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Get the curated cruise intel you need with Gene Sloan's biweekly newsletter

June 24, 2020
6 min read
Get the curated cruise intel you need with Gene Sloan's biweekly newsletter
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It may seem like a strange time to launch a cruise newsletter. Nearly every cruise line in the world has halted sailings due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many have no plans to restart anytime soon. Even if they do, they face a ban on cruise ships in some ports and, in the U.S. specifically, the possibility of an extended "no-sail" order from health officials.

Sign up for TPG's new cruise newsletter written by Gene Sloan.

But even in this darkest of hours for the cruise industry, fans of cruising -- and there are many -- continue to plan and book trips for later this year and beyond. Shipyards continue to build notable new vessels, albeit with some delays. And cruise lines continue to announce new itineraries.

Plus, we may finally be seeing the first buds of a cruising comeback. Just in the last few weeks, a few small cruise vessels in Europe -- mostly river ships -- have quietly resumed operations with capacity-controlled sailings aimed at the local market.

In short, cruising may be down, but it's not out -- not by a long shot.

As we can see from the traffic to the cruise planning stories that we've been posting in recent weeks at TPG, there still are a lot of you eager to get back on the high seas.

It is for the many people like you who still are hungry for cruise planning advice and the latest news about lines, ships, itineraries and ports that I am launching TPG's first cruise newsletter.

TPG cruise editor Gene Sloan reporting from Carnival Cruise Line's revamped Carnival Sunrise in 2019. (Photo by Gene Sloan/The Points Guy)
TPG cruise editor Gene Sloan reporting from Carnival Cruise Line's revamped Carnival Sunrise in 2019. (Photo by Gene Sloan/The Points Guy)

Some of you may recognize my name or even have met me on a ship. I've written about cruising for more than two decades, and my stories have appeared in more than 100 publications including Afar Magazine, USA TODAY and more than 60 Gannett-owned newspapers. I've written cruise guides for Frommer's and served as a cruise expert for The Travel Channel.

It's been a life filled with countless days at sea -- well over 1,000, I think, though I've never kept track. Over the years, I've sailed on more than 150 different ships operated by 40 lines -- some multiple times. There are quite a few lines where I've sailed on every or nearly every vessel. Among Norwegian Cruise Line's 17 ships, for instance, I'm only missing two.

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I mention all this not to be boastful but just to say that I've got an inordinate amount of information about cruising and cruise ships rattling around in my head (too much, really), and I would like nothing more than to be able to share as much of it as I can with you.

That's my goal for this newsletter: To pass on all that I have learned and all that I think is wonderful about cruising with you, the TPG reader. Sign up to receive my biweekly newsletter now.

Gene Sloan interviewing Disney Cruise Line entertainment executive Jim Urry in 2016 aboard the Disney Wonder for a video series on the ship. (Photo courtesy of Gene Sloan)
Gene Sloan interviewing Disney Cruise Line entertainment executive Jim Urry in 2016 aboard the Disney Wonder for a video series on the ship. (Photo courtesy of Gene Sloan)

A personal newsletter about cruising is something that I've wanted to start up for many years.

Note that the newsletter won't just be focused on big ocean ships such as the new Norwegian Encore (don't miss my first impressions) or Carnival Panorama (here's what I thought about that ship), though they draw the great bulk of cruisers. I'll be writing to you about small expedition ships, river ships and even sailing ships, too. I might even tell you about the time I rode an Alaska Marine Highway ferry all the way down the Alaska coast to Washington state.

My philosophy on covering cruising is that it's important to be broad. There is so much out there in the cruising world beyond the big players such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line. Many cruise sites only focus on the biggest brands because that's what gets the most search traffic. But that misses so much.

As I mentioned above, I've sailed with 40 different lines over the years and, for the most part, they all were wonderful in their own way. I want to tell you about all of them, so you can make the most informed decision about what kind of cruising is right for you.

The newsletter is set to launch in July. You can expect to read all the latest news about lines, ships, itineraries and ports. You'll also get my musings on cruising trends and insider tips gleaned from my many years at sea.

We're also planning to bring you actionable news of cruise deals.

It'll be just the beginning of what will be a significant expansion of cruise content here at TPG.

Related: TPG hires cruise expert Gene Sloan to expand cruise coverage

Whether you're a longtime cruising fan or a first-timer dipping a toe into this crazy world of lodging that floats, you're not going to want to miss this. Sign up to receive my new biweekly newsletter here, and you'll be getting yourself into prime position for the inevitable comeback of cruising.

Need a cruise content fix now? A few stories to tide you over:

Featured image by Roy Riley /sbw-photo

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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023