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Cruise Blogs

Our cruise blogs are all written by consultants from the Cruise Republic. Get updated on cruising news, cruise reviews and the latest cruise deals with the blogs below.

Kruizing with Kirsty

  • Cabins Onboard Carnival Spirit

    Posted 2 Nov 2012

    After recently seeing a variety of cabins on the Carnival Spirit the below is my guide to which cabins to book. 

    Inside Cabins(17.19 sq metres)
    Rooms are standard sized cabins. It’s an ideal option for those on a budget or not planning on spending much time in their cabin. But if wanting space and comfort I would suggest upgrading.

    Rooms have 2 x singles that can convert to a twin cabin, 3rd/4th berth cabins include Pullmans that can be put away during the day for more space.

    Inside with Obstructed Window (17.19 sq metres)
    4K Obstructed Inside Cabin
    I was pleasantly surprised by these cabins. The window is what is often referred to as a “French balcony”. There is a door that opens (but there is no balcony to go out onto), so you get the benefit of fresh air and natural light. The view is blocked by the bulk of the lifeboats however.
    Bedding is 2 x singles that can convert to a twin cabin. Triples offer a Pullman, and quads offer a sofa bed and Pullman. The bonus is the twin beds can still be made into a King in most rooms and the sofa bed and Pullman can be put away during the day offering more space.

    Oceanview Cabins(17.19 sq metres)

    Standard Oceanview cabins with a “picture” window. The window can’t be opened, so if wanting fresh air, you’d be better in the Obstructed Inside or the Balcony.

    Bedding is 2 x singles that can convert to a twin cabin. Triples offer a Pullman, and quads offer a sofa bed and Pullman. The bonus is the twin beds can still be made into a King in most rooms and the sofa bed and Pullman can be put away during the day offering more space.

    Balcony Cabins(17.19 sq metres / Balcony 3.72 sq metres)

    Bedding is 2 x singles that can convert to a twin cabin. Triples offer a sofa bed, and quads offer a sofa bed and Pullman. The twin beds can be made into a King and the sofa bed and Pullman can be put away during the day offering more space and somewhere to sit.
    Obstructed Balcony Deck 5
    Obstructed Balcony (17.19 sq metres / Balcony 3.72 sq metres)  Again I was surprised by these cabins, the obstruction was very minimal.
    Extended Balcony (17.19 sq metres / Balcony 5.57 sq metres)
    Premium Balcony (17.19 sq metres / Balcony 7.90 sq metres)  Ideal for those wanting to spend a bit more time on their cabins – a romantic dinner and bottle of wine from room service maybe?

    The biggest plus (other than the cabin size and the whirpool bathtub) on the Suites would have to be the VIP check-in.

    Ocean Suite
    With VIP check-in it does not matter what time you choose on your check-in with your tickets, you can proceed on when it suits you. You have a separate queue to get into the terminal and then another one at check-in where you get priority service (Think Business Class on a flight). This continues all the way through customs and security until you are onboard the ship. Overall a seamless process and a great way to start your holiday! Disembarkation is as easy, though it’s always harder to leave I know…

    The rooms are very spacious with plenty of storage for your clothes and items. There is a wardrobe and drawers in the bedroom area and then another wardrobe in the dressing room (along with a counter and mirror). The actual bathroom also had plenty of shelves and space and offered double sinks along with the shower over bath.

    Junior Suite (25.55 sq metres / Balcony 3.72 sq metres)
    Ocean Suite (25.55 sq metres / Balcony 7.90 sq metres)
    Vista Suite (22.76sq metres / Balcony 20.44 sq metres)
    Offers a largewrap around balcony
    Grand Suite (27.87 sq metres / Balcony 10.68 sq metres)

    Interconnecting rooms
    Oceanview Interconnecting
    A great option for families or groups of friends with 4-6 passengers. Offering a lot more space inside and outside (as the balconies can also be opened up to be connected.  When referring to a deck plan
    BOOK EARLY – there is not a huge amount and these will sell out quickly, especially during School/Christmas holidays.

    Towel Animal
    Here a few other facts and figures for you:
    Bed Frame: Width 84cm, Length 1.98m, Height 38cm
    Standard Bathroom: 1.22m x 2.13m Including Shower
    Suite Bathrooms: 1.37m x 2.29m Including Tub
    Balcony Rail Height 1.14m with clear plexiglass
    Upper Berths: No age restrictions, maximum weight 113kg

    If you have any other questions, please let us know on:
    Australia: 1300 44 00 26
    New Zealand: 0800 122 129

    Happy Kruizing!

    Photos were either taken onboard by myself and other staff onboard Carnival Spirit and are an indication only.
  • P&O UK World Cruises

    Posted 12 May 2012

    P&O (Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company) was founded in 1837 as a mail and passenger carrier, they are based in Britain where they en-masse to the Britons cruising locally.
    However at the beginning of each year some of their ships embark on World cruises and head down our way and that is what I am going to highlight in this newsletter. But if you are ever in the UK and wanting to cruise, they offer some wonderful options from Southampton around Europe and the Baltics .
    This year the ships heading off on a world cruise (and you can do the whole thing or just sectors to suit yourself) are Arcadia and Aurora.
    Built in 2004, she holds 2,016 and is an Adults Only ship with contemporary decor.
    Highlights onboard include: The Ocean Grill - Marco Pierre White restaurant, Two tier main restaurant, 3 tier Palladium theatre, The Crow's Nest lounge and bar, The Globe for comedy and live music, The Screening Room 30 seat cinema, Oasis Spa with hydropool and thermal suite, The Orchid - Asian fusion restaurant, Ocean view gymnasium, Poolside grill, Italian style cafe, 2 pools - 1 with skydome.
    Aurora at Sea
    Built in 2000, she holds 1,870 passengers and is a family-orientated ship and is a more classic decor.

    Highlights onboard include: Café Bordeaux - bistro created by Marco Pierre White, The Pennant Grill - al fresco grill restaurant, 3 pools - 1 with skydome and 4 whirlpool spas, The Crow's Nest lounge and bar, The Playhouse cinema, Monte Carlo Casino, Masquerade nightclub, Carmen's show lounge and bar, Anderson's bar, Champions sports bar, Curzon Theatre, Golf simulator & golf nets, Spa and gym

    Families onboard
    As well as Arcadia, the other adult only ships are Adonia and Oriana.
    Aurora, Azure, Oceana and Ventura all offer a childrens club onboard, and interactive games room and a night nursery (Ventura does not have the games room but a Circus and Rock School instead).
    Tipping is voluntary on P&O UK and at your discretion. There is a recommended gratuity amount of £3.10 per person to show your appreciation to the staff for their service.

    Is it for Me?
    As P&O UK do cater to the British market year round the Brit influence onboard is strong and reflected throughout from the decor to the food. Shorter cruises (from UK) are great for all ages. The world cruises and sectors will generally have older passengers onboard, so may not suit those looking for a party atmosphere.

    In 2010, I went on the Oriana from Auckland to Wellington as part of her World Cruise. For that leg of the cruise the ship was rather empty and the majority of passengers were retired Brits (with a few Aussies who had got on at San Francisco and heading back to Sydney and I think there were only 6 children onboard). While older they were still a lot of fun and keen to chat and include you in everything, even dancing in the club til the wee hours! So don't be put off by it being an older crowd just be aware.
    Why choose P&O Cruises?
    Why choose P&O Cruises?
    Happy Kruizing!
  • Holland America Cruise Down Under

    Posted 2 May 2012

    Holland America Line's $525 million, fleetwide Signature of Excellence enhancements feature new programs and amenities including the Culinary Arts Centre presented by Food & Wine magazine - a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts will provide cooking demonstrations and classes. Features also include the Explorations Café powered by the New York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new cabin amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush-top Mariner's Dream Beds.

    During summer 2012 and autumn 2013, two Holland America Line ships -- ms Oosterdam and ms Volendam -- will sail a series of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises, visiting more than 50 ports where guests can revel in the cosmopolitan attractions of Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, and explore the exotic landscapes of Vanuatu and Fiji in the South Pacific. 


    Oosterdam Atrium.
    Christened in 2003 and taking up to 1,848 passengers, to symbolise Holland America Line's more than 135-year history of circumnavigating the globe, the centerpiece of the ms Oosterdam is a magnificent Waterford crystal globe, prominently displayed in a three-story atrium. 
    Offering a range of cabin categories, her best feature is that 67% of these include a veranda, with 85% offering oceanviews.  

    The Oosterdam offers 5 dining choices including the Main Dining Room, Lido buffet, Canaletto (Classic Italian), Terrace Grill and the Pinnacle Grill (Specialty restaurant charges apply). There are also 7 bars and lounges to choose from. 
    Click here to view Oosterdam Itineraries  (Australia)
    Click here to view Oosterdam Itineraries (New Zealand)


    Crows Nest Lounge
    The Volendam reflects a beautiful garden 
    theme throughout, with floral motifs and fresh tropical floral arrangements on display around the ship.   
    She offers 17 different cabin categories, 5 bars and lounges including the Crows Nest (Offers sweeping 270° views during the day, and a hip, fashionable nightclub each evening).      
    I have had the privilege of dining in the Pinnacle grill on the Volendam, the elegance and atmosphere is outstanding. With choices of aged beef or fresh seafood, it is an ideal night for those special occasions.    
    Click here to view Volendam itineraries (Australia pricing only).  

    Unique Activities onboard 
    Holland America offers Shows, Live Music, Movies and Casinos onboard to keep you entertained as well as the following unique features:
    Culinary Arts Centre An innovative theatre-style venue with a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, where you can watch live cooking demonstrations and try your hand at a few recipes yourself 
    Windows Digital Workshop A variety of classes including enhancing photos, joining Facebook or creating a Blog and sharing your cruise holiday with family & friends back home
    Children onboard  
    Holland Americas childrens programme is called Club HAL.
    Club HAL Kids is for children 3-7 years, with activities that include: ice-cream parties, Little Artists crafts, storytelling and pirate treasure hunts.
    Club HAL Tweens is for those aged 8-12 years and offers Wii and Xbox tournaments, scavenger hunts and karaoke parties.
    The Loft and Oasis is for the 13-17 year teenagers with plenty of activities arranged or they can just chill out in the outdoor teen only Oasis

    Club HAL Kids
    As Holland America is an American ship, tipping (or gratuities) are required. These are automatically added to your onboard cabin account of US$11.50 per person per day or $12 per person per day in Suites. You are however welcome to adjust this amount with the purser at the end of your cruise.  All tips are given directly to the staff onboard from your waiter and cabin steward to the laundry and galley crew. 

    Is it for Me?   
    The exceptional onboard cruise experience delivered by Holland America Line and the Signature of Excellence enhancements appeal to discerning cruisers who prefer mid-sized ships, personalized service, five-star dining, and sophisticated ambiance throughout both public areas and staterooms.

    Happy Kruizing!
  • How do the free upgrades work?

    Posted 18 Apr 2012

    At the time of your booking you will be asked if you will accept a free upgrade should one become available.
    The big question is do you say YES or NO.

    Upgrades are entirely random and not controlled by being a past passenger or having booked first. Requests can not be taken, such as "I will take it if away from the lift or at the back of the deck" you have no control over the free upgrade.

    Some things to bear in mind:
    a - If travelling with others it is very unlikely you will be moved together so you could end up on different decks/ends of the ship or even standard of cabin (eg: One couple may get upgraded to an Oceanview or Balcony and the other just up one deck in the same cabin type). And we often find this causes problems as one party feels "cheated as their friends got upgraded higher then them".
    b - If you dont like your new cabin you can NOT be moved back.
    c - The cabin could be anywhere, so if you are booked midship, we suggest declining the upgrade. You could be moved to the cabin at the very front but one deck higher. If on an Inside Deck 10 or an obstructed view Deck 8 - you could be moved to a porthole Oceanview on Deck 4. A window oceanview on Deck 5, may be upgraded to a porthole on Deck 8.

    Upgrades mean "to a higher priced cabin", and depending on your requirements this may not always be a better cabin.

    However if you really don't care where your cabin is - upgrades can be beneficial! And sometimes you can be upgraded to the "BEST" cabin on a deck, but it is very much potluck.

    It needs to be looked at this way as a general rule - The Oceanview/Balcony has not probably not been sold because of price or bad location, so they will upgrade a desirable Inside/Oceanview cabin to these ones as they know it will be easy to onsell the more desirable cabins.
    So if you like your cabin and travelling with friends always decline the upgrade. If like me your cabin is just a bed and the loaction does not matter I say take your chances!

    Happy Kruizing!
  • Cure your Cruise Cravings

    Posted 28 Mar 2012

    Princess Cruises have today kicked off a 7 day sale on selected World Cruise sectors, Grand Pacific Circle sectors and the China & Japan 2012 Cherry Blossom cruise.
    With reduced fares and bonus onboard credits of AU$100 per person, now is a great time to book that extended cruise holiday!
    There are a variety of lengths and embark/disembark ports to choose from.
    To view the sectors applicable, click the below relevant link:
    Happy Kruizing!
    Cherry Blossom 12 September 2012
  • Voyager of the Seas, the first Mega-liner to cruise DownUnder.

    Posted 8 Mar 2012

    Measuring 311m long, 48m wide and with 15 passenger decks, she is twice the size of most cruise ships currently based in the region. She can carry up to 3,840 passengers and brings many firsts to these waters including an onboard Ice Rink and the Royal Promenade, an indoor area through the middle of the ship and 4 stories high, lined with places to eat, shop, drink and be entertained.

    With 1,556 staterooms, Voyager of the Seas is nearly two and a half times bigger then Melbournes Crowne Metropol (Australia's biggest hotel)

    As well as the standard Interior, Oceanview and Verandah cabins - the Voyager of the Seas offers:
    Promenade Staterooms: Featuring a bowed window overlooking the Royal Promenade.
    Suites (Grand, Owners and Royal): Offering larger king beds and a large sitting area with a sofa bed, luxury extras such as bathrobes, slippers and bath products you also receive onboard privileges and priority service.
    Family Rooms (Oceanview & Suite Options): Ideal for families all groups these rooms can sleep 5-8 guests.

    Food & Drink
    You will be spoiled for choice with 11 dining venues onboard the Voyager. Her most stunning eatery is the grand three-story, 1,920-seat main dining room, which will be the largest restaurant in Australasia.
    Specialty Restaurants include, Portofino a classic Italian fine dining and Johnny Rocket a 1950's inspired American dinner. Also on offer is Ben & Jerry's Ice-cream bar, a Pizzeria and the Cafe Promenade.

    Guests can choose to relax or let their hair down at the 13 lounges, bars and clubs which include the 2-deck "Vault" nightclub and English pub "Pig & Whistle". Voyager of the Seas also features an impressive 1,350-seat "Coral Theatre", two members-only lounges, an indoor pool, a 1,400-square metre Spa & Fitness Centre, beauty salon, boutiques, art gallery and the beautiful "Skylight Chapel" - a unique wedding chapel at sea.

    There are incredible facilities for kids and teens too with a huge, action-packed Adventure Ocean Club with an Adventure Beach water park, a dedicated teens disco and a video arcade.
    The children are broken into groups: Aquanauts (3-6), Explorers (6-8), Voyagers (9-11), Tweens & Teens (12-17)
    Royal Tots & Babies:
    For babies 6-18 months and tots 18-36 months interactive programmes are provided. (Parents must be present during these sessions).

    My Family Dining
    My Family Time Dining is offered for the first seating time in our main dining room, for children of ages three to 11. Kids enjoy their meal within 40 minutes of seating, before heading to the evening's Adventure Ocean activities. The programme starts on the second evening that you're on board. After that, you can use it each evening or whenever you wish.

    As the Voyager is an American ship, tipping (or gratuities) are required. You have the choice of pre-paying these when you book your cruise, paying onboard (automatically added to your onboard account) or asking for them to be removed and paying cash as you go. I do recommend pre-paying whenever possible. It is one less cost to worry about when onboard (more spending money for massages and drinks), also the queues to pay the onboard gratuities or get them removed can be very long.

    Is it for Me?
    With so much to do, see and eat onboard this cruise ship is for everyone from families, to couples to groups of friends.

    To make your booking go to :
    Australia: Voyager of the Seas
    New Zealand: Voyager of the Seas

    Happy Kruizing!
  • Carnival Spirit - Arriving October 2012

    Posted 29 Feb 2012

    Built in 2001 and carrying up to 2,124 the Spirit is undergoing a 7 million dollar "Aussification" refurbishment before she leaves the USA to make Sydney her new permanent home from October 2012. Part of the refurbishment is the addition of "Green Thunder" the fastest water slide at sea plus the "backyard" which will boast an outdoor BBQ area. The ship will have a no tipping policy and the onboard currency is Australian dollars. Not just designed for families the Spirit an area on the ship called "Serenity", which is the largest adults only area at sea.

    Carnival are also known for designing good sized cabins so from their Inside Cabins to their Suites there are cabins to suit everyone: Carnival Spirit also offers a number of Interconnecting cabins, ideal for families or groups of friends going onboard. They even have interconnecting balcony and inside cabins which is a fantastic family cabin option.
    All cabins offer two twin beds (that convert to a King on request), with triple and quad cabins have offering either pullman (upper) beds, or a sofa bed.
    Grand Suite: Sofa, armchairs and coffee table. Full bathroom with shower/whirlpool tub/bidet/ double sinks. 2 large closets. Walk-in dressing area with vanity table and chair. Private large-size balcony with patio chairs and table.
    Vista Suite:Two twin beds (convert to king). Sofa, armchair and coffee table. Full bathroom with shower/whirlpool tub/double sinks. 1 large closet. Walk-in dressing area with vanity table and chair. Private wrap-around balcony with patio chairs and table.

    Food & Drink
    There are 3 main restaurant options onboard:
    La Playa Grille Lido (Buffet) :Causal dining on the Lido deck with a range of local and international dishes
    Empire (Ala Carte): In the main dining room, you get to choose your dining time at time of booking or go "Your Choice" dining and eat when you want
    The Steakhouse: Book into the Specialty restaurant (charges apply) for mouth-watering cuisine
    There is also an Outdoor BBQ, Pizzeria, Ice-Cream parlor, Sushi bar, Cafe (famous for it's Warm Chocolate Melting Cake) or a Sandwich and Salad Bar to choose from.
    There are 16 bars and lounges to choose from once onboard the Spirit, so there is bound to be something to take your fancy. Sing along, listen to jazz, watch a game on the big-screen or dance the night away in the Disco.

    Carnival Waterworks Children from 2 to 17 will be happily occupied in the complimentary kids' clubs/areas onboard. There is all babysitting available til 3am.
    And don't forget the amazing Carnival Waterworks! A fun water park area for all ages. One of the biggest addition to the Spirit is the "Green Thunder". "The 56-metre slide features a 10-metre almost vertical drop before finishing in the pool. Once you've picked up enough speed, you'll be rocketed out the side of the ship and loop around just in time to splash down and catch your breath,"

    Is it for Me?
    With interconnecting cabins, an outstanding kids club (that starts from the age of 2), and baby sitting available until the wee hours of the morning Carnival Spirit is certainly suited for families. However if you are not travelling with children it's large range of balcony cabin and suite options plus a no tipping policy and Australian dollars onboard makes it an exciting cruise option on a 4 star+ ship.
    Book by 2nd March and get up to $300 Bonus onboard credits in your cabin!

    To get pricing and check availability go to:
    Australia: Carnival Spirit
    New Zealand: Carnival Spirit

    Happy Kruizing!
  • What does Anytime Dining on P&O mean?

    Posted 23 Feb 2012

    All P&O ships now run off Anytime (or My Choice) dining.

    An À la Carte four-course evening meal is the main dining rooms are offered from 5.30pm-10pm.

    With Anytime Dining you can do one of the following:
  • Once on board go see the Maitre d' and book a table time and size to be the same the entire cruise. This is ideal if you have young children or need to eat at a set time or are in a large group)
  • Each day call the dining room and book for that evening (so you can work around shore tours/shows etc) Bookings can be made 24 hours in advance. This is great for when you meet people onboard and want to make an evening of it.
  • Turn up between 5:30 - 10 when you are hungry and be seated. The only times this normal could cause a problem (and you may be sent off to come back in 20 minutes) is from the 5:30-7 time as this is often full with the families and elderly.

  • There is of course also the option to eat at the buffet restaurants, specialty restaurants and the food venues onboard.

    Happy Kruizing!
  • Volendam – Holland America

    Posted 23 Feb 2012

    On Saturday 3rd December, I had the privilege of going onboard the Holland America ship Volendam while she was berthed in Melbourne.

    Facts: Able to carry up to 1,432 passengers the Volendam is 781 feet long and 10 guest decks high. 4 restaurants, 2 swimming pools, Movie Theatre, Spa & Sauna, Library, Casino, Practice Tennis Court, Basketball Court and more are all on offer. She was built in 1999 and refurbished in 2011.
    We started at the top in the Crows Nest, a bar, night club, scenic viewing lounge and much more. At the Bow (front) of the ship there are large windows almost 180, this is a great spot to relax and watch the world go by or ignore the magnificent Milford Sounds or Alaskan Glaciers.
    Another great spot to view the scenic pleasures of cruising is the Bow located on Deck 3. Out in the open you can see, smell and feel the sights as they go by.

    There are 2 pools on board, the main pool on the Lido (8) deck, with a retractable Sliding Dome Cover so you can still swim on those colder days. At the Aft (back) of Lido (8) Deck is a smaller pool. This pool is the “quiet” pool and children and not encouraged to swim there.
    At the Bow of Lido Deck you will find the Spa, Sauna and Gym. Facing out to sea this is a great view for those motivated to go for a run on the treadmill.
    The Lido Restaurant on Deck 8 is the Buffet Restaurant, offering a great range of food from Sushi – Fruit – Specials of the Day. Ideal if you are in a rush for your meal as have an activity to rush to or don’t feel like dressing up for the Main Restaurants.
    The Caneletto is Italian themed and located next to the Buffet holds 66 guests and must be pre-booked

    The Rotterdam Dining Room
    is the Ala Carte Restaurant onboard and has 2 sectors, upstairs for those who are on Traditional (set time) dining and downstairs for those on Anytime (Open) dining. With Anytime dining you can pre-book a seating time and table up to 3 days prior.
    Pinnacle Grill
    is the only dining option that charges. $10 for lunch (12-1:30pm) and $25 for dinner (5 - 9:30pm) this is an elegant dining room with Sterling Silver beef or premium seafood to choose from (other options also available).

    Also onboard is the Explorations Café if you need your daily Latte fix (costs apply), you will find this in the Library on Upper Promenade (5) Deck.

    On Deck 7 (Navigation) you will find the Neptune Lounge, this area is for those booked in a Deluxe Verandah Suite or Penthouse Suite only. With your own private Concierge you can ask him anything from booking shore tours to assisting with onboard enquiries. There is also the option to eat breakfast in here and there are snacks & coffee provided complimentary daily
    There 15 bars and lounges to relax onboard and I am sure you will find them all before the cruise is over: Please note the drinking age is 21 years on Holland America
    3 of the main bars onboard other than the Crows Nest:
    Piano Bar is a small bar located on Deck 5, where you can listen to a Pianist or even a Guitarist
    Ocean Bar also on Deck 5 with Live music
    Explorers Lounge has a string quartet playing during the evening
    There is also plenty more to occupy your time:
    The Frans Hall Show Lounge to watch a variety of Evening Shows from singing and dancing to local acts and performances by the crew.
    The Casino offers a typical variety of machines and tables for everyone. Please note the Casino is the only indoor smoking area on the ship
    The Wajang Theatre and Culinary Centre, watch a movie or a live cooking demonstration!
    The Microsoft Workshop – take a class and learn all you can and more about computers, email, Facebook or start your own Blog!

    Childrens Clubs:
    Please note children who are not potty trained are not allowed in the Childrens Clubs at any age and are also NOT allowed in the swimming pools.

    Club HAL: Operates on strict age guidelines and will not allow cross-over. 3-7 years must be signed in and out sing a password by the parents and 8-12 years can either have a password or sign themselves in & out (as approved by the parents). The 13-17 year age group have a relax chill out loft with Wii and iPod docking stations, and upstairs there is this amazing outdoor teen only area.

    Babysitting is available in Club HAL (3-12 years) from 10pm – 1am at US$5/hour/child. In cabin babysitting is available on a pre-book basis for under 3’s at approx. US$6/child/hour.

    So to book your cruise on Volendam check out the Itineraries on: Cruise on Volendam

    Can’t find what you’re looking for them email us on

    Happy Kruizing!

    Below is this Library, to the right the Neptune Lounge
  • Radiance of the Seas – Royal Caribbean

    Posted 23 Feb 2012

    In November I was lucky enough to be able to cruise on one of the newest ships to Australian waters the Radiance of the Seas: We boarded in Sydney on 18th November for a 2night “sampler” cruise.

    Facts: Refurbished in May-June 2011 before heading down under, 293 metres in length, 90.090 tonnes, 2,531 passengers with 869 crew onboard.

    A stunningly modern ship the new touches and upgrades were obvious. We were in a Junior Suite and the extra size in the cabin & balcony was definitely worth it. Our cabins (and all Suites) were also provided with a dressing gown, tea & coffee making facilities and toiletries.

    Windjammer Café: The buffet restaurant onboard open for breakfast, lunch & dinner. There are so many food choices with something to suit everyone.
    Cascades Dining Room: The Ala Carte restaurant for all main meals. Book traditional (seated) dining or Anytime Dining (gratuities must be pre-paid). For families there is also My Family Dining **.

    Park Café: Deli-style eatery in the Solarium
    Boardwalk Doghouse: Snacks of hotdogs and other quick foods
    Giovannis Table: Traditional Italian *
    Chops Grille: Steak & Seafood *
    Samba Grill: Brazilian Steakhouse steaks & seafood carved at the table *
    Ritas Cantina: Mexican themed restaurant *
    Izumi: Traditional Japanese *
    Café Latte: Coffee and Ice-cream house *
    *Surcharges apply

    Bars & Lounges:
    There are many bars & lounges to relax in some include:

    Quill & Compass: English styled pub and a great atmosphere to kick-start your evening
    Sky Bar: Located on Deck 12, a great place to watch the sights while enjoying the sun
    Aurora Theatre: 3 level to watch shows and other entertainment
    Colony Club Lounge: Four different lounges in one area including self-levelling pool tables
    StarQuest: The nightclub including a moving bar, disco lights & smoke machines making you forget you are at sea.

    Outdoor Cinema, 9-hole mini-golf, 30-foot rock climbing wall, Basketball court as well as all the ship arranged activities will keep you busy

    Childrens Club:
    Royal Caribbean do not have a limit on the number of children allowed onboard.
    Royal Babies (6-18months) and Royal Tots (18-36 months) allow parents and their children to partake in activities together. Scheduled activities are arranged daily for Aquanauts (3-5), Explorers (6-8) & Voyagers (9-11). There is also a teen hang-out area for those 12-17 years.
    Adventure Beach Family Pool: An amazing pool area with a waterslide, teen disco and video arcade.

    Other Amenities:
    Day Spa & Gym, Beauty Salon, 3 x pools, 3 x whirlpools, Art & Photo Gallery, Internet Café, Jogging Track, Shops & Boutiques.

    My biggest hint is TAKE AN AMERICAN PLUG ADAPTOR!

    Happy Kruizing!
    Photos below: Atrium - Main Pool with Big Screen

    *My Family Time Dining is offered for the first seating time in our main dining room, for children of ages three to 11. Kids enjoy their meal within 40 minutes of seating, before heading to the evening's Adventure Ocean activities. The programme starts on the second evening that you're on board. After that, you can use it each evening or whenever you wish.

  • Celebrity Solstice

    Posted 23 Feb 2012

    Introducing the stunning Celebirty Solstice heading to Australian waters in November 2012. The epitome of Modern Luxury, she will be the largest, youngest and highest rated superliner in the region.
    Unique features onboard include the The Lawn Club (an half-acre of real grass on the upper decks), a glass-blowing studio and more then 200 solar panels as a source of solar energy. With a guest to staff ratio of almost 2:1, you will enjoy exceptional service throughout the ship.
    Staterooms: 85% of all cabins have their own balcony, the highest ratio in the world.
    All staterooms are fitted with luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets.
    Conceirge Class: Concierge Class A new class of accommodation which comes with personalised stationery, fresh flowers, verandas, impressive entertainment systems and a pillow menu.
    Penthouse and Royal Suites: feature European-style butlers, separate lounge areas and the penthouse suites also have their own baby grand piano.
    AquaClass: Guests can immerse themselves in spa life, designed to deliver the ultimate in blissful relaxation. Located close to the AquaSpa, guests enjoy a host of spa-related extras, including access to the AquaSpa relaxation room, the exotic aromatherapy and steam room as well as exclusive and complimentary access to the health-focused specialty restaurant "Blu".
    Food & Drink:
    Fine Dining is a key part of Celebrity Solstice with ten dining venues throughout. Including five speciality resturaunts: the classic steakhouse "Tuscan Grille", fine dining in "Murano", Asian specialties in "Silk Harvest", indulgent yet fresh healthyoptions in "Blu", and crepes at "Bistro on Five".
    There are numerous Bars & Lounges onboard including the astounding Martini Bar, with hundreds of Vodkas available, bar staff to entertain and a bar made of crushed ice, it's a spot not to be missed.
    Children from three to 11 will be happily occupied in the complimentary kids' club which has a huge range of activities organised by age group, while teens will love the X Club, an exclusive venue for them that features teen oriented entertainment and a dance club.
    Is it for Me?
    The Solstice is ideal for those wanting that something special on your next holiday. Modern Luxury at affordable prices and a holiday you want regret.Great for couples of all ages, a group of friends and even families you won't be dissapointed.
    Celebrity Cruises have released a fantastic early bird offer on this stunning ship.
    Make a booking on Celebrity Solstice sailings from Australia before the 29th of February to receive a free upgrade to a Balcony cabin! Upgrades are subject to availability at time of booking and valid in twin cabins only on selected departures.
    Solstice AU prices and Itineraries
    Solstice NZ prices and Itineraries
    Happy Kruizing!
  • Carnival Spirit arrives in just over a year!

    Posted 11 Oct 2011

    For the first time Carnival Cruises are sending a ship into Australian waters with Carnival Spirit arriving in October and the first cruise leaving Sydney on October 20th 2012.

    Carnival Cruises today launched a "name our slide" competition for Australian Residents.
    With the prize being a trip to the US to experience the Spirit first hand and be the first passenger to experience the exciting slide:
    To enter click here: Aussify Carnival Spirit

    As described by Carnival: "The 56-metre slide features a 10-metre almost vertical drop before finishing in the pool. Once you’ve picked up enough speed, you’ll be rocketed out the side of the ship and loop around just in time to splash down and catch your breath,”

    The Carnival Spirit will also feature limited interconnecting rooms for larger families or friends groups.

    They also offer Childrens Clubs and Babysitting for all passengers 2 years and over.
    Camp Carnival: 2-5 years, 6-8 years & 9-11 years
    Circle C: 12-14 years
    Club O2: 15-17 years

    To book your Carnival Cruise check out the prices online at:
    Australia Carnival Spirit
    New Zealand Carnival Spirit

    Happy Kruizing!
  • Do I really need Travel Insurance?

    Posted 10 Aug 2011

    We commonly get asked if Insurance is important when cruising.
    The simple answer is YES YES YES!

    Even if you are only cruising along the Australian shore you will need comprehensive international travel insurance.

    Ensure you are covered for general medical expenses, cancellation and amendment charges, existing medical conditions, hospitalisation and medical evacuations. A Medivac from Noumea to Australia for example can cost $35,000!

    Most cruiselines medical charges are very expensive as all treatments and medicines are charged at Private Rates. A recent passenger needed antibiotics for a chest infection and was charged AU$187.00!!

    By taking out Insurance at the time of depositing your cruise, you will also be covered for any loss of deposit if you need to cancel before cruising, if cancelling due to illness or unforeseen circumstances.

    The cost of Travel Insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
    Cruises Online recommend the following insurance:
    New Zealanders:

    Please see the Department of Foreign Affairs website at or for more information on travel safety as well.
  • Theme Nights on P&O

    Posted 22 Jun 2011

    What are the theme nights on P&O?
    The theme nights will vary from cruise to cruise as are dependent on the weather, entertainers onboard and other factors.

    The following are themes are generally included:
  • Island Night
  • Outback Country Night

    With extra themes ranging from:

  • Rock n Roll
  • 70's and/or 80's
  • Pirate Evening

    How many theme nights are there?
    All cruises over 7 nights offer at least 2 theme nights - with those longer cruises offering more.

    What if I dont have anything to take?
    Don't worry! You can purchase outfits and accessories onboard as well!

    So kickup your heels and line dance or boogie the night away and join in the fun!

    Happy Kruizing!!
  • Electronic Documents for P&O!!

    Posted 22 Jun 2011

    Sick of waiting for your tickets to arrive??
    Now there is no more waiting!!

    For all sailings from 18th December, P&O will now issue electronic documents via us, your travel agent cruisesalefinder, or via your cruise personaliser

    Electronic tickets will be available from 70 days prior to sailing, provided all details on your cruise personaliser have been completed. All passengers on the booking will be on the same ticket - so print as many copies as you need. Also attached to your electronic ticket is a luggage lable to print as many as you require.

    As well as being able to print your own tickets, you can now also read up on and pre-book all your shore tours and get the confirmation details via the cruise personaliser.

    Losing your tickets will be a thing of the past, print them 70 days or 7 days before you sail!

    Don't have a printer - No Worries - Just email us at once you get the notification your tickets are ready and we will be happy to print them for you.

    Happy Kruizing!!
  • 3 Queens to Visit New Zealand!

    Posted 22 Jun 2011

    Cunard announced today that all 3 of their Luxury Liners will cruise the New Zealand shores in February and March 2013.

    They will make a total of 10 visits to New Zealand ports, including a maiden call to Christchurch by Queen Mary 2 as part of her New Zealand Royal Circumnavigation.

    Queen Elizabeth: The newest of the Queens built in 2010 she can carry 2,092 passengers. Fashioned after the original Queen Elizabeth who rules the waves in the 1930'3 & 40's you will not be disappointed by her graceful and glamorous decor.

    Queen Mary 2: Carrying 2,620 passengers and 1,253 crew she was built in 2004. One of the grandest most magnificent ocean lines ever built you will feel like royalty onboard.

    Queen Victoria: Built in 2007 with over 10 bars & lounges for her 2,000 passengers she gracefully blends British tradition with modern amenities.

    Sign up to our Newsletter and Facebook Page for more details as they are released.

    Happy Kruizing!!
  • Wine Tasting Onboard!

    Posted 18 Jun 2010

    One of the many activities you can choose to partake in when on a cruise is wine tasting.

    Well worth the cost (approx AU$15), the wine tasting lasts an hour and you get to sample 4-5 wines from one of the speciality wine-makers onboard. During your hour, they also give a talk on their vineyard, how wines are produced and differences in varieties.

    For those wanting a cruise dedicated to wine and food, P&O now offer several 3 night cruises that specialize in Food and Wine.

    To check out the dates and prices on our website or and enter wine in the "Quick Sale Finder" box.

    These cruises immerse you in the sensational produce of local food and wine from around Australia and New Zealand. As well as the wine tasting there is also Coffee Master seminars and beer tasting, with the cruise ending with a mouth-watering degustation dinner!

    All this as well as the usual great entertainment and service on any full length cruise!

    What a GREAT way to holiday and cruise!! Perfect for everyone from couples to a group of friends (what a Hens party that would be)!!

    Don't miss out and book your Food & Wine cruise today
    Kirsty :-)
  • Getting to your Auckland Cruise

    Posted 2 Jun 2010

    Are you cruising from Auckland? But live elsewhere in NZ?

    A few suggestions for getting to/from the Auckland Cruise Terminal with P&O and Cruises Online.

    P&O can arrange your domestic flights on most sailings (however seats are limited so book quick!). The prices include your one-way airfares and a coach transfer from Auckland Airport to the Cruise Terminal (double prices to get the return leg). The flights must be taken on the days of embarkation and disembarkation.

    Christchurch $230 pp
    Dunedin $270 pp
    Invercagill $300 pp
    Napier-Hastings $190 pp
    Nelson $200 pp
    New Plymouth $190 pp
    Palmerston North $175 pp
    Wellington $210 pp

    Take a coach from your hometown direct to the Cruise Terminal. Buses depart the day of embarkation from a central meeting point and drop you back on the day of disembarkation.

    Return Seat-in-Couch:
    Hamilton $50 pp
    Rotorua $85 pp
    Tauranga $85 pp
    Whangarei $75 pp
    Children pay 50% and one-way transfers are available.

    If your flight or coach with P&O is delayed, the cruiseship will either wait for you or P&O will endeavour to get you to the next port of call to meet the ship.

    ***Prices are all subject to availability and are from prices that may change due to taxes and fare increases. Prices are correct at time of blogging.