Adventures Ashore: Istanbul, Plus Norwegian Escape's Debut, Azamara's Makeovers & Cruising Norway's Fjords

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First, there is the traffic. The streets and highways are clogged, at all times of day. Getting between the airport and the cruise ship — or between the cruise ship and the major attractions — takes a vigilant, patient driver, and that’s best left in the hands of someone else, especially when there is so much to see that you would be craning your neck if you were in the driver’s seat.

Not that you’d be renting a car here, would you? If you did, you would have to deal with parking. I’m not sure how our driver managed to park during the three days we were touring Istanbul, but somehow he did, rarely, however, in places that were designated for parking. Better to leave the driving to someone else. That's what we did on our shore excursions in Istanbul. Check out our new video featuring the best of a vibrant city that joins two continents.

Check out our new video featuring the best of a vibrant city that joins two continents.

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Norwegian Escape Makes Its Debut

On October 22, 2015, Norwegian Cruise Line officially took delivery of its newest and largest ship to-date: the 164,600 gt Norwegian Escape. Built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, Norwegian Escape is the first ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s new “Breakaway Plus” class of ships. Larger derivatives of 2013’s Norwegian Breakaway and her sister Norwegian Getaway, Breakaway Plus …

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Cruising The Fjords of Norway

Now is the time to plan a Norwegian Fjords cruise for 2016, as they do fill up rapidly, this being one of Europe's most popular cruise destinations. The weather is cool, the scenery fascinating and there is a serenity that makes the Norwegian fjords a true nature lover's experience. Norway is one of the world’s most beautiful countries. Its deeply …

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Azamara Quest

The launch of Azamara Club Cruises back in 2007 came almost as a complete surprise. Originally intended to be part of the Celebrity Cruises fleet, the two ships that would come to form the backbone of the Azamara fleet were suddenly repainted and rebranded. Two former R-Class ships built for Renaissance Cruises, the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest would change …

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Six Tips To Extract More Joy From Your Cruise

In this free special report, I’ve put together a half dozen actionable items that can make the difference between cruise vacations that are memorable and others that fail to measure up to all you had hoped they would be. I’ve cruised on hundreds of ships, as a solo traveler and with family and friends.  — Ralph Grizzle, The Avid Cruiser

Click to download the report.

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Complete this thought: My best packing tip for cruises is ... click here to answer.

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