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I make a splash on celebrity cruise ship

MONDAY: Dublin Airport security, I love them. "Here's one we made earlier," says one of the T2 security officials as he carries over a bundle of trays.

Flight EI604 to Amsterdam has a surprising number of transfer passengers -- Americans who have come to Dublin with Aer Lingus and people from the Etihad flight who are flying on to Amsterdam. Transfer traffic through Dublin has quadrupled in the past two years.

MONDAY AFTERNOON: Netherlands is the size of Munster, so how does it take THREE AND A HALF HOURS to drive us to Eemshaven Port to board the celebrity of the seas?

It's havoc. But it is worth it. Cabin 1629 is beautiful when I get there.

MONDAY NIGHT: Before dinner I have made my tiny ripple of history -- the very first guest into both deck pools of Celebrity Reflection.

TUESDAY: You know the new car smell? New ship smell is better. Celebrity Reflection has not been launched yet. It was handed over to the cruise line a day earlier and we are on board to see the sights.

WEDNESDAY: Here's a mystery. Cruise ship lines import frozen ingredients from the USA, so how can they claim to have great cuisine when fresh is king? John Suley, the award-winning chef on Celebrity Reflection, says they source lots of fish and vegetables locally. But I stick to the steak when I order, just in case. It is exquisite. In the fine-dining restaurants I am touring, the best is Blu.

THURSDAY: I love to sleep at night with my door open.

FRIDAY: I wake to the sound of the PA system telling passengers to disembark.

Then it is off by coach to Amsterdam Airport for flight EI605 home and off to Lansdowne Road for the Ireland-Germany match. By midway through the second half I have set up a consultancy as to when we were last humiliated as badly (1982 away, 1931 at home, is the answer).

SATURDAY: The cruise line likes to do circus entertainment. The thoughts of bendy girl still distresses me.

SUNDAY: Celebrity Cruises CEO Michael Bayley spent seven minutes of his valuable press briefing time retelling the internet joke "you have two cows" including the section about an American corportion.

You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other one to produce the milk of four cows.

Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead. He works for an American corporation.


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