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quick hits

Just like Airlines, Cruise Lines Overbook – and It’s Nothing New.

You’ve no doubt heard stories of airlines overbooking flights and having to convince passengers to make alternative arrangements. What many people don’t realize is that cruise lines overbook as well.  Let’s look at why this happens, why it seems to be happening more in the past months, and how to help ensure that you can stay on your cruise – even if overbooked... read more

Why Cruise Ship Hulls Are Traditionally Black or Navy

RMS Queen Elizabeth
RMS Queen Elizabeth

These days cruise ships come in all sizes and colors, but not long ago this wasn't the case.  To this day, when most of us see ships with dark colored hulls we think of them as more traditional looking, no matter what the age of the vessel.  Why is this?  Well, it has to do with how these great ships are powered, and the letters sometimes preceding ship names.  Make sense?  read more

CruiseHabit Ric's Quick Tip: How to leave a tip when you have a drink package or dining package

zero dollar receipt - drink packageOne of the arguments for getting the drink package on any cruise is the convenience of not having to settle the tab after a drink or two. Once you’ve ordered your drink and your card has been read, there’s nothing left to do. Except maybe one thing… You might have gotten great service from your bartender and you want to reward that. 

Handing someone cash would clearly be the most direct way to reward great service, but one of the benefits of cruising is that if you want your trip to be cashless, it can be cashless. 

Ask your bartender or server to print you a “zero bill” and you’ll get a regular bill with a zero balance. There will be a line for a tip and you can write in whatever gratuity you’d like there. Sign below the total and give recognition to the great service that so many people in the cruise industry provide.

This also works on any cruise line which swipes your card with each purchase even if you're on a dining or drink package.  You can also do this in specialty dining restaurants.

Have a tip or question?  Reach out on Twitter or Facebook - or comment below! 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

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

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