Countries, Cruising, Deals, Europe

Cruiseday Extra – Loyal to my Princess

Princesses are straight out of fairytales, and Berkshire schools (mine too), and they also rule the waves.

But the crown can sit heavy and at the moment as Princess Cruises has had to wrestle with the Coronavirus that hit Diamond Princess in Asia.

Princess has shown transparency, empathy and professionalism in dealing with the crisis.

And they should know that the many happy and loyal passengers who have sailed with them over the years will see them through these choppy waters.

Beatling around the Baltic

Hamburg stop: on our cruise

We’ve all had our disappointments, our rejections, but how do you get over being dropped from The Beatles?

The sun is breaking through

He will give a 45-minute Q&A and a meet and greet.

The other Princess celebs are: Judge Robert Rinder, Bruce Grobelaar, Shaun Wallace and Patrick Aryee.

It’s poignant that Best will be sharing his stories on a Baltic Cruise as it was nearby Hamburg where he had his best days.

Stefanie Hempel will give you the best three hours music tour with her Beatles-Tour… Hamburgers and ships.

Taster cruise

Gracias Barcelona

The Scary One got a taster for cruises with MSC in the fjords The call of the fjords and she wants more.

Click&Go has a two-night Mediterranean taster cruise from €299pps on board MSC Splendida for November 10.

Which will take in Barcelona, Marseille and Genoa.

Anyone for Venice

Ah, sigh!

Now so many of us arrive in Treviso on our way to Venice but the best way is by river.

Travel Escaper and Cruisescapes is offering four nights on board the MS Michelangelo.

You’ll get to visit Murano and Burano, obvs, and the seaside town of Chiogga and one of my own faves, Padua.

It’s pitched at €929pp (main deck cabin)/€1039pp (upper deck cabin). Visit Depart March 9.



Holiday Snaps – Halloween in New York

Or in the Big Dunkin’ Apple… New York does Halloween big time.

I visited NY with The Scary One, back when she was a little less scary, and my two little devils back in Halloween 2007.

When they were getting ready for the Eve of All Souls Day.

Scary Bandana meets Scary Hair

It’s a busy old time in the States with Thanksgiving only a few weeks away and with this being a Presidential election year too there were plenty of carved Barack Obama pumpkins.

My little devils

Times have moved on and now we have Trumpkins instead of Obama faces.

We were fortunate enough to be staying near Greenwich Village where a million people gather to see the Halloween parade roll by.

It truly is a wonderful spectacle.

As was the gathering of Halloween dogs down at Battery Park.

All dressed up in their Halloween costumes and a couple of Supermen costumes too.

If you’re in NY for Halloween check it out.

Sky high; In NY

NY is great any time of the year though and our friends at the ITAA (Irish Travel Agents Association) and Click and Go have a great deal for us right in the heart of Manhattan.

Three nights, two sharing, in the 4-star The Gallivant Times Square for February.

You’ll be staying in a twin/double room on a room only basis.

Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to NY. Visit

Laddie and Lady Liberty

And remember to bring your costume.

Here’s something to get you into the mood…


Hello Halloween!

Tried to get hold of the mother-in-law the other day but she was busy.

On a totally related issue… Halloween is the next big festival on the radar.

And I’ve scared up these offers…

We’ll get to the new world of Halloween, America, later but first let’s drop in on Dracula… if he’s up.

Kane’s Travel has five nights Halloween in Transylvania on October 29 from €649pps.

A Mackin Travel tour leader will accompany you on sightseeing walking tours and day trips around.

And take you to more macabre sights at Castle Dracula and the Tomb of Dracula. 

Spooky… Photo by Ashutosh Sonwani on

You’ll stay in a 4-star hotel in Sinaia, visit Castle Pelisor in Sinaia, enjoy a day trip and short walking tour in to the medieval city of Brasov.

And, of course, spend time in Dracula’s Castle and sample a day trip to Targoviste, and the Tomb of Dracula.

And intriguingly they’re offering you a clove of garlic.

I keep some here.

For more information visit And visit

Now kids and big kids love getting scared, but not all of us.

So for something a little less spooky SeaWorld Parks in Tampa Bay has Sesame Street Safari of Fun Kids’ Weekends throughout October.

And, of course, you know how much I like a good oul’ pun so I jumped on the Not-Too-Spooky Howl-O-Ween Radio Show which features Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, Zoe, Grover, Oscar and Elmo.

There is a scavenger hunt and a chance to meet Bert and Ernie on the Spooky Safari on October 12 and 13.

And make safari-inspired Halloween crafts.

For this and much more, SeaWorld has this offer:

Its ticket is the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package which includes a one-day reservation at Discovery Cove.

SeaWorld isn’t all scary

What’s the spook offer?

With 30-minute dolphin swim experience, meals and snacks included.

Plus 14 days unlimited entry to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Aquatica Orlando.

With free parking included at all the parks.

Prices start from €223pp. For more visit And here’s a taster of what it’s like to play your heart out…

Aer Lingus flies to Orlando. Check out best prices….

And for more Halloween goodies, here’s a reminder of where Halloween is really from and what we have planned.


Thomas Cook… an update

As 150,000 holidaymakers wait to go home to the UK and around 600,000 are affected worldwide, it is worth championing and defending the lifeblood of our industry…

The Travel Agent.

We owe a huge debt to Thomas Cook who 178 years ago launched the package holiday.

His company though has been liquidated because it cannot fill the £200m gap in its finances.

Which means that 20,000 jobs are at risk and your holiday may have been cancelled.

And so then, some help from one of our holiday providers.

You’re on holiday

Meet the locals: Barbados

If you are in a resort and your booking was made with Thomas Cook through American Holidays, your booking will continue as planned.

AH’s local office in North America will get in contact with you directly (local time).

Or if you want to contact them you can call +1 888 345 5252.

You have a booking

A Minnie-break: In Florida

You may be able to continue as planned with little or no additional cost.

So you should call the Belfast office on 028 90 511871 or Dublin on 1 433 1060.

Give the name in which the booking has been made in and your departure date handy. 

Do I have a booking?

Sarong, but so right: The Maldives

But you’re not sure if you are booked with American Holidays for Thomas Cook holidays?

So you should check your invoice or documentation from Thomas Cook and see if you are listed.

If you are still not sure, call the Belfast office on 028 90 511871 or Dublin on 1 433 1060.

Thomas Cook Flights

A South African township

If your booking has Thomas Cook Flights on it, it was not booked through American Holidays.  

For all other queries ring the main reservation numbers:  Belfast: 028 90 511800. Dublin: 01 433 1060. 

AH says that If your Thomas Cook Flights or Package Holiday has been cancelled, American Holidays can help re-book your packages.

To the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean destinations (Maldives, Mauritius, etc), Africa, Asia, and all cruise destinations.

And here are a few samples of what some of these great destinations have to offer across the board and which AH also serve…

Dream destinations



Vegas is a rush too…

While this will give you the rundown on the Maldives.

And Africa can look something like this…

Our agents

What happens in Vegas…

For American Holidays, you can call 028 90 511800 with your Thomas Cook documentation handy.

Including passenger names and dates of travel.

For more information visit

And to our Irish Travel Agents Association who do so much for our industry…

Keep up the good work. Visit