| 15°C Dublin

Diary of a travel writer: Conflict and chaos all over but cruises still carry on


News from Fitur in Madrid is that Spanish hoteliers are as unhappy as ours. The property crisis seems familiar. The difference is that the Spanish taxpayer ended up having to fork out to finish the hotels as well as having to bail out their operation.


Aer Lingus has hired in planes to get its schedule moving again. I have eight minutes on Today with Pat Kenny to explain what is going on. The airline is not on strike, yet a quarter of their flights are grounded.

Simple. The two sides loaded the guns without expecting to have to ever fire them. Whether a cabin crew can have their lunch together has now turned into the biggest industrial relations issue on the island.


Holiday World in Belfast is teeming with fishing rods and adventure holidays, while Oasis Holidays have their cruise forum jammed with enthusiastic wannabe sailors. Even the celebrity who opened the show, Julie Haworth from Coronation Street, is enthusing about her cruise last summer on Independence of the Seas.


My Auntie May loves cruises. But she tells me she will never go on a cruise again. At nearly 92 and after a stroke that rendered her immobile, she does have a point. But she gives the chap from Norwegian Cruise Lines a good grilling anyway about those stylish wave-rooms on the Epic. Maybe we could hire a nurse to bring her on the direct pick-up on Azamara in Dublin this summer?


Terrible news from Domodedovo International Airport where a bomb has exploded, killing 35 people and leaving hundreds of others critically injured. Thankfully no Irish people were caught in the blast, as might otherwise have been the case in an area where BA and BMI flights both arrive. Aer Rianta run the duty free upstairs in Domodedovo but we ascertain all their personnel are okay.


What stoppage? Aer Lingus schedules are operating as normal. Even the spin has been grounded.


Sunway are celebrating their 2011 holiday launch. Sunway's Tunisia charter starts February 19 and Philip Airey tells me somebody booked a holiday in Tunisia at the height of the disturbances there. The conflict-chasers are already on the phone: "Hear holidays in Tunisia are being sold off cheap?"

"It happens every time there is a bomb or a revolution," Philip says. "People think that bombs equate to bargains."

Eoghan Corry's travel clinics are at the RDS Simmonscourt this weekend