But somehow, through it all, 2010 may go down in cruising history as The Year They Didn't Eat Spam. That was just one of the takeaways from November's Carnival Splendor incident (in which an engine-room fire crippled the massive vessel off the Mexican coast), but it still seems to resonate with our readers. (Indeed, more than a quarter-million of you checked out our coverage.) Just to remind you: No, passengers didn't eat Spam while stranded onboard -- it was delivered to Splendor during a Navy rescue operation and never served.
In case you need other reminders about the year gone by, we've assembled a slideshow of some of the top news in cruising over the past 12 months, from weather woes to passenger rows (think Queen Mary 2 and the two booted Manhattanites). Even dust played a supporting role, after the April eruption of an Icelandic volcano formed an ash cloud so massive that it crippled European airspace for days, delaying thousands of flights and stranding boatloads of cruisers.
Still, not every bit of news was grim. We continue to marvel at a few of the new ships we sailed, and we'll never forget one particularly magical moment during the launch of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth when the ship's typically stoic godmum -- Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II -- was caught by surprise during a speech and showed genuine delight.
Then again, we're still trying to figure out how one adventurous sea turtle figured out how to work a camera (you'll have to see the show's final slide to see what we're talking about).
So, go ahead -- relive the year that was.
And don't forget to vote for the biggest cruise story of 2010.
--by the Cruise Critic Staff