Thursday, March 27

Is Sea Sickness all in the Mind?

Years ago, on a family holiday to Cornwall, I remember getting on a small boat and sailing out to sea to catch some fish for dinner that evening. At 9 years old I was thoroughly enjoying being out at sea, catching fish and learning to “drive” a boat. And then came the sickness…
There is nothing quite like sea sickness, one minute your feeling fine, the next you feel completely green. Luckily enough we were already heading back to shore as the sickness was reaching its peak.

Since then I have moved on to bigger and better ships and started cruising. As of yet, I have not experienced any sea sickness at all (lucky me). Not so surprising when you consider how huge cruise liners tend to be and how well stabilized. However, many cruise passengers claim they suffer badly from sea sickness, even on these large ships.

The chances are that the majority of people who go cruising probably won’t suffer from seas sickness. Having said that, I guess you really won’t know until you get onboard.

Sea sickness is caused when the body, inner ear and eyes all send conflicting signals to the brain which makes you feel queasy. The brain is confused as your eyes are sensing everything’s stable whilst your ears are screaming that its not. But, can you control this feeling? According to this story I read, the answer is yes -

A husband and wife cruised regularly year after year, and each time the wife suffered with sea sickness. The husband was of the less sympathetic variety and decided to conduct a little experiment.He got in touch with an old friend who was a doctor. The doctor then informed the wife that she should drink cranberry juice each morning to cure the symptoms whilst on the cruise. The wife followed his instructions and for the first time had an enjoyable, sickness free cruise. Cranberry juice is not known as a cure for sea sickness, and instead acted as a placebo, convincing her that her sea sickness had been cured!

Whilst this suggests it is all in the head, I don’t think we can dismiss the symptoms completely. There are now prescription drugs to try to help ease sickness, as well as a new gadget which looks like a watch, but sends out gentle shocks to trick your body into thinking you are on land.

My advice? Each person you ask is likely to come up with their own remedy for sea sickness, some more credible than others. A few basic tips to eliminate the affects of sea sickness is to stay hydrated, eat lightly, avoid fatty foods and stay out on deck if possible. You may find that focusing on the horizon or nearby land is also beneficial.

Tuesday, March 25

Update - Face of Travel 2008

I tried very hard to contain my excitement when i turned on my PC this morning and found out that i had made it onto the leaderboard for the Face of Travel competition. I let slip a little squeal of excitement into my coffee which couldn't be helped. (I don't think anyone noticed though)

I just want to thanks everyone that has voted so far... but if you havent't yet already, don't delay, vote today!

Thursday, March 20

Heathrow terminal 5 here I come!

Next month I will have the great pleasure of departing from the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow. From what I've seen in the press so far, it all sounds absolutely fabulous. The quick check in and bag drop...well who wouldn't benefit from that?
The designer shopping including such brands such as Harrods, Tiffany & Co. and Mulberry will certainly please many - excluding my husband or my bank that is. The obvious downside to this self contained fashion village is that you can't access it without flying with BA.And as if all that wasn't enough, Gordon Ramsey has opened a restaurant there as part of the T5 fine dining experiences.
One thing is for sure, I will have spent my holiday money before I even board my plane. I guess I'll just have to keep you updated on my experience next month. Wish my purse luck!

For more info visit

Tuesday, March 18

Cruise musings

Many experts like to predict the future of the cruise industry in both the short and the long term. Some focus on passenger numbers and destination trends while others veer toward the cruise line's new ships and their on board innovations.

One thing is for certain, we all like to read about what may be coming next, but why do we only think of ocean cruising in one way? There are many ways to visit the world by sea besides the most popular cruise vessels.

One example would be private yachting, once a holiday for only the rich and famous. These days you can charter one of these marvellous crewed vessels for almost the same price as one week on board a super liner. Sleeping up to 10 guests, one company on the net are offering a Rodman 41 for 6 days, carrying 6 people for £1500 per person. It costs even less if you can make the numbers up to 10! That's fully crewed and includes the fuel. And the best bit... you get to choose your itinerary! Granted you won't get the varied entertainment, choice of restaurants and the kids clubs but its certainly an interesting choice.

Another alternative, and probably the more fascinating, is what i like to call the 'cruise timeshare' - or as most know it; the residential cruise line.
Up until 5 years ago, they didn't exist but then along came the first, The World. This is the only one of its kind currently in operation but there are 4 more in the pipeline. (I've listed these and their web links at the end of the article)
The main idea is to own an apartment in a floating resort that constantly sails the globe but you don't need to own one outright to benefit. Depending on the ship, there are several options available: full ownership, partial or shared ownership and short period rentals for those that want to experience the ship as a holiday maker.
On The World you can expect to pay anything between $1,200 to $4,200 a night, with a minimum stay of six nights. Not exactly affordable to most but then that's the whole point isn't it? Being part of something exclusive.

I'm pretty sure that once more of these residential ships are built, as with anything we will see the prices drop dramatically. In the meantime i think I'll stick to traditional cruising.

Further research:

The World
Voyage Partners
The Magdellan
The Orphalese

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Friday, March 14

Let the voting begin!

I'm not usually one for competitions, I don't like the randomness, the poor odds and I especially don't like the 'losing' part. But when I saw the opportunity to become the Face of Travel 2008, I knew this was my destiny. A little over dramatic maybe but hear me out.

The competition is only open to the travel industry and the winner gets to attend lots of posh events, write articles, wins a free cruise on the Independence of the Seas and becomes part of a trade campaign for Royal Caribbean.

After reading all that you should see why I had to enter, this is right up my street!

So this is the bit where I ask for your help... voting begins today and ends on April 11th. If you click on the following link you can submit your vote:

It should take you no longer than 5 seconds to log your vote. Help make me a star... well, in the travel industry at least!

Thanks in advance ;-)

Thursday, March 13

If you're wondering why I haven't made many blog entries this year, there's a simple explanation. I have been working hard on a new project for Ideal Cruising which simplifies the current 6 page online booking process to a simple single page. Each section of the process is separated by a sliding 'accordian' style window so that you can go through each step individually without having to wait for a page to load each time. The best part of this is the ability to change your choices or amend your details at any stage. We are just putting it through the testing phase right now and will be launching on the main site within the next two weeks.
The technology behind the new system is Ajax... to that comment i will have had some techies nodding their heads with approval but to most people that would only conjure up a vision of smelly cleaning powder from the 80's. Whichever it is, trust me it, its state of the art!
Following on from this we are planning to redesign the entire Ideal Cruising website to make it more user friendly, less cluttered and fresher. There will be a few new features which are a first for the cruise industry so watch this lips are sealed for now!

Wednesday, March 5

Future cruise ship build schedule

Line Ship Launch Tonnage Berths
MSC MSC Poesia 01 March 2008 89,600 2,500
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas 01 May 2008 160,000 3,634
P&O Ventura Spring 2008 116,000 3,100
Carnival Carnival Splendor 01 July 2008 112,000 3,006
Holland America Eurodam Summer 2008 86,000 2,104
Princess Ruby Princess 01 November 2008 113,000 3,080
MSC MSC Fantasia 01 November 2008 133,500 3,300
Celebrity Solstice Autumn 2008 118,000 2,850
MSC MSC Splendida Spring 2009 133,500 3,300
Costa Costa Luminosa Spring 2009 92,700 2,260
Costa Costa Pacifica Spring 2009 130,000 3,652
Seabourn Seabourn Odyssey 01 June 2009 32,000 450
Pearl Seas Cruises Unnamed Summer 2009 7,600 165
Sea Cloud Cruises Sea Cloud Hussar 01 September 2009 N/A 136
Silversea Unnamed 01 November 2009 36,000 540
Celebrity Equinox Autumn 2009 118,000 2,850
Carnival Carnival Dream Autumn 2009 130,000 3,652
Royal Caribbean Genesis (class) Autumn 2009 220,000 5,400
Star Clippers Unnamed 02 July 1905 7,400 296
Seabourn Unnamed 02 July 1905 32,000 450
Costa Unnamed 01 March 2010 92,700 2,260
NCL F3 (class) 01 March 2010 150,000 4,200
Celebrity Celebrity Eclipse 01 June 2010 122,000 2,850
Royal Caribbean Genesis (class) 01 August 2010 220,000 5,400
P&O Unnamed Summer 2010 116,000 3,100
Oceania Unnamed 01 September 2010 65,000 1,260
NCL F3 (class) 01 October 2010 150,000 4,200
Cunard Queen Elizabeth Autumn 2010 92,000 2,092
Holland America Unnamed Autumn 2010 86,000 2,100
MSC MSC Magnifica Autumn 2010 86,600 2,550
Disney Unnamed 01 June 2011 122,000 2,500
Carnival Carnival Magic 01 June 2011 130,000 3,652
Oceania Unnamed 01 July 2011 65,000 1,260
Disney Unnamed 04 July 1905 122,000 2,500