Skip to Content

Cruise Guide: Cruise Reviews and Tips

Big ship? Small ship? Adventure expedition? Luxury yacht? River cruise?

Cruise writing is one of our specialties, and we’ve sailed on some 60+ voyages now. We’ve got you covered!

So hop aboard and embark on the following cruises. Pick up some great cruising tips and explore cool cruise ports along the way too.

Bon voyage!

Gratuities on a Cruise

Cruise travel guide

In this handy cruise guide, we include links to dozens of our cruise reviews and cruising articles – all neatly organized – to help you choose the right cruise for you.

Gone are the days of one-size-cruising-fits-all

Now there are cruises to suit everyone’s style!

Cruise lines have also gone to great lengths recently to put in place better public health measures to help keep everyone safe.

Quick look at some of the cruises we’ve enjoyed

Our latest cruise posts

Windstar Drink Package or All-In Package: Worth It?

Windstar Cruises has two drink packages. But the best package is their All-In Package (drinks, gratuities and WiFi). It’s worth it if you like a pool cocktail, pre-dinner drink and wine with dinner. But it’s not for you if you’ll only have one or two glasses of wine a day.

Where do you want to go on your cruise?

Cruise Guide

French Polynesia

Cruising French Polynesia is a delightful way to explore the 118-island South Pacific nation. Ships are small and usually couples-oriented.

The best Tahiti cruises are offered by Windstar Cruises and on the Paul Gauguin ship.

With its gorgeous turquoise lagoon and necklace of idyllic motus, Bora Bora, in particular, oozes romance.

And there are tons of fun things to do in Bora Bora – from shopping for pearls to snorkeling with sharks.

Maybe combine a cruise with a stay in a dreamy overwater bungalow in Bora Bora? Perfect for a honeymoon or other special occasion…

Northern Europe

Cruise from Stockholm to Bergen on an epic Viking Homelands cruise in the Baltic. (Fabulous fjords, anyone?)


Snake charmers? Harems? Discover what it’s like to visit Morocco on a cruise.


Go wild on an Alaska UnCruise adventure cruise! (Think kayaking, hiking and SUP boarding.)


A leisurely Nile River cruise is the ultimate way to explore Egypt’s amazing temples and tombs.

Costa Rica and Panama

This Costa Rica cruise immerses you in all of nature’s awe! Bonus: Squeezing through the Panama Canal.

Canary Islands

See the secret side of the Canaries on this Canary Island cruise.

Hike UNESCO-listed parks, explore one of the most beautiful villages in Spain and taste sweet Malmsey wine.

Types of cruises

Cruise Guide

What’s your cruising style?

Ultra-luxury cruises

Unlimited champagne and caviar? Welcome to Seabourn Cruises!

The so-called “six-star cruises” include all wine, cocktails and other drinks in their rates.

Ships are typically small. The Seabourn Odyssey, for example, carries 462 passengers.

Or go French. Ponant is a lovely French line, where the French touch is uber-classy.

Then there’s Oceania Cruises. It’s known as one of the best cruise lines for great food.

River cruises

Scenic (an Australian-based company) offers some of the world’s best river cruises.

Want to discover the historic riches of Normandy on a Seine River cruise? The scenes are a kaleidoscope of castles, gardens, artist studios and museums – all explored from a Scenic “space ship” with cool sun-room balconies.

If you’re itching to go bicycling on a river cruise, check out these great cycling cruises.

Sailing cruises

Feel the wind in your hair when you sail (yes, really sail!) the Caribbean with Star Clippers. The unspoiled islands are a treat too. (Hello Iles des Saintes!)

Cruise Guide

And have you considered a chartering a yacht? Private yacht charters aren’t just for the rich and famous anymore.

Adventure cruises

Explore hidden Hawaii on this UnCruise Hawaii adventure.

Family cruises

Hawaii is very kid-friendly. So family cruises in Hawaii are ideal for a family cruising vacation.

One-of-a-kind cruises

Beaches, scuba diving and, oh my, Komodo dragons!

You’re sailing Indonesia on a luxurious 10-guest phinisi.

Alila Purnama

Or you could cruise Fiji on a small barefoot-and-bikini yacht. Maybe try kava, Fiji’s potent traditional beverage?

The Yasawa Islands are totally idyllic.

And there’s nothing like an African river safari on the Zambezi Queen. This boutique houseboat gets you up-close-and-personal with elephants galore.

Zambezi Queen river safari

Practical cruise tips

Check out these nifty tips to spice up your cruise. Like… Take your folding bicycle!

You want the deluxe perks associated with small ship cruising (a suite, fine dining, lovely wines). But also big ship amenities (a range of specialty restaurants, great musical theater shows).

Say hello to the ship-within-a-ship concept – or VIP cruising on a big ship.

Cruise gratuities

How much should you tip on a cruise? Here’s the scoop on cruise gratuities for 20 popular cruise lines.

Cruise drinks packages

Are any of the Holland America drinks packages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) worth getting?

Here’s everything you want to know about the bar menu on Viking Cruises.

What’s the cost of drinks on Star Clippers? And what’s on the bar menu?

Cool ports-of-call


Antarctica is one of the coolest cruise ports!

It doesn’t get any cooler than cruising to Antarctica! The icebergs in Antarctica are bigger than buses (some are even bigger than fallen skyscrapers).

And there are many cute and playful types of Antarctic penguins. (We particularly loved taking photos of the adorable Adelies.)


Is it crazy to spend one day in Berlin? Or not…

Old San Juan

Colorful Old San Juan is one of the best cruise ports.

Check out the top things to do in colorful Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Rent a bike and go bicycling around Stanley Park.


Dock in Philipsburg, and you can spend the day airplane spotting at Maho Beach, racing an America’s Cup sailboat or hanging out at Orient Beach.

Come to think of it, there are oodles of fun things to do in St. Maarten and St. Martin!

More information

Check out the best new cruise ships.

Also see all our cruise posts.

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.

Pssst! If you make a booking or purchase through our site, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!

Love cruising? Save and share on Pinterest!

Cruise Guide

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!