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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Boston Harbour Walk, Massachusetts Bay

The Harborwalk connects over forty parks, a dozen museums, seven beaches and hundreds of restaurants and stores and stretches 43 miles along the Bay of what is officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is the most populated state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. The variety the walk offers ranges from maritime industrial areas and working port operations to areas for swimming or fishing. You are never going to walk it all, not in a day, certainly not in a cruise stop, but it is interesting to know that it links so much. Mayor Raymond Flynn began this project in 1984 as a commitment to protect public access as the waterfront was redeveloped. Since then the Harborwalk has emerged piece-by-piece and is nearing completion. Where possible it is a 12-foot pathway with public amenities such as parks, restaurants, stores, cultural institutions and importantly bathrooms. There is also a water transportation infrastructure.
So, if you are dropped at Quincy market by your cruise shuttle, or come into Aquarium Metro, the Wharf is right there and both ways have interesting things to see. We take you right to the Tea Party Museum and left to Joe's and other restaurants. There is an app in the usual stores under 'Welcome to Boston Harbour', or plan your visit here with the Ferry schedule to one of the Islands.

If you are on a New England Cruise we have many films that might help you plan or excite you about your forthcoming trip, or if you are undecided they might just sway you to this route. They include, Boston Cheers, Boston Harbour Walk, Boston Clough House, New York Statue of Liberty and Island trip, NY Ellis Island, NY Empire State Building by Night, NY Big Bus Blue Route, NY Big Bus Purple Route, NY Big Bus Red Route, New York Library, New York Grand Central Station, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Baltimore Guide, Charleston Guide and Bermuda.




SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. Check out some of the great Cruise Routes, our concise films of what a ship offers when it takes a specific route. These are typical routes but we do have films to help cruisers on every popular cruise destination in the world.  Baltic Route - Canary Islands Cruise - New England CruiseCaribbean Cruise (from Barbados) - Norwegian Fjords - Mediterranean Routes


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

This ambitious build in Midtown Manhattan between 48th and 55th streets is historic as it was taken on by one man. It was declared an American National Historic Landmark in 1987. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. leased the 22 acres from Columbia University in 1928, the development began in 1930 without the originally planned opera house as his plans changed following the stockmarket crash of 1929 and the Metropolitan Opera's continual delays to hold out for a more favourable lease. Rockefeller decided to move forward without them stating, "It was clear that there were only two courses open to me. One was to abandon the entire development. The other to go forward with it in the definite knowledge that I myself would have to build it and finance it alone." As the sole financier, on a 27-year lease with options for three 21 year renewals, from Columbia, he negotiated a line of credit with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and covered other expenses through the sale of his oil company stock. The initial costs were estimated at $250 million. It was the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times. Now the building attracts approximately 350,000 visitors and tenants daily!!!

The Rockefeller Centre is the most recognised commercial property in the world. The Rockefeller Centre houses art, pieces, sculptures and wall paintings. There are some restaurants and bars, much commercial office space and roof gardens. NBC runs 21 floors, then there is the combined ticket Top of the Rock and Museum of Modern Art. The centre building stands 70 floors and reaches 872 ft less than half the size of the Burj Khalifa showing how times have changed in so many respects. The address is 30 Rockefeller Centre and it gave its name to the TV show. It is situated in midtown Manhattan between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. The first building completed was the Radio City Music Hall, in December 1932. At the time, it was said to be the largest and most opulent theater in the world. As well as being famous for the Christmas Tree and Ice Skating there are other family events throughout the year. It has Bill's Burger Bar, Ben & Jerry's, Harry's Italian Pizza and other eateries. The shops include the NBC shop and a Lego shop.


SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. Check out some of the great Cruise Routes, our concise films of what a ship offers when it takes a specific route. These are typical routes but we do have films to help cruisers on every popular cruise destination in the world.  Baltic Route - Canary Islands Cruise - New England Cruise - Caribbean Cruise (from Barbados) - Norwegian Fjords - Mediterranean Routes

Monday, 16 October 2017

Madeira Tropical Gardens, blogs and film set to Mark Blackledge's music

At the top of the cable car, many people walk straight past the gardens to get to the toboggan ride. That is fair, but if you want to see the gardens then do that first or you will have to come back up again as opposed to going down from the base of the toboggan.
The Monte Tropical Gardens are so extensive (70,000 sq meters) that you could spend a day there and walk back to the ship. They are tiered gardens on the mountainside. In the grounds is a three storey museum

The Monte Palace Tropical Garden has an huge exotic plant’s collection, coming from all over the world. There is manor house and lake with water features, swans including Black swans from Australia, Tasmania and New Zeeland, and duck’s. Peacocks and chickens walk free in the grounds.
The Monte Palace Museum is an ideal exhibition space nestled within the beautiful surroundings of a tropical garden. There are three floors, two of which are dedicated to sculptures and the third houses a unique mineral collection gathered from the four corners of the world as seen in the film. 'African Passion' shows part of a collection of contemporary Zimbabwean sculpture from the period 1966 to 1969. 'Mother Nature's Secrets', on the lower floor, proudly exhibits one of the finest private collections of minerals, predominately from Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, Zambia, Peru, Argentina and North America.
Around the garden is a large collection of tile panels placed along the walkways and amongst the vegetation. The collection is considered to be one of the most important in the country after that of the National Tile Museum, is made up of Hispano-Moorish tiles of the 15th and 16th centuries and panels produced in Portugal from the 19th to the 20th centuries.



If you are new to Doris Visits Cruise TV then welcome, we invite you to comment at the end of our blogs, and ask you for follow us on here on www.DorisVisits.com and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get the best from us. We are always looking for a social media persons to help us expand so drop us a line anytime at press@DorisVisits.co.uk  PLEASE SHARE
SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We show cruise destinations all over the world. From St Lucia to Barcelona, from Tallinn to Tenerife, from Rome to Russia. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Top 5 attractions to catch while in New York - our list will be different to yours...

What are you going to see? The churches, Ground Zero, Central Park, the Empire State Building? There is a lot to choose from and we have started with a real favourite and one you might not have had on your list. Everyone has a different idea of a top 5 list, and most lists are obvious, which is why we wanted to feature our number 1 choice of things not to miss in New York.

New York, New York, there is so much to do, and we have so many films, this is just our top tips of what not to miss. It is a huge city where even the locals, the taxi drivers and the police don't know everywhere, they can't know every building which is why everyone works in blocks. If you want a building or a hotel, mention the two streets it crosses, like 42nd and 7th. Then it makes sense to everyone. Once you are close you can look for the building.

So, what and why, well why because it is easy and free - easy because you will probably be in mid town, most likely go see Grand Central Station but not this. But it is just a short walk from the station, two blocks up on Madison Avenue. .....  You might not put the New York Library on your list, unless you are a Ghostbusters fan - but you should. It is one of the most impressive buildings in New York, it houses (in all buildings) over 18 millions books and is iconic.


Saturday, 14 October 2017

P&O cruise ship Azura, ship tour all passenger areas

The Cruise Ship from P&O Azura has a 3100 passenger capacity but doesn't feel like a big ship which is why it has its fans and such a high returning customer base to its 14/19 passenger decks.

With some bigger ships having over 6800 passengers and the P&O flagship Britannia having approx 3640 passengers, maybe, the Azura will soon no longer be referred to as large. It no longer makes the top 30 biggest cruise ships. However, it is three sets of corridors long as opposed to the Arcadia's or the even slightly smaller but spacious Aurora's two sets, so it is larger. It is the sister ship to the Ruby Princess and the Ventura.

It is said to be the ship that the raunchy romantic novel Her Virgin Voyage was written on during a Canary Islands cruise, but not the ship in the second book which predicted P&O's venture into the first same sex marriages at sea in the second book The Perfect Storm. The Azura is an easy ship to navigate, it offers a lot in the way of fine dining options and entertainment with three large venues as well as quiet areas and a library, so it has the best of both worlds. It also has a pub and casino on the lower decks if you wish to avoid dressing on formal nights. Take a look at our film of all passenger areas first. Please subscribe to us on You Tube and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Check out some of the great Cruise Routes, our concise films of what a ship offers when it takes a specific route. These are typical routes but we do have films to help cruisers on every popular cruise destination in the world.                                                          

If you are new to Doris Visits Cruise TV then welcome, we invite you to comment at the end of our blogs, and ask you for follow us on here on www.DorisVisits.com and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get the best from us. We are always looking for presenters and social media activists to help us expand so drop us a line anytime with ideas at press@DorisVisits.co.uk  PLEASE SHARE

SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. Worldwide destination films for cruisers; New York to BarbadosRome to StavangerBora Bora to TallinnTenerife to Cork.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

A cruisers guide to Boston, Massachusetts

Boston harbour was a mess a generation ago, and the docks like all docks have changed from the warehouses to containers. That means the old warehouses are now offices and apartments and the seafront is totally different, the water cleaned up. In order to save public access, the Boston Harbour Walk was developed and is 43 miles of a 12 foot wide boardwalk along the seafront. It links parks, harbours, working boat and dock areas, ferry and parks, amenities and toilets, bars and restaurants. Boston has become a fun young city with much to offer. Inland there is another path, a brick line as Dorothy might follow in the Wizard or Freedom, because it is the Freedom Trail with many stops of interest from the Boston Massacre, to the Tea Party. From the real Cheers bar to the one at Quincy Market, from Museums to lectures and information by Park Rangers, Boston is a city you can walk around, will walk around, the question that remains is which way? That is where Doris Visits comes in. Here is our overview film. The guide to Boston.


Check out some of the great Cruise Routes, our concise films of what a ship offers when it takes a specific route. These are typical routes but we do have films to help cruisers on every popular cruise destination in the world.           

If you are new to Doris Visits Cruise TV then welcome, we invite you to comment at the end of our blogs, and ask you for follow us on here on www.DorisVisits.com and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get the best from us. We are always looking for presenters and social media activists to help us expand so drop us a line anytime with ideas at press@DorisVisits.co.uk  PLEASE SHARE

SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. Worldwide destination films for cruisers; New York to BarbadosRome to StavangerBora Bora to TallinnTenerife to Cork.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The New England Cruise Route

Nothing is as impressive as autumn on the east coast of North America, a perfect time of year to witness the superb spectacle of colour in the Fall or Autumn - whichever.

These New England cruises offer a contrast between some of the most British of American harbours with the familiar colours of leaf fall, and the rugged Cornish-like sea coast. Boston is many people's favourite American city with its huge park and "Cheers" bar. Our films there take in the Parks and Freedom trail as Boston is an easy city to explore on foot although there are trolly buses for tourists.

Bar Harbour is a port that is a tender port and often missed due to bad weather so the dreamed of ''lobster roll' was missed - it has been for us every time. One day we will get there.

New York’s wonderful Statue of Liberty against an instantly recognisable skyline is an amazing sight as the ship cruises along the Hudson River. Then the ships start to creep further south to Baltimore, then to Charleston and Bermuda before taking in the Azores on the way home. All these are featured on our East Coast menu, so if you have not cruised there yet, take a look at this route. Our destinations are split into route sections to make it easy for you, have a look around and let us know your thoughts. This was the main section of the Aurora 715 Boston down and back to the Azores.


A cruise route is like a road trip at sea, if you have missed our previous blog on the road movie film The Last Flag Flying, please take a look. Great movie.

Check out some of the great Cruise Routes, our concise films of what a ship offers when it takes a specific route. These are typical routes but we do have films to help cruisers on every popular cruise destination in the world.              Baltic Route - Canary Islands Cruise - New England CruiseCaribbean Cruise (from Barbados) - Norwegian Fjords - Mediterranean Routes

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Strictly Come Dancing - tickets to the adventure


Have you applied for Strictly tickets. Do you know the chances? - about the same as the Lottery. Elstree studio holds 600, Blackpool at best 900, and there are guests and relatives who have to be looked after, so the ticket allocation is really a lottery. But, you can get up close and personal at the shows, or See more than a show at Sea.... It has stared, it looks like the final is a forgone conclusion already but who knows. What we do know is there will be a great show on board ship. The dates for the 2018 Strictly Come Dancing cruises are released and many passengers have already booked. Though P&O do suggest they are subject to change that is probably more to cover an eventuality they cannot control because the system all fits into a calendar year as we will explain. There will be two on the Azura, one on the Britannia and one on the Ventura. The dates normally sit in the summer because the show itself has a timetable. There is the TV show until Christmas, the live shows, then the dancers take their own shows on tour. They finish and they come straight to the Cruise shows, and when they finish that they begin rehearsing for the main TV show in the run up to Christmas. Here is exactly what happens on ship.

This year it is
As the main presenter for the online and Opera TV cruise show Doris Visits I get to cruise a lot, but I was keenly looking forward to Strictly Come Dancing at sea last year. You may wonder why they are all on a similar route and all on the Med, I can only suggest, knowing the routine and how timed to the minute the crammed entertainment programme is, that the access to airports on the days the stars change over is well worked on this route. So, what happens? What can you expect? They suggested there would be more this year as if there wasn't more than enough last year.
Here is what happened last year. I normally work at every port stop filming from the moment the ship docks until the moment it leaves, and I try and see every entertainment act so I thought this might be a busy cruise for me. I had no idea just how busy and exhausting, I have never been on a cruise with so much on offer! If you have never cruised take a look at the ten-minute film of our blow by blow of ports, the ship and what was on. It is an education. Here is last year in the Med. Actually, as this blog is content heavy you might want to read it then come back to the links. This is a day by day or what happens.

Day one, a Sunday the Britannia left Southampton and quite a few of the three and a half thousand passengers were finding their way round the ship for the first time. The tone of the cruise was set as we found costumes from Strictly, soon to be known as SCD on mannequins around the ship. SCD is now very organised on board, so if you are worried that such an event filled cruise might be a battle to see things I cannot stress enough that is not the case. Britannia holds 3600 passengers and the Headliners Theatre holds 950. Each special SCD act performs four times and they are ticketed to ensure that everyone gets to see the show, almost always when they want. Now it is down to you, the passenger to plan how you will get round the event filled day and find time to eat! With choir, other entertainers and port visits the list of events looked daunting.

Monday 26th morning it started early with the opportunity to book private lessons with Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec in the Atrium where passengers were also encouraged to book to compete for the final grand passenger dance off. There was an SCD help desk set up in the Atrium. At 2pm there was a Masterclass with Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec in the Crystal Ballroom, this was busy but people were in good spirits. Then at 4pm Janette and Aljaz were in the packed 950 seat Headliners theatre. The charming couple were introduced by Tracy Clegg and Aljaz told the story of how the last question two years ago on the same cruise was ‘when are you going to propose?’ He said he went straight to the on board jewellers and bought the ring, he told how he proposed and they then revealed their wedding plans which are to take place just a couple of weeks after they disembark the ship. Three weddings, London, Cuba and Slovenia. They also announced that they have both been confirmed back on this year’s Strictly with three new female dancers and a new female judge. We were off to a great start. Black Tie evening I was spoilt with an early treat at Michelin star chef Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu Restaurant.
10am on Tuesday 27th there was the first of a hosted wardrobe tour of the SCD costumes. On board at midday Janette ran a Master Class in the Crystal room. Later in the Limelight Janette and Aljaz ran a dance class for youths in the more private area of the Limelight Club. Everything worked like a well-oiled machine with Eric Lanlard doing both a Master Cookery Class in the morning and an 'Audience with' in the Headliners in the afternoon. Because some of the events are ticketed, there was a Strictly help desk established in the Atrium from 9am to 10.45 daily.
Wednesday  28th June the costume tours repeated but there was the additional live fashion show at 4pm from the resident ship’s show cast. Janette and Aljaz did a 'meet and greet' session, signing and having photographs with guests at midday. Film director Stuart St Paul who did many of the 1980's pop videos like Wild Boys with Arlene Phillips, revealed the secrets to filming on location and spilt the beans on how little of Angels and Demons was shot in Rome. (that is a fun way to see Rome, see the blog) (He also reveals the best way to shoot the Trevi Fountains in the Rome blog)
The black tie evening was quite special and very full so we ate early. I had the lobster main course and the two of us shared the suggested wine. Delicious! Janette and Aljax did the first of their evening shows and we were there. This was a ticketed event, not because there was a cost, but because everyone wanted to see them and it was the perfect way to ensure everyone did. There were two shows that night in the Headliners, 8.30 and 10.30, then two more to follow tomorrow. That meant four chances to see the show. The Headliners theatre is bigger than most West End theatres, it has an LED back wall for effects and backdrops but that was not used. The whole stage was a dance area and they performed. It was a joy to watch such master talent close up and personal and I have not seen such great dancing since Patrick Swayze danced with his wife at the Oscars. The specialist dance instructors on board for the two weeks were also in the show. They were also magnificent dancers, but, the sheer excellence of the stars was obvious. The show was funny and engaging and mixed clips with anecdotes as well as dances including the Russian Tango, the American Smooth and a Jive. The ‘Evening With’ event at the Headliners felt like a longer very full show and one can see why the dancers need to eat well because the energy they must use twice a night plus their day time training, as well as dance classes must burn huge amounts of calories. Opposite them in the live lounge at the other end of the ship Kai McKenzie was Michael Bublé, a tribute act even Michael says is the best. We left the theatre having been spoilt with a great show and managed to find seats to watch another hugely talented individual.

Thursday 29th June was our first stop in Alicante and I was off filming one of our usual films for Doris Visits. In the evening were the next two shows for Janette and Aljax to ensure the whole ship had seen them.

Later the same evening we went to see the very funny comedian Tucker, who we have seen many times before but he had new material and even the ones we had heard before made us laugh out loud.

Friday we were in Barcelona. Janette and Aljaz left the ship and Karen and Kevin Clifton got on. Eric and Ern, the Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise tribute who we also play golf with back home in The Stage Association, the next small world phenomenon happened. Another of the golfer's partners was on board to sing. This was a real treat because we have heard about her for a long time as one of the top female West End stars but had never seen her, Jenna Lee-James. She had just finished playing the lead in Mamma Mia and had previously been in We Will Rock you for nearly six years. She sang everything from Streisand to Freddie Mercury and we were in the presence of greatness once again.

Saturday 1st July. A cruise ship does make the world a small place because although it was too windy for the Britannia to pull into Cannes, plans were made for us to detour to Corsica. Having missed Cannes, film director and Cannes veteran Stuart St Paul was on board to explain the Cannes Film Festival and what goes on there. In the evening Tucker held a late night comedy session. The entertainment kept coming day and night and it was exhausting reporting on all of them. Tucker was a treat.

Sunday was La Spezia and we took the train to Pisa and filmed the leaning tower, cathedral and town for Doris Visits. On the way back we did a short film on La Spezia for the many who like to see the local town and never venture further. Back on board was an audience with Karen and Kevin.

Monday 3rd we arrived in Civitavecchia and we travelled into Rome where I presented an Angels and Demons film made for Doris Visits. Kevin and Karen performed the first two of their shows in the evening. Or there was a cookery club dinner at the chef's table in the Cookery Club on deck 17. Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker started her four nights in the Limelight.
Tue 4th July Black Tie - Peter Andre performed the first of his four shows and in the live lounge was Rieta Austin one of the Strictly singers performing her show. Film and action director Stuart St Paul was in the Headliners theatre in the afternoon talking about his years of Pop Videos like Wild Boys with Strictly’s Arlene Phillips and Elton John Videos with Strictly’s Bruno adding the action, the fire and the somersaulting gymnasts into the routines.
Wed 5th July we stopped at Cartagena, a regular stop but I had not been there since a very early Britannia cruise and noted that since then they have hidden the entrance to the amphitheatre that was accidently found in 1980. Now you have to accidently find it again, though the best views of it are still from above it, the castle and the park.
Peter Andre did the last two of his four shows and Jayne Middleton was in the Live Lounge as Annie Lennox.
Thur 6th saw Craig Revel Horwood start the first of his four shows in the headliners and soul legend Jimmy James played in the Live Lounge. Darren Day started his run in the Limelight.
Friday 7th was a Black Tie night, and Strictly’s Natalie Lowe hosted a chat session at midday then judged the passenger dance finals with Craig and Executive producer Richard Curwen. Lven Johnson played the live lounge as Whitney Houston while we watched Darren Day in the Limelight perform an incredible show.

Saturday 8th, the last sea day saw things wind down with Exec Producer Richard Curwen talk about the 'behind the scenes'. Natalie Lowe did a signing session and then the ships company of inhouse entertainers did the second of the Strictly fashion shows. Director Stuart St Paul did his final talk about directing on Petra and the Wadi Rum as an introduction to the Arcadia's 99 day circumnavigation next year. That night I had dinner in the Sindhu, feeling totally spoilt and exhausted and needing a holiday to get over the busiest and most entertainment filled cruise I have ever been on. Even Richard Curwen said it was the biggest Strictly Cruise show ever and that talks were ongoing for next year to be even bigger. It is a good job I am boarding the Azura for the Fjords in two weeks time as I need a break! Click the picture or here to get to the ten minute fast cut  blow by blow film of the cruise.

Where are you spending New Years Eve

Renowned for being one of the top New Years' Eve destinations, and maybe the top for cruisers, Madeira is normally on the Canary Islands route. It is Portuguese and mainly Christian so Christmas is special, the streets of Funchal get beautifully dressed with thousands of lights. Even outside Funchal, almost every lamp post will be dressed up. However, on New Year's Eve, they go crazy. Crazy, Crazy! Fireworks and activities make Madeira Island one of the most special places to celebrate New Year's Eve. So Much so, that people travel there just for this celebration. The curved bay acts as a huge theatre with barges in the bay shooting a massive firework display into the sky. Whether you watch from the beach, a bar or the ship this is one of the star places to be at New Years' Eve. And who wins that size this year? The P&O ship Ventura. Take a look at our Madeira films. Toboggan or sleigh ride. The Botanical Gardens. Madeira Guide.
Sydney Australia is also aways popular.

Where are your favourite ships on New Years Eve?


SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA.
READ THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. In the book charts!
Sally Katz
used the films on Doris Visits to peg her books on! With permission. Book 1 Violet stops in Madeira and is on a Canary Island Cruise on a ship like the Ventura layout. Each book takes place over a cruise and has incredible inside news and information on cruise lines and shipping. She told of the same sex marriage at sea (book2) plans a year before they were released!! Book 1 is a Canary Islands cruise, Book 2 is in the Baltic, Book 3 is in the Caribbean. Adult romance, Bridget meets 50 Shades on a ship!

CRUISE INSURANCE THAT EVEN THE CRUISE SHIPS SELL, AND WE ADD NOTHING ON, JUST CLICK HOLIDAY EXTRAS - OR OUR BLOG 

The Last Flag Flying, a road movie in a train, paralleled by us in a cruise ship. New York to Boston

If you are an Academy or BAFTA voting member you will know that the 'awards season' has started in ernest. Not ignoring that we are invited to screenings and events all year round to encourage and solicit our votes, but now the invites come thick and fast as the film awards first round of voting accelerates towards us.
Recently I attended a screening of The Last Flag Flyingat the private screening room of the Mayfair Hotel, a favourite of mine for these events. It was with guests, director Richard Linklater (Before Sunset etc) and actor Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad). I like it when I see a film that 'sets the bar', that gives me a clear base for best film, best actor, best supporting actor and makes me say to others, as good a s you are, you are not in that league. It is like watching any talent show, like X Factor where you go, she or he is good, but not in the league of Grace Davies who just stands out as one to beat. Or like Ashton on Strictly. That is talent that sets a bar, even if they don't win.

I really liked The Last Flag. I don't think that it was just that I had been in Boston and been in New York, this movie, which is a road movie, or a car movie, certainly a journey movie is easily understated by such labels. It is without doubt an acting masterclass from three guys at the very top of their game, Cranston supports an amazingly understated performance by Steve Carell worthy of Best Actor. It is a crime that Laurence Fishburne is likely to be overlooked because his performance is a master class too. That is by no means ignoring the rest of the class including J Quinton Johnson who is like a fantastic young footballer who has just got the opportunity to kick a ball around with three legends, both in story terms and working life. These three guys get together in an unexpected union, and they end up moving a body from New York to Boston. In what could become a farce in lesser hands is a moving drama that never over steps, not even when the players perform what is the iconic scene in the train. I am giving less away than the film's description, but you will discover all in this must see drama.

I am always amazed at some of the daft questions the honoured guests are asked at the end of such a film so I often hold back in case mine is just as stupid and I hadn't noticed. However, I wish I had asked Linklater about his choice or railway station in New York. I had just been in New York with my wife, Jean Heard who presents the travel show Doris Visits and wondered around Grand Central Station while she was filming. My question would have been to Richard, if the station he used was not Grand Central, and it didn't look like it, nor did he expose it as such, did he consider using it, or if he did, did he consider the more iconic views of it, or was it too loud and too much of a statement to impose on such a drama? But then I think I know the answer so the question is not worth asking. The film is better for those choices. It would have been wrong, it is not a Sleepless in Seattle moment at the top of the Empire State Building. This is about three lives and one that has past and a truly emotional film that did not need to be upstaged by a location. Our journey was made by ship, so is totally different but by all means take a look.

The links I have made are to Jean's travel films for you to have a look round New York and Boston before you see The Last Flag Flying because this is a travel site. As we help people enjoy cruises we also feature the entertainers, the shows and we have just started a section to mention the films on the on board sea screens or in the cinemas.  New York Library where Ghostbusters shot a scene, Empire State building where Tom Hanks did turn up, Boston Guide and the Cheers Bar. I saw so many places that feature daily in film and TV; maybe that had an effect on me, but I would like to think my judgement as a film maker was not ambushed. I did make a film in New York, one remembering my jump of the State of Liberty for American Werewolf in Paris....

Judge for yourself as to whether Grand Central is just too loud a character for The Last Flag!




Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Same Sex Marriages at Sea

Now I am not saying that there was a little inside knowledge somewhere, but the Sally Katz  adventure romance novel, Her Perfect Storm has a same sex marriage in the story. It was an outrageously wonderful and detailed ceremony foreshadowing what has just happened. P&O have become the first company to allow a same sex marriage at sea. What is uncanny is that some say that Sally's first book, Her Virgin Voyage, in the Solo Cruiser series is written around the P&O ship Azura on one of her typical Canary Island routes. Those of you who follow Doris Visits will know that the author is a land based cruise worker and they used, with permission our films to research the detail of the port stops. So, the Canary Islands videos we have our accurately used for location, not for the romance or the sauce bits; these are adult books for those who liked 50 Shades, not for readers who prefer Mills and Boon.

WEDDINGS AT SEA - more at www.DorisVisits.com

The first same sex marriage is said to be in January, 2018 on the Azura in the Caribbean and I suspect it will be nothing like in the book, where a Barbara Streisand tribute act sings at the wedding etc .... it is one of those where you had to be there, or read it. Then from November 2018, Cunard will be offering same sex marriages, which means both the Southampton based US cruise lines owned by Carnival, P&O and Cunard, will be 'on board.' It seems odd in this day and age we even have to same same sex, it is just a marriage. All can enjoy a wedding at sea, there was one on our last cruise and the guest had a wonderful time. Wedding packages for P&O cruise ships are available from about £1,200, while packages for Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 are offered from around £2,570 and from £2,117 for weddings on board Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, which earlier this year received a £34million refurbishment. The weddings will be taken by the ship's Captain (the web site allows the deputy Captain to take over in their small print, if the Captain is unavailable) and the licenses will be issued by the government of Bermuda, from where we have just returned with the Aurora on a New England Cruise.
Click here to see you wedding at sea.
What is amazing is that the press reporting this all grab a wedding picture and I have yet to see a same sex wedding picture.
If you are not getting married, and are not clicking through to the P&O page that explains the deal, we will briefly hit the main points here. The P&O Cruises Weddings at Sea package suggests a heavenly day of love and laughter. They help ensure the dream in your head comes true and they are good at this stuff and certainly have the staff and attention and venues to make it as stress-free as possible. There are various venues your wedding might use, and move from one to another. The ship is a town, all inter-connected, it can be private, it can be fun, it can be all. Some ships are exclusive for adults should you wish. You will be appointed a wedding coordinator, the one person who knows who on board to ask for that special request, so you only ask one person. It is not just about the champagne and flowers in the room, though that helps. It is that you have just a short stroll from your cabin to all of your dreams and requests with staff taking care of all the little details. And, the honeymoon starts straight after the service on a ship so vast you can meet and eat with your guests or lose them when you want to. On board a ship is everything you need for a wedding, and they work as a team daily; from bouquets to buttonholes, food, canapés, cakes to photography.
Before you set sail, the cruise company can send you wedding invitations so you can send personal invitations to join your celebration. Your Wedding Coordinator can also arrange for Thank You notes to be delivered to your cabin once you’re on board. Your clothes can be washed, pressed and prepared. Discuss everything with your Personal Cruise Expert when you book.
The cost of your Weddings at Sea Package will not change. Included within the package price are the following:
  • A romantic ceremony at sea conducted by the Captain*
  • Wedding ceremony venue with floral arrangements
  • Traditional wedding music
  • Services of the on board Wedding Coordinator
  • The attendance of a professional photographer at the ceremony
  • Commemorative wedding certificate
  • An official copy of your Marriage Certificate (You can, of course, order additional copies.)
  • The cost of the licence fees
  • A bottle of Champagne in your cabin on arrival
  • Champagne for a toast after the ceremony
  • Invitations and thank you notes
  • An additional 5kg luggage allowance each for the wedding couple if travelling on a P&O Cruises fly-cruise holiday**
  • Pressing services of the wedding couple outfits***
 Start by looking here, and then tell them that Doris Visits sent you.
If you are new to Doris Visits Cruise TV then welcome, we invite you to comment at the end of our blogs, and ask you for follow us on here on www.DorisVisits.com and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get the best from us. We are always looking for a social media persons to help us expand so drop us a line anytime at press@DorisVisits.co.uk  PLEASE SHARE
SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We show cruise destinations all over the world. From St Lucia to Barcelona, from Tallinn to Tenerife, from Rome to Russia. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Thomson Cruises get their biggest ship ever and offer great deal

Thomson Cruises will be sailing the Century Class 76.5 tonnes Mein Schiff 1 from May 2018, it will sale out of Palma with more facilities than any of its other ships. It will be Thomson's biggest ship at 260m long with ten passenger decks adding to their fast growing fleet. It is currently being refurbished and will offer ten places to eat including the open air Mediterranean Restaurant with both Pizza and Tapas restaurant areas, plus the Kora La, Surf 'n Turf, Snack Shack and Uma Sushi. Built in 1996 this was originally a Celebrity Cruise ship and with TUI in a joint venture status both under the Royal Caribbean parent, it was the Mein Schiff 1. Now it comes to Thomson Cruises, see more here with a film. It can hold 2,860 passengers and 900 crew but until it sails we all wait to see the refurbishment results.

The Kora La will have Oriental-style lanterns and paintings are paired with a pan-Asian menu of curries and noodle dishes. This will be a fine dining addition and there will be a small premium to eat here. The ship may end up looking different to the film below, but it can't be that different, this is the ship.

Cruise and holiday deals change fast with all the operators, but we have it sorted for you with the very latest deals.
Doris Visits tries to make it easy so please share with friends, then check the destination and route films we have, like the Canary Islands Cruise, or Baltic Cruise, or Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Get in the mood by watching, plan what you will do by seeing the destination, then looking at available tours. Please book using our links to our Partners Thomson Holidays and Cruising.

If you are new to Doris Visits Cruise TV then welcome, we invite you to comment at the end of our blogs, and ask you for follow us on here on www.DorisVisits.com and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get the best from us. We are always looking for a social media persons to help us expand so drop us a line anytime at press@DorisVisits.co.uk  PLEASE SHARE

SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We show cruise destinations all over the world. From St Lucia to Barcelona, from Tallinn to Tenerife, from Rome to Russia. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share.
READ THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. 
Each book takes place over a cruise! Book 1 is a Canary Islands cruise, Book 2 is in the Baltic, Book 3 is in the Caribbean, and Book 4 goes from the ABC islands through the Panama Canal.
CRUISE INSURANCE BELOW WITH HOLIDAY EXTRAS - OR OUR BLOG


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

New Strictly Line Up announced -

#Stictly Come Dancing new line up - Friday 22nd September is tipped as being the start of the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. It may well be a tribute night to the great Bruce Forsyth who sadly passed on the 18th August. Both Stuart and I got to work with him on the Generation Game, Stuart went back and twice did Stunt Fight episodes where he judged the public. If only we had YouTube back then we might have those memories but it was without doubt a different era. 

We know that Jeanette and Aljaz are back, as are Karen and Kevin, that was announced on the ship this summer along with the three new dancers and the new judge.

Shirley Ballas replaces Len as head judge. Shirley, 56, of Wallasey in the North of England is a Latin dance champion nicknamed, The Queen of Latin. A big hit in the USA as a judge on Dancing With The Stars, she is rumoured to have outshone job rivals Anton Du Beke and Brendan Cole at auditions for the new #SCDseason. Maybe, but I suspect both are being readied for another panel leaver or double take over. The Sun claims that the following celebs are confirmed.
Gemma Atkinson from Emmerdale
Ruth Langsford the ITV presenter.
Davood Ghadami from EastEnders (there is always one)
Mollie King from The Saturdays (always a pop star)
Brian Conley, TV funnyman.
Rev Richard Coles is a priest and former pop star with the Communards.
Joe McFadden from Holby City. (home BBC team member)
Aston Merrygold's a dancer known as the JLS pop star may start as favourite.
Simon Rimmer from Sunday Brunch.
Susan Calman a Scottish comedian from QI, Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week.
Charlotte Hawkins, news reader from Good Morning Britain.
Debbie McGee is a TV personality and past tennis partner of mine in Barbados for a few weeks.
Chilly Akudolu, actress and comedian from Holby City.
Jennie Peacock MBE is a Paralympic gold medallist will be the first disabled celebrity to grace the show.
Alexandra Burke, winner of X Factor 2008.
It is also thought that the Strictly on a ship will have a shake up next year, so will the new judge and new dancers takes to the seas in 2018.Share the news.


If you are a fan, and never managed to get a ticket, then it might be easier to see it on a cruise ship.

http://dorisvisits.com/b718-scd2017/



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Caribbean Explained

Caribbean - round up

The Atlantic crossing has long meant so much; the journey to a new world, to wealth, freedom, and discovery - for some. For others, it was the nightmare of slavery and abuse, of rape and pillaging. The slavery museum in Tortola is hidden away, the lights in this building are not often on in this building even though it is open, but it is a dreadful reminder of how man is repeatedly shown to have poor standards and a convenient justification of actions. In Solo Cruiser book 3, American Portrait, Aled, the young painter straight out of art school takes Violet there and she stands in horror at the history of the near past. Book 3 and book 4 are set in this area and I am sure the islands will be re-visited in future books and I hope we are still involved. We like these books because aside from the romance the stories unveil so much about the past as well as cruising. For the winter sun, many ships sail off for the 'Caribbean season'. So, Columbus discovered America, which was already there, already populated and had been discovered before. What he discovered was how special these places were, how they could supply fruits, sugar and rum, minerals and gems. Money changes hands, people lived off supplying facilities to these sailors and traders from bars and sex to shipping repairs and farming tools. Plants and plantations were moved with slaves to work them. Even after the slavery act had been agreed, British ships dropped their British flag and the owners continued to ship slaves under another flag to their wealthy relatives who needed a continuous labour stream. From the TV show Roots to the recent Taboo starring Tom Hardy to Pirates of the Caribbean there has been filming all over these islands so what is this area to a cruise fan? It is a means of income for the families that live there now.
The Cruisers Caribbean - Area
The Caribbean Sea is a finite area but the Caribbean route is not. South America and the Amazon are at its base, the land joining the Americas with the fracture made by the Panama Canal is to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida is to the North and the Caribbean Islands themselves to the West, form the barrier to the Atlantic Ocean. Barbados for example is on the east edge. On this island, the west coast is a holiday resort and has beautiful beaches as it faces the Caribbean. East coast Barbados has a rugged stormy coast line facing the Atlantic, we have a film of each. For a cruiser, one could include Charleston in the North as the top of the circuit, with the growing Port Canaveral as the most northern Florida stop. Here you will find Space Parks and Disney and so much more as Jean shows in our film there. Canaveral is a transit stop for many Caribbean cruises to fly into. Also to the North you get New Orleans. To the South, most maps and routes include Trinidad as the last island, but then some will add the Amazon as an extended adventure. All these places can be on a route, so we have broken it into three menus in our cruise destinations. We have all the islands.

please check out our menus for the Caribbean and films on every island. www.DorisVisits.com