The Cruise News in full

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This is a fuller version of the Cruise News column which appeared in the Daily Mirror published Saturday May 28
It was a pleasure to renew acquaintance with an old friend this weekend, albeit very briefly, as I sailed on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 to Hamburg.
The latest volcanic ash cloud was threatening briefly to throw airports into chaos but I was able to sail through check-in and security at Southampton’s Ocean Terminal – it can’t have taken more than 10 minutes from kerb to cabin.
I was half expecting to find parts of the ship looking tired and shabby – it’s more than seven years old and due for an extensive re-fit later this year.
But apart from a bulky and rather dated CRT television in my suite – due to be replaced with a flat screen any day now – everything was looking spick and span.
The shops were doing a roaring trade, as is the port of Hamburg which has had a record month with 36 ship calls and 100,000 passengers. I’ll be returning in July for the naming of Celebrity Silhouette, fourth out of five planned Solstice-class ships and a sister for Eclipse which is based in the UK throughout the summer.
► Although it is Norwegian-owned, the Fred. Olsen cruise line is as traditional a British experience as you can get at sea, still clinging – like Cunard – to formal-dress evenings and offering dependable food and end-of-the-pier entertainment.
Passengers are happy to contribute to Olsen’s charity collections for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the company has been recognised for its record-breaking fund-raising efforts over the years.
Now a second charity is to benefit from their generosity thanks to a collaboration with the Black Watch regiment. It’s appropriate because one of Olsen’s four ships is called Black Watch, and the money raised will go to the regiment’s home and museum at Balhousie Castle in Perth.
Museum trust chief executive Alfie Iannetta says: ” As the Black Watch ship cruises the world, all on board will be able to learn about the deeds of Black Watch soldiers and the part they played over 300 years in shaping the world.”
► Nice touch on P&O’s latest ship, Adonia, christened last weekend by Dame Shirley Bassey. During the brief re-fit to update the 2001-built vessel which previously sailed as Royal Princess (and Minerva II and R8) technicians fitted UK-style three-pin plugs in every cabin.
Perfect for passengers needing to charge their mobiles or to use heated rollers and hair straighteners without having to bring an adaptor. Although I’m not sure it was quite as necessary to provide kettles and tea-trays. On QM2 this week a phone call to room service brought a pot of tea to my stateroom in less time than it would have taken to boil the water.

By | 2011-05-29T09:44:34+00:00 29 May 2011|Cruise news|0 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.

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