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How old do you need to be to drink on cruise ships?

Drinking ages vary by country, but what are the rules on the high-seas?

Like many things this is not an easy question to answer.  While the drinking age in the United States is 21, plain and simple, many guests on cruise lines are from nations with very different laws and customs.  What should you expect if traveling from the U.K., or perhaps Brazil?  

Yes, this toast took place while writing this post aboard Freedom of the Seas


Let's review alcohol policies aboard some of the more popular cruise lines, copied straight from their websites with my commentary below. read more

Billy's Favorite Ships - The Story of The SS Norway a.k.a. The SS France

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.

the ss norway read more

A cruise by any other name...

various cruise line logos from other countriesThose 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

Do I need to have a passport to cruise?

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

Nautical Terms for Cruisers

a cleat with rope
This is a cleat, and it isn't on our list of nautical terms for cruisers.

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

"I'm worried I'll get seasick. Do you feel the ship move?" How to avoid motion sickness on cruise ships.

vomiting smileyAmong 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

What are harbor pilots?

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.

animation of pilot disembarking the disney wonder
A pilot disembarks Disney Wonder