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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Only 2 days now

Only two sleeps left till Christmas now! It's getting exciting!
Todays Christmas Advent blog will be in honour of the weather we've had over the last few days. Hopefully you might find it useful.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

3 days and counting

Well there's only three days left day and I finaly finished all my Christmas shopping, (I say finished, I only started it today as well).
I really hope you've all enjoyed my little Christmas Advent calender and have found it funny/useful/informative or all of the above. I'm going to try and hit all three for you now with todays Advent treat.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Just 4 days now

I met up with an old friend today for a few Christmas drinks and it was whilst swapping stories about our kids and the cute things they do he told me this little gem, which I'm about to share with you.
It's important to remember during this story that my friend is the owner of a B&B up north, (he was down visiting family).

Monday, 20 December 2010

Just 5 days left....

I cannot believe how much snow we have had over the last few days; I'm just glad I'd already booked the time off work so that I can enjoy it all with my family rather than having to struggle through it into work.
I'd been trying to think of something a bit light-hearted to cheer everyone up still struggling to work everyday when my wife sent me a text saying wouldn't it of been funny if the three wise men had been wise women?
They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable for Mary, made her some nourishing soup for later and bought the baby Jesus practical gifts.
You can find my response to her below.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

6 days and counting

Bit of a puzzle for you all today. Below you will find a very famous Christmas poem that has been translated into 'legalese'.
Can you work out what the original poem was meant to be though?
Good luck

Saturday, 18 December 2010

7 days left....

That's it then. There is exactly one week to go before the big now. I hope you've all been enjoying this advent calender as there's only a few days left now.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Only 8 days now....

I'm going to deviate from the normal advent treat a little today and instead let you all know what I've been up to this morning.
To start with, I'm really tired as it involved a 6:30 start and then I spent the rest of the morning trying to keep up with an over excited two year old, no easy task as I'm sure any parent can tell you. So where have I been? You'll have to read on for that info.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Only 9 days now!

Well its finally here, our Christmas countdown has finally reached single figures; there’s only 9 shopping days left till Christmas! Let's hope you're all ready, you don't want to be out shopping on Christmas eve like I always am.
As always click below for todays Christmas advent treat.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

10 days to go

Merry Christmas all. I've been writing this series of Advent blogs for a while now but it's been pointed out to me that it hasn't been very traditional, (not always a bad thing). But in keeping with the season I thought to myself;
"What would a traditional advent calender look like?"
And the answer came back to me - Pictures!
Not wanting to bore you with ordinary pictures of sleighs and snowmen and presents todays blog will be......

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Just 11 days left….

Merry Christmas all. Nearly down to single digits now, are you all ‘feeling’ the Christmas spirit? Let’s see if todays advent treat will help.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Just 13 days left…..

There’s only a few days left now. Have you all finished your Christmas shopping yet, (for the record I haven’t even started mine yet). For todays Advent treat I’ve decided to go a bit multi-cultural and have a look at different Christmas traditions from around the globe.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Only 15 days left now

URGENT: I’ve had to postpone todays Advent treat for some breaking news about Christmas please read below for more information.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Only 17 days now…..

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Does Santa have you on the naughty list? Check below to see if you’re getting any presents this year.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Only 18 days now!

Merry Christmas all. The countdown continues today with something a bit more practical than my last few blogs. Click the read more button below for todays advent treat.

Monday, 6 December 2010

19 days to go!

Only 19 days now! We’re down to the teens now. Something a bit more cheerful for you today. Read on for your advent treat. Try not to groan too much………

Sunday, 5 December 2010

20 days to go

“Come on in man and know me better”, as the ghost of Christmas present was fond of saying.
As you can probably tell I’m feeling the Christmas spirit today so I thought I’d treat you all with this little ditty, (my wife’s heartily sick of hearing me sing it in the shower now anyway so enjoy……………

Saturday, 4 December 2010

21 days to go

It’s getting exciting now, not long to go at all – less than three weeks. Today’s Christmas treat is obviously only my personal opinion, but I’m expecting you all to add your own top tens underneath as well.

Friday, 3 December 2010

22 days to go

Ho ho ho Merry Christmas.
Are you all feeling suitably festive with all this snow around?
Hopefully you’ll all find todays Advent blog quite interesting; I’m going to try and answer the age old question of whether Santa exists or not using the awesome power of science….


Thursday, 2 December 2010

23 days to go

Merry Christmas again. Are you all getting excited? Only 23 days to go now! We put our decorations up yesterday and Harry, (my little boy), was so excited he couldn't do anything except spin round in circles, shouting "I'm excited" - don't ask me why, I'm not two. Still, I do vaguely remember getting that excited over Christmas, so in honour of that remembered feeling I've planned something extra special for you today and as far as I'm aware it's never been tried on a blog before. Read on for your December 2nd Advent treat......

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Only 24 days to go!

 Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas to one and all.
I’ve decided you’re not going to get any cruise news/stories/jokes/blogs out of me for the next month; instead I’m going to be running my very own online advent calendar for December 2010. So what do you need to do?
Just add this page to your favourites for the next month and then check back every day for your new Christmas treat.
The countdown starts here!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Don’t call, I’m busy cruising

Just a really quick one this morning to let everyone know I'm off down to Southampton today to board the P&O ship Aurora for the Cruise.co.uk Christmas party, (it’s a two nighter over to Bruges and back). All going well I should be back in the office Monday afternoon, so if you need me you wont be able to reach me till then. For all you hardened P&O fans I'll try to get a review written early in the week so check back to see all my pictures and see what I thought of her; I've never been on a P&O ship before so it will be interesting to compare it to the Cunard ships I’ve seen.
Happy Cruising  

Friday, 26 November 2010

Full Body Scan – Naughty or Nice?

Just a quick one today; I’m looking to find out what you all think about the new full body scans at airports. Now in all fairness neither I, nor anyone I know have yet to be subjected to a full body scan so I know I’m not really in a position to comment on them fairly, but………

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Port of Call Picture Quiz no.5 - The Fjords

Wow, this has to be the hardest picture quiz I've designed yet, mostly because one fjord looks much the same as the next to me. So how well do you know your fjordic ports?
Can you tell one Norwegian town from the next?
Be the first with the right answers.
Good luck......

Monday, 22 November 2010

No thanks Freds, we’re British!

Sad news today I'm afraid. Another paragon of British cruising has decided to follow our American cousins example of compulsory tipping. Now I know I’ve been back and forwards on this subject more times than I can count but it looks like we’re going to gave to give it one more go.
Every time I’m onboard a cruise ship I always end up thinking to myself, “yeah you know what, these guys work really hard, they deserve their tips”. Then after I’ve been home a couple of weeks I start thinking, “why should I? Why don’t the cruise lines just pay their staff a decent wage in the first place?”
Well no matter which side of the fence you’re on another cruise line has jumped on the gratuities bandwagon and taken that decision away from you.
And this time it’s Fred Olsen.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Transatlantic Crossings – All you’ll ever need to know

I’ve been writing about Cunard a lot recently, not surprising really as I’ve just come back from trips aboard the QE and the QM2, but it’s got me thinking about the one cruise that all you cruise fans should do at least once, the transatlantic crossing.
This has to be one of the most historic cruises you can undertake, its origins go right back to the start of cruising and Cunard have been offering them from the get go. With that in mind I’ve put together this little guide on everything you can expect from a transatlantic crossing.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Just a little favour

Just a really quick one today cruise fans. We currentley have a competion running for the most popular cruise consultant and the most popular cruise blog of the year. If you have enjoyed reading my blog over the last year or have booked a cruise through me and enjoyed the service, could I ask you to click the link below and vote for me please.

Thanks in advance - James

Click here to vote

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A sneak preview for next year....

Well, it’s been an amazing year with lots of new ship launches to enjoy, from NCL’s Epic right through to Cunard’s QE, there’s been something for everyone and there’s still one more to come, (the Allure of the Seas), towards the end of this year. But today, for your eyes only I’m going to be taking a sneak peak at some of the cruise ship launches coming up for next year.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Serious News? Or a Storm in a Tea Cup?

I love American press releases. I've read this news piece three times now and I'm still not sure if it's really serious or nothing to worry about at all. What do you think?

Monday, 15 November 2010

If World War One had of been a bar fight.........

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about remembrance day and remembrance Sunday and World War 1 in particular. It turns out he didn't actually know anything about it past the fact that we beat Germany, in his words, 'sometime before World War 1.
It occured to me that a lot young people may not know the causes behind World War 1 and the details of the war so I've put this helpful guide together that should clear things up for them.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

How do you pronounce Caribbean?

I know it seems like a silly point, but do you say Kara-be-an or Car-ib-e-an?
Although the pronunciation most favoured in the UK is Kara-be-an if you’re in the islands the pronunciation the locals use sounds like Kar-ib-e-an.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Gratuities - I think I've changed my mind

Anyone who has read my blogs before will know that I’ve always been pretty against tipping when it’s been made compulsory. It’s not that I’m tight, (honestly), I just begrudge having to pre pay for a service that I haven’t received yet.

It’s also always irritated me that society only deems certain occupations as ‘tip worthy’.
Why should I tip my taxi driver but not my bus driver?
Why tip my waiter in a nice restaurant but not the serving staff of McDonalds?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Should I book a Sheltered balcony?

By now you should all have heard that I have just come back from Cunards QM2, (see my previous blog on the ship here), and I absolutely loved it. One of my biggest surprises of the cruise was the cabin I was in, a B1 sheltered balcony.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Queen Mary 2 - Two out of three now

I've just got back from my little trip over to Cherbourg aboard the QM2 and I absolutely loved every minute of it! I didn't actually get off the ship when we docked so what follows isn't a review of the cruise but the ship herself.
Magnificent, elegant, stylish and beautiful. Everything you expect when you think of the Cunard brand. There wasn't loads to do during the day compared to say the Independence of the Seas but then, they're aimed at different markets and if you're happy to just chill out, relax in the spas, while away a few hours in the Library and then enjoy a long lunch up in Kings court or at the Golden Lion then this is the cruise ship for you. You truly can just chill out and unwind surrounded by opulence.
Check out some of my pictures below for a quick(ish) tour of the ship.

Friday, 5 November 2010

The QM2 - I can't wait!

Just a quick one today to let everyone know I'm off down to Southampton at the weekend to board the QM2. It's just a short cruise over to Cherbourg so I'll be back by next Wednesday if you need me.
For all you hardened Cunard fans I'll try to get a review written by about Thursday, Friday time next week so check back to see all my pictures and see what I thought of her, (never been on the QM2 before, so I'm quite excited).

Happy Cruising

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Future of Cruising

This is a subject that really does concern us all, but it’s been on my mind more and more with the approaching launch of Allure of the Seas.
Where’s it going to end?
 Are cruise ships going to keep getting bigger and bigger with even more people/mod cons/gadgets crammed into them? Or are people going to turn away from then and hark back to a more traditional age of cruising?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

25 hour a day Cruising

Admit it, when you’re aboard your cruise ship it never seems like you have enough time to do everything you want. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Or is there?
Proving the old adage true, ‘you learn something new every day’, I found out something about cruising today that I'd never heard before.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Weird Place Names

I was booking some flights yesterday for some clients jetting off to Beijing. It was whilst searching for available airports that I noticed an island called Beef Island. Beef Island! Who thought that name up?
You can just imagine the conversation can’t you:

Oh look that’s a pretty island what shall we call it?
Well it’s got a cow on it shall we call it Beef Island?
Yeah go on, I can’t think of anything better.

Monday, 1 November 2010

November

November, what a horrible month. I don’t know anyone who enjoys spending it in the UK. The Saxons used to call this month Wynd Monath as it was now the cold winds started to blow. If you’ve been sensible you've booked yourselves a nice, warm, Caribbean cruise, but for all of us stuck in dear old Blighty there’s still plenty going on here to keep you entertained. You could……….

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Lost in Le Havre?

Something that confuses a lot of people about cruising is destinations/ports of call. You think you’re booking a cruise to Rome and actually end up somewhere called Civitavecchia. You think you’re off to Amsterdam and end up in Ijmuiden. You think you’re going to Paris and end up in Le Havre.
So what’s going on? Are the cruise lines lying to you about your destinations?
Has the cruise had to swap destinations a the last minute?
Nope, none of the above.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Help! Have you seen this man?

Wanted! One nineteen year old lad. Last seen several years ago in a pub somewhere enjoying himself immensely. He is sadly missed. If you can re-unite me with him a substantial reward is on offer.
Hmmm as you can probably tell I'm a little depressed today.
I've been trying to figure out what happened to the nineteen year old student I used to be. Going out, getting drunk, meetings girls, stopping out all night. Then before I know it I'm married, one kid already, another on the way and then last night I was reading about pensions. PENSIONS!
I want to be nineteen again. Before I know it I'm going to be thinking about retirement and booking aboard Saga cruises. Which leads me on to the point of today's blog.
What cruise should I book for my age?

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

It’s all gone International

I’ve been writing this blog for a while now but it was only this morning, messing around with some settings that I found this handy little gadget. I can find out how many people have read my individual blogs worldwide! As you can imagine most of my readers are from the UK, but there are also quite a few surprise entries from around the globe as well.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

What are the Northern Lights?

Anyone who reads my blog regularly, (and if you don’t, why not?), will know that I have been writing a lot recently about a company called Hurtigruten. They’re a Norwegian cruise line offering cruises above the Arctic Circle. I’m not, however going to be talking about them today. For anyone who does want to read my blogs on them just click here or here.

What I am going to be talking about is the Northern Lights. It has been impossible to write about Hurtigruten without mentioning the Northern Lights over and over again. They’re one of the main reasons for cruising above the Arctic Circle, but in response to an email I received this morning, today I will be trying to answer the question:
What are the Northern Lights?

Monday, 25 October 2010

It’s all about the little things

What can you do to guarantee the perfect holiday? What is the perfect holiday? What experiences are guaranteed to ruin a holiday or just put a black cloud over the whole trip? I’m sure we all have our own answers to those questions, infact there probably isn't any one right answer, but before you do try to answer them have a read of the following story and let me know if it changes your mind at all.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

My Top Ten Pumpkin Carvings

So, how was everybodys weekend? It's been a busy one at my house over the last couple of days. Harry, my two year old son, no doubt inspired by all the Halloween themed cartoons that have been on recently, has been nagging me to make some pumpkin carvings with him. The house is now littered with failed attempts of carved pumpkins, although my efforts at a Bobba Fett and a Spiderman pumpkin were most successful in my opinion. I know it's meant to be more of an American thing, but there was something very funny about watching Harry's face the first time he reached into the pumpkin to scoop out the innards.
Anyway in preparation of Halloween next week I have compiled my top ten favourite pumpkin carvings for you.
Take a look, see which ones you prefer, you've a week to practise, master and post your pictures back here.

Friday, 22 October 2010

A Cruise Joke for You

A blonde walks into a travel agents shop and asks for a last minute deal on a cruise ship.
“Certainly Madame” said the travel agent, “we have a fantastic deal on the P&O ship Ventura for just £1199 a person. It’s sailing out of……”
“Nope, that’s far too much; I’m looking for something much cheaper”
“Ok”, said the travel agent, “If I fly you to Malaga we could put you on a Royal Caribbean ship for just……”
“Oh no”, said the blonde, “I don’t want to fly; it has to be sailing from the UK”.
“Hmmm, well in that case,” said the travel agent, “we’ve currently got a great deal with Fred Olsen, sailing from Liverpool for ju………
“Err, no! I don’t want to have to sail from Liverpool, I wanted Southampton!”
With this final demand, the travel agent, losing his temper, picked the blonde woman up, shoves her in a giant inflatable ring and throws her in the river, (which was conveniently located just behind his shop).
The blonde spends several hours serenely floating down river, before arriving at some rapids where she is bumped, bounced, thrown around and generally soaked through. Arriving at a relatively calm patch of water she pulls up along side another blonde in a similar inflatable rubber ring.
“Wow, it’s a bit choppy isn’t it?”
“Yes”, replied the second blonde, “It was just like this when I came last year as well”.


Happy Cruising

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Port of Call Picture Quiz no.4 - Baltic Capitals

Heading into cooler climes with todays quiz. The splendours of the North. How many Baltic Capitals can you recognise?
There's no prizes this time, just the honour of being the first person with the right answers.
Good luck..........

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Am I the only one that's bothered by this?

I wrote a blog awhile back, (click here to read it), explaining how P&O were offering Kosher meals onboard their cruise ships but not Halal. For those who aren’t sure of the difference kosher food is a staple of the Jewish diet whereas Halal is the staple of a Muslim diet. Call me naïve if you want but I was quite offended by the idea that a cruise line would specifically cater for one religious group but not another. Several months down the line it turns out that the situation wasn’t quite as simple as I first thought.

Monday, 18 October 2010

The greatest meal never eaten

I was watching a re-run of Heston Blumenthal Feasts on TV last night when I caught an Edwardian episode about the Titanic that I had missed the first time around. I wont go too much into details on the show, I’m sure you’ve seen it before and this is meant to be a blog about cruising rather than TV, but it got me thinking about how much dining had changed onboard over the last hundred years or so.

And before I get lynched by a lot of angry cruisers, I’m in no way saying the quality of the food has changed, just the style. But how much of a difference does the style/presentation of the cooking really make? Is a steak just a steak?

Sunday, 17 October 2010

On Board Credit - Explained

There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Especially if you’re booking your first cruise.

It’s a phrase I find myself repeating quite often to people nervous about their first booking. A lot of the terms we regular cruisers use, and take for granted, can if you step back and think about it be quite confusing for anyone about to book their first cruise holiday.
Guaranteed cabins;
Formal/informal nights;
Obstructed views;
and onboard credit.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Obstructed Views - Yay or Nay?

It happens quite often that someone, looking for a last minute deal, will turn up there nose at a cabin with an obstructed view. But what is an obstructed view? What’s obstructing it? Why is it obstructing it? And are there any pros or cons to an obstructed view? Fingers crossed I will try to answer some, if not all of those questions here, (with simple to understand pictures as well, because I’m just that helpful).

Friday, 15 October 2010

Southampton an A-Z Guide

I’ve done a lot of blogs over the last few months about all the different destinations we here at cruise.co.uk send you all today, butt it occurred to me yesterday that there was a gaping hole in the different guides I had written. I’d never covered Southampton.

Not exactly the most exotic of destinations I’ll admit but as most of the cruises I book start and finish there it seemed appropriate that it got covered, especially when you consider that a lot of people, worried about missing their ship arrive the day before. So then what needs covering? The three big issues it seemed to me were carparking, hotels and entertainment, which I will be covering here. If anyone else has any other items that they’d like to know about Southampton then add them here and I’ll cover them for you.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I’ve just been on Queen Elizabeth – Wow!

First impressions of the QE? Wow!
Well, once I was onboard anyway. My actual first impression from the outside was that the hull looked more matt grey than Cunards traditional jet black, but that’s only a very minor point on a gorgeous ship. If you click the read more button below you will be able to see some of the pictures I took whilst onboard with my opinions of the ship, although as always please forgive the photography, unless you're completely surrounded by her elegance any picture you see will never do her justice.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The QE/QE3, an argument settled?

Awhile back now I wrote a blog posing the question why the new Queen Elizabeth was so named, rather than the more obvious QE3 to follow her predecessor the QE2.

Boy did that question annoy some regular Cunardians!
You can click here for anyone who wants to read the original blog, (along with all the comments from people explaining to me exactly why I didn’t know what I was talking about), but I now have the definitive answer to the question.......

Saturday, 9 October 2010

From 0 star to 6 star………

Can you guess the ship? I bet you can’t.  I’ll give you a clue – She will be a six star luxury liner that is launching in May 2011. You can’t believe it looking at the pictures below, (taken by the way by our very own Simon Loveless from marketing whilst on an MSC cruise), but she will eventually be a luxury liner. Would you sail on her as she is now, I bet you wouldn’t.

Friday, 8 October 2010

A Cartoon about Tipping

For anyone who reads my blog regularly who will know that I enjoy messing around with different formats and it is with this in mind that I have made a cartoon for you all from a blog I wrote recently about tipping. Anyone who wants to read the original blog can do so here, it raises some interesting points about the fairness of American style tipping, but I think the video below keeps the same message across in a much more fun way. Let me know what you think. (for anyone who has trouble playing the video, or if you just see a blank black or white square, just try clicking it with your mouse once or twice and it should play)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Should I book that guaranteed cabin?

It’s a question I get asked a lot by people and to be honest there’s no easier answer. There is however a list of pros and cons that probably should be considered before booking.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Hurtigruten – What can you expect.

I wrote a blog recently about a company I’ve been hearing more and more about recently. Hurtigruten. Since then I’ve received a flurry of questions about this company and the cruises they operate. It’s for this reason that I have decided to start a series of blogs that will take on all aspects of Hurtigruten. Todays blog is going to be about why you should pick Hurtigruten in the first place and what you can expect to do whilst on the cruise.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

October

I’ve been doing a series of blogs for awhile now on what to do during in a particular month if you missed out on that last minute cruise deal. Included have been some of the wackier days out/festivals that can be found around our dear old Island. This months entries are no different, (although the last one sounds like a Halloween rip off to me, although after writing this I’m sure I’m going to get a bunch of emails from people telling me it’s a century’s old tradition). Read on if you dare……………..

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sailing To Stavanger?

O.K., so here’s another update on my series of blogs about un-missable tourist destinations on the different ports of call we at cruise.co.uk send you all too. Again, bear in mind this is aimed at people who have never visited these ports before and it’s all based on my personal opinions and my favourite sites anyway. If you feel I’ve missed something important out or disagree with a point I've made please make a comment below to help other cruisers make up their minds. It’s ben pointed out to me that a lot of these guides have been for the Med so for a change were heading north to……..

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Top Ten Cruise Etiquette Tips

A few customers have booked their very first cruise through me recently, (their first cruise, not their first cruise through me). One of the most common themes of their questions was about what to expect onboard and how they should act in different situations. I’ve put together this quick guide on basic cruise etiquette but I’m sure you all have your own ideas and opinions so please, in the spirit of helping all Newbie Cruisers everywhere, add your own suggestions to the bottom of this post, how you should behave whilst onboard, (or how you wish others would behave)!


Happy Reading

Monday, 27 September 2010

Port of call Picture Quiz no.3

The Good ol' U.S of A.

Woops. I guess it just goes to show even the best of all can make mistakes. I've put together a couple of these quizzes now and it wasn't till it was pointed out to me that I realised my mistake.
I hadn't changed the name of the pictures, so all you had to do to guess the name was click the picture and the name of the port would appear. Oh well, we live and learn. No wonder so many of you were emailing me telling me the quizzes were too easy. Hopefully you'll struggle a bit more with this next quiz, ports of call in North America.
Best of luck.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s…wait a minute is it a boy or a girl?

How excited am I? I’ve been waiting patiently for weeks now and it’s finally here.

My wife’s 20 week scan.
We finally get to find out if it’s a boy or a girl! The appointment with the midwife is tomorrow morning and I can’t wait. I can finally start getting ready for the new one, picking out clothes, colour schemes for the nursery etc.
For obvious reasons I wont be in tomorrow, if it’s urgent either email me and I’ll pick it up from home or contact the main office number on 0800 408 6200.
For those of you who follow my blog regularly I still haven’t had any response back from the MD’s about my sponsorship idea for the baby’s middle name to be cruise.co.uk, but I am excited about being able to halve the shortlist of names we have got down to just the boy/girl suggestions.
We are still struggling with name suggestions so check back tomorrow to find out the good news and let me hear your suggestions.

Until tomorrow then……

Happy Cruising

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

We're No.1, We're No.1, We're No.1

Well we were.
And might be again, with your help.
That’s right folks, its that time of the year when the Travel awards are up for grabs and once again we’ve been honoured by being shortlisted for the best world cruise travel agent, and we need you’re votes! Please follow the simple instructions below to help keep us the greatest cruise travel agency on the planet.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Cheap Flights

A client forwarded this to me the other day and I have to admit it made me smile. If anyone has ever tried to book cheap flights on the internet they’ll know exactly what these ladies are talking about.
Enjoy.
PS May contain mild language; please use caution when clicking the read more button.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

How far North can you really sail?


A lot further than you used to be able to.
You may have seen this company advertising on TV lately.
Hurtigruten.
 The reason I started investigating them is that a customer of mine wanted to book a cruise that would take him as far north as he could go, well above the Arctic Circle, to give him the best chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis as we could. The best cruise line I could find to take him was Fred Olsen, but they were only operating one cruise that far north.
And it was sold out.
For 2012!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

International talk like a Pirate Day

Sunday The 19th September.
It’s tomorrow! Aha me hearty’s! Batton down the hatches! Walk the plank!
*cough cough* embarrassed silence.
Moving swiftly on, I recently did a blog about International talk like a Pirate day, you can find out more about it either here, or on their own page here.
In the blog I said the day, whilst obviously being a bit tongue in cheek, was based on the golden age of Piracy. But what was the golden age of piracy. When you think of the term pirate what springs to mind?

Friday, 17 September 2010

Top ten ways you can tell you’re on a three star cruise ship……………………………

1. When the beggars at the different ports see you disembarking and offer you money.
2. When the McDonalds you buy on shore is better than the food onboard.

3. There’s a fork in the sugar bowl.
4. You booked your cruise by saving up coupons from the Sun.
5. You can have the lights on in your room or the TV Not both at the same time. Electricity isn’t free you know.
6. You can’t find any named brand anything onboard.
7. Your fellow passengers are outraged that the cruise wasn’t the same price it was two years ago. (Actually, not sure that ones limited to three star cruises).
8. The last time you saw this many Burberry Base ball caps was………..well never actually.
9. Surely not even Mr. T wears that much gold jewellery?
10. This is a good cruise ‘innit?’

This is obviously meant a bit tongue in cheek, there’s nothing wrong with three star cruises but I would be interested in seeing how big we can get these lists. Let’s see how many more you can come up with here.

Happy cruising

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Top ten ways you can tell you’re on a six star luxury cruise ship…………………

1. Anything advertised as ‘on sale’ still seems to cost roughly the same as the national debt of a small third world country.

2. Everyone around you seems to have names like Tarquin or Perciville.
3. You've overheard someone using the phrase “Do you know who I am?”
4. The person sitting next to you at dinner has gone into ‘frugal mode’ because their spending money has just dipped below £20,000.
5. Frugal mode means buying one diamond bracelet in the onboard shops instead of two.
6. When people fill out the passenger satisfaction survey you see them laughing because the "Annual Income" box only goes up to £250,000 a year.
7. All the people on the ship seem to have 'People'....
8. You’re sitting at a table for 8 and the two six year olds you’re sitting with know what a hostile take-over is.
9. The people next to you own a controlling stake of the cruise ship you’re travelling on.
10. People are playing monopoly with real money.

Happy Cruising

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Top ten ways you can tell your on an Italian cruise ship…………………………

1. You can have a conversation with a stranger comprised entirely of facial expressions, hand gestures and no words.

2. Someone you’ve just met invites you to come and stay at their house next year.
3. Posted schedules, hours of operation, etc mean absolutely nothing.
4. Someone tells you how they’ve quit drinking coffee – They now only have five cups a day.
5. Eating dinner before 9:00pm instantly labels you as a tourist.
6. You can’t remember what food tastes like that doesn’t include either mozzarella, pesto, garlic or tomatoes. (Actually stick all of those together and that sounds quite nice).
7. Everything stops onboard, and I mean everything if Italy are playing football.
8. You receive a bill and the waiters name and cabin number are on the back of it.
9. A glass of wine costs less than a glass of coke.
10. When you’re sitting on the balcony and the man in the next balcony is singing at the top of his lungs. At 7:30 in the morning. Naked.

Happy Cruising

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Top ten ways to tell you’re on an American cruise ship…………..

1. A pizza can be delivered to your cabin faster than the doctor can get there.

2. People are ordering double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet coke
3. Everyone you pass by says "hey, how are you?" and then keeps on walking.
4. The metric system is non-existent, and unintelligible to most Americans, however Cola is still sold by the litre.
5. There isn’t actually any Americans onboard, just Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, German-Americans, Swiss-Americans, Swedish-Americans, Jewish-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans etc...
6. All the waiting staff will end a conversation with “y’all have a nice day now” but not actually care.
7. You can watch the international news section on the ship TV’s and come away a lot more knowledgeable about the latest results of American Idol and what the scores were in last nights football game. (I won’t even start on American football, where would I begin?).
8. The smallest portions of food available are what we Brits would call ‘Super Sized’.
9. Every time you order a cup of tea the waiter ends up throwing it overboard. (This can be an even worse problem if you happen to be docked in Boston).
10. Every time you order chips with your dinner you end up with a big bowl of Doritos.

I know I said top ten but I’ve just thought of this one and thought it definetley needed including.

11. Gratuities. Enough said.



Happy Cruising

Monday, 13 September 2010

Top ten ways to tell you’re on a British Cruise ship………………

1. Everyone knows how to (correctly) pronounce Edinburgh, Buckinghamshire, Welwyn Garden City, Loughborough and Gloucester.

2. Tea is a drink and a meal.
3. Everyone has brought at least 5 umbrellas and 3 overcoats, even though the cruise is in the Caribbean.
4. Talking about the weather is a perfectly acceptable way to start a conversation at dinner/in a bar/with a random stranger on deck.
5. You will know what a chav is and how to spot one – “on my cruise ship, how dare they!”
6. You've been referred to as "mate" by at least 500 people, 75% of whom you don't know.
7. You will assume every one in a foreign port is only speaking a foreign language to spite you. You can’t understand why they can’t understand you when you speak loudly and slowly.
8. You will complain loudly and vehemently if there isn’t a kettle in your room.
9. Queuing isn’t something you just do. It’s a way of life.
10. The buffet will be left unattended but they chain the pens to the pursers desk.

This is obviously meant  a bit tounge in cheek, but I'd be intrested in seeing how big we can get the list. Lets see how many more you can come up with here.

Happy Cruising.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

My 'Daddy Cool' Saturday

Every other weekend I like to take my little lad Harry to a nursey group specificaly for Fathers and children. No Mommys allowed! It's only for an hour and a half every other Saturday but it's something we both really look forward to, which notmaly means on a Saturday morning I wake up with a two year old bouncing on my bed shouting
'Yay! Daddy Cool!'
Anyway, recentley, as some of the children have gotten older and moved on to do diffrent things, the nursery has had trouble recruiting new Dads to come along. It always amazes me as to the amount of Dads that seem to be scared about spending time alone withe their kids. I wouldn't give up my Saturday mornings with Harry for anything.
Anyway, to counter act this lack of numbers the nrsery, on Saturday just gone, decided to hold an open day where Moms and Dads would both be welcome, so that they could show off all the services the centre offers. Below are some pictures of Harry enjoying himself, but I managed to talk some off the folk from cruise.co.uk into coming along, so you'll have to check out their blogs as well to see what they thought of the day.

Friday, 10 September 2010

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

September 19th 2010
Huzzah, it’s nearly here again. You wait and wait and wait and then suddenly it’s only nine days away. International talk like a Pirate Day! Mwah hahahaha! Avast me hearty’s!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Why not the QE3?

By now you all should have heard that Cunards newest ship, The Queen Elizabeth, will be named by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the second herself, so I’m not going to spend anytime belabouring that particular point. What I am going to do is indulge in my favourite pastime on this blog of ranting about subjects that no one except me seems to care about.

Why aren’t they calling her the QE3?

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

A Very British Cruise

A regular passenger called me up yesterday and said they were fed up of all these foreign cruise ships and wanted me to book them a 'proper' British cruise.
Well that didn't take to much thought, P&O instantly jumped to mind or possibly even Fred Olsens.
It was last night though, mulling their request over in bed, I know, I know, I spend too much time thinking about cruising, that it hit me. What had I actually booked them?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Vacationing in Valencia

O.K., so here’s another update on my series of blogs about un-missable tourist destinations on the different ports of call we at cruise.co.uk send you all too. Again, bear in mind this is aimed at people who have never visited these ports before and it’s all based on my personal opinions and my favourite sites anyway. If you feel I’ve missed something important out or disagree with a point I've made please make a comment below to help other cruisers make up their minds.

Monday, 6 September 2010

My 100th Blog Post!

I know it's only another number. I know if you start counting from one you'll eventually reach it, but still, one hundred is a bit of a milestone. It's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, from ash clouds to ship launches; B.A strikes to world cup wins and defeats.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you constant readers out there who have followed my blog for the last few months; I appreciate you all coming back to check out my latest post and wanted to say how much I appreciate all of your comments/questions/musings. Thank you all.
I thought it would be fun to take this opportunity to look back over the last few months and list my personal top ten favourite posts. I might also have a word with one of our I.T gremlins to see what the most popular posts were by numbers and see how they compare.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Cruise Wordsearch


ANCHOR, BLUE, BOAT, CAPTAIN, DOCKS, FISHING, HARBOR, OCEAN, SAILING, SEA, SEAGULL, SHIP, STARBOARD, VOYAGE, WATER,

Happy Cruising

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Port of Call Picture Quiz No. 2!

The Mediterranean
A lot of comments about my last ports of call picture quiz were regarding how easy it was, so I've tried to make this one a little harder for you. I've based it pretty much around the Med for you to give you a bit of a clue to start you off.
Best of Luck.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Cruising to Cagliari?

O.K., so here’s another update on my series of blogs about un-missable tourist destinations on the different ports of call we at cruise.co.uk send you all too. Again, bear in mind this is aimed at people who have never visited these ports before and it’s all based on my personal opinions and my favourite sites anyway. If you feel I’ve missed something important out or disagree with a point I've made please make a comment below to help other cruisers make up their minds.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Which Passenger are You?

Thanks have to go to Moss Travel TV, a Ships Cat member of our forums who posted this last month. I've only just read it and thought it was hilarious, so come on , be honest which one are you. And please don't get offended it's just a bit of tounge in cheek humour.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

September

I’ve been doing a series of blogs for awhile now on what to do during in a particular month if you missed out on that last minute cruise deal. Included have been some of the wackier days out/festivals that can be found around our dear old Island. One of the strangest things I’ve seen was the bog snorkelling championships in Wales last month, but there’s a couple below that nearly beat it for weirdness, read on if you dare……….

Monday, 30 August 2010

My Bank Holiday Weekend

So what’s everyone been up to over the bank holiday? Enjoying yourselves I hope?

I had a great day on Saturday taking Harry, my little lad, to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham. We had a great time, although he did get a bit upset when Daddy wouldn’t, in his own words, let him:
“Take the ting ray home Dada”

Saturday, 28 August 2010

U-Turn in Greek cruising laws

The Greek parliament has just approved changes to the country's laws which will allow foreign cruise lines to operate Greek Island cruises round trip from ports within Greece.

Until now, those itineraries required passengers to sail on Greek lines, protecting Greek shipping and cruising intrests. Foreign lines were required to start or end the cruise outside the country or include Greek ports on round trips from other countries.

Friday, 27 August 2010

It’s a funny ol’ life at sea…….

Of the following three cruise stories, only two ever really happened, the other is a complete figment of my imagination. But, here’s the puzzle, can you spot the real from the false?

Good Luck…………

Thursday, 26 August 2010

First time Cruisers – Top Tips...........

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time answering questions/giving advice to some first time cruisers. It’s one of the more enjoyable parts of my job, watching people getting more and more excited about their first cruise but it had occurred to me that your first cruise can be a scary prospect; hundreds of miles from home, possibly even hundreds of mile from land. It’s with this in mind that I’ve combed the internet looking for advice for first time cruisers and have put this guide together. If you have any other useful tips or advice please add them below.......

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Allure of the Seas ………The Countdown Begins

The Allure, as I’m sure you all know by now is set to launch in December this year and I know a lot of people are getting very excited, but do we want a clone of the Oasis of the Seas?
Well thankfully it’s not going to be an issue.

RCCL have been keeping the exact details of the ship under close wraps but as we get closer to launch more and more details about the ship have been released. I’ve combed a few different websites to put the following information together for you.

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Grand, Old? Princess………………..

Have any of you sailed on the Grand Princess lately? I’ve been speaking to a lot of passengers recently just coming off her who have said she’s looking a bit tired and dated.

She is due for a refurb. next year, but I have a lot of passengers booked onto her between now and then and am a bit worried about them finding her a bit old.
It’s convenient for us Brits to book on her as she sails from Southampton all year round but if she really is starting to look as bad as some people are saying should I be recommending other ex U.K sailings to people? Her ratings on our review sites have been below standard latley.
To confuse me even further though a senior member of management has just come back from her and says she had an absolutely great time and she knows cruise ships inside and out.
So whats the answer?
Have you been on her recently?
What did you think of her?
Does she need that refurb urgently?
And most importantly would you recommend her to a friend?
As always let me know your thoughts here………

Happy Cruising

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Hoax or No?

I was flicking through our Garden cruises brochure yesterday when I came across this picture, put there by Tony Russell, star of some of our garden cruises with Fred Olsen and regular writer/presenter for BBC gardening shows- but what do you think – Hoax or Not?



Saturday, 21 August 2010

Top Tips For Avoiding Pick Pockets when you’re in Port

I’ve been writing a series of blogs recently about some of the more popular tourist attractions for cruisers in Europe. Sadly some of these destinations do have a problem with pickpockets, especially in the larger cities. It’s with this in mind that I’ve put this little guide together on the best ways to avoid having a pickpocket ruin your holiday.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Fun in Florence

O.K., so here’s another update on my series of blogs about un-missable tourist destinations on the different ports of call we at cruise.co.uk send you all too. Again, bear in mind this is aimed at people who have never visited these ports before and it’s all based on my personal opinions and my favourite sites anyway. If you feel I’ve missed something important out or disagree with a point I've made please make a comment below to help other cruisers make up their minds.

Florence is one of the most popular cities in Italy and most Med cruise will pull in here. Florence, a Renaissance city in the heart of Tuscany, has some of Italy's best museums, beautiful cathedrals and churches, and interesting streets and squares with elegant buildings and shops.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Oceania - The Regatta

It's official, I'm absolutley exhausted! I've just got back from a day trip to the Oceania ship Regatta, where I was treated to a tour of the ship and given a free lunch- It's a hard job but I supose someones got to do it.
I breifly discussed Oceania yesterday, they're an American brand that pitch themselves as five star plus, but actualy end up getting rated by passengers as six star. Check out some reviews, they have a repeat business number of 40%, and we all know cruisers vote with their feet.
They're all about attention to luxurious detail onboard, from the large cabins, to the 700 thread Egyptian cotton sheets, (soon to be replaced by 1000 thread cotton sheets - that doesn't mean much to me but I felt the bedding and man was it comfy!), to the 28 day dry aged beef served at dinner.
I expected to find the ship quite stuffy and formal, not from what I had heard from past passengers but just from my own preconceptions of six star cruise liners, but they were anything but.
The best way to describe it is country club casual, elegant but relaxed,informal but still luxurious.
But enough of me going on, we all know a picture tells a thousand words so let me know what you think..............
Again ignore the dates on the photos, I still haven't figured out how to change the date on my camera.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Top tip of the week

I was chatting to a really nice lady on the phone yesterday when we got to discussing the pros and cons of six star luxury liners.

Should you save up and book one six star cruise, or have two or three four/five star cruises a year?
It was whilst discussing different six star cruise lines that I happened to look at some of Oceania’s prices. Because they don’t have many ships to the fleet their last minute deals aren’t fantastic, but if your booking for 2011 you can get yourself a 10 night cruise from Miami to Miami, cruise only on an inside cabin for just £859 per person or only £975 for an outside cabin. Thats brochure fare, without any past passenger discounts or any of our discounts.
Oceania pitch themselves as a five star plus cruise line, but in reality they end up being six star quality, and at these prices you'd have to be mad not to investigate them a bit more.
I’m actually off down to Southampton tomorrow to visit their Regatta ship so you’ll have to watch this space to see what I thought of her, but in the meantime check out Oceania 2011, trust me!

Happy cruising

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Political Correctness Gone Mad

I was at nursery last Saturday with my little lad and just before we leave there the Nursery Nurse always does song time. Harry wanted to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep, but I was told he couldn’t as it wasn’t considered politically correct anymore. I’m sure you’ve all heard this before now, but walking home it did get me think about what kind of country we would be living in now if we’d had political correctness from the year dot.

With a perfect sense of timing one of my friends emailed me the following script on Saturday night. I thought you may all find it worth a look.
Political correct cruising as it could have been…………

Monday, 16 August 2010

Top Tips to Combat Jetlag

More and more people are getting back to fly cruises after the ash cloud fiasco earlier this year. Long haul flights do give people the opportunity to experience exciting and exotic destinations, but it does mean the dreaded spectre of jet lag rears it’s head again, a bigger problem for us cruisers as we only have a week, or two if we’re lucky, to get over it before we have to fly home and get over it again. There isn’t any magic pill or cure all to get rid of the problem, (unfortunately), but hopefully the following guide will either help alleviate, or shorten the symptoms.
First of all though…..

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Annual Studley Wheelbarrow Race.

It’s that time of year again folks, when all self respecting men put dignity to one side and play dress up in the blazing sun, (thank God), to take part in the annual Studley Wheelbarrow Race.

This years charity is Help for Heroes.
Anyone aged 18 or over can take part in the race, which follows a path taking in 11 pubs in Studley, drinking half a pint in each.

Friday, 13 August 2010

i-Art work

Celebrity Cruises are introducing self-guided art tours on the i-Pad. An addition to the 'Celebrity Life' series of entertainment and enrichment activities that I’ve blogged on before, the i-Pads on each Solstice class ship house deck plans with select artworks flagged on every level.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Amazed in Amsterdam

O.K., so here’s another update on my series of blogs about un-missable tourist destinations on the different ports of call we at cruise.co.uk send you all too. Again, bear in mind this is aimed at people who have never visited these ports before and it’s all based on my personal opinions and my favourite sites anyway. If you feel I’ve missed something important out or disagree with a point I've made please make a comment below to help other cruisers make up their minds.

For obvious reasons, Amsterdam is always going to be a bit more adult orientated than other destinations, and a lot of the adult content is hard to miss, it’s not like you can stick to certain areas and avoid it. For this reason you should think long and hard before disembarking with a child. It is suprising how much there is to do that doesn't involve smoking or visiting the red light district but I have tried to be as honest as I can here, with family and adult attractions covered, but if your going to be easily offended please don’t click the read more button below.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Americans, you gotta love em!

As you can imagine I get sent loads of junk emails from friends, anything regarding cruises or ships always gets forwarded on to me. The following though really tickled me. It is the transcript of an actual radio conversation of a US Naval ship and the Canadians, off the coast of Newfoundland, Oct 95. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95:

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Your Daily Cruise Horoscope

Aries, March 21- April 20
You already sense you have more talent than you use and the new moon makes this the perfect day to show what you can do.

Relationships that have been slow suddenly work better.
If you are single a last minute holiday will be good for you. Your lucky cruise line is Fred Olsen.

Taurus, April 21 - May 21
The fresh-start power of the new moon focuses on your home chart and dreams of getting more living space can turn into an action plan.
Even stubborn people will listen and the family can achieve lots together. A bald travel agent will make your day
A chat over a meal shows love has a future. Mars is directing you towards NCL cruises.

Gemini, May 22 - June 21
Pluto, planet of the unexpected, clashes with Venus and you could be attracted to someone you once did not even like - and the feeling is mutual.
At work, you have the ideas and energy to get things going and a training course place for you or a relative looks good. With Jupiter rising, now is a good time to plan for summer 2011. Royal Caribbean will sail you to happiness today.

Cancer, June 22 - July 22
Your finances chart is turned on by the moon which should get cash flowing your way.
Love you secretly felt a bit one-sided becomes a truly equal relationship.
Single? The luckiest person you know makes the introduction. A foreign experience with Costa cruises will change your outlook on life.

Leo, July 23 - August 23
The once-a-year visit of the new moon to your sign adds rich luck to things you try for the first time.
You attract all kinds of opportunities and have the competitive edge that makes you a winner.
Links with the sports world will add spice to your life. A partner asks you three love questions. For first time Cruisers look to Holland America, Dover will be your luckiest port.

Virgo, August 24 - September 22
You can decode other people's secret feelings as the moon is in your sixth sense chart.
This helps you say and do the right things at work and in family decisions.
But you also realise love can mean letting someone say sorry.
Single? A face met once last year will reappear on this years MSC cruise.

Libra, September 23 - October 23
You can be calm, organised and ready to take the lead in raising money for a good cause.
This can also be the key to a lifelong friendship.
As Venus squares up to Pluto, be ready for the kind of passionate attraction that may change everything.
Luck is waiting in a ship called Independence.

Scorpio, October 24 - November 22
The new moon's power revives ambitions and adds the vital touch of luck they need.
A project linking you with a Leo friend will be rewarding.
You may feel you give more than you get in a relationship - but that is changing.
Saturn squares up to Venus, you should book aboard a ship that stars with a D.

Sagittarius, November 23 - December 21
Moon power in your truth chart clears away all doubt and a choice that has long been on your mind will now be easy to make and get right.
Simple words expressing real feelings work better than complex strategies in your love life.
Can’t make up your mind, you will meet an important business contact aboard a ship names after a Queen.

Capricorn, December 22 - January 20
Courage replaces caution as the new moon inspires you to say "Yes" to changes and challenges.
Finding a better way to share family responsibilities frees up more time for yourself.
The Venus/Pluto clash stirs strange attractions, yet one could lead to lasting love, could Cruise and Maritime be the answer?

Aquarius, January 21 - February 18
Your personal moon of marriage makes this a special day for proposals and signing contracts. Booking early will gain you extra benefits.
In all you do, you bring out the best in others - those you know well and people you meet for the first time.
Your luck travel agent will have a ginger beard.

Pisces, February 19 - March 20
When you work on a project that really matters to you, the new moon could help it be a success.
If you start, or restart, a healthy eating plan this time you find the willpower to stay with it.
Married, a second honeymoon aboard a Princess cruise will bring everlasting happiness.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Mad on Manaus

If you’re anything like me then you’ve probably never heard off Manaus, although my constant readers should now have a good idea about the city after my recent Fred Olsen blog about the Amazon tour they do there. Click here to read the original blog.

I actually booked someone on Friday, for this particular cruise and noticed that he gets to spend three days in Manaus, so with him and all you other cruisers lucky enough to get to visit one of the strangest cities on the planet, in mind, I’ve put together this little guide. It’s sourced from different sites and reviews on the web and includes some of the more interesting places to visit whilst your there.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Cruise Destination Wordsearch


AFRICA, ALASKA, ASIA, AUSTRALIA, BAHAMAS, BARBADOS, BELIZE, BERMUDA, BRAZIL, CANADA, CARIBBEAN, CHINA, COSTARICA, EUROPE, HAWAII, JAPAN, MEDITERRANEAN,
MEXICO, NEWZEALAND, NORWAY, NOWHERE, PACIFICCOASTAL, PANAMACANAL,
RUSSIA, SCANDINAVIA, SOUTHAMERICA, TAHITI, TRANSATLANTIC, TRANSPACIFIC
WORLD


Just another quick wordsearch for you all, hopefully a bit harder than the last one.

Happy Cruising

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Young Children on Long Haul Flights

I was pricing a cruise up recently for a customer for November. They wanted to get away somewhere warm for the winter, so naturally I suggested the Caribbean. They end up booking on the Independence of the Seas, from Southampton to the Canaries and back.

Why?
Because they didn’t want to take their two little children on a long haul flight. Completely ignoring the thought of child jet lag, they were worried about keeping them entertained for an 8hr+ flight. It got me thinking, not only is it hard to keep young kids entertained on long haul flights; it’s hard to keep them disturbing other passengers as well. It’s with this thought in mind I put the following guide together – How to keep kids on long haul flights happy.

Friday, 6 August 2010

It's a new Cruise.co.uk baby!



For any of you that know me well, you’ll know that I have a little boy called Harry, coming up to two years in September.

Well, I’ve just found out I’ve another little one coming, due Feb 10th 2011, (I’m really excited).





Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Early Bird gets the Cruise

Quite often people will ask me what’s best, booking a cabin early and getting the room number you want or waiting till the last minute and seeing if the price drops, but risk losing the cruise altogether if it sells out.

Listen to this story that happened just yesterday to myself and a colleague and see what you thinks best…………..

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Shhhhh, it’s a secret. Fred Olsen – Wildlife cruises

Everyone knows different cruise lines offer different themed cruises for different tastes. They range from the mundane, (crossword cruises), to the truly bizarre, (Dr. Who themed cruises – I’m not joking!) One of the best kept secrets in the world of themed cruises though is Fred Olsen’s Wildlife cruises. And when I say it’s a well kept secret I really mean it. There isn’t any information in their brochures and after extensive searches I couldn’t find any information on line, I had to contact their marketing department direct for this info. This is a pity because although they only offer two cruises a year there not you’re normal run of the mill seven days in the Med. They really are once in a life time cruises, with a price that’s affordable.

Monday, 2 August 2010

August

I’ve been doing a series of blogs for awhile now on what to do during a particular month if you missed out on that last minute cruise deal. Included have been some of the wackier days out/festivals that can be found around our dear old Island. However I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite so weird as the Bog snorkelling championships being held in Wales this month, not quite the Oasis of the Seas I’ll admit but well worth a visit me thinks if you’ve nothing else on.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Follow up blog - C.S.I Cruise lines

About a month ago I reported that the US senate had voted to approve the  Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. Well, a couple of days ago the President signed it into law.
This was truly a historic day in the process of protecting passengers on cruise ships that enter or leave U.S. ports of call. This major reform to protect passengers was long overdue.
To see the full details of this new law follow this link to my last blog.


Happy, safer, Cruising.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Rocking it up in Gibraltar

O.K., so here’s another update on my series of blogs about un-missable tourist destinations on the different ports of call we at cruise.co.uk send you all too. Again, bear in mind this is aimed at people who have never visited these ports before and it’s all based on my personal opinions and my favourite sites anyway. If you feel I’ve missed something important out or disagree with a point I've made please make a comment below to help other cruisers make up their minds.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

British Cruise Lines to pull out of the U.S Market? Debunked!

You may have heard that it has been recently reported in the news that a popular British cruise line will be dropping its Canada-New England Itineraries as a direct result of the requirements to use cleaner fuel within 200 nautical miles of said countries shores.
The origins of this story date back to March when the International Maritime Organization approved the Emissions Control Area after a joint application from Canada and the United States, paving the way for both countries to draw up regulations to enforce it and for the new requirements to go into effect by 2012.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Death at Sea

An investigation is being launched into an incident where a MSC Cruises passenger was killed and a man injured when the ship’s gangway collapsed. Reports say that 60-year-old Fausto del Charro and 62-year-old Maria Mercedes Bonastre were boarding the MSC Splendida when the metal walkway that attaches to the ship collapsed and plunged into over 30 feet of water.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

How to Disembark Quickly

One of my friends just got back from a Disney cruise I had booked for him and his family; and they had a great time by the way.
My friend, whilst a really nice guy, is a bit of a stickler for rules and protocols and emailed me the following list after he got home because he thought it might help all my customers, so I’ve decided to blog it here, you’ll have to let me know if it is a help or not.

Monday, 26 July 2010

What the Canary Islands are really named after............Part Two.

Whoops!
I recently wrote a blog about where the Canary Islands got their name from, turns out, after several angry emails, that the situation isn’t quite as cut and dry as I made it seem. Accepted history is, as I blogged, that the Canary Islands are named after the dogs, (see my previous blog), whist the birds are named after the Canary Islands from which they come, rather than the other way around.

Sounds confusing?

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Checkmate at Sea

Following on from my blog reporting that next year Holland America will be introducing a crossword themed cruise, I have just learnt that fresh for 2011 MSC will be offering several chess themed cruises for those looking for a slightly more cerebral experience whilst onboard.

Their press release reads:

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Cruise Sudoku

You asked for it, you got it.........
Cruise Sudoku - You saw it here first.
As always first person to send me the correct answers wins a signed picture of myself.


Happy Cruising

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Cruise Jokes

Just a quick one today, thought I would share some of my favourite cruise jokes, but as always, I would be a lot more interested in hearing yours.
Try not to groan too much

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Diary of a Travel Agent - The Comic Strip



If you have a blank screen when you view this just click it once till a picture appears and then click it again to play

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Cruise Wordsearch

First person to get all the right answers on my cruise wordsearch and email it back to me will win an autographed picture of myself.


ABOARD, AFT, BALCONY, CABINSTEWART, CARIBBEAN, DEBARKATION, EMBARKATION, EXCURSION, FORWARD, GALLERY, GANGWAY, GUARNATEECABIN, INTERIOR, KNOT, MIDSHIP, OCCUPANCY, OCEANVIEW, PENTHOUSESUITE, PORTOFCALL, PROMENADE, PURSER, SHIPBOARDCREDIT, STABILIZER, STATEROOM, STERN, SUITE, TENDER, TRAVELINSURANCE, UPPERBERTH, VERANDA




Happy Cruising

Monday, 19 July 2010

River Cruises – The Pros and Cons

River cruises are getting more and more popular, with more itineraries been announced every day, but why have they become so popular all of a sudden?
Well, many cruisers are bored of the traditional destinations, with many turning to river cruises as an exciting alternative.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Unmissable Deal!!!!

I didn't believe this when I first saw it but have now confirmed it with the cruise line and it is correct!

The Costa Serena, doing a 7 day Med cruise, leaving on the 25 July, from Venice to Venice is now being offered cruise only for an amazing
£199 per person for an inside cabin
£249 per person for an outside cabin and
£299 for a balcony.
 The Costa Victoria has the same deal on the 24th July with the same itinerary, so I guess it just comes down as to which is your favourite ship.

Now if I can only get Royal Caribbean to offer the same deal on the Independence.

I repeat these rates aren't a mistake, they have been checked with Costa, but there not going to be around for long.
So call me now to book!

Happy Cruising

Friday, 16 July 2010

Retirement Cruises.

Recently my wife and I were on a cruise to the fjords. Whilst in the main restaurant one night I noticed all the staff were being very friendly towards a little old lady sitting by herself on a table for two; they all seemed to know her by name and what her favourite meals and drinks were.
As this was our first night out of Southampton I found this quite strange, so when one of the waiters came over we all asked him about her. He said he didn’t know too much about her only that she had been on the last six cruises back to back.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Crossword Cruises

Fed up of the normal run of the mill cruises?
Looking for something with a bit of a difference?
Love theme cruisie?

Love crosswords?
If you answered yes to any of the above then you need to take a serious look at Holland Americas new offering for next year.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Should I Cruise during Hurricane Season?

I don't care about hurricane season!
I know that this sounds like a bold statement to make, hurricanes ruin many thousands of lives each year, as well as holidays but when booking on a cruise ship there really isn't anything to worry about.

I’ll explain why in a minute; first of all, talking about hurricane season in general you can practically guarantee that each year that some "expert" group will issue their prediction for the season, and no matter what it is, "highly active" or "quiet," the news media gets all excited and jumps all over it. These predictions are really of no value, other than giving the news media something to use to boost readership or viewership and try to whip the public into a frenzy.
I say these long term predictions are next to useless for several reasons.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Venice in a day......

O.K., so I’m continuing my series of blogs about un-missable tourist destinations on the different ports of call we at cruise.co.uk send you all too. Again, bear in mind this is aimed at people who have never visited these ports before and it’s all based on my personal opinions and my favourite sites anyway. If you feel I’ve missed something important out or disagree with a point I've made please make a comment below to help other cruisers make up their minds.

So on to business, today I'll be looking at the historic city of Venice.

Monday, 12 July 2010

What animal are the Canary Islands named after?

Wrong, sorry. Anyone you just said canarys can go to the back of the class. The little yellow birds that Tweety Pie is based on are called Canarys because they come from the Canary Islands, not the other way around.
The archipelago actually gets its name from dogs.
The Romans, upon first discovering the islands called them the Isle of Dogs, so their modern name is derived from the old Latin Insula Canaria, after the large number of both wild and domesticated dogs they found there.
Dogs have been important in the Canary Islands in all known history, going right back to the ancient, Guanche, inhabitants. Archaeological excavations in several burial caves in Tenerife have shown that the dog was buried with his master, so it could "guide the soul to the region of the dead".
The importance of dogs to the islands continues right through to today, with dogs even being a main feature on the official coat of arms for the islands.


Happy Cruising

Saturday, 10 July 2010

How to swear in a different language ……..

Having a bad experience with a tour guide?

Just had your pocket picked?
Need to relieve your frustration but just can’t find the right words?
Well here's a handy guide for you all when in port.
Obviously for age appropriate reasons I can only include some of the milder words, but I’m sure if you say them in the right tone your intended target will get the right idea. By the way, I’ve checked these out on a couple of websites and they seem correct but I can’t guarantee you’re not actually telling someone that your great grandmother was a moose. If anyone knows any more, funny insults please add them below.
Keep it clean please folks.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Cruise Agent Look-a-likes Part Duex

It's got to be a bit of a tradition now for me about writing a supposedly, humorous blog on a Friday. Stuck for ideas today  I decided to take up my colleague Laans challenge from a few weeks ago to find the celebrity that he most resembles..........

Obviously me being me, once I'd started though I couldn't just stop at Laan, so........

Thursday, 8 July 2010

How big can they really get?

Several customers of mine have just come back from the Oasis of the Seas, and yes I was very jealous, as I can’t wait to get out and see this ship for myself. For those of you don’t know she’s enormous, the biggest cruise ship currently at sea. Speaking to one woman she told me she couldn’t believe how big it was and couldn’t imagine anything bigger.

Which got me thinking;
How big can they go?
Is there anything that limits their size?
Are there plans for anything bigger?
And most importantly do people want bigger? (Yes, yes, yes from me, I love huge cruise ships).

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A Change to the Mexican Riviera Line-Up

Carnival Cruise Lines recently announced that they will place a third ship in the southern California market for the winter of 2011-2012 season. Carnival Spirit will be sailing from the Port of Los Angeles, the first time in eight years the Carnival brand has based a ship there.
During the winter period the line will also sail two 15-day round trips from Southern California to Hawaii, another first for the line.
As Carnival was announcing their expansion in the Mexican Riviera market, Norwegian Cruise Line was announcing the end of their program from Los Angeles in the spring of 2011.
So for anyone looking for a winter trip to Hawaii, they need to be looking to research Celebrity ships. Or you can just book direct with me and I'll do all the leg work for you.

Happy Cruising

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Dubrovnik in a day..................

O.K., so I’m continuing my series of blogs about un-missable tourist destinations on the different ports of call we at cruise.co.uk send you all too. Again, bear in mind this is aimed at people who have never visited these ports before and it’s all based on my personal opinions and my favourite sites anyway. If you feel I’ve missed something important out or disagree please make a comment below to help other cruisers make up their minds.

Monday, 5 July 2010

July

Couldn’t get away this month? Did you just miss out on that last minute deal? God forbid, has another volcano erupted and your cruise was cancelled? Airline staff striking again? Well not to worry, there’s still plenty of weird and whacky things happening this month to keep you entertained in dear old Blighty that will see you through to your next cruise.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Independence of the Seas..............

I was recently given the opportunity to visit Independence of the Seas on a turn around day down in Southampton. If I ignore Oasis of the Seas, this was the ship I have most wanted to see in the flesh, not having had a chance to sail on her yet.

I wasn't disappointed.
The ship is amazing.
Absolutely huge.
I know that a large ship isn't for everyone but for families, or someone like me who gets bored easy it was unbelievable.
I could go on and on here about the Royal Promenade, the numbers of bars, restaurants or nightclubs available. The entertainments and activates offered onboard, but I've tried writing this blog a couple of times now and it always ends up feeling a little hollow. You can get a brochure and fine out about the gross tonnage of the ship or the exact amount of bathrooms it has, instead what I have decided to do is upload all the pictures and let you try and see exactly what kept me amazed.
This wont be easy.
To start with words or pictures will never do this lady proud. You really do need to be there. See it in 360 degrees, experience it for yourself. Plus I had lost my camera so had to borrow a friends so some of these pictures could be politely described as awful.
My best advice really would be to book yourself on board; you will have a great time!
By the way, try and ignore the date stamp on the pictures saying 2007, I forgot to set the date and time before I started snapping, (again sorry about the new camera).
So here goes...........................