Tag: Cruise Travel

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If You Could Sail Your Golden Years on a Cruise Ship, Which Ship Would It Be?

January 22, 2015 at 3:39 PM | by | Comments (5)

It’s full steam ahead for the SS Shady Pines.

Some seniors head to retirement homes. Others pack a suitcase, don a straw hat, and decide to cruise through the remainder of their golden years.

Case in point: 86-year old widow Lee Wachstetter, who took nearly 90 cruises during her 50 years of marriage. She hasn’t stopped since her husband passed away, and as was his wish, she tells the Asbury Park Press, that she has carried on their cruisin' lifestyle by becoming a permanent reside of the Crystal Serenity cruise ship nearly seven years ago.

“Mama Lee,” as the staff knows her, spends about $164,000 per year to live on board. She has gone on a 100 cruises in total since becoming a "resident", including including 15 around-the-world cruises. Being literally the coolest grandmother on the high seas: Priceless.

Sure, the rent ain’t cheap. But take a look at what she gets for $164,000 :

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WiFi on a Cruise Ship for $5 a Day?!

January 19, 2015 at 9:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

Office hours.

A photo posted by Jaunted.com (@jaunted) on


You know that old idiom, “everything happens in threes?” Well, it absolutely applies in the case of WiFi on cruise ships this season. At-sea connectivity is a notoriously sore spot in the cruise industry, since the standard satellite systems bring embarrassingly low bandwidth at a shamefully high cost. In most cases, we’re talking $0.75 per minute. For real.

Several years ago it was normal to be charged ~$300 just to keep up some minimal internet access for emailing and some social media-ing on a 7-day cruise, and as of 2014 not much had changed...other than the passengers’ desire for more time online at a better price.

Then along came Royal Caribbean’s “smartship” Quantum of the Seas and its lower cost, lower orbit, higher bandwidth satellite technology, including—gasp—unlimited plans.

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How to Fight Seasickness While on a Cruise

January 15, 2015 at 6:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

The panacea

Travel sickness: we’ve all been there. Well, most of us, who don't have iron-clad stomachs have. And seasickness – which can strike even those who’ve never suffered travel sickness before – can ruin the fun of a carefully planned cruise.

So how do you cure seasickness? To find out, Jaunted dispatched me - its most lily-livered contributor, who has balance issues galore and once threw up on a car ferry crossing a tiny river in England - to the Azamara Journey, a cruise ship currently navigating some of the most treacherous waters in the world: the South Atlantic and Drake Passage, en route to Antarctica.

Seasickness is something you will have to deal with if you're traveling to Antarctica - there is no way of escaping these waters known, due to the low latitude, as the 'screaming sixties'. I have been sick for four days and counting, and I have tried various methods of recovery. Here’s how each one rated.

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3 Awesome Cruise Deals to Jump On During 'Wave Season'

January 13, 2015 at 1:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Thinking about cruising in 2015? Then say hello to our new cruise specialist, MaidenVoyage. As a travel agent who spends day in and day out booking cruises for curious travelers, she knows cruise lines and ships like the back of a muster drill script. Got a question about cruises? Even a stupid one? MaidenVoyage has heard and seen it all, so don't be shy. Send your cruise question to her!

It's that time of year when everyone is resurfacing after the holidays, making "get fit" resolutions and dreaming of spring. But it's also that time of year when folks get to planning their vacations, either for this year or 2016 and 2017. (Ahem, guilty!) And if you're thinking about hitting a beach with crystal blue waters, you're in luck.

Right now, we are in the midst of cruising's WAVE SEASON, which lasts from January-March, and has some of the best cruise ship deals we will see all year.

Here are some of my favorite cruise deals along with some tips on how to ride the wave season for all it's worth:

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New Technology Means Cruise Ships Finally Offer Affordable Onboard WiFi

December 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

So maybe you've heard that there's a new WiFi scene on the high seas. Updated technology is finally allowing cruisers to log on from the Lido deck, and Royal Caribbean is the first big line to unleash the action.

Royal Caribbean's CEO insisted that the WiFi be available for free to everyone onboard the November pre-inaugural cruises of their newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, but RCCL has now nailed down solid numbers on how much they'll charge for the service.

The RoyalCaribbeanBlog noted WiFi rates and packages from the ship's frequent 8-day Caribbean sailings out of New York City and although the rates do hit three digits for the larger unlimited packages, they still represent massive savings over the exorbitant standard pricing of older systems.

The majority of cruise ships still utilize older systems, charging $0.75 per minute or offering packages like 8 hours for $168. These prices now decrease to as low as $65 for an entire day, and gone is that medieval by-minute option.

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Cruise Ship WiFi Sails Out of the Dark Ages: An Interview with Royal Caribbean's CIO

December 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM | by | Comments (0)

"This changes everything."

That's the boasty slogan of ads on TV commercials and even plastered on bus shelters around NYC, referring to the newest cruise ship now sailing: Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas.

The Quantum calls itself a "Smartship," deploying fresh technology from bow to stern—in some cases, technology that's never before been seen on a cruise ship, including at-sea WiFi faster than the usual slower-than-stalagmites connection and dedicated apps to help plan your cruise time in real-time.

Between riding the North Star and peeking into multi-level suites, we managed a moment with Bill Martin, Chief Information Officer for Royal Caribbean to discuss faster speeds, better satellites, and what all this means for the bottom line of your cruise folio:

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Cue the Nautical Puns. Virgin Cruises is Happening!

December 5, 2014 at 11:37 AM | by | Comments (0)


Branson with a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant in the Bellagio fountain, Las Vegas

As the new year approaches, so does what the cruise industry calls "wave season." This means a slew of great promotions are offered at the beginning of the year, every year. It's perfect timing as most of the country is in a deep freeze. Before the deals, however, comes news of what to expect with cruise ships in 2015 and 2016. Here's the latest:

· Airplanes and spaceships and cruise ships, oh my?

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group confirmed today that Virgin Cruises is a GO, with two planned ships. While itineraries, sail dates, and ship specifics are hush-hush for now, Branson has dropped some hints:

We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love.

They’ll be sailing on the latest ships offering great quality, a real sense of fun, and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service.

How will the Virgin Cruise experience really compare to or include(?) their other travel offerings, like the airlines and Virgin Hotels? Are we bracing ourselves for another megaship or something more intimate? Where will the itineraries travel to? Will it be the saturated Caribbean, hot spot China, easy Europe? Whatever the decision, we'll be booking that inaugural for sure.

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Why Adults Take Disney Cruises..Even If They Don't Have Kids

December 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM | by | Comment (1)

Thinking about cruising in 2015? Then say hello to our new cruise specialist, MaidenVoyage. As a travel agent who spends day in and day out booking cruises for curious travelers, she knows cruise lines and ships like the back of a muster drill script. Got a question about cruises? Even a stupid one? MaidenVoyage has heard and seen it all, so don't be shy. Send your cruise question to her!

The one question that newbie cruisers and fellow members of the travel community ask me frequently is, "What's your favorite cruise line?" When I say that Disney Cruise Line is one on my list, I am most often met with the "But all of those kids...ugh." Then when I mention that I don't have kids, I get the "...are you crazy?!” No I am not, but thanks for asking. And since you wanted my opinion, I'm going to tell it like it is.

There are four ships in the fleet-- Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. And all are great for families. Obviously. But, Disney Cruise Line is equally as great for ADULTS without children, and here are some reasons why:

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A First Look at the First 'Smartship': 210 Original Photos of the Quantum of the Seas

November 18, 2014 at 11:44 AM | by | Comments (2)

What's longer than five 747s and yet can turn on a dime in NYC's Hudson River?

The Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship and the first to be branded a "smartship," is officially out on the ocean. Godmother Kristin Chenoweth christened her at Cape Liberty, New Jersey on November 14 and, with that crash of a massive bottle of Perrier-Jouët champagne, she begins a year of sailings out of New York Harbor to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

We spent the weekend onboard the Quantum, pushing buttons and opening doors to discover her secrets and put the much boasted about technology to the test. But first, let's take a long look at the ship—all 168,000 tonnes of fun—with completely original photos:

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Missoni Hotels May Be Done, but There's Always Cruise Cabins

November 12, 2014 at 12:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Don your darkest sunglasses. Grab a front row seat between Anna Wintour and the Olsen twins. It’s time to appraise a fashion-forward new line of cruise ships.

CroisiEurope, the continent’s largest river cruise line, has announced that its 2015 season will debut three new ships with interiors outfitted by none other than MissoniHome, the fabrics and furnishings-focused offshoot of famed Italian fashion house Missoni. CroisiEurope began rolling out the Missoni wares earlier this year, introducing pillows, curtains, and contemporary furniture in the staterooms and common areas of several barge ships.

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Cruise Ship Food on the Upswing, Says The New Yorker

November 5, 2014 at 10:43 AM | by | Comment (1)

Cruise ship food: It’s not just for fanny pack-wearing Middle Americans anymore.

Okay, that was harsh; not all Middle Americans wear fanny packs. (Some of my best friends are Nebraskan.) But cruise ships have not often had a reputation for culinary greatness. Or even adequateness.

That reputation deserves revisiting, says David Owen in the new Food Issue of The New Yorker. Owen hopped aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, the second largest cruise ship in the world, and did a little kitchen reconnaissance: How does the food taste, and how do these floating Mall of Americas manage to prepare it? The answers, we surmise, are "pretty darn good” and “with great difficulty and ingenuity.”

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Trade Your Pina Colada for Push-Ups in the 'Fitness Garden' Onboard Crystal Cruises

October 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

Just in time for the busy cruise season, Crystal Cruises is making it a whole lot easier to balance out buffet time with some huffy-puffy in a fully renovated fitness center. Working with Italian fitness equipment manufacturer, Technogym, the cruise line redesigned their onboard gyms and added an outdoor fitness garden to tempt cruisers into more exercises than lifting fork to mouth.

Within the next few weeks, the overhauled gym of Crystal Symphony will feature Technogym’s fitness equipment and customized circuit training program for all levels of fitness. If you're in for sweating on the high seas, the cardio section will sport the newest equipment line called ARTIS, a high-design (obviously Italian), super-techy (iPhone connectivity) range of treadmills and cross-trainers.

If showing off by the pool is your goal, the resistance training offering will be an expanded Kinesis line of equipment to allow for better range of movement and more versatility.

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