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Get to Know Princess Cruises with Phillip Schofield

clock 27th September 2017 | comment0 Comments

Updated March 2019

 

In April 2017 Phillip Schofield became the very first UK brand ambassador for Princess Cruises, and since then has been exploring just about everything that the cruise line has to offer.

With behind-the-scenes access and time spent with the Princess Cruises crew, Phillip has a unique insight into the industry and has become thoroughly acquainted with the wonderful world of cruising. Interestingly enough, before this Phillip had never been on a cruise before, and so Princess quickly remedied this by sending him and his wife to the Mediterranean onboard Royal Princess.

First Impressions as a New-to-Cruise Guest

With no experience of cruising whatsoever, it's interesting to find out what Phillip made of both Princess Cruises, and cruising in general. First-time cruisers are often unsure of what to expect, and perhaps have some misconceptions about things like food, the embarkation and disembarkation process, and atmosphere onboard. After cruising with Princess, Phillip commented on just how easy it was to board the ship, how opulant Royal Princess itself is, and about how easy and convenient it was to see so many different destinations whilst being accomodated in just one place. Find out more about his trip in this interesting Q&A video:

 

 

The cruise included an excursion in Barcelona, during which a local guide showed them all around some of the lesser-known areas. This meant that Phillip and his wife could see and explore places they were not aware of, in a city they thought they were familiar with.

 

 

The cruise made another stop in Marseille, where they had a tour of a vineyard, and of course, took part in some wine-tasting. As a real wine and food enthusiast, Phillip was hugely impressed with some of the treats that were available onboard. He was given a tour of the galley, and took part in food-tasting with the Executive Chef, and enjoyed a personal wine session during which he could blend wine according to his own preference.

Since this fantastic first cruise, Phillip and his family have been treated to another fabulous adventure onboard Regal Princess, this time to the beautiful Baltics. Watch as they explore the sights of Oslo, and make use of the fabulous range of facilities onboard the ship during their sea day.


Finding out all about what a cruise with Princess Cruises can entail has been a real educational journey for Phillip, who has become a firm fan of cruising. With a travel-bucket list that includes the likes of the Fjords, Canada, Alaska, and South America, it is likely that he will enjoy everything that Princess Cruises has to offer again and again while journeying to these fantastic destinations.

Have a look at our Princess Cruises holidays, and find out more about the adventures you can have with them.



The World’s Most Instagrammable Locations

clock 18th April 2017 | comment0 Comments

There’s nothing more exciting than uploading a few holiday snaps to snaz up your Instagram feed - shots of beautiful blue skies, exotic beaches, world famous landmarks and not to mention, those jaw-droppingly gorgeous backdrops for all your selfies. The right shots can boost your Instagram profile in an instant, and make you the envy of all your friends.

To find out just how big of a deal posting a holiday picture is when away, we conducted primary research and found out the following:

• The average person posts around two pictures per day when on a trip

• Facebook and Instagram are the most popular platforms for sharing content whilst away

• People’s main intentions for posting when abroad are to keep friends/family up-to-date, to document memories, and to make others jealous

 

We then wanted to determine where in the world the most famous Instagram locations are situated, and where you should be heading for the most popular posts.

During our research to uncover the world’s most Instagrammable locations, we were delighted to see many popular cruising destinations feature so highly on the list. And with a team that has cruised far and wide, we definitely agree that we have even snapped a few of these hotspots ourselves.

 

Top 5 most Instgrammed cities in the world

  1. New York
  2. Dubai
  3. LA
  4. Barcelona
  5. Tokyo

 

Which landmarks get the most likes?

The most photographed setting, on both Instagram and Facebook feeds, for each of these 5 cities were the respective famous landmarks in each location.

new york skyline iphone photo

The research found that the neon lights of Times Square make it the most instagrammed location in the world, with a staggering 2 posts every single minute from the bustling hub of New York City. Closely behind was the impressive Empire State Building, with the instantly recognisable Brooklyn Bridge coming in third, securing a firm position for New York in the rankings.

Dubai’s stunning Burj Khalifa came in 4th place, with 757 check ins every 24hours, commonly accompanied by the hashtag #Dubai. The iconic ‘Atlantis’ also made the top 10, coming in 6th place.

burj khalifa dubai

In 5th place was the melting Gaudi masterpiece in Barcelona that is the Sagrada Familia, which has 32 check ins every hour. The Spanish city was also found to be home to some other “must snap” spots, with Park Guell and the Noucamp also featuring in the top 10.

Bathing in the milky blue waters of Iceland’s beautiful blue lagoon made 7th in the list, with 15 check-ins per hour from the country’s ultra cool capital, Reykjavik.

blue lagoon iceland

 

Hashtags

We all know that when it comes to getting those all-important ‘likes’, using the right hashtag is important. The holiday hashtag #travel was used 163,552,733 times by people on holiday, with the specific country’s name being the top hashtag across all top cities.

Our research found that people love posting to their Insta whilst on holiday, uploading on average 2 pics per day, and making people jealous was one of the main motivations for posting. The top reason people said they posted so many pics, however, was to document the great memories they were making as they jetted around the globe.

 

Get social with us and share your favourite holiday snaps! Follow @iglucruise on Instagram and like us on Facebook



6 New Cruise Ships Launching in 2017

clock 17th January 2017 | comment0 Comments

If new year, new you didn’t work out quite the way you had planned, how about new year, new cruise?

With six shiny new cruise ships launching in 2017 we can’t think of a better time than now to try something totally different for your next cruise holiday. With the impressive selection on offer you can look forward to sleek, state-of-the-art design, ultra-luxurious indulgence and super sun worshipping, all whilst visiting many exciting destinations.

Take your pick from the new cruise ships below and let us know which you’d most like to meet.


Silversea, Silver Muse

Seabourn Encore

Seabourn Encore is the fourth luxury ship to join Seabourn Cruises spectacular six star fleet. A welcome addition to an award winning fleet, Seabourn Encore is here to re-define small ship ultra-luxury cruising and is hailed as the most beautiful and innovative ship for Seabourn thus far.

Designed by renowned hospitality designer, Adam Tihany, Seabourn Encore oozes the same elegant charm of sister ship, Seabourn Odyssey, but with an extra emphasis on beautiful details. Guests will be pleasantly surprised from one day to the next during their cruise, with a standout highlight being the incredible culinary offering onboard including the new Sushi venue.

What to expect: Winter in Australasia, Summer in the Mediterranean, spectacular culinary experiences, six-star service and sumptuous surrounds.

Find cruises on Seabourn Encore

Silver Muse

Silver Muse is set to sail in April 2017 and as the largest ship for Silversea, brings with her an incredible amount of choice for your luxury experience. Although still classed as a small ship, Silver Muse proudly claims to have the best dining experience at sea with eight different dining options on offer. From Spanish Tapas with live music and dancing in Silver Note to the sensational Japanese cuisine prepared before your eyes in Kabucki, there is something to suit all tastes onboard.

Luxury becomes even more lavish for Silversea’s new flagship with a total of seven different suite types to choose from. The largest spanning 1,475 sq ft, that’s twice the size of an average UK house!

What to expect: Silversea’s first full sized theatre, an abundance of culinary choices, an elegant and intimate experience, full butler service and a charming summer in the Mediterranean.

Find cruises on Silver Muse

Viking Sky

Although relatively new to ocean cruising, debuting its first cruise ship in 2015, Viking Cruises got it so right that it’s sticking to a similar style and trend for the newest additions to its fleet. Viking Cruises ships are sleek, modern and comfortable with a distinct Scandinavian design.

Practicality is infused with subtle luxurious touches onboard Viking Sky. The main pool has a retractable roof so that the area can be enjoyed in all weather, whilst the aft infinity pool provides breath-taking sea views.

The ship has been specifically engineered in a way that allows direct access to smaller ports, meaning that you can sail straight to the heart of many fascinating destinations. And with destination rich itineraries including the Baltic capitals and ancient gems of the Mediterranean you’ll appreciate easy access to explore.

When a day of exploring is done, Viking Sky’s innovative spa provides holistic methods and traditional Nordic treatments.

What to expect: Simple yet satisfying Scandinavian style, many alfresco dining options, destination rich itineraries and a comfortable home away from home.

Find cruises on Viking Sky

Viking Sun

Sister ship to Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky - Viking Sun joins Viking Cruises modern fleet late in 2017 offering even more choice for a stylish mid-sized cruise ship experience. With an identical design to her sister ships, Viking Sun increases Viking Cruises offering of popular holidays allowing you to explore the world in comfort.

What to expect: A thinking person’s cruise with art lectures and informative port talks, a simple and stylish atmosphere with comfortable furnishings and delightful dining options.

Find cruises on Viking Sun

MSC Meraviglia

Dubbed as the ship for all seasons, MSC Meraviglia sets sail for MSC Cruises in 2017 with an extraordinary level of entertainment options onboard.  The perfect choice for families and groups, MSC Meraviglia has plenty of cabin and suite options available including connecting cabins that can accommodate up to 10 people.

Each day onboard can be different with MSC Meraviglia’s unique offering of things to see and do. Check out the indoor promenade, 12 dining venues, Aqua Park with waterslides, Himalayan Bridge (ropes course) or the TV studio broadcasting games, quizzes and interviews to screens ship wide. Kids and teens are well looked after with five kids clubs and dedicated teen hangout spaces.

Evening entertainment is just as exciting with exclusive performances from Cirque du Soleil in Cirque du Soleil at Sea.

What to expect: a fun filled cruise with lots to see and do onboard. Mediterranean style cruising calling at ports such as Genoa, Barcelona, Malta and more.

Find cruises on MSC Meraviglia

MSC Seaside

Follow the sun in 2017 with MSC Seaside, the ship that has been specifically designed for you to enjoy the outdoors and be closer to the sea. A unique wraparound promenade provides multiple options for alfresco dining, sea gazing, shopping and sunbathing.

Experience life outdoors at sea with MSC Seaside boasting one of the most advanced Aqua Parks at sea spanning two whole decks of fun, plus an extensive Adventure Trail ropes course.

What to expect: Being outdoors most of the time with maiden season in the Caribbean, lots of thoughtful sea gazing and fantastic Mediterranean style cruising.

Find cruises on MSC Seaside



Top 5 Family Cruise Destinations in the Mediterranean

clock 20th September 2016 | comment0 Comments

Updated February 2017

 

Our favourite teenage guest blogger is back this month sharing his insights on family cruising in the Mediterranean. If you're looking for a Mediterranean cruise for your family, why not consider it from a teenager's point of view with Henry's top tips and best bits.

 

 

Barcelona

I first visited Barcelona when I was 12, and I loved it. The dock is quite a walk away from the city, but there will always be coaches to shuttle you in. Despite this, my family and I decided to make the walk, which lasts about half an hour, and it was lovely. Mainly on a bridge, it boasts spectacular views over the city and a welcome breeze sweeps in to cool you down. You can even see the magical Sagrada Familia in the distance, which brings me to my next point; Antoni Gaudí’s phenomenal architecture. His gothic works include the Casa Batlló, a residential building which captures your imagination. The Park Güell also contains much of Gaudi’s works, as well as more stunning views looking down on the city. However, the masterpiece is the Sagrada Familia, which is absolutely mesmerising. Think again if you plan to ignore the architectural side of Barcelona – I was just as dismissive of museums and buildings as the next child, but Gaudi’s work is just astonishing, and something that you can’t miss.

I also enjoyed the general atmosphere of the city; it wasn’t chaotic like you might get in small Turkish towns, but it maintained a unique charm, which is seen perfectly in Las Ramblas, the famous lively promenade, where you can buy fresh food, drink, souvenirs and clothes. For those not wanting to take a chance on the food, Barcelona has the usual cafés and restaurants, including McDonald’s. From here, the beach is no further than a 20 minute walk away, and it stretches all the way along the coast. Be warned though, the golden sands and hot weather attracts thousands of people, leaving little room for latecomers. Barcelona really is a perfect destination for cruises with the family.

Sports fans can also enjoy cruise trips to the Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona, and to the Olympic sports grounds of the 1992 Summer Olympics.

 

Santorini

I have been to Santorini twice, and really enjoyed it on both occasions. There is plenty to enjoy for the children and the adults. Cruise ships have to anchor away from the island and passengers taken in by shuttle boats, which is a pleasant experience in itself. The main town itself is at the top of a hill, meaning a funicular takes you up, another enjoyable experience. The town itself is charming, with its narrow streets and lovely buildings packed tightly together. The cobbled paths lead you along the top, with beautiful views of the sea and volcano – and probably your cruise ship! There is a nice mixture of restaurants, cafés and ice cream shops. Eventually, you will reach the famous blue and white buildings which are the trademark picture for Santorini. These are nice, but by now the children might be getting a bit restless. I would recommend walking down the Santorini ‘donkey path’, which offers fantastic views of the volcano, and is a very fun activity for the kids.

For those not wanting to go up to the town, you can also go on a cruise trip to explore the volcano. Whilst the volcano is dormant, an eruption can be detected three months before it happens, so there’s nothing to worry about. On my second visit to Santorini, we went on an excursion which involved a boat ride to the volcano, before walking up to the top and looking down the crater. You can feel the hot waves of air blow up, and there are also magnificent views on the other side. Afterwards, we were taken to a set of hot springs and we were allowed to swim in them, which was brilliant and something that other children will definitely enjoy. Santorini is a great destination for a child friendly cruise.

 

Gibraltar

I think Gibraltar is unfairly labelled as a boring place because it is part of the UK and shares the same shops and road signs (etc.), Britons generally think that they are not really experiencing a new and interesting place. However, if you ignore the signs to Sainsbury’s, then you’ll discover and appreciate Gibraltar for its geographical and natural wonders. The Rock of Gibraltar is the obvious landmark, and rightly so. There are many excursions by local people which give good tours of the land before going up the Rock where the famous Gibraltar monkeys live – the only wild monkeys in Europe. They are all friendly and used to humans, meaning they happily jump on your shoulders for pictures. During World War II, the British army used Gibraltar as a base, due to its strategically convenient location, and there are many interesting tunnels and bases within the Rock which can be visited. The Upper Rock Nature Reserve provides a safe environment for the monkeys to live, as well as being the location to St. Michael’s Cave, which has spectacular stalactites and scenery. The Mediterranean Steps provide breathtaking views and, whilst I haven’t done it personally, the reviews online are all very positive.

Back down in town, there is the Grand Casemates Square, with the usual shops and souvenirs, while Europa Point provides nice views of Africa, and is the site of Gibraltar’s new football stadium. You can also get a very cheap bus around Gibraltar, which takes you in a full loop. When I was there, we stopped off at a beach round the book and enjoyed great weather, as well as a free inflatable course in the water (just sign up with the lifeguards), making it a great place for children.

Ibiza

Ibiza is a lovely place for relaxing on the beach. The sun is constant but never unbearable, and the blue waters are beautifully warm. I would recommend exploring the town first. The main town is fairly standard, with lots of shops and restaurants. The old town is beautiful and accessible for all. The Santa Maria d’Eivissa is a beautiful cathedral to consider visiting, and you can also visit the Ibiza Castle and wander around the narrow, cobbled streets, before heading down to the beach to relax. We ventured down a scrubby hillside before reaching a rocky beach, where the water was amazing. The island is fairly small, so may not appease those who are not satisfied with relaxing on the beach. The ship is quite a walk away, but there should be regular shuttle buses provided by the cruise line, or you might want to make the half hour walk, which is very pleasant – you could stop at one of the many quayside restaurants on the way back.

 

Naples

When I went to Naples, we took a train to the ruined village of Pompeii which was very fascinating. You can stroll around the ancient stone roads and see the destroyed buildings. Inside houses there are also the preserved human remains after the eruption of Vesuvius. There are plenty of statues, and also a café. Tour guides are also present, but you risk getting caught up with a very boring one. Whilst it is undoubtedly an extraordinary place, it is likely that young children may get bored, so I’d recommend saving Pompeii for the older children (14 and above), when they can really appreciate the place. Temperatures do get very high, but luckily there are lots of good beaches nearby. Further along the same train line, you reach the beach town of Sorrento. Alternatively, you might choose to spend the day climbing Mount Vesuvius, which is easy to do with many tours and clear pathways, and it boasts breathtaking views.

Back in Naples, there are also many attractions, in addition to the variety of beaches on offer. The Piazza del Plebiscito is very famous, whilst the Orto Botanico provides a welcome escape from the noise and traffic of the city roads. Meanwhile, for the tired children, you can settle down on one of the many beaches, including the Arenile Beach, which turns into a famous beach club at night. Naples also boasts some of the best pizzas in the world, so ensure you make time for a meal! The city is fairly easy to navigate, and you can do a lovely walk back to the ship through the narrow and winding streets. There are many grand churches and cathedrals, as well as little cafés where you can stop for ice cream.

 


Treat the family (and yourself) with a Mediterranean cruise for your next holiday. Popular family cruise lines include P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line.



A Guide to Croatia

clock 8th December 2015 | comment0 Comments

Updated February 2017

 

Iglu Department Head, Linda, tells us all about her favourite parts of her holiday to Croatia; what not to miss, what you can side-step, and just exactly how did those goats get there?

 

croatia arial


Croatia remains an unspoilt country in the Mediterranean, oozing idyllic, old school Mediterranean charm. The sea is clean, the locals are friendly and the towns are built from local stone with their colourful wooden shutters. The weather is great from April til October, and there are so many things to see and do that you couldn’t possibly get bored of this country.

 

croatia waterfalls


Most of Croatia’s beaches are pebble beaches, which keeps the water clear and great for snorkelling. Take sandals with you so that you can walk on them, and mind the sea urchins.

Most of the larger beaches offer a rent-a-boat service. Don’t expect a yacht-like experience - you could probably swim faster - but the boat is the best way to get to one of the many uninhabited islands, and have the whole beach to yourself. Or, anchor in the middle of the water and take a dip.

Croatia has strict importation laws, so everything you eat is produced locally, fresh, and tastes great, but the portions are huge so keep this in mind. Unsurprisingly, the seafood is outstanding. Try the local cheeses, but I suggest you say no to rakija (a local spirit) no matter how kindly it is offered.

Local wines can be a hit and miss, so taste it before you buy a bottle. Some of them are outstanding, some leave much to be desired.

My favourite place is the Krka waterfalls in the Krka National Park, because of its incredible natural beauty. This is in Dalmatia, near Sibenik - a couple of hours drive from Split. Take a dip in any of the terraces of the waterfalls, go on a boat ride on the lake, discover the trails in the forest, and have some local food in any of the eateries in the park. A good tip is to avoid the weekends when all the locals visit, as the park can get very busy.

 

sibenik, croatia


Sibenik is a great little town with a lot of nice restaurants, and a market where you can pick up local produce. It has a lovely marina and a grand cathedral worth having a peek in. Try the local ice-cream on a hot summer’s day, while wandering around in the car-free town centre.

Primosten is a beautiful, traditional, stone built town on its own peninsula, with a church and cemetery on the very top of the hill. Here there are breath-taking, 360 degree views - a must see! The restaurant in the marina makes a fantastic Dalmatian cheese and ham stuffed squid.

Split has a lovely town centre and market place. Take a walk in the marina and marvel at the fancy yachts.

 

croatia islands


If you drive in Croatia, the old highway along the beach is a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty of the coast - albeit much slower than the newly built highway.

Day trips include the opportunity to spend a day on a yacht with live entertainment/music and food, visiting some of the nearby islands. The Kornati Islands National Park is worth a visit, with a glass bottom boat to see the varied and colourful under-water world. If you are into fishing, you can also book a place on a fishing boat for a day, which is great fun.

 

croatia islands


Croatians say that when God created the world, he looked down and the beauty of his creation made him weep; his teardrops are said to be the many islands of Croatia. Nice story for some, but I remain unconvinced on that one. What I still don’t understand is how goats got to some of these uninhabited islands miles off the coast. You sail past and they are just there, baaah-ing. Any theories?

 

See Croatia on a cruise to the Mediterranean, or take a look at our cruises to Croatia.



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