Skip to main content

This is how to drive a cruise ship

Have you ever wondered how a cruise ship operates, and specifically, how the Captain drives the ship?

Modern cruise ships are amazing pieces of engineering that cost a billion dollars each, and are as complex as any form of transportation you can find on the ground or in the sky.

As you might imagine, driving something the size of a skyscraper through narrow waterways and then precisely docking it between various obstacles is no easy task.

When will test cruises and first revenue sailings depart from the U.S.?

It’s an exciting time for cruise fans grounded since March 2020. Select cruise ships finally have approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to set sail from U.S. homeports. Cruising is back, and passengers and crew are thrilled about the return to cruise.

Cruise lines that don’t require Covid vaccines

Do you have to be vaccinated to go on a cruise? The short answer is no.

The long answer is that vaccine requirements vary by cruise line, cruise ship, and departure port/destination. 

Cruise insurance for unvaccinated travelers: What you need to know

Cruisers have always been encouraged to buy travel insurance to protect their vacation investment, but now trip protection is mandatory for some cruisers. Royal Caribbean recently announced that unvaccinated travelers must purchase medical expense and evacuation insurance that covers Covid-related trip interruption.

How do you make sure the travel insurance you buy adheres to Royal Caribbean’s requirements? Are you better off purchasing protection from the cruise line or a third-party provider? What else should you look for in an insurance plan?

Scenic cruising in Alaska: Glacier Bay vs. Tracy Arm vs. Hubbard Glacier

Scenic cruising is one of the big attractions of an Alaska cruise. The ship enters a watery culdesac, frequented mainly by birds and sea creatures; at the end, a massive glacier awaits in icy splendor. Passengers race to deck railings to watch chunks of ice break off and crash into the water with a thunderous sound, or pull out binoculars to spot otters and eagles.

What happens when someone tests positive for Covid on my cruise?

Americans are cruising once again, from homeports in the Caribbean, Europe, and – as of July 2 – the U.S. While many of these sailings will depart with fully vaccinated passengers and intensive health and safety protocols, the first cruises of Celebrity Millennium and Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas each had a pair of travelers test positive for Covid mid-cruise. 

With ships soon to depart with higher numbers of unvaccinated guests, cruisers are beginning to ask what will happen should someone test positive for Covid-19 on their cruise.

8 Secret Spots on Cruise Ships That Allow for Easy Social Distancing

Sailaway celebrations on the Lido Deck, pina coladas by the pool, room service on the balcony and everything else we love about cruising are once again within reach. With federal approval and cutting-edge safety measures building cruisers’ confidence in returning to the high seas, some still want to further distance themselves from other passengers when they’re onboard.

Best cruise gear to buy on Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day is coming on June 21 and 22, and cruise fans who are Prime members have the opportunity to save big as they gear up for their upcoming sailing. 

Many of Amazon’s Prime Day deals revolve around the home, from Echo Dots to InstantPots, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t finds for travelers. While we don’t know exactly which products Amazon will discount this June, we can take a pretty good guess, based on previous year’s sales.

What is the status of U.S. cruise homeports?

As the U.S. starts its slow return to normal, keeping track of which U.S. homeports are open and hosting cruise ships is getting increasingly difficult. Some ports are technically open, but have no sailings planned; others are provisioning ships and processing crew members for vaccinations, but are not yet welcoming passengers.

To make sense of it all, we compiled a list of the major U.S. cruise homeports and their current cruise status.

Baltimore

Cruise Planning on a Budget? Here are 7 Surefire Ways to Save Money

Expenses on a cruise can add up quickly, from when and how you book to the moment you step foot onboard and start swiping that key card. (Hint: The more poolside pina coladas you order, the easier it is to lose count.)

Subscribe to Feature