The week before last, I went on my first cruise in 14 years with P&O Britannia. Our destination was the Norwegian Fjords and despite this being very different to the Caribbean cruises I’ve been on previously, our holiday served as a wonderful reminder as to why everyone should try cruising at least once in their life. If you need a little more convincing then here are my 10 reasons on why you should give cruising a go!
Sail Away Parties
A sail away party is exactly what it says on the tin – an excuse to crack open the champagne and have a party every time you depart a port! The best sail away parties are when ships dock from Southampton. Everyone is in such a great mood and ready to kick start their holiday in style.
Also, the longer the duration of your cruise, the more sail away parties you’ll enjoy. Round the world cruise anyone?
5* Star Accommodation
Every cruise liner is different and the more basic the ship, the more basic the facilities. If you travel with a reputable cruise liner such as P&O Britannia and are on-board one of the liner’s newer ships, then it’s 5* accommodation all the way. Rooms are extremely spacious, luxury toiletries are on tap (we enjoyed products from The White Company) and every cabin that is balcony grade or above, comes with stunning views. An important aspect also worth noting is the service. Rooms are cleaned a minimum of twice a day which is more than most 5* star hotels.
Breakfast at Sea
Despite being spoilt for choice with restaurant options, Mr O’T and I enjoyed nothing more than ordering a room service breakfast to our cabin. On sea days, we would spend hours on our balcony enjoying mimosas, coffee, champagne, fruit and pastries because with views like that, wouldn’t you?!
We all know how much I love a good sunset and being out on the open water is no exception. On a clear evening with uninterrupted views, the sunsets at sea can be pretty damn special.
Cruises are a glamorous affair where guests love nothing more than getting dolled up and putting their glad rags on. People really do make an effort which is great if you love dressing up.
Gala nights are my favourite as everyone has an excuse to go all out. Ladies dazzle in floor length dresses whilst the men are on hand for perfect tuxedo arm candy.
One of the best aspects of cruising is the on-board entertainment. Shows take place every single evening, many of which wouldn’t look out of place in the West End. Good cruise liners especially, are never short of a celebrity guest or two.
On our second to last night, my mother-in-law and I enjoyed a wonderful concert by Sam Bailey, the winner of the UK X Factor in December 2013. I was absolutely blown away by Sam’s vocal talents and we even had a good old natter after her performance. She complimented me on my dress, whilst I grilled her on what it’s really like to have Sharon Osbourne as your daughter’s godmother?! We also talked travel. Her favourite place in the world is Florida followed by LA which is a close second.
When it comes to dining onboard a cruise liner, you really are spoilt for choice. There are so many versatile dining options that everyones needs are catered for.
We had so many different dining experiences. On our last evening, we enjoyed dinner and live music in the Jazz lounge and were serenaded by 1980s pop songstress Mari Wilson. We also sampled private fine dining at Atul Kochhar’s Indian restaurant Sindhu where the food was exceptional.
Another favourite of mine was Eric Lanlard’s afternoon tea at Epicurian. I posted an Instagram story of this and was surprised to receive a private message from the man himself. I met Eric 5 years ago when I attended a cupcake masterclass at Cake Boy in Clapham Junction. We were only a small group but he actually taught the class himself.
The world as we know it revolves around technology. Living a life away from the prying eyes of social media can be hard but it’s also one that should be embraced more often. WIFI is non existent on sea days which is so nice! I had so many intentions of writing and catching up on blog posts but when it came down to it, I just wanted to enjoy myself and be present for every single moment of our trip. In the end I didn’t publish anything for almost two weeks but that’s ok because there was that thing called life which needed living.
Caters To All Ages
There’s a common misconception that cruises are for the older generation. This is absolute rubbish so if you have that idea then I hope this post gives you some food for thought.
There are so many activities happening all day long that you really will be pleasantly surprised. If you’re into health and fitness then there’s a gym located at one end of the ship with daily fitness classes. There’s also an outdoor basket ball court too. If you’re more of a spa person then book yourself in for treatment or better still, treat yourself to a day pass at the adults only retreat. There’s a cinema with daily film screenings, a library for catching up on reading, dance classes if you fancy your hand at strictly. Let’s not forget the cookery school, special wine tasting events, boutiques and of course the numerous wine and champagne bars. The list really does go on and on.
A Great Way To Explore
Exploring multiple destinations in a short space of time is one of the added perks of taking a cruise. Before my cruise with P&O Britannia, I had only ever been on Caribbean cruises. I’ve now visited a large proportion of the Caribbean which I would never have been able to do in such a short space of time. The same goes for the Norwegian Fjords. Of the four stops we made, there are two I would like to return to in the future and two that I’m not fussed about because I’ve seen and experienced all there is to do there.
Cruising really is a fun way to travel. There are so many things to do that you really have no time to get bored. If anything, you’ll find yourself running out of time to experience everything. We really enjoyed our cruise with P&O Britannia and the service was excellent throughout. If I were to make any comments it would be in relation to the food. The quality of food at the fine dining restaurants was excellent but it was a little hit and miss at the Meridian restaurant up until day 3 of the cruise. After that, there was a noticeable improvement and we really enjoyed the food thereafter. I think comments were fed back by other guests which is great because they were taken onboard and addressed.
Have you been on P&O Britannia before or experienced cruising? If so, how was your experience?