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10 Ways To Spend Onboard Credit

21st November 2014

Updated July 2018

 

There is so much included in the price of a cruise, so why is the promotion of onboard credit always so appealing to everyone?

For those of you who do not know what onboard credit is, it's a set value of credit added to your account, which you can use freely onboard. You will not need to activate it, everything will be set up before you board so it is ready to spend as you wish.

The best thing about onboard credit is that you can spend it exactly how you want, it enables you to truly treat yourself and you can perhaps use your credit on things that maybe you couldn't justify if it was coming from your pocket.

 

Drinks

Whether you are a frequent drinker or not, a cruise is a perfect opportunity to quench your thirst with a liquid treat. Cocktail, champagne, beer, wine or a virgin drink, everyone loves to excite their taste buds with new flavours whilst on holiday.

Using your onboard credit for drinks is a great way to keep your bill to a minimum as you can forget how many drinks you are purchasing!

 

 

Speciality Dining

A cruise truly takes you on a culinary journey like nowhere else. Most ships will have every type of cuisine available, from Chinese to Mexican and buffets to premium cuisine. During a cruise, you will have the choice of both complimentary and charged dining.

Speciality restaurants are the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or treat yourself and using your onboard credit for delicious food is always a winner!

 

Shopping

The shops onboard cruise ships of today are as extensive as the shopping centres on land and you can buy almost anything on a cruise. From handbags to jewellery, to souvenirs and clothing, it is a shopping haven…especially to those with some onboard credit!

Whether shopping for someone back home or treating yourself, you are sure to find something you 'just have to have'.

 

Spa Treatments

Cruise line spas are among the best in the world with luxurious areas and award-winning treatments. The extensive treatment menus have everything from massages, facials, botox and weight loss treatments.

 

 

A holiday is about taking some time for you so what better way to spend your onboard credit than a treatment you have always dreamt of?

Photographs

Some would say one way to make memories more special is being able to capture them to share. A cruise makes it impossible to forget any moment as their friendly photographers will be there to snap every last smile.

As soon as you look at every picture you are going to want to purchase them all so having some onboard credit to take life-changing memories home with you is a huge bonus.

 

Excursions

Excursions offer the ultimate way to experience the fascinating destinations you will visit during your cruise. Whether you want to relax, explore or learn, there will be a range of excursions in every port for everyone.

The demand for excursions is high and they can be pricey so using your onboard credit for this is a great idea.

Casino

Do you ever feel lucky when you are on holiday? Whether you have a professional gaming hand or you want to try your luck for the first time, cruise ship casinos are definitely a fun place to visit. Even watching other people play can be a new experience to those who have never been in a casino and the exciting atmosphere is one that cannot be found anywhere else.

 

 

Some cruise lines allow guests to use onboard credit in the casinos - be sure to check this with your specific cruise line.

Gratuities

Some cruise lines include the gratuities in their cruise price but for most, you have the option of paying them onboard. Gratuities are a way for you to express your thanks to the attentive crew members who will be helping you throughout your time onboard.

You can ask for your gratuities to be taken from your onboard account, therefore using your onboard credit for this can be an option if you wish.

 

Activities

Almost all activities onboard are complimentary, however, there are a few activities that require an extra charge such as private Flowrider lessons onboard Royal Caribbean, wine tasting or cookery classes.

A cruise is a perfect time to try something new or experience something you would not attempt any other time. Having onboard credit is a great excuse to push your adrenalin or learn something new.

 

Internet

If you are someone who likes to stay connected, your bill can creep quite high during a cruise. Slower internet speed and high costs can make using the internet quite daunting on a cruise. Using your onboard credit to update social media, chat with friends at home or find out the latest news can be extremely helpful.

 

More top tips:

10 things to do on a sea day

Top tips for embarkation


P&O Reveal Exclusive Wine and High Street Brands For Britannia

14th November 2014

As we get closer to the arrival of Britannia, we were anticipating when the next reveal would be and sure enough it came...

The Wiston Estate

We were invited to The Wiston Estate in Sussex for an exclusive presentation from P&O Cruises about their new drinks programme onboard Britannia. The beautiful building, surrounded by stunning gardens was the perfect location to celebrate what is to be a refined and quintessentially British ship.

The Wiston Winery is owned and managed by the Goring family who have grown vineyards here since 2006. The estate and grounds are truly exquisite and produce unique wines that have become a British phenomenon.

Olly Talks Drink

After a presentation from P&O Cruises Executives showcasing everything Britannia will have to offer, famous TV Presenter and Wine Expert Olly Smith took to the stage to introduce the Wiston Sparkling Wine set to be the flagship wine of Britannia. Tasting extremely similar to champagne, it is the only drink of its kind to be produced in England. Often compared to some of the world's finest champagnes it was clear to see why this has been chosen for such an iconic ship.

It will be a bottle of this wine that will also be used to smash against the hull of Britannia during her naming ceremony.

It is not only this that will excite you on Britannia's drinks menu, P&O Cruises have devised a whole new British Beer and Ale menu. Being one of the first to catch a glimpse of this menu, we already know it is going to raise the bar in cruise drinks menus.

Keeping with the strong British inspiration, this exciting menu has been thoroughly sourced, designed and executed to really change the game for P&O’s newest member of the fleet. You will not find a selection like this on any other ship.

Some of the ales include Cotsword Way from Gloucestershire, Brentwood Gold from Essex, Old Speckled Hen from Somerset and Orange Peel from Wiltshire.

It was also revealed famous chef James Martin will be inviting a selection of celebrity friends to join him at his onboard cookery school. Two of the confirmed guests include Mary Berry and Antonio Carluccio.

From Drinks To Shopping

It is not only the new drinks menu that will ensure you fall in love with Britannia, a new retail space featuring high street brands is set to be like no other shopping area at sea.

Britannia will boast a 720-square metre retail space and feature a range of popular brands to ensure you can shop and browse to your hearts content as you would at your favourite shopping centre.

When designing Britannia, P&O thought thoroughly about how much people enjoy shopping on a cruise, especially during sea days. This lead to them wanting Britannia to have a shopping area as varied as land based shopping centres. Again, keeping with the British theme it made sense they brought popular British brands to the high seas for the first time.

Making their debut on Britannia will be:

Crew Clothing - The popular brand worn by celebrities such as Kate Middleton and Ben Fogle.

Beaverbrooks - This family owned business rapidly became a favourite on British high streets. Specialising in jewelry, diamonds and designer watches, it is the perfect store to bring to Britannia for those who want to shop for a special treat.

The White Company - A brand that became popular for their attention to detail within their clothing garments, The White Company have been trading for over 20 years. Loved for the finest cotton used in their clothing makes their range perfect for cruise clothing.

Rituals - A cruise is the perfect way to take some time out and evaluate how you look after yourself so it makes perfect sense to have a Rituals store onboard. Specialising in high quality products to enrich body and soul, it is hoped their products will influence guests to transform their daily routines. Popular products include facial care, body creams, scented candles and perfumes.

Desigual - A Spanish brand that made its way onto the British scene a few years ago to excite people with their quirky designs of clothing and handbags. They have become popular for their patchwork designs, graffiti designs and intense prints.

Chopard - The iconic swiss-based luxury watch and jewellery company have been designing watches since 1860.

Other brands available on Britannia will be Lancome, Dior, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Omega, Citizen, Tag Heur, Michael Kors, Radley and Armani Jeans.

Britannia will debut in March 2015 and sail a range of itnieraries from Southampton including Norwegian Fjords and Mediterranean.  See our Britannia Cruise Deals


Regal Princess Naming Ceremony

5th November 2014

Updated May 2019

 

Back in November 2014 some of our Iglu Team were fortunate enough to be invited to Florida by Princess Cruises, for the highly-anticipated naming ceremony of Regal Princess. Read on to find out more about these elaborate events, and just what our guys thought of the ship.

 

 

Regal Princess' naming ceremony came just as Princess Cruises were celebrating their 50th birthday, so the event was sure to be one of the most glamorous of its kind yet.

 

Life Onboard Regal Princess

 

Upon arrival to the port, members of the cruise industry from all over were invited onboard the ship, only to be met by excited check in staff, and one of the most spectacular atriums. Here, coffee was served and the ship's crew were bustling about preparing for the main event, the naming ceremony. Neutral decor and gold trimmings set the scene of a luxury liner that cruising dreams are made of. With an atrium 60% bigger than any other Princess ship, it is the heart of the ship that captivates you from the first moment. She is grand and luxurious, yet elegant and welcoming.

 

 

After exploring the entirety of the ship, it's fair to say that Regal Princess has something for everyone onboard. From the opportunity to be a child again in the kids club, to enjoying relaxing me-time in the adults-only Sanctuary area, all kinds of cruisers will feel right at home.

Cuisine onboard went above expectations and the service exceptional. We were treated to the tender flavour of perfectly cooked roast pork in the evening, before being spoiled for choice at breakfast with an array of hot foods, flakey pastries, fruit, and freshly baked muffins.

 

The Naming Ceremony

 

With all onboard preparing for the naming ceremony, it certainly looked like it was going to be a spectacular affair. The guys from The Love Boat rehearsed their naming speech, as Princess Cruises breaks the mould again by awarding the prestigious 'Godmother' title to all of the cast! With fireworks at the ready and Champagne glasses stacked, every single person onboard from crew to guests were beaming with excitement.

As the sun set behind Regal Princess, the view of the Miami skyline made impressive shadows on the surrounding water. With warm temperatures and striking skies, it was the perfect evening for such an iconic celebration. All onboard embraced the occasion and made a special effort to dress in nautical coloured clothes. With only travel trade, VIP's and special guests onboard it was clear to see everyone had a strong passion for cruising, and especially for Princess Cruises. After a glass of champagne it was time to head to the top deck for the naming ceremony.

 

 

 

As everyone gathered around the outer decks in their blue and white attire, there was an apparent 'love for the sea' in the air. The evening kicked off with the introduction of Regal Princess' Godparents, then, after performances from the singers and dancers, a clip of T'he Love Boat' was shown on the gigantic screen that stands as the centre attraction on the upper deck. 

Jan Swartz, President of Princess Cruises and Arnold Donald, Director of Carnival Corporation then spoke about their brand and what Regal Princess will bring to the company. They were both inspirational characters who are very passionate about their cruise line.

 

 

As Princess Cruises were celebrating their 50th anniversary, they did not smash one Champagne bottle as the tradition goes, instead they lined 50 bottles up along the side of the ship and smashed them all before the main large bottle was shattered over the pool deck. The naming of a ship is such an iconic moment and an experience that remains in the memory of everyone who attends. This celebration appeared to expose an infectious amount of passion.

After all the excitement we were treated to a six-course gala dinner, a toast with the ship’s crew, and a chance to meet other agents before we gathered on the top deck to see the fireworks. Every time the sky illuminated with the intense colours of the fireworks, it lit up the whole ship reminding everyone just how lucky we were to be a part of this memorable moment. The rest of the evening was filled with more merriment, with plenty of dancing, socialising and celebrating onboard this stunning new ship.

If you would like to see this majestic ship for yourself, browse through our range of Regal Princess cruises and start planning your next cruise adventure.


Top 5 Cruise TV Ads

30th October 2014

With so much competition in the cruise industry, it appears cruise lines are pulling out all the stops to advertise their brand. From magazine spreads to city billboards, it is hard to escape the rapidly increasing industry that has become the number one holiday choice.

The latest trend in the travel industry seems to be television advertisments. Proving to be extremely successful these adverts have the power to convert dreaming minds in front of a TV to the picking up of a phone to book a cruise.

Here are my Top 5…

1. Royal Caribbean – The Sea Is Calling

The 'slightly chessy but works' ad

I love this advert! I think it’s because I know so many people can relate to the stress of everyday life, working hard and dreaming of holidays and how if we close our eyes we can transform into a different world. It is also great for showing the range of activities onboard and how there is something for all ages.

2. Princess Cruises – Memories

The 'emotional' ad

This advert was extremely well planned and really tags at the emotion strings. Although very short, it gets a strong message across of how important memories are to children. Family time is something none of us seem to have enough time for in everyday life, and this advertisement portrays the unforgettable bond you can form with your family on a cruise.

3. P&O Cruises – Time For You

The 'I can relate to this' ad

I do not believe anyone that says this advert does not put a smile on their face – even if it just the tapping of feet to the song! The message here is that everyone needs time to switch off and have fun at some point. Setting the scene of a typical mother and father realising it’s time for them to enjoy themselves again, it makes us all wonder when is it our time?

4. Disney Cruise Line – Captain’s Log Day

The 'I didn't realise that' add

In just 30 seconds this advert tells the story of a Disney cruise. Showing how all ages enjoy a day onboard, it sets the scene for the ultimate family cruise. This advertisement is great for changing the perception that a Disney cruise is just for children and certainly gives a different angle to cruising.

5. Carnival Cruises – Switch On Fun

The 'I wish' ad

Within the first six seconds this advertisement steels your attention as we can all relate to being stuck in traffic in depressing English weather, so we want to see what it is going to be about. At the switch of a button (but in reality, a phone call) you can be swept away to an exotic cruise. Carnival Cruise Lines are all about fun and this TV advert illistrates just that.


By Sally Grimes


7 Reasons To Be Excited About Quantum Of The Seas

23rd October 2014

Named as the first 'Smart Ship', she is the most technologically advanced ship in the world. With amenities never seen before at sea including bumper cars, an indoor skydive and an elevating pod, along with futuristic entertainment, extensive dining options and innovative staterooms, she is set to be a game changer in the cruise industry.

1. You can skydive in the middle of the ocean

In true Royal Caribbean style, they had to push boundaries with the onboard activities and Ripcord by iFly is about as exhilarating as it can get. This 30-foot tall glass flight chamber will give the feeling of a real life skydive as 30mph fans are projected upwards. This thrilling experience is like no other and can be found on the sports deck towards the aft of the ship.

2. You can dine in 18 restaurants

Introducing Royal Caribbean’s new Dynamic Dining concept, Quantum of the Seas presents 18 unique restaurants to take you on a culinary journey like never before.

With no traditional dining room, set dining times or formal nights, you can choose to dine in an array of exquisite restaurants. From Mexican, oriental and steak houses to Italian, buffets and American grills – there is something to tantalise every taste bud.

Popular Chef Jamie Oliver makes his debut at sea with speciality restaurant Jamie’s Italian, serving his finest Italian flavours and popular dishes.

3. You can ride 200 feet above sea level

I do not want to have a favourite part already, but I have a feeling this may be it! As a huge fan of the London Eye, when I saw there was going to be an elevating pod on top of the ship I couldn't quite believe it.

The North Star is a jewel-shaped capsule that will take you 200 feet above the ocean’s surface while taking in 360° views of the surrounding ocean or awe-inspiring destinations.

North Star will be complimentary to ride and no reservations will be needed.

4. You can download personalised apps

Many of us practically control our life from our phone and now you will be able to plan every part of your cruise from your finger tips with the exclusive Quantum Apps.

The cruise planner allows you to make reservations before you get onboard as well as during your cruise, including spa treatments, excursions and restaurant reservations. This app will also allow you to message friends and family on the ship and track exactly where they are.

Order a drink from your phone? Why not says Royal Caribbean. There is an app that will allow you to order drinks from your phone and then have them served by a robotic bar tender in the Bionic Bar – Incredible.

The introduction of the WOWband wristband will help you navigate your way around the ship as well as track friends and act as your room key and charge card.

5. You can watch futuristic entertainment

Royal Caribbean have won many awards for their onboard entertainment, so it made sense to pull out every stop for the entertainment programme onboard Quantum of the Seas.

World class singers, actors and dancers have been selected to appear in Broadway hit musical Mama Mia which will showcase in the main theatre during numerous evenings of the cruise.

Two70 is where entertainment and technology come face to face in a revolutionary new venue. In the day a modern open aired space to enjoy panoramic views of the outside, however when the sun goes down it completely transforms. Turning into an enchanted wonderland of rotating digital scenery, you will be able to experience aerialists, moving scenery and mind-blowing light shows as you sip on your favourite cocktail.

6. You can still enjoy your old favourites

As well as these new innovations, Royal Caribbean know what people have grown to love about their brand and do not want to take this away from their loyal guests. Quantum of the Seas boasts a number of original Royal Caribbean favourites such as the Flowrider surf simulator, the DreamWorks experience, Vitality Spa, and popular dining areas such as Windjammer Marketplace, Sorrento’s and Johnny Rockets.

The much-loved Royal Promenade will be the Royal Esplanade, however you will still get to feature an interior style promenade lined with shops, bars and other venues.

7. You can share all of this with your friends and family back at home

What is the point of making memories, if you can’t share them? This has proven to be hard on a cruise due to the slow and expensive WiFi at sea. However, Quantum of the Seas changes everything.

Quantum’s WiFi will be the fastest at sea and allow you to stream video, make Skype calls and post on social media to your hearts content. No buffering and expensive WiFi bills puts this ship way ahead of any others in the technology field.

Kids and teens (and adults if you wish) will also be able to link their Xbox live account to people all over the world in the Seaplex pod.

With innovation, technology and style set to dominate the oceans, Quantum of the Seas and her sister ships Ovation of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas are a class you won't want to miss.

By Sally Grimes


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