Archive for the ‘Cruise tips’ Category

Black Watch review – Mini Cruise to Rouen!

April 26th, 2017 by Matthew Bayford

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


  • 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!




Have you got your Easter break sorted? If not, we have handpicked a selection of amazing Easter cruises from Southampton.     

Whether you want to see the spectacular fjords and scenery along the Norwegian coast or escape to the sun of Southern Europe, there is plenty of choice for you to spend this Easter on a cruise. So why not treat yourself?

Easter Cruises from Southampton: 

Islands of the Mediterranean – Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines
5 April 2017 |17 nights

Southampton – Ferrol – Ibiza – Mahon – Ajaccio – Olbia – Palermo – Palma – Cartagena (Spain)  – Lisbon – Southampton

Perfect for sunbathing!

See Cruise here >

Central Mediterranean – P&O Cruises
9 April 2017 |17 nights

Southampton – Palma – Khania – Mykonos – Piraeus – Santorini – Katakolon – Gibraltar – Southampton

Long break in the sun!

See Cruise here >

Scenic Fjords of Norway – Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines
10 April 2017 | 8 nights

Southampton – Flekkefjord – Bergen – Flaam – Eidfjord – Lysefjord – Southampton

Unforgettable views!

See Cruise here >

Atlantic Coast Iberia – P&O Cruises
11 April 2017 |12 nights

Southampton – Santander – Ferrol – Oporto – Cadiz – Gibraltar – Lisbon – La Rochelle – Southampton

Good food & sun!

See Cruise here >

Easter weekend away – Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines
14 April 2017 | 2 nights

Southampton – Zeebrugge – Southampton

Easter Weekend!

See Cruise here >

Easter escape – Saga Cruises
Saga Sapphire
14 April 2017 | 4 nights

Southampton – Cherbourg – St Peter Port – Guernsey – Le Havre – Southampton

Long weekend!

See Cruise here >

And don’t forget to pack the chocolate eggs!

Call us on our Free phone 0800 368 9050 to discuss your Easter cruise from Southampton or anywhere else: remember you get extra savings when you book with us!

Why do I Cruise? An insight to young people & cruising

February 17th, 2017 by Matthew Bayford

Our guest blogger, Victoria from Lost Ashoretells Ocean World Travel how she got into cruising at a young age, and how it is still her holiday of choice at the age of 22.

We’re going on a cruise… These days I LIVE for those words! But as an 18-year-old fresh from my first year of University, I dreaded them… My parents had been debating the idea of cruising for years and when they finally bit the bullet I was dragged along for the ride. Now no sane 18-year-old would say no to a free trip to the Bahamas. But I was not exactly thrilled about the mode of transport…

Like most people, I assumed that cruising was only for people of, well, let’s say a certain age. Okay. Okay. If we’re honest I thought, it was God’s waiting room at sea. It only took two days on board for me to eat my words (and everything else in sight! Cruise food is both delicious and bountiful but that’s a point for later)

Cut to four years later – I have now been on 7 cruises and have spent 73 days at sea, that’s over two months of my life! So, what converted me? Pretty much everything! If you’re like I was and you think a cruise ship is God’s waiting room bobbing on the ocean with one restaurant and lame entertainment. Then get ready to throw those pre-conceived notions out of the port hole.

If I was to sell you a holiday resort that had: 4 pools, 8 hot tubs, a spa, 3 water slides, 18 restaurants serving free 5-star quality food 24 hours a day, 10 bars including an ice bar, sports facilities, a climbing wall, an art gallery, a shopping mall, a casino, the ability to watch movies under the stars and entertainment to rival the West End.  Then you would think I was offering you heaven on this earth.

Now to add to the image of heaven I have conjured in your mind. Imagine, that as you’re sleeping that resort magically transports itself to a new destination EVERY NIGHT! Never mind the traditional means of travel, those are dead to us. Throw that backpack in the bin, rip up that interrail pass and spare yourself those hostel horror stories. On the average cruise, you visit three countries and you get to explore multiple places in those countries. It is time you embraced that five-star luxury bubble and don’t worry luxury and snobby do not come hand in hand. It may be silver service but just be you! And if you spot someone in the dining room in shorts, that’s probably me, those dress codes are not at all what you think.

It is not uncommon in your twenties to be consumed by wanderlust. Believe me when I say, that cruising is the answer, it has taken me to over 40 places in the short span of four years. I personally have felt the itch of wanderlust all my life. But it has now been joined by a desire that is just as strong – A desire to lose sight of the shore. Once you cruise you never go back! There is no better way to see the world.

I continue to cruise for one simple reason. It is addictive. That strong urge for vitamin sea will keep me racking up the sea days for years to come! It’s a good job really because my cruise wish list is extravagantly long. I dream of: Hawaii, Mexico, The Caribbean, California, New Orleans, Canada, New England, The Baltic, Croatia and Montenegro. I’m already a Platinum member with Princess Cruise Line but with a headful of dreams, I should make it to Elite by the time I reach middle age, right?

Feel free to ask me anything about my adventures at sea! There are no stupid questions, we’re all first timers to start with, I know that when I was a first timer I was under the impression that to board a tender boat you had to climb down a rope ladder…





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!



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.

What’s new on P&O Cruises? Things you must know!

December 16th, 2016 by Francesca Bandini

We all know that P&O Cruises is building the biggest ship for the UK market ever conceived, meanwhile the Brits favourite cruise line is still investing in renewing life on board to make it exciting for past guests too.

Are you aware of the new shows onboard? Or the gastronomic experiences available on the Gala Dinner menu? Not yet? Read our article to find out more of the exclusive previews announced during a function in London last month. Discover what’s new on board P&O Cruises.

Exciting news on board P&O Cruises…

  • New exciting show on board Arcadia: “Money Makes The World Go Round” the show will hit the stage at the end of November and will be mainly based on a cabaret scene. The plot is all about Lily, a young country girl who moved into town and get involved in the cabaret scene, where she met her love Harry, but their love story is signed by adversity. Who knows if love will win? Ruthie Henshall, one of the Britain’s most acclaimed West End show performers put the show in place in record time. Ruthie is working as producer and commented: “To now be wearing a different hat and overseeing the production from conception to launch is a dream come true. We have a superb team of award-winning professionals who are currently working on many of London’s biggest shows and I hope that by creating this show onboard Arcadia we are helping to shape the direction of new productions and bring a slice of the West End to the sea.”

show onboard P&O cruises news


  • New Gala Dinner Menu – destination led: Mytilene star rated, and much loved chef Marco Pierre White has been working on a new menu to bring on board. Local and specially selected ingredients are used to integrate these classic British dishes. The brand new menus will be available on all the ships during Gala dinner and include:

-Marco’s classic beef wellington with a wild mushroom and Medeira duxelles server with dauphinoise potatoes

-Salt Marsh lamp loin with mint, garlic and chicken mousseline

-Crispy pork cheek with chorizo patatas bravas

-Biscuite glacé- hazelnut parfait with raspberry coulis and almond tuile

Marco Pierre White stressed that the Gala night dinners have always been exceptional and they will always be now even more special thanks to the ports of call local products. In occasion of the presentation of the new menu during an event in London, we had the chance to try classic British pub food: sausage rolls and scotch eggs – nothing like the ones you have tasted before!

scotch eggs and sausage rolls P&O cruises news

  • Decadent chocolate Pavé Royal: Award-winning French pâtissier Eric Lanlard, has created a special indulgent chocolate cake to be featured on the special Chef’s dinner menu at the main restaurant. Eric Lanlard is already part of the P&O fleet as one of the Food Heros and commented: “I am so excited to be introducing P&O Cruises guests to my Pavé Royal, which combines my two passions chocolate and pastry…I hope guests love this dessert as much as I do”.

This mouthwatering cake is made with high quality ingredients only and contains: dark chocolate mousse, soft hazelnut meringue, crunchy praline wafer. The chocolate called Valrhona is very special as it is the favourite of the best pastry chef in the world.

  • New production on board Azura: “Evolution” is a brand new show that has just started on board launched by star Jonathan Wilkes. The show combines dancers, singers and also techno- visual effects. This futuristic  show is telling the story of the fight between the Fabricators and the Humanoids, the eternal quarrel will eventually be interrupted by the love explosion between the leader of Fabricators and a female humanoid. What will be the destiny of the world?

P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow commented: “Evolution is unlike any other show we have shown on board. It is visually stunning, with mesmerizing dancing and will be a wholly immersive experience for our guests”

      • New SWIMMING LESSONS: in partnership with Mark Foster P&O Cruises will provide swimming lessons and more on larger ships.


Have you been on board yet? If you have tried any of the new experiences, please leave a comment. We would love to know your thoughts….



Photo credit: © Steve Dunlop Photography

Cruise jargon for first timers

November 16th, 2016 by Matthew Bayford


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.

7 great Christmas destinations

November 9th, 2016 by Matthew Bayford

With Christmas creeping up, wouldn’t it be nice to ditch the cooking and washing up and have a relaxing break? Here at Ocean World Travel, we have you got your back. Here are our 7 great destinations for Christmas –

Christmas Market

French Christmas Markets

Ok, this cruise may not be over the Christmas holidays, but Christmas markets are a great way to get last minute gifts or find something for that person that is awkward to buy for. This cruise takes you to Rouen and Honfleur, view more here.

Canaries Christmas and New Year

One reason we want to escape for Christmas is to get away from the cold weather. With this Canaries cruise you are taken around Marocco, Spain and Portugal and celebrate the big day on board. What could be better, sun and not cooking at Christmas – perfect!

View cruise here.


South Pacific Christmas

Living in England you wonder what it’s like to celebrate Christmas on the beach with a BBQ instead of a roast dinner. This cruise takes you around the South Pacific, starting from Sydney. You spend Christmas on the beautiful Lifou Island where you can relax on the beach and have that BBQ you were wondering about!

View cruise here.

City Lights and Overnights

Again, strictly not over the Christmas period, but we love a Christmas market! This one takes you to Amsterdam, Germany and Belgium. With overnights in Amsterdam and Antwerp you are sure to be able to take away some of the Christmas spirit from the fabulous Christmas markets.

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The Mediterranean

The Med is always a popular choice when setting sail on a cruise, and this sailing is no different. Sailing between Italy, Malta, Spain and France it will be sure to go to your favourite places.

View more information on the cruise here.


Western Mediterranean from Barcelona

Another popular Mediterranean itinerary, however, on this cruise you spend Christmas day at sea. This gives you the perfect opportunity to unwind and really enjoy your day.

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Hawaiian Islands

This is a popular destination in many people’s ‘must see’ lists, so imagine combining that with the excitement of Christmas! This 15 night cruise sets sail from LA and goes around the islands of Hawaii, spending Christmas day and New Years day at sea too. A truly relaxing experience.

View the cruise here.

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

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