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Friday, September 26, 2014

Cruising and the Sweet Anticipation

Ah, anticipation. “That sanguine expectation of happiness which is happiness itself.” Jane Austen might as well have been talking about cruising.
I know it’s not just me who finds the planning of a cruise nearly as satisfying as the cruise itself. That explains the variety of cruise countdowns, roll calls and other tools designed precisely to fuel our excitement.
And now, here, I’m going to share some of what’s out there to feed your sweet anticipation:
Cruise countdowns—There’s a cute (free!) cruise clock widget at Cruisingtalk for your blog or website. You select your cruise destination, the ship icon with the right logo and trip date. If you want to see what it looks like, scroll down to the very bottom of my blog screen for my upcoming trip on the Constellation. Here are some other countdowns (all of which are free):

Ucruiser—wide variety of tickers you can tailor to the particular ship
Shipmate—designed for your Facebook page
Shipmate app—this cell phone app has a countdown, as well as trip itineraries, photos, deck plans and more

Weather forecasts for ports of call—If your trip is coming up within a month, will give you the weather forecast at all your ports of call. It will also show you where your ship is right now and where it will be over the next month.
Webcams—Watch the port ship comings and goings, get a sneak peek of what your port looks like and check out what’s happening on your ship right from your desk with a webcam. Here are a few places to find them:—ships, ports, resorts and destinations—ship and port cams—ship cams—port cams

Roll calls—These are ways for people who are taking the same cruise to meet virtually. Many of the forums have them, including:
Advice from those who really know—us
There are many websites with tips on planning excursions, packing and the like. But to get the details—and answers to your most specific questions from those who really know—your best bet is the forums. For a list of them, see my posting from July 18, Cruising the Web.

Musing’s Top Tip: If you sail on Princess, check out the “Downloads” section of their website for screensavers and wallpapers, slide shows and shipboard webcams you put on your desktop.