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Shop till you drop around the world

Now I’m very much straight (no man would have me!) and a Scottish-type of bloke so obviously I need help with clothes-shopping.

Heck, let’s be honest, I give it a wide berth. But seeing we’re in Fashion Season, post-New York, London this week and Paris and Milan to come…

My Travel professional friend Rachel brings us:

You never have to rush for the bus

What’s in a name?

Hit the shops

Vintage District – Kyushu, Japan: Now the schoolboy in me sniggers whenever I see the town Fukuoka mentioned. And even better pronounced.

But I’d never be so impolite, I’d always so please after namechecking the Japanese city.

Rachel tells us that the Dalmyo District has a wide variety of styles with outlets including Pearl and Nobu, featuring unique 19th century couture.

You simply must visit Kimagureya and YT, dahlings.

With retro looks right through from the Swinging Sixties to the Grunge Nineties.

And all for under a tenner! Visit www.welcomekyushu.com.

Sarong remains the same

Sarong but so right

Tahiti fashion week, the islands of Tahiti: My Maldives sarong is looking all lonesome in the drawer as we unpack.

Do you think I’d get away with suggesting to the Scary One that I go out and get another one? She won’t wear one though.

Rachel tells us that the Papa’ete Market is the place to go for your pareo where you can be one of half a million visitors…

And if it’s good enough for David Beckham!

Visit www.tahititourisme.uk/en.gb.

Surfers’ chic

Pink rock

Pacific City – Huntington Beach, California: Now I have to confess here that I only saw Huntington Beach by night… watching Snoop Dogg at the American Travel Fair.

And that voice in the background, no, not Snoop but my pal Bladhana from www.americanholidays.ie who know everything there is to know.

While the picture at the top is Visit USA’s and United Airlines’ www.united.com Aoife (sans bandana).

Onto other matters and here’s what Surf City USA has to offer… and, yes, there are boardies!

You’ll notice first off the quirky stores housed in modern craftsmsn beach bungalows.

And an artisan market inspired by California cuisine with patio dining, outdoor movie nights and plenty of places to hang out.

Now Rachel flags up Urban Outfitters, who dress the Son and Heir, but you’ll forgive me but Free People, Brandy Melville and Vissia.

Visit www.surfcityusa.com.

Now where are your fave shoppers destinations? Let me know…

MEET YOU IN THE STORE

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I’ll vouch for a last-minute gift

It’s the night before Christmas so there’s still plenty of time to buy your present.

In fact no self-respecting bloke will even think about his gift until now.

It was important that I keep my gift for the Scary One fresh.

The bacon, sausages and eggs and tray of puddings.

Frying tonight

You see I couldn’t very well give her just the non-stick frying pan.

Which in my defence she had told me earlier in the year that she wanted.

Though not necessarily for her Christmas.

And the next year… I got her a spa voucher.

Oh, that’s the spot

Vouchers may seem prosaic but they really do the job.

Better somebody gets to buy what they want.

Than they have to gamble that it’s a surprisingly good gift.

Ryanair www.ryanair.com vouchers start at €25. And with flights from as low as €9.99 you’ll be quids in.

If like me you live in Leinster in the east of Ireland. Or if it’s one of your favourite places.

Flyin’ tonight

Then you’ll know all about the InterContinental http://www.intercontinentaldublin.ie  and from my stay there… The InterCon… what a Ledge!

The Dublin 4 institution is offering the chance of winning an overnight stay in an executive suite including Full Irish breakfast.

If you buy a voucher. From €25 up to €500.

Likewise Lusty Beg Island (now there’s a name) and Enniskillen Hotel. From €50-€500.

Visit www.reservations@lustybegisland.com and info@enniskillenhotel.com.

And if you’re sights are set on the US for next year, mine’s always are…

Then American Holidays www.americanholidays.com have vouchers for sale to make your American dream come true.

And if you’ve found you’ve missed the boat get your coloured pencils out and draw a voucher.

In lieu of the gift you’re giving. And it’s got your imprint on it.

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Moanday Morning – Self-service

And we’ve been had. I don’t know when and I don’t know where but it turns out that Modern Man has to serve ourselves.

But isn’t the whole point of serving that somebody else does it for you?

And that brings me to the other great con of our age, Do It Yourself.

You do it yourself, I want you to do it for me, that’s what I’m paying you for.

Photo by Naim Benjelloun on Pexels.com

I have absolutely no interest either in spending my free time following a diagram only a nuclear scientist can work out.

To inevitably find that there is a piece missing and that we have to shoot across town for a replacement.

It starts when you book your holiday…. on the net which inevitably has its own challenges.

You’re at your screen and the family is bending your ear all around you, so there’s the danger that you might book the wrong time or pay too much.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

And then when you get to the airport and you have to go to one of those baggage scanning machines.

I don’t know about you but I just end up asking for help (from a human).

I mean, I’m always happier when I see somebody else puts hands on my luggage and sends it on its merry way.

You get to the ticket scanner and you’ve got to remember which way to place your ticket.

I would have heart palpitations if I trusted in the barcode on my phone particularly as the memory on my phone would be down to 1%.

Travel colleague Issy Conway, George Washington and his Vice-President

And there would be no plug sockets in the airport.

After all that you want to refuel and go to the shop where there is another scanner…

And you just end up asking an assistant who is too busy taking to her pal to help,

Now when it comes to service Americans do it better than anywhere… http://www.visitusa.ie.

Although it comes with a premium… and tipping. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away!

But while I’m in an American mood having got together with American Holidays last week http://www.americanholidays.com I’ll give you a few of my Stateside jaunts.

Minnie-break

A charming reception at Kimpton Hotels in Dupont Circle http://kimptonwashington.guestreservations.com/27185/booking?gclid=CjwKCAiAqqTuBRBAEiwA7B66hXNBLV3iZn4bCp-HGxyKpRmWYVppUlmlZbkva-XdL-bGPk5rEZMtgRoCeIgQAvD_BwE and my review http://Easy DC.

Through the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World in Florida… https://www.fourseasons.com.

They even bring Mickey, Minnie and Goofy out to join you for breakfast although The Donald is harder to get hold of… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/disney-why-i-love-the-donald/

My pal: The Donald

Now I think of it, it’s the service and help that I’ve had while I’ve been away which have stayed with me long after I’ve returned.

And looking forward to returning to the Caribbean, this time Tobabo, how can I forget the hospitality at the Club Barbados Resort & Spa https://www.theclubbarbados.com?

With Tropical Sky http://www.tropicalsky.ie… and check out their deals there and across the world. Their discounts will knock your sandals off.

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My Sporting Weekend – US YouTube boxing

You Tube used to be a schoolboy insult that often preceded an invitation to fisticuffs.

And a ‘square go’ down by Blythswood Street in Glasgow.

Now it’s the domain for everything.

Including an invitation to, yes, fisticuffs with YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI fighting on paid television in Los Angeles tonight.

Of course, it has been derided by purists of the Sweet Science.

Who conveniently forget that the Greatest, Muhammad Ali was involved in a wrestling bout with Antonio Inoki.

In what has been seen as a precursor to Mixed Martial Arts. It finished a draw… surprise, surprise!

Oh, what a circus!

The fight will be a cruiserweight contest.

Which will take place over six rounds Downtown in the Los Angeles Staples Centre.

Downtown LA has been regenerated over recent years.

And it is well worth a visit not least because it is the home of the LA Lakers.

And a chance to people watch. As is West Hollywood and Hollywood of course as I did earlier this year…

When I dug up a legend and her final resting place… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/.

And had myself some sporting and Disney fan in Anaheim… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/03/stair-wars-3/

http://www.visitcalifornia.com

The puck stops here: With Wild Wing in Anaheim

While Las Vegas is seen as the boxing and MMA capital of the world.

And if The Noble Art is your thing hit the Strip for a big fight… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/vegas-strip-the-light-fantastic/.

Also visit https://www.lvcva.com.

Las Vegans are sports mad and their nascent Golden Knights are on the up.

They only got to the Stanley Cup ice hockey final last year.

I’m in the money: In Vegas

But I digress which is easy to do.

Because when you’re in California you think about maybe stretching it a bit and also taking in Vegas, and vice-versa.

Deal me in

Of course with American Holidays https://www.americanholidays.com/en-gb/easter-holiday-deals/?infinity=ict2~net~gaw~ar~394981718283~kw~american%20holidays~mt~e~cmp~WG%20-%20NI%20-%20TC%20-%20American%20Holidays%20Brand~ag~American%20Holiday&gclid=CjwKCAiA5JnuBRA-EiwA-0ggPXELrlIE1iI52DVIxkJSR8hdAMaPAqxlFRKVc2s6y2GS-8PCHV-ltBoCq8gQAvD_BwE you can.

I caught up with my American Holidays pals this week, a little later than I’d intended.

But that was because I was off praying in Medjugorje with Marian Pilgrimages… http://www.marian.ie https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/18/medgugorje-whats-your-story/.

Golden gate. Photo by Tae Fuller on Pexels.com

When AH were throwing a cocktails party and watching Thelma and Louise in Dublin.

Back to that Vegas and California break though.

American Holidays have San Fransisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

It includes return flights from Dublin to San Fransisco to Los Angeles to Las Vegas and return.

And three nights San Fran (Hotel Carlton or similar), three nights LA (Quality Inn Walk of Fame Hollywood or similar), four nights Las Vegas (Excalibur Hotel or similar).

From €1699pps/£1576. Travel May.

Everyone has their own Scary One. Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

I’ll return to my favourite foreign country, and American Holidays soon.

And just for you I’ll keep my eyes on the American sport, better still from the bleachers or a ringside seat.

MEET YOU AT THE STADIUM

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Cruiseday Tuesday – It’s a Boston Sea Party

Boston Harbor (without the u) was my backyard for a summer.

And I’d look longingly out to sea as I cleaned out the ice cream vats in Quincy Market in the humid heat.

I’d be daydreaming of those revolutionaries chucking tea into the water and blaming the Red Indians.

Back then I took one day off in 40 days and headed to Manchester, New Hampshire.

Instead of Cape Cod… I’d put it on the long finger and, like all things on that digit, I never got round to it.

So let me flag up American Holidays www.americanholidays.com to get you there.

And I reckon that if Cape Cod was good enough for the Kennedys!

AH’s Boston Cape Cod Stay and Bermuda Cruise is from €2,085pps.

You’ll spend three nights at the Midtown Hotel, Boston, with a seven-night cruise on Norwegian Gem.

Three nights Cape Codder Resort & Spa Hyannis with three days car hire.

Travelling April 2020.

Like Cape Cod I was on my way to the Bahamas but we didn’t get there… you will though.

Still it did give me more time on board Celebrity Cruises’ Edge, above… I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here. www.celebritycruises.ie.

My little Princess

It’s an occasion, the naming of a new ship.

And you have my permission to name the latest Leviathan Bandanaman after my ashes are one day scattered on the Seven Seas.

Princess has named its new ship Discovery which being of the Scottish variety gets the thumbs-up from me.

Discovery was the ship Captain Scott took to the Antarctic and can now be found in Dundee which titles itself City of Discovery.

Princess Discovery’s inaugural voyage is a seven-day Mediterranean and Aegean cruise from Rome to Athens next November 3.

It can be combined with the subsequent seven-day Athens to Barcelona voyage to form a 14-day Adriatic & Aegean Medley sailing.

Of course Rome, Athens and Barcelona are among the world’s great cities.

Here are some thoughts… Small roads lead to Rome, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/10/cruiseday-tuesday-11/.

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/.

And here’s a video on the naming of Discovery…. https://we.tl/t-iwpoCxuCYU. Also visit http://www.princess.com.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS

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Holiday Snaps – Leo’s LA story

Have we had our fill of our leader, Leo Varadkar, our Taoiseach, here in Ireland?

Here he is in Los Angeles with Tourism Ireland obscuring the word ‘fill’ in the slogan ‘fill your heart with Ireland.’

Like Leo, I’m an LA fan, and a Tourism Ireland one too.

So, of course, I was there at the launch of ‘fill your heart’ where they showcased a Dutch guy in their video with a heart monitor going around Ireland.

And I happily tell the Americans when I visit their Travel fair www.ipw.com every year.

Leo Varadkar with Michael Kennedy, Aer Lingus; Shane Clarke, Tourism Ireland; and Mike Hawe, Isle Inn Tours,

This year, of course, the fair was in Anaheim and I brought you all that was happening… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/. And http://Stair Wars.

LA and a cruise

Now you might think looking from afar that America and Mexico were squabbling neighbours.

But not all traffic between the two countries is of the illegal sort. In fact it is a well-trodden route for tourists going both ways.

You want to get on the road too. And American Holidays will help http://www.americanholidays.com.

Star of Hollywood: With Donald Duck

They have a Los Angeles Stay and 5-nights Mexican Riviera Cruise from €1,119pp.

All flights are included from Dublin to Los Angeles. You’ll get two nights say in the Garland, Los Angeles, and five nights on Royal Princess cruse ship… http://www.princess.com.

You’ll be travelling in February of next year.

And here’s what I think of Princess from their recent stop-off in port… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/30/cruiseday-tuesday-the-princesss-medallion-man/.

Now back to ‘Fill Your Heart with Ireland’.

I’m an Angel: In LA

It was rolled out on major American television networks – including NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC – in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle, during the summer.

The campaign was specially timed to better align with when American travellers start searching for fall and winter vacation ideas.

Keep up the good work Tourism Ireland.

And with Holiday Snaps getting even snappier, watch out for more Holiday Snaps through the weekend.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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I’m wired to the moon – Holiday Snaps

I’m wired to the moon – Holiday Snaps

I’m wired to the moon – Holiday Snaps


— Read on jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/

Everyone’s gone to the moon. The biggest Travel blog in the galaxy and the most popular with extra-terrestrials. By your Travel Editor of the Year.

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I’m wired to the moon – Holiday Snaps

It’s been said and will be again.

And I did get offered a chance this week to talk to VIPs who were wired to the moon this famous day 50 years ago.

And the special event is being held at the very minute too 50 years ago when President Nixon made his historic phone call to Neil Armstrong.

Just follow me: NASA astronaut Commander Jon McBride

Unfortunately I couldn’t hotfoot it over to the Richard Nixon Library in California for the exclusive event this evening with such short notice.

But we are friends from our meeting at IPW, the American Travel Fair in Anaheim, and I’ll get there next time.

Amid the great outpouring of national joy at America beating the Soviets to the moon some thought that Richard Nixon was being rewarded for what was John F. Kennedy’s great vision.

But that’s where the Nixon Library will put you right… the Nixons and the Kennedys despite standing against each other in the 1960 election became great friends.

North Alabama tourism project

Dick and John were both Cold War warriors, genuinely liked each other and Pat invited Jackie and the kids back to the White House when they moved in.

It is a myth that America is short on history – well, I would say that being an American History graduate.

And the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, 37 miles south-east of Downtown LA is where to go. Visit http://www.nixonfoundation.org to learn everything you need to know about the only Californian-born President.

And http://www.visitnasa.com for everything NASA related… there are 14 Visitor Center and space shuttle locations to complete your passport.

Guten Morgan

The final straw: After five cocktails

No, I’m not going all German on you though there would be no harm in that.

It’s just that the Morgan Hotel celebrated its first birthday since its reopening with a gala night and I awoke giddy of head and ready to share with all I met.

Alas this time breakfast wasn’t in the hotel, as it was back in February, but back home here in Greystones where The Scary One was scaring up some poached eggs on toast to soak up the FIVE cocktails from the previous evening.

If you want a reviving breakfast after a night on the town then The Morgan is ideal. It is a positive oasis from Temple Bar.

You’ll sleep like Rip Van Winkle with nary a sound from outside and the staff are super-friendly even remembering us from our visit in February.

The Morgan is continuing in real birthday mood with a sale with rooms for €149 per night. Book by July 31. Visit http://www.themorgan.com.

And watch out too for my review from earlier this year of The Morgan Hotel which I’ll get to work on soon. Well, it is the weekend!

The Travel Bible

It’s the definitive Book of Irish Travel.

Travelbiz.ie and its The Irish Travel Directory & Diary 2019.

If you’re not in it you’re not in Irish Travel and there I am – and I swear it was the first page I opened to.

Close your eyes and pick

Reach for the sky: Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

Do you do the same?

Close your eyes in the departure lounge in the airport and when you open them fix them on the first destination you see on the board and decide to go there.

I’ll tell you what… I cheat too and look for the American destinations.

American Holidays has bumper family holidays for next Easter.

You’ll build memories that last a lifetime and myself and Daddy’s Little Girl will always have our ice skating experience at the Rockefeller Centre in New York.

American Holidays has New York Family Easter Break from €909pp with flights from Dublin to New York, five nights at the Sheraton New York Times Square, travelling April 2020. Based on two adults and two children sharing.

Visit http://www.americanholidays.com or call (01) 673 3804. Also visit http://www.nycvb.com. And I would also recommend a City Pass http://www.citypass.com.

We’re all big kids

I dare say La-La went to a good home but the Son and Heir was beside himself in Donegal when he was a toddler and the Yellow One went walkabouts.

As dutiful parents we did, of course, return to where we thought he’d dropped it but it was late and so it was a case of Good Night Teletubby.

It has seemed like it’s been Good Night Teletubbies too for today’s toddlers with Peppa Pig moving in on their manor.

But that’s probably premature. The Teletubbies ARE alive and kicking at Alton Towers Resort and CBeebies Land just two and a half hours from Holyhead, and Irish Ferries will get you there and give you this great offer.

So that’s a return car ferry, two-day park passes to Alton Towers Resort & CBeebies Land and a three-night stay in the Tillington Hall Hotel. From €595 for a family of 4.

You’ve got 12 themed areas that contain 40 different rides of attractions. CBeebies Land is located within Alton Towers and has 14 rides and attractions including the Teletubbies Big Band Live Show and the Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop ride.

Valid until 16 August – Call 0818 300 400.  Visit www.irishferries.com/alton.

You can wait to the last minute

Jump in, Majorca’s lovely: Photo by Mariia Kamenska on Pexels.com

Well, if Majorca’s good enough for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Don’t be put off by the Magaluf of this world, Majorca is a varied and beautiful island, full of unspoiled beaches, great culinary delights, olde world towns and stunning mountains.

TUI has seven nights Dublin to Majorca, staying at the 3* Protur Bahia Azul Apartments in Cala Bona from €489pps for August 27. To book visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

And the Champion Golfer is…

I’m up in Royal Portrush for the weekend for The Open. And staying in the Clayton Hotel in Belfast tonight ahead of tomorrow’s final round.

With bumper crowds over these four days of competition it will be a reminder to those of us who already love the north and an introduction to those who don’t of all it has to offer.

Portrush itself is a gorgeous town and it’s worth going even when the golf isn’t on so that you can get a chance to check out Portrush Whiterocks Beach, Barry’s Amusements, Dunluce Castle and the Causeway Coastal Route.

I’ll share with you the tips I give to the winner when I return.

But in the meantime check out http://www.tourismni.com. http://www.claytonhotelbelfast.com, http://www.theopen.com.

Or if you’re there at the course, I’m the one in the bandana…

MEET YOU ON THE COURSE

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Cruiseday Tuesday – My Princess

It’s a couples’ dream… cruising. The lingering glances over dinner, the dancing, the spectacular shows, the moonlight walk on the top deck.

Of course, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t occasionally disagree. I find the best advice is the one She gives: ‘When I want your opinion I’ll give it to you.’

So cruising has the advantage too of being big and varied and entertaining enough to give you both enough space to calm down if you get tetchy with each other. Best not have a quarrel on the top deck though, it can get slippy up there sometimes!

I owe Her a trip to the Bahamas after having had a spin around there last December and Sunway and Princess Cruises have the very thing.

They are offering a seven-night Bahamas & Virgin Islands Cruise on board the Regal Princess on February 29…. and you know what that means – Leap Year and all you loved-up ladies can propose to your gentlemen.

You’ll get all-inclusive drinks – Ocean Medallion (I’ll tell you more about that when I get on a Princess Cruises ship in Dublin later this month), wifi, gratuities and $200 onboard spend.

Price is €1599pp and includes return flights from Dublin, one night pre- cruise hotel stay, plus seven night cruise based on two sharing an interior stateroom, all taxes and fees. Transfers are extra. Visit http://www.sunway.ie/cruise-holidays or call (01) 231 1868. Visit http://www.princess.com.

Sand and sea

Dubai reaches for the skies: Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric.

Cruising always leaves you wanting more.

We had a choice last autumn of MSC cruises – the beautiful fjords or dazzling Dubai and the Emirates. We don’t regret catching the fjords, of course, but as the mist and rain drew in I did give a thought to how sunny Dubai would have been. And I settled on doing both.

Temperatures in Dubai hover between 23 and 33 degrees in December which is when you’ll go with Abbey Travel and MSC.

Leaving on Wednesday, December 11 and paying €589.00, you’ll get:

  • 11 nights cruise on board MSC Lirica in an interior cabin.
  • Free tea, water and coffee package and Wi-Fi Social Package.

Add on a Fantastica package from €30pp.

To book call 01 804715, visit http://www.abbeytravel.ie. Flights are extra but enquire at time of booking. Visit http://www.msccruises.ie.

Here’s a reminder of how good MSC cruises are from that fjords trip. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/(opens in a new tab)

Ich bin ein Hamburger

As I famously said when I visited Hamburg last year at the end of that fjords trip.

Hamburg is a city that was very much to my taste and I’m sure you’ll be the same.

Royal Caribbean International is offering a seven nights’ Dutch and French Adventure on Explorer of the Seas, departing October 18 from Southampton, taking in Hamburg, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Paris/Normandy and Le Havre.

From €649 per person based on two people sharing. €1,298 for two guests. Sailing on October 18. Flight required.

And, of course, you’ll get the chance to walk on water with FlowRider which I road tested (again) on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas recently in Barcelona and which I’ll tell you more about real soon. And much, much more. Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.ie.

And get your teeth into Hamburg… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/hamburgers-and-ships/(opens in a new tab)

Your cruise

So just tell them what you want. It should be easy, right?

Norwegian Cruiselines and American Holidays know it and are tailoring your trip to your needs with their Feel Free at Sea deals.

Design your own bespoke holiday adding your choice of valuable benefits and luxuries.

For example I’ll be catching up with my friends from the Deep South tonight and tomorrow here in Dublin and have a particular itch to scratch… New Orleans.

Among its packages, NCL and American Holidays offers New Orleans Stay and Western Caribbean Cruise from €1,869 per person for next February. From €1,869pp.

So you’ll get all flights including one checked bag per person round trip.

Three nights at Le Pavilion Hotel, New Orleans. Seven nights cruise on-board Norwegian Getaway (based on Guarantee Ocean View Stateroom – add on Free at Sea upgrade from €120pp). Based on two sharing.

Call (01) 673 3804. Visit http://www.americanholidays.com. Visit http://www.ncl.com.

And you will, I know, but New Orleans breakfasts are gumbo and Sazeracs. You’re on holiday and on a cruise so there’s no point in being dry.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS

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Cruiseday Tuesday

It’s all coming up Rosie: Fijian dancing

It’s an oasis when you’re dehydrated from hitting the wall of humidity after a long-haul flight… that bottle of Fiji water in your hotel bedroom.

But it comes at a price… around $10 if memory serves me right. And like all things tempting, to touch is to claim ownership and you will be billed because American hotel owners will deem that you have taken the water and replaced it with an inferior product.

Just saying.

Not that you’ll need to worry about such matters with Captain Cook Cruises where we were reliably informed at last night’s Tourism Fiji presentation at the Morrison Hotel in Dublin that water, tea and coffee are free… you will though need to pay for your booze. Visit http://www.fijitravel.

Captain Cook Cruises has a special offer running right now – book early and save 20% with the early booking saver fare (for sale and travel to 31 March 2020). Visit http://www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com. (061) 2 9126 8160.

So that’s three nights from AUD$1516pp twin share on a C Ocean Stateroom (approximately €946).

How to get there… well as the good people from Cathay Pacific reminded us it’s just a couple of sleeps and four movies or 32h 10mins (my idea of a good night in) and you’ll be there. Cathay flies via Hong Kong. Visit http://www.cathaypacific.com.

Bula… as they say in Fiji, and it’s definitely cool. With Mr T and his good lady.

You’ll be glad you did. Fijians have been voted the happiest people on earth.

And judging by the welcome they gave us last night …

Here I am with High Commissioner Mr T (they have unpronouncable names) and his good lady, and Rosie (a little easier there) and her group of musicians and dancers who are attached to the British Army up north. Happiest people on Earth… it’s no idle boast.

State of Independence

You’ve caught up with me: Looking out to Indy from Edge in Fort Lauderdale

Round and round we go, not getting anywhere… it’s how I live my life and I guess I won’t change now. Spare a thought then for The Scary One.

I joined the party ship Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for a saunter around the English Channel and cared not a jot for anything going on between Britain and Europe…. I believe they’ve fallen out.

If you want to break up your trip though with some great on-shore itineraries then I’d recommend Indy’s 11-nights Canaries Adventure, departing October 8 from Southampton and taking in La Coruna, Madeira, Tenerife,, Gran Canaria, Lisbon and Vigo. From €1109pp (interior) based on two sharing. €2218 for two guests. Ocean view +€120pp, Balcony +€390pp, Suite €1310pp. Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.ie.

And if you want to know what a real party ship is like… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/a-royal-party/(opens in a new tab)

Miami twice, thrice…

Frice! It’s four times and I’ve just invented the word, but that was about the number of times I did the loop of Biscayne Bay when I stopped off in Miami after attending the launch of Celebrity Edge.

I went in search of South Beach only to be told it was across a never-ending bridge, miles and miles away. I doubled back and focused on finding Little Havana. After passing my hotel, the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, and many other by now all too familiar buildings I reckoned I’d found my destination.

Only to be told that Little Havana was more than just one Mexican shack!

You’ll get more time to investigate Miami with a ten-night Miami Stay & Eastern Caribbean cruise from American Holidays from €2,058pp including flights from Dublin. So that’s three nights at the National Hotel South Beach and seven nights cruise on-board Adventure of the Seas. Travelling April 2020. Based on two adults sharing. Call American Holidays on (01) 673 3804 or visit http://www.americanholidays.com.