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TowelWizz: Your must-have cruise accessory

Posted by RCI fans on September 29, 2014 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We've all experienced it and we've all failed...Trying to get a towel to stay on a sun lounger. No matter how you hang, tuck or fold your towel, it always seems to fall down or blow away. The problem is made worse when at sea on a cruise ship.




Thankfully though, a product called TowelWizz, is helping to make a day at sea or on the beach as relaxing as it should be.


The TowelWizz was created by Annette and her husband after becoming frustrated on holiday by continuously adjusting their towels and stopping them blowing away from their sun loungers.


The machine washable elasticated band is 18 inches long, meaning it can fit around most loungers and chairs. Apart from keeping your towel on your sun lounger, it also has many other practical uses. For instance, the TowelWizz will also help keep a rolled up towel in place, perfect for carrying around in your bag on shore excursions to the beach. Or how about wrapping it around your suitcase to easily stand out from the crowd at the airport baggage hall or cruise terminal! Not only can it do all that, but it can also keep your books and personal belongs like hats, lotion and glasses secured to your lounger. The uses are truly endless.


With a wide range of colours to choose from such as royal blue, polka-dot pink and aqua, the TowelWizz is not only practical, but looks great too.


You can purchase the TowelWizz online from just £4.99!

Get Your Glow On This Winter: Top 5 Destinations For Winter Sun

Posted by RCI fans on September 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Let’s face it – who wants to think about Winter? The vast majority of us want to hold onto the blue skies, warm sunshine and balmy temperatures for as long as we possibly can. My name is Sally and I’m a travel writer and a former cruise ship worker who spent many years – and thankfully many Winters - away from the ice and cold. Spending time back on my home soil has made me realise just how beneficial a little bit of blue sky and warmth can be for you. With that in mind (and also with the knowledge that it’s only just over ninety days to Christmas) why not cheer yourself up by looking at some of the loveliest destinations for a little late year sunshine? You can read all about them here.


Dark mornings, ice covering the drive way and freezing temperatures that have us wrapped up so tight we can barely move – welcome to winter in England. It seems to come round quicker every year and we dread the long winter season that has us feeling dreary and remembering the sun as only a distant memory.


I know summer has only just began and I am already thinking about where I can get my sun fix when the bleak weather sets in. Some great winter sun deals are starting to circulate in the office, so it is the perfect time to start thinking about a winter break.


I am sure you would agree there is nothing better than jetting off to somewhere hot when everyone else is having to turn on their electric blanket to recover from constant sneezing and dreading the thought of having to step outside. However, whilst the ice thickens in England, elsewhere in the world the sun is at its hottest so here are my top 5 places to cruise to during the winter:



Florida

Known as the sunshine state of America, Florida is one of the friendliest places I have ever been. It is not only the sun that shines bright all day here, the people are extremely welcoming and invite you to enjoy everything this exciting wonderland has to offer.


With miles of sun-soaked beaches, water-front restaurants and an array of unique attractions, Florida is the ultimate adventure playground. With most cruise lines basing their ships in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Miami during the winter you will be able to choose from an extensive range of different itineraries and ships.


Whether your cruise starts or finishes here you can spend a few days enjoying the fun way of life lived here. Enjoy a day at Miami Aquarium watching incredible shows featuring killer whales and dolphins or take a trip to the Everglades where you will glide over the swamps in a hover boat whilst learning about the distinct wildlife living here.


If it is just the sun you desire, Florida is your perfect haven with its long stretches of heavenly beaches that can reach temperatures of up to 32°c during the winter.


The average temperature in Florida during November – February is 29°c.



 


The Caribbean

Defining paradise, the Caribbean islands are the most blissful destinations in the world that guarantee to take you on the ultimate escape. Picture-perfect beaches with pure white sand, crystal clear waters and swaying palms make these islands the most desired cruise destinations in the world.


Boasting year round hot temperatures, the long days of sunshine will enable you to soak up the scorching temperatures to your hearts content. For the more adventurous you can try snorkelling, para-sailing or jet skiing around these intreguing islands.


A Caribbean cruise will include stops at islands including the Bahamas, St Lucia, Barbados and Antigua. Although all of the islands may look the same, they all have their own unique character that make every stop a new experience.


Known to many as 'the friendly islands' the locals invite you to explore their home and experience everything they have to offer as well as try their traditional dishes and island cooked food.


The average temperature in the Caribbean during November – February is 32°c.



 


Canary Islands

The Canary Islands entice every visitor with their breathtaking landscapes, stunning beaches and tropical way of life. From indulging on tapas on a rooftop restaurant to sunbathing on the heavenly beaches, a trip here will ensure you completely forget about winter.


Tenerife will amaze you with its backdrop of soaring mountains lining the pristine beaches, perfect for lazy days in the sun or family beach activities. Along the way, Lanzarote invites you to explore its volcanoes and black sand beaches. When it’s time to unwind Gran Canaria is bursting with quaint fishing villages and attractive harbours that create the perfect scene for switching off.


For the active cruisers, these islands are home to an array of memorable adventures. From extraordinary snorkelling, exploring the iconic National Parks or rock climbing up one of the famous mountains, there is no shortage of adrenalin-pumping explorations to be had here.


The average temperature in the Canaries during November – February is 24°c.



 


Dubai

A world of its own, Dubai stands ready to show off its luxurious and extravagent lifestyle to everyone. Nowhere in the world exploits the diversity that Dubai does, one minute you are in the middle of an empty dessert, the next you are surrounded by towering buildings. A cocktail of amazing sights, every time you turn you are faced with something that stuns you once again.


Don your explorers hat as you experience adventure after adventure with everything this extraordinary city has to offer. Go skiing in a shopping mall, slide under shark infested waters at the Atlantis waterpark or ride a camel through the enchanted desserts. Not many places in the world can offer the variety of excursions that Dubai does.


As evening sets in the city turns into a magical wonderland with fountain shows, vibrant nightclubs and award-winning beach front restaurants serving up some of the most exquisite dishes you will ever taste.


The average temperature in Dubai during November – February is 32°c.




Hawaii

There is nowhere else in the world quite like Hawaii, this tropical paradise will excite all of your senses as you are welcomed into this fresh, tranquil haven. Crystal clear waters line the dramatic mountains and lush forests, making this island a blissful retreat.


The soothing sounds of volcanoes bubbling away combined with swaying palms are a recipe for the ultimate winter getaway. Along with hot temperatures and warm waters, it has everything you dream of during winter.


It is not only the scenery that is beautiful here, the locals love to share their lifestyle with you. Encouraging you to join in traditional Hawaiian activities and try their iconic island cuisine, it will not be long before you are in full 'Aloha' mode!


This colourful island is home to an array of some of the world’s most intriguing National Parks and plant life. Even if you plan to go on a relaxing getaway, I would definitely recommend a stroll around one of these parks.


The average temperature in the Hawaii during November – February is 26°c.

 


Article written by Sally Grimes of Iglu Cruise.

VIDEO: An Interview with Dream Designs Colchester

Posted by RCI fans on August 5, 2014 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

During our recent visit on board Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas in Harwich on 26th July 2014, we had the opportunity to sit down and interview Harry Cotterill from Dream Designs Colchester.


During the interview, Harry discussed how he started the company, his career highlights and how he draws the cruise ships. He also explained his thoughts on Royal Caribbean and gave some note-worthy advice for first time cruisers. 


You can check out the full interview starring Harry Cotterill and our Founder and Editor, Jordan Bailey, below;


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Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great cruise videos, including highlights from our Brilliance of the Seas visit. 


We had a great time exploring Brilliance of the Seas and even had the chance to visit the bridge! A full blog post detailing our visit will hopefully be coming soon, as well as some outtakes from the interview!!


It won't be too long until RCI fans and Dream Designs Colchester team up for another event, so stay tuned for more details to come. All that we can say at this stage is it will be BIGGER than before!!

RCI fans to visit Brilliance of the Seas

Posted by RCI fans on June 19, 2014 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

We are very excited to announce that we have teamed up with our friends over at Dream Designs Colchester for a special ship visit on board Royal Caribbean's beautiful Brilliance of the Seas. 




The visit will take place a month today on July 26th 2014 on board Brilliance of the Seas at Harwich International Port.


Founder and Editor of Royal Caribbean Fans, Jordan Bailey, will be meeting Harry Cotterill, President and Managing Director of Dream Designs Colchester along with Gavin Pamnent, Chief Photographer, before heading over to Harwich International Port just before 10:30am. 


Once on board, we will explore the main areas of the ship, especially some of the venues we missed on our visit last year, including some of the specialty restaurants. During the tour, we also hope to locate Harry's fabulous drawing of Brilliance of the Seas which he presented to the Captain during his last visit on July 27th 2013. You can keep up to date with the search using #WheresHarrysDrawing.




Jordan commented on the event stating: "We're so excited to be visiting the beautiful Brilliance of the Seas again. It's a pleasure to be attending with Dream Designs Colchester and we look forward to exploring some of the venues we missed on our previous visit last year. We thank Harry and Royal Caribbean International for making this all possible!"


Whilst touring Brilliance of the Seas, we aim to take multiple photos and videos which we will be posting on our Facebook and YouTube pages after the event. The tour will conclude by having lunch on board. 



Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester, said: "We are thrilled to be working together with our friends at Royal Caribbean Fans and truly delighted that they are able to join us for our ship visit aboard Brilliance of the Seas in Harwich next month!"


He further added: "Our thanks of course have to go to the Captain and crew of Royal Caribbean International's Brilliance of the Seas for agreeing to welcome us back again aboard."


To keep up to date with our visit, follow @RCI_fans and @HarryCotterill on Twitter or by using hashtags #rcionboard #WheresHarrysDrawing and #DreamDesignsColchester. 


Alternatively, we'll also be posting several images on our Instagram account, @rci_fans.

10 things to love about Quantum of the Seas

Posted by RCI fans on April 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

1. Virtual Balconies - If given the choice between having a balcony or inside stateroom, the majority of people would choose a balcony. However for a lot of people this may be out of their price range. Thankfully Royal Caribbean have come up with a solution – bring the balcony inside. These new-concept staterooms feature a floor to ceiling video wall which plays a live feed from a camera mounted on the outside of the ship!


 


2. Dynamic Dining - The concept of eating when you want, where you want was first pioneered by Norwegian Cruise Lines, but in true Royal Caribbean style, they've taken it to the next level. For one of the first times ever, they'll be no main dining room, instead 4 large individual venues specialising in various cuisine, including Asian, American, Contemporary and Formal.

 

3. Speciality Restaurants - Speaking of dining options, Quantum of the Seas will offer some of the most diverse and largest options afloat. The ship will feature “Wonderland” serving unusual, imaginative and not-so-traditional food! Suite guests will be able to dine in their own private restaurant. There will also still be all the Royal Caribbean favourites such as Chops Grille and Izumi.

 

4. SeaPlex - This multi-purpose complex features bumper cars, roller skating, a circus school with flying trapeze, basketball court, badminton and table tennis. There's pretty much nothing you can't do here – There's even a DJ booth which lowers down from the ceiling!

 


5. Ripcord by iFly - Your friends may not believe you when you return from your cruise saying you went skydiving on a cruise ship! Ripcord by iFly allows you to experience the thrill of skydiving in safe and controlled way.

 


6. North Star - If you're afraid of heights, this feature may be one to miss. A glass capsule, inspired by the London Eye, elevates you 300 feet above the sea, giving you perfect views of the sea and ship below!

 


7. Two70 - Quantum of the Seas is all about delivering the WOW and when I saw this venue for the first time, that is exactly what I said. Another multi-purpose venue, this entertainment lounge is located at the very aft of the ship and features giant 3-storey windows offering a 270° view! This lounge is also home to spectacular aerial acrobat shows during the evening and the windows magically turn into a video wall offering moving backdrops. If that isn't enough technological marvel, then giant robotic arms with several 100-inch screens will move in time with music and choreography during shows! WOW!

 


8. Mamma Mia! - Royal Caribbean has always been known for its amazing entertainment. Hairspray*, Chicago, Saturday Night Fever and CATS* are performed on select ships in the fleet and are all full Broadway productions. Mamma Mia will feature on board Quantum, which will surely have guests 'super-trouping' in the aisles!

 

9. Celebrity Chefs - Quantum will feature 2 celebrity chef restaurants, Michael Schwartz's “Michael's Genuine Pub” serving up traditional pub fare, and “Jamie's Italian” by Jamie Oliver.

 

10. Music Hall - This stylish and sophisticated venue, transports you back to the days when Rock and Roll and Swing was king! This is the perfect place to dance and listen to live music by resident musicians and acts.

 

So what are you most looking forward to on Quantum of the Seas?


Michael Poole (@mpoole3) says he's most excited about being in total control of his dining experience.


Millie Sloan thinks there is so much to do on there, She'd look forward to just being on the ship!


Leave a comment about the thing you can't wait to see on board Quantum of the Seas! There are still so many other features we haven't mentioned.

 


*CATS will replace Hairspray on board Oasis of the Seas in October 2014.

Nominate 'RCI fans' in the 'Best Cruise Blogger' category

Posted by RCI fans on April 5, 2014 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The Cruise Awards 2014 celebrate and recognise the very best of the cruise industry. The awards are voted for by cruise passengers and holiday makers themselves and this year marks the fourth year of the Cruise Awards hosted by Cruise International!


Royal Caribbean Fans is dedicated to providing you with the latest news and reviews. We also write various blog pieces related to not only Royal Caribbean, but also the cruise industry in general. Therefore we would be delighted and very grateful if all our readers could vote for 'RCI fans' in the 'Best Cruise Blogger' category. Every single nomination counts. Thank you.


TO VOTE, PLEASE VISIT THIS LINK



British Isles Blog: Day 10 - Dover

Posted by RCI fans on April 5, 2014 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)


We arrived into the port of Dover at 8:30am. The weather was rather dull. Dover is not a very affluent town, despite its many marvellous and grand buildings. The cruise terminal occupies the old Dover Western train station, which closed in the 1990's. Walking through the grandeur of the former station was one of the most unique, yet eerie experiences of the trip.

 

A private shuttle service operates from the port to the town centre and castle. A return to the town costs £3, whilst a return to the castle costs £4. The town centre has a variety of chain stores and local businesses. I had a walk through the town looking in the shops, before a drink in Wetherspoons, using the free Wi-Fi. Back on board, I spent the remainder of the afternoon packing the suitcase ready for disembarkation the next day.

 

Tonight was our last evening meal on board. This evening, I had a beef consommé, chicken breast filled with ham and swiss cheese, and a heavenly chocolate éclair for dessert!

 

The final show of the cruise was 'We Will Rock You', a unique twist on Queen's hits. The show was ok, but it certainly was not the best we had seen over the 10 nights.

 

After the show, I headed to the Discovery Theatre at 9:45pm to catch the evening film, Disney's Frozen. It was a great film for all ages, with a fantastic soundtrack.

 

After the film, I headed back to the cabin, put the last items in the case, and placed the cases outside just before midnight.

British Isles Blog: Day 9 - Guernsey

Posted by RCI fans on April 4, 2014 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


After waking up earlier than usual at 8am, we headed for breakfast once again in the Lido Buffet. The weather looked very uninviting with fog and rain greeting us. I decided to wait until the rain eased off a little, but it was clear it would not be stopping any time soon. I decided to head ashore to St Peter Port.

 

The town has a unique mix of English and French architecture. The walk from the harbour jetty to the town centre is just a short walk and the main street features a variety of UK shops and local cafés. After spending as long as I possibly could staying dry in various shops, I headed back to the harbour, to catch the tender back to the ship.

 

By the time I arrived back on board, it was approaching 1pm, so we headed to the buffet for lunch. Delicious golden fish and chips were being served.

 

Tonight was formal night and the farewell 'Baked Alaska Parade'. It was a fantastic meal and our waiter, Phyo, demonstrated his amazing towel folding skills and produced two fabulous peacocks using a wine glass.

 

Tonight's show was called 'Around the World' and featured songs for all different countries and cultures, including Irish, Italian, Turkish and of course, British. It was a fantastic production and included some very tricky dance moves.

 

Tomorrow is our last day on board and we will be docked in Dover from 8:30am until 5pm, when we will set sail back for Hull.

British Isles Blog: Day 8 - Isles of Scilly

Posted by RCI fans on April 4, 2014 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


We did not wake up until twenty to ten this morning, which meant we would miss breakfast. Instead of getting a tender ticket, I decided to wait until demand for the tenders had decreased. There was a break in operation from 12 till 1, as a ferry would be arriving in the harbour. This made an ideal time to have lunch in the Severn Continents restaurant. I had some delicious mozzarella croquettes with plum tomato sauce. For the main course, I choose leg of chicken with mash, vegetables, and gravy. Dessert was strawberry ice-cream.

 

After lunch, demand for the tenders had decreased, so I jumped on the next tender and headed ashore. The ship was not using its own tender boats for this port of call, as the drop off area was unsuitable. There was no landing pontoon, just a series of steps that we moored alongside.

 

As the boat pulled away in the crystal blue waters, the mvDiscovery glistened in the sun. The image reminded me of the Caribbean and it certainly did not feel like we were just a few miles from the English coast.

 

Once on land, I walked around the quaint main street, before taking in the beautiful views of a bay filled with rock pools and wildlife.

 

After spending roughly an hour and a half ashore, I ventured back on a very full tender. Passengers seated at the rear of the boat were even treated to the sight of a dolphin swimming by.

 

As evening came, we had another fantastic dinner in the restaurant, before making our way to the Carousel show lounge, for the evening's show time – Bruce Thomson, a one-man band performing songs, magic and comedy.

 

After the show, an important announcement was made across the ship. A medical evacuation by helicopter would take place at the aft of deck 6. A passenger had fallen seriously ill during dinner, and guests were told not to venture onto open decks and that due to this, the Discovery Lounge would be closed. If guests were still seated in the restaurant or Carousel show lounge, they were advised to stay seated. The evacuation meant that the 'Give Us A Clue' game show, which was scheduled to be held in the Discovery Lounge, had to be moved into the show lounge. We decided to watch the show team play a game of charades, with two of our table companions Roz and Marlene. The helicopter approached the ship at 2120 and 10 minutes later, we were allowed access to the open decks and the Discovery Lounge.

 

Tomorrow, we will anchor at St Peter Port in Guernsey at 0730 and depart at 1700.

British Isles Blog: Day 7 - Dublin

Posted by RCI fans on April 2, 2014 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)


After being woken up by our cabin attendant at 8am again, we headed down for breakfast, just as the ship was mooring into Dublin. We had pre-booked a sightseeing tour of the city through Cruising Excursions, so we disembarked the ship just after 10am. There was a long line of guests waiting for the free shuttle to take us into the city, thankfully the line quickly moved as each bus could hold 78 passengers.


After the 30 minute journey, passing The O2, Custom House and Trinity College, we arrived on Kildare Street, just around the corner from Nassau Street, where the nearest sightseeing tour stop is located.


The tour took approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes and covered the main sights to see in Dublin including Trinity College, Christchurch Cathedral, the famous Guinness Storehouse, Glasnevin Cemetery and Botanical Gardens, Croke Park Stadium and of course O'Connell Street. Our guide Anne, was very informative and explained all the sights and history as we drove past them. We even briefly witnessed a military funeral take place, whilst at Glasnevin Cemetery. The bus drove into the graveyard and was forced to park up as a procession of military vehicles following a casket draped under an Irish flag slowly passed by. Although there are now many visitors that come to view the cemetery every day, it was quite disrespectful to bring a bus into the graveyard, especially when a funeral is taking place. It couldn't have been nice for the family, with all these tourists taking photos from the large double-decker bus.


We decided to get off the tour at O'Connell Street to grab some lunch before we got back to the ship. The size of the street and the architecture is very impressive, especially the GPO building.


After lunch, we jumped on the closest city sightseeing bus, which would take us back to Nassau Street, where we boarded. City Sightseeing tickets can be used for unlimited trips for 2 days, so if you are spending a weekend in the city, it is a great way to get around and visit the sights as hop on and hop off.

 

We caught the bus back to the ship at 2pm. The last bus back to the ship was 1430, ready for sail away at 1545. Once we arrived back on board, it was just a short wait until afternoon tea. Today they served a delicious white chocolate mousse cake.


Later that evening, was a British themed dinner, serving beef sirloin with Yorkshire pudding and tasty gravy. For dessert, there was a fantastic honeycomb cake.


The show tonight was called Rock 'n' Roll Dreams and the production team performed all the 50's and 60's rock and roll classics.


Tomorrow, we will arrive at the charming St Mary's on the Isles of Scilly at 9am and depart at 6pm.