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Is Tipping Getting Out of Hand?

If you ever want to stir up some controversy, just start a “tipping thread” on any one of the cruise message boards.  You are almost guaranteed to have one of the longest, most contentious threads on the board. But let’s examine this issue in depth and share our feelings on it in a healthy spirit […]

Luxury Cruising on a Mass Market Ship?

I guess sometimes I just don’t “get it,” and when I don’t I usually come here for help. I recently attended a virtual luxury cruise expo.  The presentations for the most part were understandable. I realize that there are some people who prefer a more intimate cruise experience on a smaller ship where everything is […]

What do you look for in a Travel Agent?

I recently attended a class in Fort Lauderdale for travel agents new to the industry, and my eyes were opened to many things.  I think I came away from the class with more questions than answers, to be totally honest. Sure, the mechanics of booking cruises, working with clients, customer service, etc. can be learned, […]

Cruise Lines and Their Smoking/Non-Smoking Passengers

I am so heartened to read all of the feedback on last week’s entry to this blog.  That’s exactly what I want this blog to be – a two-way street with all of us expressing our feelings to each other.  Who knows?  Maybe together we can all come up with some good ideas to make our cruises […]

The Hot Topic of Smoking

I love controversial topics, so I thought a post on this subject might get people talking.  How do you feel about smoking on your favorite cruise ship? I will be honest, I am a smoker, but it seems more and more cruise lines are not too friendly to us smokers these days.  The areas you […]

Ship Within a Ship

The trend in mass market cruising these days seems to be going back to the old-style class system of cruising, where the passengers onboard the same ship can receive entirely different cruise experiences based upon what they are willing to pay.  In the days of ocean liners, the more you paid for a stateroom, the higher […]

Cruising to Nuku Hiva … A Photographic Journey

As promised last week, I am going to populate this blog entry with some photographs I took on a recent stop in Nuku Hiva, a rustic island way out in the Pacific Ocean, which is part of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. I’ve set up a gallery at the CruiseMates site.  You can go […]

Wow! My First Cruise Blog!

I love all things cruising, so I’m happy to have been asked to write this weekly cruise blog. I am Rita, an assistant editor here at CruiseMates and a regular contributor. Unlike most cruisers, I love long voyages. For this reason I am also partial to Holland America Line.  I also am interested in some […]