P&O Cruises confirms an order for a second new ship

P&O Cruises confirms order for second new ship

A second large next-generation cruise ship for P&O Cruises was confirmed on Thursday as the line seeks to attract more first-time cruisers.

The vessel will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and is due to join the fleet in 2022 – two years after a similar sister ship enters service.

The latest order will be 180,000 gross tons and have a capacity for 5,200 passengers, it’s set to be the largest cruise ship to be built specifically for the British market.

Both new ships will be registered in the UK and built by leading German shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg.

The ship will feature the Carnival Corporation’s exclusive “green cruising” design as one of the first generation of cruise ships to be powered by both while in port and at sea.

This will “significantly reduce” air emissions with the shipping industry’s most advanced fuel technology, the company claims.

The new ship is part of a fleet enhancement strategy with 19 new vessels set for delivery across Carnival Corporation brands between 2018 and 2022.

Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein said: “We are seeing the momentum in awareness of cruising both across the media and in our national psyche as ever-increasing numbers of people see first-hand the value for money, unrivalled service and extraordinary onboard experience.

“These two next-generation ships for delivery in the next four years are real and tangible evidence of our absolute optimism for future growth.”

P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow added: “We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain’s number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet.

“The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships.

“In four years’ time when her sister ship is launched, adding an additional 22% capacity, we will see an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both Millennials and Generation Xers.

“Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up. Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing onboard and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers.

“This evolution of the guest experience will be evident over the next few years but will be underpinned throughout with in-depth market insight and feedback we receive from the best source: our current, past and prospective guests.

“The first of our new ships will go on sale in September and we will be announcing key elements of the design and build this year.

“Our P&O Cruises signature features in dining and entertainment will be across all our ships, but the space and build of the two new ships allow us to have innovative new experiences to create the most memorable holidays.”

Thomas Weigend, managing director of Meyer Werft, said: “We are very happy to continue our excellent partnership with Carnival Corporation and P&O Cruises.”

22 Do’s and Don’t’s for Your First Day Onboard a Cruise Ship

22 Do’s and Don’t’s for Your First Day Onboard a Cruise Ship 

cruise-ship-first-day-do-dontLong-time cruisers often have an embarkation day routine. Some make a beeline for the atrium or poolside bar, while others head to the buffet. Some like to explore the ship, posting photos online to make Facebook and Twitter friends jealous. Others meticulously spray down their cabins with Lysol, start popping seasickness medicines and unpack all their belongings into their proper places.

If you’re a first-timer or haven’t settled into a familiar cruise routine, here’s a list of embarkation day do’s and don’t’s, culled from our many years cruising.

DO start your vacation off with a tropical drink in a colorful glass with umbrellas and plastic monkeys a-plenty. Just don’t assume that drink proffered by a waiter is free … or that you can’t get it cheaper by opting for a regular, non-souvenir glass.

DO tour the ship, get your bearings, and identify which bars and eateries you want to hit first. We recommend starting at the top and working your way down … unless you want to get in a workout by climbing all the stairs.

DON’T head straight to the buffet — it’s one of the most crowded places onboard on embarkation day because everyone comes hungry for lunch. Instead, check out your dining options. Sometimes other venues are open for a first-day lunch, and they aren’t such madhouses.

DO take photos — lots of them. Get that first “Hooray, I’m on vacation” shot of your family by the ship’s rail; snap a pic of your cabin in pristine condition before it’s wrecked with daily schedules, towel animals and your assorted laundry; capture interesting spots onboard before they’re overrun with passengers; and do feel free to post them online to make your friends drool.

DON’T take the elevator if you don’t need to. The lifts are super-slow on embark day and crowded with passengers and crew ferrying luggage between decks. Take the stairs. Then have no guilt when you tuck into dessert at dinner.

DO arrange your spa and salon appointments, as the most popular treatment times book up quickly. Not sure what you want? Take a spa tour. You might get to sample a massage or win a free treatment in the first-day raffle.

DON’T spend the day in your winter, workday or travel clothes. Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on so you don’t have to wait for your luggage to arrive for you to slip into sandals, shorts or swimsuits.

hot-tub-royal-caribbeanDO take a dip in the pool or hot tub. They’re often uncrowded on the first day because many people haven’t followed the advice above and brought a change of clothes. But why wait to begin your vacation? The pool is open!

DO make specialty dining reservations if you haven’t done so online before your trip. Choice dining times can sell out.

DON’T forget to check in at the kids club and sign up your little ones for the onboard camp activities. There’s often an introductory session for kids and parents to meet the counselors and get acquainted with the facilities. Better to sign up on day one, even if you’re not sure your kids will want to go; there’s no requirement to attend.

DO book shore tours, and ask the tour desk any questions you might have. Some tours have limited space and sell out, so book early (if you haven’t pre-booked).

DO buy a soda card or alcohol package to get the most use out of them on your cruise. Just do the math beforehand to make sure the packages will actually save you money.

DON’T settle for unacceptable dinner seatings. The maitre d’ is typically available to take questions and make changes, if possible, on embarkation day. If you wanted early dining but got a late seating, want to switch from set-seating to flexible dining or just want to find out if you’re at a two-top or 10-top, make a visit to the dining room a top priority. It’s also good to check in with the maitre d’ if you have dietary restrictions to make sure you’ll be taken care of onboard.

DO reserve space on any fee-extra sun decks (such as Princess’ Sanctuary) or cabanas, especially if you want to book them for a sea day. Space is limited and can sell out.

man-ship-cell-phoneDO make your last phone calls, texts and tweets while your phone can access land-based cell towers and you’re not paying sky-high satellite Internet and roaming fees.

DON’T assume your cabin is pristine and in working order, if you tend to worry about such things. Test out the TV, the toilet and the lights; check for bed bugs; sanitize anything you need to. Set your mind at ease early. Then go and enjoy your vacation.

DO unpack your suitcases, and get that task (and your luggage) out of the way early. Decorate your cabin and door if you like to personalize your home for the vacation.

DO meet your cabin steward and make any requests you have. Some travelers like to tip their cabin stewards on day one to ensure good service throughout the cruise (but this isn’t necessary).

DON’T skip the muster drill. It will provide important information in case of an emergency. Plus it’s mandatory, even if you have cruised before.

DO take a nap or lounge on your balcony (even if the view is just of an ugly port building). It’s your vacation; you can be as active or as laid-back as you want.

DO head up on deck for sailaway. It’s festive, with live music and flowing drinks, and it’s a fun way to kick off your cruise.

DON’T automatically eat dinner in the main dining room. Embarkation day can be a great night to dine out in the specialty restaurants, as they’re often less crowded and, on some lines, carry a reduced cover charge.

DO watch the sun set over the ocean, go to the welcome show, hit the casino, sing karaoke and shake your booty at the disco — your cruise starts tonight!

Thomson brochures to use augmented reality

Thomson brochures to use augmented reality

Cruise operator introduces new technology to its traditional brochure

New brochures introduced by Thomson Cruises for its 2014 and 2015 programme of cruises will utilise new augmented reality technology to allow potential passengers to get a better idea of what their holiday will be like.

According to the company, the augmented reality will be accessible on any handheld device and can be used in conjunction with the traditional paper brochure sent out to interested parties on an annual basis.

The development represents a first for the line, and will allow users to view additional content by holding their smartphone or tablet over a specific page in the brochure.

Fraser Ellacott, Thomson Cruises customer operations director, commented: “Showcasing the true experience of life on a cruise ship will … go a long way in helping customers considering a cruise make their decision.”

He added that first-time cruisers will also have a better idea of what to expect thanks to the new technology.