Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Living the Dream; CAROLINE KAY Sets Sail on a Cruise Ship That Boasts the Perfect Balance of Sheer Luxury and Home Comforts

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Living the Dream; CAROLINE KAY Sets Sail on a Cruise Ship That Boasts the Perfect Balance of Sheer Luxury and Home Comforts

Article excerpt

MY holiday officially starts when I arrive at the airport and check into the meet and greet parking. Unofficially it began when John - my other and some would say better half - brought out the travel brochures and started scouring the internet to choose our next cruise.

Although this style of holiday isn't for everyone - it is definitely for us.

John and I decided to cruise with Thomson aboard the Dream for what really was our "dream" itinerary - Hellenic Classics.

We travelled from East Midlands Airport to Corfu to join the ship. This is the beauty of cruising with Thomson - there are plenty of flights from regional airports.

From Corfu we were bound for Kusadasi in Turkey; Athens and Katakolon in Greece; Chania in Crete, and Mykonos Town.

We were really looking forward to this itinerary as Mykonos Town was the only destination we had visited previously so visiting everywhere else would be a brand new experience - and it was our first visit to mainland Greece.

On our last cruise we stayed in an outside deluxe cabin with a balcony, but we decided that this time we would give one of the suites a whirl.

The room featured two large ocean-view windows, a lovely big lounge with sofas, a dining table, coffee table, flat screen TV, DVD player and iPod docking station; huge walk-in wardrobe with plenty of room for posh frocks and shoes; a wet room with Clarins toiletries, and a comfy bed in a room which could be shut off from the rest of the suite.

Booking a suite also gave us the opportunity to have Continental breakfast in the room on a morning of our choice, a large complimentary bottle of water each day and two items of clothing pressed during our stay. This is ideal if you have packed a cocktail dress and a tux for the Captain's Gala night.

We also received a bottle of fizz, some chocolates and a bowl of fruit - obviously Thomson is mindful of my five-a-day.

Our suite was kept spotlessly clean by our wonderful steward Juni and nothing was too much trouble - including a towel-crafted animal.

Aboard the Dream you never go hungry and there are plenty of restaurants to keep even the largest appetite happy.

The main dining room, the Orion, is part of the cruising experience, along with two buffet-style eateries, The Lido and Sirens Restaurant.

For a supplement you can also dine at three speciality restaurants, The Hot Rocks, La Kora and Mistrals. We opted for two out of the three - Hot Rocks and La Kora.

The Hot Rocks at The Terrace Grill is situated on deck 9 just by the pool and where the sailaway party takes place. On this deck there is also a retractable roof so if the weather is a tad inclement, you don't get wet.

The food service here is quite a novel concept - once you have decided what delicacy you would like to eat, you get to cook it yourself - on a hot rock no less. …

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