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Is It Time To Treat Your Pet To A Cruise?

9th September 2015

Are you among the 72% of people that fret about going on holiday because they worry about leaving their pet at home? Remarkably, for a very large number of people, their first priority when choosing a holiday is organising what to do with their dog or cat.

 

Cannot possibly go away and leave the dog…

According to a recent survey a staggering 10.5 million pet owners worry their way through their holiday due to constantly thinking about their cat or dog being left at home. Just as shocking, it was found that one in ten owners will not even take a holiday without their pet. From being slightly alarmed by this information and due to my passion for cruise, I decided to find out: Can we take our pets on a cruise with us?

Cruising is the largest growing sector within the travel industry and with over 300 ships to choose from worldwide, it is an increasingly popular holiday choice for so many people. So, with this information and the statistics about pet owners, surely it is possible to take your pet on a cruise?

 

Time for some serious research…

After extensive research, it was not looking hopeful However, I started to understand the reasons why taking your pet on a cruise is not possible. Cruise ships have extremely strict sanitation and health guidelines that they have to adhere to, and this would prove fairly difficult with pets onboard. Just like us, pets need somewhere to sleep, exercise, eat and go to the toilet, so to make this possible in a limited space shared with so many people, would be hard. Secondly, the nature of a cruise holiday is going to more than one country during a sailing. Many countries have strict quarantine and admission requirements for any animals entering the country, therefore this would make it almost impossible.

So basically, the only pet that is allowed on a cruise ship is a service animal. Although a service animal is not actually considered a pet, they are an animal that is trained to benefit a person with a disability. Appropriate paperwork will have to be presented to the cruise line before the cruise and supervision of the animal will be the sole responsibility of the owner at all times. Owners will also be responsible for obtaining all required permits for service animals to leave the ship in port of call.

On most cruise lines, service animals are allowed to go in all onboard venues, including all dining areas. I can imagine you are now wondering, where they go to the toilet!? A popular question amongst cruisers, believe it or not! Well, they will have a special ‘Botty Box’ which will vary in size and location depending on the cruise line.

 


 

You thought cruising was only for people…

So, just as I was wrapping up my research and findings about pets on cruise ships… hang on… pet friendly cruise ship? How could this be right after everything I found out about not allowing this? Well, it turns out there is one exception to the rule. British cruise line, Cunard, operates the ‘Pets on Deck’ programme, allowing owners to bring their pets on a cruise with them.

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is an approved carrier in connection with the Pet Travel Scheme and allows dogs, cats and other furry favourites to go on a luxury transatlantic sailing with their owners. Pets onboard the Queen Mary 2 receive the same pampering as their owners. Boasting spacious pet kennels with a full-time kennel master, they have the ultimate luxury pet accommodation… with their own private ‘pet butler’!

The area also has an indoor play zone where dogs and cats can play with each other, or if stated by the owner they can have an individual playtime. Dogs are walked outdoors several times a day and also have visiting hours for the owners to go and visit them.

Fine dining? Of course! Freshly baked, healthy, gourmet doggie or kitty cookies are offered on a daily basis as well as meal times requested by owner.

Even overnight, pets are never left unattended and there is someone caring for them 24 hours a day. As for safety, all pets have their own life vests too! Those guests with pets are taught how to put them on during the emergency drill.

As if all of this was not enough, pets are also supplied with a complimentary gift pack which includes toys, personalized name tag, food dish, portrait with owner and a personalized cruise card. Lucky little things!


 

 

Fit for even the most famous pets…

Cunard has supported the pet-friendly policy since the maiden voyage of the Britannia in 1840 when three cats were on board and since then thousands of pets have enjoyed the Cunard treatment, including, a monkey, canaries and a circus elephant! With such star treatment it’s no wonder that even some celebrity pets have cruised with Cunard including, Elizabeth Taylor with her dog, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor with their puppy and most recently Britain’s most famous dog, Pudsey, cruised with his owner Ashley.

 

 

Being a dog owner myself, I know how attached we are to our pets and if I could have taken my dog with me to sea I would have! Pets On Deck truely is an incredible concept and I know you are having second thoughts about your next holiday now. Be aware that there is a limit to 12 pets per cruise so they book up fast!


What happened to the cruise industry in 2014?

16th December 2014

As the end of 2014 approaches and we frantically panic prepare for next week, let's take a moment to reminisce on all of the things that made this year one of the most memorable for cruise.

With the cruise industry rapidly growing, it is now one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry. 21.3 million people cruised in 2013 and this number is expected to significantly increase for the end of 2014.

It wasn’t only the growth that made this year so phenomenal, 2014 saw us enjoy new ships, new destinations, incredible refurbishments and a host of breaking cruise news.

So, was 2014 the year for cruise? Let’s take a look…

January

'Kicking off the year in style'

As everyone packed away their decorations and set their New Year’s resolutions, the cruise industry wasted no time in starting the new year.

In time for the New Year festivities, P&O’s Arcadia revealed her multi-million pound refurbishment. Showcasing a host of new amenities, newly designed staterooms and the addition of a new 'East' restaurant, the adult-only ship was ready to excite guests once again.

In other news MSC Cruises announced they will sail to Asia and Australia for the first time in 2015, P&O Cruises revealed they will be adding a large union jack to the hull of all their ships and Carnival Cruise Lines released details on their new 'Concerts At Sea' programme.

My January highlight: Oceania’s first world cruise sold out in eight hours.

February

'Britannia starts to unveil'

The resolutions were already broken and everyone started to think about their 2014 summer holiday. As cruises were booking out fast and it was looking to be another busy year for the industry, the cruise lines kept whetting our appetites with more news.

It was announced the world’s largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas will be coming to Europe in 2015, P&O Cruises opened their upcoming Strictly Come Dancing cruises and Fred Olsen released details that Julian Lloyd Webber will perform onboard Braemar.

The most exciting announcements were those made by P&O Cruises as they finally revealed details about new ship, Britannia. Unveiling the 'Food Heroes' concept and the five celebrity chefs would be working together onboard.

My February highlight: The first plate of steel was cut for Carnival Vista.

March

'A race to be the best'

As temperatures started to rise and Spring was in sight, it appeared the cruise lines wanted to heat things up early and a host of cruise news came flooding in.

Although we were still in the first quarter of 2014, many of the lines started to release their big plans for 2015. It was announced 2015 will see Norwegian Cruise Lines largest ship, Norwegian Epic based year-round in Europe, Cunard will celebrate their 175th anniversary with their entire fleet docking in Liverpool together, Fred Olsen will explore the Arctic and Disney Cruise Line will sail from the UK.

It was also the month for Royal Caribbean to start revealing plans about their new Quantum-class ships, announcing they will have no main dining room and Jamie Oliver will have his first restaurant at sea.

An exciting milestone for Norwegian Cruise Line was met as the first piece of steel for Norwegian Escape was cut.

My March highlight: Sir Richard Branson confirmed he will enter the cruise industry with the launch of 'Virgin Cruises'.

April

'Five years since Oasis'

Spring arrived and it was the busiest month for booking as families, couples and singles put their deposits down on their yearly cruise. The Mediterranean was again a popular choice for families, however Asia and Australia bookings were also proving more popular.

Royal Caribbean announced new ship Quantum of the Seas will be based in China, as well as the news CATS will replace Hairspray on Oasis of the Seas.

My April highlight: Carnival Cruise Lines launched their new children’s programme.

May

'Confirmed rumours of new ships'

As the flowers were starting to bloom and we were in touching distance of summer, the cruise lines made some announcements to remind us once again why this industry is a constant excitement.

Royal Caribbean announced they will build a fourth Oasis-Class ship and MSC Cruises confirmed plans to build two revolutionary new ships.

After celebrating the Royal Rendezvous, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth began her multi-million pound refit. After her 16 day refurbishment in Hamburg, she returned with new single cabins, new restaurants, a newly designed casino and new sun awnings on the top deck.

My May highlight: Princess Cruises announced they will feature in a new documentary on ITV called 'The Cruise Ship' portraying what life is like onboard.

June

'Quantum details revealed'

Summer was in full swing and as thousands of us departed on our summer cruises, Royal Caribbean ensured the only think we were talking about was Quantum of the Seas. Throughout the month they released details of what can be expected onboard.

It was announced that there would be a revolutionary new entertainment venue called 'Two70' that will feature floor to ceiling windows that change from day to night. The Broadway show will be Mama Mia and a twenties Gatsby’s themed venue will also feature.

My June highlight: P&O Cruises revealed more about the dining features onboard Britannia, including cheese expert Charlie Turnball will join the five other celebrity chefs onboard.

July

'..and more new ships'

Soaring temperatures hit England, however this did not stop people setting sail for their ultimate summer getaway. Southampton saw thousands of cruisers boarding their ships for Mediterranean adventures and airports were busy with people flying to the likes of Florida and New York to join their ship.

Royal Caribbean continued to create intrigue around Quantum and Anthem of the Seas as they revealed more news about phenomenal technology onboard. Releasing videos about the new WOWbands, interactive screens and virtual balconies, they branded everything "this changes everything".

Cruise & Maritime announced they will introduce new ship Azores to the fleet in 2015. Norwegian Cruise Lines also revealed plans for two new ships and Princess Cruises revealed their plans for a third Royal-class ship.

My July highlight: Fred Olsen launched a Poison, Murder & Mystery cruise where guests can fully immerse themselves in a murder mystery at sea.

August

'The return of The Love Boat'

The month that sees the most sunlight, August had everyone is good spirits. While thousands of us were sipping cocktails on the pooldeck, the rest of us were enjoying days in beer gardens and family BBQ’s.

Princess Cruises revealed new ship Regal Princess will be named by the original cast of hit US television show, The Love Boat. After completing her summer season in the Mediterranean she will return to Fort Lauderdale for her naming celebrations.

P&O Cruises and Cunard launched world cruises. For the first time three Cunard ships and three P&O ships will set off on world voyages in 2016.

My August highlight: P&O Cruises announced Aurora will undergo a £26 million refit.

September

'Hello to the Northern Lights promise'

As we slowly started to wave goodbye to summer, we were not the only ones with chilly temperatures on our minds. Hurtigruten announced their 'Northern Lights Promise'. Never before offered, they launched a promise no other tour operator has ever offered. If guests do not see the Northern Lights, they will be given a free cruise.

Norwegian Cruise Line agreed a multi-million deal to acquire Prestige Cruises, parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

My September highlight: Cunard revealed their latest line-up of guest speakers to include Ann Widdecombe and Michael Howard.

October

'LEGO, Hollywood Rocks and Elvis'

The heating was on and summer appeared a distant memory, luckily the cruise lines had a whole host of announcements to stop us feeling anxious about the winter.

Fred Olsen launched an Elvis Presley 80th birthday cruise, MSC Cruises partnered with LEGO and Cunard were commended for their incredible feedback on Queen Victoria’s performance of Hollywood Rocks.

Princess Cruises launched their new honeymoon registry system as well as announcing details for their 50th anniversary celebrations in November.

My October highlight: Princess revealed plans to bring their 50th anniversary celebrations to the whole fleet and will host celebratory parties on all ships.

November

'This changes everything'

As the mild winter continued and everywhere started to set up for Christmas, the cruise industry prepared for one of the most memorable moments of the year – the arrival of Quantum of the Seas.

After months of speculation and anticipation she arrived into Southampton ready for us to finally put pictures to life. She did not disappoint and living up up to her motto "this changes everything". With robotic bartenders, an indoor skydive, bumper cars and revolutionary dining – she received a thumbs up from all.

Shortly after Regal Princess was named in Miami following her successful season in Europe, Cruise and Maritime announced the addition of new ship Magellan and Fred Olsen revealed plans to refurbish three of their ships.

My November highlight: Norwegian Cruise Lines announced Norwegian Epic will debut new entertainment aimed at the European market as well as a Beatles Cavern Club.

December

'It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas'

As we put up the tree, search for gifts and indulge on the first mince pie, at the blink of an eye Christmas has arrived once again.

The month started with more new ship announcements. Luxury line Seabourn confirmed the order of another new ship set for delivery in 2018 and Celebrity Cruises revealed plans to build two new ships under the project name 'Edge' set to debut in 2018 and 2020.

Sir Richard Branson launched 'Virgin Cruises' and said he will "shake up the cruise industry" with two new purpose built ships.

My December highlight: P&O Cruises released 'The Great British Beer & Ale Menu' to feature on Britannia. It will be the largest selection of British beers at sea.


By Sally Grimes


Famous Faces Join Cunard

12th December 2014

The attraction of having a guest speaker onboard a cruise is becoming increasingly popular and Cunard Line have always stood out in providing the finest speaker programme in the industry. The recently announced line-up looks the most exciting to date.

Nicholas Owen, BBC News Presenter

Nicholas Owen has become a renowned news presenter and loved for his passion and enthusiasm. Working for ITN for over two decades he became famous for his work on Channel Four News and News At Ten. It was in his time as ITV’s Royal Correspondent that saw a pinnacle in his career and he was commended for playing a major role in the reporting of the death and funeral of Diana, Princess Of Wales.

Nicholas will join Queen Mary 2 for her Eastbound transatlantic in May 2015 and take two talks 'Life with the Royals' and 'What’s wrong with the media?' He will discuss a range of subjects including what roles the newspapers play and how the news differs from TV and radio.

When and where: Eastbound Transatlantic, 10th May 2015

Sir Jackie Stewart, F1 World Champion

Sir Jackie Stewart has become one of the most famous faces of F1 and holds a prestigious and fascinating career. In 1965 he scored the first of his incredible 27 Grand Prix championship victories and progressed ever since. He was crowned three-time World Champion and has achieved a total of 27 victories our of 99 races. Awarded an OBE in 1972, he was then knighted by the Queen in 2001.

Joining Queen Mary 2 for the second leg of her world cruise in January 2015 he will present a talk titled 'Life in Formula One'.

When and where: Dubai to Sri Lanka, 30th January 2015

Shirley Jones, Academy Award winning actress

Academy Award winning Shirley Jones became a popular actress from when she first entered the acting industry in the 60’s. Her film credits include Oklahoma!, Carousel and The Music Man. However it was her role in Elmer Gantry that won her an Academy Award in 1960. Although famous for her iconic roles in film, it was her role as the loveable matriarch in the hit 1970’s TV show, the partridge Family that won the hearts of millions.

Shirley Jones will sail on Queen Victoria in February, joined by her husband, actor and comedian Marty Ingels.

When and where: Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, 2nd February 2015

Lord Robert Winston

Lord Robert Winston is a Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London and has become a popular figure for his developing techniques. In the 1970s he was able to develop ways of improving fertility treatments including IVF. He now runs incredible research at the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology which aims to improve human transplantation. His latest work has seen him involved in the modification of genes to improve the treatment of many medical conditions.

Lord Robert Winston will join Queen Elizabeth on her Spain and Italy cruise in June 2015 and present three intriguing talks.

When and where: Spain and Italy, 16th June 2015

David Blunkett, Former Labour party member

As a former member of Tony Blair’s Labour Cabinet, his intriguing career took place at a time when the country saw a number of significant changes. He was Home Secretary in charge of counter terrorism, policing, the justice system and immigration at the time of the September 11th attack in New York. David is the first person with sight loss to hold senior office in government during modern times.

David Blunkett will join Queen Victoria during her Rome to Venice sailing in September 2015 and plans to deliver two talks names 'Reflections on gorwing up without sight' and 'Life in the bear pit'.

When and where: Rome to Venice, 12th September 2015

Pam Ayres, Radio and TV Presenter 

After winning TV talent show Opportunity Kocks in 1975, Pam Ayres has gone on to become a famous writer, broadcaster and entertainer. She is one of the bestselling female comedians in the UK and has sold out virtually every venue she has played. Her recent autobiography, The Necessary Aptitiude, was the UK’s bestselling female autobiography and she one of the few people to have bestsellers in the Sunday Times charts in every decade.

Pam Ayres will join Queen Elizabeth on her cruise to Venice and the Adriatic in October 2015.

When and where: Venice and the Adriatic, 21st October 2015


Destination Focus: World Cruises 2014

3rd September 2012

Today marks the beginning of P&O Cruises and Cunard Line's 2014 World Cruises going on sale. The brochures have long been printed, posted and stacked on shelves, and in little over 48 hours we will be able to get our mitts on all the best deals as they trickle open the bookings process.

So, what are we looking forward to with the 2014 World Cruises?

First of all there's the ships.

Cunard are world renowned for circumnavigating the globe. Queen Mary 2, with her vast size, imperial feel and traditional, high-class standards never fail to impress. Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, the twin-like sister ships, are more modern ships, but still offer a traditional, British Empire feel. Cunard offer the ultimate in large ship world cruising luxury, and though this is nothing new, it still excites us.

P&O Cruises have gone with a variety of ships for this years World Cruises. Adonia is the ship that stands out for me. She is much smaller than a the rest of the P&O fleet, but this means access to more intimate ports — that larger ships can't get to — and a more exclusive atmosphere onboard, all wrapped in P&O's traditional, yet modern, British approach to cruising. With Aurora and Arcadia also sailing around the world they are also offering an adult-only mid-sized ship and a family-friendly P&O favourite.

World Cruises aren't limited to a full round the world in 80 days experience, in fact most people tend to book a World Cruise Sector, meaning you get to pick a section of the itinerary with the destinations you would like to visit. So, what's exciting for 2014?

Any sectors departing from or arriving in Southampton are always popular, with San Francisco to Southampton and Southampton to Cape Town the pick of the bunch according to Dave Mills, our renowned Head of Commercial.

There is a fantastic trip from Southampton to Hong Kong which I would love to go on. The adult-only Adonia takes in Cairo, transits along the Suez Canal before visiting diverse and intriguing destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Manila and Hong Kong — that's more culture in one cruise then many people would come across in a lifetime!

Another trip which really stands out to me is Southampton to Rio onboard Queen Victoria. The opportunity to visit Rio, Montevideo and Buenos Aires in style, before a relaxing cruise home.

These exotic 2014 World Voyages go on sale from:

  • 3rd Sep - for P&O Cruises Peninsular Club Passengers
  • 4th Sep - General Sale for P&O Cruises
  • 5th Sep - General Sale for Cunard

There are some fantastic early booking benefits to entice you, if getting your preferred cabin and dining times aren't enough, which include:

  • Up to £1100/$1800 Onboard spending money
  • Free Airport Parking on many cruises
  • Free Regional flight on many cruises
  • Free 1Nt or 3Nt Hotel City Stay

If cruising around the world or visiting some unique destinations is on the agenda for 2014, then now's the time to take to book a cruise, especially with the new Vantage Fares offering the best value that P&O Cruises and Cunard Line have ever boasted.

Here's the full selection of 2014 World Cruise deals.


Queen Mary 2 the Ocean's Answer to the Strand

28th July 2010

A visit to the Queen Mary 2, the Ocean's Answer to the Strand [More]

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