This latest holiday from Worldwide Cruise Centres (worldwidecruisecentres.com.au) uses two fabulous Royal Caribbean ships and blends some of the world’s most exciting destinations with some of the planet’s most relaxing spots. Venice, Greece, Croatia and Spain are among places visited – along with three nights in central London, two nights in Rome, three nights in Dubai and two nights in New York’s Manhattan.
The two ships are Serenade of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, two of the most exciting and magnificent ships afloat. Oasis of the Seas is the biggest ship in the world, longer than three-and-a-half football fields and 16 decks high.
‘Pathways Across Planet Earth’ includes fares from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Adelaide to Rome (via Dubai) and back home to Australia from New York. The holiday costs from A$8699 per person twin share, valid for sale until the end of July 2014 or until sold out, whichever comes sooner.
The holiday starts with a flight to Dubai on 25 September 2014. You’ll stay three nights at the luxurious, centrally located Melia Dubai Hotel (including breakfasts). Melia, leading hotel chain in Spain, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, is a new arrival in Dubai, and Melia Dubai Hotel is billed as the first Spanish five-star hotel in the region.
Jet to Rome now for a night in a centrally located four-star hotel, then breakfast before boarding Serenade of the Seas. A 12-day round-trip cruise from Rome, visiting Italy, Greece and Croatia, includes all shipboard main meals and most onboard entertainment.
World Heritage-listed Dubrovnik, with its medieval ramparts encircling a maze of narrow streets of cream-coloured stone, is a cruise highlight. Some ports of call are famous – like the great Italian city of Naples; and Venice, where the ship overnights, giving you about a day and a half there. Others are ports that many cruises seem to miss.
A memorable example is Split, a city on the Mediterranean’s Dalmatian Coast, where date palms line a seafront esplanade in front of the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace. Dicoletian ruled from AD 284 to 305 – yet his palace at the city’s centre is so well preserved that about 3000 people live within its walls today.
Another example is Kotor. Not everyone has heard of this Mediterranean coastal town in Montenegro. It’s one of the best preserved and most delightful medieval towns in the Adriatic, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
You’ll visit Messina in Sicily, Valletta in Malta and the Greek isle of Corfu. Corfu is one the Mediterranean’s most beautiful islands, with narrow alleyways, silvery olive trees and vivid blooms set against a sapphire sea.
In between all this, get to know Serenade of the Seas. At the ship’s heart, a nine-storey central atrium soars, while glass lifts and floor-to ceiling windows ensure incredible views throughout the day. Bask by the ship’s tranquil Solarium pool, recharge at Vitality Spa or scale the rock-climbing wall.
Disembarking in Rome, enjoy another night in Italy’s capital, in a four-star hotel in the Termini area. Don’t miss sampling a real Italian cappuccino! Then fly to England. Three nights at the Double Tree by Hilton Westminster Hotel, London, give plenty of time to take in prime London sights, shop, maybe visit Hampstead Heath or take the London Eye to overlook Parliament House and the Thames. Daily breakfast is included at the hotel.
Now, a 12-night transatlantic cruise on the MEGA SHIP Oasis of the Seas from Southampton.The ship offers seven distinct themed neighbourhood areas, including Central Park, Boardwalk, and the Royal Promenade. Visit the Pool and Sports Zone to explore an entire deck of pools, rock-climbing walls, basketball courts and more. All shipboard main meals (excluding specialty restaurants) are included, along with most onboard entertainment.
The cruise calls as Vigo on a sweeping bay in Spain’s Galicia region and provides nine glorious uninterrupted days at leisure to truly relax aboard the world’s biggest ship before disembarking in Fort Lauderdale for a flight to New York.
The Big Apple is your home for two nights. A four-star hotel in Manhattan provides a convenient base to explore the city, maybe see a show, visit jazz bars, browse great art in the Met, take in Times Square and catch the street scene in SoHo and TriBeCa.
After all that, maybe toast New York with a martini before boarding your flight back home to Australia.