Live Voyage Reports | Mainstream Cruises

Princess Cruises' Crown Princess departs Ketchikan, Alaska on a moody afternoon. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess departs Ketchikan, Alaska on a moody afternoon. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Live Voyage Reports allows you to experience big-ship mainstream cruises through the words and photos (and videos) of two avid cruisers, who also just happen to be professional journalists and photographers, while we are on our cruises.

This allows you to cruise with us, virtually, and to engage with us during our cruises. If you have questions about our expedition cruises, all you have to do is ask. It is a lot easier for us to answer those questions while we are on board than it is to answer them once we are back at our shoreside desks.

Be sure to check our calendar current and upcoming cruises. We may not have voyages scheduled at the moment, but we’re always scheduling, so be sure to check back. An easier way to stay informed of our upcoming big-ship mainstream cruises is to subscribe to the Avid Cruiser newsletter. We’ll publish our voyages ahead of time in the newsletter.

On this page, you’ll find an archive of our past cruises. These posts are useful for planning your trips or simply enjoy them as armchair reading. We hope you enjoy our Live Voyage Reports featuring mainstream cruises from Alaska, the Caribbean and beyond.

What Are Big Ship Or Mainstream Cruises?

Big-ship cruises take place on, surprise, big ships. We also refer to them as “mainstream cruises,” because these are the cruises that the majority of cruisers experience. It stands to reason. Big ships have more capacity than all of the other categories of ships combined. A single Royal Caribbean ship, for example, can carry more than four times the guest capacity of Seabourn’s entire fleet.

Learn more about what big ships can offer by reading our Live Voyage Reports on the major big ship operators.

Noordam: Mediterranean Explorer

The Noordam docked alongside Palermo's ever-present horse carriages. If you can make it to the end of the pier without being approached by six different operators, you're a miracle worker. © 2014 Gail Jessen
The Noordam docked alongside Palermo’s ever-present horse carriages. If you can make it to the end of the pier without being approached by six different operators, you’re a miracle worker. © 2014 Gail Jessen

Join Gail Jessen as she experiences both the Mediterranean and the long seafaring tradition of Holland America Line aboard one of its most popular ships, the graceful and elegant Noordam. Click here to read the full Voyage Report.

Quantum of the Seas: New York Maiden Voyage

Explore Royal Caribbean's massive new Quantum of the Seas with us. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Explore Royal Caribbean’s massive new Quantum of the Seas with us. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Exploring Royal Caribbean’s most innovative ship to-date is Aaron Saunders task-at-hand as he embarks in New York for a two-night preview cruise from the Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey.  Click here to read the full Voyage Report.

Star Princess: Alaska CruiseTour Anchorage – Vancouver

Heading back to re-board the Star Princess at Skagway's Ore Dock before we...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Heading back to re-board the Star Princess at Skagway’s Ore Dock before we…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska for nearly the full history of the line, and in that time, the company has learned a thing or two about this spectacular region of the world. Join Aaron Saunders as he travels on Princess Cruises Connoisseur Alaska CruiseTour from Anchorage to Vancouver by land and by sea aboard Star Princess. Click here for the full two-week Voyage Report.

Carnival Breeze:  Southern Caribbean

Carnival Breeze docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Carnival Breeze docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Click here to read our full eight-day voyage report from onboard Carnival Breeze in the Caribbean, as she sails to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami, Florida.

Carnival Freedom: Western Caribbean

Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom docked in Cozumel, Mexico in the Western Caribbean. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom docked in Cozumel, Mexico in the Western Caribbean. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Follow Aaron Saunders as he sails Carnival Freedom on her inagural cruise to the Western Caribbean from Galveston, Texas. Click here to read our full Fun Ship Live Voyage Report.

Carnival Miracle: Classic Mexican Riviera

The sleek Carnival Miracle, at anchor off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on June 1, 2015. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
The sleek Carnival Miracle, at anchor off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on June 1, 2015. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The Classic Mexican Riviera is back, and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Miracle is leading the way. Join Aaron Saunders as he sails from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Click here to read the full Live Voyage Report.

Louis Cristal: Circumnavigating Cuba

Cuba Cruise's Louis Cristal (now Celestyal Crystal) off the Isle of Youth, Cuba. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Cuba Cruise’s Louis Cristal (now Celestyal Crystal) off the Isle of Youth, Cuba. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Louis Cristal (now Celestyal Crystal) takes Aaron Saunders on a full circumnavigation of Cuba, visiting Montego Bay, Jamaica and the Cuban ports of Cienfuegos, Isle of Youth, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, and of course, the capital of Havana. Read the full Live Voyage Report here.

MSC Divina: Eastern Caribbean

MSC Divina in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
MSC Divina in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

She’s big, bold and Italian – and Aaron Saunders sails aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina on an Eastern Caribbean voyage to remember. Curious about MSC’s cruise offerings in the United States? This is your chance to see what MSC is all about – and the dramatic changes they’ve made to their product in North America. Click here to read the full Voyage Report.

Big Ship Reviews

Carnival Cruise Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Ship ReviewLive Voyage Report
Carnival Breeze Review• 8-Night Eastern Caribbean
• Inagural Season First Impressions
Carnival Conquest Review
Carnival Dream Review
Carnival Ecstasy Review
Carnival Elation Review
Carnival Fantasy Review
Carnival Fascination Review
Carnival Freedom Review• Western Caribbean from Galveston
Carnival Glory Review
Carnival Imagination Review
Carnival Inspiration Review
Carnival Legend Review
Carnival Liberty Review
Carnival Magic Review
Carnival Miracle ReviewCarnival Miracle: Classic Mexican Riviera
Carnival Paradise Review
Carnival Pride Review
Carnival Sensation Review
Carnival Spirit Review
Carnival Splendor Review
Carnival Sunshine Review
Carnival Triumph Review
Carnival Valor Review
Carnival Victory Review
Carnival Vista Review

Norwegian Cruise Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Ship ReviewLive Voyage Report
Norwegian Breakaway Review• Christening Ceremonies in New York
Norwegian Dawn Review
Norwegian Epic Review• Eastern Caribbean from Miami
Norwegian Escape Review
Norwegian Gem Review
Norwegian Getaway Review
Norwegian Jade Review
Norwegian Jewel Review
Norwegian Pearl Review• Alaska & Glacier Bay from Seattle
Norwegian Sky Review
Norwegian Spirit Review
Norwegian Star Review
Norwegian Sun Review
Pride of America Review

Princess Cruises Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Ship ReviewLive Voyage Report
Caribbean Princess Review
Coral Princess Review• Southbound Alaska - Whittier to Vancouver
Crown Princess Review
Dawn Princess Review
Diamond Princess Review
Emerald Princess Review
Golden Princess Review
Grand Princess Review
Island Princess Review
Majestic Princess
Ocean Princess Review
Pacific Princess Review
Regal Princess Review
Royal Princess Review
Ruby Princess Review
Sapphire Princess Review
Sea Princess Review
Star Princess Review• Alaska from San Francisco
• Alaska CruiseTour Anchorage – Vancouver
Sun Princess Review

Royal Caribbean Cruise Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Ship ReviewLive Voyage Report
Adventure of the Seas Review
Anthem of the Seas Preview
Allure of the Seas Review• A Day on the Boardwalk With Kids
Brilliance of the Seas Review
Empress of the Seas
Enchantment of the Seas Review
Explorer of the Seas Review
Freedom of the Seas Review
Harmony of the Seas
Grandeur of the Seas Review
Independence of the Seas
Jewel of the Seas Review
Legend of the Seas Review
Liberty of the Seas Review
Majesty of the Seas Review
Mariner of the Seas Review
Navigator of the Seas Review
Oasis of the Seas Review
Quantum of the Seas Review• New York Inaugural Preview Cruise
Radiance of the Seas Review• Royal Advantage Makeover in Esquimalt, BC
Rhapsody of the Seas Review
Serenade of the Seas Review
Splendour of the Seas Review
Vision of the Seas Review
Voyager of the Seas Review

MSC Cruises Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Ship ReviewLive Voyage Report
MSC Armonia
MSC Divina Review• Eastern Caribbean from Miami
MSC Fanstasia
MSC Lirica
MSC Magnifica
MSC Meraviglia
MSC Musica
MSC Opera
MSC Orchestra
MSC Poesia
MSC Preziosa
MSC Seaside
MSC Seaview
MSC Sinfonia
MSC Splendida