Lively Cruise Show 2010 gets it right and pulls in the crowds

//Lively Cruise Show 2010 gets it right and pulls in the crowds

What a difference a year makes! The crowds have been flooding in to London’s Olympia today for The CRUISE Show, and they found plenty to entertain them – in contrast to last year’s event at the ExCel Centre.
There was free wine and Champagne aplenty as the big cruise lines sought to attract customers. Those looking for a relaxing massage could take it easy in MSC’s mini Aurea spa, while visitors looking for action tackled Royal Caribbean’s climbing wall or practised their golf swing in Fred Olsen’s simulator.
SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer drew younger passengers to the Norwegian Epic stand, and their parents could have a flutter – with fun money – in the casino.
Linda Lusardi hosted a special version of Loose Women for Carnival and wine expert Olly Smith, whose Glass House wine bar on P&O’s Azura opens for business in just two weeks, was sharing his expertise.
Cruise experts such as Douglas Ward, veteran author of the Berlitz Guide to Cruise Ships, Sky Travel’s Steve Read, Carolyn Spencer Brown of Cruise Critic and journalists Jane Archer and Gary Buchanan were among those dispensing advice at various mini-theatres throughout the venue.
There really was something for everyone. Royal Caribbean’s UK boss Jo Rzymowska was there to talk about the world’s biggest cruise ships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas which each carry more than 6,000 passengers, while in complete contrast Dudley Smith of the All Leisure group was promoting the merits of Hebridean Princess, which caters for just 49.
He would not be drawn on reports that the Queen is chartering the vessel for a family cruise this summer, following her 80th birthday celebrations on board in 2006, but the smile on his face spoke volumes.
Cunard were also keeping mum on whether Her Majesty will be naming their new ship Queen Elizabeth in October – either they’re still keeping their fingers crossed, or they are having to wait for the nod from Buckingham Palace before making an official announcement.
All of the cruise lines at Olympia were delighted with the turn-out and looked to be doing good business in the form of bookings for 2010 and 2011. And it wasn’t just salesmen and women doing the hard work – one couple I saw on the P&O stand were very impressed when they realised they were being given the sales spiel by managing director Carol Marlow, who flew back for the show after taking delivery of Azura from the shipyard in Italy yesterday.
The CRUISE Show continues at Olympia tomorrow (Sunday) from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm. If I were you, I’d get there early.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:30+00:00 27 March 2010|Cruise News|6 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Andrew Kemp 29 March 2010 at 10:40 am - Reply

    We were also at the show but found it to be far too crammed in at this new venue. Ok so it had a good turn out, but you could hardly move! I distinctly hate the barging and pushing that goes on. We were going to book Cruises but could not find anyone to help us. My guess is that the cruise lines actually lost alot of bookings. We will think twice about attending next year unless the venue changes.

  2. Dave Pimbley 29 March 2010 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    My wife and I went on the Saturday. We gave up after an hour or so. It was far too crowded, the stands and isles too cramped, long queues for refreshments and badly organised with many stands not having sufficient brochures on show. We went hoping to book a cruise but that proved difficult because the computers were down! We would not go again – much easier online.

  3. Gary Bembridge 29 March 2010 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    It was a bit crowded and not that well laid out to cope with the numbers.
    I did a posting on my blog with photos that show it I think if that helps!

  4. braxie 29 March 2010 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    We went on the Sunday – small crowd, little atmposphere, cruise lines interested only in making sales. No helpful advice for novice cruisers (the talks were long-winded and impossible to hear from the back). We went there NOT to buy a cruise holiday, but to find out more about different cruises and one that would suit us. It was aimed at experienced cruisers so a complete waste of time. We felt that the cruise lines showed a contemptuous attitude towards those not dipping into their pockets. Even the climbing wall wasn’t thought through. We asked the guys if it was the same size as on a Royal Caribbean ship – they didnt know because no-one at the company had told them!
    Maybe the cruise lines did sell a lot of holidays but they should be asking how many they could have sold. A total waste of time and of £20 – I agree with Dave Pimbley – I’ll stick to researching and booking online!

  5. Fara 30 March 2010 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    I’ll be attending the Cruise Show 2010 in mid April in Ft Lauderdale. Hoping its just as fun…without the lines though!

  6. Mrs Prosser 15 June 2010 at 8:58 am - Reply

    I love the idea of a cruise show but can’t help thinking that surely the show would work better in a port? With the opportunity to walk around ships – especially if you are new to cruising, that experience would be invaluable.

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