A World of Difference – The Culture and Etiquette of Tipping

When you go out for dinner and the service was great, you probably think nothing of leaving a 20 per cent tip on top of your bill, as a thank you for a nice experience.  While that may seem perfectly normal in North America, you may be surprised to learn that would be more than double the normal tip you would leave in Latin America or much of Europe, and that some Asian countries have no custom of leaving any tip at all.  In fact, tipping is considered rude in Japan. (more…)

Keeping Connected – Staying in Touch at Sea

If you were traveling by ship in the old days, there were only two ways to stay in touch with the people back home. Ship’s radio, or a message in a bottle.

Now, we live in a world of WiFi and Skype and Blackberries.  Staying in touch anywhere and everywhere has become second nature to us all, but there are still some important things to know about staying connected on the high seas. (more…)

Packing for My Cruise – What Can I Carry On?

Packing for any trip is complicated these days.  With airline luggage restrictions on size, weight and liquids, and security increasing on all forms of transportation, knowing what you can bring in your carry-on and your luggage can be a downright guessing game.

When it comes to a cruise vacation, the days of throwing what you need in a bag and walking onto the ship are long over. Unfortunately, cruise lines are becoming more restrictive about what you can bring onto the ship, and security screening is becoming more thorough.

So here’s a quick general guide on what you can, and what you can not, bring along with you on your next cruise. Nothing listed here will ruin your cruise, promise! (more…)

Expedition Cruising – An Intimate World of Adventure

Those new spectacular monster cruise ships have a lot to offer.  From surfboarding on your ship to Las Vegas-caliber entertainment and tennis courts at sea, these new cities afloat are indeed a wonder.

But they also have another thing in common with large urban centers.  They’re big, and they can be crowded.  They are also limited to traveling only to those ports of call that are equipped to handle thousands of people. (more…)

Filed Under: What to Expect

Special Needs Cruising – The World is Waiting

People with special needs or disabilities are becoming an increasingly important market for the cruise industry.  They are already spending more than $13 billion a year on travel, and as the population ages, this number will only increase. (more…)

Cruise or Resort? Comparing Value on All-Inclusive Vacations

It is the most relaxing kind of vacation available.  Kick back and enjoy a comfortable room, great food, fantastic entertainment, a variety of sporting facilities and some lively nightlife, all contained in one place, and available at one basic cost.

If you literally want to get away from it all, all-inclusive vacations are a dream come true.  They can make your relaxing vacation even more relaxing by taking all the extra worry and planning out of your trips.

But “all-inclusive” can come in many varieties.  You can choose a resort vacation in almost any corner of the world, or you can choose a cruise vacation, with all the same amenities, only on the move. (more…)

Navigating the Dining Room – The Ins and Outs of Cruise Ship Meals

If you’ve been on a cruise before, you know that you can probably eat 24 hours a day on board any cruise ship.  From buffets and cafés, to snacks, room service and formal dining rooms, there are as many options of what to eat and where as there are hours in the day.

But the biggest change in cruising over the past decade has been in the area of dining.  Five star cuisine is no longer limited to two seating times in the formal dining room.  Now you can eat to your hearts content, whenever and where ever you like. (more…)