Sunday, 11 September 2016

My first cruise experience

Norweigan Cruise Line The Epic

Last Sunday I was just getting back from my first cruise ever around the Med with Norweigan Cruise Line. My dad works for the company so me and mum decided to hop on The Epic and trial it out for a holiday.

Although my dad has gone on and on about how amazing the ship is and the facilities I just did not expect it to be as amazing as it was. In my head I always pictured cruises to be full of old people in their finest garments / a mixture of the titanic, and that just wasn't something that appealed to me. I didn't have to worry as NCL had it covered and there's everything you could possibly want or need on the ship. I don't have a picture, for some strange reason I didn't take one, but there are plenty on Google images.

What really surprised me was that there was a mixture of different people, of all ages and from different parts of the world all enjoying it so much. And it's no wonder as I mentioned previously, there is everything on the ship including multiple restaurants/buffets, pools, huge slides, spa, shopping, a theatre (!!!), circus tent, ice room, bars, hairdressers, casino, nightclubs and so much more! What I loved most though is that although you're on the ship you wake up in a different place to explore every morning.

Me and mum decided to fly out on Saturday to Barcelona before we joined the ship on the Sunday so we could have a quick look around. We ended up just getting lost while walking around looking at all of the beautiful buildings as well as a bit of shopping of course, and then we had to have some paella and tapas!

Sunday we joined the ship in Barcelona and then Monday was a day at sea. On Tuesday morning we arrived in Naples. Now I was really excited to see Italy as I've always wanted to go but hadn't got round to it until now. We had booked tours for pretty much every day as we wanted to cram in as much as possible. We traveled to Sorrento in the morning which was beautiful, where we had some free time to explore and of course have some gelato. It is never to early to have gelato!

Then to finish the day off we headed back to Naples for a panoramic tour and most importantly to try a proper margherita pizza. The pizzas literally did not stop coming, you had to ask them when you wanted them to stop bringing them out. I honestly have to say it was the best pizza I have ever tasted! Fun fact as well... it's called the margherita pizza because it was made in honour of Queen Margherita.

Next stop was Rome. Again we split the day up into two. For the morning we headed out into the countryside out by Castel Gondolfo (where the Pope has his mini break) and marvelled at the scenery and the quaint town. Then all of a sudden there was a huge thunder and lightning storm which lasted for the rest of the day making it a very soggy trip! Anyway for lunch we headed to Nonna Lydia's farm where her family have a vineyard and restaurant as well. Nonna Lydia showed us how to make 3 different pastas then knocked us up with a delicious 5 course meal. We had bruschetta, tuna salad, gnocchi, lasagne, tiramisu and then espresso and biscotti!

After lunch we headed to the main part of Rome to view all the impressive buildings.

The final day in Italy was in the beautiful city of Florence and then a quick stop in Pisa for the obvious tourist photo. Florence has to be my absolute favourite destination out of this whole holiday. I couldn't get over how gorgeous and historical it looked all at once. For lunch we even dined in an ancient palace! Also another fun fact as I seem to like them in this post... Pinocchio originated from Florence. 

Next stop was Cannes, we decided to do a trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo as it's always been on my mums list of place to visit, I think she just wanted to pretend she was Grace Kelly. Although it was very expensive bursting with designer shops, they were both so picturesque and didn't even look real. They reminded me of little toy towns from fairy tales.

Our final stop was Marseille but I unfortunately don't have any pictures to share. Me and mum decided to take a day off from the tours to just spend some free time shopping.

All in all though I had a fantastic time and would definitely look into doing a cruise again, like I said I just love the fact you wake up in a new place every morning without the hassel of travel.

Have you ever been on a cruise before, did you enjoy it?

I hope you had a good weekend.

Ellé x

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