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Monday, June 13, 2016

Cruising the Mediterranean Part 5 - Life on the Ship



Our Mediterranean Cruise was 9 nights, with two days at sea. That gave us a lot of time on the ship. We found lots to do.



Eat

We've heard about the food on a cruise. It's really all-you-can-eat. At the start we found ourselves at the buffet. There was a wide variety of food for every meal, and all of it was quite delicious. The kids were quite delighted with the hot and sweet chocolate drink at breakfast that we diluted with hot milk. Dad found his meat and potatoes every night. And none of us went hungry. Though there could have been more chocolate options at the dessert counter.

This is not part of what I viewed as the awesome food, but the kids liked them. They're a treat since I refuse to buy them. But I really only include this photo because Eamon discovered he only needed to squeeze his milk box to add milk to his cereal.

We also tried the main dining room with menu service for a couple of our suppers. The food was also good. The kids quite enjoyed their Shirley Temples. Everything was a bit of a step up from the buffet.

There are also a couple of options where you pay a set fee to eat in a dining room. Not to leave options unexplored, we also tried two of these restaurants. While we had to pay, the food was the best on the ship. Dad preferred the steak here. The appetizers were better. The desserts were fantastic. It really was an example of you get what you pay for.

I have just one comment on this all-you-can-eat aspect. OMG do people ever make pigs of themselves. I won't say anything further at the risk of sounding too judgemental.


We may have stopped by this ice cream machine more than once.


Drink

We aren't very big drinkers so we didn't purchase the drinks package for the cruise. We figured we'd need to drink at least 6 or 7 drinks each every day to make the package worthwhile. Drinking that much for 9 days in a row is just too hard.


But then the flood happened, and we got a package free. It was glorious, and even the kids got in on the fun with some virgin daiquiris, virgin margaritas, and Shirley Temples. 

Even with the bar taps flowing, I don't think we drank the amount of the package. Next time I think we'll just be sure to set aside a drinks fund so that we can enjoy without guilt and worrying about how much everything costs.

Be Merry

There's a lot of entertainment on the ship. Every night there's a show in the theatre ranging from country music, to dancing, to a magician, to the Beatles, and more. We didn't go every night, but the nights that we did, the kids loved it!

Hector, the ship's magician. Eamon was beyond captivated by his show!

There's also entertainment in the main Centrum area: a piano player, singing, an aerials show, and then the late night entertainment that we just never saw.

Kerry and Eamon hanging out the Centrum.

I almost forgot to mention the movies. They play movies! Most of them are outside by the swimming pool at night - which will be deserted of people of the weather is bad, but there was the odd on playing in the theatre in the afternoon.


Kids Club

I've mentioned this before. The kids loved it. They got away from us and were able to play, play, play. Also, on days the ship was in port, you could leave the kids in the club for meals and the workers would take them for lunch. They were the only kids that used this benefit, but they thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't think any of us really realized that after spending so long together with just the four of us, that this kind of break would be so welcome.

The magical entrance to kids' club.

They also met other kids. Ultimately, the kids they had the most fun with on the ship never went to kids club, it was still so fun for them.

Games

The kids found a couple of other boys on the ship who never went to kids club, but you made use of everything else: the arcade, shuffleboard, and the WiiU. Once our kids hooked up with them, there was no looking back. Fun all round!

Shuffleboard at night


Holding her own in the arcade
There's a swimming pool as well. We swam a couple of days, but some days it was just a bit too cold to head out and get wet. But no one complained about the non swimming days because there was just so much else to do.

Relaxation

The kids did some daily journalling. We read. We relaxed. We napped. Dad also hit the casino, which I think he views as a bit of relaxation despite the bells and lights.

Relaxing and reading in our room.


Seeing the towel animals our housekeeper made every day became a small highlight.



 And a little bit of Awesome

Captain was very good at letting us know what time we were arriving in port and to be sure to be on deck if it was going to be a memorable docking. And I'm so glad he did. We were up on deck for Malta, Kotor and Venice. In each case it was amazing. Malta because it was a tricky little zig zag to get through the opening in the harbour walls. Kotor because the water was so deathly still. And Venice, well, because it's Venice.



Approaching Malta in the early morning


I'll have just one last post on the cruise: the pros and cons, and whether we would we go on another one again.




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