Where to begin? Hello! Welcome back, I hope everyone had a magical Christmas and Happy New Year! (Feels like centuries ago) I spent some time off over Christmas and New Year but I am well and truly back. I was away mid/end of December on a Mediterranean Cruise and then made a flying visit to Spain to see my family, after the shenanigans of New Year my boyfriend whisked me away to Paris for a long weekend which was bloomin’ lovely, however unfortunately when I got back I was sick in bed for a week with the flu throwing up my soul. On a lighter and brighter note, that does mean I have a bank of exciting travel posts that are going to be popping up in the next few weeks so keep those peepers peeled…
I thought I’d split the trip into two parts as there’s just too much to cram into one post, it was a 6 day cruise travelling from Barcelona stopping at Civitavecchia in Italy (close to Rome) then travelling up the coast to La Spezia, round to Savona, across to Marseille, France and then back down to Barcelona. Part one will be Barcelona/Cruise and Part two will be all of Italy as we didn’t end up getting off in Marseille.
I flew out to Barcelona a day earlier to meet my family and so that we could explore a little before jumping on the ship. I arrived at the hotel around mid day on the Saturday and we ended up spending that afternoon/evening finding somewhere to eat and walking the shopping street of Las Ramblas. (I still can’t believe my family persuaded me to walk past the biggest and most beautiful Zara in the world) We found a cute little pizza/tapas restaurant and drew the curtains on our night.
The next morning we sprung out of bed to make sure we didn’t miss breakfast (flan, bread and flan anyone?) We weren’t able to board the cruise until later that afternoon anyway so we decided (I persuaded everyone) (eveyone meaning 2 of 4) to go and see La Sagrada Familia. It’s not a trip to Barcelona without a sprinkle of Gaudi right?
We arrived at around 11am and unfortunately all the tickets were already sold out for us to go inside which I was really peed off about, so if you’re thinking of going make sure to book online in advance. That being said the design and detail in the architecture of the exterior alone is pretty spectacular and I’m not sure my neck could’ve dealt with the beautiful interior on top of that.
As we then had time to kill I used it wisely and decided to hunt down the nearest Zara that would be open on a Sunday (living in Spain for 10 years I knew this would be a mammoth task). We walked for around 30 minutes and finally found an (open, hallelujah!) shopping centre which meant I had a strict time frame of around 22.5 minutes in Zara before we had to head back to the hotel and get a taxi to the port.
After reaching the port, checking in, going through security and stepping foot on the ship it was around 3pm and we were all starving. The best part of any cruise is that no matter what time of day it is there will more than likely be some sort of buffet available. Missed hot breakfast? Don’t worry there’s buffet breakfast in 5 mins. Missed that? Don’t worry there’s afternoon tea in 10. Missed that? Don’t worry lunch is being prepared. Missed that? etc. etc. I’m surprised I didn’t sink the ship myself with the amount I was eating every day.
After stuffing our faces, we explored the ship, went to see our cabin (guess who got upgraded to a room with a balcony) (not us) and then attended our health and safety meeting in our life jackets where I couldn’t help myself from humming the titanic theme tune. I tried to take photos but I got told off. Very serious. No smiles pls.
As the sun began to set on us we scrubbed up and changed into our evening wear, most nights there’d be a dress code which 10 times out of 10 we completely missed. “Wear white” Turns up in black. Every night we viewed the early sitting at the theatre where a different show was put on each evening, when this finished we were slightly early for dinner so we went to the casino and dabbled in a spot of roulette darling. Awkward moment when you’re sat with the big dogs throwing 500€ on the table like dirty napkins and you find yourself mumbling for 20 chips under your breath.
I won about 200€ on the roulette table last time and figured how lucky can someone be? So I spectated for the most part and occasionally went all out on the arcade games (big baller). I quickly worked out the cost of cocktails x how many I’d consume + 20 chips on the roulette – how much I’d lose = π x 35 (basically cocktails won over gambling).
After everyone’s wallets were as empty as their stomachs it was time to indulge in yet more food and head to the restaurant. The menu was so bouji I won’t lie, I had no idea what half the food was on there, but putting all my trust in the chef I randomly selected 5 (yes five, cinco, cinq) courses and hoped for the best. Every dish was always spot on, I dream of the homemade mozzarella, pesto and focaccia bread at least 4 times a week not including naps.
The ship set sail at around 6pm that evening where we spent the next day and night cruising at sea towards our first stop in Civitavecchia, Italiaaaa! Keep your eyes peeled for Part two.
I hope you enjoyed this post, like and share if you did and please leave your comments below if you’re thinking of going on a cruise or if you just have some questions!