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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.
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.

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.


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

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pizza Festival - what's not to like

Pizza Village is before, Pizzafest is after school holidays

Pizza Village is where the Pizza world Championship is held.

It is a free event featuring pizza demonstrations and exhibits on the waterfront of Naples. It is huge with much partying for a whole week, the third week in June. Pizza experts from all over Itally come to compete especially in the first two days. It draws chefs from over 50 historical Neapolitan pizzerias and over half a million visitors. It has an official web site to list the special events. Click Here.

Pizzafest where the dough is thrown around

For two weeks after the main school holiday season, that is weeks two and three of September, Pizzafest centers at Mostra d’Oltremare, Naples’ main convention centre.

Full blog with film at www.DorisVisits.com in the Mediterranean-Italy  menu and the Themed cruises menu.

Naples is said to be the birthplace of Pizza in the Mediterranean, but the flat bread dish was long established in the middle east before it got to Italy, just as the noodles now know as spaghetti were taken to Venice by the Chinese. Sure, there is a lot to do in this area, just look at the tours to give you a clue, but when someone says Pizza, and they aim to be the best pizza's ever, and fine fine or beer might be involved along with music and dancing lots of street entertainers and a real atmosphere of party! In 2004, in Italy rules were drawn up prescribing how a real Neapolitan pizza must be. Firstly, the dough must rise for at least six hours and must be shaped by hand. Secondly, pizza must be round and not more than 13.7 inches in diameter. Thirdly, it must be cooked in a wood-fire oven with three versions only permitted: Marinara with garlic and oregano; Margherita with basil, tomatoes and cheese from the southern mountains; and the ‘Extra Margherita’ which must include buffalo mozzarella from the Campania region. Pizza professionals from all over Italy arrive to compete in the competitions.

Doris Visits lists the cruise ports of the world - new huge menu up now. www.DorisVisits.com

In the book charts, SOLO CRUISER BOOK SERIES. Violet Becket has never cruised. In fact, she has been nowhere in a long time. Too long. Book 1, Virgin Voyage has been in the book charts for some weeks now.Violet has never had romance, never ever. As an older woman time is running out and she needs to make a change. This romantic read is based around cruises because once she cruises she loves it. That is her romance, well, there is a little more. Sally Katz used the films on Doris Visits to peg her books on! With permission. Each is a good read but there has yet to be a book based in this region, even though each book takes place on 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.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

8.4 Billion dollars expanding the Suez a few years ago is having positive effect. Oceana adds Arabian Adventures to its 2019 itinerary, so it won't just be the Arcadia World or Fred Olsen who takes you there. Who else will go through the canal?


When Doris Visits went to the World Travel Market at the end of last year, one of the things that was being pushed very hard was the work between governments and tourist agencies to open up some areas of the world that were being avoided. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi who has now held power in Egypt since 2014 is said by some to be building Egyptian stability through achievements. His 8 billion dollar expansion of the Suez Canal is having a positive effect. Egypt means business! It also opens the Middle East for bigger business and cruise ships adding the over 100 mile transit through the canal may be a sign of its success. The Middle East is changing fast; over 80% of Dubai's population are non native and have gone there to live, work and play hard and have better life styles than they could achieve at home. The expansion of the Suez Canal can be a historic sea change in people getting to know each other, integrate and mix more, that always achieves something! This connection is so important that Pharaohs as far back as the 2nd millennium BC were trying to achieve this. This video takes you through at motorway speed in under two minutes.

The Suez Canal makes the Middle East closer and quicker to get to. However, even with the canal Dubai is still a long way away to be in a short cruise unless you fly cruise, and the Oceana offers that in 2019. We have never travelled on this ship, but before it goes there we will have joined the ship at least twice and will be able to show you round and its many special destinations. The Oceana is probably a ship for those who like history for it often explores Greece and the Roman empire. Valletta in Malta with it’s 16th century bastion walls and spectacular views of the Grand Harbour are in the outward journey. This port may get much busier if cruise traffic increases.
The Suez passage is then an unforgettable route from Port Said, Suez in the Mediterranean to the Port Tewfik in the Red Sea. Originally a one way passage for a considerable length when built in 1869, it contains no locks system. Seawater flows freely north of the Bitter Lakes flows north in winter and south in summer. The expansion of the Ballah Bypass, some 35 km of waterway, cost 8.4 billion. Suez extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik at the city of Suez.
Salalah originally the capital of Dhofar it is the largest city in the Province and the second largest city in the Sultanate of Oman. It became famous for its incense trade in the 13th century and is said to be fragrant with frankincense, littered with ancient ruins and home to the Queen of Sheba’s palace. Much history has been told and retold here and a fantastic day awaits you. The sultan traditionally lives in Salalah rather than the capital Muscat your likely next stop. Muscat has been known as an important trading port since the first century and is a fast growing multi ethnic city rapid advances to infrastructural development that has led to a vibrant economy heading towards a population of 2 million. The influences of  the Persians, the Portuguese the Ottoman Empire and its own influence extending as far as East Africa and Zanzibar are all still evident.
Dubai is likely to be next, often called the ‘Pearl of the Arabian Gulf’ it is a heady mix of hot sun, parties, alcohol, high-rise architecture, the cleanest metro ever, youth, polo playing, the tallest building in the world and boutique shopping. We have ten films on Dubai and our son and his wife lived there for years. The Oceana then goes on but it is your choice whether to disembark in Dubai or further explore. The ship cruises the area for some time after this and takes in the ports listed below. Please share and use our links into P&O to book. Thank you. Hey, if you film a port let us know.
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Take advantage of Early Saver Deals when available for these cruises. We have videos of many of the cruise stops you might make from Miami to Tahiti, from Bruges to St Maarten. With your help we will build more and be a better resource for cruisers. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share and book via links on our site. Thank you.
SOLO CRUISER BOOK SERIES. Violet Becket has never cruised. infant she has been no where for a long time. Too long. And she has never had romance, never ever. As an older woman time is running out and she needs to make a change. This romantic read is based around cruises because once she cruises she loves it. That is her romance, well, there is a little more. Sally Katz used the films on Doris Visits to peg her books on! With permission. Each good read shows off a typical good cruise. But it is not about the places or the ships, you will know them back to front, if not you will get to know them. It is about Violet's journey. Warning, there are two versions; HER VIRGIN VOYAGE is the lighter version, but VIRGIN VOYAGE is the full fat with full raunchy version like 50 Shades. Her Virgin Voyage has all the story just about 2500 words shorter. It is about a woman discovering life late in life, Violet's story ranges three books. The second is a Baltic Cruise, again there are two versions, the third in the USA / Caribbean and there is only the lighter romance version as her story concludes for a while. Book four follows another character you have met and liked.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Cruise the Norwegian Fjords, this is what a typical cruise looks like

A fjord is a deep, narrow and elongated freshwater lake drain into the sea, so the waters mix. Basically sea water with fresh water means it is crystal clear water with steep land on three sides. I guess you can explain everything in print, but the fjords are something to see, possibly with classical music playing. At one end of the ship it probably will be playing on the address system, because they know it works too. This is a cruise where people from all nations travel to join British ships because of the spectacle. Sailing between huge mountains that nearly touch the side of the ship has a majesty and reminds me of old Hercules movies. I ski a couple of times a year or more and have done for twenty years, I have seen some of the worlds biggest waterfalls like the Zambezi and worked filming a commercial on the one on the Thai / Burmese border about forty minutes out of Chiang Mia so I don't trek up to glaziers on this cruise, it has a different appeal. There is something majestic and peaceful, huge yet serene, there, I said you could perhaps tempt a few words but take a look at the video then I will give you a run down of the cruise, the route, the week.

After leaving the UK there will be a day sailing across the North Sea. This is very likely to be a Black Tie night, the entertainment will be good and the fine dining restaurants busy. Day two you will arrive at a gateway, one of two, either Stavanger, Haugesund or Bergen, before heading further north. It is normally Stavanger and as long as it is not a Sunday it will be open. Sunday is a quiet day. Stavanger's old town is the best place to start, it is on the hill up from what used to be the fishing quay and will now undoubtedly have a cruise ship parked against. It has a canning museum, an old worker's cottage and next to it a glass artist. The tourist office has been moved down out of the town into the quay. There are normally two ships in at least every day. Other things we show on the film are the cathedral, the lake and the street of coffee shops in the market.
Day two is often Flam, which is maybe the adventure centre of the Fjords. Much to do, buzzy and busy, organised and friendly, this is the place to hire an electric talking tourist car for two (small people with driving license) and much more. In the car you can easily travel to Aurland or into the Stegastein Valley. For the mountain train book in advance or on the ship it has limited ability and will and does sell out. Walking in the mountains is fun and we have covered was 3 to Brekkefossen Waterfall on film. In contrast day two might be Skjolden where you can hire a bike and cycle to the glacier or just stroll around the tiny town.
Olden is often on Day three and it is a small village. Olden has a population of only 500 people, which is about 40% of the size of the cruise ship Azura's crew and as many children as were in the passenger section on board. It is a time to walk and relax.
There are normally four stops so the last is on the way back south, and normally Bergen. My funny story is that we had Jon Fisher on board entertaining us, he is the foremost Gary Barlow tribute act, and the Princess ship that was also in had Tony Fisher on board who is the foremost Robbie Williams tribute act on board and they met in a bar for the first time! Our week's entertainment was full and also included comedian Manuel Martinez who guest appeared in the Bergen film. We should have filmed that rather than the city, maybe next time. Bergen has a steep mountain train or vehicular to the top where there are incredible views and gardens. The town has a fish market where you can taste whale meat, and an old village within the town of wooden houses, shops and coffee houses. Bryggen is a must for all visitors.
It can rain at all of these stops. The ones onside the fjords have been mostly sunny for us and the gateway towns always rain at some point. Be prepared for hot and cold. So the trip is the same, the glory of the Fjords, cut by nature during the ice age.
See all the other videos we made during this and other cruises. The Fjords are very filmatic and the our video of a typical Norwegian Fjord Cruise shows that to Mark Blackledge's wonderful music. The guides of the towns like this one is just of the town. We also have guides on Olden, FlämStavanger, Skjolden and Bergen. Please share this page. The Fjords can take in other stops and head further north to Iceland, so choose your route.
Check out our travel web series on www.DorisVisits.com