Monday, November 14, 2011


I wrote this some time ago, but hadn't it posted yet. I find it so interesting to read again following the tragic Costa Concordia accident. This accident doesn't change my opinion of our cruise, and I must say all the staff did their utmost to make us feel safe. True, our emergency orientation did not happen until the second day of our cruise, but it is difficult to scedule as people are constantly embarking and disembarking the ship. It still remains a safe and fun vacation, relatively speaking (and probably cheap now too!).
I can't wait to tell you all about our first cruise! We were not sure what to expect -reviews of the ship were mixed- as well as wondering if crusing with a baby would leave us feeling left out. No captain's dinners for us! But it was an absolutely fabulous expereince for all of us!
Our trip began with a fast train ride down to Marseilles which was a fun start as William loves the train. He went up and down the aisles making friends with everyone, and hung out with Papa in the bar cart. Mama got to sit and read a book....what luxury!
We got on the ship, the Costa Serena, in the afternoon and set off immediately to explore. The ship's staff looked after getting our luggage aboard so already we had not a care in the world. Our room was much larger than we expected and there was a comfy cot set up for William. The decor of the ship was opulent, outrageous, and over the top....very Italian! There were many, many amenities and we did our best to use them all. Greg loved the well equipped gym and went every day. I went to a morning stretch class and finally got my hair cut and a pedicure....all things that are difficult to fit into our daily rounds! We took advantage of the 'breakfast in bed' (although we were never in bed with a fella who wakes up around 6 a.m.) and went to the fulsome buffet for lunch. Dinner was in one of the 4 restaraunts. This made us a bit nervous as getting William to sit through a meal is getting tougher and tougher (and would be impossible without Cheerios) but we were sat with another family with a small child (the delightful Flore, who was the picture of Cindy Lou Who) and so they were most tolerant of his moods. Our favorite dinner was Italian Night, where the staff got us all up dancing and they brought in an opera singer to fete us at dessert.

As William was too little for the babysitting, Greg and I took turns doing other things. I got a wonderful tour of Pompeii which was so impressive. It is an entire city replete with evidence of the availability of fast food, brothels and spas; I had to keep reminding myself that all this existed in 79 AD!! Greg really enjoyed his tour to Mount Etna, where he got a fanstastic view of the area. Mount Etna still erupts regularly, but is a slow flowing lava volcano, so it is safe to get right up to the crater. Overall we didn't mind switching off care of William, but this was perhaps our one regret from the trip: no romantic dinner for two! ( Next time.....).

William was the star of the ship. All the staff couldn't resist pinching his cheeks or stroking his hair. Many of them have left their families at home and so are itching to interact with a baby again. William loved all this attention and showed them all his tricks: waving bye bye, clapping his hands and giving them his megawatt smile. He also loved the baby pool -lots of splashing- and all the buttons the elevator.

Our stops included Savona (very quiet as it was Sunday), Napoli (where I went to Pompeii), Catania (in Sicily), Palma de Majorca (where we enjoyed a long walk in the sunshine), and Barcelona (such amazing architecture!). We also spent one day at sea, which we loved as it gave us time to do all the activities we wanted .It's really something to look out and see nothing but makes you feel small and insignificant, but also contained and self reliant in your ship-world.
We loved cruising and hope to do it again soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment