Will my Teenagers enjoy Cruising?
TEXT SIZE A + A -

Teens on Norwegian Epic

Cruising can be a wonderful experience no matter what your age is. This also applies to teenagers and the idea of a holiday on a ship can be enthralling to them.

On some ships, teens are eligible for getting single or double cabins of their own depending on their age. This may increase the price by a small amount but it is well worth it in order for them to have their own personal space.

Dining is easy for teenagers with both exotic and simple tastes onboard the ship. There are many international restaurants onboard that serve a wide variety of food, from Italian pasta to Japanese sushi. However, for those that want a more casual experience, the buffet also offers many different dishes in a more relaxing atmosphere. Stay by the poolside and enjoy the grill nearby that serves up hamburgers, hot dogs and other teen favourites.

I’M BORED!

Theoretically you should never hear the words “I’m bored” onboard as there is an endless amount of activities and entertainment. There are special Teen Clubs as well as vibrant nightclubs and arcades with the latest games. Keep in shape with the exercise room in the spa and the pool is always a popular hangout. Innovative and unique shows are put on at night that are sure to please any age.

Keeping in touch with the outside world is even easier today as the majority of cruise ships not only have internet cafes but have Wi-Fi in the cabin too where you can use laptops, tablets or Smartphone’s. Phone calls can make communication very easy although roaming charges can be quite high depending on the destination.

One of the main appeals for teenagers on a cruise holiday is the idea that they can socialise with others of the same age. Depending on the line and ship chosen, and the right time of year, there is bound to be other teenagers onboard. The holiday months are the best times for this.

The bigger, newer ships will have more teens, more teen facilities and more planned teen activities.

Take a look at what’s on offer for teens with these 3 major cruise lines:

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Norwegian Epic is one of Norwegians most innovative ships and packs a real punch for teens. Entertainment such as the Blue Man Group and the Second City comedy centre shows prove to be big hits with the teens. Teens need their own space and the Epic also has the ‘Entourage,’ a teens-only centre.

It has the appearance of a trendy club that they would be under aged for back home. However, it is a safe hangout filled with age appropriate gaming such as air hockey. Similar set-ups can be found on the Norwegian Breakaway and sister ship Norwegian Getaway.

PRINCESS CRUISES

Some teens have different ideas for enjoying themselves when onboard. For those with a quest to learn, even whilst on holiday, can take part in one or more of the 40 classes with the ScholarShip@Sea program. Found fleet-wide, these enrichment programmes are available to teenagers aswell. Some examples they may be interested in include pottery classes, designing their own website or exploring the night sky through a telescope.

And for those who prefer to do the normal teen stuff and are aged between 15 and 17, the Ruby Princess for example has an area called Remix. This is a well-appointed teen centre with the latest in Sony Play Station and Nintendo Wii games. There’s also a mini-golf course that will keep teens occupied called Princess Links.

P&O CRUISES

British cruise line P&O Cruises has always been great for families. The Aurora, Azura and Oceana are geared for all ages. However, the Ventura has introduced some great new features including a 3D cinema and a giant virtual “Scalextric at Sea”. These were designed with the teenager in mind and are just the start of what is made available for this age group.

Four bungee trampolines, a rock-music school and teen-only talent shows are some of the features to keep them busy. A first ever circus school is onboard. The Cirque circus school features workshops in which teens and those that are young at heart can learn to trapeze, be a clown, juggle and walk on a tightrope.

Cruises provide a sense of freedom to many teenagers as they can feel free to relax and explore areas on their own. As long as trouble is avoided and boundaries are set, this can be an excellent way to let them unwind, have some independence and explore the world.

Written by

Focus on P&O Cruises
TEXT SIZE A + A -

p&o cruises banner

The very fact that a holiday destination is described as luxurious can indicate that it may be unaffordable to most, but that paradise break in the sun or exotic destination can be a reality.

P&O Cruises are renowned for great service, modern ships and affordability. The line is the biggest in the British marketplace and offers the opportunity to visit just about any location across the world.

Fitting the ship to an individual’s personality is perhaps the most important factor in determining a fantastic cruise experience. That factor is precisely what makes P&O unique from the rest. This is one cruise company that holidaymakers should seriously consider.

FAMILY FUN

If it is a family friendly ship you are after, and then look no further than the Aurora, Azura, Oceana and Ventura. These ships offer extensive children’s programs, allowing mum and dad time on their own.

P&O’s family ships have staterooms that can accommodate a family with plenty of elbow room with inside, outside or balcony cabins or luxury suites. “Family saver” rates makes the cruise holiday affordable when children share a cabin with two adults. On occasions there may even be free child places available.

family on aurora

On P&O’s family friendly ships, children are always welcomed with special perks geared towards them such as cartoon character duvet covers, balloons, and sweets.

ADULTS ONLY

Arcadia, Oriana and the smaller and more intimate Adonia provide the traditional cruise experience and are restricted to adults only. It is ideal for those who are seeking out the more unusual parts of the world.

Arcadia in Sydney

Pull up a lounge chair on the pool deck to catch some rays or for the more active there are plenty of ways to keep fit with sports facilities and wellbeing options easily found in the first rate spas. There are cinemas and casinos for the guest’s pleasure too. This concept of adults only was exclusively first introduced by P&O.

DINING

Passengers can either attend regularly scheduled meals in the ship’s dining room or have a more casual meal at one of the buffets. High-end restaurant quality food is available 24 hours a day in the dining rooms, restaurants and buffets onboard most ships. Room service is also available free-of-charge.

Many cruise lines are bringing celebrity chefs onboard and P&O ships are no different in that respect. It is a great way for holiday makers to enjoy 5-star cuisine in speciality restaurants at reasonable cost, something they wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere.

Sindhu Restaurant on Azura

Three of the top chefs who hold Michelin stars for their dishes who have joined P&O Cruises include Atul Kochhar, Gary Rhodes and Marco Pierre White. They take extra care no matter where one dines, to present very interesting and delicious foods often influenced by different cultures.

Some ships offer a midnight buffet of rich, artistic culinary arts such as a chocolate buffet, where tables are filled with every form of chocolate delight imaginable from sculptures to mousse.

FUN & FITNESS

There are wonderful fitness, health and spa treatments on offer as well, with the revolutionary Retreat which is available on both the family style ships, the Azura and Ventura. This remains as an adult’s only area that is sure to provide some wonderful rejuvenation to the body, mind and spirit.

The Retreat on Azura

By night the ships come alive with West End style theatre performances, comedy acts and cabaret singers.

Most ships sail from Southampton from the months of April to October and some offer Caribbean trips out of Barbados during the winter months. Also available are fly cruise options with itineraries departing from Genoa and Venice.

There’s a new ship on the horizon due to be unveiled in March 2015. The state of the art and enormous ship Britannia is sure to be a hit with P&O’S loyal customers.

P&O ships have been made to order exclusively for adults and for families with children. There are many great cruise lines out there but none are more experienced with 175 years in operation than P&O. View the itineraries here

Images courtesy of P&O Cruises

Written by

7 Common Cruise Ship Courtesies
TEXT SIZE A + A -

Cruise Ship Courtesy

It’s time for everyone to start getting ready and packing their belongings for the upcoming cruise season. While a cruise is great fun for both relaxation and the chance to see exotic locations, there are several things you must know about before you embark on your journey.

Of course, with large groups of people together onboard a ship, it is easy to get a bit carried away. Just don’t forget to pack the good manners with you. Not only for your enjoyment, but for those of your fellow passengers and the ship’s crew members who strive in following proper etiquette while on-board.

Here are just a few of those common courtesies:

1. LISTEN AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS

One of the most important times to adhere to this is during the muster drill. It doesn’t matter that it may be your 1st or your 10th cruise; listening and paying attention can insure your safety in case of an emergency.

muster drill

2. BE PROMPT

Make sure you are always on time as the ship waits for no man. When the ship goes into a port, check to see what the time is for both entering and leaving.

3. DRESS APPROPRIATELY

This applies to formal dining areas or for the evenings that state so in the daily program. Even on casual or smart dress evenings, the wearing of shorts and bathing outfits are never permitted in the dining room.

Check to see that what the dress policy is on the cruise line of your choice to see what you can wear.  Generally, if you opt for casual most of the trip, the upper deck dining normally will have the buffet-style options.

4. DO NOT SAVE SEATS

It is acceptable to save one seat for a spouse or travelling companion but it is considered rude saving a whole row in the theatre. A large group should enter together, if they wish to be seated with each other in the entertainment venues. People should always make room for others.

5. GYM ETIQUETTE

The same rules apply with the gym. Many people will want to take advantage of the high tech exercise equipment. Allow a reasonable amount of time on each piece so others get a chance to use it. Always wipe down the equipment when you have finished using it

6. FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN

Expect a lot of children on a cruise, especially with cruise lines like Disney Cruise Line or in the height of the summer when the children are off school. Disney of course is geared towards a younger audience but generally all the major cruise lines become a huge draw for families during the summer months.

families

The best thing to do is to simply accept the fact that little ones will be on the same ship and it certainly shouldn’t be an impediment to the enjoyment of your holiday.

Parents should not let their children run wild and make sure they are on their best behaviour when in the presence of others.

7. ADULT ONLY AREAS

There will be designated public areas or entertainment venues aboard the ship that have a strict policy of adults only. When a show or area claims to be adults only, they mean it. For those who are going on a cruise with children, they should try to leave them somewhere that is appropriate like at the children’s club or with a babysitter while they enjoy the show or attraction.

Cruise ships are floating cities at sea with a diverse population of guests that are seeking activities, exploring new places, relaxing and have the most fun crammed into a week or more. There is one desire that everyone who steps onboard a ship has and that is to have a gratifying holiday. Practicing good manners will help make it even more so.

Written by

Had any bad experiences with the behaviour of others? Let us know below.

Tips for First Time Cruisers
TEXT SIZE A + A -

Have you always thought about taking a cruise holiday, but haven’t known where to begin with regards to picking the right cruise company, the correct shop, what to pack and where to go? Well, this mini guide aims to help you know how to make these decisions and to ensure that your cruise dreams become a reality!

The Correct Cruise Line

All cruise companies are different. Each have different markets, features, styles, attractions and types of passenger. Talk to travel agents, friends who have previously cruised, and browse plenty of websites like Cruise Critic to ensure you pick a cruise line that suits you and your preferred style of travel.

There’s no point ending up on a cruise that is predominantly for older couples if you’re a young family and doing plenty of research should ensure this doesn’t happen.

Cruise Critic

The Right Cruise Ship

Do you want to be on one of the largest, most modern ships in the world, or would you prefer something smaller and more intimate, with less focus on the extra bells and whistles your ship can offer. If you don’t want to be on a ship full of children for example, there are plenty of adult only ships to choose from.

All the information you could need about a certain ship is out there on the internet, all you have to do is read it and weigh up the pros and cons of different ships for your needs.

Oasis of the Seas

Cruise Location

This one is the easiest decision of all. If you’re a fan of culture, history and delicious food then you’ll probably be at home within the Mediterranean than on the beaches of the Caribbean. If you like to explore, then somewhere like Alaska or the Norwegian Fjords would be perfect.

List the things you like to do on a normal holiday and find a cruise itinerary that will take you to places where you can do those activities.

Alaska

What to Pack

This is always a tricky one for first time cruisers. Make sure you know what the dress code for your specific cruise company is. For example, find out if there will be formal nights on board, or if smart casual if the norm.

On most cruise ships daytime wear is normal holiday resort wear, such as casual sun dresses for ladies and shorts for gentlemen.

Afternoon Tea

If you know these details then you can pack accordingly. Other than that, be sure to take sunscreen, light layers to be ready for every weather eventuality, sunglasses and a camera to capture all of your exciting cruise memories!

Thanks

Crushing Cruise Myths
TEXT SIZE A + A -

Many people’s vision of cruising consists of elderly couples shuffling gingerly round a ballroom to unimaginative music, endless lines of people stuffing their faces at the buffet and being bored beyond belief whilst cruising in between ports. Well, this image couldn’t be further from the truth of what modern day cruising really is.

On today’s increasingly modern cruise ships there is so much to do that it can often be difficult to fit it all into a short holiday. Modern cruise ships have amazing features such as ice rinks, Formula 1 simulators, bowling alleys, infinity pools, children’s aqua parks, water slides, wave pools, nightclubs, bars, a variety of restaurants, children’s clubs, sports courts, mini golf courses and theatre shows the toughest decision is often where to begin.

Golf Onboard

With all of these features to explore while enjoying being in a new port of call almost every day (depending on your chosen itinerary of course) it can be hard to fit all the activities you’d like to try in.

Cruises offer such a variety of activities to suit passengers of all ages that the perception of nothing but elderly couples in dinner suits and formal dresses couldn’t be further from the truth. In recent years there are increasing numbers of couples and young families embarking on cruise holidays.This is partly due to the exceptional children’s facilities that are offered on board most cruise ships.

Most cruise lines including Royal Caribbean have a specially designed area for children and some of the larger cruise ships have a children’s disco and even an arcade for them to meet other children and allow their parents a well-deserved break. Many cruise ships also offer a babysitting facility where you can leave your children with qualified and efficient staff whilst you enjoy a luxurious evening aboard with your partner or travel companions.

Kids Arcade

During the day there are always activities on board, such as gym classes, dance classes and, on larger cruise ships there are organised sports events such as football, tennis and golf as well as more relaxing activities such as visiting the spa and even just lying on a sunbed with a good book.

Onboard Spa

These are all things most people don’t have time to fit into their daily lives, as we’re all too busy with work, family and other commitments, that being able to relax on a cruise ship and do the things we most enjoy is wonderfully indulgent.

Strict formal dress codes are a thing of the past on many cruise lines too which means passengers who don’t like to get too dressed up for dinner to have some freedom too.

There are a number of cruise lines who still adhere to formal dress codes and personally I enjoy this, it’s not every day a girl gets to get all dressed up in a fancy dress! Whichever option you prefer there is a cruise line who will cater to your needs.

There’s really so much to do onboard today’s modern cruise ships, why not find out for yourself?

Thanks