Cruise Gossip

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I’m dreaming of a bright Christmas

A week ago in Hollywood Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Christmas garlands festooned the lamp posts on the Broadwalk, and as I mentioned earlier today, giant inflatable Santa Claus figures were being put up in a central square in Vigo, Spain. A couple of years ago when I was enjoying an early December cruise in the Caribbean aboard P&O's Ventura, a team of riggers flew in and transformed the ship overnight with Christmas decorations that had a nautical theme, with seashells among the baubles. Here on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, however, there is no sign of the festive season, unless you count the [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:14+00:00 3 December 2010|Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

What’s the Allure of shopping?

Wait until Carnival cruise director and blogger John Heald sees the latest video from Allure of the Seas (above) as it makes its way across the Atlantic to its new home in Florida. John was scathing about sister ship Oasis of the Seas last year, referring to it as the "Mall of the Seas." And today Captain Hernan Zini and his team, including someone whose job title is "Revenue Partner Manager" take viewers on a guided tour of the shops on board, including Coach and Guess, the Pinwheels kids' store, Candy Beach sweet shop, the Star Pier shop for teen [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 3 November 2010|Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

Here’s one cruise Odyssey that serves up a voyage to remember

It's been more than a week since I returned from Aegean Odyssey and five days sailing along from Venice along the Croatian coast to Dubrovnik. I haven't forgotten that a review of the ship is overdue, so here goes . . . Facts and figures first: the ship is 460 feet long with seven passenger decks, carries 378 passengers in 198 cabins, and has a crew of 200. Aegean Odyssey was built in 1974, but not as a cruise ship - it has a strengthened hull and was designed to carry ammunition. Later converted for passenger use, and sailing under [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:18+00:00 3 November 2010|Cruise Gossip|2 Comments

Allure just keeps on growing

Size really does matter, you know, especially in maritime matters. When Royal Caribbean showed off the almost-complete Allure of the Seas back in August, Captain Hernan Zini surprised a press conference by stating confidently that his new ship rightly held the undisputed title of "biggest cruise ship in the world" because it was 5 mm - about a fifth of an inch - longer than sister ship Oasis of the Seas. That's not much more than the thickness of a few coats of paint, or the head of a rivet, and it makes you wonder how accurately it is possible [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:18+00:00 2 November 2010|Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

Frankly speaking, these cruise articles seem to be rather missing the point

I know dog shouldn't eat dog, but I felt compelled to take issue with a blog posted by one of the UK's leading travel editors this weekend, and attempted to add my comment to his (in my view) misguided thoughts about cruise lines imposing extra charges for speciality restaurants and bottled water. He made what I felt, to be frank, was a totally unfair comparison with RyanAir and even suggested that it was like visiting "Uncle Geoff and Aunty Eileen" and being charged for breakfast or the use of the toilet. Now I don't know what this particular writer's uncle [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:19+00:00 18 October 2010|Cruise Gossip|3 Comments

Crazy owl at home on cruise ship

We know owls are wise birds, but the creature which tried to stow away on a cruise ship can't have been too clever. The Florida burrowing owl, which normally makes its home in sandy soil - and often invades lawns and football fields - tried to set itself up in the artificial turf of the mini-golf course on Oasis of the Seas. The owl was discovered as the vessel was about to set off from Fort Lauderdale on a week-long cruise to the Caribbean. "She was making it very clear that 'this is my territory,' " said wildlife officer Dave [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:21+00:00 21 September 2010|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|0 Comments

Not drowning but waving

After reports of a possible man overboard (or was it just a sun lounger?) during a cruise on Ruby Princess last week, I thought I had stumbled across something equally dramatic on sister ship Diamond Princess. I was invited to the bridge to join a few privileged passengers, including a couple who had just renewed their wedding vows, for the spectacular viewing of Harvard Glacier in Alaska's College Fjord. There's a section of deck at the bow of the ship which contains a swimming pool and a hot tub for crew use, and there below us was a motionless figure, [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:22+00:00 24 August 2010|Cruise Gossip|1 Comment

Half-baked after Alaska

It took a while, thanks to a three-hour flight from Anchorage, a five-hour stop-over at Seattle, and a nine-hour flight to London, but I'm back from my week-long tour of the Canadian Rockies, and a week on board Diamond Princess cruising from Vancouver to Whittier. I hope I managed to capture some of the atmosphere of Alaska in my recent posts - and there's more to come as I catch up with what was happening on and around the ship. The only thing I seem to have missed, ironically, was a Baked Alaska Parade. Meanwhile, my friend Sue Bryant at [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:22+00:00 23 August 2010|Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

Fishy business for Lisa

As good as the food can be on cruise ships - and it can be very, very good - a little local knowledge can sometimes find even better meals ashore, as a group of top brass from Royal Caribbean discovered this week. Lisa Bauer (left), head of hotel operations, has been visiting the Mediterranean for a hectic tour of three of the line's ships, together with Captain Bill Wright, the boss of Marine Operations, and HR man John McGirl. Between dashing from Rome, Majorca, Barcelona, and Rome again, visiting Adventure, Navigator and Voyager of the Seas, they had just once [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:23+00:00 3 August 2010|Cruise Food & Drink, Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

Azura’s Al has all the drive

Olly Smith's Glass House is undoubtedly one of the hits of Azura, with its eclectic wine list and a tempting selection of sophisticated gastro-pub dishes for lunch and dinner. It is a concept that deserves to be rolled out across the rest of the P&O fleet, and one that should work just as successfully on land. It is also home to one of the ship's best-kept secrets - the multi-talented Al Clinton. He is the Glass House's "wine host", on hand to meet and greet, to advise and encourage adventurous sampling from the bottles on offer, and to hold informative [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:27+00:00 7 June 2010|Cruise Gossip|0 Comments