Royal Caribbean to the Rescue

After the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma Royal Caribbean Cruise Line have stepped up and sent ships to help with the evacuation of stranded tourists and to help local people to safety.
We all know this is one of the worst hurricanes to hit the Caribbean and Florida and like everyone else feel desperately sorry for all those affected. Whilst Americans can rebuild their homes and their lives it will not be so easy for the local people in these small Caribbean Islands.
They really have lost everything and even if they do manage to rebuild their homes and businesses they will also have the fear of this happening all over again.
The Caribbean has always been one of my favourite holiday destinations. The islands are beautiful but it is the people who make it so special. They are the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever met on holiday.
What Royal Caribbean are doing is fantastic. They have a lot of ships sailing in this area year round and I am pleased to see they are not ignoring the situation and are actually doing something to help.
They are sending 3 ships to the area with supplies such as water, ice, garbage bags, clothes and canned food. They will assist with feeding and taking care of the responders before taking people to Puerto Rico and assisting them with their flight arrangements home.
Another ship will be going to assist in Key West as soon as it is safe to do so
Well done Royal Caribbean and to everyone else who are out there doing their bit.

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Real life pirate threat to cruise passengers

Last night I watched a movie about the true story of Captain Richard Phillips played by Tom Hanks.
In 2009 he was captain of a cargo vessel that was attacked and boarded by Somali pirates. Apparently the movie was very true to the actual events which made it even more harrowing to watch. This was as recent as 2009 and is a very real threat to ships travelling in this region.
Recently Sea Princess has undergone major precautions for fear of a pirate attack.
The ship left Sydney on part of a 104 day world cruise and passengers had to spend 10 days of their cruise in blackout. The captain ordered a dusk til dawn blackout where all shutters were closed and curtains were drawn. The usual entertainment schedule was cancelled and there were no deck parties or movies under the stars. Guests were also told there would be a compulsory pirate drill and all crew were called to their muster stations.
There was no specific threat but they were precautionary measures taken by the captain.
This isn’t uncommon and I have heard other instances of cruise ships sailing at black out in these dangerous waters and passengers having to sit in the ships corridors holding on to hand rails while the ships gain speed.
Have you ever been on board in a situation like this ?

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Alcohol ban at airports


Ryanair have recently called for a ban on early morning drinking in airports resulting in a ban or a limit of just 2 drinks before boarding a flight that departs up to 10am. I can’t understand why they would limit this to just early morning flights. Surely if heavy drinking is causing a problem it wouldn’t just be those on early morning flights. If anything I would imagine it would be less of a problem than those flights departing from lunchtime onwards.
I do understand why they are calling for this. I have read so many reports this year of stag and hen parties being so drunk they have caused offence to other passengers even risked the safety of everyone else. On several occasions they have been removed from the aircraft by security.
Everyone likes to enjoy themselves when they go on holiday and it doesn’t bother me if there are large groups on flights clearly having a good time. It did bother me however when I had my children with me and it got very rowdy with really bad language. It wasn’t necessary and made my kids feel very uncomfortable.
I like to enjoy a few drinks in the airport no matter what time of day my flight leaves. It gets the holiday off to a good start so I wouldn’t like to see a ban but that is never likely to happen.
Maybe Ryanair’s idea of having to scan your boarding pass every time you buy a drink would help reduce the problem. I think their limit of 2 drinks is a bit harsh but if they limited this to 4 drinks each they wouldn’t have the problems they are having now. However they can’t stop people drinking before they hit the airports so anyone on later flights can easily get round this anyway.
I don’t think they will ever put a stop to this and with airports standing to lose a lot of money in alcohol revenue I don’t think they will get their ban.
Even cruise ships are having their share now of stag and hen parties going off on short break booze cruises.
What are your thoughts ?
Have you ever had a bad experience on a flight or cruise ship ?

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I have just come back from a brilliant family holiday to Majorca. We didn’t cruise this time and just wanted a cheap week away in the sun. However it didn’t turn out to be as cheap as we hoped so maybe next time we will go back to cruising as this is always proves to be excellent value.

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Cuba growing in popularity

Cuba is becoming one the most sought after destinations for cruise passengers but as yet there is a very limited choice of cruise lines and itineraries
Thomson and MSC are the main cruise lines offering this itinerary and the ships stays in port in Havana to give maximum opportunity to visit Havana without having to fly in and sail the same day.

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Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Cruises have been gradually releasing information about their newest ship Celebrity Edge due to debut at the end of next year.
They have now revealed information about their exciting new venue called Eden. This will be a 3 deck high venue at the aft of the ship and will transform through the day into the evening
There will be floor to ceiling windows providing amazing views out to sea and there will be window seating on the ramped walkway connecting all 3 decks.
Eden can seat 325 people and is a place to relax and enjoy a snack and be entertained.
Mornings will be relaxed with snacks available. During the afternoon there will be entertainment and enrichment classes such as cookery lessons and cocktail making lessons.
However during the evening this venue will be unlike any other. Celebrity describe this venue as sinful by night. There will be amazing food, entertainment and live music. The entertainment will be very different to anything you have experienced on a cruise ship before. There will be performers entertaining each table and will include aerial artists and performance art similar to what you could experience in somewhere like Las Vegas.
I am really excited to see this ship and will definitely be looking to book this myself.
As a brand I love Celebrity anyway and my last cruise on the Eclipse was my favourite cruise so far. Celebrity are more upmarket than their main stream cruise competitors and the quality of the food, service and entertainment is much better than I have experienced with other cruise lines. The new features of the Edge such as Eden, Magic Carpet and the Rooftop Garden make this new ship an absolute must for me.
Take a look at this and see what you think

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Are you bored of doing the same cruises and visiting the same destinations without seeing anything different?

If so Royal Caribbean are offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to view the Great American Eclipse whilst on board the Oasis of the Seas
This will take place on the 21st August during a viewing party with an unnamed headline act.

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My cruise on Celebrity Eclipse

I am not long back from my cruise on Celebrity Eclipse. I have already written about the destinations we visited so this time I will tell you about the ship.
Customers often tell me that the Eclipse is their favourite ship and it is easy to see why. This is now my firm favourite and we loved every minute we spent on board.
First impressions always count and from the speedy check-in at Southampton and quick and efficient security checks we were on board within 10-15 minutes of arriving.
We were welcomed on board with a glass of champagne which is very rare nowdays but it was a very nice touch and a good start for things to come.
I went with my husband and 2 daughters age 9 and 12. They have only cruised once before and we had an inside cabin which they found to be very claustrophobic. We told them we had booked an inside again so they were really excited when we got to our cabin and they saw the large window.
The cabin was spacious with a sofa bed, lots of draw and cupboard space. The bathroom was much nicer with a large shower with a glass screen door. We also had bathrobe and slippers. The only negative thing about the cabin was the sofa bed. It was really hard and uncomfortable with just a sheet folded over the leather seat and the 4th bed was a draw pulled out from underneath.

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Norwegian Fjords


I recently returned from a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. I have never been to Norway and have always wanted to see the Fjords so I finally got my chance on the Celebrity Eclipse on the 29th April.
I went with my husband and 2 children who are age 9 and 12. I know it isn’t an ideal destination for kids of their age so I did warn them before we went that it will be mixed weather and not the usual type of holiday they would expect. Their ideal holiday is spent either in a swimming pool or the sea all day long only surfacing for meals and ice-cream.
I didn’t need to worry because we were so lucky to have lovely weather. For the time of year it is really unusual to have such warm temperatures and bright sunshine all day.
The mornings started off a little chilly but by mid-morning it was really warm so once we were back on board they were in the pool and jacuzzi’s and even managed a bit of sunbathing.
I will tell you more about the ship next time but for now will tell you my thoughts on Norway.
Our first port of call was Bergen

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Confused by Celebrity Cruises new dress codes ?

The dress code on Celebrity Cruises has been a bit confusing since they announced they no longer have formal nights.
They have replaced this with smart/casual and the occasional evening chic.
So on my recent cruise I told my husband he didn’t need his tuxedo because from speaking to others who have cruised with them under the new policy the dress code has become very casual.
However we found on our cruise that the 2 evening chic nights turned out to be very formal after all and we regretted not taking our more formal wear.
There were lots of men in tuxedo’s and ladies were dressed in very elegant cocktail dresses or long dresses.
I do think it depends where you are cruising so as we were on a cruise from the UK to the Norwegian Fjords it was more formal than a cruise in the Caribbean. There are no luggage restrictions and we were not travelling in a hot destination which does make a difference.
Having said that when I spoke with other passengers who cruise all over the world with Celebrity they all said they still dress for dinner.
On the elegant chic nights they still had officers present and introduced the Captain so everything was as formal as it would have been before.
I think they have just confused everyone and should of stayed with tradition so everyone knew what they were doing.
I would have taken more formal wear for myself and my girls and my husband would have taken his tuxedo instead of just a jacket.
Dressing up is part of cruising for me and I can’t understand why cruise lines are going more casual.

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