Celebrating the BIG 4-0 on the ISLAND ESCAPE

Su Dillon on 11 May 2007
Well what a way to celebrate turning the BIG 40? My husband Ken and I have travelled on Island Escape before and thoroughly enjoyed it so we decided what better way to celebrate my big birthday. To make it even better for me - some very good friends decided to join us and also my dad came along too. He had never cruised before and loved it so much he's booked again for 2009...! Our other friends Pat and Shay we met on a cruise back in 2000. We have taken holidays with them since on many occasions - most of which have been cruises. Shay is in a wheelchair but finds access around the Island Escape very easy and all the crew are very accommodating to help him.

Island Cruises are a very relaxed and informal cruise line - but this doesn't mean the standards and quality on board are any less than that of a formal cruise. There are different grades of cabin, and we always opt for an outside just to have a brief view of the outside world. We've never "splashed" out for a balcony cabin as there is only one sea-day on these cruises so don't feel it necessary. The cabins are adequately sized and kept exceptionally clean by a twice daily check from your personal cabin steward who takes care of everting you need whilst on-board. We found the food on-board to be excellent - there are 2 buffet restaurants and one a la carte which you will pay a small surcharge for. The entertainment is also very good with shows and musicals performed in the theatre and game shows and dancing in the lounges. We love cruising as you wake up in a different location every morning, and if you don't want to go-ashore you can just sit back and relax and enjoy all the other on-board facilities. On this cruise we visited Sicily, Livorno (where you can go to Florence or Pisa) Naples, Toulon and Barcelona. One other bonus on-board Island Escape in particular when you book in advance is you receive an ALL INCLUSIVE upgrade. This includes all your drinks once on-board. Of all the All Inclusive holidays we have taken this is one of the very best. It serves premium branded beers and spirits and includes cocktails and wine too.

My 40th birthday was spent in Naples. This is one place I would suggest you take an organised tour or the hydrofoil over to Capri. The traffic in Naples was so hectic it took over an hour to cross the lanes in the centre.

After such an effort we found the nearest harbour side bar and spent most of the afternoon there! A perfect way to spend my birthday! Once back on board we all enjoyed a meal in the A la Carte restaurant which was superb.

As you can see by the photographs - Ken had organised a few surprises on the big day - one of which was that everyone was wearing branded t-shirts, made specifically to let everyone know who's birthday it was and how old I was!

One thing is for sure.. we all had a fabulous time - and so much so we've all booked again for 2009.