Cruise Lines and Ships

 

 

Tune in and turn up the volume…

Celebrity Cruise Lines are premiering their new 90 second film on Sunday 11 October 2015

It will be on Channel 4 at 9pm

Over the coming weeks there will be 30 and 10 second versions of their brand, showing across Channel 4’s portfolio of channels and on demand services  

Expect authentic and cinematic style footage!

If you missed out click to watch it today

Let us know your thoughts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amber Cove is the new port in the Dominican Republic. Cruise Tourism has been dormant on the North Coast for over 30 years, so it’s no surprise that a whooping $85 million has been spent on its future

Situated near Puerto Plata, Amber Cove is a 2 berth Cruise Centre accommodating upto 8,000 cruise passengers a day. Featured as a port of call on selected sailings from Carnival Cruise Lines. Also Carnival Corp. have announced that 8 of its 10 cruise lines will include stops here

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The architecture is based on elements of the Islands colonial past

So what can you expect:

Cobblestone plazas

Themed restaurants

Market Place – with locally produced arts & crafts

Bars

Pools with waterslides

Transportation centre

Take to the beach or be active with the huge array of watersports on offer. A great choice of shore excursions will be available to book including 4 x 4 buggies, horseback riding on the beach and snorkeling safaris

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For the ultimate luxury experience you can rent out a private beachside bungalow, including a personal chef and bartender

It’s a brilliant way to show tourists what the island has to offer and of course pick up local Amber, apparently it’s the clearest in the world!

For further details on Carnival Corp. Cruises visit our website or call one our knowledgeable sales team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having cruised many times with Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean I have always wanted to try out Celebrity Cruises on one of their Solstice Class ships. I had spent an overnight on the Celebrity Silhouette for an agent visit when the ship first came out and was so impressed I vowed to give them a try!

I sailed out from Rome on a 10 night Western Mediterranean Cruise in mid September. A question I get asked a lot is regarding weather at this time of year in the Mediterranean, we all like a bit of sunshine when we go away! I am pleased to say we had fantastic sunshine in all but 1 port of call, which was Livorno on the last day. It was extremely windy in Livorno and as we had taken a tour to Florence the weather there was rain with some thunder and lightening which was quite exciting and didn’t detract from our day sightseeing!

I had a balcony cabin on board the ship ( 2B grade ) located mid ship on deck 6. One reservation I had was the actual position of the cabin being opposite the lifts area. I thought there may have been a lot of noice from the entertainment in the atrium in the evening or people coming to and from their cabins. It turned out I had nothing to worry about! No noise heard at all from fellow cruisers either early in the morning or evening and although some noise could be heard early evening from the entertainment this finished at a reasonable time so didnt affect sleeping! I actually really liked this position as the cabin was easily accessible to the lifts making it quick to nip back if need be. I would definitely book another cabin in the same position.
One stand out point I loved about the bathroom in the cabin was there was no horrible shower curtain, Hooray! There is a curved glass shower screen making the area feel much larger and with no curtain sticking to you every time you move it is so much more enjoyable to take a shower! I also love the addition of the foot rest in the shower for us ladies as it makes it much easier for us to do our legs.

Cabin view
Cabin view
Shower area with foot rest
Shower area with foot rest
Balcony
Balcony

The staff and crew on board that I came in to contact with were all very friendly and helpful and our captain was the best I have ever had on a cruise. He was relatively young I would say for a captain, probably mid 40’s, and was Greek. His sea day announcements were so funny and he was frequently walking around the ship chatting to guests and having photos taken. He even got involved in some of the pool side games on sea days and also took part in a game show as part of the evening entertainment. I have never experienced this before from a captain and he really was one of the highlights for me on the cruise.

All of the public lounges/bars were well kept and clean, the same goes for the restauarants. Speaking of restaurants, I went to all but one of the speciality restaurants and can highly recommend paying the cover charge or taking the speciality dining package which I did. Below is a little review for each of the ones I visited;
Murano – This is the french style restaurant on board and is a relatively intimate restaurant with fantastic service! I ordered the loster tail which to my surprise was cooked for me table side. Our waiter explained how he was going to cook it and the flavours involved and also asked if I wanted to exclude enything that wasn’t to my taste. I chose the mixed mini deserts so I could try a little of everything and this did not disappoint. Needless to say I came out of the restaurant very full and satisfied! I have to say, this was probably my favourite of the specialty restaurants.
Qsine – For something a little different to the norm, Qsine is the place to go! You select your choices from an Ipad and it is recommended to have 5 choices, based on 2 people dining. There is so much to choose from we found it difficult to narrow down so ended up ordering 7 dishes! Very greedy I know and we really did struggle as the portions are bigger than you expect! The deserts were also something a little different, my fiance went for the cupcakes and it came with icing in piping bags to decorate yourself and different toppings so you could make your own cupcake masterpiece which was so much fun.
Tuscan Grill – I would say this is the biggest of the speciality restaurants and commands fantastic views across the back of the ship. This is the Italian Steakhouse on board featuring lots of steaks with additonal pasta and seafood dishes. My fillet steak was cooked to perfection and the accompaniments ( vegetables, sauces and pototoes of your choosing ) were also great.

In the main restaurant we opted for ‘Select dining’ so we could go to the restaurant anytime between 6pm and 9.30pm. I always choose this option when I cruise as I prefer the flexibility of it. There was always plenty of choice on the menu and the service was great. The portion sizes were perfect as I do sometimes find with other lines that the portions are so big that it can be a little over facing at times but with Celebrity the size was just right, meaning you could come out of the restaurant fulfilled but not ridiculously full. I did see some fellow cruisers ordering 2 main courses and I don’t know how they managed to fit it all in!

Main dining room
Main dining room

The Ocean View cafe and the Aqua Spa cafe were also excellent for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I enjoyed the smoothies at the Aqua Spa cafe and they had lots of healthy salad options and fruit pots which is right up my street. Of course there were busy preiods in the Ocean View cafe but due to the size of it, including a huge outdoor area at the back of the ship, there was never a problem finding a table. As expected the choice in here was amazing, I loved the eggs benedict station for breakfast and for lunch there was a pannini station making fresh to order and the same for pizza and pasta. I couldn’t fault it.

Entertainment wise, there was a great choice every evening. The main shows were varied and the singers and dancers on board are excellent! I went to ‘Celebrity Rox’ which was a pool side party featuring the house D.J playing Rock songs from across the ages and also the ships singers and dancers who got everyone involved in their performance and some of them even ended up in the pool as part of the act! Great fun evening.
During the day time there were various quizes, dance classes and games for those who wanted to take part.

Celebrity Rox pool party
Celebrity Rox pool party

The Lawn Club was one of my favourite areas to have a late afternoon drink and watch sail away. This area is at the back of the ship on deck 14 and has lawns on either side where you can play boules or just grab a blanket and relax in the sunshine. There is also a lawned area in the middle which features the ‘Alcoves’ which you can rent for the day giving you a private cabana with picnic lunch from one of the speciality restaurants of your choosing and also bottled water.

I could carry on but I think I have touched on the main points. I thouroughly enjoyed my first Celebrity Cruise and im sure it wont be the last!

*Other ships with in the Solstice Class include: Celebrity Solstice, Equinox, Eclipse, Silhouette, Reflection

If I can help you with any Celebrity Cruise booking please give me a call on 0161 7982506.

shutterstock_156910As the nights draw in, and the chilly weather approaches, as does the need for baggy jumpers and cosy nights in front of a roaring fire, can only mean one thing… It’s almost Christmas time!

Sample the festive season, European style, with a European Christmas Market Cruise in a cultural city that truly captures the true spirit of Christmas…

Quaint cobbled streets lined with traditional wooden lodges, decorated with local handicrafts and traditional handmade Christmas decorations, sprinkled with the glimmer of sparkling Christmas lights, which is combined with the gentle sound of Christmas carols and the festive smell of roasting chestnuts and the fruity aroma of mulled wine

Experience a European Christmas for less than £68.00 Per Person, Per night! On board P&O Ventura…

Departing from Southampton on Sunday 13th December 2015

Ventura

P&O Ventura entered service in 2008, and has a guest capacity of 3,078 and 1,205 crew. Ventura promises to be the ship where there is always something going on, boasting 12 eateries, which includes 3 main restaurants, and a fine dining restaurant*

Ventura boasts no less than 12 places to drink, as well as a lavish wine bar*, Olly Smith’s – The Glass House

Entertainment is plentiful, with a two – deck theatre, a casino, and a 3 deck atrium with dance floor

Monday 14th December 2015 – A leisurely day at sea, gives guests the chance to unwind in The Retreat alfresco spa terrace, or in the Oasis Spa with its endless pool and thermal suite. Take a dip in one of the 4 pools, with 1 featuring a skydome and 6 whirlpool spas!

Engage with a book in the on board Library, or enjoy a spot of retail therapy in the on board shops*

Tuesday 15th December 2015 – An early arrival into the popular Amsterdam, sees this usually flowering city being transformed into a illuminated haven for romantics, with illuminated walking routes along the famous Amsterdam canal’s, The Amsterdam Light Festival is open from 26th November 2015 to the 17th January 2016

A variety of festive market stalls, selling local handicrafts, toys, and clothes can be found here, as well as an ice rink, surrounded by food and drink stalls

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Wednesday 16th December 2015 – Ventura arrives into the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, giving guests the chance to visit Bruges. The Bruges Christmas Market, promises a cosy feel, featuring an Ice Rink, combined with a picturesque and traditional backdrop. Visitors have the chance to take a ride upon a horse drawn carriage through the cobbled streets, filled with festive cheer! Meanwhile, nearby Brussels is home to the soon to be 15th Winter Wonder’s festival, boasting a traditional Christmas atmosphere, whilst playing home to a giant centrepiece – A giant decorated Fir Tree! As well as the Ice Rink, visitors can experience all the joys of the fair, with the Ferris Wheel and The Merry – go – rounds. Visitors are spoilt for choice with around 240 wooden lodges, selling local Christmas handicrafts, combined with traditional Choirs, a variety of artists and open air concerts

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Prices for this truly Festive Christmas experience are leading in at £269.00 Per Person, based on 2 sharing an Inside Cabin for the 13th December 2015 departure. Price includes all port taxes and fees, excludes on board service charge’s.

* Denotes a charge applies

Call me today to reserve your cabin, or allow me to check availability on your perfect Christmas cruise…

Angelina

0161 7982536

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Harmony of the Seas makes her debut with a European cruise season May through till October 2016 and then will follow up with 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from November 2016 out of Fort Lauderdale. Harmony of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s third Oasis Class cruise ship and is packed with even more brand new innovations.

She is the first ship that features ‘Splashaway bay’ which is an interactive aquapark for kids. I would describe this as a vibrant waterscape for kids and toddlers complete with a multi-platform jungle gym, gigantic drench bucket and sea creature water cannons.

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There is also three new waterslides known as The perfect storm which are named cyclone, typhoon and supercell for guests to enjoy even more thrills. Harmony also has The ultimate abyss which is a 10 storey slide begins in the pool and sports zone at the aft of the ship down to the boardwalk neighbourhood below.

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Harmony in usual Royal Caribbean style features some fantastic eateries featuring fine cuisine from around the world. You can dine in the modern Japanese restaurant Izumi or sample classic Mexican dishes at Sabor or for a more casual approach perhaps grab a slice of pizza at Sorrento’s. The ship also features a bionic bar onboard where you can have your favorite cocktail prepared by a robot!

 

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Entertainment on board in general with any of Royal Caribbeans ships that I have experienced is outstanding. Harmony like the rest certainly does not disappoint with performances that will amaze and dazzle you. Broadway style shows are a must see or why not spend an evening at the aquatheartre.

 

Why not secure your place aboard this amazing ship and prepare for the wow factor!! For expert advice call me directly on 0161 798 2518.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Buenos Aires

One of the Spectacular city’s in South America

Places to visit

Basilica Del Santismo

The Cathedral Provides a sanctuary for the Bustle of the daily life in Buenos Aires, with it Intricate stained glass windows.

Casa Rosada

The pink house is the presidential office in Argentina, survived a military dictatorship and is today a symbol of Argentina.

Bombonera Stadium

Know as La Bombonera  its the biggest football stadium for the Boca Football team, there is a tour of the stadium if your a football fanatic.

Palermo this Bohemian neighbourhood has the cobbled street with its old flair and is the home to the

largest Jewish population. Buenos Aires has a diverse Immigrant population & heritage.

If your a lover of dance the Buenos is for you.

 

 

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Showcasing the Tango all over Buenos Aires with its spectacular shows.

If you love your wine then a wine tasting evening including some of the best wines of the region.

looking to learn some of the cuisine of the South Americas then a cookery class could be for you something  for the adventures in Buenos Aires.

Coming Home on the Costa Fasinosa

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From the start to finish lots of activity’s something for everyone.

With the ships ornate Décor.

Choosing your cabin from Inside to a Samsara suite.

The Club Restaurant & the Samsara Restaurant is included in the Samsara Suites with reservations.

Its choice of 5 restaurant’s on board.

The 13 bars with the likes of the Cognac and cigar bar Coffee & Chocolate bar.

The 4d Cinema, theatre on 3 levels, casino & disco bar.

Retractable roof over the 2 of the 4 pools on board.

Internet point, library , shopping centre,.

The Samsara Spa with its 6.000 m2 on 2 levels gym thalassotherapy pool

Turkish baths, sauna, solarium.

• Samsara Spa: 6,000 m2 on two levels, with gym, baths,

thalassotherapy pool, treatment rooms, sauna, Turkish

bath, UVA-ray solarium, Cabins and Suites • 5 Jacuzzis

So with there being something for everyone on the trip of a life time then  why not give us a call.

Having worked in the Travel Industry for numerous years, you come across some very funny Cruise questions. I wanted to share my top 10 with you:

  1. How much noise do sunbeds make when being moved? Also do you know the times of day they will be moved around?

This is a rare one, but I have been asked this, I think the customer was trying to suss out if they would hear the scrapping noise of the sunbeds from their cabin below

  1. ‘Your flight leaves at 1400 hours’, customer: ‘Is that in the morning or afternoon?’

In Travel we tend to use 24 hour military time to make it easier when explaining flight times

  1. Do we stay on board the ship at night or do we stay in a hotel?

Yes, of course you stay on the ship in your cabin overnight.

  1. I want to sail from Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is a great add on, however it’s in the middle of a desert. You would have to embark in: San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego

Las Vegas

  1. What’s the difference between a veranda & balcony cabin?

One is how the Americans say it, the other is English!

  1. Do you know what the weather is going to be like?

HOT!!!! The answer is we don’t know, we can guess on previous years

  1. If I pay the cheapest price will my cabin be next to the engine room?

No, not at all!

  1. Do I need a passport if I sail from the UK? Even if I don’t get off the ship?

Yes, your sailing international waters and are required a passport to board

  1. I’m worried about the ‘Captains Cocktail Evening’ how can he host the dinner and sail the ship at the same time?

He’s the Captain for a reason and being in charge means he can delegate

10. If we book an ocean view cabin will it be below the water? 

No, none of the cruise lines have cabins below seas level.

It always makes our working day that much brighter with questions like these.

Share your experiences with us. Tell us some of the things you have been asked

The Majesty of the Seas

If you have read my previous blogs, you will know sailing the Caribbean is my favourite holiday. Trying new cruise lines, new islands and meeting new people is my idea of a great holiday. So, this time, August 2015, we decided to travel from England to Miami to embark on TWO Caribbean cruises.

Royal Caribbean is my favourite cruise line of all time. I have sailed the Caribbean with them numerous times on their biggest ships and now, I was set to embark their oldest, smallest ship in the fleet; The Majesty of the Seas. This was a 4 night Bahamas cruise leaving from Miami. We had an ocean view (port hole) cabin on deck 2!! After traveling on the bigger, newer ships and staying in mostly balcony and suite category of cabins, myself and partner were quite nervous about the cabin and its position.

After a very easy and stress-free embarkation at the Port of Miami, we were on the ship. Greeted by a very grand foyer, and the smiling staff of Royal Caribbean, we felt at home immediately.

We got ourselves a drink from the bar and headed to our stateroom to check out what we would be staying in for the best part of a week…….

HOW WRONG WERE WE!!!!!

We found our cabin (2570) right besides the elevators on deck 2 and we were very pleased with what we found. The beds were separated which didn’t bother us at all, and there was more than enough space to sleep and get ready for 5 days.

I don’t think the ship was at full occupancy for this sailing, which made getting a sunbed extremely easy. Usually it can be difficult to find a sunbed on a sea day, but there was plenty of empty beds to choose from.

The ship is kept to a high standard as are all Royal Caribbean ships, there is no way you would think she is 23 years old. Refurbished in 2007, the ship is a great ship! I would very happily go back on this ship for another cruise.

Our 4 night sailing took us to Nassau, Bahamas – Cococay, Bahamas – Key West, Florida.

 

The Atlantis Hotel - Nassau, Bahamas
The Atlantis Hotel – Nassau, Bahamas

 

Cococay is the cruise lines private island and is a must for all passengers that are sailing here. You will be tendered from the ship to the island as the ship will drop anchor. There is no dock here.

Keeping in with the Bahamas style with bright colours and steel drums playing – The staff on board will take to the island to pre-pare a very big beach B-B-Q. They have bars here too, where your drinks package is of course still valid!

Excursions are offered here, or you can just relax and take in the beautiful island with a cocktail in your hand. Don’t forget your sun cream, its extremely hot here!!

After my 4 night cruise on board the Majesty, I was returning to Miami for 1 night at the Mondrian Hotel before embarking the Norwegian Getaway – my first NCL cruise…. Check back on my blog to see how I got on.

 

 

There was big news this week from Thomson Cruises after they announced that they will be positioning the Thomson Celebration to sail from Dubai next winter. The cruises, which will go on sale in November, will start in Dubai and run two seven-night itineraries – ‘Arabian Nights’ and ‘Cities of Gold’ which will visit Khasab and Muscat in Oman, Manama in Bahrain, Doha in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Khor Fakkan in United Arab Emirates as part of the 7 night itineraries.

There will also be an option to combine the cruise with a seven night stay in Dubai either before or after the cruise and there will be a choice of hotels including Atlantis The Palm. The downside is that there will only be the 7 nights option for staying in Dubai rather than a 3 or 4 night option which I think would be more popular.

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The great news is that as it is Thomson and they will be using their own flights, there will be direct flights from Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow.

I think this is a bold but smart move from Thomson, as there is only really 3 cruise line – Royal Caribbean, MSC & Costa who regularly base ships in that area so if they can be competitive on price then I think that Thomson can certainly be a popular choice. They will be the only British cruise line there and with good value all inclusive packages and no gratuities to pay they may well appeal to the British market.

What do you think? Is this something that you would like to try? Let me know your thoughts.

shutterstock_99855551Taking New York Cruise and Stay holiday could not be easier as you can travel Eastbound or westbound and take in the city that never sleeps.

 

Make it a  special occasion something you will never forget with the cruise and city stay.

 

Things to do in New York City.

 

Take the Up Town bus tour & Down town tour.

Ellis island steeped in the History of the migrants coming into state of new York.

Central park with its horse & carriages if your feeling romantic or even an ice skating rink that’s if you travel in the winter time.

Empire state building which became iconic when they made the film  King Kong in the 1933 film.

Ground zero which I think if you go to the city is a place  reflection for everyone.

Guggenheim Museum.

Rocker fella centre.

Shopping until you drop.

 

So if you choose to sail 1st and arrive new York make sure you do spend a least 4 nights after the cruise & visa versa.

 

 

 

 

The Queen Mary 2 with Cunard

175 years Anniversary on the Cunard Ships.

With an option on board taking in the planetarium and the Royal Court Theatre The Different Dining options

dependent on cabins booked on board. all though they all offer the same service throughout the ship.

Canyon Ranch Spa Library.

 

The range of accommodation on the Queen Mary 2

starts from the Inside cabins with a square footage of 159 sq ft.

 

 

all cabins include.

Your Stateroom Includes:  24-hour room service

  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Nightly turndown service with pillow chocolate
  • Satellite TV with multi-language film and music channels
  • Refrigerator, safe, hair dryer
  • Daily shipboard newspaper
  • Half a bottle of Bon Voyage wine
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Fruit basket (on request)
  • 220V British 3-pin and 110V 2-pin sockets.

Moving to the Balcony cabin which there is a variation of options dependent on the location of the cabins.

Which includes all of the above but the square footage from 24 sq ft –  269 sq ft  is dependent on the type of cabin you choose the sheltered balcony or the sea view balcony.

 

And if you are looking to make it that special occasion then your choice of cabins can be the princess Suites or the Queens Grill.

Your Suite Includes:

  • Concierge service
  • 24-hour room service
  • Full bathroom with bath and shower
  • Exclusive access to the Queens Grill Lounge
  • Single-seating dining in the Princess Grill restaurant
  • In-suite dining from the Princess Grill menu
  • Priority embarkation
  • Bon Voyage bottle of wine and fresh strawberries Pillow concierge menu (a selection of pillows and Duvets to suit your preference)
  • Soft Terry Robes & slippers Nightly turndown service with pillow chocolate
  • Satellite TV with multi language film and music channels Direct-Dial telephone
  • Refrigerator, safe and hair dryer Daily shipboard newspaper
  • 220V 3-pin and 110V 2-pin Sockets Personalised stationery and atlas
  • Daily fresh fruit

Your Suite Includes:

  • Butler and concierge service
  • 24-hour room service
  • Bon Voyage bottle of Champagne and strawberries on embarkation
  • Priority embarkation
  • Exclusive access to the Queens Grill Lounge
  • Single-seating dining in the Queens Grill restaurant
  • Refrigerator, safe and hair dryer
  • Soft Terry Robes & slippers
  • Nightly turndown service with pillow chocolate
  • Pillow concierge (a selection of pillows and duvets to suit your preference)
  • 220V 3-pin and 110V 2-pin Sockets
  • Satellite TV with multi language film and music channels
  • Daily shipboard newspaper
  • Fresh flowers and daily fresh fruit
  • Personalised stationery, atlas and books
  • Board games and computer games console
  • Bar stocked with spirits or wines and soft drinks
  • Pre-dinner canapés and in-suite dining from Queens Grill menu
  • Priority disembarkation and tender services (Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 suites)
  • Priority luggage delivery (Q1, Q2 and Q3 suites)

So why not give us a call today and lets get the holiday of a lifetime booked for you.