How the refugee crisis is putting off Americans from taking cruises in the Mediterranean

American holidaymakers are choosing to avoid cruises in the Mediterranean because they have been put off by the refugee crisis, the industry finally admitted this week.

Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, speaking at the announcement of the company’s latest financial results, said earnings until the end of the year will be lower than forecast, and that the migrant issue was making it difficult to achieve expected levels of fares for 2016.

So at least Carnival are now facing up to the reality that other cruise line bosses ducked away from at the Seatrade Europe conference in Hamburg, as I reported two […]

Watch as Norwegian Escape leaves shipyard and heads to the sea for the first time

It looks an impossible feat. A 164,600-ton cruise ship in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by green fields filled with cows and sheep, and acres of greenhouses growing tomatoes. Topped by an outdoor movie screen, a double-deck ropes course, and a handful of frightening waterslides, the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Escape inches delicately through a lock to leave the basin at Meyer-Werft’s shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and begins a 26-mile journey down the River Ems to reach the North Sea. Just to make it possible, the river’s waters have been raised by a barrage until it almost bursts its banks; bridges […]

My favourite cruise ship restaurants

As part of its coverage of National Cruise Week, the Daily Mirror wanted me to tell them about my favourite restaurants at sea. It was a tough call, but I eventually settled on these two …

Ji Ji Asian Kitchen

Every night is party night in Ji Ji’s Asian Kitchen, a restaurant where it’s best to turn up in a group and let each person at the table choose a dish for everyone to share. Start with slow-braised pork belly, Nanjing-style duck, and tamarind and shrimp soup before moving on to Chairman Mao’s Master stuck pig, Kung Pao chicken, and Singapore chili […]

Start planning now for a world cruise in 2017

The weatherman tells us this bank holiday weekend sees the end of meteorological summer.

The cruise lines tell us it’s time to start thinking about booking a world voyage – not just next year, but beyond that. Start saving now …

P&O Cruises reach their 180th anniversary year in 2017, when both Aurora and Arcadia will make circumnavigations.

The 104-night eastward voyage on Aurora leaves Southampton on January 9 and will travel almost 30,000 nautical miles, visiting 35 destinations in 21 countries. As well as sailing under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge (above) and entering Sydney Harbour, the ship will transit both […]

Passengers can compete to be stars as Princess Cruises launch The Voice of the Ocean


TV talent show The Voice is to make its debut at sea, with cruise ship passengers groomed for stardom and judged by their fellow guests.

The Voice of the Ocean is to become a feature on 11 Princess ships, starting with Regal Princess in October.

Contestants will be picked during karaoke session auditions and assigned a mentor from the entertainment teams.

Up to nine finalists will compete on stage during the last night of the cruise.


A SURVEY of UK passengers shows they are paying no more for their cruise holidays now than they were four years ago.

Around half (49%) the people questioned […]

Fred’s fabulous four line up in Bergen

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines celebrated a historic gathering of its fleet this week with the Four Bs in Bergen. Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch sailed into Norway’s second city for a day of celebration and festivities.

It was the first time the quartet – from a company proud of its Norwegian heritage – had been together anywhere in the world.

The ships arrived in convoy in the early morning sunshine and formed up into diamond formation for their evening departure.

Passengers were welcomed by a marching band and locals in Norwegian national costume. During the day they were entertained by an […]

Carnival invests €30 million in new cruise terminal for Barcelona

Barcelona, the busiest cruise port in Europe, is to get a new passenger terminal, with an investment of €30 million from Carnival Corporation. Construction work is expected to start in 2016 and the new facility is scheduled to open in time for the 2018 summer cruise season.

Barcelona currently has four cruise terminals – one operated exclusively for Carnival brand ships – on its main breakwater jetty. There are two more closer to the city centre, next to the World Trade Centre building.

The new building, which is likely to handle passengers travelling with Cunard, P&O Cruises and Princess, as well as […]

Crystal takes cruise world by surprise with ambitious expansion plans

Even the keenest Crystal ball-gazer would have had problems anticipating last night’s sensational announcements from Crystal Cruises.

Rumours of expansion have been circulating for months, starting soon after Edie Rodriguez took over as company president and reaching fever pitch when the company was bought from its Japanese owners by Hong Kong financiers Genting.

Some cruise industry pundits were sceptical, saying they had heard it all before and they would not believe it until they saw it. They will now be eating their words – Crystal is to build not one, but three new ocean ships. Not only that, it is expanding […]

Cruise liner QM2 adds room for single passengers, more pets, and extra balconies

Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 is to be fitted with extra accommodation for passengers and their pets.

During a dry-dock refit next year, the vessel will be given 30 new balcony cabins for passengers travelling in Britannia Club class, and 15 single staterooms for passengers travelling individually, either as part of a larger family group or sailing solo.

QM 2 is the only cruise liner with kennels and these are frequently fully booked for passengers’ dogs and cats on Transatlantic crossings. Ten new kennel places will be created – taking the total to 22 – and a lamp-post and a US-style […]

How will Caribbean cruising be changed when ships can take passengers to Cuba?

I wrote this piece in February for publication in World of Cruising magazine. After this week’s announcements from MSC Cruises and Carnival’s fathom brand, it seems more appropriate than ever.

Just imagine waking up one morning to the news that a new island had suddenly appeared in the middle of the Mediterranean.

Not one of those barren volcanic outcrops that occasionally surface off the coast of Iceland, but a fully-functioning community, with a history and culture all its own. Ancient ruins from another era, a thriving industry producing potent alcoholic drinks, and even an exotic nightclub with a the most over-the-top song and dance show […]