First of all, I would like to apologize that it has been quite quiet here on HideousJourneys lately. But believe it or not, a traveler like me needs some vacation time as well. Back home, I am ready to share some of my latest travel adventures with you. And they all have to do with cruising again, finally. But before we are setting sail for the Caribbean, let me give you insight in one of my favorite mini cruises there is: The crossing from Hamburg to Southampton (or vice versa) on a Cunard Queen. Continue reading
Like mentioned in a blog post from early 2016, Lufthansa had introduced services from Southampton to its hub Munich in March 2016 operated by its codeshare partner BMI Regional. Having just recently completed a channel crossing from Hamburg with the mighty Queen Mary 2, it was just the perfect occasion to try this air link by myself, turning out to be a comfortable and time-saving alternative to the permanently overcrowded London Heathrow airport. Continue reading
Would you say that it was crazy to fly down to the French Riviera for only one night? Maybe, maybe not. But apart from all the hassle, those 24 hours on the sunny side of life were just the beautiful kick that I was longing for on this mini weekend retreat in Monaco. Continue reading
There were quite some things that I could recall of Sardinia when I last visited the island with my parents about three decades ago as a child. The beautiful turquoise sea, for example, the rocky silhouette of the Northern shoreline or the elegant fisher villages like Santa Teresa Gallura or Porto Cervo. I remembered the brisk ocean breeze that even on sunny days made you hold your hat while wandering the beautiful island and the extremely friendly local people who made you feel welcome straight from the beginning.
The first stop during my four nights mini cruise was the beautiful city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest city in the country and the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia. Founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC, Valencia is these days the fifth busiest container port in whole Europe and attracts millions and millions of visitors every year. It is famous for its rich and diverse architectural styles such as the gorgeous historic downtown area (UNESCO World Heritage Site) or the futuristic City of Art and Sciences (which was the set for a Star Trek movie). Or maybe you have heard of the annual Tomato fight called La Tomatina which is held in the close town of Bunol? Continue reading
Day 1: Boarding Costa Pacifica
If you asked me if I would take a Costa mini cruise in May in the Mediterranean, I would say: Hell yeah! Surely it is not a cruise in the style of Silversea, Windstar or Oceania, but having done over 41 cruises in total so far, I would almost go on any cruise and on any ship when I have the chance. Because in the end, they all float. Some a little more luxuriously and some in disco style, yet the feeling to be close to the ocean remains the same. Continue reading
Located only 10 to 15 minutes walking distance to Málaga´s central train station, the Mariposa hotel offers stylish and contemporary accommodations at an affordable price close to the city´s main sights and not too far away from the port if you are looking for a pre or post cruise place to stay. Continue reading
The next day, we made halt on Grand Cayman Island.
It is the largest of the three Cayman Islands with Georgetown being the capital. Approximately 54,000 people live on the Cayman Islands altogether with the majority inhabiting Grand Cayman. Hurricane Ivan rolled by the islands in 2004 with winds up to 290km/h, destroying over 80 percent of the islands buildings and infrastructures. Many people died during this massive tropical storm. Today, Grand Cayman is back to normal.
While it sometimes might be the most comfortable and convenient way to reach your ship by cruise line transfer, this little extra can add up to quite an amount to your onboard bill (depending on the cruise line and the distance to/from the airport). Sure, your luggage will be delivered automatically to your stateroom upon arrival at the pier, the buses are air-conditioned and comfortable and you don´t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic and therefore possibly missing the ship, but everyone has to decide for him/herself wherever the additional 50 to 80 USD pp are worth spending.
For me, the 59 USD pp (Windstar Cruises) transfer from Athens airport to Piraeus one-way were not making up for all the convenience, considering that you can buy a bottle of Jacquart champagne for 48 USD (plus 15% surcharge) onboard. But like I said, this is where everyone sets his/her own priorities. Continue reading