12 August 2023

Skye and the Small Isles - Glen Etive


We were looking for a way of celebrating our Ruby Wedding anniversary and wanted to try something different so when we remembered seeing Jane McDonald on a cruise round the Western Isles, we decided that this would be perfect for us. We chose which cruise mainly because of availability on specific ates so opted for Glen Etive with the itinerary Skye and The Small Islands. I would say that this is just a guide to the cruising area. We visited several places on The Scottish mainland and Mull in addition to this – and we were delighted!! I must also say that we had warm and mainly sunny weather and this was the icing on the cake without a doubt. We parked at the location recommended by Majestic and I'd highly recommend it. Not only is it a secure compound but they also took our luggage to the boat and arranged a taxi to take us the 2 miles to the meeting point. The boat was anchored at the pontoons at the North Pier and when we got there we phoned the skipper to inform him of our arrival. We went straight to our cabin when we boarded and as my other half isn't very mobile, we'd been allocated cabin 7 on the main deck. Perfect! The boat was purpose built for cruising the Western Isles and there are a maximum of 12 passengers with 4 crew onboard at any time. Our cabin was small and on the whole comfortable but we felt that the it could have been better organised – for example, a chest of drawers not tables either side of the bed, smaller toilet 'furniture' and flatter door handles as they really jutted out and I have several bruises to prove this. There’s also the salon where we gathered as a group, and we all ate together round one table at meal-times. The sun-deck was at the aft and most viewings (such as our frequent sightings of dolphins – wow!) were from the bow. WiFi was available, though a bit slow and patchy, but I found my EE connection worked virtually everywhere. There was no entertainment as such apart from the captain’s quiz and lots of chat in the bar in the evening with a wide selection of whiskies and Celeste was an expert cocktail shaker. The boat set sail from Oban on a damp afternoon around 4:00 p.m. and we reached our overnight anchorage in time for dinner. It was a beautiful spot. The pattern for every day was the same: we were at anchor for breakfast, lunch and dinner in pretty locations with beautiful views and sailed between meals with the tender taking us ashore to places of interest for around 2 hours. However equally if you wanted to stay onboard and relax, you were welcome to do so. Every day brought outstanding views and we made the great memories. The crew were amazing and we can only praise them for the fantastic job they do; passengers were welcome to visit Captain Dave in the Wheel House at any time; Graham the chef created super food with local ingredients, our favourites being the lobster with langoustines and the rack of lamb and he was always happy to ensure dietary requirements were met Killan the engineer was great company, constantly smiling even when the starter motor was playing up!; and last but most definitely not least, our wonderful steward Celeste, to whom nothing was too much trouble and who was incredibly helpful to us personally. We've cruised many times on large / huge ships around the world and this can't be compared in any way but equalled the best of them: we loved seeing such awe-inspiring scenery and we'd highly recommend a cruise with Majestic

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