Cruising

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What floats your boat – choosing the right cruising category

<p><span>When it comes to travel trends, nothing has exploded with quite the same magnitude as cruising. Catering for multi-generational getaways, romantic couple’s retreats or adventurous solo expeditions, cruise lines have capitalised on demand from a diverse customer base by crafting voyages for all budgets and preferences. Setting off to sea can be done in style and sophistication, venturing downriver doesn’t have to break the bank. Jump aboard this travel trend, see what the fuss is about and pick a cruise category that suits you.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Mainstream cruising</span></strong></p> <p><span>Mainstream cruising, also referred to as the ‘contemporary’ category, refers to the mass-market, resort-style ships, generally with the capacity for upwards of 3000 guests. The consequences of these big numbers include smaller average cabin size and decent but not exceptional service. The onboard vibes are busy, energetic and potentially noisy; there is always something going on and the climate is communal and social. Activities and facilities generally include pools, waterslides, ice-skating rinks, rock-climbing, Broadway performances, comedy nights, movie theatres, bars, lounges, clubs, gyms and spas. The onboard entertainment, affordable rates and special package deals endear these lines to families.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Good for:</span></strong><span> A convenient budget holiday with extended family and active kids, where shore excursions are not a priority. Mainstream cruising is popular for a reason – there truly is something for everyone, and the idea of unpacking once and having everything you need nearby is certainly appealing.</span></p> <p><strong><span>You can expect:</span></strong><span> Competitive and affordable rates (but additional onboard costs), lots of families and young people, and a lively nightlife</span></p> <p><strong><span>Lines:</span></strong><span> Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line</span></p> <p><strong><span>Premium cruises</span></strong></p> <p><span>Premium and deluxe-level cruising also offers a myriad of diversions, although facilities and service are of a distinctly higher quality. State rooms are more spacious, the food and dining options more varied, and the décor more refined. Some lines like to provide more traditional cruising experiences with suggested dress codes and assigned dining, but usually you will find a very relaxed atmosphere with some extra perks like excellent Internet access and more privacy. The differentiating factor between premium and deluxe is typically the size of the boat and its capacity; the more intimate and personalised the experience, the more you can expect to pay.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Good for:</span></strong><span> A little bit of glamour on a multi-generational trip that caters for everyone. Impressive, professional standards are a guarantee, although you should do your research as there is some variation between lines.</span></p> <p><strong><span>You can expect:</span></strong><span> families and couples, great service, extra perks and a spectrum of interesting activities and workshops like movies, cooking demonstrations and snorkelling</span></p> <p><strong><span>Lines:</span></strong><span> Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises</span></p> <p><strong><span>Luxury cruises</span></strong></p> <p><span>With top of the line, luxury cruises, you get what you pay for. This means high staff to guest ratios (there are often more staff on board than guests), low capacity (guests can be as few in number as 50) and larger rooms (sometimes all cabins are suites with balconies). Sleek, smaller-sized vessels with beautiful interiors promise peace, privacy and an intimate, personalised experience. The necessary bi-products, however, are fewer onboard activities and no large-scale entertainment activities; the focus is instead on demonstrations, lectures and port excursions in interesting spots inaccessible to mainstream cruises. All-inclusive costs cover gratuities like alcohol with meals, and the special extra touches like fresh flowers, quality tableware, bath products, branded linens and sometimes even butler service.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Good for:</span></strong><span> Ticking off those bucket-list destinations in supreme style and comfort, and spending relaxed, leisurely time with a loved one.</span></p> <p><strong><span>You can expect:</span></strong><span> Intriguing, well-crafted shore excursions in lesser-known locations, faultless service from attentive and professional staff, and plenty of inclusions</span></p> <p><strong><span>Lines:</span></strong><span> Silversea Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Regent Seven Sea Cruises</span></p> <p><span>Whatever floats your boat can be found in the wide array of lines and packages on the cruise market. Ocean cruises aside, there are also niche lines, river cruises and sailing ships to test out. All you’ll need is to pick a destination and duration, and cast away!</span></p> <p><em><span>Written by Sophie Cullen. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/what-floats-your-boat-choosing-the-right-cruising-category/">MyDiscoveries</a>. </span></em></p>

Cruising

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5 best places to go cruising

<p>Cruising is the best way to travel. You unpack once and can see dozens of different destinations. It’s easy. It’s affordable. </p> <p>But where should you go? Some places are better to see by ship than others. Here’s our top 5: </p> <p><strong>1. Australia</strong></p> <p>Our country has an incredible coastline. Options for cruising are varied. In November a short cruise heads out of Sydney Harbour bound for Melbourne and the race that stops the nation – The Melbourne Cup. It’s a great way to get a taste for cruising and to take a few days out to relax. </p> <p>Most cruise lines including P&amp;O and Royal Caribbean offer cruises through the Great Barrier Reef. Shore excursions on these often turn into water excursions as you explore the underwater coral and marine life. </p> <p>Kimberley Cruises are fast gaining popularity. This remote and harsh environment is hard to access via land. But absolutely stunning when viewed from the water. </p> <p><strong>2. New Zealand</strong></p> <p>Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island is stunningly beautiful, especially when seen by boat. The deep water allows ships to get close to the waterfalls as they drop into the ocean. It’s a sight you simply can’t experience from land. On the North Island you can’t go past Auckland with its spectacular volcanic islands – including Waiheke, known affectionately as wine island for the growing number of wineries ashore. </p> <p><strong>3. The Caribbean</strong></p> <p>The Caribbean is the world’s top pick for cruising. With so many exotic islands and stunning coconut-tree framed beaches to explore it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. </p> <p>What is more stunning is the diversity you will find as you cruise. Dominica has been dubbed the “nature island”. Curacao was once the centre of the slave trade, and has strong links to the Netherlands, Cuba has sugar-cane, communist history and fantastic music, and Jamaica is all about rum and reggae. </p> <p><strong>4. Alaska</strong></p> <p>Glaciers, polar bears and dog sleds. If ice adventures get your heart racing, you can’t go past a cruise in Alaska. </p> <p>In the summer months you can also spot bald eagles, orca whales and caribou from your deck chair. And there’s nothing quite like parking beside an enormous glacier and hearing the roar as a slice tumbles into the ocean. No need to get cold or trek for miles – you can do it all from the comfort of a cruise ship. </p> <p><strong>5. Europe</strong></p> <p>European river cruises are the ultimate sophistication. They allow you to travel easily through countries and experience the best of European culture without unpacking once. </p> <p>See opera in Vienna, drink beer in Germany and marvel at the Eiffel tower in Paris. It’s all possible and far easier on a cruise. </p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/five-best-places-to-go-cruising/">My Discoveries</a></span>. </em></p>

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19 cruise hacks to make travel easy

<p>Cruising can be wonderful. The wide-open space of the sea gives you time to relax and reconnect. You can tick off multiple destinations and only unpack once. </p> <p>But there are a few little tricks that cruise experts tell us will make your cruise even cruiser. </p> <p>Here’s the best tips we have uncovered.</p> <p><strong>1. Pack duct tape</strong></p> <p>On occasion the cruise may hit rough seas. If drawers begin to open, or cabin items go rolling, grab your duct tape and secure them. </p> <p><strong>2. Pack balloons</strong></p> <p>When our office manager told us to bring balloons on the cruise, we did think it was for a party. But in fact, she says that most cruise ships only have one or two hooks. Even the door handles don’t have surfaces for you to hang things. If you plan on doing washing in your room, then you can blow up the balloons and drape the clothes over them to dry. </p> <p><strong>3. Pack magnets</strong></p> <p>Another way to get organised is to bring magnets with you. Many cabin walls are made from metal. So, head to the hardware store and grab a bunch of magnets. Then you can attach hooks or even stick up important notes and your itinerary on the wall. </p> <p><strong>4 Put your bag under the bed</strong></p> <p>Normally when you travel, you stow the suitcase in the cupboard. Experts tell us that on a cruise, you should stow your bag under the bed. Wardrobe space is limited and storing your bag in there will reduce the space for clothes and shoes. </p> <p><strong>5. Steam your clothes</strong></p> <p>Most cruise ships don’t have irons. Fire and cruising don’t go together. They don’t want to take any chances. But what about when you need to wear a fancy shirt or dress to dinner and it’s been wrinkled from packing? Use the steam from the shower. It will un-wrinkle your clothes in no time flat. Alternatively, we’ve been told that you can buy “de-wrinkle spray” for clothes. We haven’t tested it though, so we can’t guarantee this will work. </p> <p><strong>6. Bring a multi-charger or power board</strong></p> <p>Most cruise cabins only have a few power points. These days most people travel with multiple devices. Grab a multi-charger and you can plug in multiple devices to the one power port. Or you can always bring a power board. </p> <p><strong>7. Pack a first aid kit</strong></p> <p>Yes, they have first aid on the ship. Yes, they have shops. But save your money and pack medicines that you may be likely to use such as Panadol, gastro-stop, antihistamines and antiseptic cream in a first aid kit. </p> <p><strong>8. Bring a HDMI cable</strong></p> <p>Love a great night in bed with a good film? Download them onto your laptop and you can use the HDMI cable to watch the films you want to see on the cabin’s TV. </p> <p><strong>9. Pack an extension cord</strong></p> <p>As we said, cruise cabins often have limited power points and sometimes they are in annoying locations. If you want to use your laptop and it has run out of battery, you will thank us for telling you to pack an extension lead.</p> <p><strong>10. Buy in bulk</strong></p> <p>This is one that surprised us. Apparently, some cruise lines give you a discount for buying drinks in bulk. Five beers for the price of four can save you $8 a round. Just pop the extra in the fridge for later. </p> <p><strong>11. Book excursions in advance</strong></p> <p>A huge part of cruising is visiting the onshore destinations. If you plan on cruising on a large boat, make sure you book your on-shore excursions early. That way you can be sure that you will be going. There would be nothing worse than getting off the boat only to find out that the tour you want to do is all sold out. </p> <p><strong>12. Budget for excursions</strong></p> <p>It seems obvious, but many first-time cruisers forget to factor in the added extras. Make sure you know which excursions you want to do and how much they cost. Then factor that into your budget. </p> <p><strong>13. Pack sticky notes</strong></p> <p>Need to remember the departure time? What time the bar opens? Or the time you will have your massage? Bring sticky notes and make your own message board on the cabin wall. </p> <p><strong>14. Stay fit</strong></p> <p>A lot of cruises have endless and bottomless food options. You will indulge. You will enjoy it. But maybe find some time to stay fit on board, even if it is just taking the stairs instead of the lift or swimming daily and doing early morning laps in the pool. </p> <p><strong>15. Pack ginger</strong></p> <p>First-time cruiser? Not sure if you are going to get seasick? Ginger is your friend. Ginger helps ease seasickness. </p> <p><strong>16. Choose your cabin wisely</strong></p> <p>Worried about seasickness? You are better off booking a lower deck room in the middle of the ship. Want a great view and never feel sick? Go for the upper deck edges. Whatever room you choose, think long and hard about what you really want to get out of the cruise. How long will you actually spend in the room?</p> <p><strong>17. Be hygienic </strong></p> <p>Sickness can and does spread on ships. To avoid nasties, make sure you have good hygiene habits. Wash your hands properly and perhaps pack some hand sanitiser. </p> <p><strong>18. Notify the ship of any medical conditions</strong></p> <p>Even if it is minor. In the event of an emergency, the staff will be the ones to help you. </p> <p><strong>19. Wear rubber shoes</strong></p> <p>It can get slippery on board. </p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/travel-hacks-to-make-your-cruise-easier/">My Discoveries</a></span>. </em></p>

Cruising

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4 highlights of modern cruising holidays

<p>Holidays on board cruise ships are more popular than ever with over 22 million people taking to the seas in 2015. The industry is expanding its on-board activities to appeal to every type of passenger. Try these for size.</p> <p><strong>1. Scale a rock-climbing wall</strong></p> <p>Snoozing around the pool isn’t everyone’s idea of holiday fun. The cruise ship Oasis of the Sea from Royal Caribbean has two nine-metre rock climbing walls, two surf-simulator pools, a flying fox and an ice-skating rink.</p> <p><strong>2. Walk above the water</strong></p> <p>The Regal Princess, owned and operated by Princess Cruises, features a glass-bottomed walkway that sits 39 metres high and extends 18 metres out over the ocean, offering dramatic views.</p> <p><strong>3. Themed cruises</strong></p> <p>It’s fair to say that Disney is fast rewriting the fantasy cruise experience for families. Not only does its Disney Dream cruise ship sport a 223 metre-long outdoor tube waterslide, but it’s Very Merrytime Cruises host a Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball complete with snow and special appearances from Frozen’s Anna and Elsa.</p> <p><strong>4. Around the world in 180 days</strong></p> <p>For people who love life at sea, the Insignia, operated by Oceania Cruises, takes 180 days and nights to circumnavigate the globe, taking in 44 countries. The ship departs from the US, then travels to the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/4-highlights-of-modern-cruising-holidays">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Cruising

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What really happens on a cruise ship?

<p>Everyone wakes up on a cruise to find themselves floating blissfully somewhere between vast seas and even vaster skies. While you slumbered, your floating hotel travelled through the night. Come morning, just outside your window is a completely new world and destination waiting for you to discover. What a way to start your day.</p> <p>Early risers can catch the sunrise from the deck with a steaming cup of coffee and warm French pastries before heading to breakfast, while later risers can take in the views and the fresh sea air before heading downstairs to breakfast. Cruise restaurants offer banquets fit for a king. Choose from fresh fruit, omelettes, pancakes and, of course, ­a traditional full English breakfast.</p> <p>Energise your morning with a gentle yoga class, stretching your body and relaxing your mind on the top deck, or doing a few laps of the pool. For something a little more invigorating, hit the gym. If that sounds like too much action, simply spend your morning lounging by the pool or getting lost in a book, perhaps engrossing yourself in the history, culture and legends of your next port of call.</p> <p>If it’s a port day, you might want to head out straight after breakfast to fit in all the sights. Maybe you have a tour lined up to see the local attractions; a boat trip to view a coral reef; or a sightseeing tour from high up above a rainforest canopy.</p> <p>From tropical island paradises of the South Pacific to the majestic ice-scapes of Scandinavia and Alaska and the bustling Mediterranean, where you can take a nostalgic trip back in history and visit ancient monuments and ruins, the world is your oyster as far as cruise travel is concerned.</p> <p>You can also choose to whittle the afternoon away in a quaint restaurant and watch the world go by. If you spent the previous day exploring on land, a day on board allows you to unwind and soak in the delights of ship life, such as a day of spa treatments and pampering, sunbathing by the pool, or simply afternoon tea on deck.</p> <p>For a bit more excitement, try the surfing and skydiving simulators. Or if you want to learn something, take a cookery class, or learn to dance the tango. Whatever your poison, what is not to be missed is watching the sun going down from the deck with a glass of Happy Hour bubbles in hand.</p> <p>An array of Broadway shows, cabaret spectaculars and concerts are on offer after dark. And if you want to party like it’s 1999, head to the nightclubs and chic lounges where everyone’s party can carry on late into the night.</p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/cruise-activities/">MyDiscoveries</a></span>. </em></p>

Cruising

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The best animal spotting cruises

<p>For some travellers, their main motivation for taking a cruise is to experience the amazing wildlife that the world’s oceans and islands have to offer.</p> <p><strong>1. Stingrays and manta rays</strong></p> <p>Some cruises will offer excursions to see local wildlife while at port, with passengers able to enjoy trips to see stingrays – which frequent shallow sandy areas – up close. It’s also not uncommon for passengers to see large rays such as manta rays while at sea or as their ship leaves port. If you’re keen to swim with rays, try a cruise that takes in the Caribbean’s Cayman Islands or to the tropical islands of Fiji. There, from May to October, the stingless and gentle manta rays gather in the warm tropical waters to feed on – and be cleaned by – plankton.</p> <p><strong>2. Flying fish </strong></p> <p>They may sound too fantastical to be real but flying fish do exist and many cruise passengers report seeing them. Despite their name, they can’t really fly, but they are equipped with large wing-like pectoral fins that enable them to propel their bodies out of the water and glide for distances up to 200m – more if they use the updrafts from waves. Some types of flying fish also have a second set of ‘wing’ fins and most have a long tail they can dip into the water to help prolong ‘flight’. You’ll find them in deep tropical open ocean waters, rather than close to port. Ranging in size from 14-46cm, they can be hard to spot, but if you keep an eye out, you may just see one.</p> <p>(Note: While flying is a quirky evolutionary safeguard that keeps the fish out of reach of predators such as marlin and tuna, they need to watch out for hungry birds while gliding.)</p> <p><strong>3. Whales</strong></p> <p>If you’re keen to watch these giants of the oceans in their natural habitat, there’s no better place than Antarctica. From November to March a handful of specialist cruising companies offer Antarctic expeditions departing from Argentina or New Zealand. Antarctic waters are home to eight species of whales: fin, humpback, minke, orca, sei, southern right, sperm and the largest mammal ever known to live, the rare blue whale. But you’ll also get a chance to view other wildlife, such as Adélie penguins, elephant seals, sea lions and albatross.</p> <p><strong>4. Galápagos Iguana </strong></p> <p>The Galápagos Islands are situated in the Pacific Ocean, just under 1000km from Ecuador. The islands are home to a selection of unique animals, including the marine iguana and giant tortoise. Often described as a ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’, access to the 127 islands, islets and rocks in the Galápagos archipelago (19 are relatively large and only four are inhabited) is limited to smaller cruise ships of 100 passengers or fewer.</p> <p>Birdwatchers will be particularly interested in Darwin’s finches, named after British naturalist Charles Darwin. His theory of evolution was influenced by the adaptable little birds he noticed during his visit to the area in 1835.</p> <p><strong>5. Dolphins </strong></p> <p>You’re most likely to see dolphins when entering or leaving port, rather than in the open sea. These playful, highly intelligent mammals will often follow the wake of a ship (the disturbance it causes as it cuts through the water). Many cruises passengers report seeing dusky or Clymene dolphins on cruises in Mexican waters, but for cruises in the Pacific Ocean’s Southern Hemisphere waters, you’re more likely to spot bottlenose dolphins, identifiable by their short-rounded snouts. Dolphins love temperate waters. Head to the rear of the ship and hang out on the promenade deck for the best chance of catching sight of them.</p> <p><strong>6. Sea Turtles and Tropical Fish </strong></p> <p>Scuba diving and snorkelling are both available on cruises visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with ships permitted to drop anchor in designated areas in the Whitsunday Islands region. Here, passengers can enjoy the beauty of the marine park, which is home to 1625 types of fish, including 1400 coral reef species; 450 kinds of hard coral; more than 3000 species of molluscs including clams and tritons; and more than 100 kinds of jellyfish. You may also spot sea turtles, reef sharks and many seabirds.</p> <p><strong>7. Penguins </strong></p> <p>New Zealand’s majestic Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site situated on the south-western corner of the South Island, where you’ll find Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds. The local wildlife includes the delightful Fiordland crested penguin (aka the tawaki), a tall and portly breed of penguin with crests of yellow feathers on their heads. This rare bird is the only forest-nesting penguin. Cruise passengers should also be on the lookout for little blue penguins and bottlenose dolphins, as well as fur seals and their pups sunning themselves on the rocks.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/animal-spotting-cruises">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Clive Palmer announces $700 million Titanic II set to sail in 2022

<p>One of the most infamous shipwrecks in history, the story surrounding the <em>Titanic</em> will be one that will be told for years to come.</p> <p>And now, exactly 110 years after the ocean liner sank to the depths of the sea, an optimistic hopeful promises to complete the voyage that it failed to do in 1912.</p> <p>Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has shared his plans to create <em>Titanic II</em> – a replica of the ship that met a doomed fate – and said it will be ready to set sail in 2022.</p> <p>The ship, which is costing close to $700 million, has been a work in progress since 2012 under Mr Palmer’s company Blue Star Line.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpK8dTdn64S/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpK8dTdn64S/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">You'll feel like king of the world, when the Titanic II casts off in 2022. The maiden voyage of the replica of the doomed 1912 vessel will leave from Dubai before traveling from Southhampton to New York: the same route as the original.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tictoc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> TicToc by Bloomberg</a> (@tictoc) on Oct 20, 2018 at 3:05pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Construction paused momentarily in between then and now due to financial disputes, but work has started back up again.</p> <p>However, despite the similarities, there are also some differences, as the <em>Titanic II</em> is currently being built in China while the older model, which was said to be “unsinkable”, was constructed in Northern Ireland.</p> <p>Another difference to expect is the improved safety systems in place, such as accurate navigation and technology, and extra lifeboats on board.</p> <p>Otherwise everything ranging from the interior to the exterior will be the same as the original.</p> <p>The old <em>Titanic </em>was able to house 2400 passengers and 900 crew members, with the new cruise liner hoping to accommodate to that exact number.</p> <p>The <em>Titanic II</em> will also replicate the cabin layout of the original ship.</p> <p>And to top it all off, the cruise plans to follow the same voyage as the first, starting its journey in Dubai and travelling along the North Atlantic route from Southampton, England, to New York.</p> <p>The journey will take two weeks in total, and upon its return, it will then start to travel towards other destinations.</p> <p>“The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York,” Mr Palmer said to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.msn.com/en-au" target="_blank"><em>MSN</em></a>.</p> <p>“But she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivalled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits.”</p> <p>Speaking to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-ideas/cruises/clive-palmers-700m-titanic-ii-to-replicate-voyage-of-the-doomed-original/news-story/851178755d4ce4d58fe0d4c475b93b91" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>, Blue Star Line has said that the <em>Titanic II</em> will feature the same class categories as the original – first, second and third class.</p> <p>The length of the ship will also be the same, along with having dining rooms and restaurants resembling the original.</p> <p>There is currently no information regarding ticket prices.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above for a sneak peak inside the <em>Titanic II</em>.</p> <p>Would you like to be a passenger and set sail on <em>Titanic II</em>? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

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Luxury cruising on a budget: How you can get the perks without the price tag

<p>Most travellers know that cruising is an experience of a lifetime. You’re able to reach places that are usually exclusive to those who travel by sea and each morning you’re greeted with spectacular views. While there are plenty of cruise ships you can hop aboard on, nothing is quite like cruising in a luxurious suite aboard a boutique vessel.</p> <p>Boutique cruises are becoming extremely popular with more discerning travellers. They have a much more intimate feel to them compared to a mega-ship as they are usually smaller in size than their mainstream counterparts. But size does not compromise on experience, and if you’re someone who likes to build relationships and meet new people, a boutique cruise is the perfect option for you.</p> <p>Those who oversee boutique cruises are known to take great pride in providing the best services, such as staff knowing each traveller’s name and providing a much more personal experience.</p> <p>But if you need a bit more of a nudge, here are the reasons you should look to upgrade to a luxurious suite on your next cruise:</p> <p><strong>1. Boutique cruises can reach places big vessels can’t</strong></p> <p>It may seem obvious but it’s something to consider. Because of the convenient size of a boutique cruise, it’s able to sail to places their larger counterparts cannot. Meaning you’re able to truly immerse yourself in the location you’re visiting and see scenic views like no other. So, whether it’s the Northern Lights you’re gearing up to see or the Scottish Isles, it’s guaranteed that smaller ships will get you places that you can’t reach any other way.</p> <p>Cruise lines such as <span><a href="https://cmvaustralia.com/">Cruise &amp; Maritime Voyages</a></span> have ships with a comfortable, country-club ambiance that are able to make their way into harbours that many larger ships cannot, which gives you the perfect opportunity to explore the city in ways you never have before. Another perk is that many boutique cruise lines tend to stay in popular ports overnight, so those aboard can truly have a day to night experience in the city they’re staying at.</p> <p><strong>2. It’s more intimate</strong></p> <p>Whether you choose to travel with a crowd or fly solo, <a href="https://cmvaustralia.com/cruises/special-offers?utm_source=Over60&amp;utm_medium=Web&amp;utm_campaign=SuiteSale">boutique cruises</a> are a great way to get out there and meet new people. Because many vessels only carry 500-600 guests at a time, there is more of a chance to strike up a conversation with like-minded individuals who are currently on the same journey as you.</p> <p>With boutique cruise lines, it’s more about you than it is about the ship. It may not feature a great big water slide, but the cabins are spacious, there is more space for passengers and the staff are very attentive. It’s not about the grandeur but about the experience.</p> <p>Activities such as trivia nights or small group tours can really help bring people closer together, and not to mention the moments where you’re able to gather around a bar or café for drinks.</p> <p><strong>3. It’s convenient</strong></p> <p>A cruise always sounds like a great idea until you realise you have to travel long distances just to reach the departure dock. Luckily, a boutique cruise with <span><a href="https://cmvaustralia.com/cruises/special-offers?utm_source=Over60&amp;utm_medium=Web&amp;utm_campaign=SuiteSale">Cruise &amp; Maritime Voyages</a></span> depart from all around Australia, so it’s practically on your doorstep.</p> <p>With the voyages departing from places such as Sydney, Adelaide and Fremantle just to name a few, there is a way for everyone to get the full cruise experience without the inconvenience of long distances. Whether you choose to explore the great locations of Australia or take a trip to Europe, ships departing from every city is another detail that boutique cruise lines add to help make the customer experience that much better.</p> <p><strong>4. Better value for money</strong></p> <p>While it may seem like you’re paying quite a bit of money when choosing to go on a cruise in a luxurious suite, the truth is, it’s a much better deal than going with a standard run-of-the-mill voyage.</p> <p>And right now, you can save up to 60% off suites for a limited time with <span><a href="https://cmvaustralia.com/cruises/special-offers?utm_source=Over60&amp;utm_medium=Web&amp;utm_campaign=SuiteSale">Cruise &amp; Maritime Voyages</a></span>. Whether you’re looking into a quick getaway or a grand voyage, you’re bound to find something that suits you and your budget with the many packages available.</p> <p>With expansive living areas and plenty of on-board amenities, this is your chance to experience the life of luxury at an affordable cost. But run don’t walk, as the offer ends on October 22.</p> <p>THIS IS SPONSORED CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU IN CONJUNCTION WITH <span><a href="https://cmvaustralia.com/cruises/special-offers?utm_source=Over60&amp;utm_medium=Web&amp;utm_campaign=SuiteSale">CRUISE &amp; MARITIME VOYAGES.</a></span></p>

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Why this is the best way to see Europe

<p>With over one billion tourists visiting the continent each year, Europe is known to be the perfect holiday destination for people all around the world. While there are countless ways to experience Europe in all its glory, there is one option that should be considered above all. Immersive, relaxing and convenient, river cruising is not only a luxurious travel option, but also enables you to see Europe from a totally new perspective. Read on for more reasons why a river cruise is the best way to experience Europe.</p> <p><strong>1. Travel in style and comfort </strong></p> <p>As Europe once relied on their waterways for trade and industry, most of the historical and cultural centres are located near the riversides. Some river cruise tour companies, such as <a href="https://goo.gl/NkhoQ1">Avalon Waterways</a>, provide experienced local guides to greet you at every port and share first-hand knowledge on the surrounding areas.</p> <p>Enjoy some of the world’s most spectacular views from the comfort of your own bed. Some of the latest fleets feature state of the art design and innovation, including floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows in the cabins, allowing you to witness the spectacular different parts of Europe in a comfortable environment.</p> <p class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/292263518" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>2. You only have to unpack once</strong></p> <p>Whether you packed your luggage weeks in advance or the night before, there is no doubt that it can be a chore. And what’s even more difficult is unpacking everything only to pack it up again. Repeat this process over and over again and the task can start to become a little tedious. The great thing about river cruises is that you only need to unpack once. So, no need to rummage around your suitcases to find a certain pair of shoes. Instead, just hang up your items in the closet space provided and forget about it until the end of your trip.</p> <p><strong>3. Maximise your limited holiday time</strong></p> <p>The great thing about a <span><a href="https://www.avalonwaterways.com.au/?utm_medium=native&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=avalon19-europe-sep18&amp;utm_content=website-link&amp;utm_term=paid-sep">river cruise</a></span> is that you’ll arrive in your new port of call early in the morning – imagine waking up every day in a new location – and have the chance to explore the city until the late afternoon or evening. This way you’re able to properly immerse yourself in the city you’re visiting, as you have enough time to take in the details, the culture and the history. With a week-long cruise generally stopping at 5-6 port cities, you will be covering a lot of different locations without going through the hassle of intensive airport checks and long queues just to exit the premises. You can rest assured that the minute you wake up and step foot outside the ship, you’re ready to start exploring whether it’s with a group of your closest friends or as a solo traveller.</p> <p><strong>4. You get the most out of your money</strong></p> <p>When you start to add up the cost of flights, train tickets and airport shuttles – alongside hotel, food and entertainment expenses – the budget you were planning to stick to suddenly starts flying through the roof. With a river cruise, your transportation, accommodation and dining options, as well as general entertainment, are all included in the cost. This way you won’t be hit with any surprise charges at the end of a blissful holiday away.</p> <p><strong>5. Different cruises for different budgets</strong></p> <p>The great thing about river cruises is that there’s an option for everyone. Whether you want to splurge or save, you’re bound to find a package that suits your budget and needs. With multiple locations and time frames to choose from, you have control over where you go and what you want to see. While some may prefer to go on a romantic seven-night cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, others may want to go on a 20-night cruise from Amsterdam to Oltenita.</p> <p><a href="https://goo.gl/UQ6FaK">Avalon Waterways</a> understands that everyone is different, and people have different needs, so every package is designed to suit you. With countless options to choose from, you’re bound to walk away with an itinerary that features all the hotspots on your bucket list. Holidays should be fun, not stressful; you’ve earned your time to breathe. So, why not book a river cruise and give yourself the time and space to step out and see the world your way. Delight in the difference and comfort. Leaving the rules behind, but not the luxury.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7821066/avalon-q.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/204b1aa462324d51a122b3255fd0cb7e" /></p> <p>Even better news, you can currently save up to <a rel="noopener" href="https://goo.gl/NkhoQ1" target="_blank">$4,600 per couple </a>with <a href="https://goo.gl/UQ6FaK">Avalon Waterways</a> – a huge saving, which includes free Wi-Fi, three course meals prepared by some of the best chefs and a number of on-board amenities, including a self-serve beverage station, fitness centre, library and many other inclusions that will make sure every dollar is spent wisely.</p> <p>THIS IS SPONSORED CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU IN CONJUNCTION WITH <span><a href="https://goo.gl/UQ6FaK">AVALON WATERWAYS</a></span>.</p>

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A day in the life of a luxury cruise ship passenger

<p><strong>1. Rise and shine</strong></p> <p>Everyone wakes up on a cruise to find themselves floating blissfully somewhere between vast seas and even vaster skies.</p> <p>While you slumbered, your floating hotel travelled through the night. Come morning, just outside your window is a completely new world and destination waiting for you to discover. What a way to start your day!</p> <p><strong>2. Breakfast club</strong></p> <p>Early risers can catch sunrise from the deck with a steaming cup of coffee and warm French pastries before heading to breakfast, while later risers can take in the views and the fresh sea air before heading downstairs to breakfast. Cruise restaurants offer banquets fit for a king. Choose from fresh fruit, omelettes, pancakes and, of course, ­a traditional full English breakfast.</p> <p><strong>3. Ease into your day</strong></p> <p>Energise your morning with a gentle yoga class, stretching your body and relaxing your mind on the top deck, or doing a few laps of the pool. For something a little more invigorating, hit the gym. If that sounds like too much action, simply spend your morning lounging by the pool or getting lost in a book, perhaps engrossing yourself in the history, culture and legends of your next port of call.</p> <p><strong>4. Port action</strong></p> <p>If it’s a port day, you might want to head out straight after breakfast to fit in all the sights. Maybe you have a tour lined up to see the local attractions; a boat trip to view a coral reef; or a sightseeing tour from high up above a rainforest canopy.</p> <p>From tropical island paradises of the South Pacific to the majestic ice-scapes of Scandinavia and Alaska and the bustling Mediterranean, where you can take a nostalgic trip back in history and visit ancient monuments and ruins, the world is your oyster as far as cruise travel is concerned.</p> <p>You can also choose to whittle the afternoon away in a quaint restaurant and watch the world go by.</p> <p><strong>5. Me time</strong></p> <p>If you spent the previous day exploring on land, a day on board allows you to unwind and soak in the delights of ship life, such as a day of spa treatments and pampering, sunbathing by the pool, or simply afternoon tea on deck.</p> <p>For a bit more excitement, try the surfing and skydiving simulators.</p> <p>Or if you want to learn something, take a cookery class, or learn to dance the tango. Whatever your poison, what is not to be missed is watching the sun going down from the deck with a glass of Happy Hour bubbles in hand.</p> <p><strong>6. Make a night of it</strong></p> <p>An array of Broadway shows, cabaret spectaculars and concerts are on offer after dark. And if you want to party like it’s 1999, head to the nightclubs and chic lounges where everyone’s party can carry on late into the night.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/day-life-luxury-cruise-ship-passenger?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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$4.6 million payout over cruise nightmare

<p>A man has been awarded a $4.6 million compensation from Norwegian Cruise Lines after a simple trip to the cruise doctor turned into hell.</p> <p>Ilija Loncar, 30, who was formerly employed as a waiter on the cruise ship the Norwegian Breakaway, made a trip to the ship’s doctor after he developed flu-like symptoms, including nausea.</p> <p>The doctor onboard, Sebastian Campuzano, had been hired by the cruise line a few months prior and was described as a “young, inexperienced, Columbia-trained physician”.</p> <p>To treat the mild symptoms, Dr Campuzano prescribed the antihistamine promethazine, which was injected by nurse Marco Oracion in a “huge” dose over a short period of time.</p> <p>This error led to an “intense” reaction that plunged Mr Loncar into a detrimental situation that resulted in his arm being amputated.</p> <p>Loncar’s lawyer, Thomas Scolaro, alleged in a Florida court that the medication wasn’t suitable for the worker’s illness and that the anti-nausea drug Zofran would’ve been a better treatment.</p> <p>The drug was also injected intravenously into Mr Loncar’s arm, instead of intramuscularly in his buttocks, which is the recommended technique.</p> <p>“(Dr Campuzano) gave the wrong medication, the wrong dosage by the wrong route through the wrong injection site, and it was administered over the wrong time and by the wrong method,” Mr Scolaro said.</p> <p>“They gave (Mr Loncar) the most dangerous type of medication they could give to treat this very simple, common problem that can be treated with a very light and easy medication — Zofran. It’s all they needed to do."</p> <p><span style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit !important;">It was also claimed that the 25-milligram dose that was administered was well above the usual amount prescribed.</span></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2018/09/10/miami-attorney-helps-secure-3-3m-for-man-whose-arm-was-amputated-after-seeking-care-for-flu-like-symptoms/?slreturn=20180818215235"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;"><u>Miami Daily Business Review</u></em></strong></a> reports: “All the medical data out there strongly suggests six and a quarter milligrams is a perfectly therapeutic dose. Campuzano orders it by intravenous injection when there is a pill, there’s a suppository, there’s a syrup.</p> <p>“ … He orders it by IV injection into the vein when — if you are going to order this medication through the injectable method — there’s a FDA black box warning on IV promethazine, which says the preferred route is deep intramuscular, which is a shot in the tush.”</p> <p>Even when Mr Loncar reported a reaction to the medication, the medical staff did not respond.</p> <p>“As soon as the medication went in he immediately reported burning,” Mr Scolaro said. </p> <p>“All the warnings out there say when there is a reported burning, you stop.”</p> <p>A few hours later, Mr Loncar’s right forearm turned black and blue.</p> <p>Instead of immediately evacuating the employee to a hospital, the medical staff massaged the area for 24 hours until the ship reached the next dock.</p> <p>Due to the extreme negligence and human error, Mr Loncar developed Compartment Syndrome, where pressure builds up due to internal bleeding and swelling.</p> <p>Once he arrived at a hospital, it was too late to save his gangrene-infected arm.</p> <p>After emergency operations, Mr Loncar’s arm was amputated at the elbow.</p> <p>The former employee suffered mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, loss of future earning capacity, aggravation of pre-existing conditions, inconvenience, humiliation, scarring and disfigurement.</p> <p>Mr Scolora alleges that this is all because of “wilful, wanton, and outrageous violations” in the form of medical errors and the failure to evacuate Mr Loncar.</p> <p>Mr Loncar was awarded AU$4.6 million for past and present pain, medical expenses and loss of earning capacity.</p>

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How to pack for your first cruise

<p><strong>Hand luggage</strong><br />Most cruise lines will take your suitcases at check-in, but it can take a while for these to be delivered to your room. So, it makes sense to pack a small carry bag to take on with you containing your passport, tickets, swimsuit, change of clothes and any other essentials including medication and valuables.</p> <p><strong>Cruise style</strong><br />Do some research into what you’ll be doing. If it’s mostly on-board entertainment, you’ll need lots of swimwear and casuals, whereas shore trips to galleries and cultural venues will require smarter wear.</p> <p><strong>Dinner style </strong><br />Most cruise ships have a selection of restaurants, and you’ll probably get a set number of dinners in a formal restaurant, with other meals served in casual or buffet style eateries. Each cruise line has their own dress codes and rules, which should be provided on their website. As a general rule they are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Casual:</strong>If you’re having lunch or dinner at a buffet-style restaurant, then the dress code is laidback, although swimwear and bare feet are usually not allowed.</li> <li><strong>Semi-formal:</strong>Polo shirts and chinos or smart jeans for men, with women wearing dresses or smart separates.</li> <li><strong>Formal:</strong>Men will be required to wear a dark suit and tie or dinner jacket, with ladies dressing up in cocktail or floor-length dresses. Your tickets should say how many formal nights there are.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Gala nights</strong> <br />If you are on an upmarket cruise, a gala night or two is usually part of the itinerary. Some men enjoy wearing a tuxedo for these special events, although a lounge suit is usually acceptable, and for women, it’s an excuse to go all out, with evening gowns or glittery cocktail dresses.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/how-to-pack-for-your-first-cruise">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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This cruise company just banned children

<p>Vikings River Cruises has just announced it will no longer permit people under the age of 18 on board their cruises.</p> <p>The cruise company, based in Basel, Switzerland, has changed its river cruise policy to be the same as its Viking Ocean Cruises line, which has had an adults-only policy since 2015.</p> <p>The cruise line’s age policy is now “one of the strictest in the industry”, according to <em><a href="https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2018/08/27/viking-cruise-lines-bans-children-says-their-clients-want-kid-free-vacations">Orlando Weekly</a></em>.</p> <p>Viking’s new terms and conditions page stipulates that for all new trips booked on both lines after August 1, 2018, passengers must be 18 or over.</p> <p>This does not apply to cruises booked on behalf of people under the age of 18 through to 2019.</p> <p>The rule change does not come as a huge surprise considering Viking River Cruises’ minimum passenger age was 12 years old.</p> <p>Viking senior vice president of marketing Richard Marnell said the new rule makes sense as the cruise line’s travel experience is for the over-50s market.</p> <p>“Viking has always offered experiences that are designed for travellers who are 50 and older, with interests in history, art, culture and exploration. It’s what we’re known for,” Mr Marnell said.</p> <p>“Previously, we had allowed a degree of flexibility in the minimum age for travel, but increasingly our guests have told us how much they appreciate an environment where they can travel without children.</p> <p>“In addition to marketing what Viking is, we believe our guests also appreciate knowing what Viking is not,” he said.</p>

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Aussies’ biggest fear on cruise ships revealed

<p>Although cruising can be an idyllic travel option, it is no secret that there are some unique mishaps that can be encountered as you sail the high seas. </p> <p>Now, a new study by <a href="https://www.finder.com.au"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>finder.com.au</strong></span></a> has revealed the number one fear Australians have about cruising is getting gastro.</p> <p>The research found that Aussie travellers were more concerned about the possibility of getting a stomach bug on a cruise than the ship sinking, losing luggage, violent storms, falling overboard or the ship leaving them behind.</p> <p>The study found that 37 per cent of Australians were most afraid of gastro, which was an even bigger concern than regular seasickness.</p> <p>The fear of getting gastro was so strong that two in five Aussies admitted they would never go on a cruise because they were afraid of getting sick.</p> <p>Norovirus is a highly contagious virus with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramping as well as fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue.</p> <p>Gastro outbreaks have been associated with cruise ships because of the enclosed environment onboard, which allows the virus to rapidly spread through food, surfaces and person-to-person contact. </p> <p>In this year alone, 443 people have been impacted in seven major outbreaks so far.</p> <p>An outbreak is considered “major” if it affects more than 2 per cent of all passengers.</p> <p>“A massive two in five Australians wouldn’t go on a cruise solely due to concerns about getting sick,” finder.com.au’s travel insurance expert Bessie Hassan said.</p> <p>“Unfortunately it’s a reality that gastro outbreaks on cruise ships can be common, but worrying about getting sick doesn’t need to ruin your holiday.”</p> <p>Between December 2016 and February 2017, there were consecutive outbreaks of norovirus on eight Sun Princess voyages.</p> <p>Sydney-based law firm Shine Lawyers has been preparing a large-scale action against Carnival Australia, the owner and operator of Princess Cruises.</p> <p><strong>Tips for avoiding norovirus on a cruise</strong></p> <p>Finder.com.au recommended passengers wash or sanitise hands regularly on a cruise, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. It is also important to clean your hands after taking part in an onboard activity or using public armchairs.</p> <p>When turning the bathroom tap off, use a paper towel to avoid possible recontamination.</p> <p>It is also important to keep a close eye on the buffet food as bacteria can thrive in foods kept at room temperature. It is also helpful to limit person-to-person contact – choose to wave instead of shaking hands.</p> <p>What is your biggest fear about cruising? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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World’s longest cruise set to visit 59 countries in 245 days

<p>Fancy a world cruise that calls at 113 ports in 59 countries across six continents in 245 days?</p> <p>That'll be $117,995 thanks. For the most basic room. Prefer to travel in the top-of-the-range owner's suite? If you had a spare $342,895 you would have been in with a chance but it's already taken.</p> <p>Billing itself as the longest ever continuous world cruise, the Norwegian-owned Viking Sun embarks on the eight-month journey on August 31, 2019. </p> <p>Departing from London's Greenwich, the 930-passenger vessel stops in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Faroe Islands and Norway before crossing the Atlantic to Iceland and Greenland. </p> <p>From there, it makes its way around America to Los Angeles where it skips through the South Pacific to New Zealand, calling at several ports on both islands before heading to Australia. </p> <p>Then it's up through Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa and southern Europe, eventually arriving back in London. </p> <p>The price includes business class airfares, private car transfers to the ship, "virtually all drinks on board" and one excursion in each port. </p> <p>The cheapest fare of $117,995 per person means a couple travelling together will pay $235,990, or $963 a day between them. </p> <p>The cruise appears to be filling up fast, with only wait list spaces for the cheapest fares. There are spaces available in mid-range cabins. </p> <p>Luxury touches aboard the 465-stateroom ship include a glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern, a Nordic spa with a "snow grotto" where snowflakes descend from the ceiling through chilled air, a winter garden and eight restaurants. </p> <p>Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said the lines world cruises "offer guests the rare opportunity to unpack once and explore dozens of the best destinations on earth - at a value that is unprecedented in the travel industry". </p> <p>If nearly A$117,995 is your idea of a value holiday that is. </p> <p><em>Written by Lorna Thornber. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz"><strong><u>Stuff.co.nz.</u></strong> </a></em></p>

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Richard Branson is building a luxury cruise ship for adults only

<p>Virgin Voyages, the cruise line launched by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, has released renderings of its new adult-only cruise ship.</p> <p>The <em>Scarlet Lady</em> will have an 18-year-old age requirement and will feature a nightclub, a thermal spa, two restaurants, athletic clubs and a barbershop.</p> <p>The interior and exterior have been conceptualised by some of the world’s most successful design firms, including Tom Dixon Design Studio of London, Roman and Williams of New York and Concrete Amsterdam.</p> <p>“Our design partners together with our internal design team have dreamed up eye-catching, intimate and alluring spaces that we can’t wait to see come to life,” said Tom McAlpin, President and Chief Executive Officer for Virgin Voyages, in a statement to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au"><strong><em><u>Business Insider</u></em></strong></a>.</p> <p>There will also be an exclusive outdoor lounge called Richard’s Roof-deck for suite guests.</p> <p>Inside the ship, guests can choose between two restaurants, Pink Agave and Test Kitchen.</p> <p>The ship will have an outdoor athletic club for guests who are interested in joining a boxing class or running track. The indoor gym will offer group fitness classes, yoga and stationary bicycles.</p> <p>There will also be a thermal spa called Redemption that will have a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge rooms, quartz beds and other spa treatments.</p> <p>For those looking for furthering pampering, there will also be a nail salon, a barbershop and a hair salon.</p> <p>The ship is expected to arrive in Port Miami in 2020 for its maiden journey.</p> <p>It will hold 2,700 passengers and 1,150 crew members.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see inside the luxury cruise line.</p> <p><em>Photo: Virgin Voyages</em></p>

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Cruise ship worker rescued 22 hours after falling overboard

<p>A cruise ship worked who fell overboard has been miraculously rescued by another passing cruise ship.</p> <p>The 33-year-old man, who was working for Norwegian Cruise Line, is in a stable condition after reportedly treading water for 22 hours to stay alive.</p> <p>According to the US Coast Guard, the worker went overboard at around 3.20 pm local time on Saturday, 45 kilometres north west of Pinar del Rio, Cuba.</p> <p>The man fell off the <em>Norwegian Getaway</em> and was rescued by Carnival Cruise Line’s <em>Carnival Glory</em>.</p> <p>“It was nothing short of miraculous,” president of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy, said in a statement.</p> <p>The search for the man was suspended on Saturday evening, but a cabin steward from the <em>Carnival Glory</em> spotted him in the water at around 1.20 pm on Sunday.</p> <p>Carnival spokeswoman AnnMarie Matthews said the man did not have any safety device on when he was rescued and they “can only surmise that he was likely treading water the entire time”.</p> <p>“Kudos to the <em>Carnival Glory</em> team for this amazing effort to rescue a fellow seafarer,” Ms Duffy said.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://miami.cbslocal.com/2018/07/01/missing-cruise-employee-found/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>CBS Miami</em></strong></span></a>, US Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally said: "The <em>Carnival Glory</em> had found someone in the water waving their arms and they rescued him and he was the missing <em>Norwegian Getaway</em> crew member and that was roughly about 21 miles north of Cuba.”</p> <p>Norwegian said in a statement that the line is “extremely thankful” to Carnival Cruise line.</p> <p>“We are so happy to know that the individual is safe and will soon be reunited with friends and family,” the Norwegian statement said.</p>

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Rare Titanic letter offers insight into life on doomed ship

<p>A rare letter written on-board the Titanic recently went up for auction, giving a glimpse of what life was like on the historic ship.</p> <p>According to auction house Henry Aldridge &amp; Son, the letter was written by Second Class passenger and survivor Kate Buss.</p> <p>The letter, written on April 10, 1912, is addressed to her brother Percy James and was in response to a letter she had received from him while on the historic ship.</p> <p>“I’ve been quite alright — but now feel dead tired and more fit for bed than anything,” Ms Buss wrote.</p> <p>“Have to go to dinner-tea in half an hour.”</p> <p>The letter reveals more about everyday life on the Titanic, which sank on April 15, killing 1503 passengers.</p> <p>“Mr Peters spent about an hour on the vessel and they might easily have spent another without waste of time,” Ms Buss wrote.</p> <p>“The first class apartments are really magnificent and unless you had first seen them you would think the second class were the same.”</p> <p>Ms Buss said the ship had not yet reached Cherbourg, France, but the mail had cleared.</p> <p>“I think I’d best try and get some postcards of the vessel,” she wrote.</p> <p>She also said that the passenger she was sharing her stateroom with had not yet turned up. She was also told by two clergymen sitting opposite her at the table to eat a good lunch.</p> <p>Ms Buss finished her letter by informing her brother that she was putting her letter in the post.</p> <p>“Must clear and have a wash now,” she wrote. “Will pop this in the [mail] in case I’m sea sick tomorrow. PW brought a box of chocolates — shouldn’t wonder if I’m like Jim Buss and get it the other way. Give my love to all enquirers — must go. Much love, Kate.”</p> <p>Ms Buss was travelling to America to marry her fiancé Samuel Willis.</p> <p>She survived the Titanic sinking when the <a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/travel-trouble/2018/04/the-call-that-sealed-the-fate-of-titanic-victims/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Carpathia</span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> picked her up</span></strong></a> along with 705 other passengers.</p> <p>Kate Buss and Samuel Willis married on May 11 as planned.</p> <p>She passed away on July 12, 1972 at the age of 96.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Henry Aldridge &amp; Son</em></p>

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What it’s like to cruise around NZ solo

<p>The last time I sailed on Azamara Journey was in 2014, on an unforgettable cruise from Athens to Rome.</p> <p>A general strike in Athens meant Syntagma Square was packed with  protesters and tours to the Acropolis were out of the question. No matter; my cruise companion and I boarded the Journey at Piraeus to find we'd been magically upgraded to the Club World Owner's Suite. Any sense of sightseeing disappointment evaporated in a trice.</p> <p>Four years on, I'm on a mission to check out what's changed since the ship had a multimillion-dollar refurb in 2016 – and to experience sailing solo for a change. Azamara Journey's cruise starts in Auckland, recently rated the world's third-most liveable city (after Vienna and Zurich). I'm not surprised by this news – Auckland is easy to get around on public transport, scores highly on the shopping, dining and natural-attractions scene and its cruise port is right there in the middle of the city.</p> <p align="center"><img class="photoborder" src="https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/p/j/0/b/p/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.1pj0lo.png/1524519902434.jpg" alt="The ship had a multimillion-dollar refurb in 2016." /></p> <p align="center"><em>The ship had a multimillion-dollar refurb in 2016.</em></p> <p>Before we sail out of Auckland, we are treated to an impressive onboard performance of the haka and other tribal dances by a local band of musicians. They manage to entice a surprising number of passengers to join them on the deck and it's a fun start to the cruise.</p> <p>After the excitement of sailaway – and a vaguely worrying thought about dining alone – dinner on the aft deck of Windows Cafe proves to be a breeze. A seafood buffet is in full swing – you pick your own ingredients and the chefs cook it all in front of you – and my table for one (OK four, with three empty places) overlooking the Hauraki Gulf is the best place to be for amazing sunset views and casual conversations.</p> <p align="center"><img class="photoborder" src="https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/p/j/0/b/o/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.1pj0lo.png/1524519902434.jpg" alt="The pool deck on Azamara Journey." /></p> <p align="center"><em>The pool deck on Azamara Journey.</em></p> <p>Has the ship changed much over four years? Yes and no. The decor is brighter and lighter, a selection of house drinks is now included in the fare, dining is better than ever and the service even more attentive than I recall. The former Looking Glass Lounge is now the more attractive Living Room, where wine and tapas are served in the evening and coffee and snacks during the day, while favourite features such as the painted tromp de l'oeil ceiling in the library (Drawing Room) remain.</p> <p>On the way to the Bay of Islands I join a table of single travellers for dinner, hosted by cruise director Tony Markey. You have to book a spot in advance and there are so many of us we spill onto a neighbouring table. It's a lively evening. On one side of me sits a former US senator, on the other a retired teacher, also from the US. An English woman gets straight to the point – "What are you going to do about your gun laws?" Then we talk Trump, Brexit, travel, sex and everything else under the sun.</p> <p>Over the next few days, friendships develop; Azamara Journey's size and spaces are very conducive to sociability, whether you're travelling with a group, couple or on your own. And if you're not the most confident single traveller, organised cruise excursions are a boon. Whether you take a ship's tour or a cheaper option offered by a local operator, it takes the hassle out of making the arrangements yourself and, particularly if you choose a small-group tour, you get to know fellow passengers along the way.</p> <p align="center"><img class="photoborder" src="https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/p/j/0/b/q/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.1pj0lo.png/1524519902434.jpg" alt="The Aqualina restaurant." /></p> <p align="center"><em>The Aqualina restaurant.</em></p> <p>I join a Waitangi walking tour at the Bay of Islands. Guide Morrie is a straight-talking Māori who shares his extensive knowledge of his ancestors' culture as we wander along the glittering rocky coastline. He explains the significance of the massive ceremonial canoe, which is launched every February for Waitangi Day celebrations, and inside the surprisingly homely Treaty House we inspect a replica of the historic Waitangi Treaty.</p> <p>At the ornately carved Meeting House, which symbolically faces the Treaty House, we see a dazzling display of Māori weaponry, stick games and the haka; later we split up to try our hands at wood-carving or flax-weaving. Not something I'll be doing again, by the way, crafts are not my forte. Azamara Journey's visiting magician Paul Draper accompanies the tour – his show in the new 54 Below venue that evening is mind-boggling.</p> <p>My next outing is with eight other passengers from Tauranga to Rotorua, the birthplace of Maori culture. Minibus driver John keeps up a running commentary during the 45-minute drive, on everything from soaring real-estate prices in seafront Mount Maunganui to how the freshwater lakes surrounding Rotorua are full of trout. You can catch the fish but selling them is illegal.</p> <p align="center"><img class="photoborder" src="https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/p/j/0/b/s/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.1pj0lo.png/1524519902434.jpg" alt="Kayaking the Queen Charlotte Sound." /></p> <p style="text-align: center;" align="center"><em>Kayaking the Queen Charlotte Sound.</em></p> <p>The gushing geysers and bubbling mud pools at Te Puia are as dramatic as I'd imagined and the sulphur smell much fainter. It's a key tourist attraction and very managed – however, our onsite guide talks geology with authority and takes us through a nocturnal sanctuary to observe a pair of young kiwi birds. You can only see the native "slow breeders" in the wild if you're accompanied by a ranger.</p> <p>After a look through the inspirational new NZ Arts &amp; Crafts Institute in Te Puia we spend an hour or so at the Polynesian Spa, languishing in geothermal pools that overlook steaming, multicoloured Lake Rotorua and far distant mountains. We agree on the drive back to the ship that another hour there would have been preferable to the educational pit stop we make at a kiwifruit farm – but it's a first-world problem.</p> <p>By the time we reach Picton the weather is considerably cooler and the prospect of kayaking on Queen Charlotte Sound is suddenly not so enticing. Nobody else is piking out, though, and it turns out to be a wonderful, energising experience. Ten of us paddle about 14 kilometres in and out of bays and coves in a mountainous landscape that's so vast and silent it's quite mystical; our entertaining guide's dry comments bring us back to earth (or sea).</p> <p>Another highlight is the AzAmazing Evening in Wellington. These special events are held once on every cruise and almost everyone on the ship attends the superb Symphony by the Sea in Wellington Cathedral. Even if you don't know much about classical music you recognise these pieces; two are traditional songs made famous by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.</p> <p>I jump ship in Dunedin and catch a glimpse of Azamara Journey a few days later in Sydney, where it's setting off on its 102-night Bridge to Bridge voyage to London. Fifty-two passengers are on board for the full cruise; as Captain Johannes Tysse says, "I hope they won't be climbing the walls by the end of it, but we have plenty of things to keep them entertained."</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><strong>Cruise</strong></p> <p><em>Azamara Quest will sail four voyages between Australia and New Zealand in 2019; 16-night Melbourne to Auckland, departing January 6; 16-night Auckland to Sydney, departing January 22; 14-night Sydney to Auckland, departing February 7; and 15-night Auckland to Cairns, departing February 21. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a rel="noopener" href="https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__azamaraclubcruises.com&amp;d=DwMGaQ&amp;c=N9aEhCy8U0rJkO1xCZf7rgM9fohfR5qe_N93viZd7O8&amp;r=kNONHh_9qghstnaZzt5LFySipmRKjcpxz7waAfXLdzs&amp;m=jqIGzfOoUiMQ3dWC9TedpQQtBI1lo6umx6SU66fU_60&amp;s=KMSZ5_2TXwEZLDFa5Q4vaRWekJRzkbWSDWBwQ9_fc_Y&amp;e=" target="_blank">azamaraclubcruises.com</a></strong></span></em></p> <p><em>Sally Macmillan travelled as a guest of Azamara Club Cruises and Emirates.</em></p> <p><em>Sally Macmillan. Republished with permission of <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz.</span></strong></a></em></p>

Cruising