0203 848 3600

Over 1.5 Million Happy Cruise Customers

{0} out of 10 Rated Excellent
ATOL Protected
02038483600

Cruise Blog

10 Questions You Forgot to Ask Your Cruise Consultant

clock 27th March 2019 | comment0 Comments

We are all forgetful at times, especially when going on holiday and excitement starts to take over. As well as forgetting to pack the essentials – which ends up with us spending double or even the triple the price abroad - sometimes we also forget to ask those important questions. If this sounds like you don’t panic, as we’ve put together this handy list of ten questions to remind you of what you should be asking your cruise consultant.

 

What exactly is included in the fare?

With many cruise lines branding themselves as ‘all-inclusive’, it’s important to understand that this may not include certain amenities – so it’s a good idea to ask before boarding as you don’t want a surprising bill at the end of a great holiday. Some cruise lines known for their all-inclusive packages are Royal CaribbeanNorwegian Cruise Line, and MSC Cruises, of course, there are many others but these are a few of the popular ones. There are different types of all-inclusive cruises; it could mean that you have your accommodation, meals, drinks, entertainment, and flights included in the price. However many cruise lines offer separate drinks packages. If you opt for one of these be sure to check for any limitations, such as beverages at meal times only. This can be unhelpful, particularly with family groups who would prefer to have drinks on their own terms.

 

 

What should I book in advance?

Depending on you the cruise you choose, there might be certain things that you aren’t able to book onboard - this can vary from childcare to excursions. With every cruise line having their own rules, it’s better to find out before. Save yourself the hassle of pushing through the crowd to guarantee to seat at a speciality restaurant, or joining a long queue for a spa treatment.  Cruise lines have online methods to book before you board, for example, guests can book certain services using Carnival Cruise Lines’s ‘manage’ tab on their website homepage. Simply create an account to arrange gifts in your cabin, drinks packages, and transfers. This can be done right up to one week before the sail date. 

 

Will I always dine with strangers?

Leave this myth in the olden days! With most cruise lines the choice is yours – more often than not you can eat where you want, with whomever you want, and when you want.  Having said this, there are some cruise lines which still use allocated seating and dining times. If this is the case, remember you can request a change if you’re not happy with your given arrangement.  It truly depends on how you want to cruise, as many guests do still enjoy the traditional seating atmosphere, but of course, casual dining suits many people better.

 

 Will I get fewer opportunities being a single traveller?

Many cruise lines specifically focus on offering packages for single travellers to meet guests’ needs. Norwegian Cruise Line has a special single traveller package which offers a studio cabin, and access to a colourful, elegant lounge for single cruisers to meet and mingle.  Nowadays single travellers don’t need to worry about fewer opportunities, as cruise lines are hosting activities such as dances, workshops, and other chances to socialise.  To get the best out of your solo trip make sure you speak to your cruise consultant for more information about what specific activities will be on your cruise.

 

If something happens to me will I get medical attention?

Every cruise ship has a qualified doctor or nurse onboard, meaning guests don’t need to worry about not being attended to should

they need medical attention at any point during the cruise – day or night. Most ships are fitted with some medical equipment, however, facilities do vary so it’s important to ask your cruise consultant to find out the level of service available if you have any specific concerns.

I'm not used to tipping, do I have to?

Depending on what cruise line you’re travelling with, gratuities are usually prepaid before going on the cruise. Sometimes there are promotions in which gratuities are included in the package, and sometimes they are added on. Guests who don’t want an automatic cruise gratuity might be able to amend this, however it depends on the cruise line. It’s important to mention to your cruise consultant if you don’t want to pay any gratuities to save any financial surprises. When gratuities are not included – for instance with many river cruise lines – often an envelope will be slipped under your cabin door to enable you to tip as you wish, anonymously. When this is the case, the cruise line will usually suggest an amount – for instance (at the time of writing) AmaWaterways suggest €12 per passenger, per day to be divided among the crew. This works out to €84 each for a one week cruise.

 

Can I bring my own food and drink?

When it comes to bringing onboard your own food and drink, each cruise line has its own policy. With some, guests are allowed to bring their own alcohol, however, there are strict lines who don’t even allow simple juice or water. It depends on what cruise line you travel with, so this is another important question to ask your cruise consultant during the booking process.

Will I have internet?

Staying connected is important for a lot of guests, as it’s a great way to share and communicate with friends and family at home. Almost all cruise lines offer internet packages, however, the charges and connection quality will vary depending on which line you travel with. Although internet access is widely available, don’t expect to be lounging around watching your favourite TV programmes online, as only a handful of cruise lines offer packages that allow the use of streaming.

 

Is it always going to be busy?

Right now,  the largest cruise ship in the world is Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas – which has a max capacity of 6,680. You might think that having such a large number of people onboard would cause a busy atmosphere, however, this isn’t the case. Symphony of the Sea has 18 decks, and so – as with many large ships – there is plenty of open space for everyone to enjoy. In fact, many guests describe larger ships as a ‘city on water’, and say you may not even see the same face twice.  This isn’t to say that some of the main attractions onboard don’t get busy, however. If you are one who is keen to try things like the rock-climbing wall and surf simulator, try to time your visit to avoid queues – for instance early in the morning or on cooler days.

 

Can I get an upgrade while onboard?

Before embarkation, some cruise lines such as P&O Cruises might offer a complimentary upgrade if higher-level cabins have not been booked up and are still available. Guests are able to put themselves forward to be considered, however, this must be done at the time of booking.  If an upgrade hasn’t been given before you embark,  guests on the waiting list could still be contacted when onboard.

Any questions we forgot? Check our before you go FAQs to find out about more questions you possibly haven’t come across. Or, if all you have left is to pack, make sure you read our hints and tips about the five worst mistakes you can make. 



6 reasons to cruise with Fred. Olsen

clock 23rd May 2017 | comment0 Comments

Updated August 2019

Fred. Olsen masterfully blends a uniquely Norwegian heritage with a distinctly British style. Defining and redefining the cruising experience for almost 170 years now, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line know exactly what makes your cruise holiday so special - and that is why guests return time and time again to relive their treasured onboard experience.

 



Onboard, enjoy the taste of award-winning cuisine curated by expert chefs, made just the way you like it. From speciality restaurants to everyday dining, you can enjoy freshly prepared food every day, complimented with a fantastic selection of handpicked wines. Be treated to an exceptional entertainment experience for you to enjoy every evening. Each night there’s something different, with fantastic live shows ranging from toe-tapping cabaret to hilarious stand-up comedy and interesting port talks from knowledgeable experts, providing you with the very best information for when you venture ashore.

With personalised and attentive service, comfortable and cosy mid-sized ships and many inspiring itineraries that explore some of the world’s most incredible destinations, Fred. Olsen ensures your time onboard is simply unforgettable. We explore some of the some of the reasons why our customers choose to cruise with Fred. Olsen.

 

 

1. Enjoyment promise


With the benefits of Fred. Olsen’s Enjoyment Promise, it’s the perfect time to try cruising with them. Simply book at least 12 weeks in advance on cruises of five nights or more and if you find that it’s not for you within a day or two of stepping on board, just let them know and they will promise to arrange and pay for flights back to the UK from the next port and repay the cost of your cruise.


2. British nature of the cruise line

Everything onboard is in pound sterling, so you needn’t worry about currency fluctuations if you decide to indulge in a health and beauty treatment or two. Of course, British favourites such as Afternoon Tea are available to enjoy onboard where guests can gaze out from the Observatory Lounge accompanied by the sweet sounds of a pianist and other musicians. Feast on a selection of Taylors of Harrogate premium teas, dainty pastries, elegant finger sandwiches and warm scones with cream and jam.

 

 


3. Cruise from your local port

For a relaxing and stress-free cruise from beginning to end, enjoy a fantastic no-fly sailing from any of Fred. Olsen’s 5 main UK ports. Conveniently located right on your doorstep, there’s no need to endure lengthy journeys or busy airport queues.

Take a look at Fred. Olsen’s cruises from Dover, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southampton and Edinburgh.

4. Benefits of smaller sized ships


As well as being able to cruise from more local ports, Fred. Olsen’s smaller, understated ships are able to visit ports that much larger vessels cannot reach. From the exotic wonders of Asia to the breathtaking scenes of the Arctic, there are endless destinations across the world just waiting to be explored. Just take a look at some of Fred Olsen’s new exotic fly-cruise destinations below.

Plus, if you prefer a more welcoming, home-from-home, country house feel then Fred. Olsen is likely to be more for you than other, larger cruise lines. Fewer guests mean that Fred. Olsen can provide the personalised, attentive service that many guests prefer, so don’t be surprised when the team know the little things that matter, like your name or your favourite tipple!

 

 


5. Black Watch refurbishment

In November 2016 Black Watch entered dry dock for an extensive refurbishment, ship-wide enhancements and upgrades to many of the cabins, suites and public areas. The main focus for Black Watch’s refurbishment was to update the current 423 cabins across the ship, including the addition of new interactive TV systems with on demand content and in-room safes and mini-bars, as well as new bedding, bed frames and mattresses, and the total refurbishment of all cabin bathrooms.

See cruises on Black Watch.



6. Award-winning reputation

We’ve highlighted some of Fred. Olsen’s best bits, but don’t just take our word for it. Fred. Olsen have consistently won numerous awards year on year including in the categories of ‘Best for Itineraries’, ‘Britain’s Best Cruise Line for Food 2015’ and silver awards for ‘Best Small Ships Cruise Line’ and ‘Best Cruise Line for Customer Service’. As of May 2017, Fred. Olsen held an impressive 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Feefo from over 5,500 reviews from the past year, awarding the cruise line with a Gold Trusted Merchant Accreditation. We think this award-winning reputation is a good indication of why many people who try Fred. Olsen once, returns again in the future.

 

If this sounds like the cruise line for you, read more about Fred. Olsen and start planning your own little getaway cruise. 



What to expect on your Cunard cruise

clock 6th October 2015 | comment0 Comments

Updated January 2018

A cruise with Cunard can be an absolutely magnificent affair. With impeccable White Star service, and some of the best luxury ocean cruising at sea, you are guaranteed to savour every moment spent on your Cunard cruise. If you’re considering a Cunard cruise for the first time, of course you're likely to have all kinds of questions about what to expect. To give you a little guidance, we've put together this short guide with more information about just what a Cunard Cruise is like. If there's anything we haven't covered, be sure to ask our sales team any other questions you have before booking your cruise.

 

Embarkation 

You can expect friendly smiles and warm greetings from all staff when you first arrive onboard. This short video reveals just what’s in store from the start:

 

 

It’s also worth noting that there is no limit when it comes to how much luggage you can bring with you, however all suitcases must be under 23kg due to health and safety reasons. In keeping with Cunard’s steadfast attention to luxury holidays, the cruise line offers guests a fabulous white-star service; luggage collection and delivery pre and post cruise. Simply speak to a sales agent to arrange this, to alleviate any stress at the start and end of your cruise.

 

Staterooms and Suites 

 

Cunard offer a wealth of accommodation choices. For those looking for an especially luxurious cruise, there are the Princess and Queens Grill Suites, which boast exclusive facilities such as restaurants and lounges. Otherwise, there is a great variety of staterooms, suiting all guests from single travellers, to families.

 

 

 

Accessibility and Family Cruising 

 

In order to enable their extra special cruising opportunities to be enjoyed by everyone, Cunard have ensured that there is ample space and accessible facilities for all guests. There are wide corridors and spacious staterooms designed for wheelchair and mobility scooter users, and a fantastic array of child-friendly features.

 

 

 

Onboard restaurants offer kids menus, and there is even a designated ‘Children’s Tea’ in The Lido restaurant which gives the perfect opportunity for little ones to make new friends. There are also age-appropriate Kids Clubs onboard Cunard ships, and a night nursery, where babies from 6 to 23 month can sleep between 6-11pm, giving parents a well-earned break.

 

Wining and Dining 

 

Cunard boast some terrific dining choices onboard all of their ships, including some exclusive restaurants for those staying in Princess and Queens Grills suites. Dine in the main restaurant – where you can opt for traditional dining times, or ‘freedom dining’ if preferred. The buffet restaurant offers a wide range of cuisine options as well as tea, coffee, and juices during the day. Speciality restaurants inlcude The Verandah, for an extra special dining experience, The Golden Lion for a homely pub-style ambiance, and Lotus, Coriander, La Piazza, and Smokehouse for global cuisine.

When cruising with Cunard, guests are not only in for a treat where dining is concerned. There are also some beautiful and comfortable lounges where you can enjoy your favourite tipple.

 

 

 

Other Useful Information

 

 

  • Staying in touch with loved ones back home is easy to do on a Cunard cruise. You’ll find internet stations either in The Library or ConneXions centres onboard, or you can access the ship's Wi-Fi by purchasing an internet package. Simply speak to your sales agent at the time of booking, or to a crew member once you're onboard.
  • Cunard have introduced a cash-free environment on their ships, for the convenience of all onboard. At the start of your cruise you’ll be given a cruise card to use for spending (you’ll be asked to leave a credit/debit card or cash deposit when retrieving it). All pricing onboard is in US dollars, and you’ll need to settle up your bill before disembarking – either using a card or cash. It’s also possible to buy local currency on the ship.
  • In order to help maintain the traditional cruising style that Cunard are renowned for, guests will be invited to adhere to specific dress codes. During the day attire should be casual – including shorts and smart jeans – and the evenings can be either formal or informal. This useful video will give you more information about what you’ll be expected to wear and when.

 

 

 

Browse and book a Cunard transatlantic cruise from our newest offers or plan ahead with Cunard 2019 sailings.



Book with Confidence

We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA for your financial protection.


Price Match Guarantee
Search Cruises
Your Shortlist

You do not currently have any cruises in your shortlist.


What our customers say


"I booked a Fred Olsen cruise with IGLU last month and was so impressed by the service I received. The staff member I spoke to was Kimberley and she was exemplary. Capable, kind, professional, patient, friendly and knowledgeable. She went through every step of the way calmly and thoroughly. IGLU were recommended to me by friends and I have no hesitation in passing the recommendation along. Well done IGLU and thank you. "

Christina
(March 2019)

"So easy to deal with, I studied the Cruise I wanted, did my research with different company's and returned to Iglu. I had three quotes matching Iglu’s cost, but with one phone call they beat the price themselves by £40 without me even asking, how easy was that! "

Gary
(February 2019)


Read more feedback