The Curse Of Cruise Mode

CelebrityEclipseCruiseShipWe step aboard, have the time of our lives and then return to daily life. It’s difficult to digest, I know, but have you ever returned from your cruise and stayed in ‘cruise mode’ for just a little too long? Let me explain – have you ever returned home, enjoyed a fabulous meal and then forgot that you actually need to pay in REAL money for it before you leave the restaurant?

I spend a lot of time at sea and I love every second of it, but sometimes when I return home the cruise way of life stays with me in ways I really wish it didn’t. It’s almost like you have been institutionalised by the sea, by the onboard way of life and it is definitely not a bad thing but it’s not always a great thing either!

Many times I have found myself searching the bathroom wall in the middle of the night for the button to flush the toilet. I am half asleep, cursing under my breath because I can’t find the button, then I remember I am at home, there is a handle not a button! I lose valuable snoozing time because I am searching for something that is not there. It is highly annoying!

I went to Amsterdam last year, travelled there via DFDS ferry and spent an evening in the city. I got to my hotel, found my room and threw my case on the bed. I had a little investigation of my new digs and unpacked a few things before flicking through the channels on the TV. I didn’t realise at first what I was doing but it turned out that I was again waiting for something that was never going to come – the muster drill! It may have only been a split second thought, but that is what I was biding time for. Crazy!

Even food becomes a different issue. Onboard we visit the buffet and let’s be honest, we put things on one plate that really shouldP&0 Cruises Oceana Tortola never be on the same plate, like curry and carbonara, but onboard it is OK, no big deal. At home we would never dream of doing that though, well I certainly wouldn’t, and if anyone else were to do it I would be the first to screw my face up and let out the obligatory ewww! So how come the rules at sea are different for us? It really is weird!

It’s like being in a bar and ordering your drink and then wondering why you don’t have to sign for it. I know it all probably makes me sound crazy, but I am 99% confident that I am not alone in any of this and I am sure some of you have even better stories to tell? ;)

Author: Danielle

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Posted in General Cruise Articles

Quantum Of The Seas Float-Out In Pictures

Royal Caribbean International’s, Quantum of the Seas was successfully floated out yesterday and although it was behind schedule, it was definitely worth the wait!  There have been some amazing pictures of her making their way around the internet and I have gathered a few to share with you.

The groundbreaking Quantum-class ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, will debut a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences, such as Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever.  Guests also will enjoy the new Quantum-class “Dynamic Dining,” a completely new culinary experience that offers a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including specialty restaurants created with partner-chefs Jamie Oliver, Devin Alexander and Michael Schwartz.

The Quantum Class spans 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms.

Quantum will soon begin her thruster and stabiliser tests before any other remaining work is carried out. She will be based in Shanghai, China from May 2015.

Quantum of the Seas

Quantum of the Seas float out

Quantum of the Seas Float Out 2

Quantum of the Seas Germany

Quantum of the Seas Float Out  Germany Meyer Werft

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Posted in Cruise News, Royal Caribbean International

Regal Princess To Be Named By Cast Of The Love Boat

Regal Princess Sea Trials

Princess Cruises has announced its newest ship will be named by the original cast of US TV show, The Love Boat. Regal Princess, a 3-560 guest ship that first set sail in May this year, will be christened on November 5, 2014 by the cast who will subsequently serve as ‘godparents’.

The ceremony will take place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and officially launch Princess Cruises’ golden anniversary celebrations. The line, which began sailing in 1965, will mark five decades of operation from the end of this year and throughout 2015.

The Love Boat was a romantic comedy show that ran for ten seasons from 1977-1987 and became one of the highest rated and longest-running programmes on US television. It was mostly set on board Princess Cruises ships and is credited with helping the industry expand to its current size.

The main six Love Boat cast members will reunite to christen Regal Princess: Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship’s doctor), Lauren Tewes (Julie the cruise director) and Jill Whelan (Vicki the Captain’s daughter).

After her naming, Regal Princess will begin her maiden season of Caribbean cruising.  

Regal Princess is sister ship to Royal Princess, which was launched last year by HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge. The ship is the 18th in the Princess Cruises fleet and has:

·        Capacity for 3,560 guests
·        1,780 staterooms
·        19 decks
·        1,346 crew
·        16 bars and restaurants including three dining rooms
·        A spa and fitness centre

The ship also includes several signature Princess Cruises’ features including SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway that extends 28 feet over the edge of the ship, and Princess Live, a television studio with on board programming throughout the day.

At a length of 1,083 feet, Regal Princess is longer than the height of the Shard, the tallest building in the UK. And at 217 feet high is taller than 15 double-decker London buses stacked on top of one another.

Last month Princess Cruises revealed that it has reached an agreement to build a 600m euro sister ship to Regal Princess and Royal Princess, which will launch in 2017.

Info courtesy of Princess Cruises
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Posted in Cruise News, Princess Cruises

The Stockholm Archipelago – Photo Blog

During my Baltic cruise aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Braemar, I was invited to join the captain, pilot and several other senior officers on the bridge for our morning journey through the Stockholm Archipelago. It was an incredible experience! In total I had roughly 4 hours up there and I took in EVERYTHING that was happening around me. Not only was the scenery absolutely spectacular but I could view it from every angle and from the best spot on the ship! I was free to photograph more or less everything, so I did! :)

The journey through the archipelago was perfect, it felt like something out of a movie; the entire area just seemed unreal, as though it was an elaborate set. I had expected to be asked to leave the bridge as we neared our berth, but instead I was welcomed to stay and enjoy our journey right up until the port authorities said we could head ashore. I took hundreds of photographs and if I could, I would share them all with you! Instead, I have gone through the journey from start to finish and selected some of the best ones for you to enjoy. Before I left on the cruise I was told that a Baltic voyage was one of the BEST cruises you could ever embark on, every single person that told me that was 100% correct! It is certainly in my top 5 for favourite voyages and I can’t wait to go again! I was in the country less than 24-hours before I started browsing 2015 options. ;)

A photograph will never truly capture what it is really like! There is something about seeing a place as spectacular as this with your own eyes, nothing will beat it, but I hope you enjoy the selection!

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Fred Olsen Braemar Bridge

Fred Olsen Braemar Bridge Navigation

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Braemar

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Braemar Bridge

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Braemar Bridge and Captain

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

MSC Poesia Stockholm Archipelago

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Stockholm Archipelago Baltic Cruise

Costa Fortuna Stockholm Sweden

Braemar Stockholm Sweden

And so we arrived in Stockholm, Sweden and it was time to head ashore and explore!

Author & Pictures: Danielle

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Posted in Destinations, Fred Olsen Cruise Line, General Cruise Articles

A Glimpse Inside The New Look P&O Cruises Aurora – Photo Blog

This is how P&O Cruises, Aurora will look following her multi-million pound refit later this year.

The refurbishment will take place November 29 to December 18 in Hamburg, ahead of its Christmas and New Year cruise and before the South America & Pacific Adventure world cruise itinerary departing January 8, 2015.

AURORA new livery

Aurora Refit

Champions

Aurora Refit

Captains Room

Aurora Refit

Sindhu

Aurora Refit

Sindhu

Aurora Refit

Standard Balcony Cabin

Aurora Refit

The Glass House

Aurora Refit

Horizon Restaurant

Aurora Refit

Horizon Restaurant

 Images courtesy of P&O Cruises

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Posted in Cruise News, P&O Cruises

Celebrity Eclipse Summer 2015 Revamp

Celebrity-Eclipse

Ahead of her sixth consecutive summer sailing from Southampton, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse, is undergoing a revamp to offer a series of luxurious new features when she emerges from dry dock in May 2015.

Celebrity Eclipse has offered modern luxury holidays from the UK port since her launch in the city in 2010 and is a firm favourite with British holidaymakers. When she returns for her 2015 season she will boast new signature spaces and experiences currently only available on sister ship, Celebrity Equinox, in addition to the array of guest-favourite features onboard.

New food and drink venues will include:

  • Gastrobar – A new premium craft beer and comfort food venue, Gastrobar will offer food and beer enthusiasts over 40 handcrafted boutique beers to choose from in addition to Celebrity Cruises’ collection of wines and cocktails, all perfectly paired with a menu of gastro-style fare. The menus will be presented on iPads which will also include an app for guests to select their ideal food and drink pairings. Gastrobar’s upscale casual surroundings will feature entertainment and music for the complete sophisticated lounge experience. Guests can find the new venue in the space formerly known as Cellar Masters.
  • Slush – The poolside refreshments will get an overhaul and expand guests’ ‘cool’ beverage options with Slush a vibrant and stylish frozen drinks bar. Guests will be able to relax by the pool and enjoy a variety of flavour-rich and fresh frozen cocktails. Slush will feature alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails with flavour options ranging from fresh pressed lemon juice, raspberries, cucumbers and mint, to Persian lime, Florida Valencia and Hamlin orange juice with organic agave nectar.

The revamped Celebrity Eclipse will also feature The Studio, a new private portrait photo studio, offering guests a luxury holiday memento to remember their cruise by. In addition, guests will be able to enjoy a range of exciting upgrades to the onboard casino including a re-styled bar, new British themed slot machines and European-style roulette.

This refurbishment will coincide with the launch of Celebrity Cruises’ new Suite Class offering following the addition of the Canyon Ranch Spa Club this year. New luxurious offerings for guests booking to stay in a suite include a dedicated, suites-only restaurant, VIP lounge, and complimentary ‘all in’ benefits such as premium beverages, dining at any speciality restaurant and unlimited internet access. Suite guests will also receive priority check-in and embarkation and will enjoy the Celebrity Cruises butler service. Personal butlers will unpack luggage, book excursions and be on hand 24 hours a day to ensure guests receive a dedicated and personalised service.

Info courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

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Posted in Celebrity Cruises, Cruise News

Multi-Million Pound Make-Over For P&O Cruises Aurora

P&O-Cruises-Aurora

P&O Cruises has unveiled its plans for a £26 million pound make-over for Aurora this winter, the first ship in the fleet to receive the bold new livery design.

The refurbishment will take place November 29 to December 18 in Hamburg, ahead of its Christmas and New Year cruise and before the South America & Pacific Adventure world cruise itinerary departing January 8, 2015.

Launched in 2000, Aurora’s last refit was in 2009.

The planned changes for 2014 include:

  • A new look livery design, which celebrates P&O Cruises heritage and its place as Britain’s favourite cruise company. It features a contemporary version of the Union Flag on its bow and new blue funnels with illuminated rising sun designs
  • The introduction of Sindhu restaurant for evening fine dining (replacing the library on deck 8) with an Indian fusion menu designed by Michelin-star celebrity chef Atul Kochhar
  • The Glass House restaurant and wine bar is replacing Café Bordeaux on deck 8. Available for brunch, lunch and dinner it will house wine displays and wines selected by expert and TV presenter Olly Smith. Enomatic wine systems allow passengers to buy premium wines by the glass. There will also be a private room for wine tastings and dinners
  • A complete refurbishment of the buffet restaurant (Lido deck, deck 12) with new décor
  • In the evening, The Beach House menu replaces the Pennant Grill menu to include family favourites such as Fillet of Beef on Lava Rock
  • A complete refurbishment of The Reef children’s clubs with room names changed to reflect Reef club names across the rest of the fleet
  • The introduction of Freedom Dining to Medina Restaurant with more tables for two and Marco Pierre White dishes on gala evenings
  • A refurbishment of the Sidewalk Café and the introduction of Costa Coffee and brand new “Grab and Go” counter, a great option for breakfast and lunch on the go
  • The library relocates to the current cyb@study space adjacent to the Crow’s Nest on deck 13
  • Casino and Champions refurbishment with new open-plan design, new furniture and improved stage area for entertainment, live music and quizzes
  • Photography gallery upgrade to include more touch screen technology
  • An extensive shop refurbishment
  • Refurbishment of Oasis Spa
  • Upgrade of all sound and light equipment in the theatre and show lounge
  • New soft furnishings for all cabins with flat-screen TVs

P&O Cruises marketing director Christopher Edgington said: “This is a massive investment. It’s all part of our ongoing commitment to ensure continuous improvement of our ships and consistency across the fleet.

“Both Ventura and Arcadia underwent huge multi-million pound refits last year and Aurora is the next in line with Azura planned for 2015.

“Not only will Aurora feature firm favourites from Azura and Ventura, such as Sindhu and The Glass House restaurant and wine bar, but we will also see brand new initiatives as well as the distinctive new livery.

“As the very first ship to display our new livery, we have big plans to welcome Aurora back in to Southampton. We can’t wait to see her.”

Info courtesy of P&O Cruises

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Posted in Cruise News, P&O Cruises

Princess Cruises To Add New Ship To Fleet In 2017

Regal Princess Sea Trials

Today Princess Cruises, announced that it has reached an agreement with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build a new ship, which will enter service in 2017.        

The as-yet unnamed 143,000-ton vessel, which will be built at an all-in cost of approximately 600 million euros, will carry 3,560 passengers, and feature the successful design platform introduced by sister ships Royal Princess in 2013 and Regal Princess which entered service this May.

The new ship will include the signature elements that have become synonymous with the Princess Cruises guest experience such as a central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; the adults-only Sanctuary; Movies Under the Stars cinema experience, and 80 percent of all staterooms with balconies.  The ship will also include some brand-new innovations to enhance the guest experience even further.

“We are incredibly excited to add this fabulous new ship to our already formidable fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.  “Royal Princess and Regal Princess have been exceptionally successful for us and have received numerous accolades from guests, travel agents and media, so adding another sister ship will enable us to continue to expand our innovative vacation experiences.  We’re very pleased that this new ship order is an indication of the confidence that our parent Carnival Corporation has in the future of the Princess brand.”  

She added that this is the only new order Carnival Corporation & plc anticipates for 2017.

Specific features and amenities for the ship, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the coming months.

Info courtesy of Princess Cruises 

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Posted in Cruise News, Princess Cruises

For The Love Of Sea Days!

VenturaAtSea

The sea day, one of life’s little luxuries between ports. A chance to put your feet up, relax and plan the following day – or for some, to hit the gym like you have lost your mind, eat yourself into a slow food coma or go from one activity to the next until you collapse onto a sun lounger. Love them or loathe them they are there and personally, I  love them!

Sea days for me are just as important as the destinations. Do you know how much you can see at sea?! Seriously! I remember sunbathing on deck in August 2010 and out of the deep appeared a submarine, right alongside! I have seen dolphins, whales, flying fish, other cruise ships (which is always a treat), and the silhouette of distant shores on the horizon. Sea days are a treasured part of my cruise experience and the fact you are in the middle of nowhere, away from the rest of the world, has such a calming effect.

The first time I spotted dolphins from the ship I was completely overwhelmed, I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. To see these wonderful, playful creatures out in the big open ocean and with no interference from the human world was simply amazing. They were doing what they do naturally and all they wanted to do was play and show off their skills to their admiring fans. We were all quite happy to watch and applaud them for their tricks and flips!

DolphinsCruiseSeaDay

I tend to spend my sea days soaking up the sun, if it is shining, of course! Occasionally I will move to graze or to have a walk around the ship. I sometimes find I can’t sit still for long, so in that sense bigger ships have a great benefit – I have more places to walk! If the weather is on the grim side I tend to just go with the flow. I may read a book, play cards, prop the bar up for a few hours, it all depends on my mood, but I know sea days with bad weather can be a little tedious for some people – they just don’t know what to do with themselves.

The below image was taken on a sea day, well, a sea evening to be exact. For me, this is what being on the open ocean is all about. Where else in the world can you get such a view, feel so much freedom and just be at one with everything around you. The only place that does it for me is the ocean! I will also add that the image below has not been altered or enhanced, this is exactly as it looked through my canon lens.

SunsetCruiseShip

When you can capture moments like all of the above, why would you ever want to cut them out of your itinerary? I certainly wouldn’t!

If you are embarking on a cruise soon then have a sea day for me! ;)

Author: Danielle

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Posted in General Cruise Articles

Costa Concordia Arrives in Genoa

Costa Concordia Drone Footage Still

After a 200 mile journey, Costa Concordia has arrived at the port of Genoa this morning, where she will be broken up for scrap in a process estimated to take around 2-years.

Environment Minister, Gian Luca Galletti told reports at the port that “This is not a celebration. We have to think of the victims, but it has to be said that keeping the Concordia in Italy is a great occasion for our country. We have excellent technology and we are capable of undertaking great things.”

A 10-15 knot northerly wind has kept the ship around a mile offshore, but she is expected to reach the industrial port of Voltri, just outside the main harbour in Genoa, later this afternoon.

The overall salvage effort is expected to cost Carnival Corporation, owner of the ship’s operator, Costa Cruises and its insurers more than 1.5 billion euros.

A consortium led by Italian engineering group Saipem and Genoa-based San Giorgio del Porto will break up the wreck in an operation which sources close to the project have said could cost 100 million euros and take up to two years.

“Costa Cruises has done their work and they’ve done it very seriously as it was their responsibility to do because they were responsible for the disaster,” Galletti said.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is expected in Genoa later today to hail the completion of the operation.

Captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino is on trial for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all the passengers had been evacuated – even though he has claimed that he fell into a lifeboat. The disaster cost the lives of 32 people, the body of one is still yet to be found.
Costa Concordia Under Tow

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Posted in Costa Concordia, Cruise News
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P&O Cruises Aurora
76,152GT
1,950 Passengers
850 Crew
Max Speed 24 knots

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