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Phileas Fogg and Passepartout approach the Swiss Alps

Travel Topics
Enjoy a cruise.
Cruise Travel
Here are some recommended cruise guidebooks and sites that have a lot of good information on cruising and links to the major cruise lines.  In addition, all Internet travel agencies and portals have Cruise Travel sections or directories.
In the beginning, there were three broad cruise categories: mass-market, premium and luxury cruises.  Now they have created a new category between premium and luxury called deluxe. Deluxe is one step down from luxury (elitists and formal dress for dining) and is being marketed as a more informal, sophisticated experience without the tuxedo.

Illness Before Boarding and at Sea. What you should know about Norovirus, staying healthy and trip insurance.

Besides being a passenger, a person who likes to take cruises is known as a "cruiser".
On This Page Some General Information   Some good general information on cruising and for fun - links to ship webcams.
Cruise Guides  Search the web or pick one out at Amazon.com.
Cruise Advice  Some good websites that offer cruise advice.
Cruise Websites  A good alphabetical list and links to specific cruise ships.
On Our website Cruise Travel  Where you are now.
River Cruises  We have a nice list and links to famous river cruises in the world.
Lake Cruises  We list and link to many of the famous lake cruises in the world.
Canal Boats and Barges  We cover canal boat cruises in Europe and North America and barge cruising in Europe.
Antarctic Cruises  We have a good list and links to ships that sail to Antarctica, as well as, other information.
Sailing Ships  We are talking real ships with sails like in the Pirates of the Caribbean minus the pirates and cannons.
Cruise Consolidators  If you don't book a cruise directly with a cruise line, you are probably using a cruise consolidator. We explain what they are and how they can save you a lot of money.

Some General Information
Wikipedia Cruise Ship   Basic background.  They also have:
List of Cruise Lines  A good alphabetical list and links to specific cruise lines.
List of Cruise Ships  A good alphabetical list and links to specific cruise ships.
Wikitravel Cruise Ships  Basic information about taking a cruise.
Ah, the view from the bridge.
Ah, the view from the bridge Some cruise lines have a webcam on the bridge and other areas of the ship even when they are underway. (If the webcam picture is black, it may be that it is night time where they are at.) Thanks Webcam Galore for this excellent list and links to cruise ship webcams

Check out Costa Cruise Line.  They not only have a map showing where all their cruise ships are in the world in real-time but when you click on a ship, they show you a map of its route, as well as, a webcam view from on board.
Cruise experts recommend that first-time cruisers use a local travel agent who has been on cruises recently. Ask about their preferred suppliers. You'll probably get a better deal on those lines. Comparison shop on and off the web, then ask your local travel agent if they can match the price. Also ask if they will pass on any additional savings from late specials even if you have already paid for the cruise. Some will and some will not. 
Fodor's Fodor's has an excellent "Planning To Cruise" Section with plenty of tips and links.
About: cruises About.com has an excellent cruise planning section.
Forbes Traveler Ports To Avoid in High SeasonExcellent article that you can also view as a slideshow.
Buy a good cruise guidebook that offers unbiased opinions. Know when to book: Either 4 to 6 months in advance for advance purchase savings or 1 month ahead to find a last-minute discount because they haven't filled up the ship. Hey, this sounds a lot like booking a flight!
Cruise Guides
To Search the Web for an online Cruise Guide or guidebook - Enter a region, ocean or specific destination + Cruise guides
(e.g., Caribbean Cruise Guides)


To Buy a Cruise Guide at Amazon.com 

Search By Destination Search By Guide Series

World Cruises

Panama Canal Nile River Cruise Frommer's


Caribbean South Pacific Berlitz


Mediterranean Rivers  

Cruise Advice
These are independent review sites that offer cruise ratings and reviews by both passengers and professional writers, describe cruise itineraries, have message boards, advice for first-time cruisers and other information of interest to people who want to take a cruise.
About.com-Cruise Guide.  About.Com's Cruise Guide has excellent categories and links.
Cruise Mates. A great cruise site covering all the information that a new or veteran passenger needs to know.
Cruise Critic.com.  Anne Campbell and her staff have put together an excellent website covering cruise lines. A good place to find the latest cruise information and critiques and tips. You can also book with them.
CruiseOpinion.com.  The most comprehensive Cruise Opinions website on the Internet. Organized by cruise line and ship.  Passenger feedback from thousands of cruises.
CruiseDiva.com.  An excellent, comprehensive site that also includes detailed information about things to do before the cruise.
Epinions.com. This is their page of reader reviews of cruise websites and cruise lines. 
Cruise Websites
These sites cover one or more cruise lines.
Small Ship Cruises.  This is the most comprehensive small ship cruise site on the web. It has excellent detailed information about small ship cruises worldwide.

VacationsToGo.  America's clearinghouse for discount cruises. One of the top visited travel websites.
Captain Cook's Cruise Center Library  (Note: This link will take you to their front page. Click on the image to go to their log-in page. You must register with them. Registration is free.)  This is Captain Cook's Cruise Centers' Links of general Interest to those taking cruises. It is one of the best pages you'll find on cruise travel. For example, you can jump over to any cruise line's web site or check the sanitation ratings of ships. It has many useful links to cruise-related information.
They also have a list of all the ship companies they represent which are almost all of the well-known ones. This includes major and smaller cruise lines, specialty cruises, river lines (ferries and river boats), freighters and yacht charters.
CLIA This is the Cruise Lines International Association site.  From here, they have great links not only to the cruise lines that are members of the association, but also to other sites related to cruising including tourism sites at ports of embarkation and debarkation.  Click on Plan Your Cruise and once on that page, click on Cruise Expert Locator to search for a travel agent that has completed CLIA training in your area.
Cruise2.com  The largest cruise portal on the Internet. They are a "not-for-profit" organization that has a wealth of information on cruises.
iCruise.com  An excellent site and cruise portal. They specialize in budget cruise lines.   Their Cruise Ship Information sections to get a detailed profile of any ship.
CruisesOnly  They say they are the world's largest cruise agency.  They have a nice, clean, easy-to-use website.
Expedia - Cruise Section.  Like Travelocity, an excellent place to find out about cruises and to book a cruise. They have a very extensive cruise review section that presents comments from passengers organized by cruise ship. 
Get Cruising!  This is also a good site to check out cruises. It has just what you expect at a supersite: a cruise selector, ship profiles, a cruise bookstore, over 500 links, and tips for getting the best deal.
OceanCruises.com  A beautiful website with comprehensive coverage of all cruises worldwide.
Travelocity - Cruise Section  A well done section that includes tips on everything you need to know to plan your cruise, best cruise recommendations for all sorts of interests, and a First Time Cruiser's Guide.
CruisePage.comThis travel agency has one of the most comprehensive cruise line lists on the web. They have great cruise deals. Keep up with late-breaking cruise happenings by reading their Cruise News and check out their ship profiles.
Windjammer Barefoot Cruises.  Caution. As of October 2007, this popular sailing ship company was having financial difficulties and news reports indicate that it might have to seek bankruptcy protection.  It has cancelled some cruises. Check their website, or with your travel agent, online travel website or do a search on the web for the latest information.  They are a family-owned company and it is too bad this has happened. We hope there is a happy ending to the story.

Illness Before Boarding and at Sea. What you should know about Norovirus, staying healthy and trip insurance.
  • Norovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness whose symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. It strikes 23 million Americans each year with outbreaks at public places like schools, hotels, and nursing homes, as well as cruise ships.
  • It is spread through contaminated food and by poor hygiene. From the time you are exposed to the time you show symptoms is about a day and a half and you will be contagious for at least another 3 days.  There is no preventative medicine for it.
  • If a person who is sick doesn't wash their hands and touches something, like an elevator button or door handle or railing, and you touch the same surface and then happen to put your fingers to your mouth, you are likely to get it also.
  • To prevent a passenger bringing norovirus on board a ship, some cruise lines, such as Holland America ask passengers before they board if they have been sick. If so, they are interviewed by the ship/s medical staff and if they believe you may have norovirus you may be denied boarding.  Unfortunately, they do not ask you these questions before you get the the ship, so you can see a doctor who could ask you the pertinent questions. Holland-America turns away about half a dozen passengers a month that are suspected of having norovirus or some other contagious disease. See CDC facts About Noroviruses on Cruise Ships.
  • Trip Insurance.   Your trip insurance may not cover your expenses for being denied boarding due to being suspected of having norovirus.  Ask and get something in writing as to whether or not being denied boarding due to suspected norovirus is covered by trip interruption or other provisions of the policy.  If it is, make sure you have this in writing including words such as "covers denied boarding due to suspected norovirus disease."  If the policy does not cover it, see if you can find another insurer that does cover that.
  • How To protect Yourself.  Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible. Soap and water is better than alcohol-based gel hand sanitizers but take some of them along too.  Also take along anti-diarrhea medicine like Imodium AD, Lopex, Dimor, and Pepto  (generic Loperamide).
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