Travel Diary | Mediterranean Cruise | Island Escape

23rd June 2015

Island Escape

Just as I did with my trip to New York, I will be sharing posts all about my Mediterranean cruise every Tuesday for the next 6 weeks as a part of my Travel Diary series. Enjoy!

For the first post I’ve decided to talk a little about the cruise ship we stayed on – the Island Escape.

Island Escape

It was my second time on board the Island Escape, and sadly my last as it’s going into retirement in October. It’s owned by Thomson, and so all the other guests on board else on board are English.

Back in 2012 when I first sailed on the Island Escape you could upgrade to an all inclusive drinks package, but it came at an extra cost. Since then, the policy has changed and the Island Escape is now all inclusive for everyone. I have to say, unlimited drinks is always an attractive feature when it comes to picking a holiday.

We drank a lot. Unlimited cocktails, wine and beer? How could I say no!

Island Escape

We also made the most of the food. There are quite a few restaurants on board, including a 24 hour buffet. There was even a pretty good selection of food for vegetarians, which kept Tyrone happy.

The Island Escape is probably one of the most relaxed cruise ships out there. You don’t have to dress up in suits and ball gowns for dinner, and there’s no Captain’s Night.

The entertainment is also really laid back and fun. Every night there was a show in the theatre, a game show in the Bounty Lounge, as well as a band, a duo and solo artists performing in the various bars throughout the ships, so there is something for everyone.

There was also lots of entertainment and activities going on throughout the day, so if you weren’t going on an excursions then you wouldn’t get bored. Some of our personal favourites included the Poolside Olympics and Masterchef, involving a cook-off between the cruise director and the head chef.

Island Escape

I was too distracted by the free food and booze to remember to take pictures inside the ship, but I did get a snap of my bed in the cabin. We opted for an inside cabin because 1) They’re cheaper and 2) You don’t feel the movement as much. As you can see cabins are quite basic and small, but the bathroom was larger than the one I had in student accommodation so I couldn’t complain.

Despite it looking basic, the beds were quite comfy and the room was always clean. The steward or stewardess would pop into clean about three times a day, including just before we went to bed to turn down your bed sheets and deliver your Island Chat (daily cruise newsletter).

Island Escape

The stewards also surprise you with animals made out of towels. One day we came back to find a towel monkey hanging from the ceiling. Only slightly terrifying.

Island Escape

Our cruise began in Majorca (where we flew to) and our first full day was at day at sea, travelling to San Remo in Italy (for Monaco). We then sailed to Livorno (for Florence and Pisa) and then Civitavecchia (for Rome). Following Italy we headed to Corsica and finally Palamos in mainland Spain before retuning to Majorca.

The itinerary was called “Glitz and Glamour”, but as I’ve previously mentioned I’ll be writing more about the ports of call over the next few weeks.

Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you consider it?

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  1. I have never been on a cruise before but I would love to go someday! They look like so much fun – and that was really cool that it was all inclusive without the extra fee. My fiancé and I are going to the Dominican Republic in August for our honeymoon and we got an all-inclusive package, but it was a bit more – but we felt worth it, especially with free drinks haha.

    Your trip looked wonderful! I can only imagine how beautiful it was!

    • You should definitely give it a try some time. :)

      All inclusive just takes the worry out of having to spend money on drinks while on holiday. I hope you have an amazing time in the Dominican Republic!

  2. Danielle

    Honestly looks like such as great time! I’ve never been a cruise but it has always been something that I have wanted to do. The idea of unlimited drinks, in the sun, surrounded by water sounds like my perfect escape.

  3. This looks really nice! I did an overnight ferry to get from Bari Italy to Greece, I think we stopped at Tollo but I cannot remember. It was also lax and the breakfast on the ship I was on what incredible! I would love to do a cruise like you did, but before that I want to do the whole either train or driving thing, I love seeing the changing landscapes. Compared to where I am in Canada (which is so flat) its so incredibly beautiful. Cannot wait to see your next posts!

    • Holly

      I guess that is one of the downsides of a cruise – you don’t get to see much of the landscape. Fortunately the drives to Florence and Rome were quite long so we did get to see a bit of the beautiful Italian countryside.

      Hope you like the next one. It’s all about San Remo and Monaco. :)

  4. Cat

    Unlimited drinks sounds pretty amazing! That’s nice that there was so much entertainment and that it was laid back. I typically try to avoid packing fancy clothing if possible. They just take up so much room (especially suits).

    haha, that towel monkey is funny. That would freak me out to see something like that hanging in my room!

    I’ve never been on a cruise, though they always sound really nice. Most of my vacation plans don’t really work out with cruises though!

    • Holly

      Fancy clothes are so annoying to travel with. Fortunately the company I booked with give cruise customers extra weight for hold luggage than normal package holiday customers. But of course there is still an issue with space.

      Cruises are great for exploring places like south Europe and the Caribbean, but anywhere else and you end up spending more days at sea than in ports.

  5. Michelle

    Looks like a great time. Never been on a cruise, but it looks awesome. Great new layout =)

    • Holly

      I’d highly recommend a cruise if you ever get the chance. They’re such a fun experience.

      Thank you! Glad you like the new layout!

  6. The monkey towel looks funny. I’m not very keen on cruises, but it sounds great what you said, maybe I’m changing my mind :)

    • Holly

      I never thought I’d like a cruise holiday before I went on my first one (because I get sea sick) but I completly change my mind. I think you either love it or hate it, but there’s only one way to find out!

  7. I’ve never been on a cruise before, I think I’d really like to try one out :) I love the towel monkey, he’s proper cute! Glad you had a wonderful holiday :) x

    • Holly

      I can’t recommend trying a cruise enough. It’s my favourite way to see the world.

      Thank you!

  8. I’m really intrigued about trying a cruise – particularly as our children are getting older (Our eldest is 13 next month). i believe that there is so much for them to do. I’m slightly surprised by how basic the room looks but good to hear the food was nice. Fantastic service that they check your rooms so often too!

    • Holly

      I went on my first cruise when I was 15 and clearly it has influenced my holiday choices as I’ve grown up! I love it.

      The cabins are basic (especially on the Island Escape – which is probably why it’s being retired), but they’re comfortable. Plus you don’t end up spending much time in there anyway because there is so much going on upstairs. I literally just slept and showered in there.

      The service is always incredible. The crew work so hard.

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