Monday, June 11, 2012
On arrival it's easy to see why Isle of Pines is commonly referred to as the Jewel of the Pacific. The island was formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago; and it is now surrounded by a beautiful colourful reef. There are many tours that you can take part in while in the Isle of Pines some of these including an Island Discovery, Snorkel the Natural Aquarium, The Le Meridien Natural Aquarium and The Lagoon Islet Boati Adventure.
Check out this video by P&O Cruises of the Isle of Pines:
CRUISE HINT: Wooden Souvenirs
When travelling to the islands in the South Pacific you will find some great souvenirs many of these being made of wood for example bow and arrows, masks etc. However not all products are able to be brought back into Australia as customs won’t allow this. So before you purchase anything, what you should check are that all wood products are fully lacquered and to look for borers or any small bugs.
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises are offering one-night sampler cruises this upcoming summer season. You will have the chance toexperience the Voyager of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice. For anyone who isnew to cruising this is the perfect opportunity to answer questions you haveabout cruising. What happens onboard? What do the public rooms look like? How big are the cabins? One- night sampler cruises are the answers to these questions.These one-night samplers are priced from $345pp on the Royal Caribbean’sVoyager of the Seas (23rd November Sailing) and $355pp CelebrityCruises Solstice’s (09 December Sailing).
CRUISE PORT OF CALL:Noumea, New Caledonia
The city of Noumea is one of the largest ports P&OCruises visits in the South Pacific. There are many tours that you can takepart in while in Noumea these including the Tjbaou Cultural Centre, The TchouTchou Train, A Zodiac Ride to Duck Island, Lagoon Snorkelling and much more! Noumeais great for shopping, dining and immerse yourself in French culture.
CRUISE HINT:Cruise Cards
Cruise cards are most easily kept around your neck on alanyard. These can be affordably purchased before boarding or you may like tobuy one on board as a souvenir. If your card is not already hole punched youcan do this at the pursers desk after boarding.
P&O has released new specialoccasion packages! These packages are only available on cruises 5 days or longer. Prices for these package start from $159.00 saving of 21% off retail price onboard.
Available packages include:
Special Occasions Package
Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Dinner at Salt grill by Luke Mangan for 2 people*Ernest Hillier boxed chocolates - milk and dark$50 Onboard spending money per booking
Moet & Chandon Brut ImperialDinner at Salt grill by Luke Mangan for 2 people*A dozen roses bouquet Ernest Hillier boxed chocolates - milk and dark P&O Cruises logo teddy bear Framed portrait photo from cruise
Dinner at Salt grill by Luke Mangan for 2 people*P&O Cruises cook book "Holidays"Trout Valley pinot noir, Nelson Glandore Estate chardonnay, Hunter Valley$50 onboard spending money per booking
Double the Fun Package (for groups of 4 toshare)
Dinner at Salt grill by Luke Mangan for 4 people*Tyrell's Old Winery rose, Hunter Valley Dusky Sounds sauvignon blanc, Marlborough $100 Casino Credit per booking
CRUISE PORT OF CALL: Vanuatu (Champagne Bay)
Champagne Bay is known for its pristine beaches and ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the world. Go for jungle safaris and visit the Mele Cascades for a memorable experience ofwalking under them and into a cave. Shopping while in Champagne Bay includesmarket like stalls where you can buy trinkets, handicrafts, sarongs, woven hats and much more. Champagne Bay holidays are great for escaping the city life to forget your worries and relax by the beach.
CRUISE HINT: SMALL CARRY BAG
A hint would be is to pack a small empty carryon bag as the last night of the cruise; you have to set your luggage out before midnight so that it can be picked up. So you can use your small carry bag to store the clothes you would like to wear home and also is a place to stash the pyjamas, toothbrush etc.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
New Zealand Natural is about to embrace cruising with the new signing of an agreement between P&O. The agreement will see P&O score its very own flavour of New Zealand Natural premium ice cream. This flavour will be unveiled on board the Pacific Dawn as part of the choice of flavours in the new New Zealand Natural Premium Ice Cream Parlour which is currently being installed during her scheduled refurbishment. When the dawn sets sail on the 1st of May the new P&O flavour will be revealed!
CRUISE UPDATE: P&O’s Pacific Dawn add Papua New Guinea to its itinerary
New for 2013/2014 P&O’s Pacific Dawn is sailing from Brisbane and adding two new unique itineraries to the remote and strikingly beautiful region of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Both itineraries feature the ports of Alotau and Doini Island, as well as the Trobriand Islands.
Alotau (Milne Bay) is the Capital of Milne Bay province; it has rich history and is famous for its coral reef and scuba diving experiences.
Doini Island is located in the heart of Milne Bay on the Easter tip of Papua New Guinea. The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches and is home to the classis white sand beaches and pristine turquoise waters.
Trobriand Islands lie along the Northern straits of Milne Bay and are more widely known as the ‘Islands of Love’. Kiriwana Island and Kaileuna Island are rich in culture where as Kitava Island is known for its beautiful beaches which are perfect for swimming, snorkerling and canoeing.
There are a total of three departures: one 9-night departure October 2013 and two 10-night departures in November 2013 and April 2014.
CRUISE HINT: WHAT TO TAKE TO THE ISLANDS
While on the islands a useful hint would be to take reef shoes for swimming and walking on the beach as you don’t want to be stepping in coral. Also a nice gesture would be to take along some gold coins for the islanders as many ports have groups of people singing with a donation box in front of them as it is only a couple of dollars to us however the small amount means a lot to them.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Costa have defied the odds and have reported that bookings for its 2012 Easter cruises were record breaking and exceeded the numbers for Easter 2011. Five Costa ships spent Easter in the Mediterranean including Costa NeoRomantica, Costa Mediterranea, Costa Pacifica, CostaDeliziosa and Costa Serena.
CRUISE SHIP: CARNIVAL SPIRIT
When cruising your holiday starts as you step on board and thearrival of Carnival spirit in Australia is exciting for families. CarnivalSpirit provides age appropriate programs for everyone and youth activities aresupervised by trained and experienced staff.
· Camp Carnival provides toys and arts and craftsfor young kids aged 2-5.
· Juniors 6-8 are also catered for and for thoseaged 9-11 there are pool parties and scavenger hunts.
· Circle “C” for the 12-14 gives the young teenssomewhere to hang out and watch late night movies, danceparties
· Club 02 is for the older teens with their ownlounge area and a non alcoholic drink bar and teenparties.
The ship also provides the best waterpark at sea, mini golf,a choice of swimming pools, a sports court, and a 2deck fitness centre.
CRUISE HINT: THEME NIGHTS
New cruisers are often unaware of the theme nights offered on some cruises. An idea is to take some inexpensive accessories on the cruise with you. Some of the theme nights include Country Western, Island Night, 70’sNights, Rock and Roll Night and Pirate Night.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
The Rhapsody of the Seas has undergone an onboard US$45 million revitalisation project and has finally been completed, with the vessel now en-route from Singapore to Australia. Once the Rhapsody of the Seas arrives in Australia it will depart on 13th April for a 17-night Trans Pacific Cruise to Hawaii before heading off for her Alaskan season on the 11th May.
SEABOURN IN AUSTRALIA
Next year will be the Seabourn Quest’s first ever visit to the shores of Australia, she will be calling into ports at Sydney, Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Townsville, Cairns and Thursday Island in February. The newest addition to the Seabourn Fleet, Quest’s Australian visit is part of a 116 day world cruise. Australians will also be able to cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey in our local waters next year, for three months as the liner explores the islands and coastlines of Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. A regional visit includes a 16 night voyage from Bali to Sydney departing on the 21st of December 2012 and will visit Komodo Island, Darwin, Thursday Island, Cairns, Townsville, Hamilton Island and Brisbane.
CRUISE HINT FOR THE WEEK: Keeping in touch with fellow Cabin Mates
Take along a mini whiteboard or a packet of post-it notes so that you can leave notes for each other on your movements throughout the day in a prominent place, for example the mirror.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
RHAPSODY BROADENS ITS DINING
The Rhapsody of the Seas will be adding five new signature dining establishments.
For the next four weeks, the Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas will be undergoing a major renovation and adding five new signature dining establishments to the liner. The Rhapsody of the Seas will offer a new variety of dining options and a total of seven restaurants once the ship returns to sea. These including The Chops Grille, the company’s flagship steakhouse, Italian and Japanese options and a gourmet market-style setup offering sandwiches, soup and pastries.
NORWEIGIAN SHIPLIKELY WITHIN TWO YEARS
The Norwegian Cruise Line may base a ship in Australia in 2014.
This cruise line is the only major cruise line company without a superliner in Sydney,however Norwegian Cruises hopes by 2014 to send a Norwegian ship to Australia. Two new ships are being launched in the next two years and they need a place to call home and where better else then Sydney, Australia. As reported that Australia is Norwegian Liners fourth biggest international market following the UK, Germany and Spain. Final decisions of placements for these new ships are yet to be revealed, but hopefully Norwegian Cruise Line chooses to base a ship in Australia so that more of us can experience of these amazing major cruise liners.
CRUISE HINT FOR THE WEEK:
Take a long a highlighter, not only can you use it at Bingo (Saving you money on buying a dabber) you can also highlight you chosen activities on your cruise daily. If you want to keep your daily newsletters from the cruise safe to take home as a memory, take along a display book too.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Holland America Line’s 2012 Mediterranean season to feature a grand voyage, guest chefs and maiden calls
Segments of the Grand Mediterranean & Black Sea Voyage Available
Holland America Line’s 2012 Mediterranean season features an extensive selection of itineraries ranging from seven to 42 days, as well as an exciting 62-day Grand Mediterranean and Black Sea Voyage aboard the intimate ms Prinsendam.
Six of the line’s other ships — ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Rotterdam, ms Maasdam and ms Ryndam — also will sail the region on 32 different itineraries that span the eastern and western Mediterranean. Celebrated guest chefs will enhance select cruises as part of the Culinary Arts Centre program, performing cooking demonstrations for guests in the ship’s state-of-the-art show kitchen, conducting tastings and participating in question-and-answer sessions.
“The Mediterranean has it all — from top-rated beaches and incredible architecture to historical landmarks and a long history,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Whether it’s a shorter cruise or a Grand Voyage, by offering one of the most extensive itinerary selections of any cruise line, we enable guests to take their dream cruise.”
Grand Mediterranean and Black Sea Voyage
A highlight of the Med season comes this spring when ms Prinsendam, the line’s smallest and most intimate ship -- just 835 guests, departs Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March 12, 2012, on its roundtrip 62-day Grand Mediterranean and Black Sea Voyage. Visiting 32 ports in 14 countries, the itinerary includes maiden calls at Durrës, Albania’s second-largest city and one of Europe’s oldest cities; Saint Raphaél in the Côte d'Azur region of France, and Castellón de la Plana in the Costa del Azahar region of Spain.
Overnight stays in Seville, Spain; Kusadasi (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Venice, Italy; Barcelona, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal, provide guests with more time for exploring of some of the world’s most interesting destinations.
The Grand Voyage also offers grand experiences on board. Guests can relax and unwind during leisurely days at sea, taking advantage of the extra time to read a book, indulge in a massage at the Greenhouse Spa or watch a movie in the theatre. Sommelier and Wine Educator Charlie Arturaola will be on board from March 21 – April 3 as part of the Culinary Arts Centre program. Brian Archibald, executive sous chef of Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, also will sail from April 18 – 30.
Evening activities shine on board as well with local cultural entertainment and special guest headliners, while festive gala balls and formal nights create memorable moments. Dining is elevated to a new level on each Grand Voyage, featuring local ingredients and regional cuisine from all corners of Europe.
For those with less time, 11 segments are available ranging from 16 to 41 days and start at AU$2,199 per person.
2012 Mediterranean Voyages
A highlight of the season is a 20-day Mediterranean Medley cruise departing July 21, sailing roundtrip from Dover, England, or Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on ms Ryndam. Guests can explore ports throughout Italy, Portugal, Spain and Monaco on this adventure.
Additional itineraries include three 12-day sailings on ms Nieuw Amsterdam that explore Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Montenegro and Croatia. Guests looking for a longer voyage can combine the two itineraries to create a 24-day Collectors’ Voyage.
A series of two 10-day itineraries on ms Noordam can be combined to form a 20-day Collectors’ Voyage, with calls at ports in Italy, Monaco, Spain, Tunisia, Croatia, Greece and Turkey.
The new 17-day Spanish Rhapsody sailing roundtrip Rotterdam onboard ms Rotterdam offers guests the opportunity to explore the best of what Spain has to offer in addition to ports in both Portugal and Italy.
Fares for a seven-day Mediterranean voyage start at just AU$849 per person, double occupancy.
Select Mediterranean cruises also feature a guest chef on board:
- Ken Oringer, executive chef/co-owner of Kenneth Oringer and Clio restaurants in Boston, Massetusses, sails on ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s 12-day Mediterranean Empires cruise June 5.
- Kevin Sbraga, executive chef and owner of Sbraga restaurant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and US cable channel Bravo's “Top Chef” season seven winner, sails on ms Noordam July 17 in the Mediterranean.
- Giuliano Hazan, author of “Cooking Italian With Giuliano” and International Association of Culinary Professionals Cooking Teacher of the Year, sailson ms Rotterdam’s 17-day Moorish Empires cruise Sept. 29.
- Timon Balloo, executive chef of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill in Miami, Florida, sails on ms Noordam's 7-day Riviera Romance cruise Oct. 15.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
from her two week drydock
sporting seven million dollars
worth of upgrades, ahead of
her arrival in Sydney this year.
KEY upgrades to Spirit included a revamping
of her Serenity area, one of the largest childfree
adult retreats on the ship, which includes
an open-air deck with pool, heated spa,
hammoks, plush lounges and a cocktail bar
offering a special daily selection of drinks.
The drydock also included $450,000 in
upgrades to Spirit’s fitness centre with new
cardio and strength training equipment, as
well as a Jacuzzi under a giant skylight; and the
creation of the child-magnet Splash Zone,
which includes the Power Drencher, a massive
tipping bucket that fills up with hundreds of
litres of water, then tips and soaks all
New carpets were also laid through all public
areas and in cabins, plus Spirit was also treated
to a new coat of paint on her interior and
exterior, whilst cabins scored new flat-screen TVs.
Most notably, Spirit’s star attraction, the
world’s steepest and fastest waterslide at sea,
Green Thunder was also installed, and was
broken in on the vessel’s debut Hawaiian
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Harbour Comes Alive with the ‘Sydney Festival of Cruising’ to Underline Cruising’s Economic Contribution
In a resounding confirmation of cruise season’s contribution as a major economic event, Sydney is set to host the month-long Festival of Cruising with a record 26 ships making an unprecedented 33 visits during February alone.
Five more ships will visit for the festival than in February last year – the previous busiest cruise ship month on record in Sydney – with each ship visit representing a special event in its own right.
So many cruise ships are visiting that several will moor mid-harbour before ferrying passengers ashore to enjoy the many attractions of the harbour city.
Highlights of the Festival of Cruising include the Valentine’s Day arrival of Cunard’s 151,400-tonne flagship, Queen Mary 2 and sister ship Queen Elizabeth’s visit on February 28 for an overnight stay.
Other festival high points include the arrival of the UK-based P&O Cruises ships Aurora, on February 17, and Oriana on February 23 for a special celebration of P&O’s 175th anniversary.
Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, which represents 13 of the visiting cruise ships, said the Festival of Cruising emphasised cruising’s contribution as the standout success of the Australian tourism sector.
"The Festival of Cruising underlines the contribution that cruise ships make to the local economy," Ms Sherry said.
"Analysis we commissioned from Deloitte Access Economics shows cruise passengers, crew and cruise ship operators spent a combined $400 million in Sydney in 2010-2011 alone.
"Their combined spending is expected to increase to $1.3 billion by 2019-2020 as the economic contribution of cruising continues to grow.
"Passenger ships are also a vital part of Sydney Harbour’s maritime heritage and while our ships will visit ports around Australia during the Festival of Cruising, Sydney remains the Australian gateway for visiting ships."
Commenting on the Festival of Cruising, NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said the importance of the cruise industry to Sydney and NSW could not be understated.
"It continues to make a valuable contribution to the State’s economy and is an important factor that has helped the NSW Government develop its strategy to double expenditure by visitors to NSW by 2020," Mr Souris said.
"Cruising is certainly one of the most exciting segments in the leisure market, with continuing strong growth prospects as the record number of liners arriving in the harbour city indicates.
"Sydney’s performance in recent years has helped make Australia one of the world’s fastest growing cruise markets with 157 ship calls to Sydney in 2010-2011 and 210 calls forecast for 2011-2012 with 246 scheduled for 2012-2013. Sydney is recognised by the international cruise industry as one of the most attractive harbour approaches in the world."
The 13 ships visiting from across Carnival Australia’s fleets include P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel, Pacific Pearl and Pacific Sun; Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth; Princess Cruises’ Sea Princess, Diamond Princess and Pacific Princess; P&O Cruises World Cruising ships Oriana and Aurora; Seabourn’s Odyssey and Holland America’s Amsterdam and Volendam.