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Iglu Team Meets Oasis Of The Seas

17th October 2014

Updated March 2019

Oasis of the Seas visited Southampton for the first time back in September 2014. This highly-anticipated day meant that we, of course, had to send a few members of staff along to see the ship and learn first-hand just what Royal Caribbean offer onboard.

 

 

Since launching in 2009, people from all over the world have travelled to her home port of Fort Lauderdale to see her. It was never speculated she would come to the UK, so after it was announced that she would complete a two-week dry dock in Rotterdam, and then stop in Southampton before her transatlantic back to America, those of us in the UK cruise world were very excited.

Invitation only...

The day arrived and we (literally) jumped onto the train bound for Southampton. We'd already heard the news that her anticipated arrival into Southampton didn't disappoint, and thousands of speculators had gathered around the port to see her - with the bonus of free bacon butties on offer! Before the train had even stopped at Southampton, we spotted the iconic Crown and Anchor symbol peering over the top of buildings – giving only an inclination of her size.

The biggest WOW... 

Docked in Southampton she looked even larger than we imagined she'd be. As soon as we stepped onboard - feeling more than ready for the day ahead - everyone was in complete awe. There are not enough words to explain how fantastic our day was, from the fun tasks to the exquisite cuisine, everything was absolutely wonderful. We experienced each one of the seven neighbourhoods, indulged in a total of ten different meal courses, and well and truly experienced what it would be like to holiday on this floating masterpiece.

 

 

 

Find out what the team thought about Oasis of the Seas ...

Hayley Henderson, Marketing Executive

My favourite thing about Oasis of the Seas was…

The carousel on the Boardwalk

I think guests would love a cruise on Oasis of the Seas because…

The variety of things for every cruiser, there are many areas to simply relax or a wide range of activities for the more adventurous traveller.

Describe Oasis of the Seas in one word…

Revolutionary

Elaine Ross, Head of Cruise Trading

My favourite thing about Oasis of the Seas was…

The Boardwalk. With the ice cream parlour, open-air restaurants, and the candy shop, I felt like I was walking along a real seaside Boardwalk. The Aqua Theatre at the end was a total surprise, I can only imagine how spectacular it would be to watch a show here.

I think guests would love a cruise on Oasis of the Seas because…

There is so much to see and do, I could not imagine anyone one being bored onboard.

Describe Oasis of the Seas in one word…

Awesome

 

 

James Turner, Sales Executive

My favourite thing about Oasis of the Seas was…

The steak I ate in the American idol Grill. Infact all of the cuisine was first class!

I think guests would love a cruise on Oasis of the Seas because…

It genuinely has something for everyone. It takes the concept of cruising to another level – whatever the weather… whatever your age…. whatever your interests, she delivers.

Describe Oasis of the Seas in one word…

Unconventional

Patrick Hill, Sales Executive

My favourite thing about Oasis of the Seas was…

The variety of activities that appeared to be going on around the ship. Everywhere I looked there was something going on, from karaoke and dance lessons to an organised get-together.

I think guests would love a cruise on Oasis of the Seas because…

She is packed full of great entertainment, fantastic dining options and activities the whole family can enjoy.

Describe Oasis of the Seas in one word…

Magnificent

 

 

Walter Ferrari, Commercial Executive

My favourite thing about Oasis of the Seas was…

As a plant enthusiast, Central Park was my favourite. The array of Blue Rain bromeliads, trees and sounds of birds singing was the last thing I would expect on a cruise ship.

I think guests would love a cruise on Oasis of the Seas because…

Of the enticing variety of restaurants, fun and adventurous activities, spectacular shows and sensational spa treatments.

Describe Oasis of the Seas in one word…

Mesmerising

Curious to see the ship for yourself? Take a look at our: Oasis of the Seas Deals

 

 


10 Things To Do On A Sea Day

31st July 2014

Updated Feb 2017

 

A full day at sea - some people love them and others will not even book a cruise if it has more than one sea day.

I cruised onboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas which included four full days at sea. As much as I love exploring new ports, I am more than happy to spend all day exploring the ship. For me, sea days are a great way to experience everything a ship has to offer.

Based on my cruise with Royal Caribbean, I came up with this list of ten things to do on a sea day…

 

Have a massage

We all want to feel special when we go on holiday and there is no better way than switching off in a tranquil room surrounded by aromatic smells, relaxing sounds and allowing a highly qualified masseuse take over. All cruise ship spas will offer an extensive range of massages including hot stones, bamboo and couples massages.

Other spa facilities include saunas, facials, pedicures, hair styling, acupuncture and nail care. Sea days are a great time to visit the spa as you can spend as long as you want in there without having to worry about activities you have booked ashore.

 

Go to the gym

On my twelve night cruise, I am embarrassed to say I only went to the gym once. I feel extremely guilty but there was so much going on around the ship that the gym just didn’t attract me enough. The day I did go was a sea day and it made me wish I went more as it offered a huge selection of state-of-the-art equipment.

Sea days ensure there is no excuse not to make the most of the gym. You can go in the morning, during the day or in the evening after a busy day.

 

What to do on a sea day: Massage

 

Take part in an organised activity such as trivia

Sea days are packed with activities and the cruise staff work from morning to night to ensure there is something going on at every minute of the day. From trivia, gameshows, seminars, dance lessons and art auctions, I wouldn’t believe anyone who said sea days are boring!

People go from saying “trivia is not my thing” to being the most competitive player in the game. From various themes such as general knowledge, music or TV, it is a light-hearted game that ensures laughs, fun and meeting new friends.

 

Play bingo

I had never played bingo in my life until my friend thought it would be a good idea to play on our cruise. Feeling slightly skeptical, I thought I would give it a go nonetheless. After only fifteen minutes, my thoughts had changed about the game and I was having more fun that I expected.

Not all cruise lines offer bingo onboard but if it is offered I would recommend it for those who want to do something different that guarantees an hour of laughing.

 

Visit the casino

Do you feel lucky on a cruise? I know I do. Although I am no casino expert, I love the atmosphere of the competitive vibes from all around, mixed with the clashing of chips and the occasional winning scream.

Whether you want to play on slot machines or try your hand at Black Jack or Roulette, many cruise lines boast large casinos that are a gaming heaven for everyone.

 

What to do on a sea day: Visit the Casino

 

Cocktail making class

Everytime I have a cocktail I say "I wish I could make this myself", so during my recent cruise I thought it was about time I learnt something about these delicious drinks. Taking part in the afternoon of a sea day, it was one of the highlights of my cruise.

Hosted by one of the barmen, he taught us what to mix, how to mix and what makes a good cocktail. I can’t wait to host a cocktail party at my house now to impress my friends with my cocktail making skills.

 

Pool games

If you are cruising around sun-drenched destinations, the pool is where you will find everyone on a sea day. Instead of spending all day beached on a sun lounger, why not take part in one of the pool games? Even if you do not know the rules, they are fun for everyone.

From water volleyball, water basketball, and water obstacle races, the sports staff will host a range of games throughout the day.

 

What to do on a sea day: Pool games

 

Go shopping

Cruise ships are home to small shopping malls with a range of boutiques from clothes, jewellery and beauty products - and the great thing is they are all duty free.

Due to the duty free prices, the shops cannot be open when the ship is docked in port, making sea days the best time to indulge in a little holiday retail therapy. Whether its time to treat yourself to a new bag, get some perfume for your wife or buy some souvenirs to take home, making some time for a little cruise shopping spree is a must.

 

Take a walk and explore the ship

I guarantee you will find yourself at least once during your cruise saying "I haven’t seen this part yet". There are so many venues and different parts of the ship to see that you often find you have not explored the ship properly.

Sea days are the perfect time to thoroughly explore your floating home. From the different venues, interesting outer decks and hidden locations, taking some time to delve around your ship will bring hours of intriguing exploration.

 

What to do on a sea day: Explore the ship

 

Relax

Taking time to simply relax is something too many of us ever find time for, even on holiday we find ourselves rushing around exploring and trying to fit everything in to our days. This is why sea days are the best time to let your mind and bod escape into a state of pure relaxation.

Whether you want to lie around the pool, relax with a book in the library or simply take an afternoon nap on your balcony, use a sea day to take full advantage of some me time.

 

Related blogs:

Can you do 100 activities onboard Allure of the Seas in one day?

Top 10 complimentary things to do onboard

 


By Sally Grimes


Cruise vs Land: Royal Caribbean Onboard Activity Prices

14th July 2014

Updated July 2018

Royal Caribbean: the cruise line we know to push all industry boundaries and showcase the most innovative facilities at sea. From ice-rinks, rock climbing walls, and Flowriders to Central Parks, carousels, and Broadway Shows, they truly make the impossible, possible. Creating ‘Wow’ moments at every turn, a Royal Caribbean cruise changes every perception of cruising.

 

 

With all of these incredible facilities on offer, the first thing many of us think about is cost. 'How much are all of these activities going to set me back?' The price of any holiday can be daunting, but for first time cruisers the confusion of onboard prices can be a worry.

With food, accommodation, entertainment, and activities included in the price, it is clear the value for money on a cruise is exceptional. Delving into a like for like comparison of land activities v cruise activities, this value becomes even more apparent.

With this in mind we wanted to look further into this price comparison, and find out how some of the activites onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise compare to land prices.

Broadway Show

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

Royal Caribbean are knowing for showcasing Broadway musicals. Full productions of Hairspray, Chicago, Cats, and more are performed by world-class singers and dancers in state-of-the-art multi-tired theatres.

Average land price: £80

The price of a ticket for one person to go to a show in London's West End ranges between £30-£130.

Flowrider

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

 


The only cruise line in the industry to boast Flowrider surf-simulators on their ships, they have taken the world by storm. First introduced on the Freedom of the Seas, these incredible wave machines pump 30,000 gallons of water per minute as fast as 20mph.

Average land price: £35

There are a few places in the UK to ride the Flowrider. Bodyflight in Bedford offer Flowrider lessons for around £35 per person (peak times), and family surf sessions cost around £100.

iFly

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

This is another ground-breaking revolution at sea found on a number of Royal Caribbean ships. Ripcord by iFly is an indoor skydive simulator that will have you feeling like you are soaring 10,000 feet in the air, without having to jump out of a plane!

Average land price: £50 per person

There are a few indoor skydive simulators in the UK, and average prices range between £30 - £75 per person.

Mini Golf

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

 


A round of golf at sea? Of course say Royal Caribbean! Many of the line's fleet boast nine-hole mini golf courses that will allow you to work on your swing, perfect your putt or have fun with the family. Clubs and balls are provided onboard.

Average land price: £6 per person

England is home to an array of mini golf courses and enjoyed as a day our for many of us. With prices varying, the average rate for one round of nine holes is £6 per person.

Kids Clubs

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

Royal Caribbean's kids clubs have won many awards and are known for offering some of the most state-of-the-art fun at sea. There kids club are home to science labs, children's theatres and craft lessons, all staffed by highly-trained youth staff. Segmented into different age groups, children of all ages as well as teens can take part in the activities for no extra charge.

Average land price: £40 a week

If you were to pay for a children's camp in the UK during the school holidays it would cost an average £40 a week per child. Even some land-based holidays charge extra for children to use the kids club facilities.

Aqua-Show

Royal Caribbean cruise: Complimentary

 


Boasting a spectacular Aqua-theatre, this innovation was first brought to life on Oasis of the Seas. Positioned at the aft of the ship, these open aired aqua theatres feature out of this world shows from championship high divers and synchronised swimmers.

Average land price: £115

We do not have a similar kind of show in the UK, however it would cost between £75 and £160 per person to watch one of the water shows in Las Vegas.

Ice Skating

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

Another innovation from Royal Caribbean brings ice to the Mediterranean and beyond. Ice skating rinks feature on every Royal Caribbean ship offering skate hire and skating for all ages. In the evening the ice comes alive with spectacular ice skating shows.

Average land price: £10

There are a few indoor ice skating rinks in the UK with several more cropping up in the winter months. Average price is around £10 plus hire of around £2.

Rock Climbing

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

The only cruise line to boast mega rock climbing walls on every one of their ships, these walls are a signature feature of the Royal Caribbean brand. If you are brave enough to rise to the challenge, brace yourself to climb 200 feet over the ocean.

Average land price: £15 per person

There are lots of indoor rock climbing walls around the country, especially within fitness centres and activity gyms. The average price for a one hour session climbing is £15.

 

 

When travelling with children (or children at heart) it is almost certain they will want to experience all of the exciting activities available. The fact there is no extra charge for most of them is a huge bonus and makes a hassle-free holiday with guaranteed fun.

See our Royal Caribbean Deals 


Ventura's Onboard Activities

16th April 2014

Following on from my last blog post where I gave you a glimpse of my recent trip onboard P&O Cruises’ Ventura, I feel like there is still so much to tell you about this wonderful ship.

One of the main questions I have been asked about my trip is 'What did you do onboard?' This led me to think people, particularly first time cruisers have apprehensions about the type of activities available onboard.

P&O Cruises are home to a jam-packed schedule of intriguing activities. From learning something new, relaxed activities and thrilling adventures there is something for everyone. 

Aside from the obvious things like watching a show, taking part in a trivia or dining, I wanted to let you know about the more unusual activities that she has to offer.

With this in mind, here are my top 5 alternative activities on Ventura...

Fruit Carving

We all gasp with amazement when we walk into the buffet restaurant and see a face carved from watermelon or an animal made from bananas. I guarantee you either think to yourself or say to your travelling partner 'How do they do that?' P&O Cruises have made it possible for you to learn, so of course I had to try this during my trip.

After a short introduction from one of the professional fruit carvers (aka a chef!) he explained the techniques behind the carving before giving us our tools and talking us through our creation. Before I knew it, standing in front of me was a cute penguin made from fruit, amazing!

A really fun activity that I can share with friends and use to make table decorations for events and dinner parties.

Type of activity: Creative

Good for: Adults, Couples, Singles, Families

Cost: Complimentary

Wine Tasting

I am not a huge wine drinker, but maybe that is because I have never took an interest in learning about it. From working onboard I was always intrigued by how much there is to know about wine and its background, so Ventura was my opportunity to see if it is as fascinating as people make out.

Set in Olly Smith’s Glass House a group of us sat around a large table eagerly waiting for our wine tasting experience to begin. The wine master who conducted the event was fantastic, he was extremely patient, answered all of our questions and enlightened us on more than I even expected about wine. From how they are made, what pair them with, how to drink them and what to look for on a wine bottle – it truly inspired me about this exciting wine culture I knew nothing about.

I now know so many interesting wine facts that I may share the next time I have a dinner party or am trying to impress at a bar but more importantly I know exactly what to look for when I am choosing a wine and how to match it with food.

Type of activity: Informative

Good for: Adults, Groups, Couples, Singles

Cost: Complimentary

Dance Lesson

Have you always wanted to learn to dance but never had the time, funds or confidence? It's a yes from me. Every time I am on a ship I love to watch guests enjoying themselves on the dance floor, but it always fascinates me how they have such perfect coordination and know exactly how to move to each song.

A cruise is the perfect opportunity for a dance lesson, you are in holiday mood (we are always slightly more daring on holiday), no-body knows you, you do not have to sign up for a course of lessons, you are with other people that have never danced and you will be taught by a professional dancer chosen by P&O Cruises.

Type of activity: Learning something new

Good for: Singles, Couples

Cost: Complimentary

Adult-only Shuffle Board

Shuffle board is a popular American game that has slowly been introduced to the British crowd, especially cruisers. I have always watched guests play this game but not been able to understand the concept of the game. Apart from asking someone up front how to play, I felt like I was never going to learn…until I was on my recent cruise.

Ventura host friendly and competitive shuffleboard competitions and the opportunity to learn the game.

I was surprised with the patience of the crew member that showed me how to play and I certainly felt ready to enter myself into the competition.

Type of activity: Competitive

Good for: Adults, Couples, Singles, Groups

Cost: Complimentary

Behind the Scenes Tour

I do not believe anyone that goes on a cruise and doesn’t think about the behind the scenes operation at least once. From how the ship is maneuvered, where the crew live, the culinary operation or how the engines work, it is certainly an incredible operation.

As I used to work on cruise ships I am aware of the large operations behind a working ship but this would not stop me from signing up to a behind the scenes tour and every cruise line has different procedures that amaze me once again.

Hosted by a senior member of staff, they will take you around the galley, behind the theatre and around the engine room before ending on the bridge with champagne and small snacks.

Type of activity: Exclusive

Good for: Adults, Groups, Singles, Families

Cost: Approx £75 per person


By Sally Grimes


The 10 Best Complimentary Things To Do Onboard

18th March 2014

Updated July 2018

 

People often misunderstand what is and what isn’t included on a cruise, and if you are not an experienced cruiser an advertised "All Inclusive" cruise may be confusing. Drinks, excursions, shows, gratuities, room service, and activities are among some of the things that spark curiosity as to whether they are included or require you to hand over that all important cruise card.

Whether you are cruising on a budget or happy to splash out, one thing is for sure, cruising can be incredible value for money and you could easily try out the most exciting experiences without a handful of bills at the end of your holiday. There are some things that all cruise lines offer as complimentary so here are our top 10 free things to do onboard:

 

1. Watch a show

Cruise ships boast some of the best entertainment around. With world-class singers, dancers, performers, acrobats and more, many cruise lines pride themselves in offering some of the best entertainment at sea, and continue to raise the bar with onboard entertainment.


 

 

Iglu Cruise top pick: Check out Royal Caribbean's Broadway shows including Mamma Mia!, Grease and Cats or Norwegian Cruise Line's exclusive parternship with Cirque du Soleil.

2. Eat in the Main Dining Room

Most cruise ships boast an extensive range of restaurants, with some offering over 30 different dining venues. Some alternative restaurants are offered for an extra cover charge, however, meals in the main dining room are included within your cruise fare. Some of the most exquisite dishes are found at sea, so take advantage of this enticing food.


Iglu Cruise top pick: The Grand Dining Room on Oceania Cruises is home to some of the finest cuisine at sea, including their signature 28-day dry aged steak.

3. Relax in a whirlpool

Whether you go away to relax or explore, at some point you should revitalise with a refreshing dip. Unwind from everyday stress, recover from a day of exploring or simply relish the surroundings in a heavenly whirlpool. There is no extra charge to use the whirlpools and Jacuzzis onboard.

Iglu Cruise top pick: The cantilevered whirlpools on Royal Caribbean's Freedom and Oasis class ships offer heavenly whirpools that suspend 112 above the ocean...incredible.

4. Watch the sunset

One of the most breathtaking views on any cruise, you should try to experience this at least once during your holiday. Whether it is the sunrise or the sunset, take yourself to the top of the ship (or your balcony if you have one) and prepare for one of the most spectacular sights you will ever see. The intense colour of the sun combined with the radiant colours of the sky reflecting on the open ocean is a sight many would pay to see, let alone experience it for no charge.

Iglu Cruise top pick: The North Star on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the SeasQuantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas will allow 360 panoramic views of outside.

5. Try something new

Whether it's surfing, ice skating, rock climbing, playing golf or taking a dance lesson, there are so many activities to do onboard that you could probably try something new every day. With something for the whole family, there will be an activity to cater for every age group and interest. Cruise line activities are complimentary unless you require private tuition.

Iglu Cruise top pick: The Flowrider on Royal Caribbean's Freedom and Oasis-class ships is a thrilling surf simulator that pumps 100,000 gallons of water per minute. A once in a lifetime experience that assures fun, laughter and adventure. 

6. Go for a swim

There is no charge to use the swimming pools onboard which is great as most ships offer a range of different pools, from family pools to adult-only areas. If you go away to simply soak up the sun then these paradise-like pool areas with their comfortable sun loungers will be your ultimate retreat.


Iglu Cruise top pick: WaterWorks, the onboard waterpark found on Carnival Cruise Lines boasts spiralling waterslides, splash zones and an array of pools. Guaranteed fun for the whole family.

7. Afternoon tea and cake

Even though we love to go on holiday and experience new destinations, we still love our home comforts. Whether it's a late morning snack or an afternoon treat, head to one of the onboard cafes and indulge in a refreshing tea and choose from an array or fresh cakes.


Iglu Cruise top pick: Regent Seven Seas offer complimentary afternoon tea every day. Held in various lounges with a pianist, wide selection of teas and themed delicacies including cakes, crepes and chocolate desserts. Yum!

8. Watch a movie

Whether it be an indoor movie screen or 'Movies Under the Stars', catching a film is even more enjoyable on a ship than the cinema at home. Submerge yourself in a comfortable chair, grab some complimentary popcorn and enjoy some of the best movies of all time.

Iglu Cruise top pick: Movies Under the Stars on Princess Cruises boast a 300-square foot poolside movie theatre that gives you the opportunity to enjoy blockbuster movies against a backdrop of sea, sky and sunset.

9. Explore the ship

Cruise ships of today are floating masterpieces and spending some time to explore the decks of your ship is lots of fun. With art galleries, gardens, secret walkways and new venues to be found at every turn, simply exploring your ship guarantees hours of enjoyment.

Iglu Cruise top pick: Holland America Line offer complimentary self-guided iPod art tours that allow you to explore and learn all about the unique artwork onboard.

10. Exercise

It is almost certain you are going to indulge a little more on a cruise than you normally would. For those who like to keep in shape or even those who want to take an after-dinner stroll, the fitness centre and jogging/walking tracks are free to use from morning till night. Boasting modern gyms with state of the art equipment, a workout is certainly more enjoyable with a great view.


Iglu Cruise top pick: Celebrity Cruises offer AquaClass staterooms that include complimentary access to spa facilities and rooms located close to the gym.


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