Monthly Archives: November 2010


Cruises are the winning formula

With three drivers still in realistic contention for the title, tomorrow's final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi will be a nail-biting affair. Next year's race on November 13 could be just as exciting, and wouldn't it be fun to combine a day at the track with a cruise holiday? MSC Cruises start a season of voyages in the Gulf from October 30, 2011, and will be flying passengers on Etihad Air from London, Manchester and possibly Dublin direct to Abu Dhabi. The cruises will be on MSC Lirica, a medium-sized 60,000-ton vessel carrying 1,560 passengers. Cruise-only fares [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 13 November 2010|Cruise Deals|0 Comments

John’s medal-winning performance

With Carnival Splendor safely in port in San Diego, and investigators beginning their efforts to discover the cause of the fire which crippled the cruise ship, first-hand reports of the three-day ordeal are now beginning to appear. Passenger Bob Flynn - a retired Chicago cop - tells Cruise Critic that it was all a bit of an adventure. In what may be one of the understatements of the year, he accepts "it was a bit inconvenient," and goes on to say that he would not hesitate to take another cruise with Carnival. His highest praise is reserved for Senior Cruise [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 12 November 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

Ordeal over – now for a shower

After three days at sea without hot water, air conditioning or hot food, 3,299 passengers from the cruise ship Carnival Splendor finally stepped ashore on Thursday. Six tugs guided the ship into port in San Diego, California to end the ordeal which began on Monday when an engine room fire crippled the vessel and left it without power. Many of the passengers said the overall mood aboard the ship remained fairly upbeat, under the circumstances, with cold, makeshift meals being one of the chief complaints. "I never saw a hot dog salad before," Tom Fisher told Reuters news agency. "We [...]

By | 2015-04-12T21:11:49+00:00 12 November 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

Spreading Allure around the fleet

Welcomed by a flotilla of fire tugs shooting gallons of water into the air, and surrounded by circling news helicopters, Allure of the Seas entered harbour at Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the first time today. Members of crew crowded onto cabin balconies and the railings of the sun deck as the giant vessel, measuring 360 metres (plus an all-important 50mm) long and with a beam of 66 metres, inched along the entry channel and headed towards the berth at the $75 million Terminal 18, which was specially enlarged last year to handle the 6,000 passengers each joining Allure and sister [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 11 November 2010|Cruise News|1 Comment

Allure is going round in circles

Allure of the Seas has been making good progress on its journey across the Atlantic. Running fast to stay ahead of the worst of the weather, Captain Hernan Zini has brought the biggest cruise ship in the world to its new home a day early. There was time for a quick pit stop in Bermuda to pick up a group of technicians and to carry out tests on the ship's thrusters before today's early arrival at Fort Lauderdale. But there's still time to kill so that the entry into port can be in daylight for the benefit of spectators and, [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 11 November 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

John keeps spirits up on Splendor

With their ship under tow and heading slowly towards San Diego, passengers on board Carnival Splendor are making the most of their plight. Their relaxing week-long cruise to the Mexican Riviera was over almost before it began - they had time for little more than dinner and a show on Sunday evening before the engine room fire which crippled the ship on Monday morning. With no refrigeration to keep fresh food and no cooking facilities, they are having to rely on pop tarts and tins of Spam delivered by the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. And because there's no hot [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 10 November 2010|Cruise News|1 Comment

Sacre Bleu! Saga line up a third ship

This sounds too good to be true, and maybe it's just a dream, but I have been hearing whispers that there might be a surprising addition to the ships sailing for UK cruise lines. If my information is correct, Saga - who only this year introduced Saga Pearl II as a replacement for the much-loved Saga Rose - are lining up a third ship to join their fleet. They are about to announce the acquisition of Bleu de France (above), a 37,000-ton ship which has had a chequered history since it was built in 1982 as Europa for the German [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 10 November 2010|Cruise News|2 Comments

Stranded cruise ship under tow

Latest update from the Carnival Splendor, which was left drifting without power after an engine room fire, is that the first Mexican tug have arrived to take it under tow. Additional tugs are heading for the cruise ship. The original plan was to tow the vessel to Ensenada, but Carnival now say it will reach San Diego, California by late Thursday. Arrangements are neing made to provide hotel accommodation for the 3,299 passengers before taking them by road to Long Beach, , where they embarked on Sunday. If the ship is unable to make sufficient speed under tow, it is [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 9 November 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

Egypt invests to improve cruising

Whether it's a for a river cruise on the Nile or a Red Sea voyage on an ocean-going ship, Egypt can be a memorable destination. The Pyramids of Giza, the temples of Luxor, Karnak and Abu Simbel, and the tombs of the Valley of Kings are all spectacular sights, but sadly visits to Egypt can provide memories of a different kind. The middle reaches of the Nile can get crowded, and mooring can often mean tying up alongside a gaggle of other boats - all of which have to be negotiated before passengers can step ashore. Safaga, the Red Sea [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 9 November 2010|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Passengers and crew to the rescue

Following yesterday's news about the aid given by the crew of P&O's Oceana to the people of St Lucia, I have been sent some heart-warming pictures from Holland America's Noordam. The second cruise ship to return to Castries after Hurricane Tomas hit the island, Noordam provided 45,000 gallons of drinking water and 15,000 lbs of food, including beef, rice, sugar, vegetables and flour to help the relief effort. Passengers chipped in by donating $3,300 (about £2,100) in cash, and crew gave bottled water and food from their own stocks A group of 19 orphans from the Holy Family children's home [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 9 November 2010|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments