I went to the Daily Telegraph newspaper sponsored Cruise Exhibition at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London today. This 2 day exhibition costs around £10 per person on the door, though less if bought in advance.
We though we would head there early on the first day when it would be quiet. We arrived around 10.30 and then thing that struck us was the stream of people heading into the venue. It was absolutely packed, and once inside you had to shuffle about as was so busy. The other thing of note was the average age was clearly a bit older than other travel exhibitions that I have been to.
The largest stand, and the most impressive presence, was the Carnival stand that dominates the centre of the stand. In this stand of 9 sections covering each of their brands including Cunard, Princess, P&O, Costa etc, you had to wind your way through all to get to the end where you you put your entry for the prize cruise in. A clever tactic, but also one of the better stands. Though all stands seemed to be attracting a lot of interest, and suspect a lot of bookings get taken.
There were a number of areas where talks were being given across the day. They included one that discussed new ships; one based on Loose Women TV show sponsored by Carnival with celebrities talking about cruising, and Sky Travel one of various aspects of days at sea and choosing a cruise. These would have been helpful for people who had not a lot of cruising experience but not that very deep for those with experience.
Overall a well run exhibition and interesting.
For more: http://www.cruisingshow.co.uk/
To read about first time cruising and how to chose: