20/08/2014

Cruise Critic Live! Join our “Life’s an Adventure … Cruise” chat

uncruise adventures wilderness discoverer expedition cruise ship in alaska
Each week on Cruise Critic Live, we take a look at things we love about cruising — from favorite destinations to amazing dining experiences — and we also give you the inside scoop on the newest ships at sea and on the rivers. From time to time, we also welcome outside experts to this space, including cruise line CEOs and newsmakers. And of course, as always, we hold our chats because we want to hear from you.
This week, we’re chatting about expedition cruising with special guest Dan Blanchard, Principal/CEO of Un-Cruise Adventures, who knows pretty much all there is to know about adventure cruising. One advantage of picking an expedition line, for example, is that you can get into some of the ports larger ships might not be able to access. With things like Zodiacs, snorkeling and round-the-clock guides, expedition cruising combines history and learning, while still providing many of the amenities cruisers have come to expect. Along with Dan, our adventure-seeking editors will take your questions, give our favorite tips for finding the right itineraries for you and help you pick the destinations that will create lasting memories. Join us at 8 p.m. (BST) August 21.
Last week, we talked about avoiding mistakes when it comes to booking cabins, and our readers had plenty of advice on which cabins to avoid. If you didn’t join us last week, you missed out some great advice … but fear not! You can still read the whole chat.

19/08/2014

Win tickets for the CRUISE Show!

The CRUISE Show is a key event in the cruise calendar, and with the Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow regional shows almost upon us, we’re giving you the chance to win tickets!

We have 10 pairs of free tickets to give away for each of the three shows. All you have to do is tell us which show you’d like tickets for, and send your name and address to: tickets@cruisecritic.co.uk by 27 August, 2014 for a chance to win.

The great news is that even if you’re not one of our lucky winners, but are still keen to guarantee your ticket to the shows, The CRUISE Show is offering our members 2 free* tickets when booked in advance! Tickets can be booked by visiting: www.cruisingshow.com and quoting ‘CRUISECRITIC’ or by calling: 0871 620 4024.

(*£2.50 booking fee per pair applies and calls to ticket hotline cost 10p per minute plus network extras. Ticket offer valid for all four CRUISE Shows – Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow 2014 and London 2015)

If you’re looking for insight from the experts and exclusive show-only offers, be sure to add the following dates to your diaries:

Click here for the CRUISE Show schedule.

18/08/2014

Where in the world is Cruise Critic?

Chris Gray Faust on map
Cruise Critic staffers set sail every week, travelling the globe to bring you the latest cruise ship trends, port sneak peeks and onboard observations. Here’s where we are this week.
(Have questions about any of the ships we’re boarding or ports we’re visiting? Ask us in the comments!)
Tour/Ship: A Holland America cruisetour to Alaska
Where: The cruisetour begins on land in Anchorage, before heading up to Denali and Fairbanks. We then explore Dawson City and Whitehorse, Yukon, before boarding Holland America Zuiderdam in Skagway for four days along Alaska’s Inside Passage.
Who: Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor
Why There? Cruisetours continue to be one of the best ways to see a lot of the 49th State in a short amount of time. Besides taking a look at Holland America’s Zuiderdam, I’ll give you the scoop on excursions, lodging and other nuts and bolts of what a typical cruisetour is all about.
We Can’t Wait: I’m no stranger to cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage (read my review of Alaska expedition cruising), but the interior will be completely new to me. I’m interested to see how a cruisetour compares in value to a land vacation, and also how the experience on a mainstream cruise ship in Alaska compares to the smaller vessels I’ve been on there.

14/08/2014

Introduce a friend to cruising… and share the taste of MSC Cruises

Share a day onboard MSC Magnifica with friends

Do you have friends and family that haven’t cruised yet?

Would you like to learn more about MSC Cruises, and visit MSC Magnifica in Southampton?

Read here to find out more!

14/08/2014

Cruise Critic Live! You Saved How Much?

Ship made out of hundred dollar bills
Each week on Cruise Critic Live, we take a look at things we love about cruising –from favorite destinations to amazing dining experiences — and we also give you the inside scoop on the newest ships at sea and on the rivers. From time to time, we also welcome outside experts to this space, including cruise line CEOs and newsmakers. And of course, as always, we hold our chats because we want to hear from you.
This week, we’re chatting about saving money. So come on over and tell us your stories of how you scored a bargain. And our editors will share our tips for saving big bucks on cruising. We’ll also be bringing along a guest travel agent to give advice on how you can maximize your cruise dollar. After all, nothing beats a great cruise, except for a great cruise that you got at a great price. Join us at 8 p.m. (BST) August 14.
Last week, we talked about avoiding mistakes when it comes to booking cabins, and our readers had plenty of advice on which cabins to avoid. If you didn’t join us last week, you missed out some great advice … but fear not! You can still read the whole chat.

13/08/2014

How do you deal with scathing seafaring remarks?

The story goes that the word posh evolved from well-heeled travellers sailing between England and India. Written on their bookings and tickets, it stood for “Port Out, Starboard Home”, so they were allocated favoured cabins on the shady side of the ship, and – heaven forbid – never set foot in steerage.

Fast forward 50 years and although days of the Empire are long gone, there are still, sadly, a good number of “cruise snobs” sailing the seas.

Cruise Critic member davecttr says it’s akin to having Hyacinth Bucket – the fictional character in TV’s “Keeping Up Appearances” who insists her surname is pronounced as Bouquet – onboard.

Read on to find out more.

11/08/2014

Where in the World is Cruise Critic?

Ashley Kosciolek on map
Cruise Critic staffers set sail every week, travelling 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 or ports we are visiting? Ask us in the comments!)
Ship: Hurtigruten’s Finnmarken
Where: Norway (Bergen, Alesund, Trondheim, Arctic Circle, Lofoten Islands, Tromso, Honningsvag, Kirkenes, Oslo)
Who: Ashley Kosciolek, Ports and Copy Editor
Why There? Cruise Critic is always looking to beef up its coverage of less-travelled ports, including those on this itinerary. Plus, we’ll be updating our review of Finnmarken, an ice-strengthened ship that specializes in expedition cruising.
We Can’t Wait: While the mainstream cruise experience is great, many passengers prefer more active and immersive sailings like those offered by Hurtigruten and other expedition lines. Additionally, the midnight sun will be out during the sailing, so expect some coverage on just how badly it does (or doesn’t) affect your internal clock.

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08/08/2014

Hot on the Forums: Would you bring your own food on a cruise?

Marmite: Cruise Critic UK Editor Adam Coulter’s must-pack item

A cruise ship might seem like the last place on earth where you’d need to bring your own food. I always swore I’d never be the type of unadventurous person who’d take sackloads of home comforts on holiday, but sure enough I found myself stashing a pack of Scottish oatcakes and a box of Rooibos tea in my suitcase for my last voyage. Cruise Critic’s UK editor, Adam Coulter, confesses to bringing his own Marmite on board, too (Editor’s note: and PG Tips).

So I wondered, who else brings their own nibbles on a cruise? Turns out, I’m not alone.

Read on to find out more.

07/08/2014

Cruise Critic Live! We’re talking cabins

Carnival Pride Aft balcony
Tonight on Cruise Critic Live, we’re talking cabins – which ones you should book and which you should avoid!
A good cabin will help make your cruise a dream come true. But the wrong cabin could have you losing sleep.
Our editors have seen a whole lot of cabins through the years and will take your questions, give our favorite tips for choosing and help you pick the the perfect cabin. Join us at 8 p.m. tonight.
Last week, we hosted special guest Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara, who gave us some juicy news about upcoming refurbishments of his line’s ships. We also had a captain swing by to say hello.

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06/08/2014

Lost and found (and a heart-warming tale of honesty) – what have you mislaid or discovered at sea?

I’ve always been intrigued by stories of priceless paintings, top secret documents, wooden legs and so forth being left on trains, buses, planes – and of course cruise ships.

Accounts of lost glasses (very common), hearing aids, single shoes, underwear left behind in pre-cruise hotels and expensive jewellery left in the cabin safe after disembarkation are countered by recollections of lingerie, footwear, a bottle of Scotch behind the TV and some unmentionable things being discovered in cabins (not to mention Cruise Critic member neverbeenhere’s surprise of a newlywed bride in a state of collapse outside the stateroom door!).

Read on to find out more revelations…