We woke up nice and early, not sure what to make of the day ahead of us. We had already read through the days itinerary the day before and had an idea of what we wanted to do. We headed to breakfast where we planned to finalise our day’s itinerary.
The food on the boat was good but little, while there were many places to get food from, it was all the same food, with nearly no options for vegetarians.
For breakfast there was a buffet of hot English fry up foods: bacon, sausages, beans, mushrooms and fried, hard-boiled and scrambled eggs. As well as continental options of pastries, hams and cheeses etc.
The restaurants onboard aren’t going to win any awards for their food, but they fill you up.
After eating our breakfast we headed to deck eight to play some sucker archery. Considering, as a family we play quite a lot of Archery, we thought we would be better.
There was a large group of cruise members, a mix of children and adults, joining in to shoot a small toilet-plunger-looking arrow at a target. After waiting patiently for our turns, my sister went first.
She drew the arrow back and hit it straight into the bulls-eye. What a pro!
My father went second, he didn’t do so well, landing his arrow in the seven points ring. Still enough to go through to the next round.
I went last, I drew the arrow back and let go, hitting the window and missing the target completely. The entertainment team kindly suggested I take that shot as a practice go and asked if I would like another go, I drew my second arrow back and let go. The arrow hit the target board, bounced off and landed at another cruise members feet. I was eliminated in the first round.
My sister and father went on to the penultimate round but no further.
After losing badly at archery, we met up with my mother again and headed to an arthritis seminar, there were a lot of old people on board and I guess the cruise was catering to their audience.
My mother suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and we thought this may be beneficial, finding out the best home methods to taking care of her chronic pain. It turns out this was just a 10-minute talk about getting massages at the on-board spa. The spa staff trying to sell different packages to passengers, with little information about how to treat this disease yourself.
We left the seminar room and found ourselves in the casino where there were classes on how to play blackjack, poker and roulette. I didn’t really understand poker, it mainly seemed like pot luck what cards you got. Roulette was pure luck, and no one seemed to be winning. But blackjack I had played before once or twice, so I sat down at the table to learnt how to play properly.
It was all fake money we were playing with, but I racked up quite a lot of it!
Apparently, the arthritis seminar worked better than we thought because after we ate a light lunch we found ourselves in the spa booking some treatments. My sister and I went for a pedicure each and my mother, a massage.
The quality of the treatments wasn’t that great, there was little massage involved with the pedicure – she mainly just painted my nails. I sort of expected more from a £46 treatment.
One of my favourite things to do on any holiday is play in the pool. Whether it is actually swimming in the pool, splashing around, or on top of the water trying to stand on a lilo. I just love it!
However, that was not to be done on this cruise holiday. There are two pools on this cruise, one on deck nine and the ‘Main Pool’ on deck eleven. Neither pool is large enough for lilo surfing, in fact, neither pool is large enough for swimming. Both pools are smaller than 5 metres long and filled with children standing without enough room to really move around.
The main form of entertainment provided on the cruise is singing in one of the many lounges is great if you enjoy listening to cruise singers, there are about five different people to choose from at any given moment. If you don’t really care about listening to singers, like I don’t, then there isn’t much else to do.
For hours, I was stuck without WiFi or anything to do. I would like to take a moment to apologise to my mother, father and sister as I was very painful and needy whilst bored on this ship.
Finally a release for my boredom! This passed quite a few hours, an hour of swapping between sevens and rummy, then onto South Street (A card game my nan invented, which is actually rather fun!) Followed by a mixture of cheat, go fish and whist. We also play Monopoly cards a lot, if you’ve never played this but enjoy card games, I would highly recommend!
There were many options for dinner on the ship, Asian cuisine, a grill terrace and a land and sea restaurant were all available at an extra cost. However you couldn’t simply walk into these restaurants, they had to be booked in advance. The buffet-style food was okay, I did find the food lacked any culture, similar to when you go to a British pub abroad. Not really British food but trying to be.
Whilst playing card games and continuing at dinner, we found ourselves ordering a long stream of cocktails. There were no measures on the ship and I can only assume the barmen hated us by the amount of alcohol they were putting in the drinks. Sometimes it was nice and strong and other times it was far too much, where the cocktail was no longer enjoyable and tasted of neat alcohol. Anyhow, we got very drunk!
After getting bored of playing card games, we headed to the main lounge where there was a series of quizzes. Prizes won were crap that you probably wouldn’t even take home with you: luggage straps and reusable straws but mainly you won bragging rights and of course, participating was fun. Admittedly we had had a bit too much to drink at this point and weren’t that good at any of the quizzes, but it was really fun answering questions on reality TV and music from the ages.
After everything else on the ship had ended, the last thing open was the casino. We had learnt how to play blackjack earlier and felt a bit of beginners luck. Me and my sister sat down for an hour or two and won some actual real money. It wasn’t fake winnings this time! Other cruise members were helping us, suggesting to stick or twist. Other passengers were playing with megabucks, playing £10 a hand, but we were playing it safe on the £2 minimum bet.
We decided to quit whilst we were ahead, despite my sister being very adamant we should go and bet it all on red. We cashed out and headed to bed after a very long day at sea. We would wake up in a different country and actually be allowed off the boat tomorrow!