Time Lapse videos of World’s Largest Cruise Ship Harmony of the Seas

Timelapse of the world’s largest crew gathering on the world’s largest ship, Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas is abuzz with excitement as Royal Caribbean takes delivery of the 25th ship in its fleet. The world’s largest and most innovative ship is the new home to 2,100 crew from 77 nationalities after 32 months of construction in Saint Nazaire, France.

Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship with a bold and unexpected lineup of experiences found nowhere else on land or sea. An architectural marvel, Harmony of the Seas combines the distinct seven neighborhood concept that Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of ships are known for with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities. Innovative features include The Ultimate Abyss, a thrilling slide 10 stories high – the tallest at sea, robot bartenders, virtual balconies with real-time views of the destination for interior rooms, and VOOM – the fastest internet at sea – so that guests can stay connected, stream their favorite entertainment and share their adventures.

Top 10 Cruising Innovations for 2016

From the bionic bartenders to bumper cars at sea, cruise ship innovations have reached new heights. These are our favourites that will be making waves in 2016.

The SeaWalk on Regal Princess

At 60 feet long and hovering 128 feet above the ocean, the Princess SeaWalk offers an exciting experience for both kids and adults. Featuring a dramatic glass-bottomed walkway, the SeaWalk provides passengers with unparalleled views of the sea below.

The SeaWalk on Regal Princess

iFLY Skydiving on Ovation of the Seas

RipCord by iFLY is the first ever skydiving simulator at sea. Discover the thrill of skydiving in a completely safe and controlled environment without ever leaving the deck.

iFLY Skydiving on Ovation of the Seas

Robotic bartenders on Ovation of the Seas

These robots can muddle, stir, shake, and strain a drink to perfection. The cocktail combinations are endless with 30 different spirits and 20 different mixers. The robots can mix up to two cocktails a minute with laser precision and thirst-quenching results. Also available on Quantum of the Seas

Robotic bartenders on Ovation of the Seas

Chef’s Table on P&O’s Pacific Eden

An exclusive and private dining experience hosted by the ship’s Executive Chef. Includes a welcome reception with a glass of sparkling wine and canapés, a seven course degustation menu with matching wines, a tour of the ships galley, and professional photograph of the evening. Also available on Pacific Aria, Jewel, Dawn and Pearl

Chef’s Table on P&O’s Pacific Eden

Virtual Balcony on Ovation of the Seas

Ocean views are now available to every interior stateroom with the cutting-edge technology of virtual balconies. A Virtual Balcony is an 80-inch high-definition screen inside interior staterooms that spans nearly floor to ceiling. They offer digital real-time views of the ocean and destinations visible from the ship’s exterior. Also available on Voyager, Explorer, Quantum and Harmony of the Seas

Virtual Balcony on Ovation of the Seas

Wraparound Promenade on Norwegian Escape

An industry-first, quarter-mile wraparound oceanfront promenade featuring the Waterfront, a wine and dining experience connecting you with the ocean while enjoying some of Norwegian’s signature dining venues, Restaurants, bars and stunning views

Wraparound Promenade on Norwegian Escape

Qsine iPad menus on Celebrity Silhouette

iPad menus create a new dining experience that’s fun and interactive. Expect to find some twists on familiar favourites, including sushi lollipops, lobster escargot, popcorn fish and chips, and much more. Also available on Celebrity Eclipse, Millennium, Summit and Infinity

Qsine iPad menus on Celebrity Silhouette

North Star on Ovation of the Seas

A jewel-like observation capsule the offers guests the ability to see the world from a breathtaking 90 metres above sea-level. This innovation will provide unprecedented 360-degree breathtaking views never before seen at sea.

North Star on Ovation of the Seas

Bumper Cars on Ovation of of the Seas

An innovation for adults and children alike, the Royal Caribbean bumper cars are the first at sea. They are part of the largest indoor active space at sea, with 30 bumper cars, a roller rink, full-size basketball court, a circus school, floating DJ booth and a resident food truck. Also available on Harmony of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas

Bumper Cars on Ovation of of the Seas

10 Story Slide on Harmony of the Seas

At 10 stories high, Harmony of the Seas’ Ultimate Abyss is not only the tallest slide at sea but also an amazing engineering feat. The new mega ship will be arriving in Europe in May 2016.

10 Story Slide on Harmony of the Seas

And for 2017?

A two-level floating race track on new Norwegian Cruise Lines ship. Its next luxury ship will include the world’s first two-level floating race track. The ship will travel a China-based route that sails from Beijing and Shanghai. launching in 2017.

Norwegian Cruise Lines  Racetrack

Cruise Offers awarded Bronze cruise agency of the year at CLIA Awards

Cruise Agency of the Year

Cruise Offers are very proud to have won the Bronze Award for Cruise Agency of the Year 2015 for the CLIA Cruise Industry Awards.

CLIA Awards recognise and reward outstanding achievements from CLIA Travel Agent members during the previous year.

Cruise Offers (Travelrite International) is the largest seller of Cunard Cruises and Princess Cruises in Australasia (Diamond Agent) and top sellers of Royal Carribean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

We are a family business that values integrity, quality and providing customers with the best value cruise holidays. Our combined experience in travelling the world as well as our extensive global contacts in the cruising sector enable us to provide the cruise experience of a lifetime!

Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden launching November 2015!

Excitement is building for the launch of P&O’s brand new ships Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden on November 25th 2015. Each ship is being hailed as a floating oasis – this is how to cruise in state of the art luxury!

Some of the amazing new features onboard are:

Salt Grill by Luke Mangan

Sure to be a highlight of your holiday and the only Australian celebrity chef restaurant at sea, Salt grill is a truly unforgettable dining experience. From the signature crab omelette to the famous liquorice parfait with lime syrup, Salt grill will be a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Salt Grill Luke Mangan salt-grill3

Top Deck Pools

Enjoy the climate controlled haven of the top deck pool. With understated decor and high end furnishings in a relaxed setting, the design brings the indoors, outdoors. And the retractable roof lets you relax during the day or enjoy live music and cocktails in the evening, no matter the weather.

Top Deck Pool Top Deck pool

Chef’s Table

The best seat in the house has had an upgrade. With plush, luxurious furnishings and an exclusive, private setting, this is the Chef’s Table experience guests know and love, only better. Enjoy your night of cocktails, canapés, wine pairings and a degustation menu that will completely blow you away. Hosted by the Executive Chef, this is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Chef's table

Spa

Treat yourself at the onboard day spa. Unwind in the steam rooms, relax while getting a hot stone massage.

Spa

Adult’s only Oasis

This gorgeous adults-only Oasis is complete, with hanging chairs, cushioned cabanas and of course, the stunning ship’s wake. At The Oasis you can treat yourself to a fancy cocktail or get our bartenders to recommend a glass of something special.

Oasis

Take a virtual tour of the new ships here

P&O Cruises introduces ‘The Pantry’, to replace the traditional cruise buffet

P&O Cruises are introducing a brand new dining experience to replace the traditional buffet.

Banishing trays, queues and the all-you-can-eat smorgasbord, P&O’s new dining concept is named “The Pantry”, and is similar to an up-market food hall where passengers can choose between eight different stations and have their meals individually plated.

There’s a “Kettle & Bun” bar with sandwiches and soups, the “Fat Cow” bar for a traditional roast dinner, “Mexicana” gives you your taco fix, “Curry House” brings you a taste of Indian cuisine as well as an Asian food bar, coffee bar and fish and chips stand. And when you’re ready for dessert, the “Sugar Bar” offers homemade cakes and pastries.

Bye, bye cruise ship buffet

Looking more like a chic hotel lobby than a cruise ship.

“We’ve been working on this part of our on-board food revolution for some time and to see the concept become reality is very exciting. It’s a game-changer — and it’s clear from our guests’ reaction that they love it,” P & O Cruises Senior Vice President Sture Myrmell said.

“The Pantry is a dining experience like no other at sea. Designed as an international food market, it features eight bespoke outlets reflecting the many flavours Australians love to eat.”

The interior has also changed. Round tables and carpet have been replaced with a mix of bench seats and intimate tables, mosaic tiles give it contemporary chic, cutlery is wrapped in beach style napkins in baskets and homely bookcases stocked with vases and plants create a relaxed vibe.

Despite earlier patron concerns, dining at “The Pantry” will still be all inclusive in the ticket price. “The Pantry” is currently available on the Pacific Jewel, and will unveiled on the Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden later this year.

For P&O specials visit P&O Specials

Ovation of the Seas has launched! Awaken to a whole new level of cruising.

Ovation of the Seas offers state of the art cruising experience to Australian and New Zealand passengers from today! Based in Sydney, Australia, Ovation of the Seas will be sailing to New Zealand and Asia in her debut months. The entertainment, dining, shopping, relaxation and staterooms are like nothing we have seen before.

Capsule

Exciting new features include

  • A jewel-like observation capsule suspended from the ship allowing passengers to see the world from a breathtaking 90 metres above sea-level.
  • The first ever skydiving simulator at sea. Discover the thrill of skydiving in a completely safe and controlled environment with RipCord by iFLY,
  • The largest indoor active space at sea. With 30 bumper cars, a roller rink, full-size basketball court, a circus school, floating DJ booth and a resident food truck.
  • Robotic barmen! Designed to energise and enthral, robots can mix up to two cocktails a minute with laser precision and thirst-quenching results.
  • FlowRider® Surf Simulator
    Surf your way across the Pacific on the, our 40-foot-long on-board surf simulator.

A new approach to dining at Sea

Dining

No Set Meal Times. No Set Tables. It’s Dynamic Dining

There are two ways to experience Dynamic Dining. Dynamic Dining Choice gives you the freedom to pick and choose your restaurants and dining times. Dynamic Dining Classic is a new option for those who prefer the traditional main dining style with the same dining time each night. Dynamic Dining Classic is available on a first come, first serve basis.

18 Restarants including Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant

Embark on a journey of culinary exploration that is as vast and varied as any great city in the world. Experience the diversity and cutting edge of the latest in dining with restaurants including Wonderland (imaginative cuisine) Jamie Oliver’s (Italian) devinly decadence (healthy alternatives), Silk (Pan-Asia flavours), Michael’s Genuine Pub (Michael Schwartz’s simple & superb food) and American Icon Grill (gastronomic America).

Dining Options

Retail therapy finest brands

Shop onboard for jewellery, fashion, luxury watches and beauty with celebrated brands including Bvglari, Regalia and Hublot.. What holiday wouldn’t be complete without a little retail therapy?

Relax with Vitality Spa & Fitness Center

Use your time onboard to revitalise and relax. The Vitality Spa and Fitness Center is a relaxation and wellness retreat to help you relax, rebalance and re-energize mind and body during your cruise.

Visit cruisoffers.com.au to book a cruise onboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas.

Family Cruises – What are the benefits

With the amazing increase in popularity of cruising, it’s no secret that cruising has become hugely popular with families. The number of children onboard is growing steadily, and more than 2 million kids younger than 15 sailed on cruise lines in 2013, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Yet, despite the great strides made by cruise lines in accommodating children onboard, choosing the best cruise for your family is still complicated. Where once it was a struggle to find ships that were kid-friendly, the challenge now is wading through the bevy of activities, kids clubs, and child-themed activities of the newer ships offer to determine which cruise ships are best for your youngsters. Cruising from Australia the main competition is between P&O, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean

Ships: Radiance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s award winning Advenure Ocean Youth Programme and a host of onboard activities ensure your kids will have the time of their lives. It’s family time, and it’s all included. Please find below some of the highlights of their family program.

THE DREAMWORKS EXPERIENCE – Exclusive shows, parades, dining and photo opportunities for the whole family with characters from DreamWorks® Animation

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES – Be entertained with Broadway style shows, rock wall, FlowRider surf simulator, mini-golf, iceskating and swimming pools.

ADVENTURE OCEAN – Our Youth Staff have developed age-appropriate curriculums to engage and entertain kids and teens of all ages: Aquanauts 3 – 5 years, Explorers 6 – 8 years, Voyagers 9 – 11 years, Teens 12 – 14 years, Teens 15 – 17 years

FAMILY-FRIENDLY DINING – With My Family Time DiningSM, our expedited dining service, your kids (ages 3 – 11 years) are served their meals and then picked up by our Adventure Ocean staff so you can enjoy the rest of your dinner.

ROYAL BABIES & TOTSSM NURSERY – Our littlest guests (ages 6-36 months) can enjoy specially designed programmes whilst being cared for by trained professionals.

P&O Cruises

Ships: Pacific Jewel, Pearl, Dawn, Eden & Aria

P&O have a wide variety of daily activities designed just for kids. Their Kids Club program has been designed with help from childhood experts, and they limit the number of children onboard so nobody ever feels left out. At meal time, even the fussiest feeders will love the kids’ menu options, family share platters in the Waterfront Restaurant, and the kids’ only dinner every night at Plantation Restaurant. The kid’s clubs Turtle Cove and Shark Shack are open until 10:30pm and provide a late night child-minding service until 1am while tweens and teens can enjoy the features of HQ & HQ+ until 1am each night. So date nights and downtime are ready when you are.

For those after a serious dose of adrenalin, P&OEdge, the largest adventure program at sea is now onboard Pacific Jewel. That means you can climb, swing, jump and race your way through the ship. Whether you’re ascending high above the Big Screen, climbing up the aft tunnel or flying around the atrium you’ll see Pacific Jewel like never before!

Carnival Cruises

Ships: Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend

Carnival Cruises are fun ships for kids and parents. They are the only ship cruising from Australia with water slides for all ages. The Green Thunder is the steepest waterslide at sea If you’re up for freefalling and being whipped around at up to 65 kilometres per hour you’ll have a blast. If you’re not, take a deep breath, and get ready for the ride of your life.  A new addition to Carnival is the Seuss at Sea. The littlest ones, and their families, will enjoy an all-new, extra-special experience as the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss comes to life around them.  Enjoy a special onboard character parade, interactive story time, arts & crafts activities, character breakfast and more, featuring their favourite Dr. Seuss characters. Seuss at Sea truly brings your child’s favourite books to life.

Camp Carnival offers tons of activities designed for children in three different age groups: 2 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years, and 9 to 11 years. Carnivals counsellors, each with education or childcare experience, are on the clock making sure everyone in the small groups of kids is having fun. When it’s mealtime, kids get their own menus, with faves like mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, and more. And when the sun goes down, we offer Night Owls (fees apply) so kids get to stay up late having fun, while their parents also enjoy themselves well into the night.

www.cruiseoffers.com.au

 

New Cruise Ships Arriving Soon

Each new cruise ship brings excitement and amazing new features. As the appetite for cruising continues to grow by double digits each year the big cruise lines have been placing orders for larger and more luxurious cruise ships. The new ships below range from 3600 passengers to 5400 passengers.  The process, from design to keel laying to launch, generally takes two to three years.

Find below a list of cruise ships that will be launched in 2015-16.

P_O_Brittania_now Britannia-GENERIC

P&O Britannia  

141,000 Tonnage

3,611 Berths

Launch Date March 2015

When Britannia debuts, it will be by far the biggest ship in the P&O Cruise fleet, coming in at 141,000 tons and carrying 3,611 passengers — some 25,000 tons larger than P&O’s previous biggest ship, Azura. It will also be the biggest ship ever built specifically for the U.K. market. The ship will include purpose-built single cabins with balconies and the largest spa in the fleet.

 

Anthem of the Seas

167,800 Tonnage

4,180 Berths

Launch Date Spring 2015

The ship will be the second of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class of vessels, named for fleetmate Quantum of the Seas, which debuted in Fall 2014. Anthem of the Seas will be based in Southampton during the summer, offering Mediterranean itineraries; it will then be based in Bayonne’s Cape Liberty offering Caribbean cruises over the winter months. Anthem of the Seas will be loaded with new-to-the-seas activities such as onboard bumper cars and a skydiving simulator. It also will feature the North Star, a pod that extends up and over the ship for 360-degree views. Inside cabins will feature “virtual balconies” — essentially floor-to-ceiling LCD TV screens linked to a camera mounted on the outside of the ship. It also will feature the wildly innovative entertainment space, Two70, which integrates HD-digital technology with singing, dancing and acrobatics.

NorwegianEscape

Norwegian Escape

163,000 Tonnage

4,200 Berths

Launch Date October 2015

The first ship in NCL’s Breakaway-Plus Class will come in at 163,000 tons and carry 4,200 passengers. It will feature one more deck than the Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, which make up the similar Breakaway Class. The ship will include an outdoor dining and drinking space, called The Waterfront, and will feature famed Miami bar, Tobacco Road. Escape will feature a hull painting by artist Guy Harvey, and it will sail Caribbean itineraries out of Miami.

 

Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas 

167,800 Tonnage

4,180 Berths

Launch Date Mid-2016

Royal Caribbean’s third Quantum Class vessel will sail in 2016. Like its sister ships — Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas — this third ship will feature new-to-the-seas activities such as onboard bumper cars and a skydiving simulator. It also will feature the North Star, a pod that extends up and over the ship for 360-degree views. Inside cabins will feature “virtual balconies” — essentially floor-to-ceiling LCD TV screens linked to a camera mounted on the outside of the ship. It also will feature the wildly innovative entertainment space, Two70, which integrates HD-digital technology with singing, dancing and acrobatics.

Harmony of the SeasHarmony of the Seas slides

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas               

225,282 Tonnage

5,400 Berths

Launch Date April 2016

Royal Caribbean has just announced the name of their third Oasis class ship as Harmony of the Seas. Harmony of the Seas introduces the first waterslides on Royal Caribbean with a splash. Three thrilling waterslides will bring brand new adventures to the ship’s Pool and Sports Zone, as guests dip, dive and swirl three decks down through a series of twists and turns. Royal Caribbean’s third Oasis Class vessel will be built and ready to sail by April 2016. A fourth-in-class ship will launch mid-2018. When these ships are complete, they will be the largest passenger ships afloat.

Visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au

Re-positioning Cruises – a cheaper alternative

A repositioning cruise is one that travels from one region to another when the season changes. An example is the Royal Caribbean ships that cruise between Alaska and Australia so they can cruise in the summer months in both regions. Generally you will find repositioning cruises occur in September/October and the reverse cruise in April/May.

Cruise lines sell these one-way itineraries rather than sail the ships without passengers, and they’re usually cheaper per day, longer, and involve more sea days than regular cruises. However, don’t forget that you have to factor in the cost of flights to and from ports at both ends of the journey, which is more expensive than a return flight.

If you’re a dedicated cruiser who loves spending lots of days at sea, want to traverse several oceans in one hit or cross the Atlantic and visit unusual destinations (or those that are out of peak season), you should definitely consider a repositioning cruise.

You’ll have plenty of time on board to enjoy all the ship’s facilities, so choose a ship that you either know already or one that will suit your tastes and needs. As you’re not making port calls every day it’s a very relaxing way to cruise – however, if you’re the sort of person who needs plenty of distractions, it might not be for you.

At the end of the summer in Alaska, ships reposition to the Caribbean along the West Coast of America and through the Panama Canal; or they head to Hawaii and then on to Asia and Australia, for the October-March ‘wave season’.

Another popular repositioning route is from the east coast of America to Europe, across the Atlantic, for the northern spring and summer season (April to October); they return to America to spend a season in the Caribbean. Ships also move seasonally from South America to the Caribbean, and from Europe to Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Contact us at Cruise Offers for prices and itineraries on available reposition cruises.

www.cruiseoffers.com.au

Best Cruise Buffet Tips

When it comes to cruising the 24 hour buffet is a great way to have a quick meal instead of having to dress up for the formal dining rooms. Buffet’s offer plenty of choice and is a great option for families or if you are tired after a long day of sightseeing.

When it comes to cruise buffets, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do them. Here are some of the best buffet tips.

buffet

Breakfast
One of the most important things to know about eating at a cruise buffet is what to stay away from. At breakfast, it’s the static, chafing-dish scrambled eggs. It may seem quick and easy to just scoop some up — after all, they’re already prepared, and really, how bad could they be on a fancy cruise, right? Wrong. They’re made hours before they are put out and are still almost raw even when they hit the buffet.
The eggs are scrambled lightly and then left to cook via the heat from the hot station. On the other hand, omelets are one of the things you’ll find made to order at the buffet, so ask the omelet cook to make you a quick scramble instead — he’s already got the eggs. That way you know you’re eating fresh, fully cooked eggs. (Incidentally, eggs Benedict is always done as you order and usually excellent.)
If you’re not an egg person, you can also get fresh pancakes and waffles — again, forget those nasty ones that are somehow simultaneously crusty and soggy from sitting in the serving dish. Butter won’t even melt on them. If you walk over to the cafeteria and nicely ask the cook to give you some pancakes off the griddle, you’ll be much happier with the result.

Lunch
Salads and stir-fry are big at the cruise buffet lunch. Though the stir-fries are made to order, the cooks tend to overuse soy sauce, so ask them to go easy. As for the salads, watch out for the raw onions — the self-serve lettuce always seem to be overloaded with them.
Another lunch option to be careful of is the smoked salmon. (It’s on all salad and breakfast buffets.) If the edges are beginning to curl or are slightly brown, stay away.

Dinner
Important fact: They have the same dinner entrees on the casual deck buffet as they do in the dress-up dining room. Same food, supereasy. If you’re not into the chafing-dish options, you can also have a steak cooked to order. But beware: The quality of the meat used at the buffet is not as good as the meat used for the main dining room.
Other important dinner tips? If you’re a fan of fish, stick to whatever fish they’re cooking to order.
And who doesn’t love an all-you-can-eat pasta dinner? You at the cruise buffet if you order correctly. Though the pasta dish is put together in front of you, the pasta itself is pre-cooked. When you order your noodles, the cook will put them in a strainer and submerge them in hot water to warm them while finishing the sauces. The problem is the straining of the noodles: The cook will lift them out, give them a shake, and throw them in the pan with the sauce — and you will end up with a watery mess.
If you’re willing to speak up and ask for a better strain or for the sauce to be thickened, then pasta is a good option. If you do choose pasta, do it the day after the sit-down dining room serves meat — they take the leftover high-quality meat and throw it into sauces. And ask the cook to add some marinated veggies from the pizza station rather than the raw ones they use, since they never seem to cook properly.

Dessert
Sweets are one of the best parts of the buffet (just make sure the plates holding the desserts are on ice). Puff pastries, petits fours, crème brûlée, and the like all hold up better than cake, which dries out quickly.
So pile on the goodies — don’t forget the whipped cream! — and you can even take your dessert to your cabin if you like.