Drinking At Sea

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 0 comments
All cruise lines have different policies on alcohol, making it a bit of a puzzler as to what is and isn't allowed if you're sailing with a new line. Here are some of the policies from the most popular cruise lines:

 by Baynham Goredema Flickr Creative Commons

Carnival- Most importantly, you need to be 21 to drink on all of the Carnival ships. You can't bring liquor onboard, it will be taken and stored until disembarkation (this includes liquor bought onboard in port), but you may bring one bottle of wine or champagne- there are corkage fees in the dining rooms.

Celebrity- Wine but not liquor may be brought onboard, however beware of the very high corkage charges- $25! the general drinking age is 21, but on cruises departing from countries with a different drinking age, those 18 and above may drink if they are with a parent and the parent signs a waiver. A bit of a nuisance for those used to an 18 drinking age! The casino offers free drinks on occasion.

Crystal- Their minimum drinking age policy is a bit more complicated than others- for liquor, the age is 21, and for beer or wine it is 18, except when docked at a US port or within 3 miles of the shore- then it is 21 across the board! Alcohol may be brought onboard but can only be consumed in cabins, not public spaces. This goes for alcohol bought in port and on the ship- the limit to booze brought onboard from a port is one litre.

Cunard- You may bring a bottle of wine or champagne onboard, and there is a $20 corkage fee should you wish to drink it with dinner. No liquor can be brought onboard at embarkation, however currently Cunard does not police alcohol carried on from a port stop. Alcohol purchased onboard is held until the end of the cruise, however this policy is under review as well as the one regarding port stops. The minimum drinking age is 18, or 21 in US territorial waters.

Holland America- Holland America also has an across-the-board minimum drinking age of 21.Wine can be brought onboard at embarkation, but not liquor- and anything bought during port stops or at the duty-free shops on the ship will be held until the end of the cruise. The corkage fee is $18.

MSC- The drinking age is 21 on US and Caribbean itineraries, and 18 on all others. No alcohol can be brought onboard at any stage, and anything bought in port or on the ship will be held until the end of the cruise.Keep a look out for free drinks at the Captain's Cocktail Parties, and for singles at receptions.

NCL- Liquor may not be brought onboard, and anything purchased during the cruise will be held.Wine is allowed, and there are considerable corkage fees in the dining venues. The drinking age is 21.

P&O UK- You may bring small amounts of alcohol on with you at embarkation, with no official set limit, but the line reserves the right to remove excessive amounts. Liquor bought in duty-free will be retained until the end of the cruise. 18 is the minimum drinking age, with leniency towards 16-17 year olds in restaurants with parents present!

P&O Australia- No alcohol can be brought aboard at any stage, it will be held until the end of the cruise- as will any alcohol bought in duty free onboard. The minimum drinking age is 18.

Princess- The minimum drinking age is 21 years, with the exception of the Grand Princess which cruises in the UK market, and the Sun Princess and Dawn Princess both of which cruise in the Australasian market, where the age is 18. Wine or champagne only may be brought aboard during embarkation or port stops, and there is a $15 corkage fee in restaurants. Duty-free will be held until the end of the cruise. For some free cocktails, be at the Captain's Welcome, Champagne Waterfall and Captain's Farewell.

Royal Caribbean-  The drinking age is 21, unless the ship departs from a country with a lower age, then it is typically 18. The line has a very strict policy against alcohol being brought onboard at any point, and duty-free purchased onboard will be held. Members of the Loyalty Programme have access to a nightly self-service free bar.

Several of the more upscale luxury cruise lines have complimentary alcohol as part of the package, so you don't have to worry about bringing your own! These include Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea which all have the free booze flowing at all times, and Azamara which includes wine with lunch and dinner.

Author: Ryan Posa+

The Second Coming

Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 0 comments
The Titanic is the stuff of legends- the story has been made into a blockbuster movie, many documentaries, appears in books and has museums and memorials dedicated to it and its heroes. Now someone wants to resurrect the ship itself- or rather, clone it. This huge undertaking is the pet project of Australian billionaire Clive Palmer.

The new ship will be as identical as possible to the ill-fated White Star one, with the biggest changes happening only below the waterline as marine technology has advanced in the 100 years since the original Titanic sailed- more welding, a more efficient bow design, diesel generation and bow thrusters. It will also have the technology to which we have become accustomed, and state-of-the-art navigation and security systems.

Construction of the ship will soon begin in China. Its maiden voyage is estimated to be in 2016 and will retrace the original's unfinished voyage from the UK to the US.

Titanic Memorial in Washington DC
by Ron Cogswell Flickr Creative Commons

Author: Ryan Posa+

A New Paradise for P&O

Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 | 0 comments
P&O Australia is ever in search for somewhere amazing to cruise to, and the latest destination is certainly a gem.

Mare, one of New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands, is the newest port of call, with the maiden call having happened in April. It is a heavenly and relatively unspoilt spot, with just two native villages, Tadine and La Roche. P&O is working with locals to ensure that the island can be enjoyed by cruisers without damaging its beauty and integrity. The ships will also create jobs for islanders.

So, what will you find should you be lucky enough to visit this new slice of paradise? Fine white sand is a given- as are turquoise water and palm trees. Mare's uniqueness lies in its limestone caves and natural swimming pools formed by water filtering in from the sea. In the villages you will find markets with beautiful fresh produce to get a taste of what life in the Loyalty Islands is all about. This is definitely a great new destination in P&O's itineraries!

Upcoming cruises to Mare include Island Delights in July,  South Pacific Cruise in July-August, Pacific Escapade in August, Pacific Sensation in October and Pacific Magic in November,  among other P&O Australia cruises.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Would you Cruise Nude? Or is it Rude?

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Most people enjoy clothes as a method of not only making themselves more colourful and protecting themselves from the sun, but also of covering the things best left unseen. Some people have a different opinion on what should be left unseen- namely, nothing. Imagine a cruise that is full of people doing the normal cruise activities- swimming, lounging, eating- but all completely butt-naked. Thanks to Bare Neccesities, this is a possibility.

The nude tourism company has discovered that naturists like cruising too, and has embarked on chartering boats so that everyone on board can wander nude, unhindered by detractors. There is a surprisingly large amount of interest: the company has chartered the huge Freedom of the Seas in February 2013 so numerous naturists can have the Freedom of deciding what not to wear. This 8-day Panama Canal Cruise will be the largest clothing-free cruise in history. The company has several other offerings available in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Most would balk at the idea of a ship full of bare bodies- but it's good to know that those who prefer to go clothing-free have the opportunity to do so!

The ship that will bring new meaning to the word 'Freedom.'
by Adam Jakubiak Flickr Creative Commons

Author: Ryan Posa+

Make Way For a Royal Princess!

Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 | 2 comments
Princess Cruises is getting excited for the arrival of their newest Princess- and she's a Royal! Currently under construction in the Fincantieri shipyards in Monfalcone, Italy, the ship will be a complete new design for the line and should be ready in June 2013.

Some of the features that the Royal Princess will introduce include a big atrium with more entertainment venues and casual dining options, a dedicated live television studio onboard with audience seating for cruise programming, an over-water glass-bottomed Sea Walk, private poolside cabanas and more.

Staterooms will be modern and light, with the addition of a Deluxe Balcony category. As well as the main dining room, there will be many casual options added on this new ship- pastries, pizza, a seafood bar, gelatos and others to tempt your tastebuds.

It may be a year away, but this new ship is an exciting addition to Princess's fleet and another option for avid cruisers!

Author: Ryan Posa+