Tag Archives: Cruises-from-Southampton

MSC Virtuosa Arrives In Southampton

MSC Virtuosa Arrives In Southampton

MSC Virtuosa Arrives In Southampton

To Restart UK Cruising

The newest and most innovative ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet, MSC Virtuosa has arrived in Southampton. She will homport here for the Summer, setting sail on 20th May. Her maiden voyages will consist of 3- and 4-night mini cruises. 7-night sailings around the UK will begin on 12th June.

An Exciting Moment

Antonio Paradiso, UK Managing Director said “The arrival of our flagship MSC Virtuosa into Southampton today is an exciting moment, as we prepare to welcome UK guests back on board from May 20th for her inaugural season around the British Isles. We are proud to be the first cruise line to set sail from UK waters this summer and offer holidaymakers the chance to experience all of the new and incredible features on board our latest and most innovative ship. ”

Image Credit: Antonio Paradiso – Facebook

Environmentally Advanced

MSC Virtuosa is one of MSC Cruises’ most innovative and environmentally advanced ships. The 19-deck ship will offer its British guests of all ages the very best of;

  • fine dining restaurants
  • world-class entertainment
  • relaxing bars and lounges
  • boutique shopping
  • spa and fitness centres
  • an aquapark and clubs for toddlers to teenagers
  • the iconic 112-metre promenade with a stunning LED sky dome

Horizon Terminal

The ship will initially set sail from City Cruise Terminal, before moving to embark guests from the newly-named Horizon terminal once it has opened.

Third Ship Back At Sea

Joining two ships already operating in the Mediterranean, MSC Virtuosa will become the third MSC Cruises ship back at sea. MSC Seaside welcomed guests back on board last week, and MSC Grandiosa has been sailing in the Mediterranean since August 2020. All ships operate under the same industry-leading health and safety protocol.

Recommended Reading MSC Virtuosa Will Restart UK Cruising

A New Southampton Cruise Terminal

New Southampton Cruise Terminal For Summer 2021

Associated British Ports in partnership with MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise line Holdings Ltd have today announced the opening of a new cruise terminal at the Port of Southampton.

This is encouraging news as we all wait for cruise operations to resume. Clearly the impact of this years events does not show any signs of slowing down the future demand for cruises.

The fifth dedicated cruise terminal is going to be well equipped to service the next-generation of cruise ships. The main terminal building will use roof mounted solar power and Shore Power connectivity to supply sustainable operations. This will enable cruise ships, with the right onboard technology, to ‘plug in’ while they are alongside.

UK’s Number One Departure Port

Southampton is Europe’s leading cruise turn-around port and the UK’s number one departure port. The £55 million investment will further strengthen the Port of Southampton’s position.

The yet unnamed terminal is due to open in Summer 2021 and will become the home port of MSC Magnifica for part of the season sailing from the UK.

Four Existing Terminals

The Mayflower Terminal is the oldest of the four existing passenger terminals, which opened in 1960. Queen Elizabeth II Terminal followed shortly after in 1966. It wasn’t until 2003 that City Terminal was built and Ocean Terminal 6 years later in 2009.

Construction of the fifth cruise terminal commenced in September 2020 and is schedule to open in Summer 2021. The new Southampton cruise terminal will be the port’s largest to date and will be capable of handling the largest cruise ships in the world.

This is great news as we come to the close of the most difficult year in cruise industry history. We are all so desperate to get back onboard and it appears that there is no shortage of demand.

MSC Cruises are committing to sustainable cruising. Here are 7 Ways MSC Cruises Is Reducing Plastics

MSC Cruises Sponsor Chelsea Football Club

MSC CRUISES TO BECOME OFFICIAL GLOBAL PARTNER OF CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB

  • Partnership is part of MSC Cruises’ strategic focus on the UK & Ireland

  • MSC Bellissima first ship to benefit from the partnership with signed memorabilia onboard & Chelsea ambassadors set to attend naming ceremony on 2nd March 2019 in Southampton

Image: MSC Cruises – Antonio Paradiso (MD MSC Cruises UK & Ireland), Bruce Buck (Chairman Chelsea FC), Gianni Onorato (CEO MSC Cruises)

I couldn’t be more excited to see a partnership between MSC Cruises and Chelsea Football Club.

I remember asking my Mum which football team was the one nearest to where I was born. The answer? Chelsea. In the 1970’s I took a lot of flack for that.

I manage to dig out a couple of old photos of the day I met Dennis Wise and Steve Clarke. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Players Lounge at an away match many years ago. Can you try and guess what year these photos were taken?

The multi-million-pound deal, includes LED perimeter advertising, VIP hospitality, star player engagement and a dedicated digital marketing presence. Starting in January 2019 the partnership will run until June 2021.

Chris Townsend OBE, Commercial Director, Chelsea Football Club stated: “We are delighted to announce a partnership with MSC Cruises at such an exciting time for their business. With the imminent launch of their new ship, it is the perfect time to begin our partnership.”

“We look forward to collaborating with MSC Cruises and cannot wait to introduce our global fanbase to this fantastic company”

An Industry-Unprecedented Investment Plan

MSC Cruises is the leading cruise line across Europe and the Gulf, South America and Southern Africa. They are currently in the midst of an industry-unprecedented 10-year. Their €13.6 billion investment plan, will see 17 new ships coming into service over a 10 year period.

The partnership with Chelsea comes during a milestone week for MSC Cruises, as the 100-day countdown to the launch of the new MSC Bellissima begins. The Company’s new flag ship, which will be named in Southampton in a star studded ceremony on March 2nd will be the first ship in the fleet to benefit from the partnership where signed Chelsea FC memorabilia will be on display for guests in the British pub on board. In celebration of the partnership, ambassadors from the football club will attend the naming ceremony, as MSC Bellisima becomes the biggest ship ever to launch in the UK.

Antonio Paradiso, MSC Cruises’ Managing Director for UK & Ireland, added: “MSC Cruises has an ongoing commitment to the UK and Irish markets and this partnership with a world renowned and respected British institution, Chelsea FC further demonstrates this. This partnership will allow us to further raise the profile of the brand in the two markets. “

Of the impact on trade activity Antonio Paradiso added: “For our travel agents this will mean both an increased awareness around cruise from the billions of football fans who watch the Premier League every week but also an opportunity to engage a totally new audience who may never have considered a cruise before.

Visit here for more information on  Chelsea Football Club.

Cruise Me To The Moon On Independence of the Seas

It wasn’t so long ago that having an iPad on a cruise ship was innovative, but the latest thing to have now is a SkyPad. If anyone was going to do find a way to take you to the moon on a cruise ship, it was Royal Caribbean.

This incredible new feature is going to appear first on the UK’s favourite ship, Independence of the Seas which will shortly be undergoing a major multi-million pound refit. She will arrive in Southampton in May with new staterooms, waterslides, laser tag, a fish and chip shop, sports bar and much more.

Independence of the Seas will be fitted with the SkyPad virtual reality bungee trampoline

How Does It Work?

The SkyPad combines a bungee trampoline park with a virtual reality experience. Guests can choose to walk across moon craters and enjoy the feeling of zero gravity. They can compete in inter-galactic games or simply enjoy a top deck view of the ocean without wearing the headset.

There will be no charge to use the SkyPad initially, but this could change depending on popularity. Royal Caribbean have already started charging guests to use the North Star which is featured on the Quantum Class ships, which was complimentary at first.

Join Us Onboard

Why not try this for yourself on the 3 night sailing on 17th May calling at Cherbourg. Josh and I will be onboard and would love you to join us.

The current price for an OCEANVIEW cabin is just £359pp (it has increased by £10pp in the last few days and is likely to go up or sell out). Here is a link to the cruise on the Royal Caribbean International website BOOK NOW

Or check out Royal Caribbean’s DEALS OF THE WEEK

Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas will also feature the SkyPad

Cruise People – Danielle Fear – Cruise Miss

Why This Young Lady Loves Cruise and The Best Cruise Tip Ever!

Danielle Fear is a young lass from Newcastle. She lives for cruising and this is reflected in her multi-award-winning blog Cruise Miss. Not one for flying, Danielle is proof that not only is cruising from UK ports the gateway to a world of adventure, it is also an activity that young people do enjoy. So let’s get Danielle’s take on cruising and see what tips she can offer.

When was your first cruise? Which ship was it and where did you cruise too?

My first cruise was in 2007 aboard P&O Cruises ‘Oriana’. It was a 12-night Canary Islands sailing and I was hooked from the moment I stepped aboard. I’d deliberately booked a cruise that was less than 2 weeks in duration, just in case I didn’t like it, and I regretted it almost immediately as I didn’t want it to end.

What did you like/dislike about your first cruise?

One thing that had always put me off cruising was the dress code. I didn’t want to dress up and be forced into a personality that wasn’t really me. Once onboard, I realised that the dress codes weren’t in fact written into the law books and that you could opt-in or opt-out, which I thought was great. However, I soon realised that it also meant if you opted out, you would be the victim of the evil eye from several of your fellow passengers and this is still something I don’t like about cruising. We have the right to decide what we want to do and if I decide I don’t want to wear a formal dress on formal night and that instead, I want to go casual and dine in the buffet, then that’s my choice. We don’t need people throwing the stink eye around.

What is the best cruise you have been on and why?

I’ve been on a lot of cruises, but I think I’d still say that my trip to the Arctic Circle remains one of my favourites, followed closely by my sailings to the Caribbean and America. The Arctic was just spectacular and the excursions were more connected to nature and adventure than any others I have ever experienced; husky sledding, reindeer rides and chasing the Northern Lights.

What is it that appeals to you about cruising?

Everything appeals to me, even the smell of the ship. It’s no secret that I am happiest when I am at sea and I genuinely do love everything about the experience, well, maybe not formal nights, but everything else. I’d go as far as to say that I am addicted to it.

How do you decide which cruises to take?

I always look for at least 1 new destination. I don’t over analyse these things anymore because being able to travel anywhere is a huge privilege. If there’s 1 new place for me to explore, I’m happy, if not, I’m sure the cruise will be just as much as it would be if I’d never been to any of the ports. I also like to make sure the ship suits me – I don’t like HUGE cruise ships when it comes to my own relaxing time away. I want something I can navigate from bow to stern in under an hour! ?

Do you have a bucket list of places you want to visit?

I want to go everywhere. If there’s a port, I want to go there. Simple as that.

What’s the first thing you do when you step onboard a cruise?

Check to see if my case is outside the cabin so I can unpack. If it’s not there, I’ll likely grab a drink from the bar and mark the start of what is sure to be yet another amazing adventure.

What items do you always take with you on a cruise?

I take the obvious things like hair straighteners and so on, but one thing I started doing in 2016 was taking my own hangers, but with a twist! I don’t just pack the hangers on their own, I pack them with my clothes already hanging on them. It sounds crazy, but it means when I open my case, all I do is grab the hangers and then hang them – the clothes are already on! It makes unpacking your case five times quicker. Obviously, you need to pack them carefully so you don’t damage your clothes, but I’m yet to have an incident.

What was your last cruise and what did you like/dislike about it?

My last cruise was with Saga Cruises and we visited Iceland. The only thing I didn’t like was the wind and rain – I genuinely cannot fault anything about Saga. The ship, accommodation, crew and food are EXCELLENT. The ports on this cruise were nearly all new to me and the choice of excursions was ideal.

What is your next cruise? What are you most looking forward to?

My next cruise is the cruise of all cruises, I’m going around the world with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. It still doesn’t feel real, but it is happening. 108-nights aboard Black Watch. I’m looking forward to everything about this cruise, especially South America, Asia and French Polynesia. There are destinations on the itinerary that I thought I would only ever dream of visiting, but here I am, about to visit them. I think I’m most looking forward to Bora Bora, Mumbai, Havana, Aqaba and Yangon.

What is your dream cruise?

My dream cruise would be the world cruise, but Fred. Olsen’s January 2019 ‘Californian Dream’ sailing is definitely on my radar! Not only is it aboard one of my favourite ships (Balmoral) it’s visiting destinations that are on my bucket list, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying a cruise but is worried they will feel trapped on a crowded cruise ship?

Don’t keep overthinking things, just go and do it. You never know unless you try and with some of the MEGA ships out there, the last thing you will feel is trapped!

Can you offer any onboard tips for people who have never cruised?

The last thing you do in cruise club is talk about the cost of your cruise. I’ve warned you.

To follow Danielle on her travels around the world and the cruise ships she’s sailed on visit cruisemiss.com

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Anthem of the Seas Review – 2015

It’s A Smart Ship

Putting together an Anthem of the Seas review is not an easy task, as it would be hard to find anyone who has not heard about the newest addition to the Royal Caribbean International fleet. Her recent arrival into Southampton Docks for her inaugural season seems to have the whole cruise industry in a swirl.

With 24 ships in it’s fleet to date, compared to the 8 that P & O Cruises have, Royal Caribbean International has raised the bar to the point where we wonder what on earth they can do next. But after spending two nights on her pre-inaugural sailing, it is clear that they have found a whole new dimension to cruising, cruise ship art, dining and entertainment.

Anthem of the Seas Review

My first impression, as I entered the atrium, was one of class and sophistication. It’s a grown-up version of previous Royal Caribbean ships, in as much as it’s not just about having cool stuff onboard, it’s about having thought-provoking design, art, and menus.  You can experience Wonderland, a unique speciality dining experience which starts when you have to paint your gold-framed menu to read it.

I absolutely love the solarium onboard Anthem of the Seas

There is a lot more indoor space to enjoy the outdoor scenery, such as the adult-only solarium with stunning views looking across the ocean from the front of the ship, and the pool bar which has a retractable roof.  This gives adults a place to enjoy a swim, a drink and relax in all weather conditions without kids, whether it be their own or someone else’s.

Two70

In Two70 with Dominic Paul, Michael Bayley, Richard Fain and Stuart Leven

The Two70 venue by day is another incredible place to relax indoors. It’s a cosy environment with its own cafe and bar, lets you enjoy incredible 270-degree views, spanning two and a half decks of floor to ceiling windows.  At night, this venue transforms into an entertainment place with robotic screens and 12K sound system with scenic images projected on the windows behind it.  That has never been seen on land before let alone at sea.  Watch the short video below and at one point you can hear me saying “how the hell”, which is quite literally what you think when you see the technology capabilities of these robo screens.

Introducing more firsts at sea such as indoor skydiving, rollerskating, dodgems, the North Star (elevates guests 300ft above the water) to compliment their signatures like the Flowrider, rock wall and Royal Promenade, Royal Caribbean International have certainly taken the cruise ship holiday experience to a whole new level.

A friendly waitress offers me a sample of their signature champagne cocktail in The Grande

A friendly waitress offers me a sample of their signature champagne cocktail in The Grande

They have added more in the way of entertainment. In addition to We Will Rock You and the incredible shows in Two70, there is the Music Hall.  This is a two-deck-high music venue with self-levelling pool tables upstairs and a stage and dancefloor downstairs.

Accommodation

They also have some incredible new suites and staterooms. The two-storey owner’s loft suite is incredible with three balconies and a hanging chair.

Getting comfortable on one of the balconies in the Owners Loft Suite

Take a look inside the Owners Loft Suite in this short video.

Having explored the ship over the course of two days, I asked myself “who would enjoy a cruise on Anthem of the Seas?” Everyone!  At least anyone who doesn’t want to experience the same thing on holiday than they do at home.  Anyone who has an inquisitive mind, a sense of adventure and likes to have a good time. There is something for everyone on this ship. If you are not grumpy, boring and miserable, you WILL have the BEST time ever on THIS ship!  TRY IT!

Why not take a look at How Long Is the Allure Of The Seas?