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Andrew Garrett

Andrew’s love of cruising started on a six week family cruise to Europe on Llyod Triestinos Galileo Galilei (was Celebrity Cruises first ship SS Meridien) as a 12 year old. Since then Andrew has personally experience 10 cruise lines around the world, and in a travel career spanning 17 years, has become one of Australia's top cruise experts.

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Take a break on board the Mariner of the Seas experiencing 15 exciting nights aboard the Transatlantic Cruise exploring TransAtlantic. Your ship sails from Galveston with an itinerary that includes 6 ports in 4 countries before returning to Barcelona. This particular 4 star cruise from Royal Caribbean Cruises has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.

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Day Date Port of call Arrival Departure
1 Sun 21 Apr 2013 Galveston, USA 4.30pm
Transatlantic Cruise Galveston is a coastal city on Galveston Island in the US state of Texas. It is known for the hurricane that devastated the city in the 1900s, that is still regarded as the deadliest natural disaster in American history. This event has given rise to something unique to the island - the tree sculptures - fascinating works of art created from the trees that were damaged in the hurricane. Possessing all the delights of a small southern town, it is also home to one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. Most residents can't remember the last time they visited the mainland and, if circumstances permitted, they would never leave.

Most visitors take a scenic and historic walk, drive, or ride, along the Seawall that was built to protect the city from the raging winds and waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It provides a great introduction to the beaches and city. The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum with its interactive displays, proves to be very popular with tourists as does the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa and its museum that provides a great history of the area. Then there is the Moody Mansion Museum - built in the late 1800s - with its collection of decorative arts, silver and furnishings of one of the city’s most prominent families.

Take a ride on the bright pink road train, the Treasure Isle Tour Train, which provides visitors with a delightful overview of the historical background of the city’s sites, as well as the opportunity to view the architecture of the buildings and beautiful homes. A very popular building to visit is the Grand 1894 Opera House with acoustics equal to today’s musical venues. If you have children, then the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark with its retractable roof that makes it able to stay open the entire calendar year would be an enjoyable retreat.

2 Mon 22 Apr 2013 At Sea
3 Tue 23 Apr 2013 At Sea
4 Wed 24 Apr 2013 Nassau, Bahamas 7.00am 5.00pm
Transatlantic Cruise The port city of Nassau, which dominates the entire island of New Providence, is the capital of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and interestingly is home to over 70 percent of the country’s population. It is well known for being an historical stronghold of pirates with connections to the infamous Blackbeard. A visit to the Pirates of Nassau Museum provides the details. Downtown, with its numerous boutiques, is the hub for all activities. The busiest part is the Bay Street thoroughfare and the Woodes Rogers Walk that run parallel to the Bay. A short walk from downtown is the historic Christ Church Cathedral that is extremely popular with visitors both for its beauty and as a quiet retreat.

There are a number of must-see landmarks in Nassau, including Rawson Square where you’ll find historic buildings such as the old goal, now reborn as a public library and museum. Other places of interest include the Queen's Staircase, built by slaves to honour Queen Victoria's help in the abolition of slavery in the Bahamas. At the top is the Water Tower, the highest point on the island, which offers the finest views. If looking for a fascinating indoor cool spot to enjoy, visit the Atlantis Aquarium. Fort Charlotte built in 1787 with its amazing underground passages and dungeons should not be missed.

Importantly, be sure to interact with the dolphins, as on offer are 3 programs to suit all ages. Firstly, visitors can swim with the dolphins in their natural lagoon; secondly they can have a close encounter with the dolphins where guests are waist-high in water, playing and dancing with dolphins; or simply observe the natural marine environment at this unique spot. Built in 1852, Gregorygory Arch is an historic landmark that separates downtown Nassau from the rest of the city. Take the tunnel that leads to an historic community and the old settlements of Bain Town and Grantis Town.

5 Thu 25 Apr 2013 At Sea
6 Fri 26 Apr 2013 At Sea
7 Sat 27 Apr 2013 At Sea
8 Sun 28 Apr 2013 At Sea
9 Mon 29 Apr 2013 At Sea
10 Tue 30 Apr 2013 At Sea
11 Wed 1 May 2013 At Sea
12 Thu 2 May 2013 Funchal, Portugal 7.00am 5.00pm
Transatlantic Cruise Funchal is the capital of Portugal’s Autonomous Region of Madeira an archipelago 880 SW of Portugal and 600 km NW of Morocco, in the north Atlantic. Funchal’s harbour offers plazas lined with shops, colourful houses spilling down hillsides, due to its almost amphitheatre-like formation, and a profusion of flowers. For a fine view of the magnificent bay, take the unique downhill basket sledge ride. Visitors will find cuisine that celebrates the freshest ingredients, and a population that is joyous and gracious. There are also activities that run from vigorous hiking to placid contemplation of nature, and great shopping opportunities for locally made crafts and embroidery.

Take a tour hiking down a beautiful canyon for some real excitement, or go horse riding with Quinta do Riacho and explore the mountains. The 14th century cathedral, the Blandy Gardens and the Santa Clara Monastery are popular tourist destinations. The Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro Park is a typical example of a manor in British colonial style. While the manor itself is private and can't be visited, you can enjoy the public park. The main part of the park is formed by several gardens, such as a French Garden, a Sunken Garden, the Ladies Garden, a Rose Garden, as well as others.

Ascend by cable car, and toboggan yourself half way down, where you’ll visit the Palace Tropical Garden at Monte, a fashionable hill town in Madeira. A church named Igreja Paroquial de Machico, the church of Monte, while not very rich with regard to artistic works, has some intriguing architectural features, interior decorative elements, and several paintings that make a visit worthwhile. Here you will also find the grave of the Austrian Emperor Karl I of Habsburg. One can also do some tandem paragliding flights. They offer breathtaking sceneries, brutal landscapes and sharing the air with eagles and only the sound, of silence.

13 Fri 3 May 2013 At Sea
14 Sat 4 May 2013 Gibraltar, United Kingdom 7.00am 4.00pm
Transatlantic Cruise Gibraltar shares a northern border with Spain, but is a UK Overseas Territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. It has an area of 6 and a 1.2 km border with Spain. Under its 2006 constitution Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers such as defense and foreign relations remain the responsibility of the UK Government. The Rock of Gibraltar dominates the entrance to the Mediterranean between the southern tip of Spain and the continent of Africa 14 km to the south. Both famous and enigmatic, Gibraltar contains some of the most extensive military fortifications in Europe, spanning over 1200 years of Moorish, Spanish and British history.

Undoubtedly, the most famous attraction is the geological formation of the Rock of Gibraltar itself, and visitors are keen to ride the cable car that takes them to the top and back, providing excellent views of the port and surrounds. Remember that an integral part of tourism here are the Barbary Macaques, the only wild apes in Europe, which although cute will attack you for anything that appeals to them such as your ice-cream. The nature reserve provides tourists with sightseeing activities such as caves, the great siege tunnels, large military guns and many more sites of historical and geological interest.

The City of Gibraltar is enclosed by impressive fortress walls, the oldest being those of the Moorish Castle complex. Narrow passages and steps that climb steeply between the buildings can be found in the upper part of the town. The Gibraltar Museum is a must for the visitor with an academic interest in Gibraltar. It includes military and archaeological artefacts, especially remains of Neanderthal man. Also of interest are: the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park; the Moorish Castle; Europa Point; and the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque. The colony has a tax-free status, hence offers some relatively low-priced goods.

15 Sun 5 May 2013 Alicante, Spain 9.00am 4.30pm
Transatlantic Cruise Alicante lies on the east coast of Spain and is Valencia region's second-largest city. Famous for its excellent weather and its long stretches of sandy beaches such as San Juan, thousands visit each year. Its most notable feature is undoubtedly the Castle of Santa Barbara situated on Mount Benacantil that dominates the city. Also of interest is the colourful quarter of the old city, Barrio de la Santa Cruz, with its small houses, decorated with their tubs of flowers and flags, that climb up the hill through narrow streets to the castle.

The harbour itself is ideal for pleasant relaxing walks along beautiful long streets, such as the promenade Explanada de Espana, covered with millions of marble floor tiles that form a wavy pattern, and lined with palm trees. There are also many historical buildings around the entire city as well as countless sightseeing attractions, from cathedrals to churches. Its old town, Barrio de la Santa Cruz, has narrow streets, coloured houses and a lively nightlife scene. From here, an elevator or a steep climb leads to medieval Castillo de Santa Bárbara, set on a hilltop with sweeping views of the Mediterranean coast.

Two museums often visited are the Provincial Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Apart from the Castle of Santa Barbara that is definitely worth exploring, visiting the Guadalest Valley and the village of Guadalest is very special. Many take a trip along the coast or to the wonderful island of Tabarca. One can also do some scuba diving, or simply enjoy the L’Ereta Park that offers opportunities to take in the panoramic view overlooking the city, or the El Palmeral Park with playgrounds for children and delightful brooks and ponds. If looking for something more active then visit Karting Alacante for some great racing.

16 Mon 6 May 2013 Barcelona, Spain 6.00am
Transatlantic Cruise Barcelona, located in Catalonia Spain, is Europe's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast, and one of the world’s major global cities. Today, Barcelona balances itself on the cutting edge of architecture, intellectual life, and style. Indeed Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture, the first time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect. The ‘Gothic Quarter’ is the centre of the old city of Barcelona, where many of the buildings date as far back as the Roman settlement. The Art Nouveau architectural style has a great number of buildings listed as World Heritage Sites.

An outstanding example of this is the immense, remarkable, but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, with completion planned for 2026. There are far too many famous attractions for all to be listed, however a few of the most popular include: the Barcelona Aquarium, with the IMAX cinema right next door; the Spanish Village that is home to replicate styles of houses from different parts of Spain; as well as fascinating traditionally made Spanish goods; and for football fanatics, the not-to-be-missed Barcelona Football Club Museum.

Add to this the Picasso Museum with his paintings displayed in alphabetical order, the Zoo, the National Museum of Art of Catalunya, and the Magic fountain on Montjuic, and one realises that this city with its old world attraction will not disappoint. Last but not least is Barcelona's old town, the heart of the city. It's made up of many small neighbourhoods, full of old-world character, linked by narrow, winding streets. Students, foreigners and artists thrive in this area, attracted by its sense of history and cosmopolitan feel, along with its trendy bars, concert halls and good restaurants.


Mariner of the Seas is based in East Asia, sailing out of Singapore. Cruises are short, of 3 to 5 nights, up the west coast of mainland Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur, the island of Langkawi, and the resort port of Phuket in Thailand. The number of ports depends on the number of days sailing. In March and October 2016 are two cruises of 9/10-nights between Singapore and Shanghai that visit Hong Kong and Vietnam. These cruises will be very popular. Mariner of the Seas entered service in 2003, was last refitted in 2012, and at 137,276 GT she carries 3114 passengers.

Staterooms come in four main categories and 22 grades, with variations based on guests’ needs: Suites/Deluxe Staterooms, Balcony Staterooms, Outside Staterooms and Interior Staterooms. When selecting accommodation consider the view, the level of privacy, and location near to or far from activity areas. All staterooms come with private bathroom, vanity area, hair dryer, interactive TV and phone. Many cabins are family-friendly with up to four additional bunk beds, and interconnecting rooms. Promenade staterooms overlook the interior Royal Promenade, and some accommodate up to six people. There are no single cabins, and many are wheelchair-accessible. In-cabin service and dining is available 24-hours.

Food and Dining
For the Main Dining Room, spread over three levels, select from three dining choices before cruising: fixed seating at the same table nightly, at either early or late sitting; open-seated My Time Dining (with pre-paid gratuities) at a flexible time; and early sitting My Family Time Dining that allows children aged 3 to 11 years to leave for their Adventure Ocean kids club. Menus feature healthy, vegetarian and kosher options. Special dietary needs can be catered for by giving advanced notice. Menus change daily throughout the cruise. Evening dress is casual or smart casual. Expect one to three formal evenings in the Main Dining Room during your cruise. There are seven complimentary eating options, including Windjammers Café, Jade Sushi and Asian cuisine, Café Promenade for coffee, pastries/snacks, and room service.

Signature features to entertain you include: Broadway-style productions in the Main Theatre; Studio B’s ice shows, comedy, game shows, onboard parties, and cooking demonstrations (and when the rink is not being used, skate for free); and gaming in Casino Royale. Live music features around the pool, in the main dining room, and in many lounges, bars and specialty venues. There are always parties and parades to join. Alternatively, just stroll around the Royal Promenade and shop duty-free, or for a quiet time retire to the Library/Card Room or Internet Café.

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Take a break on board the Mariner of the Seas experiencing 15 exciting nights aboard the Transatlantic Cruise exploring TransAtlantic. When: Ship: Mariner of the Seas Category: Cruise Cabins from $ per person
Mariner of the Seas cruises
Transatlantic Cruise accreditation

Cruise summary

Cruise: Transatlantic Cruise
Duration: 15 nights
Ship: Mariner of the Seas
Star rating:
Departs: Galveston
Returns: Barcelona
Ports of call: 6
Forward departures:

What's onboard? ▼

  • Atrium social centre
  • Staterooms, room service
  • Royal Promenade
  • Shops, Souvenirs
  • Main Dining Room (with Family Time dining)
  • Windjammer Marketplace
  • Dog House (lunch, dinner)
  • Jade Sushi (dinner)
  • Chops Grille (dinner)
  • Room service dining
  • Beverage packages
  • Anytime, or traditional set-time, dining options
  • Giovanni’s Table (lunch, dinner)
  • Johnny Rockets (lunch, dinner)
  • Noodle Shop (lunch, dinner)
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream ($)
  • Café Promenade
  • Bars, clubs, lounges (17)
  • Broadway Production
  • LED movies on pool deck
  • Comedy, jazz, karaoke
  • Nightclub
  • Cinema Room
  • Casino
  • VOOM high-speed Internet mid-2016 (pay)
  • Swimming pools (3)
  • Whirlpools (6)
  • Solarium adults only/pool
  • Sun deck
  • Vitality Spa & Fitness
  • Basketball court
  • Ice-skating rink
  • In-line skating
  • Jogging track
  • Sports courts
  • Rock-climbing walls
  • Golf simulator
  • Mini-golf course
  • Games, contests, dancing
  • Internet, Wi-Fi (pay)
  • Enrichment lectures
  • Library/Card room
  • Conference Centre
  • Wedding packages, Chapel
  • UNDER 18
  • Youth Program, lounge
  • Babies & Tots activities
  • Laundry, drycleaning (pay)
  • Mobile phone reception
  • Elevators
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • Medical centre

What's included? ▼

  • Accommodation as booked
  • Flight/s and/or transfers as specified
  • All main meals on-board
  • Coffee, tea, iced water, lemonade 24 hrs
  • Anytime or fixed sittings, & multi-venue dining
  • In-cabin dining at no charge
  • Use of ship facilities - indoor & outdoor
  • Entertainment - live music and/or shows, movies
  • Activities - organised & individual
  • Bridge director on select cruises
  • Infant crèche, kids clubs & teen programs
  • Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
  • Special needs requests & service animals allowed
  • Ship-shore-ship transfers

What's excluded? ▼

  • Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
  • Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
  • Alternate specialty dining venues
  • Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks
  • Casino gaming, bar expenses
  • Certain entertainment, fitness classes
  • Passport & visa fees
  • Insurances of all kinds
  • Increases in third party charges or taxes
  • Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
  • Service charge: A$ 11.90/US$ 12) per guest (A$ 14.20/US$ 14.25 for suite guests) pp/night is included in pre-paid fare.  Or, service charges can be paid onboard. For all ages. Modify for inadequate service.
  • Service charge 15% automatically added to bar, mini-bar, spa & salon services.
  • Items & services of a personal nature
  • Medical services, vaccination costs
  • Laundry and/or valet charges
  • Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges
  • Babysitting, individual or in groups (from 1 yr)

Recent testimonials

"Ultimately it came down to attitude and the service from you was genuinely impressive so I rewarded that with my business. Price is very important but that good old thing called Service is hard to find these days."
William H from Melbourne

"The cruise was wonderful and I have recommended it, and you, to all my friends! I really appreciate the time you took to assist and advise me, and I will have no hesitation in using your services to book my next cruise holiday."
Cheryl W from Perth

"Terri remembered every member of our party from last year's Diamond Princess. She goes out of her way to say hello & is always ready with helpful advice."
Margaret from NSW