Tag Archives: Alaska-Cruise

My Top Summer Cruise Destinations

My Top Summer Cruise Destinations

As the nights begin to get a little bit lighter and temperatures start to rise, it’s only right that we start to think about the summer months ahead.

With children on an extended school holiday and warm temperatures arriving, summer is a great time to set sail on the cruise of a lifetime.

There are a great range of summer cruise destinations for you to explore. To help you decide which is right for you, here are my top summer cruise destinations for you to consider as you start to plan your summer break.

Western Mediterranean

Packed with world wonders, the western Mediterranean is equal parts enticing, charming and magical. Plus, in the summer months, the temperatures reach the mid-20s, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to use the ship’s pool as you port-hop.

From the Coliseum and the ruins of Rome to the ancient streets of Cadiz, and the party island of Ibiza, on a western Mediterranean cruise, you can have a little bit of everything – sampling history, architecture and sun-kissed shores in the process.

One of the great joys of a western Mediterranean cruise is that you can be as flexible as you like. Itineraries stretch from as little as three days to as long as two weeks. Plus, with specialist sites such as www.cruisedeals.co.uk, you can compare a wide range of holidays and find which works best for you and your budget.

Canary Islands

If you’d like your summer holiday to be all about the sun, then the Canary Islands are the place to go. Although they’re a go-to cruise destination all year round, the average temperature in the Canary Islands in August is 24°C, so you’re practically guaranteed the weather. This makes the Canary Islands perfect, regardless of whether you’d like to explore at your own pace, take it easy on the beach, or get the adrenaline pumping.

A cruise to the Canary Islands offers a little bit of something for everyone. You can climb Mount Teide, witness the lunar landscapes of Lanzarote, or even go camel-riding in the desert. There’s always an option for you in the Canary Islands. Each island allows you to top up your tan and tick unforgettable experiences off your bucket list. The only problem you’ll have is narrowing down which ones to visit!

Alaska

If you’re looking for an adventure like no other, then a cruise to Alaska is the perfect choice. In the winter months, temperatures in Alaska can reach -10°C in some places, which makes the summer a much better time to travel. Plus, thanks to extended daylight hours, you’ll have a better chance of spotting wildlife.

A cruise to Alaska can be as rewarding as it is fascinating. With stunning scenery and lush landscapes, Alaska provides you with unspoilt views of glaciers and forests. The Glacier Bay National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is a particular highlight, but you can also take in other great Alaskan experiences, such as fresh seafood, dog-sledding tours and lumberjack experiences.

If you’d like to extend your Alaska cruise, you can also add stops in America and Canada.

The Baltics

During the summer sailing season, temperatures in the Baltics reach a pleasant 15°C to 20°C, which make these cities and ports the perfect location if you don’t like it too hot.

On your cruise, you’ll be surrounded by world-famous landmarks, breathtaking scenery and historical attractions. Plus, if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the stunning Northern Lights one evening.

The Baltics are a cultural paradise for people who love to explore, and with top destinations such as St Petersburg, Denmark and Finland all available, a summer cruise to the Baltics allows you to explore the iconic landmarks of northern Europe and beyond.

The British Isles

If you’re looking for a summer getaway that won’t break the bank, then why not consider a cruise around the British Isles? It’s the perfect starting point if you’ve never been on a cruise before and you’d like to test the waters.

The British Isles actually consist of over 6,000 islands, and there’s no better way to see them all than on a cruise. There’s so much to see and do. The port of Southampton gives you access to London and Stonehenge, while a stop at St Peter Port in Guernsey lets you visit the historic Candie Gardens. You can even sample the Guinness in Cork or Dublin – the choice really is yours.

Plus, depending on the itinerary you choose, you can even tag on a visit to mainland Europe.

Whether you’re looking to book for this year, or if you’re planning ahead for 2020, my top summer cruise destinations are sure to provide you with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. So, which one will you choose?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored guest post on behalf of www.cruisedeals.co.uk

Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 4

It’s the last instalment of the Sassoli-Walkers bucket list cruise as they spend a day in Victoria, Canada before taking the train from Vancouver to Seattle.

Andrew’s photographs never fail to amaze and this cruise has certainly given him the platform to show his skills at their best. If you have enjoyed the first three blog posts, you are going to love Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 4 just as much.

Here it is in Andrew’s own words and pictures.

Day Eight

A visit to charming Victoria in Canada on our last evening onboard Emerald Princess which rounded off our Alaskan adventure very nicely indeed!

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Emerald Princess docked in Victoria, Canada

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Victoria, Canada

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Inner Harbour with Canadian Parliament Building at dusk. Victoria, Canada

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Last sailaway – Emerald Princess

The cruise might be over, but for us we still have another day in Seattle followed by a 3 night stay in Vancouver.

Day Nine

So, normally a cruise comes to it’s conclusion and one disembarks with a tinge of sadness that it’s over. Not for us, as we decided on a one night stay in Seattle followed by a trip to Vancouver for a few days!

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States (source Wiki)

Instead of going to admire the view from the Space Needle, we opted for the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Tower which happens to be the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – View of the Space Needle and Emerald Princess in Seattle

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker: Emerald Princess sails away on another Alaska cruise from Seattle

Whilst up there we had a grandstand view of Emerald Princess departing on another Alaskan cruise.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker: Seattle Southside at Sunset from the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Tower, the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest.

Day Ten

Another highlight of our adventure was taking the Amtrak Cascades train from Seattle to Vancouver.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Amtrak, King Street Station, Seattle.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Amtrak, King Street Station, Seattle.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Amtrak, King Street Station, Seattle.

Anyone familiar with the line between Exeter and Teignmouth will always be impressed when the line hugs the coast around Dawlish. Well this was the same but magnified to an phenomenal scale! We opted for business class which, was worth the extra as the train was packed solid. Certainly a trip I would wholeheartedly recommend!

Finally

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Andrew’s family cruise. Links to parts 1, 2 and 3 are below, in case you missed them.

Andrew has his own website and is available for professional photoshoots. Details can be found at solentphotographer.com

Recommended Reading

Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 1

Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 2

Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 3



Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 3

It’s great to see that you are all enjoying these updates as much as I am. Andrew really has an amazing talent for capturing the beauty of the landscape.

Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 3, sees the family sail through the Tracy Arm Fjord, visit Juneau and Skagway and enjoy whale and dolphin sightings.

Day Five

Sailing through the Tracy Arm Fjord was amazing!

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Sailing through the Tracy Arm Fjord

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Sailing through the Tracy Arm Fjord

The liquid sunshine that so often falls in Alaska came down big time in Juneau,

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Juneau, Alaska

but that didn’t stop us having a wonderful tour that encompassed a visit to the Meadenhall Glacier,

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Meadenhall Glacier, Juneau

followed by whale watching.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Whale Watching, Juneau

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Whale Watching, Juneau

What a day! This cruise is exceeding expectations at every turn!

Day Six

It was a rainy day in Skagway, but we enjoyed a nice wander around this town that made it’s name and fortune from the gold rush.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Emerald Princess docked in Skagway

Rocks around the port are painted with various ships that have visited. One that stood out was a P&O / Princess captain who retired.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Skagway rock art with tribute to Captain I.G. Clark

Day Seven

A day at sea, and the sun has finally returned! A Bridge visit and within minutes we saw dolphins off the starboard bow.

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – View from the Bridge of Emerald Princess as she sails Alaska

Photo Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker Dolphin spotting from the Bridge of Emerald Princess as she sails Alaska

It was a day of relaxing, larking about in the pool and watching some concerts on the screen. In the evening there was a lavish gala dinner followed by another movie under the stars.

This really has been a cruise full of wonderful experiences and memories that will last a lifetime…



Have you read part 1 & 2. If not you can find the links below.

Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 1

Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 2

Recommended Reading: Princess Cruises to build two LNG cruise ships

Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 1

Andrew Sassoli-Walker is a very talented photographer and keen cruiser. He is currently cruising onboard the Emerald Princess with his wife and two small children to Alaska, a destination he has dreamed of visiting since he started cruising decades ago.

I asked Andrew if he would mind sharing his journey with us and I was thrilled when he agreed to do so. When he sent through the first few photos of his journey, I was stunned, and he hasn’t even arrived in Alaska yet! With a few words from Andrew, here is a glimpse of the story so far.

Day One

It was a very long day, but very good. Our flight with Virgin Atlantic was faultless, the service onboard attentive. A few crew members asked about our Alaskan adventure.

The grandeur of Greenland was as astonishing as ever, the views were breathtaking. It was the ideal start to our Alaskan adventure!

On arrival at Seattle Airport, a Princess Cruises representative was there to greet us and very efficiently dispatched us onto a bus to the Doubletree SeaTac where another Princess Cruises representative greeted us.

Doubletree By Hilton SEATAC Airport

Doubletree By Hilton SEATAC Airport

Doubletree By Hilton SEATAC Airport

Doubletree By Hilton SEATAC Airport

Day Two

We had a comfortable stay at Doubletree SeaTac.

Embarkation the following day was extremely smooth and well organised from the moment we were picked up right to the time of  getting onboard. From getting off the bus to stepping foot onboard it took no more than 15 mins!

It was a gorgeous day weather-wise and an added bonus was that the annual Seafair festival was on, so we were treated to an air display by the famous US Navy “Blue Angels”!

US Navy “Blue Angels”

Departure soon followed, and our Alaskan adventure truly began. Emerald Princess is in superb condition and is well looked after.

Read the next instalment here

Princess Cruises are offering up to $1000 spending money on more than 130 Alaska voyages departing between April and September 2019. Deposits are reduced to just £50 per person during the promotion, but be quick as the offer only lasts for bookings made by 10 August 2018. The full range of cruises on offer can be found here

Recommended Reading Double Onboard Spend On Selected 2019 Alaska Cruises

Double Spending on Selected 2019 Alaska

Princess Cruises Celebrates 50 Years of Sailing in Alaska

If Alaska is on your bucket list there is no better time to book your cruise. Princess Cruises are offering up to $1000 spending money on more than 130 Alaska voyages departing between April and September 2019. Deposits are reduced to just £50 per person during the promotion, but be quick as the offer only lasts for bookings made by 10 August 2018.

Think of all the shore excursions you can book with that sort of on board spending money. You can experience wildlife tours, try your hand at gold panning, explore the incredible glaciers and enjoy a spot of fishing.

Photo Credit: Ciaran McCrickard Photography – Princess Cruises Brand Ambassador Phillip Schofield enjoying a cruise

Princess Cruises proven track record in Alaska is reinforced by these prestigious cruise industry awards.

Best Cruise Line – Alaska
– Travel Weekly, 14-time winner; Women’s Choice Awards

Best Alaska Cruises
– Cruise Critic and Travel Channel

Best Alaska Itineraries 
– Porthole Magazine

Best Alaska Cruises for In-Depth Exploration
– USA Today

Best Overall Education Program – North to Alaska
– Travel Weekly

From £689 Per Person

Example sailings in the offer are:

Island Princess departing May 8, 2019 7-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise. Sailing from Vancouver ports of call include Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Anchorage and scenic cruising through Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord. Prices from £689 per person. More details.

Grand Princess departing June 5, 2019 10-night Inside Passage cruise. Sailing round trip from San Francisco, ports of call include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and scenic cruising through Tracy Arm Fjord. Prices from £1299 per person. More details.

Ruby Princess departing September 14, 2019 7-night Inside Passage cruise, Seattle to Vancouver. Ports of call include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Victoria, Vancouver and scenic cruising through Glacier Bay National Park. Prices from £879 per person. More details.

The full range of cruises on offer can be found here

ENVIRONMENTAL

Princess Cruises have also been recognised for their environmental efforts. Their awards include:

Port of Seattle – Green Gateway Award
– Gold Level Award– Recognizes comprehensive environmental achievements

Port of Vancouver – Blue Circle Award
– Recognition for highest emissions reduction achievements

Port of San Francisco Cruise Ship Environmental Awards
– Gold Award, Silver Award

Port of Los Angeles – Vessel Speed Recognition Award
– Recognition for all homeported vessels for being 100% compliant with port speed limit to reduce air emissions

Venice Blue Flag
– Awarded for efforts to safeguard the city of Venice, Italy, by burning low sulfur fuel in port to reduce air emissions

FOLLOW THE SASSOLI-WALKER FAMILY ALASKA CRUISE NEXT WEEK

Andrew Sassoli-Walker is a well known photographer in the cruise industry. For many years Andrew has wanted to cruise to Alaska, and next week his dream will come true. With his wife Cherie, and their two boys aged 11 and 6, the family will be cruising onboard the Emerald Princess from Seattle for 7 nights. They will visit Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau and Skagway with a final stop at Victoria before returning to Seattle.

Andrew is no stranger to cruise as this will be the 25th time he as set sail. The couples’ honeymoon was onboard Caribbean Princess, which was their first time cruising with the line.  “We were supposed to do a 7 night Eastern Caribbean itinerary, but it turned into a 9 night Western Caribbean itinerary due to Hurricane Jeanne.” recalls Andrew. Next week will be his 4th time sailing with Princess Cruises.

Photo credit Andrew Sassoli-Walker: Andrew and Cheri Sassoli-Walker enjoying a bottle of champagne to celebrate their honeymoon onboard Caribbean Princess.

I will be tracking Andrew’s progress to see how he and the family are getting on, and sharing his comments and photos on my blog and social media channels. So if you need a bit more convincing that Alaska should be on your ‘must do’ list, keep an eye on the blog and Facebook and Twitter pages where I will share everything from Andrew.

More photos on my blog from Andrew can be found here or you can visit his website 


Royal Caribbean’s Elevated Cruise Experience

Royal Caribbean have just announced that their third Quantum Class ship, Ovation of the Seas will be spending the Summer Season 2019 cruising Alaska.

It has been announced today, that Ovation of the Seas is to be based in Seattle, Washington in 2019. Having a Quantum Class ship in Alaska will offer guests a unique and exciting experience. Alaska is undoubtedly one of the most sought after cruise destinations. It’s awe-inspiring beauty and magnificent wildlife continue to attract more than a million passengers each year. Now guests will be able to experience these sights whilst being elevated 300 feet above sea level, with 360 degree views of snow-capped mountain peaks and stunning shoreline. Ovation of the Seas will sail a variety of seven night itineraries taking in much loved ports including British Columbia, Victoria and Juneau.

The best news for us Brits is that Oasis of the Seas is coming to Europe. She will be sailing from Barcelona and her itineraries will include the beautiful port of Palma de Mallorca (one of my favourites). After finishing her summer season in Europe, Oasis of the seas will undergo a massive transformation from bow-to-stern, before she repositions to Miami for the winter season. She will be joined by her three sisters; Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas cruising Caribbean itineraries from Florida.

Back in Europe and four new ports have been added, Visby, Sweden; Zadar, Croatia; Portofino, Italy and Porto, Portugal. The cruise line have not yet confirmed the ships headed for the UK or Australia.

Anthem of the Seas remains in Cape Liberty.  New York continues to be a popular destination to cruise from and Royal Caribbean will be bringing Adventure of the Seas to join her.

Open For Business

Royal Caribbean 2019 – 2020 on sale dates are as follows:

  • 13 November – 7 Night Caribbean Cruises
  • 20 November – Short Caribbean Cruises
  • 4 December – Northeast, Canada and Bermuda Cruises
  • 11 December – Europe Phase 1 and Alaska 2019
  • Spring 2018 – Remaining Deployment

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Cruise People – Jenny Elliott – Celebrity Cruises

Jenny Enjoys Helping People Find Their Dream Cruise

I first met Jenny in 2009 at a bmi cabin crew recruitment day, where I discovered her sweet nature and passion for travel, as we shared our nervousness and excitement at the time. We recognised each other two years later when our paths crossed again but this time it was at the Royal Caribbean office in Weybridge. Jenny now works solely for Celebrity Cruises and I wanted to find out what life is like for a Personal Cruise Specialist.

How did you come to work in the Cruise Industry and what was your first job?

I did a 2 year BTEC course in Travel and Tourism where I achieved a distinction! Straight from college I started working for First Choice in one of their travel shops and stayed there for 5 years. After that I decided to move onto selling Cruises. I worked for Teletext Cruises and then onto Royal Caribbean.

What is your job role and what do you enjoy about it?

I am a Personal Cruise Specialist for Celebrity Cruises. I enjoy talking to different people and helping them find their dream cruise. Some people have saved for a long time and need help with what to book. I have built up a good client database and have regular guests who always keep in touch, even when they are onboard.

Jenny receiving her award for Outstanding Customer Service

What is the most memorable event you have attended as a result of your job?

There have been a few but I would probably say the Emma Pontin Memorial Event onboard Eclipse sticks in my mind. She is the Godmother of Eclipse and sadly lost her life to breast cancer a couple of years ago. She was a real inspiration to me and when she passed it was very sad for all of us at Celebrity. We held a memorial onboard the ship in her honour and invited her family and friends along. We presented them with a special glass penguin that was made on the ship, as that was her favourite animal. You can see the penguin proudly standing next to her portrait on Deck 3.

What challenges do you face in your day to day job role?

The main challenge is availability. We try and encourage guests to book early to secure direct flights, or specific room configurations, such as adjoining rooms, midship locations or accessible rooms. But the closer we get to the date of departure, the harder it is to find guests exactly what they are looking for.  It is disappointing for both us and the guests, when there is no availability.

What was your last holiday?

In September I flew to Seattle and went on a 1 week Alaska cruise. The landscapes there are amazing and I’ll never forget flying over the Juneau Icefield in a seaplane, just a couple of hundred feet above a glacier. There is so much to see there I think you could easily spend 3 weeks visiting different places. I would do another Alaska cruise without hesitation.

Cruising in Alaska

Have you got your next holiday booked and what/where is it?

Currently my next holiday is a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords next September onboard Celebrity Silhouette. I have some friends coming with me as it is my 30th birthday next year. My parents are also coming as it is my Dad’s 70th. I have not been to the Fjords before so I am really looking forward to it. The pictures that I’ve seen from my guests look amazing!

What are your hobbies?

Cruising of course! I’ll try and do at least two cruises a year. I also enjoy going on country walks. I borrow two Wee-chons (Westie x Bichon Frise) from a neighbour and we walk through the fields. They love the outdoors. I like doing yoga to help me relax as working in the office can be stressful sometimes.

Name one or more things on your bucket list.

I’d love to cruise around New Zealand as it looks like a beautiful country. Alaska and the Norwegian Fjords were on my list but they are now ticked off.

If you could create your dream cruise what would it be? 

I’m happiest when I go away with my close friends. I also love sailing from Southampton because you don’t have to fly and have a couple of relaxing sea days before the ports begin. My dream room would be the reflection suite that has a cantilevered shower! Or one of the new edge villas that have a private plunge pool!

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking their first cruise?

Do it! You won’t regret it. I book so many people on their first ever cruise and everyone comes back raving about it and want to book another one straight away.

Check out the new ship coming from Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Edge

For the latest offers and promotions go to celebrity cruises.co.uk

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