Cruise Lines and Ships

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.

 

 

 

 

What are Guaranteed Cabins ? Passengers taking the ‘Guaranteed’ cabin basis from cruise Lines. What does this actually mean?

 .Prior to travel, most passengers like to know what cabin they will be staying in on their cruise. However, this is not always possible. Depending on the availability and promotion the cruise line are offering at the time of booking, passengers may be confirmed on a what they call a ‘Guaranteed’ basis of a cabin category and not given a cabin number.

This means the cabin that passengers will have, will be selected by the cruise line anytime up to the sailing. The cruise line can only ever give passengers the same category or higher, they can never give passengers a lower category.

This can work out very well for some, as you may receive a higher category to what you have paid. but, keep in mind, if there is a particular area of ship you would not like to be, you may well be given a cabin here and you cannot do anything about it, as you took the option of guarantee, leaving the choice to the cruise line.

So, if you have a particular place you wish or don’t wish to be, I would advise you always book a cabin number.

Sometimes, cruise lines will offer passengers a big discount for taking a guaranteed cabin. This means you save money and may well get a category upgrade.

If you are to make a booking very close to the sailing date of the cruise, you may find cruise lines only have guaranteed cabins available.

If you need some more information on the guaranteed cabin basis from cruise lines, call me on 0161 798 2512

 

 

 

 

 

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

Hello everyone and may I firstly thank you all for reading my latest blog!

Today Im going to be looking into the costs of drinks package with various different cruise lines and the benefits they have.

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Firstly I believe Costa Cruises have the best drinks package out there at just £21 per person per day which includes a wide selection of drinks, I purchased this package when I traveled to Dubai in March and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is traveling with them as drinks can be quite pricey whilst on a cruise especially with the 15% gratuity added to each drink (this is wavered once you purchase a drinks package)

Celebrity Cruises have a few on offer starting with the Classic Non Alcohol package at $18, the Classic Drinks package at $55 and the Premium Drinks package at $65 (all per person per day)

Royal Caribbean also have a few on offer starting with the Royal Replenish at $19, Select Drinks package at $35, Premium drinks package at $49 and the Ultimate Drinks package at $55.00 (all per person per day)

Holland America have recently released the Signature Drinks package at $44.95 per person per day which allows you up to 15 drinks a day.

To be fair I always purchase a drinks package before I travel as it saves money and if your money conscious like me you don’t want a big bill at the end of the cruise.

First time cruiser? Not sure what style of cruising will be best for you? Check out some top tips below for some of the top cruise lines in the industry.

With cruise lines becoming more and more like floating islands, with so many things to do on-board, choosing the right cruise line can be tricky, and you may even find yourself on a cruise that just isn’t right for you.

For the Families and the Fun loving passengers:

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) – offer passengers a freestyle approach to cruising. Forget the traditional classical music and white glove service, NCL offer guests a casual, relaxed style of cruising. With no set dining times and a minimum of 12 restaurants on board one ship, finding something for everyone at meal times is not a problem. You can dine as you want. The latest ship to join the NCL fleet will be the Norwegian Escape forecasted for arrival October 2015. Huge waterslides are available for the children and adults on board. Sail with NCL and you are guaranteed a fun time aboard any of their ships. NCL are an American owned 4* Cruise Line – Currency on board is USD. – I am set to sail on the Norwegian Getaway in September 2015, which will be my first time with NCL, come back for my blog on that later.

 

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) – My favourite Line! What can I say, they have it all…. I travel as a couple and enjoy RCCL thoroughly. They have everything to offer for families, couples, groups of friends and the older generation too. They really do have a mix. The newer ships have taken the Cruise Industry to a whole new level. Offering indoor sky-diving, robotic bar tenders, the seaplex arcade offering dodgems & skating, RCCL have introduced us to the ‘Smart Ships’. Set dining times are offered to passengers as well as the “my time dining” option. Guests with children can take advantage of the “My Family Time Dining” where children will be served their meals first before being picked up by a member of the adventure ocean club (RCCL kids club) for a night of fun. Result for mum and dad!! I will be sailing the oldest RCCL ship in August this year, as a pre-cruise cruise prior to my sailing on the getaway; this will be the Majesty of the Seas. Come back for my blog to see how I compare the older ship to the newer ships like the Oasis and the Allure. RCCL are an American owned 4* Cruise Line – Currency on board is USD.

 

 

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Carnival Cruise Line If your looking for fun, sun and cocktails, Carnival may well be the line for you. Offering passengers a majority of mid-sized ships, Carnival pack their ships full of fun stuff. If you are at sea for a day on a Carnival Cruise ship, this is called ‘a fun day at sea’ not just a day at sea. I have never sailed with Carnival yet but I would like to try their new ship, the Carnival Vista for a Caribbean cruise. Carnival are a 4* American owned cruise ship offering cruises departing from the USA. – Currency on board is USD.

 

For the more relaxed, reserved passengers:

Holland America Line (HAL) – Passengers who are looking for a more traditional cruise, with exceptional service should check out Holland America Line. The majority of the staff on board are Filipino and are simply fantastic! Soft music is played by the pool in the day, don’t expect any live, loud music. A very relaxing style of cruising. I would not recommend this cruise for families travelling with children. Holland America Line are a 5* American Owned Cruise Line – Currency on board is USD.

Cunard Cruise Line The traditional cruise line. Guests should have their Tuxedos and ball gowns at the ready for a sailing with Cunard. Established back in the 1800’s by Canadian Samuel Cunard, the cruise line have kept their traditional, high class service to this date. Classical Music and Art fans will be in their element on board any of the three ships with Cunard. Whether its the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth ship you sail on, you are guaranteed a traditional cruise from the one and only Cunard Cruise Line. 5* Cruise line operate USD currency on board.

Azamara Club Cruises – With two ships on offer, the Quest and the Journey, Azamara have a totally different approach to cruising compared to other main cruise lines. Both ships have a guest capacity of 686 and offer a ‘club’ like feel on board – hence the name! Both ships are small and offer a HUGE advantage of being able to sail to places the larger cruise lines cant. For example, if a large cruise ship docks in Bangkok, it will be a few hours away, where as the Azamara ships will be on the doorstep where all the fun is. Smaller ships mean you don’t get lost as much on board! so, instead of spending the entire sailing trying to get to know where things are on board, you can do this when you board. Azamara are a 5* premium brand who are owned by the same company as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruise Lines. Sailing with Azamara will include pretty much everything in their cost, including shore excursions and drinks, making it Azamara All Inclusive. Currency on board is USD.

 

Guests that like a little bit of both:

P&O Cruise Line – English owned 4*

Celebrity Cruise Line – American owned 5*

Costa Cruise Line – Italian Owned 4*

 

 

Check back soon for more blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey starts…

 

My excitement began when I was confirmed as a competition winner with a complimentary place aboard the brand spanking new Anthem of the Seas. I had only experienced other cruise lines ships and was eager to A. Experience a Royal Caribbean ship and B. To see what all the hype was about.

 

My journey began as I travelled from Manchester Piccadilly train station to Southampton with a Journey time of approx 4 Hours. Although this is a long journey me and 2 other lucky colleagues decided to pass the time with a champagne breakfast as we anxiously anticipated our arrival into sunny Southampton.

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On Arrival into Southampton Royal Caribbean laid on a complimentary coach transfer down to the port which is literally 5 minutes away from the train station. As the sun shined we arrived at the port I must admit I could not contain my excitement at the sight of this stunning 5* ship as I stood back and admired it for its beauty and huge capacity.

As we boarded we were greeted by smiling faces of the staff members who were anxious to show us to our staterooms and eager to serve us in every way possible as this was the first time they had greeted their very first guests!!!

As I made my way up to deck 9 via the lifts my first impressions were certainly only described as two words ‘wow’ and ‘futuristic’ and the new smell of the freshly laid carpets and furnishings filled my nostrils. Every time I entered a lift there was a print of an animal in a quirky style. As I arrived at my balcony cabin I was impressed with the size and layout of my cabin, worthy of a 5* hotel room with tea/coffee making facilities and classy furnishings .On the table there was a rubber watch with a RCCL symbol which acted as a futuristic room key making it easy to access your room whilst having your hands full!!

As we made our way up to the top deck the sun beamed and a steel band played, I suddenly forgot that I was still docked in Southampton and it felt more like I was in the Caribbean as I made my way to the Lido bar for a cocktail.

 

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Part 2. After the sail away aboard the 5* Anthem coming soon……

 

 

The Allure of the Seas completes revitalisation

Taking just 18 days to complete, the Allure of the Seas has now had her makeover and has some new features on board.

For the shopaholics: If you are looking to pick-up some duty-free goodies, then check out the new Michael Kors and Kate Spade New York stores on-board.

For the foodies: The Royal Caribbean famous buffet style restaurant, The Windjammer Café has been expanded and will offer a restaurant-style service each evening. Speciality Mexican restaurant Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar and Japenese Izumi Hibachi and Susi  have both been added to the Allure with a new teppanyaki menu on offer.   For suite guests & Pinnacle Crown & Anchor members, the complimentary Coastal Kitchen is now available.

Other new amenities on board the Allure include the Arcade, Diamond Lounge, Suite Sun Deck, and Suite Lounge. Their super-fast internet service Vroom is now on offer to passengers sailing the Allure. In the Arcade passengers will find ring toss, Skeball and many other carnival games.

They have added 40 new staterooms to the vessel including: Royal Family Connected Suite and two new Royal Suites. All staterooms and public areas have been refreshed.

Currently sailing in Europe, the Allure of the Seas offers sailings between Barcelona and Rome.

All new ‘Suite-class ‘ for Royal Caribbean

Passengers who sail in suite categories on board cruise ships are looking for the best of the best – well, Royal Caribbean are sure not to disappoint with their all new ‘suite-class’ packages on the horizon.

This is currently in the planning phase and reports say the president of RCCL, Michael Bayley, is looking to make the programme an all-inclusive product for passengers.

No confirmed dates but according to previous news stories, the suite-class package will begin sometime in 2016.

 

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Michael Bayley introduced the suite-class idea to the Sister company, Celebrity Cruise Lines during his time with them. Passengers staying in upper-level cabins on some Celebrity Cruise line ships are given exclusive access to private restaurant Luminae, afternoon tea service, reserved theatre seating, priority tender service, luxury bath amenities, one complimentary specialty restaurant dinner and butler service.

For the more expensive suite on Celebrity Cruise Lines (Reflection, Penthouse and Royal) passengers receive the above and more!

It has not yet been confirmed if the program for RCCL will copy the Celebrity System.

At present, RCCL do not offer as much as celebrity when staying in a suite. Just the usual priority check-in, concierge club access and on some ships, VIP pool deck seating.

More information will be released in due course.

Fresh from her 40 day refurbishment, Explorer of the Seas arrived in Southampton this week ready to show off her new features!

At 15 years old she has had 86 new cabins added which increases overall capacity from 3,114 to 3,288.

The new cabins include ‘ Panoramic Ocean Views’ which are located on a new section of the ship which has been added to deck 12. This area is at the front of the ship and used to be the running track which surrounds the Vitality Spa. These cabins sound like they will be a fantastic addition, the view across the front of the ship from up on deck 12 will be awesome!

The Inside cabins have also had a re vamp, having had the new ‘Virtual Balconies’ added. If you have not heard about these before, they are basically floor to ceiling TV screens which displays a live image from outside the ship. I love this idea, it is such a simple thing but adds a huge amount to the cabin on board.

Virtual balcony

The main restaurant on board, ‘Symphony’, has also had a refit, benefiting from new black and white upholstered chairs, with one of the tiers of the restaurant now reserved for the ‘ My Time Dining’ option.

A few specialty restaurants have changed on board, ‘Chops Grille’ steakhouse has been replaced with the Italian restaurant ‘Portofino’ and the Japanese sushi restaurant ‘Izumi’ has been added to an area  of the Viking Crown lounge. This was one of favorite meals when I last sailed on Grandeur of the Seas!

In what was the upper level of Chamber Nightclub is now the Italian family restaurant ‘ Giovanni’s Table’ for an alternative style of Italian cuisine to ‘Portofino’.

Finally, the outdoor spaces have not been left out! A brand new FlowRider has been installed and a 220 square foot cinema screen over the mid ship pool.

For those not wanting to try out the brand new Anthem of the Seas and prefer the slightly smaller Voyager Class ships she is a great option for summer sailings out of Southampton.

We have some fantastic deals on Explorer of the Seas over the summer so if you would like any prices please do not hesitate to give me a call on 0161 7982506.

 

 

 

2016 sees Disney Cruise Line sail from the UK for the first time, on board Disney Magic sailing from Dover

 

New itineraries are on sale now!

Sailings as follows:

May 2016 7 Nights Norwegian Fjords

June 2016 12 Nights British Isles

July 2016 Relocates Dover to Barcelona

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Features include:

Unlimited snacks, soft drinks, tea coffee and ice cream daily

Exclusive adult area

24 hour complimentary room service

Special moments with Disney Characters

Disney Magic 84,000 gross tonnage with 877 staterooms

 

Don’t miss out…. Call me on 0161 798 2558 for an instant quote