Ideas, suggestions and recommendations that can help you choose from a more limited palette of options that we know — both from professional and personal experience.

Experience how the other half live

Isn’t it amazing how some expressions come to end up meaning exactly the opposite of what they were first meant to express? Take the title of this week’s blog for example. ‘How the other half lives’ was the title of a book written in 1890 by a recent immigrant to the United States, a Jacob Riis who had arrived there from Denmark in 1870. After having worked a wide variety of menial jobs, Riis worked

There is no sincerer love than the love of food!

At least that’s what George Bernard Shaw claimed and I’m inclined to agree with him. It would also appear that I’m not alone as the people at Oceania Cruises also take their food very seriously indeed. They reputedly spend more on food than any other cruise line and having recently spent a couple of indulgent days aboard Oceania Insignia as it made its way up from Bordeaux to Dublin, I can attest to that claim!

The Success story that is MSC Cruises!

When Captain Gianluigi Aponte purchased his first, small ship in Belgium in 1970, just as globalisation was taking off which would soon be fed by the containerisation revolution, little could he have imagined that the small company that he had just founded in Brussels would one day come to employ more than 60,000 people located in over 150 countries around the world. That company was MSC Group, parent of MSC Cruises! (more…)

The Vegans are coming — live long and prosper!

I LOVE my food! I love eating out. I love watching cookery programmes and browsing through cookery books. Indeed, I don’t think there is a world cuisine that I don’t enjoy. A lot of those cuisines are based around the use of meats or fish of some kind and whilst I am a life-long, card-carrying member of the carnivore society, the older I get, the more I’m beginning to come around to the questionable morality

What is the ultimate travel experience?

Travel, as with all human experiences, is a very subjective thing. What appeals to one person may be anathema to another. Whereas one persons’ idea of heaven would be to swim with dolphins in some sub-tropical paradise; for another, it could be a gastronomical tour of Michelin restaurants in San Sebastian! (more…)

Theme Parks with a difference — Part 2

Last week, I listed details of seven theme parks with a difference around the world that you might be interested in checking out because of their novelty value. In this weeks’ follow-on blog, I conclude with a few more that may capture your imagination even further. People assume that theme parks are all about roller-coaster rides but of course they can adopt any theme that they like, particularly if the founders think that there is

Theme Parks with a difference — Part 1

Which of us does not have found memories of Disney films, Disney characters and, ultimately — Disney theme parks. My first ever experience of the Disney ‘product’ was a visit to the original Disney theme park in Anaheim with two of my three kids back in 1992 and it was an amazing experience. Since then, I’ve visited Disneyland Paris twice and Disneyworld in Orlando once. Am I likely to complete the whole set by visiting

The reasons why we travel and the criteria by which we choose our destinations

People travel for all sorts of reasons. For some, travel is the antidote to the way they live the rest of the year. It provides excitement, change, challenge, relaxation, new experiences. People travel to recharge their batteries and get a bit of sun — a high priority indeed, when you come from someplace like Ireland — ‘the land of perpetual autumn’, as I often describe it! (more…)

Shoulder Season — the best time to travel in Europe?

One of the fundamental rules of economics is the concept of supply and demand. The more people want something, the more that demand for the product or service drives up the price. Travel is no different in that respect to any other market, with the result that a room in a hotel in any resort in Spain in August is likely to cost twice as much (or more) as the same property does in May.

Luxury — Silver Muse by another name!

Like many words in the English language, there are many different definitions and interpretations of the word ‘luxury’. The website www.dictionary.com defines luxury as being ‘indulgence in and enjoyment of rich, comfortable, and sumptuous living. Something that is considered an indulgence rather than a necessity’. It also seems a fitting description of what I experienced last week when I had the pleasure of being invited to enjoy Silversea’s latest addition to their fleet — Silver

What is value and why is it more important than price? — Part 2

Take me for example: I don’t particularly like Ryanair or their customer ethos but I do acknowledge that they — and low cost carriers like them — revolutionised the international aviation industry and thus allowed more of us to travel, and more often. Whilst I do put a value on comfort and convenience, I also put an almost equal value on cost so when the price differential is high and the length of time that

What is value and why is it more important than price? — Part 1

Before I answer that question, let me first state that the difference between value and price (a matter I’ll come to in a moment) really depends on the context in which the latter is being experienced. In recent years, more and more products and services have become increasingly commoditised, by which I mean that they have come to be sold more by price point than by any other measurable criterion. (more…)

The art of getting a quote that is both competitive in price and relevant to your needs starts with gathering all the right information about what you want to do (or think you want to do!).