Coral Princess Sets Sail On Her First 107 Day World Cruise from Sydney in 2022
107-Day Voyage Offers 43 Destinations in 27 Countries on 6 Continents
Princess Cruises have announced a 107-Day World Cruise for the ultimate bucket-list seekers. In May 2022, Coral Princess will be sailing round trip from Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland.
The 107-day circumnavigation of the globe will include the Mediterranean, Norway, Iceland and the Arctic Circle. Other highlights will include a transit of the Panama Canal, a firm favourite. In addition, guests have over 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to choose from.
107 Day World Cruise Highlights
The cruise will sail the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Panama Canal and Pacific Ocean, covering 34,000 nautical miles. The epic voyage crosses the equator twice, the international date line and travels above the Arctic Circle.
Thingvellir National Park (Reykjavik)
Guests can depart from one of the three roundtrip departure homeports, with the option of 14 unique itineraries ranging from 19 to 107 days;
Auckland – May 14, 2022
Sydney – May 18, 2022
Brisbane – May 20, 2022
Olden, Norway is one of the 4 maiden world cruise ports.
The Four maiden World Cruise ports are;
Cornwall (Falmouth, United Kingdom)
Access to more than 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including;
The archaeological “lost” city of Petra from Aqaba
Gorham’s Cave Complex from Gibraltar. A sea-level cave considered to be a last known habitations of the Neanderthals
The Statue of Liberty, New York
Thingvellir National Park, Reykjavik. See stunning views of the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates
Notable sailing experiences include;
Easter Island scenic cruising
A full transit of the Panama Canal (including Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun Locks)
A Suez Canal transit in Egypt
Guests will benefit from more time in port, with 12 late nights and 4 overnight stays. Princess Cruises’ “More Ashore” promise includes Dubai, Venice, New York and Lima (Callao).
Optional overland tours of Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands are available from Lima (Callao), Peru.
Optional overland tours include the Galapagos Islands
Stay Persistently Connected with MedallionNet – the Best Wi-Fi at Sea
Coral Princess MedallionNet™ offers fast, unlimited, reliable, and affordable connectivity. Every stateroom has an access point, which allows guests to stream their favourite shows, play games and music; connect to social media sites; and video chat from anywhere on the ship.
World Cruise Early Booking Benefit and Captain’s Circle Savings
Onboard credit and discounts are available to past guests, when booked by April 30, 2021. This offer is combinable with launch and group promotions, but do not apply to third or fourth berth guests.
Prices and availability for the 107 Day World Cruise on Coral Princess 2022 can be found here.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through the company’s website at princess.com.
Actual itineraries may vary from marketing materials.
Royal Caribbean International has announced the name of the next ship to join the fleet. Wonder of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world and will set sail from Shanghai, China in 2021.
Royal Caribbean President and CEO, Michael Bayley, revealed details at a global cruise industry conference event in Shanghai. Wonder of the Seas, will be the first Oasis Class ship to sail the Asia Pacific. This will be the start of a new era of cruising.
Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International at the press conference in Beijing. Photo provided to China Daily
“Royal Caribbean is known for its innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and anOasis Class ship inChina is proof of that,” said Bayley. “Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come.”
What to expect on board
Wonder of the Seas will be part of the Oasis class of ships which are the largest in the world. The ship will feature the iconic seven-neighbourhoods and a bold lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology.
Image Credit: Royal Caribbean International Wonder of the Seas will be like her sister, Oasis of the Seas. (Pictured View of Central Park)
Construction of Wonder of the Seas took place this week,at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Wonder’s keel, a 970-tonne block measuring 155 feet by 65 feet, was lifted onto the building with a 1,400-tonne crane. This ceremony marks the beginning of her construction.
The coin ceremony is part of a long maritime tradition that takes place during the keel laying. You can read more about this in What Is A Keel Laying Ceremony?
Discovery Princess set to launch on 3 November 2021 will be the 6th Royal Class ship. She will begin her inaugural season with a series of European Voyages. She will be a sister ship to Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Majestic Princess, Sky Princess (joining the fleet later this month) and Enchanted Princess (joining the fleet June 2020 and launching in Southampton).
Her maiden voyage is a seven-day Mediterranean and Aegean cruise departing Rome to Athens on November 3, 2021. For those looking for a longer cruise, this can be combined together with the subsequent seven-day Athens to Barcelona voyage to form a 14-day Adriatic & Aegean Medley sailing.
Discovery Princess will include Adriatic and Aegean Itineraries.
On completion of her short season in the Mediterranean, Discovery Princess will reposition to Fort Lauderdale. From here, she will sail a series of roundtrip cruises to the Caribbean, followed by several voyages around South America. Ports include Buenos Aires, Santiago, Fort Lauderdale, Mexico and California.
Santiago, Chile. One of the destinations Discovery Princess will visit during her inaugural season.
Construction of the 143,700-tonne Discovery Princess will take place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The ship will feature the ‘MedallionClass’ technology, which gives guests a smoother and personalised cruise experience, including;
Expedited arrival and touchless stateroom entry.
On-demand services using smart devices to order drinks, food and retail items and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom.
Interactive game play – digital scavenger hunts, interactive games and turning their smart device into a game controller for interactive gaming on the Movies Under The Stars top-deck screen.
Family and friends locator – Easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, and seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.
Guests can use JourneyView to digitally browse on board events, which means they won’t miss out. This is available up to 60 days in advance, allowing for guests to plan ahead.
Future Ships For Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises have two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered ships on order, which will be delivered in late 2023 and spring 2025. More details here.
Cruise on Discovery Princess
Princess Cruises is offering the seven-day Mediterranean and Aegean inaugural sailing on Discovery Princess from £1,389 per person. Departing November 3, 2021 from Rome to Athens, calling at Naples, Crete (Heraklion), Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Istanbul and Mykonos.
The 3,660-guest ship’s maiden season is available to book from October 8, 2019. To book visit princess.com
Sustainable Tours Increase Across Royal Caribbean Brands
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has announced 1,400 sustainable tours for the Caribbean, Mediterranean and beyond.
These special tours are available across all Royal Caribbean brands, and are offered by certified sustainable tour operators. Experiences include kayaking along Majorca’s west coast, underground Mayan River Cenote in Cozumel and grape harvesting at Pizzorno Winery in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Commitment to Sustainability
The initiative began as part of the company’s 2020 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) target. Royal Caribbean’s goal was to offer guests 1,000 tours, provided by operators certified to the UN-created Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standard.
Educating Tour Operators
Engaging with its global independent tour operators was a key part of the programme.
RCL’s Global Tour Operations team and GSTC conducted educational sessions for its tour operators. They educated on the company’s commitment, the importance of certification and sustainable operations, and the process to become GSTC certified.
GSTC Criteria consists of four main themes;
effective sustainability planning
maximising social and economic benefits for the local community
enhancing cultural heritage
reducing negative impacts on the environment.
Unprecedented Scale and Scope
“The scale and scope of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ commitment to sustainable shore excursions and accomplishments to date, are unprecedented,” says Jim Sano, VP for Conservation Travel, WWF.
“GSTC commends Royal Caribbean for taking these important steps, encouraging tour operators to adopt–and seek GSTC accredited certification for sustainable tourism practices,” stated Randy Durband, GSTC CEO. “Royal Caribbean’s efforts to boost the global supply of certified sustainable shore excursions is a watershed moment for the cruise industry. Having almost 1,400 tours in Royal Caribbean’s portfolio is an important milestone, and we congratulate them for their ongoing efforts.”
In 2016, RCL announced a partnership with WWF to take its sustainability performance to the next level. This partnership set ambitious sustainability targets in three key areas:
sustainable food supply
This takes the company beyond its self-contained operations, with the support of sustainable travel and livelihoods at RCL destinations.
5 Ethical Commitments From Fashion Brands You Need To Know About
Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of pre-cruise shopping? This guest post by Wayne Thomas gives you a few things to consider if you want to make ethical choices.
Ethical concerns are becoming an integral part of the way fashion retailers do business. As more information comes to light about the negative impact fast fashion has on the environment and those who work in the industry, consumers are driving demand for ethical commitments from the brands they know and love.
From raising money to fund causes they care about to addressing human rights issues in the manufacture of their products, we are asking more than ever of the world’s biggest producers and retailers. In this post, we look at five ethical commitments from brands you need to know about.
One of the simplest ways brands can commit to a more ethical way of working is by raising money for causes their customers believe in. Did you know that high-street giant Debenhams has a £1 million fundraising target each year? This is alongside the many other steps Debenhams have taken in recent years to make their operations more ethical.
Reduction In Landfill
￼Much of what we buy and wear ends up in landfill. It is a sad byproduct of our throwaway culture, but one which brands are now starting to address. Clothing brand Nobody’s child have committed to reducing landfill as much as possible. They only manufacture their collections in small runs, reuse fabric where possible and donate any excess fabric to local colleges. Also, at & Other Stories, Monki, and other H&M Group brands, customers are able to recycle old textiles in store and receive discounts and incentives.
Ban On Animal Testing And Use
Some of the biggest brands have now committed to banning animal testing, fur (including feathers) and angora in all of their productions. Big names which have recently committed to stopping the use of angora wool include Gucci, Calvin Klein, Gap and Ralph Lauren.
This is not only reserved for the fashion space, but in the beauty industry too. There has been a significant increase in the number of vegan and cruelty free brands on the market which has forced even the biggest beauty houses to consider their animal testing practices and the ingredients they use in their products.
It is not just the goods themselves, but the production and disposal of packaging that is causing major disruption to the environment. You may have already noticed how much excess packaging comes with your favourite parcels, but did you know many brands are now taking measures to reduce the packaging used? For example, the cult skincare brand Glossier now allow you to decline their signature pink ziplock and sticker pack to reduce the carbon footprint of their packaging.
￼Sustainable Supply Chains
Ethical concerns go further than the store you buy from. Brands are now committing to ensuring that their ethical commitments extend through to manufacture and sourcing of materials. According to charity The Chain, who monitor supply chain practices, Adidas, Lululemon and Primark are leading the way when it comes to rectifying human rights issues, listening to the voices of workers and overall monitoring of supply chain practices. For example, Adidas has long-term relationships with most of its suppliers.
What commitments do you like to see from your favourite brands? Let us know.
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald.
This insightful observation from the renowned American writer is behind the latest luxury VIP Champagne Cruise.
With over 40 years’ experience, European Waterways operate the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. The all inclusive, boutique luxury experience focuses on local culture, history, fine wine and gourmet cuisine. Guests are transported through intimate inland waterways, whilst experiencing an impeccable level of service.
Raising The Bar
Panache, the luxury 12 passenger hotel barge, already visits well known wineries and Champagne houses such as Maison Pannier. Now they have added exclusive VIP experiences at prestigious Moët & Chandon and Henriot champagne houses.
Champagne House Maison Pannier
“European Waterways’ Panache hotel barge offers some of the most diverse programmes in our fleet, with Tulip cruises through Holland in the spring, Champagne Cruises in May and June, and a beautiful route across Alsace & Lorraine through the summer and into the Autumn,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “These new VIP excursions reflect our continuing focus on providing luxurious, memorable experiences with a real difference.
Founded in 1743, the Moët & Chandon brand is one of the best-known and most exclusive in the world. Located on the famed Avenue de Champagne in the city of Epernay, in France’s Champagne region, the domaine features 200-year-old tunnels carved out of the area’s white chalk stone and spreading for 17 miles under the city. They provide the perfect temperature and humidity necessary for the slowly maturing process of the famous wines.
Image By Palauenc05 of Orangerie de Moët & Chandon on Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, France
On a Panache Champagne Cruise, European Waterways’ guests enjoy a private tour of Moët & Chandon’s vast underground cellar and its much-admired, bubbly treasure. This is followed by an exclusive tasting of some of their renowned vintages, which takes place in an elegant private salon, hosted by an experienced cellar master.
ThePanache Champagne Cruises also includes a visit to the domaine of Champagne Henriot. Guests can tour the vineyard and discover the fine art of grape production and selection. There is also a visit to the nearby village of Pierry for a private tour of the winery’s 18th century Château Les Aulnois. Guests will then enjoy an exclusive tasting of various Henriot Champagnes in the Chateau’s dining room, followed by a gastronomic lunch.
A trip to La Maison Pannier is another integral part of the upgraded itinerary for Panache. Founded in 1899, it is the largest Champagne house in the valley. Following the tour of its medieval labyrinth-like cellars, guests will be treated to a private tasting.
“After these exclusive tastings, the Champagne flows freely aboard the hotel barge, too, where we don’t spare the bubbly!” said Banks. “Our guests are also treated to the finest gastronomic experiences onboard, with meals prepared by the chef using regionally-sourced ingredients, such as Champagne’s creamy, crumbly Chaource cheese.”
These six-night Champagne cruise fares have a 20 % discount on the May 26, June 16 and June 30 cruise departures this season, and includes;
local, private, chauffeured transfers;
comfortable, air-conditioned accommodation;
all gourmet meals;
fine wines – indigenous to the cruise region;
an open bar;
daily excursions and admittance fees;
use of barge facilities, including bicycles and hot tub.
Allura Class – Higher Level of Comfort and Amenities
The ultra luxury cruise line Oceania Cruises have announced an order for two new cruise ships. The Allura Class will offer guests an even higher level of comfort and convenience than Marina and Riviera.
The two 67,000 gross ton Allura-Class ships will cost approximately 575 million euros per vessel. The ships will be built by leading cruise ship design and construction company Fincantieri S.p.A. Each shall accommodate an estimated 1,200 guests. Oceania Cruises want to retain the warmth, design and signature amenities regular Oceania cruisers love about the Marina and Riviera. The new Allura Class will also offer an additional level of comfort and convenience, with new luxury amenities.
The Evolution of Perfection
“This new class of ships will represent an evolution of the Oceania Cruises experience with all the elements our guests treasure – a warm, intimate, residential style; the most spacious standard staterooms afloat; amazing suites, and of course, the finest cuisine at sea,” stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises.
Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd announced; “We are excited to expand the Oceania Cruises fleet with our new Allura-Class ships to meet the strong demand for upscale culinary- and destination-focused cruise vacations around the globe. This new class of ships will further elevate the already best-in-class guest experience at Oceania Cruises and meaningfully strengthen demand from both new and loyal returning guests, which will ultimately drive further returns for shareholders.”
“This new successful project for Oceania Cruises is yet another demonstration of our ability to capitalise on product innovation and diversification to meet the needs of every type of customer, a capability that distinguishes us in the world” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri.
Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed that Eduardo Arranz-Bravo, the award-winning Spanish artist, created the hull artwork for the fourth and final ship of its Breakaway-Plus class, Norwegian Encore, debuting in Miami in November 2019.
A representation of his modern and abstract style, the ship’s hull will feature a labyrinth of color inspired by Arranz-Bravo’s life by the sea in Barcelona and paying tribute to the vibrant guest experience for which the Norwegian brand is recognized.
“Norwegian Cruise Line is a dynamic, pioneering company known for its innovative experiences and breathtaking collection of beautifully designed ships,” said Arranz-Bravo. “I am honored to not only bring that vibrancy to life even more on Norwegian Encore but also showcase my love for the ocean and my hometown of Barcelona.”
Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, played a key role in the selection of Arranz-Bravo as the hull artist for Norwegian Encore, having been inspired by his work for many years. Del Rio’s passion for the arts has helped elevate Norwegian’s on-board experience, most recently with the multi-million-dollar-art collection curated for Norwegian Bliss.
“We are well-known for our iconic hull designs and know that Arranz-Bravo’s lively design will complement the colorful destinations in the Caribbean that Norwegian Encore will visit when she debuts next year,” said Del Rio.
Recognized for his inventive and humanistic approach to abstract art, Arranz-Bravo’s work is showcased throughout the world and portrays a constant evolution that some refer to as futuristic. He is highly regarded, having been the recipient of countless awards and accolades, and was one of three artists chosen to represent the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona.
“Eduardo’s design will be a perfect complement to the collection of hull artwork within our fleet and is a testament to the dynamic experience our guests will have on board,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are proud to welcome him to our Norwegian Cruise Line family.”
At approximately 167,800 gross tons and accommodating up to 4,000 guests, Norwegian Encore will complete the Breakaway-Plus class, the most successful class in the company’s history. She is currently being built at Meyer Werft, in Papenburg, Germany and will feature many innovative dining, entertainment and recreational activities that guests have come to expect from the industry-leading brand.
Following her unveiling, she will cruise out of Miami every Sunday and sail seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean, beginning with her first journey on November 17, 2019 through April 12, 2020.
More details on the ship’s design, accommodations, dining and onboard offerings will be shared in the coming months.
Celebrity Edge inspires the next generation of explorers at sea
From tots speaking their first words to teens preparing to leap into university, Celebrity Cruises is taking learning at sea to the next level for guests of all ages on its new transformational ship, Celebrity Edge.
Younger travellers will be truly spoilt for choice with the ship’s Camp at Sea programme. With over 500 activities to try out, don’t miss out on the chance to take part in the cruise line’s first youth coding experience at sea, create a holiday vlog using a Go Pro camera or master the music decks with a Scratch DJ tournament.
Those looking to become the next Albert Einstein, Bear Grylls or David Attenborough can harness their inner scientist, explorer and adventurer at Anturus Explorer Academy. Navigate the world like an explorer and uncover the Earth’s magnetic field, test out a homemade shelter with a special camp-out evening on the top deck, and test out those commentary skills at The Explorer Olympics. At the end of the sailing, children will graduate from the academy as an Explorer with their very own certificate and badge, and can put their training to good use after their holiday.
Free for all children on-board, the Anturus Explorer Academy sessions will not only help ignite the imaginations of young people, they also bring the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – to life outside the classroom.
Homeporting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Celebrity Cruises’ newest transformational ship, Celebrity Edge, will be making her first sailing in November 2018. Celebrity Edge will spend her inaugural season sailing, alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries before transporting guests to the stunning vistas of the Mediterranean, with a range of seven-to-11-night sailings from iconic cities like Barcelona and Rome in 2018.
Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity Cruises can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. This is the Celebrity Distinction. Celebrity Cruises’ 12 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity Cruises also presents immersive cruise tour experiences in Alaska and Canada. Celebrity is one of six cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Join Celebrity Cruises for a nine-night Western Mediterranean fly/cruise from £2,659 per person based on two people sharing an Oceanview stateroom. Both guests will receive a free Classic Drinks Package worth £450* per person, along with free soft drinks packages for additional guests.
Departing 10 August 2019, the price includes return flights from London Heathrow airport, transfers, and a nine-night cruise departing Rome (Civitavecchia, Italy), and calling at Naples (Italy), Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Santa Margherita (Italy) and Florence/Pisa (La Spezia, Italy), before returning to Rome for the flight home; meals and entertainment on-board the ship and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.
*Subject to availability, prices depending on sailing length
Oceania Cruises have announced a new chapter, OceaniaNEXT.
The world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, Oceania Cruises are introducing dramatic enhancements to their fleet. This ambitious brand initiative OceaniaNEXT, will elevate every facet of the Oceania Cruises guest experience to new levels.
Better Than New Ships
The first part of the project known as OceaniaNEXT, will see Oceania Cruises give Regatta-Class $100 Million Re-Inspiration which will result in four ‘better than new’ ships. Each vessel will emerge with 342 brand new designer suites and staterooms and stunning new décor in the restaurants, lounges and bars. The inspiration for the design comes from the line’s 450 ports of call across Europe, Alaska, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, New England-Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Tahiti and the South Pacific and epic 180-day Around the World Voyages.
Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and Sirena will feature richly appointed and stylish new interiors that showcase the best of residential design. Furnishings from Baker and Donghia along with fabrics from Rubelli and Kravet will adorn the public spaces, with new richly-hued custom-milled carpets lining the floors.
Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises – Insignia Grand Hall
Effortless style in an elegant atmosphere will be the defining characteristics of the Reception Hall and Upper Hall. A sparkling new Grand Staircase framed by intricate railings and balustrades inset with crystal accents will welcome guests onboard. Overhead, a crowning grand chandelier adorned with hanging pieces of smoked and hand-painted glass, will set the space aglow.
Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises – Insignia Grand Hall
The Grand Dining Room will feature buttery soft cream leather dining chairs accented with metallic bronze threading to catch the light from the stunning new crystal chandelier, which will be the room’s defining centrepiece.
Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises – Insignia Grand Dining Room
Martinis becomes anew with a palette inspired by the stunning coastline of Santorini featuring hues of deep Grecian blue, sienna and chocolate browns and stately pewter. Silver-white marble and tobacco quartz will accent the bar while the trademark walnut panelling adds lustre and whispers of familiarity.
Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises – Insignia Martini Lounge
All-New Suites and Staterooms
Wanting guests to feel at home while away from home, the luxurious brand-new staterooms and suites will be lighter, brighter and even more spacious. Stripped down to their studs, every ounce of the re-inspired accommodations will be modernised, featuring custom-crafted furnishings, exotic stone and polished wood finishes and designer accessories, creating a harmonious celebration of style and comfort.
“The staterooms and suites are the most dramatic of the transformation,” added Ruiz. “They now feature a very clean design with a sophisticated air. Enhanced by nuanced shades of the sea and sky, the tones are warm and soothing, incorporating silvery greys and greens alongside vivid sapphires and taupes.”
Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises – Insignia Penthouse Suite
Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises – Insignia Penthouse Suite
For convenience, USB ports will be incorporated in each of the staterooms, as well as a state-of-the art television system with movies on demand in multiple-languages, live stations and a programme guide, plus itinerary information and weather updates.
Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises – Sirena Vista Suite #7004
Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises – Sirena Owners Suite Living Room #6008
Lustrous New Bathrooms
Every fixture and surface of the bathrooms will be new, with designer fixtures, perfect lighting, lavish vanities and chic glass shower enclosures. Penthouse, Vista and Owner’s Suites bathrooms become true luxury retreats, offering more space outfitted with Carrara marble, polished granite and sleek onyx.
Re-Inspiration By The Numbers
$100 Million Dollars
1,368 New Suites and Staterooms
1,400 New Marble Bathrooms
8,000 New Light Fixtures
12,000 New Sofas and Chairs
1,000+ Artisans and Craftsmen
Royal Princess Cruise Ship Celebrates Her Fifth Anniversary
It was five years ago today that the 3,560 guest Royal Princess cruise ship, was christened by the expectant HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge in Southampton.
Since then, Royal Princess has sailed over 600,000 miles. That is the equivalent of travelling 25 times around the world. 730,000 guests have had the pleasure of cruising onboard this magnificent ship, during which time she has clocked up an impressive 79 ports and 23 countries. Guests have enjoyed18,000,000 onboard meals, 10,000 ‘Royal afternoon teas, more than 10,000,000 slices of complimentary top-deck pizza and 310,000 glasses of champagne.
Bellini’s Champagne Bar onboard Royal Princess
Chateaubriand, served onboard Royal Princess
Royal Princess is currently based in Southampton for the summer season, travelling around the British Isles.
The ship was the first to include signature Princess Cruises’ features such as the SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway that extends 28 feet over the edge of the ship, and Princess Live, a television studio with onboard programming throughout the day.
Royal Princess has also become a star of the small screen, as for the past two years she has been the setting for three series of primetime ITV documentary ‘The Cruise’. Set in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the series offered viewers an insight into life onboard a Princess ship for both guests and crew, and attracted a combined average audience of around 4m per episode.
Image Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Timothy Gallant, star of The Cruise TV show aired on ITV
Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ Vice President UK and Europe, said: “Royal Princess’ special ties with the UK mean she is always thought of particularly fondly over here. It’s therefore especially fitting that the ship is spending her fifth year anniversary sailing a season around the British Isles.”
“We wish all the crew onboard a happy birthday and hope guests who have enjoyed spending time on Royal Princess previously, or are booked to travel on her in future, will raise a glass to her next five years setting sail across the world.”
Royal Princess’ sister ship, Regal Princess, was launched in May 2014, followed by another sister ship, Majestic Princess, in March 2017. Three further sister ships will launch in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
This pretty little dress is one of my favourite cruise items this year. It’s very flattering, and at first glance doesn’t look like a beach dress. That allows you the flexibility to wear it around the ship during the day, or on shore excursions, without looking too beachy.
It is so cute and so comfy and suited to girls and women of all ages. The black one is my favourite, but I did have all four in my online shopping basket for a while, until I finally settled with one. I’m still tempted with the pink palm print one though!
The last day of a cruise is always a sad one. However when it’s your first time in Barbados, it’s hard to be anything but completely excited.
During my cruise on Viking Sea I had met many lovely people. On my second day in Puerto Rico, we were gathered in the terminal to depart for our horse riding adventure, and Julia bowled up to our group to join us. Looking the part in her cowboy boots, I immediately took to Julia and her bubbly personality. We chatted non-stop on the drive to the stables. It turned out that Julia was working onboard Viking Sea as HR Manager. When I told her I was looking to get some amazing beach photos, she kindly offered to help and arranged the whole thing!
I met Cassie Wilcox, Senior Writer for Viking Cruises UK, in the check in queue at Heathrow. After a few days on the cruise, Cassie told me she was desperate to get that soft white sand between her toes asked if she could join us.
If you’ve never been to Barbados on a cruise, it is worth knowing that as you emerge from the terminal building you are greeted by hundreds of taxis. There seems to be one person managing the operation. They will ask you where you want to go and find the driver for you. They seem to prefer lots of passengers on shorter journeys, so for three of us looking for a two hour trip we were not getting any takers.
Thankfully Julia sorted it all out and a lovely retired gentleman name Marson said he would be our driver. I needed to be back to the ship by midday as we were flying home, so we didn’t have a lot of time and I wanted to see as much as possible.
Marson was a real charmer and told us some great stories of his ballroom dancing. The first beach he took us to was Brownes Beach just 15 minutes from the cruise terminal.
Pristine white sand and crystal blue water at Brownes Beach.
It certainly ticks all the boxes for that dreamy Caribbean beach. We arrived around 9.30am so we had the beach pretty much to ourselves. Apparently it can get extremely busy so my advice is get there super early and head back to the ship when it gets too busy. All of the beaches we visited had sun-loungers and umbrellas for hire.
Julia and Cassie were really good fun to hang out with.
A big smile from Cassie as she gets that powdery sand between her toes.
I love this photo of Julia laughing at me.
That’s why she’s laughing
What a great shot, even if I say so myself.
From there, Marson drove 5 minutes south to Needhams Point. We stopped at the Hilton Barbados Resort to take in the views and have a quick wander around the grounds.
The hotel has several gorgeous pool areas, it’s right on the beach and offers stunning views.
If you fancy staying there, you can check pricing and availability for the Hilton Barbados Resort here.
There is a great restaurant and bar on the beach called Coast. We met the owner, Anna who bought the bar 4 years ago when she moved over from her home town of Milan, Italy. If you are visiting Barbados, make sure this is on your list of places to visit.
As you can see, I was far from ready to leave. What a gorgeous place. Barbados! I’ll be back!
The clothes in this post are my own and purchased by me. I have not been paid or gifted to endorse any of the products listed below. These affiliate links mean I will earn a small amount of commission on any purchases made via these links, at no extra cost to you.
There’s nothing better than having a balcony when you cruise, and on Viking Sea every room has one. Not only did I get a great view of the coastline, but I also got a partial view of the Bridge.
It was warm and sunny outside with temperatures forecast for the high 80’s. I had booked a snorkelling excursion and was excited to try it for the first time.
Waking up to a beautiful view of St Croix
As my body was still on UK time, I felt really hungry as soon as I woke up. I needed to eat something quickly, so I ordered breakfast in my room and enjoyed a delicious feast before getting dressed.
Simple, Beautiful St Croix
I wanted to have a look at Frederiksted before leaving for the Buck Island trip. Thank goodness I did. St Croix is unlike any other Caribbean Islands visited by cruise ships.
There is no big terminal building, you simply walk along the pier into the quaint town of Frederiksted.
The Viking Sea docked in St Croix
As you reach the Customs and Immigration building, there is a small welcome party where you can taste the local rum while the DJ plays Caribbean music.
A warm welcome in St Croix
And if that doesn’t get you in the Caribbean mood, this lady will.
A vibrant welcome to St Croix
Frederiksted Historic District
There is a lovely area just at the end of the pier with benches facing the sea. The red building is Fort Frederik which was built in the 1750’s to guard the island from pirates. It now houses a museum and art gallery which can be visited for a small entrance fee. A clocktower overlooks Emancipation Park where in 1848, Danish Governor Peter Von Scholten emancipated the slaves.
I thought this was a really pretty place and not busy at all. There are a few tents set up with local sellers offering a range of local products but no big tax-free jewellery stores or designer shops, which I find is a refreshing change. It might be different when one of the larger cruise ships visits. If you have any experience of this please let me know in the comments below.
Driving To Christiansted
We were the second trip of the day for our driver Stephen.
Religion is a very important part of Island culture and it wasn’t long before I had a sign from God.
Thankfully it was just the shadow of a window sticker on my leg. Or was it?
The drive to Christiansted, the largest town on the island, took around 20 minutes. En route I was surprised to see an oil production plant on the island, recently sold and renamed Limetree Bay Terminals LLC. More in keeping with the area was the Captain Morgan Rum Distillery, which has a visitor centre if you fancy a look around.
Arriving in Christiansted we gathered on grass area to meet our Caribbean Sea Adventures Crew. I took the opportunity to snap a few photos of the colourful buildings around us.
Once onboard the boat, it became apparent that I was the only person on board that had never snorkelled before. Many people had brought their own equipment.
Buck Island is a protected National Monument. Two-thirds of the island are surrounded by a coral barrier reef. This provides the perfect ecosystem for a variety of marine plants and animals including endangered species.
I didn’t go too far from the boat for my first snorkel but what I saw and experienced was something I will never forget. It is hard to put into words the peace and tranquillity I experienced even just putting my face into the water, but it moved me to tears when I emerged from the water.
Here is a 3-minute video that I have put together to give you an idea of what it was like. Have you tried snorkelling? If so I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. If you like the video please visit my YouTube channel and give it a thumbs up and subscribe to help me get famous :-). I hope you like the song as much as I do.
Back On Board
Back onboard the Viking Sea, you are handed a much needed chilled flannel to refresh yourself, and a warm smiley welcomes from the crew who greet you by name.
After our wonderful day trip, I was thirsty and needed to cool off a bit. I ordered myself a Margarita on the rocks, no salt, at the Aquavit Terrace Bar, and headed to the infinity pool.
I watched the beautiful sunset as we sailed away from St Croix.
Then it was time for dinner in Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant.
Manfredi’s starter – Calamari
Followed by melt in the mouth Surf n’ Turf
The meal in Manfredi’s was delicious but I was so exhausted after another action-packed day, I could barely stay awake to eat it. So as soon as I finished dinner I headed back to my room and flopped into the incredibly soft, comfy, cosy bed.
My Penthouse Veranda stateroom was on the starboard side which gave me the best views of the ocean in Puerto Rico. I sat down on my balcony to enjoy a coffee and the sun rising above San Juan and noticed a cruise ship in the distance. I love watching ships come alongside, so I was thrilled to see three other cruise ships entering the port, all from the comfort of my stateroom.
View of San Juan Port from Viking Sea 5011.
It was time for breakfast and to see the ship in daylight.
Taking in the Viking Sea with the beautiful San Juan backdrop.
Walking to breakfast on the Viking Sea
The main pool onboard Viking Sea
Time For An Adventure
After a quick tour of the ship, we headed out for our horse riding trip. There was no queuing to disembark the ship and we were offered chilled bottles of water to take with us as we left.
We took a minibus to Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park located in Luquillo. Our driver gave us an entertaining guided tour during the 20-minute journey. However, I had met a lovely lady named Julia, who works onboard the Viking Sea. We didn’t stop talking for the entire journey, so I missed the commentary but made a great friend.
Everyone in the group was matched to a horse depending on their experience. Horse riding is second nature to me, so I was matched with Vulcan for the ride.
Not quite Lady Godiva
It was a blazing hot day, so we took it easy and just walked. We stopped to rest and cool off by the river.
Time to cool off
I could have stayed there all-day
With my new friends. Our guide, Jonathan and Julia from Viking.
It was a fantastic experience and the guys that took us out were great fun and looked after us. We rode back to the farm, grabbed a beer and returned to the ship.
Thank goodness we were on a Viking Cruises shore excursion as we arrived back dead on 4.30, which was the all aboard time. That was cutting it fine. Had we been delayed though, the ship would have waited for us, unlike if we were doing the trip on our own.
Five o’clock was time for muster drill, so I had just enough time for a much-needed shower. Being a 930 passenger ship, the drill took no time at all and we were soon sipping cocktails and watching the sunset.
The sun setting on San Juan
The waves crashing against the rocks of Old San Juan Fort – Castillo San Felipe del Morro
The dramatic San Juan coastline
Our group met in the Explorers Lounge for a pre-dinner drink. Viking’s ocean cruise ships all have an Explorers theme encapsulated in their interior design.
The Explorers Lounge with maps of star constellations framing the room
The Explorers Lounge Bar with star constellation mirror
Meeting in the Explorers Lounge for a pre-dinner cocktail
For our first night, we decided to have dinner in the main dining room.
Smoked Sturgeon and Sevruga Caviar
Oriental Style Scallops and Lobster
After dinner, we headed to the theatre for the Captains Welcome Aboard Speech.
Champagne on ice to welcome the guests onboard Viking Sea
There was not a spare seat in the house as Cruise Director Mark and the Viking Band kicked off proceedings with a wonderful rendition of Hello, Young Lovers.
The Captain was introduced to the stage and from the outset, he was very funny. There was a lighthearted approach to introducing the rest of the senior management team as they walked onto the stage to the music of Pirates of the Caribbean.
By this time the travelling, jet lag and horseriding had made me feel extremely tired. So it was time for bed to be ready for more exciting adventures tomorrow.
Sheri Griffiths is the face of Cruise Tips TV. A huge fan of cruising herself, Sheri provides cruisers with answers to all their questions in her YouTube show. She has a great personality and I wanted to know more about her life off-camera.
When was your first cruise?
My first cruise was onboard Carnival Ecstasy in 1991. My Mom accompanied me on a Caribbean cruise as a high school graduation present, along with my little brother. I loved the experience but longed for the time when I’d be able to cruise with my future husband. The best part of the cruise was the resort scuba dive in Grand Cayman. My Mom let me go alone (with a ship sponsored excursion), and it was one of the highlights of my “under 20” life.
Finally, that next cruise happened in 2003 (or so) after my husband I had been married for about 6 years. I was so excited to share the experience with him after scraping and saving for years, but WOW, had cruising changed. Diamond Princess was HUGE, and he was instantly hooked. We’ve never looked back, and cruise as often as we can. We still DO love a good land vacation on occasion as well.
How many cruises have you taken so far?
Somewhere around 28 total to The Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Canada & New England. We’ve sailed with Carnival, Princess, Holland America, NCL, and Royal Caribbean.
Sheri Griffiths – Cruise Tips TV enjoying the beach with her son
How long have you been doing Cruise Tips TV?
We’re in our 5th year of production. We have just over 350 videos for cruisers, ranging from packing tips to ship tours, and cruise vlogs.
How did Cruise Tips TV come about?
Our channel was born over a dinner table conversation. As cruise lovers, we would always film our trips, shore excursions and activities and create short movies, to preserve the memories. It occurred to us (one evening over chicken casserole!) that we could also create and share information, tips and even full ship video tours, so we decided to take the plunge and chose YouTube as our platform.
Travel had always been the “prime directive” in our family, so it seemed like a natural step to bust out our film equipment and share our passion with the internet world. We’ve changed our approach, style and content many times over the years, based on subscriber feedback and changes in our lives.
How many shows do you do a week? And how long does it take to prepare for each one?
We generally produce two shows per week. Each show takes a minimum of an hour of content prep time. Some episodes can take up to 4 hours of prep time, depending on the amount of research involved. Really, it’s the editing that is time-intensive. Mr Cruise Tips TV edits our content full time and still wishes he had more hours in every day. We try to involve our son in the process when we can. He is learning basic editing skills and helps with ideas. Sometimes, we give him his own camera to vlog with on cruises. He loves the KidCam!
What is an average day in the life for you?
I wake up at 5:15 am, hobble to my kitchen for coffee, and head off to my day job. My husband is self-employed and works from home, so I’m fortunate to have his help with the day-to-day. He does all the laundry, cleans the house, and makes sure that our son is well cared for during the week.
When I get home from work, I squeeze in dinner with my boys, catch up on social media, take a hot bath, and get ready to do it all again the next day. On the weekend, my primary focus is to spend time with my son, get as much exercise and outdoor time as possible, and go live on YouTube every other Saturday.
Sheri on the bridge of Star Princess
Do you have any tips for people thinking about starting their own YouTube channel?
Be true to yourself. Mr CTTV likes to say “keep your head down”, meaning, don’t look at what other people are doing to develop your content. BE YOURSELF, and don’t compare your ideas and content to others. People want to watch YOU because you offer something unique and individual. At the same time, it’s easy to delay starting a YouTube channel, because it can feel at times like “it’s all been done” already. News Flash – it has! But, you should still go for it!
Consider whether you can be of service to others. The longer we’ve been creating content through our channel, the more we’ve realized the joy in being a resource. Those people then become a great resource for YOU. Our community of cruise enthusiasts bring ideas and tips to us week after week. We also count on them for honest feedback at times.
Be Real. When we started our channel, I wanted to read from a teleprompter every episode and sought to control every element of production. As time went by, our subscribers asked us to turn the camera around and vlog our cruises. I thought the notion was crazy. Each time the topic came up, my husband and I would look at each other and say “naaah, nobody wants to see that. It’s too real”. Then, in September of 2016, we finally jumped out of our cosy studio and turned that camera around to capture the day to day of our cruise through vlogs.
As we’ve learned more about what our audience wants since that first cruise, one theme always surfaces. They want authenticity, to see when things don’t go as planned and without makeup (aaah!). The audience want to be told when a shore excursion or experience falls short. They want to trust you to deliver the true experience.
Expect to evolve. Listen to your audience (not to the trolls, of course) and consider if their suggestions can work for you. You can’t make everyone happy, but the more you expect to re-invent your content often, while staying true to being yourself, the more you can experiment and land on what works.
Sheri with her son in Ketchikan, Alaska
What was your last holiday?
My last holiday was a partial transit through the Panama Canal on Caribbean Princess. It was 10 days of heaven!
Have you got your next holiday booked and what/where is it?
Our next cruise is on Carnival Splendor, to the Mexican Riviera.
Being a Mum with 2 jobs must require organisation and focus? What is one thing you do that really helps?
I’m a huge list maker. I use my iPhone to make lists for every area of my life, from packing to my weekly objectives to ideas for our next episode.
What are your hobbies?
I love hiking, Zumba, gardening and cooking.
Name one or more things on your bucket list.
A holiday to Tahiti and her islands. I must see Bora Bora. We’ve been dreaming of this destination since we were married.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking their first cruise?
I’d encourage them to research, but not to over plan. Pack comfortable shoes. Choose the right cruise line, and…watch lots of YouTube videos. We have lots of content for newbies!
The sun made a surprise appearance last week, which was well timed with the Six Star Cruises event at Burhill Golf Club in Surrey. The stunning mansion house was the perfect place to talk about luxury cruising.
I was excited to find out more about Azamara Club Cruises, their newest ship Azamara Pursuit and their exclusive golf cruises in partnership with Perry Golf . Beth, from Six Star Cruises had told me that Richard Twynam was going to do a presentation, so I knew we were in for some great insight into the cruise line.
My friend Donna, and I were welcomed with a glass of prosecco and a lovely goodie bag. Beth gave us an insight into Six Star Cruises and told us about the amazing Concierge service they provide to their customers. She said they had one guest who was so comfortable with her agent at Six Star, that when she was on her cruise ship, she called her agent to ask directions to another part of the ship! Now THAT’S service!
“It’s the first time in maritime history that the Carnival Corporation has sold one of their ships to the Royal Caribbean Corporation. It’s never happened so it’s quite historic” – Richard Twynam
The first thing everyone wanted to know, was about their new cruise ship, Azamara Pursuit. The addition of a third ship to their fleet will increase the cruise lines’ capacity by 50%. Azamara Pursuit will introduce a total of 61 more destinations. These will include 41 late nights and 26 overnights in port, allowing guests to truly experience their destinations. Bookings are open for sailings up until 2019.
Richard Twynam told us “[we] tried to do the deal three times to buy this ship. We thought the second time it had gone that we’d never be able to get her, and then out of nowhere it popped up and we were able to close the deal very quickly.”
He continued, “For any cruise aficionados, it’s the first time in maritime history that the Carnival Corporation has sold one of their ships to the Royal Caribbean Corporation. It’s never happened so it’s quite historic. She has had a very well known life. Before she was Azamara Pursuit some may have sailed on her as Swan Hellenic Miverva II, she was also Adonia and then she became Fathom, then she went back to the Adonia and then she’s becoming Azamara Pursuit. We get hold of her in Freeport in the Bahamas in the middle of March and we will take her out of the water and the first thing we are going to do, I cant wait, is spray her hull Azamara Blue so she will look pretty, and we will then sail her across with Captain Carl Smith to Belfast.”
Maiden Voyage and Christening
Azamara Pursuit’s maiden voyage will depart from Southampton on the 1st August sailing a 13 day Norwegian intensive voyage. She will then sail to Iceland for 15 days then returning on the 28th August. Her Christening will take place in Southampton after which she sails off to Bordeaux for a wine cruise on the 30th August.
Club Continent Suite – this is the entry level suite. Since the reimagination of the fleet, they have added a large vanity area with a lit mirror and hairdryer. Forty percent of the club continent suites have bathtubs, the others have good sized rain shower.
Club Continent Suite #8066 Azamara Journey
Club World Owners and Club Ocean Suites have a huge wraparound living space and balcony. There are many added benefits included in these suites including butler service, welcome champagne and fruit basket, a bottle of the premium spirit of your choice in your suite and $200 on board credit.
Club World Owner’s Suite #8091 Azamara Journey
A new suite has been introduced to the fleet. There are only two Spa Suites on each ship. Each one has an open plan bathroom and living space, and include a hot tub with a panoramic view of the ocean. As well as the other suite benefits, guests can enjoy spa credit and their very own ‘Night Under The Stars’
Perry Golf Partnership and The Masters
For Golfers who have dreamed of playing private clubs that are closed to the public, Azamara Club Cruises have made it a reality. They are the only cruise line offering a Cruise and Masters option for 2019, and Six Star Cruises are the first partner to do this with Azamara.
The Partnership with Perry Golf means you turn up at the port on the first day of your cruise, Perry Golf will take your golf bag from you where they tranport it by land, while you go by ocean. The next time you see it will be when it’s sitting on the back of a golf buggy on the first tee. They arrange all after game drinks, groupings, handicaps (doesn’t matter if you dont have a handicap), or if you want to play on your own or as a couple, Perry Golf take care of everything.
Most of the golf cruises are made up of 50% non golfers. For these guests, Azamara can arrange spa days for or other experiences.
For more information call Six Star Cruises on 0800 107 1279.
“I have never been on a cruise, and never wanted to – they sound stuffy and dull. “But I would love to go on a Voyage – they sound adventurous, exciting and glamorous.” Richard Branson
We are just days away from the Virgin Voyages Keel Laying Ceremony. Taking place at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Genoa, Richard Branson has promised to reveal more about the new cruise line.
The daily countdown to the event, branded #ShipTease has reminded the social media world how the Virgin Group do things differently. Richard Branson is the peoples’ person and rather than sit behind a desk giving corporate interviews about the direction of the brand, he chooses to re-enact the famous scene from Rocky, by running up the the 72 stone steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Not bad for a man of 67, but then again that’s nothing considering an example of a Richard Branson family holiday is an eight day mountain hike starting at the Matterhorn in Switzerland, then cycling 100 miles a day through the mountains from the northern most point of Italy to the southern most point. From there, swimming to Sicily, followed by another bike ride, and a marathon which would take them to the top of Mount Etna. This family are certainly not afraid of taking on a challenge!
The World’s Most Gorgeous Ship
Richard Branson has dreamt of starting a cruise line since he was 27 years old, and now he’s making it a reality. Virgin Voyages have placed an order for three mid sized cruise ships, which ties in nicely with the brands’ vision about being the best rather than the biggest.
Although Virgin Voyages have remained tight lipped on ship renderings, let’s see what we can imagine based on the experiences the cruise line have promised to deliver so far;
To build a bold new cruise line
The World’s most gorgeous ships with irresistible style
It’s all about you, the sailor
Far from ordinary
Mission to bring “true sea change” to cruising
Ports offering “unique and very sociable experiences”
Commitment to launch one of the cleanest fleets at sea
Celebrate curiosity not force you to follow one itinerary
Sailing beyond the World thats known on the ship of things to come
The Creative Collective, a unique team of Designers and Architects known for creating trends not following them
Don’t Miss The #ShipTease
There was such high demand for people to attend the Keel Laying Ceremony in Genoa, that Virgin Voyages were unable to cover travelling expenses. That has prevented a lot of people from going, but I will be there. I have scraped everything together to fund this trip as I believe that it will be a truly memorable occasion. I live and breathe the cruise industry, but my own personal values match that of the Virgin brand, free spirited, customer focused, honest, fun and to be the best. So for these two to come together, makes me really excited for the future of cruising.
For those not going in person, it will be live streamed from 1900 GMT on their Facebook page
You can also follow any of my social media channels for photos and news from the evening.
Don’t know what a Keel Laying Ceremony Is? Click here to find out.
Michael English Talks About The Importance of Teamwork and Communication
Celebrity Cruises recently scooped a massive four awards at this years TTG Awards Ceremony in London. Add this together with the industry buzz around the brand new Celebrity Edge, and I wanted to find out what life is like for the Celebrity Cruises Business Development Team at the moment. Here’s Michael English, Head of Business Development UK & Ireland to Summit up!
As Head of Business Development, what is an average day life for you?
The first thing is that no two days are ever same in my role.
I believe I have the best role in the sales team having so much variation. My role can include anything from dealing with our top producing accounts, working with our award winning sales team – to working on new initiatives to get more new guests to cruise with Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Cruises walked away with an incredible four TTG Awards this year. Luxury/Specialist Cruise Line of the Year, Ocean Cruise Line of the Year, Supplier Sales Team of the Year, Travel Company of the Year. Can you give an insight into what you believe drove the success of Celebrity to achieving so many awards?
First of all I must say a huge thank you to every trade partner who voted for Celebrity Cruises and the awards are a true reflection, recognition and direction that Celebrity Cruises are taking. Working with Travel Partners is vital to our success as we look to bring cruises holidays to a new groups of guests.
What was your last holiday?
I’m writing this on my flight down to Miami with my son, where we are spending the weekend catching up with friends and attending a couple of sporting events there.
It very important to me that I have the right balance between work and personal life – so this is Dad and son weekend in Miami.
How did it feel to win the CLIA Outstanding Contribution to the Cruise Industry award?
This was a huge surprise! It was a real honour to be presented with the award. To be recognised by your colleagues and travel industry partners is a very special award.
Your job role must require organisation, focus and a lot of energy. Do you have any lifestyle or management tips you can give us?
Listen – to what people are saying. God gave us two ears and one mouth not two mouths and one ear.
Communication – Is key to every solution.
What are your hobbies?
I’m on a quest to continue to climb various mountains summits. So far I have completed Snowdon, Ben Nevis, Scarfell Pike, Kota Kinablua/ Kiimanjaro/ Island Peak Nepal/ Mont Blanc/ Machu Picchu/ and next one will be India highest summit.
Find out how Azamara Club Cruises’ Managing DirectorRichard Twynamtook 70 flights in a year and still managed to find time for exercise, family and golf.
How did you end up working in the Cruise Industry and what was your first job?
I applied for a job in the Sunday Times to be Managing Director of Virgin Holidays Cruises in 2010, which somehow I got.
If you could have chosen anything else as a career what would it be?
A Professional Golfer.
What makes Azamara Club Cruises stand out from other cruises?
We have a single minded focus on destination first.
As Managing Director of Azamara Club Cruises, what is an average day in the life for you?
What I like is that there is no average day if you like. But most Tuesdays are made up of one to ones with the sales folks in the morning, followed by trading meeting at lunchtime, followed by various internal meetings in the afternoon. Then there will be events to attend every week.
I travel a lot in my role throughout the UK, Europe and to HQ in Miami, so am on a plane most weeks, I did over 70 flights for work last year which was exceptional.
What was your last holiday?
A week in Crete with my family in May, and staycation with the family in September.
Have you got your next holiday booked and what/where is it?
A long Christmas break to visit our family in California!
Your job role must require organisation, focus and a lot of energy. Do you have any lifestyle/ personal management tips you can give us?
Key things for me are balance and I’ve learned this year the power of fitness too, thanks to my wife who is a yoga teacher.
So we have a couple of simple rules.
No tech upstairs at home. No phones, no tv’s, no tablets. Bedtime is about switching off.
There is always time for exercise. We have 2 tiny children, so we have a trainer come to the house at 7am whilst the kids eat their breakfast!!
What are your hobbies?
Being a dad, golf when I can and keeping fit. We have a large garden so I love tinkering with that.
Name one or more things on your bucket list.
The Cook Islands and a drive across Canada.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking their first cruise?
It’s like any holiday, don’t over complicate it, keep it simple, choose your destination first, and then what type of cruise, and always use a travel professional that will sell you what is right for you.
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.
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