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Meet the Cruisers: Terry McHugh

By JoTuesday 23rd July 2013

Terry McHugh - sunset


Terry McHugh won our Fan of the Year award on Facebook, and is an avid Royal Caribbean cruiser. Here he tells us about his adventures, and shares some great tips for first time cruisers.

Where did you sail to on your first ever Royal Cruise, and on which of our ships?
My first ever Royal Caribbean cruise, July 2010, was also my first ever cruise. We sailed from Malaga on Adventure of the Seas to Cagliari, our first ever port of call, on to Rome where the Trevi was the realisation of a dream. Next was Ajaccio, a beautiful town that I fell in love with and have been back to a couple of times.
Who are your favourite cruising companions?
From what I have said about Rome, you can guess that my wife and daughter Sarah are my favourite cruising companions. We have made some good friends on our latest cruise, it does enhance the whole experience of cruising and I look forward to making many more friends in the future.
Where do you think is the best destination for a first time cruiser?
For the first time cruiser I would say to follow in my footsteps - the Mediterranean in summer time. Great temperatures, seas clear as glass, and great cities to visit that previously were only a distant dream.
Of all the ports of call you have cruised to, which has been your favourite so far and why?
My favourite port of call, now that’s a difficult one…
Rome? Lots of history, religion, culture and art, and of course the food.
Ajaccio? A marina full of luxury yachts to set my dreams of winning the lottery flying. The convenience of docking almost in the main street. Get off in the morning to go shopping then back to the ship for lunch in the Windjammer then back out for sight-seeing.
Naples/Salerno? The nearby ruins of Pompeii are a must see for every cruiser then there is the Isle of Capri and the Amalfi coast.
Sicily? A tour to the beautiful town of Taormina is a real delight.
Dubrovnik? What a marvellous place. Take the cable car to the summit and look back down over the town and bay, watch light clouds roll in beneath you rather than above. Remember that it's not that long ago the place was ravaged by war and today it looks so peaceful and unscarred. If you are lucky to sail away in a beautiful sunset in a starboard stateroom, you are going to see the most beautiful sights ever reminiscent of the Fjords.
What’s your favourite thing about Royal Caribbean Cruises?
I could go on all night about this one but I suppose the whole service from stateroom attendants to wait staff... For a week or two we are made to feel like VIPs by the complete WOW service from everyone onboard.
What advice would you give about cruising to someone who is about to set sail for the first time?
Don’t listen to any advice! Let it all just flow over and immerse you and have the time of your life. It's what we did and it was great. But if I must give some advice it has to be to pack your bags, weigh your luggage then unpack and leave half of it behind. If they are like me on our first cruise then they will have packed far too much. And don’t forget about formal nights, not compulsory but totally addictive!Terry McHugh
Where is your favourite place to dine whilst onboard?
Dining is the easy one. I love the whole main dining room experience. The amazing menus and the personal service from the waiters can lift the spirits of anyone. This, in my opinion, makes the waiters the most important people on the ship next to the Captain. They are the up-close and personal contacts for guests. I also love the windjammer for breakfast and lunch.
Tell us about your most memorable WOW moment on a Royal cruise?
The most memorable will always be as our bus turned onto the pier at Malaga and I caught sight of the Adventure for the first time. I had never seen a cruise ship before and as we got closer she got bigger. We sat later that night in the library looking straight down the Royal Promenade in total amazement that we were actually onboard a piece of paradise. Like your first kiss, you never forget your first cruise ship.
Do you have a favourite Royal ship? If so, which one and why?
Serenade of the Seas is an amazing ship with an amazing Captain Karin and an awesome crew. The Centrum is so much more confined than a promenade so you get close up with other guests in a comfortable setting and it's so much easier to strike up a conversation and make good friends.
It’s day one of your cruise…where on the ship will we find you and what will you be doing?
After we’ve explored, you’ll inevitably find us in the Windjammer. After muster it’s the pool deck for the sail away and then to dinner or welcome show depending on times. After that it’s Schooner Bar for a drink and some fine entertainment from the pianist, finished off with a late night snack in the Park Café or Café Promenade depending on ship. An absolute creature of habit am I.
If you could take one aspect of a Royal Cruise home with you, what would it be?
Let me have two things to take home and they will be my waiter and my stateroom attendant... it has to be the people who treat me royally every day.
What would you tell someone about cruising about why you love it?
Quite simply, value for money. I have friends who pay roughly the same price for a land based holiday but they only get air fare, hotel room with half board and sunshine. We cruisers get the same only full board and more, evening entertainment in the way of West End shows, and we wake up in a different destination every day and only have to unpack once.
I have seen sights all around the Mediterranean in just five cruises that would have taken a life time to see on a different land based holiday every year. Also I have never stayed in a hotel where the staff became friends that I will remember for the rest of my life. It may be an old myth, but they say that once you have sailed the sea nothing else compares.
What’s in your cruising future?
One day I would just love to take my whole family on a cruise together. Two sons, four daughters one of whom has only got staff experience on a ship, and my grandchildren. That would be a dream!

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