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In April 2019 a cruise we had booked with Royal Caribbean was cancelled, so as a last minute alternative we booked a short 8 day cruise on the Marella Explorer 2 around the Mediterranean. The cruise started in Mallorca and ended in Naples. We had a great time and I would like to share with you our review on the cabin 8184 which is a standard balcony room.

Now one of the things we hear constantly on Facebook groups and forums is “Oh what does it matter where your cabin is.. you only shower and change there” or “What does it matter how it looks as long as it is clean?” Well I beg to differ… as experienced and regular cruisers our cabin choice is extremely important. From location to cabin type, we spend a lot of time researching the correct one. I would like to tell you about the cabin we chose and show you some photos of the fantastic refurbished interiors too.

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184

Location

Let’s start by talking about location.. it is very important.
We personally prefer to be closer to the elevator lobby/stairs (less walking of course) but also this cabin was perfect because it also meant it was not opposite any interior rooms (less doors to bang).

We enjoyed being closer to the aft of the ship because it was just 3 floors down to the dining room and 3 floors up to the Market place buffet. Perfect for the evening’s when I was in heels!
There was absolutely no noise in this cabin and we felt no movement during the choppy seas.

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184 Bathroom

Thankfully a few days before we boarded they finally finished refurbishing the bathrooms by adding glass doors too the showers. This was a great addition because no one wants to shower with a grotty shower curtain that has touched 100’s of naked bodies previously.. Unfortunately our shower door did have a tiny leak but it wasn’t the end of the world we had plenty of towels to mop it up everyday.

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184

Everything was clean and tidy thankfully as we had seen reports of mould before we boarded but we saw no signs of this. Towels/flannels were replaced daily and there was plenty of toilet roll. In the shower there is a shower gel dispenser which we didn’t use but if you are limited on weight in your luggage this would be perfectly fine. There was also two small soap bars by the sink which are fine for washing your hands if you aren’t too fussy.

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184

Parts of the bathroom are a bit tired (like the sink) but we have to remember it is an old ship that has been refurbished. But for what we needed it was perfectly acceptable. The only thing we did notice was now and then there was a strong smell of sewerage but honestly that is not unusual for a cruise ship.

Storage

We were pleasantly surprised by the storage. There were two large wardrobes with a hanging rail in each. (Ask your room attendant for extra hangers if you need more) There was a further wardrobe with shelves, drawers and a safe. We didn’t need to fight for space.. we had plenty for 8 days worth of clothing and shoes.

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184

There was more storage in the dressing table consisting of drawers and shelves. Plenty of space for all of my beauty products…

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184 Living Area

The bed was huge which is one of the things I love about cruising… plenty of space. But we did find it quite hard. We asked for a mattress topper but to be honest It made no difference.. I think we could of done with 10 mattress toppers! But we still slept well (the ship rocks me to sleep lol). Hubby found the bed to be unusually low and often found it hard to get out of bed. But I have little legs so I did’t really notice this.

The sheets are changed every other day, beds are made every morning and our favourite bit the turn down service in the evening too. We did have to ask for an extra pillow each.. but it was not a problem for the room attendant.

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184

Next to each side of the bed is a lamp which have one USB port in each. This was really useful for charging our phones. On one side there was a bedside table attached to the wall which had the phone on so there was no room for a drink etc. The opposite side for some reason had no bedside table but did look like there should of been one…  We had the bed converted to a double but this can also be split apart into two single beds. In the middle of the headboard there is a switch which turns off of main cabin lights.

Next to the bed is a small sofa which was perfect for chucking all of my clothes (I mean sitting on haha).. but it was quite hard so we didn’t spend too much time sitting on it.

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184

The dressing table was fantastic for my beauty regime each evening.. there was 3 large drawers. One of which includes the most pathetic hairdryer known to man.. I have thick hair so I am very glad I took my own. The mirror is the perfect size with a light above it for applying make up. This is also where you will find a box of tissues which is replaced as needed. You will also find 1 European and 1 American plug so don’t forget to take your adapters. (The American one did not work).

To the left of this you will find the flat screen TV. This has plenty of channels if you want to chill out in the room. Also here you can find out what is going on around the ship, your cruise account and dining information.

Refreshment Facilities

In the room you will find a kettle, two mugs, two spoons and tea/coffee/milk/sugar/sweetener which is replenished twice a day if needed. We had Yorkshire tea bags and Nescafe coffee (standard and de caf).

One of the things I loved about this area was the water caraf/jug which can be used to fill with water in each elevator lobby. You can then use this to fill plastic water bottles to take out on port days too.

Standard Deck Balcony Cabin – Number 8184

The mini bar fridge was very good at keeping things cold. We regularly got cans of drink from the bar with our premium package and stocked up the fridge.

Just remember any cans/water etc in the room already is chargeable (there is a price list available in the room).

In this area you will also find one European and one American socket. Again the American one did not work.

Balcony

I have saved..

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We may be experienced cruisers now but there was a time where we had no idea of the essentials needed to make a cruise easier. We spent 4 weeks in the same cabin aboard Independence of the seas 2 years ago and we could not have coped without most of the things I will be recommending to you below.

A PEN

It seems so simple but without one you are lost. Pens are usually quite expensive in the on board gift shop so try to bring a few with you. They are handy for leaving notes for cabin attendants, filling out crosswords and any forms the cruise line may send your way.

STICKY NOTES

These are a fabulous way of leaving notes for your cabin attendant. Until you are on board or an experienced cruiser you won’t realise how many little things you may need to ask for.

MAGNETS

A lot of people don’t realise this but the walls your cabin is magnetic.. small magnets are a fabulous way of sticking important documents or notes to the wall saving room and stopping things from ending up in the trash!

SUN LOUNGER CLIPS

Until you have these little gadgets in your life you don’t realise how you could get by in life without them. Pool decks of cruise ships can be very windy.. meaning towels can fly away. These babies will keep everything pegged down. They are also great for those beach ports too. I got mine on Amazon here.

A PLASTIC CARD

For example an unused store card or business card… If your cabin happens to have the slot to activate your lights and power when you leave the room and take your sea pass cards with you the power will go off. This is really aggravating when you are trying to charge electronics.. so bring a card with you and slot it in.. the power will never go off.. (your cabin attendant might remove it though)

TRAVEL LAUNDRY BAG

Finding somewhere to store your dirty laundry in a small cabin can be a bit of a nightmare. Grab a travel laundry bag to keep everything neat and tidy. Then just throw it in your suitcase to go home. It folds completely flat and takes up very little space. I got my cute travel laundry bag on Amazon here.

LIQUID HAND SOAP

If you are like me and prefer to have an antibacterial liquid soap to use daily you will need to bring your own. Most cruise lines will provide a small soap bar but these end up very messy and unhygenic.

TRAVEL WASH


If you don’t have enough space to bring all of the clothes you need and do not want to spend on expensive laundry costs on board try bringing your own hand travel wash. There are some ships with laundry rooms (P&O provide a laundry room on every deck which has access to washers, dryers and iron boards).

TRAVEL SCISSORS

Cruise lines state that you may not bring scissors with a blade over the measurement of 7cm long. So a small pair of travel scissors is fine. Trust me they are a necessity! I have been lost without them a few times.. especially for cutting tags off of new clothes etc.

ALCOHOL

YES booze! On board prices are expensive unless you manage to get yourself a free drinks package thrown in or you are buying one as you are a big drinker. Every cruise line has a different policy for bringing alcohol on board, varying from one bottle of wine to a few bottles of spirits. Check with your cruise line before travelling. Most cruise lines do state this must be consumed in your state room but when you are watching the sun set from your balcony.. a cheeky glass of red will make it the perfect end to a long day of fun (and save you some cash). When we board we ask our state room attendant for some wine glasses and they will usually continue to replace them.

TRAVEL ADAPTERS

Most cruise ships offer American and European plug sockets, I have only come across one cruise line with UK sockets and that was P&O. So remember to bring plenty of travel adapters. Most newer ships now have USB sockets but you will find the older ships do not have these installed.

LANYARD

If you are good at losing things this is perfect for you! I never carry a bag or purse around the ship as you just don’t really need it! Everything is done and paid for with your onboard sea card. We always bring a lanyard with a plastic pouch to ensure we do not lose our cards.

THINGS YOU DO NOT NEED TO PACK
  • Hangers – Ask your room attendant he will have loads of spare plastic or metal hangers..
  • Towels – All towels including pool towels will be provided on the ship for free.
  • Irons and Steamers – These will be 100% confiscated if you try to bring these on board. Everyone else has creased clothes so simply don’t worry about it.

I really hope this list has helped you to prepare and pack for your cruise.. we would love to hear any other packing comments..

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Whether you have already booked your cruise or are considering booking one in the next few months, you’re probably wondering if Brexit will affect your upcoming plans. 29th March 2019 is the planned date for the UK leaving the E.U either with or without a deal. The whole country is facing political uncertainty at the moment but people still have plans and we still need to cruise so we have rounded up as much information as we can below.

Should I Be Concerned If I Have Already Booked  A Cruise Around The Date Of Brexit?

There is very little need to be concerned as The European Commission has said that planes and ships leaving from the UK will still be allowed to fly and sail over/close to the territory of the European Union, even in a no-deal scenario. So you can be rest assured that your holiday will still go ahead.

Will I Need A Visa To Travel In The EU?

You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. The European Commission announced in November 2018 that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers will still be able to visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. The European Commission has also said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee of around seven euros for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system, which applies to all third country visitors to the EU – it’s similar to the ESTA Visa Waiver Programme that the USA has.

Will I Need A New Passport To Travel In The EU?

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal. After 29 March 2019:

  1. You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
  2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, up to 9 extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

Click HERE to check your passport.

List of countries affected

The new rules will apply for travel to and between countries in the Schengen area. These are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
Travel to other EU countries

The new rules do not apply when travelling to Ireland.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not in the Schengen area. You should check the entry requirements for these countries.

Will My European Health Card (EHIC) Still Be Valid After Brexit?

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, your access to healthcare when visiting the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland is likely to change.
If you’re using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by the UK, this will still be valid until 29 March 2019.
If you’re planning to travel on or after 29 March, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need.

If you hold annual travel insurance please ensure that it covers all of your pre existing conditions before travelling to the EU.

Will I Be Able To Hire A Car In The EU?

If there is a no deal, your licence may not be valid as a standalone document. In order to drive, or even simply hire a vehicle abroad, you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) which costs £5.50. Click here for more information.

WHAT DO THE CRUISE LINES SAY? OUR BREXIT PROMISE

No matter what the future brings, you can rest assured that your holiday with us will always be plain sailing.

  • Sail from Southampton–we have hundreds of holidays sailing direct from the UK, the ultimate way to get your holiday off to a relaxing start. In the event of a no deal scenario, the Government have confirmed cruise holidays will continue on the same basis as today
  • Pay in pounds sterling when booking and on board – avoid potential currency fluctuations and explore Europe without the euros. You can also pay in advance for a range of exciting experiences ashore
  • Our 5% deposit offer – complete peace of mind that your holiday is booked ahead at a great price
  • The financial protection of both ATOL and ABTA
  • More holiday for your money – so much is included as standard, from meals and entertainment to flights and taxes.

All of this combined with over 180 years of P&O history and expertise means we are well positioned to manage any possible impact on your holiday plans.

RCL CRUISES

KEY RIGHTS UNDER PACKAGE TRAVEL AND LINKED TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS REGULATIONS 2018

The combination of travel services offered to you is a package within the meaning of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations. 

Therefore, you will benefit from all EU rights applying to packages. The ship operator being RCL Cruises Ltd or Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, as advised at the time of booking or in any confirmation invoice, will be fully responsible for the proper performance of the package as a whole.

Additionally, as required by law, RCL Cruises Ltd and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd have protection in place to refund your payments and, where transport is included in the package, to ensure your repatriation in the event that it becomes/they become insolvent.

Key rights under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations are available below:

  • Travellers will receive all essential information about the package before concluding the package travel contract.
  • There is always at least one trader who is liable for the proper performance of all the travel services included in the contract.
  • Travellers are given an emergency number or details of a contact point where they can get in touch with the organiser or travel agent.
  • Travellers may transfer the package to another person, on reasonable notice and possibly subject to additional costs.
  • The price of the package may only be increased if specific costs rise (for instance fuel prices), and if expressly provided for in the contract, and in any event not later than 20 days before the start of the package. If the price increase exceeds 8% of the price of the package, the traveller may terminate the contract. If the organiser reserves the right to a price increase, the traveller has a right to a price reduction if there is a decrease in the relevant costs.
  • Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee and get a full refund of any payments if any of the essential elements of the package, other than the price, are changed significantly. If before the start of the package the trader responsible for the package cancels the package, travellers are entitled to a refund and compensation where appropriate.
  • Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee before the start of the package in the event of exceptional circumstances, for instance if there are serious security problems at the destination which are likely to affect the package.
  • Additionally, travellers may at any time before the start of the package terminate the contract in return for an appropriate and justifiable termination fee.
  • If, after the start of the package, significant elements of the package cannot be provided as agreed, suitable alternative arrangements will have to be offered to the traveller at no extra cost. Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee, where services are not performed in accordance with the contract and this substantially affects the performance of the package and the organiser fails to remedy the problem.
  • Travellers are also entitled to a price reduction or compensation for damages or both where the travel services are not performed or are improperly performed.
  • The organiser has to provide assistance if the traveller is in difficulty.
  • If the organiser or the retailer becomes insolvent, payments will be refunded. If the organiser or, where applicable, the retailer becomes insolvent after the start of the package and if transport is included in the package, repatriation of the travellers is secured.

RCL Cruises Ltd t/a Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises Inc. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Inc. t/a Royal Caribbean and Azamara Club Cruises.

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The all inclusive cruise market is growing, most cruise lines choosing to offer this as their latest special deal. But Marella Cruises (Formally TUI Cruises) have been the leading cruise line in the all inclusive market for some time. Now available on all of their ships they offer a full drinks package along with free gratuities. We have the full drinks menu available right here…

Each ship has a different menu so please check out the correct ship below….

DRINKS MENU FOR DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2
DRINKS MENU FOR CELEBRATION & DREAM
DRINKS MENU FOR EXPLORER & EXPLORER 2
PREMIUM ALL INCLUSIVE

As standard – Teas, Coffees, Fruit juices, Draught Soft drinks and water. On all ships.

DRINKS MENU FOR DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2 Image – Marella Cruises BEERS AND CIDERS ON DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2

DRAUGHT

  • John Smith’s, PINT
  • John Smith’s, HALF PINT
  • Foster’s, PINT
  • Foster’s, HALF PINT
  • Strongbow, PINT
  • Strongbow, HALF PINT

BOTTLES/CANS

  • Corona
  • Peroni
  • Becks
  • Budweiser
  • Guinness
  • Heineken 0.0
WINES AND SPARKLING WINE ON DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2
  • House Sauvignon Blanc, GLASS
  • House Pinot Grigio, GLASS
  • House Chardonnay, GLASS
  • House Merlot, GLASS
  • House Pinot Noir, GLASS
  • House Cabernet Sauvignon, GLASS
  • Bleu De Mar, Rose, GLASS
  • Cava, GLASS
  • Prosecco, GLASS
HOUSE COCKTAILS ON DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2
  • Berry Fizz
  • Banana Banshee
  • Bahama Mama
  • Bellini
  • Black Russian
  • Bloody Mary
  • Citrus Cooler
  • Cuba Libre
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Daiquiri’s
  • Electric Lemonade
  • Hawaiian Tropics
  • Hurricane
  • Long Island Ice Tea
  • Lemon Tree
  • Melon Ball
  • Margarita
  • Mai Tai
  • Negroni
  • Pina Colada
  • Pimm’s Cup
  • Planters Punch
  • Raspberry Lemonade
  • Raspberry Collins
  • Rum Sour
  • Sherbet Lollipop
  • Screwdriver
  • Singapore Sling
  • Whisky Sour
  • Wibble
  • West Indies Yellow Bird
  • Zombie
WHISKIES/BRANDIES ON DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2
  • Bell’s
  • Johnnie Walker Red
  • Teacher’s
  • The Famous Grouse
  • Canadian Club
  • Jim Bean
  • Jameson
  • Fundalor
  • Metexa 5
GINS, VODKAS, RUMS & TEQUILAS ON DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2

GIN

  • Gordon’s
  • Beefeater London Dry
  • Tanqueray

RUM

  • Barcardi
  • Malibu
  • Captain Morgan

VODKA

  • Smirnoff
  • Stolichnaya

TEQUILA

  • Jose Cuervo Silver
  • Jose Cuervo Gold

PORT

  • Sandeman Ruby
  • Cockburns Special Reserve

SHERRY

  • Harvey’s Bristol Cream
  • Croft Original

LIQUEUR

  • Amaretto
  • Archer’s
  • Baileys
  • Cointreau
  • Cherry Brandy
  • Chambord
  • Drambuie
  • Sambuca
  • Southern Comfort

APERITIFS 

  • Martini Dry
  • Martini Rosso
  • Martini Blanco
  • Cinzano
  • Pimm’s
  • Dubonnet
  • Campari
  • Aperol
  • Pernod
  • Fernet-Branca

DRINKS MENU FOR CELEBRATION & DREAM Image – Marella Cruises BEERS AND CIDERS ON DREAM & CELEBRATION

DRAUGHT

  • John Smith’s, PINT
  • John Smith’s, HALF PINT
  • Foster’s, PINT
  • Foster’s, HALF PINT
  • Strongbow, PINT
  • Strongbow, HALF PINT

BOTTLES/CANS

  • Sol
  • Birra Moretti
WINES AND SPARKLING WINE ON DREAM & CELEBRATION
  • House Sauvignon Blanc, GLASS
  • Rosa Arada Catalunya, GLASS
  • House White, GLASS
  • House Red, GLASS
  • House Blush, GLASS
  • House Cabernet Sauvignon, GLASS
  • Prosecco Frizzante, GLASS
HOUSE COCKTAILS ON DREAM & CELEBRATION
  • Black Russian
  • Singapore Sling
  • Sours
  • Cocktail Of The Day
  • Bloody Mary
  • Coladas
  • Illusion
  • Electric Lemonade
  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • Raspberry Collins
  • Lemon Tree
  • Wibble
  • Mai Tai
  • Banana Banshee
  • Bahama Mama
  • Planters Punch
  • West Indies Yellow Bird
  • Zombie
  • Uncle Vanya
  • Cuba Libre
  • Pimm’s Cup
  • Bloody Mary
  • Screwdriver
WHISKIES/BRANDIES ON DREAM & CELEBRATION
  • J&B
  • Johnnie Walker Red
  • Teacher’s
  • Ballantines
  • Fundalor
GINS, VODKAS, RUMS & TEQUILAS ON DREAM & CELEBRATION

GIN

  • Gordon’s
  • Beefeater London Dry
  • New Amsterdam

RUM

  • Barcardi
  • Malibu
  • Captain Morgan
  • Rum Haven Coconut

VODKA

  • Smirnoff
  • New Amsterdam

TEQUILA

  • El Carelles Blanco
  • El Carelles Reposada

PORT

  • Sandeman Ruby
  • Cockburns Special Reserve

SHERRY

  • Harvey’s Bristol Cream
  • Croft Original

LIQUEUR

  • Baileys
  • Cointreau
  • Drambuie
  • Sambuca

APERITIFS 

  • Martini Dry
  • Martini Rosso
  • Martini Blanco
  • Cinzano
  • Pimm’s
  • Dubonnet
  • Campari
  • Pernod

DRINKS MENU FOR EXPLORER & EXPLORER 2 Image – Marella Cruises BEERS AND CIDERS ON EXPLORER & EXPLORER 2

DRAUGHT

  • John Smith’s, PINT
  • John Smith’s, HALF PINT
  • Foster’s, PINT
  • Foster’s, HALF PINT
  • Strongbow, PINT
  • Strongbow, HALF PINT

BOTTLES/CANS

  • Corona
  • Peroni
  • Budweiser
  • Guinness
  • Heineken 0.0
  • Birra Moretti
  • San Migueal
WINES AND SPARKLING WINE ON EXPLORER & EXPLORER 2
  • House Sauvignon Blanc, GLASS
  • House Pinot Grigio, GLASS
  • House Chardonnay, GLASS
  • House Merlot, GLASS
  • House Pinot Noir, GLASS
  • House Cabernet Sauvignon, GLASS
  • Bleu De Mar, Rose, GLASS
  • Cava, GLASS
  • Prosecco, GLASS
  • Arada Rose, GLASS
  • House Red Blend, GLASS
HOUSE COCKTAILS ON EXPLORER & EXPLORER 2
  • Berry Fizz
  • Banana Banshee
  • Bahama Mama
  • Bellini
  • Black Russian
  • Bloody Mary
  • Citrus Cooler
  • Cuba Libre
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Daiquiri’s
  • Electric Lemonade
  • Hawaiian Tropics
  • Hurricane
  • Long Island Ice Tea
  • Lemon Tree
  • Melon Ball
  • Margarita
  • Mai Tai
  • Negroni
  • Pina Colada
  • Pimm’s Cup
  • Planters Punch
  • Raspberry Lemonade
  • Raspberry Collins
  • Rum Sour
  • Sherbet Lollipop
  • Screwdriver
  • Singapore Sling
  • Whisky Sour
  • Wibble
  • West Indies Yellow Bird
  • Zombie
WHISKIES/BRANDIES ON DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2
  • Johnnie Walker Red
  • Teacher’s
  • Jim Beam
  • Jameson
  • Fundalor
  • Metexa 5
GINS, VODKAS, RUMS & TEQUILAS ON DISCOVERY & DISCOVERY 2

GIN

  • Gordon’s
  • New Amsterdam
  • Tanqueray

RUM

  • Barcardi
  • Malibu
  • Captain Morgan
  • Rum Haven Coconut

VODKA

  • Smirnoff
  • New Amsterdam
  • Stolichnaya

TEQUILA

  • Jose Cuervo Silver
  • Jose Cuervo Gold

PORT

  • Sandeman Ruby
  • Cockburns Special Reserve

SHERRY

  • Harvey’s Bristol Cream
  • Croft Original

LIQUEUR

  • Amaretto
  • Archer’s
  • Baileys
  • Cointreau
  • Cherry Brandy
  • Chambord
  • Drambuie
  • Sambuca
  • Southern Comfort

APERITIFS 

  • Martini Dry
  • Martini Rosso
  • Martini Blanco
  • Cinzano
  • Pimm’s
  • Dubonnet
  • Campari
  • Pernod

Taken From Marella Cruises….

Your All Inclusive package will vary from ship to ship, but will generally include selected draught beer and ciders, a range of spirits and aperitifs, selected soft drinks by the glass, house wine and prosecco by the glass, as well as a range of cocktails. Check our Terms and Conditions for a full list of what’s included. And remember, All Inclusive covers 10am to 2am daily. If you choose to order drinks outside of this window, they’ll be charged to your onboard account.

PREMIUM ALL-INCLUSIVE

Most passengers are happy wit Marella’s basic all inclusive package but if you do fancy something a little extra you can update to their premium all inclusive where you will also receive….

  • Upgraded Cocktails
  • Premium Teas and Coffees
  • Premium spirits
  • Cans of soft drinks
  • 1.5 Litre bottle of water in your cabin each day.

Taken from Marella Cruises…

Opt for Premium All Inclusive and you’ll get upgraded cocktails included – so it’s mojito’s and bellini’s all round – plus premium gins, vodkas, rums and tequila, including Bombay Sapphire, Jack Daniels and Absolut Vodka. On top of this, you’ll also get more choice of whiskies, brandies and Cognacs, as well as all drinks from The Coffee Port, made with premium Lavazza coffee, cans of soft drinks, and a 1.5 litre bottle of water every day. And, if you’ve already booked your summer 19 cruise, you can still upgrade to the Premium All Inclusive package.

BOOK NOW
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Formal nights are one of the main unknowns for any new cruiser.  There are always a lot of questions about this subject, and people are often uneasy and unsure about what to expect on their cruise.

Here is an overview of what you need to know about formal night on the major cruise lines.

Celebrity Cruises
MSC Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)
P&O Cruises
Princess Cruises
Royal Caribbean


Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity have given formal nights a ‘modern luxury reboot’.    Formal Nights have now been replaced with Evening Chic, and Evening Chic attire has replaced Formal attire.  While dressier than Smart Casual, Evening Chic is intended to be less dressy than Formal attire.

Dress Code:

Evening Chic
Women should feel comfortable wearing:   A cocktail dress OR.  Skirt, pants or designer jeans with an elegant top.

Men should feel comfortable wearing:   Pants or designer jeans with a dress shirt, button-down shirt or sweater with an optional sport coat or blazer

Evening Chic means that you can get glamorous and be sophisticated in your own way. If you would like to still wear a tuxedo or formal gown on Evening Chic nights, you absolutely should.

Smart Casual attire can be enjoyed every other night of your cruise.

Smart Casual
Women should feel comfortable wearing:  Skirt, pants or jeans with a casual top

Men should feel comfortable wearing:  Pants or jeans with a short sleeve sport shirt.

T-shirts, swimsuits, robes, bare feet, tank tops, baseball caps and pool wear are not allowed in the main restaurant or specialty restaurant at any time. Shorts and flip-flops are not allowed in the evening hours. The dress code will be enforced at all restaurants. And guests are asked to follow the Smart Casual or Evening Chic dress code in the Celebrity Theater for all evening performances.

Number of Evening Chic Nights:

Cruises of 7 nights or longer:  2 Evening Chic nights.
Cruises of 6-nights or shorter:  1 Evening Chic night.

All other nights of the cruise will feature Smart Casual attire.

Celebrity Xpedition will feature casual attire for the entire cruise.


MSC Cruises
Dress Code:

“Casual resort wear” is appropriate, except for formal evenings when men are required to put on suits or jackets and ties, and women cocktail dresses.  In addition, passengers who would like to participate in theme nights are encouraged to dress according to a specific theme. Examples of theme nights include White Night, Tropical Night or 60s/70s/80s Night.

The standard Lido buffet (and room service) will serve passengers seeking a more low-key dining experience and who don’t wish to dress formally.

After 6 p.m., jeans, T-shirts and shorts are not permitted in the ships’ public areas. No swimwear is allowed in main dining rooms. Jeans are allowed on casual resort wear nights, as long as they aren’t torn or ripped.

Number of Formal Nights:

4-6 night cruises:  1 Formal Night
7-9 night cruises:  2 Formal Nights
10-14 night cruises:  3 Formal Nights
15 nights or longer:  4 Formal Nights


Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

NCL’s ‘Freestyle Cruising’ ethos applies to the dress code on Norwegian ships.  NCL believe that guests will have much more relaxing cruise vacations when they are comfortable.

Resort casual is the norm throughout the fleet, so guests can leave their tuxedos and party dresses at home if they wish.

For those who enjoy dressing up for dinner, there is one (two on cruises longer than seven-nights) completely optional “formal night” in various areas of the ship.


P&O Cruises
Dress Code:

P&O have two evening Dress Codes on-board their ships, Evening Casual and Black Tie.  Suggestions of the type of clothing you might like to wear are given in the documents below:

Evening Casual dress suggestions

Black Tie dress suggestions

P&O also host Theme Nights where guests are invited to dress up in line with the theme. Dressing up for a Theme Night is great fun but isn’t compulsory.

For 60s & 70s you can either just turn up and enjoy the music or jump at the chance to dig out your miniskirts and flares!

Black and White nights follow the same dress code as our Black Tie evenings with men in tuxedos or dinner suits and women in ball gowns or cocktail dresses.  You can also opt for an all black or all white ensemble (if your wardrobe will allow).

Tropical nights are all about Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts and optional flower necklaces.

Number of Black Tie Nights:

This can vary from cruise to cruise depending on the number of nights you are on board.

As a guide, there is approximately:

  • 1 Black Tie night during a 2-4 night cruise
  • 2 Black Tie nights during a 5-7 night cruise
  • 3 Black Tie nights during an 8-10 night cruise
  • 4 Black Tie nights during an 11-14 night cruise


Princess Cruises
Dress Code:

Princess Cruises have two evening dress codes on-board their ships, Smart Casual and Formal.  Suggestions of the type of clothing you might like to wear are given in the documents below:

Smart Casual
Guest attire should be in keeping with what they would wear to a nice restaurant at home.

  • Skirts/dresses, slacks, and sweaters for ladies
  • Pants and open-neck shirts for men

Dinner wear such as pool or beach attire, shorts, ball caps and casual jeans (with fraying and/or holes) are not welcomed in the dining rooms. Shoes must be worn.

Formal
When formal nights are held, please observe the dress code in the Traditional Dining and Anytime Dining venues for the enjoyment of all our guests.

  • Evening gowns and cocktail dresses for women
  • Tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits with a tie for men
Number of Formal Nights:
Length of Cruise Number of Formal Evenings Number of Smart Casual Evenings
1 – 4 Days 0 1 – 4
5 – 6 Days 1 4 – 5
7 – 13 Days 2 5 – 11
14 – 20 Days 3 11 – 17
21 – 28 Days 4 17 – 24
29+ Days 5 minimum 24+


Royal Caribbean
Dress Code:

Royal Caribbean have three evening dress codes on their ships.  Evenings will either be Casual, Smart Casual or Formal.   There can be 1-3 formal nights during a sailing and is at the ship’s discretion. The Chef’s Table dining experience also enforces a formal dress code policy.

Here are a few types of suggested attire for each type of night:

  • Casual: You’re on vacation – relax! Jeans, polos, sundresses and blouses are all the right amount of laid back. Please keep swimwear to the Pool Deck. Shorts are welcomed for breakfast and lunch, but not dinner.
  • Smart Casual: Think of this as a step up from your typical dinner wear. Dress to impress with collared shirts, dresses, skirts and blouses, or pantsuits. Jackets, sports coats and blazers are snazzy and welcomed.
  • Formal: Make it a night out in your best black-tie look – suits and ties, tuxedos, cocktail dresses or evening gowns.
Number of Formal Nights:
  • 3/4/5 night cruises – 1 formal night (usually on Day 2)
  • 6 night cruises – 2 formal nights (usually on Day 2 and 5)
  • 7 night cruises – 2 formal nights (usually on Day 2 and 6. Oasis and Allure use Day 2 and 5 on Western itineraries and Day 2 and 6 on Eastern itineraries)
  • 14-night and longer cruises – 3 formal nights.
  • Formal Nights are not offered on Empress of the Seas sailings.
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Royal Caribbean’s fleet of ships continues to grow and grow. So much in fact that the ship yards cannot keep up with the ever growing demand. 2018 saw the release of Symphony of the seas the latest edition to Oasis Class. Over the next 5 years we are due a new ship each year.

Spectrum Of The Seas
Class: Quantum Ultra Class
Planned inaugural cruise: May 2019
Spectrum of the seas will be sailing straight to Asia and looking to stay there for the foreseeable future.
More information on the ship here.

Odyssey Of The Seas
Class: Quantum Ultra Class
Expected inaugural cruise: Fall 2020
Odyssey looks to be doing a stint in the Med before joining the majority of the fleet in the USA.

Rumoured to be Melody Of The Seas
Class: Oasis Class
Expected inaugural cruise: 2021

Rumoured to be Icon Of The Seas
Class: Icon Class
Expected inaugural cruise: 2022

Second Icon Class (Ship With No Current Name)
Class: Icon Class
Expected inaugural cruise: 2024

More information on Icon class….

Picture – Royal Caribbean
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Following P&O’s recent announcement regarding scrapped gratuities they have now announced their new beverage package range. Rolling out between March – May 2019 guests taking a 5 night or more cruise with P&O can now consider booking an all inclusive drinks package. A range of 4 different drinks packages will soon be offered to passengers starting from £7.95 Per Person Per Day. The great thing about the packages is that they will be available to use in all restaurants and bars on the ships including the paid restaurants like The Limelight Lounge.

We have always found P&O drinks to be some of the cheapest in the cruising world but we did hope that one day they would consider offering package options. But I am still unsure if I would benefit from them as personally I am not a heavy drinker. Each passenger in the cabin will have to purchase the same drinks package (not including children). So for me I believe that is unfair because there are some families and couples who have different tastes/needs.

Image – P&O

The Ultimate Drinks Package £39.95 per person per day: Will include any drink up to the cost of £6.95 up to 15 alcoholic drinks per day. These includes beer, wine, cocktails, coffees and soft drinks. This drinks package also gives you a 20% discount on drinks over the cost of £6.95.

The Non Alcoholic Drinks Package £19.95 per person per day: Will include Mocktails, Speciality Coffees/hot chocolates, Soft drinks and Selected juices.

The Hot Drinks Package £10.95 per person per day: Will include small Costa coffees, teas and hot chocolates. Also a 20% discount on medium/large hot drinks.

The Children’s Drink Package £7.95 per person per day: Will include just Soft drinks, Selected Juices and Hot Chocolate. A children’s drinks package will be provided complimentary if there is an adult purchasing a full ultimate drinks package in the same cabin.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “We have introduced these drinks packages following direct feedback from our guests. They add even more value for guests on our cruises and can help with the all important holiday budgeting too. With a vast range of drinks included, our guests will be spoilt for choice and can try new wines, artisan gins or cocktails, for example, which they would not normally have at home.”

The Roll out dates are as follows:

Azura: 26 March 2019
Britannia: 7 April 2019
Aurora: 8 April 2019
Oceana: 18 April 2019
Ventura: 23 April 2019
Arcadia: 5 May 2019

All drinks packages can be purchased within the first two days of your cruise. To find out more about the packages please visit the P&O website here.

Are Drinks Packages Good Value?

In my opinion no.. but that is only because hubby and I are not big drinkers.. I find packages are better value on other cruise lines where the base price of drinks are more expensive anyway. But as I mentioned before we have always found P&O’s drinks to be very reasonable anyway! There is no way I could guzzle £39.95 worth of drink a day! I would be on the floor…
A few years ago we spent a week on a RCI ship with a free drinks package. We made note of every single drink we had and added everything up at the end. We just about broke even but we were forcing ourselves to have drinks we didn’t even want.
However if you are a big drinker and can easily get through 6 – 8 glasses of wine/bottles of beer a day along with some coffee and soft drinks you could benefit from the package. Often guests prefer to have the packages just to have a laid back holiday without having to sign receipts all of the time.. But I will leave that decision with you guys!

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With the cost of Cruise holidays rising in recent years cheap deals and bargains can be difficult to find. Pricing with many cruise lines can be very inflexible and even the ‘deals’ and ‘sales’ they offer throughout the year are usually simply a repackaging of the holiday with ‘free’ inclusive extras like drinks packages and specialty dining usually being accompanied with a significant price rise.

We are always on the look out for Royal Caribbean, P&O or Princess Cruise’s discount or promotional vouchers but they never seem to exist.

One way of making the deal just that little bit sweeter is the use of a cash back site like TopCashBack.co.uk. Cashback sites receive a commission from the merchant (in this case a cruise line) for directing you to their website. After shopping with a selected merchant, they simply give you back a percentage of your spend once your purchase is confirmed.  All you need to do is login to your TopCashBack account, search for the merchant you are about to purchase with and click the cashback link to be taken directly to the merchant.

Many cruise lines offer cashback through TopCashBack.co.uk, meaning that for a simple extra click of the mouse you could get HUNDREDS of pounds back on your cruise purchase. It really is that simple, and we at CruiseAddict.net have made great savings on our cruises.

Here are some examples of current cashback rates for top cruise lines:

Royal Caribbean:  6%
Princess Cruises: 4%
P&O Cruises:  up to £90

Here are a couple of examples of some of the cashback people have received on their cruises just by clicking through TopCashBack before booking!

For an even bigger bonus, registering for free with TopCashBack by clicking through the link below will earn you a £5 Argos e-Gift voucher!

Sign up to TopCashBack here to receive a £5 Argos e-Gift card, and great cruise savings!

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If you have sailed with Royal Caribbean, chances are you have seen or even tried out a Flowrider. Usually found on the back of Royal Caribbean ships, the Flowrider offers hours of entertainment for all ages.

The Flowrider is a surf simulator that allows the user to surf or boogie board without even being in the sea.  Flowrider is a company who partnered with Royal Caribbean to provide them for Ships across the world. But if you fancy having one in your own back garden it is actually possible.. If you ever sail out of Fort Lauderdale keep your eyes peeled.. because there is actually someone who has one in their garden.

They are 100% free to use on Royal Caribbean and in some circumstances you can actually hire them starting at $69 for private sessions. The only restrictions of the attraction are Boogie board height requirement 52 inches (4ft3) or standing up requirement 58 inches (4ft8).

So which ships currently offer the Flowrider experience?

  • Adventure Of The Seas
  • Allure Of The Seas x 2
  • Anthem Of The Seas
  • Explorer Of The Seas
  • Freedom Of The Seas
  • Harmony Of The Seas x 2
  • Independence Of The Seas
  • Liberty Of The Seas
  • Majesty Of The Seas
  • Navigator Of The Seas
  • Oasis Of The Seas x 2
  • Ovation Of The Seas
  • Quantum Of The Seas
  • Symphony Of The Seas x 2
  • Voyager Of The Seas

Ships that do not currently have a Flowrider

  • Brilliance Of The Seas
  • Empress Of The Seas
  • Enchantment Of The Seas
  • Grandeur Of The Seas
  • Jewel Of The Seas
  • Majesty Of The Seas
  • Mariner Of The Seas
  • Radiance Of The Seas
  • Rhapsody Of The Seas
  • Serenade Of The Seas
  • Vision Of The Seas

Some of these ships are undergoing refits 2018/2019/2020 so please check back soon for an updated list.

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If you have sailed with Royal Caribbean, chances are you have experienced one of these Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines.. Failing that they are readily available in Burger King.. or you may have seen a similar Pepsi version in Pizza Hut and Harvester restaurants.

I LOVE Freestyle machines because you can try out so many new flavours. Using the touch screen you can choose your type of drink i.e Diet Coke.. followed by your flavour.. i.e Strawberry, Cherry, Plain. They are fantastic for the kids too.

If you purchase one of the drinks packages offered by Royal Caribbean you will be provided with a special Freestyle cup with lid. (They are usually waiting in your cabin if you have pre ordered your drinks package). These cups contain an RFID chip which activates the machine.

Drinks packages with Royal Caribbean start from $8 per day and can be purchased before or during your cruise.

Anyway you are here to find out which ships currently contain Freestyle machines…

  • Adventure Of The Seas
  • Allure Of The Seas
  • Anthem Of The Seas
  • Enchantment Of The Seas
  • Explorer Of The Seas
  • Freedom Of The Seas
  • Grandeur Of The Seas
  • Harmony Of The Seas
  • Independence Of The Seas
  • Jewel Of The Seas
  • Majesty Of The Seas
  • Mariner Of The Seas
  • Oasis Of The Seas
  • Odyssey Of The Seas (Coming Soon)
  • Ovation Of The Seas
  • Quantum Of The Seas
  • Rhapsody Of The Seas
  • Spectrum Of The Seas (Coming Soon)
  • Symphony Of The Seas

This list is currently is constantly being updated.. if you know of any other ships with Freestyle machines that is not listed above please leave a comment.

Cruising with Coca-Cola Freestyle: Royal Caribbean and Coke Make a Perfect Blend for Cruisers - YouTube

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