Your River Cruise Questions Answered – by Yours Truly!

 

Any one who has followed my Blog over the years knows that my favourite type of cruising is river cruising.  I did my first river cruise about 6 years ago, the first of many, and I have never looked back. It ticks all the boxes for me, small ships, friendly staff and passengers, fabulous scenery all day every day, and being docked right in the centre of which ever city you are visiting so no long transfers, not to mention fabulous food!

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Lou and Dave are, quite simply, living the (Thomson) Dream…….

Lou and Dave, friends of mine, have been wanting to try cruising for a while now and are currently on board their maiden voyage, on the Thomson Dream, cruising the Aegean and what a fabulous time they are having. Just this morning I had a message from Lou saying they are totally hooked and don’t want to come home.

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Going Places – from the Garden…….. oh yes we are!

Goodness, I don’t like to complain but isn’t it hot! I know we should be grateful as we get little enough good weather during our Summers, but working in an office in this heat was all getting a little bit too much for my colleague Ben and I so last week we hatched a plan. We both live in the same village, Alvechurch, which is not far from Head Office in Redditch, Worcs, so we made our personal office in my garden. We are lucky to be able to connect to the office server from literally anywhere, so why not outdoors? It worked so well that the ‘garden office’ is still in full swing and will remain so as long as the warm weather lasts. A friend told me last night that this is the start of a 3 month heatwave so i don’t anticipate moving indoors any time soon. While Ben loves the sun, I need the shade of a parasol to work under. I am entirely the wrong age for such temperatures! One client asked if we were working in an aviary as he could hear the birds twittering while we were on the phone!

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Does size matter?

Give or take the occasional smaller luxury ship being launched, it seems that every ship has to be bigger than the last, with more and more facilities on board or more advanced technological features. It just seems to be the way of the cruising world at the moment and it beats me how the cruise lines think they are going to keep getting ‘bums on berths’, there are just so many to fill!

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Her Majesty and I have more in common than you might think!

I love smaller ships, I don’t need a choice of 14 restaurants, multiple bars and lounges, rock climbing walls and ice-skating rinks, if anything it is too much choice and I find you end up flitting from bar to bar all evening, not settling in one place. Give me a Fred Olsen ship with one bar, one lounge and one theatre and I have all I need thank you very much.

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NCL’s latest announcement receives mixed response from Cruisers………..

Well I for one was thrilled when NCL recently announced that as from 6th April they would be including the cost of drinks and gratuities in the cost of their cruises. “At last” I thought, one of the cruise lines has got the message. How much simpler life will be and let’s hope some of the other major players follow suit in the not too distant future.

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“What’s the best cruise?”………..

………… a friend asked me the other night, a friend who has never cruised before. Well, where to start, what to say! I asked her what she would be looking for in a cruise, “just the best cruise” was her response – helpful!

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Andrew and Kathy’s Hurtigruten Adventure Gets a ’10’ From Them!

With a milestone birthday and almost milestone wedding anniversary to celebrate, why not take a cruise? Which is what Andrew and Kathy did, although they didn’t fancy a run of the mill cruise. As Kathy really wanted to see Norway in the snow at that, they did some research and decided that Hurtigruten was the cruise for them. Having discussed it with myself they decided that ms Spitsbergen, Hurtigruten’s flagship was for them, and the cruise they chose was the Classic Round Voyage.

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A Right Royal Caribbean Dress Code Mystery!

Over the last few years there has been a general drift towards more casual attire during the evening on certain cruise lines. P&O and Cunard have done away with semi-formal evenings and now just have Formal or Casual attire while Celebrity have introduced Evening Chic which is really evening casual by another name. The latter is proving especially popular with men who no longer have to find room in their suitcase for their dinner suit, also those who hate formal attire when they are on holiday.

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Gratuities, why oh why, oh why??

If I had a pound for every client who has called me today about the increase in the cost of Gratuities announced by P&O yesterday I wouldn’t be writing this, I would have retired to a life of luxury on a tropical island. P&O has really put the cat among the pigeons by not only increasing the cost of Gratuities slightly but they have renamed the system too. Apparently this is now called the ‘Service Reward System’, another thing that has confused guests – what has changed? Nothing basically, just a small increase in the cost. Can they still remove Gratuities from their on board account? Yes.

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