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Travel Blog

Latest Cruise news articles

Norwegian Jade: The large round domes atop cruise ships are protective shells that encase free-moving antennas that transmit satellite communications.

Maritime carriers: The ripoff continues

January 17, 2018

In July, I wrote about the eye-popping overage charges I supposedly ran up during a weeklong Windstar Cruises sailing in the Caribbean. Cellular at Sea hijacked my smartphone cellular signal and ran up charges of $1,825 without my permission. (See Are maritime carriers hijacking your smartphone when you're on a cruise ship?.)

Today I received my monthly AT&T bill after my last cruise, on Norwegian Jade, last month. I signed up for Internet on board and signed up for AT&T's Passport international data plan: $50 for 1GB and unlimited messages — which was easy and problem-free.

Silver Muse is the newest ship from Silversea, offering luxurious cruises around the world.

Silversea's first-ever Black Friday sale (expired)

November 20, 2017

One of my five favorite cruise lines, luxury line Silversea, has just announced its first ever Black Friday sale: Receive a 5 percent savings if you book now through Nov. 28. 

Silversea sweeps passengers off their feet with impeccable butler service in all categories, fine food, free wine, spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water and they even cover your tips. Onboard fun includes free fitness room and classes, a spa, movies, lectures, games, a large pool and more.

And you can combine the offer with the line's popular Silver Select promotion for additional savings: Choose a two-category suite upgrade, or 50 percent savings on a second suite, or an onboard spending credit of $1,000 per suite. (The onboard spending credit is not available on expedition voyages.)

Antigua's English Harbour in Antigua, which dates to the late 1700s, seen from Shirley Heights.

Silversea offers free shore excursions in Caribbean

November 1, 2017

recently hurricane-ravaged areas with free shore excursions in every port on select cruises aboard Silver Wind and Silver Muse. The move does represent a substantial savings for cruisers. 

Guests can hop around Antigua's historic English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage site, check out celebrity hideaways in the Grenadines while sailing on a catamaran or soak in the scenic white-sand beaches of Grand Turk on horseback — at no extra charge.

All Cruise Ships Visiting Monaco for Formula 1 Grand Prix 2016

October 31, 2017

From via

The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix is a most prestigious race where every pilot dreams of winning and every F1 fan dreams of watching this race.  It is the most difficult and slowest of all circuits in the F1 World Championship. 

Coming to the Grand Prix in Monaco for Formula 1 race is an unforgettable moment where world’s elite comes to show up their Yachts. Literary there are miles and miles of Super Yachts parked one next to other. Cruise ships are also welcomed to this race. This are some of the most expensive cruises during the Mediterranean season starting from $2,699.00 USD for 5 nights cruise per person, not including the F1 ticket.

Walter Christen's insight:

I have to admit it, I love to watch Formula 1 auto racing and the Monaco venue is one of the best circuits. Some of the luxury cruise lines will be making a stop in Monte Carlo for the race.

Ships that will be making this unique theme port of call include the Azamara Quest, Silversea Cruises Silver Spirit, Windstar Star Breeze, and Windstar Wind Surf,

Cruising the Ohio river

October 31, 2017

From via

The Ohio River often seems relegated to play second fiddle to the Mississippi, of which it is a tributary. And while nobody can minimize the awesome power and majesty of the mighty Mississippi, the Ohio River can certainly hold its own as an impressive and captivating waterway with much potential for an enjoyable voyage.

Winding through or alongside six states—and with a drainage basin that flows to more than a dozen states—the Ohio River’s path takes you on a journey through a rich and diverse segment of the country, offering travelers the chance to explore a variety of different landscapes and beautiful views. It serves as a major route through the eastern and central part of the United States, and functions as the boundary marker between several states.

For many centuries, this river served as a favored transportation and trading route used by Native Americans, who also established numerous camps and communities alongside its path. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as calling it “the most beautiful river on earth,” citing the smooth, clear and gentle flow of water the river boasted in a nearly unobstructed and undisturbed path in his day.

Walter Christen's insight:

An American Queen Steamboat Company river cruise looks like a cool way to see a historic part of the US.  Many types of music theme cruises plus cruises for autumn color and the history of the region are available. 

MSC to sail cruises from Cuba - Travel Weekly

October 31, 2017

From via

MSC to sail cruises from CubaTravel WeeklyShore excursions will be offered through Cubanacan, a Cuba-based travel group. MSC would become the largest cruise line offering cruises from Cuba.
Walter Christen's insight:

Cuba looks to be the next must see destination in the Caribbean.

This Week in Cruise: 3 New (And Newly Renovated) Ship Announcements

October 31, 2017

From via

This week in cruise travel news saw a slate of announcements regarding new and newly renovated ships. Here's the latest.
Walter Christen's insight:

News from Royal Caribbean,  Silversea Cruises, and Hurtigruten. New or renovated ships for all tastes in cruising. 

Amber Cove, Carnival’s new port in the Dominican Republic, nears opening date

October 30, 2017

From via

The new Amber Cove port on the north coast of the Dominican Republic is rapidly coming together a little more than a month before the first ship is scheduled to arrive on Oct. 6.

The port, being developed by Carnival Corp. and a local partner, already has a 1,280-foot pier, a bus and taxi staging area, cabanas and the finished shells of bars, restaurants and shops.

Landscaping is being planted and the interiors of the structures are ready for build-out.

Walter Christen's insight:

Carnival Cruise Line has been hard at work on their own private port on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. 44 tours have been designed for the area which will appeal to a wide range of cruise travelers.

Crystal Cruises launches its first jet & unveils Crystal Endeavor

October 30, 2017

From via

When you write about the cruise industry, you tend to see a lot of ship launches. You see keel-laying ceremonies, shipyard tours where the skeleton of the vessel is barely recognizable, and christening events that take place, as they have for hundreds of years, before a vessel sets out on its maiden voyage.

Rarely do we get invited to see the unveiling of an airplane – but that’s exactly what luxury line Crystal Cruises had in store for us this evening on the first day of the 2016 Seatrade Global Cruise Conference in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And ironically enough, the physical airplane became a footnote once Crystal unveiled details of its first ultra-luxury mega-yacht expedition cruise ship, Crystal Endeavor.

First, to the airplane in the hangar: Crystal had previously announced it would begin offering air service with two Boeing aircraft: a Boeing 777 and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. But the plane sitting in the hangar at the private aviation terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was a small Bombardier Global Express BD-700 Business Jet. And it’s just another prong in Crystal’s aggressive expansion plans.

Walter Christen's insight:

Exciting announcements from Crystal Cruises at the Seatrade Global Cruise Conference. Luxury travel has a new benchmark that will be tough to beat. Whether it be by land, sea or air, Crystal Cruises will be able to offer customized travel plans for the luxury traveler.

Not to be outdone, Crystal Cruises also unveiled the plans for the Crystal Endeavor which will be a polar compliant megayacht for expedition travel to Antarctica and the Far Arctic. What a fantastic looking ship.


A Star is Born: Viking Cruises Celebrates the Launch of the World's Newest Luxury Ship

October 30, 2017

From via

Marking the first new cruise ship line to launch in a decade, Viking Ocean Cruises has just christened its first ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star.
Walter Christen's insight:

Viking Star.  What a fantastic looking ship with some amenities I think are fantastic.  The infinity pool off the stern looks great and the clean Nordic inspired décor is something to see.

Sailing this year? Here are 5 top cruise trends to look for in 2016

October 30, 2017

From via

The cruise industry is chugging ahead in this new year, with an estimated 24 million passengers setting sail.

That's a significant jump from the 15 million passengers a decade ago, according to Cruise Lines International Assn.

Twenty-seven new ocean, river and small ships will hit the water this year. And it's no surprise that while the Caribbean is by far the top destination for cruisers, Australia and Asia are heating up

1. US river cruises - River cruising has exploded in Europe over the last few years, and now American rivers get their turn.

2. Cuba by ship - With the thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations and reopening of embassies, Americans have been flocking to the island nation

3. All inclusive please - Regent Seven Seas Cruises has led the way for years with all-inclusive sailings, and more lines are following suit.

4. Make room for families - Family cabins, such as Royal Caribbean's family junior suite, are always in high demand.

5. Better Wi-Fi - Cruise lines will be upgrading and perfecting their Wi-Fi, but it won't necessarily be free

Walter Christen's insight:

2016 looks to be a banner year for people to cruise. Here is my take.

1. I am very intrigued about a US river cruise. Really have to look into a Viking River Cruise on the Mississippi river for 2017.

2.  Although I would love to cruise to Cuba to experience the culture, I do not see it in my plans for a little while. Maybe next year.

3. I really like what Regent Seven Seas is doing with their all inclusive cruises. One of the reasons I love to cruise is not having to make many money spending decisions while on board. This would make for a even better experience.

4. In the past when we cruises with my children we booked adjoining rooms which worked out well.  On my last cruise, my wife an I were booked into a junior suite that had a king size bed, a pull out couch and a separate small room with bunk beds.  Room slept 6 even though it was just the 2 of us.  Great room and would be great for families with children. There was a lot of extra space and storage areas as well.

5. Great to see that the cruise lines have recognized the importance of high speed internet access.  In this day and age, it is hard to disconnect for more than a few days (although I do like being disconnected). Pricing also seems to be getting better.

Carnival Cruise announces plan to set sail for Cuba

October 30, 2017

From via

Normalizing Cuba-U.S. diplomatic relations creates new business opportunities for both countries. Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise company, is announcing it received permission from the U.S.
Walter Christen's insight:

Carnival Cruises received approval to set sail to Cuba starting May 2016