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Travel

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

Celebrity-Reflection-2-compressor

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

 
Travel News and Reviews

Book A Package Holiday With Sunway With €1 Deposit!

Sunway

Trying to book a family holiday this summer but can’t afford to pay in full? Want to plan a girls getaway in September but can’t get everyone to commit? Book a package holiday with Sunway for just €1 deposit!

 

Trying to book a summer holiday after an expensive Christmas is not easy. Airlines request payment in full at the time of booking and when you add on checked bags and seat selection, that flight for €99 that looked cheap at the time, is anything but. I’m also seeing more non-refundable hotel rates these days. I don’t like paying in full at the time of booking (who does?) and I never book non-refundable rooms, it is impossible to change your booking if the need arises.

package holiday with sunway

Sunway always like to make things easy when booking holidays and now with a €1 deposit, it is even easier!  You can book a package holiday with Sunway to ANY of these destinations with just €1 – Algarve, Izmir, Bodrum, Salou, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Bulgaria, Costa del sol, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Sicily, Lake Garda, Morocco.

package holiday with sunway

I know it is hard to believe, but it is true! There is no catch – just pay the balance 10 weeks before your departure date! This is valid on all package holidays to the above destinations from the 4th of May – 27th of October. It is valid for family holidays too, everyone on the booking just pays €1 deposit. With flights, transfers and checked baggage included in the cost of their package holidays, you don’t need to search various sites to book flights, hotels and transfers separately – Sunway will do that in minutes.

package holiday with sunway

I know what it is like trying to plan a holiday with friends, it is next to impossible if you don’t book in advance. I had a quick look at Sunway’s website and found this great deal to Puerto Rico in September. Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the Carlota apartments, with transfers and checked baggage included, is only €298, based on three people sharing. The best part – simply book it now with a €1 deposit and pay the balance on the 20th of July! Of course this is available for couples too, price for two sharing is €337.

package holiday with sunway

View Offer Here

Sunway also tailor make holidays to suit your requirements. So if you want a quick weekend in the sun or a ten-night trip to Italy, Sunway will book these holidays for you with a low deposit of €150. This is valid on holidays with Ryanair or Aer Lingus flights and the balance will be taken 12 weeks before departure. If you are travelling in July or August you will probably find that by booking with Sunway you are securing your flight and accommodation for less than the true flight cost!

package holiday with sunway

Sunway, Ireland’s largest Irish owned tour operator, has been booking holidays for Irish holidaymakers for 53 years. They are renowned for their super service both before and during your holiday. With local representatives in resorts on package holidays, a 24/7 helpline should the need arise, and fully bonded and licensed, it is not surprising that they have recently been voted Ireland’s favourite travel agent in the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards.

 

Simply go online at Sunway.ie or call one of their travel experts on (01) 2311800 to book your next package holiday with Sunway for only €1 deposit!

 

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

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

DestinationsEuropeFamily Holidays

Why Lapland Is One Of The Most Magical Trips You Will Ever Take

santa in lapland

I have teamed up with Sunway, who offer more packages to Lapland from Ireland than anyone else. Our Sunway holiday to Lapland was magical. I still vividly recall my son lying with his ear to the snowy ground, telling me he could hear the elves making toys underneath…..

 

It’s been nearly four years since our visit, but it might as well have been yesterday. Our photo with Santa is still perched right in the centre of our living room and when a new visitor comes into the house, irrespective of the time of year, they inevitably hear how ‘we saw the REAL Santa’.

packages to Lapland from Ireland

Words that we learned during our trip are still recounted in high pitched Finnish accents four years later, particularly ‘Joulupukki’ (Santa in Finnish) – if only they remembered their Irish words so well! We have been very fortunate to go on many great family holidays, but Lapland is still the most talked about trip in our house. We took a short video while we were there and it is religiously watched every year after we put up the Christmas tree and again on Christmas Eve. It’s part of our ritual now, along with putting out the milk and cookies for Santa before bed time.

People often say to me about the cost. I know it is expensive. You could easily get a week in the sun for the same price, but ask yourself which will the kids remember more? Will they talk to their kids about the week they spent in Majorca when they were 8? I don’t think so. I have no doubt that my kids will share their memories of Lapland with their own children one day. It is lifetime memories like this that are priceless.

packages to Lapland from Ireland

We travelled with Sunway.ie who have sent thousands of families to Lapland over the past twelve years  – suffice to say they know what makes the perfect Santa experience. They offer one and two night trips to Rovaniemi and three and four night trips to Kittilä. Sunway have packages available from Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry. It is important to note that they have payment plans in place, so you don’t need to pay in full at the time of booking, a deposit of €100 per person will secure your place. If you can’t afford it this year, don’t worry, you can even book now for 2019 at 2018 prices!

packages to Lapland from Ireland

Believe it or not, the magic actually starts long before you arrive in Lapland. Imagine your kids faces when you tell them they are going to see the ‘real’ Santa? That’s when the fun starts! This is enhanced further when you arrive at the airport and see the  ‘North Pole’ as the destination at the check-in desk. It seems every child is wearing a Christmas jumper and Sunway’s elves are on hand with goody bags for all the children. It is a magical start to the journey and is typical of the attention to detail and service that Sunway provide throughout all of their packages.

packages to Lapland from Ireland

While a private meeting with the ‘REAL’ Santa might be the reason you book a holiday to Lapland, it is not the only thing that is memorable about the trip. Just being in a winter wonderland, with snowy forests all around, is something pretty special too. All of Sunway’s trips offer husky and reindeer rides, as well as snowmobiling and a trip to Santa’s village and Santa’s post office  – not your typical holiday experiences!

packages to Lapland from Ireland

Which package to choose?

Sunway offer four packages to Lapland from Ireland. If you are short on annual leave or if cost is a factor, the one night Santa’s Sleepover trip, priced at €979 per adult and €819 per child. may suit you. This is available from Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Knock and Shannon airports – you can see details here.

 

We went on the two-night Sleighbell Spectacular trip, currently priced from €1329 per adult and €1129 per child from Dublin airport. This includes a snowmobile safari through the forest, a visit to Santa’s command centre and elf school, tobogganing, and a festive dinner with a show. This show is a great opportunity to meet Santa for a second time and get a souvenir photo – just in case the first one didnt work out so well in the command centre! See more details here or read all about our trip to Lapland here.

 

packages to Lapland from Ireland

 

For those who want to experience the winter wonderland for a bit longer, Sunway also offer three and four night trips to Kittala from Dublin airport. These include all the favourites as the other trips but you will have some more free time to build snowmen, go skiing or simply relax and take in the magnificent surroundings. You can read all about them here.

 

packages to Lapland from Ireland

 

When looking at the costs note that all of above prices include flights, accommodation, transfers, all activities, meals and arctic clothing. You really only need spending money for souvenirs. And if this year is too soon to travel, why not want to plan now for 2019? Simply place a deposit now to secure your place at this years prices and talk to Sunway about their payment plans. For more details on how to plan this trip of a life time visit Sunway.ie

 

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.

 

Sarah

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Travel

September Sizzlers – City Breaks, Sun Deals & Luxury Long Haul Holidays – As Discussed on Newstalk FM

Whether you want an overnight stay in Ireland or a five star holiday in South East Asia, I’ve got you covered! I discussed September holiday deals on Newstalk FM, check out my top picks below. 

 

European Sun Holidays

TUI, the package holiday specialists, have some great deals including flights, accommodation, transfers and baggage. They are offering €100 off all holidays over €1000 in value for September, just use code SEPT100 at the checkout. They also have some free child places available which is ideal for families with younger children who haven’t started school yet. Another bonus is that all TUI holidays include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage, so there are no hidden extras. I picked out two favourites from their September sale below.

Majorca, Mariners Club Apartments, 14th September, 1 week, €369

september holiday deals

Located in the popular resort of Alcudia you have the option of enjoying the magnificent 14km beach, exploring the historic old town or enjoying the lively bars in the bustling new town. Located in a quiet area yet only a ten minute walk to bars and restaurants, the Mariners Club are bright and spacious and are highly rated on tripadvisor.

Click here for more details:

 

Lanzarote, Morromar apartments, All Inclusive (Meals & Drinks Included) 20th September, 1 week €533

september holiday deals

The Morromar apartments are located in the relaxing resort of Matagorda and close to the busy resort of Puerto del Carmen. Although this deal includes all meals and drinks, you have the added advantage of staying in a spacious apartment, equipped with a kitchenette and a separate living room. There are two swimming pools surrounded by tropical gardens and there is a wide selection of sports activities, as well as a day and evening entertainment programme, on site. Remember to use code SEPT100 at the checkout to take €100 off the listed price.

Click here for more details:

 

Long haul Holidays:

Luxury travel brand Hayes and Jarvis is offering FREE two night city stopovers with many of their September holidays. I have chosen two of my favourite offers but you can see their full range here.

2 Nights Dubai & 7 Nights Sri Lanka, 19th September, 5 Star Hotels, €1849

This amazing package deal includes a two night stay at the 5* Conrad Dubai with tickets to Dubai Parks. This is followed by a seven night stay, with breakfast and evening meal included, in the Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle, Sri Lanka. I was in this hotel and it is superb.

2 Nights Kuala Lumpur & 7 Nights Bali, 19th September, 5 Star Hotels, €1559

Another five star hotel deal, this time with a free stopover in the 5* Boutique Hotel Stripes, Kuala Lumpur. Enjoy a two night stay in Kuala Lumpur before relaxing for seven nights in the 5* Grand Hyatt in Bali.

 

Click here for more details:

 

Tropical Sky have excellent offers to the Caribbean in top all-inclusive resorts, which are ideal for couples who want a luxury beach holiday. They have a selection of ‘unlimited luxury’ five star resorts– where everything is included in the price. I have selected two favourites but you can see their full collection here.

5* Dreams La Romana, Dominican Republic All Inclusive Resort, 7 Nights, €1239

september holiday deals

Think tropical jungles and unspoilt white sandy beaches, the location of Dreams La Romana, couldn’t be better.  With a wide selection of restaurants and bars to choose from as well as activities and entertainment on site , you may find it difficult to leave! Prices include flights, transfers, unlimited meals and drinks for seven nights.

Click here for more details:

 

5* Now Saphire Riviera Cancun, All Inclusive Resort, 7 Nights, €1459

september holiday deals

Another stunning five star resort, this time in the Mexico. Located in the heart of Riviera Maya, the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun boasts seven stylish bars and gourmet restaurants, even the beach bar has waiter service! Prices include flights, transfers, unlimited meals and drinks, for seven nights.

Click here for more details:

 

City breaks:

Palma, 3 Night City Break, 4* Innside by Melia Palma Bosque, B&B, 8th September €399

september holiday deals

The Holiday Shop is offering a three night break in the chic city of Palma this September for only €399. Stay at the 4* Melia Palma Bosque hotel which is highly rated on tripadvisor and located close to the Bellver Castle and the trendy dining area Santa Catalina. Price includes breakfast too!

Click here for more details:

 

Dubai, Flights & 3 Nights Stay Radisson Blu Downtown, 14th September €549

september holiday deals

Sunway have an ideal trip for anyone who wants to see Dubai and has little annual leave time. The 4* Radisson Blu is located Downtown, close to the Burj Khalifa and they also offer a free shuttle bus to Jumeirah beach. It is also very highly rated on tripadvisor. Flights alone to Dubai are about €500 so this is exceptional value for a three night city break.

Click here for more details:

 

Cruise

23rd September, Norwegian Epic Med Cruise. Premium All Inclusive, €1579

september holiday deals

This all-inclusive cruise deal sails from Barcelona and visits the Amalfi Coast, Rome and Livorno ( Pisa/Florence) as well as Cannes and Palma. Norwegian Epic has over 24 dining options, one of the largest spas at sea, a waterpark, bowling alley and a wide selection of entertainment options. All drinks and meals are included as well as gratuities and checked baggage. Upgrade to a balcony cabin for €1799.

Click here for more details:

 

Irish Hotel Break: 

Ireland’s Blue Book, which is a collection of Irish Country House Hotels. Castles and Restaurants, have many special offers listed on their website for Autumn breaks. I thought this one was particularly good value for anyone looking for a quick over night break away. And if you purchase an Ireland’s Blue Book voucher and present the voucher on arrival at Belleek Castle, you will be presented with a glass of wine in the Spanish Armada bar on arrival 🍷.

september holiday deals

Belleek Castle, Ballina, Mayo, Bed, Breakfast & Evening Meal, €97 per person sharing

Enjoy an overnight stay in a newly refurbished room in one of Ireland’s romantic country castles. Price includes breakfast and an early three-course evening meal.

Click here for more details:

 

All prices are correct at the date of issue, 2nd August, but are subject to change. Note the links above are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

travel deals

 

 

Travel

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

MSC_seaside

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

 

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

Caribbean cruise deal

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

Caribbean cruise deal

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

caribbean cruise deal

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

Caribbean cruise deal

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

Travel

Save €700 Per Person – Flights & Premium All Inclusive Med Cruise, 23rd September, €1435!

Norwegian Star

With flights, meals, drinks and gratuities included, as well as a whopping saving of €700 per person, this All Inclusive Med cruise is unbeatable!

 

Did you know that Norwegian Cruise Line have been cruising for over 50 years? They now have 17 cruise ships and have 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! 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! 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. Have I convinced you yet?

I have teamed up with Sunway Holidays who are agents for Norwegian Cruise Line and have many exclusive offers, unavailable elsewhere. Their cruise experts have experienced Norwegian cruise ships first hand. They will be able to answer any queries you have, and recommend the right ship and cabin choice, to suit your requirements. Whether you seek a family cruise in the Mediterranean, a romantic cruise around the Caribbean, or a cruise and stay holiday in Alaska, Sunway have a cruise to suit everyone.  I have chosen this All Inclusive Med cruise because, not only will you will be stopping at some of the Mediterranean’s most stunning locations, but Sunway have an exclusive saving of €700 per person!

all inclusive med cruise

You will set sail from Venice and cruise to the medieval city of Dubrovnik. Climb the city walls and take in the views, meander through the cobbled-stone streets or chill out in one of the cool cliff-top bars. Your next stop is the bay of Kotor in Montenegro, where the southernmost fjords meet soaring mountain peaks. I visited Kotor a few years ago and feel in love with it. From there you will visit Katakolon in Greece, famous for it’s proximity to the ancient city of Olympia. You will also have the pleasure of stopping in Athens where you will marvel at the Acropolis and the modern city below. The final stop is the Croatian city of Split. Renowned for its beautiful old town, stunning beaches and crystal clear waters, you can choose to stay in Split or venture further afield to Plitvice Lakes or one of the nearby islands. After this seven day Eastern Mediterranean cruise you will sail back to Venice for your return flight home.

all inclusive med cruise

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 (menus are changed daily) as well as a variety of cafés and fast food outlets, all included in the price of your cruise. They also have a selection of speciality dining options, which incur a separate charge. I had lunch in the Teppanyaki restaurant when the Norwegian Star was docked in Dublin port – it was superb.

all inclusive med cruise

The pool deck has two waterslides and six hot tubs, although if you fancy a quiet place to swim, you can visit the indoor lap pool in the Spa. There is also a fitness centre with a jogging track, a golf driving net and a volleyball/basketball court. The Norwegian Star has a massive theatre showing the latest West-End style shows and there are plenty of bars with live music, if you fancy a more casual night.

Fly from Dublin to Venice on the 23rd of September and enjoy a seven-night Mediterranean cruise for only €1435. This includes a massive saving of €700 per person, which is exclusive to Sunway. Remember the price includes flights, all meals, drinks and gratuities!

 

Click here for more details:

 

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

 

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

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

Travel

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

Last minute deals

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

 

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

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

The Travel Expert and Sunway Giveaway

European Special Offers:

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

last minute deals

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

Click here for more details

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

Click here for more details

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

Click here for more details

last minute deals

Family deals:

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

Click here for more details

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

Click here for more details

last minute deals

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

Click here for more details

 

Long haul holiday deals

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

Click here for more details

last minute deals

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

Click here for more details

last minute deals

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

Click here for more details

last minute deals

Cruise Deals:

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

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

Click here for more details

last minute deals

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

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

Click here for more details

 

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

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

Click here for more details

last minute deals

 

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

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

Travel

Premium All Inclusive Fly Cruises to the Med & Caribbean, With Prices from €1340!

cruise drinks

From Barcelona to the Bahamas, Venice to the Virgin Islands,  All Inclusive cruise holidays with Norwegian Cruise Line offer some of the best value cruises on the market. The only decision is which one will you choose?

 

Did you know that Norwegian Cruise Line have been cruising for over 50 years? They now have a whopping 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! 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! 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. Have I convinced you yet?

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

All prices include flights, and remember with Norwegian Cruise Line, all meals, drinks and gratuities are included too!

 

Norwegian Epic: 28th October, 7 Night Cruise,  Spain, Italy & France, €1340!

This amazing offer is available over the October bank holiday weekend! Take advantage of less time off work or avail of the kids mid term break. This classic Western Mediterranean itinerary cruises from Barcelona and visits Naples, Rome, Pisa, Cannes and Palma. See many of the Italian highlights by touring the Amalfi Coast, visiting the ancient city of Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Chill out on one of the stylish beach resorts on the Cotes d’Azur and shop till you drop in Palma.

all inclusive cruises

Norwegian Epic is one of Norwegian’s largest cruise ships and carries over 4,000 passengers. This innovative cruise ship has twenty-four different dining options, mind-blowing entertainment and one of the largest spas at sea. The top deck spans the entire length of the ship and has lots of bars, restaurants and swimming pools, as well as water park with huge water slides.  There are numerous clubs for kids as well as a dedicated kid’s centre and a teen disco. Sports enthusiasts will love the climbing walls, bowling alleys and state of the art fitness centre on board. If you fancy a quieter place, the adults-only bar and pool area has two hot tubs and a bar serving drinks, to cool you down! At night time movies are shown here too.

all inclusive cruises

There are lots of delicious dining options included in the cost of your cruise but if you fancy trying something special, the Cirque Dreams & Dinner should not be missed. This unique theatrical dining experience presents world class acrobatics with mouthwatering food. Cagney’s Steakhouse is another favourite, offering choice cuts of Black Angus steak, as well as their, made-from-scratch jumbo crab cakes and truffle fries!

Click here for more details:

 

Brand New Norwegian Bliss: 18th January 2019, Miami, Bahamas & Virgin Islands, €1898!

Be one of the first to cruise Norwegian’s newest and most incredible ship, Norwegian Bliss. This ship has been custom-built to give 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, you may not want to leave! This state-of-the-art cruise ship features the same freestyle dining and premium all-inclusive drinks available on all Norwegian cruises. 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. Texas Smokehouse – Q is new to Bliss and the first full-service Starbucks at sea, is here 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 slides (one of which extends over the edge of the ship). The Tony Award®-winning 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.

all inclusive cruises

This amazing offer includes direct flights with Aer Lingus to Miami, an over-night stay in a four star hotel in Miami and a seven night Caribbean cruise, visiting the Bahamas and the Caribbean islands of St Thomas and Tortola.

Click here for more details:

 

Note all of the above cruises are just a sample of the many cruises that Sunway 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 Sunway, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

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

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

 

Travel

Family Holiday in Menorca With Free Waterpark Access, 2ad & 2ch, 14th July, €2330!

Waterpark

Sheltered cove beaches, captivating harbours and family friendly resorts. Choose a family holiday in Menorca this year from €2330 and enjoy free access to the waterpark throughout your stay.

 

Still relatively unspoilt, Menorca retains all the charm and character you would expect from a Spanish island but thankfully, without the high rise blocks. The laid back atmosphere is perfect for a family holiday with cafes, bars and restaurants being the main sources of evening entertainment, rather than discos and clubs. Most of the family coves have great beach bars serving refreshing drinks and delicious snacks and with an average summer temperature of only 25 degrees, you could quite easily spend the full day on one of Menorca’s stunning beaches. The main holiday resorts also have a great choice of eateries which cater exceptionally well for families and many offer stunning sea views.

family holiday in Menorca

Considering its neighbours are Majorca and Ibiza, it is hard to believe that Menorca has still managed to maintain a much slower pace of development. Recognised by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve because of the diversity of its landscape, it is the perfect mix of a cultural interior with cosmopolitan coastline. Stunning harbours combine with architectural ruins and clear blue seas, it really is a true find. There is wide selection of historic towns to explore including the capital, Mahon, the fishing village of Fornells and the old walled town of Ciudadella. The flat terrain lends well to cycling and walking trails so although the island overall has a relaxed vibe, it is also suitable for families looking for an active holiday. Water-sports are plentiful at the beaches too.

family holiday in menorca

Sunway Holidays have a Menorca sale on at the moment with kids prices from €199. I particularly like the Roc Lago Park apartments because you have FREE unlimited access to the Aquarock waterpark, throughout your stay! And lets face it, if the kids are happy, so are you! The waterpark is located beside the apartments and there is a wide selection of slides and swimming pools to choose from. The Roc Lago Park’s central location ensures you are close to the beach and the resort centre of Cala’n Bosch with it’s stylish marina.

family holiday in menorca

Depart from Dublin for one week on the 14th of July for €2330, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. This Menorca family holiday includes flights, accommodation, transfers, 20kg checked baggage per person and free entrance to the waterpark throughout your stay!

 

Click here for more details:

 

If those dates don’t suit, click on this link for prices to Menorca throughout the summer season. This post was sponsored by Sunway Holidays  but all views, as always, are my own 😎

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

Travel

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

Ovation of the Seas

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

 

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

asia cruise

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

asia cruise

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

asia cruise

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

asia cruise

Whats included:

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

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

Click here for more details.

 

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

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

 

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

In The Media

Tips & Deals for Booking Summer Holidays As Discussed on Newstalk

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With tons of special offers available and a desire to have something to look forward to, January is the best time to book a holiday. Check out my top tips and deals for booking Summer holidays that I discussed with Ivan Yates on Newstalk.

 

Compare like with like.

I say this time and time again as this is the biggest mistake people make when booking holidays online. When comparing package holidays with holidays you design yourself, make sure you include baggage charges, airport transfers and local taxes. Tour Operators like Sunway , Topflight and TUI Holidays will offer packages with no hidden extras, so make sure the ‘deal’ you think you have found online is really as good as it seems. A 20kg checked bag costs €110 to Lanzarote in the Summer with Aer Lingus and airport transfer costs to some resorts in the Algarve and Majorca can also be extremely high, so make sure you add these to the cost of the basic flight and accommodation before you compare with a package holiday.

The same applies to long haul holidays. Sometimes specialists like Tropical Sky will be able to offer cheaper packages than if you bought a flight and hotel separately. Some of the low cost carriers, like Norwegian and WOW air charge high amounts for baggage, allocated seating, even meals, on long haul flights. Compare these with airlines such as Turkish Airlines who include a generous baggage allowance, all meals and even drinks on board.

tips and deals for booking summer holidays

Check the total flight duration.

You may find a special offer on a particular website to Los Angeles or Thailand but when you book it you will find that it takes you 24 hours to get there! Sometimes the lowest airfares have many stopovers and can take double the time of a direct flight – make sure you read the times!

Check one way and return airfares.

When booking a flight make sure you check both one way and return airfares. With Aer Lingus and Ryanair for instance, you may find it is cheaper to fly out with one airline and home with another. This can also be useful for good flight times, one airline may have better times on the outward journey and another on the return. Skycanner will combine all airlines so you can automatically find the best airfares and quite often the lowest priced journey will be with two different carriers. Skyscanner will also show you carriers that you may not have thought of, i.e Vueling who fly direct to Barcelona from Dublin or Iberian Express who fly to Madrid.

tips and deals for booking summer holidays

 

Like these tips? See more here.

 

Some of the best sales / deals available.

tips and deals for booking summer holidays

Aer Lingus annual seat sale is on until the 16th of January offering up to 50% off selected European airfares and flights to the USA from €209 one way, if sold as part of a return ticket. Apparently they have reductions on 3 million seats!

TUI Holidays ( formerly Falcon Holidays ) is offering 1000’s of free child places with a low booking deposit of €75.

Attraction Tickets Direct have a Win Win promotion. If you pay a €25 deposit on theme park tickets to Florida and the price reduces when you are due to pay your balance, you will be charged the lower price. If the price increases ( due to currency fluctuations or general price increases ) they wont charge you any more. Hence the term win win – you can’t loose!

Topflight has a ski and summer sale with discounts across all seasons and destinations including ski holidays and a wide range of holidays to Italy.

Click&GO.com is offering €1 deposits on holidays booked with Aer Lingus, departing 10 or more weeks from the booking date. A further €150 deposit is due 4 weeks after booking and the balance is payable 10 weeks before departure.

Royal Caribbean Cruises is offering buy one get one half price, plus free deluxe drinks packages on selected sailings. They are also offering 25% discount on the 3rd and 4th passengers, which is ideal for families.

 

My Top 3 Top Long Haul Picks:

top tips and deals for bookings summer holidays

Sunway is offering a seven night all-inclusive stay in the Dominican Republic from €875 in May. Price includes flights and hotel for 1 week, with all meals and drinks included. Upgrade to the 5* Dreams Punta Cana for €1189. Click here for more details:

Tropical Sky is offering a seven night all-inclusive stay in the Maldives from €1499 including flights and speed boat transfers. Click here for more details:

Travalue has a 12 night holiday to South Africa with accommodation in Cape Town, the wine lands and the Garden Route, with 9 days car hire, and a safari for 2 nights on a full board basis, from €1695 in May or June. Click here for more details:

 

Like these deals? See more here.

 

Sarah

 

DestinationsEuropeFamily HolidaysFeatured

My Family Holiday in Salou

Salou_opt

My family holiday in Salou thought me that there is a more to this sunshine resort than beautiful beaches and busy bars. Check out my review.

 

Busy built up resorts are not really my style, in fact normally I run a mile from them. However I really wanted to visit PortAventura and I had heard so many promising things about the Costa Dorada in general, that I thought I would go and see for myself what it was really like. We had an action packed four days and thankfully managed to see most of the highlights during our family holiday in Salou.

family holiday in Salou
 

 

 
Salou was pretty much as I expected, built up and busy! To be fair, the tree lined boulevard is impressive and spotless. The beach is also superb with lots of fancy sun bed offerings and an inflatable water park for kids. The fountain displays on the promenade are also a big hit at night-time for all the family. So although very lively, Salou has a nice happy atmosphere throughout. There are some excellent shops too and prices are very reasonable.
 

 


 
A family holiday in Salou is popular with Spanish holiday makers too who come from Barcelona and neighbouring cities, so there is a good mix of local and international shops to choose from. Similarly with dining options, don’t be put off by the rows of fast food outlets along the main road, if you walk along the promenade down by the area known as ‘The Rocks” there are some nice restaurants and bars to choose from. Look out for the pointed metal sculpture that resembles a ship’s sail (its called Els Pilons) and you will not only find lots of tapas bars but also some great cocktail bars to watch the sunset. We ate in Bamboo, a typical family restaurant but the pizzas were great (€11.90) and the kids menu is only €6.90!

family holiday in Salou
 

 

 

Things to do on family holiday in Salou:

One of the best things about holidaying in Salou is that there is so much to see and do in the surrounding area. If you find Salou is too busy for you, there are numerous quieter resorts dotted along the coast, that are easily accessible. Cambrils is only 7km away or 10 minutes by bus, and this is definitely worth a visit, especially during the evening time. The beachfront is lined with cafes and bars, perfect for a evening cocktail and there is a wide choice of top dining options. From tapas bars to Michelin star restaurants, you will be spoilt for choice in Cambrils. We ate in Meat Market, a good choice if you fancy a steak. They offer a choice of meats which are cooked on the stone and they even have fillet steak on the kids menu.

family holiday in Salou
 

 

 
We also took the bus to nearby Tarragona, and this was a real treat. Walking down from the bus stop we came across the Monumento a los Castellers, which is a sculpture of the human pyramid, a famous Spanish tradition that has been celebrated since the 18th century. The Concurs de Castell festival takes place in Tarragona every two years. Thirty two teams (including children from 5 years of age) climb on top of each other to make the tallest human pyramid. It must be a fantastic sight to see! We had to settle for the sculpture instead!


 

 

 
Tarragona has a medieval centre packed with Roman ruins, including a seaside amphitheatre and a stunning cathedral. The kids enjoyed exploring the ancient ruins and I couldn’t help stopping constantly to take pictures, Tarragona is Instagram heaven! We came across an old square where locals spilled out into the centre, enjoying lunch time tapas, we simply had to join in 🙂 There is a local train that you can take if you don’t fancy walking. It stops at all the high lights and I would definitely recommend it if you plan on spending the day here.

family holiday in Salou
 

 

 
PortAventura World is the other reason why a family holiday in Salou is a popular choice. There are now three parks, PortAventura, Caribe Aquatic Park and Ferrari Land. We spent two full days here and actually I would recommend three if you have the time. It is a great theme park that offers a fantastic variety of rides and shows for children of all ages. Don’t miss the fireworks and parade at night time! If you are planning a visit buy your tickets in advance from Attraction Tickets Direct. Not only are they cheaper but you may get 2 days for the price of 1 or free access to the water park or Ferrari Land. Read my review on PortAventura World before you go.

family holiday in Salou
 

 

 
Depending on how much time you have you can also pay a visit to Barcelona, it is only an hour by train from Salou. It is a great city to ramble around as well as being home to some of Europe’s most visited attractions. Enjoy some tasty tapas and watch the local street artists perform on the Ramblas, take a tour of the Nou Camp, Barcelona’s football stadium, or visit the famous Sagrada Familia. There is so much to see and do in Barcelona, you will need to plan your day in advance!

family holiday in Salou

 

 

 

 

Family holiday in Salou – where to stay:

Cambrils was where I originally wanted to stay. However I found it lacks a choice of good quality family apartments. For those screaming at me right now, I know Cambrils Park is a great family resort but it is enormous and personally I prefer a smaller complex. You also need to book it a year in advance, and I’m never that organised! We decided to mix things up a bit and stay two nights in Camping La Siesta in Salou and two nights in the Gold River hotel (one of the PortAventura hotel’s) and check out the benefits of both.


 

 

 
Camping La Siesta is an ideal choice if you want to stay in Salou but want a quiet area to relax at the same time. In fact although it is only five minutes walk from the promenade you would think you were miles away. It is like an oasis in the middle of a busy resort. Don’t get me wrong, the pool area is busy but you can enjoy a quiet time at your bungalow if you feel like it. We stayed in the Caribe bungalows and I was really impressed. They are modern, brightly furnished and come with a huge BBQ, sunloungers and the biggest hit of all – a hammock! We all loved the hammock and it was the first thing my kids did when they got up in the morning and when they came back from the pool. Luckily they could both fit into it as there would have been murder otherwise!


 

 

 
The swimming pools are great for children, there is a splash park for small children and a great choice of slides in the main pool which we all enjoyed. There is a regular day and evening entertainment program here too so it is ideal for families who are looking for a lively atmosphere. We booked it through Sunway Holidays who offer a wide range of  family holidays in Salou.

family holiday in Salou
 

 

 
We also spent two days at one of the PortAventura hotels, the Gold River. The reason we moved hotels was because I was reviewing PortAventura World so I want to get the most out of our time at the park. The Gold River is a great choice if you want to stay at the park. The family rooms are really spacious and come with a kitchenette. The Wild West theme was a big hit with my kids as they spent lots of time climbing in and out of props that were lying around!

family holiday in Salou
 

 

 
We were staying on a half board basis but never ate in the buffet restaurant at all (I’m not a fan of buffets!). Their dine around system means you can eat in any of the restaurants in the park (you need to prebook at reception) and use your dining credit. There may be a supplement to pay depending on which restaurant you choose. We ate in the Gold River’s own a la carte restaurant, Opera. It has a lovely outdoor seating area which is beside the main square so we could relax and enjoy our meal while the kids played happily. The kids disco is on here too and the kids loved the dance lessons to Despacito!

family holiday in Salou
 

 

 
The main reason for staying in a PortAventura hotel is to have unlimited access to the park and being only a few minutes walk proved a God send. We were able to come and go as we pleased which was particularly good at night time. There are little or no queues during the evening. We were able to see the parade and fireworks display and then walk back to our hotel afterwards. 

Read: My review on PortAventura World.


 

 

 
My overall feeling about the Costa Dorada in general is that it is a superb family holiday destination. Salou is busy, built up and not pretty but it has so much to offer for families. The neighbouring resorts of Cambrils and La Pineda are more relaxed if that suits your style. You will find some of Spain’s best beaches, fascinating cities and one of Europe’s largest theme parks on your door step. What more could you want?

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

 

 

Travel

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

Cunard_opt_opt (1)

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

travel deals

In The Media

Last Minute Holiday Deals From The Marian Finucane Show

Radio-Show-Feature-RTE-1

Looking for last minute holiday deals? Check out my top choices that I discussed with Marian Finucane.

This summer is quite surprising in terms of last minute holidays as there is still lots of availability. Usually in July we see accommodation shortages in Spain and Portugal but that is not the case this year. That combined with extra capacity with Ryanair and Aer Lingus means that for anyone hoping to secure a last minute deal – you are in luck!

Spain, Portugal, Sicily.

Sunway Holidays in particular have lots of availability in July and August and because they are a package holiday company, they have paid for accommodation in advance and are able to offer package deals at low prices. Next weekend, the 15th of July you can go to the Canary Islands and Sicily for €399 for 1 week, including checked baggage and transfers. When you think that a checked bag to the Canary Islands is normally €110, it is exceptional value to have everything included in the price.  Click here for more details. They have some great family prices too. A  week in the Algarve is €1576 on the 15th of July in the popular Estrella do Vau apartments and you can go to the family island of Menorca from €1676 on the 23rd of July. Both  prices are based on 2 adults and 2 children and include transfers and baggage. Click here for more details.

last minute holiday deals

Click&Go are also promoting last minute deals and are offering families the chance to pay 50% now and the remainder 2-4 weeks before departure. Usually with last minute holidays, you have to pay the full amount at the time of booking so this will help families looking to go in August who can pay half now and half when they get paid at the end of July.  They are offering deals to Salou in July and August, one of this years top family destinations. Prices for 2 adults and 2 children is €2338 in the popular four star Regina Gran hotel including breakfast and evening meal. This departs the 21st of July and includes flights and transfers. Click here for more details. They also have an all-inclusive deal in the Villamarina Club from €2554 on the 4th of August, based on 2 adults and 2 children. Click here for more details

last minute holiday deals

Some of the UK travel giants have joined the Irish market this year. In particular Teletext holidays, who have been selling holidays for over 25 years. Their prices are very competitive and they have a wide selection of accommodation available so their website is definitely worth checking out.  I found a great deal to the Algarve departing the 20th of July. Price for 2 adults and 2 children is €1516 including flights and accommodation in the Eirasol apartments, Albufeira. You can add on transfers and checked baggage if required. Click here for more details.

last minute holiday deals

Greece, Croatia

Donabate travel is offering a week in one of the most sought after family apartments in Corfu, the Loulas Village. Price for flights, transfers and a seven night stay on the 4th of August is only €1695, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Click here for more details
For families looking for something a little different, I found a 2 bedroom apartment near Dubrovnik, Croatia, departing the 19th of July. I stayed near here with my kids and we loved it. Price for 2 adults and 2 children for seven nights is €2520. Click here for more details.
last minute holiday deals

Cancun

Fancy going further afield? The five star Moon Palace all-inclusive resort is only €1519 per person on the 28th August. Price includes  flights, transfers, baggage and a massive $1500 resort credit! You can dine in any of their fifteen restaurants, have cocktails in any of their twelve bars or if you want a night a nightcap on your balcony – you can have a drink from your well-stocked minibar. All of these are included in the price of your stay.  All rooms come with a private balcony with a hammock and a double Jacuzzi in the bathroom! Click here for more details

last minute holiday deals

City Breaks

For anyone looking for a quick getaway, Click&Go have some great 5* city break available. Choose Prague on the 15th of August for €333 or Lisbon for €370 on the 29th of August. Both prices include flights and a five star hotel on a B&B basis for three nights. Click here for more details on Lisbon or here for more details on Prague.

 

Sarah

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Menorca, The Perfect Family Holiday Destination, 30th July, 2ad & 2ch, from €1876!

family

Sheltered cove beaches, captivating harbours and family friendly resorts. Is Menorca the perfect family holiday destination?

 

Still relatively unspoilt, Menorca retains all the charm and character you would expect from a Spanish island but thankfully, without the high rise blocks. The laid back atmosphere is perfect for a family holiday with cafes, bars and restaurants being the main sources of evening entertainment, rather than discos and clubs. Most of the family coves have great beach bars serving refreshing drinks and delicious snacks and with an average summer temperature of only 25 degrees, you could quite easily spend the full day on one of Menorca’s stunning beaches. The main holiday resorts also have a great choice of eateries which cater exceptionally well for families and many offer stunning sea views.

menorca the perfect family holiday destination

Considering its neighbours are Majorca and Ibiza, it is hard to believe that Menorca has still managed to maintain a much slower pace of development. Recognised by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve because of the diversity of its landscape, it is the perfect mix of a cultural interior with cosmopolitan coastline. Stunning harbours combine with architectural ruins and clear blue seas, it really is a true find. There is wide selection of historic towns to explore including the capital, Mahon, the fishing village of Fornells and the old walled town of Ciudadella. The flat terrain lends well to cycling and walking trails so although the island overall has a relaxed vibe, it is also suitable for families looking for an active holiday. Water-sports are plentiful at the beaches too.

menorca the perfect family holiday destination

Sunway Holidays have a wide selection of accommodation options available. Prices for a seven night family package on the 30th of July start from €1876, based on 2 adults and 2 children in the Los Lentiscos apartments or €2276 for 2 adults and 2 children in the Roc Lago Park apartments. Highly rated on tripadvisor, the Roc Lago Park are a great family property that allows you free access into the water park next door for the duration of your stay. Located beside the pretty marina in Cala’n Bosch, their central location ensures you are close to the beach and the resort centre.

menorca the perfect family holiday destination

The flight times are perfect too with no awkward 6 am starts! The direct flight leaves Dublin every Sunday at 14:50 and lands back in Dublin at 21.35pm. All Sunway package holidays include flights, accommodation, transfers, 20kg checked baggage per person and NO hidden extras! What more could you ask for?

 

Click here for more details:

 

If those dates don’t suit, click on this link for prices throughout the summer season. This post was sponsored by Sunway Holidays and the Menorca Tourist Board, but all views, as always, are my own 😎

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah

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