Tags Posts tagged with "Far East"

Far East

The Independence of the Seas is undergoing a major face lift, adding some fantastic new features.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line are well known for doing things on a large scale including building the largest ship in the world, the Harmony of the Seas.

As of summer 2018, the Independence of the Seas cruise ship, one of three in the Freedom Class of ships, will offer some first-at-sea stuff on board to passengers.

With a multi-million pound makeover, she is set to blow your minds! Already home to many activities on board, including the Flow Rider, Rock Climbing Wall, Ice Skating, H20 Water zone and large cinema screen on top deck, she will be introducing exciting activities such as Laser Tag, An Escape Room, Trampoline park and a couple of water slides!

Current H20 Zone on board Independence of the Seas

Laser Tag will be fun for all guests on board. Children and Adults alike can play a game of Laser Tag to brighten up there days. Bright Colours will make this a great experience for all.

The Escape room will allow passengers to try themselves and their brains to see if they have what it takes to Escape.

Bounce anyone? It is one of my favourite activities and I am sure most of you enjoy jumping on a Trampoline. With fitness and fun combined, this is a great sport for family and friends.

Adding to the exciting H20 Zone on board for children, there are going to be two wild water slides offered for children AND ADULTS!!!

If she didn’t float your boat before (excuse the pun) she certainly will now. The Independence of the Seas has so much to offer on board for all guests. What are you waiting for? Secure your place on board now.

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 would like assistance with your next cruise booking, or have any questions, please contact me on 0161 798 2512 or email me – I am always happy to help.

Fred Olsen:

The new program is going to be more Maiden ports and moving towards the Fly Cruise options.

 so leaving just 5 UK departure ports available in the Program giving the cruise passenger a fuller cruise program.

Edinburgh, Southampton,Dover, Liverpool & Newcastle: 

With the 5  UK departure ports to choose from Fred Olsen want the Journey to smooth and take around 90 Minutes travel time.

Whilst they have made the decision to stay with the Ports in England its also has given them the option to take advantage of the many wonderful events that we have throughout the year. The Edinburgh Tattoo, Northern lights, and many mini cruises taking in the Fjords  travelling into the River Seine France.

 New  Global Experiences for your taking: 

 New years in Sydney Harbor, Classic Cars & Stars In Cannes:

Authentic & Andalusian: 

Californian, Mexico and panama canal: 

India & Arabia: 

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Middle East United Arab Emirates with reflection on water. Abu Dhabi.

New years in Sydney Harbor

Sydney New Year Eve Fireworks Show at the Harbour Bridge, Australia

All off the above are now part of the wonderful options that the cruise customer can look forward too, so lets just get a feel for some of them, Sydney at New Year  ( yes please ).  Mingling with celebrity elite in Cannes, Smelling the wonderful Orange Blossom in Andalusia, Riding in the desserts of Arabia and lots more see and do.

Making the world your oyster and sailing from Southampton for a 62 Nights passing though Mexico, California, & the panama Canal, Then after all of this Going out to the Indian Region and checking the Likes of Mumbai, Goa, Colombo, Porbandar and many more.

There is always a mystery to solve with Fred Olsen 5 – 9 nights in March 2018 & November sailing cruise’s the captain has the helm and will lead the way to your magical Mystery Tour whilst enjoying a cruise and discovering a mystery along the way.  With all this to offer with the sail & fly cruise options the world is open to Explore more and 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: 0161 798 8246

Princess cruises latest announcement shows that cruisers are becoming much more adventurous and looking for new and exciting destinations when it comes to choosing their cruise destination, it seems people’s aspirations are changing, instead of a quick 7 night cruise around the Mediterranean and relaxing onboard, the new focus is becoming where in the world can they explore and slowly tick off what’s on their bucket list.

Over the last few years Far East and Asia passenger numbers have grown rapidly, with many cruise lines placing their newest ships in this area. Princess cruises have just announced that they will feature Japan quite heavily for 2018 with its longest ever season, there will be a staggering 63 voyages between 4 and 23 nights and running from April through December 2018 onboard the Diamond Princess.

There will be 38 destinations in 7 countries with the itineraries starting in either Tokyo or Kobe, with many new itineraries and options of adding a cruise tour on selected sailings. There will also be a number of first time ports including Ishinomaki, Iwakuni, Niigata, Sakata, Toba and Yokkaichi, along with visits to more familiar Asian countries including South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Here is an insight into what you can expect

Festivals and Special Events

The 13th April features a Spring Flowers voyage, where you can visit Japan’s largest Tulip Fair, and Kenrokuen Gardens in Kanazawa, known as one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens for its iconic cherry blossom trees.

For Japan’s summer festivals cruise (27th July) you can visit the Aomori Nebuta and Akita Kanto festivals, with late night stays in port to make the most of your visit, so no need to rush back to the ship. The Aomori Nebuta Festival is also called the Fire festival, it features daily parades of enormous lantern floats, flanked by large taiko drums, musicians and dancers. The Akita Kanto features a procession of 200 Kantos (bamboo poles) carried on the palms, foreheads and shoulders of the performers and not to be missed

The brand new Six Fall Foliage voyages will take place during Japan’s peak autumn season departing in early October and November, taking passengers to the regions of Japan that are famous for their changing autumn colours of the Japanese maple and Ginkgo trees, including Kyoto (Osaka) and Momijidani Park in Iwakuniinkgo

Unesco World Heritage Sites

These cruises will feature  12 Unesco World Cruise Heritage Sites, including the historic temples and shrines of Kyoto and Nara, Mt. Fuji, and the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima.

Japan Cruisetours

Princess will offer two cruise tour options to explore Kyoto and Tokyo. The ‘Highlights of Japan’ cruise tour includes the main sights of Kyoto, which used to be the Capital of Japan, and bustling city of Tokyo, Nijo-jo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple and the popular Japanese gardens. After visiting Tokyo, guests will visit Togendai, Lake Ashi and the spectacular Mt. Fuji.

The ‘Temples & Traditions’ of Japan tour is an extended version of the above highlights tour but with two extra nights in another Unesco city, Kanazawa, this is a creative city of Crafts and Folk art. The area is rich with Japanese culture and tradition where you can visit Higashi Chaya, an iconic Geisha district and the Nomura Samurai House, an old warrior house from 1843. Passengers can also experience first hand Washi paper-making and sushi-making


Princess have also recently won an award for the best cruise line in Asia, perhaps this is down to cultural tweaks that they make onboard to make a cruise more authentic. The Diamond Princess will now feature a selection of Japanese food onboard including sushi, karaoke and folklore dancing will feature in the evening, have a go at origami on a sea day or join in Rakugo, a 400-year-old tradition of comic storytelling or if you want to relax the ship has the largest Japanese bath of its kind at sea

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 this sounds like your kind of adventure give me, Marcia a call on 0161 798 2516


MSC Divina

Have you heard of the membership status match with MSC Cruise Line?

There are a lot of passengers who sail with a particular cruise line purely based on their membership level. I mean, who can blame them, they have taken a long time (usually many years) in building up their loyalty points and membership level with the cruise line they fell in love with 15 years ago.

Well, things change, and cruise lines change. What may have been the best cruise line for you a few years ago, may not be the case now. With more and more ships being built, the cruising industry has never been so popular with returning and new guests.

MSC Cruise line are a wonderful 4* Italian owned cruise line who sail the globe. They offer large inside staterooms, outside, balcony and suite staterooms. If your feeling like splashing out, you could even try their MSC Yacht Club which is their exclusive “ship-within-a-ship” experience.

MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite

The Italian line offer a ‘Status Match’ programme which is applicable to all other cruise line memberships. They will match your loyalty status from the other cruise lines to their equivalent membership.

For example, I have just booked my first cruise on board the MSC Cruise Line, MSC Divina cruise ship for April 2017. My membership with Royal Caribbean is currently Emerald (with just ONE sailing away from becoming a Diamond member) – this has been matched as GOLD status with MSC, which gave me a discount off of my cruise and also an on board spend! Not too shabby! – especially as I have never sailed with them before, this is the second to highest level in their membership.

As well as my discount and on board spend, I am in for lots of other benefits when I embark my cruise. such as a fruit basket upon arrival in our cabin, exclusive on board discount, a free photograph of my choice, welcome cocktails with the captain and so on.

Unlike other cruise lines, MSC do not just award points based on the category of cabin you have booked and for how many nights the cruise is. Yes, they award points for this, but they also award points for on board spend. For example, every £150 spent on board will give you 100 points.

If you are booked or are thinking of booking an MSC cruise line and are not already a member, get your membership status match!!!!

Check back in May for my blog on the MSC Divina Caribbean cruise I will be taking. (yes I am counting the days already, the ship looks amazing!!!)

MSC Divina - Balcony Cabin
MSC Divina – Balcony Cabin

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: or call me directly on 0161 798 2512.

Norwegian Cruise Line announced their latest ship due to join their fleet as the Norwegian Joy. Not only is this a new ship, but will be the start of a new class of ship for the cruise line.

The Breakaway Plus class will be the latest class of ship in the Norwegian fleet. The Norwegian Joy will be the first in the breakaway plus class, with many new exciting features on board.

Norwegian Joy will be homeport in Shanghai and Tianjin (Beijing). Itineraries are to be announced.

She will debut in Summer 2017 as the most innovative ship to date for the cruise line. The ship is created and designed exclusively for the Chinese travellers. The ship will offer the flexibility as across all of their ships.

A GO-Karting race track will be on board the ship – the first at sea!

GO-Kart Race track on board the Norwegian Joy
GO-Kart Race track on board the Norwegian Joy


A the moment, the cruise ship is said to be only sold to the Chinese market, but, things can change the future.

This is the only shop on the horizon for the new Breakaway plus class, but I am sure she wont be alone for too long.

She will be the largest ship in their fleet, weighing 168,800 gross tonns with capacity for 3,900 guests on board.

The Haven Pool on-board the Norwegian Joy
The Haven Pool on-board the Norwegian Joy

With $400 million to spend, the cruise line are making sure passengers have a wonderful holiday with Norwegian by refurbishing their current ships.

The other ships in their fleet have completed or are due to complete a refurbishment. Please see schedule below.

Norwegian Epic: Refurbishment was completed in October 2015

Norwegian Gem: Refurbishment was completed in November 2015

Pride of America: Refurbishment was completed in March 2016

Norwegian Sun: Refurbishment was completed in May 2016

Norwegian Dawn: Refurbishment was completed in June 2016

Norwegian Spirit: Refurbishment is due for Spring 2017

Norwegian Sky: Refurbishment is due for Spring 2017

Norwegian Pearl: Refurbishment is due for Spring 2017

Norwegian Jade: Refurbishment is due for Spring 2017

If you are looking at a Norwegian Cruise, give me a call!

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: or 0161 798 2512.

On our 4 night Malaysian cruise we had 2 ports of call, firstly Penang and the Langkawi.


I hadn’t really known what to expect from either of these, my knowledge was fairly limited, I knew Penang was famous for its food, they call it the food capital of Malaysia from the infamous Penang curry to all the local stalls selling street food, and Langkawi was a beach Paradise. I wasn’t too far wrong, however Langkawi far exceeded my expectations and was my favourite out of the two.

Royal Caribbean had arranged one of their shore excursions for us ‘Local heritage tour and shopping’. This was a full day tour beginning of a quick tour of Georgetown the main area around the port, there were many historical buildings and our guide gave us a history of the town and the island too. What I’ve come to realise is that the locals are very proud of their history and culture and this is reflected in the many temples that not only surround this island but the whole of Asia, we visited many including one of the reclining Budha.. It’s a very ornate Thai temple and the only one where we had to remove our shoes, I did giggle somewhat at the sign above the benches where you leave your shoes, that states ‘beware of shoe thieves’

493561517There is also an area of Little India decorated in typical Indian decor with lots of gold and hanging lanterns, this was the only area that we came accross that had the street vendors selling food, I was disappointed at not seeing more Malaysian stalls

Langkawi was just like how I imagined Malaysia to be, where as Georgetown was very built up the port here was just like the photos you see, nothing but sea and green islands. At the recommendation of the staff we hired a taxi for the day, which between 7 of us cost us next to nothing. We had been recommended the Temurun waterfalls which are natural falls and they were stunning, they are a 3 tier waterfall over 500 million years old and the highest falls at 200m at their peak. It was almost like entering the jungle and walking up to a small pool where you could bathe, or for the bravest we headed up further to the top and what a rewarding experience, there was a large natural water pool with the falls and water cascading down, and off for a dip we went. I would definateley recommend this however my only warning… out for the monkeys. Luckily we were also warned, it’s great that you can see them so close up and they seem so friendly BUT if you so much as turn away and leave your bag unattended for even a second off they go with them.


Our next stop was one of the local beaches of Pentai Cenang, and wow this is what it’s all about, miles upon miles of white sand, sea so clear and a sun so bright it just makes you feel so happy and relaxed. I think this was the moment that I thought ‘I am actually in Malaysia’ The other great feature of this beach is that there are a number of bars and restaurants dotted along, all having regular happy hours on 241 drinks. Behind the beach is the main throughfare where you can find an abundance of shops from duty free, supermarkets, local crafts and trinkets or just your typical touristy tat, and everything is so cheap you cannot help making a few little purchases, well for a shopaholic like me I was in paradise


The perfect end to a perfect day was sitting on the beach watching the sunset with my new friends. If you are thinking of a Asian cruise I would highly recommend that your itinerary includes this part of paradise.


So following on from my previous blogs its now time to join our cruise.

Driving up to the Marina Bay cruise terminal we could see that our ship was docked alongside the Celebrity Millennium. I don’t know what it is about cruisers as much as you love your own ship you feel like you’ve achieved something if you see other ships in the same ports…… or is that just me??351

I’ve cruised with Royal Caribbean twice, the first time on the Allure of the Seas (best ship ever it’s difficult to now look at other ships in the same way) and the Vision of the Seas (which is a smaller ship but very bright and enjoyable), so this is my first Voyager class ship and falls right in between these two.


The Mariner carries just over 3100 passengers and is a spectacular ship with 15 decks, featuring enhanced staterooms, expanded dining options and state-of-the-art recreational facilities like a rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, outdoor movie screen basketball court and of course the famous Royal Promenade.


What interested me was the way that although this is still a Royal Caribbean ship there are certain elements here that have been altered to accept and cater more for the Asian market. This is very important as the Asian market is a feature of constant growth and the Mariner is now permanently in the Far East with a variety of 3-14 night itineraries sailing from either Singapore, Hong Kong and Shangai. Our cruise was for 4 nights visiting Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia, both very interesting in their own different ways, however you can read more about these in my next blog


There are signs in both English and Asian and Karaoke featured heavily in the entertainment section, however there were still many typical Royal Caribbean traits such as the Dreamworks parade. What I did find interesting is that this clientele seem to prefer the more indoor activities mainly the casino, i have never seen one so full and the pool is always empty… the one advantage is that you can always get a sun lounger.


They do love their food and the Windjammer was always full, speaking of which the food was quite an insight. The main restaurant had a typical selection of food catering for all, however along with the standard menu there was also a Asian/ Indian selection. But the Windjammer did seem to cater more with many a stand full of stir fries and curries, along with more traditonal foods such as salads and roasted meats, what did surprise me was that many Singaporeans often walked to their tables with burgers and fries rather than their local appetisers


The shows were very good in the evening again featuring shows that Royal Caribbean are most known for, their big productions to trapeze artistry, comedians, ventriloquists and of course the ice skating show. This was my favourite as I have never been to one of these before and one I would definately recommend, however my one suggestion would be to arrive early other wise its very difficult to get a seat, in fact this goes for all the shows not just the ice skating rink


All in all this was an eyeopening experience and one I can take back with me, not just to have experienced a different Royal Caribbean ship but to see how they can alter the appearances for the different markets, this will also happen with the newer Quantam who is also due to become a permanent fixture in the part of the world

Keep checking for my next blog on the ports we visited


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.  



As we draw closer to Christmas our new offer mailer is out over the next few days. I though I would alert you to a fantastic deal that we are going to feature with Norwegian cruise line. The deal is for 19th November 2016 23 nights aboard the amazing Norwegian Star and will cover the below itinerary…..

Fly UK to Dubai (Overnight) with Emirates Airline
Arrive Dubai, transfer to port and join Norwegian Star
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Khasab, Oman
Fujairah, UAE
Muscat, Oman
Leisure at Sea
Leisure at Sea
Mumbai, India (Overnight in port)
Mumbai, India
Mormugao (Goa), India
Mangalore, India
Kochi, India
Leisure at Sea
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Leisure at Sea
Leisure at Sea
Phuket, Thailand
Langkawi, Malaysia
Penang, Malaysia
Port Klang (Kuala Lumpor), Malaysia
Leisure at Sea
Singapore, disembark and transfer to airport for your overnight flight back to the UK (via Dubai) with Emirates Airline
Arrive UK

  • Why not visit the famous Palm Island in Dubai
  • Sample the rides at Yas waterpark in Abu Dhabi
  • Do a Bollywood tour in Mumbai
  • Visit historical Columbo in Sri Lanka
  • Experience a jungle trek in Langkawi
  • Visit mandai zoological gardens in Singapore

With unbelievable prices starting from just £2299 per person there is no better reason to book your dream cruise to the Far East.

This fabulous offer comes with FREE Premium All Inclusive Drinks package, No Regional Supplements. Flights available from Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle & Glasgow. We also have the option to add on a 3 night Dubai stay pre cruise at the Park Regis Kris Kin for only £249 per person on a bed & breakfast basis allowing you time to explore Dubai before setting sail for the Far East.

If you are interested in discussing this fantastic offer please call me directly on 0161 798 2518.





So here we are on a lovely air conditioned Mini Bus heading towards Chinatown, our guide enthusiastically tells us all about the history and culture in Singapore, from how it started off as one of the poorest countries to one of the richest, and how although there are many cultures and races there is no unrest everyone accepts each other which for such a populated city amazes me.

To me there are 3 main things to see here Temples, shopping and food. If you are into your culture this is the place for you, there are an abundance of temples, we visited the Temple of the Tooth Relic which was fascinating, it was even timed to hear the monks chanting, then the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple which we unfortunately weren’t able to go in.

103 114

Chinatown has an abundance of shops selling local crafts, you can easily spend so much, my favourite was the cat shaped chopsticks. The main street is almost divided in two, down each side are restaurants side by side, then down the middle they have street stalls selling a range of Singaporean, Malaysia, Indian, Chinese. I had the best chicken satay I’ve ever tasted.

1058 1059

We were then taken for lunch at Mamanda which is an authentic Malay restaurant in an old Governor’s house, and wow I haven’t seen such a huge or nicely presented platter of food for a long time. It was lovely to try local food types however I did draw the line at beef lungs!! We were even lucky enough to see a traditional wedding procession who were also having their reception at the same restaurant however in a private room.

168 171

After lunch we had a quick walk around the Arab quarter including Kampong Glam and Haji street. Locals say that Kampong Glam really is glam (a local term meaning ‘glamorous’). The area has an eclectic blend of history and culture making it fantastic place to go in the evening to one of the many trendy bars for a cool beer and live music. There is also row after row of shops in Haji street selling traditional crafts so plenty of choice for souvenirs, including fabrics, perfumes and even Persian carpets. The colours draw you in as you walk and you can’t help being immersed into such a different culture.

180 177

Our final stop was Gardens by the Bay which I was most looking forward to after a colleague had recommended it to me. The drive over was spectacular in itself as you had a great view of the famous Singapore flyer (Asia’s largest Giant Observation Wheel) and Marina Bay Sands, you cannot help be amazed at the 3 towers connected by what looks like a ship.


Singapore is a very green city in parts as you may of read in my previous blog from my stay at the Shangri La.( ). Gardens by the Bay brings to life the cities vision of creating a city in a garden and captures the essence of Singapore as a tropical Garden. The gardens are a nature complex built on reclaimed land, something that is very common in Singapore, spanning over 101 hectares and is definitely a must see attraction whilst you are here, unfortunately we only had 1 hour here so was just a whistle stop tour but you could easily spend an afternoon here.  there are 3 glass greenhouse style domes, however the coolness of the air con really hits you as you enter the Flower dome, there is an abundance of plants and flowers, but as we were there at the end of November there was a Christmas theme, something which the Singaporeans seem to take seriously, there were more decorations in this city than I’ve seen at home in Manchester.


The Cloud Forest was my favourite this featured more greenery and vegetation and a stunning waterfall where you could take an elevator halfway up and then follow a walkway around the dome climbing higher and higher taking in spectacular views and learning about nature along the way.


Our evening ended back at our hotel in the Sky bar with what else but a Singapore Sling and delicious it was with amazing views of Singapore, the perfect end to a very busy but fantastic day. I really can’t believe I’m actually here.







(You can read the introduction to my trip to Singapore With Royal Caribbean here)

So here I am finally landed and comfortably sat in my hotel room, the Shangri La and it is gorgeous. So far so good.

I must say I am very impressed with Singapore Airlines and I could probably say it is one the best airlines I have ever flown with. Check in was seamless and so straight forward, I hear so many bad stories about Heathrow Airport, but I can honestly say it was easy to get around even getting through passport control was quick and easy.

IMG_2695 (004)
On board with Singapore Airlines
IMG_2701 (002)
Changi Singapore Airport
IMG_2697 (002)
Changi Singapore Airport

There’s 26 of us on this trip altogether including our 2 reps from Royal Caribbean, Angela and Sharon. They have been the perfect hosts so far, and even managed to get 6 people upgraded to Premium economy, unfortunately I wasn’t one of them, you never know I’m holding out for business class on the return flight……well a girl can dream. The seat configurations were 3,3,3 so there was lots of space and the service was impeccable, from meals, snacks and the cabin crew constantly came round offering water or juice to keep us hydrated. Plus we were given hot towels and the beginning and end of the flight, plus a toiletry bag with flight socks and toothbrush. Even the toilets had mouthwash, perfume and hand cream which was impressive, but the highlight for me, as sad as it sounds was having real cutlery with my meals, yes none of the plastic stuff with this airline and I was mightily impressed, it’s always the little things that make it a memorable journey. The Asians are known for their hospitality and they definitely know how to treat you, I think the difference is that they take such pride in their work and really make you feel that they want you to enjoy the experience so the 13 hours flew by.

On landing in Singapore we took a sky train to the main terminal again cleared passport control quickly and easily and wow, Changhi airport is like a tropical oasis of greenery. There are plants and flowers everywhere from inside and out, it makes for a very calming experience.

Our guide from the airport was very informative telling us facts and figures about the country, which leads me to where I am now the Shangri la, sorry for keep mentioning it, but this hotel is one of the most famous in the world and never did I think I would actually be here staying in one of its rooms. Did you know George Bush has stayed here, along with other world leaders and celebrities, I wonder who else has slept in my bed?

IMG_2765 (002)
Shangri La Hotel, Singapore


So it’s time for a quick change and refresh then we have a full tour of the hotel before getting out and about to see Singapore’s best sights so I will love you and leave you for now and be back later……….