ROYAL CARIBBEAN ~ ODYSSEY OF THE SEAS: A Little Peek at a BIG Ship!

It didn’t take me very long to appreciate the appeal of a big—okay, massive—cruise ship, particularly for active families. It took me exactly two-days, or the duration of Royal Caribbean’s recent Odyssey of the Seas inaugural and naming event, exclusively for 2,200 press, travel professionals and the line’s most devoted guests. As one passionately devoted to small and mid-size ship cruising, the thought of sailing the Quantum Class Odyssey of the Seas, a 1,138-foot long, 16-deck, 167,704 …

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Viking Venus: Mediterranean Odyssey

– Covid Restrictions Are Messin’ With My Med The 930-passenger, 47,842 grt Viking Venus, launched in May 2021, sits in the dazzling port of Barcelona. If the stats sound familiar, it’s because Viking Venus is the seventh ship in the series of Viking Ocean’s identical sister ships, each following the same, clean Scandinavian design. If you’ve sailed Viking Ocean before, you’ll feel right at home aboard this latest launch. You’ll instinctively know where Manfredi’s is, how to …

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SCENIC AZURE: The All-inclusive, Five-Star Way To Sail Portugal’s Douro River

I love Porto, Portugal, where I’m boarding Scenic Azure for a sailing down the Douro River. Bustling cafes border the river’s edge framing a riot of red-rooved pastel-colored buildings that climb high up into the hills surrounding us. Spires of gothic churches and palaces peek out above this colorful panorama and port tasting houses like Sandeman, Calem, Ferreira and Taylor call to us with bold, neon signage that somehow doesn’t seem out of place even against this …

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VIKING SKY: A Circumnavigation of Iceland

One Unwelcome Guest Can’t Ruin a Spectacular Cruise! “My temperature is 36.6???!!!!” I, a Centigrade-ignorant American, thought I was dead when the digital reading on the temperature scanner at the top of Viking Sky’s gangway registered that number. It was my first encounter with the ship’s highly robust and well-researched schedule of safety protocols. If you followed travel news last week, you know that one guest aboard Viking Sky’s July 10 Iceland navigation tested positive for Covid …

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Holland America Line: A Shipload of Exciting Cruise News!

A frosty cocktail at the Ocean Bar. A succulent filet mignon at The Pinnacle Grill. The heady scent of a floral garden wafting through the serene Greenhouse Spa & Salon. Warm smiles and impeccable service. The embrace of soft cotton sheets atop a plush Mariner’s Dream Bed. And, oh! A generous helping of warm, raisin-studded bread & butter pudding floating in a delectable puddle of velvety, vanilla-scented custard sauce. If these words conjure memories of carefree days …

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ALASKA IS OPEN…WIDE OPEN! ~ Experience the Last Frontier THIS year Aboard UnCruise Adventures!

This just might be the year to cruise Alaska…and there you were thinking that the 2021 Alaska cruise season was cancelled! While Canada’s cruise ban effectively locks the big, Vancouver-based ships out of The Last Frontier until 2022, those of us hellbent on cruising Alaska this year not only can do so but they can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience doing it thanks to small, U.S.-based lines like UnCruise Adventures. And we can do so safely with Alaska’s …

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Silver Explorer: Aboard a ‘Luxpedition’ Cruise ~ Expedition, Silversea style!

Expedition. The word conjures images of rugged, parka-clad explorers scaling treacherous ice-slicked mountains and subsisting for days on rations of trail mix and Snickers. By contrast, my Silver Explorer expedition finds me on a tranquil beach in Madrisky Cay, Venezuela, my feet buried in powder-soft white sand, a clear aqua-blue sea before me and an ice-cold Solera beer in my hand. Nearby, a table is piled high with delicacies like barracuda seviche, seafood shish kabob, the makings …

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Monsters of Rock: Operation Monster Beach, Starring Alice Cooper, Repositions to Two All-Inclusive Land-Based Resorts

The Cruise Show Must Go On! Heavy metal fans aren’t going to let a worldwide pandemic stand in the way of their fun.  With cruising at a virtual standstill, Monsters of Rock, which for a decade has been the ultimate seagoing celebration of the explosive world of hard rock and metal, is taking the party ashore! Originally scheduled to sail February 8, 2021 from Fort Lauderdale aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, next year, the Monsters …

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THANKSGIVING IN ST. THOMAS: A Feast for the Soul

I never dreamed that anyone wanted cruising to return more than I do…until I spent five days in St. Thomas, USVI, over Thanksgiving. The local shopkeepers, restauranteurs, tour companies and taxi drivers are scared ship-less that the pandemic will continue to devastate the island’s economy which is so reliant on tourism, particularly the cruise industry. “Sure, we have an airport,” one taxi driver exclaimed, “but this place is nothing—nothing!—without the cruise ships.”   Another garrulous driver suddenly lapsed …

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AHOY, SILVER ORIGIN!

Silversea Cruises Takes Delivery of Their First Destination-Specific Ship When it comes to cruising, the headlines have changed from ones of doom and gloom to ones that reflect a soaring increase in bookings. Still, many eager travelers are thinking small. They’re looking to dip their toe back into cruising’s waters aboard intimate vessels where the crowds and queues that terrified us at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic are virtually unheard of and destinations are remote ones, …

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