Welcome to the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Blog where we keep you up to date with things about cruises that are part of cruise news, useful, interesting and even irrelevant but fun in the world of cruises and cruising.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

More About Greed on Cruises

Following our last blog about greedy eating, we have had lots of response and even more opinions about it all


Here are just some of those comments and some more of the original remarks in our now non-existent chat rooms:

From Sue MacQuire:

Why are we surprised at the obscene gluttony on cruise ships? Our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs.  The eating options are just vast. You walk along the buffet tables at lunchtime and there are 16 different starters. Which to take? Oh well, let’s have a bit of each. The greed is quite revolting when you think about it. And now on to the main courses ...

A lady in New York asks:

I hope I don’t seem like one of these greedy gobblers when I ask what has happened to those lovely formal afternoon teas we always enjoyed on many cruises. Some cruise ships no longer seem to serve them. Or have we just been unlucky? We miss those neat cucumber sandwiches, those clotted cream and scones, the selection of different teas, the staff formally dressed and some of them even with live chamber music.

A couple in Seattle after another Alaska cruise wrote:

I’ve been surfing the various blogs and message boards and I’m still scratching my head. The complaints about food!  Someone who had been on an Alaska cruise said the food was inedible (I won’t name the cruise line because we’ve been on that same line and the food was magnificent). Twice she noted that the “awful” food was “like eating wedding food”. What’s that all about?

A response to her comments included:

What? Running down wedding food? I’ve been to some great weddings with great food ... like I’ve been on some great cruises with great food. Every ship I’ve ever been on provides a huge variety of dishes. You must find something you like.

And at last a sensible response to all this negative chatter came from a couple from New York:

You get what you pay for .... that’s the long and the short of it. We’ve been on many cruises and I have to agree with Samantha, generally the food is wonderful. In lines like Silversea, Regent, Seabourn, Cunard and a few others the cuisine is nothing but superb. Close on their heels are Crystal, Princess, Holland America ...

If you have any comments of your own, we would love to hear all of  them.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Greed on Cruises

We all have stories of our cruise - but few of us ever tell the really negative side of things – we’d rather come home and tell everyone how wonderful it all was and hopefully make them very envious.

That is one thing about cruise forums (and we all know how much Prow’s Edge despises them) that can sometimes offer some honest opinions.  Not often - but ...

Here are a few comments about greed and over-eating from our own now discontinued forum...

A couple in  England after a Caribbean Cruise started the whole span of comments:

We have seen so much gluttony on cruise ships it is obscene. On a Carnival Cruises forum passengers talk about how many entrees they can order on a cruise and proudly claim to ordering 3 or more lobster entrees on the Captain's dinner night. We saw just that on our Carnival cruise.  And it’s quite disgusting. Pure greed.

That post - edited from the forum about eating healthfully on a cruise - started a whole new topic about greed and gluttony on cruise ships.

Jack and Alice (?) from New York (whoever they may really be) responded by saying:

Don’t think that greed and gluttony is restricted to the budget cruise lines. We were sailing with Regent, and there was a guy on board who would appear for breakfast every day, head for the buffet, and nab the extra large, “display-only” croissant that was perched at the top of the buffet display. For 4 days, the astonished dining room staff replaced the display croissant - then finally gave up. The cream topping to the story is that the guy then made a huge fuss that they were not providing his large croissant each morning. It takes all sorts!

JollyRoger (or so he called himself) said in response:

The breakfast buffet attract the worst in passengers, doesn’t it?. You think the guy who nabbed the display croissant every morning was greedy? Forget it. He runs a poor second to the many passengers who march the length of the buffet table piling the plate with fruit salad, fried eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns with two pancakes perched on top and then pouring syrup over the lot. On ONE plate. No kidding! The travel agent probably didn’t alert them to the fact that they could go back a second time (or a third)?

And if that is not as bad a commentary about fellow travelers can be, another forum entrant called Seabound added:

We’re just sick of watching people pile up their plates at the buffet and then leave a whole wack of food on the plate and get up for more, and do the whole thing all over again. This is not just greed : this is criminal waste.

If you have any stories of your own experiences, we would love to hear all about them.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Updating Cruise Ship Vocabulary

For full details about cruise line vocabulary - even if it is just to refresh your memory – find out more at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruise-advice-tips-vocabulary.html

In the meantime, here is a shorter highlight of some of those sea / shipboard words you might not necessarily encounter on land - starting with one very big NO NO!

NEVER refer to your cruise ship as a "boat".  A cruise ship is NEVER referred to as a boat - it is always a “ship”

Other basics include:

bow – word used to refer to anything at the front of the ship
fore / forward – more words used to refer to anything at the front of the ship

aft – word used to refer to anything at the rear of the ship
stern – another word used to refer to anything at the rear of the ship

starboard – word used to refer to the right side of the ship

port – word used to refer to the left side of the ship

midships – word used to refer to the middle of the ship

For many more such basics visit:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Food - Part of Your Cruise

If food is an important part of your vacation / cruise, and you won’t be alone in admitting that, it is worth doing some research before you book your cruise.

This is not say that we’re all gourmets and only want the best and exotic things on offer. 

If you’re traveling with your family, and your kids like a burger as much as anything else – it really is not worth paying extra fares on a cruise that specializes in gourmet food.

If you are traveling just with adults, and if food is an important part of your vacation experience, then it is worth really checking out what the various cruise lines you are choosing between are really offering.

Admitting that food is important is nothing to be ashamed of. In a recent poll Prow’s Edge found out that over 70% of those researching their possible cruise options made it clear how important the food is.

The first thing to do is to really, honestly admit what you want, what you need, what you can afford and what would appeal to every one cruising with you.

If your idea of heaven is a selection of 6 different pastas (and whose isn’t!) without even a sliver of truffle in sight at the luncheon buffet, then the food on the contemporary cruise line ships is probably going to fit the bill and be more satisfying than all the gourmet recipes of the ultra-luxury boutique cruise lines.

But if you can really tell the taste difference between a clawed lobster from Maine and a spiny lobster from the Caribbean, however, the fact that one of those contemporary cruise lines offers you as much lobster as you can eat is probably not going to be too enticing and you are probably going to want to spend more money on a premium cruise line or luxury cruise line cruise.

That is not to say that one is better than the other.  Each just caters to different tastes, and many of the contemporary cruise lines offer quality as much as they do quantity.

If your are a gourmet you will probably want to find a cruise line that is smaller, and considerably more expensive than most and which allows a higher budget for cuisine. 

In this case you are entering a world in which celebrity chefs are wooed to create designer menus and tastes and a good old fashioned cheese sandwich is going to be practically unrecognizable.  Great for some, not for others.

The point of all of this is that you really do need to do your research before booking your cruise and find out out exactly what the cruise lines offer and whether that is what you really, honestly want.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dealing with Jet Lag

It may be exciting to consider those exotic cruises with destinations in a totally different time zone so far away from your home town – but you need to be careful.  That change in time zone can seriously effect your holiday, or at least the first few days of it.
In the old days, experienced travelers would laugh at anyone saying they were suffering from jet lag.  But that’s unfair.  Some of us may react more to a change in time zone.  Some of us may not react at all.  But it is a fact that changing time zones can have a serious impact on your energy levels and your sleep patterns.

Here are some tips on how to make sure you don’t suffer too badly from the dreaded “jet-lag” and get to enjoy every day of the cruise more fully.

Don’t anticipate the jet lag
Don’t assume that your jet lag is going to be as bad as those “doom” merchants may relish telling you how bad it can be. Very often they’re the ones who are envious of your exciting vacation and say these things to ease their jealousy – or they just like to put a dark side to everything.

Avoid herbal remedies and magic cures for jet lag
Unless you have already tested something that works for you, no matter how much those “doom” merchants may recommend them, avoid strange herbal remedies to ease jet lag. Such things may just cause you trouble.

Try to adjust your time clock before you travel

Many experienced travelers say that they are able to reduce the effects of jet lag by adjusting their patterns of sleep and meal times at home closer to what they  will be to those of the actual vacation. The idea is to do this at least 3 or 4 days before departure. While this may not be entirely possible, adjusting your time clock as close as possible to that of your destination will help!  
Adhere as quickly as possible to the new time clock
Once you arrive at your point of departure for the cruise, you should NOT succumb to the temptation to have an afternoon nap, or gotobed inthe veryearly evening. Even if you do feel tired, it is best to try and adapt to the new time zone as quickly as possible. 

A good way if doing this is make sure you’re getting a lot of fresh air - not too difficult a task as the cruise ship heads out to sea, or if you haven’t boarded yet, take a stroll out of the hotel and into the open air.

Avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine

It is also advisable to avoid your favorite glass of wine or cocktail during your first few evenings, and certainly it is a good idea to make sure the coffee you’re drinking is decaffeinated. The third thing to avoid is having a cigarette. These three things can only make it more difficult for your body to adjust to the new time zone.

Make your cabin or hotel room more conducive to letting you sleep.
Once in bed, later than you really wanted, and you’ve followed all the other tips, it may be advantageous to make sure your cabin or hotel suite is as dark as possible.  This can only help you get to sleep more easily. Experienced travelers also try earplugs to blog out any new sounds you are not used to.

Taking these tips in mind - you may actually find you have absolutely no jet lag at all!

For more advice on a variety of topics to do with your cruise, take a look at the Advice section of Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine
at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruise-advice-tips.html

Monday, May 20, 2013

Entertainment on a cruise

Depending on your experience of cruise travel and what’s usually on offer in your home town, entertainment on cruise ships can either thrill you or appall you.

If you live in New York, for example, and have seen all the latest shows, nothing on board any cruise ship is going to satisfy you. If you live in the heart of the midwest and haven’t seen a decent show in a long time, almost anything offered by the major cruise lines will probably make your trip a very memorable one.

The entertainment you’re going to be offered depends entirely on the type of cruise line you will be sailing with, and whether you enjoy it or not depends entirely on your experience of entertainment and what is offered at home – and of course your personal taste in what makes “quality” entertainment.

The contemporary or budget cruise lines that are continuously recognized for their entertainment are Royal Caribbean International who is often cited as offering the best in entertainment, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival. They offer everything from Broadway shows to nightly presentations inspired by today's popular theatre hits that pay tribute to show biz greats and musical eras.

Premium cruise lines such as Princess, Celebrity and Holland America showcase less elaborate productions but feature celebrity performers and leading popular musicians on selected sailings.

The more luxury of the cruise lines, such as Silversea, Crystal, Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn offer an even higher standard of entertainment and very often present local and regional folkloric troupes on board for performances that are designed to enhance the destination experience.

These cruise lines tend to offer another step up the ladder with stars of classical music as well as the “easy listening” alternatives.

Other cruise lines like those on rivers or the Arctic offer very different entertainment as well.

If cruise ship entertainment is important to you, study the brochures and their web sites very thoroughly to make sure you won’t be disappointed in what is on offer.

Most cruise lines feature smaller lounges and showrooms where cruisers can enjoy cabaret singers, classical quartets and piano recitals. Again, the quality of the performers tends to match the tastes of the majority of passengers that each cruise line caters for.

Depending on the cruise line you sail with, cruise ship entertainment has become much more sophisticated and choices of the type of entertainment on offer is much wider than before.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Crimes at Sea (3)

We have already talked about how and why you need to take some cautions on a cruise – cautions that you might not always think of when you’re in a holiday mood.

As we have said before, this is not just about Prow’s Edge being morbid and as we mentioned in our last blog, more and more popular TV and radio stations, such as NBC Chanel 6 in Miami and WKMG-TV/Local 6 - CBS in Orlando are now bringing the news about crimes at sea. 

You need to be aware of your surroundings - not to the point of making your trip frantic with worry, but to make sure that nothing happens because you are not paying the same attention you would at home.

Here in our THIRD blog about this topic in which we talk about the safety and security of your cabin / stateroom.

Check your stateroom whenever entering

When entering your stateroom, especially at night,leave the door open at first as you check the space thoroughly (including the bathroom and closet) and then make sure you lock the door.

Keep your stateroom door locked
Keep your stateroom door locked at all times and do not open your door to strangers. Most cruise ships have peep holes in their stateroom doors.

Safeguard your cabin keycard

It makes little sense to keep your cabin locked but leave your keycard about for someone to steal. Never let your key card out of your sight.  

Lock your jewelry away
What jewelry you do bring with you, make sure you don’t leave it lying about, but lock it up in your cabin safe. If there is no safe in your cabin, take it to a safety deposit box at the reception desk or purser’s office..

Leave expensive jewelry at home

As tempting as it might be to take your most prized valuables, like the diamond ring you inherited from Aunt Mazie, on your cruise vacation with you - it’s really best to leave such items at home. Minimize your risk for theft.

Don’t bring a bank vault of cash
Even if you prefer to use cash when at home, it is much safer to use credit cards on a cruise vacation.

As we said before, this is not about focusing on the gloom - it is about taking necessary precautions so that your cruise DOES turn out to be incident free.

For more information about the reality of crimes at sea visit International Cruise Victims at:

Also see the Prow’s Edge extensive section about Safety at Sea at:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Crimes at Sea (2)

We have already focused on some very ugly things that can happen on a cruise - not to ruin you trip or your looking forward to it, but to make sure you concentrate on how to keep yourself safe and stop yourself thinking that you don’t have to be unthinking just because you’re on a cruise ship.

And again, this is not just about Prow’s Edge being morbid. As we have said before, more and more popular TV and radio stations, such as NBC Chanel 6 in Miami and WKMG-TV/Local 6 - CBS in Orlando are now bringing the news about crimes at sea. 

Here in our SECOND blog about this topic are a few brief, common sense tips about being isolated on your cruise which might make you a possible target.

Don’t be isolated on your cruise
Make sure you know where your friends and family are when on a cruise and that they know where you are. No one likes to have tabs kept on them, especially on a vacation, but it works to everyone’s advantage to know where friends and family members should be at various times of the day. 

For those traveling with children, it is recommended that you implement a check in system, where children need to check in with parents at regular, appointed intervals.

This of course does not just apply to being on ship. It is actually equally important when venturing ashore, especially when on your own, that somebody knows what you’re up to and where you’re headed, and when you expect to be back.

Don’t be afraid to report something suspicious

If you sense that something is not right, either on a tour, or on board ship, trust your instincts and report the matter to the cruise security officer. Better safe than sorry!

Avoid deserted areas of the ship while on your own

Just as you would be street wise and sensible on land when you are not sure of your surroundings, so you should stay in public areas where there are other people about, rather than wandering into deserted areas of the ship on your own.

As attractive as that 3 o'clock in the morning walk around the decks to enjoy the moonlight over the tropical seas on your own may seem like fun – it may not be the most sensible idea!

Again - this is not to make your next cruise sound like an horrific, danger-ridden adventure - it's just about being aware of things you might not think of when you're in a holiday mood and have had a few cocktails more than normal.

Our next blog will offer some sensible advice about keeping your stateroom and your belongings safe and secure.

For more information about the reality of crimes at sea visit International Cruise Victims at:

Also see the Prow’s Edge extensive section about Safety at Sea at: