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As you sit dreaming of cruising right out of winter weather, a voyage to Chicago probably hasn’t entered your mind. But starting in July, Great Lakes Cruise Company will begin offering itineraries from Montreal to Chicago with the inaugural trip leaving Montreal on July 5 and porting in Chicago on July 14.
With only 105 state rooms, the ship, the M.S. Saint Laurent, is teeny tiny compared to typical cruise vessels due to Great Lakes size limitations. But this vacation won’t come at a teeny tiny price. The company says the price for the trip will range from $4,199 to $7,999 per person. Ouch.
Thinking about cruising in 2015? Then say hello to our 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!
Previously, I shared with you why the Disney Cruise Line is great for adults who sail without children. If that article persuaded you to book a Disney Cruise, then you can send a check for $500 to Jaunted.com, of which I'll take 20 percent. Kidding.
But if you are heading out on a Disney Cruise this spring or summer, here's what you need to prepare for. Much like visiting the Disney theme parks, sailing the ship of Mouse requires a bit of pre-planning.
Cruises / Travel Apps / Apps / Cruising / MSC Cruises / Travel Technology / → All Tags
How you remotely toured a cruise ship in 1989: Go to the mall, find the temporary “ship deck” installation by the escalator, sidestep some inflatable Mylar palm trees and procure an informational pamphlet from a cruise line salesperson in a sailor hat.
How you remotely tour a cruise ship in 2015: Download an app.
Last week, MSC Cruises announced the launch of their mobile app that lets smartphone users, and prospective cruisers, take virtual tours of the fleet’s 12 ships. The free download lets you explore the nooks and crannies of each ship – from staterooms and restaurants to spas and theaters – while offering a litany of other features: like cruise itineraries, background info about destinations and ports, global positioning features that let you track the movements of the fleet, and even live onboard webcam feeds. (Which is really the cheapest way to travel, when you think about it.)
Overall it’s a pretty solid idea from MSC, which cruises year-round in the Mediterranean and seasonally throughout other worldwide waters. Download the app here to start cyber-surfing in preparation for your next cruise IRL.
Cruising / Cruise Ships / Cruise Travel / Bucket List Travel / Golden Girls Travel / Crystal Cruises / Crystal Serenity / → All Tags
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 :
There’s plenty of potential aggravation and claustrophobia to be had with a trip around the world by plane or bus, but taking a ship around the globe should allow for a little more room to stretch out. People have been sailing to exotic locations for centuries, and even if you think you’re too cool to cruise—it’s still a solid option. It will take quite some time to complete your travel, which is a good thing, but just start saving those vacation days at the office. So if you’re looking for permission to come aboard, here are some of our ideas on how to do it.
Ideas on How to Cruise Around the World, after the jump!
Single Travel / Cruise Travel / Cruises / Cruising / Solo Travel / Norwegian Cruise Line / Holland America / → All Tags
Cruise ships are making it easier and cheaper for members of the lonely-hearts club to hit the seas.
The cruise industry is notorious for discriminating against single travelers, piling on surcharges for those cruising alone and giving better deals to duos. Margie Jordan of the American Society of Travel Agents told Reuters that solo globetrotters have to pay 150 to 200 percent more than those traveling in pairs.
But cruise ships are seeing an untapped market in solo cruisers and are jumping on it. In July, Norwegian Cruise Line will launch the Epic, a ship with studios designed for one occupant and there's no single supplement included. Stays in the specially designed staterooms are now for available for purchase.
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In the latest tale of people jumping off cruise ships, an assistant purser on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas apparently hated his job so much that he couldn't wait until he was back on land to quit, hopping overboard as the ship steamed from Key West to Miami. Fortunately for everybody involved, he was rescued two hours later while treading water off Miami's Cutler Bay, but you've got to wonder what would bring somebody to do such a thing.
Cruises / Oasis of the Seas / Cruising / Dangerous Travel / Royal Caribbean / Seasickness / Motion Sickness / → All Tags
The brand new, unbelievably huge Oasis of the Seas cruise ship has been rocked by some serious waves on its first voyage. As USA Today points out, the 5,400-passenger vessel encountered hurricane-strength winds and waves over 60 feet high in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. Fortunately for the cruise line, there aren't any passengers on board, as Royal Caribbean is merely transporting it from the shipyard in Turku, Finland to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for its inaugural cruise. But while many passengers would have likely gotten seasick, they wouldn't have been in any serious peril, as the ship has weathered the waves quite smartly. For maximum stability, Captain William Wright has slowed the world's largest cruise ship down and steered it head-on into the waves. He probably wouldn't admit it, but I bet he's having fun.