Cruise Industry News

Welcome to my latest post as we uncover some exciting news about Entertainment aboard the Queen Mary 2

Cunard have just announced that the award-winning vocalist Natalie Cole will headline the first-ever Blue Note jazz themed cruise which will debut on Queen Mary 2, on 29 October 2015. She will join a roster of venerable jazz musicians on this Transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton, including award-winning jazz pianist and record producer Robert Glasper, acclaimed trumpet player Keyon Harrold, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott.

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Natalie is a massive name in the world of jazz, which she was introduced to as a child in the 1950s through her famous father, vocal legend and trailblazer Nat King Cole. Throughout her celebrated career, she has paid tribute to the Latin American, R&B and Jazz genres, as well as to her father through posthumous pairings and renditions of his most popular songs.

This type of cruise is becoming more and more popular and tend to sell very well. I went on Arcadia a few years ago when Russell Watson was the guest star on board and the ship sold out in less than an hour. He put on a fantastic show and came across very well as he interacted with passengers right throughout the 3 day cruise. I would imagine that this cruise will be similarly popular, especially being that passengers from both sides of the pond will be looking to get booked on to this sailing.

And as if that isn’t enough to tempt the discerning jazz fan, Cunard are also offering some free upgrades and on board spending money on this sailing giving an extra incentive to book onto the cruise.

If you would like any further information about this or would like to book on to the cruise then you can contact me on 0161 798 2520 or email jon@cruiseclubuk.com

 

 

November 2015 see’s the launch of the ‘ Norwegian Escape

Having been on board Norwegian Epic, Getaway and Breakaway I am really excited to see how they can better my Norwegian experience….. I’ve been glued to updates from Norwegian and wanted to share information on what to expect:

Norwegian Escape (4,200 passengers) will be based from Miami year round, offering a 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Dedicated nursery (2 years and under)

Expanded kids aquapark

New dining and Bars on board:

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A hip urban craft beer hall, complete with a keg room and photo booth

 

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Burgers/cocktails and live music

 

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Seafood restaurant with a Latin twist

 

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Sharable small plates based on Mediterranean flavours

 

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Vast array of wines – Including a wine tasting table
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Upscale fusion foods from around the world

 

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Live music into the night

  New Entertainment:

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Direct from Broadway this smash hit musical was created by an event in 1956. Four young musicians gathered together in Memphis for the ‘greatest jam session ever’……. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins! A Rock and Roll evening at its best

 

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Another smash hit musical with big band songs

 

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If you’re a fan of 80’s movies this postmodern cabaret show is for you

 

Also on board:

Head to the sports complex for rooftop mini golf, courtesy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… COWABUNGA

The Mandara Spa will feature a snow room and the largest thermal suite at sea

ADULTS ONLY

Vibe Beach Club – Requires purchasing an access pass once on board. Escape and enjoy the luxurious surroundings, including a large hot hub, chaise loungers and a full service bar

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Spice H2O – Located at the back of the ship on deck 17. Complete with a grotto and waterfalls, huge video screen and hot tubs. At night it turns into a open air dance club!

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Norwegian is on sale now for prices please call me

 *All the above listed are new experiences/venues on board Norwegian Cruise Lines

 

 

Here at Cruise Club UK we have now brought back our number one selling Tour & Cruise offers for 2016.

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The best benefits of doing a Tour & Cruise in my perspective is you have no weight limit for the case so you can pack in as much as you like.

This year we have even more local pick up points as we have added Scottish departures points and a few others dotted around the country.

The best feeling about a Tour & Cruise is once you have loaded your suitcase on to the couch you wont see it again until you check into your hotel or cruise, you can then sit back, relax and take in some of the stunning that Europe has to offer.

Sail from Dover to Calais and then head towards Reims for a one night hotel stay, where after breakfast you will head towards the centre of Reims where you could visit one of the Champagne Houses that Reims has to offer.

After the day in Reims you will then head towards Dijon for another hotel stay, the following morning you will then travel to Avignon which houses the Popes Palace and world heritage site.

We then cross the border into Spain  also known as the wild and rugged coast before reaching our hotel just outside Barcelona.

The next stop will be the cruise for a fantastic 7 nights cruise taking in the sights of Naples, Civitavecchia for Rome, Livorno for Florence & pisa, the famous Cannes and then Palma.

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After a relaxing cruise we will leave Barcelona and head towards France where we cross the Milau Viaduct, the worlds tallest bridge in the world, often called the bridge above the clouds. Another hotel stay near Vichy we will leave the  vineyards behind us and make our way to Paris for our last overnight stop.

Unfortunately after breakfast we will make our way to Calais for our onwards journey home.

As you can see from above this a lovely trip to be had.

 

We recently had the news that Carnival are set to take the Adonia from the P&O fleet and start a company called Fathom, a company which will offer a combination of a volunteering holiday and a cruise for a new wave of voluntourists .

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According to research there has been a growth in demand for holidays where you go and work in the places you visit communities and have a positive impact on peoples’ lives and this is pretty much what the Adonia has to look forward too. She will be sailing out of Miami and taking “ voluntourists ” to the Caribbean where guest will be given the chance to work on activities such as planting crops, providing clean water, teaching English to the islands school children and working with women’s co-operatives to make artisan chocolates. There will also be a change to the on board experience, where shows are to be replaced with briefings on the next day’s work, Spanish lessons and community building exercises.

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Now if this is what people want to do when they go on their holidays then I have no problem with that at all. In fact, I have even looked into doing a volunteering holiday myself in the past as I think it would be a good experience. What I cannot understand though, is why Carnival would take the Adonia? She is one of P&O’s most popular and most profitable ships. A lot of people prefer the smaller, more traditional and more intimate cruises and P&O will lose this when their only ‘boutique’ cruise ship leaves the fleet. Why not use one of the older Carnival, Costa or AIDA ships instead? After all Carnival own all of these brands and could quite easily have chosen a different ship.

I think a lot of P&O customers will be very disappointed with this decision that Carnival has taken as the Adonia has quite a loyal customer base.

What are your thoughts on the move? Will you miss her?

After years of operating in the shadow of Royal Caribbean’s new builds Carnival Cruises is finally throwing its hat back in the ring for the biggest* cruise ship in the world.

Arriving 2019 -2022 are 4 brand new Carnival ships to take on Royal Caribbean’s behemoth Oasis class ships.

The new carnival ships will each carry 6600 guests (that’s 304 more than Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class.

BUT – and this is a BIG but – the new carnival ships are actually smaller than royal’s oasis class.

New Carnival design is 180’000 tonnes (27 tonnes of space per person)

Oasis class is 225’000 tonnes (41 tonnes of space per person)

 

What can we take from the figures? Not much….

I can only guess the vast difference in space is because the Carnival offering is not as wide / will not have the spectacular open spaces (park & boardwalk) that the Oasis class has.

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The Carnival ships will be split up and given to different brands in the Carnival corp.

Provisional rumours place them into the “European” brands – that’s Aida & Costa cruises.

  • As I cant see P&O having a ship that size.

As soon as more news and info comes out I’ll be sure to update this blog.

Tarar for now – Capn.

Currently under construction is the latest addition to the Quantum Class of ships from Royal Caribbean – The Ovation of the Seas.

She will be the third to join the Quantum class of Ship with Royal Caribbean and will be the Second Largest in their fleet at 167,800 gross tonnage.

When she joins the fleet, in Autumn 2016, she will then depart on her 52 night Global Odyssey cruise from Southampton in the UK. The ships homeport and Ultimate destination on that cruise itinerary will be Tianjin, China. From here, she will operate a series of cruises to destinations around Asia.

During the 2016-2017 winter season, the vessel will homeport in Sydney, Australia.

Being apart of the Quantum Class, the Ovation will boast the largest and most advanced staterooms ever offered by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, including the industry’s first ever Virtual Balcony Staterooms which offer real-time views of the ocean or exciting destinations inside your interior stateroom.

On board features include the Sea-plex (the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with roller skating, dodgems and much more)!

More details to be released from the Cruise Line, keep checking back for a later blog on the Ovation of the Seas.

 

 

 

 

 

Something new in the Cruise industry and is receiving lots of mixed reviews since its announcement…. Voluntourism

So in short here’s my explanation:

Carnival Corp. will be using the much loved P&O Adonia ship (mainly for its size of 700 plus passengers). The ship will be rebranded as the ‘fathom’, each week it will sail from Miami to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, from April 2016.

What to expect:

Volunteer activities including teaching English and building water filtration systems. This will be taught for 2 days on board. Once in port you spend 3 days working with locals and volunteer groups, using your new found skills.

Don’t expect all the luxuries you’re used to on board, after all this isn’t about the cruising experience. Food will be sourced locally, entertainment will be mingling with your fellow passengers and discussing your new found skills!

Prices include training, taxes and port charges and all volunteer excursions

I’ve read lots of positive and negative reviews surrounding this and although I would love to give something back and experience this, I can’t help but ask… What difference will 3 days work make?

I came to the conclusion that if everyone thought like that nothing would be achieved!

 

For more details please email: laura@cruiseclubuk.com

Here at Cruise Club UK we like to offer our customers the best in service. That’s why year round we use one of the world’s leading  Emirates Airline on our longhaul cruises.

I’ve been fortunate enough to fly with Emirates on numerous occasions. So if you’re flying into Dubai or changing flights to go further afield I wanted to share the ‘best bits’ and useful information.

 

Dedicated terminal (3) at Dubai airport with an array of shops and facilities

 

ICE – Emirates state of the art in-flight entertainment, with on demand viewing (stop/start/rewind). With over 2,000 channels on offer you won’t be spoilt for choice!

You can even create your own playlists (I was in my element picking songs to add)

Prior to your flight head over to Emirates website: ‘see what’s onboard’. Enter your flight number and it will give you a list of films available on your flight

 

Advanced mood lighting helps you adjust to your new time zone and combat jetlag

Complimentary beverages served throughout your flight

 

Children are well catered for onboard, play in flight games or watch a Disney movie

Kids food menu

Children are given a rucksack full of goodies to entertain them during the flight and the best bit is they get to take it with them!

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Making new friends with cuddly ‘Fly With Me Monsters’

What you get:

Economy:            Receive a whooping 30 kg of luggage each and a seat pitch of 32” to 34”

Business:             Complimentary chauffer (ts &cs apply), 40 kg of luggage and use of the A380 onboard lounge

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Experience the A380 lounge when flying First or Business Class

First:               Flat bed and private suites await you, 50 kg of luggage each. Freshen up prior to arrival with the shower spa

 

WON OVER 400 AWARDS

YOUNG FLEET

Earn skywards points the more you fly the more rewards you receive

 

For any questions or advise please call my direct number 0161 798 2558

Norwegian Cruise Lines are investing $250 million on enhancing their fleet and generating new experiences on board

Here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect:

DINING: All ships will feature Carlo’s Bake Shop – perfect for those with a sweet tooth

You can now book dining room reservations 90 days prior to travel – Brill news for those travelling with a group of friends

BARS & LOUNGES: Specially selected wines and events on board courtesy of the Michael Mondavi Family

Wine stewards and restaurant managers have been trained and certified offering even more knowledge

 

Now experience H2Glow party – the hottest deck party under the stars (so much fun, I went to this on board the NCL Breakaway, it’s a great way to mingle with the staff and meet new friends)

Great news for kids that Nickelodeon are expanding… expect to see new activities, themed dinners and more meet and greets

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WI-FI will be enhanced with hotspots all over the ship(s)

Great Stirrup Cay will feature more beaches and activities

Coming August 2015 Harvest Caye – Situated in Southern Belize this new cruise destination is being transformed to a 75 acre experience. Due to feature a floating pier/ island village/ marina/ tours to the mainland and a relaxing beach

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SHIP REVITALIZATION

 

Norwegian Ships Dry Dock Schedule
Pride of America Newly Refurbished
Norwegian Pearl Newly Refurbished
Norwegian Sky Newly Refurbished
Norwegian Spirit Newly Refurbished
Norwegian Jewel Newly Refurbished
Norwegian Gem Coming 2015
Norwegian Star Coming 2015
Norwegian Epic Coming 2015

That’s all folks! Ive been on a few Norwegian ships so any questions or advise please do not hesitate to call me on my direct line: 0161 798 2558

This Monday comes an event that makes history and for anyone living in the North of England it is an event that must not be missed. Three of the most famous cruise liners will all meet in Liverpool for the first time ever this coming Bank holiday Monday to salute a city that formed part of Cunard’s history whilst celebrating the cruise lines 175th anniversary, originally Liverpool was their home port from the beginning in 1840 right up until 1967 before eventually moving to Southampton.

Beginning the celebrations the first ship the Queen Mary will arrive on Saturday from Scotland, following this on Monday Queen Elizabeth arrives as the final visit during a trip around the Baltics then Queen Mary 2 arrives as a stop on her tour of the UK then later in the afternoon Queen Victoria arrives in Liverpool during a short 6 night cruise that started in Southampton

Thousands are expected to line the docks of Liverpool to take part in the spectacle and a live stream is going to be broadcast from Cunard’s website.

Taken from the homepage on their website www.cunard.co.uk here is a full itinerary of the events taking place over this weekend

Sunday 24 May

  • 09:00 – Queen Mary 2 arrives in the city and berths at Liverpool Cruise Liner Terminal.
  • 22:00 – ‘Amazing Graces’ digital / light projection show on the Three Graces
  • 22:30 – Mid-river Firework display, off the Pier Head

Bank Holiday Monday 25 May

  • 10:45 – Queen Mary 2 leaves the berth to greet her two sisters at the mouth of the Mersey (the area between Crosby Beach and New Brighton)
  • 12:00–14:00 – Three Queens meet and sail south in formation towards the Liverpool Echo Arena, and then turn through 180 degrees to face north. Further manoeuvres may be possible depending on weather conditions on the day.
  • 14:00–14:15 – Queen Mary 2 leaves the city. Queen Elizabeth berths at the Cruise Liner Terminal and Queen Victoria anchors in the middle of the Mersey
  • 22:00–23:00 – Amazing Graces’ digital / light projection show on the Three Graces
  • 22:30 – Firework display. Following the display, Queen Elizabeth leaves the city and Queen Victoria berths at the Cruise Liner Terminal

Tuesday 26 May

  • 16:30 – A special musical sail-away performance to say good bye to Queen Victoria
  • 17:00 – Queen Victoria sails out of the city. Flotilla of small boats welcome.

 

So get yourself down to Liverpool this weekend and enjoy a moment in history…..me….I would love to be going but I’ll be manning the phones and booking everyone that decides to take part of one of Cunard’s sailings this year and experience one of their fantastic cruises themselves, there are a number of special events and sailings taking part all this year to mark this special anniversary so don’t delay and be part of history yourselves