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How to get more added benefits with Oceania Cruises

1st August 2016

 

Don’t be put off by expensive prices for balconies and above, you might actually be getting more for your money than you realise with Oceania Cruises.

Imagine waking up to a new destination almost every day, and being able to stand out on your own private balcony as you sail in to port. From Alaska to South America, the Caribbean to Africa, the views are guaranteed to be unforgettable. But there’s so much more to your balcony stateroom than just an incredible view.

penthouse suite

Free Airfare

Fly for free? Yes please! Free airfare means you can enjoy stress-free flying, with the price of your flight already included in your cabin and the added bonus of having someone else book your flights for you. Most flights are from London, but you can fly from many regional airports for a small supplement, including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester Newcastle, and many more.  Oceania Cruises free airfare is guaranteed, no matter how much airfares may increase between the day you book your cruise and the day you travel. 

Free Shipboard Credit

With free credit per person to spend onboard, you can use it however you wish. Whether it be treating yourself to a drink from their premium drinks selection, buying a unique souvenir from the onboard shopping boutiques, or embarking on an exciting shore excursion; the choice is yours.

Free Unlimited Internet

You can always stay connected at sea with wireless internet available throughout each of Oceania Cruises ships, including in all suites and staterooms. But, you’ll have access to unlimited internet that can be used on one device at a time, anywhere on the ship. Plus, if you stay in one of Oceania Cruises’ Vista, Oceania and Owner’s suite, a complimentary iPad® is provided for your use.

Oceania Casino Bar

PLUS choose one…

Free Shore Excursions

Shore excursions are a great way to get an insight into a ports culture, history and local delicacies. You’ll enjoy unlimited shore excursions throughout your cruise, choosing from a wide array of trips in each and every port you visit.  To avoid missing out on some incredible experiences, Oceania Cruises strongly recommend booking shore excursions prior to boarding the ship to ensure availability.

OR

Free Beverage Package

The cost of drinks can certainly add up over the duration of your cruise, but with the free beverage package you can rest assured that you’ll not be spending a small fortune on drinks.  Guests with Oceania Cruises can enjoy unlimited soft drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees, teas and juices as standard, but when booking a balcony suite or above you’ll enjoy complimentary wine and beer during your evening meals. The perfect accompaniment to some of the Finest Cuisine at Sea™.

 

Onboard Marina

Becci from our Marketing team recently went onboard Oceania Marina for a tour of the ship.

"The ship's balcony staterooms and suites are simply beautiful. Spacious, yet intimate, the rooms are ideal for a relaxing retreat whilst you’re on your cruise – and with a great view! The staterooms with the Jacuzzis on the balcony would be ideal for watching the sunset while sipping on Champagne; absolute heaven. The standard balcony staterooms are luxurious, but I was blown away by the suites – especially the Grand Owners Suite."

 

Oceania Balcony and Suitesr



5 Solo Cruising Myths Debunked!

29th June 2016

Solo cruising may seem like a daunting holiday experience at first. With so many common misconceptions out there, we’re here to debunk the top myths when it comes to solo cruising, and why a solo cruise should be your next holiday! [More]

Try before you buy at Taste London with Celebrity Cruises

17th June 2016

Updated June 2017

 

Celebrity Cruises are famed for award winning cuisine and extraordinary dining venues. So we were more than pleased to be invited to Celebrity's grand stand at the Taste of London Food Festival for a tasting menu complete with wine pairings this week.


Bringing modern luxury to London, the Celebrity Cruises stand beckoned us with bright white furnishings and a fresh green picnic lawn. Sitting in the sunshine with a glass of wine, we felt as though we were onboard one of Celebrity Cruises award winning cruise ships at the iconic Lawn Club.

Representing classic dishes from Celebrity Cruises acclaimed restaurants, the menu presented us with a taster of what can be expected onboard.

 

Tuscan Grille

Our delicious two course tasting menu gave us a Taste of Tuscany with sample dishes from Celebrity's specialty Italian restaurant, Tuscan Grille.

  • Creamy Burrata and Marinated Tomato paired with Arneis Blangé, Ceretto Langhe
  • Dry Aged, Grass Fed NY Strip with Pollenta Cube paired with Chianti Classico, Peppoli

Both mouth watering dishes come highly recommended and left us wanting more.

During the event Celebrity Cruises shared the news that Celebrity Eclipse will be heading to Dublin whilst Celebrity Silhouette will be returnig to the UK for sailings out of Southampton from April 2018

Celebrity Cruises offer tasting sessions during the Taste of London festival* for £15pp. We can’t think of a better way to experience a snippet of life onboard a Celebrity Cruises sailing than a gourmet luxury tasting at their stunning pop up lawn club. Catch them this weekend to try before you buy! 

 

Luninae and Blu

See also a few snaps from Celebrity Cruises at Taste of London in 2016, with examples of delicious dishes from Celebrity's suite guest restaurant, Luminae.

The delicious celeriac veloute with black truffle was poured in front of us from a porcelain teapot and complimented with toasted sunflower seeds. This course was perfectly paired with a glass of Viognier, Jean-Luc Colombo, “La Violette”, Languedoc with explanations on the pairing from guest sommelier Kiki Evans.


Second course was representative of the cuisine available onboard Celebrity Xpedition, Celebrity Cruises 100 guest mega yacht sailing the Galapagos. Corvina sea bass with sage brown butter and cavolo nero with asparagus tantalised taste buds around the table as Chef Garcia recalled real life experiences of the fascinating Galapagos Islands. This dish was perfectly paired with a fruity Sauvignon Blanc, Clifford Bay, Marlborough.


Next came signature pistachio crusted lamb loin with juniper jam from Aqua Class Restaurant – Blu. Aqua Class guests can enjoy serene spa-inspired staterooms and exclusive access to specialty restaurant Blu, serving the finest of clean cuisine. Our lamb loin was complimented by a smooth and velvety Chilean Carmenere.

 

See more on Celebrity Cruises

*Taste of London 2017 is at Regents Park 14th-18th June with tickets from £17pp + transaction fee


Single cruising: our cruise line & ship recommendations

8th June 2016

Updated February 2018

Cruising holidays are one of the best options for single travellers. They offer a secure, safe environment to explore the world, and plenty of opportunities for relaxation - but best of all, they allow you to spend as much and as little time to yourself as you wish. If you want to mix with fellow cruisers, you can opt to dine at a large table every night. Plus, you can enjoy the social aspect of joining in on small group excursions, and make friends as well as memories. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that cruise lines are tapping in to the recent trend of solo cruising, and designing their ships to cater for this type of passenger. Choosing a cruise line and ship that welcomes solo travellers can be all the difference in making your experience the best it can be, so we’ve compiled a list of the best choices for solo travellers below.

 

 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Accompanied with a trendy design, each single cabin measures 100 square foot, has a window view out into the corridor (but with a shutter for privacy) and features a full-size bed. Located in an area with private key card access, each of your neighbours will also be single cruisers, making it easier to bump into each other. What’s more is that you can relax in your own Studio Lounge and Bar, exclusive to singles, the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people to share part of your experience with.

Pricing: There are no single supplements for single studios onboard each of NCL's ships. 

Recommended ships: 

Norwegian EpicNorwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Escape

 


Holland America Line

With their own ‘Single Partners Program’, Holland America is a great cruise line to sail with if you want to connect with other singles. As well as offering singles parties & mixers, this program offers the opportunity for women to have a Social Host, to welcome them to dinner and to act as dance partners on select cruises. On top of this, you can request in advance to sit with other singles for evening meals. Also on offer is a Roommate Matching Service, this way, you can share your room with someone of the same sex, so that you both pay the per person rate as opposed to a single supplement, saving you money. If Holland America is unable to offer you a partner, then you can still pay the agreed rate as if you were sharing.

Pricing: For guests not wanting to share, they can book a double stateroom for 150 – 200% of the fare. 

Recommended ships: 

ms Oosterdamms Eurodam, ms Koningsdam

 


Fred. Olsen

Great for British solo travellers, Fred. Olsen offer limited single balcony suites, which is unavailable on many other ships. You can make the most of exclusive single get-togethers and pre-arranged dinners with other solo cruisers, plus gentleman hosts and off-shore companions on request.

Pricing: You can book a solo cabin at no extra cost and twin cabin deals with no or low supplements.  

Recommended ships: 

BalmoralBoudicca, Braemar, Black Watch

 

Cruise & Maritime

Cruise & Maritime set aside a number of cabins for single occupancy, and since the ships are smaller, solo cruisers may enjoy the camaraderie of a closer-knit group of travellers. CMV also offers a programme of events for singles which include a welcome cocktail party and other gatherings.

Pricing: You can expect a 25 – 50% saving on full fares.  

Recommended ships: 

Magellan has 150 superior inner and oceanview twin cabins which are reserved for single occupancy.

 

 

Costa Cruises

This Italian cruise line has several single cabins available for passengers and a singles ‘meet and greet’ as well as a range of activities that you can take part in solo. If you like to dance, then this is the cruise for you!

Pricing: Single supplements can be as low as 30% above double-occupancy rate. 

Recommended ships: 

Costa Diadema, Costa Magica, Costa Mediterranea

 

Hurtigruten

 

While there is no specific singles programme in place, Hurtigruten is a good pick for solo travellers due to the size of the ship and nature of the holiday. As a single traveller, you can expect a twin cabin, but with the other bed turned into a sofa. The smaller size means that you are more likely to get to know people and since Hurtigruten design their itineraries based on the experiences that can be had, there are plenty of excursions to get involved in with other groups of people. Plus, we think that watching the Northern Lights from the top deck is a pretty good excuse to bond over!

Pricing: On selected cruises you can book with no single supplements, on others the supplement is low. 



Find your single cruise from our best single cruise deals or browse our handcrafted holidays for a truly memorable cruise holiday.


Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches onboard Avalon Tapestry 2

8th June 2016

Kathleen from our dedicated river cruise commercial team enjoyed a river cruise in France onboard Avalon Tapestry 2 with Avalon Waterways, read about her experience and first impressions below.

The ship was lovely, the food was lovely, the crew were just extremely welcoming and friendly and I met some amazing people.

Occasionally with river cruises there are complications that arise which cause changes to the itinerary, and I got to witness one of these complications first hand. as there was going to be strikes in the locks and docks, the cruise director had to make the decision for the itinerary to be sped up, meaning that we had to meet the ship in Mantes La Jolie as it picked up passengers who went on the excursion to Rouen, then we cruised on to Conflans-Saite-Honorine through lunch where the ship docked for the night.

Our Cabin
The cabin as I had expected was really luxurious, with supplied bathrobes, slippers and L'Occitane toiletries. What I especially liked about the cabin was where the beds were facing the window instead of facing away from it, you could just lie on your bed and watch the ever changing scenery along the river bank as you sail to the next port of call, you could even have the floor to ceiling window open to let in some fresh air – or if you’d rather there was a seating area right in-front of the window where you could sit and read a book whilst enjoy the nice breeze from the window as you cruise along the river.

avalon-tapestry-2-cabin

avalon-tapestry-2-bathroom

avalon-tapestry-2-inside-cabin

avalon-tapestry-2-inside-cabin


There were many other things the cabin had to offer such as a safe, a fair size wardrobe a mini fridge (which was stocked with drinks, and weren’t badly priced) and a hairdryer.

Food
The food was also very nice. Lunch and breakfast were both buffets with quite a variety of options of food to pick from, and the options changed every day - there was also if you preferred a menu in which you could order from. Dinner was always a three course meal with a starter, a main and a pudding. Once again there was a set menu that stayed the same every day, but there was also an option that changed daily.

avalon-tapestry-2-food


Excursions
Every evening just before dinner and usually just after or before happy hour (an hour when cocktails were half price) the cruise director would talk over the excursions for the next day and what’s going to happen. Also, every evening a leaflet would be put on the beds in every cabin to outline everything that was happening the next day. This was very helpful as it meant that you could carry it around with you throughout the day and refer to it. Each day there was the choice between included excursion, and on some days there was even an extra excursion with an added cost. Some of the included excursions we went on where a tour of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and a tour of the Château de Malmaison.

Overall the cruise was definitely an experience that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. I personally went on the cruise not really sure on what to expect, but also not expecting much. It was a lot better than I had anticipated and it was certainly nice to get away and just sit back and chill and do stuff like relax on the sky deck, maybe even play one of the board games available in the back lounge, or even read a book whilst sipping on a cup of tea whilst eating a doughnut. After this experience, I definitely would go on a river cruise again, and I would highly recommend Avalon Waterways.

Have you sailed with Avalon Waterways? Tell us about your experience in the comments below


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