Ruby Princess Cruise Ship

Cruises are a brilliant holiday option for families as there is something to do for everyone, and the Ruby Princess ship is packed full of activities to please all members of the family.


On entering the ship you will be wowed by the atrium, spiralling staircases and a stunning glass chandelier, all of which will make it one of the most memorable hotel receptions you have ever checked in to.

The rooms provide you with all the necessities you’ll need such as hairdryer, fridge, TV and toiletries. The ladies will be pleased to know there is a spacious wardrobe, so no need to worry about cramming all your clothes together.

On board the Ruby Princess there are so many restaurants to choose from. We assure you that the food is absolutely divine wherever you choose to dine.

Horizon Court – a buffet restaurant that serves hot and cold food each day. You’ll be able to try food from all around the world with the Horizon Court’s theme nights from Mexican to Chinese food. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be in heaven with all the fresh cream cakes which are freshly baked every day.

Da Vinci’s – Da Vinci’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each night there is a variety of food served, a perfect opportunity to try something you may never have before. If you love tea, scones and cream cakes, pop to Da Vinci’s for afternoon tea.

Trident Grill & Pizzeria – if you want to maximize your pool time then this is the place to go if you fancy a quick bite, offering a selection of burgers, hot dogs, pizza and sandwiches.

Wheelhouse Bar – Missing home? The Wheelhouse Bar offers traditional English food such as pie and chips, cottage pie and bangers and mash.

There are two speciality restaurants on board the ship for an additional cost of $25.

Sabatini’s – Sabatini’s offers fine dining with a view. This restaurant is perfect if you are celebrating something special whilst on board. Try one of the mouth-watering desserts finished with a specialty Italian cocktail. It is recommended you reserve a table at Sabatini’s.

Crown Grill – The second of the ships speciality restaurants. The Crown Grill offers a variety of seafood, steak and special desserts; you’ll be in food heaven.


Selection of dishes from Sabatini’s

There is also a selection of bars and lounges to choose from. Whether you want to enjoy a quiet drink or to dance the night away in the night club, then you’ll certainly find something you’ll enjoy.

  • Wheelhouse Bar
  • Adagio
  • Vines – wine bar
  • Crooners
  • Pool Bars
  • Explores Lounge
  • Club Fusion – Entertainment Lounge
  • Sky Walkers – night club

There are drinks packages available.

Entertainment on board the Ruby Princess is varied to cater for everyone. Each evening you will receive a ‘Princess Patter’ which details the activities throughout the day and night.

Activities during the day include; dance classes from a range of salsa and line dancing, quizzes, and games such as bowls, darts and basketball. If that sounds too much, there is always the option of relaxing in the pool and spa.

The evening activities include live music each night, Movies Under the Stars an outdoor movie theatre; blankets are supplied for the cold nights. If you prefer to stay inside in the warm, then there is the inside theatre featuring a range of variety acts such as comedians, musicals and tribute acts.


Wondering what there is for the kids? With a selection of three different kids clubs then we assure you that your children will have the time of their lives.

Princess Pelicans – age 3-7

Shockwaves – age 8-12

Teen Lounge – age 13-17

The kids will participate in numerous activities from disco nights, arts and crafts, pizza and ice cream parties, pool parties, karaoke, game console tournaments, the list is endless. The kids will be having as much fun as the adults.

Crèche facilities for under 3 year’s olds are available at an additional cost.

Whilst the kids are well looked after and occupied, what is there for the adults? With many adult only zones you can have pure rest and relaxation without worrying about the children. There is The Sanctuary an adult only relaxation area with private pool, although there is an extra charge of $20 for a half day.



We asked one of our customers who have recently been aboard this cruise ship how they found the experience:

‘I really enjoyed my time on board the Ruby Princess, this was my first ever Cruise and I would seriously consider choosing a cruise for my own personal holiday.

If I had the choice of an all-inclusive land holiday or a cruise, I would not hesitate the cruise would win. The quality of the food and drinks were fantastic, along with wonderful service and not to mention being able to take in a number of destinations.’


How To Take The Perfect Holiday Photo

Taking photos can be difficult, especially when you’re on your dream holiday and want to capture all those special moments. We know how important these memories are, so thankfully we are here to make sure each amazing moment is caught on camera.


Focus on the main subject – You want to make the main focus of your photo in the centre. Move in close to the main subject, the bigger it appears on the photo the more impressive it will be. You don’t want a busy background, so make sure the subject fills the space in the frame.

Get the group together – Taking photos of a large group can be a tricky business. Someone looked away, someone blinked, there is always one! To overcome this, take lots of photos of the group to ensure you have the perfect snap. You can never take too many photos when it comes to group pictures!

Capture the unexpected – Some of the best photos are taken when you least expect it. Whether it’s the kids playing on the beach, jumping in the pool, or running around chasing each other; these are perfect photo opportunities, as you’ll capture their natural smiles.

Plan ahead – Make sure your camera is fully charged each time you go out. Nothing will ruin your holiday mood more than knowing you haven’t brought an extra set of batteries or have forgotten the charger. It’s also best to clear the memory card, so there is room to take more photos – just be sure to save a backup of your previous holiday photos.

Christine Griffiths from our sister company Bath Travel is an avid travel photographer and has recently won Travel Weekly’s Travel Trade Photographer of the Year.

Here is her winning picture:

people 2

We asked Christine to share with us her top photography tips to make sure you take the best possible picture you can.

‘For me, the most important element that makes a good photograph is light. Light when used in the right way can enhance and dramatise your subject. I try to ensure that there is a heavy influence of shading and colour definition in every photographic opportunity I take. I feel this brings the subject matter to life, and triggers either an emotion or intrigue to the viewer. Angles then become more pronounced and allow a depth, preventing an image appearing flat. This technique is especially useful when photographing people. Combining this with light and an unstaged subject, try for the natural shot, with the person not necessarily looking down the lens. In a fixed pose this allows the photograph to appear real and more interesting.’

Here are a few of our favourite holiday photos which were submitted during the #SmileHaysTravel Photo Contest.

One last tip, don’t forget to smile!



Cruise, Cruise, Cruise

People who go on a cruise normally come back raving about their recent sailings and can’t wait to book up their next cruise holiday. Why wouldn’t they? Cruises offer so much variety for all members of the family and, with so many places to visit, each holiday is guaranteed to be the holiday of a lifetime.

P&O Cruises have unveiled their latest ship Britannia, the biggest cruise ship built for the British market. It is a family-friendly ship with children’s clubs, a night nursery and a teen only pool, and whilst the children are off having fun, the adults can be relaxing in the Serenity Pool & Bar.

Royal Caribbean’s newest addition is Anthem of the Seas; it’s a futuristic and modern cruise ship boasting many features that have never been seen before. On board there is a skydiving simulator, the North Star, a capsule that will take you above the ship and over the water with impressive 360° panoramic views of the ocean, and Dynamic Dining with 18 restaurants to choose from.

Both ships will be launching in Spring 2015.


If you’re thinking about going on your first cruise holiday, here are a few reasons why a cruise is the perfect option for everyone:

You only need to unpack once

Once you’re on the cruise ship you only need to unpack once, then your floating hotel takes you from city to city. You get the opportunity to see all kinds of amazing cities, and you don’t have to worry about taking your suitcase with you.


Cruises aren’t just for adults; they are suitable for all ages! Toddler, teenager or grandparent, a cruise is a perfect holiday choice to suit every member of the family.

Variety of Activities

Cruises offer so much on board! Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships are jam packed with things to do, from rock-climbing for the kids, to spas for the parents. The variety of activities onboard the ships is what makes a cruise holiday perfect for a family holiday.

The Hays Travel Cruise Showcase event takes place on Sunday 14 September 2014 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham. 

Cruise event 2014

Top Five Spanish Islands

Spain is home to some of the most wonderful islands in Europe, many of which are divided between the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. Each island is very different in its own way and all the islands have something to offer everyone.


Formentera is a small island to the south of Ibiza, renowned for its pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. If you’re enjoying a holiday in neighbouring Ibiza, a day trip to this little hidden gem is a must. Boats from Ibiza depart regularly throughout the day and the journey is approximately 30 minutes. The island is never as crowded as other Balearic Islands, even in popular summer months, so it’s a breath of fresh air if you’re looking for a secluded place to relax. As the island is flat, many people choose to rent a bike and explore the island’s beautiful beaches. You’ll be sure to find your own perfect piece of paradise in fabulous Formentera.

Formentera East tanga beach



The largest of all the Spanish islands, Majorca is the king of the Balearics. Majorca has so much to offer and there is something to suit everyone. The island has countless beaches, if you’re after a relaxing beach holiday. Alcudia Beach is famous for its fine white sand and crystal clear shallow waters and Cala d’Or is surrounded by small golden beaches, which are a popular spot for snorkelling and diving. Looking for the perfect city break? A trip to stylish Palma is a must, where the gothic style Bellver Castle and the magnificent La Seu Cathedral are just waiting to be explored.

Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca



Tenerife has it all, year round sunshine, stunning nature and lively resorts. Popular resorts include Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje, each offering excellent nightlife, busy beaches and amazing water parks. In fact, Costa Adeje is home to the one of the biggest water parks in Europe; Siam Park. If you prefer to steer away from the bustling resorts, head to northern Tenerife. Here you’ll discover places such as to Puerto de la Cruz with its secluded black sandy beaches, many of which are perfect for surfing. There is more to Tenerife than just its beaches. In the middle of the island you’ll find Mount Teide, the highest point in Spain. On a clear day the views from the volcano are breath-taking.

Las Teresitas Beach, Tenerife, Spain



Ibiza, the party capital of the world is known for its legendary clubbing scene. This is the place to be if you want non-stop partying as the majority of clubs stay open till the early hours. During the day there are also numerous beach and boat parties taking place all across the island. Ibiza is blessed with stunning cove beaches – Cala Bassa on the west coast is a particular highlight with its white sandy beaches or there’s Cala Gracio on the outskirts of San Antonio, which is a more secluded beach as its neighbouring hotels are hidden away, so there is a sense of privacy. No trip to Ibiza is complete without watching the sunset in a stylish cocktail bar on the Sunset Strip.

Ibiza Town



Lanzarote provides glorious sunshine all year round and a holiday on this island will not disappoint. The island has various beaches, each blessed with fine white or black sands and calm waters. When in Lanzarote, a trip to Timanfaya National Park is a must – this part of the island is known for its ‘martian’ landscape. Puerto del Carmen is the holiday hub of Lanzarote and if you’re after a variety of pubs, clubs and restaurants, this is the place to be. The beaches are golden and their warm waters are a popular place for snorkelling and scuba diving.


Natural Wonders of Europe

When we think of natural wonders, a few places spring to mind – the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and many of the National Parks throughout the United States. But why travel thousands of miles across the globe, when some of the world’s most stunning and fascinating natural wonders are closer than you think?

Northern Lights – Nordic Region

During the winter months, the aurora borealis (commonly known as the Northern Lights) start dancing their way across the skies of the Arctic. The aurora borealis are caused by a collision of energetic charged particles with atoms at high altitude. This natural phenomenon causes many people to flock to Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland, where they stand in awe and watch nature’s own light show. Colours can vary from green, pink, purple and orange, this ensures a truly unique experience. It’s no surprise this natural wonder appears on the bucket list of many, many people.

Northern LightsNorwegian Fjords

Breath-taking, picturesque and awe-inspiring are just some words that could be used to describe the fjords in Norway. Created by glacial erosion; they are usually narrow and steep and have shaped the landscape of Norway. By cruising through the gentle waters deep into the fjords you’re met by dramatic cliffs and greenery. You can easily run out of adjectives to describe the fjords, so why not head north and be enthralled by nature’s finest.

Fjord NorwayPlitvice Lakes – Croatia

A must see in Croatia. This National Park contains a series of sixteen tranquil blue lakes and trickling waterfalls and is one of the oldest parks in Croatia. Visitors are able to walk along the paths between the lakes and be charmed by the whole experience. The Plitvice Lakes look like a setting straight out of a fairy-tale, but there are no dragons or unicorns here, just a peaceful environment where visitors can admire the grandeur that nature has to offer.

Croatia - Plitvice Lakes

Top 10 Tips For Keeping the Kids Entertained on Flights

School is out for summer, for many of us this means that a family holiday abroad is fast approaching. With this comes the same panicky questions of ‘where are the kids passports?’, ‘why didn’t I start my diet earlier?’ and the most dreaded of all, ‘how are we going to keep the kids busy on the plane?’ While we can’t help with getting rid of any unwanted pounds (you look great anyway) or help fish the kid’s passports out of the back of the sofa, we can help with the question of how to keep the kids busy on the plane.


Here are our top 10 tips for keeping the kids occupied during the flight to your well deserved summer holiday:

  1. Drawing all the things they want to do on their holiday (or drawing what they did on their holiday if it’s on the way back). This is a great way to spark their holiday imagination and excitement. Tip: keep the drawings and tick them off throughout your holiday!
  2. The old favourite: stickers. Cheap, lightweight and good to have on hand as a standby.
  3. The new favourite: iPad.  If the kids have an iPad make sure it’s fully charged, pack a charger in your hand luggage and keep it stocked full of music, videos, films, games and apps. Don’t forget headphones and to keep an eye out for charging stations at the airport.
  4. Take a snakes and ladders board, a small Tupperware box with dice in and have some coins to use as counters. You can roll the dice in the Tupperware box without removing the lid so the dice will never get lost under seats. The game can also be played in airports and on the holiday.dice in a tupperware box(Tip: Take a ruler and some paper and ask the kids to make their own snakes and ladders board!)
  5. Flick through the airplane magazine and set a list of scavenger hunt of items that the kids have to find such as: beach ball, orange juice, picture of the Eiffel tower etc. Tip: Make the game a race to add a competitive edge.
  6. Designing boarding cards/ luggage tags for any teddies that are joining you on the holiday. Bring an elastic band and attach it to the ted at the end. Not only will this be a way to keep the kids entertained but if you put your address and flight numbers on teds boarding card he might find his way back to you if he gets lost!
  7. The Smartie game. When the refreshment trolley comes by ask for 2 cups and a straw for each child and fill one of the cups with half a tube of Smarties (or however many is appropriate). Set the kids a mission to try to move all of the Smarties from one cup to the other by using only the straw (no hands!).
  8. Have fun with an air sickness bag! You can transform it into a hat or a boat or, for the less origami talented, a puppet! Make sure to always have plenty of spare ones on hand just in case anyone starts to feel a bit peaky.
  9. Bring along some sticky notes and play the Guess Who game. Choose your children’s favourite cartoon character or pop star and write the names down on the sticky notes and stick it on each other’s foreheads. The kids will love laughing at the names on everyone’s head and also the fact that they look a bit silly. Only ask yes/no questions and aim to guess the characters within 20 questions.
  10. And lastly, two words…. loom bands.

family-planeIf you have any tips for keeping kids occupied on a flight share your knowledge in a comment below.

If you are lucky enough to be off on your summer hols or if you’ve already been, why not submit a smiley holiday snap here: for your chance to win up to £500 of Hays Travel vouchers!

Theme Park Holidays

Mickey & Friends and the Disneyland Band in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Mickey & Friends and the Disneyland Band in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Meeting up with Mickey Mouse and friends is just one of things you can do on a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland Paris

Orlando and Paris are not just separated by the Atlantic Ocean, but are a world apart in what they have to offer holidaymakers, outside of the traditional theme park activities. They are both action packed holiday destinations and we’ve cherry-picked the highlights of each on our list below – so you don’t miss a thing:

Top Five Reasons to choose a Holiday in Orlando

View of Clearwater Beach from Gulf of Mexico

The WeatherOrlando isn’t called the “Sunshine State” for nothing – it basks in balmy, warm days in the autumn and winter months and hot, sunny days for the rest of the year. Average daily temperatures rarely drop below 22ºC on the barometer year-round.

Beach life – Think sunshine holidays and beaches are the best way of cooling down. Orlando gives you access to beaches in abundance – within an hour’s drive there’s Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach. While a two hour drive takes you to the Gulf coast beach hotspots of Treasure Island and Clearwater.

Shopping – Orlando is a shopper’s paradise. From prestigious shopping centre to enormous discount outlets, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Florida Mall, The Mall at Millenia, Orlando Premium Outlets, Downtown Disney and Park Avenue in Winter Park should be at the top of your shopping list.

Golf Green Island

Golf – The ladies are sorted with the shopping but what about the men? Golf is the obvious pastime to choose. And with no less than 110 golf courses within a 45-mile radius of Orlando, golf fans will be spoilt for choice.  Time to tee off!

Food – You can dine your way round the world in Orlando. From Italian, Mexican and Chinese cuisine to steak houses, gourmet dining, seafood restaurants and all you can eat buffets, there’s plenty of options to tempt your taste-buds. That’s not forgetting the usual American fast food outlets serving up pizza, burgers and hotdogs.

Top Five Reasons to choose a Holiday in Paris

Famous Sights – Where do we start? Paris is home to the famous attractions of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, Champs Elysee and the River Seine. Whizz around the city on the Metro and avoid the traffic.

ShoppingShopping – Paris is the world capital of fashion and the place to shop til you drop. From designer boutiques to markets, vintage shops and department stores, there’s plenty of opportunity for a spot of retail therapy in Paris. For designer shopping, there’s Rue Saint Honore, Avenue Montaigne and Rue de Sevres. Pick up a bargain at the weekend Paris Flea Market or the La Vallee Village designer outlet.

Romance – Paris isn’t called the ‘City of Love’ for nothing. What better way to impress your loved one than whisking her away on a Paris weekend break. Enjoy romantic strolls along the Seine or take to the water on a bateaux mouche cruise. Or dine under the stars, with the famous Paris landmarks and sights as your backdrop.

Culture – Visit the enigmatic Mona Lisa at the Louvre. The works of the great artists of the 19th century, including Monet, Gaugin and Cezanne, are on display at Musee D’Orsay. Rodin’s ‘The Kiss’ painting and ‘The Thinker’ sculpture, are waiting to be discovered at the Rodin Museum.  Part of the Les Invalides & Musee de L’Arme is dedicated to Napoleon and his body lies there too.

|| OBSERVE || Breakfast @ Lemon || Dublin || Republic of Ireland || Pure Good Morning Pleasure ||Food & Drink – If there’s one thing the French take pride in, it’s their food and drink. Tasty cuisine is served up in traditional bistros, pavement cafes and gourmet restaurants around the city. Start your day with croissant and coffee, pick up a crepe for lunch and then enjoy moules frites (mussels and chips), oysters or frogs legs for dinner. A wide variety of cheese (the smellier the better) and tasty French wines complete the culinary picture.


If you want to see the best that Paris has to offer, contact the team at Hays Travel – either click the link here or give them a call on 0800 408 4130 (0191 457 0052 from your mobile). For Orlando holidays, contact Hays Faraway by clicking the link here or by phone on 0808 115 0737.