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Monday, 31 January 2011

Cheap Cruises for the Over 55s.....

You may all remember a promotion I wrote about that MSC were running earlier this month regarding OBC for the over 55's. Judging from the amount of people who have read it it's proved to be quite popular with you. For anyone who missed it you can check out the deal by clicking here.
I've just found out today that they will also be offering discounts off the price of the cruise for those of you aged over 55, although it's important to note that the two offers aren't combinable, you need to pick which one you want at the time of booking.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Who saved the Cruise Industry?

Did you know that the fledgling cruise industry nearly finished before it ever really got started?
Back in the 1930’s it was in some serious trouble with more and more people opting to fly, when help came from the most unlikely of sources.

Can you guess who?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

What's a tender Port?

Sometimes I forget how scary my first cruise was, looking at all the different itineraries available, all the different cruise lines, all the ships and the almost indecipherable jargon that people used.
Guaranteed cabins?
and tender ports!
I was talking to a first time cruiser yesterday and she mentioned her son was disabled, so, looking for a suitable itinerary I told her we'd have to watch out for tender ports.
She didn't have a clue what I was talking about, which I could understand when I came to think about it. If you've never heard the term before it can be quite confusing.
So, what's a tender port?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Which cruise ships have Wi-Fi?

Gone are the days when friends and family could expect a postcard to arrive from you aboard your cruise ships two weeks after you actually got home. Well I say gone, if we left it up to Royal Mail it still might take that long. Fortunately, these days we're all pretty much firmly plugged into the world wide web so it's getting more and more important for people to be able to access their emails, Twitter and Facebook accounts whilst aboard their cruise ship.
In regards to this a few of my passengers have been asking me who provides wi-fi at sea for their laptops so if you check below you'll find a quick and handy guide to use showing who provides what and where. If you have any more questions about it feel free to email me. 

Monday, 24 January 2011

Who'd of thought it - Part two

Got that Monday feeling? Take a read of this and see if it brings a smile to your face as well.
Carrying on from my post the other day, (click here to see it), about some of the surveys to be found in our new Complete Cruise Brochure 2011, I'll be talking today about the ships with the best child facilities onboard. This being a post written by me however you just know the results aren't going to be what you expected.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Cruise Line Livery's

A customer of mine has just come back from a cruise onboard the NCL Jade. It was the first time he'd booked a cruise onboard an NCL ship and he had a fantastic time. One comment he did make however was that he couldn't get over the colour schemes onboard. He, in his own words,
"Couldn't believe how garish it all was."
It's true that NCLs colour schemes do take some getting used too but I've always thought they modern and fun.
The other comment my customer made was that it wasn't just the inside of the ship, but the outside as well that suffered from NCLs love of colour. For anyone who has never seen the Jade I've enclosed a picture here for you on the above.
Again, I think NCL's colour schemes are great and really make their ships stand out.
But not as much as some others.....................

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Who'd of thought it?

As you're all probably aware the 2011 Complete Cruise Brochure has just been published and should be landing on your door mats any day now. I've had a sneak preview and it's packed full of useful tips for cruisers as well as lots of excellent deals for the up coming year. What was surprising about it this year though was some of the surveys we ran for it.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Do you see the world in terms of your job?

As I get older, (I turn 30 this year), I notice more and more that I'm view the world in terms of my job.
It's worrying because I know both my Dad and Grandad used to do this. They were builders/roofers and I could guarantee that if we were watching a movie then within 30 seconds of an explosion I'd here a comment along the lines of:
"That's gonna cost a fortune to rebuild" or "they won't be able to fix that, they're gonna have to knock it down and start again."
It always used to annoy me as a child so I always promised myself I wouldn't do this but last night I found myself doing the exact same thing.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

It's not always our fault

You all know the feeling, you've just got back from the travel agents with a brochure, you've spent hours pouring over it looking for your perfect cruise. You find the cruise, you check the dates with work and it's all OK to book. You ring your favourite cruise travel agent, (us hopefully), only to be told that price isn't valid anymore.
Well that's not fair, you can see the price printed there in black and white.
Is it all a massive conspiracy to get extra money from you?
Is your travel agent to blame?
The cruise line?
None of the above actually, (well not totally; see below to see why).

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Catching up with an old friend.

It’s been several months now since that last cruise disembarked and Ocean village is nothing more than a distant, but fond, memory.

For those of you who are clued up on your cruise news you’ll know that the Ocean village ships were ‘shipped off’ (pun intended), to P&O Australia to be rebranded, refurbished and then enjoy some sun in the Southern climes.
I thought it might be nice today to catch up with the old brand and see what the ships are up to.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Fred Olsen - Get Booking Quick!

If you've been looking at booking a Fred Olsens cruise for this year, now's the time to get it done. Due to the continuing rise in the cost of fuel Fred Olsens, from the 19th January 2011 they will be changing their policy on fuel supplements. If you're looking to make a saving, take some advice and book before then.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

First, Second and Freedom Dining on a cruise ship – Explained

I’ve been surprised this week by the amount of cruisers who were still confused about freedom dining. This is still a fairly new option in cruising terms but is getting more and more popular, but is it as good as it seems or are the other two options better for some people? Today I’m going to be talking a little about the different dining options available on cruise ships with their associated pros and cons.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Commodore and I

As you all know, all our clients here at are intelligent, sophisticated and polite people who appreciate all the hardwork we put in behind the scenes, but as in all industries, we very occasionally get some one ring us up who isn't quite so polite. This happened to me several days ago and I thought I'd share it all with you.
A lady rang me up looking for a balcony cabin onboard the QM2. We had several cabins available but she wouldn't book one unless I could guarantee that she wouldn't have fraternise, (her word), with anyone in an inside cabin!
I actually thought she was joking to start with but when it turned out she was serious I obviously said there was nothing I could do to help. To which I got this comment......

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

What will the weather for your cruise be like?

As you all know I was off on my hols in December, having fun making snowmen with my son Harry, so I missed all the disruption that the snow caused. A lot of our passengers were stranded at Heathrow or worse, (or better depending on how you look at it I supose), were stuck abroad as their flights couldn't get into the UK.
Everyone here at worked really hard to arrange alternate flights for people or keep them up to date with weather reports and the status of their flights.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Cruise Line Cabin Grades – Explained

Well Christmas is definitely over!
I’ve been absolutely swamped this last week with people looking to sort out their summer holidays for this year. The surprising thing about many of these enquiries though is the amount of first time cruisers calling up excited to try a cruise for the first time.

Anyone who’s ever booked through before will vouchsafe to you that we’re always willing to take the time to explain all the little details of a cruise to someone who’s never done it before, all those silly little things that more experienced cruisers take for granted. Like Onboard Credit, like Gratuities and like what the different cabin grades actually mean. I must have explained at least fifteen times over the last week what the difference between an inside, outside and balcony cabin is.
It did get me thinking though that if so many new cruisers are asking me what the cruise lines different cabin grades mean; how many are looking for the answers online?  So.........

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Booking a Shore Excursion Through the Cruise Line vs. Doing it Yourself

Should I just book all my shore excursions through the cruise line, or should I organise them all myself?

This is always a difficult one to give advice on as it really does depend on what kind of person you are. It’s true that as cruise prices become more and more competitive, as cruise lines strive to compete with each other, they need to find another revenue stream to increase their profits. Cruise line shore excursions are a very easy way of doing this by adding surcharges to them. Massive savings can be had if you’re prepared to organise them yourself, but a lot of people aren’t comfortable with this for several reasons........

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Holidaying in Havana

It’s been awhile since I've written any city guides for my blog so it’s appropriate that to kick it back of I cover Havana, which saw its first British cruise ship this month. Let’s hope it’s the first of many as this is a fantastic city to visit.
As always with these guides if anyone has any better ideas or opinions about Havana, feel free to add your comments below. The more information we get, the easier it is for people to plan their cruise excursions.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Why is P&O called P&O?

I thought I’d share a bit of pub trivia with you today, ready for your next cruise. Do you know what the initials P&O stand for and where the name comes from?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

On Board Credit for the over 55's

A lot of my colleagues have found this quite funny but I think it's a really cool offer and I'm interested in hearing back about what some of my silver haired readers think of it.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

P&O Aurora

I'd been looking forward to visiting a P&O ship for a while. I've been on a Royal Caribbean ship, two Cunard ships, but had  yet to see any P&O ships, the most popular cruise line in the UK.
As you're reading the following review you may get the sense that I was slightly disappointed with the ship. This wasn't true at all, she was fantastic and delivered 'everything it said on the tin'. My disappointment, I think, was my own fault. My last two cruises had been on Cunard ships and I couldn't help but compare them; which isn't fair. They're two different brands offering completely two different things. So if you're looking for a recommendation for the Aurora I'm happy to give it. She did everything a cruise ship should do and whilst personally I prefer the bigger ships like Azura or Ventura I'm happy to say anyone booking aboard should have a great time.

Monday, 3 January 2011

New for 2011

Back to work tomorrow after my little holiday and I'm looking forward to getting back into the thick of things. Quite a lot's been going on at whilst I've been away.  I'll talk more at some other point about some of what we've got planned for 2011 but my favourite change from December had to be the life on board section of our website.