Friday, July 1, 2016

Cruise Control

Every thought of a cruise for your next family holiday? Chances are you probably haven't. It's not really the first thing that comes to mind for most of us when we're planning that precious week or two in the sun.

For one there's the expense, and then there's all the old people, not to mention being stuck on a boat with no escape. And lets not even get into the thoughts of one of the kids going overboard...

But just hang on a moment, because it seems that cruises have changed significantly in recent years.

Ships are now catering to whole families with multiple pools, kids clubs, spas, a choice of restaurants and basically anything you'd expect from a great hotel abroad - but with the added benefit of seeing the world and exploring different ports while you're at it.

Having had tour and lunch onboard the Caribbean Princess which was recently docked in Dublin I have to admit it's a tempting option.

The scale of the operation is truly awe inspiring. Not even close to being one of the biggest cruise ships out there the Caribbean Princess caters to over 3000 guests with over 1000 staff. That's a jaw dropping 1 :3 ratio of staff to guest.

But the size doesn't mean the quality is compromised. The food on offer is varied, great quality and caters to every need and whim.

Case in point - these hand made chocolates. And yes - they do taste as good as they look.

The staff are incredibly knowledgeable, happy and fun to be around. But sure why wouldn't they be - they get to sail the high seas and travel the world for a living. 

So what's on offer? 

Even though this isn't one of the largest ships there is so much to see and do. Multiple restaurants and bars, theatres, spas, gyms, kids clubs, pools, casinos and relaxation areas. The cabins are cosy and cleaned twice a day. There's 24 hour room service too. Oh, and did I mention that all your food is included in the price?

I visited the ship on a rainy, wet day in Dublin and was still impressed. The thoughts of lying by the pool with blue skies, sunshine and the ocean spreading our all around me has me reaching for my captain's hat. Let's just hope for your sake I'm not piloting your one...

The Carribean Princess is part of Princess Cruises and was visiting Duiblin as part of their British Isles tour. There is loads of great information on their website and you can get lost in their itineraries of cruises to everywhere from Alaska to New Zealand. Prices begin in the region of £450 pp.

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