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Travel Blog

Latest Cruise news articles

Pearl Seas Cruises' 210-passenger Pearl Mist sails through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

What to know about cruising the Great Lakes

September 22, 2016

Rave reviews from passengers are driving interest in cruising on the Great Lakes, says the Detroit Free Press in an article on the growing popularity of cruising in the region.

“We’ve been on 26 cruises and I’m enjoying this one so much,” passenger Jill Hoose of Texas told the newspaper. “There’s not such a rush, rush, rush feeling. There are not 3,500 people standing in lines.”

Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald promised "interesting stories, charismatic hosts and spectacular video" in the company's rollout of three new TV series.

Carnival Corp. creates 3 new TV series

September 19, 2016

While it doesn’t sound like Carnival Corp. is trying to bring back the over-the-top popular "Love Boat" TV series, the company is putting 10 of its ships in starring roles on national television. The company has dreamed up three original series that will run beginning Oct. 1, 2016, on ABC, NBC and the CW on Saturday mornings.

There will be a total of 80 episodes designed to teach people more about the world of cruising and to get them on board. A fourth series will debut in early 2017.

All-in-one Cruising 101 guide (infographic)

September 15, 2016

Our friends over at Onboard just published this nifty infographic that contains a lot of useful information for first-time cruisers and explains the basics of cruising in one easy-to-read graphic.

They invited us to share it — click the infographic to enlarge it on your screen.

(Click to enlarge)
Courtesy of to enlarge)

Both Independence of the Seas and her larger cousin, Oasis of the Seas, sail for the Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Cruising 101: Choosing an ocean cruise line

September 12, 2016

From via

For cruising veterans, it may seem obvious how to choose the best cruise line for your vacation, but for newbies, it’s the crucial first step and begins by asking the right questions.

To start, ask: What is my budget and what is my traveling personality?

There are four main categories of cruise line quality increasing in cost in order of standard ones, premium ones, upscale ones and luxury ones, and in each category, there are a number of different lifestyles to be expected onboard each individual line.

Walter Christen's insight:

There is definitely a cruise line for any type of travel personality. Understanding what you are looking for in a cruise vacation is the first step. Other articles for newcomers to cruising:

As a cruise veteran (first cruise in 1990 and 30 cruise to my credit) my style may be different from yours.  I like the large ships like the Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, where the ship is as much a destination as the ports the ship goes to but this does not stop me from taking cruises on smaller ships. Living in Florida, much of my cruising has been to the Caribbean as I have quite a few ports within driving distance and I love the beach and snorkeling.

Using Cruiseable is a great way to find out what the different cruise lines offer and what may be important to you on a cruise. See Cruiseable's Bliss Filters, there at the top right of the page, to research the cruise lines and ports of call to find your perfect vacation.


Holland America's Oosterdam sails by the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.

Cruise news for Alaska 2017 season

September 7, 2016

Holland America relocates Oosterdam to Alaska for 2017 season

Banking on the surge in popularity of Alaska cruises, Holland America is pulling ms Oosterdam from her 2017 Mediterranean season and moving the ship to Alaska, where she will make seven-day roundtrip voyages from Seattle.

Once the Oosterdam is in Alaskan waters it will increase the number of Holland America Line ships to seven in the area, including ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam (which will replace the ms Westerdam sailing from Seattle), ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam for a total of 135  departures to Alaska, more than any other cruise line.

Carnival Vista, the newest ship in the Carnival fleet, will be joined by two even larger ships in 2020 and 2022.

Carnival orders its two largest cruise ships

September 6, 2016


Carnival is going bigger and better. The world's largest cruise line has just announced it's building two new 180,000 gross registered ton ships that will be the largest in its massive fleet.

The ships will also be Carnival's first powered by liquefied natural gas — a decidedly green development by the Carnival Corp., which runs 48 percent of the world's cruise ships.

Carnival Cruise Line is scheduled to take delivery of the two new family-friendly ships, which are now under construction at Turku shipyard in Finland, in 2020 and 2022.

Carnival, which continues to grow by leaps and bounds, has a dozen ships its current fleet that were constructed in Finland, including its eight Fantasy-class ships and four Spirit-class ships. Its next ship, Carnival Horizon, is set for delivery in 2018. 

“This new ship order signifies an extraordinarily exciting future for Carnival Cruise Line and the opportunities that lie ahead to introduce a variety of magnificent new features and innovations to further enhance our outstanding guest experience,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are also thrilled to be introducing Carnival Corporation’s ‘green cruising’ design platform to North America. Both of these ships will be fully powered at sea and in port by Liquefied Natural Gas, which is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. These ships are being designed for maximum energy efficiency and environmental friendliness,” Duffy added.

Stayed tuned for more details, which Carnival expects to announce shortly.

Jonathan Coulton performs at JoCo Cruise, the annual gathering of music and tech nerds at sea. The next  JoCo Cruise sails March 4-11, 2017, on Holland America’s Westerdam from San Diego.

JoCo Cruise 2017: Nerdy fun in Baja California

September 4, 2016
Editor's note: We've updated this post with new information.

March 2017 marks the seventh sailing of JoCo Cruise, an annual weeklong cruise that began as a fan cruise for alt rocker Jonathan Coulton back in 2011. (See founder Mitch "Storm" Courtenay's writeup about the 2015 cruise.)

The experience is equal parts nerdy convention and music festival – and it has developed a cult following. The cruise is known for its daily concerts, 24-hour game room, welcoming “Sea Monkey” community, more geeky onboard events than one could possible attend, and the wide variety of high-profile, awesome guests on board, including actors and writers whose shows you'll recognize. 

The next JoCo Cruise will take place March 4-11, 2017, on Holland America’s ms Westerdam from San Diego with ports of call in Baja California. For the first time ever, the entire ship is chartered for the event, meaning everyone on board will be participating in the geeky fun. 

Freedom to slide: A girl takes off from the top of the wickedly fun slide on the Lido deck of Carnival Freedom.

Maritime makeover: 5 cruise ship refurbishment trends

August 29, 2016

From via

In an effort to sustain interest in their existing fleets, cruise lines are pouring millions of dollars into their older ships to have them stay on par with their newer ones. That means far more options for travelers across the board. Besides the usual basic maintenance and sprucing up, here are a few of the trending improvements rolling back onto the classic vessels.

Additional Dining Options

More Staterooms

Extra Cabin Comfort

New Water Slides

Better Entertainment


Walter Christen's insight:

Seems that every few years all of the cruise lines revamp their existing cruise ships to appeal to a broader audience. It is normal now to have more dining options on even older ships.  I have also sailed 3 times on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas. Twice before they modified the ship and the last time after they made the ship longer (cut it in half and added a section) to increase the number of cabins, larger pool deck area and provide a grand atrium.  I found it fascinating on how they accomplished this.




Carnival Vista, the newest ship in the Carnival fleet, sails the Caribbean in winter and the Mediterranean in summer.

What are the best days to book a cruise?

August 25, 2016

According to new data from search engine, travelers looking for a discount are better off booking their next cruise on a Thursday.

The study, which analyzed more than 600,000 data points, found that cruise prices drop lowest during the middle of the week, with costs plummeting by as much as 17 percent on Thursday.

Good deals are also awaiting travelers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, according to the study, with prices dropping 16.8 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively.

Friday is also a better time to book with prices dropping 16.2 percent. However, travelers in search of savings may want to avoid booking on the weekend or on Monday, based on's research. Sunday was found to be the worst day for discounts (7.8 percent), while Monday (12 percent) is worse than Saturday (13. 5 percent).

"Cruise prices fluctuate with demand and supply," co-founder Britta Bernhard said in a statement. "Most people do not realize that they can save massive amounts of money by booking at the right time."

"When a sailing is not sold out, most cruise lines will discount the cabins rather than sailing empty," added Britta. "These price drops can make for some incredible deals. But you need to find them and book quickly."

Interestingly, though, while Wednesdays tend to be among the best days of the week for discounts, they are also the most common day for price hikes, determined, with 34 percent more price hikes happening on a Wednesday compared to any other day of the week.

Meanwhile, weekends are typically a quiet time for price hikes, with little price movement occuring on Saturday and Sunday.

It appears that CruiseWatch's study focused chiefly on mass market cruise lines rather than luxury or specialty lines. 

Black bear cubs in Glacier Bay National Park.

Carnival to sail to Alaska from Long Beach for first time ever in 2017

August 25, 2016

Good news for residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and particularly for those who have always wanted to cruise to Alaska with the least amount of hassle. Starting in 2017, with a short car or train ride,  you'll be able to hop right on an Alaska-bound ship from the port of Long Beach.

 Carnival Miracle.
Radu Ursu / Courtesy of Carnival Cruise LineCruise out of Long Beach to Alaska on a special sailing on Carnival Miracle on Sept. 2, 2017.

Carnival Cruise Line is offering a 14-day round-trip Alaskan adventure aboard Carnival Miracle departing Long Beach on Sept. 2 and returning Sept. 16, 2017. The cruise will show off Alaska's majestic landscape as it sails through Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visits Icy Strait Point, an unspoiled wilderness area offering some of the best whale and bear watching in the state and the world’s longest zipline.

It's a not-to-miss experience that will stop at Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Sitka, as well as Vancouver, British Columbia — destinations rich in history and culture as well as lots of diversions from bicycling and hiking to just milling around the towns. Shore excursions, which cost extra, will feature helicopter flightseeing and rainforest canopy tours as well as hiking, canoeing and kayaking expeditions, and alpine lake snorkeling (bring a wetsuit).

Carnival Legend will also offer 38 seven- and eight-day Alaska voyages in 2017 and 2018, including seven weeklong Glacier Bay cruises next year — the most voyages by Carnival to this region, which features majestic glaciers and other ice formations and is home to numerous whales, bears and other wildlife. The seven- and eight-day voyages operate either round-trip from Seattle or from Vancouver to Seattle, visiting a variety of stunning ports, including Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Victoria, BC, plus a full-day cruising Tracy Arm Fjord or Glacier Bay.

Both gigantic Carnival Miracle and Carnival Legend provide scads of dining and entertainment choices from the upscale American steakhouse serving U.S.D.A. prime aged beef and other gourmet cuisine and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. Carnival caters to kids, who will love the Alaska adventure, with waterslides and supervised programs for three age groups and the popular Seuss at Sea program with fun activities like the Seuss-a-palooza parade, story time and more.

Carnival is donating $250,000 to charitable organizations to support efforts on behalf of victims of the Louisiana floods.

Carnival giving back  to help victims of Louisiana flood

August 23, 2016

Carnival Corporation,  the world’s largest cruise line operator, is giving back. The company announced today that both Carnival Corporation and Carnival Cruise Line are donating a total of $250,000 to charitable organizations to support their efforts on behalf of victims of the Louisiana floods. Recipients will include the American Red Cross, Louisiana Association of United Ways and Save the Children.

The company is also offering passengers who depart from New Orleans on a Carnival cruise the opportunity to donate money when they check in for their cruise. Carnival employees are being encouraged to donate, as well.

A Chinese woman survived 38 hours in the sea after falling from Jewel of the Seas.

Woman survives 38 hours in ocean after falling off cruise ship

August 18, 2016

A 32-year-old  Chinese woman who was on board Royal Caribbean’s 2,000-passenger Jewel of the Seas with her parents survived while being overboard for 38 hours while treading water and even falling asleep overnight.

The woman, identified only by the surname Fan, apparently slipped and fell off a railing on the 4th deck of the massive ship. Fan said she avoided being pulled under other big ships by swimming frantically away and that she fell asleep treading water. She did sustain jellyfish stings, however. Once she was rescued, emergency workers rushed her to the hospital to attend to the wounds, which remarkably were her only scars from the plunge into the sea.

She was actually saved by a crew from a fishing vessel and brought back to the ship,  which she and her parents had boarded in Shanghai  for what she thought would be a glorious five-day holiday cruise. Fan attributed her swimming prowess to having graduating from a sports college.

During her 38 hours in the water, she was also able to rest by floating on the surface and waving her arms underwater. Her father reportedly tried to check the cruise ship’s surveillance cameras to find out what happened to her, but the footage only showed her walking back and forth.  

About 23 million people a year take cruises and in an average year about 20 people fall off cruise ships. Most don't survive to tell the tale.