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Saturday, 30 April 2011

The who/what/wherefore of luxury cruise lines

With all the cheap cruise deals around at the moment a lot of my passengers have been making the jump up to six star cruising, picking a cruise line they might not ever of thought of booking with before.
However, for a lot of people it can be a bit of a nerve wracking jump. Whilst they might know everything there is to know about the the cruise lines they're used to picking a brand new cruise line to try can be a bit daunting.
Will I enjoy it?
Will I hate it?
What will it be like?
What's included?
I thought it might help if I put a quick guide together of some of the big players within the six star market with a bit of information about what they can offer. I've also linked the name of the cruise line back to so if you're interested you can just click them and check out some prices.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

So what are Cunards Grills all about?

First off, I've never had a chance to stop in one. The closest I've come is walking enviously past the Queens Grill restaurant, craning my neck trying to see how the other half eat.
Secondly, if, like me, you've never had a chance to experience a Grill, (Princess or Queens), don't worry the service in the Britannia restaurant is still some of the best at sea and Cunard are still one of my favourite cruise lines even if I haven't tried a Grill.

Now I know a lot of people get a little offended by the idea of the Grills, thinking it hearkens back to the bad old days of a three tier system, ie first , second and third class. but if you ask Cunard they'll deny this strenuously, stating that their Grills aren't a class system,  you're just paying for extra facilities onboard.
It's all rubbish of course. It is a class system, just based on money rather than birth. But, playing Devils Advocate who can lay hand on heart on say they wouldn't book a Grill if they could afford one?

But what do you get extra with a Grill........?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Why are cruise ships always named after women?

Who's her you ask, the cats mother?
But it's a good point I think; why are cruise ships always named after women, or refereed to as a her? Off the top of my head, and I'm prepared to stand corrected here, I could only think of one cruise ship currently in service named after a man and that's the Paul Gauguin, named after the French impressionist of the same name. So why is this; how did this situation arise?
Well as always there's no easy answer to the question, however there are a couple of pretty good theories to explain it........

Friday, 22 April 2011

Paul Gauguin........Who are they?

Paul Gauguin was a leading French post-impressionist artist. He was a leading figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print maker, ceramist and writer. But more importantly he has lent his name to one of the most luxurious cruise ships at sea......
The Paul Gauguin, sailing year round in the waters of French Polynesia and Tahiti.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Unwanted souvenirs

We've all been there. Caught up in a haze of good times and enjoyment we've bought some strange little souvenir from some dodgy street vendor thinking,
'Ooh that'll look nice on the mantle piece.'
Only to get home to realise we've bought, well lets face it, trash.
Well no more! Playing around on the Internet earlier I found the perfect use for all those useless souvenirs you've been stockpiling. In fact after looking at some of these pictures you may decide you don't need to go on holiday at all!

I'm starting the trend off with these pictures I've found here but if you think you can beat them then feel free to send me your pictures and I'll publish them all here for you.

Happy cruising

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Recommended gratuities for your cruise.......

Several clients have been asking me to compare the different levels of gratuities that different cruise lines ask for/expect for them. I've put together a handy little guide so that you can compare them. This probably isn't going to be the most interesting post I've ever written but fingers crossed you'll find it useful and informative.

Happy cruising

Monday, 18 April 2011

Lifes imponderable questions

I was speaking to a customer yesterday who had booked a cruise with me a couple of weeks ago. He'd checked the price of the cruise yesterday out of curiosity, only to find the cabin grade he had booked had dropped in price by £50 per person. It wasn't a lot but it was annoying for him so I called the cruise line to see if they would honour the new price for him.
Surprise surprise they wouldn't!
My customer was a little disapointed but understood and wondered why a cruise always seemed to drop in price after he'd booked it.
"Oh well, just one of lifes imponderable questions I guess" , he said.

Well to cheer him and all you up on a Monday morning I thought I'd put together a list of other imponderable questions.......

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Your regular cruise crossword

It's Sunday so it must be time for your regular cruise crossword again.
I've tried for something a bit different today so I've based all of todays answers on Mediterranean ports of call. All the answers though are based on general knowledge questions of that port rather than the standard cryptic clues.
Just clearing up a bit of confusion, some times the crossword technology doesn't display all the clues at once, which means once you've solved it you can start over with a different set of clues.


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Florentine Football

I was watching a program on T.V last night about weird sports from around the world; well I say I was watching it, it was on in the background, when the word Florence grabbed my attention. Not for any real reason, it just so happened that I'd booked a couple of cruises that day with Florence as a port of call so I started watching and actually found it quite interesting.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Thomson Spirit - A British institution...........Back in Britain!

You may or may not know it but if ever a client calls looking for a low cost cruise, or a really last minute cruise, it tends to be a Thomson cruise I end up offering. They always have plenty of departures from regional airports as opposed to the normal Manchester/London option offered by other cruise lines with great affordable prices for people.
If I have any problems with Thomson cruises it's been that they never offer any deals on cruises leaving the UK, so if you don't want to fly you've been stuck a little for choice with them.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Who has the most modern fleet?

'Book a cruise with us. Recommend a cruise with us to all your customers, we have the most modern fleet in the world'.
You've got no idea how many times I've heard that from the different reps that come to visit us from the different cruise lines. The only problem is they always seem to have a different definition of what the most modern cruise fleet means.
I can see why so many cruise lines want to be able to advertise this on their promotions as it does sound good, 'The most modern fleet at sea'. But with so many different brands saying the same thing how do you define it?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

It's yachting, not cruising

I know, I know. This is meant to be a blog about cruising not yachting. Who wants to hear about pampered millionaires on their private yachts when you could be reading about the latest cruise news?
Well actually.......
The line between yachting and cruising might not be as clear cut as you once thought. Have you ever heard of a  cruise line called Sea Dream Yacht Club?

Monday, 11 April 2011

Don't miss out in Monte Carlo

It’s been awhile since I've written any city guides for you to plan out your shore excursions with so to kick it off again I’ll be writing about Monte Carlo, playground of the rich, the famous and James Bond.
As always with these guides if anyone has any better ideas or opinions about Monte Carlo, feel free to add your comments below. The more information we get, the easier it is for people to plan their cruise excursions.

Monte Carlos's a small city so it’s quite easy to take in in one day. However if you’re a disabled or older customer it’s worth noting a lot of the city is quite steep so you may want to make use of the local taxis, buses, trains etc.
The centre of Monte Carlo is always a good place to start your excursion as it’s packed with shops restaurants and bars and it’s actually sloped quite gently down to the port. So it’s quite easy to reach.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

There's a first time for everything

Sorry I've been away for a few days folks but I've had a bit of a busy weekend enjoying the weather, (when I say busy obviously I mean completely chilling out and relaxing!). Fingers crossed your weekend's been as good as mine. I've spent all today chilling out in the back garden with a cold drink enjoying a barbecue whilst Harry, (my little lad), splashed around in the paddling pool.
Yesterday though we went for a picnic in the woods.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Top ten reasons to cruise with ..........Silver Sea

Continuing my series of blogs on luxury cruise lines I'm today asking the question;
'Have you ever sailed with Silver Sea? If not, why not?'
 Silver Sea always seem to get left out when people make a list of the top six star cruise lines which can be a bit of mistake as this cruise line has a lot to offer that other six star cruise lines don't.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Funny hotel names

One of my passengers has just come back from a cruise around Australia and New Zealand. Whilst there he noticed a hotel called the Hotel Mediocre. It had been opened by a Vietnamese couple several years earlier whose English wasn't very good. They had asked around for a name that meant ordinary, average and down to earth, apparently settling on mediocre because they liked the sound of it.
Needless to say me and my passenger both found this quite amusing, my only gripe being that he had forgot to take a picture of it. It did get me thinking though, so one quick Google search later here are some other hotels from around the world I thought you might find amusing.
(I've only used the more polite ones though, you'll have to Google it yourself for some of the ruder sounding hotels).

Monday, 4 April 2011

How to get a great cruise deal..........

Have you ever thought about booking your next cruise whilst your still on your current cruise? Most people haven't. In fact most people don't even realise you can do this or that there are extra benefits for doing so.
Cruise lines love for people to book their next cruise whilst they're still onboard and very often give people tremendous offers for doing so......

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Your regular cruise Crossword

It's that time again! Except that todays cruise crossword is going to be slightly different. This cruise crossword is based on speciality restaurants onboard cruise ships but all of todays clues are going to be a lot more cryptic than you'll be used to as they've been very kindly written by Pete, Caerphilly, a member of our forums at
So if you find it a lot harder/fun you can blame/thank him. Thanks Pete!

Happy Cruising

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Minimum child ages allowed for travel

A past passenger of mine called me yesterday looking to book a new cruise for this summer. She hadn't been on a cruise for awhile as she'd just had a new baby so after I'd congratulated her and swapped some sleepless nights horror stories we got to talking about who she could cruise with. Her baby girl would only be five months old at time of travel and she hadn't realised this would be too young for many cruise lines.
It's with this in mind that I've wrote todays post, giving you all the minimum child ages need to travel with the different cruise lines. I hope you find it useful. - As a quick guide, if you are traveling with a child under six months MSC seem to be your best bet, especially as they normally give free child places aswell!

Friday, 1 April 2011

P&O Aurora..........Is she Haunted?

My regular readers may remember that I sailed onboard the P&O ship Aurora last November; you can read the review for it here
Well last night I was printing some pictures off my computer when I noticed the below photo I took in the theatre. 
A blur on the lens?
A reflection of the light ?
Or is the theatre haunted?