Cruiseday Tuesday

It costs less than the price of a biscuit on the aeroplane.

Royal Caribbean is offering €1pp with selected 2020 sailings to Europe. www.royalcaribbean.ie.

So what you have to do is:

  • Book an eligible stateroom on the selected 2020 sailings 
    (excluding GTY rooms)
  • Select your €1 flight
  • Book by 12th August 2019

And now I’m back from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, I’m dying to tell you all about boogie boarding, surfing/falling zip lining and stomach-filling. In the Irish Daily Star http://www.thestar.ie and on this blog.

Twenty million reasons to….

Cruise with MSC.

MSC Cruises has reached the 20 million passenger milestone.

Your favourite Travel journalist cruised with MSC and The Scary One last year in the fjords on Preziosa.

And believe me it’s invigorating to swim in the upper deck pool as you approach land (with your bandana on, of course).

MSC Cruises offer some great late deals. Seven nights on MSC Sinfonia. Leaving from Venice and taking in Ancona (Urbino), Split, Dubrovnik, Mykonos and Santorini. Depart July 13 or 20.

Visit http://www.msc.cruises.co.uk. You will need to book your own flights with this package.

Majorca corker

Photo by Kai Pilger.

Patrick and Maureen were heading off to Palma, Majorca when I met them at the bar (naturally) on board my day on my cruise ship in Barcelona at the weekend.

The Irish-Chicagoans are in for a treat as Palma retains its Old Worlde charms despite what the Love Islanders and the salmon-pink tourists are doing up in Magaluf to the image of this beautiful island.

TUI offers all-inclusive cruises Dublin to Majorca, Treasures of the Mediterranean. Inside Cabin, seven nights from €1,089pps. Depart on August 27. From €1,089pps. Or Inside Cabin, depart July 13 from €1,179pps. Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.


Cruiseday Tuesday

I’ll never forget my first morning in a balcony cabin, waking up in Barcelona and seeing a 200ft Christopher Columbus point out to sea…

And America?

No. He’s really pointing towards a position somewhere near the city of Constanine in Algeria but who’s caring? Barcelona is a bit shambolic or Ramblaolic like that but that’s its essence.

Take for example Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia – the current builders have been granted an official building permit 137 years after construction started.


It ought to stay unfinished… after all The Scary One is always needing to do one more thing to our house.

One of the great statues is the Martin Luther King Jr 30ft Stone of Hope next to the National Mall in Washington DC is portrayed as unfinished because the Struggle is unfinished.

I’ll be on board Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas where I might even do a bit of surfing on FlowRider with Irish professional surfer Gearoid McDaid.

And the King and I: Washington DC

But I will be pointing to America when I do. Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.ie. And if you want to read more about how I fared the last time I tried surfing on the high seas visit https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/a-royal-party/(opens in a new tab).


Idyllic: Corfu

Maybe our friends on the Continent could share some of their sun with us.

The sun is burning hot, hot, hot, just now and it is something that the Corfiots are all too familiar with as we found out when we honeymooned there all those years ago.

They recommended that you hit the hills or take to the seas… you’ll need no second invitation.

Our friends at TUI http://www.tuiholidays.ie have Dublin-Corfu and a seven-day all-inclusive cruise on the Adriatic Explorer from €1,189pps on July 12. Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie

You snooze, you lose the cruise

Colossal: Photo by Davi Pimentel.

Here at Cruiseday Tuesday we like to keep you up to date with the great late deals because we know you’ve always got a bag packed ready!

MSC has this great offer for a seven-day spin on Divina around the Mediterranean from £999pp leaving from Cagliari in Sardinia and taking in Palma, Valencia and Marseille and also Genoa, Rome and Palermo. From July 2-9. Visit http://www.msccruises.ie.



Cruiseday Tuesday

Beyond the sea: Photo by Mariia Kamenska

Love this island

But not Love Island or the sex-craved canoodling of the wannabes who occupy too much airtime on our televisions.

No, it’s the Majorca beyond Magaluf that you want to visit. I like it up north in Soller, but equally we had a lovely holiday in Cala D’Or which is 30 minutes from the quaint village of Sea Salines near which lies the Love Island village. God, I hope those poor villagers don’t have to bump into these bottomed bums.

Equally Majorca and its proud capital Palma are great places to cruise into as I did 15 odd years ago.

TUI offers a couple of options for you, knowing that we live in different parts of Ireland.

Its Hidden Gems all-inclusive cruise is seven days in an inside cabin from €1,139pps, departing Cork on July 16. Or try the seven-night Treasures of the Mediterranean, all-inclusive, staying in an inside cabin. Dublin to Majorca departing on August 27.

Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie, call 1850 45 35 45 or visit a TUI store.

And that’s a rap

They both have sand… and Jerry. Or Big Rapper as I called him.

Asked to rap for us in the Wahdi Rum desert in Jordan, St Lucian Jerry belted out a song of which Kanye West would have been proud.

Jerry and his charming girlfriend Hannah, front of pic, have been talking of putting a guide book together of his native St Lucia, and I’m sure that they will and it will tell us all we need to more and give us the best authentic take on the Caribbean island.

For the rest ask Royal Caribbean which has a seven-night Southern Caribbean Cruise on Freedom of the Seas, featuring the island which is famed for its peaks. Also taking in Phillipsburg, St Maarten, Basseterre St Kitts & Nevis, St John’s Antigua and my favourite, Bridgetown Barbados, departing from San Juan Puerto Rico on April 20.

And you can save up to €1000 when you book by July 1. From €749pp based on two people sharing, €1498 for two guests. The promotion is applicable to new bookings made between Monday, June 3 and Monday, July 1. Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.ie.

PS: post (or) pre sailing

And follow http://www.thecruiseroomireland.ie.




While I was off Surfin’ USA it is worth remembering that back home many watersports fans were Surfin’ Andalucia.

The Andalucians were back in Ireland to remind us, as if we needed any reminding, what a great region it is.

California guy: I forgot the board. Huntington Beach.

Of course the first thing that we associate with Andalucia is the flamenco dancing and of course it is the best place to go to both watch and learn this passionate dance.

It is also known for its opera and attendees at the event held in the sumptuous surroundings of Trinity College were treated to the FlamencOpera and the internationally renowned tenor and base player Miguel Sanchez, the flute player and the acoustic guitarist Adriano Lozano.

Andalucia is served with direct flights from Ireland to Malaga, Aleria and Seville.

Fancy a trip to Marbella? Thought you might. TUI has three nights from Dublin, November 6, to the Vincci Seleccion Estrella del Mar from €516pp, based on two adults sharing. Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie.

And if you see a bandana-wearing old beard guy out on the water, give him a wave.

The sea is free

Drastic plastic: More needs to be done

Still on matters maritime.

Ireland’s largest free family-friendly maritime festival SeaFest is in full swing at the Port of Cork and lasts through the weekend with a bunch of stuff going on today and tomorrow.

There are more than 100 free events and more than 100,000 of us are expected to attend.

Sustainability which is very close to this writer’s heart is everywhere at the SeaFest. Dirty oceans kills sealife and puts our planet at risk.

Visit http://www.seafest.ie.

The Dallas story

Wear it with pride: Fort Worth

I’m back from the American Travel Fair with a new bandana courtesy of my friends at the Fort Worth stand.

They were giving them away and well we were just kinda made for each other.

Which just goes to show you that it’s not all cowboy hats in Dallas-Fort Worth.

This week saw the arrival of the inaugural American Airlines Dreamliner flight from Dallas to Dublin which will run through to September 28. Visit http://www.americanairlines.ie. http://www.visitdfw.com.

Ferrari bumpety

Take it as red: Ferarri photo Jamil Rostum


If you’re a petrolhead, I’m not, but there are plenty who are, then this deal to Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix will be just for you.

Cassidy Travel has a three-day trip in September to the big race. From €559pps, it includes three days’ general admission to the event with accommodation in the 4-star Best Western Hotel Blaise & Francis in Milan.

Flights from Dublin depart September 6. Call Cassidy Travel on (01) 8786888, visit any of their nine stores across Dublin or the website http://www.cassidytravel.ie. http://www.monzanet.it,

And for those of you who like a bit of Lewis Hamilton, here’s an old photo of me partying with him at his favourite annual hang-out, the Crop Over in Barbados.

I’m shy, so I stayed out of the picture

Canada, Hey!

Towering: Toronto. Photo by Skitterphoto

It may look peaceful here but Toronto is a madhouse just now with sporting fever with the Toronto Raptors leading the legendary Golden State Warriors 3-1 in the NBA finals with thousands taking to the streets to celebrate after each of their wins. They need one more to take the trophy against all odds.

I have a vested interest in all things Canadian as my grandfather lived much of his adult life there, my uncle went there too and my brother married a Torontonian, spent eight years there and my god-daughter was born there.

When I visited him in the Eighties the Raptors were about to be thrust onto the sporting map though few outside Toronto were paying much attention. Now look at them!

Just another great reason to visit this fabulous city.

Budget Travel USA is offering six nights at the 4* Chelsea Hotel, departing in September with prices from €739pp. Visit https:/usa.budgettravel.ie or call (01) 435 0056. http://www.seetorontonow.com.

Roysh, it’s the InterCon

VIPs: Ballsbridge’s power couple

All the Movers and Shakers can be found at The InterContinental Dublin – see above and their summer cocktail parties are legendary, hic!

The InterCon is offering 10% off its Summer Story Package including Complimentary Breakfast, free cancellation 24 hours prior to arrival, 10% off all spa treatments, access to The Spa, heated in-door pool, thermal suite and gym and complimentary wi-fi.

But get moving, you’ll need to book by June 10. Valid for stays until August 31. Visit www.intercontinental.com/IC/Dublin‎

And a reminder of what a great hotel it is… my review https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-intercontinental-what-a-ledge/(opens in a new tab)



Bali who?

Anne would ask me every week if a Bali trip had come across my desk and every week I’d tell her that if it did then I’d go to her first.

Her eyes danced the day I gave her the news. It’s an aural thing but bear with me. ‘I’ve got Ballet for you.’

I didn’t leave her hanging though and immediately told her that it was the Leeds Ballet, and good they are too but not what she was looking for.

She didn’t deserve that but I’m glad to say that I had got her away skiing and since then to Normandy.

Tropical Sky can ensure that you WILL get to Bali, and at a great discount price too.

Stay seven nights B&B at the five-star Laguna Resort & Spa for travel completed before December 24, if booked before June 30 from €1,349pp, a saving of up to €440pp. Includes return flights from Dublin and transfers.

So what’ll you get for your money? Well, you’ll be on the Nusa Dualists peninsula with lush lagoons and soaring palms.

And for facilities you’ll get tennis, fitness centre, sauna/steam room, hairdresser, Atisaya spa and a choice of water sports.

Visit http://www.tropicalsky.ie/(01) 664 9999.

Bowled over by the Maldives

Anyone watching the Cricket World Cup, and hoping that Ireland puts one over on the home of the game, England, again?

I adopted the Sri Lankan cricket team after the staff invited me to join their match in the Maldives a couple of years ago.

No Kuma Sangarkkara me, but I did score a couple of runs before getting my teammate run out and tearing my leg open diving into the crease. It was an astroturf pitch you see.

Whether you want to be throwing yourself around a cricket pitch in the baking sun (unlikely) or just lying back and relaxing (you deserve it) then Hayes & Jarvis will set you up with the bespoke trip just for you. Because remember there is just ONE you!

And by checking out Hayes & Jarvis’ latest destination deals you could save yourself up to 40%.

H&J has Atmosphere Kanifushi, Maldivesfrom €3,799pp, based on December, departure from Dublin, staying for seven nights all-inclusive in a Sunset Beach Villa (two adults sharing) and including return airplane seaplane transfers (and believe me that’s one experience you’ll really treasure).

Call (01) 513 4329 or visit http://www.hayesandjarvis.ie. Or call into their office at 16 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2.

Piping hot

There are some things that a child should never see their Dad doing…. dancing at a wedding, doing Karaoke, smoking a shisha pipe.

Come again?

Talk Turkey (as I often do) and the Son and Heir will bring up his terror at seeing his Dad (and inspiration!!!!) smoking that dangly pipe in Bodrum when he was just seven years of age.

Like so many things we all do on holiday and regret it’s best left to the locals.

On my recent visit to Jordan I spent a relaxing half hour at the end of an exhausting but fulfilling day sipping my Turkish tea and watching two guys playing chess, smoking the shisha and blowing smoke in each others’ faces, though they didn’t seem to mind.

It’s what they do and I’d advise anyone to spend a little time just people watching in a Turkish or Middle Eastern cafe… it’s what they do.

Just down the road from Bodrum, and TUI are spotlighting Dalaman with its beautiful historic sites, stunning Blue Flag beaches and a lively nightlife scene. TUI has seven nights’ self-catering on June 10 at the 3-star Club Even from €389pps. Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Paris for families

The very same Son and Heir had me climbing the walls in Paris when he kept insisting on stopping to refuel on food (or was that Rome or New York, but you get the point?)

France is perfect for families but Paris is probably best kept for courting couples. Or is it?

Les Villages Nature Paris is the ideal way to do Paris for families… by staying outside and travelling in.

And new to Les Villages Nature Paris is the indoor Climbing Paradise which boasts modern interactive technology. Personally, I prefer the modern interactive technology of a phone videoing someone else doing it, but, hey, climbers all look to be having great fun.

A seven-night stay at Les Villages Nature Paris in a Clan Comfort Cottage, arriving July 6 is priced from £418.50 (£1,674 total reduced from £2,242, saving 25%) based on four people sharing on a self-catering basis. And remember when you do your currency conversion that this Brexit palaver means our Euro does well against the Pound.

Visit http://www.lesvillagesnatureparis.co.uk.

Everything in the garden’s rosy

Hello blossom! I love gardening. I could sit and watch the Indomitable Mrs M prune and weed all day.

One of the charms of a staycation in the country is the joy of opening the curtains and seeing the explosion of colour before you before taking a walk in lush gardens.

The River Lee Cork has a stunning River Club and new Blossom Grove Terrace installation in partnership with Lillet and Brown Thomas to show off and is backing it up with a great offer.

BTs, you say? Yes, there’s a €25 voucher included in the Brunch, Bubbles and Blooms package.

Brunch, Bubblers and Blooms at The River Lee is based on two people sharing and includes overnight accommodation, bubbles on arrival, brunch with complimentary Lillet cocktail and that BTs voucher.

Call (021) 493 7772 our visit http://www.thedoylecollection.com/es/hotels/the-river-lee-hotel/packages/brunch-bubbles-and-blooms.

Letter from America

As you know, all things being equal, I should be in West Hollywood and on my way to meet up with my old pals Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy at Disneyland.

And I will of course keep you posted when I get back on Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars attraction and all that Universal Studios has to offer.

Until I get back though a quick reminder that Aer Lingus flies to LAX from €208.99 each way as part of a return trip. Four flights per week. Average flying time 11 hours.

And our national airline carrier is also offering €40 off return flights to our hottest summer destinations too and €20 off return flights to all our European routes. Visit http://www.aerlingus.com.


And look out to for a great new series when I return United Stays of America.



You can leave your sombrero on

Brad and Rita asked us how we were awwwl enjoying The Strip (no, calm down, though it was Harrah’s Carnival Court Bar in Vegas).

No, Brad and Rita (not their real names, apart from the fact that it might be and I have no desire to protect their anonymity) were regulars at the party joint where the barman Duke lined up shots when the bell and whistles sounded, and the Whip Its lead singer wielded a paddle stick.

Brad and Duke looked unthreatening, Brad in his baseball cap, polo shirt and Chinos and Rita who looked like a dowdy Mid-west housewife.

But here’s the stinger, and my colleague Martin was busy nudging me as he cottoned on a lot quicker than me, their recommendation of a hotel they frequented in Mexico was, well let’s say a little too inclusive.

Better being safe than sorry, I say, and that’s why I’m pushing Escape2’s offer of all-inclusive Mexico holidays from €1,219

The 4-star Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa has swim-up pools, my favourite, and a range of top-quality restaurants and bars. Depart September, from €1,219pp.

Visit http://www.escape2.ie or call (01) 435 0096. Arriba, arriba!

Our father

Dads have changed… I blame David Beckham, but my own dear father would have had to have been taken kicking and screaming in for a pampering and a pedicure.

Me? I think my Old Man gave up years ago, in fact the day I got an earring as a student.

Father’s Day gifts then were jocks and socks, now spas are on the menu.

The Time for Him package at the Spa at The Kingsley, Cork, includes a thermal suite, heated pool, treatment rooms and an outdoor hydro pool.

They use a herbal blend of chamomile, marjoram and juniper to loosen up the knots don’t you know and ease tense shoulders and relieve those aches and pains.

And there’s more… luxury scalp massages or a lime body scrub.

The package costs €140pp. Make a night of its and book an overnight stay from €180 B&B. Call (021) 4800500 or email thespa@thekingsley.ie or visit http://www.thekingsley.ie.

I love you

No man is an island, opined John Donne (this blog really is an education). But a family can be.

The Isle of Ewe is inhabited by a single family, the Grants, but where it gets even more interesting is that it has become a favourite place for men to propose… I Love You (gerrit?)

I did the deed in Malta when I bent down to tie up my shoelace and the besotted Miss F yelled ‘Yes.’

The Maltese too have been having fun with the I Love concept and have billed their very popular musical festival Isle of MTV Malta. This year the festival at the Il-Fosos Square on Tuesday, July 9, will feature Martin Garrix and Bebe Rehxa, among others (I’ll ask the kids).

Budget Travel offers a week’s room at the 3-star Mavina Hotel & Apartments in Bugibba (where our pact was forged) for €479, flying from Dublin. Visit http://www.budgettravel.ie and http://www.maltaireland.com.

Forza Italia

I don’t like Lunedis… as Bob Geldof might sing if he was in Italia.

Lunedis was the giorno when I would spend time talking Italian with two brainiacs and our lovely tutor Donata, although in truth I did more listening. I hit a wall. No, not metaphorically, literally, in frustration at my lack of progress.

But it hasn’t dimmed my love for Il Bel Paese which Topflight, the Italian specialists share.

Topflight’s Italian Holiday Sale with flights from Dublin and Cork starts today with savings of up to 30%. It ends at midnight on Thursday.

A week’s half-board at the 4-star plus Hotel Bristol, Sorrento, flying from Dublin (June 9) and Cork (June 2) is under a grand (€999).

For an Escorted Tour, Lake Garda, Venice & Verona, staying at the 4-star park Hotel Casamiro, San Felice dei Benaco, Lake Garda, departing on June 8, the sale price is €849pps. Was €1299, save €450.

Call (01) 240 1700 or see http://www.topflight.ie.

Budget Bulgaria

The grandparents and their two granddaughters who we met in Bulgaria 22 years ago had come back for the second time in that year because they had saved so much money, and they could get two holidays for the price of one elsewhere.

We were lured too by that promise and you should be too.

We’d also got a discount because we worked for Thomson Newspapers, the media arm of the travel company who have gone on to become TUI, and because of that I have always kept a close interest in them.

TUI offers Dublin-Bulgaria on June 10, all-inclusive seven nights at the three-star Zornica Residence, Sunny Beach from €339pps. Or seven nights self-catering at the 3-star Silver Springs, Sunny Beach from €449pps. Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie. Call 1850 45 35 45.

Why did California?

She phoned to say Hawaii.

Thanks Perry Como.

I’m off to California on Wednesday for the American Travel Fair IPW http://www.ipw.com. And I’ll bring you back the best coverage of what’s happening all across America with all the states being there.

There’s also the launch of Galaxy’s Edge, Disney’s new Star Wars extravaganza, all things Universal, Hollywood, oh, and did I say the Beach Boys are playing just for us.

Everybody’s gone surfin’… but you’ll just have to hold on (as I will) to see if I hop the board.



Cruiseday Tuesday


Edgy: The €1bn ship

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.

Read my review at https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/i’m-a-celebrity,-get-me-out-to-here/.

So you’ll be taking in Bilbao, La Coruna, Lisbon, Gibraltar and Rome.

Why not take in a ten-day Iberian Peninsula Cruise for two, leaving from Southampton $5,008 (4,475 euro), staying in a Panoramic Ocean View room, May 15-25? Visit http://www.celebritycruise.com.

Early Chrimbo present

Inviting: Tenerife

Oh, I wish it could be Christmas every day… cruises are a bit like that and cruises at Christmas, well, where do we start?

TUI is offering 150 euro off for the Marella Explorer from Dublin to Tenerife on board the new Marella Explorer.

Ten restaurants, ten bars (you’ve sold it already), an indoor cinema, sports and family deck, Champneys spa and much, much more.

So that’s a seven nights Canarian Christmas deal for an inside cabin from 1,539pps. Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie. 1850 45 35 45 or visit a TUI Store/travel agent.

How divine!

The Eternal City: Rome

We’re Med up with this offer from Cruise Paradise. Italy, Spain and France.

Seven nights, departing May 26. You’ll visit Rome, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma, Valencia, Marseille and Genoa. From 633 euro pp. Visit http://www.cruiseparadise.ie.

Departing From Southampton, England