It's a brand-new year and that means resolutions. Naturally, ours here at Cruise Critic revolve around our favorite pastime, cruising. With nothing but a blank slate ahead, we do hereby resolve to keep the following cruise resolutions -- or at least make an attempt (check back with us on December 31!)
This year I've cruised solo, sailed with some of my best friends and survived a family cruise. The only person who didn't take to the seas with me? My husband. My resolution is to make it up to him with a couple's cruise in 2017 -- and it's one we already have in the pipeline. Later this month, we'll be living it up on yacht-style luxury cruise line SeaDream in the Caribbean. We will celebrate milestone birthdays and anniversaries, do lots of snorkeling and sunbathing, dine on Champagne and caviar (in the surf!), sleep on Balinese beds up on deck -- and won't feel guilty at all about leaving the kids with their grandparents so we can have some much-needed together time.
--Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
To take a dip in the ocean. Of the five cruises (six counting a cruise to nowhere around the Isle of Wight) I've been on this year, I've somehow managed to avoid setting foot in the ocean in 2016. Hopefully that'll change in 2017. And onboard — to use the cruise ship gym more frequently!
--Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.
In October, I cruised onboard Carnival Imagination with some first-time-cruiser friends. Seeing everything fresh through their eyes made me realize I've missed out on a lot of things I thought were silly and usually skip -- spa raffle on the first day, group games and formal night portraits. I was amazed at how fun posing in our fancy attire was, or dropping in giant pie pieces when we answered a question correctly during life-size Trivial Pursuit (which we eventually won!) My resolution for 2017 is not to count anything out onboard -- try something new every time, even if you think you're an expert or you don't think it's for you!
--Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor
When I travel, I try my best to do and see as much as possible each time I venture out. It allows me to check lots off my bucket list, but it also means that sometimes I move too quickly without taking time to absorb the experiences. This year, it's my goal to slow down a bit, take more time to enjoy the elements of each trip and do so without using my phone quite as much.
--Ashley Kosciolek, Editor
It turns out, I'm more of a foodie than I realized. I was lucky enough to try out a couple of culinary classes and food tours on cruise ships this year, and I absolutely love the experience, even though I rarely cook anything but breakfast at home. This year, I'm going to try to embrace cooking at home more often, applying some of the tips and tricks I learned with cruise lines like Viking, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas. Now if only I had my own assistants who would do the measuring, portioning and cleanup for me the way they do on cruise ships...
--Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor
Visit at least three new countries. To some, that might sound crazy. But those who've cruised before know it can be easily done in one trip! I think southeastern Europe is calling...
--Gina Kramer, Associate Editor
Over the past four and a half years, I've taken numerous ocean and river cruises on both big and small ships, but I've yet to experience an expedition cruise, something I'll definitely be changing in 2017. In fact, I already have my first expedition sailing on the books in January -- an Un-Cruise Adventures trip to Costa Rica -- but my cruise resolution is to get on at least one more expedition sailing in 2017 so I can get a better feel for the different types of expedition cruising that are available.
--Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor
I started this resolution early, on MSC Opera in December, but I intend to see it through: I will always walk up and down stairs rather than take the elevator. Of course, this is easier on a mid-sized ship such as Opera where the most you're going up realistically is decks 5 to 11. However, I intend to do this on all size ships -- even the megas. The obvious benefit is you get to walk off all the food you've consumed, but there are others: you can admire all the art work on the landings; you get to meet people wheezing their way up and down with you (yes, you do meet people in elevators, but the stairs are more of a conversation starter) and you get to see more of the ship. Down is easy, of course. Up, well let's see how many mince pies I eat over Christmas…
--Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor
I worked out I have cruised more often in Europe (18 times!), on the other side of the world, than in my own country, so my goal is to cruise more locally. I need to see the west coast of Australia, more of New Zealand and the South Pacific, and embark on expeditions to some of the world's most amazing and remote regions, which happen to be a lot closer to home for me. Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the sub-Antarctic islands, I'm looking at you. This plan will also save me from horribly long flights, jet lag and visas.
--Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor
I've finally reached the point in my travel life where I have a decent on-the-road routine. My cruise choices are a nice mix of familiar and exotic, my wardrobe works for different climates, my traveling companions are tried and true. I carry appropriate chargers, have Global Entry and know exactly what seat I need on most airplanes. Onboard, I can read a wine list, get a decent score in trivia and know exactly how late I can stay up without being wrecked the next day. It took a long time to get to this point -- late 40s, to be precise -- and I don't want to wreck my new-found equilibrium. So my cruise resolution for 2017 is not to change anything!
--Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor