Last time on the blog we wrote about our experience on our first cruise ship holiday. Next up we’ll be talking about the cruises we’d love to go on in the future, both in terms of itinerary and cruise lines. First up – the cruise lines themselves.
We’ve already sailed with Celebrity, but we’ll definitely be going back to them, as we had an amazing first experience with them. We were on the Constellation, which is from the Millennium Class of ships, the oldest class in the Celebrity fleet, so we’d love to sail on a more modern ship. We did have a Mediterranean cruise booked on the Reflection for the end of September, but it’s sadly been cancelled due to Covid. We also had one booked on the Silhouette around the Norwegian Fjords in 2021, but it looks like we’ll be moving that one also as one of our best friends is getting married! So, sailing on a Solstice Class is definitely on the cards at some point – but when that will be we don’t know. We’d also love to go on a cruise on an Edge Class ship, so we can compare them to the rest of the fleet. At the minute, there’s only the two ships in this class – Edge and Apex. However, Celebrity Beyond is the next in line. Perhaps it’ll be the next Celebrity ship we sail on!
Royal Caribbean is another line we’d love to try out. We love the look of their ships, especially the Oasis class. We think it would be pretty cool if we could get the chance to sail on board Symphony of the Seas – the largest ship in the world. We’ve watched vlogs of passengers who have sailed on Symphony, and it looks incredible. The next Royal Caribbean ship Wonder of the Seas is also on its way to being ready to sail in 2022. It’s not finished yet, but it looks like it’s going to be another incredible ship from Royal which we would love to try out.
Next up are Virgin Voyages, which at moment only comprises of Scarlet Lady, although Valiant Lady is on the way in 2021. We love the idea of sailing with Virgin Voyages as they operate as an adult only cruise, plus there’s no speciality dining, so all 20+ restaurants are included in the price. We also watched Cruise With Ben & David’s vlog on board Scarlet Lady when they got the opportunity to check it out, and it looked like such a uniquely designed ship.
Finally, MSC cruises. They’re of particular interest to us at the moment as the currently have a special offer on where health care workers can receive up to 50% off on cruises. Iain is a health care worker, so we’d love to avail of this offer, perhaps for our next cruise.
There’s definitely other cruise lines out there that we’d be up for trying, such as Princess and Norwegian Cruise Line. We’ve also talked about how we’d love to do a transatlantic sailing on board the Queen Mary 2, but we worry that the crowd and atmosphere would be too old for our taste. The same is to be said for river cruises in Europe – the idea of being able to get closer to places further inland on a smaller ship is appealing, but they seem to be an older clientele, plus they can pricey.
It’s difficult to know when we’ll be able to sail again, or who it will be with. We’re keeping an eye on the current climate, and it’s reassuring to see that service is beginning to resume, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we’re back on board! Check out part two of this series here.
Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!
Facebook and Google photos were both kind enough to remind us last week of the fact that this time last year we were sailing around the Mediterranean on Celebrity Constellation. Since we can’t be there now, we thought we’d take the chance to tell you about our experience on our first cruise.
We first got into the idea of going on a cruise around 3 years ago. Brianna’s parents are big fan of cruising, and the four of us would spend hours talking about their past adventures and experiences on board. After a few years of chats, watching travel vlogs on cruises, and scouring cruise ship websites, we decided to take the plunge and book our own cruise. We decided to go with Celebrity, as they had been highly recommended. We browsed the website, found the itinerary for us and booked our 9 night adventure aboard the Celebrity Constellation. The only thing left to do was begin the countdown.
We were setting sail from Venice, and opted to fly out to Italy the day before. We preferred to arrive a day early, as it meant we weren’t rushing around airports the day of sailing. We arrived to Venice quite late in the evening, so we chose to stay at an airport hotel, rather than paying for one in Venice itself, as we only needed somewhere to put our heads and grab a shower.
The excitement in our room the next morning was palpable – neither one of us are morning people, but we had no problem getting out of bed that morning! We got dressed, jumped in a taxi and made our way to the cruise terminal. There’s nothing like that moment when you first see your ship sitting waiting for you to board. We couldn’t wait to get through security and start our adventure. So much so that we had a major hiccup that ended up putting us boarding back a few hours, and caused a good amount of panic between the two of us.
One of the requirements for security is to have your passport ready as a form of identification. A simple enough requirement. The only problem was that Iain had 2 passports with him, and Brianna had one, and all three are burgundy in colour. That morning when we were getting ready to leave we foolishly threw 2 into a backpack, and the third into a suitcase, without thinking to check them. Fast forward to the terminal and we were eagerly handing our cases over to the staff so we could go check in. But then disaster hit when we were asked for our passports. The realisation hit as soon as we pulled them out of the backpack that something was wrong. Both passports belonged to Iain! We quickly explained our predicament to the member of staff at check-in and took off to where our cases had been dropped off. It was too late though – they had been placed on a conveyor belt and were now probably in a room full of thousands of suitcases.
The realisation quickly dawned on us that Brianna wouldn’t be able to board the ship without a passport, and our stomachs plummeted to the floor. A few members of staff obviously noticed our visible distress, and set about trying to find a way around the problem. Eventually they tracked down someone who could retrieve our suitcases. It was a long, anxious wait, made worse by watching people happily check in and head for the ship, but eventually we saw him enter with our cases – we can’t remember the last time we were so happy to see someone with luggage. Needless to say we couldn’t thank him enough. Finally we were able to check in. After a quick wait, we were through the security and walking towards the ship, passes in hand.
Greeted by a glass of cold fizz, we were buzzing with excitement and relief as we stood in awe in the foyer. How could this be a ship? It was more like a building, like the reception of a grand hotel. As we sipped our champagne we took it all in, unable to believe this was our home for the next 9 nights. Now the adventure could really begin.
The next 9 nights were without a doubt the best holiday we’ve ever experienced, both together and separately. By the end of the first night we were sitting at the Sunset Bar on the phone to Brianna’s parents exclaiming that we were already planning our next cruise. Everything about it was amazing. The food, both in the buffet and the main restaurant were among the best we’ve had. Celebrity are supposedly known for good food, and it didn’t disappoint. Night after night the dinners had our mouths watering, and exercising self-control at the lunch time buffet was pretty much impossible. And the drinks! We’d opted for an alcoholic drinks package. Let’s just say that once you get to know the bar staff you’re never long without one.
And that brings us on to the next thing – the staff. Easily the best staff we’ve ever met. They couldn’t do enough for everyone, constantly bending over backwards to make sure every passenger on board was enjoying themselves, and smiling the whole time. We honestly don’t know how they did it. There were staff we’d see working on the buffet during the day, and then waiting tables in the evening. They just didn’t seem to stop.
We found the entertainment on board to be better than we were expecting. We went to the show nearly every night, and always had a great time. There was a Motown night which was so good we ended up seeing it twice, and a hypnotist who had the entire audience doubled over in laughter as he made members of the audience unknowingly make fools of themselves. We also went to an Abba night, and best of all a silent disco. If you’ve never been to one, we highly recommend it. Hours of fun, both with headphones and without.
Finally, the stops. We were on cruise sailing from Venice into Barcelona. We stopped in Croatia, first in Zadar and then in Dubrovnik. It was our first time in Croatia, and we’ll definitely be going back one day. Next it was on to Sicily, then Malta. Round to Majorca, up to Valencia, before finally arriving in Barcelona, wrapped up with 2 days at sea. We chose to do our own thing in each spot, rather than book excursions. We tended to spend the mornings exploring the destinations, and then take the afternoon to enjoy the ship. In the end, even though we loved all our stops, it was our time on the ship that we enjoyed the most. We loved chilling out on our balcony, or standing at the aft of the ship watching the water churn up. And nothing beats a sunset at sea.
When the time arrived for us to disembark in Barcelona we were filled with a bittersweet feeling. The past week and half had been amazing. We did end up booking another cruise while we were on board. Sadly though it’s been cancelled due to Covid. So, the only thing to do now is to start planning another one!
If you’re on the fence about booking a cruise – do it! They’re 100% worth the money. Where else can you have unlimited food and drink, great entertainment, first class service and wake up somewhere new every day? We can’t wait until we’re back on board.
Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!