How Bermuda's Same-Sex Marriage Repeal Affects Cruise Weddings Worldwide

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/08/2018, 12:00 AM

This week, the governor of Bermuda, John Rankin, signed a legislature-approved bill that reinstates the British island territory's ban on same-sex marriage, reversing a decision to legalize those unions made less than a year ago by the Atlantic Ocean archipelago's supreme court.  But the ramifications of the revived marriage ban go way beyond Bermuda.  This is the world's first such instance of ...

Plans for Cartoon Network Cruise Being Drawn

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/01/2018, 1:30 PM

The first fully immersive Cartoon Network cruise ship is currently in the works. We'd like to tell you the plans are being cooked up in Dexter's Laboratory, but in fact the project is a joint effort of the Turner company, which owns the animation-dominated cable channel, and the Singapore-based Oceanic Group.  Dubbed the Cartoon Network Wave, the 11-deck, 2,000-passenger ship will have colorful ...

Royal Caribbean Increases the Daily Fee Used to Tip Staff

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/29/2017, 12:00 AM

For the third time in three years, Royal Caribbean Cruises is hiking up its "automatic gratuity"—the term for the service fee that lines recommend each passenger pays per day during a cruise. They make this recommendation by automatically adding the tip to your bill. To raise or lower the amount—or strike it altogether for those who prefer to tip housekeeping staff, restaurant servers, and other ...

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Why European River Cruise Biking Vacations Are on the Rise

By Blake Snow

For active tourists, the ability to see multiple places easily on a bike has become a major reason to book a European river cruise—which is why more cruise lines are adding cycle tour options.

U.S. Government Makes It Harder for Americans to Visit Cuba

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/08/2017, 9:30 PM

Travel to Cuba gets tougher for Americans this week. New rules released by the Trump Administration ban most independent travel to the island, requiring visitors from the U.S. to rely on authorized "people-to-people" tour companies instead. That's a return to the way things were before President Barack Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015. In June of this year, his successor an...

Kids Won't Be Allowed on Virgin's Cruise Line

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/07/2017, 10:00 PM

When Virgin Voyages launches its first cruise in 2020, you can be sure of one thing: There won't be any kids on board.  At a keel-laying ceremony last week, company CEO Tom McAlpin announced that bookings from passengers under 18 will not be accepted so that the ship can supply a "more elevated and premium experience," reports Travel Weekly.   The move, dubbed "Adult by Design," is part of an in...

The Cruise Industry Goes All Out to Claim Caribbean Ports Have Recovered

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/20/2017, 5:15 PM

When did you last see an ad for land-based resorts in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?    You probably haven’t. The damage to beaches and roads leading to some of those properties seems too significant to overcome concerns about them. While such major Caribbean islands as Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia, and others have suffered no damage at all from the recent hurricanes, Puerto R...

Same-Sex Couples Can Now Get Married on Celebrity Cruises

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/13/2017, 12:00 PM

Celebrity Cruises will soon begin offering legal weddings for same-sex couples aboard ships in international waters, the company announced on October 11 (which, not coincidentally, was National Coming Out Day). The move was made possible by a ruling in Malta, where the majority of the Miami-based line's ships are registered. The legally binding ceremonies will be performed by the fleet's captains...

If You Crave a Caribbean Vacation, Many Areas Escaped Storm Damage: A List

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/10/2017, 4:45 PM

This coming winter, many thousands of Americans will agonize over whether they can enjoy tropical vacations in the Caribbean of the sort they once knew. Should they even bother to apply for reservations in an area broadly damaged by hurricanes?   Fortunately, a majority of these famed islands was either unaffected by storms or else so moderately damaged that they can be restored and repaired...

Norwegian Cruise Line Drinks Package Now the Priciest at Sea

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/05/2017, 10:00 PM

Norwegian Cruise Line has raised the price of its Ultimate Beverage package, covering all alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks that a passenger consumes while on board the ship (except drinks priced higher than $15, which have to be purchased separately).   Up from a previous fee of $79 per day—and, as recently as 2014, $54 per day—the package now costs $89 per passenger, per day.  But with a "serv...

Not All of the Caribbean was Devastated by Irma: Don't Neglect the Rest

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/15/2017, 6:00 PM

Our hearts go out to those island nations that suffered so badly from recent storms—St. Martin, the Virgin Islands, Barbuda, among them. But by assuming that all such islands were equally affected, and by then canceling our general plans to vacation in the Caribbean, we increase the suffering of that area.     It’s important to realize that some Caribbean islands were totally or primarily by...

Dubrovnik Mayor Wants to Reduce the Number of Cruise Passengers in His City

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/18/2017, 12:00 AM

If the new mayor of Dubrovnik gets his way, far fewer cruise passengers will be pouring into that Croatian city on the Adriatic coast.  According to media reports, Mato Frankovic, who was elected mayor earlier this summer, says he's in favor of reducing the daily limit of cruisers by half, from 8,000 to 4,000 visitors. Owing largely to its striking Old Town—a medieval walled city featured promin...

The New Cruise Ship with a Go-Kart Track on Top

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/14/2017, 10:00 AM

In case there was any doubt left that the cruise industry is turning away from retirees and toward Millennials, make way for the Norwegian Bliss. This cruise ship continues the long industry drift away from shuffleboard and a good book and toward adrenaline sports and pants-wetting thrills: Its signature feature, as seen in the rendering above, will be a twisting go-kart track plopped on a portion...

Eight Observations About Travel That May Be of Use for Your Next Vacation

By Arthur Frommer

Quick thoughts on Airbnb, Disneyland, airlines, Cuba, Washington's National Museum of African American History and Culture, and other recent travel developments

In Spite of the President's Confusing Cuba Policy, Three Major Cruise Lines Persevere in Offering Brief and Superficial Visits

By Arthur Frommer

Despite the President’s murky efforts to limit the right of Americans to travel to Cuba, the cruise industry's brightest leaders lay future plans to bring even more vacationers there.

Optimism and Drive Will Help Tardy Travelers Find Late-Summer Vacation Vacancies

By Arthur Frommer

Think it's too late to book a summer trip to one of the top destinations in the U.S.? Think again, says Arthur Frommer.

Vacation in One of the Less Popular Destinations This Summer for a Fine Travel Experience

By Arthur Frommer

Where should you travel this summer? Off the beaten path, says Arthur Frommer.

A man and woman taking a selfie

8 Ways Millennials Are Changing Travel

Love 'em or hate 'em, millennials make up a quarter of the U.S. population, and they love to hit the road. Hotels, tour operators, cruise ships, and home-sharing services are going out of their way to court customers in their 20s and 30s—and it could permanently change the world of travel.  

Oprah Leads the Charge of Lifestyle Brands at Sea

By Pauline Frommer

A New Era in Partnerships for Cruise Lines Could Mean Different Types of Cruises

First of all, the good news: Norovirus is very rarely deadly. It's more like a rotten hangover marked by a few days of nausea and, in some people, vomiting.  The biggest risk, mostly to the eldery and infants, is dehydration. Norovirus can break out wherever people gather and mingle—schools, dorms, nursing homes—and ships with spotless cleanliness ratings can still fall victim to an outbreak.<br><br>It's also extremely common—only the cold is more prevalent. The <em>Explorer of the Seas</em> (above) set a record for the number of cases, but keep in mind that it's one of the larger ships afloat—when it was launched in 2000, it was in <em>the</em> largest class of cruise ship afloat—so there are more people cooped up and more to make queasy.

How to Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise Ship

What can you do to avoid the norovirus? How can you tell if a ship is dirty? And should you cancel your trip if your ship had an outbreak?