Cruise Tips

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whether your taking your first cruise, or you are a seasoned traveler, finding the shore excursion you want at the right price can prove to be quite a task.

Unless your travelling with someone like Silversea Cruises, Oceania Cruises or Azamara Club Cruises, if you want to take a tour (shore excursion) whilst in port, then it can prove to be quite a costly part of your holiday.

Cruise lines will start trying to persuade passengers to book shore excursions directly with them as soon as the booking has been made. You don’t even have to be on board for the hard sell! They will guarantee you things like – being back to the ship on time, seeing the best sights the ports of call have to offer and the best guides in the business.

This may well be true, but they are not the only ones to guarantee these things. The Cruise lines are dealing with the same companies that agents like our selves use, only they mark their prices up massively.

If your cruise line doesn’t manage to get you as their shore excursion customer prior to embarking the ship, I can assure you, they will try their hardest once they have you on board and will even discount their high prices to think you are getting a deal!

Be sure to shop around for your excursions prior to purchasing with the cruise line directly. Just ensure you are guaranteed the one main thing: TO GET BACK TO THE SHIP ON TIME!!

In general, passengers booking excursions with ourselves, rather than the cruise line, will save around 60% off of the tour prices.

Check out www.cruiseclubuk.com and click the excursions tab for more information on tours available for your next cruise!

 

 

 

 

 

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Three cruise lines that  you to bring your own alcohol on board

With the exception of wine, the standard policy across cruise lines is that you cannot bring your alcohol on board  a cruise. However, there are three cruise lines that have an exception to this rule and let you bring your own.

 

Disney Cruise Line

Anybody aged 21 years or older are allowed to bring their own beer and liquor on board for in-cabin consumption. It makes no difference if you bring it on at time of embarking, or you find yourself a bargain on one of the islands and bring it back with you. However, any liquor purchased at the onboard duty-free shop will be held by Disney Cruise Line until the final night of the cruise.

All Beverages being taken on-board must be packed in your carry-on and not checked luggage. You are not allowed to bring coolers filled with drinks. The reason for such a big cruise line having such a liberal policy is simply because, passengers are paying a premium just to cruise with Disney!

Azamara Club Cruises

The luxury two ship line include wine, beer and select brand liquors in their cruise fare, but passengers are still allowed to bring liquor on board for in-cabin consumption. If you wish to drink this outside of your cabin, there will be a $10 corkage fee.

Same policy as Disney when it comes to the on-board duty free. Azamara will hold this until the final night of the cruise.

P&O Cruise Line

The British line allow passengers to bring a small amount of alcohol on board with them. There is no restriction to the amount brought on, but P&O does reserve the right to remove any alcohol at the gangway should the Health, comfort, safety or enjoyment of passengers be compromised.

 

Most cruise lines allow 1 bottle of wine, per passenger, per 7 day sailing. If you have a 14 day sailing, you can take 2 per passenger and they will keep a hold of the 2nd bottle until the second 7 night sailing.

Always check before you sail incase the policies have changed and you can bring more, or less.

 

 

 

  Repositioning cruise info:

Simply explained a repositioning cruise is when a ship relocates form one region to another, these tend to be Spring & Autumn time: March/April and October/November. These are sold at discounted rates to customers rather than the ship sail point to point with no passengers

 

What is it about a repositioning cruise that makes it so appealing?

  • For a start the cost is cheaper than a regular itinerary
  • You get to visit different cruise regions and continents in one voyage
  • More days at seas, so no rushing necessary with back to back ports of call every day
  • Some cruise lines have lectures on board and/or offer themed sailings
  • Princess & Oceania Cruise Lines have added more ports of call, making the itineraries more appealing to customers

 

There are a few snags with this style of cruising:

  • One way or open jaw* flights can be expensive
  • More days at sea may not be your thing
  • With longer duration’s, customers may be limited for time

The best way to find a cruise is to look at the regions that have specific seasons. I.e: Alaska has to relocate in September

 

I’ve put together a list of the best upcoming sailings:

2015 Repositioning Cruises

Celebrity Eclipse 1st November 2015 15 nights Southampton to Miami

Celebrity Solstice 2nd October 2015 18 nights Honolulu to Sydney

Holland America Eurodam 4th October 2015 14 nights Quebec to Fort Lauderdale

Holland America Ryndam 3rd October 2015 28 nights Venice to Singapore

Norwegian Spirit 28 or 35 nights 24 October 20105 Venice to Port Canaveral – Orlando

Norwegian Star 06 October 2015 19 nights Dover to Tampa

Norwegian Epic 18 October 2015 14 nights Southampton to Barcelona

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 9th October 2015 14 nights Barcelona to Dubai

Royal Caribbean of the Seas Rhapsody 19th November 2015 16 nights Barcelona to Sao Paulo, Brazil

Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas 28th November 2015 16 nights Venice to Dubai

 

2016 Repositioning Cruises

Celebrity Eclipse 17th April 2016 13 nights Miami to Southampton

Celebrity Solstice 9th April 2016 18 nights Sydney to Honolulu

Holland America 27th March 2016 14 nights Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona

Norwegian Spirit 16th April 2016 33 nights Port Canaveral – Orlando to Venice

Royal Caribbean, Rhapsody of the Seas 10th April 2016 14 nights Sao Paulo (Brazil) to Barcelona

Royal Caribbean, Splendour of the Seas 4th April 2016 16 nights Dubai to Venice

 

We can tailor make quotes to suit your needs. If you’re looking at adding hotel stays on pre or post cruise we can provide you with competitive prices

Please call me on my direct line 0161 798 2558

*Open jaw flights are those which fly into one destination and out of another

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

Now is the best time to be booking with Royal Caribbean with there fantastic deals. free drinks package and up to $400.00 per cabin on board credit until 09/02/15. Yes the free gratuities that you received from the promotion in January have now finished but don’t forget tips are not mandatory on board and down to the guests discretion.

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The drinks package you receive complimentary is called the Select drinks package and includes, Wines, Beers & soft drinks by the glass, all passengers sharing the same cabin will receive the same package – soft drinks for children. This is great news for us, just imagine that drinks bill at the end of the cruise, it can come as quite a nasty shock, this is taken of in advance and provided by Royal Caribbean, for the adults they can however upgrade this package to include spirits and cocktails.

With various worldwide sailings there will be an itinerary that will suit everyone down to the ground, Mediterranean, Far East Caribbean, Australasian, Alaskan to name just afew!

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During the month of February Royal Caribbean have also amended the deposit fee from £150.00 to £50.00 per person, this is a great booking incentive for us all to take advantage of.

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Are we all looking forward to the arrival of Anthem of the Seas – I am, Im a travel agent and have been lucky enough to win a place for myself and a friend on a 2 night stay on board this fascinating and innovative ship in April.

I’m really looking forward to boarding this brand new ship and sampling everything onboard, the new Dynamic dining facility is something I’m looking forward to doing, a first for Royal Caribbean and something m sure other Cruise Lines may follow in years to come, it gives guests more more flexibility and a chance to dine in a different restaurant every night of their cruise.

Also having a cocktail made in the Iconic Bionic Bar, once Ive been on the ship I will be able to report back to you all about there new features and I am sure some secret ones which they are keeping under wraps.

Have a great weekend all 🙂 Happy Sailing.

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Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog. I am often faced with the question from passengers ‘Is purchasing the drinks package worth it’. The Answer does depend on each individual passenger as it depends how much and what is consumed but also it does depend on What the cruise line is offering to whether it is value for money to purchase cruise drinks packages.

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From first hand experience of the drinks packages on all Cruise lines personally there are 2 front runners for me in regards to excellent value,