Authors Posts by Miss Bs High Seas

Miss Bs High Seas

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Hello All! I’m Laura, but you can call me Miss B, my blog is called Miss B’s High Seas, I’ve been working in the travel industry for 22 years (WOW that’s gone fast!). I have a great extensive knowledge of many destinations both to do with cruise & other travel too. But my real passion is Australia & New Zealand I absolutely love everything about these places! I must admit cruising is one of the best ways to see lots of amazing destinations in complete relaxed luxury, My favourite cruise line is Norwegian Cruise Line, as their relaxed atmosphere suits me down to the ground. So stay tuned to my blog for some great first hand experience and my opinions, reviews & other cool bits! Ciao for now! Miss B!

Sailing from Bangkok (Laem Chabang Port) or visiting as a port of call on your itinerary….. Here’s the low down on what to do and useful information:

The port of Laem Chabang on the Gulf of Thailand is two hours south of Bangkok. If your visiting for the day you can opt for a shore excursion to Bangkok or head to the nearest beach resort of Pattaya, approx.. 30 minutes away.  Be warned the port is industrial there aren’t many public transport options!! I would advise to pre arrange a private transfer if you’re going to do your own thing.

Bit of useful information regarding Thailand’s currency, the Thai Baht:

ATM’s charge a high service fee for foreign cards. I took cash with me and stored it in the safe and just took out what I needed day by day. (stops you having excess charges on your bank account once you return home)

Tipping is not expected. If you’re having a sit down meal expect to pay VAT and a service charge on top of your bill

The culture in Thailand is so different from ours. The first time I visited I was woken by loud music being played over the street speakers. After questioning hotel staff I found out that the Thai National Anthem is played twice a day at 8am and 6pm! If you are in a public place follow suit of the locals and stand up or stop walking. You’re not expected to know about the anthem, but it is polite if you do.

tuk tuk

Tuk Tuk’s are the local quirky mode of transport. They are not for the faint hearted as they zip in and out of the busy Thai roads (avoid early morning engine fumes). I would highly recommend haggling before you get in, as the price named by the driver is always higher. You should be paying 5-15 Baht lower. BEWARE in tourist areas of tuk tuk drivers offering you expert knowledge and offering to take you to secret places. I got scammed on this, basically they take you to their friends back street shop and once your there it’s very hard to leave without purchasing something (unless your rude). In return the driver gets given petrol tokens by the retailer.

In the streets and especially roundabouts are pictures of the King, out of respect vehicles passing by beep. As the roads are busy 24/7 there’s a constant beep!

Not to be missed is Kao San Road, best experienced in the evening when it comes alive. It’s a 1 kilometre long road filled with market stalls, hotels, cafes, bars, nightclubs and street food including the local cockroach on a stick!

Check out the floating flower markets north of Bangkok, take to the small canals on small flat boats and be guided through the buzzing waterways. It’s a brilliant atmosphere and you can pick up some bargains on route.

Other highlights include:

Wat Phra Kaew (temple of the emerald Buddha) its regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located within the grounds of the Grand Palace. Dating back to the 15th century the emerald Buddha is carved from a single block of jade. *A strict dress code applies due to it being a sacred site. Men must wear long pants, top with sleeves and no bare feet (so if wearing sandals socks must be worn with them). Woman must dress similar, no see through clothes or bare shoulders. When I visited I paid at the front gate which required a deposit and they provide you with very unflattering linen clothes.

bkk blog

Wat Pho is located behind the temple of the emerald buddha. One of the largest temples in Bangkok, it houses the famed giant reclining Buddha. Measuring 46 meters long and covered in gold leaf. TOP TIP: along the sides of the Buddha are bronze bowls, buy a bag of coins on arrival and as a sign of good luck drop them into the 108 bowls. (I was left with a few at the end that I had obviously missed out). Its also home to the Thai massage school and a great place and price to experience.

bkk palace

Wat Arun is the most stunning temple as its located on the banks of the river Chao Phraya. You can take the small shuttle boat from nearby Wat Pho as its situated opposite.

There is so much to do and see in and around Bangkok its hard to list everything but the highlights I experienced. If you have any questions please feel free to call me and I will be more than happy to talk Thailand!

 

2016 sees Disney Cruise Line sail from the UK for the first time, on board Disney Magic sailing from Dover

 

New itineraries are on sale now!

Sailings as follows:

May 2016 7 Nights Norwegian Fjords

June 2016 12 Nights British Isles

July 2016 Relocates Dover to Barcelona

disney ship

Features include:

Unlimited snacks, soft drinks, tea coffee and ice cream daily

Exclusive adult area

24 hour complimentary room service

Special moments with Disney Characters

Disney Magic 84,000 gross tonnage with 877 staterooms

 

Don’t miss out…. Call me on 0161 798 2558 for an instant quote

 

 

 

 

Join me as I discuss the sights and sounds of the Cruise destination Barcelona, in my eyes the best Spanish City ,offering all year round sun and sightseeing

Bearing in mind if you sail out of Barcelona you won’t have time to experience the city. My suggestion: add on a pre or post hotel stay or if you’ve pushed for time why not opt for a later flight back home. If you choose the latter I would advise take your transfer from the port to airport (which we will/have pre booked for you at the time of booking) and store your luggage. Both terminals offer this service for up to 24 hours, Cost is 10 Euros per bag stored. Then take the airport express shuttle service (approx. 10 Euros return per person) which drops you off at the Plaza de Cataluntya

I have visited Barcelona on numerous occasions, each time a different experience. Here’s a brief overview of things to do:

 

You can’t get around Barcelona without hearing the name: Antonio Gaudi – A famous architect known for his individual and distinctive style. His work was influenced by his life passions: architecture, nature and religion

gaudi

Some of his work includes:

 

Park Güell – A magical park with amazing buildings and sculptures. Gaudí’s old home is located here, which is now open to the public as a small museum

 

sagrada familia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It took 20 years to build the Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt), so far it’s taken around 200 years (with modern technology) to build the Sagrada Familia! (still under construction)  It’s the most visited attraction in Barcelona and is said to be some the finest work of architecture

Casa Batlló – Modernist building by Gaudí on Passeig de Gràcia

Camp Nou – Barcelona Football Club is a very popular excursion. Complete with a museum and multimedia exhibits. Take the selfguided tour of the stadium

Although Barcelona’s beaches are artificial they offer a great day of sunning/people watching and you’re within walking distance of the City

The Columbus Monument – take the lift to 60 meters and experience the great views of the Ramblas and the Port

coloumbus

Upto 150,000 people visit Las Ramblas on a daily basis, it’s busy day and night!

It’s actually split into 5 separate avenues, which flow into each other:

Rambla de Canaletes – the site of the Font de Canaletes, which is a fountain Rambla dels Estudis – the site of an open-air market for caged birds and other small pets, which no longer exists Rambla de Sant Josep – the site of an open-air flower market Rambla dels Caputxins – Liceu Opera House Rambla de Santa Mònica – arts center

My top tip: Its fab people watching in one of the café/bars on the Las Ramblas but it’s expensive…… So eat where the locals do, saving you money and having more to spend on sightseeing!

We have some amazing deals on Cruises departing from Barcelona. For an instant quote please call me on 0161 798 2558

 

 

Drum roll please:

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Today Royal Caribbean have announced the UK’s most popular ship INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS will be retuning to Southampton in 2016

After  being voted best family cruise ship, makes this announcement more exciting!

Itineraries will include a selection of 3 to 14 night sailings – from mini breaks to the Mediterranean

Their new ship Harmony of the Seas will kick off its summer season 2016 from Barcelona and Rome

After a £50 Million makeover the Navigator of the Seas will too return to UK waters offering customers 6 – 14 nights sailings including Norwegian Fjords, Baltic, Med and Canary Island itineraries

Watch this space for deals/itineraries/promotions. IT’S ALL GOING ON!!!!!

For upto date information please call me on 0161 798 2558 I look forward to talking Royal Caribbean with you…

 

  Repositioning cruise info:

Simply explained a repositioning cruise is when a ship relocates form one region to another, these tend to be Spring & Autumn time: March/April and October/November. These are sold at discounted rates to customers rather than the ship sail point to point with no passengers

 

What is it about a repositioning cruise that makes it so appealing?

  • For a start the cost is cheaper than a regular itinerary
  • You get to visit different cruise regions and continents in one voyage
  • More days at seas, so no rushing necessary with back to back ports of call every day
  • Some cruise lines have lectures on board and/or offer themed sailings
  • Princess & Oceania Cruise Lines have added more ports of call, making the itineraries more appealing to customers

 

There are a few snags with this style of cruising:

  • One way or open jaw* flights can be expensive
  • More days at sea may not be your thing
  • With longer duration’s, customers may be limited for time

The best way to find a cruise is to look at the regions that have specific seasons. I.e: Alaska has to relocate in September

 

I’ve put together a list of the best upcoming sailings:

2015 Repositioning Cruises

Celebrity Eclipse 1st November 2015 15 nights Southampton to Miami

Celebrity Solstice 2nd October 2015 18 nights Honolulu to Sydney

Holland America Eurodam 4th October 2015 14 nights Quebec to Fort Lauderdale

Holland America Ryndam 3rd October 2015 28 nights Venice to Singapore

Norwegian Spirit 28 or 35 nights 24 October 20105 Venice to Port Canaveral – Orlando

Norwegian Star 06 October 2015 19 nights Dover to Tampa

Norwegian Epic 18 October 2015 14 nights Southampton to Barcelona

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 9th October 2015 14 nights Barcelona to Dubai

Royal Caribbean of the Seas Rhapsody 19th November 2015 16 nights Barcelona to Sao Paulo, Brazil

Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas 28th November 2015 16 nights Venice to Dubai

 

2016 Repositioning Cruises

Celebrity Eclipse 17th April 2016 13 nights Miami to Southampton

Celebrity Solstice 9th April 2016 18 nights Sydney to Honolulu

Holland America 27th March 2016 14 nights Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona

Norwegian Spirit 16th April 2016 33 nights Port Canaveral – Orlando to Venice

Royal Caribbean, Rhapsody of the Seas 10th April 2016 14 nights Sao Paulo (Brazil) to Barcelona

Royal Caribbean, Splendour of the Seas 4th April 2016 16 nights Dubai to Venice

 

We can tailor make quotes to suit your needs. If you’re looking at adding hotel stays on pre or post cruise we can provide you with competitive prices

Please call me on my direct line 0161 798 2558

*Open jaw flights are those which fly into one destination and out of another

Kia Ora (Hi G’day) to all you cruise fanatics out there, today I will be looking at wonderful sites,sounds ,smells and especially tastes in the cruise destination New Zealand.

Known as the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland, New Zealand is one of the safest travel destinations in the world

Arriving by sea into Princes Wharf you may think it looks rather mundane. You would be wrong to think exotic from first glance, it’s not until you venture on to dry land that Auckland packs a punch! It’s one of the most breath taking places I have ever been.

Read on to discover facts, useful information and things to do:

Most places in New Zealand receive over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year. During the summer months daylight can last up until 9.30pm. With very little air pollution compared to other countries makes the UV rays in sunlight very strong.

For adrenaline junkies New Zealand is one of the best places in the world. From bungy, skydiving, caving, rafting to jet boat rides. The list never ends!

Auckland is a nature lovers paradise, with its stunning beaches, parks and walking trails it’s no wonder the locals spend most of their time outdoors! The city has more boats than anywhere in the world. Your never more than 30 minutes away from a beach.

Look out for i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, situated on Princes Wharf. They provide a free booking service for activities, attractions and transport. Don’t forget to pick up a free map to help you get around too.

Pop into a Tip Top Ice Cream shop and try the local Hokey Pokey flavour – vanilla ice cream with bits of sponge toffee mixed in… YUMMY!

 

Rangitoto Island – A 25 minute ferry ride across the harbour. This dormant volcano offers awesome views of Auckland and the outer Islands. Explore lava caves and climb the summit or opt for the 4wd option!

Sky Tower – The tallest man made structure in New Zealand offers 80 kilometre view in every direction

Head to Mount Eden, the highest point in Auckland. (One of the regions 48 volcanic cones*) Take in the stunning panoramic view, walk through the vast gardens and visit Mount Eden village, complete with cafes, shops and art galleries.

Mt-Eden-19029-lge

Middle Earth fans (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) can experience day trips to some of the film locations within a 2 hour drive of Auckland. Best way is an organised excursion booked prior to arrival or if your staying for a few days book a trip locally.

middleearthmap-72

New Zealand only has one dangerous/poisonous animal – the katipo spider, which is endangered so no need to panic!

 

If you require further info on cruises that feature New Zealand or are thinking of doing a pre or post hotel stay, please feel free to contact me. I spent 4 weeks traveling round North Island, New Zealand in a campervan…. One place I would definitely recommend is The Bay Of Islands situated north of Auckland, breathtaking! Experience Mauri culture.

Call me on my direct line 0161 798 2558

*A volcanic cone is a triangle shaped hill formed as material from volcanic eruptions plies up around the volcanic vent, or opening in Earth’s

Welcome to the latest installment of my bog as I explore the cruise destination Singapore.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Singapore on numerous occasions, each time different than the last. That’s because Singapore is forever redeveloping and modernizing. It’s no surprise that Singapore has been voted top travel destination for 2015.

 

Quick facts:

 Approx. 13 Hours flying time from the UK

 Chewing gum is banned in Singapore so leave it at home when packing!

 Great news, you can enjoy free wireless internet access in public places across Singapore

Visit:  https://www1.starhub.net.sg/wireless/uam/registration

 As a tourist you can claim a refund on the 7% Goods & Services Tax (GST) paid on purchases when you spend more than $100 at participating shops. Just look out for the ‘Tax Free’ logo

 The fastest way to get around is by MRT (mass rapid transit) train system. Buses are just as convenient and economical

 Hot and humid all year round, with temperatures reaching over 30oc. Be prepared for rain which can be torrential yet brief

 

Singapore consists of 3 areas :    Touristic Zone

                                                          Economic Zone

                                                          Sleeping Zone

 Each of these areas are separated by a 5km stretch of immaculate lawns (this can be seen from Mount Faber). Within these areas are ‘neighbourhoods’ and the places I recommend to visit:

faber blog Mount faber has so much to offer. Spectacular panoramic views, walking trails and parkland. Chic dining venues and best of all various cable car experiences. I took the                  cable car from here to Sentosa Island, taking in some lovely views and on a clear day you can see out to Malaysia.

 

Recommended: try Laska soup it’s devine (my favourite)

Jetlagged or need an energy boost, try the local Kopi coffee (very strong)

Head to Singapore Zoo for the night safari, take the 40 minute tram ride around 7 zones of the world and see the nocturnal animals in their habitats. You can also opt for a walking tour and various shows.

It’s such an amazing experience for all ages.

Onite safair

Orchard Road is a must. A shoppers paradise to cater for all tastes.

Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay is home to some of the cities impressive architecture. Amazing skyline views when you look out over the bay. The recently renovated waterfront promenade is on the bank of Marina Bay, walking for approx. 15 minutes brings you to Gardens by the Bay. It’s one huge park with supertrees. Cloud forest is a manmade dome simulating a tropical rainforest and features a 115 foot waterfall. The waterfront at Marina Bay every evening has a laser show, complete with music and projected images. Best of all its free!

Singapore-Sling
Singapore Sling!

After reading this you may be in the mood to sample a ‘Singapore Sling’ cocktail, this famous cocktail was first served at the Raffles Hotel in 1915.

Ingredients include:

GIN/CHERRY BRANDY/COINTREAU/DOM BENEDICTINE/PINEAPPLE JUICE/GRENADINE/ANGOUSTURA BITTERS & LIMES

 

We have some fantastic offers featuring Singapore for more info please call me directly on 0161 798 2558

 

 

 

 

quest_logo

Your Thursday night tv guide starts here:                                                                  

*Quest channel 8pm – MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS

This week it follows Azamara Journey on one of her many year round voyages

Season 1 includes the following Cruise ships:

Paul Gauguin

Le Soleal

Azamara Journey

Celebrity Solstice

Stella Australis

Marco Polo

I did a blog about Mighty ships last year….. Since then the popular Canadian tv show has launched Mighty cruise ships.

Pretty much the same concept where it follows crew and customers for the duration on the voyage.

I find it really interesting as you get to see how the ship works and what makes it unique compared to other cruise ships. From how the ship tackles emergencies on board, daily repairs, loading and unloading of the ship and mapping the weather.

I would recommend this to anyone who has or hasn’t cruised before, im addicted to this programme!

*Available on catch up

 

A warm welcome to part 8 of Cruising Australia and today we find ourselves in the beautiful port of Cairns Queensland

   CARINS, QUEENSLAND                                      map of quuensland

Arriving at Cairns Airport is like no other….. Tropical in temperature and foliage, complete with tropical birds chirping away whilst you wait for your hotel transfer! I knew I was going to like this place.

It’s the only place in the world where two World Heritage Listed areas exist together! Cairns is home to The Great Barrier Reef and the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, Daintree.

 Welcome to part 7 of cruising Australia, today where of to Brisbane the city of green!

bne map                                        BRISBANE

 

Brisbane is very much a green city in which it prides itself! With a subtropical climate 12 months of the year, it’s no wonder this city is full of year round alfresco activities!

Hop on a free inner city buses run weekdays between 7am – 6pm