Cruise views: From best ship to best water slide

Which two cruise ships have the highest quality ratings in the world? Take a bow “Europa” and “Europa 2”, the ultra-luxurious vessels owned and operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and catering principally for the Continental cruise market. The 2015 edition of Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships, which has just been published, confirms that the Hapag-Lloyd vessels […]

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Holidaymakers get best ideas from friends

The summer holidays are over and most of us are already daydreaming about our next break. But rather than looking at holiday advertisements, which this website has always believed to be a massive waste of money, researchers at www.momondo.co.uk have found that people will be checking out travel websites and – even more importantly – […]

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Hotel of the month: October

We had good reason not to think much of the Prince Hall Country House Hotel, on Dartmoor: it was suggested that we make an inspection visit there, then the invitation was abruptly withdrawn. But we went anyway; we can’t resist a challenge, and it was quite fun to visit anonymously. We found ourselves in a very […]

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Summer dreams of tempting Tuscany

One of our favourite tour operators is Peter Horrocks of Villas du Monde – a man who could teach most travel industry PR people a thing or two. He writes to inquire whether we are thinking of taking a villa holiday in Italy next summer. We aren’t – but persuasive Peter wants us to tell […]

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Cometh the cocktail hour….

This sounds like a lot more fun than Father’s Day, let alone ‘Give Up Smoking Month”. It is London Cocktail Week, which runs from October 6-12 and for which many of the city’s top hotel barmen are already dreaming up exotic new drinks to whet the appetite. The Arch London (www.thearchlondon.com), in Marylebone, is going […]

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Cruise views: Sailing to the Holy Land

Cruises to the Holy Land can be hard to find at present, but we reckon it is one of the best destinations we have ever visited. So what a thrill to find a 12-night autumn cruise that not only calls at the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod but is also extremely keenly priced: from […]

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Cruise views: Cut-price to the Caribbean

The trouble with Caribbean fly-cruises is usually that they are too short to justify the flight – or else that they are simply too expensive. So a special welcome to Celebrity Cruises’ ‘back to back’ 16-night Caribbean cruise offer this November. It links two week-long cruises and costs from just £1,535 per person, which we […]

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A bargain break with a difference – in historic Coimbra

Practically the first place we ever visited overseas was Portugal’s ancient capital: the handsome city of Coimbra. So we are pleased to see that one of our favourite holiday companies, Sunvil, is now offering flexible, tailor-made, holidays to a number of properties in and around Coimbra. Coimbra, located in Portugal’s unspoilt Centro region, is crowned […]

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Cruise views: Berlitz ‘bible’ is back!

We are proud to say that, in addition to being both a lovely man and almost certainly the world’s greatest authority on cruising and cruise ships, Douglas Ward is a friend. So it is a special pleasure to report the publication of his authoritative annual “Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships”, which will be available in […]

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Cruise views: A new shipboard rip-off revealed

Almost unbelievably, some cruise lines have dreamed up yet another way of squeezing cash out of customers. They ask all passengers whether they prefer first or second sitting for dinner, then impose a hefty nightly charge for guaranteeing that you get the right one. We are so gobsmacked by this greed that we hesitate to […]

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