As you’ll all know by now I spent a thoroughly enjoyable few days walking, talking, swallowing and swallying in Tenerife with www.CanariaWays.com.
And I will be compiling it all in a grown-up article.
However you get there, get to Tenerife.
TUI is offering Marella Cruises on the Explorer, inside cabin, all-inclusive seven nights from €995pps. http://www.tui.ie.
It just clicks
Now Click&Go http://www.clickandgo.com are a mighty fine holiday provider and will feel genuinely proud of picking up their Best Cruise performance for Rest of the World from Royal Caribbean at an awards ceremony in Waterford.
But there’s no point in me being modest. I’m thinking that my performance at a particular Karaoke bar of Chuck Berry’s Memphis, Tennessee would surely deserve at least joint billing.
Only one man walks on water in Barcelona. He’s everywhere – in every shop window, on the backs of every family of tourists.
Or parading his skills before 100,000 worshippers at the cathedral of football, the Camp Nou.
Only on the day I visited the Spanish city, he’s not.
The ubiquitous Lionel Messi is back in his native South America on international duty playing for Argentina rather than curling in free-kicks for his adopted Barca.
Barcelona has a vacancy for a sporting hero then… and I’m thinking that if I nail it I might just my name off the back of the football top that fluffy bear is wearing.
He’s sitting in a sports car in the shopping area of a cruise ship in port at the bottom of La Rambla. Such are the trappings of fame, and I want some of it.
And I have the chance.
To walk on water on Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas’ surf simulator FlowRider.
And I only have the best in the business to get me up to speed, Irish surfing superstar Geared McDaid.
We’re lucky to have Geared here, his feet rarely touch the ground.
Geared is not long back from a couple of months surfing in Chile, was in Indonesia before that and is on his way to Portugal.
Geared is not what I expect though, no man bun, goatee beard, beard, tattoo sleeve.
Just a regular Sligo boy, although he is pals with Kia Egan!
Thankfully there is one Fifty-something who keeps up appearances with his bandana and windswept beard.
But boy can he surf. Gearoid, that is.
The simulator is on the 15th deck of the €1.4bn Oasis of the Seas cruise ship which is on it way to Majorca, France and then Italy with 6,300 passengers.
Each enjoying five pools and numerous bars, restaurants and shows. And a park. ‘Central Park’, you’ll forget you’re at sea.
But alas without us who will have to get off kicking and screaming before sail time.
If they can’t find us hiding away down in the staff quarters.
The idea of the simulator which is 40ft long, is that a rush of water shoots out to build up the swell which you then surf against.
It’s all in the knees, back and arms – and the trick is to sway and not panic.
Too late, the road went that way and the bandana and everything under it the other way.
It’s official. I don’t walk on water (but my family could tell you that!)
Maybe I’ll have better luck on my knees.
Eureka or ‘goooooal.’ as Lionel Messi might shout. I manage to master those waves in the prayer position on a boogie board with more than a little help from Mauritian teacher Kai.
Suddenly I feel indestructible. And here I was worried that I’d be caught with my shorts down, and quite literally I almost was at half mast.
I hadn’t pulled the cord tightly enough before the surfing class and the waves carried me away.
To be avoided – particularly if you’ve booked up for my next challenge, the 82ft zipline
No-obe nine deck below on the Boardwarl want to have Stars and Stripes board trunks land on them, believe me, when they’re out there shopping.
Or having an early-afternoon drink or are on their way to lunch.
Thankfully, I can’t do much damage in the Spanish restaurant, other than embarrass myself and my party by getting my maracas out (steady!).
Well, once in we weighted into the plats of tapas and a big jug of sangria (when in Spain).
Fuelled with patatas and shrimp al ajillo we swagger off the ship.
Only taking time to pas by an eight-year-old boy twisting and turning on the other simulator and onto Barcelona’s famous La Rambla shopping and market thoroughfare.
Christopher Columbus is still there where I remember him from the last time I visited Barcelona 15 years ago and drew back the curtains of my balcony cabin.
He is proudly guarding the city and pointing out to sea.
To be fair, the arm is right, though I’d maybe bend the elbow and those legs are way too straight.
Sorry, Chris, but you’d be no use on a surfboard either.
Oasis of the Seas: Sail the Western Mediterranean for seven nights on Oasis of the Seas from €1,049pp based on two sharing. Departing Barcelona. Visit Palma, Marseille, Florence/Pisa, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and arrive back at Barcelona. See http://www.royalcaribbean.ie. Flights not included.
Where to stay in Barcelona: Hotel Concordia http://www.hotelconcordiabarcelona.com is a central hub and has a rooftop pool that will tempt you to linger. Pride was on when we visited and the neighbourhood was jumping. €135 per night.
It’s not every day you get a call from Serena Williams.
My mid-afternoon slumber was disturbed when Serena phoned me from the Bahamas a couple of years ago.
Such is the life of an international globetrotting Travel Editor!
This Serena though was not the tennis superstar as she acknowledges in her emails after her name (no, not her) but a very impressive Serena all the same. She runs a very successful media firm in Nassau http://www.bahamas.local,com.
I was teased with a view of the Bahamas in the distance when I cruised the seas last December but have yet to set foot on land.
I mean to change that.
There are a plethora of cruises around the Bahamas and in the Caribbean. I was taken by this one particularly when they slipped in the two most important words in cruising… ‘party ship’.
Jetline Cruise Ireland is offering 15 nights’ Orlando Fun & Bahamian Sun for four people for a fortnight sharing with inclusive car hire for ten days and then four days’ cruising.
I’ve got nothing against people who go to Tenerife to sit beside the pool or on the beach and hit the nightclubs.
You can have that if you like, it leaves the rest of the island and its activities such as hiking and carnival to me.
I’ll be hiking in September and also sitting under the stars with a couple of stars of the Travel industry whom I’ll tell you about nearer the time.
And I dare say I’ll get a taste for Tenerife then and want to go back for the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in February…. it’s the second biggest in the world as I was informed when the Canadians visited last year.
In the meantime you can, of course, get there by cruise ship with TUI’s Canarian Flavours package. TUI offers seven nights’ all-inclusive on January 3 on Marella Explorer inside cabin from €969pps.
I reckon I know what’s in store for Boris Johnson who is about to go around in circles between the UK and Europe… I did it in a cruise ship in the English Channel a couple of years ago.
The difference though is that I loved it.
Of course if you want to get off you can too. Royal Caribbean has a six-night cruise on Allure of the Seas on May 23 (Brexit should be over by then, maybe). It leaves Southampton and checks in to Paris/Normandy (Le Havre) , Bilbao and Spain.
From €1051 per person based on two sharing, €2102. Flight required.
Cramped up in a booze bus to the Munich Beerfest in a tailback of traffic it certainly looked like those river cruise ships were certainly a more relaxed Germany holiday.
I’ve found as the years have glided by that Uniworld River Cruises are the way to amble along the river.
I was particularly taken on my teenage drinking trip when we stopped off at Nueschwanstein, the inspiration for the Disney Castle, with its swan theme. The Rhine really is fairytale stuff.
Uniworld has a tempting range of discount offers on http://www.uniworld.com. The Castles Along The Rhine has a ring to it though doesn’t it? Eight days on the S.S. Antoinette from Amsterdam to Basel is under £3,000 (£2,999), down from £3,799. Depart September 22.
Flights are included for all 2019 departures. Included flights are from London Heathrow.
And here’s what you get…
Luxury living: On board the SS Antoinette
A Special allure
Royal Caribbean asks if we’re brave enough.
I am. I only did the Zipliner on Oasis of the Seas recently in Barcelona and FlowRider too, and again I’m a veteran of FlowRider having soared on it on Independence of the Seas.
The newly amplified Allure of the Seas is sailing from Barcelona next year.
So here’s what you can expect…
Royal Caribbean boasts that this is the tallest slide at sea… and I dare say the slidiest too.
The great thing about Royal Caribbean, apart from everything that is, is that they’re real party ships.
And the Music Hall is where to party on Allure with some great cover bands… and I’ve been known to sing along.. See my Royal Party on Independence….
Of course ships are known for their culinary excellence and Allure is no exception. I’d recommend Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar. It’s just how Mamma made it.
Now you want to see an offer. What about a seven-nighter Western Mediterannean with weekly departures from May 10 to October 25. You’ll take in Palma, Marseille, Florence/PIsa (La Spezia), Rome (Citavecchia) and Naples. From €1,079 per person based on two sharing., €2158 for two guests. €1pp flights, book by August 12. T&Cs apply. Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.ie.
A piece of cake… well, it had to be
Broomsticks airlines were running on time… and the mother-in-law had a smooth passage home.
She was asking for advice on where to go this autumn, and seeing as how I didn’t want to be turned into a frog (again) I suggested Madeira.
Madeira is unspoiled and not packed out with tourists. It’s also a great place to visit from a cruise ship.
Princess Cruises has an 11-day Canary Islands cruise, sailing from Southampton and taking in Vigo in Spain, Funchal in Madeira, Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Las Palmas in Gran Canarai and Arrecife in Lanzarote.
From €999 per person based on two sharing an inside stateroom but not including flights. Mothers-in-law come with their own broomsticks, though. For more information visit http://www.princess.com.