Tag: Cruise Travel

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This Norway Voyage Has a Brilliant Northern Lights Guarantee

Where: Norway
October 20, 2014 at 8:39 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last year, we ran a week-long special on the Northern Lights, publishing stories on what they are and how to take photos of them. We also, in spite of those photography tips, wrote a controversial piece about why we recommend keeping your camera at home when you go out hunting for the Lights.

Above all, though, we laid out a plan for what to eat and drink while you wait, because the Northern Lights are fickle at best, and have a knack for being extremely elusive. That is why, despite being one of the most amazing spectacles on the planet, many people are hesitant about committing their limited time and money to go in search of them.

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Bermuda Rebounds, Airport Reopens After Hurricane Gonzalo

Where: Bermuda
October 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

The typical image of pink sand paradise was disrupted on Friday, October 17, as Hurricane Gonzalo roared over Bermuda. Luckily the storm, which battered the island with winds of 110mph, didn't take the vacation destination by surprise; airlines ad issued travel waivers a week in advance and cruise ships had canceled their calls in advance.

Palm tree were shredded and some smaller boats sunk in harbor, but no lives were lost in the storm and Bermuda is extremely anxious to return to tourism business as usual.

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Crazy Cruise Fees That Should Be Thrown Overboard

October 16, 2014 at 8:15 PM | by | Comments (2)

CruiseCritic yesterday reported the delightful, wholly unexpected news that Royal Caribbean is dropping the $25 corkage fee on BYO-bottles of wine at their onboard restaurants.

Now, for example, if you board with a special bottle you're intending to drink in celebration on your cruise, you're welcome to do so without finding a hidden fee later. The policy is thus:

"Passengers are allowed to bring two bottles of wine or Champagne (up to 750 ml each) onboard at embarkation. Previously, they could drink the contents free of charge only in their staterooms. Additional bottles brought onboard or purchased in port are confiscated and returned to the passengers on the last day of the cruise."

The old corkage fee is hardly the only ridiculous extra onboard. Here are a few other exorbitant cruise ship fees we'd like to see eliminated:

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Fort Lauderdale is So Hot Right Now, and We're Not Talking About the Temperature

October 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

We're sorry to say that winter's approaching, but we're not sorry to admit that we have no problem high-tailing out of colder climes in search of sunny skies, sandy beaches and skimpy swimsuits. While South Florida specializes in these things, one city in particular is reaping more attention than normal, and that city is Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale sits about 40 minutes north of its big sister Miami, and is similar packed with nightlife, warm weather activities, and daytime culture. With an average year-round temperature of about 75 degrees and 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, it's plain to see why this city is on the upswing with tourist numbers.

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Travel Contest Roundup: 6 Ways to Win a Free Cruise

October 3, 2014 at 9:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, and there's always the chance that you could be the big winner—just don't forget to tell us if you are!

Here are six cruise contests to enter right now:

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Why the Newest Cruise Ship's Flashiest Amenity Isn't Everything It Promises

August 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM | by | Comment (1)

Ice-skating rinks. Rock-climbing walls. Planetariums. Mini golf courses. If it seems like cruise ships have it all, that's because they must cater to the whims of thousands of travelers with differing interests, all with the single goal of a good time.

Starting this November, that good time will be enhanced by yet another cruise line first, as Royal Caribbean debuts the 4,900-passenger Quantum of the Seas and her extendable arm viewing capsule, the "North Star." This contraption, which lifts passengers up and over the ship for a 360-degree view, would be a lovely little mid-ocean joyride, if only the key promotional rendering wasn't so misleading.

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Out to Sea But Not Off the Grid: How to Save on Cruise Ship WiFi

July 29, 2014 at 2:22 PM | by | Comments (3)

At-sea WiFI is a beautiful thing, but this beauty doesn’t come without a price tag. Cruise ships around the world have offered connectivity from sea to shining sea for several years thanks to Inmarsat’s satellites buzzing about in space, and yet the cost of using even one hour of internet is shocking and, dare we say it, turning travelers away from oceangoing vacations.

There is hope, however; onboard a recent transatlantic voyage of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, we hooked onto an internet signal every day, at all hours, from all over the ship, despite our location of “somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean,” and came away with scores of ideas on how to keep those WiFi costs down while still logging on:

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The Era of the Megaship is Hardly Over

July 24, 2014 at 10:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

Good news for those looking to take a cruise on as big a ship as possible, as there will soon be two new vessels from which to choose thanks to those over at Norwegian Cruise Line.

The company has plans to add a pair of new ships to their fleet, and each should have room for around 4,200 passengers. Meyer Werft shipyard over in Germany are in charge of putting all the pieces together and, when it’s all said and done and christened, these big bad boats will cost just over $2 billion.

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20,000 Images Combine for a Google Street View Tour of the World's Largest Cruise Ship

July 15, 2014 at 12:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

Google Street View is on the move again, and this time they’re heading somewhere that lacks any roads—the water.

The camera and photo arm of the search giant just finished checking out one of the ships over at Royal Caribbean, as Allure of the Seas smiled and posed for well over 20,000 images of all its goings-on.

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Royal Caribbean Heads Towards Land with New 'TourTrek' Venture

July 10, 2014 at 9:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

Royal Caribbean is taking their business out of the water and onto the land, as they’re working on starting up some kind of tour company spinoff.

At this point details are limited, but they did confirm things on a recent blog post; however, we’re wondering if that was only because Travel Weekly kind of beat them to sharing the news.

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Eastbound or Westbound: That is the Transatlantic Question

June 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

Paris, London, Tokyo, Sydney...a list of world capitals may make for a respectable "places visited" list, but don't consider it complete without time spent on the open ocean. To be specific, we're talking about taking a transatlantic crossing, sailing between Southampton, UK and New York, NY.

We've already done the math to discover that going by Cunard's RMS Queen Mary 2 ocean liner is half the cost of flying Business Class, but now to face the biggest decision: eastbound or westbound?

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By Sea or By Air: Comparing the Costs of Transatlantic Travel Today

May 19, 2014 at 5:06 PM | by | Comments (2)

In one day, approximately 8,100 travelers fly one-way between New York and London. The journey from one airport to the other, with the stretch of the Atlantic Ocean between, takes 7 hours, during which time the luckiest passengers will manage to squeeze in a nap between tiny meals. In one year, that's nearly 3 million winging their way, one-way, through the clouds between continents.

In one week, 2,620 travelers sail between New York and London onboard Cunard's ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2. In 2014, as she celebrates her 10th Anniversary, she'll transport 23,580 via 9 westbound transatlantic crossings full of black tie evenings, three lavish meals daily, proper afternoon teas, splashes in pools, Canyon Ranch spa treatments, lectures by notable personalities, walks around deck in the sea breeze, and stargazing nightcaps on balconies before tucking into bed.

That's 3 million in the sky versus 23,500 on the seas, and you can double those totals to approximate roundtrip travel. Crossing the Atlantic by ship is indeed a niche option these days, and it's a rarefied experience in more ways than one. Still, it is first and foremost a mode of transportation—the QM2 is a real ocean liner, not a cruise ship, after all—and the small self-selecting group to chose an ocean liner over an airplane are actually getting the deal of their lives.

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