Authors Posts by Captain Cookson

Captain Cookson

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Ahoy there! I’m Andy aka Captain Cookson! Welcome aboard my blog I’ll be treating you to the best bits of cruising. I’m a bit of a gadget geek and love all things technology so if you're the same, this is blog for you. I have a completely impartial opinion, no one influences my opinion so at least you know that you’ve got an honest insight into cruising. I’ve been working in travel for some years now and have been with the Cruise Club UK family for a long while now. I am the reservations team deputy supervisor so I am your man to deal with any burning issues for cruise sales, I’m helpful and hands-on. I myself love to travel both on cruises and land holidays, I’ve been on various ships in my time and like to discover all the new features which the cruise lines come up with, with every new ship. Sometimes the world of cruising can seem quite daunting but I’m your man to answer all those questions no matter how big or small I want to assure you that you’re getting the perfect holiday for the best price of course! So stay on board with me for all the coolest cruise bits & news. Capt’n.

Bionic Bar, Quantum of the Seas

 

Afternoon Cruisers.

 

In this world where technology seems to be taking over everything, I though id discuss the ways technology is even creeping into your cruise holiday.

 

Today’s mega ships are embracing technology more and more – and I have to agree with the cruise lines. For me it makes my cruise even better.

 

Here are some of my Cruise techology likes and dislikes.

 

Interactive room television.

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Digital Wayfarer onboard royal caribbean cruises

HITS = checking my bill and seeing which restaurants are busy / quiet before I set off.

MISS = it’s only a matter of time until the stateroom TV replaces the daily guide.

 

Ships Horns that play music

MSC & PRINCESS

HITS – it’s a bit of fun, I quite like this video.

MISS – I hope that’s not the sounds it plays when its genuinely foggy

 

Keyless cabin doors

wow band
yes, its your room key – just hold it to the door.

HITS = gone are the days of having to walk back to reception because I’ve managed to accidentally wipe the magnetic strip because I put the Key next to the magnet in my camera case.

(Bonus hit = not having to find your room key while you’ve got hands full of refreshing beverages)

MISS = could keyless rooms / the signal emitted by your “room band” be used to track your onboard movement.

 

Robot Bartenders

Bionic Bar, Quantum of the Seas
Bionic Bar, Quantum of the Seas

HIT = it’s fun to watch, they do mix a good drinks

MISS = its only a gimmick, but it gets people talking (good PR stunt).

 

Robot on board assistants.

HIT…… (Can’t think of one)

MISS, too many misses to mention.

 

Apps

HIT – Planning your cruise in advance, seeing what other ships are coming into port and when, what the weather will be (there is an app for everything)

MISS – cruise lines apps themselves – major cruise lines have so much potential to create great experiences, but I haven’t tried one yet that really impresses me.

 

What’s your thoughts on technology?

Are you embracing the technology or is it destined for your recycle bin.

 

Let me know your thoughts

andy@cruiseclubuk.com

0161 798 2514

 

Ta rar for now

  • The capn.
  • Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1). That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  
  • Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise andy@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2514

 

Good afternoon everyone,

Hope that everyone is enjoying their summer and counting down the days until their next voyage.

While I have a moment I thought I’d take a moment to discuss Canal Cruises.

Not the Leeds Liverpool canal or the Manchester ship canal – im thinking a little grander.

 

I’m talking about the the Quad of cruise canals

Panama, Suez, Kiel and Corinth

Panama Canal

Most have done the Panama Canal, a famous voyage from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific. Taking ten years and hundreds of lives to build arguably one of the most famous canals in the world.

A New set of larger locks has just opened up meaning that the Panama Canal can now take even larger ships.

The highest toll EVER paid to transit the canal was the Norwegian Pearl in April 2010 at $375’000 (US)

The lowest toll is to swim the canal (36 cents)

Panama Canal
The Panama Canal

Suez Canal

Many have done the Suez Canal crossing from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. A breath-taking transit across the Sahara desert – but due to the canal being one lane, the southbound transit (med to red sea) goes at night.

The Suez Canal is 120 miles long and took 10 years of construction to complete.

Suez canal
The Suez canal

Some have done Kiel – From the North Sea to the Baltic Sea – cutting through the northern point of Germany means cutting out having to sail 250 miles around Denmark.

Due to the low clearance of bridges crossing the canal – only the smaller cruise ships can transit this canal.

Kiel
The Kiel Canal

Few have done the Corinth canal in Greece – only for the smallest cruise ships! Linking the Mediterranean with the Aegean Sea.

corinth canal

Have you done all four?

Did you know there were four?

Do you want to or is it not for you?

Leave your comments and opinions and I’ll get back you.

Tarar for now

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1). That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: andy@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2514

  • The cap’n

I was recently invited down to the port of Liverpool to visit the Azamara Quest while she was in dock for the day. Now im back in the office I thought I would let you all know my thoughts on the ship.

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Overall I have to say im impressed, the ship is looking good for her age.

Built in 2000 for the now defunct R cruises and intended to be R seven she’s been lovingly maintained and enhanced since Azamara launched in 2009.

The ship had been refurbished earlier this year and is looking better than ever.

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The service is second to none with one of the highest staff to guest ratios at sea – you’re really in great hands. My visit coincided with the ships annual golf open voyage – and Azamara had golf experts onboard to help people go to the open, book their own golf days it really was the special touched that set them apart.

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With Azamara you’re getting a more-inclusive experience. Waters, speciality teas & coffees, beers and wines, and now prosecco included too I think I’d struggle to spend any money onboard.

 

During the ships recent refurbishment she’s been given a cool, crisp contemporary makeover, smartening up the décor and making their great ship even better.

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The only disappointment onboard was that there wasn’t an opportunity to sample the onboard food during my tour, they had some great menus on display – we did a walk thru of the restaurants and what I saw looked simply delicious I wish I could have stayed onboard.

 

That evening the ships guests were having their AZAmazing evening. They entire ships guests were being taken out for a free money-cant-buy night out.

In Liverpool they were being taken out to a hall, and being entertained by local singers and a Beatles tribute act.

Overall I was very impressed with the ship, experience and ambiance onboard.

 

If you are thinking of trying Azamara yourselves please don’t hesitate in getting InTouch.

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Visit our new and exclusive web page, featuring news and information for your forthcoming six star cruise holiday!

www.cruiseclubuk.com/prestige

The prestige difference is clear.

  • Dedicated direct phone number and email address to your personal Cruise Concierge.
    (UK Based, luxury trained expert who have personally visited many of the ships we feature)
  • Exclusive offers you won’t find anywhere else
  • An industry beating customer loyalty scheme.
  • A true full package, Return flights including luggage, private transfers, all taxes, ABTA, ATOL bonded and further cruise disruption protection.
  • Regular personal emails containing, unique itineraries and offers, news from the prestige community and more.
  • Interactive website featuring the very best itineraries and prices, cruise news, blog and reviews.
  • All part of the prestige experience,
  • With over 30 years’ experience leading the cruise agent market and hundreds of years of experience at your fingertips – that’s the cruise club difference!

Here at Prestige Cruise Club once you have sailed with us you’re part of the prestige family.

From your first voyage with us we will issue you with our loyalty bonus points.

It’s our way of saying thank you for trusting us with your dream cruise and welcoming you back again and again with extra benefits every time you sail with us.

by -

 

Here at cruise club we’re proud to be Launching our newest concept for the discerning traveller.

Prestige cruise club

Myself and two of our most experienced team members will be exclusively handling the very best cruise experiences available – with the reputation / quality and service you have come to know over the years.

Prestige-Cruise-CLub
Visit our dedicated Prestige collection

 

With only the most luxurious cruise ships, we’re sure that you’ll enjoy the very best

– at our legendary great prices.

Azamara logo
Click to visit our guide to Azamara
Crystal_Cruises_Logo-300x232
Click to visit our guide to Crystal
oceania-cruises_LOGO_67
Click to visit our guide to Oceania
regent-logo
Click to visit our guide to Regent
SeabournNewLogo.JPEG
Click to visit our guide to Seabourn

 

silversea-cruises_LOGO_50
Click to visit our guide to Silversea

What I’ve learned over the course of building my knowledge of these cruise lines is that on a value for money basis – you get so much more for not a huge amount more money – making it well worth it.

 

So if your holiday time is important, you can’t take as many holidays as you like you’ll want to make sure that you enjoy every last minute – and with all the finishing touches you expect.

 

Gratuities and drinks = included

A sun lounger for every bed on the ship – meaning you’ll always find your “you” space onboard

Complimentary speciality dining

Ships refurbished Every 2 years

Complimentary mini bar setup in your stateroom

Crew Ratio of 1.1

Complimentary use of water sports

  • Some of the highlights of the companies featured in our new collection
  • Soon we’ll be blogging more about the separate cruise lines and their individual benefits.

 

The Luxury cruise market is growing with new ships being launched thru 2016-2019 meaning more cabins – more availability and therefore a more competitive market, now is a great time to enjoy your once in a lifetime luxury cruise.

Blog again soon.

The cap’n

 

Visit our new and exclusive web page, featuring news and information for your forthcoming six star cruise holiday!

www.cruiseclubuk.com/prestige

The prestige difference is clear.

  • Dedicated direct phone number and email address to your personal Cruise Concierge.
    (UK Based, luxury trained expert who have personally visited many of the ships we feature)
  • Exclusive offers you won’t find anywhere else
  • An industry beating customer loyalty scheme.
  • A true full package, Return flights including luggage, private transfers, all taxes, ABTA, ATOL bonded and further cruise disruption protection.
  • Regular personal emails containing, unique itineraries and offers, news from the prestige community and more.
  • Interactive website featuring the very best itineraries and prices, cruise news, blog and reviews.
  • All part of the prestige experience,
  • With over 30 years’ experience leading the cruise agent market and hundreds of years of experience at your fingertips – that’s the cruise club difference!

Here at Prestige Cruise Club once you have sailed with us you’re part of the prestige family. From your first voyage we will issue you with our loyalty bonus points. It’s our way of saying thank you for trusting us with your dream cruise and welcoming you back again and again with extra benefits every time you sail with us.

Afternoon Cruisers.

Just seen an interesting cruise video online that I wanted to share with my readers.

Turns out that painting a ship isn’t as easy as adding a coat of emulsion.

See for yourself as the Splendor of the seas (the second ship I cruised on) transforms into the TUI discovery.

For anyone interested my first ship was P&O’s Canberra…

Tarar for now

The Capn’

 

Where is the Edge?

For a company notorious for keeping things secret, Celebrity cruises still haven’t given us anymore details about their new “edge” ships.

What do we know so far…….

Parent company (Royal Caribbean international) announced in December 2014 that they’ve signed a letter of intent to build two new ships with a Nickname of “project edge”

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These new ships will be smaller than Solstice class but larger than Millennium class.

With a specification of

2,900 guests, and a 117,000 gross registered tons – gives her a Guest / space ratio of 40.34 tons per guest (Solstice class is 42.8per guest)

(For anyone that doesn’t know, a ships “tonage” is not the weight, it a measurement of space onboard) anyway….

These new ships are expected delivery of autumn 2018 & 2020

  • So Celebrity best start announcing the details because they’re already selling cruises for April 2018 therefore we’re realistically looking 6months until Autumn 2018 goes on sale.

The Rumour mill is spinning. Of course with no official announcement – this is all speculation.

Edge will replace the Eclipse sailings out of Southampton.

Some of my customers have been told that the Eclipse’s time in Southampton is numbered – with a High booking port, the only explanation would be that they’re putting in their new hardware.

Celebrity’s only statement so far.

“We will bring our guests closer to the destination than ever before.”

  • This sounds like they’re bigging up the ships dimensions as a feature of getting into small ports. (the ship is 20 something foot shorter than Solstice class)

 

So what would you like to see on the project edge ships?

What do Celebrity need to get improve and what do they need to change?

Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see what the people want.

by -

Now the festive season is all a (happy) memory, the tree is down, the decorations are all back in the loft and we’re all doing well with our new year resolutions…

We all hope you had a great festive season and are enjoying 2016 so far.

You may have seen a lot of the cruise companies are starting to shout about their new promotions and its taken me a few days to asess them all and work out who’s doing what.

One that has stood out is the variety of free benifits on one of Europe’s much loved ships.

The Norwegian spirit is BACK in 2016! Everyone’s been asking for this much loved ship to sail back to Europe and NCL have listened.

With her medium size, personal spaces on board – award winning entertainment and generous staterooms – shes always been high scoring customer favorite.

Back for 2016 she’s cruising the beautiful med, the sun soaked canaries.

Cruise club have a great working relationship with NCL (as you already know) and we’ve negotiated exclusive deals on this popular ship you wont find elsewhere!

Free premium Drinks package throughout the duration of the cruise.

Free London Gatwick flights*

Free Transfers

And as finances are a little tight at the moment = a low low deposit to book of just £99per person (and we’ll even do credit cards at no fee)

The prices are great too from just £599 with all that included, you cant afford not to 🙂

We’re even cruising ourselves – In March 2017 on our first cruise club member cruise !!

Any questions, want to know more – I’ve attached our mini brochure HERE

For Reviews, videos, Itineraries, Deck plans, Cabin Guides  and more HERE

Last time we had an offer like this – We sold out the free flight within a week, and disappointing people once they had gone was not nice. don’t delay – book today 0800 163 164 

Wishing you all a happy and well cruised 2016

Andy & the cruise club team.

*Regional flights are available at a £169 per person suppliment. Free flights do not include hold luggage (£30per case Gatwick / £50per case regional flights)

Insider news… – overheard in a marketing meeting. Coming soon. Cruise Club UK are working on an exciting set of offers in conjunction with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Mediterranean cruises 2016 & 2017 with free Drinks, Free flights and low prices.

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Good afternoon everyone, thought I would let you know about something we’re currently putting together for our December promotion.

Coming soon to a letterbox near you – Cruise Club UK’s handpicked 2016 & 2017 Mediterranean collection in Conjunction with Norwegian cruise lines.

Cocktails

FREE All-inclusive drinks package

– meaning you can enjoy your favourite drinks on board without

worrying about a big bill at the end.

AND

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FREE Flights

Flights from Gatwick included free of charge on all cruises featured in the brochure

  • We’ve also negotiated LOW supplement local flights too!

AND

An ULTRA low deposit

  • With the festive season on the horizon, we’ve

pre-arranged a low £99 per person deposit.

You can use a credit card too, with no fees.

 

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We will be featuring these cruises in the national press from December

Offers like this don’t stay available for long!

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

If you would like me to let you know as soon as i know more – then send me an email andy@cruiseclubuk.com

Tarar for now

the capn’

Recently cruise club UK were pleased to host 148 customers on an overnight sample cruise onboard NCL’s newest biggest ship (the Norwegian escape)

My Colleague Jon has already shared his experience of the ship

During the event – we ran a photo contest with all our cruise club customers – and I thought I’d share the winners so everyone can see our favourite images captured onboard.

The Grand prize was a £100 Cruise club gift certificate and a goodie bag.

The winners are announced and prizes are sent out.

The 3rd place went to Mr Jones of Colchester.

THIRD PLACE 032142-022 (5)
The Magnificent Giant LED Chandelier in the ships Atrium.

A big talking point of the ship was the magnificent LED colour changing chandelier in the atrium.

I got so many photos of this chandelier – it was difficult to pick the best.

But Mr Jones’s had the edge (I hope you all agree)

 

2Nd place went to Mrs Earnshaw of Bury

SECOND PLACE (2)
Having lots of fun in the District brew house bar / photo booth.

 

Onboard the ship is the district brew house

  • An Industrial style bar, featuring draught beers from around the world. They also have a free photo booth!
  • It looks like Mrs Earnshaw & co were having a great time onboard.

 

First place

Mr Lewis of Caldicot and the ships motto.

FIRST PLACE 002063-009 (1)
Winner ! the ships motto

NCL themselves were particularly impressed with Mr Lewis’s photo of the ship Motto.

Located in a quiet corner of the ship, it’s not easy to find. He really must’ve had a good explore to find it.

 

All our invited guests seemed to have a great time on board.

Feedback recieved;

Hi Andy, it was nice to meet you on board, along with other Cruise Club (CC) representatives, and to put a face to the staff whom with have dealt with over the phone, and of course the good turnout of past CC cruisers.

I must say the M grade balcony cabin (8734),we had was very nice, and the bathroom was the best we have ever experienced aboard cruise ships, with a real proper shower.

A good time was had by all, well done CC.


Dear Andy Just to say thank you for the invite to the cocktail party on The  NCL Escape, and to meet you and Natalie,  which is nice to put a face to people you speak to, when booking.   You did have good attendance of clients which was very good for you, so once again thank you.

Peter& Sandra Levett


Hi Andy

Just wanted to say thank you for inviting us to the above this week.  We had a great time, and it was lovely to meet you and other members of the team.

Hope to be able to do another taster with you and Cruise Club again in the future. It certainly given us an insight to a cruise line we had not considered before.

Kind Regards

Irene Ingrey


Hi Andy

Thanks for a fantastic trip, we really enjoyed it and thanks to everyone else who also made it such a lovely day too. The evening was brilliant too!

We didn’t realise what a buzz it was to be on such a big ship, see it start its journey on the sea and then enjoy all the amazing facilities on board. We were really impressed and surprised that we only managed to see a small part of it in a day and a night.

Thanks again, we’ll be in touch.

Love Jane and Vin


Andy,

Many thanks for the past 2 days, it was great to meet you all .

Our first cruise was 18 years ago and it was with NCL so it was good to see how much they had progressed and now have quite a wonderful ship, we book about 5 cruises a year so we may have to look at NCL again. Again many thanks as we always think of you as our No1 cruise agency. Please find some photos.

Thanking you Gail and Lyndon Lewis.


The dinner was absolutely exceptional, thank you very much. And the entertainment was also excellent, so all in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our Introduction. I look forward to hearing about the future cruise aspect.

Keith Darby.


Hi Andy,

Just a short note to thank you for inviting me to join your party on the Norwegian Cruise Lines Escape.  My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed our day and night on the ship and did the ‘grand tour’ of her. We had a super dinner and enjoyed the show ‘Million Dollar Quartet’.

Look forward to doing business with you soon again, Kind regards, Sheila Brook

 

Do you think we picked the right winners?

Is the Escape a ship you would like to cruise on?

Have any questions – get in touch 0161 798 2514 or andy@cruiseclubuk.com

Tarar for now

the cap’n

 

Royal Caribbean have confirmed added to their already bulging order books today and confirmed that they are extending their list of upcoming ships by adding Quantum Class #5

The popular class of ships has been a sell-out for Royal and why not capitalize on that success.

The current order book for Royal looks a little like this,

 

Ovation of the seas (April 2016)

Unnamed  “of the seas” (April 2019)

Today’s Announcement = Quantum class #5 “of the seas” (Mid 2020)

Adding this to their Upcoming Oasis Class new builds.

Harmony of the seas (June 2016)

Unnamed Oasis class “of the seas”( June 2017)

The Majesty of the Seas
More to come !

With an impressive order list like that Royal Caribbean have over 23’000 Beds on order.

By the looks of things they’re having a quiet 2018 and haven’t got any new ships that year – but they wont be putting their feet up – as the New Celebrity cruises “project edge” is coming in 2018

Project edge is still shrouded in Mystery – with no press releases yet, I’ll blog about it as soon as we know more.

No names have been announced by Royal Caribbean yet,

But the best place to look are their pending registered trademarks.

Passion of the seas

Pulse of the seas

Vantage of the seas

Apex of the seas

Spectrum of the seas

Emblem of the seas

Quite a few possibilities there, have you any contenders you would put forward.

If you suggest a name, Royal Caribbean read it on my blog, then they name a ship after your suggestion – you’ll win a FREE cruise club UK Pen !!

You’ve got to be in it to win it – share & comment to be in with a chance of winning a pen from my desk !

Tarar for now

The Capn