I’m a Celebrity favourite and much loved British star Larry Lamb was challenged by Thomson Cruises to discover an array of vibrant and interesting locals, whilst sailing across the Mediterranean on Thomson Cruises’ newest ship; TUI Discovery 2.
A series of three films released today all follow Larry’s adventures in Barcelona, Palma and Ibiza, as the star stepped ashore to explore what each destination had to offer, meeting an eclectic and diverse mixture of vibrant locals who all have a story to tell – known as ‘Cruise Mates’.
Larry’s challenge to meet remarkable locals follows a recent world-first study from Thomson Cruises and the Human Nature Research Lab at Yale University, which proved that Brits who bond with up to five new people from different cultures whilst on holiday can experience a happiness boost of 10%.
Larry’s Cruise Mates
The first port of call was cosmopolitan Barcelona, where Larry set off to discover the city’s most authentic arts and culture. He explored the world-famous Boqueria market, where he began chatting to Junaito, the owner of Bar Pinotxo, which he runs with his nephew. Dressed in his signature vest and red bow-tie, Junaito has worked at the restaurant for almost 70 years and it is often referred to as the most famous tapas bar in the Boqueria.
Junaito then recommended Larry head to Palau Dalmases to discover the most authentic arts and culture scene. After a stroll down Las Ramblas, Larry was greeted by Christine Blanco Eslava and Raphael, who practice the traditional art of flamenco dance and music. Christine has been dancing for 12 years, fueled by a passion for preserving the art of passion of flamenco, believing it runs through her veins. The pair then recruited Larry to drum the Cajon, a wooden box instrument to keep the timings of the dance.
In Palma de Mallorca, Larry was keen to discover a selection of outdoor pursuits within the historic and vibrant city. As a world-renowned destination for cycling, Palma sees pro-athletes visit the town for its perfect flat terrain and warm climate. After wandering along the picturesque seafront, Larry took up a local recommendation and met Thelonious, a Mallorcan born cycling and hiking expert.
Thelonious is one of the islands specialists in scenic cycling routes, and recently returned to his roots in Palma to preserve the history of the capital. He guided Larry along the busy seafront, cutting through the city to view the iconic Palma cathedral. Finally, they headed for the hills, where they cycled through the scenic mountains to enjoy the spectacular views.
In his final Cruise Mate destination and inspired by his upbringing in a fish and chip shop in London, Larry went in search of the freshest seafood on the bohemian island of Ibiza. After veering off the beaten track, Larry arrived at a typical Spanish fishing harbor and met local fisherman Miguel, a native Ibizan who grew up in a traditional fishing family who dedicates his life to the sea, catching a variety of seafood that is sold to local restaurants and markets. Miguel invited Larry to join him for a ride in his boat to learn a little more about the local fishing scene and to sample the fresh daily catch.
Larry was then introduced to Ibiza’s best kept secret – ‘El Chiringuito de Dona Maria’, commonly known as ‘the Fish Shack’ – to prepare and cook lunch with owner, Samar. As a devoted family man, keen fisher and talented cook, Samar can be found in the restaurant every day, both in the kitchen and front of house. The restaurant has been run by Samar’s family for the past 38 years – and despite its off-road location – is a mecca for locals and in-the-know tourists. The restaurant serves the freshest local seafood, with the menu changing depending on the daily catch. Larry joined Samar to cook and serve sea bass during the busy lunchtime rush.
After a busy few days exploring new destinations, Larry also enjoyed Thomson Cruises’ newest ship TUI Discovery 2’s on-board facilities, which include an outdoor movie screen, rock climbing wall and huge range of restaurants, bars and lounges.
Following his trip, Larry commented: “I have been lucky enough to travel the world during my career, meeting a diverse group of people from across the globe, but I’ve never had the opportunity to experience a cruise. After spending a week on TUI Discovery 2, I learnt that cruising really is an incredible way of seeing the world, meeting new people and broadening horizons.
“I teamed up with Thomson Cruises to show that people aren’t restricted to just staying on the ship – there is a wealth of amazing people from different cultures and backgrounds that cruise-goers can meet when they step ashore at a new destination. Hopefully the films we have created will inspire holidaymakers to try cruising and meet their very own Cruise Mates.”
Managing Director of Thomson Cruises, Richard Sofer, said: “We knew that Larry had a love of travel and meeting new people – made evident by his ability to speak five different languages – making him the perfect person for our Cruise Mates challenge. It was great to see him really get into the spirit of the trip, meeting an array of fascinating locals who bring to life the different destinations that TUI Discovery 2 visits. We’d really love our holidaymakers to now step ashore, explore each destination and discover as many of their own Cruise Mates as they can, because we know meeting new people whilst on holiday is proven to increase our happiness.”
Larry’s journey can be followed at https://cruise-mates.co.uk/