On June 22, I boarded Norwegian Epic for inaugural ceremonies in Europe. First impressions? Read The Avid Cruiser’s full report below.
The Verve And The Curve: New Design For Staterooms On NCL Epic
It’s big and boxy on the outside, busy and noisy on the inside. With 20 dining options and 20 bars and lounges, NCL Epic features industry-first solo traveler cabins and innovative balcony staterooms, plus a lot more. Will you love it or leave it? Read more... (1210 words, 9 images, estimated 4:50 mins reading time)
A Cruise Report reader writes:
We are trying to decide between the Silver Spirit, Seabourn Odyssey, Regent Seven Sea Mariner and Crystal Serenity for a Christmas cruise in December. We have three daughters — 19,17,15 — who are concerned that they will not have anyone to meet on these ships. Which one of these ships do you suggest?
Readers, can you help out? Read more... (106 words, estimated 25 secs reading time)
There’s been a great deal of interest from Avid Cruiser readers about whether the Mekong is a good cruise for kids. The short answer is yes. Take them and venture forth! For more explanation, read on.
Isabel Karst, age 17, and Britton, my daughter, age 14 Read more... (808 words, 8 images, estimated 3:14 mins reading time)
Beautiful Norway: Made For Cruising
[Frommer's writer Heidi Sarna contributed this story.]
I cruised with my family last summer aboard the Costa Atlantic round-trip out of Copenhagen to the Norwegian fjords. In a word: ohmygod.
My boys were six at the time, and the stunning scenery even kept their attention on all-day bus tours and long hikes. The 7-night itinerary called on five ports, with a convenient sea day at the start of the trip. We called on Flam, Hellesylt /Geiranger, Bergen, Stavanger and Oslo, with long 9- to 12-hour stays in each port, with the exception of a five-hour stay in Stavanger. Read more... (2214 words, 10 images, estimated 8:51 mins reading time)
In June 2010, LEGOLAND California® will open the world’s first LEGO®-themed water park.
Geared toward families with children ages 2 to 12, the 5.5-acre LEGOLAND Water Park will feature wet-and-wild climbing structures, a six-person raft slide, tube slides, body slides, a lazy river, hands-on toddler areas and an area where kids can customize their own soft LEGO® rafts.
For more information, visit www.legolandwaterpark.com.
Crystal Cruises isn’t shy about doling out incentives and families looking for a high-end cruise experience in Europe this summer will be pleased with a recently announced promotion. Crystal invites kids 17 and under to cruise for free on these two Crystal Symphony Europe cruises this summer, when sailing in a third berth with two full-fare adults (families of four with two children would have to book two cabins – the ship has 10 connecting staterooms and 89 staterooms with a third berth). Read more... (388 words, estimated 1:33 mins reading time)
Crystal Cruises, Family Cruising
For me, the beauty of a cruise is that I can have my cake and eat it too. There’s plenty of opportunity for family togetherness and much-needed time apart as well. If you’ve got little ones, it’s key of course to know the cruise lines’ age policies for kids programming. You don’t want to show up at the gangway only to realize yours are too young for the drop-off playroom (nightmare!). For those of you with older teens, it’s equally as important to know when your young adults can (and can’t) drink and gamble. Read on for the skinny. Read more... (1243 words, estimated 4:58 mins reading time)
Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Family Cruising, Princess Cruises
I’ve taken my nearly 7-year-old twin boys on 20 cruises, the first when they were 9 months old, so I’ve learned the ropes from good old practical hands-on, trial-and-error experience. If you’re thinking about cruising with babies or toddlers, heed some advice from a mom who had lived to tell about it.
Make sure you know the minimum age for kids programming before you book a cruise. Many drop-off programs have a minimum-age of three; a few age one or two (Disney and Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas have drop-off programming for babies under one; three months and six months respectively).
Don’t assume your little ones will be happy about being dropped off at the nursery or playroom, if there’s too much crying, you’ll be asked to take them out. It’s never happened to me (what does that say?), but I’ve seen it happen often to other parents. Bummer to have to cancel a massage appointment or a wine tasting seminar, but it’s a possibility. Read more... (592 words, 3 images, estimated 2:22 mins reading time)
We all know how kid-friendly the mega ships are, but there are some smaller ships that deserve some credit too. For families that like taking the road less traveled, here are some atypical offerings from a handful of small-ship adventure and upscale lines.
Read more of Heidi Sarna’s report at our sister site, Family Cruise Advisor.
Abercrombie & Kent, Crystal Cruises, Family Cruising, Regent Cruises, SeaDream Yachts
The cruise lines are all dressed up with plenty of places to go, but they still need some more dance partners. And they are prepared to use all their wiles to get more people to join them out on the floor — er — make that, out to sea. Read more... (702 words, 3 images, estimated 2:48 mins reading time)
Azamara Cruises, Family Cruising, Holland America, Panama Canal, Royal Caribbean