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Transatlantic Luxury Cruise to New York And 3 Nights in Fitzpatricks Hotel, €1579!

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Scratch one off the bucket list and cruise to New York city on the iconic Queen Mary 2! Audrey Hepburn, Clarke Gable and even George Bush have all cruised on this luxury liner. Now you can too…

 

Cunard’s flagship cruise-liner the Queen Mary 2 has been remastered with a staggering £90 million makeover. She has all the glitz and glamour associated with luxury cruising but now with added contemporary styling. 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. Have a glass of Vueve Cliquot in their dedicated champagne bar or try Cunard’s signature Commodore Club. This bar majestically overlooks the bow of Queen Mary 2 and provides glorious panoramic views as you sail towards the horizon. 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.

Enjoy this luxury cruise to New York from Southampton on the 5th of December with a three night post cruise stay at Fitzpatricks Grand Central Hotel, before flying back to Dublin on a direct Aer Lingus flight. The Christmas lights will be turned on and it’s the perfect time to do some Christmas shopping.

cruise to new york

Price of €1579 includes seven night cruise, all meals, three night hotel stay and the New York – Dublin flight with checked baggage. Flight from Dublin to Southhampton is extra but at the time of publication the fare was only €60.  Other dates are also available so if these dates don’t suit contact the cruise sales team 01- 2311868 and they will be able to assist you.

Click here for more details:

 

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

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Silversea All Inclusive Luxury Cruise, 11th November, 4 Nights, €1395!

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24 butler service, breakfast in bed, or dinner on your balcony. When it comes to luxury cruising, no one does it better than Silversea.

 

There are only a small number of six star cruises, or hotels for that matter, but Silversea hold that coveted prize. Their intimate cruise ships carry only 300 – 540 guests, a refreshing change from the many cruise liners that are constantly competing to have the largest ships at sea. While this may sound exclusive and beyond your budget, some of their prices are surprisingly good value when you consider the service you receive. Almost everything is included in the price, even in-suite dining, you could easily cruise on Silversea without putting your hand in your pocket. This incredible offer from Sunway will allow you to do just that.

silversea all inclusive luxury cruise

You will experience a taste of luxury cruising over four nights, with flights, baggage, transfers, gratuities and all meals and drinks included in the price. Sip champagne and wave goodbye to the eternal city of Rome, from your veranda suite, before cruising the Mediterranean for four days. Get up close and personal in each port, Silversea cruise ships can dock right in the heart of each city. Experience the glitz and glamour of Monaco, the lavender fields of Provence and the rolling hills of Tuscany, before cruising back to Rome.

silversea all inclusive luxury cruise

This taster cruise is on board Silver Spirit which is Silversea’s largest cruise ship, carrying 540 guests. Enjoy fresh sushi at the Asian fusion Seishin restaurant or authentic Italian cuisine at the à la carte La Terrazza. Chefs mix buffalo mozzarella from Naples, olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Umbria, with fresh pasta that is made daily on board. For more casual dining try the pool bar and grill, or the popular Stars Supper Club where you can enjoy some cocktails and live music afterwards. For an extra special evening try the six course tasting menu at Relais & Châteaux’s La Champange restaurant, where each course is paired with fine wines. Supplement of $40 applies.

silversea all inclusive luxury cruise

Although a relatively small cruise ship, you can still expect luxurious spa treatments in the 8,300 square-foot spa, which was voted best spa at sea by Condé Nast Traveler. There is also a heated pool, fitness centre and beauty salon. There are plenty of entertainment options including full scale production shows from their Show Lounge, sundowners at the Panorama Lounge and a selection of games at the casino. Shoppers will enjoy the designer boutiques on board including Gucci, Bvlgari and Swarovski.

silversea all inclusive luxury cruise

Fly from Dublin to Rome on the 11th of November and enjoy a four night all-inclusive cruise from €1395 per person. This price includes flights, transfers, checked baggage, all taxes and gratuities, 24 hour butler service, in-suite dining, complimentary beverages in-suite and throughout the ship. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a Silversea all inclusive luxury cruise, for an unbeatable price – don’t miss it!

 

Click here for more details: or call the cruise specialists in Sunway on 01- 2311868 .

 

This post was sponsored by Sunway Holidays but all views as always are my own 😎

 

Sarah

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A River Cruise on Uniworld’s SS Antoinette

Uniworld 2_opt

I blame Uniworld for the dent in my bank balance when I got home from my recent river cruise. Within 24 hours of my return, I was in House of Fraser buying new pillows and bed linen…

 

My handcrafted Savoir of England bed on Uniworld’s SS Antoinette was the most comfortable I have ever slept in. I’m not a great sleeper generally, but once my head hit those pillows and the 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, I was out like a light. This is typical of the attention to detail and high standard I received throughout my river cruise on Uniworld’s SS Antoinette. Nothing is left to chance, 57 staff cater for 154 guests, there is always someone ready to assist you. “No request too large, no detail too small” is the motto of the Uniworld staff. This ethos, along with your own personal butler, are some of the reasons why Uniworld have won numerous awards, such as the best luxury cruise line, for the past seven years.

Uniworld's SS Antoinette

Furnishings are old world style but with a modern twist. Cabins are compact but with an excellent use of space. They are fitted with two flat screen TV’s including one on the French balcony. I loved the balcony,  you can sit back read a book or watch TV, while taking in the scenery outside – regardless of weather! The bathrooms are stocked with l’Occitane products and even the sockets cater for all plugs, so there is no need to bring adapters!


When checking-in I couldn’t help but notice the ornate chandelier in the reception area. When I remarked on its beauty, I was informed that the 10 foot blue Strauss Baccarat chandelier, once hung in New York’s Tavern on the Green! This is just a sample of the lavish decor you can expect on board. Speaking of checking-in, this is a dream. Unlike ocean cruises, Uniworld river cruises carry on average of 130 people, so there are never long queues to check-in or when disembarking in ports. And when you arrive at a new port, there are no bus journeys to get to your destination, you are already in the heart of the city.


Excursions on ocean cruises can work out expensive. With Uniworld, excursions are included in the price of your cruise and there are excellent choices available. A day in the medieval town of Regensburg is a typical example of the excursions you can expect with Uniworld. Some might like a gentle walking tour of the town, others will enjoy a full tour with Jewish History. Car enthusiasts can take a trip to the BMW factory! There are also bicycles on board for use at any port so if you chose to do your own thing, that’s fine too. After a day’s sightseeing, you can take a dip in the indoor pool or enjoy a treatment in their luxury spa. I was surprised at how reasonable the prices were in the spa. €65 for an hour long massage, not bad for a five star luxury cruise.

 

Nice #pool on #ssantoinette #uniworlditaaconf @uniworldcruises #rivercruise #luxurylife #luxurytravel #itaaconf16 #rivercruise

A photo posted by The Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

During the day there was a cookery demonstration, wine tasting and a cocktail making masterclass. Activities, wines and menus are themed with the region you are cruising through. If you want to relax you can take in a movie in their cinema or enjoy a drink in one of the luxurious bars or lounges. With Uniworld ALL drinks are included in the price, even champagne! The food on board was excellent. Breakfast and lunch is buffet style although there are menus where you can order a lá carte. I tried the eggs benedict for breakfast and it was excellent! At dinner time there is a set menu with great choice. On the gala nights (there are on average 2 per cruise) the level steps up a notch. Fine dining at its best, we had appetisers a pre desert and the beef wellington was one of the best I have tasted.

Evening time is low key, with a pianist for entertainment. I was on a two night cruise from Amsterdam to Cologne at the Irish Travel Agents Association conference and we were the only passengers on board. The pianist duly obliged when we decided to take over the microphone and sing Abba songs, but somehow I doubt this would happen on a regular itinerary! In fact I am told that as well as the resident musician, performers board the ship in various ports. You may have opera singers one evening, broadway singers the next, entertainment is also local to the area where the ship is cruising. Overall relaxed nights are the norm, but it is always nice to get dressed up for gala nights!

Thinking of a Christmas market break? Why not see five cities instead of one. Want to go wine tasting in France? Cruise three rivers to see the Chateaux and vineyards of Bordeaux, Bergerac and Medoc. These are just a sample of the itineraries available on Uniworld’s Boutique river cruises, with intimate excursions in each town included in the price. If you want lively cruise ships, with non stop entertainment and sports facilities then these are not for you. For a personal experience with fine dining and relaxed surroundings, check out Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

 

Sarah

 

 

 

Like cruising? Click here for more cruise news, reviews and deals.

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Transatlantic Cruise From New York On The Queen Mary 2 only €1199!

Cunard_opt_opt (1)

Imagine cruising from New York city on the iconic Queen Mary 2! Audrey Hepburn, Clarke Gable and even President George Bush have all cruised on this luxury liner. Now you can too…

Cunard’s flagship cruiseliner the Queen Mary 2 has been remastered with a staggering £90 million makeover. She has all the glitz and glamour associated with luxury cruising but now with added contemporary styling. 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. Have a glass of Vueve Cliquot in their dedicated champagne bar or try Cunard’s signature Commodore Club. This bar majestically overlooks the bow of Queen Mary 2 and provides glorious panoramic views as you sail towards the horizon. 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.

Fly from Dublin to New York on the 5th of November and over night in a 4* hotel before boarding the Queen Mary 2, for your seven night cruise to Southhampton. Price including flights, all meals and one night pre cruise stay in New York, is only €1199 per person. Other dates are also available so if this date doesn’t suit contact the sales team and they will be able to assist you.

 

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

 

Click here for more details: or Call 01-5397713 – Open 7 days a week!

 

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

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

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My Review of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

Taller than the Eiffel Tower, can carry 5,780 passengers, has 7 different neighbourhoods and 20 restaurants. Is it possible that Royal Caribbean’s massive cruise ship can live up to the hype? Find out in my review of Harmony of the Seas.

 


When I was asked to visit and a review of Harmony of the Seas, I was a little nervous. I thought it would find it too big. My sense of direction is SO bad, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to navigate my way around it. I even worried that my kids might get lost at some stage!

However, once I stepped onto the Royal Promenade my fears dissipated. My kids ran to the nearest Shrek character, while I stood there ogling at the promenade deck that was packed with shops, bars and restaurants. My jaw was hanging open and on numerous occasions, friendly staff approached me asking if I needed any assistance. There seemed to be so many of them (2,100 in fact ) and this was evident throughout my cruise. I was given a map with all the highlights but by the time I took it out of my handbag, someone was beside me giving me directions.

They also have smart screens throughout the ship showing where everything is located. I would contend that it is impossible to get lost on this ship. We managed, under duress, to make our way to our stateroom. Passing the bionic bar (where actual robots make and serve you drinks) and the designer shops, I had an awful pang in my stomach. What if I don’t have time to come back?

review of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

Our stateroom was adequate for four, although I did manage to get a glimpse of some of the family rooms and was very impressed. They were so spacious, the largest I have seen in any ship. They comfortably sleep six with a large double bed, double sofa, bunkbeds and lots of space over all. I thought they were more spacious for six than many staterooms I have seen for four. All rooms are furnished with all mod cons including usb ports, flat screen tv’s and plenty of storage space.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

Once we unpacked, it was a case of, where to begin…! There are seven different neighbourhoods on board, each with their own activities and distinctive vibe. The kids went straight for the splash park and water slides and it was hard to get them to leave! The pool deck caters for kids of all ages. They have a tots area, a splash park for kids from about five to eight years, and three large slides for older kids. We tried them all! I had great fun racing my 8 year old down the Perfect Storm trio of slides. There are also plenty of different swimming pools, so if slides are not your thing, no worries.

waterpark on Harmony of the Seas

We rounded off our first afternoon with a trip to The Boardwalk. We had a spin on the hand crafted carousel (crazy I know!) while the kids climbed up their own rock climbing wall (there are two other rock climbing walls for adults on-board!). The boardwalk is a cool place to hang out, complete with a Mexican restaurant, a Starbucks café and even a Johnny Rockets diner – straight out of Grease.

review of Harmony of the Seas

Speaking of Grease, that night we managed to catch the broadway version in the Royal Theatre. It was spectacular. I’m not one for musicals per se, but it was as good if not better, than I have seen in London’s West End. The kids loved it too, in fact I had to download the soundtrack when I got home and it’s still requested every time they get in the car! The night entertainment continued until the small hours. There was a street party taking place in the Royal Promenade, an ice show in the ice skating rink (did I mention there was one on board?) and an open air aqua show, at the aft of the ship. We debated about using the kids club which is $7 per hour after 10pm, but decided against it as the kids were exhausted.

grease on Harmony of the Seas

The kids clubs are terrific, they are suitable for kids aged 3 to 11. Facilities include an adventure science lab, an imagination studio, a dedicated children’s theatre, all free until 10pm! You can even leave the kids on board while in port so you are free to explore on land. They have creche facilities from 6 months to 3 years, a charge of $10 per hour applies. Royal Caribbean have teamed up with Dreamworks so from time you time you will see Shrek, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda and other characters out and about. They will pose happily for photos with kids – a nice touch I thought. Kids can also watch the latest Dreamworks movies in their own theatre or in your stateroom. Teenagers are not left out, they have dedicated teen only zones, as well their own nite club and the numerous sports facilities on board.

On Harmony of the Seas, if you fancy some quiet time, there are plenty of places to hide. I thought how nice it would be to skip off to the adults only solarium, chill by the pool or enjoy a spa treatment, while the kids were happily playing in the kids clubs. They also have a medi spa where you can get acupuncture and even teeth whitening! And if you fancied a night cap or a trip to the casino after 10pm, just pay $7 an hour  – that’s a pretty good deal.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

After our relatively early first night, we were up early to see as much as we could on our last day! First up was the largest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss. This is a pair of slides that offer a 100 foot drop over 10 decks. It is the iconic picture of two purple slides you see cantilevered at the aft of the ship. Personally I didn’t find it as scary as I was led to believe, however you are in complete darkness. The zipline on the other hand, OMG! I faced my fears that day and ziplined across the open air atrium. I was suspended nine decks above the boardwalk, and all in the name of research!! I guess everyone has fears. Stepping off that ledge, was one of mine. It was terrifying!

review of Harmony of the Seas

I headed straight for the bar, still shaking, and downed one of their signature cocktails! The kids were proud of me though, does that count? Mind you they were more interested in showing me how well they were doing at mini golf than listening to me recount my experience. We decided to leave the surf simulator and rock climbing wall for another time and instead watched the kids finish off their mini golf game at a leisurely pace.

mini golf on Harmony of the Seas

After all that exercise, it was time for lunch.  Out came the map again, how do you decide where to eat when there are twenty different restaurants on board? We decided to pop down to Central Park. There seemed to be plenty of dining options there. This turned out to be my favourite part (or neighbourhood) of the ship. The centre of the ship is completely open to the sky which creates a fabulous atmosphere. You don’t think you are on a ship at all. We enjoyed a few drinks at the Trellis bar before taking a stroll through the park. There is a staggering 12,000 trees and plants here! Luke spotted someone eating a tasty panini outside the Park Café, so in we went. This is a great choice for a family lunch if you don’t fancy the main restaurant and there is no additional charge.

central park on Harmony of the Seas

I’m not sure if it was the action packed morning, the food, the wine, or perhaps the combination of all three but suddenly I had the urge to chill out on a sun lounger…  How cool is it that one minute I’m on a zipline, the next I’m dining in central park and then I’m flaked out by the pool. Welcome to the world of cruising…

The kids played happily in the splash park and the pool whilst my husband and I enjoyed some much deserved R’N’R. The kids loved the self serve ice cream parlour by the pool where they could pull their own cones. This was their first experience of an all-inclusive arrangement, so they were ecstatic that they didn’t have to pay for them and that I didn’t need to know how many they were having!  There are even miniature sun loungers for kids when it all gets too much for them too. Harmony of the Seas caters so well for families. You have to hand it to Royal Caribbean, they really have thought of everything.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

That evening we had the pleasure of visiting one the speciality dining restaurants, Coastal Kitchen. Situated on deck seventeen, with stunning ocean views and a strong Californian vibe – I loved it. The food, the service, and the ambiance was superb. The kids loved it too. Although they didn’t have a separate kids menu, they offered to make anything to suit their tastes. There are plenty of pizza, pasta or burger restaurants on board as well as a massive buffet restaurant so trust me when I say there are huge choices for kids. I thought Coastal Kitchen was special though. I wondered whether all the speciality dining restaurants were as good? I did eat in Jamie’s Italian restaurant on Ovation of the Seas and it was great too. I’m thinking, I tried two and both were great, I can only assume they all are.

review of Harmony of the Seas

Of course you have to pay for these top class restaurants…Prices vary from $25 for dinner at Jamie’s and $49 in Wonderland. However, if you really want to push the boat out (excuse the pun!), try the four-course menu in 150 Central Park for $89, where each course is paired with wine. With over 5700 passengers on-board you will need to make a reservation for the most popular restaurants. You can do this on line before you cruise or by using the Royal IQ app on board. The app is very easy to use, the fact that the wifi is excellent (the fastest at sea) probably helps! There is a charge for wifi, a bit steep at $13.95 per day. There are packages available if using numerous devices in the one stateroom, and discounts for pre-booking are available online. I would advise to check these out before you board.

review of Harmony of the Seas

After our meal, we went to the open air aqua show. The setting is remarkable, an open air theatre with the backdrop of the ocean across the horizon. The sun started to set just as the show began – perfection! The modern show featured professional acrobats, divers and synchronised swimmers. There were acrobats walking tightropes above us along with trapeze acts dipping in and out of the water. It was quite exhilarating. We didn’t know what was going to happen next, it really had a WOW factor. That said, when it was all over, I wasn’t sure what to make of it all. It was seriously impressive, but I thought a little disjointed in parts.

review of Harmony of the Seas
Time for a quick night cap in the Royal Promenade before bed. I liked the Rising Tide where the entire bar and all those in it, elevate between the Royal Promenade deck and Central Park. It moves very slowly so it is a lovely experience and you can see what’s happening in both decks. You don’t miss any of the action! We also ordered a drink from the bionic bar were the ‘staff’ are efficient but somewhat lacking in personality!! The kids found it fascinating and although it is a bit gimmicky, you can’t deny the innovation is incredible.

review of Harmony of the Seas

You can’t deny the overall innovation is incredible. It seems that the development of Harmony of the Seas was led by imagination and thankfully not the budget! It’s not only the size of the cruise ship that is mind blowing, it is whats on board. It is colossal and of course not for everyone. If you want non stop action with an excellent choice of dining and entertainment, then I think you will not find better at sea, or even on land for that matter. The attention to detail, like the miniature sun loungers, show how much they care about keeping the younger clientele happy too. So I think the answer to the question: Does one of the largest and most innovative cruise ships at sea live up to the hype? In a word. Absolutely!

 

Like my review of Harmony of the Seas? Why not pin it!

 

Like Royal Caribbean cruises? You might like:

My review of Ovation of the Seas

My review of Independence of the Seas 

10 reasons to choose Royal Caribbean for family cruises.

 

Sarah

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