Food & Drink Lifestyle Travel

Cruise Diaries – An Introduction

August 22, 2019
Ville Franche

Welcome to a new little series on my blog, The Cruise Diaries.

Cruises have been the holiday of choice for my family since I was eleven, I'm now nearly twenty-three. If you couldn't tell we really like them... Yet every year we've always had questions or comments from friends along the lines of "oh, I don't think that'd be for me" or "well won't you get bored being stuck on the ship?" All of which are valid questions and comments.

It's a very different kind of holiday and there's no succinct way to explain why Cruises are such a wonderful holiday so with this series of posts I hope to show you why we love them and why they might also be for you.

For reference this last cruise we were on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas.

Cruise Independence of the Seas Royal Caribbean
Cruise Independence of the Seas Royal Caribbean

There's something very special about waking up in nearly a new place every day...without the hassle of airport security or baggage claim. You have your choice of cabins from internal right up to suites, of course with varying price differences. A balcony is a lovely choice and the perfect place to enjoy breakfast or a prosecco later on in the day. You also don't have to deal with the great sunbed race either with one!

In general, there's plenty of places all around the ship to sit and enjoy the views. My favourite was always the Solarium which is the adult pool area. Recently new kinds of seats have been added that look like giant wicker eggs, I'd curl up in there with a book and watch the world go past.

The Solarium also tended to be our groups day meeting place of choice, don't worry you'll meet them later on in this series. There was plenty of places for our pretty huge group to sit either in the pool. That's right seats in the pool! Or we'd laze on the side catching (well, trying in my case) a tan.

Good Omens View
Independence of the Seas
Independence of the Seas

Every year we wander into the dining room as we get on board and find where we'll be eating for the fortnight and every year I forget just how gorgeous the chandelier is. If this sort of dining isn't your thing there's a buffet open nearly all day that you can go to, a pizza place that's open virtually 24/7 and a cafe. For an extra treat, there are some speciality restaurants like Izumi and Chops Grille though they come with an extra charge.

Then there are the shows, there's one every night and we tended to go to most. But the favourite was by far the hypnotist where a few of our lot went up and I think I cried laughing. They were such good sports and fielded our 'did you know what you were doing' questions for the rest of the night.

Independence of the Seas
Independence of the Seas

The food, my god. There's an entire post coming in this series just about my favourite meals from this last cruise. It was by far the best food I've ever had aboard a cruise. I was spoilt for choice every single night and never had the same thing twice...though I probably could have eaten two plates of the charcuterie above! They're very accommodating for any dietary requirements too.

If you fancy something a little different the ship has what are called speciality restaurants too that do specific cuisine. There's a steakhouse, a sushi/teppanyaki place and an Italian. There is an extra charge on that but it's well worth it.

As with any place the staff make or break the experience and this year we had the best waiters, Joseph and Clifford. We ended up giggling every night without fail.

Independence of the Seas

I don't have any siblings so it's always just been me on holiday with my parents. It's strange as it's almost as though I have two holidays. I spend dinner with my parents and often wander around the ports with them but aside from that, we don't see all that much of each other. I make friends and spend most days and evenings with them, sometimes we get off the ship as a group instead. Hence the two holidays.

It's been like this from me being very young, I've been able to stay with the friends I'd make. The clubs provided for childcare are fantastic and leaves the parents able to sunbathe without needing to be by the pool and have an eye on the child at all times. Then as you get older they become a great place to meet people. Admittedly once you reach legal drinking age you have to fend for yourself when it comes to finding people, which is easier said than done!

I've loved these holidays and the time I get to spend with my parents on them. Anyone who knows us is aware of how mad we are and when we're together it really is like three children let loose to cause havoc. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Independence of the Seas

Speaking of the friends you make...

I've learned that the friends you make on a cruise are very different from the ones you meet say in a resort holiday. You are literally stuck with them for two weeks whereas in a resort you perhaps made a friend who was leaving in three days etc meaning you form a pretty close bond. I've been lucky in that every year I've always met a group of fantastic people and that makes the holiday for me.

Again this year I met the best group of people and I'd like to point out that not all of them are on this photo! Have you ever tried to corral thirty tipsy eighteen to twenty-five-year-olds to get a photo? It's like herding cats. Drunk cats.

I had the best time with this lot and I'll introduce to them all a little later on. I doubt any of them will even read this but if they do...TSS Forever.

Independence of the Seas

That about wraps up my little introduction to this new series. I'll be going through a little bit more about the ship, the places we went, the food and much more over the next few months. Oh! Expect a little self-indulgent outfit post too. One of my favourite aspects of this form of holiday-ing is that you can glam up every night if you want. I took full advantage of this... There's something very lovely about it and also seeing everyone else doing the same. Safe to say though by the end of every night the heels came off.

Any questions feel free to leave them below or drop me an email!

Have you been on a cruise?

What did you think?

Thank you for reading,

Katie x

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