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A Modest Proposal: Why Not Simply Dock Those Giant New Cruise Ships to a Fixed Position in Their Port City, Never to Go to Sea?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 02/27/2015, 6:15 PM

         The publicity machine of Royal Caribbean Cruises is currently churning out all sorts of exciting press releases about their brand-new, 5,500-passenger, mega-ship called the Harmony of the Seas, that will go into service in 2016.        The humongous vessel will have every conceivable device to entertain its passengers:  three lengthy water slides along its top deck.  S...

Some Reflections—Both Hopeful and Dismal—on the Current State of the Cruise Industry

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 02/18/2015, 10:45 PM

On Quantum of the Seas          In the cruise ship world, January, February, and March are "wave season", the period of their heaviest advance sales when phones are ringing off the hook in vast offices of telephone reservationists. And as you'd expect, this has been an unusually successful "wave season" to date. With winter temperatures at unprecedented lows, large numbers of...

Is Last Minute, Spontaneous Travel Now a Thing of the Past? Yes....And No

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/22/2014, 5:00 PM

It’s been a good several years since the airlines offered regular last-minute deals. According to a study of 180 million ticket sales by the Airline Reporting Corporation (the middleman that handles transactions between the airlines and thousands of travel agencies) the early birds are doing far better than those who delay. According to the ARC’s study, bookings 57 days in advance garner ...

Explore the Allure of the Seas On Your Computer

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/07/2014, 4:30 PM

The Ice Rink as seen by Street View, complete with creepy blurred faces   Today's latest gimmick: Royal Caribbean has invited Google Street View onto its (current) biggest ship, Allure of the Seas, enabling you to get 360-degree views of the ship from your computer.  As an idea, it's a great one, although its execution is not as revolutionary as you might suspect. Only a few m...

Nickel and Diming at Sea: Extra Charges for On-Board Entertainment

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/17/2014, 3:45 PM

There have been times I've felt that someone should be paying me for sitting through the shows that pass for entertainment onboard some cruise lines. That being said, cruise ship entertainment has been getting better in recent years (hurray for Blue Man Group!). But with this improvement, it seems, will come a price tag. Carnival Cruise Lines is already charging between $20 to $150 (f...

Tired of My Gripes About Cruises? I Have a Few More--But Also Some Positive Suggestions

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 04/26/2014, 5:45 PM

    It may well be that America's infatuation with the ocean cruise is beginning to wane a bit.  Recent studies show a fair amount of worry about the safety of cruising.  People are concerned about the fairly frequent outbreaks of the noro virus on cruises.  They react badly to the reports of robberies suffered by cruise passengers when they tour outlying areas of islands and encounter local b...

There's Been a "Sea Change" in the Character of Ocean Cruises, and the Only Remedy Seems an Increase in What You Spend for a Cruise

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 04/25/2014, 11:00 AM

         Cruises are no longer what they used to be.  They are today so different as to make you consider several all-but-astonishing recent developments, as follows:        (1)  It is no longer possible to enjoy the more traditional pleasures of the sea in a low-cost ship.  Time was when you could simply savor the relaxation of a sea voyage, lying on a deckchair, reading a boo...

Another Batch of Hot Cruise Deals for Less than $100 a Day

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/06/2014, 4:00 PM

Periodically, we ask our friends at AllThingsCruise.com to fill us in on the best bargains in cruises at the moment. Here's what they suggested, where to book them, and what, in the opinion of the sellers, makes each one a steal.  Unless specified, all prices are the lowest possible for an inside cabin, and they are based on double occupancy. These specials may include other extras such as...

Another Batch of Hot Cruise Deals for Less than $100 a Day

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/06/2014, 4:00 PM

Periodically, we ask our friends at AllThingsCruise.com to fill us in on the best bargains in cruises at the moment. Here's what they suggested, where to book them, and what, in the opinion of the sellers, makes each one a steal.  Unless specified, all prices are the lowest possible for an inside cabin, and they are based on double occupancy. These specials may include other extras such as...

Some Varied Comments About Recent Travel Issues and Developments May Have a Bearing On Your Next Vacation

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 02/05/2014, 5:15 PM

The stern of Royal Caribbean's megaship Allure of the Seas   Probably the most disturbing recent news in travel was the announcement by Royal Caribbean Cruises that their newest ship would have a bumper car rink on its top deck.  Yes, bumper cars.  Though these were the most startling addition to the elegant vessel, other “improvements” included a basketball court, a roller skat...

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