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Travel Writing

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Travel Writing Holidaying with Island Cruises has always been one of my firm favourites, and our second cruise with them only confirmed this. My 2005 holiday on the Island Escape was the highlight of my year, so I was extremely excited about going back to the company in 2006. The newly bought ship, the Island Star, was an extravagant example, and put the first ship to shame. My first glimpse of the immense liner brought a smile to my face as I felt the sun beam down, reflecting off the striking white hull. Countless windows and various balconies looked more and more appealing as seconds ticked by, furthering everyone's anticipation to just get onboard. Striding up the gangway, a sense of apprehension overcame me, worrying about being in the middle of the sea, alone, trapped. These irrational thoughts were crushed by the lovely stewardess who showed us to our surprisingly spacious cabin. On Deck 7, looking out of the sparkly-clean window, immediately you could see the beautiful sights of Palma, the giant trees softening the atmosphere. ...read more.


Island Cruises has a favourable reputation for being the friendliest ship in the Med, and they definitely lived up to that. Pacing down corridors, staff always smiled and said hello, even the tired housekeeping staff. When sitting at the bar in The Pub, the friendly bar staff always had time to keep me company and chat, often entertaining me with jokes and magic tricks. The Captain is also known for being very 'down to earth', welcoming the chat of any curious passenger. He understands people's concerns with cruising, and as was explained in the informal 'Chat to Captain McNeill' in the Bounty Lounge, he has experienced a lot of the passenger's problems himself, often sea sickness and dizziness. The ship itself is 208 metres long, has a tonnage of nearly 50,000 and has the capacity to cater for almost 2000 guests, which is far more than its predecessor. Fortunately, unlike in the peak of the golden age of cruising, there are stabilisers fitted to the ship, to minimise swaying. ...read more.


Much to our surprise, the big finale consisted of the 'big-wigs' dancing to the cheesy tune of 'Is This The Way To Amarillo', with the excited crowd taking hundreds of pictures and videos with their over-the-top cameras. The alcohol was spilling over the bar, with the '�1 a pint' sign attracting many tattoo-covered men to the counter. As the time to leave the ship crept closer, I felt a sense of contentment mixed with a slight sense of wistfulness. Recognising the palm trees, which I had seen only one week prior, reality hit me. I knew that in a matter of hours, I would be sitting on a plane, travelling home with all the memories of the trip swirling around my head. All the friendships that had been created in such a short space of time and all the beautiful sights I had seen in Monte Carlo and Mahon filled me with emotion. I'm sure all the laughs and all the happiness will still be there when I return for my next visit, next summer! ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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