Video tour: Ben Fogle’s picks for Scandinavian shore excursions


As the nights begin to get longer, it signals the end of the summer cruise season in the Baltic and Northern Europe — a part of the world that sits high on many a cruiser’s bucket list.

To combat any potential end-of-cruise-season sadness, we have a treat for you. One of England’s nicest gents and friendliest television faces, Ben Fogle, has teamed up with Celebrity Cruises to give you some of his ideas — as Celebrity’s newly christened ‘Destination Ambassador’ — for great Scandinavian shore excursions.

So sit back, relax, enjoy travelling vicariously with Ben, and get geared up to while away some of the long winter nights planning your own Scandinavian adventure!

Check out our port guides and all our Baltic & Northern Europe features.

Get your very own blog subscription.


Just Back From…Disney Dream: Hits and Misses

Mickey's Pirates in the Caribbean

Ahead of Disney Magic visiting our shores next year, we bring you a taste of life onboard fleetmate Disney Dream.

If you’re going to cruise with your parents and your 6-month-old, or any other family group combination, Disney Dream is an excellent choice. This cruise line knows how to cater to holidaymakers of all ages, and that means activities with general appeal, as well as adult-only and kid-focused programming and spaces.

I’ve just got off a three-night Halloween-in-September cruise, and here’s what I thought of it:


Member Review: Independence days at sea

This was Nix111 (who also blogs as CruiseMuses) 10th cruise, and third with Royal Caribbean – so we’re guessing she’s a keen cruiser!

She, her husband and her little boy had a fabulous 14-night family holiday in the Mediterranean in July on Independence of the Seas, and here’s what she had to say about it:

Read on to find out more.


Where in the world is Cruise Critic?

Brittany Chrusciel and 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.
(Got questions about any of the ships we’re boarding or ports we are visiting? Ask us in the comments!)
Where: Eastern Caribbean
Who: Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant
Why There? We haven’t yet experienced a full sailing on Getaway and are filling in some gaps in the review, including updates to our dining section since the Norwegian Next overhaul and sampling the comedy and fermented grapes of Wine Lover’s the Musical.
We Can’t Wait: I had the opportunity to sail Getaway on a one-night cruise to nowhere for the inauguration and can’t wait to get back onboard to try everything I missed — from the noodles at Shanghai and sushi at Wasabi to the gourmet plates at Ocean Blue and the Cuban cuisine at Flamingo Grill, I will be packing on the pounds in the name of cruise!
Town in Iceland by the ocean with red and white church
Where: Iceland (Reykjavik and Akureyri)
Who: Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor
Why There? Its active volcanoes notwithstanding, Iceland has been appearing on more ship itineraries in recent years, particularly in Akureyri, the country’s second-largest city. Located in Iceland’s north, Akureyri draws summer stops from Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America , as well as Azamara, MSC, Costa, Oceania, Silversea and Cunard. We’ll be checking out what sort of things you can do in this remotely rugged part of the world.
We Can’t Wait: Ever heard of a little show called “Game of Thrones?” The scenes north of the Wall are filmed in northern Iceland, and show-related tours are now available in Akureyri. We hope to get in some whale watching, horseback riding – and a few dips in the area’s thermal springs.

Get your very own blog subscription.


Hot on the Forums: Cruising broadens the mind (and also the waistline)

When I first started cruising I noticed a curious thing – whenever I took stuff to the bdrycleaners it would come back a size too small.

It also seemed odd that my washing machine malfunctioned after a voyage, running hot so clothes emerged smaller.

Now of course, I know better. So while it’s true cruising broadens the mind, it also can broaden the waistline.

So what can we do about it?

Well, as ever Cruise Critic members have come up with some interesting tips to cut cruising calories.

Read on to get some top tips!


Cruise Critic Live!: All about Britannia with Christopher Edgington

P&O’s Britannia is the biggest ship ever built for the UK market and it will be coming to our shores in March next year.

We know you’ve got questions – and we’ve got the man who can answer them – Christopher Edgington, P&O’s head of marketing.

Mr Edgington will be answering your questions at 2.30pm today in a live Q&A, but you can go ahead and post your questions now.

Christopher Edgington, P&O Cruises’ marketing director

Whether it’s about the Oasis Spa, the largest wellness facilities in its history or perhaps you’d like to know more about the Cookery School, and the involvement of the numerous celebrity chefs? Or maybe you’d like an update on the entertainment?

Whatever you’d like to know, Mr Edgington is here to answer your questions, so please post them in our live Q&A and please join us at 2.30pm.

Get your very own blog subscription.


Regal Princess: A close shave

An hirstute Adam Coulter gets ready for his Royal Shave

I’m not a big fan of massages. I also don’t really like going to the hairdressers.

There’s just so much other stuff I could be doing while I’m lying down being squeezed and kneaded and pushed and pummelled while tinkly tinkly music goes on in the background.

It’s the same when I’m sat staring at myself in the mirror for half an hour having to make inane conversation about where I’m going on holiday next.

So when Princess Cruises suggested I try out a spa day on Regal Princess – complete with haircut, shave and a massage – let’s just say I wasn’t overly keen.

However, I am also keen to try new things and having never been to the salon onboard a cruise ship, nor ever had someone give me a shave I thought “Why not?”.

Read on to find out more.


Member Review: A ‘magical’ time onboard Disney

“Amazing”, “fantastic” and “magical” are just three of the superlatives used by the aptly-named member Disney2014 to describe her – yes, you guessed it – cruise onboard Disney Magic.

From the moment she and her family saw the ship in Barcelona, to meeting Mickey & friends onboard, to the friendly crew, as she puts it: “The magic began as soon as we stepped into the beautiful atrium!”

Read on to find out more.


Where in the world is Cruise Critic?

Erica Silverstein, Colleen McDaniel, Adam Coulter and 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 are visiting? Ask us in the comments!)
Where: We depart Port Canaveral for a three-night cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay.
Who: Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
Why There? It’s Halloween! On Disney, the holiday season starts in September with two months of Halloween cruises. We’re going to watch spooky movies poolside and join costumed characters at a “Mouse-querade Party.” I’m also going to put Disney’s baby amenities to the test by travelling with my six-month-old on her very first cruise.
We Can’t Wait: I toured Disney Dream when it was half-baked at the shipyard, so I’m excited to finally ride the AquaDuck, check out the effects at Animator’s Palate and try out adults-only venues like Palo. It’s actually my first Disney cruise ever, so I will be participating wholeheartedly in Pirate Night and attending all the production shows (that is, unless I get Mickey’d out. I prefer Pixar to princesses, so we’ll see whether I catch the Disney spirit or spend the cruise hiding from oversized rodents). On the destination side, I’ve heard great things about Disney’s private island of Castaway Cay. I just hope that departing the day after Hurricane Day (September 10 — the busiest storm day each year) doesn’t keep me away from this much-anticipated port stop.

We’re also headed to Switzerland, Italy and even Iceland! Read on for more.


9 things you wish you’d known on your first cruise

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.

Read on to find out the Top 5 tips!