Poll: What type of cruise booker are you?

When it comes to booking a cruise holiday, everyone has his or her own, individual planning style. Often cruise deals fall into one of two camps: The “Book in advance and save!” offers and the “You won’t want to miss this last-minute special!” offers, but we want to know what timeframe suits your cruise-booking style, so we’ve come up with a few categories to help you determine what kind of cruise booker you are.

Are you a super organiser? 

If planning a cruise involves years of preparation, a slide rule and a protractor, chances are you’ll fall into this category. You like that feeling of anticipating your holiday … for several years. Last-minute for you is booking a cruise less than 18 months in advance.

Are you an annual cruiser?

You, too, like to get in early. And you’re decisive, by gum. You pick your cruise holiday out a year in advance and book it 12 months out, come hell or high water!

Are you an “I’ll book ahead, but never leave it until the last minute” cruiser?

You won’t let yourself be pigeonholed. You like to look around for deals, and you’re decisive, but you’re not one to make a list-minute decision. Generally, you book your cruise several months out.

Are you a last-minute gambler?

You like to play the odds, let that cruise booking decision ride, and then strike when the iron (or cruise deal) is hot. You’re as at home with the “wait and see” approach as you are in a cruise ship casino. You believe there’s no better type of cruise deal than a last-minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants deal. You book your cruise holiday within weeks of the departure date.

And now that you know what type of cruise booker you are: Vote in our poll by clicking this link, or click on the image at right. Both will take you to our homepage, where you’ll find the poll in the right-hand column near the bottom of the page. It looks like the image at right. 

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Cruise Critic Live! Chatting about the best places to snorkel and dive

Girl snorkeling in the water with fish
Every Thursday — this week at 4 p.m. (BST) — Cruise Critic Live! takes a look at all the things to love about cruising, from favourite destinations to amazing dining experiences to the latest and greatest new ships on the oceans and rivers. We also welcome outside experts including cruise line CEOs and newsmakers.
This week, we’re chatting about snorkeling and scuba diving. For many people, cruising includes a dip into the deep blue sea. The Caribbean, for example, is a great spot for first-timers looking to dip the proverbial toe in the water, while cruises to Australia can provide some breathtaking scenery that will blow away even the most veteran divers. Our water-loving editors will take your questions, give our favorite tips for snorkel and scuba excursions and help you pick the destinations that will create lasting memories.
Not around on July 10? Ask a question here, and we’ll make sure we answer it. The chat will be archived, and available, after it winds up so don’t forget to bookmark the page.
 Follow along on Twitter at #CruiseCriticLive.


What time is the midnight buffet? and other onboard classics

Cruise Critic member GHstudio makes an acute observation on the message boards this week: “Somehow, when people get on a ship on a cruise vacation, the most logical people just turn off their brain.”

And when the brain is left on the quayside, out come the questions and comments.

Not just the old classics like ‘Do the crew sleep on board?’ and ‘What time is the midnight buffet?’ but new, even more ridiculous offerings.

Read on to find out more crazy questions!


Member review: What an Adventure!

We’ve read a few members’ reviews in our time, but we’ve got to say this has to be the longest and most comprehensive we’ve ever seen!

It was ged1967′s first time on a Royal Caribbean cruise, but – judging by this review – we’re pretty sure it won’t be his last.

Read on to find out more.


Live from Carnival Freedom: Dr. Seuss is on the loose

Children on stage with Cat in the Hat hats, taking part in Carnival Cruise Line's Seuss at Sea StoryTime
Green eggs and ham is just the beginning,
Of a concept on Carnival that seems to be winning,
It’s a kids’ program that Carnival has just let loose,
Experiences at sea with Dr. Seuss.
Seuss-a-Palooza is the big parade
Where banners are held and noises are made.
Noisemakers held by boys and by girlies
But if the kids want a prop, be sure to get there early.
The parade is led by your cruise director
He serves as a host, he serves as a lector
Thing 1, Thing 2, Sam and Cat in the Hat
Help lead you to where Story Time is at.


Get your July 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!

July 2014 Desktop Calendar of Cruise Ship in Norwegian Fjords
We hope that this photo of a cruise ship sailing through the Norwegian Fjords will get you excited about those summer cruises that you have planned.
Here’s how to put this photo on your computer, tablet or cell phone:

Click here to find out how to download this.


Poll: How do you pay for your cruise?

It’s always fun to plan a cruise — and even better when you’ve picked the one you want and you’re ready to book. But when it comes time to pay the bill, there are oodles of options to choose from. So how do you pay for your cruises?

Are you the type who plans, books ahead, and then pays off the total in instalments?

Perhaps you’re a super organised saver who pays the full amount up front?

Do you “buy now” using a credit card and leave the payment till later?

We’re keen to know, so tell us how you pay for your cruise: Vote in our poll.

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Tightfisted? … Or canny? You decide!

You’ve seen them onboard: The sneaky people who sidle up to the photographers’ gallery, locate their own mugshot and take a cheeky snap on their iPhone. Tightwads? Or just travellers who feel that cruise lines deserve as good as they get when it comes to money-making opportunities?

The difference between being frugal and being downright stingy is highly subjective, as this very long thread on Cruise Critic demonstrates, but some of the money-saving tips from members are highly entertaining.

Read on to find out more money saving tips!


Deal of the Week: Free flights with your Azamara Cruise

Everyone is looking for the deal of the century. So how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Check our blog each week to get the scoop on our favourite deals — then grab the phone and pack your bags.

The deal: The Luxury Cruise Company is offering free flights on all bookings in ocean view cabins and above to passengers who book before 31 July 2014.

What we love: This deal gives passengers a great chance to book early for a luxurious week-long cruise, exploring some of the Mediterranean’s most diverse ports of call aboard Azamara Cruises’ Azamara Journey. And nothing’s better (to us) than the anticipation and excitement of knowing you have a cruise waiting in your future. The added value extra of free return flights from the UK also takes some of the stress out of travel planning — and we’ll take that any day!

To book this deal, read on.


What’s your sailaway song?

Sailaway party on Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas
If you heard the strains of “My Heart Will Go On” – from the movie Titanic – as you sailed out of port how would you feel: Happy, excited – or extremely nervous?
Apparently, there are quite a few of you who would like to listen to that soundtrack during the sailaway party, at least according to the Cruise Critic forums. We’re comfortable with the stirring sounds of “Conquest of Paradise” by Vangelis, beloved by Star Clippers, or “Amazing Grace,” played by Island Windjammers.
So what’s music to your ears? It’s a cruising question posed by member asdf12 that elicited interesting suggestions on the forums.