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Thomson Cruises' Latest Ships

clock 1st September 2017 | comment0 Comments

Thomson Cruises remains a very popular cruise line with British holidaymakers, and as such it should be no surprise to learn that their fleet is due to expand once again in summer 2018. The last few years have seen multiple additions to the fleet; in summer 2016 TUI Discovery was introduced, in summer 2017 TUI Discovery II entered the scene, and next year TUI Explorer is due to begin life as a Thomson cruise ship.

These three ships are the largest in the fleet – with room for between 297 and 670 more passengers than the older ships. They also offer more dining options and onboard activities. Another valuable aspect of cruising on these new ships is that they are all All Inclusive as standard. This means that all passengers can make the most of the included food, drinks, and facilities – including a range of cocktails, prosecco, and speciality restaurants.

Read on to find out more about each of these impressive ships.

TUI Discovery

Once part of the Royal Caribbean fleet, TUI Discovery was bought and refurbished by Thomson Cruises in 2016. It can host 1830 passengers, and consists of 11 decks and 915 cabins. Its considerable size also allows Thomson to provide some fantastic facilities to their guests, our favourites being the brilliant outdoor movie screen, exhilarating climbing wall, and extensive array of dining choices.

TUI Discovery will embark on cruises to a number of different destinations, favourites being the Caribbean, Mediterranean, The Baltics, and Norway for its beautiful Fjords and the Northern Lights.

TUI Discovery II

Also an ex-Royal Caribbean ship, TUI Discovery II is of a similar size to its namesake. The popularity of TUI Discovery led to the demand of an additional ship – which comprises most of the same features and amenities. These also have a range of 15 different cabin options, including the stunning Royal and Executive suites which offer new heights of luxury.

As well as journeys to the Caribbean and Mediterranean, TUI Discovery II will also embark on several cruises that are more focussed on certain destinations – including Spain, Italy, Cuba, and Jamaica. These offer the chance for guests to explore specific regions more thoroughly.

TUI Explorer

There is much excitement among loyal Thomson customers, surrounding this latest ship. It was previously owned by German cruise line TUI Cruises, under the name of Mein Schiff 1, and will be Thomson Cruises’ largest vessel to date. With room for over 1900 passengers, 13 decks, and 962 cabins, TUI Explorer will also boast 11 different dining options, a great selection of bars, and a fantastic range of different activities.

In particular there are ample opportunities when it comes to sports – with table tennis and mini golf facilities, and even an entire deck devoted to outdoor sports such as basketball and football. There is also a jogging track on this deck.

Thomson Cruises’ three TUI ships truly have some wonderful features that will be loved by all the family. Not only the number of activity choices, but also the pools and spa which offer a chance to relax at the end of a day of excursions. Childcare options include kids clubs suitable for 3-11 year olds, and can be helpful should parents wish to have some time to themselves to enjoy the ship.

Are you interested in cruising on one of these new and innovative cruise ships? Discover Thomson’s 2018 cruises and call us today to reserve your spot!



6 New Cruise Ships Launching in 2017

clock 17th January 2017 | comment0 Comments

If new year, new you didn’t work out quite the way you had planned, how about new year, new cruise?

With six shiny new cruise ships launching in 2017 we can’t think of a better time than now to try something totally different for your next cruise holiday. With the impressive selection on offer you can look forward to sleek, state-of-the-art design, ultra-luxurious indulgence and super sun worshipping, all whilst visiting many exciting destinations.

Take your pick from the new cruise ships below and let us know which you’d most like to meet.


Silversea, Silver Muse

Seabourn Encore

Seabourn Encore is the fourth luxury ship to join Seabourn Cruises spectacular six star fleet. A welcome addition to an award winning fleet, Seabourn Encore is here to re-define small ship ultra-luxury cruising and is hailed as the most beautiful and innovative ship for Seabourn thus far.

Designed by renowned hospitality designer, Adam Tihany, Seabourn Encore oozes the same elegant charm of sister ship, Seabourn Odyssey, but with an extra emphasis on beautiful details. Guests will be pleasantly surprised from one day to the next during their cruise, with a standout highlight being the incredible culinary offering onboard including the new Sushi venue.

What to expect: Winter in Australasia, Summer in the Mediterranean, spectacular culinary experiences, six-star service and sumptuous surrounds.

Find cruises on Seabourn Encore

Silver Muse

Silver Muse is set to sail in April 2017 and as the largest ship for Silversea, brings with her an incredible amount of choice for your luxury experience. Although still classed as a small ship, Silver Muse proudly claims to have the best dining experience at sea with eight different dining options on offer. From Spanish Tapas with live music and dancing in Silver Note to the sensational Japanese cuisine prepared before your eyes in Kabucki, there is something to suit all tastes onboard.

Luxury becomes even more lavish for Silversea’s new flagship with a total of seven different suite types to choose from. The largest spanning 1,475 sq ft, that’s twice the size of an average UK house!

What to expect: Silversea’s first full sized theatre, an abundance of culinary choices, an elegant and intimate experience, full butler service and a charming summer in the Mediterranean.

Find cruises on Silver Muse

Viking Sky

Although relatively new to ocean cruising, debuting its first cruise ship in 2015, Viking Cruises got it so right that it’s sticking to a similar style and trend for the newest additions to its fleet. Viking Cruises ships are sleek, modern and comfortable with a distinct Scandinavian design.

Practicality is infused with subtle luxurious touches onboard Viking Sky. The main pool has a retractable roof so that the area can be enjoyed in all weather, whilst the aft infinity pool provides breath-taking sea views.

The ship has been specifically engineered in a way that allows direct access to smaller ports, meaning that you can sail straight to the heart of many fascinating destinations. And with destination rich itineraries including the Baltic capitals and ancient gems of the Mediterranean you’ll appreciate easy access to explore.

When a day of exploring is done, Viking Sky’s innovative spa provides holistic methods and traditional Nordic treatments.

What to expect: Simple yet satisfying Scandinavian style, many alfresco dining options, destination rich itineraries and a comfortable home away from home.

Find cruises on Viking Sky

Viking Sun

Sister ship to Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky - Viking Sun joins Viking Cruises modern fleet late in 2017 offering even more choice for a stylish mid-sized cruise ship experience. With an identical design to her sister ships, Viking Sun increases Viking Cruises offering of popular holidays allowing you to explore the world in comfort.

What to expect: A thinking person’s cruise with art lectures and informative port talks, a simple and stylish atmosphere with comfortable furnishings and delightful dining options.

Find cruises on Viking Sun

MSC Meraviglia

Dubbed as the ship for all seasons, MSC Meraviglia sets sail for MSC Cruises in 2017 with an extraordinary level of entertainment options onboard.  The perfect choice for families and groups, MSC Meraviglia has plenty of cabin and suite options available including connecting cabins that can accommodate up to 10 people.

Each day onboard can be different with MSC Meraviglia’s unique offering of things to see and do. Check out the indoor promenade, 12 dining venues, Aqua Park with waterslides, Himalayan Bridge (ropes course) or the TV studio broadcasting games, quizzes and interviews to screens ship wide. Kids and teens are well looked after with five kids clubs and dedicated teen hangout spaces.

Evening entertainment is just as exciting with exclusive performances from Cirque du Soleil in Cirque du Soleil at Sea.

What to expect: a fun filled cruise with lots to see and do onboard. Mediterranean style cruising calling at ports such as Genoa, Barcelona, Malta and more.

Find cruises on MSC Meraviglia

MSC Seaside

Follow the sun in 2017 with MSC Seaside, the ship that has been specifically designed for you to enjoy the outdoors and be closer to the sea. A unique wraparound promenade provides multiple options for alfresco dining, sea gazing, shopping and sunbathing.

Experience life outdoors at sea with MSC Seaside boasting one of the most advanced Aqua Parks at sea spanning two whole decks of fun, plus an extensive Adventure Trail ropes course.

What to expect: Being outdoors most of the time with maiden season in the Caribbean, lots of thoughtful sea gazing and fantastic Mediterranean style cruising.

Find cruises on MSC Seaside



Black Watch Refurbished

clock 23rd December 2016 | comment0 Comments

We had an extra special Christmas treat this week as we were invited onboard one of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines most popular cruise ships, Black Watch as she docked in Tilbury London. Our visit comes just one month after Black Watch entered dry dock at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg for a multi-million pound refit. The extensive refurbishment saw ship-wide enhancements including upgrades to cabins, suites and public areas.

Not only did we get a private tour of the ship, stopping off to see the updated cabins with a talk from Julian – Fred. Olsen’s Deputy Hotel Manager of Operations, but we also got to see the ship decked out in all her Christmas glory. With Christmas trees and gingerbread houses galore!

See photos from our day onboard the newly refurbished Black Watch below.

The Neptune Theatre

The Neptune Theatre

The Neptune Bar

The Morning Light Pub

The Black Watch Room - A new a la carte dining experience serving up delicious steak and seafood

Fresh new carpets

The Glentanar main restaurant

It's Christmas onboard!

Deck 7 - Tenerife Suite 7024

Balcony Suite 9901

Enjoy the upgrade and sail on the newly refurbished Black Watch with our latest Black Watch cruises.



Haunted Queen Mary Ship

clock 13th October 2016 | comment0 Comments

It’s no wonder Cunard’s Queen Mary is known as being one of the most haunted places in America with her rocky history of love, war and tragedy.

The RMS Queen Mary set sail on 27 May 1936 for her maiden voyage. She was originally built as a luxury liner for the upper-classes until entering a world of chaos when World War II struck. Changing her course forevermore.

This flagship beauty, also known as ‘The Grey Ghost’, was converted into a troopship, ferrying Allied soldiers throughout the war. She was then refitted for passengers in the mid-1940s.

The Queen Mary is now a hotel, permanently docked in California, with some saying that the spirits of the dead still haunt the ship today.

haunted queen mary ship

 

Top 5 ghost stories of Queen Mary

Winston Churchill’s stateroom
Some have reported a strong smell of cigar smoke in this room. This is also apparently where he planned the D-Day invasion.

Swimming Pool Ghouls
There have been many reports of female apparitions looming in the 1st class pool area. The main ghoul though is a little girl, known as Jackie, who apparently drowned during an army crossing. Giggling and splashing is often heard, whilst a trail of small wet footprints are sometimes witnessed.

The Forbidden Cabin
Cabin B340 is no longer available for booking. Guests have reported their bed sheets flying across the room, taps turning on for no reason and doors flinging open.

HMS Curacao Crew Members
On 2nd October 1942 the Queen Mary famously collided with the Curacao ship, killing 200 people. Some visitors have reported hearing eerie noises coming from the ship’s bow.

A Ghostly Love Affair
Leslie Schirmacher is a barwoman currently working on the ship. A clairvoyant insisted there was a male ghost stood next to her, so she jokingly gave him a peck on the cheek. The ghost (A Scottish man who looks like Kevin Spacey) has been smitten ever since, and shows his affection by nudging a wine glass towards her from time to time.

The ship is situated in Los Angeles, just half an hour away from the LA International Airport.

By Danny Ingham



Try before you buy at Taste London with Celebrity Cruises

clock 17th June 2016 | comment0 Comments

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



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