Cruise Industry News

Having just experienced Destination Immersion from Azamara Club Cruises, I felt the need to share the experience and explain why it’s so amazing:

aza Azamara 3DI is a virtual reality experience that provides it viewers with a 360 degree view of their ships and shore excursions. It’s a fabulous way to bring past and future passengers as close to ‘being onboard’ as possible.

 Having never sailed with Azamara Club Cruises before it really brought the ship to life and felt I was actually on board (if only for a few minutes)

 What to expect:

 On board personal tour including cabins

Examples of shore excursions: sail through the Panama Canal, Take a horse drawn carriage through Colonial Colombia or take to the heights and zipline trough the Costa Rican Rainforest

 Now for the technical bit:

 Easy for desktop users – click ‘view video’ and make sure you have the volume up to experience not only the sights but the sounds

For mobile users: Touch the screen to navigate. You may need to download the free app

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The technology is powered by Oculus Rift, which is used for adding virtual reality aspects to video games. Azamara Club Cruises are the first to use this within the cruise industry

 

It’s a world travel adventure you have to see for yourself

View the videos from here: https://www.azamara3di.com/

Check out some of our staff experiences and pictures on our Facebook page

 

 

Calling all ‘discerning adventurers’……

From May 2016 Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines will be introducing a NEW three tiered suite classes. Available on their largest ships:

Oasis of the Seas

Quantum of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas (when launched in Spring 2016)

Ovation of the Seas (when launched in Spring 2016)

The Royal Suite Class will have three service levels:

STAR CLASS – The best of the best, expect 24 hour ‘Royal Genie’ Personal Assistant (their words not mine, for butler) service, largest accommodations on board including: 4 bed family suites, 2 bed Aqua theatre suite. Includes ultimate dining package, special in suite dining, complimentary mini bar – plus more!

SKY CLASS – Special access to a concierge service, to assist you with priority reservations. Cabin types include: Owners Suites, Royal Family Suite. Includes in suite dining, bottled water – plus more!

SEA CLASS – Spacious suites with premium touches. Cabin types include: family connected junior suites, family junior suites, spa junior suites. Includes – bottled water & suite benefits

What you get:

Upgraded amenities from Hermes bath products to luxury pillow top mattresses

Special access to Coastal Kitchen created exclusively for Suite guests serving breakfast/lunch/dinner – dress code is smart casual – kind of food to expect is California – Mediterranean cuisine

For Star & Sky Suite passengers they also get access to a private suite sun deck and reserved seating for on board entertainment: Broadway musicals and the high diving Aqua Theatre (Oasis Class Ships)

Free Voom: Royal Caribbean’s high speed internet service (Oasis & Quantum class ships only)

Also free speciality dining is on offer, inclusive gratuities and a drinks package

REDEFINING LUXURY AT SEA

If you would like any further information about this then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Why not Combine a cruise & stay Holiday to one of the beautiful islands of the Caribbean, Barbados.The Carnival Liberty offer you the opportunity to combine a cruise & stay on the beautiful island of Barbados.

Explore Carnival Liberty

 

On the ship your stateroom will be your home from home, whether you choose the inside cabin or you go for the balcony suites spoiling your selves all the way.

 

 

The Multitude of restaurants’ on board and choice of diverse dining options to choose from.

The lido restaurant, Steakhouse, Mongolian wok, fish & chips Sea day Bruch, even Guys Burger Joint.

Entertainment for the family on board all Carnival ships.

Bars  such as the blueguana , Tequila bar, Red frog rum bar, EA sports bar, Alchemy bar, and the comedy punch line club

 

The kids are looked after from start to finish on the cruise, with the children’s club which will give you your well-earned break so you can kick back and relax and maybe have the odd cocktail or two.

 

The island of Barbados! Once known as little England gaining independence in November 1966

 

The language of Barbados is English.

The Currency of Barbados is Bajan Dollar.

The US dollar also is widely used.

 

You could be rubbing shoulders with the stars with the likes of Simon Cowell, Rod Stewart, Sir Cliff Richard and many more. You could have a cuppa at the 6  star Sandy lane Hotel  if you want but be careful may cost you around £25 each you can even have a spot of lunch and receive the 6 star treatment in the restaurant.

Sampling the Culture of the island, go and try your luck at the horse racing, sampling the old rum at the Mount gay rum factory, the fish fry on a Friday nights in Oistins, this you can do thou every night if you wanted too.

I have stayed in an array of hotels and have not been disappointed from the 3* star to the 5*star ! all fantastic the staff look after you from start to finish.

Getting around the island could not be easier you can dare to travel on the Z R vans which I do love with its music playing the people chatting and the experience is one in its self but that’s the beauty of it. You can choose the public buses which again is an experience. Or if you prefer to drive Yourself Then you have plenty of options to choose from and they do drive on the right hand side. If you get lost then just ask a local and they will point you in the right direction.

 

 

Excursions on the island are as diverse as the island its self.

You can visit Harrisons cave which was mentioned in 1795 the forgotten about for over 200 years then in 1976 ye discovered.

Flower cave up on the very north tip of the island, where the trade winds from the Atlantic crash against the coast line.

Welch man hall gully with its monkeys all around the rainforest some beautiful flowers & plants to discover.

There is the opportunity to go on the catamaran cruise for the day snorkelling with the turtles and explore the coral reef with its ship wreck’s on the west coast.

Also the romantic sunset cruise for all you romantic’s out there.

And if you fancy a good old fashioned day on the pirate ship with captain jack then the jolly roger is for you.

 

The cruise visiting lots of different islands before you arrive at the island of Barbados.

 

If this is something you would like to do then give us a call and we can look at booking you the cruise & stay of a life time.

 

Olive Woodall| Sales team
Direct Line: 0161 798 2546| Reservations: 0800 163 164
Email: olive@cruiseclubuk.com | Web: www.cruiseclubuk.com

 

So carrying on from ‘Marcias Cruise & Travel’ blog ‘Good things come in X’s’, I’m here to report back from our day visit on board Celebrity Silhouette yesterday:

Having never been on a Celebrity Cruise ship before, I was feeling excited and eager to have a good look around….

Arriving at Liverpool Port we waited for passengers to disembark for the day. Walking down to the ship whilst singing along to the Beatles being played via outdoor speakers. We patiently waited, whilst watching staff tidy up the exterior of the ship with touches of white paint.

 

We made our way upto the sky observation lounge (deck 14), which was bright, airy and with the floor to ceiling windows looked out over the River Mersey. Good size bar, quirky seating areas and big tv screens. I could see myself chilling in here of an evening and didn’t want to leave

Next stop the Lawn Club (deck 15), larger than on the Celebrity Eclipse and features the Lawn Club Grill and Sunset Bar. Was impressed with the cabanas and hammocks. Ideal to relax whilst having a day at sea play boules, croquet or practice your hand at golf. I can imagine this being a very popular area and cabanas are limited so my advise – pre book

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Down to deck 5 and stepping out of the lifts, greeted by the smell of fresh muffins, cakes and coffee. Café Al Bacio was a busy hot spot for passengers. *This is payable as extra unless you have pre purchased one of their drinks packages.

We didn’t get to look at any of the cabins due to the sailing being fully booked

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Still on deck 5 we headed to the speciality restaurants:

Qsine – lovely intimate interior with splashes of orange, quirky dining designed for the British passenger in mind. Ideal for a special occasion and a group celebration. I did get to sample some of the sushi on offer and how they present the food to passengers. Got the 5* stamp of approval from me

Blu – Exclusive to Aqua class cabins, crisp white and blue interior (very modern) good mix of table sizes with a relaxed atmosphere

Murano – Dark wood and soft furnishings give the restaurant a very elegant touch. Lovely intimate dining venue

Spa area was bright and inviting with divine aromas around every corner turned. A great selection of treatments on offer. Really good size gym with everything you would expect

Dining was a pleasant surprise in Tuscan Grille – We experienced a 2 course meal which was heavenly

All in all I couldn’t find fault with the any of the restaurants – top notch

The ship in general was kept to a very high standard, the staff were welcoming and helpful and I look forward to booking my next cruise with Celebrity Cruises

Are you booked to sail with Celebrity? If your looking for a cruise call our expert sales advisors today!

 

Have you ever fancied cruising on a 5* star cruise line, if so then why not try Celebrity Cruises!

From now until Tuesday 25th August they have some fantastic deals with Free Balcony Upgrades, All Inclusive drinks and $300 per cabin onboard credit.

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Celebrity Cruises are proud to announce that they offer the above on the three best ships in Europe.

Celebrity Eclipse (best ship in the United Kingdom)

This ship features a Martini Bar which offers 26 varieties of drinks served on a ice-frosted countertop. Qsine – Ipad menus allow you to interact with food like never before. Hot Glass Show – Witness incredible glass art demonstrations.

Celebrity Equinox (best large ship overall)

This ship features The Lawn Club – Half an acre of manicured lawn, perfect for picnics, boules or croquet. Gastrobar – try over 40 handcrafted boutique beers selections, creative cocktails and elevated bar snacks. Also as on the Celebrity Eclipse this ship features the The Hot Glass Show.

Celebrity Reflection (best for mediterranean cruises)

This ship features The Alcoves – private cabana style retreats with ocean views. The Hideaway – High-tech escape with ‘lounge nests’ and finally the The Lawn Club Grill – Interactive restaurant where guests can learn barbeque secrets.

Some of the best late deals are to be had on these beautiful ships, Celebrity Cruises are always voted best cruise ships in the world at all of the award shows, this giving them a fantastic reputations, they also have many repeat customers that come back year on year plus they have there own own loyalty scheme – Captains Club, if you have travelled with them before and you are not a member you should join to start receiving the extra benefits that they give you onboard.

 

Are you a fan of the popular TV series The Voice?  Well if you are and you are also a fan of cruising you can now take part in the contest yourself. Princess cruises have partnered with the show offering guests to audition to take part in the contest on board.  Selected cruises will feature The Voice of the Ocean, where passengers over the age of 16 can sing away to a panel of judges.  Passengers will audition at the specially held karaoke sessions or in one of the ship’s lounges.

Sound familiar? It probably will do if you have traveled with Princess before although it used to be called ‘Princess’ Got Talent’ I should know, I got to the final myself back in 2013.

The first rounds will be decided by guests and then the selected contestants will move on to the next stage

of the competition where they will meet the judges.  Exactly as before ! The judges will be made up of the ship’s high end staff including the Captain!  The judges will choose their teams and then coach them. The winner will be picked by the audience and awarded a trophy.  That’s the same as before too. So all that is different is the name.

That said, I am actually a fan of this idea, it is a bit of fun and its interesting to see how many people actually want to take this up and be part of the contest and it certainly will surprise a few people as to how many talented people there are out there. Princess cruises have said that they feel the contest will be a huge hit with the Princess guests.

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The competition will be available on the Regal Princess in October, and will follow to the Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in November.  By May 2016 another 8 ships will hold the contest.

Will you be entering or is this your idea of cruise entertainment hell?

Let me know you thoughts.

The Harmony of the Seas from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Europe will welcome the arrival of the newest Royal Caribbean ship; The Harmony of the Seas in Spring 2016, for one season only.

Part of the Oasis class with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the Harmony of the Seas, is set to bring the best of the cruise line together on one extraordinary ship. Of course a new ship wouldn’t be its best without some new features, and the Harmony will not disappoint.

 

Central Park Neighbourhood on board Oasis Class Ships
Central Park Neighbourhood on board Oasis Class Ships

Forget using the Elevators or the Stairs, as new features include a 10-storey plunge slide down to the Boardwalk, how fun! There will be a trio of twisting, twirling and turning awesome waterslides for passengers all ages. Europe haven’t seen a ship like this before – Don’t miss out on your chance of getting a slice of the action on this brilliant new ship. This is a one time only summer season cruise.

 

The Anthem of the Seas - Part of the Quantum class
http://www.cruiseclubuk.com/fusion/detailship3.pl?shipid=2708&sid=10675The Anthem of the Seas – Part of the Quantum class

Mixing the Oasis Class and Quantum class together, the Harmony of the seas is born – offering the biggest, most fun packed family holiday imaginable.

Why settle for one place on your summer holiday? Offering cruises from Barcelona and Rome, the Harmony will offer you a 7 night sailing, stopping at Palma De Mallorca, Marseilles, Florence, Naples. That’s unpacking just once and seeing the beautiful sights of the Mediterranean.

Royal Caribbean has been named as the Best Cruise Line for 9 years running, and I agree!

Feel free to call me on 0161 798 2512 to look at your next Cruise Holiday. Not sure where to go? Which Ship to Sail? Don’t worry, I am here to help. Call me now!

 

 

 

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Norwegian Cruise Lines newest ship, Norwegian Escape had its maiden float out on Saturday 15th August 2015, the new 4,200 passenger cruise liner was testing her sea legs for the very first time.

The brand new Breakaway Plus Class will be carrying passengers on a seven night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Miami beginning 14th November 2015.

The ship has been under construction since September 2014 and once delivered it will weigh in at  a colossal 164,600 tonnes and will be the largest in the fleet. This will be their newest ship since the arrival of the Norwegian Getaway in 2013.

The ship will visit some great Caribbean Islands, somewhere I have wanted to visit especially by a cruise, from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau Bahamas. Imagine relaxing with a nice cold drink as you sail into port or a nice cold cocktail as you leave port, the second being my favourite.

Of course with this being a brand new ship Norwegian Cruise Lines are going to pull out all the stops to make this maiden season the best it can possibly be. They will have onboard the Tony Award winning musical production ” Million Dollar Quartet” & “After Midnight” and even “The Breakfast Club”.

New features onboard will include the largest water park at sea, largest ropes course at sea and also a version of Miami’s famed Tobacco Road Blues Bar! Definitely worth a visit.

For us Travel Agents dont forget the Norwegian Escape will be with us in Southampton this coming October where we will be able to view what she has before we start selling to our lovely customers 🙂

Due to Princess and Norwegian Cruise Lines moving their ships that homeport there, As of 2016, Houston will no longer serve as a cruise port.

After a $108 million investment and reopening its cruise terminal back in 2013, Houston will no longer be the homeport of the Caribbean Princess and the Norwegian Jade cruise ships. Sailings will end April 2016.

The terminal was most convenient to cruisers who fly to Texas for cruises around the Gulf of Mexico, But, it took ships much longer to arrive in International waters from the port, which of course means passengers had to wait longer for the Casino and the Shops on board to open.

Wondering what will happen to the two ships currently sailing for Houston? Well, The Norwegian Jade will be heading to homeport in Tampa, Florida for the late 2016 and early 2017 season. This will be after completing a summer in Europe and a dry dock that scheduled for October 2016.

The Caribbean Princess will also head to Florida, where she will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, late 2016. From here the cruise ship will offer sailings to the Southern, Western and Eastern Caribbean. Much more choice!!

Passengers have no need to worry, as the nearby port of Galveston is ever growing with cruises. Only 90 minutes from Houston, Galveston is the homeport for Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. Disney cruise line also offer sailings from here.

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Galveston CityScape

The Carnival Magic departs every week out of Galveston, offering 7 night Western Caribbean sailings. You will visit: Montego Bay – Jamaica, Grand Cayman – Cayman Islands and Cozumel – Mexico, before arriving back in Galveston. As well as visiting these three fantastic ports of call, you will also have 3 FUN DAYS AT SEA whilst on board the ship. The Carnival Triumph will join the Magic, offering the same sailing on different days of the week out of Galveston.

If you are travelling to Galveston for a cruise, or even one of the last from Houston, have you thought about making the trip a twin centre stay before or after the cruise? With internal flights abundant in the USA, you could visit other places prior to cruising out of Texas, or ever after the cruise.  Within 2 hours flying time you could visit the bustling, famous French quarter in New Orleans? Or Elvis’ Heartbreak hotel in Memphis? How about the Cowboys in Dallas? Whatever your fancies are, there will be something, somewhere….

If you are looking to book your Cruise holiday or for some inspiration on where to go, please feel free to contact me. My direct telephone number is 0161 798 2512.

 

The Norwegian Jade Cruise Ship
The Norwegian Jade Cruise Ship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Caribbean have unveiled that their third Oasis-class ship, Harmony of the Seas, will feature a comedy club, a 10-story slide, a Bionic Bar and two-deck Wonderland restaurant when it sets sail in 2016.

Like its Oasis-class fleet mates – Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas – she will feature seven distinct neighbourhoods, including Boardwalk, Central Park and Entertainment Place. This is where The Attic, a new comedy club for Royal Caribbean, will be placed and it will feature some of the best comedians on the open seas.

Other new additions to Harmony of the Seas will be a Bionic Bar, which has proved to be a very popular  attraction on the new Quantum-class ships. This is the bar that serves up mixed drinks via two robotic arms. As well as this there will be a two-deck high Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine Restaurant which is another Quantam-class success story. Royal Caribbean has decided to increase its size and capacity for the next generation so that even more guests aboard the Harmony of the Seas will be able to enjoy the multi-sensory cuisine in a two storey restaurant with similarly unusual and unique design.Passengers on Harmony of the Seas also will be able to enter their rooms and pay for items using WOW bands, also first introduced on Quantam of the Seas.

Waterslides

Harmony of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean’s first ship with multiple water slides including Perfect Storm, which allows riders to twist and turn down five decks and will also introduce the Ultimate Abyss, a dry slide that drops riders 10 stories.

For those passengers who like the ultimate luxury, Harmony of the Seas will offer Royal Suite Class, where they will receive 24/7 personal assistance from a butler, on board gratuities included, all-inclusive beverages, exclusive access to the Coastal Kitchen Restaurant, free access to the ship’s thermal suite and free high-speed internet.

Harmony of the Seas launches in May 2016 and will be doing 7 night Western Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona until October 2016. She will then reposition to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she will operate all year round for 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.

I don’t know about you but I for one am very excited about this ship, particularly as she will be spending her first 6 months in the Mediterranean. What do you think? Have you booked yet?