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Many people ask if its worth purchasing a drinks package to make your cruise all inclusive, I personally can whole heartedly say yes, even if you aren’t a big alcohol drinker, many include an array of soft drinks too and one of the best value at sea is with MSC cruise lines

The advantage of adding an all inclusive package before you travel, is you can have a cheeky glass of sparkling wine once boarded to celebrate your holiday. That may be just me but to me the main thing is that it does work out better value overall, if you were to buy on a drink by drink basis any cruise line will automatically charge a 15-18% gratuity onto the cost of any drink, so for example if your wine is 4.50 euros, this is more like 5 euros, if your cocktail is 7 euros this is actually 8 euros. Once you have bought a couple of soft drinks and water during the day, a glass or 2 of wine with dinner and maybe a night cap this is all it takes to make your drinks package work for you

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MSC offer 3 different packages that can be added to your cruise

Option 1 – Cheers all inclusive package from £11p/p per day

This includes drinks at mealtimes only, including a selection of wine, beer and soft drinks in the buffet and main restaurants. This suits people who like a glass of wine with their meals only

Option 2 – Restaurant and Bar drinks package from £18p/p per day

This is a fantastic value all inclusive package and the most popular, including selected drinks in all restaurants and bars, including beer, wine, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks. All drinks are branded however it doesn’t include premium brands.

Option 3 – Deluxe all inclusive package from £35p/p per day

This is a fully comprehensive all inclusive including unlimited spirits including premium brands, liqueur, aperitifs, classic and Premium cocktails, wide selection of wines by the glass, draught and bottled beer, non-alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks, juices, premium mineral water, energy drinks, espresso and cappuccino, drinks from the theme bar menus, minibar, and drinks and food from room service menu

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The prices do vary on the length of your cruise but offer fantastic value and means you don’t have to worry about a surprise bill at the end of your cruise, plus if you’ve always fancied trying a new drink or cocktail that you have always wanted but maybe a bit wary, you can without worrying about the cost, you never know you may discover something really special

These drinks packages can be added on to your cruise before travel and just paid for with your final bill, so if you already have a cruise booked with us or are thinking about making a booking, consider these options before you board. The money you save could pay for that excursion or treat in the spa

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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: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

Visit two islands with one port of call when your next cruise docks in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Being the most southern islands in the Caribbean, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago lies just 6 miles off of the North-East coast of Venezuela, South America.

Parlatuvier Bay, Tobago
Parlatuvier Bay, Tobago

They have two seasons each year: Dry Season, which is the first five months of the year, with the Wet Season being the remaining seven months of the year.

The two ports which are open to cruise ships are; Port of Spain in Trinidad and Port of Scarborough in Tobago.  Being just a twenty minute ferry ride apart, you can plan your visit to whichever of the Twin islands quite easily, due to the very frequent ferries that operate each day. The cost is also very minimal, at just £6 per adult, each way.

Having visited Tobago myself, it is a haven for beach lovers. They offer stunning, relaxing beaches with local crafts and food for sale. They have small markets close to beaches giving you the option to browse for souvenirs at your own freewill. Be sure to try the fruit here, its cheap and so fresh! Just what you need on a hot summers day in the Caribbean.

Cumana Bay, Trinidad
Cumana Bay, Trinidad

Trinidad is of course renowned for their Carnival which is one of THE most attended carnivals in the world, taking place February each year. Here you can witness the most Extravagant-barely there costumes, vibrant colours, dancing, music, food and some of the most beautiful women on the island. Known as “The Original Carnival” it is certainly something to witness if you are sailing here when it is on.

So if you are sailing into one of the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad & Tobago on your next cruise, and you want to see the sister island, take a ferry and explore! Be sure to check your “All Aboard” time, you don’t want to miss the boat!

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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 0808 278 0342

 

Having just returned from my first Cruise & Maritime cruise my first words would be wow. I boarded with trepidation as I’d heard so many mixed reviews of this cruise line but from the quick and efficient check in to the glitzy atrium in my favourite colour purple my first impression certainly exceeded expectations

My cruise was sailing from Tilbury and around the Scottish Isles on Cruise & Maritime’s new flagship Columbus.

Our first stop was our cabin, and I was mightily impressed with the size even though it was only an inside. The storage space was unbelievable with so many drawers in the wardrobe area and the main cabin, the bathroom a reasonable size too my only gripe was that there was only 1 plug socket.

With the weather being so nothing like when we left Manchester our first port of call was a cheeky glass of prosecco in the swim up bar to cool off before catching a few rays in the unusual British heat.

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The food in the main restaurant was fantastic, just as good as what I’ve eaten on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. My only disappointment at breakfast was the lack of fresh bread, it was mainly standard sliced, which I guess really was a good thing as bread is my downfall on a cruise or any holiday. Lunch was served until 3, on many occasion we got back too late for lunch but afternoon tea was served from 3.30 -4.30 with an array of cakes and sandwiches. Waiters walked round the ship with a selection of canapes about 10.30 incase you fancied a little something extra

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My highlight was being invited to the Captains dinner on the first formal evening. We were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine before being introduced to the Captain and the Hotel director, a photo opportunity later and we were taken into the private area of the Chefs table in the main restaurant for dinner. There were some amusing conversations as the Captain was Greek and hotel director Italian so you can imagine the competition

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The theatre was always full for the shows and there was plenty of entertainment onboard, the cruise was actually an Antiques Legends theme which included many a celebrity including Henry Sandon and Caroline Hawley and you could have your treasures valued

The service onboard was good, not as good as other cruises I’ve been on but nothing to complain about. Our cabin steward was eager to please and always on hand when required.

All in all this was an excellent cruise, a wonderful itinerary and a fabulous cruise, I’ve never really thought about cruising with this cruise line before, in fact it was a customer of mine that brought this to my attention by booking this same cruise and I am so thankful to her as I had a brilliant holiday and would definitely cruise with Cruise and Maritime again

Carry on reading for my guide to our ports of call

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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: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

Following on from my previous blog Lerwick in the Shetland Isles was our 3rd port and our tender dropped us in the heart of town to be greeted by some Vikings which added to the Scottish atmosphere. Located 123 miles from Northern point of Scotland Lerwick on the East coast is an old traditional harbour town surrounded by old stone buildings and it certainly feels like your going back in time. We had booked an excursion up to the North coast of the island and were told that no matter where you were in Shetland you would never be more than 3 miles from the coast

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Driving through the Tingwall Valley the landscape is dramatic and baron, we passed Mavis Grind a narrow 300 yard strip of land where the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean seem almost to meet. Arriving at  Tangwick Haa Museum we had a quick stop however the highlight for me was heading down to the pebble beach to spot the seals swimming in the water and sleeping on the rocks. Driving out to the Eshaness cliffs the scenery became much more dramatic and moody.  The spectacular Atlantic coastline has no comparison elsewhere in all of Shetland and here you can view the striking sea cliffs, with their rock formations that have been carved by the unrelenting power of the ocean.

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Our last port of call was Invergordon, I’d set my heart on a visit to Lochness, it felt like it was something we had to do whilst in the area, we managed to get a last minute place on one of the excursions. The drive was also very picturesque, along the Lochs and through the heart of Inverness we had a very knowledgeable guide. Boarding the Jacobs queen we began our 30 minute cruise around the loch over to Urquhart castle. This a one of Scotlands largest castles and dates back to the 13th Century, I would highly recommend watching the short film in the exhibition there, it details how the castle has been invaded on many an occasion and how important it was to Scotland’s battles and history. It now belongs to the National Trust as a tourist destination.

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And the question your all wanting to know is yes we did find Nessie……

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Sailing away from Invergordon to the sound of bag pipers , sat in a hot tub with a glass of fizz watching the sun set, this really was the perfect end to an amazing cruise.

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Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

 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: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

 

I’ve always wondered why people wanted to cruise around the British Isles when there are so many other destinations to visit. Even when I told people where I was going on my cruise I could hear in their voice they were thinking why is she going there, however I can now say I can see exactly why. Scotland is beautiful, there are so many interesting things to see and the landscape is so dramatic. I think when we look at going on holiday we don’t tend to think about what’s on our doorstep and we should really take more time to experience our own country

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Our first port of call was Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. First impressions were good ….it was dry. C&M provided a complimentary shuttles bus into the town centre only a 5minute drive away. We had been told there was a local tourist bus that took you to some of the main attractions, we found this to be exceptional value at £10 and almost identical to one of the shore excursions that had been offered. Our scenic drive took us past Scapa Flow, a body of water between Scapa Bay and Kirkwall, now a famous wreck and diving site, this was initially used as a harbour for the Vikings to the main Naval base for the Royal Navy in the first world war.

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Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement occupied from 3180 BC to about 2500 BC which was uncovered by a storm in 1850, excavations began and 8 houses were discovered. The preservation is immense and the Scots call it the Pompeii of Scotland, it has since been awarded a Unesco heritage site. A visitors centre and exhibition has also been built to immerse yourself in the history of the site

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On our way back to Kirkwall we passed the Standing Stones of Stenness and The Rings of Brodgar, both stone circles also from the Neothilic period, they have previously been compared to Stonehenge

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Kirkwall itself is a pretty little town with old narrow streets surrounding its main church and the bay curves rounds from the town leading back to the port which is a lovely walk

The Faroe Islands are a truly magical place and my favourite port of the trip. An archipelago of 18 volcanic islands located halfway in the Altantic between Scotland and Iceland with Danish ruling. All the islands are linked by tunnels, causeways and bridges and are very picturesque

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Docking in Torshavn we had booked an excursion of a scenic tour, and it did not disappoint, the landscape is so green, with sparkling water, the array of salmon farms, pretty coloured houses, narrow hairpin bends as we drove up the mountains and rugged cliffs this is a spectacular drive. The island is actually also known as sheep island due to the volume that you see scattered in the hills.

The town of Gjógv where we stopped for traditional pancakes and a coffee before having some free time, I must’ve taken over 100 photos, these islands are special, somewhere I would love to return too. Torshavn itself is also very pretty, coloured fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, surrounded by little cafes, bars and shops perfect for people watching

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Read my next blog to see where I visited next

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

 

 

 

My cruise was sailing from Tilbury and around the Scottish Isles on Cruise & Maritime’s new flagship Columbus, launched in June this year she has previously belonged to Princess cruises, Ocean Village and P&O. Following a huge refurbishment she has come to life with modern décor whilst still regaining the traditional style that Cruise and Maritime are known for and for which their loyal passengers love.

colombus atrium

The largest of their fleet Columbus is almost 64,000 tonnes, carries 1400 passengers and has 11 passenger decks. The cruise line has listened to what their passengers want, this ship has 64 balconies and junior suites, and 150 cabins for single occupancy which is much appreciated by passengers. Its nice that they do cater so much for solo travellers as much as couples, which is why Cruise and Maritime have such a large following. I met many people that cruise with them regularly.

With 1 main restaurant the Waterfront, Plantation buffet and 2 speciality restaurants, Fusion a mix of Asian Indian cuisine and Grill specialising in steak, plus the alfresco grill open daily for burgers, afternoon tea and the speciality coffee bars featuring cakes and pastries you can be sure never to go hungry.

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There are 7 lounges and bars onboard, Raffles is a classy affair overlooking the main atrium and is the perfect start to your evening. The Dome is the late night bar with music and dancing, the oldies can really teach the young a thing or two. My favourite bar was the Oasis bar at the aft of the ship on deck 8, the back has tiered sunbathing areas with comfy loungers spanning over 5 decks, deck 8 is also where the jacuzzi’s are located, we spent a goregous afternoon in the jacuzzi, glass of fizz whilst watching the ship sail from Invergordon

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Indoor bars included Connexions and Taverners pub, located next to each other but both with a very different feel, these featured resident singers every night which was a lovely way to spend your evening after dinner

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The spa and fitness centre I was told were both very good, neither of which I visited, one minute you are on your first day planning everything and what there is to do, the next its your last day and you realise you haven’t even seen half the ship. The atmosphere onboard is so relaxed that you think you have all the time in the world, I think this is where Cruise and Maritime have really hit the spot, they are a friendly professional cruise line that really do cater for all ages. Although the majority of passengers were older we met a few guests that were younger, some on their first cruise and they loved it. It’s taught me not to always believe what you hear, to try something different and make the most of every opportunity that opens to you.

Click on this link to carry on reading about my experience on Cruise & Maritime

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

 

Ultra-Luxury Six Star Cruise Line, Silversea, announce refurbishment plans for the Silver Whisper and the Silver Wind.

As a part of the “Elegant fleet-wide refurbishment” program, which was launched by the luxury cruise line back at the end of 2016, The two ships will undergo a concrete refurbishment which will be completed by December 2017. Just in time for Christmas sailings!

Silver Cloud

The Silver Whisper is said to be scheduled for Technical refurbishments which will hopefully increase the already exceptional level of guest satisfaction on board. Public areas on board Silver Whisper are due to have a major redesign, taking some Inspiration from the newest luxury ship part of the Silversea fleet; Silver Muse, which was launched just this year. Carpet replacements and Upgrades for Panorama Lounge, La Terrazza and Observation Lounge are also on the To-Do list.

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The Silver Wind will also take inspiration from the new Silver Muse and will be upgraded in a similar format to the Silver Whisper. Reupholstering of chairs, stylish enhancements and new carpets for the casino are on the agenda. Based on the concepts of Silver Muse, the Spa and Beauty salon on board will receive a new floor upgrade.

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CEO of Silversea, Roberto Martinoli described the arrival of the Silver Muse as an “Inspirational Milestone” for the brand. The Luxury Cruise Line are hoping the makeover of the Silver Whisper and Silver Wind will be appreciated by guests on board and will also enhance the on board experience of guests sailing with them.

Want to be one of the first to walk on the new carpets?

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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 0808 278 0342

 

Italian owned Costa Cruise Line have today announced their partnership with Italian Football team Juventus.

For all of their sailings within Asia, Costa Cruise Line will be offering a Juventus Experience on board for all passengers.

Guests on board will be able to view Juventus content at anytime from the TV in their cabin. They can also learn about Juventus’ history, as there will be a fantastically decorated “Juventus Museum” corner, showcasing related Memorabilia. Of course you can pick up a souvenir, just visit the Juventus Shop on board!

They will have a fantastic mini club on board where children can play with the Juventus Official mascot, Jay. In my opinion, the highlight of the new partnership will be a Juventus trainging program, for children aged 5 to 14 years old. Aspiring footballers are encouraged to sign up regardless of the technical level, as the training will be managed and trained by coaches from Juventus and the program is copied from the Juventus Soccer school “Juventus Academy”.

The cruise line say the new partnership with the Italian Football Giant, will accentuate Costa Cruises Italian DNA and enrich the on board offerings to passengers.

Costa Neoromantica, Costa Victoria and Costa Neoclassica are the three ships kicking off the 2018 Asia Sailings.

Due to the new partnership, cabins will be getting full very quickly, so don’t miss out on your chance to be apart of this new program!

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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 0808 278 0342

Thomson Cruise Line announce “Electric Sunsets” cruise for September 2018.

Plans have been revealed for a special 80’s themed music voyage on board the TUI Discovery. The Adult Only sailing, will depart from Newcastle on the 1st September 2018, passengers will visit Amsterdam and Zeebrugge (for Bruges), before disembarking in Southampton.

Former Radio 1 DY Sara Cox will headline on the Sunday, with a guest appearance from lead singer of 80’s band T’Pau; Carol Decker. Headlining on the Monday, Music lovers will enjoy sounds from Trevor Nelson.

Passengers on board can expect a Guilty Pleasure Party, Classic Eighties Movies, a silent Disco and Ministry of Sound sunset pool parties featuring top DJs Adamski and Brandon Block.

Richard Sofer, the Managing Director of Thomson Cruises said he is excited for the new “Electric Sunsets” itinerary and to take passengers back in time to the Iconic 80’s era. He isn’t the only one said to be excited, DJ Sara Cox also said “DJ’ing anywhere is amazing and on board a huge ship will be epic. The energy will be electric and the ports of call are party scenes in themselves so it promises to be a fantastic few days for everyone on board.”

The sailing is All Inclusive which means all your fabulous food and drink is included for the entire duration of the cruise, and the best part: its UNLIMITED!!! So, the only spending money you will need is for the souvenirs in Amsterdam and Bruges.

This one off sailing is due to sell out very quickly, so I would say get your cabin booked if it’s something you are interested in.  The ship has capacity for 1,830 passengers in total. DON’S MISS OUT!!!!

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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 0808 278 0342

 

Football Fan? Cruise Fan? Why not take a cruise and go see a world cup football match in 2018?

The FIFA world cup 2018 will take place in Russia. Across the country, many different stadiums will play host to the games, with one being the Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg. The stadium holds a massive 64,287 people for the World Cup Event. This is great news for Cruise passengers who want to see a game, as Oceania Cruise Lines and Azamara Club Cruises will both dock in St. Petersburg on the dates of the games at the Stadium, giving passengers a chance to see a FIFA world cup game. Who’s your team?

Saint Isaac Cathedral across Moyka river, St Petersburg, Russia
Saint Isaac Cathedral across Moyka river, St Petersburg, Russia

There are just Seven dates with football matches at Krestovsky Stadium, and they are:

15th June 2018 (Group B)

19th June 2018 (Group A)

22nd June 2018 (Group E)

26th June 2018 (Group D)

3rd July 2018 (Round of 16)

10th July 2018 (Semi-final)

14th July 2018 (Third Place Match)

Construction of the Arena: Krestovsky Island, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Construction of the Arena: Krestovsky Island, Saint Petersburg, Russia

 Azamara Club Cruises: The small-intimate Azamara Journey Cruise Ship will set sail from London Greenwich on the 17th June 2018, sailing for 12 nights to Stockholm, Sweden. This sailing will offer Three full days in St. Petersburg on the 25th, 26th and 27th June 2018. This offers passengers the chance to see the Group D match on the 26th June 2018. She will then begin another sailing for 12 nights on the 29th June 2018, from Stockholm, Sweden to Southampton, UK. This sailing will dock in St. Petersburg for Three days on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th July 2018, offering passengers a chance to see Round of 16 match on the 3rd July 2018.

Oceania Cruise Line: The beautiful Oceania Marina cruise ship will set sail on the 12th June 2018 from Stockholm, Swede taking 10 nights to sail to Copenhagen, Denmark. This sailing will offer a stop in St. Petersburg for Three days on the 14th, 15th and 16th June 2018. Passengers on this sailing have the chance to see Group B match on the 15th June 2018.

If you would like any further information with regards to the above sailings please feel free to contact via phone or email.

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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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 0808 278 0342