Monday, 15 April 2013

Westbound Transatlantic Crossing: 8 nights in September 2013

A crossing of the Atlantic on the regal Queen Mary 2 is an experience to be remembered. Although there are no port stops, the ship is enough entertainment for the week spent aboard- and you can also watch the endless Atlantic pass underneath you. The way to travel! The ship departs from Southampton near London and sails in to New York after 8 nights at sea.

Operator: Cunard
Vessel: Queen Mary 2
Ports of Call: Southampton, New York
Sailing Dates: September 2nd 2013- September 10th 2013

Cruise Itinerary

Length of cruise: 8 nights

Day 1: Southampton, departing Mon 2 Sep 16:30
Day 2-8: At sea
Day 9: New York, arriving Tues 10 Sep 06:30

About the Queen Mary 2

The Queen Mary 2 is a modern ship through and through, lacking in no technology, but is also reminiscent of the good old days of ocean liners, in classic Cunard style. She underwent a freshening-up in December 2011 to remain the beautiful and stately ship she always has been! The ship is more formal than your average Mediterranean or South Pacific cruise, with daytimes tending towards country club casual and there are generally 3 formal nights in a crossing- these involve tuxes or dark suits and evening gowns! A crossing on the Queen Mary 2 is all about the old-world glamour.

Queen Mary 2
by Trondheim Havn Flickr Creative Commons

There are plenty of restaurants and bars onboard so you will always be well fed and watered. Those who pay for the top cabin categories dine in the Princess Grill or the Queens Grill, and the main dining room for the rest is the Britannia Grill. There is a great buffet on Deck 7 with stations for various cuisines, which becomes more formal in the evenings with waiter service. For a traditional english dining experience, passengers can dine free of charge in the Golden Lion Pub, and there are several lunch venues around the ship. Todd English is the specialty restaurant, and incurs a small cover charge. Afternoon Tea is a Cunard tradition, and takes place in various venues around the ship, including the ballroom. For drinks after dinner, there is a variety of pubs, bars and lounges onboard, as well as a novel Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar.

Like all Cunard ships, the Queen Mary 2 has a wonderful enrichment program, which allows passengers to put the week of their crossing to good use. There are a huge range of lectures on various topics by persons of interest, and short plays and performances by the Royal Academy of Arts. She is the only ship with an onboard planetarium, and hosts presenters from the Royal Astronomical Society. There is an extensive computer learning program, and of course the requisite art auctions and bingo sessions.

Venues for entertainment include the gym, spa, well-appointed library, basketball court, golf simulators and the swimming pool. The ballroom is utilised in many ways, of which the most exciting is ballroom dancing in the evenings. There is also a two-level disco, and it is easy to make the most of this by dancing into the wee hours, as westbound passengers gain an hour of sleep every night whilst crossing time zones!

Have a look here for great deals on the Westbound Transatlantic Crossing in September 2013!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific: 35 nights on September 2013

This nice long cruise begins in September and finished in October, lasting for a relaxing 35 days. It is a round trip from Sydney, and the first stop comes after 4 days at sea which will really get you into the swing of cruising on the Sea Princess! The first port of call is Nuku'alofa in Tonga, a beautiful tender port where you can experience some true Polynesian culture. Next is Apia in Western Samoa, the capital and a town that feels like a collection of friendly villages.

After Polynesia, the ship crosses the international dateline and makes its way to Hawaii. The first port of call there is the famous Honolulu, the only major city in the islands and state capital. There are plenty of things to see and do here, including swimming and sunbathing at Waikiki Beach, and visiting the historic Pearl Harbour. After Honolulu the cruise visits many other islands and towns in Hawaii, the first of these being Kauai, the 'Garden Island' and the second being Kona on Big Island. Here you will find a wonderful variety of landscapes, and many impressive volcanoes. Next stop is Hilo also on Big Island, and then a call in at the surfing mecca, Maui. Mount Haleakala watches over this town with excellent beaches.

Waikiki Beach at Sunset
by FHKE Flickr Creative Commons

Tahiti is the next destination as the ship returns to Polynesian waters. There are several nights in the capital city of Papeete, a busy port with strong french influence. Moorea and Bora Bora are next, both outer islands that have mountains, lagoons, white sand and sparkling waters, and are the epitome of Pacific beauty. As the ship moves across the Pacific back towards Australia, it stops in at Pago Pago in American Samoa, where you will see the dramatic harbour surrounded by steep mountains.Suva is the next port of call, a tropical fijian city where many different cultures are represented in the mosques, temples and churches and interesting colonial architecture. The final stop before the ship returns to Sydney is the small and gorgeous Isle of Pines off the mainland of New Caledonia.

Operator: Princess Cruises
Vessel: Sea Princess
Ports of Call: Sydney, Nuku'Alofa, Apia, Honolulu, Kauai, Kona, Hilo, Lahaina, Papeete, Moorea, Bora Bora, Pago Pago, Suva, Isle of Pines.
Sailing Dates: September 2nd 2013- October 7th 2013

Cruise Itinerary

Length of cruise: 35 nights

Day 1: Sydney, departing Mon 2 Se 16:00
Day 2-5: At sea
Day 6: Nuku'Alofa, Sat 7 Sep 08:00-18:00
Day 7: At sea
Day 8: Apia, Mon 9 Sep 08:00-20:00
Day 9-13: At sea
Day 14: Honolulu, Sat 14 Sep 07:00- 23:00
Day 15: Kauai, Sun Sep 15 08:00- 17:00
Day 16: Kona, Mon Sep 16 07:00- 17:00
Day 17: Hilo, Tues Sep 17 08:00-17:00
Day 18: Lahaina, Wed Sep 18 07:00- 18:00
Day 19-23: At sea

Day 24: Papeete, Tues Sep 24 08:00- Wed Sep 25 04:00
Day 25: Moorea, Wed Sep 25 07:00- 17:00
Day 26: Bora Bora, Thurs Sep 26 07:00- 17:00
Day 27- 28: At sea
Day 29: Pago Pago, Sun Sep 29 08:00- 17:00
Day 30: At sea
Day 31: Suva, Wed Oct 2 07:00- 16:00
Day 32: At sea
Day 33: Isle of Pines, Fri Oct 4 09:00- 17:00
Day 34-35: At sea
Day 36: Sydney, arriving Mon Oct 7 07:00

About the Sea Princess

This Princess is a mid-sized favourite, cosy and welcoming with a stunning atrium area. She is intimate and elegant as is the style with Princess cruises. Two main restaurants give you a choice of dining, along with the buffet and specialty restaurants, and the option of anytime dining makes eating aboard a fun and flexible experience. You an catch theatre shows or frequent the pubs, bars and lounges in the evenings, or watch Movies Under the Stars on a big screen. During the day enjoy the cruise staples of lounging by the pool, eating, drinking cocktails and walking the decks, or try out Princess' Scholarship@Sea programme with ceramics classes, computer classes, cookery demonstrations and various lectures.

Sea Princess
by Brent Ozar Flickr Creative Commons

See here for great deals on the Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific cruise in September 2013!