Throughout the year, Cruise Critic's editorial team is kept busy, sailing around the world on ships of all shapes and sizes, to ports of call near and far. And, as 2023 comes to a close, we peer into our collective crystal anchors to reveal our Cruise Resolutions for the coming year.
Here are our Cruise Resolutions for 2024:
Colleen McDaniel, Editor in Chief: "Whenever people ask me about my favorite cruise destination, Alaska springs to mind. For many, it's a bucket-list destination, but for me, it's a place I want to visit over and over.
"It's been a few years, so my resolution is to visit the 49th state again in 2024. I adore Alaska for many reasons, but perhaps the biggest is, while I've cruised there four times, I've never had the same experience twice -- and I've never been disappointed.
"I've visited with hard-charging expedition company UnCruise, bushwhacking through ancient animal trails; I've done a cultural expedition with Ocean Victory from American Queen Voyages; I've enjoyed the luxury of sailing Alaska with Regent Seven Seas; and I've fallen in love with the big-ship cruise experience with Alaska cruising stalwart Princess Cruises.
"Along the way, I've seen breathtaking scenery, watched humpback whales bubble-net feed, gazed in awe as a mama bear and her three cubs dined on late-season salmon and learned about the Tlingit culture.
"I can't wait to get back and see what surprises await."
Chris Gray Faust, Executive Editor, U.S.: "I spent 2023 exploring new ships and cruise lines that were on the small side – Scenic Eclipse II in Greenland, Riverside Luxury Cruises on the Rhone River, Atlas World Voyages in the Mediterranean, and Viking Polaris in Antarctica.
"Looking ahead to 2024, I’m most excited about the new megaships that are coming into the industry. From Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas to Cunard’s Queen Anne to Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess (which I recently saw at the Fincantieri shipyard), the new ship crop of 2024 looks to be a good one. I’m determined to sail on at least one of them."
Adam Coulter, Executive Editor, Cruise Critic U.K. & Australia: "I have a number of cruise resolutions I'm hoping to make in 2024, including:
1. Stop taking the elevator. OK, this is acceptable to go up, but not down.
2. Stop eating a “Full English Breakfast” every morning. I have a bowl of cereal at home, do I really need two eggs, two pieces of toast, smoked salmon, pain au chocolat and bacon every morning on my cruise? I do not.
3. Do you really need a starter, main and dessert every single night? (see Point 2).
4. A nightcap is never a good idea. OK, maybe on the first and last nights, but you know how most people don’t drink every single night at home? Same principle.
5. Try and keep my cabin vaguely tidy. My cabin steward works so hard, he/she does not need to tidy up after me too.
6. Go to the gym. Even if it’s just to see it.
7. Stop leaving stuff behind. USBs. Water bottles. Shoes. Children (I made that last one up. Promise).
8. Enjoy the ship! As a cruise writer, I spend a lot of time writing about the ship and not enough time experiencing the ship. I resolve to keep writing, but also pause to soak up the atmosphere onboard. Maybe even go for a swim or sunbathe?
9. Try new lines. I’ve got to admit, I’m a creature of habit – there are certain lines and ships I love (see Cruise Critic’s Editors Pick Their Favorite Cruise Moment of 2023) and will go back to time and again, but maybe next year is the time to get out of my comfort zone?"
Aaron Saunders, Senior News and Features Editor: "I love my ships, and I love being onboard. Usually, for work, I tend to skip the ports and stay onboard so I can cover more of the ship in the short time I have, unless something specific has been arranged on-shore. But I've noticed that tendency has begun to bleed into my vacation cruises.
"My natural inclination is to stay onboard, in my nice little bubble, and read a book and have a drink. I call these port days "Ship Days", and they're great. But I'm also conscious I may be missing great experiences on-shore in some places around the world. I really want to try to get off the ship and explore, at least a little, in each port of call -- particularly if I've never been to it before.
"One thing I nearly missed this year was the chance to go ashore in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I'd never been, but my schedule aboard Norwegian Viva was ambitious. If it wasn't for another friend dragging me into town, I would have missed an incredible experience."
Jorge Oliver, Editor: "I’ll admit it: My track record of keeping New Year’s resolutions that call for working out more or eating healthier hasn’t been the greatest. My best intentions usually don’t survive past January.
"This year, however, I’m going to recruit the help of a formidable partner: cruise ships. While it may sound contradictory – considering that ships are known for their culinary bonanza – it’s also true that you will always find plentifully opportunities to work out while sailing.
"Fitness centers are a standard feature among most cruise ships, from smaller river vessels to megaships. And top decks can also offer opportunities to workout, with amenities like sports courts, jogging tracks and swimming pools.
"Moreover, shore excursions can also work in your favor. While some destinations are more ideal for active travelers, there’s always bound to be physically demanding tour options. Even exploring a destination on your own will get you walking much more than you normally would. "
Marilyn Borth, Assistant SEO Editor: "While in Ketchikan, Alaska, I went out on a limb and tried a shore excursion that I normally wouldn't go for: the Ketchikan Jeep and Canoe Safari with Holland America Line. And lo and behold, I experienced one of the greatest shore excursions to date.
"We canoed on a mountain lake in the Tongass National Forest, had some of the best homemade soup at our canoe destination before a short, guided trail walk, then did some "off-roading" in a Jeep through the forest.
"To say the least, it was a thrilling adventure with great people and stunning views -- and one I am so glad I agreed to try. That's why my 2024 cruise resolution is to branch out of my comfort zone more often on sailings and give other shore excursions a shot, even ones that wouldn't normally catch my eye."