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 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
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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’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.
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 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.
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.
August 14th, 2017 by Jordan Bailey
Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest mega-ship, Norwegian Bliss, will feature a two-deck-high go-kart track, Starbucks Coffee store, and new dining options.
Norwegian Bliss will debut a new Texas smokehouse restaurant called Q that will host live pop country music, and serve BBQ ribs, and chicken. A modern Mexican restaurant called Los Lobos, which first debuted on Norwegian Dawn in 2016, will replace the space occupied by a Brazilian restaurant on sister vessels. The A-list Bar, named after Norwegian’s President and CEO Andy Stewart, will serve handcrafted cocktails, wines, and premium spirits.
Another new venue for Norwegian Bliss will be Coco’s – a chocoholic’s paradise – serving crepes, truffles, and handmade pralines. Norwegian Bliss will feature a full-sized Starbucks Coffee store, as well as popular favourites like Cagney’s Steakhouse, Tepanyaki, and La Cucina. The 4,000-passenger vessel will also have an open-air laser tag course, an Aqua Park, and waterslides.
Norwegian Bliss will launch in April 2018, offering cruises to Alaska from Seattle featuring calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, before heading to the Caribbean later in the year, offering week-long cruises from Miami that visit St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau.
July 4th, 2017 by Matthew Bayford
Carrie recently went aboard NCL's Norwegian Jade and this is what she thought...
I was invited on board NCL's Norwegian Jade along with other agents to have a tour of the ship and lunch whilst on board.
There was a slight communication error at the beginning which held up the signing in process, however this was sorted and we were allowed on board. We were then greeted by a member of NCL staff whilst having a cup of tea in one of the meeting rooms.
First we were shown the Haven Suite, WOW how impressive! A 3 bedroom suite with its own private deck area with hot tub, a separate dining and sitting area all with an amazing view of the deck space.
The Haven area is a private area for the Haven Suites - absolutely stunning!!
Moving on, we visited most of the dining venues on board. There were quite a few to choose from, including Cagney’s – An a la carte steakhouse restaurant
Moderno – An a la carte Brazilian steakhouse
Jasmine – An Asian fusion restaurant
Grand Pacific – Main Dining Room
The outside areas have a lot of space and have a separate adults only pool. The Topside Grill serves all the tasty food you would expect whilst enjoying the lovely weather.
The Mandara Spa offers all of the treatments any spa at home would offer along with a lovely relaxation area with hot beds and a great view.
On the opposite side of the deck is the Pulse fitness centre, enjoying a work out to work off all the tasty food you can consume whilst on board.
Stardust Theatre – A fantastic venue to see the wonderful shows the NCL staff put on. Two shows are put on every night to ensure everyone can see it before or after dinner.
The Atrium – A really lovely area to share a quiet moment in
We were shown back to the restaurant for a 4 course dinner. The menu got me very excited to what was to come, however I felt that the food didn't quite deliver. The starter was melon and parma ham which was very nice, but felt it could be a bit more exciting. There was a slight mix up with the soup as I was meant to get baked potato soup however I was given a fish soup. This was very tasty, it was just a shame it wasn't what I ordered. The main course was a roasted beef, cooked very well but a little dry, although adding some extra Jus made it perfect. I had to refrain from have a dessert course as I couldn't fit in anymore food!
After lunch we disembarked and let the Norwegian Jade continue on to it's next port, Hamburg.