Frock horror on formal night

There’s a fine line on dress-up night at sea between the right to individual expression and a wardrobe disaster the wearer’s friends or partner should really have helped prevent. But should we really judge what other people wear?

Well, we’re only human (and secretly, not always very nice) and we do judge, as some of us enjoy nothing more than sniggering at other people’s outfits.

Read on to find out about more wardrobe, erm, malfunctions.


Cruise Critic Live! On the Douro River with AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways AmaVida cruise ship on Douro River in Portuagal
The Rhine and Danube aren’t the only European rivers worth exploring. If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, check out Portugal’s Douro River.
This week, Cruise Critic Editor in Chief Carolyn Spencer Brown will be sailing through the Douro valley along with AmaWaterways Executive Vice President and Co-owner Kristin Karst.
Today, they’ll join up to take your questions live from onboard AmaVida. Dying to find out more about river cruising? Eager to hear about AmaWaterways? We’ve got you covered. Don’t miss a chance to get the real scoop with our industry experts.
If you didn’t join us last week, you missed out on info like this, live from the site of the Costa Concordia in Giglio, Italy.
Fear not! You can check out our Concordia chat — and all our previous chats — online here.

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Burger-pizza, anyone? Our readers’ best MDR combo-food ideas

I’ll have the combo meal.

As someone who makes Marmite and squashed banana sandwiches (go on, I dare you) and recently tried a slice of peanut butter and jelly pizza (surprisingly good), it’s fair to say I enjoy a few odd food combinations. But when faced with an expansive ship’s buffet, I find it hard enough to decide what to choose from those dishes on display in their unadulterated form … let alone come up with any inventive ideas for combo-food fads.

Not so some of our more creative Cruise Critic members. It seems that despite the huge choice, our readers are hungry for more. And the outcome might be delicious or disgusting; it all depends on how your taste buds are tickled.

Check out these … erm … unique combinations.


Member Review: Alaska on Regent – a perfect combination

It was the itinerary that first attracted CC Member Gemlea to this cruise with Regent Seven Seas: San Francisco to Vancouver – via Alaska.

It was Gemlea’s first time with Regent, and let’s just say – bank account permitting – it won’t be the last.

Read on to find out more.


Eric “Cake Boy” Lanlard goes behind the scenes on P&O’s Britannia

Let me take a selfie: Eric “Cake Boy” Laniard (right) and BFF James Martin take a pic in front of Britannia


Master patissier Eric “Cake Boy” Lanlard is excited about the maiden voyage of P&O’s new ship Britannia, as we wander through the ship, which is still very much under construction here at the Fincantieri shipyard in northeast Italy.

An avid cruiser himself, Lanlard will be at the helm of the onboard Market Café, a continental café/deli in the ship’s atrium, serving up cakes – of course – pastries and ice cream as well as cheese and charcuterie.

Read on to find out what Eric is most looking forward to!


Costa Concordia: A few final thoughts

As the journalists (and I include myself in this) mill around looking for scraps of news from the increasingly detailed and technical Costa Concordia press conferences (there are only so many times you can write a story about sponsons), I decide to take a walk along the harbour front.

I’m aware that this will likely be my last time here, so I’m going to soak it up, take a few more images and then file it in my memory bank. I wish I spoke Italian, it would have helped to have got closer to the locals, who are at this point completely indifferent to the hordes of badge-wearing people walking up and down the harbour all day.

In a way, we’re just another type of tourist to them; not so the salvage workers, many of who have been here since the accident.

Read on to find out more.


Hot on the forums: Stubbing it out

Broken cigarette
Editor’s note: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today (July 16) that it will ban smoking on balconies across its entire fleet. They become the second major cruise line to enact the ban in just over a week. Read the full story here.
Carnival has recently announced that as of October 9, it will ban smoking on its balconies, joining most other mainstream cruise lines. Just Norwegian and Holland America allow balcony smoking now, and in the UK, Saga and Fred. Olsen (which doesn’t have many balconies anyway).
The first reaction for many cruisers is probably ‘Good!’ Even as a smoker-friendly non-smoker (some of my closest cruising friends smoke) I’m pleased; there’s nothing worse than going out for sea air first thing in the morning and having your neighbor light up a ciggie, causing you to cough and wheeze. Or getting ready for a formal dinner with the balcony door open and having fumes waft in from next door, leaving a nasty smell on your fancy frock.


Live from….Giglio, Italy: Costa Concordia raising

I’m back in Giglio, Italy almost 10 months after the parbuckling operation which righted Costa Concordia to an upright position.
The parbuckling took place over 24 hours and seemed painfully slow at the time. This refloat and eventual tow to the scrapyard in Genoa will take at least a week, but the pace today has somehow felt quicker.
It was also very quiet last September, with just locals and journalists (of course) watching from the portside; the atmosphere felt slightly surreal. This time, the second phase of the operation is being done against the backdrop of hundreds of tourists, who line the port, often taking up a spot to stare out at the ship all day.
The good news is it’s all going to plan – the ship has been raised between two and four metres (6.5 to 13 feet) and towed 30 metres from shore (98 feet) . So far so good.


Get onboard for tonight’s episode of The Cruise Ship

Well it’s here, that programme we’ve all been waiting for: The Cruise Ship.

The four-part series, which starts on ITV1 tonight, looks at ‘life below stairs’ on Princess CruisesRoyal Princess in its first season.

There’s much excitement surrounding it, with some suggesting it could be the new Love Boat (that long running 70s soap which took place on an old Princess ship).

That of course remains to be seen, but there are no shortage of “characters” – drawn from crew and passengers – and drama onboard.

Read on to find out more about the show.


Cruise Critic members treated to a ship tour fit for a Celebrity!

A group of Cruise Critic members recently gathered in (somewhat) sunny Southampton for a ship tour aboard Celebrity Cruises’ 2,850-passenger ship, Eclipse.

Find out how the day went!