What made you decide to start cruising ?

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#1
Scotland
778 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Friends of ours have just returned from their first cruise, which they loved. They decided to give it a try after hearing over the years how much we enjoy it as a holiday experience.

I should be on commission the number of people I have sent P&Os way. For Brits it's always a good place to start as it feels familiar and is generally an acceptable all round package.

For me it was watching the Love Boat which, at the time, seemed so sophisticated and thinking I would like to try cruising. For those of you too young to remember the Love Boat was an American TV series set on a Princess ship. It was a light hearted rom com. If I watched it now I would probably not be so impressed but this was back in the 70s when some uk hotel rooms were still not en suite and there were no fancy cocktails or pool parties.

So what gave you the cruise bug?
#2
Nottingham
231 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Bit of a strange one, car broke down in Paris and the time taken to repair it wasn't worth the onward journey so we returned home. Went back to work early and took the next available holiday slot which was pretty close. Only last minute that we half fancied was a Thomson Cruise, been doing it ever since on various lines.
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#3
Kent, England
6,216 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Boredom so I took a cruise to Norway. Got hooked.
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Include tips in the fare

Previously
Thomson Celebration x 4
Thomson Spirit x 3
Thomson Destiny x 3
Thomson Dream x 2
Thomson Majesty x 3
P&O Ventura x 6
P&O Oceana x 8
P&O Arcadia
P&O Britannia
P&O Aurora x 2
P&O Oriana
TUI Discovery x 2
NCL Epic

To come
Thomson Majesty 2017
P&O Oceana 2017
P&O Azura 2017
TUI Discovery 2018
TUI Explorer 2018
P&O Oceana 2018
#4
Yorkshire
1,483 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
We were on holiday and one evening was walking the coastal path down by the airport and sailing out of Arrecife was a cruise ship all lit up, it looked great and on returning home the sight of this stayed with me. So much that we booked a North sea ferry from Hull to Belgium a few times to experience being out at sea, which we loved even on a very stormy crossing .
That was it , we booked the Thomson Destiny and sat in the Sky bar sipping our drinks decided that this was going to be our new future holidays. Got home and was back on same ship in a few weeks.
Mrs Kalos declared this was to be our future regarding holidays. The rest is now history.
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.Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else







Thomson DESTINY 28/12/11 + 16/03/1 ... Thomson Majesty 28.12.12 Thomson Dream 26.04.13 ... Thomson Spirit 02.08.13 ... princess crown 26.9.13
Fred Olsen Boudica 28.06.14 ... Thomson Spirit 16-8-14 Ventura 2-5-15 ..ventura aft cabin 21-7-15 Ventura New Year 15 Azura Barbados to Southampton March-April 2016 Ventura New Year Dec16 - Azura 14 nt TA 17-3-17


--
#5
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
598 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Good friends of ours had been cruising for years and waxing lyrical about it. We wanted to do something special for my partner's 40th birthday in 1995 so booked a first class transatlantic crossing on QE2 from New York to Southampton. We loved it so much that two years later we went on P&O's Victoria for two weeks around the Med. Loved that also and cruised often after that. I am pleased that we did this as it meant I felt comfortable cruising solo after Tony died in 2012.
Cruising has changed so much since then but to my mind still provides a great product with decent food and - generally - fabulous entertainment. I personally prefer the more traditional style of cruising, with Formal Nights and fixed dining on a mid-size ship. I also like to cruise sometimes on older (proper) ships - hence going on Marco Polo next year, a 51 year-old ship.
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Andrew

Past: Cunard QE2 & Queen Elizabeth; P&O Victoria, Oriana, Arcadia, Aurora, Oceana, Azura; Sea Princess; Celebrity Summit; Fred Olsen Black Watch, Saga Ruby, Portuscale MV Funchal, MS Mayfair (Nile River Cruise).

Future: CMV Marco Polo to Iceland.
#6
Stoke on Trent, England
4,963 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I just love the sea, but I think we 'got the bug' when we did a 3 day mini cruise to Egypt / Israel from Cyprus for hubby's 40th birthday. She was only a small Louis Cruise ship, the Princess Marissa, but we had an amazing time and the views from the cabin window were incredible. I remember sitting at the back of the ship under the stars with a pot of tea (yip, we have changed somewhat since then!) and decided there and then that we would look in to cruising for a holiday. I remember being docked in Limassol by what we thought was a HUGE cruise ship and never thought in a million years that we would have been able to go on so many cruises since. We've since noticed in our photos that the 'huge' ship was the Celebrity Millenium, so am guessing that the Marissa was smaller than we thought!
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Sailed on:
P&O Ventura 15.08.17 : Spain & the Greek Islands
P&O Britannia 28.05.17 : Iberian Cruise
P&O Oceana 10.08.16 : Western Med fly cruise
P&O Britannia 25.07.15 : Iberia and Canaries
P&O Oceana 08.04.15 : Western Med
P&O Oceana 19.04.14 : Iberian Cruise
RCI Independence of the Seas 29.10.13 : Mini cruise
Celebrity Silhouette 12:08:13 : Greek Islands / Italy
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:12 : Adriatic / Venice
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:11 : Eastern Med/Holy Land
P&O Oceana August 2010 : Western Med
Ocean Village 02:08:09 : Eastern Med / Crete
Louis Cruises August 2001 : Egypt
#7
Cornwall, UK
2,108 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We used to winter holiday in Eilat, Israel every year, for sunshine and birdwatching, until we started feeling a bit 'uncomfortable' because of the heightened security.........then John saw a weeks cruise of the Red Sea and Suez, so we booked it !!

That was it, we were hooked and in a months time we will go on our 37th cruise !!!!!
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Still to come:-

Oriana Christmas in the Canaries 21 Dec 2017
Ventura Caribbean & USA 5 Feb 2018
Marella Discovery 2 Aegean & Adriatic 28 Sep 2018
#8
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,553 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
When I was little, I was bought a set of encyclopaedias. The one colour photo I liked most was a photo of RMS Queen Elisabeth. Growing up I used to think of this and wanted to go on a big ship. In 2001 for our Silver Wedding we cruised on Aurora. It was clearly going to be a one off as you could not afford that sort of holiday very often.

So we have never been again.


Well not the exact Cruise.




Sent from my iPad using Forums
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Aurora AU112 Arcadia AR223
Aurora R418 Aurora R419
Adonia F507 Adonia F508
Aurora R525 Arcadia J625
Oceana E721 Oriana X718
Arcadia J813 Oriana X820
Ventura N902 Aurora R913
Arcadia J004 Oceana E021
Ventura N110 Azura A121
Aurora R119 Ventura N210
Arcadia J217 Oriana X302
Oriana X312 Aurora R315
Oceana E402 Azura A409
Azura A410 Oceana E425
Oceana E426 Arcadia J510
Britannia B522 Britannia B523
Ventura N603 Azura A616
Arcadia J615 Arcadia J616
Oceana E625 Crown Princess May 17
Britannia B719 Britannia B720

To Come

Azura 17
Azura 17
Ventura 18
Oriana 18
Oriana 18
Ventura 19
Ventura 19
Britannia 19
Ventura 9
Ventura 19




Gan Canny

Dai
#9
Warwickshire, England
1,603 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Mum and Dad started cruising back in 80's and when Dad died mum wanted to go on holiday and there was only me who could go with her. Kicking and screaming I got on Aurora in 2004. We did another 8 cruises together and I am now on cruise 24.

Funny old world.
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Mike

Aurora 2004 - Sun Princess 2005 -QE2 2006 - Oceana 2007 - Grand Princess 2007 - Oriana 2008 - QM2 2008 - Grand Princess 2009 - Voyager of the Seas 2009 - Oceana 2009 - Oriana 2010 - Star Princess 2011 - Grand Princess 2012 - Oceana 2012 - Grand princess 2012 (again) - Ruby Princess May 2013 - Ruby Princess October 2013 - Emerald Princess May 2014 - Grand Princess November 2014 - Anthem of the Seas June 2015 - Britannia Dec 2015 - Emerald Princess May 2016 - Britannia Dec 2016 - Oceana 2017
#10
West Yorkshire UK
3,218 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Our first cruise in 1992 was a 4 nighter Bahamas cruise on an old Carnival tub the Carnivale during the US spring break period, originally she had been the Empress of Britain built on the Clyde, despite this we enjoyed ourselves.
Five years later we did a Thomson 7 night Med cruise on the Emerald, another old ship but the Thomson entertainment was superb, and the food not bad either, and we had great table companions and were hooked completely.
Twenty eight cruises later and following my wife's stroke we are so grateful we found cruising early as this is now the only way for us to enjoy overseas holidays.
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Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the observance of fools. (Douglas Bader 1910-1982)
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. (Winston Churchill 1874-1965)
Future cruises --- Feb 2018 Ventura - Caribbean & USA., June 2018 Ventura - W. Med. Sept 2018 Azura - Canaries. Jan 2019 Ventura - Caribbean. April 2019 Aurora W Med.
Previous Cruises
March 92 - Carnival's Carnivale - Bahamas . October 97 - Thomson's Emerald, Med. Nov 2000 - Superstar Gemini, Straits of Malacca. Jan 2004 - Coral Princess - Panama-Carib. June 2005 - Island Princess - Alaska. Jan 2006 - P&O Arcadia - East/southern Carib. Feb 2007 - Celebrity Millenium - Eastern Carib. June 2007 - Tahitian Princess - Honolulu to Papeete. Feb 2008 - Sapphire Princess - Sydney to Auckland. Sept 2008 Emerald Princess - Mediterranean. March 2009 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal. Feb 2010 Celebrity Solstice - Eastern Caribbean . Aug 2011 P&O Azura- Canaries. June 2012 P&O Ventura Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2012 Celebrity Eclipse - Western Med; Apr 2013 P&O Azura Western Med. June 2013 Celebrity Eclipse - Baltic. Oct 2013 P&O Azura - Central Med. May 2014 Emerald Princess N. Spain & France. Sept. 2014 Celebrity Eclipse-Canaries & Azores, Apr 2015 P&O Britannia - W Med. June 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Canaries & Azores. Jan 2016 P&O Ventura - No Fly Caribbean. Jun 2016 Eclipse - Baltic. Aug 2016 - Britannia Fjords, May 2017 - Azura W. Med. Sept 2017 - Navigator OTS Canaries & N Africa.



#11
South Glous - UK
1,284 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Hi we started cruising in 2009 we had previously always had beach holidays in the Caribbean, but our daughter was now 17 and we guessed this would probably be the last time she would holiday with us as A levels and Uni beckons,we thought maybe something abit different for a hol so we sailed on the then new Celebrity Solstice
Eastern Med we all had a wonderful time and was hooked, our daughter
now graduated is cruising with her boyfriend one med plus one Caribbean and that's makes four generations in our family who have enjoyed cruising over the years

Mrs Blue Sky
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Sailed
Celebrity Solstice July 2009 Eastern Med.
Celebrity Equinox 26 November 2010 Ultimate Caribbean
P&O Azura 26 November 2011 Caribbean 14 Night.
Celebrity Silhouette 05 July 2012 Venice to Rome.
P&O Azura 14 February 2013 Caribbean 14 Night
P&O Azura 22 February 2014 Caribbean 14 Night
P&O Azura 21 February 2015 Caribbean 14 Night
P&O Britannia 30 January 2016 Caribbean 14 Night
Cunard Queen Victoria 1st October Venice to Rome
P&O Britannia.25 February 2017 Caribbean 14 night
Cunard QV Athens 7th Oct 2017 P&O Britannia Caribbean Feb 2018
#12
Surrey, UK
1,437 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by terrierjohn
Our first cruise in 1992 was a 4 nighter Bahamas cruise on an old Carnival tub the Carnivale during the US spring break period, originally she had been the Empress of Britain built on the Clyde, despite this we enjoyed ourselves.
Five years later we did a Thomson 7 night Med cruise on the Emerald, another old ship but the Thomson entertainment was superb, and the food not bad either, and we had great table companions and were hooked completely.
Twenty eight cruises later and following my wife's stroke we are so grateful we found cruising early as this is now the only way for us to enjoy overseas holidays.
We loved the Emerald and its excellent entertainment - remember Lenny and Ashley ?
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P&O (21): Old Arcadia, Arcadia, Aurora(2), Azura(4), Britannia(2),Oceana(2), Oriana(5), Ventura(4)
Celebrity (4): Summit, Solstice, Eclipse, Silhouette
Thomson (3): Emerald(3)
Princess (2): Diamond Princess, Emerald Princess
RCI (1): Radiance of the Seas
Holland and America (1): Eurodam
Premier Cruises (1): Rembrandt
Dolphin Cruises (1): Island Breeze
Sun Cruises(1): Sunbird
#13
South Lincolnshire
1,343 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We won a cruise on QE2 in 1991, a 2 night voyage to nowhere! Loved it, but it was 1995 before our first 'proper' cruise on Oriana, and then followed 26 further cruises on P&O. We fell out with P&O in 2009, and went to Celebrity for 4 years, then we took a sabbatical for a few years, and now cruise on Cunard, although our next one on QE may be the last, as age and health are making it very difficult to get travel insurance. Plenty of the UK to see yet!
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Valentine Jewell

40 cruises since 1991

To come, number 41
QUEEN ELIZABETH, November 2017
#14
40 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by CCFC
Mum and Dad started cruising back in 80's and when Dad died mum wanted to go on holiday and there was only me who could go with her. Kicking and screaming I got on Aurora in 2004. We did another 8 cruises together and I am now on cruise 24.

Funny old world.
A similar story to ours. My In-laws had been on several cruises and after mother-in-law was widowed she very kindly paid for us to join her on Ventura for 2 weeks to the Med in 2010. From the moment we stepped on board that was it, we were hooked!
#15
West Yorkshire UK
3,218 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by bee-ess
We loved the Emerald and its excellent entertainment - remember Lenny and Ashley ?
I do indeed, I was quite smitten with Ashley, although she was young enough to be my daughter even then.
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Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the observance of fools. (Douglas Bader 1910-1982)
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. (Winston Churchill 1874-1965)
Future cruises --- Feb 2018 Ventura - Caribbean & USA., June 2018 Ventura - W. Med. Sept 2018 Azura - Canaries. Jan 2019 Ventura - Caribbean. April 2019 Aurora W Med.
Previous Cruises
March 92 - Carnival's Carnivale - Bahamas . October 97 - Thomson's Emerald, Med. Nov 2000 - Superstar Gemini, Straits of Malacca. Jan 2004 - Coral Princess - Panama-Carib. June 2005 - Island Princess - Alaska. Jan 2006 - P&O Arcadia - East/southern Carib. Feb 2007 - Celebrity Millenium - Eastern Carib. June 2007 - Tahitian Princess - Honolulu to Papeete. Feb 2008 - Sapphire Princess - Sydney to Auckland. Sept 2008 Emerald Princess - Mediterranean. March 2009 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal. Feb 2010 Celebrity Solstice - Eastern Caribbean . Aug 2011 P&O Azura- Canaries. June 2012 P&O Ventura Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2012 Celebrity Eclipse - Western Med; Apr 2013 P&O Azura Western Med. June 2013 Celebrity Eclipse - Baltic. Oct 2013 P&O Azura - Central Med. May 2014 Emerald Princess N. Spain & France. Sept. 2014 Celebrity Eclipse-Canaries & Azores, Apr 2015 P&O Britannia - W Med. June 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Canaries & Azores. Jan 2016 P&O Ventura - No Fly Caribbean. Jun 2016 Eclipse - Baltic. Aug 2016 - Britannia Fjords, May 2017 - Azura W. Med. Sept 2017 - Navigator OTS Canaries & N Africa.



#16
Lancashire... UK
841 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Our first cruise was in Dec 2010...had .been "thinking" about for a while then decided because a special wedding anniversary was coming up and my brother and his wife had already booked we decided to give it a go. It was simply a fantastic cruise to the Caribbean and doing the full Panama canal that we came back fully smitten with cruising. Haven't done any land based holidays abroad since ....only in this country....which we love
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P&O Oceana Caribbean Dec 2010
Princess Star Mediterranean Sept 2011
P&O Azura Caribbean Dec 2011
RCI IOTS Canaries April 2012
Princess Caribbean Round Britain May 2012
P&O Oceana Canaries Nov 20112
Celebrity Infinity Norway & Fjords May 213
Princess Crown Mediterranean July 2013
P&O Ventura Mediterranean Oct 2013
Thomson Spirit Ireland May 2014
MSC Magnifica Northern Cities Sept 2014
MSC Splendida Northern Cities Sep 2016
P&O Azura Fjords Sept 2017
P&O Azura Spain,Portugal & France April 2018
Thomson Discovery European Experience Sept 2018
P&O Azura Fjords April 2019
P&O Ventura Spanish Cities & Portugal Sept 2019
#17
Stoke on Trent, England
4,963 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Forgot to mention that our first 'real' cruise was on the Ocean Village 2 - the cruise for people who don't like cruising. Makes me laugh thinking about that title. We LOVED her and every second of the week onboard
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Sailed on:
P&O Ventura 15.08.17 : Spain & the Greek Islands
P&O Britannia 28.05.17 : Iberian Cruise
P&O Oceana 10.08.16 : Western Med fly cruise
P&O Britannia 25.07.15 : Iberia and Canaries
P&O Oceana 08.04.15 : Western Med
P&O Oceana 19.04.14 : Iberian Cruise
RCI Independence of the Seas 29.10.13 : Mini cruise
Celebrity Silhouette 12:08:13 : Greek Islands / Italy
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:12 : Adriatic / Venice
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:11 : Eastern Med/Holy Land
P&O Oceana August 2010 : Western Med
Ocean Village 02:08:09 : Eastern Med / Crete
Louis Cruises August 2001 : Egypt
#18
Devon, UK
4,386 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
As we had a sailing boat, we used to look up at these cruise ships, shudder and say we would never do that.

Then we took a Kuoni holiday to Hong Kong and Bali and the last 4 days were on a tiny cruise ship called Oceanic Odyssey, about 80 passengers only. We went to Lombok, Komodo and Sumbawa. So we started thinking actually it was really good fun.

After that it was a little ship called the Athena out of Falmouth, all the way to the Caribbean. Only 15,000 tons. So I think that is why we will never sail again on a really big one. Oriana is about the limit. We really like her. Tried Azura as I have said somewhere else. Hated it.
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Jean



#19
Staffordshire
1,047 Posts
Joined May 2011
In 1985 we were looking at going to Florida but wanted to combine it with somewhere else and spotted a package that included 1week on the Carnival Holiday which had just been launched. We had a fantastic 10 days in Florida followed by an even better 7 days on the Holiday. 44 cruises later we are still cruising, 24 of those cruises have been on P&O and for most of those cruises we have had a wonderful time though over the last few years we have found ourselves complaining about falling standards. I really can't see us stopping cruising in the near future and being retired and now unable to fly it looks like P&O will be getting most of our cruise £s.
Strangely we have never been on another Carnival ship even in our 30s they were "too party" for us.
#20
England
906 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
In 1994, we moved to the Isle of Wight with my job (don’t ask, we have moved several times since). We used to regularly see the cruise ships going past Cowes, but didn’t think much of it as we were ‘too young’ for that sort of holiday.

Then, in 1995, we watched a documentary series on satellite TV called ‘Supership Oriana’ which, over around 4 hours, showed the design, construction, fit out, sea trials and maiden cruise of the ‘first modern ship built exclusively for the British market’. I still have a poor quality copy of it recorded on a VCR! We couldn’t believe how luxurious the ship looked and the facilities on board, so in 1996 we decided that we would abandon our then 2 year old with Grandma and Grandad for 9 nights as we did a cruise on Oriana from Southampton to Istanbul (fly home). Being in our early 30’s at the time, we were younger than all but around a dozen of the passengers, most of whom were complaining that it “wasn’t as nice as Canberra”. We were allocated table 1 in Club dining (no other choice then) and were sat with another couple and two sisters, all of whom were around our age. We had a ball and were nearly always last to leave the restaurant.

We didn’t manage another cruise for 10 years but then started again with our two children. The kids are now adults and have started, on occasion, coming with us again. Guess who pays?

Unfortunately, my wife has become disabled in recent years and is now a wheelchair user. She finds P&O Cruises to be near perfect for her as the ships are well set up for disabled guests and the staff are all fabulous with her. Although both still working, we are now managing around 3 cruises a year and we are planning on taking early retirement in 2 years time so will then start getting serious about this cruising lark - health permitting.
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P&O Cruises Experience – 143 nights over 13 cruises (Aurora x 3, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 74 nights over 5 cruises (2018 - Aurora, Arcadia, Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2)

674(A) Oriana 14/5/96. Southampton to Istanbul (Fly back). 8 nights. Outside Cabin.
E620 Oceana 11/8/06. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
E720 Oceana 12/8/07. Canaries. 13 nights. Outside Cabin.
X912 Oriana 24/7/09. Baltic. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
A118 Azura 5/8/11. Eastern Mediterranean. 16 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
N321 Ventura 18/8/13. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
B517 Britannia 15/8/15. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
B622 Britannia 23/7/16. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
N703 Ventura 15/2/17. Amsterdam & Bruges. 4 nights. Penthouse Suite.
R705 Aurora 13/5/17. Baltic. 16 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
B721 Britannia 22/7/17. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Aft Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.