Most tattoos have some kind of meaning to the wearer and seafarers are no exception. Back in the day, a sailor would have a tattoo of a pig on one foot and a chicken on the other, which was supposed to ward off drowning; pigs and chickens were carried on ships in wooden crates which would theoretically float with the currents in the event of a shipwreck. On the other hand, a sailor sporting a tattoo of a swallow or a sparrow has sailed 5,000 miles (not such a big deal in these days of world voyages and transatlantic crossings). A Neptune or turtle tat means the wearer has crossed the equator or international dateline on a ship.
But how do you interpret a Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor tattooed onto an ankle? As the ultimate sign of customer loyalty, of course. Cruise Critic member Wolfcathorse and her husband started the trend with matching ankle art as a sign of lifelong devotion to their favourite cruise line.
They’re not alone; member Cruising_addict also sports a Royal Caribbean logo, saying “I love Royal so much I had to show it. It is not huge and is at the bottom of my leg above my ankle. I have had people ask on the ship if I work there.” JaxieWaxie proudly sports one on her foot, saying, “Funny thing is, when cruising, everyone on the ship assumes it’s a fake!”
Member Cupcrazy also confesses to a discreet bit of ankle adornment, while RcclMiami was given the Christmas gift of a tattoo on the calf by his wife. “It took almost a year for me to get up the nerve to get it,” he confesses. Member BC604 adds: “Me and the wife have C&A [Crown & Anchor] tattoos on the tops of our feet. We like to show them off poolside.
It’s not just Royal Caribbean fans. Carnival diehard Billy Ray Crane had a Carnival smokestack emblazoned on his arm in celebration of his 10th cruise with the line, according to cruise director John Heald’s blog. On the QE2 Story forum, a site for fans of the old Cunarder, member Marty 552 shows off an arm festooned with Cunard ship names (adding one every time the line builds a new ship), while a Star Clippers fan posting on the line’s blog has a tall ship, logo and all, in full sail on his arm.
What next, a P&O tattoo, or maybe a little Fred. Olsen on the shoulder, tantalisingly revealed in a strappy number on formal night? What would your cruise-themed tattoo be? Let us know.
– Sue Bryant
Loyal to your cruise line? Read about past-passenger rewards
Find out what features brought Kate to write, “I actually can’t find anything negative to say about this cruise,” on her summer Mediterranean cruise from Venice this July.
On its New York to Bermuda run this week, my 4,800 fellow passengers and me, sailing aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway (along with those on Celebrity Summit, which offers an identical itinerary), got some bad news. Hurricane Cristobal, a late-developing storm that gave a lashing to the Dominican Republic and Haiti and bounced tropical showers off the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas, is headed straight for, you guessed it, our three port days in Bermuda.
As a result, our voyage will feature stops at Florida’s Port Canaveral and the Bahamas’ Nassau. Nice, but not quite, dare we say … the ports we’d all planned for.
Welcome to peak season hurricane cruising. While storms can occur anytime between the months of June to November (and even occasionally earlier or later), mid-August to mid-October is prime time. This affects itineraries primarily, but not exclusively, in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Atlantic Canada, the Mexican Riviera and Hawaii. (In Asia, at the same time, typhoon season can plague itineraries there.)
The good thing about cruise travel vs. resort stays in potentially affected regions?
There’s nothing worse than having to politely decline someone’s unwanted affection — especially if you’re on holiday. While on land, the experience may be flattering (if still unwanted), it has the potential to prove positively frustrating onboard. “Why did they have to ask me now? I’m trying to read my book!”
And while you may have at least mentioned that you’re “not really looking for anything at the moment, thanks.” If an amorous protagonist just doesn’t get the hint, just how do you shake them — or avoid awkward moments — on a vessel that’s under a mile long and surrounded by water?
Fear not — we have some first-hand experience and advice from a fellow friend and cruiser, Georgia, who offers some helpful alternatives to spending all your time onboard locked away in the cabin. Georgia was approached during one of her cruise holidays a few years ago on a trip around Europe, and took a proactive approach to avoiding her potential suitor. Here are her suggestions:
In the words of Jack Buchanan’s popular World War Two song, at 4p.m. “everything stops for tea.” Except he’s slightly out with the timing, as from first thing in the morning to last thing at night the majority of Brits love a cuppa — and I certainly count myself among them. Forget fashionable fruity blends and exotic artisan tea plucked at dawn the night after a full moon, for me only builder’s tea will do (for the uninitiated that’s hot, strong, no-nonsense tea served with milk and preferably in a big mug). Anything pale, weak and warm … well, it just isn’t my cup of tea.
The fact that you can’t get a decent cuppa in the country that has put a man on the moon is one of life’s enduring puzzles. After all, pouring boiling water onto a tea bag or tea leaves is hardly rocket science. And coming from the nation that has been the largest per capita tea consumer since the 18th century, I’m not alone.
You might be able to get a bewildering choice of coffee, every cocktail under the sun and an lengthy list of soft drinks, but when it’s tea time nothing else hits the spot. So, in typical Cruise Critic fashion, tea lovers have taken to the forums to try and work out if it’s possible to get a proper cup of tea on a U.S. owned ship.
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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: email@example.com 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:
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