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Cruise Blog

What is the Boardwalk on Oasis Class ships?

13th May 2016

Unlike the other class of ships, Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships have seven different neighbourhoods. Let's take a look at the entertainment, restaurants an fun you can have on the Boardwalk. [More]

The Spectacular Ovation of the Seas - Royal Caribbean's newest ship

13th April 2016

As Royal Caribbean WOW us with the latest addition to their fleet, we look at what makes Ovation of the Seas the world’s most technologically advanced cruise ship.


Innovations

The first time we saw a Quantum class ship, we were introduced to many ‘firsts at sea’ including VOOM! - the fastest internet at sea, dynamic dining - a new concept to replace the traditional main dining room, robot screens - never before seen on land let alone at sea, bionic bartenders, skydiving at sea, bumper cars and roller discos.

The addition of the North Star, which allows guests a 10 minute ride elevates 300ft above sea level giving 360° panoramic views, for a unique birds eye view of ports of call around the world. A venue over two decks high with 270° views of the aft of the ship through a floor to ceiling glass wall, which turns into a projection screen at night. And of course, not forgetting a giant magenta bear on the top deck of the ship named Felicia.

The Most Amazing Ship Ever Built

So when Captain Henrik Loy stood at the helm of his new ship in Southampton on Sunday, what justified his declaration that “this is probably the most amazing ship ever built” what makes Ovation of the Seas stand out from the rest?

Helping the Environment

In January this year, Royal Caribbean entered into a five year global partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF, the largest conservation group on earth) to show their commitment, and the importance they place on saving our oceans.

In 2015 Royal Caribbean carried nearly 5.5 million passengers worldwide. With such a wide audience of travellers, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas is certain to lead the cruise industry as a whole into positive environmental changes.


A New Level of Luxury at Sea

Royal Caribbean has introduced a brand new Suite Class with three categories, Sea, Sky and Star Class, which will be on Quantum and Oasis Class ships.

Sea Class is for all guests in the various types of Junior Suites. Benefits include access to the Coastal Kitchen Restaurant and premium bathroom products by Hermès, Ferragamo and L’OCCITANE

Sky Class is for guests staying in an Aquatheatre Suite, Crown Loft Suite, Owner’s Suite, Royal Family Suite and Superior Grand Suite. As well as the benefits included in Sea Class, guests also receive full in-suite dining, bottled water, complimentary VOOM, exclusive access to signature activities like NorthStar and Ripcord by iFLY, Suites Beach on private islands, and a luxury pillowtop mattress.

Star Class is for the Loft Suites, the two bedroomed AquaTheatre suites and a four bedroom Family Suite. They get their very own ‘Royal Genie” to cater to their every whim, complimentary ultimate beverage package and speciality restaurant dining, complimentary mini bar, a Nespresso machine, Duxiana mattresses, Frette linens, towels and bathrobes and more.


Dining Onboard

Another commitment is for Royal Caribbean to make their food supply chain more sustainable by responsibly sourcing 90% of wild-caught seafood and 75% of farmed seafood (North America/Europe)

One of the most obvious changes for Royal Caribbean on dining for this ship is Kung Fu Panda’s Noodle Bar, which replaces the iconic Johnny Rockets American Diner.

Another is Coastal Kitchen, a dedicated restaurant for Suite guests and Pinnacle members. The restaurant focuses on “Farm to Ship fresh dining, fusing Mediterranean Flavours with California Cool”.

Ovation of the Seas Godmother

The Godmother of Ovation of the Seas has held the number one spot on the Forbes China ‘Celebrity 100’ list for three consecutive years. Mutli award winning Fan Bingbing will be recognised by many of us as playing the character of ‘Blink’ in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

 

Royal Caribbean President and CEO, Michael Bayley said “She is innovative, smart, ambitious, trendy and elegant, and that makes Bingbing the perfect person to be selected as the Godmother of our newest ship.”


Spectacular Art Collection

The 11,000 piece art collection worth $4.5 million is sure to be thought provoking, fun and inspiring. The collection includes an adorable pair of giant Pandas, with Mama bear reaching down from the roof of the Seaplex to her little cub, who is holding his paw up to her from the deck below. The Pandas also reinforce Royal Caribbean’s commitment to change in their partnership with WWF.

Air Pollution Control

One of the goals made as a result of the collaboration is the commitment for Royal Caribbean to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35%. How has this been reflected in the design of Ovation of the Seas? According to shipbuilders, Meyer Werft, “The third ship of the Quantum class sets new standards in terms of eco-friendliness”.

It features highly energy-efficient systems, optimised hydrodynamics, heat recovery, an effective underwater paint coating, a state-of-the-art exhaust gas treatment plant (hybrid scrubber) as well as energy-saving LED lighting systems.

Future Plans

Royal Caribbean have plans with Meyer Werft to build a fourth Quantum-class ship for delivery in spring 2019 and a fifth for delivery in spring 2020.

Don’t miss your chance to sail on this ship from Southampton, or to take part in her maiden season in Asia and Australasia with our great Ovation of the Seas offers

 

By Flavia Gray


Mother's Day Gift Guide

3rd March 2016

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 face Marco Pierre White for example. *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 P&O Bitannia, savour authentic Italian flavours with Princess Cruises' Sabatini’s, or enjoy the expertise of Nobu-trained chefs 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.


7 Ways to keep fit on your cruise

8th January 2016

Updated January 2018

 

Maintaining fitness can be hard with a busy lifestyle, let alone on a cruise where you are constantly faced with tempting food and hours relaxing around a pool. With the pressures of making time for fitness in our daily lives, going on a cruise can bring daunting thoughts of putting on weight and no exercise. In fact, the reality can be quite different; staying fit on a cruise can be both easy and enjoyable.

It is said that one of the most important factors considered when people are choosing a cruise, is the quality and quantity of food onboard. From the moment you wake up to the minute your head hits the pillow at the end of the day, there is certainly no shortage of exquisite dishes at hand.

 

 

Although you may think this makes it hard to maintain your health and fitness levels on a cruise, there are actually a number of ways to stay fit onboard. Modern day cruise ships are not just about eating and lounging, they are kitted out with high-tech fitness facilities and provide a fantastic array of activities to stay help you stay healthy onboard.

Having that balance of indulgence (you have to on holiday!) with keeping fit, will ensure you return home happy, healthy and rejuvinated while knowing that you made the most of your time away.

 

Here are our top 6 ways to stay fit onboard:

 

Onboard Gym

Cruise ships are home to some of the most innovative and spacious gyms in the world, and certainly boast some of the best views. Imagine running on a treadmill peering over the ocean, cycling towards an incredible view of a European city, or lifting weights as you watch the sunset.

Onboard fitness centres are increasing in size, and cruise lines know the potential of having a state-of-the-art gym onboard. Included in the price, there is no excuse to not take a trip to the gym during your stay. No need to spend your entire holiday there, but a couple of visits will make you feel less guilty about the extra calories you'll no doubt want to consume! From the latest cardio equipment, an extensive range of weights, and flat screen televisions, you'll wish your gym at home was as good as your gym at sea.

Most onboard gyms come with a running track, sauna, and other fitness facilities. The running track is a great way for you to maintain your fitness during your time away, especially if the gym is not your thing. Most have multiple lanes so you can walk, jog, or run.

Cruise Fitness Fact – The running track on Oasis of the Seas is 0.43 miles long, and features motivational signs reminding you why you're there; 'Tonight’s dessert can be guilt free'.

 

 

Exercise Classes

Whether you're a regular attendant at gym classes, or you want to try one for the first time, a cruise is the perfect place to do this. With choices like yoga, pilates, body balance, and box fit, cruises have an extensive range for you to enjoy.

There is normally an extra charge for classes (usually about $10), but compared to what you would pay for them at home they are reasonably priced and offer great value for money. If you do want to take part in a class, make sure you sign up early as they do fill up quickly. There is limited space, and with high numbers of guests onboard you don't want to be disappointed.

One of the great things about fitness classes during a cruise are the locations. Yoga on a private beach, pilates on the top deck, or boot camp on the outside rock-climbing walls are fitness experiences you will not get anywhere else in the world.

Cruise Fitness Fact - Disney Cruise Line offer yoga classes on their private island, Castaway Cay.

 

 

The Midnight Buffet Is A Treat

One toughie will undoubtedly be 'how to avoid the midnight buffet', when you are confronted with the most exquisite array of food you've ever seen. Don't avoid it completely, but perhaps don’t go every night after you've already eaten a three course meal!

Most cruise lines will have a midnight buffet on various nights of a cruise, and it is a fun event that you shouldn't miss. Usually taking place on the outer decks, accompanied by live music and dancing under the stars, the midnight buffet is the ultimate cruise party.

Unlike buffets you have seen before, there will be a wide selection of hot and cold foods including exciting sea foods, tasty meats, and delicious salads. This is the opportunity for you to go on a culinary journey and try foods you've never tasted…just remember you don't need to go every night.

Cruise Fitness Fact: Cucumber has such few calories, you can eat as much as you like. Dipped in some humous makes a great choice for the buffet.

 

 

Eat Smart

Food glorious food, one of the reasons we love cruising. Some of the most divine menus and famous Michelin chefs are found at sea, and you'll have some of the most delicious culinary experiences in the world during your cruise. 

Even though many of us are guilty of taking advantage of being on holiday, and allow ourselves to indulge on everything and anything that's available, remember to dine in moderation. Yes there is food available to you 24 hours a day but that doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

Most cruise lines now offera  low fat menu, and often the dishes are so tasty you'd never know that they are anything but regular meals. Many of the options are less than 500 calories, but still fill you up with a tiny bit of space for dessert.

Cruise Fitness Fact: The average cheeseburger has 1100 calories, meaning you would have to do two hours of running at 5mph to burn it off.

 

 

Active Excursions

Whether you go away to relax or explore, staying fit can still be achieved even when you're not thinking about it. Taking part in an active excursion is a great way to do a full day of exercising without really realising it.

Simply wandering around is often the best way to truly experience a city, so if you're up to it, try a walking tour rather than a coach or bus tour. If you spend a day exploring on your feet, you'll not need to go to the gym or worry about what’s for dinner later.

If walking isn’t your idea of active fun you can try zip-lining, water-rafting, rock-climbing, or other active explorations in many fascinating cruise destinations.

Cruise Fitness Fact: You burn around 310 calories on a 10 mile city walk, walking at an average speed.

 

 

Take The Stairs

Many cruise ships are considerably big, and sometimes the easiest way to get around is via the central staircase. With no more than eighteen decks, cruise ship facilities are spread out, so you're likely to be walking between different floors a lot of the time. There are both stairs and elevators on either end of a ship so you have the choice.

When going from one venue to another taking the stairs is a great way to be active, and in fact is often quicker than having to wait for an elevator.

Cruise Fitness Fact: One flight of stairs is said to burn 15 calories and taking an elevator will burn 0.

 


Try Something New

Modern day cruise ship design has taken the experience of cruising to a whole new level, and you can now spend a sea day learning adventurous new skills if you fancy it.

Royal Caribbean made waves when they introduced their hugely popular FlowRider surf simulator. Keen surfers can learn tips and tricks from the highly skilled surf instructors monitoring the attraction. Other adventures available onboard with Royal Caribbean include the climbing wall and Ripcord by iFly sky diving simulator – the very first at sea!

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Escape is packed with fun thrill factors for anyone who wants to get their adrenaline pumping. Check out their extensive ropes course, zip line plank (over the open water), and fun water slides and Aqua Park.

Cruise Fitness Fact – Testing your limits (within reason) can cause an adrenaline rush, this increases your heartbeat and can maximise your workout.

 


By Sally Grimes 


The World's Largest Cruise Ship: Harmony of the Seas

16th October 2015

Harmony of the Seas™ is coming to Europe in Spring 2016

         
       
         
         
   

Royal Caribbean’s incredible new flagship Harmony of the Seas will be making waves across Europe and the Mediterranean during summer 2016.

For her inaugural season, Harmony of the Seas will be departing from Southampton on 29 May 2016 and home-ported in Barcelona on 5 June 2016. She will sail on a seven-night Western Mediterranean round-trip itinerary, where guests will also be able to board in Civitavecchia, Italy.

Embark on the biggest adventure at sea and enjoy the best family vacation imaginable. The stunning 5,497-passenger vessel is home to a breath-taking blend of Oasis Class innovations and Quantum Class smarts, as well as some exclusive new features.

Royal Caribbean’s award-winning philosophy of innovation and imagination will provide guests with an unforgettable holiday experience. The easy part of a Royal Caribbean holiday is finding something exciting to do. The hard part is choosing what to do first!

Royal Caribbean’s exclusive seven distinct themed neighbourhood concepts will come alive on Harmony. Seven amazing neighbourhoods including the revolutionary Boardwalk and Central Park space where you'll find the finest dining venues, bars and amazing attractions. Other themed neighbourhoods include the revitalising Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre, the Royal Promenade shopping district and the thrilling Kid's Avenue.

   
         
         
       
         

         
   

Harmony is home to an excellent variety of speciality restaurants, and will be presenting a brand new Dynamic Dining experience, allowing guests to savour a vast and varied dining selection with more choice and flexibility than ever before.

Unwind in the most spacious and luxurious staterooms in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Harmony of the Seas offers a greater range of cabin styles to choose from, with larger balconies and suite staterooms than her sister ships, plus new virtual balconies on all interior staterooms and additional loft staterooms. There’s a perfect room onboard to suit every guests tastes, needs and budget.

It’s time to start getting excited, your Harmony experience begins here!

Click here for more information on Harmony of the Seas and check out our range of fantastic Cruise Deals.

 

   
         
       
         

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