Cruises are all about the independence of the seas… now, that’s a catchy title. Maybe, I’ll share it with the good people at Royal Caribbean http://www.royalcaribbean.com.
Of course they thought of it first… those clever cruisers always do.
Royal Caribbean has 14 nights on Indy (as we all like to call her) on July 27, departing and returning to Southampton, checking in to Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Barcelona, Nice, Ajaccio, Corsica, Malaga and Seville (Cadiz). From €1,539 per person for an interior room, based on two people sharing, €3,078 for two guests. Flight required.
Now, seeing that nobody loves a Royal party more than me, apart from well, everyone, I’ll go off now to dig out a Royal party with a difference that I enjoyed with Indy last year.
It all started for us in Corfu… well, we’d had a four-year dress rehearsal but I never suited the dresses.
But Corfu is where we honeymooned… owwww (sorry, that was a typo, I meant to write awww!).
We were firmly on terra firma but a cruise on board the Marella Discovery, flying from Dublin to Corfu and then enjoying Idyllic Italia looks tempting, si?
My little mermaid had to get back on ship for a swim on our fjords adventure last year so our trip to see my old University buddy, American Tom, in Copenhagen where he now lives, was all too short, an afternoon as it turned out.
But let me relive it all the same so if you’ll be patient I’ll bring it to you.
It was of course well worth it seeing the great man and his adopted city. And Copenhagen will enthral you too.
So jump on board the Norwegian Getaway on a nine-night all-inclusive cruise of the Baltics with Cassidy Travel, coming in at €1298pps.
Boarding in Copenhagen and setting sail for Berlin, Tallinn, St Petersburg (overnight), Helsinki and Stockholm, you will return to the Danish capital. Depart October 2, flights extra. Call Cassidy Travel (01) 2910000 or book at any one of their nine stores across Dublin.
I’ll share pics and a few thoughts when I get back next week.
I know, I know, that I’ve got to catch up with what’s going on at home, but when I get back I will give you a bumper Cruiseday Tuesday, Flyday Friday and Holiday Snaps, and open a few more windows to the world.
Julie Hastings might just love a duck more than me…
Anyone who has had the pleasure to stay in one of Hastings’ seven luxurious hotels in the North will have been charmed by the rubber ducks there to greet them in their rooms….
They’re gweat quack!
Rory McIlroy’s mam Rosie was so delighted that they immortalised her son in duck that she ordered half a dozen.
And here he is in all his glory, Rory Quackilroy, as well as a Titanic duck, a Duck of Thrones Mother of Dragons duck, a Table D’uck quacker and a Wally Walled City of Derry duck all sent to me with her good wishes.
And they will share pride of place with my Loch Ness, Viking, Bavarian, Dutch, Tower of London Beefeater and Peabody Duck… there’s almost no room for me in the bath.
As a regular visitor to Belfast to check that the Son and Heir is still studying I always use the Grand Central Hotel Belfast and its seahorse symbol up the side of the hotel for my bearings. And long will it be a compass for generations to come.
American Holidays is offering free Disney dining as part of a Disney World Family Holiday (don’t even think about ordering duck), or free breakfast when you stay at a selected Disney Value Resort.
The Walt Disney World Family Holiday including park tickets and free Disney dining is from 1,207 euro pp.
That includes return flights from Orlando plus one checked bag per person round trip.
Seven nights Walt Disney World Resort Florida, Disney seven-day Utimate Ticket with Memory Maker, Disney Magical Transfers on arrival and departures, all in resort transportation and extra magic hours in theme parks, and that free Disney breakfast. Based on two adults and two children sharing. For travel in February. Visit http://www.americanholidays.com.
But before we leave all things Disney for just now, I hope the Pearly Gates are tall enough for Chewbacca, aka Peter Mayhew. As you’ll have worked out by now, I don’t think you can ever have too much hair.
Today is also Star Wars Day… probably as good a day as any to begin watching, and particularly as I’ll be one of the first ones to enjoy the Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars world attractions in Disneyland later this month. And telling you all about it too.
Anyone who has been taught by the Jesuits, and lived to tell the tale, will have their own personal stories of a Walk of Shame. Mine’s and my pals was the walk to the room where the teacher gave us the belt.
Cersei’s was when she was forced to walk naked down the Jesuit staircase and through the streets in King’s Landing.
That is of course Dubrovnik and for all Game of Thrones fans, and I am learning way too much about it second-hand from my own Mother of Dragons, the Croatian city is becoming even more accessible thanks to our national airline carrier.
Aer Lingus’s inaugural flight from Cork to Dubrovnik took off this morning at 11am, and Aer Lingus will take to the skies each Tuesday and Saturday during the summer months.
Fares start from 79.99 one way including taxes and charges. Visit http://www.aerlingus.com. And remember hold your head up high when you walk down those Jesuit stairs. Sure the Jesuits made us all feel guilty about something.
MY LITTLE PUMPKIN
Roysh! Is it not about time for another novel from the Ledge that is Ross O’Carroll-Kelly?
We all know that D4 is his fiefdom (if that’s actually a word). And the InterContinental Dublin is at its heart.
Not that money is any object to the Rossmeister but to the rest of us…
The InterCon has a start of summer sale which includes 10% off a Stay for Breakfast Package which includes complimentary breakfast, 10% off all spa treatments, access to the spa, heated indoor pool, thermal suite and gym. Valid for stays until July 31. Visit http://www.intercontinental.com.
Are you on the edge of your seats? Yes, the inaugural European sailing of Celebrity Edge is just around the corner…
I sailed around the Bahamas at the end of last year at the inaugural sailing on the $1bn wonder ship with its Magic Carpet tender, from North America, and can thoroughly recommend it although probably best to go on a diet BEFORE you set sail.
Because it’s not been done before.. or at least I haven’t seen it in the literally minutes I’ve taken to check… I designate this Friday Flyday. So that’s all the great flight deals for you to browse over at the weekend.
So, let’s get off to a flyer (there’s much, much more of this, don’t worry).
In the week that’s in it with the funeral of the legendary Billy McNeill who captained the first British team to win the European Cup, in Lisbon in 1967, today and the passing of Stevie Chalmers who scored the winning goal, let’s kick off with the Portuguese capital.
Aer Lingus has 20% off your summer holiday, travelling May 13-July 31 which means Lisbon 39.99, one-way from Dublin and Cork. Visit http://www.aerlingus.com. Sale ends Monday.
If you’re really confident (or foolish) you might think that Liverpool or Spurs might follow in Celtic’s footsteps this year. The final is in Madrid (53.99 euro). Sale ends Monday.
Worth mentioning here too that North America (with pre-clearance is from 169 euro each way, as part of a return trip, though, of course as much as the game is growing over there, they still insist on calling it sawcur.
SAY A LITTLE PRAYER
So your sports team needs a miracle… or you need something special in your life. Our Lady is always there to intercede, especially in Lourdes.
I’m planning on visiting Lourdes next month and the Pyrenees. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been to the famous mountain region – they’re Basques there and their culture is fascinating,
Ryanair has up to 20% off a million seats, travel May-March. including the holy site, among a bundle of others. From 27.53 one way. Visit http://www.ryanair.com.
Spring cleaning can turn up the most unexpected of things, particularly if you’re a hoarder, such as old address books (ask your parents).
Chow was an early flat mate in my first digs living away from home in Aberdeen in the north-east of Scotland. He was naturally a little blindsided by the snow coming from hot, exotic Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Now I’m no longer a wage slave and am free to TravelTravelTravel I might even surprise him… on my way of course to digging up those Aussies from my much-storied Munich Beerfest trips who dropped in for the weekend in Aberdeen and stayed a year.
Emirates has a host of great deals to the Far East and Australia. Visit http://www.emirates.com. I found Economy Class return for Kuala Lumpur, fly out of Dublin. Until May 5 from 620 euro.
Travel is food for the soul, but the problem is that it just leaves you like Oliver Twist, wanting more.
I dipped my toe into the Eastern Cape a couple of months ago, now I want to go and see Cape Town, Johannesburg… really, all the regions.
Ethiopian Airways is all over Africa. Dublin to Cape Town return from 512 euro and Dublin to Johannesburg return from 457 euro return (not including taxes and other charges). Visit http://www.ethiopianairlines.com.
Apropos that Eastern Cape trip, I can still hear the old Toto song Africa which was played in my hotel in Port Elizabeth morning, noon and night.
As those old rockers urged us: ‘Hurry, boy, she’s waiting there for you.’
I’d be late for my own funeral. I turned up at the War Memorial Gardens yesterday rather than the Peace Garden. The poor young soldiers who fell in Flanders were, alas, early for theirs.
I put a trot on to join the commemoration where a choir added uplifting music to the occasion and buglers from Flanders delivered the Last Post.
Church leaders from eight different religions lent their support to the event and Dublin Lord Mayor Niall Ring, European Minister Helen McEntee and Jan Van Peumans from the Flanders Government placed soil from Flanders Field in the circular monument across from Christ Church Cathedral.
Children from the local school then mingled that with the soil of each of our provinces.
We repaired afterwards to the crypt of the Christ Church Cathedral where we drank Belgian beer and toasted the Fallen in Flanders, 60,000 were Irish, with the young buglers.
It’s what young men do, in every age.
Read my thoughts on Flanders, The Somme, discovering my Great-Uncle’s grave and presenting the wreath at the Menin Gate on my GTi tour back in 2016. Visit http://www.gti-ireland.com.