Book worm book count: 22 (to be fair – we’ve been busy today)
Anyone would think a day at sea is an opportunity to sit back and relax. Think again.
Today we headed away from the Greek Islands and towards the city of Naples – it will take us 36 hours to get there. The sea is flat calm and the bluest I have ever seen. The sun is shining and I am just waiting on the dolphins to surface to make it perfect.
I do not want this cruise to end. If we had the opportunity to extend it – we would, in a heartbeat. (Trust me – I have asked)
The morning started with a lovely long breakfast at the exclusive suite restaurant Lumiane. 8 days in, they know us well. They almost deliver the coffee before we walk to the table. Friendly, warm and welcoming with exceptional service. It has become standard – it is anything but.
Our butler cannot do enough for us. Book a show, a restaurant, a shore excursion, get me a cup of tea, deliver an afternoon drink, or look after Charlotte at the lounge while we have a quiet lunch (the small person has zero interest in Kids Club, thank you very much).
When our butler, Adriana introduced herself on day one and said, “use and abuse me”, I laughed thinking she was joking. As they days have gone on I realize she really meant it.
Today, were invited to the bridge to experience the view and the hear from one of the officers about the boat – how they operate it and what their life is like at sea. It was awesome. They offer a tour behind the scenes on board on cruise days and it is well worth the money. It’s fascinating to see behind closed doors how it all happens. Rather than take away from the magic – it adds to it. Most interesting thing was size of the steering wheel (tiny) and they steer the boat with a tiny joy stick. The boat can turn 360 degrees without moving forward or back – it’s incredible. The views from the bridge are amazing. You really get a sense of the enormity of the vessel and the complexities involved in running it.
Then Charlotte and I had to race to meet with the Captain and the Head of Hotel for an interview. Lovely, lovely guys and we will be blogging that interview when I get a chance to write it up over the next day or two. Simon meanwhile, raced to the theatre to watch the All Blacks match – live on the big screen, where we joined him later. The fact that they can stream live sports matches when we are in the middle of no where is awesome.
After that, Simon and I had lunch with the Captain and Senior crew – an exclusive event for 30 guests on board in Blu – the other restaurant available to Aqua Class and Suite guests. It was stunning. Again – I got an opportunity to chat with the Captain and learn more about his life at sea.
Suddenly its 2pm and the relaxing day is just about over. Time for afternoon tea in the Suite lounge (Michaels Club) and a game or two of last card (Charlotte is addicted!) a quick browse at the shops on board (everything is on sale today) and suddenly it’s time for a martini at the Martini bar (one of at least 12). Where did that day go?
That is the best thing about a cruise. There is so much to do on board. There is always something happening. You can play the slots at the casino, take a wine course at the Cellar Masters Bar, learn how to make the most of your iPad in the digital lounge, take a cooking class, learn to dance the salsa, watch a movie, swim (although on sea days the pool is best avoided) head to the gym and run a marathon while watching the waves. Not to mention the fact that you are not packing and unpacking or wasting time in airports, train stations and getting in and out of cabs. I am struggling to see the down side. You can engage with like-minded people, or keep to yourself entirely. There are no rules and you simply cannot get board on board.
Over lunch I chatted with a woman from Australia who takes a cruise every year and has done for 10 years. She loves it and I can see why. Celebrity do everything, just that little bit better. It is absolutely my kind of cruise boat.
The best thing about being in a suite is you get these little perks, extra special treatment and you have more choice about where you spend your time. You have access to more of the boat, not just a bigger room. You have access to two exclusive additional restaurants, you have a lounge that serves drinks and nibbles all day, your own concierge (Boogie – is awesome) and a butler who just makes life easy. Plus, the room is bigger so hanging out in it is easier – with a bigger deck and nicer amenities. It adds up and if you have a child or two, they easily fit in to the room. For us it is well worth the extra money.
The cruise has been spectacular – We already liked to cruise but Celebrity has taken it to a whole new level. We are definitely “Celebrities”.
The question for us now is not will we cruise Celebrity again – it is when?
Highlights from small heights
I know. A day at sea is not a chance to sit back and relax. My life is over until this unjust mistake is fixed. Anyway dramatic stuff over. Mum’s right the day was busy or at least busier than expected. I am defiantly heart-broken the cruise is coming to an end. Its been AWESOME in soooo many ways. But as this particular blog is about suites I have to talk solely on them. Rolly eyes.
Anyway as Mother said a suite doesn’t just give you a bigger room. It gives you lots of new places to explore. For example I don’t know how we could’ve survived in the cafeteria zoo every single morning, dinner and lunch, so Luminae and Blu were lifesavers. (Mum – there are other restaurants that everyone can go to Charlotte)There’s also Michael’s Club, which is suite only ,meaning we would have missed out on around a hundred card games if we weren’t suites. We also have butlers and our very own sweet suite-only concierge. Is that enough? Good I’m exhausted.
Fun rating for Celebrity Reflection suites: Ten out of ten. (Mum – first time that has been given!)
Improvement tip: Just cannot find something to criticise. Believe me I tried VERY hard.
Charlotte’s two top tips:
Get a suite and use its advantages to death.