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kelly@

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About kelly@

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    Associate Editor

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    London, UK
  1. Ever wondered what it’s like to cruise around the Arabian Gulf? This week our contributing editor, Sue Bryant, is finding out as she sails from Dubai to Fujairah, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and back to Dubai on Brilliance of the Seas. Sue is posting her thoughts all week over on our U.K. blog -- today's post is about dune bashing in Fujairah. Do take a look at the blog each day. And if you have any questions about the ship or ports of call, then leave a comment on the blog for Sue: [url]http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/blog/?cat=669[/url]
  2. Ever wondered what it’s like to cruise around the Arabian Gulf? This week our contributing editor, Sue Bryant, is finding out as she sails from Dubai to Fujairah, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and back to Dubai onboard Brilliance of the Seas. Sue is posting her thoughts all week over on our U.K. blog -- today's post is about dune bashing in Fujairah. Do take a look at the blog each day. And, if you have any questions about the ship or ports of call, then leave a comment on the blog for Sue: http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/blog/?cat=669
  3. Take a look at today's poll at [url]http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/#poll[/url]. Do you like to cruise with an international mix of passengers? Vote, and let us know! [IMG]http://www.cruisecritic.com/images/poll-01-11-11.jpg[/IMG]
  4. It's Monday morning and you're dreaming of booking a cruise. With wave season in full swing and plenty of great value deals out there, which short-fly region would you visit now? Vote in the poll on our homepage: http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/#poll
  5. Do you live close to Southampton and only travel from the southern port? Or do you always fly to your chosen cruise port? Vote in our homepage poll ([url]http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/#poll[/url]) and tell us! [IMG]http://www.cruisecritic.com/images/poll-4-1-11.jpg[/IMG]
  6. As we are sure you're aware, Ocean Village leaves the U.K. market to start a new life with P&O Cruises Australia as Pacific Pearl this October ... Here at Cruise Critic we wanted to create a montage of your best, and even quirkiest, memories of Ocean Village and Ocean Village Two (which is already sailing down under). So we have created an Ocean Village memory book page for you to share your thoughts: http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=1178 We will constantly be adding new memories to the page and there's also a chance for you to win a Cruise Critic and Ocean Village goodie bag each week! Each Friday, for the next five weeks, we'll pick our favourite memory and that person will win a prize! Please e-mail your memories and pics to ovmemories@cruisecritic.co.uk.
  7. Our contributing editor Sue Bryant is off to the Eastern Mediterranean! Sue and her two children are spending two weeks cruising around the Med on Ruby Princess -- and she will be blogging about the trip over on our U.K. blog! Here's what Sue had to say in her first post: [I]I’m heading off to the sunshine and sailing on Ruby Princess from Rome to Venice, via Monaco, Livorno, Naples and the Greek Islands. It may be a slightly unconventional trip. As I have my children (aged 11 and 13) with me, we’ll probably skip Ephesus and shop for bling in the market in Kusadasi, while there are demands for a beach trip from Katakolon instead of a cultural day at Olympia. For Corfu, I’ve already located the Aqualand theme park and the bus that will get us there. The only concession to sightseeing my kids have made is Pompeii. The way I see it, it’s going to be extremely hot and this is a family holiday, not my personal cultural odyssey around the ancient Mediterranean.[/I] Be sure to follow her travels here: [url]http://cruisecriticuk.wordpress.com/[/url]
  8. Are you interested in finding out more about the British Isles? Our editor in chief, Carolyn Spencer Brown, is onboard Holland America's Westerdam right now for a 10-night round Britain cruise. She will be blogging about her trip over on our U.K. blog, so please do go check it out! Westerdam's ports of call include Portland, Guernsey, Waterford, Dublin, Holyhead, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, before returning to Rotterdam (the blog ends at Newcastle, however, as she is hopping off the ship there). You will find the blog here: [url]http://cruisecriticuk.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/cruise-around-britain-with-us/[/url] And feel free to share your insights, opinions and questions!
  9. Are you interested in cruising around the British Isles? Our editor in chief, Carolyn Spencer Brown, is onboard Holland America's Westerdam right now for a 10-night round Britain cruise. She will be blogging about her trip over on our U.K. blog, so please do go check it out! Westerdam's ports of call include Portland, Guernsey, Waterford, Dublin, Holyhead, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, before returning to Rotterdam (the blog ends at Newcastle, however, as she is hopping off the ship there). You will find the blog here: [url]http://cruisecriticuk.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/cruise-around-britain-with-us/[/url] And feel free to share your insights, opinions and questions!
  10. Royal Caribbean has announced that it will extend Brilliance of the Seas' season in Dubai next year. Brilliance will now return to the United Arab Emirates in November 2011, two months earlier than previously planned, and will offer an increased range of itineraries including longer cruises of 12 and 18 nights, taking in ports in southern India as well as the Gulf. You can read our full story here: [url]http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3962[/url] We want to know if you would choose Dubai? And if you did, would it be for the sun, the shopping or the sightseeing? Vote in our poll!
  11. We were surprised by the results of a survey revealed last week at the U.K. Cruise Convention in Southampton, an annual event for travel agents. According to Capela Travel Training, which offers marketing training for employees in the travel business, 68 percent of customers who book a cruise through a travel agent don’t go back to that same agent because they feel 'unloved and uncontacted' after their holiday. So where do they go and how do they book? We thought we’d ask you, our members, how you book your cruise holidays. Please let us know and vote in our poll!
  12. Norwegian Cruise Line’s much-anticipated Norwegian Epic made its long awaited debut this week and it’ll be quite a peripatetic ship! First up is a weekend mini-cruise out of Rotterdam. The ship heads over to Southampton on Tuesday, June 22 for another mini-cruise before departing to America for its July 2 christening extravaganza. Cruise Critic’s already onboard – and we’ll be covering this innovative new ship from stem to stern. Specifically, here on the Norwegian Epic forum, we want to hear your questions – and while I’m onboard (Tuesday, June 22, through to Thursday, June 24) I am dedicated to digging up answers. So ask away! We’re particularly excited to check out the solo cabins (definitely a growing industry trend); the Blue Man Group and Cirque Dreams and Dinner performances; and the Epic plunge waterslide -- where you zip down 200 feet into a bowl before hitting the water. I’m not sure if I will be trying that one out personally, but I’ll definitely be heading to the Ice Bar onboard for a chilled cocktail or two and spying on SpongeBob SquarePants and Co. as they wander around the ship! Plus, there are a whopping 21 dining options to choose from -- we don’t think two days is quite enough time to sample them all, but we will do our best to give you a flavour of what we can. As always, we are happy to answer your questions about the ship during our time onboard. But here’s a caveat: while we’ll do our best to visit every cabin category, from the aforementioned solo staterooms all the way up to Courtyard Villas (and a bunch in between), we can’t answer questions about specific cabin numbers. And while this is the place to post your own questions (and suss out our answers), check out our home page every day (both Cruisecritic.com and cruisecritic.co.uk) for the latest news and features. In addition -- if you haven’t yet seen our new U.K. blog, well, now’s the time as we’ll be posting our impressions from the ship, beginning Saturday. Here’s a link: http://cruisecriticuk.wordpress.com/ (The blog may be geared to our U.K. readers but there’s absolutely no reason why anyone, from anyplace, can’t read it!)
  13. Oceania Cruises has announced a multi-million dollar spend to upgrade its fleet of three 684-passenger ships. Nautica has already been overhauled, emerging just last week with new bedding, fresh menus and unusual shore excursions on the menu; Insignia is next, in November, and Regatta will get the treatment in January 2011. But along with these upmarket upgrades, the cruise line has slipped in a gratuity increase -- a brave move considering competitor Azamara recently rolled tips into the base fare. Check out our full story here: [url]http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3935[/url] Would you rather pay less to cruise on Oceania than, say, Silversea, even if it's a larger spend once onboard?
  14. This year’s FIFA World Cup kicks off (pun intended) in just one month -- but if you've booked a cruise holiday, there's no need to panic! The tournament -- which begins on June 11 with group games, and runs through until the final on July 11 in Johannesburg -- will be shown aboard plenty of cruise ships this summer. We want to know if you are planning to watch the matches at sea (or in port, of course)? Will you be holding your own World Cup parties onboard with friends and fellow cruisers? Or, maybe you're heading on a ship in a bid to escape a month of football madness? Let us know!
  15. Engine troubles have forced P&O's Artemis to sail at a reduced speed for the entirety of its current 20-night cruise, resulting in itinerary changes. The cruise, which began in Southampton, was set to call in 10 Mediterranean ports, but will now stop in just seven, eliminating visits to Naples, Valencia and Gibraltar, and shortening the scheduled call in Palma de Mallorca to just half a day. As compensation, P&O has offered guests a £200 refund when they return home, and £300 onboard credit while still onboard. However, some passengers are not happy -- The U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported at the weekend that a committee had been set up by passengers to hold talks about how much compensation they should receive. Read our full story [url=http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/news.cfm?ID=3852]here[/url]. What do you think? Is the compensation offered by P&O fair? Have you been in a situation when you have missed ports of call? Vote in our poll and give us your views.
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