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.
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!
July 26th, 2016 by Francesca Bandini
Day 1, 20 May 2016:
As this was my first ever cruise I was quite apprehensive as I waved goodbye to my parents at the Ocean Cruise Terminal in Southampton. I didn’t know anyone else on board and was excited to see who I would be sharing a cabin with. It wasn’t long before I met a couple of other agents who were on the same trip and we all headed to our rooms to see where we’d be staying for the next 5 days.
We were lucky enough to be staying in balcony cabins and although the rooms were a little dated they were spacious and comfortable. The balconies were an amazing feature to the cabin. They were spacious enough to sit out on and enjoy the sea breeze and incredible views as we sailed into each port.
It wasn’t long before we had to head to Princess Theatre for the Muster drill. This was all new to me but I was very impressed as to how well organized it was and how smoothly it ran considering the whole of the Princess Theatre was full to capacity. Afterwards we headed up to the top deck for the Sail Away party and we grabbed a slice of free pizza from the Grill bar – it’s renowned for being the best pizza at sea! It was delicious!
We headed back to our cabin to get ready for the evening ahead. We enjoyed a sumptuous 3 course meal in the main any-time dining restaurant. I had fresh spring rolls to start, followed by the famous creamy fettuccine pasta dish, then the Princess signature chocolate dream desert. I have to say I was very impressed with the food, especially the desert! After our dinner we went to Croner’s Bar where we sampled some fabulous evening entertainment from a Scottish Piano Player. The bar soon filled up and people were stood singing along with him. The atmosphere was incredible.
Day 2, 21 May 2016:
We were due to disembark via tenders to Guernsey today but due to bad weather we were advised to stay on the ship. We ate breakfast in the buffet restaurant and looked out at people struggling to climb aboard the tenders in the strong winds and rain. We were glad we made the right decision to stay in the warmth, it gave us more opportunity to explore what the ship had to offer.
Even though it was raining and cold we braved it and headed to the spa pool on the top deck. It was lovely and warm inside the pool and we didn’t want to get out! After we’d had enough we headed back inside to use the sauna.
In the evening we had a table at the Crown Grill, another specialty restaurant famous for its steak. I had onion soup to start followed by the most amazing rump steak I have ever had followed by a mini-platter of deserts. The food was incredible and some of the best I have ever had.
We went to the piazza for some evening entertainment and then on to Skywalkers again for more cocktails and dancing!
Day 3, 22 May 2016:
I woke up to plenty of sunshine and stunning views as we sailed into Cobh, Ireland. I enjoyed my breakfast and a cup of tea on the balcony of my cabin admiring the scenery. Today we would be docked in Cobh for most of the day. I was excited to explore and learn more about this beautiful historic town. Our group was split into two halves and we were group 1 which meant we were able to explore the town of Cobh first.
As we walked down the streets in Cobh we came across a man who was selling tickets for a train ride around Cobh. We thought this was a fantastic way of seeing Cobh town in the short time we had. The train took us past historical sites; churches, nursing homes, schools and an old doctor’s surgery. The driver was a typical Irish man with a wicked sense of humor. The last stop on our journey was the Cobh Cathedral, an architectural delight. We all hopped off the train and went into the cathedral to take pictures of the stunning stained glass windows and the incredible architecture. We headed for a drink in a local pub and enjoyed some Irish pub and a pint of Guinness before we had to return to the ship.
In the afternoon we were lucky enough to have a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of Caribbean Princess. I was excited to see what went on ‘backstage’ and get an insight into how cruise ships run day to day. The tour started by looking at some of the cabins and then into the kitchens. The head chef took us to various sections within the kitchens and showed us where all the pastries, fresh pasta and meat was prepared and cooked on a daily basis. We also were able to trial some of the famous chocolate journey’s selection, they were dreamy! The tour continued downstairs to the laundry area. The room was filled with machines washing, ironing and folding hundreds of bed sheets. They even had a machine which was used specifically for ironing shirts! We ended our tour on the bridge, the place where the captains operate and actually drive the ship. There panoramic views were incredible up here. One of the captains gave us a tour and talked us through the machinery and systems they use, it was very technical.
For dinner we were lucky to enjoy a delicious meal in Sabatini’s, one of the ships specialty dining restaurants. The Italian food was sensational. I had calamari to start followed by steak. The food was so amazing but I couldn’t quite manage desert. We decided to leave the restaurant and head back to Croner’s bar for more entertainment. We then went on to the ships only nightclub, Skywalkers. Skywalkers is situated at the back of the ship. Guests can enjoy delicious cocktails in an incredible setting with panoramic views.
Day 4, 23 May 2016:
We spent the morning sailing into Dublin. This was the place I was most excited to visit on this trip. I couldn’t wait to explore the streets of Dublin and see what it had to offer. After breakfast in the buffet we disembarked the ship and caught the bus into Dublin city centre. We listened to some buskers and wandered through the tiny cobbled lanes. We went to the famous Temple Bar for an obligatory pint of Guinness and listened to some fabulous live music. Afterwards we decided to hop on an open top bus for a quick ride around town and to learn about some of the cultural sights of Dublin. We didn’t have long to explore so got a taxi back to the boat from a lovely local Irish man, he waved us goodbye as we boarded the ship.
We had some free time in the evening so spent some time in the pool and in the lounges having a few drinks and playing cards before we headed to the main restaurant for dinner. The creamy fettuccine pasta was so good I had it again! After a tiring day in Dublin I headed to bed for a good night sleep as we had to be up early in the morning.
Day 5, 24 May 2016:
It was the end of our trip and we had arrived in Liverpool. It was sad saying goodbye to all the friends I had made but I knew I was going to keep in contact with them. We all had a final talk from the hosts and grabbed our suitcases from our rooms. As I walked through the deck one last time I reflected back on the amazing time I had on board Caribbean Princess. Definitely a trip to remember!
July 21st, 2016 by admin
Day 4, Marseilles, 05 June 2016
We arrived at Marseille port the day before and I was very excited about the itinerary in Avignon. I must admit that I had actually already visited this little town, but I knew that this time would be very different.