Tour America & Cruise Holidays, Ireland's leading tour operator to the USA and Cruise Holidays, are this week launching our Annual Sale Day at The Red Cow Moran Hotel to take place on Sunday 7th October.
This is the 12th year Tour America & Cruise Holidays have run this holiday show, and we have organised for suppliers from all over the USA to join us on the day. From cruise companies such as Norwegian Cruise Line with a host of special offers and top tips for our cruise clients. Some of the key tourist boards from the USA will also be there including Florida Beaches, Las Vegas, Massachusetts, California, Deep South and much more.
There will be at least 30 exhibitors, with lots of gifts for you and your family; there will be a children's area, and all the Tour America experts there to bring you all the exclusive offers of the day. In addition, we will have key guest speakers to keep you up to date with all that is travel, and to provide you with additional information on all the destinations available to book in the USA wih tips, advice and special offers on the day.
And if you're a technology savvy person, you'll be able to connect with us on the day through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Foresquare. We'll be taking pictures and videos so you can tag yourself, we'll be tweeting event information (Q times, deals on the day etc.) and much more. And we'll have a competition on the day to give one lucky person a €100 One4All gift voucher just for checking in on their mobile phone either through Facebook or Foresquare. If you have been before, you will know how busy it is, so arrive early. If you have not been before, now is your chance to take advantage of the best holiday prices for the USA and cruising. Doors open at 10am (admission is free) and the fun continues till 6pm.
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The MSC Divina has joined the list of cruise holiday vessels operated by MSC Cruises that are certified as being friendly to people on gluten-free diets by the Italian Coeliac Association (ICA).
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that leaves sufferers unable to eat gluten - found in wheat, barley and rye - without a painful reaction that can damage the lining of the small intestine.
Unfortunately, gluten is contained in a large number of everyday foods such as bread and pasta and, what with these being staples of British diets, eating out can be difficult for people suffering from the condition.
In order to encourage people with the disease and their families onto its cruises, MSC has already taken steps to offer gluten-free meals on other vessels including the MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida.
On the MSC Divina, gluten-free menus will be available in all of the restaurants, with 17 dishes - including breakfasts, lunches, dinners and afternoon tea. Passengers will also be able to select a gluten-free lunch box for shore excursions.
The Divina Bar on Deck 5 has been equipped with a gluten-free beverage list that includes special cocktails, beers and bitters.
MSC Poesia will be hosting a retro rock fest next March – with top heavy metal bands performing.
Passengers will be treated to a head-banging extravaganza, which will feature top acts from the metal heydays of the 1970's and 80's.
The cruise is inspired by the legendary festival of the same name, which started back in 1980 at the popular Castle Donington site in Leicestershire.
Fans will enjoy performances from the likes of Helix, Tesla, Kix, Great White, Y&T, Lita Ford, Enuff Z Nuff, XYZ and many more.
Dubbed "The Lost Weekend" by organisers, the special voyage will depart Fort Lauderdale on March 16th, sailing to Nassau and Coco Cay in the Bahamas on March 20th.
'Rocking' onboard activities include a 1987-themed prom, shotgun wedding renewal ceremony and tattoo contest.
The highlight will undoubtedly be the rock star dating game though, which will give passengers the chance to win a date with a star of their choice.
Watch this year’s 'Monsters of Rock' cruise here.
Would you be into this type of themed cruise holiday?
MSC Cruises has announced that the Summer Olympic Games will be broadcasted live across the firm’s fleet of ships this summer.
There is just over a month to go until the Games begin in London on July 27th and with sports fans across the country eager to tune in to catch some of our medal hopefuls in action.
While some holidaymakers may have feared they would miss out on events, given that the competition runs through the height of summer until August 12th, fortunately for those on a voyage with MSC Cruises over that period they need not.
That is because the firm is set to broadcast all 2,000 hours of live Olympics coverage, via satellite, in all public areas and passenger accommodations on their vessels.
This means holidaymakers can look forward to their cruise and still enjoy one of the 29 different sports on offer at the event.
The on board entertainment will also be sport-themed, with a special parade and various pool-based races and football juggling competitions planned.
In addition to these, viewers will be able to bet on the outcome of events and enjoy a range of sporting activities like ping-pong and football, which will offer actual medals to the winners.
To cap it all off, these cruises will also offer passengers the chance to enjoy a slice of Olympic cake, which is styled to depict the iconic rings of the Olympics symbol.
Standing in front of this huge floating vessel was just amazing anticipating my exciting cruise starting at Dover Uk, then At Sea, Kiel in Germany and finally the majestic Copenhagen!
It was my first time to ever see a cruise ship and I was completely in awe. On May 3rd I was lucky enough to partake on my first cruise which was onboard the fabulous MSC Poesia.
I checked in online so embarkation was quick and easy. I loved that my bags were taken from me and I was free to board the ship. Once onboard we were greeted by dozens of smiling faces and I was wow’d by the interior and decor of the ship. The atrium was elegant with fairy lights sprinkled across it and we greeted by soft music lulling us into our awaiting relaxed state.
The Poesia was at full capacity while I was onboard and although there were 3,000 of us on the ship I never once felt it was over crowded. Ship facilities included the usuals such as gorgeous swimming pool areas, casinos, a gorgeous theater, bars and restaurants. But it had the extras to, an outdoor cinema, an Italian ice cream bar (where I spent my days!) and an amazing spa.
I would also really recommend the €23 a day drinks package which can be pre-booked. Having such a package at such good value meant I had my money to enjoy onboard in the numerous shops, the amazing spa and shopping in the ports of call.
Onboard, I had a balcony cabin and I loved it. It was spacious, comfortable and modern. My favorite part was being able to sit out on the balcony and watch as sailed into the various ports in the morning time, the sun was shining and hearing the water lapping against the side of the ship was so peaceful. I could have sat there forever and it was in those moments on my private balcony that I realised I was about to become a regular cruiser.
Following my incredible first time cruise experience, I would definitely recommend an MSC cruise. The staff were amazing, the food onboard was amazing, the ships are stunning and they are such amazing value.
To conclude, as a (very young) first time cruiser who had all the same misconceptions as many would now confidently book another cruise. They are an incredible way to holiday and waking up somewhere new every day is brilliant. This was definitely my favorite part. Oh, and being treated like a princess...
Vengerov, who is also a classical violinist, will feature alongside a variety of star names who will be present at the event in Marseille on May 26th. The 37-year-old Russian will then give a speech to the waiting masses before releasing hundreds of balloons to mark the festivities.
MSC Cruises chief executive Pier Francesco Vago and MSC fleet godmother Sophia Loren will also be in attendance at the event, and will join Vengerov for a special question and answer session planned for the day.
The presence of these stars at the special naming event comes as MSC Cruises and UNICEF look to promote the "Get on Board for Children" initiative.
This a fund created to deal with the poverty seen in the infamous favelas of Brazil, with the group campaigning for better educational facilities for children.
No word has yet been given on whether Vangerov will perform at the christening.
Have you ever been on a cruise holiday with MSC Cruises?
Have you ever been to the Red Sea? It’s the most incredible place for snorkelling and diving with a spectacular and colourful underworld just waiting to be explored. And now you can – with MSC Cruises.
Embark on a journey of crystal clear waters, golden sands and historical discovery from November 2nd 2012.
On this day MSC Armonia will depart from Venice for a nine-day/eight-night cruise, arriving at her new homeport in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt just over a week later. En route she will travel from the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez transit canal to the Red Sea, with scheduled stops in Ancona, Italy; Heraklion, Greece and Marmaris, Turkey arriving in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt on 10 November 2012.
From 10 November 2012 through to 6 April 2013, MSC Armonia has a full schedule of 21 8-day/7-night cruises, departing every Saturday from Sharm El Sheikh, with scheduled stops in Safaga, Egypt; Elat, Israel; Aqaba, Jordan and Sokhna Port, Egypt.
Guests will even have the opportunity to combine the positioning cruises to and from Sharm El Sheikh with the first and last cruises of the Red Sea season for the perfect mix of days at sea and calls at port in this stunning region.
The Red Sea will bid farewell to MSC Armonia on 6 April 2013, when she starts her 10-day/9-night return cruise from Sharm El Sheikh to Venice. Scheduled stops are Sokhna Port, Egypt; Limassol, Cyprus; Antalya, Turkey; Rhodes; Heraklion, Greece and Kotor, Montenegro.
During the Red Sea experience, guests can enjoy a wide choice of shore excursions, offering the perfect combination of relaxation, sightseeing and adventure. Whether it’s snorkeling among the region’s unique aquatic wildlife, enjoying the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, visiting Bedouin settlements or touring ancient mines that once belonged to the great pharaohs of Egypt, there really is something here for everyone.
MSC Armonia features 777 beautifully appointed cabins. Its luxurious facilities include four restaurants - offering the finest Mediterranean and international cuisine - several bars and lounges, the incredible MSC Aurea Spa, a mini golf course, numerous boutiques, casino, theatre, nightclub and children’s club.
“The new ship represents an investment of 550 million euros and will be delivered at the end of March 2013.”
“MSC Preziosa will sail the Mediterranean, exploring the beauty of Greek Islands, which represents the highlight of European cruising.”
MSC Preziosa will boast 1,751 cabins, 26 lifts, and 18 decks, 14 of them for passengers. Guests will be able to enjoy four main restaurants, two speciality restaurants, 21 bars, a casino, four swimming pools, including an infinity pool, 12 whirlpools, a bowling alley, a sports area with playing fields, a fitness centre, a children’s area and the superb MSC Aurea Spa.
An exclusive feature of MSC Preziosa - and of all fantasia-class ships in the MSC fleet - is the MSC Yacht Club. Privileged passengers staying in the 69 exclusive MSC Yacht Club suites will be able to take advantage of the private bar, solarium, hydro-massage pools, and the spectacular glass-walled observation lounge with amazing ocean views. A butler service will offer assistance at check-in, transport luggage, unpack, serve traditional English afternoon tea as well as arranging cigars and beverages, booking tables at restaurants, treatments in the MSC Aurea Spa, ad hoc excursions and even arrange private parties.
MSC Preziosa’s total construction is 45% complete, and her mechanical zones are 70% complete. The best, however, is yet to come! MSC Cruises will soon begin the fitting and furnishing of the 333 metre long, 38 metre wide ship and work its unique Mediterranean magic on turning MSC Preziosa into a stylish masterpiece and a perfect mix of advanced technology, elegance and exclusive services.
Cruise guests who want to play their part in reducing carbon emissions can also relax in the knowledge that MSC Preziosa’s green features, including an advanced waste water treatment system (AWT) and advanced energy saving systems, with a focus on air-conditioning, will gain the same impressive industry-leading ecoship and cleanship credentials as her sister ship MSC Divina.
The new cruise ship, which is described as a megaliner, is set for its debut voyage from Marseille in France this May.
Five restaurants, four pools, ten bars and lounges as well as twenty spa and entertainment options await travellers with casinos and lives shows available on the boat.
The MSC Divina will also offer guests the chance to join the exclusive yacht club on the boat, offering 24 hour butler service, complimentary drinks, a private restaurant, bar and pool along with much more.
Managing Director of MSC Cruises Lynne Clarke said: “the Yacht Club is fantastic offering for guests who want to cruise, but value their privacy."
"Given the added value, high level service and additional extras, the cost to upgrade into the Yacht Club is truly excellent value,” she added.