|Posted by RCI fans on May 9, 2013 at 11:55 AM||comments (5)|
We are excited to announce that on May 14th, thanks to the generosity of Royal Caribbean International, We will be spending the night onboard the newly refurbished Brilliance of the Seas for a special VIP Cruise departing from Harwich.
On May 14th, Myself and Joan will embark around 1pm. Once on board, we will be joined by 100's of top performing travel agents, cruise specialists, loyal guests and VIPs!
We will depart Harwich at approx. 1700, where we sail out of the port and into the North Sea before arriving back in Harwich the next morning at 7am.
We will be sharing all our photos from the event both here on RCIfans.com and on our Facebook page.
I am really looking forward to touring the newly revitalised Brilliance of the Seas and it will be great to view the new enhancements in person and compare them with when we went on her back in June 2012. I am also really looking forward to cruisng out of Harwich for the very first time.
Make sure to check back after the 15th for photos, videos and more!
I'd like to conclude by saying a big thanks to all the staff from Royal Caribbean and their PR department who have made this event possible.
|Posted by RCI fans on February 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
Royal Caribbean is to make a special announcement regarding the Project Sunshine project tomorrow.
Royal Caribbean indicated the announcement in a very short email to members of the media saying, "Stay tuned tomorrow for an exciting reveal regarding this next class of ships."
There is no word what will be announced tomorrow, but we will post all information here as soon as we receive it.
|Posted by RCI fans on December 31, 2012 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Well what a year it has been in the cruise industry. The year unfortunatly started with the tragic Costa Concordia disaster, in which 32 people lost their lives. We've also seen the 'Royal Advantage' added to Rhapsody, Mariner, Grandeur, Serenade and Enchantment of the Seas and more recently the announcement of a third Oasis class ship.
This year we were fortunate enough to embark on 3 cruises (Brilliance of the Seas, Oceana and Queen Mary 2) We also went on 3 visits to Southampton. Watching Independence depart twice as well as meeting Patricia Dempsey and Dan Gosling to watch Vision of the Seas make a special visit to the port on 21st September.
These 10 stories are our picks of the biggest stories of 2012;
These are the top 5 stories from the past year based on comments and views;
|Posted by RCI fans on August 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
If you live in the United Kingdom, I'm sure you'll agree that cruises that sail from the UK are far less stressful than the 'Fly/Cruise'. You can forget about going through security at the airport, waiting hours to catch your plane and the strict baggage allowance of around 23kg, which when you go on a 14 night voyage, can be hard to comply with. It means you can drive or hop on a train or coach and take as much luggage as you can possibly carry.
Southampton is certainly the main hub for cruise voyages in the UK. On average 3 ships dock at the port everyday. Each filled with around 2,500 passengers. So what makes Southampton so popular with the cruise ships?
Let's start with its transport links. South West Trains run services from London to Southampton roughly every 25 minutes and the journey time is around 1 hour and 20 minutes. South West Trains also operate services from the South coast. Cross Country Trains from the Midlands and the North run hourly. Southampton is also connected by Southern which runs trains from the South East. First Great Western also operate services from the West.
CruiseSaver (part of the Bath Travel Group), operate dedicated cruise trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh with pickups at Newcastle, Leeds, Preston, Stockport and Solihull. The 'Boat Train' offers first class travel and silver service meals, a perfect start or end to your cruise. The train delivers passengers direct to the QEII Passenger Terminal in the Port’s Eastern Docks and the Mayflower Cruise Terminal in the Western Docks.
The M3 and M27 allows motorists to get to Southampton from London and the South coast. National Express coaches as well as Eavesway have regular services from all over the UK.
You could also regionally fly from your local airport to Southampton Airport. However you will then have to face the baggage restrictions and waiting around.
It's not just Southampton's convenient travel links that makes it so popular. It's location makes it possible for ships to travel almost anywhere. Wether it be Northern Europe, Mediterranean, Canaries or America. If you compare the Port of Edinburgh or Harwich for example, you are much more limited to where you can cruise to. For instance the Norwegian Fjords, British Isles or Northern Europe.
So what do you think about cruising from Southampton?
Janet Bailey says 'I love travelling from Southampton because it means I can pack as much luggage as I want'
Debi Martin believes 'cruising from Southampton is convenient and stress-free'
|Posted by RCI fans on July 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM||comments (2)|
To celebrate the Olympic Games in London, we'll be running several cruise/sport related competitions on Twitter throughtout the Olympic season.
We'll be showcasing the various sport activities available on Royal Caribbean cruises, such as Rock Climbing and Ice Skating and thanks to Thanet Direct, we'll also be giving away luggage tags to lucky competition winners.
The first competition will start this Friday to celebrate the opening ceremony of the Games. We'll be asking a question and those who get the right answer will be entered into a random prize draw. Two people will win a Luggage Tag.
You can join in with the action using the hash tag #OceanOlympics
|Posted by RCI fans on July 20, 2012 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
Cruise directors get asked some pretty ridiculous questions, so we've compiled a list of the silliest and dumbest questions ever asked by passengers on a cruise ship.
1. What would happen if I flushed the toilet while still sitting on it?
2. Does the crew sleep on board?
3. Why is the microwave in my room not working? (referring to the safe)
4. Is that fresh or salt water in the toilets?
5. What do you do with the ice carvings after they melt?
6. Has this ship ever sunk?
7. How small does your face have to be to get a mini-facial at the spa?
8. (Referring to the pictures in the Photo Gallery) How do I know which are mine?
9. What time does the Midnight buffet start?
10. Do these stairs go up or down?
Heard any more bonkers cruise questions? Comment below...
|Posted by RCI fans on July 7, 2012 at 4:50 PM||comments (1)|
After getting back from our cruise on board Brilliance of the Seas it was just a week before it was time to head to Southampton to board P&O's Oceana. It was the first time I had ever been on a P&O cruise and my first non-RCI cruise. In this post I will compare the two lines to find out which line is better.
Royal Caribbean's staterooms are averaged sized. They feature the modern necessities such as a safe, fridge and TV. Although the design and layout is practical, space is an issue on all of the cabins I've stayed in. For instance, when the beds are split into a twin, you have about 30cm between the end of the bed and the TV stand, so getting to the balcony for example can be a squeeze. The sofa is a nice addition in the cabins as it gives you another place to sit other than your bed. A great touch is that each night your Stateroom Attendent makes up a towel animal on your bed.
P&O's Inside cabin was much larger than I was expecting. It did not have a sofa, so that made more space. The thing that impressed me the most, however was the amount of draw space available. All in all there was 12 draws between us, not including the large wardrobe with even more draws! So finding a place for all your clothes was easy. A nice feature by P&O was a 'Welcome' balloon and sweets. You also recieved 2 bottles of complimentary water and biscuits each day. Unfortunatly, the Stateroom Attendent never made a towel animal, unlike Royal Caribbean.
Food (Dining Room)
Food on Royal Caribbean is always good. I have never had a bad meal yet. Although the quality of ingredients may not be as good as other cruise lines, the presentation and variety of all the food is excellent. Even if you request something thats not on the main menu, they will present your food to you in a great unique way.
The quality of food on P&O is better than Royal Caribbean. However presentation needs to be worked on. Especially meals with gravy, as every time we had a meal with gravy, splash marks were all around the plate. There was not always a great variety on the menu either. On Royal Caribbean there is always a list of 4-5 meals that are on the menu every night, so if you don't see anything you like on the main menu, you can always pick something off the alternative menu. The accompaniments were sometimes quite strange. I had a Chicken Kiev one night and it was served with boiled potatoes, where as one night I had a Leg of Lamb in gravy, which was served with potato croquettes.
Winner: Royal Caribbean
The Windjammer is the buffet restaurant on board Royal Caribbean. The selection is always very good. Finding a table is always the hardest part of the operation though. Free Lemonade, Ice Tea and Summer Fruits are available as well as Tea, Coffee and Hot Chocolate. You can also buy drinks from the number of bar staff walking around the restaurant. Seperate counters make finding the food you want easy to find.
The buffet restaurant on P&O's Oceana is called the Plaza. It was always easier to find a table, compared to Royal Caribbean, and you felt like you could take your time eating, which were really the only positive things about our experience in The Plaza. I found the size of the actual food counters very small for the size of the restaurant. This led to the space being very crowded at busy periods. Plenty of staff were on duty to help you find/clear a table or to help carry your tray, which was a good thing, but no one ever seemed to come round and offer you bar service. This was a common problem throughout our cruise too. (I'll be talking about this later.) The selection was also very poor. If you didn't like curry, there was very little to choose from. Chips were available, but what with? There was very rarely anything to go with them.
Most of the time we ate at the Horizon Grill instead. The Grill serves burgers, fish, jacket potatoes and a few other things all freshly made in front of you.
Winner: Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean is known for pushing the boundaries for entertainment on cruise ships. All their ships offer broadway quality shows and fancy stage productions. The 'Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers' always put on a great show. The theatre onboard is always like a theatre you would see on land.
P&O's main theatre is very small for the amount of people onboard. You have to get their early to get a seat and only recently have you actually been allowed to take drinks into the theatre, which I was suprised to hear. The shows are more low budget, however I have to congratulate P&O on their guest acts. Unlike Royal Caribbean, where the acts are relatively unheard of. During our cruise, P&O had 'Diddy' David Hamilton, who is a British radio presenter with 50 years of experience under is belt and has hosted over 12,000 radio shows. Another guest act during our cruise was Mark Walker, the son of Roy Walker who used to present 'Catchphrase' in the UK. He performed 2 great different comedy/variety shows. The 'Headliners Theatre Company' are the equivalent to the RCI 'Singer and Dancers' except with less talent. They reminded me more of an amateur dramatics group you would expect to see performing at a school or community centre. Despite all this, I did prefer every show on board P&O compared to Royal Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean's staff always give you great service. Royal Caribbean refer to it as 'The Gold Anchor Service.' Bar staff are always present to fetch you a drink. In the main dining room, the Assistant Waiter always keeps your drinks topped up or offers you if you would like another drink.
The service on P&O is something not to be desired. There seems to be a lackluster approach. Bar staff are sometimes hard to find and even when they are present, there very rarely ask if you would like a drink. At dinner time, if you say no to a drink when they ask you the first time, don't expect to get asked if you would like one later.
Very little selling is done on P&O. i.e. If you don't ask for it, you won't get it. Royal Caribbean are always promoting the Drink of the Day and speciality drinks/food.
Winner: Royal Caribbean
The way the tipping works, is why the staff give you the level of service, in which they do. Because tipping is optional on Royal Caribbean, the staff work extra hard to get a tip.
Unlike P&O where tipping is added automatically at the end of your cruise whatever, most of the staff have less enthusiasm because they get their tip no matter what.
Royal Caribbean clientele are mostly families or young adults. Therefore their activities and events are set up for that market.
P&O attracts an older audience. Although there are child activities and kids club, you see very few children on board unless during holiday time.
Overall I still prefer Royal Caribbean. The service is really a cut above the rest and I think that is the main reason why I love Royal Caribbean so much. P&O is still a good cruise line, but for my taste and age group, it really wasn't for me. It is certainly geared up for older people.
|Posted by RCI fans on June 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
It's just 24 hours until we set sail on our cruise on board Brilliance of the Seas. No longer are we sailing around the Norwegian Fjords. Instead we will be cruising to Denmark and Germany. As usual we will be taking plenty of photos and videos for the site.
With the on-going strikes in Norway, our cruise has had to be diverted and is now scheduled to dock at; Copenhagen, Berlin and Aahrus.
As per usual, we will not be updating our site with any current news stories (some special posts may be posted however) and we will unfortunately not be able to respond to any of your emails or comments until we get back. If you would like to contact us between 2nd-9th June, then please get in touch via Twitter and we will try and answer back as soon as possible.
You can keep up to date with our cruise adventure on Twitter by following us at @RCI_fans. You can also follow our tweets using the hashtag #BrillianceOTS
|Posted by RCI fans on June 1, 2012 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
We have just been informed by Royal Caribbean International that our cruise on board Brilliance of the Seas which was supposed to call at Geiranger, Alesund, Molde and Bergen, will instead now make stops in Denmark and Germany.
Due to the port pilot strike in Norway, ships are unable to dock as they need a pilot to safely direct them into a port.
We have also recieved $200 on board credit per stateroom on top of our original $100 as compensation.
Brilliance of the Seas is to depart Amsterdam as scheduled before cruising to Copenhagen for an overnight stop, Berlin and Aarhus.
The revised itinerary is as follows;
02/06/12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Depart: 1630
03/06/12 - At Sea
04/06/12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Arrive: 0800
05/06/12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Depart: 1700
06/06/12 - Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany - Arrive: 0800 Depart: 2230
07/06/12 - Aarhus, Denmark - Arrive: 0800 Deaprt: 1700
08/06/12 - At Sea
09/06/12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Arrive: 0500
|Posted by RCI fans on May 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
- A cruise is a chance to escape from every day life.
- It is a floating hotel where you only have to unpack once.
- A cruise is hassle-free and everything is close to hand.
- A cruise is great value for money.
- It is a chance to discover new places.
- A cruise offers you the chance to relax and unwind with attentive service and great food.
- A cruise is waking up each day with different scenery.
- Most of all, a cruise is like no other holiday on land!