02 October 2017
You wouldn’t book a holiday without checking out what there is to do where you’re staying: you’d want to know what’s going on in your hotel or resort, and it’s exactly the same for cruising. And with so many cruise lines out there competing to have the biggest and best at sea, the list of things to do, see, eat and enjoy on board is endless. We’ve rounded up some of the best at-sea experiences, so when you step on board, you can rest assured you’ll be stepping in to a whole other world.
Winning the 2016 Cruise International Awards for Best Onboard Activities and Best Onboard Entertainment was Royal Caribbean International. With skydiving simulators, surfing, zip lining, bumper cars, rock climbing, mini golf, ice skating, toddlers, kids and teens clubs, plus parades and music striking up along the Royal Promenade, it’s no doubt they are worth winners. Not only that but the singing, dancing, acrobatics and diving on display at the AquaTheatre, the West-End worthy shows of the Royal Theatre, indoor and outdoor cinemas, and North Star, a glass pod raising cruisers 300 feet up and over the edge of the ship, a cruise with Royal Caribbean is a sure-fire win for families and fun-lovers.
A new era of cruise ship
Celebrity Edge is a ship like no other. A journey into the future, the deck spaces on Celebrity Edge are clean-cut and minimalist, bringing a 5-star resort to sea. With modern art installations, mirror walls and artistic flair around every corner, simply wandering around Celebrity Edge feels like an event. The Magic Carpet will have you floating 13 stories above the sea, as you sip a cocktail or enjoy live music with a different ambience and location every day. A walk through Eden, the largest outward-facing room at sea, will immerse you in the wonders of nature and art. With greenery twisting its way up three stories, a design to engage all the senses without feeling intrusive and entertainment coming and going as the mood changes, Eden is far more than a lounge-bar, restaurant, viewing area or entertainment venue.
Dining like no other
We think that when you step on board, you leave the ordinary behind and deserve something extra special. Oceania Cruises won the ‘Best for Food’ Cruise International Award in 2016 and with one of their ships winning ‘Best Dining’ at the Cruise Critic Cruiser’s Choice Awards every year from 2012-2016, we’re certain you’ll leave an Oceania cruise with your appetite more than satisfied. With Master Chef Jacques Pépin as Executive Culinary Director, whether you choose Italian at Toscana, Asian food at Red Ginger, French delicacies at Jacques or Jacques Bistro or want to sample vintage wines with perfectly matched gourmet meals at La Reserve, nothing leaves the kitchen without it meeting Chef Pépin’s exacting standards. A cruise ship may not be your first-thought for fine dining, but eating on board an Oceania cruise will challenge your preconceptions.
Luxury on the water
Bringing a boutique hotel to the water, Uniworld’s river cruise ships provide a real escape from the ordinary. The interior of the ship perfectly reflects the lands through which you are sailing, with each lavish detail being designed and placed for maximum impact. You can expect luxury, glamour and sophistication without anything being tacky or overbearing. Their ships carry only a hundred or so passengers, and boast a 1:3 staff to passenger ratio, plus 24-hour room service and a personal butler to attend to your every whim. Everything from the upholstery, the cutlery, the light fittings, walls, doors and floors are stylish and sumptuous and align perfectly with every other aspect of your cruise. When you go on a cruise, you take a journey to new lands, and a Uniworld ship is the perfect companion to another world.
Anywhere and everywhere
No-one goes on a cruise stay on board all day, so we couldn’t write this without highlighting the cruise lines offering the best itineraries out there. For adventure-seekers, a Hurtigruten cruise will take you places you could only dream of. Loved for their Arctic, and Antarctic, voyages, you can sail to the ends of the earth with Hurtigruten. Celebrity Cruises won the 2017 Cruise Critic Cruisers Choice for best excursions, and with Celebrity Exclusives bringing unforgettable adventures no matter where you are in the world, it’s no surprise: a private boat to sail the Amalfi coast, a hot air balloon to glide over open plains and a supercar to drive around the streets Of Monte Carlo are all made available to Celebrity cruisers. Winning the 2016 Cruise Critic Editor’s Pick for Best Itineraries, a Fred.Olsen cruise is a good place to start for sheer numbers of destination, and more UK departure ports than any other cruise line. From Africa to the Amazon, the Caribbean and a whopping 108-night Wonders of the World cruise, you can go anywhere and everywhere with Fred.Olsen.
You’d be forgiven for thinking all cruises are the same, but if you’re ready to challenge what you think and sample some of the best places, shows, food and service available, get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to start planning your very first cruise.