Monday, 6 July 2015

FREE FLIGHTS on Selected 2016 Royal Caribbean Sailings!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Toddlers and Tots on Tour

Toddlers and Tots on Tour
Top tips for a smooth sailing with toddlers and tots on board



The idea of travelling with a toddler or tot is enough to send many parents into a trembling cold sweat. Just dressing them in the morning is like putting tights on a snake, meal times are more like ‘dining detonation’ and it might possibly be easier to herd chickens through Grafton St at rush hour than getting toddlers and tots through an airport.  Consistent nap times, constant attention and the whole ‘intensive care’ aspect of parenting toddlers is exhausting enough in the confines of home and now we want to take the show on tour?  

A cruise is a great way to take some of the pressure off with their huge variety of activities, excursions, amenities and edibles.  Many new cruise ships are like floating resorts with seemingly endless options to keep all ages entertained.  Meanwhile your family is transported from destination to destination, while unpacking just onceWhere once it was a struggle to find ships that were child-friendly, the challenge now is wading through the bevy of activities, kids clubs and child-themed bells and whistles many of the newer ships offer to determine which cruise to chose.   To make your trip smooth sailing, here are some top tips from e-travel:

  1. The flight: Most cruise itineraries require a flight and with small children, it might be easier to keep flights relatively short so Mediterranean cruises may be best which normally go from either Spain or Italy.   E-Travel offer fly cruise packages with flights and transfers included making the whole booking process for a family a lot easier.  Also, check out the to make your airport experience stress free.  You can purchase a fast track boarding pass from just €5.95 and skip right passed long queues right through to a Genie Chaperone for a whole family to whisk you through the airport with minimum stress from €40.  Pre-book parking online and make major savings with from €29 for a week or if you really want to feel like a VIP, check out the new VIP service offered by

  1. Happy kids, happy holiday’ so chose your ship based on what your children will enjoy best.  Entertainment has been taken to a new level with themed cruises. Families can opt for a "DreamWorks experience" on Royal Caribbean (Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas), during which they'll get to meet characters like Shrek and Po (the Kung Fu Panda). Likewise, Norwegian offers Nickelodeon-themed cruises on Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Jewel. Carnival is adding Seuss at Sea to several ships.  As a general rule of thumb, the newer ships tend to be the best choice as they have so many new additions.  e-travel offer a wide variety of cruise packages and staff have personal experience sailing with all the top cruise lines with specialist advice on best prices and packages for toddlers and tots.

  1. Food for thought: Dining options and times are now much more family friendly and flexible. When you're travelling with kids, set dining times and show times can be tough. Ships are accommodating families with more flexible dining times, and special menus for tykes are offered in a variety of dining venues. Some cruise lines will mash or puree food for babies; others don't offer this service. Either way, it's good to bring a supply of food and formula for use during shore excursions and as a backup in case your child has fussy taste buds.

  1. Questions to ask: Investigate the kids’ programs thoroughly. Read the fine print on the cruise line’s Web site or pepper your travel agent with plenty of questions. Here’s what to ask when travelling with kids: Is the program open to toddlers under three? (Many are not, or require an extra fee.) Does your little darling have to be diaper-free to attend? What kind of training and certifications do caregivers have? Do toddlers have their own space, or do they share with bigger kids? If you are travelling with more than one child, find out whether the kids can be put in the same group (if you want) or whether that won’t be allowed because of the age-spread. Other questions: Is the program open year-round or just during high season on the high seas? What are the program’s hours? Will you need to supply proof of vaccinations?

  1. What to Bring.  Most cruise lines don't sell nappies and wipes onboard or might not have your preferred brand, so bring your own. Even though many ships provide cribs, be sure to confirm availability before you sail. If you have a toddler on the tall side, ask about the size of the crib; a low bunk with a bedrail might fit your child better.  If your child is hooked on watching Dora or Disney before bed, consider bringing a portable DVD player, as most standard staterooms do not have DVD players. As for strollers & buggies, think about what you'll need at the airport and during shore excursions, in addition to getting around the ship. This will help you determine whether you need.    

Established in 1997, e-travel is now one of Ireland’s leading independent travel agents, specialising in cruising as well as flights, long-haul and online bookings and are the only 100% Irish owned and managed online agency in Ireland.  Whether it is the perfect honeymoon or a family holiday, there are prices to suit most budgets.  e-travel’s award winning team offer expertise and advice, early booking discounts, onboard credit and lots more!  The e-travel Cruise department can be contacted on 01 4081999 or

Monday, 29 June 2015

Royal Caribbean Mediterranean Cruise Sale

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

MSC Cruises Flash Sale Now ON

MSC Cruises 4 Day Flash Sale Now On.

8 night Northern Capitals & Russian Riches Fly/Cruise
MSC Sinforia
3rd July from only €699 per person sharing
Including return flights, over night in Copenhagen and 7 night cruise interior stateroom

7 night Cities of Art and Wonder Fly/Cruise
MSC Fantasia
31st July from only €899 per person sharing
Including return flights, 7 night cruise interior stareroom

Monday, 22 June 2015

Royal Caribbean 12 Day Sale now on

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Cheapest Flights to the USA!

Flights Deal to the USA with United Airlines, book online today for the cheapest flight deals

New York €599
Orlando €571
Boston €595
Washington €650
Miami €667
Chicago €675
Toronto €496
Las Vegas €564
Vancouver €532
San Franciso €630
LA €561

Return Economy flights, including taxes.

Monday, 15 June 2015

7 night Cruise onboard MSC Fantasia, 7 night Spain, France and Malta Cruise

David Kinsella, 7 night Cruise onboard MSC Fantasia.

My cruise began in Genoa,Italy from where MSC Fantasia sets sail every Sunday on its 7 night Spain, France & Malta cruise. Although Genoa is inconvenient for flights from Ireland, the great thing about Fantasia is that she will also pick up guests in Barcelona on Friday's- which is very convenient for e travel customers.

My home for the week had 18 decks of entertainment, restaurants, bar, shops & pools- everything you could want on a holiday, all in one location, just press a button in the elevator and see where it takes you! I had an Balcony cabin on port side with splendid sea views and each morning it was a pleasure to stand in awe as we arrived at a new port of call. Equally in the evening, the sail away from port as the sun set was a sight to behold.

Genoa itself is an interesting city and a taxi is cheap to the centre. Further afield by 30 minute train is Santa Margharita. Walkers will love the coastal walk from here to famous Portofino. MSC has 4 hour excursions to Genoa (€40) and €60 to Portofino- not cheap but may suit some.

Most evenings we ate in our designated waiter restaurant "Red Velvet"  The menu consisted of 6 course meals which apparently is the Italian way of evening dining. Each course is relatively small so you should go for at least 4 if not all 6. Worried that it would be all Italian, I was relieved to find only one pasta course- otherwise a varied international choice was offered. We dined at at 9pm (alternative is 6.30pm). I found the waiter service very good but do allow 2 hours for evening dining. First night is casual dress. 

The buffet restaurant is open up to 20 hours per day and serving up to 13 different nationality of foods. It is extremely popular and nearly always busy. I found the waiter restaurant Il Cherchio D'Oro much more relaxing for breakfast & lunch although it has limited opening times.

In Naples I went on an excursion to Pompeii (€52/ 4 hours). I have been before but am always intrigued by this story of its excess & disaster. Other MSC excursions go to Sorrento (€40/4 hours), Capri (€80/5 hours), Naples (€52/4 hours), It is worth noting that all are easily done independently for a fraction of the cost. 

The suggested dress for the second night was White. While this is not compulsory, entering into the spirit of things will really enhance your experience on an MSC cruise. The 45 minute theatre show was a "cirque de soleil" style show with dramatic acrobatics. Shows are at 7.45pm for second dining and 21.30pm for first dining. There are at least 14 bars on board and each offer their own entertainment- Karaoke,  Jazz, Piano, dancing, live music, quizzes, bingo, wine tasting bar, Cappuccino Bar, Sports bar and Night Club to name but a few.

Messina in Sicily featured next on the itinerary. The charming town itself is easily managed on foot from the ship independently although the local shop owners did not appear to be too fussed about selling to its visitors?  MSC offer excursions further afield to Mt Etna (€52/ 4 hours), Taormina (€56/ €5 hours) and full day combinations from €63/ 8 hours). There were plenty of taxi drivers negotiating at the port for island tours.

MSC cruises are a very family friendly cruise line and therefore expect the pool areas to be very busy with families, music & entertainment. An excellent alternative is the adult only Deck 18- a quiet oasis to sunbathe all day (€10 per day or €40 for 7 day package)- well worth it.

Tonight was the first Gala Night with Black Tie as the suggested dress.

A short stop but very rewarding port of call was Valletta- capital of Malta. The centre is easily found by elevator (€1) or a variety of taxis, electronic cars and traditional horse-drawn carriage have you there in minutes. For me the electronic car was an entertaining and hilarious trip as our driver pretended to just about make it to the top of a steep street and then go over the brow like a roller coaster! I visited the Co-Cathedral of St John. So plain on the outside- hiding an incredible interior. €6 including audio guide. Valletta is stunning, its people very friendly and prices inexpensive.

Very much an Italian theme tonight and suggested dress was Green,White & Red. Classical Italian Arias were performed in the theatre show. 

There is a sizeable Spa area, huge casino, and excellent sports facilities such as a state of the art gym, basketball court, tennis, squash, mini golf. The ship also features a 4D Cinema, duty free shops and an exclusive suite only area called The Yacht Club.

My next port of call was Palma de Mallorca- this time the ship arrives in the evening time 9pm until 5am. Palma itself looked stunning lit up in the night sky. A 10 minute taxi took us into the Cathedral area where we visited a beautiful bar called "Abaco" hidden in a courtyard with stunning floral arrangements, birdcages, candles & fountains. Cocktails were €16- expensive but high quality. Other members of my group took off to lively resort of Magaluf  (15 mins taxi) where shots were €1 and "fishbowl" cocktails €5!! A popular MSC shore excursion is Flamenco show Son Amar €65/ 3 hours).

On board, tonight we tried the Tex Mex alternative restaurant which has an a la carte menu. A tasty change to the more formal dining with typical dishes €5-8.

The stop in Barcelona was from 2 in the afternoon to 11 at night which gave us a taste of this wonderful city by day and night. The late departure is ideal for guests arriving from Ireland- giving them plenty of time to explore the Gothic streets and amazing architecture.

No set time tonight- the restaurants change to Open dining.

Finally Marseilles to add a french feel to this lovely itinerary. Popular excursions were combining this city with towns such as Avignon, Arles or Aix En Provence (€80/ full day) and 4 hours tours about €52. Again with a little homework- some of these towns can be reached by train and explored independently.

The final formal night- again Black Tie suggested. The waiters parade the Baked Alaska dessert through the restaurant to triumphant music. The theatre show tonight was particularly good- The Michael Jackson Experience.

And then it was all over as we arrived back into Genoa. Disembarkation was civilized but sad as we said goodbye to a truly amazing cruise ship.

The Allegrissimo drinks package (Unlimited 24 hours) was included and I would recommend it highly- even if you do not drink too much-  it includes unlimited bottled mineral water & copious branded soft drinks such as Pepsi as well as delicious Italian gelato ice cream not to mention very drinkable Italian white, red & rose wine by the glass, preseco, draught Heineken beer, branded spirits such as Smirnoff, Bacardi, mixed drinks & cocktails. 

 For more details please contact David in eTravel on 01 4081999 or