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MEI Travel

Cruise week report: New luxury cruise ship, preparing for my first Disney cruise, tips for weekend cruises, and more!

Disney ship at sea

We share lots of cruise updates and advice here, and this is a weekly roundup of everything you may have missed from this week.

If you are busy but want to keep up with all the helpful cruise advice we share, this is an easy-to-digest look at the recent articles and updates we've shared.

1. I am going on my first Disney Cruise: Here’s what I think I should do

Disney cruise at night

Disney Cruise Lines is one of the biggest names in the cruise industry, and Hayley is about to embark on her first ever Disney Cruise!

After sailing on some of the other major cruise lines, she is interested to see how Disney Cruise Line compares. Being a travel brand that prides itself as providing a magical vacation to all of it’s guests, the bar is set high for unique and special offerings onboard.

In order to make the most of her first Disney cruise, she has compiled a list of things that she needs to do in order to ensure a magical vacation.

Read more: I am going on my first Disney Cruise: Here’s what I think I should do

2. After taking her first MSC cruise, here's what Jenna wish she knew ahead of time

MSC side by side image of ship and writer

While Jenna is no stranger to cruising, she had yet to try a cruise onboard MSC Cruises.

This summer, she embarked on her very first MSC Cruise onboard the MSC World Europa. With this being the biggest and newest ship in their fleet, Jenna was excited to try out a sailing with this European cruise line.

Despite enjoying her time onboard, she left wishing she had done more research prior to sailing and shared a list for those of us planning and preparing for an upcoming MSC cruise.

Read more: 10 things I wish I knew before my first MSC cruise

3. Here's what you need to know when considering a 3-night cruise!


If you are planning a cruise, you may be overwhelmed with all of the different options, especially starting with the length of your cruise.

From two-week voyages, to 3-night getaways, there are itineraries to fit every cruiser's needs. Most cruise lines find that their shorter weekend sailings are a popular choice for travelers, and while they have both pros and cons, a cruise is a cruise!

If you are considering taking a weekend cruise, here is everything you need to know before booking.

Read more: Guide to weekend cruises: Tips for taking a 3-night cruise

4. I took my first Carnival cruise on its oldest ship. Booking a small ship was my biggest regret

Carnival Ecstasy

Allie sailed on her first ever Carnival Cruise, and it happened to be the oldest ship in their fleet.

With the low cruise fare, and proximity to the cruise port - Mobile, Alabama - she was enticed to book her first Carnival cruise onboard the Carnival Ecstasy. This ship was 31 years old at the time, older than both Allie and her travel partner and sister, Angie. She didn’t think too much about the ships age before booking, because at the end of the day it is still a cruise.

However, she soon found out that the Carnival Ecstasy was headed for the cruise ship graveyard, and that maybe this ship wasn’t what she was expecting at all.

Read more: I took my first Carnival cruise on its oldest ship. Booking a small ship was my biggest regret

5. The ultimate guide to MSC Cruise ship classes

MSC ships

With 22 cruise ships in service, it can be overwhelming to narrow down which MSC Cruises ship is the right one for you.

Depending on your travel preferences, cabin options, itineraries, cruise experience, onboard amenities and more, there is a lot that goes into selecting the right cruise ship for their vacation. MSC Cruises sails to over 250 destinations worldwide, with itineraries from as little as 1-day, to 100+ days.

We have created a comprehensive guide that breaks down each cruise ship class, and the major features, onboard amenities, itineraries and everything else you need to know to ensure you pick the best cruise ship for your next vacation.

Read more: The ultimate guide to MSC Cruise ship classes

6. Every Royal Caribbean ship from oldest to newest!

Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing

Founded in 1968, Royal Caribbean International is widely considered one of the most popular cruise lines in service today.

They are known for their innovative, and larger than life cruise ships, holding the title of largest cruise ship ever since the launch of Freedom of the Sesa on 2006. Today, they have an impressive 26 ships in their fleet, with more coming in future years. With this many ships in service, there is a cruise ship to fit every travelers needs.

Here is a complete breakdown of Royal Caribbean’s ships by age -  from oldest to newest.

Read more: Royal Caribbean ships by age — from oldest to newest

7. After trying both, here's what Princess does better than Royal Caribbean

Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean side by side

After sailing 19 cruises on Royal Caribbean, Jenna is no stranger to cruising.

She recently decided to branch out and try her first sailing onboard Princess Cruises, sailing on an Alaskan Itinerary onboard the Royal Princess. This cruise line is largely considered to be the market leader when it comes to Alaskan cruises, and she was interested to see how it compared to Royal Caribbean.

After completing her sailing, she realized that there were 5 things that she liked better about Princess Cruises than Royal Caribbean.

Read more: 5 things I liked better about Princess Cruises than Royal Caribbean

8. 25 Fun Things To Do on a Cruise Ship Sea Day

NCL encore pool

Cruise ships have so many onboard offerings and activities, that they can be considered just as much a destinations as the ports of call.

For those wishing to make the most of their time onboard, itineraries that offer a few sea days are the perfect choice. Sea days are great, as you don’t have any scheduled excursions and are able to focus on enjoying the onboard amenities such as the pool, spa, and recreation activities. 
Here are our top 25 fun things to do on your next cruise ship sea day.

Read more: 25 Fun Things To Do on a Cruise Ship Sea Day

9.  These travel tips really make a difference!


When planning for your next cruise vacation, it can be overwhelming trying to learn as much as possible while you prepare.

For those that have sailed on cruises in the past, their knowledge is helpful for first-time cruisers, ensuring they make the most out of their time onboard. Of course, each cruise line has unique offerings, resulting in unique recommendations, but their is a lot of helpful information that is applicable to all cruises.

Here are 10 reader comments about cruising and how to help make your experience more memorable.

Read more: 10 Great Reader Comments on Cruising

10. A new player in the luxury cruise market is poised to start sailing!


On July 20, Explora 1, the first ship for the brand new luxury cruise line Explora Journeys, was delivered.

Explora Journeys is branded as an upscale cruise line, owned by MSC Group. This cruise line is aiming to create a unique “Ocean State of Mind” concept by connecting guests with the sea, but also with themselves and other like-minded individuals while sailing to less common ports of call.

This $550 million ship began construction back in 2021, and has some amenities and offerings that are exciting the cruise industry.

Read more: Brand new luxury cruise line takes delivery of their first ship

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