Dining: Quantum Class Innovations

Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2014 | 0 comments
Royal Caribbean is preparing to roll out an entirely new class of ships, beginning with the Quantum of the Seas in November 2014. We have previously written about what to expect on this ship, but are excited to share further details on what looks to be an exciting new innovation in eating at sea.

The line recently announced that the dining concept on the Quantum of the Seas and her sister ships will be something entirely new, called Dynamic Dining. Instead of one main restaurant serving all passengers, the ship will have five separate eateries for which costs are included in the cruise fare. Each will offer a distinct menu and style. The American Icon Grill will serve classic comfort food, Chic will focus on contemporary cuisine with fresh ingredients, and oriental flavours will be brought to the table at Silk, a pan-Asian eatery. The Grande is set to be somewhat of a throwback restaurant which recalls the glamour of the ocean travel heyday, with timeless and classic dishes and a formal dress code. Coastal Kitchen will be exclusively for suite guests and fuse Mediterranean cuisine with California produce.

These five restaurants will allow cruisers to mix it up every night- and for more choice, the ship will include many specialty restaurants from the tried-and-true to the brand new. Favourites Izumi Japanese cuisine and the Chef's Table will return, and new additions are slated to include the weird and wonderful experimental dishes of the Wonderland restaurant, an excellent gastropub by chef Michael Schwartz, and an upmarket eatery for the weight watchers which serves decadent treats at under 500 calories a plate. All specialty restaurants will incur a fee on top of the cruise fare.

The highlight of the new specialty offerings onboard Quantum Class ships will be 'Jamie's Italian' by the man from Essex himself, Jamie Oliver. The cheerful chef is known the world over for his "pukka" recipes, laid-back manner and entertaining cooking style. His Italian eatery on the Quantum of the Seas will be his first venture into nautical nosh, however Jamie is no stranger to Royal Caribbean. He holidayed on the line's ships as a child, when his Dad would save up to take the family on a cruise once every three years, and is excited about partnering with the company to bring rustic Italian dishes to its passengers.

Have a look here for more great deals on Royal Caribbean cruises!

Princess Focuses on Australasia and Asia

Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | 0 comments
Princess Cruises has recently upgraded its fabulous Diamond Princess, with a view to boosting cruising in Asia. It will have the largest Japanese bath facility at sea, a sushi restaurant, upgraded shopping and buffet area and more. Australian cruisers will be glad to hear that along with increased Asian itineraries, the Diamond Princess will be making her way to the South Pacific to sail from Sydney alongside the Sun Princess!

This move is a part of a greater movement by Princess to cruise from more varied locations, and focus on markets outside the traditional Caribbean and Mediterranean cruising grounds. Princess will add and make changes to their program in an effort to make cruising more appealing to Aussie and Kiwi cruisers, including more round-trip sailings which are the most popular amongst locals and a new five-night sampler cruise for those who want to test out the updated ship.

Asian cruises are also reasonably close to home for Australasian passengers, and Princess is expanding there too. Alongside the Diamond Princess out of Japan, cruising there during the northern summer season will be the Sapphire Princess which will offer more destinations from Singapore than any other cruise line, with 15 roundtrip departures during her deployment. These will call in to seven countries and sixteen ports which include Koh Samui, Langkawi, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur. These exotic itineraries are great for the more adventurous cruisers who have seen all they can of the South Pacific.

Hong Kong

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Be Insured

Posted on Monday, March 24, 2014 | 0 comments
Travel insurance can be one of those things which goes forgotten in the excitement leading up to a cruise. Although cruising is, relatively, an extremely safe way to travel, things can go wrong and one of the most likely scenarios is that someone will get sick onboard.

The Sydney Morning Herald recently told the tale of a passenger who was hit with a $1700 bill after falling sick and spending time in the ship's medical centre. She assumed that Medicare would cover her whilst on a domestic cruise, but this is often not the case- be warned! Cruise line operators have spoken up to say that there is not an expectation to have Medicare providers onboard, and in fact many of their medical staff are foreign and do not have provider numbers. This is due to cruise ship employees being contracted on a global basis in this global industry.

Always ensure that you are insured before getting onboard, even for a domestic cruise! Did you know that you can get insurance along with your cruise from our consultants at Cruise Sale Finder? This can be done by talking to the consultant while or after booking, and also via the below online form which will generate a quote.

Next time you cruise, make sure you are covered!

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2014 | 0 comments
Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess spends a lot of time cruising in Japan, and is booked to sail from Tokyo during the northern summer season of 2014. She was built in Japan, and offers some of Princess's most intriguing and unique itineraries. To prepare for the coming season, the ship is undergoing an extensive refurbishment in dry dock in Singapore.

Japanese-centred renovations and additions will include an extensive new Japanese bath area, the largest such facility at sea. The 8,800 square foot complex will include gardens, a hydrotherapy pool, a mist sauna and dry sauna and natural materials to make a serene and relaxing area. There will also be a new sushi restaurant called Kai Sushi, similar to but bigger then the one on Sun Princess. Sushi will not be all that's available, the restaurant will also offer sashimi, seafood cocktails, matcha ice cream and sake.

There is plenty more in store for the new-and-improved Diamond Princess. The duty-free boutiques will be remodeled for a luxurious shopping experience and the buffet Horizon Court area will be upgraded to include action stations for live cooking, expanded seating and great new decor. Additional staterooms will be installed during the refurbishment, along with new furnishings and decor in the public areas. The hull will also be given a fresh paint.

Princess Cruises hopes that the new additions and improvements on the Diamond Princess will make it appeal even more to Japanese and other Asian cruisers, allowing them a few home comforts and habits whilst on holiday. The new Diamond Princess will be back in action in April.

Have a look here for great deals on Diamond Princess cruises!

Seuss At Sea

Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014 | 0 comments
Carnival Cruise Lines has a new entertainment experience which will appeal to both children and the more nostalgic of adults. Dr Seuss has some timeless and beloved stories, and like Disney Cruise lines with Disney and Royal Caribbean with Dreamworks, Carnival plans to bring the characters to life onboard their ships.

Not familiar with the good Doctor? Dr. Seuss, a.k.a Theodor Seuss Geisel, was an American writer, poet and cartoonist who was best known for the children's books he wrote and illustrated. His imaginative rhymes and silly, nonsensical style are a phenomena which have inspired feature films, multiple television series and a broadway musical. He is a literary legend when it comes to children's books, and his birthday has been adopted as the national Read Across America day. Dr Seuss died in 1991.

Carnival recently announced their plans which will roll out over 2014 and 2015 on all 24 ships. Activities are set to include a Green Eggs and Ham character breakfast, a character parade, themed arts and crafts and story times. Carnival has expressed that they aim to make the events appeal to both parents and young children, and to provide opportunities for families to spend time together. The long-running appeal of Dr Seuss is great for this as parents will remember the stories and characters from their own childhoods.

The good news for Australasian cruisers is that the Doctor is coming Down Under, although not until sometime in 2015 for the Carnival Spirit. The Carnival Legend, however, starts her seasonal residency in Sydney in September this year, and will arrive with Dr, Seuss already in situ.

Have a look here for Carnival cruises!