Tag Archives: First-Time-Cruisers

Cruise People - The Professionals

Cruise People – The Professionals

You Don’t Have To Be A Cruise Fanatic To Cruise

Dave, originally from Yorkshire, and his wife Lorraine, both have office based jobs in Surrey and love to travel. Last year they took their first cruise. I wanted to get their views on cruising for the first time and to see if it is something they would like to repeat.

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

Our first cruise was to Norway, we cruised on Celebrity Eclipse and it was at the end of August 2016.

Celebrity Eclipse in the Norwegian Fjords

What made you book a cruise?

I have always wanted to cruise to the Fjords. It was for my 50th birthday, although I had to do all the booking so it wasn’t a surprise.

What did you like/dislike about your first cruise?

We went from Southampton.  What a great way to start a holiday. No queues, fast check in.  Within 2 hours or so from leaving our house, we were on board.

I liked the variety of things to do on board, the theatre was good although some of the acts were a bit cheesy.  I’m convinced that the the comedian on the first night was made of pure gorgonzola. The best act was a Freddie Mercury Tribute act, closely followed by a British singer from The Netherlands.

It was good to go to a show and then walk to dinner.  Its like living in a ‘happening’ city centre.

I enjoyed the fact that we visited loads of different towns in Norway. Some of the towns were so small that you had to book excursions, if you didn’t you would have been stuck in a small town (although they still had loads to do on board) but I don’t think you go to Norway to stay on board. The service and food were amazing.

As we were in a cold climate, nobody was using the outside space, this meant that at lunch time the buffet was packed.  We had to find a table first, then one at a time we went to get our food.  If we both went they would clear our tables as they thought we had left.  This is the only time we felt a bit packed in.

What is it that appeals to you about cruising?

Seeing different places, experiencing different things (with the excursions), and the quality of the food/service etc.  We are not dedicated cruises but will happily go on one but will also do a different style of holiday.

The Flam Railway

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

We are doing the Alaskan cruise.  I am looking forward to the whale watching, glacier trip and zip wire excursions.  Life on board is quite good too, I enjoy the luxury.  I am also excited about the drive around Alaska which we are doing after the cruise.

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?

Do you feel trapped when you go into your local town?  Well the cruise ship is like a small city.  Unless you go on a rowing boat you wont feel trapped.

Do you have an general cruise tips?
  • Yes, quite soon after you set off you will be called for a muster drill.  This is where you have to meet at a certain place and have a roll call.  Before you attend this go to the bar and get a big cocktail. Take the “things to do list that should be in your cabin). When the meeting has finished sit back and relax with your drink.  If you leave at the same time as everyone else it is like being herded like cattle, you also see people at their worst.  After you have finished your drink and read the ‘things to do list’ you can then leave at your leisure.
  • Use your ‘things to do sheet’ and plan your day/evening.
  • Dont be scared to complain.  We did an excursion that was rubbish.  We complained and they offered a partial refund.  We did not accept it and was then given a full refund and asked not to tell anyone else.  We told everyone!
  • The waiters all test the food at the beginning of their shift so when they recommend your meal they are not trying to get rid of food they are really giving you what they think is the best food on the menu.
  • The waiters hold quite a lot of power within the kitchens.  If they think a dish is not up to scratch they will not recommend it and the chefs will change the way it is cooked.
  • Take the recommended wine from the wine waiter also.
Do you have any tips for booking a cruise?

Shop around to get the best deal. Pick mid ship cabins to minimise sea sickness. On the Norway cruise it was good to see the fjords from the balcony.  We spent quite a lot of time cruising in places with good views.  If you are going around the Med then I would say an inside room would be best value as the weather is warm so you can see every thing from the decks.

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Cruise People – Family Cruising – The Bruce-Low’s

Family Cruising – Happy Kids Means Happy Parents

Iain Bruce-Low and his partner Anne-Marie own an award-winning hair salon in the scenic Scottish seaside town of Oban. With their three lovely children, they find family cruising is the perfect solution to meet their needs.

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

It was a Western Mediterranean Cruise in 2013 with Royal Caribbean onboard Adventure of the Seas.

What made you decide to book your first cruise?

Having 3 children all different ages 15, 12 and 3, we wanted to find a holiday that had something to keep everyone happy.

The Bruce-Low Family

What did you like about your first cruise?

The quality, the service and the number of things to do for everyone.

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

We cruised on Anthem of the Seas in 2015 and the ship is incredible!  It is so modern and new, with a lot more dining options, much more our style. There were an incredible amount of things for the kids to do, they were never bored!

The Bruce-Low’s prefer the larger cruise ships

What is it that appeals to you about cruising?

I love the freedom and choices, you can be as active or as lazy as you want. It is by far the most you can ever do on holiday as well as being the most relaxing holiday you’ll ever have.

How do you decide which cruises to take?

For me, it’s about the ship. It has to be a good enough size, we have learnt the bigger the better. Smaller ships tend to get more overcrowded where bigger ships people spread out more. Having plenty for the kids means they are happy – meaning we are even happier.

So much to do for families. Anthem of the Sea’s North Star takes you high above the ocean waves.

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

We go to the Champagne Bar to pick up a drink, then go off exploring.

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

It was a Venice and Greek Isle cruise onboard Rhapsody of the Seas. As it was out of season, we found it was more family cruising for adults and their parents, rather than small children. Also, the ship was probably too small for our liking. However, the smaller ship did allow us to explore a new area of the world, which we loved.

What would be your dream cruise if you could create your own? 

For me, it would be from Greenock/Glasgow and all around the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal and on to Dubai and Asia.  At least a couple of months, please?

Do you have any tips for booking a cruise?

I would always recommend staying the night before the cruise, in a hotel nearby. It takes out the stress of arriving at the same time as everyone else. Also, you can tip the members of staff directly when you are onboard, then you don’t have to prepay gratuities.

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

Eat drink as much as you want and remember there is a gym, although I’ve still not seen it.

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?

I’ve heard it all before and best thing I could say is book it because you’ll never know until you try it.

For more information on Bruce-Low-Hair Boutique visit their website brucelowhair.co.uk

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Recommended Reading Independence of the Seas – The Best Cruise Of My Life

Where Does Avalon Waterways CEO Giles Hawke Like To Go On Holiday?

For those of you who are not familiar with Giles Hawke, let me put you in the picture. He was Head of Sales for P&O Cruises, then became Executive Director for MSC Cruises, and is now the Chief Executive Officer for Avalon Waterways and Cosmos. So to kick off #CruiseMonth let’s get up close and personal with Giles Hawke and find out what makes him tick.

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

My first job in travel was as a nightporter in a hotel in Chamonix straight after I finished my degree. I joined the cruise industry in 2001 as Head of Sales for P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Ocean Village.

If you could have chosen anything else as a career what would it have have been?

I love the outdoors, so a ski instructor and a mountain guide would have been fantastic alternatives.

Have you been on a river cruise? If so, which one?

Yes and with Avalon river cruises out of Amsterdam – a really unique and enjoyable experience and one I will definitely repeat. Although Avalon doesn’t focus on children I could see that my children would love it and will aim to take them soon

What would you say are the benefits of river cruising?

Similar ones to ocean cruising in the sense of only unpacking once and amazing food and service. In addition there are beautiful views constantly as the scenery changes and you are always right in the heart of the destination. There is no sense of motion as you cruise, so it’s perfect for anyone who gets any level of motion sickness. So much is included in the price and the cabins on Avalon with the Panorama balconies are very special.

What makes Avalon Waterways stand out from other river cruises?

The wall to wall floor to ceiling open air balconies, the beds facing the windows, the relaxed luxury approach – no dress codes or stuffy formality but an upmarket and modern boutique hotel type experience, Avalon Active Discovery cruises focusing on much more immersive shore activities.

Jane McDonald enjoying the incredible views onboard her Avalon River Cruise. As seen in TV Series Cruising with Jane McDonald.

As CEO of two companies, what is an average ‘Day in the Life’ for you?

When I’m in the office I’m usually up at 0445 and drive 90 miles to Bromley. I try and have as many meetings and one-to-ones with my team as possible when I’m in the office and make sure I’m up to date on what is happening. I study our sales figures every morning and look for trends and insight. I do send a lot of emails day and night and over weekends, but I try and take personal time too and will aim to get some form of exercise in most days if at all possible. I usually get home around 8 at night three or four days a week but try and work from home a day a week to catch up with everything, have a lie in until 0630 and have breakfast with my family!

How did it feel to win the Cruise Line International Cruise Agent Lifetime Achievement Award?

It was a lovely accolade and I feel humbled by it and a little embarrassed as there are so many people in the cruise industry who have done so much more than me. It does make me worry that I am expected to retire now though when I’m not quite ready!

What was your last holiday?

A week in Cornwall with the family surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking, walking, running, eating and drinking!

Do you have your next holiday booked and what/where is it?

Heading to Italy in October with the family to Capri, Sorrento and Pompei

Your job role must require organisation, focus and a lot of energy. Do you have any lifestyle/ personal management tips you can give us?

My approach is to aim to always be positive and look for what can be done, rather than the challenges and how difficult something is. I enjoy ambiguity and concepts and ideas and trying to bring people and ideas together. In terms of tips, I would say to always keep your email inbox manageable and make time to clear it regularly, try and deal with things once rather than prevaricate, work with people who are real experts and positive, do seat the small stuff as it is important and creates a base for the bigger stuff!

What are your hobbies?

Cycling, skiing, running and latterly swimming as I’ve taken up triathlons in the last two years. I also enjoy good food, socialising with my good friends and reading, although it takes me a long time to read a book these days as I only read when I get to bed and normally only manage a page before I’m out!

Name one or more things on your bucket list.

I’d love to visit South America and do a big tour

Heli-skiing in Alaska

A Rhône river Cruise

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

What are you waiting for!?

Discover River Cruising

More information can be found at avaloncruises.co.uk

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Body Confidence – The Best Bikini

Finding The Best Bikini for Body Confidence.

I had to share this with you all today. I have found the best bikini online and have just ordered one for myself. To all my male readers, you owe it to your female friends and relatives to share this article with them.

“To look good in the water you have to pick the right swimsuit. I own close to 500.” – Amanda Beard ( seven-time Olympic Medalist)

“To look good in the water you have to pick the right swimsuit. I own close to 500.” – Amanda Beard

When I am on a cruise, I do avoid the chips (french fries for my US friends) and cookies (thats biccies for the Brits), but for some reason the salad REALLY bloats me! So the odd gelato and a few beers isn’t going to hurt is it?

“What woman doesn’t want to feel comfortable in a swimsuit? It’s incredibly empowering.” – Sara Rue (American TV Actress)

What woman doesn’t want to feel comfortable in a swimsuit? It’s incredibly empowering.” – Sara Rue

There are loads of colours and patterns available, so there is something for everyone. But the key selling point to me has to be that lovely loose fitting top.

Now THIS bikini design is perfect to hide that little bulge and I think it is very cute. So save yourself a day of walking around the shops to find your perfect holiday bikini and buy yours online now.

Nicetage Women’s Two Piece Floral Luau Beach Love Bandeau Halterneck Swimsuit Tankini Top

“I always say, ‘Do you have a body? Then you’re swimsuit ready.’ That’s all you need to worry about.” – Emily Ratajkowski (American Model and Actress)

“I always say, ‘Do you have a body? Then you’re swimsuit ready.’ That’s all you need to worry about.” – Emily Ratajkowski

To browse the various styles of this bikini or to buy click here.

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