You set sail on your first cruise with all the gadgets and gizmos of our digital age – phone, camera, tablet and so forth – and then find there’s nowhere to plug in all the chargers.
It’s just one of the many things that you only find out when you’re onboard – and of course by then it’s too late.
So who can you turn to for “in the know tips”? Look no further than the seafaring stalwarts among Cruise Critic members.
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Cruising with kids is fun, but it comes with its own set of challenges, and as all parents know, getting a good night’s sleep is key. After all, a restful sleep means that you, (and every family member in your cabin!), will have a much more enjoyable cruise overall.
With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with our friends over at BabyBjörn and By Carla to offer some great prizes – and some tips – to help make cruising with your little one as pleasurable and relaxed as possible!
We Can’t Wait: Having sailed on Norwegian Jewel over New Year’s Eve 2013, I am eager to see the improvements to a ship that did look a bit dated. I am especially excited for breakfasts and the ice cream sundae menu at O’Sheehan’s. I’m also quite curious to see if the new additions in any way encroach on the spaciousness that has always been a highlight of Norwegian’s Jewel-class ships, especially in contrast with the more crowded feel of the Breakaway ships. I am equally as enthusiastic about the itinerary, as this will be my first Alaska cruise. I’m also pleased to host a Live From edition of Cruise Critic Live! onboard Norwegian Jewel on Friday, September 5 at 4 p.m. (Eastern). I’ll be available to take your questions about Norwegian Jewel and the Norwegian NEXT upgrades.
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 I, 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: