Tuesday, 25 January 2011

First Mexican cruise line.

At last, Mexico will launch their own cruise line called Ocean Star Cruises with their main offices based in Mexico City and in Guadalajara.  For the time being, their ship, Ocean Star Pacific, will be sailing the Pacific with ports like Acapulco, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco and Puerto Chiapas. 

Ocean Star Cruises will include round trip coach transfers from the two main cities in Mexico, Guadalajara and Mexico City, which are both deep in the middle of the country. 

At the moment, it is said that, “The Mexican Riviera ports are losing Royal Caribbean’s year-round business, Princess has sharply reduced capacity and Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line are withdrawing ships.”  This will leave a huge gap in the market and hopefully, Ocean Star Cruises will fill this gap to the rim.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Continuation of TOP entertainment onboard.

In my last blog, the US market voted the NCL Epic as having the best entertainment onboard. 
 But in the UK, who came first? Well, here at www.cruise.co.uk we had our passengers’ rate who they thought had the best entertainment onboard. 
The British cruisers voted for Royal Caribbean International, on board the Independence of the Seas as having the BEST ENTERTAINMENT. 

The Independence of the Seas came in at number eight 12 months ago and now has gone all the way to number 1.  P & Os’ Arcadia came in a very close second which is a new entry in this category. 
In fact, the NCL Epic did not have a place in the TOP 10!!!!  What a contrast between the US market and the UK market!!!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Who has the best entertainment on board?

Well, according to USA TODAY, the best entertainment onboard went to Norwegian Cruise Line on the Epic!!!
This is what the NCL Epic has to offer, “The 4,100-passenger Epic -- Norwegian's largest ship ever -- is the first cruise ship to boast a performance by that icon of the Las Vegas Strip, the Blue Man Group (appearing eight times a sailing in the ship's 685-seat Epic Theatre). Epic also is home to Cirque Dreams & Dinner, a circus-themed extravaganza featuring dazzling aerialists, acrobats and contortionists performing around and above passengers (tickets, $20 to $30 a person). The show takes place in a specially built, tent-shaped theatre billed as the first "big top" at sea.”
How did the voting pan out? “Nearly 10,000 of you voted in our online poll in which we asked which ship you find the most appealing for entertainment, and 50% of you cast your lot with the seven-month-old Epic. Another 42% voted for Royal Caribbean's much-ballyhooed, one-month-old Allure of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship. The remainder voted for Disney Cruise Line's new Disney Dream.”

Monday, 10 January 2011

Norovirus on the P&O Arcadia

Just spoke to a client of mine that has recently been on board P&O Arcadia for a lovely Christmas and New Year cruise to the Mediterranean.  Unfortunately, the cruise was plagued by the Norovirus!!!! 
For two thirds of the cruise, ALL the water activities were closed; the Hydro pool, the 2 swimming pools, the 5 whirl pool spas, even the Sauna/steam room, ALL of them closed!!  To top it all off, even the menus on all the restaurants took a hit.  The only restaurant that was available for the 2000+ passengers was The Belvedere. This meant that for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea, the passengers could only get service at The Belvedere restaurant on board the Arcadia!!  All due to 6 passengers boarding the ship with the virus, this is according the announcements done by the captain during the cruise.
Even though all cruise lines, including P&O, try to keep their hygiene to the highest of standards and try to minimize the impact of an out break on board their ships, sometimes, bacteria win.  Part of the procedures to minimize these kinds of outbreaks, a simple questionnaire is given out to all passengers before boarding, where they are asked a variety of questions like:To assist us in preventing the spread of Communicable Disease during your cruise, we require you to answer the following questions,” OR, “Within the last few days, have you or any person listed above developed any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting?”  It then asks for your signature to the questions and goes onto say ' I certify that the above declaration is true and correct and that any dishonest answers may have serious health implications.”  What kind of implications can occur if you answer these questions dishonestly?  Well, you might become the most hated person onboard as you are ruining the cruise for the other 2000+ passengers onboard.  Alternatively, if you answer honestly, you might not be allowed on board the ship!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Do you believe in Leprechauns’ or Goblins? What about an Alux? Part 2

The final challenge was to build a pyramid in one night.  The King gathered all of his men managed to build only five steps.  The Alux though, being all by himself sought out the help of his Mother, the witch.  The witch went into the forest, collected hundreds of turtle eggs and through magic, created hundreds of Alux.
The myth/legend mentions that in one night, all of the Alux built a beautiful pyramid, destroyed it, built it again, destroyed and finally re-built it one last time.  This pyramid still stands today!!!
The King became infuriated at his loss, so he decided to curse ALL of the Alux. He said, “You have won all of the challenges and you will be King of Uxmal, but only under these conditions:  You will be King, but ONLY during the night but during daytime, you will be turned to STONE, just like your statues!”

Throughout the entire Mayan world, anyone that visits the pyramids and museums will be able to find hundreds if not thousands of miniature statues of gnome like creatures.  The local people are quite scared of these miniature statues, some locals even go to the extreme of decapitating the heads off the statues so that the Alux cannot ham them during the night.

Like I mentioned before, nearly everyone I met in the Yucatan Peninsula have had some sort of encounter, experience or have had some sort of incident involving an Alux.