Cruise Gossip

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Zara pushes the boat out

The drawing room on board Royal Yacht Britannia Princess Cruises lay claim to the "Love Boat" title - and just to prove it one more time, they are taking Captain Stubing (in the shape of actor Gavin MacLeod) back to sea on Pacific Princess's world cruise next year. But perhaps we have all been missing something. The real Love Boat is tied up at a quayside at Leith Docks, near Edinburgh and although it doesn't sail anywhere these days, it welcomes hundreds of visitors each day. This vessel has provided a honeymoon home for more princesses than you'll find in [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:03+00:00 29 July 2011|Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

Top chef gets the scoop on QM2

It has been fascinating reading the account of a passenger making his first Transatlantic crossing - much more interesting - and, dare I say, insightful - than a recent article by someone making the journey for the 157th time. David Lebovitz is a renowned pastry chef and author, an American in Paris. He has written about desserts, puddings, and in The Perfect Scoop, penned a paean to ice cream. Plans for him to sail across the Atlantic on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 last year were thwarted when Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano filled the atmosphere with ash. Fortunately he got another chance, [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:04+00:00 27 July 2011|Cruise Gossip|2 Comments

Time out in support of a good cause

Normal service on the cruise blog may be interrupted this week, as I am taking time off to act as support for my brother, who is younger, fitter and crazier than me. Why else would he have taken it upon himself to cycle 4,300 miles round the British coast in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK? After setting out on May 10, Bill has defied all attempts to put him off course - including persistent torrential rain, gales which blew a 30-ton oak tree on to the motorhome support vehicle, and last week, a half-blind motorist who shunted [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:05+00:00 25 June 2011|Cruise Gossip|2 Comments

John’s week goes from bad to worse

I'm feeling a little bit sorry for Carnival's senior cruise director John Heald this week. For a start he was given the task of telling passengers how his company's new smoking policy will operate - and as a man who enjoys a Cohiba, it's not been easy for him to explain why the ships' cigar bars are to become smoke-free zones. One irate - but not erudite - passenger called him a "big hypacritt" and threatened physical violence before promising to take his custom to other ships where, incidentally, he will find his smoking opportunities just as restricted. But if [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:05+00:00 17 June 2011|Cruise Gossip|2 Comments

Million-dollar birthday cruise will be one woman’s party of a lifetime

A mystery British cruise passenger has paid one million dollars to charter a luxury ship for an extra special party. The woman, who is approaching a significant birthday, will be flying 200 friends to Venice for a week-long cruise on board Seabourn Spirit. Paying that sort of money - about £600,000 - she also gets to choose the restaurant menus and the entertainment throughout the cruise, which will begin on August 12. Travel Trade Gazette reports this week that the charter, made through luxury cruise specialists Sovereign Cruise Club, is thought to be the UK's largest-ever private cruise booking. Sovereign's [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:05+00:00 17 June 2011|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|1 Comment

Adonia celebrations delayed

Is Shirley Bassey a bringer of bad weather? I only ask because the portents for the christening ceremony of cruise ship Adonia at the weekend - at which she will be the godmother - are not looking good. When she appeared at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival - one of the wettest and muddiest on record - the 74-year-old singer famously wore diamante-encrusted Wellington boots. Saturday's weather forecast for Southampton is not too bad; partly cloudy with a high of 65 degrees and a 10 per cent chance of rain. But bad weather has delayed the ship on its Atlantic crossing [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:06+00:00 16 May 2011|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|0 Comments

Farewell . . . without fanfare

Cunard rarely makes a move these days without fanfares of trumpets, big announcements and lengthy press releases - such as the one I received a few days ago about the introduction of 3D movies and songwriting workshops on flagship Queen Mary 2. It seems remiss of them to allow long-serving Commodore Bernard Warner - master of the QM2 and their most senior captain - to slip quietly into retirement. But that's what happened today. Apart from a brief mention on Facebook, it appears there will be no official statement. The most I have been able to glean is that Commodore [...]

By | 2011-04-19T15:17:57+00:00 19 April 2011|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|1 Comment

Is the Queen planning another cruise to the Hebrides this summer?

With all eyes on the Royal wedding at the end of this month - and speculation rife about where Wills and Kate might spend their honeymoon - no-one seem to have given a thought as to what the Queen will be doing for her summer holidays. But I think I may know. Checking through the calendar for Hebridean Princess's voyages this summer, I spotted a gap. The luxury ship, which cruises round the Scottish coast and Western Isles, has been chartered for seven days from July 12. Her Majesty sailed on the ship for 10 days last year, starting at [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:08+00:00 8 April 2011|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|1 Comment

Calm down, Michael, you’re on to a Winner with your Scottish cruise

Michael Winner has been singing in the rain this week, in preparation for a cruise off the Scottish coast on board one of Majestic Line's two wonderful converted trawlers. He flies to Glasgow on Saturday and is then planning to take a £1,000 seaplane flight to Oban to board Glen Tarsan - and he is convinced the weather is going to be foul. Gales and rain are at the lower end of his expectations; now he is even forecasting snow. According to his ever-entertaining Twitter feed, he has bought thermal underwear, plastic macs, Wellington boots and a sou'wester, and he [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:09+00:00 30 March 2011|Cruise Destinations, Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

Betrayal on the Nile

It can get hot and steamy on a Nile river cruise - but quite how high the temperatures rise I never realised until I saw a copy of this week's Take A Break magazine. Across two pages, and under the headline "Betrayal on the Nile: WHILE MY HUSBAND SLEPT," one woman tells how she sailed close to the wind with a waiter young enough to be her son. Poor old husband Gordon had booked the cruise to mark wife Glenda's 60th birthday and their 40th wedding anniversary, and on excursions in Egypt he bought her a gold necklace, bracelet and [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 6 January 2011|Cruise Gossip|3 Comments