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I’m frequently asked about my favorite ship. This is a tough question. I don’t have children, but I imagine it’s only slightly more difficult for me to pick my favorite ship than for parents to pick their favorite child. Come on parents, you know you have a favorite.
While I still can’t tell you what my favorite ship is, there are certainly some that stand out more than others. Maybe one is the prettiest, another has the most amenities, and some I might just love out of nostalgia. For this reason, I’m sharing with you the first in what will be a series of articles offering a brief summary of one of my favorite ships.
Those of us in English speaking countries talk about cruise vacations, cruise ships, cruise lines, etc. In many other parts of the world the verbiage is a bit different. In Romance languages you'll notice the words for cruising all sound very similar to one another:
Cruceros, croisières, crociere, and cruzeiros.
Why? It actually has more to do with the history of cruising than you might think. Read more about A cruise by any other name...
The most important part of any cruise is actually being able to sail on it. Let's have a look at the requirements that the US has for citizens traveling onboard a cruise ship, as there is a lot of confusing information out there. While the short answer is, no, you don't need a passport to take most cruises out out of a US port, there are exceptions as well as some really important reasons to have a passport even if you don't otherwise need it, and even some things to keep in mind if you already have a passport... Read more about Do I need to have a passport to cruise?
On your cruise (and our Periscopes) you'll hear all sorts of terms you wouldn't otherwise use on a daily basis, and no, we're not talking about the lyrics Bob Marley's song "Kaya". Let's cover some of the more common (or, in some cases, just some of the more interesting) terms, especially as they relate to cruising. The list certainly isn't all inclusive, but we think it's a good start. Read more about Nautical Terms for Cruisers
Among the most common reasons people give for not taking a cruise vacation is seasickness. While it's true that you're on a moving ship, it's nothing like going on your friend's fishing boat: the movements are slow and much less pronounced. On newer ships you often don't even feel like they're moving. Let's look into why seasickness is rarely an issue and what you can do - from picking the right cabin, to wearing Sea-Bands - so you're prepared just in case you feel a bit too much motion in the ocean...Read more about "I'm worried I'll get seasick. Do you feel the ship move?" How to avoid motion sickness on cruise ships.
If you've been on a cruise you may have heard the captain explaining what time you'll be, "picking up the pilot", or maybe you've seen a small boat that says, "Pilot" pulling away from the ship. Maybe you've just heard me annoyingly mention them on my Periscopes. What is a pilot boat? Who are the pilots? Isn't the captain piloting the ship? We'll go over the answer to these questions and surprise you with a method of taking on a pilot that you've probably never seen.Read more about What are harbor pilots?
While cruising is different things for different people, it's no secret that especially when it comes to Caribbean cruises, people like to kick back, party a bit, and drink. Even on Baltic or Alaska sailings it's a safe bet that the bars are among the most popular spots - and why not? It's vacation! For most of us though, there comes a time in our cruise planning that we start thinking about how to control our bar tabs. Some purchase drink packages (a topic for later discussion), others 'pre-load' their on-board account with cash to contain the damage, but frequently people resort to smuggling booze on their cruise.
What's the best way to sneak alcohol on a ship? Well, I'll tell you... Read more about How to sneak booze on a cruise ship, why you shouldn't, and what to do instead.
It's not too likely that many people talk to a travel agent about visiting Alaska and leave convinced that instead, they want to take a cruise...to the Caribbean. For that reason, instead of talking about destinations right out of the gate, I want to cover the question of which cruise line to try out. I so often see the question, "What is the best cruise line?" Well today I will share with you the answer to that question... Read more about Which cruise line is best for me? The differences between cruise lines.