus offers for pre-registering by November 21.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or post it in our member photo gallery.
Thanks to member Familygoboston for submitting this photo of Quito, Ecuador’s countryside, taken during a Galapagos Explorer 2 cruise.
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I’m onboard CroisiEurope’s ship, Gerard Schmitter, heading down the Rhine from Cologne to Strasbourg, in the company of travel agents and other industry professionals.
I’ve been on river boats before, but never Croisi – so here I share with you a handful of things that stood out about the ship and the line as a whole in my first 24 hours onboard. Read on to find out more.
With experience comes wisdom – and that holds true on cruise ships too. We’ve fallen guilty to newbie moves, such as assuming that welcome cocktail is free (it’s not!) or misunderstanding the ship’s departure time and doing the river equivalent of a pier run (that one was my dad’s fault, I swear).
On a recent Cruise Critic Facebook thread, our veteran fans shared their favorite rookie mistakes. One newbie move that remains cool, no matter how many times you’ve sailed, however: A genuine sense of excitement upon embarkation. Because how can you not smile wide when vacay is about to begin?
“Blowing the whistle on your life jacket during muster. Yuck!!” –Martha Miller-Thode
“Coming out to the pool deck at 12 pm expecting to get a chair!” – Melissa Schnepp
A recent post on the Cruise Critic Message Boards from a member expressing her shock that the food on her cruise was – wait for it – frozen, got a lot of responses from members.
Most of them were very gently ribbing her about fresh fish caught at night with nets strung from the back of the ship and cows mooing softly in the hold.
Our favorite funny response came from nukesailor who wrote: “The snails used for escargot are raised free-range on a ranch in the Midwest. A couple of times a year the fully-grown ones are rounded up and herded to market. This takes a looooooooooooooong time. Or course, there’s always the dangers of snail rustling or, if spooked by a whiff of garlic, a snail stampede. Not a pretty sight. They can run as far as a hundred feet in a week, leaving slime trails everywhere. Terrible slip hazard.”
I hate to shatter illusions about delicious, fresh food on a cruise but like the many members who jumped in with kind but firm responses – yes. The food on your cruise is frozen.
The last time I saw a Costa cruise ship, it was lying on its side off an island. I am of course referring to Costa Concordia, which I had the privilege of watching being ‘parbuckled’ (hoisted upright) back in September.
So when the invitation came through to watch the ‘float-out’ (or in trade parlance ‘technical launch’) of Costa Diadema in Marghera, Venice, I jumped at the chance.
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? Ask us in the comments!)
Ship: MSC Divina
Where: The Bahamas
Who: Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor
Why Onboard? This is Divina’s first sailing out of its new Miami homeport
We Can’t Wait: MSC, an Italian line, has committed a lot of time and money into making Divina more attractive to U.S. passengers — going so far as creating a more restrictive smoking policy (no smoking in the casino!) and adding entertainment that appeals to a North American base. I’ve never sailed MSC and am excited to see what the ship and line offer. It’s rare to see a new ship enter the market like this, and I’m looking forward to giving our readers the low-down on the experience.« go back — keep looking »