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Caribbean Vs Canary Islands For Winter Cruise Breaks


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

The winter in the UK can be a bit unpredictable, and things can get a little cold, wet and miserable. Having the opportunity to escape to warmer climates – even for a week – can really raise your spirits.

Caribbean vs Canary Islands

There are some fantastic winter cruise options available to both the Caribbean and the Canary Islands with Marella Cruises if you want some late-year sun, but which is the best destination for you?

Let’s take a look.

Flight time

Let’s start with something simple – flight times.

Tui Plane

The average flight time from the UK to Barbados for a Caribbean cruise is around 9 hours.

From the UK to either Tenerife or Gran Canaria will be around half that, with average flight times of 4 hours 30 minutes. Obviously, it will depend more on where you fly from – add an extra 30 minutes or so if departing from Scotland or the north of England.

If you really don’t like long-haul flights, then the Canary Islands may be a better option for your winter sun escape, though once you’re in the Caribbean you’ll absolutely feel like the journey was worthwhile.

Climate and weather

When it comes to choosing between a Caribbean or Canary Islands cruise for your winter getaway, the climate is a big factor.

Caribbean climate

The Caribbean is famous for its warm, tropical climate year-round, making it a fantastic escape from the chilly UK winter. By November, the stormy season has subsided and the weather becomes more stable, with sunny days and pleasant evenings.

Expect warm temperatures ranging from 24°C to 29°C, low humidity, and very little rain. It’s the ideal time to relax on pristine beaches or explore vibrant local cultures.

Canary Islands climate

The Canary Islands also boast a wonderful climate during the winter months.

Arrecife Lanzarote

October is pleasantly warm, with temperatures hovering between 20°C and 26°C, making it great for outdoor activities and sightseeing. November sees a slight drop in temperature, but it’s still comfortably warm, with averages ranging from 18°C to 24°C. By December, the islands remain mild and enjoyable, with temperatures typically between 16°C and 22°C.

Rain is infrequent, and you can expect plenty of sunshine, perfect for exploring the islands’ stunning landscapes and charming towns.

Which is best?

If you want guaranteed sunshine and hotter weather then choose the Caribbean, otherwise, the Canary Islands is still a great choice compared to the weather back home.

Itinerary highlights: destinations and experiences

Choosing between a Caribbean and Canary Islands cruise with Marella Cruises can be a delightful dilemma, especially when it comes to the fantastic destinations and experiences each region offers.

Caribbean destinations and experiences

The Caribbean is synonymous with paradise islands, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant cultures. Here are some highlights:

  • Barbados: Known for its stunning beaches, Barbados offers everything from snorkelling with sea turtles to exploring the historic Bridgetown.
  • Antigua: Boasting 365 beaches, Antigua is perfect for sun-seekers. Historical sites like Nelson’s Dockyard provide a glimpse into the island’s colonial past.
  • St. Lucia: This island is famous for its dramatic Pitons, lush rainforests, and luxurious volcanic beaches. Don’t miss a visit to the Sulphur Springs, the world’s only drive-in volcano.
  • Grenada: Known as the “Spice Island,” Grenada offers a unique blend of fragrant spice plantations, beautiful waterfalls, and pristine beaches. Don’t miss the underwater sculpture park, a snorkelling and diving highlight.
Barbados

Canary Islands destinations and experiences

The Canary Islands, with their unique blend of Spanish culture and volcanic landscapes, offer a different but equally captivating experience:

  • Tenerife: The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is home to Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak. You can explore charming towns like La Laguna and enjoy the island’s black sand beaches.
  • Gran Canaria: Known for its diverse landscapes, Gran Canaria offers everything from lush green forests in the north to desert-like dunes in the south. The capital, Las Palmas, is a vibrant city with rich history and culture.
  • Lanzarote: This island’s otherworldly volcanic terrain is a must-see. Timanfaya National Park showcases dramatic volcanic landscapes, while the coastal areas offer beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters.
  • La Palma: Often called “La Isla Bonita” (The Beautiful Island), La Palma is perfect for nature lovers. Explore its lush forests, dramatic cliffs, and stunning viewpoints.

Which to choose?

If you’re dreaming of tropical islands with an emphasis on beach activities, vibrant nightlife, and colourful cultures, the Caribbean is your go-to. And if you’re interested in diverse landscapes, volcanic wonders, and a blend of Spanish and local cultures, the Canary Islands are the perfect choice.

No matter which destination you choose, Marella Cruises will ensure you have an unforgettable winter holiday filled with incredible experiences and stunning destinations.

Have you considered transatlantic?

One other option you might want to consider is a transatlantic getaway, where you’ll depart from Spain and cross the ocean to enjoy a sample of the Caribbean.

These itineraries aren’t port-intensive but you can expect to enjoy a stop on Maderia en route to the Caribbean islands. And if you add a hotel break to the end of your voyage, it’s the ideal way to soak up the Caribbean atmosphere for a few days before your one-way flight home.

Plus, the prices for repositioning cruises like this offer excellent value!

Have you decided?

It’s tough picking a favourite between the Caribbean and Canary Islands and both regions will appeal to different cruise guests.

Regardless of which one you prefer, you’ll have an incredible time on a Marella cruise, with amazing dining and entertainment, a fantastic crew who will make your experience special, and fares that include all flights, overseas transfers, drinks, tips and more!

Book that winter sun getaway early and give yourself something exciting to look forward to before the dreary weather of the UK really kicks in later in the year.

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Highlights Of Marella Discovery 2’s Winter Season


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

Marella Discovery 2’s winter season for 2024/25 is set to include some fantastic winter sun destinations around the Med and the Canary Islands.

Arrecife Lanzarote beach

There are some beautiful ports that you can enjoy, with plenty of exciting excursions to help you make the most of them too.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the season!

Gibraltar

Despite its small size, Gibraltar is rich in history and attractions. Its military heritage is evident with landmarks such as Nelson’s anchorage, where Admiral Nelson’s body was brought ashore after the Battle of Trafalgar, and the Parson’s Lodge Battery, dating back to 1875.

Gibraltar

The natural side of Gibraltar also captivates visitors, from the cheeky Barbary apes to whale-watching opportunities in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Visitors can explore the Rock’s renowned sites, including the Moorish Castle and the Gibraltar Museum, which provides insights into the territory’s role in the World Wars and its prehistoric past.

Highlights include the Great Siege Tunnels, a testament to Gibraltar’s strategic military significance, and St Michael’s Cave, a stunning natural grotto used since ancient times.

Cartagena, Spain

Nestled in a deep bay and protected by two cliff-top fortresses, Cartagena, Spain, is a historical treasure. Once a significant Spanish naval base in the 18th century, its maritime legacy is evident at the port, where visitors can view a prototype submarine. The city’s rich history is woven into its streets and landmarks, offering a captivating glimpse into its past.

Strolling through Cartagena reveals splendid reminders of its golden age, including the Castillo de la Concepción. This castle provides panoramic views of the city and its picturesque surroundings.

Nearby, Murcia, the regional capital, serves as an open-air museum, with its stunning cathedral featuring the Gothic Capilla de los Velez and the Renaissance Capilla del Junteron.

Arrecife, Lanzarote

Arrecife, Lanzarote’s charming capital, boasts a legendary lunar landscape, sun-soaked beaches, and a postcard-perfect allure. This sunny haven, adorned with whitewashed villages, exudes a unique charm which makes it perfect for enjoying the winter sunshine.

Arrecife, Lanzarote

The crown jewel of Lanzarote is the world-famous Timanfaya National Park. Known for its Montañas del Fuego, or Mountains of Fire, this vast area of solidified lava features enormous dormant volcanoes, offering breathtaking vistas.

Additionally, the island is profoundly influenced by Cesar Manrique, a local artist and designer whose remarkable creations are scattered across Lanzarote. The Cesar Manrique Foundation, his former home, showcases his eccentric style. Built around five cave-like lava bubbles, its interior offers an impressive, almost surreal experience.

Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is widely regarded as one of the best destinations for a winter beach getaway. But beyond the beaches, the island’s interior features lava fields, euphorbia valleys, and timeless villages.

Puerto del Rosario

A visit to Corralejo’s stunning beach is a must. Relax on its 11-kilometre stretch of golden sand, wander over the dunes, or enjoy the town’s vibrant pavement bars. For those seeking tranquillity, a catamaran cruise into the Atlantic offers the perfect escape, with stops at deserted islands boasting pristine, untouched beaches.

Fuerteventura is also renowned for its aloe vera, harvested for centuries on the island. Visitors can tour a farm to learn about this medicinal plant and purchase products to take home, adding a touch of Fuerteventura’s natural goodness to their lives.

Funchal, Madeira

Madeira is a feast for the eyes with its stunning scenery and Funchal, the island’s capital, is a captivating blend of cobbled streets, quaint museums, and vibrant cafés and restaurants.

It’s a charming city that combines the allure of Portugal with touches of the Garden of Eden and Edwardian Britain. The city is draped in vivid bougainvillaea, jasmine, and other exotic flowers. Be sure to visit the bustling covered market, where you’ll find an array of exotic fruit stalls and flower sellers in traditional costumes. The impressive Sé Cathedral, with its ornate ceiling and artworks, is another highlight.

For flower enthusiasts, Funchal’s tranquil Botanical Gardens offer dazzling displays of orchids, cacti, and the iconic dragon trees of Madeira. Take a cable car up to the mountain village of Monte and enjoy an exhilarating ride back down to Funchal in a wicker toboggan.

Why Marella?

Marella’s all-inclusive cruise fares offer amazing value for your winter sun cruises. Every cruise includes food in a range of dining venues, a wide selection of drinks (including beers, wines and ciders), plus your gratuities, return flights and overseas transfers too.

Plus, you can book some thrilling excursions in each of these vibrant destinations if you want to, for a small additional cost.

Whether you just want to enjoy a serene tour of the hotspots, enjoy the best local food and wine, or try and adventurous activity, Marella’s excursions across the Mediterranean and Canary Islands are outstanding, with something to suit everyone regardless of activity level.

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Marella Cruise Myths Debunked


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

If you’ve never cruised before, you might have some misconceptions about what cruising is really like.

Marella Cruises Reception

Maybe you’ve heard stories from others, or you’ve just made an assumption about cruise holidays in general that just isn’t quite true.

A Marella cruise is an amazing holiday, and will prove many doubters wrong – so let’s look at some common cruise myths, and how Marella debunks them by offering a fantastic experience.

1. Cruises are too expensive/there are lots of extras to pay for

One of the most pervasive myths about cruising is that it’s really expensive and laden with hidden costs. However, Marella Cruises offers exceptional value for money, dispelling this myth entirely.

Their all-inclusive pricing model ensures that the cost of your cruise includes meals, drinks, tips, and even flights and overseas transfers. This means guests can enjoy their holiday without worrying about unexpected expenses piling up.

Marella Food & Drink All Inclusive

Additionally, Marella frequently runs special promotions and offers, making cruising more accessible than ever. With a range of cabins and suite options, there’s something to suit every budget.

2. Food options are basic and limited

Another common misconception is that cruise food is basic and lacks variety. Marella Cruises challenges this notion with an impressive array of dining options that cater to every palate.

Each of the ships features at least seven restaurants, offering everything from casual buffets to fine dining experiences. Guests can enjoy international cuisines, including Italian, Asian, and classic British dishes, all prepared by talented chefs.

Marella Cruises Abuela's Mexican Dining

And if you are sailing with fussy eaters, there are always plenty of basic options too, if that’s what they’d prefer. Everyone will enjoy their meals, regardless of tastes or expectations.

3. Cruises aren’t fun

Some people believe that cruises are boring and lack engaging activities. Marella Cruises proves this myth wrong with a wide range of entertainment options designed to keep guests entertained throughout their journey.

From West End-style shows and live music performances to comedy acts and themed parties, there’s always something happening on board.

Marella Cruises Entertainment

For those who enjoy staying active, Marella offers various sports facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, and even rock climbing walls.

There are also numerous classes and workshops available, ranging from dance lessons to cooking demonstrations.

Families are well-catered for with dedicated kids’ clubs and family-friendly activities, ensuring that guests of all ages have a memorable and fun-filled holiday.

4. You don’t get enough time to enjoy the destinations

You definitely get enough time to explore each port of call on a Marella cruise, with several hours to either wander on your own, or to book one of the exciting shore excursion options.

Marella’s expertly curated excursions are designed to give passengers an immersive experience of each destination. Whether it’s a guided tour of historical landmarks, a culinary adventure, or an outdoor activity, there are options to suit all interests.

Still want more time on land? Marella makes it easy to book a cruise-and-stay package, with a hotel break before or after you sail (or both).

5. You have to dress up all the time

Another myth is that cruises require formal attire at all times. While Marella Cruises does offer elegant evenings for those who enjoy dressing up, you aren’t forced to take part – there’s always a casual restaurant option.

Guests can choose to dress up or down depending on their preferences, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy a laid-back atmosphere.

Marella Cruises Mini Golf

Daytime attire is typically casual, with comfortable clothing suitable for activities and excursions. Evenings offer a range of options, from smart-casual to formal, allowing guests to decide how they wish to dress.

So no, cruises aren’t stuffy with everyone in tuxes and dresses all the time. But you can get dressed up all fancy if you still want to.

6. Cruising is only for old people

Marella Cruises caters to a diverse demographic, with activities and entertainment options designed for all age groups. From energetic teenagers to adventurous young adults and mature travelers, everyone can find something to enjoy on a Marella cruise.

Families with children are especially well-catered for, with kids’ clubs, family-friendly activities, and spacious family cabins. For younger adults, there are vibrant nightlife options, including bars, clubs, and live entertainment.

Marella Cruises Nightclub

And if you do want to cruise without kids onboard, Marella Explorer 2 is an adults-only ship.

7. Cruises just aren’t for me

Many people assume that cruising simply isn’t their style, but Marella Cruises caters to a wide range of interests and preferences, making it easy for anyone to find their perfect holiday.

Whether you’re a solo traveller, a couple seeking romance, or a family looking for a fun getaway, Marella offers tailored experiences to suit everyone.

Marella Cruises Kids Pool

There’s so many different ways you can enjoy a Marella cruise, that you won’t ever feel like you’re out of place.

Final word

Marella Cruises dispels the myths surrounding cruise holidays by offering a diverse, affordable, and enjoyable experience for all types of travellers.

With their all-inclusive fares, varied dining options, engaging activities, and flexible dress code, Marella proves that cruising can be the perfect holiday for anyone.

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Not Bad For A Plan B


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

Marella has announced the new range of itineraries for Marella Discovery 2’s winter season, following the enforced cancellation of the Asia season.

One of Marella's Cruise ships

While that was disappointing news, the safety of crew and guests is always the most important thing. And since the decision was made, Marella has been working hard to create an exciting cruise season to make up for it.

And honestly, as Plan Bs go, they’ve done a great job, with some fantastic itineraries based around the Mediterranean and Canary Islands at great-value prices.

Let’s take a look at the new options, but be warned – they’ve only been launched a little while and they are already selling quick, so don’t dilly-dally if you want to grab a cruise at these prices!

Spanish Flavours

The ship will begin the winter season based in Malaga, offering several sailings around the ports of Spain and Portugal. One of those will be Spanish Flavours, an exciting itinerary that packs in six of the best ports Spain has to offer.

From Malaga, you’ll head straight to Palma on the isle of Majorca, where you can relax with a beach day or sample traditional tapas in the small restaurants down quaint streets.

It’s then onto beautiful Barcelona, a phenomenal city with amazing shopping and cultural attractions. Visit La Sagrada Familia if it’s your first visit, as it’s stunning in person.

You’ll then enjoy Valencia, which has a number of modern attractions alongside Gothic architecture. Oceanographic Park is a real highlight, giving you a unique perspective on life under the sea.

In Cartagena, the La Manga strip has an incredible stretch of beaches and offers amazing views, and then finally you’ll call at Gibraltar, known for The Rock and its Barbary Apes that call it home.

Winter Escape

Upon finishing her sailings in Malaga, the ship will transfer to the Canary Islands, and you can enjoy a great-value repositioning cruise with the Winter Escape itineraries.

Gibraltar

There are two options – you can choose a four-night getaway that includes Malaga, Gibraltar, Cadiz (for Seville) and Las Palmas, or you can remain on the ship for a fifth night until she reaches Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

These sailings offer amazing value with the four-night option available from just £595pp. When you consider that includes flights, drinks and tips as well as your accommodation, food and entertainment, it really is a price worth snapping up.

Island Explorer

For the remainder of the season, Marella Discovery 2 will offer Canary Islands cruises including the popular Island Explorer itinerary. This will be available from two different embarkation ports – you can choose to board in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria or in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

The itinerary is the same regardless – the ship will be sailing from Las Palmas to Santa Cruz, and then onto Arrecife in Lanzarote, Santa Cruz de La Palma, and then spending an overnight in Funchal on the beautiful island of Madeira.

Funchal, Madeira

The ship will then return to Las Palmas to begin the loop again – if you boarded in Tenerife, you’ll stay onboard until she heads back to Tenerife the next day.

The Canary Islands is a wonderful region for the winter, since it’s still warm and sunny but you aren’t having to fly half-way across the world to escape the cold back home.

If you want a great-value cruise where you can still relax on the beach and swim on the ship, while your friends and family back home are struggling with the short days and grim rain, this is the ideal option!

About Marella Discovery 2

Marella Discovery 2 is one of the smaller ships in the Marella fleet, but she is still packed with great features for adults and families alike. There are plenty of dining venues to choose from, including 47° (the main dining room), the Islands buffet, the Surf and Turf Steakhouse and more.

And when it comes to things to see and do, you can expect indoor and outdoor pools, mini golf, spa and salon, VR experiences, live performances in the Broadway Show Lounge, an outdoor cinema and loads more.

Cruise & Stay

Don’t forget that Marella’s cruise holidays are made even better when paired with a hotel break. As Marella is part of TUI, you’ll get the choice of some stunning TUI hotels in Malaga or on Gran Canaria or Tenerife.

Your package is made super-easy too since TUI will take care of all transfers for you – you just need to turn up at the airport and from there, you’re in TUI’s hands right until you land back at the airport at the end of your holiday.

So, why not extend that cruise with a relaxing hotel break before or after you sail, and really make the most of the winter sunshine?

Final word

These new itineraries for Marella Discovery 2’s winter season are great options and you can expect them to book up quickly, especially with Marella’s all-inclusive fares offering such good value.

If you’d like to enjoy a warm-weather getaway between November and March or you just want to enjoy the sights of Spain and the Canary Islands, check out the itineraries now while cabin availability is still good.

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5 Best Winter Sun Cruise Destinations


This is a sponsored post by Marella Cruises.

As a sun-seeker craving an escape from the cold winter months, you’re likely in pursuit of the perfect winter sun cruise. 

With years of travel writing under my belt and an undeniable passion for cruising, I’ve partnered with Marella Cruises to bring you a list of the top winter sun cruise destinations.

Marella Cruises winter sun

Whether you’re a history buff, a beach enthusiast, or a foodie, we’ve got something for everyone. So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, put on your favourite beach tunes, and join us as we voyage virtually through an exciting selection of sun-drenched locales, from the vibrant Caribbean to the exotic Far East.

Trust me, as a dedicated sun-worshipper myself, there’s no better feeling than swapping winter coats for swimsuits. Whether you’re planning your first cruise or your fiftieth, Marella’s winter sun offerings are about to heat up your holiday plans…

1. Canary Islands

Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria

When you ​​cruise to the Canary Islands with Marella Cruises, you’ll experience the joy of winter sun without having to fly too far to start your cruise.

The Canarian Flavours itinerary starts in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a vibrant city where you can explore picturesque parks, visit the avant-garde Auditorio de Tenerife, or indulge in authentic Spanish cuisine at local tapas bars.

Sail on to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria‘s bustling capital. With its mix of narrow, charming streets and broad sandy beaches, it’s a place for both culture and relaxation. Visit the historic Vegueta district or sunbathe on the stunning Playa de Las Canteras.

In Puerto Del Rosario, Fuerteventura, you’ll discover white sandy beaches perfect for sunbathing, and tranquil turquoise waters ideal for a refreshing dip. Visit the intriguing sculpture park and enjoy leisurely strolls along the seafront promenade.

You’ll also get a chance to explore Arrecife, Lanzarote. The city’s dynamic energy is contagious, and its beautiful coastline dotted with charming white-washed houses is a sight to behold. Venture to the Castillo de San Gabriel for a slice of history or unwind with a glass of local Malvasia wine at a beachside bistro. 

2. Western Caribbean

Montego Bay Jamaica
Montego Bay, Jamaica

In the exotic Western Caribbean, winter sunshine is paired with vibrant cultures and stunning landscapes.

If you choose one of the popular Flavours of the Caribean itineraries, your Marella cruise begins in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where you can revel in reggae rhythms, explore the iconic Rose Hall Great House, or lounge on the pristine Doctor’s Cave Beach.

The adventure continues in Roatan, Honduras – a diving paradise boasting the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Experience the extraordinary marine life first-hand through a snorkelling or scuba diving excursion.

In Belize City, step back in time and explore the ancient Mayan city of Altun Ha or take a river tour to spot crocodiles, manatees, and a plethora of tropical bird species.

Next, dock in Costa Maya, Mexico, a gateway to the vibrant heart of the Mayan civilization. Here, you can explore the enchanting ruins of Chacchoben or indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine at a beachside restaurant.

Finally, unwind in Cozumel, Mexico. Explore the island on a Jeep safari, visit the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park for stunning wildlife and sea views, or simply relax and enjoy a bite to eat on the sun-soaked shores.

3. Eastern Caribbean

Bridgetown, Barbados
Bridgetown, Barbados

The Eastern Caribbean is another fantastic destination to escape the winter chill and embrace the warm, radiant sun onboard a Marella Cruises ship.

On a Paradise Islands cruise, your journey begins in Bridgetown, Barbados, where you can tour rum distilleries, swim with sea turtles, or relax on the world-renowned Carlisle Bay Beach.

Next, discover the historical richness of St John’s, Antigua. Visit Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or unwind on one of the island’s 365 stunning beaches.

In Philipsburg, St Maarten, you’ll experience a unique blend of Dutch and French cultures. Visit the bustling Front Street for shopping, or try your luck at one of the island’s many casinos.

Sail on to Road Town in the British Virgin Islands, a haven for sailing enthusiasts. Discover the vibrant underwater world with a snorkelling adventure or simply relax on the powdery white sands of Cane Garden Bay.

In Basseterre, St Kitts, tour the impressive Brimstone Hill Fortress, then relax on the golden sands of Frigate Bay or one of the other beautiful beaches.

Finally, arrive in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, known for its vibrant markets and Creole culture. Explore the lush rainforest in the national park or soak up the sun on Plage de la Datcha.

4. Mediterranean

Valletta Malta
Valletta, Malta

Did you know that it can be lovely and warm in certain spots of the Mediterranean in winter?

Marella’s Idyllic Islands cruise begins in Palma de Mallorca, where you can explore the majestic Palma Cathedral, stroll along the marina, or sample local Majorcan cuisine in the city’s diverse restaurants.

You’ll cruise on to Cagliari, Sardinia‘s charming capital, rich in Roman ruins and baroque churches. Visit the old castle quarter or take a short trip to Poetto Beach for some winter sunbathing.

Next, experience the rich history and stunning architecture of Valletta, Malta. Explore the impressive St John’s Co-Cathedral or take in panoramic views of the Grand Harbour.

In Messina, Sicily, you’re at the gateway to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. Take a guided tour to the summit or sample delicious Sicilian wine from vineyards cultivated on the volcano’s fertile slopes.

Arrive in Souda Bay and take a short journey to the historic city of Chania, Crete. Wander its charming old town, visit the Maritime Museum, or enjoy a traditional Greek meal in the harbour.

Finally, discover Limassol, Cyprus, with its bustling old town, modern marina, and ancient ruins. Visit the medieval Limassol Castle or sip on local wine at a seafront taverna. With Marella Cruises, the Mediterranean’s winter sun will make for an unforgettable journey.

5. Aegean

Athens

Experience the diverse cultures and ancient wonders of the Aegean with this Marella Cruises’ winter sun voyage that offers a blend of relaxation and adventure.

On an Aegean Shores cruise, you’ll begin your journey in Corfu, enjoying some of the gems of Greece and Turkey around the Aegean Sea.

You’ll get the chance to explore the stunning island of Santorini, where the white-washed buildings cling to the cliffside. In Crete’s capital Heraklion, you can wander the cosmopolitan streets and enjoy the many bars and cafes.

Kusadasi is your gateway to Ephesus, some of the most incredible ruins from ancient times that you can discover across the entire continent.

And you can spend time in Athens on a port call to Piraeus, with the incredible wonders of this city offering memories to last a lifetime.

NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!

Don’t miss the latest Marella Cruises offers…

Cruise & Stay Options

To really make the most of your winter sun holiday, I’d recommend opting for a cruise and stay package. This will give you an extra week before or after your cruise. Instead of heading straight from the airport to your ship, you’ll have lots of time to explore the homeport destinations listed above.

Marella’s winter sun cruises all depart from wonderfully exotic ports, so with a hotel stay as part of your package, you can really make the most of the sunshine, sightseeing and siestas.

Which to choose?

Of course, these itineraries are just a sample of what’s available this winter with Marella Cruises. There are over 150 winter sun cruises to choose from, on five different ships.

Whichever cruise you choose, you’ll enjoy comfortable and spacious accommodation onboard, an all-inclusive package with meals, drinks, entertainment, gratuities and flights included and the exemplary service that Marella is known for.

Check out the latest Winter Cruise Deals with Marella Cruises today.

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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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A Typical Evening On A Marella Cruise Ship (There’s No Such Thing!)


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

If you’re new to cruising, or you’ve only tried one or two ships before, you might not really know how to best make use of your time.

Marella evening cruise

Marella Cruises is a very popular British cruise line thanks to its all-inclusive fares and exciting itineraries, and the ships offer a wide range of activities to enjoy onboard, especially in the evening.

In this guide, I’ll highlight some of the best ways you can spend an evening on your Marella cruise ship, so that you can start dreaming of (and planning) your next incredible holiday.

Sample Delicious Cuisine

Marella Sushi

Dining on a Marella cruise is an event in itself. Whether you’re in the mood for a formal multi-course dinner or a casual bite, you’ll find a variety of restaurants serving up delectable dishes from around the world.

Indulge in everything from Mediterranean flavours to exotic Asian cuisine, or treat yourself to a succulent steak. There’s always something new to tantalise your taste buds.

Take In A Show

West End entertainment on a Marella cruise

Prepare to be dazzled by the nightly entertainment on offer. Marella Cruises hosts a range of spectacular shows, from West End-style productions to comedy acts and cabaret performances.

Each night brings a new opportunity to be entertained, with talented performers delivering high-energy numbers that will leave you clapping for more.

Dance The Night Away

Dancing on a Marella cruise

Feel the rhythm and let loose on the dance floor at one of the ship’s lively nightclubs.

With a variety of music genres played by resident DJs or live bands, you can dance the night away under the stars or in a vibrant club setting. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or just love to move, the atmosphere is infectious and you’ll have an amazing time, long into the night.

Relax With Laidback Live Music

Marella cruise live music bar

If you prefer a more relaxed evening, head to one of the many bars where you can enjoy live music in a cosy setting.

Sip on your favourite cocktail as talented musicians play everything from smooth jazz to acoustic classics. It’s the perfect way to unwind and soak up the convivial atmosphere.

Test Your Knowledge

Quizzing on a Marella cruise

Put your brain to the test with one of the fun and interactive quizzes held in the ship’s bars. It’s a great way to meet fellow passengers and enjoy some friendly competition.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a trivia buff or just in it for the laughs, the quiz nights are always a hit and a wonderful way to spend the evening.

Try Your Luck

Marella casino

For those feeling lucky, the onboard casino offers a thrilling array of games. From slot machines to poker and blackjack tables, there’s plenty of excitement to be had.

Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or just looking to try something new and fun, the casino provides a glamorous and exhilarating evening.

Catch A Movie

Movies on Marella cruises

Enjoy a cinematic experience under the stars or in a comfortable onboard theatre.

Marella Cruises often screens a mix of recent releases and beloved classics, so grab some popcorn, settle in, and enjoy the show. It’s a great way to relax and be entertained after a day of exploring.

Watch The Sunset

Sunset on a cruise

Sometimes, the simplest pleasures are the best. Find a quiet spot on deck and watch as the sun sets over the horizon, painting the sky with stunning colours.

It’s a peaceful and awe-inspiring moment that perfectly captures the magic of being at sea. Don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to remember this!

Final Word

The great thing about your Marella cruise is that you can mix-and-match each of these activities (and more) to create your perfect evening. Your time is your own to enjoy it however you want to.

There is no ‘standard’ evening on a Marella cruise and there will be plenty of other experiences open to you beyond these ideas, depending on your itinerary.

But however you prefer to spend those relaxing cruise evenings, you’ll always find plenty to entertain you. Good luck being ‘sensible’ and having an early night for those excursions the next day, with so many awesome activities to keep you awake into the later hours!

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Why Kids Love Marella Cruises


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

Marella Cruises is a great cruise line for lots of different people. There’s an adults-only ship if you want a more relaxed experience, but the rest of the fleet welcomes families of all ages, with plenty to enjoy no matter whether you’re 8 or 80.

Marella Family Cruises

And if you are travelling with kids, you’ll find that they love the floating resort of a Marella ship for their school holiday getaways.

There are plenty of reasons why, and you can read up on what makes Marella great for families in my guide.

But let’s take a specific look at the reasons kids love Marella – so you can see, from their perspective, why a Marella cruise could be the perfect family escape.

All-Inclusive Food & Drinks

When it comes to feeding hungry little adventurers, Marella Cruises has got it covered! Imagine a world where the ice cream flows like a river, and the pizza oven never cools down – that’s the delicious reality onboard.

From breakfast to bedtime snacks, there’s a buffet bursting with treats to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

And let’s not forget the drinks! With all-inclusive onboard, kids can sip on fruity mocktails by the pool or indulge in endless soft drinks without worrying about the bill. They don’t need to pester you to convince you to pay for another lemonade, since they can enjoy it on tap – literally.

So whether it’s a pancake breakfast, a midday ice cream fix, or a late-night pizza party, Marella Cruises keeps hunger at bay and taste buds tingling every step of the way.

They will love the freedom to enjoy what they want, when they want it (within reason) and to be able to indulge in all the soft drinks they want too.

Plenty of Leisure Facilities

On a Marella Cruise, the fun never stops, thanks to a treasure trove of leisure facilities that’ll keep kids entertained from dawn till dusk.

When it’s time to cool off, dive into the shimmering pool or splash around in the dedicated kids’ pool (on select ships) – a paradise just for pint-sized pirates.

And for those who prefer pixels to pools, head to the gamer zones equipped with consoles galore, where gaming battles await. It’s a great zone when kids needs a quiet place to unwind and make friends outside the kids clubs (more on those shortly).

Feeling sporty? Challenge your shipmates to a game of basketball or football on the sports court, or show off your skills at table tennis.

There’s also a minigolf course available on the outdoor deck, the ideal place for the kids to show their superiority over their parents.

And when the lights dim, gather the crew for movie night at the onboard cinema – there are always some fantastic family-friendly options showing to suit all tastes.

With endless ways to play, Marella Cruises turns every moment into a whirlwind of excitement and adventure for younger guests.

Clubs For All Ages

The Kids’ Clubs aboard Marella Cruises are always popular with younger guests, from babies all the way up to teenagers. With spaces designed for every age and stage, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Marella Cruises M Club

For the tiniest travellers, the Mini M Club (available on select ships) is a haven of cuddles and creativity, catering to babies and toddlers with a range of gentle activities and playtime fun. From sensory exploration to sing-alongs, trained staff ensure every moment is filled with joy and laughter, though parents will need to stick around for these activities.

Meanwhile, the M Club welcomes 3 to 11-year-olds to a world of wonder and excitement. With a jam-packed schedule of games, crafts, and themed adventures, there’s never a dull moment in this lively hub of activity. From pirate parties to superhero showdowns, every day brings a new opportunity for imaginative play and friendship.

And for the coolest cruisers aged 12 and up, the Hideout is the ultimate hangout spot. With chill zones, gaming consoles, and teen-friendly activities, it’s the perfect place to kick back, relax, and make memories with newfound friends. Your teens will love having their own space away from the grown ups, too.

So whether you’re travelling with a baby, a budding explorer, or a seasoned teen adventurer, Marella Cruises has the perfect club for you.

Amazing Destinations & Excursions

Kids will love the places you’ll take them when you book a Marella cruise. There are loads of exciting options across both sides of the Atlantic and further afield too, whether they love spending time on the beach or exploring cool new cities.

And it’s not just about walking tours or downtime either – there are plenty of thrilling excursions that kids will adore too, including plenty of adventurous opportunities for teens who are chasing that excitement – a day in a theme park maybe, or whitewater rafting?

While your young adventurers will love the ship they sail on, there’s so much more to a Marella cruise too when you factor in the places they’ll get to see and the memories you’ll make together ashore.

Final Word

Setting sail with Marella Cruises isn’t just a holiday – it’s a voyage of discovery, excitement, and endless fun for the whole family.

From the moment you step onboard, you’re welcomed into a world where adventure knows no bounds and every day is filled with new experiences.

From all-inclusive feasts to action-packed leisure facilities and vibrant kids clubs, there’s never a dull moment onboard for younger guests. Whether they’re splashing in the pool, making new friends in the clubs, or embarking on thrilling excursions to exotic destinations, every moment is an opportunity for wonder.

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5 Celebratory Reasons To Book A Cruise


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

You don’t need an excuse to book a cruise – sometimes you just want to treat yourself to a break.

Marella Cruises couple celebrating

But when you have an excuse, then you absolutely should make the most of it and get yourself booked onto a special itinerary to celebrate!

Cruises with Marella are the ideal way to toast the latest big milestone in your life, with some wonderful perks to make your celebration feel even more important and valued.

So, let’s take a look at five reasons you might be looking to cruise, and how Marella could be the perfect option.

Birthdays – All Inclusive Food & Drink

A birthday is a fantastic reason to book a cruise, and Marella’s all-inclusive cruise fares help to make those birthday treats feel even more special.

Whether it’s a big milestone birthday or not, you deserve to be spoiled. And when you sail on Marella, you can enjoy the perfect relaxing getaway, with all the food and drink you could want.

Marella has a great range of included dining venues onboard each ship in the fleet. There are some charged speciality venues too, if you want something a little different, but the included venues are excellent and still make for a great occasion meal.

Plus with Marella, your cruise fare includes a wide range of drinks – not just soft drinks and basic teas and coffees, but alcoholic options as well. So you don’t need to pay extra to enjoy that glass of wine or your favourite beer.

A birthday getaway with an all-inclusive cruise fare is the ideal birthday present for your loved ones (or for yourself). So why not get it booked?

Honeymoons – Everything Taken Care Of

Cruises make for idyllic honeymoon options – the chance to escape with your new spouse and explore the world is a magnificent way to kickstart married life.

Marella’s cruises are particularly special since everything is taken care of. When planning a wedding, there are all kinds of little details to worry over – you don’t want your honeymoon to become equally tricky to manage.

Because Marella’s fly cruises are all managed by TUI, the entire process is seamless. You just turn up at the airport, and everything is easy. You’ll be flown to the airport nearest your ship, and then whisked to the port on included transfers.

Fancy a hotel stay? That can be arranged, and you’ll still have all the details organised by TUI for you, so you don’t have to worry about getting between the ship and your hotel room.

Take away the stress of honeymoon planning with a Marella cruise, and just enjoy the holiday of a lifetime that will be as memorable as the big day itself.

Anniversaries – Great Value

A cruise to celebrate your anniversary is a fantastic idea. There is one downside though – you’ll want to do it every year!

So it’s a good thing that Marella’s cruises offer such great value.

The all-inclusive fare helps to keep costs under control. You don’t have to worry about paying extra for drinks on your sailing, and gratuities are included too. Once you pay your Marella fare in full, you don’t have to pay a penny extra if you don’t want to.

Marella makes it easy to spread the cost too, and low deposit offers are regularly available.

Why not mark each year of happiness with a magnificent Marella cruise holiday?

Retirement – Exciting Destinations To Explore

Marella’s cruises are great for all ages – cruising is no longer just aimed at those in retirement age.

But if you are retiring, then a Marella cruise is an amazing way to celebrate, especially with so many exciting destinations to choose from.

Marella offers cruises around the Mediterranean, and across the Atlantic in the Caribbean and around Central America.

You’re flown right into the heart of the destination too. There are no cruises from the UK, but instead flights from regional airports get you into the action so that you get more time to explore each part of the world.

If your dream in retirement is to travel, discover different cultures and explore the history of the world, a Marella cruise is a great choice.

Family Reunions – Ships To Suit All Ages

If you want to go somewhere special with your family for a big get-together, consider a cruise.

You get plenty of spacious public areas where you can all relax together, but you can each have your own staterooms when you need a bit of downtime.

There’s plenty to keep everyone entertained too, whether you’re gathering around the pool or trying out the various leisure facilities onboard – family minigolf tournament, anyone?

Marella Cruises Kids Pool

Marella’s fleet includes family-friendly ships if you’re travelling with kids, as well as an adults-only ship if your reunion is for the grownups only, meaning you’ll have no trouble finding a ship with the right vibe for your group.

If you want to bring the wider family together with a special trip, an all-inclusive Marella cruise could be just the solution to keep everyone happy.

Final Word

When you’re planning a special treat for yourself or your loved ones around a celebration in your life, cruises are one of the best options.

You get to travel around the world while enjoying a floating, moving resort hotel – letting you see different ports as you sample amazing food and drink.

Marella’s all-inclusive fares, wide range of destinations and great service make them a popular choice for any kind of celebration, so definitely consider a Marella sailing if you’re looking to mark a notable event with a fun holiday.

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7 Top Tips For A Successful Last-Minute Cruise


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

There are some fantastic opportunities to get an incredible cruise deal if you’re willing to travel last-minute. While it’s often best to book far in advance, there are still some super-cheap deals available if you don’t mind waiting until a few weeks before you travel.

Of course, cruising last minute comes with its own set of challenges and quirks, so in this guide I’ve prepared my 7 top tips to help you make sure you get the best cruise holiday possible, even if your departure is only a few short weeks away (or less!).

1. Be Prepared To Pay In Full

One of the downsides of booking a last-minute cruise is that you’re going to need to pay your fare in full.

Booking in advance gives you the luxury of spreading the cost – paying a deposit upfront and then chipping away at the remaining balance until your final payment date, which is usually around 3 months before you sail (though this can vary).

With last-minute cruises, because you’re booking within that 3-month window, you’re going to have to pay the whole lot in one go when you book.

It’s fine if you have the cash available or have a credit card that can cover it, and since you may be getting a great deal you could actually be paying less than if you’d booked it and spread the cost.

But it’s just an important one to be aware of – make sure you do have those funds available to pay for the cruise.

2. Pack Wisely

A lot of people love the whole build-up to a cruise, including the chance to go shopping for a new holiday wardrobe. However, if you’re on a tight schedule, you might not have the time to go all-out and treat yourself to all-new clothes for your cruise.

That’s fine though – you don’t need to. There’s a good chance you’ll already have everything you need, and so packing wisely using your existing wardrobe can save you a lot of time and effort.

You might need to pack pretty sharpish, depending on how ‘last minute’ your cruise is, so having a few flexible outfits that can work for both casualwear and dinner would be a good way to go, and remember there’s always laundry services onboard if you need them.

3. Plan For Ship Days

There’s a chance that a lot of the best excursions may have limited space or be completely sold out, if you’re booking your cruise late.

With that in mind, it’s good to approach your cruise prepared to enjoy time on the ship on those busier port days.

Marella Balcony Cabin

There may be other opportunities for third-party excursions, or just to wander the port freely without a formal tour.

But consider spending more time on the ship too, since it’ll often be quieter – and on Marella’s cruise ships there’s always plenty to see and do, making the time spent onboard absolutely worth your while.

4. Explore Options For Getting To The Airport

Marella’s cruises all include flights to meet your ship, so the only planning you really need to do once you’ve booked is working out how to get to the airport.

It’s worth exploring your options, especially if you’d normally travel by rail and you’re looking at a last-minute booking. Train prices can be extortionate if not booked far enough in advance, and you might even find that a taxi from your door is even cheaper!

Airport parking doesn’t tend to jump up much in costs even as you get close to departure dates, so if you’re driving yourself you should still be able to get a good deal.

But it is absolutely worth exploring the options available, even if you normally have a certain way you like to travel to the airport, as you could make even more of a saving.

5. Check Your Passport!

A quick tip that anyone hoping to travel should always stick to – make sure your passport is valid for travel!

If you’re booking last-minute and you discover your passport doesn’t have enough time left on it, you’re going to have to book a fast-track renewal and potentially visit your nearest passport offices (which often aren’t very ‘near’ at all)…

But it is possible to get a renewed passport quickly, so don’t let it become an excuse not to book. Just check ASAP, and if you need to renew it, do it immediately as it can be very time-sensitive.

6. Be Flexible With Cabin Choice

Booking a last minute cruise can mean that you have limited options with cabin availability. If you’re someone who always books a balcony cabin, you might find that they’re all sold out, and that only insides remain.

It’ll vary depending on the cruise but my advice would be, if there’s a great deal, don’t let a less-than-perfect cabin choice put you off. You never know, you might find that you love the category instead!

And even if you don’t, think about how much time you actually spend in your cabin. If you’re typically up and about, exploring the ship or the port or just relaxing by the pool, does it really matter what cabin you end up with?

7. Book An All-Inclusive Cruise Deal!

My best tip for last minute cruises is to book an all-inclusive deal, like you’d get with Marella Cruises as standard.

That way, you know everything you need to pay upfront, and there is no scrabbling around to sort out a budget.

Your flights are included, so no need to worry about sorting those separately. Tips are covered too, which is one less thing to think about.

And you get a huge range of included alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well. There’s no need to pay a penny extra on a Marella cruise, if you don’t want to.

All of this just makes arranging a last-minute getaway all the easier, making it the ideal option for late bookings. And, of course, there are some amazing prices too.

Final Word

Last-minute cruises aren’t for everyone – you might not have the flexibility to take time away from work at short notice, or arrange pet-sitting services.

But I would recommend that everyone at least consider their options, especially with some of the amazing deals Marella has on offer for all-inclusive last-minute escapes.

And with these tips, you should be able to enjoy smooth sailing even in the rush of getting everything arranged in a short time frame.

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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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The Best Two-Week Cruises With Marella – Why Cruise For Longer?


This is a sponsored post for Marella Cruises.

When you’re booking a cruise, one of the big decisions you’ll need to make is just how long you want to travel for.

Marella Voyager

Cruises offer a wide range of durations, with some cruise lines offering mini breaks of just a few days, right up to world cruises that can last six months or more!

With Marella Cruises, most of the itineraries offered last for around a week, but there are several cruises that last up to two weeks as well, and these are very special experiences.

In this guide I’ll take you through your options for a longer cruise with Marella and what makes them so special.

Are all Marella cruises two weeks long?

Most Marella cruises last for 7 nights. You’ll fly out and board the ship on the same day, then enjoy a relaxing cruise for a week before disembarking and heading home.

Part of the reason for that is because Marella doesn’t offer cruises from the UK. You will always fly out to meet the ship, meaning you’re right at the heart of the excitement – so there are fewer sea days.

Marella Cruises Beach Break & Snorkel

On a 7-night Marella cruise, you’ll typically have no more than two sea days, with most having one or none at all – so you’re always seeing new and exciting ports of call.

However, there are also plenty of amazing options for a longer cruise with Marella too. And you still get the same benefits of being whisked to the destination, it just means more time seeing different ports, and more time to relax.

So, in summary, no – not all Marella cruises are two weeks long, but there are plenty of these available and they are absolutely worth checking out.

The benefits of longer cruises

So, why book a longer cruise?

The obvious answer is because you get more time to enjoy yourself. Spending two weeks exploring the world, being waited on by Marella’s amazing crew, sipping cocktails and dining on delicious meals is much better than just one week away.

You’ll feel more refreshed after a fortnight, leaving you recharged and with some incredible memories to reflect on – and to no doubt drive you to book another cruise as soon as you get home (or maybe even while you’re onboard)!

A couple enjoying the fantastic food from room service

Longer cruises also mean you get to see more ports, helping to broaden your horizons. If you only sail for one week, you have to pick your itinerary more carefully, and you might miss out on a port that you really wanted to visit.

Two-week cruises give you more variety, and mean that you’re more likely to experience all the destinations on your bucket list.

Plus, longer cruises can be better value. That doesn’t mean they’ll be cheaper than a one-week cruise in the same region, but they might cost less per night, since you’re still only playing for one flight each way.

And many repositioning cruises last for two weeks – these are often great value but also an amazing experience since you’re visiting multiple regions. True, these might have more sea days, but that will be reflected in the price you pay (and more time to unwind by the pool with a drink is hardly a bad thing).

You don’t need to worry about missing home too much either. Marella Cruises has some of the most affordable WiFi packages available, and you don’t need to pay for your entire cruise. If you need to check-in with family or pet-sitters, it won’t cost the earth.

So there really isn’t a downside to cruising for two weeks. If you have the time available, it’s absolutely a great idea to book for longer.

The best two-week cruises with Marella

Aegean Jewels and Ancient Icons

Sunset of Oia, Santorini

Explore all the gems of the Eastern Mediterranean on this incredible cruise. You’ll only have two days at sea, and no ports are repeated between the first and second halves of the cruise. Explore Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and the ruins of Ephesus in week one, before enjoying Rhodes, Bodrum, Alanya and more in the second half of your stunning getaway.

Limited time – save over £1,500 on this itinerary!

Mediterranean Medley and Treasures of the Mediterranean

Discover the wonders of Spain, France and Italy on this epic Western Mediterranean escape, which includes the ever-popular ports of Barcelona and Civitavecchia, offering excursions to Rome. You’ll also get to visit the Pompeii ruins, explore Florence and Pisa, and sun yourself on the beautiful Cote d’Azur in southern France.

Limited time – save almost £1,000 on this itinerary!

Or if you really want to treat yourself, how about an epic 18-night cruise?

Exotic Escape 1

This cruise is a transatlantic voyage, which does mean you’ll have several days at sea. But what a wonderful way to cross the ocean. You’ll begin with time in the Canary Islands before sailing for the Caribbean, where you can soak up the sun on gorgeous beaches, sample incredible food and drink, and try some thrilling excursions.

Limited time – save over £2,000 on this itinerary!

Final word

If you’re looking at your cruise options and not sure when to book, or for how long, I’d definitely recommend checking out the longer itineraries you can book with Marella.

More time to sunbathe, sip drinks and unwind – what more could you want? Throw in all the exciting destinations you can visit and these really do offer the trip of a lifetime.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

Read more about me





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