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7 Uniworld River Cruise Deals – Save 30% Off Luxury River Cruises in 2020!

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruises- the world’s most luxurious river cruise line, is offering 30% off sailings for 2020! These top 7 river cruise deals include savings of up to €1500 per person. If you are planning on booking a luxury cruise – don’t miss this post!

 

Once you step onboard a Uniworld cruise ship, you get the feeling you are checking in to somewhere special. The lavish designs, outstanding service, spacious staterooms and mouthwatering meals, distinguish Uniworld from other river cruise lines. Uniworld is owned by international travel group, The Travel Corporation, who happen to own many of the top boutique hotels in the world, including Ashford Castle. Family-owned and debt free, means they can continually reinvest in their fleet and ensure Uniworld ships are the best in the industry. To celebrate The Travel Corporation’s 100th Anniversary, they are offering 30% off selected Uniworld voyages in 2020, if booked by 29th February. I have hand-picked my top 7 Uniworld River Cruise deals below, but there are many more available. Contact a Uniworld Specialist on 1800 98 98 98 or visit your local Travel Agent to find out more.
 
Uniworld's SS Antoinette
 
River cruising is on the rise with savvy travellers, and for good reason. River cruising gives the opportunity to get an up-close view of the best sights and lesser-known locales, that are unreachable by an ocean cruise ship. However, it’s not just the destinations that make Uniworld River Cruises so special.

Every night you can look forward to a blissful sleep in a handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, a brand favoured by Elton John and the King of Morocco. Expect the finest quality linens, marble bathrooms stocked with l’Occitane and Hermès products, TVs built into mirrors, and a pillow menu featuring five options. You can also enjoy state-of-the-art gyms, yoga and TRX fitness classes, fully-equipped spas and heated swimming pools. “No request too large, no detail too small” is the motto of the Uniworld staff, so prepare to be pampered! I discovered this incredible service when I cruised with Uniworld two years ago. You can read all about my river cruise on Uniworld’s SS Antoinette here.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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World-class cuisine is also part of the Uniworld River Cruise experience. You will enjoy delicious 5-star farm-to-table cuisine, that is locally sourced from the destinations you visit. All Uniworld river cruises are all-inclusive with meals, unlimited premium drinks, excursions and tips included in the price. Uniworld’s excursions are curated so you can explore your destination exactly how you’d like. You can take active excursions like hiking or kayaking, or ‘do as the locals do’, where you will experience life like a local, from riding a subway to enjoying local delicacies at the corner café.
 

 
Uniworld are constantly being voted the best luxury river cruise line by trade and media professionals, as well as cruisers. If you’re going to embark on a river cruise next year, why not take advantage of Uniworld’s 30% off promotion and cruise with the best and most awarded luxury river cruise line?

These top 7 Uniworld River Cruise deals are just a sample of river cruises available. Note some of these deals are not live on their website, so please contact a Uniworld Specialist on 1800 98 98 98 or visit your local Travel Agent to avail of these amazing savings. 

uniworld river cuise deals

 

Uniworld River Cruise Deals – 30% Off Cruises  

 

1. Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy – Save €930 per person

8 Days Venice to Venice, 7th June. Price €2169 pps  – many more dates available.

uniworld river cruise deals

I am a big Italy lover and would love to try this cruise! You will be sailing on the brand new S.S. La Venezia Super Ship, exploring the outer-lying Venetian islands as well as the captivating city of Venice. You will also be treated to a special tasting of one of the world’s rarest and highest-quality white wines, Dorona. 

See more here

 

2. Enchanting Danube – save €810 per person

8 Days from Budapest to Passau, 22nd March, Price €1889 pps – many more dates available.

Uniworld river cruise deals

Ancient capital cities mixed with pretty towns and villages – you will visit Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia on this 8 day Enchanting Danube cruise. One of Uniworld’s firm favourites, this cruises from the beautiful city of Budapest to Passau, the city where three rivers meet. This spectacular itinerary includes a morning tour led by an art historian at Vienna’s world-class Art History Museum  

See more here

 

3. Castles along the Rhine – save €810 per person

8 Days Amsterdam to Basel, 22nd March 2020, Price €1889 pps – many more dates available

uniworld river cruise deals

Visit four countries on this romantic Rhine cruise. Cruise from Amsterdam through France and Germany, before reaching Basel in Switzerland. Explore medieval castles in four UNESCO World heritage sites, as well as visiting the picturesque wine making town of Rüdesheim. It is no wonder that this is one of Uniworld’s most popular itineraries. Check out the 1338 five star reviews from clients for both service and product if you still need convincing!

See more here

 

4. Burgundy & Provence – save €810 per person

8 Days from Lyon to Avignon, 22nd March 2020, Price €1889 pps – many more dates available.

uniworld river cruise deals

Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cezanne and Gauguin on this exquisite journey through Southern France; the
same beautiful countryside and culture that inspired the masters will now inspire you. Enjoy six days of excursions including ‘Choice is Yours’ options, and embark on a Let’s Go hike through Hermitage Vineyards with wine tasting to follow. 

See more here

 

5. Brilliant Bordeaux – Save €1000 per person

8 Days from Bordeaux to Bordeaux, 7th June 2020, Price €2199 – many more dates available

bordeaux uniworld river cruise

Sail along the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde, on one magnificent journey. Marvel at historic landmarks and the stunning scenery. Take time to visit the many vineyards including Sauternes Vineyard, where you will be treated to a private artisanal wine tasting at Château de Cazeneuve.

See more here

 

6. Highlights of Eastern Europe – Save €1200 per person

10 Days from Budapest to Bucharest, 10th August 2020, Price €2699 pps – many more dates available

uniworld river cruise deals

Save a staggering €1200 on this 10 day Eastern European cruise. Travel from Budapest to Bucharest, stopping in Croatia, Bulgaria and Serbia. Serbia’s breathtaking Djerdap Gorge and its famed archaeological site are sure to be a highlight.

See more here

 

7. Highlights from China & The Yangtze – Save €1500 per person

11 Days from Beijing to Shanghai, 11th April 2020, Price €3499 – many more dates available.

See China’s magnificent highlights from the comfort of the luxurious Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer cruise ship. Visit the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Great Wall, and marvel at the beauty of the Yangtze River’s Three Gorges. You are also invited to a traditional teahouse in a 600-year-old Ming Dynasty-era Bell Tower, where you’ll partake in a traditional tea ceremony.

uniworld river cruise deals

See more here

 

Uniworld is the world’s most luxurious, all-inclusive river cruise line, with one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios in the business. Wake up to the view of a new city each day and enjoy your morning coffee from the comfort of your french balcony. With river cruises in twenty-four countries including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, and all across Europe – Uniworld will have a cruise to suit you.

 

Contact a Uniworld Specialist on 1800 98 98 98 or visit your local Travel Agent to avail of these amazing savings. 

 

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

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 
Travel

Cruise Direct From Dublin to Iceland On 5* Celebrity Reflection, 18th May, 10 Nights, only €1399!

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Cruise on one of the world’s best cruise ships, to one of the world’s top destinations, with no need for flights – could this cruise deal be any better? Cruise direct from Dublin to Iceland in 2020, and enjoy ten relaxing days on luxurious Celebrity Reflection.

 

To be able to cruise direct from Dublin without having the hassle of connecting flights and lengthy lay overs, is massive bonus for cruise fans, and for anyone who doesn’t like flying – this is a game changer! As well as being a convenient way to travel, you will also be cruising on Celebrity Reflection, a 5-star luxury cruise ship. I have teamed up with Irish owned, cruise specialists, Sunway, who are offering this amazing 10-night cruise direct from Dublin, on the 18th of May, for only €1399.

But that’s not all….

If you book and upgrade to an oceanview stateroom before the 30th of September, you will receive a Classic Drinks Package absolutely free, as well as $500 on board credit per stateroom! 

 

About Celebrity Reflection:

Multi-award winning Celebrity Cruises fully deserve their 5-star rating. From the moment you step onboard, their ships feel more like country-clubs than massive cruise ships. The bright, contemporary decor boldly breaks away from the stereotypical dark wood and plaid carpets. There is even a manicured grass lawn in the Lawn Club, which you can enjoy by day or night. Relax on one of their cabanas during the day, or treat yourself to a cinematic night under the stars. 

cruise direct from dublin with celebrity cruises

You will also find one of the largest spas at sea, Canyon Ranch, on Celebrity Reflection. Complete with hot stone loungers, it is the perfect amenity to get you prepared for the hot springs in Iceland. Relax by the pool and let the pool-butlers deliver your drinks, or visit the World Class Bar for some creative cocktails.

celebrity cruises spa

Celebrity Cruises are renowned for their superb dining options. Make sure you try the sophisticated French cuisine at Murano, the traditional Italian food at Tuscan Grille as well as the famous Sushi Lollipops and Disco Shrimp at innovative Qsine. I had the pleasure of touring Celebrity Silhouette while it was docked in Dublin recently, and I loved it. Celebrity Reflection is the younger sister of Celebrity Reflection, with similar decor and facilities onboard. You can read my full review of Celebrity Silhouette here.

cruise direct from dublin on celebrity reflection

Itinerary:

You will have to tear yourself away from the wonderful Celebrity Reflection, as Iceland is a country that is just waiting to be explored. Stay overnight in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik as well as visiting the northern town of Akureyi. I loved exploring Reykjavik, it is packed with vibrant cafés and bars, as well as cultural and historical attractions. Make sure you visit Hallgrímskirkja church – you can’t really miss it, it is visible from almost every angle of the city! It has a panoramic viewing platform at the top, where you will catch the best views of the city.

cruise to iceland direct from dublin

Reykjavik is also close to the one of the world’s wonders, The Blue Lagoon. Don’t miss the opportunity to bathe here, it is a wonderful experience. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, try Ben Fogle’s full day white water rafting and Golden Circle tour, just one of the many excursions that Celebrity Cruises offer.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You will also have the opportunity to visit the world’s most northerly botanical garden when you stop in Akureyi. Only 100km from the Arctic Circle, this surprisingly, has a warm microclimate, and is filled with exotic plants. If gardens are not your thing, Akureyi also happens to be the whale watching capital of Europe, and it is also only 30 minutes from the magnificent Godafoss Waterfall.

cruise direct from dublin
While Iceland may be the big attraction of this cruise, you will also have the opportunity to visit Liverpool and Belfast. Visit the Titanic Museum or take a trip to the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, and visit the legendary Penny Lane in Liverpool.

How to book:

Sunway, are offering this amazing cruise direct from Dublin on the 18th of May, for only €1399. If you upgrade to an oceanview stateroom, you will receive a Classic Drinks Package absolutely free, as well as $500 on board credit per stateroom. The supplement for an oceanview stateroom is €500 per person, making the total cost only €1899, including all beers, spirits, wines and cocktails, up to $9 in value.  So enjoy mimosas for breakfast, let the pool-butler bring you a cocktails in the afternoon and enjoy a nice Chardonnay with dinner – all included in the cost of your cruise!

cruise direct from dublin with celebrity cruises

View Offer Here

 

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

 

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

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 
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3 Exclusive Yacht Cruises in the Caribbean, Bali & Seychelles, from €2499 Including Flights

yacht caribbean

Cruising around the Caribbean, island hopping in the Seychelles, and exploring the many islands of Indonesia – all three sound idyllic to me. These exclusive yacht cruises are combined with hotel stays for the ultimate holiday experience.

 

I am a big fan of cruise holidays, but the idea of sailing around the Caribbean on a luxury yacht has a different appeal to cruising on a 5000-passenger cruise ship! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to explore tiny islands in the Caribbean that cruise ships can not visit, to jump into the sea when you come across a hidden cove in the archipelago of Indonesia, or enjoy secluded bays on a catamaran cruise around the Seychelles? The phrase ‘it’s about the journey not the destination’ springs to mind. I have teamed up with Tropical Sky who offer yacht cruises from exclusive locations around the world. No matter which option you choose, you can expect an intimate yacht cruise with unforgettable memories.

sunset on a yacht cruise

7 Nights All Inclusive Grenada Stay And 7 Nights Grenadines by Yacht Cruise, from €2899 Including Flights

This sounds like a trip of a lifetime and one I would love to experience! You will start off this amazing holiday with a four-night stay in the Coyaba Beach Resort in Grenada, which just happens to be located on the world-famous Grand Anse Beach. This is constantly voted one of the top beaches in the Caribbean.

The Coyaba Beach Resort is also home to a freshwater pool with a swim-up bar, the perfect place to enjoy some cocktails and take advantage of the all-inclusive arrangement. There are plenty of water sports available and scuba diving is highly recommended here. If you prefer to stay on land, yoga, tennis and beach volleyball are available. The Coyaba Beach Resort hosts local musicians three times a week, so you can expect a relaxed but lively atmosphere. 

yacht cruises in the caribbean

After a four-night stay, you will board a luxury yacht for a seven-night cruise around Caribbean islands that, until now, you may have only dreamed about. With just 14 people onboard, including a captain and steward, yacht cruises like this are hard to beat! Visit breath-taking locations such as Petit St Vincent, Tobago Cays and tiny Sandy Island – are you convinced yet? With meals and drinks included, your toughest decision will be whether to swim in the crystal-clear waters, or stay onboard and enjoy the stunning sea views. There will be plenty of snorkelling stops, including a day at the vibrant reef in Tobago Cays, where you should be able to swim alongside turtles. 

yacht cruises in the grenadines

After this seven-night dream cruise, you will finish off your stay at Coyaba Beach Resort for the remaining three nights. Price of €2899 includes flights, a seven-night all-inclusive stay at Coyaba Beach Resort and a seven-night yacht cruise. 

View offer here

 

 

11 Nights Star Clipper Cruises With Bali Stay, from €3429 Including Flights

Star Clippers are traditional four-mast sailing ships and are heralded as the world’s most spectacular tall-ships. With two pools, a library and a large dining room, they beautifully combine the atmosphere of sailing with the comfort of modern cruising. There are two different itineraries to choose from, both offering journeys through Indonesia’s unspoilt islands. Highlights include visits to Lombok, the Gili Islands and Komodo Island, home to the famous Komodo Dragons and the stunning Pink Beach. Regardless of which itinerary you choose, your holiday will start with a three-night stay at the 5-star Pavilions Hotel in Bali and culminate with an over-night stay. 

star clipper yacht cruises in bali

The Pavilions Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel in Sanur, Bali. All rooms are villa style with thatched roofs and four-poster beds, designed to reflect traditional Balinese architecture. Most villas, except the garden villas, have their own pool. This peaceful resort is designed for romance and relaxation and it receives outstanding reviews on TripAdvisor. You can even take advantage of the butler service and dine in the privacy of your own villa. 

yacht cruises in bali

Price of €3429 includes flights, a four-night stay at the Pavilions Hotel Bali and a seven-night yacht cruise. 

View offer here

 

7 Nights La Digue Dream Yacht Cruises With Seychelles Beach Stay, from €2589 Including Flights

With only 12 cabins, this intimate catamaran cruise will allow you to explore some of the Seychelles most beautiful islands over four days. Visit Coco Island, La Digue and Cousin Island before disembarking in Praslin. This seven-night holiday includes a pre-cruise, two-night stay at the highly rated Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resort and a post-cruise, two-night stay at the romantic Coco de Mer Hotel, Praslin. 

cruising in the seychelles - yacht cruises

Your first cruise stop is Saint Anne Marine Park, one of the best locations for snorkelling in the Seychelles. This will be followed by visits to Coco Island and La Digue. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the crystal-clear waters, why not rent a bike and explore the intriguing island of La Digue? With no cars in sight, you are likely to spot many carts drawn by oxen on your journey. Cousin Island is your last stop, a nature reserve where you will get a chance to see the famous giant tortoises. You will then cruise to Praslin where you will spend your last two nights. 

island hopping in the seychelles by yacht

Price of €2589 includes flights, a four-night hotel stay and a three-night catamaran cruise. Talk to the dedicated team in Tropical Sky about extending your stay in the Seychelles – or why not combine it with a city break in Dubai or Istanbul?

View offer here

 

Tropical Sky offer a range of cruise and long-haul holidays to destinations all over the world. Call one of their travel experts on 01 664 9999 to discuss any of these options, or to tailor-make a holiday to suit you. This post on exclusive yacht cruises was sponsored by Tropical Sky, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Like this post? You might like:

The Best 5-Star hotels in the Caribbean

The ultimate Guide to choosing the right honeymoon

Luxurious All Inclusive resorts in the Indian Ocean

 

Sarah

 

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Travel

Queen Mary 2 Cruise Deal Including Flights, New York Stay & Transfers, From €1439

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Combine the bright lights of New York City with a seven-night luxury cruise on the iconic Queen Mary 2. This cruise deal is one you won’t want to miss!

 

Imagine cruising into New York City, gazing at the Manhattan skyline from the deck of a luxury cruise ship – it must be an incredible experience. Audrey Hepburn and Clarke Gable have cruised on the Queen Mary 2, now you can too! I have teamed up with Jetline Cruise to tell you about this amazing Queen Mary 2 cruise deal that includes flights, a seven-night cruise and a three-night stay in New York, all for just €1439. They even include airport transfers and entrance tickets to the Empire State Building! I was amazed to see that the price of €1439 is even valid over New Year’s Eve. I can visualise the fireworks over Brooklyn Bridge already…

queen mary 2 cruise deal

Jetline Cruise’s Queen Mary 2 cruise deal is valid throughout 2019 and 2020. Prices vary depending on the time of travel and are clearly marked on their website. Whether you want to do some Christmas shopping in New York, or avail of the warm summer sun, just call their dedicated cruise team on 01 246 9690 and they will arrange it for you. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You can choose to cruise from Southampton to New York and fly home direct to Dublin, or vice versa. Both have their advantages! As I have already mentioned, cruising into New York will surely be an incredible experience, however, if you choose to leave the cruise until your return journey, you won’t have to endure a tiresome over-night flight home. Both options include direct flights to or from New York and flights to and from Southampton, a three-night stay in a 4-star hotel, entrance tickets to the Empire State Building and airport transfers.

queen mary 2 cruise deal

What is it like to cruise on the Queen Mary 2?

The Queen Mary 2 is Cunard’s flagship cruise-liner and it was re-mastered 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 onboard, 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.

So why not treat yourself or a loved one to this amazing cruise holiday? With flights, hotel, cruise and transfers included in the cost, this Queen Mary 2 cruise deal, should not be missed! 

View offer here

 

Who are Jetline Cruise?

For those of you who may not be familiar with Jetline Cruise, they are a multi-award winning cruise tour operator that has sold cruises for 18 years to 250,000 customers! They launched in Ireland last year and their cruise and stay holidays have proved very popular with Irish cruisers. 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.  You can read my blog about the Jetline cruise launch in Ireland and what they offer, here.

 

See All Jetline Cruise Offers Here

 

Jetline cruise

 

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.

Cruises

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

 

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Cruises

Superstars, Slides & Speciality Dining – My Review of MSC Seaview

MSC Seaview

I was delighted to get invited to the christening of the brand new MSC Seaview in Genoa.  In two days I managed to dine in six restaurants, slide down a 367-foot water slide, swim, dance and even shoot a few zombies! Check out my review of MSC Seaview.

 

MSC are renowned for their lavish christenings and this one was no exception. Hollywood legend Sophia Loren, the Godmother of all MSC ships, was there to cut the ribbon and listening to Andrea Boceilli’s son Mateo sing, was a personal highlight for me. There were fireworks and an exclusive after party – all in true Italian style! To be honest, none of this really surprised me, what did, was the cruise ship….

review of msc seaview

I had pre-conceived ideas about MSC Cruise ships. I was on board MSC Splendida in Dublin port a few years ago, and expected MSC Seaview to be an upgraded, modern version of Splendida. I was wrong. In fact with the exception of the Swarovski staircases, I saw very little similarity between the two cruise ships.

MSC Seaview is extremely modern. She is bright, airy, elegant, sophisticated, I could go on and on. Live music bellowed from the atrium as we boarded. This four-storey dazzling masterpiece is the focal point of the ship. The Seaview bar is strategically placed at the bottom. This transforms from a morning café to a the perfect bar for an aperitif, and later to a dance floor when the late night entertainment kicks in.

There is live music and entertainment in the atrium throughout the day, with a variety of bars on each deck. We went here on the first night and it was like being at a great concert, the atmosphere was electric with people singing and dancing on all decks overlooking the stage.

review of msc seaview

MSC Seaview has 20 different bars and lounges, each one offering something a little special. We hung out in the Champagne bar (as you do!). It serves a wide variety of bubbles to suit all tastes and if you pre-purchase the drinks package before you sail (€26 per day), you can enjoy prosecco here free of charge. Gin lovers will love the Platinum bar in the casino, where you can create the perfect Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic, by infusing it with floral, spicy or citrus aromas.

The sports bar is not your average sports bar either. There is sports memorabilia on the walls and massive TV screens playing a variety of sports, but the bar itself is classy. There are private booths with individual TV screens for private enjoyment, as well as football shaped bean bags for a relaxed homely atmosphere. It’s the type of bar than non-sports fans could go to and have a drink, while their partners watched the match.

Not all bars are indoors. There are plenty of outdoor bars serving up cocktails or whatever takes your fancy. I loved the Sunset bar at the back of the ship which conveniently plays music after dark. We enjoyed cocktails al fresco and danced until the small hours. It felt like I was on a super-yacht in Miami rather than a cruise-ship in Genoa!

review of msc seaview

 

Food glorious food on MSC Seaview

During my time as a travel agent I heard people complain about the variety of food on MSC cruises. To say MSC have upped their game is an understatement. The main buffet restaurant, called ‘Marketplace’ has a variety of options including its own pizzeria, offering delicious pizza slices. I also had tasty Nasi Goreng as well as breaded chicken fillets (I ate here twice!) and unlike many buffet restaurants, everything was hot!

I am not normally a big buffet fan, I hate the constant banging of plates and the hustle for seats. What I loved about this buffet is that it is surrounded on three sides by outdoor seating areas, which changes the whole buffet dining experience. I would happily dine there every day for lunch. They also have a small buffet restaurant close to the pool on deck 15 which has child accessible counters.

review of msc seaview

We ate in the main dining room at night-time. With the exception of one bland starter, the food was of a very high quality. I had a delicious crab and lobster starter plate, a beef fillet that was perfectly cooked and a warm chocolate molten cake that literally melted in my mouth. I asked our server if this was typical of the dinner that guests could expect on board and I was told that it was a ‘special menu’ which would be typical of a gala night. So while fillet steak may not be on the menu every night, I would like to think that the standard and quality of the food would be the same.


I was lucky to be able to sample some of the specialty dining options too. Ocean Cay, by Spanish Michelin Star chef Ramón Freixa, served up mouthwatering seafood, while the Asian Market Kitchen has three different dining experiences in one restaurant. I loved this restaurant and I think I would end up eating here a few times if I was on a typical seven-night cruise. Celebrity chef Riy Yamaguchi partnered with MSC to bring an à la carte Asian restaurant, a modern teppanyaki grill where chefs perform and cook in front of you, and last but not least, a Sushi bar. I tried all three – purely for research purposes! There is also a trendy steakhouse, the Butchers Cut, for those looking for American cuisine.

review of msc seaview

The only way to follow this was to try the chocolate tasting in Venchi bar! This famous Italian chocolate maker has been making chocolate since 1878. A salted caramel gelato and some chocolate truffles later and I had reached my limit! I was genuinely amazed by the variety and quality of the food available on this ship. Note there are additional charges for the six speciality dining restaurants, but they are a fraction of what you would pay in a similar restaurant in a city.

review of msc seaview

One of the most innovative things about MSC Seaview is the amount of outdoor space. There is more outdoor space per guest than any other cruise ship in the world, 3.2 square meters per guest to be precise. To use MSC’s own words, the ship is designed to ‘follow the sun’. The Waterfront boardwalk wraps all around the ship and is the widest seen on any ship. The ‘Bridge of Sighs’ is a see-through walkway at the back of the ship where you can see the Sunset pool 40 meters below. There are other glass-floored catwalks, that make you feel like you are walking on water and panoramic glass lifts to maximise seaviews.

Kids facilities on MSC Seaview

The facilities for kids on board are superb. There is a separate kids Forest Adventure Aquapark with slides and rope bridges as well as faster slides for older kids, or adults, depending on your mood. There are two racer slides with clear loops that extend out over the ship and a 367-foot water slide with lights and music that you slide down with a mat. I tried this and screamed the whole way down, but I loved it!

If all this isn’t enough you can race your mates on the dual ziplines – they are the longest at sea, test your skills on the Formula 1 simulator or kill some zombies in the 4D interactive cinema. We tried this and it was hilarious! It reminded me of a simulator ride in Universal Studios rather than an interactive cinema. Six of us sat in a car simulator with 3D glasses and watched as hundreds of zombies climbed on top of us. The object is to shoot as many zombies as possible, the winner being the person who shot the most. We laughed the whole way through, it was hilarious! However for a more relaxed experience, you can enjoy a game of bowling or watch a movie in the outdoor cinema.

review of msc seaview

MSC is a family owned company and they pride themselves on offering superb children’s facilities. It is not only the modern activities that kids will love, their kids clubs are excellent too. MSC have partnered with LEGO and offer two LEGO rooms, one for ages 3-6 and another from age 7-11. Toddlers will love the baby club which has the latest Chicco equipment.

Teenagers have their very own teen club. Expect sports tournaments, dance contests, social network games, flashmobs discos and parties. Teens can have their own cruise card, where you can set the limits and control their daily spend – this is available from age 7 – 17. I love that you can always know where your kids are by locating them on the MSC for Me wristbands. This technology enables parents and staff to monitor their children at all times on the ship, so you can take a trip to the spa and not have to worry about their location.

review of msc seaview

I was really impressed with MSC Seaview. She ‘had me at hello’, when at first glance she reminded me of a super yacht rather than a massive cruise ship. And when I got to my stateroom and saw the pillow menu and a high speed hairdryer – I was sold!  The attention to detail is evident throughout the ship, the classy bars, choice of dining options, the kids facilities, it even boasts the most state-of-the-art gym and the largest spa at sea! MSC really has pushed the boat out with MSC Seaview.

review of msc seaview
MSC Aurea Spa

 

Things to watch out for.

Like all cruise ships, there can be extra charges. Drinks, speciality dining options, simulators, bowling, WiFi and spa treatments all incur additional charges. Check with your travel agent when booking and try to pre-book as many packages as possible to maximise value.

MSC Seaview cruises the Mediterranean during the Summer of 2018 and will move to Brazil for the winter before returning to the Mediterranean for Summer 2019. See msccruises.ie for more details or your local travel agent.

 

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

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

CruisesIn The Media

Choosing The Right Cruise Holiday – As Discussed with Ivan Yates on Newstalk FM

spectrum of the seas

Want to go on a cruise holiday, but not sure which cruise ship is right for you? Here are my top cruise tips and cruise deals to help you choose the best cruise holiday.

 

Peoples perception of cruises have changed greatly in the last number of years. While cruises were once considered more suitable for the elderly, nowadays most of the newer ships cater more for families! Not only have our tastes changed but cruise companies have adapted and now have a wider appeal. I have been on board many ships and I can honestly say there is a cruise to suit all tastes. Cruise ships are often referred to as floating hotels, in some cases they are more like floating cities! You can choose the massive ships like Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas which can carry nearly 7000 passengers, or you can opt for a smaller intimate river cruise, like Uniworld’s SS Catherine, which carries 159 passengers. It is not only the cruise companies that differ in style, cruise ships can vary greatly within each cruise company. I have been on some of MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises’ older cruise ships and they are completely different to their newer ships. Similarly with itineraries, while many of Royal Caribbean’s ships are family focused, if you choose a Norwegian Fjords or Baltic Capitals cruise, you will probably find mostly couples on board; families tend to choose Mediterranean or Caribbean cruises.

best cruise holiday

Cruising is now one of the fastest growing markets in the travel industry. Approximately 35,000 Irish people enjoyed a cruise holiday last year and this is likely to be even higher this year. (credit Eoghan Corry, TravelExtra). There will also be 400 cruise ships visiting Ireland this year, over 150 of those in Dublin port alone, bringing in 270,000 passengers. It seems like every other month there is a new cruise launch, which makes choosing the right cruise, harder and harder. I have listed some of my favourite cruise ships and cruise deals below which may help you decide how to choose the best cruise holiday for you.

best cruise holiday

Royal Caribbean’s – Symphony of the Seas

If you want non-stop action and great facilities for kids, then it is hard to beat Royal Caribbean Cruises. Symphony of the Seas is the newest and largest ship at sea and was recently launched in Barcelona. I was lucky to be on board it’s sister ship last year for two days with my family, and we had a blast. There are numerous swimming pools, a kids splash park, three water slides and also the largest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss. This is a pair of slides that offer a 100 foot drop over 10 decks. You can also zip line (I did and it was terrifying), ice skate, surf, use the rock climbing wall.

best cruise holiday

There are over 20 different restaurants on board, some with additional charges but there are plenty of dining options included in the cost of your cruise. This innovative ship has bionic bars (where your drinks are served by robots) and a bar that moves between decks so you don’t miss any action, kind of like a large elevator with a bar inside! There are seven different neighbourhoods on board including the Boardwalk and Central Park which has 12,000 real trees and plants! They also offer amazing entertainment at night time with top class west end shows and an aqua theatre at the back of the ship. This modern show sees acrobats and synchronised swimmers perform just as the sun sets over the horizon. The entertainment caters so well for Irish and UK holiday makers and a fun filled holiday is guaranteed. You can read my review here.

best cruise holiday

Special Offers:

7th October, 9 nights Western Mediterranean cruise.

Visiting Barcelona, Majorca, Provence, Florence, Rome, Naples, Valencia.

€1748 including flights, checked baggage, all meals, drinks, gratuities

Click here for more details: 

OR

1st February, 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise

Visiting Bahamas, St Thomas, St Kitts & Nevis with a 2 night stay in Miami.

€2099 including flights, hotel, central park view stateroom, meals, drinks, gratuities, checked baggage.

Click here for more details:

 

 

MSC Seaview

I am just back from a quick visit for the christening of this brand new ship in Genoa. I was previously on MSC Splendida and expected a more modern version but similar in style. I was wrong. This ultra modern cruise ship can hold 5,000 passengers, has 20 different bars and lounges, 10 different dining venues, a different show each night and a host of facilities for kids. There are three different water slides and a separate adventure splash park for younger kids, with slides and rope bridges. Adrenaline junkies will love the zipline, it is the longest zip line at sea! There is also a bowling alley and two simulator rides, one of which is a Formula 1 simulator.

best cruise holiday
I loved all the open spaces on this ship, it has more open space per guest than any other ship at sea, 3.2 meters per guest. There is a boardwalk that wraps around the entire ship, with al fresco dining even from the buffet restaurant. Most of the cabins are balcony cabins and they also have a five star area, the MSC Yacht Club which has exclusive suites, private dining and pool area. MSC Seaview is extremely stylish and classy, a great choice for a couple or a family.

Many believe that Royal Caribbean are the market leader in Ireland but MSC actually sold 2000 more cruise packages in 2017. They also have the best value drinks package on the market. For €26 per day you can have unlimited drinks including prosecco and selected branded drinks. Most of the other cruise companies charge about €60 per day for a similar package.

Special Offers:

Caribbean Cruise on MSC Seaside ( sister ship)

November – February ( excluding Christmas & New Year ) 9 Nights, including two night stay in Miami and a 7 night cruise visiting Mexico, Grand Cayman, Bahamas and Jamaica.

€1399 including a balcony cabin with all meals and drinks included.

Click here for more details:

OR

Mediterranean Cruise on MSC Seaview 

4th May 2019 – 7 Night Mediterranean cruise visiting Barcelona, Genoa, Rome, Cannes, Majorca and Corsica.

€810 with all meals included.

Click here for more details:

 

Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Silhouette

For those who are looking for something a little more upmarket then try 5 Star Celebrity Cruises. I was on Celebrity Silhouette when it was docked in Dublin and I loved it. It carries 2800 passengers which I believe is a great size, not too big but not too small either. It has a country club feel rather than a large cruise ship and interiors are bright and airy. They have a manicured grass lawn and cabanas on deck and even the sun loungers are luxurious. Over 85% of the staterooms have balconies. Many opt to stay there reading a book on sea days, meaning the pools are never crowded. The restaurants on board are top class. There are plenty of dining options included in the cost of your cruise as well as speciality dining options. They also offer plenty of over night stays which I think is great. They were docked in Cannes for the film festival and in France for the French Open so you can mix with the celebrities or see great sporting events, without having to pay €500 a night for a hotel room. Although there is a great mix of entertainment and kids facilities on board, it is a more relaxed ship and definitely offers modern luxury. Read my review here.

best cruise holiday

For people who don’t like flying, Celebrity Cruises cruise direct from Dublin Port to Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords. Their 2018 sailings have finished now but they are on sale for May 2019. For a full list of all 2019 cruises sailing from Ireland, click here.

 

Special Offers:

Alaska Cruise 13th September 2018

9 nights including a two night stay in Seattle and a 7 Night cruise visiting Seattle, Oregon, San Francisco ( overnight stay ) Victoria, Vancouver.

€1749 per person with an ocean view cabin, all meals, classic drinks package and WiFi.

Click here for more details:

OR

Ireland & Iceland cruise 06 May 2019 

10 nights Ireland & Iceland cruise, €1,579 per person  including all meals.

Click here for more details:

 

Norwegian Cruise Line

I haven’t yet had the pleasure of cruising with Norwegian but I was on one of their ships, the Norwegian Star in Dublin port. They are similar in style to Royal Caribbean, with a lively atmosphere and a host of family activities on board. They have been cruising for over 50 years, have 17 ships and they been voted Europe’s leading cruise line for the tenth year in a row. The big game changer is that all of Norwegian’s cruises are all-inclusive. And I don’t just mean local beers and cheap spirits. I mean branded drinks, as many as you like, any time of day, in all bars, lounges and dining areas – with tips included!  The award-winning entertainment on board includes Broadway musicals, live music and comedy, as well as plenty of leisure facilities including aqua parks, kids clubs and a selection of sports activities.

best cruise holiday

Norwegian Bliss is their flagship which was launched in April. This ship has been custom-built to give jaw-dropping views from it’s revolutionary Observation Lounge, which offers the same views seen from the bridge, and has the most expansive views at sea. 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. The first full-service Starbucks at sea is on board too. Bliss has the largest competitive race track at sea where you can ride up to 30 miles per hour! There is also an open-air laser tag course and an aqua park with multi-story The Broadway musical, Jersey Boys is shown nightly and at The Cavern Club, guests can enjoy their favourite songs from The Beatles. The talented cover band will play Beatles tunes in a setting inspired by the Liverpool Club where The Beatles famously performed countless times.

best cruise holiday

Special Offer: Caribbean Cruise

18th January 2019, 9 Nights, Direct flights to Miami, over night stay pre and post cruise, 7 Night cruise visiting Miami, St Thomas, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Miami

€2085 per person including flights, all meals and drinks on board.

Click here for more details:

 

The Norwegian Star is one of Norwegian’s older ships but it has been fully refurbished and now offers fifteen different dining options and eleven bars.  You can sip champagne in Gatsby’s Champagne bar or drink a wide selection of international beers in the outdoor Bier Garten. There are two main dining rooms as well as a variety of cafés and fast food outlets, as well as speciality dining options, which incur a separate charge. The pool deck has two waterslides and six hot tubs and there is an indoor lap pool in the Spa. Read my review here.

 best cruise holiday

Special Offer: Eastern Mediterranean Cruise

23rdSeptember, Norwegian Star, 7 night cruise, visiting Croatia, Montenegro, Athens, Venice.

€1435 per person including flights, all meals and drinks on board.

Click here for more details:

 

Like Cruise Holidays? See all my cruise reviews and cruise deals here

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Travel

Discover Croatia on a Luxury Yacht! 7 Night Cruise With Flights, Meals & Lots More, €2234

croatia

I can hear it now, the sound of the captain saying ‘Pool’s open’, before jumping straight into the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic. Researching this fabulous cruise, I’m thinking how amazing it would be to discover Croatia on a luxury yacht….

 

I don’t actually need to read the full itinerary, I’m already sold! To see how the other half live, by spending a week in Croatia on a luxury yacht, it doesn’t get much better than this! For anyone who has been following me over the last few years, you will know that I absolutely LOVE Croatia. I spent a week travelling along the Dubrovnik Riviera two years ago, and every little village or cove we found was delightful, not to mention the fairy tale city of Dubrovnik. While Dubrovnik is on most bucket lists, I believe the real beauty lies in the surrounding islands, and the best way to see them, is by boat.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Croatia Tours are offering you the chance to holiday like a celebrity. You will visit the hidden gems of Croatia on board a luxury yacht. The deluxe ‘Maritimo’ holds up to 38 people and has state of the art facilities on board. The spacious sun deck has loungers all passengers, as well as a jacuzzi if you fancy some bubbles while you sail off into the sunset!  Hot and cold breakfasts are served each morning as well as a four course lunch in the afternoon. Seven staff are on hand to cater for your every need, and with 38 being the maximum number of guests on board – no doubt the service will be excellent! Kids are not allowed on this cruise, so you can expect plenty of time to sit back and relax, in calm peaceful surroundings.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Where does it go?

Itineraries vary slightly depending on when you travel but in both cases you will have the opportunity to overnight in the magical city of Dubrovnik. You can enjoy a free guided walking tour or go it alone. Choose to hike the famous city walls of Dubrovnik, or chill out and watch some tombstoners from one of the many cliff bars. For more info check out my Dubrovnik blog.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

You will also have the chance to visit many of Croatia’s famous islands.  Explore the salt lakes and National Park in Mljet or take the perfect instagram photo in the lavender fields in Hvar.  Hvar is renowned for being a celebrity hang out. Beyonce, Bono, Tom Cruise and even Prince Harry have all holidayed here. Stop off in the trendy city of Split before over-nighting in Korcula, which is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the Mediterranean. Expect lots of gourmet foods and fine wines in this lively city. Beach lovers will enjoy the famous famous Zlatni Rat beach, also known as the Golden Horn, a natural phenomenon, that is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best beaches. Another highlight will be the captain’s dinner when you overnight in Sipan Island.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Let’s not forget that you will also have the opportunity to jump into the sea when you come across a hidden cove; to explore a secluded bay with no one around and dock in the centre of the smallest village, something that would be impossible in a larger vessel.  There are daily swimming stops and you can get involved as much or as little as you like.  The phrase ‘it’s about the journey not the destination’, springs to mind.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Costs and what’s included:

Prices for a one week trip on the on the 22nd of September is €2234. This includes flights, checked baggage, airport transfers, a seven night cruise with breakfast and four course lunch each day, two evening meals and lots more. You can also avail of free guided walking tours in Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korcula and Split, a cable car ticket in Dubrovnik and entrance ticket to Mljet National Park.  See more details and the full itinerary here.

If you fancy chilling out in one of Croatia’s prettiest resorts, why not extend your stay? Price for the seven night cruise and a four night stay in the 5* Croatia Hotel in Cavat is only €2504. Click here for more details.

For anyone looking to fly independently, you can book the cruise without flights from €1600 per person.

 

For more details visit Croatia Tours or call them on +353 1 8780800.

 

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

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

Uncategorized

5 Star Luxury Cruises in July or August from €1199 Including Flights!

Cunard_opt_opt

There are some amazing offers on 5 star luxury cruises in June, July or August. I had to read them a few times to see was I missing something – the prices are that good!

 

Three iconic cruise ships, the same impeccable service. Cruising with Cunard is classic, sophisticated and elegant. Expect daily white gloved afternoon tea, glamorous black tie events and unforgettable experiences. There are numerous dining options to choose from, world class entertainment as well as some traditional activities such as deck games, fencing and salsa dance classes. You will also find famous speakers giving informative presentations, another notable difference on Cunard cruises.

Click&Go have incredible offers on all three Cunard ships in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Choose a Greek Islands, Croatia and Italy cruise or a Western Mediterranean cruise taking in Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome. If you fancy Northern Europe, choose from a Norwegian fjords cruise or the Baltic Capitals. If you want a longer break there are also great deals on 9, 12 and 14 night cruises. What ever you choose you can enjoy 5 star luxury cruises in June, July or August from €1199, including flights from Dublin. I have listed two of my favourites below, but for details on all of their latest offers, click here.

 

Queen Victoria – Flights & 7 Night Greek Isles cruise, 14th July €1199!

Following upgrades to staterooms, the bar areas, sun deck and the new Britannia Club, you will cruise on a ship fit for a Queen. Enjoy a glass of bubbly at the Veuve Clicquot Champagne bar or enjoy the panoramic views in the Hemisphere lounge. Complete with a glass-domed roof this is also the venue for the resident DJ and contemporary nightclub. Practice your swing with the golf nets on deck, enjoy a game of tennis, fitness classes or relax in one of the swimming pools or the Royal Spa.

luxury cruises

 

Fly from Dublin to Athens on the 15th of July and board the Queen Victoria for your seven day luxury cruise around the Greek Islands. Visit the captivating islands of Mykonos, Rhodes and Crete as well as Saranda on the Albanian Riviera, before returning to Athens for your return flight home. Price of €1199 is based on an interior stateroom but you can upgrade to a balcony for an additional €200!

Click here for more details: or Call 01-5397713

 

Queen Mary 2 – Flights & 8 Night Norwegian Fjords cruise, 21st August €1299

Imagine cruising around the Norwegian Fjords 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. You will find the best wine cellar at sea and the largest library as well as a full scale planetarium. Of course if you just want to relax, there are five pools and a luxury spa.

5 Star Luxury Cruises in June, July or August from €999

Fly from Dublin to Hamburg on the 21st of August and cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on an eight night luxury cruise.  Visit Bergen, Aselund, Olden, Flaam and Stavanger before returning to Hamburg for your return flight home.

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. This post was sponsored by Click&Go but all views, as always, are my own.

Sarah

travel deals

 

 

 

Travel News and Reviews

5* Celebrity Cruises Will Cruise From Dublin in 2018

Aerial Celebrity Eclipse

I am delighted that such a prestigious cruise line, Celebrity Cruises, will cruise from Dublin in 2018! This is the first time a major cruise line will homeport out of Dublin. Not only is this great news for Irish cruisers, but also for our local economy too!

 

Cruise itineraries on the 5* Celebrity Eclipse have already been announced and are on sale in travel agencies across the country. I had the pleasure of touring Celebrity Silhouette while it was docked in Dublin recently and I loved it. Celebrity Silhouette is very similar to Celebrity Eclipse, they are one of the five Solstice Class ships. There are fantastic on board features, including swimming pools, spa and a selection of top class entertainment and dining options. They even have a manicured grass lawn, just to give it a country club ambiance! You can read my full review of Celebrity Silhouette here.

The Alcoves_opt

Fancy a ten night cruise to Iceland on the 30th of April, 10th or 28th of May? Prices are available from €1,369.  If you have always wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords, well now is your chance. Celebrity are offering an eight night Norwegian Fjords cruise from €1368, on the 20th of May. For those who want to stay closer to home, there is a 12 night cruise to Paris, Liverpool and Amsterdam on the 7th of June from €2239. This cruise gives you the opportunity to see the French Open as well as stopping off in Belfast, Waterford and Cork. All prices include port taxes and charges. Celebrity’s early booking offer guarantee, means that if you book and pay a deposit before the 28th February 2017, you can re book the exact cruise without any loss of deposit, if the price reduces at any time before your cruise! That’s confidence!

Celebrity Cruises from Dublin in 2018

Celebrity Cruises are modern luxury cruise line that cruise to 282 destinations in 77 countries across all seven continents. They include overnight stays in forty-one cities and double overnight stays in seven. They offer opportunities to visit destinations during key global events, that otherwise may be impossible to secure tickets or accommodation.  Highlights include the British Open, The Cannes Film Festival and in 2018, the FIFA World Cup matches in St Petersburg.

Celebrity Cruises will cruise from Dublin, exciting times ahead! Lets hope it is the start of many more to come! For more details visit celebritycruises.ie or see your local Travel Agent.

 

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

 

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Sarah

 The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
CruisesIn The Media

Cruise Holidays as seen on TV3’s Sunday AM

The-Travel-Expert-As-Seen-on-TV3

Thinking of cruise holidays but not sure which ship to choose? I discussed cruise holidays on TV3’s Sunday AM this morning, here are the highlights.

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For anyone who thinks cruises are only for elderly people – they are completely mistaken. I have been on board many ships and I can honestly say there is a cruise for everyone out there. Cruise ships are often referred to as floating hotels and in some cases they are more like floating cities. You can choose the massive ships like Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas which can carry 6,700 passengers, or opt for a smaller more intimate river cruise like Uniworld’s SS Catherine, which carries 159 passengers.

 

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas

Cruise Holidays - Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

Special offer:  28th August, 7 Nights, €1479pp! Includes flights,transfers, baggage and cruise in a neighbourhood balcony stateroom. Click here for more details.

 

If you want non stop action and great facilities for kids, then it is hard to beat Harmony of the Seas. This is the newest and largest ship at sea and was recently launched in Barcelona. I was on board for two days with my family, and we had a blast. There are numerous swimming pools, a kids splash park, three water slides and also the largest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss. This is a pair of slides that offer a 100 foot drop over 10 decks. You can also zip line (I did and it was terrifying), ice skate, surf, use the rock climbing wall. See what I mean about non stop action! They also offer amazing entertainment at night time with top class west end shows and an aqua theatre at the back of the ship. This modern show sees acrobats and synchronised swimmers perform just as the sun sets over the horizon. It is really dramatic and quite an experience.

Cruise Holidays - Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

There are over 20 different restaurants on board, some with additional charges but there are plenty of dining options included in the cost of your cruise. This is the most innovative ship I have ever seen, even the wifi on board is super fast. They have bionic bars (where your drinks are served by robots) and a bar that moves between decks, so you don’t miss any action. Kind of like a large elevator with a bar inside! There are seven different neighbourhoods on board including the Boardwalk and Central Park, which has 12,000 real trees and plants! It is enormous, but there are so many different places to go, that it can handle all 6,780 passengers. For more information on Harmony of the Seas, read my blog here.

 

ITAA_opt

 

Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Silhouette.

Cruise Holidays - Celebrity Silhouette

Special Offer: Celebrity Constellation 8th December, 9 night Dubai & Emirates Cruise, €1299 per person. Includes over night stays in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, direct flights, transfers, baggage, oceanview stateroom, with classic drinks package. Click here for more details.

 

For those who are looking for something a little more upmarket, try Celebrity Cruises. I was on Celebrity Silhouette when it was docked in Dublin and I loved it. It carries approximately 3000 passengers so in my opinion a nice size, not too big but not too small either. It has a country club feel rather than a large cruise ship and interiors are bright and airy. They have a manicured grass lawn and cabanas on deck and even the sun loungers are luxurious.

Cruise Holidays - Cabanas on Celebrity Silhouette

Over 85% of the staterooms have balconies. Many opt to stay there reading a book on sea days, meaning the pools are never crowded. The restaurants on board are top class. There are plenty of dining options included in the cost of your cruise or you can choose specialty restaurants which range from $7.50 – $50. They also offer plenty of over night stays which I think is great. They were docked in Cannes for the film festival this year so you could mix with the celebrities without having to pay €500 a night for a hotel room. Although there is a great mix of entertainment and kids facilities on board, it is a more relaxed ship and definitely offers modern luxury. For more information on Celebrity Silhouette, read my blog here.

 

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Thomson Cruises – TUI Discovery

Cruise Holidays - TUI Discovery

Thomson Cruises have just this month launched TUI Discovery. This was an old Royal Caribbean ship, Splendour of the Seas but they have revamped it and added some great extras like an outdoor cinema and an adult only sundeck. This is a smaller more intimate ship that carries 1800 passengers. For anyone who finds the larger ships daunting, this might be for them. The big ‘game changer’ is that for Summer 2017 it will be all-inclusive as standard. Most cruise ships offer drinks packages and some even give them away free as a booking incentive.  Some can have beer and wine, others can have spirits. It can get confusing at the bar and also expensive, depending on which package you have booked. I love that with the Discovery, everyone is treated equally, no need for wrist bands or the Spanish inquisition when you are ordering a drink. They include branded drinks and prosecco too, so it’s not just local beer and wine!

Cruise Holidays - Live Room on TUI Discovery

They have plenty of good dining options too and two speciality restaurants which carry a supplement of £19.95 each. This is good value compared to similar restaurants on other ships which cost a lot more. Another plus is that it is a package holiday so everything is included flights, transfers and baggage. Fights are available from Cork and Shannon too. I think this will be a very popular with new cruisers, groups or people who like all inclusive holidays. For more information on TUI Discovery, read my blog here.

For more cruise news, reviews and the best cruise deals, click here.

 

Sarah

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Royal Caribbean’s Ovation Of The Seas

Ovation of the Seas

I knew I was in trouble when I boarded and was given a 16 page map! I only had a half day to see this enormous ship. And when I say enormous I mean ENORMOUS – Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, is longer than three football pitches and higher than the Sydney Harbour bridge!

 

Ovation of the Seas is the third ship in the Quantum Class range, and is almost identical to it’s sisters, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. Heralded as the most innovative ships at sea and the ability to carry over 6400 passengers and crew – they are the most technologically advanced ships in the world.

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

They feature first at sea amenities, including sky dive experiences, surf simulators and the North Star, an observation capsule which ascends 300 feet above sea level. Even the state of the art interior staterooms offer ‘virtual’ balconies , where images are reflected in real time on digital screens. Guests can have a real time view of the ocean even from an interior stateroom!

Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

I think I used the words ‘mind blowing’ over and over during the day. Did I mention there is a $4.5 million art collection on board? At one stage we were fortunate to get a tour of the bridge – the sheer size of it was mesmerising. To hear the captain describe the proud feeling he gets when he parallel parks it at his first attempt. I was blushing at the thought of how excited I was when I got parking sensors on my new car!

Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

Immediately we set off on our guided tour, we couldn’t waste a moment. It was actually quite bizarre, we walked past the Seaplex and saw people chasing each other in bumper cars. The Seaplex is an indoor sports zone with a full size basketball court, roller skating, a circus school ( flying trapeze lessons anyone?) and live global video gaming.

Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

If you are more the outdoors type you can try rock climbing or the surf simulator – flowrider, as its more commonly called. Thankfully I wasn’t given a choice of activity because genuinely it would have been impossible to choose! Everything looked amazing, I wanted to try it all! When we turned a corner and saw people skydiving in a virtual wind tunnel. I was blown away (excuse the pun!) I had heard about the rip cord by iFLY simulator but seeing it first hand, is a different story. It is identical to those used by professional sky divers for practice. It simulates the feeling you get if you were actually brave enough to jump out of a plane. To date I haven’t been that soldier and I reckoned this was probably the closest I was likely to get – I just had to give it a go!

Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

The fully trained staff made you feel completely at ease and after watching a short video, the nerves had disappeared. It was an incredible feeling, and something I would like to try again and again. I would imagine if I was on a week’s cruise, I might try it a few times. I noticed that lessons are also available so it got me thinking – maybe the elusive sky dive might no longer be just a pipe dream… If you are the sporty type, Ovation of the Seas also has a running track, a state of the art gym with TRX and bootcamp classes. Don’t worry, you can relax in their internationally acclaimed spa afterwards!

Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

You might want to consider using some of the sports equipment because the chances are you will not be able to resist the mouth-watering food on board! There are 18 different restaurant choices, with everything from burger bars to fine dining. At the Wonderland themed restaurant you are given a blank easel and a brush to ‘paint’ the menu. Suddenly, voilá, your menu appears! Quirky or gimmicky, I wasn’t sure, but imaginative none the less. Like all of their speciality dining restaurants, the food is exceptional.
 Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

I ate in Jamie’s Italian, this is the third Jamie Oliver restaurant on board Royal Caribbean ships – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it I suppose. The food was excellent and the service, top class. We had sharing platters of antipasti which offered a different dish from each part of Italy, North to the South. You just knew you were sampling the best of Italian cuisine and the speciality of each region was a nice touch.

Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

What then to choose? The theatre, magical music in the piano bar, an acoustic session in the Irish bar or the infamous Wildboys 80’s band in the Music Hall ? I’m partial to a bit of 80s music so I couldn’t resist, and boy, they did not disappoint. The atmosphere was electric and for a minute I thought I was in Wembley at an amazing concert. I just had to have a drink in the bionic bar afterwards ( for research purposes of course), hard to believe but they actually have robots serving drinks!

Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

I would have liked to try the casino  but thankfully sense prevailed ! I knew I had to disembark at 8 am the following day so I sensibly avoided it and the numerous bars and shows that continued until the small hours. Instead I retired to my spacious stateroom and availed of the WiFi which is FAST and FREE! As I disembarked the following morning, I noticed a man removing a tile in the elevator to read Tuesday instead of Monday. There are sixteen passenger elevators on board and this is done every day.

Review of Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

The attention to detail on board Ovation of the Seas is phenomenal, the Royal Caribbean slogan ‘where extraordinary happens’ couldn’t be more apt!

 

Visit RoyalCaribbean.ie or see your local travel agent for more details.

 

Like cruise holidays? See all my cruise reviews and cruise deals here.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Travel

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise – Bordeaux, Vineyards & Chateaux

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Uniworld, the only authentic boutique river cruise line, are the ultimate choice for a river cruise.

River cruises give you the advantage of seeing many towns and villages from your bedroom window, unlike ocean cruises, every day you will experience a different view. For anyone who has cruised before, you will love the fact that with river cruising you can dock in the heart of a town or village, avoid queueing to get on and off the ship and lengthy coach trips for excursions. This convenient way of travelling as well as the relaxed pace and intimate atmosphere, are why river cruising is one of the fastest growing markets within the travel industry.

So why Uniworld?

Uniworld’s ships are literally like floating boutique hotels. Their sister company Red Carnation Hotels, own many of the top boutique hotels throughout the world (including Ashford Castle.) Once you step onboard a Uniworld cruise ship, you get the feeling you are checking in to somewhere special. The lavish designs, outstanding service, spacious staterooms and mouthwatering meals distinguish Uniworld from other river cruise lines. These are just some of the reasons Uniworld have won numerous awards, such as the best luxury cruise line, for the past seven years. The pace onboard is very relaxed and you have the choice to chill out and have some quiet time or mix with fellow passengers in the stylish bar. Similar to luxury hotels, expect the finest quality linens, marble bathrooms stocked with l’Occitane products and “No request too large, no detail too small” is the motto of the Uniworld staff, so prepare to be pampered!

Although Uniworld’s sale offers many cruises at discounted prices, I fell in love with this particular one!  Sail three rivers, the Garonne, the Dordogne, and the Gironde and visit Bordeaux, Bergerac, Medoc and the stunning hill top village of Saint-Émilion. Experience the culinary delights of each region with some of the world’s leading wines, meet the winemakers and enjoy a wine-pairing lunch at Châteaux d’Arche. Chef’s prepare each meal to coincide with the local wines making this particular cruise a mouthwatering culinary experience. There are numerous top class excursions included in the price or choose to go it alone, use their bicycles and explore this breathtaking scenery your own way.Uniworld Boutique River Cruise, Bordeaux, Vineyards and Chateaux by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

This outstanding seven night luxury cruise includes all excursions, meals and unlimited beverages on board (including fine wines), transfers, and port taxes. Please note that this cruise is subject to availability so if you want to be sipping a Premier Grand Cru in Saint-Émilion, with six star service, contact Uniworld now.

 

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert on Uniworld's boutique river cruise to Bordeaux, Vineyards and Chateaux

Sarah

The Travel Expert

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