Will we? Won’t we Like Cruising?
Well, for a start I get seasick, then I dont always like my time being organised for me, and also Im not keen on anything Hi-de-hi! My husband is the same (apart from the seasick bit). So... how did we get on? WE HAD A BALL!!!!!!!! The brand new sparkly MSC Bellissima - what a ship she is! 19 floors of Pleasure Palace and gorgeousness (is that a word? ). The glass stairs had Swarovski crystals embedded in them. Of course our judgment could have been coloured by being invited to the Naming Day - if you dont ask, you dont get - my husband sent a wonderful letter to the UK MD, and wow! A free day and night on board including food and drink, access all areas and ate lunch in the Yacht Club where we wouldnt normally dare to tread. We made the most of the day, survived the wild weather that tried to blow down the Marquee and the subsequent orderly evacuation (fortunately after Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo had serenaded us all ). Fast forward another day and night spent in a Southampton hotel in sleepless anticipation of our actual cruise. Straight on board, very welcoming staff and no delays - tip - we stuck to the allocated boarding time. We found our lovely cabin Balcony Fantastica grade with a drinks package up to 10 euro per . Our bags hadnt quite made it by then, so off we went for a quick re- orientation around decks 6 & 7 where the Galleria with the ever changing ceiling is, and had a quick cocktail before returning to our cabin to see if we could change for dinner. Fortunately our bags were there and our fellow diners on a table for 6 in Le Cerisier Restaurant were impressed that we had had time to change. We were so lucky to have two such lovely couples to share with for the week. They were all experienced cruisers and were very informative and amused us with many tales of previous cruises. Throughout the cruise we both found the 3 course evening meals delicious, with plenty of choice. We went to every show on offer during the week and were very impressed by the range and quality of the performances throughout- a special nod to the ventriloquist who had to cope with a multi-lingual audience and even if you couldnt speak English, the clever way he used members of the audience to come on stage and open their mouths each time he squeezed their hand while he appeared to make them speak in a variety of silly voices, was hilarious. Hi-de-hi? Yes there was some of that with some very well organised games run by the Entertainment Crew and yes, we joined in a lot and won some prizes & bag. My husband Dave even rode the daunting water slides and loved the Formula 1 simulator. Seasickness -we were fine as we went well supplied with seasick pills which was just as well as the unpredictable Bay of Biscay did its thing for the first 2 days which meant we couldnt dock at La Coruna but we saw this as a bonus as we had 2 overnights in Lisbon which we loved. We used both indoor and outdoor pools when the weather calmed and ate breakfast and lunch in the delicious and varied buffet, choosing to eat outside at the aft of the ship when the weather allowed, which was all but the first 2 days. (Forward and aft became pointy end and blunt end in our cruise terminology). Organised trips? Yes, we chose to go on a couple of these, mainly because our table mates and other experienced cruisers had filled us with dread over tales of people being late back from shore and being left stranded. . We had a great evening trip to a Fado show in Lisbon and a tour of Valencia followed by a visit to caves by rowing boat. Well organised & back on time though the Valencia trip was short on breaks! It was also my Birthday in Valencia and the waiters brought a lovely ( you do need to pay extra for this) while banging on crockery and wearing plate covers over their ears and singing Happy Birthday in various languages. One of our favourite things was ordering early morning coffee to drink on our port side balcony and watching the Spanish coast slip by. So......Will we? Wont we Cruise Again? You bet! Brochures at the ready! Thanks to Jamie at www.CRUISE.co.uk for organising such a wonderful trip - our postscript is that after disembarking and on our extra day in Barcelona before returning home, we walked down Las Ramblas in the late afternoon and, just as we got to the sea, we heard and saw Bellissima leaving port and a fond farewell to our ship. Heres to our next .
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