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Have I Got A Cruise For You!

20th October 2011

Last night, comedian Paul Merton's new travel series kicked off in style with a Caribbean cruise onboard the Allure of the Seas. [More]

Transatlantic Queen Mary 2 Style

1st August 2011

Updated July 2019

Being a fan of shopping in New York, Simone Clark - Iglu's Head of Global Supply - decided to try a Transatlantic cruise as opposed to flying to this fantastic destination. Find out how she got on.

I enjoyed my first Transatlantic crossing onboard Queen Mary 2, but before boarding I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Would I get bored? What was there to do? Would it be claustrophobic? On previous cruises, I've always preferred the port days over the sea days, so this was going to be a real test.

 

 

No Airport

I stayed in an extremely hot and humid New York City for five days of shopping, exploring, and sight seeing (I also got to see the Independence Day fireworks!) So it was superb to not have to waste a day transferring to the airport, then lugging cases around before flying overnight and coming back tired and jet lagged. Instead, I took a taxi from the hotel direct to Manhattan Pier in 55th street, and was in my cabin within the hour sipping on champagne! (Note: Usually the ship sails from Brooklyn but we sailed from Manhattan as a Princess Cruises ship was in port).

 

independence day new york

 

Spectacular Sail Away

Queen Mary 2 felt like an oasis right next to the hubbub of the city. We sailed away in the sunshine at 5 o'clock after a relaxed lunch. I'll never forget it — the most spectacular sailaway ever. We passed the towering skyscrapers of midtown and lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey on the other shores, and then right past the Statue of Liberty before squeezing under the low Verrazano bridge and out to sea. Then we were en route to Southampton, with no land to be seen for the duration of seven days.

 

Queen Mary 2 in NY

 

What to do

There's so much to do on a Transatlantic cruise - there's something for everyone.

For me it was a big learning exercise as I decided to attend all the lectures in the Illuminations Theatre, of which there were two or three every day! I became an expert in espionage and counter-surveillance, cracking the Enigma Code, Beatrix Potter, and the Solar System. I also found time to attend talks from the celebrity speaker and broadcaster Nicholas Owen — and attend two Planetarium shows*. Not only this, but I enjoyed two RADA productions - Hamlet and the Canterbury Tales - and then spent time in the gym and went jogging on the Promenade deck (3 laps = 1 mile). We had some glorious sunshine on a couple of days, so we relaxed on deck and on our private balcony. We also had a very enjoyable afternoon tea one day.

 

Cunard's ballroom

 

In addition to all this daytime entertainment, there are daily bridge classes and tournaments, dance classes, RADA workshops, computer classes, various gym classes and spa treatments for you to enjoy. I just didn't have the time to fit it all in! You could also spend time in the largest at-sea library, which not only has a fantastic selection of books, but is also decorated in a beautiful, warm, and lavish style. There is also an art gallery onboard, featuring some commanding pieces. Evenings are packed with 3D films in the cinema, live music, brilliant theatre productions, and of course traditional ballroom dancing in the Queen's room. There is also a night club style venue where you can dance the night away should you wish to.

All in all I came back thoroughly relaxed, and couldn't believe how quickly the time had passed. I can honestly say that if I had the time, I would always travel Transatlantic this way. Slower definitely is better in this case.

Take a look at Cunard's transatlantic cruises, and find out what adventures you could go on.

*Lecture programming, speakers, and shows are subject to change.


Simone On The Celebrity Silhouette

1st August 2011

Updated July 2019

Our Head of Global Supply, Simone Clark, was lucky enough to receive an invitation to go onboard Celebrity Cruises' stunning ship, Celebrity Silhouette for her naming ceremony. Find out what she thought of the occasion, and of the ship itself.

Celebrity Silhouette is the fourth of the Solstice-class ships, and in my opinion the best. This beautifully designed ship, has some superb features for your enjoyment.

 

 

Celebrity Silhouette's Stand Out Features

 

The Lawn Club features the Porch, a cafe where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch outdoors, and the Lawn Club Grill, where for an additional charge guests can barbecue their own dinner under the watchful eye of the chef. There are also plenty of places to sit and relax, with cabanas that you can hire for the day, hammocks and giant chairs. All these new features, really bring the Lawn Club to life - making it a hub of relaxed activity.

The Hideaway is another popular feature of the ship - situated between the library, card room and iLounge - this is simply a cool and quiet area where guests can sit and relax with a book for an hour or two in one of the modern chairs, cubby holes, or even in their own tree house! Pure bliss for those of us with busy lives.

 

 

The old favourite Michael's club has evolved into a sports bar, serving international bottled beer; sure to be popular. You will also find the superb specialty dining venues, Tuscan Grill, Qsine and Muranos' - all mouthwatering!

 

Celebrity Silhouette's Incredible Art Collection

 

The folks at Celebrity Cruises truly went above and beyond in adorning their beautiful ship in some wonderful art pieces.

You cannot escape the Upper Grand Foyer's suspended live tree. The subtle blue-green iridescent finish on the gold sculptured arms created by Swiss artist duo Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann hold the tree in a centred focal point engaging anyone entering the foyer.

 

 

The Damien Hirst on the stairs and the Gilbert & George located at the entrance of the Oceanview Café prompted me to ask Guest Services for a book on ship's art collection, which was delivered instantly to my stateroom. I was offered a self-guided tour of the ship's art collection on an iPad, which helped me locate the rest of the pieces onboard.

Anish Kapoor's signature stainless steel mirror beckons you in what I can describe as a visual vortex into the speciality restaurant corridors, into culinary world of Blu, Murano, Qsine, and the Tuscan Grille.

The ensemble and dining corridor vestibules' entire ceiling, wall and floor have been cleverly transformed into a fresco of magical realism. Birds singing and water trickling audio complement Hefferman's self portrait as Host and self portrait as Radiant Host - how appropriate for the Silhouette!

 

 

The Naming Ceremony

 

The naming ceremony itself was held in Hamburg, and featured entertainment from some of the crew. The Captain, Dimitrios Kafetzis, and his team, sang the Greek National Anthem - a reference to Celebrity Cruises' Greek origins.

It was a very glamorous affair, with guests dressing up to the nines to celebrate this fantastic new ship, and the increasing growth of a well-loved cruise line.

If you're feeling inspired, take a look at our range of upcoming Celebrity Silhouette sailings.


Classic Cruise Ships: From Cruise Liner To War Hero — The SS Canberra

1st June 2011

In the first of a series looking at classic cruise ships here is one of P&O Cruises' and Britain's most famous ships, the SS Canberra. [More]

Cheap Cruise Deals

31st May 2011

Cheap cruise deals and cheap cruise holidays. [More]

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