Archive for the ‘Cruise Tips’ Category

6 Reasons To Try Norwegian Cruise Line

August 16th, 2017 by Jordan Bailey

Guest Post by Emma Leteace

 

Cruise blogger Emma of Cruising Isn’t Just For Old People is a huge Norwegian Cruise Line fan and she’s here to tell you six reasons why she thinks you’ll love an NCL cruise!

The ships

Norwegian Cruise Line have some of the most innovative cruise ships in the industry. For thrill seekers, their ships have rope courses, rock climbing walls, go kart tracks, and more. Large theatres and atriums are common on NCL, with many bars restaurants and quirky places to explore. Despite the amount of things packed onboard NCL’s ships, there are still many places where you are able to escape the crowds and enjoy a quiet drink while watching the world go by. Many of the newer Norwegian Cruise Line ships, like Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Escape, feature a ‘waterfront’ which is a promenade of restaurants and bars which open out onto the deck – this is my personal favourite place to grab a drink and find a comfy seat.

NCL waterfront

The food

Norwegian Cruise Line is famous for freestyle dining. Freestyle dining means that you don’t have to be at a set table at a set time, avoiding the need to plan your evening around dinner. You are free to come and go as you please, similar to a land based restaurant. There is a huge variety of food available onboard NCL ships with many speciality restaurants offering something extra special. In addition to the main restaurants most NCL ships also have a pub which serves burgers and hot dogs in a less formal setting and of course a well stocked buffet. I often find myself heading there for a snack between meals.

NCL dining

The atmosphere

The lack of formal dining and dress codes means that the atmosphere onboard NCL ships is extremely relaxed. Not needing formal clothing also means that you don’t have to pack as much, which I always appreciate. There are no formal nights on NCL ships, but guests that decide to dress up for dinner won’t look out of place, there are still plenty of people who do dress up and photographers are more than willing to take your photo.

NCL bar

The entertainment

NCL’s entertainment is some of the best that I have ever seen, at sea or on land. My favourite being “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” which I saw onboard Norwegian Epic. I went back the next night to watch it again because I enjoyed it so much! The Broadway shows are always incredible and there are a variety of other acts which perform in the theatre. Usually dancers, singers and musicians. NCL has a lower average age of cruiser than many other cruise lines which is reflected in the entertainment choices. It is worth noting that on the newer ships you do have to prebook the shows. This can be done online before your cruise, or once on the ship. The shows do fill up quickly and are not to be missed.

NCL shows

The daily itinerary

There is always a lot going on with Norwegian Cruise Line. Demonstrations, classes, quizzes, game shows and more happen around the ship every single day. On a Norwegian cruise, I feel able to go for a wander if I have a spare minute and be quite confident that I will stumble upon an event of some kind. The daily itinerary run starts way before I get up and continues long after I go to bed.

NCL activity

The price

NCL cruises are priced competitively against similar cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean International and Disney Cruise Line. They often run promotions with a variety of perks, like onboard credit, or savings. With Norwegian Cruise Line, drinks and gratuities are included, so once onboard there’s very little to pay! The number of young passengers and families which choose to cruise with NCL just go to show how affordable cruises with Norwegian Cruise Line can be.

NCL sea

Time to Book?

Has this got you interested in trying an NCL cruise? It’s the perfect time to book with Ocean World Travel! Secure your booking between 25-31 August 2017 for just a £50 deposit and save up to £400 on selected five-day or longer winter sun cruises! Call 0800 368 9059 today to discuss booking an NCL cruise.

11 Reasons To Sail With Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

August 11th, 2017 by Jordan Bailey

Fred Olsen

Ocean World Travel have been one of Fred. Olsen’s top selling travel agents for many years, and our customers absolutely love the onboard experience, and fascinating itineraries – It’s why so many go back time and time again!

But what is it that our customers love about Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines? Here are the top 11 reasons to consider sailing with Fred. Olsen for yourself…

  • Great food: Food is an important part of any cruise, and Fred. Olsen certainly deliver in this field. Customers are delighted with the quality of the food on board, and the incredible choices on offer every day. There is an impressive mixture of traditional British classics, gourmet dishes, and regional dishes.
  • Traditional experience: You won’t find any gimmicks on Fred. Olsen or cost-cutting measures – Expect chocolates on your pillow at night, nuts and pretzels at the bar, and lovely, spacious teak decks.
  • Great service: Traditional cruising style, together with a warm and friendly service, you can be rest assured the waiter will have learned your favourite drink by the second day!
  • Drinks prices: Speaking of drinks, prices are very reasonable, and the selection is good too. Upgrade to all-inclusive drinks from just £15 per day.
  • Perfect for solos: Onboard public spaces are perfectly designed for easily striking up a conversation with fellow passengers. There are several dedicated solo cabins, including some with balconies. Fred. Olsen also occasionally offer low, or no single supplements.
  • British currency: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is aimed at British travellers, so everything is charged in Pounds Sterling. There’s no hassle worrying about exchange rates or any ambiguity over prices.
  • Event cruises: The Fred. Olsen fleet travel the globe, and cruises are regularly scheduled to coincide with major events, such as the Monaco Gran Prix.
  • Small ships: Fred. Olsen’s four small ships are perfect for visiting smaller ports on a comfortably-sized ship, instead of docking out of town, and having to walk miles to get from one end of the ship to the other.
  • Dazzling entertainment: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offers stunning cabaret shows, headliner guest performers, and witty comedians. There is also plenty of other activities going on throughout the day, such as a daily quiz, live music, and expert demonstrations.
  • Inspiring itineraries: There isn’t many places that Fred. Olsen do not travel to. Most cruises conveniently start from regional ports around the UK, and visit the Canaries, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Northern Europe. There are also exotic fly cruises to the Indian Ocean, as well as world cruises.
  • Value for money: For the excellent level of service, and fabulous itineraries, cruise with Fred. Olsen are very reasonable priced.

Cruising To Alaska: Why You Should Book Soon

June 13th, 2017 by Fafavie Lumax

From now to September is the season for cruising to Alaska! Alaska is the kind of place that has so much to offer; you will feel like you’re always visiting a new place even though you’re on the very same vacation. Some quick fun facts about Alaska are in addition to its natural beauty, snow capped mountains, and incredible wildlife, it has the longest day and night and it’s the largest U.S. state. If you are looking to cruise to Alaska but haven’t booked yet, here a few reasons why you should.

Read the rest of this entry »

Most Popular Cruise Ships Sailing From Southampton

April 25th, 2017 by Francesca Bandini

Fancy a new adventure departing from the South coast? Discover what are the most popular cruise ships sailing from Southampton are and why.
Would you picture yourself in one of these lovely ships? Different ships for different cruisers. Discover what we think are the top rated ships cruising from Southampton…

Most popular cruise ships from Southampton

  • Crown Princess: a modern ship appreciated for its layout, it feels intimate even if not so small and there are a great variety of of things to do on board. Ideal for family holiday. Crown Princess is good for lovers too, with her romantic packages available you can also opt for a private balcony dinner.
    Why sail on Crown Princess? To experience a relaxing getaway with  all the charm of cruising. Great ship for who loves informal cruising and casual atmosphere together with contemporary decor. Also good if you prefer balconies,900 cabins featuring a balcony. Plus, if you love chocolate, this is the right place to be with the Princess’ Chocolate JourneysSM program, chocolatier Norman Love will tempt you with chocolate fantasies.
Princess_Cruises-Balcony_Dining cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Romantic Balcony dining

  • Britannia: this is the most modern and biggest ship of the Brits’ favourite cruises line, P&O Cruises. Designed by experts, the interiors are simply stunning and glamorous. There is plenty of facilities and things to do, such as the cookery club inaugurated by chef James Martin.
    Why sail on Britannia? For a modern cruising experience surrounded by the always friendly service. Foodies will also love this, as P&O has partnerships with well-known international chefs and their recipes are used on board. This is one of the family favourite cruise ships sailing from Southampton with her new look and many onboard activities.
P_O_Cruises_Britannia_Exterior_Retreat_ cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Retreat

  • Queen Mary 2: with her resemblance to the most elegant ship ever built, the Titanic, Queen Mary 2 is certainly one of the most enchanting ships out of Southampton. The interiors are traditional but with a contemporary flair. The White Star Service guaranteed by Cunard is impeccable. One of the favourite journeys is certainly the transatlantic crossing to New York, an epic trip to do.
    Why sail on Queen Mary 2? To step back in time and experience a timeless holiday. Experienced cruisers and more mature are the perfect people to go on board such a brilliant ship.
Cunard-KINGS_COURT_SEATING_AREA_ Cruises cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Kings court seating area

  • Navigator of the Seas: Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas is a modern ship with the WOW factor. She is perfect for families, with so much to do on board. The very vibrant atmosphere at night time guarantees amusement for couples’ alike. Cocktails and food  are simply superb and certainly more modern than on other cruise ships.
    Why sailing on Navigator of the Seas? To embrace a different style of cruising full of fun and incredible things on a large ship. Must try places on board such as the enchanting Pool bars, the waves simulator Flow Rider and  the Rock Climbing Wall.
RCI sunshine bar cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Sunshine bar

  • Celebrity Eclipse: she certainly reflects a more contemporary style of cruising with her country club atmosphere, she is unique of this kind. The ship has many venues for the evening time so you can have a great time when you come back from your excursions, the nightclub Quasar, the Eclipse theatre and the Martini Bar & Crush are certainly the most recommended.
    Why sail on Celebrity Eclipse?
    To discover new places and enjoy your time on board. For whoever wants a holiday signed by modern luxury from Southampton this is the right ship to try. 
Ensemble Lounge - Celebrity Cruises cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Ensemble Lounge

  • Black Watch: Fred. Olsen cruise lines’ Black Watch is very much loved for all features of the cruise line itself, such as food and service, but also for the great number of facilities available: a spacious gym, venues for entertainment, arts and crafts room and even golfing.
    Why sail on Black Watch?
    Because of the must try Fred. Olsen cruise experience, plus having a fantastic time on board with the activities to do. In addition, Black Watch visits incredible ports of call where the term adventure is the keyword. Recommended cruise line for an older audience, but no matter your age will have a great time on board. Remember, that singles love Fred. Olsen cruises.
Morning Light pub, Black Watch Cruises cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Morning Light pub

  • Marina: this is one of the best modern ships with her classy look and high quality finishes, Versace has got its signature not only on plates, but also in some of the staterooms. Many other designers contributed to the interior design, so she became unique.
    Why sail on Marina? For an elegant adventure with so much included in the price and spot on service. Marina, as the other Oceania’s ships are loved by foodies too with their Finest Cuisine at Sea: gourmet dining is available at no extra charge and ingredients are hand picked; have you heard about their famous USDA Prime steaks dry-aged for 28 days?
Oceania_Cruises Owners_Suite cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Owner’s Suite

  • Norwegian Jade: Norwegian Cruise Line is the promoter of freestyle cruising and now is offering a premium all inclusive package, so you can cruise without worrying about your onboard account. Jade is certainly a nice modern ship. Try out is The Heaven, a real paradise dedicated to Suites guests.
    Why sail on Norwegian Jade? To have fun on board, wide choice for entertainment and dining, this ship is ideal for those who love doing things big on board. Family and younger cruisers would certainly recommend it.
NCL Jade_balcony cabin cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Balcony stateroom

  • Adonia: this popular art-deco ship is coming back under the P&O umbrella in June 2017, her sailings are selling out very quickly. This small size ship is great for a relaxing holiday to exciting destinations.
    Why sail on Adonia? To experience a truly lovely ship accompanied with the laid back style of cruising of P&O, Adonia’s sailings are generally more indicated for more mature cruisers, adult only cruises are the norm. Perfect to socialise and have wonderful time on board whilst discovering new amazing locations.
P_O_Cruises_Adonia_Interior_Glass_House cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Glass House

  • Saga Sapphire: Saga is one of the most loved cruise lines, with its relaxed but glamorous style of cruising. The small ship Saga Sapphire is intimate and attention to detail is the key. The public areas are quite modern and take advantage of the magnificent sea view.
    Why sail on Saga Sapphire? For a pleasurable holiday where everything is taken care of. If you like socialising and also solo travellers’ parties, this is the cruise line to consider. The food is divine as well and the dress code is casual. Be aware that Saga focuses on over 50 cruisers.
PoleToPole_SHP_Saga_Sapphire_ cruise ships sailing from Southampton

Pole to Pole

Southampton is seen as the main port in Europe for cruising and there are so many ships sailing from here. What’s your favourite ship sailing from Southampton? Let us know.

5 Must Do Things In Cuba

April 7th, 2017 by Francesca Bandini

From its beautiful beaches and live music in the streets, to its 1950’s era style cars and of course, its legendary cigars, Cuba has quickly become a top destination for travellers around the world!

Cuba has not seen much change in last 50 years, there are still old must sees to be explored before newer ones come sooner than we can imagine. Here are a few must do experiences on the island of Cuba.

The must see and do in Cuba

1.Must see square: Plaza Vieja “Old Square” located in Old Havana boasts boldness and bright colours through its Caribbean colonial architecture. Here you will find good music, good eats and see some of Cuba’s most traditional clothing and liveliness with street acts. Plaza Vieja is also a highlight for cruise ship passengers where you can explore the city’s panoramic views or wander through the galleries or cafes! Wandering around through Plaza Vieja will allow you witness a lot of authentic, Cuban heritage.

2. Must see beach: If you’re looking to hit the beach, Varadero is where you want to be! Varadero is the largest and most popular beach resort in all of Cuba and brings in thousands of tourists! Although you will find a lot of hotels and resorts here, you can also experience nature trails and ancient caves near the Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos as well as a park with a pond and gardens known as Parque Josone. If you are still looking for other popular things to do in Varadero, you can find golfing for a sportier, relaxed vibe or hit the town with its nightlife scene.

3. Must do trip: Feeling a bit more adventurous? A drive from Havana to one of Cuba’s oldest cities, Trinidad is more than possible! Trinidad is often called the “City That Time Forgot” and its beauty and photogenic views have been untouched. The trip from Havana to Trinidad will take you through the countryside and old tobacco farms. From farmer markets, small galleries, cigar shops, and rooftop seafood restaurants, this excursion is worthwhile.

4. Must see not touristy place: Cienfuegos located in the enchanting Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of the Pigs) is defined as the “Pearl of the South”. It’s not a case that many cruise lines stop here. The atmosphere is quiet and laid-back, with not many tourists about, it is perfect for a walk around. This place is also ideal to admire the wonderful natural surrounding and historical buildings such as the Spanish-Moorish Palacio de Valle and the cathedral. People say that inhabitants of Cienfuegos are extremely cultured, so here you can enhance your knowledge of Cuba.

5. Must do experience: Last but not least, ride in a classic Cuban car! Since Fidel Castro placed a ban on foreign vehicle imports back in 1959, Cuba has become something like an antique car museum. This ban was recently abolished but has not stopped the feel of American brand cars such as Chevy and Ford dating back from the 30’s to 60’s still riding around through Cuban streets like an old film.  So while in Cuba, definitely catch a ride in one of these antique cars before they truly become a thing of the past!

Cuba is one of the most popular destinations for holidays at the moment, a cruise is the perfect way to explore Havana and the near towns rich in history, culture and untouched natural beauties. Now, with those 5 must do things in Cuba in your pocket you are ready for the adventure!

 

5 Trendy Cruise Destinations For 2017

February 7th, 2017 by Francesca Bandini

What are the trendy cruise destinations for 2017? If you are an avid cruiser this question must have already crossed your mind! It is always exciting to see how cruise itineraries have developed and new ports of call added.

We have gathered the most in vogue destinations for this year.

1. Cuba: at number one there is the biggest and most enchanting island of the Caribbean, Cuba. After nearly 50 years cruise ships finally entered Cuba waters last May 2016 and it is no surprise that Cuba itineraries are now the most popular amongst cruisers. All the top cruise lines have started to provide itineraries to discover the magic colonial Cuba with its retro cars and mesmerising beaches.

cuba - cruise destination

2.Cherbourg, France: this small town of France has been extremely successful in 2016 and its popularity seems to grow, last year the port unexpectedly had 26 calls. The town, founded by the Vikings, is rich in history. In fact, due to its position in the Atlantic coast has seen many battles, the most remarkable is perhaps the Battle of Normandy, a victory for the Allied forces during WWII.

3.Saranda, Albania: this is the most Southern city of Albania, just 9 miles away from the popular Greek isle, Corfu, this is going to be a new very exciting port of call as Albania is not the classic holiday destination. The addition of this port is mainly due to the turbulent political situation of Turkey. From Saranda cruisers can seek adventure in Butrint, an ancient roman city hosting a beautiful amphitheatre and the second largest bizantine church in the world.

4.Split, Croatia: this is a very ancient city that has been dominated by various populations through the times, including the Romans, Venetians and Austrians. This picturesque town features a wonderful Cathedral with a bell tower, St. Domnius, and a variety of museums and art galleries. The city is perfect for a walk around and the food is also exceptional. Moreover, this UNESCO city also has fantastic beaches to enjoy. To note, Croatia interest is generally rising, river cruises are also now crossing this amazing country.

croatia- cruise destination

5.Private Islands owned by cruise lines: as CLIA predicted for 2017, there will be a total of 7 private islands to dock, for example MSC Cruises recently bought an island in the Caribbean to enhance their offers, creating Exclusive Bahamian Marine Reserve Island Experience. On a private island you can enjoy an extremely unique experience and view.Private-island -cruise destination

Do you have any new destinations in mind that you plan to visit? Leave us a comment, we would love to hear about more à la mode places!

 

25 Secrets The Cruise Lines Will Not Tell You!

January 5th, 2017 by Francesca Bandini

 

1. Staying in a hotel the night before your cruise could save you a lot of time and money: spending the night before embarkation at a hotel guarantees a stress-free embarkation day, but may also save you a lot of money in terms of car parking. Hotels close to the ports often offer a stay with parking package.

2. Get ready for your excursions: have a good breakfast before your excursions, you can then have a light bite and save money ashore.

3. Have tea/coffee where it’s free: most cruise ships provide complimentary hot beverages all day in the main buffet area or dedicated areas of the ship.

4. Drink plenty of water during meals: if you didn’t purchase a drink package it is wise to choose water over soft/alcoholic drinks as it is free of charge. Limit your drinking during the pre or after dinner show.

5. The earlier the better: normally Early Saver Fares are the best option to get more value out of your booking. On the down side, sometimes you are limited on your dining choice and cabin number.

6. Time of the year matters: you should avoid to go on a cruise in peak season if you can. It’s advisable to avoid school holidays, mid-summer, and festivities.

7. When more is less (for you): gather your friends on the same cruise ship, not only do you double the fun but you will almost certainly get a space for free – when you book at least 15 people on board.

8. Check Excursions: think twice before booking an excursion as they can be very expensive. You can search if other excursions organised by other operators are cheaper.

9. You really can eat as much as you want, even at the main restaurant: did you know that you can order however many courses you want for your meals? You can have two mains or three desserts etc. You really are the master of your meals.

cruise line's secrets - restaurant

10. Embarkation day – special meal: some cruise lines provide discounted prices on speciality dining restaurants on embarkation day. Avoid the queue of people in the main buffet area and try something different at a reduced price.

11. Get the best service: travel agents guarantee a more personal and attentive service, for example at OWT we like treating our customers with chocolates and bubbly.

12. Wait for the right time to book: it can be tricky to know when it’s best to book, there is no a general rule! We would suggest the earlier the better, but keep an eye on last minute availability, you may end up grabbing a very good deal.

13. Cabins’ secrets: you can always use more space in your cabin, especially if you are on a long haul. You may actually be surprised at the vast amount of storage space (e.g. under the bed or the sofa). Ask your chamber maid for help.

14. Duty-free stores: as everyone knows duty free stores have great prices. This is a great way to buy presents for family and friends and also stock up on products such as alcohol and cigarettes. Be aware that on mini cruises those shops are usually shut.

15. Buy a bottle of wine (or more): if a bottle of wine feels more expensive than some glasses, you should do some maths. In fact, a bottle of wine is normally the cheapest option. Don’t worry if you are not a big drinker, waiters can keep your unfinished bottle and deliver it to your cabin or bring it to your table the next time you dine.

16. Bring your alcohol on board: most of the cruise lines allow you to bring a limited quantity of selected alcoholic beverages on board. This will allow you to save considerably, but make sure you check your cruise line alcohol policy.

champagne-cruise lines secrets

17. Room service is free: want to have a lazy morning or lunch, ask for the room service. This is normally free of charge.

18. Book your next cruise whilst still on board: wash away the holiday blues by booking your next cruise whilst still on a cruise ship. In fact, on board bookings guarantee you extremely advantageous fares.

19. Park smartly: parking at the port can be expensive, however there are often alternative ways to park your car securely. For example, we offer a very convenient car park in Southampton located near the airport, guests can enjoy a free transfer to the port on a high-end minibus. The service is impeccable, save your money and time, as you don’t need to drive down the port.

20. Make your way to the port early: get to the port earlier, the day before your cruise commences is ideal, you can take this chance to explore a new city as well. In case of fly cruises, you may think of flying a couple of days earlier, especially if the departure point is interesting. Ask your travel agent for advice, they will find the best hotels at the lowest prices for you.

21. Know where to book your flights: adding your flights through a cruise line might not be the best option. Do your research to find out if buying your own tickets is cheaper.

22. Get a bargain on shore: be clever when visiting foreign countries, prices ashore might be even more competitive than those on board. Take full advantage of the lower currency value.

23. SPA special offers: during your stay the SPA will promote a different deal every day, e.g. “Today 20% off on facial massage”, keep an eye on the journal so you can check when your favourite treatment gets discounted

spa - cruise lines secets

24. Free postcards on board: postcards are normally free in staterooms, they are placed together with other documentation in your cabin desk or sideboard. It might not seem very exciting to send a postcard with a ship picture but it’s a good souvenir if you have forgotten someone in back home!

25. Free bottle of water: most of the cruise lines provide at least one complimentary bottle of water in any cabin’s fridge. Be clever, it might be very useful during excursions.

Cruise Jargon For First Timers

November 16th, 2016 by Matthew Bayford

cruise-jargon

So, if this is your first time booking a cruise, all the different terms may cause a bit of confusion. Use this blog post as your instruction manual when going through the countless webpages full of cruise deals!

Aft – The Aft is the back of the ship, sometimes you may see rooms described as ‘aft balcony cabins’.

All-inclusive – This means that you don’t pay extra for specialty restaurants, drinks on board and tipping. This could vary depending on the cruise line and itinerary, so it’s best to check before you set sail.

Atrium – The centre area of the ship, equivalent to a lobby of a hotel.

Berth – On a ship, a berth means bed. In a port, it means where the ship is docked.

Bow – This is the front part of the ship.

Bridge – The control centre of the ship. This is where the ship is commanded from.

Cabin – This is your room. There are various options you can choose from; Inside (no windows), ocean view (with windows), balcony (a room with a balcony), suite (similar to suites in hotels, filled with lush furnishings and concierge service).

Closed-loop sailing – A roundtrip cruise. An itinerary that starts and finishes at the same port.

Deck plan – An aerial view map of the ship showing all areas of the ship.

Disembark – When you leave your cruise.

Dock – When the ship ‘parks’.

Embark – When you board your ship to start your cruise.

First/Second seating – The options for meal times.

Formal night – Designated nights on the ship where you can dress smart for dinner. Depending on the cruise/cruise line will determine how many nights of your holiday this will be.

Gangway – The entrance and exit to a ship when docked at port.

Galley – The ships kitchen.

Guarantee – A lower price cabin on the specific cabin category you choose. These are often limited in numbers and you will not be able to pick your cabin number.

Itinerary – A list of ports the ship will stop at.

Lido deck – The deck where the pool is located, usually on the top deck.

Midship –  The centre of the ship.

Muster drill – This is done at the start of a cruise to make you aware of what to do in emergencies. You will also be assigned a muster station where you need to meet in case of an emergency.

OBC – On-board credit.

Occupancy – Most fares are based on double occupancy of a room. You may be required to pay a single supplement if you want a room to yourself.

Porthole – A window usually found in most outside cabins.

Port/Starboard  – the left/right hand side of the ship.

Repositioning cruise – A cruise that starts and ends at a different port. These are usually used to get a ship to a new destination to start a new itinerary for a new holiday season, and are usually a bit cheaper.

Sea day – A day that is spent at sea. This is usually when the ship is sailing to another port that is slightly further away than the previous destination.

Shore excursion – A tour or activity you can do onshore. These can be booked with the cruise company or independently.

Single supplement – A fee you need to pay if just one person is staying in a room on their own.

Speciality restaurant – An alternative restaurant that is usually themed. These need to be pre-booked and may cost an extra fee.

Stateroom – Another word for cabin or room.

Tender – A small boat that will take you to shore if the harbor is too shallow for the ship to dock.

Transfer – A form of transport that will get you from the airport to the ship or from the ship to a hotel.

Verandah – Another word for a room’s balcony.

Cruise Lines Dress Codes: What You Need To Know

October 3rd, 2016 by Francesca Bandini

We all know how it is important to feel comfortable around other people and the way you dress certainly influences your self-confidence. Cruise lines adopt various dress codes and before packing you should know what is the expected dress code for your cruise. Read below to discover the dress codes for each cruise line.

bow-tie-businessman-fashion-man-large

Cunard Cruises dress code
This cruise line envisages a quiet formal dress code throughout the various night cruises. In fact the dress codes varies from elegant, formal up to semi-formal. For men, jackets are not always required and this will be specified in the on board journal. Having said that there is the possibility to adopt a more informal dress code in certain areas of the ship such as the lido area. Swimwear is not allowed anywhere in the ship.

P&O Cruises dress code
There are two dress codes to be observed on P&O Cruises: Evening casual and Black tie, both apply after 6 pm in the main venues. These will be announced in the on board journal and prior to departure in your booking details. During the day time you can wear what you would be wearing during a holiday, shorts are permitted.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines dress code
The dress code for the evenings vary. Every cruise will include one or more formal nights, whilst on the other nights the dress code required is smart casual, where a pair of smart trousers or black jeans together with a shirt or a polo t-shirt are accepted. In the daytime you can wear what you prefer to feel at ease.

Norwegian Cruise Line dress code
NCL is well known for its Freedom at sea campaign, they in fact envisage a free style of cruising and this reflects in the dress code. You can wear what you like in the evenings and at formal restaurants. NCL asks you only to be considerate and avoid wearing the following items on dining areas: tank tops (for men), flip flops, visors or baseball caps, jeans with holes or below the hips.

Celebrity Cruises dress code
Celebrity Cruises envisage a smart casual dress code throughout most of the evenings on board. There will be a chic evening or more (depending on the duration of your cruise), and in that occasion you are required to dress to impress, without the need of being too formal.

cruise lines dress codes smart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruise & Maritime Voyages dress code
The dress code is smart casual on most of the evenings, requiring shirt and trousers for men and a smart outfit (dress/trousers) for women. On formal nights, guests are required to comply with the dress code, wearing a suit with a tie for men and an evening gown for women. Although the dress code is casual during the day, swimwear and similar should only be worn in the designated areas.

Royal Caribbean International dress code
The general dress code on board is smart casual for the evenings. There are formal nights on board with cocktail dresses or elegant trousers for woman and suit for men (black tie is optional) as part of the dress code. During lunch time flip flops, shorts and t-shirts are allowed on board and at restaurants.

Saga Cruises dress code dress code
Saga Cruises are exclusively reserved to over 50s and the dress code is relaxed with an extra touch. On evenings ladies are required to wear cocktail dresses and smart jacket/cardigan. For men chinos and shirt are perfect. There is the chance to wear a more elegant attire on formal nights. During daytime light trousers and smart tops are OK, ideally accompanied by nice jewelry or scarves.

Princess Cruises dress code
Princes Cruises recommend to dress as if you were going to a stylish land-based resort. There will be smart casual evenings requiring shirt and trousers (for men), and on cruises of more than 4 days there will be some formal nights as well. During the day time you can dress according to the climate therefore a more relaxed outfit is fine.

Voyages to Antiquity dress code
The dress code is very informal throughout your cruise. During the day you are advised to dress for the climate and any excursions you are taking part in. As for evenings, a more smart casual dress code is required, but very far from formal. However, if you fancy dressing up for a night, you get the chance to on the Captain's Cocktail night.

cruise lines dress codes

Regent Seven Seas dress code
The recommended dress code for the evening is Elegant Casual resort wear (tie is not required), whilst trainers and jeans are not permitted. The dress code may range from semi-formal to formal on cruises of 16 nights or more. Before 6pm the dress code is definitely more relaxed, requiring a more casual style.

MSC cruises dress code
Overall the dress code is casual. However on formal nights men are required to wear ties and jackets and women cocktails dresses. There are also specific themed evenings, and guests are encouraged to comply with the theme.

Seabourne dress code
The dress code on board applies after 6pm. Casual smart outfits are required throughout the ship (trousers and shirt, dresses). During formal nights an appropriate formal code is required in the restaurants.

10 Things To Do For A Stress Free Embarkation Day

September 26th, 2016 by Francesca Bandini

Embarkation day can be a really intense and stressful time of your holiday, but there are ways to make it fun if you get organised in advance. Read our 10 tips for a stress free embarkation day.

stress free embarkation day cruising

How to have a stress free embarkation day:

1. Plan your way to the port in advance - How are you getting to the port? If you are driving for example, you should be aware of the level of traffic at that time - nowadays with Google maps estimating the traffic is very easy. Additionally you should take into account the time you will be spending finding a car park, if not booked prior. Alternatively you can reserve a taxi or a private transfer in advance so you can wait to be picked up stress free.

2.Get the timing right: it is highly recommended to get to the town of the port the day before, so you can get your way to the ship without worrying about the timing.

3. Finding the best car park deal at port - This pre-booking can save you a whopping amount of money. Just browse the internet or ask to your travel agent to provide you with some options to park at the port.

4. Get your documents sorted in advance - Get your documents, tickets/e-tickets, passport and any other documents ready, and pack it in the hand luggage you will carry with you on embarkation day.

stress free embarkation day -documents

5. Magazines have never been so useful - As you may know on embarkation day you are likely to queue at the terminal. This time can be made fun with magazines or other pastimes to entertain the last moments before your holiday starts. You can also use the internet on your smartphone as you are unlikely to have internet access on board unless you've purchased a package.

6. Bring a bottle of bubbly - Embarkation should be celebrated as the start of the holiday! Lift up the mood with a bottle of bubbles to share with your friends or family.

7. Be smartly dressed and ready for any weather - In terminals you can find a variation of temperatures. It could be too warm inside or too cold outside and you may be queuing in both situations. For this reason, you should wear an appropriate outfit.

8. Zero Currency problems - You should be aware of the on board currency prior to departure. The majority of cruise lines operate on a cash free environment, although just remember to bring your debit card with you (credit cards get normally charged fees). You should also think in advance about the currency of the countries you are visiting, you can exchange some cash in advance so you will not need to worry.

waiting stress free embarkation day

9. Last minute packing is forbidden! - You should be familiar with this rule, last minute packing can just cause you a sleepless night and a stressful embarkation day. Start to pack in advance and if you need to bag something in the same day of the embarkation, just make a check list.

10. Book the bookable in advance - Days before your cruise, you can book your excursions and your spa treatments. This can not only help you save money, but cause less stress on your embarkation day and holiday.

Have you enjoyed our tips? Have you got your own personal tip for a stress free embarkation day?
If so, we would like to hear that from you.

6 Must Read Books For Cruise Lovers

September 23rd, 2016 by Francesca Bandini

Have you ever wondered what are suitable books for cruise lovers? We are not talking about the books on specific destinations, cruise lines or travel guides. But those books that real cruisers would enjoy. We picked the 6 must read books that every cruiser should get the chance to read at least once.

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10 Things To Do Onboard Harmony of the Seas

September 14th, 2016 by Francesca Bandini

Harmony of the Seas is the biggest ship in the world with plenty of things to do. It might feel overwhelming when you are there and don't know what excursions to do or which entertainment you should go and watch, or even get involved in. That's why I have decided to compile a list of the best attractions you cannot miss!

Royal Caribbean - Harmony of the seas

 

Top 10 things to do on board Harmony of the Seas

1. Have a coffee in Central Park: you don't need to go to New York to enjoy the rejuvenating air of Central Park. In fact, Harmony of the Seas hosts an amazing spot where you forget that you are on a ship. There are many trees around and I swear I could hear some birds (despite not being there)! On the promenade there are various other tranquil venues for a coffee, snack, a cocktail or even a meal.

harmony of the seas review Central Park3

2. Alice in Wonderland restaurant: have you ever dreamed of being in a fairy tale where houses are made of marzipan, trees of chocolate and clouds of candy floss? You can make this dream come true on board of Harmony of the Seas, at the Alice in Wonderland restaurant. The restaurant features modern imaginative cuisine, where you can eat dishes inspired to the six elements: sun, sea, earth, ice, fire and dreams. The decor adds to the magic, but perhaps not as much as the menus - They only reveal what is on them with the help of a magic brush! A six course dinner costs $45 per person.

3. Puzzle break: I am sure that when you read on the journal 6 pm Puzzle Game: Escape the Room you will think of a board game. However, what seems a boring game turns out to be one of the most entertaining and amazing experience of your life! This game involves teamwork to escape a space in the ship by solving riddles and puzzles, with just an hour to do it in. To know more about the game read the article The most intense hour of my life

4. Surf experience: have you always dreamed of surfing but you were a little too scared? You can now surf on the Flowrider, where instructors can guide you to be the next big thing!

harm flowrider ony of the seas review

Flow rider

5. The tallest slide at sea: the Ultimate Abyss is the tallest slide at sea and is for those adrenaline junkies amongst us all. The people I met said that is was very fast and dark... I'll have to take their word for it!

6. Watching a show on Ice: at Royal Caribbean, they are well known for the amazing entertainment. It is worth spending at least one evening watching a show that you wont forget.

harmony of the seas review ice skating ring

Ice rink

7. On air Club: this bar is really nice, not only a stage for karaoke enthusiasts but also includes various games for everyone earlier in the evening.

8. Bionic bar: There are very few places where you can experience the bartender of the future. However on this ship you can. It is not everyday you get served a cocktail from a mechanical hand!

Byonic bar harmony of the seas review

Bionic bar

9. Water show: Harmony of the Seas provides an excellent water show in the Aqua Theatre. This is another exciting show put on by Royal Caribbean and involves so many talented acrobats.

10. Eat a meal at the Solarium bistro: a low calorie and tasteful lunch can be found at the Solarium bistro, a buffet style meal packed with high energy and no regrets food. I really enjoyed my meal there, the setting is nice and was almost like a greenhouse.

 

Ultimate Checklist: What Should You Take On A Cruise?

September 8th, 2016 by Francesca Bandini

The dilemma unveiled

The main thing before leaving for your holiday is packing your luggage.Now, those are those who enjoy packing, those who hate it and then of course there's those who just simply can't get it right! 

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Is Cruising For You? Discover 7 Cruising Myths

August 26th, 2016 by Francesca Bandini

Going on a cruise is not a crazy idea, it is in fact an amazing way to experience magnificent holidays at just the right price. 

So why do we question the suitability of this type of holiday? Because there are many misconceptions we make about cruising. Let's unveil the 7 seven false myths on cruising and discover why we should change the way we think. 

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Many people wonder if it is more convenient booking a cruise through a travel agent or the cruise line.
By looking on the internet and also for personal experience we can say that booking with a cruise agent is the most convenient solution, not only from a financial point of view but also because the quality of service you receive when booking your cruise through a travel agent. 

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