Last year saw record numbers of U.K. holidaymakers taking cruise holidays, over 1.9 million of us took to the oceans. Myself and the family included. Like us many of them are repeat cruisers. They know what they like, where they want to go and who they want to sail with.
For the first timer, there is a bewildering amount of choice, who to sail with, where to go, what ship to go on. Even if you navigate (pun not intended!) all of that you then need to then understand which stateroom to choose? Do you want/ need the drinks packages? The list can feel daunting. Well fear not, I know my stuff and whether you are after a family fly-cruise round the Med, a short-break cruise to France or even a bucket list Transatlantic voyage — I’ve got you covered.
I say it time and time again, if you pick the right cruise line, and the right ship you will not look back. You’ll be a cruiser for life. But you have to also choose the right travel agent. Someone looking to book the right holiday for you, not according to their cruise line set targets. That’s where I come in. Because I want you to love cruise holidays as much as the Holroyds do!
One hard to beat way to find out what you like about a cruise line is to take a short cruise. A short break that is long enough to really get to grips with a cruise holiday but short enough that it won’t break the bank and if you don’t like the cruise line no hard feelings! Fortunately, many of the lines now offer, 3-5 night itineraries worldwide. You could sail out of Southampton for a long weekend, fly to the Caribbean or Miami and enjoy a hotel stay followed by a few nights on-board. The opportunities are endless. If you have something in mind – give me a call: 01254 205300 let’s see what I can do!
If you need more inspiration than that – here are 3 of my top picks for first-timers looking for a short cruise to test the water (sorry – I just couldn’t help myself!).
5 nights, A Taste of Ireland with Royal Caribbean® 28th May 2018 from only £479pp
U.K. cruisers have a real sof spot for the Independence of the Seas® or “Indy” as she is fondly nicknamed. It’s easy to see why, the largest ship to sail out of the U.K and Royal Caribbean love families their fun ships always have loads to do on-board for both adults, children and families alike.
Stay close to home next summer with this Royal Caribbean super sailing to the taste of Ireland. Starting in the magic of France to the island where the famous pint of Guinness was born. It’ll be an unforgettable mini escape and something special to look forward to next year! Don’t pack away that summer gear just yet – because this Royal Caribbean adventure is calling your name.
5 nights onboard Independence of the Seas® in an Interior Stateroom
Day 1 – Southampton, UK
Day 2 – Cherbourg, France
Day 3 – At sea
Day 4 – Cork, Ireland
Day 5 – At sea
Day 6 – Southampton, UK
5 nights, The Netherlands & France with P&O Cruises, 28th August 2017 from only £479pp
One of the most popular P&O ships, Azura is the second youngest in the fleet, it oozes P&O’s traditional style full dress codes, afternoon tea, deck games and ballroom dancing. P&O Cruises are tailored to the needs of British passengers, and the shorter cruises attract a younger crowd than the longer itineraries. Passengers are also very loyal to this line. They wouldn’t dream of cruising with another line.
What better way to spend August with the kids than visiting the cultural wonders of The Netherlands and France with P&O Cruises?! Float along the picturesque canals of Amsterdam – its the best way to see the city. Stop off at one of the many museums for your historic fix and shop till you drop in the chic city of Paris.
5 nights onboard Azura in an Inside Cabin
Day 1 – Southampton, UK
Day 2 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands – overnight
Day 3 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands – overnight
Day 4 – Amsterdam,The Netherlands – overnight
Day 5 – Le Havre, Paris, France
Day 6 – Southampton, UK
3 nights, Italian & French Riviera with Azamara Club Cruises, 9th June 2017 from only £1327pp
Azamara Club Cruises are one of a handful of luxury cruise lines, they offer a 5-star level of service. It’s perfect for discerning travellers looking for the ultimate indulgence as they explore exotic locations across the globe. During your time on-board you’ll experience this luxury cruise line’s dedicated butler service, fine cuisine and luxurious spa facilities. With a much smaller guest capacity you can expect a very attentive service.
The harbour is the heart and soul of Portofino, where people gather to dine, indulge in retail therapy and revel in the laid-back atmosphere. When you disembark at the port, you’ll be just a stone’s throw away from numerous attractions and facilities, with almost everything within easy walking distance.
Enjoy the exquisite hilly Provençal countryside beyond this resort, where charming villages with narrow stepped streets, lovely churches and stunning scenic views beckon. Visit a local winery or take a drive along the rugged coast and revel in the wonderful views of the landscape, the beaches, the islands and the magnificent Massif des Maures.
3 nights onboard Azamara Quest in a Club Interior Stateroom
Selected alcoholic drinks
Day 1 – Nice (Villefranche)
Day 2 – Portofino
Day 3 – Saint Tropez
Day 4 – Nice (Villefranche)