Member Review: Towards the North Pole on Black Watch

For his review Cruise Critic member Docmaic set his sights on the North Pole onboard Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch. Having previously sailed with other lines, why did he choose Fred. for this voyage along the Norwegian coastline?

A convenient UK embarkation point was a key factor; and value for money and great grub whetted his appetite for a fourth cruise with Fred.

Read on to find out more.


Love cruise? Love luxury? Then read on…

Luxury onboard Regent Seven Seas Mariner

Thank you for entering. This promotion is now closed.

Afternoon tea, wine and cruising…

The Luxury Cruise Company has teamed up with Oceania Cruises to hold an afternoon tea and wine tasting event on Wednesday 27th August at Denbies Wine estates in Dorking.

If you’d like the chance to win a pair of tickets*, simply email your name to: tickets@cruisecritic.co.uk by Sunday August 1oth. However, if you’re not one of our lucky winners, you can find still find out how to apply for tickets.

The Luxury Cruise Show 2014

Now in its fifth year, the Luxury Cruise Show 2014 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 7th September at Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa In Surrey, bringing together 16 cruise lines and river cruise companies. The day will include special show discounts, book-on-the-day offers, and every visitor will have the chance to win a free cruise!

Exhibitors include AMA Waterways, APT River Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Hebridean Island Cruises, Hurtigruten and Regent Seven Seas Cruises to name a few.

For more information, to see the schedule of events and to register for your complimentary show tickets visithere.

* The small print: Winners will be selected at random from all entries received and notified by email. Contest open to UK residents over 18 years of age. No cash substitution or substitution of prize permitted. Prize does not include any other cost or fee associated with prize receipt.

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August 2014 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: Santorini Sailing

July 2014 Desktop Calendar of Cruise Ship in Santorini, Greece
Here’s your August 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! 
We hope that this photo of a cruise ship sailing through the Santorini caldera in Greece will help you dream about places you’ve yet to explore.
Here’s how to put this photo on your computer, tablet or cell phone:
1.  Click on the following links to get the size that you want. Each link will open a new window (or tab) displaying the wallpaper, in the appropriate format for your screen size.
2.  For the desktop versions, right-click on the image, and choose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background”, “Use as Desktop Picture,” or something similar. The wording depends on your browser. Mac users should ctrl-click and save the photo on their computer in the “Pictures” folder.
3. If the image does not fit your desktop background neatly, you may have to go to your preference panel (on a Mac: System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop; on Windows: Control Panel > Display > Desktop) and choose“Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image.
4. For phone and tablet, open the link and centre the photo on your phone so it fills the screen. Take a photo and save it on your device. Then go to your Settings and find your Wallpaper (on an iPhone, this is under “Wallpapers & Brightness.” Set the saved calendar photo as your wallpaper.
Check back on August 29 for the September 2014 calendar. 


Cruise Critic members enjoy a visit onboard Independence of the Seas!

Cruise Critic members enjoyed a wonderful – and very sunny – tour of Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas last weekend.

The lucky readers and their families won the chance to get onboard in a competition we ran with Royal Caribbean in June.

As well as trying out all the many things you can do onboard the ship – simulated surfing – rock climbing – they also enjoyed a fabulous 1950s-themed lunch!

Read on to find out the highlights of the day.


Hot on the Forums: Door decorating, tasteful or tacky?

Fun door decorations on a Disney cruise
Navigating the way back to your cabin can sometimes be tricky; particularly when coupled with the cruise ship curiosity that make numbers blurred late in the evening (often combined with a sense of direction going out of the porthole).
I have always resorted to asking a steward or crew member the way, but with a bit of creativity you can make your own homing device and/or celebrate a special occasion.
However, who would have thought Cruise Critic member IPlayWithString would open up such a can of worms by posing the seemingly innocent question: “So…door decorations. Do you do it?”

Read on to find out more.


Member Review: First time with Celebrity


It was Cruise Critic Member Limpit‘s first time on Celebrity Cruises, but she is no cruise novice having previously sailed with Princess Cruises, Carnival, MSC and Royal Caribbean.

So why did she choose Celebrity this time? Four main reasons: to try the brand; the Reflection has received very good reviews from CC Members, she was attracted by the itnerary – and she got a great deal on the Drinks Package and Gratuities.

But what was the main highlight?

Read on to find out…


Where in the World is Cruise Critic?

Chris Gray Faust on map
Cruise Critic staffers set sail every week, traveling the globe to bring you the latest cruise ship trends, port sneak peeks and onboard observations.
Here’s where we are this week:

Read on to find out more.


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.