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How to suggest a new forum category? Let's add Cruising

It might be located somewhere on the website, but I couldn't find it.
Does anyone know how to suggest a new Forum category to Rick?
He writes the books, but doesn't offer a Cruising forum. It could be of interest to some.

Posted by
3492 posts

There is a forum called Cruise Critic (among others) that pretty well covers the waterfront (no pun intended) with regard to cruising. But to answer your specitic question, perhaps an email to the webmaster would do the trick.

Posted by
3789 posts

Thanks for the prompt responses.
I am personally well used to Cruise Critic, but as the topic also comes up here at times, I thought there would be no harm in asking.
Webmaster could at least forward on for consideration.
Thankd again.

Posted by
897 posts

I think this is a great idea. I hate the CC layout on their boards and having a cruise forum in the RS site would allow for the intersection of RickNicks and cruising fans (yes, we exist!).

Posted by
2317 posts

I know I would enjoy a "Cruising" category. I say that I won't do an ocean cruise to European ports (already decided against river cruises), but I still keep looking at the brochures and catalogs, which I am starting to receive again - I take that as a good sign.

Posted by
6752 posts

I was very surprised when Rick published a European cruise guide as it seemed to go against his Europe Through the Back Door philosophy.

Posted by
3789 posts

Suki, have you perhaps had a look at his cruise guide? He does cover ways to get away from the cruise crowds to do your own thing. The book's flavour isn't much different that the current editions of his land guide books. You may have noticed in them that his lodgings are more comfortable and expensive than his earlier books and he has adapted to his following and himself getting older...which may be embracing the cruise concept. The cruise guides also help for pre and post cruise port activities lodgings and how to get to port, etc. Consider it a 'lite' version of his city guides.
I rarely take ship port tours, so his book will come in handy with the walking maps, how to get around St. Petersburg on my own, and what to do outside Copenhagen when I have a 4 day stop over there before cruise. I keep my independent travel mode in any port. For me cruising is an easy logistical mode of travel so I don't have to pack and repack every day or two at a time I am fatigued. Or it gives me a taste of the world where I might not want to spend copious amounts of time as a solo woman.
I know better than to try and convert anyone but I prefer his approach to port visits more than Fodor or Frommer and they are about the only others that publish cruise guides.
To each their own.

Posted by
1259 posts

I totally agree with the OP. I'm active on Cruise Critic and get great advice there on the ships and the cruise experience, but the advice on port days can be less useful.

Posted by
687 posts

Hi all. Maria and I checked in with each other. I wanted to say that this is a section of the forum that we'd like to open when we can know it will be an active and successful space. There are many other considerations that I won't bore you with. :) For now, opening such a section in the midst of a pandemic isn't the right timing.

And you are all welcome to offer suggestions for new sections at the Contact link above or via PM ( <--- ). Or maybe in this thread.

Posted by
2713 posts

MariaF, thanks for the great suggestion that someday we have a way to discuss cruises here on the Forum--specifically the ones in Rick's guidebooks below!

I began thinking more about cruising after watching Rick's cruise ship program,
and recently purchased two of Rick's cruise port books.

Both of these books are excellent, and really sparked my imagination while staying home for the last several months!

I do not participate on Cruise Critic, but I do read much of what is posted over there.
I would enjoy discussing cruising and Rick's two books with people here on the Forum.

Posted by
3789 posts

As the originator, I have expanded the title for those interested. Seems there is more than one person out there who would be interested.
Thanks for your endorsements.

Posted by
26047 posts

That sounds interesting to me. I haven't cruised yet, but my parents did. As a child I was across the Atlantic between New York (and once Montreal) and Southampton almost every year on the big Liners, usually but not always Cunard.

When the company thinks it is a good time to open such a Forum I think it would attract a lot of the many cruise posts which get scattered around the other ones. A lot of them are covid related at the moment but when - eventually - we begin to approach normality and get back to travel, I'm sure that plenty of discussion will ensue about the ports and ships.....

Good luck, MariaF

Posted by
1912 posts

Count me in as interested. I agree with those who have commented that Cruise Critic is not a great website and this site would be a great improvement.

Posted by
6065 posts

MariaF, are you thinking specifically cruising in Europe? I would assume so, and I think that would b e interesting. Thanks Webmaster for providing a response.

Posted by
3789 posts

Stan, yes, that makes sense to keep it to Europe as that is Rick's realm; but I guess it depends on what people want it to be.
I realized this morning that this was in the 'Beyond Europe' forum, and most likely should be in 'General Europe', but it morphed from a simple technical question to one of 'discussion' and I am not sure if I can now move forums...just title edits.
That being said, as people have mentioned, Cruise Critic has limitations. Often it suffers in the Ports section and very much limited for areas outside the US/Caribbean ports. Thankfully, there is the occasional local willing to monitor their port area and give good advise for the DIY traveler, whilst others are stagnant. So there could be benefits for those more intrepid ones on far flung cruises that could use some help too. There are also those repositioning cruises that may have Europe as part of the package, and then include South America or Middle East/Africa. Those cruisers may want more expanded help.
Rebecca and I had a similar thought and mentioned it in a PM. It isn't mine to dictate....I just got it out into the public :-)

Posted by
203 posts

I think it would be great to have a "Cruising Europe" forum category. I know that for some of the less popular European ports that were on my Oct. 2019 Amsterdam to Rome cruise, it would have been really nice to have some more information regarding the ports and independent sightseeing options.

Posted by
2713 posts

Yes, I was thinking of European cruises, mainly, to be discussed.

Simply because a Rick Steves tour pairs nicely with a European cruise.
For example,
Rick's Best of Scandinavia In 14 Days tour begins in Stockholm and ends in Bergen, Norway.
Several cruises begin in Bergen and go up the coast of Norway.
They return to Bergen, where a traveler can get a ferryboat to Harwich, England, and other English ports.

For some who like long trips, they could then do one of Rick's England tours.

Another connection with a Rick Steves tour might be to
take any of the RS Italy tours, then board a ship for a Mediterranean cruise.
There's a Cunard ship that leaves Rome, travels to Barcelona, then Transatlantic to Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
A super way to get back home from a Rick Steves tour.

I think it would be great fun to combine a Rick Steves tour with a cruise.

Posted by
1610 posts

Maria, thanks for bringing this up! As you and others have mentioned, Cruise Critic has little relative to the actual ports as opposed to the ship, the rooms, food, etc. A couple we travel with prefer river cruises, but it’s hard to research port details ahead of time. I did actually find some info on TripAdvisor, but the kind of traveler that uses this forum seem to be more independent and willing to strike out on their own - with relevant info. One erroneous idea is that you step off the boat/ ship right into the center of things. The reality is frequently different and it helps to know how to get into town if you’re not in walking distance. Anyway, thanks.

Posted by
4775 posts

A couple of years ago we took a Baltic cruise with the help of Rick's book on northern European cruise ports. The info in that book was head and shoulders above anything on Cruise Critic. He includes advice about which ports lend themselves to self=touring and which are better experienced with a guided tour (whether provided through the ship or independently), how to get from where the ship docks to where the main sights are, and much more. There's relatively little about the onboard experience, which is fine because that's what Cruise Critic does better. As Rick and his fans age, cruising becomes a more relevant option.

I'll join those who would like to see a "Cruising" forum, not necessarily limited to Europe. And I'll plant the idea of maybe another book about transatlantic cruises. We've done this twice, in both directions, even though we live on the west coast. It only works in spring or fall, and only for those with enough time. Unlike the big liner trips Nigel (and I, once) took, these stop at ports along the way, and the kind of info Rick's other cruise port guides provide would be helpful.

Posted by
4941 posts

Dick is correct about transatlantic cruises, they are great.
First, if you plan to visit Europe prior to the cruise, you save on airfare by taking the TA home.
Second, TA cruises tend to be cheaper than other cruises.
Third, TA cruises usually include some ports. We have a TA from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale in Oct and it visits five ports on its way to Florida.

I don't know about the book referenced, but I have been on for almost 11 years. If you join, you can post questions such as hotels in Barcelona or tours for Venice. Also, others post reviews of their prior cruises which if you are taking that cruise, you can get great tips on what to see and do or great tours.

Here are all my reviews if anyone is interested:
Alaska, Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies
Japan and a little bit of China
Singapore to Dubai
South America
Black Sea and E. Med
British Isles
W. Med  NCL Epic
AMA Rhone River
Southern Caribbean
Spain, Canary Islands and Morocco
E. Med and Adriatic, NCL Gem
Russia, Kiev and Baltics
North Sea/Atl and Transatlantic
 Portugal, the Douro River and a bit of Spain

28 days in Britain and Celebrity Eclipse home

Melbourne, New Zealand and Explorer of the Seas TransPacific cruise

New England and Eastern Canada
Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Celebrity Eclipse home

Stockholm and Norway Aritic Circle

Posted by
1912 posts

Geovagriffith, I read a few of your reviews that were similar to some of the cruises I've taken. I always enjoy reading about the same trip through another's eyes. We did the Norweigian Epic in the Mediterranean, but started in Rome instead of Barcelona. In case you're interested, here is my Trip Report. By the way, when I wrote this one I was nervous about posting on the RS site because of some of the negative reactions cruising comments could get. Happily, it went over well and based on the positive comments so far on this post (i.e. not one floating petri dish comment yet), here's hoping a cruising category gets added.

I was also going to post a link to my review of my Norwegian Dawn cruise from Quebec City to Boston (opposite of yours) but trying to search for it on cruise critic reminded me why I rarely go to that site anymore. This forum would do a much better job.

Posted by
4941 posts

Thank for your link. Our Epic cruise was great since we had other family members with us. However, we had been to many of the ports.
The Epic is our least favorite NCL ship. Also, we prefer Celebrity, but shop around and base our cruise selection on itinerary and price. NCL has gone to all inclusive with has jacked up the fares. Unfortunately, Celebrity has just started doing that. I see that Royal C. and Princess have not done that yet.

Posted by
1912 posts


The last cruise we were on was in 2017 with NCL and we took part in an info session that discussed new ships and apparently there was so much negative reaction to the design of the Epic that they've gone away from that model. Unlike you and apparently everyone else, that was our favourite. We loved the design of our balcony suite, but I understand why you and many others didn't. We also loved the openess of the public areas from front to back of the ship. We don't have a cruise wish list right now, but if a great deal would come up, we'd likely jump on it. We keep on eyeing Celebrity, but like you, it all comes down to itinerary and not the ship's features.

Posted by
169 posts

Would love to see a new category - hope it would focus mostly on things to see and do around/in ports. Short day- trips, smaller museums, fun food finds. One can find info on C.C. and each cruise line's web about ships and their amenities.

We love to use TA's (and Trans Pacifics) to travel to or from the "other" side of the ponds. It's our vacation from the vacation.

Posted by
843 posts

Another active Cruise Critic member casting my vote for a cruise forum here. I read the webmaster comment about not an appropriate time to start a new forum during a pandemic. Sort of made me laugh....why keep the current forums open during a pandemic when we can't travel at all?

Posted by
3789 posts

@donna, I see your point, but I expect it is many of the same long timers keeping life in the current forums rather than a lot of new posts or posters. but given the discussions here, maybe regulars will be enough?
There have been more supporters here since his comment, so maybe he's also tracking this post for interest.

Posted by
2713 posts

Wow, thanks George, for your trip reports!
I am enjoying reading them.
Thanks Allan for your trip report also!
Looking forward to reading it.

Posted by
1259 posts

Maybe it could have a sticky at the top banning the phrase "floating Petri dish"?

Posted by
12 posts

Hello All,

Let me say that I am not a cruisier, but very intrigued by them and 'Oh the places they go'. (I'm looking at you Antarctica!). As so many here are accomplished in many methods of travel, and to many locations around the world, I would feel 'safer' getting real advice from the nice people on this forum.

As to the reason given about it not being a good time.... I've got nothing BUT, Time!! I am finding this to be an excellent time to plan for when we can all travel again, in what ever form that takes.

So count me in on a Cruise Section.


Posted by
1912 posts

Thought this topic by Maria was worth getting back to the top. Maybe the RS team is running out of things to do....

Posted by
3789 posts

Yet again, Allan, great minds think alike....well, yours and mine, at least. Your post about Seattle cruises had me thinking again about the need for this category. Maybe if we bump it often enough they will make the category to get us to stop nagging/hinting 🙂

Posted by
348 posts

I would be interested in this category, but I would want it to include destinations beyond Europe, as beyond Europe is where I would be most likely to feel more comfortable on a cruise.

Posted by
26047 posts

Do you think the webmaster will have changed his mind in the ensuing 6 months? I remember him saying to me fairly recently how busy they all were trying to deal with the newly opened tours...