March 2015 Desktop Wallpaper: Sunset Sailaway

February 27, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

Sunset Sailaway

Get your March 2015 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! We love the sight of a brightly lit cruise ship slipping through the dusk (especially after a particularly impressive ocean sunset). Here’s hoping that this desktop calendar inspires you to think back on your last cruise – and dream about the next one.

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 March 31 for the April 2015 calendar.

    Hot on the Forums: Will the Queen of England Add Godmother to Her Titles?

    February 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

    HM Queen Elizabeth II - Shaun Jeffers/Shutterstock

    The newest ship to hit the UK might have its most famous resident as a Godmother – HM Queen Elizabeth II.

    At least that’s the speculation on the Cruise Critic message boards, where fans of P&O Cruises are awaiting the March launch of the Carnival Corp. line’s largest and newest ship, Britannia.

    On this thread, eagle-eyed A FLOATING VOTER posted a link to the Royal Diary, noting: “HM, accompanied by Prince Phillip, are to visit Hampshire on March 10th, this is shown on the Royal Diary dates. Britannia’s maiden voyage leaves Southampton on 14th March, — I’m on it!!! The dates may simply be coincidental but a naming ceremony just 4 days before the maiden voyage could be spot on.”

    THIS JUST IN, from Cruise Critic UK. The Queen is, indeed, serving as Godmother for Britannia! Are our members clairvoyant or what?

    Read our follow up on this lead

      5 Fun Spots for a Cruise Ship Selfie

      February 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

      It’s in the dictionary now – so chances are, you or someone you love has taken a “selfie” in the past year or so. And what better place to turn your camera phone on yourself than sea? Whether you love Instagram, Twitter or old-fashioned Facebook, document these cruisey moments on your next sailing to impress your friends and make your coworkers jealous.

      1. A cool ship bar, with a foofy drink

      From molecular mixology and ice bars to robot bartenders, there are plenty of innovative spots to imbibe at sea. Know any Parrot Heads? Imagine their reaction as you pose with a signature margarita at Jimmy Buffet’s The 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar on Norwegian Escape. An umbrella drink almost anywhere onboard brightens up an otherwise dull Facebook feed. Make sure your drink-sipping selfie also includes blue sky and water to match.

      4 more selfie hotspots

        Steal of the Week: 20-Night Transpacific Cruise Package from $2,499

        February 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

        piggy bank sailing worldwide
        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: iCruise.com is offering an 18-night transpacific cruise from Sydney to Honolulu onboard Celebrity Solstice, departing on April 9, 2016 from $2,499 per person. This price includes two nights pre-cruise hotel at the Four Seasons in Sydney, two sightseeing tours, transfers and $100 in onboard credit.
        WHAT WE LOVE: The value of this transpacific cruise is spectacular and begging for honeymooners or families with the ability to take an extended vacation. From $139 per person per night, sail Solstice — a gorgeous ship — through the waters of Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia and finally, Hawaii, in the spring. Escape the winter and summer crowds in port during the lovely low season. This package also includes onboard credit and a luxurious hotel stay in Sydney prior to your cruise, with sightseeing tours of famous sites such as the Sydney Opera House and local Bondi Beach. Upgrade to a balcony from $700 more per person.
        WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: Airfare is not included although it is discounted through the online travel agency. Unless you are retired or have ample vacation time saved, it may be difficult to get away for the full three-week stint. Although the package is a great value, it is still thousands per person when you factor in airfare, excursions and spending money.
        HOW TO BOOK IT: For all the nitty-gritty on these deals (including that pesky fine print), click here.
        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.

          Wanderlust Wednesday: A Winter Respite

          February 25, 2015 | By | No Comments

          Waikiki Beach - photo courtesy of Marinebiker/Cruise Critic Forums

          Destination: Waikiki Beach

          Why Go?: One of the most sunset-worthy beaches in Hawaii, Waikiki is a must-see — and thankfully, not easy to miss — when your cruise ship is docked in Honolulu. Its beauty speaks for itself. The beachside village is full of activities such as surfing to shopping. Work up an appetite? If you’re willing to splurge, consider La Mer, a five-diamond restaurant serving up French cuisine and stunning views of Waikiki.

          Member: Marinebiker

          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. Feel free to send us your Twitter or Instagram handle. Maybe you’ll get a shout-out next #WanderlustWednesday!

          Find interesting places to visit based on region.

           

          Everything you need to know about planning a cruise.

           

          Explore Trip Reports of unique itineraries.

            Member Review of the Week: Marveling in the Mediterranean

            February 24, 2015 | By | No Comments

            New Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey - photo courtesy of Ekaterina Olena Rublenko/Shutterstock

            Ship: Holland America’s Ryndam

            Itinerary: Mediterranean

            Member: LilRoo

            Background: Inspired by Ryndam’s exotic itineraries, LilRoo booked a 28-day cruise from Istanbul to Tampa. The ship’s 1,266-passenger capacity and traditional ambiance was a nice balance for their adventures throughout Turkey, Italy, Spain and other ports of call — most of which were booked independently. Read on to see if this cruise is right for you.

            Onboard Highlight: The ship’s simplicity and timeless feel.

            Port Highlight: Spending a night in Cairo, which allowed LilRoo plenty of time to explore Giza’s pyramids and Great Sphinx.

            Don’t Miss: The Red Pyramid at Dashur, if you have extra time in Egypt.

            Watch Out For: Cabin 651, which can get noisy being across the hall from the stewards’ utility closet.

            More: Read LilRoo’s full review for details about the ship and exotic itinerary.

            For their efforts, LilRoo, CruiseinMaterial, Tnforus4, dcruisers and sarahsue317 receive Cruise Critic logo items.

            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.

              A World Cruise, By the Numbers

              February 23, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

              Woman looking out from a cruise ship

              One-hundred days, 50 ports, 30 countries. Sound like the cruise of a lifetime? Whether you call it a world cruise, grand voyage, extended exploration or global circumnavigation, these lengthy cruises – offered by many cruise lines for passengers who have plenty of time on their hands – hold an air of old-world sophistication. For a cruise passenger, these lux sailings offer the opportunity to visit numerous ports in multiple countries, all while being waited on hand and foot (strong friendships also develop, as evidenced by our World Cruise message board).

              But there’s a lot of heavy lifting behind the scenes to keep a world cruise sailing smoothly. And we mean heavy lifting – like 36,000 pounds of flour and 4,000 bottles of champagne heavy.

              We reached out to several cruise lines that offer these protracted sailings for a by-the-numbers snapshot of a typical world cruise itinerary. Here’s what we learned (and for more world cruise dreaming, check out our 2015/2016 World Cruise Itineraries).

              Princess Cruises: visits 25 countries, covering 33,399 nautical miles.
              234,210 bread rolls served
              146,520 eggs consumed
              36,707 pounds of flour needed
              31,080 flaky croissants served up
              6,451 gallons of milk used
              6,118 pounds of butter required
              5,136 bottles of Dos Equis beer consumed
              4,700 cans of Coke imbibed
              3,942 bottles of Beck’s beer served
              3,120 bottles of wine poured

              More World Cruises by the number

                9 Ways to Get Sick on a Cruise Ship

                February 20, 2015 | By | 28 Comments

                Sick on Vacation - photo courtesy of epicseurope/Shutterstock

                Cruise ships get a bad rep when it comes to Norovirus. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure the stomach flu can happen wherever people are in a small area. Since health officials are only required to track illnesses on ships — not hotels or resorts – it seems TV cameras congregate only when sickness happens seaside.

                Rest assured that cruise lines are all about promoting good hygiene. If you’ve cruised before, you may have noticed crewmembers offering hand sanitizer outside dining areas or signs kindly asking passengers to refrain from refilling water bottles. But there’s only so much they can do.

                It’s time to face the real problem: Inconsiderate cruisers. Apparently, some people want to spend three days in a row “incapacitated” during their vacation (see, what it’s like to be under cruise ship quarantine). If you’re one of them – or think “that would never happen to me” — here are nine sure-fire ways to get sick on a cruise ship.

                1. Don’t wash your hands after using the restroom.

                8 more paths to sickness

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