The Cruising World

Two-night, one-day cruises from Florida to the Bahamas are offered on the ex-Baltic ferry Bahamas Celebration, which holds 1,250 passengers in 502 cabins.

According to the website, the ship departs every other day from Palm Beach, sailing at 6 p.m., arriving at 8 a.m. in the Bahamas “for a full day of fun activities” and then departing that same day at 6 p.m. for arrival back in Palm Beach at 7 a.m. the next day. In other words, these are cruises for night...


Back in the good old days of the 1950s, most ocean liners had a few single cabins available for their single customers. The builders of those ships realized that, yes, there actually were single people in the population! 

Since then, however, all cruise ships have standardized on double cabins, and payment is virtually always based on double occupancy. Persons occupying a double cabin alone are generally forced to pay a single supplement, which is usually 50 to 100 percent of the...

Local girls chatting on the phone in front of a Carnival Cruise Lines ship in Port Vila. Photos by Lew Toulmin

(Second of two parts)

In my humble, resident-expat opinion, the best places to visit around Port Vila, Vanuatu, are (in order)…

The Summit Gardens — 11 gardens and a sandalwood plantation, plus a distillery and gift shop, all on a 600-foot-high plateau with fantastic flowers and views. $63 per person, including pickup at the ship, from, or just show up and pay $25 per person. Open 9-5 every day except Christmas and Good Friday. There...

During the April-to-June yam festival on Pentecost island, land divers risk life and limb to show their masculine prowess.

(Part 1 of 2)

Most Americans have never heard of Vanuatu, and even fewer have heard of its capital, Port Vila. Yet Vila, as it is often called, is becoming a major cruise destination, with about 140 port visits planned by cruise lines over the next 12 months, or about one every two or three days. 

The vast majority of these cruise visits are one-day stops by ships of P&O Cruises (phone, in Australia, 1300 159 454), sailing out of Sydney and Brisbane on a one-week loop...


(Second of two parts)

In this 2-part series, I am adding to the suggestions made by ITN subscriber Cynthia Rignanese regarding what to do within the first few hours of boarding a cruise ship (Dec. ’12, pg. 12). In my view, many of these things are better done before embarking. This month I will cover shore excursions, special classes, phone/Internet access and ship’s library books. 

Shore excursions

Ms. Rignanese advised booking any shore excursions...


 (First of two parts)

ITN subscriber Cynthia Rignanese of Lake Wales, Florida, wrote a useful piece on “what to do within the first few hours of boarding any cruise ship” (Dec. ’12, pg. 12). While her recommendations are helpful, I feel that many of her suggestions should be done, in fact, before you cruise in order to maximize your enjoyment. 

I will discuss these this month and next, drawing on my cruising experience and on discussions I had with...

Norovirus — the facts about and how to protect yourself from this much-publicized disease
Little Wala island
The search for the real Bali Ha’i — tracing Michener’s footsteps in Vanuatu (2 of 2)