Cunard Cruises – Ten Things To Do

This is a rather cheeky look at things to do on board a typical Cunard cruise to get your imagination going. These are written with tongue in cheek and present things for you to have a laugh at or to do on board that you may not have though of or have thought of but have never said! Here goes:

  • 1 Attend the sailaway parties with a camera!

Many people miss out on this as they are busy acquainting themselves with the ship, unpacking and getting ready for dinner on the first night. Definitely leave these things till later. This is a great way to check out your fellow cruisers, spot the likely characters of the cruise and meet people. Ask them to take a picture of you and offer to take pictures for others. As the band strikes up and the party atmosphere gets going – try out the cocktail of the day. Sail away parties are always held on the aft pool deck of all all 3 ships. The setting and photos from here can be very picturesque with the wake of the ship, the setting sun and your last destination disappearing in to the distance. Plus sail away party photos are a good measure of what you looked like at the start of the cruise!

  • 2 Have a Pre-breakfast in bed every morning

This is an absolute luxury and a great way to wake up in the morning. Fill out your room service card before you go to bed at night and hang it outside your door (room service is FREE). Even if you plan to have breakfast in one of the main restaurants – perhaps just order a cup of tea. As we all know there is nothing like a cup of tea in bed!

  • 3 Make use of the spa.

You don’t have to book treatments to use the facilities of the spa but there is usually an entrance charge. Instead of booking daily you can book a spa pass for the length of your cruise to save money on the daily entrance fee. As the entrance fee keeps the crowds away – it is usually a quiet relaxing place. This is well worth it particularly if you want a tranquil wallow in the thermal pool, read a book or maybe do suduko in peace & quite on a lounger in a fluffy bathrobe. Perhaps use the sauna, steam room or have one of those invigorating showers. The Canyon Ranch spa on board Queen Mary 2 has a large thermal pool with bubbling spring areas and an underwater communal lounger plus a separate hot tub pool. The Royal Spas on board Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth have a thermal relaxation chamber with heated loungers overlooking the sea. These two sister ships also have free saunas in each of the changing rooms for the fitness centre.

  • 4 Try out every bar!

This can be fun as an unofficial bar crawl. On Cunard ships it is a challenge with many bars onboard all very stylish to suit different moods. This is for a bit of lively entertainment in the evening if you don’t fancy the show – plus you have not got far to go home!!! Key drinking establishments include:

  1. The Golden Lion pub serving traditional English Pub Grub at lunch time, pints of bitter, Karaoke and pub quizzes.
  2. The Commodore Club for a perfect cocktail in stylish Art Deco surroundings accompanied by a Pianist.
  3. The Chart room is a great place for a pre dinner aperitif accompanied by a string quartet.
  4. The Veuve Cliquot Champagne bar for a true indulgence.
  • 5 Have formal photo’s taken!

This is great for filling up spare moments during the cruise and can be rather hilarious. Photographers around the ship will offer to take your picture before dinner when you are dressed in your finery with no obligation to buy. There are usually an ever changing variety of back drops to choose from – a fake New York city skyline or Titanic grand staircase or huge picture of the ship to an ornate flower display or simply a white canvas. This then gives you an excuse to seek out your picture in the photo gallery (or rogues gallery as we call it). In so doing you can see everyone else’s picture which is a great talking point. You might spot who is travelling who and have a giggle some pictures that have not turned out quite right. Play spot the bad ones – perhaps a grimace at the wrong time or the top of a palm tree sticking out of someone’s head from the back drop behind.

  • 6 Have Breakfast & Lunch in the Britannia Restaurant

Many people prefer to limit the formality of the main restaurant to dinner only – choosing to have breakfast and lunch in the casual buffet restaurants ( Lido on Queen Elizabeth & Victoria or Kings court on Queen mary 2).. Because of this the Britannia restaurants on the Cunard ships are not as busy as they normally are for Dinner and the atmosphere is surprisingly tranquil. During breakfast and lunch the Britannia restaurants have open seating where breakfast is cooked to order and the choice of menu at lunch time is excellent.

  • 7 Gatecrash Cocktail Parties.

This one is a bit naughty – but if you have ever attended a cocktail party on board ask yourself: “How many times have you been asked to see your invitation?”

  • 8 Try out any Free alternative dining venues at night.

Cunard is keen to encourage you to try out their alternative dining venues for dinner instead of the Britannia restaurant. Visit the Todd English restaurants on Board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria or the Veranda restaurant on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. There is a charge for these of $30 per person. It is well worth trying them out particularly if you have received bonus on board credit. However – there are also FREE alternative evening dining options in a section of the buffet restaurants at night. A part of the self service buffet restaurant in the evening is converted to waiter service with set tables, tablecloths and menus. These are very good and give you even more variety to your evening meal choices on board such as Indian, French, Asian Fusion, Thai, Steakhouse and Italian.

  • 9 Have a cocktail at sunset in a hot tub.

Ahhh – Only on a cruise! As your fellow cruisers are running off back to their cabins to get ready for dinner – chill out and head for the hot tub by the pool instead. Try out another of those cocktails of the day and watch the sunset for a relaxed start to an unhurried evening.

  • 10 Attend the Nightclub on the 2nd night and the penultimate night of the cruise.

Most people are too tired to go the nightclub on the first night of the cruise. But lots are tempted to explore the atmosphere on the 2nd night – however if it’s quiet many do not return. Therefore take the opportunity to be a night owl for once, put your dancing shoes on and let your hair down. By this time of the night people are much more relaxed and it’s a great way to make friends. Similarly on the last night of the cruise the nightclub tends to be virtually empty as everyone has packed and are getting ready to depart early the following morning. So the penultimate night of the cruise is when things really get going – inhibitions are thrown aside, the dad dancing is hilarious, requests for popular tunes are in abundance and it’s the prefect way to celebrate an enjoyable cruise.

Family Discount Cruises, Fact or Fiction?

Many people believe Family Discount Cruises are nothing more than a myth. This group tends to be more likely the inexperienced, infrequent traveler. If you are interested in booking a family vacation cruise you should disregard this popular myth. Believing that family discount cruises do not exist could cost you a lot of money.

Dismiss the myth. Family Discount Cruises do indeed exist and are saving families thousands of dollars while enjoying fantastic, fun filled vacations aboard some amazing luxurious cruise ships.

No matter the economy, people look for discounts, deals and other ways to lower the cost of their vacation. Today, wise shoppers use coupons and other special offers to save money on goods and services. These same shoppers seeking to save money on groceries and other retail goods can save a good deal of money when booking a cruise vacation.

When booking a family discount cruise, there are a number of different options. Before deciding on your next cruise you should investigate every one of them. You’ll be surprised at how many cruise ship discounts are out there.

The most popular and easiest way to find discounts on a wide range of family cruises and vacations is only one click of the mouse.

Simply do a Google search for “Family Discount Cruises” or “Discounted Cruises” and you will find many resources.

Caveat Emptor!

Don’t make a hasty decision. Delay any bookings until you exhausted all options available. There are different resources at your disposal and you should take your time to investigate all of them.

Discount travel websites are popular for finding discounts on cruise and other vacations. Some well known travel sites are Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz to name a few. With regard to travel websites, you are encouraged to exhaust your search completely before providing them with your personal information.

Some people feel comfortable contacting the cruise line directly, particularly if they are looking to take a last minute cruise. One word of caution here. Be aware that the cruise line will not book your cruise. They will always refer you to contact a professional travel agent..

If you belong to a membership club, you should investigate any deals they may be offering. In addition to roadside vehicle assistance, auto clubs provide special deals on a wide range of vacation travel. Another well respected membership club regularly offer great deals to senior citizens.

One alternative to researching Family Discount Cruises is to work with a professional travel agent. Travelers that work with professional agents do so for the personal attention and service not available with travel websites and membership clubs. These professional travel agents operate locally and online.

Another travel myth is that travel agents rates are higher than their online competitors. This is not true.

That myth is totally unfounded by experience. The professional travel agent industry control a large block of travelers and because of their tremendous buying power they do indeed get preferential treatment from every travel vendor.

Cruise lines rely on the profession agents in order to get more of that agents customers. In fact, some well established and well respected travel agencies receive unbelievable deals that are not available to the general public.

With a small amount of time and research or professional assistance you can easily find many low cost cruises.

Why miss out on the fun and excitement of cruising, when you now know there are plenty of Family Discount Cruises available.

You just have to know where to find them.

A Review of Princess Cruises

The Princess Cruises is a cruise line based out of California in the United States of America. The company was founded way back in the year 1965 and has been offering its passengers with some of the most memorable journeys and vacations ever since. The main rise to popularity for the Princess Cruises came with the launch of The Love Boat TV series which featured two of its cruise liners, the Pacific Princess and the Island Princess.

Embarking on a cruise with the Princess Cruises can be extremely exciting and scintillating. Moreover, the company offers its travellers with award-winning service and features which ensure that each of its guests have a great time while on board. One of the main charms of the Princess Cruises is its excellent cruise itineraries which cover some of the most exotic locales of the world. With over 1000 cruise itineraries and 300 ports to choose from, tourists are also spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a journey aboard the Princess. Moreover, each of the ships sailing under the Princess flag boasts of world-class service, sumptuous food and Maharaja style luxury. Voted as the Best Cruise Line Itineraries for 7 straight years, the Princess Cruises are second to none when it comes to sailing and luxury cruise liners.

The popular Cruise ships

The Princess Cruises also boast of a huge fleet which sail all over the world on various itineraries. Some of its most popular cruise ships are the Caribbean Princess (Sailing in the Caribbean Islands), the Coral Princess (Specifically built to sail in the Panama Canal), the Crown Princess (Sailing in the Caribbean Islands), the Golden Princess (Sailing in Alaska and Hawaii) and the Diamond Princess (Sailing in Alaska and the Mexican Riviera).

Great On-Board Experience

Another reason for the immense popularity of the Princess Cruises is its magnificent on-board experience. The ship is packed with activities and things to do for tourists of all ages to keep them content and occupied from sun rise up till sunset and beyond. One of the most popular sights aboard the Princess is its piazza styled atrium which becomes the stunning centrepiece on each of the ships. These atriums are spread over several decks and feature panoramic views of the ship, the signature Vines Bar and International Café and a breathtaking spiral staircase.

Other popular activities aboard the Princess Cruise Ships are poolside activities, cooking demonstrations, digital photography workshops, a variety of sports such as golf and ping-pong, vast libraries, mesmerizing nightlife, grand casinos, designer boutiques, art auctions, youth centres and teen lounges and pampering spas. A few of the most popular innovations aboard the Princess are anytime dining options and Movie Under the Stars. The latter is extremely popular amongst couples and lovers since they offer an extremely romantic opportunity to watch a movie with loved ones in a 300 square foot, 69000 watt poolside movie theatre. This experience is made even better with personalized touches such as cosy blankets, chaise lounges, complimentary popcorn and cookies and milk.

One can also experience a behind the scenes ship tour which allows passengers to get a glimpse of how the ship runs and functions. The tour is offered once or twice each day and allows passengers to catch a glimpse of the control room, print shop, medical centre, photo lab, bridge, laundry room and other areas which are typically visited only by the ship’s crew.

Heavenly living accommodations

The living accommodations which are offered by the Princess Cruises are also amongst the best. Passengers can choose from a range of accommodation options which include basic interior cabins, Ocean view cabins, cabins with balconies, mini suites with balconies, suites with balconies and grand suites. Irrespective of the choice of accommodation taken, passengers can expect to be treated to a range of excellent amenities and in room luxuries. The large and extremely comfortable beds, beautifully made bathrooms, pleasant décor and in-room entertainment options ensure that guests have a great time not only on board but in the rooms and cabins as well.

Lastly, the Princess Cruises is also one of the few cruise liners which still follow the century old traditions of Bon Voyage where family members and friends can board the ship to say goodbye to their loved ones before the ship embarks on its journey.