Authors Posts by Wendy Mulholland

Wendy Mulholland

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Hi, I’m Wendy and I’m thrilled to have recently joined the Cruise Club UK team. After spending 15 years in the travel industry I ventured out into the world of training and development where I spent a number of years training and supporting staff in the travel industry to achieve their goals. Booking dream holidays is something I’ve always missed and I’ve wanted to return to what I do best, arranging and booking holidays for customers. Well here I am and I’m loving every single second of it, the team at Cruise Club UK have such passion about cruising and customer service is our priority. I love cruising and I’ve been very fortunate to cruise with a variety of different cruise lines to destinations such as Far East, Middle East, Alaska, Europe and Caribbean. I love the fact that you can see some many different destinations in one holiday and when you look at the cost and what’s included its usually better value than a hotel based holiday, what’s not to like? Fantastic service, food and entertainment all in one place and I’m amazed at some of the fantastic offers that are available with some of the cruise lines such as free drinks, on board credit, speciality dining and internet and they are amazing for families who have children and quite often work out better value than a family package holiday. Give me a call today on 0161 798 2570, I look forward to helping you in arranging your dream cruise. Thank you for taking the time to read all about me and I look forward to helping you soon and sharing some of my own lovely cruising experiences with you.

My favourite ports of call

I recently blogged about my experience of sailing on the Celebrity Equinox, during the cruise I visited Rome, Florence, Ville Franche, Ajaccio, Palma de Mallorca, Cartagena and Valencia. Out of all the ports of call  visited I would have to say that my two favourites were Ville Franche and Palma De Mallorca. I had visited Palma de Mallorca before but didn’t get to see a great deal of it so had the chance to explore further.  Here are some things to see at each port of call.

Ville Franche

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What struck me the most about Ville Franche was how picturesque it is with it’s cobbled streets and hidden back street bars and restaurants.  It’s much more laid back than other Cote d’Azur resort towns like Nice, Cannes and Monaco, Villefranche, whose old town dates back to the 14th century, evokes a romantic, historic feel. For those weary of sightseeing, it’s a terrific port for hanging out and relaxing.  It’s a popular port of call for lots of different cruise lines.

Lying snugly at the heart of one of the most beautiful bays in the world, Villefranche-sur-Mer rises like a natural amphitheatre from the sea, whose micro-climate encourages the growth of a variety of exotic flora. Villefrance bears witness to several centuries of different civilizations: the medieval Old Town, the mysterious “Rue Obscure”, the fortified harbour, The Citadel (1557) built by the Duke of Savoy, the Saint Peter Chapel decorated by Jean Cocteau, the outdoor theatre, the conference centre and five museums. A haven of peace untouched by time, this city of art has succeeded in preserving the charm and gentle character of an old-fashioned fishing village in spite of its expansion.

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From the Basse Corniche and Moyen Corniche, you can look down across the red tile roofs of the old town, with the distinctive church and bell tower in the centre. Like the medieval villages of the “back country”, the narrow cobblestone and bricked streets slope steeply down towards the sea. There’s quite a medieval feeling here, with many little restaurants to remind you you’re in tourist country. There are also quiet little squares, like the Place Félix Poullan beside the church, and the Place de l’Eglise just below. Tina Turner has a home here.

Boat trips are available This two hour long trip by boat along the coastline will enable you to discover the coast from Villefranche to Monaco. The trips run on Wednesdays from June to September and on Wednesdays and Fridays from July to August. For those who just want to relax you can sit on the harbour front and watch the world go by.

Chapel of Saint Elme

Standing on the water’s edge, overlooking one of the most beautiful bays, the 16th Century Chapel Saint Elme is a classified historical monument.

I prefer to see different ports of call on each cruise I go on however, I wouldn’t hesitate to return to Ville Franche in the future.

 

Palma de Mallorca offers plenty of tourist attractions, catering to every kind of traveller. Discover the heritage of the city through a wide range of cathedrals, castle ruins, museums and galleries. On the other hand, amazing cave formations, nature parks, golden beaches and botanical gardens put a modern twist on Palma’s ancient past.

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One of the most picturesque sights in Palma which can be seen from the Port is La Seu. This is a beautiful and magnificent Roman Catholic Cathedral which radiates the glory of the city. Designed in Spanish levantino Gothic and in southern French Gothic style, the sandstone walls and the flying defences seem to ascend from the sea. Built on an Arab mosque, the cathedral is about 121 metres high, 55 metres wide and 44 metres of nave height. The entrance is through the side door passing by a small museum. Struck by the play of light, the rose window studded with 1236 pieces of stained glass and 12 m wide, is one of the world’s largest windows. The columns are looped with wrought-iron candelabra by Gaudi. The most controversial addition done by Gaudi is the unfinished crown of thorns that is suspended over the altar and shaped with cardboard and cork. Going towards the south front, there is a 15th century door, by Guillem Sagera, that showcases the scenes from the Last Supper.

Palma is a great city for sitting and watching the world go by, it hosts numerous bars and restaurants and has 100’s of shops ranging from designed boutiques to small local shops and market stalls which sell traditional souvenirs. Sampling the local tapas is a must whilst in Palma along with a jug of the famous sangria.  Other resorts in Majorca can be easily accessed from Palma if you are fortunate enough to spend more than one day there, there are lots of beautiful beaches within travelling distance from the centre of Palma.

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In my opinion both ports of call are well worth a visit, until next time, bye 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: Wendy@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2570

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Last August I was fortunate to experience the Celebrity Equinox to celebrate my 40th birthday. Prior to the cruise we spent four nights in Rome taking in the wonderful sights which Rome has to offer, excited about the cruise, we travelled from Rome to Civitavecchia port.  On arrival I was taken a back by the ships beauty and was excited to get on board.

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After a speedy check in we boarded the Equinox and were greeted with a glass of prosecco. Our luggage had been taken off us at check in and we were advised that this would be taken directly to our cabin.  As the sun was shining we went up to the top deck for a look around a enjoyed a cocktail or two.  The staff were friendly and we soon felt at home.  The Equinox is in Celebrity’s Solstice class along with the Eclipse, Reflection, Silhouette and the Solstice.

Facts about the Equinox:-

2850 passengers

122,000 gross tonnage

Entered service in 2010 and refurbished in 2014

The equinox has lots of facilities on board, here a just a few:-

Corning Museum of glass

Celebrity has teamed up with the Corning Museum of Glass to have glassblowing demonstrations onboard the Celebrity Equinox. The Hot Glass Show engages passengers in the art of glass blowing and puts on display lots of different techniques. The professional glass blowers demonstrate their art as they talk about their work, and then certain pieces are available for sale.

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Aquaspa

You can spend whole days at Celebrity Equinox’s AquaSpa. This soothing section of the ship offers many different services, from a Seaweed Massage to an Oxydermy Facial and a manicure that uses heated stones. There are also several lounges, like the Persian Garden where you are surrounded by a dry heat or the Relaxation Room where you can daydream as you look out over the beautiful and calming ocean.

We had prebooked the Classic drinks package and were able to enjoy drinks in the variety of bars on offer, we never once felt bored and met lots of different people during the cruise.

Here are some of the bars which we visited:

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Martini bar and crush

High-energy, fiery cocktail options, ice-topped bars and intriguing people. Head out to the Martini Bar & Crush for a bit of flair and some delightful mixes. Comfortable, plush seating, up-tempo tunes and fine caviars are all available at this unique bar.

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Ensemble bar

Before heading out to your dining experience for the night, grab a pre-dinner appetizer or a digestif afterwards—as you enjoy live musicians and a crowd wearing their finest attire for dinner.

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Passport bar

Located in a prime location, just next to the Grand Foyer, you can kick back at the Passport Bar for a nice cocktail, or wind down your night with some classical, jazz or big band music.

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Cellar masters

If you want to learn more about wine, head to Cellar Masters. This cozy wine bar has a variety of wines available and you can try a variety, as the Enomatic wine dispenser can dispense wine by 1 ounce, 2. 5 ounces or 5 ounce portions. There are also sommeliers on hand aboard the Equinox to help you learn about the wines available, give you advice and share their tasting tips.

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Molecular Bar

Art meets bar and science meets beverage service in the Molecular Bar. Handcrafted cocktails are available any way you like, crafted by The Liquid Chef, Junior Merino. Experience Molecular Mixology firsthand as you delight your senses and enjoy diverse dance and lounge music.

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Sunset Bar

Located in the Lawn Club area, the Sunset Bar lives up to its name with a half-acre of grass and superb views. Country-club atmosphere, relaxation and some pop and folk guitar tunes played live in front of you will really set the mood as you enjoy the award-winning Eureka cocktail.

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Sky Observation Lounge

For a lively, more relaxing, but no less inspiring night out, spend a few hours at the Sky Observation Lounge. Live music and dancing highlight this incredible venue, where you can enjoy interactive theme parties: • Live@Sky is a party filled with 40s era style, songs and dance, with a modern twist. • Motown at the Sky Lounge is funky, groovy and memorable in all the right ways.

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Michael’s Club

Intimate, relaxing conversation and a smooth and comforting atmosphere is what you can expect from Michael’s Club. Featuring over 60 international craft beer selections, this live music and extensive bar environment is the perfect place to spend your night.

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Rendezvous Lounge

The Rendezvous Lounge is a relaxing location with superb ambience for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail, some classy dancing and a bit of live music.

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Quasar

If you consider yourself part of the late-night crew, make sure you head to Quasar for some up-tempo dance music and spicy dance moves.

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Pool & Mast Bar

Kick it with some friends and family outside, meet some interesting and lively people, and stay casual. The Pool & Mast Bar is great for light cocktails, frozen drinks, and some normal beverages from morning to night. You may enjoy popular hits, Latin House or Ibiza Beach, but it’ll always be a laid back time at this bar.

After dinner we went to see a show, I was impressed with the high standard of entertainment on offer which was in comparison to a West end show and Cirque du Soleil. I would definatley sail with Celebrity in the future and look forward to sailing on their other ships.  I am excited at the launch of the Celebrity Edge, Wow what a ship!!

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Celebrity are currently offering the classic drinks package and the choice of either WIFI, free gratuities or $300 per cabin on board credit for 2017/2018 sailings on ocean view and above, this is such a fantastic saving and won’t be available for very 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.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: wendy@cruiseclubuk.com – 0161 798 2570

 

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 Cunard have announced that the Queen Victoria will undergo a multi million pound refit which will also include single staterooms.

She will be taken out of service on 5th May 2017 and will undergo a 34 million pound upgrade with an expected completion date of 4th June 2017. The refit will take place Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Italy.

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Whilst maintaining her elegance and history the refurbishments will usher this regal ship into a new, updated chapter. New to Queen Victoria will include the Britannia club dining room which will offer guests the flexibility of dining when they want and also an intimate restaurant along with 43 spacious Britannia Club staterooms which are located in a prime mid-ship location on Decks 7 and 8.

The new staterooms will include newly designed carpets, flat screen TV’s, mostly 32″ or above, soft furnishings  as well as tea and coffee making facilities.  The ships majestic grand suites and deck 8 aft penthouse suites have been completely re-designed and the ship will now feature a chart room bar.

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The new Chart Room will be located on Deck 2 off the Grand Lobby, where Café Carinthia is currently located. The Chart Room will feature illy coffee, Godiva chocolate treats and light bites by day and stellar cocktails by night. Cunard will also introduce a “gin and fizz” themed menu to the Midships Lounge, including a variety of wines, Proseccos, Cavas and Champagne alongside premium gins and spirits, all blended to create fresh and inspiring cocktails with a modern twist.

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As on Queen Elizabeth, sun awnings will be erected on the open area near the stern Lido pool and on both sides of the Grills Upper Terrace area near the top of the ship to offer more shade on deck.

In the shopping area on board there will be new Fine Jewellery and Watch shops and the layout, lighting and overall shopping experience for passengers is being enhanced.

People have asked why Queen Victoria is being refitted when she already meets every expectation; she simply prefers to exceed them. For those who like to cruise with Cunard it sounds like you are in for a real treat. More details on Queen Victoria’s refurbishment will follow over the coming months.

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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: wendy@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2570