Sun, Sea & Cocktails…

Where do I begin? I know I’ve been slightly MIA lately, I will explain all this in the next while and you should also expect a few throw back posts of things I hadn’t quite shared at the time but first….its time to talk cruise!!!!

Yes you guessed it myself and my other half headed away on a 7 night Mediterranean cruise. This was my first time on a cruise and his 3rd or 4th!!!! Needless to say I had heard so much about it and watched enough videos for everyone on the ship, (I’m not joking), but I still wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Everyone had said numerous things such as you’d put weighed on, there’s so much to do and you don’t feel it move…all thingsΒ I had been concerned about and everyone was right with what they said!

We had 5 stops on our cruise which departed from Barcelona to begin with. Our itinerary was as follows:

Day 1: Depart from Barcelona, Spain

Day 2: Marseilles (Provence), France

Day 3: Villefranche (Nice), Β Francecruise map

Day 4: La Spezia(Florence/Pisa), Italy

Day 5: Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Day 6: Naples (Capri), Italy

Day 7: Day at sea

Day 8: Arrive back in Barcelona, Spain

 

Lets begin…

Day 1:

We flew to Barcelona that morning, with an obligatory airport check in and of course a fry as well as a beer…it was 5pm somewhere! #holidaymode

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We arrived in Barcelona around lunch time, thankfully it’s only a few hours to get there and we were whisked away to the ship! I couldn’t wait to see the size of the ship. I had lots running through my head, not one to often express anything outwardly.

A short bus ride and we were there…

It’s hard to actually describe how big the ship was. The photos by no means do it justice. I felt even smaller than I usually do! πŸ™ˆ

We boarded the ship and headed for our cabin to drop of our bags and then the tour began. Our ship was freedom of the seas with Royal Caribbean. I think I just about managed to visit most of the ship in the 7 days but definitely didn’t get to do everything….I feel another cruise coming on. This day was mainly sailing and getting to grips with the ship. There will be photos…ha

Day 2:

On day 2 we arrived in Marseilles. We had already decided that we weren’t doing a tour here as we had so many to follow. This day involved cocktails and some time at the pool. β˜€οΈπŸΉ

Our evening consisted of a formal dinner…and then a show. Before heading away I was very apprehensive as to how formal I needed to be as I hadn’t been. I opted for a midi cocktail dress from Asos as you can see below. Oh isn’t he so handsome 😍😍😍

Β I can honestly say anything goes. Some men wore a tux others a suit some even ditched the formal attire and wore shorts. The same went for the ladies, full length gowns to a causal dress. The choice is yours.

The food was unbelievable all week!! I am probably fussy compared to most and it even made me step out of the box. You definitely won’t go hungry for the week.

The show was a medley of Broadway songs by the ships singers and dancers. It was great. I didn’t quite know what I was going to see but it definitely was better than I expected…think west end style!! A week flies in so we tried to make the most of it and headed to the casino afterwards. All fun and games in there…you just have to enjoy yourself, if you are worrying about what you are losing it isn’t worth it. We had branched out and had the premium drinks package…which we definitely took advantage off this night. πŸ™ˆ

Day 3:Β 

We woke up in Villefranche and we were heading to Monaco and Monte Carlo. Yes I was excited, slightly hungover and nauseated. The fun and games of an all inclusive drinks package, being on a boat and going to Monaco. What more could you want?

Our morning was spent with me feeling sorry for myself, not being able to eat and worrying about being sick. All things Jonathan had experienced with me on previous trips, so he was use to it. We were heading on a tour at 13.15pm, so I had to man up for it but as we queued to get on the tender boat to port there was some waves. This meant that they had stopped the tender boats for a period of time…thankfully they were holding the tours until we arrived. However this was not helping the nausea…off for a walk I went. All was good after this…I came back better than I was and we eventually were allowed on the boat to port. Next stop Monaco.

Below are a very small selection of photos from this day…I don’t want to bore you just yet, we have 4 more days!

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In Monaco we went and saw the Prince’s Palace of Monaco which apparently use to be called ‘the pink palace’, I didn’t think it was very pink. We also went to Saint Nicholas Cathedral which is where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier were buried. It was beautiful to see, definitely worth a trip. Getting to see the Grand Prix race track was brilliant, now I just need to go back for the actual race….if only!! After this short visit we headed to Monte Carlo where all the big yachts are and lifestyle of the rich knows no bounds! Casino square is where all the action is, from the main casino to Hotel de Paris…not to forget the shopping! It was fabulous! I would definitely say we needed more time here to get to go into the casino and possibly stay in the hotel next time…..hint hint, (definitely not happening but I can dream)!Β 

This evening was a casual dinner which was great for us as we were back slightly later due to our tour leaving later etc. A lovely dinner and off we went to enjoy our evening with the excitement of Pisa the next day.

Day 4:

Waking up somewhere different each day still hasn’t quite sunk in to me. Today we were in La Spezia, Italy and we were heading to Pisa. Who doesn’t want to pretend to push a tower up? And yes I did do this as best I could….see below for proof! Spot the tourist!

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The amount of people who attempt something like this is crazy but totally worth it…ha

Our Pisa tour was doing it ourselves once we arrived to the tower which suited us. We bought a ticket and went and seen the baptistery, cathedral and camposanto. The baptistery was by far my favourite. It is such a unique building as was the cathedral. I even managed to rub the door for luck…fingers crossed. Once I seen the tower I was content, I didn’t feel there was any real need to go inside and much preferred spending our time visiting the other landmarks. I would say that is all their is in Pisa if you just want the tourist attractions and for myself I do. I wouldn’t be rushing back unless I want a better picture of me holding the tower up.

As Pisa was an early morning tour for us we were back on the boat for lunch time. We spent the rest of the day eating, drinking and relaxing. Exactly what a holiday should be. We headed for dinner and then went to the evening show which was a magician, (Hector is magic). He was brilliant. I really enjoyed this and I was so happy to see the diversity in the entertainment each night. There is definitely something for everyone.

Day 5:

Roma, Roma, Roma!!! Yes I was a little bit excited. Pizza, Ice cream and Rome, What more could you want?

This day involved an early start….super early! Up next was a bus journey but at least I knew we would be in Rome then. We had decided to do a full all day tour mainly because I was so happy to get to go here. The main stops on our tour included the Trevi fountain, Colosseum, ancient Rome and the Vatican city.

Rome was simply amazing. It is definitely on my list to go and spend a few days in. With being on a cruise and only having a limited number of hours in each place you really only get a snapshot of each place. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to go into the Colosseum or Vatican City, you would probably need a good half a day at least to do each of these sights.

I did however get to make a wish in the Trevi Fountain, probably a highlight of the day for me. One thing I never knew though, once you make your wish and throw your coin you can’t look at the fountain again or else your wish won’t come true. I can attest this is extremely hard to do!!! All I wanted to do was look at it. Thankfully I have gelato to keep me occupied….it was amazing everywhere we went. Ice cream is such a good reason to go to Italy if no other.Β  There is so much to see and do in RomeΒ  that I would recommend going on a tour so you can learn more and actually understand what you are looking at. You won’t have a shortage of church or cathedrals either if that’s your thing…..they are everywhere!

Once we arrived back on the boat we headed for dinner and to the evening show. It consisted of music group called ‘The Flyboys’, they sang modern music with a swing twist….brilliant. The entertainment on the boat each evening was great and thoroughly enjoyable. Expect by now our evenings to end with drinks, music and the casino….we were on holiday after all.

Day 6:

We arrived in Naples, Italy. We were heading to Pompeii on an tour in the afternoon so we decided to go for a walk around Naples and get lunch. Yes this means PIZZA!

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Oh it was delicious and I love my pizza. I would go back just for this. I didn’t think there was much else in Naples, excepts shops and crazy drivers…like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I will say everywhere we visited was very picturesque, very instagram worthy images however very antique and vintage. Nothing ever seemed to modernise, you felt like it was exactly the same 20-30 years ago.

We headed to Pompeii in the afternoon which was absolutely boiling…make sure and bring water and suncream, you’ll need it. This day will also include plenty of walking so make sure you wear sensible shoes…yes even I said that! The streets all around Pompeii are uneven and cobble like.

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The pictures show just how amazing it was. It is quite difficult to put into words how incredible it was that so much was still in one piece or at least recognisable. At certain points you are definitely lost for words and wonder what it must of been like to experience what they had gone through. Part of the city is still uncovered as they are trying to preserve it for future generations. If Pompeii hasn’t been on your bucket list, add it. It is a must see as far as I’m concerned.

Our afternoon was spent in Pompeii and we arrived back at the boat in time for our 2nd formal evening. I had never been on a cruise and I was unsure what to bring so I only brought one formal dress and used it for both evenings, however when I go again, (Yes I will be going again…hint hint boyfriend), I will be bringing two, mainly as by the 2nd evening I’d had so much food I almost felt uncomfortable in the dress. I’ll not make that mistake again. The evening show was a variety act, who was great. He was very unusual and unlike anything I’d experienced before.

Day 7:

Day 7 was spent at sea. We only had one sea day and I think if I’d go again I’d like a cruise with more or else I’d just not get off the boat. There was so much to do and see on the ship that I don’t think we made the most of it as I also wanted to go and see so many places. It’s hard trying to decide what you want to do more. Spending the day at sea meant the shops and casino were open most of the day. You were almost spoilt for choice as to what to go and do. In the morning we went to a ‘bottomless brunch’, this included a galley tour and lunch. If you are in any way nosey enough to want to see how things get done go and tour the ship. This was really interesting. My favourite part of the bakery area, shock I know. They explained how they made the bread fresh everyday which was usually 30,000 rolls!!! Crazy!! I think I’m good if I made one loaf. We went to the ice show in the afternoon, yes there was an ice rink on board and mainly relaxed and took it easy.

This holiday was unlike anything I could of imagined. I would recommend anyone going does their research or goes with someone whose been before. I was lucky I had both of those covered. Expect to put weight on and eat all round you. I think the key thing to remember is you are on holiday, you don’t need to do everything, enjoy yourself and relax. All I’m thinking now is where to next?

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Until next time…

The Fashion Hideaway

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