Hot on the Forums: Top tips from a first time cruiser

A portable pharmacy, industrial quantities of sun cream, a canny security belt, managing expectations and the difference between the sexes when it comes to stashing clothes in suitcases are among the diverse subjects aired by a new Cruise Critic member who is back on dry land after her first voyage on Norwegian Dawn.

Inspired to write a list detailing what they did right – and what they did wrong – the entertaining (and enlightening) thread started by slhopper has rightly been described by fellow member bobg529 as a breath of fresh air. It also shows that even if you’re a seasoned cruising sea dog, there’s always something new to learn.

In an age when people are usually quicker to criticise than compliment, she certainly set sail in the right frame of mind on her first cruise adventure.

Read on to find out more.


Come and visit us at the Telegraph Cruise Show!

The Telegraph Cruise Show takes place this Friday to Sunday at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands – and Cruise Critic will be there!

Come and meet the team on Stand CL250, including U.K. Editor Adam Coulter, who will be talking about first time cruising in the Cruise Lines Theatre on Saturday 9th at 3pm.

There is also the chance to win a £500 voucher to redeem against your next cruise courtesy of Iglu Cruise – but you’ll have to visit us for a chance to win!

Read on to find out more!


Hot on the Forums: Celebrating Christmas on a cruise

Christmas starfish

From bringing Christmas trees onboard to reassuring concerned children that Santa will still be able to find them, you can rely on Cruise Critic members to come up with all kinds of ways of transporting the festive spirit to sea.

With the season of goodwill well underway, I was suitably cheered to find a new thread on the forums started by lovesteak who asks: “We are cruising for the holidays and would love to know what you bring extra for your cabin or for the crew for the holidays. We also have young kids so Santa has to make it on the ship for Xmas as well. Any ideas or recommendations from past experiences?”

Read on to find out more!


Plan to attend the Cruise Show in January? – You could win a £500 cruise voucher courtesy of Iglu!

Cruise Critic will be at The Telegraph Cruise Show, taking place from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th of January 2016 at London’s ExCel Centre.

And if you decide to join us, you could win £500 towards you next cruise courtesy of Iglu Cruise!

Keep reading →


December 2015 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

December Cruise Calendar

Get your December 2015 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!

Here’s how to put this photo on your computer, tablet or cell phone:

1. Click on the following links to get the size that you want. Each link will open a new window (or tab) displaying the wallpaper, in the appropriate format for your screen size.

2. For the desktop versions, right-click on the image, and choose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background”, “Use as Desktop Picture,” or something similar. The wording depends on your browser. Mac users should ctrl-click and save the photo on their computer in the “Pictures” folder.

3. If the image does not fit your desktop background neatly, you may have to go to your preference panel (on a Mac: System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop; on Windows: Control Panel > Display > Desktop) and choose “Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image.

4. For phone and tablet, open the link and center the photo on your phone so it fills the screen. Take a photo and save it on your device. Then go to your Settings and find your Wallpaper (on an iPhone, this is under “Wallpapers & Brightness.” Set the saved calendar photo as your wallpaper.

2560 x 1440 | 1200 x 800 | Tablet | Mobile

Check back on December 30 for the January 2016 calendar.


Hot on the Forums: What’s in a Cruise Critic name?

Hard to handle: Some users struggle with their Cruise Critic nickname

Informative, lively and frequently amusing content aside, when I scroll through the Cruise Critic forums I always enjoy looking at members’ names and wondering how they came about. They range from the obvious – SeagoingMom – to the clever ones you have to read a couple of times to get it – gr8life, ICtheC and IWant2BatC – and the cryptic such as SeaSharp (a former music professional turned cruise lover).

So it’s been great fun to read a hugely popular thread started by popcan (and it’s not what you imagine) that throws light on the stories behind the “handles”.

Read on for more


Hot on the Forums: How Did You Catch the Cruising Bug?

Friends on a cruise

We all remember our very first cruise, but exactly what was it that made you splash out and try life on the ocean?

Whether you developed sea legs in childhood, or came to cruising in retirement, there are lots of reasons behind passengers’ decisions to take the proverbial plunge. Many have now been revealed on the forums. From being captivated by the TV series The Love Boat or being a late convert, the thread started by misty57 has evoked plenty of memories.

She asked fellow Cruise Critic members how they caught the cruising bug and shares her own: “Our first three-night cruise did it for us! It was for our 10th wedding anniversary. Those were the days of inside cabins (those will be coming back more as we inch into retirement), and traditional dining. Looking forward to 20 and 21 next year.”

The TV show Love Boat, launched in 1977 made quite an impression on members such as cruznjan who writes: “The cruising bug hit me pre-cruise from watching The Love Boat. After my first cruise on the Rotterdam in 1980, I was definitely hooked.”

Read on for more


Competition: Win a limited edition Norwegian Escape coin!

Win a limited edition commemorative coin to celebrate the launch of Norwegian Escape!

Norwegian Escape, the latest, and largest edition to Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet has launched, and the Cruise Critic team have been onboard to experience and review the ship.

To celebrate the launch, Cruise Critic is giving away 14 limited edition, commemorative keel laying coins to our readers.

Like to win?

Simply send your name and address to: contests@cruisecritic.co.uk.  Winners will be selected at random. The competition closes on Friday 27th of November.*

Good luck!

Read our review and view images of Norwegian Escape.

Subscribe to our blog.


Terms & Conditions:
*Please note that this competition is only open to UK residents and entrants must be 18 years and above. Deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 27th of November 2015 and the winner will be drawn and notified by Wednesday 2nd December 2015. The winners will be notified by email, and also announced on the Cruise Critic website and social channels.


Blooming marvellous

On a recent cruise on Voyages of Discovery’ Voyager, a day in port at Honfleur allowed for a shore excursion to visit Monet’s Garden, writes Ken Rush.

After a two hour trip by coach we arrived at Giverny, where Claude Monet died aged 86 in 1926. The first of the French impressionists, Monet lived in a large house and grounds. The garden in front of the house was full of hundreds of colourful plants and varieties of flowers, for the most part in full bloom although it was only mid May.

Read on to see more lovely pictures!


A legacy that lives on in the Galapagos Islands

It’s not often that you get a new ship (36 years in fact), so Galapagos specialist Metropolitan Touring thought they would mark the occasion not with the usual bottle-smashing and ceremony, but in a more meaningful way.

The line decided to mark the passing of its old ship – Santa Cruz – and the arrival of the new one – the appropriately named Santa Cruz II – with a series of ‘legacy sailings’ for children living on the islands.

Read on to find out more!