Caribbean, Countries, Deals

Caribbean cruising

You’ll get to see the Sandy Lane brigade if you sail by the secluded complex, lying on their loungers and ne’er getting out to see Barbados.

Barbados is rightly renowned around the world for these pink beaches but it also boasts a wonderful capital.

Howzat: At the Kensington Oval Barbados Bridgetown

The British settled around a primitive bridge in the Careenage region which would be how the town that later grew up came to be called Bridgetown.

The Fun Five: My Barbados party

Today’s Bridgetown where Royal Caribbean will be home porting for winter 2021/22 is a hive of activity, culture and colour.

Harbouring dreams

The harbour is adorned with Bajan clothes shops and bar/restaurants while out on the water stand catamaran party boats.

Taste of Barbados: Mount Gay

Ready to take you out on the water for a Soca sing-a-long and dip in the sea with the turtles and schools of multi-coloured fish.

While if you want to dive for other treasures then try the glass-bottomed boats on a trip out to see shipwrecks.

Hamper time: In Barbados

Talking of wrecks you will be after overindulging at Mas and no that’s not a typo, it’s what Bajans call a party.

While limin’ is their pre-drinking which starts when you get up, with the best spots advertised on the news reels in the bus station.

Soca star: Lewis Hamilton at Crop Over in Bridgetown

Cave Shepherd department store in Broad Street is a Bridgetown institution where you might even get a Kiss from Rihanna.

Carry on cruising

So I’ve gone a bit off message here aa I’m looking to promote RC’s home porting here but I’m just giving you a glimpse of Bridgetown life.

Cocktail o’clock in Barbados

Which you won’t get from inside your ivory tower at Sandy Lane.

And guess what, it only gets better with RC also announcing a home porting for Scarborough in Tobago.

The Tobagonians will be only too glad to see you as I witnessed when a couple weighed up at The Blue Crab

Soul food

When we were being hosted by Auntie All and Uncle Kenneth who treated us like family and threw their doors open to them too… on their day off.

RC are also home porting in Tobago’s big brother island Trinidad in Port of Spain and Kingstown, St Vincent.

Deal me in

RC are flagging up a special seven-nighter Southern Caribbean Explorer from Barbados from €394pp for December 5, and other offers.

Nylon Pool in Tobago

And this takes in seven (count them) islands.

And they are also offering up to €150 off your Stateroom.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS

Countries, Cruising, Deals, Europe, Flying, Ireland, UK

Mac Black Friday – your Scots pal’s round-up

And the first Black Friday had nothing to do with shopping and everything to do with sheeping.

The Scottish Highlanders were only 128 miles from London on Friday, December 6, 1745, when they decided to turn their army around and head back to their sheep.

It was an ill-fated retreat and their English pursuers caught up with them at Culloden, near Inverness, on April 16, and smote them, a thing they did then and very sore.

These days the only injuries you’ll pick up are sore shins in the shopping rush, although this year it’ll be ‘digital finger’.

Your favourite Travel blogger is always happy to take one for the team so here’s my round-up.

Flyday Friday

And it’s not just off-the-rail fashion or white goods that are Black Friday regulars… we all love our airline giveaways too.

Ireland’s national airline Aer Lingus carrier have a headline offer of €100 off for a family of four bringing two checked bags to Gran Canaria in May.

While also flagging up plenty of other sun spots from which to choose.

Ryanair pride themselves on giving more away more often and are championing ‘Every Friday is Black Friday.’

Friday cruiseday

And our floating hotel firms are all about the sails.

Princess Cruises are offering deals with peak season sailings from €769pp through November 30.

They have 14 UK-based voyages from seven to 14 nights, departing between May and October.

Eleven of those voyages will travel round-trip from Southampton to destinations across northern Europe (maybe taking in here), the Med (and this) and the Canary Islands (us too).

The 3,560 guest Regal Princess will be based in the UK from April to October 30.

Fares start at €769pp for a seven-night cruise during peak season and €1209pp for a 14-night cruise.

And I’ll drink to that. On board Royal

Royal Caribbean is combining Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

And they are recommending booking a cruise this weekend and get up to $400 onboard credit and save up to $150 instantly.

And why wait? Because this is what you get and here too.

Friday skiday

Slope off to the mountains, where there’s plenty of social distancing, with Crystal Ski and get €150 off any booking up to April 2022.

All 2020/2021 holidays come with Covid Cover and free amends up to 28 days before departure.

And because Andorra is a favourite of Irish skiers. Depart January 10, stay self-catering in 3* Sant Roma Apartments, Arinsal from €292pps (four people sharing).

While Italy is mine. And why not spend yours in Sainte D’ouix, at the 3* Hotel Martin, half-board, from €544pps.

Offer runs through to Monday. Includes flights from Dublin.

And I’m not stopping there… more Black Friday deals coming up.

WATCH THIS SPACE

 

 

 

America, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Europe, Ireland

Fiveday Friday – dip your toe back in outdoor swimming pools

I’m not sure what the rules are for outdoor swimming pools in Scotland (probably because in the Frozen North nobody ever considered it a thing) but the English are dipping their toes back in today.

Swimming is one of the staples of many people’s holiday although I confess that I spend less time in a pool now than when I was a kid, preferring instead to sip cocktails by the bar.

In some places you can do both. Here are my five top pools on my travels.

Bim-ming pool

Swim up

Sandals, Barbados: The ultimate in luxury where you can drink your Strawberry Daiquiri in the middle of the pool.

And then swim up to the island pool and have another. OK, waddle over.

A game of volleyball with the ultra-competitive Americans becomes even more fun after all that. You try spiking a ball with a cocktail in your hand.

Visit Barbados, or Bim as the locals call it https://www.sandals.co.uk/sandals-barbados  http://www.visitbarbados.org and Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

To infinity and beyond

Kuramathi, Maldives: And you can’t beat an Infinity Pool where you feel you are swimming right into the Indian Ocean only for the end of the pool to stop you.

You’ll have to get out of the pool to get your cocktail though.

On a one-mile island surrounded by the Indian Ocean you would think you’d be in the sea all the time but I leave that to the fishes.

And instead dip into my own private pool which comes with my cabin and check out the restaurant pools. Where you’ll have company with the island’s herons.

See http://www.kuramathi.ie, https://island-marketing.business.site and Atoll tale – the Maldives.

Dive into Las Vegas

All to yourself. http://www.hotels.com

Palazzo, Las Vegas: For many Vegas is all about staying in and making your fortune but then you’d be missing out big time.

Head for the top of the Palazzo hotel on the Strip https://www.venetian.com/towers/the-palazzo.html and swim your little heart out before .

And look down below on the crazy city waking up. See http://www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic.

And if you see a pair of red-rimmed sunglasses there would you let me know please?

Swimming in the fjords

Stormer: In the fjords

MSC Preziosa, Norwegian fjords: How’s this for a bracing swim? The Norwegian fjords.

You didn’t think I’d be dipping my toe in the isthmus did you?

But still I was fairly pleased with myself at taking to the pool in the Nordic drizzle while everyone (my professional photographer wife among them) hanging over the side taking piccies.

I never tire of swimming in a pool in the middle of the ocean… surrounded by a metal hulk of a floating hotel https://www.msccruises.co.uk, http://www.royalcaribbean.com, http://www.celebritycruises.com. And The call of the fjords, A Royal Party, Messi around on the water and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here.

Tenerife trunk call

La Laguna Gran Hotel, Tenerife: And just what the oul’ limbs need after a hike through rainforests, volcanic parks, arid hills and church towers.

Word to the wise. Be sure that you have someone with you or leave a wedge in the door.

Otherwise you could find yourself not getting back out. On second thoughts you don’t have to be anywhere, so don’t bother.

See http://www.CanariaWays.com, http://www.visitingtenerife.com and A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

PS: The Irish Sssssea

And an honorary mention to the Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin’s port https://www.dlrtourism.ie which is mentioned in Ulysses.

I’d always admired the locals swimming away in its ripples.

And I dipped in on the hottest day of the year a few years ago and jumped out just as quickly,

MEET YOU IN THE POOL