P&O Cruises have recently announced its Food Heroes sailings for 2020. These will include food and drink themed cruises on the new P&O ship Iona which launches in May 2020. The food heroes cruises feature cookery demonstrations, masterclass, hosted dinners, shore excursions in selected ports accompanied by various experts and a question and answer session. The top Food Heroes for P&O include Marco Pierre White, Olly Smith, and Eric Lanlard. I have eaten in some of Marco Pierre restaurants on board with P&O and also had a delicious afternoon tea in the Epicurean which is Eric Lanyard’s restaurant.
This month will be very busy for us here as P&O are launching their Summer 2021 sailings through to the beginning of 2022. It seems such a long way away but it will be very busy as lots of people like to book ahead to get some good prices and cabin availability. From today passengers can pre register for their chosen ship and itinerary ready for the launch when the cruises go on sale. P&O will be staggering the launch process and if you are in the Caribbean, Baltic or Ligurian tiers of their Peninsular club then you can book for 2021/2022 cruise from 8am Monday 21st October. It is then on general sale from 23rd October to 25th October and this will stagger from the date of the sailing to which day you can book. As always the summer holidays will be very popular with families wanting to get the cruises booked also with good children’s prices as well as picking your choice of cabin and dining. Children pricing will start from as little as £49pp. The launch of the new sailings will see reduced deposits of 5% and also the choice of on board spend, free car parking or free coach transfers.
We have just come back from a great couple of days at Peppa Pig World. We had booked it back in January and had booked a 1 night hotel stay and the 2 day park tickets. We arrived before the park opened on the first day to make the most of the time. It was quite quiet as the weather wasn’t brilliant. This was good for us as there weren’t any queues for any of the rides. Poppy loved all of the rides and they are all family rides so we got to go on with her. There were several meet and greet opportunities throughout the day to meet Peppa and George and Poppy really enjoyed doing this. We made the most of our day and didn’t leave until the park closed. We obviously had to take a visit to the shop before we left and Poppy came away with lots of goodies. We had booked to stay at Doubletree by Hilton Southampton which was about 20 minutes from the park.
Royal Caribbean’s 27th ship the Odyssey of the Seas will first set sail from Fort Lauderdale from November 2020. The ship will be similar size to the Spectrum of the Seas holding about 4800 passengers. The ship will offer Caribbean itineraries doing both six and eight night Caribbean cruises and will be the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to call at the Islands of Aruba and Curacao. The ship will also stop at Cozumel, George Town, Grand Cayman and Perfect Day at Cococay which with Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Caribbean. It has now been confirmed that the Odyssey of the Seas will sail in Europe for 2021 after its first season. It will be in Europe for summer 2021 but at the moment no itineraries have been released. Could the Odyssey of the Seas possibly sail out of Southampton I wonder? It has been rumoured that it will more than likely sail out of Barcelona. The latest ship to the Royal Caribbean fleet will feature the North Star glass observation capsule, RipCord by iFly, Two70 entertainment venue and the Seaplex which has bumper cars, roller skating and much more. The new ship is similar to the Quantum class ships but the new Quantum Ultra class is a new design of ship. The Spectrum of the Seas launched in April this year and that was the first Quantum Ultra class in the fleet sailing from Shanghai. I have been on the Quantum of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas which both have the North Star and Ripcord Ifly. I really like the feel of these ships and they have a different feel to some of Royal Caribbean’s other ships. It will be good to see this new ship sailing in Europe and if it does happen to be Barcelona then this is a great port for the UK market to get to. We will wait to see when the itineraries are released.
As you may or not know the best time when travelling to the Caribbean is end of October to Mid/end of March. Some cruise lines do continue to sail the Caribbean throughout the year and base themselves in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. You may get some good deals at this time. Hurricane season is August/September. You may travel at this time and have no problems but you could also be caught up in a storm. Cruise ships will change itinerary to avoid any storms where they can but this isn’t always possible. Hurricane Dorian has unfortunately battered the Bahamas. At the moment there is little information overnight from the affected Bahamas islands amid power cuts and limited internet access. The Abaco islands, home to about 17,000 people, were reported under water after the storm hit on Sunday, with a storm surge of up to 7m (23ft). The country is one of those most regularly hit by hurricanes, and homes are required to be reinforced to withstand the winds of a category four storm. Although Dorian is currently heading westwards, it is forecast to make a gradual turn north-west, taking it along the eastern US seaboard. The storm will be monitored all the time to see if it makes a turn etc. It amazes me how these storms form. They form near the equator over warm ocean waters. The term hurricane is used only for the large storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes usually weaken when they hit land, because they are no longer being fed by the energy from the warm ocean waters. However, they often move far inland, dumping many inches of rain and causing lots of wind damage before they die out completely. I can’t imagine how scary it would be knowing you are going to be hit by a hurricane and the damage it can do to people’s lives. I always make sure I tell customers that ask for the Caribbean at this time of the possible risk of hurricanes. I would always recommend travelling from late October to March. Let’s hope that this latest hurricane hasn’t and doesn’t cause too much damage.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.