Wow... where do I begin!? My Dad and I have just returned back home a few hours ago, following the 1 night cruise on board Norwegian Cruise Line's brand new Norwegian Escape. She is certainly a massive ship, with so much to see and do! We cramped in a much as we could during the 1 night and managed to tour ALMOST the whole ship.
I was even brave enough to try out the ropes course and walked the plank too! (Although I didn't go right to the end!). Of course I was lucky enough to visit the bridge and meet with Captain Evans Hoyt to present my drawing of Norwegian Escape. He seemed very impressed and promised to display it on board.
I will put together another blog soon, telling you more about our time on board and showcasing plenty more photos. As always I will also be putting together an extensive ship visit review to be featured in the new 'Reviews' section of our website.
This time next week, I will have most likely just checked-in and just stepped aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, Norwegian Escape in Southampton. I will be embarking on 1 night taster cruise on board, joined by my father on this particular occasion. We're both really excited to be amongst the first guests on board the brand new ship!
As many of you will no doubt be aware, earlier this month I completed my drawing of Norwegian Escape. Captain Evans Hoyt will be in command of the new ship, who my father and I previously met in April 2013 during our ship visit aboard Norwegian Breakaway in Southampton.
I've been in touch with the Captain, via social media and asked about presenting my drawing to him. He's happy for me to do so, we just haven't officially confirmed anything yet, so hopefully once aboard everything just works out and falls into place perfectly.
I know that some of you reading this will be aboard, so look forward to hopefully bumping into you somewhere around the ship. If you see me or my father be sure to come over and say "Hello!". As always, upon our return I will be putting together a blog, featuring our time on board and presentation of my drawing as well as an extensive ship visit review.
On 05 September, 2015 I had the opportunity to visit Holland America Line's Ryndam at Harwich International Port during one of her final cruises from the United Kingdom. On this occasion I was joined aboard by Gavin, who as always assisted me and did a great job taking the photographs for our ship visit review.
Soon after boarding we were met by Show Host, Michael Spears who welcomed us aboard and escorted us to Deck 10 just outside the entrance to the bridge. A short while later Captain Mark Rowden came to meet us and invited Gavin and I to join him on the bridge.
Whilst on the bridge I was given the opportunity to officially present my drawing. The Captain was very impressed and sounded keen to keep the drawing for himself! As many of you will know, Ryndam is leaving the Holland America Line fleet and will be joining the P&O Cruises Australia fleet as of November 2015. As a result the drawing could not be kept on board.
As Ryndam was leaving, I was of course very keen to get aboard and also present a drawing, knowing I would never have the opportunity again. Thankfully Holland America Line were kind enough to allow us to visit and arrange the drawing presentation too.
After presenting my drawing to the Captain, Gavin and I were taken on a guided tour of the ship with Michael, who did a fantastic job of showing us many of the public areas on board. Overall we were fairly impressed with the amenities on board, some more than others, but you'll be able to read more in our ship visit review. See the link at the bottom of this blog!
As we walked through the various amenities it was somewhat strange to know that over the next few months the ship would be completely transformed. I am sure the Ryndam has a bright future ahead with P&O Cruises Australia.
I want to extend my thanks to Holland America Line for allowing Gavin and I to visit Ryndam. I would also like to thank Captain Mark Rowden and Show Host, Michael Spears for making us feel so very welcome during our visit on board.
When I woke up today I did not expect to book another cruise, especially when I already have four to look forward to. But yes you guessed it, I did just that. I booked another! I simply couldn't resist.
So what have we booked? Well, I received an email earlier today about two news sailings on board Royal Caribbean International's brand new Harmony of the Seas, which is scheduled to debut in May 2016. These two new 3 night and 4 night cruises, departing from and returning to Southampton were just too temping.
After looking at the itinerary and prices, I called Gavin and asked him if he was free on these dates. Thankfully his diary was clear. (It isn't now!) So I contacted our preferred travel agent, Reader Offers Ltd and discussed the prices and options we had.
In the end I opted for the 4 night cruise, which departs Southampton on 22 May, 2016. We have a day at sea, before visiting Rotterdam and then there is another day at sea on the way back. So there should be plenty of time for us to explore the world's largest cruise ship! We hope to see some of you on board.
Harry Cotterill set up his blog when he was just 16-years old, making him one of the youngest cruise bloggers in the world. In later years he became known across the world for his amazing talent of drawing cruise ships!