Last break for a while

I can’t believe where this summer has gone and we are soon into September and the Autumn will be upon us.  I have one final little summer break to look forward to in a few days.  I am off with some of my family members to Great Yarmouth for a few nights.  Great Yarmouth is perfect for Poppy as the rides there are more for young children.  the weather forecast is looking quite good at the moment so we are looking forward to getting a bit of sun and enjoying a few days away into the Bank Holiday weekend.  It has been a busy month here at Cruise.co.uk and lots of people booking holidays.  We have been very busy with the new P&O Oceana itineraries that are being released tomorrow as well.  After this little break that is it then for me, well until the end of November when I have booked a little mini cruise for my husband’s birthday.  I am looking forward to taking Poppy on a cruise again although short as she really enjoyed her last one.  I have had it booked for months so really that is also quite soon.  It will feel very festive as we are going towards the end of the year.  We will be in great Yarmouth for 3 nights.  We know the area very well as this will be the third year we have gone there.  We mainly go for Poppy to go on some rides and the beach and we also enjoy the model village which we will do again this time.  We are stopping at a hotel we have stopped at before and know it is easy to walk to places.  I am certainly looking forward to this last little summer break and will then be ready to hit September and the lead up to Christmas!

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Where has the time gone!

I have just had an amazing few days off celebrating my little girls 2nd Birthday.  I can’t believe where the last 2 years have gone.  She has changed so much and was really looking forward to her birthday counting down the sleeps.  We decided to take her back to the Butterfly Farm in Stratford Upon Avon for the day.  The weather was perfect and we spent a few hours in the Butterfly Farm.  She loved the fact they were landing on her.

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That time of year again.

Summer is here and the kids have finished school.  For me it isn’t really any different.  I don’t have a child school age yet so have the freedom to travel anytime.  I have had my family holiday earlier this month and now just have a few short breaks to look forward to in August.  Although I am at work now throughout the summer I don’t really like this time of year.  So many people try and get last minute family cruises at this time of year and there is no availability.  Everyone wants a good deal and if there were just 2 people travelling you may still get a bargain but all of the 3 and 4 berth cabins for the summer book up so far ahead.  Also some cruise lines do restrict how many children in each age group they allow on board.  I like to try and find a cruise for everyone so it is disappointing when I can’t get the school holiday availability for you.  Cruises for the holidays really need to be booked a year ahead and you do get some really good deals by doing this.  It is also difficult when you are restricted to dates with school holidays.  I am quite lucky at the moment that I can travel any time but it must be so hard when you have to stick to school holiday dates.  If you are thinking of booking a family cruise for next year please let me know and I can see what we can do.  If you are a party of 2 wanting to travel you will still find some availability over the next few weeks although restricted.  Cruising is very different to land holidays as people do book far ahead where cruising is concerned.  I think it is also nice to have something to look forward to.

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Back from a fantastic holiday

I have just come back from an amazing 12 nights holiday.  We got back last night from spending 12 nights in Poole, Dorset.  We love it down there and the weather was so good to us.  We had sun every day while we were there and this also helped to make our holiday.  Poppy is nearly 2 now and so she really was wanting to do everything.  She has gained so much more confidence in the water with the sea and pools and has had lots of laughs.  We went to Sandbanks beach a few times which is our favourite beach in the area.  We then spent a few days around the pool on the site.  As we have owner cards we can use a separate owner’s area with a lovely pool and baby pool.  The baby pool is a great size for Poppy to get around.

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Holiday Here I come!

Well my summer holiday is very nearly here and I can’t wait.  The weather has been so awful the last few weeks that I was feeling like we aren’t going to be very lucky away this year.  We are going on our annual holiday to Poole in Dorset and will be away for just under 2 weeks.  The weather was year was so kind to us as we were away when we had the heatwave and it was really like being abroad sat around the pool and on the beach.  The weather this year had me worried to what weather we will get.  We like the fact we are together as a family and get time to relax but when the weather is bad we have to go out and about more rather than just being by the pool.  Poppy is almost 2 now and so needs something to entertain her all the time.  The forecast now for this week is actually looking quite nice so we hope we will get at least a few decent days.  We have a few things we want to do while we are there but other than that we will just see how the weather is.  We definitely will take a trip to the Oceanarium in Bournemouth as we were going to do this in March but Poppy slept for so long we didn’t have enough time.  I also love a visit to Lulworth cove.  It is such a lovely little place and we can go for a walk.  We are talking about going to Brownsea Island this year but every year we say this and never get there.  The weather really does make our decisions what to do as if we get decent weather we either just spend time around the pool or down at Sandbanks beach as Poppy loves the water.  Summer holidays are finally here and I love this time of year.

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Oasis Makeover

Oasis of the Seas that was the first Oasis Class ship to join Royal Caribbean in 2008 is now set for a big makeover.  I can’t believe the ship will have been around for 10 years.  I can remember her launching and being the largest ship at the time.  My sister has had the pleasure as working in entertainment on this ship in the past and she loved it.  The ship will have its refurbishment in 63 days and will cost about $165 million.

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Scarlet Lady to visit the UK

Virgin Voyages have recently announced that their very first ship to the fleet the Scarlet Lady will be calling at two UK ports on her way from Genoa where she is being built to Miami.  The brand new ship Scarlet Lady will have her home port in Miami for her inaugural season.  This is quite exciting that she will be coming via the UK.  The ship will call in Dover and to Liverpool in February 2020.  Once the ship arrives into Miami she will offer short 4 and 5 night cruises to the Caribbean.  The Scarlet Lady has been a long time in the making and it will be good to see what the 2750 passenger ship will be like.  At the moment we don’t know too much about the ship but we know there will be non traditional cuisine, things like taco stands and food trucks could be seen with over 20 places to eat on board with no additional charge.  There won’t be a main dining room or buffet restaurant and no dress code.  The cabins on board will be 93% sea view and each cabin has been custom created with the introduction of the Seabed – a transformational Sofa-bed style concept giving the opportunity to invite friends into your cabin and socialise.  The ship will have Sea Terrace cabins also.  The ship will feature over 70 rock star suites on board and in prime locations.  If you are in one of these suites you get access to the exclusive Richard’s rooftop which is an outdoor area.  The ship has 17 decks From what I have seen so far of this ship it looks amazing.  I am sure that Virgin Voyages will do extremely well in the market and they seem to be trying to offer different cruising experience.  Hopefully when the ship passes through the UK I might get a glimpse of her.  The sailings are on sale now.

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Bye to Independence!

Royal Caribbean are who everyone is talking about at the moment.  A few days ago Royal Caribbean announced they have decided to pull Independence of the Seas from sailing the UK 2020 season.  The sailings for Independence had been on sale since before Christmas so they would have had lots of people booked on their selections of sailings.  They have decided to make this decision as they have a high demand for passenger to visit the brand new Royal Caribbean private island in CocoCay in the Bahamas.  The island does look amazing but I really don’t know why they have made this decision.  I feel so sorry for passengers who now don’t have their holiday to look forward to.  People book for all kinds of occasions so it is such a shame they have pulled the Independence.  Royal Caribbean have offered passengers already booked on the affected sailings a 25% future cruise deposit based on the cruise fare they had booked which can be used on another sailing.  That is fine if passengers can then find another cruise that suits them.  School holiday sailings book up very fast and so families may struggle to get availability if they only want Uk sailings with Royal Caribbean but other passengers should be able to find something to suite.  This now only leaves the Anthem of the Seas due to sail the UK 2020 season.  Royal Caribbean obviously know what they are doing but I think the Independence of the Seas is such a lovely ship it is now a shame it won’t be sailing from Southampton next year.  I had even looked at one of their sailings for myself a while back.  Anthem of the Seas is also a lovely ship it is just a shame the UK market now only have 1 ship to book on to if you want Royal Caribbean and from Southampton.

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TUI Launches River Cruising Brand

So the well known TUI who most know as Thomson have now decided to launch into the River cruising Market.  They will have three ships in Summer 2020. The brand will be known under TUI and their ocean cruises will continue with the new name Marella which they have had for a while.  The river cruising market has really grown over the last few years and so I think this is a good move for TUI.   From Summer 2020 they will be offering a choice of itineraries and covering most of the European Waterways. Itineraries will include Dutch & Belgian Waterways, the Rhine, Main, Moselle and the Danube. TUI will be offering direct flights from the UK and the flight options and airports will vary with the itineraries.  This is a plus as lots of River Lines have a lot of indirect flight options depending on which airports you are looking at.  TUI will straight away go in with three vessels and each ship taking about 155 passengers.  The ships will be adult only.  The vessels will have standard cabins, french balconies and single cabins too.  Tui are giving all guests 1GB of free wi-fi and £120 each excursion credit.   You can look forward to receiving tea and coffee with breakfast as standard and house wines, beers and soft drinks with lunch and dinner.  You can though also purchase a drinks package to include draught beers, branded spirits, cocktails and premium coffee.  This will be bookable at £100pp.  The cabins will be on a guarantee basis unless you pay to pre book a cabin number which is the same as Marella Cruises.  The three ships will be moving over to the TUI brand and will be named TUI Maya, TUI Isla and TUI Skyla.  Prices start at £1099pp for a 7 night sailing.  I think this is such a good move for the brand as River cruising is going so well.  It will be interesting to see how well they sell and what reviews they get once they are sailing.

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A Change for NCL

NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines ) have recently made a big change to their cruises.  NCL were really one of the first mass market brands to go All Inclusive and have been for a while have now ditched their All Inclusive package as standard.  They are now offering something call Free at Sea.  This is what Eamonn Ferrin, vice president and managing director of NCL said about the change:

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