Sophisticated interior of The Epicurean restaurant on-board PO Cruises Britannia Although it is part of the giant Anglo-American Carnival Corporation, P&O Cruises is a quintessentially British line. Its home base is Southampton and the vast majority of passengers are from the UK. Whichever of the eight ships you choose, you can be sure of British tea, proper bacon on the buffet, British beers and entertainment...

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Seasick cruise passenger Just thinking about seasickness is enough to make you squeamish – but help is at hand. During my career as a cruise writer I have encountered a violent hurricane in the North Atlantic, three cyclones in the South China Sea and survived the tempestuous Drake’s Passage en-route to Antarctica. Fortunately, despite feeling somewhat queasy on...

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A waiter serving fine afternoon tea to a passenger on-board Cunard's Queen Mary 2 cruise ship Although it is part of the American-owned Carnival Corporation, Cunard is quintessentially British. Its three ships, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and the flagship, Queen Mary 2, are all Southampton-based. All embrace the concept of formal dressing, maritime traditions like the captain’s midday announcement, and elegant surroundings that evoke the glamour of the golden age of...

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Couple kayaking in the sea around Antigua Adding an action-packed stay in Florida to a laidback sailing through the Caribbean creates a classic yin and yang experience. One day, you are screaming yourself hoarse on the scariest of white-knuckle rides in America’s theme park capital, Orlando; the next you are sipping a sweet rum punch while gliding serenely through the tropical isles...

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Teenager in the skydiving simulator on-board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship Royal Caribbean International is an undisputed giant of the cruising world. Not only does it boast the world’s largest ships – the biggest of which holds a whopping 6,780 passengers – it is continually pushing back the boundaries of ocean-going attractions in an ever-more imaginative way. Wind back the clock one or two decades and no...

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Opulent Main Dining room on-board the Koningsdam cruise ship Launched in 2016, Koningsdam is the first of Holland America Line’s Pinnacle-class ships and is a vessel ahead of the curve. As the largest ship ever built for Holland America Line, this renowned cruise line’s new flagship is aptly named - ‘Koning’ means ‘king’ in Dutch. As their first new ship in eight years, it...

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Contemporary lounge area on a Holland America Line ship Founded in 1873 under the name Holland-Amerika Lijn, this enterprising company offered a transatlantic passenger service between Rotterdam and New York until 1971, when Holland America abandoned passenger transportation and switched to running cruise ships full time. In 1989 Holland America Line became a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corporation. The company’s fleet of 15...

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Massage beds topped with bowls of flower petals in the Aurea spa on MSC Armonia In an arena dominated by American names, MSC Cruises brings a welcome breath of la dolce vita to the cruising world. Unashamedly Italian in style and spirit, this Geneva-based line – the glamorous spin-off of the giant family-owned MSC container shipping empire – has always promoted its continental credentials. MSC Sinfonia pool deck As its...

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