6am flight from Cardiff,all went smoothly,we were the 2nd bus to arrive at the port .Ross was on duty and welcomed us....much quicker booking in than on previous cruises....we were given cabin 5036 so just a shortish walk down the corridor and we were in.Had packed a change of clothes in hand luggage so after a quick freshen up and change our bags arrived ....10 mins later we were all unpacked and on our way up to the Mirage bar.....Jason the barman served us with a very welcome Bon Voyage and a pint(in 2 glasses but nevertheless a pint) after 2 more we decided to go ashore.Made our way up to the Porto Pi shopping centre to stock up on duty free booze for taking home.....fabulous shopping centre but disappointed with the Carrefour hypermarket....they didn't have Jack Daniels,Amaretto or Malibu in 1 litre bottles so we ended up just getting 2 bottles of vodka at £5 a bottle not bad....back to ship and after stashing our purchases back up to Mirage for a couple more cocktails.Life boat drill at 5pm then back down to the cabin for a siesta and a wash and change ready for the evening......Big queue outside Island restaurant so we opted to eat in Beachcomber.....lovely meal beef carvery was lush as were the puddings....decided to give the show a miss tonight so headed straight for the Sundowner Pub.....lovely evening in there listening to the 2 resident singers Billy Deen and Chris Barton.Then up onto deck for the sailaway party...where we stayed until 12 ish then back down to the pub to finish off the evening ...Off to bed 2am later than planned but hey we were on holiday
At sea today....managed to get the last 2 sunbeds on deck 10...phew that was lucky.Him indoors likes a cooked breakfast and I'm not fussed but there was plenty of choice for the 2 of us at the Beachcomber....spent the day in and out of the pool.....my only gripe for this holiday....too many kids in the pool even during the adult swim time....a lot of nervous swimmers said they wouldn't go in for fear of being dive bombed by kids....that is my only complaint....no one poolside to enforce the swim time and stop the kids from jumping in and pushing each other in....accident waiting to happen. Ate at Island restaurant this evening and the food was superb then mixed the night up at the Bounty Lounge watching the resident band The Switch and The pub.
Calvi...shore by Tender...an experience in itself as we'd never done it before....Got there fairly early but still the walk up to the Citadel is hard going even before the sun is at it's strongest...worth the walk though because the views are lovely.... stopped in a little cafe in the town and had a beer before returning to the ship.....that pool was very welcome I can tell you then we were treated to a few tunes by the ships venue manager Abbie Alicia who has a very good voice...well done Abbie....the ice carving demonstration by Patterson was also very good to watch.Had yet another lovely meal at the Island then watched the show team perform the Magic of the Musicals which was excellent. Finished off the evening in The Pub
Livorno....Up early today for our trip to Florence and Pisa.Florence is a lovely city the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in the Plazza del Duomo is absolutely stunning...I found the trip very interesting and informative however I though 2 and a half hours free time was neither here nor there...we had something to eat and then made our way to Accademia to see Michelangelo's David but the queues were too long and we wouldn't have had time to wait so we came away disappointed and then had too much time to spare...on to Pisa next...the Piazza del Miracoli is lovely and filled with lovely little stalls selling touristy things,spices,peppers,liqueurs,gelato and various other trinkets.All in all not a bad day but very tiring....back to ship,a quick drink in The Pub and then off for a siesta......early night tonight so missed the panto in the Bounty lounge....just had a few drinky poos in the pub and off to bed
Cannes....another Tender port...early start again as we are off to Monte Carlo and Monaco today...Cannes looked stunning from the coach as we made our way to Monte Carlo some lovely views across the valley.Shops to die for...not that we could afford anything...Porches,Ferrari's Lamborgini's parked up outside the Monte Carlo Grande Casino ,oh how the other half lives,....back on the bus and off to Monaco...watch the changing of the guard at the Prince's Palace then off to the St Nicholas cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier and where they are both buried.I loved the Monaco free time and could have done with a little more time to explore but sadly we had to return to the bus .
Back on board siesta time again before getting ready for the evening.Italian night in the Island and it was really lovely...the tiramisu was to die for....watched the Cruise Factor in the Bounty....what a laugh then off to the pub to dance the night away.
Toulon...charming little port Sunday so some of the shops are shut but there is a massive outdoor market to keep us ladies happy...spent quite a while walking around there...the fruit was lovely I can vouch for the cherries had a massive bag for 2 euros.Back on board for a dip in the pool and a sunbathe and Ross treated us all to some tunes......too hot today so went in to cool down and have one or two drinks in the pub....Cinese food in the Island was outstanding tonight then off to the Rocking all over the world Show in the Ocean Theatre....a fe more drinks in the Pub then off to the Bounty lounge...the Miss Island Escape was a scream...not to be missed then it was the turn of the Guest UK comedian Buster...who was brilliant....danced the rest of the evening away in the pub
Barcelona....wasn't going to get off here today as we've been 3 times before but got off to go to the duty free as I needed to get a bottle of JD to take home as a gift....Duty free shut so decided to take the bus into town and have a stroll down Las Ramblas....caught the DF on the way back...bought my stock to take home at very reasonable prices I might add....cheaper than the airport for anyone whos interested but not so much choice....still they had my Dissarono,Malibu and JD so I was happy.Last day for us today so spent a little longer at the pool than normal.. the boat building final was a laugh despite there being only one valiant entry....and the charity Waxathon is an event not to be missed....it was a total scream....and the screams could be heard in Las Ramblas I think....I felt so sorry for Ross 10 waxing strips....poor man....
Fab curry in the Indian corner of the Island tonight then on to the Ocean theatre for the Rock This Ship performance...which was absolutely amazing....I must admit to having to rush out after the staff came onto the stage as I was a tad weepy and had to compose myself.Spent the rest of the night in the pub dancing.
Palma....Early start so a quick breakfast in the beachcomber then off to say our goodbyes to the wonderful staff and on the bus back to the airport.....Goodbye Island Escape and thank you for one of the best cruises we've had....we'll be back