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.

Two new ships for P&O Cruises

P&O has announced that they will welcome two more ships, making it the largest fleet of cruise ships home ported year round in Australia. The additional ships will transfer from Holland America Line in November 2015.

New_P&O_Ships

The announcement is an emphatic statement about the leadership of Carnival Australia, confidence in the Australian cruise market and reaffirmation of P&O Cruises’ status as Australia’s iconic ‘home brand’ cruise line.

“This is a very exciting development for the Carnival Group, P&O Cruises and for our teams who have worked so passionately and effectively to build the business and the cruise category. This move signals that the next generation of P&O Cruises is about to commence.” said Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, operator of P&O Cruises.

Both ships are of a similar mid-range size to the three existing P&O Cruises ships, Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl.

“The ships will be intimate but offer space, comfort and style giving passengers more destinations to choose from, more onboard experiences to indulge in and more reasons to cruise,” said Senior Vice President P&O Cruises Tammy Marshall.

Having a five-ship fleet will give P&O Cruises greater flexibility in its increased offering of short break cruises, traditional cruises to the South Pacific and exciting new destinations such as Papua New Guinea and Asia.

The additional ships, which will transfer from the Holland America Line, will deliver much needed capacity in the world’s fastest growing cruise market.

Last year, the majority of Australia’s 800,000 cruise passengers travelled with P&O Cruises. Increasing by 130% in the past 5 years, the industry is on track to carry 1 million passengers a year by 2016- four years earlier than forecast.

“This further fleet expansion is entirely appropriate for P&O Cruises, the shipping line that pioneered cruising from Australia more than 80 years ago and has set the pace for the industry ever since,” Ms Marshall said.

Visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au for the latest P&O specials and itineraries.

Golden Princess shines on Melbourne

Golden Princess, the biggest cruise ship ever to be based in Melbourne, is bound for the Victorian capital.

With Australia’s love affair with cruising holidays at an all-time high, Princess Cruises has announced it will base a record five ships in Australia next year.

The 108,000-tonne ship accommodates 2600 passengers. “More than half her staterooms have private balconies, while she also offers a beautiful spa, four swimming pools and 10 restaurants and cafes, so we think she’ll be very popular with Victorians.”

Golden Princess

Golden Princess will make her maiden visit to Australia in October 2015, arriving in Sydney before moving to Melbourne.

Her five-month season will include holidays to New Zealand, the South Pacific and Tasmania, with fares starting from $1849 per person for a 13-night New Zealand cruise.

As part of Princess Cruises’ record five-ship program, Golden Princess will join Diamond Princess in Australian waters for the 2015-16 summer, while Sun Princess will remain in Australia next winter, joining sister ships Dawn and Sea Princess in providing cruises year round.

Princess Cruises is launching its first summer season of cruises from Fremantle, doubling the cruise line’s Western Australian offering to give the state its first year-round cruise program, as well as Princess Cruises’ biggest ever presence in Brisbane, with Queenslanders set to enjoy nine months of sailings in 2015-16.

Mr Allison said the record fleet would increase the cruise line’s local capacity by 35 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014.

He said Australians now spend more nights on Princess Cruises’ ships than on any other line, with Australia its second biggest market after the US.

For the first time, all ships will offer onboard pricing using Australian dollars as they deliver a program of more than 80 cruises from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Fremantle and Auckland.

For more information phone 1800 616 434 or visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au