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Norwegian Encore Review – Go Karts, Moscow Mules & Kinky Boots!

Sarah Norwegian Encore race track

Mind-blowing activities, top class food and drinks, and great value for money – check out my Norwegian Encore review before booking your next cruise holiday!

 

Despite the fact that the inaugural sailing was on Halloween night, and I had two young kids at home, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to step onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest and most innovative cruise ship – Norwegian Encore. It was my first time to cruise with Norwegian and I couldn’t wait to experience it. I crave new destinations, new cruise ships – well really anything travel related that I haven’t been to or experienced before. So a new cruise line and a brand new cruise ship, I was in my element!

ncl
 

 

 
Unfortunately I didn’t have the Caribbean sea views to go with it – Norwegian Encore’s inaugural sailing was from Bremerhaven in Germany to Southampton, UK on the 31st of October – not exactly the best time for good weather, or picturesque ports for that matter. But I guess this makes my Norwegian Encore review all the more interesting. I mean, if I liked Encore on rough November seas, then it must be good – right?

atrium on norwegian encore

 

 

 

 

Activities on Norwegian Encore

It was 4 degrees celsius when we arrived in Bremerhaven but, although cold, we had the all-important blue skies. I immediately set out to explore the outdoor areas to take advantage of the sunshine. Normally I would head straight for the pool, but Norwegian Encore has a go-kart track on its top deck, so that was my first port of call.

race track on norwegian encore

Norwegian Encore is one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Class Plus ships – Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss are her sisters, and also have racetracks onboard. However, Norwegian Encore’s is the biggest – to say I was blown away was an understatement. I was a guest of Sunway, Ireland’s cruise specialists, and they advised me to go to the racetrack as soon as I got onboard. Their advice was spot-on. I ended up at the top of the queue and was the first person to ever race the track on Norwegian Encore! 

norwegian encore race track
 

 

 
The race track is 1,150 feet long, sprawls over two decks and extends up to 13 feet over the side of the ship – it really is hard to fathom unless you see it, or in my case race it. I thought I was speeding away to my hearts content until my colleagues started beeping me from behind so they could over take me! It was hard to believe I was on a cruise ship – racing at 52 kilometers per hour.
 

 

 
As well as a massive go-kart track, Norwegian Encore is also home to the largest laser tag arena at sea – and it is also outdoors. Its theme is based on the Lost City of Atlantis, where you don virtual reality headsets and shoot serpents as they jump out in front of you. I didn’t try this personally, but decided to pose for pics instead 😉.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The outdoor laser tag arena isn’t the only virtual reality experience onboard. I was amazed at the Galaxy Pavilion – an indoor room of high-tech virtual reality games that is like nothing else I have seen on a cruise ship. I am positive I would never see my 12-year-old son Luke if we cruised on Encore for a week.

I tried the Jurassic Park ride, where I was a passenger in one of the jeeps, racing away from chasing dinosaurs – it was brilliant. I also tried the rollercoaster ride but felt a bit nauseous, and ended up closing my eyes the whole time. I wasn’t brave enough to try the ‘Vertigo’ simulator – where you walk between skyscrapers on New York’s skyline. There are loads of shooting and racing simulators too – the Galaxy Pavilion is the best virtual reality experience I have ever seen.

galaxy pavillion norwegian encore
 

 

 
I think Norwegian cruise ships are amazing value for money (more on that later), but it is important to point out that these activities incur additional charges. The go-kart track costs US$15 for an eight-lap circuit and laser-tag costs $10 for five minutes. However, if you are travelling with teenagers I would advise buying a week-long pass for the Galaxy Pavilion for $199. It might sound expensive, but believe me it will be the best $199 you ever spent! If you really want to push the boat out (excuse the pun) you can also purchase a $399 pass that will get you unlimited rides at the Galaxy Pavilion, go-kart track and laser tag area for a week.

laser tag norwegian encore
 

 

 
Norwegian Encore also has two multi-storey water slides, and a kids aqua park with smaller slides and tipping buckets. The slides were not open during our sailing, but I am sure that the Aqua Racer, where you race your friends in inflatable tubes, would be a great ride for all the family. The Ocean Loops slide, with a floor that drops away at the top, and a slide that extends out over the ship – maybe not so much! Note that there is no additional charge for the water slides or the aqua park.

pool deck on norwegian encore
 

 

 
As well as amazing adrenaline-filled fun, there are kids clubs on Norwegian Encore to suit all ages – and they are also free of charge. There is a baby club for under 3s (which must be supervised by a parent), and kids clubs from ages 3 – 12 that are separated into three age groups: 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12. The rooms were huge with lots of open spaces and activities are organised daily. 

kids club on norwegian encore
 

 

 
Teens are well catered for too. The Entourage teen club has a large lounge area, daily activities, a wall full of PlayStations and what I am sure would be a firm favourite, their own teen disco every night. Norwegian also allows you to leave your kids onboard when in port, if you want to take a shore excursion without kids in tow.

teen club on norwegian encore

As much as I was wowed by Encore’s facilities and outdoor space, I found the pool areas a little disappointing. The main pool is superb and has a large outdoor movie screen. There is also a small pool near the kids aqua park, as well as four hot tubs.

hot tubs on norwegian encore
 

 

 
However, there isn’t much else to choose from – unless you are happy to pay for the privilege. The spa incurs an additional charge, as does the adults-only Vibe Beach Club on the top deck – which is a whopping $99 per person for a day pass. If you are travelling without kids and have many days at sea, the week-long pass for $209 is actually better value. At least you know you will have a comfy sun lounger for the week.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If money is not an object, then make sure you book The Haven. This exclusive area for suite guests is stunning and the best suite area I have seen at sea. As well as staying in luxurious accommodation, the pool area with retractable roof is superb, and the private restaurant and lounge offer the best sea views. This has a quiet relaxed vibe, completely different to the other areas of the ship – and so ideal for a couple. 

The Haven on norwegian encore
 

 

 

Entertainment on Norwegian Encore

Norwegian cruise ships have a reputation of having some of the best entertainment at sea, and once I experienced it for myself, I could see why. As well as nightly shows in the theatre, they have live music on in many of the bars throughout the ship. I loved that there were lots of small bars, rather than two or three large lounges. They have an intimate feel and you almost forget you are on a massive cruise ship. I also like that many of the bars and restaurants have outdoor areas. 

outdoor bars on norwegian encore
 

 

 
There is also a bigger bar in the Atrium with live music and a large TV screen that shows sporting events. If craft beer is your thing, pop into the District Brew House, where they have 24 beers on tap. The Cavern Club, a reproduction of the Liverpool club where the Beatles performed, was a big hit with my colleagues, although I preferred the Latin music in the Sugarcane Bar. I danced to my hearts content at the silent disco and decided to hang around for the DJ set too.

disco on norwegian encore
 

 

 
The Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots got all the headlines, but I thought the ‘The Choir of Man’ was superb. This feel-good musical was set in a typical Irish pub. The storyline and original songs were terrific and it deserved the standing ovation that it received. Incidentally, admission is included in the cost of your cruise to both shows and live music. 

the choir of man on norwegian encore

 

Food and Drink on Norwegian Encore

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Free at Sea promotion, which is currently available on all sailings, allows you to enjoy three speciality dining meals and premium drinks over a seven-night cruise, for just €99. This is incredible value when you consider just how good the dining options are – and the cocktails! I found a new tipple onboard – a Moscow Mule. This is a delicious blend of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice and served me well over the two nights 😉.

cocktails norwegian encore
 

 

 
I found the quality of the drinks onboard to be excellent with most premium branded drinks included in the drinks package – more than I have seen on other cruise ships. You can substitute either of these packages for shore excursion credit or WiFi (which was fast btw), but I think the former are the most popular options. 

drinks on norwegian encore
 

 

 
There are six complimentary dining restaurants onboard Norwegian Encore. Similarly to the bars, I like that there are three main dining restaurants, rather than one large one. The Manhattan Room is the most impressive main dining room, although also the largest. Decorated in 1920s style, it has a luxurious old-world feel, but with a modern twist. The food was exceptionally good for a main dining restaurant, in fact all the food I had on Norwegian Encore was excellent. The other two main dining restaurants, Taste and Savour, are much smaller, and actually feel like speciality restaurants.


 

 

 
The choice and quality of food in the Garden Cafe buffet restaurant was excellent – probably the best buffet I have seen at sea. I couldn’t decide between the roast beef, wood-fired pizzas or Indian dishes – so I had to have all three! The dessert stations were pretty impressive too.

desserts in the garden cafe norwegian encore

There are also light snacks available in the Observation Lounge. I loved this massive lounge with floor to ceiling windows. It would be ideal in cooler weather, where you can still enjoy sea views in warm comfortable surroundings. Complimentary light-bites, sandwiches and pastries are served here – the perfect substitute for lunch, if you over indulged at breakfast.

observation lounge on norwegian encore
 

 

 
The 24-hour Local Bar & Grill, another complimentary restaurant, offers classic pub grub and great breakfasts. It is also located beside a large TV screen so I’m sure it is a firm favourite during sporting events.   

breakfast on norwegian encore

I didn’t get the opportunity to try any of the speciality restaurants, but the food was so good in the complimentary restaurants that this didn’t bother me. There are nine speciality restaurants to choose from. Onda by Scarpetta, the upmarket Italian restaurant, and Ocean Blue, the fancy seafood restaurant with ocean views, are sure to be the big hits, as will the Teppanyaki. Norwegian’s signature steakhouse Cagneys, as well as the French restaurant, Le Bistro, and Mexican, Los Lobos, are also onboard.

speciality restaurant norwegian encore
 

 

 
With the choice to opt for the premium drinks package and three speciality dining restaurants for just €99, it is no surprise that Norwegian Cruise Line offers some of the best-value cruise deals from Ireland. 

Read:  Check out my top 10 cruise deals with Norwegian Cruise Line
 

 

 

 

Cabins on Norwegian Encore

I toured many cabins on Norwegian Encore, from single studios, to luxury suites. It really struck be how important it is to speak to a cruise expert when booking your cruise holiday, as prices vary greatly between categories. I was staying in a balcony stateroom, which was nicely furnished and very spacious. The beds were extremely comfortable and it was well equipped with toiletries and a powerful hairdryer. However, I was amazed to learn that the Oceanview Family Room with Picture Window was a lot cheaper than my balcony cabin, and 50% bigger in size with a huge bathroom! The cruise experts in Sunway will be able to advise you of the best-value cabins available.
 
norwegian encore balcony stateroom

 

 

 
I loved the dedicated section of the ship for solo travellers, something I haven’t seen on any other cruise ship. Encore has individual studio cabins for single use, and an exclusive private lounge where solo travellers can enjoy a drink or arrange to dine together, or go on shore excursions. The single supplement is very reasonable too.
 

single studio on norwegian encore

I was really impressed with Norwegian Encore. Despite the fact that Encore holds 4,000 guests, has a massive go-kart track and a laser tag arena – it felt intimate. The variety of dining and entertainment options and the excellent Free at Sea promotion make Norwegian cruises great value for money too. I can’t wait to cruise with Norwegian again – I might opt for better weather conditions next time though!
 

 

 

For bookings and enquiries visit Sunway.ie

 

Like cruise holidays? See more cruise reviews and cruise deals here. 

 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 
In The Media

My Top Picks For Autumn Holidays At Home and Abroad

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Fancy a break away before the end of the year? I’ve got staycations, cruises, city breaks and long haul holidays. Check out my top picks for autumn holidays and get planning!

 

Last minute European sun holidays:

Tour Operators, TUI and Sunway have lots of last minute autumn holidays available. They have already paid in advance for flights and accommodation, so if you are looking or a week in the sun, they should be your first port of call. I have picked some favourites below, but bear in mind prices may change, as these are last minute holidays.

Aer Lingus September sale is also worth a look. They are offering flights to Europe from €24.99 one-way for travel between the 1st October and 16th December.

Gran Canaria: 10th October, 7 Nights, inc Flights, Transfers & Baggage from €350 

View offer here

 

Sicily: 5th October, 7 Nights, inc Flights, Transfers & Baggage from €449

View offer here
 

Crete October Mid Term Break: 5* Anemos Luxury Grand Resort, Half Board, from €799; 2ad & 2ch from €3155

autumn holidays in crete

I holidayed in this same resort during the summer with my family. The hotel has a superb beachfront location, and is close to the beautiful towns of Chania and Rethymno. 

View 2 sharing here View family offer here 

 

Read my review of Anemos Luxury Grand Resort
 

 

 

City breaks:

 

Vienna Weekend Break: 5th October, Flights & 4-Star Hotel, 3 Nights, €238

This is a super deal to see one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. You will be staying in the highly rated 4-star Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna hotel which is located in the heart of the city and close to all the attractions. Price of €238 per person includes flights and hotel accommodation for three nights, departing Saturday the 5th of October.

holiday deals

See more here
 

 

 

Venice Short Break: 23rd October, Flights, Hotel & Gondola Ride, 2 Nights, €285

It is rare to see such a good special offer to Venice, and even more rare to see a gondola ride included! The price of €285 per person includes return flights with 10kg hand luggage per person, two nights in a 3* Hotel San Zulian and a free gondola ride. This hotel is superbly located close to St. Mark’s Square, and receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.

autumn city breaks

View offer here
 

 

 

Disneyland Paris, Halloween Festival, 2 ad & 2ch, 3 Nights inc Flights & Park Passes, €1473

Halloween and Christmas festivals at Disneyland Paris run almost consecutively from the end of September right up to the 6th of January, so it is a great time to visit. If your children are not in school yet you can get great value autumn holidays, departing September and October. I found a great deal over the October Mid Term Break, departing Friday the 1st of November for 3 nights. Price with flights, hotel and park passes is €1473, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

halloween festival at disneyland paris

See more here

 

Read: The best time to visit Disneyland Paris.
 

 

 

Cruises:

 

5* Celebrity Edge, 10 night Spain & Monaco Fly Cruise, €1820

Celebrity Edge is one of the world’s newest and most luxurious cruise ships. Its unique design includes the world’s first ‘Magic Carpet’ a cantilevered, floating platform that rises 13 stories above sea level, with a full bar, open-air dining area and space for live music. Edge also has an adults-only Solarium and a rooftop garden, as well as the usual facilities and dining options you would expect from a world-class cruise ship. This cruise sails from Rome on the 11th of October and visits, Naples, Santa Margherita, Monte Carlo and over nights in Barcelona. Price for flights, and cruise on a full board basis is €1820 per person. Upgrade to an oceanview stateroom for an additional €440, and receive a classic drinks package and $300 onboard spend per stateroom.

autumn holidays

View offer here  

 

 

 

October Mid Term Break: 9 Night Med Cruise, MSC Preziosa, €855pp

cruise holiday deals

This exclusive deal on MSC Preziosa is ideal for anyone who is tied to school holidays. Visit France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Morocco over 9 nights. Price of €855 includes flights, cruise with meals and entertainment and gratuities, staying in an interior cabin. Cost for 2 adults and 2 children is only €2730, staying in a balcony cabin.
 
View offer here
 

 

 

U River Cruises: 21st September & 8th October, Cruise only €899 – save €400

holiday deals

Sail along the Danube from Regensburg to Budapest over eight days in a luxury 5-star river cruise ship. Price includes meals and excursions, flights are extra. Note the €400 savings will not show online – you need to call a U Specialist on 01 906 9408 or your local travel agent to avail of this special discount.  

Read my review of U River Cruises – luxury river cruises for younger travellers.
 

 

 

Rest of the World:

 

12 Nights Thailand holiday: Bangkok, Elephant Hills & Khao Lak, Inc Flights & Transfers €2099

I love when a holiday combines a beach stay with a little adventure. If I can manage to add a city to the mix too, that is even better. I have researched various Thailand holidays, as I would love to return, and this one ticks all boxes. This Thailand itinerary combines bustling Bangkok and an ethical elephant safari, with some relaxing beach time. If all of that isn’t enough to tempt you, there are luxury hotels included too. Your stay at Elephant Hills luxury tented camp also includes all meals and activities. 

autumn holidays in thailand

See more here

 

Read: The best Thailand Itinerary – Bangkok, Beach and Wildlife
 

 

 

Barbados: 4-star All Inclusive Resort inc Flights & Transfers, 7 Nights, €1399 

last minute deals

Treat yourself to a week in the brand new Sands Barbados Hotel. There are savings of up to €690 per person if you book by the 30th of September. The hotel is currently undergoing a ‘soft opening’, hence the super prices. Some restaurants or facilities may not be in operation, see more details on the link below. Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay on an all-inclusive basis is only €1399, departing in September or €1439 in October/ November.

View offer here
 

 

 

G Adventures Costa Rica  Tour – 25th October or 1st November, €729 

This 8 day classic group tour is so on trend at the moment. Despite white water rafting, the wildlife safari and zipline activities, this tour is suitable from age 12, and there is no upper age limit. Enjoy swimming in waterfalls and natural hot springs as well as some chill time on Costa Rica’s amazing beaches. Group size are between 12 and 16 (max ) and it is suitable for most fitness levels. Price of €729 includes all accommodation, tours and some meals – sole travellers can share, or can pay a supplement for a single room. Flights with United Airlines via Newark are available from €701.
 
g adventures costa rica
 
 
 

3 Nights Dubai and  7 Nights All Inclusive Mauritius stay Inc Flights & Transfers, from €2519 

This wonderful two-centre holiday offers the perfect mix of city and beach. Spend three nights seeing the sights in Dubai while you stay in the luxurious 5* Hilton Dubai Creek, followed by seven nights relaxing in the all-inclusive 4* The Ravenala Attitude hotel in Mauritius.

See more here
 

 

 

Staycations:

 

SuperValu Getaway Breaks

SuperValu Getaway Breaks are great value for anyone looking for a last minute staycation. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be a SuperValu shopper to purchase them, although if you are a Real Rewards member, you can accumulate valuable Real Rewards points. They have over 300 hotels on their website, including an Inspired Collection of four and five-star hotels. They are currently offering €20 off their 2-night stays for travel before the 31st of December. Luxury hotels like The Brehon in Killarney is €125pp for a two-night stay and the 5* Sheen Falls Lodge is only €150pp for a two-night stay.

supervalu getaway breaks

 

I am just recently back from Waterford and the Munster Vales, where we cycled the Waterford Greenway and enjoyed delicious food in Waterford’s foodie capital, Dungarvan. I found great deals staying in the Park Hotel or Gold Coast Resort, Dungarvan. Price for a two-night stay, with breakfast, is only €75 per person departing on various dates in September / October. There is a leisure centre and gym in both and the 18-hole championship Gold Coast Golf Course is adjacent to the Gold Coast Resort.  Dungarvan is also on the Waterford Greenway, so this is an ideal choice for anyone looking for an active break.

See more here

 

Read my top things to do in the Munster Vales.
 

 

 

Center Parcs

I was delighted to visit Center Parcs Longford Forest this summer – it really did live up to the hype! Prices during the summer months are high, so Center Parcs is an ideal choice for autumn holidays. Prices for a three-night weekend break in October are €559, based on a 2 bedroom Woodland Lodge. If you want to travel over the October bank holiday weekend, the price increases to €999, but the real value is departing on the 1st of November, the kids are still off school, and the price is only €699. Children are back to school on Monday the 4th, so you can choose to return on the Sunday night if you don’t want to take the kids out of school for a day.
 

 

 
Center Parcs will also have a Winter Wonderland theme starting on the 8th of November, where the forest will transform into a magical winter playground, with snow, lights and festive decorations. You can also visit Santa,  additional charge applies.

autumn holidays in ireland

 

See more here

 

Read my ultimate guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest.
 

 

 

Taste the Island promotion.

This year sees the start of a three-year initiative from Tourism Ireland to boost domestic and international tourists to Ireland, outside of the summer months. They have introduced a ‘Taste the Island’ celebration, where we are showcasing the very best of our food and drink culture. There are events on throughout the country, so if you are planning autumn holidays, find out what’s on here. Many hotels have embraced this theme and are offering stays with special ‘Taste the Island’ menus. Lough Rynne in Leitrim, which is available on SuperValu breaks, Actons in Kinsale and Clew Bay in Westport are just some of the hotels involved. There are events on throughout the country – you can see what’s on here.
 

 

 

Like holidays in Ireland? See more here.

 

Stenaline UK Breaks

Stenaline is offering two-night breaks to Scotland, England or Wales with return ferry travel by car included from €145 per adult sharing. Kids under 16 travel free by ferry, but there may be supplements for hotels. Take your pick from hundreds of hotels and apartments including Alton Towers and Legoland. This offer is available for autumn holidays and for travel until the 31st of March 2020, but needs to be booked by 30th November 2019.
 

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my top picks for autumn holidays include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 
Sarah 

travel deals

Travel

Get All Inclusive Drinks on Royal Caribbean 2020 Cruises – Fly Cruises Available from €1489!

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If you are thinking of booking a cruise – now is the time to do it! Travelnet are offering all-inclusive drinks on Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises. Check out some of my favourites below.

 

Many of you already know I am a big fan of Royal Caribbean cruises. Their ships are extraordinary. With fine dining, scintillating entertainment and record breaking adventure activities, it is not surprising that they are one of the world’s most popular cruise lines. However, one of the main concerns many people have when booking cruises is the price of drinks onboard. With this amazing all-inclusive drinks promotion on Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises – you no longer need to worry about that!

Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises

You can enjoy cocktails, mocktails, beers, wines by the glass, premium coffees and fruit juices, all up to a $12 value – FREE OF CHARGE! Bar gratuities are also included and if you fancy a bottle of wine, rather than a glass, you can enjoy a 40% discount on bottles of wine under $100. This amazing promotion on Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises is available on selected sailings, including the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. This offer won’t last long though, you need to book by the 30th of September.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

When Travelnet asked me to highlight some of the super deals available on this Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises promotion, I was only too happy to oblige. There are lots more cruises available, so if my choices don’t suit you, make sure you check out ALL of their Royal Caribbean cruise deals by clicking here. And if a free deluxe drinks package isn’t enough to tempt you, perhaps this might – Travelnet.ie will secure your booking with a €30 deposit! Note a few Ts & Cs do apply.

 

Allure of the Seas: 7 Night Med Cruise from €1675!

Allure of the Seas is already the most awarded ship in the world, but it also happens to be getting a $165 million makeover – just in time for summer 2020 sailings from Barcelona. I was amazed to learn that this all-inclusive drinks promotion applied to Allure of the Seas too! You will have the opportunity to visit Majorca, Provence, Florence/ Tuscany, Rome and the Amalfi Coast over seven memorable days. 

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

There are seven different neighbourhoods on Allure of the Seas, each with its own distinctive vibe. The Royal Promenade is full of shops, bars and restaurants, and comes alive at night-time with a party atmosphere. The Boardwalk reminds me of a seaside pier and has a hand-painted carousel, and the pool / sports zone is full of non-stop action.

One of my personal favourite neighbourhoods is Central Park. There are a staggering 12,000 trees and plants there, it really feels like you are in a park, rather than on a cruise ship. There are great restaurants and bars there too. After a tasty dinner, what better than a world-class show. Mamma Mia is a must see, as are the Aqua shows in the open-air theatre. Read more about Allure of the Seas here.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

The price of €1675 includes a seven-night cruise with deluxe drinks package, return flights, transfers and 20kg checked baggage, departing on the 30th of August. There are many different dates available throughout the summer, so if this date does not suit, talk to the team at Travelnet and they will find one to suit your requirements.

View offer here

 

Rhapsody of the Seas: 7 Nights Greek Isles Cruise from €1489!

Rhapsody of the Seas has floor to ceiling windows that ensure stunning ocean views throughout. You can expect world class shows and numerous restaurants onboard, including their famous steak-house, Chops Grille. It’s outdoor movie screen is a big hit with both adults and children, looking to enjoy balmy nights under the stars.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

I love Greece, so when I saw the itinerary I was hooked. You depart from Venice, visiting Athens and the Greek islands, as well as Kotor in Montenegro, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Marvel at the Acropolis and take time to wander around the Greek towns of Corfu, Kefalonia and Mykonos, before returning to Venice for your flight home.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

The price of €1489 includes flights, a seven-night cruise with deluxe drinks package, 20kg checked baggage and airport transfers. departing on the 3rd of October. There are many different dates available, so if this date does not suit, talk to the team at Travelnet and they will find one to suit your requirements.

View offer here

 

Oasis of the Seas: Western Caribbean Cruise with Balcony & Pre-Cruise Hotel Stay from €1795!

Oasis of the Seas was the original record breaker. It was the first ship to introduce seven different neighbourhoods onboard a cruise ship. It has recently undergone a $165 million amplification that added several new venues including Portside BBQ and Playmakers Sports Bar. The pool and sports zone has been reimagined too, with the addition of the 10-story Ultimate Abyss slide as well as the trio of waterslides known as The Perfect Storm.  

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

Old favourites like Central Park and the Aqua Theatre still remain, and rightly so. Check out my review of Harmony of the Seas, this should give you an idea of what to expect from her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas.

The Western Caribbean itinerary is one of my Caribbean favourites. You will visit Mexico, Jamaica, Labadee and Haiti, but also have plenty of time to enjoy the Caribbean sea views from your balcony stateroom.
 

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

The price of €1795 includes a seven-night cruise with deluxe drinks package, an upgrade to a balcony stateroom, a pre-cruise stay in Miami, return flights, transfers and baggage, departing the 25th of January. There are many different dates available, so if this date does not suit, talk to the team at Travelnet and they will find one to suit your requirements.

See more here

 

Anthem of the Seas: Bahamas & Perfect Day Cruise, from €1869!

Anthem of the Seas is part of the Quantum class of ships. I was lucky enough to cruise on her sister ship, Ovation of the Seas – and she is a beauty. The facilities onboard are superb. You can sky dive, ride a bumper car and even become a certified diver! The panoramic view from the 300ft high North Star viewing pod is amazing, and something that only Quantum Class ships can boast – to say this ship is innovative is putting it mildly.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

Like all Royal Caribbean cruise ships, you can expect a wide selection of dining options, including Jamie’s Italian, Chops Grille – Royal Caribbean’s signature steak-house, and the extraordinary Wonderland – a gastronomic delight in an Alice in Wonderland setting. Night-time entertainment is top class too, with broadway shows such as Mamma Mia and the West End hit, We Will Rock You. Check out my review of Ovation of the Seas, this should give you an idea of what to expect from her sister, Anthem of the Seas.

As well as jaw-dropping facilities, this cruise will also enable you to visit Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day. I can’t wait to visit Perfect Day, it is high on my wish list! Royal Caribbean just spent $250 million dollars transforming this paradise island in the Bahamas, with incredible facilities to suit all ages and tastes. Thrillseekers will love the massive waterpark, which has the tallest waterslide in North America, and a 1,600-foot-long zip-line course. They even have a massive helium balloon that goes 450 feet up in air, to capture the ultimate selfie.  This cruise sails from New Jersey and stops in Orlando and Nassau too, with just enough sea days to enjoy all that Anthem of the Seas has to offer.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

Price of €1869 includes a seven night cruise with deluxe drinks package, an upgrade to a balcony stateroom, a pre-cruise stay, return flights, transfers and baggage, departing the 28th of March. There are many different dates available, so if this date does not suit, talk to the team at Travelnet and they will find one to suit your requirements.

View offer here

 

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

The above Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises are just a sample of the all-inclusive cruises that Travelnet have available. Travelnet.ie  are part of the Barter Travel Group, who have been selling holidays and cruises for over 150 years in Ireland. Suffice to say they know their stuff! If the dates on their website don’t suit, or you have particular requirements, give the sales team a call on 01 5310402 or 021 4851700. Alternatively fill out the enquiry form online and they will get back with the best options to suit you.

 

This post was sponsored by Travelnet.ie but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

 
Travel

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas Will Cruise from Barcelona in 2020 After $165 Million Makeover!

Allure-of-the-Seas-compressor

The most awarded cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, is getting amplified and will cruise from Barcelona next summer! 

 

There has been a lot of publicity recently surrounding the world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, but did you know that Allure of the Seas is one of her sisters? Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas are all Oasis Class ships, which are the largest cruise ships in the world. Allure of the Seas will receive a $165 million makeover and will have many of the same jaw-dropping facilities as her sisters. The best part about this amazing news is that Allure is sailing from Barcelona from May 2020!

Why choose to cruise on Allure of the Seas?

Allure of the Seas is the most awarded ship in the world – and that is before getting a $165 million makeover! I love Oasis Class ships, not only are the facilities superb, but there is something to suit everyone onboard. There are seven different neighbourhoods, each with their own distinctive vibe. The Royal Promenade is full of shops, bars and restaurants and comes alive at night-time with a party atmosphere. The Boardwalk reminds me of a seaside pier and has a hand-painted carousel, and the pool / sports zone is as you can imagine, full of non-stop action.

allure of the seas 
One of my personal favourite neighbourhoods is Central Park. There are a staggering 12,000 trees and plants there, it really feels like you are in a park, rather than on a cruise ship. There are great restaurants and bars in Central Park, including Chops Grille, Royal Caribbean’s signature steak house, and 150 Central Park, an upscale restaurant with a tasting menu and wine pairings.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

There will be many new culinary additions to the amplified Allure of the Seas too. Giovanni’sSM Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar is bound to be a popular spot, I personally like the sound of the charcuterie station! The new Portside BBQ will offer American barbecue styles including brisket, pulled pork and home-style cornbread, or you can enjoy authentic Mexican fare at El Loco Fresh – suffice to say you will be spoilt for choice with the number of dining options onboard.

Allure of the Seas

What will the entertainment be like onboard Allure of the Seas?

My advice is dine early, because you won’t want to miss any of the world-class nightlife! Allure of the Seas boasts the most bars of any Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Let the robotic bartenders make you a cocktail in the Bionic Bar, before you watch the best cover bands in the Music Hall.

allure of the seas

The musical Mamma Mia is a must see, as are the Aqua shows in the open-air theatre. Watch acrobats walking tightropes, divers diving off 30-foot platforms and synchronised swimmers floating in the deepest pool at sea. The setting is remarkable with the backdrop of the ocean across the horizon. 

allure of the seas

If karaoke is more your style, you will love the brand new Spotlight Karaoke, and movie lovers can catch the latest blockbusters or watch international sporting events on the new outdoor screen.

What facilities will be onboard the amplified Allure of the Seas?

There is so much to do during the day too, in fact you might find it difficult to leave Allure of the Seas when you arrive into port! Enjoy thrill rides on the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, race down the Perfect Storm, Royal Caribbean’s trio of waterslides, or zipline across an open atrium, nine decks above the boardwalk, something I did on Harmony of the Seas.

Allure of the Seas

If you like to relax when you cruise, why not chill out at the reinvigorated adult-only solarium or visit their award-winning spa? Allure of the Seas’ pool deck will be reimagined and will have a wider variety of seating, with cabana-like ‘casitas’, daybeds, hammocks and swing seats.  

Allure of the Seas

As with all Royal Caribbean cruise ships, kids will be spoilt for choice too. There are kids clubs from 6 months to 17 years with dedicated teen-only hang-outs. Allure of the Seas will have its teen zones revamped to give teens some freedom in their own exclusive lounge and outdoor deck. Complete with a secret speakeasy-like entrance, gaming consoles, music and movies, this is sure to keep even moody teenagers happy. 

allure of the seas

The splashpark, Splashaway Bay is perfect for younger children, while teenagers will love the trio of water slides. You will also find a multi-purpose sports court, FlowRider surf simulator, rock-climbing wall, glow-in-the-dark laser tag and the Royal Escape Room – Apollo 18 Lunar Landing, where you have to solve the puzzle before time runs out – doesn’t this sound like an interesting challenge? See more reasons to choose Royal Caribbean for family cruises here.

Allure of the Seas

Where will Allure of the Seas cruise to in 2020?

Allure of the Seas’ seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises will sail from Barcelona and visit stunning cities in Spain, Italy and France. Stroll through the lavender fields in Provence, visit the chic city of Palma de Mallorca, explore the Italian cities of Florence and Rome, take a boat trip along the Amalfi Coast or visit the captivating isle of Capri. Many Royal Caribbean cruise deals have flights include in the cost, so there has never been a better time to visit these stunning destinations, onboard one of the world’s largest cruise ships, Allure of the Seas.  

  allure of the seas

Why choose Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean International is the world’s largest global cruise line and has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Royal Caribbean cruises to 260 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, and even has its own private island in The Bahamas: Perfect Day at CocoCay. Royal Caribbean has won numerous awards, too many to name them all, but in 2018 alone the cruise line won over 30 national and international awards including Best in Cruise, Best Cruise Line for Entertainment and Best Mainstream Cruise Company. 

Allure of the Seas

At the time of issue, Royal Caribbean is offering a seven-night Western Mediterranean cruise from €1065 per person including flights from Dublin.  Isn’t it about time you cruised with Royal Caribbean?
 
See more here

 

Want to know more about cruising with Royal Caribbean? Check out my reviews: 

My review of Independence of the Seas

My review of Harmony of the Seas

My review of Ovation of the Seas

10 reasons to choose Royal Caribbean for family cruises

 

This post was sponsored by Royal Caribbean International, but all views, as always are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

CruisesTravel Tips

Cruise Connection Cover – Travel Insurance for Cruise Holidays

marella dream

Booking a cruise holiday? Make sure you have cruise connection cover, the travel insurance for cruise holidays.  

 

Cruising is one of the travel industries hottest trends, with 18 new oceangoing cruise ships launched this year alone. It seems that cruise holidays are growing at a rate of knots – no pun intended! The way travellers book cruise holidays has changed too, so it is vital that we have the right travel insurance for cruise holidays.
 

 

 
Many cruisers don’t necessarily book a ‘cruise package’, with flights and transfers included. Cruise-only prices are advertised with all cruise lines, and savvy travellers think nothing of booking a weeks cruise around the Med, and then searching for flights to coincide with it. While there is nothing wrong with doing this per se, it is important that we realise that if you miss your flight due to adverse weather, strikes, or because of a flight delay, the cruise company, well to put it bluntly, won’t really care… Unfortunately they wont ask 5000 passengers to wait until you arrive at the embarkation point.  

travel insurance for cruise holidays
 

 

 
Ireland’s leading travel insurance provider, Multitrip.com, were quick to spot the growing cruise trend and the need for specific travel insurance for cruise holidays. They are now offering cruise connection cover as an add-on to all of their travel insurance policies.
 

 

 
The beauty of having cruise connection cover is this; if you have booked a cruise holiday but happen to miss your flight to the original cruise embarkation point, Multitrip.com will cover you for reasonable travel and accommodation expenses to meet your cruise’s next embarkation point. Similarly if your cruise fails to meet its intended disembarkation, you will be covered for any reasonable travel and accommodation expenses incurred to get you home.

travel insurance for cruise holidays
 

 

 
We all know that flights can be delayed at any time, but we are also in an unfortunate age of air-strikes, airline failures and adverse weather conditions, so having the right travel insurance for cruise holidays is vital.
 
It is also important to bear in mind that if you are booking a cruise holiday with a travel agency, they may be booking the cruise and flights separately, so it is important that you ask your travel agent to add cruise connection cover to your travel insurance policy.
 

 

 
At the time of issue, the add-on fee with Multitrip.com was just €12 to a single-trip travel insurance policy or €20 for a yearly policy. A small amount that could save you a fortune in the long run…
 

 
Book Here

 

For more details visit multitrip.com or see your local travel agent.

 

Like Travel Tips? See more here.

 

Other posts that may be of interest:

 

What does travel insurance cover?

Top tips for booking travel insurance

5 Reasons why we need travel insurance

 

 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

Travel

Luxury Caribbean Cruise & Stay Holidays, Flights, Accommodation & Cruise, From €1749!

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Take your pick from these luxury Caribbean cruise and stay holidays with flights, accommodation and a five-star Celebrity Cruise included.

 

I have teamed up with American Sky to bring you my top three Celebrity Caribbean cruise and stay holidays. I was fortunate enough to be on board one of Celebrity Cruises Solstice class ships, Celebrity Silhouette recently and I absolutely loved it! All of the holidays below include a seven night cruise on a Solstice class ship, either Celebrity Reflection or Celebrity Equinox. You can expect five star luxury with a wide choice of dining and entertainment on board. Interiors are bright and modern and they even have a real grass lawn! This gives a country club feel, I found it hard to believe that I was on a cruise ship.

But that’s not all…

As well as a fabulous seven day Caribbean cruise you can also choose to add on a few nights in Miami or the Florida Keys, or even both! I have also chosen a cruise holiday with a stay in Orlando, which should satisfy any thrill seekers. Check out my top three Caribbean cruise and stay holidays below and get planning your next cruise holiday!

 

 

3 Nights Miami, 7 Nights Western Caribbean Cruise: Flights, Accommodation & Cruise, €1749!

caribbean cruise and stay holidays

This is such amazing value, I am tempted to book it myself! Miami has been on my bucket list for a long time and this amazing offer includes a three night stay in Miami and a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Equinox. You will be staying at the highly rated Grand Beach Hotel, which is centrally located to explore the vibrant city of Miami. Shop till you drop, visit chic Little Havana or chill out on the beach right in front of your hotel. After three days in Miami you will board Celebrity Equinox for a Western Caribbean cruise. Visit the lively town of Key West, Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico, and then swim with sting rays in the Cayman Islands! You will also have two full days at sea to enjoy the facilities on this luxurious cruise ship.

View offer here

 

7 Nights Orlando &  7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Flights, Accommodation, Car hire & Cruise, €1829! 

caribbean cruise and stay holidays

Spend a week in the theme park capital of the world and enjoy the thrills of Disney World, Universal Studios and lots more. You will be staying at Westgate Palace which is right in the heart of Orlando, close to International Drive and all the theme parks. After a week of non stop action, drive to Miami and board Celebrity Reflection for a seven night Eastern Caribbean cruise. Your first stop will be Puerto Rico where you can visit the old town of San Juan or take a trip to the rainforest. You will also visit the small Caribbean islands of St. Maarten and St Kitts, where you can chill out on some of the Caribbean’s white sandy beaches, or go off the beaten track and zip line through the jungle. There are also three days at sea so you can enjoy all of the fantastic facilities that Celebrity Reflection has to offer.

View offer here 

 

3 Nights Miami, 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise, 4 Nights, Florida Keys: Flights, Accommodation, Car Hire & Cruise, €1899!

caribbean cruise and stay holidays

Start this holiday of a lifetime with three nights in the trendy Albion Hotel on South Beach, Miami. Explore this cool city or just chill out and people watch, it is that sort of place! You will then board the luxurious Celebrity Equinox for a seven day Eastern Caribbean cruise. Visit San Juan, St. Maarten and St. Kitts, where you can enjoy some of the Caribbean’s white sandy beaches, or seek adventure in their tropical rainforests. You will also have three full days at sea to enjoy this luxury cruise ship.

caribbean cruise and stay holidays

Your holiday doesn’t end there… When you disembark in Miami, you will pick up a hire car and drive to Key Largo, for a four night stay at the Ocean Pointe Suites. You can snorkel, go kayaking or chill out on the beach. Of course no trip to the Florida Keys would be complete without driving the ultimate road trip, from Key Largo to Key West, and with five days car rental included, you will have plenty of time!

View offer here 

 

I hope you enjoyed my top picks for Caribbean cruise and stay holidays and that this inspires you to book a Caribbean cruise. If you want to change the above itineraries, add on extra nights, or choose to combine with different city, contact American Sky, they will tailor make a cruise holiday to suit your requirements.

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by American Sky  but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Like cruises? Click here for the latest cruise reviews and the best cruise deals.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 
Travel

Jetline Cruise Launches in Ireland With All Inclusive Cruise and Stay Holidays from €1139

cruise

From the Mediterranean to Mexico, Alaska to Antartica, Jetline Cruise offers a wide range of exclusive cruise holidays, with all cruise companies, to destinations all over the world. 

 

Did you hear that Jetline Cruise have launched in Ireland? For cruise fans, this is a game changer! Forget about your run-of-the-mill seven day Med cruise – Jetline Cruise will include three nights in Lake Garda afterwards! Many of us want to get away for longer than seven days, or extend a seven-day cruise with a few days in a city or resort. Jetline Cruise have listened to their customers feedback and have customised a huge range of bespoke cruise holidays, that are unique to the Irish market. Not only do they offer exclusive cruise holidays, but their prices are incredible too!

jetline cruise

Jetline Cruise have also broken the boundaries in terms of destinations. They have a long standing relationship with all of the major cruise lines and offer cruise holidays all over the world, including Alaska, Asia, Antartica, Hawaii. They even offer cruises to the Galapagos Islands! Instead of booking a Caribbean cruise with a stay in Miami (they do that too by the way), why not combine a stay in Barbados with a cruise around the Grenadines and some of the smaller Caribbean islands, on a luxury tall ship?

It’s not all about far flung destinations, they also have a super all-inclusive cruise and stay in Majorca from €1139! These are just just a sample of the great holidays from Jetline Cruise, check out their website for lots more cruise deals from Ireland. I loved searching the Jetline Cruise website and I was delighted to be asked to choose three of my favourites, to give you a flavour of what Jetline Cruise can offer.

 

Jetline Cruise

 

Lake Garda & Royal Caribbean Cruise from €1339 Including Flights, 4* Hotels & Transfers

Not only is this my favourite Mediterranean cruise itinerary, but you also get to spend time in Lake Garda and Venice too! Jetline Cruise really knew what they were doing when they combined Royal Caribbean’s Greek Isles and Croatia cruise, with such great Italian cities. I have holidayed in Lake Garda twice and loved it and this super deal includes a three night stay there, which is just enough time to catch the highlights. You will then travel by 1st class rail to Venice, where you will spend the night, before starting your cruise the following day.

jetline cruise

Visit the Croatian cities of Split and Dubrovnik before cruising to the bucket list island of Santorini and to the mainland port of Katakolon, before returning to Venice for your flight home. The cruise itinerary will vary depending on the date you choose, Montenegro, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos and Kefalonia are also possible cruise stops. When you click on the link below, simply scroll down to select the date and itinerary that suits you.

jetline cruise

No matter which cruise itinerary you choose, you will enjoy a fabulous week on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. Rhapsody of the Seas boasts contemporary styling and floor to ceiling windows, that ensure stunning ocean views. There are numerous restaurants on board including their famous steak-house, Chops Grille, Japanese at Izumi and fine dining at Chef’s table. With superb broadway shows, the ShipShape Spa, a choice of swimming pools and eight bars – you may not want to leave!

jetline cruise rhapsody of the seas

Prices start at €1339 which includes flights, transfers, hotel & cruise, departing in October. However Jetline Cruise have secured deals throughout the 2019 and 2020 season. Simply click on the link below and scroll down to find the date that suits you.

 

View Offer Here

 

Tokyo, Mount Fuji Bullet Train & Japan Cruise from €1849 Including Flights, 4* Hotel & Transfers

Japan is so on trend at the moment, the number of visitors to Japan has actually doubled in the last few years. Instagram is full of images of a white tipped Mount Fuji and of blooming Cherry Blossoms and let’s not forget that Japan is hosting the rugby world cup this year. Japan is the country that everyone is talking about and this amazing deal from Jetline Cruise allows you to see all the highlights, without the expensive price tag. The price includes flights, transfers, a three night stay in Tokyo with breakfast, a ride on the rapid Bullet Train, a full day Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi tour and an eight night cruise on Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess. You will visit Okinawa, Ishigaki and Taipei before returning to Tokyo for your overnight flight back to Dublin.

jetline cruise japan

The Diamond Princess has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment and now offers a ‘ Movies under the Stars’ giant screen, a luxury spa and fitness centre as well as a host of entertainment options. If Japanese food is not your thing, don’t worry, Princess Cruises offers a wide selection of dining options including the popular Sabatini’s Italian restaurant which serves up delicious home made pasta dishes.

jetline cruise princess cruises

 

Prices start at €1849 which includes flights, transfers, hotel & cruise, departing in November. However Jetline Cruise have secured deals throughout the 2019 and 2020 season. Simply click on the link below and scroll down to find the date that suits you.

 

New York Stay with Cunard Queen Mary 2 Cruise from €1269 Including Flights, 4* Hotel & Transfers

Imagine cruising into to New York city on the iconic Queen Mary 2! Audrey Hepburn and Clarke Gable have cruised on this luxury liner and now you can too! It is incredible to think that you can cruise on this opulent ship and enjoy a three night stay in New York for only €1269, this has to be one of Jetline Cruises’ best cruise deals! 

jetline cruise to New York

Cunard’s flagship cruise-liner, the Queen Mary 2, was remastered in 2016, with a staggering £90 million makeover. She has all the glitz and glamour associated with traditional cruising, but now has contemporary styling too. Expect fine dining, the best wine cellar at sea, exceptional service and sophisticated shopping.

There are five main dining options on board, all included in the cost of your cruise, as well as two speciality restaurants which incur a charge. Of course no Cunard cruise would be complete without their signature afternoon tea, which incidentally is included in the price of your cruise.

Entertainment is what you would expect from Cunard – world class. From West-End style shows in the grand Royal Court Theatre to string quartets in intimate bars, the choice is yours. The Queen Mary 2 has a full-scale planetarium, famous speakers giving informative presentations, the largest library at sea and a luxury spa. This really is cruising at another level.

jetline cruise to new york

You can choose to cruise from Southampton to New York and fly home direct to Dublin or vice versa. Both have their advantages! Arriving into New York by cruise ship is incredible experience, however if you choose to cruise on the return you won’t have to endure a tiresome over night flight. Both options include a direct flights to or from New York and flights to and from Southampton, a three night stay in a four-star hotel, entrance tickets to the Empire State Building and airport transfers.

 

View Offer Here

 

Although relatively new in Ireland, Jetline Cruise is a multi award winning independent cruise operator, which has been selling cruises for 18 years to 250,000 customers. Their specialist cruise team will be able to advise you of the best cruise to suit your requirements and their product team have created unique cruise holidays, that you won’t find elsewhere! You also have the peace of mind of knowing that Jetline Cruise are licensed and bonded in Ireland, so your booking  is 100% financially protected.  

 

 Visit Jetlinecruise.ie for more details

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Jetline Cruise but all views, as always, are my own.

 
Travel

Does Norwegian Cruise Line Offer The Best All Inclusive At Sea?

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From Barcelona to the Bahamas, with premium drinks, tips and gratuities included, Norwegian Cruise Line offers some of the best all inclusive cruises on the market.

 

I am a big fan of cruises and I have been fortunate to be on board many cruise ships. The question I am asked the most is ‘what is the best cruise ship? A question that is impossible to answer! Some cruises are more suited to adults, others for families, and with itineraries varying greatly from Alaska to South East Asia, it is important to match the right cruise with each person. However, when it comes to all-inclusive cruises, there is one that springs to mind above all others, Norwegian Cruise Line.

all inclusive cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line have been cruising for over 50 years, have 16 ships and have been voted Europe’s leading cruise line eleven years in a row! They have also won North America’s Leading Cruise Line and Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line for the third and sixth consecutive year respectively, making them the most awarded cruise line at the 2018 World Travel Awards. When they decided to change to all inclusive cruises, it was a real game changer in the cruise industry.

I have teamed up with Travelnet.ie who are agents for Norwegian Cruise Line and who have been selling holidays and cruises for over 150 years in Ireland. Suffice to say they know their stuff and will know how to choose the right cruise for you. Find out below why I think Norwegian Cruise Line offer some of the best all inclusive cruises on the market.

all inclusive cruises

ALL of Norwegian’s cruises are premium all-inclusive.

No matter which cruise ship or itinerary you choose, all meals and premium drinks are included in the price of your cruise. Imagine not having to think about money at all. Ordering branded spirits, cocktails, even speciality coffees without having to pay anything extra – even tips are included! So you can order drinks as many times as you like, any time of day, in all bars, all lounges and dining areas! You don’t have to wear a wrist band showing what drinks package you have paid for. The bar staff don’t have to check if you have the basic or premium drinks package – all cruises are sold on a premium all-inclusive basis. They even throw in 60 minutes of free WiFi per person, so you can instagram your pina colada to your hearts content!

all inclusive cruises

Norwegian offers ‘Free Style’ cruising:

It is not only the premium drinks that separate Norwegian Cruise Line from it’s competitors. Norwegian’s ‘free style cruising’ means you can leave your dinner jackets and cocktail dresses at home! Everything on board is relaxed and you can dine whenever and wherever you like. If you want to dress up and enjoy a four-course meal in the main dining room – you can. If you fancy casual dress with pizza and beer, that’s cool too! You don’t have to sit with strangers or dine at 8pm, there are dining options available 24/7. Norwegian Cruise Line also offer speciality restaurants including steakhouses, Italian restaurants and Asian offerings, featuring Teppanyaki and sushi cuisine. Note à la carte pricing applies.

all inclusive cruises

The facilities on board are superb.

Norwegian Cruises are famous for their superb facilities on board including thrilling aquaparks and Mandara spas. However their new innovative experiences are unprecedented. Norwegian Bliss has a multi-level go-kart track and open-air laser tag arena on board. Its 200,000-square-foot observation lounge offers the most expansive views at sea – perfect for seaviews and cocktails🍸. Complete with a full-service bar, (and remember all drinks are included in the price of your cruise), you may not want to leave! As well as a host of children’s clubs and activities available, parents will be happy to hear they can have a a ‘Date Night’ where kids are supervised and dropped back to their cabin before 1am.

all inclusive cruises

Enjoy award winning entertainment

From Broadway musicals to acrobatic shows, live music to comedy shows – Norwegian Cruise line know how to entertain. Favourites such as the acrobatic Cirque Dreams and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, as well as five-time Tony® Award-nominated musical, Rock of Ages, ensure memorable nights on board. Music lovers will enjoy ‘Legends in Concert’, the longest-running tribute show in entertainment history, with performances from tribute artists such as Adele, Tina Turner and Michael Jackson. If you don’t fancy taking in a show there are plenty of other bars to choose from. Enjoy a cocktail at the Ice Bar or play a game of pool at the pub – the choice is yours!

all inclusive cruises

Travelnet.ie have lots of special offers on all inclusive cruises with Norwegian which you can see here. If the dates on their website don’t suit, or you have particular requirements, call their dedicated sales team on 01 5310402 or 021 4851700. Alternatively fill out the enquiry form online and they will get back with the best options to suit you.

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Note not all facilities and activities mentioned are on all 16 ships. Ask your Travelnet cruise consultant for more details on specific offerings. This post was sponsored by Travelnet.ie but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

 

 

 

Travel

Premium All Inclusive Cruise & Stay Holidays To Alaska, Caribbean & Mexico on Norwegian Bliss

NCL Bliss Ketchikan, Alaska 2018

I have three of the best premium All Inclusive cruise and stay holidays in Alaska, Caribbean & Mexico below! These amazing cruise deals come with flights and hotels included, all meals and drinks on the cruise and a free upgrade to an oceanview stateroom!

 

Did you know that Norwegian Cruise Line have been cruising for over 50 years and have been voted Europe’s leading cruise line for the tenth year in a row! What I love about Norwegian’s cruises is that they are premium all-inclusive. And I don’t just mean local beers and cheap spirits. I mean premium branded drinks, as many as you like, any time of day, in all bars, lounges and dining areas – with tips included! Norwegian’s ‘free style cruising’ means everything on board is relaxed, with flexible dining and casual dress – you can leave your cocktail dresses and dinner jackets at home!

all inclusive cruise and stay holidays

Norwegian have really ‘pushed the boat out’ with their newest ship – Norwegian Bliss. This ship has been custom-built to cruise the Caribbean and Alaska and offers jaw-dropping views from it’s revolutionary Observation Lounge. Located at the front of the ship, this offers the same views seen from the bridge and has the most expansive views at sea. Complete with a full service bar, remember all drinks are included in the price of your cruise, you may not want to leave! There are eighteen different dining options including exclusive speciality dining restaurants. The Waterfront is the place to go with thirteen restaurants and bars to choose from, many offering alfresco seating  – how cool is that? Texas Smokehouse – Q is new to Bliss and the first full-service Starbucks at sea, is here too.

all inclusive cruise and stay holidays

The award-winning entertainment on board includes Broadway musical, Jersey Boys and the facilities on board are incredible. Ride at speeds of 30mph on their two-deck Go-kart track, race your mates on high speed water slides or test your stealth skills in laser tag. If this all sounds like hard work – try the Mandara Spa. There are over 50 speciality treatments available as well as a Thermal Suite, Salt Room and Vitality Pool. If I still haven’t convinced you, check out this video!

I have teamed up with American Sky to bring you three of their top all inclusive cruise and stay holidays on Norwegian Bliss. These luxury cruise holidays bring you to exotic locations without the expensive price tags – remember all drinks and meals are included in the price! They also have an exclusive offer whereby if you book any Norwegian cruise before the 30th of September you will receive an upgrade to an oceanview stateroom! So if these dates or destinations don’t suit you, please contact one of American Sky’s dedicated cruise team and they will tailor make a trip to suit you.

Vancouver, Seattle & Alaska Cruise
11 nights from €2,799 per person including flights

all inclusive cruise and stay holidays

Alaska, a place most of us only ever dreamed of visiting, has suddenly become more affordable. This eleven-night holiday includes two-night, pre-cruise stays in the modern cities of Vancouver and Seattle. This is followed by a seven-night, all-inclusive, Alaskan cruise on Norwegian Bliss. Witness some of the world’s most dramatic scenery as well as some stunning wildlife as you cruise into the wilderness of Ketchickan. Visit the Juneau Icefields, go kayaking or dogsledding or spend the afternoon marveling at Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you stop in Skagway you can enjoy a ride on the White Pass Scenic Railway or enjoy the Glacier Point Wilderness safari. Your last stop is Victoria, the vibrant capital of British Columbia where you can visit the stunning Butchart Gardens or simply enjoy a stroll around Bastion Square.

Price of €2799 includes flights, four nights hotel accommodation, Amtrak train from Vancouver to Seattle, premium all-inclusive seven-night cruise in an oceanview stateroom with all meals, drinks and tips included.

Click here for more details:

 

 

 Direct flights to Miami & Eastern Caribbean Cruise
10 days from €1,809 per person including flights

all inclusive cruise and stay holidays

Another winning combination! Enjoy a three-night stay in Miami before cruising the Caribbean on a seven-night, premium all-inclusive cruise. You will be staying on the world-famous South Beach – a perfect spot for people watching! Stroll around the historic streets in Little Havana, admire the art-deco architecture and dance to the small hours in some of Miami’s vibrant nightclubs. After an action packed three days, what better than a Caribbean cruise? Visit the duty-free island of St Thomas and shop till you drop, chill out on the white-sandy beaches of Tortola or swim with their resident turtles. When you stop in the Bahamas make sure to visit Atlantis, the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, for a day filled with fun and adventure.

Price of €1809 includes direct flights to Miami with Aer Lingus, a three night stay at the Albion South Beach hotel and a premium all-inclusive seven-night cruise, in an oceanview stateroom with all meals, drinks and tips included.

Click here for more details:

 

Los Angeles & Mexican Riviera Cruise
10 nights from €2069 per person including flights

all inclusive cruise and stay holidays

Combine a three night stay in Los Angeles with a seven-night luxury all-inclusive cruise to Mexico. Go in search of the movie stars homes and mingle with the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios or explore some of LA’s trendy beaches. Follow this with a cruise along the Mexican Riviera. You will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas where you can sip margaritas and enjoy some authentic Mexican cuisine along Mexico’s stunning coastline.

Price of €2069 includes flights to LA with Aer Lingus, a three night stay at the Kimpton Everly Hotel and a premium all-inclusive seven-night cruise in an oceanview stateroom, with all meals, drinks and tips included.

Click here for more details:

 

Note all of the above cruises are just a sample of the many cruises that American Sky offer with Norwegian Cruise Line and other cruise lines. If the above dates or itineraries don’t suit you, contact one of their expert cruise staff and they will find a suitable cruise for you. This post was sponsored by American Sky, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Interested in cruising, for cruise news, reviews and the best cruise deals, click here.

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

 
Travel

Early Booking Caribbean Cruise Deal, May 2019, Direct Flights, 2 Nights Miami & 7 Night Cruise in Balcony Cabin, €1499!

MSC_seaside

With over-night stays in Miami before and after your cruise, a FREE upgrade to a balcony stateroom and the advantage of direct Aer Lingus flights, this early booking Caribbean cruise deal is one of the best I have seen!

 

I have teamed up with Sunway Holidays who are agents for all cruise lines and have many exclusive offers, unavailable elsewhere. Their cruise experts have experienced many cruise ships first hand. They will be able to answer any queries you have, and recommend the right ship and cabin choice, to suit your requirements. Whether you seek a family cruise in the Mediterranean, a romantic cruise around the Caribbean, or a cruise and stay holiday in Alaska, Sunway have a cruise to suit everyone.

Caribbean cruise deal

This Caribbean cruise deal includes a seven-night cruise on MSC Seaside, a new, state-of-the-art cruise ship that was designed to ‘follow the sun’. MSC Seaside has more outdoor space than any other cruise ship in the world – perfect for those Caribbean sea views!  I was on it’s sister ship MSC Seaview this year and loved it. It is modern, elegant and sophisticated, with a host of different dining and entertainment options. It reminded me of a super yacht rather than a cruise ship and the Sunset pool at the back of the ship even has a South Beach Miami feel. You can read my full review of MSC Seaview here.

Caribbean cruise deal

Your cruise holiday begins with direct Aer Lingus flights to Miami, where you will spend a night before and after your cruise. Socialise, shop and swim on South Beach and discover a taste of Cuba in Little Havana – there is so much to do in Miami you will be spoilt for choice! After you set sail, your first stop is Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, where you will enjoy an over-night stay. Stroll through the historic old town, explore the tropical rainforest or simply relax on one of it’s stunning Caribbean beaches. Your next stop is the Caribbean island of St Thomas, where you can enjoy snorkelling with it’s resident turtles.

caribbean cruise deal

Day five brings you to St Maarten where you simply have to visit Maho beach! Made famous for it’s airplane landings, Instagrammers will be in heaven! You will then enjoy a day at sea before arriving in the Bahamas for your last stop. Visit Atlantis, the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, home to Aquaventure, a 141-acre water park! Swim with dolphins, chill out on the beach, the choice is yours. Your holiday ends with a return Miami for an over-night stay, before flying home directly to Dublin the following day.

Caribbean cruise deal

The facilities on board MSC Seaside are superb. There is non-stop entertainment day and night, a choice of 20 different bars and lounges, 9 eateries, a state-of-the-art spa and gym, as well as one of the largest and most interactive aquaparks at sea. You will also have the pleasure of admiring the Caribbean’s stunning seaviews from your own private balcony stateroom – which is included in this amazing offer! While this Caribbean cruise itinerary is no doubt one of the best, you may struggle to leave this amazing ship…

Fly from Dublin to Miami on the 9th of May and enjoy this amazing nine-night holiday for only €1499! This includes direct Aer Lingus flights to Miami, over-night stays in Miami, pre and post cruise, a seven-night cruise on a full board basis, with an upgrade to a balcony stateroom! Still need convincing? The deposit is only €250 to secure a booking….

Call one of Sunway’s expert cruise team on 01 2311868 or click here for more details:

 

Note this is just one of the many cruises that Sunway offer. If the above date or itinerary doesn’t suit you, contact one of their expert cruise staff and they will find a suitable cruise for you. This post was sponsored by Sunway, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Interested in cruising, for cruise news, reviews and the best cruise deals, click here.

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

Travel

Last Minute Holiday Deals – As Discussed on Newstalk FM, 7th June 2018

Last minute deals

Still searching for a last minute holiday deals? Check out my top tips for finding the best value holiday deals that I discussed with Ivan Yates on Newstalk FM.

 

As the peak holiday season approaches there is still time to secure a last minute holiday deal. Good news for holidaymakers is that capacity has increased greatly. Dublin airport has a staggering 14 new routes this Summer with 1.7 million extra seats added across it’s network. Everyone is talking about the new routes to China, Hong Kong and to the US but one million of those extra seats are to Europe. New destinations like Cyprus, Morocco and Turkey could prove to be great value for last minute sun holiday bookings. However don’t forget about package holiday deals….

Tour Operators like TUI and Sunway have paid in advance for flights and hotels so if they have availability left, they will have to sell them off cheaply. They also sell flight only so if you don’t want to book their accommodation, you still may get a good deal on return flights. Sometimes they include checked baggage too. A good travel agent will be able to tell you instantly what is available with Tour Operators, so make a quick phone call before trying to book everything independently.

The Travel Expert and Sunway Giveaway

European Special Offers:

June in particular is a great time to travel so if you can get away this weekend or next, you are in for a treat. One week holidays to Lanzarote and the Algarve are only €299, Majorca is €349 and Sardinia is €469. They are all departing this weekend for seven nights including flights, accommodation and checked baggage with Sunway. TUI have flight only deals from €129 return to Majorca on the 6th and 13th of July. You could combine these with an Airbnb or apartment, however note that accommodation is limited in the most popular resorts.

last minute deals

July and August is more expensive but there are still some great deals to be found.  Love Holidays is offering a seven night stay on the Lisbon Coast for €525 on the 25h of July. Price includes flights and a seven night stay in the Alvorada hotel, Estoril.

Click here for more details

If you are looking for a cheap deal you can fly to Turkey for €300 including flights and accommodation in the Ponz Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, for seven nights, departing the 28th of August.

Click here for more details

TUI has just launched a September sale with up to €200 off selected holidays to Spain, Portugal and Greece. I particularly like their Greek offers. They have a package deal staying in the Stella Hotel, Rhodes for €473 departing the 12th of September and the Katarina Palace in Zakynthos from €471 on the 18th of September.

Click here for more details

last minute deals

Family deals:

Salou is one of the most popular destinations for families due to the short flights and proximity to Europe’s largest theme park, PortAventura. TUI have a good deal departing the 14th of August, staying in the Villa Romana Hotel. This is one of Salou’s most highly rated hotels ( no 2 on tripadvisor). Price for flights, hotel with breakfast and evening meal included is €2414 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

Click here for more details

Attraction Tickets Direct are offering 20% off selected tickets to Port Aventura. The 3 day, 3 park ticket to Port Aventura, Caribe Waterpark and FerrariLand is now only €68 adults and €56 per child = €248 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children.

Click here for more details

last minute deals

If you are looking for something a bit more low key, Donabate Travel has a great offer to Corfu on the 3rd of August. Price for flights and a seven night stay in the family owned Loulas Village apartments is only €1659 including transfers and checked baggage, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

Click here for more details

 

Long haul holiday deals

There is also great value in long haul travel and many travel agents and tour operators have been given preferential rates with long haul carriers. You may find that it is cheaper to book a package deal than book a flight and hotel separately. Sunway have a special offer of three nights in Dubai departing the 6th of September for €525 per person sharing. This includes return flights to Dubai and three nights accommodation in the Arabian Park Hotel. It is only a 3* hotel but it gets great reviews on tripadvisor and they even offer free airport transfers and a free shuttle bus to the beach. To book a flight only to Dubai is €533 at the same time.

Click here for more details

last minute deals

Tropical Sky have a week in the five star Centara Grand Beach Resort in Krabi, Thailand from €1,159 in September and €1,299 in August. This is an amazing hotel, on a paradise island, only accessible by speed boat. Flights alone would be close to €1000 on their own, if booking direct with an airline.

Click here for more details

last minute deals

TUI have direct flights to Cancun Mexico for two weeks in June and July. If you can get away on the 18th of June, the price for flights and a two week all-inclusive stay in the 4* Riu Dunamar Hotel is only €1234. This includes all meals, drinks, transfers and checked baggage too. You also get a free upgrade to extra leg room and extra space seats! Prices on the 9th of July for 2 weeks start at €1422 for a junior suite in the 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, also on an all-inclusive basis. If you would prefer to do your own thing, you can take a flight only for two weeks to Cancun from €299 on the 18th of June or €529 in July.

Click here for more details

last minute deals

Cruise Deals:

Marella Cruises is offering a seven-night cruise on Marella Dream from €969 on the 17th of July. Price includes flights from Dublin and cruise with all entertainment and meals included.

Itinerary: Palma, Seville, Portimao (Algarve), Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Palma

Click here for more details

last minute deals

Princess Cruises have a Med cruise offer on Crown Princess, staying in a balcony stateroom for only €1299 on the 4th of August. Price includes flights from Dublin and a seven-night cruise with all entertainment and meals included.

Itinerary: Barcelona – Gibraltar – Marseille – Genoa- Florence – Rome

Click here for more details

 

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world and you could be on it from €1499, departing the 26th of August. Price includes flights from Dublin and a seven night Med cruise with all entertainment, meals and drinks included.

Itinerary: Barcelona – Palma De Mallorca – Provence – Florence – Rome – Naples –  Barcelona

Click here for more details

last minute deals

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

Travel

3 Nights In Hong Kong & Dubai With A 5 Night Asia Cruise, 2nd May, €1539!

Ovation of the Seas

This eleven night holiday is a trip of a life time! Enjoy a five night Asia cruise on one of Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise ships, Ovation of the Seas with three night stays in Hong Kong and Dubai –  in one magical holiday!

 

Three nights in Hong Kong is just what you need to enjoy all the highlights! Ride the cable car, take a dragon boat ride, do some duty free shopping (there is no sales tax in Hong Kong), and enjoy one of the best night skylines in the world. Enjoy an action packed three days before boarding the luxurious Ovation of the Seas for five nights. You can enjoy the ocean views from your balcony stateroom before making your first stop in Vietnam.

asia cruise

Your Asia cruise includes two stops in Vietnam, Hue (Da Nang) and Nha Trang. Discover the famous ‘China Beach’ where American soldiers relaxed during the Vietnam war, or visit the Forbidden Purple City in Hue. Snorkel in the turquoise waters of Nha Trang amidst it’s tropical islands. Vietnam is renowned for it’s delicious food, why not try a street food tour in Da Nang or enjoy some of the best sea food in Nha Trang.

asia cruise

Although you are visiting exotic locations, you will also have plenty of time to enjoy all the facilities that Ovation of the Seas has to offer. I had the pleasure of being on board last year and I loved it. It is longer than three football pitches and taller than the Sydney Harbour bridge! Thrill seekers will love the circus school, surfing and sky diving, and if you just want to have some fun, try the roller skating or bumper cars. Let the robots pour you a drink in the bionic bar before sampling some of the top class entertainment on board. There are seventeen restaurants to choose from, including the popular Jamie’s Italian and fine dining options. For more information on Ovation of the Seas you can read my blog here.

asia cruise

Your trip doesn’t end there. After your five night Asia cruise you will then fly to Dubai for a three night stay in one of the World’s most impressive cities. Shop in the world’s largest shopping mall or haggle to your heart’s content in the famous souks. Visit the world’s tallest building or enjoy a desert safari, anything is possible in Dubai!  If all of this sounds like hard work, just relax and chill out on some of the Dubai’s magnificent beaches!

asia cruise

Whats included:

  • Flights from Dublin to Hong Kong
  • 3 Night stay in Hong Kong
  • 5 Night cruise on Ovation of the Seas in a balcony stateroom, with meals and entertainment included.
  • Flight from Hong Kong to Dubai
  • 3 Night stay in Dubai
  • Flight from Dubai to Dublin
  • All taxes & fees.

This offer is exclusive to Sunway and won’t be around for long so call their dedicated sales team on 01-2311868 or

Click here for more details.

 

This post was sponsored by Sunway, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

 

Like cruises? See my cruise reviews and more cruise deals here.

Uncategorized

Flights & Royal Caribbean Cruise from Barcelona to Venice, 13th May, 1 week, €1399!

Rhapsody of the Seas_opt

Enjoy a Royal Caribbean cruise from Barcelona to Venice on Rhapsody of the Seas, for only €1399 this summer!

Rhapsody of the Seas has just undergone a massive $30 million makeover and can now boast contemporary styling, smart technology and an even outdoor movie screen! It his bright and airy, with floor to ceiling windows, glass canopies and skylights, all ensuring a fantastic ocean views.  If you are feeling energetic, try the running track, rock climbing wall or fitness centre.  For those who want to relax, take some time out at the whirlpool, spa, or take in one of their renowned world class shows. If travelling with kids, the Adventure Ocean programme is sure to keep them happy. There are numerous restaurants on board including three new speciality restaurants, their famous steak-house, Chops Grille, the oriental Izumi and fine dining at Chef’s table.

Royal Caribbean Cruise from Barcelona to Venice
You will fly to Barcelona on the 13th of May and cruise the Med for seven days on this stylish cruise ship. Visit the South of France, Rome, Naples and Sicily before arriving at your final destination, Venice. Price includes a seven day cruise on a full board basis with on board entertainment, flights, transfers and checked baggage. If you want to add on for a few nights in Venice or Barcelona, just call the cruise specialists in ClickandGo on 01-5397713. They are open seven days a week and will be able to help you with any queries.

 

Click here for more details:

 

Interested in cruising, for cruise news, reviews and the best cruise deals, click here.

 

 

Sarah
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In The Media

Travel Hot Spots for 2017 – As Seen on TV3’s Saturday AM

TV3-Cover-SatAM

Spain, Portugal and Croatia are looking like the top short haul destinations this year while America and Asia lead the way in long haul travel. Check out my travel hot spots for 2017 as seen on TV3’s Saturday AM.

  

European holiday destinations 

Sunway

Spain and Portugal will remain the most popular short haul holiday destinations in 2017. 1.8 million Irish holiday makers went to Spain in 2016 and this year should attract similar numbers. The Costa Dorada could be the big winner. There are flights from Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock serving Reus, Girona or Barcelona. Sunway and Falcon Holidays both offer package deals to Salou and Cambrils. The combination of the iconic city of Barcelona and the opening of Ferrari World at the already popular Port Aventura theme park, make it an ideal choice for all the family.

Travel hot spots for 2017

The Algarve has almost fifty flights per week from Irish airports, in the peak Summer months. Aer Lingus have added a new service to Porto, and Lisbon is already a popular city break destination. Sunway have introduced a direct flight to Sardinia in Italy, a welcome return for those looking for nice beaches in Italy. Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Aegean air are all flying to Athens so this should help those looking to travel to the bucket list destinations of Santorini and Mykonos.

Croatia may prove to be the hot spot for people looking to go somewhere different but want to be close to home. Aer Lingus have introduced flights to Split and they also fly to Pula and Dubrovnik, while Ryanair fly to Zadar. I was in Pula last year and loved it, you can read all about my stay here.

Fly from Dublin to Pula with Aer Lingus on the 23rd of May and enjoy a seven night stay in the popular Splendid Hotel for only €349 per person, including airport transfers. Situated right at the waters edge, this is a great choice for a relaxing break and is within easy reach of the city of Pula. Use my exclusive code TRAVELEXP10 to save 10% off the hotel cost.

Click here for more details.

Travel hot spots for 2017
Amphitheatre in Pula

City Breaks

WOW air have increased flights from Dublin to Reykjavik and added on a service from Cork. It looks like Iceland will remain popular in 2017 for weekend breaks and as a holiday destination. KLM are now flying four times a day to Amsterdam as well as Aer Lingus and Ryanair so this could prove another cheap city break option.

Porto for me will be the big winner. When Aer Lingus announced they were flying to Porto, Ryanair decided to increase their flights. We now have 8 flights a week to the small city of Porto – it could prove to be this years top city break destination. It is one of Europe’s oldest cities and almost feels medieval. It is also a good choice for food lovers. You will find some excellent restaurants serving traditional Portuguese food and wine, at a fraction of the cost you would pay at home.

I found a great deal to the 4* Cristal Porto hotel in May, highly recommended on tripadvisor, this modern hotel ticks all boxes. Fly from Dublin on the 11th of May and enjoy a three night stay here for only €237 per person.

Click here to book flights: €75pp:

Click here to book hotel: €162pp

Travel hot spots for 2017
Porto 

Cruises

Cruise Holiday

One of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry, cruise holidays should have another bumper year. The competition has never been greater. Most major cruise lines have dedicated Irish websites now and many travel agents and tour operators have dedicated cruise departments. Free all inclusive drinks packages, half price kids offers and even free flights, will I am sure, entice Irish holidaymakers to cruise in 2017. New destinations like Cuba will make it easier for visitors to visit Havana without paying the increasing accommodation costs. River cruises are also proving popular for discerning clients. For those who don’t want to fly there are also cruises operating directly from Ireland in 2017.

travel hot spots for 2017
MSC Meraviglia

MSC’s Get more, Get All campaign offers free WiFi, free all-inclusive drinks package and €50 on board credit. This deal is also available on their brand new luxury ship, MSC Meraviglia. Fly from Dublin to Barcelona on the 8th of September and enjoy a seven night Med cruise, visiting Spain, France, Italy and Malta for only €1399. This price includes an upgrade to a balcony cabin, a FREE all-inclusive drinks package, FREE Wi-Fi and €50 on board credit.

Click here for more details:

 

Long Haul destinations

Flights to the States have grown to unprecedented levels. New routes to from Aer Lingus to Hartford and Miami and extra flights to Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago and New York, should translate into a bumper year for Irish tourists to the USA. The addition of low cost flights with Norwegian Air from Cork to Boston and New York, as well as WOW air flights via Iceland, should ensure lots of good deals for Irish holidaymakers.

travel hot spots for 2017
Miami

With two direct daily flights to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and now a new daily service to Doha with Qatar airlines, getting to Asia, Africa and Australia has never been easier. No lengthy lay overs in Heathrow and with so many flights, prices will be very competitive. Ethiopian airlines‘ Dreamliner aircraft made many news reports when they offered cheap direct flights from Dublin to Los Angeles this year. They have now added extra connections from their hub in Addis Ababa to South Africa. This means that flights from Dublin to Cape Town are easily accessible and hopefully well priced too.

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Sarah

 travel deals

Featured

Top Holiday Destinations in 2017

beach-628853_1280_opt

Dublin airport has just celebrated it’s best ever year in 2016 and there are lots of new routes announced from Dublin, Cork and Shannon. It seems Irish airports are set for another bumper year.  So where are the top holiday destinations in 2017?

It looks like firm favourites, Spain and Portugal will remain the most popular short haul holiday destinations. Every other month we are hearing about new routes to the USA so American holidays will probably be the next biggest crowd pleaser. Short break enthusiasts will welcome the 9 weekly flights to Iceland and if you haven’t visited Athens or Amsterdam yet, 2017 might well be the year to do it. Cruise holidays are gearing up for another year of growth and the 14 weekly flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as the new daily Qatar airways service from Dublin to Doha, ensures long haul holidays will be easily accessible. Here are my picks for holiday hot spots in 2017!

Spain

Ireland’s favourite holiday destination never disappoints. Culture vultures or party animals enjoy the numerous choices for city breaks and beach holidays. Why not combine both though? The Costa Dorada looks like it could be the big winner this year. There are flights from Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock serving Reus, Girona or Barcelona and Sunway and Falcon Holidays both offer package deals to Salou and Cambrils. The combination of the iconic city of Barcelona and the opening of Ferrari World at the already popular Port Aventura theme park, make it an ideal choice for all the family.

Top holiday destinations in 2017

Portugal

Another Irish favourite, the Algarve has almost fifty flights per week from Irish airports, in the peak Summer months. Aer Lingus have added a new service to Porto, and Lisbon is already a popular city break destination. It looks like lots Irish holiday makers will be flocking to Portugal in their droves in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Algarve

Italy

Lakes, mountains, cities and beaches, Italy has something to offer all holiday makers. Lake Garda is becoming more and more popular with families as there are numerous self catering and camping options. The Amalfi Coast is always a popular honeymoon destination and the islands will attract couples looking for an upmarket holiday. Sunway have introduced a direct flight to Sardinia for 2017 which should keep the beach enthusiasts happy, and the growing trend for authentic experiences will ensure that Irish numbers to the region of Puglia should continue to grow.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Sardinia

Greece

Always great value for money and appealing to the masses, the Greek islands should have many Irish visitors in 2017. There are direct flights to Zakynthos, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Kos with Falcon Holidays and flights to Athens with Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Aegean airlines. This should ensure Athens will be a popular city break destination but also allow easier access to the sought after islands of Santorini and Mykonos.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Santorini

USA

Flights to the States have grown to unprecedented levels. New routes to from Aer Lingus to Hartford and Miami and extra flights to Los Angeles, Orlando and New York, should translate into a bumper year for Irish tourists to the USA. The addition of low cost flights with Norwegian Air from Cork to Boston and New York, as well as WOW air flights via Iceland, should ensure lots of good deals for Irish holidaymakers. San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic ‘summer of love’ with a year of events and festivals in 2017. And would you believe Elvis is dead 40 years this year… sure makes me feel old! Why not pay tribute to the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ by visiting Memphis during ‘Elvis Week’, between 11th and 19th August. See American Sky for details.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Universal Studios

Mexico

Mexico is one of our most popular long haul destinations. Falcon Holidays are offering direct flights from Dublin for those looking for a two week holiday in the summer months. Many choose to fly via America and combine with a city break in New York or Vegas. I think Mexico will continue to be as popular with Irish holidaymakers in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Mexico

Iceland

WOW air introduced flights to Reykjavik in 2015 which proved to be a resounding success. People chased the Northern lights and swam in the Blue Lagoon, with lots of positive reviews. So much so that WOW have decided to increase flights from Dublin and add on a service from Cork. It looks like Iceland will remain popular in 2017 for weekend breaks and as a holiday destination.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Chase the Northern Lights in Iceland

Cruises

One of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry is set for another bumper year. The competition has never been greater. Most major cruise lines have dedicated Irish websites now and many travel agents and tour operators have dedicated cruise departments. Free all inclusive drinks packages, half price kids offers and even free flights, will I am sure, entice Irish holidaymakers to cruise in 2017. New destinations like Cuba will make it easier for visitors to visit Havana without paying the increasing accommodation costs. River cruises are also proving popular for discerning clients. For those who don’t want to fly there are even cruises operating directly from Ireland in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
American cruise lines are now docking in Cuba.

Croatia

For those looking for somewhere a little different but still close to home, Croatia will be a top choice. The stunning city of Dubrovnik has always been a favourite but now there are flights to Split and Pula with Aer Lingus, as well as Zadar with RyanairFalcon Holidays have also announced package holidays to Croatia and specialists Croatia Tours continue to offer a wide choice of package holidays to the region.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Dubrovnik

Middle East and beyond

With two direct daily flights to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and now a new daily service to Doha with Qatar airlines, getting to Asia, Africa and Australia has never been easier. No lengthy lay overs in Heathrow and prices should reduce too!

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Dubai

South Africa

Ethiopian airlines‘ Dreamliner aircraft made many news reports when they offered cheap direct flights from Dublin to Los Angeles this year. They have now added extra connections from their hub in Addis Ababa to South Africa. This means that flights from Dublin to Cape Town should be easily accessible and hopefully well priced too.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
South African safari

They are my thoughts on the top holiday destinations in 2017 but please comment below if you have any more to add 🙂

 

Sarah

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