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About this blog

Cruise Ship Crayz began in 2012  as a small blog on Tumblr to share daily thoughts of the cruise industry and spread industry awareness through the eyes of an avid cruiser. With no media influence, Cruise Ship Crayz began to provide cruise news and opinions internationally.

 

Creating and unbiased and uninfluenced opinion on the cruise industry is what allows the passion of Cruise Ship Crayz to emulate throughout every aspect of the website and social channels.

 

Cruise Ship Crayz has hit an astonishing twelve million views throughout all channels and is striving to become the number one source of information for current and future cruisers to help them understand and love this ever-changing industry. 

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Entries in this blog

The New Ships we Saw in 2018

Well, 2018 is racing to a close, and it was an incredible year for the industry. Let's take a look back at some of the incredible new ships that debuted in 2018! New Ships: Every year cruise lines seem to outdo themselves with the incredible ships they debut, and 2018 was one of the most incredible! From the largest ship in the world debut to the most innovative ship of our time. 
The Largest:  Symphony of the Seas, debuted in May of 2018 making her the fourth Oasis-class cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International. At 228,000 GRT, 1,188 feet long, and 215.5 feet wide Symphony of the Seas is the largest passenger ship afloat. In addition to bringing back some Royal Caribbean classics such as the Royal Promenade, Central Park, and the Boardwalk (made famous by her sister, Oasis). Symphony brings some new features including Laser Tag, Playmakers Arcade and Sports Bar, and Sugar Beach. Symphony has earned the "Best new Large Cruise Ship" title by the reader choice awards!   Check out the Symphony here! The Most Advanced: Celebrity Edge debuted just weeks ago stunning everyone who sails on her. EDGE is Celebrity Cruises first new ship since 2012, and it was well worth the wait. The Edge is unrecognizable as a Celebrity ship as her design both inside and out is a first for this premium cruise line. From countless new restaurants, a cantilevered elevating bar and restaurant, a 22,000 square foot spa, and new staterooms the EDGE is "A total game changer."   Check out the EDGE here! The others: Norwegian Bliss: The largest Norwegian Cruise Line ship to date the Norwegian Bliss is the third in the Breakaway Plus class ships and at 168,000 is one of the largest passenger ships in the world. The Bliss features one of the only go-kart tracks at sea, outdoor laser tag, and multiple full-size water slides.    Check out the Bliss here! Carnival Horizon Carnival has stepped up their game. The Carnival Horizon might not be the largest cruise ship ever built, but she is one of the best ships afloat. The Horizon is beautifully laid out, features incredible restaurants, bars, venues, staterooms and has unrivaled service. I can not wait to be back on board.    Check out the Horizon here! MSC Seaview: MSC Cruises is making waves in the North American market. MSC Seaside was built specifically for North America, and the reviews are incredible. From her chic exterior design to her dazzling interiors she is allowing the North American market to be more Mediterranean!  Check out the Seaview here! Nieuw Statendam: Holland America Line is bringing elegance and innovation together on their newest ship Nieuw Statendam. The largest Holland America ship to date she allows guest to enjoy the classic elegance of an ocean liner and the innovation and excitement of a modern cruise ship!    Check out the Nieuw Statendam here!   These are just some new ship that we saw hit the ocean this year.    2019 looks to outdo 2018 with ship hitting the ocean such as Royal Caribbean's Spectrum of the Seas, Norwegian's Encore, Carnival's Panorama and even more ships being released by MSC Cruises, Princess, and Costa Cruises!    Click here to check out all the new cruise ships coming in 2019!            

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Most Reliable Airlines for Cruise Travelers

After trying multiple new airlines over the last year, I have figured out which ones would be best for getting me to my ship on time and which ones might cost me my entire cruise. For all of you seasoned cruisers sound off and tell me what you think is the best/ most reliable airline to fly and where you are flying from! Also, tell me what your most unreliable airline for cruise travel is!  Now I would ALWAYS suggest flying in a day early to avoid any possibility of missing your ship but here is my favorite and most reliable airline: From Providence, RI (PVD) to Fort. Lauderdale (FLL)  for Port Everglades or Port Miami and to Orlando (MCO) for Port Canaveral Southwest is the only airline I fly if I am catching a cruise ship. Here is my reasoning: Providence is a major Airport for Southwest Airlines, so there are many direct and stop over flights going to all areas of Florida from early morning to late night. Additionally, no bag, change or cancellation fees, and the customer service is some of the best I have received while flying. Lastly, my flights are very rarely delayed, and they are always ready with another flight for you if needed.    Untrustworthy Airline: JetBlue JetBlue has very few flights from my area, has bag fees, the customer service is lacking, the planes themselves make me feel like I have to flap my arms to fly and they are famous for delayed or canceled flights. This is one airline I simply can not chance while flying to a cruise ship.  Let me know what Airlines are best for you and your area! 

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Norwegian Cruise Line Hikes Beverage Package Price

As of October 2, 2018, Norwegian has released the new base price of their Unlimited beverage package to USD 99.00 per person per day! The beverage package on Norwegian includes soft drinks, beers, spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer up to and including USD 15 during your entire cruise. Bottled water is NOT included in this package. Now in addition to the USD 99.00 per person per day, a 20% gratuity surcharge will be added to your package. Norwegian offers a promotion which the beverage package is included with your cruise fare, so the price of most Norwegian cruises now reflects an almost "all-inclusive." When booking NCL guests do not have to select the beverage package as their perk, four other perks are usually offered. Other perks include free 250 minutes of internet, free third and fourth person in the cabin, free specialty dining, or free shore excursion credits. After looking at all the perks the unlimited beverage package has the most cash value. I know you are asking the question and yes your cruise is the same amount regardless if you choose the beverage package with a value of USD 1,663.00 for two people (on average for 7-night voyages) or 250 minutes of the internet with a value of USD 105.00. So the choice is yours, but I know what I would choose. What are your thoughts on this price hike? Let us know in the comments below!    To get a price quote on an NCL cruise click here!

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Back to ROYALity!

Cruise Ship Crayz is sailing onboard the Harmony of the Seas in 8 days, and it will be our largest live onboard experience broadcast EVER! Click below to learn more about how you can follow our journey and discover why an Oasis-class ship should be your next cruise!  Discover Back to ROYALITY

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My First Freestyle Cruise Experience !

After 25 cruises it shocked me that I had not yet sailed onboard Norwegian Cruise Line and I knew I was way overdue to experience "Freestyle Cruising." Fast forward a few months, and I find myself on a train racing toward Grand Central Station to Board the Norwegian Escape to Bermuda! Perk number 1 of NCL departing out of Manhattan, it is the most convenient departure port for New Englanders that is a train, bus or car ride away. With the taxi, Uber and  Lyft drop off directly in front of the terminal getting from Port Authority Bus Station or  Grand Central Train Station could not be easier and takes about 10 minutes. Once you arrive at the Pier, your luggage is taken by a porter, and you are through security in about 5 minutes.        Check-In:
After security things got a little confusing, with lines every which way but little signage that directed me to where we needed to be, however, I believe this was because the Escape was very new to New York, I did find my way and was happy to be so close to boarding. I am very used to a check-in process that is different from Norwegians'. Typically my onboard expense account is set up when I check in online 2-3 weeks before my cruise, with  Norwegian this is not, currently, an option and your expense account is handled at the pier. This lead to noticeable longer wait times to check in and was clear to me that the expense account was the reason for this, especially with chip cards. After the longer than normal check-in process, Thanks to Norwegian, my friend and I were quickly escorted onto the Escape before any other passengers and then the fun began!      Boarding:
Stepping onto the ship was that same feeling you get every time that feeling of escape, relaxation and excitement for the week that awaits you. The one thing that I was most excited to see was 678 Ocean Place! The hub of the ship did not disappoint, with a marvelous multi-colored Chandelier dangling in the center, I immediately realized that this was going to be my favorite part of the ship!    Booking Onboard Experiences:
I have been on quite a few ships that have well over 4,300 passengers and have always been able to make reservations online before sailing. With Norwegian, I realized that there is a significant amount of onboard experience that you can only book once you are onboard. We were lucky enough to be the second people in line and finished booking everything that we needed and even though we just booked three activities it took about 20 minutes for the crew member in the box office to do this and an extremely long line formed behind us, definitely not the way I want to start off  a cruise. So I would make sure this is your first stop when boarding to try and avoid lines!    Garden Cafe:
The buffet area onboard Norwegian Escape, the Garden Cafe, had a lovely relaxed vibe with hand washing stations at every entrance and a large variety of foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks until 12 A.M! Dinner was a different global influence every night, with breakfast and lunch remaining consistent throughout the cruise!    Accommodation:
We were booked in a Family Balcony Stateroom on deck 9. The stateroom was spacious, had plenty of storage space, a mini refrigerator, hairdryer, television, plenty of outlets included one on each side of the bed and a beautiful view from the spacious private veranda! This stateroom has the capacity of 4 people with a bunk bed that drops from the ceiling and a sofa bed with plenty of room to move around!    Freestyle Dining: Freestyle dining was the best, included, dining I have ever experienced on a cruise ship! Being able to choose a different restaurant and time every night was fantastic. I was expecting a different menu in each restaurant; however, most everything on the menu is the same in each restaurant, but the atmosphere is different in each one! For those of you who are unfamiliar with "Freestyle Dining," this is how it works. You can make reservations for one of, typically, three "main dining rooms" in this case we had choices of the Manhattan Room, Savor, and Taste. Each restaurant has the same menu and same times, but you can enjoy different atmospheres, times and wait staff every night! So say goodbye to being stuck in one dining room, at the same table, at the same time for the length of your cruise and hello to freedom to do what you like! For those of you who still enjoy the traditional way of dining with the same place, time and waitstaff you can do that too! To ensure you have the same time place and waitstaff every night go to a hostess at the very beginning of your cruise and let them know that is what you want and they will make it work!    Onboard Activities: 
The Norwegian Escape is the first ship in the Breakaway Plus class of ships, so there are many activities onboard with but unfortunately laser tag and Go Karts did not make it onboard 😞  #firstworldproblem, am I right?)
Waterslides: 
An absolute must try, my only regret was not trying them sooner. The Escape is equipped with two freefall slides and one "Aqua Racer" which is a nice relaxing slide! So you can opt for the exhilaration of the racer slides or the laid back lazy  Aqua Racer slide and have the time of your life on both!    Ropes Course:
I understand why the Go-Kart tracks have replaced this, it was anti-climatic, at least for adults I can see children from 7-15 enjoying this activity. Is it worth doing, of course, but only once per cruise is fine!
Learn More about Norwegian Cruise Line's onboard features here!   Onboard Entertainment:
While on a cruise that is overnight in a port it is easy to miss the onboard entertainment, but we made it a point to try and get to everything we could! 
The comedy shows onboard were offered almost every night both for families and for adults only. Of course, we chose the adults-only show and we left Howl at the Moon exhausted from laughter! The on-stage shows offered onboard Escape currently are, After Midnight and For the Record: The Brat Pack. Both shows are can't miss, it is a bit difficult to follow the story but the talent is OUT OF THIS WORLD do not miss one show! The small shows such as the Newly Wed game and similar shows were typically held in the Atrium, each show was unique and had its distinctive flair. In addition to small shows, you can also see cooking demonstrations, dance classes, cruise ship 101 and more in the atrium daily!    Learn More about Norwegian Cruise Line's onboard entertainment here!   Disembarkation:
Although this is the worst part of the cruise, regardless if the process is smooth or not we all know smoother disembarkation is preferred over a prolonged wait for the enviable (reality). Disembarking the Escape was, and I hate to say it, the most unorganized process I have ever experienced. Now I definitely can not place all of the blame on Norwegian because it seemed that customs and the coast guard slowed them down, a lot. So disembarkation was quite horrible, but we were able to get a glimpse of the Norwegian Bliss, so that made everything better!    Ratings: The below ratings are based on a 5 "wave" 5 being the best and 1 the worst, and it is waves because why not! These ratings are strictly opinion based and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cruise Ship Crayz TM. 
Check-in and embarkation: 3 Waves
Some improvement is needed on the organizational side at the Manhattan cruise terminal to speed up the check-in process. Security is quick and Easy!    Onboard Dining:
Included Dining: 5 Waves
The food onboard the Escape was some of the best-included food I have had at sea in a long time, and of course, the service was impeccable!    Specialty Dining:
I can not give a rating because I enjoyed the main dining rooms so much I forgot to try one!  
Onboard Activities: Solid 4 Waves The wide variety of activities offed onboard the Escape keep you busy all day, but I didn't get that WOW factor from the activities.    Onboard Entertainment:  4 Waves
As mentioned above The talent was incredible, but I was looking for more of a storyline, still can't miss shows!    Accommodations: 5 Waves
We loved our stateroom and attendant, and we had more than enough space to spread out and unpack completely!    Disembarkation: 2 Waves
Disembarkation was horrendous with people coming from all direction to get in a line that I am still looking for. I would opt for the express walk off!      Overall I absolutely loved my first Freestyle cruising experience and can not wait to be back onboard a Norwegian cruise ship! I would highly recommend cruising onboard a Norwegian cruise to anyone, especially those with children!    Click here to learn more about Norwegian Cruise Line and the Norwegian Escape!

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A Peek Inside Carnival Horizon

I had the honor of being invited to the naming ceremony of the Carnival Horizon! Carnival Cruises newest ship is 133,500 GRT and holds 5,056 guests. She will sail from New York City to Bermuda and the Eastern Caribbean before repositioning to Miami, FL to sail Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.    SMLXL You think you know Carnival? Think again! Once you step onboard you will think to yourself "Wait, this is a Carnival ship?" The Carnival Horizon is the new flagship of the fleet and it is bringing a new name to Carnival. The Horizon does not boast non-stop crazy party and drinking for young adults no instead you see families, young couples, friend groups, older couples and yes, a lot of kids.  With 17 dining options, 13 entertainment venues, the first ever Dr. Seuss Waterworks, a sports complex complete with Sky Ride and three pools this Carnival ship has taken things to a whole new level.    The Horizon is the BEST Carnival ship that I have ever had the pleasure of boarding (even if it was just for the night). The service, food, entertainment, accommodations and venues are second to none I will even say I believe it is the best mid-size cruise ship afloat. Carnival Has absolutely outdone themselves! 
So let us talk ship!
The Atrium:  
Very similar to it's "Sista Vista" the Horizon's atrium spans three decks (3,4, and 5) has an incredible lounge and bar, that, might I add, serves some of the best drinks onboard, has "mall style" shopping on both deck 4 and 5 with the first-ever Victoria's Secret at sea and access to all other areas of the ship! A few other places you will find in the atrium are guest services, carnival adventures, fun hub, and of course Cherry on Top! 
The Upper Promenade: SMLXL   Take a stroll through the upper atrium and find the first ever"Guy's Pig  & Anchor Smokehouse and Brewhouse" that features incredible small bites, craft beer including four new specialty craft brew beers brewed right onboard and Incredible cocktails! You'll also find some Carnival classics such as the Alchemy Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Java Blue Cafe, Shake Spot, the Havana Bar and of course Pixels Photo Gallery, Dream Spot and the Internet Cafe. Lastly, enjoy the first ever onboard a Carnival ship "Bonsai Teppanyaki" restaurant located mid-ship upper promenade!    The Lower Promenade:   Now, of course, how can you have an upper promenade without a lower promenade. You might find yourself here late night way after dinner to put a few dollars in the slot machines, or on the Blackjack table in the Casino, catch a comedy show in the Limelight Lounge or cheer on your favorite sports team in Skybox Sports Bar!    The Lido Deck: SMLXL   Deck 10 the most iconic deck on a cruise ship awaits you here, the Lido deck! Step out to the Beach pool, grab a lounge chair then head over to the Blue Iguana or Red Frog bar before relaxing for the day under the sun! If you opt for a more relaxed quiet area head to the very aft of deck 10 and find the Tides Pool. This area is complete with a full bar, a full-size pool, whirlpools, Pizzeria Del Capitano, Seafood Shack, endless amounts of loungers for you to relax, and a stunning view!    Sports & Activities Deck: Deck 11  Now here is where the fun is, where children of all ages, looking at you baby boomers, can experience the true fun that Carnival offers. Take a ride down one of the two full-size waterslides but be careful not to be caught by Thing 1 or Thing 2 and beware of the GRINCH! Head to the aft of deck 11 and take a ride in the sky with Carnivals Skyride, climb through the ropes course, get a hole in one with mini golf, or make new friends and play a game of basketball!    The Serenity Deck:   
This is for all of those adults who are traveling without kids or are choosing to leave their children at the kids club all day! Enjoy oversized loungers, a full bar, healthy eating alternative, whirlpools and amazing views that look out over the Horizon!   Meridian Restaurant:  One of the main dining rooms onboard is there to impress. The chic design of Meridian sprawls over two decks boasting a calm atmosphere and cuisine that will leave you pleasantly surprised. If you're lucky you can get a table right in the center under one of the incredible color changing chandeliers or maybe one in the very aft next to the back windows! Be prepared to eat and enjoy because Carnival does not save the best food for the specialty restaurants they make sure all guests have a meal unlike any other!  Welcome home for the Summer Carnival Horizon! Check out cruiseshipcrayz.com for more! 

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