One of the first things you'll notice when cruising is that cruise ships have a VERY loud horn that while it could be used like your car's horn - actually has a more sophisticated use. While you might just blast your car's horn at a driver that cuts you off, or tap it to let someone know they can go, cruise ships have an internationally recognized set of horn signals that lets everyone around them know exactly what's going on.

When thinking about taking a perfect romantic cruise, most folks think about the Caribbean, Hawaii, or maybe even the Mediterranean but we love cruising on the west coast! That’s why we’ve decided to put together our picks for the top five most romantic cruise ports in California, Mexican Riviera, and British Columbia. Sorry, Alaska and Hawaii … I’m not counting you guys this time.

Crystal Symphony spent some time sailing out of San Diego this winter and we were fortunate to be invited to visit her for a tour. While Symphony may not be the newest, biggest, or fanciest ship in terms of amenities - she is certainly one of the grandest. As a small ship experience that focuses more on the voyage, rather than the ship as a destination, it was impressive to see that it still had all the things that you ultimately need on a cruise. 

There are a lot of topics related to efforts that the cruise industry is making to "go green" and while some such as banning straws and single-use plastics are easy ... the fuel that runs these giant ships is not so clear. While there are currently no LNG or hybrid-powered ships planned for service on the west coast currently, we are home to four environmentally sensitive areas that are playing a global leadership role with reducing greenhouse gas emissions on cruise ships. This includes Alaska, Hawaii, California, and British Columbia who led the way by mandating the use of scrubbers and are now progressing to improve on that as well.

The norovirus infection is sometimes spread on cruise ships, but thankfully, it occurs infrequently. The symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or cramps, muscle pain, malaise and a low-grade fever. Symptoms usually begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure, and the symptoms may last one to three days. There are some tips you can use to try to prevent getting the infection.