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The Kuki Side of Cruising

Who is this man of moose-tery who has been with the Mates of Cruise since the beginning of time? Does his real name matter? Not to us, he has always been Kuki - it rhymes with "pookie". (If you must know more, visit his profile).

Will you know him instantly whence you finally meet? Only if he is spotted in his native habitat, the cruise ship blackjack tables or sitting by the pool in a tanktop. But be forewarned, as he just might be in disguise, working as your waiter, your blackjack dealer, or even your butler!


* KUKI *
CruiseMates Cruise Director

Go to Kuki's Blog Right now, or read the archives below:

Special! Interview with Bob Dickinson
by Kuki Blitt
Kuki spied the elusive former Carnival president sailing on the Breeze and managed to get an interview
07-03-12



Kuki's Virtual Cruise Reports

blue dot Carnival Breeze - June 2012   Go>
blue dot Crystal Symphony - May 2011   Go>
blue dot Sapphire Princess Cruise -- Feb. 2011   Go>
blue dot Silversea Luxury Cruise -- Feb. 2009   Go>
blue dot Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise -- Jan. 2009  Go>
blue dot Norwegian Jade Cruise -- Spring 2008  Go>
blue dot Carnival Freedom Transatlantic -- Spring 2008  Go>


Latest Kukiside Articles

Kuki's Blog Update!
Cruise Brand Loyalists
It is almost comical how far some cruisers will go to prove their choice in cruise lines is the best.
6-4-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Carnival � Floundering Or Rebounding
My own perspective is Carnival offers excellent value for the dollars spent on a cruise ticket.
5-28-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Memories Of Golf Legend Ken Venturi
Ken truly enjoyed sharing all of his golf and life stories as a lecturer on Crystal ships.
5-21-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Who's A Cruise Expert?
It amazes me how so many people can tell you exactly how many cruises they�ve been on.
5-14-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Everyone Should Pay Their Fair Share
One of quickest means to ruining a good relationship can be disagreements over money.
5-7-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
How's The Weather In�In�?
Cruise anticipation is a very unique feeling. It�s unusual because while �it�s only� a vacation, its affects are physical as well as psychological.
4-30-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
The 4 Big Mistakes To Avoid
�Ship happens�, but there are a few simple things you can do to avoid the most common blunders.
4-23-13

Kuki - CruiseMates Blogger Kuki's Blog Update!
One Size Does Not Fit All
It's surprising how many will book a cruise based almost entirely on a little amount of information.
4-16-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
You Shouldn't Cruise
You have to be kidding me! was my reaction this past week when I was told this cruise advice.
4-9-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Surprises That Await You
For first time cruisers there are many things which are going to surprise you.
4-2-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Why River Cruising Is Gaining
River cruising is "THE hot thing" in cruising right now, and I don't expect that trend to be short lived
3-26-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Repositioning Season To Begin
the time when some of the best per Diem rates of the year appear
3-19-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Cruise Ships Attract Whales
You don't have to be sailing on a ship off of the coast of Maui to see whales.
3-12-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Cabin Categories Can Confuse
That cabin choice will have a lot to do with your enjoyment of your cruise.
3-5-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
Travel Agents and Cruise Lines
there is NO charge to the consumer to use the services of a travel agent when booking a cruise.
2-19-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
ABC's "Troubled Waters" = Troubled Reporting
The media "sharks" began to circle the "details" of the "poop cruise" incident.
2-19-13

Kuki's Blog Update!
How Cruising Has Changed For Me
At age 63, and some 60 plus cruises behind me, I'll reflect on the incredible amount of changes in the way I cruise.
2-13-13

Kuki Blog Update!
Norovirus; The Real Story
There were over 20 MILLION cases of Norovirus reported in the United States last year and just about the same number of cruises were taken worldwide. Go>
1-15-12

Kuki Blog Update!
You're Important To Us
That phrase � You're Important To Us � is a common motto of many businesses; but in cruising it's a required ingredient.Go>
1-8-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Avoid These Cruise Mistakes
Though I am not a Christian ( some say I am not even human), and I do celebrate the spirit of the holiday season. Go>
1-1-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Christmas and New Year's Wishes
Though I am not a Christian ( some say I am not even human), and I do celebrate the spirit of the holiday season. Go>
12-25-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Did You Ever Wonder...?
Cruise ships are wondrous things. Contemplating them I began to wonder, if like me, there are things about them that make you wonder. Go>
12-19-12

Kuki Blog Update!
First Timers Should Avoid Short Cruises
I know it is very tempting to consider the shorter 4 or 5 day cruises, but...Go>
12-12-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Istanbul � My Favorite Port City
To be frank, prior to my first visit to Istanbul it wasn't high on my list of cities to visit. Go>
12-04-12

Kuki Blog Update!
How To Choose A Caribbean Cruise
While price is certainly and understandable criteria for making your choice, I'd like to try and put it in perspective with some discussion of other criteria. Go>
11-27-12

Kuki Blog Update!
How Cruise Packing Has Changed
Relaxing dress codes, weight restrictions and fees by the airlines and self disembarkation have significantly reduced the amount of cruise luggage. Go>
11-20-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Things You Really Should Buy On A Cruise
My suggestions for things everyone should buy to make for a better cruise experience.Go>
11-13-12

Kuki Blog Update!
What You're Likely To Notice On Board
The first thing you're likely to notice is there are many people uglier than you, and I think I'm pretty darn uglyGo>
11-06-12

Kuki Blog Update!
How To Book A Cruise
The most important thing to know is that there is much more to do than simply booking the cruise.Go>
10-30-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruising Is Not For Everyone
From a cruise enthusiast, it's only fair to be honest with people who may be considering a cruise.Go>
10-23-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Being Shrewd On Your Cruise
We all set out to enjoy, explore, seek adventure, and relax on a cruise. Yet, none of that means we should put our brains on remote.Go>
10-16-12

Kuki Blog Update!
The Upgrade Fairy Has Transferred To Sales
One of the very common threads on all cruise related message boards used to be talk about the affectionately termed "upgrade fairy". Go>
10-09-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Who You Are Cruising With
Honestly, there is no way to specifically identify the demographic of every cruise line, on every itinerary, though I do think it's a question cruisers wonder about before they cruise.Go>
10-02-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Big Ticket Shopping In The Caribbean
Duty Free!! We see those words and it's like our minds shout BARGAIN! BARGAIN! BARGAIN!Go>
09-04-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Carnival: "Get Totally Wasted" Drink Package
Carnival recently announced they were testing an inclusive beverage package on the Carnival Victory.Go>
08-28-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Choice - The Driving Force of Today's Cruise Industry
Choices have always been a part of the industry, with lots of ships, itineraries and price levels to choose from.Go>
08-21-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Tips For Enjoying Transatlantic Bargains
From mid-October through to late November the cruise lines will be repositioning many of their shipsGo>
08-14-12

Kuki Blog Update!
First Trip To Europe - Do It On A Cruise
A cruise is an excellent way to visit Europe, particularly for those visiting that region for the first time. Go>
07-31-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruise Insurance
People get sick on land, and people get sick on cruise ships. People get sick on land, and recover, and people get sick on cruise ships, and recover.. Go>
07-24-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Calling From The Sea Creates Hefty Fees
It's long been my theory that outstanding service makes the food taste better. Go>
07-17-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Great Service Makes The Food Taste Better
It's long been my theory that outstanding service makes the food taste better. Go>
07-10-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Is It All About The Food?
Next to emotions, our taste buds may be one of our most personal tools for judging our levels of satisfaction. Go>
07-03-12

Kuki Blog Update!
This Blog Is A Breeze
On board the Carnival Breeze in Barcelona, Spain, about to begin a 12 day cruise through the western Mediterranean Go>
06-19-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruising's Gonna Be A Breeze
Carnival Breeze. As far as I'm concerned that is one of the best names ever for a ship in today's cruise industry. I hear the name Carnival ... Go>
06-13-12

Kuki Blog Update!
What You Need To Know About Cruising In Hurricane Season
Hurricane season is upon us. Hurricane season "officially" began June 1, and runs through November. This year's hurricane season activity is predicted to be below "normal" or "average", but of course ... Go>
06-06-12

Kuki Blog Update!
What We Can Do To Help The Cruise Lines
This week an article by Associate Press talked about how the airlines are considering charging additional fees if family members flying together want to insure they ... Go>
05-30-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Great Occasions To Celebrate On A Cruise
Thankfully during the course of our lives we have many life events we celebrate. The celebration of many of those life events are easily arranged and ... Go>
05-23-12

Kuki Blog Update!
It's Getting Easier To Cruise Without Clothes
To those who haven't been watching, there's been a sea change in suggested dress codes, and what is considered acceptable attire, on board an ever expanding list ... Go>
05-16-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Stuff You Should Know Before You Go
Ever since travel by cruise ship evolved into "cruising", as we know it today, there have been hundreds of thousands of words written, as helpful information, ... Go>
05-09-12

Kuki Blog Update!
There's Still Great Value in Cruising
In these still tough economic times there's few people who don't look to get excellent value for each and every dollar they spend. And this holds ... Go>
05-02-12

Kuki Blog Update!
5 Ports That Demand a Pre-Cruise Stay
While I always prefer to head to my port of embarkation a night prior to sailing, there are some are some ports of embarkation/disembarkation where more than ... Go>
04-25-12

Kuki Blog Update!
What's Wrong With Flying
Flying PHX (Phoenix Sky Harbor) to YYC (Calgary International) direct non-stop; flying time 2:38 minutes. It sounds simple and easy enough, right? Admittedly, I am a pathetic ... Go>
04-18-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Imagination For Hire; Ship For Brains
A few weeks ago, here on my Blog, I was lobbying to become the first male Godfather of a ship (ignore the obvious fact in that ... Go>
04-11-12

Kuki Blog Update!
My Recommended Suggestions When Cruising With Kids
A very significant portion of the cruise industry these days view their target audience to be families. It's rather obvious if you look at their marketing, as ... Go>
04-04-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Royal Princess Mediterranean/Transatlantic Combo With CruiseMates
In 2013 Princess Cruise Line will debut it's newest cruise ship; Royal Princess. At 141,000 gross tons, and capable of carrying 3800 passengers, she will in fact be the 3rd ship to ... Go>
03-28-12

Kuki Blog Update!
A Sea-side Resort At Sea
At least in terms of "Caribbean cruising", the main stream contemporary cruise lines have always felt their #1 competition came from sea-side all inclusive land based resorts. The ... Go>
03-21-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Time To End Sexism In The Cruise Industry
You'll have to forgive the sensationalistic headline. I don't really believe that sexism is rampant throughout the cruise industry. But...I do think the value of the feminine ... Go>
03-14-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Things I Bet You Don't Know About Cruising
With literally hundreds of media outlets covering the cruise industry with almost microscopic coverage, there are very few secrets about the industry that are unexposed. However, in ... Go>
03-07-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruising Is Easier Than Ever
From step 1- choosing a cruise, to booking a cruise, to preparing for your cruise, to shipboard activities, to port of call tours, though it may seem complicated, cruising ... Go>
02-29-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Theme Cruises That Might Be Fun
Theme cruises have become a significant part of the cruise industry. There are all variety of music cruises; from rock and roll legends cruises, to smooth ... Go>
02-22-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruising is Intoxicating
While every type of business depends on repeat business, I believe there are few with such a loyal customer base as cruising. On virtually every ... Go>
02-15-12

Kuki Blog Update!
A Growing Trend In Caribbean Cruising?
Winter comes and cruisers minds turn to escaping to the warmth of the Caribbean. That statement has been true for many years, and continues to be ... Go>
02-08-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Should Cruise Pricing Be Transparent?
On Jan. 26, 2012, in the United States, it became law that in the interests of public transparency, airlines publish pricing which includes all taxes. This law allows the people searching ... Go>
02-01-12

Kuki Blog Update!
The Service Dilemma; Under-trained Staff & Under-trained Cruisers
Note: This blog post (below) was written prior to the Costa Corcordia tragedy, and originally intended to run last week. I held it back a week ... Go>
01-25-12

Kuki Blog Update!
The Cruise Cult
I originally wrote a blog on a different topic for today, but due to the tragic events involving the Costa Concordia this past week, I've chosen ... Go>
01-18-12

Kuki Blog Update!
The Very Best CruiseMates Group Cruise Yet
Over the years we've had quite a number of CruiseMates Group Cruises. They're all great fun because of the comraderie, and the fun events that the ... Go>
01-11-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Compromise Is Necessary To Cruise
People who have cruised previously are quite likely the #1 reason new people choose to cruise for the first time. Whether it's family members pushing you to join them ... Go>
01-04-12

Kuki Blog Update!
Recommended New Year's Resolutions
In a few days we'll all be saying goodbye to 2011 and in an evening full of revelry, nostalgia, and excitement, we'll be welcoming in the ... Go>
12-28-11

Kuki Blog Update!
What Your Cruise Is Really Going To Cost
When it comes to money matters, it's not cruise pricing that settles the equation of how much your cruise is going to cost you. One might have ... Go>
12-21-11


Kuki Blog Update!
OCCUPY Cruises - Bailouts for the 99%
Through my unscientific research, and very questionable systemic anaylsis, we learn that only the top 1% of the population has the means, or contacts necessary, to sail in ... Go>
12-14-11


Kuki Blog Update!
Rules - Which Are Enforced and Which Ignored

Beginning with new rules, established to come into practice in the new year, most of the major cruise lines, have severely restricted or banned smoking in ... Go>
12-07-11


Kuki Blog Update!
Why Cruising Is Best For a First Time Visitor To Europe
As we in North America are just coming into the winter season, one might not be thinking of a trip to Europe. However, if Europe is ... Go>
11-30-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Holiday Cruises – The Reasons To Go & The Reasons Not To Go
This week is Thanksgiving in the United States; the first major holiday of the season. In my view it's also the best U.S. holiday in that it's all about ... Go>
11-23-11

Kuki Blog Update!
The Changing Face of Cruise Ship Dining
During the last half decade the nature of cruise ship dining has changed. With the introduction of ship's offering a variety of alternate dining venues the ... Go>
11-16-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Things You Don't Want To Say On A Ship
Converstion is probably one of the most popular activities on a ship. Everyone is on vacation, and the atmosphere is always very social. But, there are ... Go>
11-09-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Smart Phone Shore Excursions
I recently received a press release (posted below) that describes a very innovative way for people to tour a city they are visiting in what I ... Go>
11-02-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruising's Multiple Personalities
To the uninitiated, with assistance from cruise line marketing campaigns and word of mouth from their friends and neighbors ... Go>
10-26-11

Kuki Blog Update!
When Cruise Memories Hurt
Three years ago next month, as I was enjoying my last sleep on a Norwegian Cruise Line's ship my in-cabin phone rang ... Go>
10-19-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Carnival 1 - Royal Caribbean 0
As millions of people spent the past weekend preparing and then dealing with Hurricane Irene up and down the east coast of the United States, the ... Go>
8-31-11

Kuki Blog Update!
First Time Cruiser Mistakes
You would be amazed by the crazy questions I get about cruising – from people who are already booked on a cruise! ... Go>
8-24-11

Kuki Blog Update!
How Cruise Ship Dining Has Changed
As early as a decade ago, when boarding a cruise ship, your choices for dining were early (main) seating in the dining room, or late seating ... Go>
8-17-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Things Cruise Experts Eventually Come To Realize
Those new to cruising, and even those with a few other cruises under their belts, often look to the Internet, searching through and sifting through cruise ... Go>
7-27-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Security Concerns Disappear When Passengers Are Willing to Pay A Fee?
Veteran, or even recent past cruisers, will remember when requests from guests for a tour of the ship's Bridge were met with a grimaced face reply ... Go>
8-3-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Thinking Of a Hawaii Island Cruise - Read This
Beginning in the mid 1970's through to 1983 I spent anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months spending my winter vacation time in the Hawaiian Islands... Go>
7-27-11

Kuki Blog Update!
A New CruiseMates Group Cruise – With An Unusual Itinerary For A Big Ship
One aspect of my job at CruiseMates that I really enjoy is choosing ships and itineraries for our CruiseMates Group Cruises. And when this particular ship and itinerary were brought to my attention I couldn't say yes to it fast enough... Go>
7-19-11

Kuki Blog Update!
One Simple Step Would Have Saved This Group $67,000
In this story (linked below), a group of 20 friends booked a group cruise to the Mediterranean, sailing from Barcelona, Spain. Go>
7-12-11

Kuki Blog Update!
An American Girl Chased Me To Europe
Years ago, when I was in college, I got dumped by an American girl. Until recently that was my only reference to the term. Go>
7-5-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Don't Smoke Em, If You Got Em
Last week, within days of each other, all the cruise lines under the Carnival Corporation umbrella announced new policies dramatically restricting where smoking will be allowed on their ships. These new policies are fairly similar... Go>
6-28-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Everything Used To Be Funny
We used to be funny. I can still remember the days when we had a pretty good sense of humor. We used to find humor in almost anything that happened, and could generally find a way to relate what it was we found funny about... Go>
6-21-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Are The Cruise Lines Using "The Politics of Fear" to Sell You Shore Excursions?
It wasn't so long ago that the cruise lines didn't have anything at all to do with selling passengers shore excursions. The sale of shore excursions to guests, and the "shopping talks"; recommending stores in ports of call were left... Go>
6-14-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Cellular @ Sea Can Be A Rip Off @ Sea
In the techno world we live in, where for some strange reason everyone thinks they have to be available and connected no matter where they are; along with the phenomena of people feeling they have to notify all the people... Go>
6-7-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Don't Allow Your Brain To Go On Vacation
Don't allow fear of what might happen to dictate your activities; to end your sense of adventure and exploration. Just do what you do with your brain turned on. Go>
6-1-11

Kuki Blog Update!
What is a Legitimate Complaint?
A few years back I was interviewing a Hotel Manager onboard a Royal Caribbean ship. He recalled the story of passenger complaint, when a passenger came to see him, after the ship had to skip a scheduled port... Go>
5-24-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Ken Venturi Speaks on Golf
Crystal Cruise's Special Interest Lecturer – Ken Venturi – is a world-famous golf expert we met on Crystal last month. Ken Venturi played his very first full 18 golf game at Harding Park Club, in San Francisco, at age 13... Go>
5-20-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Crystal Virgin – It Could Be A Cruise Symphony
Sunday, April 24 I board the Crystal Symphony in Los Angeles, California to soak up 14 days of Crystal luxury, while sailing to the Hawaiian Islands, and returning to California. I am a Crystal Virgin (which I happen to think would... Go>
4-19-11

Kuki Blog Update!
How To Contribute To The Success Of Your Cruise Vacation
Cruising is consistently given the highest satisfaction ratings of any vacation by consumer's post vacation evaluations. Even considering that fact there are those who voice complaints about particular aspects of their cruise experience... Go>
4-12-11

Kuki Blog Update!
First Cruise Basics – No Question Is Too Dumb
For many first time cruisers, after they've booked their first cruise they suffer more anxiety about their upcoming cruise, and worry more about what they don't know about what awaits them than when they were deciding which cruise to take... Go>
4-5-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruise Ship Crews – Overworked and Underpaid?
Anyone who has ever cruised knows the crew on ships work extremely hard. The crew on most cruise ships is comprised of a multinational group of people from countries all over the globe; mostly countries where the average annual income... Go>
3-29-11

Kuki Blog Update!
How To Achieve Great Value For The Cruise $$ You Spend
No doubt, like most everyone, every time you spend money you want to feel satisfied you got value for your money. There isn't much that can make us as irritated as feeling as though we've spent our hard earned money, and got... Go>
3-22-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Ship Spam – My Pet Peeve
When the use of email became commonplace, the emergence of unsolicited junk mail has given the canned meat of the same name a bad name. One definition of electronic spam – "flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message... Go>
3-14-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Virtual Cruise – Sapphire Princess Feb. 26 – Mar. 12
We're presently onboard the Sapphire Princess, sailing to the Hawaiian Islands. Follow along with our daily reporting and enjoy the cruise with us. Feel free to ask any questions during the sailing, and I'll do my best to get answers. Go>
2-26-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Not Even Close to Everything You Need to Know Before You Cruise
The time prior to going on your first cruise can be very intimidating. It can seem like there's so much a person needs to know, and there's seems to be an unlimited number of places to find the information. Go>
2-22-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Sapphire Princess & Crystal Symphony- Two Ships, One Itinerary
By happenstance, in ten days I begin a combination of journeys that should make for some interesting experiences and comparisons. Within a short time frame I'll be cruising two different ships; both sailing identical 14 night itineraries from San Pedro, California to the Hawaiian Islands and returning to San Pedro. Go>
2-15-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Alternate Restaurants Onboard Are In Demand
Sometimes they are referred to as "specialty restaurants"; some refer to them as "alternate restaurants". On some cruise lines, they are included in the cruise fare; on some there is an extra cost to dine in them; on some lines there are both free, and extra cost choices. Go>
2-8-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Minimizing Dress Codes - Is There A "New Formal"?
For some time now life has been on the move to becoming more casual. While it used to somewhat normal to run into the occasional restaurant that required all male customers wear at least a sports jacket and tie, those places have now practically disappeared. Go>
2-1-11

Kuki Blog Update!
The Changing Winds of Cruising
Not many things in life stay the same. Sometimes the changes delight us, and sometimes we regret the changes. The world of cruising has certainly changed quite dramatically. Should we be delighted or discouraged? Go>
1-25-11

Kuki Blog Update!
You Know You're a Cruiser When...
With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy; along with some help from members of our CruiseMates message boards, I've created a "foxworthyesque" list of You Know You're a Cruiser When... Go>
1-18-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Complimentary Upgrades - The Good, The Bad, The Confusion
There's been hundreds of industry experts offer their explanations and musings on the topic, as well as thousands of experiences and opinions posted on the cruise information web sites Go>
1-11-11

Kuki Blog Update!
Recognizing A Luxury Cruise
While all cruise line's advertising, at some time, will refer to themselves as a "luxury cruise", it's a simple process to determine, and recognize a true "luxury cruise" from all the other pretenders. Go>
1-04-11

Kuki Blog Update!
"Kuki" Predictions For The Cruise Industry in 2011
Here's a look at what you can expect to see happen in the industry in 2011 - by Julian Assange. Go>
12-28-10

Kuki Blog Update!
TSA - A Love Story
One of those most intimate, and breathtaking exchanges that occur perhaps once-in-a-life-time. Go>
12-14-10

Kuki Blog Update!
A Sea Change In Family Cruising
Almost every cruise line has had children's programs, with areas devoted to keeping "the kids" entertained, employing kids counselors and programming to interest and challenge them. Go>
12-14-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Holiday Cruises - Heaven Or Humbug?
The most expensive cruises of the year are during Christmas, New Years, and the occasional cruise that covers both holidays. Go>
12-8-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Mrs. Kuki Hasn't Been On A Cruise in Two Years
Recently, at dinner out with friends, Mrs. Kuki mentioned she hadn't been on a cruise in two years, and commented that she was missing it. Go>
11-30-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Safety Concerns; Cruise Passengers Should Be Aware
Earlier this month the Carnival Splendor suffered an engine room fire which somehow left the ship adrift and powerless, other than that supplied by the emergency generators onboard. Go>
11-23-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Things You Can Do To Ensure A Smooth Cruise Vacation
Amazingly one can find many people who've booked a cruise and when asked don't know what ship they are going on, or what ports of call they'll be visiting. They may know the name of the cruise line, and when asked where they are going may be just as likely to simply say "the Caribbean". Go>
11-16-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruise Questions People Ask That May Be Real
I get an incredible amount of email asking questions. Some are relatively simple to answer. Others require much more thought. I probably get 1000 emails each year asking for a job on "my ship". My answer is "Oh how I wish I had a ship". Go>
11-9-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Do I Really Want Starbucks To Vacation With Me?
Last week Royal Caribbean (who'd already been doing with business with Starbucks via their Seattle's Best coffee brand) announced that Starbucks would have a "store" on the soon to debut Allure of the Seas. Go>
11-2-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Are More Internet Savvy Cruisers Booking Direct; While Others Book With Travel Agents?
Over a decade ago, when I first began writing for CruiseMates, it seemed many of our visitors were using the site, and other cruise related web sites on the Internet, not just for content, but also for tips on how and where to find the best deals on cruises. Go>
10-26-10

Kuki Blog Update!
What Recent Cruise Improvements Need to be Disapproved?
Recent history in the cruise industry has seen hundreds, if not thousands of articles written about all variety of innovations and improvements to the industry. In many cases one cruise line would take their chance with a new idea, and if the other cruise lines had even an inkling that the idea might be popular, they would... Go>
9-28-10

Kuki Blog Update!
It's Not Wrong to Admit You're Addicted to Cruising?
Somewhere along the line "that day" came for all us; when we were ready to stand in front of a mirror and admit that we are addicted to cruising. Go>
9-21-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Are We Justified In Expecting Every Cruise To Be a Luxury Vacation?
The vast majority of people who go on cruises fill out their guest comment cards at the end of their cruise sending the cruise lines a message that they believe they received good or excellent value from their cruise vacation. Go>
9-14-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruise Confucius Says
Confucius was a well known. ancient Chinese thinker, and philosopher. Over the years, no doubt we've all heard various "confuciusionisms". But you're less likely to have previously come across what Confucius said about cruising. Go>
9-7-10

Kuki Blog Update!
What Complaints Do You See That Make You Ask� What were they thinking?
If we really think about it, anyone over the age of six should realize nothing is perfect. Mrs. Kuki has stuck with me for almost 30 years, and she can most certainly attest to that fact Go>
8-31-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Four Favorite Cities In The World Visited By Cruise Ship
I've been fortunate and have more than 60 cruises "under my belt", yet there's many areas of the world I've yet to visit, that are on my "bucket list". At the same time I've already visited some fabulous cities, and I've compiled my list of favorites here. Go>
8-24-10

Kuki Blog Update!
A "Kuki" Look at the Conflicting Complications of Cruising
This month marks 11 years since I was hired on as a writer for CruiseMates.com. Over the years many people have asked how I ever got this gig. Go>
8-17-10

Kuki Blog Update!
11 Years As A Cruise Writer; Who The Heck Hired This Guy?
This month marks 11 years since I was hired on as a writer for CruiseMates.com. Over the years many people have asked how I ever got this gig. Go>
8-3-10

Kuki Blog Update!
New Ships; And Why Smart Cruisers Might Want to Avoid Their Inaugural Seasons
As cruise enthusiasts, and also cruise travel writers, it's somewhat natural that we wait with baited-breath, or any trickle of news and/or pictures, or even artists renderings of new ships as they near completion. Go>
7-13-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Onboard Nieuw Amsterdam- Emotional Bell Opening and On Deck for the Cure Walk Ceremonies
On Deck for the Cure is a program done in conjunction with the Susan B. Komen for the Cure Foundation, to allow cruise passengers, who choose, to participate in raising funds. Go>
7-6-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Live in Venice, Dedication Ceremony of HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam
On July 2, I fly overseas for my second trip to a shipyard. My first visit was for a keel-laying ceremony in France. This time I am headed to the Fincantieris Marghera shipyard in Italy to board the just completed Nieuw Amsterdam from Holland America Cruise Line. Go>
6-29-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Part 2 - Things You Need to Pay Attention to When Cruise Planning
In Part 1 I hopefully helped you through the booking process, so presuming you're booked, and have purchased the Travel Insurance, what's next in your planning agenda? Go>
6-22-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Carnival Responds To "The Deceitful PVP" Blog
Who would have ever thought that within two days of my last Blog about "Deceit in a phone call from my Carnival Personal Vacation Planner" a story about much more nefarious activities; breaking into client's homes to rob them, by a Royal Caribbean Vacation Planner, would dominate the cruise news. Go>
6-15-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Deceit In A Phone Call From "My" Carnival Personal Vacation Planner
It's interesting that I would get a phone call from "my" Carnival PVP, when I have never booked a cruise directly through Carnival cruise line, nor have I ever called to even ask for a price quote on a Carnival cruise. Go>
6-8-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Things You Need to Pay Attention to When Cruise Planning - Part 1
Once you get onboard a ship for your cruise, you can almost turn off your mind if you want to, and enjoy things as they come. However, to get to that point, there are things you can, and probably should do as basic preparation for your cruise. Go>
6-1-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Three New Cruise Ships to Debut -Three Different Worlds of Cruising
In the coming weeks three new ships will be christened and set sail, surely delighting passengers who sail them. They are three very different ships, and really from three different worlds. Go>
5-26-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Holland America Cruise Line Returns to Bermuda After 27 Years
With the April 25 sailing, and with a few "teething pains", Holland America's Veendam began it's first series of sailings to Bermuda in over 20 years. The itinerary include a 1 day port stop-over anchored off of the shore of St. George, as well as 2 � days docked right along Front Street, in Hamilton. Go>
5-18-10

Kuki Blog Update!
What's Holland America Up To These Days?
It's been several years since I've sailed on a "dam" ship. So now it's time to check back in with HAL after their Signature of Excellence upgrades have been completed, and they're just about ready to sail out the newest addition to the fleet, the Nieuw Amsterdam. Go>
5-4-10

Kuki Blog Update!
You Should Interview A Travel Agent As If You Were Hiring An Employee
Let's make it clear from the beginning; I believe EVERYONE who books a cruise should use a professional Cruise Travel Agent. Whether you are a first time cruiser, or a veteran cruiser (like me, who thinks you know all you need to know), your interests are going to be best served by doing so. Go>
4-27-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Why Cruising Is Better Today Than In The "Good Old Days"?
People often the lament about what's gone missing from the "good old days" of cruising. But do many of us even have an idea of what the "good old days" of cruising means, or when it was? Go>
4-20-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Is The Worst Thing About Cruising The Passengers?
At CruiseMates we have a message board titled Cruise Gripes; giving people a place to post and vent regarding issues they may have experience on their cruises. Go>
4-13-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Are Restrictive Pricing Policies The Path To The End of Cruise Travel Agents?
Last week Holland America joined the ranks of some cruise lines implementing a restrictive "flat pricing" policy for travel agents selling their cruises. Go>
4-6-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Why Will It Be A CruiseMates Group Cruise of Epic Proportions?
Combine The Blue Man Group, Cirque Productions, Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Celebrity Chef Matt Sigel, Halloween, Linda with all my CruiseMates friends, and what do you have? Go>
9-30-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Television Is an Important Part of Your Cruise Experience, Even If You Don't Know It
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube. Go>
9-23-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Ever Lost Your Keys to the Car? What Happens When the Captain Loses the Key To The Ship?
During the course of my day at Seatrade- Cruise Shipping Miami Conference- I visited the booth of Ving Card, one of the major suppliers of door locking systems for the cruise lines, along with identity recognition equipment. Go>
9-16-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Will Oasis Ruin the Cruise Industry?
I may be the only writer in the cruise industry who isn't salivating, in anticipation of the arrival or Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. Go>
9-8-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Where To Buy Your Cruise
The most perplexing problem about cruising may be where to buy one. There is an almost incalculable number of places to purchase cruises. Go>
8-17-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Fore Play While Cruising
Admittedly golf might not be the first thing to come to people's minds when they are considering their cruise vacations, and choosing which itinerary they might want to sail. But, devoted golfers are a bit of a strange breed. Go>
7-21-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Could They Make Flying Any More Uncomfortable?
Ever since "way back when" I've had a fear of flying. They have me as soon as we pull up to the airport. What were they thinking making me look at a large sign declaring "TERMINAL" ? Go>
7-14-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Will Cruise For Food - Do You?
This past week I met, and had a discussion with someone who's never been on a cruise. When I meet a non-cruiser, and they find out I write about cruising they normally start asking questions. Go>
7-7-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Does the Term "Cruisewear" Still Apply
In last week's Blog we talked about the "Demise of Traditional Cruise Dining", and included some discussion of the moves being made within the industry that I viewed as moving closer to a amusement park or resort mentality/atmosphere onboard. Go>
6-30-10
Kuki Blog Update!
The Slow Demise of Traditional Cruise Dining
Over the weekend Celebrity Cruise Line became one of the last hold-outs amongst the major cruise lines to amend their dining room arrangements to include a version of "unstructured" dining times ,rather than assigned times and specific table seating assignments for passengers. Go>
6-23-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Which Cruise To Choose. You Can't Hear it Enough!
The subject of choosing a cruise that's right for you may be one of the most covered topics for cruise related web sites, and cruise advice columns. Go>
6-16-10
Kuki Blog Update!
The World Is Scary, So It's a Good Time to Cruise
We admittedly live in rather odd times, with continuous bombardment from the media on troubling world and local events; the all too familiar issuing of Amber Alerts for missing children;, dysfunctional families with issuing leading to tragedies which unfold in the public eye; job loss and other financial factors making a mess of people's lives, plans and dreams. Go>
6-9-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Cruise Bucket Lists
The Caribbean is the most heavily cruised area of the world, and that's most likely to continue in the near future as more cruise lines are leaving more ships to sail the Caribbean waters for longer portions of the year. Go>
6-2-10
Kuki Blog Update!
The Problems We Face Being Cruisers
Normally most of us (the cruise addicted) are very proud of our affliction. We don't waste our valuable cruise dollars on psychiatrists or mood altering medication because we know all we need to keep us happy is to have a countdown clock set for our next cruise; the shorter the countdown the happier we are. Go>
5-26-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Cruise Industry In Flux
The cruise industry is just coming out of the tumultuous efforts required to deal with the threats from the N1H1 (swine flu) Virus, and prior to that the hullabaloo caused by the outing of Royal Caribbean's "Royal Champs" viral marketing campaign. Go>
5-19-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Things About Cruising That Can Make You Crazy
As my job is to follow and write about the cruise industry one might naturally assume I am an advocate for the industry. And it's true in many ways. I am most certainly a fan of cruise vacations as I believe a cruise could easily be considered the best valued vacation purchase you can make Go>
5-11-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Take Your Virgin Cruise Memories With You
When we were married I had promised Mrs. Kuki a cruise to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I had managed to avoid that commitment until our 14th anniversary. I finally caved in, and booked Go>
5-4-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Do You Have A Favorite Cruise Line? I do (Sort of)
On my Blog last week I answered one of the questions I'm most often asked. I thought I'd continue in that vein this week with the question I hear all the time... What's Your Favorite Cruise Line? Go>
4-28-10
Kuki Blog Update!
I'm Often Asked If I Ever Get Tired of Cruising
These days, in most cases when boarding a ship you'll find over 60% of the passengers onboard are repeat customers of that cruise line. I had always considered cruisers to be somewhat of an adventurous breed, and this seemingly high percentage of passengers returning over and over to the same cruise line seems to belie that idea... Go>
4-21-10
Kuki Blog Update!
What's Behind Cruiser's Cruise Line Loyalty?
These days, in most cases when boarding a ship you'll find over 60% of the passengers onboard are repeat customers of that cruise line. I had always considered cruisers to be somewhat of an adventurous breed, and this seemingly high percentage of passengers returning over and over to the same cruise line seems to belie that idea... Go>
4-14-10
Kuki Blog Update!
A Ship Within A Ship Concept VS A Luxury Ship
The latest catch phrase in the cruise industry seems to be "a ship within a ship". The phrase is used to describe more upscale cabin categories and amenities the cruise lines are trying to develop to attract those who are willing to pay extra for not only larger chunks of the real estate Go>
4-8-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Is Royal Caribbean Trying to Swim Upstream?
I'm wondering now if Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is also attempting to swim upstream. Economists throughout the planet have pretty much agreed the world economy is fragile at best... Go>
03-31-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Shore Excursions are a Profit Center Not an Amenity for Passengers
Originally when cruise ships began offering shore excursions for their guests, in most cases they were the responsibility of the ships Cruise Directors. Go>
03-24-10
Kuki Blog Update!
Does Attitude Make or Break Your Cruise?
And Does It Influence Your Post Cruise Feedback? A cruise is what you make it. I've often seen that phrase used on the message boards, particularly when someone has posted a less than glowing report about their cruise experience. Go>
03-17-10
Kuki Blog Update!
The Social Life While Cruising
While it's not likely the primary reason people choose to cruise, the social life you encounter once at sea probably has a lot to do with your enjoyment of the cruise,though it may not immediately come to mind as being all that significant. Go>
03-10-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Are Cruise Travel Agents Justified in Charging Service Fees?
Traditionally Travel Agent's earnings have been based on commissions paid by cruise lines as compensation for selling their product; cruises. Go>
03-2-10

Kuki Blog Update!
There's an APP For That; There's Also a Cruise For That
Just as in the world of communications and technology the world of cruising has advanced in many ways over the last several years as well. Go>
02-23-10

Kuki Blog Update!
How To Keep Your Shipboard Account Lower Than The Annual Budget of Moldova
Several weeks ago in my Blog I talked about "Things That Cost Extra". I thought I should follow up now with some realistic tips on how you can save money on those things. Go>
02-16-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Sailaway Sale of Savings of the Century
You're getting ready to book your cruise and you find it just happens to be time for the "Sailaway Sale of Savings Lowest Prices of the Year or Ever Sale of the Century" Go>
02-9-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Warning: Reading Warning Labels May Cause Eye Strain
Tragically, recently a passenger on a Star Clipper's ship was murdered (knifed to death) during the ship's call on Antigua. Go>
02-2-10

Kuki Blog Update!
What You NEED to Know Before You Cruise
Over the years there's been hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and lists written talking about what everyone should know before they cruise. Go>
01-26-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Things That Add to the Cost of Your Cruise
You've received a quote on your cruise that you can live with, and fit into your budget, and you're ready to book. But let's stop for a minute and think about what your final dollar outlay might look like by the end of your cruise. Go>
01-21-10

Kuki Blog Update!
Do We All Have To Be Critics?
One very prominent, and indeed important part of the Internet has become user reviews. In fact there are web sites valued at hundreds of millions of dollars where 100 % of the content on the sites is provided by users. Go>
01-12-10

Kuki Blog Update!
TMI - There are times where Too Much Information Crosses Up Cruisers
Over my years writing for CruiseMates I've always recommended people do research, more research, and more research before they cruise, or as importantly, before they even book a cruise. Go>
01-05-10

Kuki Blog Update!
"Out With the Old, and In With the New"..Or?
With the end of year tomorrow, the title phrase of this blog will pass the lips of millions of people; A rather natural expression of sentiment, as looking to the future supplies us the hope for the future, that everything will get better. Go>
12-30-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruising Trends for 2010
It wasn't long ago I remember quite clearly all the concern about what was going to happen cruise ships (and the world) with the worries of Y2K, and the chaos it would create. Go>
12-15-09

Kuki Blog Update!
What's The Right Length For Your Cruise?
It seems a very large number of first time cruisers take their first "dip in the pool" by booking a cruise that's either 2,3,4 or 5 day cruises. Go>
12-08-09

Kuki Blog Update!
What Is Fair Compensation When "Ship Happens"?
Last week the Norwegian Dawn lost all power in the midst of a cruise. They were able to restore minimal power and get the ship (and passengers) to San Juan, Puerto Rico to effect repairs, Go>
12-01-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Cruising Over The Holidays, Good or Bad?
The "holiday season" officially kicks off this Friday, with Thanksgiving in the United States (though with the advertising we've seen this year you'd have thought Christmas ran from October to December). Go>
11-24-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Can A Land Traveler Become A Cruiser, and Visa-Versa?
I'm obviously talking to cruisers here. Since I'm writing for a Cruise Guide, it's likely the majority of people reading this entry will be cruisers. Go>
11-17-09

Kuki Blog Update!
I Cruise, Therefore I Am
For a variety of reasons I've been landlocked for about eight months. Go>
11-10-09

Kuki Blog Update!
A World Class Resort That Likes To Travel
This is one of Norwegian Cruise Line's new advertising tag lines meant to promote the soon to debut new Norwegian Epic. Go>
11-04-09

Kuki Blog Update!
When Everything Is About Oasis, What's a Cruise Blogger Like Me To Do?
Let's face it; for the next month or two all the "news" is about, or going to be about, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. Go>
10-27-09

Kuki Blog Update!
What Is The Most Difficult Cruise Question to Answer?
Over the past decade at CruiseMates I've been asked all sorts of questions about cruising, both via message board posts, and private emails. Do you know what the most difficult question to answer is? Go>
10-20-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Have Declining Prices Led to Declining Civility Onboard?
Though there have been a few hiccups along the way, since Sept. 11/01 the price of cruises have quite consistently floated near historic lows; the latest drops beginning this past year as the world economies battled recession. Go>
10-13-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Let's Get Lei'd Five-0 - Book It Danno!
For the past 10 years we at CruiseMates have offered from 3 to 5 group cruises a year to help facilitate members of our community cruising together; getting to meet and make great memories together. Go>
9-29-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Most Important Things To Bring on a Cruise
There's all variety of packing lists available on the Internet, including on the CruiseMates web site. So, this is not a packing list. Rather it's a conglomeration of things everyone should take with them, along with their packing lists. Go>
9-22-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Tuning Up Customer Service
Two weeks ago I wrote a blog stating cruiser's needed to take more responsibility for themselves particularly in regard to purchasing travel insurance to cover unforeseen problems. This week's blog entry is somewhat the opposite of that; Go>
9-15-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Will Oasis Ruin the Cruise Industry?
I may be the only writer in the cruise industry who isn't salivating, in anticipation of the arrival or Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. Go>
9-8-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Where To Buy Your Cruise
The most perplexing problem about cruising may be where to buy one. There is an almost incalculable number of places to purchase cruises. Go>
8-17-09

Kuki Blog Update!
Fore Play While Cruising
Admittedly golf might not be the first thing to come to people's minds when they are considering their cruise vacations, and choosing which itinerary they might want to sail. But, devoted golfers are a bit of a strange breed. Go>
7-21-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Could They Make Flying Any More Uncomfortable?
Ever since "way back when" I've had a fear of flying. They have me as soon as we pull up to the airport. What were they thinking making me look at a large sign declaring "TERMINAL" ? Go>
7-14-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Will Cruise For Food - Do You?
This past week I met, and had a discussion with someone who's never been on a cruise. When I meet a non-cruiser, and they find out I write about cruising they normally start asking questions. Go>
7-7-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Does the Term "Cruisewear" Still Apply
In last week's Blog we talked about the "Demise of Traditional Cruise Dining", and included some discussion of the moves being made within the industry that I viewed as moving closer to a amusement park or resort mentality/atmosphere onboard. Go>
6-30-09
Kuki Blog Update!
The Slow Demise of Traditional Cruise Dining
Over the weekend Celebrity Cruise Line became one of the last hold-outs amongst the major cruise lines to amend their dining room arrangements to include a version of "unstructured" dining times ,rather than assigned times and specific table seating assignments for passengers. Go>
6-23-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Which Cruise To Choose. You Can't Hear it Enough!
The subject of choosing a cruise that's right for you may be one of the most covered topics for cruise related web sites, and cruise advice columns. Go>
6-16-09
Kuki Blog Update!
The World Is Scary, So It's a Good Time to Cruise
We admittedly live in rather odd times, with continuous bombardment from the media on troubling world and local events; the all too familiar issuing of Amber Alerts for missing children;, dysfunctional families with issuing leading to tragedies which unfold in the public eye; job loss and other financial factors making a mess of people's lives, plans and dreams. Go>
6-9-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Cruise Bucket Lists
The Caribbean is the most heavily cruised area of the world, and that's most likely to continue in the near future as more cruise lines are leaving more ships to sail the Caribbean waters for longer portions of the year. Go>
6-2-09
Kuki Blog Update!
The Problems We Face Being Cruisers
Normally most of us (the cruise addicted) are very proud of our affliction. We don't waste our valuable cruise dollars on psychiatrists or mood altering medication because we know all we need to keep us happy is to have a countdown clock set for our next cruise; the shorter the countdown the happier we are. Go>
5-26-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Cruise Industry In Flux
The cruise industry is just coming out of the tumultuous efforts required to deal with the threats from the N1H1 (swine flu) Virus, and prior to that the hullabaloo caused by the outing of Royal Caribbean's "Royal Champs" viral marketing campaign. Go>
5-19-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Things About Cruising That Can Make You Crazy
As my job is to follow and write about the cruise industry one might naturally assume I am an advocate for the industry. And it's true in many ways. I am most certainly a fan of cruise vacations as I believe a cruise could easily be considered the best valued vacation purchase you can make Go>
5-11-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Take Your Virgin Cruise Memories With You
When we were married I had promised Mrs. Kuki a cruise to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I had managed to avoid that commitment until our 14th anniversary. I finally caved in, and booked Go>
5-4-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Do You Have A Favorite Cruise Line? I do (Sort of)
On my Blog last week I answered one of the questions I'm most often asked. I thought I'd continue in that vein this week with the question I hear all the time... What's Your Favorite Cruise Line? Go>
4-28-09
Kuki Blog Update!
I'm Often Asked If I Ever Get Tired of Cruising
These days, in most cases when boarding a ship you'll find over 60% of the passengers onboard are repeat customers of that cruise line. I had always considered cruisers to be somewhat of an adventurous breed, and this seemingly high percentage of passengers returning over and over to the same cruise line seems to belie that idea... Go>
4-21-09
Kuki Blog Update!
What's Behind Cruiser's Cruise Line Loyalty?
These days, in most cases when boarding a ship you'll find over 60% of the passengers onboard are repeat customers of that cruise line. I had always considered cruisers to be somewhat of an adventurous breed, and this seemingly high percentage of passengers returning over and over to the same cruise line seems to belie that idea... Go>
4-14-09
Kuki Blog Update!
A Ship Within A Ship Concept VS A Luxury Ship
The latest catch phrase in the cruise industry seems to be "a ship within a ship". The phrase is used to describe more upscale cabin categories and amenities the cruise lines are trying to develop to attract those who are willing to pay extra for not only larger chunks of the real estate Go>
4-8-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Is Royal Caribbean Trying to Swim Upstream?
I'm wondering now if Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is also attempting to swim upstream. Economists throughout the planet have pretty much agreed the world economy is fragile at best... Go>
03-31-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Shore Excursions are a Profit Center Not an Amenity for Passengers
Originally when cruise ships began offering shore excursions for their guests, in most cases they were the responsibility of the ships Cruise Directors. Go>
03-24-09
Kuki Blog Update!
Does Attitude Make or Break Your Cruise?
And Does It Influence Your Post Cruise Feedback? A cruise is what you make it. I've often seen that phrase used on the message boards, particularly when someone has posted a less than glowing report about their cruise experience. Go>
03-17-09
Kuki Blog Update!
The Social Life While Cruising
While it's not likely the primary reason people choose to cruise, the social life you encounter once at sea probably has a lot to do with your enjoyment of the cruise,though it may not immediately come to mind as being all that significant. Go>
03-10-09
A "Day on the Job" as a Shipboard Comedian
Kuki, CruiseMates Cruise Director, takes on the challenge of becoming a professional standup comedian for one night.
02-16-09
A View from Both Sides of the Concierge Desk
Cruise Director Kuki tries out another staff job on a cruise ship.
12-01-08
Misinformation, Myths and Magic
Kuki ruminates on cruise research, rumors and romance.
8-29-08
A Refresher Course for First Time Cruisers
Kuki revisits his advice on what to expect and how to prepare if you've never sailed before.
8-25-08
Second City @ Sea
A talented comedic cast shares its improvisational skills with passengers on NCL's Jade.   Go>
5-28-08
 
Norwegian Jade - New Cruise Ship Review!
CruiseMates offers an all-new review for the latest NCL ship to hit the high seas - Norwegian Jade. The latest Free-style refinements come together.   Go>
5-26-08
 
Carnival Freedom Virtual Cruise
Join Kuki and 80 Cruisemates as they sail together across the Atlantic on Carnival Freedom. Daily Updates.  Go>
4-27-08
 
Is the Cruise Industry Changing?
Has the cruise experience changed? Or do some passengers have unrealistic expectations about today's ships? A perspective for new cruisers.
03-05-08
How to Write a Cruise Review
Writing a cruise review is a great way to make your opinion known. It also helps your fellow cruisers when they are deciding on a ship for their next voyage. Here's some tips to make the process of writing your next review easy and fun!
02-20-08
Behind the Scenes: The Cruise Staff
CruiseMates' Cruise Director Kuki tries out the real thing on Carnival Liberty.
02-15-08
John Heald's Bloggers Cruise
Kuki sailed with the top Cruise Director and reported from the ship on a daily basis. All the weekly events of John Heald's Bloggers Cruise here.
01-19-08

Comparing Carnival and Celebrity
After back-to-back cruises on each, Kuki evaluates the two lines' respective strengths and weaknesses.
01-21-08
Updated Celebrity Constellation Review
Kuki updates our CruiseMates cruise ship review after a recent voyage on this popular ship. How have things changed since her christening five years ago?
01-07-08
First Look at the Norwegian Gem
She's bigger, bolder and more elaborate than anything else in the NCL fleet. Come aboard for a first-hand look at this fabulous new ship, the Norwegian Gem!
12-19-07
Cabin Categories Abound
A few helpful hints on how to select the cabin category that best suits your needs..
11-09-07
Interview with Carnival's John Heald
Kuki asks John Heald, Carnival's Top Cruise Director, about his popular blog and its upcoming group cruise.
10-03-07
Let's Pack!
A few helpful hints, not so much on what to pack, but how to adjust your attitude about packing.
09-17-07
How to Evaluate Cruise Reviews
Cruise reviews can be a helpful tool for selecting your next cruise, but not all reviews are equal. Let Kuki help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
09-03-07
Which is Best ... Ship's Excursion or Private Tour?
Kuki examines the benefits and drawbacks of each so you can decide which is best for you.
6-18-07
Ship Smoking Policies are Changing
Smoking Areas on Ships: Few and Far Between. Here's a look at how smoking policies are changing on a number of major cruise lines.
6-18-07
What Is the Staff Captain Anyway?
Brilliance of the Seas' second-in-command keeps a finger on the pulse of all onboard activity and conflicts.
4-20-07
Is Gambling At Sea A Gamble?
Advice for slot and table players about cruise line "Player's Clubs" from someone who knows the score.
3-21-07
Romance At Sea
CruiseMates' Cruise Director Kuki asks our CruiseMates' readers to share their most romantic cruising moments with us..

Behind the Scenes Articles

Behind the Scenes: The Cruise Staff
CruiseMates' Cruise Director Kuki tries out the real thing on Carnival Liberty.

Behind the Scenes: Shipboard Menu Management
Kuki becomes food and beverage director for a day on Norwegian Dawn.

Behind the Scenes: Sanitation Engineering
Our Cruise Director learns how a ship can process and eliminate tons of waste and garbage.

Behind the Scenes: The Art of the Deal
Kuki sits on the other side of the blackjack table aboard Island Princess.

Behind the Scenes: The Butler's Tale
Kuki sees what life is like on the other side of the black bow tie.


Virtual Cruises - Multipart Series from Aboard Ships

Liberty for CruiseMates Virtual Cruise
Kuki leads a group of CruiseMates on back to back cruises directly from the Century to Carnival Liberty.


CruiseMates Cruise of the Century
150 CruiseMates Readers sail together to celebrate the New Year in style aboard Celebrity Century.


Vision of the Seas - Alaska Virtual Cruise
A Multi-part Series on Visiting the Northern Wonderland


Seabourn Legend - Virtual Cruise
A taste of luxury cruising with a golf pro in tow.


Let's Get "Lei'd" Hawaii Group Cruise
A CruiseMates cruise on Celebrity Summit in Hawaii was one of the best CruiseMates Cruises yet!


Celebrity Millennium in Europe
A European Sojourn CruiseMates Cruise!

Ship Feature Articles

A New Celebrity Century
Celebrity's 10-year-old ship will add new cabins, features.


Century Gets a Makeover
Celebrity's 10-year-old ship will add new cabins, features.


Packing Tips For Real Men
Kuki discusses his personal packing tips for a cruise vacation.


Teeing Off in Hawaii
Kuki presents his selection of top courses for golfers going ashore.

  • Costa Mediterranea - Cruising Italian Style
  • Princess Cruises' New Dining Options
  • A St. Petersburg Sojourn
  • Kuki Goes Transatlantic



  • Humor and Opinion - Telling it the Kuki Way...

    What We Love About Cruising
    We asked our most avid cruise enthusiasts what they love the most about cruising. Will the answers surprise you?


    Middle Age and Sexy
    How to get over shyness. Put some life in your step, a smile on your face, and you are on your way to the conga line of life.


    It's Not Easy Being an Alien
    Things were complicated before security was boosted, now as a Canadian citizen, Kuki and others face early morning roll calls and other indiginities when entering U.S. ports.


    Kuki's Bad Dream
    When his credit card fails him, our cruise director gets shanghaied.


    Golf Programs: I'm Teed Off!
    Kuki encounters problems when programs don't meet expectations.

    Dining with the Captain
    Kuki gives advice on not embarrassing yourself at the head table.




    Cruise Advice For New or Experienced Cruisers

    Which Cruise Line Is For Me?
    From Budget to Luxury, Ships come in four classes. Read about the mass market and premium lines. 9-13-06
    Group Cruise Benefits
    The fact is anyone can put together a group cruise if you have enough friends who will purchase cabins.

    Your First Cruise: What To Expect
    Cruise Director Kuki clears up some of the mystery about ships and cruise protocol.

    Know Your Ship Terminology
    It's easy! Find the pointy end of the ship and "port" is left. How do you know? look out a window. Which way is the water flowing? Face the opposite way, if the water isn't flowing, you are already in port.

    Buyer, Be Wary
    There is no excuse for a bad cruise, as long as the cruise line fits your personal style. They all differ, and it is up to you to figure out which is best for you.

    Cruise Price Protection
    You have already bought and paid for your cruise, but the price drops before you sail. Do you have price protection?

    Savvy Tips for Saving Money
    Cruise fares are still historically cheap, but the little extras can add up. Kuki offers advice on how to reduce your shipboard and shore-side expenses.



    The Many Faces of Kuki: click for pics
    Service with a smile
    Bar Tender
    Serving Pizza
    Dish Washing
    Doing Laundry
    Tour Bus Guide


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