Archive for the ‘Cruise Tips’ Category

Big or Small: Choosing the right ship for you

December 12th, 2017 by Jordan Bailey

With so much choice and such diversity, when it comes to having the perfect cruise experience it’s important to consider the size of cruise ship that’s right for you.

There are around 300 cruise ships currently operating around the world, all offering unique experiences and at varying different sizes. From luxury boutique ships carrying less than 100 guests, to the mighty resort mega-ships carrying over 5,000 passengers, there is a ship ideal for you.

To find the right cruise ship for you, you first need to think about what you want from your cruise holiday.

Cruising with the family

If you’re planning to take the kids, then the larger ships, overflowing with wonderful family activities and facilities will most likely be the ideal ship to book. These ships are often some of the newest and revolutionary ships in the industry, perfect for technology lovers, thrill seekers, and those little ones too, with dedicated children’s clubs and entertainment.

Top recommendations: MSC Meraviglia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Seaside (MSC Cruises); Azura, Britannia, Ventura (P&O Cruises); Anthem of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, (Royal Caribbean International).

 

Find out more about family cruises here


Traditional cruises

If you’re looking for a more relaxing cruise experience, with a closer connection to the sea, and with no fancy gimmicks, then a traditional cruise ship may be the right one to choose. These ships are usually older and less sizeable than the family resort ships, so can get into smaller ports for a more authentic experience of the local area. These ships usually carry no more than 2,000 passengers, so are the perfect size for making new travel companions and being more sociable, which is why this style of cruise is so popular with solo travellers.

Top recommendations: Astoria, Magellan, Marco Polo (Cruise & Maritime Voyages); Balmoral, Black Watch, Boudicca (Fred. Olsen Cruise Line); Arcadia, Aurora, Oriana (P&O Cruises).

 

Find out more about traditional cruises here


A touch of luxury

Smaller boutique ships often have a higher price tag, but the experience offered is a lot more personal and attentive than on a larger ship. Think in-suite butlers, rejuvenating spas and the finest cuisine. These ships rarely carry more than a thousand guests.

Top recommendations: Marina, Nautica, Riviera (Oceania Cruises); Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn (Seabourn); Silver Muse, Silver Whisper, Silver Wind (Silversea).

 

Find out more about luxury cruises here


 

5 cruise ships perfect for all the family

November 30th, 2017 by Jordan Bailey

A cruise is the perfect type of holiday to choose for all the family to enjoy. On cruise there is something for everyone, from children clubs and play parks for the little ones, to rock climbing walls and unlimited ice cream for the teens, to adult-only retreats, spas, and fantastic entertainment. Choosing not just the right cruise line for your family needs, but also the right ships is important. Here are 5 top cruise ships we recommend for that dream family holiday…

Symphony of the Seas

The largest cruise ship in the world launches in 2018. Symphony of the Seas is filled with fun activities and amazing experiences. Sailing in the Mediterranean from Barcelona during summer 2018, the ship will then reposition to Miami for the winter months. There’s everything you could ever think of on this behemoth. From ice skating and rock climbing, to a zip line, traditional wooden carousel, Hairspray The Musical, and a robotic bartender. This truly is the ultimate cruise ship for families.

Top things for Children: Adventure Ocean youth club, Splashaway Bay water park, traditional carousel, mini golf, AquaTheatre

Top things for Teens: Starbucks,The Living Room teen lounge, basketball, Ultimate Abyss slide, Flowrider surf simulator

Top things for Adults: Solarium, Central Park, Rising Tide Bar, Bionic Bar, Vitality at Sea Spa

Also why not try: Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas

 


Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Escape is one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest ships. There are plenty of things to do onboard.

Top things for Children: Splash Academy youth club, video arcade, family slide, mini golf, aqua park

Top things for Teens: Aqua Racer, ropes course, Entourage teen lounge, Dolce Gelato, hot tub

Top things for Adults: Headliners Comedy Club, Spice H20, 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, Food Republic, The Supper Club

Also why not try: Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway

 


Independence of the Seas

Independence of the Seas is one of the most popular cruise ships sailing from the UK. Set sail for fun from Southampton and enjoy all the wonderful activities onboard. In early 2018, Independence of the Seas will receive an extensive makeover, which will add many new features, such as waterslides, laser tag, and a trampoline park.

Top things for Children: Trampoline park, Splashaway Bay, Adventure Ocean youth club, Sugar Beach Candy & Ice Cream Store, waterslides

Top things for Teens: Laser tag, Studio B ice rink, Fish & Ships, Escape Room, rock climbing wall

Top things for Adults: Solarium, Vitality at Sea Spa, Chops Grille, Casino Royale, cantilevered whirlpool

Also why not try: Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas


Britannia

P&O Cruises flagship Britannia is a family friendly ship based out of Southampton. P&O is the most popular cruise line in the UK, and Britannia – the largest cruise ship built specifically for the UK – caters to all ages.

Top things for Children: The Reef youth club, children’s play area, deck games

Top things for Teens: Pizzeria, The Studio cinema, Lido Pool, Arena sports court, ice cream parlour

Top things for Adults: The Retreat, The Cookery Club, Oasis Spa, The Glass House, Limelight Club

Also why not try: Azura, Ventura


MSC Seaside

The newest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet has just launched. MSC Seaside is a revolutionary new cruise ship which will offer Caribbean cruises from Miami. The ship has been designed to maximise deck space, and with a wide promenade deck, plenty of sun lounging space, and a Miami beach condo inspired aft pool area, this is the perfect ship for relaxing in the sunny climates of the Caribbean.

Top things for Children: Arcade games, bowling, Doremiland, Forest Aquaventure Park, Club Logo

Top things for Teens: F1 simulator, zip line, poolside movie screen, XD cinema, Infinity Bridge

Top things for Adults: MSC Aurea Spa, South Beach Pool, Champagne Bar, Sports Bar, Waterfront Boardwalk

Also why not try: MSC Seaview


As you can see, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on a cruise. These are just five family cruise ships to enjoy, but there are plenty more ships and amazing activities we haven’t mentioned. Speak to one of our friendly sales team today on 0800 368 9059 to book your next family cruise!

Looking for an unforgettable cruise at a fabulous price? Cruise & Maritime Voyages offers a traditional country house style of cruising. With CMV you’ll love the leisurely onboard atmosphere and personal service; where you’re treated like family, not just another passenger. Discover 5 reasons why 40% of passengers return to CMV time and time again and why 95% of guests enjoy their cruising experience with CMV.

 

Traditional Smaller Ships

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ fleet of five ships caters to the British cruise market. The smallest is Astoria. Carrying just 550 passengers, this classic and beautifully restored former ocean going cruise ship offers spacious public lounges, and accommodation, and the perfect ship for maritime enthusiasts. The stylish 600-passenger Astor offers grand voyages between the UK and Australia, where the ship is based for most of the year. Marco Polo has gained a loyal following over the years and cruises to a wide array of exciting destinations all around the world. Magellan is a medium-sized cruise ship accommodating less than 1,250 passengers, but still retains that intimate and sociable atmosphere that guests love about CMV, coupled with plenty of lounges and outdoor deck space. Columbus is the newest and largest of the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet, carrying 1,400 guests in modern, comfortable surroundings. The ship has the most diverse array of facilities within the fleet, but still has a traditional feel, with a large spacious promenade deck.

 

Regional Ports

With 11 UK regional ports, no matter where you live in the UK, you’re never too far from a Cruise & Maritime Voyages embarkation port. With all five ships offering a variety of cruises from this port, London Tilbury is CMV’s main departure port. Located just off the M25, the port provides easy access into London, and is the ideal port for those in the South East, and Essex. Those in Essex and East Anglia have the convenience of sailing from Harwich aboard Marco Polo on a couple of short breaks, and longer itineraries to the Arctic and Greenland, plus St Petersburg and Baltic cities. Those in the Midlands, Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire, can easily sail from Hull aboard the traditional Marco Polo on cruises around the British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, Greenland, and the Baltic. Cruise & Maritime Voyages also sails from Newcastle, perfect for those in the North. Magellan offers cruises to Iceland, the British Isles, Faroes, and Norway. From Dundee, visit the stunning scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, the beautiful cities of Scandinavia and Russia, as well as Iceland and the British Isles. Sail down the Mersey from Liverpool on Magellan and visit Iceland, the Fjords, and the warmth of Spain and Portugal or Canary Islands and Madeira. From Bristol Avonmouth Port step aboard the charming Marco Polo or marvellous Magellan, and explore the British Isles, Portugal and Canaries, Norway or a grand voyage to South America. Cruise & Maritime Voyages is the only cruise line to sail from Wales. In 2018, Marco Polo offers cruises from Cardiff to Iceland and Ireland. For the first time, Astoria departs from Poole and Portsmouth in 2018, with a selection of European sailings.

 

Fantastic Prices

Cruise & Maritime Voyages offers excellent value-for-money cruises to some of the most beautiful destinations all around the world. Deals often include Buy One Get One Free fares, savings of up to 60%, or added value benefits such as a complimentary upgrade or onboard spend. Throughout the year, CMV have several day and overnight events, especially during the festive season. These make the perfect experience for those new to cruising, or those eager to be on a ship again.

 

British experience

Cruise & Maritime Voyages passengers are predominantly British, and the experience onboard reflects this. Sit back and relax in one of the onboard lounges, enjoy a cabaret show, or savour a classic British dish or regional favourite. There are tea and coffee making facilities around the ships 24 hours a day, as well as afternoon tea and pastries. Several sailings have themed events. Upcoming themed cruises include a TV Comedy Legends sailing aboard Columbus in October 2018, with guest speakers that include Jeffrey Holland (‘Hi-Di-Hi’ and ‘You Rang M’Lord’), plus John Challis and Sue Holderness (‘Only Fools & Horses’ and ‘Green Green Grass’). Daytime activities include dance classes, quizzes, craft sessions, and insightful port talks.

 

Wonderful ports

Cruise & Maritime Voyages offer cruises to all four corners of the World. Take a trip along the mighty Amazon, visit the exciting shores of Australia, discover the rich heritage of St Petersburg and the Baltic, or sail to colourful Cuba, the Caribbean and Canary Islands. Fancy something a bit closer to home, Cruise & Maritime Voyages offer discovery cruises around the British Isles. Thanks to CMV’s fleet of smaller vessels, you’ll be able to dock in ports that larger cruise ships would not, allowing you to experience a more authentic taste of the destination.

 

As you can see, a Cruise & Maritime Voyages cruise is a wonderful experience for those who enjoy a leisurely and relaxing experience, with a closer connection to the sea, unlike the large modern resort ships of today.

 

For more information about Cruise & Maritime Voyages or to book, call our friendly sales team today on 0800 368 9059.

I started the day having Brunch as we gently approached the French town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, located just 15 miles from the centre of Paris. The farm to table dining concept really works on The B, and it’s great to try amazing healthy foods, sourced locally where possible.

Due to a national strike in France, we were all told that unfortunately the tour to Versailles would be cancelled as it would be closed for the day. I got off the ship and explored the hilly surroundings of the riverfront. Visiting Conflans-Saint-Honorine was a chance to see the true French way of life, instead of bustling streets filled with tourists like Paris and Rouen. The charming alleyways and tree-lined roads were just waiting to be explored.

Just before 1 pm, I got a message from the U Hosts, on the Whatsapp group chat, saying the strike had been called off and that Versailles was open. Yay!

I walked back to the ship and enjoyed a drink in the gothic/punk-themed U Lounge, before heading ashore again to board the coaches which would take us all to Versailles. It was around 45 minutes to get to the Palace. We arrived in front of the beautiful giant golden gates, where we waited for our guide to sort out the tickets. Due to the earlier planned strikes, the tour reservation the ship had booked us all on was not possible, so we were denied access while the U by Uniworld representatives scrambled to arrange alternatives. The managers successfully secured us a private tour led by a Versailles expert guide, as well as arranging for us to go to an otherwise fenced off area of the Palace, the Chapel. This is what I love about U by Uniworld – when there’s a problem, they will go above and beyond to solve it and secure us exclusive experiences, something not possible when you travel independently. We were shown around the grand palace, where the treaty of Versailles was signed, and into one of the most famous rooms in the Palace, the Hall of Mirrors. 17 floor-to-ceiling mirrors run along this gigantic hall, along with beautiful chandeliers.

The Chapel was simply stunning. The detailed paintings on the curved roof, depicting scenes of heaven and biblical teachings was amazing, and we had this whole area to ourselves thanks to U by Uniworld and the team at Versailles. We continued our tour around the other rooms, before heading back to the ship.

We were almost an hour late arriving back, which meant the planned beer tasting on one of the rooftops in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine was cancelled. It didn’t stop the crew bringing a crate of the local craft beer back onboard for guests to try in the lounge. Once everyone was back onboard, we swiftly departed.

We didn’t have too far to sail – we were due alongside in Paris just after midnight. Tonight was a self-serve buffet in the U Dine restaurant. There was an amazing French onion soup, salmon coulibiac, macaroons, and a regional specialty for dessert called St. Honoré. It was fabulous! I will really miss the food onboard. To commemorate our final night onboard, there was a giant pyjama party onboard! The ship docked just after midnight, and I was awake and off the ship at 6 am.

And that’s it. My time onboard U by Uniworld’s first ever river cruise is over. It’s been a blast! Thank you for coming align with me on my adventures through this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Au Revoir.

P&O Cruises offers some of the best curries at sea, and to celebrate National Curry Week, P&O's Food Hero Atul Kocchar shares his top ten tips to cooking the perfect curry at home.

 

1: What essential spices should a curry enthusiast keep in their spice box?

For the basics, you'll need good garam masala, black peppercorns, chilli powder, tumeric, ground coriander, and coriander seeds. I also recommend to keep some onion paste and giner-garlic paste in the freezer to save time.

2: What's the best way to store spices?

Keep spices in an airtight container (preferably stainless steel), away from direct sunlight. If stored properly, whole spices can last nine to 12 months, while powdered spices can last up to six months. Buy spices in small quantities and use them as often as you can. That way you don't end up with a cupboard full of stale spices that won't deliver on flavour.

3: Is it best to use freshly ground spice or pre-ground varieties?

If possible, grind them freshly for the best results. Pound whole spices in a pestle and mortar and you’ll release their fragrant oils and flavour.

4: Any top tips on heating up oil and spices to release the best flavour?

Frying spices in hot oil means you get as much flavour out of them as possible. Check the oil is hot enough by dropping a little spice in. If it sizzles, you can add the rest of the spices. You only need to cook spices for about a minute - be careful not to burn them, as they’ll turn bitter. Slow down the cooking process by adding onions, or whatever the next stage in your recipe is.

5: How do you chop onions and keep your eyes from stinging?

The sharpness of the knife matters. As soon as you bruise the onion it releases a series of chemical reactions. A sharp knife will cause less damage to cell walls and fewer irritants will be released - so you won’t cry so much.

6: What one gadget do you recommend investing in and why?

For the best results with spices and flavour, I recommend an electric spice grinder or a trusty pestle and mortar.

7: How hot is too hot? What’s your take on the use of chilli?

Too hot is when you can’t taste any of the ingredients in the dish. My rule of thumb is to cut a chilli in half and use a teaspoon rather than a knife to scrape out the seeds (the hottest part of the chilli). And remember, never touch your eyes afterwards.

8: What simple and effective ‘finishing touches’ do you suggest to make a plate of curry sing?

I like to garnish a curry with chopped coriander and green chillies and a pinch of fresh powdered garam masala – delicious! Always taste before serving and adjust accordingly.

9: What’s the best bit of advice your mother gave you in the kitchen?

"Success without struggle is absolutely useless; failure is a very important feeling to be able to enjoy success".

10: What one piece of advice would you pass on to budding curry chefs?

Always know your onions! Cooking onions to use in Indian food is a technical skill that takes years to perfect.

For more top tips and recipes for fabulous curries without the fuss, don’t miss Atul’s cookbook 30 Minute Curries. The collection of 90 dishes showcases Atul’s trademark mix of using the best and freshest British produce and his modern Indian style. Atul also provides an introduction to spice mixes and the best way to store these ready for use in the quick and easy recipes.
 
Atul Kochhar's signature restaurant, Sindhu, can be found on P&O Cruises' Aurora, Arcadia, Azura, Britannia, Oriana and Ventura. To view a sample menu, click here. Atul Kochhar will be personally onboard, these sailings listed below... 

Spain, France & Italy

13 April 2018 | 14 nights | Azura

Southampton - Alicante - Barcelona - Toulon - La Spezia - Civitavecchia - Cartagena - Gibraltar - Southampton

Prices from £1049pp

Portugal & Canary Islands

21 April 2018 | 13 nights | Ventura

Southampton - Madeira - La Palma - Gran Canaria - Tenerife - Lanzarote - La Coruna - Southampton

Prices from £899pp

Spain & Portugal

4 May 2018 | 7 nights | Ventura

Southampton - Vigo - Lisbon - Oporto - St Peter Port - Southampton

Prices from £549pp

Portugal & Spain

20 July 2018 | 7 nights | Ventura

Southampton - St Peter Port - Oporto - Lisbon - Vigo - Southampton

Prices from £659pp

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

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.

 

Contact our friendly travel consultants to book your next cruise

Call 0800 368 9059 or email sales@oceanworldtravel.com

Remember – you’ll receive an exclusive Ocean World Travel discount when you book with us!

 

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!