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.

Royal Caribbean are getting a (new/old) ship…..

Rumors are swirling on the Royal Caribbean grapevine.

What we do know is they are Re-introducing a ship that they “sold” off in 2008.

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The much loved Empress of the seas is coming back to Royal Caribbean.

At 48000 tonnes – carrying 2000 passengers she is significantly smaller than anything else on Royal Caribbean’s books at the moment.

  • Current smallest is the Majesty of the seas (74000 tonnes & 2350 passengers)

The ship is currently sailing for Pullmantour cruises (a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean & Pullmantour holidays)

At this stage it is unknown what they’ll do with the ship when she comes back to Royal Caribbean in spring 2016 – but they have confirmed that the ship will be receiving an “extensive” refurbishment.

As there is no information at the moment as to what they’ll be doing with the ship – all I can do is speculate.

The capn’s educated guess is…..

A new Azamara ship.

= Azamara cruises is a luxury small-ship subsidiary of Royal Caribbean specializing in Small port / luxury experience. They’ve been 100% sold out on all voyages for years now and is crying out for more capacity.

However… the only snag to this plan could be the Empress’s lack of balcony staterooms.

The ship is getting a complete overhaul – they could be adding balcony cabins at the same time.

This is only speculation – but it would be a sensible move for RCCL.

 

Remember you heard it here first.

Tarar for now

Cap’n

In an Unprecedented move Royal Caribbean are really breaking with the norm.

They are Re-introducing a ship that they “sold” off in 2008.

shutterstock_257276875

The much loved Empress of the seas is coming back to Royal Caribbean.

At 48000 tonnes – carrying 2000 passengers she is significantly smaller than anything else on Royal Caribbean’s books at the moment.

  • Current smallest is the Majesty of the seas (74000 tonnes & 2350passengers)

The ship is currently sailing for Pullmantour cruises (a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean & Pullmantour holidays)

At this stage it is unknown what they’ll do with the ship when she comes back to Royal Caribbean in spring 2016 – but they have confirmed that the ship will be receiving an “extensive” refurbishment.

 

As there is no information at the moment as to what they’ll be doing with the ship – all I can do is speculate.

Here is the capn’s educated guesses….

My money is on…

1= A new Azamara ship.

= Azamara cruises is a luxury small-ship subsidiary of Royal Caribbean specialising in Small port / luxury experience. They’ve been 100% sold out on all voyages for years now and is crying out for more capacity. However… the lack of balcony cabins on the empress may put the breaks on that plan.

Other possibilities

2 = what she was designed for.

Shorter Durations = Bahamas is a great route for Royal, maybe the Empress will return to what she was designed to do.

3 = Splendour.

Royal have sold off the splendour of the seas – the much loved small ship (interestingly she’s bigger then empress) leaving the very popular Greek isles / small ship route empty vacant. Maybe it’s a late substitution.

4 = A rival.

Carnival have recently introduced an Eco-voulentourism cruise line see = https://www.fathom.org

Maybe Royal are going to use this ship to rival their effort.

Vote here for what you would like to see the Empress’s new role should be.

 

Remember you heard it here first.

Tarar for now

Cap’n

One of my favourite things to do on a cruise is to go on routes I’ve never imagined. Places I’ve never visited (im not one to do the same route every year) and find my highlight place on the itinerary.

Then the next year – I go back to that favourite place on a land based holiday.

 

I’ve done this a few times now.

 

One of the first times was when I did a Caribbean cruise in 2008

Beautiful itinerary on the Sea princess – but Aruba (especially Palm Beach) stood out.

One hotel really captured my attention, the RUI Palace Aruba

Sea Princess 08 (87)In 2009 – I was staying there for 2 weeks in the Caribbean sunshine. I probably would never have thought of going to Aruba – without the cruise I probably wouldn’t have done.

Aruba09 159

 

I did a Mini Break in 2010 – Southampton, Zebbrugge & Paris.

Visited Bruges and sampled the beers on offer – again loved it so much I went back for my birthday in 2014

Azura (20)bruges 076

The Next cruise was the Mediterranean in 2012

Loved the whole cruise (Split, Croatia is still to be re-visited) But Santorini was my stand out favourite.

Guess where I went in 2013 for a week in the clifftops of Santorini, watching the cruise ships coming and going.

(I may just have to go back again I enjoyed it so much)

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On my 2012 cruise I also loved Bodrum Turkey, A nicer and quieter resort. Away from the typical “Turkey”

So I went back in 2014.

 

 

This year I’ve just come back from the Western Mediterranean – and really loved Nice and Florence.

Who knows where I’ll be going next year, I cant wait !!

 

Something that really puts a good start to my (and hopefully your) cruise holiday is a great Sail away.

A particularly great view as your ship drops ropes and casts off – A view that you just have to sit and watch as the land disappears while you set course to your next destination.

I’ve got a few of my own that I’d like to share – and let me know if you have any of your own to share too.

#1 Venice.

The ultimate sail away in my book – I hope you agree.

The sail away was so good I missed my evening meal!!

Grandeur Med (103)

#2 New York

Casting off from New York Harbour and sailing along the upper bay – sailing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Watching the world’s most iconic skyline as it disappears into the distance with a nice cold beer in hand.

An up close view of the statue of liberty (she’s smaller than I expected)

NYC&Cruise 121

NYC&Cruise 142

  • Interesting factoid!
  • The ship I was onboard (Crown Princess) is 1 foot taller than the clearance of the bridge.
  • But due to the “Squat” effect the ship drops in the water the faster she goes (so we took the bridge at full speed)

#3 Miami

Not technically a Sail way – but one of my most memorable starts to a cruise.

When I sailed from Miami on the Oasis of the seas it happened to be the same day as they took delivery of the Allure of the seas (we departed – allure arrived from the shipyard)

As a publicity stunt By Royal Caribbean had the 2 ships side by side in the Atlantic, with a synchronised side-by-side sailing
Miami Oasis (102)

 

 

There is even a video if you want to know more https://youtu.be/wnP1dzKRGEs

#4 Santorini

A beautiful Island, One of my all-time favourites – so much so I had to go back on holiday.

Sorry the picture isn’t that good – but you get the idea.

Grandeur Med (324)

Honourable mention…

#5 the Caribbean

Yes – they all do start to look the same (this is Grand Turk by the way)

But it’s such a beautiful part of the world.

NYC&Cruise 177 NYC&Cruise 176

 

Finally,

This is not what I mean by a beautiful sail away.

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A beautiful view of Ikea.

 

They are some of the ports I’ve visited. Have you a particular favourite?

  • Let me know

Tarar for now

 

The Capn’

After years of operating in the shadow of Royal Caribbean’s new builds Carnival Cruises is finally throwing its hat back in the ring for the biggest* cruise ship in the world.

Arriving 2019 -2022 are 4 brand new Carnival ships to take on Royal Caribbean’s behemoth Oasis class ships.

The new carnival ships will each carry 6600 guests (that’s 304 more than Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class.

BUT – and this is a BIG but – the new carnival ships are actually smaller than royal’s oasis class.

New Carnival design is 180’000 tonnes (27 tonnes of space per person)

Oasis class is 225’000 tonnes (41 tonnes of space per person)

 

What can we take from the figures? Not much….

I can only guess the vast difference in space is because the Carnival offering is not as wide / will not have the spectacular open spaces (park & boardwalk) that the Oasis class has.

RCI_Oasis and Independence_Aerials_04-03-10-015F

The Carnival ships will be split up and given to different brands in the Carnival corp.

Provisional rumours place them into the “European” brands – that’s Aida & Costa cruises.

  • As I cant see P&O having a ship that size.

As soon as more news and info comes out I’ll be sure to update this blog.

Tarar for now – Capn.

The cruise rumour mill is in overload today.

Apparently Royal Caribbean are considering removing Dynamic dining on the Anthem of the seas and adopting a Rotational dining scheme,

  • This is where you’re automatically assigned a different dining room each night.

This is only a rumour at the moment and when I know more I’ll be blogging about it.

Stay tuned

Tarar for now

the Cap’n

 

 

Afternoon (or evening, or Morning) all.

Sorry I’ve been a while – but the Cap’n has been busy doing the day job.

Interesting news is coming out on the new build ships on the horizon. Carnival have announced details of the new-old Carnival Vista. I say new – old because its surely a re-vamp of the Dream class – which was a re-vamp of the Conquest class – which was a re-vamp of the spirit class (you get the idea). On one hand I think – is it too much for the worlds largest cruise line to do something different. But on the other hand, if it isn’t broken don’t fix it ! And it is not broken !

Best of both worlds.This offer in our Brochure really appealed to me, its an offer that really gives the best of both world in one package. Action and adventure in one of the entertainment capital of the world – and a peaceful relaxing break on a beautiful ship afterwards.

You’ve got a 5 night break in Orlando – with the most diverse collection of attractions in the world. You can relax in the Florida Sun – hit the theme parks – or get a start on your Christmas shopping in the Florida malls.