>Independence of the Seas review

>Hi we are back from our Annual Holiday.

This year we cruised with Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas on a 10 night cruise to the Canary Islands. 

I will publish my full thoughts soon

So keep looking

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>Cruise 2011: Seven new ships to sell next year – www.travelweekly.co.uk

>Cruise 2011: Seven new ships to sell next year – www.travelweekly.co.uk

Cruise 2011: Seven new ships to sell next year

Another clutch of ocean-going cruise ships is due to enter service in 2011. Jane Archer gets the lowdown
Although the number of ocean-going ships set to come out of the shipyards next year is down on 2010 – the first sign that the recent building boom is ending – the talk in cruising is still of growth.

Association of Cruise Experts director Flo Powell says: “In tough economic times, people want to know what they are spending, which means cruising’s all-inclusive value proposition becomes even better.
“There will be fewer launches in 2011 but this year’s ship launches, new onboard activities and new destinations will have a snowball effect on next year’s bookings. The Passenger Shipping Association forecasts 6% growth to 1.75 million passengers.”
Next year’s eight new ocean-going ships include AIDAsol, which operates exclusively for the German-speaking market, leaving seven new ships for UK agents to sell.
On the rivers, Viking River Cruises is bringing out two vessels, to sail on the Danube and Yangtze; AMA Waterways is launching vessels on the Mekong and in Europe; Uniworld has new river cruise boats on the Rhine and Douro; and Avalon Waterways and Scenic Tours are each launching one new vessel in Europe.
In addition, the 700-passenger Royal Princess will be leaving the Princess Cruises’ fleet to join P&O Cruises after a gala renaming ceremony in Southampton in May.
Here’s a rundown of the seven new ships set to launch next year in the UK market in order of appearance.

OCEANIA CRUISES

Marina

Artists impression of the Grand Staircase aboard new Oceania cruise ship MarinaSets sail: January 22, 2011
Key selling points: The 1,258-passenger Marina is twice the size of the line’s three existing ships, which has made space for two more restaurants – Jacques for French cuisine, and Red Ginger for Asian. There’s a culinary studio for cookery lessons and La Reserve for wine-tastings.
Find it: Marina’s maiden voyage is a 13-day cruise from Barcelona to Miami. The ship cruises the US West Coast and Caribbean until March, then returns to the Mediterranean for the summer.
Sample price: From £2,633 cruise-only for a 10-day cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia, the port for Rome. oceaniacruises.co.uk

DISNEY CRUISE LINE

Disney Dream

Disney Dream under constructionSets sail: January 26, 2011
Key selling points: The AquaDuck, the first ‘water coaster’ at sea travels 765ft around the ship and has a four-deck drop; virtual portholes that give passengers in inside cabins a sea view; and the Enchanted Garden dining room, which changes from day to night as you eat.
Find it: Disney Dream will be sailing three, four and five-night Bahamian cruises year-round from Port Canaveral, calling at Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.
Sample price: From £463 cruise-only for a four-night Bahamian cruise on April 10, 2011.disneycruiseline.co.uk

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES

Carnival Magic

Sets sail: May 1, 2011
Key selling points: Carnival’s first pub at sea, the RedFrog, which has its own signature beer, ThirstyFrog Red. There’s a new Italian restaurant, Cucina del Capitano, a ropes course with nets suspended 150ft above the sea, the drainpipe and twister water slides, and an outdoor weight-lifting area.
Find it: Carnival Magic is cruising the Mediterranean from Barcelona until November, when it relocates to Galveston, Texas, where it will be based year-round.
Sample price: From £899 for a seven-night cruise from Barcelona including flights and transfers.carnivalcruise.co.uk

COMPAGNIE DU PONANT

L’Austral

Artists impression of forthcoming Compagnie du Ponant ship AustralSets sail: April 27, 2011
Key selling points: More yacht than ship, it will have a chic grey and white hull and shades of brown inside. Cabins have open-plan bathrooms (with sliding doors if passengers want privacy) and several have interconnecting doors, so they can be put together to create a suite.
Find it: L’Austral will be based in the Mediterranean until October, when it relocates to Ushuaia, Argentina for cruises to Antarctica.
Sample price: From £1,655 cruise-only for a seven-night Adriatic cruise round trip from Venice on May 31, 2011. ponant.com

YACHTS OF SEABOURN

Seabourn Quest

Sets sail: June 9, 2011
Key selling points: This is the third and last new 450-passenger ship being built by Seabourn, a sister to Odyssey and Sojourn, so it’s more of the same, rather than anything new. There’s Restaurant 2 for a taster menu, a stylish spa, balcony suites and caviar in the surf on calm days in the Caribbean.
Find it: Seabourn Quest will be based in the Mediterranean next summer, relocating to Fort Lauderdale in November. A 109-day maiden world cruise starts on January 5, 2012.
Sample price: From £5,449 for a 14-day cruise from Barcelona to Piraeus, the port for Athens, on June 20, 2011, including flights and transfers. seabourn.com

COSTA CRUISES

Costa Favolosa

Sets sail: July 4, 2011
Key selling points: Favolosa is Italian for fairytale so Costa is promising decor resembling a modern-day enchanted castle. There will be Costa favourites including a Grand Prix driving simulator, 4D cinema and a large Samsara spa, plus a new Aqua Park.
Find it: Costa Favolosa (pictured top) will be based in Venice for the summer, sailing seven-day cruises to the Greek islands, Turkey and Croatia.
Sample price: From £769 for a seven-night Ancient Treasures cruise from Venice in July 2011 including flights and transfers. costacruises.co.uk

CELEBRITY CRUISES

Celebrity Silhouette

Sets sail: July 23, 2011
Key selling points: Silhouette is Celebrity’s fourth Solstice-class ship and will feature the same real grass lawn as its sister ships; a glassblowing workshop; Qsine for traditional dishes served in quirky ways; and Blu for healthy cuisine.
Find it: Celebrity Silhouette will be based in Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, for summer, sailing 12-night cruises to Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Greece. For winter 2011-12, it will be sailing Caribbean cruises from New Jersey.
Sample price: From £2,100 for a 12-night Holy Land cruise from Civitavecchia on August 10, 2011, including flights and transfers. celebritycruises.co.uk