Authors Posts by Natalies Nautical Tales

Natalies Nautical Tales

Ahoy There! Welcome to my blog regarding all things cruise. My name is Natalie and I have been working in the travel industry for 17 years and specialising in the cruise sector for over 9 years now. Not only do I book dream cruises for my clients every day but I love to cruise myself! There is just something about waking up in a different place every day and experiencing new cultures and destinations that appeals to me. Cruise ships are just like floating resorts and each has its own personality, no ships are the same so I enjoy trying different cruise lines and sizes of ship. I will be posting pictures from my various cruising adventures and any news from the industry to keep you up to date with the goings on. There will also be some fantastic special offers coming your way in due course so keep your eyes peeled for these too. Please visit my contact page to get in touch if you would like me to check prices for you on any cruise, I promise to get you a great deal! If you want to share any of your cruising experiences or photos with me, I would love to see them!

The summer of 2016 brings a new exciting addition to the Carnival fleet!

Their brand new ship Carnival Vista will based in the Mediterranean and this will be their first ship in a long time to be based in Europe. I am expecting great things from this ship judging by the information released from Carnival. The ship is themed on a connection to the sea and this is visible on board with much more al fresco dining opportunities and outdoor activities.

I thought I would share with you the information I have learned about this ship to whet your appetite!

One of the features that will be on board is a definite first at sea, an IMAX full size cinema!! If you have ever seen a movie on an IMAX screen you will know how big they are, this one will span 3 decks and even feature its own cinema style entrance with ticket kiosks selling popcorn and the usual cinema snacks. The cinema will feature first run releases along with older films and documentaries. There will be a nominal charge for this but it is expected to be much lower than if you paid to see an IMAX screening on land. I love this idea and imagine it will be very popular!

Carnival visa IMAX

There will be the introduction of some new cabin types, ‘Havana Cabanas’ and ‘Family Harbor’ being my favorite! The Family Harbor rooms will accommodate up to 5 people and have a very nautical nod in the decoration. There will also be a dedicated lounge that is only available for those staying in these rooms. This will be a great meeting place and getting to know other families. In addition for families, the Dr Seuss kids program will be very popular, with  character breakfasts available and story time on board for the little ones. Baby sitting facilities will also be available up until till 3am so everyone can enjoy their cruise to the max.

Family harbour

The ‘Havana Cabanas’ will have direct access to the Havana pool on the ship and this is only available for those staying in these rooms! This gives exclusive access to this area until 5pm after which it is open for other guests to enter. The lanai balconies will have sun chairs and hammocks to relax on if you just want to stay near to your cabin. This would be my kind of cabin!

Havana cabana 2 Havana cabana Havana pool

The atrium on board is stunning! The blue columns you can see on the picture below are actually LED screens allowing all kinds of images to be projected giving a different feel on board.

Vista atrium

Carnival ships are well known for their water-parks at sea and the Carnival Vista features a brand new ‘tube’ slide called the Kaleidoscope. In addition to the new slide will be the rope walking course and the new Skyride cars. These will be fixed to an overhead track and using pedal power you can take yourself around the track taking in the views from top deck of the ship below and the surrounding area. This looks like great fun!

Kaleidoscope slide Skyride skyride track


I am sure you will agree this looks to be a great addition to the fleet and for the European market to be given this exclusive for the maiden season it is such a big privilege from Carnival!

We have some fantastic rates for the summer 2016 season so if you would like prices or more information please do not hesitate to give me a call directly on 0161 7982506. 

You may or may not have seen our recent newspaper adverts and website offers featuring the new ‘Choice Campaign’ for Norwegian Cruise Line .

This promotion is only available until the 27th February and offers fantastic value for money!

Lets start with explaining what the new campaign gives you;

Dependent on where you are travelling to dictates the offers you will receive on your cruise, see the grid below.

NCL grid

The Ultimate Beverage package includes the following;

Variety of spirits and cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draught beers up the value of $10 and also soda soft drinks. The 15% gratuity normally added to bar purchases is also included.

The Ultimate Dining package includes the following;

Unlimited dining at the speciality restaurants on board, excluding; Entertainment dining venues ( if applicable ), Chefs Table, Ocean Blue, Ice cream bar, Gelato and Carlo’s bakery items.


NCL are the pioneers of Freestyle Cruising and this new campaign gives you even more opportunity to choose a different dining venue each evening without having to pay the normal cover charge. If you haven’t tried a cruise with them before this is the ideal opportunity as you are getting so much more for your money!

An ‘All Inclusive’ cruise is something I am asked for an awful lot, as it does make budgeting for your spending money so much easier. In recent times these were far and few between as you had to pay extra for any drinks packages etc. but for early bookers this year there are some great deals out there to be had!

Take a look at our Norwegian Cruise Line offers page as we have various deals for winter departures to the Canary Islands, Eastern and Western Mediterranean at the moment with all including the ‘Choices’ extras.

If you are interested in finding out any prices and availability please give me a call directly on 0161 7982506.

The Panama Canal is one of the most famous canals in the world, in fact, it is now classed as one of the seven wonders of the modern world! You can now experience a breath taking Panama Canal Cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line.

Panama map

At just over 77 kilometres it connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The building of the canal itself was one of the largest and most difficult constructions undertaken at the time so it is no wonder the Panama Canal cruises are so popular, it tends to be one of those places that is on everyone’s bucket list. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to do this one yet but I’m certain it will feature at some point!

Some cruises offer just a partial transit, where the ship sails in to Gatun Lake ( the man made lake at the middle section of the canal ) then turns around and comes back. The Norwegian Pearl cruise we currently have on offer is a full transit so you get to experience the full length of this awesome man made creation!

I have sailed many times around the Caribbean Islands with various cruise lines but have so far never had the pleasure of sailing with Celebrity Cruises ( until next year! ).

Our featured itinerary is on board the Celebrity Equinox which is one of the Solstice class ships with Celebrity Cruises. As the brand states, modern luxury, is just what you will get on board.

This is the question on everyone’s lips when it come to cruising! I am asked this on a regular basis so this blog should help you decide if drinks packages on cruise ships are worth it for you.

Most cruise lines now offer some form of package; whether it be as an early booking offer, included as standard or as an extra to add to your booking. This is great value if you can get it included in the price but each line do vary in price to add this as an extra.