Embarkation was brisk at Southampton, once on the ship I had to keep reminding myself to close my mouth, I was so amazed at every turn. What reveals itself to you as you walk around this amazing floating palace is the grandeur, the space the light and airy feel. WOW room after room still amazed and that's before we set sail....I need to lie down with all this excitement! not before a light lunch at the buffet, food glorious food, the choice is so great you end up losing 100 calories walking round and round deciding what to have. I opted for some delicious carved meat and salad followed by not one not two but three small desserts, all washed down with a bottle of beer. We then went to the lawn club and had cocktails on the grass while we sailed out of Southampton, the sun was shining and the atmosphere was electrifying. Arriving at the cabin was easy, our luggage was waiting for us, our cabin steward greeted us with great enthusiasm, the cabins are beautiful, well furnished, with a huge bed, huge balcony and the best bathroom I have seen for along time on a ship or in a hotel. The shower is to die for, I could have stayed in there all night, the toiletries provided from the on-board spa are also a welcome surprise.
Dressed and ready for dinner we made our way to the martini bar to rendezvous with friends, (mental note keep mouth shut) the ship has a real canny way of making you believe your not actually on a ship, no movement what so ever, also the clever design of the public rooms makes you feel like you could be in say a bar anywhere in the world! For a ship that holds so many people and rooms that feel intimate I was surprised that it felt like was staying at a boutique hotel somewhere in Paris, I had visions of people and queues everywhere, thankfully this was not the case, we were late sitting in the restaurant, our tables were very well presented the waiter was charming, the food exquisite!
We arrived at our one and only port of call Cobh (Cork) in the afternoon, it was raining cats and dogs, I had come to enjoy the ship so the port of call on this occasion was of no importance, we did however wander off the boat for a couple of hours, there is a great church on the hill where you get a real perspective of the size of the ship from lots of little windy roads, and the Irish are very pleasant.
We made it back to the ship and decided to try bistro on five, one of a hand full of pay extra dining options, need I say more the food was perfect, along with the service, and of course a lovely beer to wash it down. The days start to whizz by, we are having so much fun! the spa pool is refreshing, the captains cocktails were a haze, the never ending entertainment was top class, the food everywhere is mouthwatering, the service impeccable.
Me and technology are a good match, but on this occasion technology got the better of me, the tv in your stateroom does everything apart from steer the ship! I decided breakfast in bed was a good option, so I ordered on screen and confirmed, next morning on the nose at 9am (how do they do that?) there it was 4 trays, 8 breakfasts, 8 orange juice, 8 baskets of pastries, 8 racks of toast and 1 red face! order at your own risk!
Our final night on board we decide to try our the Tuscan grill another pay extra dining option, if you ever have a question in your head as to why should I pay more, then I can only say please try it...while the food in the other restaurants is better than anything else you have tasted before, this is the next level, these restaurants are you £100 a head minimum in your upmarket restaurants in London. Seeing trying and tasting is a definite must. I have to add, having different dining options also makes it feel like you would feel if you were holidaying on land, you choose a different restaurant each night to taste different cuisines, and no where near the land side price tag and at a guess no where near the same quality.
This ship is truly mind blowing and makes cruising more appealing trust me.