Tag-Archive for » Southampton «

Royal Baby Royal Treat For Cunard


Ah yes, the Royal Baby. She arrived on the weekend, in case you haven’t heard. Her birth was on the very day that Britain’s three queens of sailing — Victoria, Mary 2, Elizabeth — were launching another celebration: 175 years of Cunard.

The connection was not lost on Cunard.

When the news broke, thee three ships of royal lineage were all in British waters and in unison sounded their whistles three times. The significance of three comes from the “time-honored Magpie rhyme”…

“One for sorrow,
“Two for joy,
“Three for a girl…”

When Royal Baby Girl’s brother George was born two years ago, the three queens must have had scheduling problems because they didn’t blast “four for a boy” in unison. Or at least they weren’t close enough to be in tune.

This time, the timing was ideal.

The cruise line Samuel Cunard founded in 1840 planned this weekend retreat for its three ships long before England’s most famous mother of two even knew her Royal Daughter was on the way. So call it coincidence, luck or celestial intervention…but the perfect little one arrived on the perfect big weekend, when ships named after her ancestors — including her great-grandmother — were within driving distance.

Cunard’s anniversary year was kicked off at the home port, Southampton. Sunday’s royal procession was delayed until Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Anthem of the Seas, had left on its inaugural voyage. The three ships later broke formation on cruises to Hamburg (Queen Elizabeth), Guernsey (Queen Victoria) and New York (Queen Mary 2).

They’ll get together again later this month to take the River Mersey to Liverpool, Cunard’s ancestral home, for an event that’s expected to be watched by a million people on the shoreline.

In the meantime, like everyone else, Cunard’s people are waiting to hear the new queen-to-be’s name…

Elizabeth? Victoria? Mary?

Now that would be TOO much!

In the news…

• Balconies for the price of oceanviews on Anthem of the Seas
• $20 million loan to make Alaska's Icy Straight Point better port by fall
• Silver Whisper fails CDC health inspection with unsatisfactrory score of 82

Today at portsandbows.com: Star Wars to be a hit for Disney

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
12 nights
May 28, 2015
Barcelona (return): Nice, Florence, Rome, Salerno, Venice, Ravenna, Kotor
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $58

When Fear Reaches Cruise Ports 

It’s a toss-up where the most feared four-letter word in the world these days is “ISIS” or “ebola.” Both strike fear in the hearts of just about everybody, and both have ominous potential to get worse.

While both are having an effect on cruising, it’s not a big one.


There are no cruise ships going to Syria or Iraq, but you can be sure the security will become even more intense on all cruise ships, which can be targeted by militants just the way airplanes are.

The “other” threat, ebola, has moved four cruise lines — Holland America, Fred.Olsen, Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas — to change port calls scheduled for Senegal, which borders on the part of West Africa stricken with the disease.

But think about this:

What happens if the spread of ebola reaches (or erupts) in Southampton? Or Venice? Or Miami? Will travelers stay away from cities where ebola is present, or regions where terrorists attempt a strike?

Today at portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Celebrity Summit
7 nights
March 28, 2015
San Juan (return): St. Croix, St. Kitts, Roseau, Grenada, St. Thomas
Inside: $549
Cost per day: $78

Queen Mary 2's Moving Bag Of Soil 

Today, probably by the time you read this, the Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Southampton with a special cargo — one bag with a little bit of Flanders, as in Flanders Field. It’s soil that will be used to create a Flanders Field Memorial Garden in England (Flanders is in Queen MaryBelgium).

The idea is for memorial gardens at The Guards Museum in London to have soil from every battlefield where British soldiers from seven regiments died in World War I. For decades, soil was never allowed to leave the battlefield cemeteries. That changed last year. School children collected 70 sandbags full of soil.

Still with us?

The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Laurent of Belgium attended a ceremony last November when all the sandbags were gathered, placed on a frigate and taken up the Thames, then moved onto a gun carriage for the trip — with a mounted escort — to Wellington Barracks, home of the Flanders Field Memorial Garden, which will be opened by Queen Elizabeth next month.

Did we miss something?

This is a touching story with a lot of “moving” parts, but if 69 bags of soil were transported to the museum (below) last November, what happened to the 70th? Did somebody leave one behind? The most historic words at Flanders Field are “Lest we forget.”

Flanders Field MuseumHonoring men who gave their lives in the fight for freedom should never be forgotten, but if somebody did forget bag 70, why would it take almost a year?

This is 100 years from the start of the “war to end all wars” and any reason to re-visit it is noble, but when bag 70 did make the trip across the channel was an enormous cruise ship necessary? How big is this bag?

Yes, yes…of course we know the answers. They have something to do with the British pomp and pageantry.

Today at portsandbows.com: Who’s offering what for CLIA Cruise Week

Norwegian Pearl
4 nights
November 4, 2014
Miami (return): Grand Bahamas, Nassau
Inside: $149
Cost per day: $37

Sampler Cruises in Faraway Places


Last week, we wrote about "sampler" cruises on the West Coast of North America. It also applies on other coasts.

If you happen to be going to London after the Olympics are done and you're not sure how you feel about cruising, or you want to take somebody who is a reluctant cruiser, here's one way to find out…

You can take the Grand Princess (above) on a three-day, round-trip cruise from Southampton. The ship makes stops in Guernsey (England) and Paris. Departure is September 1 and fares start at $499 per person.

Think of it as a weekend in Paris (even if you don't get to Paris until Monday).

If you happen to be going to Australia next year, P&O has all kinds of sampler cruises to introduce you (or your companion) to cruising.

The most attractive one we found — at a reseller called cruisesalefinder.com.au — was Sydney return, three nights sailing off the east coast of Australia for $398 on the Pacific Jewel. Besides the attractive pricing, it's a food and wine cruise, leaving March 28 — like late August in North America.

Think of it as a weekend picking grapes in an Australian vineyard.

Norwegian Sun
9 nights
August 2, 2012
Copenhagen (return): Berlin, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $77

Sales Booming for a New Princess

We visited friends who are going on a Panama Canal cruise next month. We asked which cruise line they had booked.

"P&O," was the answer.

Knowing that P&O rarely goes through the Panama Canal, and not at all in April, we questioned the answer.

"P&O…Princess…same thing."

P&O and Princess are both owned by Carnival. P&O once owned Princess, which is why our friends thought that was still the case. In the world of corporate gobblydegook, maybe that is still the case in the fine print, because nine years ago P&O Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation merged to form the world's largest cruise corporation.

But for people who cruise, there are P&O ships and cruises, and there are Princess ships and cruises. And sometimes, it seems like there have always been Princess ships.

So it comes as a mild surprise to hear that last week Princess set its all-time, one-day sales record for a ship's inaugural season, after all the years (47) it has been taking people on inaugural cruises. Actually, it was the biggest booking day in history — if you insist on splitting hairs — and what's even stranger is that Princess is providing no details.

Such as, how many bookings make a record?

The ship is the Royal Princess, which will make its inaugural cruise in June 2013. She will sail from Southampton to Barcelona, then spend next summer on 12-day Mediterranean cruises before embarking on its inaugural Atlantic crossing in September.

There's a number of reasons why passengers are making the Royal Princess such a hot item. Some will like the over-water SeaWalk, which hangs 28 feet off the starboard side. Some endorse having 80 per cent of the staterooms with balconies and more room in the adults-only area, The Sanctuary.

And some are just loyal Princess patrons who have waited too long — five years — to see a new Princess ship.

  • Categories

  • Archives