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5 Things to do on a Sea Day

clock 11th May 2018 | comment0 Comments

People might choose a cruise holiday for all sorts of different reasons, from the destinations you’ll visit and experiences you could have, to the food and features on the cruise ship. Whether you love them or hate them, if you’ve chosen an itinerary with widespread ports – or even a transatlantic crossing – sea days are inevitable. Instead of wishing these days away, make the most of what’s onboard with our 5 things to do on a sea day.

 

 

1. Try a New Hobby

There is an abundance of new and exciting activity options onboard cruise ships today. Classes can cover everything from learning Spanish and astrological presentations in a planetarium, to the Japanese art of Origami and culinary knife skills. As well as classes there are all the onboard features to consider. You can go ice-skating, simulated-surfing, play laser tag, and have a go on a zip-line, to name just a few of your choices. Be sure to explore the ship early on to see what you can try.

2. Eat Something Different

Cruise ships offer some of the finest cuisine in the world. With each of them competing, it’s good news for us cruisers who get to enjoy better and better food. There are unusual dishes and innovative restaurants to choose from, so you should never be bored when it comes to dining. Here are some of our favourite cruise line restaurants;

- Qsine, Celebrity Cruises – this fantastic, creative venue allows guests to choose from an array of unusual dishes from an iPad, all of which are served with the utmost style and attention.

 

 

- Aqualina, Azamara Club Cruises – here guests can enjoy contemporary twists on Italy’s favourite dishes. The desserts here are particularly inventive so be sure to save some room!

- Butcher’s Cut, MSC Cruises – spoil yourself by selecting your own steak from a glass, meat-aging fridge, and then watch on as it’s prepared before you in the open kitchen.

3. Enjoy Some ‘Me Time’

Many cruisers consider their sea days to be a blessing, in that it’s as if they’ve been given the gift of time to simply relax. With this in mind, there are all sorts of things you can do onboard to help you chill out and rejuvenate. Your first thought could be to simply lounge by the pool taking in the sun, having a dip every so often to cool off. While this is a great way to relax, you should also consider the other facilities on offer to you – specifically the spa. Whether or not you opt for a treatment like a deep-tissue massage or facial, the spas onboard cruise ships usually offer a variety of calming spaces. As well as saunas and steam rooms look for other options like the Snow Grotto on Viking Cruises ships, and the Thalassotherapy Baths with Costa Cruises.

 

 

4. Meet New People

Whether you consider yourself a social butterfly or not, there are bound to be a fair few people of like mind on your cruise, who could indeed become lifelong friends. One of the best ways to get to know others is striking up a conversation at a class you’re both taking part in, or in the queue for the rock-climbing wall you’re both about to face. If you’re friendly, approachable, and open to some good conversation, the rewards will surely be rich.

 

 

5. Take Care of Yourself

In addition to trying new things and having some fun, and taking some time out to relax, another valuable way to spend time on your sea day is working out. There are some brilliant exercising facilities on cruise ships, with most offering state-of-the-art equipment in onboard gyms, pools large enough to swim lengths, jogging tracks on deck, and even sports centres. The sports deck with Norwegian Cruise Line for example, has facilities for guests to play bowling, football, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, and mini golf.

For more inspiration about what to do on your cruise ship, take a look at our 10 best complimentary things to do onboard.



Cruises for Foodies

clock 12th January 2018 | comment0 Comments

Whether you’ve decided to go on a cruise to relax and get away for a few weeks, see some exotic new places, or simply enjoy the traditional cruise ship environment, there's one thing that just about all of us value on holiday: good food. There are some people who decide upon their cruise ship and destination on the strength of the culinary possibilities, and whether this is you or not, if you have an interest in food it can be helpful to know what’s out there. See our guide for some great foodie inspiration for your next cruise.

 

 

Cruise Ships with Top Chef Restaurants

Many cruise lines have affiliations with famous and world renowned chefs, some of whom might make special appearances onboard, and some of whom have collaborated with the line to create superb menus. Our favourites include:

Royal Caribbean – you’ll find Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian onboard

Oceania Cruises – offer the culinary stylings of Jacques Pepin

Crystal Cruises – the incredible Sushi Bar from famous Japanese chef Nobu

Costa Cruises – boast chef Ettore Bocchia-approved Italian cuisine

 

 

Meet and Greets with Celebrity Chefs

P&O Cruises are true pioneers when it comes to celebrating and promoting what us Brits love, and that includes food and wine. With this in mind, they have partnered up with some of our best-loved gastronomic stars:

• Eric Lanlard – French Patissier famed for his incredible desserts

• Marco Pierre White – Leeds-born chef, considered the ‘original celebrity chef’

• Ollie Smith – TV wine connoisseur famed for his enthusiasm!

 

Cookery Classes and Gastronomic Experience

Considering all these amazing onboard features, it will come as no surprise to learn that many cruise lines offer some fantastic interactive opportunities in which guests can learn from the greats.

Viking Ocean CruisesKitchen Table. Join fellow passengers in an exclusive venue, where you will see world-class chefs prepare your meal made with ingredients purchased locally.

Holland America Line’s America’s Test Kitchen. Watch 45 minute cookery demonstrations onboard, which will be aired on popular US cookery show, America’s Test Kitchen.

Pullmantur Cruises' Gastrolab. Experience the delectable cuisine created by a team of professional chefs, led by three Michelin-starred chef Jordi Cruz.

 

 

Not only can you make the most of all these fantastic opportunities while on your ship, but you’ll also have the chance to explore the local cuisine at your cruise destinations. While just about every port town will have a certain dish they’re proud of, or cocktail to show off, depending on your own taste you might prefer one to another. If you’re struggling to decide just where to try next, here are some of our own top foodie spots you can cruise to;

 

 

The Mediterranean – From succulent paella and freshly made pizza, to mouth-watering churros and baklava, the countries of the Mediterranean have such a diverse and incredible selection of food that all visitors will struggle not to over-indulge!

Japan – Fans of Asian rice and noodle-based dishes will find that Japan offers simple yet stunning food that’s undeniably moreish. Beyond sushi and sashimi, be sure to try a local katsu curry, nikuman (steamed buns), and ramen (noodle broth).

North America – many people are guilty of dismissing American food as simply large and easy. In fact, the USA is home to some amazing dishes such as barbecue, gourmet burgers, pancakes, steaks, deep-dish pizzas, clam chowder, the list goes on and on . . .

Scandinavia – The cuisine of North Europe is often forgotten, but with such unexpected ingredients and interesting concoctions, it will leave you thinking about what creations you could devise in your own kitchen! The pies and pastries here are especially delicious.

 

 

These are just some of the food-focussed cruising opportunities out there. Research has shown that more and more cruisers believe food to be of the utmost importance on their holiday, and cruise lines are listening to this and constantly upping their game. Because of this you’re likely to find some fantastic speciality restaurants and buffets onboard the majority of ships, and more attention on the culinary aspects of destinations. Take a look at these amazing worldwide food markets for more inspiration about where to see next.



Mother's Day Gift Guide

clock 3rd March 2016 | comment0 Comments

Updated March 2018

 

Give your mum the best she deserves with an extra special gift this year, one she can treasure not just for Mother’s Day but for years to come. Whether it’s the gift of an upcoming holiday or you’re both already onboard and need a little inspiration, we have the gift guide you need.

 

 

Something to look forward to

 

Cruise with celebrity chefs


For the love of food! Popular British cruise line P&O Cruises have their very own team of Food Hero’s onboard, ready and willing to welcome you to foodie heaven. Featuring the famous faces of Britain’s incredible culinary scene, P&O Cruises Food Hero cruises invite guests to join cookery masterclasses, exclusive chef’s tables, and expert Q&A sessions onboard. Treat mum to a Mediterranean cruise on the beautiful Britannia alongside famous faces Marco Pierre White and Eric Lanlard. *Food Hero activities may need to be booked in advance.

 


Sail with Strictly Come Dancing


Tell mum to grab her dancing shoes for a dazzling Strictly Come Dancing cruise. The music, the costumes, and the dances all come to life and light up the atmosphere onboard this spectacular and unique cruise. Fans of the show will love the live experience, with special guests such as Craig Revel Horwood and celebrity dancers Kevin Clifton, Aljaz Skorjanec, and Janette Manrara. Those who fancy it can even enter onboard dance competitions.


 

Wine tasting with Celebrity Wine Experts


Celebrity Cruises have one of the largest and rarest wine collections at sea. Their new partnership with ITV's international hit, The Wine Show - which will see Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer onboar -elevates the guest experience even further. Joe Fattorini uses his 25 years of experience providing captivating expert talks at conferences, writing for leading magazines, and hosting unforgettable wine dinners. Amelia Singer has her own business in the wine market and has worked with well known importers, retailers, and fine wine merchants. She hosts interactive wine tastings, dinners, and events.

If your Mother has a taste for wine, see our advice on the best cruises for wine lovers.

 

A taster cruise or a mini break


From weekend breaks to Dublin to short Christmas market cruises, there are plenty of mini breaks that any mum would love. We think mini breaks are a fantastic option for anyone who is new to cruise, or simply can't always commit to longer length holidays.

If your mother or even you are in need of a spa break, AquaClass Balcony staterooms with Celebrity Cruises have complimentary access to the Persian Gardens Spa. These staterooms are also available on taster cruises. 

 

Onboard and Ashore

 

A spa fit for a princess

 
Spa treatments have long been well received gifts for Mother’s Day, giving mum the opportunity to relax completely, put her feet up and enjoy some quality ‘me’ time. If you know that a spa treatment or even an indulgent day-trip to the spa is guaranteed to make her smile, make sure she gets her gift even if away on holiday. Most cruise lines feature excellent spa facilities; Princess Cruises boast one of the best spas at sea with an attractive range of treatments on offer and Celebrity Cruises host the award winning Canyon Ranch SpaClub. If you already have a cruise to look forward to, our Concierge Team can help you pre-book and save money.

 


Wine and dine with speciality venues

 
Make Mother’s Day dinner extra-special and reserve a table in one of many speciality restaurants at sea. Cruise and cuisine go hand in hand with many cruise lines collaborating with culinary experts, celebrity chefs, and leading restaurateurs. Treat your mum to an afternoon tea like no other onboard Britannia, delicately designed by Master Patissier Eric Lanlard. Savour the authentic Italian flavours with Princess Cruises Sabatini’s, or enjoy the expertise of Nobu-trained chef’s in Crystal Cruises Silk Road and The Sushi Bar.



Something completely different

 
Destination rich itineraries give cruisers the opportunity to experience new cultures and local life in an array of exciting ports of call. Cruise lines are answering the demand for shore excursions with programmes for Destination ImmersionR (Azamara) and exclusive experiences (Celebrity ExclusivesSM). Make mum’s cruise even more memorable by booking a unique shore excursion like Celebrity Cruises Slovenian Truffle Hunt, or a Caribbean rail and sail trip.



5 Cutting edge cruise concepts to look forward to

clock 25th February 2016 | comment0 Comments

Cruising has increased in popularity significantly since the early 19th century and as worldwide interest in cruise holidays continues to grow, the industry has responded with ground breaking attractions, smart technology and amazing “world firsts” at sea.

With so much to look forward to, we have whittled down the amazing list to a few of our favourites.

 

The tallest slide at sea

Royal Caribbean welcomes you to a world where all your wildest dreams come true. A place where you are encouraged to kick up your heels, chase your dreams and slide down the rabbit hole for the time of your life. This couldn’t be more true than with the exciting addition of The Abyss, the tallest slide at sea to Oasis Class newbie Harmony of the Seas. Harmony of the Seas launched May 2016 bringing with her a floating fantasy land of excitement.

The Abyss slide towers 150 feet above sea level spanning an impressive 10 decks and shooting guests at a rate of 9 miles per hour. Beats queuing for the lift any day.

 

 

The world’s first discovery yacht

Luxury cruise and tour company Scenic revealed exciting news this year that sees them launching the world’s first discovery yacht, Scenic Eclipse. The six star, ultra-luxury mega yacht is set to revolutionise luxury cruising and offer exceptional polar and non-polar voyages. Guests who sail onboard Scenic Eclipse can look forward to going above, below and beyond in each destination thanks to two six seater helicopters and a seven seater submarine offering once in a lifetime excursions.

 

 

An Icon receieves a make over

With more than 175 years of experience and expertise, Cunard truly are the epitome of traditional luxury cruising. The iconic Cunard fleet is known worldwide for their famous black and red hull design and popular White Star Service onboard. Taking traditional luxury to the next level in 2016, flagship Queen Mary 2 undergoes extensive refurbishments as part of the Cunard Remastered project. Frequent Cunard cruisers and newbies to the cruise line can look forward to redesigned balcony club staterooms, suites and restaurants. Extra kennels will be added for furry four legged friends, that’s right you can even bring your pets onboard! The Winter Garden will be transformed into a new venue, Kings Court buffet will be revitalised and brand new signature restaurant The Verandah will serve premium French cuisine .

Committed to Queen Mary 2’s growing reputation, Cunard are maintaining their signature style whilst moving forward with the ever evolving cruise industry.

 

Mind, body and soul meets luxury expedition

Ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea Cruises are adding an extra element to world exploration with their wellness themed expedition cruises. Concentrating on mind, body and soul the six star cruise line will transform Silver Discoverer into a floating sanctuary with onboard wellness experts and a special wellbeing activity programme. Highlights include a collaboration with Technogym plus many enticing off the beaten track itinerary hot spots and ports of call.

 

The world’s first IMAX Theatre at sea

Carnival really know how to switch on fun and the launch of new fun-ship Carnival Vista gives us plenty of reasons to get excited. Carnival’s largest and most innovative ship boasts ample choices for entertainment, from the suspended open air cycling experience to the world’s first IMAX Theatre at sea. Spanning an impressive three decks the IMAX screen will be showing the latest Hollywood blockbuster releases and providing Carnival Vista cruisers with a powerful and immersive theatre experience at sea.

 

What are you looking forward to in the world of cruising this year? Fill us in on the comments below!



6 ways to be romantic on your cruise holiday

clock 10th February 2016 | comment0 Comments

Updated February 2018

 

Cruising and romance go hand in hand, as this style of holiday provides plenty of opportunities to share a romantic moment with your loved one. Whether your definition of romance is watching the sunset together with a cocktail, or partying all night long, cruising has something to satisfy every desire.


There are many ways to show your romantic side on a cruise, check out some of our favourites below.



Movies Under the Stars

 
What could be more romantic than a night watching a movie under the stars on a padded double lounger, snuggled under a blanket and popcorn in hand? Find Movies Under the Stars onboard with Princess Cruises and similar outdoor movie experiences on other major cruise lines.

 

 


Couples massage

 
Completely switching off together is something that rarely occurs until you experience a couples massage. Set in a private room, you can enjoy up to an hour of absolute peace, deep body replenishment, and the sweet aroma of massage oil, all with the knowledge that your partner is enjoying the same thing. Couples massages are available in many spas on different cruise lines. Purchase a couples wellness package from MSC Cruises or try the Lotus Spa with Princess.

 

 


Sunset cocktails

 
As the evening approaches, take yourself to a spot on the outer decks and enjoy a cocktail whilst watching the amazing sunset over the surrounding ocean. For an even more romantic touch, some ships allow you to walk out onto the helipad.

 


Dance the night away

 
Whether you have never stepped foot on a dance floor or you are the new Danny and Sandy, let go and see how much fun you have. This may not sound like everyone’s idea of romance but you’ll be surprised at how good you feel at letting go. Check out Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, or Carnival to get in the groove.

 

 


Top Deck Picnic

 
Make your way to the top deck of Celebrity Cruises Solstice Class ships and you’ll find yourself at the lawn club. A lawn of real grass designed exclusively with relaxation and comfort in mind. Take place in lawn games or hire a picnic basket for a romantic top deck picnic for two. Many other cruise ships boast a similar space where you can relax and enjoy a gentle stroll or simply chill out on a lounger.


Explore together

 
They say there is no love without adventure, so going away to experience new destinations, different cultures, unique cuisine, and daring explorations is the ultimate recipe for romance. Travelling to every corner of the globe, a cruise will surely open the door to new adventures - and who better to share this with than your loved one. Azamara Club Cruises have some truly Azamazing evenings and are perfect for destination immersion and experiences.

 


Of course, not every guest is onboard with a partner, and solo cruisers can rest assured that there are plenty of things to do and ways to treat yourself as well. Take a look at these great ideas for single 'me time' and sociable solo cruising too!



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