A cruise holiday is more than just a break, it’s an experience and something you’ll never forget but so much time is spent on telling you all about the facilities on board, the ports of call and the entertainment, what about the secrets, the surprises and the things you perhaps never knew?
Here are 5 things you may not know about cruising;
P&O Cruises ‘Chocoholics’ Buffet
You will never be short of options for both food and drink on board a cruise but so much is made of meal times that outside of these occasions, other lesser known attractions can be missed. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are undoubtedly fantastic but ever so often, cruise lines offer something special. P&O Cruises are a perfect example of this with their amazing ‘chocoholic’s’ afternoon. You’ll find this event highlighted in your newspaper but not everyone notices it and trust us, it’s a shame to miss it. Wall to wall chocolate creations line the main dining rooms with everything from cakes, truffles, sculptures and more to see. P&O Cruises will even compliment the chocolate treats with their own chocolate infused wine, ideal for an indulgent afternoon on board. These occasions are not always made as public as they could be so don’t miss out, you heard it here first!
Pagers For Parents
Travelling with children but concerned how they’ll settle in the kids clubs? Don’t worry so much! Kids clubs on board today’s cruise ships are not only brilliant for the children, you’ll probably find yourself wanting to stick around and play. Nevertheless, we’re all human and we can’t turn off our worries when it comes to our children. If you’re concerned, then ask the kids club crew for a pager when you leave, that way if your child is unable to settle, asking for you or you’re a little apprehensive about leaving them, you are contactable direct, no matter where you are on board the ship. Most cruise line children’s clubs offer pagers for parents now, as well as in-stateroom babysitting services for when you and your spouse desire some alone time or perhaps a romantic evening meal. Cunard Line, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean are just three examples where pagers are already available on request.
Entertainment on board is always great, no matter which cruise line you are travelling with. You will never be short of options for both day and night; however, there are several cruise lines that take it to the next level. Royal Caribbean are known for their spontaneous parades and shows that can quite literally come out of nowhere. One minute you can be strolling along the Royal Promenade on board, the next you’re surrounded by singers, dancers and a full character parade. A tip; book a Promenade Stateroom and you’ll never miss these impromptus shows. P&O Cruises have also announced a similar set up of spontaneity for the cruise lines new ship Britannia, arriving to Southampton in 2015.
When booking a Caribbean cruise, there’s your obvious exciting destinations such as Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Aruba and Grand Cayman to name a few but there’s also something else to look out for, something not all travellers know about. Certain cruise lines boast their own private Caribbean islands, most notably Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line. These islands are exclusive to these cruise lines and offer breathtaking scenery but most of all complete serenity. These unscathed islands feature beaches, shopping venues and activities exclusively for passengers sailing with the cruise line. Princess Cays, Princess Cruises’ private island has been a highlight of Caribbean itineraries since 1992 and offers as much as 1.5 miles of white-sand beaches, dining options, water sports and even boutique shopping. The three key islands to look out for are Princess Cays (Princess Cruises), Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises) and Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian Cruise Line). There are others, for example Holland America’s Half Moon Cay, but these three islands remain the most attractive.
Complimentary Shore Excursions
Not all cruise lines offer these but such is the focus and emphases currently being placed on destination immersion and exploring new ports of call, many cruise lines, particularly luxury brands are now offering complimentary shore excursions as standard. If you’re interested in exploring new destinations, heading off the beaten track and engaging in new cultures, then complimentary shore excursions are certainly going to be attractive. There is a common misconception that luxury cruise lines are out of reach for many travellers. It is believed these cruise lines are too expensive but when you look at the bigger picture, they are in fact, fantastic value for money. Regent Seven Seas, Oceania Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises are just three examples of cruise lines currently offering onshore experiences free of charge. The choice of experiences is amazing and you never even have to consider the expense. This is not a well-known fact and makes these luxury cruise lines extremely attractive, another hidden secret of cruising that has only recently emerged in the public eye.
Cruising is addictive and we guarantee that once you have experienced your first voyage you will be ‘hooked’ and will be looking to book your next one.
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