Tag Archives: travel

Pick the right ship for the trip to fully enjoy your cruise experience

cruise ship Queen VictoriaIF you want to really enjoy your cruise you need to do a little research before embarking on your voyage.

The first and most important thing is to pick the right ship. Everything else – such as paying extra for an outside cabin or balcony – is secondary.

A mum and dad with young kids who pick a Fred Olsen ship may find it disappointing. It is a great, long-established cruising company which has been in the business since the early days

Over the decades it has built up a base of loyal passengers which it sets great store by. Therefore average age is older and it is particularly favoured by the older generation seeking peace and quiet.

Retired people find a cruise is a safe and comfortable way to travel but the age of passengers is getting younger each year with the. average age of first-timers now well under 40.

There are much more exciting options for the young family, for instance Disney Cruise Line ships which are designed to handle both children and adults well with different areas for different age ranges.

Ships with a nursery for ages 6-36 months are Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Much is made of life on board a cruise ship but let’s not forget it’s all about travelling and seeing new places. Inside or outside cabins may be an important question for regulars to cruising but is it so important for people seeking their first cruise experience?

Having a balcony can enhance the cruise but how much time do you want to spend on your own reading a book as opposed to enjoying the sundeck or a bar or restaurant aboard?

Royal Caribbean  is good for families and children. Carnival offers a fun ship all-American cruising experience  which attracts passengers of all ages, mostly between 30 and 55, and is also good for children and teens.

The Norwegian cruise line and Princess Cruises offer a similar friendly US-style experience. Princess Cruises are popular with couples, families with teenagers and young children and older singles who like to mingle.

Costa  Cruises offers an Italian ambience with stylish lifts and atriums and is geared for families with children.

Celebrity Cruises are aimed at sophisticated adult couples and families with older children such as teenagers  who want to travel in style.

Holland America’s  big ships appeal to younger families with children while its small cruise ships are popular with seniors. MSC  Cruises are stylishly geared for adult couples and singles and families with children.

P & O is a  traditional British cruise company popular with British families wanting to sail fom the UK. It has adults-only ships and ballroom dance instructors and does theme cruises.

Cunard  is steeped in maritime history and the grand traditions of ocean liners  and best enjoyed by experienced travellers who enjoy a cosmopolitan sailing experience.

Clube Praia da Oura resort, Allbufeira, Portugal

We spent a week in November at the Clube Praia da Oura resort at Albufeira. The resort is positioned on the beach with historic Albufeira town a scenic two mile walk away.

It consists of 561 self-catering apartments, all with views 0f the Atlantic or the hotel”s gardens and pools.It has two swimming pools, sauna, bowling green, bars, disco, restaurant and barbecue terrace.

There are walkways down to a small beach and the landscaping of the hotel gives it a pleasant tropical ambience.

Some of the units in the Clube Praia da Oura are a bit outdated but rooms are spacious and comfortable with good catering facilities. It is worth finding out exactly where your room is as some undoubtedly have better balcony views than others.

 

Sister Act

There is a sister resort just over the road – the Oura-View Beach Club – and then there is a 4-star hotel nearby, the Oura Praia Hotel. All are owned by Petchey Leisure and in November were all offering rooms for between 20 and 30 euros a night on booking.com.

There is a good mix of restaurants between the three complexes and it is certainly worth noting the times of happy hours and taurus horoscope love usually has many love affairs. special evening promotions. The hotel”s two-for-one steak night offers good eating at good value.

The famous Albufeira strip is just a short walk away and in the winter this is a blessing as a lot of bars and restaurants are still open at a quiet time of year.

It’s not guaranteed sunbathing weather although we did get a couple of days on the beach.  It is pretty much guaranteed to be mostly mild weather and hordes of German and Dutch visitors drive and fly down to the Algarve at this time of year to beat the winter blues.

The Algarve offers fascinating coastal walks which abound in vibrant colours and there are also hill walks to be enjoyed. You can see what the coast and the weather was like in my separate report on Albufeira.

For a budget break from the cold at this time of year it is hard to beat the Algarve coast of Portugal. There are great connections from the UK to its gateway airport of Faro.

Airport transfers are cheap if you shop around meaning you can spread your net for hotels which are as much as an hour”s drive away. Check out www.cheapesttaxis.com/

It”s not hard to find good family accommodation for around 25 euros a night.

 

http://www.visitalgarve.pt/