Cruise Holidays

I’ve always wondered why people wanted to cruise around the British Isles when there are so many other destinations to visit. Even when I told people where I was going on my cruise I could hear in their voice they were thinking why is she going there, however I can now say I can see exactly why. Scotland is beautiful, there are so many interesting things to see and the landscape is so dramatic. I think when we look at going on holiday we don’t tend to think about what’s on our doorstep and we should really take more time to experience our own country

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Our first port of call was Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. First impressions were good ….it was dry. C&M provided a complimentary shuttles bus into the town centre only a 5minute drive away. We had been told there was a local tourist bus that took you to some of the main attractions, we found this to be exceptional value at £10 and almost identical to one of the shore excursions that had been offered. Our scenic drive took us past Scapa Flow, a body of water between Scapa Bay and Kirkwall, now a famous wreck and diving site, this was initially used as a harbour for the Vikings to the main Naval base for the Royal Navy in the first world war.

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Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement occupied from 3180 BC to about 2500 BC which was uncovered by a storm in 1850, excavations began and 8 houses were discovered. The preservation is immense and the Scots call it the Pompeii of Scotland, it has since been awarded a Unesco heritage site. A visitors centre and exhibition has also been built to immerse yourself in the history of the site

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On our way back to Kirkwall we passed the Standing Stones of Stenness and The Rings of Brodgar, both stone circles also from the Neothilic period, they have previously been compared to Stonehenge

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Kirkwall itself is a pretty little town with old narrow streets surrounding its main church and the bay curves rounds from the town leading back to the port which is a lovely walk

The Faroe Islands are a truly magical place and my favourite port of the trip. An archipelago of 18 volcanic islands located halfway in the Altantic between Scotland and Iceland with Danish ruling. All the islands are linked by tunnels, causeways and bridges and are very picturesque

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Docking in Torshavn we had booked an excursion of a scenic tour, and it did not disappoint, the landscape is so green, with sparkling water, the array of salmon farms, pretty coloured houses, narrow hairpin bends as we drove up the mountains and rugged cliffs this is a spectacular drive. The island is actually also known as sheep island due to the volume that you see scattered in the hills.

The town of Gjógv where we stopped for traditional pancakes and a coffee before having some free time, I must’ve taken over 100 photos, these islands are special, somewhere I would love to return too. Torshavn itself is also very pretty, coloured fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, surrounded by little cafes, bars and shops perfect for people watching

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Read my next blog to see where I visited next

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My cruise was sailing from Tilbury and around the Scottish Isles on Cruise & Maritime’s new flagship Columbus, launched in June this year she has previously belonged to Princess cruises, Ocean Village and P&O. Following a huge refurbishment she has come to life with modern décor whilst still regaining the traditional style that Cruise and Maritime are known for and for which their loyal passengers love.

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The largest of their fleet Columbus is almost 64,000 tonnes, carries 1400 passengers and has 11 passenger decks. The cruise line has listened to what their passengers want, this ship has 64 balconies and junior suites, and 150 cabins for single occupancy which is much appreciated by passengers. Its nice that they do cater so much for solo travellers as much as couples, which is why Cruise and Maritime have such a large following. I met many people that cruise with them regularly.

With 1 main restaurant the Waterfront, Plantation buffet and 2 speciality restaurants, Fusion a mix of Asian Indian cuisine and Grill specialising in steak, plus the alfresco grill open daily for burgers, afternoon tea and the speciality coffee bars featuring cakes and pastries you can be sure never to go hungry.

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There are 7 lounges and bars onboard, Raffles is a classy affair overlooking the main atrium and is the perfect start to your evening. The Dome is the late night bar with music and dancing, the oldies can really teach the young a thing or two. My favourite bar was the Oasis bar at the aft of the ship on deck 8, the back has tiered sunbathing areas with comfy loungers spanning over 5 decks, deck 8 is also where the jacuzzi’s are located, we spent a goregous afternoon in the jacuzzi, glass of fizz whilst watching the ship sail from Invergordon

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Indoor bars included Connexions and Taverners pub, located next to each other but both with a very different feel, these featured resident singers every night which was a lovely way to spend your evening after dinner

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The spa and fitness centre I was told were both very good, neither of which I visited, one minute you are on your first day planning everything and what there is to do, the next its your last day and you realise you haven’t even seen half the ship. The atmosphere onboard is so relaxed that you think you have all the time in the world, I think this is where Cruise and Maritime have really hit the spot, they are a friendly professional cruise line that really do cater for all ages. Although the majority of passengers were older we met a few guests that were younger, some on their first cruise and they loved it. It’s taught me not to always believe what you hear, to try something different and make the most of every opportunity that opens to you.

Click on this link to carry on reading about my experience on Cruise & Maritime

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Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

 

Istanbul, Turkey . The only city in the world that covers two continents, Istanbul is a city where East and West join, boasting stunning monumental churches and mosques. The Roman ruins of the Hippodrome, where in Roman times, horse and chariot races were held is combined with the modern Grand Bazaar, with its numerous shops and stalls. The majority of cruise lines tend to offer two day visits.

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The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Athens, Greece. Athens is the beautiful Grecian capital city which was once the heart of the world’s finest art and culture scene in the fourth and fifth centuries B.C., and much of its history is still evident and on display today. Famous monuments including the Acropolis, the temple of Athena and the Odeon of Herod Atticus, whilst another famous tourist site is the city’s National Archeological Museum

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Acropolis, Greece

Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik is an ideal city for walking, and is rich in interesting history and culture, boasting monasteries, which are centuries old, stunning churches, and synagogues. The Old Town is a medieval walled city that is free of traffic, and you can even walk along the 1.3-mile stretch of wall which is around 80 feet above ground level, offering amazing views. Dubrovnik is rich with Renaissance churches and fountains, combined with its narrow cobbled streets, where you can engage in the shops, or enjoy a drink at one of the many alfresco cafes and bars

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

Jerusalem, Ashdod, Israel.  Ashdod is the gateway to visit Jerusalem and is just over an hour’s drive from the city, compared to Haifa which can take several hour’s. Visitors tend to have interest in the Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, before heading to Bethlehem.

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Ashdod, Israel

Turkey. The famous Ephesus, is around nine miles away from town, visitors are transported back thousands of years to probably the best preserved ancient within the Eastern Mediterranean. Many believe that the Virgin Mary  visited the area between 37 and 45 A.D. There is a  two story library which was once home to thousands of scrolls, and the Terrace Houses have a stunning display of vibrant mosaics and coloured frescoes. The Temple of Artemis, is a famous site, which is where Alexander the Great visited during its construction in 334 B.C. and dubbed as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Visitors can now visit the site, on various excursion options

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Kusadasi, Turkey

Mykonos, Greece. The rugged terrain of Mykonos is a mere 40 square miles and is dotted with  green bushes, granite stone buildings and architecture,  beautiful windmills and bright white washed buildings. Surrounded by beautiful beaches against the backdrop of the crystal clear blue sky.  The island itself has around twenty spots ideal for sunbathing and swimming. The island has a very cosmopolitan feel, and the island comes to life in the evening, and is said to be one of the best within Europe.

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Mykonos, Greece

Venice, Italy. One of the most stunning and romantically renowned city’s of the world. Boasting squares, such as Piazza San Marco, a must do when visiting Venice. The city of Venice is a maze of narrow canals and streets, which stretch over 100 islands.

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Venice, Italy

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Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: Angelina@cruiseclubuk.com  or 0161 7982536

 

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The majority of itineraries include a combination of culture, history and beautiful beaches, therefore appealing to a wide variety of cruisers. A selection of cruise lines offer itineraries which focus purely on history and culture, incorporating ports such as Venice, Athens, Katakolon for Olympia, Istanbul, Dubrovnik for Croatia, and as far down to the Israeli ports including Haifa and the closest to Jerusalem, Ashdod.

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Croatia

Dalmatian Coast & The Adriatic Sea: Usually embarking the ship in Venice, an Adriatic cruise tends to always stop in Dubrovnik, incorporating calls to the Italian port towns of Ravenna and Bari, or sometimes even the more unusual Eastern Mediterranean ports such as Kotor, for Montenegro. A shorter itinerary of these cruises sail back to Venice, whilst the longer itineraries either continue to sail to Greece and Turkey, with Greek highlights such as Katakolon, the birthplace of the Olympic Games or sail around the coast of Italy, with stops in Naples or Sicily before disembarking in ports such as Rome, Marseilles for France or Barcelona.

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The Black Sea: Usually these itineraries depart from either Istanbul for Turkey or Athens for Greece. A cruise around the Black Sea has a combination of stops along the Turkish coast with stops to Crimea for Yalta and Odessa and Russia. There maybe occasional, stops in Romania and Bulgaria.

 

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The Black Sea

The Greek Isles: A great way to visit the Greek Islands is from a cruise. Usually cruises embark from either Athens or Istanbul, and the majority of  Greek Island itineraries stop in the major ports, such as beautiful Santorini, and the stunning islands of Mykonos and Corfu. Kusadasi, for Turkey, is home of the ancient city of Ephesus, which is usually included within the itinerary.

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 The Holy Land: The Eastern Mediterranean itineraries sail down into Israel to make stops at Ashdod, the closest port to Jerusalem or Haifa to Jerusalem. In the past, these itineraries tended to make stops in Alexandria, for Egypt, however with uncertainty within the country, travel has been restricted in recent years. The Cypriot ports, both Limassol and Paphos are also popular, with embarkation usually in Athens or Istanbul

 

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Old Jerusalem

Stay tuned for part 3 of my blog – Port Highlights of the Eastern Mediterranean

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.  

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Unique art work!

As an overall cruising region, the Eastern Mediterranean incorporates a wide selection of areas  including the Adriatic coast of Italy and Croatia, the Greek Islands,  Istanbul and Kusadasi for Turkey, and the Black Sea, which includes ports in Turkey, the Ukraine, and Russia. A selection of itineraries visit the Holy Land, with stops including Cyprus, Israel and subject to foreign office advice, Eqypt

The area is becoming increasingly one of the most popular areas within Europe to take a cruise. Combined with ancient history, it’s picturesque villages, and golden beaches, this area offers a truly laid back feel.

 

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Many of the Eastern Mediterranean itineraries begin from, and take in ports of call such as the city of Athens, Greece (Port of Piraeus) Venice for Italy and Istanbul, Turkey. Some cruise lines also offer a combination of both the Western Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean, and may begin in, or end in ports such as Civitavecchia for Rome, Barcelona for Spain.

A popular time to cruise around the Eastern Mediterranean ranges from spring time, March / April through to September / October. As anticipated, summer is the peak season, and has the largest number of sailings and passengers, pricing is also generally much higher within the summer months, with very hot and humid temperatures

Generally, cruising around the Mediterranean has is becoming increasingly popular, with cruise lines such as MSC and Costa Cruises offering itineraries within the winter months, as sunny skies, and moderate temperatures typically between 50s to 70s. Cruise lines tend to offer longer cruise itineraries, combined with lower pricing and excellent value for money

The majority of itineraries include a combination of culture, history and beautiful beaches, therefore appealing to a wide variety of cruisers. A selection of cruise lines offer itineraries which focus purely on history and culture, incorporating ports such as Venice, Athens, Katakolon for Olympia, Istanbul, Dubrovnik for Croatia, and as far down to the Israeli ports including Haifa and the closest to Jerusalem, Ashdod.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my blog – Eastern Mediterranean Itineraries!

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: Angelina@cruiseclubuk.com or 0161 7982536

 

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Ultra-Luxury Six Star Cruise Line, Silversea, announce refurbishment plans for the Silver Whisper and the Silver Wind.

As a part of the “Elegant fleet-wide refurbishment” program, which was launched by the luxury cruise line back at the end of 2016, The two ships will undergo a concrete refurbishment which will be completed by December 2017. Just in time for Christmas sailings!

Silver Cloud

The Silver Whisper is said to be scheduled for Technical refurbishments which will hopefully increase the already exceptional level of guest satisfaction on board. Public areas on board Silver Whisper are due to have a major redesign, taking some Inspiration from the newest luxury ship part of the Silversea fleet; Silver Muse, which was launched just this year. Carpet replacements and Upgrades for Panorama Lounge, La Terrazza and Observation Lounge are also on the To-Do list.

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The Silver Wind will also take inspiration from the new Silver Muse and will be upgraded in a similar format to the Silver Whisper. Reupholstering of chairs, stylish enhancements and new carpets for the casino are on the agenda. Based on the concepts of Silver Muse, the Spa and Beauty salon on board will receive a new floor upgrade.

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CEO of Silversea, Roberto Martinoli described the arrival of the Silver Muse as an “Inspirational Milestone” for the brand. The Luxury Cruise Line are hoping the makeover of the Silver Whisper and Silver Wind will be appreciated by guests on board and will also enhance the on board experience of guests sailing with them.

Want to be one of the first to walk on the new carpets?

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Top 50 Cruise Blog High Res

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: Michellehaslam@cruiseclubuk.com 0808 278 0342

 

Italian owned Costa Cruise Line have today announced their partnership with Italian Football team Juventus.

For all of their sailings within Asia, Costa Cruise Line will be offering a Juventus Experience on board for all passengers.

Guests on board will be able to view Juventus content at anytime from the TV in their cabin. They can also learn about Juventus’ history, as there will be a fantastically decorated “Juventus Museum” corner, showcasing related Memorabilia. Of course you can pick up a souvenir, just visit the Juventus Shop on board!

They will have a fantastic mini club on board where children can play with the Juventus Official mascot, Jay. In my opinion, the highlight of the new partnership will be a Juventus trainging program, for children aged 5 to 14 years old. Aspiring footballers are encouraged to sign up regardless of the technical level, as the training will be managed and trained by coaches from Juventus and the program is copied from the Juventus Soccer school “Juventus Academy”.

The cruise line say the new partnership with the Italian Football Giant, will accentuate Costa Cruises Italian DNA and enrich the on board offerings to passengers.

Costa Neoromantica, Costa Victoria and Costa Neoclassica are the three ships kicking off the 2018 Asia Sailings.

Due to the new partnership, cabins will be getting full very quickly, so don’t miss out on your chance to be apart of this new program!

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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: Michellehaslam@cruiseclubuk.com 0808 278 0342

Thomson Cruise Line announce “Electric Sunsets” cruise for September 2018.

Plans have been revealed for a special 80’s themed music voyage on board the TUI Discovery. The Adult Only sailing, will depart from Newcastle on the 1st September 2018, passengers will visit Amsterdam and Zeebrugge (for Bruges), before disembarking in Southampton.

Former Radio 1 DY Sara Cox will headline on the Sunday, with a guest appearance from lead singer of 80’s band T’Pau; Carol Decker. Headlining on the Monday, Music lovers will enjoy sounds from Trevor Nelson.

Passengers on board can expect a Guilty Pleasure Party, Classic Eighties Movies, a silent Disco and Ministry of Sound sunset pool parties featuring top DJs Adamski and Brandon Block.

Richard Sofer, the Managing Director of Thomson Cruises said he is excited for the new “Electric Sunsets” itinerary and to take passengers back in time to the Iconic 80’s era. He isn’t the only one said to be excited, DJ Sara Cox also said “DJ’ing anywhere is amazing and on board a huge ship will be epic. The energy will be electric and the ports of call are party scenes in themselves so it promises to be a fantastic few days for everyone on board.”

The sailing is All Inclusive which means all your fabulous food and drink is included for the entire duration of the cruise, and the best part: its UNLIMITED!!! So, the only spending money you will need is for the souvenirs in Amsterdam and Bruges.

This one off sailing is due to sell out very quickly, so I would say get your cabin booked if it’s something you are interested in.  The ship has capacity for 1,830 passengers in total. DON’S MISS OUT!!!!

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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: Michellehaslam@cruiseclubuk.com 0808 278 0342

 

Tipping crew members and staff has long been a tradition associated with cruising. Guests who are new to cruising can be in for a shock when they realise, just how much of an extra charge is added to their account, and guests who cruise on a regular basis can get lost with each cruise lines tipping policy

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Gratuities are at the discretion of the guest, and the cruise line advise that guests can tip an amount that is comfortable to them, under the recommended daily amount set by the cruise line. Of course, guests can decide not to tip and are advised to contact guest services, however this is not encouraged.

Adding to the confusion, are the varying amounts from one cruise line to another, usually the US lines charge the highest rates, starting at around $13.00 per person, per day. A typical family of four on a two week cruise would see around $728.00 (£560.00) added to their account, which can be very off putting

Comparing tips to UK companies such as P&O Cruises, who charge around £6.50 per person, per day, with children under the age of 12 years, not being included in the tipping policy

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Guests who enjoy premium staterooms, or suites can be subject to a higher rate of gratuities, to account for added extras and services, and in some cases, the services of a butler

There are some cruise lines that offer gratuities within the cruise fare, including Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, and Silversea

It has been argued that cruise lines should absorb the cost of tips into the cruise fare overall like some premium cruise lines, such as Crystal and Seabourn and Azamara. In April 2017, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that the whole fleet will include not only gratuities, but a beverage package within the cost of the fare, with this in mind, will other cruise lines follow suit?

On average, here is what can be expected to pay on some well known cruise lines:

Carnival Cruise Line – $12.95 per person per day, up to $13.95 per person per day for suite guests

Celebrity Cruises – $13.50 per person per day up to $17.00 per person per day for suite guests

Cruise & Maritime Voyages – £5.00 per person per day, this reduces to £4.00 per person per day on sailings with a duration of more than 16 nights

Cunard – $11.50 per person per day, up to $13.50 per person per day for suite guests

Disney Cruise Line – A set $12.00 per person per day across all stateroom grades

Fred Olsen – £4.00 per person per day, chargeable for all guests over the age of 12

Holland America Line – $13.50 per person per day up to $15.00 per person per day for suite guests

MSC Cruises – Charges differ between the age of the guests, and the itinerary. For example on a Mediterranean cruise, guests aged 13 years plus would pay 9.00EUR per day, children aged 3 years to 10 years would pay 4.50EUR per day, and children under the age of 3 years, would pay nothing

Oceania Cruises – $16.00 per person per day, up to $23.00 per person per day for suite guests

Princess Cruises – $13.50 per person per day, up to $15.50 per person per day for suite guests

Royal Caribbean – $13.50 per person per day, up to $16.50 per person per day for suite guests

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: mailto:Angelina@cruiseclubuk.com  0161 7982536

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strictly-theme

Strictly Come Dancing Cruises: 

Back by popular demand by you the passenger.

From April to August 2018 • Onboard: Britannia, Azura & Ventura

The Atrium of the ship is where you will first notice with all the fabulous costumes and glitz of the ballroom dresses. Feather, sequins all the lovely bright colors dazzling in the light so

getting even closer to show and the stars costumes being displayed for you.

Spot the strictly stars enjoying there cruise just like you, chatting with passengers photos been taken, a few laughs along the way i am sure. Camilla Dallerup, Ian Waite, Arlene Phillips, & everyone’s favorite Craig Revel Horwood  ( fabulous darling ).

The theme as we know is dance so never a dull moment on your cruise from Southampton 2018. There is so much to do on board relating to the strictly cruise competition between the stars & guests alike , Tango, waltz, quick step, fox trot, and many more.  Competitions Main event after all the dancing is over the duration of your cruise will be held in the main theater where guest & strictly dancer’s  will compete with each other for the coveted prize the Glitter ball. 

Even if you are not taking part in the competition do not feel like your left out because this is not the case. Lots of daily events guide via Horizon will keep you informed all the events for the day regards to cruise and shows on board.

Show case:

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This is always a firm favorite with the passengers to watch the show performed by one of the many dancing professional couples.

 

To round all of this up,  you will then see the most beautiful Rumba preformed leaving you mesmerized knowing that you have had such a great cruise.

So if your a keen dancer or want to learn some of them steps then why not book your next cruise with P&O Cruise and make sure you have the (time of your life )

Exact dancer names are to be advised but we will keep you upto date with information

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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: Olive@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2546