The most popular times to dine in specialty restaurants are in the middle of the dinner service, especially on sea days, as well as the least formal nights on the sailing. On some sailings specialty restaurants book completely before embarkation day, so it's important to think ahead. Most cruise lines will let you make advance reservations for specialty restaurants by using their online cruise personalizers. If that's not available make your reservations for specialty restaurants for the voyage on embarkation day.
After those frightening first diving experiences and the bickering in Durham BSAC, I decided that enough was enough.
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I joined the Burnside Sub-Aqua Club, a new independent club which was also much closer to home. I re-sat my exams and re-did my training, but this time with some half-decent gear and a totally different club atmosphere. I never looked back, and was eventually elected Diving officer at the Burnside, which later became Sub-Aqua Association 23.
Diving had well and truly taken over my life. For about ten years as Diving officer I organised club diving holidays around the world. Even my own holidays with my wife Rose have always been planned round diving and we have visited Sardinia, Minorca, Cyprus, Crete, Sri Lanka, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Penang Island, Baros in the Maldives, Kapos in the South China Sea, Sharm, Bali and Lombok in Indonesia, Koh Samui in the Gulf of Siam, Phuket, the Phi Phi Islands and the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea.
My favourite destination, though, was still always the Farne Islands, even though the visibility is far better and the marine life much more prolific in many of the more far-flung places we have visited. From 1975, my buddy Trevor and I completed over 3,700 dives and, weather permitting, took every opportunity, in every season, to dive around the islands until they became like a second home. I have been lucky to have had, for 52 years, a very understanding wife, which has definitely been a help.