As you well know here at Global Grasshopper we are all about discovering the hidden gems and steering clear of the obvious tourist traps. Cruising has long been associated with either rowdy 18-30 trips packed with brits or sedate voyages for the over 60’s. Thomson Travel have taken it upon themselves to reinvent the cruise with its new ship TUI Discovery 2 and a series of short video’s entitled ‘Cruise Mates’, challenging the charismatic and popular TV personality Larry Lamb (aka Mick Shipman from Gavin & Stacey) to get out on a voyage of discovery in The Mediterranean. He was challenged to meet an eclectic bunch of different locals in Barcelona, Palma and Ibiza, his adventures all perfectly captured by a highly watchable video series.
These charming little snapshot videos feature Larry Lamb setting a fine example of how to make the most of each port. He has a lovely time visiting the famous Boqueria Market in Barcelona and sampling some traditional cuisine whilst getting the low down from elderly store owner Junaito. He follows this lovely chat with a visit to a Flamenco dancer to find out why the traditional music and dancing means so much to the locals. After a pleasant stroll down the historical Las Ramblas he heads back to the boat sated with both food and culture.
Next stop for Larry is Palma de Mallorca where he hooks up with handsome Thelonious for a somewhat gruelling scenic cycle tour through the centre and beyond, eventually reaping the rewards of the stunning views down over the historic city with its spectacular gothic cathedral, the royal residence of Almudaina and the arresting medieval hilltop fortress of Bellver.
Larry’s final port of call is Ibiza where instead of indulging in the hedonistic dance scene now synonymous with the island he heads off the beaten track in search of the best fresh seafood and happily stumbles upon Miguel, a friendly local fisherman who takes Larry to Ibiza’s best kept secret: ‘El Chiringuito de Dona Maria’, or ‘The Fish Shack’ where he learns to prepare the days freshest catch with owner Samar.
All in all the videos are a great way to illustrate the numerous possibilities attached to a cruise….. It’s not just a floating resort full of Brits but an ideal way to meet the locals and experience a different perspective of some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful holiday spots.
The TUI Discovery 2 is a beast of the seas with a whopping 962 Cabins spread across 13 decks and a positive plethora of bars, restaurants, spas and entertainment on board. Ranging from swimming trunks casual to sequin gowned luxurious there’s something to keep everyone happy. Personally, I have my eye on Scoops, The Vintage ice cream parlour, that would do me for the week! However after extensive social research Thomson discovered that Brits get a real kick out of meeting new folk and what they highlight with ‘Cruise Mates’ is “yes, make the most of these amazing facilities on board but the real joy comes from the people you meet at every port of call.”… so get off and explore! Save the ice cream for sea days!
Thomson Cruises currently offer four Itineraries on TUI Discovery 2; Magic of Spain, Cosmopolitan Classics, Highlights of The Mediterranean and Mediterranean Secrets. Take a look at their website for more information on these stunning destinations!
This post is brought to you in partnership with Thomson.