How To Pack For Your First Cruise

Becky is standing above the welcome aboard sign on board Princess Cruises Regal Princess Cruise ship

Hey Owlets,

Cruising is an entirely new way to travel - there are so many differences between cruise holidays and land holiday. If you’re planning your first cruise it’s understandable that you might feel a little overwhelmed and not know where to start when it comes to packing for a cruise. When I went on my first cruise I didn’t have a clue - I was a fully paid up member of the “pack everything and hope for the best” brigade. Now I’ve been cruising for a few years I wanted to share a few some of my tips on how to choose what to pack for your first cruise, what to leave at home and suggest a few things that you may not have thought to bring! 

Rotterdam in One Day - The Best Itinerary for 24 Hours in Rotterdam, Netherlands

the view across Rotterdam city centre from Euromast

How to Spend the Perfect Day in Rotterdam

It's no secret that Rotterdam is one of my favourite cities in Europe. As a port day on a cruise ship, you're presented with a wealth of opportunities to explore either Rotterdam or further afield. One of the most popular choices for a port day usually involves a day trip to Amsterdam, but I've known someone be left behind on more than one occasion because of traffic or trains, so I prefer to spend the day exploring Rotterdam instead. Rotterdam is a city packed full of arts and culture - it's got a huge foodie scene, a wealth of different museums and galleries, and more independent shops than you could possibly hope to visit in a single day. If you're not sure where to start, try this itinerary for a day spent in Rotterdam - perfect for a port day on a cruise ship or a mini break where you've flown into the city. 

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas - A Very Honest Review

Cruise and luxury travel blogger, Becky The Owlet, in front of Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas docked in Liverpool

Hey Owlets,

It feels so odd to be writing about Royal Caribbean again, but here we are. If you’re a long time reader of The Owlet you’ll remember me saying that you shouldn’t go back to the same ship twice, after my magical first cruise on Independence of the Seas was overshadowed by a trip that was equally memorable for all the wrong reasons. I’ve spent a few years exploring other cruise lines, but post-pandemic my parents are no longer able to sail with any Carnival lines due to the stricter health requirements, so we looked into giving Royal Caribbean another chance and found a deal for a week on board Anthem of the Seas that we just couldn’t say no to! I’ll be honest with you, I was very apprehensive about it after my previous RCCL experience but I was drawn in my remembering the magic of my first trip, and you know what? I’m really glad I gave it another go. 

Meet the Sleepy Wiltshire Village that Instagram Destroyed

Castle Combe in Wiltshire - one of the villages most famous for overtourism
Castle Combe was a sleepy village in Wiltshire, until a few Instagrammers showed up

Hey Owlets,

After decades of marketing agencies vying for the attention of tourists across the globe, cheap flights and now the power of social media, the days of countries frantically advertising their homeland as a holiday destination are now over for many. In their place sit tourist taxes, “destination management” offices (the new-fangled term for marketing agencies that encourage tourists OUT of their city) and often unfriendly locals. While we’ve been hearing about over-tourism and the dangers around it for years, it feels even more prominent in the post-covid travel boom.

How to Spend a Weekend in Bristol, UK on a Budget

Bristol harbourside in the city centre on a sunny day. The ideal place to visit when you're in Bristol
Bristol Habourside

Hey Owlets,

Just like everything else, travelling is getting more expensive. The same budget that used to stretch to a week long trip, a few long weekends or a last minute cruise is now stretched during just one trip - especially if you’re exploring a big city like Bristol. I love my hometown but it has a reputation for being pricey, and while that’s not miles away from the truth a trip to Bristol doesn’t have to cost the Earth. There are plenty of ways that you can visit Bristol on a budget and still make the most out of your trip to the city.