Virgin Voyages Includes Gratuities & Dining Options in Cruise Fare

Virgin Voyages announced last week that onboard gratuities will be included in the cruise fare.  This means that guests (called Sailors) won’t be charged the usual daily service fee.  Plus, all of the 20+ specialty restaurants are complimentary.  The cruise fare includes dining in all the restaurants. The ever-changing daily service fee charged by almost […] Read more…

Queen Mary 2 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal

10 Best Tips For Your First Transatlantic Cruise

A transatlantic crossing is an entirely different cruise. “It’s not really the middle of nowhere.”  That’s what I find myself saying whenever someone declares, “I’d never go on a transatlantic cruise.” I have to admit, while not exactly in the middle of nowhere, there isn’t a whole lot of activity going on, except maybe for […] Read more…

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

Virgin Voyages Announces Scarlet Lady Itineraries

There’s a variety of itineraries for Scarlet Lady Like just about everything else from Virgin Voyages, Scarlet Lady’s itineraries are totally different from the rest of the pack. To begin with, departures from the ship’s home port in Miami will be at 7 pm, not the usual 4 pm or 5 pm.  Considering Virgin is […] Read more…

Oceania Cruises Will Eliminate All Plastic Water Bottles

Oceania Cruises has announced that they will discontinue the use of plastic water bottles on all of their ships.  The cruise line, in partnership with Vero Water, will eliminate nearly three million plastic bottles per year.  This new sustainability effort begins in April 2019. Oceania Cruises is the first cruise line to eliminate plastic water […] Read more…

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam

Watch Live – Nieuw Statendam Dedication with Oprah

Tune in and watch Holland America’s live-streamed dedication Mark your calendar. The date for the Nieuw Statendam dedication is February 2, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Holland America Line is live-streaming this event.  Fans can watch as the ship’s godmother, Oprah Winfrey, welcomes Holland America Line’s newest ship to the fleet.  Live-streaming is available at HollandAmerica.com/dedication or […] Read more…

Nieuw Statendam Extended Verandah Stateroom

Nieuw Statendam Verandah Balcony Stateroom Review

This was something new for me. I’ve stayed in Holland America standard balcony staterooms (called “verandahs” on Holland America) a few times.  But this extended balcony stateroom aboard the new Nieuw Statendam was something different and interesting for me. In case you missed it, in a recent article I wrote about my first impression of Nieuw […] Read more…

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Sea Cabin

Virgin Voyages Reveals Cruise Ship Cabins

More Scarlet Lady Updates For those of us excited about the debut of adults-only Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady next year, there’s more great news.  The new cruise line announced yesterday that all of their cruise ships will be gratuity-free. No automatic service fee (i.e. tips) will be added to your onboard account.  Gratuities will be rolled into […] Read more…

Quark Expeditions Celebrates Steel Cutting Ceremony

Big news this week from Quark Expeditions, a leader in polar expedition cruises.  It was the time-honored steel-cutting ceremony for their new ship, destined for polar exploration beginning in 2020. Celebrating a ship’s steel-cutting is a long-standing maritime tradition.  Steeped in superstition and folklore, a celebration is called for to mark the very beginning of building […] Read more…

Carnival Reveals Latest Details for Their Newest Ship

Carnival just released a nugget of cruise news.  Mardi Gras, their newest ship under construction, will have six separately themed areas, called zones.  There will also be 20 decks and 20 stateroom categories. The new ship, scheduled to launch in 2020, will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by LNG.  […] Read more…

Cologne Cathedral

Five Quirky Museums in Cologne You Don’t Want to Miss

Eau De Cologne, Chocolate, Roman Ruins And Pop Art As river cruises steadily gain more fans, so do certain itineraries.  One of my favorite river cruise itineraries is a Rhine River through Germany. Aside from dozens of spectacular cliff-hugging castles along the Rhine, there are also modern cities worth a day’s visit.  One of these bustling cosmopolitan […] Read more…

Viking Adds New Europe Itineraries, Pre- & Post- Options, River Ships

Viking just announced two new Europe river cruise itineraries planned for this year plus pre- and post-cruise options, beginning March 2019.  The timing is perfect. New river cruise itineraries To commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Viking has put together a new 11-day cruise and tour itinerary.  The tour portion begins in London and continues […] Read more…

View of the sprawling Budapest Parliment Building from across the Danube on the Pest side.

10 Best Things to do in Budapest on Your Own

From bubbling thermal baths to eerie reminders of Hungary’s horrific Nazi past, there are incredibly diverse things to do in Budapest. This was my fourth visit to Budapest on a Danube river cruise.  Each time, my river ship has docked in a different location so I’ve had to learn  to get around from various vantage points. Budapest is […] Read more…

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