I am sure, by now, that you can guess just how much we loved our recent cruise. And for want of sounding like a glossy brochure (and no, these are not sponsored posts), I just really enjoyed our holiday!
While the Islands were wonderful, and the on-board activities a lot of fun, often our daily highlights were the small things. The simple things.
Let me break them down for you!
This was definitely a major highlight for me. For there was not a snobby hipster cafe attendant in sight. Rather, every staff member that we passed would greet us with a friendly smile and a ‘hello’. Every single time.
It was gloriously polite and refreshing, and really set the tone for the holiday.
The evening dinners
Perhaps following on from my last point – our evening dinners ended up being one of my favourite parts of the trip – mainly because of the service. We were allocated 3 waiters (Nyoman, Rodgie and Ronnie) who knew our names from day 1 and made such huge efforts to keep the kids fed and entertained. After main course was served, a song would come on and all the wait staff would dance with the kids (and adults!) which both our girls thought was pretty much the best thing ever!
Charlotte still talks about Nyoman, in particular, and is constantly asking me when we can go back on the ship to visit him!
Ok it was incredibly cheesy, and a tad expensive at ($39 a photo), but it was lovely to have lots of opportunities to get family pictures taken. Generally there were ship photographers at the various events and when boarding / disembarking the ship (seriously, how can I get this job??), along with backdrops set up as you entered the dining hall for more ‘staged’ portraits. The photos would then be displayed the following day, so that you could decide whether to purchase them.
I couldn’t resist the corniness of this one – with accidental colour co-ordination and faux chandelier in the background. We also picked up some lovely ones of the whole extended family!
As you know, I am 100% a morning person (as is Josie), so it was not unusual for us to be up and wandering the decks as the sun rose.
It was a perfect way to start the day.
I sampled pretty much the entire cocktail list. Enough said.
Cat in the Hat breakfast
With Dr Seuss being a big hit in our household, it was no surprise that the Cat in the Hat breakfast was a highlight for our girls. This was a special breakfast on the final day, for an extra fee, with various Dr Seuss characters popping in to say hello.
But my number 1 highlight….
The Chef’s Table
I had read somewhere that if a Chef’s dinner was on offer, it really was an experience not to be missed. And boy were they right.
It was $75 per person, which for what was included, was an absolute bargain.
We started in the kitchen with appetizers and a glass of champagne, while the Chef chatted to us about all things catering on a cruise ship.
We were then given a short cooking demonstration, before being taken to a gorgeous dining room to begin our feast.
And what a feast it was!
Seven immaculately presented dishes – from which I could not pick a favourite (although the crab stack with passionfruit caviar and the wagyu bone marrow soufflé were definite contenders).
And the dessert! Oh my – it was a feast in itself. Sea salt praline chocolate, raspberry mojito, key lime cake, apricot vanilla gel and citrus cream.
Paired with white and red wine, and some magic tricks for entertainment in the middle, I loved every moment of the Chef’s table from start to finish (and most certainly needed to loosen my belt buckle on the way back to our cabin).
(As for the logistics of doing this dinner with kids, we put Charlotte in kids club for a few hours over dinner, and managed to get Josie to fall asleep in the pram alongside the table. Karma was fortunately on our side as she stayed asleep for the entire meal!?)
Stay tuned for my final post – tips for cruising with kids!