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celebrity cruise lines

Celebrity Solstice - Aerial at Sea Miami Shoreline Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruise Lines have won the following awards:

TTG Travel Awards : LGBT Friendly Travel company of the year 2016

Cruizie Awards 2016: Best large ship line LGBT passengers

Cruise Critic: Most Awarded Cruise Line 2017

Conde Nast Top 100 Travel Experiences 2016

Food & Travel Ocean Cruise Line of the Year 2016

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Celebrity Cruise Lines offers guests a wide variety of international destinations from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, even cruises in the Far East. With hundred’s of itineraries to choose from you will be spoilt for choice. Celebrity Cruise Lines pride themselves as a 5 star cruise lines which doesn’t discriminate again gender or race.

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Its great to see that cruise lines are changing their views and traditions to allow same sex couples to enjoy the ultimate experience of cruising. The label of gay, straight, bisexual or transgender should never have been discriminated against, these are people who will paying the same price of a holiday, experiencing the same sights and eating the same fabulous food that Celebrity Cruise Lines offer.

Selected itineraries to inspire guests include example Signature Event sailings. Guests can have the chance to celebrate the Chinese New Year as part of 14-night China, Vietnam and Thailand sailing and experience all the fun of the Rio Carnival with a 14-night South America and Carnival sailing.

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: colin@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2511

If like me you like to keep in shape then going on a cruise can seriously affect all the hard work you put in at the gym. Top quality food pretty much 24/7 and a cocktail list as long as your arm can soon have the pounds piling on. So how do you enjoy all that a cruise has to offer without losing the beach body you worked so hard for?

On any cruise, regardless of what kind of ship you are on, you can always find ways to move your body and stay in shape. Exercise will keep your body fit, settle your possibly stressed out mind, and help you to enjoy your journey no matter what problems you might encounter on the water. Many of the newer ships these days don’t just have state of the art gym equipment. There are sports courts, climbing walls and usually an outdoor walking/running track too.

 

Here are my top tips for staying in shape on any cruise.

1. Use the fitness facilities. Many of the best cruise ships have state-of-the art fitness centers. If yours does, use it. Try to get in at least 30-minutes a day of cardio, strength training,  yoga or stretching.

2. Do the excursions. Don’t be lazy, get off the ship and see what you came to see. This is a great way to get some walking in and move your body.

3. Join an exercise class. On my last cruise the cruise line offered exercise classes every morning. Zumba, Tai Chi and Yoga classes were offered every morning from 6:30am onwards. If you cannot muster up the motivation to workout on your own, join the classes. You’ll be surprised how many fellow cruisers will be there.

4. Swim. If your ship has a pool, why not use it to swim a few laps instead of just to plunge in it to cool off or for fun and play.

5. Eat healthily. Cruise lines provide a plethora of food options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stick to your home food schedule (as long as it is healthy), keeping things simple and structured. Now I’m not saying don’t have anything that would be classed as unhealthy but try to keep everything in moderation.

6. Watch your drinking. On a cruise, it’s very easy to get caught up in free flowing alcohol day into night. Drinking every day from lunch until bedtime is so easily done on a cruise but obviously it is not helpful to your fitness program.  Maybe just choose a couple of nights to celebrate and just order wine by the glass instead of by the bottle with your evening meal.

Follow these tips and you can stay fit and perhaps disembark in better shape than when you got on board! Although I never do!

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us. 

If you are interested in booking a cruise the you can call me to discuss on 0161 798 2520 or e-mail jon@cruiseclubuk.com

Opening in December 2015, the new Abu Dhabi cruise port is almost complete. On my trip to Abu Dhabi I had a tour of the nearly finished port, and here is what I found out…..

As we are talking about Abu Dhabi, of course they will have designer shops inside the cruise port building. So once you have checked in for you cruise, you can do some last minute shopping before you board your cruise.

Offices will also be inside the port, so it is going to be a busy place.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, the port of Abu Dhabi have set a contract in place with Etihad Airlines so that passengers disembarking for their cruise, can check in for their flight when they are at the port. This means they can get rid of their luggage here, get their boarding cards and enjoy their last day in the City, instead of sitting in the airport.

Abu Dhabi Port as of November 2015
Abu Dhabi Port as of November 2015
Abu Dhabi Port as of November 2015
Abu Dhabi Port as of November 2015
Stood at Abu Dhabi Cruise Port
Stood at Abu Dhabi Cruise Port

The port is extremely large (from docking to entrance) and Celebrity cruise lines will be offering shuttle services for their passengers, even if you are not on an excursion.

The port is located around 15 minutes from the Corniche and 30 minutes from the International Airport.

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: Michellehaslam@cruiseclubuk.com or 0161 798 2512

Whether its Afternoon Tea on the 74th Floor of the Jumeirah Etihad Towers, a day sand surfing in the Desert or a ride on the worlds fastest roller coaster, Abu Dhabi has everything to offer!

Each day of my trip in Abu Dhabi was jam-packed full of fun and exciting trips. I didn’t want the days to end but my feet certainly did!

As we were being hosted by the fabulous Celebrity Cruise Line, they gave us all a taste of their wonderful Excursions that are being offered to Cruise passengers in Abu Dhabi.

Day one started with a trip to the indoor theme park; Ferrari World. This is home to the worlds fastest rollercoaster, and yes, I did go on it! From 0-240km in 4 seconds you are given goggles to wear before getting on the ride. The coaster train is of course an extra-long Formula 1 car, as the feeling you get when setting off is supposed to be the same as the F1 drivers feel when driving the cars.

 

Ferrari World Entrance
Ferrari World Entrance

 

Ferrari World
Ferrari World

 

Ferrari World
Ferrari World

 

The Worlds Fastest Rollercoaster
The Worlds Fastest Rollercoaster

 

Arriving back at the station in Ferrari World
On the 4th row – Arriving back at the station in Ferrari World

To be honest, I really wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would have been with Ferrari world. I suggest this be for car fans, men and children. Its something for the boys and their toys. One great thing about this place is that YAS mall is attached to the entrance to Ferrari world, which means ladies, you can shop at some of the best stores in Abu Dhabi, whilst letting the men go free in Ferrari world… BONUS!!

Universal Studios Abu Dhabi will be opening in 2018. I can’t wait for this!!!!

After our trip in Ferrari world, we were then taken to the AMAZING Yas Viceroy Hotel where we had a beautiful hosted lunch in the Italian Restaurant: Amici. This was a beautiful restaurant with wonderful food. One thing to know about the restaurants in the Yas Viceroy Hotel is that they bring in the chefs from around the world, depending on the type of cuisine on offer. So for example, the chef at Amici is Italian and was brought from Italy to provide the best of the Cuisine. It really was a beautiful lunch here and would recommend you visit! You can dine inside or outside in a very tranquil environment.

Yas Viceroy
Dessert at Amichi – Yas Viceroy

The hotel itself is stunning, very modern and being on the F1 Grand Prix track is an added bonus. Guest rooms are guaranteed either a Marina or a Track view. 499 rooms on offer, its a large hotel! #YASVICEROY

Yas Viceroy Hotel & Marina
Yas Viceroy Hotel & Marina
Room view - Yas Viceroy
Room view – Yas Viceroy
Yas Viceroy Swimming Pool
Yas Viceroy Swimming Pool
Yas Viceroy Swimming Pool
Yas Viceroy Swimming Pool
Lounge - Yas Viceroy
Lounge – Yas Viceroy

Guests at the Yas Viceroy hotel can make sure of the shuttles that go 50 times a day from the hotel to the surrounding sights, including Yas Beach. Guests also have the pass to yas beach included when they stay at the hotel. A beautiful beach offering great music and food! open 10am ’til 2am.

 

Yas Beach
Yas Beach
Yas Beach
Yas Beach

One of my favourite trips in Abu Dhabi, was having High Tea at the Jumeirah Etihad Towers. Located on the 74th Floor of one of the towers, the Observation deck offers afternoon tea with a view you will never forget! Cakes and hot snacks are on included when you purchase Afternoon High Tea.

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
Jumeirah Etihad Towers Swimming Pool
Jumeirah Etihad Towers Swimming Pool
View from Observation 300 - 74th Floor
View from Observation 300 – 74th Floor
Looking down from Observation 300 - 74th Floor
Looking down from Observation 300 – 74th Floor
High Tea Observation deck 300
High Tea Observation deck 300
High Tea Observation deck 300
High Tea Observation deck 300

Be sure to visit the Emirates Palace Hotel, the worlds most expensive hotel to be built. Everything you see that is the colour gold, IS GOLD! Fun fact: when they change light fittings in the lobby, staff and guests are known to be on their hands and knees picking up the gold that falls! Emirates Palace is also home to the worlds most expensive Christmas Tree. Decorated in Diamonds and Gold, the tree costs a cool $11 million.

You will also find the worlds first GOLD vending machine. This is where you can pick up your 24ct gold bars. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough space in my case to purchase any 🙂

Like other hotels, they have their own private beach and they also have their own camels for you to ride down the beach.

The Emirates Palace Hotel
The Emirates Palace Hotel
The Emirates Palace Lobby
The Emirates Palace Lobby
The Emirates Palace Lobby
The Emirates Palace Lobby
Gold Vending Machine - The Emirates Palace
Gold Vending Machine – The Emirates Palace

The absolutely best highlight of the trip, for me, was the Desert Safari. WOW!!! Here we drove the dunes in a jeep, sand surfed, rode camels and sat on carpets to have lunch. We had the morning until after lunch in the desert, and I wish we could have stayed longer!

The desert is only an hour from Abu Dhabi.

Fun in the Desert
Fun in the Desert
Camel ride in the Desert
Camel ride in the Desert
Camel farm in the desert
Camel farm in the desert
Lunch in the Desert
Lunch in the Desert
Camel farm in the desert
Camel farm in the desert

 

I am already in the process of planning my return trip to Abu Dhabi and cruising from here to see the wonderful surrounding countries. I will for sure be doing these trips AGAIN!

If you have any questions or need me to help with planning your trip, give me a call!

Thanks for reading.

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: Michellehaslam@cruiseclubuk.com or 0161 798 2512

 

 

After being in Abu Dhabi for three nights, at the Ritz Carlton Grand Canal and the St. Regis Corniche Hotel, it was then time for me to check into the oldest hotel in Abu Dhabi: The Hilton Abu Dhabi

Having stayed at many of the Hilton Hotels around the world, I kind of knew what to expect with the Hilton Hotel, but as I was in one of the richest cities in the world, I didn’t want to presume. But, I was right, this is just like every other Hilton Hotel. Being the oldest hotel in Abu Dhabi, the hotel is not as new and luxurious as the previous hotels on my trip, but it is nice and clean.

Staff are kind and friendly, but not a patch on the service I had been receiving on my trip so far.

The hotel is located on the Corniche, right opposite the St. Regis hotel. Yes, I did just check out of here and go straight over to the Hilton….

Being on the Corniche means Abu Dhabi cruise port can be reached in 15 minutes and the International airport is 30 minutes by car

The hotel was originally a hotel on the beach, but the beach did get moved by a Sheikh so he could drive straight to his palace. Yes, they moved the beach for him! They do have a beautiful private beach club though, which you can walk to within 2 minutes in the underground tunnel from the hotel.

I ate dinner this evening at the La Terrazza restaurant. This is a self-service Buffet restaurant offering lots of different foods from around the world. Food was very lovely, and I did return here the following morning for Breakfast.

The Jazz club is a must when you stay at the Hilton. They have live music from award winning bands, as well as winning the BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE 2015 and BEST JAZZ NIGHT 2015 TimeOut Abu Dhabi awards.

I danced the night away here until closing at 1am and then going into their Miami-style nightclub next door. Drinks were flowing until 2am when I retired to my room. A great night to be had by all, make sure you check it out when your there, even if your staying at another hotel.

Like all other hotels in Abu Dhabi, the Hilton also hosts a ladies night which is one particular night in the week, where ladies can drink (alcohol) for free, throughout the night. The Jazz Club is the winner of the Whats on 2015 BEST LADIES NIGHT award. Ladies Please Note: if you research the ladies nights in the hotels prior to your trip, you can pretty much drink for free each evening! Sorry gents, you must pay!

 

Stage in the Jazz Club
Stage in the Jazz Club
Stage in the Jazz Club
Stage in the Jazz Club

Music in the nightclub is a mixture of the latest dance and house music as well as some of the old classics. I had such a good night, and I did have the ‘heavy-head’ to prove it the next day. (it was a long flight home!)

With so much going on daily, I have broke my trip down into a number of blogs, so far on the hotels. I am now going to blog about the excursions I did daily, which I would HIGHLY recommend to all cruise passengers visiting Abu Dhabi. They are a MUST-DO!!! You can read this blog by clicking here.

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: Michellehaslam@cruiseclubuk.com or 0161 798 2512

 

 

 

 

What are you thoughts on daily gratuities charged by each cruise line? After reading my blog can you please provide me with some feedback so we can pass your views onto the cruise lines.

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My personal thoughts on this swings a few different ways, if the cruise have a mandatory charge then they have to be prepaid, this is set out before you make a booking so you are aware of this, then you have no worries about paying them at the end of the cruise.

If they are optional then you have a few different ways of paying them, either pre paying them before departure, letting the cruise ship add them on at a daily basis or completely opting out and advising guest relations to remove the charge which gives you the option to tip who you like.

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America allow you to do all three of the above.

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Some cruise lines include them in the price of the cruise, this I feel to be the best option, no hassle of having to pay them at the end of the cruise , cruise lines such as Azamara, Thomson, Seabourn, Silver sea & Crystal Cruises.

Costa Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines have compulsory gratuities, Costa’s have been around for a number of years, Norwegian Cruise Lines have only just introduced them as compulsory, this has come as a shock to some of the past passengers as they have increased them to £8.50 per person per day if prepaid in sterling or $13.50 a day if paid on the cruise ship.

Princess Cruises is another cruise who have just upped there daily charge from $11.50 to $12.95 a day also following suit is Holland America who have upped theres from $11.50 to $12.50 a day and if you book a suite they increase to £13.50 a day.

I believe that all cruise lines should adopt the same policy which will make it easier for every to get their heads around.