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HomeCruiseUK vs. US cruising: What are the principle variations?

UK vs. US cruising: What are the principle variations?

I just lately went on my first cruise from the UK after beforehand solely crusing from ports in the USA. Whereas planning my cruise, I wasn’t positive what variations I ought to anticipate on a cruise departing from the UK vs. the US.

As soon as I acquired onboard, I noticed that whereas there have been a couple of slight variations, the Royal Caribbean expertise was almost precisely the identical whether or not crusing from the UK or the US. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable to identify the ever so slight variations onboard, from sure meals out there within the Windjammer to having the ability to brew tea in my cabin.

In any case, whilst you could also be on a Royal Caribbean cruise from the UK, you’re nonetheless with an American cruise line. Due to this fact chances are you’ll not see as many variations onboard versus in the event you would sail with a British cruise line.

For instance, British cruise traces, together with Cunard and P&O Cruises, supply a day tea service, the place you possibly can get pleasure from a wide range of teas, sweets, and savory bites. That is one thing you gained’t discover on a Royal Caribbean cruise departing from the UK.

Nonetheless, let’s check out the highest variations I observed between my UK and US cruises with Royal Caribbean, and a few common variations you’ll see when planning your UK cruise.

Tea kettles within the cabin

One thing you’ll discover when coming into your stateroom for the primary time on a UK cruise is an in-cabin electrical kettle for espresso and tea. You can also make prompt espresso and tea immediately out of your room, which will be good if you end up having a calming morning within the cabin.

When you could encounter this on Alaska cruises leaving from the US or Canada (as I did on Ovation of the Seas final 12 months), it’s not assured.

Perspective towards the climate

Essentially the most “tradition shock” I had on my cruise from Southampton was on our first sea day. As we started touring towards France, the climate was not cooperating. The sky was utterly grey, winds weren’t perfect, and the temperature did not really feel like mid-June.

I needed to stroll from one aspect of the ship to a different, so I made a decision to stroll on the pool deck. I used to be shocked once I walked outdoors and noticed tons of passengers on the pool deck… with a number of even swimming outside! Some passengers had been utilizing towels as blankets, others in full winter jackets, and a few “sunbathing” in only a swimsuit.

I could not assist however think about how empty the pool deck could be if we encountered comparable climate on a cruise from Florida! I appreciated the willpower of the passengers onboard my cruise from the UK to get pleasure from their trip irrespective of the climate. Fortunately the climate improved in a while within the week, however it was a enjoyable distinction to notice.

Time of 12 months to sail

You may cruise with Royal Caribbean year-round on itineraries leaving from the USA. Whether or not January, July, or October, you’ll discover a variety of itineraries out there. Whereas sure locations are seasonal, comparable to Alaska and Northeast/Canada cruises, the vast majority of sailings are provided any time of the 12 months.

Royal Caribbean’s UK cruising season usually runs from Could to October every year. For those who’re seeking to sail on Anthem of the Seas in, say, January, you’ll must fly over to the US.


One minor distinction that UK cruisers ought to know earlier than reserving a Royal Caribbean ship is that there are not any Kind G (UK) retailers onboard, so it’s necessary to pack a couple of plug adapters in your bag.

Royal Caribbean ships have each Kind C (Europlug) and Kind A/B (USA) retailers out there in cruise ship cabins. 

Drink choices

Royal Caribbean works exhausting to cater cruises to passenger demographics onboard. On cruises departing from China, for instance, you’ll discover extra Chinese language-influenced delicacies and beverage choices.

Equally, one factor you’ll discover on cruises leaving from the UK is a menu of gins and beers out there. I used to be stunned to discover a menu of gins and beers arrange on tables all through the ship, as I had by no means seen this on a US cruise earlier than!

Menu variations

One factor you’re certain to note on a UK cruise is the extra menu choices out there within the Important Eating Room. Every evening, you’ll discover two extra menu choices: an English-style principal (Guinness pie, rooster and leek pie, and so forth.) and an Indian curry.

When you can technically order Indian meals within the Important Eating Room on cruises departing from the US, you gained’t discover it on the menu. As a substitute, you’ll must inquire along with your waiter about what Indian choices can be found that day.

On UK cruises, although, an Indian choice is listed on the principle programs part of the eating room menu every night. Curry choices are fairly various, too, from a basic rooster tikka masala to lamb and fish curries.

You might also discover English-influenced delicacies within the Windjammer, from dessert puddings to savory pies and English breakfast.


Cruise ports on a crusing departing from the UK are, unsurprisingly, fairly completely different from the place you’ll go to on a cruise departing from the US.

Cruises from the UK go to the next locations:

  • Norwegian Fjords
  • Northern Spain & France
  • Mediterranean
  • Canary Islands

There are additionally a number of itineraries that go to the British Isles, though they often don’t depart from Southampton. Jewel of the Seas, for instance, might be providing British Isles cruises departing from Amsterdam and visiting ports in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Eire, and Eire.

Most cruises from the US, then again, go to the next locations:

  • Japanese, Western, and Southern Caribbean
  • Alaska
  • Bermuda
  • Northeast & Canada
  • Mexican Riviera

Each UK and US cruises supply a spread of landscapes, cultures, and historical past to find. For those who’re on the lookout for a heat, sunny seaside day, you’ll have the ability to discover that on a Mediterranean or Canary Islands cruise from the UK or a Caribbean cruise from the US.

Likewise, if mountains and fjords are extra your fashion, a Norwegian fjords cruise and an Alaska cruise will each supply unbelievable surroundings and cooler temperatures.


You’ll have many extra choices in terms of selecting a ship when crusing from a US port. Most Royal Caribbean ships are crusing from a US port in some unspecified time in the future through the 12 months, so that you gained’t have hassle discovering a ship that matches your cruising preferences.

You’ll usually have just one choice when cruising out of the UK. Anthem of the Seas is the first Royal Caribbean ship that sails from Southampton, England.

Regardless that there’s just one ship choice, Anthem of the Seas is a favourite amongst Royal Caribbean followers. As a Quantum Class ship, she is designed to sail within the cooler temperatures chances are you’ll encounter on a UK cruise, with indoor leisure and exercise areas for company of all ages.

Amongst her options are the North Star statement pod, RipCord by iFLY indoor skydiving, and a full-length musical manufacturing of We Will Rock You.

Friends & crew onboard

Usually talking, the vast majority of company onboard a cruise departing from the US are from the USA, Canada, or Latin America. Cruises departing from England are inclined to have a primarily UK passenger make-up, though you’ll additionally discover passengers from everywhere in the world.

I estimated that round 80% or extra of the passengers on my Anthem of the Seas cruise had been from the UK or Eire. I used to be positively within the minority with my American accent!

I additionally observed extra workers from the UK on my cruise from Southampton in comparison with crusing from the US, together with the cruise director and pub singer (though this might have simply been a coincidence).

Learn extra about cruising from the UK:

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